Christianity is True Even If Some of the Bible Isn’t

Is Christianity true just because the inerrant Bible says it is?  No.  Christianity would still be true even if the Bible was never written.

Let me explain.

It’s a common belief prevalent among some Christians today that what we know about Christianity depends on an inerrant Bible.  Sure, we know that there are several non-Christian writers from the ancient world that make brief references to the first century events and the beliefs of the early Christians, corroborating what we read in the New Testament.  We also know that there is an increasing number of archaeological findings that support characters and events in the Christian storyline.

But some of us erroneously think that Christian beliefs cannot be sustained unless the Bible is without error.  That would mean that the Christian faith is a house of cards ready to collapse if one verse or reference in the New Testament is discovered to be false.

Although I think are good reasons to believe in an inerrant Bible, inerrancy is an unnecessarily high standard by which to establish the central event in Christianity—the Resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth (which we celebrate this Sunday).  Christianity hinges on that historical event.  If Christ rose from the dead, then, game over, Christianity is true.  On the other hand, if he didn’t rise from the dead, then, as a first-century eyewitness by the name of Paul admitted, Christianity is false.

But you don’t need inerrant sources to establish that the Resurrection actually happened, or any other historical event for that matter.  For example, if you found an error in the stat line of a football game, should you assume that every game, story and stat line in the newspaper was a complete fabrication?  Then why do some people do that with the New Testament?   Why do they assume that unless every word of it is true, then most of it is false?

They assume that because they are confusing the fact of the Resurrection with the reports of the Resurrection. Conflicting reports of a historical event are evidence that the event actually occurred, not the reverse.  In other words, to return to our sports analogy, the only reason there is error in the stat line to begin with is because the game was actually played and someone tried to report on that game.  Neither the stat line nor the error would exist unless the game had actually been played.  After all, who reports on a game that didn’t actually take place?

The same is true with the documents comprising the New Testament and the Resurrection.  Even if one were to find an error or disagreement between the multiple accounts of the Resurrection story, the very fact that there are several eyewitness accounts shows that something dramatic actually happened in history—especially since the folks who wrote it down had everything to lose by proclaiming Jesus rose from the dead.

That is, all of the New Testament reporters (except Luke) were observant Jews who would pay dearly for proclaiming the Resurrection.  Why would Jewish believers in Yahweh—people who thought they were God’s “chosen people” for two thousand years—invent a Resurrection story that would get them excommunicated from the “chosen people” club, and then beaten, tortured and murdered?

Answer:  they wouldn’t. They saw something dramatic that they weren’t expecting.  Then they proclaimed it, altered their lives because of it, and later wrote about it, despite the fact that doing any of that would get them killed.

So Christianity isn’t true just because the Bible says it’s true. Christianity is true because an event occurred.  True, we wouldn’t know much about Christianity if the reports of the Resurrection had never been written, but the Resurrection preceded the reports of it.

As my friend Andy Stanley asks, “Do you realize that there were thousands of Christians before a line of the New Testament was ever written?”  Paul was a Christian before he wrote a word of the New Testament.  So was Matthew, John, James, Peter, etc.  Why?  Because they had witnessed the resurrected Jesus.

Contrary to what some skeptics may think, the New Testament writers didn’t create the Resurrection—the Resurrection created the New Testament writers.   In other words, the New Testament documents didn’t give us the Resurrection.  The Resurrection gave us the New Testament documents!  There would be no New Testament unless the Resurrection had occurred.  Observant Jews would never have invented that.

This why the foundational beliefs of Christianity—what C.S. Lewis called Mere Christianity—are true even if the reports have some errors.  Getting details wrong in reporting the Resurrection doesn’t change the larger point that the Resurrection actually happened.  In fact, if all of the accounts agreed on every detail, we’d rightly assume they colluded.  Actual eyewitnesses never describe the same historical event in the same way.

For example, survivors of the Titanic disagreed how the ship sank.  Some say it broke in two and then sank.  Others say the thought it went down whole.  Does that disagreement mean that we shouldn’t believe the Titanic sank?  Of course not.  They all agree on that!   They were just viewing the same historical event from different vantage points.

Likewise, all the writers agree that the Resurrection occurred, but they differ on the minor details (Who got to the tomb first?  Did you see one angel or two? etc.).  And these differences aren’t necessarily contradictions, but the natural result of viewing the same historical event from different vantage points.

The historical documents we’ve collected and put into one binding we call the New Testament are just what the name implies— they are testaments or reports of what honorable people witnessed and had no motive to invent.  In fact, given who they were and how they suffered, they had every motive to say it wasn’t true.  And there are several other excellent reasons that show it takes more faith to be an atheist than a Christian.

So inerrant Bible or not, the Resurrection we celebrate on Sunday actually occurred about 1,985 years ago. That means you can trust that one day you’ll be resurrected like Jesus if you put your trust in him.

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62 replies
  1. Andy Ryan says:

    “there are several eyewitness accounts shows that something dramatic actually happened in history—especially since the folks who wrote it down had everything to lose by proclaiming Jesus rose from the dead.”
    .
    How do we know who the authors were, such that you can make this claim?

    Reply
      • toby says:

        Beh,
        First, we cannot know who wrote the bible. Second, if you cannot know who wrote it, then you cannot judge their motives, their reliability, their objectivity, or anything at all about them. Yet we see apologists making many claims on their validity including the vapid argument from embarrassment. If you don’t know who wrote it, then how do you know it’s embarrassing?
        .
        Suppose you want to take an anonymously written book and determine whether it’s fiction or non-fiction. Say it’s a 200 year old manuscript about a man living in a cabin in the Canadian Rockies. Do you think you can use the book itself to determine whether it’s fiction or non-fiction? It mentions a real geographic area, but not specifically where. It mentions actual events going on in other parts of the world. There’s no record of the man anywhere and maybe three or four other people have written other things, letters, whatever, mentioning the guy, but you really don’t learn anything in those letters that wasn’t in the original work.
        .
        You presuppose everything in the bible is real and happened, but you cannot know anything in it is reliable with any sort of confidence. It’s faith, not reason as the apologists would like us to believe.

        Reply
      • Andy Ryan says:

        “What must follow from that?”
        .
        Exactly what I said: that one cannot speculate that the ‘folks who wrote it down had everything to lose’. If we don’t know who they were then we have no idea what they had to lose by what they proclaimed. Hope this helps you out.

        Reply
        • BEH says:

          Thanks for your reply.

          I guess I’m still dissatisfied. I agree if we cannot be confident in who the authors of the Gospels were, then we have no idea what they had to lose by what they proclaimed to be true. That’s fine, but…well…so what?

          Though Frank appealed to authorship in his commentary, and thus your response is appropriate, authorship isn’t really that important of a question. It’s whether or not the Gospels are credible historical sources. I am not a New Testament scholar. From what I have read, however, authorship is only one of several factors used in aggregate to determine the level of confidence one can have in the information contained in a document.

          So I guess I’m left shrugging my shoulders even if we don’t know who wrote them.

          Reply
          • jcb says:

            The Gospels are not credible sources of history when they claim that someone was resurrected as a result of a supernatural being that is all powerful. Your doctor is not a credible source of medicine when she claims that you should jump off a cliff to cure a cold. In both cases, the assertions are improbable, and even a usually reliable source is not at that moment, about that claim, being reliable.
            It seems your dissatisfaction should be with the scant amount of evidence we have for God.
            The title of this article should be “Christianity is false (e.g., “god exists” is false) even if some of the Bible is true (Jerusalem exists, etc.)

          • Andy Ryan says:

            “That’s fine, but…well…so what?”
            You’ve just conceded a refutation of one of the major arguments defending the credibility of the New Testament.
            .
            “From what I have read, however, authorship is only one of several factors”
            OK, what else have you got? How do you differentiate the New Testament from a work of fiction written around that time that threw in a few real locations and events among the falsehoods?

