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 #411

Post by otseng »

TRANSPONDER wrote: Fri Dec 10, 2021 6:43 am Coming clean. :D I'm no geological expert. I'm just an ordinary bod who feels in necessary to counter the dead weight of Religious misinformation being peddled by a well - funded religious industry. So all a Creationist has to do is copy and paste science -denial froma ton of Creationists sites and demand that the atheists explain every question, doubts and unknown. Even false ones like'no strata under sea bed'. I have to ask
Prior to my last post giving an explanation to all the questions from a FM perspective, note that I have not copied and pasted from any creationist site. All of my sources have been from secular sites.
TRANSPONDER wrote: Fri Dec 10, 2021 7:17 am I agree and frankly I don't think we should allow Otseng to make the rules and control the conversation, as he can just pelt us with Creationist Questions as in debates (though I see this as informal discussion, rather) we get a back and forth, and already I think we have a case that folded strata with water - laid strata in mountain -ranges is a question that could scupper the Flood and save us all a lot of time, so I think that otseng at least should address that one before he gets to toss any more atheist -stumpers at us. Fair is fair.
These are not "creationist questions". These are simply looking at the sedimentary strata pattern and asking what is the explanation for them.

As for fair, you've had a chance to answer the questions. And I as well have answered the questions. I would say that is fair.

Now that we've both presented our answers, readers can decide for themselves and we can leave the flood and get back to regular discussion on the authority of the Bible. We can pretty much go on forever about the flood and that is not the intent of this thread.

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

Post #412

Post by TRANSPONDER »

otseng wrote: Fri Dec 10, 2021 8:36 am
TRANSPONDER wrote: Fri Dec 10, 2021 6:43 am Coming clean. :D I'm no geological expert. I'm just an ordinary bod who feels in necessary to counter the dead weight of Religious misinformation being peddled by a well - funded religious industry. So all a Creationist has to do is copy and paste science -denial froma ton of Creationists sites and demand that the atheists explain every question, doubts and unknown. Even false ones like'no strata under sea bed'. I have to ask
Prior to my last post giving an explanation to all the questions from a FM perspective, note that I have not copied and pasted from any creationist site. All of my sources have been from secular sites.
TRANSPONDER wrote: Fri Dec 10, 2021 7:17 am I agree and frankly I don't think we should allow Otseng to make the rules and control the conversation, as he can just pelt us with Creationist Questions as in debates (though I see this as informal discussion, rather) we get a back and forth, and already I think we have a case that folded strata with water - laid strata in mountain -ranges is a question that could scupper the Flood and save us all a lot of time, so I think that otseng at least should address that one before he gets to toss any more atheist -stumpers at us. Fair is fair.
These are not "creationist questions". These are simply looking at the sedimentary strata pattern and asking what is the explanation for them.

As for fair, you've had a chance to answer the questions. And I as well have answered the questions. I would say that is fair.

Now that we've both presented our answers, readers can decide for themselves and we can leave the flood and get back to regular discussion on the authority of the Bible. We can pretty much go on forever about the flood and that is not the intent of this thread.
Oh That's good. Very good. Ok, you have looked at 'secular' sites and come up with your questions. Very well. I have answered the questions insofar as I could but I don't recall that you have answered any. Rather you have said you would put your case later. Now you want to drop the Flood now I have proposed you answer at least one question before we go any further.

As I said, very very good. :) Readers will note. But sure, if you want to get tack to inerrancy', note not authority, though I suppose the latter is an outcome of the former. Very well, drop the Flood and back to the Bible.

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

Post #413

Post by TRANSPONDER »

P.s checking back I see you posted a long hypothesis about the flood which I'll have a look at, but already, where is your evidence for an underground body of water? How could this Fountain result in the planing off of strata as in the Great unconformity? Glaciers would account for that. I don't think that the unconformity can be total as there are surely strata from that time elsewhere, or we wouldn't know that anything was gone. And you still ought to explain how folded strata could happen in a short time. There may be other questions arising, even though you propose, having posted your hypothesis, to drop it and refuse any questions about it.

