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

Post #3341

Post by Athetotheist »

otseng wrote: Sun Nov 19, 2023 7:20 am Summary argument of Isaiah 7:14

Another famous prophecy is Isaiah 7:14. And it is perhaps one of the most debated passages between Christians and Jews.

[Isa 7:14 KJV] Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.
otseng wrote: Thu Sep 21, 2023 7:05 am Virgin is almâ. It can be translated as virgin or young woman.
https://www.blueletterbible.org/lexicon ... v/wlc/0-1/

So, the issue here is how should it be translated, virgin or young woman?

Translating it with young woman doesn’t make it any special sign:

Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a young woman shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.

What is the sign then? There is nothing special about a young woman conceiving or bearing a son. The only thing is calling him Immanuel, which is nothing special as a miraculous sign.

However, if it’s translated as a virgin, then that would be a miraculous sign.
Jews argue only betulah refers to a virgin. However, it can also be translated as maid and maiden. So, to say betulah only means virgin is not correct.
otseng wrote: Thu Sep 28, 2023 8:22 am
Athetotheist wrote: Wed Sep 27, 2023 8:08 pm There may be multiple words which can refer to a woman who is a virgin, but there is one specific word [betulah] which refers to a woman's virginity.
Betula is also translated maid and maiden: virgin (38x), maid (7x), maiden (5x).
https://www.blueletterbible.org/lexicon ... v/wlc/0-1/
Likewise, alma can be translated as either virgin or maid or damsel.

"The KJV translates Strong's H5959 in the following manner: virgin (4x), maid (2x), damsels (1x)."
https://www.blueletterbible.org/lexicon ... v/wlc/0-1/

Looking at all the references in the Bible with alma in it, they all do refer to a young woman. But according to the standards in those times, they would've also been virgins.

Here are all the passages with alma in it:
[Gen 24:43 KJV] 43 Behold, I stand by the well of water; and it shall come to pass, that when the virgin[H5959] cometh forth to draw [water], and I say to her, Give me, I pray thee, a little water of thy pitcher to drink;

[Exo 2:8 KJV] 8 And Pharaoh's daughter said to her, Go. And the maid[H5959] went and called the child's mother.

[Psa 68:25 KJV] 25 The singers went before, the players on instruments [followed] after; among [them were] the damsels[H5959] playing with timbrels.

[Pro 30:19 KJV] 19 The way of an eagle in the air; the way of a serpent upon a rock; the way of a ship in the midst of the sea; and the way of a man with a maid.[H5959]

[Sng 1:3 KJV] 3 Because of the savour of thy good ointments thy name [is as] ointment poured forth, therefore do the virgins[H5959] love thee.

[Sng 6:8 KJV] 8 There are threescore queens, and fourscore concubines, and virgins[H5959] without number.

[Isa 7:14 KJV] 14 Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin[H5959] shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.
In Gen 24, it is referring to Rebekah. Since Rebekah is not married yet, obviously she would be a virgin.

Both betula and alma are used in reference to Rebekah in chapter 24:

[Gen 24:16 KJV] 16 And the damsel [was] very fair to look upon, a virgin(betula), neither had any man known her: and she went down to the well, and filled her pitcher, and came up.

[Gen 24:43 KJV] 43 Behold, I stand by the well of water; and it shall come to pass, that when the virgin (alma) cometh forth to draw [water], and I say to her, Give me, I pray thee, a little water of thy pitcher to drink;

In verse 16, it uses betula, but also adds the comment "neither had any man known her". Why would it be necessary to add that comment if betula always means virgin? If betula always means virgin, it would be superfluous to add "neither had any man known her".

However, in verse 43, it does not add that parenthetical comment. So, since alma means a virgin, there's no need to qualify it. Only if it did not mean a virgin would it be necessary to qualify it.

In Prov 30, Jews interpret the alma in verse 19 as an adulteress. Why? Because they believe verse 20 is a continuation of verse 19.
“There are three things which are too wonderful for me, yes, four which I know not. The way of the eagle in the air, the way of a serpent on a rock, the way of a ship in the midst of the sea and the way of a man with a young woman (Almah). Likewise, the way of an adulterous woman, she eats, and wipes her mouth and says, ‘I have done nothing wrong’.” Proverbs 30:18-20

The common characteristic: “the way” is that they all leave no trace, just like an adulterous woman who claims she has done nothing wrong, and there is no trace of her act, so too the eagle leaves no trace in the air, a snake leaves no trace on a rock, a ship leaves no trace in the midst of the sea, so too the young woman (Almah) with a man leaves no sign which is not the case of a virgin who leaves a sign of blood called “the token of her virginity” Deuteronomy 21:15-19.
https://jewsforjudaism.org/knowledge/ar ... gin-birth/

There are several problems with this interpretation. One is why would a man with an adulteress be considered something wonderful? Second problem is nowhere else in the Bible is an alma associated with an adulteress. Third is the argument that there is no trace left is a very convoluted argument. What is being claimed, that it's a wonderful thing a man can have a relationship with an adulteress that leaves no trace? Fourth is there are paragraph markers that separate Prov 30:18-19 and Prov 30:20, which shows they are separate sayings:

Pro 30:18 ¶ Three things are too wonderful for me;
four I do not understand:
Pro 30:19 the way of an eagle in the sky,
the way of a serpent on a rock,
the way of a ship on the high seas,
and the way of a man with a virgin.
Pro 30:20 ¶ This is the way of an adulteress:
she eats and wipes her mouth
and says, “I have done no wrong.”

https://www.blueletterbible.org/esv/pro/30/18

What I believe Prov 30:18-19 is about is how things travel and progress. And the way of a man with an alma refers to courtship and how a relationship progresses.

The courtship between a man and an alma is a special time a couple goes through in order to reach the goal of marriage. Whereas the alternative interpretation is impugning a negative light on it by claiming it’s a man with an adulteress. Courtship with a virgin is interpreting it with a positive light and can rightly be considered amazing and wonderful.

In Song of Solomon, it would make more sense if alma was virgin rather than a non-virgin. Why would a king have non-virgins without number in his court?

Song 6:8 There are threescore queens, and fourscore concubines, and alma [H5959] without number.

In Isaiah 7:14, if alma is not a virgin, then one has to discount the alma being any special sign since there's nothing special about a non-virgin having a child. However, if it was virgin, then it would be a special sign.

Passage that shows the fulfillment of Isa 7:14:

[Mat 1:21-23 KJV] 21 And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins. 22 Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, 23 Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.

If it was not fulfilled by Jesus, then how was the sign spoken by Isaiah fulfilled?

There is nobody in the Tanakh that is named Immanuel. So, this would also have to thrown out as any prophetic sign. So, the only thing left would be a reference in Isa 7:16 of the two kings.

[Isa 7:16 KJV] 16 For before the child shall know to refuse the evil, and choose the good, the land that thou abhorrest shall be forsaken of both her kings.

Since two kings, Rezin and Pekah, are mentioned earlier in the chapter, it could be in reference to these two. Rezin was the king of Syria and Pekah was the king of Israel.

[Isa 7:1KJV] 1 And it came to pass in the days of Ahaz the son of Jotham, the son of Uzziah, king of Judah, [that] Rezin the king of Syria, and Pekah the son of Remaliah, king of Israel, went up toward Jerusalem to war against it, but could not prevail against it.

But one has to wonder why a singular land is referred to in verse 16 if it's in regard to the lands of Syria and Israel. Nowhere else in the Bible is Israel lumped in with a Gentile land as a singular land.

In addition, we don't even know who the child is that would qualify as seeing the destruction of both Israel and Syria. And certainly there is no child named Immanuel during the fall of Israel and Syria.

Further, we don't even know if Isa 7:14 was even being addressed to Ahaz, since Ahaz specifically denied asking God for a sign.

[Isa 7:10-12 KJV] 10 Moreover the LORD spake again unto Ahaz, saying, 11 Ask thee a sign of the LORD thy God; ask it either in the depth, or in the height above. 12 But Ahaz said, I will not ask, neither will I tempt the LORD.

So Isaiah could be addressing anyone in the house of David.

[Isa 7:13 KJV] 13 And he said, Hear ye now, O house of David; [Is it] a small thing for you to weary men, but will ye weary my God also?

If the prophecy was fulfilled by Jesus, then who are the two kings? I'm leaning towards it meaning the last two kings of Israel and Judah, Hoshea and Zedekiah. This would be more in line with the singular land reference since they are from Israel proper. This would also be a special sign since Israel losing all her kings would be a monumental event.
This "summary" is a rehash of arguments which have already been countered. You can't breathe new life into them by simply repeating them.

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

Post #3342

Post by otseng »

Athetotheist wrote: Sun Nov 19, 2023 10:42 amThis "summary" is a rehash of arguments which have already been countered. You can't breathe new life into them by simply repeating them.
Why do you think I call it a summary? I'm giving my closing arguments for Jesus being the Messiah and will move on to the next case.
A closing argument, summation, or summing up is the concluding statement of each party's counsel reiterating the important arguments for the trier of fact, often the jury, in a court case. A closing argument occurs after the presentation of evidence. A closing argument may not contain any new information and may only use evidence introduced at trial. It is not customary to raise objections during closing arguments, except for egregious behavior. However, such objections, when made, can prove critical later in order to preserve appellate issues.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Closing_argument

If you believe my arguments have been effectively countered, please post your summaries as well.

