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Are the words in the Bible "imperfect"? #197394
02/09/24 12:40 AM
02/09/24 12:40 AM
Rick H  Offline
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People like to say that the Bible is 'inerrant', but who wrote the Bible, think about it. It was written by 'imperfect' men, yes they were inspired, but it was there finger that put it down and not God. As I point out, only the Ten Commandments can be called 'inerrant' as that was written by God with His own finger. The words in the Bible were sufficient for doctrine as the Holy Spirit can guide you into all truth, but the words were not 'perfect' if we seek that because it was in the language of man whether Latin, Greek, or Hebrew, which was not sufficient to give the full meaning of Gods words. The reason is that mans words were 'imperfect' in describing the fullness and completeness of God and His interaction with us, but it was just the means to communicate His purpose from the beginning. The Holy Spirit must bring us to understanding the perfection of inerrancy, for He speaks and shows the words of Christ.

John 16:13-14
13 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.
14 He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you.

Re: Are the words in the Bible "imperfect"? [Re: Rick H] #197396
02/09/24 01:38 AM
02/09/24 01:38 AM
teresaq  Offline
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Originally Posted by Rick H
People like to say that the Bible is 'inerrant', but who wrote the Bible, think about it. It was written by 'imperfect' men, yes they were inspired, but it was there finger that put it down and not God. As I point out, only the Ten Commandments can be called 'inerrant' as that was written by God with His own finger. The words in the Bible were sufficient for doctrine as the Holy Spirit can guide you into all truth, but the words were not 'perfect' if we seek that because it was in the language of man whether Latin, Greek, or Hebrew, which was not sufficient to give the full meaning of Gods words. The reason is that mans words were 'imperfect' in describing the fullness and completeness of God and His interaction with us, but it was just the means to communicate His purpose from the beginning. The Holy Spirit must bring us to understanding the perfection of inerrancy, for He speaks and shows the words of Christ.

John 16:13-14
13 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.
14 He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you.


Hi Rick,
I'm of the same mind set as yourself. The word of God came through faulty vessels who wrote as they understood. And I definitely agree that God is way above language! We will spend eternity and still never fully comprehend God. But then if we could comprehend God, God wouldn't be God.

Even the 10C was written in negative form where Jesus lived it in positive form to the point that the church didn't recognize the 10C

I do believe tho, that when the bible says "God said", that the writers wrote exactly what God said.

................................

Isn't it kind of two different subjects? Or three? I know a now deceased person who was among those who believed that God controlled every word in the bible, each having its purpose.
That would be the inerrant or perfect, I think. Would you agree?

Then there is where the writers wrote what they understood to the best of their ability.

Oh you got my mind going so I'm going to stop here. smile


Psa 64:5 ...an evil matter: they commune of laying snares privily; they say, Who shall see them?

Psa 7:14 Behold, he travaileth with iniquity, and hath conceived mischief, and brought forth falsehood. 15 He made a pit, and digged it, and is fallen into the ditch which he made. 16 His mischief (and his violent dealing) shall return upon his own head.

Psa 7:17 I will praise the LORD according to his righteousness: and will sing praise to the name of the LORD most high.
Re: Are the words in the Bible "imperfect"? [Re: Rick H] #197411
02/11/24 10:12 PM
02/11/24 10:12 PM
Kevin H  Online Content
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Mrs. White gives wonderful descriptions in the forward to "Great Controversy" and in "Selected Messages." And also if you can read some of the letters she wrote to Stephen Haskell, as well as letters on the topic between Haskell and Willie. Mrs. White and Elder Haskell showed disagreement in how they viewed inspiration, but they were cordial in their disagreement. Surprisingly, Haskell carried on the same argument with Willie, except that he did not show Willie the same cordiality that he showed Willie's mother.

Elder Haskell asked Mrs. White to marry him, instead she found another woman who made a great wife for Elder Haskell. Looking back on their disagreement in how inspiration works, I wonder if he would have remained cordial to Mrs. White if he was her husband, especially since he did not show Willie the same level of cordiality despite his letters sounding just like his mom's on this topic. Would it have become a crisis that would have destroyed the church?

