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Is the Bible a reliable document? (Religion aside)
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lordhaines
May 19, 2009
15 votes
12 debaters
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7
Yes, it is reliable document.


idiminish
May 19, 2009
3 convinced
Rebuttal
Rebuttal to: lordhaines Show

You state the the Bible was composed by Romans in AD 336. This reveals not only an ignorance about the nature of the Bible, but of history itself. Much of the Bible is a collection of Jewish writings. These writings were translated into Greek by the 1st century BC. The Torah we tend to date more specifically in the early 3rd century BC. That means that the majority of the Bible was at least written around 500 years before your date.

Again, the Dead Sea Scrolls date from 150 BC to AD 70. This again dates roughly 300 years earlier than your supposed date.

This is only the tip of the iceberg for your historical problems, so, not wanting to write a treatise, I will move on and allow you to research the issue for yourself.

Whether or not books of the Bible contain the 'full story' does not impugn their reliability as a document. That would be more rightly considered a religious issue (which you claim to want to avoid). However, we don't expect writers today to cover every truth in their writing, we expect them to write about the topic they've chosen. Thus chemists write about chemical reactions and don't necessarily write about the issues in subatomic physics, even though they might be related. Similarly, it is understandable that biblical writers would write about what concerns them. They aren't attempting to tell the 'full story,' they are telling their story. This does not necessarily make them unreliable, and it certainly doesn't make the document unreliable.

Your issues of translations are equally invalid. To translate a text from any language to any language is not always exact. Some words do not translate straight across. For instance in German I might say, 'Wie geht es Ihnen?' but the English translation, 'How goes it you?' is not really sensible to native English speakers. It would be more clear to translate it as, 'How are you?' or 'How are things going?' But how does the translator choose. The translator bases it on her or his understanding of the audience for whom he or she is translating. Not only do these differences not demonstrate the Bible as an unreliable document, they are actually expected events in the realm of translation. If the translations a person, though, they are fully free to learn Hebrew and Greek and read it in the original language.

As far as changes in the Bible, it would be much more convincing if you could trace a change and demonstrate how a particular text is contrary to the original, and then demonstrate how that change invalidates the reliability of the document of the Bible.

 
thevenerablerob
May 19, 2009
2 convinced
Rebuttal
Rebuttal to: lordhaines Show

Lordhanes, i thought you knew your history. I guess you'd better stick to empires...

The Bible was not composed by the Romans. It was composed by a variety of Biblical scholars. people such as Moses, Daniel, David, Solomon, Jeremiah, Nehemiah, Paul, Peter, Luke etc. These were reliable people. I had a long, intelligent post written up, but I foolishly forgot to copy it. I'm tired and will continue tomorrow.

 
idiminish
May 20, 2009
2 convinced
Rebuttal
Rebuttal to: lordhaines Show

The Dead Sea Scrolls contained a number of books which are part of the Bible. Whether the Bible's content is truth a religious question, which you claim to want to avoid. The Dead Sea Scrolls actually affirm the reliability of a large portion of the Bible.

As for you concentration on the New Testament and Romans, a little research would reveal that we have portions of manuscripts and quotes from other writers which predate your claims. Those early texts are often used in compilations and translations to guard against changes. There are other historical issues involved here as well, which should also become clear with more research (particularly the nature of Roman religious persecution, and then nature in which Christianity spread).

Given the number of manuscripts, copies, versions, and quotes of the Bible, it is probably the most reliable document we have predating AD 300. It's truth content is for another debate, but as a document the Bible is very reliable.

As a friendly gesture (and quite aside from this debate), I would suggest that you do more research before you begin criticizing a particular position. Your arguments on this particular debate have demonstrated a lot of ignorance concerning the Bible and history and that severely undermines your position. It will help your debates to know more about both sides of a position before you attempt to counter one side.

 

May 19, 2009
1 convinced
Rebuttal
Rebuttal to: lordhaines Show

Most of the new testement was written by Paul a disciple of Jesus, that much is true, the letters Paul wrote to the different cities were documented and recorded.

The old testement was written before Christ, the earliest recorded Torah that was found was around 500 BC, way before Christ and there are still plenty of mysteries of archeology we haven't discovered yet.

So is it reliable yes, is it 100% factual, what document really is?

 
thevenerablerob
May 20, 2009
1 convinced
Rebuttal
Rebuttal to: lordhaines Show

Continuing on the authors. Since you have pointed out that yuo realize that the ancient scholars were trustworthy men, we can point out what they wrote. King David wrote songs and poetry, his thoughts and woes; Solomon wrote wisdom and ideals; daniel wrote his account of life in Babylon, which can be verified by Babylonian records of the time of King Nebachudnezzar. These men and all of the other prophets wrote a history of the world that cannot be found in a sole text anywhere in the world.

Deauteronomy, for example, contains a list of the ancient Hewbrewic Law - a list very similar to Hammurabi's Code.

The other chapters depict the history of teh israelites. Family lines, tribes, events, wars, kingdoms, peace, crops, famine and plague etc. Pieces of history that can't be found from any other record because the records were destroyed or the people clueless.

Thew New testament started out written by Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. These men personally knew Jesus and parts of his life. What better record can we get than a first hand account? John The baptist was famed among the people - do you accuse him of lying? Luke was an honest Doctor - another man of reputation. Also, Roman records under Caesar can verify many events, such as the crucifixion and ressurection of Jesus (except that they are not as comprehensive. For example, Pontius Pilate can only tell of his part of the deed. Roman soldiers' accounts are only told from what they know). many events can be verified by pieces of Roman accounts.

Later on, the Apostle Paul (whom was the powerful Saul) wrote letters of encouragement, instruction and support to the people of the early churches in Phillipi (Phillipians), Colossas, (Colossians), Ephesas (Ephesians) etc. He also wrote, while imprisoned, encouragement to Timothy and Peter. Peter wrote letters in 1, 2nd and 3rd Peter.

Moreover, the New testament described the Jewish hierarchey and the pompous behaviour of the pharisees. It described how the Jews did not accept the gentiles in their synagogues, yet Jesus did, and the early church was comprised of gentiles. It described the coexistance of Jews and Romans (which was soemtimes very stony) It even described the Roman Empire (to an extent) and described the Phoenicians. It described life during this time.

The Bible depicted the life of the Apostle Paul and many others.


No, the Romans gathered together the Jewish scripts (The Torah) of the Bible (the Old Testament) and the newer journals and accounts of those other and put them together into one. The Jewish leaders would have been inflamed had any bit of their hewbraic works been modified. There is no indication that they were unhappy with the gatherings, though they still stick to the Torah as it is.

The Bible is translated so that we may understand it in a context which does not make it complicated. As a child, I was happy to be able to utilize a child's version of the Bible rather than have to fight through the King james. The King james was the first translation of the Bible from Latin to English. Thus, it is the most direct translation that can be found. The others have been translated for easier understanding, but actually not changing the context at all.

If read in context, the Bible is never contradictory. For example, I can point out two verses, which,w hen simply read, would be extremely contradictory: "Beat your ploughshares into swords and your pruning hooks into spears" and then another verse, "Beat your swords into plowhshares and your spears into pruning hooks." This is obviousl describing two very different situations, is it not? The first one describes preperations of war and the second describes a time of peace (if only symbolic). You can clearly see this even withtou having read the Bible (if you want the verses, i will give them to you). There are many examples of this, including the 'hang yourself' demonstration. All verses must be erad in context with the events and time.

If not anything else, the Bible can be used as the most reliable and comprehensive history text to be found that covers such an extensive period of time.

 
thevenerablerob
May 20, 2009
1 convinced
Rebuttal
It obviously isn't mattering, Idminish. people's personal opinions are outweighing the obvious truth, which has been so well presented before them with immeasurable evidence...

 
youngmoney
May 21, 2009
0 convinced
Rebuttal
yes, if you no how to use it. its the same like having children. everybody can make babies, but can they look after a child. The bible is a powerful book to use and in the wrong hands it can easily be used to manipulate people in doing the wrong.

 
thevenerablerob
May 21, 2009
0 convinced
Rebuttal
Rebuttal to: lordhaines Show

I do not see any reference to religious doctrine in this discussion. I have merely pointed out that every author who wrote chapter/s or verses in the Bible is a reliable man.

I would assume that you'd take the babylonian account of the Great Flood at face value? The Bible depicts a more wholesome account of (possibly) the same flood.

No, I think that this is where you are wrong. In order to prove the reliability of the Bible, you do have to see where it comes from - who wrote it. If you state that the Bible isn't a reliable documentation of history, you are also stating that the Judaic structure of Roman times, the hierarchey of it, historical events and wars etc are not accurately depicted. As if another text could depict them more accureatly than the Bible.