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

Post #414

Post by TRANSPONDER »

Ok, you swear that you came upwith your arguments yourself and not from creationists. I just note that the undersea water is a Walt Brown special

Hydroplate. Walt Brown's model proposes that the Flood waters came from a layer of water about ten miles underground, which was released by a catastrophic rupture of the earth's crust, shot above the atmosphere, and fell as rain.

How was the water contained? Rock, at least the rock which makes up the earth's crust, doesn't float. The water would have been forced to the surface long before Noah's time, or Adam's time for that matter.
Even a mile deep, the earth is boiling hot, and thus the reservoir of water would be superheated. Further heat would be added by the energy of the water falling from above the atmosphere. As with the vapor canopy model, Noah would have been poached.
Where is the evidence? The escaping waters would have eroded the sides of the fissures, producing poorly sorted basaltic erosional deposits. These would be concentrated mainly near the fissures, but some would be shot thousands of miles along with the water. (Noah would have had to worry about falling rocks along with the rain.) Such deposits would be quite noticeable but have never been seen.
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Re: How can we trust the Bible if it's not inerrant?

Post #415

Post by otseng »

TRANSPONDER wrote: Fri Dec 10, 2021 4:15 pm Ok, you swear that you came upwith your arguments yourself and not from creationists. I just note that the undersea water is a Walt Brown special
Never said I've came up with the arguments myself. I only said all the sites I've referenced prior has been from secular sites.

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Recap arguments of authority of the Bible

Post #416

Post by otseng »

Back to the OP. To recap the arguments presented so far...

I first addressed some misconceptions of the Bible:

The Bible does not need to be "perfect". Just like witnesses in a case are not all thrown out because they have conflicting details, we should likewise view the authors of the Bible as a set of witnesses in a court case. We need to discern the truth based on what they wrote.
otseng wrote: Mon Sep 27, 2021 10:34 am 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.
Even though I believe conflicts can exist, I still believe in a fundamentalist interpretation of the Bible.
otseng wrote: Thu Sep 30, 2021 6:13 am 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.
Attacks on the Bible based on the assumption that God is "omnipotent" would not be valid since the Bible does not support the belief that God is "omnipotent". What most people mean by "omnipotent" is a God that can do anything. But, it is clear in the Bible that God cannot do anything.
otseng wrote: Mon Oct 11, 2021 9:14 am 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.
So, making up hypothetical arguments about the Bible based on God being omnipotent do not show in any way the Bible is not authoritative.

The Bible was not written by an omnipotent God, rather the Bible is a book written by humans, with all their limitations. It did not fall out of the sky and authors were not in a trance and dictated what they heard from heaven when they wrote.
otseng wrote: Sun Oct 03, 2021 12:56 pmGod used fallible people with their skills, intellect, personalities, weaknesses, limited memory to write down things. God did not create the Bible so that it'll be defect free and everything to be factually correct.
otseng wrote: Tue Oct 12, 2021 9:02 am God was not directly involved in the creation of the Bible. God did not overrule anybody's personality, memory, muscles, etc when the authors wrote. Authors still had to perform research to gather facts and did not just sit in a corner while God directly relayed facts into their head. From an outsider's perspective, there appears to be no involvement from God whatsoever and everything appears to be normal like any other person who would write down something.

Since the Bible is a work of men, why then should it be expected to be perfect and without any contradictions?
otseng wrote: Wed Nov 03, 2021 8:26 am I came across an interesting video by Tim Mackie about the origin and authority of the Bible. As co-founder of The Bible Project, he has demonstrated more than a little knowledge of the Bible.

"The Bible is both a human book and a divine book. It's a human book it that was written by people."
"Somehow in our modern context that this has been framed as an either/or and I just think that's totally unnecessary and it's totally unhelpful and will lead you down dead ends."

