Holy or Holey

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Over the past few months we have been talking about a logical approach to Christianity.  We began by looking at just a few of the aspects of the Bible to see if we could reach a logical conclusion about whether the Bible is indeed God’s word and if so what are the implications of that decision upon mankind.  In my opinion, even the small amount of information that we have examined leads an open mind to the conclusion that the Bible is at least a very special book that it is difficult to assess as anything other than God’s word.

There are however, some further questions that often get raised when a discussion of the Bible comes up.  In the next few posts I want to address a few of those questions.  The first is the claim that the Bible is inerrant.

Before getting into the basis for belief in the Bible’s inerrancy, I thought that it might be good to define what is meant when inerrancy is mentioned. 

Josh McDowell wrote…

“Inerrancy means that when all of the facts are known, the scriptures, in their original text or autographs, when properly interpreted, will be shown to be wholly true in everything they affirm, whether this has to do with doctrine or with morality or with the social, physical, or life sciences.  The bottom line is that the bible has been breathed by God.  He used men to write out exactly what he wanted them to write.  He kept them free from error but at the same time used their unique personalities and styles to convey exactly what He wanted.”

In short, the Bible is the absolutely uncompromised word of the Lord that has no equal or counterpart.  It derives its inerrant nature from the character of God who is in all ways without flaw or defect.  In fact it is from this nature that we get the word “holy”.

Many hundreds of years ago when English words began to be used to describe God, people used the word “wholly” to describe God.  They would say that he is “wholly God”.  It was a statement of his completeness.  For us the opposite of holy is evil, but in the original usage of the word its opposite would have been something like holey, or full of holes.  Wholly meant without holes or complete.  Swiss cheese is holey, but God is wholly.  Years later, we changed wholly to holy because God is the same through and through without defect or imperfection.  Because He is holy, His word must be as well.

Lets look at a little more if it.

Notice Mark 3:1-19

1 Another time he went into the synagogue, and a man with a shriveled hand was there. 2 Some of them were looking for a reason to accuse Jesus, so they watched him closely to see if he would heal him on the Sabbath. 3 Jesus said to the man with the shriveled hand, “Stand up in front of everyone.” 4 Then Jesus asked them, “Which is lawful on the Sabbath: to do good or to do evil, to save life or to kill?” But they remained silent. 5 He looked around at them in anger and, deeply distressed at their stubborn hearts, said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” He stretched it out, and his hand was completely restored. 6 Then the Pharisees went out and began to plot with the Herodians how they might kill Jesus. 7 Jesus withdrew with his disciples to the lake, and a large crowd from Galilee followed. 8 When they heard all he was doing, many people came to him from Judea, Jerusalem, Idumea, and the regions across the Jordan and around Tyre and Sidon. 9 Because of the crowd he told his disciples to have a small boat ready for him, to keep the people from crowding him. 10 For he had healed many, so that those with diseases were pushing forward to touch him. 11 Whenever the evil spirits saw him, they fell down before him and cried out, “You are the Son of God.” 12 But he gave them strict orders not to tell who he was. 13 Jesus went up on a mountainside and called to him those he wanted, and they came to him. 14 He appointed twelve—designating them apostles—that they might be with him and that he might send them out to preach 15 and to have authority to drive out demons. 16 These are the twelve he appointed: Simon (to whom he gave the name Peter); 17 James son of Zebedee and his brother John (to them he gave the name Boanerges, which means Sons of Thunder); 18 Andrew, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James son of Alphaeus, Thaddaeus, Simon the Zealot 19 and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him.

Answer these questions:

  1. What did Jesus ask the Pharisees to help them understand the intent of the Sabbath?
  2. What was the Pharisees’ problem?
  3. Who did the evil spirits recognize Jesus to be?
  4. What three duties are mentioned for the twelve apostles?

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