Can the Bible be inspired without being inerrant?
Would you say the Bible is inerrant but it doesn’t HAVE to be inerrant to be inspired by God? i’ve always thought the Bible had to be inerrant. and by God’s grace i still do. but i guess what you said has made me think it doesn’t have to be for us to know that it is still from God.
Right. The Western mind with its logical/analytical approach to knowledge may demand an "inerrant" Bible. As far as I know the Bible in its original was inerrant, but I do not feel absolutely tied in philosophically with the Western logical/analytical approach. I reject the assumptions of postmodernism, but think we can learn a little something from them. We need to approach questions of inerrancy from more of a Near Eastern perspective than a modern/scientific perspective. Therefore, for example, the exact meaning of inerrancy as it applies to the flood or the Adam and Eve story is not absolutely, set-in-concrete sure. The idea which comes clean in all this is that the Bible is inspired by God. That is the one conclusion which is absolutely inescapable from my perspective.
John Oakes, PhD