Biblical Inerrancy

Jay Forrest

"Biblical inerrancy and infallibility are not accepted by the Episcopal Church." - The Episcopal Church
Inerrancy and infallibility is the belief that the Bible is without any error whatsoever. They claim that there are no errors in history, science, chronology, or any other area. Most of the time they limit this to the autographs.

The vast majority of Christians are ignorant about scripture, its transmission, its canonicity, and its textual issues. Therefore, they are not in a position to rightly judge the question of the inerrancy and infallibility of the scriptures.

I of course, cannot, in such a short span of time, fully educate anybody on the subject. Suffice it for me to say that the scriptures are not inerrant or infallible. For more information, read The Human Faces of God by Thom Stark or Misquoting Jesus by Bart D. Ehrman.

Firstly, no original manuscript written in the apostle's own hand exist. All we have is copies of copies of copies. And of these copies, no two exactly agree. Of the thousands of manuscripts that exist, no two exactly agree.

Second, there are known errors in the scriptures. That's why there are counteractions in the Bible. Denying that these contradictions exist, makes one seem gullible.

Third, the purpose of the Bible is not to educate us on astronomy or physics, but on salvation. Therefore, it focuses upon the relationship between God and humankind.

Fourth, the Bible is not the words of God, but contains the words of God. Notice the Bible quotes the serpent as saying, "You will not die, for God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil" (Gen. 3:4-5). These are not the words of God and they are not true.

Finally, faith should follow evidence. If we are lovers of truth, we must follow the evidence where it leads. It is clear from the evidence that the Bible is a human book.

The Bible was written by people who were moved by God to express their own thoughts and experiences. God led the church to collect these writings, so that we can learn about these people's experience, and that it might help us find salvation through Christ.

The Articles of Religion of the Episcopal Church say it best, "Holy Scripture containeth all things necessary to salvation: so that whatsoever is not read therein, nor may be proved thereby, is not to be required of any man, that it should be believed as an article of the Faith, or be thought requisite or necessary to salvation."


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Jay N. Forrest is a Christian mystic in the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion. He is the author of The Deeper Life: Finding God on the Mystic Path.

Jay N. Forrest was an ordained Pentecostal minister for over two decades pastoring churches in Wisconsin, Missouri, Tennesse, and Arizona. He did his undergraduate work at Central Bible College and Global University, and he received his Doctorate of Ministry from Trinity Evangelical Christian University. He is a Certified Meditation Teacher and a full-time hospice chaplain.

Scripture Quotations

All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the New Revised Standard Version Updated Edition. Copyright © 2021 National Council of Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Scriptures marked NKJV are taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.