Five Views On Biblical Inerrancy: A Review

After reading “Five Views on Biblical Inerrancy” by Mohler, Enns, Bird, Vanhoozer and Franke, I found this review helpful. It shows there are a wide variety of interpretations of how we read the Bible.

Mohler and Enns are the widest in divergence, but Bird, Vanhoozer, and Franke find their place somewhere between. I enjoyed Bird’s kind humor, which gave perspective on all points of view.

The authors address 3 difficult texts in the Bible: Joshua 6 (archeology), Acts 9 and 23 (seemingly contradictory accounts of Pauls’ conversion), and Deuteronomy 20 and Matthew 5 (showing no mercy to Canaanites, and turning the other cheek).

I learned a lot from this. I’d be interested in what you find. Tremper Longman’s posting today is a good commentary on this, too.5 Common Arguments Against the Bible (and How to Respond to Them) - Article - BioLogos


Thanks Randy. Where can I find Dr. Longman’s post?

It’s on the Biologos website–the post of the day… 5 Common Arguments Against the Bible (and How to Respond to Them) - BioLogos. Sorry! Thanks.

Also, on the discourse

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The premise that such an inerrant Bible is the only kind of book God would be able to produce, or the only effective means of divine communication, strikes me as assuming that God shares our modern interest in accuracy and scientific precision, rather than allowing the phenomena of Scripture to shape our theological expectations.

This Enns quote is spot on. As a daily reader of the Bible, I am continually amazed at the diverse ways that God chooses to reveal himself through its words. Through his special revelation he frequently confounds the man-centered expectations of our post-modern scientific minds. But for those willing to sit “under it” rather than “over it,” the Bible is a treasure chest of joy and wisdom.


Biblical authority/inerrancy is our content theme for October. Stay tuned, much more to come on this topic!



In the guest article, we find this:

Genesis 1-2, the main biblical account of cosmic and human origins, describes these events using figurative language, which should be obvious to all readers and has been obvious to most through the ages. Church fathers like Origen and Augustine recognized that real days with evenings and mornings must have a sun, moon, and stars. Thus the days of Genesis 1—where the sun doesn’t appear until the fourth day—must not be real days. When Genesis 2:7 describes the formation of the first man as God blowing on dust, that too is figurative language. After all, does God have lungs?

Do you accept this conclusion?:
The days mentioned in Genesis 1 must be figurative.

I don’t think Dr. Longman’s purpose in that paragraph was to provide a comprehensive argument for why the days are figurative. I suspect he could have written a full book chapter to argue for this conclusion if that was his intent. He merely states one clue for why the “days” are a literary construct rather than literal days.

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Well, yes … there can be lots of supporting reasons to include in the total analysis.
However, do you disagree with his conclusion?

Talking about the days and whether they are “real days” or “normal days” or “literal days” always gets confusing fast.

Yes the passage is describing normal days.
Yes the normal days were part of a figurative literary construct which pushes you to interpret the description of the normal days as something other than a literal historical account of the first week of time ever.


No, I agree with him. I think Genesis 1-2 is rich in figurative language that should be read as a literary construct rather than as a play-by-play, documentary-style literal history. I don’t know how the ancient readers would have understood it.

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I’m not concluding that the Hebrews would have said this is figurative, though it may have been. I think that they may have understood it as literal. I don’t think that they assumed all light came from the sun. Mythological figures abounded, and I suspect that they (like we, when strict YEC) think that God did breathe breath in. I think it was science of the day. I would say that it’s incorrect, but a vehicle for a theological message.


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