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Old 03-05-2012, 05:17 PM
 
Location: Sylmar, California
817 posts, read 573,413 times
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This started as a post on another thread, but it may have gone a little off-topic. So I figured I'd get some opinions on this thread.

I have always loved the Bible, and prior to last year, I never had any courage to try to look at it objectively for any period of time. In doing that, I have found things that bother me. So it is not with arroagance that I post this, but I real desire for some other opinions that may help.

This is reprinted from another post I just wrote:


Why I have so much trouble believing the Bible is inerrant:

It is often said that we need to include lots of other scriptures from other books of the Bible to undestand a particular scripture (and its doctrine) correctly. But before these "other scriptures" existed (and the books all didn't exist at once obviously), there was no other scripture to turn to to explain it. Luke came after Matthew presumably, and some of the Gospels were possibly 10-20 years after the books of Paul at the very least, but in any case, the number of years separating the books would thus be the number of years that a particular book would be "in error" or "incomplete and worthless" because there is no scripture from another book to harmonize it with or to explain it properly! (In other words, if a particular book creates a seeming theological problem, you shouldn't need another author and another book to explain what the other book meant!) In the OT, this problem would be rampant, because often large numbers of years would go by between the books.

So when someone says "I HAVE to turn to this other scripture to explain this first scripture" it makes me think that they are just doing that to drive their point home, of what they want to believe. What I'm saying is that if a scripture doesn't make complete spiritual sense in its book of origin, then you cannot just turn to scriptures from other books to try and change or modify the meaning.

There are many, many cases where this does not happen in doctrinal discussions, but many many cases where it does. AND THIS IS WHAT IS CAUSING ALL THE DIVISION, and preventing it from ever being completely sorted out. There is a reverse-engineering happening where we start with the premise that "This Bible must be all true" and so any apparent or even glaring contradictions in it therefore MUST be explained away. And if you take the Bible's "truth" as a given and do this, you can never ever prove or disprove anything LOGICALLY. (Yet logic is what powers the brains of these computers we use, and without it, they simply would not function.) When you take the Bible's "truth" as a given, thus taking all logic out of it, and then turn to only certain scriptures, combined with others, you can create many many arguments (and they are all out there) that simply aren't logical, or even true, and often people won't pick up on it. This use of the Bible allows people to be programmed in many different ways.

Any "inspired scripture," if it is really perfect must be completely clear on its own as well as together with other scriptures. God is no slacker, and I think he should be able to write a book well enough for people not to have to argue about it. And I think in many cases the scriptures were originally clear but these "later books" actually confused things!! And when all this convolutedness starts entering into it...where no one book actually cuts it, in terms of explaining the doctrine, and you keep including and "harmonizing" more and more scriptures...at the exclusion of others, you could almost make it mean anything. I could show you a great example with non-Biblical text, showing the same phenomenon.

And as long as the previous scriptures still didn't seem to make it all tie together completely, people would keep writing more books (and they did), and then some other people try to figure out which of those books to inlclude or exclude, until it's "perfect". Sounds like working on a screenplay. You keep tweaking it until it seems finished. That is not the same as its being perfect all along.
Any book that only seems "truly meaningful" when you criss-cross "some of its contents all over the place" seems like a really poor way to design a book. It also opens up lots of cans of worms. All the pastors and preachers say "turn to this page"...and "now turn to this page" etc, etc, and all the different sects out there use different juxtapositions of verses from each other, to "prove" totally different points, and it just goes round and round, and nothing ever gets settled. It's the most illogical thing ever, and the book, by design lends itself to this. And that's exactly why there are so many doctrines and arguments out there. The book itself creates this situation.

And for the first 300 or so years, there wasn't a concrete set of agreed-upon scriptures by which to make much sense of these issues anyway!

And so people don't use logic to settle any of this, but rather come here and defend their indoctrination, because they CAN'T use logic. It won't work with the reverse engineering approach to anything. And it all speaks poorly about how this religion was put together, that we all come here and debate endlessly about the "truth" regarding this "perfect book."

