Thursday, February 24, 2011

The error of assuming error

B.B. Warfield the great biblical scholar and defender of the Bible's inerrancy challenged skeptics to give the New Testament the same benefit of the doubt that secular texts were given:
It is not enough to point to passages difficult to harmonize; they cannot militate against verbal inspiration unless it is not only impossible for us to harmonize them, but also unless they are of such a character that they are clearly contradictory, so that if one be true the other cannot by any possibility be true. No such case has as yet been pointed out. Why should the New Testament harmonics be dealt with on other principles than those which govern men in dealing with like cases among profane writers? There, it is a first principle of historical science that any solution which affords a possible method of harmonizing any two statements is preferable to the assumption of inaccuracy or error—whether those statements are found in the same or different writers. To act on any other basis, it is clearly acknowledged, is to assume, not prove, error. We ask only that this recognized principle be applied to the New Testament.

—B. B. Warfield, The Inspiration and Authority of the Bible (p 439).

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