Is Total Acceptance of The Bible Deserved?

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It is only a certain collection of Christians (the Fundamentalists) who maintain that ALL of the Bible originated with God. Adherence to this belief is unwarranted for at least four reasons;

(1) It is not claimed within the Bible itself;

(2) It is an unworthy attitude;

(3) It is not self-consistent;

(4) It is logically impossible.

(1) … The Bible nowhere names itself. The word “Bible” is not in the Bible. Sixty-six books have been bound as one without any divine command to do so. Compare, for example, the opening of the book of Jonah: “The word of the LORD came to Jonah the son of Amittai saying …” and the opening remarks of the writer of the third gospel account: “… it seemed fitting for me … to write it out… ,” (NEW AMERICAN BIBLE). The first book claims divine inspiration, while the second author makes no such claim.

By trading on the vagueness of the words “scripture” and “book” the Fundamentalists try to make a case for the Bible’s total inspiration. For example, they quote 2 Timothy 3:16 where Paul wrote to Timothy, “… all scripture is inspired of God …” In the first place, it still remains to establish the authority of Paul … did he speak for God here? But the real trickery is in the isolation of this verse. In the sentence before this Paul indicated what he considered as scripture, namely, that which Timothy studied as a child. When Timothy was a child the last twenty seven books of the Bible had not been written.

The antepenultimate verse of today’s Bible seems to conclude the whole of the Bible, as it warns against adding or subtracting contents in “this book”. However. “this book” can only refer to this last book of the Bible and not to the Bible itself. The reason is clear: Any Christian reference will acknowledge that other books of the Bible were written after this one, that is, the last book in today’s Bible was not the last one written. In fact, exactly which books should form the contents of the Bible was still being debated three hundred years after Jesus.

(2) … The official position of Fundamentalist churches is really a modification of the blunt statement: “The Bible is the perfect word of God.” While they consider the modification only slight, it is actually ruinous. They say that the Bible is “inerrant in the original manuscripts”. If all contradictions in the Bible could be explained away as misunderstandings, why would they rely on this excuse? By taking this position they admit to errors in the Bible. These are said to be only small copying errors made over the centuries as the scriptures were recopied. They have disregarded the advice of Jesus who said that carelessness in the little things means carelessness in large matters (Luke 16:10). Yet the unworthy statement about today’s Bible is really: “The Bible contains small mistakes but no big ones.”

(3) … There are abundant copying errors in the Bible, the conflicting statistics of Ezra 2:5 and Nehemiah 7:10, for example. On the one hand the Fundamentalist admits this to be the case and excuses it as a minor copying error. On the other hand, he puts his trust in the statement of Isaiah 40:8 which says, “The word of our God stands forever.” This verse does not go on to accept minor details due to flaws in the transcription of His word. According to this verse, if God says it, it does not get lost. But mistakes of transcription means something of the original has been lost. It is inconsistent to excuse error and simultaneously disallow error. The only solution is to drop the notion of total divine inspiration of the Bible.

(4) … Total inspiration is illogical because it is both disavowed and disproved within the Bible. At 1 Corinthians 7:25 the Bible writer specifically says that he is about to make a statement which did not originate with God … inspiration is disavowed. In the first chapter of Titus we have a counter example which disproves total divine inspiration. Paul quoted the famous Epimenides paradox, specifying that the speaker himself was a Cretan: “Cretans are always liars …”. He then says that the man spoke the truth. But when the statement is spoken by a Cretan it is definitely not true. If it was true then at least once, a Cretan was not a liar, in which case the statement is false. The conclusion is the denial of the assumption, so the statement is not true. The writer Paul at least on this occasion, was without divine guidance for he did not discern this subtlety.

Dr. Gary Miller “A concise reply to Christianity – a Muslim view”

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Categories: Bible, Christianity

40 replies

  1. ‘(1) It is not claimed within the Bible itself’

    Very true. Most Christians do not realise this. Those that do either don’t care, or, like Ken, practice dishonest intellectual gymnastics which persuade no one but themselves.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. “Bible” comes from the Greek word, βιβλος – papyrus leaves rolled up; scroll. Eventually, the modern meaning of “Book” replaced that original.

    There was no such thing as a “codex” or book with a binding in the first century. The primitive form of a codex (loose sheets tied together) only began in middle of second century onward, and even then, was not common. Many scholars see the Christians of the early centuries as the inventors / popularizers of what eventually became what we know today as “book”.

    They were all individual scrolls in the first century.

    the early church (0-600 AD) and the Roman Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox understood and today still understands those 27 books as “God-breathed” Scriptures γραφη – graphe , so the charge against only modern “fundamentalists” is flawed.

    Scholar Michael Kruger’s books on the canon refutes Gary Miller’s flawed analysis.

    At the time of Jesus, the TaNakh was not a book either yet; they were individual scrolls, one of them was the “Twelve” (the minor prophets). (see Luke 11:51-52; 24:25-27; 32; 44-47), but they are still treated by Jesus as a unified whole of revelation.

    The criticism of the NT has to be applied to the OT as well, in order for you to be consistent.

    But the church is built upon the prophets and apostles (Ephesians 2:19-20), both OT and NT writings. 1 Corinthians chapters 1-2; 1 Thessalonians and 2 Thess. and Galatians 1:6-9 show that the apostle understood his writings as authoritative divine Scripture.

    Jesus said that the apostles would be lead into all the truth – John 14:26; 15:26; 16:12-13, etc. The writing down of that truth preserved the truth for future generations.

    https://www.amazon.com/Canon-Revisited-Establishing-Authority-Testament/dp/1433505002

    Even the Qur’an affirmed all of the NT, since there was no other true gospel from 100-632 AD. The Qur’an is ignorant, but sincerely thought the book of the Christians was inspired and revelation.
    Surah 10:94; 5:47; 5:68; 29:46; 2:136

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  3. 1 Corinthians 7:10 and 25 is not saying it is not revelation; rather the apostle is just saying he is not quoting from Jesus in his earthly life – the issue did not come up and is not in the gospels.

    Paul is giving new revelation.

    He affirms that the Spirit of God is guiding him in his writings. I Cor. 7:40

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    • Why do you accuse of “dishonesty” when it is merely the sincere Christian believe and theology ?

      You need to learn from Abdullah Kunde or the other Muslims I listed who don’t use ad homimen arguments.

      you don’t follow Surah 29:46.

      Shame on you for not obeying the Qur’an.

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    • You seem to be confusing ad hominem attacks with argumentum ad hominem. Not necessarily the same thing.

      The Qur’ān is ignorant? There’s no actual indication that إنجيل in the Qur’ān refers to your canonical Gospels or any of your New Testament. But I’m sure you’re familiar with all that. More confusion on your part? Dishonesty? (See, I’m asking not accusing so you can’t accuse me of ad hominem whatever. Lol.)

      Also, how did Michael Kruger’s books refute Dr. Miller’s analysis? His analysis is on modern Christians’ claims, but there you go talking about “in Jesus’ (`alayhi salām) time.” So… apples and oranges on your part rather than on Dr. Miller’s.

      Oh well, underwhelming everything as usual…

      Liked by 1 person

    • I love it when Ken tells Muslims to follow the Quran!

      Liked by 4 people

    • I don’t. When Christians play that game I tend to facepalm hard enough that I think maybe I’ve momentarily lost my mind and forgotten that it’s my own face I’m palming.

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    • “they quote 2 Timothy 3:16 where Paul wrote to Timothy, “… all scripture is inspired of God …” In the first place, it still remains to establish the authority of Paul … did he speak for God here? But the real trickery is in the isolation of this verse. In the sentence before this Paul indicated what he considered as scripture, namely, that which Timothy studied as a child. When Timothy was a child the last twenty seven books of the Bible had not been written.”

      OUCH!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Paul was already established as an apostle of Christ for 600 years before Islam. Your own name probably is based on that western Christian tradition. It is an amazing ploy for Islam to try and go back and claim some kind of hijacking between Jesus and Paul, when Jesus claimed He was God in the flesh and was crucified and dead and rose from the dead and you even affirmed Matthew and so Matthew chapters 26, 27, and 28 proves Islam is false.

      2 Tim. 3:15 is about the OT Scriptures that Timothy learned as a child, yes.

      Then Paul expands it to “all Scripture” in verse 16.

      And the Qur’an affirms the NT – Surah 10:94; 5:47; 5:68; 29:46

      ouch!

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    • Paul was not a follower of Jesus. He never met him! There you go making no sense by claiming God died. You never learn!

      The NT was not finally canonised till the 4th century – so it was impossible for Paul to be writing about your NT.

      The Quran, of course, refers to the gospel given to Jesus. Your 4 gospels were written long after Jesus.

      This is history 101 dude!

