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mercychild101
Jun 11th 2008, 11:19 PM
i started this post because it seems that we were heading in this direction in eternal security vs OSAS.

i will state that i believe in the accuracy and validity of God's word. I believe that God who is soverein is perfectly capable of maintaning and preserving his word throughout the generations. not to mention that we have over 5,000 original coppies which include the gospels and letters of the new testement that we can go back to in order to check for accuracy. pluss we have the find of the dead see scrolls with an almost entire coppy of Isaiah which when compared to the newer text shows that what we have right now is quite accurate.

DeadtoSin
Jun 11th 2008, 11:30 PM
As for myself, I could not believe in the Bible if I did not believe every word. I believe this because the Bible makes that very clear. If every word is not true, then it could not be God-breathed because that would mean that God either does not exist or is a liar.

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. - 2 Timothy 3:16-17

So simply put, yes I believe that the Bible is inerrant. When I challenge people to give me a so called contradiction in the Bible, it is always one that has been brought about through a misunderstanding of the writing.

mercychild101
Jun 12th 2008, 12:21 AM
As for myself, I could not believe in the Bible if I did not believe every word. I believe this because the Bible makes that very clear. If every word is not true, then it could not be God-breathed because that would mean that God either does not exist or is a liar.

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. - 2 Timothy 3:16-17

So simply put, yes I believe that the Bible is inerrant. When I challenge people to give me a so called contradiction in the Bible, it is always one that has been brought about through a misunderstanding of the writing.

i have a very interesting book that my daughter bought for me. it's about paradoxes in the bible. many of the so called contradictions are really paradoxes.

another point about the bible being unerring is that you either have to believe the whole thing to be true. or throw the whole thing out as being unreliable. a person can not pick and choose what they want to believe.

9Marksfan
Jun 12th 2008, 12:29 AM
Good points - good thread! Here's a question - are unerring and inerrant synonymous?!? :hmm:

DeadtoSin
Jun 12th 2008, 12:54 AM
As far as I know, unerring is a state of being accurate. If you are unerring then you are a person that is accurate consistently.

If you are inerrant, then you are incapable of being inaccurate.

mercychild101
Jun 12th 2008, 12:55 AM
Good points - good thread! Here's a question - are unerring and inerrant synonymous?!? :hmm:

nerriam-websters
unerring- committing no error

dictionary.com
inerrant- free from error, infallible.

pastor_chris
Jun 12th 2008, 11:51 AM
I'd have to look back in my seminary notes to remember the subtle distinction between the two.

There are evangelicals who would maintain "inerrant in the original" which give them the flexibility to recognize that some of the greek words are hard to determine with 100% precision, marked grades A-D and that textual scholars have to figure out what the original word is most likely.

There are a few words (such as direct object pronouns that could be singular or plural) where the witness of the tradition supports both, and as such is graded D. The original is very hard to determine from the plethora of manuscripts.

I have a book in my library that seeks to explain the reasonings behind each grade, given by the textual scholars that have assemebled the most widely used greek text from the United Bible Society.

It's called A textual commentary on the Greek New Testament, by Bruce Metzger. It's purpose is to explain the reasoning and the evidence why some reading is in the text and other credible choices are in the apparatus (footnotes).

The problem I run into are those who belive their English translation is inerrant. I simply can't agree to that position.

9Marksfan
Jun 12th 2008, 01:28 PM
nerriam-websters
unerring- committing no error

dictionary.com
inerrant- free from error, infallible.

Now I'm REALLY confused! I thought unerring and infallible were the synonymous words (both meaning "not containing error") and that inerrant meant INCAPABLE of having mistakes in it (because of the nature and character of God - "all Your words are true") - so why do we describe Scripture as being BOTH inerrant AND infallible, if they mean the same thing?!? Maybe dictionary.com can tell us what infallible means - hopefully, it won't say "inerrant"!!! :lol:

crawfish
Jun 12th 2008, 01:31 PM
There are two ways to look at inspiration - first, that God transcribed His words, word-for-word, to the author, and every single word choice was important. The second, that God guided the lives of the authors in such a way that they were "inspired" to write something specific; the words were theirs, but the meaning behind them was what was inspired.

