Though I have some odd bedfellows, I’ve remained a committed evangelical Christian for ten years. Within my tradition the inspiration and inerrancy of scripture tends to go hand in hand with the truth of the faith. Recently, I’ve been troubled to find that those who seem to be best acquainted with the original languages, and the historicity of scripture, don’t have a problem with what they find to be irreconcilable historical differences between certain accounts in the gospels.
Michael Licona, for example, in his book “Why Are There Differences in the Gospels?” explains these differences by establishing that most if not all of the Gospels belong to the genre of Greco-Roman biography and that this genre permitted some flexibility in the way in which historical events were narrated.
That’s all well and good, so far as understanding the nature of the genre of scripture employed in revealing God in the person of Christ. The problem I have is this: why would God use a genre to communicate something as vital as a saving knowledge of Himself in Christ that permits flexibility in the way in which those historical events were narrated? Why not perfect cohesion, while still maintaining a unique voice through each human author? Could God not have provided a scriptural revelation of Himself and the Gospel via a means that would have produced less stumbling blocks than the genre of Greco-Roman biography? He did at one time communicate in the writing of his own power on tablets of stone, why not more of that?
The issue I have is that if I were to read something God-breathed, and the God who breathed it was good and compassionate and was not willing that any should perish, then why would He seemingly hide Himself behind writings that could be justifiably questioned as a reliable witness?
To be clear, my problem isn’t whether or not the scriptures are generally historically reliable, I think that could be established. My problem is that huge books have had to be written to establish it, and that seems to fly in the face of a loving God that wants to be known, and desires all to come to a saving faith.
Any help with this would be greatly appreciated.