Originally posted by whodey
This is quite an assumption. Care to elaborate?
I'd be happy to.
Paul was a man chosen by God to help create His church after the ressurection of Jesus. Read Acts for the story. Paul developed a deep, close relationship with God. As I read Paul's letters, I see a man for whom God is as real as the ground under his feet, as real as the stones creating the prisons in which Paul spent time. Please do not misunderstand my original post. I am not saying that we may discard what Paul wrote as rubbish. His insights into the nature and mind of God are transformational if you allow them to be. His instructions to the early churches still ring true to us today. But Paul was writing letters, not the Bible.
When one begins an earnest study of the Bible, one quickly discovers that each book of the Bible has a different focus and point. The book of Psalms, for example, should not be interpreted exactly the same as the book of Revelations. Psalms is a book of lyrics. Revelation is John's vision of the end times. Paul's books were primarily written as letters.
If you wrote a letter to a very close friend who needed some spiritual guidance you would write it to your friend, not to an audience of millions who would read this letter for the next 2,000 years! That is my point with Paul. We need to keep in mind what he was writing and to whom. We are reading a letter intended for someone else, thousands of years after it was written. Can we glean truths from it? Yes. Was Paul writing from his heart and at the urging of the Holy Spirit? Yes. Did he write the letter to us? No. Going back to the letter to your close friend - you might write something to him that you and he understood and shared. I might take it to mean something quite different, as I am not in on the shared understanding. Does this answer your question? Do you feel I am off base in my assumption?
One final point, it has only been in the last 100 years or so that the concept of the infallability of scripture has crept into the church. Many churches use this idea as a litmus test as to whether one is a "true" Christian or not. There is nothing in scripture to support that. As a previous poster wrote - The Bible was written by men for men. That's not an inaccurate statement. It does not encompass all scripture has to offer and is a bit simplistic, but it is true. We should have the courage to question what we read in the Bible, not in an effort to tear down our faith, rather, to strengthen it. Once we've wrestled with a concept and really get to the bottom of it, really understand it, it is harder to shake our faith in it.