THE BIBLE IS NOT INFALLIBLE (2)
Instead of telling the earth to stand still in order to extend daylight, Joshua ignorantly commanded the sun to stand still.
There are four gospels in the New Testament bible said to have been written by Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. However, these books were written anonymously, there were no names in any of the original manuscripts. As Rev. Dr. Hooykaas says: “The titles placed above them in our Bibles owe their origin to a later ecclesiastical tradition which deserves no confidence whatever.”
Can everything in the bible therefore be said to be true? Certainly, the Holy Spirit did not inspire the Catholic Church to assign fictitious names to gospel writers, giving the false impression they were written by Jesus’ apostles.
Moses says “an eye for an eye.” (Exodus 21:24). Jesus says “turn the other cheek.” (Matthew 5:39). Which one of these is of God? Certainly, both cannot be true. When you exercise the prerogative to accept Jesus’ prescription and to reject that of Moses, Christians confounded by bibliolatry accuse you of being selective. They insist you must either accept every contradiction in the bible hook, line and sinker; or reject the bible in its entirety.
What they don’t seem to know, however, is that those who compiled the bible were highly selective. They not only accepted certain books as being inspired while rejecting others, they also accepted parts of certain books and rejected other parts.
For example, Bible redactors accepted the book of Daniel, but removed chapters 13 and 14 of Daniel from the bible. Thereby, the book of Daniel in the bible ended in chapter 12 instead of the original chapter 14. They also removed a big chunk of the dialogue between the Hebrew children and an angel in the fire in Daniel Chapter 3. (You can read the removed parts today on the internet).
Who then is the inspired one? Is it Daniel or those who compiled the bible? If bible redactors can be selective, not only among books but within books, why can’t the believer do likewise?
If those who compiled the bible were completely inspired in their choice, why were they so confused? They ascribed Hebrews to no one, then to Paul, then to no one. The book was rejected then accepted, then rejected and then accepted again. Revelation was accepted as a genuine book up to around A.D. 325. It was dropped at the Council of Laodicea in A. D. 363; only to be re-included in A.D. 397.
The Book of Enoch was accepted until A.D. 363. It was dropped at the Council of Laodicea. Nevertheless, it was retained by the Christian Church in Eastern Europe. Can this confusion be of God? Is this not the confusion of men?
The New Catholic Encyclopedia says: “According to Catholic doctrine, the proximate criterion of the biblical canon is the infallible decision of the church. This decision was not given until rather late in the history of the Church at the Council of Trent.” The Council of Tent did not take place until between 1545 and 1563. This shows the Catholic Church did not accept the earlier canons.
Jesus says “salvation is of the Jews.” (John 4:22). Why then should Christians accept a bible canon chosen by Roman Catholics? The current Catholic bible includes books not in the Protestant bible, such as Tobith, Judith, six extra chapters of Esther, Wisdom, Sirach, Baruch, two extra chapters of Daniel, and 1 & 2 Maccabees. So which is infallible, the Catholic bible or the Protestant bible?
Other Christian churches also have their own canons, such as the Ethiopian, Coptic, Syrian, Byzantine and Armenian canons. All these differ one from the other. Can they all be infallible at the same time? Surely, the Holy Spirit cannot be responsible for this confusion.
It is said repeatedly in the bible that the earth does not move. “The world also is firmly established, it shall not be moved.” (1 Chronicles 16:30; Psalm 96:10). “Surely the world is established, so that it cannot be moved.” (Psalm 93:1). “You who laid the foundations of the earth, so that it should not be moved forever.” (Psalm 104:5).
But this is not true. The earth is always moving. It is moving very fast at 66,622 miles per hour (mph); faster than a typical plane which only flies at 550 mph. The earth completes a full rotation in 24 hours, which makes a day. So the scriptures saying the earth does not move cannot be of divine inspiration.
Solomon says: “The sun rises and the sun sets, and hurries back to where it rises.” (Ecclesiastes 1:5). This cannot be an inspired statement either. Science has since shown beyond reasonable doubt that the sun does not “hurry back to where it rises.” It is the earth that revolves around the sun and not vice-versa.
So what can we say about the scripture where instead of telling the earth to stand still in order to extend daylight, Joshua ignorantly commanded the sun to stand still? (Joshua 10:12-13). Confronted with such obvious blunder, some Christians become outright liars. They came up with the cock-and-bull story that a computer at NASA actually discovered Joshua’s missing day in the calendar of the universe. NASA itself has declared this to be pure fiction.
Around 1500, Nicolaus Copernicus wrote a book claiming the earth revolved around the sun. The Church of Rome banned it for contradicting the bible. Martin Luther called Copernicus “an upstart astrologer.” John Calvin asked: “Who will venture to place the authority of Copernicus above that of the Holy Spirit. The sun runs from one end of the heavens to the other.”
About 100 years later, Giordano Bruno also taught that the earth orbited the sun and that the stars were distant suns with planets orbiting them. He was burned at the stake for heresy by the Catholic Church.
In the 1600’s, Galileo built a telescope and observed the planetary system. He concluded that the earth orbited the sun and not vice-versa as Joshua, Solomon and other biblical writers had implied. Galileo was indicted by the Catholic Church for having the audacity to hold an opinion contrary to Holy Scripture. He was forced to recant of this heresy and sentenced to house arrest for the rest of his life.
But in November 1992, long after the invention of different modern telescopes and after man had gone to space and even walked on the moon, the Catholic Church finally admitted officially that the bible got it wrong. The earth did revolve around the sun after all. Pope John Paul was constrained to vindicate Galileo.
He said: “Galileo, who practically invented the experimental method, understood why only the sun could function as the centre of the world, as it was then known, that is to say, as a planetary system. The error of the theologians of the time, when they maintained the centrality of the earth, was to think that our understanding of the physical world’s structure was, in some way, imposed by the literal sense of Sacred Scripture.”
In 2000, the pope issued a formal apology for all the mistakes committed by Catholics in the last 2,000 years of the Church’s history, including the trial of Galileo among others. This was a diplomatic way of admitting the bible is not infallible.