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Biblical scepticism

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  • xris01@yahoo.com
    Hi Todd, I forgot about this newsgroup as I ve been too busy with other things, then came across it from a link on your Truth Filter website last night. I had
    Message 1 of 2 , Apr 1, 2001
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      Hi Todd,

      I forgot about this newsgroup as I've been too busy with other
      things, then came across it from a link on your Truth Filter website
      last night.

      I had a disagreement with a fundamentalist friend of mine yesterday
      (Saturday) regarding Biblical inerrancy. He is one of the spiritual
      leaders of a Bible study I go to on Friday evenings. Anyway, at the
      end of the study this last Friday I got into an argument with someone
      who claimed that there were no errors in the Bible, and that it was
      completely correct because it was God's word. I'm not sure if he was
      referring to the original autographs or the present translations, but
      when he said this applied to everything, including science, so I
      quoted him the obscure passage in Lev. 11:23 regarding insects or
      creeping things (depending on the translation) with four legs. There
      was then an argument about the non-existance of such creatures, then
      everybody dispersed for the evening.

      Obviously this guy then spoke with his spiritual leader, as the
      following morning (yesterday) I happened to be at the home of the
      spiritual leader on some other business, when he approached me and
      acused me of being a sceptic, and will go to hell. He presumably
      thinks he knows me as well as Jesus Christ, so he can judge me
      accordingly, even though he only sees me a few hours once a week on
      average. Anyway, at issue is not Biblical inerrancy of the original
      autographs per se, which the spiritual leader accepts completely and
      without question, what is at issue is treating present translations
      as "magic" books that can be used to explain everything and anything,
      and if it's in the Bible it must be true regardless of the truth.

      At other times I've had arguments with people in this group about
      certain interpretations and contradictions in the Bible, so this is
      not new, but just came to a head yesterday. It seems that it's out
      of bounds to critizise the Bible and point out contradictions, you
      are presumably just supposed to accept everything you are told, and
      to be a good Christian you are not supposed to be sceptical.
      Nevertheless, as I said, I didn't get into an argument about the
      original autographs, which is completely useless, but modern
      translations.

      I've been in the church for many years (not in that particular Bible
      study), but the first time I heard, as far as I can remember,
      Biblical inerrancy spelt out so clearly was a couple of years ago by
      this same spiritual leader. Ironically enough, that got my interest
      going by checking up this claim on the Internet, and guess what, I
      found that the are contradictions which falsify the claim of
      inerrancy of at least the present translations. If as a Christian
      one seeks out the truth, that must include any truth which
      contradicts what is written in the Bible. At issue are not the
      central doctrins of Christianity, but a claim that there are no
      errors or contradictions at all in the Bible, or at least if there
      are, I'm supposed to keep quite about them and not rock the boat. On
      the other hand if someone makes an erroneous claim based on his idea
      of the Bible, then I see nothing wrong in using the very same Bible
      to show that he is wrong. No matter how trivial Lev. 11:23, or other
      similar examples are, they are sufficient to falsify the claim of
      inerrant present translations at least.

      Perhaps I'm guilty of the sin of pride, which this guy mentioned to
      me, and perhaps I should just keep quiet when someone tries to argue
      that the Bible is inerrant, but it's difficult to resist bringing up
      examples to show that it is not inerrant. What I find very strange
      is the concept of having to accept Biblical inerrancy in order to be
      a good Christian.

      Stangely enough the spritual leader accepts the great age of the
      earth, and is not a YEC, though he rejects evolution. However, over
      a year ago I had an argument with him regarding the YEC beliefs of
      some of the high profile religious leaders in the USA.

      Christopher M. Sharp
      http://www.csharp.com
    • Sam Campbell
      ... Sam I think most Christians would limit the Bible s authority to matters of faith and doctrine. It would not claim to be a scientific textbook. ... snip
      Message 2 of 2 , Apr 4, 2001
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        > CHRISTOPHER
        > >I got into an argument with someone
        > > who claimed that there were no errors in the Bible,......
        >
        > MIKE
        > Since the 'original autographs' are not known to exist .......in no
        > way proofread them.

        > > CHRISTOPHER but when he said this applied to everything, including science,
        Sam
        I think most Christians would limit the Bible's authority to matters of
        faith and doctrine. It would not claim to be a scientific textbook.

        > > quoted him the obscure passage in Lev. 11:23
        snip
        > > was then an argument about the non-existance of such creatures,

        > MIKE
        > Leviticus also refers to rabbits chewing their cuds (they don't produce
        > cuds) and snakes (serpents) eating dirt (snakes don't eat dirt).
        >
        > Genesis 30:37-39 describes Jacob as believing ....... Obviously,
        > Jacob did not have a knowledge of genetics nor did the writer of Genesis.
        Sam
        It seems obvious that this is not a lot of help to people who might be
        interested in finding the relevance of christianity and the bible to
        their lives.

        > .. excerpted from the New American Bible whose scholars had the
        > honesty to.... explain...... Genesis 30:39-42:
        >
        > "13 [39-42] Jacob's stratagem was based on the widespread notion among
        > simple people that visual stimuli can have prenatal effects on the offspring
        > of breeding animals. Thus, the rods on which Jacob had whittled stripes or
        > bands or chevron marks were thought to cause the female goats that looked at
        > them to bear kids with lighter-colored marks on their dark hair, while the
        > gray ewes were thought to bear lambs with dark marks on them simply by
        > visual cross-breeding with the dark goats."
        Sam
        sound reasonable
        >
        > Perhaps this information will be of value to you in your next discussion
        > regarding Biblical errancy.

        > CHRISTOPHER
        >....... being a sceptic, and will go to hell.
        Sam
        fortunately for me, an ordinary Christian, the bible is full of
        sceptics. I am reassured when I read about them, that having the one
        sure belief and faith that makes me a Christian, God still puts up with
        me, tolerates me when I am sceptical.
        >
        > MIKE
        > Its never wrong to question or to be skeptical. Skepticism is an extremely
        > valuable attribute. Skepticism leads to investigation which will will often
        > provide answers in the light of truth.
        >
        > CHRISTOPHER
        > (SNIP)
        > > Perhaps I'm guilty of the sin of pride, which this guy mentioned to
        > > me, and perhaps I should just keep quiet when someone tries to argue
        > > that the Bible is inerrant,.......
        Sam
        spend no more time arguing, read it for yourself and you will find the
        bits that 'speak' to your situation. eg today thinking abou just where
        I stand on creation/evolution, I found something that could endorse a
        Big Bang origin of the universe, but a Big Bang engineered by God. " He
        who created the heavens and spread them out" ! an expanding universe!

        > MIKE
        > ........ Their belief that the Bible is inerrant does not validate Biblical
        > inerrancy. The "Flat Earth Society" was based on what its members perceived
        >as truth.

        Sam
        A good example - if they walked far enough they would find the truth
        for themselves. If you read far enough in the bible I think you will
        find that it validates itself in the areas of life it was meant to
        relate to.


        --
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