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The Forum - Debate Religion > Is the Holy Bible still HOLY?

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message 1: by Rod (new)

Rod Horncastle It's bizarre how many so-called Christians no longer consider the Holy Bible to be Holy. Was it EVER?

How does that compare to God being Holy?

message 2: by Lee (new)

Lee Harmon (DubiousDisciple) | 2112 comments elders in the bible are holy...prophets are holy...women are holy...even children in the bible are holy. How do you define holy, Rod?

message 3: by David (new)

David Does the Bible ever refer to itself as "holy"?

We're not Muslims, we don't see our book as uncreated or existing forever. The interesting thing is that the same debates Christians had on the preexistence of Jesus were had by Muslims in regard to the Quran. The way they view the Quran is how we view Jesus. Sometimes when some talk about the BIble, I think they are wanting a book like Muslims have.

message 4: by John (new)

John Hanscom | 276 comments David's comment is spot on. Yes, of course the Bible is holy. The English word "holy" dates back to at least the 11th century with the Old English word hālig, an adjective derived from hāl meaning "whole" and used to mean "uninjured, sound, healthy, entire, complete". The Scottish hale ("health, happiness and wholeness") is the most complete modern form of this Old English root. The word "holy" in its modern form appears in Wycliffe's Bible of 1382. One of the oft repeated phrases in the Old Testament is, "Be ye holy as I your God am holy." God wants us to be whole, and we consider the Bible to be sound. The same can be said when the Bible, and Jesus, uses the term, in the KJV, "perfect." It does not necessarily mean without error. After all, we are human, and God knows it. It means "complete" or "whole." As silly the comparison, it means the same as the Army's slogan, "be all you can be." The same applies to the Bible. It is inspired by God and written by humans.

message 5: by Paul (new)

Paul (paa00a) Which version (Jewish, Catholic, Protestant, etc.) is the "complete" one? ;-)

Since the Bible itself does not claim to be "holy," but simply God-breathed and useful, I don't mind answering Rod's question with another: Was it ever holy?

The only way the answer is "yes" is if we define "holy" as simply, "related to God (or the divine)," which is probably what most people think of anyway.

message 6: by Rod (new)

Rod Horncastle So what makes the Bible more trustworthy than any other religious book with Jesus' stories?

What has God's stamp of approval? How do we know?

message 7: by Rod (new)

Rod Horncastle I say: the Bible is the official Word of God to a fallen world - it validates itself.

Personally I already have my answers, I just like observing liberal chaos.

message 8: by Jake (last edited Jan 21, 2015 12:05PM) (new)

Jake Yaniak | 151 comments They way I understand it, holy means set-apart. Like if you have ten loaves of bread and you choose one for communion, that one is 'holy' because it has been set aside for a specific purpose.
The Bible is holy because, unlike other books, it was set-apart to lead us to Christ.

The question of who decided it was holy is another matter.

The Bible never claims of itself in its entirety that it is inspired, God-breathed, infallible or holy.

Parts say this of parts.

II Peter calls Paul's writings Scripture, but nowhere in Scripture does it say that II Peter is Scripture, or inspired.

Paul says all scripture is God-breathed, but he doesn't give a list. For all I know he may have rejected Esther.

Some say that Jesus affirmed the Old Testament, but he never said anything about our New Testament books - nothing about which ones were authentic or which ones were inspired etc.

To go beyond these affirmations, and say of the whole Modern Protestant Canon that it is inspired by God is, as far as I can tell, eisegesis, inserting meanings into the text that are not implicit therein.

All Scripture is God-breathed, Paul says, but what books is he talking about? If we use this passage to prove that Hebrews is Scripture, or that John's third epistle is inspired, it is and can only be because WE have so decided.

message 9: by Robert (new)

Robert Core | 1864 comments All I can say is the liberal God is awfully small. MY GOD has the power and will to ensure that the ONE book tracing existence from creation to the end of times with thorough explanation of all the who's, what's, where's, why's and how's has His complete imprimatur. That probably took considerable interference along the way to keep the never-do-wells out of the picture. I can picture a bolt of lightning sizzling some poor adventurer trying to benefit from a Timothy 3 while he sits writing at his desk. Ha!

message 10: by Jake (last edited Jan 21, 2015 12:59PM) (new)

Jake Yaniak | 151 comments For my part, I have no trouble believing God is capable of it, I just don't see that it is taught in Scripture itself.

