So if Inerrancy is meaningless (see previous post) how can we express a "high view" of scripture without it? Well I would suggest that the two things wrong with inerrancy need to be two things right with any other proposal, namely that the Bible we have now must be shown to be the word of God and that word must be guarded against the claims of any "authoritative interpreters."
The place I would start is Isaiah 55. This text affirms a number of things forcefully and beautifully.
In vs1-3, God calls us to come to him and listen to him for our salvation, but in vs6-7 we are told to call on God and seek him. Thus the word of God is shown to be dialogical. It both represents God's word to us and calls us into conversation with God and searching for God through that word. Then in vs8-10 the nature of God word to us is expounded. It is both alien and beyond us (vs8-9) but also purposeful, dynamic, and effective (v10).
We could then heuristically apply this as framework for our own understanding of scripture. This might have the following results:
1. Because God's word is a dynamic communication it is not stored in static historical documents no longer extant, but comes to us through the various traditions of scripture including the Septuagint, the Masoretic Text, the KJV, the Luther Bible and the Paipera Tapu (to name but a few). The changing and varied nature of these traditions are evidence of God's dynamic communication with the world, not the second best option to having the "original manuscripts."
2. Because God's word is beyond human thought no human is permitted to set themselves above the text to give an authoritative interpretation. Instead we are all called into humble searching dialogue with the text, confident that God will achieve what he wills through it (perhaps provided we "give ear" and "hear" (v3) rather than come to the text with our own assumptions) but conscious that any ultimate grasp of it is beyond our reach.
Let me know what you think :-)
P.S. This approach might also spare us from needing to talk about the "preservation of scripture" (which makes it sound like a fossil) and the "perspecuity of scripture" (which is another strong tower for those who use the Bible to beat others over the head).
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