  2. toby says:

    . . . they are testaments or reports of what honorable people witnessed and had no motive to invent. In fact, given who they were and how they suffered, they had every motive to say it wasn’t true.
    Frank, by what standard can you judge that these people were honorable? You have NO IDEA what their motivations could have been to invent or not invent stories. You have NO IDEA who wrote any of those words, so how can you make any claims about their veracity other than making appeals to scholarly authority?
    .
    How do you know that the different accounts were not derivations written from the earlier works? The supposed dates of original composition are guesses while the earliest manuscripts are nearly 100 years older.
    .
    What historical documents do you have to show how anyone suffered and that the reason for their suffering was their beliefs as opposed to their dissent of the government of the time. That dissent likely would have been against the “state religion” at the time and you see how some middle eastern countries currently dislike that. They don’t care if you recant or decry your religion, they just want you dead. Do you have any reason to believe that the region has changed their motivations/tactics on this issue?

    Reply
  3. TGM says:

    “Conflicting reports of a historical event are evidence that the event actually occurred, not the reverse.”
    .
    Really? So you also believe that the following events occurred…
    The Bowling Green Massacre
    The Gulf of Tonkin Incident
    Aliens landed in Roswell, NM
    The moon landing happened on a soundstage
    And, of course, Joseph Smith translated the Golden Plates. Why aren’t you a Mormon?
    .
    In an era where instant fact checking still leads to widespread misunderstandings, you’d think today that one might be suspicious of the veracity of ancient, poorly substantiated claims about impossible to replicate events in an under-educated part of the world. But nope, it must have happened because people disagree about it.

    Reply
    • Joseph says:

      And I imagine that after you wrote this, you patted yourself on the back and thought you’d made an intelligent contribution to the conversation. Your tone smacks of a misguided sense of knowledge, which, sad to say is only backed by speculation. For example you state: “…poorly substantiated claims about impossible to replicate events in an under-educated part of the world.”

      Really? Under-educated? Pray tell, by whose standards? Yours?

      How much do you know about the civilizations of ancient Egypt, Arabia, and the areas known today as the Middle East? Are you aware of their architecture, technology, and their medical prowess? Are you even aware that much of the English alphabet is a derivative of ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs, or that Algebra is an Arabic word meaning “the reunion of broken parts,” a word taken from an Arabian mathematician? While you suggest that Frank Turek’s argument doesn’t make logical sense,

      I’d suggest that it is your argument that lacks merit. But, I certainly understand how hard it would be for someone trying to make sense of a concept that is so much larger than our intellectual capacity to comprehend, to accept Mr Turek’s candid and well reasoned argument. Just my dos centavos!

      Reply
      • bob says:

        @ Joseph
        .
        Your tone smacks of a misguided sense of knowledge…
        You want tone…I’ll give you tone.
        .
        While you suggest that Frank Turek’s argument doesn’t make logical sense, I’d suggest that it is your argument that lacks merit.
        Your attack is misguided – TGM did not make an argument. He simply laid out why he does not consider Frank’s argument convincing.

        Reply
      • TGM says:

        Actually, my brain is so large that I can’t reach my back. But why such vitriol? I must have really struck a nerve. Were you at the Bowling Green Massacre Joseph? I hear it was a really rowdy press conference. Do you identify as Mormon?

        Reply
  4. jcb says:

    1. X was willing to die for his belief.
    2. If one is willing to die for his belief, then the belief is probably true.
    3. Thus X’s belief is probably true.

    # 2 is false here, given that the belief is vastly improbable (given what we know about death).
    Yes, being willing to die for a belief shows that the person seems to strongly believe it to be true, and it prima facie makes it somewhat more likely that the belief is true, but it doesn’t make the belief that Z was resurrected probable.

    Why was X willing to die for his belief? Because he believed it! Are people often wrong about their beliefs? Yes! So does the willingness to die show that the belief is probable? No. Consider the guy who just went up in a home made rocket to prove that the Earth is flat. He didn’t die, but he easily could have, and he was willing to die for his false belief.

    Reply
    • Sam Harper says:

      JCB, what did Frank Turek say to make you think he would affirm #2? I’ve never heard anybody actually affirm #2, but I frequently hear people attribute #2 to defenders of the resurrection. I think it’s a strawman.

      Reply
      • jcb says:

        Sam,
        I was considering one of many possible arguments concerning this topic. If you agree this argument doesn’t work, then do you think there is a similar one that does work? If not, then my work here is done!

        I was simply addressing some of the ideas contained in this quote:
        “there are several eyewitness accounts shows that something dramatic actually happened in history—especially since the folks who wrote it down had everything to lose by proclaiming Jesus rose from the dead.”

        Reply
        • Sam Harper says:

          JCB, I’m not sure how you get #2 from that quote. I do not think the mere fact that somebody is willing to die for their beliefs is, by itself, sufficient reason to think that the belief is true. Nor do I think any Christian apologist claims that it is. There are three possibilities about the resurrection.

          1. They made it up.
          2. They were mistaken.
          3. It happened.

          The “die for a lie” argument is only meant to undermine #1. Just consider what a lie is. A lie when when you KNOWINGLY say that something is true. I think what Frank is trying to establish is that the disciples really did have some experience that they interpreted as being an encounter with the risen Jesus. In other words, they weren’t just making it up.

          Dying for one’s beliefs, or being willing to put one’s life at risk for one’s belief shows the same thing in every other religion as it does for Christianity. A Muslims’ willingness to blow himself up for Allah shows that the Muslim really does believe it. A Heaven’s Gate member’s willingness to drink poison shows that they really did believe what they were saying. So no, Christians don’t think that a willingness to die, by itself, shows that one’s beliefs are true. It just shows that they aren’t merely making it up. In the case of the disciples, their beliefs were based on having seen Jesus alive after he died. If they were making that up, then they were know it wasn’t true, and if they knew it wasn’t true, they probably wouldn’t have risked their lives for it.
          So I think you are misrepresenting what Christian apologists are actually arguing.

          Reply
          • Sam Harper says:

            “A lie when when you KNOWINGLY say that something is true. ”

            That was supposed to be, “A lie is when you KNOWINGLY say something that isn’t true.”

          • jcb says:

            Then we are agreed: being willing to die isn’t sufficient reason to think the belief is true. That’s what I claimed as well.
            I don’t know which theists actually think otherwise, but that isn’t important.
            I don’t think I claimed they died for a lie. I don’t know if they knowingly made it up. All I know is that # 3 is more unlikely than # 2 or # 1.
            So, assuming that we know that they weren’t making it up, they were probably mistaken that Jesus rose from the dead as if he had been cremated and then bodily re-constituted.
            Right: we agree: Dying for one’s beliefs indicates that the person believes the belief.
            I didn’t discuss every Christian apologist, so it is false to say that I was “misrepresenting what Christian apologists are actually arguing”. Perhaps you mean, my representation of some Christian apologists is not what other Christian apologists are saying. That, seems likely to be true.
            If you know of a good argument by ANY Christian apologist relating to the above topics, just offer it.
            I was just addressing one possible argument. My main concern is not that Theist X makes this bad argument Y. My main concern is that Argument Y seems to be a poor one, whoever makes it. Your concern seems to be, Theist X didn’t make that argument, even though that argument is indeed bad/poor.

      • TGM says:

        Sam, I’ve heard JCB’s #2 used frequently by apologists as the “die for a lie” argument. Frank Turek will frequently cite it in his media, including part two of his “I Don’t Have Enough Faith to be an Atheist” seminar.

        Here (after a very easy web search)….
        1. Page 292 of Frank’s book (I Don’t Have Enough Faith to be an Atheist), after citing Scalia and Colson.
        2. Evan Minton on this site: https://crossexamined.org/10-reasons-accept-resurrection-jesus-historical-fact/
        3. Greg Koukl: https://townhall.com/columnists/gregorykoukl/2007/03/04/wailing-at-the-tomb-n1126439

        Definitely not a straw man.

        Reply
        • Sam Harper says:

          TGM, Frank Turek does not say on page 292 of his book that if a person is willing to die for their beliefs, then their belief is probably true. That is a gross misrepresentation of what he said. What he said, rather, is that a person’s willingness to die for the claim they are making shows that they are not just making it up. His exact words are “If they had made up the resurrection story, they certainly would have said so when they were about to be crucified (Peter), stoned (James), or beheaded (Paul).” So Frank is not arguing that it’s true merely because they were wiling to die for it; rather, he’s saying that their willingness to die shows that they weren’t just making it up. In other words, the argument that somebody wouldn’t “die for a lie” is an argument that people do not willingly die for what they know is false. Or, put another way, if a person is willing to die for what they claim, that shows the sincerity of their belief. So you are misrepresenting what Frank Turek actually said.

          You’re misrepresenting Evan Minton, too. Evan outright admitted that many people die for what they believe to be true. But, he says, people do not die for what they know is false. In the case of the disciples, Evan’s point is that the disciples were in a position to know whether the claims they were making were actually true or not. After all, they were claiming to have actually seen Jesus alive with their own eyes. So their willingness to die for what they were claiming, shows that they were not just making it up. So again, Evan is not making the blanket statement that a person’s willingness to die for their beliefs shows that their beliefs are true. He flat out denies that when he acknowledges that many people are wiling to die for their beliefs. Evan doesn’t say the disciples merely died for their belief; therefore, it’s true. Rather, he says they died for what they “knew to be true.” Evan is saying that unlike a Heaven’s Gate member or a Muslim terrorist, the disciples were in a position to know whether their claim that Jesus appeared to them alive after his death was true or not, and since people do not die for what they know is false, then their beliefs must’ve been true.

          Greg Koukl asks rhetorically, “Why would so many of them die for this lie when they knew it was a lie?” Do you see the last part of the question? WHEN THEY KNEW IT WAS A LIE. Greg is responding to the claim made by this documentary that same people who proclaimed the resurrection knew good and well that Jesus’ bones were secretly buried in Jerusalem. So Greg is arguing that since people do not die for a lie, then the documentary is wrong to suggest the disciples knew Jesus didn’t rise from the dead. He is certainly not arguing that dying for one’s belief shows that the belief is true.

          So yes, JCB’s #2 is definitely a straw man.

          Reply
          • Andy Ryan says:

            We need to know
            A) The disciples were killed for claiming to see Jesus ressurected
            B) They were given the chance to recent to save their lives
            C) They turned down that chance.
            How do you know all three criteria are met? Evidence for ANY of the disciples’ deaths is very sketchy – most rely on ‘church tradition’. So I don’t believe it’s possible to make claims about why they died, let alone say the manner of their deaths is evidence that a man rose from the dead.

          • jcb says:

            Sam,
            If you look at my original post, I didn’t say anything about any particular person’s argument. A straw person argument (fallacy) involves mis-characterizing another person’s argument. I didn’t address any other person’s argument, so I didn’t commit that fallacy.
            And again, you are missing the important point: if there is a better argument out there other than the one I presented, just offer it. My goal is not to say, “FT’s argument is poor”. My goal is to say “this argument is poor”. If the one I present is not the one presented by someone else, and that argument is better, and you want to discuss or defend it, just offer it.

          • TGM says:

            Strictly speaking, there is a difference between…
            “If one is willing to die for his belief, then the belief is probably true”
            and
            “If one is willing to die for his belief, then one believes it to be true”
            .
            But I’m not impressed with the distinction in most fora. The Christians I engage are not very likely to note the difference or even care. 2000 years worth of Christians believe in the resurrection because some small number of people claim that some indeterminate number of people believed they saw him risen. Belief is the operative concept. For most, that belief is as good as the truth.

  5. Sam Harper says:

    Frank,

    While it’s certainly possible for the resurrection to happen without the Bible being inerrant, I question whether Christainity could survive if the Bible were not inerrant. One could make an argument against Christianity from mistakes in the Bible like so. . .

    1. If Christianity is true, then Jesus is God.
    2. If Jesus is God, then everything Jesus believed must be true.
    3. Jesus believed the Old Testament was the inerrant word of God.
    4. But the Old Testament is not the inerrant word of God.
    5. Therefore, Jesus is not God (from 2, 3, and 4)
    6. Therefore, Christianity is not true. (from 1 and 5).

    If we grant 4 for the sake of argument, then your only option would be to deny 3 since I doubt you would deny 1 or 2. But honestly, would you deny #3? Do you think the evidence for #3 is weak enough that it could be denied? The evidence for #3 seems pretty strong to me. All of the gospels cite Jesus quoting scripture as if it had ultimate authority and that one need only understand what those scriptures meant in order to settle any controversy. Likewise, the early church, both within the New Testament and without cite Old Testament scriptures as if they were absolutely authoritative. With there being a unanimous view about the authority of the Old Testament among all of the earliest Christians, and since they all attribute that same view to Jesus, that seems like pretty strong evidence that #3 is true. If #3 is true, then it’s hard to see how Christianity could survive if the Old Testament were found to be errant.

    Reply
    • John VandenOever says:

      Thank you! I’m so disgusted with these “biblical teachers” who are so eager to throw out the principles Christianity depends upon… like the infallible in-the-original-texts Word of God.

      Reply
  6. Susan says:

    I like Erwin Lutzer’s explanation of the Bible as reliable. God is inerrant. People aren’t.

    Using the word inerrant confuses some people because when a human being makes a mistake like a translation error some people will mistakenly attribute their mistake to God.

    Reply
  7. Andy Ryan says:

    Regarding the ‘Disciples wouldn’t die for a lie’ argument, here are some alternatives.
    1. The Disciples fervently believed Jesus was the son of God and that they would go to heaven if they spread the word on him. Therefore they were happy to lie that they’d seen him resurrected and die for that lie.
    2. The Disciples lied for some other reason, and never thought they’d die for it. They were caught and said they’d recant, but were killed anyway
    3. The Disciples were not killed for their claim. Decades after their deaths, their followers falsely said they were martyred.
    4. Some Disciples WERE killed, but for some completely different reasons.
    5. The Disciples were mentally unwell, and convinced themselves they’d seen their friend resurrected.
    6. The whole story about Disciples was made up decades after they supposedly lived.
    Now, you may argue some or all of these are unlikely. But none are impossible and all are much more likely that a man coming back from the dead. At the end of the day, you’re making claims about what a small group of people would or wouldn’t have done 2,000 years ago, when you know nothing about these people and are really on accounts of what happened by other people about whom you know nothing. And you’re resting on these shaky foundations your entire belief about a very unlikely occurrence.

    Reply
  8. St. Lee says:

    As a Christian I hate to leave a comment here in opposition to another Christian (Dr. Frank Turek). While I can agree with him that the FACT of the Resurrection does not depend on the inerrancy of the Bible, I strongly disagree with the premise that Christianity does not depend upon it (I suppose I need to clarify the obvious by stating that this innerancy applies to the original autographs, not to transmission errors). By itself, the Resurrection tells us little if it is isolated from the Bible. It is God’s revelation given by way of the Holy Scriptures which preserves and explains all of the doctrine which Jesus taught. Without it, much would have been lost along with the death of the apostles, as memories faded in the following generations. If one were to accept the premise that not all of the Bible is true, then the best case scenario one could expect would be the proverbial “cafeteria Christian” with each person deciding for himself which portions they think are true. I think we have already seen that in action in liberal Christianity (so called) which in so may cases has devolved into something with little in common with what is taught in the Bible. Christianity has enough division brought about by the honest disagreement about the meaning of passages that all (Christians) agree are true without introducing doubt as to whether or not those passages are even true.

    Given that God proclaims the truth of his (written) word throughout both testaments, there would be little reason to trust any of it if the original writings could not be trusted. But they can be trusted (as I think Dr. Turek would agree).

    Reply
  9. Dan Alvarez says:

    Oh lord. Evangelicals in America are desperate.

    Let’s start with this –

    “For example, if you found an error in the stat line of a football game, should you assume that every game, story and stat line in the newspaper was a complete fabrication? Then why do some people do that with the New Testament? Why do they assume that unless every word of it is true, then most of it is false?”

    Why do Evangelicals assume even if one thing is true in the NT, then most of it is true??? Redic.

    The argument given by a top fundamentalist apologist is so weak I have to cry fowl. THERE IS A GOD OUT THERE. He’s ready to meet us on the plain of faith for those who choose to unplug from this fundamentalist view of the Bible and Jesus.

    It’s just sad that old fundamentalists that believe in the inerrancy of the Bible are clinging onto uninformed dogma in the height of the Information Age. Our church deserves better.

    Reply
    • Simon Says says:

      The height of the information age. Interesting thought. Imagine trying to prove what was what if it happened in today’s “age.”
      How many fallacies of EVERY story line appear out there on the ol’ information highway?!
      Today are we really ever able to effectively or accurately or without a shadow of a doubt, prove anything (like OJ… too soon?)
      We use whatever wild tale we can to support our view… I mean TGM offered a plethora. (confession I googled how to spell plethora)
      At some point, our digital information age, as plentiful as it is, still runs out of ability to prove… really anything?
      We rely on someone’s “word”
      Someone’s sworn statement and we have to put some measure of faith or doubt in their testimony of what happened on that day.
      Evidence is delivered, video’s are recorded and streamed in seconds seemingly CLEAR of what happened… and then more details surface and then the water gets muddy and then we are left with someone’s final judgement.
      And then people rally in the streets or take to FB posting for what “their truth” is regardless of what was declared the truth by all those people paid to do so.
      We judge and call into question their motives… than we assault their character or past so as to discredit whatever we don’t like.
      What hope does history even have at this point for telling “what happened” to the next generations.
      We don’t really know for sure.
      I mean for each even, there are thousands of documented claims on Facebook alone!
      Anyway, you maybe get the point?!

      I’m on the fence.
      Not sure if I believe in all the validity of the OT’s existence or of the NT… but something in me wants to wrestle with it. When I try to explain it to my kid’s, their simple questions somehow shake me in the most profound ways. Thing’s I’ve always believed get deeper and more confusing.
      But i’m not sure if ANY amount of evidence would actually do the trick for some of us.

      I also have to tell my kids the SAME thing over and over. And i’m told they will doubt my feelings for them no matter how much I do to convince otherwise.
      No amount of evidence can guarantee the outcome.

      We talk about disciples not dying for lies. People die for lies all the time.
      Suicide alone supports that.

      But than at some point, my intellect runs out. I have to do the work of just believing.
      Sounds simple. it isn’t. I’m still wrestling.
      Still not sure. Still wanting to believe I have a creator and a Savior and there is a love that exists greater than all these questions and wrestlings and greater than all the broken stuff in this world.
      Some bigger, greater purpose to the era’s of Hitler, the genocides, the history of everything horrible.

      Otherwise hope seems dead and wasted.

      Choosing to believe the existence of hope is pointing the greatest finger of all… that hope being alive means there IS someone/something else that is alive and greater than the finality of death.

      Shoot all the holes through me and this that you will.
      All I know is none of you were there when it all went down!
      Your abilities and logic to prove or disprove are insanely limited at best.
      All leaning on words from others to support or defend.

      But still, looking forward to your replies… cause hey, we were made for relationship eh?!

      Reply
  10. Susan says:

    Thanks for writing this Frank. This is a very important article because there are certain people who’s minds look for contradictions where none exist. But Frank is right witness reports do vary because people see things from different vantage points and the timing in their seeing them can be different.

    Still the fact that there is such striking similitudes in the 4 Gospel accounts to the miraculous uniqueness of events that took place when these witnesses were in the presence of Jesus.

    Personally I can’t understand why anyone would want to make Himself an enemy of God by attacking the veracity of these accounts or doubting their witness.

    They witnessed supernatural events and lived to tell about i and that should fill a reader with hope not doubt.

    Jesus came for everyone but we still have these small minded people doubting this and projecting their doubts into the world.

    If more people meditated on these accounts there would be less conflict in the world but not enough people do.

    But there have been reports from around the world that tribal conflicts have lessened and even disappeared wherever the Word of God has been introduced. I read a report the other day that it helps prevent conflict and tensions in the Demoratic Republic of the Congo.

    But the mainstream media doesn’t report modern day miracles very often. It just floods people constantly with negativity and constant criticism of events that cause people to worry about the here and now rather than realize they can be translated into the Kingdom of God right now as the New Testament says where there is God’s peace and some spiritual rest from this world.

    Reply
  11. jason Turner says:

    If Christ rose from the dead in accordance to the scriptures, as stated in 1 Corinthians 15:4 then this article loses it’s steam. For his resurrection is a fulfillment of the very scriptures that is being said is not required.

    Reply
  12. Bill says:

    The discussion and respect shown in the above comments are quite inviting. I have been thinking about the question (or postulation) that Sam brought in the comments about Jesus believing the Old Testament was the inerrant word of God. Some examples came to mind. The law in the Old Testament was adultery was to be met with death (Deuteronomy 22:22, Leviticus 20:10) yet when Jesus was challenged to judge an adulterous woman she was sent away with the advice not to sin again (John 8:1-11) Does this mean Jesus did not believe in the law from the Old Testament or he didn’t accept it? When asked about the question of divorce in Matthew 19:1-9 Jesus recognizes that Moses (the Old Testament law, see Deuteronomy 24:1-3) allowed divorce but wants people to go back to the beginning in Genesis 2 where man and woman are made one for life, i.e. no divorce. Does this mean Jesus did not believe in the law from the Old Testament or he didn’t accept it?

    I am not an expert so I am sure there is argument to justify these differences, but what I think the author of the article is asking is that we look at the Resurrection as a more pivotal event. Faith is still required to believe in the Resurrection, as Jesus seems to encourage. If Jesus didn’t want us to decide what we believe he could have taken away all doubt by flying around Jerusalem on Easter morning like Neo from the Matrix saying, “look I am alive again.” But he didn’t, he didn’t even reach out to the leaders who were involved in is death (Pilate, Herod, Nicodemus, etc.), only 500 of his closest friends.

    I have looked at the word of God in the bible as a living word. It is more important how it is heard than how it said. Jesus tells the story of the Kingdom of God being like a mustard seed “the smallest of all seeds” (Matthew 13:31-32) Jesus should have surely known that biology was in the future and microscopic seeds would be discovered, invalidating this comment. But speaking to his audience at the time he made his point and for us in the future we are able to hear the intended message without being caught up in specific discrepancies in a story. In our own time, our own culture we hear what is believable a people from the future will be able to do. (I am sure this is not unanimously accepted but it helps me.)

    I support the idea of putting faith in the Resurrection, and it is the Resurrection that created Christianity, the church and ultimately the Christian Bible.

    Reply
    • Susan says:

      Why do scientists grant all the control to materialism in their minds?

      Jesus Christ brings transformation from the material to the spiritual.

      So why are you looking at the present.

      Jesus turns the path of His people from carnality to spirituality.

      We are a New Creation so why even look at the old creation and past.

      Look ahead to the future with Jesus.

      Jesus said to examine ourselves not the creation. If you examine yourself you can repent and be born again and escape the judgment.

      All this science has done is misdirected people from listening and taking direction from Jesus who gives eternal life and translates people into the Kingdom of God.

      Don’t let the world play tricks on you. Don’t engage or learn it’s tricks. Listen to Jesus.

      Hope this helps.

      Reply
  13. Jeremy says:

    Do we need an error-free Bible to show Christianity is true? No. The Lord gave us a great cloud of witnesses, and He preserved their testimony in the Bible. We have the preserved Word of God to show true Christianity.

