Christians SHOULD Place a ‘Ridiculous Emphasis on the Bible’

Recently, Church Leaders published a troubling blog post from Brian Jones titled, The Ridiculous Emphasis Christians Place on the Bible. The essential thrust of the post is summed up nicely in the title, though he offers several reasons as to why he makes this argument. The idea being that we have strayed far from the intent of Christianity in that we assume being a Christian means we must “…have a relationship with the Bible instead of the risen Jesus.”

How has the church come to this conclusion? In summary, Jones argues:

We assume the New Testament was plopped down from on high in a compendium rather than coming to a complete canon in 367 A.D., when Athanasius finally graced us with the 27 New Testament books we currently have. He delves a wee bit further into the church’s historic stride to draw out his main point: It is highly unlikely that any common lay-person owned their own copy of the completed canon in the early church unless they were wealthy enough to afford one or privileged enough to be literate.

Therefore, we place a ridiculous amount of emphasis on studying the Bible today – far more than the early church did. He then asks the logically consistent question, “What if one of the reasons we’re so spiritually dead and the church is abysmally failing at its mission is not because we study the Bible too little, but too much?” It is within this context that he draws the argument to a close in asking a series of pithy questions, leading up to the conclusion that faithfully studying the Scriptures can lead one to neglect application of the Scriptures due to some measure of moralistic-therapeutic deism wherein the faithful Bible reader soothes their conscience by tacking off the “to-do” list in their reading plan.

While it is entirely possible that one read the Scriptures regularly and miss the point (see John 5:39), I know of no faithful expositor or church goer that believes they should be reading the Bible without obeying its contents. Any preacher/teacher worth their salt will continually call their flock to examine themselves in light of the Scripture’s teachings so that they will abide in obedience. While there are many would-be preachers in the Western world ill-equipped to the task, this is indicative of a failure to take the Scriptures seriously enough. It presents a stark opposition to the message of Brian Jones.

Several recent polls from Barna and LifeWay have statistically shown people’s opinions on the Bible have changed. Even in the midst of unprecedented access to the Scriptures, professing Christians are less likely to read their bibles than ever before and many that do embrace heretical teachings condemned long ago. When asked to rate the statement, “Good works result in going to heaven,” nearly 3/4 of the people surveyed answered other than “strongly disagree” even though the Bible explicitly teaches that salvation is apart from works. If this were not enough, here are some alarming stats to go along with it:

  • 76% of people surveyed believe the Bible discourages Prostitution.
  • 63% believe the Bible discourages pornography.
  • 59% believe it discourages slavery.
  • 56% read the bible less than four times in a year (32% didn’t read it at all); 52% listened to the Scriptures less than four times in a year (25% didn’t listen at all).
  • 30% felt they never have enough time to read the Scriptures, while only half who actually do gave meaningful consideration of how the text applies to their life.
  • 78% of people surveyed, in some capacity, believe the Bible, Koran, and the book of Mormon are all different expressions of the same spiritual truths (17% agree strongly; 39% agree somewhat; 21% disagree somewhat).

This too, seems in stark opposition to what he suggests. Nothing quite suggests piety and devotion to honoring God and being a “sold-out, fully devout, and willing to die a martyr’s death, follower of Jesus” than believing heresy and capitulating on basic, moral principles… It would seem that many are not fundamentally, “…consumed with it…obsess[ing] over its details…(cue the obligatory knock against expositional study) study[ing] its root words and the historical data underpinning every sentence, every chapter, and every book…” (Emphasis mine). Contrary to the opinion of Jones, a lack of emphasis on the Bible has been the problem all along. People don’t obey what they don’t read or believe.

Sadly, Jones also uses a faulty historical argument to draw the faulty conclusion that Christians place too much emphasis on studying Scripture. Not only is there convincing evidence from Michael J. Kruger that around 250 A.D. Origen compiled a list of the 27 New Testament books we know today (an even earlier date than Athanasius’ compilation), the criteria for determining canonization is not solely relegated to who compiled what lists. Instead, scholars generally propose six criteria when it comes to canonization:

  • The literature was written by a recognized prophet or apostle.
  • It was written by those associated with a recognized prophet or apostle.
  • It was deemed to be truthful in all its contents.
  • It was in complete harmony with previously recognized canonical writings.
  • It was confirmed by Christ or another canonized writing.
  • And finally – it was recognized as authoritative within the early church and found circulation among them.

Secondly, this misleading depiction reduces the primacy placed upon the Scripture’s prominence within the early church. It is not as if the apostles gathered the church so they could sing sweet songs of nothing into their ears; the foundation of the church was set upon faithful proclamation of the revelation of God. The apostle John wrote his gospel with the express purpose of the reader’s belief (John 20:31; 1 John 5:13); Luke wrote to Theophilus so that he would know the exact truth of what the “…eyewitnesses and servants of the Word…” handed down to the church (Luke 1:1-4; Acts 1:1-2). If one looks elsewhere within the New Testament, several other purpose statements arise as the biblical authors seeks to address the given needs of the church community.

While it is true that many would not own personal copies of Scripture in this time, a historical study would also reveal that churches didn’t meet just once a week. The Didache, in accordance with Acts 2:46-47, even shows they often met on a daily basis – sometimes multiple times in a day. It would be conjecture to deduce every meeting was always accompanied by oratory proclamation of the Scriptures, it nonetheless serves to demonstrate the point. During the Reformation, the Great Awakening, and in the lives of other notable preachers in recent history (i.e. Charles Spurgeon), sermons were also heard multiple times a week, if not daily in some cases.

Yet all of this, thus far, is secondary evidence at best. The ultimate question, though not surprisingly missing from Brian Jones’ post, is what do the Scriptures teach on the matter?

Resoundingly, the Biblical case is clear that there was an emphasis on regular, studious application of the text being well-pleasing to God. The things revealed by God belong to us and our children forever, so that we may observe it (Deut. 29:29). Christ revealed that the Scriptures testify of Himself, from Genesis to Revelation (John 5:39; Luke 24:25-27). The Bereans were considered noble-minded for their diligent study of the Scriptures in seeking to approve the Apostle Paul’s message (Acts 17:11). Even Solomon gives us the simple principle that it is the glory of kings to search out a matter (Pro. 25:2). Why? Because the depth of the riches of God’s wisdom and knowledge are unsurpassable and lead to praise (Psalm 119; Romans 11:33-36). Those pesky psalmists in Psalm 119 surely placed a ridiculous emphasis on the Scriptures…

The reality painted time and again within the Scriptures, the early church, and the historic church – is what Jones would likely classify as a ridiculous emphasis on the Scriptures, yet it actually had the reverse outcome of what he suggests. The early ecumenical councils safeguarded the church from heretical teachings; the Patristics gave a wealth of resources for us to read today. The Medieval Period produced some of the most influential philosophers and biblical thinkers; say what you will about Aquinas – but his nickname did not indicate stupidity.

The Reformers produced a wealth of biblical commentary and brought the gospel out of the trenches of the Roman Catholic Church. The Puritans surely expressed a breathtaking amount of emotional and theological depth. The modern age has also played host to some incredibly brilliant and devoted, studious men and women, contributing to the church’s depth.

Guess what has been central to them all? The Word of God; both the Incarnate Word and the Word as revealed in the Scriptures.

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  • Amen. The problem is that people don’t read the Bible enough, not that they read it too much.

    • DuckyShades

      Probably too busy reading Sinner in the Hands of an Angry God…

    • James

      So how do you feel about the grandson of the man’s sermon you use for your name, shooting Alexander Hamilton? Also he was kicked put of his church by his family. Why do you think that was?

  • And how else will we have a relationship with Jesus apart from his word—the scriptures? My sheep hear my voice and they follow me. His voice is in the word.

    • You have not read the bible correctly because Jesus covers this in detail and never once mentions a book or the writings of men that follow him. If your relationship is with the scriptures not only have you missed what Jesus taught but you are following a false god in the form of a book. The bible is not the Word, never has been. That is a doctrine from the 10th century used to control the laity.

