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- Christianity, the Bible & Jesus
Is the Earth Flat?
Can you prove the world is round?
William of Occam suggested 'way back in the 13th century that the best way to deal with most anything is to allow the simplest explanation to be true until proven otherwise. That's why the flat earthers held their ground until Copernicus, Galileo, and others proved the world was round, that it was not the center of the universe, and that it was actually traveling around the sun in an apparent fixed orbit. The round earth hypothesis was resisted tooth and nail by the Christian (read Catholic) Establishment. The proponents --also Christians--were arrested, imprisoned, executed in some cases. Many went underground or into exile. Still, they persisted, gratefully.
Ultimately, proof proved powerful.
So it is with those who claim the Bible is the inerrant Word of God. It has not and cannot be proven; yet they cling to it like velcro. It must be taken on faith. Let's examine that proposition.
Is accepting a literal reading of Scripture the simplest path? Does it make sense here in the 21st century to take the Bible at face value?
The first answer to the above questions is another question. If we are to take the Bible literally, whose interpretation should be the One and Only Interpretation? When you begin to look at the challenge from that perspective, it is no longer the simplest path, let alone the simplest explanation.
My Catholic friends make a point. The Roman Church was the first established institution; hence, it's Bible should be the one that reigns supreme. But my evangelical friends insist that the Catholic Church bastardized the Scriptures due to ecclesiastical, political, and personal agendas. Therefore, they cannot be trusted to provide the real Truth.
My more conservative Protestant Christian friends declare the King James version of the Bible to be the only authentic translation. They forget, though, that it too was created from other than divine agendas. What the king says, goes. And all that.
Ask any Jehovah's Witness, Mormon, Methodist, or Quaker which interpretation is best. I am guessing (?) you won't get a consensus.
Before the Bible came together in any kind of coherent form during the fourth century, the various sects of early Christians used whatever books that served their purposes. They fought with each other over which versions were valid. And many of the early books were eventually rendered heretical and banished to the trash heap of history.
Sounds like the same thing continues today. Some 30,000 different denominations, sects, cults, and gatherings will tell you they possess the Truth, which invariably contradicts the others. The clash will never end. But it could.
The simplest explanation, until proven otherwise, is that the Bible is a human book, created for human reasons, used by humans to control and exploit.
Again, prove me wrong. I guarantee it won't be easy.
Simple enough? Yeah.