Consise statement: The Bible is, in its entirety, the verbally inspired and totally infallible Word of God.
- Plenary verbal inspiration: The Bible is verbally inspired in its entirety by God, down to the very letter in the original text. (John 16:12-13, Acts 1:16, 1 Corinthians 2:13, 2 Timothy 3:15-17, 2 Peter 1:20-21, 2 Peter 3:16)
- Infallible and inerrant: The text is totally free of any errors of any kind. (Proverbs 30:5, Matthew 5:18, Matthew 24:35, John 17:17)
- Biblical study through the Holy Spirit: We are commanded to learn and study the Bible, and the work of the Holy Spirit is required for proper understanding. (Luke 4:4, Romans 15:4, 1 Corinthians 2:12-16)
I believe that God the Holy Spirit supernaturally guided the fallible human authors of Scripture in such a way that his message was recorded perfectly and completely, without interfering with the free will, literary style, or personal perspective of the author. It is key to note that this inerrancy applies to the original text only, and not necessarily the further copies and translations; when the most accurate answer is being sought in study, it may be necessary to refer to the original texts for further information or insight.
This is not simple dictation, or any similar process in which the human author’s mind was not actively engaged in the writing. The personality, culture, style, and outlook of the authors comes through without distorting the message in any way, and is not reflective of any lack of control over the text on God’s part, but rather an evidence that God did not coerce the free will of his followers in the writing of these texts.
Some professed Christians propose that the Bible is only partially inspired, usually suggesting that there are historical errors or inconsistencies due to the authors’ mistakes, and it is only the doctrinal principles that are inerrant. This view is inherently flawed and has never been evidenced; archaeology has never contradicted a biblical reference and has only proven time and time again that the Bible is correct in its accounts, even giving discovery where previously there was no corroborating evidence for the events recorded. By suggesting that the Bible contains historical errors, they reject the Scriptures as an entirely trustworthy source and seek to filter what they want to agree with through a fallible lens.
We are therefore to study the Bible with the knowledge that it is the wholly perfect and God-breathed word to us, being mindful of our own limitations and biases as well as our sinful nature, in order to discover the commands and intentions of God, which can only be revealed to us through the sanctification of the Holy Spirit.