      • A false dichotomy there. You can't separate a man and his words. Jesus is God's final revelation to us. Just as the Father sent him, he also sent out apostles with the Father's word. The Apostles wrote what they were sent out with. What they wrote is the doctrine they learnt from Christ. The Bible is all of God's revelation to us. We don't worship a book. We worship God who has condescended to communicate to us in human language through his written word

        • First point, none of what you have said makes the bible the word. Second Jesus commissioned them to preach the gospel not write law down. Third, where does the bible state or even indicate that it is Gods revelation to us? Fourth, Jesus laid out a plan for the future none of which included the bible. There is no written word, even the Words of Jesus that are recorded and edited by men are not the Word they are just a record which is obviously inaccurate due to the conflicting statements. By making the bible into the Word you call God a liar. This indirectly places something between you and God so becomes by default a false God. ‘Have no other Gods before me’.

    • DuckyShades

      How else did the rest of the history of humanity before the printing press have a relationship with Jesus. Where did those billions sheep wander off to? Hmmmm, things to consider.

      • Prior to the printing press, there were parchments, scrolls, tablets. Before the printing press the word of God was in circulation

        • DuckyShades

          Of corse, I’m sure that circulation reached everyone’s ears and hands. Sucks for the goats left out. (We all know where they are.) You realize how rediculous that is, yes?

        • David Cromie

          What a pity the vast majority of people were illiterate, and very superstitious with it. But they were not all sheep, mostly preferring their own ‘gods’, or tacking on the christian god. But when Constantine had the bright idea of declaring christianity to be the sole religion of the Roman Empire (for purely political reasons, since he hoped it would help to stabilise his crumbling Empire), the need for a canon of literature was seen as necessary, so the so-called church fathers got to work to produce a suitable ‘bible’.

          As the christer hierarchy grew in strength, they set about ‘cleansing’ the Empire of dissidents, along with all other ‘gods’, with a ferocious will, and deadly intent. This early Roman church eventually became the ‘Holy’ Roman Empire itself, with its base in Constantine’s capital, Rome, and woe betide any that dared to opposed it. By the way, it was Constantine’s christian wife who instigated the great church-building spree across the Empire.

          • Monty

            Constantine was the worst thing to happen to Christianity. It went from a living, thriving community of believers to just another dead religion, but with Christian terminology. Many joined the catholic church just to keep in favour with Constantine. There was no reality in their supposed commitment. The real church is described in the first few chapters of the book of Acts. Catholicism is not Christianity. Sure there are Christians who are Catholics, but the organisation bears little resemblance to the true church. It fails in beliefs, actions, hierarchy, leadership and organisation.

          • David Cromie

            The ‘No True Scotsman’ fallacy! When will you christers ever learn?

    • Lark62

      You cannot have any “relationship” with a 2000 year old wandering preacher any more than you, living in the 21st century, can have a “relationship” with George Washington or little red riding hood. Regardless of whether Jesus existed, all you have is what some anonymous people wrote down with no clue as to their identity, accuracy or motivation. That is not a relationship.

      • Monty

        You can if the “wandering preacher” rose from the dead and still lives today. The people who wrote the new testament were not anonymous. They had names, family, jobs, friends and some not so friendly. Oh, but please don’t let facts get in the way of your prejudices. You would run out of excuses for your unbelief.

    • Monty

      Enoch, if we are born again we also have the indwelling Holy Spirit to lead us into the truth. The bible without the leading of the Holy Spirit is nowhere near as helpful. If we are not careful it can become “the letter that kills”.

  • Clifford Ishii

    Jesus is God and His word is the Bible, as it states in John 1. Biblical Christians honor Jesus by honoring his word. There is no contradictions. Scripture is his word, from Genesis to Revelation

    • Where is it taught in the bible that it is ‘The Word’?

      • DuckyShades

        You sir win the prize for appropriate questions. Christians coining phrases for $200, Alex.

      • Monty

        Jesus said quite often, “Have you not read?” and, “It is written”, quoting from the OT. He quoted Satan “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God”. You’ll find that in Deuteronomy. Jesus also taught His disciples, showing them that the Old Testament actually pointed to His coming to the earth. Jesus put His own word as the same as God’s word then told the disciple to go preach it. Which they did, and His followers are still doing.

        • Thanks for your response Monty. I am however a little surprised and think we need to get to the bottom of what your implying. Are you claiming that because Jesus quoted some of the old scriptures that the entire book is God? If God is the Word then the Word is God. So if you claim that the bible is the Word then you are saying that the bible is God. Have you come to this conclusion because Jesus quoted it?

          Just because men preach what Jesus Preached does not make what is written about what they said the word of God, or as I have allready pointed out God.

