To Err or Not to Err – What’s the Question?

From the ‘Confessions of a Seminarian’ Blog – some of the crap I wrote about inerrancy.


I see this is catalogued under inerrancy – do you believe the bible is without errors? Because inerrancy as a term is not within the biblical pages at all. It’s a question that might spark some debate – so I thought I would ask.

However I will give one example of a difference in 2 texts that exist in the bible for example’s sake.

Psalms 40:6 “Sacrifice and meal offering You have not desired; My ears You have opened; Burnt offering and sin offering You have not required


How is this one explained? A whole sentence is changed and ’sacrifice’ is added in in the 3rd part…but they are supposed to be the same passage.

Because it is right for everyone to desire to be understood on their own terms, it is appropriate for someone to assert that a reading of the Bible is poor if it neglects the intent of the author.” (Mike)

This comment could very well be made to the author of Hebrews – who changed a passage to make it mean something they needed it to make. Is Hebrews a poor reading of Psalms?


So then they made a mistake? The passages are not only different in essence – they remain different in translation from original languages to English irregardless. So even if they are using Greek and translating it – they should of checked Psalm 40? Because the wording is so different that one has to plainly see the author in Hebrews added in stuff to make a point – changing the original Pslam portion to make a point about sacrifices – and added in ‘a body you prepared for me’ instead of ‘my ears you have opened’ – that’s not even close in interpretation to the original Psalm.

However, this is also used in Hebrews again – but the integrity is kept – see example:

Psalm 2:7 ” He said to Me, ‘You are My Son, Today I have begotten You.”



Uhm – same scripture and same exact teaching – from a Psalm and quoted in Hebrews…and the exact wording is used twice! Yet with the Heb 10 passage you think there was textual translation problems – well the author had no problem quoting Psalm 2 verbatim.


As for Hebrews, it has this passage also oddly enough – and again we some changes to something from the Tanakh:


Hab 2:3-4: “Though it tarries, wait for it; For it will certainly come, it will not delay. Behold, as for the proud one, His soul is not right within him; But the righteous will live by his faith.

Maybe Hebrews is a paraphrase but again we see this concept in this book of some changes. ‘It’ turns to ‘he’ and ‘righteous one’ is personalized – also the ‘and if he shrinks back’ line – I am not sure where that comes from yet one would think this line was from that passage as it is quoted.

It does make me wonder why we would consider Hebrews the word of God since there seems to be some changes between the Tanakh and this NT letter – this is twice now I found this – maybe I should do a study in this letter and this changing of passages (or adding to them). Either way, this is a very loose way to play with God’s words – unless this letter is simply a doctrinal code of some sort and not the word of God per se.


El Tagline – 2 Posts That Mean Something

Shane Vanderhart tagged me – and I needed to identify 2 posts that moved me in the past while…there are more than 2 obviously but I think I can come up with that number.

 (1) 12 Questions Re-visited

My bro put it down – questions about why Aboriginal culture in the church can be seen as problematic…and yet we still support it. It’s about time the church awoke and realized the cultures in it’s midst have more to offer than total depravity! Peace to the One and my boy – Just1!

 (2) It’s Raining Cats & Dogs

This is a blog I am currently dialoguing on and I really like the views everyone brings to the discussion – and it’s very open minded. Now I am getting into inerrancy on the site but the actual writing allows for more than that – and for a great discussion! Mike wrote it and I admire his style.

 **I wanted to include Yael – who is my actual favorite of the blogs – but she is Jewish and I am not sure y’all would understand where she is coming from…a very great place.

**I would also say OSS’ stuff is very intriguing and helps me to grow in my faith and push me into areas of questioning I may have not considered

Most Evil – A Discussion in Immorality

I am watching a show called ‘Most Evil’ and I am a bit intrigued by the studies done on the show – concerning with what I think is the difference between following God’s teachings and not – but following evil. Here is a scale of 22 level’s of evil:

  The scale of evil (from Wikipedia)

