The Bible as inerrant and complete, or sufficient.

by dgp 61 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • dgp

    I think we will agree that the WT holds it that the Bible is the inerrant word of God. Well, it just isn't. This is an idea that I just learned from a blog.

    The idea is very, very simple:

    The Bible is considered "inerrant" and "sufficient".

    Meaning, it contains no errors, but it is also all you need for salvation. This is actually more a Protestant claim than a Catholic one, but Catholics don't really consider the Bible as inerrant. I am aware that, in practice, the Watchtower does not consider the Bible inerrant; the magazines are. The Bible is like their Playdoh, something you can bend at will.

    But no book in the Bible tells you how many other books the Bible is supposed to contain for it to be the truthful and inerrant word of God.

    In fact, what books are in the canon and what books aren't was a decision of men. If you suppose that some books that had to be in the Canon were left out, then the Bible is not complete. And if you suppose that it contains a few books it shouldn't have, then it is not inerrant.

    (By the way, Catholics do believe that some books should be in the Bible while Protestants leave them out).

    Therefore, the "sufficiency" of the Bible rests, not on the Bible itself, but on that decision made by men.

    Meaning both the Bible "inerrancy" and "sufficiency" rely on man's judgment.

  • brotherdan
    This is an idea that I just learned from a blog.

    A very reputable source! I wish the WT would use these same sorts of sources. They'd be better than the ones that they use...

  • garyneal
    The Bible is like their Playdoh, something you can bend at will.

    No! Say it ain't so? My wife thinks I bend the Bible to my own will.

    Truth is, I think all religions bend the Bible to their own preferences but according to my wife, not the vaunted Watchtower!

  • brotherdan

    Here is a common use of WT sourcing:

    (Fictional...of course)

    "One prominent scholar once said, "God is just like men. He does not know anything more than men know." What a profound statement. We were created in God's image. Why should we think that God knows more than we do?!?"

  • dgp

    Well, even if Satan himself tells you the truth, it's the truth. Or so said Charles Taze Russell.

    My source: (Portuguese):

    É a adoção do mito da inerrância e suficiência da Bíblia que contorna o conjunto das sub-culturas e micro-culturas dos crentes, estabelecendo a fronteira mais extensa e completa do que seria a cultura deles em si. O mito da inerrância e suficiência da Bíblia tem enunciado simples:

    • Inerrância: A Bíblia é isenta de erros em tudo que afirma;
    • Suficiência: A Bíblia contém toda a informação necessária para a vida do crente.

    "It is the adoption of the myths of Bible inerrancy and sufficiency that shapes the set of sub-cultures and micro-cultures of believers, setting the most extended and complete border of what their culture is in itself. The myth of Bible inerrancy and sufficiency has a simple wording:

    Inerrancy: Everything stated in the Bible is free from errors

    Sufficiency: The Bible contains all the information that is necessary for the life of believers"

    "...para que o mito da inerrância e da suficiência da Bíblia fosse demonstrado lógica ou cientificamente seria necessário que esta demonstração se baseasse total e exclusivamente na própria Bíblia"

    For the myth of Bible inerrancy and sufficienty to be proved in a logic or scientific way, it would be necessary that the demonstration were based totally and exclusively on the Bible itself".

    "...Um exemplo ilustrativo é o fato de que nenhum dos livros da Bíblia cita quais livros deveriam compô-la, provando assim que a Bíblia não pode ser tida como suficiente sequer para explicar sua própria composição." illustrative example is the fact that none of the books in the Bible states what books should be in the Bible, thus proving that the Bible can't be held to be sufficient, not even to explain its own contents".

    "Mesmo que esta retórica salvaguardasse o mito da inerrância – o que no geral não faz – contradiz o mito da suficiência, pois recorre ao extra-bíblico para provar a inerrância."

    ...even if this rethoric safeguarded the myth of inerrancy -which, in general, it doesn't do- it contradicts the myth of sufficiency, because it resorts to extra-biblical source to prove inerrancy".

  • villabolo

    Ezrah 1:7-11 New International Version

    7 Moreover, King Cyrus brought out the articles belonging to the temple of the LORD, which Nebuchadnezzar had carried away from Jerusalem and had placed in the temple of his god. 8 Cyrus king of Persia had them brought by Mithredath the treasurer, who counted them out to Sheshbazzar the prince of Judah.

    9 This was the inventory:

    gold dishes 30

    silver dishes 1,000

    silver pans 29

    10 gold bowls 30

    matching silver bowls 410

    other articles 1,000

    11 In all, there were 5,400 articles of gold and of silver. Sheshbazzar brought all these along with the exiles when they came up from Babylon to Jerusalem.

    1 Chronicles 22:14 New International Version

    14 “I have taken great pains to provide for the temple of the LORD a hundred thousand talents of gold, a million talents of silver,* quantities of bronze and iron too great to be weighed, and wood and stone. And you may add to them.

    * Gold, about 3,750 tons or about 3,400 metric tons. Silver, about 37,500 tons or about 34,000 metric tons.

    The first one doesn't add up. The second one is ridiculous. Why trust the rest? Case closed.


  • garyneal
    (By the way, Catholics do believe that some books should be in the Bible while Protestants leave them out).

    I must admit that lately I've been wondering that if it is so important to get the 'correct' message from the Bible then why has it gone through so many 'revisions' in its history? "Martin Luther made an attempt to remove the books of Hebrews, James, Jude and Revelation from the canon..."

    If he had succeeded and that book had became the Protestant canon of the Bible, how different would the Protestant teachings be today? Considering that the Jehovah's Witnesses use this canon as their inerrent word of God, I wonder how their religion would look like today?

    My wife tells me that Charles Russell combined truths from other religions to come up with the Truth. I wonder how he managed to miss this whopper while teaching this one?


  • Curtains

    the bible came out of a milieu and if it is possible it is quite helpful to read some of the contemporary writings, for example of the late republic of Rome. It is facinating to see similarities between what Jesus and Paul said and did on the one hand and what Livy (59BCE-17AD) and Plutarch (c. 46 - 120 BCE) say about soldiers and politicians.

    for instance Plutarch said:

    "the wild beasts that roam over Italy," he (Tiberius Gracchus) would tell his listeners, "have their dens and holes to lurk in, but the men who fight and die for our country enjoy the common air and light and nothing else. It is their lot to wander with their wives and children, houseless and homeless, over the face of the earth."

    compare this with Jesus' saying (luke9:58)

    But Jesus replied, "Foxes have dens to live in, and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place even to lay his head."

    An example from Livy

    "In addition to public honours many individuals marked their admiration of his exploits in the very hard times which were to follow, by going short themselves in order to contribute something, whatever they could afford, to his support." (Livy. books 1-4 of The The History of Rome from its Foundation)

    this to me resonates with Jesus' parable of the sheep and the goats particularly Matt 25:34-36

    34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

  • Amelia Ashton
    Amelia Ashton

    My query is this:

    if the Bible is the inerrant word of God, why are there books that are quoted in the Bible not in it now but were originally included prior to the council of Nicea. If however, they are spurious God surely would not have quoted from them. If they are not spurious why didn't he make sure they were included in the canon we have today?

  • wobble

    Good question Amelia, the WT's wriggling around this awkward one is a joy to behold, and of course does not make sense. As with their other answers regarding Bible error etc.

    There was a "Question from Readers" , I believe in the early sixties, regarding the difficulties of the Noachian Flood story, and the answer was a peach ! It was typical WT circular reasoning, the Bible is the inerrant Word of God, so the story must be true, along those lines, it then spent a chunk of type saying that faithful dubs should not ask awkward questions !

    No change there then !

    If the Bible is inerrant and sufficient, why does the WT keep adding to it and adjusting what it means every five minutes ? ..."Evidently"

    p.s Dear Amelia, I have sent you a P.M (unrelated to this)

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