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 #3101

Post by Athetotheist »

[Replying to otseng in post #3100
The artifact evidence is the TS. It testifies to the plan of salvation for all people, that Jesus was the sacrifice for the sins of all people and he conquered death and sin through his resurrection from the dead.
The Jewish Bible says no such thing about the Messiah.

Jesus fulfilled the prophecies of the OT, in particular Isa 53.
........

https://jewsforjudaism.org/knowledge/ar ... ng-servant

https://jewsforjudaism.org/knowledge/vi ... eaks-about

Please present the Hindi religious text the interpretation is based on.
Well, there's this:

Vishnu takes avatar (incarnation) whenever needed as said in Gita "Yada Yada Hi Dharmasya Glanirva Bhavathi Bharatha, Abhyuthanam Adharmaysya Tadatmanam Srijami”.

https://www.speakingtree.in/blog/jesus- ... n-hinduism

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

Post #3102

Post by otseng »

Athetotheist wrote: Sun Aug 27, 2023 3:56 pm The Jewish Bible says no such thing about the Messiah.

https://jewsforjudaism.org/knowledge/ar ... ng-servant

https://jewsforjudaism.org/knowledge/vi ... eaks-about
Instead of just debating by posting links, can you post each argument and we can then address them individually?
Please present the Hindi religious text the interpretation is based on.
Well, there's this:

Vishnu takes avatar (incarnation) whenever needed as said in Gita "Yada Yada Hi Dharmasya Glanirva Bhavathi Bharatha, Abhyuthanam Adharmaysya Tadatmanam Srijami”.

https://www.speakingtree.in/blog/jesus- ... n-hinduism
Can you please provide a translation of that passage in English?

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

Post #3103

Post by Athetotheist »

[Replying to otseng in post #3102
Instead of just debating by posting links, can you post each argument and we can then address them individually?
Article:

"If you read the text correctly, Isaiah is clearly telling us how the nations of the world will react when they witness the future messianic-redemption of the Jewish people. (Throughout the book of Isaiah, the Jewish people are referred to as the “Servant of G-d” and in the singular, e.g. Isaiah 41:8, Isaiah 49:3)."

“He [Israel] was wounded because of (מ) our [the nations] transgression.” (Isaiah 53:5). In this verse the Hebrew letter (מ) means “because of” or “from.” It is never translated as “for” which would incorrectly indicate a vicarious atonement.

“For the transgression of my people they (למו) were stricken.” (Isaiah 53:8). The word they (למו) is plural (see Psalm 99:7) and clearly indicates that this verse does not refer to a single individual.

"Even if we take the approach that the chapter does speak of Messiah, it could just as easily apply to anyone in history who suffered. How about Moses, Rabbi Akiva, Rabbi Chaninah Ben Tradyon, Jews in the Holocaust, etc? The entire application to Jesus by missionaries is based on faith, but when carefully scrutinized it doesn’t prove anything."

Jesus asks his disciples, “Who do you think I am?” One answers “Elijah,” another, that he is John the Baptist. Peter thinks he is the Messiah. However, when Jesus then says that he must go up to Jerusalem, be killed, and resurrected on the third day. Peter rebukes him “God forbid it, lord, this shall never happen to you.”

One may ask “Why does Peter need to rebuke Jesus?” If, indeed he is the promised messiah, then Peter, no doubt familiar with Isaiah 53, should have had no problem. Yet, since neither he, nor any other apostle of Jesus knew of any strange concept of Messiah suffering, dying, and being resurrected, they did not see Isaiah 53 as being a definitive passage containing information defining the “suffering servant” and vicarious atonement role of Messiah.



Video:

5:00-10:40
Christians focus on Isaiah 53 and ignore the rest of the book;
Christian translators divided the chapters of Isaiah inaccurately;
Chapters 52 and 54 refer to Israel, indicating that chapter 53 does the same;
Isaiah tells that the suffering servant being exalted will shock and surprise the nations, meaning that the servant cannot be Jesus since most people of the nations expect Jesus to be exalted.


