I questioned this very thing early in my faith, I felt that, while the truth could be extracted from the text, the text itself was not authoritative or reliable. Over the course of time and much study I’ve developed an awed reverence for the sheer magnitude and scope of scripture. A few others alluded to it in their posts but it must be mentioned that the councils were not as concerned with traditional preservation as they were with “rightly dividing the word of truth.” Scholars and leaders were aware of the level of intellect and scrutiny that abounded in their time and the growing tide of apostasy that constantly stood at the door of the church. They wanted no hint of partiality or question of authenticity, that’s why some books with questionable content still made it in regardless of the theological implications (Revelations, Hebrews) while others with complementary statements of faith couldn’t pass the litany of authenticity. The protection of scripture throughout the ages along with the steady stream of christian study has literally elevated the conscience and the soul of humanity.
I am not one of those that proclaim that the bible is innerrant in translation, instead I proudly state that it is innerant in intent. There is always room for a more well rounded concept or idea but the heart of God from the Holy Spirit to the individual is found in those pages regardless of language and scholarship.
There is room to believe that the bible is intended for a specific audience at a specific time with a specific purpose as long as that doesn’t get in the way of seeking personal truth within the text. The problem isn’t what we get out of the bible, most of the time, it is what we attempt to put in that creates problems and hinders the gospel from impacting and changing lives. There is also room for the belief that divine revelation is on par with scripture (a belief that several of my closest friends have adopted) however, i would contend that this is usually a reasonable objection to alleviate the burden of holiness or “lower” the standards rather than drawing closer to the will of God. Think about it realistically, many people want “freedom” in worship and “freedom” in giving so they say the tithe is a Jewish commandment that doesn’t necessarily translate into the dynamic church founded in the New Testament. However, how many of these believers go to the text to prove that they are correct in their assumption and even further how many use this principle to guide their giving beyond the tithe? To the contrary most people just want a lower and baser standard so that the requirements of a faith filled life can be comparable to a sin filled, unregenerate, unengaged, and powerless existence.
let’s be honest…