Biblical Inerrancy: History & Analysis

(This essay was written for Religious Studies 221.3, University of Saskatchewan, 23 November 1998 )

The concept of biblical inerrancy has both caused divisions within some Christian denominations and prevented the unification of others.  Though it is not immediately apparent, this issue lies at the root of many doctrinal differences between otherwise similar denominations on opposite sides of this issue.  It is also an issue of immense personal importance, for over the past eighteen months, I have had to carefully examine my beliefs on this issue and the basis for those beliefs.  This essay will outline the history of inerrancy and analyse the nature of the inerrancy controversy.  The essay will conclude that a reasoned argument in favour of inerrancy cannot be made, but that it is still a rational belief.

The terms used in the inerrancy debate are very important and must be clearly defined.  Because of its importance in the debate, the first term to be defined is inspiration.  Inspiration, in this situation, refers to the process by which the Scriptures were written.  Christians on both sides of the inerrancy issue believe that the Scriptures were divinely inspired by God, that the Holy Spirit inspired the writers of the Scriptures to write what they did.  However, believers in biblical inerrancy believe that this process worked to produce Scripture writings that, in their original forms, were without any error, in their entirety.  People who do not believe in biblical inerrancy, believe that the writers were divinely inspired but, just like every other piece of literature ever written by humans, human imperfection, the writer’s personality and the societal and historical context of the writer entered into the process and affected it.  Therefore, the Scriptures are a conglomerate of influences and various critical methods must be used to separate the human content from the divine and yield God’s Word for us in today’s world.  Conversely, those that believe in inerrancy believe that the entire Scriptures are God’s Word for us, and this leads to another important distinction:  Those who believe in inerrancy equate the Scriptures with the Word of God.  That is, the Scriptures are the Word of God.  Those who do not believe in inerrancy believe that the Scriptures contain the Word of God.

The Scriptures have always been important to Christianity, but the manner in which they were important has changed over time.  Their importance to the Early Church Fathers is without a doubt, but since there were heresies, such as Gnosticism and Marcionism that used the Christian Scriptures to further their own cause, an additional source of authority, inaccessible to the heretics, had to be used as a defence against the heresies.  Thus the doctrine of apostolic succession was developed by Irenaeus and used to combat the heresy of Gnosticism.[1] As a result of the authority vested in the church through the doctrine of apostolic succession, the tradition of the church became equally as authoritative as the authority of the Scriptures.  During the Reformation, the Protestants denied the authority of the church and its tradition and placed sole authority for determining church doctrine on the Scriptures, thus the phrase sola Scriptura from Martin Luther.  However, in time, even the authority of the Scriptures was challenged.

During the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, ideas of the Enlightenment such as rationalism began to challenge established religious thought.  Enlightenment thinkers such as Hume, Montesquieu, Diderot, Rousseau and Voltaire denied that the Scriptures were a source of truth.[2] Enlightenment ideas eventually influenced Christian theology, producing neology, or rationalist theology, in the latter part of the eighteenth century.

Neology, which placed a greater emphasis on reason, moral consciousness and feeling than had previous theology, regarded church dogma as the result of an historical developmental process and not the unchanging embodiment of Christian thought.  Therefore, church dogma was relative and subject to criticism, especially the doctrine of original sin.  The Scriptures were also subjected to historical criticism.[3] One of the more prominent neologians was Johann Salomo Semler (1725-1791), a Professor of Theology at the University of Halle, Halle, Germany, from 1753 to1791.  Semler laid the foundations for the study of the history of dogma and he was one of the first bible critics.  He did not regard the Bible as having any original canonical authority and he believed that its writings should viewed in the light of morality, historical criticism and literary criticism.  Semler’s ideas are important because they become the basis for further theological developments, such as those by Friedrich Schleiermacher.[4]

Friedrich Schleiermacher (1768-1834) was Professor of Theology at Halle from 1804 to 1807 and later, in 1810, became the Dean of the Theological faculty at Berlin.[5] He built on the work of Semler for both he and Semler did not feel bound by the authority of Scripture, both criticised church dogma, and both analysed religion subjectively.[6] However, Schleiermacher went much further in that he defined religion not a particular way of thinking or doing but as the finite and temporal human soul’s awareness of the infinite and eternal and its absolute dependence upon it.[7] Thus the centre of religion is not the Bible but the heart of the believer.  Therefore, biblical criticism is an aid, not a detriment, to Christianity for it helps the clarify the message of the Bible as it speaks to the heart of the individual.[8]

Theological rationalism is also evident in the work of Immanual Kant (1724-1804) and Julius Wegscheider.  According to Kant, theological rationalism did not reject revelation, but the only necessary religion is the moralistic religion of reason.  Wegscheider, who published Institutiones theologiae Christianae in 1815, rejected everything supernatural, such as the miracles of the Bible, including Christ’s resurrection.  He rejected the doctrine of original sin and disregarded the Atonement and the Ascension.[9]

Biblical authority was challenged, not only from a philosophical or theological point of view, but also by science.  Most notable of these challenges was Charles Darwin’s Theory of Evolution, which provided a non-biblical, non-theistic scientific explanation for the existence of life on earth.  Though evolutionary theory was accepted by some Christians as compatible with contemporary Christian thought, others rejected it and held to the Biblical model of Creation.

The challenges to Biblical authority and the denials of supernatural events such as Creation, the Atonement, the Resurrection, and the Ascension led to a reaction by more conservative factions within Christianity.  In America, in the nineteenth century, Presbyterians such as Charles Hodge, his son A. A. Hodge, Francis L. Patton and Benjamin B. Warfield, along with Baptists such as John A. Broadus and Asahel Kendrick, responded with thorough defences of traditional Christianity based upon the inerrancy of the Scriptures.  In 1895, the Niagara Bible Conference developed its famous “five points of fundamentalism.”  These five points were considered, by the Conference, to be essential elements of Christianity.  There were the Virgin Birth of Jesus Christ, his Atonement for human sins, his physical Resurrection, his imminent return to earth, and the inerrancy of Scripture.  These five points became the basis for what came to be known as Fundamentalism, or fundamentalist Christianity.[10]

The “five points of fundamentalism” were taught as essential Christian doctrine at conservative Bible schools such as the Moody Bible Institute and the Los Angeles Bible Institute.  In 1909, Milton and Lyman Stewart financed The Fundamentals:  A Testimony of the Truth and nearly three million copies of this set of twelve small volumes was distributed among both laymen and ministers in the United States and around the world.  This contributed to the rise of a militant antagonism toward liberalism that reached its peak in the decade after World War One.[11]

