Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Literal truth of the bible

If the statements [the bible] contains concerning matters of history and science can be proven by extrabiblical records, by ancient documents recovered through archaeological digs, or by the established facts of modern science to be contrary to the truth, then there is grave doubt as to its trustworthiness in matters of religion. In other words, if the biblical record can be proved fallible in areas of fact that can be verified, then it is hardly to be trusted in areas where it cannot be tested.

These are the words of Gleason L. Archer, taken from his Encyclopedia of Bible difficulties, and you might expect that they had come from the mouth of a confirmed atheist.

In actual fact Archer was a defender of the idea of biblical inerrancy and this large tome was intended to disprove the idea that it contains the obvious inconsistencies that we can all see for ourselves.

And yet . . . in contrast . . . the infallibility approach followed by the Catholic, Anglican, and some other churches avoids many of the pitfalls of inerrancy by holding that the Bible is without error only in matters essential to salvation, and that guidance is necessary for the correct interpretation of apparent inconsistencies.

Shifting sands!

1 comment:

RosaRubicondior said...

In other words, the Catholic Church at least acknowledges that the Bible is not accurate where it can be tested and so has had to come up with a shoddy work-around for that problem.

I wonder why they don't just admit the Bible is unreliable and have done with it.