“Reinterpreting the Bible because of science shows us it’s not God’s word.” A reply.


A Christian may argue that the reinterpretation of scripture can be very interesting.

Firstly, God, as Christians believe, is the creator. He created nature and the laws that govern it. According to many Christians it is a satisfying prospect that the more one discovers about nature’s workings the more one discovers God indirectly. Christians routinely refer to various biblical passages in support of this idea; passages such as Romans 1:20 which tells us that “His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen” in his creation, and we are also told that “The heavens are telling of the glory of God” (Psalm 19:1). God is designer, and creator.

However, this issue may comes down to human fallibility. Being finite creatures we come up with problematic interpretations of many things, for instance, our fallibility is seen in our science itself, hence why new theories are forwarded because they are seen to better describe how nature functions. Either we were previously incorrect about what we attempted to described scientifically and thus needed to take away or add to it, or we just happened to learn something new about how our universe operates. But it’s not only the scientific enterprise that is vulnerable to human fallibility and misinterpretation.

The Bible can also be victimized this way. Christian biblical scholars argue that many judge the ancient biblical writers with 21st century cultural bias and sophistication. We apply these (as well as personal biases) to 3000-year-old scripture that is not intended to describe the theory of evolution, or human genetics. To do so would prove to be an anachronous method of reading. The Christian scholar argues that we must interpret God’s word in the way it was intended to be read by the author’s audience, not by a 21st century reader.

Furthermore, an argument can be put forth concerning a reinterpreting scripture as something to be embraced and not shunned.  Scientific discovery can show us just how really out of touch with reality some Christian hypotheses and interpretations are. Would this suggest that the Bible is not God’s word? No, it probably means that human beings make fallible interpretations and are mistaken.

Some Christians argue that the more we learn about nature the more we actually learn “how” God did his work, and that will entail that various interpretations by groups of Christians will be proven false. It may prove unfortunate for some, and unfortunate for others, but it would be a responsible method of learning about the Bible. Christians have to go where the evidence leads.

In truth, reinterpreting scripture in the face of scientific discovery (assuming that discovery is true) may maintain and cultivate a richer understanding of the Bible, as well as the natural world God created.

3 responses to ““Reinterpreting the Bible because of science shows us it’s not God’s word.” A reply.

  1. How can you tell people that you have the truth if you have to constantly change it? Truth, by definition, is unchanging. If you get to change your bible to match reality then the muslims, buddhists and hindus can do the same. In this case, you can’t ever point to their holy book and say that they are wrong because you just misunderstood it. Likewise, your bible can never be falsified because it just changes with each no finding. In science these ideas get thrown out but they just get reinterpreted in religion. Any rational, sane man should see how ludicrous this is and should abandon their faith but not you, James. You need to hold on to it come hell or high water. You refuse to let go of it when science shows the bible to be wrong. This shows a lack of objectivity. You refuse to let go out of fear of living a life without faith.

    • Science, JLA, does not show the Bible is wrong. It shows that you are misreading the text instead of letting it speak in its own sociocultural context. The Bible makes no scientific postulations, however, its authors express themselves in the “science” (or the understanding of the universe works) of their day. This is expected, I don’t understand why this must negate inspiration.

      I’d say i would show a lack of objectivity if I were to throw out the whole Bible because of a misreading of the text. I also don’t “fear living a life without faith,” since every worldview (atheism included) is a faith position. I am a Christian because I believe it makes the best sense of reality, is backed by the historical Jesus, and other historical and scientific arguments.

  2. Understanding reality has changed as we come to understand it by new science. It does not change the principle of truth, it just changes our understanding. The reality is constant and true.

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