Errors in bible

Good day

I am a faithfull christian and would like to know your response to an online article i stumbled upon.

Please send me your thoughts regarding this.

The site adress is below :

What is said here almost makes one beleive the bible was made up .

Kind regards

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Hi there, Dersen. I am brand new to this site, so i probably should let the experts speak first. Let me just say that i have examined many “contradictions” in the Bible, over the last 20 or so years, and each one turned out, after some serious inspection/research, to be based on a misunderstanding rather than a contradiction.

I appreciate your list but it is a bit overwhelming to time constraints in my life. Would you be willing to specify the point which, in your opinion, most detracts from the reliability of the Scriptures? I consider it an enjoyable opportunity to resolve issues when i am able to – like God gives me a joy that is a bit addictive.

No doubt there are some real experts here, far more knowledgeable than me, but i guess i saw your post first. Thanks, Des.

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Here is a critique of the so called ‘Dossier of Reason’ created by Daniel Henson which might be of interest to you.

I would also echo Dean in asking can you to outline which of the objections from the list or attached document that concerns you personally so we can discuss. The list is too long - and some claims are a little ridiculous, such as Jesus was not a historical person and only mentioned in the Bible.

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Admittedly, I am not an expert either. However, by this world’s critique, there is not a book written that does not at some point present inconsistencies, inaccuracies, contradictions, or fallacies. But isn’t that the nature of human knowledge? In constant revision. Temporal in its relevancy. We say we are evolving, but even scientific and medical texts are in constant flux. We just say we know better or we know more. But historically every generation has said the same thing.

What makes the Bible different is its lively nature. Transcribing and transferring its relevancy from age to age. That liveliness comes from the inspiration of the SPIRIT of GOD. Unlike any other text, the Bible is ageless. Not just historically old, but ageless in its relevancy.

As it has been said, what makes the scriptures seem unreliable rest with the understanding of the person reading. I personally listen for this ability when Politicians attempt to speak from the scriptures. Like saying the Bible supports slavery. When I hear that, X marks the spot. This is someone who has no acquaintance with the liveliness of the WORD of GOD. But in the limitations of the current age treats the Bible as if it is any other book, subject to the transit wisdom of the current age. But this type of distraction has always been around.

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@Des
If this is a real interest of yours I would recommend that you take the Bible course through the RZIM Academy. It addresses all of these items.

The Bible itself indicates in many places that we should expect these kinds of attacks on our beliefs. I applaud anyone truly seeking truth. I feel that if that is their true motive the truth they will find is Jesus. But for many it’s an agenda. Clearly the writer of the article feels because it was written by a pastor who’s lost faith, it must be accurate. But it’s filled with many inaccuracies and misunderstandings.

Eph 4:17-19 So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking. They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts. Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, and they are full of greed.

There’s a vast difference between studying the Bible and reading the Bible. It takes an effort to understand the history and context of each book. How would the original audience have received the message? Is there anything that has lost meaning in our understanding?

Let me give you a good example:
If I said my day was a real “fire drill” I would mean that it was a day of crisis and I spent a lot of my day dealing with those metaphorical fires that needed to be put out rather than the tasks I should have accomplished. It’s a cultural reference. Suppose my diary is found 200 years from now and that cultural reference has been lost. I would imagine the reader of the diary is picturing me standing outside the building waiting for the Fire Dept. to examine the building and give the all clear. So their understanding of what I said would be in error.

Let any concerns with these kinds of statements lead you earnestly on a quest for truth. Ask the Holy Spirit to guide you to a deeper understanding as you study the word.

Also, what is the likelihood that if the Bible is made up that it would have lasted for millenia and so affected all of history. How could a hoax written over hundreds of years by different authors pull that off? Food for thought.

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I really thank you all for the responses. Im also just new to the site and i agree is overwhelming even for myself to even bother to pick out an error of discusion.
Its sad to see this online as if its left there by the devil to weaken a persons faith . Wish it could dissapear.

I know it can effect a weak faith but i always remain strong as i beleive the bible to be led or influenced by God but wriiten by man. So there is bound to be random errors but the heart of the messages to be good and true.

I will submit other tough questions as i go along learning.

Thanking you all .