message 11: by Robert (new)

Robert Core | 1864 comments Jake - not taught in Scripture itself? What was God doing throughout the entire Old Testament if not interfering in Jewish internal and external affairs?

message 12: by Jake (new)

Jake Yaniak | 151 comments Hi Robert, I mean, that I don't know that it is taught in Scripture that each and all of our specific canonical books are inspired Scripture.

message 13: by Joshua (last edited Jan 21, 2015 01:45PM) (new)

Joshua Woodward | 556 comments I find the fundi position is problematic. If God has in His omnipotence ensured that the correct decisions were made in the church regarding scripture we should indeed all be Catholics since they are the largest and most influential church. The Reformation was a movement "away" from tradition and "toward" the original message. This in turn implies the result of a thousand years of tradition was not God's perfect truth. The Canon of scripture cannot be divorced from church tradition and the testimony of the church fathers. Each branch of the church has their own view on scripture

message 14: by Paul (new)

Paul (paa00a) Jake, surely it doesn't require being a fundamentalist to believe that God used human processes to get us the "right" collection of texts (give or take a few here or there), so that even though the author of 2 Timothy refers to Greek copies of an unknown number of Hebrew texts (since the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament was still not set even by the first century C.E.), we can apply the concept to the rest of our modern Bible.

I'm all about being historically realistic when we look at what the Bible is and how it was formed, but I also believe we have to leave room for God to work in that invisible way God has. Otherwise, as Rod and Robert point out, there's not really a reason for us to differentiate the Bible – and its testimony about the nature of God as revealed through the incarnation – from any other revered book.

message 15: by David (new)

David I say: the Bible is the official Word of God to a fallen world - it validates itself.

Jesus and the Holy Spirit (and by extension, the church community) validate the Bible.

Jesus is the Word of God (as the Bible says) and in a secondary (for lack of a better term) the Bible is the word of God as it testifies to Jesus and God's work in the world.

message 16: by John (new)

John Hanscom | 276 comments Rod - "...t he Bible is the official Word of God to a fallen world ..." NO!!!!!!!! As the opening of the Gospel of John is clear, Jesus is the official word of God to a fallen world. THe Bible is the God inspired humanly written record.

message 17: by John (new)

John Hanscom | 276 comments Robert - wirth all due respect, I do not believe "... All I can say is the liberal God is awfully small ..." When God is too small is when God is confined to one source, the Bible, however inspired.

message 18: by Rod (new)

Rod Horncastle The Bible is our words... Jesus is our person and deity.

If both are literally spoken by God - again: impressive. Does that make the Bible an eternal collection? Possibly.

Loved your comment Robert.

message 19: by Robert (last edited Jan 22, 2015 11:55AM) (new)

Robert Core | 1864 comments John (msg. 16) - nonsense; the Bible is the recorded history of a few tribes around the Mediterranean Sea. The globe was teeming with life elsewhere that goes completely unrecorded.

message 20: by Robert (new)

Robert Core | 1864 comments John (msg.17) - God isn't confined to the Bible - that's why we pray for His everlasting guidance.

message 21: by Joshua (new)

Joshua Woodward | 556 comments Faith in scripture should not be divorced from faith in the men who wrote it. To receive Paul's letters one must believe Paul met Christ. To receive John's gospel one must believe John spoke truth. The church was built on the testimony of the apostles.

If you believe that Iraneaus is God's man you will accept the quaternion of the gospels. If you believe Athanasius is God's man then you must accept Revelation. But then he purported Esdras which raises a question.

If you believe the eastern fathers you will tend toward the Peshitta.

The confusion in the evangelical church is from a lack of apostolic lineage. This is the process of academic scholarship, trying to discern the original message.

What we know is Jesus taught the Hebrew scriptures and commissioned the apostles to preach the gospel. Josephus testifies to a consensus of Hebrew scriptures.

message 22: by Rod (last edited Jan 22, 2015 04:17PM) (new)

Rod Horncastle robert comment:
" God isn't confined to the Bible - that's why we pray for His everlasting guidance."

I'm fairly sure whenever anyone goes to God - He sends them back to the Bible for the answer.

Only some Charismatics assume the Bible wasn't properly written and that we need constant updated Revelation. But...there's nothing new under the sun.
If we needed NEW revelation: we would need NEW miracles to authorize any prophets who got this revelation...or at least some very impressive angel appearances.

