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Source: (consider it) Thread: biblical inerrancy
ecumaniac

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# 376

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I was wondering what you thought about the Bible being "inerrant". What does "inerrant" mean anyway?

I was listening to a lecture on the psalms and the lecturer was getting around the "violent" psalms by saying that "after all, the psalms were written by humans, so they're not actually scripture".

But all scripture is written by humans! (as far as I know!) How can something written by humans be "inerrant"?

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it's a secret club for people with a knitting addiction, hiding under the cloak of BDSM - Catrine


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Freddy
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# 365

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This thumb up for biblical inerrancy.

My belief is that the Scriptures, including the Psalms, were written by people who were inspired by God to write them, and are therefore inerrant.

While God inspires many people, to the point that virtually nothing is written without some kind of inspiration from Him, the inspiration of the Scriptures is in a class by itself. The Scriptures are Divine Revelation, meaning that every word is directly from God.

The Scriptures are therefore God Himself speaking to the human race, despite the fact that they were written by people who used terms and concepts that made sense to them, and despite the fact that the literal accuracy of Scripture is not what we would consider to be literal accuracy.

I would not consider the Bible to be very factually accurate. Nor would I consider all of it to be literally true. For example, the first 11 chapters are, I think, ancient myths - which in no way detracts from them being the Word of God.

The inerrancy of the Bible resides in the spiritual truth that it contains, which it communicates to people who understand it. While many individual statements are literally untrue in theological terms, such as that God is jealous and angry, these statements nevertheless convey a part of an overall truth - which can be understood when the Bible is considered as a whole.

Even its most immoral aspects, such as God ordering the annihilation of whole cities, or the Psalmist praying for Babylonian children to be dashed on the rocks, essentially communicate fundamental truths.

For example, the annihilation of so-called "wicked" cities communicates the power of God and the danger of opposing Him. Dashing even small children on the rocks means that even the smallest and most apparently harmless of evils are to be removed from your life. Literally, however, these actions and desires on the part of the Israelites were wicked to the extreme.

The purpose of the Bible is to lift the human race out of evil and lead them towards heaven. It can do this very effectively if it is understood and loved. However, since the human race has been, and in many ways still is, in a quite primitive and uncomprehending spiritual level, the imagery and examples of the Bible are often drawn out of and speak to those states. The Israelites were not good people, at least as they are portrayed in Scripture, but they could be used by God to teach eternal truths and to represent the path that every imperfect ordinary person can follow to heaven.

Well, I could go on and on. But that is my basic view of biblical inerrancy.

Great topic. It is important to clarify ideas on this subject on a religious website like this ship.

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"Consequently nothing is of greater importance to a person than knowing what the truth is." Swedenborg


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babybear
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# 34

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quote:
Originally posted by Freddy:
My belief is that the Scriptures, including the Psalms, were written by people who were inspired by God to write them, and are therefore inerrant.

My belief is that the Scriptures, including the Psalms, were written by people who were inspired by God to write them, and are therefore capable of being errant. Mistakes have been made in transcriptions and mistakes in translations.

It seems that it is the nature of people to manage to stuff up anything that we get our hands upon.

The Bible is a continuing revelation of God to his people, God explaining himself and his nature to us. This being most fully explained in the person of Jesus.

bb


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craigbob
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# 2582

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^Well said, babybear! I agree. It is true that great care has been taken in translating the Bible, and that great care was taken in the ancient Hebrew vocal tradition, but people make mistakes. I believe there is a lot of truth, but you have to make sure that what you beleive from the bible doesn't contradict the observed and experienced nature of things.

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.chaos is the poetry.
(and sometimes vice versa)

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craigbob
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# 2582

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^To certain extents, anyhow. I just realized that statement could be misconstrued, sorry. I do believe some things from the bible that may have been miracles, which contradict nature by definition. What I meant was basically that you do need to use judgement when reading the Bible. I can see, for instance, how a story like the creation story from Genesis might have been slightly--perhaps even accidentally--altered over the thousands of years that it was passed by mouth. Maybe things really were created in the same order that evolution scientists would purport, rather than in the order we read in Genesis.