With the development of the doctrine of inerrancy and the rise of fundamentalism, the battle lines were drawn for one of the most divisive battles in Christianity since the Reformation.  Among the Presbyterians, professors Arthur Cushman McGiffert, Charles Augustus Briggs, and Henry Preserved Smith were convicted of heresy in the late nineteenth century and all eventually left Presbyterianism.  The Presbyterian General Assembly, in 1910 adopted the “five points of fundamentalism” as essential to orthodox Christianity.  This was reversed in 1936, when more liberal Presbyterians gained control of the General Assembly.  Among the more conservative Presbyterians who left the denomination at this time was J. Gresham Machen, a former professor of New Testament at Princeton Seminary and an ardent supporter of biblical inerrancy.[12]

By the mid-twentieth century, most of the mainline Protestant denominations were non-supportive of biblical inerrancy, leaving fundamentalists, most evangelicals and most Roman Catholics upholding the doctrine.  Over the next several decades, there were ebbs and flows of support for inerrancy.  In 1949, the Evangelical Theological Society made biblical inerrancy of the original autographs a part of its doctrinal basis.  In the 1950’s, even some of the evangelicals began to object to a wooden literal interpretation of the Bible.  In 1967, the most prominent of the evangelical theological schools, Fuller Theological Seminary, removed biblical inerrancy from its statement of faith.[13] In the 1970’s, supporters of inerrancy regained control of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod (LC-MS) and made biblical inerrancy a main principle of that denomination.[14] Also in the 1970’s, the International Council of Biblical Inerrancy was founded to defend inerrancy.  In 1978, the Council drew up “The Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy” to clearly define the doctrine.  In the 1980’s, conservatives gained control of the Southern Baptist Convention and stated their intention to re-establish the prominence of inerrancy in the Southern Baptist schools and seminaries.[15] Differences in doctrine due to differences in biblical interpretation prevented the merger of the Canadian division of the LC-MS with the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Canada (ELCC) and the Lutheran Church of America-Canada Section (LCA-CS) to form the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada (ELCIC) in 1986.  In the United States, differences relating to biblical interpretation prevented the LC-MS from merging with the Lutheran Church in America (LCA), the American Lutheran Church (ALC) and the Association of Evangelical Lutheran Churches (AELC) to form the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) in 1988.[16] In the 1990’s, differences over doctrinal issues related to biblical interpretation continue to divide Lutheranism.  Biblical inerrancy is still a divisive issue.

The doctrine of Biblical inerrancy is supported by two principles:  First, (1) that the Scriptures are directly identified with the Word of God.[17] Because they are the Word of God, they are therefore without error, for God does not lie.  The second principle is (2) that the doctrine that the Scriptures are the Word of God and the doctrine of inerrancy have been the historical teaching of the orthodox Christian faith from the time of Jesus.[18] Those who do not support inerrancy counter (a) that the Scriptures we have are not the original autographs, only various versions of hand copied manuscripts which are not identical and assuredly not without textual errors.  Also, they continue, (b) there are chronological contradictions and (c) descriptions of events that run counter to modern scientific knowledge.  Additionally, (d) there are cultural and historical influences in the Bible that affect the message of the Bible.  Finally, (e) that there is a distinction between the Scriptures and the Word of God and (f) that this distinction has been noted at various points throughout church history.  Throughout Biblical history God has revealed himself to his people in various ways and at various times.  The Bible is the record of those revelations and is separate and distinct from them.[19] Also, at various points in church history, notable Christians have expressed views that seem to contradict inerrancy.  For example, Augustine of Hippo had problems accepting certain passages of the Old Testament on a literal basis.  It was Ambrose of Milan’s allegorical interpretations of those passages that allayed Augustine’s concerns.[20] Also, Martin Luther did not credit all the books of the Bible with the same level of importance, for they contained varying amounts of the gospel.  He recommended some books of the Bible, such John, the Pauline epistles and 1 Peter, over others saying, “They [the recommended books] teach everything you need to know for your salvation, even if you were never to see or hear any other book or hear any other teaching.  In comparison with these, the letter of St. James is full of straw, because it contains nothing about the gospel.”[21] It should be noted that Christians who do not support inerrancy usually agree that the Bible is divinely inspired, but deny that the result was a set of Scriptures that was completely without error.  They maintain that modern biblical criticism techniques must be used to determine what is the true Word of God within the Scriptures.

It should be noted that denominations and individuals of both camps are not homogeneous and that there are ranges of opinion within each camp.  Some believers in biblical inerrancy believe that only the King James Version of the Bible is authoritative, and some hold to a very wooden literal interpretation of Scripture.  Others allow use of a limited number of the same hermeneutic techniques that non-supporters of biblical inerrancy use, in order that they may more clearly understand the message of the Bible.  Some Christians who do not support inerrancy question whether the Bible has any authority at all.  Others hold the Bible in very high regard and view it as the source of authority for church doctrine.  This essay will be looking at the debate in the context of Lutheranism, where both sides hold the Bible in very high regard and view it as authoritative because it is both the cause of a saving faith in Jesus Christ and because it establishes the norm, or standards, for church doctrine.[22] Despite this, there are insurmountable differences between the two groups regarding how the Bible should be interpreted.  Therefore, the claims of both the groups, opposed to, and, in favour of inerrancy, within Lutheranism will be examined.

First, it should be stated that supporters of inerrancy within Lutheranism use, within limitations, certain modern biblical hermeneutic techniques.  Linguistic studies, textual (lower) criticism and literary techniques are used.  But literary (higher) criticism, form criticism, and redaction criticism are methods that are opposed by Lutheran supporters of inerrancy.[23] As one would  expect, supporters of inerrancy would not use any technique which calls into question the truth of a biblical passage.  Form criticism is the careful analysis of the structural forms of biblical passages through comparisons with contemporaneous non-biblical passages to assess their historicity.[24] Literary, or higher criticism, is the critical study of the literary methods and sources used by the Biblical authors to assess the quality and character of the biblical literature.[25] Redaction criticism goes behind the text to critically study how the biblical words and events were put into their written form.[26]

