Argument from scripture

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The argument from scripture is the argument that something is true because it is written in scripture. For example, that God exists because the Bible says God exists. It assumes that the scripture and its interpretation are reliable.

This argument is often justified with a related (and circular) argument, that the scripture is to be believed because God inspired it.

A similar argument can be made for passages in other holy books.


In order for this argument to be sound, one must demonstrate that the scripture is reliable. That is, one must show that if the Bible says something, then that statement is likely to be true.

However, the Bible has been shown not to be a reliable source of information. Geological evidence shows no trace of Noah's flood, and that the human race (to say nothing of the earth) is far older than the 6000-10000 years predicted by adding up the ages of people in Biblical genealogies. Astronomical evidence shows that the sun does not revolve around the Earth, and that the Earth is not flat or that it ever has been flat which is contradictory to scripture. Also, contradictions between the four gospels (and other Bible books) cast doubt on biblical reliability.

Archeological confirmation

Apologists sometimes claim that archeological research has confirmed many of the Bible's claims, including the existence of cities and kings mentioned in the Bible. For instance, tablets discovered in Ebla, in Syria, allegedly contain references to cities mentioned in Genesis, including Sodom and Gomorrah.

Such discoveries do confirm parts of the Bible. However, we must be careful not to commit what might be called the Spider-man fallacy. Suppose that a few thousand years from now, an archeologist discovers a cache of Spider-man comic books. Judging by the backgrounds, the stories are clearly set in New York. New York is a real place, as confirmed by archeology. However, this does not mean that Spider-man exists.

Similarly, the fact that Bible stories are set in real places does not mean that the stories themselves are real. The Red Sea is a real sea, but that does not mean that Moses parted it.

Secondly, there is reason to believe that many of the stories in the Bible are not true. For instance, there is no archeological evidence that Hebrews were ever enslaved in Egypt in significant numbers, as recounted in the book of Exodus. The Bible's track record as a historical book is certainly imperfect, and therefore its claims must be considered skeptically, one at a time.

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