Biblical Innerancy Fallacy

Discussion in 'Theology' started by wil, Mar 17, 2009.

  1. wil

    wil UNeyeR1

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    I believe it has been known for centuries.

    Catholic Church no longer swears by truth of the Bible - Times Online

    Hence the reason every Catholic I've personally met, whether they grew up being taught by nuns in Catholic school or just went through the aftershool teachings at church, never picked up a bible.

    I think the church discovered years ago it couldn't teach out of the bible, that there would be to many questions with the discrepancies, so they created the catechism to move the focus to the scriptures which they preferred to teach from.

    (all this while I am regularly accused of picking and choosing)

    Loyola college a nearby Jesuit University, I've had two graduate students now who have relayed the teachings of their Catholic Priest Proffessors...the church figured out that people weren't ready for the truth. They preferred to be told what to think.

    Bishop Spong, say what you will about him but he receives many accolades in the theological community, his numerous books continue to point out one thing. The bible as a historical text without error is a fallacy. But that does not diminish his Christian beliefs!!

    On the other hand. Dr. Bart Ehrman became agnostic as his studies continued.

    This is a guy who went to sunday school but at 15 had his religious experience and went on to get a degree Moody Bible College continued studying textual criticism and learned Greek and Hebrew at Wheaton and onto Princeton Seminary and a doctorate. He is currently chair of Religious Studies at UNC Chapel Hill, smack dab in the bible belt.

    His book Misquoting Jesus, goes into detail of which texts are misleading or don't belong and why. (like the story of the adulteress and 'ye without sin cast the first stone' and the whole beginning end ending of John which we love so much) But don't take my word for it. Read the book and I'd love to use this forum to discuss why he is wrong in his thesis and I am wrong in mine, ie: the church has known for centuries the many issues with the bible and chose to teach without it.

    Now while it is true that Bart became agnostic thru his study, Spong, I and many others have not. While I am not as learned as either I do believe you can shine a light on the issues and become more connected to spirit and know the bible is not inerrant and still use it as your number one spiritual reference book as I do. This is not about tearing ones faith down but expanding it by eliminating denial.
     
  2. Thomas

    Thomas Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Hi Wil —

    And neither did I.

    A more accurate representation, I think, is that from the Reformation on, the Protestant Church was arguing the Bible against Tradition (the Roman Catholic Church).

    At the Council of Trent (1545-1563), the Magisterium declared:
    So the Church holds that She is the safeguard of truth and interpretation of the Scriptures. So the Catholic was, over time, led to inquire of the meaning of Scripture not of himself, but from the Church.

    This probably horrifies the modern mind, so entrenched in the idea of its own autonomy, but these words were spoken in a different philosophical and cultural mileau. Nevertheless the simple truth holds ... just because you can read scripture does not mean you can understand it. No-one would assume that of poetry, or of literature, or art or music ... so why it is assumed of Revelation, escapes me.

    Well, also remember the Church was Liturgical, that is Sacramental, before it was Scriptural, and the focus of the Church up until the Reformation was the Sacraments.

    The Reformation began the devolution of the Sacraments from a Mystical Rite to a mere remembrance, refuting the deeper meaning of the term 'sacrament', 'mystery' and 'memra' — remember that Luther thought man was a creature made of **** (his own expression), and that his excremental nature could not be altered, so Sacraments, etc., were mere observances without any constituative reality.

    So I would argue the Church maintained her focus, but under the ongoing assault of the Reformation, the picture became distorted.

    Today, of course, it is utterly different. The Scriptures are at the heart of Catholic education ... and we draw on a range of Protestant exegetes as well as the home grown variety.

    Tragically it's a matter of public record that post-Concilliar 60s liberalism has wrecked huge damage in the American seminary system, and one that will take more than a generation to put right. The sexual abuse scandals are a significant symptom of that.

    Then again, the Church makes all her Magisterial Documents readily available, but who reads them? And who can fathom them without commentary ...

    Two things:

    1: The Bible is not considered an historical document. Nor were its authors interested in 'histry' as we consider it today.
    2: Bishop Spong has a huge number of critics in the upper echelons of Biblical Criticism, so his thesis is, at best, tenuous.

