Tuesday, 28 March 2006

Inerrant autographs?

The latest post in Chris Tilling’s excellent series on biblical inerrancy is particularly good. Here’s my own comment in response:

On the one hand, the concept of inerrant autographs is irrelevant, since it refers only to hypothetical artefacts that don’t actually exist. And on the other hand, the concept of inerrant autographs doesn’t really explain away any of the Bible’s most interesting problems, such as the conflicting theologies within the New Testament, and the interpretations of natural phenomena based on pre-scientific worldviews.

More than all this, though, I think the doctrine of inerrancy is a gigantic distraction from the really important matter of the faithfulness and trustworthiness of God’s self-revelation in Jesus Christ and in the gospel (both preached and written) that witnesses to him.

When we have grasped (or rather, been grasped by) God’s faithfulness, then all the anxious hand-wringing about inerrant texts suddenly seems like a child begging her father for a stone, when she has already been given bread.


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