There seem to be three accepted ways to think of scripture:
1. Every word is inspired by God and that means there is never a single error
2. There are translation errors but the original is inspired by God and there were no errors
3. The Bible is riddled with errors, inconsistencies, and is nothing more than a collection of
There is another possibility that I can see.
4. Men were inspired by God to write His message. They did. When they wrote it, they wrote it
as they understood it due to their knowledge and view of the world. At times, they wrote word
for word a message they were given and directly stated that's what God said. Other times, they
must have seen a vision that they could only describe in terms they understood themselves,
with whatever scientific or cultural knowledge they had.
Moses for instance, being told about or shown a vision of creation, couldn't describe it in modern English, he didn't know modern English and didn't even know it would exist. We know now that sound waves sent through water at the right frequency creates light. So God spoke and there was light. He didn't give a complicated scientific explanation, he wouldn't have had one.
There are many contradictions in scripture whether we like it or not. But there are contradictions in the laws of physics, aren't there? Classic physics and modern physics describe things that really happen but they don't all apply to the same situations. Macro and micro have different rules, macro - cause is followed by effect, micro - cause is not necessarily followed by effect. Is that merely semantics? No, or the whole field of science wouldn't have ever been in such an uproar about it and confused.
The Bible is the same way, it teaches things that contradict, not only due to circumstance unless you consider your spiritual perspective circumstance. There are so many opposing teachings that in my natural understanding, i would discount much if not all of it. I could see that much of it makes good sense and that some would be great in a perfect world but this isn't that world! However, there is a whole new world of understanding opened when it's seen with a spiritual perspective. The child of a scientist part of me is annoyed by that; it feels like i'm just fooling myself, hypnotizing my thinking or simply using psychobabble to try to make it fit. But because I have seen and experienced the power of God and the power of scripture myself, I know this is different.
I know others have found the same thing because I've read it in their writings, just a statement of awe that lets me know I'm not the only one. There are many who are not just following some formula they've been taught, there are many who are not just trying to meet requirements hoping for this great reward they try hard to believe in. Another plane of reality has been opened up to us (or have we been opened up to another plane?) and life is no longer what it was.
The ridiculous part to me is that it's so hard to maintain that awareness! Intellectually I know it's there, I remember it, I know that in comparison to what I've seen, nothing else matters at all. To realize that there are times I "forget", times I don't choose to stay there staggers me. Why do I ever choose this "dimension" where my motto is often 'Life sucks and then you die' when I could be in another reality where all the pieces fit, I'm secure, satisfied, and totally at peace?
I have seen and known things, if I tell others, they will know (if they know and trust me) there is something worth devoting themselves entirely to finding. But that doesn't make everything I say and do from now on scripture. It doesn't mean I have all wisdom for all circumstances. I believe scripture is living and active because it somehow carries the very spirit of God in it. Jesus knew that. How else could he have agreed to what he did? Others have given their lives for others but that's on the spur of the moment or for a select loved one. Jesus wasn't saving anyone's life that he could see in this physical world; he knew of the other reality(ies?) and that's what made it worth it.