Re-introducing Infallibility Pt.1

Herein lies the Infallible Word of the Living God

In modern Evangelical circles, it is still common to hear of the Inerrancy of Scripture. Nearly every orthodox Christian church (hopefully) still holds to Biblical innerancy. This basically means that Biblical Innerantists (BE as we will refer to them going forward) hold to the idea that the Bible contains no errors in its original copies or what is commonly known as "The Autographs. So the idea being that the original copies of Scripture contained no errors. This distinction does not apply to the copies which we have handed down (commonly called the apographs).

Innerancy is a relatively new term with regards to modern Christianity. The language used in the historic confessions and Reformed statements does nut utilize the term Innerancy but instead calls the Word of God "Infallible". Infallibility goes further than the term Innerancy. A Christian who holds that the Word of God is infallible still would hold to the belief that the Bible is innerant. The Bible does not err because it cannot err. Chapter 1: Section 5 of the Westminster Confession of Faith read[1]s:

“V.We may be moved and induced by the testimony of the Church to an high and reverent esteem of the Holy Scripture.10 And the heavenliness of the matter, the efficacy of the doctrine, the majesty of the style, the consent of all the parts, the scope of the whole (which is, to give all glory to God), the full discovery it makes of the only way of man's salvation, the many other incomparable excellencies, and the entire perfection thereof, are arguments whereby it does abundantly evidence itself to be the Word of God: yet notwithstanding, our full persuasion and assurance of the infallible truth and divine authority thereof, is from the inward work of the Holy Spirit bearing witness by and with the Word in our hearts”

John Calvin also writes in his Institutes of Christian Religion :

"The chief thing to be attended to in the Creed is, that it furnishes us with a full and every way complete summary of faith, containing nothing but what has been derived from the infallible word of God." (Institutes, Book 2, Chapter 16, Section 8).”

We see ample evidence that the preferred term of the Reformation was Infallibility. Why should we return to the use of this term over and against innerancy? That is a question we will explore in a future blog post.

[1] The 1689 London Baptist Confession and the Savoy Declaration make identical statements with the WCF.

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