Response: People believe that everything recorded in the Bible is the word of God, completely unadulterated by man’s will and absolutely authoritative. Everyone must admit the inerrancy of the Bible, and anyone who says the Bible is adulterated by man’s will is attacking and denying the Bible, and shall be cursed. Is this view correct? Does it have any basis in God’s words? As we all know, the Bible was entirely written by man and recorded by many ancient prophets, disciples and apostles after experiencing God’s work. It’s a historically factual book compiled by later generations that records the work of God. Even though it contains details of the work and utterances of Jehovah and Jesus at the time, it was not personally documented by Jehovah and Jesus, and the words were not all personally uttered by Jehovah and Jesus; much of it was testimonies of people’s experiences. So how can people say that all words in the Bible are God’s words and completely untainted by man’s will, and that everyone must admit that the Bible is accurate and without errors? How can it be said that if anyone points out that the Bible is tainted by man’s will, they are attacking and denying the Bible, and shall be cursed? Isn’t that equating the Bible to God and viewing the words of God and the words of man as equal? The fact that we can have such views shows that we don’t understand the inside story and substance of the Bible, and have simply deified the Bible because we worship it. Just how should we understand and treat the Bible to be accurate and conform with God’s will? Let’s take a look at what God’s words say.
says: “Today, people believe the Bible is God, and that God is the Bible. So, too, do they believe that all the words of the Bible were the only words God spoke, and that they were all said by God. Those who believe in God even think that although all of the sixty-six books of the Old and New Testament were written by people, they were all given by inspiration of God, and a record of the utterances of the Holy Spirit. This is the erroneous interpretation of people, and it does not completely accord with the facts. In fact, apart from the books of prophecy, most of the Old Testament is historical record. Some of the epistles of the New Testament come from people’s experiences, and some come from the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit; the Pauline epistles, for example, arose from the work of a man, they were all the result of the Holy Spirit’s enlightenment, and they were written for the churches, were words of exhortation and encouragement for the brothers and sisters of the churches. They were not words spoken by the Holy Spirit—Paul could not speak on behalf of the Holy Spirit, and neither was he a prophet, much less did he see visions. His epistles were written for the churches of Ephesus, Philadelphia, Galatia, and other churches. And thus, the Pauline epistles of the New Testament are epistles that Paul wrote for the churches, and not inspirations from the Holy Spirit, nor are they the direct utterances of the Holy Spirit. … All he said that was edifying and positive to people was right, but it did not represent the utterances of the Holy Spirit, and he could not represent God. It is an egregious understanding, and a tremendous blasphemy, for people to treat the records of a man’s experiences and a man’s epistles as the words spoken by the Holy Spirit to the churches! … His identity was merely that of a working apostle, and he was merely an apostle who was sent by God; he was not a prophet, nor a foreteller. So to him, his own work and the lives of the brothers and sisters were of the utmost importance. Thus, he could not speak on behalf of the Holy Spirit. His words were not the words of the Holy Spirit, much less could they be said to be the words of God, for Paul was nothing more than a creature of God, and was certainly not the incarnation of God” (“Concerning the Bible (3)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). Through the words of Almighty God, we can see that not everything recorded in the Bible is the word of God. In the Old Testament, only the books of prophecy, such as the books of Daniel, Isaiah, and Ezekiel, are the words of God conveyed by prophets. This is a certainty! Most of the other books, such as Genesis, Exodus, Joshua, Ruth, and Nehemiah, are all Israelite records of history. Of course, there is also a small portion that are books of wisdom, such as Proverbs, Song of Solomon, and Ecclesiastes. These books were all recorded by man who experienced God’s work. The words within them were about man’s experience and knowledge and not God’s words. That’s a fact. It’s just like the Five Books of Moses: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy—these books on how Jehovah God initially created the heavens and earth and all things, how the Israelites were led out of Egypt into Canaan, and the process of how laws were promulgated, were recorded by Moses so that later generations could know about the deeds of Jehovah God and His disposition, and then be able to worship Him. The books recorded by Moses contain words uttered by Jehovah God (See Exo 3:5-10; 14:1-4), words uttered by Moses (See Exo 8:26, 29; 9:29-30), words uttered by the Israelites (See Exo 16:2-3; Num 14:2), as well as words uttered by God’s messenger (See Gen 22:11-12). Not all of the words were uttered by God. And in the New Testament, apart from the words spoken by the Lord Jesus when He worked as recorded in the four gospels, the remainder is mostly letters written by the disciples or apostles to the churches, such as Romans, 1 Corinthians and 2 Corinthians, 1 Peter and 2 Peter, Titus, Ephesians, with the majority being letters written by Paul. Disciples and apostles are merely creatures and people used by God. They are not prophets and are not the incarnate God Himself. They certainly cannot represent God and cannot speak on behalf of the Holy Spirit. The letters they wrote merely represent man’s experiences and are man’s work, not the words of the Holy Spirit, and neither were they personally instructed by God to utter those words. The Holy Spirit never testified that the words they said were God’s words. That’s a fact. In fact, the letters written by the apostles in the New Testament are the same as the books written by spiritual people in modern times. They are all records of how God worked on and led them and their burdens toward the church. It’s just like the spiritual books written by Witness Lee, Watchman Nee, Madame Jeanne Guyon, Lawrence and so forth, which only discuss some spiritual enlightenments and personal experiences, and do not express or convey God’s words. Therefore, only the utterances of Jehovah and Jesus and the utterances of prophets directly instructed by God are the word of God, unadulterated by man’s will, and absolutely inerrant. None of the remaining words are God’s words; they are man’s words representing man’s experiences and knowledge. If we treat all human records, historical records, and human letters in the Bible as the word of God, then that is equating man’s words to God’s words. This is a huge mistake and is a blasphemy toward God!
