How can we trust the Bible if it's not inerrant?

Argue for and against Christianity

Moderator: Moderators

Post Reply
User avatar
otseng
Savant
Posts: 20164
Joined: Thu Jan 15, 2004 1:16 pm
Location: Atlanta, GA
Has thanked: 189 times
Been thanked: 327 times
Contact:

How can we trust the Bible if it's not inerrant?

Post #1

Post by otseng »

From the On the Bible being inerrant thread:
nobspeople wrote: Wed Sep 22, 2021 9:42 amHow can you trust something that's written about god that contradictory, contains errors and just plain wrong at times? Is there a logical way to do so, or do you just want it to be god's word so much that you overlook these things like happens so often through the history of christianity?
otseng wrote: Wed Sep 22, 2021 7:08 am The Bible can still be God's word, inspired, authoritative, and trustworthy without the need to believe in inerrancy.
For debate:
How can the Bible be considered authoritative and inspired without the need to believe in the doctrine of inerrancy?

While debating, do not simply state verses to say the Bible is inspired or trustworthy.

----------

Thread Milestones

User avatar
otseng
Savant
Posts: 20164
Joined: Thu Jan 15, 2004 1:16 pm
Location: Atlanta, GA
Has thanked: 189 times
Been thanked: 327 times
Contact:

Re: How can we trust the Bible if it's not inerrant?

Post #41

Post by otseng »

Mithrae wrote: Tue Sep 28, 2021 4:59 pm It seems to me there's two rather different ways of understanding the OP question, either as
"The bible is authoritative and inspired, so how can we reconcile this without inerrancy?" or as
"Can the bible be [reasonably] considered authoritative and inspired without inerrancy?"

The former seems like the more natural reading of how it's phrased in the OP - "how can the bible be considered inspired without inerrancy" implies a focus on how, with inspiration stipulated as a foregone conclusion - but that would be more appropriate in Theology, Doctrine and Dogma than in this sub-forum.
I intentionally want the thread to be open-ended and to be able to approach this topic from different angles. I also do not want the Bible itself to be the primary evidence for its authority, so I put it here in C&A.

User avatar
otseng
Savant
Posts: 20164
Joined: Thu Jan 15, 2004 1:16 pm
Location: Atlanta, GA
Has thanked: 189 times
Been thanked: 327 times
Contact:

Re: How can we trust the Bible if it's not inerrant?

Post #42

Post by otseng »

Eloi wrote: Tue Sep 28, 2021 5:36 pm If God is going to inspire a guide for his loyal ones and that guide contains errors, then that guide is not safe ... nor is that God the God the Bible teaches about, a God to trust.
This is a common argument and a widely held view.

To Christians I'll say, it's OK. It's alright to throw away the belief of inerrancy; everything will still be the same. God is still on the throne and worthy of our trust and allegiance. Jesus is still Savior and Lord. The Holy Spirit still lives in us. The Bible is still authoritative and our rule in faith and practice. We should still keep the law. We should study the scriptures. Jesus rose from the dead. God created the cosmos. The flood was still a literal worldwide flood. Adam and Eve were real people. God's kingdom will be established. Jesus will judge all the nations.
In the other side: who is so interested in making you to believe that? Your enemy ... not your friend. Will he give you any alternative to fill the blank? No, he won't ... he is not really interested in your wellbeing. Probably that person who is killing your faith is just doing a job and getting paid for it.
How did I come to rejecting inerrancy? It's hard to pinpoint, but the seed was planted when I actually read The Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy. This is the gold standard of inerrancy among evangelical circles. When most people think of inerrancy, they most likely are NOT thinking of how the Chicago statement defines it. So, technically most people when talking about inerrancy are not talking about what is really inerrancy. This was even true of myself prior to reading the Chicago statement.

There's a lot of things that have brought me to the point of rejecting inerrancy. It hasn't been a simple journey and it can't be faulted on "the enemy", whether it be atheists or the devil or the antichrist. But, one thing for sure is it's the result of much study and contemplation. And I'm still on this road. One reason I created this thread is to go deeper on this path by debating others about this.

TRANSPONDER
Savant
Posts: 6901
Joined: Thu Apr 29, 2021 8:05 am
Has thanked: 834 times
Been thanked: 3260 times

Re: How can we trust the Bible if it's not inerrant?

Post #43

Post by TRANSPONDER »

otseng wrote: Thu Sep 30, 2021 6:13 am
Eloi wrote: Tue Sep 28, 2021 5:36 pm If God is going to inspire a guide for his loyal ones and that guide contains errors, then that guide is not safe ... nor is that God the God the Bible teaches about, a God to trust.
This is a common argument and a widely held view.