Anytime I do see one of these so-called prophets - they immediately fail THEOLOGY 101. THat's when the comedy begins.

message 23: by Jake (new)

Jake Yaniak | 151 comments Paul wrote: "Jake, surely it doesn't require being a fundamentalist to believe that God used human processes to get us the "right" collection of texts ..."

Hi Paul, I think God is capable of giving us such a collection, but I just don't see that it is taught in scripture. So I would rather just restrict my claims to what it says about itself. If it is more, then all the better for me.

Although Timothy says 'All Scripture is God-breathed,' unless there is a proposition in the bible that implies precisely that 'the book of III John is Scripture' there remains no way, Biblically, to draw the conclusion that 'III John is God-breathed.'

That III John is inspired Scripture, then, has to come to us apart from the Bible. It has to come from men, and be a doctrine of men, more especially if we don't allow for any revelation outside of the bible.

At least in Catholicism you can make the Bible stand on the church traditions. But in Protestantism the canon stands on ... I don't know on what ... but it isn't Biblical.

The challenge, then, would be to find some way of showing that each of the specific books of the New Testament (and to some extent the Old) are Scripture (to literally show that the Bible teaches that they are specifically Scripture). You can make (some of) Paul's writings rest on II Peter, but you can't rest II Peter on anything (especially since everyone nowadays seems to believe it is a forgery).

I just don't think it can be done, and apart from taking the formation of the canon to be some sort of extra-biblical revelation to man (then the question arises - which canon - the Ethiopian? The Catholic?) there remains, for me at least, little certainty.

Practically speaking my concern is this:

I've seen time and time again where people stumble over the number of women at the tomb, or the number of demoniacs, or some other contradiction apparent or real and, because they have been instructed that EVERY word of the 'Bible' is true, they, not being able to reconcile the contradiction in question, must reject the WHOLE thing. This is and is only because they have been trained to see the Bible as one single book with one perfect author, and seeing it to be otherwise in one place, they are justified in rejecting the whole.

However, if one maintains the perspective that this is a collection of a number of independent works, given by God in his sovereignty, but perhaps not all of them by direct verbal inspiration, an error in Mark doesn't touch Matthew, and a forgery in II Peter does not trouble Moses or Isaiah. I've known someone who argued that if David was wrong about something in one of the Psalms, then the Bible contains an error, and is therefore worthless since it can't be God's revelation. But I pointed out to him, if God revealed the Torah to Moses, how can David, by erring, change that any more than my own mistakes can prove that Jesus was a fraud? Or how can it affect Paul's doctrine, if someone pretends to write in Peter's name? Such false connections and mistaken dependencies are only possible when we have what is, in fact, an unbiblical view of what the Bible is.

To me there is so much more strength in seeing the Bible as no more than what it claims - a solid plain - rather than propping it up like a house of cards, built high, but ready to topple with each contrary death of Ahab and each overly-literal interpretation of metaphor.

The Bible is holy, for, when read with the Spirit it leads to Christ (the letter itself kills). That is the claim I would make for it.

message 24: by Lee (new)

Lee Harmon (DubiousDisciple) | 2112 comments nice post, Jake. You have a way with words.

message 25: by John (new)

John Hanscom | 276 comments Robert - "John (msg. 16) - nonsense; the Bible is the recorded history of a few tribes around the Mediterranean Sea. The globe was teeming with life elsewhere that goes completely unrecorded. " Our two posts could both be true and not at all contradictory, unless it is believed God could not reveal God to "a few tribes around the Mediterranean Sea." It has to start somewhere, and the fact the writes of the Bible did not know about Thailand is immaterial. Besides, this misses my point about Jesus being the Word of God, not the Bible directly.

message 26: by John (new)

John Hanscom | 276 comments Robert - "John (msg.17) - God isn't confined to the Bible - that's why we pray for His everlasting guidance." Once again, it seems like [I can't know for sure; I do not know you], we are saying the same thing in different words. I do not bel;ieve God stopped revelation once The Apocalypse of John was written.

message 27: by Lee (new)

Lee Harmon (DubiousDisciple) | 2112 comments I think the author of the apocalypse considered himself to be the world's final prophet. Do you think of prophecy and revelation as the same thing, John?

message 28: by John (new)

John Hanscom | 276 comments Lee - yes, depending on how the person using it defines prophecy.

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