Sunday, March 20, 2011

Inerrancy of the Bible

Fundamentalists have long held that the Bible is the 'true word of God'.  They insist that the Bible is without error.  It's painful at times to listen to the twisted and convoluted ways that they will explain and apologise for obvious 'errors' in the Bible.  These 'errors' may simply be scientific errors. The Bible was written before Copernicus.  The astronomy of the day was scientifically in error.  Perhaps the world revolved around the Sun back then and the sun rose rather than as we know today the 'earth' rises.  Perhaps the inconsistencies between the Gospels themselves weren't errors in observations or interpretation.
Yesterday is gone and the world of the Bible may well have been magical.  Alternatively though the Bible is clearly inspired truth, the world is a sinful place, a place of error by it's very nature. The joy of the Bible is perhaps that if it is read with prayer the truth about the Spiritual world, the nature of God, the true nature of this World, may be understood.
William Hordern in New Directions in Theology Today, 1966 stated "To both the Fundamentalist and the non conservative, it often seems that the new conservative is trying to say, "The Bible is inerrant, but of course this does not mean that it is without error."  Historically there was a lot of 'cherry picking' of the Bible.  One line was used to justify all manner of rude and inhuman carrying on.  Biblical study today encourages one to see individual parts of the Bible in terms of the whole.
Jesus said the whole of scripture could be summed up, "Love God and Love your neighbour as yourself."  This seems a central key.  Anything that seems to contradict this must be seriously challenged.  Anything that coincides with this central message of truth is by association true.  The Bible was written not as an historical text, a scientific text, a novel, a psychology, a sociology or any lesser part aspect of man's existence. It was written as a Holy Book. It is a book about God and man's relationship with God. Given the billions of people who have come closer to God thanks to this Holy Book, it's doing it's job.  The Bible doesn't err but men, such as I, certainly do.

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