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What Is The Bible And What Does It Contain?


davidk
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Hey Billmc,

 

Thanks. You keep me reading and listening.

-

I believe the Bible contains the written truths of God, and whether by history or parable, God is communicating to us those truths; exposed to us in such a way that we can understand them, and to tell others of.

We may have to sort out our prejudices to see these truths but they have been delivered to us clearly.

 

Universal truths cover a lot of ground. That's why we call them universals. Science continuously tries to boil as much as they can down to as few universal truths as possible in order to make sense of all the particular details it has to consider. Without universals, finding truth in the midst of the confusion of all the bits that exists would be nearly impossible.

 

Such things as gravity, and magnetism, may not be completely understood, but what we do know about them has proven reliable, and therefore are considered two of the scientific universals that provide enough truthful knowledge to be able to work out other problems where thay are relevant; i.e.; space travel, and electricity.

 

Spiritual universals behave the same way. The universal truths cover a myriad of applications. The Bible authors tell us how they applied them, but are not insistent about anything but the universals they are trying to communicate to us. There's no doubt many of you recognize this, i.e.; Love your neighbor, don't covet.

 

Jesus did say the Spirit will lead us to the truth. Where is it we find that He said this? In the Bible, of course. Does this contradict Jesus, of course not.

 

I could continue about the Law of Moses, and servants being obedient (think here of employees, or borrowers), or say Jesus came for individual justice not for the collective. Why, you ask?

You won't find Jesus, or His apostles seeking to overthrow any existing social order, (much to the dismay of the Jews, and should I dare say- progressives) dealing only with the indivduals responsibility to behave. This would take care of all the problems, would that everyone be so obedient.

Slavery under those conditions would be considerably less onerous, don't you think. If it remained in existence at all.

Jesus went to the root of the problem, the responsibility we have over our personal choices. How we should behave in any situation, as He would have.

 

The pecking order is a never ending stream of masters and slaves. Each one having a turn in each of us. Everything that exists has similar order. Anything that has no such order will only be chaotic. Not everyone can be the chief at the same time.

 

We may not apply Biblical universal truths the same as 1st century cultures would, but that doesn't mean the truths they applied won't cover us in the application we need to make today in our varied societies. We were still human beings at last glance.

 

I'm not certain about your closing suspicions. Perhaps it is that I suspect you may be less "progressive" than you think.

 

I hope it will suffice to say, I find no conflict between Jesus Christ and the Bible.

 

God's grace to you,

Davidk

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Since dialog has gone beyond relating directly to Paul as appealing or appalling and moved to what the Bible means to members here. A new topic has been started and Davidk's post moved to here by me since it relates more to what he considers the Bible containing rather than to the Paul as appealing threads which has pretty well run its course. Fell free to respectfully contribute here if desired.

 

JosephM (as Moderator)

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I believe the bible is a collection of human books written over a period of different centuries by different authors and not even the same author wrote all of the book attributed to them. I believe these books are purely the product of natural sources and as such contain biases, errors, contradictions, out-dated morals, and historical and scientific errors. At the same time, I think there is a deeper truth to the bible that lies beneath the literal reading. I believe much of the bible is allegorical that teaches us spiritual truths rather than scientific truths. I don't believe in miracles but I believe it is the message of Jesus that matters most and not the metaphysics of Jesus. I believe the Golden Rule is the central message of the bible and any passages or interpretations of the bible that does not reflect the Golden Rule must either be discarded or reinterpreted. I think Bishop Spong summed it up best that the bible is not the word of God, the bible is about a group of people who were seeking God but their humanity kept getting in the way.

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It also seems to me that the Bible is a collection of books that contain a combination of inspired writings by men concerning the things of God and other things such as opinions, customs, translation errors, myths, outright errors and fails my personal test to be called " the Word of God" anymore than any other writing that might be considered such by a particular religion.

 

Having stated my own individual view, I have a few questions for Davidk. I have heard it preached by a number of preachers/ministers who consider themselves fundamental Christians that the Bible is indeed "the Word of God" and that it is historically, scientifically, geographically, archaeologically and and factually true and without error. My understanding is that your view is based on logic and being rational rather than blind faith. Perhaps you would share your answers to these questions so we may thoroughly understand why your position may be so different than what i perceive the majority of PC's hold on this forum.

 

Which of these do you agree or disagree with and why...

