[ref001] The Skeptical Review (Volume One, Number Three) [ref002] [ref003]The Skeptical Re
The Skeptical Review (Volume One, Number Three)
[ref003]The Skeptical Review: 1990: Number Three: No Takers
Our second issue brought another wave of angry reaction. Some wrote
REFUSED on their copies and had them returned to us, others sent us terse
notes calling our publication "junk" or "trash" and
asked to have their names removed from our mailing list, and still others
wrote us long letters expressing concerns ranging from dismay over our
"apostasy" to warnings of eternal damnation. What none of the
letter-writers did, however, was to explain away any of the Bible
discrepancies and inconsistencies discussed in our last issue. A short
article on the backside of that issue presented a discrepancy between
[ref004]II Kings 9;
and [ref006]Hosea 1:4
concerning Jehu's role in the slaughter of the royal families of Israel
and Judah. One "inspired" writer praised Jehu for "executing
that which is right in mine (Yahweh's) eyes"; the other condemned
him for the blood he shed at Jezreel. Why? If the Bible is indeed a
"perfect work of harmony," as so many fundamentalists claim,
how could it contain a discrepancy as glaring as this one?
Our article ended with a challenge for "some enterprising
inerrantist" to explain this discrepancy, but we had no takers.
Again why? If those who wrote the Bible were as obviously inspired of
God as fundamentalists would have us believe, why can't they show us
how that there is no discrepancy here? Gleason Archer, the chief
apostle of modern day inerrantists, made a pathetic try in his
_Encyclopedia_of_Bible_Difficulties_, but, like most "explanations"
of "alleged Bible contradictions," his is too ridiculous to
warrant serious consideration. In [ref007]
II Kings 10:30, Yahweh unequivocally declared that Jehu had executed
"that which is right in mine eyes" and had done "unto
the house of Ahab _according_to_all_that_was_in_mine_heart_,"
period, no qualifications. No ifs, ands, or buts about it, Yahweh praised
Jehu for destroying the house of Ahab at Jezreel. Archer claims that the
condemnation of the house of Jehu in [ref008]
Hosea 1:4 was for sins that Jehu committed after executing Yahweh's
will at Jezreel, but that "explanation" is about as thin as
any you will find in Archer's book. It, at best, conveniently reads
into the text something that was not even implied in it. The passage
plainly said that in a little while Yahweh would avenge "the blood
of Jezreel upon the house of Jehu," so it was for the "blood
of Jezreel" (the slaughter of the royal families of Israel and Judah)
that Hosea pronounced judgment upon the house of Jehu. Let's hope somebody
out there can do a better job of "explaining" this problem than
Some of our letter-writers took the time to quote to us
3:16 and [ref010]II
Peter 1:20-21, as if they perhaps thought we were unaware that these
passages are in the Bible. Well, we assure you that we are very familiar
with these and other biblical passages that claim divine inspiration for the
Bible, but we know too that the Koran and the Book of Mormon also contain
claims of divine inspiration, so there is nothing unique about the Bible
inerrancy doctrine. We simply contend that there is sufficient evidence,
both internal and external, to reject this doctrine, just as most of
our readers would agree that there is sufficient evidence to reject
the claims of inspiration made by the Koran and the Book of Mormon.
We publish _The_Skeptical_Review_ specifically for the purpose of
allowing our readers the opportunity to consider evidence that disputes
the Bible inerrancy claim. In so doing, we try to give the opposition
a fair hearing. In this issue, for example, we are publishing in its
entirety an article that Jerry McDonald, a fundamentalist minister,
wrote in response to Adrian Swindler's flat-earth article in our first
issue. Do you know of any fundamentalist publications that would give
us the same consideration?
Although we have received compliments and expressions of gratitude
for it, there is nothing particularly noble about our policy of publishing
opposition materials. Our motives are entirely self-serving. We believe
our position on the inerrancy issue is a sound one and that its soundness
can best be demonstrated by giving the opposition the uncensored opportunity
to respond to our arguments. Each time we identify a contradiction or
discrepancy in the Bible text and a competent inerrancy spokesman fails
to satisfactorily "explain" it, the truth of our position
should become more obvious to our readers. In other words, we think
that if we give the inerrantists enough rope, they will eventually
From our vantage point, they appear to be proving us right.
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