Affirming Inerrancy

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Excerpt The most foundational doctrine of the Christian faith is the Doctrine of Scripture, for in the pages of Holy Scripture we find the revelation of God concerning Himself and His glorious Son, Jesus Christ. All of Christian doctrine is found in the pages of Scripture, and thus it is our absolute foundation of knowledge and truth. This doctrine continues to be under assault from within the ranks of the Church, and of course, by those outside the faith. It has become fashionable these days for many professing evangelicals to assert that traditional notions of inerrancy are indefensible and outdated. They go to great efforts to impugn the inerrancy of Scripture, but somehow try to logically hold onto the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The ABR staff believes these efforts undermine the very basis and content of the Gospel message. We would like to take this opportunity to affirm our commitment to the inerrancy of Scripture... Continue reading

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Since the founding of the ABR ministry in 1969 by Dr. David Livingston, ABR has affirmed it belief in the absolute and final authority of Scripture. Dr. Livingston founded the ministry with this at the very forefront of his mind. In September, 1969, Dave sent his first letter on behalf of this new project:

As you know, we studied in Israel three years ago. While there, we were confronted with many problems in the Bible, especially in the Old Testament. So, in order to complete my M.A. requirements I decided to put God's Word to the test and selected the toughest book I could find written by a 'new-evangelical' who attempts to demonstrate that the Bible is filled with error. As I examined the evidence for his proof of mistakes, it became obvious that his whole case was built on sand. Not only that, I began to discover that some long-accepted historical 'facts' needed rethinking in light of recent discoveries. In other words, where the Bible and history books disagree, there is now evidence the history books may be wrong.

All this research reassured me that the Bible is God's inerrant Word. (The book and author? The Inspiration of Scripture, written by Dewey Beagle, who had been a fellow student with Milt Fisher, under W. F. Albright at John's Hopkin's University in the late 40s.) At the same time, an idea began to grow that a team of evangelical scholars, proceeding on the premise that the Bible is inerrant, could help in breaking the liberal establishment's stranglehold on Old Testament scholarship while producing some refreshing new insights on the Bible. The result is that we have now formed a non-profit corporation called the 'Associates for Biblical Research.'

This legacy continues until this very day.

In the interest of clearly communicating to ABR supporters, sincere seekers, and the Church at large, the ABR staff hereby reiterates its affirmation of the Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy, which clearly and concisely spells out our understanding of the Bible and its inherent Divine authority. The ABR staff has recently posted the entirety of the Chicago Statement here on our website.

We would also like to take the opportunity to avail ABR supporters of resources that defend, persuade and articulate our position on the nature and authority of the Biblical texts. You can find a number of these excellent resources below.

To the Christ be the Glory! Amen!


1. Watch the Roundtable Video featuring the ABR staff, Don't We Just Need 'Faith'? 


2. With current challenges to the inerrancy of Scripture in view, Dr. Albert Mohler convened a panel of theologians to revisit the question. In one sense, the challenges to inerrancy are more direct than ever, with figures associated with some evangelical institutions calling for a straightforward repudiation of the doctrine. Other assaults are more subtle, but all of these challenges demand our close attention. The panel was convened on Thursday, September 27, 2012, in Alumni Chapel at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.


3. A number of important books, pamphlets and videos can be found in the Inerrancy and Biblical Text section of our bookstore. These products are made available by the ABR ministry to help Christians come to a deeper understanding of the authority and nature of the Bible, and grow deeper in their relationship with the eternal and incorruptible God, who is Christ Jesus.

Comments Comment RSS

9/19/2013 6:47 PM #

Which Bible are they talking about...The original Hebrew, Greek, or are they talking about the KJV.

Surely they are not talking about any of the newer versions as, NIV, NRSV, NASV, The Living Bible, etc.  Which are so different from the KJV...To many things missing in them, or changed.

My question...Which Word of God are the talking about, or which Bible are they talking about as being the inerrant Word ?

Serving Jesus,
Charles H. Welch

CHARLES H. WELCH - 9/19/2013 6:47:30 PM

9/21/2013 3:04 PM #

I agree that the inerrancy of Scripture is vital for a consistent Christian faith. However, I would dispute that it is "the most foundational" article of faith. The most foundational article of doctrine--the one on which my faith rests is the Gospel--the work of Jesus to save me from sin and death. I can believe on this and be saved even if I never see a Bible, even if I never knew the Scriptures existed. Of course, if through the work of the Holy Spirit I believe, I will come to hear my Savior's voice in the pages of Scripture and trust them as I trust him. But in point of fact, there are many little children who trust the work of their Savior but cannot articulate in any meaningful way the implications of the inerrancy of Scripture.

Andrew Steinmann - 9/21/2013 3:04:09 PM

9/25/2013 12:00 PM #

Dear Mr. Welch,

Thanks for commenting on the ABR website.

