Have you ever wondered if the assumptions you’ve had about the Bible don’t really match with how you approach any other topic in life? Maybe they’re a bit outdated? Perhaps even unethical and unhealthy to cling to any longer?
In today’s post, I want to present 10 myths about the Bible that many Christians are taught to believe without question by pastors and other ministers, but are actually causing a lot of problems for their faith.
10 Myths Christians often believe about the Bible
Myth #1. The Bible is either all true or none of it’s true.
Myth #2. The Bible doesn’t contradict itself.
Myth #3. The original documents of the Bible are inspired by God; not the copies.
Myth #4. Rejecting Biblical inerrancy leads us down “the slippery slope” to losing our faith.
Myth #5. Trusting God means trusting the Bible completely, not on human reason.
Myth #6. Christians should never question the Bible.
Myth #7. Truth is exclusively found in the Bible.
Myth #8. You can’t base your faith in God or your trust in the Bible on feelings.
Myth #9. Christians should be very worried about being deceived by others (so read your Bible).
Myth #10. The foundation of the Christian faith is the Bible.
Any of that list sound familiar? Were you taught to believe these myths and/or believed them at some point in your life? In the following new blog series, I will be giving each of the 10 myths a separate blog post where I’ll explain what is meant to be understood by each myth and then respond with reasons why they are misguided. In today’s blog post, I simply want to address why these myths are often believed by many good-hearted Christians and what is at stake for them.
Which brings us to a theological phrase: Biblical inerrancy.
If you have been a Christian for any amount of time, especially if you grew up going to church, you have probably heard that the Bible does not have errors. The fancy academic phrase for this view is “Biblical inerrancy.”
Most Christians I know believe this view about the Bible to be true. I did too for many years, but I no longer share this conviction for reasons that I will get to in the blog series. Let me be clear though: I love the Bible. I read the Bible nearly every day. It has been one of the biggest (and main) sources of life and hope and joy and instruction on how I live my life with meaning and purpose. And yes, I meet God in the pages of Scripture. I am, in that sense, a “Bible believing Christian.”
More than all of this, I make it my life’s ambition to love and follow Jesus, and to do so in Christian community. At the same time, I cannot in good conscience hold to Biblical inerrancy due to the mounting evidence that strongly suggests otherwise.
For a great many Christians, when it comes to believing (or not believing) the Bible to be inerrant (error-free), what is at stake is not just maintaining a difference of opinion about the nature of the Bible. What is literally at stake is the foundation of their entire faith. For others, holding the view of Biblical inerrancy actually affects a person’s eternal destiny.
Many sincere Christians were taught by influential pastors and leaders that the Bible is “either all true or none of it’s true.” It’s what some theologians call the “all or nothing view.” It is argued that “if even just one part of the Bible is incorrect or false, then how could we trust that any part of the Bible is true.”
My intention in writing this series is in no way to cause people to turn away from their faith in Jesus, immediately switch political parties, or become atheists. While it’s true that some people do some or all of those things when they discover that the Biblical inerrancy view is on shaky ground, this does not mean it is the most reasonable and likely outcome (or that everyone should do the same). Anything and everything can be cause for why someone leaves their faith or religion; fear of losing our faith should not be a reason to not deal with the question of Biblical inerrancy.
Raising questions about Biblical inerrancy is not in and of itself a rejection of Jesus, the incarnation, or any other important pieces of Christian faith.
I have two intentions for this series.
First, to present ten myths that many Christians believe about the Bible and Biblical inerrancy that are often believed without question. These myths are so deeply foundational to the Biblical inerrancy view that Christians don’t often realize just how influential they are in persuading them to keep and maintain that view.
Second, to demonstrate that instead of maintaining the view of an error-less (inerrant) Bible, it is far better ground for Christians to root their faith in the person of Jesus himself.
While you may read this series and not become persuaded by my reasoning, I hope you will at least keep an open mind.