16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.
So the question I’ve been pondering is just what Scriptural authority means. What does inspiration mean? For example, at the core of the Young Earth Creation debate, I sense, is an understanding of inspiration to mean that all facts presented in the Bible cannot be questioned. If God said it in Genesis, it must be so, end of discussion. But is this God’s intention, that we use the Bible as a science textbook, and to not look at any evidence to the contrary? I am not sure, though it seems to me it is far more important to know the Author of the Book than to know, by heart, every doctrine in the Book.
@manbooks Below are some threads on Biblical inerrancy and Genesis 1. Regarding Genesis 1, I think it is critical to understand that we can believe the Bible to be inspired by God and still interpret Genesis 1 differently (see table at bottom of thread). Regarding inerrancy, here is a summary of some of my thoughts (see thread on inerrance for link to Chicago statement of inerrancy).
1 - Inerrancy does not mean that we take the Bible ‘literally’ in a wooden sense - we still take into account the historical and grammatical context
2 - Inerrancy does not mean that the worldview of the Biblical authors was scientifically accurate
3 - Inerrancy does not mean that we can apply any portion of Scripture to our situation today - God revealed Himself progressively (while still being the same yesterday, today and forever) and we leave in the era of the Church
4 - Belief in inerrancy is not necessary for salvation
5 - Inerrancy does not mean that all Scripture is equally profitable or edifying
6 - Inerrancy (in my opinion) does not mean there are no small factual errors in the Bible - that does not bother me in the least or detract from the beauty and glory of the grand narrative
@manbooks I think you are absolutely right when you say…
The bible was penned by many people over many millennia with multiple languages. That is why we say that it was the inspired word of God. God inspired individuals to write what they did. We don’t have the original copies of any sections. Josh Macdowell’s book “God-Breathed: The Undeniable Power and Reliability of Scripture” has a lot of good information on this.
Scriptural authority means just what the verse says …
for instruction in righteousness
That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.
In the context of your question, I think that in every area of life the bible does speak the truth but understanding what someone wrote thousands of years ago in a very different culture, and another language is often difficult for a 21st -century Christian to understand. That is why we have the Holy Spirit to enlighten us.
All fact in the Bible can and should be questioned. However, we also need to understand that even today scientists know so little about the universe, and what happened in the past, that their understanding is changing every day. It is important to understand that the purpose of the Bible is to make us “perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.” Science does not and will never do that. Only faith in God can get us there and I expect that science and faith will continue to be in conflict until Christ returns.
As a Christian, we can read the Bible in light of science, but at some point, our faith needs to kick in and say but I know “God is and He is the rewarder of those who seek Him.” No one who knows Jesus will be barred from Heaven because they didn’t believe the Young Earth Theory. Ph.D.s in astrophysics, mathematics, philosophy, history etc. will be turned away if they reject the person of Jesus.
Yes, that is spot on. There are only two groups of souls in the Resurrection. Those who know Him, and those who do not. Someone could believe in a 6000 year old creation, and still not know Jesus. Conversely, someone could believe in a six billion year old creation, and yet know Him. So it’s not a point of salvation, but one of interpretation. I believe I can still subscribe to YEC because I simply do not know what a global event like a flood would have done to the fossil record. Not only that, there is no evidence of civilization, that I know of, older than 6000 years. However, it is clear that no matter if the world is 6000 or six billion years old, the only eye witness alive is Jesus Himself. Without an eye witness, all we can do is judge the cause by the effect. And depending on one’s starting point, a person could come up with either conclusion.