Instigator / Pro
4
1435
rating
48
debates
37.5%
won
Topic

Updates within the Bible is necessary to keep Christianity relevant.

Status
Finished

All stages have been completed. The voting points distribution and the result are presented below.

Arguments points
0
3
Sources points
2
0
Spelling and grammar points
1
1
Conduct points
1
1

With 1 vote and 1 point ahead, the winner is ...

Jeff_Goldblum
Parameters
More details
Publication date
Last update date
Category
Religion
Time for argument
Two days
Voting system
Open voting
Voting period
One week
Point system
Four points
Rating mode
Rated
Characters per argument
10,000
Required rating
1500
Contender / Con
5
1610
rating
10
debates
85.0%
won
Description
~ 0 / 5,000

No information

Round 1
Pro
I will waive this round and see what my opponent has got. 
Con
Thanks to User for setting up this debate. I look forward to an enriching discussion on biblical relevance.

My opening round is split into three sections. In the first, I simply frame the debate (i.e. establish BoP and provide definitions). In the second, I argue that the Bible has done just fine, in terms of relevance, without revision. In the third, I argue that revisions of the Bible would likely backfire, prompting controversy within Christianity and a crisis of faith for many, thus threatening the Christianity's relevance.

Framing the Debate
Burden of Proof - Given he is the claim-maker, it seems clear to me that Pro carries the burden of proof in this debate. Pro must adequately demonstrate to the voters that revisions to the Bible are necessary to maintain Christianity's relevance. My task is, in theory at least, easier. I merely need to prevent my opponent from adequately substantiating this claim. I do not need to definitively prove a claim of my own.

The Bible, Defined - As one can imagine, defining "the Bible" could get tricky. There are, after all, quite a few different versions of the Bible. I don't expect my opponent and I need to agree to a particular version of the Bible in order to have a good debate, so I propose this be our definition of "the Bible": The central holy book of the many denominations of Christianity.

Christianity's Relevance, Defined - Relevance should be measured by the number of people that subscribe to the Christian faith. I think this should be uncontroversial.

Enduring Relevance, or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Let the Bible Be
Over the centuries the bible has existed, science has uncovered glaring errors in the book's teachings. Here are some of my favorites:

-Geocentrism. "He has fixed the earth firm, immovable." (1 Chronicles 16:30) Obviously, Copernicus and Galileo's discovery that the Earth orbits the sun was unpopular with the Church. In fact, it wasn't until 1835 that the Church acknowledged the reality of heliocentrism and not until 1992 that Pope John Paul II apologized for the Church's retribution against Galileo.

-Once, many scholars of the Bible argued that the text suggested the Earth was roughly 4,000 years old. Geologic and astronomical observations indicate this is woefully wrong.

-Evolution vs. Creationism. "So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them." (Genesis 1:27) Darwin's 1859 On the Origin of Species dealt a pretty serious blow to the divine origination of life.

-On a related note, the evidence of species extinction in the fossil record undermined biblical beliefs about the Great Flood and the impossibility of animal extinction.

I bring all this up not for the purpose of dunking on the Bible, but rather to make the following point: the Bible hasn't been with the times for quite a while, and Christianity's doing just fine. In the last several centuries, scientific discoveries have strongly hinted at the likelihood that the Bible was not the word of a perfect God, but rather the writings of fallible men, relying on the flawed knowledge of their day. And yet, Christianity is still here, with over 2 billion followers worldwide.

Thus, there is no urgent need to 'update' the Bible. Clearly, billions of Christians do not mind that some passages haven't aged well.

Tempting Fate, or, How Revising the Bible Would Cause Great Controversy and Many Personal Crises of Faith
But what if we updated the Bible anyway? The first question to ask is: what does it mean to "update the Bible?" I argue that for an update to be meaningful, it would have to be authoritative. By that I mean the institutional leaders of Christianity, the Pope among them, would need to oversee and approve a revision of the Bible. If the revision were not authoritative, it wouldn't be much better than Thomas Jefferson writing his own personal version of the Bible.

So assuming an authoritative rewrite of the Bible takes place, with the goal of updating the Bible to be with the times, what is the likely outcome? In my view: controversy.

The dominant Christian view is that the Bible is the holy word of God. As the Catholic Catechism puts it:
"For Holy Mother Church, relying on the faith of the apostolic age, accepts as sacred and canonical the books of the Old and the New Testaments, whole and entire, with all their parts, on the grounds that, written under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, they have God as their author, and have been handed on as such to the Church herself."
Now let us say the dominant Christian institutions rewrote the Bible. Imagine they removed the story of Noah's Ark on the grounds that modern archaeology didn't support the tale, and pretty much did away with Genesis, on account of the all the incest and genetic inbreeding implied therein. What does this say about the view of God as the author of the Bible?

