Why does the Bible contain scientific errors?

I think that asking why the Bible contains scientific errors is clear: The people who wrote it were either speaking figuratively or they made mistakes.

Most of the authors didn’t intend for their work to be symbolic. First, consider that many of these books—especially in the Old Testament—contain explicit references to brutal consequences for not accepting the words of the Bible.

The notion that these authors were referring to consequences for not accepting a certain figurative interpretation of the Bible is logically shaky. Why wouldn’t they outline the correct interpretation? Given that brutal punishment awaits the readers, and that people interpret works of art very differently, this is doubtful.

Furthermore, why would the Bible consistently track heavily detailed things, such as genealogy stemming from Adam and Eve, if the creation story was intended to be symbolic? It doesn’t add up.

As for the New Testament, Jesus made statements which suggested a literal interpretation of the creation story, regarding the universe and mankind (Mark 10:6). [1] You can also find many references to genealogy stemming from Adam and Eve in the New Testament, which further supports the idea that the New Testament was also written from a literal perspective.

So, if the writers weren’t writing the Bible figuratively, then it appears that they simply made mistakes. But how did the writers of the Bible make mistakes, if they were receiving the word of God?


How the authors of the Bible managed to make so many mistakes is one of the problems that troubled me the most as I learned about Christianity. Whenever I managed to convince a Christian of the clear fact that the Bible contains many errors, and has resulted in interpretations that incited violence throughout history, they would typically respond with something like “The Bible is written by people, and people make mistakes.”

What?! If the Bible contains tons of errors because people make mistakes, how are we able to discern which parts are mistakes and which parts aren’t? More importantly, why did God deliver his word to these people if he knew that it would later be misinterpreted, and cause violence?

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