The Instigator
Tristboi22
Pro (for)
Winning
4 Points
The Contender
JonathanDJ
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

The Bible never claims to be God's infallible Word

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
Tristboi22
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/26/2014 Category: Religion
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 951 times Debate No: 49952
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (4)
Votes (1)

 

Tristboi22

Pro

The Bible never makes the claim that many Christians say it does; that the Bible is "God's infallible Word." The New testament is never referred to as "Scripture" or God's Word. I will show evidence that a writer of the Bible goes out of his way to show that not everything he is writing is from God. I challenge ANYONE to prove me wrong.
JonathanDJ

Con

I can demonstrate that in essence what you are saying is inaccurate. I'm reject some of the ways you have put things. The Bible doesn't say that "Here is a collection of infallible, inerrant, writings, from men moved by God." We derived that statement from studying the Bible and reason. If you are going to insist on that sort of literalism then you are going to be very disappointed. That sort of approach is not intellectually honest. I think you'll find that like most critics of the Bible, you are short on knowledge of the very thing your criticizing.

I have to insist that you do not introduce conspiracy theories into our debate. I reject the tactic of disqualifying this or that portion of Scripture. If you try these tactics I'll walk away from the debate after explaining to the readers why. If it's in the current scriptures you have to live with it.
Debate Round No. 1
Tristboi22

Pro

Thank you for agreeing to debate this subject. I am not interested in conspiracy theories either. In fact, I insist that we use the ENTIRE Bible as evidence either for or against. I have no problem with your conditions, provided I am understanding them correctly.

Before I begin, I would like to point out that I believe parts of the Bible are accurate from a historical archeological perspective. I do not believe that pointing to prophecies being fulfilled can be considered evidence in this debate, simply for the reason that we have no way of testing those supposed prophecies of their truth or validity. I challenge my opponent to use the Bible and quote chapter and verses saying that the Bible actually makes the claims that it is the infallible Word of God. I will even help my opponent out by leaving the word "infallible" out if they would like and challenge them to show evidence from the Bible that it is indeed, "God's Word."
JonathanDJ

Con

A good deal of misunderstanding about what Scripture is comes from a misunderstanding about what inspiration means. We do not believe, as Muslims do about the Qur'an, that the Bible is word for word the dictated words of God. We believe that God inspires and superintends his message in the mind and heart of his chosen messenger that then writes or speaks it in his own words and in his own historical time and setting. This is why Paul in his own writings makes the comment in 1 Corinthians 7:12: "To the rest I say this (I, not the Lord)..."
It seems that my counterparts main criticism is with the claim that the New Testament is Holy Scripture. Starting with the Gospels then Jesus said: Matthew 24:35 "Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away." In and of it self this might seem unhelpful until you investigate it's Old Testament parallels that the hearers of Jesus audacious claim would have certainly recognized. There is this reference in Isaiah 40:8 "Grass dries up, and flowers wither, but the word of our God will last forever." and a reference in Psalm 119:89 "Your word, LORD, is eternal; it stands firm in the heavens.". Jesus clearly intended his words to be understood as God's word.
Now Peter, spoken of by the Lord Jesus and appointed by him as an Apostle said this about Paul and his writings in 2 Peter 3:16: "Paul, according to the wisdom given him, wrote to you, 16 as also in all his letters, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which the untaught and unstable distort, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures, to their own destruction."
As you can see plainly; Peter calls Paul's writings "Scripture".
Finally the Book of Revelation comes with a warning about tampering that parallels the Torah. The book of Revelation says in it's ending Revelation 22:18: "I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues which are written in this book; 19 and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his part from the tree of life and from the holy city, which are written in this book." The Torah likewise ends with this warning in Deuteronomy 4:2: " 2"You shall not add to the word which I am commanding you, nor take away from it, that you may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you." These parallels aren't accidental. The original readers of these documents were Jews who would have been familiar with the Old Testament and the warnings and the language employed would not have been lost on them. It is to their ears we must make ourselves sensitive if we are to understand whether the New Testament was seen as God's word or not.
Debate Round No. 2
Tristboi22

Pro

I would like to thank my opponent for clarifying exactly what he believes in respect to the Bible being the infallible Word of God. I was a bit surprised to see that he quoted 1 Cor 7:12 where Paul says, "To the rest I speak, (I, not the Lord) if any man..." simply for the fact that I believe that proves MY case and not my opponents. Paul was going out of his way to show that what he was writing was not from God, but from himself. In fact, he does so again in 1 Cor 7:25 ""Now concerning virgins I HAVE NO COMMANDMENT OF THE LORD, yet I give MY judgment..." 2 Cor 11:17, "That which I speak, I SPEAK NOT AFTER THE LORD, but as in foolishness, in the confidence of his glory." If ALL of the Bible is God's Word, how do you reconcile theses passages?

As for Jesus saying that His words will never pass away, that in and of itself is not evidence that He was referring to a book that would be put together in it's entirety 367 years after he was born, known as "The Bible". The Bible was not a solid book that came down from heaven as we now know it today. It was also not all written at once. Actually, it was voted on by bishops in 367 AD. (http://www.churchhistory101.com.........) They decided by VOTE which books made it in and which one did not. The Protestant Church didn't agree until 1647 at the Assembly of Westminster. I would like to know what my opponent believes qualified these men to vote on this matter in the first place. This would have obviously been THE MOST important vote in the history of the world. After all, we are talking about (according to your view) what was God's Word and what was not.
My opponent and I will find common ground on one point for sure; the Old Testament claims to CONTAIN God's Word. That does not mean that all of it IS God's Word. There are passages that say, "Thus saith the Lord" in the Old Testament so there can be no doubt that it makes that claim. One could argue that ALL of the Old Testament could be called "scripture". This can not be said for the New Testament.

This brings me to my nest point about 2 Peter 3:16:
If one does not read the verses above them. It is easy to misinterpret them if one does not read ALL of them together. If we look at the words used in the New Testament for "Scripture", "writings", and "epistle/s" (graphe, grammata, and epistole) we can see that the writings and epistles of the New Testament were never considered Holy, Inspired, or Divine but were considered Tradition and to have wisdom useful for faith and practice. The word "graphe" refers to the Old Testament Writings and is modified by the terms "Inspired", "Holy", and "Prophetic." This cannot be said of the epistole which were never describe by such terms but were describe by the terms "wisdom" and "tradition." Graphe is used 50 times in the New Testament and only one time (II Peter 3:16) speaks of New Testament writings. II Pet.3:16 refers to Paul"s letters as epistles (epistole) while referring to the rest[1] of the writings as (graphe) " both of which were subject to being twisted. 2 Peter 3:2 says, " I want you to recall the words spoken in the past by the holy prophets and the command given by our Lord and Savior through your apostles." You will see that Peter was talking about what he Prophets said as to what Paul also wrote of in his epistles.The Apostles considered the writings of the Prophets to be directly from God because they said,"Thus Saith The Lord". The author is COMPARING Paul's epistles to the OT as being abused by unlearned men. In this case Paul's epistles are not seen as 'Scripture' but as abused and twisted by unlearned and unstable men. If the author was not comparing, in this manner, Paul's epistles to the OT why didn't he just say the rest of the epistles? There are two categories - the Scriptures and the epistles - both were being twisted but both were not thought of as Scripture. The writer just says that Paul was given wisdom in his writings but does not think of them as Scripture.

Revelation22:18
This is a very interesting book, to say the least. It is also the book that barely made it in. "The archeologists found evidence that the Book of Revelation was surreptitiously put on the list at the last minute by an anonymous staffer to the Pope." eft.mn/2012/06/archeologists-book-of-revelation-out/ Furthermore, no one even knows for certain who wrote Revelation. All we know for certain is that his name was John. The verse saying that no one can add to the book does not show evidence that he was talking about the rest of the Bible. The New Testament had not even been put together yet. Plus, this was one of the most debated books as for the addition to the cannon. We must also understand that just because the New Testament plagiarizes the Old, it is still not any thing else than speculation that it is the infallible Word of God.

I have one last question; John 1:1 and verse 14 tells us what the "WORD" is. "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God. And the Word was God." verse 14 "And the Word became flesh (Jesus) and dwelt among us.." Here the "Word" is defined and I see no mention of the Bible or even Scripture. If the Bible or Scripture is the Word, then why don't you worship the Bible? After all, the "Word" is called "God" in John 1. That is one of the strongest arguments from Christians that believe in the deity of Christ; it's because the "Word" is called "God" and Jesus is called the "Word". Again, if the Bible is the "Word", why is IT TOO not God?
JonathanDJ

Con

Ok, we've got a problem here. I was under the impression that we were going to discuss whether there was internal evidence that the Bible claimed to be the Word of God; more specifically the New Testament. Now you have brought in the issues of canonicity and more or less introduced a conspiracy theory by claiming that the fix was in because certain books were voted in later. By the way that's crap. We knew by the end of the Second Century what he cannon was. Look up the The Muratorian Fragment and then you'll also discover there were other materials later in the Second Century that listed the books of the NT. Are we going to end the debate here or are you going to stick to the subject you agreed to?
Debate Round No. 3
Tristboi22

Pro

I'm not seeing where my opponent is claiming to have a problem with the content of this debate. Perhaps we should re-establish what this debate is about. To be fair, I did say that I have no problem with your conditions, "provided I am understanding them correctly". Furthermore, I would like to add that I AM THE ONE who chose this debate. We ARE discussing whether or not there is evidence that the Bible claimed to be the Word of God. I'm not sure what you mean exactly by "internal evidence". I brought up the issues of cannon to cite historical events of HOW we got the Bible in the first place. You mentioned the book of Revelation. Quoting historical events is not "conspiracy". I never claimed there was a "fix" on anything. I simply stated from a historical sense, when the cannon was decided on; THAT IS ALL. I think the question of "What qualified these men to vote on the cannon" is an extremely valid one. First you say that you don't want to debate the subject of canonicity, but then you give arguments related to it. I will however, give a rebuttal to your argument pertaining to The Muratorian Fragment. First off, I never said there was not a list of New Testament books, what I said was that the Catholic and Protestant Churches did not AGREE which books should be in the cannon and which ones should not, until 367 and 1647. I will ask you this since you mentioned The Muratorian Fragment, why do you accept the books listed as "The Word of God", when no one has ever determined who authored this text? If it was never discovered in the Ambrosian Library in Milan by Father Ludovico Antonio Muratori, then what would have happened? Now, if you choose not to continue this debate, then forfeit. Also, I have given rebuttals to the Bible references you mentioned AND I asked some Biblical questions of my own.

Even if my opponent chooses not to debate the issue pertaining to the issues of the cannon, he has still not dealt or answered or rebutted the following:
1) What is your reply to my rebuttal pertaining to 2 Peter 3:16?
2) 1 Cor 7:12 where Paul says, "To the rest I speak, (I, not the Lord) if any man..." simply for the fact that I believe that proves MY case and not my opponents. Paul was going out of his way to show that what he was writing was not from God, but from himself. In fact, he does so again in 1 Cor 7:25 ""Now concerning virgins I HAVE NO COMMANDMENT OF THE LORD, yet I give MY judgment..." 2 Cor 11:17, "That which I speak, I SPEAK NOT AFTER THE LORD, but as in foolishness, in the confidence of his glory." If ALL of the Bible is God's Word, how do you reconcile theses passages? Again, Paul is making it clear that it is HE HIMSELF speaking and writing here, NOT God.
3) John 1:1 and verse 14 tells us what the "WORD" is. "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God. And the Word was God." verse 14 "And the Word became flesh (Jesus) and dwelt among us.." Here the "Word" is defined and I see no mention of the Bible or even Scripture. If the Bible or Scripture is the Word, then why don't you worship the Bible? After all, the "Word" is called "God" in John 1. That is one of the strongest arguments from Christians that believe in the deity of Christ; it's because the "Word" is called "God" and Jesus is called the "Word". Again, if the Bible is the "Word", why is IT TOO not God?

My opponent is trying to deny that I am not arguing the proper content of this debate. While I realize communication can be a factor, I don't believe he is being honest about his lack of understanding in this particular circumstance. I have not once mentioned "conspiracy". HE is the one that agreed to this debate, not the other way around. I am arguing from a Biblical and historical sense and I never said we ONLY use the Bible to prove our position. I only insisted that we use "the entire Bible". The title of this debate is "The Bible Never Claims to be God's Infallible Word". The only reference I made to the cannon way why the people who voted on which books made it in and which ones did not could be trusted. That is a very important point when trying to decipher the Bible's claims about itself.

With that, I yield to my opponent.
JonathanDJ

Con

Just because my opponent choose the debate doesn't mean he gets to change the terms of the debate in the middle of the conversation. My complaint isn't primarily about a conspiracy although there is more than just my opponents claim that the cannon was established by vote. There is also this remark: "The archaeologists found evidence that the Book of Revelation was surreptitiously put on the list at the last minute by an anonymous staffer to the Pope." This smacks of conspiracy and it's a lie. The Book of Revelation is mentioned in the Maurotorian Fragment which is a Second Century document. I didn't say I didn't want to debate the cannon rather we didn't agree to debate on the cannon. I don't appreciate being blindsided. The very title of the debate states that it's about what the Bible claims about it self. That is to say, what the internal evidence in the Scripture about the question is. Most of my opponents objections were things outside the Scripture. I defended against his attacks in a limited way because they were so easy to defend on those points.
My opponent made a bunch of claims about the Greek words in the passage of Peter 2 Peter 3:16. I don't accept my opponents claims. I want links to back up his claims about the Greek texts and the meaning of those words. I don't need to resort to word salad or pretense at Greek scholarship. I can use the plain meaning of the text and parallel translations. I will rely on some of the worlds finest Greek and Hebrew Scholars for my interpretation of the passage. There is a vital word in this passage that is interpreted identically by all of the scholars involved in these translations.
His letters contain some things that are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort, as they do the ((other)) Scriptures, to their own destruction.
Some of his comments are hard to understand, and those who are ignorant and unstable have twisted his letters to mean something quite different, just as they do with ((other)) parts of Scripture.
There are some things in them that are hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the ((other)) Scriptures.
in which are some things hard to understand, which the untaught and unstable distort, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures, to their ((own)) destruction.
in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the ((other)) Scriptures,
What is that word? OTHER. The passage is speaking of Paul's teachings and then says people are twisting them, and that they do the same thing with the OTHER Scriptures. So Peter is saying what about Paul's teachings? Paul's teachings are being twisted just like the other Scriptures are being twisted. What does Peter mean by the word Scriptures? Well the word is "Grafe" as my oponent said and that is the same word Peter uses for the Old Testement earlier in his letter in 2 Peter 1:20. I will provide the strongs concordance number for people to check for themselves which is G1124. Paul's words or teachings are being put on par with the Old Testament.
My opponent insists that I prove that every word of the text is from God even though I explained that that's not what Christians or Jews for that matter believe about divine revelation. It seems my opponent wants to ignore what I say and just keep on going with his own points. It is Muslims who believe that every word of the Qur'an is the revealed word of Allah. Christians and Jews believe that the Bible is inspired and divinely superintended by God into the heart and mind of His spokesman inerrant and infallibly. The message is then expressed through the author as a human being in his words. This doctrine is called "Sitz im Leben" being translated from German it means "Setting in life". So the final product is inerrant and infallible and also human and divine. My opponent is also rather selective in his quote of Paul. He quotes: 1 Corinthians 7:12
To the rest I say this (I, not the Lord): If any brother has a wife who is not a believer and she is willing to live with him, he must not divorce her.
but he fails to quote:
1 Corinthians 7:10
To the married I give this command (not I, but the Lord): A wife must not separate from her husband.
This entire passage supports the very doctrinal position I've been stating the whole time. I hope this finally puts to rest this objection about every word having to be stated by God.
Debate Round No. 4
Tristboi22

Pro

There is more to a debate than the title of it. My opening statement pretty much said it all. As for the remark, "The archaeologists found evidence that the Book of Revelation was surreptitiously put on the list at the last minute by an anonymous staffer to the Pope." I was simply saying that there is evidence that the book of Revelation almost did not make it into the Catholic Cannon in 367 A.D. (http://left.mn...) I never implied that it didn't exist in the Muratorian Fragment. My opponent needs to explain why he is so hung up on that particular text any way, for it also listed the Apocalypse of Peter. If it got that one wrong, then ALL books are subject. My opponent still needs to answer the following questions:
1) Why do you put so much faith in the Author of the Muratorian Fragment?
2) What qualified THIS person or persons to make a list (Muratorian Fragment) of the most powerful words in the universe?
3) If the Muratorian Fragment is so reliable, why did it list the Apocalypse of Peter, when the Church (Catholic and Protestant) rejected it?

Now as for 2 Peter, I'm not sure exactly what my opponent wants me to show evidence of. If you are questioning the Greek words I listed in my previous post, (http://biblehub.com...) it's all there. Feel free to use the "world's finest" Greek scholar. It does not matter how many parallel translations my opponent quotes. I agree they all say the same thing. I encourage you to do so and you will see Peter used 2 VERY different words to describe the writings. BOTH were subject to being twisted. As I said before, THAT IS HOW he was comparing them. I'm not denying the use of the word "Scripture" here, but if you read EARLIER in the beginning of the chapter, he was talking about Prophets in the Old Testament. That is why in the very first verse it says, "Dear friends, this is now my second letter to you. I have written both of them as reminders to stimulate you to wholesome thinking. 2 I want you to recall the words spoken in the PAST by the holy PROPHETS and the command given by our Lord and Savior through your apostles." The use of the word "Other" does not prove my opponents case either. May I remind my opponent that the Bible was not written in English; much less, American-English. The word for 'others' or the 'rest' is 'loipas' and means "remaining" or "left over". Note 3:1-2, where the writer's purposes of the epistle is to 'stir up your minds by way of reminder that you may be mindful of the words that were spoken before by the holy prophets, and the commandments of us, the apostles of the Lord and Savior.' Notice the two categories - the holy prophets (OT) and the commandments of the apostles (NT). Notice also that the authors intent was to REMIND them of things ALREADY spoken. I would also add, this does not mean that "Scripture" is "God's Word". It is NEVER called that and I challenge you to show me where it does.

My opponent made the statement, "My opponent insists that I prove that every word of the text is from God even though I explained that that's not what Christians or Jews for that matter believe about divine revelation". I know thousands of Christians that would disagree with that statement and perhaps my opponent should not have agreed to this debate since it is becoming clear that he does not understand what it is about. The fact of the matter is that we are debating whether nor not the Bible claims to be God's infallible Word. So far, my opponent has not offered any evidence except a misinterpretation of 2 Peter 3:15-16. We have already dealt with his one "proof text" in 2 Peter, but he also needs to explain why NO WHERE in the New Testament are the writings called, "Scripture" or "God's Word". Where else do you believe the Bible makes this claim?

My opponent suggested that I read 1 Corinthians 7:10, "To the married I give this command (not I, but the Lord): A wife must not separate from her husband." He then suggested that the verse should put my objection to rest. How does this support YOUR position?! Look, first Paul makes it clear that the Lord is speaking in verse 10, THEN he says it is NOT the Lord speaking in verses 12, 25, and 2 Cor 11:17! I must say, I'm baffled at this point and I cannot comprehend how my opponent believes this substantiates HIS case. If ALL of the Bible is the Author (God) speaking through humans, then it can't ALL be God's Words because Paul says so. I hope THIS puts the subject to rest, however, I would still love to hear my opponent's explanation of these passages.

Finally, I am becoming very frustrated with my opponent's constant avoidance of the following question:
John 1:1 and verse 14 tells us what the "WORD" is. "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God. And the Word was God." verse 14 "And the Word became flesh (Jesus) and dwelt among us.." Here the "Word" is defined and I see no mention of the Bible or even Scripture. If the Bible or Scripture is the Word, then why don't you worship the Bible? After all, the "Word" is called "God" in John 1. That is one of the strongest arguments from Christians that believe in the deity of Christ; it's because the "Word" is called "God" and Jesus is called the "Word". Again, if the Bible is the "Word", why is IT TOO not God?

Closing:
I think it is clear now that my opponent does not have a case for his position on this subject. His rebuttal to my rebuttal of 2 Peter 3 was to simply read other translations. I have proven what the Greek words are translated as with the website I posted. I have never denied that the word "Scripture" is translated there. IT IS! The verse only shows that Paul's epistles and the holy prophets that wrote the "remaining scriptures" were subject to being unlearned and twisted. Furthermore, NOW my opponent still needs to explain 1 Cor 7:10 where God IS SPEAKING and 7:12,25, and 2 Cor 11:17 when God is NOT SPEAKING. And my opponent still needs to explain why he does not worship the Bible if it is indeed the Word of God, as he claims it is. If he does not worship the Bible, how does he sustain the contradiction of John 1:1 when it calls the "Word", "God'?

Thank you and I yield to my opponent.
JonathanDJ

Con

JonathanDJ forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 5
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by Tristboi22 3 years ago
Tristboi22
+demonlord343
I will deal with 2 Peter later if my opponent decides not to deal with it. I don't want to spoil anything.....
Posted by Faith16 3 years ago
Faith16
The bible is a book of stories written by some of God's followers. None of the books in the bible is written by God.
Posted by demonlord343 3 years ago
demonlord343
Ummm... 2nd Peter says it is correct...
Posted by DTSmember 3 years ago
DTSmember
The bible never claims to be anything. It is a bunch of books trying to bring people closer to Jesus, and doing that, God. It is truth though, that we know from 2000 years of tradition and martyrs.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Geogeer 3 years ago
Geogeer
Tristboi22JonathanDJTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
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Total points awarded:40 
Reasons for voting decision: Con forfeited. Points Pro.