    The whole Quest for the Historical Jesus is a non-starter. It was founded on the insistence of Strauss and Reimarus that there is no supernatural, no revelation, and no reliable data in Scripture.

    So the assumption is, if there is an historical Jesus, it's not in Scripture. But there's nowhere else to look ... so ...

    ... we'll decide what bits of Scripture are reliable, and what are not, according to our presupposition that anything that smacks of supernatural, the miraculous, etc., etc., we can discount as mythology ...

    ... as a methodology, it's so flawed its laughable.

    Intelligence is no guarantee of faith.

    It's a thesis Wil, it's not fact, nor proven ... you can buy the thesis if you like, but I don't, and nor do many, many others with a better and broader pedigree than him.

    I'd love to discuss it, but I'm not buying his book. Sorry, I have to be frugal with my pennies.

    You can read a review of him here and another one here.

    I recommend the last, as from what is evident, if the author and I were to speak, I would be far less charitable than his critics.

    Read Fernseeds and Elephants by C.S. Lewis, a critique of the critics, and something which they should own up to.

    I own up. I have seen people who's faith in themselves, let alone God, has been destroyed ... taken apart by clever philosophies, but not quite clever enough to put anything useful or viable in its place, so perhaps I bear an open wound, but I am aware that if I have any gift at all for philosophy, or insight, or any pretension to intellective capacity, then I also have a duty to protect those of my fellows who do not, and the fact remains, as that bowl of execrable bowel-gravy "The DaVinci Code" proves, that too many people are too ready to believe anything if its hyped up enough.

    Thomas
     
  3. Thomas

    Thomas Super Moderator Staff Member

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    I should add — out of fairness — that the Magisterium took a very hard line against Biblical Criticism, so much so that a theologian wouldn't go near it with a proverbial long pole.

    So preaching from the Bible was OK as long as you were in line with Church thinking, and then it's safer to preach on the thinking, and quote Scripture in line with that ... kinda turns the tables a bit ...

    We got our fingers badly burned over Galileo, we're still apologising, it still ain't enough for some, and yet not only had we endorsed the idea of heliocentrism when Copernicus put it forward a century sooner, I just found out Aquinas even suggested it, long before that!

    Ha! So we were first! But then we tripped over our skirts ... bugger!

    On the Bible Inneracy bit, the Constitutional Document of the Catholic Church states:
    'Therefore "all Scripture is divinely inspired and has its use for teaching the truth and refuting error, for reformation of manners and discipline in right living, so that the man who belongs to God may be efficient and equipped for good work of every kind" (2 Tim. 3:16-17, Greek text).'
    and
    'Those divinely revealed realities which are contained and presented in Sacred Scripture have been committed to writing under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.' Dei Verbum, paragraphs 12 and 11.

    What that means is all Scripture is inspired, but not every word of scripture is itself kerygmatic — that is, infallible and revealed, a dogma to be adhered to without question.

    Biblical research will go on and on ... thesis ... anti-thesis ... I have read a review that suggests, from narrative analysis, that John's Gospel is older than the Synoptics, even though written down later, because the miracle accounts (called signs in John) that appear in the Synoptics also, appear to have undergone some development between the 'primitive' Johannine telling, and the more nuanced synoptic account ... whereas John has Jesus to-ing and fro-ing from Jerusalem (3 visits), Luke has synthesised a much more symphonic journey, from Judea to Jerusalem, which occupies most part of his gospel, according to Greco-Roman narrative structure — another 'proof' that John was an eye witness, full of incidental detail, whereas Luke was not, and was thus telling the story in its metaphysical minimum, as it were...

