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Old 06-16-2001, 10:02 PM   #1
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Post Circular Reasoning

"The Bible must be categorized as myth and legend, since it contains miracles; surely miracles such as those in the Bible don't happen, since, after all, the Bible is only myth and legend, not history."

Sounds absurd, but this is the reasoning that governs modern Biblical Criticism and New Testament Chronology.

matt
 
Old 06-16-2001, 11:51 PM   #2
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Actually Matt,

True criticism of the Biblical Mythology is going to have to be non biased. However, since many things in the Bible have yet to be proved beyond reasonable doubt, it will remain mythical.

I agree though, the critics should analyze the miracles in the Bible with an open-minded view. But it isn't absurd to call the Bible mythology at all. At least not any more absurd than it is to claim that the entire Bible is true with no evidence outside of faith and ignorance.

hubj.
 
Old 06-17-2001, 12:04 AM   #3
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So-called "miracles" are viewed with skepticism not because they occur in the JC Bible, but because they are not ordinarily observed to occur; indeed they contradict the ontology adduced and confirmed by ordinary observation.

Many events in the bible are entirely ordinary and are not disbelieved: People eat, drink, talk, fight, love and die. None of these events are disbelieved merely because they occur in the JC Bible.
 
Old 06-17-2001, 10:22 AM   #4
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True, that argument does seem circular, but there is a very common position among skeptics, such as myself, which is noncircular. To understand it, consider the early theologian Origen. He asked that if one believes stories like the siege of Troy, Romulus and Remus, and so forth, why believe those stories and not those in the Bible?

That common skeptic position is a precise inverse of Origen's; if one disbelieves in the miracles of Greco-Roman paganism and other religions, why disbelieve those and not those of the Bible?

If one considers to be pure fiction the story of Apollonius of Tyana raising a little girl from the dead, why do that and not consider equally fictional the story of Jesus Christ doing the same for Lazarus?

If one rejects the divine inspiration of oracles of the Gods, why reject that and not the divine inspiration of the Bible?

If one rejects the view that the founder of Rome was the son of a god and a virgin, why reject that and not reject the view that Jesus Christ had been the son of a god and a virgin?

Etc. etc. etc.
 
Old 06-17-2001, 06:07 PM   #5
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What is the "JC" Bible? The Jewish-Christian Bible? The Jesus Christ Bible (aka the NT)?


The topic that insists on coming up in every single discussion on this board, no matter what the discussion is about, has again reared its ugly head in this thread (no big surprise), so I will attempt to kill it once and for all. Of course, it will almost certainly turn out to be the kind of monster that Hercules first fought, which grows back two heads for every one you cut off, but here I go anyway...

How can Christians justify a belief in exclusively the Biblical miracles? Although fundamentalists have taught the world to interpret the Bible far too literally in my humble opinion (e.g., the Genesis account of the fall and its magical fruit, talking snake, Tree of Death, etc. -- while the fall is historical, it is non-literal history.), still the Bible is fraught with miraculous and supernatural occurences. Some of these, most notably the resurrection, I don't believe can be satisfactorally explained naturalistically. Paul wrote four epistles--Romans, 1 and 2 Corinthians, Galatians--concerning whose authorship there is no doubt or debate. His witness to Christ and Christ's miraculous resurrection (lit. "arising" or "standing up") from [among] the dead is strong and consistent in these four letters. I don't think his belief can be explained as being resultant from extreme mysticism, or a mental imballance, for these letters are perfectly sane and logical.

Having established for myself that I believe in the resurrection (NOT something I was trying to do, but a belief that imposed itself upon me, I assure you), I then move on to decide whether or not extrabiblical miracles are possible. Of course, it is possible to believe in the resurrection and NOT beleive in any/most of the rest of the Biblical accounts of the supernatural, but I believe that they are a package deal, as most of you most likely do, so I won't go into the reasoning behind that conviction now. The thing is, I CAN believe in extrabiblical miracles, and I am open to such a belief: wherever the message of Christ and his powerful resurrection is proclaimed, there is a possibility of miracles as a sign of authority. As far as non-Christian miracles, I disbelieve them because:

1) So far, I haven't found any that even seem to require an explanation which calls for the supernatural, and
2) Because they and Christianity are mutually exclusive, and I believe in Christianity. Catholicism, Hinduism, and Islam clearly can't be true if the Christianity of the NT is--therefore, their miracles must not be true (which coincides w/ the lack of any good evidence for them in my experience). If I ever find a miracle-claim that contradicts the Christian worldview and seems to be real, I'll have to reexamine things.

matt

 
Old 06-17-2001, 07:09 PM   #6
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[QUOTE]Originally posted by matt:
What is the "JC" Bible? The Jewish-Christian Bible? The Jesus Christ Bible (aka the NT)?

I can only speak for myself, but when I use the term "JC Bible," I am referring to the Judeo-Christian Bible. Others are probably doing the same.

rodahi


 
Old 06-21-2001, 07:57 PM   #7
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Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by matt:
1) So far, I haven't found any that even seem to require an explanation which calls for the supernatural,</font>
The reliable pagan historical documents that describe miracles are too numerous to all be listed here, but for a brief, yet devastating (for you anyway) example, there are; the Moai Statues of Easter Island. Easter Island is replete with hundreds of large, heavy statues of Demigodesque figures. This is in spite of the fact that the inhabitants of Easter Island were quite primitive and lacking in manpower when compared with other civilizations that made statues. The Statues are even without scratches on the back of them, even though scratching would almost certainly be created if these monuments were man-made (since they'd have to be dragged over lines of logs from the quarries). These monuments origin are so amazing that they have inspired many a paranormal enthusaist to claim they were created by aliens. Guess what the Islanders say, though? They say the statues just got up and walked to their present locations, since they truly were gods. Guess what else? Archeologists are still perplexed at the origin of these statues even now.

There is a pagan 'miracle' for you.
 
Old 06-25-2001, 07:28 PM   #8
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The Easter Island statues walked there, or were walked, rather. A system of ropes can be used to tilt a statue back & forth in a walking fashion.

I know. I saw it on PBS.
 
Old 06-25-2001, 07:45 PM   #9
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Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Tuor:
The Easter Island statues walked there, or were walked, rather. A system of ropes can be used to tilt a statue back & forth in a walking fashion.

I know. I saw it on PBS.
</font>
I saw a documentary on the Easter Island heads, some archaeologists were trying to figure out how they moved them from the cliffs and stood them up on the shore, so they decided to set up their own head. They did it by putting it on an A frame made out of strong wood (there was a stronger tree but the original inhabitants cut them all down, but thats another part ofthe story), and put it on sytem of other straight trees that looked similar to a railroad track, and drgged it along that.... When they got to the place for the head, they turned it around using a lever typ system, and then dragged it up a small incline, and slowly set it into place by using a system of rocks and levers that slowly put the head rightside up.
 
Old 06-28-2001, 06:01 PM   #10
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Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by matt:
Of course, it will almost certainly turn out to be the kind of monster that Hercules first fought, which grows back two heads for every one you cut off, but here I go anyway...</font>
I love that one! That is my favorite buybull story!
 
 

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