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Are there errors in the bible? Ok, do you want the long or the short answer?
The short answer: yes.
The long answer:
If you read the short answer and thought I was a heretic, maybe you should
read the long answer. One of the most divisive issues in Christianity has
been the doctrine of "inerrancy." The conservatives push inerrancy and
act as if you can't be a Christian unless you believe that every single
word in the bible is divine decree. They consider the "liberals" who
don't believe this is the way we should view the bible as "heretics."
Ironically, they say that liberals only want the bible to mean what they
want it to mean, yet it is the conservatives who have done all the "proof
texting" resorting to pulling out even the most obscure passage to
"prove" their point. Afterall, all of it is divine decree, so why not?

Forget the fact that it's irrational and illogical to say a book is true
because it says it is. That's like saying Bill Clinton never lies because
he said he doesn't. My arguement doesn't come from this, because to an
inerrantist, this argument means nothing. Instead, I'm going to argue
from the position of: The bible doesn't claim inerrancy.

What is most amazing about inerrantists, is most of them don't know how
the bible was compiled in the first place. There was a process during
which there were heated debates over certain books and whether or not they
should go into the bible or not. I have no time in this article to deal
with the issue of how the bible was compiled, but if you are interested
in a more indepth study I would suggest the following links:

So, now, I want to let those of you who don't know which bible scriptures
inerrantists use to "prove" that the bible is inerrant. Despite the
fact that this is a circular arguement, the bible doesn't even support
it. Here are the scriptures that have been pointed out (there may be
more. If anyone knows of a bible scripture used to prove inerrancy
please send it to me here --->

Inerrantists base their case on these scriptures: (I'm using the
King James Bible Version, lest anyone should accuse me of using a
"softer" bible version to plead my case. There are many scholars
who argue that the KJV isn't the most accurate of all the versions
however, for the sake of arguement, it's best to use the KJV here
since this is the bible version that most use.)
*Matthew 4:4 "But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not
live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth
of God."
Many inerrantists believe that simply because Jesus quoted scripture means
that absolutely every word written by anyone and then called scripture
is a divine decree. It's important to realize here that Jesus did not
start the scripture slinging. The devil came to him and started quoting
scripture, so he quoted back. Now...this bible verse is absolutely true
however, using this scripture to claim that every single word every printed
in the bible as we have it now is the direct word of God, is stretching
this verse quite a bit.

*Romans 3:2 "Much every way: chiefly, because that unto them were
committed the oracles of God."
This verse is talking about how the Jewish people were trusted with the
words of God. However, it takes a lot of faith in human beings to
assume that they got everything right. Do I believe in miracles?
Of course I do! Do I believe that the miracle stories in the bible
happened? Yes! Do I believe that absolutely every single thing printed
in the bible came from God? No. Why not? Because if I did, then I would
have to believe God was schizophrenic. And I don't believe he/she is.
Case in point: There are all these places where they talk about burnt
sacrifices and how God wants them done, etc. etc. But then in the prophets
Jeremiah 7:22 it says: "For I spake not unto your fathers, nor commanded them
in the day that I brought them out of the land of Egypt, concerning burnt
offerings or sacrifices." Now, to the inerrantists...don't worry, you have
some translations of Jeremiah 7:22 that doesn't say this...but says
something like "in addition to...the commands...." But that is in the
NIV. If one is going to claim inerrancy then they should at least
stick to the same translation rather than flipping back and forth
between translations until they get a bible verse to say what they
want it to say.

One thing that I am a bit wary of is...by saying that I'm not an
inerrantist obviously makes it look like I'm an "errantist" as
if I think nothing in the bible really happened and that it's a
completely human book. I don't believe that. I do believe that
the bible is inspired...but I don't think that inspiration makes
it necessary for every single word to be inerrant and infallible.

So, here are some things I wrote in my journal when I was dealing
with this issue:

Inerrancy is a goofy doctrine to begin with. I mean, let's face it,
humans can't be perfect under the best conditions for the shortest
amounts of time. Also, biblical inerrantists are very selective
about how they apply this doctrine. (They have to be, otherwise
they'd be stoning their children for disobedience and avoiding
shellfish.

Also...there is a place in the New Testament when questioned about
divorce, Jesus says that Moses gave them that law because of the
hardness of their hearts. (It's interesting that he didn't say
"God gave them that law.") In addition, if one believes in
biblical inerrancy, then one has to believe in slavery, child
abuse, and women as property because these things are accepted
throughout the majority of the Old Testament.

