What do you think about the infallibility of the Word of God?
Coming from a fundamentalist Christian theology, I've been conditioned to view the Bible as almost a deity unto itself. And the popular line is that the Bible is inerrant, and therefore if we say it says such and such, then you had better believe it is so or you are in heretical error. What does the Bible say about itself?
For this I use the blueletterbible.org search engines.
2 Ti 3:16 All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness;
A quick search for Word of God:
1Sa 9:27 [And] as they were going down to the end of the city, Samuel said to Saul, Bid the servant pass on before us, (and he passed on,) but stand thou still a while, that I may shew thee the word of God.
1Ki 12:22 But the word of God came unto Shemaiah the man of God, saying,
1Ch 17:3 And it came to pass the same night, that the word of God came to Nathan, saying,
Pro 30:5 Every word of God [is] pure: he [is] a shield unto them that put their trust in him.
Mar 7:13 Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition, which ye have delivered: and many such like things do ye.
Luk 3:2 Annas and Caiaphas being the high priests, the word of God came unto John the son of Zacharias in the wilderness.
Luk 4:4 And Jesus answered him, saying, It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.
Luk 5:1 And it came to pass, that, as the people pressed upon him to hear the word of God, he stood by the lake of Gennesaret,
Luk 8:11 Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God.
Luk 8:21 And he answered and said unto them, My mother and my brethren are these which hear the word of God, and do it.
Luk 11:28 But he said, Yea rather, blessed [are] they that hear the word of God, and keep it.
Jhn 10:35 If he called them gods, unto whom the word of God came, and the scripture cannot be broken;
Act 4:31 And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness.
Act 6:2 Then the twelve called the multitude of the disciples [unto them], and said, It is not reason that we should leave the word of God, and serve tables.
Act 6:7 And the word of God increased; and the number of the disciples multiplied in Jerusalem greatly; and a great company of the priests were obedient to the faith.
Act 8:14 Now when the apostles which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John:
Act 11:1 And the apostles and brethren that were in Judaea heard that the Gentiles had also received the word of God.
Act 12:24 But the word of God grew and multiplied.
Act 13:5 And when they were at Salamis, they preached the word of God in the synagogues of the Jews: and they had also John to [their] minister.
Act 13:7 Which was with the deputy of the country, Sergius Paulus, a prudent man; who called for Barnabas and Saul, and desired to hear the word of God.
Act 13:44 And the next sabbath day came almost the whole city together to hear the word of God.
Act 13:46 Then Paul and Barnabas waxed bold, and said, It was necessary that the word of God should first have been spoken to you: but seeing ye put it from you, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, lo, we turn to the Gentiles.
Act 17:13 But when the Jews of Thessalonica had knowledge that the word of God was preached of Paul at Berea, they came thither also, and stirred up the people.
Act 18:11 And he continued [there] a year and six months, teaching the word of God among them.
Act 19:20 So mightily grew the word of God and prevailed.
Rom 9:6 Not as though the word of God hath taken none effect. For they [are] not all Israel, which are of Israel:
Rom 10:17 So then faith [cometh] by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
1Cr 14:36 What? came the word of God out from you? or came it unto you only?
2Cr 2:17 For we are not as many, which corrupt the word of God: but as of sincerity, but as of God, in the sight of God speak we in Christ.
2Cr 4:2 But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God.
Eph 6:17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:
Col 1:25 Whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfil the word of God;
1Th 2:13 For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received [it] not [as] the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe.
1Ti 4:5 For it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer.
2Ti 2:9 Wherein I suffer trouble, as an evil doer, [even] unto bonds; but the word of God is not bound.
Tts 2:5 [To be] discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.
Hbr 4:12 For the word of God [is] quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and [is] a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
Hbr 6:5 And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come,
Hbr 11:3 Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.
Hbr 13:7 Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God: whose faith follow, considering the end of [their] conversation.
1Pe 1:23 Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.
2Pe 3:5 For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water:
1Jo 2:14 I have written unto you, fathers, because ye have known him [that is] from the beginning. I have written unto you, young men, because ye are strong, and the word of God abideth in you, and ye have overcome the wicked one.
Rev 1:2 Who bare record of the word of God, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, and of all things that he saw.
Rev 1:9 I John, who also am your brother, and companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was in the isle that is called Patmos, for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ.
Rev 6:9 And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held:
Rev 19:13 And he [was] clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God.
Rev 20:4 And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and [I saw] the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received [his] mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.
Hmmm, nothing about inerrancy, infallibility, etc. But it is clear that Jesus is the living Word of God, as is Holy Spirit. That the scripture is INSPIRED by God there is no doubt. That there are human inconsistencies, there is no doubt, eg the demonised man/men and the pigs.
Where did the inerrancy bit come from?
Also from blueletterbible.org:
"The Westminster Confession," a seventeenth-century statement of faith, says concerning the Bible,
The whole counsel of God, concerning all things necessary for His own glory, man's salvation, faith and life, is either expressly set down in Scripture, or by good and necessary consequence may be deduced from Scripture: unto which nothing at any time is to be added, whether by new revelations of the Spirit, or traditions of men ("Westminster Confession," 1:10).
According to this statement, which sums up the Protestant view of Scripture, nothing is to be added or subtracted from the Bible. The revelation from God to man has been completed.
No Direct Word
However, there is no direct word in the Bible that says God has stopped revealing Himself. Some have appealed to the following verses in the Book of Revelation.
For I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds to these things, God will add to him the plagues that are written in this book; and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the Book of Life (Revelation 22:18,19).
This is only speaking of the Book of Revelation. It is not a commandment against adding any other book to Scripture. If taken literally, then you could not have any other book in Scripture but the Book of Revelation!
Yet there is a principle here that is clearly taught. No one is to add or to take away from the revealed Word of God.
Jude makes a statement that Is pertinent to' our discussion.
I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which has one for all delivered to the saints (Jude 3).
This verse teaches that a body of truth from God has been delivered to man and that this faith has been wholly delivered. This seems to indicate that no further revelation from God is necessary. God has told us in Scripture everything that we need to know about who He is, who we are, and what will happen to the earth in the future.
We know the nature of God does not change:
For I am the Lord, I do not change (Malachi 3:6).
The Bible says clearly that the faith has been completely revealed. Therefore, If any new revelation were to come from God, it would be consistent with past revelations.
Even if a work met all of the above criteria, it would not necessarily be the Word of God. While theoretically it is possible that God could add something to what He has previously revealed, it is highly unlikely that this would be the case. The faith has already been delivered to mankind. Any further word from God to man is not necessary. The canon of Scripture is complete.
Ok, So the inerrancy bit comes from the Westminster Confession. However, in creating such a confession they are creating a problem. Firstly, it does not allow the revealed God of the scriptures to speak to His people today. Secondly, they are creating a rule, one which is outside the Scriptures, that purports to be authoritative, yet it denies it's own authority.
Ok, this post has been a bit long, hasn't it? But profitable i hope. To conclude, I think that the Word of God doesn't equal the Scriptures, but rather that the scriptures were God inspired to lead people to Him. If you don't have a Bible you can still become a Christian, and still lead a profitable life in His service. (Otherwise the first Christians would never have been, as Bibles were not available at the local synagogue bookstore). Does that mean that I should stop reading the Bible? Absolutely NOT!! But don't bow down to it, don't idolise it, don't make it something it's not. PRAY and READ. Get in tune with your heavenly Father. Let Him enlighten you as to the wonderful things written in the scriptures. Don't just accept it verbatim from some guy in a suit behind a podium.
If you pray in Tongues, then do this whilst you read scripture. The Holy Spirit is able to move freely at this time!
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