Can we trust the bible is true?
Cancers in Genesis 02
In the above titled article on Can Scam’s “Cancers in Genesis” ministry, Tim Chaffey is offering “evidence” for a positive answer to this question. But what does it even mean saying 'the bible is true'? One might equally ask whether the Harry Potter novels are true. A few lines in, we get a more precise idea what question Tim is really addressing. He simultaneously declares that the answer he gives to his own question is not based on a critical examination of his collection of mythological narratives, but part of a faith statement. On that alone we could already end the discussion, as we could just as lazily assert that everything the bible says is false, based on an equally valid (or invalid) statement of faith. But let’s take a look at some of the assertions Tim brings to bear.
Neither descends from the other, but the family resemblance is undeniable. In some more than others.
“From archaeology to astronomy, evidence from many fields points to the veracity of God’s Word.”
Conversely, evidence from many fields points to the thousands of errors in “god’s words”. But you don’t need to be a scientist to know that the Buy-Bull is riddled with errors and ignorance. The first chapters of the first book from which Can Scam derives the name of his “ministry” already contradict themselves in the creation story in multiple ways. To name but one: either dog created male and female together, or he created male first and female later. Both cannot be true at the same time.
“The 66 books of the Bible are the written Word of God. The Bible is divinely inspired and inerrant throughout. Its assertions are factually true in all the original autographs.”
As Tim himself specifies, the above claim is a statement of faith. What Tim is admitting is that while there may be many errors in the bible and blatant contradictions, no matter how many of them you can point out or even when he reads them with his own eyes, he will still claim that the bible is inerrant because that's what he says is his belief. In other words, he lies to his audience, he lies to himself and more astonishingly, he knows it and admits it.
The two different and contradictory creation stories in Genesis are evidence within the Buy-Bull against the inerrancy of the bible. To show that the bible is not inerrant, one only needs to demonstrate ONE case to render this statement false.
How many books are there in the bible? That would depend on who you ask. The mere difference in the number of books recognized as the word of god, shows that the word of god is incomplete according to some and added to according to others. But if it is humans who decide what the words of god are, is it not humans who determine who god is?
What are the implications of stating that the assertions of the bible are factually true in all the original autographs? Are you admitting that the current versions of the bible may not be correct, or that they contain different statements than the original books? How would you know, as we do not have a single original autograph?
We cannot use the scientific method to prove whether certain conversations took place, such as God instructing Noah to build an ark. So how do you prove that conversations took place? Moreover, you not only have to prove that Noah had conversations with a god, but that those conversations were recorded verbatim in the bible. What means do you propose we use to determine this?
“But while we can’t examine all the Bible’s details by scientific or historical inquiry, we can investigate plenty of evidence that corroborates biblical details.”
Well, what a surprise…Tim admits that there is no way of knowing. As there is not a single way Tim can prove that those conversations took place, he goes in diversion tactics-mode.
So Tim claims he can give evidence of some details of the bible being true. I can give evidence that some details of the Chronicles of Narnia are true. Trees exist. Therefore, Narnia exists. His logic is basically:
"I can't prove A in the bible is true.
But I can prove B in the bible is true.
Therefore, A and B in the bible are true."
Regardless of the remainder of his poor effort to prove the inerrancy of the bible, Tim basically admits that he can’t. All there is left to do for him is simply repeat the assertion often enough in the hope that it will convince some people of the truth he is advertising. You can’t blame him really as this tactic does work with some people. To some people a lie repeated often enough becomes truth. This is especially true if you repeat those lies to people who already have accepted them as being true. Ultimately this is precisely what Can Scam’s income is completely dependent on.
Speaking of lies, Tim's last paragraph and "best" argument tells you outright that he couldn't care less whether his assertions can be substantiated with evidence or not. Once again, the age old Pauline circular argument is presented as the ultimate form of wisdom:
"However, even without these supporting evidences, we should believe the Bible primarily because it is the Word of God. Since it is impossible for God to lie (Titus 1:2), the Bible must be true in all that it affirms."
That settles the matter I suppose, if only it were not for his own Buy-Bull: "For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion, leading them to believe what is false," 2 Thessalonians 2:11 (Maybe god sent Tim Chaffey a delusion as well) "If a prophet is deceived and speaks a word, I, the Lord, have deceived that prophet," Ezekiel 14:9 (A prophecy about Tim Chaffey?) "So you see, the Lord has put a lying spirit in the mouth of all these your prophets; the Lord has decreed disaster for you.” 1 Kings 22:23 (Talking about the liars of C-Answers in Genesis perhaps?)
Although there are no other contradictions or errors in the Buy-Bull, we will list some examples of them in the next few articles.
Patricia Forrester, 23 February 2022
Notes, sources, references:
Debunked article: Tim Chaffey, “Can We Trust the Bible Is True?” 24 August 2019, Answers Magazine, AnswersinGenesis.org, https://answersingenesis.org/is-the-bible-true/can-we-trust-bible-true/
Consulted on 31 January 2022 and 22 February 2022.
Ken Ham, photo retrieved from: Creation Museum, "This Sunday: Ken Ham Speaks at the Creation Museum", 29 March 2011, https://creationmuseum.org/blog/2011/03/29/this-sunday-ken-ham-speaks-at-the-creation-museum/
The other chimp: Artis, "Ontdek alle dieren", > Ontdek > Pan Troglodytes, https://www.artis.nl/nl/ontdek/collectie/chimpansee/