The Infallible Word of God
Which Parts are Infallible?
We have seen that Paul is quite capable of misusing if not abusing Scripture to support a doctrine that has no other support. Before moving on to expose Paul for the false apostle he is, it would be good to interject at this point what the criterion should be for determining which portions of the Bible are the infallible word of God, and which ones are not.
All or nothing?
Much of Christianity works from the premise that the Bible as a whole is the infallible word of God. But no sooner does one begin to question some part of it than a Bible believing Christian indicates that to reject any one part of the Bible is to render the entire book irrelevant. The flow of logic supposes that if one part can be rejected, then it's open season to reject any part one doesn't like. Therefore the Bible as a whole is viewed as God's flawless revelation to man. While on the surface this logic sounds reasonable, it is not necessarily true. Besides calling for the reckless abandon of blind faith in a book, a practice that isn't any more credible than Islam's faith in the Koran, it is also interesting to note that in demanding this standard, Christianity has tied its own noose. There are atheists who would like to discredit the entire book, and there are many Jews who would like to discredit the New Testament. So if either group can demonstrate even one little error in the New Testament they both win by Christianity's own standards! Christian teachers need to come to grips with the fact that there are numerous significant errors that cannot be reconciled with the classic bend-over-backwards apologetics of the past. Visit any atheistic or Jewish anti-missionary website and brace yourself. By demonstrating error in the Bible, those opposed to God and Christianity have proven that the New Testament is no longer the infallible word of God. These now have legitimate grounds on which to continue rejecting the truth that the Bible does contain. Christianity has to a large degree handed them this logic and win on a silver platter. Speaking for myself, I no longer begin with the premise that the Bible is infallible cover to cover. Blind faith in any book is dangerous. But what I believe to be the truth is far more objective than being a simple matter of picking and choosing what suits any particular fancy. Here are the presuppositions that I work from;
The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel is the one true Most High God, and the creator of the heavens and earth.
His word is truth, and it can be found in the books of Moses, and the prophets, as well as in the words of Yeshua. What these men actually said never conflicts with the others. Yeshua's words would be the same as those found in red in a red-letter edition Bible.
The truth will always be consistent with itself with no contradictions. It is therefore assumed, that in the rare cases when contradiction is found, it is due to man's influence over the centuries. These contradictions are almost never more than one passage standing against numerous others, and the favor always goes with the majority.
More errors in the New Testament
When it comes to the words of other writers in the Bible, there is still much truth that can be extracted from them. But they are subject to error and must be held accountable to the truth established in Moses, the Prophets, and Yeshua. This includes the narrative parts of Gospels as well. The authors of the gospels regularly interjected their own commentaries and recollections that have on occasion proven to be in error. For example, the author of the book of Matthew regularly made an attempt to connect events in Yeshua's life with prophecies from the Hebrew Bible. Though he made a number of accurate connections, he also made a number of inaccurate ones. The first three times he attempted to make a connection he erred, and used a text that had absolutely nothing to do with Yeshua. His first mistake was in quoting an Isaiah prophecy which supposedly concerned Yeshua's virgin birth. There are a number of good reasons to continue to believe Yeshua was born of a virgin, but Isaiah 7:14 is not one of them. This passage has absolutely nothing to do with a virgin or Yeshua! Jews know that the Hebrew word translated "virgin" in Isaiah 7:14 in Christian Bibles carries no connotation of virginity, but is often used in reference to a young married woman. In its full context, this passage is clearly speaking of Isaiah's wife. See Isaiah 7:10 - 8:10. This is only one of several blunders made by the author of Matthew. Knowing this, the Jews have legitimate grounds to discount the Gospels altogether. If Christianity hadn't held out for all-or-nothing infallibility, it maybe wouldn't have ended up with nothing in the eyes of many Jews.
The narrative parts of the gospels concerning
events surrounding Yeshua's words could still be considered as reliable as reading a news paper today. One can obtain many
facts and much truth from the news paper without anyone considering it word of
God. But there are the occasional
misunderstandings as well as editorials and commentary that depart significantly from the
truth. Yet we read it for the truth we can still get from it.
Can't God protect His word?
Another common argument suggest that if God is God, He has protected His word and kept it pure and unadulterated. I wish I had a nickel for every time a version of this logic has been cast my way. This argument stems directly from the presupposition that every event that transpires on earth is part of the micro-managing sovereign will of God. And how did we arrive at this conclusion? Because Paul teaches it in the Bible! Isn't it interesting how this self-supporting circular-reasoning works? This is about as air-tight as circular reasoning gets. Let's look at its components again this way.
How do we know that the Bible as a whole is infallible from Genesis to Revelation? Because Paul taught that God is sovereign and in complete control of every event on earth, and it flows from this that God would not allow His word to be compromised. How do we know Paul was right? Because his teaching is found in the Bible and the Bible is infallible!
How can one lose with this self-supporting type
of logic? In the previous chapters, I have dealt with the errors in the
doctrine that every event on earth is part of God's sovereign plan. I have also exposed
how Paul abuses Scripture to paint this erroneous picture. God's will is not done on earth as it is in
heaven... or Yeshua wouldn't have taught his disciples to pray for it!
A few mistakes in the Tanach!
The Hebrew Bible (Or "Old Testament" as it is known to Christianity) is not without a few of its own trouble spots. There are a couple of Psalms that contain words that are blatantly in error and actually blaspheme God. Psalm 44 is one example. It is a Psalm of the sons of Korah who were contemporaries of David. I believe that verses 1-8 comprise the entire original beautiful Psalm. Verses 9-26 however, were undoubtedly added as second and third verses to an old popular tune when Israel went into Babylonian captivity. Read the entire Psalm and notice how the subject matter takes a complete flip at verse 9. It describes conditions that were not in existence at the time of the sons of Korah. It goes on to actually accuse God of unrighteousness in His dealings with Israel. Verses 17-22 are particularly notorious... and guess who quotes verse 22? Yup. Itís Paul, in Romans 8:36. I believe Psalm 89 is very similar to Psalm 44. The original great Psalm ends at verse 37. The rest was added later.
problem with a book from the Hebrew Bible. It isnít an
error, or a case of something having been added. It's a case of something
obviously missing... something that would undoubtedly help in understanding what
has been a difficult book for many
to understand. There is a gap in the book of Job. We are missing a significant piece of
literature between the end of chapter 37 and the beginning of chapter 38. See
article We are missing part of the book of Job! in
It must be noted though, that the problems with the Hebrew Bible are few and far between. In everything, the Jews of history have been far better stewards of what has been given to them. The point to be made from the examples in the New Testament, Psalms, and Job, is that we need to come to grips with the fact that this wonderful book we call the Bible is not "holy", or "infallible". The Bible only contains the words of God, and it contains the truth. This fact continues to make the Bible the best book on earth bar none, but the truth it contains must be sought after and dug out by those who really want it.
When any religion elevates a piece of literature to the status of "infallible" is when trouble begins. That is when faith turns to superstition, and a piece of literature becomes an idol or god in itself. In this superstitious mode, man is not required to use his head. All he has to do is spend time with a book, believe, and fall in line with the institutions that support it.
Since Paul was so severely wrong in his view of the attributes of God, we now need to look closer at Paul's credentials and supposed apostleship.
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