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Talk:Bible/Archive 15

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The intro needs to be edited

The intro needs to make it clear that the bible is made up of mostly fiction. As it stands, an uncritical reader might get the impression that the contents of the bible are true and accurate descriptions of history, and that would be unfortunate. (talk) 16:52, 4 April 2011 (UTC)[]

Ok, I'll ask the question, even though I think I'm just feeding a troll, but what parts are mostly fiction? And where are the sources to back this up?--JOJ Hutton 16:58, 4 April 2011 (UTC)[]
I do not mean to offend people, and I do not just want to see people argue, but if by "troll" you mean "someone who raises a question that he know's is sensitive", then, yeah, guilty as charged, I guess. I'll also admit that I'm not very familiar with the Bible. But, any part where Jesus performs miracles or any part where God speaks to people or effects immediate changes in the world, is quite obviously not quite an accurate description of history, and I'm under the impression that at least some parts of the Bible focus on that sort of thing. (talk) 17:37, 4 April 2011 (UTC)[]
The intro does have its issues. Rather than addressing the fictional nature of much of the bible (as suggested above), I simply request that the intro be less repetitive. For example, the intro states that an alternative name for the bible is "holy bible" three times! This point only need to be made once; if at all. fcsuper (How's That?, That's How!) (Exclusionistic Immediatist ) 23:36, 8 April 2011 (UTC)[]

I personally think my intro makes distinctions that need to be made:

The Bible (from Koine Greek τὰ βιβλία ta biblia "the books"), known as the Holy Bible, is the English word that refers to the several similar compilations of books that most Jews and Christians believe to be sacred scripture. The Bible is the best-selling book in history with more than 6 billion copies published.[1][unreliable source?][2][unreliable source?]. The Bible—composed of the Tanakh (also known as the Old Testament) and the New Testament—is the literary foundation of the religions of Judaism and Christianity, respectively. + The Bible (from Greek τὰ βιβλία ta biblia "the books"), known as the Holy Bible, refers to several similar collections of sacred scripture related to Judaism and Christianity. The Bible is the best-selling book in history with more than 6 billion copies published.[3][unreliable source?][2][unreliable source?] - There is no Bible that all Jews and Christians agree upon. This disagreement is because some different dominations hold different books and their respective arrangements to be God's Word. Mainstream Judaism divides the Tanakh into 24 books, while a minority stream of Judaism, the Samaritans, accepts only five—the Pentateuch. The 24 books of the Hebrew Bible are divided and rearranged into the 39 books of the Christian Old Testament, although the two texts, as a whole, remain the same. Complete Christian Bibles range from the 66 books of the Protestant canon to the 81 books in the Ethiopian Orthodox Bible.[4]

What do you think? --Joshuajohnson555 (talk) 21:30, 6 May 2011 (UTC)[]

How come now the article refers to the Bible as "the primary religious text" of Christianity and Judaism? It does not earn the status of "sacred text" or "holy book"? After all, it is listed in the Religious texts article, which defines these texts as "the texts which various religious traditions consider to be sacred, or of central importance to their religious tradition. Many religions and spiritual movements believe that their sacred texts are divinely or supernaturally inspired." Joshuajohnson555 (talk) 04:39, 30 July 2011 (UTC)[]
Wikipedia does not proselytize. The article may express that certain groups consider their scripture sacred or holy, but it may not make such a categorization its own. That would be a violation of WP:RNPOV ♆ CUSH ♆ 09:36, 30 July 2011 (UTC)[]

I also think that the introduction needs to mention Jesus as the centerpoint of the whole Bible. Although non-messianic Jews (and others) will disagree, a good argument can be made that the Bible is about Jesus. We could at least say that the OT makes reference to a future Messiah savior figure, and that Jesus best fulfills this in the NT. Afterall, He said it Himself ("I did not come to abolish the Law and the Prophets [i.e., the Tankakh/OT], but to fulfill them" - Matthew 5:17), and all the NT is about Him. You probably won't agree, but let your thoughts be known. Joshuajohnson555 (talk) 21:37, 6 May 2011 (UTC)[]

That idea would represent a strong and moot WP:POV, which is unacceptable for a Wikipedia article. If it is important to mention Jesus when talking about the New Testament, then that is the context to include that point. fcsuper (How's That?, That's How!) (Exclusionistic Immediatist ) 22:45, 30 June 2011 (UTC)[]
What about at least saying something like, "Christians believe the entire Bible is about Jesus." Joshuajohnson555 (talk) 04:17, 25 July 2011 (UTC)[]
Do they? All of them? Find a reliable source for that. ♆ CUSH ♆ 06:31, 25 July 2011 (UTC)[]

The introduction needs to be changed so that it does state that the bible is the accumulation of texts that "convey the mythology of Judaism and Christianity". The word "mythology" needs to be deleted as implies that the events recorded are false stories of false people, comparable with the myths of Hercules, Zeus, the Trojan Horse, and others. The word "mythology" needs to be removed due to the overwhelming historical evidence for the majority of historical events and people recorded in the bible. Events like the Jewish nation's dwelling in Israel; The first and second temples; Kings like David, Solomon and others; the dividing of the Kingdom of Israel into the North (Israel) and the South (Judah); interaction between Israel and Cyrus The Great; the extremely overwhelming historical evidence for Jesus Christ and the fact that amongst leading biblical historians, the is essentially consensus of the historical existence of Jesus; evidence for the Apostle Paul and his missionary journeys, as well as other apostles like Peter, Andrew, John, and many others; and for the churches that were established in places like Colossae, Philippi, and others. As you can see, the user at the top of this section who wrote "The intro needs to make it clear that the bible is made up of mostly fiction." clearly has not done any research to make such a suggestion. While there are smaller events recorded in the bible that can't be proven by history, the vast majority of the main events can be undoubtedly proven in history, and therefore the bible is not mythology. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Jamespbeasley (talk • contribs) 00:59, 24 August 2011 (UTC)[]

Best selling book in history

This little factoid has been pushed by Christians for years. It is a sales pitch and it doesn't belong on Wikipedia. The sales of many different books were combined to arrive at this promotional figure. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:40, 20 December 2010 (UTC)[]

It would be good to have a figure of how many copies of the bible are produced annually (even combining many versions and editions), so that it can be compared objectively with other literature. Cesiumfrog (talk) 06:14, 26 January 2011 (UTC)[]

This should not be referenced in the opening paragraph. Perhaps it can be stated later on as a claim made by the community. Without actual facts and figures, this cannot not be stated and linked, especially in its current place. (talk) 22:48, 7 February 2011 (UTC)[]

Ah, but after all these centuries, the Holy Bible is still in print. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:46, 10 March 2011 (UTC)[]

Currently the sources for the "best selling" claim are dubious. The first one is a book called The Oracles of God which uses a BusinessWeek article and this book as its sources for the publication numbers. The BuinessWeek article in turn refers to this article which has an unsourced claim for 2.5 billion copies. I was unable to check the sources for the 6 billion copies claim in the Top 10 book. Nevertheless, estimating a number for such book is almost impossible, as said already in the List_of_best-selling_books article. Pushing it is just silly. --piksi (talk) 23:17, 9 April 2011 (UTC)[]
It is unfair to say that these magazine articles proposing how many copies of the Bible have been produced are unsourced. After all, A Tale of Two Cities—the book listed as the best-seller is unsourced as well. The article with that figure merely says, "Charles Dickens’ second stab at a historical novel, A Tale of Two Cities, has sold more than 200 million copies to date, making it the bestselling novel – in any genre – of all time." Where did the author get that figure? Same with any other book. That article reads, "Religious books, especially the Bible and the Qur'an, are probably the most-printed books, but it is nearly impossible to find reliable figures about them. Many copies of the Bible and the Qur'an are printed and given away free, instead of being sold. The same goes for some political books, like the works of Mao Zedong or Adolf Hitler. All such books have been excluded from this list for those reasons." Many other books "are printed and given away free, instead of being sold," so why target just the Bible and the Qur'an? --Joshuajohnson555 (talk) 01:02, 5 May 2011 (UTC)[]

Also, the List_of_best-selling_books no longer lists the Bible (or Qur'an) due to the difficulty of finding reliable figures. But it does mention that either of those books are probably the most printed. Maybe stating that the Bible is one of the most printed books in history would better? Though I haven't looked for a resource for that. Paperfree (talk) 11:43, 28 April 2011 (UTC)[]

The issue with "number of copies printed" is the same as "number of copies sold". There are too many organizations printing and then distributing Bibles, for anybody to hope to track that data accurately.Gideons International claims to have distributed 1,600,000,000 Bibles and New Testaments since 1908, or 70,000,000 per year.( The Bible Society claims to distribute 25,000,000 Bibles per year. ( Umpteen other organizations also give away Bibles. Their numbers may, or may not be included in the total for either Gideon's or Bible Society. Other organizations distribute Bibles for profit. Deduct the gratis distributors that purchased Bibles from those who sell it for a profit. This only addresses the issue of print copies. When audio, video, and electronic copies are factored in, data reliability is even more questionable.
Whilst it is a pretty safe bet that the Bible is the most printed, and most distributed book in history, once one eliminates self-reporting sites, reliable sources are going to be virtually non-existent.
If one wants to include things with reliable sources, that the Bible is at the top of the charts, then number of languages it has been translated into, is the category to select. (457 languages, with partial translation in another 1,211 languages, and ongoing work in another 1,500 languages: languages and ongoing work in another 2,028 languages:,527 languages, in whole or in part: (talk) 19:40, 23 July 2011 (UTC)[]

The Bible into a single file

Hello, I report the existence of the Bible in a single digital file: Is this feature worth being added to external links? 09:50, 1 June 2010 (UTC)

I would say that it would be more appropriate to link to something such as Bible Gateway, which allows the Bible to be read in multiple versions and multiple languages, if we are to add anything of the sort at all. Preston A. Vickrey (humbly) (talk) 04:09, 16 November 2010 (UTC)[]

Children's Bibles

In Germany, there are - since the Middle Ages - Children's Bibles (i.e. books that contain some excerpts from the Bible in easy language and with many illustrations) by many authors, illustrators and publishers. This is described in de:Kinderbibel. In the English Wikipedia I just find The Children's Bible Story Book. Is there really only this one? -- (talk) 13:25, 20 December 2009 (UTC)[]

In this article, nothing more than a short mention is warranted. However, this concept fully warrants a separate article, whoch I believe should be started by translating the German article in its entirety. Please give me some time to check what I can do. -- Blanchardb -MeMyEarsMyMouth- timed 17:02, 8 January 2010 (UTC)[]
"...whoch I believe should be started by..."
It is not what you believe. Wikipedia should only be organized and contributed by non-biased FACTS, not how people believe it should work/look/state. It should be runned by the NPOV rule. I understand your suggestion, but if the anonymous IP address "believes" that he/she should contribute to this article by adding more information, then that means that there is a conflict between you and he/she.
The best way to fix this conflict is:
  • 1) The IP address should make a Wikipedia account to be trusted with his/her contributions
  • 2) Have enough referances/sources to prove that the Children's Bibles in German should be/stay in this Wikipedia. Whether or not the article should be translated does not mean that he/she can[not] contribute to the article about the Holy Bible, or
  • 3) You prove that this information is not related enough to be in this article, and that
  • 4) He/she creates or contribute to the article of "Children's Bibles [In Germany]" or any other title.
Thank you for understaning, I hope that this advice fixes the problem :D
序名三 「Jyonasan」 Talk 20:08, 3 June 2010 (UTC)[]
Post Script: "whoch" is not a word in the American English dictionary, "I believe" it is a typo (mispelling), if you meant to write "which".[5]

Jewish vs Christian views of Creation

There is an article on Creation according to the Book of Genesis that discusses creation. There is a suggestion now to rename it and give it a Biblical name that may overlap with the New Testamant. I think that will mix differing views, but not being an expert on all of the topics, I think clarifications on that will be helpful here: Talk:Creation_according_to_Genesis#Requested_move_.28as_a_way_to_resolve_every_reasonable_concern.29

Your comments will be appreciated. History2007 (talk) 14:47, 27 January 2010 (UTC)[]

I think a clarifications should be given instead of rename it.--Myth&Truth (talk) 10:56, 31 March 2010 (UTC)[]

New Testament introduction

I find it more than a little odd that the New Testament section is introduced by a reference to an article (Frank Stagg) that reads more like a deification than an encyclopedia article. Also, the point-of-view seems to be that of a rather recently-formed denomination (Southern Baptist) and not reflective of historical Christianity as a whole. It makes the section seem to say that THIS is the ONE, single approach. It strikes me as an unbalanced and impoverished introduction to the subject of Christian scripture. Is there any way we can broaden this? The canon was determined nearing fifteen and a half centuries before this guy was born--is there any way we can broaden this, especially given that it is the introduction???? InFairness (talk) 05:20, 27 February 2010 (UTC)[]

Without even looking at the article on Stagg, I'd say there was extreme POV in that statement, so the wholesale deletion of that passage was a plus for the article. Good job. -- Blanchardb -MeMyEarsMyMouth- timed 16:12, 27 February 2010 (UTC)[]

Compromise vs. comprise

"The five books of the Torah compromise the legal code and origins of the Israelite nation." Shouldn't it say "comprise the legal code..." etc.? The page is locked so I couldn't edit it. (talk) 20:37, 12 March 2010 (UTC)[]

Good catch...looks like a vandal or maybe unintentional typo. Someone fixed it now. fcsuper (How's That?, That's How!) (Exclusionistic Immediatist ) 20:43, 16 March 2010 (UTC)[]

Edit request from Stephenog, 17 April 2010


Please change "The Hebrew Bible is comprised of the books" to "The Hebrew Bible comprises the books" as the first is grammatically incorrect. Stephenog (talk) 14:37, 17 April 2010 (UTC)[]

Done --Darkwind (talk) 16:33, 17 April 2010 (UTC)[]

likely broken link

I have been doing some online bible study from the Lineberrys site, however, I have been unable to connect for months now. I suggest you find a new link for the new revised standard version. (talk) 20:59, 1 May 2010 (UTC)[]

The Holy Bible

Bible (disambiguation) mentions The Holy Bible (album). Is The Holy Bible (album) noteworthy enough (I've never heard of the album) to receive its own mention here, whereas Bible (band) is not? ron2(talk) 22:27, 13 May 2010 (UTC)[]

Well, Manic Street Preachers are definitely more notable than Bible (band). · CUSH · 22:33, 13 May 2010 (UTC)[]

Edit request from Davidlandin, 18 May 2010

((editsemiprotected)) I would like to suggest a link to your non-English translations page found at

This link could go below the "English Translations" link in the right hand box.

David Landin (talk) 21:07, 18 May 2010 (UTC)Dacid Landin[]

David Landin (talk) 21:07, 18 May 2010 (UTC)[]

Not done: That's what the languages links on the left side of the page are for. 22:03, 18 May 2010 (UTC)

Edit request

"The Bible Jesus read was the Old Testament essentially as we know it today.[2] Books which are largely[weasel words] overlooked or misunderstood by modern Christians, such as Job, Deuteronomy, Ecclesiastes, the prophets, etc., are books which Jesus spent time reading and used in some of his quotes."


"The Bible read during the time Jesus is believed to have existed would have been the Old Testament essentially as we know it today [2], including books such as Job, Deuteronomy and Ecclesiastes."

No need to specify who "believed"; clear in context, and clunky to define "who" believe(d) this. "The prophets" is vague, the rest of the paragraph is implied by the former part, the "etc" is superfluous in the light of "such as/including". —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:40, 19 May 2010 (UTC)[]

Can an External link be added to this page for The Bibleless Peoples Prayer Project (BPPP)(see )? The BPPP program encourages prayer for languages that do not have the Bible. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Bluecheese1 (talk • contribs) 14:46, 17 June 2010 (UTC)[]

We don't know what was "the Bible" at the time of Jesus. There may have been no official list at all. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:06, 14 September 2010 (UTC)[]

Actually, we do know what was holy text the Jewish people at the time of Jesus. That would be the Tanakh, which *roughly* corresponds to the Christian Old Testement. For more, see Wikipdeia's own article on the Tanakh:

However, this discussion is moot as the text quoted above in the original edit request is no longer part of the article. Prtwhitley (talk) 04:11, 12 January 2011 (UTC)[]

Plot section

I'm wondering if there shouldn't be a "plot" section to provide an overview of exactly what goes down in the Bible, as opposed to the development/significance/other stuff that occupies the article. If "plot" is considered offensive, maybe "overview" or something. I read the Bible a few years ago, but this article should really provide a legit plot summary here, rather than just covering all that in intense detail on dozens of sub-articles. Tezero (talk) 03:08, 27 May 2010 (UTC)[]

Well, plot summaries are found in the articles about the particular books of the Bible. ≡ CUSH ≡ 08:58, 2 June 2010 (UTC)[]
What Cush said. The bible as such doesn't have a plot - some parts are history, many are not, and there are a lot of gaps. PiCo (talk) 12:23, 5 June 2010 (UTC)[]
You mean a time-line of Biblical history like Adam & Eve leave the garden, Methuselah born, Noah builds the Ark, Tower of Babel construction halted, Jacob gets a coat, et cetera? What about the events that we aren't sure about when they happened? Like perhaps event A occurred before event or perhaps it happened after it... Cross-referencing all Books to create an accurate outline of events would take too long and who's to decide which events are major and minor?
Plot of the Jewish bible (same as the Old Testament but with the books arranged differently - the Jewish bible ends with the Book of Chronicles): Creation-origin in and migration from Babylon-enslavement in and escape from Egypt-godly kingdom in Judah but God's grace withdrawn due to failure to worship Yahweh alone-enslavement in Babylon-restoration to a second godly kingdom in Judah ruled by priests and God (equals end of history).
Plot of the Christian bible (Old Testament same books as Jewish but end with the prophet Malachi): Creation-earthly kingdom under God's chosen, David (so far same as Jewish plot, but from this point it changes)-destruction of God's earthly kingdom due to sin (not the same sin as in the Jewish bible, which was failure to worship Yahweh; for Christians it's failure of faith rather than worship)-God sends his son, beginning of the earthly kingdom defined by faith-end of time with coming of the heavenly kingdom (i.e., the message of Revelations, which forms a counterpart to Genesis's creation myth).
Judaism is about God's election of a closed community (the Jews) and their salvation through worship; Christianity is about God's invitation to enter an open community (the Church) and salvation through faith. Neither is right or wrong, they're just two ways of constructing a narrative using many of the same books, but in a different order and with different interpretations.PiCo (talk) 05:03, 6 June 2010 (UTC)[]
I would add that that even among Jews and Christians, there are other ways of telling "the plot." So I am against such a section if it is based just on a reading of the Bible - that would violate NPOV and NOR. If we had a section that drew on reliable secondary sources, especially literary critics who have written on the Bible, that would be acceptable. But the plot of any work of literature is always the product of interpretation. If you think the plot of Moby Dick is, a sailor joins the crew of a whaling ship, meets an obsessed captain, and disaste ensues, or that the plot of War and Peace is, first there is peace, then war, then peace again, then you must hav been sleeping during class! Slrubenstein | Talk 11:38, 6 June 2010 (UTC)[]
I think a section outlining content is probably needed, since some readers may have no idea. It doesn't need to be detailed. Perhaps something like "The Old Testament outlines traditions of the creation of the world and the history of the Hebrew people from the settlement of Caanan to the Macabbean period of the 2nd Century BC. It also contains the divine law held to have been delivered by God through the prophet Moses along with a narrative of subsequent prophets and wisdom literature. The New testament documents the life and teachings of Jesus Christ and his followers in the 1st Century AD, along with theological discussions and prophetic works." Xandar 00:00, 16 June 2010 (UTC)[]
Agreed. This seems like one of the only core topics here on WP where it seems to assume that everyone knows a lot about it already. Tezero (talk) 18:24, 22 June 2010 (UTC)[]

Pending changes

This article is one of a small number (about 100) selected for the first week of the trial of the Wikipedia:Pending Changes system on the English language Wikipedia. All the articles listed at Wikipedia:Pending changes/Queue are considered for level 1 pending changes protection, unless stated otherwise.

The following request appears on that page:

However with only a few hours to go, comments have only been made on two of the pages.

Please update the page as appropriate.

Note that I am not involved in this project any more than any other editor, just posting these notes since it is quite a big change, potentially.

