The Bible is unintelligible, and disagreement about its message means it cannot be God's Word.


The Bible is not unintelligible.  Mr. Fields himself says, "I will quote the King James version, as I read and understand it."  In the very paragraph where Fields says that there are so many different and contradictory interpretations of the Bible, he says he reads and understands the Bible.  Here Mr. Fields contradicts himself.  The Bible is unintelligible, but he can understand it.  In fact, if the Bible was completely unintelligible to him, he could not have presented any scriptures that represent contradictions to himself.

Now we have found a discrepancy in Mr. Fields' document, and discrepancies are very serious things to Mr. Fields.  By Fields' own logic, discrepancies in the Bible, even one, means that the Bible is not the Word of God.  So he must allow his own logic to touch himself, for the logic is his.  Immediately we have found a discrepancy in Fields.  So according to Fields' logic, I must now regard that webpage document which bears his name to be a fake.  You see, by his logic, he couldn't have written it, because it has a discrepancy in it.

Furthermore, by his logic, because of his discrepancy, Emmett F. Fields cannot even exist.  Not only was the webpage written by an imposter, but Mr. Fields is a figment of everyone's imagination, and we have all be tricked into believing that he is real.  These things are necessary conclusions if we accept Fields' logic regarding the Bible.  However, I don't accept Mr. Fields' logic, so I will maintain that Mr. Fields is a real person and really wrote that document, even if there is a discrepancy in it.

If Fields' point in that paragraph was that multiple interpretations mean that at least some of the Bible is not universally understood by all people in all places at all times, then I would agree with Fields.  That would be a reasonable and truthful statement.  But that is not what he is saying.  Rather, he gives a broad sweeping generalization that leaves a false impression, and uses that false impression as a false witness against God.

The Bible is not unintelligible to the common man.  In fact, most of the "discrepancies" come from liberal theologians, people of Islam, and atheists, but not from the common man.  The vast majority of the Bible is easy to understand, and you would have to be a liberal theologian, an atheist (and there may not be much difference), or a Muslim to misunderstand the message of the Bible.  Will there be areas where there is a diversity of honest opinions?  Yes, but those areas are relatively few is such a huge book.  Do those areas of uncertainty mean that God can't be God, and that the Bible cannot not the Word of God?  Does my willful misunderstanding of what Fields wrote and my taking his statement out of context mean that Fields can't be Fields, and he could not have written what is on that webpage?  Let's speak common sense.  You can't hold God responsible for my lack of understanding.  That is my fault, not his.  The identity of God is not impaired at all by what I misunderstand about Him.

The assumption behind Fields' accusation against God in this argument is that since God is God, he must write a document that all people at all times and in all places must understand in exactly the same way.  If someone understands it differently, then God cannot be God.  That is unsound reasoning.

If I were to go to the bookstore and pick up a book that was written to show the development of Einstein's famous field equations, it quickly would become clear to me that I would not be able to understand his legendary math skills.  However, it is well known that Einstein made errors in the development of his equations, even dividing by zero.  Perhaps his greatest conceptual error was his "cosmological constant," which was necessary to correct his calculations for a static universe.  But when Hubble discovered the famous Red Shift indicating that the universe was not static, but expanding, Einstein had to delete his famous cosmological constant, and deemed this to be a rather large personal error.

Einstein was a genius.  But Einstein made both simple and complex errors in the development of his field equations.  Since Einstein divided by zero, does that mean that Einstein can't be Einstein?  Does that mean the field equations were written by someone else besides Einstein?  Does that mean that Einstein never existed, and he was just an illusion made up by strange people?

Although only a handful of people can understand Einstein's field equations, the Bible is not that hard to understand and the vast majority of people can understand both the theme and structure of the Bible..  The theme of the Bible is the salvation of sinful man.  From the first prophecy made about the Messiah in Gen 3:15, there follows hundreds of allusions and prophecies about this remarkable servant/son/priest/king who would deliver his people, and not only his people, but all the people of the earth.  The growing expectation and the ever increasing unveiling of the purpose of this remarkable person is found in Isaiah 53.  This constant thread of evidence is throughout all the Old Testament, and God continuously acts to preserve the seed line of this remarkable person.  With the opening of the gospels, we find the fulfillment of all that anticipation in Jesus Christ.  After accomplishing his atoning death as foretold in Isa 53, Christ rose from the dead and after 40 days ascended to heaven.  The remainder of the New Testament is largely concerned with the establishment of Christ's church throughout the known world.  Thus the theme of the Bible is the salvation of sinful man.

