Men wrote the Bible, so it must have mistakes?

bible.jpgThe original writings of the Bible turned out exactly as God and the human writers wanted them to, and, as the Dead Sea Scrolls and other evidences have shown, have been transmitted to us in a highly reliable fashion.

But a common objection to the assertion that God inspired the writings of the Bible is that men wrote it, so it must have mistakes.  Sadly, I have often heard this from committed Christians.

The argument usually goes like this:

Premise 1: Men wrote the Bible.

Premise 2: Men make mistakes.

Conclusion: God didn’t write the Bible.

But note that premise 1 is just another way of stating the conclusion.  If you are trying to determine who ultimately authored the Bible, your first premise can’t be that men were the sole authors.  So this “argument” doesn’t prove that God didn’t write the Bible, it assumes it.

Here is another syllogism you may have heard:

Premise 1: Men wrote the Bible.

Premise 2: Men make mistakes.

Conclusion: The Bible has mistakes.

This one has a major problem as well.  It assumes that just because people can make mistakes that they will always make mistakes.  But lots of things get done without mistakes – perfect scores on tests, 300 games in bowling, diseases cured, etc.  If God was the author then an error-free Bible would be expected. And if they always make mistakes, then the statement that the Bible has errors must also be a mistake.

Of course, this doesn’t prove that God did inspire the Biblical writings, just that these are bad arguments to use against the inspiration of the Bible.  We have separate, robust reasoning for why we can trust that it is God’s Word.  More on that another day, or just peruse the Apologetics links to the right.

Keep in mind that claims of inerrancy relate to the original writings, not to copies or translations.  If making a copy error invalidated the inerrancy claim, then any atheist could make a deliberate “mistake” and claim that it disproved the Bible.

And note that those claiming the name of Christ and insisting that it wasn’t all inspired by God have made a large claim that they must back up.  They adhere to Leopard Theology, where they claim that the Bible is only inspired in spots and that they are inspired to spot the spots, or Advanced Leopard Theology, where God is also changing spots and adding and removing spots, and, oddly enough, He is only telling theological liberals and progressives.

This is one of the more common but easier objections to refute, so please watch for it!

Hat tip: Stand to Reason

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3 thoughts on “Men wrote the Bible, so it must have mistakes?”

  1. Not only Bible but men wrote all religious book, It is clear that men have created God and every religion.So there are mistake in all religious book. We can say easily that there are no God in the universe.

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    1. Hi — I encourage you to re-read the post carefully. Just saying that it is “clear that men have created God and every religion” doesn’t prove anything. And saying that “men wrote all religious books” (and assuming God played no part in the Bible) assumes you what you claim to prove.

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