Baptist Views On The Bible

Herschel Hobbs
President, Southern Baptist Convention
Chairman, Baptist Faith and Message Committee (1963)

Infallible has two meanings; one is "without error" the other that "it fulfills its intended function." A dull knife can be an infallible knife if you use it to cut butter. You will weaken the statement by putting in that word. I know it's your pet word, and it's the pet word of a lot of people, but it isn't as strong as the words "without any mixture of error."
--from Interview Concerning Hobbs' Defense of Baptist Faith and Message Wording on the Bible

John A. Broadus
Professor of New Testament Interpretation and Homiletics,
Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (1859 – 1895)

The inspired writers learned many things by observation or inquiry, but they were preserved by the Holy Spirit from error whether in learning or in writing these things.

…Those who concede errors in the Scriptures as to matter of fact, in order to remove conflict with some scientific opinions of our time, may tell us that they have great satisfaction in being at peace with science. But there are two drawbacks upon such a peace. It is the peace of sheer submission. …And it is only a partial and temporary peace. Other scientific men at once make still further demands, tending ever toward the complete abandonment of the supernatural. …If we assume that the inspiration of the Bible is only partial where are we to stop? Every man must then select adlibitum what portions of the Bible's teachings he will accept as true.
--A Catechism of Bible Teaching (1893); Three Questions as to the Bible (1883)

James P. Boyce

First President, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
President, Southern Baptist Convention, (1872-79,1888)

How came it (the Bible) to be written? God inspired holy men to write it. Did they write it exactly as God wished? Yes; as much as if He had written every word himself. Ought it, therefore, to be believed and obeyed? Yes; as much as though God had spoken directly to us.

--A Brief Catechism of Bible Doctrine

Peculiar obligations rest upon those to whom are entrusted the education of the rising Ministry. God in His mercy preserve the instructors from the crime of teaching a single error, however unimportant, and grant unto all our Boards the grace necessary for faithfulness to the trusts devolved upon them, that false doctrine, however trifling, may receive no countenance.

You will infringe the right of no man, and you will secure the rights of those who have established here an instrumentality for the production of a sound ministry. It is no hardship to those who teach here, to be called upon to sign the declaration of their principles, for there are fields of usefulness open elsewhere to every man, and none need accept your call who can not conscientiously sign your formulary.

Playing upon the prejudices of the weak and ignorant among our people, decrying creeds and an infringement upon the rights of conscience, making a deep impression by his extensive learning and great abilities, Alexander Campbell threatened at one time the total destruction of our faith.
--Inaugural Address, Furman University (1856)

John L. Dagg
President, Mercer University

…what was spoken and written by inspiration, came with as high authority as if it had proceeded from God without the use of human instrumentality. …Their peculiarities of thought, feeling, and style, had no more effect to prevent what they spoke and wrote from being the word of God, than their peculiarities of voice or of chirography. The question, whether inspiration extended to the very words of revelation, as well as to the thoughts and reasoning, is answered by Paul: "We preach, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth."
--Manual of Theology (1857)

A.T. Robertson
Professor of New Testament Interpretation
Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (1895-1934)

(God) gave a revelation to make it free from errors, I believe He first made it inerrant as He made nature so. Hence, I boldly hold that the analogy of nature is in favor of inerrancy of God's original scriptures. ...Why in the world is it that there is such a terrible contention by destructive higher critics? ...I think I can tell. The school wants to change the whole order... they wish to get an entering wedge by having it admit that there were inaccuracies... in order to shift and change the order of the Word to suit themselves.
--"The Relative Authority of Scripture and Reason"