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Tuesday, 5 March 2013

The Absence Of Certainty In The Bible

It is a prerequisite of believing in a certain book as divinelyrevealed that it is proved through infallible arguments that the book in question was revealed through a prophet and that it has been conveyed to us precisely in the same order without any change through an uninterrupted chain of narrators. It is not at all sufficient to attribute a book to a certain prophet on the basis of suppositions and conjectures. Unsupported assertions made by one or a few sects of people should not be, and cannot be, accepted in this connection.

We have already seen how Catholic and Protestant scholars differ on the question of the authenticity of certain of these books. There are yet more books of the Bible which have been rejected by Christians. They include the Book of Revelation, the Book of Genesis, the Book of Ascension, the Book of Mysteries, the Book of Testament and the Book of Confession which are all ascribed to the Prophet Moses. Similarly a fourth Book of E zra is claimed to be from the Prophet Ezra and a book concerning Isaiah’s ascension and revelation are ascribed to him. In addition to the known book of Jeremiah, there is another book attributed to him. There are numerous sayings which are claimed to be from the Prophet Habakkuk. There are many songs which are said to be from the Prophet Solomon. There more than 70 books, other than the present ones, of the new Testament, which are ascribed to Jesus, Mary, the apostles and their disciples.

The Christians of this age have claimed that these books are false and are forgeries. The Greek Church, Catholic church and the Protestant Church are unanimous on this point. Similarly the Greek Church claims that the third book of Ezra is a part of the Old Testament and believes it to have been written by the Prophet Ezra, while the Protestant and Catholic Churches have declared it false and fabricated. We have already seen the controversy of the Catholics and Protestants regarding the books of Baruch, Tobit, Jude, the Song of Solomon, Ecclesiasticus and both the books of Maccabees. A part of the book of Esther is believable to the Catholics but essentially rejected by the Protestants.

In this kind of situation it seems absurd and beyond the bounds of reason to accept and acknowledge a book simply for the reason that it has been ascribed to a prophet by a group of scholars without concrete support. Many times we have demanded renowned Christian scholars to produce the names of the whole chain of narrators right from the author of the book to prove their claim but they were unable to so. At a public debate held in India, one of the famous missionaries confessed to the truth that the absence of authoritative support for those books was due to the distress and calamities of the Christians in the first three hundred and thirteen years of their history. We ourselves examined and probed into their books and took great pains to find any such authorities but our findings did not lead beyond conjecture and presumption. Our impartial search in the sources of their books showed that most of their assertions are based on nothing but presumptions.

It has already been said that presumption and conjecture are of no avail in this matter. It would be quite justified on our part if we refused to believe in these books until we had been given some arguments and authorities to prove their genuineness and authenticity. However, for the sake of truth, we still go forward to discuss and examine the authority of these books in this chapter. It is quite unnecessary to discuss the authority of each and every book of the Bible and we intend to examine only some of them.