Believing Scripture is 100% true


(Emily) #1

As a Christian, apparently, we must believe all the Scripture are 100% true. I believe Adam and Eve could have existed. Not as the first people ever, but the first modern Homo Sapiens to come into a relationship with God or recognize our separation from Him.

I’ve accepted Jesus as the Christ and believe He really existed, died and rose again, etc.

But the Flood? No. I can’t believe it happened for the simple reason physical evidence showed it to be a logical impossibility. At least on a world wide scale.

So God expects us to throw logic out the window? To believe events happened that are inconsistent with what science shows us? (Flood example again.)

Anyone else have or had this issue?


(Matthew Pevarnik) #2

Do you mean free from ‘error?’ You certainly don’t have to. And then even if you have the correct text, are you interpreting it correctly?

Cool. That’s definitely a possibility. Here are some more possibilities:

Nice, that certainly is the main qualifier of being a Christian.

Perhaps you would like this series:
http://biologos.org/blogs/archive/series/the-flood-not-global-barely-local-mostly-theological

That’s a pretty serious issue, I agree with you. If Jesus really is the truth, then certainly I think He would be in agreement with your seeking the truth!


(Emily) #3

By true I mean believing everything in the Bible that happened is actual history.


(RiderOnTheClouds) #4

I try to reconcile the bible with history as much as is possible, though I recognise that this is not always feasible. There are anachronisms (such as mentions of iron in the Torah) and historical errors (such as the Babylonian succession in the Book of Daniel) here and there. As has been said before, to be a Christian all that needs to be done is believe in the death and resurrection of Christ. (And perhaps in the fall of man. I do not think this conflicts with modern biology, I find John Walton’s claim that Humans being formed from dust merely refers to human mortality to be solid.)

It must be said however that many of th earlier, more fantastical stories of Genesis can easily be reconciled with history when it is considered that they are truly of theological, not factual importance. For example, the Flood Narrative is a statement of God’s just nature, in contrast to the malevolent nature of the gods in the Atrahasis myth.


#5

We must? Where does that come from? It doesn’t come from Scripture…does it?


(Curtis Henderson) #6

I have heard many conservative Christians claim that 2 Timothy 3:16 teaches that Scripture is 100% true. Let’s take a look at the context, though:

14 But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom[a] you learned it 15 and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 16 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17 that the man of God[b] may be complete, equipped for every good work. (2 Timothy 3:14-17, ESV)

I think it is clear the PURPOSE of the Bible is true, and not negated due to disparities and possibly even errors in some of the human authors that originally wrote the words and all of the translators since that have been involved in the production of what we have available today.


#7

I’m not certain that I understand your position. Do you believe that some things in the Bible did not happen and therefore are not actual history? For example, I doubt that the story of Job happened as written in the OT text. I suspect it was a story composed to explain important aspects of the human condition and how a God-worshipper should look at suffering and God’s sovereignty. Something doesn’t have to be “history” to be true. Do you agree?


(Tom Larkin) #8

I believe that all things in the canon of scripture are true. What is important (from J.Vernon McGee) is that you don’t let what you don’t understand get in the way of what you do understand. If there is no current evidence for the flood, if you are worried about there being no domesticated camels at the time of Genesis, don’t let that get in the way of the main tenants of Christianity.

It is also important to understand that a lack of archaeological evidence does not prove that something did not exist at that time. For example, it was previously thought that David was a myth as there was no evidence of his existence, I am sure that drove some people to believe the Bible was not true. Since then they has found evidence that he did exist, and evidence may be found to verify other Biblical accounts in the future.

It is a slippery slope if you start to state that some parts of the Bible are not true, for example, Jesus and Paul both reference Adam by name. If Adam did not exist as an individual, this would call into question the rest of what Jesus and Paul said.


(Tom Larkin) #9

I would like to add a 5th possibility that is consistent with the rest of the Bible:

Throughout the book of Genesis, the “generations” of the line not leading to Jesus are always given first (Cain before Seth, the generations of Japheth and of Ham are given before the generations of Shem, and so on).

I believe that the creation described in Chapter 1 is consistent with this approach, describes the line not leading to Jesus (and the “daughters of men” in Chapter 6), and the creation describe from Chapter 2 on describes the generations leading to Christ (the “sons of God” in Chapter 6, consistent with the rest of Genesis (more detail in the book). Adam is referred to as the “Son of God” in Luke. This is why it is stated in Genesis 6 that “Noah was perfect in this generations” that he and his family were direct descendent of Adam and Eve.

