Wednesday, November 24, 2021

The Shell Game Played With Words About the Bible

You know right now the concern about the gender of pronouns used to address the sexes.  The controversy revolves around calling a biological male, "him," or a biological female, "her."  People change the meaning of the words and expect us to play along.  You know it's a man, but you call him, a her.  You call he, a she.

Let's say we're talking about the words of scripture.  Inspiration applies to words.  God inspired words.  And then someone says, I believe in the inerrancy of scripture in the context of words.  We think he means, no errors in the words.  I think he even knows that we think he means words.  However, he doesn't mean words.  He's not saying that there are no errors in the words. 

Someone holds up a Bible and calls it the inerrant Word of God.  He doesn't mean words.  He means something different.  It's hard to say what he means, but it's probably the following.  Inerrancy means that you can trust that the teachings of the Bible are without error.  He doesn't bring up inerrancy in the context of the teachings of the Bible.  He brings it up in the context of words.  He's playing a shell game, moving those shells around very quickly.  You thought he meant words, but he didn't.

You think the bead is under the shell.  That's what someone wants you to think.  The bead is words, but you see a shell.  Words aren't under the shell.  It's teachings, and even that is ambiguous, because even with that, he doesn't mean teachings.

When someone says the teachings of scripture are inerrant, if that's even what he means, because that can become very ambiguous, he doesn't mean that you can't find errors in the Bible.  You can.  However, all things considered, if you take all the combined passages of the Bible to come up with those teachings, all the right teachings are available in the Bible.

Men don't even agree on what the Bible teaches, let alone on what's right that it does teach.  Two different men can say they believe in inerrancy and then disagree on ten different doctrines of scripture.  It's a hypothetical inerrancy.  Let's just say it.  It isn't inerrancy.  I can agree to an ambiguous, hypothetical inerrancy, and then agree that the Bible is inerrant.  I can hold up the Bible and say, this is the inerrant Word of God.

When I say the Bible is without error, I mean that it is without error.  Every Word that God inspired has been preserved in the language in which it is written.  Since inerrancy relates to what God inspired, if there are missing words, then it isn't inerrant any more.  I believe that and not in a hypothetical way.  I'm not going to say that we both agree the Bible is inerrant, fully realizing that when you say "inerrant" you don't even mean "inerrant."  You mean something that allows you to believe the Bible is inerrant without believing that it is inerrant.  This is like calling him, her.

If the Bible is perfect, then it can't be given extra perfection.  There are those who do not believe it is perfect.  They also don't believe that scripture says that scripture is perfect.  They believe that it is inerrant, but it isn't perfect.

I would say, don't call the Bible perfect if you don't believe it.  Also, don't call it inerrant, if you don't believe it is inerrant.  Don't make perfect and inerrant mean something different than what they obviously mean in light of what the Bible says about itself.

I can go through my Bible and show you a doctrine of its inerrancy and perfection.  Then I ask, "Does the Bible teach that it is inerrant and perfect?"  You say, "Yes."  So then I ask, "Okay, so which Bible is the inerrant and perfect one?"  You say, "None are."  So is the teaching of the Bible inerrant and perfect?

I believe the Bible is perfect and inerrant because the Bible says so.  Then you start peppering me with individual words, phrases, verses, and even larger passages.  I explain every one of those texts based on the presupposition that I have.  I can do it.  Now let me get into your presuppositions, how you came to having them, or whether they are reverse engineered.

You say, I can see that there isn't a perfect Bible.  So now when you look at the passages that teach the Bible is perfect, they've got to mean something else.  Where do those presuppositions come from?  How did you get those presuppositions?  How is that conservative?

I'm not playing a shell game when I say the Bible is inerrant and perfect.  Many others are.


John Mark IB said...

Dear Brother Kent and if possible Brother Ross, hope you and your families are doing well today, if I can get both of you to weigh in on this for me, thst would be great,
I hope this doesn't deviate too far from your intended points of which I thank you for your views are very helpful for me and I look forward to your articles that help me think deeper into what sayeth The LORD! there's a Bible teacher famous in the USA today,and from one of his speeches he at least he seems like heis big on the Nasb? which tells me either he's uninformed or doesn't care about the Westcott and Hort texts? Here is a clip from a web ad that says what I want to ask you for your scriptural and Greek proper Biblical eschatology views on? It's about the verses that speak about falling away? See clip here from the store preview of his book The falling away? Spiritual departure or physical Rapture?

The Day of the Lord will not come unless the "falling away" comes first, according to 2 Thessalonians 2:3. What is this falling away? Is it apostasy, a spiritual departure from the faith, or is it an actual physical rapture? In this book, Dr. Andy Woods gives 10 reasons to believe it is a physical rapture?

What can you tell me about this? Thanks very much for your awesome service to The LORD GOD Almighty May GOD bless you and your families with health love joy and peace always in Jesus name amen have a blessed night and weekend Shalom

John Mark IB said...

Amen loved this! Thank you for your awesome service to The LORD GOD Almighty Jesus and your stance today on the perfect inerrancy and perfect Preserved Words Of GOD preservation verbal plenary etc it's simple either we have them or we don't and Psalm 12:7 along with Jesus not one tiny Jot or one tiniest Tittle shall pass away! It's a sample to from the Gospel message Paul says your faith would be useless in vain if Christ is not risen? If we serve a GOD who can't preserve His Words? Thanks very much May GOD bless you and your families with health love joy and peace always in Jesus name amen have a blessed day and weekend love you guys! Shalom

Kent Brandenburg said...

John Mark,

Whether it is falling away or the rapture, in both cases, it is pre-trib. I believe it describes the total apostasy that brings in the Antichrist. They would know the day of Christ had not come, because there was no total apostasy and the Antichrist had not come. Usually both positions are pre-trib rapture. Recently perhaps some, who take the post trib position, argue against the meaning of the rapture from that word, because they see the rapture after the apostasy. It seems like some men are stretching to deal with these post trib people.

Many pre-trib believe falling away is apostasy. When I first read it in a commentary, it was Hiebert's on 2 Thessalonians.

KJB1611 said...

Hello John Mark, thanks for asking.

2Th. 2:2 That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand.
2Th. 2:3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;

The Greek translated "at hand" in 2:2 could also be rendered "be present." It is "at hand" in the sense of being there, that they are in teh day of Christ/day of the Lord. Paul is saying in 2:3 that if they were already in the Tribulation, they would be seeing the Antichrist.

Here are the other texts with the Greek for "at hand" in 2:2. Note it is usually translated "present," and when it is not, the idea is still there (e. g., 2 Ti 3:1 means perilous times will be present).

Rom. 8:38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things PRESENT, nor things to come,
1Cor. 3:22 Whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, or things PRESENT, or things to come; all are yours;
1Cor. 7:26 I suppose therefore that this is good for the PRESENT distress, I say, that it is good for a man so to be.
Gal. 1:4 Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this PRESENT evil world, according to the will of God and our Father:
2Th. 2:2 That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at HAND.
2Tim. 3:1 This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall COME.
Heb. 9:9 Which was a figure for the time then PRESENT, in which were offered both gifts and sacrifices, that could not make him that did the service perfect, as pertaining to the conscience;

I hope that helps. Thanks.