You will need to bear with me. This may get wordy. We are going to get to proof texting. Those who believe in the errancy of scripture unlike those of us who believe that Scripture has been preserved by God for our correction and understanding, they actually use proof texting to prove their point as well, while accusing others of doing the same.
Charles and I had a conversation on a blog which I will later credit. Charles says to me:
“I noticed certain contradictions in the bible e.g. where God was said to have incited David to hold a census in 2 Samuel 24:1-4 compared with where it said that Satan had done this in 1 Chronicles 21:1-4.”
I never really directly answered him on this point on that blog, although I may use this article to do so. Sometimes you just have to say “what’s the use?” But, here I am, as you will see, going to divide out and attempt to answer his own proof textings which are stated as support for his claims for the errancy of Scripture.
I have divided the points that he makes in order to answer them as a teaching opportunity here not to put him down, but to hopefully make a point.
His first issue with scripture listed above is really not a contradiction, it is a failure to accept just what is revealed to have happened. So consider is it a problem that God’s anger was the catalyst that Satan used to influence David in making a wrong decision? In The Gospel of Matthew chapter 4:1-11, we see that Satan used God’s word to tempt even Jesus God’s Son, who was the creator of all that was created (John 1), that would mean that even the angels and Satan himself were created by Him. So why is it so difficult to believe that David unknowingly allowed Satan to deceive him over what he knew to be God’s displeasure. These two passages compliment rather than contradict.
“A direct contradiction in Exodus 33 (vs 11 in which it says that Yahweh would speak to Moses face-to-face, as one speaks to a friend, compared with vs 20, where it says that no-one might see Yahweh and live) was also a significant event in my realisation that the bible was not inerrant.”
I’m afraid that “Many” who don’t understand how the Holy Spirit has worked in the Bible, and frankly, they are also those, who Satan wants to use to influence as many as he can to disbelieve it. So it is these who will allow seemingly contradictory passages and statements to turn them; rather than to influence them to further study in the Scriptures themselves. So what are we to learn from this seeming contradiction?
Actually God is using these truths about Himself to reveal the trinity under the Old Covenant. Think about that. We can look upon the face of Yeshua and live, in fact Yeshua, meaning salvation in the Old Covenant was and is God’s word to us. It was the word of God who met face to face with man. It was the word of God who David hid in his heart. He gives eternal spiritual as well as bodily life. On the other hand the Father as it is made clear from this verse has never been seen not as He truly is. If so man would have immediately dropped dead. Moses did not see God in all His Glory. Men have seen visions of Him but never the real Holy God who sits above the universe. Jesus, Yeshua is the image of God who is seen by man, no matter if under the old covenant or the new.
Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham [q]was born, I am.”
John 8:58 NASB
“Taking the example of the statement by David that you have quoted, at the time I believed the bible was inerrant, I would have accepted it as true, but since I now know that the only source that suggests David ever existed at all is the bible, I no longer do so. The available Egyptian and Assyrian sources do not mention him, Saul or Solomon, or even Israel itself, which would have been expected had it been a significant country that extended from Dan to Beersheba, as the bible claims more than once.”
What I had quoted from David was: “Thy Word have I hid in my heart, that I might not sin against Thee” I might interject here that this blog “jesuswithoutbaggage” claims evolution as the source of man’s creation. Most of the men and women chatting there claim belief in a Jesus who will one day take all men and women and (the “its”— simply meaning that some don’t seem to know which they are) to heaven and eternal life. They tout the scientific evidence for evolution, while denying the ample archeological evidence proving the existence of Israel and her scriptures which are the true record of what God has done, certainly better than anything that Egyptian and Assyrian sources would have revealed.
Since I now know that the bible is the words of men, but that God has allowed it to be as it is in content and has also allowed it to become accepted by many as being His Word, I no longer personally use it as a source from which to gain His guidance, but I am aware that it has a vital role in being the primary source that God uses to show us His Son (although He has also to give direct guidance at the same time to achieve this). It is also important to new/young believers who rely on it as a means for God to give them His guidance.”
So here we see it. One can believe in the Father and Son and end up rejecting the written word. Is that possible? Today we tend to be accepting of all “believers” no matter what they believe and teach. Yet, the Scriptures teach us that Jesus is the Word, and yes the Word in that case means much more than just the written Word, but Jesus actually quoted to Satan when under temptation by him from what is written. He made reference to the written word and to David and to Moses and to Elijah, and to Solomon and to Jonah, and others in His teachings. He who is the Word knows the Word. He never once refutes it. In fact He says that not one jot or tittle of the law which proves Israel’s existence would pass away (Matthew 5:18).
“As to the characteristics of God, I know that He is kind and loving, and that He works to minimise suffering on the earth.”
Charles I know that too, but I know so much more than that, because I believe the word, and that the men that God chose to teach us have done that.
I have posted this statement by Charles here for your consideration. To help you understand where we are today. Do you believe that you can accept what you want to accept as truth from the Bible? Are you in some ways doing just that? Do you believe that God will hold you accountable for studying and believing what is revealed in His word? Or do you believe that you can believe whatever you want and still be right with God and on your way to heaven.
So, What exactly is a proof text? Is there ever a time that a given passage can represent God’s truth, as it stands all alone? At any rate I am going to post one such passage below. Read it and consider what are we to do with it? Is the only context for the use of these verses to be chapter 4 of 1 Timothy, or possibly only the book of 1 Timothy? So listen:
But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons, by means of the hypocrisy of liars seared in their own conscience as with a branding iron, Pay close attention to yourself and to your teaching; persevere in these things, for as you do this you will ensure salvation both for yourself and for those who hear you.
1 Timothy 4:1-2,16 NASB
Why do I ask the question I did here, before these verses? Let me give you some hints. Are the only doctrines of demons that we hear today related to just what Paul teaches here in 1 Timothy? Are the only things that we teach as doctrine contained in just this letter from Paul to Timothy? Are there actually times that the Holy Spirit can teach us from scripture here a little, there a little. Is it correct to use this method as well as line upon line precept upon precept?
Should a given text say something to you that you had never before considered, then should you not search other related scriptures on the subject so as to find what it is that God is saying to you. You may want to think that you are correct in everything that you have been taught, and consequently that you believe; but what truly matters is what God reveals as His truth, and there is no place better to find out than from the word of God. Yet, I would speculate that it is the best selling, least read and understood and possibly the most controversial book ever sold.
You may ask, “Jerry why do you go to a blog such as this one where Charles posts?” The Lord wants me to understand that He has given man the freedom to believe what he wills, and that He has given me His word to which I can always turn and always trust that He will show me the truth that I need to know about what ever it is that I don’t understand. Do you leave it to others to tell you what His word says? Remember there are many false teachers out there. If a given text is used to support a “truth” that is totally in conflict with other verses in the Bible that is not a reason to discredit the Bible, but it is a reason to do further study, being in prayer for the understanding of the truth that God wants us to know.
This post was inspired by and is taken from a comment on the article:
How Proof-texting Is Ineffective and Disrespects The Bible on jesuswithoutbaggage.wordpress.com