Friday, July 15, 2011

Proving Bible Inerrancy

by Kenneth W. Hawthorne
Bible inerrantists tend to talk in smug terms, sounding so confident that they can prove the inerrancy of the Bible. To hear them talk you would think that Bible inerrancy is the most obvious thing on earth, and that only die-hard skeptics would dare say otherwise.

Actually, it is just the opposite. It is mostly die-hard fundamentalist Christians who are hanging on to the claim that the Bible is inerrant. Instead of being smug, they need to be practicing a little more humility. But don't hold your breath. They only look for reasons to believe that the Bible is inerrant and that is irrational enough, but they carry the irrationality even further by committing even more invalid reasoning.

One of the most obvious examples of this is that they don't understand the impossibility of proving such a claim. As Farrell Till has noted, " would be IMPOSSIBLE to prove that the Bible is inerrant, because there must be millions of bits of information in it, much of it very commonplace and ordinary that involve no claims of the miraculous, that would be impossible to verify. Yet to prove that the Bible is inerrant, one would have to verify the truth of ALL of these millions of bits of information, and I consider that an impossible task...Genesis 19:23 [is] an example of an ordinary, uneventful statement that would nevertheless be impossible to verify: 'The sun was risen upon the earth when Lot came to Zoar.' Now if you think bits of information like this can be proven to be true, I would like to see you do it. In view of the fact that there are thousands of statements like this in the Bible that are unverifiable, it is utterly ridiculous for anyone to assert that the Bible is inerrant, because that is a claim that can never be known."

Remember, they are claiming that the Bible has no inaccuracies or false information. And that they have to prove, and that they cannot do.

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