Tough Questions Answered

A Christian Apologetics Blog

How Should We Not Read the Bible? Part 1

Post Author: Bill Pratt

One of the most common accusations I hear from skeptics is that the Bible is full of errors and contradictions.  How do you and I, as Christians who believe the Bible is without error, deal with these claims?

Several years ago, I purchased a book by Norman Geisler and Tom Howe called When Critics Ask, now re-published under the name, The Big Book of Bible Difficulties.  This book has been a loyal companion to me when skeptics confront me with a Bible difficulty which I have not analyzed before.  If you interact with skeptics of Christianity, I highly recommend this book to you.

One of the most important sections of the book is in the Introduction, where Geisler and Howe list 17 mistakes that critics of the Bible make when they attempt to cite errors.  The next few blog posts will briefly discuss these mistakes so that we can better understand how not to read the Bible.

Mistake #1: Assuming that the Unexplained Is Not Explainable.

There are, indeed, many passages in the Bible which are difficult to understand.  Nobody who has read the Bible could say otherwise.  But for those who take the Bible seriously, its contents have been vindicated many times throughout history as more information has become available through the fields of history, archaeology, the physical sciences, and even linguistics.

Geisler and Howe cite a couple examples of how critics have been proven wrong in the past:

For example, critics once proposed that Moses could not have written the first five books of the Bible because there was no writing in Moses’ day. Now we know that writing was in existence a couple of thousand years or more before Moses. Likewise, critics once believed that the Bible was wrong in speaking of the Hittite people, since they were totally unknown to historians. Now, all historians know of their existence by way of their library that was found in Turkey.

Since we have seen the Bible proven right so many times in the past, it is reasonable to believe that those things in the Bible which are today unexplained, will some day be explained.

Mistake #2: Presuming the Bible Guilty Until Proven Innocent

Critics often begin with the supposition that the Bible is wrong until it is proven right, but this is an unfair approach.  Other books are presumed innocent until proven guilty, and so should the Bible be presumed innocent.  As a book that has shaped western civilization over the last 2,000 years and which contains some of the most important literature ever written, even critics need to treat it with respect and approach it with the same attitude that they would approach any other great literary work.

I will continue with Geisler and Howe’s list in the coming days.  Stick around!


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  • muqeem

    Muslims Believe In JESUS
    (Peace be upon him)

    To know more please visit : http://islam100.wordpress.com

    We are presenting this not to placate you out of policy or diplomacy. We are only articulating what our Creator had commanded us in the Noble Qur’an (Which is translated as follows);

    “Say (O Muslim), “We believe in Allah and that which has been sent down to us and that which has been sent down to Abraham (Abraham), Isma’il (Ishmael), Ishaque (Isaac), Ya’qub (Jacob), and to Al-Asbat [the twelve sons of Ya’cub (Jacob)], and that which has been given to Musa (Moses) and ‘Iesa (Jesus), and that which has been given to the Prophets from their Lord. We make no distinction between any of them, and to Him we have submitted (in Islam)”. [Chapter 2: verse 136]

    As Muslims we have no choice. We had said in many words:

    ” WE BELIEVE IN ONE CREATOR, WE BELIEVE IN ALL HIS PROPHETS, WE BELIEVE, THAT JESUS (peace be upon him) WAS ONE OF THE MIGHTIEST PROPHETS OF GOD, THAT HE WAS THE MESSIAH AS WELL AS THE WORD OF GOD, THAT HE WAS BORN MIRACULOUSLY- WITHOUT ANY MALE INTERVENTION (which many modern-day Christians do not believe today) , THAT HE GAVE LIFE TO THE DEAD BY GOD’S PERMISSION, AND THAT HE HEALED THOSE BORN BLIND AND THE LEPERS BY GOD’S PERMISSION.”

    Islam respects all religions. Nevertheless, Muslims consider the view of Christendom to be a misguided one. The Noble Qur’an highlights the important aspects of Jesus (Peace Be Upon Him) mother, his birth, his mission and his ascension to heaven.
    VIRGIN MARY:
    Story of Jesus (Peace Be Upon Him) in the Noble Qur’an starts with the conception of his mother, Mary, when the wife of Imran, Mary’s mother, vowed to dedicate her child to the service of God in the temple. This is mentioned in the following verses (Which is translated as follows);

    “(Remember) when the wife of ‘Imran said: “O my Lord! I have vowed to You what (the child that) is in my womb to be dedicated for Your services (free from all worldly work; to serve Your place of worship), so accept this, from me. Verily, You are the All-Hearer, the All-Knowing” “Then when she delivered her child [Maryam (Mary)], she said: “O my Lord! I have delivered a female child,” — and Allah knew better what she delivered, — “And the male is not like the female, and I have named her Maryam (Mary), and I seek refuge with You (Allah) for her and for her offspring from Shaitan (Satan), the outcast.” “So her Lord (Allah) accepted her with goodly acceptance, He made her grow in a good manner and put her under the care of Zakariya (Zachariya). Every time he entered Al-Mihrab (a praying place or private room) to (visit) her, he found her supplied with sustenance. He said: “O Maryam (Mary)! from where have you got this?” She said “This is from Allah” Verily, Allah provides sustenance to whom He wills, without limit” [Chapter 3: verses 35-37]

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  • muqeem

    Dear All

    Please refer to my earlier comments

    I invite all my brothers and sisters in this blog to a call:

    Every body should pray for seven days just before sleeping

    ” Please my Creator show me the right path and show me your guidance, I love you my Creator”

    The Creator will show the guidance by His Will..

    Muqeem

    http://islam100.wordpress.com/

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