To Christians I'll say, it's OK. It's alright to throw away the belief of inerrancy; everything will still be the same. God is still on the throne and worthy of our trust and allegiance. Jesus is still Savior and Lord. The Holy Spirit still lives in us. The Bible is still authoritative and our rule in faith and practice. We should still keep the law. We should study the scriptures. Jesus rose from the dead. God created the cosmos. The flood was still a literal worldwide flood. Adam and Eve were real people. God's kingdom will be established. Jesus will judge all the nations.
In the other side: who is so interested in making you to believe that? Your enemy ... not your friend. Will he give you any alternative to fill the blank? No, he won't ... he is not really interested in your wellbeing. Probably that person who is killing your faith is just doing a job and getting paid for it.
How did I come to rejecting inerrancy? It's hard to pinpoint, but the seed was planted when I actually read The Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy. This is the gold standard of inerrancy among evangelical circles. When most people think of inerrancy, they most likely are NOT thinking of how the Chicago statement defines it. So, technically most people when talking about inerrancy are not talking about what is really inerrancy. This was even true of myself prior to reading the Chicago statement.

There's a lot of things that have brought me to the point of rejecting inerrancy. It hasn't been a simple journey and it can't be faulted on "the enemy", whether it be atheists or the devil or the antichrist. But, one thing for sure is it's the result of much study and contemplation. And I'm still on this road. One reason I created this thread is to go deeper on this path by debating others about this.
I suppose that will do unless one uses 'inerrancy' in a specific way. That is No Errors of any kind. Of course nobody is going to lean too heavily on that point, other than extreme dogmatic views on both sides - God -deniers demand that there should be No slips if God is looking after His Book, and believers who demand that it is without error when it clearly isn't.

We all know how it works - God is in charge of everything but not so it's obvious· Because for God to be obvious would make Faith meaningless (belief would be based on hard evidence (1) and Faith (not Good Works, It can't be recalled often enough) is what will Save. So God puts the idea of writing the Bible into peoples' heads so the Bible's existence is it's own evidence, but being written by men, there are occasional slips and errors which God can't correct, because that would give him away and nobody would have the Blind (without evidence) Faith that is required to have a fair chance of being saved.

I suppose that 'Inerrancy' puts on the brakes before getting to pick and mix Christianity, where Genesis is rejected because they can't deny the evidence that it's incorrect, and they picks the stuff that looks defensible. Thus the term 'inerrancy' as a debatable premise has to include Genesis literalism or at least Genesis as reliable fact.

(1) not that the believers don't try to wangle the hard evidence against to look like hard evidence For. For example, the vertical whale, presented as evidence for the Flood, is actually evidence for deep time folding of rock -strata.

Eloi
Banned
Banned
Posts: 1775
Joined: Wed Aug 07, 2019 9:31 pm
Has thanked: 43 times
Been thanked: 213 times
Contact:

Re: How can we trust the Bible if it's not inerrant?

Post #44

Post by Eloi »

[Replying to otseng in post #3]
I do not agree with you. It is not Ok if somebody thinks the Bible has mistakes ...

First: that idea opens a door for the enemies of biblical truth to "decide" where there is error and where there is not, so they will decide for you.

Second: you yourself will believe that where things do not fit you is a possible error, so you will conclude that this biblical text should not be taken seriously.

Third: little by little your comprehensive understanding of biblical truth will be undermined. There may even come a time when the Bible no longer teaches you anything, but only what you find acceptable out of it.

nobspeople
Prodigy
Posts: 3187
Joined: Wed Nov 11, 2020 11:32 am
Has thanked: 1510 times
Been thanked: 824 times

Re: How can we trust the Bible if it's not inerrant?

Post #45

Post by nobspeople »

[Replying to Eloi in post #44]
It is not Ok if somebody thinks the Bible has mistakes
Are errors OK? Omissions? Confusion? Seems if one doesn't want the bible to have such things, they need to re-write it and make it so. :?
Or simply ignore them.
Have a great, potentially godless, day!

User avatar
Difflugia
Prodigy
Posts: 2888
Joined: Wed Jun 12, 2019 10:25 am
Location: Michigan
Has thanked: 3133 times
Been thanked: 1930 times

Re: How can we trust the Bible if it's not inerrant?

Post #46

Post by Difflugia »

Eloi wrote: Fri Oct 01, 2021 12:45 pmI do not agree with you. It is not Ok if somebody thinks the Bible has mistakes ...

