Argument from the overall message

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The Bible with annotations by the reader.

Apologists argue we can know a holy book is true because the book has a unified and coherent overall message.

"The individual writers, at the time of writing, had no idea that their message was eventually to be incorporated into such a Book, but each nevertheless fits perfectly into place and serves its own unique purpose as a component of the whole. [1]"
"Every Qur'anic surah(chapter) is a complete discourse with perfect systematic coherence. [2]"
"We can assume that if asked about any controversial subject other than religion they would have had as many differing opinions as we might expect to hear on a media chat show. Yet without any collaboration or spin-doctoring, they have given us a body of writing that is amazingly coherent. [...] how else could everything they wrote fuse so perfectly together?[3]"

Counter arguments[edit]

The Bible had editors and the text evolved over time. Saying it was originally written as we currently have it is historically inaccurate.

Apologists are welling to bend over backward to reinterpreted any passages that might imply a contradiction. Theists contradict themselves: even though they don't agree on what the overall message is, agree that there is an overall message. They cannot possibly know there is an overall message without being able to first agree on what it is!

This is also an argument from ignorance.

Ring composition[edit]

For more information, see the Wikipedia article:

Apologists point out that the Qur'an has a chiastic or "ring" composition, meaning themes themes are ordered in a A-B-C-B-A sandwich arrangement. Apologists then use an argument from ignorance that the cause of the structure must be divine.[4]

A chiastic structure is highly artificial; real history does not occur with this arrangement. Other ancient works using chiastic structure include works by Homer, Genesis, the Gospel of Mark and others. The structure may be useful as a mnemonic for oral traditions such as was used to first transmit the Qur'an.

See also[edit]


  1. [1]
  2. [2]
  3. John Blanchard, Why believe the Bible?, 2004
  4. [3]

External links[edit]