20 Books on the Doctrine of Scripture

Historical MattersJames K. Hoffmeier and Dennis R. Magary, Do Historical Matters Matter to Faith: A Critical Appraisal of Modern and Postmodern Approaches to Scripture (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2012).  This is a collection of articles written in response to a recent book by Kenton Sparks entitled, God’s Word in Human Words. Sparks argues that although much of the Old Testament is not historically accurate, God is still able to speak his word to his people through the Bible. In response, the authors of Do Historical Matters Matter to Faith argue for the historical accuracy of the Old Testament while also demonstrating that Sparks does not understand rightly the nature of Scripture.

G. KErosion of Inerrancy. Beale, The Erosion of Inerrancy in Evangelicalism: Responding to New Challenges to Biblical Authority (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2008). In this book, Beale evaluates several articles written by professing evangelical, Peter Enns. Enns argues that much of the Old Testament should be classified as myth, and our doctrine of Scripture must be reshaped to include the notion that God accommodated to the biblical writers’ mistaken viewpoints when he inspired Scripture. Beale soundly refutes Enns’ arguments and demonstrates that Enns has departed from an evangelical view of the Bible.

Frame Word of GodJohn Frame, The Doctrine of the Word of God (Phillipsburg, NJ: P & R, 2010). This is a full doctrine of Scripture that examines all the major doctrinal concerns including inspiration, inerrancy, authority, canonicity, the transmission and clarity of Scripture, the adequacy of human language, and the Bible’s relationship to historic creeds and confessions. Frame is insightful, biblical, and easy to read. Although this is a long book, chapters are short and accessible. This is a great reference resource but can also be read straight through with much profit.

Thy Word is Still TruthPeter A. Lillback and Richard B. Gaffin, The Word is Still Truth: Essential Writings on the Doctrine of Scripture from the Reformation to Today (Phillipsburg, NJ: P & R, 2013). This is a massive compilation of contributions on the doctrine Scripture and historic statements of faith—the latter with special attention given to sections that speak specifically about the nature of the Bible.  Contributions include writings from Francis Turretin, Jonathan Edwards, Herman Bavinck, B. B. Warfield, J. Gresham Machen, E. J. Young, to mention only a few.  Topics include discussions on biblical authority, hermeneutics, harmonization, the question of oral tradition, nature’s relationship to Scripture, and other vital subjects related to the doctrine of Scripture.

General IntroductionNorman L. Geisler and William E. Nix, A General Introduction to the Bible, revised and expanded (Chicago: Moody: 1986). With admirable breadth and detail, Geisler and Nix cover an array of topics related to the Bible including inspiration, inerrancy, preservation, canonicity, and the transmission of Scripture.  While some of the material is dated (the discussion of modern Bible versions, for example, does not include some of the most recent translations), this book is an exceptionally useful resource.

Carson Collected WritingsD. A. Carson, Collected Writings on Scripture (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2010). This work is a compilation of articles and reviews on the doctrine of Scripture penned by D. A. Carson over the past several years. Some articles are more advanced than others, and many require some knowledge of recent controversies and issues.  Nevertheless, patient and careful reading of Carson’s work will reward the diligent student and undergird his faith with weighty responses to some of the most common objections to an evangelical doctrine of Scripture.

Journey from TextPaul D. Wegner, The Journey from Texts to Translations (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1999). Wegner traces the development of Scripture from its original writing to its transmission to modern English translations.  Although very detailed, this is an accessible and highly readable work that will inform and strengthen believers as they consider the origin and formation of Scripture.

Taking God at his WordKevin DeYoung, Taking God at His Word (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2014). In this short yet incredibly insightful book, DeYoung lets the Bible speak for itself about its own inspiration, inerrancy, sufficiency, and authority. This is a great book to start with in studying the doctrine of Scripture.


Inerrancy and the ChurchJohn Hannah, ed., Inerrancy and the Church (Chicago: Moody, 1984). This book is a collection of articles that argues persuasively that the church has always believed that the Bible is an error-free book.  Authors include John Hannah, J. I. Packer, and Robert Preus.