Vishnu takes avatar (incarnation) whenever needed as said in Gita "Yada Yada Hi Dharmasya Glanirva Bhavathi Bharatha, Abhyuthanam Adharmaysya Tadatmanam Srijami”.
Can you please provide a translation of that passage in English?
Here's what I was able to find:

Whenever there is decay of righteousness, O Bharata, and there is exaltation of unrighteousness, then I Myself come forth;

For the protection of the good, for the destruction of evil-doers, for the sake of firmly establishing righteousness, I am born from age to age.


https://vivekavani.com/bhagavad-gita-ch ... verse-7-8/

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

Post #3104

Post by otseng »

Athetotheist wrote: Mon Aug 28, 2023 8:29 pm "If you read the text correctly, Isaiah is clearly telling us how the nations of the world will react when they witness the future messianic-redemption of the Jewish people. (Throughout the book of Isaiah, the Jewish people are referred to as the “Servant of G-d” and in the singular, e.g. Isaiah 41:8, Isaiah 49:3)."
Yes, there are two main interpretations of Isa 53 - either it is referring to the nation of Israel or it is referring to Jesus Christ.
“He [Israel] was wounded because of (מ) our [the nations] transgression.” (Isaiah 53:5). In this verse the Hebrew letter (מ) means “because of” or “from.” It is never translated as “for” which would incorrectly indicate a vicarious atonement.
Don't disagree with this. Jesus was wounded because of our transgressions.
“For the transgression of my people they (למו) were stricken.” (Isaiah 53:8). The word they (למו) is plural (see Psalm 99:7) and clearly indicates that this verse does not refer to a single individual.
In BLB, actually Isa 53:8 refers to a singular person.

Isa 53:8 He (singular) was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his (singular) generation? for he (singular) was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he (number unspecified) stricken.

https://www.blueletterbible.org/kjv/isa ... onc_732008

But even if it was plural, I'm not so sure Hebrew is so strict in terms of plural usage. Elohim is also in the plural, but no Jew says there are more than one God.
"Even if we take the approach that the chapter does speak of Messiah, it could just as easily apply to anyone in history who suffered. How about Moses, Rabbi Akiva, Rabbi Chaninah Ben Tradyon, Jews in the Holocaust, etc?
Could be. But who else has empirical evidence they were resurrected from the dead?
The entire application to Jesus by missionaries is based on faith, but when carefully scrutinized it doesn’t prove anything
No, it's not based on faith. But it's based on empirical and textual evidence.
However, when Jesus then says that he must go up to Jerusalem, be killed, and resurrected on the third day. Peter rebukes him “God forbid it, lord, this shall never happen to you.” One may ask “Why does Peter need to rebuke Jesus?”
Because Peter had a different interpretation (along with everyone else) of what the Messiah should be like. They were expecting a Messiah that would not die, but one that would overthrow the Roman government and rule like King David.
Yet, since neither he, nor any other apostle of Jesus knew of any strange concept of Messiah suffering, dying, and being resurrected, they did not see Isaiah 53 as being a definitive passage containing information defining the “suffering servant” and vicarious atonement role of Messiah.
Right, they did not interpret Isa 53 correctly.
Christians focus on Isaiah 53 and ignore the rest of the book;
I don't necessarily agree with that. And actually, the reverse can be charged with the Jews, where they really don't even read Isa 53.
Christian translators divided the chapters of Isaiah inaccurately;
Don't really see the relevance of this.
Chapters 52 and 54 refer to Israel, indicating that chapter 53 does the same;
I disagree with this.

Isa 52:13-14 KJV Behold, my servant shall deal prudently, he shall be exalted and extolled, and be very high. 14 As many were astonied at thee; his visage was so marred more than any man, and his form more than the sons of men:

Yes, the nation of Israel is found in these chapters of Isaiah. But it is as a nation to be saved by a servant, similar to how the Hebrews were saved by Moses out of Egypt.
Isaiah tells that the suffering servant being exalted will shock and surprise the nations, meaning that the servant cannot be Jesus since most people of the nations expect Jesus to be exalted.
It's hard to argue Jesus has not been exalted. True, he's not exalted by everyone, but he is clearly the most impactful person in human history.

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

Post #3105

Post by otseng »

Athetotheist wrote: Mon Aug 28, 2023 8:29 pm Whenever there is decay of righteousness, O Bharata, and there is exaltation of unrighteousness, then I Myself come forth;

For the protection of the good, for the destruction of evil-doers, for the sake of firmly establishing righteousness, I am born from age to age.


https://vivekavani.com/bhagavad-gita-ch ... verse-7-8/
There is no direct or indirect reference to Jesus, so it's entirely speculation this is referring to him.

