- Internal consistency of the Bible
The question of the internal consistency of the Bible concerns the coherence and textual integrity of the Biblical scriptures. This has long been an issue for Christians and Jews, who consider the Bible and Tanakh, respectively, to be divinely inspired.
Concerns regarding biblical consistency have a long history. In Contra Celsum, the church father Origen replied to the writer Celsus, a critic of Christianity, who had complained that "certain of the Christian believers, like persons who in a fit of drunkenness lay violent hands upon themselves, have corrupted the Gospel from its original integrity, to a threefold, and fourfold, and many-fold degree, and have remodelled it, so that they might be able to answer objections". Origen responded that "I know of no others who have altered the Gospel, save the followers of Marcion, and those of Valentinus, and, I think, also those of Lucian. But such an allegation is no charge against the Christian system, but against those who dared so to trifle with the Gospels. And as it is no ground of accusation against philosophy, that there exist Sophists, or Epicureans, or Peripatetics, or any others, whoever they may be, who hold false opinions; so neither is it against genuine Christianity that there are some who corrupt the Gospel histories, and who introduce heresies opposed to the meaning of the doctrine of Jesus."
Among the classic texts which discuss textual inconsistencies are The Age of Reason by Thomas Paine, the Tractatus Theologico-Politicus by Baruch Spinoza, the Encyclopédie of Denis Diderot and the Dictionnaire philosophique of Voltaire.
- 1 Approaches to biblical consistency
- 2 Types of consistency
- 3 Old Testament
- 4 New Testament
- 5 Jesus on Scriptural authority
- 6 See also
- 7 References
- 8 Further reading
- 9 External links
Approaches to biblical consistency
Jewish scholars divide the Hebrew Bible into words of God and words about God. Only the Torah (or "first five books") is viewed as the literal word of God, dictated to Moses on Mount Sinai. The Prophets were inspired by God, but their words are not the direct words of God himself, and the Writings (the category which includes books such as Lamentations and Chronicles) are words about God. This division is not found in mainstream Christianity, but inherited from Judaism is the belief in the direct divine origin of the Pentateuch which many denominations extend to the entire Christian Bible. Some including the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Churches follow the Jewish model in describing certain books as apocrypha (although these are not the books that the Hebrew Bible calls the Writings, nor do all churches regard the same list of books as apocryphal, see also Biblical apocrypha).
The idea that the bible might contain inconsistencies challenges the belief expressed by Martin Luther, "God cannot lie." Luther accepted that mistakes and inconsistencies existed, but concluded that they did not necessarily undermine the truth of the Gospel. German Lutheran Theologian Andreas Osiander took a different view, proposing in Harmonia evangelica (1537) a number of harmonisations, including the suggestion that Jesus must have been crowned with thorns twice, and that there were three separate episodes of cleansing of the Temple.
Modern Christian approaches to biblical consistency echo the split between Luther and Osiander, and can be broadly divided between inerrancy and infallibility. The former, followed by the Southern Baptist Convention, holds that the original Biblical manuscripts have "God for its author, salvation for its end, and truth, without any mixture of error, for its matter", so that "all Scripture is totally true and trustworthy": Its most erudite proponents, such as Gleason Archer, whose reconciliation of difficult texts echoes that of Osiander, allow that textual scholarship and an understanding of the historical context of individual passages is necessary to establish true, original biblical text, but that that text, once discovered, is without error.
The infallibility approach followed by the Catholic, Anglican, and some other churches avoids many of the pitfalls of inerrancy by holding that the Bible is without error only in matters essential to salvation, and that guidance is necessary for the correct interpretation of apparent inconsistencies. This approach found expression in Dei Verbum, one of the key documents adopted at the Second Vatican Council, which stated that scripture teaches "solidly, faithfully and without error that truth which God wanted put into sacred writings for the sake of salvation"—meaning that Scripture is inerrant only "to the extent to which it conforms to the salvific purpose of God," without necessarily being reliable on matters such as paleontology or political history.
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Criticism of the Bible
Since the 18th century, biblical scholars have studied the inconsistencies in and between texts and canons as a means by which certain truths about the biblical text and the societies which created them, can be studied. The field has been immensely fruitful, giving rise to theories such as the documentary hypothesis and the Deuteronomistic history (concerning the origins of the Torah and the history of Israel contained in the books from Joshua to Kings respectively), and similar theories to explain the Synoptic problem (the inter-relationship of the first three Gospels). Biblical scholarship produces few certainties—to this day no one is quite sure of the relationship between the Samaritan Pentateuch and the more familiar Masoretic text, or the answer to such rather dry questions as whether ancient Hebrew was or was not divided into dialects.
