Is the Bible the inerrant word of God?
“All Scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly equipped for all good works.”
~ 2 Timothy 3:16-17 (21st Century King James Version)
I know a lot of Christians take this and other Bible verses to mean that there are no errors in the Bible, since it is the word of God.
But in many respects, it seems the Bible only has “no errors” when compared to the knowledge of the men who wrote it. We’ve discovered a lot more about the world and the universe since those times, some of which shows that the Bible is wrong. For instance:
• The Bible contains a worldview which is clearly that of a flat earth (eg: Isaiah 11:12 , Isaiah 44:24 ), and a luminous moon (Gen 1:16), in a geocentric universe (eg: Joshua 10:12-13, Ps. 93:1, 1 Chron. 16:30), along with Mesopotamian astronomy of the period. We now know the Earth is an oblate spheroid, the moon is not luminous, the Earth-Moon system orbits a heliocentric solar system, and the centre of the universe cannot be uniquely determined.
• The Bible describes of the origins of Earth’s organisms in Genesis 1 and 2 – accounts which read like wildly inaccurate guesswork, when compared to what we now know about the deep time of geology and palaeontology, and about the evolution of life forms over billions of years; eg – see:
• The Bible proscribes intercropping (Lev. 19:19, Deut 22:9), a practice often associated with contemporary sustainable agriculture and organic farming in modern agricultural science.
In addition, the Bible seems to be very self-contradictory indeed; eg – here’s a compilation of 1,545 self-contradictory Bible verses:
So if the Bible is the inerrant word of God, how come it contains soooo many errors?
@Kirk: thanks for the speedy answer. I hope and trust that you're going to edit your "Yes" to answer why, if as you assert the Bible is the inerrant word of God, it contains soooo many errors?
@God. – Oops! Sorry, didn’t mean to step on your toes, metaphorically speaking of course (do you have toes, literally?), but it’s just that some of your followers seem to be blinded – by their faith in the Bible – into seeking to absolve “the apostles who wrote it, and the jag offs who wrote it before them” of any blame, by flat out denying that there ARE any errors whatsoever!
@ULAM: good point – if it’s all God-given anyway, why on Earth do we have four variant biographies of Jesus anyway? Why not one perfect biography?? As for the discrepancies and contradictions you mention, I agree that we know from numerous demonstrations and studies just how unreliable eyewitness accounts can be. But we’re supposed to believe that the Holy Spirit ensured that nothing but the God’s honest truth flowed from the pens of the Bible’s authors. I guess since the discrepancies and contradictions are right there in black and white for all to see, from Genesis to Revelations, that brings in to question at the very least the efficacy of the Holy Spirit; and at the very most, the entire existence of God, which I think is your principal point.
@Everybody: Many thanks for all your answers. Seems like the more I question my faith, the more it unravels in my mind.
- Anonymous8 years agoBest Answer
Hello ‘A Wavering Christian’,
Sounds to me like you’d like somebody to confirm what you already suspect to be true: that the Bible was written by men who shared – with the pre-scientific societies in which they were raised – a profound ignorance in the fields of knowledge we now know as cosmology, astronomy, geology, biology, palaeontology, paleoanthropology, botany, zoology, archeology, anthropology and agronomy. Of course, we cannot hold these men to blame for their ignorance, since they lived centuries before those fields of knowledge were even named, let alone filled out with a scientific understanding of the universe, Earth, life, and ourselves.
As we know and have come to expect, a book by a single author is very likely indeed to have an internal logical consistency. Even though the books of the Bible were written by many different people over many centuries, if they were all only writing the Word of God™  as channelled my the Holy Ghost, then that would make God™ the single author of the Bible – and we could expect an overall internal logical consistency. But the fact that it is riddled with at least 1,545 self-contradictory Bible verses shows that it was indeed written by many different human authors who very obviously did not agree with each other; and the reason it lacks any overall internal logical consistency is not only that God™ is NOT the single author of the Bible, but that He is a fictional, psychotic (thanks, ‘I got you babe ♥ ♪ ☼’), magical overlord character, who’s story these many different human authors are making up as they go along.