He does not explicitly state this, but what a human book means to me is it will be subject to errors, just like all other human books are subject to. Accounts can have inconsistencies, things can be exaggerated, memories can fail, authors can add artistic license material, etc. But, the important thing is the core message. Historical accuracy on the trivialities is not the point of the Bible. The person of Jesus, his message, his example, and his resurrection is the core.
Another factor at work is our view of the Bible can make the Bible look incorrect. Our modern perspective can make the Bible look skewed.
otseng wrote: Thu Oct 14, 2021 10:09 am
Mithrae wrote: Tue Oct 12, 2021 12:52 pm Once upon a time we had a Jewish member (cnorman perhaps) with a signature line saying something like "The Torah is the word of God... and some of it is even true!" In other words, it is errant but still the 'word of God.'
Yes, my belief has been influenced by Jewish thinking. It was a 4 hour message from Ray Vander Laan, "The Bible from Jesus' Culture Perspective 2000 Years Ago", that really opened my eyes.

The Bible was written (primarily) by Jews and to those familiar with Judaism. We do not really understand their mindset and perspective. We approach the Bible from a western (Greek) mindset and with our modern assumptions. And when we try to approach the Bible from those glasses, things look skewed. So, fundamentally, the issue is not really the Bible, but our own paradigm that we approach in reading the Bible that makes it look "incorrect".

We've discussed one assumption already - that the Bible needs to be perfect. It appears to me the majority of the attacks on the Bible is that it is not perfect. However, this assumption of perfection is from Greek philosophy, not Hebrew philosophy. This standard of perfection also did not exist in the minds of the writers or the recipients (most of them anyway). And the degree of precision that we expect today certainly did not exist during the time of the authors. Dictionaries didn't exist, they didn't have access to vast amounts of information at their fingertips, masses did not have college degrees, they did not take high school classes on how to cite sources correctly. I even doubt people had a ruler in their homes.
otseng wrote: Tue Oct 19, 2021 9:14 am As for the "errors", there are several possibilities to account for this.

One reason is we have on the wrong glasses. We read it from a modern Greek perspective, not a Jewish perspective. It's like you reading a Chinese book and saying it's all wrong. You have to dig a little deeper to understand the culture, audience, and mentality of the Chinese and not judge based on western modern culture. Also, just because our glasses makes things look skewed doesn't necessarily mean the Bible is skewed. Our modern assumptions of precision and accuracy did not exist in the minds of the authors. So, each account doesn't need to match up in all the details. It is anachronistic to place on them a modern standard that they did not and could not have. Now, it's entirely possible to read the Bible with our modern glasses on and to understand the core message. But to impose modern assumptions to demonstrate the Bible is wrong is anachronistic.

Another factor is our culture has a major impact in our interpretation of the Bible and makes things look skewed. An example of this is our modern debate on homosexuality. Actually, the Bible doesn't say much about this. And Jesus didn't say anything about it. Yet, given all the hoopla over it, you would think this is some major doctrine of the Bible. Another example is accepting Jesus as your savior by raising your hand, walking down the aisle, and accepting him in your heart. Who knows how many times this is done in the US each Sunday? Yet, this is not even in the Bible.
otseng wrote: Sun Oct 24, 2021 8:29 am The Bible is a complex book that cannot be simply viewed from a single perspective and then entirely judged by that perspective. It is a book utilizing many literary devices, several of which don't even exist today. Just because one views it from one perspective and doesn't understand it doesn't mean the Bible itself is wrong. It's like a reporter reading a poem and saying the poem is all wrong. It doesn't contain any facts and is not clear on what it means. And the facts that it might contain are all wrong. The point of a poem is not to relay facts and news to a reader. If a poem is submitted as a news article, of course it will be rejected because that's not the purpose of a poem.
As a book, the Bible is qualitatively different than any other book.
otseng wrote: Fri Oct 15, 2021 8:04 am
Difflugia wrote: Wed Oct 13, 2021 10:13 am I can't, though, reconcile calling it the Word of God unless there is something qualitatively different about the Bible than any other human literature. If the Bible is presenting the fruits of human effort to understand God, how is that different than a devotional, even if it's the best of the best?
It's qualitatively different from any other book in human history in that: These might not prove it's the "word of God", but undeniably the Bible is qualitatively different from any book in human history.
The Bible is also unique in its literary value and promotion of literacy.
otseng wrote: Sun Oct 24, 2021 8:29 am Just for the literary value of the Bible, I can't think of any other single volume book that has so much variation in genre, literary styles, and literary forms and also be able to speak across all cultures throughout all the history of mankind. This doesn't show the Bible is authoritative or trustworthy, but it does mean trying to attack the Bible without understanding the literary landscape does not nullify its authority or trustworthiness.
otseng wrote: Sat Oct 30, 2021 9:46 pm One advantage of having the Bible as a written document is the promotion of literacy. And it has been an instrumental factor in promoting literacy across many cultures.

