The Instigator
kwagga_la
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
Danielle
Con (against)
Winning
3 Points

The Bible is reliable

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
Danielle
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/1/2016 Category: Religion
Updated: 7 months ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 724 times Debate No: 93276
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (25)
Votes (1)

 

kwagga_la

Pro

The Bible is reliable in that it accurately recorded events as it happened. To show that the Bible is unreliable it will be up to Con to show that the Bible contradict itself. Please use only one to three examples at most per round.
Danielle

Con

To clarify, the first round of this debate implies that by "reliable," the instigator is suggesting the Bible ought to be interpreted literally. After all he says the Bible is accurate in that it records events as they truly happened. That is false.

First, the Bible cannot be translated literally. Translation requires editing and editing leaves room for error. " In translating the Bible, the translators first translated it from Hebrew and Aramaic to Greek. Then, later, they translated the Greek version to Latin. Finally, they translated the Latin version (with help from the Greek version and the Hebrew version) to the Early Modern English version. And there were hundreds of years between these translations; plenty of time for language drift" [1].

The Bible itself does not claim that it is factually accurate in terms of history, science, geography and all other matters.

2 Timothy 3:16 reads "All scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness."

There are innumerable contradictions and inaccuracies in the Bible. For example, Genesis claims that God provides all plants for human consumption, yet science has shown that many plants are dangerous for us to eat. According to Leviticus 11:5-6, rabbits chew their cud and because of this they are unclean. But rabbits don't actually chew cud. The Bible claims that some patriarchs, such as Adam and Noah, lived to be over 900 years of age. Quite obviously that is impossible according to what we know about the lifespan of humans [2].

The Bible also makes questionable moral and political proposals as well, sometimes advocating murder, genocide, rape, pedophilia, slavery and sexism. Regardless, the factual errors are enough to prove the Bible is unreliable. It contains a lot of mythology [3] and mythology is fictional [4].

[1] http://aattp.org...
[2] https://en.wikipedia.org...
[3] https://thewisesloth.com...
[4] https://en.wikipedia.org...
Debate Round No. 1
kwagga_la

Pro

Thank you for accepting the debate. Can we perhaps agree to use the KJV for future references?
You state: ...by "reliable," the instigator is suggesting the Bible ought to be interpreted literally. ...That is false." Something can only be reliable if all aspects pertaining to what is to be determined as reliable is taken into consideration. Saying that reliable suggests that ONLY a literal interpretation is intended is therefore a wrong assumption because it obviously is biased by singling out one aspect of numerous things that will determine reliability. Any language contains elements of figurative, literal, metaphoric elements etc. that must be interpreted in order to establish what the intended message is. The intended message can be true or false, factual or not factual etc. All of these different ways of interpretation provides a basis to make reliable interpretations based on what is understood regarding the intended message. A message is what gives meaning to words. What do you understand by: Will car cat porky side grave? It's just mumbo jumbo because there is no message. I can say it is mumbo jumbo because I am able to interpret each word literally and see that it does not make any sense no matter how you arrange the words. I can translate those word to my native language which will be written as follows: Sal motor kat vark kant graf. That is a literal translation and it still does not make any sense, even if you change the word order in any way you like. The Bible is not different from any other language process used by the different nations that uses different genres to convey reliable understandable information, and therefore the claim that it is false to interpret the Bible literally is false. This is quite easy to demonstrate: The Bible says there is a nation called Israel. That is obviously a literal reference and intended to be interpreted literally. Is this false because it is literally interpreted as you claim? Obviously not. Any meaningful interpretation cannot be done ONLY in a literal way, if this is what you were suggesting. It is also important to distinguish between literal translation and literal interpretation. Literal TRANSALTION is a must to determine the message. It's a basic translation principle.
You say: "First, the Bible cannot be translated literally." The article you refer to basically says the same but in the translation process you first have to translate the message literally into the desired language of your choice to get an idea of what the message says. You then have to change the word order and tenses to comply with the language you translate into. You may then use certain expressions, although different in wording, to convey the same intended message. The end result will be a message that matches the original message literally. An example of this is the Hebrew expression of may the King live long. The KJV translators used the expression "God save the king". It is obvious that if God saves the king's life that he will live long. If this was not possible then no one would be able to translate anything. Again, an example using my native language: I kicked the ball. In my language the exact same message will be: Ek het die bal geskop. A literal translation back into English will be: I had the ball kicked. Are you going to tell me even with the literal translation back into English that you cannot understand that I kicked the ball? My only advice to the writer of the article you refer to is not to take up a career in translation.

