Argument from scriptural inerrancy

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The argument from scriptural inerrancy states that a holy book is free from errors and therefore had a divine origin. The argument is often stated in a way similar to Surah 4:82 Bible-icon.png,

"Do they not then consider the Qur’an carefully? Had it been from other than Allah, they would surely have found therein much contradictions."

The argument is related to the deductive argument from design because every other source of inerrancy, apart from God, is rule out.

Contents

Formal argument

  1. A particular holy book is inerrant.
  2. Humans could not have been entirely responsible for writing because that would introduce error.
  3. From (2), There is no other way of achieving in errancy apart from a divine source.
  4. From (1) and (3), the writing was coordinated divine source.
  5. From (4), God exists.

Specific holy books

Qur'an

Mainstream Islam considers the Qur'an to be inspired by God and free from corruption, distortion or any change. [1] As stated in Surah 4:82 Bible-icon.png, this implies a divine origin.

Christianity

While some Christians believe that the Bible is inerrant, Christian apologetics tends to focus on the Bible's internal evidence to establish the existence of God, rather than considering the overall characteristics of the book as proof enough. While acknowledging the many authors of the Bible, Mike Culpepper argued that the Bible contains inter-author consistences that are "most assuredly beyond the writing abilities of any human". [2] His aim is to establish the Bible is the word of God "not necessarily based on what it says [...] but how it was put together". [3]

Another example of argument of inerrancy to authenticate the Bible: [4]

XX. BECAUSE OF ITS INTEGRITY
No internal contradictions, nor external contradictions, exist in the Bible. Of course, there are some "apparent contradictions," but those are left by God to confuse skeptics destitute of faith and confirm the faith of those willing to study with a believing heart.

Typically, once the Bible is established as true, the argument move on to consider the existence of God based on the Bible's internal evidence.

Counter arguments

Inaccurate scientific and historical statements

Holy books include numerous contradictions and absurdities. This includes the Bible and the Qur'an. [5]

Different versions exist

Multiple versions of each holy book exist. They can't all be right but they can all be wrong.

Different variants of the Qur'an exist, quotations from ancient sources are in disagreement and it was written down decades after the death of Muhammad. [6] [7]

Circular claims

The claim of inerrancy is often supported by the holy book itself, [8] which is a circular argument.

In the case of the Qur'an, it is said to be flawless classical Arabic. However, classic Arabic is defined as that which is found in the Qur'an, making the argument circular. [9]

Fallible humans

If humans are incapable of writing an inerrant book, they are also incapable of evaluating if a book is inerrant.

References

  1. Understanding the Qurán - Page xii, Ahmad Hussein Sakr - 2000
  2. Press release, "Author Provides New Proof That Bible is Truly Word of God", February 20, 2014 [1]
  3. Mike Culpepper, Fitly Framed Together: The Bible", WestBowPress 2013, p.2
  4. Greenville Church, "Why I Believe the Bible", retrieved 4th Apr 2014 [2]
  5. Contradictions in the Quran [3]
  6. Harold C. Felder, The Qur'an: Heavenly or Human?
  7. History of the Quran, Wikipedia
  8. Rose Ave. Church of Christ, "The Bible is complete and perfect", retrieved 4th Apr 2014 [4]
  9. [5]

See also


v · d Arguments for the existence of god
Anthropic arguments   Anthropic principle · Natural-law argument
Arguments for belief   Pascal's Wager · Argument from faith · Just hit your knees
Christological arguments   Argument from scriptural miracles · Would someone die for a lie? · Liar, Lunatic or Lord
Cosmological arguments   Argument from aesthetic experience · Argument from contingency · Cosmological argument · Fine-tuning argument · Kalam · Leibniz cosmological argument · Principle of sufficient reason · Unmoved mover · Why is there something rather than nothing?
Majority arguments   Argument from admired religious scientists
Moral arguments   Argument from justice · Divine command theory
Ontological argument   Argument from degree · Argument from desire · Origin of the idea of God
Dogmatic arguments   Argument from divine sense · Argument from uniqueness
Teleological arguments   Argument from design · Banana argument · 747 Junkyard argument · Laminin argument · Argument from natural disasters
Testimonial arguments   Argument from observed miracles · Personal experience · Argument from consciousness · Emotional pleas · Efficacy of prayer
Transcendental arguments   God created numbers · Argument from the meaning of life
Scriptural arguments   Scriptural inerrancy · Scriptural scientific foreknowledge · Scriptural codes
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