The flawed Bible

This is certainly not the case. Perhaps my quibbling over vocabulary here is spreading more confusion than light - and I shall desist if confusion persists, but not before one more attempt.

I was not objecting against our confidences in things we consider very well-established - what you are labeling as “law”. That confidence and alleged universal applicability over time is not one whit lessened by anybody’s insistence on clarifying our vocabulary around it. We all want our clean distinctions between well-sorted and distinct categories. We want to imagine that there is, in the scientist’s world, a “holy-of-holies” where the undisputed Laws dwell, attended just outside by all the surrounding lesser (but still proud) “theories” not bereft of a status of their own. And milling about in the outer courtyards of the gentiles we find the lowly hypotheses and conjectures.

While this neatly organized world may exist in your imagination, it doesn’t for the scientist. There is rather, the dreaded gradient, where to be sure, some things have much higher status than others. But everything is held up for examination and there is no sacred preserve. There are merely those things that have survived (often with major modification) sustained attacks for so long that we begin to afford them a major respect as an enduring edifice - but never one that is permanently immune from overthrow, and certainly not immune from renovation.

So the necessary “sorting” function of our popular vocabulary notwithstanding, I will suggest here for at least this moment longer, that real science in practice is no respecter of these hard divisions, but is very much a respecter of survival and “lumps earned” over much time and prodding.

I think when we question if something is true (a fact) or not, theory, hypothesis, conjecture, mathematical model, mathematical analysis, etc. all belong to the same group: not a fact (until every deduction is proven a fact).

When every deduction of a theory can be proven a fact, then the theory itself could be a fact. But usually it’s an impossible task. When after intensive questioning and verifying we haven’t found any fact that falsifies the theory, we accept the theory as a law, while still open to the possibility that it needs to be modified. We trust it more but it’s still not a fact.

The below process could help make theories more objective.

Facts (that exist independent of the observer) ---- observation (at least 3 independent sources to reduce the chance of subjective error) ---- mathematical model and analysis based on the observation ---- hypothesis, conjecture, any wild idea crossing your mind ---- try to verify ---- If successful based on the known facts, then call the most successful one a theory. ---- Verifying all deductions ---- If newly discovered facts falsifies the theory, then repeat from model to verification, until no challenges in a while, then this theory could survive until being challenged by newly discovered facts again.

I don’t think @Shawn_Murphy’s view is simplistic, but very scientific. There’s a difference between existence of something and our knowledge/observation/theory/belief, also between a possibility and a fact.

Something doesn’t “become reality” once it can be observed or otherwise proven by a human. If something in fact exists, then it is reality, whether or not any human has observed it, proven it, or disputes its reality.

By your stated logic, the existence of the universe before the appearance of man was neither reality nor a fact, as there was no one around to prove it?

I guess, probably “reality” @Shawn_Murphy meant “the narrative we can believe more”, not “something that exists” because he already said “if something actually exists”.

Sometimes, we have to sacrifice something to avoid more problems. For example, if we don’t require at least 3 or 30 independent sources to believe the stories about history, there could be no credibility in any history. But what if something really happened and nobody knows? It’s still a fact but unknown. And, one person could tell the truth also lies. But when two people (independent sources) tell the same thing, the chance of being lied about is reduced. Not perfect but we have no better choice.

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Let’s say there could be two laws, the existence of natural law and our theories.

If you can observe something’s behavior is strictly following “if certain conditions met, then some behaviour pattern can be observed”, then you can guess the object is ruled by some law, which could be a fact, something exists independent of you. And you can guess further, maybe other things follow the same law and you can test and verify. But what you get may not be the law as a fact but a verified theory.

The belief that natural laws don’t change over time is vitally important for without which we could never know how old the earth is, and whether or not a narrative is true or false especially when we only have one source.

Let us take the discussion back to the flawed bible, the topic of the thread. The claim of biblical inerrancy violates the discussion above. The best that one could do is claim that the Bible is unsubstantiated fact.

God did not write, edit nor print the Bible and therefore any claimed divine exception is invalid. I prefer a more precise theory. The theory is simply that God inspired men (prophets), who then attempted to explain God’s Word with their human mind and language. These texts were then interpreted, edited and copied by priests and scribes. Most importantly, the text suffers from survivor bias, becuase not all inspired texts have been retained. Like any democracy, the results of the selection process was a compromise - not absolute truth.

