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

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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.

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

Post #111

Post by TRANSPONDER »

POI wrote: Sat Oct 09, 2021 4:44 pm
otseng wrote: Sat Oct 09, 2021 12:19 pm
POI wrote: Fri Oct 08, 2021 1:19 pm When Paul asserted that ALL Scripture is to be uses for teaching/training, was Paul wrong?
Of course I believe that. That's what I'm trying to argue for in this thread. The Bible is authoritative for teaching and training in Christian life and doctrine.
Paul asserts ALL Scripture. This means when Scripture speaks about Adam and Eve, a flood, the Exodus, slavery, women's oppression, etc; it's is all given by God. Which means it's all true. But is it?

Was there an actual Adam and Eve?
Was there an actual flood?
Was there an actual Tower of Babel?
Was there an Exodus from Egypt?
Is slavery moral?
Should women remain silent and not be allowed to lead men; especially in Church?
Is homosexuality an abomination?
etc etc etc....

Remember, the Bible is there to not only teach about morals, but also claimed physical events in human history.

Hence, your follow up answer here leaves one scratching their head?
It seems that again we need a defining of terms. This is what struck me in the early days: that just pointing out inerrancy (it is not a perfect book) didn't bother the believers at all. Any errors were blamed on men and it was claimed to still somehow to be a reliable book telling us about God and his wishes. I realised then that one has to point up serious, really serious, discrepancies; contradictions, in fact and also things that were just wrong, or superseded by (frankly) a better human morality. Slavery of course being a hefty apologetic.

Of course the believers can simply deny or ignore all of that, but nevertheless, the facts remain.

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

Post #112

Post by nobspeople »

[Replying to otseng in post #102]
No, I do not believe God is all powerful. Is there a difference? There is if people start throwing in hypothetical situations that an all-powerful, perfect, omnipotent God should be able to do.
Totally get that. But it seem as if you're making god something that fits your belief and or doesn't interfere with your chosen life style choice. Which is, of course, fine. Unless god is all powerful and you're wrong. But same can be said about most any belief!
Have a great, potentially godless, day!

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

Post #113

Post by otseng »

POI wrote: Sun Oct 10, 2021 7:38 pm
otseng wrote: Sun Oct 10, 2021 3:30 pm
POI wrote: Sat Oct 09, 2021 4:44 pm Paul asserts ALL Scripture. This means when Scripture speaks about Adam and Eve, a flood, the Exodus, slavery, women's oppression, etc; it's is all given by God. Which means it's all true. But is it?

Was there an actual Adam and Eve?
Was there an actual flood?
Was there an actual Tower of Babel?
Was there an Exodus from Egypt?
Is slavery moral?
Should women remain silent and not be allowed to lead men; especially in Church?
Is homosexuality an abomination?
I do believe Adam, global flood, etc to be literal events. But, there are true born-again Christians that love Jesus that do not believe these to be literal events. Are they still going to heaven? Yes. So, ultimately, it doesn't matter if a Christian takes these literally or figuratively.
If you were to find out all the listed above did not happen, and if you also thought slavery and women's inequality was immoral, would you still believe? If so, why?
When I was a new Christian, the story of the global flood was one of my objections to the Bible. I thought if I can't accept this, what value really is the entire Bible? If it has one major fictitious story in it, what about all the other claims?

A short time later, Walt Brown came to Atlanta and gave a talk. Several of my friends and I from Georgia Tech went to go see it. And he made a really good case for the historicity of a global flood. He backed up his theory with one physical evidence after another. And to this day, I believe his theory is the strongest.

I also decided to get a Masters degree in Science and Religion a few years ago. And it strengthened my faith in the compatibility of Christianity and science.

So, as I learn more, it has actually strengthened my belief in the claims of the Bible.

