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Old 02-07-2001, 11:06 PM   #51
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Hi le pede, and welcome to the thread.

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Le pede:

Diana,your point about how the Bible likes to "tell us" that certain people are forgiven was good. And Nomad seems to assume that this is an absolute thing: people do what's wrong, God pronounces a judgement, they repent, they get forgiven and the punishment is called off.</font>
I have not said that his was an absolute thing le pede, so please do not present it as if I have. I did, howeever, show that God has a pattern of showing mercy to people who are repentant. If you disagree with the examples I have offered, then please do so.

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2"> Not so. Not so at ALL. When David was repentant for what he did to Uriah the Hittite and he tore his clothes, that didn't stop Yhwh from killing David's baby. Nathan goes as far as to say "Yhwh has taken away your sin..." (2 Sam. 12:13). As a matter of fact, David explicitly says that he was looking for mercy, but he did not get it (2 Sam 12:22). And when God told Moses he would not enter the promised land--God kept his word, even though Moses was repentant about that too.</font>
Very true. That is why it is so important for us to remember that our repentance must never be offered in the expectation of reward. If I forgot to mention that earlier, I apologize. Sin requires repentance, then God, as the all powerful and all wise judge decides on an appropriate level of punishment. This is, in fact, how justice works, would you not agree?

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Anyway, the Book of Nomad</font>
Hmm... the Book of Nomad.... I kinda like t sound of it.

I'm flattered, but do not think I deserve such an honour le pede.

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2"> is not a part of the canon therefore Nomad's apocryphal story about Jeconiah being forgiven is not a part of the canon--</font>
You are right of course. It is not canon. On the other hand, if you go and read my post (as opposed to just the responses to it from diana and Patrick), you will see that it is not my "apocryphal story". It is offered witin the Jewish books of learning, and for some reason a few atheists on this board have chosen to argue with them.

I am puzzled by their stubborness, as I am sure you can appreciate, but have long ago given up trying to understand the fundamentalist mindset of such people.

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">nor are all the other Nomadic apocryphal stories, such as the leviriate marriage in the genealogies of Jesus.</font>
And this one is not my story either. I offered it as a possible explanation (I would strongly recommend that you do take the time to read my posts le pede). Personally, I could see Luke and/or Matthew getting their genealogies wrong, and it wouldn't bother me all that much.

For those that are troubled by it, there are a number of sources that they are free to consult. Then eveyone can draw their own conclusions.

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">As a result, there is a textual contradiction in the Bible.</font>
And this is one reasonable hypothesis. There are other theories, of course, and each is free to decide for themselves which they like best.

Thank you again le pede.

Nomad
 
Old 02-07-2001, 11:18 PM   #52
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Nomad:
Your words:

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Unlike the Christians with whom you are familiar, I am prepared to concede that there are many apparent, and possibly even real, contradictions within Biblical texts. The point that I am attempting to nail down, in effect, is why anyone would abandon their faith on such trivialities as did Matthew and/or Luke get their genealogies 100% straight. If you can offer a well constructed reason as to why people would be so simple minded, please tell me.</font>
Why WOULD anyone reject the Bible?

Could one good reason for rejecting the Bible as a source of truth/knowledge be because of contradictions that present confusions instead of clarity and suggest that the Bible is not inspired by gods and therefore its theological claims are suspect?

If a suspect in a criminal case contradicts himself, what does that do to his chances of getting acquitted?

A Big Deal WAS made of JC's lineage therefore a genealogy was needed, and because we have two genealogies which conflict and therefore contradict themselves, "Houston, we have a problem!"

Why is the Bible not clear? Why is it so difficult to read that Xn apologists argue that those who "don't get it" simply need to find out how to read or otherwise "trust" [?!?] Xns to interpret it on their behalf?

Why did Big G fail to realize that reflective and skeptical readers need clarity? Why didn't Big G give us a simple narrative?

Why two or more stories all describing the same people/things/events? With conflicting details? [Contradictions of omissions/exclusions in one account are contradictions of inclusions in other accounts.]

Whenever we find contradictory accounts, then (A) one account is atrue and the other(s) is [are] false; or (B) all accounts are false.

For sure, it is not possible for all contradictory accounts to be true.

If devils are in details, we need devils eliminated by clear writing, and we don't find that in the Bible.

By the presence of contradictions, the Bible condemns itself to be the work of man, not of gods; and because men are fallible—as proven by contradictions, skeptics have good reason to reject the Bible as truth except where outside sources can corroborate its claims of archaeology and history.
 
Old 02-08-2001, 12:36 AM   #53
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I still think it's a good point Diana makes. The Bible tells us when people repent and when they don't, and most importantly what happens to them. Plus, the Bible likes to tell us the fate of those they don't like in order to send a message--Cain, Sodom and Gomorrah, Jezebel, Ahab, etc. If someone as important as Jeconiah had repented, it is more probable that the tradition would have preserved that in the canon, than the proposition that Jeconiah actually repented but oops! some redactor forgot to put it in. You cannot ask people to read the Bible objectively, and then criticize them because they aren't hanging common sense at the door.

And using Nomad's reconciliation, we could argue that maybe Satan may not be defeated after all because he'll repent and God will change his mind and accept him in the celestial kingdom again. Maybe the souls of the damned in hell will get another chance because they'll repent and God will change his mind. Perhaps Jesus won't really return because he finds "10 righteous men" on earth and decides to cancel the Parousia. Maybe it's already been canceled!

That's the problem with fundamentalists. They make a complete and utter mess out of hermeneutics. All interpretation becomes arbitrary and subjective, and that's something many skeptics don't want a part of. They do not want to be controlled by a religious tyranny of the majority and mob mentality--that's why many insist that the Bible be clear. With the hermeneutical and exegetical loop de loos and backflips I've seen fundamentalists use to make passages not say what they clearly say, well, I think people should be wary of that kind of element.
 
Old 02-08-2001, 05:55 AM   #54
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Hello again le pede

Interesting thoughts. Thank you for sharing them. And you may well be right about Satan and the damned, Universalists certainly think that everyone will be forgiven in the end. Personally, I am more doubtful, but I certainly won't claim to be omniscient, so who knows for certain (except God of course)?

As a final question, I had noticed your general comment regarding fundamentalists. Does this mean that every Christian that disagrees with your conclusions is a fundamentalist? And is this a bad thing by definition? If so, how did you determine this?

Thanks again for the reply.

Nomad

P.S. Bob, this thread is plenty confused enough as it is. Do you want yet another thread on the contradictions in the Bible, and why it is a hard reading? If so, please start a new thread, and when I get home I'll take a look at what you've got. Please choose your best "contradictions" right away. Thank you.
 
Old 02-08-2001, 10:27 AM   #55
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Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Nomad:

As a final question, I had noticed your general comment regarding fundamentalists. Does this mean that every Christian that disagrees with your conclusions is a fundamentalist? And is this a bad thing by definition? If so, how did you determine this?

</font>
Well, I was actually just explaining why skeptics do not like what they see. And no, not everyone that disagrees with my position is a fundamentalist. But I am suggesting that the harmonizing tradition in fundamentalism causes serious interpretative problems. It does not allow for a uniform way of interpreting the Bible, and in fact this kind of hermeneutics DOES lead to arbitrary interpretations--something the Protestant movement was trying to avoid. So that is the problem. If there is no uniform way of reading and interpreting the Bible, there is a serious problem because people can make up all kinds of exegetical tricks to get around the plain-sense of a passage they don't like, which of course, fundamentalists do routinely.

So as far as objectivity is concerned, fundamentalism is not an option. It requires an a priori assumption that the Bible cannot contain errors, and rules out better explanations of circumstances. Objectivity dictates that it is a better explanation that the Bible contradicts in the area of Jeconiah, than the proposition that there was a tradition that Jeconiah repented and the curse was revoked but then some redactor or writer forgot to put this very important info in the record (which was written long after Jeconiah was king).



[This message has been edited by Le pede (edited February 08, 2001).]
 
Old 02-08-2001, 11:26 PM   #56
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Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Le pede:

Well, I was actually just explaining why skeptics do not like what they see. And no, not everyone that disagrees with my position is a fundamentalist.</font>
Hi le pede

From what I have seen, I would define a fundamentalist as effectively a dogmatist. In other words, this person, regardless of which faith they profess (Christian, Muslim, Jew, Atheist or whatever), will systematically refuse to grant that opposing arguments have any rational merit. No amount of evidence or argumentation will cause them to give up even the smallest battlement or position.

Quite simply, they are unable to see beyond their own interpretive position, almost to the point of conceding that if they are wrong in even the smallest of areas, they may well be wrong in all of them, and this is something that is beyond their ability to accept.

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2"> But I am suggesting that the harmonizing tradition in fundamentalism causes serious interpretative problems. It does not allow for a uniform way of interpreting the Bible, and in fact this kind of hermeneutics DOES lead to arbitrary interpretations--</font>
Actually, the opposite is much more often to be the case with a true fundamentalist. If this person is a Biblical literalist, for example (and again this individual may or may not be a believer), he or she will almost always accept only the literal interpretation of the text AS THEY SEE IT PERSONALLY! That this leads to absurdities causes him or her no grief, since the dogmatic Christian will simply assert that no absurdity exists, while the equally dogmatic atheist will insist that ONLY the absurd interpretation is possible. No compromise or middle ground is possible with either group.

