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Old 10-01-2006, 07:54 PM
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The Validity of the Bible

This thread is intended to be a discussion/debate thread, and was sparked by a Bible discussion/side-tangent we were having within another thread. Although I
Old 11-01-2006, 09:47 AM
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Validity of Bible?

Here's an angle you could take on this:

If we see the Bible as a recipe book.

Then by following the instructions within it we can test the accuracy by the taste of the bread we bake.

If we can bake genuine 'Love of God' with the recipe then it must still be fairly accurate (enough to do the job).

If not then there must be a problem somewhere?
Old 11-01-2006, 01:24 PM
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The book "The Sins of Scripture: Exposing the Bible's Texts of Hate to Reveal the God of Love" by Spong gives an excellent argument for why the Bible cannot be taken by Christians as something divinely inspired. Most of his arguments are the traditional historical ones (many different versions of the books of the Bible exist, which ones were included in the final text was a man-made decision, and the text of the Bible was written by humans), but his strongest argument is that a God of Love would not have written many of the offensive verses in the Bible. These texts can definitely be set down as the work of aspiring but flawed human-beings.

So this is basically to say that I agree with DASA. Btw, Spong is an Anglican bishop.

Is it reasonable for Christians to believe that the Bible is Divinely inspired?
Divinely inspired, sure. However, I think it is possible and probable that what is written under divine inspiration does not always represent God's precise words. God is too mysterious and awesome an idea to even express in words, so in the process of trying to translate divinely inspired ideas into human language, it's inevitable that some of the scribe's beliefs and prejudices sneak their way into the text. And then, of course, this "translation" is literally translated, again and again ... result, while the Bible is probably divinely inspired (not necessarily by God sending psychic thought-waves to the writers, but perhaps through the writers striving to connect with God), it does not represent the literal Word of God at all.

[quote]Issues of the
Old 11-01-2006, 10:38 PM
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Re: Validity of Bible?

Originally Posted by DASA
Here's an angle you could take on this:

If we see the Bible as a recipe book.
I like that. I have yet another analogy to offer:

I am a car enthusiast
Old 11-01-2006, 11:02 PM
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"Propoganda"? Because each of the Gospel writers had a different target audience they wanted to convert ... I don't remember exactly who was writing for whom, but the Gospels are clearly adjusted to appeal to the Greeks, Romans, Hebrews, and [another group]. I've heard this from many sources, but primarily from my liberal Christian boyfriend, and a fundementalist Christian friend (pretty much spans the spectrum!).
Old 11-01-2006, 11:49 PM
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Old 13-01-2006, 01:54 PM
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Re: Validity of Bible?

[quote=Space_Man]Indeed. I
Old 15-01-2006, 03:49 PM
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Sorry to hear about your experiences with fundementalist Christianity! I'm glad that you came out wanting to question, explore, etc.

What we were told was that it is believed that the Bible is the inspired word of God... God guided the people who wrote it to write an unbiased account... because it is God-inspired, it can't be wrong. The matter of how they were God-inspired was always fudged over.

I find it very interesting that the "how" wasn't ever discussed. This article talks about the doctrine of divine inspiration: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biblical_inspiration

the Bible is a truly human product and its creation was superintended by the Holy Spirit, preserving the authors' works from error without eliminating their specific concerns, situation, or style

The problem with this is that it doesn't say *how* the Holy Spirit superintended the writing of the Bible, and the final statement (that this eliminated variations in style) is not actually born out by the Bible itself. Scholars have found lots of stylistic variation. Also, as far as specific concerns go -- I'm hoping to hear more about Poppies research into Eve ... Space Man references that, and now I'm curious to read more! Have you written about it on this forum, Poppies?
Old 16-01-2006, 12:45 PM
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This is from an article Poppies linked to in the "Nature of Jesus" discussion:

Many (hopefully, most) Christians acknowledge that the Bible is "inerrant", that is, it contains NO errors. The reason for this belief is obvious. If one accepts that God participated in the writing of the Bible, it is beyond possibility that He would either intentionally or unintentionally permit errors or misleading statements to have been included in it.

Most Christians make an incorrect assumption that modern English translations are therefore inerrant. They are not, even though their various translators make enormous efforts to try to make them inerrant.

There are several reasons for this. In both the case of the Old Testament and the New Testament, the contents of many of the Books were originally passed down from generation to generation VERBALLY. Most people of the time were illiterate, but books as we know them were extremely rare anyway. Virtually no one other than governments and wealthy people had any. Keep in mind that a "book" had to be created in a very difficult way. The papyrus or parchment had to first be created, along with the ink. Then a person had to copy an existing book, letter by letter, to create a new book. And a 'book' was not the convenient thing we imagine. It was generally a collection of rolls of papyrus or parchment which unrolled to strips that were many feet long. Given all this, it is pretty obvious why the great majority of people gained essentially ALL of their knowledge verbally.

By the time the words were actually committed to papyrus or parchment, therefore, a number of generations of verbal description, and human memories, were involved. Where the ORIGINAL MANUSCRIPTS were certainly inerrant, these written copies could possibly have contained some minor flaws.

Next, consider that writing materials have a limited lifetime before they fade or disintegrate. At regular intervals, it was necessary for scribes to copy the entire texts, letter by letter, to make a new copy. Of course, all the scribes were extremely careful, but keep in mind that our full Bible contains 773,746 words, or over three million individual characters! Scribes generally had to work from the most recent copy. The result is that by around 900 AD (the oldest common documents that still exist of the Bible), those texts are copies of copies of copies. If a single character of those three million was mis-copied by any scribe, all later scribes would unknowingly copy that flaw.

Another complication arose when the texts were translated from one language to another, and eventually to English. Most words in nearly every language have several possible meanings. A translator is faced, for nearly every single word, with selecting the "best" translation. Different translators make different choices, which has resulted in our variety of modern Bible translations, all of which generally agree (since they were all created from the same source texts) but which have minor differences due to the translating choices. How would you translate the English word 'shift'? As an action when driving a car? As a key on a computer keyboard? As an eight-hour work period? As what you do when you slightly move in a movie theater seat? See the problem? A translator needs to determine the context of the text, to determine just which translation is most correct. Therefore, individual human judgment is unavoidably involved in the translation process.

Source: http://mb-soft.com/believe/txw/wordcros.htm

What first struck me upon reading this was the question, "Are there really people who believe that the English translation is inerrant? Why?"

I'm wondering if the assumption is that the translators were guided by G-d/the Holy Spirit as well? Anyone have any thoughts on this?
Old 17-01-2006, 06:15 PM
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[quote=Elen0Sila]The problem with this is that it doesn't say *how* the Holy Spirit superintended the writing of the Bible
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