I personally believe the latter for a number of reasons:

1) We don't have any of the original documents (or even any from the first dozen generations of some books). If every single word was important, then God surely would have preserved them so that we could be certain.

2) The documents in the original languages have discrepancies. Granted, no real major discrepancies; the Hebrew scribes were very meticulous in transcribing the scripture; the culture demanded perfection. Regardless, there are still some minor differences over time, and if every word was important then this is still unacceptable.

3) Word-for-word importance makes translating into other languages impossible. A popular example that most Christians know are the 11 words for "love" in the bible that we translate into just one word. Agape, philia, eros, etc. Each represents a unique idea, yet from a plain English reading you don't get that nuance. Often, this nuance is evident in the context of the use of the word - it makes sense in the overall meaning, in other words, but not on its own.

There are certainly other reasons I hold to the latter definition, but these are the ones coming off the top of my head. I'm one who doesn't believe it devalues God or the bible by not holding onto a word-based inspiration; in fact, I believe it is a testament to His wisdom and foresight.

grptinHisHand
Jun 12th 2008, 01:33 PM
My 'vote': I believe in the inerrant Word of God also. :pp
If the whole Word isn't true, then how can a person determine which parts are and are not?!!
Thanks for starting a new thread on this subject. :hug:
g

pastor_chris
Jun 12th 2008, 04:27 PM
Crawfish,

You make some excellent points.

I work in both English Speaking and Spanish speaking contexts. Your point about translations of the originals is dead on. Translations are at best translations.

Even among spanish versions, word choice and regional differences in Latin America make for different translations, much like the various English language versions available.

pastor_chris
Jun 12th 2008, 04:39 PM
According to Wayne Grudem's Systematic Theology text, Chapter 5

Inerrant: Scripture in the original manuscripts does not affirm anything contrary to fact. In other words the Bible always tells the truth and always tells the truth in everything it talks about.

Infallibile: Scripture is not able to lead us astray in matters of faith and practice. This allows for possible false statements or mis-statements, or transmission edits in matters of minor historical fact.

Chapter 5, Systematic Theology, Introduction to Bible Doctrine.

mercychild101
Jun 12th 2008, 05:46 PM
Now I'm REALLY confused! I thought unerring and infallible were the synonymous words (both meaning "not containing error") and that inerrant meant INCAPABLE of having mistakes in it (because of the nature and character of God - "all Your words are true") - so why do we describe Scripture as being BOTH inerrant AND infallible, if they mean the same thing?!? Maybe dictionary.com can tell us what infallible means - hopefully, it won't say "inerrant"!!! :lol:

it's ok. i get confused to. i was having trouble looking up the words. my collage dictionary didn't even have those two words in it. apparently if your a collage student you don't need to know what they meen. and my computer didn't want to load the online dictionaries. sometimes i really don't like my computer. :B but it looks to me and i may be mistaken that unerring means you make no mistakes and inerrant means you have no mistakes?????? feel free to correct me anyone.

Athanasius
Jun 12th 2008, 06:03 PM
Well I gave it some thought... And I believe the subtle difference between unerring and inerrant is that inerrant leaves no room for error no matter our knowledge base. Unerring leaves room for error if we discover something 'new' in our knowledge base. At least that's the only thing I can think of, it there is an [important] subtle difference.

mercychild101
Jun 12th 2008, 06:11 PM
Crawfish,

You make some excellent points.

I work in both English Speaking and Spanish speaking contexts. Your point about translations of the originals is dead on. Translations are at best translations.

