Problems associated with the Conservative Christian's stance.
Most of the conservatives problem centers around a misunderstanding of what inerrancy means. One of the most common misunderstandings is which scripture is inerrant. The conservative will usually interject "All scripture is God-breathed, and free from error!" But what is he really implying. Does he really think that his NIV translation is free from error. If it is, then why is it different from other translations? This is where the only-KJV argument comes in. This die-hard will say that only the "Authorised" King James Bible is the inerrant word of God, and all other English translations are bastardized. Can this really be true? Was the King James Bible really free of error. Study into the King James Bible history will reveal this to be a falsehood. I've already talked about how the KJV translators inserted the idea of the mythical cockatrice into scripture, but there are many other examples. For instance, the regular fundamental Christian will say only the 66 books of the Holy Bible are the inerrant word of God, but the 1611 translation of the KJV included the Apocrypha, and was only taken out more than a century later because of pressure from protestants and the tightening cost of printing Bibles. The fact is only the original autographs, the original letter penned by the Biblical author, is guaranteed to be free from error. There is no Biblical promise that later manuscripts, translations or copies would equally be inerrant or free from error. In fact we know of many copy errors and variant manuscript readings that exist.
Problems associated with the Liberal Christian's stance.
The Liberal Christians belief the Bible is not free from error, usually stems from the previous finding. They are perplexed that if the Bible has variant readings, then how could we possibly consider it inerrant? Again I must remind them that it is the original autographs that were free from error. Yet we can study and apply textual criticism to try to remain as close to the original autographs as possible. I implore those Christians who believe the Bible to includede error to contemplate this quote:
"If Jesus taught biblical inerrancy, either He knew it to be true, or He knew it to be false but catered to the ignorance of his hearers, or He was limited and held to something that was not true but He did not know it." - Harold LindsellSo, should we view Jesus as all-knowing God, guilty of deception, or having a limited understanding of truth? The only alternative that leaves us with our Christology intact is that Jesus knew the scripture to be inerrant and that His knowledge was correct.