I am a believer in Biblical inerrancy. As far as I understand, the 66 books of God’s inspired Word contain no errors on any subject on which they make any statement. Unfortunately, though, the 66 books of the Bible were written by 40+ authors over a period of nearly 2000 years. So they don’t always seem to fit right. Sometimes they look contradictory. Sometimes they look messed up. Sometimes they’re scary and confusing.
Sometimes the Bible completely stumps me.
Honestly, there are several passages of Scripture which make me scratch my head. No matter what explanation I find or invent, I frequently strain myself trying to accept “God is love” being inspired inerrantly by the same Spirit as “Kill all the women and children.” I don’t get why Jesus says in Mark’s Gospel that David ate showbread “in the days of Abiathar the high priest,” even though the Old Testament records Ahimelech as the high priest during that time. I can’t explain Saul’s seeming amnesia with regard to David’s identity during the incident with Goliath.
Should I care?
I do care, to some extent. Contradictions and absurdities obviously don’t belong in the inerrant words of God, but I’m not even sure what they look like, or if anything I’ve seen in Scripture so far qualifies. I would love to find some magical articulation of Biblical inerrancy that would satisfy all my questions and confusion. Alas, I don’t expect that to come. While I have read some very insightful blog posts on inerrancy by Michael Patton from Parchment & Pen, there is still much that perplexes and disturbs me. Maybe that’s okay. Maybe that’s to be expected when a transcendent God condescends His mind and heart to pour them into human language through 40+ men over 2000 years. But that doesn’t necessarily sit well with me all the time.
Sometimes I feel that a commitment to inerrancy will be the death of me.
Fortunately, there is another assurance. Subjectively, the Holy Spirit reminds me of where I am in Christ. Objectively, I know that even if inerrancy were proved completely false, the historical evidence that Jesus died and rose will always remain solid, and so my faith need not be shaken. So for now, I hold on in faith to my belief that a flawless God inspired flawless Scriptures, despite the fog through which I see. I pray for grace and trust in Christ anyway.