The Inerrancy of the Bible

“Thy word is truth.”

John 17:17

“…it was impossible for God to lie”

Heb. 6:18

“For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.”

Mt. 5:18



Order of Contents

Articles  2

.     Shorter  3
.     In-Depth  3
.     The Contemporary Scene  11
On the History of  3
Chicago Statement on Inerrancy
The Proof is in the Pudding
Bible Difficulties Resovled
Not Recommended  1



Winston Churchill

“We reject with scorn all those learned and labored myths…  We believe that the most scientific view, the most up-to-date and rationalistic conception, will find its fullest satisfaction in taking the Bible literally…  We may be sure that all these things happened just as they are set out according to Holy Writ. 

The impressions these people received were faithfully recorded and have been transmitted across the centuries with far more accuracy than many of the telegraphed accounts of goings-on today.  In the words of a forgotten work of Mr. Gladstone, we rest with assurance upon ‘The impregnable rock of Holy Scripture.'”




Gerstner, John – ‘Warfield’s Case for Biblical Inerrancy’  24 pp.  in God’s Inerrant Word: a Symposium on the Trustworthiness of Scripture

Warfield has some of the best writings on Inspiration and was a great defender of the Inerrancy of the Original Autographs of the Scriptures.  Be aware, though, that, in his adoption of the ‘critical texts’ of Scripture (dug up in the mid-1800’s) and the philosophy behind them, Warfield did quietly drop the doctrine of the special, providential preservation of the Scriptures through the New Testament era *in all ages* (as WCF 1.8 states:  “and by his singular care and providence kept pure in all ages, are therefore authentical”).  Warfield, unfortunately has been greatly influenctial in this regard towards those who have come after him.  For a correction of this, see The Majority Text.

Various – Is the Bible Infallible?  Speeches in the Rev. Dr. Dods’ Case in the Free Presbytery of Glasgow… with Dr. C. Hodge of Princeton’s Letter  1878  68 pp.  Charles Hodge’s three page letter is on p. 35

A charge of unorthodoxy was brought against the influential liberal, Marcus Dods, in the Free Church of Scotland.  Here are the speeches against him by those defending the Bible at the presbytery level.



Shorter Books

Gerstner, John – Bible Inerrancy Primer  Buy  1965

“A brief, non-technical presentation of Biblical inerrancy.” – Cyril J. Barber

Lightner, Robert Paul – The Saviour and the Scriptures  Buy  1966  170 pp.

“A helpful, readable book that defends inerrancy on the basis of Christ’s view of Scripture is Robert P. Lightner, the Saviour and the Scriptures.” – Joel Beeke

“Presents Christ’s view of the Scriptures and stresses His absolute reliance upon the irrevocable authority of the Word.” – Cyril J. Barber

Pinnock, Clark – A Defense of Biblical Infallibility  Buy  1967  32 pp.

Pinnock wrote this solid volume early in his career when he was orthodox, before he became an Open Theist.

“Comprises the Tyndale Lecture in Biblical Theology delivered at Cambridge in 1966.  Admirably answers the liberal and Neo-Orthodox theologians who have insisted that Orthodoxy’s affirmation of infallibility is irrelevant.” – Cyril J. Barber



In-Depth Books


Gaussen, Louis – Theopneustia. The Bible: Its Divine Origin and Inspiration Deduced from Internal Evidence and the Testimonies of Nature, History and Science  Buy  1867, 422 pages, it is also here on HTML

Urquhart, John – The Inspiration and Accuracy of the Holy Scriptures  1895  590 pp.

“The writer first studies the Scriptures inductively to ascertain its claim to inspiration, and whether or not this claim is justified.  Part 2 surveys the rise of rationalism and the claims and controversies of ‘higher critics’.  Part 3 evaluates these critical theories in the light of archaeological data current at that time.  Although dated, this volume still contains valuable material.” – Cyril J. Barber


Young, E.J. – Thy Word is Truth  Buy  1957  280 pp.

“Edward J. Young… does a marvelous job of combining doctrinal accuracy with popular readability.  He also effectively addresses inerrancy, individual ‘problem texts’, and modern views of Scripture.” – Joel Beeke

“A forthright defense of the Bible as the infallible and inerrant Word of God.” – Cyril J. Barber



The Contemporary Scene


ed. Montgomery, John W. – God’s Inerrant Word: an International Symposium on the Trustworthiness of Scripture  Buy  1974

“…is a collection of superior essays written prior to [Harold] Lindsell’s books.” – Joel Beeke

Lindsell, Harold

The Battle for the Bible  Buy  1976

“Harold Lindsell…  gave the inerrancy debate fresh impetus by documenting evidence of substantial erosion of commitment to this doctrine in evangelical denominations and schools.  In a sequel volume, the Bible in the balance…  Lindsell fleshes out his arguments, answers his critics, and cites further inerrancy erosion in churches and schools.” – Joel Beeke

The Bible in the Balance  Buy  1979


Joel Beeke:   “Some of the best material on the Reformed view of inerrancy can be found in several collections of essays [by various evangelicals] published in the 1980’s, including:”

ed. Nicole, Roger & J. Ramsey Michaels – Inerrancy and Common Sense  Buy  1980

Geisler, Norman – Inerrancy  Buy  1980

ed. Carson, D.A. & John Woodbridge – Scripture and Truth  Buy  1983

ed. Hannah, John – Inerrancy and the Church  Buy  1984

Lewis, Gordon & Bruce Demarest – Challenges to Inerrancy: a Theological Response  Buy  1984

