The Bible’s Inerrancy: How We Got Here – Stephen Nichols

How We Got Here by Stephen Nichols | Reformed Theology Articles at

TT - March 2015As we mentioned last Tuesday (see my March 3 post), the March Tabletalk centers on the theme of “Inerrancy and the Doctrine of Scripture.” Yesterday I read two more featured articles on this theme, including the one linked above by Dr.Stephen Nichols, president of Reformation Bible College in Sanford, FL.

Nichols provides a brief history of the doctrine of Scripture’s inerrancy, starting with the Chicago Statement on Inerrancy in 1978 and its “counterpunch”, the Rogers/McKim proposal of 1979. But from there, he works his way back through church history, from Augustine to Calvin to Luther to Warfield. Though a brief survey, Nichols’ treatment shows that the church has always maintained the inerrancy (and the infallibility) of the Bible.

I leave you with a brief section of his article today, encouraging you to read the rest at the Ligonier link above.

And if you want a brief but handy glossary of terms on the doctrine of Scripture, Kevin Gardner provides that in this opening article, “Defining Our Terms”.

Augustine understood that we owe submission to God’s Word because we owe submission to God. John Calvin makes this exact point in his commentary on 2 Timothy 3:16. There, he writes, “We owe to the Scripture the same reverence which we owe to God, because it has proceeded from him alone.” In his Institutes of the Christian Religion, Calvin adds, “The full authority which [the Scriptures] obtain with the faithful proceeds from no other consideration than that they are persuaded that they proceed from heaven, as if God had been heard giving utterance to them.”

Martin Luther called the Bible our foundation. He warned, “We must not deviate from the words…Else, what would become of the Bible?” Luther once said that when it comes to the Bible, everything it teaches is believed or nothing it teaches is believed.

Luther’s statement here bears consideration. What option do we have next to the doctrine of the entire inerrancy and utter truthfulness of the Bible? Limited inerrancy? Why not simply call that limited errancy? Augustine, Calvin, and Luther, as well as a host of others, all sound the alarm regarding the danger of a view of biblical truthfulness that is less than full inerrancy. This has been the orthodox Christian position throughout the ages.