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Putting The Bible Before Christ

Discussion in 'General Discussions' started by Buckeyecop, Jan 24, 2014.

  1. Is the bible a perfect book with no flaws, or does it contain errors? Can we count on the bible to be God's word of instruction and inspiration? If it is not the perfect Word of God, do we still follow it 100% or do we pick and choose what appears to be correct and view the rest as just a good story? Have we over-scrutinized the bible to the point that we are losing our focus on what we should be and do? Are we putting the bible before the cross and Christ crucified?

    I know, that's a lot of questions but an inquiring mind wants to know ;)

    I am always interested in how non-Christians view our faith because it tells us how we are doing in the world (and right now I don't think we are doing a good job), but it is also interesting to see inside the faith and what our brothers and sisters view as truth. I do have my answer for all of the above but please humor me!
  2. The Roman Catholic view (which I agree with) is that the Bible is inerrant as concerns salvation, but is not inerrant
    concerning history or science.
    Sadly, there are many who fall into Bibliolatry (worship of the Bible itself) and have little interest in God Himself.
    The purpose of the Bible was to provide a handy reference to find God. Once one has found God, he has little need of the Bible.
    Just as the disciples had the Holy Spirit as a constant companion and counselor and only resorted to scripture to help edify a point, we should also try our best to let God be our guide and not our personal whims and flights of fancy.

    I have seen many that are so caught up in their personal interpretations of the Bible that they cannot see or hear the truth when it is dumped right in their lap. The Church was to be the interpreter of scripture, not individuals.
    But we live in an era where the individual is considered to be the paramount authority on all things, and since
    individuals are horrendously error prone, this leads to no end of idiocy.
  3. The Bible, I believe, is inspired by God, is God-breathed, and therefore, without error. Is the Bible itself God? Of course not.

    Yes, we can -- but that doesn't mean we should count on the Bible alone. Christ left his followers a Church, so that there may be order, assistance, and communion in His name. God's Word isn't limited to the Bible. The Bible came about after the Church was established. God's Word is God's Word, but that doesn't mean it is limited to written word.

    One can't pick and choose what is convenient or inconvenient for them. To submit yourself to Jesus is to put aside those things.

    I don't want to say "we" because I can't include those who don't...but I know I have, and I try very hard to avoid that. The translation is not up to me -- I don't have the authority to decide scriptural meaning. Many do over-scrutinize if by that you mean overlook the meaning and misread context. I think everyone has encountered people who do this. It becomes the sin of pride, and that's an answer to the second part of the question -- pride disrupts focus of Jesus.
  4. Glomung, do you believe that the Holy Spirit guides the individual reader?
  5. How would you reply to someone who who may say that there are differences in the Gospels, therefore the bible is not the perfect Word of God, only what man wanted to write?

    Do you think that the 66 books of the bible are the absolute doctrinal Word of God? What are your feelings on Apocrypha and it's place in God's Word?
  6. I just want to put this out there...I love to play devil's advocate, and hopefully I don't offend when I do it. If I do offend one of you, or put you off a bit, please let me know. If it seems I am grilling your answers or being overbearing, I am not. I am just a fun-loving guy who has an immense curiosity oh how people view and interpret the bible. I love to learn from others as much as I love to teach others, so if I seem to ask a lot of irrelevant questions it is just a curiosity thing and nothing more :)
  7. #7 LysanderShapiro, Jan 24, 2014
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2014
    It depends on who is asking, but the overall answer would have to address their own personal interpretation of the scriptures. People always love to talk about contradictions they find, but what may appear on the surface may not really be underneath. People might say Christ was contradicting himself when he flipped tables at the temple, but their answer as to why that may be would often revolve around their own perspective of what is sin.

    As a Catholic, I believe there are a total of 73 books inspired by the Holy Spirit in the canon. We had a recent discussion of this on this forum about the differences between the Catholic Bible and the Protestant Bible.

    I personally prefer the term "deuterocanonical" than "apocrypha" since the latter is often used in disrespect. I gave a detailed answer to the best of my ability about the validity of those seven books, why they are indeed valid, and how they were removed from the Protestant translations. In short, it had to do with the Hebrew translations in Palestine in contrast to the Greek translations in the early church. What I wrote in full can be read here on comment #12.
  8. By no means am I taking it as anything other than you getting to the bottom of each person's answers. I can dig it :)
  9. "Glomung, do you believe that the Holy Spirit guides the individual reader? "

    Depends on the reader. You could say that the Bible is only as inerrant as the particular reader allows it to be.
    There are many (even here) who would claim that the Holy Spirit guides them in their Bible study,
    and yet they are still wrong in their beliefs.
    The vast majority of people who claim the Holy Spirit moves them are motivated by their own vanity, the need
    to feel special, not by any real presence of God in their lives.

    The Holy Spirit is present in all real believers, HOW MUCH present is the question.
    I have seen very few people in whom the Holy Spirit had much influence in their lives.
    Too many would toss a teaspoon of salt in a olympic size swimming pool and call it salt water.
    AllieWi likes this.
  10. This is an interesting issue, and one that's been on my mind recently. I've seen Christians of a more conservative type argue that "if the Bible is in error in one part, then it can't be trusted at all". Usually this is in the context of debates about the age of the earth, creation/evolution, or Noah's flood.

