Is The Bible Inerrant?

Discussion in 'General Discussions' started by Newdad, Oct 19, 2013.

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  1. #1 Newdad, Oct 19, 2013
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2013
    Hello, this is my very first post on here. Although I have been reading it for months this is my actual first post. My friend recommended I come on here to help answer my questions as I am a Christian newbie. :)

    I have been studying the Bible and reading many books about the Bible (mostly pro but some con). One book, however, that I found both interesting and troubling was Dr. Bart Ehrman's book Misquoting Jesus. I'm sure many have heard of this but it is a historical account of textual criticism of the Bible. Although I do take the book with a grain of salt, I do agree very much with his main point. How can the Bible be inerrant if we have no original copy as God wrote it and it has been copied and copied over and over through hundreds if not thousands of years? Especially considering many of the people who made copies were practically illiterate. To think that no mistakes were made from the original to a version hundreds of years later that was eventually declared as canon by the church I find troubling. His contention is that there are thousands of old Biblical manuscripts that have since been found that were written and they all are different in some ways. Some are obviously different from errors from a transcriber, but some are different in their additions or subtractions of certain scriptures.

    How can the Bible as we know it now be inerrant if for instance John 7:53 (“Let the one who is without sin among you be the first to cast a stone at her”) was added after the fact as it wasn't in any of the old Greek Biblical manuscripts from the early times. Or the last 12 verses of Mark having been added much later as those are in the early Biblical manuscripts as well (my version of the Bible even has these verses in brackets). Was the Bible inerrant when it was originally written but is no longer inerrant because of the small changes? I find this to be confusing.

    I know there have been discussion on here about Bible contradictions which have been interesting but little has been discussed about textual criticism. If the Bible we have today is different than a Bible found to be dated around 300 AD, one of them is not inerrant. Why is the ESV or KJ version inerrant but not the old Greek Manuscripts from over 1000 years ago?

    Thanks :)
  2. I have no idea, but you make some good arguments. I'll be interested to see everyones responces. What I can say is that I do believe the bible to be the Word of God, but perhaps Satan got his way in "messing up" things with the bible in order to confuse believers and make them doubt. Then again, why would God allow for Satan to get his hands on His word? I'm lost on this one.
  3. The Bible is inerrant concerning salvation, and that is what matters.
    Textual criticism is a modern art (not science) and is heavily dependent on the opinions of those doing the criticism.
    They would find faults with Beowulf. so take that with a grain of salt.
    The original copy argument is meaningless, the Bible is a compiled work, with many authors and hundreds of individual manuscripts that were used to compile our modern version. The wonder is that all the manuscripts are in agreement, regardless of when or where they came from. There have been some tranwscription errors in some, but the whole point is that the Bible is accurate as concerns salvation.
    Banarenth likes this.
  4. Wait a second, I'm confused. I thought the bible is the perfect Word of God. I'm sorry, but there is a ton of material in there on how we are to live our lives. I refuse to believe we should just focus on the "salvation" aspect of it, and brush off other things. It's easy for us Christians to side skirt textual issues arguments, but I think we should really address this.
  5. Though, I think we are both in agreement, that is it NOT a coincidence that everything fits almost (besides a few seeming contradictions and/or additions the bible) quite perfectly together with as many authors as there were and how far spread apart things were written. That can't be taken away.
  6. "Wherein I suffer trouble, as an evil doer, even unto bonds; but the word of God is not bound. Therefore I endure all things for the elect's sakes, that they may also obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory. It is a faithful saying: For if we be dead with him, we shall also live with him. If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us. If we believe not, yet he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself. Of these things put them in remembrance, charging them before the Lord that they strive not about words to no profit, but to the subverting of the hearers. Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness."
  7. SOme believe that the Bible is word for word, the exact and perfect Word of God.
    Others believe that the Bible is the Inspired Word of God, where God both inspired and revealed truths to those who wrote, but the writers were not simply transcripting God's voice.