    Reply
  14. Brent Hurst says:

    Dear All,
    .
    God is Spirit, and it is the Spirit that works and performs. The scriptures are only a WITNESS, and there are other witnesses, but to think Christianity would be false or ineffective without the Bible would deny the very existence of God to act with or without the scriptures.
    .
    There are many scriptures in the world that witness to what God and His Spirit are doing in the world, He spoken to various cultures in various ways. But with Judaism, since they are also the physical line through whom the Messiah would be born, God has used Israel to write His testament also, In other words, the very history of Israel, their survival in the face of several dispersals, their continued existence and their resurrection from the dead as they arose after nearly 2000 with no homeland, no body of a nation.
    .
    Most of the Old Testament is simply a written history of Israel because God has USED Israel to be a sign for us. What He did nationally for Israel, as if they were one man, even Jacob, His living in their midst, His reviving them and breathing new life into the Nation, in the New Testament He does for each individual Christian soul.
    .
    Israel itself is a sign for Christians, the Old Testament is a witness of Israel, since the bible POINTS to Israel, then Israel itself is a greater witness than the scriptures. And Israel POINTS to God’s Spirit as it has functioned both through and in relationship with Israel.
    .
    Here is the test, you hold the last bible on the planet, your choice is , you can throw the bible into a fire where it will be destroyed so as to save a drowning man, or you can let the man drown and save the bible for future generations.
    .
    If you hesitate for even a second to burn the scriptures, that is the degree to which you doubt God’s very existence. What is the written word if God’s Spirit does not demand you save the life of another man for by saving the man, thus is God’s Spirit manifesting through us. If you think to save the book, then the book becomes dead.

    Reply
    • Jeremy says:

      The only situation where this test could be remotely realistic, is in persecution. Many people throughout history have chosen to rather to save the Book, and many martyrs were willing to be drowned, so that the Book might be preserved. Quite frankly, that kind of devotion to the Word of God is the only reason that we have the preserved scriptures in our language, today. “He that leadeth into captivity shall go into captivity: he that killeth with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints.” – Revelation 13:10

      Reply
      • Brent Hurst says:

        Dear Jeremy,
        .
        Other than the fact your post makes no sense, you did prove my point as you make no mention of God as the dynamic force. The mind of the flesh regards only the flesh, and so you mention religion, the written word, and you have given the glory to man, even if they are so called martyrs. As the body is sustain by the soul which resides in it, so are the scriptures sustain by the force of God’s Being moving within the Creation. I hope you keep growing,
        .

        Reply
        • Jeremy says:

          My previous post does make sense in this: There is no possible way to try to save a man from drowning simply by burning a copy of the Word of God; UNLESS there is some other ‘dynamic force’ (persecutor, inquisitor, etc) threatening to kill that other man if I refuse to comply with the demand to destroy of the Bible.
          Satan has been trying to destroy or corrupt God’s Word from the beginning, trying to take God’s place, and make God’s promises of no effect. The very first temptation to any people began with, ‘Yea, hath God said…?’ It makes sense that Satan will continue to use every attempt imaginable to destroy or pervert God’s Word. But Jesus (who is the Son of God, the Word of God, and God in the flesh) said, “Though heaven and earth pass away, my words will never pass away.” HE IS the only source of strength and power that will remain for eternity.
          Here are a few places that the scriptures speak of the power of God.

          “Jesus answered and said unto them, Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God.” – Mat 22:29
          “I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth” – Romans 1:16
          “For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.” – 1Co 1:18
          “And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God. For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified. And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling. And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power: That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God. – 1Co 2:1-5
          “Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God;” – 2Ti 1:8

          I also desire to keep growing; to love the Lord more, to love people more, and to love God’s Word more, and to ‘count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord.’ (Phillipians 3:8)

          Reply
          • Brent Hurst says:

            Dear Jeremy,
            .
            “””””””My previous post does make sense in this: There is no possible way to try to save a man from drowning simply by burning a copy of the Word of God; UNLESS there is some other ‘dynamic force’ (persecutor, inquisitor, etc) threatening to kill that other man if I refuse to comply with the demand to destroy of the Bible.”””””””
            .
            “What is a thought experiment in philosophy?
            Thought experiments are devices of the imagination used to investigate the nature of things. They are used for diverse reasons in a variety of areas, including economics, history, mathematics, philosophy, and the sciences, especially physics.”
            .
            In this case it is used to see whether a man’s focus was on the flesh or the Spirit. Whether one is more focused on RELIGION, OR the God of which that religion is supposed to be a witness of.
            .
            “””””””Satan has been trying to destroy or corrupt God’s Word from the beginning, trying to take God’s place, and make God’s promises of no effect”””””
            .
            We don’t need Satan for this, we all start out with a corrupted view, its called the mind of the flesh, we read the scriptures just as the Pharisees did but we do not truly believe them, our minds can very easily categorize statements (verses) as metaphorical when the bible means for them to be taken factually. Christianity today is literally filled with people who are only PRETENDING to understand what it means, don’t you know the Pharisees could quote scriptures just as you do. In fact heres a scripture for you,
            .
            “2Cor. 3:6 Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life. ”
            .
            “JN 5:39 Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me. ”
            .
            Perhaps you just jumped to a conclusion and missed my whole original point. Let me try it another way,
            .
            What good is the bible if you don’t do what it says????

          • Jeremy says:

            In every experiment, whether physical or mental, that experiment can fail. When it does, we need to re-evaluate our assumptions.
            .
            If our starting point is to believe God, that He cannot lie, then man’s philosophies are in question. If we assume that man’s reason is more accurate, and man’s ability to investigate God’s creation is more reliable, then God’s Word is held in doubt.

  15. Susan says:

    Brent,
    Christianity is a revealed truth and way of life.
    We don’t know about spiritual birth or spiritual warfare or many other things without the Word of God. Without it you can’t feed yourself spiritually into maturity and you can’t spot a false prophet.

    You have to worship in spirit and truth. The truth is the Word.

    So we all need a balance between spirit and truth.

    Christians go off balance whenever they emphasize the spiritual too much or the word too much.

    We need both.

    This is a life giving Word. It is not just an inanimate book.

    Reply
  16. Susan says:

    The sharp edged sword coming out of Christ’s mouth is the Word of God.

    People are convicted by hearing it. It is the spiritual seed that is sown in the good ground of a human heart that has been watered with faith.

    Reply
  17. Brent Hurst says:

    Dear Susan,
    .
    “””This is a life giving Word. It is not just an inanimate book.””””
    .
    “JN 5:39 You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me. 40 But you are not willing to come to Me that you may have life. ”
    .
    Again, it is the Spirit that Christ brought into the world, His own Spirit and Being, that is our salvation, our life, our redemption. Unless you are born of this Spirit, there is no life within you.
    .
    Christianity cannot save us, neither can the scriptures, these are the witnesses that are supposed to wake us up to the REALITY of the Spirit. I know that Jeremy, you, all sorts of Christians say “I believe, I believe”, but you don’t, the very fact you accept a doctrine of Substitution reveals you do not believe in the reality of the Spiritual birth.
    .
    “”””Christians go off balance whenever they emphasize the spiritual too much””””
    .
    “Spiritualizing”, as practiced in theology, is mostly thinking in metaphorical terms about what the scriptures mean to say plainly. Then there are those who are always emphasizing the “gifts”, but they do this to self-promote. What I continue to emphasize is the REALness of God divine nature, that LIFE which was poured out with the Blood of Christ, and that salvation is solely due to our integration with the divine nature as God grants us Spiritual Birth. This is the mystery beneath Christianity, that Christ died so as to pour out this divine life, His eternal Spirit for our salvation, and by receiving His divine and eternal Being, so it is we receive eternal life. And so we do and will continue to exist even when God destroys this present Creation with divine fire.
    .
    But people cannot accept the Spirit as they all wish to take credit for their own salvation, so they can FEEL superior to others who are not saved (as far as we can tell). This goes all the way back to Cain as he saw himself only as he compared (envied) himself to others (Abel). So some tout “free will”, others this theology or that, as if belief can make us more than we are by nature, “belief” CANNOT make that which is unholy Holy, neither can doctrine, or joining a church, or reading scripture. The only way we become Holy is when God impregnated us with His own Holiness.
    .
    IF that is the reality, THEN and only THEN will the scriptures help us awake to that inner reality.

    Reply
    • Susan says:

      I am not going to argue this interpretation with you further as it could be a self revelation given to you by God and that is why I am having difficulty following your personal interpretation.

      God is the revealer of truth but some people seem to be more enlightened than others and God could work a bit differently with each person as He sees fit.

      There is an old fashioned saying that the doctrine makes the man.

      You may have passed through some spiritual changes and not noticed them and are now attempting to articulate the change as best you can.

      But some people might need more structure and guidance and the scriptures which are God given help with that.

      I agree with Jeremy. A lot of people died to preserve and transmit the scriptures to people and it contains the incorruptible seed of spiritual birth and everything God wants us to know as well as being an account of the life and resurrection of Jesus and Jesus is everything. He is our ultimate spiritual pattern.

      As Paul said he, too, is a pattern for us and we are God’s offspring cf. Acts 17:28.

      I now believe Paul means every man, woman and child ever born is gods offspring in this verse because he is talking to unbelievers.

      But God saves each in His own order and can be taking out the residue of men first.

      God could have a hierarchy in His family just like there is a hierarchy among the angels.

      But it could be that He is still in the creative process of establishing our hierarchy so it is hard to see every detail now but one day we will all see when God lifts the veil.

      Reply
      • Brent Hurst says:

        Just a quick response,
        .
        The scripture were written by those who understood to some degree as they were shown by God, so what is written is always dependent upon revelation.
        .
        Even today as we have the scriptures, they cannot be understood properly unless God shines His light on them, opens our eyes to see truth, etc… so even for us to truly understand them it requires God’s revelation, or God’s will to reveal to us what they say.
        .
        And if every book of the bible in the world disappeared, was destroyed, whatever, God can still make Himself known to whomever He desired.
        .
        We might think of God revealing Himself as a rarity, as if visions and dreams or hearing His voice which are no doubt a rarity in our world, were the limits of such revelation. But they are only rare because if we are honest with ourselves, we really don’t want God to speak to us. Much like Israel when they stood at the foot of the mount and pled for God not to come so close.
        .
        We might even consider that like Adam and his wife, we are still hiding from God in the Garden, our sins holding the door closed, and it is because of the distance we create that God has given us the written word, so we might see, but not truly see, hear but not truly hear. But anyone who truly desires to see God must be willing to walk through the fire, to find life we must be willing to die.

        Reply
  18. Jordan says:

    This article is slightly confusing to me. I get the point that is trying to be made, however, the Bible states that the word is God breathed, and that all that is written in the Bible is true. So, if there were inaccuracies, wouldn’t that make that very statement untrue? If it comes from God, then why would there be inaccuracies?

    Reply
  19. Jeremy says:

    If every book of the Bible in the world disappeared or was destroyed, I agree that God could still make himself known. But if it is easy to believe that God could do that, is it hard to believe that God will keep His word and preserve it from destruction?
    The Lord promised, “For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.” ( Matthew 5:18). And again, “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.” (Matthew 24:35). We can find the same promises in Mark 13:31, Luke 16:17, and Luke 21:33. Consider also, “The grass withereth, the flower fadeth; but the word of our God shall stand forever.” (Isaiah 40:8). Psalm 119:89 says, “Forever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven.
    Seeing that God make these promises (and more), is it a light thing that people say that He didn’t do it? Is it a carnal or fleshly thing to declare the promise of God, and to believe Him? Or is it rather spiritual; as it is written of faithful Abraham, “and the scripture was fulfilled which saith, And Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness; and he was called the friend of God.” (James 2:23).
    If, then, God has promised to preserve His word, and we know that God cannot lie, then it is our duty to ‘study, to show [ourselves] approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.’ And to ‘shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness.’ (2 Timothy 2:15,16) It also follows that deviation from God’s preserved word is error, and will not lead me in a right path. It is true, that if I claim to have the word of God and walk in disobedience to it, I make myself a hypocrite, and a liar; ‘hold[ing] the truth in unrighteousness’ (Romans 1:18). It is also true, that to change, alter, or corrupt the Word of God is not in harmony with keeping His commands.
    Jesus says, “He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me will be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and manifest myself to him.” (John 14:21). This word, ‘keepeth’, simply means, ‘to guard (from loss or injury, properly, by keeping the eye upon.’ Dear people, this is spiritual. This is loving God. This is how we learn about God’s definition of loving our neighbor, laying down our lives for the sake of Jesus Christ.
    The Word is the seed that the Lord spoke about. The Spirit makes it alive, grow, and produce fruit. The Word also tells us how to try every spirit, to see whether it is from God. Just as we do not attempt to separate the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, neither should we try to separate the Word from God.

    Reply
    • bob says:

      Jeremy – If every book of the Bible in the world disappeared or was destroyed, I agree that God could still make himself known. Odd – you speak as if God HAS made himself known already…? I am 60 years old, am reasonably intelligent, can generally spot a lie and am a decent judge of character. I can multi-task (I have to as a school bus driver), fix a lawnmower or motorcycle carburetor, process film in the darkroom, balance my checkbook, and navigate the web – and yet – I can’t seem to recognize this God that has so obviously made himself known via the bible.
      .
      r.u.reasonable@gmail.com

      Reply
      • Susan says:

        John 6:6, Berean Study Bible

        Then Jesus said, “This is why I told you that no one can come to Me unless the Father has granted it to him.”

        The Bible also says Jesus draws men to himself. Though the Greek word is actually translated more accurately as drags not draws.

        So you may have learned the erroneous free will doctrine that likes to blame men and make them responsible for not receiving Jesus but the Bible says God draws people to Himself.

        Of course, the alternative seeker route is available to you. Derek Prince was quite a seeker and disclosed in his book Gifts of the Spirit how he sought to know God and finally received Him after years of spending time around false philosophy and hanging out with Wittgenstein.

        But what do I know right? I am just a nut who spends a lot of time reading the revealed writings of men who spend all their time around God taking direction and pointers from Him personally..

        You should learn as much theology for yourself as possible, Bob. Theology is the study of God and to do that you have to stay in the Bible getting the ideas directly from God.

        Don’t settle for the rationalizations of men without a Scriptural back up and context is not everything in interpreting the Bible. The Bible interprets itself.

        You should check scripture against other scripture.

        R.C. Sproul:

        If something is unclear in one part of Scripture, it probably is made clear elsewhere in Scripture. When we have two passages in Scripture that we can interpret in various ways, we want always to interpret the Bible in such a way as to not violate the basic principle of Scripture’s unity and integrity.

        Quote above from and more here:
        Practical Principles of Biblical Interpretation, Ligonier Ministries
        https://www.ligonier.org/blog/practical-principles-biblical-interpretation/

        Reply
        • bob says:

          Susan – The Bible interprets itself. You should check scripture against other scripture.
          .
          Very well…feel free to offer a concise, understandable explanation for these “scripture” passages – (notice specifically the bold type):
          .
          Revelation 20:12 “And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne. And there were open books, and one of them was the book of life. And the dead were judged according to their deeds, as recorded in the books.”
          .
          1 John 4:7-8 “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.”
          .
          1 Corinthians 13:4-5 “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.”
          .
          So:
          A) 1 John 4 tells us who the source of love is God.
          B) 1 Corinthians 13 tells us that one of the attributes of love is that it doesn’t keep a record of what people do wrong.
          C) Revelation 20 tells us that people will be judged based on the actual RECORD of the WRONGS they have done.
          .
          Conclusion: God is love, love does not record wrongs, God records wrongs,…?
          .
          Susan – I just showed you an example of checking “scripture against other scripture” as you suggested, and what we get is a glaring contradiction. Please, none of your mumbo-jumbo. Just offer a clear explanation for this contradiction or offer an admission that this is what can happen if one follows your advice and checks “scripture against other scripture”.

          Reply
          • Susan says:

            I was thinking more about it and how is people’s imperfect judgment the same as God’s?

            Read 1 Cor. 5. Believers are told not to judge unbelievers but to judge other believers. Look
            at that passage.

            The human mind is a judging instrument and it can be hard to learn to forgive people because we have memories of the things done to us but there is freedom in forgiveness and not carrying a grudge which makes one bitter.