Category Criteria
01 Those who kill in self-defense and do not show psychopathic tendencies
02 Jealous lovers who, though egocentric or immature, are not psychopathic
03 Willing companions of killers: aberrant personality – probably impulse-ridden, with antisocial traits
04 Kill in self-defense, but had been extremely provocative towards the victim
05 Traumatized, desperate people who kill abusive relatives and others (like to support a drug habit) but lack significant traits. Genuinely remorseful.
06 Impetuous, hotheaded murderers, yet without marked psychopathic features
07 Highly narcissistic, not distinctly psychopathic people with a psychotic core who kill people close to them (jealousy an underlying motive)
08 Non psychopathic people with smoldering rage who kill when rage is ignited
09 Jealous lovers with psychopathic features
10 Killers of people who were “in the way” or who killed, for example, witnesses (egocentric but not distinctly psychopathic)
11 Psychopathic killers of people “in the way”
12 Power-hungry psychopaths who killed when they were “cornered”
13 Killers with inadequate, rage-filled personalities who “snapped”
14 Ruthlessly self-centered psychopathic schemers
15 Psychopathic “cold-blooded” spree or multiple murders
16 Psychopaths committing multiple vicious acts
17 Sexually perverse serial murderers, torture-murderers (among the males, rape is the primary motive with murder to hide the evidence; Systematic torture is not a primary factor)
18 Torture-murderers with murder the primary motive
19 Psychopaths driven to terrorism, subjugation, intimidation and rape, (short of murder)
20 Torture murderers with torture as the primary motive but in psychotic personalities
21 Psychopaths preoccupied with torture in the extreme, but not known to have committed murder
22 Psychopathic torture-murderers, with torture their primary motive

In the show they explain something about each of these categories – they actually get worse the better liar a person is – which lines up with one specific passage in John. The categories include a ‘who’s who’ of values I would consider outright evil:

  • Jealousy
  • Anger (slight to uncontrollable)
  • Pride (egocentric/self-centred)
  • Liars
  • Power Hungry
  • Murderous (psycho-pathic)
  • Sexual perverison/pedophilia
  • Torture
  • Rape
  • Cannibalism
  • Bullying/Terror(ism)

Why bring up the list? It points out someting I am have been saying for a while concerning ‘immorality’. What is ‘immorality’ or ‘evil’? Well, we get a good picture of it in the 22 step to severity in this listing. I think the teachings of God are about avoiding these problems that we can do to one another – and it is outright sickening to think humanity can become so depraved to act this way – yet we have cases. This is my current definiton of immorality (hurting others wilfully).

Now if we talk about ‘answering in the court of God’ and this idea of people entering the ‘kingdom of heaven’ – well this is a list I would propose as keeping people out – similar to this list. What I am getting at is the intent the authors were using when they made such lists. What was bothersome at the time and offended the human sentiment. I think we can capture this with the list of the 22 most evil things – and understand why Paul wrote such lists as to what to avoid at all costs.

But it also talks about justice and answering to God’s court. God has given us no specific teachings that any of this is the acceptable form for humanity to take – none in 66 books. That speaks volumnes – literally! The difference betwen following God and not following God is basically summed up in one sentence ‘treat others how you want to be treated’ – and that list above ignores this foundational idea of treating people fairly. And that is the key to the looking at the teachings that lead you towards God – and those that do not.

Immorality is the problem with belonging in the ‘kingdom of God’ – and that’s the dividing line between someone and God (and that someone and community). Not something as simple as a confession – but your actions are your confession.

Challenges to Orthodoxy – In Discussion

Seems societyvs not only denies the true gospel but seeks to come up with his own, one which looks to works righteousness rather than the gift and righteousness of God.” (Swordbearer)

Interesting you should mention this – in fact – I am studying the roots of the atonement idea – anyone else doing this – in fact yes? I am looking at what the Jewish rabbi said about the 3 aspects of atonement in the torah and prophets and how Jesus says ‘he will fulfill the Torah and Prophets’…and then looking at the idea with more depth. Maybe I am working through this idea and the discussion is very helpful – where I stand at the atonement I am not sure at this point but it goes like this:

(a) Jewish atonement – 3 aspects (Torah (Blood), Repentance, and Charity)
(b) Christian aspect actually respects all 3 of these ideas – but holds up one as the only atonement that matters
(c) Jesus mention each idea in all gospels – repentance, charity (we also see this in Acts community), and sacrifice
(d) Maybe Jesus fulfills the blood atonement (from Hebrews) once and for all – not to happen yearly now – all are cleared
(e) However, all may be cleared but we still have our parts in the good news – repentance and charity.

“Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Jesus – Matt 5:17 and John the Baptist’s – Matt 3:2 – first words). Jesus seems to be telling people ‘repent’ is the first thing to do to follow him – and first thing John requests of everyone in following God (exact same message). Repentance is given a fairly weighty position if you ask me.

We can see – for some odd reason beyond any reason – God accepts people that are charitable (Matt 25: 31-40) and loving (Matt 22:36-40). Nowhere in these gospels until the very end is the atonement even mentioned – at that we have discussed in depth – but we are still required to do something or we can lose our place in the kingdom.

Heck, even Puritan is saying not believing in the Messiah makes one subject to no atonement – but what he is really saying there is ‘what you do’ matters. Believing something is a type of action in Puritan’s wording (a verb). I find it hypocritical you guys can push on idea about faith and then hold another about losing that salvation based on ‘actions’. It’s not one or the other obviously. Even Paul in his letters admits this – even after he talks about how people are saved by faith – apparently they condemned by their actions. And I am not pulling one over your eyes – check it out in Paul’s letters when he tells people they will not inherit the kingdom of heaven – apparently it is based on ‘what they do’ (ie: namely being immoral in some way or form). He is telling this to a Christian community all the time in his letters.

