Do you believe in biblical inerrancy. With all the translations, do you think Christians should be learning Greek, Hebrew and Aramaic. Is there Truth lost in translation?
I have a very intelligent non-believer at work who is often challenging my faith which he calls kooky. He thinks Jesus was a talented magician/illusionist. I don't want to avoid discussing things with him, I'd rather be prepared.
People, usually not scholars, often claim contradictions and errors in the Bible. Do you know some common claims and refutations?
I have found some websites with various "mistake" claims but will investigate them myself for now.
Post by Mike Miller on Jul 22, 2009 11:01:41 GMT -5
I believe in biblical inerrancy, particularly as articulated in the Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy, found here: www.bible-researcher.com/chicago1.html (you will be especially interested in Article X and point E under Section III).
What I like to do is say, "What contradictions? Name one." The typical response: "Well, they're in there." I say, "Where? Show me." They can't. Sometimes people like to point to variations in stories between the Gospels, but that is no more than different tellings and different perspectives. The Gospels harmonize extremely well. Sometimes someone will bring up a difference in numbers in some of the Old Testament history, which can easily be attributed to scribal error. Of course, the doctrine of inerrancy applies only to the original autographs, not to copies, and the accuracy with which the manuscripts have been copied and preserved is absolutely astounding. No skeptic can explain the incredible harmony and precision that is seen in manuscripts from centuries and miles apart. It is truly breathtaking.
So, to say there are contradictions is completely unfounded. If it were not so, we wouldn't still be talking about it (When Einstein fled Nazi Germany, 100 German scientists criticized his theory of relativity. Einstein wasn't bothered. He simply noted that if he were really wrong, only one would have been sufficient. Methinks the critics protest too much). Where is their slam-dunk case? They don't have one. It's all smoke and mirrors. Put the burden of proof on your co-worker. Ask him to explain the incredible consistency of centuries-old manuscripts copied over and over and spread all over the world. He can't do it. Don't let him put you on the defensive. You have the truth on your side. The fact is, when people don't want to believe, they aren't going to.
Oh, and you don't have to learn Greek, Hebrew, and Aramaic. Of course, it's helpful in that it places us one less step removed from the orignials. But really, our translations are so good that we can trust them. Are there differences in translations? Of course. Do those differences bring up any disputes as to doctrine or theology? Nope.
I believe that the differences between translations is God's will. You have multiple meanings to each verse. I think God is like an onion. Multiple layers. Sometimes I read king james and don't get much out of it, but I read the NIV and I get lots out of it. I think you get what you need out of it when you need to get it. I hope this isn't confusing, but I do believe God wouldn't let there be differences if it wasn't his will. Notice I said differences not contradictions. Anyway, Love First Baptist.
On thinking about the harmony of the Gospels, I agree I that it is absolutely astonishing how they line up. I am an inerrantist.
There is one place in the Gospels that does hang me up as one that I (realizing that the difficulty lies in my faulty mind, not in the inerrant word of God) struggle to harmonize completely: Jarius' daughter. Mark 5:23, and Luke 8:42 seem to imply that his daughter has not died yet. Matthew 9:18, however, seems to imply that the official (while it does not mention Jarius by name, the accounts seem to be referring to the same event) is saying that she is already dead.
I know perhaps this is ridiculous, but do you have any thoughts?
Last Edit: Jan 16, 2014 4:14:38 GMT -5 by athanasius
Post by Mike Miller on Jan 16, 2014 15:21:23 GMT -5
One possibility is that, since Matthew is clearly abbreviating the story, he simply included the reality of the girl's death here. I think a more likely explanation, however, is that Matthew's rendering has the father saying that his daughter is "at the very point of death," or just as good as dead.
We need to remember, however, that we should not impose our contemporary western on an ancient text. Less precision in telling a story was perfectly acceptable and would not contradict our definitions of inerrancy so long as the essence of the story is the same.