Lutheran supporters of inerrancy would respond to objection (a) that we do not have the original texts by agreeing that that is true.  However, through scholarly research and textual criticism, we can come as close as is humanly possible to the original texts and use them with confidence as long as we are aware of any discrepancies and note their implications in biblical interpretation.  Objection (b), that there are chronological contradictions, can usually be worked out by considering an alternative chronology       that is also hermeneutically correct.  Sometimes textual criticism can also be helpful in sorting out such difficulties.  Objection (c), that the Bible contains descriptions of events that run counter to modern scientific knowledge, can often be explained in one of two ways.  Some of these descriptions can be explained by the way we use language to describe natural phenomena.  That is, we say that the sun rises each morning, but, as we know, the sun, in fact, does not rise each morning.  It only appears to rise because the earth spins on its axis, and yet we use language in this way to describe this phenomenon.  However, the contradiction between the Theory of Evolution and the Biblical account of Creation cannot be explained in this manner.  In this situation, Lutheran supporters note that the Theory of Evolution is a theory, not a scientific fact.  It was not scientifically observed, nor is it repeatable, but only a theory based upon available evidence.  Lutheran supporters of inerrancy will maintain that there is much scientific evidence, such as entropy[27] and the lack of evidence of intermediate life forms,[28] that supports biblical Creation and contradicts the Theory of Evolution.  Objection (d), that there are cultural and historical influences in the Bible that affect the message of the Bible, is a statement that Lutheran supporters of inerrancy would not disagree with.  However, they would say that such biblical passages can be interpreted to have a corresponding meaning in our culture.  Objection (e),  that there is a distinction between the Scriptures and the Word of God, will be dealt with below where the first principle of inerrancy (1) is defended.  With regards to objection (f), that the distinction between the Bible and the Word of God has been noted at various points throughout church history when prominent Christians have written comments that seem to contradict inerrancy, both a specific and a general answer is required.  With respect to Augustine, it should be noted, first of all, that his struggles with accepting certain passages occurred prior to his becoming a Christian.  The evidence of his comments below in support of inerrancy indicate that his concerns were dealt with and he was able to accept the Scriptures.  Second, it should be noted that an allegorical interpretation of a Biblical passage, such as that used by Ambrose of Milan, is not an alternative interpretation that contradicts an interpretation done within the bounds of inerrancy.  It is a second complimentary interpretation that brings added meaning to the first interpretation.  With respect to Luther, his comments can be interpreted as questioning whether the Epistle of James should have been included in the canon.  This does not mean that he is denying the inerrancy of the balance of the canonical books of the Bible.[29] Generally speaking, people who support inerrancy do not deny that, historically, Christians have struggled with the question of how to interpret the Bible.  Nor do they deny that, in the past, various Christians have developed allegorical Biblical interpretations that are quite different from those of modern adherents to inerrancy.  Nor do people who support inerrancy deny that some historic Christians wrote of mystical or speculative interpretations of the Bible which are also quite different from those of modern inerrancy.  However, as noted above, these different meanings were often regarded as additional deeper meanings that added to and enhanced the original meaning, and not contradictions of the original meaning.  As evidence, it should be noted that during the Middle Ages, the church interpreted Scripture in a four complimentary ways, the literal, allegorical, tropological, and anagogic.[30] Though the last three methods are not usually used by modern adherents to inerrancy, that does not mean that their use in the historic church was a denial of inerrancy.  On the contrary, the evidence quoted below indicates that the principle of an inerrant Scriptures was part of the historic Christian church.

The first principle of inerrancy,  (1) that the Scriptures are the Word of God and they are therefore inerrant, is supported by both biblical and historical references.  The first group of biblical references support the belief that the Bible is the Word of God:

All Scripture is God-breathed and useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.[31]

First of all, they [the Jews] have been entrusted with the very words of God [referring to the Old Testament].[32]

[Paul said to the Jews in Rome,] “The Holy Spirit spoke the truth to your forefathers when he said through Isaiah the prophet:  ‘Go to this people and say'”[quoting Isaiah 6:9-10][33]

So, as the Holy Spirit says:  “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts.”[34]

[Jesus said] “and the Scripture cannot be broken.”[35]

All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet:  “The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” – which means, “God with us.”[36]

[Jesus said,] “While I was with them, I protected them and kept them safe by that name you gave me.  None has been lost except the one doomed to destruction so that Scripture would be fulfilled.”[37]

[Jesus said,] “Do you think I cannot call on my Father, and he will at once put at my disposal more than twelve legions of angels?  But how then would the Scriptures be fulfilled that say it must happen in this way?”[38]

[Jesus said,] “Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms.”[39]

Concerning this salvation, the prophets, who spoke of the grace that was to come to you, searched intently and with the greatest care, trying to find out the time and circumstances to which the Spirit of Christ in them was pointing when he predicted the sufferings of Christ and the glories that would follow.  It was revealed to them that they were not serving themselves but you, when they spoke of the things that have now been told you by those who have preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven.[40]

If anybody thinks he is a prophet or spiritually gifted, let him acknowledge that what I am writing to you is the Lord’s command.[41]

On my return I will not spare those who sinned earlier or any of the others, since you are demanding proof that Christ is speaking through me.[42]

The second group of biblical references support the belief that the Scriptures are true:

Do not snatch the word of truth from my mouth, for I have put my hope in your laws.[43]

All your commands are trustworthy; help me, for men persecute me without cause.[44]

Your righteousness is everlasting and your law is true.[45]

All your words are true; all your righteous laws are eternal.[46]

Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth….  For them I sanctify myself, that they too may be truly sanctified.[47]

O Sovereign LORD, you are God!  Your words are trustworthy, and you have promised these good things to your servant.[48]

For the word of the LORD is right and true; he is faithful in all he does.[49]

We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, because we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love you have for all the saints – the faith and love that spring from the hope that is stored up for you in heaven and that you have already heard about in the word of truth, the gospel that has come to you.[50]

Among them are Hymenaeus and Philetus,  who have wandered away from the truth.[51]

Just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so also these men oppose the truth.[52]

Paul, a servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ for the faith of God’s elect and the knowledge of the truth that leads to godliness.[53]

The following historical references support both the first principle of inerrancy,  (1) that the Scriptures are the Word of God and they are therefore inerrant,  and the second principle of inerrancy, (2) that the doctrine that the Scriptures are the Word of God, and the doctrine of inerrancy, have been the historical teaching of the orthodox Christian faith:

Augustine, Epist. 82 to Jerome:  “Only to those books which are called canonical have I learned to give honor so that I believe most firmly that no author in these books made any error in writing.  I read other authors not with the thought that what they have thought and written is true just because they have manifested holiness and learning!”

Thomas Aquinas, In Ioh. 13, lec. 1:  “It is heretical to say that any falsehood whatsoever is contained either in the gospels or in any canonical Scripture.”

Luther (W 15.1481):  “The Scriptures have never erred.”  W 9.356:  “It is impossible that Scripture should contradict itself; it only appears so to senseless and obstinate hypocrites.”