          Making the bible into God, which you have done, is wrong. It is the writings of men and it is full of errors. This is why people are leaving christianity in droves, because the errors are becoming more obvious. The sad thing is that the bible is a wonderful source of wisdom and demonstration of God’s love, it is just not God. In effect by claiming it is God you make it sacrosanct, which is what a lot of the church is doing and it becomes a rule book. It is used more as a tool to control than anything else. If you do some research on the the doctrine around the bible being the word you will find that the reason it was developed was for exactly this, to control people.

          Jesus is very clear in the way forward. He said that he was leaving but there was a comforter who would teach us all things and if we forgot His commands it would remind us of them. He never said for anyone to write down what the desciples said and that their writings would become God.

          When you then filter anything taught to you by the comforter through another source outside of God ie the bible then that becomes your God. So by implication the church has made the bible into a false God, in effect an antichrist.

          • Monty

            Thanks for your reply, Garth. I find it near impossible to adequately explain complex concepts in such a brief space. Your thoughtful questions help a great deal. The written word is NOT God. It is a faithful record of what He has said and done, as well as the history of Israel and their interactions with the surrounding nations. It is vital to distinguish between the written word and the “Living Word”, who is Christ. I believe that Christ is who he said He was. He stated that He said what He heard the heard the Father saying and did what He saw the Father doing. Now if you do not believe Christ then nothing of any of this makes sense.
            I do not, as some would have it, have a relationship with Jesus just through the bible. I have a relationship whether I read the bible or not. However, in a real relationship, people want to get to know each other. Jesus knows me inside out already. I have the indwelling Holy Spirit who leads me into truth. I have the bible which is God’s written word. I need the Holy Spirit to reveal to me what it means, not just what it says. Spiritual things are spiritually discerned, which explains why unbelievers ridicule what they do not understand. If you really want to know the truth, God will show you. Unfortunately the last thing most people want is truth.

          • Hi Monty. You are confusing me now.

            From the bible we know this that the Word is God and the Word became Flesh. Therefore if anyone calls the Bible ‘The Word” they are calling it God because they are one and the same according to the bible. You state that no the bible is not God. You then deviate and talk about Christ, which I am struggling to understand the reason for.

            You then go on to state that the Bible is Gods Written Word. Is this the same Word that is God or is it a new “Word” that has been introduced by you or the church?

            If we are talking about a new word ‘Word’ then please tell me. If it is sacrosanct and truth and the Word then it is God, the bible is clear about this. If it is a new ‘word’ then please tell me. If it is then please answer my original question “where is it taught in the bible that it is the Word’

          • Monty

            John’s gospel states that there were not enough resources in the world to contain the account of what Jesus did in His 3-1/2 years on earth. The bible is simply the revelation of what God chooses to make known about Himself. If the bible had never been written, God would still exist. There was indeed a time when there was no written word. The bible is God’s word in that it is what He has said and done through thousand of years of human history. Perhaps it is not as easy for this current generation to comprehend, but there was once a time when a noble person’s word could be trusted absolutely. When God speaks, He can be trusted absolutely. We read (Psalm 138:2):
            “I will worship toward Your holy temple, and praise
            Your name for Your lovingkindness and Your truth; for you have magnified Your word above all Your name.”

            God’s name is incredibly important. He has a number of names that describe His nature and character. God Himself assigns a higher place to His word. You can say “God” all day long and it may mean nothing to you. If you start reading the bible with honesty and seeking truth, it will transform your life.

          • are you going to answer my question?

    • summers-lad

      John 1 states that Jesus is the Word of God.

      • David Cromie

        That is a fallacious circular argument, since the so-called ‘bible’ cannot be its own corroboration!

        • Tianzhu

          C:

          • David Cromie

            ???

        • summers-lad

          Not so. Clifford Ishii said, wrongly, that John 1 says that the Bible is the Word of God. I corrected him.
          “The Bible is the Word of God because the Bible says so” is of course a circular argument, but that is not the point I was making.
          However, a circular argument doesn’t prove the statement is wrong any more than it proves it right. Suppose that while at work, I write a letter beginning “My Director has asked me to reply to you.” This does not prove that I just made it up and my Director had nothing to do with it.

    • Lark62

      I wrote “This napkin is the word of god” on a napkin and now the napkin is the word of god because the napkin says it is the word of god.