I do believe that there are Greek accounts which were later put together by another, later, group. Does this make them unreliable?

We have no evidence as to what the Romans excluded from the Bible. We do know that they excluded nothing from the Torah. We can then concluded that the necessary letters and documentations have been included to accuretly portray history as it happened.

In fact, we have no proof that the Romans left anything out at all, do we? We can not even be sure that people like Luke hadn't already assembled a large portion of the Bible and the Romans just used what he assembled and put it under one binding.

Frankly, we can say that all we know the Romans did was bind together the works.


 

May 21, 2009
0 convinced
Rebuttal
Rebuttal to: lordhaines Show

it just says it reliable? not 100%, I wouldn't credit any textbook in the world as 100% reliable as well, whats your point?

 
thevenerablerob
May 22, 2009
0 convinced
Rebuttal
Rebuttal to: lordhaines Show

You're claiming King Solomon - debated by scholars and professors as one of the wisest men of the ancient eras, is unreliable.

How do you take it that many secular professors and archaeologists of the ancients utilize the Bible as a research text to fill in unknown gaps of history. There is no other text regarding some areas and stories, so they use the Bible.

take a look at these: http://www.allaboutthejourney.org/history-of-the-bible.htm

"The Council of Carthage, called the third by Denzinger,[4] on 28 August 397 issued a canon of the Bible quoted as, "Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, Joshua son of Nun, Judges, Ruth, 4 books of Kingdoms, 2 books of Chronicles, Job, the Davidic Psalter, 5 books of Solomon, 12 books of Prophets, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Daniel, Ezekiel, Tobias, Judith, Esther, 2 books of Ezra, 2 books of Maccabees, and in the New Testament: 4 books of Gospels, 1 book of Acts of the Apostles, 13 letters of the Apostle Paul, 1 letter of his to the Hebrews, 2 of Peter, 3 of John, 1 of James, 1 of Jude, and one book of the Apocalypse of John." ~ Council of carthage, Wickipedia


http://www.religion-online.org/showarticle.asp?title=12

http://www.spotlightministries.org.uk/arch.htm



 
bookworm
May 22, 2009
0 convinced
Rebuttal
Rebuttal to: lordhaines Show

I'd like to point out that at the time when 2 Peter was written, he was already referring to some of Paul's writings as scripture.
2 Peter 3:15-16 reads:
15 And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you;
16: As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.
2 Peter, written by Peter (although this is contested, I disagree with all of the reasons I've seen given for the doubt, so unless you want to debate about that, we'll leave it), was obviously not then written anywhere close to the 4th century. Already then, they had started to compile the canon.


 
ben444422
May 22, 2009
0 convinced
Rebuttal
Yes, the bible is a reliable document. Reliable DOES NOT mean factual. Reliable means that one could use it for one's own purpose. Meaning if a historian on literature wanted to examine the literature of the past, the bible, though not factual, is still literature. Thus it is RELIABLE not necessarily factual. No where in the resolution does it stipulate that the bible needs to be 100% truth. As long as it is reliable, the resolution clearly favors the affirmative.

 
ben444422
May 22, 2009
0 convinced
Rebuttal
Rebuttal to: thoughtcriminal Show

First, you made a contradiction. You say that the bible is useful for archeology, and then you say that the bible is unreliable. Let's define reliable, it is"worthy of reliance or trust". Therefore, if a document, such as the bible, is useful for archeology, meaning with it, archeologists can advance in their field, then surely it is a reliable source for the field.

Now in your first sentence you say that because the bible contradicts itself and makes absurd supernatural claims that it is unreliable. You are assuming that a poorly written work is unreliable. However I could easily bring up the fact that historians in literature use the bible to examine the literature of the past and see how they thought and viewed the world. Though contradictory, the bible is nevertheless a reliable source.

 
bookworm
May 25, 2009
0 convinced
Rebuttal
Rebuttal to: lordhaines Show

I realize you didn't say it was written then; what I was trying to say was that since Peter already referred to Paul's writings as scriptures, obviously the format (or what was going to be considered scripture) was already being decided then.

 
bookworm
May 26, 2009
0 convinced
Rebuttal
Rebuttal to: lordhaines Show

Which books were the ones that said Jesus asked Judas to betray him? The Bible has more evidence for it being a reliable historical document than any other ancient piece of literature.

