The following is certain to challenge the comfort level of some and i hope the reader is willing to contemplate and/or dialogue about it in a sincere and Christ-like manner without resorting to personal attacks. I hope the reader will keep in mind that this author/poster would not be expressing these words if he were not deeply sincere in believing them to be God's genuine truth. As well i welcome any private messages from those not wanting to comment publicly on this deeply controversial topic.
I will preface this by saying that i am a genuine follower of Lord Jesus. I have His Spirit in my heart, i love and delight in Him, His will and His ways and i seek with everything within me to live unto Him every second of every day in Holy Spirit filled and led Living relationship.
With this said, i believe in a perfect all knowing and all loving Heavenly Father and a perfect Lord Jesus, but not in a perfect bible. I want to clarify here so there is no confusion about this that i believe there are many beautiful God breathed truths contained within the bible, most especially but not limited to the words of Lord Jesus, such as, "but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him shall never thirst; but the water that I will give him will become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life.", but i overwhelmingly believe that many other parts of the bible are not God breathed, some examples of which are provided further down the page, three of which are "i forbid women to teach", "women be silent in the churchs", and the double standard law against wives pertaining to adultery that does not apply to their husbands.
If one did not preconceive an incontestable belief in a 100% God breathed bible and did not believe they would be blaspheming the Living God Himself in challenging this popularly accepted institutionalized religious doctrinal opinion, if one was to actually invite and allow the Holy Spirit that Jesus promised to genuinely help them to discern, then which of those verses resonate as being genuinely God breathed and which do not?
As one of the most popular supposed proofs provided as substantiation for a 100% God breathed bible, the proponent of this idea will quote from the pseudepigraphical book of 2 Tim 3:16,17 which says, "All Scripture is inspired by God (or some translations say "God breathed") and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness" Unfortunately it is circular reasoning and a logical fallacy when someone claims that a bible verse that says the bible is 100% God breathed proves that the bible is 100% God breathed. The proponent of the doctrines of the 100% perfect bible would never accept this as evidence from any other religion but his or her own. He or she would and does reject it as evidence when a Muslim claims that the Koran is perfect because the Koran says so (or the book of Mormon among others) and thus by using it as proof for their own bible being perfect but not for the Koran and these other books that make the same claim, he would be holding to a double standard which ultimately is deeply dishonest.
As well and separately, the author (who is not Paul) was not and could not possibly have been referring to his own letter in reference to "all scripture" in that context, nor was he referring to the 1500s 66 book Martin Luther canon as a whole which primarily came from a 73 book 4th century catholic canon which preceeded it. It is also noteworthy that the original 1611 King James bible was an 80 book canon and that there are other differing canons as well including the Greek orthodox and the Ethiopian canons among others.
It's important to recognize and acknowledge that each of these dozen or more differing canons all were derived upon through one variation or another within the institutionalized religious system and the leaders within that deeply corrupted system... and that each of these different religious denominations or sects all believe that their canon alone is the one that is God's perfectly breathed choice.
If we truly love God and genuinely want to seek and align our hearts and minds with His truth, let's be as honest as possible including in sincerely exploring the question of whether or not the 66 book Martin Luther cannon is God's 100% perfect, inerrant, infallible, all inclusive God breathed bible, or whether it's the 4th century 73 book Catholic canon, the 1611 80 book King James canon, one of the other various differing canons, or whether none of them are actually perfectly God breathed and perfectly of Him.
As another point worthy of mention, if you believe that Martin Luther was inspired of God to choose the perfect God breathed 66 book canon, what are your thoughts on the reality that He was strongly opposed to the inclusion of Hebrews, James, Jude and Revelation because He viewed these books as being in conflict with some of his doctrinal beliefs? For those who believe in a perfect God ordained 66 book canon that couldn't have been 67 books or 65, do you find it at least a little bit interesting that if Martin Luther had his way, his canon would have consisted of 62 books instead of 66?
Can the genuine truth seeker at least acknowledge that if they did not automatically trust in and go along with popular institutionalized mainstream religious opinion (and doctrines) and preconceive that their canon of choice (which one?) is 100% God breathed... that there are a lot of very suspicious words contained within the bible that if one were to allow oneself to be very honest with oneself about this, these do not resonate as words an all knowing and infinitely Loving God would inspire?
Can the genuine truth seeker at least acknowledge that they did not seek the truth about these doctrines of God breathed inerrancy and infallibility with honest open hearted and open minded prayer and sincere Holy Spirit filled research and discernment, but rather that they just accepted it since they trusted without question what the system told them to believe and in many cases they were of the belief that accepting these institutionalized religious doctrines was a requirement if one was to consider themselves to be part of Christianity?
A small sampling of what i overwhelmingly consider to be examples among a multitude of other bible verses which deeply misrepresent the true Living God include the various temper tantrums and boastings of Paul, the verses about women being forbidden to teach, ordered to be silent, many other women inferiority verses and a double standard law against wives pertaining to adultery that does not apply to their husbands, the verses about God sanctioning the taking of slaves, the beating of slaves, the raping of Slaves, the stoning to death of disobedient children, etc.
