Holy Scripture, as the inspired Word of God witnessing authoritatively to Jesus Christ, may properly be called infallible and inerrant. These negative terms have a special value, for they explicitly safeguard crucial positive truths.
Infallible signifies the quality of neither misleading nor being misled, and so safeguards, in categorical terms, the truth that Holy Scripture is a sure, safe, and reliable rule and guide in all matters.
Similarly, inerrant signifies the quality of being free from all falsehood or mistake, and so safeguards the truth that Holy Scripture is entirely true and trustworthy in all its assertions.
. . . . .
The truthfulness of Scripture is not negated by the appearance in it of irregularities of grammar or spelling, phenomenal descriptions of nature, reports of false statements (e.g., the lies of Satan), or seeming discrepancies between one passage and another. It is not right to set the so-called “phenomena” of Scripture against the teaching of Scripture about itself. Apparent inconsistencies should not be ignored. Solution of them, where this can be convincingly achieved, will encourage our faith, and where, for the present, no convincing solution is at hand, we shall significantly honor God by trusting His assurance that His Word is true despite these appearances and by maintaining our confidence that, one day, they will be seen to have been illusions.
From: Can I Trust the Bible? by R. C. Sproul; The Crucial Questions Series, #2 (Orlando: Reformation Trust, 2009), pp. xxv, xxvi-xxvii. The material in this publication was previously published in other formats in 1980 and 1996.
R. C. Sproul (1939-2017) died yesterday in a hospital in Altamonte Springs, Florida, of emphysema. He was 78. RIP.