Preface to the Book of Concord (Tappert, p. 8):  “We have in what follows purposed to commit ourselves exclusively and only, in accordance with the pure, infallible and unalterable Word of God, to that Augsburg Confession which was submitted to Emperor Charles V at the great imperial assembly in Augsburg in the year 1530.”  Large Catechism (Baptism 57.  Tappert, p. 444):  “My neighbor and I – in short, all men – may err and deceive, but God’s Word cannot err.”  Formula of Concord (Epitome, 7.13.  Tappert, p. 483):  “God’s Word is not false nor does it lie.”

Calov, Systema locorum theologicorum (Wittenberg, 1655-1677), 1.462:  “Because Scripture is God’s Word which is absolutely true, Scripture is itself truth (Ps. 119:; Jn. 17:17.19; 2 Sam. 7:28; Ps. 33:4; Gal. 3:1; Col. 1:5; 2 Tim. 2:18; Tit. 1:1 and Jas. 1:8).  Thus, whatever the sacred Scriptures contain is fully true and to be accepted with utmost certainty.  No only must we hold that to be true which is presented in Scripture relative to faith and morals, but we must hold to everything that happens to be included therein.  Inasmuch as Scripture has been written by an immediate and divine impulse and all the Scriptures recognize Him as their author who cannot err or be mistaken in any way (Heb. 6:18), no untruth or error lapse can be ascribed to the God-breathed Scriptures, lest God Himself be accused.”

Turrettin, Institutio Theologiae Elencticae (Genevae, 1688), 1.79:  “We deny that there are any true and real contradictions in Scripture.  Our reasons are as follows:  namely, that Scripture is God breathed (2 Tim. 3:16), that the Word of God cannot lie or be ignorant of what has happened (Ps. 19:8.9; Heb. 6:18) and cannot be set aside (Matt. 5:18), that is shall remain forever (1 Pet. 1:25), and that it is the Word of truth (John 17:17).  Now how could such things be predicated of Scripture if it were not free of contradictions, or if God were to allow the holy writers to err and lose their memory or were to allow hopeless blunders to enter into the Scriptures?”

Tromp, De Sacrae Scripturae Inspiratione (Romae, 1953) 121:  “Everything which is contained in sacred Scripture, as attested by the author and in the sense intended by him is infallibly true.”

J. I. Packer, “Fundamentalism” and the Word of God (Grand Rapids:  Eerdmans, 1958) 95:  “Scripture is termed infallible and inerrant to express the conviction that all its teaching is the utterance of God ‘who cannot lie,’ whose word, once spoken, abides for ever, and that therefore it may be trusted implicitly.”[54]

[Luther, Weimarer Ausgabe, 10.3.162:]  If a different way to heaven existed, no doubt God would have recorded it, but there is no other way.  Therefore, let us cling to these words, firmly place and rest our hearts upon them….  Therefore no matter what happens, you should say:  There is God’s Word,  This is my rock and anchor.  On it I reply, and it remains.  Where it remains, I, too, remain; where it goes, I, too, go.  The Word must stand, for God cannot lie;  and heaven and earth must go to ruins before the most insignificant letter or tittle of His Word remains unfulfilled.[55]

Biblical inerrancy is not a doctrine that can be proven by an a posteriori deductive argument.[56] It is a position that is accepted a priori,[57] on faith, and not by reason.[58] The many Biblical and historical references that support inerrancy are completely valid only if one accepts inerrancy.  If one does not accept inerrancy, these same references can be interpreted as supporting only partial inerrancy, that is, the inerrancy of the true Word of God contained within the Scriptures.  Yet inerrancy is not an irrational belief, for an omnipotent, omniscience, infinite and perfect God is capable of working through humans, through the process of Divine Inspiration, to create His Word for us in an inerrant form.  Most, if not all, of the biblical contradictions or inconsistencies can be explained by the use of linguistic studies, textual criticism and literary techniques.  If there are any  remaining inconsistencies that we do not understand, it is also accepted by faith that one should submit our reason to the reason of God.  The biblical and historical references support inerrancy but they support and confirm a belief accepted on faith, they do not prove an argument based upon reason.

I believe that the Bible is the Inspired and Inerrant Word of God.  Yet I cannot explain my reasons for believing this doctrine, nor can I fashion a convincing argument which would convince a sceptic.  I know that my belief in a Inspired and Inerrant Scriptures is somehow related to my belief in an omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent and omnibenevolent God, yet I cannot explain fully explain the nature of that relationship, except to say that I believe the former to be logically consistent with the latter.  I also know that one’s salvation is not dependent upon belief in Biblical inerrancy.

The divisions within Christianity over this issue have created a sad and regrettable situation.  Within Lutheranism, the two opposing sides in this issue are so very, very close, and yet they are separated by an impassable chasm.  They cannot even engage in meaningful dialogue on this issue, for the one side has arrived at their position through reason, whereas the other side has accepted their position on faith, without the use of reason.  Perhaps the best that they can hope for is to agree to disagree on this issue, and work together wherever possible in areas of mutual concern.  After all, when it comes to eternal salvation, they are on the same side, are they not?


Augustine of Hippo.  The Confessions of St. Augustine.  Translated by Rex Warner.  New York:  Mentor, 1963.

Bettenson, Henry, ed.  The Early Christian Fathers.  Edited and translated by Henry Bettenson. Oxford:  Oxford University Press, 1956.

Bratcher, Dennis.  The Modern Inerrancy Debate.  1988.  [online]  Available: (downloaded:  November 10, 1998).

Cole, Stewart G.   The History of Fundamentalism.  Hamden, Conn.: Archon Books, 1963.

Ditmanson, Harold H.  “Perspectives on the Hermeneutics Debate.”  In Studies in Lutheran Hermeneutics, edited by John Reumann in collaboration with Samuel H. Nafzger and Harold H. Ditmanson, 77-105.  Philadelphia:  Fortress Press, 1979.

Froehlich, Karlfried.  “Problems of Lutheran Hermeneutics.”  In Studies in Lutheran Hermeneutics, edited by John Reumann in collaboration with Samuel H. Nafzger and Harold H. Ditmanson, 127-141.  Philadelphia:  Fortress Press, 1979.

Gish, Duane T.  The Amazing Story of Creation.  El Cajon, CA:  Institute for Creation Research, 1990.

Hagglund, Bengt.  History of Theology.  Translated by Gene J. Lund.  St. Louis, MO:  Concordia, 1968.

Hordern, William.  A Layman’s Guide to Protestant Theology.  New York:  MacMillan, 1955.

Kittelson, James M.  Luther The Reformer:  The Story of the Man and His Career.  Minneapolis:  Augsburg, 1986.