    Thomas
     
  4. wil

    wil UNeyeR1

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    So the reason they took the bible away was because we would interpret it differently than they. So why do they return it?
    inerrant but not historical?
    "You can buy the thesis if you like, but I don't" Now Thomas, this being the theology board, what is the thesis of his that you don't buy? And for what reason? Beyond that, what doctrine of the church or biblical text is 'proven'? Varoius denominations may have consensus on this that or the other thing but proven? We know as we've been told repeatedly it is a matter of faith, but we also know that while the church is slow to respond it eventually does. Hence my thought that the church was well aware of what they cannonized and backed off.
    PM me an address, I'll gladly mail you a copy so you can discuss.
    I don't think they really read the book. They praise the first four chapters and then slam him on some of his conclusions but then say things like:
    Just so we are clear, Father Bruce Metzger is who Bart dedicates the book to. But lets look into the 10%.
    The question is why it was added, as the title of his book is Misquoting Jesus:The Story Behind Who Changed the Bible and Why. If everything was so well proven regarding the Trinity why would someone choose to add the text to prove their point?
    Almost none. I'll provide his top ten verses that were added and don't belong in the bible when I have the book at my side.
     
  5. Thomas

    Thomas Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Whoa! Flashback! For a dreadful moment there, I thought ... nah, forget it.

    The reason they took some Bibles away (assuming you mean England, etc ...) is because of the suspect translation — ie a re-translation to fit a schemata, because the implicit schemata as it stood refuted theirs. The accompanying commentaries, that told the people what the text meant, btw, was a dead giveaway.

    The Bible was translated into the vernacular, in England, since the 9th century.

    No, the Word of God but not history as we regard it as authentic in the 20th century — the focus being on the forensic details, to the point where the body was no longer visible. I've argued this point at some length before...

    And neither do I buy yours. To me, my understanding of the state of play is far more reasonable and logical, accepting, as I do, revelation.

    Well I haven't read the book, so I checked out the critiques, which I url'd, which seem, agreed somewhat in my dark, but assuming such people don't make up imaginary content or argument, to suggest that:
    and
    and
    Need I go on?

    None of it. Nobody's Sacred Scriptures are proven, if one disallows the premise, not Christianity's, not Buddhism, etc.

    Well it seems a scholarly, balanced and informed critique from someone who hasn't read the book.

    Now who's using emotive language? If a criticism is a 'slam' its because it hits home with telling effect.

    Then presumably he respects Metzger's opinions.

    Well as his critics see it, no-one has. No text alteration effects Doctrine or Credo.

    OK.

    I have to say, I do find it telling that a scholar produces as scholarly work that receives much critical question, then goes on to produce a 'populist-lite' and blatantly sensationalising version aimed, with great success, at the best-seller market, without addressing any of the issues raised on reception of the first draft, seems an attempt to rally the mob and carry the day by storm.

    I'm no Scripture exegete, but I'll give it a go.

    Thomas
     
  6. nativeastral

    nativeastral fluffy future

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    sorry, couldnt resist! Was Aristarchus of Samos 310-230 BC who first presented an explicit argument for a heliocentric model [influenced by his teacher Pythagorean Philolaus]. They were rejected in favour of Aristotles and Ptolemy's geocentric version. Again the tension between conservatism [prevailing religion/philosopy] and revolution and anomalies until the paradigm shift cannot be denied:)
     
  7. Thomas

    Thomas Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Rats! Foiled again!

    Cannot blame you for that! Seems no exegete, and no historian, either!

    Thomas
     
  8. Dream

    Dream New Member

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    I also thumbed through Misquoting Jesus while I was in Chapel Hill a couple of years ago. I keep in mind that tenured professors never run out of material in Divinity departments, but I saw this book and it was written by a local Professor so I gave it a short sit down. Probably the most important claim in the book had to do with female friends of Paul that were leaders in the church. This same issue came up in this forum almost a year ago.... Any helpful insights are appreciated. Maybe it seems unrelated to the thread, however its from the same book. (These parts of the book are on google books in the preview.)

    pg 178 "Modern scholars have come to recognize that disputes over the role of women in the early church occurred precisely because women had a role--often a significant and publicly high profile role....." Also pg 181 Ehrman talks about various quotations where women served in speaking and professy or worship. Then Ehrman makes the contrast that Paul elsewhere says women shouldn't speak at all in meetings. He also makes much of whether Rom 6:7 is about Andronicus and Junias, Paul's relatives or Andronicus and Junia, fellow apostles. There is an undertone that the role of women in the church has been somehow forgotten, and that is something that stands out from his other claims as directly affecting worship practice. It seems like a good argument.
     
