'God-breathed and useful for teaching' or infallible? What's your understanding of the Bible...?

17th January 2018
Chalke Talk 12: Calling the Bible infallible has stopped us taking it seriously

What do we mean when we call the Bible 'God-breathed'? To what extent can we ever call the Bible infallible?

Chalke Talk 12 – Calling the Bible infallible has stopped us taking it seriously from Open Church network on Vimeo.

2 Timothy 3:16 tells us that all scripture is God breathed and useful for teaching.  But it never uses the word ‘infallible’.  In the latest instalment of Chalke Talk, Steve argues that by labelling the Bible as infallible we have discouraged people from asking big questions about its content, from grappling with it in its entirety and understanding its true meaning.

Steve suggests that a better understanding of the Bible – which he agrees is all God breathed and useful for teaching – is to see it as pointing to Jesus – the true word of God made flesh.  All Scripture is the product of the writers’ ongoing and profound dialogue with God, but the content of the books of the Bible also reflect the human circumstances of the authors.  When weighing any part of scripture – such as the instructions in 1 Timothy that women should remain silent in church – we need to consider whether it looks like the character of Christ.  If not, it is probably best to understand it as a reflection of the writer’s culture and worldview.

What do you think?  Do you agree with Steve?  Why not discuss as part of your church small group or similar gathering?

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Latest Comments

Hi Steve

Listening with interest, but frustrated that you do not yet confront the elephant in the room.

In the OT God is said explicitly to command the forcible taking of 'wives', stoning to death of adulterers, homosexuals, brides found to be not virgins, rebellious sons, people who pick up sticks etc., the slaughter of infants, pregnant mothers etc
Do you believe that God actually commanded all those things?

If not, then the text is in error

If yes, then God is not the God of Jesus

Why do you seem to evade this important question?

Or is your answer coming up in one of the next videos?


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