 

#1 The Bible is "the Word of God" (if agree please state which translated version and why.)

#2 The Bible is historically correct. (if yes, what logic leads you to believe that?)

#3 The Bible is scientifically correct. (if yes, what evidence has convinced you?)

#4 The Bible is geographically correct. ( If yes, on what evidence do you base your finding?)

#5 The Bible is archaeologically correct.

#6 The Bible is factually true without contradiction or statement error.

 

I'm interested in your response including rational and logic concerning these questions in whatever detail you would agree to share with us here. When done, perhaps you would be willing to field any questions others might have for you that have brought them to a different conclusion?

 

Joseph

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This is a thread that is prone to be inflammatory and heated. Let us try to make it a non-attack and respectful thread. A clearer understanding of opposing views is what we are looking for. Differences exist on this forum. Lets not assume we understand in advance why the other has a different view or assume that we are superior in intellect or more well read than the other. Understanding is the bridge to growth on both sides. Agreement can be to disagree but forced change of mind or to belittle is not the function of this thread. Anger is easy and requires no virtue. Whereas, tolerance on the other hand seems to me to be Christlike.

 

JosephM(as Moderator)

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My view is that for things to be as they are, God must be logical, otherwise we can neither know and understand anything of God nor His creation. I believe faith, to be faith, cannot be blind. Faith is with our eyes wide open.

Joseph, if you've said the Bible contains outright error, I think the burden rests on you. Could it not have been your error instead?

 

To answer your questions:

#1- Yes. Since I am not fluent in Hebrew or Greek languages, I read the English translations.

#2- Yes. Usually that question arises from the problems one seems to see with Genesis. I have no problem with the historicity of Genesis. If your question does not involve Genesis, then where do you find problems with the Bible's "historical" accounts?

#3- Yes. It's not clear where it is you see that science and the Bible conflict.

#'s 4 & 5- If you have heard ministers preach this, perhaps you could enlighten me on what they meant by geographically and archaeologically correct.

#6- Yes. This usually is addressed when parables and metaphors are used in attempt to discredit the Bible as being factually correct. They don't. Contradictions? I don't know of one.

 

I don't pretend to have all the answers, but I would gladly field any question and respond the best I can.

 

Davidk

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Davidk,

 

I think your post 7 is fair enough. You have in general stated

 

My view is that for things to be as they are, God must be logical, otherwise we can neither know and understand anything of God nor His creation. I believe faith, to be faith, cannot be blind. Faith is with our eyes wide open
.

 

which indicates your view is that it is quite logical that God would be logical and provide us the Bible as his Word and you answered yes to all the questions of inerency except 4 and 5 which may need to be stated with more clarity. I will ignore those 2 for now and pose this one question first before i field any specifics to you.

 

If you believe that God requires and would not leave us without a reference book to communicate his words then what makes you logically conclude that this reference book is accurate to the exclusion of all others of any other religion.. (Also, please correct me if i have made a wrong assumption in my statement of this question.

 

Respectfully,

Joseph

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Davidk,

 

After you have responded to the last question I asked in the above post #9, this is my final question for you before I decide to offer specifics.

 

I suspect this may sound silly to you but if you will please humor me by answering sincerely. How many errors or really logical other conclusions will i have to offer or present in support of evidence against your position for you to reconsider your position of Bible inerrancy? Will one totally obvious one that cannot be logically refuted or logically answered do?

 

Joseph

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Neon,

Thanks for the link in both posts. Hilarious. It a fine example of the paucity of any real intellectual thought in the aetheist community.

--

 

Joseph ,

Holding off the big guns, huh?

 

"If you believe that God requires and would not leave us without a reference book to communicate his words then what makes you logically conclude that this reference book is accurate to the exclusion of all others of any other religion.(Also, please correct me if i have made a wrong assumption in my statement of this question.)"

 

Firstly, I don't believe God has left us. Secondly, which is really the first question I believe we should answer, and since we both have agreed that He does, is how God is able to speak to begin with.

 

What still appears foriegn to most on this message board, is to realize that there must be something spoken if we are to know anything. It is as simple and as profound as that. Can we, any finite man, gather enough of the particular facts to try and make our own eternal/universal truths? Is there anyone there to speak?

Are you thinking of closing the door to any consideration that God is the first and final speaker; that any real propositional revelation exists?

