What Is Inerrancy and What Does It Mean for Us?

Biblical Authority Devotional: Infallibility and Inerrancy of Scripture, Part 1

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You can read the Bible knowing that it is reliably His message to us.

The law of the Lord, is perfect, converting the soul; the testimony of the Lord, is sure, making wise the simple; (Psalm 19:7)

Today’s big question: what is inerrancy, and what does it mean for us?

How many times do we fall back on the old saying, “Well, I’m not perfect, you know”? All of us (hopefully) realize that we do make mistakes. While many times we may not want to admit it, human beings don’t get everything right. I don’t have to think too far back to remember my last error, and neither do you. Writing these devotionals each day at Answers in Genesis has been a reminder of our human fallibility. Often, one of our wonderful editors will come back to me and show me a spelling mistake, grammar mistake, or even a potential doctrinal contradiction that I need to think through. Yes, I have to admit it: I get stuff wrong.

In great contrast to this is today’s Scripture verse. The psalmist tells us that “the law of the Lord is perfect,” which means that God’s revelation to mankind is absolutely pure and without error. This is consistent with the Bible’s description of God’s very character. His Word reflects His character—and the Bible even tells us that this God of perfect character breathed out His revelation to man through the human instruments He chose (2 Timothy 3:16). So God’s perfect Word comes with the authority of God who gave it in its original form.

The wonderful thing is that even after millions of copies and various translations, the Bibles that we hold in our hands today remains completely reliable.1 Critics across the world and through the ages have come and gone, attempting to discredit God’s Word by pointing to supposed errors and contradictions—leaving only a trail of unbelief as evidence of their attempts.

When I pick up the Word of God, I open the pages and find the most amazing and awe-inspiring experience—God speaks to me through His revealed Word! Think about it. You can read the Bible knowing that it is reliably His message to us. You can trust its history, its teaching on morality, faith, and Jesus Christ, and what it tells us about an everlasting eternity in either heaven or hell. We can defend Scripture’s integrity, rebuke its critics, and even teach its truth because we can base all on an inerrant inspiration and revelation.

But the one thing we absolutely must do is to intimately love and communicate with the God of that inerrancy. While defending the inerrancy (and thus, authenticity) of Scripture gives us cause to rejoice, our true joy can only come through the intimate relationship we can have with our God who has revealed Himself to us in such an personal, loving way. The true wonder of inerrancy must ultimately result in a response of awe and love on our part, for His glory.

Today’s big idea: we have a Bible without error from God who is never wrong, so that we can be in awe of Him who has given us this revelation.

What to pray: praise God for His absolute reliability.

Footnotes

  1. Assuming of course that it is a reputable and accurate translation (e.g., not the New World Translation, Joseph Smith Translation, etc.).

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