In today’s society many people question why Christians study the Bible and how they can consider it to be authoritative. Society makes the Bible out to look like it is a made up book or some sort of fairy tale. Being able to argue that it is not a fairy tale, you have to consider the authority, inspiration, and inerrancy of the Bible as a whole.
Authority is “the power to give orders, make decisions: the power or right to direct or control someone or something”(Merriam-Webster). What does it mean to say that the Bible has authority, and from where does the authority of the Bible come from? In answering these questions we need to remember that the Bible is claimed to be written by God through forty-four different men and that it was written over a 1500-1600 year span. Therefore the Bible itself is the spoken words of God, showing His authority in print. “Because the Bible points beyond itself to God, it has a conferred authority. Yet the Bible has a real authority in itself as the authentic embodiment of God’s self-disclosure” (Elwell, pg. 153).
According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary inspiration is “something that makes someone want to do something or that gives someone an idea about what to do or create: a force or influence that inspires someone”. God chose different people and influenced them by the Holy Spirit to write certain words. According to Walter A. Elwell, “the word theopneustos (2 Tim. 3:16), literally God-“spirated” or breathed out, affirms that the living God is the author of Scripture and that Scripture is the product of his creative breath”(pg. 160). The scriptures are inspired by God for the purpose of communicating to us in assorted means for a bunch of different reasons. Inspiration is best described in the scripture in which Elwell was referencing “breathed out”, in 2 Timothy 3:16(AMP) says,
Every Scripture is God-breathed (given by His inspiration) and profitable for instruction, for reproof and conviction of sin, for correction of error and discipline in obedience, [and] for training in righteousness (in holy living, in conformity to God’s will in thought, purpose, and action).
For the Bible to be inerrant means that there are no errors in the text: in other words something that cannot be proven to be incorrect. In the textbook, “Theology for Today”, says that “inerrancy recognizes that what God revealed and inspired is accurate, reliable, authoritative and without error”(Towns, 2008, pg. 29).Describing the Bible as inerrant would be accurate, because the Bible’s words are breathed to life by God and could not be found false. According to the article by Paul Feinberg called “Bible, Inerrancy of”, there is four main arguments for inerrancy. These arguments are the Biblical Argument, the Historical Argument, the Epistemological Argument, and the Slippery Slope Argument. I strongly agree with the Biblical Argument that “states that we should believe in inerrancy because the Bible teaches its own inerrancy”. If we as believers believe in God then we have to believe in what the Bible teaches.
The Historical argument says, “That the church has historically believed in the inerrancy of Scripture, and thus it is a doctrine with long-standing support in tradition”(Feinberg, n. d.). This argument is not as strong because it is does not prove inerrancy but just shows the value of scriptures. The Epistemological argument is also not a very strong one, it basically says “that is you deny inerrancy, you have no sure foundation for knowledge at all. If they are not completely inerrant then one cannot know which scriptures are accurate and which are not. The fourth argument for inerrancy is called the Slippery Slope Argument which “states that if you give up inerrancy, you will begin to give up more and more of the Christian faith until you (or those who come after you) end up denying central doctrines of the Christian faith”(Feinberg, n. d.). This argument is another one that I truly believe in, the more you deny God’s and the Bible’s inerrancy the more likely you are to start denying other Christian doctrines.
The relationship between inspiration and inerrancy is one that cannot be broken up. They go hand in hand. If as a believer, you believe the Bible is divinely inspired by God, there is no reason to believe that there are any errors.
Accepting the Bible’s authority, inspiration, and inerrancy, allows me to fully understand what God’s plan is for my life. If I were to choose to not believe in the Word of God, I would not be able to call myself a believer. God’s words have true Authority in my life and I allow the inerrancy and inspiration in the Bible to guide me in my daily walk with the Lord. Word count: # 
2 Timothy 3:16 – Amplified Bible (AMP). (n.d.). Bible Gateway. Retrieved July 7, 2014, from https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=2%20Timothy%203:16 Authority. (n.d.). Retrieved July 7, 2014, from http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/authority Elwell, W. A. (Ed). (2001) Evangelical Dictionary of Theology. Grand Rapids, Michigan. Baker Publishing Group. Feinberg, Paul, “Bible, Inerrancy Of,” Liberty University Online, Internet, available from http://learn.liberty.edu/webapps/portal/frameset.jsp?tab_tab_group_id=_2_1&url=/webapps/blackboard/execute/courseMain?course_id=_47661_1
Inspiration. (n.d.). Retrieved July 7, 2014, from http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/inspiration Towns, Elmer L., Theology for Today. Ohio: Cengage Learning, 2008.
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