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
weaken the statement by putting in that word. I know it's your pet
it's the pet word of a lot of people, but it isn't as strong as the
"without any mixture of error."
--from Interview Concerning Hobbs' Defense of Baptist Faith and Message Wording on the Bible
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.
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
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
our people, decrying creeds and an infringement upon the rights of
making a deep impression by his extensive learning and great abilities,
Alexander Campbell threatened at one time the total destruction of our
--Inaugural Address, Furman University (1856)
President, Mercer University
…what was spoken and written by inspiration, came
high authority as if it had proceeded from God without the use of human
instrumentality. …Their peculiarities of thought, feeling, and style,
more effect to prevent what they spoke and wrote from being the word of
than their peculiarities of voice or of chirography. The question,
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
which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth."
--Manual of Theology (1857)
(God) gave a revelation to make it free from
believe He first made it inerrant as He made nature so. Hence, I boldly
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
by destructive higher critics? ...I think I can tell. The school wants
change the whole order... they wish to get an entering wedge by having
that there were inaccuracies... in order to shift and change the order
Word to suit themselves.
--"The Relative Authority of Scripture and Reason"