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

Post #3343

Post by otseng »

Summary argument against not adding to the law

Athetotheist claims Deut 4:2 means one cannot add anything to the Torah.
Athetotheist wrote: Fri Jul 21, 2023 11:06 am
As for not swearing/making a vow, it's another example of Jesus getting to the heart. There isn't really any contradiction with what Jesus said and Num 30:2.
Yes, there is.

"Num 30:2
When a man makes a vow to the LORD or takes an oath to obligate himself by a pledge, he must not break his word but must do everything he said.
"

Jesus says, "Do not swear at all" (Mt. 5:34). Moses does not say, "Do not swear at all" and does say, "Do not add to the law".
Athetotheist wrote: Fri Jul 14, 2023 12:03 pm You shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall you diminish from it, that you may keep the commandments of the Lord your God which I command you.
(Deuteronomy 2:4)
I assert this is a hyperliteral interpretation and is not supported by Jewish interpretation, by Jesus's interpretation, and by Christian interpretation. Literally adding words or subtracting words from the Torah is not considered sinful as Athetotheist alludes to.

First, what is the Torah? Though the Torah primarily refers to the five books of Moses, the Jews also believe the Torah can include the entire Tanakh and even the Talmud.
otseng wrote: Thu Jul 27, 2023 9:09 am
Athetotheist wrote: Wed Jul 26, 2023 9:41 pm The Torah has not been expanded. The Prophets, Writings and Talmud have elaborated on how the law (torah) was followed, but Deuteronomy was the last book of the Torah and remains so.
All of these are also considered part of the Torah. I've argued this here:
viewtopic.php?p=1126980#p1126980
From Jewish sources:
The word “Torah” has multiple meanings, including a scroll made from kosher animal parchment, with the entire text of the Five Books of Moses written on it; the text of the Five Books of Moses, written in any format; and the term “Torah” can mean the entire corpus of Jewish law. This includes the Written and the Oral Law.
https://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/th ... -law-torah
In its broadest sense, Torah is sometimes used to refer to the vast library of Jewish text.
https://www.reformjudaism.org/learning/ ... -tree-life
But the word "torah" can also be used to refer to the entire Jewish bible (the body of scripture known to non-Jews as the Old Testament and to Jews as the Tanakh or Written Torah), or in its broadest sense, to the whole body of Jewish law and teachings.
https://www.jewfaq.org/torah
There are times when the word “Torah” will be used to cover the whole, huge body of Jewish teaching – both written and oral. That includes the Tanach, the Mishna, the Talmud and many other works – all studied without stop throughout the generations until this very day.
https://torah.org/learning/basics-primer-torah-torah/

So all of the other 34 books of the Old Testament (and even the Talmud) can be considered to be part of the Torah. And obviously those were not written by Moses. With a hyperliteral interpretation, all of these would be a violation of Deut 4:2 since they were added to the Torah. So, one cannot take a hyperliteral view of Deut 4:2 otherwise the Old Testament would only consist of 5 books and also not refer to the Talmud.

Since it is apparent the Jews have added to the Torah, Athetotheist then changes his argument from adding to the law to nullifying the law:
Athetotheist wrote: Sat Oct 28, 2023 10:11 am
It doesn't make any sense to say the Jews have been willfully sinning all this time by adding to the law.
That's why I'm not saying it.
Athetotheist wrote: Sat Oct 28, 2023 10:11 am
If adding to the law is a violation of the Torah, then the Jews have intentionally and systemically violated it for hundreds of years with a vast body of text that dwarfs the Torah.
Again, just because they've written a vast body of text doesn't mean that they've nullified any of the commandments. It's like saying, "Christian preachers have added the traditions of men to the Gospels with all the thousands of sermons they've written!"
No, it's not an apt analogy because no Christian preachers are saying they are modifying the Torah or the Gospels or the Bible. Whereas Jews claim the Talmud is part of the Torah.

Athetotheist then claims I'm making a tu quoque argument:
Athetotheist wrote: Fri Oct 27, 2023 6:53 pm And even if the rabbis do violate the Torah, it's still a Tu Quoque argument which doesn't get Jesus off the hook. He's supposed to have been the one who kept the law perfectly.
It is not a tu quoque argument. Here is what is a tu quoque argument:
1. Person A claims that statement X is true.
2. Person B asserts that A's actions or past claims are inconsistent with the truth of claim X.
3. Therefore, X is false.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tu_quoque

I'm not stating anything about Athetotheist's actions or that he personally has violated his own claims. I'm arguing the Jews have violated his claims.

