"Christian scripture is unique among sacred texts. Nearly all sacred texts fall into two categories. The most common is dictated texts, which are considered by their adherents to be the literal words of their god or gods in a specific language (eg. the Quran in Arabic, the Baghavad Gita in Sanskrit); the text of which is held to be inerrant. The second is mytho-historic traditions (written and oral) in which actions are described in what is believed to be literal depictions of actual events relayed in an accurate and inerrant manner, generally from a single perspective.
"The Christian bible is not, despite the claims of some fringe extremists, the literal dictated Word of G-D; but rather, the inspired or revealed word. This distinction is critical. It is the Word as filtered through human, and therefore imperfect, agents. This is the reason that non-Christians assume that the differences between the Gospels are errors, when in fact, they are simply differerences of perspective and empahsis between the various authors. It is an extension of the biblical legal principle of not accepting any claim unless it is supported by at least "two or three witnesses". Nowhere in scripture is it claimed to be literal. It is revealed through the Holy Spirit, and through the Spirit, the fundamental message is preserved through multiplication of witnesses and viewpoints. G-D never says that His literal word will endure unchanged, but that the Spirit will ensure that the message endures regardless of the method of transmission."