The Bible is a record of man and is not all the personal utterances of God. Consequently, it is inevitable that the Bible would be tainted by man, with man’s absurd interpretations, and cannot be said to be completely accurate and inerrant. Almighty God says: “Not everything in the Bible is a record of the words personally spoken by God. The Bible simply documents the previous two stages of God’s work, of which one part is a record of the foretellings of the prophets, and one part is the experiences and knowledge written by people used by God throughout the ages. Human experiences are tainted with human opinions and knowledge, which is unavoidable. In many of the books of the Bible are human conceptions, human biases, and human absurd interpretations. Of course, most of the words are the result of the enlightenment and illumination of the Holy Spirit, and they are correct interpretations—yet it still cannot be said that they are entirely accurate expressions of the truth” (“Concerning the Bible (3)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). “Today, who of you dare to say that all the words spoken by those who were used by the Holy Spirit came from the Holy Spirit? Does anyone dare to say such things? If you do say such things, then why was Ezra’s book of prophecy discarded, and why was the same thing done to the books of those ancient saints and prophets? If they all came from the Holy Spirit, then why do you dare to make such capricious choices? Are you qualified to choose the work of the Holy Spirit? Many stories from Israel were also discarded. And if you believe that these writings of the past all came from the Holy Spirit, then why were some of the books discarded? If they all came from the Holy Spirit, they should all be kept, and sent to the brothers and sisters of the churches to read. They should not be chosen or discarded by human will; it is wrong to do that. Saying that the experiences of Paul and John were mixed with their personal seeings does not mean that their experiences and knowledge came from Satan, but only that they had things that came from their personal experiences and seeings. Their knowledge was according to the background of the actual experiences at the time, and who could confidently say that all of it came from the Holy Spirit? If the Four Gospels all came from the Holy Spirit, then why was it that Matthew, Mark, Luke and John each said something different about the work of Jesus?” (“Concerning Appellations and Identity” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). “The work of men who are used is also the work of the Holy Spirit. It is only that the work of God is the complete expression of the Holy Spirit, and there is no difference, whereas the work of men being used is mixed with many human things, and it is not the direct expression of the Holy Spirit, let alone the complete expression” (“God’s Work and Man’s Work” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). God’s words make it very clear: The Bible is not wholly the personal utterances of God or personally written by God. How could such a Bible not be tainted by man’s will? How could it be completely inerrant? Only God’s work is absolutely accurate and without error; it is wholly the expression of the Holy Spirit and unadulterated by man’s will. It also does not have anything attributable to man and is entirely the direct expression of the Holy Spirit. But the work of people used by the Holy Spirit cannot fully represent God and is not entirely the will of the Holy Spirit. All the words they say are also not the direct expressions of the Holy Spirit, and it is inevitable for there to be adulterations of man’s will and biases, as well as man’s experiences and interpretations. Hence, it is impossible for the Bible to not be tainted by man’s will and be absolutely accurate and inerrant. For example: When Paul wrote letters to the churches, he once said some arrogant and boastful words. He said: “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain” (Phl 1:21). “I speak as concerning reproach…. However, when ever any is bold, (I speak foolishly,) I am bold also. … Are they ministers of Christ? (I speak as a fool) I am more” (2 Corinthians 11:21, 23). Arrogance and boasting are supposed to be attributable to a satanic disposition despised and hated by God; obviously, these words said by Paul were not the intent of the Holy Spirit. Since these words did not come from God, then are they not a result of man’s will? Another example: In the beginning of the Gospel of Matthew, Matthew wrote a genealogy of Jesus which says that Jesus is the descendant of Abraham, the progeny of David, and the son of Joseph. Then it says that Jesus was immaculately conceived and originated directly from the Holy Spirit, and was not the son of Joseph. Is this not contradictory? In the eyes of man, Jesus appears to be Joseph’s son, but He in essence was conceived by the Holy Spirit and had nothing to do with Joseph. However, Matthew arbitrarily placed 42 generations of Joseph’s family above Jesus, stubbornly insisting that Jesus is part of Joseph’s lineage. Does this not come out of man’s good intentions? Isn’t it tainted by man’s will? Furthermore, in the Old Testament, chapter 24 of 2 Samuel and chapter 21 of 1 Chronicles both recorded David numbering the people. 