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Neon,

Thanks for the link in both posts. Hilarious. It a fine example of the paucity of any real intellectual thought in the aetheist community.

 

It's ironic you don't even spell the word atheist correctly in the same sentence you accuse them of lacking intellectual thought. Edited by Neon Genesis
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Guest billmc

It seems to me that the central truth behind the New Testament is that God is known, not through through ancient writings, but through loving people.

 

If God is love, then we don't experience God by reading about love, but by actually loving.

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Dear Neon,

 

Davidk's dismissal of the Sceptics Annotated Bible is understandable to this degree: some of the annotators either don't know enough about the Bible to speak intelligently or don't care.

 

For example, item #76, dealing with the book of Numbers: "'He made them wander in the wilderness forty years.'

It took the Israelites 40 years to travel from Egypt to Canaan, yet such a journey, even at that time, would have taken no more than a few weeks. 32:13" C'mon, did the annotator bother to read the story?

 

Alongside these are more substantial criticisms. It's a shame that somebody hasn't pruned away the junk. Other sites for evidence of problems with the Bible include http://www.errancy.org and http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/jim_meritt/bible-contradictions.html. (Sorry I don't have links here. Haven't figured out how to do that on this board yet.) But the real gold mines for problems are in commentaries and monographs.

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Guest billmc

Here are a few excerpts from an interesting article that I found on the internet. For those who have the time, I’d recommend reading the article in its entirety. You can find it here:

 

http://freebelievers.com/article/christians-and-the-bible

 

But for those pressed for time, here are a few highlights:

 

At the end of Gideon's "deliverance career" the Israelites wanted to make him their king. Gideon refused, and said that instead of becoming their king he would like them to each bring him a gold ear ring from the plunder. Everyone brought a portion of gold and Gideon melted it down and made a "golden Ephod". The Ephod was the vest that the priests put on when they entered the holy of holies. In the pocket of the Ephod were the lots, which were used when they "caste lots" in order to determine God's will in a certain situation. When the priest entered the temple wearing the golden Ephod, he could actually hear the voice of God audibly. You might remember one time when King David told the priests to "bring him the golden Ephod". David put it on and went into the temple to ask God whether or not he should attack the Amalekites. David heard the audible voice of God tell him to attack.

 

The story of Gideon goes on to say that after the golden Ephod was made, "all of Israel prostituted themselves by worshiping the Ephod". Think of this for a moment. They actually worshiped the way in which to determine God's will over worshiping God Himself. The story later goes on to say that it became a snare to Gideon and his family.

 

So what does this have to do with the Bible? One of the things we are taught about the Bible is that it is the way in which to determine the will of God. Just as the Israelites prostituted themselves after the golden Ephod, I believe that modern day Christianity is doing the exact same thing with the Bible. We have prostituted ourselves after the Bible and there is no doubt in my mind that it has become a thorn and a snare to almost every Christian in America. In fact I think many Christians have actually traded God for the Bible. Many others have even come to the point where they think God IS the Bible. I truly believe that the Bible has become the golden Ephod of our time.

 

It's interesting to me that we actually call the Bible "The Word of God". The Bible doesn't make that claim about itself. In the book of John it says: "In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God", but then it goes on to say, "The Word became flesh". The Bible outright tells us that JESUS is the Word. Not the Bible. There wasn't even a Bible put together when this passage was written. When we teach people that the Bible is "The Word" we are flat out exchanging Christ for the Bible.

 

Christ Himself said "I will build MY Church" and today we have "Bible Churches" in every city of America. The name alone gives our intentions and true feelings away. We are no different in this generation from the Pharisees in Jesus' day. They had a very similar view of their Old Testament scriptures. Jesus confronted them and said, "You diligently study the Scriptures because you think that by them you possess eternal life. These are the Scriptures that testify about me, yet you refuse to come to me to have life" (John 5:39-40). The Pharisees were making the same trade that millions of Christians have made today. Another point about this passage is that Jesus clearly makes a distinction between "studying the Scriptures" and "coming to Him".

 

Most Christians believe with all their hearts that a person is not even saved unless they "believe in the Bible". Churches advertise themselves as being a, "Bible believing Church". Toss that around in your head for awhile and truly think about it. Where in the Bible does it say that we have to "believe in the Bible" in order to be saved? It does say to believe in Christ, but for some reason we have raised belief in the Bible to the same spiritual level as believing in Christ Himself.

