Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Infallibility 23-0 Inerrancy

In 1878 A. A. Hodge's rewritten and enlarged Outlines of Theology was republished (available here and here). The section on the inspiration of Scripture uses the word infallible, or infallibility, some 23 times. The words inerrancy or inerrant are used 0 times. For Hodge infallibility was a perfectly useful word to convey the idea that Scripture, rightly interpreted, is the very truth of God.

Hodge is worth quoting:

In what sense and to what extent has the Church universally held the Bible to be inspired?

That the sacred writers were so influenced by the Holy Spirit that their writings are as a whole and in every part God's word to us--an authoritative revelation to us from God, indorsed by him, and sent to us as a rule of faith and practice, the original autographs of which are absolutely infallible when interpreted in the sense intended, and hence are clothed with absolute divine authority.

What is meant by "plenary inspiration"?

A divine influence full and sufficient to secure its end. The end in this case secured is the perfect infallibility of the Scriptures in every part, as a record of fact and doctrine both in thought and verbal expression. So that although they come to us through the instrumentality of the minds, hearts, imaginations, consciences, and wills of men, they are nevertheless in the strictest sense the word of God.

No comments: