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Old 03-14-2001, 06:24 AM   #1
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Post Sinai (Kuzari) Argument

When I was a fundamentalist the rabbis told me: all the other religionists have blind faith, for you cannot, for example, prove that an angel gave Muhammad a revelation from Allah; Jews, on the other hand, have a public revelation from YHWH at Sinai, a revelation given to the whole ancestry of the nation (600,000 adult males, plus women and children). This is the argument of "The Kuzari", a book by the medieval rabbi Yehuda HaLevi: a public revelation cannot be fabricated, especially not if it is given to the whole ancestry of a nation. Thus if it is written so it must have happened.

Now, besides being a quite lame argument, I have found a refutation for it in none other than the Bible itself! Joshua 10:13 tells us of the sun standing still for a whole day (it should be the earth standing still; a nice piece of Bible errancy here). Now, this miracle, or revelation of divine providence, is more public than the Sinai Covenant. The Sinai revelation was witnessed by a single nation, whereas the miracle of Joshua 10 was witnessed by the whole world (if the earth stands still for a day, the whole population of the world is witness). Yet when we investigate the annals and histories of the various nations, we do not find any recording of that miracle. Why so? Because it never happened. Thus we have a clear example of a public miracle which is written but never took place. It is therefore reasonable to assume the same about the Sinai Covenant, and indeed it is logical to assume so, seeing that the Bible is full of errors (hares chewing the cud, insects with four legs, inability to account for the ancestry of the Chinese people etc).
 
Old 03-14-2001, 05:04 PM   #2
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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by devnet:
Joshua 10:13 tells us of the sun standing still for a whole day (it should be the earth standing still; a nice piece of Bible errancy here).</font>
No it shouldn't be the earth standing still. It should be the sun. It's called perspective. We are on the earth, and the bible is written in perspective. Each day there is 'sunrise' and 'sunset'. Does the sun truly 'rise' or 'set'? No, of course not, it is just the earth spinning. Does this make 'sunrise' or 'sunset' wrong? No, they are just a perspective. The bible is right to say that the sun stood still. If I observed it I would say exactly the same thing. Furthermore I am absolutely sure that anyone else in their right mind would too.

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">(if the earth stands still for a day, the whole population of the world is witness). Yet when we investigate the annals and histories of the various nations, we do not find any recording of that miracle.</font>
I have seen claims that many other ancient peoples had stories of the sun stopping. Whether these claims are true or not I don't know. Of course if the claims are true then the skeptics would just say that it proves that the bible story was ripped off from another ancient culture...

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">seeing that the Bible is full of errors (hares chewing the cud, insects with four legs, inability to account for the ancestry of the Chinese people etc).</font>
Oh yes, the resort to 'the bible is full of errors' argument. This kind of thing amuses me no end. I am a Christian and believe that the bible is generally correct and generally records fact. I don't however rule out the possibility of occaisional human mistakes in the writing of the Bible. And yet 90% of the 'contradictions' I am shown are completely laughable. 9.99% are answered to my complete satisfaction by the Christian replies to those arguments. (If you haven't already I suggest you take a look at www.tektonics.org/contrad.html It answers all the 'contradictions') And the remaining 0.01% I would agree are probably contradictions or mistakes.
 
Old 03-14-2001, 05:40 PM   #3
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I have seen claims that many other ancient peoples had stories of the sun stopping.
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You have to be careful about stories from other cultures. What we're talking about here is fairly specific in its scope.

Also - by your rationale, any story that was found in more than one culture most be a true story. There are tales of tiny humans in several cultures (fairies, elves, etc.), as well as ghosts. Is these things all real, just because several cultures all have stories about them?


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Whether these claims are true or not I don't know. Of course if the claims are true then the skeptics would just say that it proves that the bible story was ripped off from another ancient culture...
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Perhaps before asking that such stories be respected, you should find out if they even exist at all.


