Inerrancy and the Gospels: A God-Centered Approach to the Challenges of Harmonization
Buy Item $13.49 Retail: $17.99 Save 25% ($4.50)
In Stock
Stock No: WW528606
Crossway / 2012 / Paperback

Add To Cart

Add To Wishlist
eBook $9.29 View Details

Add To Cart


Inerrancy and the Gospels: A God-Centered Approach to the Challenges of Harmonization

Crossway / 2012 / Paperback

Buy 44 or more for $12.82 each.
In Stock
Stock No: WW528606

  • Other Formats (2)
Other Formats (2)
  1. In Stock
    Retail: $13.99
    Add To Cart
  2. In Stock
    Retail: $17.99
    Add To Cart

Product Description

Inerrancy and Worldview is a positive response to current attempts to abandon or redefine inerrancy will enable Christians to respond well to modern challenges by employing a worldview that allows the Bible to speak on its own terms.

Though the Bible presents a personal and relational God, popular modern worldviews portray an impersonal divine force in a purely material world. Readers influenced by this competing worldview hold assumptions about fundamental issues-like the nature of humanity, evil, and the purpose of life-that present profound obstacles to understanding the Bible.

In Inerrancy and Worldview, Dr. Vern Poythress offers the first worldview-based defense of scriptural inerrancy, showing how worldview differences create or aggravate most perceived difficulties with the Bible. His positive case for biblical inerrancy implicitly critiques the worldview of theologians like Enns, Sparks, Allert, and McGowan. Poythress, who has researched and published in a variety of fields- including science, linguistics, and sociology-deals skillfully with the challenges presented in each of these disciplines. By directly addressing key examples in each field, Poythress shows that many difficulties can be resolved simply by exposing the influence of modern materialism.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 192
Vendor: Crossway
Publication Date: 2012
Dimensions: 9.00 X 6.00 (inches)
ISBN: 1433528606
ISBN-13: 9781433528606

Related Products

  1. Defending Inerrancy: Affirming the Accuracy of Scripture for a New Generation
    Defending Inerrancy: Affirming the Accuracy of Scripture for a New Generation
    Norman L. Geisler, William C. Roach
    Baker Books / 2011 / Trade Paperback
    $20.99 Retail: $25.00 Save 16% ($4.01)
    4.5 Stars Out Of 5 3 Reviews
  2. Testing Scripture: A Scientist Explores the Bible
    Testing Scripture: A Scientist Explores the Bible
    John Polkinghorne
    Brazos Press / 2011 / Trade Paperback
    1 Stars Out Of 5 1 Reviews
  3. Do Historical Matters Matter to Faith? A Critical Appraisal of Modern and Postmodern Approaches to Scripture
    Do Historical Matters Matter to Faith? A Critical Appraisal of Modern and Postmodern Approaches to Scripture
    Edited by James K. Hoffmeier & Dennis R. Magary
    Crossway / 2012 / Trade Paperback
    $24.99 Retail: $35.00 Save 29% ($10.01)
    5 Stars Out Of 5 1 Reviews
  4. Engaging the Written Word of God
    Engaging the Written Word of God
    J.I. Packer
    Hendrickson Publishers / 2012 / Trade Paperback
    $7.29 Retail: $16.95 Save 57% ($9.66)
    5 Stars Out Of 5 1 Reviews

Publisher's Description

All those who affirm the authority of Scripture will find in this volume great encouragement and insight as Poythress provides an arresting case for biblical inerrancy and stems the tide of skepticism.

Author Bio

Vern S. Poythress (PhD, Harvard University; ThD, University of Stellenbosch) is professor of New Testament interpretation at Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where he has taught for nearly four decades. In addition to earning six academic degrees, he is the author of numerous books and articles on biblical interpretation, language, and science.


I can think of no one in the world better qualified to write a defense of biblical inerrancy than my lifelong friend Vern Poythress. This book is no ordinary defense of inerrancy that merely focuses on proposed solutions to several difficult verses (though it does examine some of them). Rather, it is a wide-ranging analysis that exposes the faulty intellectual assumptions that underlie challenges to the Bible from every major academic discipline in the modern university world. I think every Christian student at every secular university should read and absorb the arguments in this book. It is profoundly wise, insightful, and clearly written, and it will surely strengthen every reader’s confidence in the trustworthiness of the Bible as the very words of God.
-Wayne Grudem,
Research Professor of Bible and Theology, Phoenix Seminary