 

The American Christian system has wholeheartedly exchanged God for the Bible! This is precisely why so many sincere-hearted people go into a full-fledged panic attack the moment anyone suggests that there might be errors or discrepancies in the Bible. Most Christians will outright tell you that to even entertain such a thought is blasphemy. Because we have made the "God-exchange" we have to insist that the Bible now takes on the attributes of God Himself. This is why it is imperative that everyone believe the Bible is infallible. It is equally grieving to my heart when I hear people say things like, "If there is even one thing wrong in the Bible, our entire faith is worthless". Their entire existence as a Christian stands on the belief that there are no errors in Scripture. If they were to be shown a true discrepancy in Scripture that could not be explained away, it would literally cause their entire religion to come caving in on them. I've heard people openly admit, "If you can't believe it all, you can't believe any of it". Their entire faith stands on Scripture instead of Christ. Make no mistake about it, there has been an exchange of monumental proportions! This is why so many Christians judge the strength and status of their Christian walk by how much time they spend reading their Bible. It seems to be a constant thorn in the side of every single Christian I know. They always feel guilty for not studying it every day of their life. They just know that God is upset with them for not reading it more. The cycle goes on and on until it becomes a permanent snare in their walk. We are constantly pressured to "be in the Word" but we are never told how much is enough. No matter how much time we spend studying it; it's never enough.

 

Most of the things we are taught about the Bible are found nowhere in the Bible; they come from a religious spirit that seeks to whittle people down to a spiritual nub in an effort to gain control over their minds. Without a doubt, this wonderful book has been used to cuff the spirits of millions of sincere-hearted people who honestly want to connect with God's Heart.

 

Acknowledging the Purpose of Scripture: Several months ago I took my wife and kids to Disneyland. Just before we left the house I used "Map Quest" to get directions. After typing in my home address and the address of Disneyland I was printing out step by step directions that even a monkey could follow. Together my wife and I followed the map to a "T" and in just six hours we were standing at the entrance of Disneyland with four ecstatic little girls.

 

Now I want you to read this next part slowly and think about it.

 

If you were to come looking for my family inside of Disneyland about an hour after we entered the park, what are the chances you would find us all sitting on a bench by the Dumbo ride, studying the map? This is exactly what the Christian world looks like today. It's a day at Disneyland were thousands of people have filled the park. However, all the rides are empty, there are no lines at the restaurants, no one is paying attention to the characters walking around and the light parade goes unnoticed. Why? Because everyone is sitting around in clusters studying the map and going over how they got there.

 

The purpose of the Bible is to lead us to Christ. LOVE IN THE FLESH. For some reason however, we have gotten the idea that once we have found Christ, we must continue to study the map. To take it a step further, we have even taught people that their entire relationship with Christ is now lived out through reading the Bible! If this were true, you would think that in all of Jesus' teachings and preachings, He would have at least ONCE stopped midway in one of His sermons and said, "Oh and by the way, in about forty years from now a bunch of guys are going to write letters back and forth to each other and in about three hundred and fifty years from now those letters are going to be bound in a book, and if you don't read it everyday of your life YOU WILL NEVER KNOW GOD".

 

Why didn't the Apostle Paul tell the Churches he wrote letters to that they had to read and re-read and study and meditate on those letters over and over for the rest of their lives in order to grow in the Lord? If our daily Bible reading were as important as we have been told it is today; why wasn't it mentioned even once by one of the authors in the New Testament? Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Peter, Jude, James, Paul, never once told us that we had to make the reading of their letters a daily religious ritual. You would think that someone would have written about it if it was really as important as we teach today.

 

It's interesting to me that we tell people that the way they get close to God is by reading their Bible regularly. The Pharisees not only did this, but they went on to memorize large portions of Scripture and even wore articles of clothing to remind them daily of what they had read. However, when God stood right in front of them in the flesh, they didn't recognize Him from Adam. Jesus later told the people that the two most important commandments were to "Love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind and soul" and He said "the second commandment is like the first.........Love your neighbor as yourself". Then he said, "All of the law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments". He was literally saying that if you love, you will BECOME the Bible! You can put it down and walk away from it forever because LOVE is the embodiment of the entire Bible. Once again: the purpose of the Bible is to lead us to Christ. Who is Christ? Love in the flesh!

