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Biblical Inerrancy

A competent Biblical inerrantist can manipulate the principles of word interpretation so skillfully as to resolve any Biblical contradiction or error.  If you don't believe that, test them.  Inerrantist have a wide arsenal of tactics to resolve contradictions and make errors unprovable.  A few examples:

Any rational statement has a literal interpretation only one unless it's literally ambiguous.  It also has at least one intuitive interpretation.  If the literal interpretation matches the intuitive interpretation, the statement is unambiguous.  If they don't match, there is room for misunderstanding.  For example, if I say, "I could care less," the literal interpretation is "I could care less."  The intuitive interpretation is "I could not care less." - the exact opposite of its literal interpretation.  If the literal interpretation of a Biblical statement shows a contradiction or error, then the inerrantist will assert that the author intended an intuitive interpretation, of which there may be several from which to choose.   And he will assert that the intent of the author overrides literal content.

But not always.  There are exceptions.  For example, eternal damnation is definitely implied in several places in the New Testament.  But that's an intuitive interpretation.  Anyone with a rudimentary sense of justice knows that eternal damnation is grossly unjust, if not absurd.  So the inerrantists will point out that the Greek words translated eternal and forever don't necessarily mean that.  Technically they mean age-lasting lasting into the ages.  That may be a long time, but not necessarily forever.  So literal interpretation trumps intuitive interpretation when it sells the product better.  And of course they never mention that the same reasoning negates eternal life also.

Another inerrantist tactic:  "You have to look at the passage in context."  Now that's a sensible principle of interpretation.  What could be wrong with that?  Nothing, if it's used with common sense.  But inerrantists take it well beyond common sense.  The real principle they're employing, but not stating is this:  "You have to look at enough of the context to allow enough ambiguity of the passage in question to permit the possibility of the desired interpretation."

Another inerrantist tactic:  Cite supportive passages and ignore erroneous passages.  Ezekiel prophesied that Tyre would be scraped clean.  250 years later Alexander fulfilled that prophesy (if you ignore the fact that Zeke said Nebuchadnezzar would do it).  But Ezekiel and Jeremiah both prophesied that Nebuchadnezzar would conquer Egypt.  That never happened.

They have many such tactics.  If all else fails, they can always fall back on different senses of terms.  Consider these two statements:

A equals B.     A doesn't equal B

Each statement contradicts the other.  Well technically they only contradict when you're talking about the same A and the same B.  Otherwise you can always assert that each statement means A in a different sense, or B in a different sense, or even equals in a different sense.  So contradiction exists only as an abstract with no practical examples of it.  These are the extremes to which inerrantists will go, to defend their faith not in God, but in the Bible.

To make it worse, inerrantists don't even admit that they are inerrantists until they have defined the term down to where it has no practical application.  They define inerrancy as the belief that the original documents of scripture contained no contradictions or errors.  But since we have no original documents, the position cannot be disproven.  They then proceed to ignore this definition, and defend existing scripture as though it descended from inerrant documents, the content of which they are free to speculate on.  The inerrancy they define is not the inerrancy they defend.  When you attack what they defend, they hide behind their definition, which is unassailable but irrelevant to the points being defended.