Saturday, August 20, 2005
Is God Fallible?
In a comment on my last post, my friend Francis Lynn says:
"The problem with quoting from the Bible is that if it is the literal Word of God, word for word, then His Word has survived hundreds of centuries of oral recitation before it was written down, the translation errors, the editing & the prejudices of those who decided what to put in the Bible & what to leave out. This would make sense if God directed that His Word survived through these processes. Still, the literalist concept brings about its own internal inconsistencies & contradictions in the Bible.
If the Bible is not the literal Word of God, then it is a recounting of what God said & did. It opens the door to interpretation by those who wrote it & those who read it now. For instance, "Adam" in the Aramaic language in which the text of the original scrolls were written, can be translated to mean Adam- a persons name, or Adam- meaning mankind or adam - red, reddish color. Most scholars today believe that the Bible is a guide to God & not the literal Word.
Did God really say, "Who is this that darkens..."? Or did someone put words in God's mouth, so to speak? It is a dicey proposition when quoting the Bible. I am not a literalist.
As an aside, Jesus spoke Aramaic. If you want to see the Lord's Prayer in Aramaic & hear it recited in Aramaic, as it would sound if Jesus spoke it, go here:
This is what I have to say in reply:
So, you are not a literalist. Then perhaps you can tell us what parts of the Bible are not true and what parts are. And while you are explaining that, also explain who decided which of God's words are not accurate.
Do you really think that the God Who created the universe out of nothingness would allow His word to be inaccurate?
If you were to say, for instance, in John 11:35, Jesus did not weep but was really just very sad, then you could just as easily say Jesus didn't exist at all. If any part of the Bible is wrong then the entire work is suspect. And if it is suspect then you might as well consider it absolutely irrelevant. Every word.
Who besides God has the authority to decide what parts to believe? This idea that one can decide for oneself what parts of God's word is to be believed over another, is the same belief that inspires homosexuals to disbelieve or at least, ignore that part of God's word that says any man who lies with another man as he would with a woman is an abomination unto God.
Where does fantasy end and truth begin? And once again, who has the audacity to crown himself the arbitrator of that truth over God, Who is the creator of the Truth?
My God doesn't make mistakes. My God wouldn't create an abomination unto Himself. That just doesn't make sense.
God is omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent, and omni-everything else. Does it not occur to you that a God who is all these things wouldn't allow His Word to be changed, perverted, or inconsistent? Throughout history men have tried to destroy, discredit, change, and discount as inaccurate God's Word, and have failed.
Why? Because God's Word is eternal.
Matt 5:18 states, "For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled."
(God's word is The Law)
The "Jot" is the Hebrew word "Yodh" which is the 10th letter of the Hebrew alphabet. It is also the smallest letter. It's European or English equivalent is the letter "Y" as in the English term Yahweh or in Hebrew YHVH since there were no vowel's used in the ancient script.
The word "jot" itself is an English transliteration of "iota" which is the 9th letter of the Greek alphabet. "Iota," in turn, is the nearest Greek equivalent for the Hebrew yodh.
The "tittle" is the small decorative spur or point on the upper edge of the yodh. If you can imagine a tiny letter with a slightly visible decorative mark.
Tittle is used by Greek grammarians of the accents and diacritical points. It means the little lines or projections by which the Hebrew letters differ from each other. One example would be the difference between the letter L and I. The difference is only one small mark. We use phrases like "the dotting of the i, and the crossing of the t," and "every iota."
It is interesting that the Jewish scribes who copied the MT (Massoretic Text) of the Hebrew Bible scrolls paid the greatest attention to the minutiae of detail and such marks attached to each consonant throughout the entire text. They even numbered every letter, word, sentence, paragraph, chapter, section, and scroll to insure that the total equaled that of the text being copied before allowing it to enter the holy synagogue.
The meaning of the passage is very clear. Not even the smallest letter or even its decorative spur will ever disappear from or be added to the "God Breathed" Word until all is fulfilled. In fact when heaven and earth are replaced by a new heaven and earth, the Word of the Lord will have accomplished its purpose and will be fulfilled in every detail even to the very letter.
More on this can be found here.
So, yes, His Word has survived hundreds of centuries of oral recitation before it was written down, the translation errors, the editing & the prejudices of those who decided what to put in the Bible & what to leave out. This does make sense because God did direct that His Word would survive through these processes.
Or is Matthew 5:18 wrong, too?
If the Bible cannot be counted on to be the inerrant Word of God, then we might as well just do as we please without fear of God's judgement, because without it there is no law.