When you know Christ, you know love and when you know love you are no longer a spreader of the message; YOU BECOME THE MESSAGE.

 

Our teachings about the Bible and its purpose in our lives have basically made us a generation of dead people. Since we don't believe we can hear God on our own without the Bible, we find ourselves searching the Scriptures to find out whether something is right or wrong and we don't even stop to look into our own heart and ask ourselves.

 

When tragedy or hardship comes into their life they have no other choice but to "STAND ON SCRIPTURE" and hope for the best. Because there is no real relationship established beyond what they read in the book, they can only quote the book to the Author in hopes that He will recognize the passage and honor what He said. I personally know hundreds of Christians who spend their entire life standing on this Scripture or that in an effort to get what they want. It's all they have. There is nothing beyond the words they read in the book. Their relationship is not with God; it's with their Bible.

 

Listening to many Christians witnessing in today's age is perhaps the most grueling experience I can think of. So often it seems that their entire witness is based on what they have read in a book. Just because you read about a crime in the paper, doesn't mean that you can go to court during the trial and be a witness. Sadly, that's what our religion has produced in recent years. A bunch of well-read people who haven't really witnessed a thing. Know Your Bible People!

 

Could you imagine a wife on her wedding night coming out of the bathroom dressed in a beautiful negligee ready to present herself to her husband for the first time and he is sitting on the edge of the bed reading a letter she wrote to him ten years ago? She says, "Honey here I am, come over here", and he doesn't even look up because he's having relationship with the letter. That is exactly what I see in modern day Christianity! We have access to the real God and we insist on reading the letter over and over instead of actually connecting with Him.

 

Many people who are reading this are likely to say to themselves, "What about King David who said that he meditated on the Word night and day"? First of all, when David meditated on the Word, he was meditating on THE LAW. The first five books of the Old Testament, otherwise known as the Pentateuch. Believe it or not; the Bible as we know it today does not refer to itself as "The Word of God". Any place where the term "The Word" is spoken about in Scripture, it's referring to THE LAW. That's what David meditated on night and day. He had to because David was not like you and me. He didn't have the Holy Spirit living inside of him. In our time, "The Word became Flesh" and now dwells among us. JESUS is the Word, not the Bible. If you have Jesus living in your Heart; you have the Word living in your heart. David's "Word" was only a shadow of what was to come. Imagine if all you were given was a shadow of something. You would have no choice but to study it from every possible angle in hopes that you might find out what was casting that shadow.

 

We have been given the very One who casts that shadow! Why in the world would we ever be tempted to study the shadow when the One who casts the shadow is standing right before us? Our teachings on the Bible have turned us into shadow chasers who refuse to acknowledge the Shadow Maker. Although David had to meditate on the Word night and day, and he clearly had a deep love and respect for it, it's interesting that when David needed to hear from God, he didn't turn to the Scriptures. He walked directly into the Temple and confronted God himself. In fact, I have not found a single place in all of Scripture where anyone turned to Scripture in order to hear from God.

 

The nail in the coffin to all of this dysfunction and chaos comes the moment we swallow the equally devastating and destructive teaching that says, "Don't trust your heart". It comes from that Bible verse where Jeremiah says "the heart is deceitful above all things....." So now, in addition to teaching us that we can't make one spiritual move without the Bible, we're also taught that we are supposed to shut ourselves down from our heart and refrain from any future consultations with it. This is preached all over America and it's a lie from the pit of Hell! I honestly believe that these two teachings together are a recipe for spiritual death.

 

Come now, let us reason together. If we are not supposed to ever trust our hearts, how in the world can we ever know Him? Think about it for a moment. When you became a Christian; where did you ask Jesus to live? Your heart of course! What good would it be for the Spirit of Christ to live in your heart if you aren't allowed to "go there"? How could we ever forgive someone from our heart if we can't trust it? Why would God write His laws on the hearts of men if they were not allowed to consult that part of their being? Whey would the Bible tell us to "sing and make music in our hearts" if they were not to be trusted? We couldn't even fulfill the commandment that Jesus said was most important, "Love the Lord you God with all your heart, mind and soul". Jesus also said that "the Kingdom of Heaven is within you", and there is no doubt that He was speaking about our hearts. The irony of this is that this popular teaching tells us that we must rely only on the Bible and not on our hearts. If we can't trust our hearts, how will we ever be able to read and interpret the Bible properly? Wouldn't our deceptive hearts mess everything up and interpret it all wrong? The entire idea is so outlandish and absurd that it's not even worth discussing.

