The Instigator
Microsuck
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
Jacob_Apologist
Con (against)
Winning
19 Points

The Argument from Biblical Defects is Sound

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after 5 votes the winner is...
Jacob_Apologist
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 9/20/2012 Category: Religion
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,636 times Debate No: 25713
Debate Rounds (4)
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Votes (5)

 

Microsuck

Pro

I am resending this challenge due to a glitch in the other round.

Resolved:
The Argument from Biblical Defects is a Sound Argument Against the Christian God.


The Argument from Biblical Defects was first proposed by Dr. Theodore M. Drange and it is an argument against the Christian God via Biblial Defects. I have re-formulated the argument and worked it out myself to make it easy to follow and understand on my blog at http://reasonalliance.blogspot.com... like to debate the soundness of the argument.

The argument in a nutshell states the following:

(A) If the God of evangelical Christianity were to exist, then the Bible would be God's only written revelation.

(B) Thus, if that deity were to exist, then he would probably see to it that the Bible is perfectly clear and authoritative, and lack the appearance of merely human authorship.

(C) Some facts about the Bible are the following:

  1. It contradicts itself or is very unclear in many places.
  2. It contains factual errors, including unfulfilled prophecies.
  3. It contains ethical defects (such as God committing or ordering atrocities).
  4. It contains interpolations (later insertions to the text).
  5. Different copies of the same biblical manuscripts say conflicting things.
  6. The biblical canon involves disputes and is apparently arbitrary.
  7. There is no objective procedure for settling any of the various disputes, especially since the original manuscripts of the Bible have been lost and there has been no declaration from God that would help resolve any of the disputes.

(D) Therefore [from C], the Bible is not perfectly clear and authoritative, and has the appearance of merely human authorship.

(E) Hence [from B & D], probably the God of evangelical Christianity does not exist.


http://www.infidels.org......

Rules:

(1) Debater must have typing experience and internet access.
(2) Place your arguments and sources inside the debate
(3) Structure the debate in a readable, coherent fashion.
(4) No semantics, trolling, or lawyering.
(5) Forfeiting any round will result in a 7 point loss.


Rounds:

(1) Acceptance
(2) Opening Statement
(3) Rebuttal

(4) Rebuttal

Other notes:

(1) 72 hours to argue;

(2) If special circumstances arise, one side may ask the other to wait out his or her remaining time.
(3) If one side explicitly concedes or violates any terms, then all seven points will be awarded to the other;
(4) By accepting this challenge, you agree to these terms.
Jacob_Apologist

Con

I agree and I will refute this argument. That means I will prove that the argument is not good; it's premises are not true and are less plausible than their negation hence the argument is not compelling and sound.
Debate Round No. 1
Microsuck

Pro

Hello, thank you for accepting this debate. It is a great honour to be debating you on this subject. Please note that I had to make some changes to the post because of character limits.

  1. If the God of Christianity were to exist, then the Bible would be God's only written revelation;
  2. Thus, if that deity were to exist, then He would see fit that the Bible is perfectly clear and authoritative, and thus lacking the appearance of human authorship.
    1. Indeed, if I wanted all men to be saved and to believe in a book, then I would want them to understand it and have the appearance of supernatural authorship.
  3. Here are some facts about the Bible:
    1. It contradicts itself or is very unclear in many places;
      1. The Date of Jesus' Birth
        1. 6 BCE (Matthew 1 & 2)
        2. 6 CE (Matthew 2)
      2. The Genealogies of Jesus
        1. Joseph's father was Heli (Luke 2)
        2. Joseph's father was Levi (Matthew 1)
        3. Jesus was a direct descendant of Solomon (Matthew 1);
        4. Jesus was a direct descendant of Nathan (Luke 2);
    2. It contains factual errors, including failed prophecies;
      1. By "failed" we mean prophecies that have not come to pass since they were first written and cannot be fulfilled today.
      2. For example, Isaiah 19:5-7 states that the Nile river will be dried up. This has not happened.
        1. This cannot be fulfilled today because the context shows that this was ment for the Egypt at Isaiah's time.
        2. Ezekiel also repeats this prophecy (ch. 30) and makes it even clearer that this could only have happened at that particular time.
      3. Ezekiel 29:8-12 states, "[T]hus says the Lord God..and the land of Egypt shall be a desolation and a waste...no foot of man shall pass through it and no foot of beast shall past through it; it shall be uninhabited for forty years. And I will make the city of Egypt a desolation in the midst of desolated countries; and her cities shall be desolated forty years... I will scatter Egyptian among the nations, and disperse them through the countries."
        1. At no point in Egypt's history was it desolate and waste
        2. Men and beast have always walked through it;
        3. Egypt has always been habitable;
        4. Verse 3 sets the context of the prophecy being for that time;
      4. Ezekiel 29:20 states, "I have given him [Nebuchadnezzar] the land of Egypt as his recompense for which he has laboured, because they worked for me, says the Lord God."
        1. Nebuchadnezzar never conquered Egypt.
    3. It contains interpolations;
      1. I John 5:7-8 (KJV)For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word and the Holy Ghost, and these three are one. And there are three that witness on earth, the Spirit, the Water and the Blood and these three agree in one.
        1. This passage only appears in Latin Vulgate and in the King James Bible.
        2. The Church was trying to defend the doctrine of the trinity by fraudulent means. [2]
        3. John 8:1-11 (the story of Jesus saving the adulterer) is absent from the earliest manuscripts. Nowhere does it appear in the Codex Vaticanus and the Codex Sinaiticus and most of the later Greek manuscripts also omit it. In some manuscripts it appears not in the gospel of John but in Luke (after Luke 21:38)! [3]
    4. Different copies of the same Biblical manuscript say conflicting things;
      1. As noted above, John 8:1-11 is often placed in Luke after 21:38
      2. The following table lists the variations within the New Testament [5]:

        Group of Writings Total Number of Verses Number of Verses with Variants Percentage of Verses with Variants
        The Gospels 3769 1713 45.4%
        The Acts 1006 329 32.7%
        Pauline Epistles 2032 495 24.4%
        The Catholic Epistles 735 220 29.9%
        Revelation 405 191 47.1%
        Total 7947 2948 37.1%
      3. The following table lists some other variations within the New Testament (note, I could not use the full chart because of character count) [6]:

        Verse KJV NRSV
        Matthew 1:25 And knew her not till she had brough forth herfirstborn son: but had no marital relations with her until she had borne a son;
        Matthew 8:29 And, behold, they cried out, saying, What have we to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God. Suddenly they shouted, "What have you to do with us, son of God?"
        Matthew 16:20 Then charged he his disciples that they should tell no man that he was Jesus the Christ. Then he sternly ordered the disciples not to tell anyone that he was the Messiah.
        Matthew 17:20 And Jesus said unto them, Because of yourunbelief: He said to them, "Because of your little faith."
        Matthew 20:16 So the last shall be first, and the first last: for many be called, but few chosen So the last will be first, and the first will be last.
        Matthew 21:12 And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, Then Jesus entered the temple and drove out all who were selling and buying in the temple
        Matthew 25:13 Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh Keep awake therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour.
        Matthew 27:35 And they crucified him, and parted his garments, casting lots: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, They parted my garments among them, and upon my vesture did they cast lots And when they had crucified him, they divided his clothes among themselves by casting lots;
        Mark 1:2 As it is written in the prophets, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face As it is written in the prophet Isaiah, See I am sending my messenger ahead of you
        Mark 6:11 And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear you, when ye depart thence, shake off the dust from under your feet for a testimony against them.Verily I say unto you, it shall be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrha in the day of judgment, than for that city. If any place will not welcome you and they refuse to hear you, as you leave, shake off the dust that is on your feet as a testimony against them.
      4. Some of these changes are serious as they infringe upon Christian doctrine (i.e., Mark 16:17-18). Many have died because of this verse.
    5. The Biblical canon is not clear; and
      1. At no point in Christian history has Christians ever agreed upon a complete Biblical canon.
      2. One attempt at an early canon of the New Testament was from Irenaeus. He argued that "As there should be four winds, there should be four gospels." His list consists of 22 books of which 21 are present in today's Testament. His list included The Shephered of Hermas but left out Philemon, II Peter, and II & III John. [7]
      3. Origen defined what he believed to be the canon of scripture. He included the four gospels, Acts, Paul's Espistles, The Shephered of Hermas, The Didache, and the Gospel According to the Hebrews. He mentioned that Hebrews, II Peter, II and III John, James, Jude, and the Epistle of Barnabas were in dispute. [8]
      4. Ethiopian Christians have today Sirate Tsion (the book of order); Tizaz (the book of Herald) Gitsew Abtilis; The I book of Dominos33. The II book of Dominos34. The book of Clement35. Didascalia [8]
      5. The Old Testament canon is also in dispute:
        1. Catholics have 47 Old Testament Books;
        2. Ethiopian Orthodox Christians also include additional books not even included in the Catholic canon, including but not limited to:
          1. Enoch;
          2. Jubilee; and
          3. Tegsats [9]
    6. There is no objective procedures for setting any of the various disputes, especially since the original manuscripts of the Bible has been lost and there has been no declaration from God that will help solve these disputes;
  4. Therefore, the Bible is not perfectly clear and authoritative and has the appearance of merely human authorship;
  5. Therefore, the God of Christianity does not exist and thus the Bible is not God's Word.
References
1. Drange, T. (2006). The Argument from Confusion and Biblical Defects.
2. Bentley, Secrets of Mount Sinai: p33
4. Tobin, P. (2000). The Rejection of Pascal's Wager.
5. Tobin, P. (2000). Manuscript Fallacies.
6. Ibid.
7. Davis, G. The Development of the New Testament Canon - Irenaeus.
8. Bruce, The Books and the Parchments: p112
Jacob_Apologist

Con

Thanks for the debate, I appreciate the opportunity. The content of the given argument is a big issue of misconception among so many unlearned people who lacks insight on Biblical theology and indepth perspective. I think it’s an essential debate to read. To the skeptic it might appear so tempting that it has exposed Christianity. But it’s not so if you do a good investigation.

Let me come to the point. An argument is not sound or good if it’s premises are more likely to be false and if the argument is not more plausible than its negation. I will show how this is not a good argument.

The main flaw in the argument is Premise (2) or (B) where the skeptic mistakes on the doctrine of Biblical inspiration. In 2 Timothy 3:16, we are told that all Scripture is inspired. The word used for inspiration means "God-breathed" implying that what was written had its origin in God Himself. In 2 Peter 1:21 we read that the men (writers) were "carried along" by God. Thus, God used each writer, including his personality to accomplish a divinely authoritative work. As Paul mentioned that believers are vessels (2 Cor 6:7; 2 Tim 2:20-21) for God’s work, same way God used humans vessels for revealing scripture. Read this page to understand the meaning & definition of revelation and inspiration, where the authors answered the so called 101 contradictions in the Bible [1]. It is important to note that it’s the Islamic doctrine that believes Quran to be directly dropped down from above with no possibility of error of even a dot. Assuming Quranic standards for Bible would be straw man attack.

The article of Daniel Wallace refuting the repeated arguments of Bart Ehrman is the key to understand the Biblical position on inerrancy and objective evidence of text.

Wallace writes “We need to begin by making a careful distinction between verbal inspiration and inerrancy. Inspiration relates to the wording of the Bible, while inerrancy relates to the truth of a statement. American evangelicals generally believe that only the original text is inspired. This is not to say, however, that copies can’t be inerrant. Indeed, statements that bear no relation to scripture can be inerrant. If I say, “I am married and have four sons, two dogs, and a cat,” that’s an inerrant statement. It’s not inspired, nor at all related to scripture, but it is true. Similarly, whether Paul says “we have peace” or “let us have peace” in Rom 5.1, both statements are true (though each in a different sense), though only one is inspired. Keeping this distinction in mind as we consider the textual variants of the New Testament should clarify matters.”[2]

2.1 Genealogy of Jesus: - Michael Brown wrote in his book- “Common sense would tell you that the followers of Jesus, who were totally dedicated to demonstrating to both Jews and Gentiles that he was truly the Messiah and Savior, would not preserve and pass on two impossibly contradictory genealogies. In fact, this very suggestion directly contradicts the common objection that the NT authors rewrote the accounts of the Gospels in order to make Jesus look like he was the Messiah. The reality is that the story of his life and were careful to include two important genealogies in presenting the account of his ancestry and birth.” (Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus, vol 4,p 76-83)
Here the topic of genealogy of Jesus is dealt with a great detail, anyone wants to study must read these explanation.[3]

Misunderstanding prophetic context; the prophesy for Egypt might have been fulfilled in immediate context as there had happened there, moreover it could well be an end time prophesy. It’s a misconception of interpretation. Verse 1 suggests the final coming of Jesus on the clouds.

2.4 Nebuchadnezzar did conquer Egypt.[4]

3.1 Keep in mind the definition of inspiration & revelation I gave above throughout my arguments. The verse of 1 John 5:7-8 is indeed a latter addition by scribes and copyists. It is not a single occasion but there are many such verses which are later found out to be added by scribal error where some late copyists might have attempted to harmonize the text further. These additional handful of verses are completely peripheral and irrelevant to any cardinal doctrine of Bible, they are not included in modern translations to pass on the more authentic text. KJV was made from very few mss of 6th century, later we discovered more authentic early copies of the NT hence the difference.

3.2 “Church wanted to defend doctrine of trinity” the argument is silly, we should ask the skeptic, does he really think that the Church now wants to destroy the same doctrine by deleting many verses from the KJV? The doctrine of trinity is not based on that particular verse.

3.3 We also have good evidence against the textual authenticity of the Pericope Adultarae passage; again it doesn’t affect any central doctrine. Christians don’t worship the adulterous woman. Read details of these references in “Gospel of Bart” [2]

4 Confusing Variants with Contradictions

4.1 It very irrelevant if the Pericope Adultarae was mentioned in Luke in handful of later century mss.

4.2 The variants have no significance to the textual reliability.

"There are approximately 138,000 words in the Greek NT. The variants in the manuscripts, versions, and Fathers constitute almost three times this number. At first blush, that is a striking amount. But in light of the possibilities, it actually is rather trivial. For example, consider the ways in which Greek can say “Jesus loves Paul”:
1. ᾿Ιησοῦς ἀγαπᾷ Παῦλον
2. ᾿Ιησοῦς ἀγαπᾷ τὸν Παῦλον
3. ὁ ᾿Ιησοῦς ἀγαπᾷ Παῦλον (upto 12)

Factor in synonyms (such as κύριοςfor ᾿Ιησοῦς), spelling differences, and additional words (such as Χριστός, or ἅγιος with Παῦλος) and the list of potential variants that do not affect the essence of the statement increases to the hundreds. If such a simple sentence as “Jesus loves Paul” could have so many insignificant variations, a mere 400,000 variants among the NT manuscripts seems like an almost negligible amount." [2]

4. 4 The longer ending of Mark is also latter addition; imagine why would the Christians themselves edit the Bible to make conflict with any doctrine at all? These things are known to the scholars and common man from long time. It’s silly the passage affect any doctrine because the Resurrection of Christ already happened before that passage. Many have died because of it? That surely came from Muslims.

5.1-4 Only couple of epistles was in dispute however the works of Church Councils was to attest and declare the authentic list of books to make known to public that they may reject any second century Gnostic forgery. The African Synod of Hippo, in 393, approved the NT, as it stands today(all 27 books), together with the Septuagint books, a decision that was repeated by Councils of Carthage in 397 and 419. See the canon list of councils in history. [5]
5.5 Old Testament books in Canon are the exact same with what unbelieving Jews have with them, not a single word in disagreement. The books he mentioned are apocrypha books which are not the inspired scripture. [6] The belief of Catholics is irrelevant.

The argument that we don’t have original autographed mss of NT is absurd, because one can never know for sure whether or not some mss are the original autographed in the first place if they are discovered. It doesn’t affect inerrancy. This year we discovered some mss that date from first to the half of second century, which made the textual authenticity even more incredible these mss fragments make 33% of the NT dating within 1st to 2nd century.[7]


Ref:
[1] http://debate.org.uk...
[2] http://bible.org... (Gospel of Bart, must read)
[3] http://tinyurl.com... (Genealogy)
[4] http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com...
[5] http://www.biblestudying.net...
[6] http://www.bible.ca...
[7] http://www.csntm.org... Center for Study of NT Manuscripts
Debate Round No. 2
Microsuck

Pro

Thank you for your swift reply. It is a pleasure to be debating you and I am looking forward to the rest of this debate. My opponent is correct in asserting that the argument is not sound if its premises are more likely to be false than true. Indeed, by very definition of "sound" it is an argument that is valid and has true premises.

My opponent begins by attacking premise 2 which states, "Thus, if that diety [The God of Christianity] were to exist, then he
would probably see to it that the Bible is perfectly clear and authoritative, and lack the appearance of merely human authorship."

My opponent's attack is that I misunderstand Biblical inspiration. 2 Timothy does state that all Scripture is inspired. My opponent states that it is the Islamic doctrine as opposed to the Christian doctrine that believes that the Quran is down from above with no possibility of an error. However, my attack is valid for several reasons:
  1. If God were to exist, then it would be fit that he cannot lie.
  2. As Matthew Slick notes [1]:
    1. "Thus says the Lord" occurs over 400 times in the Old Testament;
    2. "God said" occurs 42 times in the Old Testament and 3 times in the New Testament;
    3. "The Spirit of the Lord spoke" through the people in 2 Samuel 23:2
    4. "Jesus acknowledged this when he said that the Word of God, the Scripture, cannot be broken. This means that it cannot fail. Why? because the written form of the word of God, which is Scripture, is inspired; and because it is inspired, it cannot fail, it must be fulfilled."
  3. Therefore, because the Bible is God's Word, it must be infallable because God's nature is infallable. Moreover, if the Bible were to have errors as far as contradictions or is incomprehensible to understand, then the Bible would be no different from books written by man.
Next, my opponent attempted to reconcile the errors and the other attacks on the Bible beginning in premise 3 which notes that there are contradictions within the Bible,

First, on the genealogy of Jesus he quotes from Michael Brown. The problem is that Michael Brown never did answer the difficulty on why there were two difficulties. Indeed, early Christians noted the problem and deemed it as serious. As such, they have came up with three different and contradictory ways to reconcile these contradictions. Note how different these reconciliations are [2]:
  1. The Levirate marriage
  2. Africanus' "Half Brothers" Plus Levirate; and
  3. Mary's genealogy.
The genealogies were a serious problem and the early church did notice it. However, we must ask ourselves: Why, if there is no contradiction between the genealogies and if the church/the Bible is inerrant [3], is there three distinct ways of reconciling the contradictions?

My opponent drops the date of Jesus' birth contradiction.

My opponent surprisingly states that Nebuchadnezzar did conquer Egypt. However, we must remember that the records of that time period were not necessarily 100% reliable because they often were manipulated to support their king and their kingdom [4]. Moreover, this does not answer the facts that:
  1. Egypt has never been desolate and waste;
  2. Men and people always walked through it;
  3. There has never been a single moment (let alone 40 years) when Egypt was uninhabited;
  4. Its cities have never been desolate for any period of time; and
  5. Finally, there was no Egyptian diaspora [5].

Finally, my opponent has dropped the Isaiah prophecy concerning the drying up of the Nile.

I am out of time. I will respond to the other objections to the argument later. Remember, these are not dropped arguments though I will response to them in the next round.

References
1. Slick, M. (n.d.) "The Bible Isn't the Word of God. It contains the Word of God." Retrieved 24 Sep 2012 from http://carm.org...;

2. Tobin, P. (2000). "The Genealogies in Matthew and Luke." Retrieved 24 Sep 2012 from http://tinyurl.com...;
3. Note, the Catholic church believes that the church is infallable. I am well aware that the Protestant church does not teach that. Zia, M. (n.d.) "The Inerrancy of Scripture and the Second Vatican Council" Retrieved 24 Sep 2012 from http://www.catholicculture.org...
4. For example, the Bible records an account when king Hezekiah destroyed king Sennacherib's army by the help of God. Although the Bible has an account where Israel is victorious and Sennacherib fleas back to Assyria, the Assyrian account is much different. The Assyrian account states that it was not a loss, but it was a great victory. In the Taylor Prism, Sennacherib states that he had "shut up Hezekiah the Judahite within Jerusalem, his own royal city, like a caged bird." http://www.kchanson.com...;.
5. Tobin, P. "Failed Prophecies." Retrieved 24 Sep 2012 from http://tinyurl.com...;


Jacob_Apologist

Con

There is no problem on the issue of two genealogies of Matthew & Luke; the source Pro gave didn’t even lead to right article,moreover it’s irrelevant if some early groups had trouble grasping the topic. Let me quote an excerpt from the link I gave earlier.

“Genealogy was serious business for Jews returning from exile in the sixth and fifth centuries BC. The first eight chapters of 1 Chronicles are taken up with genealogies beginning with those found elsewhere in the Bible (mainly in Genesis) and branching out into all twelve of Jacob’s sons. Some families receive more thorough coverage than others, and the most attention is paid to the priestly families and the descendants of David. These genealogies are clearly derived from different sources. Some give the names in descending order (like Matthew, beginning with the most ancient) while others list ancestors in ascending order (like Luke, beginning with the most recent). Occasionally the Chronicler will include a brief bit of history about one of his subjects (e.g., Jabez, 1 Chr 4:9-10), but mostly there are only lists of names.

It is in fact likely that both accounts of Jesus’ genealogy skip generations here and there. This is not entirely unheard of in ancient genealogies in general and in Jewish genealogies in particular. A generation might be skipped for any number of reasons. Most obviously and mundanely, the genealogist simply may not have had the necessary data to include every generation. Another mundane explanation may be that a person’s father died young, perhaps even during the son’s formative years. In that case, a man might be reckoned “the son” of someone who was actually his grandfather. It must be noted, of course, that in Hebraic thought one’s “father” need not be one’s immediate male ancestor—any male ancestor up the line can qualify for that title. That is why Matthew can call Jesus both “son of David” and “son of Abraham.”

Some have suggested there are gaps in Jesus’ genealogy in Matthew in order to reproduce the pattern of “fourteen generations” to which the author explicitly calls attention (Abraham to David, David to the Exile, the Exile to Christ). This phenomenon may be related to the numerical value of the name David, the sum of whose Hebrew letters (דוד) add up to fourteen. Although less often suggested, Luke’s list of seventy-seven names might have been intended to represent eleven sets of seven names each. According to Metzger, with a reading for Luke 3:33 that involves three names rather than two, Luke’s genealogy”

I did address the argument that a particular prophesy in Isaiah is a failed one. The passage rather seems to be end times prophesy. Here is an article addressing that. http://tinyurl.com...

Then pro denied the evidence for Nebuchadnezzar that they could be manipulated, but that’s argument from silence. If you appeal to the same sources, you can’t deny some selectively at the same time.

Let me answer Pro’s point 3.4 further, regarding the alleged textual variances- to make give a detailed insight. The following is the excerpt from James White from a debate transcript; He has quoted Ehrman himself to strengthen his point. James said:

"There are about 1,500 to 2,000 viable, meaningful textual variants that must be examined carefully, comprising maybe—at most—1% of the entire text of the New Testament. Of these, historically, scholars have believed the vast majority are scribal errors of sight or hearing. Let me quote one scholar on this:

"Most of these differences are completely immaterial and insignificant; in fact most of the changes found in our early Christian manuscripts have nothing to do with theology or ideology. Far and away the most changes are the result of mistakes, pure and simple— slips of the pen, accidental omissions, inadvertent additions, misspelled words, blunders of one sort or another when scribes made intentional changes, sometimes their motives were as pure as the driven snow. And so we must rest content knowing that getting back to the earliest attainable version is the best we can do, whether or not we have reached back to the “original” text. This oldest form of the text is no doubt closely (very closely) related to what the author originally wrote, and so it is the basis for our interpretation of his teaching."

The gentleman that I’m quoting is Bart Ehrman in Misquoting Jesus. [audience laughter] Now, what of the assertion that the text of the New Testament was corrupted before our earliest manuscript evidence? We have a dozen manuscripts within the first 100 years after the writing of the New Testament. All are fragmentary, but grand total they represent a majority of the books in the New Testament and about 4/10 of the text of the New Testament. We have more than 120 manuscripts within the first 300 years. Now, a key fact that must be kept in mind, regarding the New Testament manuscript tradition, is the existence of multiple lines of transmission. Let’s illustrate what we mean. The earliest manuscripts in our possession demonstrate the existence not of a single line of corrupt transmission, but multiple lines of transmission of varying accuracy. Many of these lines intersect and cross defying easy identification. But the important thing to remember is that multiple lines are a good thing. They ensure a healthy manuscript tradition that is not under the control of any central editing process. One of the examples often noted related to the early transmission of the text is a relationship between this manuscript, P75 (from around A.D 175) and this manuscript, Codex Vaticanus (from A.D. 325).

These two manuscripts are clearly very closely related in their text. Indeed, they may be more alike than any other two ancient manuscripts in the portions where Vaticanus contains the same sections of Scripture as P75—Vaticanus is a much larger manuscript obviously. But remember, 150 years separates the copying of these two manuscripts. And yet we know that Vaticanus is not a copy of P75, for it actually contains readings that are earlier than some in P75. This means we have a very clean, very accurate line of transmission, illustrated by these two texts, that goes back to the very earliest part of the 2nd century itself. What this illustrates needs to be kept in mind—the burden of proof lies upon the skeptic, who asserts corruption of the primitive New Testament text since the extant manuscripts demonstrate multiple lines of independent transmission. The skeptic must explain how the New Testament text can appear in history, via multiple lines of transmission, and yet each line presents the same text, yet without any controlling authority."

Source: James White Vs Bart “Does the Bible Misquote Jesus?” mp3 and transcript pdf here http://www.apologetics315.com...


The crucial point to understand from the Christian answer here is to see the meaning, definition of certain doctrines of the Biblical text. Be open to possible interpretations, by not assuming a particular interpretation to be the only possible Christian position. I think it’s quite evident that there are no such contradictions in the Bible that are irresolvable problem in the central doctrine. Whatever the alleged discrepancies skeptics find are extremely peripheral; that is to say- even if they happen to be irresolvable, they don’t affect the Biblical doctrine of inspiration and inerrancy; however as I have presented, there are no such errors or defects as the skeptic assume in the given argument.
Debate Round No. 3
Microsuck

Pro

I am busy at school and am unable to post for round four. Please vote con.
Jacob_Apologist

Con

I thank for my opponent for the topic which gave atheist"s one of the most typical objection against the Bible to deny it. I think I easily disproved it showing the major error in it. So there was no scope left for further rounds in my view. Thanks for reading.
Debate Round No. 4
No comments have been posted on this debate.
5 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Vote Placed by Smithereens 4 years ago
Smithereens
MicrosuckJacob_ApologistTied
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Total points awarded:06 
Reasons for voting decision: wow, easy victory Con
Vote Placed by Chicken 4 years ago
Chicken
MicrosuckJacob_ApologistTied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: FF
Vote Placed by Xerge 4 years ago
Xerge
MicrosuckJacob_ApologistTied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Concession by Pro
Vote Placed by Zaradi 4 years ago
Zaradi
MicrosuckJacob_ApologistTied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Concession in the last round.
Vote Placed by AlwaysMoreThanYou 4 years ago
AlwaysMoreThanYou
MicrosuckJacob_ApologistTied
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: I was leaning towards Con the whole debate (I'm biased, sue me) but that last round really clinched it.