As for slavery, it is a complex subject. But, let me say part of the problem is our anachronistic viewpoint. We place our modern views of slavery into the past and think they should have our same perspective. The Bible was dealing with slavery from the perspective of where they were at. Given that perspective, the Bible was actually quite progressive at that time.

Women remaining silent is based on a single verse - 1Co 14:34. "Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience, as also saith the law."

I do not believe this to be an absolute command to apply to all women in churches at all times at all places. Even in 1Co 11:5 it talks about women praying and prophesying: "But every woman that prayeth or prophesieth with her head uncovered dishonoureth her head: for that is even all one as if she were shaven."

In the NT, women led churches. 1Co 1:11 says, "For it hath been declared unto me of you, my brethren, by them which are of the house of Chloe, that there are contentions among you."

As for homosexuality, it's become so politicized that it's hard to have a sensible debate on this. Unfortunately, Christians have focused too much on this and the Bible mentions many other sins also (which all Christians are just as guilty of). Paul says in 1Co 6:9-11, "Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, 10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God."

All sinners, whether they be homosexuals, idolaters, adulterers, covetous, drunkards, revilers, etc can be sanctified through Jesus Christ who forgives us of all our sins. No sinner is worse or any better than any other sinner and all can become completely forgiven through Jesus.

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

Post #114

Post by otseng »

TRANSPONDER wrote: Mon Oct 11, 2021 1:34 amI realised then that one has to point up serious, really serious, discrepancies; contradictions, in fact and also things that were just wrong, or superseded by (frankly) a better human morality. Slavery of course being a hefty apologetic.
I've addressed this a little bit in the above post. Yes, this is a hefty topic and quite complicated. I don't claim I've worked it out all myself, but I've gotten to the point where I see the Bible is actually promoting human welfare rather than abusing humans.
nobspeople wrote: Mon Oct 11, 2021 7:12 am But it seem as if you're making god something that fits your belief and or doesn't interfere with your chosen life style choice. Which is, of course, fine. Unless god is all powerful and you're wrong. But same can be said about most any belief!
The table can be turned. Your view of God can be something that fits your belief. It could be you want God to be omnipotent because it's so easy to poke holes in that belief.

Really, my main justification for God not being omnipotent is the Bible. Suppose we define omnipotent as "being able to do anything". Heb 6:18 says God is not able to lie, "in which it was impossible for God to lie". Therefore God is not omnipotent since He cannot lie. This is just one example of things God cannot do according to the Bible. If someone wants to believe God is omnipotent, it is not because it is based on the Bible, but on their own philosophical view of how God should be.

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

Post #115

Post by TRANSPONDER »

Otseng has a rather original apologetic. Suggesting that God is NOT all - powerful nor (I suppose) all knowing, gets over the problem of a god that could fix anything and should know everything including everything that would happen before even beginning creation.

Which of course throws up the problem of a changing god and the problem of evil. But it seems to me that it's like the innerrancy argument applied to omnipotence: just as the Bible has errors, sure, but it's still supposed to be believable as a reliable guide to God, God cannot do or know everything (I had a foopnote here but it got so long I made it an additional para. No extra charge :D ), but He knows and can do enough for him to be regarded as in charge enough for us to worship him.

But the problem is the gap between a Bible with some errors (can be blamed on men) and a Bible that is so errant, self - contradictory and wrong that it looks like just the work of men, and a god that is so changeable and so little knows what is going to happen and is so little in charge that there is no reason to believe that it is a god at all.

I'd repeat that I do not care for the god -paradox arguments, like God cannot make a curry too hot for him to eat. It is not fair to the theists (or indeed atheist apologetics to demand that a god be able to do the logically impossible. But it is a reasonable demand that god knows and does as much as the Bible says. It is not good enough to say that God used to answer prayers in a very visible way and was very hands -on in the old days but has changed in that he doesn't now do it in a way that can be distinguished from just dumb luck. Nor does the wangle that 'God hasn't changed; he just does it different' or 'he hasn't changed, just changed the message'. That's a change in thinking, viewpoint and intent. That's a change in God.

