Is Scripture's inerrancy called into question because the first English Bibles contained errors?


Full Question

A Catholic writer said many of the first English Bibles were in terrible error. This is a manifestation of Catholic prejudice against the Bible. The Bible is inerrant.

Answer

You're missing the writer's point. There have been many vernacular editions of the Bible that can only be described as embarrassing. Some were filled with printer's errors, others with translator's errors.

In one Bible one of the commandments was printed without the word "not." This Bible became known as "the b.asphemous Bible" because it said, "Thou shalt take the Lord's name in vain." Sometimes translations were odd to the point of misrepresentation. In one, Adam and Eve are described as wearing "breeches" made from fig leaves, but breeches are a fairly modern type of clothing.

Inerrancy does not mean printers and translators are protected from error. (Any writer can tell you that, and he'll throw in editors too!) Inerrancy means the Bible accurately conveys the religious truths God wants conveyed. The Bible never, when rightly understood, teaches error.


Catholic Answers Staff