    IMO, that mentality is indicative of a absolutist, authoritarian mindset where "the Bible" is an all or none proposition. When you talk to such people, you see far more reference to the Bible than to God or Jesus. I've always figured that they have a deep-seated need for a source of absolute authority in their lives, and a 100% literal, infallible Bible gives that to them. I also find it interesting to see how the same people can't discuss hardly any subject without it becoming a "who can cite the most scripture" contest.

    For me the question is more nuanced. Obviously the Bible was written, compiled, edited, translated, etc. by people, and as we all know, humans are not infallible. And we all bring our own backgrounds and prejudices into our interpretations. Martin Luther for example insisted that the Bible taught geocentrism (and by some reports he insisted on a flat earth as well). Obviously most Christians today don't read the Bible that way. So I try and read passages in the Bible with an understanding of the time and place in which they were written, and the people who wrote them.
  11. That last line is classic! I see a lot of truth in where you are coming from because I think a lot of people follow their gut instinct claiming it to be the Holy Spirit, when in most cases it is their presuppositions.

    I guess where I really want to come from is this: I once had a Baptist minister tell me that word for word, the bible is perfect from beginning to end with absolutely no errors. If we take this idea and run with it, we have two problems: One, the problem of translation and interpretation of the words that have no English equal. Two, as LysanderShapiro stated, Scripture is God-breathed. I don't take this as meaning it is perfect, but guided by the Holy Spirit in the individual writers.

    To back this idea up, I would point to the Gospels as an example of problem two: All four were the account of the birth, life, ministry, crucifixion, and resurrection of Jesus. However, none of the four are identical in how they are written. The Holy Spirit influenced in them what to write, and each one has their one flavor. They all tell the same story but some events are absent in some of the Gospels while present in the others.

    Problem one is why we have concordances and dictionaries.
  12. I think you've got the idea quite nicely on where I am coming from. The bible is the story of God's people, their trials, tribulations, their emotions, their defeats and their conquests. It is also a source for daily living and solving life's problems. I agree with you that people tend to think that the more they know about the bible the better or smarter they are. Just because you can recite 20 scriptures doesn't make you a Christian; living a Christlike existence of teaching, service, and compassion is what makes us Christians. I always tell people not to beat each other over the head with their bible!
  13. Thanks Buckeyecop! :D
  14. No Buckeyecop you are being fed tripe that sounds right. River's view of scripture is un-scriptural.

    If we are capable of even ONE cm of lateral thought we will grasp that either the bible IS the word of God or the bible IS NOT the word of God. Only a peanut is needed to deduce that my friend. What happens is we (my past self included) are LAZY, EMBARRASSED, DUMB, NARROW-MINDED and corrupted with the devil's logic and simply too blind to see our stupidity.

    EVERY scripture is inspired by God. Not one. Not two. EVERY! If something is written we need to deal with it. We just need good hermeneutics. The Holy Spirit helps us with that ;).

    If I were the devil...the FIRST place I would attack Christians on is scripture!! Look at how the devil attacked Jesus in Matt 4! The devil cannot destroy us. But what he can do...is confuse us and cause us to lose confidence in scripture, thereby stumbling our Christian walk / ending our Christian walk.

    Any Christian that tells you to disregard scripture is simply not working for God and very likely a false prophet. I will let scripture speak for itself now so that you no longer have an excuse for ignorance.

    John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

    2 Tim 3:16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness

    Hence this HARSH warning...

    Rev 22:19 And if anyone takes words away from this scroll of prophecy, God will take away from that person any share in the tree of life and in the Holy City, which are described in this scroll.
    AllieWi and lynn w say Amen and like this.
  15. And KJ comes along and illustrates my description perfectly. Well done! (y)
  16. KJ, I don't see anywhere that I disagree with you, but the translation issue is correct. However, just as River states you made his point, you are, in a way, making mine: Do we get so wrapped up in the bible that we lose site of the cross?
  17. no the bible is not perfect, and does contain errors due to ..
    1 translational loss ..
    2 poor choice of translation of words ..
    3 adding of words not in scripture ..
    yet scripture is inerrant ..
    and we cannot EVER choose and pick as we please, for then you are creating a different Gospel ..
    and yes, many lose focus of the basic concept of the Gospel of Salvation, which is LOVE of God with your ALL and LOVE of your neighbor as yourself ..

    wisdom: those who are not running in "the race" (Hbr 12:1) are not qualified to judge those who do ..
  18. I think this is an interesting point, and these issues are absolutely true, but would it point to our own error as humans? For instance, just because someone may read a passage and not understand its meaning doesn't mean the passage is now flawed.
  19. "Once one has found God, he has little need of the Bible."


    What say you about these scriptures:
    For the Word of God is living and effective: more piercing than any two-edged sword, reaching to the division even between the soul and the spirit, even between the joints and the marrow, and so it discerns the thoughts and intentions of the heart.
    Hebrews 4:12

    All Scripture, having been divinely inspired, is useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for instruction in justice, so that the man of God may be perfect, having been trained for every good work.
    2 Timothy 3:16, 17

    Do these scriptures only hold true depending on what translation you have? It sounds clear to me.

    The spirit knows the truth.
  20. Sorry to jump in here, but these questions have been on my mind...

    Notice that it's speaking of "the Word of God". It does not say "the Bible", which didn't exist then. Do you think the author of the epistle that is the book of Hebrews was saying "My letter is the Word of God"?

    Same thing, this time with Paul. What was "scripture" back then? Was Paul thinking that his own letters would become scripture? If so, why didn't he just say "All my letters are the words of God"?

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