Monday, April 30, 2012

2 Timothy 3:16 is not referring to "The Holy Bible"

If the Holy Bible, as we know it today, formed by counsels of men (no women), with agenda of their own, with simple majority votes for what to include and what to discard, were the Scriptures referred to in 2 Timothy 3:16, we would expect that those said Scriptures would make sense.  After all, if the Bible is God-breathed, wouldn't we expect that nothing in those pages would ever contradict itself?

In simple terms, we can declare that a contradiction proves a fallacy.  If a statement about something is true and yet another statement about that something contradicts the first statement, one of those statements must be false.  It doesn't necessarily disprove the something being statemented, but it does prove that the two statements are both false until one of them can be proven true, rejecting the other.

Unfortunately, the Bible cannot, as a single organism, be declared to be contradiction free.  Those who claim it is, are doing themselves a disservice when the time comes to defend their belief system, being that they have to use pretzelified explanations to spelunk through many of their holy book's premises.  If the Bible contradicts itself, then we must reject the Bible as the sole source of truth.  We cannot view it as God's word (I'll explain why, in a bit). 

Does that mean we reject everything from the ancient pages of this book?  Absolutely not!  But it does mean that you can decide for yourself what is right and what is wrong.  You do not have to take the Bible as one organism, but can take away anything you desire from it or nothing at all.  But again, you simply cannot treat it as holy words from an all knowing, all powerful being.  This cannot be true.

Let me explain in six verses:

Malachi 3:6 - For I am the Lord, I do not change...

Hebrews 13:8 - Jesus Christ is the same, yesterday, today, and forever.

We can use Jesus Christ in this example because, according to John (yes, using the full Bible as a single organism), Jesus was God as God was Jesus.  They both, together, whether they were one or two, transcended all of history, past, present, and future, as God.  Thus, if God does not change and Jesus Christ is the same, yesterday, today, and forever, God simply cannot change.  If God cannot change, then nothing in what is considered his word can say one thing about God and then, somewhere else in that same "Word" say the opposite.  If he cannot change, he cannot change.  Now that we have established the iron-man status of God, let's move on.

Deuteronomy 6:16 - You shall not put the Lord your God to the test...

Luke 4:12 - And Jesus answered him, "It is said, 'You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.'"

Matthew 4:7 - "Jesus said to him, "Again, it is written, 'You shall not put the Lord your God to the test'."

We have now established that testing God is forbidden.  But what about Malachi?

Malachi 3:10 - "Bring the full tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. And thereby put me to the test, says the Lord of hosts, if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour down for you a blessing until there is no more need."

Here, we see God telling the Israelites to test him.  Now, it has been argued that God was really just telling them to test him with something good and in Deuteronomy, he was referring to testing him with something evil.  In saying this, the person making the argument misses a key point of logic.

After all, when God tells the Israelites to test him, what exactly is he saying?  Simple.  He is saying, if you give me the tithes you are supposed to give me, as I decreed in my law to you, nothing but good will come of it.  But then, he also tells his people to test him with evil, rob him, don't give him his due tithes, and what will he do?  Curse them.  Not just the individual who isn't tithing, but the whole nation of Israel.

As you can see, God clearly contradicts himself in the Bible, provided you are treating the Bible as an infallible, inerrant, singular organism - the holy and final words of God.

This begs many questions.  What is 2 Timothy 3:16 really referring to?  I have illuminated just one of the many contradictions in the book we know as the Holy Bible.  Is the Holy Bible the Scriptures?  It doesn't appear so.  Then, if not, what of the Bible is true, and what of the Bible is simply fiction, a work of men's minds, attempting to make the best word picture of things not able to be explained by the limited knowledge of their day?  If the Bible is not God's word, can we really stand on any of it as unadulterated truth?  Can we simply use logic and reason and take from the Holy Bible what we desire to live by and nothing more, nothing less?

The Golden Rule is a great example of what I would harvest from the pages of the Bible.  What about loving your enemies?  What about not killing and really not killing.  Take it as common sense, not as an absolute truth from a god who has broken every one of his laws - especially the killing one.  How about giving to others and being sacrificial when people are in need.  Turning the other cheek comes to mind.  What about working your rear end off to be successful?  Many awesome ideas about life can be gleaned from this book's pages.  And yet, many other ideas about life can be discovered in other books, from other people, from culture, from your own brilliant mind.

Think!  Think for yourself.  Grab wisdom and knowledge from every source available to you.  The Bible is an excellent resource for many things.  It is also a miserable failure in many other areas.  Feel free to reject any or all of it.  It isn't infallible.  It's not inerrant.  It isn't God's word.  It can't be. 



  2. I've learned so much about this very thing in reading New Testament scholar Bart Ehrman's many things we think were written, sealed and given to us "on a holy silver platter" as it were.....were NOT. There is MUCH to think about when it comes to the Bible. You still come away realizing what a remarkable book it is....but inerrant is one thing it is definately not. Just got to open your eyes.....

  3. Incongruous, you've hit on a conversation that's been going on for many decades :) I guess I would ask why the Bible can't be both a product of flawed humanity and the word of God. Are they mutually exclusive? I'm always cautious of letting the fungelicals control the definition of terms. By "word of God" they tend to mean "a secretary typed it up from him word-for-word while hearing the voice clearly in their head." I think that definition leads to a lot of the problems that you've hit on, but like I said, I'm uncomfortable letting this fungelical understanding determine how I define terms and concepts.

    I think it's equally possible that the Bible portrays a series of inspired writings, but inspired writings that nevertheless came through infallible humans and therefore show a progression in man's ability to understand God.

    I'm also really uncomfortable with the term "infallible" because that word can have a LOT of different meanings, yet everyone who uses it seems to think that the meaning is just "implied" and so they don't define it at the start of the conversation.

    Anyway, now I"m just rambling. Thanks for the thoughts! :)

  4. Anonymous 6:30AM

    In my opinion, the sheer insanity of the God portrayed in the bulk of what is considered the his word makes me very suspicious that God even exists at all. Pay attention to his childish tendencies toward murderous jealousy, which you find throughout the whole of the organism, and you come away hugging your kids and thanking your lucky stars that you learned to not kill them when they disobeyed.

    I am a hell of a lot more mature than the god portrayed in that book.

    You say that man has an increasing "ability" to understand god. I say that man (yes, women were not represented as writers) makes an "attempt" at understanding god. This exercise was important in those days and has, in this common era, been replaced by increased knowledge, science, cognizant study of human history, as well as logic and reason.

    The Bible is an excellent representation of a polytheistic hunter gatherer society and delineates the progression and evolution of various religions that borrowed from every culture around it. It is a fine piece of ancient literature, nothing more, nothing less.

    I feel perfectly fine rejecting it as a religious holy book.