  9. nativeastral

    nativeastral fluffy future

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    hi, concerning women; early christianity went always first to the synagogues to proselytise, and the women, who were perhaps gentiles but who had married a jew, were more enamoured by the idea of non-circumcision for their children; this cannot be over emphasised as in judaism progeny is through the woman. One of the earliest was Priscilla and her husband, from Rome.

    Though its been said that the earliest Christians were the poor etc,in actual fact a lot of the spreading of Christianity was through women of the patrician class in Rome, wives of the emperors some of them- looking for a mean between the ethics of Judaism and Hellenistic philosophy which was mainly stoical at that time [which Christianity had absorbed e.g. the concept of Logos and which 'disappeared' after Marcus Aurelius c.180AD implying the rising popularity of Christianity that did not have the excesses of the mystery cults though the elite were members of those as well just like some of us here are members of other forums!]. There can be no doubt that women then [and now!] were attracted to the 'love' aspect in a society surrounded by continual wars/Roman expansion/deaths of sons and fathers.

    Carrying on Jewish tradition widows were looked after and given roles; in Roman society the women were under the thumb of the patriarch, usually the grandfather, though the poorer ones had freedom to work etc. Infanticide [especially of the female] was de rigour, which Christianity abhorred and so looked after any found ones.
     
  10. Dream

    Dream New Member

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    Nativeastral, thanks for the contrib.

    You said "..this cannot be over emphasised as in judaism progeny is through the woman." There is an aspect of this you didn't mention that strengthens your suggestion: In Judaism, one reason that progeny goes through the women is for the purpose of giving women status in society.

    You said "women, who were perhaps gentiles but who had married a jew" Are you talking about Christian men who married gentiles or mostly non-Christian or only-Christian? I do not know the history here sorry.

    You said "Carrying on Jewish tradition widows were looked after and given roles; in Roman society the women were under the thumb of the patriarch, usually the grandfather, though the poorer ones had freedom to work etc." I believe it, however women also have roles in today's church. The claims made are that things have changed and that it isn't good.

    Okey-dokey,
    Dream
     
  11. Joedjr

    Joedjr A Sometimes Member

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    Speaking of professors from NC. James D. Tabor -> The Jesus Dynasty. interesting read.
    Thomas, you really should give the Bible a read cover to cover some time. Let it speak to your heart!
     
  12. 17th Angel

    17th Angel לבעוט את התחת ולקחת שמות

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    catholics decide the bible is no longer truth? So... They're going to disband? Like wtf is the point in still being here if you don't believe the book lol... That is what christianity is based on... Or are they going to swing more to their pagan roots now?
     
  13. Dream

    Dream New Member

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    I definitely think that all Catholics, including the top canaries, take the Protestant NT for true. If the Catholics don't believe in the Protestant NT, then that jeopardizes mainly the Protestant denominations, not the Mass, since the NT is a Roman Catholic collection. Losing the Protestant NT might actually be good for the RC in terms of consolidation of flocks. The Protestants would have little to protest and would be forced to either drop the NT or absorb a lot more of the RC's traditional views. Instead of taking that easy route, the RC has embarked on a long-term 'Ecumenical' strategy (with varying degrees of success) to convince Protestants to accept official interpretations of the Bible. This suggests that the RC internally considers the Protestant New Testament books to be important records. Above all, it most certainly does believe in the importance of tradition.
     
  14. Thomas

    Thomas Super Moderator Staff Member

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    What is a 'Protestant NT'?

    Thomas
     
  15. nativeastral

    nativeastral fluffy future

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    hi dream, l presume lineage through women comes from matriarchal systems from wayway back but one would have to ask an informed jew; l know that widows were married to brothers of the deceased therefore keeping land/goods within married family [as elsewhere]; man was the seed women the soil for an embryo and family is a holy santification; its women who preside/light candles on friday eve of shabbot [and of course shekinah the divine feminine presence].

    Another reason on a more sinister note was that wealthy widows were 'taken care of' because of their wealth; the brides of christ...

    Sorry, I meant jewish women marrying gentiles post diaspora [jewish expansion was enormously fast, they were the only legitimate 'religion' exempt from Roman worship etc], so were those that weren't particularly orthodox otherwise they wouldn't have married outwith judaism. Either way circumcision was a big issue and contributed to the 'universality' aspect of christianity.

