Scripture Doesn't Have to Be Infallible to Be True


#1

I’ve never spent much time worrying that the scriptures were perfectly drafted. A misplaced comma, run-on sentence, or misspelling in scripture didn’t mean it was not God’s word. The Bible was not handed down on golden tablets with no errors. God let his people deliver the message. Have your kids helped you wash the car? You surely don’t enlist their help to expedite the process, or to make the end product better than if you had done it alone. By including them in the process, it usually takes longer with a big mess to clean up. And the car still won’t be nearly as clean as if you had done it alone. If you can do it better by yourself, then why do you include your kids in the process? You do it for their benefit so they can share in a positive experience with you. The same holds true with God - He carried a message to men. He let them write it down so that they could share in a positive experience. This is true even if man may have made some mistakes writing down God’s word. What matters is that man, mistakes and all, was able to communicate the gist of what God wanted said.
God wants us to be part of the process, not just onlookers. Do you honestly think that God needs our help to preach his gospel to the world? Would people have actually missed out on heaven if Billy Graham had decided to become a mechanic rather than a preacher? Does God actually need your prayers to change things? Of course not. He has incorporated us into the process; he could have done things much better without our participation. What good would it do if a father took his son’s place every turn at bat in his Little League games? In reality, if the father completely dominated his son’s life, doing everything for him, what would be the point of his son’s life? Yes, God could print the Bible on tablets of gold, let them dangle in mid-air for all to read, and never let we humans participate a single iota in the entire process. We would have apparent perfection, but we’d also have a situation comparable to the son sitting on the bench while Dad swings the bat. God let his children get involved even if the product they produced had some minor errors. ’


#2

Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods? If he called them gods, unto whom the word of God came, and the scripture cannot be broken; Say ye of him, whom the Father hath sanctified, and sent into the world, Thou blasphemest; because I said, I am the Son of God? (John 10.34-36)

Is this broken?


#3

I see no inconsistency. If I wrote to you today and told you that “The Boston Red Socks” won the World Series, would this message be any less true since I incorrectly spelled “Socks” rather than “Sox?” No. The issue is whether the crux of the message is conveyed, not whether it was done so in the Queen’s English.


#4

The Bible was not handed down on golden tablets with no errors. God let his people deliver the message. Have your kids helped you wash the car? You surely don’t enlist their help to expedite the process, or to make the end product better than if you had done it alone. By including them in the process, it usually takes longer with a big mess to clean up. And the car still won’t be nearly as clean as if you had done it alone. If you can do it better by yourself, then why do you include your kids in the process? You do it for their benefit so they can share in a positive experience with you. The same holds true with God - He carried a message to men. He let them write it down so that they could share in a positive experience. This is true even if man may have made some mistakes writing down God’s word. What matters is that man, mistakes and all, was able to communicate the gist of what God wanted said.

God wants us to be part of the process, not just onlookers.  Do you honestly think that God needs our help to preach his gospel to the world? Would people have actually missed out on heaven if Billy Graham had decided to become a mechanic rather than a preacher?   Does God actually need your prayers to change things? Of course not.  He has incorporated us into the process; he could have done things much better without our participation.  What good would it do if a father took his son’s place every turn at bat in his Little League games?  In reality, if the father completely dominated his son’s life, doing everything for him, what would be the point of his son’s life? Yes, God could print the Bible on tablets of gold, let them dangle in mid-air for all to read, and never let we humans participate a single iota in the entire process. We would have apparent perfection, but we’d also have a situation comparable to the son sitting on the bench while Dad swings the bat. God let his children get involved even if the product they produced had some minor errors.

#5

just to mention that this poster’s book is essentially Protestant. The thoughts on Communion are hostile to Communion and don’t understand the need for repentance of sin of prior to receiving Communion, that is receiving the Lord with a pure heart.
There are other things at issue with Catholic teaching.

“Do you honestly think that God needs our help to preach his gospel to the world?” this poster asks.
Jesus commanded us to preach the Gospel
Mark 16:15

15** He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.**

This writer in his book teaches that Communion is a 'meal of doom"

**Contrary to this poster’s horror of asking pardon for our sins before receiving Jesus in Holy Communion, the Church teaches.
1385 To respond to this invitation we must prepare ourselves for so great and so holy a moment. St. Paul urges us to examine our conscience: "Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of profaning the body and blood of the Lord. Let a man examine himself, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For any one who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment upon himself."218 Anyone conscious of a grave sin must receive the sacrament of Reconciliation before coming to communion. **
vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p2s2c1a3.htm

1 Corinthians 11:27 So then, whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord. 28 Everyone ought to examine themselves before they eat of the bread and drink from the cup. 29 For those who eat and drink without discerning the body of Christ eat and drink judgment on themselves.


#6

This is almost in line with Jewish thought. In fact, Judaism believes that G-d intentionally created the universe incomplete so that He could enlist human aid in repairing it, filling in the holes, so to speak. I say “almost” in line because although the Written Torah may have gaps which need to be interpreted by means of the Oral Torah (Talmud) and, for some, the Kabbalah, and there is room for more than one interpretation in certain matters, the idea of errors in the Bible is not part of Jewish thought.


#7

:rolleyes:

You think God couldn’t assure that His helpers wouldn’t err? Sure, if my children and I clean the car, I don’t have the power to assure they do everything, but God has way more power than I do.