The rise of literacy of the English language can be largely attributed to the Bible.
As for the credibility of the Bible, the Bible makes many historical and natural claims. The historical reliability is confirmed by archeological evidence. And natural claims are supported by natural evidence. We explored two examples of this - the siege on Jerusalem and the global flood.
otseng wrote: Thu Nov 04, 2021 8:41 am
TRANSPONDER wrote: Wed Nov 03, 2021 4:07 am Of course there's spin on both sides of the account of the Assyrian siege. But The Bible actually agrees with the Assyrian version. Sennacherib besieged Jerusalem and Hezekiah was able to do a deal with the Assyrians and pay tribute, which was a bit of a face - loss for Assyria. The Bible agrees this but separates it from the account of the siege that claims that the Assyrian army was smitten by God. Virtually vanished.
Let's use this as a case story for digging in and trying to find out the truth.
otseng wrote: Mon Nov 08, 2021 10:22 pm At first, we'll simply look at the evidence and explain what is the sequence of steps of how all the strata were formed. What evidence is there that large amounts of time passed for each stratum? How did the strata form? When did faults occur? When did erosion occur? When did folding occur?

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

Post #417

Post by TRANSPONDER »

otseng wrote: Sat Dec 11, 2021 2:20 pm
TRANSPONDER wrote: Fri Dec 10, 2021 4:15 pm Ok, you swear that you came upwith your arguments yourself and not from creationists. I just note that the undersea water is a Walt Brown special
Never said I've came up with the arguments myself. I only said all the sites I've referenced prior has been from secular sites.
You did say that but obviously the secular sites you referenced didn't come up with the questions about geology suggesting a Flood has to be the explanation of the geology and you either made up those questions yourself or got them from Creationist sites. And as I said above your hydroplate theory is Walt Browns, and I'm sure you aren't going to tell us you didn't know that made that up yourself.Even I'd heard of this 'undersea reservoir' argument.

So I'l be considering your post on that hypothesis but how about addressing the problem with the fountain as well as how strata could fold into mountains in just a year or less?

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

Post #418

Post by TRANSPONDER »

otseng wrote: Sat Dec 11, 2021 11:39 pm Back to the OP. To recap the arguments presented so far...

I first addressed some misconceptions of the Bible:

The Bible does not need to be "perfect". Just like witnesses in a case are not all thrown out because they have conflicting details, we should likewise view the authors of the Bible as a set of witnesses in a court case. We need to discern the truth based on what they wrote.
otseng wrote: Mon Sep 27, 2021 10:34 am 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.
Even though I believe conflicts can exist, I still believe in a fundamentalist interpretation of the Bible.
otseng wrote: Thu Sep 30, 2021 6:13 am 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.
Attacks on the Bible based on the assumption that God is "omnipotent" would not be valid since the Bible does not support the belief that God is "omnipotent". What most people mean by "omnipotent" is a God that can do anything. But, it is clear in the Bible that God cannot do anything.
otseng wrote: Mon Oct 11, 2021 9:14 am 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.
So, making up hypothetical arguments about the Bible based on God being omnipotent do not show in any way the Bible is not authoritative.