Even among spanish versions, word choice and regional differences in Latin America make for different translations, much like the various English language versions available.

if what you are saying is true then how can you trust or even teach the bible as being God's word? because if you change God's word in part or in whole then it is no longer God's word and you can't trust it or rely upon it.

they did a study a few years back and 80% of the population claimed to be Christians but only 5% believed that God's word was unerring.

very sad if you ask me

Athanasius
Jun 12th 2008, 06:18 PM
if what you are saying is true then how can you trust or even teach the bible as being God's word? because if you change God's word in part or in whole then it is no longer God's word and you can't trust it or rely upon it.

they did a study a few years back and 80% of the population claimed to be Christians but only 5% believed that God's word was unerring.

very sad if you ask me

No one's changing God's Word in translating it. The original manuscripts are inerrant; the translations, however, suffer from the 'lost in translation' phenomenon at points; they do have 'difficulties'. That's why if you really want to understand things you have to go back to the original language and study from there. In doing that, however, you'll also realize how accurate a lot of the English (and other) translations are.

I mean we could always do what the Muslims do; call every translation a commentary and require that people learn (at an advanced level) Hebrew, Koine Greek, Aramaic... And a bit of Chaldean, because those are the languages the original manuscripts were written it. But... It's just not necessary.

pastor_chris
Jun 12th 2008, 06:32 PM
No one's changing God's Word in translating it. The original manuscripts are inerrant; the translations, however, suffer from the 'lost in translation' phenomenon at points.

This is what enables one to teach the Bible as God's word. We don't even say that there is a "lost in translation" problem. Rather, it's a word choice for the translator.

For instance: The verb "tomar" in Spanish can mean many different things, among which is to drink, or to take, or in a phrase such as "to make a decision." Yet "beber" can also mean drink. So if the Greek word says "drink" which spanish verb does one use? Nothing is lost, and the original is preserved. Which word choice is best?

We're not changing the verb, just picking the meaning that translates best.

This is part of why its important for students to at least try to learn how to work with the original languages, and part of why many seminaries still require Greek and Hebrew.

mercychild101
Jun 12th 2008, 06:44 PM
No one's changing God's Word in translating it. The original manuscripts are inerrant; the translations, however, suffer from the 'lost in translation' phenomenon at points; they do have 'difficulties'. That's why if you really want to understand things you have to go back to the original language and study from there. In doing that, however, you'll also realize how accurate a lot of the English (and other) translations are.

I mean we could always do what the Muslims do; call every translation a commentary and require that people learn (at an advanced level) Hebrew, Koine Greek, Aramaic... And a bit of Chaldean, because those are the languages the original manuscripts were written it. But... It's just not necessary.

we do have experts who can go back to the original greek and hebrew and do a carful comparisen. infact the experts which i'm not one of. say that the new testament is 99.5% accurate.

World-class scholar Bruce Metzger, professor emeritus at Princeton Theological Seminary, out of lee strobels book the Case for a creator. included in his summarry for a case for Christ.

"compared to other ancient documents. there is an unprecedented number of New Testament manuscripts and they can be dated extremely close to the original writings. The modern New Testament is 99.5% free of textual descrepancies, with no major Christian doctrine in doubt. The criteria used by the early church to determine which books should be considered authoritative have ensured that we possess the best records about Jesus."

Athanasius
Jun 12th 2008, 07:52 PM
By 'lost in translation' I meant tones, euphamisms etc. that make sense in the original language that don't translate well into other languages.

crawfish
Jun 12th 2008, 09:04 PM
By 'lost in translation' I meant tones, euphamisms etc. that make sense in the original language that don't translate well into other languages.

An interesting example: the word "feet", among ancient Hebrews, was often a euphemism for genitalia. Knowing that, it makes Isaiah 6:2 make a bit more sense:

Above him were seraphs, each with six wings: With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying.

Of course, it also presents some potentially uncomfortable issues in the story of Ruth and Boaz on the threshing room floor...

However, like euphemisms in English for the same thing, the word is the same literal word used in normal language, so the translator is presented with a problem: translate the word literally and lose its euphemistic meaning (assuming the translated word does not also carry a similar euphemistic potential), or translate its euphemistic meaning.

Buzzword
Jun 12th 2008, 09:07 PM
The problem I run into are those who belive their English translation is inerrant. I simply can't agree to that position.

THANK YOU.

I'm tired of people acting like the original texts were written in English.