Put simply, how can the Bible be the holy word of God if we need to change it to reflect basic understandings of the world?

In my view, a high-profile revision of the Bible would lead many Christians to one of two conclusions:
1. The Bible was never the holy word of God. It's just writings by fallible men, claimed to be the work of a perfect God.
2. The Bible is the word of God, but God changed his word. This must mean he was either a liar or is fallible.

Although I don't doubt that many Christians would be able to overcome the cognitive dissonance prompted by a revision of the Bible, I imagine the worldwide attention to the event would make it hard for many to pretend it wasn't happening. As such, a crisis of faith within Christianity would be likely to ensue. This would likely lead to many losing their Christian faith. Thus, per the definition I proposed earlier, revision would actually reduce Christianity's relevance.

Conclusion
In this opening round, I have framed the debate and offered two arguments in my favor. For the first argument, I demonstrated that the Bible and Christianity have remained relevant despite the great degree to which the Bible is out of touch with reality. In the second, I argued that a revision of the Bible would actually backfire, in all likelihood reducing the relevance of Christianity by forcing many of its adherents away from the faith.
Round 2
Pro
The Bible, Defined - As one can imagine, defining "the Bible" could get tricky. There are, after all, quite a few different versions of the Bible. I don't expect my opponent and I need to agree to a particular version of the Bible in order to have a good debate, so I propose this be our definition of "the Bible": The central holy book of the many denominations of Christianity.
It appears that, because there are multiple versions of the bible, it means the bible is:
  1. False, consider the most rational thing God could do regarding the Bible is to enter the info in people's brains or the least he could do is write the bible itself. Both benefit the knowledge of society as there are no confusions, but yet, none is done. I asked God why not erase Evil or enter Bible as the operating system of our brain, no answer. These questions are unanswerable without potential critics. [1] This source explains how, in Christianity, we communicate with God. However, when asked of the most important questions that are unanswerable, this supposed God, who is supposed to enter information upon us, cannot answer this and the author made an excuse, and these questions are left unanswered. 
  2. Creating conflicts. Since there are different versions of the Bible, all translated by different people from different Time periods, conflicts will eventually emerge. Denominations will fight against each other once in a while consider the bible is unregulated in information after the last book is finished. 
The Bible also spreads false information.
Matthew 19:26 ESV [2]
But Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”
This quote assumes that God is omnipotent.
Using logic, I could potentially disprove God's omnipotence.[2]

This source presents two types of Omnipotence. Omnipotence A and Omnipotence Lp. What is Omnipotence A: It means that God can do these listed below:
  • Create a bachelor that is currently married
  • Create a minor that was born 100 years ago and still alive
  • Create a triangle with 6 sides and 24 angles
  • Create a rock that he cannot lift
  • Erase Evil on all the worlds and erase sins so we could live a free life without avoiding anything that could send us to the "inevitable hell of sins". 
God didn't prove that any of those are possible and its possibility is either determined to be false or a non-definite true: We can't understand how that is even possible. However, if God is omnipotent, God can explain how he created the universe to a bug or a snail, so the fact we can't understand it now means that God is not omnipotent, and the bible is spreading lies in its cores. 

Conclusions: It is obviously better to update the bible because there are lies among the truths and they need revision.

If a Christian says that God's words cannot be altered, I would ask, Would God write flaws? Nope. I agree that the Bible is written by flawed humans and everything above is an example. We, humans, have the right to change another human's work and it would be beneficial instead of detrimental consider we are moving forward in science within religion. Religion is supposed to teach us about moral stuff, not outdated, non-scientific information. 

