Let’s say you’ve headed out on a driving trip across the country. You have your trusty map-app in hand, stops are all planned out, and the car is packed. All goes well for the first couple of days. On the third day, you arrive at a crossroads and take the one the app says leads to your next stop. You end up on the “shore” of a swamp. This is not on the map. The map says this is a cute bed and breakfast. The map was mostly true. But not today. Truth is important.
Inerrancy refers to the truth of the original transcripts of Scripture. It says that Scripture is true, conforming to reality and speaking the truth in everything it affirms. Scripture is not false. It conforms to reality. It is the true, written word of God. A correct understanding of the truth in Scripture requires proper interpretation, using appropriate bible study methods and assumptions. At a minimum, these tools and assumptions include considering the whole of scripture and approaching the text with the assumption that God’s Word does not contradict itself.
God always speaks truth, so his Word is truth, and he himself is a sufficient basis for the assumption of biblical inerrancy (Hebrews 6:16-18). God never lies (Titus 1:1-2). Scripture follows the same rules that it makes for prophets. The Old Testament set strict criteria for those who spoke for God. First, even if a prediction took place, the person making this prediction was not to be followed if he encouraged listeners to follow other gods (Deuteronomy 13:1-5l). Second, those who spoke for God were to declare only what God himself had said. If what they declared did not occur, the declaration was not from God (Deuteronomy 18:20-22). Just as a prophet of God must always speak that which is proved true, so also Scripture always speaks that which is true. The Scripture claims this truth and authority for itself (2 Timothy 3:14-17).
Our life in Christ is a journey. We have companions and spiritual leaders along the way, but Scripture is the only true and completely trustworthy map. We must put forth every effort to understand this trustworthy map and follow it alongside our brothers and sisters as we journey together to becoming like Christ.