Lesson 1 ~ Master of Religion ~ Bible Basics ~ Essay
By: Rev. Trent Murman, OSM, OSF
Create a list of arguments why the Bible reflects the true word of God the Almighty.
This List is From: The River Church by Pastor Randal K. Young
1. The Bible claims it's true
2. Jesus claims it's true
3. The Bible is a morally and ethically superior piece of literature
4. The Bible has the power to affect us
5. The Bible has extraordinary unity
6. The Bible is historically accurate
7. Bible prophecies are fulfilled
8. The Bible has been extraordinarily preserved
9. The Bible writers endured great persecution for what they saw
10. The Bible changes lives
Debunking Christian Circular Arguments and Assumptions via internet goggle internet search:
This is the first and most fundamental claim that Christians make when Evangelizing. It is just taken for granted that it is true, but if you analyze the weight of the evidence for this doctrine, you find that it is in actuality both weak and nearly non-existent. First of all, the first sentence of this argument, that the "Bible is the word of God" implies that the text in the Bible books are God's words verbatim. However, we all know, including the Christians, that humans wrote those books. The only difference is that Christians believe that the humans (the identity of many of them are unknown) who wrote the Bible were guided by God the Holy Spirit, and therefore, they are God's words verbatim and without flaw. The question then becomes, were they? Furthermore, they argue that since we would assume that God would protect his own word, that the Bible has remain unchanged.
In general, the issue is not questioned or analyzed in the church as to whether the Bible is God's word or not. It is simply ASSUMED to be so. It's a GIVEN. And it rests on a very shaky foundation, much more so than they could imagine. What most Christians don't realize and never think about is that God himself never actually told them directly that the Bible was his word. Fallible imperfect human beings did!
NOWHERE in the Bible does it claim that all 66 books are God's word or infallible. The doctrine of Biblical inspiration and infallibility was made up by Christian fundamentalists to create an artificial foundation for their faith. Fundamentalists love to cite 2 Timothy 3:16; however, the "Scriptures" referred to in that verse refer to the Old Testament, and the term "inspiration" does not mean "word of God" either. (i.e. if a tree inspires me to write a poem about it, are they my words or the tree's words?)
There are two vague verses though, that Christians use to attempt to prove that the Bible is God's word. These two verses though, pose problems and raise more questions that preachers don't address, cause they can't. Let's look at them now. Here's the first one.
2 Timothy 3:16
"All scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness."
Now, here's the other verse they use to claim divine inspiration of the Bible.
2 Peter 1: 20-21
"Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost."
There are THREE verses in the New Testament that claim that the Bible is NOT the exact word of God!
1 Corinthians 7:12
"But to the rest speak I, not the Lord: If any brother hath a wife that believeth not, and she be pleased to dwell with him, let him not put her away."
1 Corinthians 7:25
"Now concerning virgins I have no commandment of the Lord: yet I give my judgment, as one that hath obtained mercy of the Lord to be faithful."
2 Corinthians 11:17
"That which I speak, I speak it not after the Lord, but as it were foolishly, in this confidence of boasting."
The doctrine of Biblical infallibility was not a central tenet of Christianity until early in the 20th century when the theory of evolution began to be taught as fact in classrooms. It was then that the Christians countered with this doctrine. Not only did it protect Christian tenets from the danger of Darwinist teachings, but it served other purposes as well. You see, without the doctrine that the Bible is infallible and that every word of it is of God, it would put question marks on every verse. Anyone could then pick and choose which parts of it they wanted to be God's word and which they didn't, and that would greatly undermine the authority of it. So this doctrine is necessary to keep the religion intact. Otherwise, Christians themselves would not be able to feel secure and confident that every verse in the Bible could be trusted.
Explain the differences between Translations and Paraphrases.
Translations: the three meanings of a word, the end, purpose, or significance of
Paraphrases: A paraphrase is a restatement of the meaning of a text or passage using other words.