Problem: You must believe the Bible is error-free to be a Christian
Verses: 2 Timothy 3:16; Status: Weak

So where do we go from here?

Or, "If I was a Christian..."

If you're a Christian and you're starting to think that the Bible contains errors, you'll want to know what you're actually supposed to believe if it really does. As an atheist, I'm not the best person to advise you. However, I was a Christian once, and I might even be again, and I can tell you what I'd believe if I was a Christian...

You more or less have to believe that...

  1. There is no god but God.
  2. Jesus was sent by God to teach us and to be punished in our place.

That's about it. Oh sure, it helps if you believe in things like the virgin birth and the resurrection, and so on. And nothing stops you believing these things just because the Bible contains errors.

Every historical document contains errors. This does not in itself mean the events it describes are fictional. We have good knowledge about people like Julius Caesar even though the historical documents contain errors. Likewise, you might decide that the testimony of the gospels is sufficient evidence for you to believe that the essential doctrines of Christianity are true.

You're not alone...

In being a Christian who knows the Bible contains errors, you will be joining millions of other believers, including some of the most committed ministers and theologians. A friend of mine is a Christian minister who is well aware that the Bible contains errors, and I have met other such people. I would be interested to see a survey of various types of priest on the subject, but I suspect you'll find that more of them share this view than you'd expect. They are, after all, more familiar with the Bible than most people.

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