THE INFALLIBILITY AND INERRANCY OF THE BIBLE
Since Christians profess the Bible as it stands today, to contain all the doctrine and moral teachings necessary for salvation, and to have been inspired by the Holy Spirit; it professes also as necessary consequence, that the Jewish-Christian scriptures are infallible and inerrable to be able to serve the purpose for which they were created; that is, that they are free from all error in its teachings and in the way they are expressed in their original version.
INFALLIBILITY: Christianity professes that the scriptures, in their original version, are free from error in all doctrinal and moral teachings. (2Tim 3:15-17)
INERRANCY: Christianity also professes that the scripture in its original version is free from factual error in all the information it contains in all matters of human knowledge and science. (Lk 2:1-5)
WHY IS THIS IMPORTANT
Some modern biblical critics and scholars who don’t believe in the direct divine inspiration of the scriptures, but believe that they are a human creation, consider variations in narratives and unconfirmed historical information contained in the sacred writings, as mistakes and alterations done over the texts which, they consider, were not really written by the alleged authors, but by a number of unknown scribes, even some of pagan origin.
Christianity rejects this claim, because that affects substantially the credibility of the Bible as containing God’s revelation for the salvation of humanity. If the Scriptures contain errors and mistakes, no information given by it could be trusted, and not only on historical and scientific data, but also in doctrinal matters. Biblical doctrine is built on the theological premises taught in the sacred texts. If these contain errors in their redaction, as for example, as some sects claim today, John 1:1 did not really say that the Logos was God, or if the mention of the Trinity in Matthew 28:19 was a mistake, those verses could not be taken anymore as premises for a theological hypothesis, jeopardising the whole Trinitarian doctrine. Some argue that little mistakes do not affect essential doctrines, and that God has preserved the Scriptures good enough to not compromise those truths. But this is also a contradictory statement. If there is a mistake, there could be more, even when we may not be aware of them at the time. On the other hand, if we believe that God preserved the scripture “good enough” to not compromise truth, there is no reason why God would not be powerful enough to preserve all the scripture from error, after all.
Christianity believes the Scripture contains no error in the information it provides regarding human knowledge and science, and in the doctrinal and moral teachings it conveys. The inerrancy in human knowledge confirms the credibility of the context and the origin of the teachings and the infallibility ensures the correctness and trustfulness of the doctrinal and moral principles contained in them. For this reason the Apostles took scriptural information in a literal sense, showing they understood it that way. Had not that been the case, their arguments would have been useless. (Lk 3:23-38; Acts 17:26; 1Pe 3:20; Heb 11:4-7; Jd 1:14)
Variations in narrative are partial views of a same event or teaching, and unconfirmed affirmations are correct information that has not yet been discovered or not discovered fully.
Christianity also professes that this infallibility and inerrancy are proper to the original texts. Modern copies can have variations in their texts, but we also profess that the text and message born from comparative study are by Divine providence, preserved infallible and inerrable to fulfil the purpose for which they were created. (Is 40:8; 46:10; 55:16; Mt 5:18; 24:35)
To deprive the Scripture from infallibility and inerrancy is a modern attempt to discredit the Bible as a source of truth, revelation, and morality; to give way to materialistic, secular philosophies and ethics, incompatible with the Christian values, and to erase the influence of Christianity in the modern world.