Interpretation Sparks a Grave Theology Debate
Daniel B. Wallace, New Testament professor at Dallas Theological Seminary, said he disagrees with Licona's interpretation but considers the issue hermeneutical, not a challenge to biblical inerrancy.
"If we view our own interpretation to be just as inerrant as the Scriptures," he said, "this could ironically elevate tradition and erode biblical authority."
Already, at least two Southern Baptist entities—the New Orleans seminary and the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention—have rescinded invitations for Licona to speak at apologetics conferences, Licona said.
The NAMB, meanwhile, eliminated Licona's position. Licona said the decision came after he offered to resign rather than cast a shadow over the board and its president, Kevin Ezell.
"I love NAMB and Kevin and wanted to protect them," Licona said. "They then decided to make the call and eliminate my position. Now that the issue has escalated far beyond what I had ever expected, it was definitely a good decision."
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Previous Christianity Today articles about biblical inerrancy and interpretation include:
A New Bible Battle | It's not about doctrine but our use of Scripture. (October 7, 2011)
How to Read the Bible | New strategies for interpreting Scripture turn out to be not so new—and deepen our life in Christ. (October 7, 2011)
Battle for the Bible Translation | Our movement is wide enough to include a variety of methods. (September 2, 2011)