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Can My Students Believe in the Inerrancy of the Bible?

QUESTION:

Do you ever get a student in your class who doggedly insists upon the inerrancy of the Bible? If so, and if they write their term papers in support of Biblical inerrancy, is it possible for them to get a passing grade in your class?

 

RESPONSE:

HA!  That’s a great question!

So, part of the deal of teaching in the Bible Belt is that lots of my students – most of them? – have very conservative views about the Bible as the Word of God.    A few years ago I used to start my class on the New Testament, with something like 300 students in it, by asking the students a series of questions, just for information.  I would ask:

  • How many of you in here would agree with the proposition that the Bible is the inspired Word of God (PHOOM!  Almost everyone raises their hands)
  • OK, great: Now, how many of you have read the Harry Potter series? (PHOOM! Again, almost everyone raises their hand).
  • And now, how many of you have read the entire Bible? (This time: scattered hands, here and there, throughout the auditorium)

Then I’d laugh for a minute and say, “OK, so I’m not telling *you* that *I* think the Bible is the inspired Word of God; you’re telling *me* that *you* think it is.   I can see why you might want to read a book by J. K. Rowling.   But if God wrote a book – wouldn’t you want to see what he had to say???”

What I have found over the years, consistently, is that my students have a much higher reverence for the Bible than knowledge about it.   Most of them would say, at the beginning of the course, that there can be no mistakes in the Bible.  But of course they haven’t actually read the Bible in order to *see* if there are any mistakes in it.  They’ve just learned, from childhood, that it’s a perfect, flawless book.

The goal of my class is NOT to deconvert anyone from their religious beliefs or to convert them to become an agnostic like me.  I don’t see that as a viable goal – especially in a secular research university funded by the state.  The state is not and should not be in the business of promoting one religious view or agenda – or one anti-religious view or agenda – over another.  The state, when it comes to education,  is in the business of educating its young, and not so young, people,  And so my goal is to get students to learn more about the Bible from a historical, not a religious/theological, perspective.

And that’s what my class sets out to do.   I never ever have any writing assignments in which students have to defend their religious views, about God, Christ, the Trinity, the inspiration of Scripture, and so on.   And so in direct response to this very good question, I never ask students to support a view of biblical inerrancy.

But what I do do is have them look critically at the Bible – and to draw their own conclusions.   And so rather than ask them to lay out for me their theology of Scripture, I will give them an exercise such as this:  I’ll ask them to read carefully the accounts of Jesus’ resurrection in Matthew 28, Mark 16, Luke 24, and John 20-21.   I ask them to list in detail everything that happens in each account, one by one.  And then I ask them to compare their lists.   They then are to indicate all the things that are in common among the Gospels and all the things that are different.   And then they are to indicate if they find any of the differences to be irreconcilable.

It’s a fantastic exercise (all semester we do exercises like this), because it does not involve me telling them that there are differences, even discrepancies, even flat out contradictions in the texts.  They see them for themselves, and have to figure out what do to about them.

In class I will lecture about how scholars deal with problems like this, what scholars think about the sources behind each of the Gospels, and how scholars have isolated discrepancies both in small details (which women went to the tomb?  how many were there?  what did they see there?  what did they hear there?  what were they told to do?  did they do it?) and in big matters (did the women tell anyone or not?  did the disciples stay in Jerusalem and never leave until long after Jesus had returned to heaven?  Or did they immediately leave Jerusalem and go to Galilee and there saw the resurrected Jesus, not in Jerusalem?).

And I will talk about how scholars have found these differences significant, not for their theological views of the inspiration of Scripture, but for their understanding of the relationship among the Gospels, the distinctive emphases of each of the Gospels, and the historical reliability of the Gospels.

In my class, students are NOT required to accept the views that I lecture on based on standard, critical scholarship.  If they want to hold on to their views of inerrancy, then I urge them to try to figure out how they can reconcile what appear to be contradictions.  If they can’t reconcile them, then I suggest that whatever it is they believe, it should be consistent with the facts that they themselves agree to.

Some of my students end up shifting their theological views about the Bible during the class.   Others find it all very confusing, and it forces them to think about their views while they are, at present, unwilling to change those views. Yet others of them hold fast to their views very firmly.  It’s not my job to tell them what to believe, but to instruct them about biblical scholarship.  And to get them to *think*.