Besides Haskell, there was more friction in letters between Mrs. White and / or Willie to a group of pastors, who were not so strange so as to require church discipline, but who never the less Mrs. White and Willie were not comfortable with their teaching and that despite massive quoting of Mrs. White's words, she said that they did not understand her message and that they were using her words to force their views on to the rest of the church. They argued back that they were using her appropriately and that if she knew what was going on that she would not be writing to them testimonies but would support them; and from time to time they would throw back her words in their letters to prove that they were using her correctly. She would try to help them understand how inspiration works.

Re: Are the words in the Bible "imperfect"? [Re: Rick H] #197424
02/14/24 10:46 AM
02/14/24 10:46 AM
dedication  Online Content
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Are the words "imperfect"???
We need to tread carefully here.
It's true the prophets chose their wording to express concepts God revealed to them.
Their styles differed. They had to search for just "the right word" to express what God had revealed to them. Those who strictly believe in Verbal inspiration end up having problems and often even reject inspiration all together, especially when they find prophets would copy some of the words of others.
Also, the Bible was not originally written in English -- so the translators also had to search for the right words to express the concepts. So yes, there is room for investigation and study of words in finding the full meaning of the text.

However, I don't think the prophets only wrote as they "understood" something. The bible isn't the understanding of humans, it's the Word of God. We need to be careful not to imply that their messages were imperfect. There is a danger of taking oft repeated words that we may think too harsh or too much outside of our understanding, and exchange those words for something quite different than the writer wrote and thus change the message itself.

I think that is why God used many writers -- if just one Biblical writer uses a word to express a concept we don't really understand, we can read the message from other Bible writers. But when the others also use the same words to express the concept -- we better take heed and be careful not to change the Bible to match our preferences


Another problem is that truth has many facets. We find this both in the Bible and in EGW's writings. The problem arises when people take one of these facets, and build that one into a major truth to the obscuring of another facet of that truth. Then, instead of balancing the ideas together, they polarize denouncing one side and oversizing the other side. It's one reason we need to be careful with "proof texting" --

Re: Are the words in the Bible "imperfect"? [Re: Rick H] #197427
02/14/24 12:44 PM
02/14/24 12:44 PM
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kland  Offline
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I think some implications and assumptions are made here that aren't necessarily so.
"Are the words in the Bible "imperfect"" may be made to mean "are the words of God 'imperfect'".

Two different things, but one could easily assume they're the same.
The Word of God is perfect, the Word of the Bible is perfect, but the "words" in the Bible may or may not be "perfect". And "perfect" is in the eyes of the beholder.

The prepositions, the articles, etc. vary from one version to another. And I'm speaking in terms of English here, as that's all I know. I fear the main assumption with this topic is really based upon the King James English version being the Word of God. Which just ain't so. Which seems to me to be a North American centric English stereotype arrogance denying all other languages.

Just as multiple authors wrote the Bible in order that different flavors are presented so that we in our imperfect minds are able to understand what the Bible is saying, multiple translations exist for the same benefit. One needs a "perfect" understanding of the Hebrew and Greek of those days, and of the culture and life of those days, to fully read a text and come up with what it "perfectly" means. That capability is gone, even at the time of Jesus. Consider the disciples not even understanding when Jesus quoted prophecy about Himself. Times had changed even then. But that doesn't mean with study and comparing scripture with scripture, they, and us, cannot eventually understand what the Bible means. Which is the Perfect word of God.

Re: Are the words in the Bible "imperfect"? [Re: kland] #197516
03/15/24 08:53 PM
03/15/24 08:53 PM
Rick H  Offline
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Originally Posted by kland
I think some implications and assumptions are made here that aren't necessarily so.
"Are the words in the Bible "imperfect"" may be made to mean "are the words of God 'imperfect'".