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(If you haven't already I suggest you take a look at www.tektonics.org/contrad.html It answers all the 'contradictions') And the remaining 0.01% I would agree are probably contradictions or mistakes.
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Turkel's site is laughable, and the explanations are painfully empty. For instance, here's an example of a perfectly ridiculous "explanation", below.

Instead of just admitting that a prophecy was misattributed, Turkel pretends that (1) two prophecies were merged, but (2)only one of the authors was mentioned.

In other words, mix-n-match prophecies. But noooo. That's not a contradiction, nosiree:

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1. Mark 1:2 "As it is written in Isaiah the prophet, ‘Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, who shall prepare thy way.’" The problem with this prophecy lies in the fact that there is no such comment in Isaiah. It doesn’t exist. Isaiah said nothing of the sort.

This is the same issue that JP has covered with Matt. 27:9-10, namely more than one prophet is cited, yet only one is mentioned. In this case, the portion that McKinsey quotes comes from Exodus 23:20a and Mal. 3:1. Mark 1:3 actually comes from Isaiah. There is a third case of this in scripture in 2 Chron. 36:21. The first part of the verse is drawn from Lev. 26:34-35, the second is from Jer. 25:12, yet only Jeremiah is listed.

So, there are three cases in scripture where more than one prophet is cited, and in each case only one is mentioned. There are no cases where more than one is mentioned. What does this tell us? Well, we can either believe it was an accepted practice to list the prophet who was making the main point, or we can believe that all three writers made a ridiculously careless mistake, and no one noticed it.
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Old 03-15-2001, 03:36 PM   #4
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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Tercel:
No it shouldn't be the earth standing still. It should be the sun. It's called perspective. We are on the earth, and the bible is written in perspective. Each day there is 'sunrise' and 'sunset'. Does the sun truly 'rise' or 'set'? No, of course not, it is just the earth spinning. Does this make 'sunrise' or 'sunset' wrong? No, they are just a perspective. The bible is right to say that the sun stood still. If I observed it I would say exactly the same thing. Furthermore I am absolutely sure that anyone else in their right mind would too.</font>
If the Bible is of divine origin, then why can't the divine author, creator of the universe, qualify it with scientific knowledge? If it were written "And the Earth stood still" it would be irrefutable proof of the divine origin of the document. The writing of "And the Sun stood still" speaks volumes of its human origin.

So you say "And the Sun stood still" is the language of appearance? Maybe "in the beginning God created" is language of appearance too? Or the virgin birth? Or the resurrection? If you admit just one instance of "language of appearance", Bible inerrancy goes the way of manure - trashed to pieces.

I recommend the following:

www.hypertextbook.com/eworld/geocentric.shtml
www.fixedearth.com
 
Old 03-15-2001, 04:00 PM   #5
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The myth they are referring to is from South America, Mayans I think, a story about how there was a night that lasted twice as long as usual, "the sun would not rise" that would be correct, they are on the other side of the earth, but yes it is meaningless, the Egyptians have stories about the time when the sun rose in the west & set in the east, if we take all these tales as true, life in the bronze age must have be quite amazing.
 
Old 03-15-2001, 04:32 PM   #6
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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by devnet:
If the Bible is of divine origin, then why can't the divine author, creator of the universe, qualify it with scientific knowledge? If it were written "And the Earth stood still" it would be irrefutable proof of the divine origin of the document. The writing of "And the Sun stood still" speaks volumes of its human origin.

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This is nonsense. Obviously the ancient Israelis would not have had any understanding of what "the Earth stood still" would mean. Then the Scripture would be worthless to them. ALso saying the "sun stood still in the sky" speaks only of appearnece, and really has nothing to do with the necesary motion of it. Since the Bible wasn't written for you personally and other modernist skeptics, you assume it must be false. You must look into the context of who it was written to and for, and see how it fits for them. These new standards brought against the Bible are laughable: they would condemn all matters of ordinairy speach, like "moon rising" and the rest, as said. Even relativity has argued against this argument: we cannot speak of what is moving, only what is moving relative to what. If the sun stopped in the sky, it is clear from the relative position of the Earth that this is true. The Bible was written for Earthlings, not spacelings. Why should God introduce something that would appear nonsensical to the ancient people just so He could please you?