Same thing for people who "just want to read what it says" without "interpreting" anything.
Each time the texts have been translated, they've been INTERPRETED.
The translator had to make choices of which word to use, especially when translating Greek to English (Greeks have multiple words for everything).

EDIT: sorry if I just repeated what someone else has said. I meant to post this morning, but I was running late and just left my half-finished post up.

Athanasius
Jun 12th 2008, 11:23 PM
THANK YOU.

I'm tired of people acting like the original texts were written in English.

Same thing for people who "just want to read what it says" without "interpreting" anything.
Each time the texts have been translated, they've been INTERPRETED.
The translator had to make choices of which word to use, especially when translating Greek to English (Greeks have multiple words for everything).

EDIT: sorry if I just repeated what someone else has said. I meant to post this morning, but I was running late and just left my half-finished post up.

Wait a second... What exactly are you saying? Is it the authors of the Bible that are the problem? Is it the 'compilers' (who were in many cases the authors) that are the problem? Is it the translators that are the problem? Or is everyone the problem?

Because what you said yesterday [below] is different than what you're saying now.

(By the way, I did reply to this in the other thread)


In a word, No.

Nothing written or cropped by the hand of man is "infallible."
Remember, the Bible we read today is the result of centuries of church people deciding what should and shouldn't be in the canon.

Read the Apocrypha for some examples.

How do you define "inerrant"?
The Psalmist said "blessed is he who takes your infants and dashes them against the rocks."
Should I take that as my life verse and go tossing babies off cliffs?

Authoritative?
I believe it is a book written by a series of authors who were in many cases inspired by the Holy Spirit, but just compare the accounts of the SAME EVENTS in 1 and 2 Chronicles and 1 and 2 Kings.
Totally different viewpoints, totally different versions of events yet attempting to record the same period in Israel's history.

Should we treat both writers as the "authority" for the events they wrote about?

And if the Bible is the FINAL word of God?
Then God is not living.
If the Bible is the final word, God resides in a book, and is not omnipresent, nor can He have a personal relationship with any of us.
If the Bible is the final word, we are all guilty of idol worship.
If the Bible is the final word, the book and not the Inspirer is our god.

Having said that, and lit a fire under the chairs of many of the members here, I maintain that God can and has spoken through the Bible to change many people's lives.

But treating the Bible as if it is the ONLY way God can speak is like giving the credit for the carving of a statue to the hammer and chisel, and not the Artist who used them.

Buzzword
Jun 13th 2008, 12:58 AM
Wait a second... What exactly are you saying? Is it the authors of the Bible that are the problem? Is it the 'compilers' (who were in many cases the authors) that are the problem? Is it the translators that are the problem? Or is everyone the problem?

Because what you said yesterday [below] is different than what you're saying now.

(By the way, I did reply to this in the other thread)

Um, connecting two unrelated posts much?

My statement in this thread deals with the idea that people shouldn't hold up the English translation as if it were written so by Moses, etc.

My statement from the other thread was a specific answer to specific question (ironically the question that started THIS thread).

Athanasius
Jun 13th 2008, 02:19 AM
Um, connecting two unrelated posts much?

My statement in this thread deals with the idea that people shouldn't hold up the English translation as if it were written so by Moses, etc.

My statement from the other thread was a specific answer to specific question (ironically the question that started THIS thread).

From where I am I don't see them as unrelated. As per the other thread you believe that nothing from the hands of man could [ever] be infallible. This includes the writers and compilers of the Bible--on this we disagree. As per this thread we agree--the translations aren't themselves inerrant; they have their share of problems.

But... It's coming off like you believe the Bible was written by a bunch of 'inspired' men who said a few good things but were wrong about a lot of other things. This was then translated and compiled by other men who may have been inspired but were ultimately, arbitrarily picking what was and was not considered canon--This includes books such as the Apocrypha, the gospel of Thomas and other Gnostic and Jewish writings.

It's just an appalling low view of scripture if I'm understanding correctly what you're saying.

Semi-tortured
Jun 13th 2008, 04:31 PM
All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. - 2 Timothy 3:16-17

The only thing that bothers me is who are the people that decided on the New Testement cannon. Who are they, what were their qualifications? When Timothy speaks of the scripture being God-breathed, was he writing that knowing his book and Paul's letters and the apostles gospel accounts would become scripture?

