Do we prevent somebody being hurt by superstition or faith by rejecting and challenging those things? 

Is it mistaken to support organised religion in membership or donations?

If people do good because they are human, not because God prompts them then is it right to risk giving God any credit when they alone own their good?

 


BIBLE CLAIMS ITS WORDS ARE GOD'S WORDS


VERBAL INSPIRATION IN THE BIBLE

The Church says that the Bible is God's book in which he reveals himself to us. He authored it through inspiring its human authors. The Bible contains only what God intended to reveal and God makes no errors.  It is God's literature and also man's at the same.  The word of man and the word of God are one and the same in the Bible.  Read the Bible as you would literature. That means taking the text literally where it is clearly meant that way. Don't read figurative language or fantasy language into it where it is not indicated.  These principles have to be taken seriously if you are to see if the Bible really is a revelation from God for an unclear revelation is not a revelation.
 
The Bible claims to be verbally inspired in several places. Logically it would have to because it contains very serious doctrines that only a book that holds evidence of being supernatural in origin could have the right to make. Examples: It says we must love ourselves and others for Godís sake alone.  It says if we do not accept Jesus we will be lost forever. It says that death is a punishment for sin. Those examples are to draw attention just to a few. No religion or Church or sect that has a liberal attitude to its Bible makes sense and liberal religion is definitely following men not God and is totally hypocritical and self-deceiving. Reason says the book should be totally provable to make such serious claims never mind when it claims to be Godís writing but the Christians will only settle for evidence that does not prove the Bible to the full. That is because they have to and not because they should or that they think they should.

 

Paul the first apostle to write said that he speaks and writes "in words taught by the Spirit" (1 Corinthians 2:13).  Remember the readers would have took this the commonsense way - at face value.  It is careerist hypocritical liberals that would try to water it down.

In Romans 9:17 Paul says that Scripture saying something in Exodus is the same as God saying it. He spoke of God as if he were the revelations in Scripture and called God scripture. He said that even the words he used to express the gospel in came from the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 2:13). He also said that the Spirit speaks in him (2 Corinthians 13:3). The information on the Bible being verbally inspired is all in the book, A Summary of Christian Doctrine.

2 Peter 1:20 says that revelation in scripture did not come by manís will but by Godís. This verse is a powerful weapon for the believers in a perfect and inerrant and verbally inspired Bible. It says no scripture is the result of a human understanding of things. Men were carried along by the Spirit to produce it. It means that nothing scriptural is of purely human origin or thought out by humans. Carried along comes from the idea of a boat driven by the breeze (The Encyclopaedia of Bible Difficulties, page 417). It is said that it seems the boat can be forced by the breeze or it can only be carried by the breeze if it allows it. But the verse has the former sense in mind because the latter stupidly assumes it means a boat with people rowing it which isnít necessarily true and is unlikely when the presence of people was not made clear! Unmanned boats have to be forced by the wind.

 

David Edwards accepted the NEB (New English Bible) translation of the text of 2 Peter 1:20,21 that makes it read as if you canít interpret scripture on your own and as if that is all it is saying (Essentials, page 67). This implies that you need God to help you. But that would make the text say that you canít interpret it on your own for its authors were carried along by the Holy Spirit. That is silly. A book being written by the Holy Spirit does not necessarily mean that you need the Spirit to understand it. The real meaning must be that scripture did not come about by the interpretation (of religion) of the authors it had but by their being inspired by the Spirit. That makes sense. That was what was meant.

 

The apostle Peter said that we must trust the Scriptures even more that we should trust the voice of God if we hear it from Heaven for the Scriptures give a more sure way of revelation from God (2 Peter 1:21). It follows that the Old Testament is more convincing than visions and revelations. His hyperbole: that the Old Testament is more the word of God than the direct voice of God, is a poetic device to emphasise that the Old Testament is made up entirely of the words of God himself straight from his mouth. When the visions and revelations of the New Testament times consist of the words God speaks, it follows that the Old Testament must be more perfectly verbally inspired than they and there is no chance of a misunderstanding and that the Old Testament can be proved to be true. Even the most rabid fundamentalist admits that the Old Testament or the Bible cannot be proved over experience and direct revelation but the point is that you cannot be a Christian and deny the verbal inspiration of the Bible. Jesus left the apostles to preach his message and they taught verbal inspiration so if you deny verbal inspiration you deny the apostles and you deny Jesus.

So the epistle, 2 Peter, chapter 1, has Peter saying he is more sure of the Old Testament scriptures being the word of God and infallible than the message from God delivered during the transfiguration that he heard saying that Jesus was Godís Son. So ancient old books have more authority than a miracle you see and hear yourself. This is illogical and fanatical. But it is an admission that Peter may have been deluded which casts his other testimonies, especially the resurrection, in doubt. It is an admission that the Old Testament has to testify to Jesus with complete clarity for God being perfect must give a perfect scripture. This clarity does not exist because each prophecy about Jesus in it is capable of many different interpretations. The early Church abused the Old Testament to fake evidence for Jesus for it is obvious the clarity is not there.
 