Regards, Rich Farmbrough, 20:07, 15 June 2010 (UTC).[]

Introduction wordiness

In terms of content, the introduction is vastly improved since the last time I've seen this article (earlier last year?). At that time, the introduction had a somewhat evangelistic tone. It now as a much more neutral tone. However, my complaint now is that sentence structure and wordiness of the current introduction makes reading it somewhat difficult. To those who are editing this article right now, may I suggest collectively looking over the text of the introduction to apply some brevity? fcsuper (How's That?, That's How!) (Exclusionistic Immediatist ) 19:58, 29 June 2010 (UTC)[]

In the introduction it says "The Christian Bible is divided into two parts. The first is called the Old Testament, containing the 39 books of Hebrew Scripture," I believe this should be reworded to reflect that depending on which Bible is being used the number varies, but if this can not be done it would seem to be best to say that the number is 46 as that is the most common number —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:33, 4 July 2010 (UTC)[]

please turn the word "sacred" in the first line into a link

In the first line, reading "The Bible refers to collections of sacred scripture [...]", the word "sacred" should be a link. sacred

God, maker of the world (talk) 07:33, 23 July 2010 (UTC)[]

I'm not sure it's really necessary; we don't want to overlink. carl bunderson (talk) (contributions) 03:44, 24 July 2010 (UTC)[]

Instead shouldn't the words "sacred scripture" be replaced with "texts" to preserve NPOV? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:52, 20 March 2011 (UTC)[]

Bit confusing

Just browsing through this because I don't know much about it. All very interesting, but got to this sentence: "The New Testament refers to the threefold division of the Hebrew Scriptures: the law, the prophets, and the writings" Which confused me. Retrospectively it does make sense; it's just that it can have two meanings. I read it as though the Hebrew Scriptures were called the New Testament. I suppose if you were already familiar with the subject matter it wouldn't matter soI don't know if this is important enough to change or not? Maybe something like: The New Testament makes reference to the threefold division of the Hebrew Scriptures: the law, the prophets, and the writings —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:50, 27 August 2010 (UTC)[]

Actually, that's inaccurate. "Old Testament" wouldn't be accurate either, since the Old Testament is the collection of Hebrew scriptures, not the division thereof. Anyone has any idea what the author of this paragraph had in mind? -- Blanchardb -MeMyEarsMyMouth- timed 15:54, 27 August 2010 (UTC)[]
I just tried a remedy. The mistake goes waaaaaay back in the history of the artice. It is sloppy writing: it is understandable to think that "refers" = 'signifies" but in this context, "refer" does not mean signifies or stands for, it means refers to in the colloquial sense like "I was talking to your sister the other day and she refered to your new car" - it doesn't mean "sister" = "new car." In this case, the point is that the authors of the NT were themselves familiar with the three-fold division of the Hebrew Bible, suggesting that by the time the NT was written, Jews had already canonized their Bible. "refer" = 'attests to" or something like that. Does this make sense? Slrubenstein | Talk 18:10, 27 August 2010 (UTC)[]


The introduction goes to great length to explain that there is no single Bible, but that "a Bible" is any of the numerous existing compilations (not to mention translations). It then goes on to say that "The Bible" is the best-selling book in history. That's a bit crude, isn't it? You may as well claim that "AT 750ff is the most popular tale in history". --dab (𒁳) 08:33, 6 September 2010 (UTC)[]

Honestly, I don't understand your point. You're comparing a compilation with a list? -- Blanchardb -MeMyEarsMyMouth- timed 16:21, 6 September 2010 (UTC)[]

no. let me be more clear:

  1. I am asking for a WP:RS to the effect that "The Bible is the best-selling book in history". So far we just have a bunch of web pages saying so
  2. I am asking for a clarification as to which bible we mean by "the Bible". Does this include the Jewish Bible, or is this strictly the standard 66-book Christian bible?

If we can substantiate the claim that "the 66-book Christian Bible is the best-selling book of all time", this will actually be a meaningful statement. --dab (𒁳) 16:29, 6 September 2010 (UTC)[]

"So far we just have a bunch of web pages saying so". Actually, the cited sources are Newsweek and Russell Ash. The simple fact that it is the "best-selling book" is probably true, but I do agree that it is an odd thing to say about the Bible, especially considering the number of organizations that give it away for free. In response to your second question, the List of best-selling books considers all versions of "The Bible", presumably Jewish and Christian alike, as one thing. If I'm not mistaken, the Christian Bible is basically a superset of the Jewish Bible, so it's not a horrendous mistake to lump them together. ...comments? ~BFizz 16:40, 6 September 2010 (UTC)[]

The Businessweek item hardly counts, as it is an article about Harry Potter. They draw a 2.5 billion figure out of their sleeve in passing, with no reference (as likely as not the journalist just pulled that number off Wikipedia). But you are right that the Ash reference may be quotable, I think I missed that. The question is, what does it say? Does it just say "The Bible", and what does it base its estimate on?

Yes, if we are charitable, we can state that "those books of the bible which are common to all canons", presumably that's simply the Hebrew Bible, can be argued to be sold every time any sort of bible is being sold. The Bible is also a special case in the sense that the vast majority of copies sold are in translation. --dab (𒁳) 17:43, 6 September 2010 (UTC)[]

The short answer to the question is that nobody knows how many copies of the Bible have sold, stolen, or given away. The long answer is (Outdenting, because it is easier to list source and numbers):

Unless specifically stated otherwise, Bible Society statistics always refer to the 66 Book Protestant Canon. I'd venture to guess that despite Catholic and Orthodox Christians outnumbering Protestant Christians by 3 to 1, more Bibles are purchased by Protestant Christians, than Orthodox and Catholic Christians combined.jonathon (talk) 22:07, 6 September 2010 (UTC)[]

I propose to keep the current statement to the effect that "estimates range in the billions" is good enough and should be kept. Especially because a few billion copies is easily enough to substantiate the claim of "most copies sold, ever". --dab (𒁳) 14:40, 7 September 2010 (UTC)[]

Quotations from Chairman Mao claims that between 5 billion and 6.5 billion copies of that book were printed under Chairman Mao's leadership. As such, I think it would appropriate to put the Bible Society number of 6 billion in this article, with a link to the source for that figure.) jonathon (talk) 16:11, 7 September 2010 (UTC)[]
Generally, I would imagine that "best-selling" refers to the act of selling the book. Putting up an exact statistic for the total number of bibles printed is very different...since many of those were given away. True, somebody had to pay for them, but it's not the same buy-sell relationship that usually goes with the term "best-selling". I understand the desire to get the wikilink in here for "list of best-selling books" since The Bible is at the top of the list, but I repeat my sentiment that it is an odd thing to say about the Bible; perhaps we can move it out of the intro and into a subsection somewhere? ...comments? ~BFizz 00:41, 9 September 2010 (UTC)[]
The Bible is unusual, in that people buy it for the sole purpose of giving it away. claims 25 million copies a year are distributed. claims 25 million copies a year are sold. Are you looking at gratis distribution by Bible Societies and non-gratis distribution by commercial publishers, for a total of 50 million copies a year? Or are only 25 million copies a year distributed, with the commercial publishers and the Bible Society using the terminology they normally use when referring to their own operations?

Bible vs Christian Bible

I was trying to get some info on the various gospels of the Christian Bible, not to mention quoted text from different sources (i.e. different translations). It seems really odd that there is no separate article on the Christian Bible. Is there a reason for this? Dynasteria (talk) 00:53, 9 September 2010 (UTC)[]

Given that the section Christian canons of the Bible covers pretty much everything that would be included in such an article, it is not necessary. -- Blanchardb -MeMyEarsMyMouth- timed 02:59, 9 September 2010 (UTC)[]

Nothing is absolutely "necessary." The question is what is ideal or at least desirable under the rubric of an encyclopedia. Moreover, your comment doesn't address the decision not to give it a separate article. Or why the present article is supposed to address that need. Dynasteria (talk) 14:29, 9 September 2010 (UTC)[]

I believe I've addressed the issue of why there's no separate article. It would be an unneeded duplication. See speedy deletion criterion A10. -- Blanchardb -MeMyEarsMyMouth- timed 16:54, 9 September 2010 (UTC)[]

There is New Testament, which is the article on the part of the Christian Bible that is in fact Christian (as opposed to pre-Christian). There is also Old Testament. I don't really see that creating another article would be useful. In fact, Biblical canon is already suspiciously redundant with this article. --dab (𒁳) 12:25, 10 September 2010 (UTC)[]

The "Christian cannons of the Bible" section is large enough that splitting it into its own subarticle is not an unusual propsition. The purpose of splitting it out would be, of course, to shorten this article and only retain a summary style overview of the section in this article. I don't have strong feelings either way on the issue. ...comments? ~BFizz 17:20, 10 September 2010 (UTC)[]
You could delete that entire section, replacing it with a pointer to the existing article that it duplicates --- right down to the table. What I've forgotten, is what that article is called. :( jonathon (talk) 23:04, 10 September 2010 (UTC)[]

Let's review here, wikipedians. There is a separate article for the Hebrew Bible, the Qu'ran, Hindu texts, Buddhist texts... So ALL the major religions of the world have a separate article for the textual basis of the religion, except Christianity, which also happens to be the "largest" religion in the world. What's the hidden agenda? Dynasteria (talk) 15:28, 13 September 2010 (UTC)[]

well, as I see it, Bible could be a disambiguation page, but that is hardly satisfactory. The problem is, there is on Hebrew Bible and one Qur'an, but almost as many Christian Bibles as there are Christian denominations. You can always expand the "Christian canons" section and ((split)) it into a main Christian canons of the Bible article, and have Christian Bible point there. This would not be controversial, I think, it's just a matter of somebody sitting down and doing the work. Also, the Christian Bible is simply Old Testament+New Testament. So there are already two articles dedicated to the two parts of the Christian Bible alone. You can also try making "Christian Bible" a disambiguation between the two, but there is hardly a point in just creating a redundant Christian Bible article which does nothing but copy information from Old Testament and New Testament.

The general idea of parallelism ("there is a Qur'an article, therefore there must be a Christian Bible article") is a terrible guide. --dab (𒁳) 17:03, 13 September 2010 (UTC)[]

It seems the article missed the existence of the Christian biblical canons article. As it stands now, this article is vastly redundant and both the Christian and the Jewish sections should be trimmed to meet WP:SS. --dab (𒁳) 17:15, 13 September 2010 (UTC)[]

To answer Dynasteria's question, the explanation is pretty simple. Christians and non-Christians alike refer to the "Christian Bible" as simply "The Bible," with only Jews being expected to refer to something else. Given that the entire Jewish Bible is part of the Christian Bible, there's no need to separate them, really. -- Blanchardb -MeMyEarsMyMouth- timed 19:10, 13 September 2010 (UTC)[]
so you are saying that this is the Christian Bible article? That's not the case. This article is clearly divided in a "Jewish" and a "Christian" part (and not an "OT" vs. a "NT" part. You will also note that Hebrew Bible and Old Testament are two separate articles).
I have now pointed Christian Bible to the article that actually focuses on the Christian canons.
most of this article is content duplication anyhow. We seriously need to ask ourselves, what is the point of this article as it stands. --dab (𒁳) 20:16, 13 September 2010 (UTC)[]
I would think that anyone who bothers to type "Christian" in the search box would indeed be looking for the contents of the Christian biblical canons article, so I support the redirect you made. As for the OT being "Jewish" as opposed to the "Christian" NT, perhaps a cleanup of the section titles is in order, given that the OT is considered authoritative in Christian circles. No article on the "Christian Bible" would be complete without a detailled discussion of the OT. -- Blanchardb -MeMyEarsMyMouth- timed 20:40, 13 September 2010 (UTC)[]
I think you misunderstood. I was saying that "OT" is Christian while it is Tanakh that is Jewish. --dab (𒁳) 12:46, 14 September 2010 (UTC)[]

I have to admit to having gotten into this out of ignorance. Frankly, where I come from when people say "The Bible" they mean only one thing. Nor did I know that the word bible could refer to the text of any other religion. Thanks, all, for addressing this. Dynasteria (talk) 03:29, 14 September 2010 (UTC)[]

You still bring a point to the table. In every other context other than wikipedia, the word "Bible" has a roughly 95% chance of meaning "a modern translation of the Christian Bible". If for instance you google the word "Bible" how long would you have to look down the list to see an article that takes the meaning of the Tanakh. Even in virtually every dictionary the first definitaion reflects the same. Several issues I notice here are that the Tanakh seems to be given a closer treatment here and even has it's own main page. Seeing as how there are multiple definitions of "Bible", how do most articles deal with that? This article seems unique in it's attempt to mash the two definitions into one discussion when I don't think both perspectives are given proper treatment. It would be ideal for clarity's sake to have a "(Christian) Bible" page and a "Tanakh" page in my opinion, but I'm sure that won't happen. Not exactly what to propose as a solution. 0nonanon0 (talk) 23:34, 19 September 2010 (UTC)[]

Authors of the Bible

I would appreciate it if anyone interested in the authorship of the Bible weighed in on the contents of this article. Dylan Flaherty (talk) 04:17, 14 September 2010 (UTC)[]

39 books

Someone wrote:

"The Hebrew Bible contains 24 books that were rearranged into 39 by Christian denominations."

Really? As the arrangement the 24 segments were scrolls rather than books and 39 book division predates modern Christian denominations this seems most unlikely! How about the Hebrew Bible contained 24 scrolls which were divided and re-aranged to make the modern 39 books at the time of the Reformation. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:09, 14 September 2010 (UTC)[]

I have tried to improve this. --dab (𒁳) 11:21, 22 October 2010 (UTC)[]

FYI "book" is the traditional translation of the Hebrew, sefer and the Hebrew Bible is traditionally diided into 24 books. I think this anonymous user is confused about the difference between a book and a codex. Slrubenstein | Talk 11:14, 23 October 2010 (UTC)[]

Edit request from, 26 October 2010

((edit semi-protected)) An updated knowledge of the Old and New Testaments. They are also recognized as the Hebrew Scriptures(old Testament) and Christian Greek Scriptures(new testament). A more accurate description removing the idea that the old testament has the old laws and the new testament has new laws that veto the old ones. (talk) 19:25, 26 October 2010 (UTC)[]

Not done: please be more specific about what needs to be changed. Thanks, Stickee (talk) 22:12, 26 October 2010 (UTC)[]

Source about bible translation

I found a source about Biblical translations:

We have a Sex in the Bible article. It needs cleanup. Please take it there. --dab (𒁳) 08:22, 15 November 2010 (UTC)[]

Authenticity of the bible

I think there should be an section that discusses the historical inaccuracies of the bible. (talk) 18:44, 13 November 2010 (UTC)[]

Could you say anything more specific than that, perhaps with some links to reliable sources? Dylan Flaherty (talk) 18:59, 13 November 2010 (UTC)[]
we already have plenty of such content, obviously not under the "Bible" title, but at the articles about the respective topics (all time favourites are Genesis creation narrative, Noah's flood, The Exodus, etc., take your pick). These aren't "historical inaccuracies" though, as the Torah doesn't pretend to be a work of historiography to begin with. The actual historical books of the Bible (Kings, Chronicles etc.) as far as I am aware are reasonably accurate, even if clearly propaganda written from the point of view of one faction. --dab (𒁳) 08:18, 15 November 2010 (UTC)[]

CE vs AD

Is there any consensus to which form to use on Wikipedia: Bible. There seem to be many back and forth changes that are happening across the pages within the Christianity/Bible series with regards to how we date things. While this is minor it would make sense to stop the editing war and use our time to have meaningful discussions on how to make meaningful edits. Policy states "Use either the BC–AD or the BCE–CE notation, but not both in the same article. AD may appear before or after a year (AD 106, 106 AD); the other abbreviations appear after (106 CE, 3700 BCE, 3700 BC).", I would recommend we choose one so that it can be done with. Not trying to open a can of worms, just trying to find consensus and create uniformity for the Bible series.Preston A. Vickrey (humbly) (talk) 20:49, 3 January 2011 (UTC)[]

In articles like these the lingstanding custom has been to use BC/AD when talking about the Christian Bible or Christianity, and BCE/CE when talking about the Jewish Bible/Judaism. It seems to be a stable compromise, that signals to our readers that there is no one single system. Slrubenstein | Talk 23:56, 3 January 2011 (UTC)[]


Pardon if this sounds like a perennial topic, but I was wondering if there was a way to fix the complete absence of the word "myth" from the article. Please mind, I am using myth in the sense of story or sacred narrative not as a binary switch for factual. I am under the impression that this is the majority scholarly view on how the term myth is properly used. With that understanding of myth, the Bible (both of them, really) is unambiguously full of them.--Tznkai (talk) 01:44, 4 January 2011 (UTC)[]

I think the only way around this is to follow our policies closely - if a reliable source says that the Bible or parts of it are myths, then we quote that source.
I think the problem in the past has not only been the binary thinking you aver, but also editors trying to make a POINT about the whole Bible. The problem is, most Bible scholars do not write about the whole Bible, they write about books or parts of books, which are presumed to have been written by different people at different times. The way to handle the problem you bring up is by writing about it with nuance, but that can only be done with detail, and with hundreds of thousands of analysis and interpretation of "the Bible," no Wp article can do this well for the entire Bible.
I think the solution is to address this through much better articles on individual books of the Bible. There are thousands of pages written just on Genesis, and at least half a dozen books taking diferent critical positions on just this one book - one can write quite a bit just on the analysis of chapter 1 or chapter 2. I think it is in the context of such an article, that really goes into detail on the questions raised by different critical historians on a chapter, or one narative, within a book, that you will find reliable sources not just using the word myth but explaining how exactly the chapters operated as myth. Slrubenstein | Talk
If I understand your proposition correctly, Tznkai, you are proposing the addition of a section/paragraph that in essence states "The Bible is a collection of myths." While this may be technically true, unless accompanied by an explination of the scholarly meaning of the word (and, frankly, even if accompanied by such) the average reader is going to read "myth" with exactly the binary switch you mention. Other than to make the article contentious, what point would there be for such an inclusion? Prtwhitley (talk) 04:31, 12 January 2011 (UTC)[]

The ensuing lulz. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:56, 5 March 2011 (UTC)[]

Bible Versions and Translations

In the 3rd paragraph, especially the sentence: "The primary biblical text for early Christians was the Septuagint or (LXX)", is problematic. This sentence not factually correct, as evidenced by the lack of soucre citation for the claim. There were so many different versions of Christianity in the first 2-3 centuries AD that to state that there was ONE primary text for all Christians is simply nonfactual. In Jewish Christian groups, certainly, the Jewish holy texts continued to be used, but non-Jewish Christians differed on whether the Tanakh applied to them or not. Each Christian community had it's own holy texts. For some, a single copy of a Gospel (and not limited to Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John) was all they had. Others had letters from various leaders of the early church (some of these letters, most attributed to Paul, made their way into canon). Sources : The Lost Christianities: The Battles for Scripture and the Faiths We Never Knew, Lost Scriptures: Books that Did Not Make It into the New Testament, and The New Testament and Other Early Christian Writings: A Reader by Bart D. Ehrman; The Gnostic Gospels by Elaine Pagels; A History of God: The 4,000-Year Quest of Judaism, Christianity and Islam and The Bible: A Biography by Karen Armstrong

In sum, this entire section needs reworking and specifically so that it is not misleading about the texts available to the early Christian communities. I'd be happy to write something, but it's not something I can do quickly (or work on right now), especially since I would want to review sources so that I can provide quotes and specific facts and not just a general summary. I do recognize that there is already a separate article on the development of the NT, but what is this section is not congruent with the information in the sep. article. Prtwhitley (talk) 05:51, 12 January 2011 (UTC)[]

I think the intended meaning was just that the primary Old Testament text for Early Christians was LXX (as opposed to the Hebrew). But of course this holds only for the first and maybe second century. After that, we have the Peshitta and Vetus Latina versions. So perhaps it will be best to just lose the claim. Or make it refer to the apostles and their early congregations of the 1st century exclusively. --dab (𒁳) 08:53, 14 January 2011 (UTC)[]


The lead opens by saying that the bible is a collection of sacred texts of Judaism and Christianity, but is there some reason why Islam is ommitted from this list? (See Islamic holy books.) This fact seems notable enough to warrant inclusion, since Islam is not some small cult but rather is the religion of nearly a quarter of all humankind and plays a major role in current world affairs. Cesiumfrog (talk) 02:08, 20 January 2011 (UTC)[]

The fact is, when it comes to sacred books of Islam, the Quran comes to mind, not the Bible. I don't know how much importance Muslims attach to the Bible and to Bible reading, but in forums, whenever I see a Muslim quoting a holy scripture to make a point, it's always from the Quran. Anyone has anything else to say on this matter? -- Blanchardb -MeMyEarsMyMouth- timed 03:33, 20 January 2011 (UTC)[]
As I understand it, for all significantly large religions, some understanding of The Bible is held sacred in and of its own right, by Judaism and Christianity depending on what exactly you mean by bible. Other religions, such as the Ba'hai faith and Islam hold the bible sacred because Judiasm and/or Christianity hold it sacred. So, roughly, "The Bible (from Greek τὰ βιβλία ta biblia "the books") is the various collections of sacred scripture of the various branches of Judaism and Christianity" is more correct than "The Bible (from Greek τὰ βιβλία ta biblia "the books") is the various collections of sacred scripture of the various branches of Judaism and Christianity, Islam, Ba'hai faith, and certain other religions" but less correct than "The Bible (from Greek τὰ βιβλία ta biblia "the books") is the various collections of sacred scripture of the various branches of Judaism and Christianity.... The Bible is also believed to be sacred by Ba'hai faith, and certain other religions"--Tznkai (talk) 03:35, 5 February 2011 (UTC)[]
Seems fair. Islam is an offshoot from early Christianity after it was exported to the middle east ca. 700 AD if memory serves me right. (talk) 12:42, 10 June 2011 (UTC)[]

Edit request from, 25 January 2011

((edit semi-protected)) The oldest Jewish Bible is the Isaiah and it is in Hebrew. The oldest surviving manuscript of Isaiah was found among the Dead Sea Scrolls: dating from about a century before the time of Jesus, it is substantially identical with the Masoretic version which forms the basis of most modern English-language versions of the book.[6]:pp.22-23 (Isaiah was the most popular prophet among the Dead Sea collection: 21 copies of the scroll were found in Qumran.)[2] (talk) 13:02, 25 January 2011 (UTC)[]

Not done: please be more specific about what needs to be changed. It's unclear what exactly you want us to do with the info. Furthermore, there are what look like reference numbers, but you didn't give us the actual reference. Is this copied from somewhere else? In any event, please state more specifically what you want changed in the article, and provide full reliable sources to support those changes. Qwyrxian (talk) 03:47, 26 January 2011 (UTC)[]


In the section on New Testament, the bishop of Durham is N T "Wright" - not N T "Knight" --Steveames (talk) 21:53, 4 February 2011 (UTC)[]

 Done--Tznkai (talk) 03:38, 5 February 2011 (UTC)[]

Edit request from Themerryman, 6 February 2011

The Bible ((edit semi-protected)) This book is a work of fiction. All characters and events are not real and are depicted with exaggerations. Themerryman (talk) 13:06, 6 February 2011 (UTC)[]

Not going to happen by any standard. The Bible has many historical and factual truths, even if not everyone believes in the spiritual ones.--Jojhutton (talk) 13:22, 6 February 2011 (UTC)[]
Not done: please be more specific about what needs to be changed. Logan Talk Contributions 21:41, 6 February 2011 (UTC)[]
Are you serious Jojhutton? There is nothing truthful about the bible at all. And my source is below:

Etc, etc, etc (talk) 03:41, 18 February 2011 (UTC)[]

  • We could look at those websites, of course, or we could stop feeding the trolls. Drmies (talk) 03:43, 18 February 2011 (UTC)[]

Layout problems

I don't know about other browsers, but in IE there is a layout problem here: an ugly white space at the top of the page. It would be good to fix this, especially since it is such a high profile article. (talk) 03:00, 27 February 2011 (UTC)[]

Opening description of the Christian bible

Current article reads: "The Christian Bible (sometimes known as the Holy Bible) is divided into two parts. The first is called the Old Testament, containing the 39 books of Hebrew Scripture, and the second portion is called the New Testament, containing a set of 27 books."

