The inspiration of the bible

Discussion in 'Other Christian Denominations' started by Thinkingstuff, Aug 8, 2008.

  1. Thinkingstuff

    Thinkingstuff
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    My question here is two fold

    1. How do you reason that the bible is the word of God?

    2. How do you explain included books are inspired over other books?

    What logic or reason have you processed to make these determinations. Or authority if you use that reasoning?
     
  2. BRIANH

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    I do not reason it. I can to be sure. I am good at classical apologetics but I worry about their salvation first and foremost. I appreciate those who use evidential apologetics if that is their choice. That is why my apologetics are geared towards two things: conversion or correct doctrine once converted. I do not usually mix the two unless I have a reason to.

    The second question is a larger question. The church was guided by God's providence to form the canon. I do not believe it was solely the result of any council. In fact, history confirms otherwise. When you read the Ante-Nicene Fathers you get a sense of how they determined what was legit and what was not. The primary thing was Apostolic origin when you read their writings. Have you read Eusebius yet?
    I did not read patristic writers who thought Hippo or Carthage were setting a canon but were confirming one...in the case of the NT.
    In the case of the OT canon, we clearly see that Hippo and Carthage did not set a universal OT canon as not all parts of the church used the same canon and many people expressed reservations about their choices.
     
  3. Marcia

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    The early church used most of the books in the canon we use today. Also, almost the entire NT can be reconstructed from quotations of and references to it by the church fathers. The OT was considered scripture by Jesus. The NT was written by apostles or those who were with apostles (although the writer of Hebrews is unknown).

    This article, which is only one page, gives some good general apologetics for the Bible as God's word:

    Here's another brief article on why we can believe the Bible is God's word:
    http://www.faithfacts.org/search-for-truth/questions-of-christians/is-the-bible-really-gods-word

    One of the arguments it makes, which I have heard before, is that why would man produce a book that makes man look so bad and helpless in their sin? It's a good point.

    I was saved while reading God's word (although God intervened several months earlier in my life to get me to that point) and the more I study it, the more I see how different it is from any other "sacred" book or writings.
    It is both simple (in the sense of being straightforward and not convoluted) and profound.
     
  4. trustitl

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    I might be a little simplistic, but I figure God's word last forever, and since no other choice is even close, I choose to believe that what we call the Bible is in fact the Word of God. IN other words, I take it by faith, not reason.

    I am kind of a moderate KJV guy. I can't imagine that God would let the KJV be around for a few hundred years if it was so bad. But, I was reading the NIV when I was saved and learned a lot reading it. I think God is big enough to use even a flawed version.

    If there are other "inspired" books out there, I figure that God can work things without them. I don't think I need to search these things out. The Bible I am reading still poses a great enough mix of blessings and challenges for simple old me. When I get this one all figured out, maybe I will try find out if there are other books out there that God had written for Him.
     
  5. Thinkingstuff

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    Those are honest answers and yes I have read Eusebius. The first answer seems a bit nebulous to me. The reason I bring this up is that I have been set with a charge that we as baptist are il-reasoned about the inspiration of the Bible and which books we've accepted as canon. The first statement is that we use the Jewish council of Jamina (after christianity began after Jesus ministry, death and resurection) as an authority for scriptures that we have accepted as OT. When it is quite evident that the early christian writers used other works not included in the Jewish council in determining their canon. (this is more closely realted to the second question). The next thing stated is that most of us beleive that the bible is inspired is by two ways. 1) Because it convicts us (a claim that mormons have as well with their burning bussom) 2) Because it said it is (which anywork can make a claim of inspiration such as the Koran). I believe we have better answers. In fact I can think of a few but I want to hear what others are saying.
     
  6. Thinkingstuff

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    Just to let you know, I believe the bible is the inspired word of God. However, others do not (not here at BB). As for the quote you've inserted I can reitterate that any book can make a claim of self inspiration it does not mean it is so. The best argument then in your quote is that over 1600 years in different languages by 40 different authors we have a consistant book. (though this is disputed as well.)
     
  7. BRIANH

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    The existence of Jamina is highly debated; somthing you probably are aware of.
     
  8. Thinkingstuff

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    Yes it is debated. Highly? It seems the consensus at this point is that there is evidence of the council after the schools of teaching were demolished that Jamnia is the best canidate for the Jewish canon. Even the Jewish encylcopedia considers Jamnia to be point of establishing Jewish canon (books that defile the hand). Strange enough a lot of those trying to date the Jewish canon before the forming of christianity will include most Jewish literature rather than taking it out based on the articles I've read.

