Faith & the Bible's infallibility
By The Tribune-Review
Published: Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2013, 3:39 p.m.
In her Feb. 20 letter “The Bible is infallible,” Maris Sanner writes that “The Bible has more bibliographical support than classical literature from Homer, Aristotle and Shakespeare.” That is no doubt true, but it is meaningless in regard to the argument being made.
Bibliographic support only refers to references in other works. Simply referring to or commenting on Biblical passages may earn a bibliographic citation, but in and of itself, it doesn't denote truth or fallacy. There are thousands of bibliographic references to and about Sherlock Holmes, but that doesn't make the character created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle any less fictional.
Sanner also makes a point that Greek and Roman scholars researched every word of the Bible, as if that should be evidence of the Bible's infallibility. The fact that anyone studies anything proves nothing. The Greeks and Romans obsessively researched the heavens, yet still concluded that the sun revolves around the earth.
Mentioning Simon Greenleaf hardly helped her argument. Greenleaf was not an atheist, but a faithful Christian. And Greenleaf never said his 1847 work Testimony of the Evangelists was conceived as an attempt to refute the Gospels. Greenleaf did write A Treatise on the Law of Evidence in 1846 and it was used as a textbook. But its usefulness was rendered negligible in the early 1900s by the work of John Henry Wigmore. Sanner's reference to Greenleaf as “the world's greatest evidence expert” certainly is questionable.
I have no facts or evidence to conclusively state that the Bible is not infallible, as Sanner does not have the facts or evidence to conclusively state that it is infallible. This is one reason why religious belief is called “faith.” My experience is if a person has faith, then that is enough to give strength to the serenity that comes with belief.
Ill constructed and poorly researched arguments only serve those who question the existence of faith.
Andrew N. Mewbourn
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Imam’s thoughts
- Ruling good for Pa.
- Voting rights bill The League …
- She’ll be missed
- Kiski board ignores taxpayers
- Economics dissent
- Touching film
- Shortchanging military
- Do it or shut up
- Term limits’ limits