How can you believe what you read in the Bible

(Phil) #1

How can you believe what you read in the Bible…if you do not believe what you read in creation?
If you look at creation, we see it through our eyes, our other senses, and through our reasoning. Through the process called science, we collect that information, interpret it, put it together in a way that is coherent, and act on those results. As Christians, we see the hand of God sustaining that same creation and it being a reflection of the creator.
With the Bible, we read it and see it also through our senses as the written, spoken, and lived word. It too has come through a process of preservation from oral to written, has gone through messy canonization, language interpretation, and manuscript analysis before it was bound in the black leather or converted to 1s and 0s and put on our iphones, and we form our interpretations of meaning and hopefully act on those results also. As Christians, we also see the hand of God sustaining the often messy and confusing process it has been through, and have faith that it is true and authoritative despite the struggle.
It sometimes amazes me that some question their senses on one and can be oblivious to the same process in the other (goes both ways.)

(Wookin Panub) #2

I cannot relate with much of what you said, especially the part of struggling to believe the bible is true. I am not oblivious to evolution. I come from a camp that starts with taking ALL of God’s word as truth. If the book of Genesis is untrustworthy then so is the rest of scripture. If I see a clash between secular science and scripture, then scripture will always win out with me, because as intelligent as man is, he is still fallible, bias in his or her human understanding that is always subject to change; whereas God’s word is infallible and never changing :slight_smile:

(Mervin Bitikofer) #3

…except your modern understanding of what Genesis 1 teaches … apparently you consider yourselves infallible on that front?

@jpm, that’s a well-worded question. It has echoes in it of Christ’s challenge when he asks in Luke 16, if a person is not faithful with unrighteous wealth, then who will entrust that person with true riches?

(Wookin Panub) #4

I always chuckle when theistic evolutionists use the word, “modern” perpetuating the myth that the church did not always believe in a 6 day creation. To answer your question. Scripture is infallible, our understanding of scripture is not. So it makes clear sense to read Genesis 1 plainly and not play chin buggy, adding soul less ape men, because secular science believes sub humans use to grunt :slight_smile:

(Jay Johnson) #5

But isn’t your clear sense that Genesis 1 should be read plainly also based on fallible human understanding?

Ooops! Almost forgot to reply to the OP. I was having a similar thought just yesterday about the messy process that resulted in our modern versions of the Bible. There certainly does seem to be some correspondence between that process and the process that culminated with us.


I have degrees in science but not “secular science.” Can you explain the difference in “secular science” and the implied existence of “non-secular science.”

I find the Bible very trustworthy. I don’t necessarily find popular traditions about the Bible all that trustworthy. At times I wonder if @Wookin_Panub confuses the Bible with Wookin’s preferred interpretations of the Bible. (Of course, Wookin has told me that his/her/? views are not interpretations but simply involve “belief”. That still makes no sense to me but I’ve asked for more clarifications.)

Wookin, is God’s revelation in scripture NOT subject to interpretation but God’s revelation in his creation is so subject to interpretation as to be worthless? (Sorry, but that is the impression I’ve gotten from your posts. Please correct me if I’m wrong.)

How did you determine that God’s revelations in his creation are unreliable? (Again, if I’ve misunderstood, please explain your position.)

(Mervin Bitikofer) #7

Nice distraction to my use of the word “modern”! So do you concede the main point I made then: that you consider those who opt for the 24-hour understanding of Genesis 1 to have the uniquely infallible understanding of that?

(Phil) #8

Perhaps I was unclear in communicating my thoughts. Restated, my thought is that it has been a quite difficult process getting to the the collection of writings we call the Bible, and that process involves much of the same difficulties as scientific investigation in general which extends to age of the earth questions and evolution.

Despite that, we have faith that it is God directed and God ordained, and is indeed truth, despite those difficult birthing pains… Why then the struggle with observations about creation?

(Larry Bunce) #9

To ask the question “is the Bible true,” presumes a modern scientific understanding of empirical truth. 400 years ago, Galileo demonstrated that the earth revolves around the sun, as do the other planets. This was the first time that anyone had been able to identify that anything in the Bible did not conform to reality. Until modern scientific investigation began, no one had any reason to doubt that anything in the Bible was not literally true.

The Bible is a large collection of writings of the ancient Hebrew people, written by many people over many centuries. During the Babylonian captivity of the Jews, leaders feared that the oral tradition would be lost, so the stories were written down around 500 BC. The Bible is not a unified work, so each book has to be taken on its own. Interpreting Genesis as allegory does not mean we have to take the entire Bible that way.

The books that were selected for inclusion in the canon of the Bible were the ones that scholars accepted as having been divinely inspired. Somewhere over time, the writings went from divinely inspired to the literal words of God, written down verbatim by scribes. Also along the way came the idea that if one word in the Bible could be shown to be not literally true, the whole book would fall apart. That leaves many people today in a position where they feel they have to choose between what modern science has determined to be the way of the world came into existence, or to accept Genesis 1 as literal, scientifically verifiable history.

Most of us who frequent BioLogos do not believe that interpreting Genesis as allegory means that the 10 Commandments automatically become the 10 suggestions. The truth in Genesis is that God created the world and watches over it. That seems like more than enough truth for anyone.

(Jay Johnson) #10

Well, according to one school of thought … Many conservative scholars would take issue, so it’s probably worth qualifying just a bit, even if that is the side you think is correct. (Not really interested in debating whether it’s correct.)

Especially since they’re not in Genesis! haha. No offense. Just struck me as funny.

(George Brooks) #11

Jesus said he is a vine. Jesus said he is a door.

Somehow we can tell what was not meant to be taken literally.

God’s creation goes on for three days … before the Sun is created and the DAYS that go with it.

This sentence somehow makes perfectly normal people INCAPABLE of interpreting reality.

(Craig Morrison) #13

This is such tired - and lame - reasoning. In fact, it’s downright lazy reasoning. The creation stories (yes, there are two of them) are not about creation, they are about God. My sense is that folks who insist on making Genesis 1 and 2 about ‘scientific’ creation are not really concerned about a literal creation at all - but are instead all about a particular interpretation of Genesis 3. That’s the real issue.


Glad to see you make that admission. (At least, I assume that you would acknowledge that “Scripture is infallible, OUR understanding of scripture is not.” means that “Scripture is infallible, MY understanding of scripture is not.”

What I’m not so sure that you understand, @Wookin_Panub, is that reading “plainly” is no easy task----unless you are so steeped in a particular interpretative tradition from your church background that it SEEMS to be plain to you, but not necessarily to everyone else.

POSTSCRIPT: I have posted replies to most if not all of the questions you posed to me----but I’m still waiting on your replies to mine. You keep moving on to new questions of your own (and recycling the ones you’ve already asked which we’ve answered) but you don’t seem to get around to actually engaging in dialogue, including replying to my questions for you. This is getting frustrating. It is as if you are solely focused on pursuing your preaching agenda in criticizing anyone who fails to agree with your favorite tradition-based interpretations (which you claim are not opinions or interpretations, though the views of others are dismissed by you with such labels.) Don’t you agree that this has been a very one-sided process?

(system) #15

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