Curiously, the Chicago Statement of Inerrancy does not quite arrive at this conclusion. The Statement brushes it by claiming the autographs (originals) are inspired, and “copies and translations of Scripture are the Word of God to the extent that they faithfully represent the original.” (Not having the original, it doesn’t do us much good to say “where they agree with what we don’t have, they are the same as the original.”)
Humorously though, the long-winded statement designed to persuade toward inerrency, loses its entire argument by conceding: “the fact that the copies we possess are not entirely error-free.”
That’s a fancy way of saying “We see errors in what we have.”
And I have always wondered, when the statement says
Apparent inconsistencies should not be ignored. Solution of them, where this can be convincingly achieved, will encourage our faith, and where for the present no convincing solution is at hand we shall significantly honor God by trusting His assurance that His Word is true, despite these appearances, and by maintaining our confidence that one day they will be seen to have been illusions.What “apparent inconsistencies with no convincing solution” these esteemed authors were referring to. If they couldn’t find a “convincing solution”—why should I believe there is one?
This is a bit like saying, “I bought a lottery ticket, and while I don’t have it anymore, I am certain the numbers on it match last night’s multi-million dollar drawing.” Funny how they don’t give out money on such a claim!
But when the topic switches to Textual Criticism, I am assured by astounding percentages, we have narrowed the field to 99.5% of the original. The last bastion is that persnickety .5% we can’t quite cover.
Er…hello? If our copies are 99.5% accurate to the originals (a completely speculative face-flop in the mud, in my opinion) and these copies we have include errors—doesn’t that mean the originals have errors too?
When it comes to errors, the poor copies are blamed. When it comes to integrity, the copies are lauded. Why is it I feel someone wants to have their cake and eat it too?