This is a continued look at the ideas expressed in Dr. Ehrman’s book ‘Forged: Writing in the Name of God and we will begin with the last quote form the article Objective Truth?
“But as someone who believed that truth was objective and who was unwilling to believe what was false, I came to think that the Bible could not be what I thought it was. The Bible contained errors. And if it contained errors, it was not completely true. This was a problem for me, because I wanted to believe the truth, the divine truth, and I came to see that the Bible was not divine truth without remainder. The Bible was a very human book.” (pg. 11)
The idea of errors in the Bible generally comes from very misguided and deceived minds as those who do not believe nor want to believe, refuse to listen to the truth when it is explained to them. The first problem is that these people hold to an imaginary idea that there is something called ‘objective truth’ yet as we briefly saw in the other article.
One more point needs to be made about this so-called ‘objective truth’. If it exists then it seems to stand separate from God and is not under his command or rule. This concept would make ‘objective truth’ on par with or superior to God and that is heresy and false teaching at its best. It would also make God incapable of telling the truth and rendering him to being the devil.
The ramifications of the idea of ‘objective truth’ means that there is no God and that there is no such thing as truth. Every idea would be subjective, depending upon who was the strongest and had the most followers and the concept of objectivity would be lost and meaningless.
If Dr. Ehrman wanted to believe divine truth as he expresses in that quote, he would have to give up the idea that there is such a thing as ‘objective truth’ and that it rules over God’s word. But he was not really interested in the divine truth because he let errors trip up his faith but accept the correct explanations for why these supposed discrepancies existed in the Bible. He would have taken greater measures to protect his faith instead of letting it go at the first or second encounter with problems.
His conclusion that the Bible is a very human book is without merit because while human names are attached to each biblical book, there are also information that the Bible was not written by humans but were used to merely put divine words into human form so that God’s creation could understand what God was communicating to them.
There is nothing in the Bible or history that indicates that the Bible was the work of human hands alone. Even though some scholars insist that there were religious and political motives behind the writing of the Bible, they have yet to produce any credible evidence proving their declarations true.
Their accusations are built upon the sand and have nothing substantial to support them. if you look closely, those who make such accusations do so out of their position of unbelief and subjective, not objective, truth. Their bias and prejudices determine their conclusions not actual fact or truth.
“But the problems didn’t stop there. Eventually I came to realize that the Bible not only contains untruths or accidental mistakes. It also contains what almost anyone today would call lies. That is what this book is about.” (pg. 12)
To claim that something is untrue or is lying then one must have and hold to the truth but if ‘objective truth’ is really subjective and depends upon the person who adheres to it then there really is no other truth to use to accuse the Bible of lying.
Dr. Ehrman and others like him are not really using the truth to determine and point out these supposed errors and lies. They are using their own personal and very subjective thinking to say that there are errors and lies within the pages of the Bible.
“Accidental mistakes’ do not reflect upon the work of the Bible nor its message. If they are accidental then they were not placed in the Bible to alter what it says or to promote a human philosophy or political motive. These are not valid reasons to claim that the Bible is in error or filled with untruths.
Then when one accuses the Bible of lying they must be privy to and possess the real historical truth and be able to verify and demonstrate that they have the truth over God and his word. So far all they have presented are theories, hypothesis, assumptions, leaps to conclusions, conjecture and so on.
They cannot demonstrate that they have the actual truth and God is truly lying. Given the amount of evidence we do have supporting the biblical record, they won’t find that truth anywhere. Their idea of truth replacing the bible comes from personal unbelief and the rejection of the real truth. It does not come from anything objective or greater than God.
In fact, their ‘objective truth’ comes from the very accusation they make of the Bible—it is human sourced or totally human ideas and there is nothing of God or any supreme being in its construction. So the very reason they reject the Bible they use to accept alternative ideas and thought.
A few words on the ramifications if Dr. Ehrman and others are correct and the Bible is actually a human work. First, that idea means that there is no hope for mankind. There is no God, no Jesus, no truth. There is no eternal salvation, no heaven, no forgiveness of sins. Hope is destroyed and people are free to do as they please because there is no ultimate judge going to call us into account for our actions and words.
Second, since there is no God under Dr. Ehrman’s idea then that means there is no such thing as right and wrong, morality and immorality and good and evil. Everyone is free to do as they please and no one can be arrested for their criminal acts for nothing is right and nothing is wrong, etc.
Anarchy and confusion reign, not a well ordered society that knows where the lines are and people can be free and safe. Walking down the street would be a deadly act for one would never know if they will be attacked or worse because there will be no laws protecting them from those who think differently and want to live as they please.
This gives you an idea of what would happen if the Bible did not contain the words of God and was not the actual truth. I am sure you can think this through further and see the real depth of this situation if the Bible were not true. Everyone would do what was right in their own eyes for there would be anything to guide them to the right way to live.
Other religions cannot step in and fill the void because they have nothing divine or supreme contained in their words. False religions are again like the accusations made against the Bible, human sourced yet that fact does not stop people from accepting and following the false teachings taught by the leaders of those errant religions.
The only support for the argument that the Bible is a human book comes from the fact that human names are attached to many of the biblical books. There is no other physical evidence or ancient manuscript that provides any support for such a claim. That idea is made up from assumption, conjecture and other similar terms, as history does not supply any real documentation that there was a religious or political conspiracy.
We no such plans or strategies in any document from any nation, Israelite or other, that even remotely points to this claim being true. Not one shred of evidence exists to support this claim that the Bible is solely a human book or that it was cobbled together in the 5th to 7th centuries BC. That contention is made up by those who reject the Bible as truth and how it was written over the generations.
So is the Bible the product of human hands only? The answer to that is a sound ‘no’. The idea that the Bible is a human book would not explain why it is so popular, why it sells so much, why it reaches just not the nation of Israel but attracts people from other nations and so on.
The fact that other religions are successful is because the Bible is true and evil works in the hearts of men deceiving and leading them astray. If the Bible was not true and divinely inspired then there would be no need for the false religions to exist.
We need the truth to have copies. As we saw with Aaron’s rod when it became a snake, evil copies true actions but as we read further in that passage we see that those copies are inferior to the truth and are destroyed by it.
The false religions existing today are inferior copies to the truth of the Bible and are easily destroyed when true believers stick to the truth and do not compromise. Nothing stands against the truth and the Bible backs this up. The truth is the Bible is the inerrant, inspired words of God written by him through human agents in order for humans to grasp what God wants them to know, how he wants them to live and treat others.
It also communicates to us warnings and instructions on how to avoid false teaching, about evil trying to deceive, who also uses human agents to do its dirty work and on it goes. Without the Bible being true we have nothing to base our lives upon and we would be in despair because there was nothing waiting for us when we die.
The purpose for our lives would be gone and any desire to take pride in our work would be absent as nothing would matter for any reward for our good efforts would also be meaningless and mean nothing.
True believers can take solace in the fact that the Bible is not a human work and that if there are any discrepancies or contradictions we know that God will provide us with the correct answer to solve those dilemmas. This is why we can have the peace that passes understanding, because we know that God is real, he does exist, he did write the Bible and every word is true. We do not have to worry nor lose any purpose to our lives because all that we do has meaning.