It shows a Christadelphian thinking honestly and rationally about his faith; instead of only thinking of excuses to believe when faced with challenges to faith. May my Christadelphian readers take note and learn from this brother.
The following is a short extract from Rob's writing in August 2012 that reveals his growing suspicion that Christadelphian teaching about inspiration is wrong:
"It seems to be a common view that the Bible should contain no mistakes because it is inspired by God. But is that what inspiration means, and how should we deal with biblical errors?
There are many examples where the text appears to have been copied inaccurately. These are often corrected in modern translations, but the problems exist in the best Hebrew and Greek manuscripts.
For example, 2 Samuel and 1 Chronicles describe events in David’s life, and they do not always agree. Compare the following:
So David made a name for himself when he returned from killing 18,000 Arameans in the Valley of Salt. (2 Samuel 8:13 NASB)
Moreover Abishai the son of Zeruiah defeated 18,000 Edomites in the Valley of Salt. (1 Chronicles 18:12 NASB)We could probably explain the change of name by noting that Abishai was a general in David’s army, and so was acting on David’s behalf. But the switch from Arameans to Edomites is a simple copyist error. In Hebrew, Aram is spelled ארם while Edom is spelled אדם. Look carefully to see the difference.
It would be easy to write the ד carelessly, or for the tiny stroke to the right to be smudged or fade, and then it looks like ר. Many translations, including the NIV, correct Arameans to Edomites in 2 Samuel 8:13 to avoid the apparent contradiction. There are many copyist errors like this in the Bible. Inspiration is usually only thought to apply to the original manuscripts (called autographs) which no longer exist. So errors in copies of the manuscripts do not disprove inspiration.
However, it is worth noting that they exist, and that God allows them to exist. That is, he has not attempted to ensure the transcription of his scriptures are accurate. He has allowed human errors to occur...............................................
I’ve asked a lot of questions and provided few answers. The fact is, I don’t have answers. I’m not sure what inspiration really means. It is far too simplistic to say that the scriptures are inspired “and are consequently without error in all parts of them, except such as may be due to errors of transcription or translation” (Christadelphian BASF foundation clause).
Nowhere in the Bible does it say anything like this, and it appears to contain a few errors that are not simply transcription or translation. Also, why should we allow errors of transcription or translation, but not other errors?