If there is a single argument of my booklet that is original it is the refutation of the doctrine of biblical inerrancy, which is stated on page 12 and formalized in footnote 3, page 41. This is not the typical argument against inerrancy, for my claim is that the doctrine of inerrancy itself, in conjunction with a well-known fact about the Bible, commits the inerrantist to an inconsistent triad of positions. Instead of insisting that the Bible itself is inconsistent, this argument establishes that the doctrine of inerrancy is complicit in establishing its own falsity. The most reasonable way I see for the inerrantist to escape the argument is to accept that translations can be inerrant. That move, however, raises the question of why anyone should suppose that the autographs are privileged in the first place. My wider claim is that no writing in which people are involved can be strictly inerrant, whether or not God inspired the text. The failure of inerrancy allows one to raise anew the question of what "divine inspiration" means. This, in turn, is an invitation to entertain alternate--and in my view, superior--concepts of God. The philosophical and theological issues run deep and I have dealt with some of them in other things that I have written.
Pittsburg, Kansas : Friends of Timmons Chapel, Pittsburg State University
Viney, Donald Wayne, "A Philosopher Looks at the Bible" (2019). Faculty Submissions. 55.