But what can be said of our peers (such as ) who still claim, despite this massive weight of contrary evidence, that the Bible is the inerrant word of God™ – ‘Stupid or just stubborn?’, as Profano suggests? ‘Faith-blinded, excuse-mongering, God™-delusional, self-proclaimed foolish ignoramuses, currently lost to their birthright inheritance of the pure light of reason’, as I would suggest? Or something else, along these lines, that is even more apposite still?
I’d invite you to relax for 20 minutes, open your mind, and take a look at this pair of videos, the better to understand why the four billion people outside of the ‘Christian Bubble of Delusion’ see the Bible as repulsive and Christians as delusional:
⚈ ‘Proving that the Bible is repulsive’
► video, 10:35 – http://godisimaginary.com/video2.htm
⚈ ‘How do we know that Christians are delusional?’
► video, 9:59 – http://godisimaginary.com/video7.htm
Thank you for the opportunity to help broaden your understanding,
Reason Love Science Logic ∰ ♥ ♳ ⨁Source(s):  God™: “You shall not misuse the name of the LORD your God™, for the LORD will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name.” – World’s first trademark infringement clause! ~ God™, Commandment #3, © The Bible, Exodus 20:2–17 and Deuteronomy 5:6–21 ► Exodus 20 – http://skepticsannotatedbible.com/ex/20.html  Our peers who still claim, despite this massive weight of contrary evidence, that the Bible is the inerrant word of God™: Kirk Cameron, Matthew, Nice Try!, glen beck, 2FollowHim, Joe P, Jesus Street, Jael, hopeof kingdom, AutumnWynd777, and magic toy.
- ULAMLv 58 years ago
Considering the fact that certain incidents differ from one gospel to another, the Bible cannot be the inerrant word of God. For example, the synoptic gospels place the famous scene where Christ removes the moneychangers from the temple at the end of His ministry - basically the last act leading to the crucifixion. The Gospel of John has the incident occurring near the beginning of Christ's ministry. In Luke one of the criminals who is crucified with Christ chastises the other for insulting Christ (saying that they were getting the punishment that they deserved), while other gospels make no mention of this confession of conscience.
You also make mention of 2nd Timothy 3, which was a letter from Paul to Timothy. Some people consider this to be scripture, but there's no reason to believe that Paul considered his correspondence with Timothy (or anyone else) to be scripture. He was writing letters of exhortation to fledgling churches, not writing a gospel or delivering prophecy.
There's reason to believe that most - if not all - of the texts in the New Testament date from the first or early second centuries. They were widely used by Christians of many varied sects and denominations. The New Testament as we know it - a collection of 27 texts - can only be reliably traced back as far as the 39th Festal letter of Athanasius (367 A.D.). As individual texts they express eyewitness accounts of Christ and the apostles, and therefore bear occasional discrepancies (as eyewitness accounts usually do). Seen as a collection, those discrepancies become contradictions and prevent the collection from being the "inerrant word of God".
- hopeof kingdomLv 78 years ago
We are told about the circle of the earth:
22 [It is] he that sitteth upon the circle of the earth, and the inhabitants thereof [are] as grasshoppers; that stretcheth out the heavens as a curtain, and spreadeth them out as a tent to dwell in:
The word of God, as given to 'Holy men of old,' was indeed totally True. What some translators have done has sometimes confused our understanding because they had, some of them, been taught to believe in the false teaching of the trinity. There is one verse in 1 John 5:7 which we are told was "Inserted by a Latin scholar of low repute." Very wisely this verse is no longer included in the main text of the Scriptures which we read in modern versions.
The big truths which get lost in all the wish to criticise are that Jesus died for the sins of the faithful and obedient to the LORD God, that by this process we may have access to salvation through baptism by immerson once we understand these truths.
The original Hebrew especially was copied faithfully onto manuscripts to distribute to the early churches. If there was an error it was scraped off the manuscript and corrected or else the manuscript was destroyed. So we can have confidence in its origins as we can see when comparing modern tesxts like Isaiah with the ancient ones found in places like Qumran. The Isaiah manuscript is on display for all to see in Jerusalem.
