Why do Christians keep insisting that their Bible is anything more than hearsay and thirdhand accounts?
Let's face a couple of facts, shall we?
#1.) Jesus didn't write the New Testament.
In fact, so far as we can tell, the man (if he ever existed in the first place) never put pen to parchment in his life -- we don't even have copies of copies of lost manuscripts.
#2.) The disciples didn't write the New Testament, either.
Go stare at the beginning of each of the gospels for a few minutes. I'll wait for you here.
It says right there at the top: "The Gospel AS TOLD BY MATTHEW" (emphasis mine).
Not "The Gospel of Matthew".
The fact is, we have no idea who actually penned these books; and based on the ages of the earliest manuscripts, it's almost certain that whoever DID write them couldn't possibly have known Jesus personally.
In terms of credibility, the Bible is half a step behind some urban legend that starts with "My cousin's friend's sister knew this girl who was babysitting..."
If this were a legal case, the judge would summarily kick the Bible out of court, once he finally stopped laughing.
So why do Christians continue to talk like the Bible is some missive handed directly to humanity by God himself before the ink had even finished drying?
@Kimberly -- Way to assume the answer, there!
Have you EVER cracked open a science textbook in your life?
I also observe that you didn't actually answer my question -- but then again, that's generally par for the course with you and your brethren.
- Lv 41 decade agoBest answer
I think I would largely attribute it to ignorance, rather than conscious lying about the facts. A significant percentage of Christians have never read the Bible, and their 'knowledge' of it goes no further than what their preachers tell them.
For most, as I'm sure you're aware, religion is a social framework - what do facts matter to them? What matters is the certainty, the totem, the structure and integrity of the group and the primacy of its claims over those of its competitors.
Any book could be the Bible. Any facts can be co-opted, any stories adopted and altered, any events tailored to fit, any holes stitched up and plugged with belief. The Bible is perfect to them, because all is subservient to its fabricated reality.
- Wise OwlLv 41 decade ago
The bible doesn't have any historical value because there’s no evidence that it’s real. At the time the bible was written there was only a handful of written languages. Most people where illiterate. The only people that where writing were royal officials and scribes that work for them. The chance of a fishermen being literate was next to none. Put it this way, if you look at the different people in the bible and who might have write it. Ponchous Pilot would be the best candidate because he was a royal official that actually could have been Literate. If he existed.
From the looks of things there was probably a very cleaver Official like figure that came up with a brilliant way to govern people. After all finding new efficient ways to govern people is what they do and it’s what the bible does well.
In the flood story of the old testament there’s an big error that says a lot. You’ll notice that if you flip the verses around in chapter 7 and 8 of genesis you get two flood stories. Which means there was probably two authors. But people say Moses alone wrote the torah.
7:2 (part one) you shall take with you seven each of every clean animal…
7:12 and the rain was on the earth forty days and forty nights…
8:7 then he sent out a raven which kept going to and fro until the waters had dried up from the earth.
7:9 two by two they went into the ark to Noah, male and female, as god had commanded Noah
7:24 and the waters prevailed on the earth one hundred and fifty days.
8:8 he also sent out from himself a dove, to see if the waters had receded from the face of the ground.
Two stories Two authors and really bad editing.
- mia delightLv 71 decade ago
As I read the answers you have received so far it is very evident that you make them uncomfortable The responses amount to well its what I grew up with and well .. I love God and he loves me. Why would anyone love such a demon. Yes the first written gospel was 60 years after Jesus death and no one was alive who remembered him.It was all hearsay and third hand accounts. Years of hand copying until the printing press.People adding to and dropping words and poor translations.Then the councils of Church hierarchy accepting and refusing and altering different books until they choice the books that best put forth their agenda. Now we've got a Bible. Most people are so frightened at the thought that the fairy tale God they have in their head might not be what they think, they just put their hand out and say no, no, no, Im going to continue to believe this because I don't want to go to hell. Never thinking that hell is a man made place. Good point. Hey Rev...
- fruit_cakeLv 41 decade ago
Nice try but you don't get the coconut.
They didn't have photo copies in those days. There were no printing presses. Some of the new testament gospels were written by students of the disciples. Some of the gospels could have been written just a few years after the death of Christ.
How do you know that any character in history existed? How do you know that Hitler existed. Did he write all the stories about himself? How about Joan D'arc? How about Washington or Lincoln. The Vikings. The Egyptians? We get our evidence from written word. How many people do you know that were there at any event in history.
How do you know any of it is true? You don't. Just because YOU choose to say one text is more accurate than another doesn't make it right. Show me the proof that the gospels are false and then explain why you don't believe those but you do believe other stories from history?
