Inerrancy and Interpretation (2): More on the Licona Controversy

In light of my previous assessment of the debate over Michael Licona’s comments on the raising of the dead saints in Matthew 27:52-53, I was pleased to see the publication by Southeastern Theological Review of this roundtable discussion between Licona, Danny Akin, Craig Blomberg, Paul Copan, Michael Kruger, and Charles Quarles, in which Licona’s rather controversial view was fairly evaluated by the participants. I was particularly encouraged with the tone of discussion and the general agreement that the issue is not inerrancy but hermenteutics. Despite some disagreement on how to take Matthew 27:52-53, the participants do a good job of articulating the relationship between authorial intent and interpretation, a relationship which Norman Geisler and Albert Mohler failed to take on board in their critiques of Licona. This roundtable discussion is an excellent example of how evangelical scholarship and peer review should be conducted. I am unaware of any apology to Licona from either Geisler or Mohler, but in light of this roundtable discussion, I think there should be an increased call for such an apology from both for their inflammatory and misdirected critiques of Licona’s work.

4 thoughts on “Inerrancy and Interpretation (2): More on the Licona Controversy

  1. Hi Matt. I have been with this from the beginning, and most of what happened is not even known. Mike's really a great guy. He has maintained self-control and left it to people like JPH and myself to deal with this while he deals with more important matters. At any rate, here is the information.

    On William Lane Craig having the same view, see here:

    On Geisler's denial that he has not addressed, see here:

    For the challenge to Geisler by Holding, see here:

    Note the comments.

    For the video of Geisler's Christmas Carol, see here:

    For my own blog, you can find several posts on it here:


  2. Hi Nick,

    Thanks for reading and commenting. As you can tell I do find the whole thing rather troubling. I think the roundtable rather clearly vindicates Licona, and the prospect that those who caused damage don't appear willing to admit they missed it on this one is lamentable. I, for one, would have increased respect for Mohler or Geisler if either tried to make ammends. It seems they are not willing to submit to the same public peer review process they put Licona through.

    I would be interested to see some links or substantiation for some of your claims. I'm not familiar with a lot of the issues your raise, but they sound very interesting.



  3. Hi Matt. I'm Mike's son-in-law and thus, I've known about this from the beginning. I do not suspect for a moment that Geisler will ever consider that his presentation could be wrong seeing as he's the savior of inerrancy most likely in his eyes. The sad reality is that this has done tremendous damage to the idea of Inerrancy and to scholarship amongst young Evangelicals. I, for instance, have no desire now to join ETS since I see it can be used as a club. I do agree that we should be hammering Geisler. What we need to do is ask these questions to him.

    Why is it that you have not gone after William Lane Craig who shows the exact same position?

    When will you answer the shot heard round the world from Max Andrews that shows by your own standard you denied Inerrancy at one point or do so today?

    Why did you delete J.P. Holding's challenge from your Facebook page and banned the person who put it up?

    Have you addressed the challenges of myself, Mike's son-in-law, that I have put up on my blog? If you are watching it, why do you still consistently say that I was one who helped produce the “Geisler's Christmas Carol” video?

    While we're at it, we could see if he'd be still willing to answer questions on Ergun Caner.


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