Personal tools

Debate: Biblical inerrancy

From Debatepedia

Revision as of 02:05, 24 August 2011; Vagon (Talk | contribs)
(diff) ←Older revision | Current revision | Newer revision→ (diff)
Jump to: navigation, search

Is the Bible a completely accurate source and the inspired word of God?

Background and context

Fulfilment of biblical prophecies


  • The fulfillment of numerous Biblical prophecies proves that the Bible is inspired by God. The year of the re-emergence of Israel as a nation was predicted in the Bible, as well as many other things such as the European Union, the euro, and possibly also the atomic bomb and satellite television. Christ's life was described in great detail by the prophets centuries before the events happened, and many of these events can be verified by sources outside of the Bible. It is obviously highly unlikely that such prophecies were not divinely inspired.
  • Please note that neither the above link nor any others on this debate are spam, as our opponents stated. The definition of "spam" (in the electronic sense at any rate) is "unsolicited or undesired email messages" (from Wikipedia).
  • Please take note also that the biblical prophecies were NOT intended as poetry, as the con debaters have suggested. If they were, why do they often have such a heavy warning tone- especially the ones predicting the invasion of Israel and Judah by the Babylonians and Assyrians-which also came true?
  • No Biblical prophecies have so far failed to come true. Opposite was an argument detailing a prophecy made by Jesus which was seemingly false because that generation died before all of the signs of the end of the age had occurred, however, the footnotes of the NIV translation of the Bible mention that the word translated as "generation" could also be translated "race". Problem solved.
  • The prophecies relating to Israel and the Messiah were obviously seen at the time to be relating to Israel and the Messiah. Take the messianic prophecies- if they had been vague the Jewish people would not have understood them so well to the point where they were longing for the coming of the Messiah (especially after the Roman occupation).
  • The messianic prophecies can also be used to demonstrate that Biblical prophecies are not self-fulfilling. Christ's life was described in great detail by the prophets, and many of the fulfilments of those prophecies could not possibly have been arranged by a con man. How could Jesus have chosen his town of birth, betrayal price, his method of execution (crucifixion was a execution method that no one in their right mind would chose, and dying on a tree as prophesied was in Jewish tradition viewed as probably the most ignominious way to die), his betrayer, that he would be mocked, spat on, wounded (but without breaking any bones) and would have his clothes gambled for in the lead up to his death?
  • Biblical prophecy is of a superior degree of accuracy to predictions from non- canonical sources. Other "prophets" such as Jeane Dixon, Edgar Cayce, and Nostradamus have a large following, and many claims have been made as to the accuracy of their predictions, however, many of their predictions failed to come true, and also the ones that did come true were either very vague/ self-fulfillable in comparison to the Bible, or were made too close to their fulfilment and at a time when the odds were easily stacked in their favour. For a lengthier comparison between these false prophets and the Bible, we again point to
  • The fulfillment of Biblical prophecies has been verified in many cases by external, secular, and neutral sources. The con side have claimed that there are no outside-of-the-Bible verifications of fulfilments of Biblical prophecies, however, the prophecies concerning Tyre in Ezekiel 26 and 27 are verified by secular historians, for instance, over the site where Tyre once was, fishermen now often spread their nets, as foretold.


The pro side has simply engaged in unsupported assertions. There is no evidence that the prophecy regarding the restoration of Israel was intended as such nor was it considered as such. It is a post-hoc assertion by apologists. Pro has also asserted extra-biblical evidence for the divinity of Christ as well as for the accuracy of the Passion Narrative, yet has not provided it. Most importantly if the assertions that the prophecies were intended to be such, are granted a prioi, for the sake of argument, that this information must necessarily be divinely inspired.

In summation Pro must provide evidence that A: The prophecies were intended as such and not simply poetic or prose in nature and simply interpreted as such post hoc B: That they directly relate to their application. That is the prophecy in question was intended to relate to Israel, the messiah etc. C: That they were not self-fulfilling. D: That they are sufficiently unusual. For example I could predict that "there will be wars and rumors of wars". This would not be a satisfactory prophecy. It is simply a valid inductive conclusion E: That meeting all other criteria they are divinely inspired to the reasonable exclusion of all other purported divining methods (channeling, psychics, tarot, astrology, auspices interpretation etc).

Pro has not met any discernible burden of evedentuary standard for their assertion.

While they have provided a link to an apologetics website it does not and Con has not produced the requested evidence thus far. Evidence must be provided of these "outside the bible" verifications. As the New Testament shows clear contradictions in it's narrative on the life of Christ Pro must show that these narratives are an accurate representations to show that these prophecies came true.

Pro has also failed to provide a definition of biblical prophecy.

