FRDB Archives

Freethought & Rationalism Archive

The archives are read only.


Go Back   FRDB Archives > Archives > Biblical Criticism - 2001
Welcome, Peter Kirby.
You last visited: Today at 05:55 AM

Notices

 
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 10-04-2001, 10:02 AM   #1
Metacrock
Banned
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: Dallas, Texas, USA
Posts: 1,734
Arrow The Stupidity of all or nothing!

The claim that if one mistake is found in the bible the whole thing is invalidated is an ignoble, shortsighted and ignorant claim. First, please go to my sight and look at this page on the

Models of Revelation.


Now, the point is that it is only the Verbal Plenary model that cliams for itself absolute accruacy in all things. The verbal plenary model,however, was not the original Christian understanding. In fact, it didn't exist until the 19th century. Ironically enough, it was based upon the writtings of humanists in the Renaissance, so ironically it is actually derived form a liberal position, but highly conservative reactionaries, such Warfeild and Darby, developed it in the 19th century as a response to the modern world.

Clearly Christians have always believed that the Bible is 'true,' but they never before stipulated that it must be both understood in a literal way and true in all things, before that time.

There are other models of Revelation which do not make the assumption that the Bible is a history book or a science books or that it has to be literally true in every aspect. That link shows different models. In fact there are different models within the verbal plenary model, some of them allow for mistakes.

Now why should there be mistakes? Because the purpose of having a Bible is not to understand scientific and historical facts. Of course we assume that the history is basically ture, but it doesn't always have to be. This is because the purpose of scripture is to bestow Grace upon the reader, not to offer epistemic accuracy. Now there are certian issues which reuqire accuracy, such as the resurrection, but that is not the basic purose.

At this point atheists usually ask "why would God do it that way?" Well first you have to have a theological understanding about the nature of God. Because God is not this big "guy in the sky" who is dictating to a secretary. The Bible is not a rule book. It destow grace through exhibiting the wittings of those who experinced God. That is its basic purpose, not to inform about the nature of history.

The nature of the Bible is such that it was collected over time through different works and they do not all take the same approach and they are not always inspired in the same way. So there is no reason to expect them to all reflect the same level of accuracy in matters of history or science.


God did it this way because the point is to have relationship with God. To that extent the text reflects the experinces of God which are coordinated with what the tradition recognizes as the truth that it is in charge of protecting.

The argument "How do you know you can trust any of it?" Is a silly argument. Why? Because we know that we can trust due to the fact that the tradiiton has recognized it as containing this witness which is the witness of the tradition itself. Thus it is turstworthy in its soeteriological aspects. No one ever made the claim that it had to be trustworthy in matters of history, science, or geography.

The point is to take part in the Christian tradition,and the text is means of getting at the tradition. That is doen through the bestowal of Grace, which opens the tradition to the reader through the experincing of God's soeteriological action. It's not about did David really number the children of Israel or did the devil make him do it? That is just a bit of minutia that has no real import.

So "how do we know we can trust it" is a foolish question because it speaks at cross purposes with the text iself. The purpose of the text is not to give us a blow by blow account of literal events and literal truths in every enstance, so the fact that it doesnt do this is beside the point. But to then come back and demand that if it doesnt' do this we can trust it for anything else is just plain dense.

it does other things, and the trustwrothy character of those other things must, obviously since they are other things, be achieved through some other means than its literal nature.
Metacrock is offline  
Old 10-04-2001, 10:14 AM   #2
Metacrock
Banned
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: Dallas, Texas, USA
Posts: 1,734
Post

Quote:
Originally posted by Metacrock:
<STRONG>The claim that if one mistake is found in the bible the whole thing is invalidated is an ignoble, shortsighted and ignorant claim. First, please go to my sight and look at this page on the

Models of Revelation..</STRONG>
What I find as most irrational is that after constant fundie bashing, when offered an alternative view ot fundism, instead of trying to undersand it, so many of you try to just dismiss it on the gronunds that it's not fundie. Why should the fundies define the Christian tradition? They are not the majority and they are not even historically very old.

What is even more absurd is that rather than trying to understand what's being said most Sec Webers try to poison the well (a pharse I never even used until I started posting here) by implying that anything Christian has to be stupid ect ect. but than of course you never listen to any other version of Christianity, so you just judge those with the little blinders of the anti- fundie view.

I think that's becuase you know that you haven't a prayer of dealing with the real theological positions on their terms and you don't even undersand them.
Metacrock is offline  
Old 10-04-2001, 10:16 AM   #3
Jesse
Moderator - Science Discussions
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: Providence, RI, USA
Posts: 9,908
Post

Metacrock:
At this point atheists usually ask "why would God do it that way?" Well first you have to have a theological understanding about the nature of God. Because God is not this big "guy in the sky" who is dictating to a secretary. The Bible is not a rule book. It destow grace through exhibiting the wittings of those who experinced God. That is its basic purpose, not to inform about the nature of history.