Lindsell, Harold.  “An Historian Looks at Inerrancy.”  In Evangelicals and Inerrancy, edited by Ronald Youngblood, 49-58.  Nashville, Tenn.:  Thomas Nelson, 1984.

Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod.  Commission on Theological and Church Relations.  The Inspiration of Scripture.  March 1995.  [online]  Available:  (downloaded:  November 10, 1998).

Merriman, John.  A History of Modern Europe:  From the Renaissance to the Present. New York:  Norton, 1996.

Morris, Henry M.  “Evolution, Thermodynamics, Entropy.”  Impact No. 3.  1973.  [online]  Available:  (Downloaded on October 4, 1998).

Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church, The. “Friedrich Daniel Ernst Schleiermacher.” Edited by F. L. Cross.  London: Oxford University Press, 1957.

Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church, The. “Form Criticism.”  Edited by F. L. Cross.  London: Oxford University Press, 1957.

Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church, The. “Higher Criticism.” Edited by F. L. Cross.  London: Oxford University Press, 1957.

Pieper, Francis. Christian Dogmatics.  3 vols.  St. Loius, MO:  Concordia, 1950.

Pinnock, Clark H.  “Baptists and Biblical Authority.”  In Evangelicals and Inerrancy, edited by Ronald Youngblood, 147-160.  Nashville, Tenn.:  Thomas Nelson, 1984.

Preus, Robert.  “Notes on the Inerrancy of Scripture.”  In Evangelicals and Inerrancy, edited by Ronald Youngblood, 91-104.  Nashville, Tenn.:  Thomas Nelson, 1984.

Reumann, John. “The Lutheran Hermeneutics Study:  An Overview and Personal Appraisal.”  In Studies in Lutheran Hermeneutics, edited by John Reumann in collaboration with Samuel H. Nafzger and Harold H. Ditmanson, 1-76.  Philadelphia:  Fortress Press, 1979.

S[hattuck], G[ardiner] H., Jr. “Inerrancy.” The Encyclopedia of American Religious History. 2 vols.  New York:  Facts On File, 1996.

Woodbridge, J. D.   “Inerrancy controversy.” Dictionary of Christianity in America, edited by Daniel G. Reid.  Downers Grove, Ill.:  Inter Varsity Press, 1990.

[1] Henry Bettenson, ed., The Early Christian Fathers, edited and translated by Henry Bettenson, (Oxford:  Oxford University Press, 1956), pp. 89-92.

[2] John Merriman, A History of Modern Europe:  From the Renaissance to the Present, (New York:  W. W. Norton & Co., 1996), pp. 402-407.

[3] Bengt Hagglund, History of Theology, translated by Gene J. Lund, (St. Louis, MO:  Concordia, 1968), p. 346.

[4] Hagglund, pp. 348-349.

[5] The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church (ODCC), “Friedrich Daniel Ernst Schleiermacher,” edited by F. L. Cross, (London: Oxford University Press, 1957), pp. 1223-1224.

[6] Hagglund, p. 349.

[7] Hagglund. pp. 353-354.

[8] William Hordern, A Layman’s Guide to Protestant Theology, (New York:  MacMillan, 1955), p. 53.

[9] Hagglund, p. 350.

[10] Harold Lindsell, “An Historian Looks at Inerrancy,” in Evangelicals and Inerrancy, edited by Ronald Youngblood, 49-58 (Nashville, Tenn.:  Thomas Nelson, 1984),  pp. 53-54.

[11] Lindsell, p. 54. (cf. Stewart G. Cole, The History of Fundamentalism, (Hamden, Conn.: Archon Books, 1963), pp. 52-62.)

[12]G[ardiner] H. S[hattuck], Jr., “Inerrancy,” The Encyclopedia of American Religious History,  (ARH), 2 vols., (New York:  Facts On File, 1996), Vol. I, pp. 313-314.

[13] G[ardiner] H. S[hattuck], Jr., “Inerrancy,” ARH, Vol. I, p. 314, and J. D. Woodbridge, “Inerrancy controversy,” Dictionary of Christianity in America, (DCA),  edited by Daniel G. Reid, (Downers Grove, Ill.:  Inter Varsity Press, 1990), p. 575.

[14] Woodbridge, “Inerrancy controversy,” DCA, p. 575.

[15] Woodbridge, “Inerrancy controversy,” DCA, p. 575.

[16] Woodbridge, “Inerrancy controversy,” DCA, pp. 670-672

[17] Francis Pieper, Christian Dogmatics, 3 vols., (St. Loius, MO:  Concordia, 1950), Vol. I, pp. 213-214.

[18] Pieper, Christian Dogmatics ,Vol. I, pp. 265-266.

[19] Harold H. Ditmanson, “Perspectives on the Hermeneutics Debate,” in Studies in Lutheran Hermeneutics, edited by John Reumann in collaboration with Samuel H. Nafzger and Harold H. Ditmanson, 77-105, (Philadelphia:  Fortress Press, 1979), pp. 80-81.

[20] Augustine of Hippo, The Confessions of St. Augustine, translated by Rex Warner, (New York:  Mentor, 1963), Bk. 5.14,  pp. 108-109.

[21] James M. Kittelson, Luther The Reformer:  The Story of the Man and His Career, (Minneapolis:  Augsburg, 1986), pp. 177-178.

[22] Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod (LCMS),  Commission on Theological and Church Relations, The Inspiration of Scripture, March 1995, [online]  Available:  (downloaded:  November 10, 1998), Sec. III.B.

[23] John Reumann, “The Lutheran Hermeneutics Study:  An Overview and Personal Appraisal,” in Studies in Lutheran Hermeneutics, edited by John Reumann in collaboration with Samuel H. Nafzger and Harold H. Ditmanson, 1-76, (Philadelphia:  Fortress Press, 1979),  p. 52.

[24] ODCC, “Form Criticism,” p. 514.

[25] ODCC, “Higher Criticism,” p. 637.

[26] Reumann, p. 52.

[27] Henry M. Morris, “Evolution, Thermodynamics, Entropy,” Impact No. 3, 1973, [online]  Available:  (Downloaded on October 4, 1998).

[28] Duane T. Gish, The Amazing Story of Creation, (El Cajon, CA:  Institute for Creation Research, 1990), pp.49-65, 78-86.

[29] Pieper, Christian Dogmatics,  Vol. I, p. 292.

[30] Karlfried Froehlich, “Problems of Lutheran Hermeneutics,” in Studies in Lutheran Hermeneutics, edited by John Reumann in collaboration with Samuel H. Nafzger and Harold H. Ditmanson, 127-141, (Philadelphia:  Fortress Press, 1979), p. 127.

