More Biblical Debate
[Ramon's Response to WW]
WW asked some questions about the Bible's degree of authority and divine inspiration, acknowledging the source of inspiration but suspecting that mankind's recording of God's word might somehow taint it.
These are typical of the many questions the folks at ChristianAnswers.Net receive, and I'd recommend that he browse around that site for "staunch fundamentalist" answer to his queries. Is the Bible Accurate? and Is the Bible True? are two great places to start pursuing that subject within that website.
Here are excerpts of mine from past arguments I've had about the issue of Biblical inspiration:
I'm not assuming what must be proven when I say the Bible is the product of divine inspiration. It's been demonstrated repeatedly that, through applying the standard test of historical criticism to the Scriptures, the Bible is a valid historical record, and there exists plenty of evidence therein that Jesus rose from the dead. This isn't circular reasoning, but simply acknowledging common historical investigation in an argument.
:> Divine inspiration you say. I believe you. But there is a
> difference between 'divine inspiration' and 'divine transcription'. Maybe
> just maybe, the men that wrote the Bible while divinely inspired where also
> influenced by their times.
That's a common trap into which novice Christians stumble. While it's true that it was ultimately human authors who copied and wrote down the words, to suggest that they were doing so under their own impetus rather than that of the Holy Spirit is simple heresy. Vast amounts of manuscripts that date back to the Biblical times have been found and verified as unchanged, some by the Dead Sea Scrolls. In addition, archaeology has shown that the Bible's historical records are dead accurate. The hundreds of fulfilled prophesies present compelling evidence against the notion that the book's the least bit fallible. Really, to question the authority of the Scriptures because of their transcribers is a tactic used by skeptics for centuries, to which reformed theologian B.B. Warfield replied, "The Church has held from the beginning that the Bible is the Word of God in such a sense that its words, though written by men and bearing indelibly impressed upon them the marks of their human origin, were written, nevertheless, under such an influence of the Holy Ghost as to be also the words of God, the adequate expression of His mind and will. It has always recognized that this conception of co-authorship implies that the Spirit's superintendance extends to the choice of the words by the human authors (verbal inspiration, but not mechanical dictation!) and preserves its product from everything inconsistent with a divine authorship--thus securing, among other things, that entire truthfulness which is everywhere presupposed in and asserted for Scripture by the biblical writers (inerrancy).
The doctrine of plenary inspiration hiolds that the original documents of the Bible were written by men, who, though permitted to exercise their own personalities and literary talents, yet wrote under the control and guidance of the Spirit of God, the result being in every word of the original documents a perfect and errorless recording of the exact message which God desired to give to man." That's in total accord with Scripture, which reads, in 2 Timothy 3:16-17, "All scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching, for refutation, for correction, and for training in righteousness, so that one who belongs to God may be competent, equipped for every good work." Maybe, just maybe, you're trying to find a chink in what really is a flawless piece of armor.
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