Types of consistency
Since the Bible itself never enumerates its own component parts, believers must appeal to extra-biblical authority to decide which books are part of the infallible Bible. Over the centuries different communities have accepted shifting collections of books. The size of these biblical canons varies enormously, from the Samaritans, who consider the five books of the Torah alone to be authoritative, to the Ethiopian Bible, which contains all the books of all other churches plus such titles as the Book of Josephus and the Epistle of Clement to the Corinthians. The contents of canons have varied over time, books regarded as authoritative by some Christians at some points in history being excluded from the collections of later communities - this was the fate of the many apocryphal Gospels from the first few centuries of the Church (the Gospel of Thomas is a famous example); books long regarded as canonical in one branch of Christianity may be dropped by others on doctrinal grounds (the fate of the Deuterocanonical books, canonical in the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Church but repudiated by the Protestants because they are not included in the Hebrew Bible and supported doctrines to which the Protestant reformers objected such as the intercession of saints, purgatory, prayers for the dead etc.; and some books which could have been included, such as the Book of Enoch, quoted as scriptural in Jude 1:14-15, were excluded from the canons of almost all later communities (Enoch made it into the Ethiopian Bible, but was left out of the Orthodox and Roman collections because it was written in Aramaic instead of Hebrew).
Religion Accepted canon Judaism 24 books Samaritanism 5 books Roman Catholicism 73 books Protestantism 66 books Greek and Russian Orthodox Churches 79 books Eastern, Ethiopian and Syriac Orthodox Churches 81 books
Manuscripts also differ. Usually the differences are minor - matters of spelling and the like - but occasionally they are significant, as in the case of the Comma Johanneum, a clause in the First Epistle of John which bears explicit witness to the doctrine of the Christian Trinity, but is not found in any manuscript earlier than the 10th century (codex 221), where it is shown as a marginal note. A similar example from the Old Testament is the difference between the Septuagint and Masoretic descriptions of the battle of David and Goliath: the Septuagint version is shorter and avoids the narrative inconsistencies of the familiar Masoretic story, notably the famous incident of Saul asking who David is as though he does not know his own harpist and shield-bearer.
There are also important differences between the Masoretic and the Samaritan version (i.e. Samaritan Pentateuch) of the Pentateuch in the readings of many sentences. Some of the distinctions seem to be motivated by (or reflect) the actual philosophical differences between Judaism and Samaritanism. Some of these are glaringly obvious, like the inclusion of a passage in the Samaritan version of the Ten Commandments restating the command to build of an altar on Mt. Gerizim, and stating plainly that Mt. Gerizim is the site at which all future sacrifices are to be offered. Since the location of God's holy site is probably the central original difference between Judaism and Samaritanism, it makes sense that this passage should be in one version and not the other.
Most suggestions of inconsistency relate to contradictions in the narrative, and the vast bulk of apologetic arguments are devoted to attempting to show that no such contradictions in fact exist. According to Bible scholar Bart Ehrman in his book Jesus, Interrupted: Revealing the Hidden Contradictions in the Bible (And Why We Don't Know About Them), some of these discrepancies are minor, for example: the number of soldiers in an army (e.g. 1 Chron. 21:5 vs. 2 Sam. 24:9), the year a certain king began his reign (e.g. 2 Chron. 36:9 vs. 2 Kings 24:8), the details of Apostle Paul's itinerary (Acts 9,11,15,18:22,21 vs. Galatians 1:18,2:1). In some cases, seemingly trivial point of differences can actually have an enormous significance for the interpretation of a book or the reconstruction of the history of Ancient Israel or the life of the historical Jesus. Ehrman adds that there are also instances that involve major issues where the authors' points of view on important topics, e.g. differences regarding how the world was created, why God allows suffering, or the importance of Jesus' death. These views sometimes simply differ from one another, but at other times they are contradictory.
As an example we may take Genesis 6 , which describes the corruption of mankind and the deluge. Genesis 6:1-2 relates how the "sons of God" mated with the "daughters of men" shortly before the Flood.Genesis 6:3 tells how Yahweh decides that the "days of man will be 120 years". The fourth verse tells of the Nephilim who "were on the earth in those days, and after as well..." Is there a connection between the mating of the "sons of God" with "daughters of men", and God's apparent anger with mankind in Genesis 6:6-7 ? Or is this anger a direct result of the wickedness of man described in verse 5 ? If the 120 years means that the human lifespan is limited, why do many individuals live longer than this between the Flood and Moses (who lives exactly 120 years )? If, instead, it means that God has decided to bring on the Flood after 120 years, why is Noah, who is at least 500 years old at this point (Genesis 5:32 ), only 600 when the Flood begins (Genesis 7:6 )? These questions also illustrate that there is no sharp distinction between interpretation and apologetics. Scholars accept that the meaning of some texts is difficult. Agreement on meaning is separate from disagreement about historicity or truth.
There is no argument among theologians that the New Testament has a single and consistent theological focus on the salvific nature of Christ, but the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament contains not one but several different theologies. Some of these complement each other, but others are contradictory, even within the same book. Despite the lack of a single unifying theology, common themes recur, including (although no list can be exhaustive) monotheism, the divine origins of human morality, God's election of a chosen people, the idea of the coming Messiah, and the concepts of sin, faithfulness, and redemption. The study of these is central to both Jewish and Christian theologies, even if they differ in their approaches (see Christianity and Judaism). For example, although both religions believe in the coming Messiah, the Jewish expectation is different from the Christian view. Within Christianity, themes such as the nature of God (trinitarianism and nontrinitarianism), nature of Jesus, Mosaic laws, original sin, predestination, ordination of women, hell, biblical prophecies, etc. have continued to be a matter of dispute among theologians and various denominations.
Modern scholars ascribe Old Testament inconsistencies to the process by which they were created. For example, the documentary hypothesis suggests that repetitions and contradictions are the result of texts that have been woven together from diverse sources written by different authors, at different times. Joseph Jensen wrote, "no better explanation has as yet been found of the complexities of composition of the Pentateuch, and it continues to command a good consensus among scholars".
Ronald Witherup gives the example of Genesis 1-2, which most scholars view as two separate stories of creation written by different authors in different time periods. "Most biblical scholars accept Genesis 1 as originating around the sixth century B.C. with a group of scribes who were concerned about the preservation of the liturgical traditions of the Jews (thus the concern for the seven-day schema of creation and the notion of the sabbath). Genesis 2, on the other hand, originates from an earlier, more primitive tradition dated to around the tenth century B.C. Fundamentalists, however, do not view the two stories as separate, the first one (Gen 1:1-2:4) being poetic and the second one (Gen 2:4-25) being more anthropomorphic, i.e., describing God in very human terms as a divine sculptor who forms the first human being out of dust. For fundamentalists, this is not a second story of creation but merely 'further detail' about the story of creation. This makes the differences in the accounts only apparent rather than substantive."
There are several places in the Old Testament where numerical figures can be directly compared. Ezra 2 and Nehemiah 7 list the "people of the province who came up out of the captivity of the exiles whom Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon had carried away to Babylon, and returned to Jerusalem and Judah, each to his city". Both give a total figure of 42,360 (Ezra 2:64 , Nehemiah 7:66 ). A third version of the list exists in the apocryphal book 1 Esdras. The numbers of members of each tribe given within the lists differ, none of which add up to the total of 42,360.
The New Testament has been preserved in three major manuscript traditions: the 4th century CE Alexandrian text-type; the Western text-type, also very early but prone to paraphrase and other corruptions; and the Byzantine text-type, which makes up above 80% of all manuscripts, the majority comparatively very late in the tradition. Scholars regard the Alexandrian text-type as generally more authoritative when treating textual variations. The majority of differences are minor - matters such as variant spellings - although at a few points the oldest manuscripts show important inconsistencies compared with the more recent ones: these include the endings of Mark 16, describing Jesus' post-resurrection appearances, from the Gospel of Mark; the absence from John of the story of the woman taken in adultery; the ending of John, describing that Gospel's third post-resurrection appearance of Jesus; and an explicit reference to the Trinity in 1 John (the Comma Johanneum).
All major modern Christian communions accept a uniform canon of 27 books, although a few small and isolated communities have either fewer or more. Nevertheless, the idea of a complete and clear-cut canon of the New Testament existing from Apostolic times has no foundation in history, and the canon of the New Testament, like that of the Old, is the result of a historical process. The very idea of a closed canon did not exist prior to the 2nd century, when it became necessary to counter movements such as Marcionism. By the end of the 4th century unanimity had been achieved in the West concerning the New Testament canon as it is today, and by the 5th century most of the East had come into harmony by accepting the Book of Revelation. Nonetheless, a full dogmatic articulation of the canon for Roman Catholicism was not made until the Council of Trent of 1546, as until then the authority of the Scriptures was not considered to be higher than that of Sacred Tradition, papal bulls, and ecumenical councils. Martin Luther revived the antilegomena dispute by suggesting the removal of Jude, James, Hebrews, and Revelation; this was not generally accepted by his followers, but these books are still ordered last in the German-language Luther Bible. The canons of other important communions were defined in the Thirty-Nine Articles of 1563 for the Church of England, the Westminster Confession of Faith of 1647 for Calvinism, and the Synod of Jerusalem of 1672 for the Greek Orthodox.