Radmacher, Earl & Preus, Robert – Hermeneutics, Inerrancy, and the Bible  Buy  1984

ed. Youngblood, Ronald – Evangelicals and Inerrancy  Buy  1984

Conn, Harvie – Inerrancy and Hermeneutics  Buy  1988



On the History of the Doctrine of Inerrancy

On Luther

Montgomery, John W. – ‘Lessons from Luther on the Inerrancy of Holy Writ’  26 pp. in God’s Inerrant Word: a Symposium on the Trustworthiness of Scripture


On Calvin

The significance of these resources on Calvin is that Neo-Orthodox theologians of the early and mid-1900’s, as well as today, claim that Calvin held to the authority of God’s Word, but not the Inerrancy of it, and that Christ’s nature as the Word of God is at odds with Scripture being the Word of God, as if Calvin was a Neo-Orthodox theologian.


Nicole, Roger – ‘John Calvin and Inerrancy’  18 pp.


Murray, John – Calvin on Scripture and Divine Sovereignty  Buy  84 pp.

“John Murray was not only one of the most renowned twentieth-century representatives of classical Reformed theology, but also a highly-respected interpreter of Calvin.  Here we have Murray’s vigorous refutation of arguments suggesting that Calvin did not teach the inerrancy of Scripture. Murray also demonstrates that Calvin did not consider Christ’s identity as the divine Word to be in any way prejudicial to Scripture being the very Word of God as well.” – Sherman Isbell



The Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy  1978

Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy with Exposition  19 Articles

Sproul, R.C. – Explaining Inerrancy: a Commentary  Buy  51 pp.



The Proof is in the Pudding

To see the complete truthfulness of the Scriptural accounts demonstrated in detail, see the ‘Authenticity’ section at the end of each commentary section that we have on most books of the Bible:

Old Testament Commentaries

New Testament Commentaries



Bible Difficulties Resolved

Below are the top 5 recommendations ( from this document) of Dr. Leslie McFall (a late, evangelical Biblical chronologist) out of 120 works from the pre-1900’s era that are in Cambridge University’s library.

McFall said, “If you are stuck for time, consult Manasseh Ben Israel first then Baruh.”



Manasseh Ben Israel – The Conciliator of R. Manasseh ben Israel; a Reconcilement of the Apparent Contradictions in Holy Scripture, to which are added Explanatory Notes, and Biographical Notices of the Quoted Authorities, vol. 1 (Gen-Dt), 2 (Josh-End of OT)  rep. 1842  The books of the canon are in the Hebrew order.

Manasseh (1605-1657) was a Jew.

“It is an excellent work because it gives solutions from a good grasp of Jewish literature and Jewish exegetical tradition. This was used by Thaddaeus in his 1662 work.” – Dr. Leslie McFall

Streat, William H. – The Dividing of the Hoof: or, Seeming-Contradictions Throughout Sacred Scriptures, Distinguish’d, Resolv’d and Appl’d  1654

Streat (c.1600-1666) was a reformed puritan.  Spurgeon in his commentary on the Psalms quotes from Streat numerous times.

Thaddaeus, Johannes – The Reconciler of the Bible Enlarged: Wherein Above Three Thousand Seeming Contradictions Throughout the Old and New Testament, are Fully and Plainly Reconciled  d. 1652

“Really a commentary on the whole Bible. A very useful work.” – Dr. Leslie McFall



Baruh, Raphael – Critica Sacra Examined: or an Attempt to show that a New Method may be found to Reconcile the Seemingly Glaring Variations in Parallel Passages of Scripture and that such variations consequently, are of no proofs of corruptions, or mistakes, of transcribers  1775  270 pp.

Baruh sometimes goes under the name of Henry Owen.

“He is good on differences between Chronicles-Samuel-Kings parallel passages. I have made out an Index for it.” – Dr. Leslie McFall



Platts, John – A New Self-Interpreting Testament Containing Many Thousands of Various Readings and Parallel Passages . . . a Reconciliation of Seeming Contradictions...  vol. 1, 2, 3 (Rom-2 Tim), 4  1827

Platts (d. 1837) was an English Unitarian and compiler of reference works.



Tarnow, Johann – Biblical Excercitations: in which the Truth and Genuine Sense of Difficult Places in Scripture… is diligently inquired into and Defended  (1619)  Index of Scripture places explained

Tarnow (1586-1629) was a Lutheran.



Not Recommended

Berkouwer, G.C. – Holy Scripture  1975

Berkouwer (1903-1996) was a leading Dutch, reformed theologian of the mid-1900’s, whose doctrinally works are generally sound and good (except for his work here and his book on Election).  He was a professor of systematic theology at the Free University of Amsterdam.

“A word of warning…  Berkouwer qualifies inerrancy by disassociating it from historical and scientific exactness.  He neglects to spell out the dangerous consequences of tolerating arbitrary rejection of selected Scriptures.” – Joel Beeke




Related Pages

The Inspiration of the Bible

The Canon of the Bible