My view is that a course on the NT, especially in the American South, is ideal for a university education.  If one of the major *points* of a university education is to get people to THINK, then this kind of course is perfect.  If students are relatively alert and sober, they find that historical realia create problems for their religious convictions.  If these convictions are important to them, this FORCES them to think about them – either to change them or to develop more sophisticated ways of understanding them.  Either way, they become far more thoughtful, both about the facts of history and the beliefs they hold dear.  And I think that is a very good thing indeed.

(BTW: students do *not* need to agree with historical scholarship to do well in my class.  They simply have to know both what scholars have to say about historical issues and what evidence scholars adduce in support of their views.  If they know these things, they’re free to believe, religiously, anything they choose, as far as I’m concerned.  If they choose to continue to believe the Bible is inerrant, I simply want them to believe it in a thoughtful rather than in a mindless way.)(I want my agnostic and atheist students to be more thoughtful about their views as well!)

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What Is Different in My Textbook?
The Bloody Sweat and Historical Plausibility

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Comments

  1. Michael  October 24, 2014

    Being an instructor at any level puts one in constant contention between personal belief and the beliefs of their students. I learned this by being a TA my last two years at school and having to grade papers in Anthropology. You do an excellent job of explaining that dichotomy.

    A funny story about being a TA and taking classes at the same time is in order. My last year I had one elective to finish in one of my degrees and took the class with no expectation of an A, I simply wanted to get a B in the class (my chances at honors was already blown by two bad quarters early in my college years). I had written a paper that I figured would get a B+ or an A-. Imagine my shock when it cam back with a C. I read the comments, dissecting the grading and got angrier and more determined to fix it.

    I went to the instructor and told him I wanted to review the grade. He replied asking me why he would want to do that? I pointed out that a TA had graded the paper. He asked me how I knew that and I explained that the hand writing was different and he would not have made the errors the TA made. I went through the grading pointing out the errors, saving the best one for last. The TA had scored me down for grammar from a direct quote that was formatted and cited correctly. The professor expressed his displeasure, for you see the direct quote was from a book his father had written…

    He gave me an A-
    I am not sure what the TA received.

  2. Matilda
    Matilda  October 24, 2014

    I think it just doesn’t matter to some that the Bible is not the word of God. Christianity has become, in some cases, a support group. People gather together and read the bible not because they believe but because they feel secure within the group. The mega churches have huge gatherings of like minded people who say they believe but are actually just modified hate groups with con men leading the way. Christianity has just become a cult of many factions. It is religion without spirituality. So sad….
    Until people can find their way without relying on myth the Bible or something equally silly will rule the day.

    • prestonp  October 26, 2014

      “The mega churches have huge gatherings of like minded people who say they believe but are actually just modified hate groups with con men leading the way. Christianity has just become a cult of many factions. It is religion without spirituality. So sad….Until people can find their way without relying on myth the Bible or something equally silly will rule the day.”

      I am using the word “racist” in a new context. I would use “religionist” but it doesn’t work. “Sexist” works. “Homophobe” works but “religiphobe” not so much.

      That is a racist, hateful statement.

      • Matilda
        Matilda  October 27, 2014

        I got lost. I don’t know what you mean. sorry What is a racist/ hateful statement?

        • prestonp  October 28, 2014

          “The mega churches have huge gatherings of like minded people who say they believe but are actually just modified hate groups with con men leading the way. Christianity has just become a cult of many factions. It is religion without spirituality. So sad….Until people can find their way without relying on myth the Bible or something equally silly will rule the day.”

  3. jhague  October 24, 2014

    Why do conservative Christians take your class? The conservative Christians that I know would be arguing and fighting with you during the entire semester!

    • Bart
      Bart  October 26, 2014

      Sometimes they want to hear “the other side.” Sometimes they want to witness to “the truth.” Sometimes they’re just really curious. Sometimes they’ve actually heard that it’s a good class!

    • prestonp  November 2, 2014

      Why do liberal atheists/agnostics refuse to take Systematic Theology at MBI? Are they afraid of exposure to scholars with faith?

      • Bart
        Bart  November 2, 2014

        I don’t understand what you’re asking. Atheists and agnostics don’t go to MBI. But the people who do go there do take Systematic Theology. It was my major!

  4. Bethany
    Bethany  October 24, 2014

    I’ve never read the whole Bible, even though I’ve read a lot ABOUT the Bible. So I decided this year was going to be the year I read the Bible. In spring I read the New Testament in conjunction with Dale Martin’s Yale Open Course, and after a long hiatus during which I found a new job, moved, started the new job (and the nontrivial task of trying to read — or deciding not to read — all the library books I had checked out at my previous job and renewed every year, which they were now going to want back…) I started the Hebrew Bible, also in conjunction with the corresponding Yale Open Course.

    Now that I’m trying it myself, in some ways it surprises me that as many Americans have read the entire Bible as apparently have, given that we’re not exactly a reading culture. I didn’t really appreciate before I started seriously working my way through it how long the Bible actually is (it looks so much smaller sitting there in the back of the pew!) and how difficult a read it can be. (The commentary in the Bible I’m using I bet doubles the amount of actual text to read, but man, there’s a lot of stuff there I wouldn’t have noticed or understood without it.) Definitely an undertaking.

    I mean, I think of myself as a pretty fast reader and I bet I could go through the Harry Potter series in maybe a week and a half or two weeks of normal leisure reading, whereas I started the Hebrew Bible at the end of August and have just met David for the first time in 1 Samuel.

    Given the long hiatus I doubt I’m going to finish it by the end of the year, but I’ll keep on plugging.

  5. ElazarusWills  October 24, 2014

    I greatly admire your clarity on the role of a teacher. Now if churches would be more inclusive of modern biblical scholarship when promoting doctrines. Just re-watched the French Canadian movie, Jesus of Montreal, (from your recommendation made during a lecture) and the bad priest’s explanation of what the congregation/shrine board wanted (simple assurances of God’s love) nailed the attitude of the pastor’s in most mainstream churches with an educated clergy. Keep to the old Charlie Brown version of the story.

  6. doug  October 24, 2014

    Thanks for your answer. I especially like that idea that you are helping your students to think. I had a professor in college to helped her students improve their thinking ability, and it was one of the most important things I learned in college – perhaps the most important.

  7. Tom  October 24, 2014

    My dad taught geology in a small Methodist college in the Bible Belt starting in 1946. He received the same challenges you did.

    His response was that the tests would be on the material in the book. The college backed him up.

  8. Steefen  October 24, 2014

    Bart Ehrman: If students are relatively alert and sober, they find that historical realia create problems for their religious convictions. If these convictions are important to them, this FORCES them to think about them – either to change them or to develop more sophisticated ways of understanding them. Either way, they become far more thoughtful, both about the facts of history and the beliefs they hold dear. And I think that is a very good thing indeed.

    Steefen: Can you do a post on Age of Reason by Thomas Paine? That book forces people to think. Have you put any part of the Age of Reason in your textbooks? Have you ever used it as a supplemental text or at least suggested reading?

    The only reason I could see you not doing so is that Paine is mostly critical and his analysis leads to Deism. Is that a flaw that would keep his work out of your classes?

    • Bart
      Bart  October 26, 2014

      I’m afraid that when it comes to Thomas Paine I’m a complete amateur.

  9. Hon Wai  October 25, 2014

    I take it that the answer to the 2nd question is, yes, with caveats. A somewhat different question: Do you think someone can be a top-notch biblical scholar publishing in mainstream biblical journals on historical-critical issues (leave aside the textual critics), and espousing views compatible with biblical inerrancy as defined by the Chicago Statement 1978? Do you know of any such scholars?

    • Bart
      Bart  October 26, 2014

      They can certainly be well recognized scholars in some fields of scholarship (textual criticism, formation of the canon, history of first century Palestine, and lots of other areas.) But if their views of inerrancy affect their understanding of such things as the authorship of the Pauline epistles, or the historical accuracy of the Fourth Gospel, etc., they won’t make a significant impact on scholarship at large.

  10. Steefen  October 25, 2014

    Bart Ehrman: It’s a fantastic exercise (all semester we do exercises like this), because it does not involve me telling them that there are differences, even discrepancies, even flat out contradictions in the texts. They see them for themselves, and have to figure out what do to about them.

    Steefen: Recently, someone pointed out contradictions in how Mary Magdalene is depicted at the tomb of Jesus:

    Within the 4 versions of the story, she arrives at the tomb at three or four different times
    1) John 20, it was still dark,
    2) Matthew 28, it was dawn
    3) Mark 16, it was after dawn / after sunrise

    – and with different people,
    – to have touched and not touched Jesus,
    – and to have told and not told the disciples that the tomb was empty.

