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Are there scribal errors in the Bible?

Discussion in 'General Discussions' started by Peki, Aug 15, 2016.

  1. OK, if you google, scribal errors in the Bible you might find actual Christians saying that there are some, however that there is enough information to be able to work out with number is correct.

    An example, in one place it says that Jehoiachin was eight years when he began to reign and that he reigned for three months and ten days, and in another place it says that he was eighteen years old when he began to reign and that he reigned for three months.

    I am interested in your opinion on are there, or care there no scribal errors in the Bible.

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    Friendly Warning
    This thread will be monitored closely
    as this type can ruffle a few feathers all to easy.

    Be ye kind one to another

  3. A possible explanation is that he began to rule alongside his father at the age of eight to learn the ropes as an "apprentice king" but didn't take complete control until the age of 18..:)
    KingJ and Major say Amen and like this.
  4. G'day Peki,
    I'd say for me, I think it is sufficient to say that Jehoiachin reigned for a short time.
    It would seem that he was one bad hombre and that might be why his reign was so short lived. He sold out on the Lord and on His people, and that was an evil thing that he did.
    He did not seek the Lord for sanctuary or deliverance by the hand of the Lord, instead, he threw himself on the mercy of Nebuchadnezzar.....should have thrown himself on the mercy of the Lord God of Israel. To me that is more important than how old he was....But that is me.
  5. Sometimes mistranslations are simply a matter of time and culture.

    One that has bugged me for years is the use of the word "heart" in English translation whenever it is not talking about the actual physical organ. in the past up through as late as the middle ages the heart was the seat of reason and thought in addition to or rather than emotion and feeling.

    For those of us today the word heart refers almost exclusively to emotions and desires.

    When the original scriptural languages are translated in and out of context they show emphasis on thinking/meditation and reason.

    If you want to know what the practical difference is, whenever you read through an english translation of scripture (and it isn't referring to the physical organ or the first commandment) substitute the word "mind" for the word "heart".

    It may seem like a subtle or negligible thing, but the impact over the course of study is profound.
    LiveLoveLife9898 likes this.
  6. Look at it this way ......
    When the heart is mentioned in scriptures it is referring to the Center or Core being which is the Spitit.

    Believe with your heart has nothing to do with your mind. It is believing with your spirit.
    Cturtle and Major say Amen and like this.
  7. #7 Major, Aug 15, 2016
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2016
    You bring up a good point my brother.

    If we read both Chronicles and Kings it can be noticed that Jehoiachin reigned only three months after which he was taken captive. At the time of this captivity it would be helpful to notice that his wives (note the plural) were taken as well. To me, this is saying that he was an eighteen year old king and not an eight-year-old who would not even be considered a man under Jewish law.

    Now why the discrepancy between 8 and 18???

    One answer is that like ancient Latin, the Hebrew language uses the letters of the alphabet for numbers. The difference between eight and eighteen is the presence of a "hook" symbol over the letters for eighteen, and if the person who copied the manuscript failed to add the "hook," the error would be recorded and repeated.

    If this is a scribal error, these occasional scribal errors in no way affect the inspiration of Scripture and do not touch upon any major teaching in the Bible as nothing said changes anything.
    (The Bible Exposition Commentary: Old Testament © 2001-2004 by Warren W. Wiersbe.)

    As for me personally, I do not accept that these examples which can be found make the Word of God erroneous in any way whatsoever. There are no errors in the Scriptures, only an opportunity to grow and learn.It means we must dig in deeper so as to find the right answer. It is almost like God allowed it to force us to study harder.
    Cturtle, Siloam, KingJ and 1 other person say Amen and like this.
  8. Agreed. In Bible times, "Cool" meant that we needed a coat. Today, "Cool" means that something is acceptable or good.

    I believe this is why the writer of Hebrews 1:1 said.........
    "God, who at sundry times and in diverse manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets".

    That means God used different ways to communicate and that also included the thoughts of those men at that particular time used the words that they were familiar with to express what God said to them.
  9. You bring up a very good point Major and I like it..........but...............consider;
    2Ch 36:9. Jehoiachin was eighteen years old when he became king, and he reigned three months and ten days in Jerusalem. He did what was evil in the sight of the LORD.

    Even though this particular text says he was eighteen, it does mention that he was particularly evil, just suppose that he was in fact only eight. Taking to himself (maybe) little girls as his wives would surely be evil.
    Even taking older mature girls would seem to be most inappropriate,
    Just a thought, but I agree with you 100% that the message is not muddied at all.
  10. I agree calvin. But then there is no mention that he took "little" girls as wives. That is a maybe and not Bible factual. Then if he was 18 and did in fact take "little girls" that would surely be evil.

    Then I think we must consider that in those days, wives were taken more for political gain and power than love. Just my thinking out loud.
  11. So, here is my take on textual criticism in general, of which scribal errors are a small part.