            This may also have to do with contrast between the baptism of fire for
            believers and the after death purification of unbelievers.

            Believers should be careful about judging because whatever judgment we mete out to others will be judged on us.

            Judge not, that ye be not judged. 2 For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. 3 And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?

            Matthew 5:7, KJV

            Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.

            Christ’s people are in the process of becoming Christlike but are we already there? It seems like there is always more to learn to apply properly.

            You might want to do a topical study on judgment it is a tricky and overlooked topic today.

            Believers aren’t suppose to be judging unbelievers we are suppose to be helping Christ save them.

            Of course, you have to be careful in doing that. This is a dangerous and sometimes unpredictable world.

          • Bob says:

            SUSAN says – I don’t really understand why you would put the burden of resolving a contradiction you perceive onto me?
            Susan, clearly I made a mistake.
            .
            I read your post (dated April 22, 2018 at 12:06 pm) and did what you suggested – The Bible interprets itself. You should check scripture against other scripture. – so I checked scripture against scripture concerning those contradictory verses – as you said to do.
            .
            I then posted a response below your post – quoting you, providing the scripture references, and asking you for an explanation of the contradiction.
            .
            Your response is to ask why I am bothering to ask you for an explanation.
            .
            Clearly, I made a mistake, so please completely ignore my request.
            .
            Is there any other Christian out there who can understand what a contradiction is, and can recognize one when it is plainly shown to them? If so, please offer an explanation for this contradiction – this will be the fourth time I have posted it in this blog and I have yet to have a Christian offer an explination:
            .
            Revelation 20:12 “And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne. And there were open books, and one of them was the book of life. And the dead were judged according to their deeds, as recorded in the books.”
            .
            1 John 4:7-8 “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.”
            .
            1 Corinthians 13:4-5 “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.”
            .
            So:
            A) 1 John 4 tells us who the source of love is God.
            B) 1 Corinthians 13 tells us that one of the attributes of love is that it doesn’t keep a record of what people do wrong.
            C) Revelation 20 tells us that people will be judged based on the actual RECORD of the WRONGS they have done.
            .
            Conclusion: God is love, love does not record wrongs, God records wrongs,…?
            .
            r.u.reasonable@gmail.com

          • Jeremy says:

            Bob,
            Your question is a good, and reasonable question. Please allow me to offer some insight. God is love, but God is not only love. The modern translations also lose some of the meaning of the text, as well as introduce contradictions. I have recently been doing some study in the passage that you are asking about (1 Cor. 13). What I find, is that there is no contradiction, but the scriptures overflow with richness, and meaning. Please continue, patiently, as I try to explain what I have found.
            1 Corinthians 13:4-5, says,
            “Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; ” (KJV)
            One aspect of this verse is simply that we are not to think evil, ungodly thoughts. We can compare this verse with Philipians 4:8, which says, “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” This is a simple and easy explanation that there is no contradiction in these passages that you mentioned. However, let’s go on to some more wonderful things.
            The word ‘thinketh’, is ‘logizomai’, in the Greek. Logizomai is defined, in Strong’s Concordance, as ‘ to take an inventory, i.e. estimate (literally or figuratively). This word has been translated in the KJV into the following words: conclude, (ac-)count (of), + despise, esteem, impute, lay, number, reason, reckon, suppose, think (on). There are so many where ‘logizomai’ is used in the New Testament, but for the sake of space, I would like to bring out a sampling of them, here.

            – Romans 2:26
            “Therefore, if the uncircumcision keep the righteousness of the law, shall not his uncircumcision be counted (logizomai) for circumcision?”
            – Romans 3:28
            “Therefore we conclude (logiz.) that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.”
            – Romans 4:3-11
            “For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted (logiz.) unto him for righteousness.
            Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned (log.) of grace, but of debt.
            But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted (log.) for righteousness.
            Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth (log.) righteousness without works,
            Saying, ‘Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered.
            Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute (log.) sin.’
            Cometh this blessedness then upon the circumcision only, or upon the uncircumcision also? for we say that faith was reckoned (log.) to Abraham for righteousness.
            How was it then reckoned (log.)? when he was in circumcicion, or in uncircumcision? Not in circumcision, but in uncircumcision.
            And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had yet being uncircumcised: that he might be the father of all them that believe, though they be not circumcised; that righteousness might be imputed (log.) unto them also:”

            Romans 4:22-24
            “And therefore it was imputed (log.) to him for righteousness.
            Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed (log.) to him;
            But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed (log.), if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead;”
            .
            To sum up some of these concepts, it would be like this: When I repented of my sin, and believed on the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation, God no longer held my sins against me. He forgave me and cleansed me of my iniquity, and counted my believing as righteousness; even though I am not yet perfect in my flesh, as I sincerely desire. I still find that I come short of God’s perfection, yet because I believe God, repent toward Him, and have faith in Jesus Christ to save me, God counts it as righteousness, and that righteousness is held against me instead of my sin.
            Colossians 2:13,14 says this, “And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses; blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;”
            .
            Now, how does all this relate to charity, and the truth that God is love?
            .
            First, “God commendeth his love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for the ungodly.” And, “He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me will be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and manifest myself to him.” (John 14:21). He introduces and exhibits his love while we were yet unworthy, and he discloses himself by his Spirit and his Word, and in fullness of his love, when we abide in him and hold his words precious.
            Second, the Lord’s instructions to us about charity, is this; do not hold other people’s offenses and transgressions against them. Forgive. Even in ‘the Lord’s prayer’, Jesus teaches us to pray, “Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.” We are not to be resentful, bitter, hateful, spiteful, or anything else like that. We are to forgive, from the heart, as we want God to forgive us. We are not to hold other’s sins against them. That would not be the nature of charity, or love.
            .
            Up to this point, it could still look like there is some contradiction, and we could ask, ‘how could God bring people into eternal judgement, if charity doesn’t hold a person’s sin against him?’ Here, as in all areas, we must look carefully at the scriptures, to see who God revealed himself to be. God IS love. God is absolutely love. But we make a grave mistake, if we think that God is ONLY love.
            God revealed himself and preserved that revelation in the Holy Scriptures. He showed his attributes and character. God is love. But we must have the fear of the Lord, which is the beginning of wisdom. God is also: righteous, just, holy, pure, jealous, light (with no darkness), a consuming fire, King, Judge, and he is not mocked (we reap what we sow). Understanding these attributes of God, it makes a difference which attribute that God chooses to manifest to us, or against us. God can manifest to us his abounding love and mercy, or God can reveal toward us his righteous judgement. Neither one of these contradict the other. They are both part of who God is.
            God makes no promise to impute righteousness to the wicked, proud, unbelieving, and to those who hate God and his Word. The men in these conditions have no such blessing in that their sins are still held against them, and they are not counted (logizomai) as righteous. There is no forgiveness, no comfort of the Spirit to an unrepentant sinner, who loves, and continues in his sin, pride, and rebellion against God. “He that believeth on the Son (Jesus) hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him. (John 3:36) Those who die in this condition, still have the ‘ordinances that were written against us’. Their sins are still imputed.
            But there is a place of repentance, forgiveness, and eternal life. The prophets, John the Baptist, Jesus, and the Apostles all called people to repent. All of them also gave testimony to believe on Jesus Christ, and receive him. John 1:12 says, “But as many as received him (Jesus), to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them who believe on his name.” Please also read John 3:1-21. God is love. God always has been love. And he always will be. God has also always been, is now, and will be forever righteous, holy, and just. God does not change. Rather, He wants to change us, so that we could live forever in fellowship with him.
            .
            “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
            Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.
            For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life. And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.” Romans 5: 8-11
            .
            “And now, little children, abide in him; that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming.” 1 John 2:28

            Peace be to all who are in Christ Jesus.