Humans will often color things their own way, even if they don't mean to, even if it is simply subconscious. That's the same reason why, when conducting drug research using people, it is important that, not only should the test subjects not be told whether they were given a real drug or a placebo, but the researcher administering the tests should not be told either. Otherwise, they might subconsciously administer drug-effectiveness tests to the subjects in such a way as to alter the results toward his bias. (i.e.- If a doctor was doing tests for a muscle pain relieving drug that he wanted to work, he might subconsciously touch the drugged patients back more softly than the placeboed patient's back when he says "Does this hurt?")

I have a rough time accepting that what we have today is still 100% without some error.

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.chaos is the poetry.
(and sometimes vice versa)


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Manx Taffy
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It strikes me as strange that if there was to be a totally inerrant guide to everything we need to know that Jesus did not talk about this more.

I think scripture is very valuable and contains very much truth but is neither inerrant or the supreme authority for some of the reasons held above. I don't believe God used people as human dictaphones when recording the scriptures but that the authors walked closely with God and his spirit.


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Steve G
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Inerrancy always strikes me as rather a defensive position. Surely there are more positive things we can say about the bible than that it has no errors. The same could be true of the phone directory, but it wouldn't make me read it. I'd rather talk about the bible's trustworthiness and its revelatory and transformative power.

I'd argue that supreme authority belongs to God alone, but that his authority is mediated to us thru the bible. It has authority because he does. I'm often struck by how seriously Jesus took the scriptures throughout the whole of his life. Those who follow him will surely want to do likewise.


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Carys

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# 78

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The biggest problem I have with the concept of Biblical inerrancy is that those who accept it generally take it to mean that it is inerrant in historical and scientific fact - thus they take Genesis literally for example, which I think does harm to the intention of the authors and of God in inspiring them and completely misses the point of the creation stories. Certainly the Bible was not written as a scientific text book and expecting it to be so leads to allsorts of problem. As to historical accuracy that seems to ignore historiography and our understanding of historical sources. However, the lack of scientific and historical 'inerrancy' does not bother me. That's not what it is about. To me the Bible is the record of God's self-revelation, his teaching the Jews about himself which prepared the way for the incarnation. Maybe I could call it inerrant in the sense that I believe the Bible to be what God wants us to have - but that is an interpretation very far removed what it is generally used and I think using that to enable me to sign a DB or some such thing would not be entirely honest.

Carys

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O Lord, you have searched me and know me
You know when I sit and when I rise


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Freddy
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# 365

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quote:
Originally posted by Steve G:
Inerrancy always strikes me as rather a defensive position. Surely there are more positive things we can say about the bible than that it has no errors.

Good point. Maybe I am misunderstanding the thrust of the word, but I had connected it mainly with the absolute truth of the Bible's theological teachings, when these are properly understood.

I don't believe at all that the Bible is free of factual and redactive errors, or that it is always literally true. The simple fact that several different versions have come down to us, and that the various gospels disagree on minor points, should demonstrate that.

But the differences between the various versions are mostly trivial, as are the disagreements between books. And finds such as the Dead Sea Scrolls show that the Bible has been remarkably accurately preserved over the years.

I take great comfort in the Bible as a reliable source of the truth in theological matters. This is what inerrancy means to me.

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"Consequently nothing is of greater importance to a person than knowing what the truth is." Swedenborg


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Freddy
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# 365

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Posted 15 April 2002 14:43

I'm not sure the clock is right.

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"Consequently nothing is of greater importance to a person than knowing what the truth is." Swedenborg


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Freddy
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# 365

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How about now?

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"Consequently nothing is of greater importance to a person than knowing what the truth is." Swedenborg

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Bonzo
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# 2481

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I see no reason to treat the Bible as any different from any other man made account, written by men of God. It will have human errors, the authors will be unable to prevent their own predjudices showing through, and the people deciding what went into the canon would have had the same faults. There are some great Christian books but no-one would say that they were inerrant.