Here is his argument:
1. Anyone who literally adds or subtracts any words from what Moses commanded is sinning.
2. Jesus added words since he stated, "Do not make an oath" and Moses never said divorce was because of people's hardness of heart.
3. Therefore Jesus sinned.

But, using his argument, it follows:
4. The Jews have added the prophets and the writings to the Torah and also added the Talmud to the Torah.
5. Therefore the Jews have sinned.

If one is arguing consistently, all 5 needs to hold true, otherwise it is special pleading.

Further, the Jews have nullified obeying the commandments since the temple has not existed for almost 2000 years and have not been able to do any of the sacrifices.
otseng wrote: Thu Nov 16, 2023 7:53 am
Obviously they haven't been since the temple has not existed for close to 2000 years.
And hasn't been needed, according to Ezekiel and Hosea.
Well, this is also inconsistent since the sacrifices were an everlasting statute.

[Lev 16:34 KJV] 34 And this shall be an everlasting statute unto you, to make an atonement for the children of Israel for all their sins once a year. And he did as the LORD commanded Moses.

So Ezekiel and Hosea countermanded the law which is a violation of Deut 4:2.

There are few commands that Moses stated were to be an everlasting statute. So, if there's any serious violation, it would be the claim that Ezekiel and Hosea countermanded an everlasting statute.

So, the Jews, including Ezekiel and Hosea, have subtracted and nullified the Mosaic laws by not performing sacrifices.

Athetotheist then changes the argument again to say though the Jews added or nullified words, the Jews didn't add commandments. This claim is refuted by the kosher laws:
otseng wrote: Tue Nov 07, 2023 6:41 am
Athetotheist wrote: Mon Nov 06, 2023 7:05 pm Adding to scripture doesn't add to the commandments.
Not so sure about that. One example of where laws have been added is the extensive kosher laws.
Kashrut (also kashruth or kashrus, כַּשְׁרוּת) is a set of dietary laws dealing with the foods that Jewish people are permitted to eat and how those foods must be prepared according to Jewish law.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kashrut
Kashrut is the body of Jewish law dealing with what foods can and cannot be eaten and how those foods must be prepared.
https://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/ov ... egulations
Perhaps the most distinctive aspect of Jewish practice is the special diet. The food Jewish people are permitted to eat is known as Kosher (which means “fitting” or “correct”). The Kashrut Laws cover the type of animals a Jew can eat; how they are prepared; the prohibition of consuming blood and certain forbidden fats and sinews; the prohibition of consuming flies and insects, the mixing of meat and milk and many other aspects of diet and food preparation.
https://www.jvisit.org.uk/jewish-dietary-laws/

A specific example of a kosher law is a kosher kitchen must have two sets of cookware and utensils, one for meat and one for dairy. This is not commanded in the Torah, but a later addition.
The Torah forbids eating meat and milk in combination, and even forbids the act of cooking them together (as well as deriving benefit from such a mixture). As a safeguard, the Sages disallow the eating of meat and dairy products at the same meal, or preparing them with the same utensils. Therefore, a kosher kitchen must have two separate sets of pots, pans, plates and silverware ― one for meat/poultry and the other for dairy foods.
https://aish.com/48958906
The requirement to keep meat and dairy products separate necessitates that they be prepared with their own designated utensils. Accordingly, a kosher kitchen can be characterized by duplicates: two sets of pots, two sets of dishes, and sometimes even two ovens or two sinks.
https://www.kosher.com/jewish-learning/ ... er-kitchen

The entire requirement is based on "not seething a kid in his mother's milk". The Torah doesn't say anything about having two sets of cookware and utensils.

[Exo 23:19 KJV] 19 The first of the firstfruits of thy land thou shalt bring into the house of the LORD thy God. Thou shalt not seethe a kid in his mother's milk.

[Deu 14:21 KJV] 21 Ye shall not eat [of] any thing that dieth of itself: thou shalt give it unto the stranger that [is] in thy gates, that he may eat it; or thou mayest sell it unto an alien: for thou [art] an holy people unto the LORD thy God. Thou shalt not seethe a kid in his mother's milk.
Has Jesus countermanded the law of Moses in regard to making oaths? No.
otseng wrote: Mon Nov 13, 2023 8:25 am
He's saying that they should not use oaths at all, and the problem is that Moses condoned the use of oaths. Jesus is setting himself in opposition to Moses.
Moses never commanded you must make an oath. Moses only commanded you may make an oath. As a matter of fact, Moses did say not making an oath is not a sin.

