The Evangelical Universalist Forum

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

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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Recently, I read what a man named Andrew John Jukes had to say about the nature of scripture that I found to be enlightening. He speaks of its similarity to God’s other “books”; the book of nature, the book of providence, and the book of the incarnate Christ. He shows how all these are both a revelation and at the same time a veiling of the ultimate truth. Take for instance the man Jesus of Nazareth. The historic creeds do a marvelous job of defining the truth of the triune existence of God. So, assuming for the moment that they are an accurate assessment of the truth revealed in scripture, they speak of the historical Jesus as the third member of the godhead, being fully human and fully God. And yet, how could it be that God could grow in wisdom and stature and in favor with God and man. Because the human flesh that he took on functioned as both a revelation of the Father (if you’ve seen me you’ve seen the Father) and a veil, in that apparently none could identify his true identity unless they were given eyes to see and ears to hear. (see Simon Peter’s confession) . I’m convinced he was as human as he could possibly be and yet without sin. Does that mean that he occasionally hit his thumb with a hammer or cut a board too short? There’s no way to know that I know of but such mistakes surely don’t qualify as sin and so I don’t see why he shouldn’t be subject to the same innocent errors that all humans make. I view the scriptures in a similar fashion, inspired by God yes, but fully human, perhaps containing innocent errors, but still perfectly suited to fulfill their God given purpose in the world. And just as it takes a sovereign act of God to reveal the identity of Jesus, the man, so it takes a gifting of faith to accept the inspired nature of all scripture. As for the historical process of forming the canon, I’ve heard it said by one acknowledged accredited church historian that it wasn’t so much the church identifying what to include but the writings identified themselves. Does all this require a measure of faith? Certainly, but personally, I feel what Peter felt when, after most of the disciples of Jesus had deserted him and Jesus asked the 12 if they also would leave, he responded “Lord, to whom else shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.”

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If that were the case, why didn’t Clement’s letter to the Corinthians (written shortly after Paul and Peter’s death) identify itself?

It appears that there was not a wide enough consensus to justify its inclusion. For myself, I don’t find it useful to question the decisions made by those that were in a much better position to judge the merits of various writings. It has always seemed to betray an arrogance on the part of moderns to think we are superior in wisdom than they were. But that said, I suppose it’s not inconceivable that the people of God could admit that a glaring omission had taken place if a particular work begins to be viewed as equal in inspiration. The fact that any other writings are not included in the canon doesn’t preclude the possibility that they were/are just as god breathed as the 66 were. Don’t the people of God continually judge the truth of various contemporaneous expostulations? Isn’t that why each of us participating in this forum are here for, to hear a word from God? Ultimately, we all will stand or fall before our Master and are accountable only to Him. I’m a new member here but have already learned to value whatever you have to say brother Paidion.

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Apart from the writings collected in the canon we have next to no knowledge of anything Jesus did or said. If we can’t trust the canon, Jesus of Nazareth disappears from history. I haven’t heard of any autobiography ascribed to Jesus, have you? Careful you don’t saw off the branch you’re standing on brother!

Well, I have seen some folks here - do that. I always take the convention, made my an Eastern Holy Person I knew of. He would not say anything negative, regarding a living person - until after they were dead. But if someone questions wisdom. Then they are a fool - like me. Or a super genius. Either one, I would be happy to meet them!

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P.S. Notice that in the short (1 minute) video, the “dumb” and “foolish” rabbit - gets the upper hand!

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Actually, it is not their ‘wisdom’ that is at question here. Your claim of ‘arrogance’ is mis-placed in the context of this question, imo.
It is not arrogant to want answers to questions, especially those questions that affect our faith, and the basis of our faith, directly and existentially. Now your faith may not be troubled by any of those questions; but the faith of many, including myself, is more important than an unquestioned reliance on the ‘wisdom’ of any ancient source. Notice my emphasis on ‘unquestioned’.
Fortunately, a hard look at those sources can be comforting, though - they appear to be mainly sound, and in fact upon study they appear to be wise as well. Like it or not, we are in an era of the ‘hermeneutic of suspicion’, where thinking people, by and large, insist on transparency and testing of the foundations. I myself think that an initial agnosticism toward ‘authorities’ is just fine, though I see no final reasons for staying agnostic.

It is very often our doubts - on the deepest levels - that lead, and are the only path, to our eventual affirmations and faith.

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Cogito, ergo sum.

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Just to set the record straight. You are quoting and responding to Mauialan - NOT me.!

But just a commentary here. Most of what I call “wisdom”, doesn’t come from the Ivory League, PhD folks. Or folks who belong to Mensa International.

I found the wise, among the Holy People - who are consider Roman Catholic or Eastern Orthodox saints. Or Holy People or Medicine People, from the Zen, Sufi, Tibetan, Yogic and Native American traditions. Like those here:

Now who is Dave talking to???

My bad, Randy. I quoted from your post, where you had quoted Mauialan, and that caused the hiccup.