2 Samuel 24:1 states that it was Jehovah who moved David to number the people, while 1 Chronicles 21:1 states that it was Satan who incited David to number the people. 2 Samuel 24:9 says that Joab counted that there were in Israel 800,000 valiant men that drew the sword, while 1 Chronicles 21:5 says that the number of men in Israel who drew the sword who were counted by Joab was 1,100,000. 2 Samuel 24:13 records that the three disasters Jehovah was bringing were seven years of famine, three months of fleeing, and three days of pestilence, while 1 Chronicles 21:12 records that the three disasters Jehovah was bringing were three years of famine, three months of fleeing, and three days of pestilence. These two sections of the scriptures are supposed to record the same incident but provide completely different versions. Are these not deviations in the human recordings? This sufficiently shows that the Bible is tainted by man’s will and is not absolutely accurate and inerrant. The view that the Bible is absolutely accurate and inerrant does not conform with the facts.
Some people think that all the words of the Bible are multi-faceted. This is also an incorrect view. In fact, the origin of this statement is nothing more than the Bible having some scriptures that clearly document the same incident but with completely different versions, some of which are even mutually contradictory. Yet people always think that the Bible is all given by inspiration of God and is all the word of God, completely untainted by man’s will. Accordingly, in a situation where people don’t dare to say that the Bible is tainted by man’s will and has errors, they can only use “the Bible is multi-faceted” to explain the contradictions in the Bible. They say that different words were used in describing different details in the Bible; it’s not that the Bible has errors and is tainted by man’s will, but because it is recorded by different people from different perspectives—thus making people believe in the accuracy and inerrancy of the Bible. But in fact, if we read the Bible carefully, we will discover that there are some scriptures in the Bible that cannot be explained by “the Bible is multi-faceted.” For instance, the four gospels record that Peter denied the Lord three times. In the gospels of Matthew, Luke and John, the cock crowed just once when Peter thrice denied the Lord, but in the gospel of Mark, the cock crowed twice. This is an obvious discrepancy. We trust many brothers and sisters have raised this type of question: When Peter thrice denied God, did the cock crow once or did it crow twice? People ultimately cannot explain it, so they can only use “the Bible is multi-faceted” to explain it, saying that the cock actually crowed twice, but it’s just that the gospels of Matthew, Luke and John only recorded it down once rather than twice. Think about it: If the Bible is absolutely not tainted by man’s will, has no errors at all, and comes completely from God, then the number of cock crows recorded in the four gospels should be the same. How could there possibly be two versions? What is so multi-faceted about cock crows being recorded as once or twice? What meaning could it represent? Evidently, one of these two versions is erroneous, and even saying that “the Bible is multi-faceted” cannot properly explain it. In addition, it is recorded in Matthew 27:5 that Judas “hanged himself,” but in Acts 1:18 it is recorded that Judas “burst asunder in the middle, and all his bowels gushed out.” This is a very obvious contradiction. One says he hanged himself, while the other said he died from his body busting open. So just how did Judas die? People can’t explain it again, so can only use “the Bible is multi-faceted” to explain it, saying that Judas probably died from hanging himself and also from his body bursting open. Obviously, explaining these two sections of the scripture this way doesn’t work at all. Judas either died from hanging himself, or he died from his body bursting open. He could not have died from both causes. Therefore, the saying that “the Bible is multi-faceted” cannot stand. It is merely self-justification for “the Bible’s accuracy and inerrancy”!
