What is meant by a "perfect" Bible?

Tradition does weigh heavily, whether we like it or not.

@thoughtful is a Protestant, and probably does not consider the Apocrypha to be part of the Bible. But why? Perhaps she has a detailed knowledge of textual analysis to be able to parse out the specific reasons she does not include those texts as inspired. Much more likely, she just accepted that they weren’t because no one told her they were.

That’s a decision though, that not all Christians agree with, and maybe some of those decisions are up for debate.

So even the questions “what books are part of the Bible?” Reveals that we all are deeply reliant on tradition, the history of the church, and we have to trust that God providentially governed the formation of the cannon out of which arises the Bible we call inspired today.


There were no debates because people didn’t challenge God’s Word, they cherished it. Of course, Jesus is greater so we should cherish His Word - no debate needed.

I understand you don’t know why my statement is wrong and you don’t know much about the issue. What I don’t understand is why, without any sort of supporting argument, you decide that you are superior “in spiritual awareness and faith” to anyone that may question your opinion.

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Oh but there were many debates! And some of the debates go on till this day!

And of course, Scripture teaches people were challenging God’s Word all the time too. So I’m not sure what you mean by that.

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Lol, I’m not either, so that’s OK.

See this for my explanation of why the Bible doesn’t claim divine inspiration. It’s bad form that other religion or cults use. What is meant by a "perfect" Bible? - #33 by thoughtful

I have puzzled over these and settled on perhaps that he’s emphasizing how he implemented a biblical principle. So he’s giving an example.

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You answered your hypothetical criticism of me. :joy: Yes, I agree with your second statement. I was suggesting I didn’t understand why someone would ignore church tradition and would consider parsing texts.

tbh, I have not studied Catholic or Orthodox positions on apocrypha.

We affirm the divine inspiration, truthfulness and authority of both Old and New Testament Scriptures in their entirety as the only written Word of God, without error in all that it affirms, and the only infallible rule of faith and practice. We also affirm the power of God’s Word to accomplish his purpose of salvation. The message of the Bible is addressed to all mankind. For God’s revelation in Christ and in Scripture is unchangeable. Through it the Holy Spirit still speaks today. He illumines the minds of God’s people in every culture to perceive its truth freshly through their own eyes and thus discloses to the whole church ever more of the many-colored wisdom of God.

I find that last sentence extremely problematic. It seems to contradict Jude, who says the faith has been delivered once for all, not that it “is being delivered” in a progressive way. We don’t need people in different cultures to progressively tell us more and more of what God originally meant by the words in the Bible.

That it’s sinful… :upside_down_face:

Parsing “very little” and trying to quantify and define the exact scope of that inspiration (and what it means in the first place) gets complicated quickly—and often raucous! (Indeed, what is the boundary between “very little” and “lots”? Some scriptures make it much easier with phrases like “And the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah the prophet”, while the Book of Esther makes no mention of God nor does it claim to be the utterance of a prophet speaking for God.

The Bible inerrancy controversies sometimes remind me of angry debates I’ve observed over translation issues (e.g., inclusive language Bibles, and King-James-onlyism applied to a Spanish Bible translation! Yeah, that’s one of my personal favorites.) Someone usually steps forward and boldly declares, “It is all very simple! Even a child can understand this. You just accept the Word of God as written and translate it literally word-for-word.”

Of course, anybody with any kind of translation experience or comparative/historical linguistics backgrounds looks at the ground and does a giant face-palm. Sometimes I feel the same way about inerrancy debates. Dunning-Kruger reigns again. (Yes, D&K were inspired prophets declaring truth in all the land—and lack thereof.)


So interesting!

The sentence to which you are objecting is derived from a literal translation of Ephesians 3:10.

You are quoting from the Lausanne Covenant, a foundational document in Evangelicalism. Your negative response makes me wonder. Do you consider yourself an evangelical?

I can show you. Jesus told the disciples that the Holy Spirit would bring His words (Jesus’ words) back to their remembrance (presumably so they could write them down for the benefit of the whole church). If this isn’t referring to the gospels, then what is it referring to?

But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.

I’m not a Biblical scholar but I play one on TV. The Zoom class starts in ten minutes. (Perhaps twenty minutes if the class host is long-winded.)

[I have no idea if the “…but I play one on TV” joke from long ago is understood by the younger generations.]

In any case, I have long described myself as a has-been linguist—and computational theologian.

I’m old enough to get it :stuck_out_tongue:

Seems to be referring to Jesus’s words. Not sure what your Bible shows, but the red letters likely make up only a minority of the Gospel’s text, right?

It goes further than just Jesus’ own words. It says “he will teach you all things…”

If this isn’t a reference to the gospels that would be written, then what is it referencing?

It seems to be literally referencing Jesus’s teaching, some of which is recorded in the Gospels, alongside other words too.

That’s a reasonable argument, at least. However, this applies to all Christians, regardless of whether or not the wrote a Gospel, and really doesn’t provide solid support. The Holy Spirit often brings remembrance of Biblical passages to me.

Yes, the written Gospels could certainly be part of that. But what about the many centuries of Christians—countless Christians—who had no Bible of their own or even a Bible in their own language at all (or any second language known to them?) Were they left out? No. Because the teachings of Jesus went everywhere even when the Bible did not. The Holy Spirit used the teachings of Jesus, not just Biblical texts.

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I don’t agree that this particular promise was for all Christians. In context, he was speaking to the disciples at a time before the gospels existed. They would need supernatural help to remember everything perfectly.

I have never experienced any supernatural revelation of Bible verses into my mind. I have always had to learn them the manual way. So at least, this promise does not appear to extend to me.

That brings up the interesting question as to whether the disciples had access to any Biblical texts with the words of Jesus in them (or memories of same.)