Canon Revisited KrugerMichael Kruger, Canon Revisited: Establishing the Origins and Authority of the New Testament Books (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2013). Kruger argues cogently that Christians have solid justification for why they believe that the Protestant canon is the true word of God.

Inerrancy and WorldviewVern Poythress, Inerrancy and Worldview: Answering Modern Challenges to the Bible (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2012). Poythress persuasively demonstrates that one’s rejection of inerrancy has more to do with their presuppositions and their world-view than with the Bible.

Inerrancy and the GospelsVern Poythress, Inerrancy and the Gospels: A God-Centered Approach to the Challenges of Harmonization (Wheaton, IL: 2012). Poythress deals with some of the harmonization problems in the gospels, offering valid solutions and good reasons why we can still believe that the gospels are a trustworthy account of Jesus’ life.

Reformed DogmaticsHerman Bavinck, Reformed Dogmatics, Vol. 1: Prolegomena (Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2003).  In several sections of Reformed Dogmatics Bavinck provides weighty arguments from the Scriptures themselves why we can believe the Bible is inspired by God, inerrant, and fully authoritative. Many sections have an abundance of biblical references.

Fundamentalism and the Word of GodJ. I. Packer, Fundamentalism and the Word of God (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1992). In this classic book, Packer defends the historical understanding of the inspiration and inerrancy of Scripture against controversies in the 1950s. The material in this book is still very relevant and helpful.

Warfield Authority and InspirationB. B. Warfield, The Inspiration and Authority of Scripture (Philadelphia: Presbyterian and Reformed, 1948). In perhaps his most famous work, Warfield defends with scholarly detail and rigor the doctrines of inspiration, inerrancy, and biblical authority.  This book belongs on every Christian’s shelf.

Misquoting TruthTimothy Paul Jones, Misquoting Truth: A Guide to the Fallacies to Bart Ehrman’s ‘Misquoting Jesus’ (Downer’s Grove, IN: InterVarsity, 2007). Bart Ehrman’s book Misquoting Jesus caused quite a stir after this former evangelical argued that the New Testament documents were riddled with error and unreliable. Jones exposes many of Ehrman’s false assumptions and shows us how we can be confident in the text we have today. This book also serves as a useful introduction to textual criticism.

Understanding ScriptureWayne Grudem, C. John Collins, and Thomas Schreiner, Understanding Scripture: An Overview of the Bible’s Origin, Reliability, and Meaning (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2014). This book is a collection of short and accessible (3-5 page) chapters that discuss an array of issues related to the Bible. Topics like canonicity, inerrancy, inspiration, archeology, textual criticism, and hermeneutics are all covered in this short yet insightful volume.

Biblical AuthorityJohn D. Woodbridge, Biblical Authority: A Critique of the Rogers/McKim Proposal.  Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1982. This book is written in response to a massive volume published in 1978 by Jack Rogers and Donald McKim. Rogers and McKim argued that the idea of an error-free Bible was a modern invention. Woodbridge overturned the Rogers/McKim proposal decisively with a thorough reexamination of all the relevant historical material. His work is still regarded as the best historical defense of inerrancy to date.

Scripture and TruthD. A. Carson and John D. Woodbridge, eds., Scripture and Truth (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1992). This book is a collection of scholarly articles that examine various issues related to the doctrine of Scripture. Included among the topics are Scripture’s self-attestation, philosophical discussions related to the nature of biblical truth, and the unity of the Bible. Also included are a few discussions that trace the doctrine of biblical authority through the history of the church.

From the Mouth of GodSinclair Ferguson, From the Mouth of God: Trusting, Reading, and Applying the Bible (Edinburgh: Banner of Truth, 2014). This accessible little book is aimed at ordinary Christians who may not have a lot of experience in the doctrine of Scripture or in studying the Bible for themselves. Ferguson takes the reader through basic doctrines like inspiration and inerrancy, while also helping his readers understand how to interpret the Bible.



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