[This message has been edited by a_theistnotatheist (edited March 15, 2001).]
 
Old 03-15-2001, 05:36 PM   #7
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I don't agree on that point, that saying "And the Earth stood still" would confuse the readers. Anyway, they would accept it by faith no matter what, because the book is supposed to be from God.

I have read three "holy" books: the OT in Hebrew (my mother tongue), the NT in Greek and the Koran in Arabic. I have not found a SINGLE thing in them which can be considered as a Divine Imprint, a Seal of God. Claiming scientific miracles from those books, just like deriving Quantum Physics from Lao Tze's Taoist writings, is just reinterpretation: those miracles had to wait until scientists discovered them so as to be suddenly read in the Holy Scriptures.

And don't forget this lovely site, my dear Sumerian Mythology inerrantist:

www.hypertextbook.com/eworld/geocentric.shtml

[This message has been edited by devnet (edited March 15, 2001).]
 
Old 03-15-2001, 09:04 PM   #8
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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by devnet:
If the Bible is of divine origin, then why can't the divine author, creator of the universe, qualify it with scientific knowledge?</font>
Is this the argument of "God doesn't act the way I'd like Him to, therefore He doesn't exist"?

If the Bible stated that the Earth stood still, that passage would be completely incomprehenisible to all readers down the centuries until modern day science (Who would still disbelieve it because it is miraculus. I don't see you believing any other miracles just because they are described correctly). That doesn't sound much like an 'eternal message' to me. If this is your idea of how the Bible should be written, then I've very glad that you didn't write it!
 
Old 03-15-2001, 10:22 PM   #9
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Talking

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

I have seen claims that many other ancient peoples had stories of the sun stopping. Whether these claims are true or not I don't know. Of course if the claims are true then the skeptics would just say that it proves that the bible story was ripped off from another ancient culture...</font>
LOL!!!

It sounds like you have had to deal with a lot of sceptics before.

Welcome to the Boards Tercel. You are obviously bright, and fully familiar with the no win scenarios offered by the sceptics against the theists, so you will have fun here.

What else can you tell us about yourself? And how did you find this place?

Peace (and welcome to the jungle... ),

Nomad
 
Old 03-15-2001, 10:26 PM   #10
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This is nonsense. Obviously the ancient Israelis would not have had any understanding of what "the Earth stood still" would mean. Then the Scripture would be worthless to them.
</font>
I disagree. There are many passages in the bible that are either hard to understand or make no sense at all. In fact, there are even sections that will plainly say that a particular saying is hard to understand,(i.e., "he who has ears to hear, let him hear"). Other sections plainly say that the understanding is not for today:

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DAN 8:26 And the vision of the evening and the morning which was told is true: wherefore shut thou up the vision; for it shall be for many days.

DAN 8:27 And I Daniel fainted, and was sick certain days; afterward I rose up, and did the king's business; and I was astonished at the vision, but none understood it.

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There's no requirement that each and every piece of scripture be fully understandable in every century. I mean, if you wanted to impress someone with how inspired scripture was, what better way? Describing the correct astronomical motion 3,000 years ago before modern man knew about it would be a pretty neat trick.

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ALso saying the "sun stood still in the sky" speaks only of appearnece, and really has nothing to do with the necesary motion of it.
</font>
It's the same thing. All motion is relative in the solar system. Things move in relation to each other; there is no absolute frame of reference for motion.

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Since the Bible wasn't written for you personally and other modernist skeptics, you assume it must be false.
</font>
Maybe skeptics wouldn't be so eager to shoot down these passages, if creationists and other inerrantists weren't so eager to try and prove the bible to be scientifically accurate. Didja ever think of that?


[This message has been edited by Omnedon1 (edited March 15, 2001).]
 
 

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