This statement is incorrect: "In translating the Bible, the translators first translated it from Hebrew and Aramaic to Greek. Then, later, they translated the Greek version to Latin. Finally, they translated the Latin version (with help from the Greek version and the Hebrew version) to the Early Modern English version." The New Testament was written in Koine greek. The New Testament was not translated from Greek, it WAS written in Greek. The Bible (as a whole because you make no distinctions) was not written in Hebrew in its entirety and then translated into Greek and then to Latin and then Modern versions started using it. Most Modern versions uses the Vaticanus and Sinaiticanus Manuscripts, both written in Classical Greek not Latin. "And there were hundreds of years between these translations; plenty of time for language drift" This is also not true. Many translations were made into different languages, but let's examine your drift claim.
This is a verse from the original KJV1611 compared with the KJV available today. It uses the same language and 400 years of "drift" should be enough to determine if the message changed and if errors crept in. John 3:16 - For God so loued "e world, that he gaue his only begotten Sonne: that whosoeuer beleeueth in him, should not perish, but haue euerlasting life." and now for the KJV available today in any bookstore: "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." Are you able to read that and see that the message did not change at all? You state: "For example, Genesis claims that God provides all plants for human consumption, yet science has shown that many plants are dangerous for us to eat." If you are referring to the first humans, Adam and Eve, then you are obviously taking what God said out of context. God said that they can eat of anything in the GARDEN. and all the food in the GARDEN was good for human consumption. After the fall the ground was cursed and some things was not so good to eat anymore, and remember, after the fall they were kicked out of the GARDEN. They had to eat what was available in the rest of the world outside of the GARDEN. Further: "According to Leviticus 11:5-6, rabbits chew their cud and because of this they are unclean. But rabbits don't actually chew cud." Cud is a word used to refer to food that was PARTIALLY digested and then re-used by the same animal. Modern science have invented numerous words that was not available back then to distinguish between various and SPECIFIC types of functions today. The definition of eat is as follows: 1: to take in through the mouth as food : ingest, chew, and swallow in turn (http://www.merriam-webster.com...). Chewing or swallowing refers to the process of eating. The meaning of "Chew the Cud" is: (Of a ruminant animal) further chew partly digested food (http://www.oxforddictionaries.com...). Rabbits do eat their Cud. The difference between a Cow and a Rabbit is that the Cow's cud comes back up through his throat and the Rabbits out the back side. Some say the Rabbit swallows it but if the Cud is too big he or she chews it or else it will be death by Cud for the Rabbit. You may use special scientific words to distinguish between the integrates of the different processes but the bottom line is, the message says that the Rabbit eats partially digested food just like a Cow does etc. although through a different process. The verses does not address the processes used and therefore the message remains reliable.

Further: "The Bible claims that some patriarchs, such as Adam and Noah, lived to be over 900 years of age. Quite obviously that is impossible according to what we know about the lifespan of humans" Yes the Bible does state that but the Bible also states that because of the fall men will not live that long anymore. Comparing people back then with people today, when it is stated in between that the long life span will end, is not very logical. I followed the link and will briefly answer what I found there. You stated: "It contains a lot of mythology [3]" The not so wise Sloth starts with comparing a supernatural being with the evolution of people in the Bronze age because of a sword and then concludes that it must be a myth? Do you really think a supernatural being with powers beyond human capabilities would need a man made sword?
He then states that Noah's story was stolen from other sources. The Book of Job mention that Job only heard of the God of the Israelites so it is clear that the oral tradition of the Israelites were well known through Asia. The people who claim that the Bible plagiarized from other stories fail to realize that the other stories could be plagiarized from the Israelite Biblical traditions. But in the end the Sloths conclusion fails because even a plagiarized story can be true and therefore not a myth like the so called wise sloth claims. The mention of Job is again a comparison between what is supernaturally possible and what is humanly possible. The sloth should realize that these type of comparisons contains obvious flaws. Natural vs. SUPERnatural. The rest of the examples is about how woman and slaves were treated and said to be treated. This was the biggest fail I noticed. These type of things are still going on today, the slave trade is still alive, certain religions still treat woman bad (and if your an Atheist you probably get drunk just like a lot of other men and probably treat your wife just as bad anyway). This is going on today, it is not a MYTH. Yet the all wise sloth mention this to prove the Bible is a myth. People should stop fighting for woman's rights, it's all a myth according to the sloth. Then my favorite, the scripture regarding the quarrelsome wife is NO MYTH. Ask any man married longer than 5 years. But there is a scripture I am reminded of reading what the Sloth (I do not want to insult wise people anymore by calling a SLOTH wise), professing to be wise they became fools (my paraphrase).
Danielle

Con

Reliability

Pro writes, "The intended message [of the Bible] can be true or false, factual or not factual etc. All of these different ways of interpretation provides a basis to make reliable interpretations based on what is understood regarding the intended message."

By not having an objective meaning or direct instruction, application, message or version of history, the "intended message" can easily be lost, mistranslated or manipulated. Indeed a reader can subjectively interpret or apply the message however they see fit, regardless of whether or not it is valid. This can totally skew their alleged understanding of the text. That is not reliable; that leaves a lot of room for error.

Translation

Pro argues that just because something cannot be translated literally, doesn't mean the intended meaning is necessarily lost. A research group in Canada has proven that the Old Testament has been massively mistranslated [1]. Dr. Joel Hoffman notes, "In the original Hebrew, the 10th Commandment prohibits taking, not coveting. The biblical Jubilee year is named for an animal’s horn and has nothing to do with jubilation. The pregnant woman in Isaiah 7:14 is never called a virgin. Psalm 23 opens with an image of God’s might and power, not shepherding. And the romantic Song of Solomon offers a surprisingly modern message. But most people who read the Bible don’t know these things, because extensive translation gaffs conceal the Bible’s original meaning" [2].

Dr. Hoffman goes on to explain that the mistakes stem from five flawed translation techniques: etymology, internal structure, cognates, old mistranslations, and misunderstood metaphor [3].

Dr. Hoffman provides additional insight: "Metaphors are particularly difficult to translate, because words have different metaphoric meanings in different cultures. Shepherds in the Bible were symbols of might, ferocity and royalty, whereas now they generally represent peaceful guidance and oversight. So the image of the Lord as shepherd in Psalm 23 originally meant that the Lord was mighty, fierce and royal. The impact was roughly the same as 'the Lord is a man of war.' But in most English-speaking cultures, 'the Lord is my shepherd' conveys a wholly different, and therefore inaccurate, image" [2].

Thus, Pro contends that mistranslations can't occur because "the same message can still be conveyed" even if the words are not translated exactly. However that is false. Per Dr. Hoffman's explanations and examples, the entire stories, lessons, images and messages from the Bible can be easily misconstrued based on the cultural interpretation of the text. Pro is incorrect that "the message does not change at all." It does change based on the reader and teacher, which is not very reliable.

Other Problems

Pro cites some stories from the Bible as fact, i.e. the Creation story of Adam and Eve. However there is not a shred of scientific or historical evidence to validate the creation myth described in the Bible.

"The difficulties with the story are insurmountable. The evidence from archaeology, palaeontology, human history, the fossil record, evolutionary biology, geology and physics all show us very clearly that the Earth, the solar system and the rest of the universe was created billions of years ago and not at all in accordance with the events listed in Genesis. Not only that, but there are two Genesis creation stories - one at Genesis 1:1 to 2:3 and another in Genesis 2:4-25. Although they are similar to each other in scale, they manage to contradict each other in nearly all of their details. Some have attempted to extend what is meant by 'a day' in the story to mean 1,000 years or even a billion years in order to harmonize the Genesis account with scientific evidence, but even then the stories still contradict reality in the sequence of events they describe and in the logic they use" [4].

My opponent also mentions how some people could live to be 900 years old "before the fall of man" which again has not a shred of logical or scientific evidence to back it up. Of course, faith based claims have no credibility; otherwise I can state my beliefs rooted in faith and expect Pro to accept them as fact. He most likely will not, and similarly, I do not accept these bare assertions as fact. There is no proof for any of them. You cannot use the Bible to prove that Biblical content is valid; that is fallacious circular reasoning.

As such, we have no reason to accept the supernatural claims made in the Bible.

My Additional Contentions

The Bible is a collection of manuscripts compiled by humans, not God. "There is no single, agreed-upon, authoritative Bible; rather, different sects of Christianity consider a wide variety of books to be Biblical canon. Thus, we (and I) err when we speak of 'the' Bible, singular. In reality, we are talking about various compilations assembled and debated by ordinary people" [5].

For almost 1,500 years, the New Testament manuscripts were copied by hand. It contains both mistakes and intentional changes; there are multiple manuscript versions. Biblical scholar Bart Ehrman makes the provocative case that many of the widely held beliefs concerning the divinity of Jesus, the Trinity, and the divine origins of the Bible itself are the results of both intentional and accidental alterations by scribes [6]. Therefore, the Bible is not reliable so much as convenient or intentionally manipulative.

Consider the example of Mark 16. “The most reliable early manuscripts and other ancient witnesses do not have Mark 16:9-20. In other words, historians now believe that everything after Mark 16:8 is a forgery" [7]. It was literally fabricated without evidence.

Development of the New Testament canon is arbitrary. "When Athanasius was declaring various NT books to be canonical, he bore the same relationship to the events described therein as you and I do to, say, the Habeas Corpus Act of 1679. If there were 200 books about that Act, would you feel qualified to decide which ones were fact and which ones were fiction? I sure wouldn’t. What you have on your bookshelf labeled 'the Bible' is the product of debate and vote over three and a half centuries — some of which continues to this very day" [5].

The human fallible influence and control over this Book is undeniable.

[1] http://ireport.cnn.com...
[2] http://www.huffingtonpost.com...
[3] http://www.huffingtonpost.com...
[4] http://www.vexen.co.uk...
[5] https://evaluatingchristianity.wordpress.com...
[6] https://www.amazon.com...
[7] https://www.biblegateway.com...
Debate Round No. 2
kwagga_la

Pro

Pro writes, "The intended message [of the Bible] can be true or false, factual or not factual etc. All of these different ways of interpretation provides a basis to make reliable interpretations based on what is understood regarding the intended message."

"That is not reliable; that leaves a lot of room for error." You seem to state that no one can interpret the ancient scriptures from any religion (or secular sources). The fact that people are able to translate it shows you are incorrect. The fallacy you commit is to base everything on the errors that can be committed but it does not necessarily mean that any errors was committed. Even if the Bible contains, what you might consider as far-fetched stories, that does not mean that the story was not accurately transmitted.

"In the original Hebrew, the 10th Commandment prohibits taking, not coveting. The biblical Jubilee year is named for an animal"s horn and has nothing to do with jubilation." Hoffman should publish the "original text" from which he got the "original Hebrew". There are no exiting originals anywhere to be found today. There is nothing new about what Hoffman has to offer. The Kabala give secret meanings to Hebrew words, the Gnostics gave secret and mystical meanings to Words even the allegorical method of interpretation leaves open for such interpretation. The Church Fathers who were learned and skilled in the languages and had access to material Hoffman never had access too, condemned the Gnostics and the mystical interpretations that was also rampant in their day.
"The pregnant woman in Isaiah 7:14 is never called a virgin." The word Alma can mean, a young woman who is not married. A young woman who was not married was a virgin back then. They obviously had higher standards than today and should be an example. You make the mistake here because the New Testament who was written by mostly Hebrews who understood Hebrew and who had access to older manuscripts than we had translated the word "virgin" in the Greek in the NT. That's how they understood it. Let's see, Hoffman or the guys who was there? I'll stick with the guys who was there.
"Psalm 23 opens with an image of God"s might and power, not shepherding." Again, the New Testament calls Jesus the Shepherd. Obviously Hoffman has some mystical interpretation.

"Dr. Hoffman goes on to explain that the mistakes stem from five flawed translation techniques: etymology, internal structure, cognates, old mistranslations, and misunderstood metaphor [3]." The Hebrew scribes used a complicated method of copying. They counted the letters in each line, each paragraph and then also counted the total of the words. Each letter in a word has a number. When the copy was finished the numbers would be compared and any deviation found would result in the copy being destroyed. The Dead Sea scrolls showed that the Hebrew books are the best preserved than any other.

"Dr. Hoffman provides additional insight: "Metaphors are particularly difficult to translate, because words have different metaphoric meanings in different cultures." Again, is it even possible to do a correct translation then? It seems it can NEVER be done. Here is the fallacy, he uses the texts with all these faults and possibility of faults as support for his interpretation!!!!

Thus, Pro contends that mis-translations can't occur because "the same message can still be conveyed" even if the words are not translated exactly." Mis-translation can occur in a particular, but it is also possible that no mis-translation occurred in another text containing the same material. Something you apparently do not consider. However that is false.

"Pro cites some stories from the Bible as fact, i.e. the Creation story of Adam and Eve. However there is not a shred of scientific or historical evidence to validate the creation myth described in the Bible." The point was not made to establish if Adam and Eve were historical, you misquoted Genesis about the plants that was growing only in the garden of eden.

"The difficulties with the story are insurmountable. The evidence from archaeology, palaeontology, human history, the fossil record, evolutionary biology, geology and physics all show us very clearly that the Earth, the solar system and the rest of the universe was created billions of years ago and not at all in accordance with the events listed in Genesis." I liked the way you refer to the universe are billions of years old. You are probably aware that that number changed a lot and it keeps on changing. Guess work is not scientific. The fossil record fails big time because (let me go out on a limb and assume there are really some intermediate found) you cannot prove the fossil had any babies. One fossil here or there does not proof anything and no fossil from one KIND to another KIND has been found as far as I know.
"Not only that, but there are two Genesis creation stories - one at Genesis 1:1 to 2:3 and another in Genesis 2:4-25." Isee this a lot but it only shows you do not know the Bible very well. Genesis 1 is not te creation of Adam and Eve. Genesis 2 gives you the time Adam was created, and that was before the 5th day. Adam was told to stay in the Garden, the People in Genesis 1 was told to go out into the world. That's how Cain found his wife after he slew his brother in the land of Nod.

"My opponent also mentions how some people could live to be 900 years old "before the fall of man" which again has not a shred of logical or scientific evidence to back it up." Again, the statement was made because you compared them with today's people when the Bible said it will not be like that. Since you believed in evolution, how long did humans, dinosaurs and other things live? Please give me a scientific exact number total that will not contradicted by another scientist. That's also a reason not to accept what scientists have to say.

The Bible is a collection of manuscripts compiled by humans, not God. "There is no single, agreed-upon, authoritative Bible; rather, different sects of Christianity consider a wide variety of books to be Biblical canon." You are wrong again. The Protestants all accepted the Textus Receptus and Masoteric text as the true text. These texts are supported by Greek, Hebrew and many other texts translated into many other languages. Even the Roman Catholic pope accepted the TR when it was dedicated to him. I hold the TR and Jacob Ben Chayim Hebrew text to be the Bible.

Biblical scholar Bart Ehrman makes the provocative case that many of the widely held beliefs concerning the divinity of Jesus, the Trinity, and the divine origins of the Bible itself are the results of both intentional and accidental alterations by scribes [6]. Therefore, the Bible is not reliable so much as convenient or intentionally manipulative." Most of the Greek manuscripts agree about 95% of the time and that includes the ones where most differences come from. Apart from the Bible, Jesus was always proclaimed to be the Christ by secular writers and the Church Fathers. The "people" and the Bible testify against Bart Ehrman. The Hebrew OT also proclaims the Trinity and Divinity of Jesus. Perhaps Bart erred.

Consider the example of Mark 16. "The most reliable early manuscripts and other ancient witnesses do not have Mark 16:9-20." There are only 2 Ancient witnesses. The Greek Manuscripts shear volume extant today contains the verses. You should check your facts. Even the Church Fathers quote the verses before the 2 "Ancient ones" was made. http://www.tgm.org...

"Development of the New Testament canon is arbitrary." I believe it was Bart Ehrman's mentor, Bruce Metzger, said the Canon was confirmed by the people and councils and not decided. They confirmed what was already known.
Danielle

Con

RELIABILITY

"You seem to state that no one can interpret the ancient scriptures from any religion (or secular sources). The fact that people are able to translate it shows you are incorrect."

>> Pro says that since people were able to translate the Bible, it must be translated correctly which is quite obviously fallacious. Pro has no proof whatsoever that the Bible was translated "correctly" as per my previous round's contentions that it could not be. His only response was that the "church fathers" allegedly had the skill to interpret the original texts; however, there is no proof of this and thus we have no reason to accept it -- it is simply a bare assertion with no evidence. Just because they said they could interpret it 100% correctly doesn't mean that they could and actually did. Pro believes this based on faith, not proof.

Nonetheless, this doesn't address my argument from last round. I'll simply copy and paste my contention since my actual point was ignored:

By not having an objective meaning or direct instruction, application, message or version of history, the "intended message" can easily be lost, mistranslated or manipulated. Indeed a reader can subjectively interpret or apply the message however they see fit, regardless of whether or not it is valid. This can totally skew their alleged understanding of the text. That is not reliable; that leaves a lot of room for error.

Extend this point since Pro dropped it. It goes beyond mistranslations.

TRANSLATIONS

Regarding translations, Pro says that the Kabala gave secret meanings to Hebrew words, the Gnostics gave secret and mystical meanings to different words, etc. This goes on to prove MY point that the Bible is not reliable because of how much it has been completely manipulated by various people through the ages.

My opponent suggests that some people *might* have been able to interpret the original text (...even though this doesn't even begin to prove that the original content included in the text is perfect, reliable or correct in the first place...) and yet that doesn't help us regarding all of the Biblical mistranslations, misinterpretations, misapplications and other corruption that has watered so much of Biblical content down to us today. Even Biblical scholars cannot be trusted or assumed to have all of the "correct" information given the extremely shaky history of these documents.

Pro accepts the alleged Hebrew interpretations above all else: above all scientific and historical research that suggests both the Hebrew's interpretations and claims might be problematic. For example, consider "the Hebrews conceived the world as a three-storied structure that included a flat-earth belief. That they believed in such an unscientific concept should not surprise us, because they were surrounded by pagan cultures much older than theirs whose cosmologic views were very similar. The Hebrews had simply borrowed this concept from their pagan neighbors" [1].

In other words, the Hebrew perpetuated a wrong flat-earth concept proving that EVEN IF their translations were 100% reliable (contrary to scholars' claims), even their perfectly translated content might be straight up wrong or inaccurate, and therefore not reliable.

However perhaps it should not surprise us that my opponent would accept such *flawed* scientific propositions as fact; after all he seemingly rejects the concept of EVOLUTION itself as he critiques the fossil method in the last round. I don't think I'll spend my character space defending the concept of evolution in this debate -- but it should be noted that the Bible is quite obviously factually inerrant, since there is insurmountable proof of evolution (to some degree) based on various methods of scientific research and verifiability, whereas there is NO evidenced backed data to support Creationism and the other ridiculous concepts mentioned in the Bible if read at face value.

Another tidbit on reliability: "The authors of the gospels claim to have been eyewitnesses of Jesus' ministry. Yet liberal theologians believe that the gospels were written during the period 70 to 100 CE by anonymous writers who had only second-hand or third-hand knowledge about Jesus, and who incorporated oral material that had materialized after Jesus' death" [2].

Furthermore, "Liberal theologians have reached a consensus that many books in the New Testament were not written by the authors that they claim to be written by. This puts their legitimacy in question. We also know that unknown persons later inserted their own writings into some books.

Some of the books that liberal theologians believe were written by different authors from the ones indicated by the Bible are: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy (a.k.a. The Pentateuch, the 5 Books of Moses, the Books of the Law, the Law, the Torah). These state in numerous places that they were written by Moses. But mainline and liberal theologians have long accepted the 'Documentary Hypothesis,' which asserts that the Pentateuch was written by a group of four authors, from various locations in Palestine, over a period of centuries. Each wrote with the goal of promoting his/her own religious views. A fifth individual cut and pasted the original documents in to the present Pentateuch" [2].

SUPERNATURAL CLAIMS

My opponent basically drops my point on metaphors. Extend.

In fact my opponent drops most of my arguments all-together. He merely copy and pastes them, and then responds with an insufficient one-liner. For example, when I pointed out how both Adam & Eve and living to be 900 years is likely not true, Pro responds that just because science does not support those claims, doesn't mean we should accept them as inaccurate. However Pro does not provide any evidence or legitimate reasoning TO support those claims.

He also says (for example) that I allegedly misquoted the part of Genesis about edible plants, yet does not offer a corrected verse, and does not explain how the verse is wrong. So I maintain my point that the Bible contains misinformation or things that are not entirely accurate and true, and is therefore unreliable.

My opponent mentions that the Protestants (allegedly) accept one version of the Bible; however, that is entirely irrelevant. There are over 33,000 denominations of Christianity alone [3] that all follow the Bible. That's a lot of teachings of one man. And the fact that only the Protestants allegedly accept one version of the Bible, prove that the other 32,999+ denominations of Christians do NOT accept or agree on the proper version of the Bible. Thus the Bible is not reliable which is why there are so many versions and so many variations of beliefs and teachings.

[1] http://www.theskepticalreview.com...
[2] http://www.religioustolerance.org...
[3] http://www.philvaz.com...
Debate Round No. 3
kwagga_la

Pro

Can you prove the Bible was not translated correctly? Proof in this case is providing two documents that claim the same origin for comparison. Citations that contradict what the believers held to be true is not proof. I can differ from a Hindu but the Hindu is not wrong just because I say so. The whole New Testament is quoted in the works of the Church Fathers almost in its entirety. Comparing the Church Fathers with the Bibles we have today makes it is easy to verify whether it was correctly translated or not. In this case you are wrong, pointing out translation difficulties does not mean we cannot have the correct translation. The translators knew the languages they translated from so they were able to find suitable substitutes to convey the same meaning, just like we do today.
"His only response was that the "church fathers" allegedly had the skill to interpret the original texts; however, there is no proof of this and thus we have no reason to accept it." You are wrong again, there is lots of proof, the works of the Church Fathers are available today in its entirety and therefore we can compare the texts.
" Just because they said they could interpret it 100% correctly doesn't mean that they could and actually did. Pro believes this based on faith, not proof." I don't need faith to compare a Bible, I can read and compare the quoted texts with the Bibles today and see it is the same. Someone can interpret something 100% and that could mean that it was not actually done?? You need a lot more faith than me to believe a statement like that.

Nonetheless, this doesn't address my argument from last round." I did address your argument. Let me also copy and paste the points I made. "Again, is it even possible to do a correct translation then? It seems it can NEVER be done. Here is the fallacy, he uses the texts with all these faults and possibility of faults as support for his interpretation!!!!". "Mis-translation (which will include metaphors etc etc - my comment) can occur in a particular text (word added), but it is also possible that no mis-translation occurred in another text containing the same material. Something you apparently do not consider." So by comparing the text it is possible to make sense of it all. You do realize that the English language also contains metaphors, figurative language, euphemisms etc right? Is it possible to interpret and translate the English language correctly? I gave an example from 1611 and 2016 by comparing verses from the same English Bible that have exactly the same meaning even thou it is more than 400 years apart.. Instead of refuting this you just carry on repeating the same thing, claiming I did not address it when the examples given clearly proves you and Hoffman are wrong. I even gave an example of a translation between my first language and English that shows that the message can be interpreted correctly even if the word order is not 100% correct according to proper English usage.

"This goes on to prove MY point that the Bible is not reliable because of how much it has been completely manipulated by various people through the ages." This does not prove your point at all. Please provide the "originals" that you quote to support your points, after all, you did quote a man who based his theory on the "originals" (which have not been seen by anyone alive today). Do you even know what the Kabbalah is? Do you know what the Gnostic's really believed? If you did, you would not make such statements.

"Even Biblical scholars cannot be trusted or assumed to have all of the "correct" information given the extremely shaky history of these documents." Please tell me which shaky documents you are referring too. Who are the Scholars that cannot be trusted? Answer these two questions and I will deal with your statement.

Jews have always believed the earth was round, based on the Bible. If I remember correctly , this was pointed out by a Jewish Rabbi to Richard Dawkins when he made the same mistake during a interview for a documentary Dawkins was making.

"insurmountable proof of evolution (to some degree)????" Insurmountable but to some degree??? Evolution is said to have started with the Big bang. Where is your evidence for the Big bang, and I mean scientific evidence that was confirmed using the scientific method? If you demand scientific evidence then also provide it please. You should know the BB cannot be proven scientifically. Some try to separate the BB from evolution but if that is the case then evolution is adaptation. Evolution itself cannot prove or disprove God, it is the origins of evolution that questions whether God caused it. Unless you accept the BB as part of evolution, you cannot say evolution disproves God. Since there is "insurmountable" unquestionable proof, you should be able to give loads for how it all started right? Please feel free to waste your characters since you used evolution to ridicule the Bible.

"Yet liberal theologians believe that the gospels were written during the period 70 to 100 CE by anonymous writers who had only second-hand or third-hand knowledge about Jesus, and who incorporated oral material that had materialized after Jesus' death" [2]." Polycarp states the Gospels were written by Matthew, Luke, Mark and John - something the Liberals deny. Polycarp was a disciple of John so all the Gospels were written before 90AD. A tidbit on reliability: Didn't you mention earlier no scholars can be trusted? Yet you quote the Liberals and Bart Erhman as support for what you believe?

"But mainline and liberal theologians have long accepted the 'Documentary Hypothesis,'.." Quoting unreliable scholars again? Yes that's all it is, a HYPOTHESIS (a mere assumption or guess - http://www.dictionary.com...). Secular and and Jewish sources state the Law was written by Moses more that 2000 years ago. See the The Letter Of Aristeas and Josephus.

As for your Bible hypothesis...Textus Receptus was the name given because it "was the text received by all" (Protestants).
As a response to all your other statements and limited space here, I would like to point out that so far you failed to address the following points I mentioned: 1. The Bible says there is a nation called Israel. That is obviously a literal reference and intended to be interpreted literally. Is this false because it is literally interpreted as you claim? Obviously not. 2. The New Testament was not translated from Greek, it WAS written in Greek. 3. Do you really think a supernatural being with powers beyond human capabilities would need a man made sword? 4. The rest of the examples is about how woman and slaves were treated and said to be treated... This is going on today, it is not a MYTH. 5. Even if the Bible contains, what you might consider as far-fetched stories, that does not mean that the story was not accurately transmitted. 6. Hoffman should publish the "original text" from which he got the "original Hebrew". There are no exiting originals anywhere to be found today. 7. You make the mistake here because the New Testament which was written by mostly Hebrews who understood Hebrew and who had access to older manuscripts than we had, translated the word "virgin" in the Greek in the NT. 8. The Hebrew scribes used a complicated method of copying. They counted the letters in each line, each paragraph and then also counted the total of the words. (the method allows extremely accurate translation). 10. Genesis 1 is not the creation of Adam and Eve. Genesis 2 gives you the time Adam was created, and that was before the 5th day. 11. Please give me a scientific exact number total that will not "be" contradicted by another scientist (of how long humans and dinosaurs lived). The lack of fossils suggest a very long life span that contradicts other Scientists who say the first humans and animals lived less than 50 years. Some say lifespans was 300 years +. Seems Adam could have been 900 years old according to some scientists.
Danielle

Con

On Translations

Pro asks: Can you prove the Bible was not translated correctly? Proof in this case is providing two documents that claim the same origin for comparison.

First, I've explained how the Bible has been mistranslated many times over as verified by etymologists, historians, biblical scholars and archeologists. But more importantly, I've explained how even without potential LITERAL mistranslations, that CULTURAL mistranslations have necessarily occurred. The stories, lessons, images and messages from the Bible can be easily misconstrued based on the cultural interpretation of the text. The message changes based on the reader and teacher, which is not very reliable.

Pro says: You are wrong again, there is lots of proof, the works of the Church Fathers are available today in its entirety and therefore we can compare the texts.
Comparing the tests doesn't prove that their interpretation is 100% correct and verifiable, obviously. This is fallacious as it uses circular reasoning and the two sources in question to prove and validate the claims itself.

Pro says: You do realize that the English language also contains metaphors, figurative language, euphemisms etc right? Is it possible to interpret and translate the English language correctly?

One - two people can look at the exact same thing, see it differently, and both be correct [1]. Two, people study the Bible like they study other forms of literature, meaning it must be filtered through lens of different perspectives. Nevermind the fact that reality is subjective in and of itself.

"Students are told that this literature contains brilliant and timeless insights into human nature. Conflict may arise, however, when the attitudes of a particular time are reflected in a text. Critical analysis encourages students to look beyond this conflict by examining the relationship between the text and a reader's interpretation" [2].

Even the most devoutly religious people accept that the Bible is complex. One minister wrote, "But there it is. God's Word! One of the most complex and difficult books in the world. People of great intelligence and integrity spend a lifetime trying to understand and interpret it... The Lord's ambiguity, then, our difficulty in bringing Him into focus, the difficulty of the Bible, is not only the Lord's mercy, it's also His fairness and genius!" [3]. Not everybody can understand the Bible even if they want to and try.

Even honest and sincere Christians can legitimately find the Bible UNreliable by their own admission. "On the essentials, the Bible is abundantly clear. There is nothing ambiguous about the deity of Christ, the reality of heaven and hell, and salvation by grace through faith. On some issues of less importance, however, the teaching of Scripture is less clear, and this naturally leads to different interpretations. For example, we have no direct biblical command governing the frequency of communion or the style of music to use" [4].

The source continues, "The important thing is to be dogmatic where Scripture is and to avoid being dogmatic where Scripture is not." Yet that obviously leaves much to one's individual and wholly subjective interpretation, i.e., is not reliable.


<< I'd like to reiterate that I won't waste time, character space, or the audience's time debating Evolution which is accepted as scientific fact by virtually every single honest, credible and accredited scientist on the planet -- indeed if Pro had legitimate evidence negating Evolution, he would get off DDO and go claim his Nobel Price... but he does not >>

More On Biblical Misunderstandings

Biblical passages can be interpreted literally, historically or using Midrash - that is under the supposition that whether Biblical events happened or not was not important. The stories showed how God continued to work through various heroes and prophets, and how subsequent water separation events were linked to the first event at the Red/Reed sea [5]. Now if you interpret the Bible as a historical document for example, John's conceptions might have happened when his parents were older than normal. The author of Luke may have exaggerated the age of John's parents to make the conception appear miraculous, etc. [5] which again just reiterates that EVEN IF the actual translations were 100% on point, we still don't know how to theoretically apply the text. Were they totally literal? Were some myths included to explain lessons and not be literal or totally accurate? These are questions Pro skirts around but does not answer.

Pro's Points


Pro writes completely unintelligible points such as this: 1. The Bible says there is a nation called Israel. That is obviously a literal reference and intended to be interpreted literally. Is this false because it is literally interpreted as you claim? Obviously not. Say what? This doesn't make sense. Sure, it can be literally true there is a nation called Israel. Does that prove that the Bible is reliable or meant to be interpreted literally? Absolutely not.

Pro writes, 2. The New Testament was not translated from Greek, it WAS written in Greek. That doesn't change that many translations have occurred and that there is no completely literal or objective way to translate metaphors, etc.

He then writes, "3. Do you really think a supernatural being with powers beyond human capabilities would need a man made sword? 4. The rest of the examples is about how woman and slaves were treated and said to be treated... This is going on today, it is not a MYTH." Again these are not coherent points or legitimate arguments in his favor, so I won't waste time responding to each individual claim. There are no legitimate points at all listed at 1-10 in the last round.


Conclusions

The Bible itself does not claim that it is factually accurate in terms of history, science, geography and all other matters. 2 Timothy 3:16 reads "All scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness." Ergo the Bible ITSELF says it is open to interpretation and therefore NOT reliable in terms of perfect accuracy or totally withstanding human error and misapplication.

The Bible contains many morally questionable claims (to say the least) as well as factual inaccuracies. It was written by fallible men even if it was divinely inspired. Furthermore, divine inspiration does not indiciate how the Bible must be read (literally or otherwise).

There is no physical, tangible, reliable evidence to verify any of the supernatural claims in the Bible that my opponent accepts on faith and the *alleged* word of witnesses. Some witnesses. After all the Bible was largely inspired by oral tradition, which is incredibly problematic and notorious for passing on misinformation or changing stories and important details.

As was pointed out earlier, "The Bible is a collection of manuscripts compiled by humans, not God. There is no single, agreed-upon, authoritative Bible; rather, different sects of Christianity consider a wide variety of books to be Biblical canon. Thus, we (and I) err when we speak of 'the' Bible, singular. In reality, we are talking about various compilations assembled and debated by ordinary people." For almost 1,500 years, the New Testament manuscripts were copied by hand. It contains both mistakes and intentional changes; there are multiple manuscript versions.

By not having an objective meaning or direct instruction, application, message or version of history, the "intended message" can easily be lost, mistranslated or manipulated. Indeed a reader can subjectively interpret or apply the message however they see fit, regardless of whether or not it is valid. This can totally skew their alleged understanding of the text. That is not reliable; that leaves a lot of room for error.

SOURCES: http://tinyurl.com...

Debate Round No. 4
25 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by whiteflame 7 months ago
whiteflame
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>Reported vote: Hayd// Mod action: NOT Removed<

3 points to Con (Arguments). Reasons for voting decision: RFD in comments

[*Reason for non-removal*] The voter does a sufficient job analyzing specific arguments made by both debaters nad making a decision based on those arguments. The reporter's concerns that certain issues with lack of proof weren't addressed are not sufficient reason to remove a vote.
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Posted by kwagga_la 7 months ago
kwagga_la
Corrections *life* *proof* *prove*
Posted by kwagga_la 7 months ago
kwagga_la
@ Hayd Please provide prove for how old the earth is exactly based on science that will not be contradicted by another scientist. Also provide scientific proof that humans could not have lived long lives. The fact that some evolutionists argue for a long live makes your statement scientifically unreliable. I also argued that the lack of fossil records indicates long lives rather than short lives. Where are all the billions of intermediates? Think about it. The lack of the fossil record as opposed to the age of the earth is still a problem for evolutionists today. I say again, if you cannot provide the proof requested, then retract your comments.
Posted by kwagga_la 7 months ago
kwagga_la
@ Hayd pt 02 ".... Mark 16:8 is proven not to be a forgery." The verses are cited in the works of the church fathers and the majority of manuscripts available today. You should check your facts. Con cannot prove that the texts were misinterpreted. She failed to provide the originals she refer too and actual texts for comparison to prove her point. Since you claim the point is valid, maybe you can help her out and provide the proof? If not, retract your statements. The Works of the Church Fathers provide enough evidence that they interpreted the Bible the same way we do. Perhaps you can provide more evidence for your claims.
Posted by kwagga_la 7 months ago
kwagga_la
@ Hayd Perhaps you should also read the debate again. Pt 01
"Con then brings up that science shows us that the universe was created billions of years ago, while the Bible says that it was only created a few thousand years ago. The universe being only a few thousand years old is impossible, and thus the Bible can"t be reliable. Con furthers this by explaining that the sequence of events in which the universe was created in the Bible would be impossible." I did not argue for a young earth, I stated that the age of the earth have changed over the years which makes the actual age argued for by some scientists unreliable. Nobody can give an exact date of how old the earth is scientifically so your point is invalid. I asked for a scientific specific date of how old the earth is based on science that will not be contradicted by another scientist but Con failed to deliver.

"Con also defeats Pro"s rebuttal regarding the Adam and Eve living 900 years by explaining that it uses circular reasoning. You cannot say that the bible is valid because the bible says that it is, it"s circular. Thus Con"s argument regarding Adam and Eve isn"t reliable." I stated that some scientists say that the humans and animals lived very long lives which makes it possible, scientifically, that Adam also could have lived a long life. I did not use the Bible, therefore you are wrong claiming I used circular reasoning.
Widely held beliefs? It is a widely held belief by over 1 Billion people who are Christians that the Bible is reliable or else they would not be Christians. Think about it. I brought up the point that even if Con thought some stories was too good to be true it still does not prove the Bible did not accurately transmit those stories. Perhaps you have prove that Con could not provide? Please list it here for me. By who and please state your sources.
Posted by whiteflame 7 months ago
whiteflame
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>Reported vote: Kreakin// Mod action: Removed<

6 points to Con (S&G, Arguments, Sources). Reasons for voting decision: I tended to agree with Con pre deabate as it is well known there are mistranlations in the Bible. Conduct: Tie, even i Pro did come over as a little aggitated at times that is understandable. S&G: Goes to Con, I found the lack of paragraphs and abiguity from Pro hard work at times.MCA: Goes to Con as she clearly showed why The Bible should not be considered reliable.MRS: Con, solid links. Take from this quote what you will lol "Then my favorite, the scripture regarding the quarrelsome wife is NO MYTH. Ask any man married longer than 5 years."

[*Reason for removal*] (1) Arguments are insufficiently explained. The voter has to assess specific points made by both sides in the debate, and in this case the voter only states that one side proved the resolution false without explaining which arguments were convincing or why Pro's responses were unconvincing. (2) Sources are insufficiently explained. It should be clear from whatever analysis the voter gives why one side's sources were preferred to the other's. Both sides used sources, therefore the voter is required to do some comparison.
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Posted by Hayd 7 months ago
Hayd
RFD Part 2

Con also brings up the argument that many of the widely held beliefs regarding Jesus, the Trinity, and the divinity of the Bible were actually the result of accidents in transcribing the Bible, thus making the Bible unreliable. Con also brings up that a large part of the Bible, everything after Mark 16:8 to be forgery. Pro responds by stating that all religious institutions accept Jesus, the Trinity, and the divinity of the Bible. But this doesn"t work because by Con"s argument, they would have been fooled by the accidents as well, that's why they believe it. Thus this rebuttal doesn"t work and Con"s argument still stands.

The rest of the debate from here just rehashes what has already been said or isn"t intelligible. Regardless, none of it has much importance to my reason for decision, so I won"t go over it.

In the end, Pro fails to defeat a multitude of Con"s examples of the Bible not being reliable, such as the age of the Universe, Adam and Eve living for 900 years, and accidents in the Bible. Pro doesn"t bring up any of their own arguments about events in which the Bible was reliable, thus no weighing analysis is needed. Con successfully shows examples of the Bible being unreliable, and thus wins the debate.
Posted by Hayd 7 months ago
Hayd
RFD Part 1

Resolution: The Bible is reliable

In the future use the select winner system for voting. The BoP is shared.

Con explains that God created *all* plants for human consumption. Yet many plants are deadly for human consumption, which is an inaccuracy, making it unreliable. Con cites the Bible as saying that rabbits chew cud because they are unclean, but rabbits don"t actually chew cud. The bible also says that Adam and Noah lived for 900 years, but this is physically possible. Pro explains that God was referring to the Garden of Eden when he said all plants here are for your consumption, and that some plants became poisonous after the fall. Pro also explains that rabbits actually do eat cud, just through a different method than the cow, as the cud comes from the back side in the rabbit. Pro also says that comparing the human body of today to the human body of the age of Adam and Eve isn"t valid because humans were changed after the fall and not allowed to live as long.

Con then brings up that science shows us that the universe was created billions of years ago, while the Bible says that it was only created a few thousand years ago. The universe being only a few thousand years old is impossible, and thus the Bible can"t be reliable. Con furthers this by explaining that the sequence of events in which the universe was created in the Bible would be impossible.

Con also defeats Pro"s rebuttal regarding the Adam and Eve living 900 years by explaining that it uses circular reasoning. You cannot say that the bible is valid because the bible says that it is, it"s circular. Thus Con"s argument regarding Adam and Eve isn"t reliable.
Posted by kwagga_la 7 months ago
kwagga_la
@kreakin Thanks for the vote but I disagree with what you said. The links provided was not solid as in solid facts. The only solid thing was that it took you to articles that contained a lot of hypothesis not necessarily facts. The statement was made that the Bible is myth. There are many scholars and Professor's who disagree with the people she quoted. The statement you refer to and others I mentioned clearly shows that everything in the Bible is not a myth. You clearly failed to realize this after claiming to have read the debate. Dannielle did not demonstrate that the Bible is not reliable she quoted people who she agrees with (and as I mentioned, many scholars including secular ones, disagree with them). When I asked her specific questions regarding her quotes and statements she failed to answer it. I asked in the opening for only a few examples at a time but Dannielle's references contained to many to deal with when limited to a set number of characters; that is why my responses were short and lacking paragraphs. The paragraphs you see in my responses were set by the website. Perhaps you should put your biases aside and read it again.
Posted by whiteflame 7 months ago
whiteflame
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>Reported vote: Complicated_Mind// Mod action: Removed<

7 points to Con. Reasons for voting decision: Counter vote bombing migmag.

[*Reason for removal*] CVBs are strictly prohibited.
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1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Hayd 7 months ago
Hayd
kwagga_laDanielleTied
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Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: RFD in comments