 

The very birth and life of a believer is lived out through the heart. This is why the Bible says "if you confess with your mouth AND BELIEVE IN YOUR HEART that Jesus Christ is Lord, you will be saved". The next time someone quotes that "The heart is deceitful verse"…you just remind them that when you believed in God's one and only Son, your heart was resurrected with Christ and you are a new creation.

 

Reasons to Read: I believe that there are many wonderful reasons to read the Bible without having to add to them in an effort to manipulate or control people. One of the greatest things that happens when you read it, is that it helps to connect your heart with your head. If the Word is living in the heart of a Christian; reading the Bible can cause the mind and the heart to become one. In other words, it will remind you of what already exists in your heart. I also think that knowing the history of our faith is extremely important. Let's face it, there are also times in our lives when we just don't love. Even though the author of love Himself is living in our hearts; sometimes we purposefully decide to not go there. When we do this, the Bible is great because it sets us straight. Many of us have a worldly view of what love is. Scripture is wonderful in this sense. It clearly draws a distinction between man's idea of love and the truth. When you read about the truth of what love is, you'll find little explosions taking place in your heart, and your head will immediately come into alignment with it. I think the Bible is great at teaching each and every one of us how to locate and find treasures within our heart.

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Ah, the URLs showed up as links anyway! Nice!

 

DavidK said:

What still appears foriegn to most on this message board, is to realize that there must be something spoken if we are to know anything. It is as simple and as profound as that. Can we, any finite man, gather enough of the particular facts to try and make our own eternal/universal truths? Is there anyone there to speak?

Are you thinking of closing the door to any consideration that God is the first and final speaker; that any real propositional revelation exists?

 

Dear David,

 

You are making a lot of assertions here. There must be something spoken if we are to know anything? What do you mean? That a being must have the ability to use/understand language in order to know anything? Or does "something spoken" refer to the whole ordered substructure of of the world, including language? What is the relationship of language to the rest of the sensible world? And how do you determine that?

 

Do truths have to be "eternal/universal" to be known? You sound like one of my former professors, who argued that without God's revelation, in order for a human to know anything he has to know everything. I think that claim is demonstrably false. Is that what you are arguing for?

 

Is your closing question really a question? I doubt it. If you are true to your own commitments, you have to assert that question as a fact. Progressive Christians as all other compromised believers are closing their ears against God's spoken revelation. We're the ones with the "itching ears" the author of the pastoral letters warned against. My response? You really need to read Carl Sagan's book, The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark.

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David,

 

A question I would have, supposing that God really did have some proposition he wanted to communicate to man - indeed to each individual as a matter of eternal consequence - why would he choose a book to do it? If such a matter were so important for God to communicate, would he not do so personally on an individual basis, clearly and beyond mistake? Would he not make his truth a matter of personal experience for each one of us?

 

I have heard many arguments put forth to try to explain this problem, ironically using reasons found outside anything in the bible to address it, usually something along the lines of, “that would take away the need for faith," which doesn’t fly with me because faith so defined would simply be blind faith, faith without proper evidence. It admits that God could have made himself known to a person but chose not to. This conclusion to me is unavoidable. If God wanted to say something clearly to mankind and had the ability to do it, he would. To choose not to do so would be negligence on his part; it would mean he’s really not doing all he can to save his creation from hell or judgment, or whatever.

 

But even supposing God did write a book, why write one that is so widely disputed and, well, “messy”? You may claim that there is not one error or inconsistency in the bible, but (without getting into specifics) many of us can’t avoid the conclusion that it has the definite mark of human fallibility on it. If God literally wrote a book, wouldn’t it possess a uniqueness in the form of some characteristic(s) incontestably beyond human capacity? I have heard, and indeed have myself made many claims that the bible is obviously this kind of book; but I have never been able to see that claim substantiated, especially by myself (I have tried my hand at apologetics). Why is a book written by God even in need of apologists?

 

On the contrary, my own earnest and, at times even desperate, investigations have honestly led me to the opposite conclusion, that the bible is a human product foremost. And that leads me back to the first part of my question. If that is where my honest search has led me, how badly can God actually want to communicate his propositions to me?

