Elevating the Bible

The following is an excerpt from an article at ThinkChristian.net that I found very interesting. What do you think?

    The American Christian system has wholeheartedly exchanged God for the Bible! This is precisely why so many sincere hearted people go into a full fledged panic attack the moment anyone suggests that there might be errors or discrepancies in the Bible….Because we have made the “God exchange” we have to insist that the Bible now takes on the attributes of God Himself. This is why it is imperative that everyone believe the Bible is infallible. It is equally grieving to my heart when I hear people say things like, “If there is even one thing wrong in the Bible, our entire faith is worthless”. Their entire existence as a Christian stands on the belief that there are no errors in Scripture….I’ve heard people openly admit, “If you can’t believe it all, you can’t believe any of it”.

Let us know what your thoughts are.

Original article found here.

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About Jimmy Eldridge

I am a husband, a father, a son, a brother and most of all, a follower of our most gracious savior Christ Jesus. Who are you following?

33 thoughts on “Elevating the Bible

  1. It doesn’t surprise me to learn that people have made the Bible their god. All it means is that these type of people have become ritualistic, legalistic, and down-right idolatrous. It is tantamount to worshiping the created (ie. the printed word) as opposed to worshiping the creator, Jesus, who is the Living Word. However, biblical truth does stand and fall on key events – ie. the Resurrection – without which, if proven wrong, would totally undermine Christianity. As Paul says, if Jesus was not raised from the dead, then our belief is in vain.

  2. Been struggling with building based Christianity, senior pastor as prophet-sola, and Bible as written in blood my whole adult life. Thus this is not new to me. What is new(er) is that some are willing to ask the questions out loud–Applause!

  3. I disagree with that excerpt. The Bible is the Word of God and as such must be regarded as infallible. If there were errors or inconsistencies then our faith would be based on a fallible foundation. We know that all scripture is God-breathed and inspired by Him (2 Tim. 3:16). To believe that there are false assertions in Bible would debase the Christian religion. After all, if we view the Bible as a “historical document” then there is no power in it. But all throughout scripture we know that the Bible is the foundation to our lives. It is the plumb line between the holy and the secular.
    Don’t misunderstand, I am not advocating that everyone should only read the Bible and not pray, worship, and fellowship. Reading the Word of God is essential in the Christian walk. The Bible commands us to do such things. But to suggest there are “errors or discrepancies” in the Bible is absurd.

  4. Ben…I would encourage you to read the whole article, if you haven’t.

    If you click on the link at the bottom of the post…you will find the original article.

  5. Read the whole article and was favorably impressed.
    The “scripture” being referenced by Paul in I Timothy isn’t what we call the Bible. As far as Paul knew he was just writing a bunch of letters.
    As far as being error free, Jesus is reported to have said that the mustard seed is the smallest. Last I looked the poppy seed was a might smaller. So, either Jesus was mistaken or the translators got it wrong. Either way, there is your one mistake. Now, is it going to rock your faith or is there a bigger picture to be seen? Way way too many of us are putting God in a box, calling it the Bible , and telling ourselves that because we can figure out what all the words mean we can figure out God.

  6. I am respondingto Mathew (Feb. 12) who, quoting Paul, claims that if the resurrection (of the body) is proved wrong then Christianity comes under threat. Mathew, you are so wrong! So also was Paul. For one, Christ’s mission on earth ended on the Cross when He himself said “It is finished” just before he died. This resurrection bit is an add-on because, in any case, God cannot stay dead. Early church leaders have needlessly harped on the “resurrection of the body” when, in fact, the Holy Bible makes it quite clear that the body as we know it does not rise from the grave. The spirit rises.

    Not convinced ? Okay, so go to 1 Cor. 15:42 where Paul himself makes it abundantly clear that our bodies do not rise from the dead. He explains that the body is a seed planted (on death) in the earth, and from that seed something (probably the spirit) rises on the Day of Judgement. The mortal body is corruptible and, as such, is not acceptable in Heaven, Paul said.

    As for the resurrection of Christ (and you’re going to want to burn me at the stake for this !), I want you to go to 1 Peter 3:18 where he points out that Jesus died in the flesh and was “raised in the spirit”. As for the scenes at the tomb of Jesus — I do not wish to go into all that because, if I do, sentiments will be injured. I will say, however, that Agatha Christie could have done a better job !

    So you see, Mathew, I end my Bible with the death of Our Lord on the Cross. Any thinking person will understand why our early church leaders suffered from the need to inject their own agendas while supervising the translations of the ancient scriptures. Whether Jesus rose in body or spirit is actually not relevant. And if it is finally proved beyond all doubt that He did not rise in the body, the news will do nothing to diminish my faith in the Lord — nor will it erode my opinion of Christianity.