Biblical scholar Bruce M. Metzger makes mention of several internal inconsistencies within the New Testament in earlier manuscripts in which later scribes attempted to correct:
In the earlier manuscripts of Mark 1:2, the composite quotation from Malachi 3:1 and Isaiah 40:3 is introduced by the formula "As it is written in Isaiah the Prophet". Later scribes, sensing this involves a difficulty replaced "As it is written in Isaiah the Prophet" with the general statement "As it is written in the prophets". Since the quotation which Matthew(27:9) attributes to the prophet Jeremiah actually comes from Zechariah(11:12f), it is not surprising that some scribes sought to mend the error either by substituting the correct name or by omitting the name altogether. A few scribes attempted to harmonize the Johannine account of the chronology of the Passion with that in Mark by changing ’sixth hour’ of John 19:14 to ‘third hour’ (which appears in Mark 15:25). At John 1:28, Origen altered Bethany to Bethabara in order to remove what he regarded as a geographical difficulty, and this reading is extant today in MSS. 33 69 and many others, including those which lie behind the King James version. The statement in Mark 8:31, that ‘the Son of man must suffer many things…and be killed and after three days rise again’, seems to involve a chronological difficulty, and some copyists changed the phrase to the more familiar expression, ‘on the third day’. The author of the Epistle to the Hebrews places the golden altar of incense in the Holy of Holies (Heb. 9:4), which is contrary to the Old Testament description of the Tabernacle (Exod. 30:1-6). The scribe of Codex Vaticanus and the translator of the Ethiopic version correct the account by transferring the words to 9:2, where the furniture of the Holy Place is itemized.
In the 2nd century CE, Tatian, produced a gospel text called Diatessaron by weaving together all four gospels into one. The gospel compilation eliminated all the discrepancies that exist between the four gospels. For example, it omits the conflicting genealogies of Jesus in Matthew and Luke. In order to fit all the canonical material in, Tatian created his own narrative sequence, which is different from both the synoptic sequence and John's sequence.
Authors such as Raymond Brown have presented arguments that the Gospels contradict each other in various respects and on various details. W. D. Davies and E. P. Sanders state that: “on many points, especially about Jesus’ early life, the evangelists were ignorant … they simply did not know, and, guided by rumour, hope or supposition, did the best they could”. More critical scholars see the nativity stories either as completely fictional accounts, or at least constructed from traditions which predate the Gospels.
For example, many translations of the Bible specifically point out that the two oldest manuscripts and other ancient witnesses did not include Mark 16:9-20, i.e. the Gospel of Mark originally ended at Mark16:8. This is known as the "Markan Appendix".
Grammatico-historical exegesis is determining the meaning of scripture by understanding the author's environment outside the Bible, as well as the scripture itself. R. T. France states this form of exegesis involves the "fullest possible use of linguistic, literary, historical, archaeological, and other data bearing on that author's environment".
France, regarding the "distinctive contribution" of each of the four gospels, commented, "In accepting that God intended his church to have four Gospels, not just one, Christians have also recognized that each has something different to say about Jesus. It is only after we have listened to each in its individuality that we can hope to gain the full richness which comes from the 'stereoscopic' vision of Jesus as seen through four different pairs of eyes!"
The Two-source Hypothesis remains the most popular explanation for the origins of the synoptic gospels: according to this, there are two sources, the Gospel of Mark and a lost, hypothetical sayings collection called Q (see also, other hypotheses). However, the Two-source Hypothesis is not without its problems.
A wide variety of inconsistencies have been suggested both within the New Testament and between the New Testament and the Hebrew scriptures. These fall into a number of broad categories. The more prominent are identified and discussed below, with examples.
Internal consistency within the synoptic gospels has been analysed by many scholars. A well known example is the nativity narratives found in the Gospel of Matthew (Matthew 1:1-6 ) and the Gospel of Luke (Luke 3:32-34 ). Each gives a genealogy of Jesus, but the names, and even the number of generations, differ between the two. Apologists have suggested that the differences are the result of two different lineages, Matthew's from King David's son, Solomon, to Jacob, father of Joseph, and Luke's from King David's other son, Nathan, to Heli, father of Mary and father-in-law of Joseph. However, the scholar Geza Vermes points out that Luke makes no mention of Mary, and questions what purpose a maternal genealogy would serve in a Jewish setting.