 

Peace to you,

Mike

Edited by Mike
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Davidk,

 

It seems to me that you either haven't really read carefully or are just avoiding my 2 preliminary questions asked you in Post #9 and #10. Therefore i see no reason for me to waste my time in dialog giving you any specifics until you answer my questions which were first posed to you unless it is just an oversight on your part.

Your post #11 indeed copied my question from Post #9 but you never really answered it.

 

Also there is no point me attempting to build a case if you are not going to seriously consider what i have written and at least agree in advance to be open and reconsider your position on inerrancy if I present a logical case with evidence to prove my point since you indicate the burden is on me.

 

 

Respectfully,

Joseph

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The maxim I try to follow is "extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence." If someone makes the assertive claim that Christianity is the one true way and is a perfect religion divinely inspired by God, they are making an extraordinary claim that they must back up with extraordinary evidence. Likewise if someone claims all religion is evil and stupid they need to back the claim up with evidence. If that's their personal belief, that's their prerogative, but if they want to convince others to agree with them, then it's their job to prove it. The person who questions that claim should not be required to prove it's wrong because it's logically impossible to prove a negative.

Edited by Neon Genesis
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Davidk,

 

I think your post 7 is fair enough. You have in general stated

 

.

 

which indicates your view is that it is quite logical that God would be logical and provide us the Bible as his Word and you answered yes to all the questions of inerency except 4 and 5 which may need to be stated with more clarity. I will ignore those 2 for now and pose this one question first before i field any specifics to you.

 

If you believe that God requires and would not leave us without a reference book to communicate his words then what makes you logically conclude that this reference book is accurate to the exclusion of all others of any other religion.. (Also, please correct me if i have made a wrong assumption in my statement of this question.

 

Respectfully,

Joseph

 

 

Different religious books make contradictory truth claims. For example, the Koran and the Bible contradict each other. The Koran teaches that Jesus is not God (Sura 4.171). However, the Bible teaches that Jesus is God (Hebrews 1; John 1). The Koran teaches that salvation is received by both believing in Allah and by doing good deeds (Sura 5:9). However, the Bible teaches that salvation is received by faith alone, not by doing good deeds (Galatians 3:6-14). Since both books contradict each other, they both cannot be true. If the Koran is correct, then the Bible is incorrect and vice versa.

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A person cannot believe that all of the teachings of the Bible are accurate and at the same time believe that all of the teachings of the Book of Mormon are accurate because both books contradict each other in many places. It is the same with the other religious writings.

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Different religious books make contradictory truth claims. For example, the Koran and the Bible contradict each other. The Koran teaches that Jesus is not God (Sura 4.171). However, the Bible teaches that Jesus is God (Hebrews 1; John 1). The Koran teaches that salvation is received by both believing in Allah and by doing good deeds (Sura 5:9). However, the Bible teaches that salvation is received by faith alone, not by doing good deeds (Galatians 3:6-14). Since both books contradict each other, they both cannot be true. If the Koran is correct, then the Bible is incorrect and vice versa.

 

 

A person cannot believe that all of the teachings of the Bible are accurate and at the same time believe that all of the teachings of the Book of Mormon are accurate because both books contradict each other in many places. It is the same with the other religious writings.

 

Hi Hornet,

 

From the assumption of an 'all or nothing' approach to a religious text (or a religion generally), I would agree with you. Many people in the world approach their religion in just this way. But supposing that in neither book do we have to accept that 'all the teachings' are accurate, and that in neither book must we look for an absolute and exclusive claim to truth, there is a middle way to be traversed that admits the incomplete nature of our systems and concepts. This approach is, of course, incompatible with absolutist claims to religious truth, but it works for many others who don't find that approach appealing.

 

I'm not familiar with the Qur'an, but within my experience of the Bible, I'm not at all convinced that there is one, monolithic message or theory of reality articulated in the Bible. I'm also not convinced that the Bible in any clear or systematic way teaches that Jesus is God or endorses the protestant 'faith alone' theology which creates a dichotomy between faith and works.

 

I'm also very much disenfranchised with the enterprise of systematic theology on the whole, which seeks to exclude all untruth by neatly constructing a scaffolding for all 'true' reality. The very act of systematizing truth limits and excludes truth.

 

Peace to you,

Mike

Edited by Mike
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