      • If you meet the criterion for an inspired writer and napkin was the only available writing material; yes, the napkin won’t change God’s word. Though written on a napkin, it will still be God’s word.

        • Lark62

          My, my. Someone is gullible.

          Free advice: don’t bring your wallet within 100 feet of a christian preacher.

  • Monty

    When I was young I could not read the bible. I was saved just before my 21st birthday. Immediately I could read the bible. One of the reasons that the bible is so closed to so many is there is a great deal of false conversion. Just as I instinctively sought out fellowship (I despised church meetings up until then) so I had a desire for God’s word. There is a great danger in studying the word for the sake of it. I’ve met “walking bibles” who are spiritually dead. But “my people are destroyed for lack of knowledge”. God’s Word is in fact Lord Jesus. We need the Holy Spirit to lead us into the truth. The written word needs to become the Living word within us, but we need the written word first. If it was not necessary, God would not have caused His people to record his word. It should a great adventure, not a chore! The bible is a treasury of spiritual riches and we will suffer spiritual malnutrition if we do not take God’s word to be our word. Also it is a guard against deception, which is all too common in this day.

    • David Cromie

      Religion, itself, is the biggest scam known to humans. It has also fomented more wars and death than any other cause, in the history of the world.

      • Monty

        I am not religious. I am Christian. There is a world of difference. You also ignore the amazing amount of good that Christians do by lumping them (wrongly) in with religion. Some have done great wrong in God’s name. Anyone can put God’s name to anything. That does not make them right or Christian. Being a Christian is being truly alive for the first time. It is knowing God as a real Person, not just a power or a force or even a philosophy. God created all things, including you. One day you will meet Him. I hope you are ready.

        • David Cromie

          So you would reduce the difference between being ‘religious’ and being a ‘christian’ to some arcane game of semantics?

          Have you never noticed that it is purely an accident of geography that anyone becomes indoctrinated into any specific religion, or religious cult, whether they stick with it or not afterwards?

          Why are there so many versions of christianity, in any case? How come your supposed ‘god’ is such a dismal failure at propagating the ‘truth’? Then we have the other thousands of man-made ‘gods’ throughout history, so what is your problem with those?

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SNtF1-Y-JJM

  • celticcoll

    What I love about people pressing following the Bible is they know nothing of they history of the Bible–how it was put together, how the books included in it (particularly the NT) were chosen, the great number left out, the fact that at one tie it was only Paulian works and gospels. Then let’s deal with the issue of translation from the original languages and the lack of understanding of the cultural context of the words in their time, which we cannot necessarily know or recover and only approximate. Then, let’s deal with the fact that for close to 1600 years after Christ there was no Bible in the vernacular language, yet Christians developed hell, their views of dealing with sin, etc that influence how each denomination perceives the Bible. Let’s include the fact that that was a snake in Eden, not Satan, as written and interpreted by the Jews who wrote the OT. But hey, you keep on insisting on the Bible as a single authoritative, unequivocal book with no history that we can all agree on, which it’s not. When you understand the history of the Bible and the history of religion, than lecture me on how to interpret the Bible, until then, you are in no position to do so.

    • jamesparson

      I find it interesting too that Christians don’t seem to be interested in how the Bible was put together

      The oldest manuscript is from 125-175 AD. I would think they would want to see because it is the closest we get to whatever original there was. Anything else is a later copy.

      https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/85f81618862fbe577ab2275011cb63a05dcfc1e95f8003c367f2d72946a7ce26.jpg

      Source

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rylands_Library_Papyrus_P52

    • What makes you think people pressing following the Bible know nothing of its history? Hail Celticoll! The only learned biblical historian.

    • Monty

      Those of us who actually know God know that He is not unfair or unjust. He ensured that His Word was accurate and reflected the nature and character of God. The vast majority of Christians agree that the bible is inerrant in its original languages. People do interpret things differently but that is a human problem, not God’s. I did not know how the bible was put together when I first got saved. It did not matter and it is not that important now. I now know the history but it makes no difference. I do know that the bible is God’s word. You either accept it or you don’t. The bible judges and condemns sinners but also speaks of the great love of God that offers forgiveness through the death of His Son on the cross. Once you accept that Jesus died and rose again for your sin, you will be born again. Everything starts to become clear. You need to turn away from your present way of life, humble yourself and see your great need of forgiveness. Then God will save you. And I don’t follow the bible as if it was some kind of idol. I follow Christ. I find Him in the bible. You can find Him too if you will seek Him.

