Email: If Matthew and Luke wrote a rough draft of their gospels and then later edited them into the form we have today, does that disprove inerrancy?
Response: I honestly do not see a major problem with that belief affecting the doctrine known as Biblical inerrancy since it is the final form of the Gospel which is inspired, not the various drafts or compositional forms.1 We know, for example, that Luke used various sources to compose his Gospel which he freely admits in his introduction (Luke 1:1-4). So Matthew may have written his Gospel in draft form and then later edited or compiled it in a final form. It is quite possible that Matthew and Luke used Mark when they wrote their Gospel. Much of the ordering of Matthew reflects the ordering of Mark. Also, about 93% of Mark is preserved in Matthew and Luke. This indicates that Mark was probably the first Gospel.
Anyhow, Matthew may have even used an oral or written source known as Q. The Q hypothesis is a bit questionable since this Q document or source has never been discovered, but it is certainly a possibility due to the high degree of similarity in Matthew and Luke’s accounts compared to Mark.
- 1. Biblical inerrancy is the belief is that the Scriptures are without error in everything they teach and affirm.