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And there is no shortage of hypocrisy in our midst – I speak as an evangelical leader – as we often major on a few specific sins of others while ignoring many sins of our own. Is it those who “wave their Bibles at passersby, screaming their condemnations of homosexuals”?

As for using the Bible for political purposes, white evangelical Christians in particular can be guilty of associating true patriotism with allegiance to the Bible and the Republican Party, portraying their opponents as both anti-American and anti-God. First, it is difficult to know who, exactly, is being targeted. If so, why even mention such people – especially in the opening line of the article – since they are absolutely miniscule in numbers (less than a fraction of a fraction of a percent of evangelicals) and they are universally condemned for their actions and attitudes by virtually all circles of evangelical Christendom.

To the contrary, in the vast majority of our Bible colleges and seminaries we teach principles of biblical interpretation – called hermeneutics – studying what the biblical authors were saying to their original audiences and asking how those teachings apply to us today.

Then we spend the rest of the time wrestling with how to live out those sacred teachings.

’s recent cover story on the Bible, as we expected, proved quite controversial, particularly among the evangelical community.

Some agreed with our point, others expressed anger and still others came back with substantive replies.

Has the text of the Bible undergone such dramatic changes over the centuries that it bears little resemblance to the original teachings of Moses, Jesus, and Paul?

There is certainly a tremendous amount of biblical illiteracy in evangelical Christian circles today, and some of it has trickled down from TV preachers and pastors whose sermons seem more like motivational pep talks than serious expositions of the Scriptures. Second, appears to be attacking the Bible itself – although claiming not to – and it does so in a slipshod, methodologically flawed way at that. The article begins with the word “They,” but we are not told who “they” are.To be sure, by the end of the article, familiar names are mentioned, specifically, Pat Robertson, Rick Perry, Bobby Jindal, Sarah Palin, and Michelle Bachman, but it is clear that they are not the only ones targeted, and many evangelical leaders have felt that they too are being unfairly caricatured and attacked.would have done better to state who, exactly, they felt was guilty of misrepresenting the Bible rather than causing so much unnecessary offense.Is it really “loaded with contradictions and translation errors,” as alleges? While claims that the article “is not an attack on the Bible or Christianity,” even exhorting readers to study the Bible more seriously, it is difficult to see how people can be encouraged to read the Scriptures for themselves while undermining their confidence in those very Scriptures. And it is this section of ’s examination, making up the major part of the article, which has drawn sharp criticism and strong correction from a number of top biblical scholars.Is it true that it “wasn’t written by witnesses and includes words added by unknown scribes to inject Church orthodoxy . After all, the Bible claims to have been inspired by God and written by eyewitnesses, and evangelical scholars (among others) believe that the biblical books have been carefully preserved and handed down through the centuries. First, to speak of “the Bible” is to speak of a sacred book that is itself a collection of clearly defined sacred books, whether in the original languages or in translation, and the very term “the Bible,” derived from the Greek , “the books,” wasn’t coined until approximately 223 A. And what we are reading today – in English translation or in the original languages – is extraordinarily close (and, for the most part) identical to what these early believers would have been reading when the term was coined.What you are reading is a translation made directly from the Hebrew text into English, not from a translation of the Hebrew into say, Aramaic, then from Aramaic into Latin, then from Latin into Chinese into Swedish into Finnish into Hungarian into English.

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