Since different sects of Christianity have different Old Testament cannons, it really shouldn't read "the 39 books of Hebrew scripture." -- (talk) 00:37, 7 March 2011 (UTC)[]

Definition of "Bible"

The current definition of the Bible, i.e., the various collections of sacred scripture of the various branches of Judaism and Christianity, seems vague. Why do we need "various" twice in the same sentence? I vote that we change it to something like that in the Encyclopedia Britannica Online, which says, "Bible, the sacred scriptures of Judaism and Christianity. The Christian Bible consists of the Old Testament and the New Testament, with the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox versions of the Old Testament being slightly larger because of their acceptance of certain books and parts of books considered apocryphal by Protestants. The Jewish Bible includes only the books known to Christians as the Old Testament. The arrangements of the Jewish and Christian canons differ considerably. The Protestant and Roman Catholic arrangements more nearly match one another..." It is much simple, I think. Joshuajohnson555 (talk) 01:56, 15 March 2011 (UTC)[]

Ahh, the virtues of not writing by committee. I agree this is better written (although I think "Hebrew Bible" is used more than "Jewish Bible"). So the problem now is we cannot plagiarize. But if you think you can improve the intro, go ahead! Slrubenstein | Talk 17:27, 15 March 2011 (UTC)[]

Article Survey

To anyone who's interested in keeping things current on the page Talk:Bible/Article_survey, The article Torah redactor no longer exists. The information it contained has been merged to Documentary hypothesis. Specifically this section. (talk) 21:09, 15 March 2011 (UTC)[]

Edit request from 27 March 2011

Some Jackass put The Bible (from Greek τὰ βιβλία ta biblia "the books"), sometimes referred to as the Holy Bible, is the various collections of sacred scripture of the various branches of Judaism and Christianity. It is A FAIRY TALE. The Bible, in its various editions, is the best-selling book in history. [1]

i mean really no one noticed? someone fix it and take it out the immaturity of some people is amazing. Duranu (talk) 07:30, 27 March 2011 (UTC)[]

Thanks for spotting it, and registering an account to inform us. That edit survived an hour an a half. John Vandenberg (chat) 07:47, 27 March 2011 (UTC)[]
Well, even if it was spotted, there was no need to remove a statement of acceptable accuracy for which surely numerous reliable sources could have been referenced. ♆ CUSH ♆ 19:30, 1 July 2011 (UTC)[]

Opening Paragraph was lacking

The word 'various' was used 3 times in the first 2 sentences. It seemed unnecessarily wordy. Also added 6+ billion copies fact, as I think it's important to know the scope of how popular the book is. Could also say published in 2,000+ languages. Here's one of the many fact pages where info can be found: Hope that helps. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Adam00 (talkcontribs) 07:03, 8 April 2011 (UTC)[]

Wikilink from this article REDIRECT to new article

For anyone with their settings "watching" this article, and therefore the Talk Page, they may wish to be aware of the discussion on Talk:canonical gospels. That wikilink, which is linked from this article, used to REDIRECT from this article to Gospel#Canonical gospels but now REDIRECTs to new article written over the REDIRECT by a single editor. The new article appears to have several issues including:

There is discussion at Talk:canonical gospels of how to proceed and whether to restore the REDIRECT as follows:

In ictu oculi (talk) 20:01, 18 April 2011 (UTC)[]

"Holy Bible"

I have a quibble with the opening sentence, "The Bible [...] , often called the Holy Bible in English-speaking regions [...]".

This seems to imply that the name "Bible" is common to many languages, while "Holy Bible" is a preferred general-purpose term in English. Neither of these things is true. In most (all?) other languages the word is not "Bible", while amongst English speakers it is only called the "Holy Bible" by Christians or sympathetic people going out of their way to accord it respect. Most ordinary non-Christian or disinterested English speakers would never call it the "Holy Bible". (talk) 01:06, 7 July 2011 (UTC)[]

The Bible is in almost all languages called "bible" or anything else derived from either the sound of the greek "biblia" (books) or the word's meaning (scripture).
The "Holy" thing is derived from the way the KJV has been published with the title "Holy Bible". That says nothing about the work or the book being sacred in any way. In fact it is rather not (just read it). ♆ CUSH ♆ 07:48, 7 July 2011 (UTC)[]
The anon IP is right, of course the word "bible" is used only in English-speaking countries!PiCo (talk) 11:08, 7 July 2011 (UTC)[]
I never claimed that the word in many languages is not similar to "Bible" or derived from the same source, I said it is not "Bible". If the statement about "Holy Bible" is meant to be explaining that the words "Holy Bible" are often printed on the cover, then that needs to be clarified. At the moment, it reads, as I explained, as if "Holy Bible" is a general-purpose preferred English-language term, which is not the case. Perhaps "called" could be changed to "titled"? (talk) 11:42, 7 July 2011 (UTC)[]
Maybe the reference to "Holy Bible" should be dropped altogether, because the article is about the Bible as the literary or theological work, and not about in what format or with which title it has been published (although a section for that would be ok). ♆ CUSH ♆ 12:03, 7 July 2011 (UTC)[]
I don't believe the expression Holy Bible should be found in the opening paragraph, but perhaps there should be a mention of it somewhere in the article. A few years ago, there was an edit war between the regulars who almost unanimously wanted the word Holy dropped and IPs with few or no other edits who performed a drive-by addition of said word. To put an end to that nonsense, I had inserted a comment to the effect that the word Holy wasn't welcome, but my comment had somehow disappeared during my wikibreak, so I've just put it back in. -- Blanchardb -MeMyEarsMyMouth- timed 14:03, 7 July 2011 (UTC)[]
I have heard people (probably Christians) in Spanish-speaking countries call the Bible "Santa Biblia." Since Bible (or Biblia) just means "book" I understand why people would call it "the holy book" to distinguish it from all those other books. Of course, simply calling it "the book" or "the Bible" serves the exact same function of singling this particular book out from among other books. My point is that one could just as accurately write, "The Tanakh, often called 'the Bible,'" or "The Old and new Testaments, often called 'the Bible.' "I do think it is silly to say "often called the Holy Bible in English-Speaking regions." Slrubenstein | Talk 14:31, 10 July 2011 (UTC)[]

Heavens opening, seeing God


Made this into a new section because it's not connected with the previous thread.
Answer: An awful lot.
Sensible answer: I doubt anyone has ever bothered to count. But it's interesting that God gets scarcer and scarcer as the bible goes on. In Genesis he's forever chatting with humans - Adam and Eve, Abraham, Jacob. Then in the next four books only Moses sees him. After that, a few prophets get to hear him but not see him. Then in the NT it goes back and starts over again - Jesus=God and people of the time can see him every day, then Paul sees him, and then nobody else till Revelation. PiCo (talk) 00:25, 9 July 2011 (UTC)[]

Section heading rename

I renamed the section titled "Development". I understand some people might be upset with that. My concern was that an average lay person looking for information on the history of the book itself, how it was put together from many separate disparate texts and why, won't easily find the three separate pages for that on wikipedia. Hopefully this made it easier. I also re-purposed a redirect of History of Bible to this section as opposed to the much more "Biblical events in history"-ish page The Bible and history. By no means is this a perfect solution, but let's not make wikipedia strictly for very knowledgeable academics who know to search for "development of" instead of "history of" bible. The average person will likely type in "origin of bible" or "history of bible" instead of "development of new testament canon". Feel free to improve on the section heading, maybe scrap the "/" or something, just get the word 'history' in there and make it clear it's about the origins of the book itself, not about things depicted in the book. Pär Larsson (talk) 19:17, 8 July 2011 (UTC)[]

Kabbalah is not part of the Oral Law

The section on "The Oral Torah" contains the following statement: "The Oral Torah has different facets, principally Halacha (laws), the Aggadah (stories), and the Kabbalah (esoteric knowledge)." This statement is false. While the term "Kabbalah" has several meanings - it can, for example, mean "received knowledge" in a very broad sense, so broad as to include the Chumash itself - it specifically refers to the eponymous mystical tradition that evolved hundreds of years after the Oral Torah had been written down. In the quoted statement, the word "Kabbalah" links to a page which describes precisely this mystical tradition. Also, the section on "Torah" contains the following statement: "These commandments provide the basis for Halakha (Jewish religious law)." This statement is inaccurate. It would be more accurate to state that the Torah and the Oral Law (the Written Torah and Oral Torah) together provide the bass for Halakha. (talk) 21:05, 25 July 2011 (UTC)Dr. Daniel Rohrlich ([]

I see your point. And welcome your contributions to Wikipedia. Therefore I urge you to consult our core content policies WP:NPOV, WP:NOR, and WP:V. I hope after reading them carefully you will still want to contribute to Wikipedia. You can pretty much make any edit that does not violate these policies without worry that someone else will delete them.
However, I should warn you that you cannot delete the views you single out as problematic. According to some, important Kabbalistic texts are part of the Talmud and thus part of the Oral Law. Many of our Judaism articles (like many of our articles on other religions) suffer from the fact that in some cases there are strong disagreements between Orthodox (or fundamentalist) editors and those who favor critical scholarship ... and sometimes between religious and atheist editors. Our NPOV policy is meant to provide a framework for including all significant views. NOR makes sure that we never put in our own views, and V makes sure that the views that we DO put in come from reliable sources. But the inevitable consequence is that our best articles include multiple, conflicting views, and often views we believe (know) to be wrong.
If why I have wrote does not make sense, I ask that you bear it in mind and just read the three core policies and see if it then makes sense. Then, please consider actually editing. (But, be aware of HTML formatting rules that govern these pages ... you do NOT need to be a computer wiz to edit, you just need to learn some basic tricks like, you have to use combinations of text (like the colon) to achieve formatting, not the tab key or multiple spaces for indenting, Slrubenstein | Talk 18:59, 26 July 2011 (UTC)[]

Input requested

Regarding the overlength of the Textual criticism article, time to break out the subsections? In ictu oculi (talk) 22:49, 9 August 2011 (UTC)[]

Factual error in introduction, re: the Samaritans

There is a problem with the claim that the Samaritans are "a minority stream of Judaism." The fact of the matter is that they are not. Though being very very closely related to the Jews, they are distinct ethnic and social group, a fact accurately represented in the article on the Samaritans. The conflation of the Jews and Samaritans is rooted not in the most up-to-date research, but in antiquated research from at least 70 years ago when there was a shift in understanding who and what the Samaritans are. (talk) 13:39, 17 August 2011 (UTC)[]

Edit request from 777Truth, 27 August 2011

In the first sentence for the description of the "Bible", it is stated that the Christian Bible is mythology. I find this extremely offensive, as I'm sure Christians who read this will agree. This statement that the Bible is mythology is not a fact, it is an opinion. I feel very strongly that the word "mythology" should be stricken as this is not a neutral or unbiased point of view.777Truth (talk) 08:40, 27 August 2011 (UTC) 777Truth (talk) 08:40, 27 August 2011 (UTC)[]

A mythology is a collection of (sacred) stories about the divine and its interactions in the world. There are Egyptian, Greek, Roman, Hindu mythologies and many more. The Bible represents a mythology just as other texts do. WP is not here to give special treatment to one religion (extinct or present) over others.
BTW, playing the "I'm offended" card is the default reaction of a fundamentalist. WP does not endorse fundamenatlism of any kind. ♆ CUSH ♆ 09:24, 27 August 2011 (UTC)[]
then wikilink the word 'mythology' to explain it: "In a very broad sense, the word can refer to any traditional story". Would 777 object to the Bible being described as a collection of traditional stories? I recognise that the word 'myth' could imply that it is all just a fairy tale. - Lugnad (talk) 10:01, 27 August 2011 (UTC)[]
I of course agree with Cush and Lugnad. Still, I would feel a whole lot more comfortable about this if The Federalist Papers were identified as an important part of American mythology or La Marseillaise as a key text in French mythology. Myths as Malinowski pointed out function as "charters." The key point is not that the myth is a story, although it usually is, but that it has a certain function - in this sense we could even suggest that the US constitution is a myth. Now, try to add this to one of these articles about so-called modern societies and see how editors respond. My point: I am not sure WP is truly consistent about this point. Slrubenstein | Talk 13:09, 27 August 2011 (UTC)[]
The lead sentence would be fine just saying that the bible is the primary religious text of those major religions. Adding the subphrase "that convey the mythology" is not necessary in introducing this topic. Rather than argue over some esotericly understood meaning of myth, why not drop those four words from the lead and instead focus on a section of the article about the truth and otherwise of the texts (and explaining their mythological significance, as understood by independent scholars)? Cesiumfrog (talk) 01:14, 28 August 2011 (UTC)[]
Marking as answered for discussion. --Jnorton7558 (talk) 03:46, 28 August 2011 (UTC)[]
Actually, I am no longer so sure I agree with Cush and Lugnad - especially if we add the subphrase and do not, as Cesiumfrog puts it, introduce the topic. The term "mythology" comes from comparative religion, and it makes sense to use it if we are comparing (comparing the Jewish mythology to the Christian to the Newtonian). If we are not putting these stories in a comparatrive framework, then we are not really looking at them as myths. Slrubenstein | Talk 15:21, 30 August 2011 (UTC)[]
Well, of course there should be a section that compares the biblical stories with other stories from the ANE, and that demonstrates how other (older) myths were incorporated into the biblical mythology and how the personas of other deities were merged into the modern biblical deity. This article must of course deal with the literary contents of the texts contained in the Bible. ♆ CUSH ♆ 18:13, 30 August 2011 (UTC)[]
What should that section be named? Cesiumfrog (talk) 03:03, 31 August 2011 (UTC)[]
Good question. Maybe "Narrative influences from other traditions" or so ... ♆ CUSH ♆ 12:02, 31 August 2011 (UTC)[]

Edit request - possible vandalism in section Biblical Criticism

I would like to request deletion of the second paragraph in the section Biblical Criticism and it associated references. It may be vandalism. It does not seem to add anything necessary to the article and the references seem to be bogus (not reliable - Portuguese language blogs?) i.e., please delete "Roger Bacon proved in 1251 ... fruit Adam and Eve would have bitten.[28][29]." and the associated references 25 - 29. Also, please check Reference 24: it does not look like a reliable reference either. If it is intended to be serious, there must surely be a reliable English language source? HIXIH (talk) 00:57, 28 August 2011 (UTC)[]

This is not an area in which I usually edit. However you are correct. These references are most inappropriate. The references cannot stand. Without them the paragraph cannot stand. The next paragraph also lacks references. Nonetheless there needs to be some coverage of translation errors and critics such as Spinoza. So, delete para 2, as requested and seek refs for the 'higher criticism' paragraph - Lugnad (talk) 01:58, 28 August 2011 (UTC)[]
Lugnad, thanks for checking and making the changes.
I am not an expert in the subject matter, but as you have drawn my attention to the rest of the section I tried to find references. I could not find the specific material from Hobbes, but did find something for Spinoza. There is perhaps more to be said about translation errors, but for the moment I would like to propose the following changes to the section Biblical criticism:
Delete the last clause of the first paragraph, i.e., delete "or the observation that the bible may have translation errors" and the associated reference 24. The motivation for the deletion is that investigation of Bible translation errors seems in fact to be part of the field of 'Biblical criticism', 'not of criticism of the Bible'. It also seems to me that reference 24 may make interesting reading but does not qualify as a reliable source, and is limited to a specific example (the NIV).
I have also drafted a replacement for the paragraph under the sub-heading "Higher criticism". The references and links are not formatted (I still need to learn how to do it), but in the meantime I would like to seek opinion whether the proposed replacement is more satisfactory than what is there now. Given that the sub-section is short and fairly described by the section heading (Biblical criticism) I think that said sub-heading (Higher criticism) is probably superfluous.
Paragraphs to replace the paragraph "In the 17th century... acceptance amongst scholars.":
Higher criticism deals with the matters of who wrote the texts and the integrity of the texts [Archer, G.L. A survey of Old Testament introduction. Chicago: Moody Publishers, 2007. p. 50]. Lower criticism, also known textual criticism, is the study of the various copies of the biblical documents in their original languages for the purpose of arriving at a version that closely approximates the wording used by the original author. [Archer, p. 50].
Until the 18th century the Christian church accepted the view that the Pentateuch (Torah) had been written by Moses, a historical figure from the 5th century BCE. In 1670 CE, Spinoza argued that Moses could not have written the Torah, based on evidence he took from the text itself. He attributed it instead to the priest Ezra [Spinoza, B. Tractus Theologico-Politicus, cited in Archer, p.71]. In the 19th century German theologians Graf, Kuenen, and Wellhausen formulated a documentary hypothesis that posits that the Torah was written by a variety of authors over a period of several centuries. [Archer, p.91].
HIXIH (talk) 04:42, 28 August 2011 (UTC)[]
Spinoza is widely viewed by critical Bible scholars as one of the fathers of critical scholarship. Within traditional Judaism, Ibn Ezra is frequently cited as a scholar who recognized the evidence Biblical critics would later use, without sharing their conclusions. Slrubenstein | Talk 17:23, 28 August 2011 (UTC)[]
HIXIH, you should consider making this change yourself. That the the whole idea of wikipedia. It is good that you have identified suitable references. So make that change. It would be preferable if you used the drop-down in the edit box to format your references. I know that I could make this change for you - and in my opinion that change would improve the article. However If I were to change it then I would feel obliged to check those references for myself. A final minor point, most articles use Bc/AD while some use the CE/BCE. An article should be consistent within itself. This one uses BC/AD. If you need further guidance then I'm sure that SlRubenstein - or others who edit here - would advise you. Nonetheless do feel free to contact me. Regards Lugnad (talk) 22:45, 28 August 2011 (UTC)[]
Articles that are on both Jewish and Christian topics are often not internally consistent. We use BC/AD for the Christian parts and CE/BCE for the Jewish parts. Slrubenstein | Talk 16:26, 29 August 2011 (UTC)[]
How confusing for your readers - 'bye Lugnad (talk) 17:54, 29 August 2011 (UTC)[]
Thanks for the guidance and encouragement, Lugnad & Slrubenstein. I will prepare the change properly and either make a fresh Edit Request, or if I accumulate sufficient edits elsewhere on Wikipedia to allow me to edit a protected article, I'll go ahead and just make the changes direct. - HIXIH (talk) 11:23, 30 August 2011 (UTC)[]

The Bible's Claim to be God's Word in the Lead

Hi everyone, I believe this is right for the Bible to be quoted in its own article with sources about a major characteristic about it: that it is God's Word. Please let it stand even if you don't believe. God bless you. WalkerThrough (talk) 20:16, 23 September 2011 (UTC)[]