For a Christian book to be inspired by God does not mean that it's author got it 100% right.

What distinguishes the Bible is it's subject material. It contains the stories behind the evolution of the jewish faith, which set the scene. But most importantly it contains the stories which surround Jesus, written in some cases by eye witnesses. It is because Jesus was special that the Bible is special.

That's what makes the Bible important in my faith. I take what it has to say seriously, but I don't tell myself that I must believe every word. If it seems to my conscience that it is saying something wrong, I generally believe that what is said is meant, and that it is most probably wrong.

I think, in such cases, Christians often look for clever ways of interpreting what the Bible says, when the most obvious explanation is that it is plain wrong.

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Love wastefully


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Nicolemr
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roght on, bonzo.

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On pilgrimage in the endless realms of Cyberia, currently traveling by ship. Now with live journal!

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Hull Hound
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# 2140

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you said it well Bonzo.

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ahhh ... Bisto!

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Freddy
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# 365

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quote:
Originally posted by Bonzo:
I see no reason to treat the Bible as any different from any other man made account, written by men of God.

Is there any Christian denomination that makes this idea their official stance on the Bible? My impression is that most denominations officially consider the Bible to be the revealed Word of God.

I know that many church leaders and theologians would take this stance, but I wonder if any denomination has made it official. Probably it would be an unpopular move in many circles.

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"Consequently nothing is of greater importance to a person than knowing what the truth is." Swedenborg


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Atticus
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# 2212

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Freddy: The Unitarian Church...

My position is that the letters (romans on...) are not inspired. I also do not believe they claim to be inspired. There is one verse that claims that all scripture is inspired, but that is obviously referring to scripture, at the time ie: OT.

Whether or not Acts is inspired is irrelevant, because it is a historical account, not necessarily inerrant, but not theological in nature.

I see no reason to believe in a literal interpretation of the first few chapters of Genesis. I am willing to concede that the rest of the events in the OT might very well have happened. There is certainly credible evidence pointing towards the fact that the stories were NOT in fact made up at a late date to give the Israelites a "history" as a nation.
Shakespearean ASIDE:(this evidence would be that prices, ie the price of Joseph, when sold into slavery, is accurate for the culture of his time, but not for the time when critics would have us believe it is written, hence making it improbable that they knew the going rate of slaves hundreds of years after the event. Also Abraham's grim split-goat covenant with God was a common way of sealing a pact in his time, but would have been strange and remotely barbaric to the later jews.)

IMHO of course...
Atticus

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This time it's for real, I'm really gone until August. For real. Gone. Bye.

"My life would be a lot simpler if I were gay."


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Freddy
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# 365

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Atticus, that's right, the Unitarians.

Your other thoughts almost precisely echo my own.

I have never thought the letters were inspired, but were simply the doctrinal writings of the early church. I do consider them basically true, however, except a few of Paul's statements about women.

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"Consequently nothing is of greater importance to a person than knowing what the truth is." Swedenborg


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Atticus
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# 2212

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Thanks Freddy,
I'll add a few more thoughts:
My general position is that while the scriptures are not necessarily insipired, God was active in preserving them. I don't believe that many of the manuscripts could have survived to create such a (for the most part) coherent view of God. What I would say about Psalms is that they were written by a man after God's own heart, and were included by God so that we would see human to relate to and to model ourselves after instead of all this big man in the sky business. Song of Solomon I would say was included to keep Christianity from losing one of the most beautiful gifts ever given to man: pornographic literature. I think i was jooking... what I meant to say was the making of the looooove. And also to let us know that He's not such a stiff after all...
Again, I would attribute this to a man, but attribute it's inclusion to Godly intervention... of sorts.

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This time it's for real, I'm really gone until August. For real. Gone. Bye.

"My life would be a lot simpler if I were gay."

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Ham'n'Eggs

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# 629

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"Inerrancy", when used in this context, never has a single specific meaning.

It always means what the person using it requires it to mean, no more, no less.

