19 Aug 2011

Examining Some "Traditional" Beliefs About The Bible

Submitted by Stephen Winters

 

On Bible.org, in an article titled Introduction to Bibliology, I found these two paragraphs.

"Our view, approach, and attitude toward the Bible is foundational. If our view of the Bible is inadequate we will naturally handle the Bible accordingly. If I do not think it is God-breathed, I won’t think it is profitable and vital. If I think it might contain errors, or that only some of it is inspired, say the thoughts, not the words, then I am left with a dilemma and I must approach it much like a cafeteria line, choosing according to my own likes or bias. What do I believe and not believe? If it is wrong in some places, then how can I be sure what it says about Jesus is true? On the other hand, if I believe it is God’s infallible and inerrant Word, as the evidence supports, then I should accept it all and study it carefully. An unfortunate element very obvious today within the evangelical community is that most who call themselves evangelicals will theoretically, at least, claim allegiance to the Bible as the all-sufficient and authoritative rule of faith, but in practice, many are raising other sources on a level with or even above the Scripture as their authority for what they believe and practice.

We believe that the Word contained in these books [of Scripture] has proceeded from God, and receives its authority from Him alone, and not from men. And inasmuch as it is the rule of all truth, containing all that is necessary for the service of God and for salvation, it is not lawful for men, nor even for angels, to add to it, to take away from it, to change it. Whence it follows that no authority, whether of antiquity, or custom, or numbers, or human wisdom, or judgments, or proclamations or edicts or decrees, or councils, or visions, or miracles, should be opposed to these Holy Scriptures, but on the contrary, all things should be examined, regulated, and reformed according to them. (Italics added)"

Let's examine what this says:

"Our view, approach, and attitude toward the Bible is foundational."

This is so true. However I approach any book or idea will greatly affect how I view what it says.

"If our view of the Bible is inadequate we will naturally handle the Bible accordingly."

Where does the author get the idea that "the bible has to be adequate" for anything? The author is true in his assessment that how we view the Bible will affect how we handle it.

"If I do not think it is God-breathed, I won’t think it is profitable and vital."

The author is false in his assessment here. In the world today there are literally millions of books and writings that are immensely valuable to many people, without the claim being made that they are '"God breathed". For someone to say that I have to view a book as "God-breathed" or I won't value it is an invalid claim. A book, or any writing, stands or falls on the truth of the content it contains.

"If I think it might contain errors, or that only some of it is inspired, say the thoughts, not the words, then I am left with a dilemma and I must approach it much like a cafeteria line, choosing according to my own likes or bias. What do I believe and not believe? If it is wrong in some places, then how can I be sure what it says about Jesus is true?"

The author sets us a false dilemma, saying that if I acknowledge that the Bible contains any errors, the "I must approach it much like a cafeteria line. Any reasoning man knows that even great books will have errors, that nothing is perfect. Anyone can do a search using the Google search engine to see that numberour errors have been found in textbooks. You can do a similar Google search to see that errors happen frequently in newspapers as well. You could probably do a similar search in many of even the most valuable writings in the world and find many mistakes. Do people still find these writings profitable and vital? I would think so.

You can do another Google search to find many sites that list Bible errors and contradictions. An article called A List of Bible Contradictions1 gives a long list of contradictions. Any reasonable and honest person can clearly see that the Bible isn't perfect. It is not inerrant. But that doesn't mean that it is without value. It has great value to those who believe in God.

"On the other hand, if I believe it is God’s infallible and inerrant Word, as the evidence supports, then I should accept it all and study it carefully."

Here the author claims that the evidence supports the Bible being:

  • Infallible
  • inerrant
  • God's Word

Just making a claim that the evidence supports something doesn't make it so.

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