Inerrancy is not a formally stated claim made by the Scriptures on their own behalf. It is rather an inference that devout students of the Word have made from the teaching of the Bible about its own inspiration.

If the Spirit of God has really wrought in the production of this Book from start to finish, it is hard to conceive of error save such as may have crept into the text in the course of its transmission.

What Of Original Texts?

The appeal to the original texts of the Old and New Testaments has indeed often been ridiculed as an unworthy refuge. Who has seen the so-called infallible originals? so the query goes. No one in our time, certainly. No one in possession of the facts would argue that the text of Scripture has come down to us unchanged from the beginning. The Scriptures contain no promise of the supernatural overshadowing of the transmitters of the Word such as is claimed for the writers. The variations are numerous, though mostly unimportant in relation to the message of Scripture. But we have no reason to conclude from the data of textual criticism that the writers of Scripture were so left to their own devices that error should be expected in the autographs.

If the Bible were of such a nature that it was composed by men and only subsequently was adopted by God and breathed into by the Holy Spirit, then it might conceivably be allowed that God was so concerned with the spiritual message that he tolerated a measure of error in the factual material. But this is not the Scriptural doctrine of its own origin. Rather, it is insisted that the Spirit was active and controlling in the very production of the Word in its entirety.

Granted that the spiritual message is intrinsically more important than the historical minutiae ...

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