The Evangelical Universalist Forum

Do you believe the Bible is infallible? If so, why?

and they said to the mountains and to the rocks, "Fall on us and hide us from the presence of Him who sits on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb ~~ Rev. 6:16

he also will drink the wine of God’s wrath, poured full strength into the cup of his anger, and he will be tormented with fire and sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. ~~ Rev. 14:10

They were scorched by the fierce heat, and they cursed the name of God who had power over these plagues. They did not repent and give him glory. The fifth angel poured out his bowl on the throne of the beast, and its kingdom was plunged into darkness. People gnawed their tongues in anguish and blasphemed the God of heaven for their pain and sores. They did not repent of their deeds. ~~ Rev. 16:9 - 11

So the angel swung his sickle over the earth and gathered the grapes of the earth, and he threw them into the great winepress of God’s wrath. And the winepress was trodden outside the city, and the blood that flowed from it rose as high as the bridles of the horses for a distance of 1,600 stadia. ~~ Rev. 14:19

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There are many different types of love and hate in the Bible. Ecclesiastes 3 tells us there is a time to love and a time to hate. Jesus tells us to love our enemies. While some of the psalms express hate towards God’s enemies. Can we love and hate at the same time? If love is the disposition to seek the good of someone else and hate is opposition to the values and plans of someone then it is possible to both love and hate the same person. I can hate someone like Adolf Hitler for example in the sense of opposing his plans and being disgusted by his character and actions, while at the same time desiring his conversion or change of heart. Thus, I can both love and hate Hitler at the same time. I don’t think Jesus wants us to merely hate someone like Hitler. For He tells us to love everyone including our enemies. He speaks against pure hatred by telling us to love.

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Hate comes in different degrees and intensity in the Bible in different contexts. Sometimes it simply means “love less” other times it’s stronger in the sense of abhor. We see this where the Bible speaks of God hating sin and sinners:

There are six things the Lord hates,
seven that are detestable to him:
haughty eyes,
a lying tongue,
hands that shed innocent blood,
a heart that devises wicked schemes,
feet that are quick to rush into evil,
a false witness who pours out lies
and a person who stirs up conflict in the community - Proverbs 6:16-19

It’s not only the sins God hates but also those who do them. The Bible also says God is love. It doesn’t say He is ONLY love but He is love. If love is the disposition to seek the good of someone else and hate is opposition to the values and plans of someone then it is possible to both love and hate the same person. God can hate Adolf Hitler in the sense of opposing his plans and being disgusted by his character and actions, while at the same time desiring his conversion. Thus He can love and hate Adolf Hitler at the same time.

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Am I to take you to mean that the Author of Life is actually about hell and death?

Keys are emblems of authority. Jesus has already defeated Satan, hell, and death. What can be confusing is that the consequences of his victory are taking time to be distributed and manifested in the cosmos:

At present, we do not yet see everything in subjection to him. Hebrews 2:8b.

But the spread of his victory, to be facilitated by the Church, is a process whose final outcome has been assured:

Matthew 13:33 Another parable He spoke to them: “The kingdom of heaven is like leaven, which a woman took and hid in three measures of meal till it was all leavened.”

Again, Jesus has already overcome Satan, hell, and death. He is not threatening anyone with Satan, hell, and death; rather, he is warning them.

As I said elsewhere:

Any time anyone (including Bible prophets) asserts that God is vindictive and bipolar–killing, stealing, and destroying people–we are seeing a mistaken conflation of God with Satan. The unchanging God is not a two-headed monster, He is unipolar agapē.

Hades and death will eventually be cast into the lake of fire (Rev. 20:14): and that will be the ‘death of death.’ Our God, who is a consuming fire–of love–will burn up all the cords of lies, and free those people from their bondage, so that they can hear and respond to the invitation to come into the City whose gates are never closed, to freely take the water of life (Rev. 22:17).

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The psychologist Jordan Peterson explains on why being harmless isn’t virtuous. The virtuous person is a controlled monster.

The hero has to be a monster. But a controlled monster. Batman was like that. If your harmless you’re not virtuous. ~~ Psychologist Jordan Peterson

Be caring and compassionate but summon the monster within when you need to. Don’t be harmless.

Meh… by your assessment “God is vindictive bipolar” is pretty much just standard fare for most contrary non-believers of the biblical text… you however take it one step further in declaring where the text says ‘God’ YOU SAY it actually means ‘SATAN’ — you then ratchet it up even further having the audacity to claim much prayer AND the Holy Spirit has revealed this to you. To borrow a phrase from your compatriot…

WHAT A BUNCH OF BALONEY! :roll_eyes:

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Hum! Perhaps I should re-translate the Bible. Whenever I see the word, God…I should substitute the word Zombie, from Z-Hell (1, 2, 3)…especially when something bad, is taking place - in the Bible! :wink:

I have a different take on this. Perhaps because I have used the BFBS NT with critical apparatus I am aware of the variant readings of the Koine text. What I think God has done is far more clever than simply preserving the text unchanged.

The bible is not inerrant but it is fault tolerant. Anyone who has ever been involved in designing a telephone exchange will know that you can’t have every line working perfectly all the time. What you can do is mitigate the problems so that if you don’t get through, then hang up and try again you’ll often complete your call.

The bible is the same. If you read the whole thing looking for themes you’ll find love for God and other people, rejoicing, God’s goodness, repentance, hope and may more. If you concentrate on a few verses here and there you’ll quite possible latch onto something at best silly and at worst dangerous.

