Marcus Borg: “Sometimes the words in the Bible are wrong.”

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Marcus Borg, interviewed online at the Progressive Christian Portal has something to say about how we read the Bible today. And he encourages clergy to be honest about their own stance when it comes to passages of the Bible with which they disagree.

“”Sometimes words in the Bible are wrong.” That’s a dangerous thing for clergy to stand up and say in American churches, yet that’s one of the main messages of your work.

I would love it if every clergyperson would stand up and say to their congregations: “Sometimes the Bible is wrong.” There is a taken-for-grantedness in conservative American Christian culture—and it’s true, I think, in much of mainline Christianity today as well—that understanding the Bible is simple. And, if the Bible says something is wrong, then that pretty much settles it. There are very few Christians who are willing to stand up and say, “Sometimes the Bible is wrong.” Yet, I think that’s really important for Christians to say occasionally.

Before some of our readers start throwing things at their computer screens, let’s remind them that what you’re saying actually makes a lot of common sense if we stop to think about the whole scope of the Bible.

Obvious examples are passages in the Bible that say slavery is OK. And, there are some passages in the Bible that absolutely prohibit divorce. In Mark 10:9, it’s complete. Matthew has an exception clause: except for reasons of adultery. Then, there are clearly passages in the New Testament that expect Jesus to come again very soon from their point in time. Now, 2,000 years have passed. There are so many more examples where in plain terms we need to say, “Sometimes the Bible is wrong.””

More here.

This is definitely worth the read. Especially so if you’re not terribly familiar with Borg’s sense of how we ought to read the biblical works (hermeneutics). If you read what he says carefully, there’s less here than appears at first glance. But its probably worth saying this way just to get people to thoughtfully engage what they individually believe.

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Judyredman.wordpress.com
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@ Ttolerton - if you read the passage from which your quote comes carefully, you will see that the Word referred to in it is *not* the Bible, but Jesus. So it is really unclear to me what point you are trying to make.

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www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=693369857
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www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=693369857

@Ttollerton- ?

What does the eternal nature of Jesus have to do with saying that the bible is sometimes "wrong"? In fact, John 1:1 illustrates the point. Many people read that in English and assume that "Word" refers to scripture. "Word" just may be the wrong word to use there. Jesus is the Word referred to there. We should be digging into scripture and exploring this beautiful expression of relationship with God. Some of the stuff just didn't happen. Many stories were written to suit the intentions of the authors. Yet, faithful folks are following God, and doing good in the world inspired by the ongoing relationship with God that scripture calls us too, even if it is wrong sometimes.

John Mark Wiggers

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Murdoch Matthew
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Murdoch Matthew

"God's instruction"? Where in scripture does God speak directly? It's all transcribed by human beings in the words and paradigms of their own time. To conflate one's own opinions (or the opinions of one's group) with God's sounds pretty much like idolatry.

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DnWillets
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DnWillets

It's nice to know I'm in good company like Marcus. Yes, indeed, sometimes the Bible is wrong.

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Ttollerton
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Ttollerton

"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God. And the Word was God..."

- John 1:1

Pretty clear in my opinion.

This is just another individual trying to stretch God's instruction to suit his own intentions.

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