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Inerrancy & Bible Genres, Essay Example

Pages: 1

Words: 562

Essay

Concept of Inerrancy

The evangelical stance on Christian Inerrancy within the Bible is based upon a prescriptive view that once all the facts are know about a specific circumstance then the original autographs of the Bible affirm that position as being valid. It is this basis in Christianity that sets out to prove that reason and faith do not necessarily contradict one another Strict Inerrancy relies upon the original autographs contained from the original manuscripts of the Bible. No other documents or transcriptions can be referred to as being inerrant.  The Bible is considered to be about 98% accurate from the original manuscripts that they are derived from. This is termed as confidence in the inerrancy of the Bible from the original manuscripts that relate to both the Old and New Testaments. In the interpretation of biblical text the concept of authorship and who wrote the original manuscript is important (Albl, p233). Limited innerancy is more vague but generally relates to those aspects of the Bible that are inherant in teaching the path towards salvation.

The debates that have raged over the centuries are primarily concerned with the interpretations from the original manuscripts. Certain scholars have argued more in favour of infallibility as opposed to the restrictive term of inerrancy. This being that the Bible may only be considered to be inerrant if it contains no false or misleading information on any topic. Infallible is less severe in that it states that such statements must not be misleading on those matters that pertain to faith or Christian practice

Different Genres

Both the Old and New Testaments contain different Genres. For example the Old Testament covers such aspects as Genealogies, Prophecies, Psalms or Songs, Proverbs. Revelations etc.  The New Testament is more focused on the life of Jesus and the proclamation of the Gospels. It covers such genres as the Acts, Letters, Testaments, Sermons, Epistles and Revelations. Revelations appear in both testaments and relate to the moral laws of god as recognised by all people (Albl p108)

The Old Testament is more focused upon the coming of a Messiah and the importance of the Israelites and their relationship with God.  The key component being the Ten Commandments and the work of Abraham and Moses.  The New Testament is focused upon the life and times of Christ and the message that he brings for all of mankind and as the Son of God the act of salvation for those who believe and follow in the doctrines of Christianity.  It is not really appropriate to say that one set of genres is more important than that of the other in either the Old or the New Testament. Rather they complement one another and record the history of Christianity as a Religion over time.  An awareness and understanding of the genres contained in the Bible provide a better means of navigation and understanding of the important messages and events.

Conclusions

The postmodernist debate on Inerrancy and Infallibility have raised many issues on which doctrine is considered to be the most acceptable, particularly in terms of the Catholic Faith.  Critics argue that the humans have a limited capacity in argument and interpretation of languages and as such this allows for errors of transcription, errors and misinterpretation.

References

Albi, Martin C. “Reason, Faith and Tradition: Exploration in catholic theology.” Albi, Martin C. Reason, Faith and Tradition: Exploration in catholic theology. Winona MN: St Marys Press, 2009. 1-7.

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