The important thing is what we do about what we know. If we don't accept God's words and ways we are automatically rejecting them, which has consequences. Jesus will return, as we are told in the Scriptures, so we should seriously think through our attitude and whether we wish to take up the amazing offer of the LORD God through Jesus.
- Anonymous8 years ago
Yes, the Bible is the inerrant Word of God.
All of your supposed examples of error are based on your own misconceptions. You listed too many for me to address each one. If you want to discuss one at a time, we could do that.
The Bible contains the words of men and occasionally the devil. For one example, think of the passage where the devil tempts Christ. The devil's lies are recorded as he twists the Bible passages to tempt Jesus. The Bible is still inerrant because it clearly shows the devil's words to be lies. Jesus immediately rebukes him and tells the truth. This is obvious in context. If you pick a verse here, half a verse there, and a single word over there then of course you will find all kinds of "errors." You can insert supposed errors into any work in the same way.
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- 8 years ago
I don't see why you think the Bible describes the earth as flat. The "four quarters" could refer to North, South, East and West. There are other verses that refer to the four corners of the earth, which would be the same. (Revelation 7:1, Revelation 20:8) However, what about this verse?:
"He sits enthroned above the CIRCLE of the earth,
and its people are like grasshoppers.
He stretches out the heavens like a canopy,
and spreads them out like a tent to live in." Isaiah 40:22 (emphasis mine.)Source(s): Life Application Study Bible, New International Version
- Anonymous8 years ago
Yes. In it's original manuscripts the Bible is the inerrant word of God. God has preserved His truth throughout the generations and the Holy Spirit reveals the truth to the heart of the believer in Jesus Christ. The unbeliever cannot believe in the truth of the Bible because they refuse to believe and trust in it since they are enemies of God.
The Bible does not say, nor imply the earth is flat. The four corners refers to the compass directions of north, south, east and west.
The moon does cast light, while not a source of light in and of itself, it does reflect the light of the sun. It is a manner of perspective.
The Bible uses poetic language in many places. Even in this "modern" age we still say the sun "rises" or "sets" yet we know that the earth rotates causing this perspective of "rising" or "setting", yet we don't panic if someone was to say "the sun rose this morning".
There are no contradictions or errors in the Bible, only the faulty understanding of the reader when one does not apply proper hermeneutics and exegesis when reading and studying the Bible and sincerely asking God to reveal His truth to them.
- 2FollowHimLv 78 years ago
The bible is unerring to bring us to salvation, to renew our spirit.
Although I have not researched the Hebrew to see the crux of some of
the OT scriptures (often this changes things), I don't use the bible as
a science text, but as a 'way' to 'walk' in 'this world'. It is how I live my life,
with faith, with living out the scriptures that the NT put forward.
I have looked into some contradictions, not cherry-picking those I
can figure out but perusing. Some took some work to decipher and
that was done. Others had to do with wrong translations from
one language to another and still others had to do with humanism,
of what mankind taught, not the bible.
It really is whether you follow Jesus, or not. If you can't trust the bible,
then you need to close it, put it away, walk away....into darkness.
- Anonymous8 years ago
The Bible is a perfect story. It creates heat. And heat is the source of life. It have a positive and negative energy on it. So it is colorful, awesome, wonderful, and beautiful. Life is just a story and the universe. It is just words, I created it. signed by JESUS
- AutumnWynd777Lv 78 years ago
YES.......IT IS. The Eternal, Sovereign True And Living GOD And His Word Are One And The Same---Truth, Real, Infallible And Inerrant. The "errors" are in fact mistranslations coupled with misunderstanding and lack of illumination from The Precious Holy Spirit Of GOD on the part of the reader. Isaiah 55
Amplified Bible (AMP)
11So shall My word be that goes forth out of My mouth: it shall not return to Me void [without producing any effect, useless], but it shall accomplish that which I please and purpose, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.
Amplified Bible (AMP)
15He sends forth His commandment to the earth; His word runs very swiftly.