Last edited by TwoWitnesses; 03-05-2012 at 05:57 PM..
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Old 03-05-2012, 06:29 PM
 
Location: Salt Lake City
21,260 posts, read 20,859,174 times
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Just curious... Why do you need to believe the Bible is inerrant in order to believe it is worthwhile? If it actually claimed to be inerrant, that would be one thing, but it doesn't.
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Old 03-05-2012, 06:32 PM
 
8,825 posts, read 6,294,647 times
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The Bible is not the word of God. The Bible was written by men and they included their own personal views.

The word of God cannot be summarized in a book. The Bible has teaching points for the Christian that must be extracted from the mindset of folks that lived thousands of years ago.

The Bible is great for historical facts and the teaching of the parables are great.
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Old 03-05-2012, 06:50 PM
 
Location: Florida -
8,238 posts, read 9,990,552 times
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You've addressed a number of topics - Let's deal with one issue that seems to cause you great 'heartburn' .... Using one scripture to explain/verify/affirm another. Your position seems to be (?) that God's inspiration should allow every single verse to stand on its own.

While God’s Word is perfect and able to stand on it’s own, it is written for a diversity of people and situations. No single passage applies to every situation, plus people often try to interpret a single passage many different ways – or even to build an entire theology on one passage ---to prove whatever point ‘they’ are trying to make. Thus, if our goal is to truly understand God’s Word, as God intended for it to be understand, we can only do that in God’s Word. This principle is known as “building precept upon precept.” It is also the basis for “rightly dividing the Word of Truth” and depends on “God bearing witness to Himself” (and not depending on human testimony)

Fortunately, for our benefit, God repeats His truth and principles over and over in many different ways, across different situations and generations! We therefore, are not limited to our own feeble understanding, but, can understand, affirm and verify God’s truth in the light of passages that verify and affirm themselves. It only gets complicated when people try to ‘force fit’ God’s simple Word (which children can often more readily understand than adults) into their own private interpretation. But, even there, scripture tells us that “No prophecy of scripture is of any private interpretation.”

(Those who arrogantly declare that the Bible is NOT the Word of God and was only written by men --- are a big part of the problem --- They have no affirming foundation for their proclamation ... yet, often make it with such 'blind assurance' that it leads those who do not know better astray. They will be held fully accountable for their foolishness).
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Old 03-05-2012, 08:19 PM
Status: "Build the damn wall!" (set 4 days ago)
 
Location: The Haunted Mansion
15,134 posts, read 8,222,812 times
Reputation: 1543
Quote:
Originally Posted by Julian658 View Post
The Bible is not the word of God. The Bible was written by men and they included their own personal views.

The word of God cannot be summarized in a book. The Bible has teaching points for the Christian that must be extracted from the mindset of folks that lived thousands of years ago.

The Bible is great for historical facts and the teaching of the parables are great.
What is your source for the bolded?
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Old 03-05-2012, 08:31 PM
 
Location: God's Country
21,416 posts, read 29,529,737 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jghorton View Post

(Those who arrogantly declare that the Bible is NOT the Word of God and was only written by men --- are a big part of the problem --- They have no affirming foundation for their proclamation ... yet, often make it with such 'blind assurance' that it leads those who do not know better astray. They will be held fully accountable for their foolishness).[/i]
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Old 03-05-2012, 08:33 PM
 
8,825 posts, read 6,294,647 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimmiej View Post
What is your source for the bolded?

Source? It is a historic fact that the books of the Bible were written by men. In fact the books of the Bible have tiles such as Mark, Luke, etc. The other books are letters written by men.

These men were inspired by God to write, however, they colored the writing with their own points of view. That is why we have contradictions.

God did not dictate the men what to write word by word, so the Bible is not the word of God. For example I don't believe God would write it is OK to kill a gay man. Killing a gay man is the idea of the writer of Leviticus.

Quote:
20:13 If a man lies with a man as one lies with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They must be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads.


We really do not understand God very well and as of now the word of God is our interpretation of the Bible. Sadly many folks have different interpretations.

The Bible is not infallible. It is simply a guide for Christianity.