[31] 2 Timothy 3:16-17 (NIV).

[32] Romans 3:2. (For footnotes 32 to 42, cf. Pieper, Vol. I, pp. 214-215.)

[33] Acts 28:25-26, cf. Isaiah 6:9-10.

[34] Hebrews 3:7-8, cf. Psalm 95:7-11.

[35] John 10:35.

[36] Matthew 1:22-23, cf. Isaiah 7:14.

[37] John 17:12.

[38] Matthew 26:53-54.

[39] Luke 24:44.

[40] 1 Peter 1:10-12.

[41] 1 Corinthians 14:37.

[42] 2 Corinthians 13:2-3.

[43] Psalm 119:43.  (For footnotes 43-53, cf. Robert Preus, “Notes on the Inerrancy of Scripture,” in Evangelicals and Inerrancy, edited by Ronald Youngblood, 91-104, (Nashville, Tenn.:  Thomas Nelson, 1984), pp. 92-93)

[44] Psalm 119:86.

[45] Psalm 119:142.

[46] Psalm 119:160.

[47] John 17:17,19.

[48] 2 Samuel 7:28.

[49] Psalm 33:4.

[50] Colossians 1: 3-6.

[51] 2 Timothy 2:17-18.

[52] 2 Timothy 3:8.

[53] Titus 1:1.

[54] Robert Preus, “Notes on the Inerrancy of Scripture,” in Evangelicals and Inerrancy, edited by Ronald Youngblood, 91-104, (Nashville, Tenn.:  Thomas Nelson, 1984),   pp. 92-93.

[55] Clark H Pinnock, “Baptists and Biblical Authority,” in Evangelicals and Inerrancy, edited by Ronald Youngblood, 147-160, (Nashville, Tenn.:  Thomas Nelson, 1984), p. 149.

[56] Pieper, Christian Dogmatics, Vol. I, p. 269.

[57] Pieper, Christian Dogmatics, Vol. I, p. 238.

[58] cf. Dennis Bratcher, The Modern Inerrancy Debate, 1988, [online]  Available: (downloaded:  November 10, 1998).


    1. I read your post. (Nice blog template, by the way.) So if everyone is subjective, as you say in your blog, does that necessarily invalidate religious discourse? If so, why is religious discourse invalidated and not other types of discourse, like discourse about religious discourse? (I am being cheeky here, but I am trying to make a serious point.)


  1. Hi James,

    I’m about to write a new blog of what the Bible really is very soon and found your post via Google. I like the historical analysis, but I would like to clarify one point. You say that generally an allegorical reading is additional to a literal reading, but even if it the only way the scripture is read then it does not disagree with the doctrine of inerrancy (I am pretty sure I have read this correctly). Can this be true? Furthermore, if it is true then what limits which verse we can read allegorically? If we can read one verse in a symbolic sense then surely it is permissible to use all verses in a symbolic sense.

    A defence of Biblical inerrancy does not interest me much because I see if being necessarily circular. By that I mean it is backed up by a number of Bible verses that can only be used as a defence of inerrancy if they assumed to be part of one inerrant document that is free from contradiction. Do you see this as being a major problem?


  2. Interesting Post, Long but interesting.

    If this topic really interest, my next few post on my blog will be about inerrancy, I will actually have a guest post from an atheist and a christian on the topic.


  3. The Biblical History can be proven inerrant by these means.

    Historical connections are solidly made when we correlate Assyrian, Babylonian, Biblical, Cushite,Egyptian and Elamite cross references together showing where Israel’s history coincides with five other ancient nations.

    The three key years are: 711 B.C., 653 B.C. and 586 B.C. These three dates help lock in the chronological order in this research as we close the gaps in this time period.

    The year 711 B.C. is the actual year Assyrian king Sennacherib attacked Jerusalem in his first year as we shall witness. His reign did not start in 705 B.C. Babylon’s king Merodach-Baladan wrote Israel’s king Hezekiah letters in 711 B.C. Cushite/Ethiopian king Tirhakah soldiers marched against Assyrian king Sennacherib and the Lord destroyed 185,000 Assyrian soldiers outside Jerusalem. Elamite king Shutruk-Nahhunte tried to secure Merodach-Baladan on Babylon’s throne but he failed. Merodach-Baladan who had fled Assyrian king Sargon II in his later years now reigns 711-709 B.C. flees for a second time to Elam.

    The year 653 B.C. The Assyrian king Ashur-Banipal destroys his brother king of Babylon Shamash-Shum-Ukin’s army. Elamite king Tammaritu II who joined Shamash-Shum-Ukin’s rebellion is also defeated. Egyptian king Psamtik I’s southern border with Cush is quiet since Cushite king Tanutamun died in 656 B.C. so Psamtik I in 653 B.C. declares independence from Assyria. The Assyrian king Ashur-Banipal sends no soldiers to fight Psamtik I. Egypt has won its freedom.

    The year 586 B.C. is when Babylon’s king Nebuchadnezzer army storms Jerusalem and the Jews are now escorted to Babylon where they will remain until Cyrus the Persian wins victory over the Babylonians.

    Assyrian kings: Tiglath-Pilesar III 753-735 B.C. Shalmaneser V 734-729 B.C. Sargon II 728-712 B.C. Sennacherib 711-688 B.C. Esarhaddon 687-676 B.C. Ashur-Banipal 675-633 B.C. Ashur-Etil-ilani 632-629 B.C. & his brother Sin-Shum-Ishkun fight against general Sin-Shum-Lishir in a bloody civil war. Ashur-Eitil-ilani is slain by his brother Sin-Shum-Ishkun only having one year of peace 628-627 B.C. Sin-Shum-Ishkun then reigns over Assyria 626-612 B.C. Ashur-Uballit II 611-605 B.C.

    (Sennacherib’s reign actually began in Judah’s king Hezekiah’s 14th year 711 B.C. Jerusalem was his first priority. Merodach-Baladan wrote Hezekiah letters (Isaiah 39:1) hoping the Hebrews might form a military alliance with him some historians believe to fight the Assyrians. From Sennacherib’s reign backwards and forward Assyrian chronology is formulated.)

