This article will be commenting on a popular model of inerrancy among seminaries are scholars that float around in contradistinction to Chicago statement on inerrancy. It will focus on the chief proponent John Walton. His view can be seen as explained in the video below:
Steve Hays comments on this view:
Assuming for the sake of argument that ancient Jews believed in a solid sky, this is not just a question of what the Genesis narrator believed.Rather, according to Walton, he is using locutions to express his belief. He is committing his belief to writing.In that event, how can Walton drive a wedge between the narrator’s locution and his illocution? He chooses those words with the intention of expressing what he thought the world was like. “Asserting” or “instructing.”
vi) By Walton’s own admission, the reader has no direct access to the narrator’s illocution. Rather, the reader must access the narrator’s illocution via his locutions. He choses those words and sentences to express himself. Yet according to Walton, that’s erroneous.
I think another issue is that it seems to relocate the normative force of a passage. When I say normative force I mean the content we are to believe. We often interpret a passage from the eyes of the characters in the story to figure out what the author is trying to get us to understand. In John 8, Jesus finds himself arguing with a Jewish audience. He states that before Abraham he existed and states the famous ego eimi. Let’s add a little more content to that description. We have the Jewish audience that reacts with trying to stone Jesus. Let’s now add the historical context. The charge of blasphemy warranted a stoning. The Jewish audience knowing that was enraged because Jesus’ greek words recorded for us have Hebrew connotations. The refer back to a Divine title found in the Prophets(Isaiah, etc). The problem for me is that none of these facts tell you anymore what you should believe about the passage because it may simply be that the characters hold to mistaken ideas. That seems to me to cut against the whole enterprise of historical-grammatical hermeneutics that was employed in the reformation.
Here Chris Matthew states the problem:
But as far as I’m concerned, the main thrust of TheSire’s argument is that the historical-grammatical method requires the interpreter to uncover (1) the intent of the biblical author; and (2) what the original hearers would have understood. To uncover (1) and (2), we often have to look at the characters in the relevant historical context. We know that the Jewish audience in John 8, for example, was enraged because of the Hebrew connotations of Jesus’ words. But if we grant that the background ideas (expressed in the character’s authoritative locution) may be mistaken, then we’ve lost the ability to uncover (1) and (2), and thus, we’ve lost the historical-grammatical method.