    A single Mary Magdalene cannot do everything in each of the 4 gospels. She cannot, in John (20:17), not be permitted to touch Jesus but in Matthew (28: 9) she clings to Jesus’ feet.

    And, Jn 20:17 – touch me not (I haven’t ascended to my father) but 10 verses later Jn 20-27 Thomas is touching Jesus before he has ascended to the Father.

    • prestonp  October 27, 2014

      Let him be a human being who interacted with others with spontaneity, sensitivity and in context. One of the most difficult issues for some is the simple task of letting go and allowing him to be fully human. Their doctrine, that defines what he must be, forbids any hint of his humanity. But, he breathed the air, he blinked his eyes and yawned, he got cold, and angry and he coughed and sneezed.

      Mary may have desired to be intimate with him (and he with her) and he let her down gently in this fashion. Thomas needed to be convinced with a touch. The Pharisees had similar struggles. Their messiah would adhere to certain regulations, in certain ways and to be as pious as they were. In fact, they stood in his presence and heard him and watched him do miracle after miracle and they could not grasp who he really was.

      • BrianWoolsey  November 9, 2014

        I wonder what people said to him when he sneezed.

    • prestonp  October 28, 2014

      Within the 4 versions of the story, she arrives at the tomb at three or four different times
      1) John 20, it was still dark,
      2) Matthew 28, it was dawn
      3) Mark 16, it was after dawn / after sunrise

      Light the sun!
      Once dawn begins, that thermonuclear reactor that burns six hundred million tons of hydrogen a second, brightens up the horizon pretty quickly.

  11. Jason  October 25, 2014

    How many of them know about uncomfortable passages like Luke 19:27 or Mark 14:51 (regardless of their “historicity?”)

    • Bart
      Bart  October 26, 2014

      They’ve read them often enough, but maybe not thought deeply about them.

    • Tom
      Tom  October 27, 2014

      This is the parable of three men given three talents.
      It’s a quote ‘inside another quote’ that Jesus spoke of .. and demonstrates a specific point.
      But your right. -Why would Jesus use illustrations of killing and slaughter when a savior is supposed to be loving and kind?

      • prestonp  October 28, 2014

        Why do you believe a savior is supposed to be loving and kind?

  12. prestonp  October 25, 2014

    Strange. I have found no irreconcilable differences or contradictions in the New Testament, yet, though I have examined hundreds of those referred to by Dr Bart and others. Many of the answers to such “contradictions” are simple and easy to explain.

    A major flaw I find among the critics is their phenomenal complacency; indeed, what appears to be a rush to judgment prevents them considering and examining simple, non-contradictory alternatives. With something like religious fervor they scurry in an all out mad dash to uncover theories to support their beliefs. Intellectual one-upmanship comes to mind. Whoever unearths the most clever, nuanced and avant-garde solution wins!

  13. ericpellarin  October 25, 2014

    This is excellent. As a high school social studies teacher, I tried to get my students to look at things like the founding documents, look at current events and develop a critical approach to make them better citizens. Many of the students are discomfited because they have never been asked to question many basic assumptions. There are no documents that are so sacrosanct that they are beyond critical examination, be it the Bible, the Constitution or whatever.
    What kind of backlash, if any, have you experienced from those who prefer teachers who are more like ventriloquist dummies than critical examiners?
    Thanks for this great post.

    • Bart
      Bart  October 26, 2014

      If I ever have students like that, they never identify themselves!

  14. prestonp  October 25, 2014

    The foundation upon which all their theories rests is structured on an error, a profound, overlooked crack. They hold to an unproven premise that not one of his disciples came from an urban area.

  15. Steefen  October 25, 2014

    Not sure why you don’t take a jury approach to the answer.

    Beginning of trial: I believe this that or the other thing
    After all evidence and arguments: I know this that or the other thing

    We’re hoping that scholarly pursuits do not have inadmissible evidence rules or such things that keep facts out of presentations.

    So, when we read a scholar’s book, we are building/manufacturing intellectual structures and creating culture. If our infrastructure fails, the scholar and professor is partly to blame.

