Monday, 17 November 2008

Why are there copying errors in the bible

Your sky daddy being omnipotent, as they are, could have easily made sure that your bible got copied each time without errors. Imagine that everytime some scribe was about to make a copying error their pen broke or it temporarily stopped working. That way the scribe would know to check what they were copying again. Or suppose you sky daddy corrected there copied version when nobody was looking. Or why didnt your skydaddy send a photocopier down from heaven so that the disciples could copy their gospels? I mean, giving the disciples the gift of a photocopier would be far more practicle than giving them the gift of the holy spirit who doesnt even exist. Clearly they could have guaranteed that the bible went down from generation to generation without any copying errors.

And so it might come as suprise to some xians that the bible does infact have billions of copying errors - more errors than there are words in the bible.

17 comments:

Sir-Think-A-Lot said...

I suppose you want God to wipe your nose for you too?

'Millions' of errors is also an extreme exageration. IIRC, there are about 500,000 discrempicies throughout the manuscripts we have. The vast majority of those involve nothing more than a letter or word(ie. the ancient scrible equievlent of a typo). Of those that are more major none of them effect critical doctrines, as they are all laied out elsewhere in the parts that are almost certainly genuine

Anonymous said...

Hi Mike,

Just a thought... perhaps this was yet another way God has allowed us to mess up in order to show us what happens when we try to be the most careful we can be, but don't rely on God.


Like i said, just a thought.

johnny

FiFi said...

I think you've both missed the point here.

Sir TAL, you admit there are typos. Well, typos have the devastating potential to change the whole meaning of a sentence, and yet you still insist on trusting the Bible TO THE LETTER??

And Johnny, o poor misguided Johnny, the people who wrote and transcribed the Bible DID rely on God. That's kinda the point!! They were Christians and however carefully they tried to copy it, they still made mistakes. And if God was donig what you suggested there, wouldn't that just be a bit spiteful and petty? Like setting you up for a trap? If a mate did that to you, you wouldn't continue to consider him much of a mate, to be fair.

Would you?

Anonymous said...

Fifi, if you look close, sir tal did say that none of those errors effect critical doctrines. I've heard that they do not effect ANY doctrine.

As for your assessment of my post, thank you for the critique. I prefaced it with, "just a thought" since i was not claiming that this was surely the case, but that it MIGHT be the case.
Thanks again.

johnny

Sir-Think-A-Lot said...

"Sir TAL, you admit there are typos. Well, typos have the devastating potential to change the whole meaning of a sentence, and yet you still insist on trusting the Bible TO THE LETTER??"

Well 'typos' may be the wrong word, since they wernt typed, but yes. I dont think the most extreme fundies will deny that.

and if you'd bothered to read the rest of my post, you'd realize that they dont to the point of effecting critical doctrines. Even where theres doubtfullnes about the original reading of the text, things like the incarnation, the trinity, the final judgement and ressurection are covered in places that are without question part of the original text.

FiFi said...

Sir TAL, how do you know how the errors did or did not affect the meanings of the manuscripts, since you weren't there when the originals were around?

I did read the whole paragraph you wrote, but you started spouting such twaddle I lost interest.

That's how christians befuddle people, by talking nonsense. Like how talking snakes and donkeys can be made to seem normal...

Anonymous said...

Fifi, the manuscripts were not copied one after another. In many cases there were multiple second generation copies, and for each of those copies, there may have been multiple 3rd gen copies, etc.
By comparing copies with copies, they are quite certain what the originals say. Leaving only a handful of variants that they can not pin down.

Of those variants, as far as i understand, they don't significantly change the meaning.





Oh, and as far as the "twaddle", what STAL has said is not only from Bible believing Christians, but also from many secular scholars.

johnny

Anonymous said...

Err no, retard. If you read a book by Bart Erhman you'll see that most scholars dont trust a word in the Bible.

lilpixieofterror said...

Err no, retard. If you read a book by Bart Erhman you'll see that most scholars dont trust a word in the Bible.

First off, he didn't say that at all. Second, Bart Ehrman would mean, "Scholars I agree with."

Try again moron.

lilpixieofterror said...

Sir TAL, how do you know how the errors did or did not affect the meanings of the manuscripts, since you weren't there when the originals were around?

Textual criticism 101, take a class in it or would that require work?

Sir-Think-A-Lot said...

"Sir TAL, how do you know how the errors did or did not affect the meanings of the manuscripts, since you weren't there when the originals were around?"

What Pixi said. Basicly we compare the copies we have and can deterine what the original said.

"I did read the whole paragraph you wrote, but you started spouting such twaddle I lost interest.

That's how christians befuddle people, by talking nonsense. Like how talking snakes and donkeys can be made to seem normal..."

Huh did you say something? You started spouting such nonsesnse I lost interest...

Anonymous said...

Hi Anon.,

you said, Err no, retard. If you read a book by Bart Erhman you'll see that most scholars dont trust a word in the Bible.

I did not say that scholars trust the Bible. What i tried to say is that scholars are generally in agreement with what the manuscripts say.
For example, if the text says, "Jesus wept"... most scholars are in agreement that that is what the manuscript says. (***Disclaimer... my example is not necessarily a correct example. It was used for illustration purposes only**)


johnny... aka, retard

Anonymous said...

"I did not say that scholars trust the Bible."
nuff said

Anonymous said...

I also didn't say that they didn't, Mike... errr, Anon.

johnny

Anonymous said...

Why do you think I might be Mike? Don't tar all atheists with the same brush.

You'll find that most scholars dont treat the bible seriously. You get the odd Christian apologist but other than that most laugh at the Bible.

Anonymous said...

Well, if you aren't Mike then i apologize to both of you.

johnny

Anonymous said...

The point i made, Anon., was that i did not say that scholars did or did not trust the Bible.

It is self-evident that those that are Christian (or Jewish, in the case of the OT) will believe the Bible more than a person that does not believe.
If that non-believing person were to believe the Bible and still continue to be non-believing, i would say that we had a mental case on our hands.

The number of scholars that believe or disbelieve the Bible is irrelevant to the truth of the Bible... it is true or false regardless of individual beliefs.

johnny