TRANSPONDER wrote: ↑Sun Sep 26, 2021 8:40 am
... but whether they undermine the credibility of the Bible as an accurate record of events, forget about supposed dictation by God.
I hate to labour the point, but contradictions/discrepancies with verified information as well as itself, is what does for Bible credibility. And when the claim to trust it without question s out the window, it's Authority goes with it.
That's why we need to get this out of the way before even getting to justifications and reasons for accepting the Bible is authoritative. And I expect it's going to take awhile to discuss because this belief is so deep-seated in our culture.
The way I believe the Bible should be approached is like listening to witnesses in a courtroom. Each witness has their own perspective, style, personality, etc. When they give their account of an event, it is entirely possible it will contradict another testimony. It is up to the jury to piece together what is the truth. Just because there are discrepancies between the witnesses doesn't mean everything is false.
The Bible was not written to be an encyclopedia of factual information that is authoritative on facts, dates, measurements, genealogies, etc. It is the underlying message under these facts that the author is trying to convey. I'm not saying facts presented are all false, but contradictions can occur, just like they can occur in a courtroom.
Diagoras wrote: ↑Sun Sep 26, 2021 4:32 pm
The point about general revelation isn't really germane to this debate, so I'll let that slide.
One reason I bring it up is Christians do not idolize nature. Likewise, nobody should idolize the Bible. On the flip side, Christians should appreciate nature just like they appreciate the Bible. Jesus spent an inordinate amount of time in nature (and not just in the temple).
Would you accept an analogy of a paper road atlas that's a few years out of date? Shows you the general way forward but might miss out the odd set of traffic lights and occasionally the new overpass?
Well, not even a paper atlas. I was using Apple Maps to get to a destination and it was just plain wrong. It wanted me to drive in the wrong direction in a one-way road. And this was not the only time it has had a mistake. But, I still use the app.
When you say, "Very few do", you're acknowledging that at least there are some contradictions that impact major doctrines - but then immediately declaring them to be 'of little relevance'. To address the question of trustworthiness, it would be important to tackle these openly and honestly, don't you think?
Sure, what would be some of these?
How did we go from 'inerrant' to 'perfection'? It might seem a trivial point, but the words aren't exactly the same. If the claim is that the Bible is akin to a road sign, 'pointing to God', then the question being asked is more like "Why does this sign say God's found 3 miles South, as well as 2 miles North?"
Actually, I believe the term inerrant is meaningless, but don't want to get into that debate here. It's been covered several times in other threads.
The Bible is actually quite consistent in the basic message that God created us sinless, mankind has sinned, sin is a barrier to God, God has removed that barrier through Jesus Christ, and we can have a relationship with God through faith in Him.
Is there anything in the Bible that contradicts this core message?
Unfortunately, the Bible as an atlas doesn't have a 'map key' at the front to tell you what the different coloured lines mean (highway? railway?), and sometimes seems to use a blue square as a symbol of a hotel, but other times as for a toll booth. It's never stated outright that 'this passage is a metaphor', but 'that one is historical fact'.
Actually, I believe it's quite easy to understand the basic message of the Bible as described above. No PhD degree needed. But, as we move out of the core, it requires deeper study. Very intelligent people have been studying it for thousands of years and we're still learning more and more.
Diogenes wrote: ↑Sun Sep 26, 2021 8:04 pm
The fact of the imperfections and contradictions only proves the writings are not the work of a perfect or omniscient god.
I also agree the Bible is not the work of a perfect God.