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"...the heresies that men do leave / Are hated most of those they did deceive" - Will S


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IconiumBound
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# 754

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Well then, what do we mean when we say, at the end of each reading, "the word of the Lord."? Is it really that or might is be not quite that?
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jones94026
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IconimBound -
For me the rituals of prayer are not expressions of my beliefs, but rituals. They bring me into communion with people past and present that seek God. Much of the language, including your example, I can't support as literal truth; but I say them anyway. I'm open about my beliefs to people close to me and no one has kicked my out yet.

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FCB

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# 1495

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quote:
Originally posted by Ham 'n' Eggs:
"Inerrancy", when used in this context, never has a single specific meaning.

It always means what the person using it requires it to mean, no more, no less.


This thread has got me thinking about "Biblical Inerrancy" -- which is, I confess -- not something I normally think much about. In particular it's got me thinking about the notion of what it would me to say the Bible contains "errors."

To take an example: While I think the first two chapter of Genesis do not give an accurate scientific account of the world's formation, I also do not think this is a matter of "error." It is not like God wanted to give us a scientific account but muffed it. It's bad science, but then it is not intended to be science. So no "error" is involved.

Similar examples could be taken from the New Testament: e.g. the two genealogies of Jesus. Maybe the point of the genealogies is something other than giving us an accurate account of Jesus' bloodline (which they obviously can't be trying to do, since they trace the genealogies through Joseph, whom Matthew and Luke both deny is the biological father of Jesus). So it isn't as if one or the other of them has made some mistake.

I guess my general approach to the Bible is that of Origen: it is all inspired (even the Epistles and (gasp) the Apocalypse). But the difficult passages (in this case, those that cannot be literally true) are there in order to push us to read beyond the literal, to grasp the "spiritual" or "mystical" meaning of the text. Perhaps Origen learned this from the rabbi that taught him Hebrew, since it is very close to rabbinic midrash.

My point here is that "error" may not be a very helpful category when approaching the Bible.

FCB

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Agent of the Inquisition since 1982.


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babybear
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# 34

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quote:
Originally posted by IconiumBound:
Well then, what do we mean when we say, at the end of each reading, "the word of the Lord."? Is it really that or might is be not quite that?

I never say that. The Word of God is most definitely Jesus. "The Word was made flesh and live with us for a while."

bb


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craigbob
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# 2582

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FCB, an error is basically a mistake. If there are things in the Bible that are not true, there are only two options: either the incorrect info was put there by some mistake, or it was put there on purpose. In other words, either it was a lie or an error. I doubt that you are willing to purport that God purposefully placed lies in the Bible, but What else could it be?

--------------------
.chaos is the poetry.
(and sometimes vice versa)

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Steve G
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# 65

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In the case of genesis 1, it is those who have tried to interpret it as a scientific account of creation who are in error. To ignore genre and to try to treat every part of scripture exactly the same is bound to lead to confusion. That's why the 'when correctly interpreted' phrase is crucial in any definition of inerrancy.

To argue that anything that is not literally true is either a mistake or a lie simply doesn't make sense and rather falls into the literalist trap.

Consider poetry - 'hail to thee blithe spirit, bird thou never wert'. Is this true? Literally, no - a nightingale is in fact a bird. So is the statement a lie or a mistake? Well neither, it's an attempt to communicate what a marvellous creature the nightingale is. The categories of true and false are modified by literary genre. The tricky bit is deciding which bits of scripture fall into which genre.


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craigbob
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# 2582

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So you think something like the part of Genesis that lists the order in which creatures were created, might in fact be some form of poetic statement?

No matter what the purpose of the statement is, if it is false, then it is false. Poetry is accepted because we know that the author is not actually saying that the bird is literally not a bird. We know he is trying to explain how he sees it as something more than it is. But anyone would have a difficult time of explaining how giving the created order of things in the incorrect order could ever be considered a poetic or metaphorical statement of any similar measure.

To me, it is evidence that when a story gets passed by mouth over time, it gets altered a little bit here and there, even by accident in very small amounts. And no one can deny that if one part of a wholly true story has been altered, then we can call that part a "falsehood" as it relates to what was originally told.

What it all comes down to is that this "falsehood" was either placed in the Bible on purpose or by accident. If someone knew that it was an "elaboration" when they said/wrote it, then it was done on purpose. If someone thought they were doing it the right way, but messed it up, then it was done by accident. There is no escaping that fact.

To me, the only logical and resonable options are that either Moses goofed up God's original story, or it was slowly altered over time, while being passed by word of mouth, or someone responsible for passing it along changed it on purpose.

I do not see how it could have been any form of poetic statement or anything other than either a direct purposeful alteration (lie) or an accidental alteration (mistake) from the original story, given by god with the correct order.

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.chaos is the poetry.
(and sometimes vice versa)


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Astro
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# 84

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The Bible is not a book of facts, nor is it as Babybear has pointed out the word of God
but it is a way that God has choosen to reveal things to us, and even in most cases the best record we have of many of His revalations. So I think that it is inerrant in that it is exactly what He wanted us to have. It is our problem if we choose to treat poetry as science, and fail to take the bits that are relavent to one culture and make them relavent to our culture. One thing the Bible is not is a book of rules.
Perhaps it is also inerrnat in that it requires us to think and "work out our own salvation ...".

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if you look around the world today – whether you're an atheist or a believer – and think that the greatest problem facing us is other people's theologies, you are yourself part of the problem. - Andrew Brown (The Guardian)

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Robert Armin

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# 182

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quote:
But anyone would have a difficult time of explaining how giving the created order of things in the incorrect order could ever be considered a poetic or metaphorical statement of any similar measure.

But you have a different order in Genesis 1 from Gen 2. I find it hard to take the actual words of the Bible serioulsy, and hold to most theories of inerrancy. (I try to take the first of those options, but often fail.)

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Keeping fit was an obsession with Fr Moity .... He did chin ups in the vestry, calisthenics in the pulpit, and had developed a series of Tai-Chi exercises to correspond with ritual movements of the Mass. The Antipope Robert Rankin


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Steve G
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# 65

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In answer to your question, Nemo, I do think the creation account has a poetic form to it. On the first 3 days 3 'realms' are created (day and night, sky and sea, land) and on the second 3 days the occupants of these 3 realms are created (sun and moon, birds and fish, animals and humans).

I think you're right to point out the crucial factor of people recognising the literary genre they are reading. The original readers would have found this easier than us (Hebrew readers would have looked for parallelisms in poems, whereas our forms of poetry are somewhat different).

I still think you need to broaden your categories beyond literal truth, lie, or mistake. In everyday speech (not just in poetry) we say things that aren't literally true but communicate truth meaningfully (phrases like 'the sun rises in the morning', as well as irony and sarcasm). I'd be surprised if you took everthing anyone says to you as either literally true, a lie or a mistake, so why apply only these criteria to the Bible?


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Freddy
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# 365

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quote:
Originally posted by nemo:
No matter what the purpose of the statement is, if it is false, then it is false.

How about allegory, parable, metaphor, or the way that you explain to a child that the reason that the sky is blue is to match her eyes?

The early Genesis stories relate the early spiritual history of the human race. There was a Golden Age. People fell away from those idyllic times - so drastically that it was predicted that God would need to come to earth. There weren't really any magic trees or talking snakes!

This doesn't make the story untrue. It is simply not a book about natural factual knowledge, as Astro points out:

quote:
Astro writes:
The Bible is not a book of facts, nor is it as Babybear has pointed out the word of God

But the Bible is the Word of God. It claims this for itself repeatedly, and Jesus many times refers to it that way. Churches traditionally regard it that way. The miracle is that Jesus was in the flesh what had previosly only been in a book.

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"Consequently nothing is of greater importance to a person than knowing what the truth is." Swedenborg


Posts: 12829 | From: Bryn Athyn | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
Polly

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# 1107

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I am reading a really interseting book by a guy called Lee Stobel at the moment.

