The Bible as an accurate, comprehensive and infallible guide to life
MoonShadow: While I accept that the Word of God as He originally gave it can be other than infallible when used for the purpose for which it was intended, I don't believe the translations of the Bible we currently have can be used conclusively for the purpose you are trying to use them for, since they come to us filtered through two millenia of prejudice.
Umm... what? Do you mean they come to us filtered through the prejudices of the writers two millenia ago? Surely you're aware current translations are made from Greek, Aramaic and Hebrew manuscripts, as close to the originals as the biblical scholars can get them? [If discussion on this point continues, it probably ought to move to a separate page] --AlexChurchill
The primary purpose of the Word of God is to lead people to a personal relationship with Jesus. Once they have this, God starts working with them on and in their life. If they look to the Bible instead of (or in preference to) the Living God for guidance, that is idolatry (strong language, yes, but I really do think it is). The Bible is a guide to God - it is not God; and when God tells you something, it is Him you should listen to, and not the Bible. This is not to say He does not use the Bible to tell you things; but neither is He limited to it. The Gospels themselves are full of examples where Jesus uses His authority to override that of scripture, which I believe sets the precedent. Anyone who really believes that Jesus is alive should have no reason to go anywhere else for guidance first.
The Bible is God-inspired. By the time the books were put in writing, and certainly by the time the exact content of the compendium you hold now was settled upon, the Bible has been filtered through human experience and understanding. All translation loses nuances and alters meaning, and that first translation to written form was no exception.
Current mainstream translations into English, even when taken straight from the originals (or as close to them as we can get) are heavily biased by two millenia of tradition and experience. Translations that break with tradition, whether in an attempt to be more exact or some other reason, are few and not generally accepted by the mainstream (precisely because they break with tradition). Two millenia of prejudice certainly has its effect, whether directly or not, and I would argue a lot of prejudice we have now is unbiblical, unscriptural, un-God-like and whatever other words you normally use for "something Jesus would not approve of".