    Our culture has locked juries and we’re not moving forward on some points in New Testament Studies. Our Christian creeds would be different. But creeds are repeated weekly, oaths on Bibles occur daily.

    You say there are discrepancies and contradictions but it is okay that people build on top of these. Jesus taught to build on rock not discrepancies and contradictions.

    Book Recommendation: The Culture We Deserve : A Critique of Disenlightenment

    And, if there’s some societal disaster because we were lapse in our intellectual infrastructure, those who voted against a stronger intellectual infrastructure are to blame.

    • prestonp  October 26, 2014

      “Jesus taught to build on rock…” How do you know this?

  16. Wilusa  October 25, 2014

    It must be *very* tricky to do this! But the goal is certainly laudable.

    I find myself (actually an agnostic, of course) trying to decide how, if I were a believer, I’d try to “explain away” the contradictions. I think, for starters, I’d speculate that all the texts had originally agreed, and they’d been distorted by bad translations. But why would God have allowed that to go unrecognized and uncorrected? To “test believers’ faith”!

  17. RonaldTaska  October 25, 2014

    Terrific post! With regard to inerrancy, I have just read Ben Witherington’s article entitled “Bloomberg’s ‘Can We Still Believe the Bible,’ Part 3?” In his articlet, Witherington contends that you make too much of the textual variants in the Bible despite the fact that you have written and said over and over and over that most of the textual variants in the Bible are of no theological significance. Do you have a response to his article?

    • Bart
      Bart  October 26, 2014

      I’m afraid I haven’t read it. But I’m not sure why he thinks I make too much of them. My view is that there are passages of the NT where we don’t know what hte authors wrote. And I don’t know any NT scholar that disagrees with that (or could disagree with it). Whether that’s significant or not probably depends on the individual….

  18. Rosekeister
    Rosekeister  October 25, 2014

    There are scholars with very good credentials as scholars that have strange ideas that they promote strongly. These aren’t questions of inerrancy, belief in God, miracles or incarnation but questions of where your scholarship leads you. Have you had post graduate students that are veering off into strange paths not trodden by others and how do you handle such a situation? Academic counseling that mainstream scholarship isn’t going to follow them and that they will lose credibility? At the moment I’ve got Robert Eisenman in mind but there are others. Robert M. Price has the credentials of a scholar although I’m not sure where he teaches. In the past there was and I guess still is Hugh Schonfield. I’ve only read one of Barbara Thiering’s book so maybe her others are different.

  19. Tom
    Tom  October 26, 2014

    The claim of the Bible being inerrant (even with the Chicago statement of Biblical inerrancy, 1978) dates back to the early days of protestant reformation primarily stemming from Thomas Aquinas, John Calvin, Martin Luther to name a few with their “Infallible Truth” doctrine created a really big mess in our modern era given what we know from scholarship. Before the protestant reformation, the Bible was never used in such a manner.
    IMHO, I think fundamentalist evangelicals have done themselves a dis-service by treating it as such.
    Thanks!

    • prestonp  October 28, 2014

      “…over 90% of the NT is rather well established in regard to its original text, and none of the remaining 10% provides us with data that could lead to any shocking revisions of the Christian credo or doctrine. It is at the very least disingenuous to suggest it does, if not deliberately provocative to say otherwise”.
      Bruce Manning Metzger
      American biblical scholar
      and textual critic,
      professor at Princeton Theological Seminary

  20. RonaldTaska  October 26, 2014

    P.S. I read the 4th Witherington article about the Blomberg book today. In it, Witherington makes some argument that I cannot follow about the diversity of early Christianity and how you cannot have it “both ways,” whatever that means. I really didn’t understand his argument. I do understand that he has an axe to grind about your books and, hence, pulls stuff out of context and exaggerates. .

    With regard to the textual variants, you once had a superb post about the variants that matter. Basically, several variants, but not most, matter especially if one has been following the verse in Mark about handling poisonous snakes.

    • Bart
      Bart  October 26, 2014

      Hmmm… I’m not sure how I have it both ways either when it comes to diversity. Early Christianity was *amazingly* diverse!

    • Steefen  October 27, 2014

      Having it both ways is: Yes, there are textual variants and other issues with the New Testament but one doesn’t have to convert to Deism as Thomas Paine, author of Common Sense and Age of Reason, the latter work being relevant.