In Ethics, Dietrich Bonhoeffer pointed out another conflict, between Matthew 12:30 /Luke 11:23 ("He who is not with Me is against Me; and he who does not gather with Me scatters") and Mark 9:40 /Luke 9:50 ("For he who is not against us [you] is for us [you]"). Bonhoeffer called these two sayings "the claim to exclusiveness and the claim to totality". He argued that both are necessary and that "The cross of Christ makes both sayings true." D.A. Carson commented similarly, adding he thought there are two different contexts where Mark 9:40 /Luke 9:50 describe the attitude listeners are to have to other possible disciples: when in doubt, be inclusive, while Matthew 12:30 /Luke 11:23 describe the standard listeners should apply to themselves: be in no doubt of one's own standing. Other commentaries argue that, juxtaposed, the sayings declare the impossibility of neutrality.
Modern New Testament scholarship tends to view these not as separate statements, but rather one statement that has either been preserved in two different forms, or which has been altered by the Gospel writers to present a point of view expressing the needs of the Christian community at the time. The Gospel of Mark, generally considered the earliest of the Gospels, presents the 'inclusive' formulation, in association with an account of Jesus rebuking his followers for stopping someone from carrying out exorcisms in his name. The Gospel of Matthew has the other, 'exclusive' version, preceded by a story about a strong man; the Gospel of Mark also includes this story, but without the concluding observation. The Luke version presents both versions. There is still lively discussion about which version is the more authentic, see also the Jesus Seminar.
According to Ehrman, a more important difference among the Gospels is with the book of John. He argues that the concept that Jesus existed before his birth, was a divine being, and became human is only claimed in the Gospel of John. However, most scholars disagree, locating pre-existent and divine Christology within the Pauline epistles and synoptic gospels.
Acts of the Apostles
- "The men who travelled with him stood speechless, hearing the voice but seeing no one" Acts 9:7
- "And those who were with me saw the light, to be sure, but did not understand the voice of the One who was speaking to me" Acts 22:9
Archer argues that the original Greek shows "there is no real contradiction between these two statements" because "Greek makes a distinction between hearing a sound as a noise (in which case the object to the verb "to hear" takes the genitive case) and hearing a voice as a thought-conveying message (in which case it takes the accusative)" and "in neither account is it stated that his companions ever heard that Voice in the accusative case". Archer points to similar circumstances where "the crowd who heard the sound of the Father talking to the Son in John 12:28 ... perceived it only as thunder".
Gospel and Acts
In Matthew 27:3-8 , Judas returns the bribe he has been given for handing over Jesus, throwing the money into the temple before he hangs himself. The temple priests, unwilling to return the defiled money to the treasury, use it instead to buy a field known as the Potter's Field, as a plot in which to bury strangers. In Acts 1:18 , on the other hand, Judas uses the bribe money to buy the field himself, and his death is attributed to falling over in this field.
Raymond E. Brown puts this forward as an example of an obvious contradiction: "Luke's account of the death of Judas in Acts 1:18 is scarcely reconcilable with Matt 27:3-10." Harmonization has been tried since ancient times. Charles H. Talbert argues that these are unsuccessful, but Dr C Gempt of London Bible College states: 'The details that seem at variance can be reconciled...after refusing the money the priests bought the field in Judas' name..and it was there that he hanged himself. His body was no longer hanging by the time it was discovered, but had fallen.. to the ground where it had split open.'
The Tübingen school of historians founded by F. C. Baur holds that in Early Christianity, there was conflict between Pauline Christianity and the Jerusalem Church led by James the Just, Simon Peter, and John the Apostle, the so-called "Jewish Christians" or "Pillars of the Church". Paul argued that the gentiles and Jewish Christians were no longer obligated to keep the Mosaic law ( ). The Jewish Christians, on the other hand argued that everyone, including the gentiles must keep the Mosaic law. In , part of the "Incident at Antioch." Paul publicly rebuked Peter for judaizing.
Paul claims several times that believers are saved by Divine grace, and that believers are therefore "not under law, but under grace". The Epistle of James, in contrast, states that Christians are to obey the "whole law", that "a person is justified by what he does and not by faith alone", and that "faith without works is dead". Protestants, with their belief in salvation by faith alone, have had difficulty reconciling their contradiction, Martin Luther even suggesting that the Epistle of James might be a forgery, and relegating it to an appendix in his Bible (although he later came to accept its canonicity - see Antilegomena).
Some scholars argue that Paul and James do not contradict each other but speak about different questions. According to this view, the perspective of Paul is different from, and complementary to, that of James - "When Paul claims that one is justified by faith alone, apart from works, he is referring to works that precede salvation. Conversely, when James insists on works as necessary to justification, he has in view works that follow and validate salvation." Paul states in various passages that works have to follow faith ( , , , , etc.).