No. We have been down this road too many times. You are conducting OR and SYN and you have no RS. The Bible is not a reliable source for many reasons, and especially not for claims made in itself. The Bible cannot "speak for itself". We will not discuss this all over again and we will not allow religious fundamentalism mess up articles on this encyclopedia. If you do not stop this kind of editing I will take this matter to ANI. ♆ CUSH ♆ 20:35, 23 September 2011 (UTC)[]

The Bible is all true and is as reliable a source as any in the world, even though you are not a believer. This is my Holy Book, not yours, so please don't bring unbelieving bias against it. You are covering up what the Bible says in its own article, please stop, please. I do have RS, which apparently you didn't check, otherwise you wouldn't accuse me of OR. Now there are three sources, so please don't delete sources. This is the Bible's page, and I am a believer in the Bible. May God bless you. I suggest that you read the Bible more (KJV recommended). WalkerThrough (talk) 20:47, 23 September 2011 (UTC)[]

Both of you are at or over 3RR so you need to stop editing now and work this out. WalkerThrough, you don't have consensus to move that material from the section where it was originally, and as you don't, you shouldn't do it without consensus. Including me, three editors have reverted you. And don't bring editors' religious beliefs into this discussion. Dougweller (talk) 20:58, 23 September 2011 (UTC)[]

Hi Doug, thanks for your help. I was the original author of that material and I put it in the lead where I think it should go. One other editor reverted someone who reverted me. Is there not freedom of religion in Wikipedia? Why do editors have to keep quiet about their religious beliefs? Faith in the Bible is very related to the discussion and page. Thanks again Doug, and I hope Cush and I can work this out. WalkerThrough (talk) 21:06, 23 September 2011 (UTC)[]

    • Hi everyone, could we have some other people's input? Does anyone else think it is appropriate to put the statement about the Bible affirming itself as the Word of God with a Bible verse in the lead? Before someone reverted my last edit, I had 3 sources to back up that claim with the clear and relevant verse from God's Holy Word. I would appreciate some help by my brothers and sisters in Christ. Cush is a nonbeliever who doesn't want religion on the planet, clearly showing his bias against the Bible. (Seems like Doug is his acquaintance, because Cush asked him personally for help against my edits after Cush said he couldn't revert me anymore.WalkerThrough (talk) 21:22, 23 September 2011 (UTC)) Someone please help. WalkerThrough (talk) 21:19, 23 September 2011 (UTC)[]
I don't agree it belongs in the lead, if anywhere. Wikipedia doesn't favor any religion over another. OhNoitsJamie Talk 21:28, 23 September 2011 (UTC)[]

This isn't about favoring a religion, it's about quoting from the Book Itself. This is the Bible's article. How can anyone not allow a quote from the Book on what It primarily claims to be (i.e. God's Holy Word)?? Anyone else besides OhNoJamie?? WalkerThrough (talk) 22:11, 23 September 2011 (UTC)[]

Looking at the history of Bible, I see four other editors disputing your changes as original research (in addition to my opinion expressed here). You're planning to keep asking the question over and over again until someone says what you want to hear? See WP:IDIDNTHEARTHAT. OhNoitsJamie Talk 22:21, 23 September 2011 (UTC)[]

Hi Jamie, just because some people don't like my edits, doesn't mean there aren't some people out there who agree with me. Only the revertors are seen, those who may agree could be staying silent. I'm asking for discussion. I hope that's ok with you. Not only that, before Doug changed everything I had 3 sources backing up the claim that the Bible is the Word of God. Two of those specifically addressing the verse "All scripture is given by inspiration of God," meaning God's Word. True they called it OR to smear it (they also apparently didn't look to see if there were sources, because Cush was still saying there were no RS after I added one.) Are there any believers in WP who want to help me out here?? I hope WP doesn't have a rule that forbids believers to edit. I am strongly sensing religious discrimination by Administrator nonbelievers including Dougweller, JamesBWatson, and OhNoitsJamie. WalkerThrough (talk) 22:33, 23 September 2011 (UTC)[]

Does anyone else find it wrong and sad that a bunch of unbelievers have the controlling power over a page about the Holy Book of God's Word for the largest religion on earth? These unbelievers are censoring believers because they have Administrator power. This is the anti-Christian bias of Wikipedia. I hope my brothers and sisters in Christ know not to trust Wikipedia when it comes to Christian articles. As for the nonbelievers, yes you can cover up the truth on WP, but know that you won't be able to cover up the truth on the Day of Judgment when God judges you for your actions. This situation is just sad! WalkerThrough (talk) 23:16, 23 September 2011 (UTC)[]

Uninvolved administrator observation... I stumbled upon this discussion while looking at the AIV noticeboard. The only "controlling power" here is consensus, and rightfully so. Other editors have seen your edits as not being beneficial to the article. Instead of attempting to gain consensus through logical discourse about the content itself, you've resorted to edit warring and what appear to be ad hominem attacks against those who don't share your point of view (both in relation to the article and in real life). Comments such as "[t]his is my Holy Book, not yours, so please don't bring unbelieving bias against it" don't help your case; actual logical arguments do. Your last comment above (which you've posted in a couple of locations, apparently) is eerily reminiscent of this essay. Claiming other editors have a bias when you appear to be voicing yours in an "I know better!" sort of way is somewhat ironic and wholly unproductive. If you wish to bring any sort of change in this or any other article, I would suggest ceasing this line of attacks (ones that border on WP:NPA violations) and discussing the topic rationally instead of claiming "religious discrimination" or a "smear" or something equally frivolous. --Kinu t/c 01:42, 24 September 2011 (UTC)[]

May I add my two cents worth? I am a believer—evengelical, conservative, fundamentalist (in the true sense of the word, i.e. believing in the fundamentals of the Christian faith as opposed to a common mis-use of the word equating with "extemist"). I believe the Bible to be the infallible, inerrant (in its original manuscripts) Word of God, given by inspiration of God. In other word, I would be mostly in agreement with WalkerThrough (except for his preference for the KJV or AV). Having said all that, I would not support including his edit in the lead. WalkerThrough: a number of your statements have not been helpful to your cause, such as unbelievers not having as much right to edit this article as believers. It is an interpretation (and therefore a POV—albeit one that I agree with) for WalkerThrough to assert that the statement "all scripture is given by inspiration of God" equates with "it is the Word of God". Likewise it is a POV for Cush to assert that "the Bible is a collection of many texts, not a coherent work". However, it is not a POV to state that the Bible claims to be given by insiration of God. I would suggest, therefor that this latter simple statement be included in the lead in the third or fouth paragraph, but directing readers to an expanded explanation in the section on belief in divine inspiration. Supt. of Printing (talk) 04:56, 24 September 2011 (UTC)[]

That's a lot more than two cents worth! Thanks to you and Kinu for these very helpful posts. Whatever our points of view, it is possible to work together to build a good article. Supt. of Printing, I agree with your suggestion - as I said in my edit summary, " This belongs in the section from which it was moved, with a brief mention in the lead the wording of which should be worked out on the talk [page]." WalkerThrough, although I am an Administrator I have not use my Administrative tools on you or this page. Anyone can give you a 3RR warning and point out that you will be blocked if you continue to edit, and you were at 3RR or past, as was Cush (as he said on my talk page). Your sources are still available in old versions of the article. Let's add to the lead the suggested short sentence about the Bible claiming to be given by inspiration of God. WalkerThrough, I'd appreciate it if you'd show [[WP:AGF|good faith by helping to work the wording here. Thanks. Dougweller (talk) 05:30, 24 September 2011 (UTC)[]

I am sad to see that right is determined by majority in WP. If you have a majority nonbelievers editing the Bible page, then it is going to be conforming to their anti-Christian bias. As I mentioned, Cush believes the world would be better without religion, and he was one of the main ones continually reverting me. When he ran out of reverts, he wanted Doug to revert me. I found 2 more good sources that all showed the Bible affirms itself as the Word of God, and that was reverted by Doug. Doug, maybe you did not use Administrator tools, but others have. They have been trying to intimidate me with warnings, and last warnings or you will be banned. When I asked why I was issued a last warning right after the first warning, no answer was given.

According to the suggestions, I think it is more than acceptable to put the following in the lead:

The Christian Bible affirms that it is inspired by God[6] (see section on divine inspiration).

The 2 other sources that I referenced should also be put back with their statement, as Doug hinted at. And the sources don't say it is almost the Word of God, but it is the Word of God. "Almost" is personal commentary against the sources and should be removed.

I'd like to nominate Supt. of Printing to put it in the lead and put my sources back with the statement about being the Word of God.

I also have been clarifying the unclear statement about a common version of the Bible. I'd appreciate it if this was put back:

"There is no common version of the Bible across all of Judaism and Christianity, as the individual books included (Biblical canon), the content, and their order vary according to religion, doctrine, and belief. "

As it currently stands, the statement divides up believers by denomination, which is not accurate because some believers are not in denominations. Also, we usually speak of denominations within a religion, not across 2 different ones. It is misleading to say there is no common version of the Bible without explaining that this is including 2 different religions. Does anyone have an objection to clarity in this statement? WalkerThrough (talk) 09:35, 24 September 2011 (UTC)[]

Two things:
  • Stop rendering this talk page illegible. Please use indentation when you leave replies.
  • I will watch your conduct until tomorrow. if you don't stop your violations of WP:OR, WP:SYN, WP:RS, and WP:HEAR, I will overcome my usual laziness and take this issue to ANI.
You are not the first who tries to insert fundamentalist Christian POV in articles of some religious context. You can of course have your beliefs and even express them on talk pages, but you cannot push aside anything you don't like and mess up articles by offering certain interpretations as the common understanding. This is an encyclopedia, and not a Christian one. And this article is not a Christian article. And I will not have this discussion for the 100th time. ♆ CUSH ♆ 12:58, 24 September 2011 (UTC)[]

Hi Cush, I'm sorry that you don't agree with me that the Bible is God's Word. However, we are working towards a consensus in accordance with WP policy. I care about having the truth presented in this article, not an anti-Christian bias. This article is about a Christian subject. — Preceding unsigned comment added by WalkerThrough (talkcontribs) 13:07, 24 September 2011 (UTC)[]

WalkerThrough, first, Wikipedia is not about truth. We have no means of determining the truth. All we can do is determine what are different views of the truth. This is explained in our policy WP:V. You say that the Bible says that it is the direct word of God. That is what you say. I have read the Bible too, and I say that it does not say that. Should we use this talk page to argue between ourselves who is right? No, because we never use articles to forward our own views. This is explained in our policy WP:NOR. Now, perhaps you believe that it is not just your view that the Bible says this, but a view held by many. Fine. If you have WP:reliable sources documenting this, then we can include this view in the article. You cannot use the Bible itself as a reliable source, because the Bible is a primary source. Primary sources are themselves usually open to interpretation (thus, at one time in US history the Constitution said that segregation of races was legal, and at another time in history it said that it wasn't, even though the relevant words had not changed; thus you can find hundreds of books interpreting Moby Dick; Thus, you can find thousands of books interpreting the ... the ... the Bible). Again our NOR policy explains why in order to avoid original research we favor using secondary over primary sources. This is basic policy that you seem not to understand or care about.
Finally, given that this is not a view that everyone (maybe not even most) people hold, the introduction is not the right place to explain this particular interpretation. Even if we were to include the view you wish to shove down our throats as if you were dictator of Wikipedia and the Prophet of "Truth," the right place to explain it would be in the body, not the lead. This is not policy, it is common sense, and apparently everyone else watching this article aside from you shares it. Is this determining the "truth" by majority? No. It is determining how best to write a proper encyclopedia article and we do it via what at WP we call consensus based editing. This is our policy. WP is not just the encyclopedia anyone can edit, it is the encyclopedia everyone can edit, and that means we have to work together. So you are really surprised that overwhelming majorities matter?
And if you genuinely believe this has anything to do with religious freedom, you have just insulted both the encyclopedia AND the very notion of religious freedom. Slrubenstein | Talk 16:41, 24 September 2011 (UTC)[]

Whoa Slrub, please take it easy. We have just been building a consensus that the Bible, synonymous with the Word of God, should have a statement in the lead about its claim to divine inspiration. Now you come flying in here trying to break up our consensus. Please respect the other editor's views. I am shocked that you don't think truth matters in WP. That's too bad if you think that. I believe truth and reality do matter in WP. People would not come to WP if they thought they were get nothing but falsehood, showing truth matters. Truth undergirds everything on WP. Apparently, you seem not to care about the truth on WP. You said you don't have a means to determine truth. If you knew Jesus you would, because he said to the Father, "Thy word is truth." I say the Bible says it is inspired by God, and it does, and that is true. See again how truth matters. How can you not quote the Bible in its own Encyclopedia page, that is ridiculous and unreasonable. We can quote the Bible and the plain meaning is apparent, i.e. "All scripture is given by inspiration of God...." I'm sorry if you don't understand what that plainly means. By the way, I am God's servant. And of course this situation has to do with religious freedom. Editors have biases even if they try to act neutral, but some people may be blind to that. WalkerThrough (talk) 16:56, 24 September 2011 (UTC)[]

First, please look up the word "consensus" in the dictionary. I do not think you understand what the word means.
Second, WP:NOTSOAPBOX Slrubenstein | Talk 17:04, 24 September 2011 (UTC)[]

Slrub, that's insulting. Please try to be kind. The Bible teaches well about that. Doug, Supt. of Printing, and me have had a consensus (doesn't mean everyone agrees). WalkerThrough (talk) 17:12, 24 September 2011 (UTC)[]

Let us approach this calmly. Let me first say that I do not claim any expertise in this area. As you can see in the previous section, I just came in when I noticed a new editor needed support. I am of the opinion that Walker and the Supt are sincere and therefore deserve respect. I am further of the opinion that if it was an obvious truth that the Bible was authored by God then that fact should be in the introduction. The difficulty is, and please Walker and Supt, take this slowly, that it may be obvious to some but not to others. If it were would we not all attend your church? It cannot be demonstrated, as a mathematical theorem, that God wrote the Bible.
Another approach is to say that the Bible claims that it was written by God. The difficulty here is that this is a matter of interpretation. Different people reading the same text come to different truths; and there cannot be contradictory truths. Matt 9:11 “All men cannot receive this saying,” acknowledges that some will not believe. Paul in 1Cor7:9 and 9:8 seems to be writing as a human.
The only unambiguous claim in the Bible itself, speaking of the Bible, that I am aware of is “For in them is the spring of understanding, the fountain of wisdom, and the stream of knowledge.” That is from the 1611 KJ. But very few editions now include that verse. The preface to various translations usually (always?) says the Bible is the word of God. However, most editions of the King James, which you advocate do not include “the translators to the reader”
Please understand that Wikipedia should only include facts which are obvious to all. With the best will in the world you cannot say that the divine authorship of the Bible is an obvious fact. I hope you both will stay and continue editing, but try to do so in an inclusive way, try to look at issues from the perspective of those who do not share your beliefs.
Lugnad (talk) 18:30, 24 September 2011 (UTC)[]
  • Uninvolved editor's observation. The claim that "the Bible is God's Word" (upper-case W) by someone claiming to use the KJV is contrary to the KJV. Example of use: Revelation 6:9 "And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held:" Note the lower-case "word". And second example: Revelation 19:13 "And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God." Note the personified upper-case "Word". In the Bible, when referring to the spoken or written "word", it is always lower-case. To speak of the Bible as the personified "Word" tends to deify a book to an equal or higher level than he that is said to be "Lord of all",[ref] within that book. The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be unto us all. Amen. —Telpardec (talk) 18:36, 24 September 2011 (UTC)[]

As a heathen, I have no problem with claims that the Bible is the word of God. I think this belongs in the lead, as it's certainly a relevant aspect of belief in the Bible. (Though I'm not so sure about in the opening paragraph.) However, I agree with the objectors here that simply citing a biblical passage is insufficient: We do need to follow WP policy and go by secondary sources. I have no idea myself if there is scholarly consensus that the Bible makes this claim, or if it's only been ascribed to the Bible later on, or if there's a significant mix of opinion, since it's not a question I've ever concerned myself with.

For example, in the Pauline citation that all scripture is inspired by God, it isn't just a question of what 'inspired' means: what exactly is 'scripture'? The Torah? Any biblical material that pre-dates that passage? (Which leads us to the problem of dating biblical passages. How much of the NT was written down and therefore scripture when Paul wrote this?) Do the Pauline epistles qualify, or did they not consider themselves to be scripture? The Apocrypha? The Gnostic scripture that was eliminated at the Council of Nicaea? The Book of Mormon is Christian scripture: would anyone make the argument that the passage refers to it as well? Certainly the Koran, which is scripture in the biblical tradition. The cited passage is in the NT: What if you only accept the OT as the Bible? Does that mean that the Bible does or does not claim to be the word of God depending on whether you're a Christian or a Jew?

Whatever the answer is, this is certainly a question of interest, and so a summary of the facts (as presented in 2ary sources) IMO definitely belongs in the lead somewhere. — kwami (talk) 05:12, 25 September 2011 (UTC)[]

Very well expressed, Kwamikagmi. I have been thinking about this issue. I am revising the opinion I expressed yesterday. Whether the Bible itself claims to be the 'Word of God' is a matter of opinion. In any case it would be a primary source and we could be straying into original research. Alternatively, the various prefaces to editions of the Bible do make that claim. These prefaces, such as 'the translators to the reader' for the KJ of 1611, would be secondary sources. They claim that it is 'the word of God'. Therefore I reckon that Walker and Supt have a point. It is a relevant fact, perhaps the most relevant fact, that the Bible is (claimed to be) the Word of God. Until this issue is resolved the NPOV template should remain Lugnad (talk) 09:12, 25 September 2011 (UTC)[]
The problem is this: The Biblical books of Ruth, Song of Songs, Proverbs, among many others do not claim to be the word of God, and many Jews - just take a look at our articles on Reform and Reconstructionist Judaism or their websites - do not believe this. NPOV requires that their views be included in the article as well. And the introduction must introduce the article as a whole including all these views. Slrubenstein | Talk 10:55, 25 September 2011 (UTC)[]
It is not whether the books themselves include the claim. It is the fact that all Churches make the claim. Lugnad (talk) 17:57, 25 September 2011 (UTC)[]
I agree with you completely. The problem with Walker Through's edit is that by claiming that this is what the Bible itself says, she is violating our NOR policy. And she keeps repeating the same edit, without responding to any of the questions I and others have raised, and without addressing the NOR policy problem. Slrubenstein | Talk 18:41, 25 September 2011 (UTC)[]
I seriously doubt all churches do, though certainly the majority. We would also have to take into consideration all significant religions which use the Bible as scripture: Judaism, of course, as Slrubenstein mentioned, but also Islam, Mandaism, Bahaism, etc. It would probably be quite a complicated account, perhaps worthy of its own article, and might be difficult to sum up in the lead. Certainly not with anything so absolute. — kwami (talk) 18:58, 25 September 2011 (UTC)[]
Then you are giving undue weight to one interpretation of the Bible, not universally shared by those who consider it sacred. Taking a quote out of context is often a bad idea. Do you think we should begin the article on Moby Dick by saying that the book itself claims to have been written by Ishmael? "Call me Ishmael" is one of the most famous lines in literature. Surely by your logic we should make it clear that the book says it is written by Ishmael. yet, no reasonable editor would agree with you. Slrubenstein | Talk 20:08, 25 September 2011 (UTC)[]

The place of Neveim in the Tanakh

Jewish sources are clear that this section of the Tanakh centers on struggles between followers of YHWH and foreign gods, and criticisms of injustice. Yet, Telpardec keeps removing this language. I do not know why she is so allergic to the words "unethical" and "injustice" but the sources have no such aversion, in fact they emphasize these. That Telpardec has reverted my edits twice (eg [1], with no explanation, now verges on vandalism.

Deleting the actual quotation from the source that supports this language is disingenuous. Telpardec kept the Kaufmann source, but deleted all the material about the prophets emerging as opponents of injustice, and deleted the Heschel source in its entirety - his book being one of the classic studies of "the Prophets" and actually titled, The Prophets. Telpardec's only explanation for the deletion of the sources is that they are not about "the main topic." Hunh? This is a sentence about prophets and injustice; the two quotes are explicitly about the prophets' cries against injustice. It is precisely about the main topic. What it "is not" is, it does not support Telpardic's opinion. If you think it belongs in the body, fine, but do not just delete it as if making the source go away will enable you to push your own point of view. Slrubenstein | Talk 14:04, 25 September 2011 (UTC)[]

I do want to note that I have no problem with Talpardec's most recent edit, inserting a quotation from Kings which as she correctly notes is part of Neviim. Slrubenstein | Talk 17:05, 25 September 2011 (UTC)[]

Neutrality disputed

WalkerThrough, if you want your POV tag to stand, the rules require you to explain why on this Talk page. Martijn Meijering (talk) 17:40, 24 September 2011 (UTC)[]

See previous section.--JOJ Hutton 17:41, 24 September 2011 (UTC)[]
Please see also the section before that one. Thank you. WalkerThrough (talk) 17:43, 24 September 2011 (UTC)[]
Those sections do not actually explain it. At least, it is not clear to me what part of the article as currently written violates what part of our NPOV policy. Can you just provide one example from the article that violates one sentence of the NPOV policy, just write a few sentences explaining how it violates it? Thank you, Slrubenstein | Talk 19:27, 24 September 2011 (UTC)[]
WalkerThrough seems to imply (in the edit summary he has made) that the Christian (literalist?) POV on the Bible is the most common and therefore neutral POV. But that is of course not how a religious text is described or evaluated in an encyclopedia. ♆ CUSH ♆ 19:56, 24 September 2011 (UTC)[]
Cush, Walker asks for less causticness. Please let him answer for herself. WalkerThrough, I really would appreciate it if you just asnwered the questions I pose at 19:27 as simply as possible. Thanks. Slrubenstein | Talk 20:02, 24 September 2011 (UTC)[]
Slrub, please re-read the previous 2 sections. I don't think it's too hard to understand what the dispute is about, and how I am perceiving a strong bias against the Bible. WalkerThrough (talk) 21:09, 24 September 2011 (UTC)[]
Walker, those sections are not about any NPOV violation. This is the second time, in good faith and politely, I am asking you to white which specific part of our NPOV policy is being violated, and provide an example from the article of where that part of NPOV is violated. I am asking politely. If you continue to refuse to answer I will conclude you have no reason and will remove the unjustified tag. Slrubenstein | Talk 21:13, 24 September 2011 (UTC)[]
WalkerThrough, please do not imply that the scores of editors who have worked on this article have made it biased againt its own subject matter, just because you hold a certain literalist interpretation of the Bible to be true that you find insufficiently reflected in the article. Your POV, however, is not shared by many other Christians, Jews, or any other reader of the Bible. This article is not your own. ♆ CUSH ♆ 21:20, 24 September 2011 (UTC)[]
What would be helpful to us as editors of wikipedia (rather than theologians interested in a debate) would be for you to say something like:

"I find the sentence 'During the three centuries following the establishment of Christianity in the 1st century, Church Fathers compiled Gospel accounts and letters of apostles into a Christian Bible which became known as the New Testament.' to be in violation of NPOV, as a significant minority believe that the gospels were actually compiled by Jewish historians in the 2nd century BC. This view should be included per WP:DUE."

Obviously this would be an invalid argument, as no such viewpoint exists, but this is an example of a way of explaining your concernss that would be helpful to editors wishing to improve the article. LWG talk 21:27, 24 September 2011 (UTC)[]

I see no justification for the NPOV tag in the article. The last couple of sections of this talk page show a dispute over certain issues, but there is no attempt to explain what words in the article (or words omitted from the article) contravene WP:NPOV. The tag should be removed until a plausible argument (with sources) justifying it is presented. Johnuniq (talk) 01:49, 25 September 2011 (UTC)[]

I'm not sure of the specifics of the claim leading to the not NPOV claim. Seems to me that its the claimer's place to provide his objections. But if the objection is that the history provided is not the one the Christians prefer, I'd say that the experts in history are historians. Not theologeans, not the public at large. Steve kap (talk) 05:08, 25 September 2011 (UTC)[]
This point should be made by Walker and the Supt. In their absence, ss I understand it, there is a section "Belief in divine inspiration". This book, the Bible, is uniquely claimed to be the 'word of God'. That is its most important aspect. It should be also mentioned in the lead. If we can say, in its lead, that the Quran is considered to be the verbatim word of God, why cannot the same be said of the Bible? Until there is a good reason given to exclude this from the lead, the 'not NPOV' should remain. Lugnad (talk) 09:28, 25 September 2011 (UTC)[]
As far as I know, all religious Muslims believe that Mohammed did no more than write down God's actual words, so it is pretty clear what they believe. But (1) some portions of the Christian Bible state that they are not God's words (the Epistles and Gospels were written by Paul and allegedly Mark, Luke, etc.) and many portions of the Hebrew Bible (Genesis, Job, Ruth) make no clear statements about authorship; others are clearly ascribed to human authors (many psalms, the books of the prophets); others are believed by Jews to be written by people (Song of Songs, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes). The Hebrew Bible refers readers to the sources (presumably histories) that the authors of the Torah referred to (The Book of Yashar, The Book of the Battles of YHWH - these books no longer exist, but apparently did and these are what the authors of the Bible say they drew on as sources) ... Were these inspired by God, or inspired by someone's faith in God? (2) the real question is what do people believe. I do not know whether all Christians believe that the Bible is divinely inspired and defer to anyone who can provide reliable sources. I do know that many Conservative and Reform Jews believe it was divinely inspired, many also believe it is a human work reflecting the diverse beliefs and attitudes of the Jewish people - I do not think any Reconstructionist Jews think it is divinely inspired.
The article used to state the following: "The Torah contains the commandments of God, revealed at Mount Sinai (although there is some debate amongst traditional scholars as to whether these were all written down at one time, or over a period of time during the 40 years of the wanderings in the desert." This reflects the views of Orthodox Jews, but not the views of most Conservative Jews and all Reform and Reconstructionist Jews. I added the following "while critical scholars believe that many of these laws developed later in Jewish history)." Note: I did not remove a view, I added a missing view. This is fully in line with NPOV. But Walker Through removed my addition twice and claims I am violating NPOV. Au contraire. Slrubenstein | Talk 10:50, 25 September 2011 (UTC)[]
You make the point that some parts of the Bible cast doubt on the claim that they are God’s words. I agree. However the same can be said of the Quran. It opens with a prayer to God/Allah. You correctly say that religious Muslims believe that the Quran is “God’s actual words”. On the other hand I have yet to encounter a Church which denies that the Bible is the word of God. From an encyclopaedic perspective there is little to differentiate them. As for sources that Christians hold that their Bible is divinely inspired, I already mentioned the prefaces to translations. The 1611 KJ says that it is the “word of God”; the 1609 (Catholic) Douay states bluntly “God is the author of all the books which make up the Bible”. I appreciate that there are more books in the 1611 KJ than in the Douay, but the point is still valid; the claim is made.
I fully accept that alternative views should be mentioned. You were correct to add the missing view.
We need to be careful in asking what people believe. Rather, we should ask what is published saying what people believe. (dare I suggest: are told to beieve?) The prefaces to editions of the Bible and the various ‘statements of faith’ from the Churches all make the claim. Therefore I repeat: If we can say, in its lead, that the Quran is considered to be the verbatim word of God, why cannot the same be said of the Bible? Until there is a good reason given to exclude this from the lead, the 'not NPOV' should remain. Now will Walker and the Supt please come back and take over? Lugnad (talk) 11:57, 25 September 2011 (UTC)[]
Lugnad, I simply cannot speak to the questions concerning the article on the Quran. What I said came from my watching one TV documentary and reading two books on Islam and the Quran, that is the extent of my knowledge, and I don't edit articles on scholarly topics when I have read only a couple of books on them. I am sure we agree that the article on the Quran and this article must equally comply with NPOV, V and NOR. I also cannot speak for Christians. Do liberal Christians believe that their Bible is the Word of God? I just do not know, I know about as much about Christianity as I know about Islam. But I know a lot about Judaism, and I know that only Orthodox and some Conservative Jews believe that those portions of the Bible ascribed to God were actually spoken by God - not an insignificant view!! - but one view among many. Jewish philosopher Elliot Dorff, writing for the main organ of Conservative synagogues, identifies four distinc Conservative views concerning authorship of the Bible (1) that God revealed himself at Sinai and other times; (2) that humans inspired by God wrote it all; (3) that humans of faith wrote it all, but as an expression of their own encounters with the Divine rather than God's inspiration, and (4) that God had no role in the the writing of the Bible. And then there are Reform Jews, some of whom may believe that the Bible or parts of it were divinely inspired by God but the movement itself holds that it is the words of humans, and Reconstructionist Judaism which also views it as a collection of texts written by people over a long period of time. My edits over the past days have been motivated only by (1) attempts to make the prose clearer and more precise and (2) to ensure that it reflects all significant views. So, I think apart from those things I am not qualified to comment on I agree with everything you wrote. Slrubenstein | Talk 12:52, 25 September 2011 (UTC)[]
Christians also differ in their views, with some taking the Bible literally and others not, thus we can't say that Christians believe it to be the Word of God as that would mean that all Christians believe in Adam and Eve, etc. But I have another question about NPOV, do we need to point out if we say that many Christians do believe this that this is similar to the belief of adherents of other faiths to their religious texts? I'm not sure. Dougweller (talk) 13:18, 25 September 2011 (UTC)[]
Doug, I just do not understand the question you are asking in the last clause of your last sentence. Slrubenstein | Talk 13:31, 25 September 2011 (UTC)[]
Just wondering if a claim that a holy book is the truth needs to note that other religions make the same claim for their holy books. Dougweller (talk) 13:39, 25 September 2011 (UTC)[]
Okay, I would say, "no." Slrubenstein | Talk 14:11, 25 September 2011 (UTC)[]
You're probably right. Dougweller (talk) 17:02, 25 September 2011 (UTC)[]
(where have Walker and the Supt gone?)
Slrubenstein and Dougweller, this article is far more in your bailiwick than mine. Nonetheless ...
It seems that the reason why the claim that the Bible is the word of God is excluded from the lead is because “we can't say that Christians believe it to be the Word of God”. Is that a reasonable summary of your position?
If that is your position, then have you a reference? or is this just OR? We cannot dismiss it because some say that Adam & Eve are literally true while others say that it uses figurative language. Those holding different interpretations still claim that the Bible is the word of God.
I am unaware of any Church or denomination which fails to assert that the Bible is the word of God. There are plenty of references for that. So why is this fact excluded from the lead? Why was the n npov template removed while this question remains unanswered? Lugnad (talk) 15:45, 25 September 2011 (UTC)[]
I do not believe that all Christians are fundamentalists. Be that as it may, my reason has to do with the way style has to mesh with NPOV. This article covers both the Hebrew and the Christian Bibles. That is NPOV - it means that it must include both Jewish and Christian points of view. Style: the lead introduces the whole article, and whatever we say in the first paragraph should apply to the whole article. NPOV: this means that whatever we say in the first paragraph must be whatever one can say about both the Hebrew and Christian. The "lowest common denominator." If there are Christians who really think it is the word of God, fine, we must (for NPOV reasons) include this in the article, I can hardly object - but it should be covered in that portion of the article that focuses exclusively on the Christian Bible. This means it should be explained in the body, rather than the lead. It is very poor style to say everything in the introduction - of any scholarly writing. Introductory chapters of books, introductory paragraphs of articles, lay out what can be said most generally. Details go in the appropriate chapters or sections of articles that follow. Slrubenstein | Talk 15:57, 25 September 2011 (UTC)[]
This sounds resonable, and I don't even mind if we say 'Many Christians believe that the Bible is the word of God" without a citation, so far as I'm concerned it isn't controversial (ie that some do but not all). We can enlarge on that of course, as with Jewish points of view. Dougweller (talk) 17:01, 25 September 2011 (UTC)[]
Fundamentalists are not an issue. Catholics are rarely fundamentalist, yet Dei Verbum requires them to believe. There is not a church which does not assert that the Bible is the word of God. I have to take your word that (at least some) Jews disagree with that. The impression I have is that you probably know some people who you regard as not holding that the Bible is the word of God and who you also regard as being Christian. Articles should be supported by published information. We can read the beliefs of various churches. They all maintain that the Bible is the word of God. That has to be a prime distinguishing characteristic of this book. I’m not suggesting that everything be said in the lead, but such distinguishing characteristic should be. Having said all that, I am not going to fix the article. In the absence of Walker and the Supt, I’m setting sail, raising anchor and casting off. Lugnad (talk) 17:58, 25 September 2011 (UTC)[]
This sounds like a weasel expression. "Word of God" means what exactly? Written by the deity itself, dictated by it, written by somebody inspired by it? Or do they just write about the deity without divine interaction? And "Many Christians" begs the question who exactly. ♆ CUSH ♆ 18:02, 25 September 2011 (UTC)[]
Cush, it is not weasel words, it is the exact phrase used by the Catholic Church and Evangelical Churches. With regards to Dei Verbum: “we must acknowledge that the books of Scripture firmly, faithfully, and without error teach that truth which God, for the sake of our salvation, wished to see confided to the Sacred Scriptures.” (Article 11, Second Vatican Council, 1965). This statement can be interpreted as meaning scripture is totally inerrant or only inerrant with respect to matters of salvation.
But not all churches are Evangelical. According to this webpage, "More progressive Christians do not consider the Bible as inerrant, but rather a product of fallible authors writing in the context of the beliefs, knowledge and mores of their times." I do not consider any webpage (unless it is the official page of an organization) to be a reliable source, but the fact that a webpage says this tells me that it is worth looking carefully at the reliable sources of non-Catholic and non-Evangelical Churches to see whether there is something to this and if so what. According to the Wikipedia article on Unitarianism, Unitarians are Christians who question the historical accuracy of the Bible. Slrubenstein | Talk 18:14, 25 September 2011 (UTC)[]

HEY Walker Through!!! There has been a lot of discussion since yesterday and you have not responded to any of it. Apparently, in addition to not understanding our V and NOR policies, you also do not understand our BRD policy. You made your edit and it was deleted. For reasons. Now the thing to do is to discuss the reasons. You cannot put your edit back in until this discussion is over. So, I urge you to read the many responses to your last comment and respond to them. There is certainly no consensus. Slrubenstein | Talk

Um, I think he was blocked and could therefore not respond. ♆ CUSH ♆ 20:32, 25 September 2011 (UTC)[]
I created a new section, with the disputed passages quoted at the top of section, in hopes of guiding the discussion in more productive directions. LWG talk 18:51, 25 September 2011 (UTC)[]

I left my "Hey Walker Through" message immediately after he made an edit to the lead, so at that moment he was not blocked. I hope that once the block is lifted, he will respond the the various concerns made here, and participate in a discussion, before continuing to make controversial edits. Slrubenstein | Talk 11:31, 26 September 2011 (UTC)[]

It may be time to go to ANI over divine inspiration in the lead

Hi everyone, I am very sad about the recent behavior of Slrub who has reverted the agreement by 5 editors to put a strong majority view of divine inspiration in the lead with a redirect. I put 6 RS on to that statement, and he still removed it. We have been discussing this greatly for some days. I don't want to spend hours talking about the same thing, when the root matter is that Slrub (and others) do not want this statement in the lead due to personal belief and bias. I put the following on Slrub's talk page:

Slrub, I am very disappointed in your behavior against a large number of editor support. WP policy states: "Wikipedia articles should be based on reliable, published sources; and, all majority and significant minority views that appear in these sources should be covered by these articles (see Wikipedia:Neutral point of view)." You are deleting a major view with many RS. Five editors have all agreed there should be a statement in the lead about divine inspiration with a redirect to the section. Please undo your revert of my recent additions. If you don't, I plan to take this to the ANI. Sadly, WalkerThrough (talk) 18:47, 25 September 2011 (UTC)

It may be time to go to the ANI. I am very sad about this behavior by a WP editor. WalkerThrough (talk) 18:52, 25 September 2011 (UTC)[]

  • I am sorry but it appears you have it pretty much backwards. There is a clear consensus in the thread above that the lead should not include any statement about the Bible claiming to be the word of God. You are editwarring against consensus and that has to stop. You cannot force your decision through like that, that is not how Wikipedia works. There is no such thing as a "majority view of divine inspiration". There is also no such thing as "the Christian Bible" - there are many different Christian Bibles and even more different ways of interpreting them. The lead is not the place to present one particular interpretation. ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 19:06, 25 September 2011 (UTC)[]
Who are the 5 editors you mention? While I do agree at least generally that the information you added could improve the article, I do not agree at all with what appears to me to be your unilateral attempt to push it forward, without first obtaining consensus on the best way to integrate it into the article. In any case, this is not a case for ANI merely because you and Slrub are having a content dispute. Even if it were true that Slrub's edits reflect an attempt at POV pushing, he has not violated any policies and there is no reason why the issue could not resolved here if you were willing to cool off and talk it out. If you aren't willing to spend the time necessary to hold a reasoned discussion, then your best bet is to wait until you do have time, rather than further undermine the situation. I hope I do not sound too harsh, as my only desire here is to resolve this issue peacefully, but as things stand you are being part of the problem rather than part of the solution. LWG talk 19:08, 25 September 2011 (UTC)[]

Slrub obviously is not repentant. He can not break WP policy due to his bias and then say, "Hey, you haven't answered my questions." WP policy is that all major views are to be covered with RS. He is censoring out the Christian view. Since he is not undoing his revert, I need help from the ANI. May God give me the victory. WalkerThrough (talk) 19:12, 25 September 2011 (UTC)[]

P.S. I put it in my edit summary, the five editors that all supported divine inspiration in the lead are Doug, kwami, Supt. of Printing, Lugnad, and me. WalkerThrough (talk) 19:15, 25 September 2011 (UTC)[]

He has nothing to repent. You are the one breaching policy. ANI does not handle content disputes, which is the first thing they will tell you if you post there. Also wikipedia is not a battleground - there is no victory here except improving the encyclopedia by constructing consensus. If you want to wage religious warfare, please go do it somewhere else.·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 19:15, 25 September 2011 (UTC)[]
Hi there. It seems to me that we do need a some mention of the belief that the Bible is divinely inspired. That is, there should be a mention that this is one belief held, and make no evaluation of that belief. I do not think that the lead would be the right place for it. I cannot see, however, that consensus has been reached regarding this and it seems that the claim should be left out until then. As per our edit warring policy, I would strongly recommend to all editors contributing here to make no edits at all regarding this claim until the discussion here is over. ItsZippy (talkcontributions) 19:24, 25 September 2011 (UTC)[]
I believe that that belief which is held by some groups is already mentioned in the article, I agree that it should be, and I agree that it shouldn't be in the lead. I also concur completely with your call for more dialogue and less editwarring.·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 19:30, 25 September 2011 (UTC)[]
I have requested full page protection here as I believe it might help to prevent edit warring until a solution is reached. Maunus, as an admin, could you respond to that please? Thanks. ItsZippy (talkcontributions) 19:37, 25 September 2011 (UTC)[]
I have optimistically declined your protection request. I think this beginning dialogue looks promising. If I am dissapointed though, and editwarring breaks out again, I reserve the right to change my mind and protect the page.·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 19:44, 25 September 2011 (UTC)[]
Yeah, I saw - thanks. ItsZippy (talkcontributions) 19:57, 25 September 2011 (UTC)[]
While those 5 editors may have agreed that the subject should be addressed, they have not to my knowledge, agreed that your text should be added right now, regardless of any objections. If you would hold off somewhat and discuss it, I am quite confident that it will end up in the article, although in a somewhat modified form. If you continue to beat your head against a wall I can guarantee it will not end well. Therefore I heartily second ItsZippy's recommendation. LWG talk 19:28, 25 September 2011 (UTC)[]

The problem is that your edit presents the divine inspiration of the Bible as fact. The agreed upon fact is that most Christians believe the Bible to have been divinely inspired. Those are two very different statements, and support for one shouldn't be taken as support for the other.—Kww(talk) 19:38, 25 September 2011 (UTC)[]

I agree. There is already a section on divine inspiration which covers the belief. It does need clean-up (and could be nudged closer to NPOV) but I am of the view that this section will suffice. ItsZippy (talkcontributions) 19:57, 25 September 2011 (UTC)[]

Walker Through, do you know our policy Bold, Revert, Discuss? you made a Bold edit. Fine. It was reverted. The appropriate next step is to discuss it on the talk page. You will see that the talk sections on the Word of God, and on the Neutrality dispute, are quite long. Yet you have refused to respond to any of the concerns and questions other editors have raised. Well, you should not expect that your edit to the article will remain, when you refuse to respond to other editors concerns.
You may think that this has been an endless discussion, but you are wrong. your first edits were i think around the 17th, about a week ago - one week is not a lot of time to discuss a major revision to the lead paragraph of an encyclopedia article. Moreover, all you have done is to repeat your edits and to try to convert us to Christianity. You have never provided a satisfactory reply to any of the many concerns and problems people have expressed. If you do not actually read and respond to these comments, it is rather one-sided, hardly a discussion.
NPOV demands that we include the view that many Christians view the Bible as the Word of God. But no one has challenged the inclusion of this view. in fact, the view is in the article, so I fail to see your NPOV concern.
WEIGHT is another important guideline here. The introduction of the article is meant to introduce the whole article. This includes many views, including the views of progressive Christians and Conservative and Reform and Reconstructionist Jews. They do not hold that the Bible is the Word of God. To put this view in the lead is to give it undue weight. It belongs in the section on the Christian Bible, not the lead.
V says we present Verifiable views, not "truth," yet you seem to be intent on pushing your version of the truth. We put in verifiable views by using reliable sources.
NOR suggests that we avoid using primary sources, because people who use primary sources often use them to present an interpretation of the text as the literal and authentic meaning of the text. This is wrong. You have been using primary sources but you have been using them to support a particular view. You need to use reliable secondary sources and make it clear that this is an interpretation of the Bible.
NOR, finally, says that we do not put our own views into WP. Your use of primary sources shows that you are just using the article to present your own view of the Bible as the truth. Yet you have been dividing editors into "believers" and "non-believers." Well, it is clear you have no idea what I believe. more important, what we believe is irrelevant.
Until all these points which I and others have brought up many times before are resolved to everyone's satisfaction, your edit will not last. Slrubenstein | Talk 20:03, 25 September 2011 (UTC)[]
It would appear that Walker has been blocked for a while, after bringing this matter to (of all places) ANI. Woe unto he who takes problems there, sheesh. Slrubenstein, I'm interested in your thoughts on the section immediately above this one(Now below -LWG). -GTBacchus(talk) 20:38, 25 September 2011 (UTC)[]
GTBacchus, I wrote the above comment immediately after Walker Through edited the article - at that time he had not been blocked. I hope that if he really is blocked, he uses the time to read over the policies I mention, and consider how he would respond to my concerns. When the block is lifted, I hope he will respond to my concerns before making any further edits. As the the section immediately preceding this one, I believe the conflict is resolved. The other editor made an edit to the article that I find unobjectionable and I at least won't revert it. I appreciate his responding to my concerns and finding an edit that satisfies both of us. Slrubenstein | Talk 12:06, 26 September 2011 (UTC)[]
Did you miss LWG's note? I wasn't talking about the section that's now immediately preceding this one. It's the one that's now immediately following this one, and I'm glad that you're participating there now. Cheers. -GTBacchus(talk) 21:10, 26 September 2011 (UTC)[]

Epistle to the Hebrews

Epistle to the Hebrews is not of Paul —Preceding unsigned comment added by Fra4481 (talkcontribs) 07:16, 5 October 2010 (UTC)[]

Opinions seem to vary on this with some scholars attributing it to Paul and others not. Supt. of Printing (talk) 07:07, 27 September 2011 (UTC)[]

Capital G for God.