What I am proposing is that Adam, Eve and the Garden were a specific creation after the Chapter 1 creation of the Universe, Earth and natural plants and animals, including man. Chapter 1 man is the man of the archeological record and consistent with evolution.


(Matthew Pevarnik) #10

Good ideas. I personally am fine with any of those, even him just being a mythical character in a story- no matter the method a theological purpose and him being used by Paul is effective to his readers because of how they thought of the ‘man.’

Side note: anyone read Gibersons new book called something like ‘Saving the Original Sinner?’ It is partially relevant to the original post at least in spirit


(Emily) #11

Even if Adam isn’t a real person, I don’t see how that invalidates Christianity. The message would still be the same. We’re separated from God by sin.


(Emily) #12

Like if Adam and Eve didn’t exist then the Bible isn’t true. No, Genesis needs to be interpreted differently. Or if the earth isn’t 6,000 years old then the Bible isn’t true. ( seems that’s what I lot of fundamentalist Christians think.) Sorry I can’t elaborate more.


(Matthew Pevarnik) #13

I agree same message regardless of whether he was a real person or not. Do you have any other specific questions?


#14

Sure, okay. The purpose of the Bible is true. But does your salvation depend on whether or not you believe it is all true? If so, when did that become a “rule”?


(Curtis Henderson) #15

I would answer “no” to this question. I think it’s entirely possible for parts of the Bible to be interpreted as allegorical (like the story of Job or Jonah living for 3 days in a fish stomach). I would go so far as to say that there are discrepancies that would technically mean parts of the Bible are “wrong”. The Bible clearly teaches that the incarnate Jesus Christ came to earth, died to redeem us from our sinful state, and rose again, victorious over death, to offer us new life. I would say there are very few other “musts” including a belief in whether or not the entire Bible is true.


#16

Your last sentence seems to contradict your first unless I am misunderstanding.

I think you’re saying that it is okay and appropriate to interpret parts of the Bible as allegorical without dismissing them as “untrue.” Is that what you’re saying? And if so, where is that line and what are the criteria for making such a determination? Is it okay to say Genesis 1 is allegory or symbolic? Is it okay to say that a physical resurrection of Jesus is allegory?

I don’t think I disagree with you on anything here…just exploring.


(Phil) #17

Interesting topic. Isn’t everything in the Bible symbolic? Is not language itself symbolic? And written language is a symbolic representation of spoken language. If you limit the Bible to cold hard facts, can it be the word of God? Can you reduce God to paper and ink?
Think I need another cup of coffee. Sorry for the interjection.


(David Heddle) #18

I would say of course it is acceptable/appropriate to take parts of scripture as allegorical or metaphorical. All figures of speech were available to the biblical writers. “I am the vine,” we all would agree, does not imply that we could pick grapes off of Jesus. Just how far you can go is a personal question with, as far as I know, no good answer. I more or less define my circle of orthodoxy by the earliest creeds–especially the Nicene creed (which affirms a physical resurrection). Why do I do that? I don’t know. It just seems to provide the Goldilocks radius of orthodoxy. It is subject to change.


#19

Wow.

“It’s all symbolic because language itself is symbolic.” It’s too early in the morning to feel my mind explode, but I’m going to file that away and throw it at someone some day.

I think you hit on something important though (and something that people have a really hard time with): God cannot be reduced to paper and ink. Or, as I would put it, an infinite God cannot be reduced to a finite set of words.


(Curtis Henderson) #20

Sorry, F, I wrote that poorly.[quote=“cwhenderson, post:15, topic:36314”]
I would say there are very few other “musts” including a belief in whether or not the entire Bible is true.
[/quote]

I don’t think that believing the Bible is 100% true is one of the “musts”.

I can also see how, in certain cases, that parts of the Bible are “untrue”, depending on how one looks at it. For example, Jesus talked about the mustard seed being the smallest of the seeds. Technically, this is untrue. But for the purpose of illustration to His audience, it is acceptable to use. I’m sure there are many other examples of technical “untruths”, some more obvious than others. But these (in my opinion) do not take away from the value of the Bible.