Old Testament versus New Testament
In the 2nd century CE, the Christian theologian Marcion composed a work(now lost) entitled Antithesis. In the Antithesis, Marcion set out in detail and discussed at length the contradictions between the Old Testament and New Testament. The Old and New Testaments, Marcion argued, cannot be reconciled to each other. The code of conduct advocated by Moses was "an eye for an eye", but Jesus set this precept aside. Marcion pointed to Isaiah 45:7 "I make peace and create evil, I the Lord do all these things. He contrasted this with Jesus' saying that "a tree was known by its fruit, a good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit" and then pointed to several injunctions and lessons in the Old Testament which are contradicted in the New Testament. For example, Elisha had had children eaten by bears; Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me". Joshua had the sun stopped in order to prolong the slaughter of his enemies. Paul quoted Jesus as commanding "Let not the sun go down on your wrath"(Eph 4:26). In the Old Testament, divorce was permitted and so was polygamy; in the New Testament, neither is allowed. Moses enforced the Jewish Sabbath and Law; Jesus has freed believers from both. Even within the Old Testament, Marcion found contradictions. For example, God commanded that no work should be done on the Sabbath, yet he told the Israelites to carry the ark around Jericho seven times on the Sabbath. No graven image was to be made, yet Moses was directed to fashion a bronze serpent. Marcion therefore rejected the entire Old Testament.
A Christian view is that Jesus mediates a New Covenant relationship between God and his followers and abolished the Mosaic Laws, according to the New Testament (Hebrews 10:15-18; Gal 3:23-25; 2 Cor 3:7-17; Eph 2:15; Heb 8:13, Rom 7:6 etc.). From a Jewish perspective however, the Torah was given to the Jewish people and B'nei Noah as an eternal covenant (for example Exo 31:16-17, Exo 12:14-17, Mal 3:6-7) and will never be replaced or added to (for example Deut 4:2, 13:1). There are differences of opinion as to how the new covenant affects the validity of biblical law. The differences are mainly as a result of attempts to harmonize biblical statements that the biblical law is eternal (Exodus 31:16-17, 12:14-17) with New Testament statements that suggest that it does not now apply at all, or at least does not fully apply. Most biblical scholars admit the issue of the Law can be confusing and the topic of Paul and the Law is still frequently debated among New Testament scholars (for example, see New Perspective on Paul, Pauline Christianity); hence the various views.
In Mark 7:13 Jesus warned the Pharisees of the danger of relying on human traditions instead of God`s word: 'you nullify the word of God by your tradition you have handed down.'(NIV)
- Biblical canon
- Biblical criticism
- Biblical literalism
- Biblical manuscript
- Criticism of Christianity
- Criticism of the Bible
- Development of the Christian Biblical canon
- Development of the Jewish Bible canon
- Gospel harmony
- Science and the Bible
- Tahrif, an Arabic term used by Muslims with regard to irreparable alterations Islamic tradition claims Jews and Christians have made to Biblical manuscripts
- ^ a b "Contra Celsus, Book II, Chapter XXVII". http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/text/origen162.html. Retrieved 2008-05-07.
- ^ Paine, Thomas. Writings of Thomas Paine — Volume 4 (1794-1796): the Age of Reason by Paine. Project Gutenberg. http://www.gutenberg.org/etext/3743. Retrieved 2010-03-16.
- ^ "Lessons from Luther on the Inerrancy of Holy Writ" Luther, Martin. Weimarer Ausgabe 10 III, 162
- ^ Graham Stanton, Gospel Truth? New Light on Jesus and the Gospels (HarperCollins, 1995) page 8.
- ^ Graham Stanton, Gospel Truth? New Light on Jesus and the Gospels (HarperCollins, 1995) page 8; John S. Kloppenborg Verbin, "Is There a New Paradigm?", in Horrell, Tuckett (eds), Christology, Controversy, and Community: New Testament Essays in Honour of David R. Catchpole (BRILL, 2000), page 39.
- ^ The Baptist Faith and Message, I. The Scriptures
- ^ Dei Verbum, Chapter III, from the Catechism of the Catholic Church
- ^ Raymond Brown, The Critical Meaning of the Bible, Paulist Press (1981), page 19.
- ^ Vincent P. Branick, Understanding the New Testament and Its Message: An Introduction, (Paulist Press, 1998), pages 7-8.
- ^ A. E. Taylor, The Faith of a Moralist (Macmillan, London, 1930) II, page 209; quoted in Brand Blanchard, Reason and Belief (Allen and Unwin, 1974), page 27.