I too believe God has the power to keep His book pure, but I'd feel better if I knew who it was that put the NT together.

Friend of I AM
Jun 13th 2008, 06:36 PM
i started this post because it seems that we were heading in this direction in eternal security vs OSAS.

i will state that i believe in the accuracy and validity of God's word. I believe that God who is soverein is perfectly capable of maintaning and preserving his word throughout the generations. not to mention that we have over 5,000 original coppies which include the gospels and letters of the new testement that we can go back to in order to check for accuracy. pluss we have the find of the dead see scrolls with an almost entire coppy of Isaiah which when compared to the newer text shows that what we have right now is quite accurate.

Simple answer is an unequivocal "yes." ..lol. Now bear with me as I use scripture to explain.

1 Corinthians 2:15-16
Spiritual people evaluate everything but are subject to no one's evaluation. Who has known the mind of the Lord so that he can teach him?" However, we have the mind of Christ.

The word of God can only be spiritually discerned by the Holy Spirit. There are no flaws in the Holy spirit, thus since there are no errors in the spirit there are no errors in the Word of God as it meanings can only be rooted and discerned in the spiritual world, not in the natural one.

Do human beings still have make errors in translating the texts. Yup. But to one who is filled with the spirit of God, such human errors will not overcome their ability to spiritually discern God's Word.

mercychild101
Jun 13th 2008, 08:16 PM
Um, connecting two unrelated posts much?

My statement in this thread deals with the idea that people shouldn't hold up the English translation as if it were written so by Moses, etc.

My statement from the other thread was a specific answer to specific question (ironically the question that started THIS thread).

i understand what you are saying that sometimes the meaning can get lost in translation. however God has given us His Holy Spirit and i believe that He is perfectly capable of helping us to interperate his word correctly if we are willing to accept that truth no matter which direction it takes us. even if it means that we have to give up a previously held doctrinal belief.

i have only been a Christian for about 6 years. and one of the first things that i noticed was that Christians couldn't agree on several of the doctrines in the bible. the second thing that i noticed was that both sides were equilly addament in defending their possisions instead of seeking the truth together. they'r too busy arguing their own points and not listening to the other side. for every argument i see there is an equall and opposite argument. i also have been guilty of this myself.

This has caused me to become very discouraged. we as Christians should be seeking the truth. but in many cases we are so sure that we already know it that there is no need to seek it further. so i pray that all of us Christians will be open to God's Spirit of truth, and to let him guide us into the truth.

dan
Jun 21st 2008, 07:17 AM
From where I am I don't see them as unrelated. As per the other thread you believe that nothing from the hands of man could [ever] be infallible. This includes the writers and compilers of the Bible--on this we disagree. As per this thread we agree--the translations aren't themselves inerrant; they have their share of problems.

But... It's coming off like you believe the Bible was written by a bunch of 'inspired' men who said a few good things but were wrong about a lot of other things. This was then translated and compiled by other men who may have been inspired but were ultimately, arbitrarily picking what was and was not considered canon--This includes books such as the Apocrypha, the gospel of Thomas and other Gnostic and Jewish writings.

It's just an appalling low view of scripture if I'm understanding correctly what you're saying.

If God can inspire, being perfect, He must inspire perfectly. Any "paradox" that one thinks he has found could be an intentional "stumbling block", but not a mistake.

Also, Jesus said that The Kingdom Of God would be taken away from the Jews and given to a nation that would produce the fruits thereof. Logically, the true Word would be in that language, the first time.

A Perfect God doesn't make mistakes.

daughter
Jun 21st 2008, 09:54 AM
i have a very interesting book that my daughter bought for me. it's about paradoxes in the bible. many of the so called contradictions are really paradoxes.

another point about the bible being unerring is that you either have to believe the whole thing to be true. or throw the whole thing out as being unreliable. a person can not pick and choose what they want to believe.
What is the book called? I like the sound of that...