Geisler on inerrancy

Norman L. Geisler reviews Five Views on Biblical Inerrancy. The review is very long, but worth a read if you have interest in the debates around inerrancy. He covers several different issues: textual concerns, choice of authors, (lack of) positions of writers, trajectory of errancy advocacy, historical view of inerrancy, and removing people from societies. While broad, these issues apparently appear in the book in various parts.

He helpfully distinguishes between adaptation and accommodation,

Adaptation view Accommodation view
God adapts to finitude God accommodates to error
Bible uses analogous language It uses equivocal language
Bible stories are factual Some stories are not factual

He also rightly insists of distinguishing accuracy from precision, something I think is not emphasised enough. Inaccuracy is error, imprecision is not.

The doctrine of inerrancy is sometimes criticized for holding that the Bible always speaks with scientific precision and historical exactness. But since the biblical phenomena do not support this, the doctrine of inerrancy is rejected. However, this is a “straw man” argument. For the CSBI states clearly: “We further deny that inerrancy is negated by biblical phenomena such as a lack of modern technical precision…, including ‘round numbers’ and ‘free citations’” (CSBI. Art. 13). Vanhoozer notes that Warfield and Hodge (in Inspiration, 42) helpfully distinguished “accuracy” (which the Bible has) from “exactness of statement” (which the Bible does not always have) (Vanhoozer, 221).

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