Vintage Hip and Thigh
As I cobble together my longer posts for my next study, I ran across this from the archives back in 2007. I present it again, slightly updated.
Thank You Mr. Atheist for Your Loving Concern
From the Email In-box:
I accidently ran into your internet site and read your article about an inerrant Bible.I won't go into the area of screwed up translations.I will copy and paste some of your statements and comment on them. Paste from your site: Anything He does will be untainted with error, and because He has breathed out scripture, the scripture is then tied to His purity and holiness and can correctly said to be inerrant.
From me>>To believe your bible in any translation(or original manuscripts) is inerrant & god breathed, here is what you must believe.
#1.A snake can talk(remember the snake was cursed to crawl on it's belly & eat dust.
#2.A donkey can talk.
#3.That man was so stupid back then that he actually thought he could build a tower to heaven.
#4.You have to believe against any logical thinking that all those animals,incl,snakes & all different kinds of insects and enough food to feed all of them(different kinds of food)for almost one year would fit on an ark that size,which is impossible.
#5.You have to believe there was food for them to eat when they came off the ark even though the whole earth was supposedly covered in water.
#6.You have to believe in a flat earth because these supposedly inspired by god people said so back then.
#7.You have to believe the earth is 6 to 10,000 years old despite overwhelming proof it is much,much older,even if not 4.5 billion years old.
#8.You have to believe all those heavenly bodies out there that they are still finding were created in one literal day(morning & evening)that is despite the fact that even now they are finding suns,stars just now begining [sic] to form.
#9.You have to believe god made the sun stand still when it already stands still or believe god stopped the rotation of the earth which anyone should know would be a disaster in many ways for earth.
#10.You have to believe Lot's wife turned into a pillar of salt which is unbelievable.
#11.You have to believe Lot had intercourse with 2 of his daughters on 2 different nights and knew it not.
#12.You have to believe Jesus was concieved [sic] without human intercourse this despite the fact that at least 20 other dying & resurrecting savior sun gods had this claimed of them long,long before the supposed time of Jesus,you claim them a myth but the same tale about Jesus true.
I could go on about the impossibilities you claim to be inerrant in your bible.The names of authors of the whole Bible is unknown the names claimed to be the writters [sic] was guessed at by Hebrews(O.T.) and Christians(N.T.)no one ZERO knows who wrote one word in the bible.Only a brainwashed,mind controlled christian [sic] could ever believe the Bible inerrant,it's to obvious that it is not for any thinking person.
I want you to know how much I appreciated your email. I was touched by the fact you took the time to express to me your concerns in writing.
Honestly, I am a rather obscure and unknown internet presence with a small time website and a blog that maybe gets 200 visits a day, half of which are people looking for joint pain medication. I am no where in the league of a James White, or Steve Hays, or Dan Phillips, or the guys at Answers in Genesis, or even that pseudonymous J.P Holding guy. In the grand scheme of things, I am a guppy in a big, big pond of much larger, more significant fish.
Yet you thought enough of me – someone who is a total stranger to you – to become a mentor of sorts and help straighten me out. Most atheists are not even as considerate as you, but instead lace their correspondence with rude, insulting remarks and scurrilous comments meant only to ridicule and tear me down.
You far exceed the hacks from the Rational Response Squad. That is what I particularly like about your email. It contains none of the snarky arrogance common place among atheists. You even took the time to list some examples where you believe I have intellectually derailed.
First off, I must confess my overall dismay. Your email really shook me up. I mean, in the entire 2,000 years of church history since apologists have been answering critics with their polemics, I don't believe I have read any biblio-skeptic offer the examples you provide here. You must be praised for originality and freshness with your criticisms. And regrettably, I haven't read a Christian book attempting to answer them.
Take a few of the Bible verses you pointed out. You mean to tell me what I learned in 3rd grade Sunday school class,via a felt board, that the Tower of Babel is wrong? You mean to say it wasn’t just a large temple? That the expression "whose top reached to the heavens" is telling me this was a mythical story describing a structure designed to take men into heaven itself? Into outer-space? Like a giant space elevator or something? Yes, I guess I can see how that is a bit silly. What a face-palm.
Oh, and to think I just presupposed the fact that since God is God, then miraculous, one time events like a talking snake, or a talking donkey, or Lot's wife turning into a pillar of salt (assuming the expression is not a way of saying she died in the judgment of sulfur and brimstone) could be expected to happen.
Gosh, I had no idea I was suppose to look at all reality only through material naturalistic uniformitarianism as a philosophical filter. Thank you for clarifying that for me.
Also, I must how gladdened I am that your email was devoid of any phony, educated condescending huff and puff. Many atheists I have encountered in the past carry on with their criticisms about the reliability of the biblical text as if they have genuinely studied textual criticism, but in reality, they are ignorantly repeating 3rd, maybe 4th hand sources as they type away in their mother's basement.
But you are different.
You seem to draw from a deep well of information and personal experience when you point out any belief in the inerrancy of scripture has zero evidence and no thinking person would adhere to such a belief. Golly, I have only been studying the Bible for nearly 20 years, a good half of that time at a seminary. I learned just two years of Greek and a year and a half of Hebrew. You must have really studied those languages, like, a whole lot. How long have you been a student of textual criticism and the original languages? I envy your expertise.
I'm guessing now, since reading your email, that I have wasted my time heavily immersing myself in the critical studies of many of the textual scholars the world has mistakenly labeled “brilliant.” Men like Constantine Von Tischendorf, Johann Bengel, Robert Dick Wilson, E.J. Young, D.A. Carson and Daniel Wallace, a man who actually handles and documents the original texts often under consideration when we speak of inerrancy.
These guys all claim the historical documents are overwhelmingly trustworthy and reliable and provide for us an almost 100 percent accuracy when it comes to the veracity of the biblical text. Yet in reality, as you point out, these men are nothing but a bunch of bunko artists. I’ve been duped. You can imagine how shaken of soul I am since considering your email.
I reckon the same goes for biblical creationism. How you have found the time to not only be an expert in biblical studies, but also in all the applied sciences is truly amazing. You really left me scratching my head, because I don't believe I have read any one who has ever addressed the star light problems you raised in your email. Double-face-palm.
At any rate, I apparently now have reevaluate what I have learned thanks to your thoughtful exposure of these non-thinking and brainwashed dolts. I have never seen so clearly before now.
So thank you for your loving concern. I am in your service, for you have saved me much embarrassment.