      • Good_Samaritan

        You are exactly the person celticcoll is talking about. Unassailably arrogant in your ignorance.

  • billwald

    God’s covenants are either unilateral or bilateral, universal or specific, and cumulative or replacements. The Noahic Covenant obligated all humans. The Mosaic Covenant, only the people who came out of Egypt with Moses and converts to that religion. It should be obvious that all the 613 Laws were not intended for those living above the Arctic Circle.

    In Act, the Jerusalem Council observed the Jewish Law and expect St Paul to offer temple sacrifices. The Council did NOT instruct Paul to require his gentile converts to follow the 613 Laws.

    Christianity teaches that the NT covenant replaces all the OT covenants for Christians.

    • DuckyShades

      what does this have to do with anything in these articles

    • David Cromie

      So ‘NT Covenant’ christers should ditch the OT as irrelevant (does that include the 10 Commandments)? Good, you are on your way to enlightenment!

      Now ditch the NT for the pure make-believe that it actually is, because fashioned around a supposed man-god named JC, for which there is no contemporary evidence, whether written or archaeological. Compare, as an exercise, the earliest known ‘bible’, the Codex Sinaiticus, or the Codex Vaticanus, both dating from the 4th cent, CE, with the KJV, and note the glaring differences; the additions, editing, and curious omissions.

      There is much else you would learn if you were to study the actual history of Christianity properly, not least who wrote the so-called ‘bible’! Note, men-gods existed before the 1st cent. CE, and afterwards, most claiming to be the ‘messiah’.

      • Monty

        *Yawn* Your arguments are specious and meaningless. Sure there are different versions. I’ve got the Amplified, NASB, and I use the internet to compare many versions (BibleHub to be exact).I have a Greek/Hebrew dictionary. I also have something far more important. I have the Holy Spirit whose job description includes leading me into the truth. 99.9% of the time the differences are insignificant. The KJV suffers from the change of meaning of many words as English evolves. And yes, it was far from perfect. But it was certainly good enough for hundreds of years and still is much better than nothing. There is more evidence for the existence, life, death and resurrection of Christ than there is for Julius Caesar, Aristotle or other famous men of that era. That you refuse to accept the truth is sad, but it is your prerogative.

        • Good_Samaritan

          “There is more evidence for the existence, life, death and resurrection of Christ than there is for Julius Caesar, Aristotle or other famous men of that era.”

          This is just patently untrue, though it is a lie that evangelicals parrot to each other constantly.

          • jamesparson

            I wonder what this evidence is they speak of?

        • jamesparson

          “I have the Holy Spirit whose job description includes leading me into the truth.”

          I wonder if this intended to be a conversation stopper? It is a good one if it is. No one can really argue what the Holy Spirit may of may not be saying to Monty.

          So does everything people accredit to the Holy Spirit have to be true? OR do some people say things credit the Holy Spirit and are still wrong?

          • Monty

            Christians are not infallible. Some attribute their own thoughts and feelings to the Holy Spirit, quite incorrectly. One thing is for sure: whatever is truly of the Holy Spirit will never contradict the bible. So no, I did not intend to end the conversation!

          • jamesparson

            Thanks for the clarification. I look forward to reading more of your comments in the future.

        • David Cromie

          Your superstitious delusions are showing! Where is your irrefutable, falsifiable, evidence that your favourite supposed ‘god’ actually exists?

          There is just as much evidence for belief in unicorns, as there is for the ‘god’ of the so-called ‘bible’. Then there are all those other thousands of ‘gods’ that you reject, but on what basis?

          • Monty

            I’ve had similar conversations with people for 45 years. The answer is always the same and people like you always respond the same way. You choose to reject all the evidence, no matter how compelling. You’ve made up your mind and I have only truth to give you. You reject the truth so there is nothing more I can say.

      • jamesparson

        I was aware this and it was significant to me. It tells me a couple of things about the nature of the Bible.

        1.) It was written down by real people being paid to do a job. A very expensive time consuming job at that.

