NT Text Criticism and Inerrancy

Jason Sexton | August 25, 2009

Some contemporary, evangelical academicians and leaders are questioning the plausibility of the doctrine of biblical inerrancy because of the unavailability of the autographs of NT books. New Testament textual criticism is a vital discipline in responding to doubts of this type. One who undervalues textual criticism’s importance in defending an evangelical doctrine of the Bible’s inerrancy has a serious problem of one sort or another, because that field seeks to discover and correct copyist errors that through the centuries have crept into the text. The field is vital because inerrancy pertains to the manuscripts of Scripture as they came from the original authors. Establishing a relationship between textual criticism and inerrancy is not a new endeavor. Princeton theologians such as Charles Hodge and B. B. Warfield continued a long tradition of tying inerrancy to the autographs of Scripture. Their response to doubters of their day is quite appropriate to give to contemporary evangelicals who have surrendered a high view of inspiration.

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