Steven Tiger: The Bible’s Inconsistenices Are Not Surprising

Steven Tiger, Doctrine Impossible: A Journey from Dogmatic Religiosity to Rational Spirituality (Lexington, KY: 2017), 74-75.

From a rational perspective, the clear implication of this 2000-year history of heterodoxy is that the Bible is not the inerrant word of God but the fallible words of countless ordinary and mostly anonymous people, compiled over the ages. In light of the Bible’s diverse human authorship, its inconsistencies are entirely to be expected, but that implication is exactly what the bibliolaters cannot accept. Questioning the authority of the Bible would mean facing the intrinsic uncertainty of faith without the comforting illusion of proof.

The doctrinal wars and inquisitions that have stained the course of Christian history are evidence that the quest for certainty through uniformity of belief has been a catastrophic failure. The adherents of opposing doctrines were all convinced that they alone possessed the truth and that their unprovable beliefs had to triumph over all other unprovable beliefs. Such conflict was inevitable: Bibliolaters cannot question the Bible’s authority, so all they can do is fight over its meaning.

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