Bible Questions

Hey guys-
I work with this guy who is always asking me questions on the Bible, about how wrong it is and so I thought y’all could help me since I think the world of you guys. So here they are…

  1. Is there any other proof, other than the bible, like other historical evidence of Gods miracles? (like the killing of all the first born, etc…)

  2. How was it that Noah fit 2 of every species on his ark, if there were millions of creatures around? He says the ark would have had to been over 3 football field lengths long.

  3. Where did cain get his wife?

  4. If the bible is the truth, why is it called a version?

  5. How is it that if I tell someone a story and they were to tell someone else, by the time it went through 30 people the story wounld be completly different. So how can you believe the stories in the bible are accurate?

Thanks guys for all your help!:slight_smile:

  1. Is there any other proof, other than the bible, like other historical evidence of Gods miracles? (like the killing of all the first born, etc…)
  2. How was it that Noah fit 2 of every species on his ark, if there were millions of creatures around? He says the ark would have had to been over 3 football field lengths long.
  3. Where did cain get his wife?
  4. If the bible is the truth, why is it called a version?
  5. How is it that if I tell someone a story and they were to tell someone else, by the time it went through 30 people the story wounld be completly different. So how can you believe the stories in the bible are accurate?

First, you need to know what the church teaches on this subject, because a few simple statements cover most of what you are asking. The definitive statements are contained in Dei Verbum - The Dogmatic Constitution On Divine Revelation, published by Pope Paul VI on November 18, 1965:

12. However, since God speaks in Sacred Scripture through men in human fashion, (6) the interpreter of Sacred Scripture, in order to see clearly what God wanted to communicate to us, should carefully investigate what meaning the sacred writers really intended, and what God wanted to manifest by means of their words.

To search out the intention of the sacred writers, attention should be given, among other things, to “literary forms.” For truth is set forth and expressed differently in texts which are variously historical, prophetic, poetic, or of other forms of discourse. The interpreter must investigate what meaning the sacred writer intended to express and actually expressed in particular circumstances by using contemporary literary forms in accordance with the situation of his own time and culture. (7) For the correct understanding of what the sacred author wanted to assert, due attention must be paid to the customary and characteristic styles of feeling, speaking and narrating which prevailed at the time of the sacred writer, and to the patterns men normally employed at that period in their everyday dealings with one another. (8)

Thus you can see that the truth is being taught in ways other than history: “variously historical, prophetic, poetic, or of other forms of discourse.” As is said above, it is the intended meaning that is important, not the historical setting, and the stories are written to teach truths “… expressed in particular circumstances by using contemporary literary forms in accordance with the situation of his own time and culture.”

You asked about the killing of the first born. This is part of Matthew’s infancy narrative which is a well-known "literary form" in the ancient world. Drawing upon both biblical tradition and Jewish stories, Matthew portrays Jesus as reliving the Exodus experience of Israel and the persecutions of Moses. His rejection by his own people and his passion are foreshadowed by the troubled reaction of “all Jerusalem” to the question of the magi who are seeking the “newborn king of the Jews”, and by Herod’s attempt to have him killed. The magi who do him homage prefigure the Gentiles who will accept the preaching of the gospel. This is not history - it is Matthew’s attempt to paint a picture of the origins of the divine Christ.

The other question, about versions of the bible, is also interesting. There are many versions because there is no single source for any part of the bible. The text that every translator works from is made up of bits and pieces of hundreds of manuscripts, all of which are different and all of which were edited and corrected by the authors and their copyists. As new manuscripts are found and as knowledge of ancient languages and customs is enhanced, new translations are made. It seems unfortunate the God didn’t “inspire” anyone to save an original copy of any of the gospels but maybe we just haven’t found them yet.

Hi,

I will try and answer some of your questions:

  1. How was it that Noah fit 2 of every species on his ark, if there were millions of creatures around? He says the ark would have had to been over 3 football field lengths long.

O.k first off lets look at the size of all the animals, the majority are going to be big, now lets look at the same animals when they are young; you see they are a lot smaller than their adult sizes. Also it is possible that some animals were taken on as eggs, sea birds could have flown and fish could have swimmed; all that was required was two of each animal, male and female not two of each breed of animal. The ark was plenty big enough as it measurments were 300x50x30 cubits (Genesis 6:15), which is about 140x23x13.5 metres or 459x75x44 feet, so its volume was 43,500 m3 (cubic metres) or 1.54 million cubic feet.

  1. Where did cain get his wife?

Adam and Eve had many sons and daughters, and Cain’s wife would be one of Adam and Eve’s daughters Genesis 5:4 (After he begot Seth, the days of Adam were eight hundred years; and he had sons and daughters).

If your work colleague would take time to read the Bible, they will find a lot of answers in there.

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