OK, but do you think the Bible is uniquely "divinely inspired" in a way that's qualitatively different from all other religious works (the Koran, the Tao Te Ching, etc)? It's difficult for me to concieve how God as the "ground of being" could be behind some works of literature but not others--that seems to fit better with the "God as a big guy in the sky" picture. And the same goes, of course, for saying some people (notably Jesus) have a connection to God that's qualitatively different from that of all other people.

[ October 04, 2001: Message edited by: Jesse ]
Jesse is offline  
Old 10-04-2001, 10:19 AM   #4
Kosh
Veteran Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: Orions Belt
Posts: 3,911
Post

Quote:
Originally posted by Metacrock:
<STRONG>The claim that if one mistake is found in the bible the whole thing is invalidated is an ignoble, shortsighted and ignorant claim. First, please go to my sight and look at this page on the </STRONG>
Agreed. But we don't have just one
mistake, we have MANY. (I trust you
don't need a pointer to the secweb
library on Biblical criticism?)


Kosh is offline  
Old 10-04-2001, 10:26 AM   #5
Toto
Contributor
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Los Angeles area
Posts: 40,549
Post

Quote:
Originally posted by Metacrock:
<STRONG>. . .
The argument "How do you know you can trust any of it?" Is a silly argument. Why? Because we know that we can trust due to the fact that the tradiiton has recognized it as containing this witness which is the witness of the tradition itself. Thus it is turstworthy in its soeteriological aspects. No one ever made the claim that it had to be trustworthy in matters of history, science, or geography.

The point is to take part in the Christian tradition,and the text is means of getting at the tradition. That is doen through the bestowal of Grace, which opens the tradition to the reader through the experincing of God's soeteriological action. . .</STRONG>
That would be the same Christian tradition that gave us anorexic saints, self-flagellation, the Crusades, the Inquisition, book burnings, sexual repression, and televangelists with big hair?

Why should I look to this tradition rather than, say, Zen Buddhism, if I wanted to experience god?

Face it. Christianity, as opposed to other religions, depends on belief the literal truth of certain historic facts. Those facts look pretty unlikely to a skeptical observer.
Toto is offline  
Old 10-04-2001, 10:32 AM   #6
Bookman
Veteran Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Nashville, TN, USA
Posts: 2,210
Post

Since I've got a moment (I'm on lunch), I'll give this a whirl...

I read the link you provided (okay, I admit I skimmed some of it), and have copied a passage from it below:

Quote:
Thus the main problem is not the existence of these piddeling so called contradictions (and my experience is 90% of them stem from not knowing how to read a text) but rather the extent to which the world and life stack up to the picture presented as a fallen world, engaged in the human problematic and transformed by the light of Christ. Now that means that the extent to which the problematic is adequately reflected, that being sin, separation from God, meaninglessness, the wages of sin, the dregs of life, and so forth, vs the saving power of God's grace to transform life and change the direction in which one lives to face God and to hope and future. This is something that cannot be decided by the historical aspects nor by any objective account. <STRONG>It is merely the individual's problem to understand and to experience. That is the nature of what religion does and the extent to which Christianity does it more accessibly and more efficaciously is the extent to which it should be seen as valid.</STRONG>
A good bit of your post seems to have been motivated by SingleDad's observation that because we are forced to interpret the bible and "pick and choose", so to speak, the parts that speak to us in the way the passage above alludes to, the bible then becomes secondary to personal revelation. That does not seem to be far afield from what the above says, at least to me. In fact the passage above seems to be asserting that the burden of proof of efficacy lies with Christianity, not the default position of atheism.

Most of us feel that we are fully capable of living moral, meaningful lives without having to resort to the bible to open us up to the grace of the christian god.

Interestingly enough, my mother-in-law, a Methodist minister agrees. We discuss the church, scripture, and so on from time to time and she once said to me once that I act with more grace than most Christians do. I appreciated the compliment, but I have no way of knowing if it's actually true or not.

Finally, you are certainly aware that the great majority of posters here aren't posting Biblical contradictions as evidence that christianity as a whole is wrong, misguided, or what-have-you. The great majority of posts about biblical errors, at least in my estimation, are posted in response to the specific claim of inerrancy, which as you know, many misguided people still make.

Bookman
Bookman is offline  
Old 10-04-2001, 10:41 AM   #7
Metacrock
Banned
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: Dallas, Texas, USA
Posts: 1,734
Post

Quote:
Originally posted by Jesse:
<STRONG>Metacrock:
At this point atheists usually ask "why would God do it that way?" Well first you have to have a theological understanding about the nature of God. Because God is not this big "guy in the sky" who is dictating to a secretary. The Bible is not a rule book. It destow grace through exhibiting the wittings of those who experinced God. That is its basic purpose, not to inform about the nature of history.