In the second, I argued that a revision of the Bible would actually backfire, in all likelihood reducing the relevance of Christianity by forcing many of its adherents away from the faith.
I disagree. A revision of the Bible could potentially:
  • Use the One and Only orthodox version, and it will update every time new information with relevance to the topics on the Bible exists. I understand that computers and the internet are needed because too much book printing will be needed, but look at how cheap is a computer now: 
    • $129.00 is sufficient at surfing the web[4], and it is much more extensive than the one needed for bible updates. One church only needs one, and the whole kit(Projector/ 50'' big display) won't cost anything over $2,000[5]. This is the price of less than an average church organ[6].
    • By 2019, 96% of US adults own a wireless phone. 81% of US adults own a smartphone such as the iPhone, etc. Accessing the digital and updating the bible is easy just by 2019[7]
  • Outdate the old versions. After finding that one version has more accurate texts, better wordings, etc... More people will be attracted to Christianity(especially that branch) because it is scientifically correct. Then the conservatives will get angry and they will leave, and some others will join that branch because it is completely abashed compared to any others. Christianity will lose its significance if there are no updates because soon some facts will be disproven. A newer version that is correct in every way possible will attract more people into this religion. 
Conclusion: Because the revised bible will be better in most ways, it will attract people rather than chase them away. The new version completely wins in the war because it is both Christian and more scientific. End of the story. 

Sources:

I pass the talking feather to Con and see what he can do over there. 



Con
After reviewing my opponent's reply, I believe I can present a clear, distilled summary of his argument. Here is my understanding of what he's said:

1. The Bible has many problems (e.g. scientific inaccuracies, differences between versions that promote controversies, and logical contradictions).
2. Revising the Bible to make it scientifically accurate would result in a net increase of adherents to the Christian faith.

Here is my reply:

Re: Point 1
I agree the Bible has many problems.

However, I do not think my opponent has adequately demonstrated that the Bible's problems are a threat to Christianity's relevance. My opponent asserts this claim, but doesn't prove it.
Christianity will lose its significance if there are no updates because soon some facts will be disproven.
Based on my good-faith reading of my opponent's arguments, this is the closest he comes to supporting the idea that the Bible's flaws are a threat to Christianity's relevance. Clearly, this is not sufficient to substantiate the claim.

In my opening round, I demonstrated that despite centuries of containing known scientific inaccuracies, the Bible still has billions of followers. This suggests that most Christians either don't recognize or don't care that the Bible is flawed in the ways we've identified in this debate. Because my opponent has not only failed to overturn my argument, but has also neglected to put forth support for the statement quoted above, I contend he has not met his burden of proof in this debate. He has not demonstrated that the Bible's flaws are a real problem for Christianity. If there is no problem, what need is there for a solution?

Re: Point 2
But let's look at the solution. Is the cure worse than the disease, as they say? My opponent has a couple things to say on this. He is quoted below.

More people will be attracted to Christianity(especially that branch) because it is scientifically correct.
My opponent expresses a similar view here, as well:
A newer version that is correct in every way possible will attract more people into this religion.
However, my opponent concedes that updates to the Bible could result in an exodus of the conservative faithful:
Then the conservatives will get angry and they will leave
So, essentially my opponent has identified two possible (and opposing) trends. The first trend would be a positive one for Christianity: a more scientifically-accurate Bible would bring new people into the faith. The second trend would be a negative one for Christianity: some people, conservatives, by my opponent's estimation, would be angered by the Bible's revision and leave the faith.

My opponent concludes that the first trend would be stronger than the second, but he provides no evidence to support this claim. Nor does he meaningfully address the portion of my opening arguments in which I argue revision would do more harm than good, in terms of Christianity's relevance.

Thus, my opponent has again failed to meet his burden of proof.

Conclusion
My opponent has yet to demonstrate that the Bible's flaws are a serious threat to Christianity's relevance. Furthermore, he has not substantiated his contention that revision would do more good than harm. Given the burden of proof is on my opponent, I feel I have no need to say anything more at this point.
Round 3
Pro


This version is the successor of the KJV version. It is considered more literally accurate. 
Within the same language, changes happen. Revisions can be made without changing the original idea. English has gone from "Nay, my lord" to "Naw man" in about 500 years, and revisions could help so English is easier to understand.

Since the objective for Christianity is for more people to trust it, using a form of the syntax that no one could understand would definitely hinder the spreading of this. If I let my teacher teach Biology and Physics using Old English, then the classmates won't understand anything except for the numbers and the few cognates that actually work. The students won't tell the difference between "Mitochondria is the powerhouse of the cell" and "The Mitochondria is within the cell" without putting them side by side, and even then, they would have a hard time telling which is which and what is what.

If you want everyone to learn ancient Hebrew, then sure, go ahead. The unrevised languages of the bible contain no English language and that would mean you have to know ancient Hebrew in order to understand it. 

Translations count as revisions considering no two languages has 100% identical translations. Everything, as exact as possible, will still have certain keywords that would mean something else in a different context. Translating would mean changing entire verses based on different standards of meaning, and that would mean revision.