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- MagdalenaLv 44 years ago
To start out, boycotting any movie is an expression of freedom of speech as long as the boycott is peaceful and the protesters don't physically stop anyone else from entering the theater. As far as Christians "forcing their beliefs on others," that cliche is so overused, it's getting down right irritating to hear or read. What beliefs that Christians profess do you object to: "Love Your Neighbor As Yourself", "Do Unto Others As You Would Have Them Unto You" ? Do you have a problem with the "Thou Shall Not Kill" or "Thou Should Not Commit Adultery" from the ten commandments? I think that : the atheists and agnostics (a minority)are trying to impose their values on the rest of us. The majority of people believe in a higher power even though not everyone practices a formal religion or worships in a church, synagogue, or mosque. You propose that atheists might want to boycott schools because they delude children with Bible stories. The fact is, that teaching Bible stories isn't allowed in public schools.If parents send their children to parochial schools, there should be a reasonable expectation that religion will be taught. All in all, your arguments are very specious
- 1 decade ago
After all that has happened, and is happening, how can you still believe in this liberal trash. The very fact that G-D led so many people to write so accurately about not only future events, but science and history as well, points to one Supreme AUTHOR. How would Job in Job 26:7 know to write that the earth was not held up by any visible force=no gravity! Every culture of that time and long after believed the world was held by Atlas, on the back of a turtle, stuck on the end of a pole, etc.. Not one writer ever even thought of anything like no gravity. Modern archeologists until recent history believed the city of Nineveh was a myth. Only the Bible, and those who believed the Bible, knew it did exist. How about evolution? Not one idiot who believes in evolution can explain to me why evolution is not happening today. Where is all this evidence you go on about? I see fish, lizards, apes, and man. I do see anything evolving into anything. Why? You think we Christians should question what we believe? How about you? Have you ever even considered for one second how fast the earth's rotation would be one million years ago, not to mention three billion years ago? Please explain to me with days and nights going by in mere seconds how life would exist one million years ago. Never thought a Christian could question liberal trash so forthrightly did you? Have I blasphemed your god? Have I committed the sin of unbelief in your religion of (I have no idea what you want to call it)? Sounds to me like you should be the one who needs to reexamine what you believe. I just do not understand how anyone can be sucked in by such garbage as to never even when there are mounds of evidence against it.
- 1 decade ago
I do not believe the Bible is infallible, but I do believe that the overall story line is generally credible.
I can't speak for all Christians, but I'll tell you why I trust the Bible. If you are a student of philosophy, you will see that my reasoning relies heavily on Descartes' Meditations.
(1) I see from my observations of nature that there is a God who created the Universe and created it Good. (I'm sure you don't believe this, but I do. So you can either accept it solely for the sake of argument or stop reading, because the rest of the argument relies on this premise.)
(2) I see no reason why God would have created the world, especially the crowning achievement of his Creation, humanity, unless He wanted a continuing relationship with us.
(3) If he wants a continuing relationship with us, then He must reveal Himself to us somehow.
(4) The revelation He has given to Western Civilization is summed up in the Bible and the Traditions of the Holy Catholic Church.
(5) If His revelations as described in (4) are false, then God has negligently allowed hundreds of generations of my ancestors to persist in error.
(6) A good God would not allow my ancestors to persist in error for hundreds of generations.
(7) Therefore, Christian revelation is true.
So you see, who actually put the pen to paper and wrote the books of the Bible is not really very important.
Nor does it particularly matter that the Christian gospel was given on to the West. The truth of Christ's incarnation, death, and resurrection in no way implies that other religious traditions need to be summarily dismissed as false. I recognize that many orthodox Christians would disagree with me on this last point, but I believe, as C.S. Lewis did, that God has made other arrangements with other peoples.
Response: I'm not assuming the answer. I'm assuming that God exists. That is a separate question from whether the particulars of the Christian faith are true. I'm not arguing in a circle, saying that God exists because the Bible said so, and the the Bible is true because God said so. The existence of God can be seen IN NATURE, independent of any scriptural revelation. From the existence, and goodness of God, we know that his revelation is true.
- 1 decade ago
Because they are taught to. I used to believe in Santa Claus until I caught my parents putting out presents. You can't go back in time and catch the Bible's authors being regular humans rather than God or God inspired. It's all one person's word vs, another.
Most of us tend to believe what were were taught as children (with exceptions of course).
Humans are not rational or logical by nature, unless they are trained to be and put a fair amount of effort into it. There are numerous scientific studies showing that the majority of humans are hard wired to believe in God(s) so it must have served some purpose. Maybe social stability?
- OscarLv 71 decade ago
I've been told that the persons who wrote it were inspired by God. Or the old stand by it was God's will.
How do we know it is God's will or inspired by him. It is in the bible.
How do we know the bible is true? Because it is God's will or inspired by him.
This is referred to as circular reasoning and is considered a logical fallacy.
Then you have the well I can't prove it but what if I am right.
Isn't it better to believe just in case?
Another logical fallacy called appeal to fear.
Religion is based on blind faith. Logic and reason need not apply.
- 1 decade ago
excellent question -- even the archbishop in the uk said that no one knows who wrote the bible and there is not a shred of evidence of any of the miracles all of which were stolen from earlier religions. Its funny that some fundies refuse to accept the truth