A wrong action (or inaction) caused by bad judgement, ignorance or inattention. In the Christian context, it is straying from the truth through failing to walk obediently in the truth already received or not “Correctly handling the Word of Truth” (2 Tim 2:15). This is why it is essential to have a balanced and growing understanding of the Bible, for God’s

Gods’ Word is truth from cover to cover

Word is truth (Jn 17:17; 2 Pet 3:18). We should confirm all Christian teaching with the Word of God, as there are many false teachings that will lead even sincere believers away (Act 17:11; 2 Pet 2:1). If we don’t apply the principles of the Bible we are automatically walking in error, setting ourselves up for deception and destruction (Mt 7:24-27; Jas 1:22). Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching you really are my disciples, then you will know the truth and the truth will set you free” (Jn 8:31,32). David prayed, “Teach me your way, O Lord, and I will walk in your truth” (Ps 86:11). As we learn more of His ways, they need to be embraced and adhered to.  We follow Christ by “walking in the truth” (3 Jn 1:4). 

Jesus bluntly said, “You are in error because you don’t know the [real meaning of the] Scriptures or the power of God” (Mt 22:29). He was confronting the self-righteous, proud religious leaders of His day, who had a superficial and twisted understanding of the Scriptures. Pride and ignorance are a bad combination!

Only having some of the truth is being vulnerable to error. A mature couple explained the full gospel truth to a younger believer who was unaware that there was more (Act 18:24-28).  We need discernment to know truth from error, being sensitive to the Holy Spirit, “If you leave God’s paths and go astray, you will hear a Voice behind you say, ‘No this is the

Satan doesn't worry if you believe what is false

way; walk here’” (Isa 30:21). Whoever knows God listens to and outworks Godly teaching; this is how we discern between truth and error (1 Jn 4:6). Although serious, error is not as bad as heresy, which is a more deliberate turning from the truth and the spreading of false teaching (Jud 1:11). “My people are destroyed from lack of knowledge” (Hos 4:6).

It is also the responsibility of believers to restore those who have wandered from the truth and fallen into error (Gal 6:1; Jas 5:19,20). Being our brother’s keeper is for everyone’s protection. We should all be in open, humble accountability to others – both to give and receive feedback as “Who can discern his errors” (Ps 19:12). ‘Living’ the Bible together in this close relationship with God and honest rapport with Godly people will keep us from error and deception.

The Bible, the Word of God, is inerrant and infallible, being incapable of being wrong and thus contains no errors.

See also: accountability, cults, deception, discernment, false teaching, heresy, ignorance, inerrancy, infallibility, interpretation, knowledge, mistakes, truth, understanding.