Greeting from Canada. It is such a blessing to see how Connect joins believers from all over the world into one body!
I think you are correct that if the question that you have raised were true it would have serious implications for the coherence of the Christian message. As you have asked your question, it would seem that many of the doubts that are raised about the trustworthiness of the scriptures that are being raised in Canada, are also being raised around the world. I think the reason for this is because that many people around the globe have bought into the concept of Postmodernism. The idea that anybody can put forth their ideas and that they are equally true as anybody else’s. The conclusion being that we can create our own reality and that all truth is subjective, therefore no truth is really true for all people….thus again the Christian message losses it authority.
Reflecting back to Genesis 3:1, I think this mirrors that same question that was put to Eve; Did God really say…….? It is a common approach that Satan has taken to diminish man’s trust in the Word of God. The question that you have raised is not unique and I am sure that you will come across many other examples as you journey through your days following Christ.
Matthew @mmingus36 … has given a good explanation that comes at the question from a scholarly perspective, which is a good approach if you have the resources and the training to do the research. I usually approach these types of dilemmas from a perspective of a layman (someone without specific training in Greek or Hebrew). And in a sense no different than I approach other areas of life that require practical application of ideas that I am not an expert in and where I am going to be directly impacted by the outcome in a meaningful way. These areas could include; physical repair of things, integrity actions, safety performing actions.
As an physical example; 9 tire experts tell me that my car wheel toque pressure should be 100ft. lbs., and 1 person may say that it should be 50. I am very comfortable getting in my car and driving it with a tire torque of 100. We all make and are comfortable with these kind of decisions every day.
Our Bibles that we trust, have all been translated from the original language (Greek and Hebrew) to our language today. Each different authoritative translation has been put together by many people who have given their lives in the search for a correct translation of God’s word. We also have many different versions that we can use as a reference against other versions to reveal biases that any group of translators may have had. Therefore in the end if I can get 9 translations to agree on a particular wording I am comfortable with the plain reading of the text that is in front of me. In fact that is what you are going to do with Matthews’s advice, you will add it to the group of translations that agree and your confidence with be increased. If I write a test or an exam on any particular subject and I get 9 out of 10, I am very confident that I know the material well enough to live by.
That being said when I look at the texts that you have raised I checked 10 different translations (it’s easy to do these days when we have access electronically to info) of scripture, all 10 of them recorded naked as the word in Genesis 2:25 and then in verse 3:1 all were not consistent in their use of the word crafty but some had substituted another word that had the same meaning as crafty (ex. cunning). That’s 10 out of 10 or 100% of trust-able Christian translators would agree on the same idea that is being communicated in these verses. I am therefore very confident to anchor my theology and my trust in the Lord securely to the plain reading of the text in this area.
There will always be deniers to the authority of the Word of God, but we trust that God empowered Moses to write parts of the Bible to begin with and with the test that I have just given you I think we can trust that has preserved His word for those that are truly trying to know Him deeper through it.
I pray that you may continue to grow in the trust of the Lord, who has demonstrated by His resurrection that He has given you new life to live by the power of the Spirit.