      • bonnie43uk  October 27, 2014

        There is a superb audiobook on Youtube of Thomas Paines “The Age of Reason”, i think it’s about 11 hours long. For the past week or so I’ve found it excellent to listen to in bed before I go to sleep. His insight into the New Testament in particular is wonderful. I’m not a great reader of books, i find it very tiring on my eyes, so an audiobook is great to listen to.

  21. bonnie43uk  October 26, 2014

    Bart, do you have a preference as to which version of the bible your students study from?. I’m guessing the KJV is the most popular. And are there any versions of the bible you’d prefer them not to study from?

    • Bart
      Bart  October 26, 2014

      I ask them not to use the KJV for study purposes. Their preferred one is the NIV, which I tend not to like a lot. My preferred translation is the NRSV, which I especially like in a study edition such as the HarperCollins Study Bible.

  22. Josephsluna
    Josephsluna  October 28, 2014

    So i was just relaxing at home at viewing a Yale University videos, and found,
    Friedrich Nietzsche? Can you tell me real quick what he meant by that in your words
    paul the corrupter noble prestine religion of jesus as a moral teacher ?

    • Bart
      Bart  October 28, 2014

      Nietzsche was one of those thinkers who thought that Paul’s doctrine of redemption through the death of Christ was completely removed from Jesus’ own ethical teaching about how one should live in the world.

  23. drussell60  March 29, 2016

    Catching up on your blog posts as I am fairly new to it. This is an interesting discussion in deed. I am curious to know if you have ever been confronted by an angry parent, or pastor who perceives you are attempting to plant seeds of doubt in their children. This happened to a friend of mine who was teaching in a seminary in Michigan. He had a group of pastors show up to his class and they confronted him in front of his students and eventually he was forced out.

  24. TWood
    TWood  September 6, 2016

    I’ve often read that biblical inerrancy rose in the 19th-20th centuries. I’ve heard this from you as well as Christians like Alister McGrath. But then I read statements from people who lived earlier which seem to challenge this belief. Two examples below:

    Papias: “Mark committed no error while he thus wrote some things as he remembered them.”

    Luther: “I have learned to ascribe the honor of infallibility only to those books that are accepted as canonical. I am profoundly convinced that none of these writers has erred.”

    I assume Papias and Luther must be defining “infallibility” and “inerrancy” differently than modern fundamentalists do, but I’m not able to fully grasp what that difference is exactly. What’s your sense of these two quotes in light of the claim that biblical inerrancy didn’t show up until the 19th century?

    • Bart
      Bart  September 7, 2016

      Papias is simply saying that Mark faithfully recorded what he had heard Peter say. He had no doctrine of inspiration that we know of. Luther knew that there were mistakes in the Bible. He thought, for example, that James contradicted Paul at the key theological point of how a person is justified, and therefore was wrong. The idea that the very words are inspired wihtout mistake is usually traced to the Niagara Conferences at the end of the 19th century.

      • TWood
        TWood  September 7, 2016

        1. I get that Luther had an antilegomena… but is there evidence he believed there were errors within his homologoumena? Errors in books he didn’t consider inspired isn’t the same as errors in books he did consider inspired. I’m not challenging your view, I’m just looking for clarification.

        2. I know not all inerrantists rejected Darwinism (e.g. B.B. Warfield), but certainly many did because they saw it as a challenge to the trustworthiness of Genesis, etc. Is it your sense that the Niagara Conferences’ “very words are inspired” was created as a response to Darwin and the rise of science in general? That seems to be the popular understanding… but I’m wondering if that’s your sense too…

        • Bart
          Bart  September 8, 2016

          1. I don’t really know! Maybe someone else on the blog can comment; 2) I imagine so, but again, I don’t really know.

  25. jhague  June 7, 2017

    “What I have found over the years, consistently, is that my students have a much higher reverence for the Bible than knowledge about it. Most of them would say, at the beginning of the course, that there can be no mistakes in the Bible. But of course they haven’t actually read the Bible in order to *see* if there are any mistakes in it. They’ve just learned, from childhood, that it’s a perfect, flawless book.”

    This goes along with what I am trying to say (probably not very well) in the current thread (June 2017). That church people in general mainly know about the Bible what they hear from the pastor at church. And what they hear is that the Bible is a perfect flawless book. So as you say in this post, most people do not study or even read the Bible, but they “know” that it is perfect.

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