Why Aren’t the Words “Inerrant” and “Infallible” in Scripture?

Biblical Authority Devotional: Infallibility and Inerrancy of Scripture, Part 14

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Scripture is loud and clear in its claim to be 100 percent eternally true and reliable.

The entirety of Your word is truth, and every one of Your righteous judgments endures forever. (Psalm 119:160)

Today’s big question: why aren’t the words “inerrant” and “infallible” in Scripture?

In this devotional series, we’ve spent a lot of time describing how the Bible is inerrant and infallible, but you may have noticed that those exact words are never found in Scripture. So are we claiming something about God’s Word that isn’t true? If the Scriptures don’t mention inerrancy and infallibility, why are we paying so much attention to it?

To answer the question about those words, let’s look at their definitions. The word “inerrant” comes from Latin roots meaning “without error.” Similarly, the word “infallible” means “without fallacy” (i.e., not capable of error). So when we state that Scripture is inerrant and infallible, we mean that God’s word is not wrong and not able to be wrong.

Does Scripture claim this about itself? The answer, of course, is yes. God’s Word does claim to be inerrant and infallible—just not in those exact terms, since they were not invented yet! Look at our verse for today, Psalm 119:160all of God’s Word is truth and endures forever. Scripture is loud and clear in its claim to be 100 percent eternally true and reliable.

But don’t just take my word for it; read and discover for yourself! Here are just a few more examples of Scripture’s claim to be infallible and inerrant:

Forever, O Lord, your word is settled in heaven. (Psalm 119:89),
I know that whatever God does, it shall be forever. Nothing can be added to it, and nothing taken from it. God does it, that men should fear before Him.(Ecclesiastes 3:14)
The law of the Lord is perfect; converting the soul; the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple. (Psalm 19:7)

Sometime soon, take time to read through Psalm 119. It’s the longest single chapter in the whole Bible, with one focus: describing the perfection and glory of God’s Word. You don’t have to read it all at once (in fact, it might be better to take a few verses at a time). This psalmist recognized Scripture as the absolute standard in all areas. How do other authors of the Bible view various parts of God’s Word? Think about the apostle Peter, who gave the same high praise for Paul’s writings in 2 Peter 3:15–16 and recognized them as Scripture. Similar instances can be found throughout God’s Word.

Today’s big idea: God’s Word claims to be inerrant and infallible—just not with those exact words.

What to pray: praise God for His infallible, inerrant Word—and ask Him to help you trust it completely!

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