Bible Inerrancy the Bible for Term Paper
- Length: 10 pages
- Sources: 12
- Subject: Mythology - Religion
- Type: Term Paper
- Paper: #53169842
Excerpt from Term Paper :
He indicates that even what Paul writes to people through his epistles is the Word of God. He is (again presciently) aware that the words might be twisted and misunderstood). But he has no doubt that Paul's writings (more prolific that his own were) as well as his own are divinely inspired Scripture. Paul, writing in Corinthians sums up the closeness of the role of the Holy Spirit in the furtherance of God's Words. He indicates that what he preaches does not come from him. They are not his teachings, but directly the teaching of the Holy Spirit, which manifests itself in the form of words.
In recognizing Scriptures as the unadulterated Word of God, one must also consider biblical references of what Jesus, his apostles, prognosticators and epistle-writers thought of scripture. Simply put, what do the primary characters of the New Testament think of the Old Testament? Several centuries after the incidents of the Old Testament, it would not be possible for Jesus and his followers to be able to recount these instances with such specific detail. Consider the issue of Creation of Man in the Garden of Eden. Jesus echoes this through Matthew. Jesus also confirms the place of Noah in the restarting of humankind.
He condemned the sinful behavior of Sodom and the restorative powers of the suffering of Lot. Jesus also recast the story of Jonah and the whale as an example of faith in the saving and healing power of God. This was then echoed by Peter and also Paul through their epistles. Time and time again they showed that each of the Old Testament writings were true. Jesus confirmed this. And the evangelists echoed this. And there is no direct evidence to prove that each of these characters were present when Jesus spoke these words. Nor is there evidence that they were privy to material written and put forth centuries and, perhaps, millennia ago.
Indeed, for as many instances in the Old Testament that proclaims the coming of the Messiah and the Son of God, there are perhaps more instances in the New Testament when Jesus confirmed what the Old Testament has proclaimed. He teaches his followers to study the ancient scriptures because they are the Word of God, and they testify to the Messianic prophecies. He also indicates that the current Laws were found precedents in the Old Testament. He spoke of the Laws of the Prophet as his fulfillment of these laws. The same was for the laws of Moses and the songs in the Psalms.
Consider also that even if Jesus had access to the scriptures of old -- one might aver that since he was anti-establishment, he could not avail of the scriptures; also, the Pharisees and the Judaic high priest did not make this available to commoners, certainly, as one coming from a family of carpenters -- he could not merely pay lip-service to them to prove a point. In Christ's human life, he lived out the prophecies of the Old Testament, much to his detriment and faced the penalties of one of the most painful instances of suffering and death. This should stand alone as proof.
Paul confirmed the search for the Promised Land as mentioned in Exodus which could only be accomplished through a path created through the Red Sea, while also confirming that striking the hot, desert sand with a rod did bring forth a spring of fresh water that helped slake the thirst of the Chosen People., He also took two similar instances from the Old and New Testament -- this regarding of the elders of the Church receiving compensation from the Church treasuries and confirmed that these belonged to the Scriptural teachings.
Another interesting aspect of the inerrancy of the Bible is how the thesis of one person in how he or she interpret divine edicts and spread the message to Christians has never been challenged by another in his writings. In the evolutionary process of scientific discovery, one finds that scientists who do not agree with each other, often criticize each other, or, at least, build upon the work of others. Science is always evolving and changing, but Scriptures do not. This is another case of inerrancy.
Even those who argue with each other do not challenge each others writings. There are scores of instances where one group confirms the words of others. We have seen this well proved in the examples in several of the above paragraphs. One example is classic (there are probably several others; mentioning them all would be beyond the scope of this essay): Paul openly rebukes Peter in Chapter 2 of his letters to the Galatians. But Peter never challenges any of Paul's writings; on the contrary, he averred that Paul's writings could be considered as authoritative and inspired by the divinity of the Holy Spirit.
Perhaps, the most powerful of Christ's proclamations that affirm Biblical inerrancy come from his proclamation about the law (reference already provided above, vis-a-vis Matthew 5:17-18) of God. He said that the all the laws as given by God would have to be fulfilled before eternity could set it. And these laws were as handed down to the people through Moses and the other Biblical patriarchs.
No discussion on Biblical Inerrancy would be complete without some explication of the various issues raised by those that do not avow inerrancy, which is most modern thought on religion and other liberal theologians; each of these will be briefly described herewith. One must remember that Biblical inerrancy is about complete accuracy in not only historical details but every other aspect, leaving no room for errors or ambiguous interpretations. (Robinson 2002)
Liberal theologians' question, despite specific proof in the scriptures, of how many prophecies came true. They often set up very rigorous definitions of what constitutes the truth. The Bible asserts a number of prophecies which have come true, but there is no definitive and binding proof that all the prophecies have been proven without a shadow of a doubt. Also, if one considers the lifespan of the biblical patriarchs, modern man is confounded. Given the extreme life expectancy of man as 100 years (and no other animal comes close to that), the Bible prompts us to believe in ancient times where life expectancy was never larger than 40-50, except in rare cases, we are expected to believe that without technology, advanced nutritional science and life saving drugs, that people lived up to 900 years. There are also schools of thought that believe that the notion of "years" comes from other languages and are not subject to our conventional definition of a year: 365 days.
The astronomical notions of the earth being the center of the Universe are false. Not only are there several universes and galaxies, the Sun is the center of our universe. (Armstrong 1996) the school of thought indicates that the bible writers were influenced by pagan religion followed at the time. The pagans specifically believed in the flatness of the earth and the centrality of the earth and this is reflected in the Bible. (Swindler n.d.) Archeological evidence is also lacking to prove inerrancy. A lot of this comes from the Genesis, Exodus and Leviticus. Stories about the existence of Palestine, the towns of Beersheba and Canaan are anachronistic. Their existence has been historically and archeologically shown to be after the time period that the Bible describes when these places existed. This means that the books of Exodus and Leviticus were written much later than they originally claimed.
The evolution of religion as it is practiced with society has taken place for the better. From a socio-cultural standpoint, strict adherence to the Bible for all time would be detrimental to members of society. Indeed, we call people who do not evolve as backward and primitive. The Bible makes mention of corporal punishment, non-acceptance of homosexuality, intolerance towards other religions, required that a wife be a virgin by the time of her wedding on penalty of death (by stoning), capital punishment for adultery and a variable acceptance of slavery. If we adhered to these issues mentioned in the Bible as inerrant, practicing Christians would not be able to survive in today's society. At least from this standpoint then, most reasonable people will agree that the dictates of the Bible cannot be eternally binding.