The Bible was not written by an omnipotent God, rather the Bible is a book written by humans, with all their limitations. It did not fall out of the sky and authors were not in a trance and dictated what they heard from heaven when they wrote.
otseng wrote: Sun Oct 03, 2021 12:56 pmGod used fallible people with their skills, intellect, personalities, weaknesses, limited memory to write down things. God did not create the Bible so that it'll be defect free and everything to be factually correct.
otseng wrote: Tue Oct 12, 2021 9:02 am God was not directly involved in the creation of the Bible. God did not overrule anybody's personality, memory, muscles, etc when the authors wrote. Authors still had to perform research to gather facts and did not just sit in a corner while God directly relayed facts into their head. From an outsider's perspective, there appears to be no involvement from God whatsoever and everything appears to be normal like any other person who would write down something.

Since the Bible is a work of men, why then should it be expected to be perfect and without any contradictions?
otseng wrote: Wed Nov 03, 2021 8:26 am I came across an interesting video by Tim Mackie about the origin and authority of the Bible. As co-founder of The Bible Project, he has demonstrated more than a little knowledge of the Bible.

"The Bible is both a human book and a divine book. It's a human book it that was written by people."
"Somehow in our modern context that this has been framed as an either/or and I just think that's totally unnecessary and it's totally unhelpful and will lead you down dead ends."

He does not explicitly state this, but what a human book means to me is it will be subject to errors, just like all other human books are subject to. Accounts can have inconsistencies, things can be exaggerated, memories can fail, authors can add artistic license material, etc. But, the important thing is the core message. Historical accuracy on the trivialities is not the point of the Bible. The person of Jesus, his message, his example, and his resurrection is the core.
Another factor at work is our view of the Bible can make the Bible look incorrect. Our modern perspective can make the Bible look skewed.
otseng wrote: Thu Oct 14, 2021 10:09 am
Mithrae wrote: Tue Oct 12, 2021 12:52 pm Once upon a time we had a Jewish member (cnorman perhaps) with a signature line saying something like "The Torah is the word of God... and some of it is even true!" In other words, it is errant but still the 'word of God.'
Yes, my belief has been influenced by Jewish thinking. It was a 4 hour message from Ray Vander Laan, "The Bible from Jesus' Culture Perspective 2000 Years Ago", that really opened my eyes.

The Bible was written (primarily) by Jews and to those familiar with Judaism. We do not really understand their mindset and perspective. We approach the Bible from a western (Greek) mindset and with our modern assumptions. And when we try to approach the Bible from those glasses, things look skewed. So, fundamentally, the issue is not really the Bible, but our own paradigm that we approach in reading the Bible that makes it look "incorrect".

We've discussed one assumption already - that the Bible needs to be perfect. It appears to me the majority of the attacks on the Bible is that it is not perfect. However, this assumption of perfection is from Greek philosophy, not Hebrew philosophy. This standard of perfection also did not exist in the minds of the writers or the recipients (most of them anyway). And the degree of precision that we expect today certainly did not exist during the time of the authors. Dictionaries didn't exist, they didn't have access to vast amounts of information at their fingertips, masses did not have college degrees, they did not take high school classes on how to cite sources correctly. I even doubt people had a ruler in their homes.
otseng wrote: Tue Oct 19, 2021 9:14 am As for the "errors", there are several possibilities to account for this.

One reason is we have on the wrong glasses. We read it from a modern Greek perspective, not a Jewish perspective. It's like you reading a Chinese book and saying it's all wrong. You have to dig a little deeper to understand the culture, audience, and mentality of the Chinese and not judge based on western modern culture. Also, just because our glasses makes things look skewed doesn't necessarily mean the Bible is skewed. Our modern assumptions of precision and accuracy did not exist in the minds of the authors. So, each account doesn't need to match up in all the details. It is anachronistic to place on them a modern standard that they did not and could not have. Now, it's entirely possible to read the Bible with our modern glasses on and to understand the core message. But to impose modern assumptions to demonstrate the Bible is wrong is anachronistic.