        2.) The fact there are not 100% the same tells me there was no divine intervention to keep then consistent.

        3.) The Bible as we know it would not exist until the 4th Century. A lot of stuff can happen in 300 to 400 years.

        4.) The oldest documents of a Jewish person (Jesus), is written in Greek. It sounds like the NT is a product of Greek culture not Jewish culture.

        5.) I would expect an all knowing god to know that the Latin alphabet and the descendants of the Latin Language would be much much more common than the modern descendants of Koine Greek. In other words the Bible should have been written in Latin not Greek. Better yet, wait until the printing press.

        For these and other reasons, I doubt the accuracy of the Bible.

        • Monty

          The people who wrote the bible were conscious that they were recording God’s word. They took it pretty seriously as a result. Jesus spoke Aramaic. The bible was written in Greek because it was the common language of the day. The Greeks had controlled Israel for a lot longer than the Romans. I also know that the Latin spoken in that day was incredibly difficult to learn for those who did not grow up with the language. (I had enough trouble with the simplified Latin that was taught in my high school). God knows what He is doing. The bible was eventually translated into Latin anyway. And old English. And eventually in almost every language under the sun. It is that important.

  • DuckyShades

    So pretty much we have a guy who probably doesn’t believe the Bible is the “Word of God” writing a short article summoning people to action, and a much longer rebuttal ripe with endless Scripture references of someone who was offended by such a stance. Yup, sounds about right! Christians are so afraid of belittling the beloved, er, idolized “Word of God” that it consumes their focus. Then their conscious. Then they go to conferences. Then read books. Then small groups. Then counseling because they’re guilt plagued. Meanwhile…there’s some Bhuddists across the way puttin’ on a compassion clinic that put ya’ll to SHAME. Yea I tend to agree with the original article. Love people and you’ll see more of God than you can absorb in some guys theological take on Jesus’ drowning of the pigs.

  • Jeff Tomes

    All part of the commodification of Christianity. Provocative op-ed/blog titles, multiple book deals, multi venue fiefdoms, multi million dollar budgets, conference after conference etc… These guys are in business. Please pardon my tone. I don’t know these guys their Theology or their character. I just get an aching in my soul as the evangelical industrial complex steams along.

  • Jeff

    Who is Brian Jones?

    • Tiny J

      He’s that one guy….You know… from that thing?

  • Enlightened

    I have difficulty understanding why many Christians do not have much knowledge of the OT. The OT KJV is larger than the NT. They cannot explain why their god waited 200,000+ years to have a written account of civilization. Or, how “days” existed before the creation of the sun. Or why their god allows 20,000+ children under 5 years old to die every day. Ignorance is not bliss!

    • petej

      zzzzzzzzzz

    • Tiny J

      I have difficulty understanding why so many atheists say this. It isn’t true and it has nothing to do with you.
      .
      But, in the interest of actually answering your questions, I would speculate that the alleged Christians in question suck at Christian-ing.

  • James

    The problem with the bible is once you pull the string of how the bible was actually put together and who wrote it, a lot of the bullshit falls apart. Like the acid trip of revelations is crap, yet a LOT of money has been made off of it. Sorry but when the bible is read from a non fundamentalist/evangelical perspective the business that is “church” starts to not really matter.

    • DuckyShades

      More likely a mushroom trip, but yea…

  • Raymond

    “The Didache, in accordance with Acts 2:46-47, even shows they often met on a daily basis – sometimes multiple times in a day”

    Sure, but the early church believed that the Second Coming would occur in their lifetimes, so enthusiasm for services and prayer was easy. The more time that passes and no Second Coming, the less people believe.

    • Tiny J

      Also, no internet.

  • Daniel G. Johnson

    Your bible religion is only a couple hundred years old. It was formed to counter Catholic, Orthodox, and Reformation traditions. That it became an industry and now many assume it’s “old time religion”, is kind of the same kin as the claim that Trump represents someone’s traditional values.

  • Cliff

    This is a ridiculous post/argument….lacking in scholarship and common sense as well. ……Cliff Hill

  • Tiny J

    “Good works result in going to heaven.”
    I’d like to point out that cause and effect means “People who are going to heaven, do good works”. Since “Faith without works is dead” and it’s faith that saves us in the first place, the good works are a side effect, not the means to the end.