Here is my attempt to articulate a logical argument in support of inerrancy. By “inerrancy”, I refer here to the view that the affirmations of all human authors are true. I should stress that this is not a view I hold and I have little sympathy with this argument. But be that as it may, here it is.
- God is omniscient, omnipotent, and omnibenevolent.
- As omniscient, God would know if any false proposition was going to be written within the Bible with the intent that it be affirmed as true by a human author.
- As omnipotent, God would be able to prevent any false proposition from being written in the Bible with the intent that it be affirmed as true by a human author.
- As omnibenevolent, God would want to ensure that no false proposition was written in the Bible with the intent that it be affirmed as true by a human author.
- Therefore, there is no false proposition in the Bible written with the intent that it be affirmed as true by a human author.
To my mind, the Achille’s heel is premise 4. Why think that this is true? I can think of many reasons why it wouldn’t be true: for example, divine accommodation in pursuit of progressive revelation; the use of dynamic foils to make a deeper point within the text; evidence that statements in the Bible which were believed by particular human authors (e.g. statements of the movement of the sun; advice about the propriety of beating children; statements that God hates sinners) are false.
For those (and other) reasons, I conclude that 4 is false. God could have many reasons to include false propositions within the Bible that were believed to be true by the original authors who wrote them.