The 2 Peter material actually makes the New Testament scriptures inferior to the Old for they are not to be believed unless the Old permits it so the Old is the most convincing. This implies that the earliest doctrine was that the resurrection of Jesus Christ was not to be believed because he was seen but because the Old Testament said he would rise. The purpose of the visions was not to verify the resurrection but to make people see what the Old Testament said. Using the resurrection then to verify that the Bible is true which is a game played by many fundamentalists does not work and is quite illegitimate.  [The idea of Peter saying that the Old Testament is the scripture that really matters undermines the emphasis Catholics put on the Gospel of Matthew that Jesus supposedly made Peter the rock on which he built the church].

Scripture is for teaching the faith without error otherwise there is no point in having scripture. The Bible for Protestants is the only source of faith. The Bible for Catholics is a source of faith. Faith is regarded as a gift from God (Ephesians 2:8).  The fact that faith has to come from scripture shows that scripture must be inspired. How? Because God will inspire faith only because of his own revelation for human revelation is full of error. In other words, God testifies to your soul by putting his thoughts in your mind that the faith taught in the Bible is true so that you get the word from him and not from human beings. Accordingly, the Bible must be verbally his word for faith to be a gift from him that we are bound to stand by and not pollute with human thinking. The Bible claims to require, set forth and explain and nurture faith.

John 11:49-52 gives an instance where God guided a man to prophesy without the man knowing what the words meant. This man was Caiaphas who unknowingly predicted the death of Jesus. The Bible recognises the dictation theory of inspiration.



The Law of the Torah purports to be right in all its teachings because it came from God who cannot deceive (Numbers 23:19). God spoke through Balaamís donkey proving that verbal inspiration can be done (Numbers 22). When he put his words in a donkey surely he would put his words even more so in his book the Bible. The Torah emphasises that all of its laws are of God and to be obeyed (Leviticus 27:34; Deuteronomy 8:1; 28:58,59). It states that it contains the actual words of God (Exodus 24:3-8; Leviticus 20:1; Numbers 35:1; Deuteronomy 5:6). Many times in the Law, you will read that God said such and such to Moses. The Book of Proverbs says that scripture is made up of Godís words (30:5,6).

Isaiah and Jeremiah were both told by God that he put his words in their mouths (Isaiah 51:6; Jeremiah 1:9,10; 30:1-4; 36:4). David said that Godís spirit spoke through him and put his word in his tongue (2 Samuel 23:1,2). God told Ezekiel that when he said that God said this or that he was right (Ezekiel 2:2; 3:27). Acts 2:4 says that the Holy Spirit gave the apostles the words they spoke (Acts 2:4).

Jesus claimed that the resurrection and crucifixion were unmistakeably predicted in the Old Testament. The risen Jesus said that anybody who was slow to believe in the prophets and what they said was a fool referring to the people he was talking to (Luke 24:25-27).  His meaning was not that they didnít want to believe but that they found it hard to take it all in and see the sense of it because he went on to explain things to them. Using the standard set by God through Moses (Deuteronomy 18) Peter and Jesus had to be false prophets for they said things on the authority of God things about the prophecies of the Old Testament that were not true. The Old Testament warns that God makes no mistakes at all and one error or false prediction is enough to argue that a prophet is false and should be put to death. Jesus must have risen to tell lies then!

Revelation 22:18,19 stresses that the prophecy of the book is given in words and these words cannot be tampered with. If the words were not inspired but the meaning was, it would be permitted to alter. God cannot give a revelation through man to others without giving the words (page 18, Verbal Inspiration). We must not forget that Revelation does claim inspiration as in dictation which is the strongest in the Bible. The writer claims to be conscious that he is divinely inspired. It is clear though that Revelation feels that if any other Bible book does not go that far it still claims to speak with God's authority and be incapable of error. The author has random Bible texts in the back of his mind which shows that he regards the whole thing as divine. The rest of the New Testament does the same thing - it uses the best and not so best Old Testament texts as if all are of equal authority before God. If any came from God all did.

2 Timothy 3:16 reads, ďAll scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousnessĒ (KJV). The original says breathed out by God Ė this is translated as inspired but gives a greater stress on the words coming out of the mouth of God than inspired does. Human reason or Church tradition is not claimed to be breathed out by God, at least in the complete way the scriptures are, so the scriptures then are the supreme authority.

Archer in his Encyclopaedia of Bible Difficulties proves that this verse has been translated correctly (page 416). Some say it should read that every scripture is inspired by God but they want to please those who want to teach that there are some bits that are not inspired. But at the same time, every scripture could be everything in the Bible. In all things we must take the safe side, so we must assume that the whole Bible is meant. God wouldnít keep bits from error without saying that they are free from error unlike the rest. The most obvious interpretation is that if the Bible says every scripture is inspired then it means the entire Bible for the Bible is made up of many scriptures.

