Published on December 3rd, 2011 | by Stephanie S. Smith
Is God’s Word True and Free from Error? Part I
It’s interesting to think that out of all the ways within God’s power to make Himself known to man, He gave us a book. And now our charge is to read, to study, and to understand. But throughout history, critical questions have surrounded the Bible. Is every word in Scripture accurate and true? Is the Bible true in everything spiritual that it teaches, or is it true in all assertions, whether historical, chronological, and also matters of faith?
A Definition of Terms
These are all questions of biblical inerrancy, a doctrine that upholds that the Bible is entirely trustworthy and reliable in all that it asserts in the original manuscripts.
“Infallibility” is another term relating to these questions, meaning that God’s Word is not only true in all its assertions in the original manuscripts, but also that the Bible is incapable of error. Infallibility takes inerrancy a step further by claiming that error is not possible in Scripture.
As I study the historical and modern arguments for or against biblical inerrancy, it seems to me that when the truthfulness of Scripture is called into question, the doubt arises not out of faith in God but out of fallible human involvement with the Word of God.
God’s Words are True, because there is no Untruth in God
If we believe that the Bible is God’s Word as it claims (and this is a whole study in itself we would all benefit from), we can confidently believe that His words are true. Scripture tells us every word of God is flawless (Prov. 30:5-6, Psalm 12:6), just as He Himself is flawless. Titus 1:2 also affirms God does not lie. There is no untruth in God, and there is likewise no untruth in His words.
2 Timothy 3:16-17 teaches, “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.”
“Breathed out by God,” simply means it is God’s word, not man’s, although man was instrumental in recording Scripture. The Word of God is God’s own breath, the very essence of His divine self.
Two verses later in 2 Timothy, Paul makes the logical application that rests on this truth: “preach the word” (2 Timothy 4:2). His point seems to be that if God’s Word is as true, as reliable, as God Himself, even imperfect humans can preach it with confidence.
Continued in Part II…
Why do you think our view of the accuracy of God’s Word is important, and how does it affect our faith?