Having been exposed and apart of many Christian circles throughout my lifetime, one primary tenet of the Christian faith is that the New Testament is the inerrant word of God. Just review any church’s website under their “What We Believe” or “Statement of Faith” tab and you will inevitably find words like “inerrant” or “infallible” word of God being the 66 books of the combined “Old” and “New” Testaments. According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, “inerrant” is defined as being “free from error”. Likewise, the Oxford dictionary defines it as “incapable of being wrong”.
Furthermore, Christianity often sites the famous verses found in 2 Timothy 3:16-17 as evidence Scripture, being presumed to be both the “Old” and “New” Testament, is inerrant. After all, if these writings thought to be inspired by God are not absolute truth, then one’s faith is fallacy.
One interesting oversight, however, when making such conclusions from 2 Timothy 3:16-17, is that most Christians overlook the previous verse 15, which clearly reminds the recipient, Timothy, as well as modern day readers, that Timothy had the Holy Scriptures since childhood, referring to the Hebrew Bible, also known as the Law and Prophets, or Tanakh, or what has since been labeled the “Old” Testament by Christianity. These letters penned by Paul (see 2 Timothy 1:1) and others were not regarded as “the Holy Scriptures”, but are merely commentary or one’s opinion about the Holy Scriptures, being the Tanakh. For those unaware, let me briefly define the “Tanakh” as it is more or less an acronym of TNK pronounced in Hebrew as “Tanakh”. The T is for Torah, the first five books of the Bible, the N is for Nevi’im, the prophetic manuscripts (i.e. Isaiah, Jeremiah, etc.), and the K is for Kethuvim, which are the Psalms, 1 and 2 Chronicles, Lamentations, Ezra, etc. Sometimes Tanakh is spelled Tenach, Tanach, or Tenak, but it all is referring to the Hebrew Bible.
Furthermore, throughout the “New” Testament, which I put in quotes to highlight how terms such as “New” and “Old” propagate the many errors of Replacement Theology, indeed has known errors and thus, cannot be the “inerrant word of God” as many have been led to believe. Below are some examples of the inerrancy found in the “New” and implied-improved Testament.
- The author of the Book of Matthew, which has not been proven, but only speculated to be written by a Matthew, documents the genealogy of Jesus in Matthew 1:1-17. The author states Jesus comes from the lineage of Joseph, Mary’s husband, in verse 16. As a side note, how can this be if Jesus was miraculously conceived and has no genetic father? Furthermore, compare the genealogy of Jesus in Matthew’s version to Luke’s story in Luke 3:23-38. In verse 23, the author claims as does Matthew, that Jesus was from Joseph, a perplexing mysterious scandal for an alleged virgin birth, but moreover, the genealogy detailed here is far different from the one outlined in Matthew. So which is Jesus’ lineage and why do these unknown or unproven authors list not only varying genealogy, but claim Joseph is Jesus’ birthfather when Luke 1:34 and Matthew 1:18 contradict their own findings? Or if listing Jesus’ adoptive father, how can the non-birth father be counted as Jesus’ claim to the Davidic line as qualifying as a Messianic candidate? If Jesus is the perfect Son of God as Christians are taught, then shouldn’t his lineage be without error as well? Is it possible the authors were aware the ancient Jewish sages believed a Messiah would have to be a direct descendant of David, which is documented through the males (see Numbers 1, as a example), so concocted a lineage to make Jesus appear to be a viable candidate? And yet, the authors of Matthew and Luke did not get their stories straight before publishing. When attempting to research this discrepancy, the common response of Christians is, “I don’t know” or perhaps “one is defining Mary’s lineage and the other Joseph’s”. If one is of Mary, then it still is an error as the text specifically states the lineage is of Joseph in both Matthew and Luke.
- Have you ever studied out and compared the many differing versions of Jesus’ alleged resurrection? Sure, I know naive Christians have been told the different accounts are just different perspectives of the unknown authors of the gospels, but in reality, when closely examining the alleged eye-witness accounts, you will find there are several details that contradict one another. That topic alone has made an intriguing article I encourage you to dive into this for yourself. All of which, begs the question, if the so-called witnesses of the resurrection cannot get their stories straight, can these accounts be trusted? How would any judge or jury discern what is truth if the witnesses relay the same overall outcome, but their varying stories contradict the details of the said event? When the timeline, order of discovery, characters involved, and or reasons for being at the event all differ, it certainly casts a reasonable doubt. And if indeed Jesus is the Messiah, the Savior, the perfect Son of God, wouldn’t God make sure the accounts of Jesus were perfectly documented rather than be in error much less recorded numerous years later? How can anyone possibly remember what Jesus said verbatim decades later? And yet, we have formed numerous denominations and doctrines over what we were sure Jesus actually said. Did you know in addition to historians and experts not actually knowing who the authors of the Gospels were, they do know the Gospels were written decades after Jesus’ lived and died, and even after the Book of Revelation? So the Gospels could easily have been written to support the ideologies of Paul and or any other Apostle. Did you know the first book of the “New” Testament was Paul’s letter to the Corinthian church he established based off an unusual spiritual experience? I will stop for now, but do your research. I suspect upon doing so, you will be alarmed and angry at what you will discover as was I.