Also...arguements like: "God didn't say that..." don't hold much
water, because with the long list of laws God gave the people
there is no logical reason why laws against these things wouldn't
be uniformly enforced. Now, looking to the New Testament,
we see Jesus approves of none of these things. The Bible,
while written under divine inspiration, was written by human
hands and as such is tainted to some degree by human fallibility.

It's not a perfect document. Even if it was perfect, every translation
isn't, so why start out with a perfect "autograph" if no one gets
to read it in it's perfection? Making the bible the perfect
inerrant word of God makes an idol, a crutch we use instead of
relying on God, and a weapon, we use to prove our points.
Proof texting to life ourselves up rather than God. The bible
is a two-edged sword (it cuts both ways), as seen by anyone
who's witnessed a biblical debate.

Even satan used "proof texts" in the story of Jesus' temptation
in the desert, so obviously the ability to pull a scripture
out of context to prove your point doesn't make you right or
Godly. The Word of God, Jesus, IS our infallible rule of life
from God, but I don't believe that God would elevate any document
to a level worthy of worship that would take our eyes off of
our Heavenly Father/Mother.

The fact is, Jesus was against those things mentioned above (slavery..etc.)
Yet Jesus WAS/IS God (This is the fundie belief, and my belief
as well.) God is said to be the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow.
So, either God is self-contradictory, in which case we could never
trust him/her, or we have a choice to make: potentially culturally
biased and tainted words by men, who while inspired were obviously
still fallible men...or the word made flesh, the perfect, infallible
word of God...Jesus. My choice will be Jesus every time.

Does this mean if I don't "like" a scripture I just throw it out?
No! But if it contradicts anything Jesus said or did, I'm not
going to put my faith in it. In addition some people say:
"Well, you could just start taking away verses about Jesus
in the New Testament that you don't like."

While this sounds like a good arguement, it really isn't.
I believe in the miracles of the Old Testament and the
general trustworthiness of it. However, I don't let minor
points of doctrine allow me to take my eyes off Jesus.
In addition, anyone witnessing Jesus life, death, and
ressurrection were powerfully influenced by his radical
teachings enough to write about it and then die for it.

These were not personal biases, but a powerful meeting with
God. How do I know this if I don't believe the bible is
inerrant? Faith. My faith is in God...I see enough in the
bible to see God...and to find a relationship with God...but
it's not necessarily a road map. I'm not putting all my faith
eggs into the basket of a book that has been argued over by
everyone.

I believe God left us many evidences of Jesus and his reliability
as well as the general reliability of the New Testament documents.
In addition, God left this truth imprinted on our hearts and we
just "know" it's true! I can't speak for every religion in
the world and am not out to prove that mine is "right."
All I know is the truth that I believe that the divine has
given me in the person of Jesus Christ.

Yes, I believe in miracles. I believe in Jesus, but I have next to
no faith in fallen human beings like myself, prone to mistakes with
even the best intentions. Also, interestingly enough, the bible
as a document never even claims inerrancy in it. I was shocked
to find out how few "proof texts" there actually are for this.

In fact the best text (the only one that even hints at this doctrine)
is 2 Timothy 3: 14-17 which basically says all scriptures are
"profitable." That's a far cry from "infallible" or "inerrant."
If God had wanted a completely inerrant bible, he could have
dropped one out of the sky in every culture in the appropriate
languages but would that have taught us to love God or our
neighbors? Would that have taught us our imperfectness?
And even if it did, in our fallen human nature, we would have
worshipped this perfect "book" and probably wouldn't have sought
further for relationship with God.

We as humans are so easily contented spiritually. And we are
constantly trying to reduce God to fit him/her into some tiny
human made box but God is too big and inevitably breaks free
from the silly limits we place on the creator of all things.
God calls us to flutter about like the butterfly in freedom
and love, to soar like eagles...
Yet we seem content to inch along like caterpillars and slither
around like snakes, content to see our tiny environment
as "all there is" rather than soaring to see the true
beauty and creativity of our heavenly father/mother.

I haven't gone into great depth here about why it is illogical
for me anyway, to believe that the bible is completely inerrant
and that I don't even think it's a biblical doctrine from the
bible. However, if you would like to explore this topic further,
there are many people out there who are far more scholarly than
I am in this area, so here are some links that might help you to
look at this issue more closely.

Blessings,
Zoë Grace =)