The way we theists and atheists talk past each other is because theists think that any excuse to avoid admitting that This or That apologetic, problem or error 'disproves' God (including excuses that aren't, but are just a response, really (1) :) allows them to continue believing that God -belief has been protected. Atheists think differently: if the better explanation is that the Bible is wrong, the God - claims to not stack up and there is no valid reason to believe in the god -claim, then theism has no case and there no reason to believe any of it. It comes down to this basic logical fallacy in theism - assuming a god (name your own) exists until disproven. Logically there is no good reason to believe in a god until the evidence makes 'God' the more probable answer.

Understanding the difference between Faith -based and evidence - based thinking is the key to sussing how Bible -apologists argue, and why they apparently waste time on apparently silly arguments.

Apologies if this is old news to many of you O:) it just seems that some get frustrated by some Theist apologetics they don't get the point of.

(1) like the one on the syrio -phonecian woman: Jesus didn't change his mind - the situation had changed. Either the person wasn't thinking or didn't care whether it was valid or not, so long as it was a Response (2) O:) . It was a wangle; an evasion. And we get this wriggling, wangling, evasions and excuses time after time in theist, religious and Bible - apologetics.

(2) this brings up the 'parthian shot' rhetorical trick, but I've spread myself too much already.

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

Post #116

Post by TRANSPONDER »

otseng wrote: Mon Oct 11, 2021 9:14 am
TRANSPONDER wrote: Mon Oct 11, 2021 1:34 amI realised then that one has to point up serious, really serious, discrepancies; contradictions, in fact and also things that were just wrong, or superseded by (frankly) a better human morality. Slavery of course being a hefty apologetic.
I've addressed this a little bit in the above post. Yes, this is a hefty topic and quite complicated. I don't claim I've worked it out all myself, but I've gotten to the point where I see the Bible is actually promoting human welfare rather than abusing humans.
nobspeople wrote: Mon Oct 11, 2021 7:12 am But it seem as if you're making god something that fits your belief and or doesn't interfere with your chosen life style choice. Which is, of course, fine. Unless god is all powerful and you're wrong. But same can be said about most any belief!
The table can be turned. Your view of God can be something that fits your belief. It could be you want God to be omnipotent because it's so easy to poke holes in that belief.

Really, my main justification for God not being omnipotent is the Bible. Suppose we define omnipotent as "being able to do anything". Heb 6:18 says God is not able to lie, "in which it was impossible for God to lie". Therefore God is not omnipotent since He cannot lie. This is just one example of things God cannot do according to the Bible. If someone wants to believe God is omnipotent, it is not because it is based on the Bible, but on their own philosophical view of how God should be.
Your post to me.. (not clipped as that can look rude). You may have persuaded yourself that the intent of the Bible is to 'promote human welfare' but that you have found a way to insulate your Faith from doubt and question is irrelevant. What is relevant is the evidence, internal (Textual) external (science and history) and logical (pointing up fallacious apologetics) that makes the rational person ask: 'is it equally (or more) valid to say that it makes more sense if there is no (hands -on) Biblegod?'

It is not logically or rationally valid to dismiss or sideline evidence in favour of Faith. The believer can do so if they want, but they can't then pretend that their arguments are rational, scientific, evidence -based or logical (which they sometimes do). The nub of the debate then comes down to who controls the media. Who decides what's taught? Who decides what science says? It comes down to who has political power - Theism or secularism.

That is why we cannot 'let people believe what they like' (translates into 'Why don't atheists shut up and go away?' Theism, or some aspect of it) knows that it has to control the media, education and politics, so as to keep peddling the Lie, or it is lost.

And if that reminds you of something else, :D you are dead right.