First: that idea opens a door for the enemies of biblical truth to "decide" where there is error and where there is not, so they will decide for you.

Second: you yourself will believe that where things do not fit you is a possible error, so you will conclude that this biblical text should not be taken seriously.

Third: little by little your comprehensive understanding of biblical truth will be undermined. There may even come a time when the Bible no longer teaches you anything, but only what you find acceptable out of it.
These things already happen. In order to deny the errors, one must harmonize the conflict somehow, whether a verse conflicts with another verse or with reality at large.

If the problem is between two verses, at least one of them must mean something other than what is written. Someone must "decide" which of those verses must be reinterpreted. At least one of those verses must not be taken seriously. The original meaning of those verses can no longer inform you about God.
My pronouns are he, him, and his.

Eloi
Banned
Banned
Posts: 1775
Joined: Wed Aug 07, 2019 9:31 pm
Has thanked: 43 times
Been thanked: 213 times
Contact:

Re: How can we trust the Bible if it's not inerrant?

Post #47

Post by Eloi »

[Replying to Difflugia in post #2]
We know that in reading the translations and versions that we have, there are some and various apparent contradictions. That means that while they are not investigated, that is what they will appear to be. When we investigate them in depth we realize that there is no real contradiction or error, but that some information had not been taken into account. It is precisely because they lose their confidence in the Word of God that those so-called errors continue to be that for those who do not have the time, the desire or the means to investigate ... or associate with those who do.

Needless to say, all these alleged errors are based on the fact that there are ... And where are they? They have already been continually told to bring them one by one to the public, but still what some do is

1. to say there is a list,
2. presenting those long chains of 'nobody minds issues' with which nobody will lose the time to explain because the ones who bring those lists are not really interested in the explanation but want us to lose our time miserably,
3. repeat what has already been explained, etc. Stop being lazy.

Conclusion: if you want to know the explanations, get a Bible study with a Jehovah's Witness. The theologians will convince you that the Bible is not trustworthy ... of course, or they would not have a job.

User avatar
Difflugia
Prodigy
Posts: 2888
Joined: Wed Jun 12, 2019 10:25 am
Location: Michigan
Has thanked: 3133 times
Been thanked: 1930 times

Re: How can we trust the Bible if it's not inerrant?

Post #48

Post by Difflugia »

Difflugia wrote: Fri Oct 01, 2021 5:34 pmone must harmonize the conflict somehow
Eloi wrote: Fri Oct 01, 2021 6:36 pmWhen we investigate them in depth we realize that there is no real contradiction or error, but that some information had not been taken into account.
What is the practical difference between these two? What sort of approach to Scripture is implicit in the perhaps pejorative term "harmonize" that your "in depth" investigation would consider out of bounds or beyond the pale?
My pronouns are he, him, and his.

Eloi
Banned
Banned
Posts: 1775
Joined: Wed Aug 07, 2019 9:31 pm
Has thanked: 43 times
Been thanked: 213 times
Contact:

Re: How can we trust the Bible if it's not inerrant?

Post #49

Post by Eloi »

Difflugia wrote: Fri Oct 01, 2021 6:44 pm
Difflugia wrote: Fri Oct 01, 2021 5:34 pmone must harmonize the conflict somehow
Eloi wrote: Fri Oct 01, 2021 6:36 pmWhen we investigate them in depth we realize that there is no real contradiction or error, but that some information had not been taken into account.
What is the practical difference between these two? What sort of approach to Scripture is implicit in the perhaps pejorative term "harmonize" that your "in depth" investigation would consider out of bounds or beyond the pale?
I do not understand what are you trying to say. Any book you read, you need to make some effort to understand. Don't you agree?

User avatar
bluegreenearth
Guru
Posts: 1883
Joined: Mon Aug 05, 2019 4:06 pm
Location: Manassas, VA
Has thanked: 665 times
Been thanked: 465 times

Re: How can we trust the Bible if it's not inerrant?

Post #50

Post by bluegreenearth »

Eloi wrote: Fri Oct 01, 2021 6:36 pm [Replying to Difflugia in post #2]
We know that in reading the translations and versions that we have, there are some and various apparent contradictions. That means that while they are not investigated, that is what they will appear to be. When we investigate them in depth we realize that there is no real contradiction or error, but that some information had not been taken into account. It is precisely because they lose their confidence in the Word of God that those so-called errors continue to be that for those who do not have the time, the desire or the means to investigate ... or associate with those who do.
When you are conducting the necessary in-depth investigation, taking into account the additional information, and associating with those who have also done the scholarly research, is the goal to confirm your belief that the Bible is inerrant?

Post Reply