Is the Bible proof?

I’ve had many Christians tell me the proof is in the Bible. But isn’t the Bible just a historical account and not proof of anything? American history books aren’t proof of events in American history - just historical accounts. But we could get into a discussion of what ‘proof’ is.

More to the point, it’s my understanding that the Bible is not proof, but the basis for the Christian faith. If the Bible were proof of Christianity, then wouldn’t there be no Christian faith, but Christian facts instead?

The Bible isn’t propositional. It doesn’t lead to a proof (as would be expected of philosophy texts).

The Bible is narrative. It contains as much proof as, for example, the story of little red riding hood does…

Also it’s “historical account” would be as much figurative as it is literal. The best explanation I’ve heard in this regard: imagine those comics you see in the New Yorker for example, where a historical (perhaps current) event is depicted in a single scene with a single caption. The brilliance of such cartoons is their power to both portray history and to transcend history. Someone can look at that cartoon (if it’s a good one) a hundred years later and still find relevance even if they don’t know the specific history it pertains to.

There is a subjective version of the word proof, and it’s what most people mean when they say it.
They think they mean empirical, but they really just mean subjective proof.

For instance, proof that a man is cheating on his wife doesn’t need to be empirical at all; it can be pure conjecture of behavior and that’s it.
The opposite for a woman cheating is also true.

This is most often what people mean:
“The evidence or argument that compels the mind to accept an assertion as true.”

They rarely mean:
“Something demonstrated to exist or known to have existed by a procedure offering the means of determining the presence, quality, or truth of something”

See, the first is a definition of Proof.
The second is a definition of a Tested Fact.

A proof is not inherently a tested fact.

When someone says the Bible is proof; they mean The Bible contains citation that compel the mind to accept an assertion as true.

If it doesn’t for you, then it simply is not proof of anything, even if it is for someone else.

I think I see what you’re saying. If I follow along, Christians would say that the Bible is enough proof for them but wouldn’t say it’s a “tested fact”.

But I’m not talking about what is enough proof for one to believe. I’m talking about objective proof.

Then no, the Bible is not objective proof.

Archeology looks for physical remains of places, people, and things described in the Bible because it is, in the eyes of anthropology, at least a partial truth containing some real information about a set of peoples before man started “objective” records of history.

Yeah, this is a pretty straight up category error here, and a real mess. People love the word ‘proof’ because we’re still recovering from the whole Enlightenment thing, so atheists want to point and say theists don’t have it, the theists want to bite back and insist that they do, and nobody shows much interest in exploring what the word really means.

There’s no such thing as objective proof, unless you mean logical/mathematical proofs, and no, of course the Bible isn’t one of those- but then, neither is 99.9% of the rest of collected human knowledge, either. Everything else IS ‘enough proof for one to believe’. If you want to say that some people’s enough is bad or insufficient, then go right ahead and study epistemology, the pool is always big enough for one more.

As with anything in life, Christianity boils down to what a person ‘feels’ or ‘thinks’ is right or wrong, etc. Claims otherwise are resoundingly hollow, IMO.
There are only subjective proofs, truths and absolutes in this life… well that’s my subjective opinion any way :wink:

I think Christians mean this in a few ways. The “historical account = proof” interpretation is the more naive one in my view (but they’re all naive really). Another is that they suppose (and maybe they’re right) the Bible contains some kind of philosophical argument (like the ontological or cosmological one) that concludes with God’s existence. A third is that if one were to just read the Bible, he would see how inspiring, beautiful, and full of awe the writing really is - and no human could possibly write something like that!

This seems consistent with Christian perspective, yes.

But the Bible is also a very flawed, contradictary and human offering, which does not diminish any wisdom or beauty therein but it does suggest that the Bible gets things wrong :wink: