A Reader writes in:
Many Christians have told me that the bible is without Error and this below statement from your website seems to imply that you would agree with this tradition of understanding. Especially since many Bible verses state that God's word is perfect.
"1. The Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments as the revealed Word of God."
This statement would to me imply that no Error can be found in any translation of bibles if they are a perfect written reflection of god breathed words or any historical event that transpired.
He then provides a link to a site that shows a chronological error in Exodus and Numbers.
It all comes down to what is meant by "without error." The idea that the Scriptures are the revealed Word of God does not imply that everything in the Bible is scientifically or even historically true (in a modern sense). Most Episcopalians would say that the Word of God is "inspired" rather than "dictated." This means that the authors of the books of the Bible left the imprint of their worldview and value systems upon the writings. While the scriptures DO contain truth, it is not of the scientific or modern historical kind, of which the methods simply did not exist at the time the books were written. The version the American Episcopal church passed of the first part of the Chicago-Lambeth Quadrilateral is this: "The Holy Scriptures, as containing all things necessary to salvation." In other words, all things that are needed to be reconciled to God are to be found within the Bible. Not all things, not even all knowledge about God, but those necessary to salvation. To try to subject the scriptures to the criteria of scientific rationalism or modern historical method would be kind of like taking a poem about a tree and criticizing it for not using modern botanical taxonomy.
Yes, there are some Christians who believe that for the Bible to be inerrant it would have to not be contradicted in any aspect, but that only shows how compromised their understanding of the historic Christian faith is by rationalism. Theologian Ruth Tiffany Barnhouse has remarked that literalism is to be regarded as "the bastard child of science and religion."
Therefore, please excuse me if I don't spend time with the analysis between Exodus and Numbers. I'll gladly grant that point. Yes, there are places where there are scientific inaccuracies in the Bible. Yes, there are places where different chronologies don't match up. But that is not the truth that the Bible holds, and to hold it to modern ideas of historical accuracy is to misuse the text.
I've written on this at a couple of places: