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About this Author
What About All Those Mistakes in the Bible
Being involved in a ministry that states that its goal is to convince people that God is, that Jesus is His Son, and that the Bible is His Word brings a lot of interesting mail. Much of it is fairly easy to answer, especially those questions that deal with scientific support for the existence of God. What is not as easy is the challenge that comes from a wide variety of people concerning the inspiration of the Bible. There are a lot of reasons for this challenge being difficult. One problem is that the original manuscripts were not in English; and translation then becomes an issue. Another problem is that the Bible does not address itself just to one area of concern. The scientific accuracy of the Bible is one of the easier areas to deal with, because the Bible is not a scientific work and makes relatively few scientific statements. What about the historical statements in the Bible? How does the psychology, sociology, anthropology, literature, and archeology stack up. No one is an expert in all of these areas, so the question of errors and accuracy becomes much more difficult.
It is not the purpose of this article to take every claimed contradiction in the Bible and explain it. What I would like to do is to attempt to give some practical suggestions which hopefully help analyze the questions involved in a more organized and open way. Before starting this it will be useful to explain the author's experience in this area of work. When I was a part of organized atheism, I was totally convinced that the Bible was one of the biggest frauds ever foisted on mankind. Since I believed there was no God I logically had to believe that the Bible was the work of humans. If humans wrote it, they had to be from a culture older than my own, and that meant that their ignorance and superstition would be a part of it.
Because I was trained in science and had a keen interest in geology, astronomy, and physics I decided to verify what I already believed about the Bible by analyzing its contents from those fields. What better place could there be to do this than Genesis 1. I learned enough Hebrew to determine the meanings of the words in Genesis, and then set out to show how wrong it was. Over seven years were involved in this project, and at the end of that time I could find no verifiable scientific error in the Genesis account. There were lots of errors in what humans thought and what Christian denominations taught, but not in the actual wording. My respect for the Bible and my contempt for human religions both began at this point. In the thirty years since that time, both of these feelings have grown through experience and study--and both are part of my suggestions to others who may wish to ask if there are logical answers to apparent contradictions in the Bible.
Deal with translation problems. Many claimed contradictions in the Bible turn out to be translation difficulties and do not exist in the original manuscripts. The word "giant" in the King James translation of Genesis 6:1-3 is a good example. Is the Bible maintaining in these verses that there were giant humans on the earth in this account? When I look the key word up I find the word is "nephilem" in the original language, and the word is used in reference to one who opposes God. So how did the word become "giant" in the King James? It took me a lot of digging to find that the King James translators took this section of Scripture from the Vulgate translation and translated the word nephilim as gigantus. The King James translators took gigantus and called it "giant" which is not even close to what the word means.
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