A journalist who has a law degree made it his task to proove that the claims about Christ were false but after his research became a Christian.

Now he has written a book about the toughest issues that face Christians.

He interviewed a number of top scientists etc and theologists concerning issues like evolution and "apparent" contradictions in the Bible.

Basically I think that we make judgements on things we don't have the full facts. More & more scientist actually believe God created the world. If you read the bible properly and apply set rules that are applied to all historical accounts then you won't find contradictions in scripure.

Isn't it worth holding on to such judgements as "the bible has many inerrancies" etc until we get our facts right!!


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gkbarnes
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# 1894

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The Bible is the word of God, and is therefore His word's to us. While I belive that there are some errors, there is NO THEOLOGICAL error. Yes, there aere parts that are not necssarally to be taken literally, but symbolicaly (Jesus telling us to pick up deadly snales, drink poison and to cut off arms and to pluck out eyes).
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gkbarnes
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# 1894

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quote:
Originally posted by gkbarnes:
pick up deadly snales

Sorry, I meant snakes


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Glenn Oldham
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Thanks for the clarification gk a lovely image!
deadly snales: you see one heading for you and you think that you have got all the time in the world to get out of its way and so you get back to what you were doing and next thing you know: you're bitten! (or rasped, I think).
Glenn

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This entire doctrine is worthless except as a subject of dispute. (G. C. Lichtenberg 1742-1799 Aphorism 60 in notebook J of The Waste Books)

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craigbob
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I understand that some parts of the Bible are "poetic" or metaphorical or something of the sort at least. But I have a hard time beleiving that God would purposefully say that things were created in an order that they were not created in. I will grant that perhaps an ancient Hebrew would understand something about the verse that I might not, but I honestly find it highly unlikely that God poetically or somehow put the order of creation wrong on purpose. It seems much more logical and likely, to me anyway, that God was probably very poetic about it, but STILL got in in the right order, and that humans mixed it up somewhere along the line.

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Steve G
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The question of authorial intent is important here (taking God to be the author, for argument's sake). If Gen 1 was intended to give a scientific or chronological account of creation, then it would indeed be odd for God to get the order 'wrong'. But if his intention was something rather different, then the scientific accuracy of the account is less, if at all, relevent.

I would argue that Gen 1 is intended to help us see the pre-fall creation as ordered according to God's sovereignty, with humans as part of creation, but ruling it as God's vice-regents. The fall then substantially messed this up, with the relationships between humans and creation, other humans, and God all marred.

The principle of authorial intent also makes sense, for example, of some of the differences between John and the synoptics. John declares his intent in 20v31 as being to convince his readers who Jesus is. He doesn't claim to be writing biography or history, in the way that Luke does (1v1-4). That's not to say John made stuff up, but that his intent needs to influence the way we interpret what he wrote. This is true of all literature, of course, and not just the Bible.


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Hull Hound
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quote:
Originally posted by nemo:
To me, it is evidence that when a story gets passed by mouth over time, it gets altered a little bit here and there, even by accident in very small amounts. And no one can deny that if one part of a wholly true story has been altered, then we can call that part a "falsehood" as it relates to what was originally told.

The oral tradition of the very early Church was a chance for some theology to develop too. Sometimes it takes a while for the truth to be discovered and the truth does equally come through he successive interpretations by the community.

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ahhh ... Bisto!

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Jengie jon

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Author intent sounds easy doesn't it.

However there are at least two ways of reading author intent. They answer the questions

What does the human author intend to communicate?

What might God see as important in this passage?

There are equally two reader intents:

What would the originally intended (by the human author) readers have heard from this passage?

What do we in the light of the full Bible and our understanding of modern society hear from this passage?

When all four agree I am suspicious that we are deluding ourselves.