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Hi Des
We have been battling with the questions of the inerrancy and accuracy of the Bible.
I came upon this lecture by Daniel Wallace (an expert in textual criticism). It might be long but very engaging.
I hope you find it useful.

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Hi @Des. You stumbled upon quite a list of errors. Someone spent a lot of time assembling these so-called discrepancies. You have received several excellent responses already and there are many excellent resources that address these “errors”, so I will take an approach instead that Ravi suggests: Behind every question is a questioner.

To the ones who wave such lists like victory banners I would ask, Why are you so determined to discredit the Bible? What is there about God’s word that disturbs you so? For each item on your list there are countless men, women and children who have been transformed by the truth in the Bible. They are living proof of the Bible’s validity; they are living letters, as the Apostle Paul puts it, in whom the written word comes to life.

I think behind the fervor to dismantle God’s word is a determination to engage God in a contest of “your word against mine.” If I can disprove God’s word, then mine stands. And if mine stands, then I’m my own god. I am free to do my own thing.

God, of course, doesn’t allow us such freedom and this, I think, is the goad that the Bible-attackers kick against. We who have tasted and seen that the Lord (and His word) are good affirm what God says:

“This is the one to whom I will look: he who is humble and contrite in spirit and trembles at my word” (Isaiah 66:2).

And again, in Micah 2:7, “Do not my words do good to him who walks uprightly?”

Tremble at God’s word and walk uprightly. The one who does these discovers that God keeps His word and when we do God’s will, we learn the truth of it (John 7:16-17).

We need not fear that the hammers of the skeptics will destroy the Bible. “The grass withers, and its flower falls out, but the Word of the Lord endures forever” (1Peter 1:25). May the Lord strengthen your faith @Des as you continue standing on His word.

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Hi @Des this is some list! I will answer a couple of them.

U: in Psalm 18:6 David is speaking about the Lord in His temple. This would mean the place where the Lord dwells, not the temple that he was planning on building.

E1: Jesus has been named by many historical figures including Josephus, Celsus, in The Talmud and Lucian.

I. Moses does not refer to “Palestine” (Ex 15:14).

A1. If you read the passage carefully it mentions Mordecai’s father and grandfather in the deportation Esther 2:5-6. The date most likely refers to the date his grandfather was deported.

B1: There has been a high priest since Aaron, long before David’s day.

Many of the points such as the moon being a light and other ones about the earth not moving we attribute to being the poetic language.

I am sorry I cannot help with any of the geography or historical dates as I have not looked into them.

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Thank you again for the upliftment.
I think its better to live a life of purpose where theres hope in the afterlife then live a life of hopelessness.

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Welcome…

Well said, Dennis. I also had to “taste and see that the Lord is good”. (Many “nibbles”, in fact…) And as you can imagine, He has proven Himself trustworthy and faithful consistently.

I have a friend who went to a Bible college as a young man and lost his “faith” there because his favorite instructor committed suicide after his son was killed. He presents me with many “inconsistencies” and “contradictions” in the Word.

I always learn from our intense discussions (sometimes known as “arguments”), and i believe he does too. The main thing is that we are able to maintain a fairly close relationship even though we are in great disagreement often.

I come from an atheistic and hostile background myself, so i have some growing up to do, and i anticipate RZIM will help me explore Bible difficulties more gently.

I would still like to ask Des or anyone reading here what the main inconsistency or contradiction (on the list) seems to be that keeps them from believing the Bible is reliable. That might be better than trying to tackle the whole list simultaneously, yes?

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Thank you, @DeanW. RZIM is a fantastic resource that will help you. Solomon says discussions like yours with your friend are as “iron sharpens iron” (Proverbs 27:17). May the Lord keep you sharp as well as use you to sharpen your friend.

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That google doc is quite the dump and the link you posted is only part of it. So responding to all of that would take forever. But before I even engaged with someone like that I would want to know their intentions. Are they honestly seeking the truth or are they just trying to tear down? I get the impression that he is trying to tear down but I’ll try to respond to 1 example from each section. Examples:

I. Which bible?: Thousands of manuscripts disagreeing with each other wildly in what verses and even books they contain, and how those verses read. Examples? This statement cannot be just accepted. Less than 1% of all textual variants are considered “significant”. I listened to a debate between Dan Wallace and Bart Ehrman (a NT scholar and skeptic) and even Bart said that no essential Christian belief is brought into question by these “significant” variants.

II. Availability - current estimate is that 2,251 languages, representing 193 million people, lack a Bible translation Is this an argument against the reliability of the Bible?

III. Historical and Geographical errors in the Bible - None of the Gospels are mentioned by early Christians, e.g. Paul, Pope Clement I (97 AD), Justin Martyr (140 AD). The first mention of any Gospel is by Irenaeus (185 AD). - Of course the gospels weren’t mentioned by the early Christians because they weren’t written until around 70ish AD. Paul began writing his letters before the gospels were written so why would he mention a document that never existed. The messages were transmitted by oral transmission during the lifetime of the apostles, who were the authoritative bearers of the message. Richard Bauckham in his book “Jesus and the Eyewitnesses” does a great job arguing for the preservation of the Jesus tradition during this time before the writing of the gospels. An example is 1 Corintians 11:23 and Luke 22:19. Since Paul obviously had no access to Luke’s gospel, and there is no evidence Luke has any Pauline influence, we can see how the oral transmission of the Passover was preserved.

IV. Scientific Inaccuracy of the Bible - He lists a bunch of examples he views as scientifically inaccurate but this demonstrates his lack of understanding of the context and genre of scripture. Ex: Moon will turn to blood (Acts 2:20). We can’t expect the ancients to understand what a lunar eclipse is. We have to read these verses in the context of the human understanding at the time. This does not compromise the point or message of the bible. We understand scripture to be written by people with inspiration from the Holy Spirit. We don’t believe that the Bible fell out of Heaven or was etched by some angelic being on behalf of God. He entrusted his message to men just as he entrusted men to carry the gospel message to the ends of the earth. This, at least in my opinion, leaves open the room for “errors” in details like understanding of science and the natural world.

V. Contradictions and internal errors in the Bible - He lists all these supposed errors and contradictions in the creation story without acknowledging the fact that he is only attacking 1 particular interpretation. If he was being genuine in his critique, I would expect him to acknowledge that other interpretations exist and that the creation story is a hotly debated topic within the Christian community.

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As I went through the list majority of it were scriptures taken out of context. The point of the list is to do information overload to make it seem like the evidence is overwhelming against the bible. The mistake is thinking quantity is more important than quality. But this isn’t so when it comes to information.

Even the starting point of the list gives its intention which is to prove the bible has mistakes and as it said “if you’re offended, good”. So the individual already seems to have a personal issue with the bible. He also is incorrect on the fact that Christians claim the Bible is perfect. Only uninformed believers claim this and ask any biblical scholar who is a believer and they will say the Bible has errors. We are open about this because the majority of errors are minor and they are even listed in our study Bibles which is probably where this individual got his information to begin with. So obviously we don’t make that claim.

Here are some videos that deal with some of these scriptures on the list.

Also I would recommend a book by Bart Erhman when it comes to the biblical manuscripts. He’s a apostate to the faith and yet would utterly disagree with the first few things on the list.

Here’s the book:
Bruce M. Metzger, Bart D. Ehrman “The Text of the New Testament: Its transmission, Corruption, and Restoration”. Forth Edition

Last thing I would recommend is finding some reading material about tactics of those who attack the bible and Christian faith.

God bless :blush:

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I thank you Luna, and Robert for such a wealth of info. Now off to “sponge it up”…

I am very pleased that we have some real experts here that are willing to share their time and research so freely.

How does that appropriate saying go?
Freely you have received – freely give (Matt 10:8)

Hello! I am not expert in this area but I just want to recommend a book that help me a lot in my Christian skeptics… THE CASE FOR FAITH by Lee Strobel

Isn’t it interesting that we can so easily say that “The sun came up in the morning” and “The sun went down in the evening”. And yet if the Bible said that same thing, many people would point out how very primitive the Book was scientifically.

[Well, actually, i looked it up and i had forgotten that both Matt 13:6 and Mark 4:6 say “the sun came up” in the New International Version. Oops, the Bible uses modern concepts after all… Smile.]