A Biblical Argument for the Inerrancy of Scripture from G.K. Beale

Many conservative scholars deny the doctrine of the inerrancy of Scripture. They do so on the grounds that it was a fundamentalist invention to fight liberalism – evolution in particular – in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s.

These conservatives are perfectly willing to affirm the doctrine of inspiration, because it can be clearly developed from Scripture (e.g. 2 Tim. 3:16; 2 Pet. 1:20-21). But they claim that no such argument can be made for inerrancy.

G.K. Beale, NT prof at Westminister, begs to differ.

In his recent article, “Can the Bible Be Completely Inspired by God and Yet Still Contain Errors? A Response to Some Recent ‘Evangelical’ Proposals,” Beale argues from Scripture that the doctrine of inerrancy can indeed by developed biblically.

This is no mere academic issue. We as pastors must proclaim that the Bible is true, and explain why we believe it is. I commend this article to your reading if you are on the fence regarding this issue, and especially if you are among those who deny inerrancy.

From Beale’s introduction:

“I will contend the following: (1) that John is more explicit about the doctrine of inerrancy than many think; (2) that John, in particular, explicitly refers to Christ’s character as “true” and then applies the attribute of “truth” from Christ’s character to the written word of Revelation as being “true.” Thus, I will argue that John repeatedly sees a clear connection between the flawlessness of Christ to that of Scripture in Revelation. In the conclusion, I will reflect on whether this is a unique feature of John’s Apocalypse and other apocalyptic books like Daniel and Ezekiel or whether there are some pointers in Revelation itself that apply John’s notion of the full truth of his book to that of other books of the OT. There will also be comment on the “word/concept” confusion concerning whether or not the actual word “inerrancy” has to be used in Scripture for the concept to be a biblical concept. I will argue that while the precise word “inerrancy” does not appear in Scripture, the concept explicitly does. This does not make the doctrine an implication unless one violates the “word/concept” distinction.”

HT: Dane Ortlund