    Those that believe the first have a difficult time accepting the second, and those that believe the second generally cannot see the first. One thing I've learned is that when we read the Bible, we usually find what we need to find and see what we need to see. I believe that is how the Holy Spirit speaks to us and calls to us. Those that are of the world simply don't understand it at all and it makes little sense to them.

    What is important is to have an understanding of how the other side views things and understand that in the end, it is the Gospel that is going to unify. In every area relating to Salvation, we agree regardless of how you read the Bible. That is because those that believe that the Bible is not word for word God's literal words still recognize that God has protected the Gospel message and so Salvation is still through Christ Jesus.

    It is difficult for either side to truly understand the other. That is because we all are part of the body, but not always the same part nor do we all have exactly the same function. Some can be reached better from one method, and others can be better reached with another. If your faith fails because you have adhered too strongly to one idea or the other, then your faith was never truly alive to begin with.
    Lifeasweknowit likes this.
  8. Guess I've been taking the literalist standpoint this whole time, which is why these types of OP's are difficult for me to read. I just don't get how a perfect God, would create an imperfect bible, or allow it to come that way. Someone please ease my mind here.
  9. Tink, I have said it before...make your faith your own...own it....

    It will flow and fluctuate with learning and experience as we hopefully get closer to God as we 'grow'.

    The Bible is GREAT (AWESOME! might be more accurate)! Living in the Spirit is better......

    The Bible is the 'thorn in the side' of man's perspective of history and the world system.
  10. Though I appreciate your response, ambiguity kills me with these topics!
  11. I would suggest you continue on your path, but I'll answer the question you asked.

    Those that believe that the Bible is "imperfect", don't really believe it is imperfect, but they also do not believe that God penned it word for word, but inspired the writing. As such, for some minor issues, it becomes understood that we can actually read the text literally, but understand that we do not need to force it to resolve a certain way to maintain inerrency. The difference usually comes down to really minor issues, a few I've mentioned in another topic. The "inerrent" reader basically adds explanations to resolve the apparent contradictions, the "inspired" crowd generally read it as having a few possible resolutions but don't try to enforce any one as being the only solution. There are dangers both ways. Those that believe it is inerrent run the risk of giving their opinion of how the textual contradictions resolve the same weight as Scripture, or making a minor, subtle point into a much bigger point than the inspired reader would recognize. The inspired reader runs the risk of trivializing or marginalizing genuine, absolute truths, or even turning the Bible into an ordinary history book. Overall, it is the overlapping interpretations that define our unity, and largely speaking both sides agree on the important stuff. The REAL danger to me is when one side tries to hard to insist that their way is the only way. As such, they've made the mistake of legalistically applying Scripture where grace should be applied.
    Brother_Mike_V and Lifeasweknowit say Amen and like this.
  12. So you want the straight answer? the 100% infallible answer? The answer is-there isn't one. We cannot know the mysteries of God unless He reveals them to us. And even when He does reveal them to us-we usually foul it up with rational interpretation.

    You can study every language and translation in the world and be as academic about the Bible as any PhD with 100 degrees...but if you aren't allowing the Spirit to guide your spirit-it's all folly.

    The Bible is both figurative and literal, metaphorical, historical, oracle. You can't undo the mystery of God with all the knowledge of men. The foolishness of God is wiser than the total knowledge of mankind. God uses the foolish to confound the earthly wise. We follow a God that is absurd to the world.

    And you are going to try to figure it all out? I tried that once....(maybe 2 or 3 times)

    'Make straight the way of the LORD'; to your heart.

    You can pick apart every word in the Bible-or live by faith.
    Lifeasweknowit and Banarenth say Amen and like this.
  13. ^^^ What he said
  14. Thank you Banarenth. That was well put and very helpful. This is why I am part of the Bible is the Inspired word of God group.
  15. The bible says to read the word, meditate, and dwell on it. Textual issues are therefore important and need to be addressed!
    But as Baranath stated "The inspired reader runs the risk of trivializing or marginalizing genuine, absolute truths, or even turning the Bible into an ordinary history book."

