The dogma-mongering bibliolatrers of recent years in the Southern Baptist Convention made inerrancy an acid test of orthodoxy (or at least their orthodoxy). These over-wrought “doctrinaries” made a big issue out of the inspiration of Scripture and the insistence that everything in the “Word” was “without error.”
O.K., let’s carry their point beyond it’s logical extension (which is kind of what they did, but in the opposite direction of what I’m about to do). Let’s look grammatically at the 23rd Psalm, one of the most famous passages in the Old Testament.
1 The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.
2 He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, 3 he restores my soul.
He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. 4 Even though I walk
through the valley of the shadow of death,I will fear no evil, for you are with me . Your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
Aha, King David!! If you had turned this essay in for English 1001, I would have marked verse 4 a usage error: “point of view shift.” The passage starts out in third person, but suddenly and without purpose in verse four, the intrusive second person you shows up. Surely, King David, you knew better? What a silly grammatical error!
So much for inerrancy?
Or, “Who needs inerrancy?” It’s a pretty good Psalm, POV shift or not.