Monday, February 15, 2016

Imperfect Word

Recently, a Christian friend told me she believed the bible is the "inerrant word of god". Naturally, a chuckle escaped knowing what I little I do know about the history of the bible, but enough to make it suspect as a credible source for a God, and specifically for a Jesus. I composed myself and proceeded to discuss what she believed.

We are all familiar with storytelling and how generations will pass down their knowledge from one to the next by word-of-mouth. Let's assume that the practice of oral tradition was used to pass down the information we find in the Bible. As most people were illiterate at that time when this Jesus supposedly lived, it stands to reason that most of what was compiled in that book is just mostly what 'stories' they heard. "Increasingly though, scholars are pointing out that the Gospels are entirely literary creations, and heavily borrowed from one another as well." says David Fitzgerald, author of Nailed: Ten Christian Myths That Show Jesus Never Existed At All. There is also the evidence that scribes in some situations either didn't copy properly, and even inserted different meaning into what they were transcribing. They were writing, not transcribing.

Add to that, we only have fragments of this alleged inerrant word of God until nearly the end of the 2nd century. Again, fragments not complete books which to compare to the current books we do have full versions of today. The ones we do have complete books of - Codex Sinaiticus and Codex Vaticanus - didn't appear until the 4th Century, and they differ from each other - and both differ from our New Testaments.

When presented with this information she didn't agree it was possible that the inspiration of God would change what was the truth, so the passing down of information would remain consistent.

Ok, let's say we accept that. What about the alterations by scribes, intentional or otherwise, when new texts were commissioned? She didn't know about the information about the fragments, but even that bit didn't deter her because the passing down of information was the truth and sacred. She agreed there could be mistakes by the scribes, but believed that ultimately, the information published in the good book today IS the inerrant word of God because what made it into the books was what He wanted to represent. The Word was accurate.

Now let's finish this to its logical conclusion. If this is was her reasoning, then it follows that prior to the establishment of the current text some of the text was not the 'inerrant word of god. That is what my friend was saying. What ended up being what Christians currently believe is the truth, through and through, no mistakes.

I guess my only question after that would be - Why did he fuck all the other people into believing something wrong? What is up with this dude? How is that loving providing your people with something that is possibly wrong?

Just one more reason to think this is all bullshit.