Biblical infallibility

Biblical infallibility

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Biblical infallibility is the belief that what the Bible
Bible
The Bible refers to any one of the collections of the primary religious texts of Judaism and Christianity. There is no common version of the Bible, as the individual books , their contents and their order vary among denominations...

 says regarding matters of faith and Christian practice
Christianity
Christianity is a monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus as presented in canonical gospels and other New Testament writings...

 is wholly useful and true. It is the "belief that the Bible is completely trustworthy as a guide to salvation and the life of faith and will not fail to accomplish its purpose. Some equate 'inerrancy
Biblical inerrancy
Biblical inerrancy is the doctrinal position that the Bible is accurate and totally free of error, that "Scripture in the original manuscripts does not affirm anything that is contrary to fact." Some equate inerrancy with infallibility; others do not.Conservative Christians generally believe that...

' and 'infallibility'; others do not."

Infallibility and inerrancy


From dictionary definitions, Frame (2002) insists that "infalliblity" is a stronger term than "inerrancy." Inerrant' means there are no errors; 'infallible' means there can be no errors." Yet he agrees that "modern theologians insist on redefining that word also, so that it actually says less than 'inerrancy. Some denominations
Christian denomination
A Christian denomination is an identifiable religious body under a common name, structure, and doctrine within Christianity. In the Orthodox tradition, Churches are divided often along ethnic and linguistic lines, into separate churches and traditions. Technically, divisions between one group and...

 that teach infallibility hold that the historical or scientific details, which may be irrelevant to matters of faith and Christian practice, may contain errors. This contrasts with the doctrine of Biblical inerrancy
Biblical inerrancy
Biblical inerrancy is the doctrinal position that the Bible is accurate and totally free of error, that "Scripture in the original manuscripts does not affirm anything that is contrary to fact." Some equate inerrancy with infallibility; others do not.Conservative Christians generally believe that...

, which holds that the scientific, geographic, and historic details of the scriptural texts in their original manuscripts are completely true and without error, though the scientific claims of scripture must be interpreted in the light of the phenomenological
Phenomenology (science)
The term phenomenology in science is used to describe a body of knowledge that relates empirical observations of phenomena to each other, in a way that is consistent with fundamental theory, but is not directly derived from theory. For example, we find the following definition in the Concise...

 nature of the Biblical narratives. For example, Davis suggests "The Bible is inerrant if and only if it makes no false or misleading statements on any topic whatsoever. The Bible is infallible if and only if it makes no false or misleading statements on any matter of faith and practice."
In this sense it is seen as distinct from Biblical inerrancy
Biblical inerrancy
Biblical inerrancy is the doctrinal position that the Bible is accurate and totally free of error, that "Scripture in the original manuscripts does not affirm anything that is contrary to fact." Some equate inerrancy with infallibility; others do not.Conservative Christians generally believe that...

, but always accompanying it. The Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy
Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy
The Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy was formulated in October 1978 by more than 200 evangelical leaders at a conference sponsored by the International Council on Biblical Inerrancy, held in Chicago. The statement was designed to defend the position of Biblical inerrancy against a perceived...

 uses the term in this sense, saying, "Infallibility and inerrancy may be distinguished but not separated."

Biblical integrity


The idea of biblical integrity strengthens the concept of infallibility by suggesting that current Judeo-Christian
Judeo-Christian
Judeo-Christian is a term used in the United States since the 1940s to refer to standards of ethics said to be held in common by Judaism and Christianity, for example the Ten Commandments...

 biblical text is complete and without error (inerrant). The proposal suggests that the "integrity" of Biblical text—to include its present day message, purpose, and content—has never been corrupted or degraded.

Catholicism


There was a controversy during the Second Vatican Council
Second Vatican Council
The Second Vatican Council addressed relations between the Roman Catholic Church and the modern world. It was the twenty-first Ecumenical Council of the Catholic Church and the second to be held at St. Peter's Basilica in the Vatican. It opened under Pope John XXIII on 11 October 1962 and closed...

 on whether the Roman Catholic Church taught infallibility or inerrancy. Since then, the dispute has continued over how to interpret the encyclical Dei Verbum
Dei Verbum
Dei Verbum was promulgated by Pope Paul VI on November 18, 1965, following approval by the assembled bishops by a vote of 2,344 to 6.23...

.