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Answering Objections to the Bible by Jake

August 22, 2013

“I don’t believe the Bible because it was written by men, has been translated so many times and is full of inconsistencies?”

Human Authorship?

First, I would ask the person to clarify their rational for rejecting books written by men. Do they reject all books written by men or just ones that claim to have an absolute truth claim about God? Their response doesn’t really matter because in the end the person making the objection is a human and is professing an absolute truth claim and if they were to apply their rule to themselves they would have to disregard whatever they believe to be true.

It would be fair to concede that the Bible was written (at least in part) by men. The scripture was written by some 40 authors (many of which didn’t know each other) over 1500 years on a broad range of topics using different styles of writing during various political and cultural administrations for different reasons – and yet, anyone who has given the Bible an honest reading can tell you that it forms a coherent message carrying a singular theme of redemption from our need, to the promise, to the fulfillment and its application for everyone.

Further more it has been demonstrated that the scripture accurately predicted specific events hundreds of years before they happened; something a purely human book could never do. Consider a passage like Isaiah 53 which very clearly depicts the crucifixion of the messiah and supplies an explanation for the event that is consistent with the apostolic explanation. Once upon a time it was asserted that the writers of the scriptures, particularly the apostles, must have altered or invented prophecies after the events predicted because no one could have made such specific predictions concerning, most especially, the events surrounding the life and death of Jesus. But this was corrected when the Dead Sea scrolls were discovered. Among the many works found were Old Testament manuscripts dating no less than 150 years before the time of Christ including Isaiah 53 which read exactly the same as it has been translated into our Bibles.

The Translations of Scripture.
As for the charge that the Bible has been translated through different languages before coming to us; this is just not true. Greek and Hebrew are still spoken languages. Granted, biblical Greek and Hebrew are in an archaic form but they are still very well understood. Yes, they have been translated into many different languages and we do use those translations as a cross reference but it’s not as though the Bible has been translated into Latin and then from Latin into English. No, the scriptures have been translated from their original language directly into English. And this has been done using manuscript support that is unprecedented in the field of textual criticism. No other work of antiquity has the high number of supporting manuscripts that the Bible does and yet of all the works of antiquity it is the most objected to. No one questions the works of Homers, yet compared to the Bible they rests on but a few manuscripts, the earliest of which we have dates over a thousand years after the original. We have thousands of biblical manuscripts, some as close as 150 years to the original.


Last of all, I would ask the person making this sort of objection if they have some good solid examples of inconsistencies. It is true that our Bibles contain difficult passages and apparent contradictions. But apparent contradictions are not actual contradictions, they seem at first glance to conflict, but when carefully examined they prove to be no contradiction at all. Some of these are easy to deal with, some are not; but they have all been dealt and it isn’t hard to find good resources if necessary. There is no shame in admitting that you need to do research before you can give an educated answer. It is likely, however, that the person has never read the scripture and will not be able to give any significant examples. They are probably parroting some one else’s objection to excuse themselves from having to take the Bible seriously; which brings me back to the first question. How can they object to the Bible as untrustworthy because of its supposed human authorship on the basis of their own human reasoning?

The scriptures, though written by men, have been superintended and authored by God. This is most clearly evident in its perfect track record with the prediction of specific future events. Beyond that the scriptures have, thanks to the sciences of archeology and textual criticism, been shown, time and again, to be historically accurate in its descriptions of people, places and events as well as being both internally consistent and consistent with the original autographs. I don’t think that it is at all unreasonable to say that the scriptures are more than just a book written by men. To dismiss the scriptures so quickly requires one to oversimplify the matter.

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