Jengie

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Astro
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I think we are getting a bit sidetracked by Genesis 1 but to join in the order is correct
1) Heaven and earth - so matter, a place to stand created first.
Now lets stand on the surface of the place called Earth
2) So it starts as a mass of dust and gas
and on day 2 the dust soilidifies into a ball of rock and the gas forms a thick clould around it. There is some liquid floating on the rock.
3) Then there is primative life on day 3. I suppose to the early Hebrews who had no microscopes to see bateria etc. plants would have been considered primative compared to say a cow.
4) The thick methane (or whatever) cloulds cleared on day 4 and hey the earthbound observer can see the Sun during the day and the Moon and stars at night. He didn't know taht they wee there before because of teh thick clould cover.
5) Next life developed in the sea and on land the flying things - ok not yet birds but even today birds are outnumbered by other flying things - the insects! So day 5 mainly invertebrates with maybe the odd fish.
6) Ah day 6 - invertebrates they come onto land.

Now try putting the above in a languauge that will be understood by a pre-scientific culture.

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if you look around the world today – whether you're an atheist or a believer – and think that the greatest problem facing us is other people's theologies, you are yourself part of the problem. - Andrew Brown (The Guardian)


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Steve G
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Those are helpful comments. May I comment on your comments?

I wouldn't want to drive a wedge between your first 2 questions. What God intends in a passage may be more than what the human author intended (eg Psalm 22 or Isaiah 53), but the divine intent doesn't contradict the human, rather it supplements or fulfills it. Naturally, it is in the light of Christ that all scriptures take on their fullest meaning.

As for your second 2 questions, they express quite well the important difference between interpretation and application, or between what the bible meant and what it means. Again, the answer to the 2nd question cannot contradict the answer to the 1st. And obviously, what the original readers would have understood from a text should correspond closely to what the original author intended them to understand. Unless you want to go down a reader response road (which I certainly do not).


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Jengie jon

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Some after thoughts on earlier post.

None of these questions are necessarily easy to separate from each other

and just to make matters worse I think the last one is covering two different reader interpretations

1) What has this passage been understood to mean historically by the Church?

2) What do I as a twentieth century christian understand by it?

If you want passages where these meanings Kaleidoscope into a complex pattern then look at the suffering servant passages in Isaiah.

Jean

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Gauk
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According to the Book of Kings, the value of pi is 3. This would seem to be a definite error ...

One might also note that Jesus stated quite clearly that the Second Coming would be in the lifetime of the Disciples. So even Jesus was capable of error. Is this alarming? Not at all! He couldn't be fully human without making a few mistakes.

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Now the Sirens have a still more fatal weapon than their song, namely their silence ... it is conceivable that someone might possibly have escaped from their singing; but from their silence certainly never.


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Atticus
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Gauk:
Perhaps you'd care to be a little more precise as to approximately where in the Gospels this takes place. Or perhaps which conversation or event it coincides with. Just for the record, Jesus did return during the disciples lifetime, he rose from the dead...

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Steve G
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You wouldn't criticise a maths book for its theological errors, so I see little point in criticising the bible for its mathematical errors.

Jesus' reference to seeing "the Son of Man coming in his Kingdom" (Matt 16v28) is widely understood to refer to his resurrection appearances (as well as to his 2nd coming). If Jesus could be wrong about something so fundamental, I'd have trouble accepting much of what he said.


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gkbarnes
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# 1894

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quote:
Originally posted by Gauk:

One might also note that Jesus stated quite clearly that the Second Coming would be in the lifetime of the Disciples. So even Jesus was capable of error.

I have to dissagree here. He was talking in a metophorical sense about His crucifixtion.


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gkbarnes
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# 1894

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Sorry to doyuble post, but this site is really good on supposed "errors" of the Bible.
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Gauk
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One can only identify the Son of Man coming in his kingdom with the brief appearances of Jesus after his resurrection if one is determined to read into the text something that avoids the possibility of Jesus being incorrect. In other words, the approach is: "Here is a difficult text. It must be right somehow. Can we twist the words to avoid the obvious meaning and find a meaning that avoids error?" I prefer to read what things say, without prejudice.

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Now the Sirens have a still more fatal weapon than their song, namely their silence ... it is conceivable that someone might possibly have escaped from their singing; but from their silence certainly never.

