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Facebook Bible Critic: “Apparently, there is an all-powerful, all-knowing being who is incapable of preventing His most important message to humanity from getting corrupted by mere humans.” – Jerry Spencer.
What Mr. Spencer has failed to understand is that after Satan, Adam, and Eve, all perfect creations by God abused their free will and rebelled against their Creator, God allowed sin (missing the mark of perfection) to enter into his creation, resulting in human imperfection, old age, and death for Adam and Eve, while Satan received a condemnatory judgment of eventual destruction. Why would God allow this? This is the greatest object lesson that humanity will ever face, in that they will learn that they were not designed to walk on their own without being under the sovereignty of God. They must face the consequences for a time for their rejection of God’s sovereignty believing the evil lies of Satan that God was holding back special knowledge from them, that they did not need God, and that they could walk on their own. For a more in-depth answer to the problem of evil, see the articles below.
In addition, there are no contradictions, errors, or mistakes in the Bible, but there are Bible difficulties. Basically, Bible Difficulties are difficulties that arise because the Bible was written in Hebrew, some Aramaic, and Greek over 1,600 years by some forty+ authors, in dozens of different historical settings that require much Bible background knowledge. This above is not enough to satisfy a doubting or an unbeliever; you need a basic understanding of what they are, how to explain them, how to approach them, procedures in dealing with them, and how you should view them, as well as some examples. Below is one such example.
Why would the Holy Spirit miraculously inspire 66 fully inerrant texts, and then allow human imperfection into the copies?
2 Kings 24:8 American Standard Version (ASV)
8 Jehoiachin was eighteen years old when he began to reign; and he reigned in Jerusalem three months: and his mother’s name was Nehushta the daughter of Elnathan of Jerusalem.
2 Chronicles 36:9 American Standard Version (ASV)
9 Jehoiachin was eight years old when he began to reign; and he reigned three months and ten days in Jerusalem: and he did that which was evil in the sight of Jehovah.
2 Kings 24:8 Updated American Standard Version (ASV)
8 Jehoiachin was eighteen years old when he became king, and he reigned three months in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Nehushta the daughter of Elnathan of Jerusalem.
2 Chronicles 36:9 Updated American Standard Version (ASV)
9 Jehoiachin was eighteen years old when he became king, and he reigned three months and ten days in Jerusalem. He did what was evil in the eyes of Jehovah.
In the older translations, it states at 2 Kings 24:8 that Jehoiachin was eighteen years old when he began to reign. However, 2 Chronicles 36:9 states that Jehoiachin was eight years old when he began to reign. Which is correct? Well, all modern Bible translations read a 2 Chronicles 36:9 that Jehoiachin was eighteen years old when he became king. (e.g., UASV, ESV, NASB, CSB, LEB) This is a textual issue of a copyist error. It is true when looking at the external evidence that most of the Hebrew Old Testament manuscripts, as well as most of the Greek Septuagint (LXX) and the Latin Vulgate (Vg) at 2 Chronicles 36:9, read “eight years old” as opposed to “eighteen years old.” However, the Greek Septuagint (LXXA) Codex Alexandrinus, fifth century C.E. and the Greek Septuagint (LXXL) P. de Lagarde, Göttingen, Germany, 1883, as well as the Syriac Peshitta, Christian Aram., fifth cent. C.E read “eighteen years old” at 2 Chronicles 36:9.
The primary weight of external evidence generally goes to the original Hebrew language manuscripts (M = Masoretic). The Codex Leningrad B 19A and the Aleppo Codex are almost always preferred. These Masoretes were early Jewish scholars, who were the successors to the Sopherim, in the centuries following Christ, who produced what came to be known as the Masoretic Text. The Masoretes were well aware of the alterations made by the earlier Sopherim. Rather than simply remove the alterations, they chose to note them in the margins or at the end of the text.
Nevertheless, when other manuscripts (LXXA, LXXL, Syr.) are supported by solid internal evidence, the preferred reading is “eighteen years old.” The parallel text at 2 Kings 24:8 has “eighteen years old.” Remember, Jehoiachin only reigned for three months and the internal evidence of 2 Kings 24:9 states that Jehoiachin “did that which was evil in the eyes of Jehovah,” which fits with the facts that he was an older man, not some “eight-year-old” boy. Also, God judged Jehoiachin for his evil deeds by allowing him to be taken by the Chaldeans, who then placed him in prison in 597 B.C.E., which would also suggest that he was an adult who was accountable for his actions. The textual information also shows us that there were two quite common mistakes made by copyists: (1) proper names, especially if they were not common names, and (2) numbers.
