Peter Enns, former faculty at Westminster Theological Seminary, has written a book entitled: Inspiration and Incarnation: Evangelicals and the Problem of the Old Testament. In this book, he apparently (I haven’t read it yet) articulates ideas that run counter to the typical “Evangelical” understanding of Inspiration (so that the bible could in fact contain “errors” given its humanness); it sounds to me like he is espousing a “Barthian” understanding of “Inspiration.” It is these kinds of ideas that have eventuated in Enns’ termination as a professor at Westminster.
I was just over at his blog, and he recounts a discussion on the Mosaic authorship (which he now denies, Mosaic authorship) of the Pentateuch, that he had with a fellow faculty member upon the notion that it is simply impossible for Moses to have actually penned the first five books of the bible; here’s what was said about his view from another faculty member:
“. . . Enns really isn’t saying anything new here.” The specific point concerned the state of Hebrew in the 2nd millennium BC, and how no one living at that time (i.e., Moses) could have written the Pentateuch as we know it, as it reflects a state of Hebrew that did not develop until the 1st millennium. . . .”
Typically (and historically) Evangelicals have held to the view that Moses personally penned the Torah (or the first five books of the bible, the “instruction” or “Law”); and for good reason, here is how Jesus refers to the first five books of the bible:
“He said to them, “This is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms.” ~Luke 24:44
Jesus was under the belief that Moses was the original author of the Pentateuch. So this then seems to present a dilemma; either what Enns’ view espouses (that Moses couldn’t have penned the Pentateuch given the “state” of Hebrew used in the writing of the Pentateuch) is true or mistaken, or that Jesus’ belief was true or mistaken (in His belief that Moses was the human source for the first five books of the bible).
I think I’ll defer to Jesus. Or maybe you think that I have created a false dichotomy by pitting Enns against Jesus.