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Gauk
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gkbarnes - that site seems to be composed with a pre-ordained conclusion in mind. Some of the more obvious historical errors are passed over entirely. (Such as the fact that it was never required for anyone to travel to their birthplace to be taxed; this was a plot device to get Joseph and Mary to Bethlehem.)

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Now the Sirens have a still more fatal weapon than their song, namely their silence ... it is conceivable that someone might possibly have escaped from their singing; but from their silence certainly never.

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Bonzo
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# 2481

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quote:

originally posted by gkbarnes:

The Bible is the word of God, and is therefore His word's to us. While I belive that there aresome errors, there is NO THEOLOGICAL error.


Surely you can't be serious?
When, for example, the Israelites entered the promised land, according to the Bible God told them to ethnically cleanse the land! If you are suggesting that this is the nature of God then you must know some other God than the one I know.

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Love wastefully


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Louise
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Post by ekalb moved from the 'Golden thread of Love' to keep all our biblical inerrancy discussions on one thread

quote:
appreciate the replys guys.
Hmmmmmm....looks like I gotta try to defend my way out of this eh?

Firstly, on a very personal note, I want to say that doctrines/beliefs don't just stay in the realm of the cerebral, but they have to be lived out. And I'll admit that my belief in the inherrancy and infallibility of scripture is tough. Questions like, 'what about the apocrypha?' or 'what about genesis 1 in light of evolutionary theory?' are very challenging questions.

But I will say that there are 3 main reasons for not abandoning the belief that the Bible is a whole, perfect, and trustworthy source of God's truth:

1) First, the Bible says that it is the perfect, whole, and trustworthy word of God. While this may sound like circular reasoning, the fact is that if we believe in any part of scripture, then we by very defenition MUST believe in ALL the scripture. (I can hear the objections already ) If Isaiah says that the word of Yhwh will never pass away and we reject that idea, then what gives us the right to accept any part of Isaiah's message??? If Jesus claimed that heaven/earth would pass away before His words would, and we say 'well, some of it is here and maybe some of it is covered over there,' then why can we trust anything that he has to say???

2)Secondly, Jesus' views of the OT scriptures were that of a very 'literalist' and very authoritative interpretation.
Jesus claimed that He was the fullfilment of OT prophecy regarding the messiah (I don't deny that most of the prophecies were somewhat metaphorical). Next, Jesus used the scriptures to 'fight' the temptations of Satan. Jesus defended the doctrine of a 'literal' resurrection of the dead before the 'liberal' saducees from the OT. Jesus often said, "So that all that has been written in the scriptures may be fulfilled......" Again, in the parable of Lazarus and the rich man, Jesus ends the story by saying that the truth of the OT scriptures 'should' be more convincing proof of God then even a resurrection from the dead. Need I go on?
As a Christian, I cannot deny what my master has believed about the nature of revelation/scripture. To Jesus, the OT was the exclusive truth of God on earth. (apart from His incarnation and general revelation, of course.)

3) Now I feel that I have barely scratched the surface as far as a defense goes (there are much more qualified CHristians who could do a much better job). But I want to end by saying that God can, if He wanted to, protect His scriptures through many centuries. I mean, He is God, right? Also I want to say that I would not even want to be a Christian if the Bible is not the perfect and inspired and kept word of God. Why? Because how would we ever know what parts were what? How can I trust my salvation to a book that might be wrong?
It can seem very "intellectual" and "mature" of us to say that we have to 'wade' through and critically find out what parts are true ot not, but its foolishness. Either God can and has kept HIs promise to maintian His word, or we are playing a guessing game with our souls at stake.
You can do whatever you want, but I can't have peace without first affirming (by faith, as is everything when it comes down to it) that the Bible is God's message that He has kept for us to give us light and a path to follow.
"Let God be True, and every man a liar."
Romans 3:4
thanx for be patient.

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"'If I were sure that I loved God, what would I do?' When you have found the answer, go and do it."
- C.S. Lewis




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