- ^ The Pentateuch, or Torah, is the first five books of the bible - Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy.
- ^ "More Than One Bible." Christian History, Issue 43, 1994.
- ^ Mercer dictionary of the Bible
- ^ The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia
- ^ Daniel B. Wallace, "The Comma Johanneum and Cyprian".
- ^ The Samaritan Pentateuch
- ^ Jesus, Interrupted Revealing the Hidden Contradictions in the Bible (And Why We Don't Know About Them), Bart Ehrman, p. 19
- ^ Rolf P. Knierim, The Task of Old Testament Theology (Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 1995), page 1; Isaac Kalimi, "The Task of Hebrew Bible/ Old Testament Theology - Between Judaism and Christianity" in Wonil Kim, Reading the Hebrew Bible for a New Millennium (Continuum International Publishing Group, 2000), page 235.
- ^ God as Communion By Patricia A. Fox, p 28
- ^ Joseph Jensen, God's Word to Israel, Liturgical Press (September 1982), page 36. ISBN 0814652891
- ^ Ronald D. Witherup, Biblical Fundamentalism: What Every Catholic Should Know, Liturgical Press (2001), page 26.
- ^ Oded Lipschitz, Joseph Blenkinsopp, Judah and the Judeans in the Neo-Babylonian Period, (Eisenbrauns, 2003) page 359.
- ^ K. Aland and B. Aland, "The Text Of The New Testament: An Introduction To The Critical Editions & To The Theory & Practice Of Modern Text Criticism", Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company (June 1995). ISBN 0802840981.
- ^ Bruce, Frederick Fyvie, "The New Testament Documents: Are They Reliable?", Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company (May 2003), ISBN 0802822193
- ^ Bart Ehrman; Misquoting Jesus, 166
- ^ Bruce M. Metzger, The Text of the New Testament. Its Transmission, Corruption, and Restoration, pp. 199-200
- ^ Encountering the Manuscripts By Philip Wesley Comfort, Philip Comfort
- ^ Brown, Raymond Edward (1999-05-18). The Birth of the Messiah: A Commentary on the Infancy Narratives in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke (The Anchor Yale Bible Reference Library). Yale University Press. p. 36. ISBN 0-300-14008-8.
- ^ W.D Davies and E. P. Sanders, 'Jesus from the Jewish point of view', in The Cambridge History of Judaism ed William Horbury, vol 3: the Early Roman Period, 1984.
- ^ Sanders, Ed Parish (1993). The Historical Figure of Jesus. London: Allen Lane. p. 85. ISBN 0-7139-9059-7.
- ^ Hurtado, Larry W. (June 2003). Lord Jesus Christ: Devotion to Jesus in Earliest Christianity. Grand Rapids, Mich.: W.B. Eerdmans. p. 319. ISBN 0-8028-6070-2.
- ^ Brown, Raymond Edward (1977). The Birth of the Messiah: A Commentary on the Infancy Narratives in Matthew and Luke. Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday. pp. 104–121. ISBN 0-385-05907-8.
- ^ The role and function of repentance in Luke-Acts, by Guy D. Nave, pg 194 – see http://books.google.com/books?id=4CGScYTomYsC&pg=PA194&lpg=PA194&dq=%2B%22markan+appendix%22&source=bl&ots=ex8JIDMwMD&sig=oCI_C1mXVSZYoz34sVlgRDaO__Q&hl=en&ei=3pq_St6aGYnSjAefnOU2&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=2#v=onepage&q=%2B%22markan%20appendix%22&f=false
- ^ The Continuing Christian Need for Judaism, by John Shelby Spong, Christian Century September 26, 1979, p. 918. see http://www.religion-online.org/showarticle.asp?title=1256
- ^ Feminist companion to the New Testament and early Christian writings, Volume 5, by Amy-Jill Levine, Marianne Blickenstaff, pg175 – see http://books.google.com/books?id=B2lfhy5lvlkC&pg=PA175&lpg=PA175&dq=%2B%22markan+appendix%22&source=bl&ots=vp5GVlmghC&sig=XN1KJCsBkTWO2Fot4SBhnpWoRkY&hl=en&ei=3pq_St6aGYnSjAefnOU2&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=5#v=onepage&q=%2B%22markan%20appendix%22&f=false
- ^ France, R.T., Tyndale New Testament Commentaries: Matthew, Inter-Varsity Press, Leicester, England (1985), pg. 17.
- ^ Warren, Tony. "Is there a Contradiction in the Genealogies of Luke and Matthew?" Created 2/2/95 / Last Modified 1/24/00. Accessed 4 May 2008.