  7. Carlton,

    How can you pick and choose which portion of the bible to believe and which part not to believe?

    It sounds to me as if you are ‘creating’ your own version of the bible to fit your particular belief structure.

    If you are going to make bold claims as you have in your comment, you better be willing to give proof…not conjecture…not opinion.

  8. Jimmy,
    You want proof ? So I gave you proof. My proof comes in the words of St.Peter (1 Peter 3:18) when he said that Jesus “died in the flesh” and was “raised in the spirit”. What more proof do you want ?

    If I am picking and choosing from the Bible (what to believe and what not to believe), then so are you. You choose to believe the “resurrection” story. With that, you have chosen to disbelieve that part of the Bible which clearly debunks the “Resurrection of the Body”.

    Jimmy, old boy, methinks you need to go back to the Bible and read it with an open mind. Do your own thinking, friend. Don’t let others do your thinking for you. And always keep in mind that the Bible has passed through several translations, and was overtaken by motivated agendas. These agendas are what you need to watch out for.

    Thanks for your observations. And I’m sorry if I hurt your sentiments. But hey — you started this !!

  9. And yes, Jimmy, I am a Roman Catholic. But I don’t believe in the infallibility of the Pope. Nor do I believe in the existence of Purgatory and Limbo. And no, I don’t even believe in “Original Sin” .

    But I believe that Jesus is my lord and saviour. Do I have to believe all that other man-made crap that the church has been handing out over the last 2000 years ?

  10. Know something, Jimmy ? I am not the type who generally responds to somebody who hides behind anonymity, as you do. I have the courage of my convictions, hence my full name is provided (Carlton Figg). Also provided is the fact that I am a Roman Catholic (not by choice, I may add, but by birth). I also know that my reading of the Bible is guided by the Holy Spirit who influences my beliefs and unbelief. I know I have the gift of discernment — hence I discern where the translators have gone awry and where they have been accurate. Know this too — the Bible is not my god. God is my God — He will not be locked up inside a book !!

  11. Carlton,

    I don’t know what you mean by ‘hiding behind anonymity’, I am not hiding anything here.

    I have not been responding to the blog because I have been very sick over the last several days.

    So..that being said….this is the first chance I have had to read anything here and will respond at a later time to your arguments.

  12. Carlton,

    I had thought about raising questions to you about the apostles seeing Jesus after he was risen, or about Thomas and Jesus hands, or the scar in Jesus side…but I won’t because it sounds like you have decided that part of the bible is untrue.

    I understand that the Bible has undergone numerous translations and such and yada, yada..so to continue to try and argue the point to me seems pointless.

    I will leave you with this though Carlton…I think it is dangerous to ‘pick and choose’ what to believe or not believe in the Bible.

    peace!
    Jimmy

  13. Right you are, Jimmy. I am not here to impose my views on anybody. I will say one thing, though — don’t count me among the bigots to read books as zombies do. On that point, let us agree to disagree.

  14. No preacher, pastor or priest has yet explained to me St. Peter’s view of the “Resurrection” in which he very, very clearly states that Jesus was “raised in the spirit” (not the body). I am extremely perplexed at the manner in which the Christian clergy from every demonition deftly sidesteps this question. This is not a question of belief or unbelief — rather, this is a question of seeking enlightenment. Are we not allowed to ask questions when faced with biblical perplexities ? I have been asking this question over the last decade, and no clergyman or theologist has been able to look me in the eye and give a straightforward answer. This gives me the impression that the clergy (Catholic, Anglican and all the offshoots) have been too busy feathering their own nests and, as a result, have not been REALLY reading the Bible. To defend the indefensible, they try to make ME feel guilty !!

  15. Remember, the Bible is God’s Word. It is not wrong to hold what God says to his own standard of perfection. Those like me who hold the Bible as perfect without any mixture of error are not worshiping paper and genuine leather, but the God who said those very words.

  16. I feel that this guy Figg has presented a powerful argument. And Jimmy, forgive me for this, but you seem to be copping out. All Figg needs is an explanation for the observations made by Peter in connection with the resurrection of Christ. You say that Figg is picking and choosing from the Bible. Well, the Bible says we should claim an eye for an eye. But the New Testament says we must turn the other cheek. What should we choose — or pick ? The Old Testament turns a blind eye to incest. Do you reject that ? Which means you’re picking and choosing what to believe and what not to believe.

