Tag Archives: Biblical inspiration

Men wrote the Bible, so it must have mistakes?

bible.jpgThe original writings of the Bible turned out exactly as God and the human writers wanted them to, and, as the Dead Sea Scrolls and other evidences have shown, have been transmitted to us in a highly reliable fashion.

But a common objection to the assertion that God inspired the writings of the Bible is that men wrote it, so it must have mistakes.  Sadly, I have often heard this from committed Christians.

The argument usually goes like this:

Premise 1: Men wrote the Bible.

Premise 2: Men make mistakes.

Conclusion: God didn’t write the Bible.

But note that premise 1 is just another way of stating the conclusion.  If you are trying to determine who ultimately authored the Bible, your first premise can’t be that men were the sole authors.  So this “argument” doesn’t prove that God didn’t write the Bible, it assumes it.

Here is another syllogism you may have heard:

Premise 1: Men wrote the Bible.

Premise 2: Men make mistakes.

Conclusion: The Bible has mistakes.

This one has a major problem as well.  It assumes that just because people can make mistakes that they will always make mistakes.  But lots of things get done without mistakes – perfect scores on tests, 300 games in bowling, diseases cured, etc.  If God was the author then an error-free Bible would be expected. And if they always make mistakes, then the statement that the Bible has errors must also be a mistake.

Of course, this doesn’t prove that God did inspire the Biblical writings, just that these are bad arguments to use against the inspiration of the Bible.  We have separate, robust reasoning for why we can trust that it is God’s Word.  More on that another day, or just peruse the Apologetics links to the right.

Keep in mind that claims of inerrancy relate to the original writings, not to copies or translations.  If making a copy error invalidated the inerrancy claim, then any atheist could make a deliberate “mistake” and claim that it disproved the Bible.

And note that those claiming the name of Christ and insisting that it wasn’t all inspired by God have made a large claim that they must back up.  They adhere to Leopard Theology, where they claim that the Bible is only inspired in spots and that they are inspired to spot the spots, or Advanced Leopard Theology, where God is also changing spots and adding and removing spots, and, oddly enough, He is only telling theological liberals and progressives.

This is one of the more common but easier objections to refute, so please watch for it!

Hat tip: Stand to Reason

The original Bible texts turned out exactly as God and the writers desired

The arguments about biblical inerrancy, infallibility and inspiration can get very detailed, so I like to summarize the basic Christian — and biblical — claim as I did in the title.

Many Christians (the confused kind) and “Christians” (the fake kind) think the Bible is partly inspired — that is, that some of what God wanted ended up there but at least some of it was man-made and contrary to what God wanted.  Consider the claims that Paul was a misogynistic “homophobe,” for example, and that he was wrong about women and homosexual behavior.

But think about who is making the bigger claim.  It may appear that those claiming complete inspiration for the Bible have a greater burden.  But when you carefully consider the theologically Liberal claims, it becomes clear that their view is much more difficult to support.  They need to show which of the 31,173 verses are inspired and which are not.  That requires a verse-by-verse case for what does and does not belong.  That is a wildly bold claim, much more so than mine.

And it is no small matter when it comes to theology.  After all, if Paul was so wrong about basic human sexuality, how can you be sure he got the saved-by-grace part right?

Obviously, the original texts contained what the writers wanted to write, but those who don’t think they all turned out as God desired have to demonstrate how they know what God “really” wanted and where.  But they have no standard but their worldly views.  They make themselves god in trying to adapt what He said to fit their belief system.  Bad idea.

Those who don’t believe the title display some form of Dalmatian Theology, where they claim that the Bible is only inspired in spots and that they are inspired to spot the spots, or Advanced Dalmatian Theology, where God is also changing spots and adding/removing spots, and, oddly enough, He is only telling theological liberals and progressives.

Again, the original texts of the Bible turned out exactly as God and the writers desired.  Now go read and enjoy the timeless truths God gave to you in his word!

P.S. The claim is for the original writings and not the translations.  The translation process was very robust and defensible, but not inerrant.  Also note that the case for Christianity does not rest on the inerrancy of scripture.  Even if the Gospels had minor errors from the witnesses (they don’t, but work with me here), it wouldn’t mean Jesus didn’t rise from the dead.  The evidence strongly points to that truth.  We can defend inerrancy, but I don’t think we have to do that before sharing the Gospel.

Cults and false religions are more like true Christianity than theological liberalism is

Make no mistake: I view Jehovah’s Witnesses and Mormons as cults and think that their followers are not saved.  And religions like Islam are false.  But think about how much closer they are to authentic Christianity than theologically liberal “Christians.”

Islam believes that Jesus was born of a virgin.  They say the word of God can’t be corrupted.  Mormons and JW’s will speak very highly of the accuracy and inspiration of the Bible.  They believe that Jesus performed miracles.  All those groups tend to be pro-life and pro-real marriage.  Mormons will tell you that Jesus is the only way to salvation.  And on and on.

Most theologically liberal “Christians” believe none of those things.  They are so far removed from the truth of Christianity that they make cults and false religions look downright orthodox. 

Again, those who die in the belief systems of cults and non-Christian religions will go to Hell.  I am just pointing out how theologically liberal “Christianity” is even farther removed from the truth than they are.  What makes it especially evil is that it pretends to be the real thing.

Run, don’t walk, from theologically liberal “Christians.”

2 Corinthians 11:13-15 For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, masquerading as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. It is not surprising, then, if his servants masquerade as servants of righteousness. Their end will be what their actions deserve.

Also see Opposites.