    Babylonian kings: Merodach-Baladan 728-716 B.C. Sargon has control over Babylon 716-712 B.C. Merodach-Baladan fights Assyrian king Sennacherib 711-709 B.C. The Assyrians win victory and Sennacherib appoints Bel-Ibni to govern north Babylon 709-706 B.C. Ashur-Nadin-Shum 706-700 B.C. Sennacherib’s son taken prisoner by Elamite king Hallutush-Inshushinak 707-700 B.C. who appoints Nergal-Ushezib as Babylonian king in 700 B.C. Nergal-Ushezib is taken captive by the Assyrians.Babylonian king Mushezib-Marduk 700-695 B.C. unites forces with Elamite king Humban-Nimena 700-694B.C. against Assyrian king Sennacherib who destroys their army, yet the Babylonian chronicles state Humban-Nimena won the war stating Humban-Nimena died a natural death. Sennacherib completely destroys Babylon 695-687 B.C. Its inhabitants return when the city is rebuilt. Esarhaddon reigns over both Assyria and Babylon 687-675 B.C. Esarhaddon rebuilds Babylon. Shamash-Shum-Ukin 675-653 B.C. Kandalanu 653-632 B.C. Sin-Shum-Ishkun 632-626 B.C. has control over Babylon. Came to power in Assyria in 626 B.C. Loses Babylon to Nabopolassar in 626 B.C. Nabopolassar 626-605 B.C. reigns over Babylon. Nebuchadnezzer 605-562 B.C. reigns over Babylon.

    Biblical Judean kings: Ahaz 741-725 B.C.(2 Kings 16:2) Hezekiah 725-696 B.C. (2 Kings 18:2) Manasseh 696-641 B.C. (2 Kings 21:1) Amon 641-639 B.C. (2 Kings 21:19) Josiah 639-608 B.C. (2 Kings 22:1) Jehoahaz 608 B.C. (2 Kings 23:31) Jehoiakim 608-597 B.C. (2 Kings 23:36) Jehoichin 597 B.C. (2 Kings 24:8) Zedekiah 597-586 B.C. (2 Kings 24:18) Israel kings: Pekah 758-738 B.C. (2 Kings 15:27) Hoshea 738-729 B.C.

    Cushite kings: Piankhi 759-728 B.C. Shabaka 728-714 B.C. Shebitku 714-698 B.C. reigns over Egypt. Tirhakah 714-698 B.C. reigns over Ethiopia. (2 Kings 19:9) Tirhakah reigns over both Ethiopia and Egypt 698-672 B.C. Egyptian king Necho I 672-664 B.C. slain by Tanutamun who flees when the Assyrians invade Egypt, he resides in Ethiopia reigning there 664-656 B.C.

    Egyptian kings: Necho I 672-664 B.C. Psamtik I 664-610 B.C. Necho II 610-595 B.C. Psamtik II 595-589 B.C. Apries (Hophra) 589-570 B.C.

    Elamite kings: Humban-Nikash 750-725 B.C. Shutruk-Nahhunte II 725-707 B.C. Hallutush-Inshushinak 707-700 B.C. Kudur-Nahunte 700 B.C. Humban-Nimena 700-694 B.C. Humban-Haltash I 694-687 B.C. Humban-Haltash II 687-681 B.C. Urtaki 681-669 B.C. Tempt-Humban-Inshushinak 669-659 B.C. Elamite king Ummanigash 659-657 B.C. set upon the Elamite throne by Assyrian king Ashur-Banipal betrayed the Assyrian leader.Ummanigash is dethroned by Elamite king Tammaritu I 657-654 B.C. of Hidalu. Tammaritu I also becomes anti-Assyrian. He prepares to go to war against Ashur-banipal and prince Indabibi 655-654 B.C. defeats Tammaritu I’s army before it reaches the Assyrians. Elamite king Tammaritu II 654-653 B.C. slays Indabibi and rebels against the Assyrians and he is captured. Humban-Haltash III 653-649 B.C. Egyptian king Psamtik I in 653 B.C. declares independence from Assyria. Egypt is free from Assyrian rule. The Assyrians completely destroy Elam in Humban-Haltash’s III reign in 649 B.C.

    Cushite king Piankhi 759-728 B.C. 21st year invades Egypt in 738 B.C. at the same time Israel’s king Hoshea in 738 B.C. assassinated Pekah. (2 Kings 15:30) Judah’s king Ahaz 741-725 B.C. had joined a military alliance with Assyrian king Tiglath-Pileser III in 740 B.C. (2 Kings 16:7) Assyrian historians recorded Tiglath-Pileser III 753-735 B.C. had witnessed Hoshea 738-729 B.C. becoming the Israel king. Assyrian king Shalmaneser V 734-729 B.C. then came up against Hoshea. (2 Kings 17:3-4) Cushite king Piankhi controlled Egypt and Osorkon IV (So) 740-725 B.C. was his vassal reigning in Egypt’s delta. Hoshea wanted So to help him wage a war against Shalmaneser V. (2 Kings 17:3-4) Hoshea’s plot is discovered and the Assyrians put an end to Hoshea’s kingdom as most of the population is carried off to Assyria. Judah’s king Hezekiah 725-696 B.C. invites those who escaped out of Assyria’s hands to turn to the Lord. (2 Chronicles 30:6) Osorkon IV later brings Sargon II 728-712 B.C. horses as tribute.

    Assyrian king Sargon II 728-712 B.C. goes to war against Elamite king Humban-Nikash 750-725 B.C. and Babylon’s king Merodach-Baladan at Der in 727 B.C. The Elamites and Babylonians win victory. Sargon II then wars against the Egyptians and Ethiopians lead by Egyptian Cushite king Shabaka 728-714 B.C. Sargon II wins victory against Shabaka in 726 B.C. (Isaiah 20:1-5) Sargon II had skirmishes with Babylon’s king Merodach-Baladan 728-716 B.C. Merodach-Baladan becomes friends with Elamite king Shutruk-Nahunte 725-707 B.C. Sargon invades Babylon in 716 B.C. and Merodach-Baladan flees to Elam. Merodach-Baladan later in Assyrian king Sennacherib’s reign sent letters to Judah’s king Hezekiah 725-696 B.C. around 711 B.C. (2 Kings 20:12)

    Assyrian king Sennacherib 711-688 B.C. 1st year 711 B.C. he attacks Israel in Hezekiah 725-696 B.C. in Hezekiah’s 14th year in 711 B.C. (2 Kings 18:13) ETHIOPIAN king Tirhakah did not do much to help Judah’s king Hezekiah.(2 Kings 19:9-10)It was the Lord who slew 185,000 Assyrians. (2 Kings 19:35) Elamite king Shutruk-Nahunte II 725-707 B.C. generals and staff officers are killed by Sennacherib’s army trying to place Merodach-Baladan back on the Babylonian throne 711-709 B.C. Merodach-Baladan flees again to Elam. Elamite king Hallutush-Inshushinak 707-700 B.C. makes poor judgement taking Sennacherib’s son Ashur-Nadin-Shum 706-700 B.C. as prisoner. Elamite kings: Hallutush-Inshushinak had fled his throne when he saw the Assyrian army coming. Kudur-Nahhunte briefly reigns over Elam in 700 B.C. Humban-Nimeana 700-694 B.C. army drove their chariots over dead soldiers to get away from the Assyrians. Humban-Nimeana suffers a stroke and the Assyrians win victory against the Elamites in Babylon. Elamite king Humban-Haltash I 694-687 B.C. tries restoring diplomatic relations with Assyria but he fails.