Pondering. If we ask why didn’t God inspire copyists, then, it will have to follow, why didn’t God inspire translators, why didn’t God inspire Bible scholars that author commentaries on the Bible, and so on? If God’s initial purpose was to give us a fully inerrant, authoritative, authentic, and accurate Word, why not adequately protect the Scriptures in all facets of transmission from error: copy, translate, and interpret? If God did this, and people were moved along by the Holy Spirit, it would soon become noticeable that when people copy the texts, they would be unable to make an error or mistake or even willfully change something.
Where would it stop? Would this being moved along by the Holy Spirit apply to anyone who decided to make themselves a copy, testing to see if they too would be inspired? In time, this would prove to be actual evidence for God. This would negate the reasons for why God has allowed sin, human imperfection to enter into humanity in the first place, to teach them an object lesson, man cannot walk on his own without his Creator. God created perfect humans giving them a perfect start and through the abuse of free will, they rejected his sovereignty. He did not just keep creating perfect humans again and again, as though he got something wrong. God gave us his perfect Word and has again chosen to allow us to continue in our human imperfection, learning our object lesson. God has stepped into humanity many hundreds of times in the Bible record, maybe tens of thousands of times unbeknownst to us over the past 6,000+ years in order to tweak things to get the desired outcome of his will and purposes. However, there is no aspect of life where his stepping in on any particular point was to be continuous until the return of the Son. Maybe God gave us a perfect copy of sixty-six books and then like everything else, he placed the responsibility of copying, translating, and interpreting on us, just as he gave us the Great Commission of proclaiming that Word, explaining that Word, so as to make disciples. – Matthew 24:14;28-19-20; Acts 1:8.
Reflecting. Some Bible critics seem, to begin with, the belief that if the originals were inspired by God and fully inerrant, the subsequent copies must continue to be inerrant in order for the inerrancy of the originals to have value. They seem to be asking, “If only the originals were inspired, and the copies were not inspired, and we do not have the originals, how are we to be certain of any passage in Scripture?” In other words, God would never allow the inspired, inerrant Word to suffer copying errors. Why would he perform the miracle of inspiring the message to be fully inerrant and not continue with the miracle of inspiring the copyists throughout the centuries to keep it inerrant? First, we must acknowledge that God has not given us the specifics of every decision he has made in reference to humans. If we begin asking, “Why did God not do this or do that,” where would it end? For example, why didn’t God just produce the books himself, and miraculously deliver them to people as he gave the commandments to Moses? Instead of using humans, why did he not use angelic messengers to pen the message, or produce the message miraculously? God has chosen not to tell us why he did not move the copyists along with the Holy Spirit, so as to have perfect copies, and it remains an unknown. However, it should be noted that if we can restore the text to its original wording through the art and science of textual criticism, i.e. to an exact representation thereof, we have, in essence, the originals.
As for errors in all the copies, we have, however, we can say is that the vast majority of the Greek text is not affected by errors at all. The errors occur in the form of variant readings, i.e., portions of the text where different manuscripts disagree. Of the small amount of the text that is affected by variant readings, the vast majority of these are minor slips of the pen, misspelled words, etc., or intentional but quickly analyzed changes, and we are certain what the original reading is in these places. A far smaller number of changes present challenges to establishing the original reading. It has always been said and remains true that no major doctrine is affected by a textual problem. Only rarely does a textual issue change the meaning of a verse. Still, establishing the original text wherever there are variant readings is vitally important. Every word matters!
 Leading textual scholar Daniel Wallace tells us, after looking at all of the evidence, that the percentage of instances where the reading is uncertain and a well-attested alternative reading could change the meaning of the verse is a quarter of one percent, i.e., 0.0025%
It is true that the Jewish copyists, as well as the later Christian copyists, were not led along by the Holy Spirit, and therefore their manuscripts were not inerrant, infallible. Errors (textual variants) crept into the manuscripts unintentionally and intentionally. However, the vast majority of the Hebrew Old Testament and Greek New Testament has not been infected with textual errors. For the portions impacted with textual errors, it is the many tens of thousands of copies that we have to help us to weed out the errors. How? Well, not every copyist made the same textual errors. Hence, by comparing the work of different copyists and different manuscripts, textual scholars, we can identify the textual variants (errors), remove those, which leaves us with the original content.
Yes, it would be the greatest discovery of all time if we found the actual original five books that were penned by Moses himself, Genesis through Deuteronomy, or the original Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. However, first, there would be no way of establishing that they were the originals. Second, truth be told, we do not need the originals. We do not need those original documents. What is so important about the documents? Nothing, it is the content on the original documents that we are after. And truly miraculously, we have more copies than needed to do just that. We do not need miraculous preservation because we have miraculous restoration. We now know beyond a reasonable doubt that the Hebrew Old Testament and the Greek New Testament critical texts are a 99.99% reflection of the content that was in those ancient original manuscripts. See the articles below.
How Can We Explain Bible Difficulties and the Existence of Hundreds of Thousands of Scribal Errors in Our Manuscripts?
Please Help Us Keep These Thousands of Blog Posts Growing and Free for All