Yeah, you have to learn ancient Hebrew to learn about the bible if you are thinking of updating the bible won't attract people. Translating and updating the bible would bring foreigners and young people into the faith of God, and it would help both themselves as Christians and the faith itself. 

This source states that it can be possible to revise the bible if it is meaningfully more explainable. 

Do I need to say anything more? With the speed of languages improving and disappearing, updates and translations of the bible would certainly work, even without changing its original idea. revising the sentence "The person changed his shirt to a suit" to "The man took off his casual shirt, in place for a business suit" does not change the meaning after all. revising the word "booty" to "spoils of war" only clarifies the intended meaning more. 

Because English as a Language will CLEARLY evolve as a language, revising the bible without changing the original meaning will clearly help. Without relevant people and linguistics masters, an un-updated bible will only be lost with the religion. Without translations nor updates to the language, Christianity will lose too. 

Conclusion:
1. The only way to make the bible unrevised and non-updated is to learn languages like Ancient Hebrew. 
2. Because English and other languages are evolving, revisions should be made to adapt to future English even if there are no major changes in the intended content.
I rest my case. 
Con
I'd like to begin by noting that my opponent seems to have totally dropped his arguments from previous rounds, instead offering a new argument in his final round. Because I last responded to his previous arguments, and because he has not attempted to defend his previous arguments against my rebuttals, it seems to me that my opponent has abandoned his previous arguments.

So, what of his new argument? I would summarize it thus:

1. Translations = "Revision"
Translations count as revisions considering no two languages has 100% identical translations.
2. Languages change over time
Within the same language, changes happen... English has gone from "Nay, my lord" to "Naw man" in about 500 years...
3. In order to ensure the Bible will remain readily comprehensible to the masses, the Bible will require translations now and again.
Because English as a Language will CLEARLY evolve as a language, revising the bible without changing the original meaning will clearly help.
I would also like to highlight that my opponent is now claiming these "revisions" to the Bible would not change the "original meaning" of the Bible. Rather, they would merely keep it comprehensible as language evolves.

In this way, my opponent attempts to meet his burden of proof in demonstrating that the Bible requires revision in order for Christianity to remain relevant.

I object solely to contention #1. I disagree strongly with my opponent's attempt to conflate translation with revision. Below, I offer two reasons why I believe voters should reject my opponent's gambit. In my opinion, each reason alone is sufficient to conclude my opponent has not met his burden of proof. I merely offer multiple out of an abundance of caution.

Rebuttal #1
Put simply, my opponent's attempt to conflate translation with revision runs counter to the spirit of the debate. It was obvious that by "revision" my opponent was referring to substantive changes. Indeed, in R2, this was the understanding of "revision" my opponent clearly proceeded upon. Though he did not explicitly define the term when he set up this debate, its general meaning was clear as a matter of common sense. Absent an explicit definition to the contrary, I argue we ought to hold Pro accountable to the common understanding of "revision." Voters ought not let him sneak a win by conflating translation and revision.

Rebuttal #2
Perhaps some voters will not be satisfied with my appeal to a common sense understanding of "revision." In which case, I present authoritative descriptions of the two words.

Oxford Dictionary defines Translation as: "the process of changing something that is written or spoken into another language." Here are a few of Oxford's example sentences:
  • an error in translation
  • He specializes in translation from Danish into English.
  • The book loses something in translation.
  • The irony is lost in translation.
Oxford Dictionary defines Revision as: "a change or set of changes to something." Here are a few of Oxford's example sentences:
  • He made some minor revisions to the report before printing it.
  • a system in need of revision
  • a revision of trade policies
  • Their educational policies are due for revision.
In this online essay, written by Charles Martin, a former literary translator, we can see that the words translation and revision are not the same. Martin uses the word translation to refer to the transfer of a work from one language to another. He uses the word revision to refer to the act of proofreading/editing. The title of the essay alone - "The Dark Side of Translation Revision" - makes clear that a translation professional thinks the two words are not synonymous.

Speaking of synonyms, I urge voters who are still unconvinced to review Thesaurus.com's list of synonyms for Translation and Revision. If, after reviewing these lists, and having read all of the above, a voter is still convinced that Pro is justified in claiming translation=revision, then there's nothing more I can do.

Conclusion
In his final round, my opponent apparently abandoned his previous argument, preferring instead to claim that translation=revision, and therefore, revisions to the Bible will be necessary to maintain Christianity's relevance. I believe I have shown definitively that translation and revision are not the same thing. Therefore, Pro's argument fails to satisfy his burden of proof.