Why is it Important to believe in Inerrancy? Brian's notes...
1. The Bible itself claims to be perfect:
• "The law of the Lord is perfect" (Psalm 19:7).
• "Every word of God is pure" (Proverbs 30:5 KJV).
• All scripture is GOD BREATHED (2 Timothy 3:16)
• "And the words of the Lord are flawless, like silver refined in a furnace of clay, purified seven times" (Psalm 12:6)
2. The Bible stands or falls as a whole. If parts are made up or not factual, then the whole must be discredited. It is not a mixture of doctrine that we are free to select from.
• 40 Authors writing 66 books over 1600 years (or possibly much longer) written on three continents and all in agreement. Luke researched and interviewed eyewitnesses.
• Historical Evidences abound.
o until 1993 there was no proof of the existence of King David or even of Israel as a nation prior to Solomon. Then in 1993 archeologists found proof of King David's existence outside the Bible. At an ancient mound called Tel Dan, in the north of Israel, words carved into a chunk of basalt were translated as "House of David" and "King of Israel"
o The Hittites: Bible mocked by many for years over the references to Hittites. Then end of the 19th century, Hittite monuments were uncovered at Carchemish on the Euphrates River in Syria, proving the Bible right.
o Pool of Siloam found in the Old City of Jerusalem recently. John 9:1-7 Jesus healing the man blind from birth.
o Sodom is not a fairytale. The references to the infamous city were found.
On the other hand, much of the Bible, in particular the historical books of the old testament, are as accurate historical documents as any that we have from antiquity and are in fact more accurate than many of the Egyptian, Mesopotamian, or Greek histories. These Biblical records can be and are used as are other ancient documents in archeological work.
• Proofs through Prophesy
o 300 prophecies concerning Jesus Christ.
o Rise and fall of kingdoms, Israel's captivity etc.
• Truthful representation of Hero's faults and weaknesses
• Is the Bible we have today the Bible as it existed 2000 years ago?
o The truth is the composition of the New Testament was officially settled at the Council of Carthage in AD 397
o The majority of the New Testament was accepted as authoritative much earlier.
o There is no literary rival in the ancient world to the number of manuscript copies and the early dating of the New Testament. There are 5,300 Greek, 10,000 Latin, and 9,000 miscellaneous copies of the New Testament extant today, and more continue to be unearthed via archaeology. There are also some 86,000 quotations from the early church fathers and several thousand Lectionaries (church-service books containing Scripture quotations used in the early centuries of Christianity)
• Works of Julius Caesar (10 Copies with earliest being 1000 years after his death
• Works of Plato/Aristotle/Socrates – 1 to 20 copies
• Koran – Many years after the death of Muhammad, Uthman arranged for an official version of the Koran that was to combine the many varying versions in existence at the time. All previous versions were then burned!
Textual Criticism - 150,000 "Variants" - 99% of variant cases, the original text can be reconstructed to a practical certainty. Even in the few cases where some perplexity remains, this does not impinge on the meaning of Scripture to the point of clouding a tenet of the faith or a mandate of life.
3. The Bible is a reflection of its Author. All books are. The Bible was written by God Himself as He worked through human authors in a process called "inspiration." The Bible judges us, not vice versa.
• All scripture is God breathed (2 Timothy 3:16)
• Hebrews 4:12 - For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.
• 2 Peter 1:21 For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.
4. The Bible is our only rule for faith and practice. If it is not reliable, then on what do we base our beliefs? Jesus asks for our trust, and that includes trust in what He says in His Word.
• John 6:67-69 – 67 So Jesus said to the twelve, "Do you want to go away as well?" 68 Simon Peter answered him, "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life, 69 and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God."
• Many warnings about Deceivers...
Matthew 24:9 "Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and put you to death, and you will be hated by all nations for my name's sake. 10 And then many will fall away and betray one another and hate one another. 11 And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray. 12 And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold. 13 But the one who endures to the end will be saved.
Ephesians 5:6 6 Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience.
Romans 16:17-18 I appeal to you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine that you have been taught; avoid them. For such persons do not serve our Lord Christ, but their own appetites, and by smooth talk and flattery they deceive the hearts of the naive.
Ephesians 6:10 10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. 11Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil.
All Scripture Is breathed out by God 10 You, however, have followed my teaching, my conduct, my aim in life, my faith, my patience, my love, my steadfastness, 11 my persecutions and sufferings that happened to me at Antioch, at Iconium, and sat Lystra—which persecutions I endured; yet from them all the Lord rescued me. 12 Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, 13 while evil people and impostors will go on from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived. 14 But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom1 you learned it 15 and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 16 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.
1. We can truly rely upon the Bible we have today as God's word to the world. The evidence is simply overwhelming.
2. We can count on the fact that many will attempt to create doubt in the authenticity of scripture or work to change its content and meaning
3. If we are in agreement that the Bible contains the words of the Living God, do our lives reflect that belief. Do our neighbors, work associates, or enemies simply need to watch how we live as their proof that the Bible holds nothing but false promises?
Why does this matter? If we deny the inerrancy of the Bible, should a serious moral problem confronts us can we not lie? Can we really trust God in anything? What about salvation? If we deny inerrancy we place our own minds higher than Gods truth. We must also say doctrines could be untrue.
Sharing with others – ask "Do you believe the Bible is the inspired authoritative word of God?
Ask: How does my life reflect these beliefs? What changes do I want God to make in my life?
Listen. Ask. What are the errors in the scriptures? Tone is important. Follow up. Understand. James 1:19 - be quick to hear and slow to speak.
Speak the truth in love. Be ready to give a defense of the faith which is in you. I Peter 3:15 gentle, with respect. Balance relational loving and speaking the truth.
Give a testimony of what happened in my own life, that the word of God changed my life. Ask: do you have a story like that?
Invite non-Believers to read the Bible together. Take the time.