Jerry McDonald (preacher for the Church of Christ in Oskaloosa, KS, at the time) and Mr. Farrell Till (editor of The Skeptical Review and English teacher at Spoon River College, Canton, IL,) began a written debate in January 1990, which continued for five years before it was completed. McDonald affirmed that "the Bible in its original autographs was verbally and fully inspired by Jehovah God and is therefore completely inerrant." Till affirmed that "intertextual contradictions and inconsistencies; historical, chronological, and scientific inaccuracies; failed prophecies; absurdities; moral atrocities attributed to divine ordainment; plagiarisms; and other disparities recorded in the Bible disprove its claim to be the inspired word of God."
The format of the debate consisted of five manuscript exchanges on each proposition. McDonald and Till agreed to a 20-page word limit before the debate, but by mutual consent, this limit was expanded so that some manuscripts were as long as 30 pages by the time the debate was completed.
As readers will see, McDonald's manuscripts contained numerous errors in grammar, syntax, spelling, and punctuation. In preparing the debate for posting in this forum, Till marked all of these mistakes with [sic] so that Mr. McDonald could easily make needed corrections; however, after the html-coded version of his first manuscript was sent to him for corrections, Mr. McDonald tried unsuccessfully to send a readable corrected copy. When Till informed McDonald that he would be glad to correct all of the mistakes marked with [sic], McDonald sent a brief message on May 22, 2007, in which he emphatically declined this offer.
No! Go ahead and put my articles on with the [sic]s in place.
Till sent a message to McDonald indicating that the mistakes had already been corrected, but in a reply dated May 25, 2007, McDonald was even more emphatic in saying that he would not allow any changes to be made to his manuscripts.
You do not have the right to make any corrections to my articles. Do not change one thing on them. You put them on exactly as I sent them or do not publish them.
In compliance with McDonald's demand, then, his manuscripts are being posted as he submitted them in the debate. The "sics" have been left in place to inform readers that the mistakes are not due to poor transcribing of the debate but to the actual mistakes that McDonald made in his original manuscripts. Many of the mistakes were deviations from the standard rules of English punctuation, which Mr. McDonald was obviously not familiar with. These mistakes will make for difficult reading at times, but they are being left in place as Mr. McDonald insisted.
The Inerrancy Side:
The Errancy Side:
Speaking Where the Bible Does Not Speak A Reply to McDonald's Unilateral "First Affirmative" on the Ahaziah Issue.
The Infamous Firm Foundation Articles Articles written by Farrell Till in his missionary days, which McDonald referred to in the debate, are reprinted as an addendum to the debate.