I am one of those who didn’t believe that Jesus is Lord when I started reading the bible, just after college, and it was the profound wisdom in Jesus’ teachings that convinced me that Jesus is Lord and the bible is from God. So, you don’t have to be a believer to see the authority in Jesus words - they speak for themselves!
I had to think about this for a second. I don’t think the Bible is inerrant or infallible… but how about trustworthy? …hmmmm… yes. To be sure the Bible can be misused and that is why I say the Bible is not infallible. But… as Christians we trust the Bible to lead people. It may not lead everyone in the same direction. It may cause some people to be an atheist. But we would refrain from thinking that we could say it better than the Bible does already. We know too well what blind guides we are. Thus we trust that wherever the Bible leads people, that is where they need to be …at least for a while.
The bible never refers to itself as, “the bible”. The New Testament never refers to itself, and neither does the Old Testament. The, “world of God” in the days of the Christ the OT, which wasn’t completely put together yet. The concept of Chicago Statement-style, “inerrancy”, IMO, is a modern, man-made concept that is not found in scripture.
No, because I hold to biblical authority (and infallibility) and not inerrancy.
Though I don’t hold to inerrancy, I find this argument unconvincing. It’s basically a, “non-inerrancy of the gaps” argument.
The OT does mention other deities, but I think that it was understood that they were not real. In my reading-the-bible-in-a-year daily devotional time, I recently came across a passage that pretty much showed that, but I can’t remember exactly where it is.
Let’s look at the passage in context. Here are the parallel passages in Mark and Luke:
"And he said to them, “Truly I tell you, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see that the kingdom of God has come with power.” (Mark 9:1)
"“Truly I tell you, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the kingdom of God.” (Luke 9:27)
Mark and Luke are speaking of the coming of the Kingdom of God, which makes sense, since what Jesus is speaking of appears to be in reference to Daniel 7:13-4:
" “In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into his presence. He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all nations and peoples of every language worshiped him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed." "
Jesus in Matthew 28:18 received all authority from the Father, thus fulfilling the prophecy of Daniel 7, which Jesus was referring to in the passages in Mark 16, Luke 9 and Mark 9.
God proved His love for humanity by letting His son be tortured and murdered for our sins. As for 1 Samuel 15:3, God could have had a reason why he wanted to destroy the Amalekites that is similar to why He wanted to destroy the Canaanites, and that is because they would have created a temptation for the Isrealites for idolatry. Don’t forget, it was of prime importance for Isreal to survive as a believing nation, to provide as house and home for the messiah.
There, I believe, exists a concept in modern Christianity called, “Biblianity”. But the bible is the result of human human effort that is a collection of small books of poetry, prayers and songs, genealogies, doxologies, historical narratives, letters, prophecies, and I believe, traditions, that were written in 3 different languages over a period of 1,000-1,500 years. I think it somewhat foolish to expect to find 21st century precision and scientific/historic accuracy in the bible. Further, only the the OT prophecies were said to be, “carried away by the Holy Spirit” (2 Peter 1:21). So, I don’t worship the bible, but the God who is revealed in the bible.
Reggie… all good questions and too lengthy in scope for any single response. Some of the issues mentioned are not as “completely” lacking in evidence as supposed. A “small” exodus is not the lack of an exodus or evidence of an error in the biblical story. It does, however, mean we have been watching too many Cecil B. DeMille “cast of thousands” re-runs. The world was less populated and it is all a matter of perspective. Exoduses of groups are mentioned elsewhere in ancient histories…and the knowledge of Egyptian geography, customs, names, etc at least point to a presence in Egypt. As for Friedman’s Levitical exodus — why should that be believable and the tradiitonal version not? Isn’t this at least an admission of the event itself???
The imminent Day of Judgment is still imminent. The Bible does say that God is patient because it is not His will that any man should perish. There will be a judgment some day. You and I are counting on it…
The “coherent defence for the slaughter of animals for the sins of humans” does not exist because this never occurred as a payment for human sins but rather as a reminder that some day (still in the future) the Messiah would come to take the penalty for our sins. “Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world,” as John the Baptist declared. All the animals were a way of letting people know that their sin had consequences and that a price must be paid — but ultimately that price was paid by Jesus of Nazareth.
You raised other points but this is enough for the moment.