Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Historical Validity of the Bible As God's Word

The inerrancy and perfectness of the Bible has been a central aspect of faith for most Christian sects. And this has been the cause (atleast indirectly) of some major tussles between the medieval church and science. But whether we like it or not there are many parts of the Bible which doesn't agree perfectly with known scientific, historic and logical facts.

I feel, its totally unecessary for Christians to claim that every book, verse, word in the Bible is perfect. The simple reason being, we have a lot of contrary evidence.

Also for the believer, Christianity need not stand or fall on the reliability of the Bible. The following are a few notable points.
1) The Bible was written by human beings.
2) Unlike Quran, we don't have any documentary evidence of God or any other divine source dictating the contents of what is to be the Bible. There are no such claims in the Bible itself.
3) The exact choice of the Books to be in the Bible was decided by councils and synods and not by God or angels.

The history of early Christianity is also the story of a number of various heresies and doctrinal differences. The choice of the contents of the Bible would have been definitely influenced by the numerous councils and synods in early Christian period, which were setup to reconcile the differences. A few notable ones being,
-> Council of Jerusalem 50 AD
-> The First Council of Niceae 325 AD
-> The Synod of Laodicea 364 AD
-> The Council of Constantinople 381 AD
-> The Synod of Hippo 393 AD

The role of politics and power too cannot be overridden.

The point is that, if we check history, we see that what is to be the Bible was not given apriori. Early Christianity didn't spring up from an entirely Biblical source. Its more like the Bible evolved over a few centuries during the early Christian period to be what it is now. i.e. The Bible as we know today didn't exist until atleast Christianity reached a certain level. The Bible was not the single source that created early Christianity, rather it evolved with it.

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