This article examines how Evangelical Christian inerrantist scholars theorize their biblical scholarship and its relation to the broader academy, highlighting (1) their self-representation as true academics, and (2) the ways they modulate historical methods to prefer interpretive options that keep the Bible inerrant. Using these characteristics of inerrantist theorizing, the article redescribes their scholarship in terms of the religious studies rubrics of “protective strategies” and “privileging” insider claims. It then exploits this redescription to explore various characteristics of inerrantist religiosity from a Practice Theory vantage point, noting especially inerrantist religiosity’s highly intellectualized nature as well as features of its fields of discourse production and consumption, and their participants, that differentiate them from broader academic fields focused on the Bible. Overall the article thus provides a detailed positive account of inerrantist scholarship and introduces scholars to the utility of this data set for studying contemporary religiosity and religious “protectionism.”
BoyerP.SlingerlandE.CollardM.From Studious Irrelevancy to Consilient Knowledge: Modes of Scholarship and Cultural Anthropology2012113129New YorkOxford University PressCreating Consilience: Integrating the Sciences and the Humanities
HartD. G.LivingstoneD.N.HartD.G.NollM.A.Evangelicals, Biblical Scholarship, and the Politics of the Modern American Academy1999306326New YorkOxford University PressEvangelicals and Science in Historical Perspective
SchultzR.BacoteV.MiguélezL.OkholmD. How Many Isaiahs Were There and What Does it Matter?: Prophetic Inspiration in Recent Evangelical Scholarship2004150170Downers Grove, ILInterVarsityEvangelicals and Scripture: Tradition Authority and Hermeneutics
StowersS.KnustJ.W.VárhelyiZ.The Religion of Plant and Animal Offerings Versus the Religion of Meanings, Essences, and Textual Mysteries20113556New YorkOxford University PressAncient Mediterranean Sacrifice
See for instance Henry1979: 166–67176 187 201–207; Feinberg 1983: 19 23 27–28; Ferguson 1988: 60 63–64; Grudem 1992: 32–33 51–53. See also CSBI Article XIII and Exposition: Infallibility Inerrancy and Interpretation.
See also Henry1979: 173–74185 190–91 401; Payne 1980: 89–90; Oswalt 2009: 16–17.
See for example Payne1980: 90–93; Sproul 1980: 127. The CSBI articulates the underlying principle concisely: “We affirm that canonical Scripture should always be interpreted on the basis that it is infallible and inerrant” (Exposition: Infallibility Inerrancy and Interpretation). See also Richard Schultz’s comments: “One of the primary threats today to a traditional understanding of biblical inspiration and inerrancy is the unrestricted employment of historical-critical tools by evangelical biblical scholars” (Schultz 2004: 150).