    For most purposes and for most Christians, I would not advise letting this become a great concern.

    Having spoken to us through the prophets, I trust in the Lord to guard His Word as it is passed down to us.

    It has great potential to become a stumbling block to using His Word as He intends. I have heard brothers complain about a preacher just because he often uses NIV, which places verses in brackets where are found in King James, where some ancient manuscripts omit the verses.

    For me, it is God’s word, not because it is in one another version of the Bible, or because of some ancient manuscript, but because those words spoken by His prophets are illuminated in my mind by His Spirit.

    Compare Matthew 4 with Luke 4. It is obvious that this describes the same event (The temptation of Christ). The accounts are strikingly similar. But there are differences. For example: Matthew puts the Temptation to throw Himself from the temple before the temptation for the enemy to give our Lord dominion over the world, while Luke places the temple leap near the end of this incident.

    (as an aside, note that the enemy offered nothing that was his to give).

    This example is not even a difference caused by a transcription error, but most assuredly occurred in the original text.

    The point is, that the words, as words themselves are not what is Holy. Without the spirit speaking to the reader of scripture, the words are only words.

    Now, that is not to say that there is no place for considering what may have been an error in transcribing (which is remarkably rare, because of the reverence of many scribes for their word). If I were a Biblical translator, these considerations would likely be large as I did my tasks. There have been times when I notice differences in translation between versions. When it seems important to the meaning, I seek out those more skilled than I. I will often ask several and try to collect multiple viewpoints.
  12. Regarding scribal errors in general, the very fact that there are inconsistencies proves that the Bible has come down to us untouched and unedited over the millennia, thereby sinking the atheist theory that its been edited and tidied up to make it look good..;)
    Major and calvin say Amen and like this.
  13. Yes, I think there are.
    because, the new testament for example is a collection of testimonies, NOT A LEGAL DOCUMENT.
    Now a lot of Christians get on the "God breathed inspired" impossible fault free bandwagon and have probably never read the whole bible or taken
    it in context or maybe they have.
    Anyway to me error is not necessarily error unless its deliberate, sin has corrupted everything,
    but also God leaves a lot to randomness, he doesn't tell us when to get out of bed, which road to take to work, and a million other things.
    The Gospels were written decades after the events.
    Matthew for example was not called to be a disciple until after he had heard the sermon on the mountain, he knew who Jesus was, Jesus probably lived
    around the corner, Capernaum had only about 1500 people. So when he wrote matthew its some 30 years later as testimony from a Jewish tax collector background.
    Mark it is thought was the young man who ran off in the garden during the arrest,
    Mark also hung around Barnabas, Luke and Paul and no doubt heard about Paul getting bit by the snake,
    that is why he talks about handling snakes at the end of the Gospel, though two mark manuscripts don't include the last verses of mark, so you see the end of Mark is a bit iffy. Jesus did talk about treading on snakes.
    Mark was a young man, maybe even a teenager, then his following Christ is not as a disciple but as a young man, the Gospel is short and focussed on miracles, hey look at that did you see what Jesus did. So if your reading mark and you find an error then its probably its perspective.
    Luke was not an apostle, he seems to have gathered information from talking to some of the women who followed Jesus?
    John of course talks from the persective of the spiritual.
    Even in the Garden during the arrest the Gospel writers, mark matthew and john, and luke maybe from where the women were standing?
    are all standing in different positions,
    Jesus went out on the boats many times in the two or so years he was in galilee, how often? dozens, hundreds? If he went out once a week for two years that a hundred times. We only get a snapshot of that time,
    we miss out on so much really.
    So when you hear about scriptural errors they are trivial and not worth worrying about,
    but if you want a legal document with every dot accounted for you won't get that even if you wrote it yourself.
  14. OK, thanks everyone.

    With the case of Jehoiachin, could you say that both were right? Maybe he started to reign at eight, reigned for three months and ten days alongside his father, got removed and then when he was eighteen started again, but on its own, and stayed there for three months.

  15. It would be helpful to remember that Chronicles is stating the situation as viewed from the priest's/Temple's/God's perspective whereas the Book of Kings is presenting it from the historical political/throne view.

    From Dr. Floyd Nolen Jones.......
    The "discrepancy" or "scribal error" between 2 Kings 24:8 and 2 Chronicles 36:9 is thus resolved. The verses are seen to signify that Jehoiachin's first year upon the throne would have been his "year of accession"; hence he would have been eight during his first official year of reign (Judaic method of reckoning). Thus II Kings 24:8, II Chronicles 36:9, and Matthew 1:11. Scriptures long held by liberals, agnostics, infidels, and most scholars to be in error, when placed together, actually explain, confirm and sustain one another.

    Thus, like his "father" David, Jehoiachin was anointed to reign but many years passed before he actually ascended to the head of the Monarchy.

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