Two different things, but one could easily assume they're the same.
The Word of God is perfect, the Word of the Bible is perfect, but the "words" in the Bible may or may not be "perfect". And "perfect" is in the eyes of the beholder.

The prepositions, the articles, etc. vary from one version to another. And I'm speaking in terms of English here, as that's all I know. I fear the main assumption with this topic is really based upon the King James English version being the Word of God. Which just ain't so. Which seems to me to be a North American centric English stereotype arrogance denying all other languages.

Just as multiple authors wrote the Bible in order that different flavors are presented so that we in our imperfect minds are able to understand what the Bible is saying, multiple translations exist for the same benefit. One needs a "perfect" understanding of the Hebrew and Greek of those days, and of the culture and life of those days, to fully read a text and come up with what it "perfectly" means. That capability is gone, even at the time of Jesus. Consider the disciples not even understanding when Jesus quoted prophecy about Himself. Times had changed even then. But that doesn't mean with stuI would not consider God's words to be imperfecldy and comparing scripture with scripture, they, and us, cannot eventually understand what the Bible means. Which is the Perfect word of God.
I would say the problem is on man's end, not Gods..

Re: Are the words in the Bible "imperfect"? [Re: Rick H] #197539
03/24/24 09:02 PM
03/24/24 09:02 PM
Kevin H  Online Content
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There are some Bible passages that can be read in two different ways, including:

Psalm 121 " I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. My help cometh from the Lord, which made heaven and earth." Is this text a contrast between the high places and worshiping the Lord instead of the high places? However, it is a psalm of assent which reflects the return from Babylon, and thus the text could be the excitement of those returning from the exile to at last see the hills around Jerusalem, the place they have been praying towards all these years, but at last they see the hills around Jerusalem.

The angel who delivered Peter in Acts 12. For about 13 years the conservative Jewish followers of Jesus were protected by Rabbi Gamaliel. Saul of Tarsus in the stoning of Steven made Gamaliel's protection not cover the more liberal Greek speaking Jews. As Gamliel had either died, or become too old to have affect, the apostles and others who were protected by Gamaliel were now being persecuted. John's brother James was killed, and Peter was put in prison. An angel delivered him. Was this one of the supernatural beings from heaven? It could well be. But it could also be that some of the people who respected Gamaliel got together to work out a plan to deliver Peter and thus wish to carry on Gamaliel's protection, and that this person/people were protected by simply being called an angel.

While I believe that issues such as the geography, and cultural implications can give us a direction as to which one of these two is the more likely understanding, the text itself, without looking at information outside of the text, of what happened with the sun in Joshua 10. The words in and of themselves can be used to argue either for the sun shining without moving, or that the sun did NOT shine that day due to being blocked by a hail storm that kept the battlefield dark for the battle.

Some other issues: When Moses send the 12 spies into the land, how many were faithful and how many unfaithful, and who were the faithful spies? From Numbers and our Bible stories there were 10 unfaithful spies and two faithful spies, namely Joshua and Caleb. However, in Deuteronomy all 12 spies were faithful, it was the people who rebelled and Joshua and Caleb were able to go into the land because they came to the defense of the spies. Also, while Caleb is consistently named as one of the spies, there can be arguments made that question whether or not Joshua was one of the spies as you read other parts of the Bible. One example is that in the book of Joshua, Joshua is completely clueless about what the spies did and saw and is totally dependent upon being briefed as to what happened by Caleb.

We need to understand inspiration that allows for this freedom and discussion. Walter Rea caused havoc in the church by showing how Mrs. White did not fit our tradition as to how inspiration should work. Those with a more flexible understanding of inspiration were not shaken by Rea's work. We are going to find the same in the future when it comes to the Bible.

Re: Are the words in the Bible "imperfect"? [Re: Rick H] #197614
04/26/24 06:05 PM
04/26/24 06:05 PM
Rick H  Offline
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You also have to be careful not to be to strict or literal with the text like those who tempt fate with snakes and poison thinking they are immune yet not follow God.


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