The Infallibility of Scripture (Murray)

Thy Word Is Still Truth: Essential Writings on the Doctrine of Scripture from the Reformation to Today I appreciate how John Murray discussed the infallibility of Scripture in an address he gave to students in the Inter-Varsity Fellowship around 1960.  Here are a few excerpts of his speech:

“The doctrine of the infallibility of Scripture is derived from the witness of Scripture.  It is equally necessary to bear in mind that this witness is to be understood in the context of Scripture as a whole.  Any doctrine severed from the total structure of revelation is out of focus.”

“…Unless we assess infallibility in the light of the data with which Scripture provides us, we shall be liable to judge infallibility by criteria to which Scripture does not conform.  This is one of the most effective ways of undermining biblical infallibility.”

“When the Scripture uses anthropomorphic terms with reference to God and his actions, we must interpret accordingly and not predicate of God the limitations which belong to us men. …If Scripture uses the language of common usage and experience or observation, we are not to accuse it of error because it does not use the language of a particular science, language which few could understand and which becomes obsolete with the passing phases of scientific advancement.  The does not make itself ridiculous by conforming to what pendants might require.”

“There are numerous considerations that must be taken into account derived from the study of Scripture data.  And it is a capital mistake to think that the criteria of infallibility are those that must conform to our preconceived notions or to our arbitrarily adopted norms.”

John Murray, “The Infallibility of Scripture” in Thy Word Is Still Truth, p.970-971.

Shane Lems
Covenant Presbyterian Church (OPC)
Hammond, WI, 54015