Another factor is our culture has a major impact in our interpretation of the Bible and makes things look skewed. An example of this is our modern debate on homosexuality. Actually, the Bible doesn't say much about this. And Jesus didn't say anything about it. Yet, given all the hoopla over it, you would think this is some major doctrine of the Bible. Another example is accepting Jesus as your savior by raising your hand, walking down the aisle, and accepting him in your heart. Who knows how many times this is done in the US each Sunday? Yet, this is not even in the Bible.
otseng wrote: Sun Oct 24, 2021 8:29 am The Bible is a complex book that cannot be simply viewed from a single perspective and then entirely judged by that perspective. It is a book utilizing many literary devices, several of which don't even exist today. Just because one views it from one perspective and doesn't understand it doesn't mean the Bible itself is wrong. It's like a reporter reading a poem and saying the poem is all wrong. It doesn't contain any facts and is not clear on what it means. And the facts that it might contain are all wrong. The point of a poem is not to relay facts and news to a reader. If a poem is submitted as a news article, of course it will be rejected because that's not the purpose of a poem.
As a book, the Bible is qualitatively different than any other book.
otseng wrote: Fri Oct 15, 2021 8:04 am
Difflugia wrote: Wed Oct 13, 2021 10:13 am I can't, though, reconcile calling it the Word of God unless there is something qualitatively different about the Bible than any other human literature. If the Bible is presenting the fruits of human effort to understand God, how is that different than a devotional, even if it's the best of the best?
It's qualitatively different from any other book in human history in that: These might not prove it's the "word of God", but undeniably the Bible is qualitatively different from any book in human history.
The Bible is also unique in its literary value and promotion of literacy.
otseng wrote: Sun Oct 24, 2021 8:29 am Just for the literary value of the Bible, I can't think of any other single volume book that has so much variation in genre, literary styles, and literary forms and also be able to speak across all cultures throughout all the history of mankind. This doesn't show the Bible is authoritative or trustworthy, but it does mean trying to attack the Bible without understanding the literary landscape does not nullify its authority or trustworthiness.
otseng wrote: Sat Oct 30, 2021 9:46 pm One advantage of having the Bible as a written document is the promotion of literacy. And it has been an instrumental factor in promoting literacy across many cultures.

The rise of literacy of the English language can be largely attributed to the Bible.
As for the credibility of the Bible, the Bible makes many historical and natural claims. The historical reliability is confirmed by archeological evidence. And natural claims are supported by natural evidence. We explored two examples of this - the siege on Jerusalem and the global flood.
otseng wrote: Thu Nov 04, 2021 8:41 am
TRANSPONDER wrote: Wed Nov 03, 2021 4:07 am Of course there's spin on both sides of the account of the Assyrian siege. But The Bible actually agrees with the Assyrian version. Sennacherib besieged Jerusalem and Hezekiah was able to do a deal with the Assyrians and pay tribute, which was a bit of a face - loss for Assyria. The Bible agrees this but separates it from the account of the siege that claims that the Assyrian army was smitten by God. Virtually vanished.
Let's use this as a case story for digging in and trying to find out the truth.
otseng wrote: Mon Nov 08, 2021 10:22 pm At first, we'll simply look at the evidence and explain what is the sequence of steps of how all the strata were formed. What evidence is there that large amounts of time passed for each stratum? How did the strata form? When did faults occur? When did erosion occur? When did folding occur?
Right. O:) I agree the Bible does not have to be perf3ectto be reliable. It would - arguably - have to be a lot more perfect than it is to have any authority from God. I'll deal with the excuses - written by men but inspired by God; God doesn't have to know everything or control anything - later on.

I agree that it should be read like witnesses in a courtroom. Which is rather the way we read many historical accounts. If you haven't seen my comments that the 4 evangelists are like courtroom witnesses whose testimony should have been declatred unsafe,let alone getting perjury charges, you haven't been paying attention.

If you don't believe in an omnipotent God I doubt that you can be called Fundamentalist, but (as an atheists and non -believer, it isn't for me to say.I would suggests rather that your interpretation is Literalist; that is, it means what it says. So no appeal to metaphor or symbolism, where some factual event is being claimed. Like Genesis, even though I reckon it has to be mythical. I'm sure for instance that you must 'interpret'the Babylonian cosmos to fit what the science you accuse of being ad hoc tells us about the earth, solar - system and universe.

