“One does not, need not, and cannot prove axioms. Yet they are indispensable; every philosophy and every person must have axioms, or there would be no philosophy and no persons. From this axiom [the 66 Books of the bible alone are the Word of God] , all other Christian doctrines follow.” – Dr. John Robbins, Books and Letters
The bible is a “confluence” of ideas from other cultures that were prior or contemporaneous to each of the biblical writers and their respective era.
James:Most people to one extent or another would probably concede that their memory is reliable. Even those that would say that their memory is not reliable need to rely upon their memory to make that assertion so they end up in the same camp. Since this is the case, we would (and should) say that the “reliability of the memory” is axiomatic to their worldview. This means that knowledge would not be possible in their worldview if the axiom of the memory’s reliability were not previously accepted as true.
Much in the same way, knowledge in the Christian worldview is impossible without the Christian axiom that the 66 Books of the bible alone are the Word of God because this axiom is the first principle of the Christian faith. The inerrancy of the bible is then considered a theorem which is deduced from this first axiom or principle. The only valid challenge one could make against the theorem that the Bible is without error is that the theorem itself is an invalid inference. Since however this theorem is found explicitly or expressly stated within the words of the bible (i.e. Psalms 119:160, Proverbs 30:5) and is therefore an immediate inference, it is also a valid one.
Once again, axioms by definition are not provable, for if they could be proven then something more fundamental would then precede and become the axiom. For instance, one of the axioms of Euclidean geometry is: Every two points lie on exactly one line. If one could demonstrate this proposition from other another proposition that is logically prior to this one then this proposition is not a valid axiom but instead and perhaps a theorem. The axioms of geometry are prior to the theorems. That is to say, the axioms imply the theorems. Also, axioms do not constitute circular reasoning since they are the starting point of reason and are thus indispensable. In fact, without axioms reasoning itself would be impossible.
If I may paraphrase and revisit your claim, you stated that the bible is a “confluence” of ideas from other cultures that were prior or contemporaneous to each of the biblical writers and their respective era. If your assertion is true, this would mean that the Author of the bible, God, was lying when He claimed that His words (i.e. the bible) were not the product of any particular man’s insight, deliberations or will but, rather of divine origin (2 Peter 1:21). Additionally this claim would run counter to the previously stated Christian axiom which maintains that the Author of the bible’s contents is God. Effectively, you are trying to disprove an axiom of the Christian worldview which we earlier conceded was impossible. This is not to say that all professed axioms are necessarily sound or even valid axioms for that matter, but only that, you cannot demonstrate an axiom to be unsound by merely asserting it’s converse to be true – which is what your statement is trying to do. You could either challenge the validity of the opponents axiom (i.e. to claim that it does not fit the definition of an axiom) or you could assert that the theorems derived from the axioms are invalid inferences (i.e. pointing out logical fallacies – conclusions that do not follow from the premise or in this case the axiom). The latter strategy is typical in debates that concern the correctness of an opponent’s reasoning. Unfortunately, you have neither challenged the validity of the Christian’s axiom of the bible’s authorship nor the soundness of the Christian theorem of biblical inerrancy (at least not successfully). Your claim, logically speaking, is an irrational claim since it is spoken from ignorance (unless of course, you were actually there at the time these biblical writers wrote their books and you are simultaneously omniscient). You cannot possible know firsthand what you claim yet you claim it with certainty; how do you know that this claim is true? I on the other hand have very good reasons for believing that the bible is inerrant especially since it is a theorem that follows from the Christian axiom of scripture’s authorship.