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    • I trust Acts chapter 9, 22, and 26 that Jesus did reveal Himself to the apostle Paul. Also Galatians chapters 1-2 and I Cor. 15 – Luke the author of Acts, whom you also affirm a lot, affirms the apostolic ministry of Paul. Jesus laid the foundation for the NT in John 14:26; 15:26; 16:12-13

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    • Paul said he had a “vision”. He never met the flesh & blood Jesus the apostles knew. Paul’s teaching contradicts that of Jesus on many fundamental religious issues. Ergo Paul was a fake. Luke never met Jesus either.

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    • Muhammad never met Jesus and was ignorant of Him as He really is. Your prophet came 600 years too late and got history wrong.

      Surah 4:157 proves Allah did not inspire Qur’an since it even denies basic established history for 600 years.

      THAT is history 101 !!

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    • as one of your top Christian philosophers (John Hick) once said : it is impossible to disprove the Quran’s claim that it appeared to them that Jesus was crucified. What else would history record?

      Liked by 1 person

    • that’s what makes it so goofy – it is a bare claim out of thin air that when it comes to history, if you cannot even get evidence that proves otherwise; you know something is rotten in Denmark. it does not pass the smell test. The details of Matthew 26, 27, 28; Mark 14, 15, 16:1-8; Luke 22, 23, 24, and John 18, 19, 20, 21 are overwhelming and crush the Islamic goofy out of thin air claim.

      Like

    • all those refernce no one will ever read..

      Liked by 1 person

    • That’s right . . . don’t read those chapters folks . . . stay ignorant . . .

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    • “The details of Matthew 26, 27, 28; Mark 14, 15, 16:1-8; Luke 22, 23, 24, and John 18, 19, 20, 21 are overwhelming and crush the Islamic goofy out of thin air claim.”

      hey ken, here are some powerful evidences not to trust the details mentioned in the gospels

      http://www.patheos.com/blogs/secularoutpost/2015/11/20/response-to-william-lane-craig-index/

      Like

    • “The secular Outpost” says it all. No Muslim should use their worldview or presuppositions. They seek to destroy your religion also.

      Like

    • “The secular Outpost” says it all. No Muslim should use their worldview or presuppositions. They seek to destroy your religion also.”

      the good news is that your “history 101” is taking a nailing.

      Like

    • lol ; your egg nog is rotten and smelly and nut-meg has spoiled

      Like

    • even christians agree

      John Thomas • a year ago
      Totally agree with you there. There is no indication for Jesus being nailed to the cross in any of the synoptic gospels. Doubting Thomas story in gospel of John is the only one which alludes to it, but it could well be a later addition. Piercing on the side with spear is also not found in the synoptic gospels. If I am a historian, I will go with earlier gospel sources rather than gospel of John.

      http://www.patheos.com/blogs/secularoutpost/2015/12/12/response-to-william-lane-craig-part-8/

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  4. That Gary Miller… wow… what a brain.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. “I trust Acts chapter 9, 22, and 26 that Jesus did reveal Himself to the apostle Paul.”

    yet we know according to this same guy people were having revelations which gave a different christ. who curses people out for preaching different christs if such a problem did not exist in his time? it clearly did and his ghost christ gave a pagan message which was unknown to the apostles. so he persecuted them and try to force down pagan message in to their minds.

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  6. Surah 4:157 proves Allah did not inspire Qur’an since it even denies basic established history for 600 years.
    THAT is history 101 !!”

    quote :
    But when he who had set me apart before I was born, and had called me through his grace, 16 was pleased to reveal his Son to me, in order that I might preach him among the Gentiles, I did not confer with flesh and blood, 17 nor did I go up to Jerusalem to those who were apostles before me, but I went away into Arabia; and again I returned to Damascus. (Galatians 1:15-17)

    Notice here, he says Jesus “revealed himself in me,” not that he was taught anything. He says he “did not confer with flesh and blood” after his experience, or talk to any Apostles, but went to Arabia for three years. He then says he went to Jerusalem, but still says he never told them what he as preaching until another 14 years after that.

    Not once does he say he was taught anything by other people, but consistently denies that. he also calls himself “an Apostle not from men nor through man, but through Jesus Christ and God the Father” (Gal. 1:1).

    He also say the Apostles in Jerusalem “are nothing to me” and has no problem teaching a message that is counter to their own when it comes to the necessity of the law for converts.
    I just don’t see how scholars are so eager to envision Paul learning at the feet of other Christians when that runs counter to everything else he says and to his own personality as far as it can be seen from his own words.