    Concerning the roles of women in pagan Rome for eg, in contrast to Judaism
    [and later christianity, which initially allowed charismatics/prophetesses but then disallowed , see corinthian church, a sea port!] more freedom was allowed to pagans as many of the mystery cults were goddess ones [Isis,cybele,bacchus etc] yet they were still under tutelage paternalistically [but we all know the women wears the trousers in the home!].

    Due to the patriarchal language of the scripture women in both christianity and judaism are reclaiming role models out of the bibles as many feel disenfranchised; there is a lot of 'feminist' literature on the subject- it is still generally only men who have religious authority to carry out sacraments/rituals etc ie androcentrism. Women have always done the 'menial' work though are the backbone of many religious institutions .
     
  16. Dream

    Dream New Member

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    Right its just called the New Testament. By 'Protestant NT' I meant the collection of New Testament books accepted by most Protestant churches while not including the Roman Catholic Tradition. They are the same 27 books the RC includes in its canon, but they do not have the exact same functions to Protestants and to Catholics. Protestants often think of them as an entire tradition, so although they are the same set of books as what Catholics read they are not necessarily the same testament. That is what I meant.

    Long-story-short, if Catholics didn't believe these books were trustworthy, then you would have no scruples about rocking the Protestant boat by debunking them. Your tradition is larger than them. You do consider them trustworthy, so you have not. <----> You have not, because you consider them to be trustworthy.

    Ok, technically the Catholics do not believe in 'The Protestant NT', but they do hold that the books are legitimate, which is really all I meant. I apologize for saying Catholics are Protestants, although it was indirect.
     
  17. Dream

    Dream New Member

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    @ Nativeastral Ok, I am derailing the thread but you are helping, so you pay 50% of the fine or no deal.

    I keep trying to find informed Jews, but whenever I ask them 'Are you an Informed Jew?' they look at me like I am crazy. <-- that is humor, so do not take offense

    Seriously, it is perfectly reasonable to try and discuss the Mosaic laws without actually being Jewish as they are accessible. I am not saying it is the same thing as doing all of the rites and things, but it is translated to English, there are references, etc. Most misunderstandings are caused by lack of interest, not from bad translation or missing explanations. If I am mistaken, it shows I have not put in the time and interest necessary to come to a clear understanding. The basic gist of the laws clarifies after you familiarize with them a few times. Besides, whenever you talk to Jews about it they start telling you about the Oral Torah. <--- bit of humor there Trying to ask questions about everything takes much much longer than just sweating through it, besides you really need to study the material first. Only then, then you can get useful answers after you ask questions, because you know which questions to avoid. But there remains the problem of finding an informed Jew. Find me one that will say he or she is informed. After you've done that I will be glad to explain how I came to the opinion that I have.
     
  18. nativeastral

    nativeastral fluffy future

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    haha the oral torah being a 'she'! l forget to look at what forum l am in so should have backed that up with references:eek: anyways its all about the subjugation of women..eve the temptress and all that; considered without reason , and much too emotional for leading a congregation of sinners:) much of the gnostic teachings had sophia/wisdom instead of JC as logos; basically the feminine has been 'undermined' into the depths where she belongs and came from:(
     
  19. Dream

    Dream New Member

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    Interesting. I have not heard many of the things you brought up in this thread. If you have some links, I can add them to my bookmarks or maybe zoom through them.

    Also, our thread has been very much derailed as we are no longer discussing theology, the ideas of schools of thought etc. I don't usually post in Theology, because I'm not diversely rooted in literature; but I got sucked in when they mentioned a book I actually recognized. In the Theology section its not a cut & dried rule however we are supposed to try and identify authorities, so that its not flippant opinions we are presenting. If you quote using authorities and references, then we can connect much better. Also, you can tire your opponents quickly by dragging them through new material or unfamiliar territory. This actually can make the experience of dialogue more fun for all parties, so it is not meant as a cruelty. It does pull me out of my familiar lands. Its kind of cool, I guess.
     
  20. nativeastral

    nativeastral fluffy future

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    Last edited: Mar 19, 2009

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