While pro has updated their assertions and addressed part A of my critique they still have not addressed any of the others especially E. Given, for the sake of argument, that all these prophecies were made Pro has not made any link to these being due to revelation from a supernatural entity rather than other forms of divination.

Con demands that the Pro side provide the evidence that, the Euro, the European Union, Satellite TV, and the Atomic Bomb, were prophesied in the bible and that A. They were understood as such before their alleged fulfillment(they weren't). B They could not have been man made(impossible in all four cases to prove this point) and that this knowledge must have come from God and not another source. Pro must provide the evidence or concede the point.

Con has stated many times, that there has never been a biblical prophecy that was known as such ahead of time that has come true in modern times. There are only ad hoc explanations.

"What can be asserted without evidence can also be dismissed without evidence." - Christopher Hitchens

Scientific knowledge of the Bible proves that it was inspired by God


  • The Bible implies to the modern reader that Jesus knew the true shape of the Earth, a fact that none of his contemporaries had guessed. When Jesus talked about his second coming the New Testament, he mentioned that at the moment he comes, some will be asleep while others awake and working, hinting that Jesus knew that the world was not flat so that there could be day and night at the same time, ages before this fact was discovered.
  • The Genesis account of creation describes the same order of events of the creation of the Earth as modern science does, a remarkable and peerless achievement when compared to the haphazard guesses of other creation stories written in that era of history. It is highly improbable that this narrative was not divinely inspired as the chances that the author of Genesis (probably Moses) could have guessed everything correctly is pitifully small.
  • That the Earth is a sphere-like geoid is a well established, scientific fact. Our opponents have dismissed the premise as not counting as scientific knowledge, but now everyone knows that the Earth is not flat. They also dismiss the conclusion, giving a list of other possible sources of this scientific information for these Biblical sources, but if they feel that the Bible is too far fetched, then how much more are their alternatives! Do they believe that they exist yet God does not? If so, why?
  • For a lengthier explanation of the correlation of the Genesis account of Creation with the order of arrivals of species suggested by modern scientists, read the first chapter of Dr E.K Victor Pearce's book "Evidence for Truth: Science". See Debate: Evolution for arguments concerning the scientific validity of macroevolution.


Although Pro has not established that the claims he has made are indeed scientific knowledge. He has not linked this knowledge to the exclusion of other methods of divination. A formal statement of the premises would go like this.

There is scientific knowledge in the Bible. This knowledge was not known to the people at the time it was written. This knowledge comes from GOD.

The conclusion does not follow from the premises. This knowledge could be from Aliens, Demons, Deceased human souls, psychic premonition, interpretation of auspecies, remote viewing.

This faulty conclusion is on top of the fact that the two examples given are NOT examples of scientific knowledge in the Bible.

The premises are false and the conclusion is false.

Also Pro states that the Creation Myth follows the same order that science has established. This is simply false. By any reading of the Creation Myth light is formed after the Earth. This is simply wrong. I demand that Pro retract this point.

Pro has not established it's position.

The earth is the only known geoid so imprecisely spherical. Can anyone define a scientific 'fact'. Ask a phycisist if Galileo, Einstein or A N Other is 'right'. They observed and came to a conclusion. Einstein said it cannot be proved so we can assume it does not exist.

No contradictions in the Bible


  • There are no contradictions in the original text of the Bible. Given the length of time the Bible was written over, it is understandable that atheists will assume it contains contradictions. If it didn't, it would be inconceivable that such a high degree of harmony between the different authors over the ages could be explainable by any means except divine inspiration. The alleged contradictions and the refutations of them would take ages to go into detail here, so here's a link to a website which covers these topics in sufficient detail for those who are interested:
  • In this debate, we're defining the Bible as the Old Testament from Genesis to Malachi and the New Testament from Matthew to Revelation. This debate does not cover any other material claiming to be Christian scripture, including the Apocrypha and the Book of Mormon. As far as translations are concerned, we only defend the original Hebrew and Greek- if we were to go purely by the translations, they would potentially contain many errors and contradictions, but we contend that these do not exist in the original.


Concerning the nature, origin, and purpose of the Bible


  • The Bible text is unchanging. The Dead Sea Scrolls were written a millennium before the earliest copies of the Old Testament Texts corresponding to it that had previously been discovered, but the documents were almost 100% the same, with what differences that were there being insignificant.
  • The Bible is not Chinese whispers, and did not rely on word of mouth to be passed from one generation to the next because there is evidence to support the claim that there was a Semitic alphabet already in use in Moses' day, so the authors of each book of the Bible will have been able to write.


How important is the doctrine of Biblical inerrancy for the Church?



External links and resources: essay writing help


Problem with the site? 

Tweet a bug on bugtwits