In a word: bias. All written records are biased and that includes the supposed “inerrant” scriptures of all religions. Here is a good discussion about the book Misquoting Jesus over at Emerging Women. This book is a good lesson in not taking biblical written records completely literally. Oh sure some step around this by saying the “original” autographs of the bible are inerrant, but that’s just a cop-out. Since no one has the originals you can assume they say anything. And apparently that’s just what various copyists and scholars have done over the centuries. Which does not in any way take away from the spiritual message of a religion’s scriptures. It simply means that you cannot and must not make hard and fast rules based on questionable texts or passages or on questionable cultural norms and first century mindsets. People are so hungry for absolutes that they can’t live with the uncertainty of never knowing really what or if a God wants of us, and that includes finding out what God wants in the bible. (It’s funny that only Protestants seem to have a problem with this inerrancy business).
My bet is on the absolute uncertainty of God but the full on practice of inclusion and love in Jesus Christ.
Disclaimer: Emerging Women is committed to the scriptures. My take on the scriptures is no reflection on them and is purely my own opinion. I have the highest respect for the scriptures, a written records of many spiritual journeys.