Hi, could someone please tell Slrub that in English Grammar we use a Cap G for the one Almighty God. Not only that, the whole article uses this practice, and he has disrespectfully put in a single occurrence of the lowercase g for this title. Help someone. WalkerThrough (talk) 17:32, 24 September 2011 (UTC)[]

You are referring to one sentence which addresses belief in different gods. In this instance, "gods" is a common noun, not a proper noun. Slrubenstein | Talk 17:38, 24 September 2011 (UTC)[]
Hi Slrub, actually you're mistaken. I am not talking about "gods". I'm referring to you using a small g for what should be "the Hebrew God" in the lead. "The Hebrew God" is to be capitalized in English. If you disagree, look up conventional English grammar rules. WalkerThrough (talk) 17:46, 24 September 2011 (UTC)[]
Stop this immediately! Capitalized "God" is used in quotations where the same style is used in the original text. Otherwise the name of the deity is used (Yahweh, El, Elohim) or some descriptive term (Hebrew god). Wikipedia does not favor any religion over others and we do not use capitalization to endorse one religion's POV for a deity.
And let me warn you about pushing your POV into articles about subjects that are already in a special focus due to their prominence in religious contexts. As I had promised, if you do not correct your conduct and start seeking consensus I will take this matter to ANI and you can bet on being banned. ♆ CUSH ♆ 18:01, 24 September 2011 (UTC)[]
Banned? "They that would enter a court of conscience must come with clean hands."
 —Telpardec (talk) 20:00, 24 September 2011 (UTC)[]

In a biblical context "God" is always capitalized when referring to the Judeo-Christian deity, but not capitalized when referring to anyone else to whom the word "god" is applied, for example: "And the LORD said unto Moses, See, I have made thee a god to Pharaoh: and Aaron thy brother shall be thy prophet." (Exodus 7:1) Note that "prophet" is not capitalized in the Bible, except one place where the people refer to Jesus as "the Prophet" in John 7:40.

The sentence in question is not in a biblical context; it is in an explicitly comparative comparative context. What you seem to be missing is what happens when an adjective is placed before the word god, and a nominal phrase is created. The nominal phrase has to be viewed, grammatically, as a whole, and as such it is a common and not a proper noun, as would be the case were we referring to "God" as such. Slrubenstein | Talk 20:05, 24 September 2011 (UTC)[]

WalkerThrough's recent editing has been sufficiently disruptive to justify a ban.
Wikipedia article text is not in a biblical context but in a real-world encyclopedic context. A biblical context is only given in quotations from the Bible. With capitalization for only the biblical deity as "God" Wikipedia would presuppose a certain religious POV from a reader. ♆ CUSH ♆ 20:52, 24 September 2011 (UTC)[]

Slrub, what are you talking about, not in a Biblical context? The statement starts with the very words "The Jewish Bible." The statement goes on to say about the Bible"containing the historic account of ancient Israel and Judah focusing on struggles between believers in the Hebrew God...." If that is not in a Biblical context nothing is. Slrub can not see past his unbelieving bias. According to the post by the Manual of Style, "Hebrew God" should be capitalized as it is referring to the Judeo-Christian God. Someone please help and talk some sense to Slrub. In terms of Cush, I think he hates me and is trying to get me banned, as he constantly threatens me. I am following WP rules, now that I've learned a little more. Thanks for some of you directing me to the right sources. I'd appreciate some gentleness from Cush, and please watch his bias against the Bible (and all religions for that matter). WalkerThrough (talk) 20:57, 24 September 2011 (UTC)[]

Cush, it's not POV, it's grammar. Wikipedia does not make up the rules of the English grammar. They have been there for a long time. Although this anti-God society today tries to change many of these types of things these days. If anyone's reading all this, I think my point has been proven that Cush, an athiest, is trying to get me as a Christian editor banned. He is very attacking of me personally, although I am following WP policy. The disrupting I've been doing is letting Cush have his unbelieving way with the Bible article. He's very unhappy about that. Please Cush be reasonable, and stop trying to get me banned so that you get your way. WalkerThrough (talk) 21:03, 24 September 2011 (UTC)[]

WalkerThrough, if you keep a cool head and remain civil you are unlikely to be banned. Slrubenstein is a respectable editor who has been a voice of reason in the past when atheist-vs-Christian issues have come up. He is not out to get you, but this instance he is correct, "god" is the correct usage per wikipedia's MOS, as in this context God is not being referred to as a person, but as the "god" associated with the Hebrews. it would be equally correct to replace "the Hebrew god" with simply "God", however that would make the contrast with other deities less clear. I am not familiar with Cush, but whether his intentions are good or bad your best option is to avoid being baited into a flame war, and his most recent statement, at least, is incorrect: wikipedia MOS does in fact support the capital-G usage even outside of Biblical quotations. LWG talk 21:27, 24 September 2011 (UTC)[]

Proper nouns and titles referencing deities are capitalized: God, Allah, Freyja, the Lord, the Supreme Being, the Messiah. The same is true when referring to important religious figures, such as Muhammad, by terms such as the Prophet. Common nouns should not be capitalized: the Norse gods, personal god. Transcendent ideas in the Platonic sense also begin with a capital letter: Good and Truth. Pronouns referring to deities, or nouns (other than names) referring to any material or abstract representation of any deity, human or otherwise, are not capitalized.

The grammatical difference is 'title' (a subcat of proper noun) vs 'common noun'. 'God' as a title is capitalized (for any god, not just the JC one); 'god' as a common noun is not. 'Prophet' as a title is cap'd (for any prophet, not just the Muslim one); 'prophet' as a common noun is not. 'Captain' as a title is cap'd (Yes Sir, Captain! ; tell Captain Mitchel), 'captain' as a common noun is not (he was promoted to captain).

Per the MOS: Common nouns should not be capitalized: the Norse gods, personal god ... Now, the Hebrew god is analogous to the Norse gods: 'the god of the Hebrews'. Common noun, no cap. But call upon God is a title. Same with 'Lord'. Otherwise we would have to capitalize 'personal God' when it was the JC god, but not if it were some other god. — kwami (talk) 04:42, 25 September 2011 (UTC)[]

According to, "God" in this instance should be capitalized. It makes reference to a specific god, in this case the Hebrew God.--JOJ Hutton 12:31, 25 September 2011 (UTC)[]
But why should the Hebrew god alone be awarded a majuscule? Is it because of monotheism? What about the Muslim God? The Vodun God? There are lots of monotheistic religions out there: nearly all traditional Subsaharan religion is monotheistic. So, The Ewe God? The Serer God? — kwami (talk) 16:17, 25 September 2011 (UTC)[]
If the word "God" is describing a particular deity, then it would seem that upper case is warranted, according to the dictionary.--JOJ Hutton 17:26, 25 September 2011 (UTC)[]
Well, putting aside that the Muslim God is the same as the Jewish God, I think that the reasoning is this: In Hebrew, which as you know has niether upper- nor lower-case letters, "El" just means "god" and is not the name of a particular god but a common noun referring to any God. But the Hebrew Bible uses the word "Elokeinu" (Our Gods) to refer specifically to their own god (as Muslims call him Allah). So I think when Europeans translated the Bible into their own language, they treated Elokeinu as a proper noun. They took a Germanic word that is a common noun, "gott", in English "god" (through the Baroque period it is spelled with a lower-case g in many cases, check the OED) and used it for "el" but capitalized the G for "elokainui." At least, I think this is the reasoning. The point is that in both Hebrew and English it can be both a common and a proper noun. In the sentence in question I believe it functions as a common noun. Slrubenstein | Talk 16:26, 25 September 2011 (UTC)[]
I agree, that's how I interpret the guidelines. Dougweller (talk) 17:05, 25 September 2011 (UTC)[]
In other words, to answer Cush's question, "God" is capitalized when referring to the Christian deity in a context that would otherwise call for a proper name like Zeus or Thor, due to a quirk of linguistical history which has caused "God" to be used as His proper name, rather than just a descriptive term. God is not capitalized when talking about other religions' deities because the other religions do not refer to their deities in that way. LWG talk 18:16, 25 September 2011 (UTC)[]
But sometimes they do. Vodun Mawu, for example, may be translated God-with-a-capital-gee. And of course Allah frequently is too.
Slrubenstein, it's a theological question whether Allah is the same deity as Yahweh. Certainly that's the common understanding, but I've seen contrary claims. IMO our cap rules shouldn't turn on an arguable theological point. — kwami (talk) 19:01, 25 September 2011 (UTC)[]
In a context where "God" was used as a proper name for Allah, it would also be capitalized. Theology has nothing to do with it, it's just standard English that proper names are capitalized, even if their spelling happens to coincide with a noun that is commonly not a proper name. Would you argue that President Bush's last name should not be capitalized because the word "bush" usually isn't? LWG talk 19:21, 25 September 2011 (UTC)[]
So we all agree that the matter is grammatical. Capitalized names and uncapitalized common nouns. But LWG, your example is flawed bcause George Bush and a bush are two entirely different things. the word god and the word God are much more closely linked than Bush and bush. Bush is the name of a human, not the name of a bush. But God is the name of a god. The question is, in this context are we suing god to refer to the class of beings, or to the name of one member of this class of beings? But this conversation is really over, another user put in a quote which I think resolves the problem. Slrubenstein | Talk 11:45, 26 September 2011 (UTC)[]
Um, God is not the name of a god. It's the title of a god. Same as in Arabic, where Allah only means "the god" and the contetx makes it clear which deity is meant. The name of the biblical god is Yahweh (El and Elohim are titles as well). ♆ CUSH ♆ 14:21, 27 September 2011 (UTC)[]
Lower case "g" is right in the context given - but (though we don't fret about MOS on talk pages) pronouns are never capitalised ("he", not "He").Dr Marcus Hill (talk) 13:56, 27 September 2011 (UTC)[]

External Link

Does the link at the the bottom of the article actually have permission to post the NRSV online, or does it just claim to by posting a large amount of the Bible online in small increments? If it does not have permission, then it should be removed.--Frindro (talk) 03:42, 21 February 2010 (UTC)[]

The site abides by the publisher's copyright, so I don't see that there is a problem. -- Blanchardb -MeMyEarsMyMouth- timed 06:08, 21 February 2010 (UTC)[]
It does not seem like they do, in fact there seems to be three infringements on the copyright: (1) over 500 verses have been reproduced, (2) entire books of the Bible have been reproduced, and (3) as there is very little work accompanying the parts of the Bible, which appears to be in its entirety, on the website the reproduction of the NRSV accounts for over 50% of the work.--Frindro (talk) 04:51, 24 February 2010 (UTC)[]

Stages towards canonization of the New Testament

A very good analysis of the canonization of the new testament appears here[[2]]. However I don't know how this information would best be integrated to the page. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Odinbolt (talkcontribs) 20:05, 9 April 2010 (UTC)[]

That site is a blog, and, as such, does not qualify as a reliable source unless it has been itself widely cited, which doesn't seem to be the case. However, it does contain adequate references, so the best way to go would be to usurp the site's references without violating its copyright on the synthesis. -- Blanchardb -MeMyEarsMyMouth- timed 05:30, 11 April 2010 (UTC)[]

Can an external link be added for the Bibleless Peoples Prayer Project this project seeks prayer for languages that don't have the Bible. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Bluecheese1 (talk • contribs) 20:49, 24 January 2011 (UTC) Arabic Christian Magazine The Grace offering the Arabic Bible — Preceding unsigned comment added by النعمة (talkcontribs) 23:24, 5 February 2011 (UTC)[]

I noticed there is a note in the source of the article about links. I think we can improve the article with adding an external links section, which seems quite normal in major articles. Is there any objection to adding a link to the Bible online (or Bible portal for reading various versions) in a new external link section? WalkerThrough (talk) 20:34, 28 September 2011 (UTC)[]

Before making a suggestion, it is customary to read the talk archives to familiarize yourself with previous discussions. You may wish to read the previous discussions.

In addition, archives 2, 4, and 10 have discussion complaining of the external links being a problem. KillerChihuahua?!?Advice 22:07, 28 September 2011 (UTC)[]

Please please, no EL section. It really isn't necessary and would be a nightmare. Dougweller (talk) 16:27, 29 September 2011 (UTC)[]
Ok. If someone wants to read the Bible online, I don't think they will have trouble finding it. WalkerThrough (talk) 18:45, 29 September 2011 (UTC)[]
I think you're right.·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 18:46, 29 September 2011 (UTC)[]

The Bible as the Word of God

The following are the two sections of text which are causing problems. Perhaps we can discuss how to improve them here, and only make changes to the article once a consensus is reached. That will end the current edit warring and help prevent incivility from escalating.

The Christian Bible, which includes all of the Hebrew Scriptures, affirms that it is inspired by God.[6][7][8] [9] [10][11]

— Article lead

The Christian Bible affirms itself to be (almost) the very Word of God, stating, "All scripture [is] given by inspiration of God...."[6][12] Some Christians adhere to a doctrine of Biblical literalism, i.e. they regard both the New and Old Testament as the inerrant Word of God, spoken by God and written down in its perfect form by humans. Others hold an unorthodox perspective[13] of Biblical infallibility: that the Bible is free from error in spiritual but not scientific matters. "Bible scholars claim that discussions about the Bible must be put into its context within church history and then into the context of contemporary culture."[14]

— Divine inspiration subsection

Some initial thoughts:

  • The first segment is communicating a useful piece of information, namely, that the Christian Bible is widely considered to be a divinely inspired work, but as written it is somewhat out of place and detracts from the flow of the article. I wonder if the problem could be addressed by a simple rewording of the phrases "primary religious texts" and "central to the Christian faith", both of which mean almost the same thing.
  • The second passage as written communicates little to someone not familiar with the issue. Terms like "the very Word of God" or "an unorthodox perspective" mean little outside of a Christian context, and the wikilinked articles seem to bear little relation to where they are placed. Also, references of the actual weights of different views on this subject are always problematic. It might be best to completely reorganize this section, although the subject clearly needs to be addressed in the article.

With that said, let's talk this out here like civil wikipedians, rather than sling one-liners at each other in the edit history. LWG talk 18:49, 25 September 2011 (UTC)[]

Regarding the first segment: "The Christian Bible [...] affirms that it is the inspired word of God" seems to me very different from "the Christian Bible is widely considered to be a divinely inspired work". One is about the Bible's claim about itself, the other is about the beliefs of many millions of Christians. Both seem worth saying, and they're obviously linked, but I wouldn't equate the two.

It does seem silly to me that the first paragraph would go by without somehow indicating that the Bible claims divine inspiration in its authorship, and that lots of Christians believe those claims. If I were going to define the Bible in one paragraph, I'd certainly not fail to mention that. -GTBacchus(talk) 20:03, 25 September 2011 (UTC)[]

There is some merit to this point of view - it is a great part of the Bible's importance that different religious communities regard it as embodying a special relation to a deity. It does seem reasonable to mention this in the lead I must admit. The challenge is to do it in a way that encompasses all of the different views of the importance of the Bible without privileging or marginalizing any (for example the many Christians who see the Bible primarily as an historical document). The Bible's own claims about itself aren't comparably relevant I think, because most religious texts claim to have a special authority - this claim only becomes relevant when large groups of people decide to believe it. ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 20:17, 25 September 2011 (UTC)[]
I'm beginning to think that the Bible's claims about itself could be relevant. We can't use the Bible as a reliable source to provide information about itself. However, there could be scope for using it as a self-published source to document what the Bible claims about itself. It does seem notable that the Bible claims that it is divinely inspired, as this would affect how it is interpreted. Citing the passage where the Bible claims to be divinely inspired would aid the understanding of the reader; theological interpretations could then be cited (with reliable sources). I'm still unsure as to whether this should go in the lead. The Bible's divine inspiration is of paramount importance to those who accept it to be true; on the other hand, it is not very significant to those who would dispute that. ItsZippy (talkcontributions) 20:32, 25 September 2011 (UTC)[]
I think that Maunus' distinction is important. Any book can claim divine inspiration, but when a significant chunk of the planet's population for many centuries believe the claim, that's important, whether you're one of those people or not. The facts (A) that very many Christians consider the Bible to be the divinely inspired "word of God", and (B) that many others (Christian and non-Christian) see it as a primarily historical document, both belong in the lede, it would seem to me. -GTBacchus(talk) 20:35, 25 September 2011 (UTC)[]
In my opinion, the fact that the Bible is widely considered by Christians to be divinely inspired should be in the lead, as it is one of the most notable things about the book. Discussion of the Bible's claims about itself, and theological perspectives on them, should go in the section dedicated to that subject, not because they are unimportant but because they are too complex to address concisely in the lead. LWG talk 20:40, 25 September 2011 (UTC)[]
I agree. The widely-held Christian view that the Bible is divinely inspired should, I think, be in the lead. Theological interpretations should, as you suggest, be discussed in the relevant section. ItsZippy (talkcontributions) 20:43, 25 September 2011 (UTC)[]
I have some off-wikipedia writing that I have to get done, but when I have time I'll take a stab at a writeup for this, if no one else gets to it first. LWG talk 20:47, 25 September 2011 (UTC)[]
You have to keep eye on the important complication presented by the fat that the Bible isn't "a book", but a lot of different books that say different things, and which have to be interpreted in order to make sense (in order even to be read by most people they have to go through the interpretation of a translator). We cannot use the Bible as a source for its own views because a. which Bible? b. which translation? c. what does that translation mean? In short - the Bible does not objectively say anything beyond what Theologians or other Bible scholars think it says. There is no objective truth we can refer to. What we can do is to refer to the observable fact that some groups of people believe that it claims to be the Word of God, and that someof them even believe that claim to be true.·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 20:53, 25 September 2011 (UTC)[]
Yes, which is why the subject of what the bible says about itself is far too complex to address in the article lead, even though it is important and relevant. LWG talk 20:56, 25 September 2011 (UTC)[]
Very well said and well thought through - I had never considered that. I would agree, then - the Bible cannot be used as a self-published source. I guess it falls to us to find notable interpretations from theologians regarding the Bible's claimed divine inspiration. Thanks for that insight. ItsZippy (talkcontributions) 20:58, 25 September 2011 (UTC)[]
Hmm... "Many Christians hold a fundamental belief that the Bible accurately claims to be of divinely inspired authorship." Is that sentence (or something quite close to it) fair, neutral, lede-worthy, and supportable in reliable sources? -GTBacchus(talk) 21:36, 25 September 2011 (UTC)[]
I think the "accurately claims" is a little too concise, I'd unpack it to something like: "Some/Many Christian denominations consider the text of the Bible to be divinely inspired, citing passages in the Bible itself as support for this interpretation". ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 22:00, 25 September 2011 (UTC)[]
That's a good revision, I think. I could support a sentence like that, with appropriate citation. -GTBacchus(talk) 22:58, 25 September 2011 (UTC)[]
I also support this suggestion, and recommend that the sentence be placed immediately following this one, as the most relevant and best for overall flow of the article: "The first four books of the New Testament form the Canonical gospels which recount the life of Christ and are central to the Christian faith." LWG talk 23:14, 25 September 2011 (UTC)[]
  • It may be difficult to find a quote to support this tendency for many denominations - but here is one for American fundemantalist christianity: The encyclopedia of world religions

By Robert S. Ellwood, Gregory D. Alles p. 162 [3]. It doesn't mention the use of biblical texts as supporting arguments for the bible being inspired. This one[Encyclopedia of religion in the South By Samuel S. Hill, Charles H. Lippy, Charles Reagan Wilson] which is about southern fundamentalists does mention the use of the bible as evidence for inspiration. I think these are the kind of texts we should be looking at. ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 01:21, 26 September 2011 (UTC)[]

Perhaps it would be worth to include mention of the fact that which portions of the Bible are and aren't divinely inspired is a matter of discussion among the theologians who Believ in divine inspiration and that this is sometimes the reason that some texts are included and other excluded from the canon by different schools of thought.·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 01:33, 26 September 2011 (UTC)[]

I think there is no question that the majority of Christian Churches believe that their Bible is the word of God. I have raised a number of questions I would like Walker Through or anyone else to answer, immediately above this section. I do not believe that any of those questions were incivil, and they all had to do with the appropriate application of policy in this context. Should I cut and paste them into this new section? They are not provocations, they are important points.

