What is an overview of Christian viewpoints on the accuracy and truthfulness of the Bible?
There are basically two views of inerrancy. The first is that the Bible is 100% true as it was originally written in the original language. The second is that the Bible is 100% true in a particular language (most often the King James English version).
There are a variety of views regarding the Bible allowing for various degrees of error and or allegory.
Here are some reasons I favor the first inerrant view;
Jesus felt that the Bible was reliable even to verb tenses;
Matthew 22:32 I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the
God of Jacob? God is not the God of the dead, but of the living.
Jesus felt the record of the flood was accurate;
Matthew 24:37-39 But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the
coming of the Son of man be. For as in the days that were before the
flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage,
until the day that Noe entered into the ark, And knew not until the
flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the
Son of man be.
Jesus thought the record of the law was accurate in every detail;
Matthew 5:18 For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass,
one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be
Jesus felt the God had created the world;
Mark 13:19 For in those days shall be affliction, such as was not
from the beginning of the creation which God created unto this time,
neither shall be.
I can understand the passion of those who feel a particular version of the Bible has been kept inerrant. However, I have found places where even the JKV does not have the best translation from the Greek. Another problem with translating the Greek into English is that the English cannot provide enough room to bring over all the information found in verb tenses. For example the Greek might say that something should be done repeatedly, but the English might just say that something should be done and the informational component of "repeatedly" is often left out.
Often the KJV only people are against using the Alexandrian manuscripts that many newer English translations have used. The textus receptus on which the KJV is based is often rejected in favor of the Alexandrian texts for these newer translations. I can understand the concern.
I have asked some scholars why they feel that the Alexandrian texts should be considered superior or at least preferable. Their reasons seem to boil down to;
The Alexandrian texts are older.
Alexandria had the problem of allegoricalism and would not have needed to adulterate the text.
For me, this argument is not persuasive enough to support a view that the Alexandrian texts are to be preferred.
I can understand the confusion so many competing claims can create.
The Bible is under increasing assault. It can be from evolution, literary or textual criticism, and even contemporary social pressure. This is by design. Because the Bible is considered truth (as are God and Jesus) that which is not truth must by definition seek to undermine or destroy it.
Those who use the KJV only position as a shield to protect their faith from an almost constant assault from the world can be seen from a sympathetic perspective.
As far as the other views within Christianity, one might consider that one of the works of the flesh written about in Galatians is hairesis in the Greek (from which we get the word "heresy") which means divisions and we could almost say denominations.
It is unfortunate that Christians within their own churches should also be exposed to that which can unsettle and even undermine their faith.
It should not be unexpected that the world would assault the Bible to undermine faith. It is sad but also should not be unexpected that many churches would surrender to this assault. However, our faith is in our Savior and his word. Institutions may fail, but our God and his word will never fail. There are those who would seduce you with doubts. However, you can take courage from the God who created the universe and made the sun come up this morning that he will be faithful and fulfill all he has promised.