A few days ago I wrote about how strict biblical inerrancy is not, in my opinion, compatible with believing that Jesus is the full expression of the unchanging God.
Unsurprisingly, that post generated quite a bit of interest… and no small amount of pushback. Which, since I clearly have masochistic tendencies, prompts me to write more on the subject today.
There were two basic premises underlying my previous post: first, that Jesus takes precedence over the Bible; and second, that allowing Jesus to take precedence over the Bible forces us to acknowledge that the Bible is not inerrant.
One assertion frequently made by inerrantists in defence of their position is that the “Word” referred to in the first chapter of the Fourth Gospel (Greek logos, meaning “structuring principle” or “logic”) is both Jesus and the written word, i.e. the Bible. In other words, or so their argument goes, to attack the inerrancy of the Bible is to attack the very person of Jesus. I’d like to briefly refute that assertion.
First, verse 14 of John 1 tells us, “The Word became flesh, and lived among us”. To me, it defies credulity to try to infer that this basically means that the Bible became flesh – that what came to us in the Incarnation was essentially a walking library. (Quite apart from the obvious fact that, since the canon of scripture was not formed until the fourth century, there was no pre-existent Bible to take on flesh.) Continue reading