A friend and I were discussing scriptural inerrancy last night, and I gained a lot of insight into what that really means. At first, I was shocked when he said he did not believe in scriptural inerrancy, and I sought to figure out his standpoint.
The bottom line from our discussion is this: If you look at scripture as a body, numbers and such, names and such, may be slightly different. An account of a battle in Chronicles may say that there were 50,000 in the Moabite army. The same account in Kings may say that there were 50,355. Is it inerrant? Well, I would say yes, because the spirit of the account is equally accurate in both accounts. An approximation is not going to be accurate persay, but if it is close, then why the problem? If I said I had $100, when really I had $100.15, while I am technically inaccurate, the approximation does not make me wrong.
Part of the beauty of the Bible as an eyewitness to the unfolding story of God’s love for us is that several of the paralleling accounts offer differing views. They create a colorful, multifaceted, and HISTORICAL view of the story of God. Even though every number may not match and every detail does not corroborate exactly, the Bible still should be considered inerrant. Instead, it should be considered to be a wide-eyed, accurate account of the history of God’s people.