08.12.07 @ 4:50
                                The B-I-B-L-E...

                       Yes, that's the book for me...

Okay, so, we were having a discussion on the bible the other day at work (among other things) and I thought it was very applicable to... well, non-Christians in general, and even some Christians, so I thought I'd put up the basic idea of the conversation.  Anyway, I mentioned that there are a lot if things that are not in the bible that must have happened, or that are only explained in part and that the reason for this is that ten thousand years (or however long) of history could not possibly be recorded in a single book.  In fact, the Bible often references other "books" stating that further information can be found there.  the Bible was only meant to record events of religious significance.  My coworker then stated that you also had to take into account how many hands the Bible has passed through over the years and how many times it has likely been "messed with". I disagreed with her, and the subject of this study will be my reasoning for disagreeing that the multiple translations etc of the Bible matter.

The issue of whether or not the Bible has been altered through the centuries as it has passed from scribe to scribe, translator to translator, may seem minor to some, and even simple to most.  Scholars will say that, as with any book, the more hands that touch it the farther from the original the final product will be.  This is true - in most cases.  It is also true that books are "slanted" toward the view of whoever wrote them... generally.  However, in the case of the Bible, we hit a small snag.

Christians believe that the Bible is God inspired, and therefore God protected.  What exactly does that mean?  It means that the Bible contains the things God told his followers to write down. He guided them to write the messages that he wanted passed down from generation to generation, regardless of the author's personal take on the event, and regardless of how bad it might make someone (even an important someone) look to posterity.  The fact that the Bible often condemns the actions of Israel (the country of origin) and her kings and records defeats as well as victories should be proof enough of this.  Name another ancient history that does not erase failures and only show accomplishments.   Because God has specific messages he wants to pass on he guided those men.  And for that reason he also protects the Bible from being altered as others translate it.  In essence, Christians believe that the Bible, despite being copied by hand for centuries, and then translated again and again, is essentially intact and just as it was the day it was written.

I suppose that seems a bit silly to the skeptic, but allow me to explain the Christian point of view.   The most basic and essential belief of Christianity is that God is all powerful, all knowing, and all present (he's everywhere always...). God can do anything and he has the right to do so.  It stands to reason then that if God can do anything he can obviously make sure people don't mess up the Bible. 

So, for a Christian, this means that questioning the veracity of the Bible is to question everything that God is. If God created everything, if he can raise the dead, if he can forgive sins, how hard can it be for him to make sure that his word (the Bible) is translated and copied correctly every time?  To say he hasn't is to say he can't.  It's basically saying that God can do everything... except take care of himself.  That's just silly.  If God can do anything doesn't it make sense that he would prevent the Bible from being tampered with and tainted over time?  So Christians not only can believe that the Bible is absolutely and completely true, we must believe it.

I'm going to close with a warning of sorts, and I'm not trying to sound self-righteous, and I know I don't have it all together. But, please, consider this.  If you are a Christian and you do not believe that every word of the Bible is true than you do not believe in God - not completely.  Because you are saying that God is not all-powerful.  Either he didn't care enough to protect his word (which would negate the purpose of having it written), or he couldn't do it - which is saying that the mistakes and/or opinions of man are stronger than the power of God. That tears down the first essential belief of Christianity, and it is absolutely flase. Rest assured, if I tried to publish a version of the Bible with deliberately inaccurate representations or translations in it, God would stop me.  Whether he stopped it from ever going to print, or he changed every printed copy to correct the error, he would do it - and he could.  If God wanted to he could manifest a Bible on an empty table, he could replace my copy of Lord of the Rings with the Bible and leave the LotR cover intact.  God can do anything.  And because of that we can rest confident in the knowledge that the Bible is as accurate and true today as it was the moment it was written on scrolls - and that is absolutely accurate.  Sometimes we don't like that, because we like to decided there are 'extra' things in the Bible, or things that were skewed by the perspective of those writing or translating it.  We say "God doesn't hate sin" or "He didn't really say that was wrong.  That was the people who wrote it expressing their opinions" but that isn't true.  If you don't believe the entire Bible is true than you can't believe any of it.  There are no gray areas, either God is all powerful and everything in the Bible is true, or he isn't and it isn't and any faith we place in it or him is pointless.  Don't dissect the Bible to find the parts you like, don't make excuses to justify your actions when they go against the Bible.  The Bible is truth, whole and unaltered, and untainted by time and translation.  It is God's letter to us to help us, to comfort us, to guide us, and to warn us.  It is a gift.  Don't throw it away.       

Current Mood: peaceful


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