- Speaking of errors in the Gospels, were you aware that in Matthew 27:9, the author quotes Jeremiah the prophet as writing about the thirty pieces of silver, when in fact, that statement can be found not in Jeremiah, but Zechariah 11:12-13? Never mind the fact that Zechariah’s words are taken out of context in Matthew’s writing. Regardless, clearly the “New” Testament, more specifically, the Gospels, are not without error.
- In Acts 7:16, the author believed to be Paul’s Gentile pal, Luke, but not proven, wrote that the patriarchs of Israel were buried in “Shechem” when in actuality they (i.e. Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and their wives, etc) were buried in Mamre, also known as Hebron, more specifically the cave of the field of Machpelah, according to Genesis 23:17-20 and 50:13. Shechem is yet another error in the alleged inerrant New Testament.
- Also in the Book of Acts, when describing the Apostle Paul’s conversion experience or when he allegedly saw the resurrected Jesus in the sky, it is reported in Acts 9:7 that the men who journeyed with Paul heard a voice, but saw nothing. In Acts 22:9, however, Paul testifies of just the opposite: the men with him saw a light, but heard no voice, documenting yet again the Book of Acts cannot be the inerrant word of God.
- As another example of errors within the New Testament, please review and compare the Book of Hebrews to other Scriptures found in the Tanakh. Compare Hebrews 8:9 to Jeremiah 31:32. Notice the unknown author of Hebrews, misquotes Jeremiah 31:32 by writing, “not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of Egypt; because they did not continue in My covenant, and I disregarded them, says the Lord..” (NKJV). Jeremiah 31:32 actually says, “not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, though I was a husband to them, says the LORD.” (NKJV) As you can see, the author of Hebrews manipulated the text to make it seem like God has cast His people, the Jewish people, Israel, aside and now there are a new and improved people implying the church, which all is apart of the erroneous Replacement Theology doctrine. Clearly, this is not the inerrant word of God, but heresy and altering the Hebrew Bible to propel an agenda. Unfortunately, the author uses the same blatant manipulation of Scriptures a couple of chapters later in Hebrews 10:5. The author is attempting to convince the reader that Jesus is the ultimate sacrifice and sacrifices are no longer needed which contradicts Ezekiel 43-44 describing sacrifices in the World-To-Come/Messianic Era/New Jerusalem where the Torah goes out to the entire globe (see Isaiah 2:1-4; Isaiah 11; Micah 4; Zechariah 14:16+). Notice in Zechariah 14:16+ the nations must offer sacrifices in the Messianic Era if they want it to rain on their land (i.e. have crops and food), all of which is after the “Day of the LORD”. Please carefully review Hebrews 10:5, where the author misquotes Psalm 40:6-8 intentionally and dramatically changing the verbiage to make it seem like Jesus is the final sacrifice predicted in the Psalms. Compare Psalms 40:6-8 to Hebrews 10:5:
“Sacrifice and offering You did not desire; My ears You have opened. Burnt offering and sin offering You did not require. Then I said, ‘Behold, I come; in the scroll of the book it is written of me. I delight to do Your will, O my God, And Your law is within my heart.” Psalm 40:6-8 (NKJV)
“Therefore, when He came into the world, He said: ‘Sacrifice and offering You did not desire, But a body You have prepared for Me. In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin You had no pleasure. Then I said, ‘Behold, I have come – in the volume of the book it is written of Me- To do Your will, O God.” Hebrews 10:5-7 (NKJV)
Here we can see several errors. Not only did the author remove God’s word by subtracting the text “You did not require” and replaced it with “you did not desire” and then added to it with “But a body You have prepared for Me..”, which it is a sin to add or subtract from Scripture according to Deuteronomy 12:32 in the Christian Bible or Deuteronomy 13:1 in the Hebrew Bible, but the author also left off a key element validating God’s Torah by removing the phrase, “And Your law is within my heart.” These errors are clearly intentional as the author of Hebrews is leading the reader to believe 1) A sin blood sacrifices were required (for atonement), 2) God doesn’t want ongoing sacrifices, but just one final sacrifice being Jesus now and 3) by leaving off Torah is within my heart it leads the reader to believe God’s laws are done away with or no longer relevant, a myth the Church has propagated for centuries in attempts to distance themselves from anything remotely Jewish. The author of Hebrews goes on to repeat his grave sin by rewriting it for emphasis in verses 8-9 AND claiming God’s Torah, part of what Christians label “OLD” Testament is removed. Out with the old and in with the new Hebrews 10:9 claims; hence, the birth of Replacement Theology. However, Deuteronomy 13 warns us that anyone that comes along and says God’s law, His Torah, His instructions, His voice is done away with, or steers others to not obey Torah is a false prophet and in dangerous error. This person or doctrine was sent as a test to see if you believe in God or man-made doctrines like Replacement Theology and the Book of Hebrews. Fascinating that the author could not even pen his name to this manuscript just as the alleged authors of the Gospels did not pen their names either.
All of this compelling evidence is not to say some spiritual concepts or truths cannot be gleaned from Jesus or the “New” Testament, just as they can be from any person or writings, but clearly, the writings are not without error and therefore, not the “inerrant word of God”. Rather, they ought to be compared to the Tanakh, the Holy Scriptures designed for instructions of righteousness making a person complete (2 Timothy 3:15-17). That much I can agree with Paul.
Choose this day whom you will serve.