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There is No Such Thing as Biblical Authority November 29, 2009

Posted by jetson in Personal.
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With so many Christian denominations, how can they all be right about what The Bible says? Logically speaking, there can only be one truth regarding the word of such an all-powerful god. Or is it possible that there are actually multiple truths regarding the words in The Bible? I contend that anyone who claims authoritative knowledge of The Bible is just another in a long line of those who make the exact same claim, and holds no more authority, or knowledge, than anyone else. So, is The Bible ambiguous?

This is where things break down from the very start. The Bible cannot settle anything regarding Christianity, world history, knowledge of our origins, or our universe. There are simply too many interpretations from too many “authorities” to take any single one, or even a collection of them seriously. Sure, we can all read the various Bible translations in our native languages, but we can never agree on the meaning. Some people will literally laugh when I attempt to understand a verse, or a passage. They laugh at my apparent inability to understand the full context, or that I have not really looked at the original meanings, perhaps in Hebrew, or Aramaic. They laugh because I do not believe, therefore, I cannot possibly understand. Is it ambiguous? Proof of this fact is in the sheer number of interpretations currently being followed.

And so it goes with Biblical knowledge, apparently. Must one believe before they can understand? Does that even make sense? Knowledge of a thing is not something one must believe in, but rather, they should attempt to understand it. So how exactly does a non-believer come to understand The Bible if they do no read it? And if they read it, but they don’t have the proper “authority” to interpret things for them, will they get it right? Exactly how does one choose the proper authority? Which denomination, or which group of Christians should one follow? Biblical authority is fleeting.

I have said before that there is literally no way to objectively understand The Bible. At some point, a believer must choose a denomination, or a non-denominational group to hang with. Either that, or they must read The Bible, make their conclusions on their own, and forget joining a group all together (this sounds most appealing to me if I were going to believe.) Why bother putting anyone elses knowledge in between you and your god? Is there something in The Bible that say’s you must (don’t answer that!)

Whatever path one chooses when deciding to adhere to a Christian belief, The Bible offers little in the way of objective knowledge. If a book so important gets to be interpreted in whatever way makes the reader the most satisfied, then it is not a book that needs to be taken as literally as many seem to. If there is something in The Bible that moves a person to be good, then good for them. If there are passages in The Bible that motivates a person, or a group to harm others, then we have a problem. It is this subjective authority within a book that many claim as the word of their actual god that can and does cause great pain in the world. This is precisely why I do not believe any gods are real. The Bible itself is one of the main reasons people stop believing – believe it or not!

There is no such thing as biblical authority.

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