OK, but do you think the Bible is uniquely "divinely inspired" in a way that's qualitatively different from all other religious works (the Koran, the Tao Te Ching, etc)? It's difficult for me to concieve how God as the "ground of being" could be behind some works of literature but not others--that seems to fit better with the "God as a big guy in the sky" picture. And the same goes, of course, for saying some people (notably Jesus) have a connection to God that's qualitatively different from that of all other people.

[ October 04, 2001: Message edited by: Jesse ]</STRONG>

Meta =&gt;Good point. I don't think that those other books necessary lack inspiriation. Wheather that means they are inspired in the same way or on the same level is another matter, and one I'm not quite sure how to think about (since they are products of a different culture and make differnt claims--Tao te ching doesn't claim to be inspired for example and Koran I have problems with on other levels not related to the WTC).

I beleive that the Bible teaches that God is working in all cultures (see Rm 2 and Acts 17). However, what I can say is that in my view the perfect revelation of God to humanity is Jesus Christ. The Bible, the NT is a written record of the experinces of those who encountered JC, and that redacted by a community which recieved their teachings.

So the topos of revelation is in Jesus himself, and the tradition is the deposit of faith and teaching he left in the care of the chruch,and the Bible is the chruche's list of reading matter that helps us get at the tradition.
Metacrock is offline  
Old 10-04-2001, 10:47 AM   #8
Metacrock
Banned
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: Dallas, Texas, USA
Posts: 1,734
Post

Quote:
Originally posted by Kosh:
<STRONG>

Agreed. But we don't have just one
mistake, we have MANY. (I trust you
don't need a pointer to the secweb
library on Biblical criticism?)


</STRONG>
MEta =&gt; O you mean the typing exercizes that Lowder put on the internet?

No actually I respect Lowder. I think he's rather fair minded in many respects. Unfortunately I dont' think that most of his coharts imulate him in that respect. I also think that 90% of the so called contradictions that atheists point out can be dismissed as "ahteist forgets wh he leanred in English class when he reads the Bible." A good many of them are nothing more than not bothering to check for literary devices.

There are some that are problematic. But theologians love tension. The major theologians of the world walk thorugh such problmatics ever day of their lives and their faith is intact. So the existence of a problematic reading does not have to mean loss of faith, or untrustworhiness of the text.

The things in which the text must be trustwrothy are:

1) Doctrinal statments

2) the bestowal of Grace

3) history only when it pertians to major doctrinal issues, such as the res. Wheather or not David had the idea to number or wheather satan inspired him to number the children is minutia.

The proof the bestowal of Grace is in the pooding. If Grace is bestowed than it bestows Grace. So the only proof of that is if one experinces it. Since I have I believe it is real.
Metacrock is offline  
Old 10-04-2001, 10:53 AM   #9
Metacrock
Banned
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: Dallas, Texas, USA
Posts: 1,734
Post

Quote:
Originally posted by Toto:
<STRONG>

That would be the same Christian tradition that gave us anorexic saints, self-flagellation, the Crusades, the Inquisition, book burnings, sexual repression, and televangelists with big hair?[/b]
Meta =&gt;Well its not all gravy you know. It's also the same tradition that gave us hospitals, modern scinece, bill of rights, Writ of habius corups, the basic concept of constitutional rights in general, the first abolution group in America, the first woman's sufferage group in America, the underground rail road, the abolition movement in England, statistical problablity, internal evidence as a criterion for the validity of a text, and a hot of other good things that made Western civilization.

Why should I look to this tradition rather than, say, Zen Buddhism, if I wanted to experience god?

MEta =&gt;Zen doesn't claim to offer Grace. Also, Zen and Chrisitanity are not anti-thetical. A Christian can practice zen. All it claims to give you is the Buddah mind. Christianity gives the Mind of Christ. There may be a connection.

Face it. Christianity, as opposed to other religions, depends on belief the literal truth of certain historic facts. Those facts look pretty unlikely to a skeptical observer.</STRONG>[/QUOTE]


MEta =&gt;Why are you so stuborn? You don't even know what your talking about and your still insiting that you have to be right! What you just said there is only the case for one segment of the chruch. The exclucivity thing is anti-ethical to the Bible itself. see Romans 2. Acts 17.

No where does the Bible say that all the historical infomation as to be accurate. In fact the Bible doesn't even say that it is the Bible.
Metacrock is offline  
Old 10-04-2001, 10:58 AM   #10
Vorkosigan
Contributor
 
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Barrayar
Posts: 11,866
Post

Hmmm....as we were asking in another thread, since the Bible is not literally true, how do you sort out the true statements from the false ones?

Michael
Vorkosigan is offline  
 

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 12:39 PM.

Top

This custom BB emulates vBulletin® Version 3.8.2
Copyright ©2000 - 2015, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.