 
christwarrior
May 20, 2010
0 convinced
Rebuttal
Rebuttal to: scifi Show

Benefit? Do you know what the church fathers went through?


 
christwarrior
May 20, 2010
0 convinced
Rebuttal
Rebuttal to: lordhaines Show

what would they benefit to changing the Bible


 
christwarrior
May 20, 2010
0 convinced
Rebuttal
Rebuttal to: scifi Show

Ican see why your name is sci fi. Your in orbit somewhere with these statements not in reality


 
christwarrior
May 20, 2010
0 convinced
Rebuttal
Rebuttal to: lordhaines Show

what are you basing this statement on


 
bookworm
May 21, 2010
0 convinced
Rebuttal
Rebuttal to: christwarrior Show

That's what I was saying.

 
christwarrior
May 30, 2010
0 convinced
Rebuttal
Rebuttal to: scifi Show

Where do you base this info from?

 
+ Add Argument

8
No, it isn't a relaible document.


lordhaines
May 19, 2009
2 convinced
Rebuttal
First of all, I would like to make it clear that this is NOT a religious debate. i do not care what is written IN the Bible, just whether or not it is a reliable document to base a religion on.

I, having looked at it sensibly,and historically have concluded it isn't. In fact it is far from reliable.

The Bible was composed by the Romans about 336 years AFTER Jesus died. So that's 336 years of anybody doing with the written words as they will, and also means that the Romans could have changed what was written in the bible before it was even published! This itself destroys the reliability of the Bible as 'truth'.

The other thing that means the Bible should not be seen as relaible is that it only includes certain books of what should have gone into the Bible. How can you say something is truth when you don't know the full story? It's like me ONLY ever reading a Nazi history book and saying it is 'truth' that the Germans were superior in every way. without ever reading anything different.

Also take into account the church's willingness to change the Bible for their own benefit means people actually worship what a church wants you to worship, not what you should apparently worship. There is no way to know what the original writers of the Bible wanted you to believe because it could have been changed before it was even put into the Bible.

Another interesting fact is that I have 3 different Bibles at home, all of which say slightly different things. So this adds to the fact the Bible is unreliable. Translation loses much of what is meant, add into that people willingly and openly changing what is written to make 'more sense', then it is definitely unreliable.

It is a bit like the game Chinese Whispers, where by you have a chain of people who gradually change what was originally said, either through accident or intention.

Remember, this is not about the religion, or what is written in the Bible, but the Bible as a reliable document.



 
thoughtcriminal
May 19, 2009
1 convinced
Rebuttal
Rebuttal to: Show

It contradicts itself and makes absurd supernatural claims. That throws reliability out the window. Does that mean it's utterly useless for archeology? No, but that's because we know how to make use of even unreliable documents.

 
scifi
May 19, 2009
1 convinced
Rebuttal
Religion aside, the bible is not a reliable document. It is information gathered from many sources. Most stories are taken or changed from older stories that predate Judaism, Islam, and Christianity which are the three major one god religions which worship the same god, go figure.
The book may be good or lessons for some, but it is an ancient form of the da vinci code. Plagderised information and stories used to benefit a select few in the church.

 
lordhaines
May 20, 2009
1 convinced
Rebuttal
Rebuttal to: Show

This is the debate- the bible is not 100% reliable, which means it can not be used for 'truth'

 
lordhaines
May 20, 2009
1 convinced
Rebuttal
Rebuttal to: thevenerablerob Show

The Bible as we know it today was formed into one religious document by the Romans when the adopted Christianity. Regardless of who wrote the books, or how old their original documents were, it is fact that the Romans chose what books should be included in the new 'Bible'.

This means it is unreliable.

 
lordhaines
May 20, 2009
1 convinced
Rebuttal
Rebuttal to: idiminish Show

The Dead Sea Scrolls are not a part of the Bible. So that is irrelevant, but only adds to support my other claims that the Bible can not be taken as 'truth' because it does not include all the books it should have. As I said as a rebuttal further down...

Regardless of the original age of the documents in the bible, or who wrote them, the Romans still comprised the 'Bible' some 330 odd years after Jesus died. When the Romans started to adopt Christianity they formed the book that should be used to spread the word. How much of that they changed is unknown. This is my point. So it is still valid, and holds.

