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Showing posts from November, 2015

Assessing Verbal Inspiration

What is the Bible? Lately I've been reading The Story of the Scrolls by Geza Vermes, and that in conjunction with recent post by James McGrath propelled me to tackle this topic here. Some in Evangelical circles answer this question by affirming that the Bible (or at least the original manuscripts) is the verbally inspired word of God, meaning that the words themselves are God's words and have some sort of inherently special properties or power. In this post I will explain why I don't think this is the right way to approach the Bible nor is it likely the way the earliest Christians understood the Scriptures. If it was, then one would expect to see the earliest Christians hold slavishly to literal interpretations and even slavishly to the literal wording of their Scriptures when quoting texts, since that is locus of God's power. I will explain that this was not the case, drawing from apostolic interpretation of the Hebrew Bible, early Christian scribal practices, and the…