Letís quote John Stott who took David Edwardsí to task for ďaccepting the NEB interpretation of 2 Timothy 3:16, that the word theopneustos (ĎGod-breathedí) applies only to some Scriptures. It is true, of course, that the Greek sentence has no main verb, but (according to the best reading) it includes the word kai (Ďandí), indicating that two assertions are being made, not one, namely that Ďall Scripture is God-breathed and usefulíĒ (Essentials, page 84). So what is useful is god-breathed. And everything in the Bible is useful to Christians so all the Bible is God-breathed.

The verse primarily refers to the Old Testament and by implication refers to any new scripture that will come and it is certain that the early Church considered the utterances of the apostles as equal to the Old Testament Ė they ignored 2 Peter which in effect made the Old more important. Just a case again of a religion going out of control.

In the Gospel of John you will read about Jesus saying that he only says what God told him.

Paul said that everything written before was written for our instruction and says that he approves of it (Romans 15:4).

He said that we must not go beyond what the scriptures say (1 Corinthians 4:6). Incidentally, this refers to the Old Testament and would eliminate such later doctrines as salvation by water baptism, transubstantiation, the papacy, the sinlessness of the Virgin Mary and priests forgiving sins. Paul believed that everything he taught about Jesus was taught in the Old Testament.

Paul based an important argument to establish a doctrine as being from God from a text of the Old Testament concerning who Abrahamís seed was on one word and on it being singular and not plural (Galatians 3). He said that when the Bible said seed it meant Jesus. Paul is saying the Bible should be trusted completely. Jesus said that not one word should pass away from the Old Testament and that his words would not pass away.

Similarly, the arguments of Jesus in John 10 regarding his right to call himself a god and in Matthew 22 about God being God of the living were based on his belief that there was no error in the Old Testament text. John says Jesus should know for he heard all he taught from the Father.

Some object that when one book says that Jesus said this and that and another book changes the wording that it proves that verbal inspiration is unbiblical. But the Bible writers would have thought that it is the meaning that is the most important for even in ordinary life we say John said such and such and repeat what he said in different wording from his. Theologians argue, ďThere is no deception in God changing the wording. He inspired the writers to write only what he wanted but he did not make them all-knowing so the result is the same as what they could have recorded in their own words There is no deception in changing words as long as the meaning and what was meant is intact. If he verbally inspires a sentence in x form he can inspire it in y form just as easily.Ē
 
To this I have to say that when God was the chief author of the Bible he should have been able to get the wording exactly right. The wording is not evidence that the Bible doesnít purport to be verbally inspired. After all this might be an error. It does prove that verbal inspiration is nonsense.

The fact that discrepancies and false teaching exist in the Bible do not and cannot mean that it does not claim to be verbally inspired. False prophets claiming to be incapable of error err or lie and if they donít it is down to luck. The faults are most likely to be mistakes and not evidence against total inerrancy when they appear in a book that is filled with such arrogance and bigotry and superstition.

Some object that the Bible itself denies verbal inspiration and that it even says it has chunks which are not verbally inspired. But only those chunks would be uninspired and which would have nothing to do with the rest of the book which could be considered inspired. Who is to say what parts are inspired or not? But even the chunks if they exist could still be verbally inspired. Paul said that two statements of his were him speaking and not the Lord (1 Corinthians 7:6,12; 2 Corinthians 11:17). But Paul means that he is not reporting what he was told in one of his visions of the Lord Jesus anymore. He is speaking on his own and could still be under the supervision of God.

Some object that the Psalms which cry for vengeance and the Song of Songs which is full of dirty references could not be inspired by God meaning that the Bible denies verbal inspiration.  Christians object that God is not calling for revenge but is only guiding the expression of the writerís angry feelings. And God could write the raunchy Song of Songs for God is not sexy. The book would only be meant to be read uncensored by unsexed people if God wrote it. And the Bible not living up to what verbal inspiration should be does not prove that the Bible does not view itself as verbally inspired.

One blunder or lie in the Bible is all that is required to explode this inspiration nonsense. God can do neither for he is all-knowing and all-powerful and has no need to and God said that one false teaching in an otherwise correct revelation proves that the source is not from God (Deuteronomy 18).
 
The Bible claims that every word in it is a word from God.
 
Verbal inspiration is an unpopular doctrine because it is known that there are errors in the Bible and even outright lies.  But lies and errors do not prove the Bible intends you to think it lies or errs.  It still pretends to be infallible.  Even books that made no claim to be infallible were "infallibilised" by other scriptures which did or by Jesus who claimed to speak without error.

 

Jesus wrote nothing but the gospels say he chose teachers to do the talking for him and by implication the writing.  The main point is that the text is to be thought of as verbally inspired even if it is not.