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

Post #117

Post by nobspeople »

[Replying to otseng in post #114]

[quoet]Your view of God can be something that fits your belief. [/quote] Surely it could be, if I was a believer. I'm simply reporting what I've heard and been taught in a myriad of churches, so your 'guess' is misguided.
It could be you want God to be omnipotent because it's so easy to poke holes in that belief.
And I could also be a purple unicorn, but I ain't.

Suppose we define omnipotent as "being able to do anything". Heb 6:18 says God is not able to lie, "in which it was impossible for God to lie". Therefore God is not omnipotent since He cannot lie. This is just one example of things God cannot do according to the Bible. If someone wants to believe God is omnipotent, it is not because it is based on the Bible, but on their own philosophical view of how God should be.
I've been told by christians that god can do anything, but purposefully limits its ability and power (as this would, according to them, answer your proposed definition and limitation). So it seems, this 'god' is so out of the reach of human understanding most, if not all, definitions of it, are, at best, guesses to fit one's chosen lifestyle agenda.
Have a great, potentially godless, day!

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

Post #118

Post by Diagoras »

This thread’s been going a while now, and I’m responding to several different posts and points which means I’m jumping around a bit.

As a reminder:
Opening Post Question wrote:How can the Bible be considered authoritative and inspired without the need to believe in the doctrine of inerrancy?
To kick off:
otseng wrote:I do find it odd that posters are now suggesting God directly speaking to people is the optimal way for God to convey his message when we don't accept that on this forum.
To address this, the claim is that this direct communication is only optimal for such recipient(s), therefore it’s not at odds with rejecting the second-hand messaging of such a person to a non-recipient by posting about it here.

otseng wrote: Sun Oct 10, 2021 3:25 pmI do believe other cultures have had independent knowledge of God and other historical events in the Bible (such as the global flood).

One book that talks about this is The Discovery of Genesis: How the Truths of Genesis Were Found Hidden in the Chinese Language by C. H. Kang. He goes though many examples of how the early Chinese knew about YHVH and how it's recorded in the Chinese language.

For example, the character for boat is comprised of "eight", "people", and "vessel". This is descriptive of Noah's ark where 8 people entered the ark.
Correlation does not imply causation, as I'm sure you know. The rather slight coincidence of using the same number as found in one particular Bible story is hardly any kind of proof. Apophenia is also a thing.

Even in modern times, people are having dreams of Jesus without even heard of Jesus before.

<snip>

So, yes, God has and does speak directly to other cultures and is not "limited in his communication skills".
These two things are clearly not equivalent.

The Bible is best thought of as an anthology by multiple authors and not just a single (human) author. We have multiple people attesting to what God has done. And not only that, it has gone through a "verification" process in which only the books that has been de facto accepted has made it into the canon.
<bolding mine>

Surely a circular argument?

I do not believe God's intention is to make things obvious, rather I believe God's intention is to reward those who seek him.
Two comments: Plenty of people seek God directly through prayer. Yet surprisingly few are ‘rewarded’ by being directly communicated with. Why would that be? Secondly, if God wasn’t wanting to be obvious, why dictate the Ten Commandments, appear to Job in a whirlwind, etc.?

Mithrae wrote:I know that in the 21st century accepting the bible as evidence or a source of authority is extremely sub-optimal, to put it mildly, and causes millions of Christians to actively suppress their own reason, deny scientific facts and oppress their fellow humans under bronze- and iron-age worldviews. And I know that even if there isn't a God, or God is incapable of communicating directly with all her followers, it still can't be any worse for 21st century believers to search their own hearts and minds - their own conscience and reason - for whatever they consider worthy enough to maybe be divine guidance than to look for it in the opinions, propaganda and sometimes barbaric ideologies of more primitive peoples.
Indeed. As one Brian of Nazareth famously said, “You’ve got to work it out for yourselves!”

otseng wrote: I do believe Adam, global flood, etc to be literal events. But, there are true born-again Christians that love Jesus that do not believe these to be literal events. Are they still going to heaven? Yes. So, ultimately, it doesn't matter if a Christian takes these literally or figuratively.
<bolding mine>

I’m not sure that anyone could provide evidence for this.

