Sunday, November 20, 2011

Does the Bible Have Man-Made Errors?

There is an old expression that has been upgraded with a new twist lately. Perhaps you have heard it, too:

"To err is human, but to really screw things need a computer!"

Someone will make a mistake and they shrug with their hands up and offer: "Well, I am only human." There is even a specific category on some forms used to evaluate problems that says: "Human Error".  I think it's pretty clear that we understand that people are not perfect, we make mistakes, and a lot of them.

This realization and reality, has unfortunately, led to an illogical rejection of the Bible as the perfect Word of God. As you share your faith, it won't be long before you are challenged by someone who says something like: 

"Well, I can't really accept or trust the Bible, because it was written by people, and people make mistakes, so therefore the Bible MUST have errors in it."

On the surface, that sounds logical. I mean:

A. People make mistakes

B. People wrote the Bible, doesn't that PROVE that the Bible has mistakes???

Actually, NO.

Even though it has the appearance of a "water-tight" argument, it's actually so full of holes that it can't hold any water.

A simple example will illustrate why. Think about this:

1. People make mistakes.

 2. People take tests.

Therefore,  no one has ever scored a perfect 100% on a test.

Now, that's absolutely absurd. As a teacher by profession, I can confidently and accurately testify that I have graded many hundreds of quizzes and tests that were perfect, 100%, A+, no mistakes.

Right now, at this very instant, while you are reading this, thousands, maybe millions of tests are being sweated over worldwide, and a huge number of them will receive a perfect errors.

You see, here is the error of their logic:
Yes, people do make mistakes, but people don't ALWAYS make mistakes.  

This is a huge distinction. Think about it, if people ALWAYS make mistakes, then you shouldn't even get out of bed in the morning. You definitely shouldn't drive, because if people aways make mistakes, then the roads will be better known as highways of death, filled with accidents and carnage at every stop sign and every stop light.

You definitely shouldn't eat, because if we always make mistakes, then we will grab the poison and chemicals rather than the nutritious food that we meant to eat. We would be spending more time at the Emergency Room than the Mall, or work, or school.

Also, you shouldn't ever talk to others, because if we always make mistakes, then you can't trust the words coming out of your own mouth, and you definitely can't accept the messages coming from other people, that is, if people always err (and do I even need to remind you about not ever FLYING?!?).

But obviously, experientially, and logically, people don't ALWAYS make mistakes. If so, life would be completely unlivable. Period.

Let's take this logic and argument back to the issue of the Bible:

FACT: people wrote the Bible
FACT: people make mistakes
FACT: people don't always make mistakes
THEREFORE, the Bible COULD BE error-free

Even looking at it from a completely atheistic viewpoint, it is both possible and logical that the Bible could be error-free. The  next time someone asserts that there MUST BE errors in the Bible, try this little exercise with them:

1. Give them a piece of paper and something to write with.

2. Ask them to write down HAVE A NICE DAY.

3.  Check it for accuracy.

Now, 99% of the time, they will write it down perfectly fine, spelled correctly and all! All the right words and in the right order. Amazing! Ask them if they could probably write it down correctly a second time...a third time...ten times...or even one hundred times?!

Of course they could.

Ask them if they could write it down correctly, filling an entire piece of paper with it?

Their answer? Yes. How about TWO pages...three pages? How about ten pages? How about ONE HUNDRED PAGES? Of course they could.

Logically---if you could write it down ONCE perfectly, then there is no logical reason preventing you from writing it down correctly a thousand times, a million times, or whatever. 

Now, the entire Bible is about 1300 pages long, give or take a few pages (in English). There is absolutely no logical reason that would imply, and definitely not mandate, that there has to be even one single error in the entire Bible.

There are millions of pages of data and information created and printed everyday, with a large percentage of them being perfectly error-free.

Now, when we take into consideration that the Bible claims to be INSPIRED by God (in other words, that God wrote the Bible THROUGH people, using their vocabulary and style to pen His message) then the case for the Bible being error-free is that much stronger.

Think about it, if I told you to write something down, errors could creep in at three levels:

1. The one giving the information could be in error (me)
2. The one hearing and writing could be in error (you)
3. The actual mechanism of writing could fail

But, if God is the original author (as He claims to be in the Bible), then error #1 (above) is out of the question (God does not make mistakes).

Secondly, since God is inspiring the process, He has the power to ensure that the human author has perfect understanding and delivery of the message. So, error #2 (above) is nullified.

Finally, as the Creator of the Universe, it is illogical to imagine that God would not ensure that the writing mechanisms and media (pen/parchment/etc) would not fail to accurately record that information. So, possible source of error #3 (above) has to be "written-off" (no pun intended).

The claim that, since people make mistakes, and God used people to write the Bible, means that the Bible MUST contain errors, is patently false and embarrassingly illogical. It's odd that so many obviously-intelligent people would even attempt to use it.

Coming up soon, a look into the illogical challenge that:

"The Bible we have can't be trusted, because it has been translated so many times!"

 (this one is even worse...honest).
Click HERE to read about "Translations of the Bible"

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