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

Post #3106

Post by Athetotheist »

[Replying to otseng in post #3104
Yes, there are two main interpretations of Isa 53 - either it is referring to the nation of Israel or it is referring to Jesus Christ.
If the whole Bible is a matter of interpretation and says nothing clear and solid, then Jesus himself had no traction. Every time he declared, "It is written", someone in the crowd could have hollered back, "That's just your interpretation!"


“He [Israel] was wounded because of (מ) our [the nations] transgression.” (Isaiah 53:5). In this verse the Hebrew letter (מ) means “because of” or “from.” It is never translated as “for” which would incorrectly indicate a vicarious atonement.
Don't disagree with this. Jesus was wounded because of our transgressions.
Semantics.


“For the transgression of my people they (למו) were stricken.” (Isaiah 53:8). The word they (למו) is plural (see Psalm 99:7) and clearly indicates that this verse does not refer to a single individual.
In BLB, actually Isa 53:8 refers to a singular person.
The Blue Letter Bible is a Christian source. It translates phrases as "he was taken" and "he was cut off", but does so with words which are not limited to the singular.

"Save only that which the young men have eaten, and the portion of the men which went with me, Aner, Eshcol, and Mamre; let them take their portion."
(Genesis 14:24)

"Free among the dead, like the slain that lie in the grave, whom thou rememberest no more: and they are cut off from thy hand."
(Psalms 88:5)

But even if it was plural, I'm not so sure Hebrew is so strict in terms of plural usage. Elohim is also in the plural, but no Jew says there are more than one God.
Given the context, that seems a weak straw to grasp at.


"Even if we take the approach that the chapter does speak of Messiah, it could just as easily apply to anyone in history who suffered. How about Moses, Rabbi Akiva, Rabbi Chaninah Ben Tradyon, Jews in the Holocaust, etc?
Could be. But who else has empirical evidence they were resurrected from the dead?
Since Jesus's errant teaching disqualifies him from being a resurrected Messiah, he doesn't have any such empirical evidence himself.


The entire application to Jesus by missionaries is based on faith, but when carefully scrutinized it doesn’t prove anything
No, it's not based on faith. But it's based on empirical and textual evidence.
The textual evidence is that he wasn't the Jewish Messiah and, without the textual evidence, the empirical "evidence" has no foundation.


One may ask “Why does Peter need to rebuke Jesus?”
Because Peter had a different interpretation (along with everyone else) of what the Messiah should be like. They were expecting a Messiah that would not die, but one that would overthrow the Roman government and rule like King David.
Right, because the Tanakh doesn't say any different.


Yet, since neither he, nor any other apostle of Jesus knew of any strange concept of Messiah suffering, dying, and being resurrected, they did not see Isaiah 53 as being a definitive passage containing information defining the “suffering servant” and vicarious atonement role of Messiah.
Right, they did not interpret Isa 53 correctly.
.....according to otseng, who apparently knows Hebrew scripture better than millenia of Jewish scholars have.


Christians focus on Isaiah 53 and ignore the rest of the book;
I don't necessarily agree with that. And actually, the reverse can be charged with the Jews, where they really don't even read Isa 53.
The article I linked to could hardly have been written by a Jew who had never read Isaiah.


Christian translators divided the chapters of Isaiah inaccurately;
Don't really see the relevance of this.
Doing so would have been useful if they were trying to obscure the identity of the suffering servant.

Isa 52:13-14 KJV Behold, my servant shall deal prudently, he shall be exalted and extolled, and be very high. 14 As many were astonied at thee; his visage was so marred more than any man, and his form more than the sons of men:

Yes, the nation of Israel is found in these chapters of Isaiah. But it is as a nation to be saved by a servant, similar to how the Hebrews were saved by Moses out of Egypt.
In the context of the surrounding chapters, Israel is the servant, as is said in 41:8 and 49:3.