I apologise for not mentioning I was particularly speaking about the New Testament, I know the Old testament is Jewish, as I live with Jews.

 
thoughtprocess
May 20, 2009
0 convinced
Rebuttal
I don't know what the hell you are all talking about. The Bible is a VERY reliable document. Every time I need toilet paper it is right there waiting. It is not as soft or gentle as two-ply, but nonetheless it has never let me down.

 
lordhaines
May 21, 2009
0 convinced
Rebuttal
Rebuttal to: thevenerablerob Show

You confuse this debate for a religious one, which is disappointing for you.

Filling your arguments with facts and evidence but still arguing about the wrong thing is foolish.

I shall say again- I do NOT care what is written IN the bible, or WHO wrote it. I am interested in a debate about it's reliability, mainly the new testament. Therefore my argument about it being unreliable because of who chose what went into it, and at what date, still stands.

 
lordhaines
May 22, 2009
0 convinced
Rebuttal
Rebuttal to: thevenerablerob Show

Hardly, you argument just keeps avoiding the subject.

REGARDLESS of age or who wrote them, is it reliable?- no,

 
lordhaines
May 22, 2009
0 convinced
Rebuttal
Rebuttal to: thevenerablerob Show

You can not claim that someone who lived thousands of years ago is a reliable man. No link in society can prove this. It is merely what is written in a document, which is unreliable.

The Romans put together a committee, so to speak, to decide what should be used in their new religions holy book. leaving out things that conflicted with their story of what happened, such as the book of Judas.
It also left out large portions of documents that tell stories of the Romans brutalising local tribes and so forth. This again proves it is unreliable.

If I decide what goes into the dictionary, regardless of what is written before, then that dictionary is unreliable and bias.

In the same way the Roman Catholic church put together a committee to decide whether Jesus should be seen a a god figure on earth in human form, or a human figure that rose to god.

I have proof in front of me in my 3 different bibles that all say slightly different things. This fact alone, in a relativist manner, proves my argument that the bible is an unreliable document.

We do not base our historical fact on the bible, we read the bible and then go away and find out what happened with clues from the bible. That is the difference. Whether or not they then turn out to be truths is irrelevant, because it still proves the bible can not be relied upon as a reliable document. bad English there :s lol



 
lordhaines
May 24, 2009
0 convinced
Rebuttal
Rebuttal to: bookworm Show

I have never said the bible was WRITTEN in the 4th century. i said it's current format was decided then.

Please read properly :)

 
lordhaines
May 26, 2009
0 convinced
Rebuttal
Rebuttal to: bookworm Show

The book of Judas also makes references to such things too, but was never included in the bible, so it is still unreliable. Passages of books that ARE in the bible have changed from what original documents there have been found. For example, some books stated that Jesus asked Judas to betray him to set the entire upcoming events in motion, not that he did it because he wanted to. This wouldn't coincide with what the new Roman church wanted so they left it out. The fact the church has changed so much over the years means it is unreliable.

 
lordhaines
May 27, 2009
0 convinced
Rebuttal
Rebuttal to: bookworm Show

The dead seas scrolls support Judas' side of the story, and according to them a couple of books in the bible should have said that too, but were obviously changed (maybe by the authors, who knows).

It WAS the most reliable piece, until they added miracles and religious nonsense to real life events. It took ancient battles, whcih have proven to have taken place and then added stories about one man leading them from nothing or God smiting the enemy. Truth mixed in with stories is not reliable, it is just a reference.

 
scifi
May 20, 2010
0 convinced
Rebuttal
Rebuttal to: christwarrior Show

Christ needs no warriors, if you read that book you put so much stock in you would remember that on the field of armageddon that he will win the battle by simply speaking the word of god. Quit being stupid, the church fathers twisted the words of that book to control and exploit.

 
christwarrior
May 20, 2010
0 convinced
Rebuttal
Rebuttal to: bookworm Show

Jesus never asked.

 
denny
May 30, 2010
0 convinced
Rebuttal
If, today, I wrote a book and claim it explained the orgin of the universe, it would encounter heavy scrutiny. Especially if I only used fake stories and prevaricatory language in an obfuscatory manner. What is the difference between me writing a book full of nonsense now, and someone else writing it one all those years ago?

It is so hard for me to fathom the idea of people actually believing the garbage in the bible. Religion is extremely pernicious to our species on an intellectual level.

 


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