    This doesn't for me affect the concept of the inspiration of scripture.
     
  9. BRIANH

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    That is not the consensus at all respectfully. Perhaps on the internet websites but lets look into the topic more carefully and use academic sources. The Jewish encyclopedia, at least the one I am familiar with, is early 20th century. I am not sure what you are using to establish your conclusion.
    Have you read the section on that in McDonald and Sander's book?
     
  10. Marcia

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    Faith doesn't exclude reason. In fact, reason is based on God's character. Language is based on logic, order, and reason, and so the Bible is in words, a book of order and reason. I am not saying that reason trumps faith or that man's reason can figure everything out, but God gave us the ability to reason. It is one of the things about us that shows we are made in the image of God -- animals cannot reason like man (or really reason at all, imo).

    One can use reason to show an unbeliever how the Bible is God's word and how it is superior to other "sacred" books. This does not mean they will accept it, but there is evidence that is reasonable about the Bible.
     
  11. Marcia

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    The article makes other good points - that was just an excerpt. I realize there are longer, more extended arguments for the Bible being God's word. One of the best books on this topic is Norman Geisler's A General Introduction to the Bible.

    I find the consistent theme in scripture of man's need for redemption and God's constant intervention to redeem man to be compelling evidence for a unified theme, as well as prophecies.
     
  12. trustitl

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    Sounds reasonable :laugh: .

    I agree with what you are saying. When I say I accept it by faith I am not saying it was without reasoning, it was that I cannot accept it by reasoning alone and have it by spiritually meaning to me.

    Scripture says that by faith we know the world was created by God. I can show that by logic or reason, but it only through faith that we can "know" it. I think it is the same with God's word.
     
  13. Thinkingstuff

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    Are they Jewish? I prefer to read what Jews are saying as it is their contention rather than a Christian interpretation of what Jews believe.
     
  14. BRIANH

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    It is history and as such the lack of sources and the quality of evidence is paramount. The author of the article..I will check but the scholars who have researched this are secular and religious.
     
  15. Marcia

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    Okay, thanks for clarifying! :wavey:
     
  16. Thinkingstuff

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    Well if the authors are looking from a strictly historical perspective, I have no problems reviewing as long as it is an honest and dispasionate look at the occurance. It seems that Jews believe that this occured so that is one source.
     
  17. Thinkingstuff

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    The more I study the less I become convinced of Sola Scriptura and Sola Fide. As far as Sola Scriptura I think that the New Testiment finally settled on what should be included was settled between the Councils of Hippo (393), Carthage (397), and Rome (405). The NT is similar to the Talmud in the sense that it is oral tradition writen down. For at least 300 years christians had to rely on tradition passed down before they had a settled NT. And once it was settled how many people in the Roman world would have been literate enough to read it? So maybe we should be Sola Verbum Dei.
     
  18. Marcia

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    The only reason a canon was discussed was because of the Gnostic gospels and other writings that were being touted as truth. So lines had to be drawn as to what was God's word and what wasn't. The early church was already using most of the NT books as God's word and recognizing it as such.

    It's not as though the early church was floundering, not knowing God's word!! They knew most of the NT books as God's word. It was the false gospels being promoted that caused the need to respond to these.

    You should get Norman Geisler's book and do other reading on the canon of the NT.
     
  19. Thinkingstuff

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    The early church wasn't floundering because of Oral Tradition. The earliest Gospel writen was Mark. guessed at 55 AD at least 20 years after Jesus crusifiction and resurection. The last book in the NT was writen at the end of the century. The early church also relied on writings not included in the NT such as the Letter of Barnabas, and the Shepard of Hermas. I'll take a look at Geisler's books but an agreement over what would be inlcuded and excluded in canon wasn't until those councils I mentioned.
     
  20. Marcia

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    There are a few scholars who do not believe Mark was the first gospel. In fact, Mark was probably written down as Peter spoke to the Romans, using the gospels of Matthew and Luke. See Why Four Gospels? by David Alan Black.

    Yes, the early church read books not put into the canon, but they did not see them as God's word. That's the difference. Just because they read them does not mean they regarded them as God's word; they did not.

    Glad you will check out Geisler's book.
     

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