Isaiah tells that the suffering servant being exalted will shock and surprise the nations, meaning that the servant cannot be Jesus since most people of the nations expect Jesus to be exalted.
It's hard to argue Jesus has not been exalted. True, he's not exalted by everyone, but he is clearly the most impactful person in human history.
He's been exalted among the non-Jewish nations. According to Isaiah, they're the ones who are to be shocked by the servant's exaltation. Those doing the exalting aren't going to be shocked by it.

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

Post #3107

Post by Athetotheist »

otseng wrote: Tue Aug 29, 2023 8:49 am
Athetotheist wrote: Mon Aug 28, 2023 8:29 pm Whenever there is decay of righteousness, O Bharata, and there is exaltation of unrighteousness, then I Myself come forth;

For the protection of the good, for the destruction of evil-doers, for the sake of firmly establishing righteousness, I am born from age to age.


https://vivekavani.com/bhagavad-gita-ch ... verse-7-8/
There is no direct or indirect reference to Jesus, so it's entirely speculation this is referring to him.
The same is true of Isaiah 53.

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

Post #3108

Post by otseng »

Athetotheist wrote: Tue Aug 29, 2023 9:35 pm If the whole Bible is a matter of interpretation and says nothing clear and solid, then Jesus himself had no traction. Every time he declared, "It is written", someone in the crowd could have hollered back, "That's just your interpretation!"
Interpreting text is found elsewhere also, not just Biblical text. We see this in law, literature, history, etc. So the question is how can we assess which interpretation is more likely to be true?
The Blue Letter Bible is a Christian source.
I'm looking at the Hebrew from the BLB. So unless you're claiming they have doctored the Hebrew, it doesn't matter if I use the BLB.
It translates phrases as "he was taken" and "he was cut off", but does so with words which are not limited to the singular.

"Save only that which the young men have eaten, and the portion of the men which went with me, Aner, Eshcol, and Mamre; let them take their portion."
(Genesis 14:24)

"Free among the dead, like the slain that lie in the grave, whom thou rememberest no more: and they are cut off from thy hand."
(Psalms 88:5)
I really don't see the relevance of these other verses since what we're looking at is Isa 53:8. What exactly in Isa 53:8 is referring to the plural?
But even if it was plural, I'm not so sure Hebrew is so strict in terms of plural usage. Elohim is also in the plural, but no Jew says there are more than one God.
Given the context, that seems a weak straw to grasp at.
It's showing the singular/plural argument is not consistent. If one is going to be literal about number, then it should be consistently applied.
Since Jesus's errant teaching disqualifies him from being a resurrected Messiah, he doesn't have any such empirical evidence himself.
You use your own interpretation of scripture to claim Jesus has errant teaching, which really has no foundational support. Further, no valid argument that has been presented the TS is a medieval fake. Who is then the one that is grasping at straws?
The textual evidence is that he wasn't the Jewish Messiah and, without the textual evidence, the empirical "evidence" has no foundation.
That's what we're debating now. It'll take awhile to look at all the textual evidence. I've only just started with Isa 53.
Right, because the Tanakh doesn't say any different.
What does the Tanakh specifically say the Messiah would be?
.....according to otseng, who apparently knows Hebrew scripture better than millenia of Jewish scholars have.
It's not like I'm presenting some novel idea here. I'm just reiterating an interpretation since the earliest time of Christianity. And the earliest Christians were Jews.
The article I linked to could hardly have been written by a Jew who had never read Isaiah.
I'm talking about the average Jew. Most do not read Isa 53, let alone study it. I would even say most Jews don't even read the Torah very much or take it to be the word of God.
65% of Jews say they seldom or never read scripture.
37% of Jews believe the Torah to be the word of God.
https://reformjudaism.org/blog/3-facts- ... view-torah
Doing so would have been useful if they were trying to obscure the identity of the suffering servant.
Chapters and verses are just used to reference passages, the text does not change. This is like saying adding page numbers obscures the meaning in books.
In the context of the surrounding chapters, Israel is the servant, as is said in 41:8 and 49:3.
Actually, if one wants to read it in context, you have to start at chapter 40. This entire section of Isa 40 - 55 is talking about another deliverance from bondage that parallels the exodus from Egypt.

"Recently, scholars have noted the way in which the Exodus event echoes throughout Isaiah 40–55."
https://www.wscal.edu/resource-center/t ... -in-isaiah
He's been exalted among the non-Jewish nations.
There's only one Jewish nation, so non-Jewish nations is quite a sizable number. But even within Israel, there exist Christians and Messianic Jews.

