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Revision as of 14:51, 4 December 2011 by JesseW
Biblical inerrancy is the doctrine that the Bible is completely correct, or at least that it was completely correct in the original manuscripts.
This belief is surprisingly common, especially among fundamentalists.
- There are many contradictions in the Bible, many of them very hard to dispute. Here is a big list.
- The Bible is clearly inconsistent with scientific observations. The Genesis account of Creation is only the beginning. Take Job 38:22-23 , for example. God is quoted as saying, "Have you entered the storehouses of the snow or seen the storehouses of the hail, which I reserve for times of trouble, for days of war and battle?" We now know how snow and hail form, and it doesn't involve storehouses or war.
- The Bible is at least guilty of glossing over rounding error. By simple arithmetic we can arrive at the Biblical value of pi: three. Not 3.14, not 3.1415926536, not "a little more than three"; simply three.
- Some contradictions, like 2 Kings 8:26 and 2 Chronicles 22:2 , which give different ages for Ahaziah when he began to rule, are, Christians admit, really contradictions that are really in the bible. They have to resort to copyist error or some other similar explanation. This shows that the modern bible is not inerrant. This raises the question of why God inspired the original writers, but not the copyist.
- Apologists claim the Bible is not necessarily inconsistent with scientific observations. Apologetics can spin or interpret the contents of Genesis 1, for instance, through a process known as exegesis, into matching what science has to say in postdiction. It must be noted that the Bible is not a scientific book and should not be taken as such, yet despite that, many Christians attempt to use it as such anyway.
- Contradictions, such as the one afore mentioned regarding Kings and Chronicles, are only contradictions if studied without the exegesis to spin the interpretation as well. The same process of exegesis is frequently used to excuse why contradictions exist between the different Gospels. If each is interpreted in particular ways, one can smooth out such stark differences, such as why Jesus was or was not at the cave when the women came after he resurrected.
- According to the doctrine of Biblical Inerrancy, scripture is inerrant in it's autograph. Critically thinking Christians see and recognize problems within scripture, interpolations, deletions, missing manuscripts, etc, and instead will claim that the recent copies and/or translations are in error, while the original texts as written by the original authors are not.
Differing View of Biblical Inerrancy
- Karl Barth, known for advocating a "Neo-Orthodox" view of scripture, presents an attempted solution to counter-apologetics. Within the Neo-Orthodox perspective, both autographs and subsequent copies are understood as containing error, in that they do not always purport truth. Barth's view renounces that the Word of God is in the text (for God's Word must remain inerrant), and in doing so, claims that despite the Bible's being a "broken vessel", it is the vehicle through which God relays his Word. The text contains errors, but when read or preached, the Holy Spirit interprets the true, inerrant meaning to the hearer. This argument also fails because different readers and listeners interpret the same Bible text differently. For example Roman Catholics interpret Matthew 16:18-19 as declaring that Saint Peter and all popes after him have authority to rule the church of Christ while Protestants and Eastern Orthodox churches disagree that the pope has such authority. Contradictions in the interpretation of scripture indicate that no supernatural force is leading all readers and listeners interantly to any correct conclusion.
- The Skeptics Annotated Bible This explains the Roman Catholic view and problems with that view.
- Please explain Matthew 16:18-19. This text has a Protestant explanation.