Vern Poythress has written what I consider to be definitive books on many subjects, including biblical interpretation, language, science, and sociology. In Inerrancy and Worldview, he brings his insights from these disciplines and more together to address the relation of biblical inerrancy to worldview. He shows quite convincingly that the issue of inerrancy is not just a matter of asking whether this or that biblical passage is factual. Rather, our attitude toward the claim of biblical inerrancy depends on our general view of how God is related to the cosmos and to us as individuals and societies. And that general view, in turn, depends on our relationship to Jesus Christ. The book gets deeper into the question of inerrancy than any other book I know.
-John M. Frame,
J. D. Trimble Chair of Systematic Theology and Philosophy, Reformed Theological Seminary, Orlando, Florida

Every new item that Vern Poythress writes is thoughtful, creative, and worth reading. This book is no exception. Among the many things I like about it is his emphasis on the personalist worldview of the Bible, as over against the impersonalism that dominates modern Western culture. Besides its crucial contribution to his own subject in clarifying how it is that God communicates to us through the Bible, I think this basic idea will be fruitful for a good number of other topics as well. Thanks, Dr. Poythress, and thanks, God, for giving him to the Church.
-C. John Collins,
Professor of Old Testament, Covenant Theological Seminary; author, The God of Miracles

Vern Poythress has provided both the church and the academy a remarkable service with Inerrancy and Worldview. Recognizing that the modern objection to Scripture is neither univocal nor objective, but rather varied and religious, he helpfully reframes the discussion in terms of competing worldviews. By surveying the various options for the allegiance of the modern mind, Poythress shows that not only is an inerrant Bible a reasonable expectation of a personal God, but our rejection of it is rooted not in evidence, but in our sinful rebellion against that God. With clear logic and pastoral care, Poythress leads us through an amazing tour of both the ‘wisdom of our age’ and the follies of our hearts, bringing us at last to the God who speaks—humbling our pride and setting our hearts free.
-Michael Lawrence,
Senior Pastor, Hinson Baptist Church, Portland, Oregon; author, Biblical Theology in the Life of the Church

To our shame, the response of Christians to challenges to our faith can often be dismissive, shallow, defensive, or disrespectful. On the other hand, we can err too much on the side of tolerance for error when truth is under siege. In Inerrancy and Worldview, Vern Poythress shows us how to be neither fools nor cowards. Through intelligent, informed, insightful, and respectful engagement, key foundational faith defeaters taught in many disciplines at every secular university are explained and critiqued from a biblical perspective. Poythress challenges the challenges to biblical belief at the root of their assumptions. We are left with a solid basis and defense of the Christian way of thinking. Inerrancy and Worldview should be required reading for all who want to think more deeply about their faith and defend it within a skeptical culture.
-Erik Thoennes,
Professor of Biblical Studies and Theology, Talbot School of Theology, Biola University; pastor, Grace Evangelical Free Church, La Mirada, California

Product Reviews

4.5 Stars Out Of 5
4.5 out of 5
4.5 out Of 5
(4.5 out of 5)
4 out Of 5
(4 out of 5)
Meets Expectations:
4.5 out Of 5
(4.5 out of 5)
of customers would recommend this product to a friend.
Displaying items 1-2 of 2
Page 1 of 1
  1. Chris Land
    Wichita Falls, Tx
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: male
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Great Reference for the inerrancy of the Gospels
    December 5, 2012
    Chris Land
    Wichita Falls, Tx
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: male
    Quality: 5
    Value: 4
    Meets Expectations: 5
    Back in July, I reviewed Vern Sherdian Poythress' Inerrancy and Worldview, which looked at the challenges of the issue of inerrancy on how it is looked upon from different points of view. Poythress has written a follow-up to Inerrancy and Worldview called Inerrancy and the Gospel. This book deals with the issue of the Gospels as part of the inerrant word of God.

    Poythress addresses the issues regarding the harmonization of the Gospels, which can be a difficult task to do because three of the four are about the same (Matthew, Mark, and Luke) and the fourth gospel (John) is clearly different. Poythress uses examples of similar events in the gospels that are told not in the same way, such as Jesus healing the centurion's servant in Matthew 8:5-13 and Luke 7:1-10. Poythress address the principles of harmonizing along with dealing the order of events in the Gospels especially in the synoptic gospels (Matthew, Mark, and Luke). In one chapter dealing with the synoptic gospels, Poythess talks about the sources that each synoptic gospel comes from. How the sources are used and also weighing the options on how each source is used.

    There is a section of the book where Poythress looks at more cases of the differences of explaining events in the four gospels. For example, Jesus being rejected at Nazareth is addressed differently in the synoptic gospels. Another example is Matthew records Jesus cursing the fig tree almost as similar as the gospel of Mark.