If it doesn’t matter how someone interprets the Bible then, it sounds awfully like “searching their own hearts and minds - their own conscience and reason - for whatever they consider worthy enough to maybe be divine guidance”, doesn’t it?

otseng wrote:I've never dismissed the value of God directly speaking to someone. What I am saying is my direct experience with God is not objective evidence for another person.
We are in agreement here. But we’re back to my Two Statements argument…

otseng wrote:I spend significant time each day studying the Bible. So, in order to replace that if the Bible does not exist would require God to directly speak to me and for me to directly speak to God. Would that be the optimal way to communicate? Probably so, but that will only occur in heaven, not now. There's no requirement that everything should be ideal and perfect now.
<bolding mine>

What evidence can you provide to show that God will never directly speak to you until you are in heaven?

Have you any evidence for God decreeing that everything need not be ideal and perfect now?

otseng wrote:Another example is the Shroud of Turin. I happen to believe it is the actual burial cloth of Jesus.
Scientific evidence doesn’t back you up, I’m afraid. Radioactive dating and material analysis (comparing the shroud with material dated to the time when Jesus was alive) strongly suggests a date of around 1200-1400CE.

Now, to return to ‘Statement 2’:
Diagoras wrote:The optimal method for you (otseng) and X other people acquiring knowledge of a god would be to have that god impart it directly to all of you simultaneously.

Do you agree with Statement 2?
To which you disagreed (in Post 88).

My issue here is that you subsequently said, in Post 97:
otseng wrote:Yes, I agree if more than one person's views agree, then there's a more likelihood they both heard from God and not just independently hallucinating.
Given that statement, and your apparent acceptance of direct communication as optimal (“ Would that be the optimal way to communicate? Probably so”), I’m left thinking that you are ascribing to God unverifiable qualities in order to now excuse his ‘standoffishness’. To wit: a desire to ‘not be obvious’, and an acceptance of things ‘not having to be perfect now – only in heaven’. Furthermore, you’re claiming that some trivial coincidences between disparate cultures provide proof that he did indeed communicate with each of them.

I can’t disprove any of those three points, any more than you can prove them. I’m not sure where this leaves us, except to note that Mithrae’s statement below remains uncontested:

Mithrae wrote:in the 21st century accepting the bible as evidence or a source of authority is extremely sub-optimal, to put it mildly, and causes millions of Christians to actively suppress their own reason, deny scientific facts and oppress their fellow humans under bronze- and iron-age worldviews.

Late addition (but a very important one):
A short time later, Walt Brown came to Atlanta and gave a talk. Several of my friends and I from Georgia Tech went to go see it. And he made a really good case for the historicity of a global flood. He backed up his theory with one physical evidence after another. And to this day, I believe his theory is the strongest.
DrNoGods did a good job of showing how Walt Brown’s global flood theories are ridiculously flawed. Here’s the link from that thread:
http://paleo.cc/ce/wbrown.htm

My reading of your experience is that you were anxious to find corroborating ‘evidence’ (no matter how flimsy) for a global flood, rather than – like a good scientist – keep looking for any evidence that would falsify it. Applying that Falsification Theory should be your ‘go to’ method if you’re truly desiring to get closer to the truth, and not succumb to confirmation bias.

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

Post #119

Post by TRANSPONDER »

Yes. The Flood was extensively debated on my previous forum and any number of far -fetched hypotheses were thrown up so as to explain away the problems, from a supposed sea of flood water under China (there isn't one) to removing the animal waste with a mechanical system powered by a dinosaur on a treadmill (1). In the end, the most persistent dude could not explain the problem of feeding the animals after the Ark landed, despite arguing that olive trees can survive under water and had in the end to resort to 'God can find a way' and that the Flood happened despite the evidence against, because the Bible says so. It's where we always end up.

