IF I SEEK US
Imminent FulfillmentImmortality,  Safety, Empowerment, Equality, KnowledgeUnity, Society

Intelligent, reasonable men of good will SHOULD be able to agree on things that matter.

"There are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil to
  one who is striking at the root."
- Henry David Thoreau
Site Sections, Subject List, Reading Sequence, and Article Synopses

Bible Canon Links

Bible Mystique
Translation Issues
Canon Information
Bible Content Comments
The Bible as Word of God
Select/Reject Criteria
Synoptics Legalism Bias
Tomb Visit Comparison
Rebut Forged Origins
The Jefferson Bible
Dead Sea Scrolls Debate
Dead Sea Scroll info
Bible Scholar Feud
Pentateuch 4 Sources
Inventing the Bible-Talmud
Editing the Bible
Bible Statistics Misuse
Gospel's Events Sequence
Old Testament Allegories

Introduction Material
Introduction Articles
Word Definitions
Human Condition

Christianity Material
Bible/Canon Issues
Christendom Analyzed

Jesus Material
Jesus' Teachings
Aspects of Jesus
5 Gospels Canon

Philosophy Material
Paradigm Material
Philosophical Issues
Psychological Issues
Sociological Material
Theological Issues

Cosmology, Creation,
Geophysical Material

Cosmology Material
Creation Issues
Geophysical Material

Reconstruction &
Mythology Material
Archeology-Material
Chronology Revision
Language-Development
Misc Ancient Myth Material
Modern Mythology Material
Psycho-Catastrophe Articles
Saturn-Jupiter Material
Symbol Development
Venus-Mars Material
1994 Velikovsky Symposium

Miscellaneous Material
Book Critiques Links
Misc Biology Links
Misc Issues/Conclusions
Poetry & Fun Material
PDF Download Files
Lecture & Video Links
Spiritual Products online store

"We have to admit that there is an immeasurable distance between all that
we read in the Bible and the practice of the church and of Christians."
Jacques Ellul, The Subversion of Christianity, Wm. B.
Erdmans Publishing Co., Grand Rapids, MI.  p. 7.

The Bible as the Word of God
01/17/2020

Bible as "word of God" false premise

Are not people that accept the Bible as the word of God–because that is the cultural norm–without holding it to a higher standard being intellectually irresponsible? They were not around when any part of it was written, they do not personally know the authors, they are largely ignorant of the context, situation and conditions under which the various books and passages were developed, they can only partially surmise what the author believed overall, they are generally ignorant of the unfolding processes in the development of the two–old and new–canons over hundreds of years, they are ignorant of the different original languages involved, the translational problems and a wide variety of errors that have been incorporated, and they are generally ignorant of the overall content and its many inconsistencies and incompatibilities.

Of course, If you just believe (assume) that the Bible is the word of God, then you don't think about any of these issues.

The scholars that are NOT ignorant of these aspects are generally wary and careful, reluctant to overwhelm the ignorant believer with all the information that can be marshaled, mostly disillusioning or negative to the usual biblical believer and his default acceptance. They are also generally reluctant to say that they believe, first of all because they don't, and have to strive to keep an open mind, and secondly, they are reluctant to say they DON'T believe because this is how they make their living and best maintain their status, respect and position.

For those that accept the premise, the variety of perspectives or ways to relate to this issue is wide. Some never even get past the idea that God dictated the text to various prophets who faithfully wrote his words down. Others see God working more in the background through hampered or convoluted methods to keep his word pure enough despite all the foibles of man and his methods. Some think that the Holy Spirit controlled or guided the writing of the passages and/or the canon selection process so that–properly understood–the material incorporated reflects the truth and has stood the test of time. Some see the Bible as comparable to a newspaper, with the good news and the bad, and you have to decide for yourself which stories or accounts represent the good or the bad. But they believe the Holy Spirit is always available to us to help winnow out the meaning of God's message.

Significance of duplicate passages and chapters

One of the major anomalies–very difficult to explain under the usual thinking–is that there are two chapters in the Old Testament from different eras that are word-for-word identical except for one added verse: See 2 Kings 19 and Isaiah 37. In all my many previous years of being a Christian, I have never heard of this being either dealt with nor even acknowledged. Given that in much of Judeo-Christianity it is assumed that God somehow controlled the content, does this duplication of chapters justify thinking that this is the most important one in the Old Testament? Before you answer, be aware that there is another set of duplicate chapters: Psalms 14 and Psalms 53.

Dispensationalism takes the position that the two canons represent two deals or covenants that God made with his people. The first one didn't really work out well, so God really stretched himself to come up with a better one, an agreement easier for us fallen, perverse humans to keep or honor.

But there IS general agreement that the Bible is a finished product! The last book in it, the book of Revelations, says so, and gives a dire warning to any that would add to it. Or so a certain passage is interpreted to mean this, and nobody tries directly. What they do many times is substitute other materials and focus on them.

False authentication projected on Jesus

However, what the Bible-is-the-word-of-God believers CANNOT do is use Jesus or his message to authenticate the foundation for this belief. They cannot point to explicit directions from Jesus that his disciples should write out accounts or their thoughts. They cannot even make a case that Jesus expected the development of a new canon. They cannot show that Jesus unreservedly endorsed the Old Testament scriptures, much less passages in the New Testament that hadn't even been written yet. Jesus quoted from ancient writing that are NOT in the standard canon. Underlying all the claims and arguments that are put forth regarding the Bible as the word of God, is the ASSUMPTION that the Bible is the word of God. It is profound circular reasoning, a violation of logic known as petitio principii, assuming that which you are trying to establish.

Focus of the Gospels

The books that have been written about the Bible are legion, and we do not want to write another here. What is clear enough is that only four books in the New Testament focus on what Jesus said and did while on earth, and only one of these is actually an eyewitness account rather than a somewhat tenuous compilation of popular but limited verbal accounts of hand-me-down pieces.

There are probably less than a handful of event accounts where the lack of correct placement in the timeline of Jesus' life may have even a minimal impact on our thinking. Only one comes readily to mind. The Temple cleansing comes very early in the Gospel of John, in the second chapter, and late in the Synoptic Gospel accounts (Matthew chapter 21, Mark chapter 11, Luke chapter19). Some commentators interpret this as there having been two Temple cleansings, one early in the ministry and one late, but this is doubtful. Let the reader decide, but this author can't come up with much significance one way or the other as to these three options.

Alternative to Bibliolatry

For the believer in Jesus, the alternative to accepting the Bible as the word of God is to be intellectually responsible and to see that Jesus was the demonstration, the unveiling, the adequate communication from the unfallen to the victims of evil, and to focus on HIS life, HIS words and message, and to consider all other material as non-authoritative at best, simply helpful and supplementary, and misguided or wrong at worst. See: Selecting and Rejecting Synoptic Gospel Material

Home   Site Sections   Article Map   Contact   Store   Contributions   Survey