Does Bible need to be perfect?

Diogenes wrote: Thu Sep 23, 2021 9:48 pm This question poses a dilemma for the “Bible based” Christian. If one believes the Bible is the “Word of God” or at least is inspired by God, does it not have to be perfect?

No, it does not need to be “perfect”. For one thing, what does it mean to be “perfect”? Every single statement has to be 100% precise? Everything has to be literally true? There should be absolutely no mistakes?

In Christian theology, God has revealed himself to man through general revelation and special revelation. General revelation is primarily the revelation of God through nature. And special revelation is primarily through the Bible. There is no need for either of these to be “perfect” in order to point to God.

One major barrier I believe is the temptation to idolize the Bible. The Bible is not God. It’s not something to be worshiped or idolized. The purpose of the Bible is to lead us to God, it is not God itself. In a sense, I believe we have mythologized the Bible to be beyond what it actually is. Protestants critique Catholics for mythologizing Mary. I think in a similar way, Protestants have mythologized the Bible. And it’s revealed by people having an expectation that it must be perfect, just as Mary must’ve been sinless. But, can Mary still be the mother of Jesus even though she was sinful? I think so. Can the Bible still reveal God, even if it’s not perfect? I also think so.

As for alleged contradictions, there could be a number of responses to them. But, the more important question is do the contradictions impact major Christian doctrines? Very few do. So, even if there are contradictions, they are of little relevance to doctrinal beliefs.

So, presenting and attacking contradictions and imperfections and demanding perfection, I believe, is a strawman. There is no objective definition of perfection and there is no requirement for perfection.