Given this theory, to establish biblical fact requires at least two other reliable, independent sources. Science helps us with a number of the physical aspects in the Bible like age of the Earth. But the spiritual meanings in the Bible cannot be enriched by science. The only way that the spiritual meanings can be established as fact is to find two other, reliable spiritual sources that verify the spiritual teachings.

I use five main, independent sources of inspired texts to test the biblical interpretations made by the many sects of Christianity. I mostly refer to Socrates and Origen of Alexandria on this forum becuase of the their strong scientific foundation. The other three I have mentioned in some posts are modern, independent inspired works that pass the tests in 1 John 4 and fulfill Jesus’ promise:

I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. (John 15:12-13)

This is how Jesus promised to establish spiritual fact, by sending multiple, independent teachers into the world in various times, countries and languages. It is our job to investigate them scientifically to help establish God’s true intension. Don’t just dig through the ancient texts that are a product of corrupt men. (Malachi 2:7-9, Jeremiah 8:8-9, Ezekiel 2:1-7, Matthew 3:7 and Matthew 12:34)

The “other” God is God incarnated as man, Jesus Christ. Before man was ever created, Jesus existed in the Godhead form, creator of the universe. The pharisees had a difficult time reconciling this belief because they couldn’t intellectually fathom it. The Bible, in its entirety, is not a book to be read from a purely intellectual or scientific context. Rather, it is to be understood from a spiritual undestanding that GOD is supernatural and therefore far above any human understanding or conception that we could imagine. The apostle Paul, who’s firsthand experience with creator was baffling, writes in 1 Cor. 2:14 &16, that “the natural mind does not receive the things of the Spirit of God for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them because they are spiritually discerned…Verse 16:For who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct Him? But we have the mind of Christ.”
It is humbling to acknowledge that we, (man), dont have all of the answers to life’s complexities. Yet God in His mercy and love has given us spiritual guidelines to navigate through life’s challenges by entrusting our lives to Him through obedience to His word. Paul offers more insight to this in 1 Cor 4:20, “For the kingdom of God is not in word but in POWER.” We could argue semantics ad nauseum and even offer one’s brand of scientific evidence to refute its validity, but ultimately, the Bible transcends all human sensibility or logic because it is supernatural.

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If I didn’t misunderstand, you meant there were two methods of acquiring knowledge.
1.
God knows. Some humans in the middle (prophets, priests). If people like me want to understand something, just ask God by asking the middlemen.
2.
There’s a world independent of our curious mind. If we want to understand the world, we use our sensors to see, hear, touch, and use our ability of reasoning to conduct principled reasoning, and test.

I’d say it’s by the method 2 that I find something “flawed”. By method 1 alone, I would agree with you and accept one as the truth and the other as the corrupt text.

I am not sure how you read this out of what I wrote. I agree wholeheartedly with #2 when it comes it comes to how we gain knowledge about both God and His creation through the reason and logic He gave us. Not by accepting blindly what flawed men have to say, but checking what they have said through multiple, independent, reliable sources. A prophet of the God expects us to test them and not display blind faith.

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I don’t lie to myself. The Bible is a great book but also a book full of errors, flaws, false reasoning, or even possibly lies.

Could you give examples?

@G15024 here is my top list for you.

I kinda find this thread frustrating and sad. One reason I came up with the views I did, which no one likes, is because of questions gmt asks. I asked them myself. It seems to me that this thread is basically everyone saying that they agree with the opening post, that the Bible is highly flawed and doesn’t convey any reality about creation, but we tell GMT to believe it anyway. Why on earth would anyone do that?

When one does use modern things to understand the Bible, Christian scholars reject it as being eisegetical, yet, if it is God’s word, didn’t God know that He would be speaking to Neolithic farmers AND to 21st century scientists?

No one offers a way to make the Scripture more historical. I take the Days of Proclamation approach to Genesis 1, which means Genesis 1 is the pre-temporal planning of the universe and nothing was actually created, it was proclaimed what would be created. The ‘and it was so’ after so many of the proclamations is a statement by the writer that hey, look around, it has been accomplished. the writer didn’t say ‘and it was so instantly’. Genesis 2 was long after Genesis 1; billions of years after. And yes, I believe in the miraculous creation of man. If God can’t do that he isn’t very powerful.

Having heard long lists of ‘errors’ in the Bible, my general feeling is that people like gmt don’t work very hard to try to find solutions, preferring instead to throw rocks. But then, this thread is full of people throwing rocks at Scripture, agreeing that it is limited in historicity but we should believe it anyway. It’s like saying, 'this car has no engine, but you should buy it anyway cause it is soooo pretty."