    I see this happening with A LOT of believers. Particularly when it comes to sex before marriage, homosexuality, etc.

    A lot of people want the bible to work for THEM; THEIR VIEW OF SOCIETY, THEIR LIFE, MORALS, and ETHICS.

    How can you have an argument with someone about such topics when there are textual issues? It will turn into a cyclical argument/discussion.
  16. What I find interesting is that we put ourselves under the bondage of law willfully because it appeals to our flesh whether we will admit it or not. We WANT a standard to live by. But then we create our own standard.

    Funny thing is-Adam and Eve didn't have the Bible-they KNEW the Lord 100% and in my opinion were living in HEAVEN (Garden) and got kicked out.

    When their kids got so far away from God the first time-He sent the Deluge.

    When their kids got so far away from God the second time-He came back to set the record straight.

    When their kids got so far away from God the third time-He died on the cross.

    There won't be a fourth time.

    God gave us a standard-we read it and like Him-we reject it for the sake of our own selfishness. But we will bind ourselves willingly to the laws of this world-how hypocritical is that?

    We are 'free from the law' when we are 'walking in the Spirit' because we aren't doing anything wrong...

    It ain't rocket science. The simplicity of the Gospel is overshadowed by the complexity of our own 'vain imaginations'

    Man I have been wanting to use that for a while now....
  17. Let's look at it like this:

    'Thou shalt not kill'

    -verses- (intentional)

    'You will not murder'

    That big a difference? Let's make it 'relevant' (Ugh): If someone busts up in my house in the middle of the night-they better be bullet proof. I AM going to protect my family FIRST. If I get beat up and smacked around I AM NOT going to go back to the fight with any kind of weapon.

    Purpose in your heart to do what is right using God's Word and living as best you can in the Spirit. Learn-grow. But don't let the bondage of the law stop you from breathing. Better to ere on the side of Holiness. If you find out your wrong one day; REPENT! and ask God for forgiveness.
    Major likes this.
  18. How much better would the world be if everyone followed the Ten Commandments? hmmmmmm
  19. Yes, but here we reach another discussion and that is of those who do not believe the 10 commandments are to be followed anymore. If we keep the Ten Commandments, then we keep the entire mosaic law, and I don't think things on earth would be that great if we did.
  20. #20 Brother_Mike_V, Oct 19, 2013
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2013
    Did Christ abolish the ten commandments? No-He came to fulfill the law.

    In other words: Christ made the law null by His example by which we are to follow-in love. To learn love, we must first know what is sin-the law reveals the sin.

    Once we KNOW/ recognize good from bad-when we do the 'good' in love; the law is nullified because we are doing no wrong.

    Does a child know that it is bad to 'kill' things. No-not unless they are taught either by the parents OR by God-through Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit. You have to accept what the teacher is presenting you when it is God-lest you reject Him by rejecting His 'law'.

    You mentioned the Sabbath on another post; what does it say-what is the important part of the 'law'; why do we need it?

    "Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it."

    What did Christ say about the Sabbath? Did Christ say 'not' to observe the Sabbath?

    For the Son of man is Lord even of the sabbath day.
    Wherefore it is lawful to do well on the sabbath days.
    The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath:
    Is it lawful to do good on the sabbath days, or to do evil? to save life, or to kill?
    Is it lawful to heal on the sabbath day?

    If a man on the sabbath day receive circumcision, that the law of Moses should not be broken; are ye angry at me, because I have made a man every whit whole on the sabbath day?

    The "Sabbath" is 1 day out of seven God wants us to stop and observe Him and REMEMBER Him and what He has done for us. It is a day to refocus our energy on doing and being 'good' to fulfill our purpose which is to glorify God.

    As a "Christian" we nullify this 'law' by living EVERYDAY like it is the Sabbath....
    Lifeasweknowit likes this.
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