    This book is great tool to have for pastors, lay people, and seminary professors who defend the Bible need to have in their library. Poythress once again has chapters that are short, sweet, and to the point, which makes it an easy read and easy to look up references.
  2. Jude
    London, ON
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: male
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    A helpful intro to Gospel harmonization
    November 21, 2012
    London, ON
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: male
    Quality: 4
    Value: 4
    Meets Expectations: 4
    Book Review - Inerrancy and the Gospels

    I am not overly interested in biblical inerrancy though I certainly hold to it and have read several books, as well as essays and articles, discussing it; that is not why I requested to review this book. Neither did I request a copy of Inerrancy and the Gospels: A God-Centered Approach to the Challenges of Harmonization from Crossway because I needed convincing of the legitimacy of the Gospel accounts. My main interest in this book had to do with its author. Vern Sheridan Poythress, professor of New Testament interpretation at Westminster Theological Seminary in Philidelphia, has impressed me with his brilliant mind, his precise teaching, and most of all his love for God's Word. I wanted to hear what he had to say about reconciling the differences in the Gospel narratives. His work on this topic as expressed in this book is notable, in my opinion, for three reasons: its presentation of principles for harmonization, its practically helpful examples, and its clear respect and reverence for God and his Word.


    Obviously, a book discussing the harmonization of the Gospels should introduce and explain some of the various principles that theologians and apologists use to reconcile difficult passages in these canonical narratives. Poythress elucidates many of these principles in a manner that is interesting and easily understandable, even for a layman such as I. Most of these principles are covered in Part Two of the book which is simply Principles for Harmonization. Poythress introduces initial principles that discuss the trustworthiness of the Bible, the use of help from past scholars, differing incidents confused as the same event, omission of details, and the theological emphasis of the writers. He moves from these to consideration of history, theology, artistry, and the genre's effects on harmonization. His chapter on mental-pictures and how we use and misuse them in regards to interpretation was very enlightening for me and it alone made reading the book worthwhile. Explanations of the principles of contrast, variation, and distribution are elaborated as are ideas of compression and precision. Principles are adeptly explained by the author and examples from Scripture anchor these concepts for the reader. This material will provide solid reference fodder for future study.


    Inerrancy and the Gospels delivers what many readers will be looking for; examples. Throughout the book, Poythress demonstrates harmonization and addresses many of the seemingly erroneous or contradictory passages in the Gospels that those familiar with their Bibles will recognize. These are tackled with intelligence and an approach that endeavours to be realistic in terms of the difficulties that really exist. Some of the parallel passages that Poythress engages with are: the healing of the Centurion's servant, the cleansing of the Temple, the rejection of Jesus at Nazareth, the cursing of the fig tree, the commissioning of the twelve, the stilling of the storm, the rich young ruler, Jarius' daughter, blind Bartimaeus, and several others. These examples are necessary when you consider the topic at hand, but they are also successful in demonstrating how the principles brought forth work in the harmonizing of the passages.


    The most enamouring aspect of this book is the attitude that Poythress takes in regards to Scripture. The professor's stance goes beyond a high view of Scripture; it is clear the author admires and adores God's Word as he admonishes and advocates for the reader to do the same. This is evident throughout the book, but is most poignant in the third section entitled Attitudes in Harmonization. The author reminds readers that though we wrestle with doubt, neutrality is not an option. One should read the Bible with submission and receptivity while rejecting the current trend to try and be autonomous in our approach to Holy Writ. We should accept the limits of our sin-stained and derivative knowledge while anticipating difficulties and suffering in our intellectual pursuits. These are not just any books, the author regularly reminds us, but they are the very words of God written to us. Poythress' posture when it comes to Scripture is an edifying glimpse into the heart of a professional interpreter who clearly recognizes God's sovereignty and grace directed towards us. I will not soon forget this.

    Inerrancy and the Gospels is a formative work that succeeds due to, among other things, lucid teaching of harmonization principles, practical demonstration of those principles at work, and a refreshingly uplifting attitude toward the Bible. I recommend this book.
Displaying items 1-2 of 2
Page 1 of 1

Ask a Question

Find Related Products

Author/Artist Review


Ask a Question

What would you like to know about this product? Please enter your name, your email and your question regarding the product in the fields below, and we'll answer you in the next 24-48 hours.

If you need immediate assistance regarding this product or any other, please call 1-800-CHRISTIAN to speak directly with a customer service representative.