          • bob says:

            Jeremy – thank you for taking the time, but to me, it just seems that Christians, for the most part, have to be content to ignore such passages that appear to be contradictions. Very, very few are actually familiar with such passages, and even less will take the time (nor should they have to) to dig into the Greek to figure out what GOD SHOULD MAKE PLAIN TO ALL if he wants all to actually know what he has dictated.
            .
            For instance, you said: “God is also: righteous, just, holy, pure, jealous…” And this just brings up another contradiction that Christians have to explain away:
            Exodus 20:5 “…for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God…”
            Galatians 5:19-20 “The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy…”
            .
            “Apologetics – the fine art of explaining why the Bible does not actually mean what it says; or means what it does not actually say.”
            –unknown
            .
            r.u.reasonable@gmail.com

          • Jeremy says:

            Bob,
            It is a very sad thing, that so many professing Christians tend to be so complacent in regards to the Scripture. I find myself, also, far too busy in things that could draw my heart away from the things of the Lord, and from meeting the needs of others. We are told, ‘as newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby’ (1 Peter 2:2). People like to be full of many things, rather than to hunger and thirst after righteousness. Consider Mary’s praise of God, in Luke 1:53, when she said, “He hath filled the hungry with good things; and the rich he hath sent empty away.”
            It does not surprise me, however, that the Lord allows the need for us to search the scriptures, and to study. Jesus told the pharisees, “Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they that speak of me” (John 5:39). The disciples often asked questions to the Lord, privately, and even asked him why he spoke in parables. Part of his response was saying, “That seeing they may see, and not perceive; and hearing they may hear, and not understand”. But Luke blessed the Bereans, in Acts 17:11,12, in saying, “These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so. Therefore many of them believed”. And Paul exhorts us in 2 Timothy 2:15, to “ Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth”.
            But some of the Jews, in unbelief to Jesus, said, “How long dost thou make us to doubt? If thou be the Christ, tell us plainly” (John 10: 24) . “Jesus answered them, I told you, and ye believed not: the works that I do in my Father’s name, they bear witness of me. But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you. My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.”
            God is not desiring us to merely have a head knowledge of historical facts, but a true heart believing in Him. Consider David’s prayer in Psalm 27:8, when he says, “When thou saidst, Seek ye my face; my heart said unto thee, Thy face, LORD, will I seek.” And God promised in Jeremiah 29:13, saying, “And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart. And I will be found of you, saith the LORD”.
            .
            As for the contradiction that you are seeing, please consider again that it is introduced in the modern translations. In the KJV, Galatians 5:19-21 says:
            .
            “Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.”
            This word translated ‘emmulations’ is the same word that is used for 1 Corinthians 13:4, when it says, ‘charity envieth not’. A little word study brings up some very interesting points. This is also the same word used for ‘jealousy’, when Paul says, “For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ” (2 Corinthians 11:2).
            Simply put, the Greek word zhlos (zelos) is defined as this: properly, heat, i.e. (figuratively) “zeal” (in a favorable sense, ardor; in an unfavorable one, jealousy, as of a husband (figuratively, of God), or an enemy, malice). The word zhlow, (zeloo), means ‘to have warmth of feeling for or against’. In the Bible, there are numerous times that this word is used. Many times, it is very good, and the Lord encourages us to have this ‘zeal’. Many other times, this heated feeling is condemned as sin. To help understand the difference, here is a list of each word, into which ‘zelos’ is translated into, that is good and that we are encouraged to do, as well as each word that would be sinful for us to do.
            .
            Good and Godly: zeal, zealous, fervent mind, covet (to prophesy), jealous, Godly jealousy, desire, zealously affected (in a good thing).

            Destructive or sinful: envy, envieth, envyings, indignation, emulations, zealously affect, affect, desire to have.
            .
            We see clearly in the scriptures, that God wants us to have this fervency, or heated feeling for God, and the truth that He revealed. But we also see, that it is not good for us to have a heated feeling against other people. Now, of the times that these are used in a negative or destructive tone, there is only one time that it is attributed to God. In Hebrews 10:27, there is mention of “judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries”. We need to remember, that God is jealous. As a man cannot stand the thought of sharing his wife with another, and as a woman hates to share her husband with another, so God is very jealous for his own. He is passionate about people serving Him, and not going after other gods, pleasures, pursuits, or anything that takes our heart away from serving Him, to serving our own selves.

  20. Brent Hurst says:

    Dear Jeremy,
    .
    “””””The Word is the seed that the Lord spoke about. The Spirit makes it alive, grow, and produce fruit.””””””””
    .
    Interesting, you see Jeremy my understanding is the Christ Himself is the Seed of the Father, the true WORD as John spoke of Him, and that the scriptures, the written word, are to testify of Him as they are a witness. Furthermore that it is the Spirit that God has given us that produces fruit in our lives. But it seems you have it all backwards, but most Christians do not even understand the fruit of the Spirit thinking it is something for themselves as if they are the ones who eat the fruit.
    .
    Christ is the vine, we are the branches, the sap (Spirit) flows from Him through us and we produce the fruit.
    .
    But those who eat the fruit are the people whom our lives touch, for a man’s life consists in what he gives of himself, not what he acquires. Everybody always desires the Peace of the Spirit, it seems they never ask for the Longsuffering.
    .
    “””””” The Word also tells us how to try every spirit, to see whether it is from God. Just as we do not attempt to separate the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, neither should we try to separate the Word from God.”””””
    .
    Perhaps a study on the bronze serpent might do you some good.
    .
    Jeremy, In the very fact you place the “fruit” as a product of the Scriptures instead of the Spirit of God within us is without a doubt a “corruption of the scriptures”, you really should be careful about what standard you use to judge because it is also clear that standard with be used against you.
    .
    But besides that, tell the truth, I find that even with my best intent, I am no better than a whore when it comes to obedience towards God, are you saying you are so obedient that God is actually pleased with you, are you saying you are a GOOD Christian, a Good servant???? Tell me what make you better than any other man whom God has created????

    Reply
    • Susan says:

      Faith is by hearing.

      Romans 10:17
      17 So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

      Romans 10, NKjV

      Israel Rejects the Gospel
      14 How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? 15 And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written:

      “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace,[h]
      Who bring glad tidings of good things!”[i]
      16 But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed our report?”[j] 17 So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

      18 But I say, have they not heard? Yes indeed:

      “Their sound has gone out to all the earth,
      And their words to the ends of the world.”[k]
      19 But I say, did Israel not know? First Moses says:

      “I will provoke you to jealousy by those who are not a nation,
      I will move you to anger by a foolish nation.”[l]
      20 But Isaiah is very bold and says:

      “I was found by those who did not seek Me;
      I was made manifest to those who did not ask for Me.”[m]
      21 But to Israel he says:

      “All day long I have stretched out My hands
      To a disobedient and contrary people.”[n]

      Jesus gives us an earnest deposit. A down payment of the Spirit.

      New Heart English Bible
      who also sealed us, and gave us the down payment of the Spirit in our hearts.

      One of the fruits of the Spirit is self-control.

      How do YOU give self control to another person Brent?

      Jesus Christ gave us the scriptures and set us the example of reading them by quoting them himself.

      Christians are the sons of God in training.

      You ought to read Jones’ book called Sons of God at God’s Kingdom Ministries.net

      Here is a quote from the first chapter.

      The Apostle Paul says in Romans 8:19,

      19 For the anxious longing of the creation waits eagerly for the revealing [“unveiling”] of the sons of God.

      How does a person become a son of God? The primary example in the Old Testament is identified in Hosea 11:1,

      1 When Israel was a youth, I loved him, and out of Egypt I called My son.

      The great example in the New Testament is found in Jesus Christ, who was taken to Egypt for his protection from King Herod. The prophetic reason for this is given in Matt. 2:14 and 15,

      As a disciple and son of God how could you present the Gospel to someone with a lot of questions without indepth knowledge of God’s Word?

      Reply
  21. Susan says:

    Bob, I don’t know why you want to confuse Scriptural directions to God’s people with God’s judging capability.

    I think there is no contradiction. But your mind is hoping to find one so you just made a category error.

    Why would a son of God in training’s judgment be as good as the Father’s?

    Besides the lack of forgiveness might make us bitter. Holding grudges is not much good for anyone.

    Reply

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