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

Post #3109

Post by otseng »

Athetotheist wrote: Tue Aug 29, 2023 9:36 pmThe same is true of Isaiah 53.
That is what we are exploring now.

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

Post #3110

Post by Athetotheist »

[Replying to otseng in post #3108
Interpreting text is found elsewhere also, not just Biblical text. We see this in law, literature, history, etc. So the question is how can we assess which interpretation is more likely to be true?
If Jehovah doesn't author confusion (1 Corinthians 14:33), then everything in the Bible should be clear and unambiguous with nothing to "assess". If the Bible can be variously "interpreted" like any other work, then it's no more authoritative or reliable than any other work.


The Blue Letter Bible is a Christian source.
I'm looking at the Hebrew from the BLB. So unless you're claiming they have doctored the Hebrew, it doesn't matter if I use the BLB.
I am certainly not claiming that anything was "doctored" by the BLB (the translations of Genesis 14:24 and Psalm 88:5 which I cited are also from the BLB). I'm pointing out that the same words you present as singular are also used in plural.


You wrote:
Isa 53:8 He (singular) was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his (singular) generation? for he (singular) was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he (number unspecified) stricken.
Interestingly, you admit that at the end of the verse the number is unspecified.

From imprisonment and from judgment he is taken, and his generation who shall tell? For he was cut off from the land of the living; because of the transgression of my people, a plague befell them.

https://www.chabad.org/library/bible_cd ... ter-53.htm

"For the transgress of my [the nation’s] people they [למו–lamow, i.e., the Jewish people] were stricken” (Isaiah 53:8). The word [למו] is biblical Hebrew and is a plural word as in, “a statute that He gave [למו] to them” (Psalms 99:7). Missionaries incorrectly translated this word as “he” in Isaiah 53:7 to make it sound as if “he was stricken” and therefore speaking about a single individual, i.e., Jesus.

https://jewsforjudaism.org/knowledge/ar ... conspiracy


Since Jesus's errant teaching disqualifies him from being a resurrected Messiah, he doesn't have any such empirical evidence himself.
You use your own interpretation of scripture to claim Jesus has errant teaching, which really has no foundational support. Further, no valid argument that has been presented the TS is a medieval fake. Who is then the one that is grasping at straws?
Jesus's clearly errant teaching, which I have pointed out at length, is a valid argument that a genuine messianic sign would not relate to him.

Instead of using the Bible to interpret the Turin cloth, you're using the Turin cloth to interpret the Bible. I'm letting the text speak for itself. Unless you're the Catholic Church, why are you asserting that I need someone to interpret the Bible for me?


Right, because the Tanakh doesn't say any different.
What does the Tanakh specifically say the Messiah would be?
A good way to look at what the Jewish Messiah is supposed to be like is to look at what the messianic age is supposed to be like, and a good description of that is in the later chapters of Ezekiel, when a "prince" leads Israel in observance of Mosaic Law and offers traditional sacrifices for sin, including his own.

I'm talking about the average Jew. Most do not read Isa 53, let alone study it. I would even say most Jews don't even read the Torah very much or take it to be the word of God.

"65% of Jews say they seldom or never read scripture.
37% of Jews believe the Torah to be the word of God."
According to this rabbi, Jews don't reject Judaism but they reject "a very sad caricature of Judaism".

https://jewsforjudaism.org/knowledge/vi ... se-judaism


Doing so would have been useful if they were trying to obscure the identity of the suffering servant.
Chapters and verses are just used to reference passages, the text does not change. This is like saying adding page numbers obscures the meaning in books.
Chapters are designed to be read as units. When pertinent information is excluded, misunderstanding can result.

Actually, if one wants to read it in context, you have to start at chapter 40. This entire section of Isa 40 - 55 is talking about another deliverance from bondage that parallels the exodus from Egypt.
Starting at chapter 40, you read through the passages which identify Israel as the servant.

There's only one Jewish nation, so non-Jewish nations is quite a sizable number. But even within Israel, there exist Christians and Messianic Jews.
And that would mean even fewer people to be shocked and surprised if Jesus were exalted----"exalted" meaning revealed to the entire world as the Messiah, not just believed in.

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