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Don’t Get Mixed Up by These Bible Misconceptions

“How can you trust the Bible when it’s been translated so many times?”

“Isn’t the Bible full of mistakes and contradictions?”

Pastor Mark Driscoll debunks eight common misconceptions about the Bible in this fourth installment of his blog series, which provides a guided tour of topics such as what is the Bible, where the Bible came from and how to interpret the Bible.

Over the years, I’ve come across many misconceptions about the Bible.

Some of these are due to rampant biblical illiteracy, and others to simple misunderstandings about how the Bible was copied and transmitted over the years.

Many misconceptions about the Bible can be cleared up simply by learning how to interpret the Bible, but some require a more detailed response. In this post, I’ll briefly look at some common misconceptions.

1. “You can’t trust the Bible because it’s been translated so many times.”

This misconception assumes that we don’t have an abundance of manuscript evidence in languages such as Greek and Hebrew supporting the Bible. As a result, it makes the added assumption that the Bible may have started out in some original ancient languages a long time ago, but has since been translated and retranslated over and over again into so many different languages that we can’t trust it anymore.

This is simply not true. We have access to literally thousands of manuscripts and fragments that are used in translating the Bible, not a long chain of degraded translations.

2. “The Bible is full of mistakes and contradictions.”

This misconception is usually just thrown out without any supporting evidence.

Always ask for a specific example when you encounter this misconception. But be prepared, because some people may have specifics or even several examples, and you’ll want to know how to respond.

In reality, though, to say the Bible is full of mistakes and contradictions usually stems from a lack of understanding of the principles of biblical interpretation. Many capable scholars have addressed questions about Bible difficulties.

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Pastor Mark Driscoll is the Preaching and Speaking pastor of Mars Hill Church in Seattle. He is one of the world’s most downloaded and quoted pastors. His audience—fans and critics alike—spans the theological and cultural left and right. Follow his updates at twitter.com/pastorMark.