I would still be a Christian if there was no Bible.
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Old 03-05-2012, 08:57 PM
Status: "Build the damn wall!" (set 4 days ago)
 
Location: The Haunted Mansion
15,134 posts, read 8,222,812 times
Reputation: 1543
Quote:
Originally Posted by Julian658 View Post
Source? It is a historic fact that the books of the Bible were written by men. In fact the books of the Bible have tiles such as Mark, Luke, etc. The other books are letters written by men.

These men were inspired by God to write, however, they colored the writing with their own points of view. That is why we have contradictions.

God did not dictate the men what to write word by word, so the Bible is not the word of God. For example I don't believe God would write it is OK to kill a gay man. Killing a gay man is the idea of the writer of Leviticus.



We really do not understand God very well and as of now the word of God is our interpretation of the Bible. Sadly many folks have different interpretations.

The Bible is not infallible. It is simply a guide for Christianity.

I would still be a Christian if there was no Bible.
Here's what Paul says:

1 Thess. 2

13 And we also thank God continually because, when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men, but as it actually is, the word of God, which is at work in you who believe.

2 Tim. 3

16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

And Peter,

2 Peter 3

15 Bear in mind that our Lordís patience means salvation, just as our dear brother Paul also wrote you with the wisdom that God gave him. 16 He writes the same way in all his letters, speaking in them of these matters. His letters contain some things that are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort, as they do the other Scriptures, to their own destruction.

Most importantly, Jesus quoted Scripture.
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Old 03-05-2012, 09:22 PM
 
8,825 posts, read 6,294,647 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimmiej View Post
Here's what Paul says:

1 Thess. 2

13 And we also thank God continually because, when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men, but as it actually is, the word of God, which is at work in you who believe.
I have heard a zillon preachers say: when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men, but as it actually is, the word of God,

Paul is preaching and he was a very good preacher.


Quote:
2 Tim. 3

16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.
Sure, the scriptures are God breathed or inspired by God and I agree it is useful for teaching however, God did not write the Bible. God did not dictate the men what to write.

That is why we have four Gospels with differences in how Jesus lived and died. Men were inspired to write! They were not taking dictation.

That is why some Bible verses support justification by faith alone and an equal number of passages support the concept of faith plus works. Would God write something so confusing and contradictory? This clearly shows the hand of men writing the Bible and each MAN has his own agenda.

Quote:
And Peter,

2 Peter 3

15 Bear in mind that our Lordís patience means salvation, just as our dear brother Paul also wrote you with the wisdom that God gave him. 16 He writes the same way in all his letters, speaking in them of these matters. His letters contain some things that are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort, as they do the other Scriptures, to their own destruction.

Most importantly, Jesus quoted Scripture.

Wisdom that God gave him Exactly! However, Paul wrote down his own point of view. After all-----Paul was a man and as a man was not perfect. In fact Paul doubts himself on the Bible. At times he is not even sure of his own salvation.

Of course Jesus quoted the Bible. All Jews quoted the OT. Interestingly Jesus did not write anything.
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Old 03-05-2012, 09:40 PM
 
1,534 posts, read 1,592,460 times
Reputation: 267
TwoWitnesses,
I did read your entire post, but I agree it was way too long so I will just address what I preceive as your main point: why does one passage need to be confirmed by another one?

Let me ask you this? Why do you think God made the law that at the mouth of 2-3 witnesses a thing shall be established?

I'm sure you know/can figure out the answer. It's so the truth is found out.

The Scriptures are no different. When one is searching about a particular subject to find the whole truth one must read all the passages that speak of this subject.

And of course we need to look to the OT to understand the NT. The first usage of a word often gives more clarity as to it's meaning, also.

It's sort of like the old cop show when Sergeant Friday would say, "Just getting the facts, ma'am."

I like to think of the Scriptures as a giant puzzle with pieces scattered all around. We need all the 'facts' [pieces] to find the whole truth, and put the puzzle together. God wrote it that way, BTW, and that's why He says: "study to show yourself approved. A workman able to rightly divide....."
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