Inspiration, inscripturation

by Doug Mason 22 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • Terry

    I could be wrong, but in my lifetime (68 years) I've seen a secularization of just about all the mainstream churches which has allowed them to squirm inside the strait-jacket of Biblical inspiration.

    In a Modern, technological, Scientific age, only the Amish and orthodox Jews and Muslims appear to be mentally chained to a rigid other-world of ancient reliance on texts divorced from practical day-to-day life.

    True, Fundamentalist evangelicals give lip-service to inerrancy--but you'll notice they live very much a modern life with all the trappings--quite a contrast to the Amish, et al.

    By the same token, there is a trend in evangelical churches to radicalize themselves into becoming "Preppers" awaiting the final blow from heaven. Mormons and JW's are headed off into a mental 'field of lost shoes.'

    A phrase which actually turns my stomach these days is, "The Bible says. . ."

    So much baggage is attached to this untenable fantasy of textual transcendence, (none of which can be demonstrated) that it instantly identifies the speaker as delusional.

    Doug Mason has aptly demonstrated the intention of the Watchtower organization to have it BOTH ways. By establishing Bible text as an inspired effort entirely frustrated by copyists and restored by latter-day FDS trance-channeling, they hit both target audiences: the strict inerrancy-addicts and the GB loyalists.

    Like it or not, Christians have to face (if not directly) an asserted inspired text ruined by copyists with strong tendencies toward "explication" creating bogus and corrupt versions of orally transmitted opinions.

  • RichardHaley
    Just keeping things simple... when Paul wrote those words to Timothy it was a "letter" not scripture. He would have then been referring to the scrolls of the Old Testament as inspired. His letter was not considered as part of the bible cannon until the 4th century. I cracks me up when the scripture (2Tim 3:16) is read to prove the whole Bible, including Paul's letters, is inspired. Circular reasoning at its finest.
  • Vidiot

    Terry - "A phrase which actually turns my stomach these days is, 'the Bible says'..."

    Makes me clench up, actually.

    Post-religious anxiety trigger, maybe.

  • Phizzy

    Terry and Vid, a similar phrase, beloved by JW's is "the Bible teaches....". Of course, the weird and eclectic collection of writings we call "The Bible" teaches nothing at all, men and women offer their, often poorly informed, views on what the writer was saying.

    Most Scholars today of course, accept that The Pastorals, 1st and 2nd Timothy and Titus, were not written by the Apostle Paul, but by other hands, around 100 C.E, which may well account for the Gnostic influence Caleb identifies in 2 Tim 3.

  • Phizzy

    Dear Sabin, when I first found this Site, shortly after leaving a lifetime in the JW Bubble of Ignorance, I found great difficulty in following Threads like the above.

    I came to realise that I was woefully uneducated about matters Biblical, and other matters too.

    I decided to learn. To learn the technical terms used by Doug and the estimable Leolaia and others, and to research any matter that I knew little of. I found it took time and effort. But to me it was like tasting water from a fresh Mountain Spring when all my life I had been drinking brackish, luke-warm filthy water.

    Take the time, it will be rewarded.

  • scary21
    I too feel like Phizzy, and want to thank all of you for sharing clear waters of truth.
  • Doug Mason
    Doug Mason


    Not a problem. I appreciate your contribution and I was simply adding to your input.


  • Doug Mason
    Doug Mason


    Although I included the WTS's statement that "Paul wrote 2 Timothy 3:16", by no means does that mean I agree with that sentiment.

    It is ironic that a statement should be held up to be true when the writer pretends to be Paul - and is hence dishonest.

    The Bible as such did not take form until centuries after that letter was written, so it cannot be referring to the Biblical canon or its contents.

    A canon needs a text to be accepted by the religious community as sacred, but a text can be considered to be sacred without the need for a canon. Hence Marcion accepted certain writings but that does not mean he had a canon.


  • Village Idiot
    Village Idiot

    Doug Mason:

    "Thus, theologians have always said that [“inscripturation”] is an action of God (described in II Peter 1:21) which He carried out only in the giving of the original autographs, and it applies neither to copies or translations. This is what Christians have always believed. The Bible says nothing of any “re-inspiration”, a second direct act by God of immediate inspiration, in copies or translations. … A copy, unlike the inscripturated original, can contain errors. … II Peter 1:21 tells us that the Holy Spirit moved holy men to write the Scriptures. It says nothing about copies."

    If God's intention was to communicate something to mankind that determined the fate of every individual by torturing him eternally if he doubted his "Word" then he had a moral responsibility to insure that the Bible would remain perfect so as to not stumble us. If he wrote it perfectly he should have kept it perfect making sure that it would not get corrupted to the point where it has become questionable.

  • Doug Mason
    Doug Mason

    Village Idiot,

    I provided that quotation to show the explanation of "inspiration" as employed by theologians.

    The text of Bible has suffered more "corrections" and errors than there are words in the Bible. Over time, the text has been subjected to editors (redactors) who made accidental and deliberate changes, where human errors took place every time a scroll was copied (missing words, insertion of comments, etc., etc., etc.) Many textual critics have given up on the quest to determine the original "autographs".

    And there is no universally accepted canon.

    The Hebrew Scriptures are very much the product of the community exiled by the Babylonians and by those affected by it (Ezra, for example). In other words - religious/political propaganda. The Christian Scriptures are very much the product of a group whose allegiance was to Paul (did he invent Christianity?). They were in the minority for a long time, during which the Gnostics held sway over larger parts of the Christian community.

    To say that the Bible is inspired by God because the Bible says it is inspired by God is pure circular reasoning.

    To say that the Bible is human neither proves nor disproves whether there is a God (or Gods). People need to stop worshiping the Bible; Protestants complain that Catholics have idols, and then they turn around and worship a book.


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