    Assyrian king Esarhaddon 687-676 B.C. goes to war against EGYPTIAN king Tirhakah 698-672 B.C. and the Assyrians win victory. Esarhaddon takes Judah king Manasseh 696-641 B.C. as prisoner. (2 Chronicles 33:11) Elamite king Humban-Haltash II 687-681 B.C. goes about robbing, raping and pillaging while on his way to attack Sippar while Esarhaddon was fighting other enemies. Tirhakah rebels when Assyrian troops leave Egypt. Esarhaddon and Elamite king Urtaki 681-669 B.C. live in peace. Esarhaddon dies enroute to do battle again against Tirhakah.

    Assyrian king Ashur-Banipal 675-633 B.C. defeats Tirhakah in 672 B.C. Tirhakah flees Memphis. Necho I 672-664 B.C. is placed upon the Egyptian throne. (Egyptian priest Manetho stated Necho I had an 8 year reign.) Elamite king Urtaki 681-669 B.C. receives grain from Ashur-Banipal during a famine striking Elam.Urtaki is ungrateful. Urtaki sees the Assyrians are having trouble with Egypt. Urtaki attacks Babylon in 669 B.C. The Assyrian army chases Urtaki and the Elamite king collapsed and died. Cushite king Tanutamun rebels against Assyria by invading Egypt’s delta slaying Necho I and Ashur-Banipal places Psamtik I 664-610 B.C. on the Egyptian throne as Tanutamun flees to Ethiopia reigning there 664-656 B.C. Ashur-Banipal sends soldiers to the King of Lydia and they defeat the Cimmerians in 663 B.C. Psamtik I expels Assyrian garrisons in Egypt’s delta 660-653 B.C. starting stirring up unrest while Ashur-Banipal is fighting Elamite king Tempt-Humban-Inshushinak and Psamtik I drives them completely out when the same year Babylon’s king Shamash-Shum-Ukin’s government falls in 653 B.C. Psamtik I declares Egypt totally independent in 653 B.C. Ashur-Banipal learns the King of Lydia had betrayed him by supporting Psamtik I and Ashur-Banipal lets the Cimmerians take over Lydia in 652 B.C.

    Elamite king Tempt-Humban-Inshushinak 669-659 B.C. relatives do not want war. They flee to Ashur-Banipal’s royal court. Tempt-Humban-Inshushinak suffers a stroke in the 10th year he reigns. War erupts. An Assyrian soldier cuts off his head. Elamite king Ummanigash 659-657 B.C. betrays Assyrian king Ashur-banipal who set him upon the Elamite throne. Ummanigash joins Babylon’s king Shamash-Shum-Ukin rebellion against Assyria.Ummanigash is dethroned by Tammaritu I king of Hidalu 657-654 B.C. who is also anti-Assyrian and prepares to go to war against Ashur-banipal. Prince Indabibi 655-654 B.C. is pro-Assyrian in this Elamite civil war and he crushes Tammaritu I’s forces before they reach the Assyrians. Elamite king Tammaritu II 654-653 B.C. slays Indabibi. Tammaritu II rebels and he is hauled away to Assyria.

    Assyrian king Ashur-Banipal’s brother Shamash-Shum-Ukin reigning over Babylon since 675-653 B.C. betrays him. Three Elamite kings had joined Shamash-Shum-Ukin’s army. The Assyrians take over Babylon in 653 B.C. Ashur-Banipal appoints Kandalanu as governor who reigns over Babylon 653-632 B.C. Egyptian king Psamtik I declares Egypt independent in 653 B.C. The Assyrians don’t respond and Egypt is free from Assyrian rule.

    Assyrian king Ashur-Banipal defeats Elamite king Humban-Haltash III 653-649 B.C. The Assyrians destroy the Elamite nation. Ashur-Banipal is the Biblical Asnapper. He set the Elamite natives to colonize the cities of Samaria. (Ezra 4:9-10) Ashur-Banipal also let Judah’s king Manasseh return to Israel. Ashur-Banipal goes to war against the Arabs 649-646 B.C. The years 645-633 B.C. Ashur-Banipal’s records are silent.

    Assyrian kings Ashur-Etil-ilani and Sin-Shum-Ishkun 632-629 B.C. fight a bloody civil war against Assyrian general Sin-Shum-Lishir which weakens Assyria. Ashur-Etil-ilani wins victory.Ashur-Etil-ilani is slain by his brother Sin-Shum-Ishkun having only one year of peace 628-627 B.C. Sin-Shum-Ishkun 626-612 B.C. fights Babylonian king Nabopolassar and the Babylonians and Cyaxares win victory. Sin-Shum-Ishkun dies in his burning palace. Assyrian general Ashur-Ballit II 611-605 B.C. army is saved at Charchemish when Egyptian troops lead by Necho II 610-595 B.C. join forces together.

    Necho II was on his way to help the Assyrians when Judah’s king Josiah 639-608 B.C. tried stopping him and Josiah was slain. (2 Chronicles 35:20-26) Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzer 605-562 B.C. destroys the Assyrian nation in 605 B.C. Nebuchadnezzer 8th year he took Jehoichin captive in 597 B.C. (2 Kings 24:12) Nebuchadnezzer took over Jerusalem in 586 B.C. Zedekiah’s 11th year. (2 Kings 25:1-2) Egyptian king Psamtik II 595-589 B.C. fights the Nubians at the fourth cataract. Egyptian king Apries (Hophra) 589-570 B.C. sends troops to help Israel’s king Zedekiah 597-586 B.C. but Hophra’s troops flee Nebuchadnezzer’s forces. (Jeremiah 44:30) Hophra is killed by one of his generals.

    ow can man deny the Bible when both history and prophecy are accurate?

    s here the Biblical historical accuracy. The Jews who wrote our Bible have told us the truth. God bless Israel!


  4. Thank you for this post (which I found through the BitterSweet End blog). I’m not in an inerrantist (in fact, I don’t believe in God), but this discussion is of great interest to me. You gave some arguments I hadn’t considered before, and the footnotes were really helpful.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s