For the moment I will highlight two major points. First, while I agree that the majority of Christian Churches hold that their Bible is the Word of God, and that they use specific quotes from the Bible (what scholars call "proof-texts") to suppor their claim, we Wikipedians cannot use these quotes from the Bible to make any claims about what "the Bible says." Critical scholars are virtually unanimous in their view that the books of the Bible were composed by many different authors, and the question of what those authers - some of whom wrote almost two thousand years ago, some of whom wrote maybe even three thousand years ago, in cultures so distant from us that we do not fully understand how people really thought - intended to communicate through their words continues to be a matter of lively deebate and there is a host of interpretations about almost every verse of the Bible. This means that we cannot use any verse of the bible to signify "what the bible says." Any use of any verse of the bible is an act of interpretation. What Wikipedia can present is the interpretation. The question, "Do most Christians believe that their Bible is the Word of God" should be answered through the use of reliable secondary sources - on the history of Christiantiy, or on the Catholic Church or Luthor or Calvin or different organized Churches or assemblies of heads of Churches today - not quotes from the Bible.

Second, we must remember that the introduction is meant to introduce the entire article. The article covers both the Hebrew Bible and the Christian Bible. And, in addition to Jewish and Christian views of their respective Bibles, there are the views of critical scholars. The introduction must introduce all of this. To put any one view in the first pargaph is to give it undue weight. The first paragraph should summarize what all people - Jews, Christians, and critical scholars - believe about the Bible - that is neutral editing. Then, the first paragraph of the introduction could be followe by paragraphs summarizing the view of critical scholars, the Jewish view, and the Christian view. If we can find reliable secondary sources confirming that the mainstream view of Christians is that the bible is the Word of God (and as we always say, if it is true, it won't be hard to find a reliable source saying this is the mainstream view), then we should put this into the paragraph on the Christian Bible. But the first paragraph of the article has to introduce the article as a whole. Since that includes the views of critical scholars and Jews, we cannot privilege the Christian view. The first paragraph should be generic and inclusive.

If these comments do not make sense to you I ask you please to read the comment I posted last night, to the section preceding this one - it is currently the penultimate comment of that section, I think (time stamp 20:03, 25 September). Thank you. Slrubenstein | Talk 12:02, 26 September 2011 (UTC)[]

So it seems like we are all coming on to the same page (the pun probably has been used a lot, but I wouldn't know). I can accept the will of the community that the statement on belief in inspiration by God is better not in the first paragraph. It seems that we are generally agreeing that it does belong in the lead somewhere. I support LWG's suggestion for placement in the lead in the paragraph about the Christian Bible. I can appreciate Slrub's reminder that there must be reliable sources for it so that we don't violate WP:NOR or WP:V. As he said, I think we can find that. Could I offer a modification to Maunus' suggestion for an agreeable statement?
"Many Christians believe the text of the Bible to be inspired by God, citing passages in the Bible itself as support for this conviction."
Many Christians are not part of any denomination, and so I think it would be best to just talk about Christians rather than denominations. Also, I think believe and conviction accurately reflect how strongly this idea is held.
Slrub has raised the issue of WP:DUE, which applies to including other views. I am not as familiar with the various Jewish and critical views, so I would rather leave this to those more knowledgeable than me in such matters. In accordance with DUE, I agree with the editors that some form of the above statement deserves at least a brief mention in the lead because it is one of the most significant aspects of the Bible held by, in my opinion, a strong majority of Christians.
I hope this will be found to address the issues and positively work for consensus. What do you all think? WalkerThrough (talk) 15:16, 26 September 2011 (UTC)[]
I don't see whast is gained by changing interpretation to conviction - in fact I think it is a strange use of the word conviction.In any case I think it is more important to show that the belief in divine inspiration is one interpretation among many. I guess it is ok to drop the mention of denominations. I think "divinely inspired" is a more common academic usage than the more bombastic "inspired by God", and also it bypasses the question of the exact nature of "inspiration".·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 15:28, 26 September 2011 (UTC)[]
I had considered suggesting "view" over "interpretation" due to sort of technical reasons. I guess now I've done it. -GTBacchus(talk) 15:35, 26 September 2011 (UTC)[]
I can go with "view." With regard to how to word inspiration, they both mean the same thing, so I can go with either one. At the same time, because this is a statement of Christian belief, I'd prefer if we allowed for a common (albeit perhaps less academic) term as Christians often describe it. WalkerThrough (talk) 16:13, 26 September 2011 (UTC)[]

I like the sentence Manus proposed; I think it sums up the idea nicely. Though I appreciate the DUE concerns over how prominently held the belief in divine inspiration is, it is a widely-held Christian belief. From a Christian perspective, it is incredibly important. I think that this makes other views of the inspiration important too - those who believe it is not divinely inspired make the point more strongly because of the Christian belief. I think something akin to what Manus posted would be good in the lead, if it is accompanied by a brief look at alternative views (just what they are and who holds them). We can then develop this in the Belief in divine inspiration section. ItsZippy (talkcontributions) 16:46, 26 September 2011 (UTC)[]

I would appreciate it very much if we did not use the word denomination. This word is synonymous with sect, which some Christians believe to be wrong and against the teachings on Christian unity in the Bible. In addition to this reason, denominations can not accurately describe all of Christians because many are not in a denomination. Maunus agreed to drop the word when "Many Christians" was suggested. WalkerThrough (talk) 17:19, 26 September 2011 (UTC)[]
Just to point out that denomination and sect are far from synonymous - and whether some Christians believe in Christian unity or not it is a fact that there are hundreds of separate denominations who disagree about many important points. I guess there are some christians (and particularly theologians) who do not identify with any specific denomination. Therefore it makes sense to drop denominations. Also I want to point out that at this point the main issue impeding us from including the statement I proposed or a variant of it in the lead is that we do not have any source to support it.·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 17:58, 26 September 2011 (UTC)[]
I have found a source for the first part, but have so far been unable to find one for the second part about many Christians citing the Bible. The following is a previous suggestion for which I do have many sources and I believe is better for the article. What if we change it to: "Many Christians believe in the divine inspiration of the Bible, which affirms: 'All scripture is given by inspiration of God.'"? I know this is using a primary source. Here's what WP says about policy for primary source: "Policy: Unless restricted by another policy, primary sources that have been reliably published may be used in Wikipedia, but only with care, because it is easy to misuse them. Any interpretation of primary source material requires a reliable secondary source for that interpretation. A primary source may only be used on Wikipedia to make straightforward, descriptive statements that any educated person, with access to the source but without specialist knowledge, will be able to verify are supported by the source."
It seems to me this would be an acceptable place for the use of the Bible as a primary source, seeing as it is the Bible article. We don't need to interpret it. We can just state what it says, as it is extremely relevant to the belief in divine inspiration, which we have agreed is needed in the lead. I know some versions of the Bible say "God breathed" instead of inspiration. Both of these have the same general meaning, and I believe either is an acceptable translation and can be used. From the previous section about this, numerous editors agreed to including the Bible's claim to be inspired by God in the lead (Supt. of printing, Doug, kwami, Lugnad). Would other editors be okay with the inclusion of the Bible as a primary source here, simply stating what it says without interpreting? WalkerThrough (talk) 20:24, 26 September 2011 (UTC)[]
Take a look at the Anchor Bible commentary on this verse. Well, you don't have to, but my point is that there are other interpretations of it. That is why we cannot quote it as a source. When the Bible is the object of so many interpretations, we cannot assume that the Bible speaks for itself. Preachers, theologians, historians, and others speak for it. So they are the ones we quote. Slrubenstein | Talk 20:29, 26 September 2011 (UTC)[]
I certainly agree with you that there are many interpretations to this verse. With that said, I don't find anything wrong with allowing the readers of the Encyclopedia to read it for themselves and interpret it as they understand it. You have rightly cautioned us that we need to keep a NPOV, thank you. Supt. of Printing commented about this, stating: "However, it is not a POV to state that the Bible claims to be given by insiration of God." I would even think that the Encyclopedia readers who are interested in the Bible would actually like to hear a little what is actually written in it, and rightly so. There has already been one quote from the Bible on the article page, even before I got involved. This seems to show that it has been accepted to quote the Bible. What are the views of the other editors? WalkerThrough (talk) 20:41, 26 September 2011 (UTC)[]
Side note: the linked articles under Biblical topics on the Bible page many times quote the Bible directly (Alcohol in the Bible, Murder in the Bible, etc.). It would seem to be the same to quote the Bible, with respect to, "What does the Bible say about itself?", instead of, "What does the Bible say about murder?" WalkerThrough (talk) 20:55, 26 September 2011 (UTC)[]
We don't let facts speak for themselves. And in any case a Bible quote isn't a fact - it is a tect that has already passed through multiple interpretations, e.g. by being translated. Which translation should we choose? Why? This can only be answered through a theological discussion that is outside of the scope of the article. The Bible only says what people think it says, and what translators make it say.·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 02:33, 27 September 2011 (UTC)[]
I think everyone should just learn Koine Greek, but that's neither here nor there, is it? -GTBacchus(talk) 05:13, 27 September 2011 (UTC)[]
It seems to me that most editors in this discussion are not suggesting that we simply let the Bible speak for itself regarding divinely inspired authorship. People are mostly supporting the idea that we say that many Christians consider the Bible to be divinely inspired, and that they look to the Bible itself for support of that view. That's something we can state objectively, right?

It might even be possible to say which passages many Christians cite as proof of divinely inspired authorship. We can probably find sources that attest to that. That's not the same as having the Bible simply speak for itself. We can say which passages many Christians cite, and then readers can go straight to their favorite translations of those passages, and understand what they read however they understand it. -GTBacchus(talk) 21:06, 26 September 2011 (UTC)[]

Why are we singling out Christians here? There are some at least as hard-held views in Judaism about Torah min HaShamayim (from all sides of the discussion). Jheald (talk) 21:38, 26 September 2011 (UTC)[]
We are not singling out Christians, we are discussing one proposed edit concerning a view held by Christians. That is the only reason why Christianity plays a prominent role in this discussion. But more important are our NPOV, NOR and V policies and no one here would disagree with you that these policies apply to all articles and all sections of articles and all views. I agree completely with your points. Slrubenstein | Talk 12:03, 27 September 2011 (UTC)[]
Secondly, although we might identify "divinely inspired authorship" as one traditionally held view, shouldn't we be balancing that by identifying a more current mainstream view as something closer to that expressed for example by the Archbishop of Canterbury e.g. in this quote, invoking "divine inspiration" only subject to a pretty nuanced interpretation on what that phrase should be understood to mean -- never mind some of the views expressed by those further to the liberal end of the spectrum such as Bishop Spong of Newark, New Jersey; or the likes of Don Cupitt and the Sea of Faith movement.
Finally, regarding the question of sourcing, perhaps we should remind ourselves that explicit footnotes in the lead are actually deprecated as making those important initial paragraphs more forbidding and harder to read. The lead should be neutrally summarising material that is presented and sourced in detail in the body of the article proper. The lead should not be the place for making self-standing assertions that need independent sourcing. Jheald (talk) 21:38, 26 September 2011 (UTC)[]
Thanks to the editors who have shown how complex an issue this is. I suspect a number of our articles relating to the Bible don't follow our policy and guidelines. Dougweller (talk) 06:38, 27 September 2011 (UTC)[]
Well, I've been pointing that out or a long time. The Bible cannot speak for itself. And especially can single quotes not speak for the Bible, any of its authors, nor for any reader of the Bible, and certainly not for any faith built on the Bible or parts of it. When an editor drags Timothy here to make a point, he forgets that when the epistle was written, other Christian writings existed but there was no canon that could be called the "New Testament". Hundreds of writings that are now denigrated as apocryphal were in circulation. The fact is that the collection of writings that is now the Christian part of the Bile was assembled more or less arbitrarily based on the theological and political developments of Christianity in the 2nd through 4rd centuries CE. The New Testament and the writings surrounding it have never been a coherent narrative out of one source with a unified theology. And even the Old Testament the core of which is the Tanakh was not canonized until well into Christian times up until the time when the Talmuds were written. Although there are prior collections that have served as a basis for a Jewish canon, like the Septuagint (the first real "bible", i.e. the collection of writings into one book) and the Samaritan pentateuch, the order and inclusion of writings was not finished until the Masoretes finally streamlined Jewish scripture in the Middle Ages (from which then European Bibles as the Lutherbibel and King James Bible derived). It is highly dangerous and dishonest to use Bible quotes to make a point about veracity or divine inspiration of the writing. Editors really must stick to WP policies and find reliable secondary sources and build a neutral, especially religiously neutral, encyclopedic form to present the Bible as a collection of writings, as a narrative, as a basis for religion. A claim like "the bible affirms itself as the word of god" is inherently pointless (that's equal to some guru claiming divine origin for himself) and it is in fact very dishonest and charged with a very specific religious view. ♆ CUSH ♆ 07:07, 27 September 2011 (UTC)[]

It appears that I'm outnumbered and will have to give in to the consensus, although I strongly believe the Bible is rightly quoted currently on the Bible page and many other Bible pages. I believe the Bible has been accurately handed down through the ages to be quoted for what it says itself, with any accurate translation of a verse. With that said, can we try to get to the point of taking some action? It seems there has been strong support for including something close to:

"Many Christians believe the text of the Bible to be inspired by God,[15] citing passages in the Bible itself as support for this view."

I have included a reference for this. The suggestion was to place this after "central to the Christian faith." Are we ready to put it in? WalkerThrough (talk) 09:37, 27 September 2011 (UTC)[]

For the sake of options in our "have it your way" world, on reconsideration, there also seems to be strong support for a slightly modified form (that I think is preferable):
OPTION 2: "Many Christians believe in the divine inspiration of the Bible,[16] which affirms that this is true.[6][7][17] [18] [19][20]"
Is there support for inserting option #2 in the before mentioned place? WalkerThrough (talk)
No there is not. You may write that "Many Christians believe the text of the Bible to be inspired by God" but the self-affirmation stuff is a matter of interpretation on many levels, literary, logical, theological, and it would require far more than just a quotation form the Bible itself (circular argumentation or even representation thereof is to be avoided). Otherwise it would be tagged immediatley for using a religious text as primary source without secondary analysis and critique. ♆ CUSH ♆ 10:09, 27 September 2011 (UTC)[]
Just for a reminder, Supt. of Printing, Doug, kwami, Lugnad, GTBacchus, and myself have all supported including the Bible's claim to be inspired by God in the lead. At the same time, some have strongly indicated that they don't want the Bible to be quoted in the lead. Can I propose a compromise? We can agree to use the following statement that does not quote the Bible directly, but as many editors agree, does include the Bible's claim to be inspired by God:
OPTION 3: "Many Christians believe that God inspired the Bible,[21] which affirms that this is true.[6][7][22] [23] [24][25]"
I would appreciate a compromise, even by those who would prefer not including the Bible's claims. The idea that the Bible claims divine inspiration is widely held and well documented (6 RS have been cited). I would consider it a small minority view in Christianity that believe the Bible doesn't make this claim about its writings. WalkerThrough (talk) 11:02, 27 September 2011 (UTC)[]
I have told you how the compromise would look like. You can say that the view is widely held but you cannot represent that as fact nor as the position that Wikipedia itself holds. You cannot even present that as the unquestioned position that the "Bible" as such would hold. And this is not a matter of what gets the most votes. And neither the article nor the talk page are places to conduct biblical exegesis. ♆ CUSH ♆ 11:17, 27 September 2011 (UTC)[]

WalkerThrough, I genuinely appreciate your willingness to take the time and engage with other editors, This is one half of "collaborative editing" which we so highly prize at Wikipedia. But I still have doubts about your understanding or acceptance of the other half, which is "guided by policy." No compromise will ever be reached simply by editors meeting one another at some half-way point. Collaboration must be guided by policy. WP has over a million registered users, although most of them are not very active and perhaps do not have much experience in the different ways policy applies to specific problems. We could have a straw poll and 500,000 of those users could show up and vote "yes." And five users might vote "no." If the "yes" proposition clearly violates our core policies, if the five people voting no can convincingly explain how it violates policy, those 500,000 loose. Ideally, a collaboration would be a majority of editors agreeing. But this majority must use policies as their point of reference in reaching an agreement.

You have written two things that make me doubt that you understand our core NPOV, V and NOR policies: "I don't find anything wrong with allowing the readers of the Encyclopedia to read it for themselves and interpret it as they understand it" on the talk page and the proposed wording for the actual article, "which affirms that this is true." Here is what is wrong with the first statement: letting readers interpret it for themselves is what anyone can do simply by picking up a Bible or going to one of the many on-line Bibles. Wikipedia does not need to serve this purpose. Moreover, this activerly abdicates our very responsibility as an encyclopedia. That is, it is our job as editors of an encyclopedia to inform readers about the many interpretations of a verse of the Bible, of a story in the Bible, of the bible as a whole. Not to tell readers what the different significant interpretations are — letting them interpreted it for themselves — is the equivalent of saying "let's not write an encyclopedia article. NPOV says that our task is to provide all significant views (in this case an interpretation is a view). Doing so is the critical way in which this encyclopedia educates the public. Your approach may be perfectly reasonable, but not in an encyclopedia and certainly not in this one. If you want to read verses of the bible to people to let them decide how to interpret it for themselves, there are many venues where you can doing this, but doing it is the very opposite of what this encyclopedia takes as its core mission.

The second phrase, which you wish to include in the article, presents the view that the Bible affirms this view as a truth, as a fact. It is not a truth, not a fact. What is true, what is a fact, is that you (and of course many others) believe that it is true. This is the heart of our Verifiability policy. We do not tell people what is true. We provide verifiable views of "the truth." You seem not to understand this. By using the bible - which has hosts of interpretations - as a source, you are taking your (and as I acknowledged many others') view of the truth and presenting it as if it were a truth. They are not the same thing. Understanding the difference between these two things is the heart of our NOR policy. Since you seem not to understand the difference between the two, I think you are consciously or unconsciously violating our NOR policy.