It doesn't matter whether the explanations are feasible or even workable, supported by evidence or even true. The 'sea' under China is no more than moisture in rock that we normally find, totalled up by the massive land area. Constantly, we see something leaped (an anklyosaurus fossil found in an ancient sea) on as proof of the Flood which is not really thought about, much less researched, but is, I strongly suspect, used to suppress doubts (if they don't think about it) or shut up atheists, if we are stumped by dinosaur juveniles or eggs to save space on the Ark, but in the end we get attempts to 'agree to disagree' (scrape a draw), accuse atheists of bias (irrelevant even if true) or just storm off and put us on ignore. Happens quite a lot and of course, leaves us owning the field O:)

(1) I've an idea that was in 'The ark -a feasibility study' and that might have been by Walt Brown.

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

Post #120

Post by tam »

Peace to you!
otseng wrote: Mon Oct 04, 2021 6:38 pm
tam wrote: Mon Oct 04, 2021 2:48 pm It is also ok to throw away the belief that the bible is the authority for Christians. God is still on His throne and (more than) worthy of our trust, faith, love, allegiance; Jaheshua (not "Jesus") is still Savior and Lord. He still gave His life and rose from the dead, God still created all things through Him, the flood was still a literal worldwide flood, Adam and Eve are real people. We should still keep the law - but the TRUE law which is written upon the heart of those in the new covenant - which law is LOVE (love is the law from God, from the beginning). We still have an authority: the TRUE Word of God, who is alive and sharper than any double edged sword. He (Christ Jaheshua) lives and teaches and leads His sheep into all truth.
This is a good segue into reasons for accepting the Bible as the authority for Christians.
Sure, but I do want to reiterate that I do not want to stand in your way on your journey; I just wanted to make the same reassurance about 'authority' as you did about 'inerrancy' .

Going again by the definition that you gave of authority here:
The Bible is the highest source that all Christians must submit to. Any doctrine or teaching from the church must have Biblical support. It supersedes the authority of people, traditions, opinions, and creeds. - Otseng
(I might just make a comment on the last sentence there; because neither people nor tradition nor opinion nor creeds are the highest source of authority that Christians are to submit to, either. I get that the authority of the bible might be embraced as better than those other things - due to corruption and error of course - but corruption and error are both factors in how people interpret the bible as well. Even if there were no errors, though we both agree that there can be/are errors. I mean, even 'the bible' agrees with that, re: lying pen of the scribes.)

Let's start with the assumption that theism is true. A person believes God exists and it interacts with mankind. Without some sort of written material, how would you know it is like? How would you even know about its characteristics? It would either be someone else told you or you heard from it, But, that would not be very objective. A book would be an objective way to transmit information. So, the best way for God to reveal specifics would be through some sort of book.
The best way would be through His Son, His Image, the person He sent to perfectly represent Himself.

(I know some would say that the best way would be for God to appear and speak Himself, not even His Son and Image as intermediary, but God is not a man. He is an extremely powerful being, creator of all things - meaning also that the greatest power sources that we know of, came from Him, making Him even more powerful than those. Angels (spirit beings) are fiery, glowing, after being in the presence of God. Our flesh is weak. Even if our flesh could hold out, many if not most would be terrified. Christ came in the form of a man, though He is the Son and Word of God, the perfect image and reflection of His Father. To see/know/hear Christ is to see/know/hear His Father. Not the physical appearance - but the actual person/nature/etc.)

Without some universally accepted written document, there would be no basis of rule and cohesion.


With this universally accepted written document (universally accepted by those who profess to be Christians at least, as well as Muslims, and the OT by Jews), there is no cohesion. And even the doctrines that mainstream Christianity accepts are based upon tradition and creeds (which is putting the authority of people, traditions, creeds, opinions, even above the bible). The trinity, for instance. Hell (the doctrine of eternal torment in hell). Sure, they claim support from the bible, but so do newer (and conflicting) doctrines, ie: everyone must keep the law given through Moses - or - the law is done away with.../only Christians receive eternal life - or - everyone receives eternal life - or - more than Christians receive eternal life but not everyone. Etc.

How can a person know what is true if the bible can be used to support a number of conflicting doctrines? Many people say that you need to read the bible as a whole (but those people are in conflicting religions, with conflicting doctrines). Even that is incorrect, because CHRIST is the Truth and the One to whom God said to listen. So even if one were going solely by the bible, His (Christ's) word would trump any other word in that book.

So we can KNOW what is true by listening to the One who is the actual authority, the One who is the TEACHER whom God sent us. That One is Christ. Even the bible attests to Christ being the One to whom we are to listen; to Christ being the Truth and the Word of God.

Suppose we play a game and we just make up the rules as we go along. It wouldn't really be much of a game. People can play a game together because the rules are codified. Countries (at least civilized ones) are governed and ruled by a codified set of laws. Without that, it would be anarchy. Companies are built on a business plan that founders and investors can agree on. Written documents are especially important as an organization gets large.
Depending on what kind of rules you are talking about, Israel did not always have the written law. Abraham did not have it. The law was written upon his heart (that has been promised to be written upon the hearts of those in the new covenant), and that law is love. That is the law that Abraham had, that Abraham would have taught his sons. That is the law from God, from the beginning (which only makes sense considering that God is love - would not the law that proceeds from Him also be love?). But at a certain point, Israel needed that law to be written down because their hearts were too hard for the law to be written upon them. Israel even needed allowances to be made for them in the law due to their hardness of heart.

And of course we can harden our own hearts against God and His Son, speaking.

"Today if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts."

With a Bible, Christians in China and Christians in Africa can agree on things. Without it, there would be little basis for agreement. (Yes, I hear the skeptics pointing out Christians don't agree on everything. But, without a book, there certainly would be much more disagreements.) With a Bible, at least there's an agreed upon starting point for discussions.
I don't know if there would be more disagreements or not. And agreement doesn't mean much if people are agreeing on false things. Not many agreed with Christ, but that didn't make His words any less true. We can know what is true - regardless of who agrees or not - from listening to Christ (even when it comes to understanding the scriptures). But listening to His voice takes faith (not just belief) and it is harder to walk by faith (which is based upon what one hears) than it is to walk by sight (based upon what one sees). I understand that the bible is a sight tool, and as such, it can help give someone something to see, to consider, give evidence for or against a claim that someone else has made. Like if some religious leader claimed that Christ wants us to curse other people, it can be used to show a person what Christ actually said, a person who might have been fooled by that religious leader. It would be best to take the matter to Christ, and of course to test it against love - since there is no law against love - but showing that person something might help them stop and think, perhaps even exercise faith and take the matter to Christ.

I do love reading something that is about (or from) my Lord, in the Psalms, and Proverbs, and Prophets. But these are scriptures that bear witness to Him, and we have Him to come TO. The actual person.


Without a Bible, how would you even know there was an Adam and Eve? Or a worldwide flood? Or even about Jesus for that matter?
It's not about there being no bible (some people need something to SEE due to walking yet by sight - though we should be learning to walk by faith), but how did the person who wrote about Adam and Eve know there was an Adam and Eve? Or a worldwide flood? These things were not written in real time, or by the people in the story itself. These things were later told to the person who wrote them down, given "in spirit" (aka... inspired).
A book is also a good method to reliably transmit information. Oral communication is prone to errors, esp when when it has to span a large space and time.
But Christ is more reliable than BOTH.... AND... He has NO error in Him (unlike the bible and/or oral tradition). Christ is the actual Truth and Word of God. I hear something from Christ, I can KNOW it is true.




Peace again to you!
your servant and a slave of Christ,
tammy

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