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Who To Believe?

Knock! knock! knock! Its the Jehovah Witness at your door to tell you that the bible you have been reading is not the correct bible and that the New World Translation Bible its the correct one. That the King James Version and the American Standard Version that you are probably using and until the 1960’s they used is not correct.

One of the members of a Unitarian Universalist Church that belongs to the Jesus seminar tells you that not all of the bible has been inspired and that Jesus words have been corrupted. He will usually quote John Dominic Crossan or Marcus J. Borg who are most interested in discovering the historical Jesus rather than Jesus the Friend. Or another member of the same church will tell you that the bible has the same authority as the Quran, Vedas, generally other sacred text. Another will tell you that any sacred texts have no authority.

A few members of a Oneness Pentecostal Church will tell you that the bible has over 2,000 errors, although they might seem fundamentalist superficially but on a closer examination they argue the same points that a liberal might argue. The church’s general view will say that the King James Version, Douay-Rheims Bible,
Webster’s Bible Translation, Young’s Literal Translation has a verse added (1 John 5:7) for that reason the New International Version, New Living Translation, English Standard Version, New American Standard Bible, International Standard Version, GOD’S WORD® Translation, American Standard Version, Bible in Basic English, Darby Bible Translation, English Revised Version, Weymouth New Testament World English Bible don’t have it. They will generally say that it was the trinitarians specially the Catholics that adulterated the bible but ironically the New Revised Standard Version does not include the verse in question. Why would they not included in their latest version? If they were the ones that adulterated it. I am no able theologian therefore I am not able to make judgement if the verse is ispired or not. A trinitarian whose opinion is that the verse is not included in the original greek text said this:

the removal of this text does nothing to weaken the evidence for the doctrine of the Trinity, or to modify that doctrine. As it was never used to shape the early belief of the Christian world on the subject, so its rejection, and its removal from the New Testament, will do nothing to modify that doctrine. The doctrine was embraced, and held, and successfully defended without it, and it can and will be so still.

Barnes’ Notes on the Bible

Oneness Pentecostals will only agree with this theologian on the part that the verse is not inspired and that is only found in two later manuscript but will disagree with this statement. They expect me to agree on the part that they agree with this scholar but disagree on the part that they disagree with.

Another group the Latter Day Saints (Mormons) also believe that the bible is spurious. Joseph Smith claimed, “Ignorant translators, careless transcribers, or designing and corrupt priests have committed many errors.” Brigham Young said further, “… many precious things have been rejected in the compilation and translation of the Bible” Even further than this Joseph Smith suposedly had a vision that he was the one chosen to restore the true Church to the world by bringing forth the Book of Mormon.

The Muslims will also say that the bible has many errors and the Koran does not thus superior.

Now there is a common denominator between all these groups they are ANTI-trinitarian. They are often too busy trying to convince the world that the bible is spurious. When I come across people like this I often question a few things for example do I trust a scholar, theologian, a pastor a member of any of this churches to tell me what is inspired and what is not inspired? Do I trust a human being to tell me that the bible has been adulterated? Why would I believe a group over another? After all they all claim to have prove but I am no expert in the subject how can I trust them? What if I would have never crossed paths with these groups would God send me to hell for believing in a bible that was adulterated and given to me? Would God even allow the bible to be adulterated? Wouldn’t the Holy Spirit guide us to see what parts are inspired and which ones are not? It just does not sound correct when I have to trust a human to tell me what parts of the bible are inspired and should trust and which ones are not and should not believe.

Well the bible itself tells us:

You study the Scriptures diligently because you think that in them you have eternal life. These are the very Scriptures that testify about me
John 5:39

We have to remember that the bible can only be studied with the guidance of the one that inspired it, the Holy Spirit. We should trust the Holy Spirit over any teaching of any man. The bible and the Holy Spirit will never contradict each other.

But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. John 16:13

the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. John 14:17

But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. John 14:26

I stand behind the words of the Apologist Robert Barclay:

From the revelations of the Spirit of God to the faithful have come the scriptures of Truth, which contain: (1) a faithful historical account of the behavior of God’s people in various ages and of the many unusual and remarkable acts of God which they experienced, (2) a prophetic account of some things already past, and of others yet to come, (3) a full and adequate account of all of the chief principles of the doctrine of Christ which were spoken, or which were written, by the motions of God’s Spirit at various times in treasured declarations, exhortations, and maxims which were given to certain churches and their pastors.

The Bible is a faithful declaration of the Spirit containing all the chief doctrines of Christianity, and thus can be relied upon as an authority and a check as to whether claimed revelations of the Spirit are true revelations. The Bible can only be truly understood when we are in that Spirit which is its source.

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Comments on: "Who To Believe?" (6)

  1. I do think that the Bible and other religious texts can become golden cows, idols, in and of themselves. Read with the Holy Spirit yes, but don’t think that you need to follow every barbaric law in the Old Testament.

  2. There are such things as biblical scholarship, textual criticism, redaction criticism, socio-historical method. I believe that these can and do shed some real light on the meaning of Scripture, and I am grateful for the work honest and rigorous scholars have done and continue to do.

    Serious scholarly criticism does not seek to further the agenda of any religious group. Like the Spirit, it blows where it will and where it must. For instance, when faced with the conflict between “priestly loyalty and scholarly honesty,” John Dominic Crossan ended up leaving his religious order rather than abandon his path of scholarly investigation. The true scholar pursues truth to the best of his/her ability to discern it. This has nothing to do with espousing one group’s stance on the Bible over another’s.

    • I am grateful for the honest scholars. The problem is when for example Oneness Pentecostals want me to take the bible literally for example to get water baptise for the remision of my sins if not I will go to hell. You respond to them biblically then they are like the bible has many errors. They seem fundamentalist but in reality they are not. They are only taking the bits and pieces that is convenient to them.

  3. Jim Schultz said:

    Whatever is not of faith, is sin.

  4. Wonderful article, well written with great points. I too agree that we must be taught by the Holy Spirit through the scriptures and prayer.

    Debrorah

  5. I was inspired when I first read this article, and I am glad it is posted. I have a certainty that Fox was right that the Scriptures should be read in the Spirit that inspired them. This resolves a problem I faced when trying to make sense of my experience of many Christian churches and congregations, including Catholic. A sense of the Spirit guiding is a source of joy. It is inclusive, does not judge, and expresses those attributes of love described in 1 Corinthians 13.

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