It is indeed clear that God cannot do 'anything' by which you mean he can't do everything, but can do some things. That would certainly fit Genesis and how God didn't know what would happen. But I'm sure that you see the implications for prophecy and God's Plan; he was trying to make things happen but He didn't know and neither did Jesus. The implication that God knew nothing of the Jewish war clobbers the prophecy.he didn't know that Judas would betray Jesus and he didn't know that Jesus would actually be executed. Thus the suspicion is that God intended Jesus to succeed and convert or reform Judaism. In other words Jesus is a Failed Messiah.

You cannot have ity both ways; the Bible is either written by men in which case it is not Divine, or is written (at least managed), by God, in which case errors are Hod responsibility. To argue that our modern view is 'skewed' is dismissive. Unless you are going to argue metaphor or symbolism, which as I have said, you don't seem to want to do (and that would debunk the Bible if you did as 'metaphorically true' means "Not true at all") what happened either happened or it didn't. To reiterate the test case that should have Luke and Matthew thrown into the gutter, if not in jail - the nativities, there is no way both of those can be true and arguably,neither of them. If you try to fiddle them into credibility by arguing 'skewed modern view' you will only damage your own credibility.

Though above you seem to be trying to use all manner of wriggles to try to argue authority for the Bible while preparing to dismiss any errors. The poetic and literary value of the Bible is irrelevant. The Icelandic Sagas - say the Vinland sagas - were long debated since they read like histories but contain legendary elements. Discovery of the Vinland settlement validated the saga, but what elements are mytical? the Illian is also validated by the discovery of Troy and 'Illium' now seems to be the 'Wilusia' of Hittite record. This is the way we should be looking at the Bible, not as divine authority or just poetic literature, but as a possibly valid record of things that really happened, but how much is true and how much mythical? If you do it any other way, you are not being honest. Nor in you claim that it promoted literacy. Fo a long time it was crime for people to understand the Bible or they might realise that it wasn't true.

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

Post #419

Post by TRANSPONDER »

a .p s. Just read through and I'd missed some appalling misstypes. I thought I'd checked it adequately. Other thing, don't think, otseng, mate that I don't like or appreciate you. I think you did a good (if evasive) job of arguing. And it's promising because I have seen a few deconverts process through excusing some things they know don't work. I already see you setting yourself up to shrug off the problems you know are there while angling yourself to salvage as much as you can using the man's errors and 'metaphor'as well as the good old (but discredited as well as discreditable) 'they wrote differently, back then. Because if they wrote so differently that we can't come to a Jury -evaluation of the evidence presented, then the believers can't come to any evidence -based claim for the Bible being true, as nobody can know what it actually says (and you'll know better than to appeal to Faith as you already dismissed God wrote the Bible, so you already debunked 'God Interprets the Bible for us).

So I see you (as with another who hath taken the path of rejecting a Bible that doesn't stand up and believing an a non religious creator) of one who has had to shift from belief to sidelining what isn't believable and clutching
onto as much as you can. I've seen believers have to let go of more than that and been left with nothing but their hatred of non -belief.

Sorry if you've heard this one, :D but my Second forum saw me battling a believer (called 'seeker') and then after we both went to another one I ended up at the one before this and blow me if some years later, Seeker didn't roll up deconverted. The cries of Joy, the tears and manly hugs. It will be a joy to welcome you into the bilflold, if it be the will of Athe, goddess of the Goddless.

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

Post #420

Post by otseng »

