argumentum ex silentio – The Senselessness of “Inerrancy of the Autographs”

In reading Vick’s work, about the way Adventists have had to redefine what ‘soon’ means in their eschatology, it came to me that Inerrantists have done much the same thing when redefining inerrancy until now, it is an argument made from silence. Now, it is that the original autographs were inerrant. This is, more than inerrancy in of itself, unprovable. Why? Because we don’t have autographs, and given textual and redactional criticism, we have come to understand that for many books in the Scriptures weren’t composed by a single author, in one sitting, but evolved over time. Take the Torah, or just Deuteronomy, or even Isaiah. So, if the autographs were the ‘God’s word’ bit (bad terminology, bad theology), then which author was it?

Inerrancy has been redefined until it is nonsensical now. It is an outside of Scripture expectation of what Scripture needs to be in order for the Christian faith to be true (another logical fallacy, but I won’t get into that). This is about the only thing the King James Only people get right – that inerrancy must be delivered through translations, and the such. Of course, they are wrong from the start. Inerrantists must believe that God dictated the original words even though Scripture doesn’t say that nor does history actually allow it. Those who follow Scripture, the inspirationists, understand as does most of Christian Tradition, that Scripture is God-breathed, motivated, directed, prompted… that the words are human, a human witness to God’s revelation in history…. but that the Grand Narrative of Scripture is where inspiration lies and when the Church acts rightly on that Narrative, the Church becomes infallible.

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