Reflections on Inerrancy

I want to take a moment to reflect on Biblical Inerrancy. It seems totally obvious to me now (but didn’t at the time) how weird the claims of Biblical Inerrancy are.

What I was taught is that “the Bible is without errors,” and when someone asks “how do we know,” the answer would be “because the Bible tells us so.” I must have heard this question asked more times that I can remember, but the answer is always the same.

But, now, outside the evangelical bubble, this seems really silly. They taught me that the thing that proves the Bible is without errors is… the Bible itself.

The verses about this we had to memorize in Awana are:

All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.

2 Timothy 3:16-17 (KJV)

This does sound pretty good, yeah! …but it’s in the Bible itself.

When I was in college I had to take a class on formal logic. The way circular reasoning was explained was: “A is true because B is true; B is true because A is true.” ie, “The Bible is inerrant because it’s the Word of God; we know that it’s the Word of God because the Bible tells us so.”

I took this class in college when I was in my early 20s. I didn’t leave the church until my mid 30s. It was all laid out in front of me, but I was so deep in the evangelical bubble that I just didn’t see it. (Or maybe I did see it, but I didn’t want to see it, so I was purposely blind to it.)

I’m still upset at myself over this today.