When I first wrote the OP it was obviously misleading since I got definitions from almost every single reply. It was discussion that I was looking for. So I will try again.
Inerrancy, as it will be used in this thread, means "without errors" and that includes ALL errors.
Infallibility, as it will be used in this thread (and is used by some denominations) allows for the presence of certain errors, chiefly (but not exclusively) scientific errors--allows for the possibility that most of the canonical authors shared an erroneous view of the cosmos: geocentric, flat, discus earth; pillars beneath; a vast reservoir of water below and even a vast reservoir of water above what we would call the ozone.
So the question, which is personal-- how important is it that the Bible belong to the category of inerrancy? Put another way, how might the other category threaten the Bible's authority?
To make matters even more contentious (and discussion even more lively) I will add another error which infallibility might allow--an error I had never even considered until entering this forum.....
.......How important is it that the New Testament authors handle other parts of Scripture with exactitude? To give a concrete example--suppose Jesus Himself never questioned the historicity of the Jonah story, and YET objectively (from God the Father's perspective, and from the Son's perspective, but not from the Son Incarnate's perspective) Jonah was originally written as a fictitious tale conveying a moral? How would that effect YOUR (keeping it personal) appreciation and reverence for Scripture?
This discrepancy between human authors and objective history can obviously be applied elsewhere--the historicity of the Noah story; or of the GEnesis account of creation: perhaps the author himself--let's assume Moses--thought he was reporting the event not only in a manner that was symbolic of other realities--I have maintained that the structure of Genesis and other elements are Temple motifs, declaring the earth to be God's temple--but also thought he was writing precise history (it really did happen in 6 days). Suppose he was spot on about the former, but not the latter...?
Alright, I hope I have established the arena well enough to invite engaging discussion
Edited by ConnorLiamBrown, 18 April 2014 - 11:07 AM.