    But we’re copping out. What Figg seeks is a simple explanation for something in the Bible that puzzles him. Why doesn’t somebody give him his explanation (a logical one ) so that all of us can live happily ever after. Or is it possible that an explanation does not exist ? In which case — congratulations, Figg, you may have tripped over the most significant contradiction between the Bible and the teachings of the clergy !!

  17. Justin, my dear fellow sinner, you don’t have to open a book to worship God. True worship comes not from the pages of a book — it must come from your heart. There’s another point — the Bible is not God’s word.

    “In the beginning there was the Word. And the word was God. And the word was made flesh and dwelt amongst us”.

    Who was made flesh and dwelt among us ? Jesus Christ. Which means that Jesus is the Word. And Jesus is God. Don’t look into a book for the Lord. Invite Him into your heart, and worship Him there. You can’t go wrong with Jesus on your side — and He never told you to read a book !!!

  18. Ok…first let’s go here….

    According to scripture…there is a natural body and a spiritual body…1 Corinthians 15:42-44 “So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption:It is sown in dishonour; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power:It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.”

    Also according to scripture, at the time of resurrection, our bodies are changed from the natural body to the spiritual body. 1 Corinthians 15:51-54
    “Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory”.

    The scripture also points out that the first Adam was an earthly man, but the second Adam, Jesus, was a spiritual man.

    Also…what do you do with John 20?
    “1 The first day of the week cometh Mary Magdalene early, when it was yet dark, unto the sepulchre, and seeth the stone taken away from the sepulchre.
    2 Then she runneth, and cometh to Simon Peter, and to the other disciple, whom Jesus loved, and saith unto them, They have taken away the LORD out of the sepulchre, and we know not where they have laid him.
    3 Peter therefore went forth, and that other disciple, and came to the sepulchre.
    4 So they ran both together: and the other disciple did outrun Peter, and came first to the sepulchre.
    5 And he stooping down, and looking in, saw the linen clothes lying; yet went he not in.
    6 Then cometh Simon Peter following him, and went into the sepulchre, and seeth the linen clothes lie,
    7 And the napkin, that was about his head, not lying with the linen clothes, but wrapped together in a place by itself.
    8 Then went in also that other disciple, which came first to the sepulchre, and he saw, and believed.
    9 For as yet they knew not the scripture, that he must rise again from the dead.
    10 Then the disciples went away again unto their own home.
    11 But Mary stood without at the sepulchre weeping: and as she wept, she stooped down, and looked into the sepulchre,
    12 And seeth two angels in white sitting, the one at the head, and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain.
    13 And they say unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? She saith unto them, Because they have taken away my LORD, and I know not where they have laid him.
    14 And when she had thus said, she turned herself back, and saw Jesus standing, and knew not that it was Jesus.
    15 Jesus saith unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? whom seekest thou? She, supposing him to be the gardener, saith unto him, Sir, if thou have borne him hence, tell me where thou hast laid him, and I will take him away.
    16 Jesus saith unto her, Mary. She turned herself, and saith unto him, Rabboni; which is to say, Master.
    17 Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God.
    18 Mary Magdalene came and told the disciples that she had seen the LORD, and that he had spoken these things unto her.
    19 Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you.
    20 And when he had so said, he shewed unto them his hands and his side. Then were the disciples glad, when they saw the LORD.
    21 Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you.
    22 And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost:
    23 Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained.
    24 But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came.
    25 The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the LORD. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe.
    26 And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them: then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace be unto you.
    27 Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing.
    28 And Thomas answered and said unto him, My LORD and my God.
    29 Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.
    30 And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book:31 But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.”

  19. p.rozario12,

    According to scripture when Jesus came he fulfilled the law and that the world thru Him would be saved.

    And as far as not reading God’s word…

    Psalm 119:10-12
    “10 I seek you with all my heart;
    do not let me stray from your commands.
    11 I have hidden your word in my heart
    that I might not sin against you.”
    12 Praise be to you, O LORD;
    teach me your decrees.

  20. To Joe Martino: I am saying we cannot be said to elevate the Bible above God because the Bible is God’s word. That is like saying we care about what a person says more than the person. Nobody would make that argument in real life.

    To p.rozario12: The Holy Bible was written by men divinely inspired and is God’s revelation of Himself to man. It is a perfect treasure of divine instruction. It has God for its author, salvation for its end, and truth, without any mixture of error, for its matter. Therefore, all Scripture is totally true and trustworthy. It reveals the principles by which God judges us, and therefore is, and will remain to the end of the world, the true center of Christian union, and the supreme standard by which all human conduct, creeds, and religious opinions should be tried. All Scripture is a testimony to Christ, who is Himself the focus of divine revelation.

    Exodus 24:4; Deuteronomy 4:1-2; 17:19; Joshua 8:34; Psalms 19:7-10; 119:11,89,105,140; Isaiah 34:16; 40:8; Jeremiah 15:16; 36:1-32; Matthew 5:17-18; 22:29; Luke 21:33; 24:44-46; John 5:39; 16:13-15; 17:17; Acts 2:16ff.; 17:11; Romans 15:4; 16:25-26; 2 Timothy 3:15-17; Hebrews 1:1-2; 4:12; 1 Peter 1:25; 2 Peter 1:19-21.

    (Taken from the Baptist Faith and Message 2000)

  21. Jimmy, you have very nicely proved my point. This body as we know it shall not be raised from the dead. “It is sown a natural body: it is raised a spiritual body”. You went to this quote first, otherwise I was going there myself. My point is that we will be raised in the spirit — and you said just that. However, you have side-stepped my curiosity about Simon Peter’s opinion on the ressurection of Jesus. Though the gospels say he witnessed the empty tomb, yet in 1Peter 3:18 he implied quite implicity that the Lord did not rise in the flesh. It’s always easy to quote from the Bible — but your quote can always be turned around by somebody else quoting just the opposite.

    Anyway, thanks for the support regarding the fact that the body as we know is will not be raised. Here’s hoping you (or somebody) can explain St. Peter’s comment about the “resurrection” of Jesus.

  22. I forgot to mention that the Church never taught us about the “spiritual body”. The Church, in fact, tells us that this physical body will rise up from the grave on the Day of Judgement — and if our names are in the Book of Life, we will enjoy eternal physical bliss in heaven. The way things are turning out (now that Christians are questioning the resurrection of the body), this could turn out to be the biggest fraud perpetuated on mankind in the name of religion.

  23. Pingback: Bible Discussion « JimmyEldridge.net

  24. Thanks, Jimmy, for steering me there. The piece I just read was enlightening, more so because it tallied a lot with my own belief system. I, too, believe that Christians are putting the Book above God. But I feared I was a loner in that department. Now I know there are others. And no, I do not believe that a flawed book will take anything away from my faith in Jesus Christ who, I may add, is the focul point of my Christianity. I do not believe that I need any intercessor apart from Jesus in my honest struggle to communicate with the Father in Heaven. I use the word “struggle” because I am aware of how difficult it is to pray from the heart — how utterly emotional it becomes when one is striving to be in the presence of God.

  25. Carlton,

    You are so right…it is difficult at times to pray from the heart. Sometimes it feels more like just going thru the motions. I have wondered at times if each prayer has the same effect?

  26. Sounds like I’ve managed to bring about a pall of silence ! Sorry about that — was just seeking an open and honest debate. Looks like I’ll have to do my seeking elsewhere !!

  27. Dear Jimmy — I have learnt from experience that prayer does not come spontaneously. One must wait and wait and wait to be in the presence of God — and to KNOW that one is in His presence. At times it takes more than an hour, at other times it takes just a few minutes. And once one is in His presence, the emotions flow hard and fast. You may even weep — it becomes so difficult for us humans to handle God’s presence. And yes, there are times when it feels like I’m merely going through the motions — and that is excruciatingly frustrating.

    You’re an understanding man, Jimmy. May God keep guiding you — and say a prayer for me when you get the time. Medical opinion has it that I need a heart transplant. I believe I need a good man’s prayers more than a doctor’s opinion !

  28. Dear Jimmy,
    I am Carlton Figg’s daughter. I was going through your blogs with my dad and I thought that incase you are wondering where he has disappeared to I should let you know that he passed away on the 22nd of Nov 2008. Without a doubt in my heart I am convinced that he is with our Lord Jesus and is finally enjoying everlasting peace and I am sure all his questions have been answered and all his doubts and confusions cleared 🙂
    God bless always.

  29. Denise,I am so sorry to hear about your dad. I enjoyed our little conversation. He seemed like a man genuine to the bone. I wish I could have had the pleasure to meet him.

    He is in a much better place than you or I right now…I envy him.

    Please stop by anytime.

    Peace,
    Jimmy

  30. You are so right. My dad was honestly the most genuine man I have known and because of him being of such strong character and high principles he was invariably disappointed and frustrated with people. ‘He was genuine to the bone’ He now is where he belongs. . . in heaven. . . The perfect place. I look forward to seeing him again. I am sorry to divert from the original topic of discussion. It is a subject I clearly dont qualify to discuss at this stage of my life. Thank you for replying to me so promptly.
    God bless always.

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