(The following is “The Chicago Statement of
Biblical Inerrancy” taken from Inerrancy edited by
Norman Geisler, Academie Books, 1980, pages 493-497.)
We affirm that the Holy Scriptures are to be received as the
authoritative Word of God.
We deny that the Scriptures receive their authority from the
Church, tradition, or any other human source.
We affirm that the Scriptures are the supreme written norm by
which God binds the conscience, and that the authority of the
Church is subordinate to that of Scripture.
We deny that Church creeds, councils, or declarations have
authority greater than or equal to the authority of the Bible.
We affirm that the written Word in its entirety is revelation
given by God.
We deny that the Bible is merely a witness to revelation, or
only becomes revelation in encounter, or depends on the
responses of men for its validity.
We affirm that God who made mankind in His image has used
language as a means of revelation.
We deny that human language is so limited by our
creatureliness that it is rendered inadequate as a vehicle for
divine revelation. We further deny that the corruption of
human culture and language through sin has thwarted God’s work
We affirm that God’s revelation in the Holy Scriptures was
We deny that later revelation, which may fulfill earlier
revelation, ever corrects or contradicts it. We further deny
that any normative revelation has been given since the
completion of the New Testament writings.
We affirm that the whole of Scripture and all its parts, down
to the very words of the original, were given by divine
We deny that the inspiration of Scripture can rightly be
affirmed of the whole without the parts, or of some parts but
not the whole.
We affirm that inspiration was the work in which God by His
Spirit, through human writers, gave us His Word. The origin of
Scripture is divine. The mode of divine inspiration remains
largely a mystery to us.
We deny that inspiration can be reduced to human insight, or
to heightened states of consciousness of any kind.
We affirm that God in His Work of inspiration utilized the
distinctive personalities and literary styles of the writers
whom He had chosen and prepared.
We deny that God, in causing these writers to use the very
words that He chose, overrode their personalities.
We affirm that inspiration, though not conferring omniscience,
guaranteed true and trustworthy utterance on all matters of
which the Biblical authors were moved to speak and write.
We deny that the finitude or fallenness of these writers, by
necessity or otherwise, introduced distortion or falsehood
into God’s Word.
We affirm that inspiration, strictly speaking, applies only to
the autographic text of Scripture, which in the providence of
God can be ascertained from available manuscripts with great
accuracy. We further affirm that copies and translations of
Scripture are the Word of God to the extent that they
faithfully represent the original.
We deny that any essential element of the Christian faith is
affected by the absence of the autographs. We further deny
that this absence renders the assertion of Biblical inerrancy
invalid or irrelevant.
We affirm that Scripture, having been given by divine
inspiration, is infallible, so that, far from misleading us,
it is true and reliable in all the matters it addresses.
We deny that it is possible for the Bible to be at the same
time infallible and errant in its assertions. Infallibility
and inerrancy may be distinguished, but not separated.
We affirm that Scripture in its entirety is inerrant, being
free from all falsehood, fraud, or deceit.
We deny that Biblical infallibility and inerrancy are limited
to spiritual, religious, or redemptive themes, exclusive of
assertions in the fields of history and science. We further
deny that scientific hypotheses about earth history may
properly be used to overturn the teaching of Scripture on
creation and the flood.
We affirm the propriety of using inerrancy as a theological
term with reference to the complete truthfulness of Scripture.
We deny that it is proper to evaluate Scripture according to
standards of truth and error that are alien to its usage or
purpose. We further deny that inerrancy is negated by Biblical
phenomena such as a lack of modern technical precision,
irregularities of grammar or spelling, observational
descriptions of nature, the reporting of falsehoods, the use
of hyperbole and round numbers, the topical arrangement of
material, variant selections of material in parallel accounts,
or the use of free citations.
We affirm the unity and internal consistency of Scripture.
We deny that alleged errors and discrepancies that have not
yet been resolved vitiate the truth claims of the Bible.
We affirm that the doctrine of inerrancy is grounded in the
teaching of the Bible about inspiration.
We deny that Jesus’ teaching about Scripture may be dismissed
by appeals to accommodation or to any natural limitation of
We affirm that the doctrine of inerrancy has been integral to
the Church’s faith throughout its history.
We deny that inerrancy is a doctrine invented by Scholastic
Protestantism, or is a reactionary position postulated in
response to negative higher criticism.
We affirm that the Holy Spirit bears witness to the
Scriptures, assuring believers of the truthfulness of God’s
We deny that this witness of the Holy Spirit operates in
isolation from or against Scripture.
We affirm that the text of Scripture is to be interpreted by
grammatical-historical exegesis, taking account of its
literary forms and devices, and that Scripture is to interpret
We deny the legitimacy of any treatment of the text or quest
for sources lying behind it that leads to relativizing,
dehistoricizing, or discounting its teaching, or rejecting its
claims to authorship.
We affirm that a confession of the full authority,
infallibility, and inerrancy of Scripture is vital to a sound
understanding of the whole of the Christian faith. We further
affirm that such confession should lead to increasing
conformity to the image of Christ.
We deny that such confession is necessary for salvation.
However, we further deny that inerrancy can be rejected
without grave consequences, both to the individual and to the