Maybe you’ve heard a question like this: “You believe that Bible is inerrant, don’t you?” You reply honestly with, “Yes, I do.” “Well, then,” they say, “what about Mark 1:4-5? It says, ‘John the Baptist appeared in the wilderness preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. And all the country of Judea was going out to him, and all the people of Jerusalem; and they were being baptized by him in the Jordan River, confessing their sins.’ The Bible says in plain language that all the people in Judea and all the people of Jerusalem went out to see him. Everybody went, according to the Bible. That means that every single person without exception who lived in Judea and Jerusalem was there. That can’t possibly be true, therefore this is an error, which means the Bible isn’t inerrant.”
The argument of our imaginary opponent sounds reasonable, but there’s a problem with it. It isn’t true. C. Michael Patton has written an article that explains why it isn’t. In “Six Factors That Do Not Affect Inerrancy”, he lists and explains each of these. Those factors are:
- Use of Hyperbole and Exaggeration
- Speaking according to Cultural Convenience
- Bad Grammar
- Round Numbers
- Summaries of Events
- Recording Wrong Theology
If you read Patton’s article, you’ll be able to better answer questions surrounding the inerrancy of the Bible the next time you hear them.
The point is simple: we can trust the Bible because it’s the Word of God.