Does Inerrancy Matter? Case in Point

A while ago I wrote a post asking what practical merit there was in holding to inerrancy given the hefty caveats that most inerrantists put on the doctrine (only in the original language, assuming we know author’s intent, et cetera). This is a excerpt from that post:

“I think that I’m in a fairly large majority among Christians in my utter lack of understanding of ancient Greek, Hebrew (aside from some swear words taught to me by a Jewish boss once) and other pertinent dialects. In other words, I have no idea about the fidelity of any given translation and, insofar as there is nuance particular to any one language, most of us lose it. This means that I can think that the Bible says something and some Greek-speaking scholar or clergy will come along and say no, it’s not a really good translation”

Fast forward a bit to a more recent discussion on City of God about a particular passage and – more specifically – a particular word as it relates to gender roles in the church. The reality is, I have no knowledge of Greek that would allow me to decide what scholarship is more correct. One set of experts says one thing, another group says something else, as for me, I haven’t the faintest idea how Greeks used their verbs, and who knows. I suspect though that a great deal of position-taking on this matter usually comes with some sort a priori intuition, or assumption, or experience. Before anyone looked into this as a problem of Greek translation they surely heard something taught on the matter or had pre-conceived ideas about it.

We are not machines and we cannot set these types of things aside. I cannot, and neither can you. In my case I just cannot ignore that I’ve seen very capable and gifted women preach and minister to congregations. I can’t set that experience aside, I have never regarded it as anomalous or wrong or evil. So guess what? I am going to come at this, no matter what, with strong egalitarian tendencies. So I guess that’s what colours my thinking here, something else may colour yours, but I regard as most suspicious those who claim that they can just come to these topics neutrally.