The Instigator
Envisage
Con (against)
Winning
25 Points
The Contender
MarioWatsonBeasley
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points

The Bible is of Divine Origins

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/10/2014 Category: Religion
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 869 times Debate No: 64910
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (4)
Votes (4)

 

Envisage

Con

Please message me if you wish the debate's framing changed, especially with God's Definition.

Definition:
Bible - Text depicting the Abrahamic God, and the Life, death and resurrection of Jesus. The King James Translation will be largely used in this debate although I accept that this specific translation is obviously not going to be of divine origin (the debate will be about the original writings).
God - The Abrahamic God who is Omnipotent, Omniscient, Omnibenevolent and Intelligent

72h, 10,000 words.
Pro can begin right away in Round 1 or just use that round for acceptance. Good luck.
Debate Round No. 1
Envisage

Con

Thanks Pro for accepting this debate.

=Framework=

To assert the Bible is of divine origins is to assert that God himself played some role in its production, which seems rather obvious given that the Bible itself is a testament to God, and what God has done over the course of Earth’s history (and to some extent, creation). Given that the purpose of the Bible is to bear witness to God (John 5:39) or to provide some sort of historical account (Genesis), we can assume that if the Bible is of divine origins, that this was the intent of God’s hand in it.[1]

Therefore I will be arguing from several points:

  1. 1. Bible is not what we would expect if it was of divine origins
  2. 2. The Bible has not been preserved as we would expect if it was of divine origins
  3. 3. Divine origins are not a good explanation of the Bible


After these three contentions, we should be able to draw the conclusion that the Bible is not of divine origins.


C1. What we would expect if the Bible were of divine origins

All good theories need to begin with a hypothesis, so assuming the resolution is true, what would we expect is the Bible is from God ?

  1. A. Unambiguous


The best way to convey information accurately is to use explicit language with direct and specific interpretations. One way to do this is to ditch generalised words and refer only to concepts, for example where a ‘chair’ might cause ambiguity (there are several interpretations what the word ‘chair’ could mean in English), if it was referred to as ‘a one-person stool with four legs’, the concept becomes crystal clear and direct. Alternatively the use of language with highly specific meanings would preferably be used.

The reasoning for this is that IF God wanted to tell us something, then he would have no reason for us to receive a message without a clear meaning, as it would lead to mis-interpretation and hence people acting according to faulty instructions. Given that the Bible is meant as a total solution which governs how we ought to act within our lives, and gives information about God himself and his nature and the grand scheme of things, it is implausible, and arguably absurd that God would give us an ambiguous message subject to both mis-interpretation and disbelief given the intentions of the narratives.

This however, is exactly what we do not find in the Bible, and the current state of Christianity, with over 30,000 denominations with very different takes on moral issues, such as dealing with abortion, homosexuality, marriage, war. There are also very different takes on salvation and even the divinity of Jesus and the validity of the Holy Trinity.[2] Moreover on creation, there are sects that take the accounts of Genesis literally, which literally entails a 6 say creation myth and a 6,000 year old Earth, and others which do not take the days to mean 6 literal days.[3]

IF the Bible was explicit and unambiguous, then we would expect a significantly stronger consensus on these basic issues than we observe.

  1. B. Fewer Books


If God really had a hand in the composition of the Bible, then we would expect one, or at most a handful of writings directly attributed to him. While an argument can conceivably be made for events before and after Jesus’ existence (enlightenment of God’s existence and deeds, original sin etc.) which would make a pragmatic case for two Books, the same cannot be made for the fact that there are 27 separate books within the New Testament and 39 within the Old Testament.[4]


I will direct my arguments against the New Testament because we have more information on their origins. Given that these books were written many years after the death of Jesus, and many years after the last possible events recorded, the commission of more than one book is wholly unnecessary. If God was to commission a recording of the events of Jesus’ life there would be one and only one recording, it would be written explicitly in a way in which misinterpretations are impossible, and it would be written in a way which would be the most direct text possible with words.

This is not what we see, however. What we see are multiple books, written by multiple separate authors, some of which clearly borrowed significantly from internal sources (cf. two source hypothesis of Gospels of Matthew & Luke). God would have had absolutely no reason to commission so many separate writings if one perfect text is all that is required.

  1. C. Inerrant


A book commissioned by an omniscient, and omnipotent being with the intention of giving a direct factual message to mankind would implausibly be errant, why would it be> It would mean God deliberately gave false information (meaning God is lying), or the text was corrupted after commissioning (I will argue against this later).

Given that it is implausible that God would lie to us, then we would expect the text to be. The Bible however, is clearly errant on multiple accounts. In the Genesis creation mythologies, the events of creation are organised into day-periods. While it is possible debatable how long these days are in absolute timescales, the ordering of events are not. By taking the ordering of events into consideration, we are left concluding that the Sun was created after the Earth which is false. We are also left concluding that trees (day 3) appears on Earth before the creation of the Sun, Moon, Stars and complex lifeforms (day 4), despite trees not evolving until 400 million years ago, with the former examples significantly earlier (Cambrian explosion was 600 Mya, Sun & Moon 4.5 BYa).[5,6] I may expand on these in later rounds.

To attack the Noachian flood mythology, accepting a literal geneology places the Noachian flood around ~4400 years ago, however the expected evidence of this is completely absent from geological records.[7] Moreover evidence is also absent from dendrochronology, and is even weaker in light of the fact we have extant trees known to be greater than 4,400 years old.[8]

C2. Preservation of the Bible

IF the Bible was intended by God as an accurate narrative with specific information about God, morality, and instructions regarding salvation and worship, then we would expect that God would ensure that the message of the Bible was preserved. Otherwise this would entail that the message would become corrupted and we would have people holding incorrect ideals and values for such.

Much of the most important information regarding salvation and repentance is contained within the Gospels of the New Testament, and it’s these in particular that we have abundant evidence of corruption since it’s composition.

We simply do not have the original manuscripts which were written ~70-100AD, and our earliest complete manuscripts don’t appear until nearly 300 years later.[9,10]

Printing did not exist during this period, and copying of manuscripts was performed manually by scribes, letter by letter, and as such many, many mistakes were made. While most mistakes were minor and don’t translate, others are very significant (more on this later).

Each manuscript is copied, and the copy is copied, and that manuscript is copied, and so on and so forth. Each generation of manuscripts will contain all the errors of the predecessor, plus the errors the scribe makes and other changes. Approximately 6000 fragmented/complete manuscripts are known to exist they all differ from each other, with more mistakes contained within them than there are words in the new testament.

The serious errors that are known, include the last twelve verses of the Gospel of Mark, which are now regarded as unauthentic, and the famous story of “Pericope Adulterae”, is also known to have been an evolution on earlier manuscripts, as scribes made changes to the story which made the narrative fit Jesus’ perceived character.[11]

While Pro may argue that we can possibly hope to recover the original message of the Gospels via. scholarship, or that it doesn’t directly mean the Gospels were not of the divine origins he would be correct, but it would miss the point. IF the original message was of divine origins, then the divine ‘originator’ would not have put us in a position to require fallible human methodologies to recover it.

As New Testament textual critic Bart Erhman asserts:

If the gospels were reliable we wouldn't need scholarship”

C3. Divine Origins are by default the least likely explanation

Note that IF Pro could completely refute every single one of my arguments above, he still would be no closer to demonstrating the bible is of divine origins, since the method of argumentation is invalid. I will demonstrate this by formulating the structure of my above arguments in modus tollens format:

P1) IF the Bible was of divine origins, then we would expect ‘X’

P2) Not ‘X’

C) The Bible is not of divine origins

This is a valid method of deductive argumentation (Modus Tollens, Denying the consequent), where can substitute ‘X’ for ‘inerrancy’, ‘unambiguous’, ‘concise’ etc. that I have argued for already. If Pro really could prove the Bible was inerrant then we would be left with the following argument:

P1) IF the Bible was of divine origins, then we would expect X
P2) ‘X’ (Is true)
C) The Bible is of divine origins


This is invalid (affirming the consequent), the reason for which is that the argument ignores all other possible ways in which ‘X’ could be true. For example, if I go to the shop I will buy milk, but me possessing milk does not demonstrate I went to the shop, as I could have obtained milk from other sources.

The best Pro could possibly do by affirming this line of argumentation is an ‘appeal to the best explanation’, but this is essentially impossible, since God is beyond experience, and hence would violate Occam’s rasor.

References

  1. 1. http://tinyurl.com...
  2. 2. http://tinyurl.com...
  3. 3. http://tinyurl.com...
  4. 4. http://tinyurl.com...
  5. 5. http://tinyurl.com...
  6. 6. http://tinyurl.com...
  7. 7. http://tinyurl.com...
  8. 8. http://tinyurl.com...
  9. 9. http://tinyurl.com...
  10. 10. http://tinyurl.com...
  11. 11. http://tinyurl.com... P365

MarioWatsonBeasley

Pro

Thank You Con!!!

REBUTTAL

Con Claims, ["Bible is not what we would expect if it was of divine origins..... IF the Bible was explicit and unambiguous, then we would expect a significantly stronger consensus on these basic issues than we observe."]
One Example Given by Con, ["Moreover on creation, there are sects that take the accounts of Genesis literally, which literally entails a 6 say creation myth and a 6,000 year old Earth, and others which do not take the days to mean 6 literal days.]

First of all, Con's claim is only an assumption. The Bible is not what HE would expect if it was of divine origin.
The Bible tells us that we must compare spiritual(Word of God) with spiritual(Word of God) in 1 Corinthians 2:13. Meaning, we are to compare what Peter said to what Paul said and what Paul said to what Jesus said and so on. The Bible also tells us to search the scriptures in John 5:39, and to study in 2 Timothy 2:15. So we must compare the writers of the Bible words with the writers of the Bible words. Then and only then will the Bible be revealed unto Con as what he would expect.

Secondly, just as Con would expect a significantly stronger consensus about certain issues, I would expect more individuals to be obedient unto the verses above.
Were they natural solar days of twenty-four hours each or were they long periods corresponding to millions of years of our time? If one follows the instructions given, one can receive a clear interpretation of the SEVEN days mentioned in Genesis 1.
The word "day" is sometimes used to mean a period of time as "In the day that the Lord made the
earth and the heavens" (Gen. 2:4) and "The day of temptation in the wilderness" (Ps. 95:8). We
speak of the day of prosperity.
The Hebrew word for "day" is "yom" and in the Authorized Version of the English Bible is
translated more than 1100 times as "day", 67 times as "time", 30 times as "today", 18 times as
"forever", 10 times as "continually", 6 times as "age", 4 times as "life", and 2 times as
"perpetually". From this it appears that no one would be able to tell from the word "day" (yom)
itself how long Moses intended to say each period was. The claim that the days mentioned by Moses were ordinary solar days of approximately twenty-four hours each is obvious for many reasons.
In the first place, these days were half darkness and half light.
What other kind of days have ever been thus? (Let it not be objected that the sun and moon were
not made until the fourth day as light was brought into existence on the first day and may exist
quite independently of the sun.)
When a definite number precedes the word "yom" or "day" in scripture a solar day is always
meant--never a long period. There were one hundred and fifty days of the flood (Gen. 8:3), forty
days the spies were gone (Number 13:25) three days Jonah was in the belly of the fish (Jonah
1:17), and our Lord was seen after His resurrection forty days (Acts 1:3), and the Lord made
heaven and earth in six days (Ex. 20:11).
On the third day of Genesis the grass, trees and shrubs were created. If this day was a "long
period, perhaps millions of years" how do these things live in darkness for half that period?
God himself settles this question in Exodus 20:8-11, "Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy.
Six days shalt thou labor and do thy work but the seventh is a sabbath unto Jehovah thy God...for
in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, and the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the
seventh day; wherefore Jehovah blessed the sabbath day and hallowed it." God gave the Jews the
seventh day to keep as a sabbath; the original sabbath on which God rested was typical of this,
hence both were twenty-four hour days.
((The objection is brought that "God is still resting in His sabbath" but Jesus said, "My Father
worketh hitherto and I work (John 5:17). That God "rested" did not imply that He was tired but
that He finished the work of Genesis 1 and hence "rested" from it. "God rested on the seventh
day" (Gen. 2:2). "God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because that in it He had rested"
(Gen. 2:3). "God did rest the seventh day" (Heb. 4:4). God's period of rest on the seventh day had
already closed when He blessed that day and gave it to Israel as a sabbath.))
The day mentioned in Genesis 1 had "evening and morning". The Jews still count time after this
fashion, the day beginning at six in the evening, hence each day consists of "evening and
morning".
Finally, whoever thought in the first place that it was necessary for God to have long periods of
time to do the work which Moses says He did in six days? It seems clear to me that the days of
Genesis 1 were solar days of approximately twenty-four hours each.
I believe that God used explicit language with direct and specific interpretations in this issue.

Con claims, ["If God really had a hand in the composition of the Bible, then we would expect one, or at most a handful of writings directly attributed to him. While an argument can conceivably be made for events before and after Jesus" existence (enlightenment of God"s existence and deeds, original sin etc.) which would make a pragmatic case for two Books, the same cannot be made for the fact that there are 27 separate books within the New Testament and 39 within the Old Testament."]
God's book is about salvation history and records the importance of the events leading to Christ. Con's assumption that the Bible is too long simply argues from his own criterion. How can Con possibly know how many books God would take to reveal himself? Can God use 100 words? 1000? 10000? Con's argument is subjective and specious.
God had a purpose for each of the four Gospel accounts.
Matthew wrote to the Jewish audience proving much scripture with prophecy.
Mark wrote to the Roman audience.
Luke wrote to the Greek audience proving Jesus to be perfect writing chronologically.
John wrote about the basic deity of Christ and His miracles.

Con claims, ["While it is possible debatable how long these days are in absolute timescales, the ordering of events are not. By taking the ordering of events into consideration, we are left concluding that the Sun was created after the Earth which is false. We are also left concluding that trees (day 3) appears on Earth before the creation of the Sun, Moon, Stars and complex lifeforms (day 4), despite trees not evolving until 400 million years ago, with the former examples significantly earlier (Cambrian explosion was 600 Mya, Sun & Moon 4.5 BYa).[5,6] I may expand on these in later rounds."]
Con, I really believe you should just speak for yourself. Everyone isn't left concluding your interpretation.

If we follow the instructions I noted earlier, the understanding will be clear.
There is a vast difference between the words "create" and "make." "To create" is to make
something which did not previously exist while "to make" implies the forming from existing
materials. "A tailor makes a coat but he does not create the coat."The Hebrew word "bahrah" means absolute creation while the Hebrew word "ahsah" simply means to make from something already in existence.
These are the words used in Genesis 1. ----- On the fourth day God caused the sun, moon and stars to appear in the heavens and made (ahsah) them our timekeepers. There is nothing in the text to indicate that they were just then created. Doubtless they had existed from the beginning as had the earth but were just now made to be our chronometers.18
No statement of this matter can be more conclusive than Genesis 2:3 where we read, "God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it; because that in it He had rested from all His work which God created and made." Here we have both words in the same verse.

Con claims, ["To attack the Noachian flood mythology, accepting a literal geneology places the Noachian flood around ~4400 years ago, however the expected evidence of this is completely absent from geological records.[7] Moreover evidence is also absent from dendrochronology, and is even weaker in light of the fact we have extant trees known to be greater than 4,400 years old.']
To defend the Noachian flood mythology,
In March, 1919, the government of the United States launched its first concrete ship at San
Francisco. The dimensions were 300 feet, by 50 feet, by 30 feet. This is the same proportion as
the ark which Noah built. Even with all our modern development in shipbuilding we still hold to
approximately the same proportions as those used by Noah in building his boat. Who taught
Noah how to build ships? How did he know what proportions to make his ark?
The ark was built of gopher wood. If Noah had used some other sort of wood, the material would
have perished before he finished the boat, but God, who made the laws of nature, was also the
architect of the boat which Noah built.

Con claims, ["IF the Bible was intended by God as an accurate narrative with specific information about God, morality, and instructions regarding salvation and worship, then we would expect that God would ensure that the message of the Bible was preserved."]
God did ensure that the message of the Bible was preserved in Matthew 24:35, "Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away."

There are types and anti-types, shadows and substances which are revealed to the one who wants to know the truth. Though scholars will never fully comprehend the message, little children can understand its basic message. Con's arguments are subjective. The Bible never contradicts itself. Con assumes some things are false. Con has only accused the Bible of being wrong, he has not proven his case, nor can he.

P1) IF the Bible was of divine origins, then we would expect X
P2) "X" (Is true)
C) The Bible

I will make my argument next round.
Debate Round No. 2
Envisage

Con

Burden of Proof

Note that Pro has still yet to present his arguments for his case. If one recalls my third contention, it is readily apparent that complete rebutting my points (assuming all my opponent’s points last round were sound) does not in any way demonstrate that the Bible is of divine origins. Even assuming an equal BoP, I am still ahead because Pro has yet to present a case.

Hence Pro still has all his work still ahead of him.

Plagiarism

Opponent has plagiarized extensively from “http://www.gravelhillchurchofchrist.com...; which includes significant sections copied and pasted verbatim, such as in reference to the ‘day’ interpretation of ‘yom’ (“The ‘day’ of Genesis” section of the article). Absolutely no attempt has been made to rephrase or even reference anything this article mentions with consecutive paragraphs pasted in the order they were originally written.

So, not only is this a clear case of plagiarism, it’s an embarrassingly bad attempt at it as well. For the sake of not wasting time with this debate, I would request Pro to refraining from plagiarising in future rounds, and an apology is probably in order.

Rebuttals:

C1. What we would expect if the Bible were of divine origins

I am not sure what pro is insinuating with the following statement:

First of all, Con's claim is only an assumption. The Bible is not what HE would expect if it was of divine origin.”

Well, yes, it is, obviously. That’s why we are debating the issue. If Pro was attempting some sort of ad hominum by asserting that such assumptions are worthless because I made them then he will fail because I actually provided the logical progression towards accepting those assumptions.

To hammer this point home, I will even use well-formed formulas.

P1) IF the Bible was of divine origins, it would be written in a manner in which it best convey information to humans
P2) The best manner of conveying information to humans is to be unambiguous, explicit, and inerrant
P3) The Bible is not unambiguous, explicit or inerrant
C) The Bible is not of divine origins.

To give this symbolically we have:

P1) B, then I
P2) I is x
P3) Not x
C) Not B

Therefore in order to avoid the conclusion we have to contest one of the premises. P1 I take to be obviously true, and I justified this further by arguing about the intent of the Bible, it’s target audience (obviously humans), and the consequences of what would happen if information were not conveyed well to humans (we would have humans adhering the wrong values, practices etc. by no fault of their own).

P2 follows from the same reasoning as P1 and obviously P3 is true from the evidence of both the consequences (we have 30,000 sects with a wide variety of core beliefs regarding Christianity) and internally.

In comparison, Pro literally asserts we much compare spiritual to spiritual, because the Bible says so. I have absolutely no idea where the logical progression of this comes from, nor do I see where the relevance is to my arguments, as this in no way attacks my points about requiring the Bible to be explicit, inerrant, uniform, etc.

  1. A. Explicity

Pro completely misses the point with his (entirely plagiarized) justification for the 24 hour interpretation of ‘day’, the point was that we have people who clearly do not, by no fault of their own, accept Pro’s interpretation, which would be the case if it was absolutely explicit that it was the case. Moreover it does not in any way address the more central issues regarding the Christian doctrine (is salvation by faith or works, was Jesus actually divine, etc).

However, in affirming a literal 6 or 7 day creation, Pro hangs himself on the noose regarding the inerrancy of the Bible (more on this later).

  1. B. Fewer Books


Pro strawmans my position, I never made the argument that the Bible was “too long”, I made the argument that the Bible we would expect to be uniform, singular (since there is no reason to have multiple commissions of it), and hence authoritative. One practice example is the Qu’ran, which is a singular text which is highly explicit and direct, and did not require multiple books in order to be composed.[1]

For example, the Gospels of the New Testament are four accounts of many of the same events of Jesus’ life and death, especially the Gospels of Matthew Mark and Luke. There was absolutely no reason to have three separate accounts of the event if the Bible was from God since one divinely inspired narrative that is perfect in its detail would have been easily sufficient. This is not helped by the fact that these narratives clearly contain a plethora of contradictions with each other (e.g. day of Jesus’ death is different in John than the synoptic Gospels).[2] This would indicate that the Bible had no divine influence.

  1. C. Inerrancy


Pro’s argument about launching concrete ships is completely irrelevant to my arguments (which were arguments about the expected geology of a Noahchian flood), not to mention completely plagiarized.[4]

Hence Pro has still yet to address these points.

Genesis:

Perhaps Pro would have done better to actually define the terms he is contesting (“create” vs “make”). An object either exists, or does not exist; it cannot be both as that would violate the law of non-contradiction. Given this, Pro is left with affirming things both exist and do not exist, are both created and not created by accepting his dubious interpretation of what these words mean:

Create: “to makesomething which did not previously exist”
Make: “forming from existingmaterials”

The only difference that is apparent is that the word ‘create’ just means creation ex nihilo, or from no existing materials. Both entail the coming into existence of something that did not previously exist. For example I can “make” a car, but that car did not exist before I “made” it. So for the purposes of my arguments, this is completely irrelevant, the materials may have previously existed, but the object itself did not.

In other words, the Sun, Moon and stars did not exist before they were made (otherwise they were never made…. They always existed), so unless Pro wants to contend the law of non-contradiction, then his entire rebuttal here fails.

To add wood to the fire, if we look at the verses regarding human creation:

And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.

So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.”

God both “made” and “created” man, however these terms are mutually exclusive (since one implies creation ex nihilo, and the other the opposite), which means the Bible is self-contradictory.

To make things worse still, Pro argues that Genesis implies a 7 day creation myth. However this implies that both the Earth, and life upon it were created within a week of each other. This contradicts what I argued in the last round, that we know of many lifeforms which did not exist when the earth was created. Humans for example can only be argued to exist a maximum of ~10 millions years (being very generous with the numbers here), Trees 500 million, vertebrates 700 million years etc. The Earth itself is 4.5 billion years old, so we have a massive discrepancy between the Genesis account and the facts as they stand.[3]

C2. Preservation of the Bible

Pro completely ignores (and therefore concedes) my arguments regarding the preservation of the Bible. Moreover Pro is operating under the assumption that everything within the Bible is true if he is attempting to make arguments from Bible quotes. The Bible *claims* that God will preserve the Bible (assuming that this is even the right interpretation of that passage), but claims are not evidence. We have no positive reason to believe the Bible was actually preserved, and I gave extensive evidence of just the New Testament Gospels being of questionable reliability.

Pro essentially concedes my arguments when he agrees:

Though scholars will never fully comprehend the message, little children can understand its basic message”

The Bible would be written in a manner that Humans WOULD fully comprehend if we were its intention. That’s the point. If Pro is conceding that the Bible cannot be comprehended then he will need very good reasons to accept that this is compatible with a divine, omniscient, omnipotent and all-intelligent commissioner would write it in a manner in which humans cannot fully comprehend it. Remember, God’s message is critically important for salvation, morality, how to live one’s life, etc. so the stakes are very high.

Conclusion

There’s not a whole not I can say if Pro completely ignores half my arguments, and is unpersuasive against the rest. Pro has all his work ahead of him still.

References

  1. 1. http://en.wikipedia.org...
  2. 2. Jesus: Apocalyptic Prophet of the New Millennium – Bart Erhman C3
  3. 3. http://en.wikipedia.org...
  4. 4. http://www.lgchurchofchrist.com...
MarioWatsonBeasley

Pro

Con claims, [" If Pro was attempting some sort of ad hominum by asserting that such assumptions are worthless because I made them then he will fail because I actually provided the logical progression towards accepting those assumptions.']
This is false Con has only provided his personal thoughts. I have provided evidence that the Bible can be clearly interpreted by one who, searches the scriptures(John 5:39), studying(2 Timothy 2:15), by comparing spiritual with spiritual(1 Corinthians 2:13).(relevance) It has to be by the fault of their own.
God said, "Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find."(Matthew 7:7),
Ephesians 3:4 Whereby, when ye READ, ye may UNDERSTAND my KNOWLEDGE in the mystery of Christ
1 John 5:20 And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an UNDERSTANDING, that we may KNOW HIM that is TRUE, and we are in him that is TRUE, even in HIS SON JESUS CHRIST. This is the TRUE GOD, and eternal life.

God's Word is designed for one to understanding who strives to grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ(2 Peter 3:18).
When it comes to the Bible, we must know,
Who's delivering the message
Who's the audience that the message is directed towards
What's the purpose of the message
Only honesty will produce truth

Individuals may not be aware of God's correct interpretation, but when it's brought to their attention you will be held to some measure of accountability.
Mark 4:24 And he said unto them, Take heed what ye hear: with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you: and unto you that hear shall more be given.
Clearly Jesus is saying, "Understand (weigh well the meaning of) what ye hear because, in that measure in which you measure your attention to my teaching, in the same measure will spiritual understanding be measured unto you.
The Bible is inerrant!!

I provided Con with God's reasons to have multiple commissions of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Matthew wrote to the Jewish audience proving much scripture with prophecy.
Mark wrote to the Roman audience.
Luke wrote to the Greek audience proving Jesus to be perfect writing chronologically.
John wrote about the basic deity of Christ and His miracles.

How did "uninspired men" record proportions for the Ark, that were sufficient enough for transportation, if there was no Ark? Consider this,

P1: If there was an Ark, there was a flood
P2: There was an Ark
C1: There was a flood.

Yes, the Sun, Moon and stars did not exist before they were made, but that's another debate.

ARGUMENT

The Bible is of Divine Origin because it hasn't been successfully proven fallible, yet has been proven right scientifically, geographically, and even prophecy wise.

1.The inspiration that brought forth the scriptures came not from the genius of men, but from God

2 Timothy 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
2 Timothy 3:17 That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.
1 Thessalonians 2:13 For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe.
2 Peter 1:19 We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts:
2 Peter 1:20 Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.
2 Peter 1:21 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.
There are many scriptures that set forth this truth.

2.Not on;y does the Bible claim inspiration, but it proves that the men who wrote the bible wrote from a divine source. At the same time the Bible is proven to be a related book. This was accomplished in prophecy.

A. Micah 5:2, the birthplace of Jesus was predicted (matthew2:6)
B. Genesis 12:3, 21:12;49:10 teach the descendancy of Jesus.
C. Isaiah 53 a great evidence of prophecy. Voltaire suggested expost-facto.
D. Psalm 16:10 and His resurrection.

3.Scientific Foreknowledge is a great evidence of the Bible's inspiration.

A. Genesis 17:12; where circumcision is demanded on the eight day, the very day in an infants life where prothrombin
and vitamin K has its highest levels.
B.Numbers 19:16-19, we find laws that protected against communicable disease.
C.Deuteronomy 23:11, 12 provides hygiene laws that saved lives.
D.Isaiah 40:22 which tells of a spherical earth 700 years before Christ.
E.Jeremiah 33:22 which tells of the innumerable host of stars in the heavens.
F.Ecclesiastes 1:6-7 which sets forth the profound water cycle of the earth.
G.Psalms 8:8 which was used by the famous oceanographer Matthew Maury.
H.The Genesis flood account is found all over the world.

4. The Bible is true in every regard.

A. Geographically- Acts 8:26 and Acts 24:11
B. Historically- The ancient Hittites were not believed to be real people, but the Bible was proven to be true on this
mater.
C. Sir William Ramsey converted after a study of thee book of Acts.
D. It comes to us from over 40 different writers, that lived 1500 years apart, who spoke different languages and had
different occupations and yet wrote a work without one contradiction.

5. The miracles confirmed its message, and the inspired penman confirmed each other.

A. Paul speaks of Cephas- 1 Corinthians 9:5 Have we not power to lead about a sister, a wife, as well as other apostles,
and as the brethren of the Lord, and Cephas?
B. Peter speaks of Paul- 2 Peter 3:16 And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved
brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you;
C. Paul speaks of a few apostles- Galatians 2:9 And when James, Cephas, and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived
the grace that was given unto me, they gave to me and Barnabas the right hands of fellowship; that we should go
unto the heathen, and they unto the circumcision.
D. Peter speaks of Joel- Acts 2:14 But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them, Ye men
of Judaea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words:
Acts 2:15 For these are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day.
Acts 2:16 But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel.

6. It has been copied faithfully. We have over 25,000 mss. That corroborate the text of the New Testament.

Con argues that God would not reveal Himself the way He is revealed in the Bible.
Con cannot know this. God reveals himself in the world in such a way that honest individuals can recognize a Creator.
One must look to the evidence. Psalm 19:1-4 clearly points this truth out.
1 The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork.
2 Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge.
3 There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard.
4 Their line is gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. In them hath he set a tabernacle for the sun,
He reveals himself to the honest and hides himself from the dishonest.
isaiah 45:15 Verily thou art a God that hidest thyself, O God of Israel, the Saviour.
Luke 8:15 But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience.

CONCLUSION

God does not overwhelm us with evidence, but gives sufficient evidence for the honest individual to believe in Him. The same truth is found in the Bible itself.

REFERENCES FROM ROUND 1

http://www.gravelhillchurchofchrist.com...
http://www.oakpark.ca...
.

.
Debate Round No. 3
Envisage

Con

Thanks Pro.

=Framework=

Thankfully, Pro presented positive arguments last round, so I do have the chance to respond. I intend on focussing specifically on my third contention this round, as I believe I have strongly affirmed the former two contentions.

Pro’s only argument for the Bible being of Divine origin is:

“The Bible is of Divine Origin because it hasn't been successfully proven fallible, yet has been proven right scientifically, geographically, and even prophecy wise.”

So I will be attacking both the presuppositions and the evidence for this.

Pro’s Presuppositions

Pro at many times presents Bible verses as evidence of what the rest of the Bible means and intends. For example:

I have provided evidence that the Bible can be clearly interpreted by one who, searches the scriptures(John 5:39), studying(2 Timothy 2:15), by comparing spiritual with spiritual(1 Corinthians 2:13).(relevance)

“God's Word is designed for one to understanding who strives to grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ(2 Peter 3:18).”

However, at best Pro can only affirm that all the writings of the Bible written AFTER the verses he quotes would be ‘bound’ to this, since only those authors we can soundly say know anything about the quoted verses. So when Pro quotes the Gospel of John which might (via. whatever interpretation) state that the Bible was intended for something, he cannot use that as evidence for the intentionality of ANY of the books of the Old Testament, as they predate John.

The only way I see that Pro can actually affirm his use of these verses is if he can prove the Bible was directed by a universal author (or some sort of entity) in the first place…. Which is the very thing in contention in this debate!!! Who is to say that every single author of the books of the Bible wrote with a uniform intentionality, with the same goal in mind and style of writing. It is patently false, the authors of the books of the Bible clearly had their own theological aims, for example the author of the Gospel of John had a very different view of Jesus (his being divine, and the lamb of God) to the other synoptic Gospel authors.

Thus we simply cannot take Pro seriously when Pro quotes the Bible to justify the Bible, as this ignores the Bible’s composition (1,500 years in span, in an assortment of languages and cultures), and presupposes that each part of the Bible is authoritative over the other, which is begging the question.

C1. What we would expect if the Bible were of divine origins

Pro completely ignores my argument which depicts what we would expect of the Bible if it were of divine origins (inerrant, singular, explicit). They, like all my beliefs are personal beliefs, but they are of a logical progression. Pro has not attempted to demonstrate any of the premises unsound, or even unproven.

So we can accept that we would indeed expect the Bible to be singular, explicit and inerrant.

  1. A. Explicit


Pro’s only defence is:

Individuals may not be aware of God's correct interpretation, but when it's brought to their attention you will be held to some measure of accountability.

Which basically concedes my point. Thanks Pro. We would not expect *any* controversy whatsoever over the ‘correct’ interpretation IF the Bible was divinely directed in any way.

  1. B. Single Book

Pro provided reasons for why each of the Gospel accounts exist, however NONE of this would not have been achieved (and achieved more effectively) with a single perfect commission. That’s the point, these extra books were unnecessary and are vulnerable to inconsistencies (which I already argued for). All the Gospels were written in Greek, so Pro’s justification for Luke fails out of the gate.

  1. C. Inerrancy

Pro ignores virtually all my arguments here. He did provide one logically valid argument however..

P1: If there was an Ark, there was a flood
P2: There was an Ark
C1: There was a flood

Great. Now why should we believe wither P1 or P2 are true. So far these are bare assertions. No Ark to my knowledge has ever been recovered, not does an Ark necessarily entail a flood occurred. Pro made the argument in his opening that the Ark was built in the same proportions as a US launches concrete ship…. But what does this prove. Finding one ship in thousands which match up to the specifications of Noah’s Ark only proves that much, nothing more.

Pro fails to defend against any of my attacks on Genesis, which clearly demonstrate blatant errancy.

Rebuttals

Pro affirms:

“The Bible is of Divine Origin because it hasn't been successfully proven fallible, yet has been proven right scientifically, geographically, and even prophecy wise."

I argued in my third contention that this is not sufficient to demonstrate the Bible is of divine origins, as it ignores all other explanations for these observations (even assuming every single one of them is true).

God by default is the least likely explanation for these observations because it is far outside our common experience and knowledge. It is appealing to an additional mystery to solve something which is well-within the capacity of naturalistic explanations. Even frivolous ones such as intelligent aliens inspiring the writers to worship things that don’t exist.

Even if we assume each and every argument, it would be more rational to take an explanation that is naturalistic, since we can easily argue that any naturalistic explanation is metaphysically possible. However we cannot anywhere nearly as easily argue that a supernatural explanation (a divine one) is even metaphysically possible, let alone possible in this world we have now.

I will not be rebutting each of Pro’s individual statements, but the general ideas behind them.


1. The inspiration that brought forth the scriptures came not from the genius of men, but from God

Pro gives several Bible verses that affirm this. It might be true that these verses claim this (subject to interpretation, which I already shown is extremely problematic), but that is all it is, a claim. It’s simply not evidence any more than the claims of Harry Potter is evidence of Hogwarts existing. Also only certain books claim this, Pro cannot apply these statements to *each and every single book* of the Bible, for reasons already given.


2. Prophecies


I am not going to address a Gish Gallop directly. Pro has yet to demonstrate a single prophecy has been fulfilled. He actually needs to present the evidence it occurred for it to count in this debate.

Pro argues it proves that the Bible is a related Book, however at best it only proves that the later authors writings have knowledge of the earlier author’s writings. Which isn’t particularly surprising or unexpected naturally.


3.Scientific Foreknowledge

Pro Gish Galloped this points out so I cannot respond in detail. But then we can dismiss most of these out of hand since we have the following points in contention:

  1. 1. Was the interpretation of the verse the correct one
  2. 2. Is the statement scientifically true
  3. 3. Was this interpretation of the passage originally intended
  4. 4. Is it something that would only be or best explainable by a divine originator

For example, Pro asserts evidence of the Genesis flood account, yet provides none, and Jeremiah 33:22 reads:

I will make the descendants of David my servant and the Levites who minister before me as countless as the stars in the sky and as measureless as the sand on the seashore”

Neither of these statements are ‘scientifically’ accurate, and is clearly written in an offhand metaphorical sense. Given that either of these numbers exceed a sextillion, which is many more than humans that are physically possible to live on Earth over its entire lifetime then it follows that this passage is scientifically false.

If Pro was only affirming that “there are lots of stars”, well this was blatantly obvious at the time for anyone who looks at the sky…

I will not go over the remainder, and these should all be dismissed anyway via. Hitchen’s Rasor. On closer examination some of these are false. That is enough to demonstrate a frivolous Gish Gallop.

4. The Bible is true in every regard.

All four claims given by Pro are bald assertions… And thus can be dismissed out of hand.

5. The miracles confirmed its message, and the inspired penman confirmed each other.

Runs into problems already mentioned (Pro’s presuppositions). Simple acknowledgement of previous books (remember the population was largely Jewish, so these customs were already worshipped to an extent) is not evidence of the Bible’s unity. Much more reasonable to assume is that the writings of past authors influences the later authors, and not that all the books of the Bible were directed by a singular entity (God).


6. It has been copied faithfully. We have over 25,000 mss. That corroborate the text of the New Testament.

Pro ignores my arguments that we know there are massive problems within the Bible BECAUSE we have so many manuscripts, which all differ from one another, with entire stories clearly manufactured (Last twelve verses of Mark for example). We have very few complete manuscripts from the early era (~ 400 A.D.), and later manuscripts are largely many generations of copies younger, with all the errors of previous scribes included.

Having a large number of manuscripts is not the ‘corroborating’ thing that Pro seems to think it is, and I argued this in detail in my opening round.

Conclusion

Voters should vote Con purely from Pro’s failure to uphold his share of the BoP. Moreover Pro has not acknowledged his plagiarism in R1, not apologised, as such should be considered when voting for conduct.

Thanks Pro.

MarioWatsonBeasley

Pro

Thanks Con!

Con claims, ["Pro failed to uphold his share of the BoP."]
Is the Bible of Divine Origins?

The answer is, yes it is and if the Bible is truly a book from God to men then it ought to have evidence of that it ought to have God's fingerprints all over it. And it does!!

To help know and remember those evidences, we have the acronym FAITH so believers can know their faith is grounded, the assurance of things hoped for, the evidence of things unseen (Hebrews 11:1), and not simply wishful thinking.

The acronym FAITH is presented as a mnemonic aid to guide us through five lines of solid reasoning that demonstrate the Bible is divine rather than human in origin. Each letter in the acronym FAITH serves as a guide to each line of reasoning.
F = Fulfilled Prophecy

The F in FAITH stands for Fulfilled prophecy.

Unlike any other book in history, the Bible offers hundreds of specific predictions, many made hundreds of years in advance, with such hair splitting accuracy that critics of the Bible try to dismiss them by pretending they were written after and not before the historic events took place.

[A. Micah 5:2, the birthplace of Jesus was predicted (matthew2:6)
B. Genesis 12:3, 21:12;49:10 teach the descendancy of Jesus.
C. Isaiah 53 a great evidence of prophecy. Voltaire suggested expost-facto.
D. Psalm 16:10 and His resurrection.]

Human beings can know the future with such accuracy, only if it is told to them by an omniscient being. Just one real case of fulfilled prophecy should be enough to establish the Bibles supernatural origin and we have hundreds of them..

A = Answers to Life's Big Questions

The A in Faith is to remind us that the Bible uniquely provides Answers to lifes big questions, in a way thats internally coherent, and is also consistent with how we observe the world to be.

It explains where time and space come from, where the universe and our world come from, and especially where we come from. It explains both the uniqueness of man, created in God's image, and also the brokenness of man. It describes our ultimate destinies and how we've been granted the power and dignity to choose which destiny we want for ourselves.

The Bible tells us who God is, who we are, why we are here and what happens to us when we die.
Basic
Instructions
Before
Leaving
Earth

Of course, other religions also provide answers to life's questions, but the difference with the Bible is that its consistent with how we observe the world to be.
The second pillar then in the faith model is divine insight into the world and human kind: Answers to life's big questions.

I = Integrity or One(1)ness to the Bible

The I in the FAITH model stands for the Integrity or unity or oneness of the Bible.

[D. It comes to us from over 40 different writers, that lived 1500 years apart, who spoke different languages and had
different occupations and yet wrote a work without one contradiction.]

The Bible is a compilation of 66 books, written by 40 or more authors, from different cultures, in 3 languages, on 3 continents, over a span of 1500 years, yet it forms a seamless story from the creation to the ultimate destiny of mankind with perfect unity on hundreds of topics.

Although comprised of 66 books, it is not a collection of 66 different stories but one seamless story of God's creation, man's rebellion and God's response.

Consider how different the backgrounds of the authors are:

David: a shepherd king
Luke: a physician and historian
Joshua: a general
Matthew: a tax collector
Paul: a rabbi
Peter: a fisherman

Written in a diverse array of situations or conditions:

Dungeons
Battlefields
Palaces
The wilderness

On a range of controversial subjects:

Who is God?
Where did man come from? What is mans destiny?
How are we different from animals, and what special value do we have?
What is right and wrong?
What is the problem with mankind?
How do you solve mankind's problem?

Take just a handful of contemporary authors from similar backgrounds and ask them to comment on just one moral issue and you'll get a deeply divided array of opinions.

Yet the Bible is internally consistent. It tells the past and future history of Gods creation and mans role in it, despite being written by dozens of authors that each had only one little piece of the puzzle revealed to them.

If the Bible is not divinely inspired, it would take a far greater miracle than the existence and guiding hand of God to assemble 66 books by 40 authors over 1500 years into such a unity of theme, structure, history and message.

T = Time Tested Nature of the Bible

The T in the FAITH model stands for the Time Tested nature of the Bible.

How did the Bible come to be? It wasn't done behind closed doors by a church council as some critics allege. Nor were the books haphazardly assembled without special criteria.

The word canon means measuring rod and is applied to the official list of authoritative books accepted by Christians. In fact, the agreement of the early church on the canon is yet another reason to believe in God's hand on the Bible.

It starts when God authorized the writing of a manuscript and his people recognized it as such so they were preserved, in the Ark of the Covenant, for example. The Old Testament was the accumulation and consolidation of those books that were accepted by the Jews.

Christ then ratified the Old Testament through his frequent references to it as God's word.

The books of the New Testament were written in the second half of the first century, generally to churches or individuals. As the books and letters were distributed throughout the ancient world, there was a similar process of selection and verification done by the early believers.

And right from the outset the church had a functional canon, meaning they had specific books that were accepted as authoritative even when others were not yet written.

There was very careful criteria applied before accepting a book as canonical for example:
it had to be written by an apostle or someone with a firsthand relationship with the apostle to ensure apostolic authority,
Within a generation of the lives of the apostles, every book of the New Testament had been cited as authoritative by a church father.

The 27 books of the New Testament were ratified by the church councils of Hippo in 393 and Carthage in 397, but these councils didnt add or subtract anything from the canon they simply recognized the list of 27 that had long since been recognized by the early church.

And they did this in response to heretics such as Marcion an early second century unorthodox Christian, who didn't like Jews so he threw out the Old Testament and whatever books in the New Testament that referred to the Jews.

In response, the early church simply ratified the books of the Bible to stop nonsense like that from occurring.

The Bible has endured and prospered despite centuries of persecution. Throughout history critics have tried to ban, burn or eliminate the Bible. The Bible has received more hate, abuse and criticism than any other book, yet it endures.

In 1778, the French philosopher and writer Francois Voltaire, predicted Christianity would be swept from existence within 100 years, yet just 50 years after his death, his house and printing press were used by the Geneva Bible Society to print Bibles.

If the Bible were not a book of God, man would have destroyed it long ago, yet the Bible has been copied and circulated more extensively than any other book in human history, translated now into more than 1700 languages.

H = Historical Accuracy of the Bible

The H in the FAITH model represents the Historical accuracy of the Bible.

[A. Geographically- Acts 8:26 and Acts 24:11
B. Historically- The ancient Hittites were not believed to be real people, but the Bible was proven to be true on this
mater.]

If God is acting through history and those events are recorded in his book, then that book must be historically accurate.

And the Bible isn't just historically accurate in that other eyewitnesses and accounts acknowledge the same history as the Bible, but the Bible is frequently the first book to record history.

It's an ironic double standard that the Bible is frequently challenged as to its historic authenticity when events are found only in the Bible and nowhere else, yet no other historical documents are forced to pass that same test.

I believe that I have clearly held up my share of BOP!!! I will let the voters decide though. I would like to note that Con hasn't successfully refuted my claims with his unconvincing arguments.

I want to thank the voters for their time and consideration. This has been a remarkable experience, Thanks Pro!!

May the best arguments win!!!
Debate Round No. 4
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by MarioWatsonBeasley 2 years ago
MarioWatsonBeasley
I would like to apologize to and ask for forgiveness by whom I have offended and/or sinned against( victims of plagarism). Please and Thank You!! Please forgive me Con.
Posted by Envisage 2 years ago
Envisage
You can't be serious. MORE plagiarism?!

It's not exactly hard to tell when someone is trying to screw you over by copy pasting stuff verbatim!

http://www.oakpark.ca...
Posted by Envisage 2 years ago
Envisage
You can't be serious.... You plagiarised half your round....
Posted by Envisage 2 years ago
Envisage
Sorry this argument took a while, I wasn't sure which angle. I was going to take and ended up just doing a broad approach.
4 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Vote Placed by Tweka 2 years ago
Tweka
EnvisageMarioWatsonBeasleyTied
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Total points awarded:70 
Reasons for voting decision: Pure Plagiarism.
Vote Placed by 9spaceking 2 years ago
9spaceking
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Reasons for voting decision: pro plagiarized terribly and failed to make any sufficient arguments.
Vote Placed by Gabe1e 2 years ago
Gabe1e
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Total points awarded:70 
Reasons for voting decision: Plagiarism.
Vote Placed by zmikecuber 2 years ago
zmikecuber
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Total points awarded:70 
Reasons for voting decision: Plagiarism by Pro from: http://www.oakpark.ca/#/reasons-to-believe/is-the-bible-divine. As such, all points go to Con.