The Bible

From the time of the movable type printing press (1439 AD), the Holy Bible has been the most widely printed and distributed book in history. In fact, it was the first book to be printed by Johannes Gutenberg's invention. But this is far from the most important thing that can be said about the Bible. Nor is it to be assumed that the Bible has always been the most widely read book. Nevertheless, its influence on world history is unmistakable and undeniable. And, strangely, no other book in history has been more targeted with a desire to destroy its credibility than the Bible.

The Bible constitutes the Christian Scriptures, the writings that hold supreme authority over Christian beliefs and behaviors. (This is not to say that all behavior by Christians or those purporting to be Christians are consistent with what the Bible teaches!) For Christians who regard themselves to be somewhere within the Protestant movement (as distinct from the Roman Catholic Church), the Bible that is recognized as authoritative contains 66 individual books and is divided between the Old and the New Testaments. The Roman Catholic Church includes several other books commonly referred to as the Apocrypha. One of the principal differences between Roman Catholicism and Protestantism is the ordered authority that governs all beliefs and practices of the respective communities. For the Roman Catholic, the church magisterium occupies a position of authority above the Scriptures. Conscience is bound by the magisterium's interpretation of Scripture as well as by the the authoritative teachings of the church that are not found in Scripture (for example, the veneration of Mary, Lent observances, and the use of indulgences). Protestants, by way of contrast, regard the Scriptures as occupying authority over the church in all its beliefs and practices.

But this is a generalization that is difficult to see because, in the wider representation of Protestantism, the Bible has fallen into systematic neglect if not outright dismissal. In fact, it would not be difficult to find Protestant churches that have subsumed the Bible to so-called "empirical" science and, as a result, have greatly diminished the authority of the Bible over everything else.

I take the narrow position without apology: that the Bible, in its 66 books, is the living and active word of God bearing the singular authority of God over the entire created reality--a reality, incidentally, created by him. It may seem that this narrow position puts me at odds with science which, as many scientists will affirm, is infallible and authoritative over everything it claims as factual and indisputable. What is factual and indisputable is that empirical science can only go so far in its postulations about the matters it investigates. It is completely impossible for science of the empirical kind to standardize something like the theory of evolution. It requires an enormous assumption in order to get from "exhibit A" to a conclusive verdict that all physical reality suddenly exploded into existence some billions of years ago. Never does "exhibit A" (or an enormous collection of "exhibits" about which the scientist has entrenched presuppositions) render conclusive and irrefutable what the scientist wants to prove. It took longer for Protestantism to capitulate to modern "science" than it did for Roman Catholicism, but capitulate we did, and there is now no turning back (and no widespread desire to turn back). It will become one of the tragic ironies of human civilization that a scientific hypothesis that is riddled with gaping holes and multiplied untested assumptions has been so effective in deconstructing the Christian Scriptures with nearly unanimous consent from those in the religious sector who owe their existence to the Christian Scriptures.

Here in the 21st century the tsunami of felonious science is flooding over the ancient artifacts of religion leaving nothing but mud and debris behind. And the gullible servants of "science" so-called are eager to begin building their irresponsible lives and futures on the mud and debris!

I realize that truth has been made the subject of philosophy (what some call a "soft science"), but it is much more than this. For the fact of the matter is inescapable: either truth actually does correspond to reality or it doesn't. If it doesn't, then we can safely affirm that it is not truth. Reality makes the claim false. If truth does correspond to reality, however, then no presupposition of the scientist can demand credibility when the person wearing the white lab coat and gazing through the microscope interprets what she sees in accordance with her presuppositions. We all see what we see, but we also interpret what we see. We very often give "evidence" meaning that is not intrinsic to the evidence itself. And no one is exempt from this.

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