If I understand your comments correctly, you seem to be advocating some form of King James "Onlyism", a view that basically asserts that the KJV is the only "real" Bible. If so, I would urge you to consider the following:

1. The Bible itself makes no such promise of one inerrant line of inspired transmission of the text. The KJV "Only" position is one that has no basis in Scripture itself. What the Bible does promise is that:

1. God inspired the original text, and what the original authors wrote was inerrant and infallible.

2. That, in the words of Christ himself: "Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away." Since Jesus is the eternally begotten Son of God, the entire corpus of the 66 books of the Bible are actually His Words. God promised preservation, but does not promise the MEANS of preservation.

The KJV was, and remains, an excellent translation. But it is just that: a translation. The Geneva Bible, Wycliffe's translations, the Bishop's Bible, the Septuagint, the Targums, and original language MSS were used to construct the KJV. The textual criticism involved in creating the KJV was an earlier version of what scholars do today. It was not an inspired process, there is no proof that it was, and there is no Biblical warrant to say that it was. Furthermore, the KJV translators themselves outline what I am saying here in the preface to the KJV.

Two brief examples prove that the King James is not a specially preserved, infallibly transmitted Bible.

1. The KJV translates the Hebrew "se'irim" in Isaiah 13:21 and 34:14 as "satyrs". A satyr is a creature from Greek mythology. Linguistic study and subsequent MSS reveal this is a translation ERROR. A better translation is "hairy male goats". Would you be willing to tell an unbeliever that a "satyr" is a real animal?

2. 1 Kgs 10:28–29 refers to horses that Solomon imported from (the Hebrew word) "qowe". The KJV translators could not figure out what it meant, so they translated it "linen yarn". This is INCORRECT. The study of archaeology has shown that the correct translation is "Kue". We now know "qowe" קֹוֶה/קֹוֵא was a Neo-Hittite kingdom in Cilicia in southern Turkey named Que/Kue in the ancient texts. The KJV translators made an honest mistake, but a mistake nonetheless. See:

We recently published an article in Bible and Spade, "The King James Bible and the Importance of Textual Criticism". In it, author Tani Fenwick outlines some of these problems, and also discusses the history behind the KJV. The KJV is an important and highly commendable work. See:

Our understanding of this matter is expressed in the Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy:

Article X.

WE AFFIRM that inspiration, strictly speaking, applies only to the autographic text of Scripture, which in the providence of God can be ascertained from available manuscripts with great accuracy. We further affirm that copies and translations of Scripture are the Word of God to the extent that they faithfully represent the original.

WE DENY that any essential element of the Christian faith is affected by the absence of the autographs. We further deny that this absence renders the assertion of Biblical inerrancy invalid or irrelevant.

If you are advocating the KJV "only" view of the Bible, I would strongly recommend you abandon it for one that has actual Biblical warrant.

Sincerely in Christ,

Henry Smith
ABR Staff

Henry B. Smith Jr. - 9/25/2013 12:00:55 PM

9/27/2013 3:48 PM #

Hi Andrew,

Thanks for your comments and insight's about this important issue of the Bible and inerrancy.

Our explanation above could probably be expanded and clarified. What we essentially mean by "most foundational" is that Scripture is our logical starting point when we begin articulating our theological understanding of God, Christ, etc. In other words, as the revelation of God, it is our sure foundation of knowledge. From that sure foundation, we make other assertions about creation, salvation, sin, death, Christ, God, eschatology and so forth. We see this type of logical order in the Westminster Confession, for example. The authors began with Scripture and then articulated various articles of faith from that starting point. With such an approach, Scripture should not be taken to be more important than the Gospel, since the Gospel is the central theme of Scripture. But if one is entering into a logical articulation of the truth of the Christian faith, it is upon Scripture as the Word of the Living God where such articulation must ultimately rest.

We wholeheartedly agree that faith in Christ and belief in the Gospel does not require any knowledge of inerrancy, or even a direct knowledge of the Bible at the point of conversion. Little children do, in fact, receive the Gospel without knowledge of such things. The Chicago Statement states:

"Article XIX.

WE AFFIRM that a confession of the full authority, infallibility, and inerrancy of Scripture is vital to a sound understanding of the whole of the Christian faith. We further affirm that such confession should lead to increasing conformity to the image of Christ.

WE DENY that such confession is necessary for salvation. However, we further deny that inerrancy can be rejected without grave consequences, both to the individual and to the Church."

I hope this helpful and brings further clarity to this important discussion.

Thanks for your comments and commitment to the Lord Jesus Christ.

With Appreciation,

Henry Smith
ABR Staff

Henry B. Smith Jr. - 9/27/2013 3:48:09 PM

3/12/2014 1:04 PM #

Henry and ABR staff,

I praise our God and Father for the deep love for His Son Jesus Christ and His Holy Word that you all display through your website, research, comments and the like. I am genuinely grateful to our Lord for the work He is doing through you all and I just want to say thank you for your faithfulness to the Word and Jesus.

May His grace be ever upon this website and all who cross its path.

Your brother in Christ,


Isaac Anderson - 3/12/2014 1:04:56 PM

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