Given these examples and many more, i do not trust the doctrines of the perfect bible put forth by the highly corrupted institutionalized religious system initiated by a conglomeration of pagan influenced Catholic bishops and perpetuated both by this Catholic system and by its institutionalized non-catholic offspring. If i was to believe in a 100% God breathed bible and that this bible was a perfect representation of my Heavenly Father and His heart, mind and essence, then i would have to believe lots of horrific lies against His true character. I choose instead to not be a conformist to institutionalized religion but rather a willing seeker of God's true heart.
Some very good questions for the genuine truth seeker are as follows:
If institutionalized religion or one of its pope's, bishops, priests, pastors, elders, deacons, other church attenders or prosthelytes, theologians, apologists, bible college instructors, article writers, video makers, etc with its doctrines of God breathed, inerrant infallibility did not tell you that this bible was 100% God breathed, would you really have come to this conclusion on your own by reading the bible for yourself with no preconceived bias as to whether or not it really was 100% God breathed? If you did not preconceive through faith in what the institutionalized religious system told you to believe that "take your disobedient children to the city square and have them stoned to death", or "i forbid women to teach" were God breathed verses, would you really have come to that conclusion on your own?
Upon very honest self reflection, did you even read the entire bible for yourself before concluding that it was 100% God breathed, or did you simply trust in the institutionalized church system's popularized doctrines about this and take this system's and/or it's representative's word for it? If in the exceedingly unlikely chance you did read this bible in full before initially formulating this opinion, i would suggest that this is fantastically rare.
If people are completely honest with themselves, then in almost every instance this belief came to them one way or another through the influence of the institutionalized religious system, not from seeking the answer with an unbiased open mind and genuinely allowing the Holy Spirit to help them to discern. It also did not come thru the bible proving it to them via an uninterrupted stream of consistently beautiful Heavenly verses of Spirit and Truth like those of Lord Jesus and which resonate with true Holy Spirit discernment. As well, it did not come through God speaking it directly to them, although the voice of institutionalized religion is very influential and in many cases those who have all or in part placed their trust in this system would have believed that God's voice was confirming this to them. However, in reality, God's voice is not the only one that speaks and the voice of institutionalized religion is a very strong counterfeit.
I would also suggest that among those who do believe God spoke to them about this, each believes He confirmed to them that their particular canon among the more than a dozen of them was the one that was 100% God breathed. The very best and only true explanation for this phenomenon is that the voice of religion was speaking into their hearts confirming to them that their particular canon belonging to their specific sect, denomination, or region was His perfect and all-inclusive God breathed choice.
Does there have to be a perfect bible for you to be able to believe in and follow after a perfect God in Living relationship with Him? I believe that Abraham and others demonstrated that neither a perfect bible, nor any bible at all and certainly not specifically the 66 book 1500s Martin Luther canon is needed in order for a child of God to experience wonderful living relationship with their Heavenly Father who continues to speak fresh new words into the Hearts of His children, just as was true with Abraham.
Is it possible that God allowed men "with their free will to err still in tact", to write imperfect books and letters consisting of whatever they believed and felt, partly inspired of Him and partly not, often heavily influenced by popular opinion within their culture (including popular anti-women sentiments)... and for other imperfect men by popular opinion to choose what they believed was inspired or not, compiling it into what their institutionalized system called their "canon", deciding for themselves to ascribe inerrancy and infallibility to their choices as a means of lending the air of absolute authority both to their canon and to their version of institutionalized religion, and that God allowed this free will process to play itself out, providing us with more than a dozen imperfect canons all of which claim to be perfect and all-inclusive, presented along with the doctrines of God breathed inerrancy and infallibility that God never wanted or intended?
If God really did choose to inspire a perfect God breathed canon and if He is not the author of confusion, why did he allow there to be more than a dozen different canons?
For those who vehemently ascribe today to the 66 book Martin Luther canon as God's perfect and all inclusive God breathed choice, it is almost certain based upon the influences of popular religious opinion and the human dynamics surrounding religious conformity that these same individuals would have ascribed to the 73 book catholic canon had they been alive any time between the 4th and 15th centuries, but is the reader willing to be deeply honest with himself or herself about this? To say this another way, if a staunch 66 book Martin Luther canon advocate of today was instead living in the 1400s, does this individual believe they would have known that their 73 book catholic bible was not God ordained and that one day in the 1500s God would sponsor a movement where a different group of religious men would replace it with a proper 66 book canon? In truth it is obvious that where the canonicity of the bible is concerned, the majority choose to go along with current popular institutionalized religious opinion within whatever sect, denomination, and/or region in which they happen to belong.
As well, if the Martin Luther canon had turned out to be 62 books as Luther himself so deeply wanted it to be ... and if this 62 book canon had become popularized, widely accepted, promoted, and institutionalized, rather than the 66 book canon... and if Hebrews, James, Jude and Revelation had been declared false books as Martin Luther believed them to be, are those who are vehement ascribers to the 66 book canon today honest enough with themselves to fully acknowledge that they would almost certainly have fully accepted and embraced this popularized institutionalized decision, believed the 62 book canon to be God's perfect choice and rejected the other four books as Martin Luther himself had? I find it both interesting and deeply ironic to keep in mind that the 66 book Martin Luther canon that the reader likely places his or her absolute faith in today is not a canon that Martin Luther himself genuinely approved of or ascribed to.
Hoping this inspires some honest self reflection and a deepened willingness to seek after the genuine truth of the Living God rather than placing ones trust in various forms of institutionalized religion and its popularized doctrines.