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Index to Creationist Claims,  edited by Mark Isaak,    Copyright © 2006
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Claim CH101:

The Bible, being God's revealed word, is without error or fault in everything it teaches, including what it says about creation, historical events, and its own origin. Scientific study of the earth cannot be used to overturn scriptural accounts of creation and the flood.


International Council on Biblical Inerrancy, 1978. The Chicago statement on Biblical inerrancy.


  1. Inerrancy cannot be trusted. Errors can only be corrected if they are first recognized and admitted. Inerrancy makes that impossible. Therefore, errors in an inerrant interpretation of the Bible can never be fixed.

  2. Inerrancy is a contempt that breeds hate. Inerrantists take it as divinely certain that other people's religious views are inferior to their own. One reaps what one sows, so when inerrantists show their contempt, contempt for their own religious views is returned. History is bloodied by the consequences. Jews, Muslems, heathens, and other Christians have been subjugated, tortured, and slaughtered in the name of the "true" god. Jacob Bronowski (1973, 374), speaking of Auschwitz, wrote,
    Into this pond were flushed the ashes of some four million people. And that was not done by gas. It was done by dogma. It was done by arrogance. When people believe that they have absolute knowledge, with no test in reality, this is how they behave. This is what men do when they aspire to the knowledge of gods.
    The contempt also shows up as intolerance -- against women's roles, in attitudes about sex, and through a variety of other different views. Even those who do not commit atrocities, when they display such intolerance, are guilty of fomenting the atmosphere that makes the atrocities possible.

  3. Inerrancy rejects much study of the Bible (not infrequently to the point of persecuting the studier). One who accepts inerrancy generally It is ironic that people who purport to hold the Bible in such high esteem reject serious, objective study of it.

  4. Jesus himself said that religious laws are not absolute. In Matthew 5:38, he rejects the "eye for an eye" law (Exod. 21:23-25, Lev. 24:19-20, Deut. 19:21). Jesus rejected all dietary law (Mark 7:19; cf. Lev. 11). He rejected the commandment about working on the Sabbath (Mark 2:27). If Jesus considered that even the laws of Moses were not inerrant, why should we consider any part of the Bible inerrant?

  5. Ultimately, there is no authority for inerrancy except oneself:
  6. Claiming inerrancy in the Bible is pointless unless one also claims inerrancy in one's interpretation of it. Some people believe that the earth is flat and is covered by a solid dome because the Bible says so and the Bible is inerrant (Schadewald, 1987). Most people, including most biblical inerrantists, would say they are wrong. Claiming inerrancy for a particular view of creation or the flood is no different in principle. Claiming that the Flood account is a true literal account is an error if it was written as an allegory; claiming that it is a true allegory is an error if it was a literal account. To claim that a particular interpretation of any part of the Bible is inerrant is to claim that you yourself are inerrant.

  7. There are several aspects of the Bible that show it is not inerrant. These include factual errors:

    and contradictions:

    Inerrantists are familiar with these and find rationalizations for these and other errors and contradictions, but they are unconvincing. The rationalizations merely make the point that what the Bible seems to say is not what it means, which defeats the whole concept of scriptural inerrancy.


McKinsey, Dennis. 1983-1998. Biblical errancy.


  1. Barker, Dan. 1990. Leave no stone unturned. Freethought Today (Mar.),
  2. Bronowski, Jacob. 1973. The Ascent of Man. Boston: Little Brown and Co.
  3. Friedman, Richard Elliott. 1987. Who Wrote the Bible? New York: Summit Books.
  4. Schadewald, Robert J. 1987. The Flat-Earth Bible. The Bulletin of the Tychonian Society 44 (July 1987).

Further Reading:

Bringas, Ernie. 1996. Going by the Book, Charlottesville, VA: Hampton Roads Publishing.

Hildeman, Eric J. 2004. Creationism: The Bible Says No! Bloomington, IN: Author House.

The Straight Dope. 2002. Who wrote the Bible? (Part 5).
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created 2001-2-18, modified 2005-2-15