Monday, December 25, 2006

big err...

8:58 PM Posted by: M., 0 comments

Something I have been thinking about a lot lately is whether or not the Bible is truly the inerrant Word of God. I am not going to figure that out now, neither do I know what questions I really have about the subject, but I want to introduce the fact that this is an ongoing interest of mine. There could be thousands of future posts on this subject that never get me further than I am now, but I guess that is okay. A lot of Christians just totally rely on certain interpretations of the text to be fully true and straightforward, but how can they be sure?

One side of me says that the Bible could have errors, but those aren't truly errors because God is infallible and therefore he would not allow an imperfect scripture.

The other side of me says that the Bible was written by so many people over so many years in so many places, that there has to be a HUGE element of human interpretation and individual bias involved. It is obvious from the fact that the text has so much cultural context behind it, that passages were at once geared for such a narrow audience.

There is a book that came out this year that posits the Bible is in fact full of error and that it shouldn't be taken as the be all and end all of God's textual communication with the human world. I am not saying that I believe him, it is just another opinion out there. His book is more than opinion though, it is actually heavily supported by his extensive research into the history of the text and his own scholarly background in Christian study.

It is called Misquoting Jesus: The Story Behind Who Changed the Bible and Why by Bart Ehrman.
Here is a quote:

"Occasionally I see a bumper sticker that reads: “God said it, I believe it, and that settles it.” My response is always, what if God didn’t say it? What if the book you take as giving you God’s words instead contains human words. What if the Bible doesn’t give a foolproof answer to the questions of the modern age-abortion, women’s rights, gay rights, religious and supremacy, western style democracy and the like? What if we have to figure out how to live and what to believe on our own, without setting up the Bible as a false idol–or an oracle that gives us a direct line of communication with the Almighty(14)."

I am not going to quote more now, but I will later. This view is interesting because I grew up believing that the Bible should be interpreted literally and that all of it was perfectly predetermined and pretty much eternally applicable. It may be--but now I am wondering if it may be not. I don't know if there is a way to really found either side or not, or if you just have to choose a view and stick to it in faith. Whatever it is, it is confusing to me and I need to read A LOT, LOT more about it.

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