The structure of the Bible is also simple.  The Bible is made up of 66 books: 39 in the Old Testament, and 27 in the New Testament.  Now regarding the Old Testament, the books are easily grouped according to genre.  Those books that are Historical Narrative include Genesis, the first half of Exodus, Numbers, Joshua, Judges, Ruth, 1&2 Samuel, 1&2 Kings, 1&2 Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Ester, and Jonah.  The Books of Law are the second half of Exodus as well as Leviticus and Deuteronomy.  The Wisdom books, all of which are also Hebrew poetry, are Job, Proverbs, and Ecclesiastes.  The other Poetry books are Psalms, Song of Solomon, and Lamentations.  Those categorized as Prophecy are Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi.  The one classed as Apocalyptic in the Old Testament  is Daniel.

Now concerning the structure of the New Testament, the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John are unique, because they are more that just Historical Narrative.  The goal of all the gospels is to teach the gospel of Christ, namely the prophecies he fulfilled in his birth, his ministry of teaching and healing, his death, his burial and his resurrection.  The Historical Narrative of Acts serves as a bridge between the gospels and the epistles, and reveals how the church was spread throughout the known world.  The Epistles or Letters include Romans, 1&2 Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, 1&2 Thessalonians, 1&2 Timothy, Titus, Philemon, Hebrews, James, 1&2 Peter, 1&2&3 John, and Jude.  These Epistles reveal the New Testament church as it was planted and instructed by the apostles of Christ.  The Prophecy book in the New Testament is Revelation, which is also Apocalyptic.

These simple things are like learning the ABC's.  Understanding the theme and the structure of the Bible helps a great deal in understand the specific contents.  For example, Mr. Fields gives two examples, Genesis 19:5-8 and Genesis 19:31-36 alleging that these verses teach horrible morals and ethics.  Unfortunately, he hasn't learned his ABC's here, and mistakes a Historical Narrative passage for Law.  These passages teach the mistake Lot made in offering his daughter to the mob, and the mistakes his daughters made in getting Lot drunk so they could commit incest with him.  These are NOT commands regarding how we must live, and any ordinary person would be able to see the difference.  Rather, they are honest reporting.  All the ancient books, except for the Bible, always portray their heroes in the most positive light possible.  In this, they are unrealistic.  However, the Bible reveals the good and the sins of the major characters.  For example, Abraham lied (Gen 12:10-20), Sarah lied (Gen 18:12-15), and David murdered and committed adultery (2 Sam 11:1-27).  What are we supposed to learn from these things?  Are we to understand like Fields that the Bible teaches us to lie, murder, commit adultery, engage in incest, and offer your daughters as sex objects to angry people?  No one who takes time to learn the Bible would conclude that!  Paul, commenting on the Israelites who fell into idolatry and other sinful conditions during their wilderness wanderings, says this:

6 Now these things took place as examples for us, that we might not desire evil as they did. 7  Do not be idolaters as some of them were; as it is written, "The people sat down to eat and drink and rose up to play." 8  We must not indulge in sexual immorality as some of them did, and twenty-three thousand fell in a single day. 9 We must not put Christ to the test, as some of them did and were destroyed by serpents, 10 nor grumble, as some of them did and were destroyed by the Destroyer. 11 Now these things happened to them as an example, but they were written down for our instruction, on whom the end of the ages has come. 1 Cor 10:6-11 (ESV)

The sins of the ancients were meant to serve as negative examples that were written down for our instruction.  The examples of sin in the Old Testament are not encouragements or commands for us to sin, but stark examples of what we should NOT do.  Fields would have known this had he read the Bible with the same eye as he reads other books.