You wish to reach a compromise. I tell you: there is no compromise just by endless talk on this page by several users. Compromise requires working with, rather than against, these three core policies. I have tried to explain how two things you wrote go against these three policies. If you still really do not understand why and how, please explain your confusion and perhaps someone here can explain better than I. But I do not need to write anything more. You can write and write and write, you can write the equivalent of many pages on this talk page over the next month, but if you do not accommodate our core policies, if you continue to propose violations as I have explained it, you will have made no progress at all towards a compromise. Slrubenstein | Talk 12:00, 27 September 2011 (UTC)[]

Thank you for your long explanation. I appreciate your desire to stick to WP policy. I had considered that my statement had the implication that this is the strong majority view about the Bible's claim to divine inspiration. If you think it needs to be explicit, I can go with you on that. Then rewording according to Slrub would yield:
OPTION 4: "Many Christians believe that God inspired the Bible,[26] and that the scriptures affirm this to be true.[6][7][27] [28] [29][30]"
I believe this agrees with NPOV, V, and NOR. Also, an Encyclopedia is about describing its subject. A description of the Bible, should certainly include quotes from it, which I believe can be done so as to not violate policy. I've already discussed this partly in citing WP's policy on primary sources. Simply because readers can go to the Bible to read what it says, does not mean an Encyclopedia should not include any quotes to tell readers what it says. You say WP does not need to serve this purpose, but I don't think that is WP policy. If you can cite any specific part of WP policy that shows that the Bible can not be quoted on WP, I'd like to see it (please see WP:PRIMARY). Please also note the abundant citation of the Bible in other Bible articles. Are we going to say all those editors have been wrong and violating WP policy? I don't think they were in violation. They have been describing the subject matter in line with WP policy on primary sources. At any rate, I'm agreeing not to quote the Bible here because other editors don't support it. I agree with Slrub that we shouldn't be writing dissertations here. Can we focus on the addition and try to take some kind of action by today or tomorrow? Are people satisfied with the rewording according to Slrub's previous objection (i.e. OPTION:4)? WalkerThrough (talk) 12:48, 27 September 2011 (UTC)[]
There is no policy that suggests we can't quote the Bible. We can. However what I am saying is that doing so is complicated because we would need a broad consensus that a particular interpretation of a particular text, in a particular translation is the best way of including that information in the article, AND we would need to consider alternative viewpoints on the text and use secondary sources to weigh them according to prevalence which will probably be impossible in many cases since certain interpretattions will be prevalent in specific traditions, which will in turn mean that we will have to include several different interpretations of the same text that we quote. Not a simple procedure.·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 13:26, 27 September 2011 (UTC)[]
However, there are policies that prevent the use of primary sources, especially the Bible, to make a point. E.g. WP:OR, WP:SYN ♆ CUSH ♆ 14:41, 27 September 2011 (UTC)[]
Wow, lots of talk since I was last on here. It seems to me that the only current obstacle to making the edit is disagreement over whether to mention that the doctrine of divine inspiration is based on scriptures. To me, this seems rather redundant, since we already explain that Christian doctrine in general comes from the Bible, and address the complexities of the issue further down. Also, we have an entire article on the subject, which discusses the relevant verses in depth. Therefore I propose that we just write: "Many Christians believe the text of the Bible to be inspired by God" and leave the complexities to the dedicated article. Also, looking at it again, I now think that this sentence would be best placed at the end of the paragraph, following the discussion of the surviving manuscripts, since it is a somewhat related issue. LWG talk 13:40, 27 September 2011 (UTC)[]
Yes you're right there was some opposition previously. However, I'm hopeful that we can accept the recent change that was proposed for compromise (according to the relevant policies that Slrub mentioned), that many Christians also believe the Bible makes the claim. The 6 editors including myself have specifically voiced support for including the Bible's claim. What the Bible says and therefore what Christians believe the Bible claims about itself are very important and relevant to the article, as the Bible contains the sacred scriptures of believers. Can we accept OPTION 4 with LWG's new suggestion for placement? WalkerThrough (talk) 14:10, 27 September 2011 (UTC)[]
I think the proposed wording is clumsy and out of style for an encyclopedia. You have not presented arguments for why the wording I proposed "Many Christians consider the text of the Bible to be divinely inspired, citing passages in the Bible itself as support for this belief", should be deemed inadequate.·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 14:25, 27 September 2011 (UTC)[]
Maunus' proposal is acceptable and breaches no policies. ♆ CUSH ♆ 14:30, 27 September 2011 (UTC)[]
I concur. I see know problem with that wording. OhNoitsJamie Talk 14:36, 27 September 2011 (UTC)[]
I also support Maunus' wording. Does that mean we are all on board? After considering the wording of this statement, it seems that it would fit well after "referred to as "The Holy Bible" (τὰ βιβλία τὰ ἅγια)" in the fourth paragraph. There is a strong connection between "The Holy Bible" (a faith term) and the belief in its inspiration. There also seems to be a natural break in thought there with the next statement about the canon, which would allow for an insertion. Does this place seem reasonable? WalkerThrough (talk) 16:00, 27 September 2011 (UTC)[]
Sounds good to me. LWG talk 16:59, 27 September 2011 (UTC)[]
The only problem would be the sourcing. We have sources to show that some Christians do this, but not that many do. I think however that if we can all agree that many is an adequate descriptor we can use "many" untill there is a source that explicitly challenges this claim.·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 17:55, 27 September 2011 (UTC)[]
Sounds ok to me also. I think my original suggestion has been shown to be wrong. Dougweller (talk) 18:28, 27 September 2011 (UTC)[]
Me too - I think we are all extremely close to a consensus now, I appreciate WalkerThrough's efforts to respond thoughtfully to the concerns of others. I am no expert on Christian belief. I have read that not all Christians consider the Bible the Word of God. So I agree that at this point the main task remaining is to find reliable sources (books on Christianity that are written from people with no doctrinal or theological stake e.g. a sociologist of religion or historian of religion, or a respected journalist maybe) that speak to this issue (some Christians believe the Bible is the Word of God while others believe X; some statement about whether this is the minority view, the majority view, X % believe this, whatever - I don't care what fills in the X as long as it comes from what we can agree is a reliable source. I own no books on the history of Christianity, and will not have access to a library in the next week, so I am sorry I cannot help here. But if we are now just looking for sources on this one matter, we really have made tremendous progress and I am glad to see it! Slrubenstein | Talk 18:37, 27 September 2011 (UTC)[]
The article on Biblical inerrancy may contain some helpful information. And if we are going to mention Christian and Jewish views, we should probably also mention Islamic views. I don't know much about Islam, but my understanding is that Islam views the Bible as the word of God, but it believes that the existing copies have been corrupted over the ages so that it can now no longer be viewed as reliable. I believe Islamic authorities still permit study of the Bible, but with the caveat that it may only be used where it does not contradict the Quran. Martijn Meijering (talk) 19:07, 27 September 2011 (UTC)[]

How about: "Many Christians consider the text of the Bible to be divinely inspired,[31] citing passages in the Bible itself as support for this belief"[32][33][34][35]? I think Christian sources should be accepted. Who would know better, and be more reliable about what Christians believe, then Christians, including theologians? In fact, those who are not religious may have a tougher time to understand what Christians believe and why. Can we go with these sources? With respect to whether we need to give other religious views, if we make the addition on divine inspiration, I don't think so. The statement in the paragraph on the Christian Bible addresses what the major Christian view is on the Bible, not, what are the various general views about the Bible in all the world. For NPOV, we can give minority Christian views. However, it seems that the lead is not the place for that, but rather the section on divine inspiration, as others mentioned. WalkerThrough (talk) 19:43, 27 September 2011 (UTC)[]

This is the second time that you first say you are in favor of a proposed wording which has wide support and then afterwards propose a new wording, offering no reasoning or arguments for why it would be better. Why?·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 20:18, 27 September 2011 (UTC)[]
Maunus, I copied and pasted your exact wording, I thought. What did I do wrong now? WalkerThrough (talk) 20:24, 27 September 2011 (UTC)[]
Oh, you are right I think I accidentally read one of your earlier posts and thought it was the new one. My bad. The sources look good at first sight, I haven't checked them but, as a beginning it looks promising.·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 20:40, 27 September 2011 (UTC)[]
What is your urge to get the divine inspiration being confirmed by the Bible into the article? What exactly is the notability and relevancy of that?
"Why do you believe the Bible is inspired by God?" - "Because the Bible says so."
It in fact makes it less convincing as it is completely circular reasoning. ♆ CUSH ♆ 19:58, 27 September 2011 (UTC)[]
Can we please not return to this kind of talk? We are discussing what would make the best article, not what is convincing or circular reasoning. That said, Walker, I thought we'd agreed on Maunus's wording. Pretty much everyone here has stated support for it. If there are no objections, we can go ahead and put it in the article and end this discussion, which I'm sure will be welcome to all concerned. LWG talk 20:22, 27 September 2011 (UTC)[]
I didn't change his wording. The last proposal he made was exactly what I copied. Right? WalkerThrough (talk) 20:26, 27 September 2011 (UTC)[]
Here are 3 more sources if needed by respected theologians to add to Maunus' last proposed statement [14:25, 27 September 2011 (UTC)] at the end of the sentence.[36][37][38] WalkerThrough (talk) 20:34, 27 September 2011 (UTC)[]
Here's the reference with the correct link for Charles Hodges.[39] I also added the online link for this reference from Arthur Pink.[40] So if the sources are acceptable to the editors, is the statement ready for placement? WalkerThrough (talk) 20:59, 27 September 2011 (UTC)[]
Here's the corrected version of everything so far with working links. "Many Christians consider the text of the Bible to be divinely inspired,[41] citing passages in the Bible itself as support for this belief."[42][43][44][45][46][47][48] I don't know if we want to put so many references on it for aesthetic purposes. WalkerThrough (talk) 21:28, 27 September 2011 (UTC)[]
The wording still has problems. It contains two separate statements and so should be two sentences (e.g., it's certainly not preferred to necesitate mid-sentence citations). The first sentence should not be made specific to Christians (since it is also the common view for Judaism, Islam, & Mormonism), so a better refinement would be "Many religious adherents consider the text of the Bible to be divinely inspired." The second sentence, "Many Christians cite assertions in the Bible itself as support for this belief" is going to meet with objection from Christians because it is so transparently circular.
These sentences are good enough for the body of the article, but not for the lead, since the lead is supposed to summarise the body so as not to require its own citations. And this whole issue needs far more than two sentences of improvement to the body (e.g., what is even meant by the phrase "is the word of god": is it "dictated by" or vaguely "inspired/influenced" or does it merely indiciate the text has the "general assent" of the deity or does it mean the text is the "unfathomable living embodiment" of the divinity, and very importantly, does it align with literalism vs inerrancism vs infallibilism?) I think the only proper way to address these issues WalkerThrough has raised is for the subsection on Divine Inspirations to be broken out of the Christian Canon section (it is tenuously related to the cannon fixing anyway) and expanded into its own top-level section. Cesiumfrog (talk) 00:14, 28 September 2011 (UTC)[]
I think we have been talking about this at great length between many editors and there seems to be a strong consensus in the wording proposed by Maunus in the lead because of its notability and significance to much of the population on earth (please see this whole section that is running close to a novelette). Actually, many Christians do not find a problem believing in what the Bible says about itself (we believe the Bible is God's Word because He inspired it, and that He also told us He did this in the Bible). I am hoping we are close to insertion and finishing this conversation. We are just trying to make sure we have good sources for it. There seemed to be a lull in the conversation recently. If the other editors want to comment on whether the sources are good enough for insertion of the statement, that would be helpful. WalkerThrough (talk) 00:37, 28 September 2011 (UTC)[]
I think the best solution I can see to Cesiumfrog's objections is to leave the sentence as is in the lead but without references, but include the references in the body. I don't think splitting the sentence makes good prose, but I acknowledge that citations mid-sentence is bad style, especially in the lead. If we have sources for the statement (which we do) then the fact that some might think it is circular reasoning (I certainly do) is irrelevant, that is the difference between faith and science afterall.·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 00:43, 28 September 2011 (UTC)[]

We can continue to debate this until the cows come home, but I think we have a version now that would be an improvement on the current version of the article and a good starting point for further changes. How about making a bold move now? Martijn Meijering (talk) 00:43, 28 September 2011 (UTC)[]

I agree with Maunus and Martijn. We can include the references later in the body. It seems like we are ready for insertion, if I'm not missing anything else. Do the editors approve of making the bold move now without references in the lead, placed after ""The Holy Bible" (τὰ βιβλία τὰ ἅγια)."? WalkerThrough (talk) 08:45, 28 September 2011 (UTC)[]
Then again, if we don't put any sources in the lead, someone later could challenge and remove it, seeing how controversial this has been. After looking at the current version of the lead, one statement has 6 mid-sentence citations. It would be much less to have the one mid-sentence citation after "divinely inspired." Then we could give just two sources at the end of the sentence: "Many Christians consider the text of the Bible to be divinely inspired,[49] citing passages in the Bible itself as support for this belief."[50][51] Other sources can be added later in the inspiration section. Sorry to go back and forth a little, but after all this work, I realized it would be good to insert with some sources for support of a controversial issue. WalkerThrough (talk) 10:14, 28 September 2011 (UTC)[]
If there is a consensus, then we are ready for an the insertion with 3 sources. Nobody else has said anything in the last 12 hours. It'd be nice to finish up the discussion on this addition today. Time for action? WalkerThrough (talk) 15:04, 28 September 2011 (UTC)[]
  • The key words are if there is a consensus - you state there has been no response in 12 hours; I strongly advise you to wait until the principal editors in the discussion have voiced their views. All editors here are volunteers; many have full time jobs, or jobs plus school. Patience is a virtue, and it is nowhere more appropriate than when trying to find consensus on a contentious topic, or disputed phrasing. KillerChihuahua?!?Advice 15:24, 28 September 2011 (UTC)[]
I believe WP policy is actually to try to avoid references in the lead. Also to avoid the need for references, which is trickier, but let's not let the perfect get in the way of the good. Martijn Meijering (talk) 16:21, 28 September 2011 (UTC)[]
  • Applicable policy is WP:V, which is not waived for the article lead; however, content sourced in the body need not be sourced (again) in the lead, which is supposed to be a summary of the content in the article body. The guidance you are probably thinking of is the MoS, a guideline. Applicable section is WP:LEADCITE. KillerChihuahua?!?Advice 17:07, 28 September 2011 (UTC)[]
I basically agree with Maunus. I think if the content is in the body, with fuller explication (including, telling us what Christians do not believe it is the literal word of God or divinely inspired, if there are any) with all the sources, then we can summarize this point in the pragraph on the Christian Bible in the lead. Rosh HaShanah starts tonight so I must point out tht Jews who are believers or who follow the Bible will be offline for a couple of days. Slrubenstein | Talk 15:35, 28 September 2011 (UTC)[]
That's okay with me. If someone later challenges it in the lead because of no sources, we can then add them at that point. With that said, it seems that we may have reached a consensus for adding Maunus' wording in the lead without references, and adding sourced views in the body. What a journey this has been. Are people okay with that? WalkerThrough (talk) 16:10, 28 September 2011 (UTC)[]
After reviewing the past discussion, it seems we do have a good consensus now between the various editors on the wording, the placement, and sources. I think it would be appropriate for one or more editors to now insert Maunus' statement in the lead (without references) after ""The Holy Bible" (τὰ βιβλία τὰ ἅγια)" and the proper sourced views in the related section of the body in line with NPOV, V, and DUE. WalkerThrough (talk) 17:42, 28 September 2011 (UTC)[]
A number of the editors (Martijn, LWG, myself) have indicated consensus has been reached and we are ready to "now" make the agreed upon addition. Could someone please make one or more of the approved edits now? WalkerThrough (talk) 19:48, 28 September 2011 (UTC)[]
  1. ^
  2. ^ a b Ash, Russell (2001). Top 10 of Everything 2002. Dorling Kindersley. ISBN 0789480433, 9780789480439 Check |isbn= value: invalid character (help). Cite has empty unknown parameter: |coauthors= (help) See also Google Link
  3. ^
  4. ^ "The Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church". Retrieved 2010-11-19.
  5. ^
  6. ^ a b c d e f "2 Timothy 3:16". Bible.
  7. ^ a b c d Gill, John (1810). Exposition of the Old and New Testaments: Complete and Unabridged. London: Mathews & Leigh, "see Commentary on 2 Timothy 3:16".
  8. ^ Preface to the Holy Bible. Nashville: Nelson. 1982. pp. Preface.
  9. ^ Henry, Matthew (1991). Matthew Henry's Commentary on the Whole Bible. Hendrickson. p. 2364.
  10. ^ Grudem, Wayne (1994). Systematic Theology. Leicester, England: Inter-Varsity Press. pp. 49–50.
  11. ^ "Original Preface to KJV". The Holy Bible. "Published with the original KJV".
  12. ^ Grudem, Wayne (1994). Systematic Theology. Leicester, England: Inter-Varsity Press. pp. 49–50.
  13. ^ Grudem, Wayne (1994). Systematic Theology. Leicester, England: Inter-Varsity Press. p. 93.
  14. ^ Cite error: The named reference Wright was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  15. ^ Grudem, Wayne (1994). Systematic Theology. Leicester, England: IV Press. p. 77.
  16. ^ Grudem, Wayne (1994). Systematic Theology. Leicester, England: IV Press. p. 77.
  17. ^ Preface to the Holy Bible. Nashville: Nelson. 1982. pp. Preface.
  18. ^ Henry, Matthew (1991). Matthew Henry's Commentary on the Whole Bible. Hendrickson. p. 2364.
  19. ^ Grudem, Wayne (1994). Systematic Theology. Leicester, England: Inter-Varsity Press. pp. 49–50.
  20. ^ "Original Preface to KJV". The Holy Bible. "Published with the original KJV".
  21. ^ Grudem, Wayne (1994). Systematic Theology. Leicester, England: IV Press. p. 77.
  22. ^ Preface to the Holy Bible. Nashville: Nelson. 1982. pp. Preface.
  23. ^ Henry, Matthew (1991). Matthew Henry's Commentary on the Whole Bible. Hendrickson. p. 2364.
  24. ^ Grudem, Wayne (1994). Systematic Theology. Leicester, England: Inter-Varsity Press. pp. 49–50.
  25. ^ "Original Preface to KJV". The Holy Bible. "Published with the original KJV".
  26. ^ Grudem, Wayne (1994). Systematic Theology. Leicester, England: IV Press. p. 77.
  27. ^ Preface to the Holy Bible. Nashville: Nelson. 1982. pp. Preface.
  28. ^ Henry, Matthew (1991). Matthew Henry's Commentary on the Whole Bible. Hendrickson. p. 2364.
  29. ^ Grudem, Wayne (1994). Systematic Theology. Leicester, England: Inter-Varsity Press. pp. 49–50.
  30. ^ "Original Preface to KJV". The Holy Bible. "Published with the original KJV".
  31. ^ Grudem, Wayne (1994). Systematic Theology. Leicester, England: IV Press. p. 77.
  32. ^ Gill, John (1810). Exposition of the Old and New Testaments: Complete and Unabridged. London: Mathews & Leigh, "see Commentary on 2 Timothy 3:16".
  33. ^ Henry, Matthew (1991). Matthew Henry's Commentary on the Whole Bible. Hendrickson. p. 2364.
  34. ^ Grudem, Wayne (1994). Systematic Theology. Leicester, England: Inter-Varsity Press. pp. 49–50, 73–76.
  35. ^ Grudem, Wayne (1994). Systematic Theology. Leicester, Englad: IV Press. p. 1168. Finally, I have also included the Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy (1978), because it was the product of a conference representing a broad variety of evangelical traditions, and because it has gained widespread acceptance as a valuable doctrinal standard concerning an issue of recent and current controversy in the church"; The Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy (1978), pages 1203-1207.
  36. ^ Hodges, Charles (1999). Systematic Theology Chapter 6. Hendrickson Publishers. ISBN 1-56563-459-4 (also available abridged by Edward N. Gross, ISBN 0-87552-224-6)
  37. ^ Pink, Arthur (1917). "Chapter 13". The Divine Inspiration of the Bible. Swengel, PA: BIBLE TRUTH DEPOT PUBLISHERS AND BOOKSELLERS.
  38. ^ Warfield, Benjamin (1889). "The Authority & Inspiration of the Scriptures". Westminster Teacher. Unknown parameter |month= ignored (help)
  39. ^ Hodges, Charles (1999). Systematic Theology, Volume 1 Chapter 6. Hendrickson Publishers. ISBN 1-56563-459-4 (also available abridged by Edward N. Gross, ISBN 0-87552-224-6)
  40. ^ Pink, Arthur (1917). "Chapter 13 Verbal Inspiration". The Divine Inspiration of the Bible. Swengel, PA: BIBLE TRUTH DEPOT PUBLISHERS AND BOOKSELLERS.
  41. ^ Grudem, Wayne (1994). Systematic Theology. Leicester, England: IV Press. p. 77.
  42. ^ Gill, John (1810). Exposition of the Old and New Testaments: Complete and Unabridged. London: Mathews & Leigh, "see Commentary on 2 Timothy 3:16".
  43. ^ Henry, Matthew (1991). Matthew Henry's Commentary on the Whole Bible. Hendrickson. p. 2364.
  44. ^ Grudem, Wayne (1994). Systematic Theology. Leicester, England: Inter-Varsity Press. pp. 49–50, 73–76.
  45. ^ Grudem, Wayne (1994). Systematic Theology. Leicester, Englad: IV Press. p. 1168. Finally, I have also included the Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy (1978), because it was the product of a conference representing a broad variety of evangelical traditions, and because it has gained widespread acceptance as a valuable doctrinal standard"; The Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy (1978), pages 1203-1207.
  46. ^ Warfield, Benjamin (1889). "The Authority & Inspiration of the Scriptures". Westminster Teacher. Unknown parameter |month= ignored (help)
  47. ^ Hodges, Charles (1999). Systematic Theology, Volume 1 Chapter 6. Hendrickson Publishers. ISBN 1-56563-459-4 (also available abridged by Edward N. Gross, ISBN 0-87552-224-6)
  48. ^ Pink, Arthur (1917). "Chapter 13 Verbal Inspiration". The Divine Inspiration of the Bible. Swengel, PA: BIBLE TRUTH DEPOT PUBLISHERS AND BOOKSELLERS.
  49. ^ Grudem, Wayne (1994). Systematic Theology. Leicester, England: IV Press. p. 77.
  50. ^ Henry, Matthew (1991). Matthew Henry's Commentary on the Whole Bible. Hendrickson. p. 2364.
  51. ^ Grudem, Wayne (1994). Systematic Theology. Leicester, England: Inter-Varsity Press. pp. 49–50, 73–76.
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