Book Review: Spotlight on “The Scripture Cannot be Broken”

If there’s one thing that’s true about John MacArthur, it’s that he is a man that evokes strong feelings (both positive and negative, depending on who you are and what your experience with him or his followers has been). As a result, you might assume you already know what you’re getting when you pick up a book emblazoned with his name. This is both true and not true of The Scripture Cannot Be Broken.


The Scripture Cannot Be Broken is a collection of 20th Century writings on Biblical Inerrancy selected by MacArthur as significant or important enough to be republished together. Correspondingly, the only portion of the book authored by MacArthur is the short introduction.

The essays comprising the rest of the book are divided into sections on:

  1. Historical Perspective
  2. Scripture
  3. Inspiration
  4. Inerrancy
  5. Infallibility

The authors of the various essays include John Murray, J.I. Packer, John Frame, and B.B. Warfield, and the date of the composition of the different essays ranges from 1946 to 1995. The essays vary in accessibility from easily accessible (some are short and/or relatively straightforward) to bordering on opaque (others are quite lengthy and some are so technical they are practically unintelligible to most, the present author included).

A strength of this wide range of the contents is that almost everyone who is even the least bit interested in the topic of inerrancy is bound to find something for them in this book. However, the flip side of this anthology is that few will find every essay contained in the book to be equally relevant, interesting, or even comprehendible. Still, the anthology succeeds in its aim to illustrate that while the questions about the Bible’s reliability are not new, neither are the answers. There is something for everyone in this volume, though not everything is for everyone. 

Five stars for quality and historical importance of the contents, but three stars for the high bar of technical proficiency needed to properly understand and appreciate the contents averages out to a rating of:

4 stars out of 5

John MacArthur ed., The Scripture Cannot Be Broken: Twentieth Century Writings on the Doctrine of InerrancyWheaton: Crossway, 2015. 336 pp. Paperback.

Buy it: Amazon

Thanks to Crossway for the review copy!

A Fuller Understanding of the Scriptures (Or, To the sources! To the Fount!)


‘Lord, thou hast given me a determination to take up no principle at second-hand; but to search for everything at the pure fountain of thy word.’ -Andrew Fuller

It’s tempting to base our theology on what the “experts” have concluded on the topic. Have a question about doctrine? Well what does Tim Keller say about the subject? What about John Piper? Has MacArthur chimed in on the subject? How does N.T. Wright approach it? If you’re feeling especially interested you might even go to what Jonathan Edwards, Wesley, Calvin, or Augustine have said on the subject.

But coming across this quote by Andrew Fuller was an excellent and timely reminder about the true source of doctrinal and theological principles. May God give us a similar determination to not settle for “second-hand” theology but to instead go directly to the Word with any and every idea like the Bereans in Acts 17, who “received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so.” (Acts 17:11, ESV).