Edited to add: If Christians had but paid attention to grammer they could have accepted evolution. “God said, 'Let the earth bring forth living creatures…”

When I tell my son or GMT, "Let GMT mow the lawn’ It isn’t me out there sweating like a pig, it is GMT. God delegated the bringing forth of living creatures to the earth. And in this way, the Bible can be viewed more scientifically than anyone seems to be interested in.

This is the central question of the flawed bible, and I am glad you have posted it. Modern Christians dig through a ‘dead’ Bible that has not changed, when they the Bible clearly says it is the living Word of God. How can it be the Living Word if it never changes with the education of the listener? Jesus promised to send the spirit of truth to explain everything (John 14:17 15:26 16:13) and this promise has no expiration date. He knew that His audience could not bear all that He had to say, nor understand it.

The only problem that I have seen with the spirt of truth’s message is that it greatly conflicts orthodox Christianity.

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Shawn see the edit I just put in my post. There are other places moderns can see stuff, in Genesis 1 but Christians want to avoid it and surrender too quickly.

But saying the Neolithic folk couldn’t bear it, is not a satisfactory answer. Their intelligence was equivalent to ours, and God could have simply said, out of the slime came life and that is a true but simple evolutionary account of life. But God did say "Let the earth bring forth living creatures… " which is equivalent to it. It seems to me the neolithics could bear more than we give them credit for.

Sadly, I don’t think Christians try to find solutions, preferring not to do any hard thinking

I understand your frustration. I have posted this before, but will again. The enlightened Greek fathers of science and philosophy understood the reason for the creation of the material world and two did their descendants, the first Christians. They saw the first three books of Genesis describing event is the spiritual world, when God separated the light from the dark - the Fall as described in Revelations. The second Fall occurred in Paradise (Luke 23:43) in the spiritual realm. It is not until Genesis 4 that the story continues 13.8 or so billion years later in the material world.

You see, the story of the Bible is of the spiritual journey of God’s (fallen) children and their restoration, not the creation of the material world or the history of humanity.

I don’t think you do see my frustration or you would know that the above doesn’t work for me. It turns the bible into folk tales about spiritual beings and that means I can’t know whether any of it is true or not. Every religion has its panoply of Gods and there is no way to know which story about spiritual worlds is true and which false. In my mind, it makes it all false. Im off to two granddaughters dance recital tonight see you later

Hello, G - and welcome to the forum. One of the practices that help us all interact is if you include a quote or snippet from the post to which you are replying so that we have some context for your comment or who it is that you hope to get a reply from. Just highlight the text that caught your interest in somebody’s prior post and then click the grey “quote” pop-up. This will open up a new reply post for you with the quote inserted into it.

Hope you find some fruitful interaction here.

Hi GBOB,

Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

This is a forum for people to discuss or share something, not to teach or even tell anyone to accept what they say. So any thoughts are appreciated.

A lot of Christians, not all of them, would explain the Bible in the following way:
Accepting the Bible as already a book of truth ---- if anyone is puzzled, then try to make theories like scientists or stories like Agatha Christie to explain.
By doing so, their theories or stories will never be falsified because they are “closed”. They are the products of the Bible + logic, and used to explain the Bible. And then there could be more than one theory to explain the same thing in the Bible. Christians could have different theories.

But I, and some Christians too, take another approach.
We don’t accept the Bible as a book of truth until proven. We don’t reject the Bible as a book of lies or false info either without evidence. And we think the stories told in the Bible and the things we can observe or experience now follow the same natural laws (a word @Mervin_Bitikofer dislikes.)
Since we can’t know what happened in the ancient time, we use our discoveries of the modern things to understand the Bible or decide if the stories in the Bible true or false.

Then you can see the obvious difference.

Except their teaching thoughts. lol

gmt, sometimes reading what you write, I think you are trolling everyone, then at others I think you are asking the questions I asked. If in this forum,no one can teach you anything, then you will learn nothing and no new view will be obtained, and no dents in your intellectual position will be found. That line of logic makes me think you are trolling us. Someone interesting in finding answers in my experience will go look and research any new suggestions that are made to them. Haven’t seen that in you. But your questions are questions a lot of people ask, sadly you are unlikely to find answers here when everyone agrees with you that the Bible can’t be viewed historically, and I don’t mean the young-earth kind of make believe historicity. Any way good luck to you in your searches, if in deed you are actually searching. Im just about to get off this forum and go do other things for a while.

I haven’t seen any real argument from you in this thread. Calling me names isn’t an argument. Is that something from your faith?

“Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” -Colossians 4:6

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