Some people think that the words of the Bible are all an indication of the future. This is an even more incorrect statement! Almighty God says: “The Bible documents matters of Israel and the actions of its chosen people at that time. In other words, it is an account of the matters of Jehovah, one for which the Holy Spirit lays no blame. Even though there was selection of the parts for inclusion or removal, though the Holy Spirit does not approve, still He lays no blame. The Bible is nothing more than a history of Israel and of the work of God. The people, matters, and things it records were all real, and nothing about them was an indication of the future—apart from, of course, the prophecy of Isaiah and Daniel, or John’s book of visions” (“Concerning the Bible (4)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). It can be seen from God’s words that the Bible documents purely the history of God’s work, and is also a historical record of how the Israelites experienced the two stages of work of Jehovah God and the Lord Jesus. Everything recorded is real people, real things, and real events, without any indication of the future. Apart from the foretellings of prophets and the Book of Revelation written by John having indications of the future, nothing else in the Bible has. For example, Exodus 20 documents the Ten Commandments God promulgated to Israel, asking man to not worship idols, to not steal, to not kill, to not work on the Sabbath…. These are all commandments promulgated by Jehovah to man under the law. Man just needed to properly abide by Jehovah’s laws—there is no indication of the future contained therein. Furthermore, Matthew 5:3-5 records the teachings of Jesus to people at the time. Jesus said: “Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted. Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.” These are the commandments of the new age promulgated by Jesus and the requirements Jesus had toward people of the Age of Grace, and are far from being an indication of the future. This shows that the statement that everything in the Bible is foreshadowing is very inaccurate!
Of course, Almighty God saying today that the Bible is tainted by man’s will and is not inerrant is only so that people can understand the substance and inside story of the Bible and treat it correctly. It is not to deny the value of the Bible and its benefits to mankind. Almighty God says: “Today, I am dissecting the Bible in this way and it does not mean that I hate it, or deny its value for reference. I am explaining the inherent value and origins of the Bible to you to stop you being kept in the dark. For people have so many views about the Bible, and most of them are wrong; reading the Bible in this way not only prevents them from gaining what they ought to, but, more important, it hinders the work I intend to do. It is a tremendous nuisance for the work of the future, and offers only drawbacks, not advantages. Thus, what I am teaching you is simply the substance and inside story of the Bible. I’m not asking that you don’t read the Bible, or that you go around proclaiming that it is totally devoid of value, but that you have the correct knowledge and view of the Bible. Don’t be too one-sided! Although the Bible is a history book that was written by men, it also documents many of the principles by which the ancient saints and prophets served God, as well as the recent apostles’ experiences in serving God—all of which were really seen and known by these people, and can serve as reference for the people of this age in pursuing the true way” (“Concerning the Bible (4)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). “The Bible followed several thousand years of human history and people all treat it like God to the point that people in the last days replace God with the Bible. This is something that God really hates. So in His spare time, He had to clarify the inside story and the origin of the Bible. Otherwise, the Bible would still be able to replace God’s place in people’s hearts and they could condemn and measure God’s actions based on the words in the Bible. God’s explanation of the essence, the construction, and the flaws of the Bible is absolutely not denying the existence of it, nor is it condemning the Bible. Rather, it is to provide a reasonable and appropriate explanation, to restore the original image of the Bible, and to correct the misunderstandings people have toward the Bible so that all people have a correct view of it, no longer worship it, and are no longer lost—they erroneously take their blind faith in the Bible as believing in and worshiping God, and they even do not dare to face its true background and its weak points. After everyone has a pure understanding of the Bible they will be able to cast it aside without hesitation and bravely accept God’s new words. This is God’s goal in these several chapters” (Introduction to Part Two of The Word Appears in the Flesh). Evidently, Almighty God dissecting the Bible in this way today is not denying the Bible or condemning the Bible, nor is He saying that the Bible has no reference value and telling everyone to propagate that the Bible is a book without value. Instead, it is to provide a suitable and appropriate perspective of the Bible, to correct people’s erroneous knowledge of the Bible, to make people have a clear understanding and recognition of the Bible’s origins, substance, inside story, and inherent value. So they can have an accurate understanding and accurate view of the Bible in order to avoid excessively worshiping the Bible, having blind faith in the Bible, using the Bible to replace God, and thinking that believing in the Bible is believing in and worshiping God, thus preventing them from accepting God’s new work and returning before God’s throne. This is the intent of God pointing out that the Bible is tainted by man’s will and is not inerrant. It is hoped that we can all understand God’s good intentions and not misunderstand God or oppose Him.
Brothers and sisters, the Bible has always been a heavenly book and holy book in the hearts of believers through the ages, and no one since ancient times to the present has dared to dissect the Bible or deny its inerrancy. But today, Almighty God’s work has unveiled the inside story and substance of the Bible, returning the Bible to its true nature, and making us see the factual background and flaws of the Bible so that we can have a pure understanding of the Bible and know that the Bible is not entirely the word of God and absolutely accurate and inerrant. Only that is the truth and the fact of the matter. Accordingly, it is hoped that we can all treat the Bible correctly and no longer worship it as though it were God, or think that the Bible is God and that God is the Bible. Let’s emerge from our situation of blindly believing in and worshiping the Bible, and truthfully face the new work of Almighty God in the last days, and stop being caged by the Bible into becoming people who reject God and resist His new work.