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What are the most challenging objections to the divine inspiration of the Bible? Are there particularly compelling arguments that skeptics of the divine inspiration of Scripture commonly bring up to justify their skepticism?

Note: this is the counterpart question to What are the strongest arguments for the belief that the Bible was supernaturally inspired by God?

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  • Would God inspire Smith to copy word for word from the King James Version of the Bible even copying word for word translation errors ?
    – Kris
    Jul 8 at 0:29
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    I'm not sure how this could be answered remotely objectively. Especially if you're asking Christians what arguments of skeptics they think are the most challenging, not even asking the skeptics themselves what arguments they think are best.
    – curiousdannii
    Jul 8 at 0:44
  • @curiousdannii - perhaps seasoned Christians apologists who have significant experience debating skeptics could offer a more objective perspective? Like "what kinds of arguments against the trustworthiness of the Bible make you struggle more in debates?". Jul 8 at 2:42
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    Most atheist apologists have little knowledge of the Bible, and the arguments are often very simple. The challenging arguments are almost all around the literalist infallibility of the Bible, not it's inspiration. Jul 8 at 14:54
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    I could offer hypothetical arguments, but I don't really believe them, I don't like playing devil's advocate, and I don't think it would be helpful for future users
    – depperm
    Jul 8 at 19:43
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There are three most challenging objections to the divine (God-authored) inspiration of the Bible; one is science, one is contradictions, and one is it lacks in totality.

Science

The well known Biblical claim of a 6-day (presumably 24-hours per day) appears untenable given fossils, the age of the universe, etc.

Another is the sun and moon standing still.

Then spake Joshua to the LORD in the day when the LORD delivered up the Amorites before the children of Israel, and he said in the sight of Israel, Sun, stand thou still upon Gibeon; and thou, Moon, in the valley of Ajalon. And the sun stood still, and the moon stayed, until the people had avenged themselves upon their enemies. Is not this written in the book of Jasher? So the sun stood still in the midst of heaven, and hasted not to go down about a whole day. Jos 10:12-13

Contradictions

The well-known Easter challenge is based on the so-called contradictory four gospel accounts of the last days and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Some compare various other verses and find contradictions.

Here is a site for example, although a lack of understanding is fairly apparent. Here is an explaining site.

Lacking

This third objection is a bit harder to grasp for many Christians because they certainly wouldn't want to affirm that God via the Apostles had left something out of His word as regards salvation. But, by adding Tradition or other Books like LDS Book of Mormon and others, this is what's implied.

The idea that God somehow forgot certain things like the dogma of ever-virgin, but yet that some denominations is necessary to believe for salvation is an impingement on the inspiration.

Conclusion

These objections are well-known and apologists have written extensively about issues within the three categories.

At the same time, as I answered elsewhere, the fact of hundreds of asserted and fulfilled prophecies far outshine the question of 24-hours or 24 zillion hours for God to create.

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    There are plenty that disagree that real science contradicts the Bible. On the other hand, consider 2 Thessalonians 2:10-11: "... they refused to love the truth and so be saved. ¹¹Therefore God sends them a strong delusion, so that they may believe what is false." Pretty well describes Methodological Naturalists, who dogmatically reject God and therefore accept the twin delusions of Uniformitarianism and Evolutionism. And reject that miracles can occur. Also, show me an actual contradiction; most or all of the alleged contradictions are debunked.
    – Matthew
    Jul 9 at 2:06
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    Probably the majority of the "contradictions" on that site show an appalling lack of understanding of the message of Christianity or are simply taken out of context (and are therefore disingenuous). The "incest" example fails genetics. The "temptation" example is based on a bad translation. As to the first point, what you are saying is that people that reject the possibility of God's existence have trouble accepting the historicity of the Bible. Well, duh. See again Thessalonians 2:10-11. And maybe consider Romans 1:20 while you're at it.
    – Matthew
    Jul 9 at 2:16
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    Also the 'contradictions' are argument's against the Bible's infallibility, not it's inspiration. Jul 9 at 14:24
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    I repeat: science does not contradict the Bible. Naturalism (which claims to be "science", and is in reality a religion based on denying that God exists) "contradicts" the Bible, but that's something of a tautology. Plenty of people believe that there is no scientific contradiction of the Bible, even Creation in ~144 hours. There is no "scientific" argument against the Bible that isn't tautological.
    – Matthew
    Jul 9 at 14:31
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    I have to agree with @DJClayworth that the "Lacking" section makes no sense -- how is what is said there supposed to be an argument against the Bible being divinely inspired? It sounds like "some people say that salvation requires more than what was stated in the Bible, therefore the Bible was not divinely inspired".
    – Herohtar
    Jul 9 at 22:21
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"What are the most challenging objections . . . ? "


After over half a century of reading and studying and meditating on the holy scriptures (Genesis to Revelation, 66 books, TR/KJV/YLT/EGNT)(1) I do not find any objection to the inspiration of scripture to have any weight whatsoever. None of the arguments, to me, can be called 'challenging' in the slightest degree.

The scripture, itself, in its entirety, in its veracity, in its integrity and in its power (that is to say the power of the word of God when the Spirit of God utters it to one's own spirit) is of such force that no objection of any kind can stand for a moment in the mind or heart.

There is nothing else on earth which compares, to the slightest degree, to these holy scriptures. Some have attempted to mimic them and at the age of seventeen, purely as an academic exercise, I glanced at these attempts. I found them to have nothing whatsoever in common with that which they attempted to mimic, and I never referred to them again.


(1) TR - The Textus Receptus, the 'Received Text' namely Beza, Stephanus, Elzevir, and Scrivener which agree together save in but few places, none of which are doctrinally significant.

KJV - The Authorised King James Version

YLT - Young's Literal Translation

EGNT - The Englishman's Greek New Testament (Stephens Text) which contains an excellent literal, interlinear translation

These are the 'scriptures' which fill my mind, govern my mentality, and remain firmly in my soul, to the exclusion of all other ideology.

In over half a century, nobody has ever uttered an objection to these scriptures, nor have I ever read one, which had any power whatsoever to dissuade me from them. None of the arguments were to the least degree logical, practical, cogent, or appealing.

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    while this is a good testimony/witness, this doesn't really answer the question
    – depperm
    Jul 8 at 11:15
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    @depperm If anyone wishes to bring up any objections, I would be able to answer them. But I would not find it in the slightest bit 'challenging'.
    – Nigel J
    Jul 8 at 12:08
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    I, too, have found that, when the Bible speaks on a matter, it does not move no matter how much pressure is brought to bear against it. Any challenges are challenges to individual understanding not divine inspiration. +1 Jul 8 at 13:01
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    What do you think about the fact that a lot of religious people, who believe in religious holy books that you do not believe in, would have exactly the same feelings about their holy book that you express here about yours?
    – TKoL
    Jul 8 at 16:29
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    @TKoL There can only be one truth. There is but one God. And every single one of us will stand before God in judgment and give an account of every deed done in the body and every word uttered. It behoves every one of us to spend our lifetime to this very purpose : to find the one true God and to worship him. This I do - and I cannot answer for what others say or do. I can only answer for myself, as I have done above.
    – Nigel J
    Jul 8 at 22:01

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