TRANSPONDER wrote: Sun Dec 12, 2021 12:38 am You did say that but obviously the secular sites you referenced didn't come up with the questions about geology suggesting a Flood has to be the explanation of the geology and you either made up those questions yourself or got them from Creationist sites.
If I copied them from the internet, should be easy to find.
And as I said above your hydroplate theory is Walt Browns, and I'm sure you aren't going to tell us you didn't know that made that up yourself.
Of course it's Walt Brown's theory. I mentioned this in post 113...
otseng wrote: Mon Oct 11, 2021 8:55 am 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.
So I'l be considering your post on that hypothesis but how about addressing the problem with the fountain as well as how strata could fold into mountains in just a year or less?
Are you sure you want me to continue to discuss the flood?
TRANSPONDER wrote: Sun Dec 12, 2021 1:15 am I agree that it should be read like witnesses in a courtroom. Which is rather the way we read many historical accounts.
And the Bible should be read the same way.
If you haven't seen my comments that the 4 evangelists are like courtroom witnesses whose testimony should have been declatred unsafe,let alone getting perjury charges, you haven't been paying attention.
Well, your posts are a bit difficult to decipher and I am trying. Can you elaborate on this point?
If you don't believe in an omnipotent God I doubt that you can be called Fundamentalist, but (as an atheists and non -believer, it isn't for me to say.I would suggests rather that your interpretation is Literalist; that is, it means what it says.
I'm not exactly a literalist. That is, I don't always interpret everything literally. I call myself a fundamentalist that is more in line with the original meaning when the fundamentalist movement got started.
A remarkable literary project of the early 20th century, The Fundamentals: A Testimony to the Truth, is soon approaching the 100th anniversary of its completion. The project was conceived and funded by Biola’s founder, Lyman Stewart, mobilizing a network of conservative evangelical writers into a movement in defense of the inspiration and authority of the Bible and the core doctrines of traditional Christian faith.
https://www.biola.edu/blogs/biola-magaz ... ndamentals
It is indeed clear that God cannot do 'anything' by which you mean he can't do everything, but can do some things. That would certainly fit Genesis and how God didn't know what would happen. But I'm sure that you see the implications for prophecy and God's Plan; he was trying to make things happen but He didn't know and neither did Jesus. The implication that God knew nothing of the Jewish war clobbers the prophecy.he didn't know that Judas would betray Jesus and he didn't know that Jesus would actually be executed. Thus the suspicion is that God intended Jesus to succeed and convert or reform Judaism. In other words Jesus is a Failed Messiah.
Your argument doesn't follow.

What do you mean God didn't know about God's plan?
Which Jewish wars are you referring to?
Why do you say God or Jesus didn't know Judas would betray Jesus?
Why do you say God didn't know Jesus would be executed?
Why do you say Jesus is a failed Messiah?
You cannot have ity both ways; the Bible is either written by men in which case it is not Divine, or is written (at least managed), by God, in which case errors are Hod responsibility.
Actually, I'm not arguing the Bible is divine. Where did I say that? All I'm arguing is the Bible should be considered authoritative for Christians.
To argue that our modern view is 'skewed' is dismissive.
Please show why then our modern western perspective on interpreting the Bible is then more correct than the ancient Jewish perspective that was held by the original authors.
Unless you are going to argue metaphor or symbolism, which as I have said, you don't seem to want to do (and that would debunk the Bible if you did as 'metaphorically true' means "Not true at all") what happened either happened or it didn't.
We've already discussed two examples where I argue the Bible is factual - the siege of Jerusalem and a global flood. Neither of these are simply metaphorical or symbolic.
To reiterate the test case that should have Luke and Matthew thrown into the gutter, if not in jail - the nativities, there is no way both of those can be true and arguably,neither of them.

Though above you seem to be trying to use all manner of wriggles to try to argue authority for the Bible while preparing to dismiss any errors.
As I've mentioned many times, I'm certainly willing to discuss challenges to the credibility of the Bible. But, it has to be serious challenges that affect core doctrine or is a significant issue. Like for me, the claim of a global flood is not a small claim. And as I've argued, the empirical evidence does indeed support this.
TRANSPONDER wrote: Sun Dec 12, 2021 1:52 am So I see you (as with another who hath taken the path of rejecting a Bible that doesn't stand up and believing an a non religious creator) of one who has had to shift from belief to sidelining what isn't believable and clutching
onto as much as you can. I've seen believers have to let go of more than that and been left with nothing but their hatred of non -belief.
I see myself as a skeptic. I'm willing to challenge Christian doctrine and even willing to abandon a Christian doctrine, even if it is held by many smarter people than me. If any people have strong evidence and a convincing argument to attack any Christian doctrine, I'm willing to listen. But for minor things that have practically no value (like the details of the nativity), it's of little consequence to me.

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