- ^ "Luke records Jesus' genealogy through His mother Mary. Joseph, mentioned in Luke 3:23, was actually the son-in-law of Heli, the father of Mary. And so Luke shows that Mary was directly descended from Abraham (verse 34)." Luke 3:23. Forerunner Commentary
- ^ Geza Vermes, The Nativity: History and Legend, (Penguin, 2006), page 42.
- ^ Dietrich Bonhoeffer, "Ethics", p. 60-61, Touchstone; (September 1, 1995 reprint of his 1943 book) ISBN 068481501X
- ^ D.A. Carson, Commentary on Matthew, Expositor's Bible Commentary CDROM, Zondervan, 1989-97
- ^ See the commentaries by McGarvey on Mk 9:40, Johnson on Mt 12:30, and Brown on Lk 11:23.
- ^ a b R. Alan Culpepper, John, the Son of Zebedee: The Life of a Legend, Continuum International Publishing (2000), pages 41-43.
- ^ Ian H. Henderson, Jesus, Rhetoric and Law, Brill (1996), pages 333-334; William David Davies, Dale C. Allison, A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the Gospel According to Saint Matthew, Continuum International Publishing (2004), page 333-334.
- ^ Bart D. Ehrman, Jesus, Interrupted, Harper Collins Publishing (2009), p. 74
- ^ Douglad McCready, He Came Down from Heaven: The Preexistence of Christ And the Christian Faith.
- ^ Simon J. Gathercole, The Preexistent Son: Recovering the Christologies of Matthew, Mark and Luke.
- ^ a b c Archer, Gleason L., "Encyclopedia of Bible Difficulties", p. 382.
- ^ "It was not lawful to take into the Temple-treasury, for the purchase of sacred things, money that had been unlawfully gained." Alfred Edersheim Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah, 5.xiv, 1883.
- ^ Raymond E. Brown, An Introduction to the New Testament, p.114.
- ^ E.g. Alfred Edersheim concluded, "there is no real divergence". Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah, 5.xiv, 1883.
- ^ Charles H. Talbert, Reading Acts: A Literary and Theological Commentary, Smyth & Helwys (2005) p. 15. ISBN 1573122777
- ^ Inter-Varsity Press New Bible Commentary 21st Century edition p1071
- ^ Catholic Encyclopedia: St. James the Less: "Then we lose sight of James till St. Paul, three years after his conversion (A.D. 37), went up to Jerusalem. ... On the same occasion, the "pillars" of the Church, James, Peter, and John "gave to me (Paul) and Barnabas the right hands of fellowship; that we should go unto the Gentiles, and they unto the circumcision" (Galatians 2:9)."
- ^ Catholic Encyclopedia: Judaizers see section titled: "THE INCIDENT AT ANTIOCH"
- ^ Rom 6:14
- ^ For instance, Douglas J. Moo writes that "if a sinner can get into relationship with God only by faith (Paul), the ultimate validation of that relationship takes into account the works that true faith must inevitably produce (James)."Douglas J. Moo, The Letter of James, Erdmans Publishing, 2000, page 141 - The Letter of James
- ^ Dr. R. Bruce Compton: James 2:21-24 and the justification of Abraham, page 44 - many scholars are referred to in the footnotes!
- ^ The Antithesis, Dr. Carroll Bierbower
- ^ The canon of the New Testament: its origin, development, and significance, Bruce Manning Metzger, p. 91-92
- ^ The early church, W. H. C. Frend, p. 56
- ^ Marcion: The Gospel of the Alien God, Adolf Von Harnack
- ^ Gundry, ed., Five Views on Law and Gospel. (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1993).
- Metzger, Bruce Manning (1992). The text of the New Testament: its transmission, corruption, and restoration. Oxford [Oxfordshire]: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-507297-9.
- Geisler, Norman L. (1980). Inerrancy. Grand Rapids, Mich: Zondervan Pub. House. ISBN 0-310-39281-0. http://books.google.com/books?id=wWDSR8y911kC&printsec=frontcover&dq=inerrancy+of+the+bible.
- Grudem, Wayne A. (1994). Systematic theology: an introduction to biblical doctrine. Leicester: Inter-Varsity. ISBN 0-310-28670-0. http://books.google.com/books?id=DA8xl4eagDcC&pg=PA90&dq=inerrancy+of+the+bible.
- Gutierrez, M L (May 2010). The Bible Dilemma: Historical Contradictions, Misquoted Statements, Failed Prophecies and Oddities in the Bible. Dog Ear Publishing. ISBN 9781608440214. http://books.google.com/books?id=Bh9d6euKvS4C&printsec=frontcover&dq=the+bible+dilemma.
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