19 Aug 2011

Bible Errors and Contradictions

Submitted by Stephen Winters
TitleBible Errors and Contradictions
Publication TypeWeb Article
Year of Publication2004
AuthorsEdwards, WP
Access Year2011
Access DateAugust 19, 2011
Last Update DateSept 1, 2004
Publisherfreethoughtdebater.com
KeywordsBible errors
Abstract

The claim of Biblical inerrancy puts the Christian in the position of not just claiming that the original Bible was free of error (and, remember, none of the original autograph manuscripts exist) but that their modern version of the Bible is the end result of an error-free history of copying and translation beginning with the originals. Such a position is so specific that it allows one to falsify it simply by reference to the Bible itself. For example, Gen 32:30 states, "...for I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved." However, John 1:18 states, "No man hath seen God at any time..." Both statements cannot be true. Either there is an error of fact, or an error of translation. In either case, there is an error. And if there is an error, then infallibility of the Bible (in this case the King James Version) is falsified. A typical defense used here is to look up the meaning of the original Hebrew / Greek, read that one of the words can have multiple meanings, and then pick the meaning that seems to break the contradiction. For example, the Christian might argue that "seen" or "face" means one thing in the first scripture, and something completely different in the second. The logical flaw in this approach is that it amounts to saying that the translator should have chosen to use a different word in one of the two scriptures in order to avoid the resulting logical contradiction that now appears in English—that is, the translator made an error. If no translation error occurred, then an error of fact exists in at least one of the two scriptures. Appeals to "context" are irrelevant in cases like this where simple declarative statements are involved such as "no one has seen God" and "I have seen God." Simply put, no "context" makes a contradiction or a false statement, like 2 = 3, true.

If one is prepared to allow for the possibility of translator or transcriber errors, then the claim of Biblical inerrancy is completely undermined since no originals exist to serve as a benchmark against which to identify the errors. Left only with our error-prone copies of the originals, the claim of infallibility becomes completely vacuous. Pandora's Box would truly be open: You could have the Bible say whatever you want it to say by simply claiming that words to the contrary are the result of copying or translation/interpretation errors, and nothing could prove you wrong.

URLhttp://www.freethoughtdebater.com/tenbiblecontradictions.htm
Citation Keyctkeyfreethoughtdebater.com

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