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Missionaries et al. SINGLE PAGE

Introductory and General Information
  Missionary Christianity - A Muslim's Analysis
Author: Gary Miller
Article ID : MSS020001  [32852]  
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The Fundamentalist professes: "I believe the Bible to be totally inspired of God, inerrant in the original manuscripts." On the one hand, this is a statement of his belief, while on the other hand it is the basis of his belief: the first because this is said to be his conviction; the second, because the miraculous aspect of the Bible's inerrancy convinces him that God is the author. However, the statement cannot do either job. First, he believes that God ordered the writing of all the Bible. This must include 1 Corinthians 7:25 where Paul writes without the command of God - a contradiction. Second, the miraculous inerrancy of the Bible is something he has never seen. Many Biblical errors are excused as being copying errors. That is, the original manuscripts, which are lost forever, are said, to be inerrant but not those manuscripts which we have today. The statement (intended to serve as both an article of faith and the justification for such faith) fails because it is not universally applied in the first usage and it cites evidence which cannot be produced in the second usage.

Many of the verses in the Bible seem to contradict each other. However, these are often matters that can be reconciled by better understanding of translation and context. This kind of reconciliation is the subject of many Christian books and is a healthy process. But some have deceived themselves into thinking that this means every Biblical contradiction is only apparent and can be explained. Actually there is another category of contradictions which is not explainable by consideration of translation or context. It is the existence of this type of discrepancy that has caused the words "in the original manuscripts" to be added to any claim that the Bible is free of error. These are the so-called copying mistakes (e.g. Ezra 2 and Nehemiah 7). Here again the believer in total Bible inspiration neglects to apply his belief universally. At Isaiah 40:8, the Bible states that God's word stands forever - it does not get lost in the re-copying. If the Christian takes this part of the Bible as inspired how can he admit that other portion have not stood till now, let alone forever?

At this point the Christian redefines exactly what he means by God's word. He says that it is not so much the individual words of the Bible, these were chosen by the human writers, but the message which is God's word. So small statistical errors do not invalidate the Bible's totally divine authority. Once more we have an answer which opposes a previous claim: it was the supposed amazing accuracy of the individual words themselves that testified to the divine quality of the Bible. Now these words are said to be only human efforts under a more vague "in breathing" (inspiration) of God.


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