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  7. “The details of Matthew 26, 27, 28; Mark 14, 15, 16:1-8; Luke 22, 23, 24, and John 18, 19, 20, 21 are overwhelming and crush the Islamic goofy out of thin air claim.”

    a lot of people think you are goofy

    quote:

    Why would they write of an an insurrection in the 30s, when there was no Jewish insurrection in the 30s, and Tacitus furthermore states that under Tiberius all was quiet?

    Why would they describe the activity and crucifixion of robbers in the 30s, when Josephus doesn’t mention robbers even once between 6 and 44 CE?

    Why would they say that Theudas is already dead in the 30s, when he died 44-46 CE?

    Why would they speak of Pilate slaughtering Galileans, when he wasn’t even the ruler of Galilee?

    Why would the disciples have names like ”Bariona”, ”Boanerges” and ”the Zealot” in the quiet 30s? Why would they even have such names if their religious faction, as the Gospels suggest, was a peaceful one?

    Why would the New Testament describe relations between Jews and Samaritans as belligerent under Pilate, but not later, in Acts – when in fact the overt conflict between Jews and Samaritans was in 48 to 52 CE, i.e. a period covered by Acts.

    Simply put: The Gospel authors describe events that seem to depict the 40s and 50s, and yet they say that they are describing the 30s. Why would they make such simple mistakes, if they have the luxury of looking through a rear view mirror?

    then we have

    quote:

    And on top of that, the very idea that the crucifixion would have taken place during the Passover festival is completely absurd, beyond all realm of realistic possibility. The fact that this hasn’t been more widely questioned and itself undermined the whole story is beyond me. The Jews didn’t execute people during Passover, period. That never ever would have happened, and the fact that all of the Gospel writers just copy that narrative down from “Mark” (who was clearly placing the crucifixion on Passover for symbolic and ironic impact) shows that the other Gospel writers had no clue at all of what they were even talking about. They had absolutely no knowledge at all of any real life or death of this supposed person.

    quote:
    What happened to the gospel quoted by Ignatius that says no one witnessed the crucifixion of Jesus, and that his existence was only known upon his resurrection, by a shining star in the sky

    quote :

    If Ignatius were truly concerned only with those who deny the physical suffering of Jesus, why not just say “Stop your ears therefore when anyone speaks to you who stands apart from Jesus Christ, from David’s scion and Mary’s son, who was really born and ate and drank, really persecuted, really crucified and died while heaven and earth and the underworld looked on.”?

    No, the addition of the clause “by Pontius Pilate” serves to contextualize these deeds in a given time and place – and since this contextualization is in the midst of rejections of heresies, it may be interpreted as rejecting another heresy.

    To better contextualize the reference to Pilate as rejecting a heresy, consider the reference to “David’s scion and Mary’s son”. There were docetists, such as Marcion, who denied that Jesus was either of these things. So this clause can correctly be understood as a rebuttal of such views. Why not consider the Pilate clause to be a similar rejection of docetism which did not associate Jesus with Pilate?

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  8. “At 1 Corinthians 7:25 the Bible writer specifically says that he is about to make a statement which did not originate with God … inspiration is disavowed.”

    This says it all. The critique is refuting a straw man. Classic case of a Muslim looking at theBible with Muslim goggles.

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  9. I wonder what Mozer’s take is on Ezra 2 v Nehemiah 7?

    It is not copying errors. There are possible natural explanations to explain the difference. I have chosen one of them which occurs to me.

    I wonder what Mozer thinks when Muslims are trashing his scriptures, the OT, as happens many times on this blog?

    Does his desire to identify with Muslims trump his desire to defend the integrity of his scriptures?

    Judging by his silence I would say he is willing to throw his own scriptures under the bus to be ideologically pally with Muslims.

    As to the claim # (1) It is not claimed within the Bible itself;

    I would reply that many human beings live and die without claiming to be such. Does that mean that they were not human beings? If a thing possesses the attributes belonging to it does it need the additional attribute of claiming to be that thing? If a thing is not recognized to be such that is the fault of the observer is it not, not the thing itself?

    I am still waiting for a Muslim, or anyone else for that matter, to prove that there are errors in my bible, the KJV. Apparent contradictions are there of course because the bible goes in to amazing detail. As soon as Islam wanders in to the realm of historical details it admits it’s own inability to do so by attaching degrees of confidence to it’s efforts, i.e. strong and weak hadiths.