The article I sent you shows the existence of the Trinity in the Old Testament” (Puritan)

Actually, I am asking rabbi’s and others in the Jewish community who actually study the Hebrew and have dedicated themselves to studying the whole of the Tanakh – and they say there is no proof of a Trinity…I have to think they are right on this – they dedicate their lives to those teachings. I have not set up a ‘straw man’ whatsoever – I have claimed the Tanakh does not mention a Trinity and I am very sure of this – even the NT never uses the actual word. I don’t see why not addressing the idea Jesus may not be God is problematic – he was the Messiah/Christ sent from God.

 As for the divinity of Jesus – I am not worried. If he is God – I follow his teachings anyways – if He is not God – I am not breaking the 1st commandment (There is only One God). To be perfectly honest, most of the disciples outside of the 3 synoptic gospels neither make this claim about Jesus’ divinity – but mainly his special position as Messiah(Jewish term)/Christ (Greek term). It’s rather funny that you guys bash pluralism yet hold to a form of it in the Trinity – irony?


Let me ask you, since Judaists were wrong about Messiah…why trust them on the Psalms (or any other prophetic interpretations)?” (Puritan)

Many, O LORD my God, are the wonders which You have done,
And Your thoughts toward us;
There is none to compare with You
If I would declare and speak of them,
They would be too numerous to count.
Sacrifice and meal offering You have not desired;
My ears You have opened;
Burnt offering and sin offering You have not required.

David is writing a Psalm and in vs. 5 we see how God is very insurmountable in knowing about- in vs. 6 David says simply ‘you opened my ears’…so he could hear and write some of it. Now you tell me, in context, how a ‘body you have prepared for me’ (from Hebrews 10:6) even fits in the context of that Psalm? I think the Psalm 40 version is accurate and makes sense from the Rabbinical viewpoint – Hebrews 10 is flawed.

Just some Food for thought?

Calling Out Your Sacred Cow…

Rabbi Singer – a well studied individual from Outreach Judaism – quotes and comments on the Trinity (also links to the whole statements and proofs used in the debate about the Trinity and Jesus)

“The verse is found in Psalm 82:6 where the Bible refers to judges who teach God’s divine law as gods. This title was bestowed on them because they were teachers of the Almighty’s divine law, not because they were actually God in any way. This usage is quite common in the Jewish scriptures. For example, in Exodus 7:1 Moses is called a god because he was God’s representative to Pharaoh. In essence, Jesus’ reply supports the very opposite of what missionaries are trying to put forth. Jesus, as depicted by John, is explaining that his identification with God is comparable to the Jewish judges’ identification with God.” (Rabbi Singer – Did Jesus Claim to be God)

“The question that immediately comes to mind is: If the Hebrew word echad can signify either a compound unity or one alone, how can one tell which definition is operative when studying a verse? The answer is: In the exact same way the word “one” is understood in the English language, that is, from the context. “Four chairs and a table make up one dinette set” is a compound unity, and “Hear O Israel, the Lord is our God, the Lord is one” is unsullied monotheism.” (Rabbi Singer – The Trinity in the Shema)

“In response to this argument, I have explained that contrary to the missionary claim that blood sacrifice is the only method of atonement in the Bible, there are 3 methods of atonement clearly defined in the Jewish scriptures: the sin sacrifice, repentance, and charity. Moreover, the sin sacrifice (known in the Jewish scriptures as korban chatat) did not atone for all types of sin, but rather, only for man’s most insignificant iniquity: unintentional sins. The sin sacrifice was inadequate to atone for a transgression committed intentionally. The brazen sinner was barred from the sanctuary, and had to bear his own iniquity because of his rebellious intent to sin against God. The Torah teaches this fundamental principle in Numbers 15:27-31.” (Rabbi Singer – Could Jesus’ Death Atone For Any Kind of Sin?)

“Judaism teaches of forgiveness and a wonderful salvation program based on the Bible. From your letter, however, it is quite clear that the reason you are not forgiven is because you have not sought forgiveness. You must first lament of this iniquity and turn back to the One God of Israel for His precious life-giving atonement. There is no greater iniquity in the Bible than idolatry. Scripture refers to this act as spiritual adultery. This is the very first of the ten commandments.” (Rabbi Singer – Monotheism and Idolatry)

I had never ever read Rabbi Singer but after a quick read of his stuff – I am almost certain we are making the same conclusions and points. Just more food for thought in the on-going research into Jesus’ God status – is Jesus being made into God by Gentile communities is now the greater question?