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">So that is the problem. If there is no uniform way of reading and interpreting the Bible, there is a serious problem because people can make up all kinds of exegetical tricks to get around the plain-sense of a passage they don't like,</font>
Well, first of all, we do have an almost unbroken 2000 year old systemic method of interpretation available to us, and it is known as that of the Apostolic Church. Ironically, this ancient and honoured method is categorically rejected by fundamentalist atheist and Christian alike, typically for the same reasons, but for opposite goals. Of course, it is quite common in history to see such commonality amongst polar opposites on an issue, while the more moderate and rational positions are assailed from left and right alike, so to speak.

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2"> which of course, fundamentalists do routinely.</font>
Sadly, this is all too true.

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">So as far as objectivity is concerned, fundamentalism is not an option.</font>
I agree.

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">It requires an a priori assumption that the Bible cannot contain errors, and rules out better explanations of circumstances.</font>
Here you mean fundamentalist Christianity of course. In the case of fundamentalist scepticism, we begin with an a priori assumption that the Bible contains unreconcialble contradictions for which no possible explanation is to be granted even the smallest likelihood of rational acceptance.

Fundamentalism really does cut both ways, just as any form of fanaticism does, and you are right, it is (in whatever guise), the enemy of true learning and wisdom.

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2"> Objectivity</font>
Defined by whom? See the problem yet le pede?

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2"> dictates that it is a better explanation that the Bible contradicts in the area of Jeconiah, than the proposition that there was a tradition that Jeconiah repented and the curse was revoked but then some redactor or writer forgot to put this very important info in the record (which was written long after Jeconiah was king).</font>
Actually, this brings me to my last point on the fundamentalist sceptic: Namely that they actually believe that the authors of the Bible were quite clueless about their own texts. I have found this to be a curious position to defend, but realize that it is very prevalent amongst quite a number of atheists and sceptics.

Interestingly enough, none of these same sceptics have produced a single successful challenge to the Qur'an,(Baalthazaq noted 108, of which he resolved all 108 quite easily), and yet not one sceptic has changed his view on this remarkable document. Quite puzzling wouldn't you say? Especially in light of the fact that Muslims themselves (not to mention the Qur'an itself) say that should one error ever be found in the Qur'an, then the entire thing would have to be thrown out, while amongst all but the most fundamentalist of Christians, no similar claim has ever been made for the Bible either within the Bible or in Church doctrine.

I wonder why that is.

Thanks le pede.

Nomad

 
Old 02-09-2001, 10:33 AM   #57
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Well, that the Bible contains contradictions is reached by reading the text and not going through backflips to explain away the text. People really reject the tactics fundamentalist Christians use to read something into the text that doesn't exist. For instance, "this generation shall not pass away" becomes "[whichever generation is around] shall not pass away..." "visiting the awon (iniquity) to the third and fourth generation" becomes "visiting the ['consequences' of] the awon of the father to the third a fourth generation." Some people want to know what the Bible really says without going through interpretative flaming hoops.
 
Old 02-09-2001, 10:41 AM   #58
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Quick question for you Le pede:

Do you personally believe that all of the Gospels were written before or after all of the generation that lived with Jesus had died off (let's say no later than 90AD)?

Nomad
 
Old 02-09-2001, 07:49 PM   #59
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In other words, why did the gospel writers include a failed prophecy?

The first one did, and the others that mentioned it did enough mental cartwheels to believe that it meant something else.

Not an unreasonable assumption given the lengths that people will go to even today. Even the most general doctrines require a significant amount of mental acrobatics.

Of course that's just my opinion, but opinion is what you asked for (not mine, but I've never let that stop me before)

-Nick
 
Old 02-09-2001, 08:21 PM   #60
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Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Interestingly enough, none of these same sceptics have produced a single successful challenge to the Qur'an,(Baalthazaq noted 108, of which he resolved all 108 quite easily), and yet not one sceptic has changed his view on this remarkable document. Quite puzzling wouldn't you say? Especially in light of the fact that Muslims themselves (not to mention the Qur'an itself) say that should one error ever be found in the Qur'an, then the entire thing would have to be thrown out, while amongst all but the most fundamentalist of Christians, no similar claim has ever been made for the Bible either within the Bible or in Church doctrine.</font>
Wow. A Muslim points out 108 challenges to the Koran and resolves them in the same breath, so it MUST be flawless. PLUS, Muslims admit their very faith hinges on the perfection of this document.

I can explain why we don't bother attacking their scriptures...just as soon as you explain exactly why you AREN'T Muslim, Nomad.

diana
 
 

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