You only have to see how the flat-earthers have used the word “firmament” to argue that there is a sort of giant pyrex mixing bowl covering the Earth, and that space travel is therefore impossible. In this sense the bible is very fallible. On the other hand there are so many passages that agree on love that we can infallibly conclude them to be true.

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THAT is an outstanding insight!

Thank you.

Not at all sure I know what that is?

Sorry, the British and Foreign Bible Society’s edition of the New Testament with the little markers in the text to show how the different manuscripts vary in the exact reading. The differences are small but quite real.

Defiantly the second dumbest thing I have come across tonight.

Hermano wrote:

Any time anyone (including Bible prophets) asserts that God is vindictive and bipolar–killing, stealing, and destroying people–we are seeing a mistaken conflation of God with Satan.

Davo wrote:

Meh… by your assessment “ God is vindictive bipolar ” is pretty much just standard fare for most contrary non-believers of the biblical text… you however take it one step further in declaring where the text says ‘God’ YOU SAY it actually means ‘SATAN’ — you then ratchet it up even further having the audacity to claim much prayer AND the Holy Spirit has revealed this to you. To borrow a phrase from your compatriot…

WHAT A BUNCH OF BALONEY! :roll_eyes:
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Well…John A. Lynn, Mark H. Graeson, and John W. Schoenheit, authors of “Don’t Blame God” all subscribe to the “BUNCH OF BALONEY” of believing that it actually Satan and not God who did the evil acts which are ascribed to God in the Old Testament. There are several other authors who hold to the same view.

I’d like to consider tomatohorse’s original post as expressed above. I don’t know much about “inspiration” but I will say that the question as to which books is a good one. Indeed, we could ask the question, “Which Bible?”—The Orthodox Bible? The Roman Catholic Bible? Or the Protestant Bible?
As far as the New Testament is concerned, all 3 Bibles contain the same list of books. However, for the Old Testament, the list of books included in each of these Bibles differs from those of the other two.

As for whether there should be other writings in the New Testament, it seems to me that Clement’s letter to the Corinthians (written probably in A.D. 68, four years after Paul and Peter were martyred) should be included in the New Testament. Some of the same problems were occurring in the Corinthian Assembly as was happening when Paul wrote to them. Indeed, at one point in his letter, Clement says, “Why don’t you take up the letters of Paul and read them again?”

As for removing a book, if I had my way the book of Revelation would be removed. First we don’t know who wrote it. It was common for the early Christians to assign one of the apostles as the author of each writing that were considered to be suitable to be read in the Christian assemblies. But it is now believed that the author of 2nd and 3rd John was not the apostle John, and that the author of 2 Peter was not the apostle Peter. The author of Revelation who claimed to receive a revelation, identified himself several times as John. But which John? John the apostle who wrote the gospel of John as well as 1st John, never identifies himself as John at any point in those writings.

As far as finding a NT writing which contains an error, I suggest considering the book of Jude. Jude wrote in verses 14 and 15:

Now Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied about these men also, saying, “Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of His saints, to execute judgment on all, to convict all who are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have committed in an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him.”

I just happen to possess the book of Enoch. In Chapter 2, we find words similar to those that Jude quotes::

Behold, he comes with ten thousands of his saints, to execute judgment upon them, and destroy the wicked, and reprove the carnal for everything which the sinful and ungodly have done, and committed against him.

However, though it was a common belief in the days of early Christianity, it seems certain that the author of the book of Enoch was not the historic Enoch, the seventh from Adam. For in chapter 14, verse 9 of Enoch, we read, “The chiefs of the East, among the Parthians and Medes shall remove kings, in whom a spirit of perturbation shall enter.” The problem is that the Parthians were altogether unknown in history until the 250th year before Christ, and so the book couldn’t have been written by Enoch the seventh from Adam.

Conclusion: Jude made an error in declaring that this Enoch was the seventh from Adam, and so the book of Jude is not “infallible.”

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I’m dealing with this myself currently… its concerning that there are so many variations of Christianity and even more historically that no longer exist (e.g. Gnostic in the early church). Then you mix in the other religions (which IMO have way more issues with crediability)

I wish the Spirit’s movements were more transparent and visible.

I wish ECT was not the main staple of the church (one which is opposed to the basic concepts of love - e.g. 1 Corinthians 13).

I wish there were not so many mysteries (what is speaking in tongues per Acts, what is hell, why doesn’t anyone in the church have prophecy, why does Paul describe what appears to be a different Gospel, does the Trinity exist or not, how does Adam’s mistake impact everyone, why did Christ have to die, who is the Holy Spirit, what is expected of us - faith/works/other, etc.)

I do believe in God the Father, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit but it’s extremely confusing at times.

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Thanks for posting this! Reading through this now; isn’t it concerning they kept screwing up - if they had Paul directly and still kept falling on their face what hope is there for us… Even Clement says he is fighting.

“These things, beloved, we write unto you, not merely to admonish you of your duty, but also to remind ourselves. For we are struggling on the same arena, and the same conflict is assigned to both of us”

Hey Paidion, thanks for keeping the conversation going.

You’re right, Jude has a couple head-scratchers, including the bit about Michael the angel arguing with Satan about the body of Moses. He just tosses that in there casually and then moves right along, while most people reading it today are just like “wait, what in the world?”

I suppose one thing I should point out by way of playing “devil’s advocate” is that, strictly speaking, a book could be infallible without us knowing who the earthly author is. According to the stated guidelines of cannonization, it is supposed to be written by an apostle… but then we still have fairly noteworthy exceptions to that, such as the book of Hebrews.

I’m still looking for things, that are “infallible”. I found some possibilities!

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As far as I know, every Christian does, although not everyone does in the way that a Trinitarian does.

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