The Doctrine of Scripture: A Response to Supposed Errors

In an interview with Richard Gaffin and Peter Lillback, editors of the newly published book, Thy Word Is Still Truth, the last question they were asked addressed the perceived errors in Scripture claimed by contemporaries, including some Evangelicals, which make the doctrine of inerrancy problematic. Additionally, they were asked how this volume can be an important resource in responding to these supposed errors.

A basic error remains the historical-critical method of interpreting the Bible in which, at least for its most self-aware and consistent practitioners, "critical" is understood in terms of the interpreter's autonomy and obligation to stand above Scripture and judge whether its truth claims are in fact true. Sometimes evangelical roots are left behind for this approach—with its decided rejection of divine authorship—by those who had the impression the Bible was "dropped straight down from heaven" and have eventually been awakened to the undeniable human authorship and historically situated origins of the biblical documents.

A crucial challenge for sound biblical interpretation is to adequately honor the divine authorship of the text in a way that does justice to the human author. The umbrella-like statement that opens Hebrews shows us the way: its nuclear assertion is "God has spoken" and this divine speech has taken place "by the prophets" and "at many times and in various ways." God's saving self-revelation is a historical process, a process marked by multiple human authors and different genres. Further, this history, of which Scripture's own production is a part, has reached its "last days," its final consummation, "in his Son." The fruitful task for exposition and preaching that's true to Scripture is to explore the redemptive-historical unity of the Bible and its macro-coherence in Christ. Thy Word Is Still Truth provides many resources that will be an invaluable aid for that task.

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