2 Timothy 3
Amplified Bible (AMP)
16Every Scripture is God-breathed (given by His inspiration) and profitable for instruction, for reproof and conviction of sin, for correction of error and discipline in obedience, [and] for training in righteousness (in holy living, in conformity to God's will in thought, purpose, and action),
17So that the man of God may be complete and proficient, well fitted and thoroughly equipped for every good work.
+++"The Bible: The Inerrant Word of God Support for Inerrancy from the Teachings of Christ
A study of what Jesus said about the Bible reveals not only His belief in its verbal, plenary inspiration, but that He also believed it was inerrant. In fact, the greatest testimony to the authenticity of the Bible as God’s inspired and inerrant Word is the Lord Jesus. Why is His testimony so important? Because God authenticated and proved Him to be His own divine Son by the resurrection (cf. Acts 2:22-36; 4:8-12; 17:30-31; Rom. 1:4). Christ not only clearly confirmed the authority of the Old Testament, but He specifically promised the New Testament.
Note what Christ taught about the inspiration of the Old Testament:
(1) Its entirety; the whole of the Bible is inspired (Matt. 4:4; 5:17-18). In Matthew 4:4, Jesus responded to Satan’s temptation by affirming verbal plenary inspiration when He said, man is to live by every word (plenary) that proceeds out of the mouth of God (inspiration). In Matthew 5:17-18, Christ promised that the entire Old Testament, the Law and the Prophets, would be fulfilled, not abolished. In fact, He declared that not even the smallest Hebrew letter, the yodh, which looks like an apostrophe (‘), or stroke of a letter, a small distinguishing extension or protrusion of several Hebrews letters (cf. the extension on the letter R with it absence on the letter P), would pass away until all is fulfilled. Christ’s point is that it is all inspired and true and will be fulfilled.
(2) Its historicity; He spoke of the Old Testament in terms of actual history. Adam and Eve were two human beings, created by God in the beginning, who lived and acted in certain ways (Matt. 19:3-5; Mark 10:6-8). He spoke of Jonah and his experience in the belly of the great fish as an historical event (Matt. 12:40). He also verified the events of the flood in Noah’s day along with the ark (Matt. 24:38-39; Luke 17:26-27). He verified God’s destruction of Sodom and the historicity of Lot and his wife (Matt. 10:15; Luke 17:28-29). These are only a few illustrations; many others exist.
(3) Its reliability; because it is God’s word, the Scripture must be fulfilled (Matt. 26:54).
(4) Its sufficiency; it is sufficient to witness to the truth of God and His salvation (Luke 16:31).
(5) Its indestructibility; heaven and earth will not pass away until it is all fulfilled. Nothing can stop its fulfillment (Matt. 5:17-18).
(6) Its unity; the whole of the Bible speaks and witnesses to the person and work of Christ (Luke 24:27, 44).
(7) Its inerrancy; men are often in error, but the Bible is not; it is truth (Matt. 22:29; John 17:17).
(8) Its infallibility; the Bible cannot be broken, it always stands the test (John 10:35). +++"God's Word is Living and Powerful
To really understand the inherent power in the Word of God, we need to investigate what the scripture say about itself. The Bible states, "All Scripture is given by inspiration of God" [2 Timothy 3:16].
The word inspiration in this text is the Greek word θεοπνευστος theopneustos. This Greek word is a combination word from Theos "God" + Pepneustai "to breathe". It means literally God breathed. All scripture is the product of God's breath or God-breathed-ness. God himself speaks (or breathes) the scripture.
This is significant because we read in Genesis 2:7, "the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul" [NASB]. You can see the biblical connection between the words; breath, inspiration, and life.Source(s): The Holy Bible http://bible.org/seriespage/bible-inerrant-word-go... http://stronginfaith.org/article/page55.php
- ShinDesertPunkLv 68 years ago
I keep wondering why the "educated and civilized" westerners (most of whom are Christians) can't understand that the Bible, as it is now, definitely isn't the Word of God.
Stupid or just stubborn?