[Deu 23:22 NKJV] 22 "But if you abstain from vowing, it shall not be sin to you.

So Jesus saying don't make an oath at all doesn't violate anything Moses said, but actually supports what Moses has said.
What did Jesus mean by saying anything more than a yes or no is evil?
otseng wrote: Sat Nov 11, 2023 6:43 am
In the case of oath-taking, he even goes so far as to assert that it comes of evil (Matthew 5:37), which is a pretty stern judgement on something which Moses condoned (Numbers 30:1-2, Deuteronomy 6:13).
Here's what Jesus said:

Mat 5:33 ESV - "Again you have heard that it was said to those of old, 'You shall not swear falsely, but shall perform to the Lord what you have sworn.'
Mat 5:34 ESV - But I say to you, Do not take an oath at all, either by heaven, for it is the throne of God,
Mat 5:35 ESV - or by the earth, for it is his footstool, or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King.
Mat 5:36 ESV - And do not take an oath by your head, for you cannot make one hair white or black.
Mat 5:37 ESV - Let what you say be simply 'Yes' or 'No'; anything more than this comes from evil.

Jesus is not saying that oath-taking is evil. He is saying that oath-taking is not necessary. If you say you will do something, then do it. If you say you won't do something, then don't do it. What is evil is saying, "Yes, I said I would do it, but since I didn't swear I'd do it, then I'm not bound to do it."
Has Jesus countermanded the law of Moses regarding divorce? No. As acknowledged by Athetotheist, he only disputes why divorce was allowed.
Athetotheist wrote: Wed Aug 23, 2023 10:51 pm The issue is the irreconcilable difference between why Jesus says divorce was allowed and why Moses says it was allowed.
Jesus was simply answering the Pharisees' question why Moses allowed divorce.

[Mat 19:7-9 KJV] 7 They say unto him, Why did Moses then command to give a writing of divorcement, and to put her away? 8 He saith unto them, Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so. 9 And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except [it be] for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery.

Jesus also did not forbid divorce but only qualified the condition of divorce.

[Mat 19:9 KJV] 9 And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except [it be] for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery.

It's even debatable if there was any command to divorce in the Torah.

[Deu 24:1 NET] 1 If a man marries a woman and she does not please him because he has found something offensive in her, then he may draw up a divorce document, give it to her, and evict her from his house.

In the NET translation, it says he may divorce. It doesn't say he must divorce.

It's not clear in the passage what offensive thing a wife does that allows for divorce, but Jesus says it's for adultery. So, this would not be considered a countermand, but a clarification.

Links to more of my responses to divorce at:
viewtopic.php?p=1129601#p1129601

Has Jesus added to the law of Moses? Yes, he has. Jesus himself stated:

[Jhn 13:34 KJV] 34 A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.

So, if one takes a hyperliteral view of Deut 4:2, both the Jews and Jesus have violated it.

We are not to take a such legalistic view of the law. Instead, we should follow the spirit of the law, not the literal letter of the law. The issue is those who follow the letter of the law do not have a proper understanding of what does keep and law mean.
otseng wrote: Tue Nov 14, 2023 7:11 am Fundamentally, most people (including Christians) have a misunderstanding of what it means to "keep the law". This would take a sermon series to cover this. I gave a talk at church about "Keeping the Law" and "Loving the Law" at:
https://www.perimeter.org/pages/add-l-m ... s-podcast/

I also debated this at Should Christians keep the law? and talked about it in Keeping the commandments.
In addition to the Jews, all Christians do not hold to a literal view of not adding or subtracting from the Mosaic law and instead they do not literally follow all of it.
Orthodox Christians regard the Law of Moses as still fully in effect but transformed and fulfilled in a number of ways. Other Christians believe that only parts dealing with the moral law (as opposed to ceremonial law) are still applicable, others believe that none apply, dual-covenant theologians believe that the Old Covenant remains valid only for Jews, and a minority have the view that all parts still apply to believers in Jesus and in the New Covenant without any transformation in their character. Hebrew Catholics believe that the Law of Moses is not obligatory for Christians, but yet beneficial to preserve the Jewish identity of those Jews who have become Catholic, and as a devotional.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Law_of_Moses

Biblical scholar Paul Copan says:
"Keep in mind this statement that is worthy of full acceptance: the law of Moses is not eternal and unchanging."

