I think the vast majority of Bible believing Christians intuitively believe just as I do concerning the text of the Scripture. That is, we actually possess the infallible word of God, not in theory, but in fact. The rub doesn’t come until they turn a corner and run into lower criticism.
Once, when I was an advocate of contemporary textual criticism, I was explaining it to a man and he looked down dejectedly and said, “I guess the Bible is not quite what I thought it was.”
It makes me think of a similar instance in a lecture I heard by Michael Kruger where he was telling his students a story about how he went to a Presbyterian church to speak on the text of Scripture. He taught them that the long ending of Mark containing the resurrection account was not Scripture. The pastor’s wife approached him in tears afterwards about this and Kruger commented that she was influenced by tradition.
In reality, she had a view of the Bible as the infallible word of God and this renowned, trusted professor turned her understanding of the nature of the Biblical text up on its head. You’d cry too if it were you!
How can an infallible text contain a complete narrative, indeed a resurrection account!, for centuries and believers accepted it as authentic Scripture only now to be told it’s a fake? The implications of that are not well understood by believing proponents of lower criticism.
She thought she could approach the Bible with the same confidence as Jesus…
Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.
This is going to be jarring because it presents a different epistemology than that which the typical Bible believer holds to from upon their own reading of the Bible. “I can no longer just go to my Bible as the ultimate authority, I must always check it by the critics…for what my Bible says may or may not actually be the Bible. Furthermore, the critics are often not in agreement and what they affirm today they may deny tomorrow.”
Such is the mess you get when you disconnect the concept of Biblical canon from the text of the canon.