Tagged: authority of Scripture

Reading the Bible with misplaced expectations

“The Bible is full of contradictions.”

So say many critics of God’s Word. When asked to provide examples, however, critics often reveal a gross misunderstanding of the writers’ purposes, according to Douglas S. Huffman, a contributor to In Defense of the Bible: A Comprehensive Apologetic for the Authority of Scripture.

Bible VerticalWhile alleged contradictions come in many forms, one of the most common is that of misplaced expectations; that is, critics approach the Bible from angles that are foreign to the author’s intent.

Huffman offers five examples:

Selection vs. denial. Authors must select what they choose to include in their accounts. Their selections are related to their purpose for writing. Just because they leave some details out does not mean they deny their existence. For example, each of the four Gospels has information not contained in any of the others. But this does not mean these records are in conflict with one another.

Even the Gospel writer John alludes to this: “And there are also many other things that Jesus did, which, if they were written one by one, I suppose not even the world itself could contain the books that would be written” (John 21:25).

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Introduction: How do I know the Bible is true?

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Christians generally believe in the reliability and authority of Scripture. But some have doubts, and others raise serious objections to the Bible’s claim to be the Word of God. This study will raise and answer eight of the more common objections, including: No one really knows what the Bible says because the original manuscripts are lost, and the Bible is full of contradictions.

As a preview, here are the eight objections we will address:

  1. No one really knows what the Bible says because the original manuscripts are lost.
  2. The Bible has been copied so many times, with so many variations, there’s no way to know what was originally scripted.
  3. The books of the Bible were chosen arbitrarily by councils of men in highly political processes. As a result, they left out some very good books – perhaps some equally inspired writings.
  4. It’s silly to assume that one book – the Bible – contains all of God’s truth and that other great writings, from the Vedas to the Book of Mormon, do not come from God.
  5. The Bible is full of contradictions.
  6. The Bible can’t be true because it depicts a different God in the Old and New Testaments.
  7. There are so many translations of the Bible today, it’s impossible to know which translation is the right one.
  8. There are so many Christian denominations today, it’s clear that Christians can’t agree on what the Bible teaches.

Watch for a new post each week.

 Copyright 2009 by Rob Phillips