#8

To address any false ideas of scriptures, the bible, being the inspired by God.
You again are not in line with Catholic teaching:
vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p1s1c2a3.htm

II. INSPIRATION AND TRUTH OF SACRED SCRIPTURE

105 God is the author of Sacred Scripture. "The divinely revealed realities, which are contained and presented in the text of Sacred Scripture, have been written down under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit."69

"For Holy Mother Church, relying on the faith of the apostolic age, accepts as sacred and canonical the books of the Old and the New Testaments, whole and entire, with all their parts, on the grounds that, written under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, they have God as their author, and have been handed on as such to the Church herself."70

106 God inspired the human authors of the sacred books. "To compose the sacred books, God chose certain men who, all the while he employed them in this task, made full use of their own faculties and powers so that, though he acted in them and by them, it was as true authors that they consigned to writing whatever he wanted written, and no more."71

107 The inspired books teach the truth. "Since therefore all that the inspired authors or sacred writers affirm should be regarded as affirmed by the Holy Spirit, we must acknowledge that the books of Scripture firmly, faithfully, and without error teach that truth which God, for the sake of our salvation, wished to see confided to the Sacred Scriptures."72

108 Still, the Christian faith is not a “religion of the book.” Christianity is the religion of the “Word” of God, a word which is “not a written and mute word, but the Word is incarnate and living”.73 If the Scriptures are not to remain a dead letter, Christ, the eternal Word of the living God, must, through the Holy Spirit, "open [our] minds to understand the Scriptures."74

III. THE HOLY SPIRIT, INTERPRETER OF SCRIPTURE

109 In Sacred Scripture, God speaks to man in a human way. To interpret Scripture correctly, the reader must be attentive to what the human authors truly wanted to affirm, and to what God wanted to reveal to us by their words.75

110 In order to discover the sacred authors’ intention, the reader must take into account the conditions of their time and culture, the literary genres in use at that time, and the modes of feeling, speaking and narrating then current. "For the fact is that truth is differently presented and expressed in the various types of historical writing, in prophetical and poetical texts, and in other forms of literary expression."76

111 But since Sacred Scripture is inspired, there is another and no less important principle of correct interpretation, without which Scripture would remain a dead letter. "Sacred Scripture must be read and interpreted in the light of the same Spirit by whom it was written."77

The Second Vatican Council indicates three criteria for interpreting Scripture in accordance with the Spirit who inspired it.78

112 1. Be especially attentive “to the content and unity of the whole Scripture”. Different as the books which compose it may be, Scripture is a unity by reason of the unity of God’s plan, of which Christ Jesus is the center and heart, open since his Passover.79

The phrase "heart of Christ" can refer to Sacred Scripture, which makes known his heart, closed before the Passion, as the Scripture was obscure. But the Scripture has been opened since the Passion; since those who from then on have understood it, consider and discern in what way the prophecies must be interpreted.80

113 2. Read the Scripture within “the living Tradition of the whole Church”. According to a saying of the Fathers, Sacred Scripture is written principally in the Church’s heart rather than in documents and records, for the Church carries in her Tradition the living memorial of God’s Word, and it is the Holy Spirit who gives her the spiritual interpretation of the Scripture (". . . according to the spiritual meaning which the Spirit grants to the Church"81).

114 3. Be attentive to the analogy of faith.82 By “analogy of faith” we mean the coherence of the truths of faith among themselves and within the whole plan of Revelation.


#9

Many people picture heaven in perfect symmetry, with straight lines and mathematically precise structures, pathways, and palaces. Perfection. But, exactly what is perfection? When we look at nature, we tend to see things that don’t really match. No two trees or rocks are the same. A solitary palm tree may grow on an island in the South Pacific. A group of large rocks, with many different sizes, shapes, and colors may be gathered together in the Grand Canyon (a giant hole that has crooked lines). The trees in the Redwood forest are majestic, but none of them are the same size, shape, or height. A field of flowers is incredibly brilliant to the eyes, but they aren’t lined up in balanced rows. Perfection in nature is almost always the opposite of what man deems perfection. Have you ever seen the Empire State building? Half Dome in Yosemite? Which is more mathematically and technically correct in its construction? Which has the straighter lines? But which is more beautiful?
Our version of perfection and God’s are entirely different. Some express dismay if scripture has been imperfectly transcribed from one generation to the next. However, God thinks that apparent errors are actually things of beauty, as evidenced by nature. He has let his children write down the message into scripture and deliver it. He is not concerned if somebody misspelled a word along the way, no more than if your child misspells the word “luv”. The heart of God’s message is completely conveyed in the scriptures, even if his children make occasional errors.


#10

Actually, it might be said that there are many thousands of books that communicate “the gist” of what God wants. I am not clear why you find it hard to believe that out of the probably hundreds of millions of books written by humans, the omnipotent and omniscient God would be stymied by “his children” to the point that a mere 73 of them couldn’t be completely faithful to his inspiration. I would think that God could manage that kind of output even considering the human frailties and follies he would need to circumvent.

Or perhaps God put into Scripture what, on the surface, appear to be errors, but in actuality are not, in order to make us think a little deeper and less rigidly concerning what the truth is.

I have this premonition that your book will contain some spelling errors. :wink:


#11

That was good! Ha, ha.

The gist of the chapter that I wrote on “Imperfect Scripture” stemmed from an interview I heard on the radio with an atheist, Victor Buglioso (he was the prosecutor in the Charles Manson trial). He was comparing two passages of scripture which he felt contradicted each other and, therefore, proved that scripture was not inspired by God. After all, how could a book inspired by God possibly have scrivener’s errors? Buglioso surmised that the foretelling of the virgin birth was contradicted. He felt that Isaiah 7:14 did not suggest that a virgin would give birth to Christ, and, therefore, was in material contradiction to Matthew 1:22-23 which suggested otherwise. In the chapter, I showed how he was incorrect. I then went on to state that God’s word is his word, even if his children created some scrivener’s errors along the way. That may seem anathema to some, but I laid out a pretty good argument to the contrary.


closed #12

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