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    • “my bible” …

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    • questions, questions, questions…

      Like

    • Madmanna,
      I think throughout history, Jews themselves have analyzed and questioned their own scriptures more than anyone else. So I don’t think that Jews are too concerned about what other people might think or say about their texts as they seem to be confident in their own scriptural understanding and beliefs. Fundamentalist Christians on the other hand seem to be super-sensitive to any criticism, as they fear it may unravel the house of cards which they have built upon the weak foundations of their own reinterpretation of Jewish texts.

      In regard to Mozer, it is not necessary for him to “throw his scripture under the bus” in order to be “pally with Muslims.” I think that he clearly sees and understands that there is a lot in common theologically between Judaism and Islam, (morals, values, behavior, lifestyle, practice, beliefs, etc). In contrast, in order to gain the acceptance of many highly disagreeable Christians, he would have to totally reinterpret and demolish his own scripture, which I am sure those Christians would love to see him do. In my interactions with him he seems to be more than willing to politely explain differences in Jewish beliefs and scriptural interpretation, while at the same time having courage to honestly recognize areas of mutual agreement. I think this is well and good, and it is the least of what the Qur’an calls on all people from the Abrahamic faith to do:

      Say, “O People of the Scripture, come to a word that is equitable between us and you – that we will not worship except Allah and not associate anything with Him and not take one another as lords instead of Allah.” But if they turn away, then say, “Bear witness that we are Muslims [submitting to Him].” (Qur’an 3:64).

      Unfortunately, many fundamentalist Christians are unwilling and literally afraid to admit that we agree on anything at all, out of deep and abiding fear that it may undermine their innovated doctrines which were developed by fallible men long after the ascension of Prophet Jesus. The inability to agree on even the most basic teaching of Abrahamic Faith, illustrates how far Christians have strayed into misguidance.

      In regard what you refer to as “My Bible” which you further identify as being the “KJV” It is widely recognized in scholarly circles that it is often only extreme fundamentalist Christians who hold on with a tight “white knuckle grip” to the KJV as it seems to confirm traditional beliefs. However, this confirmation is illusory since modern Biblical scholarship has long ago proven this translation to be one of the poorer renderings of the original meanings of the earliest extent (not original autograph) Hebrew. Therefore, I wouldn’t put much faith in KJV. There are newer more accurate translations such as NRSV but there are still some problems with those translations as well. Glad you recognize that there are contradictions in your Bible, and you may want to look more closely at those as it may help you to understand what Modern NT Historical textual criticism has largely come to consensus on and that is to paraphrase the title of the original post

      – it is unwarranted to believe that ALL of the Bible originated from God.

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    • Madmanna,
      You said in regard to claim #1: ” I would reply that many human beings live and die without claiming to be such. Does that mean that they were not human beings? If a thing possesses the attributes belonging to it does it need the additional attribute of claiming to be that thing? If a thing is not recognized to be such that is the fault of the observer is it not, not the thing itself??”

      I say: What if a thing does NOT posses the necessary attributes to be what fundamentalist Christians claim it to be? What if the observer and major well known top scholars in the field of Biblical studies recognize and agree in large consensus that the Bible, and most especially the NT does NOT possess these necessary attributes? If the findings of modern Biblical scholarship are not recognized by a fundamentalist Christians isn’t that the fault of the fundamentalist Christians, not the scholars who studied the thing itself and declared that it does NOT posses the necessary attributes to be what fundamentalist Christians claim it to be?

      You said: “I am still waiting for a Muslim, or anyone else for that matter, to prove that there are errors in my bible, the KJV.”

      I say: Brother, just read a book! I highly recommend reading anything from Dr. Bart Ehrman; Robert Eisenman; James Dunne; John D. Crosson; Jeffery Butz; Bruce Metzger; and many others all of whom are shouting at you from the top of their lungs that “THERE ARE ERRORS IN THE BIBLE!!!” You must really be an arrogant “madman” to ignorantly think you know better than top Biblical scholars and ignore their findings.

      You don’t have to wait for a Muslim or a Jew to tell you anything about your book…….”Anyone else for that matter” (your own scholars) are telling you the following:

      – it is unwarranted to believe that ALL of the Bible originated from God.

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    • Madmanna seems to be a fundamentalist Literalist Christian accepting the Bible as inerrant definitive word of God. Here is an article I found on PW’s twitter feed. it is very informative and gives a great explanation of why it is that to pretend (as Madmanna does) that errors and disagreements don’t exist in the Bible is ignorant at best, and disingenuous at worst.

      http://www.patheos.com/blogs/unfundamentalistchristians/2016/12/bible-doesnt-clearly-say-anything/

      Liked by 1 person

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