Pastoral reflections: No errors in the Bible
By Chaplain Tim Sackett, Transport For Christ
This column has appeared on this page for a long time. Many years ago, this column was written by a man from Colorado Springs, Colo. It was printed in this paper because it was a nationally syndicated column. He is an intelligent, Christian man with a PhD. His columns were answers to people's questions about a variety of issues. He was articulate and used sound biblical thoughts to his answers. He was often accused of having a biased opinion when he wrote.
It was for this reason that the former editor asked the local pastors to offer their thoughts for this
column. As a member of our local group of pastors, I am very glad that we can continue to write. This column is a great way for us to share thoughts about how we see our world. It is not intended for us to express any biased opinion about social problems or anything else. We intend to look at our world from God's view and then do our best to represent His thoughts as expressed from His Word, the Bible.
The Bible is very important because there are no false statements made in it. According to II Timothy 3:16 the Bible is God-breathed. In the book of Numbers 23:19 it is written that God cannot lie. He cannot make false claims about Himself or anyone else. In Bible teaching terms we call this inerrancy. The Bible is free of errors that would be caused by human causes. When the apostle Paul said that it is God-breathed, he meant that the authors who wrote the words received the message by inspiration of the Holy Spirit. There is still the mystery to try and understand how God could put His direct words into the thoughts of these writers so they could write them down without any mistakes. This why we can say that our belief in the inerrancy of the Bible is based on faith.
I have read a lengthy document called Fisher's Catechism which discusses many articles about the Christian faith. What it says about inerrancy is far too lengthy to print in this column. In fact, it would cover the whole page of this paper. There are several statements in the document about inerrancy. I will write one example.
"We affirm that God in His work of inspiration utilized the distinct personalities and literary styles of the writers whom He had chosen and prepared." (Article VIII)
We can see this, for example, in some of Paul's writings when he used legal arguments at the times in which he presented the news of Jesus Christ in front of Jewish and Gentile courts. Paul was a well-trained expert in the Law of God. When necessary, he used the knowledge he had for the best outcome of his argument. It is recorded in the Bible because God inspired the apostle to write it the way that it happened. Most of Paul's encounters were written by Luke in the book of Acts. Whether we are reading the Bible as a history book, or a law book, or a poetic book, etc., we know that the writers wrote what they were inspired by God to write. It was their life experiences and their witness of these things, but they wrote truthfully because God is truthful.
In closing, I have pondered an interesting verse that closes the book of John. In John 21:25, he makes a personal statement. He says, "Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that were written. Amen."
To me this seems like John's opinion to which he added an exaggeration. But knowing that this verse was inspired by God, using John's personality, I will conclude that John was very excited about what he saw in Jesus. I'm sure there is no way to write down every amazing, miraculous thing Jesus did. God put the thoughts about the immensity of Jesus's life as He inspired John to write this. It is not based on John's opinion, nor is it an exaggeration. It is the inspiration from God that we all need. Jesus is amazing.