So, what is more acceptable? Athetotheist's novel literalistic interpretation of Deut 4:2? Or what the Jews and Jesus and Christians all believe and practice? Based on all the evidence, it is the latter.

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

Post #3344

Post by Athetotheist »

[Replying to otseng in post #3342
If you believe my arguments have been effectively countered, please post your summaries as well.
I don't have to post "summaries". I've addressed your arguments as you've presented them.

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

Post #3345

Post by Athetotheist »

[Replying to otseng in post #3343
Athetotheist claims Deut 4:2 means one cannot add anything to the Torah.
If Deut. 4:2 doesn't mean what it says, then Moses is giving a false commandment.

Here, Otseng is repeating his arguments while omitting my counterarguments as if I hadn't made any. To me, that seems like a desperate move.

Literally adding words or subtracting words from the Torah is not considered sinful as Athetotheist alludes to.
It isn't about just adding or subtracting words. It's about reversing what the text says.

So all of the other 34 books of the Old Testament (and even the Talmud) can be considered to be part of the Torah. And obviously those were not written by Moses. With a hyperliteral interpretation, all of these would be a violation of Deut 4:2 since they were added to the Torah.
As I've pointed out I-don't-know-how-many-times now, the narrative scriptures are separate from the commandments.

Since it is apparent the Jews have added to the Torah, Athetotheist then changes his argument from adding to the law to nullifying the law:
My argument has not changed. Jesus adds to the law in ways which nullify existing law.

Athetotheist then claims I'm making a tu quoque argument:

Athetotheist wrote: ↑And even if the rabbis do violate the Torah, it's still a Tu Quoque argument which doesn't get Jesus off the hook. He's supposed to have been the one who kept the law perfectly.

It is not a tu quoque argument. Here is what is a tu quoque argument:

1. Person A claims that statement X is true.
2. Person B asserts that A's actions or past claims are inconsistent with the truth of claim X.
3. Therefore, X is false.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tu_quoque

I'm not stating anything about Athetotheist's actions or that he personally has violated his own claims. I'm arguing the Jews have violated his claims.
Otseng is arguing that the Jews have deviated from the law and that this gives Jesus an out for doing the same.

Tu Quoque is a very common fallacy in which one attempts to defend oneself or another from criticism by turning the critique back against the accuser. This is a classic Red Herring since whether the accuser is guilty of the same, or a similar, wrong is irrelevant to the truth of the original charge.

https://www.fallacyfiles.org/tuquoque.html

Otseng then accuses me of accusing the Jews, apparently to shift the fault from Jesus to me.

[Lev 16:34 KJV] 34 And this shall be an everlasting statute unto you, to make an atonement for the children of Israel for all their sins once a year. And he did as the LORD commanded Moses.

So Ezekiel and Hosea countermanded the law which is a violation of Deut 4:2.

There are few commands that Moses stated were to be an everlasting statute. So, if there's any serious violation, it would be the claim that Ezekiel and Hosea countermanded an everlasting statute.

So, the Jews, including III and Hosea, have subtracted and nullified the Mosaic laws by not performing sacrifices.
This is a significant place in which Otseng re-introduces an argument without including my response, significant because my response was a question which I haven't seen him answer:

How could Jesus replace everlasting sacrifices?

Has Jesus countermanded the law of Moses in regard to making oaths? No.
Then where, as I've asked before, does the law say, "Do not swear at all"?

Every time Jesus gets it wrong, Otseng just moves the goalposts for him.

Has Jesus countermanded the law of Moses regarding divorce? No. As acknowledged by Athetotheist, he only disputes why divorce was allowed.
And he clearly gets it wrong when he does so.

In Matthew 19, some teachers of the law ask Jesus if it's permissible for a man to divorce his wife for any cause. Jesus goes into a discourse ending with the declaration, "What God has joined together, let not man put asunder." The teachers then remind him, by way of a question, that Moses allowed a man to present his wife with a bill of divorce and put her away.

At this point, Jesus must realize that he's been nailed and that he has to think fast to get himself out of the corner. What he comes up with is a "concession", supposedly made by Moses, for the people's "hardness of heart".

The problem is that this solution runs counter to everything Moses said about why the law was given. According to Moses, all of the law was given by Jehovah himself (Deut. 1:3) for the people to follow to love him with all their heart and with all their soul (11:13) and to do what's right in his eyes (13:18). Thus, there is no room in the law for the "hardness of heart" which Jesus is putting forth as the basis for divorce.

Now, that comes not from a "hyperliteral interpretation" of the text. It comes from what Otseng calls a natural reading of it when he has no problem with what it says. That's the problem with Otseng's nonchalant acceptance of the Bible's errancy. When that errancy bleeds into what Jesus says, it suddenly becomes too inconvenient to let slide.

It's even debatable if there was any command to divorce in the Torah.
This is a straw man Otseng has relied on before. It isn't about a command to divorce; it's about why divorce was permitted.

It's not clear in the passage what offensive thing a wife does that allows for divorce, but Jesus says it's for adultery. So, this would not be considered a countermand, but a clarification.
It can't be a "clarification", because Deut. 24:1 can't be about adultery. Deut. 22:22 states that the penalty for adultery is death.

We are not to take a such legalistic view of the law. Instead, we should follow the spirit of the law, not the literal letter of the law.
Then why was every jot and tittle of the law still in force, and why would breaking even the least commandment relegate one to being "least in the kingdom of heaven" (Matthew 5:17-19)?

Jesus criticizes the Pharisees for "bowing" before the letter of the law, but he tells his followers to do everything the Pharisees say because "they sit in the seat of Moses".

Can you imagine trying to keep the "spirit" of traffic laws without following the letter of them?

The issue is those who follow the letter of the law do not have a proper understanding of what does keep and law mean.
This doesn't square up with the law either.

But the word is very nigh unto thee, in thy mouth, and in thy heart, that thou mayest do it.
(Deut. 30:14)

Biblical scholar Paul Copan says:
"Keep in mind this statement that is worthy of full acceptance: the law of Moses is not eternal and unchanging."
Yet Otseng himself has acknowledged that the Levitical sacrifices are everlasting. So how could Jesus replace them?

So, what is more acceptable? Athetotheist's novel literalistic interpretation of Deut 4:2? Or what the Jews and Jesus and Christians all believe and practice? Based on all the evidence, it is the latter.
So, what is the law of Moses supposed to mean? Does it mean what Moses says it means, or does it conform to Otseng's convenient Ad Populum assessment? Based in part on Jesus's conception not being an observable sign and the new covenant of Jeremiah 31 clearly not established, it is the former.

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

Post #3346

Post by otseng »

[Replying to Athetotheist in post #3353]

Not sure why you refuse to summarize your arguments if you think your views are so strong. But I'll let the jury decide based on all the closing comments and move on to the next topic, which I predict will be another lengthy discussion.

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Start discussing Old Testament ethics

Post #3347

Post by otseng »

Next going to address the ethical issues of the Old Testament. This is another huge area and is commonly brought up by skeptics. I would even venture to say this is one of the biggest stumbling blocks for unbelievers.

Here's a sampling of recent posts:
otseng wrote: Tue Sep 12, 2023 7:03 am
Athetotheist wrote: Mon Sep 11, 2023 11:10 pm Yet you presumably have no problem with the idea of that same deity brutally drowning every innocent child on earth in a global flood.

If so, that's a topic of its own. But it's still an issue you have to deal with.

If you're trying to justify the flood narrative in Genesis, I guess that's another issue for you to deal with.
Yes, it's a topic of its own.
alexxcJRO wrote: Fri Nov 10, 2023 8:01 am the awful Old Testament passages about genocides, bigotry and laws for slavery, killing witches, gays and so on;

From an non-believer perspective they are all on the same level. Nonsensical, illogical, not consistent ramblings full of magical stories, bigotry, awful things written by ancient ignorant morons. Who did not knew elementary things about their reality.
alexxcJRO wrote: Fri Oct 20, 2023 11:57 pm Inflicting great suffering, pain onto small children-infants is evil and wrong no matter who does it: Christians from the west with their bombardment of Irak, Syria, Afganistan; Israelites with their bombardament of Gaza; Islamists with their jihadic-terrorist attacks or powerful god/gods.

This is true even if one completely removes emotions and empathy from the equation and one analyzes everything only Vulkan style: only logically.

Non-moral agents are blameless and they are victims no matter the case.

God(Yahweh-Jesus) ordering the inflicting of suffering, pain and death to non-moral agents on several times just proves how fictitious god of the Bible is.
alexxcJRO wrote: Sat Oct 21, 2023 11:36 pm Q: How does what you said refute the The Problem of Gratuitous suffering and Gratuitous evils ?

The Problem of Gratuitous suffering and Gratuitous evils disproves Yahweh-Jesus in 2023 or 1500 or 10000 BC or 1000000 BC. It disproved Yahweh-Jesus before even it was invented by ignorant ancient goat herders.
alexxcJRO wrote: Sun Oct 22, 2023 1:22 am God is both an omni-perfect being and a capricious, malevolent, pitiful-weak being. Therefore an illogical concept.
This is to be expected from an atheistic perspective where ignorant ancient goat herders could not invent a consistent concept because most humans are morons.
POI wrote: Tue Oct 24, 2023 10:55 am My point being countless people kill little children, because they (believe) God told them to. This would include you. If I "heard" or "received" such an order, I would ignore it. Why? I do not think any such claimed God would ever order the killing of little children. It would be contradictory to the claim of God's loving nature. In essence, the ones killing little children, "in the name of God", are likely either just delusional, or lying because they actually want to kill little children. Thus, I find it interesting to read that you would absolutely kill little children in this case.
brunumb wrote: Mon Oct 30, 2023 12:08 am It doesn't pay to tick off an omnipotent being with an infinite ego it would seem. Pity that wasn't matched by infinite love and compassion. That said, Adam didn't reject God, in ignorance the original hapless couple were beguiled by one of God's creatures into being disobedient. Being sorely aggrieved, the omnipotent one took it out on everyone and everything not even part of that dastardly act. Feel the love.
POI wrote: Mon Oct 30, 2023 11:41 amGod opted not to stop the conception of these known obstacles. To instead allow their existence, only to order their slaughter -- as little children, reads extra and unnecessary. It instead reads like a God who is not truly 'loving'. On the contrary, if you claimed to be loving, and had the opportunity to prevent something from happening, would you wait until they were little children, and order their execution? Prolly not. Hence, you are more logical than the God you worship.
POI wrote: Mon Oct 30, 2023 12:31 pm The point of my post was to ask if it is cowardly to order the slaughter of little children, via the provided Bible verses. The point of my thread was also to ask how to begin discerning if an order has actually come from the Christian God.
POI wrote: Mon Oct 30, 2023 10:01 pm The question is (rephrased) - why did God choose to intervene when they were little children, when God already knew they would later become an obstacle? It refers to the answer for which you answered 'maybe' above and prior. --> God likes to watch little children suffer. But I bet you don't. So why do you love Jehovah?
boatsnguitars wrote: Tue Oct 31, 2023 6:30 am He needs to find a narrative to excuse God for atrocities.
Again, this is why I claim Christians don't understand morality.
POI wrote: Tue Oct 31, 2023 5:47 pm God's subjective will, in the case of the OP reference verses, was to order these little children's slaughter. And yet, he already knew where they were headed before their births. And yet, choose to kill them when they were little children. Maybe because God likes to watch the terror in these little children's faces, as they are being murdered by other humans. Maybe the Jehovah you love is a 'sadistic voyeur.' God decides to be proactive here, but not with the little child's cancer. Maybe because Jehovah is a 'sadistic voyeur.'
Diogenes wrote: Wed Nov 01, 2023 4:39 pm Over and over this 'god' commands his chosen tribe to annihilate women and children, rape and enslave, and abandon all reason and goodness in pursuit of "God's Will." The logic and reason that leads one to the obvious conclusion the Bible was written by men who sought self serving excuses to legitimize their plunder, murder and genocide is entirely lost on those who appeal to authority over reason and love. I get it. I'll not try further efforts at reason where it is ignored in favor of 'authority.'
POI wrote: Mon Oct 30, 2023 11:00 am My concern is to know why you still call yourself any form of a 'Christian' after having read the Bible? Why not instead become some form of a generic deist or an agnostic atheist?

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

Post #3348

Post by POI »

otseng wrote: Tue Nov 21, 2023 7:19 am Next going to address the ethical issues of the Old Testament. This is another huge area and is commonly brought up by skeptics. I would even venture to say this is one of the biggest stumbling blocks for unbelievers.
Hmm. You were able to resolve all the other issues/topics currently on the table? Or, did you instead decide to table those topics for now?
In case anyone is wondering... The avatar quote states the following:

"I asked God for a bike, but I know God doesn't work that way. So I stole a bike and asked for forgiveness."

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

Post #3349

Post by Athetotheist »

otseng wrote: Tue Nov 21, 2023 6:59 am [Replying to Athetotheist in post #3353

Not sure why you refuse to summarize your arguments if you think your views are so strong. But I'll let the jury decide based on all the closing comments and move on to the next topic, which I predict will be another lengthy discussion.
I think my arguments are strong enough not to need repeating to make them look like they haven't been challenged.

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

Post #3350

Post by otseng »

POI wrote: Tue Nov 21, 2023 10:59 am Hmm. You were able to resolve all the other issues/topics currently on the table? Or, did you instead decide to table those topics for now?
What other issues/topics are you referring to?

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