Biblical Innerancy Fallacy

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

  1. wil

    wil UNeyeR1 Moderator

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    What implications?

    As Thomas indicates the bible is not historical fact. He says he believes creation through Noah to be mythology, but that does not mean it doesn't have value nor does it detract him from his belief in Jesus and G!d.

    The problem as I see it, is if we are taught in as youth or as adults from the pulpit it is all fact, all without error, all actual quotes of Jesus, when so often those people saying that know different we are doing a disservice to our congregants, parishioners and fellow man.

    They think we aren't ready for personal responsibility and an open understanding of the situation. That we need the bible to remain a rock and will hold to it despite evidence to the contrary. To me this waters down reality, ignoring the obvious, ignoring truth. Yet the truth will set us free.

    Truth is the bible is full of valuable information that will yeild amazing bounty in our lives. This is not despite the fact that it contains errors, added text, mythology, metaphor, parables, analogies, and stories...but because it does.

    And if we can open our eyes to what the book is, what it contains and why and be honest with ourselves that some modified it to complete a story, that others did it out of corruption, that the oral tradition was amplified to allow folks to repeat it, and not get hung up on every jot and tittle we'd be able to revel in the mystical, the metaphor, the mystery, the beauty it contains.

    Bart indicates that the following text was not originally included either..but added because so many changes were being made!! This is not an indication of the purity or innerancy of the bible but the distortion that was happening at the time.
     
  2. Dream

    Dream New Member

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    Green = Wil says
    Blue = Dream responds
    Orange = added much later

    What implications?
    You mention some of them in your response, but the implication is that the NT does not stand on its own -- is not accurate, needs to be approached with caution. That is a significant departure from the way it is used right now among protestant church members.

    As Thomas indicates the bible is not historical fact. He says he believes creation through Noah to be mythology, but that does not mean it doesn't have value nor does it detract him from his belief in Jesus and G!d.
    Very small earthquake. Actually, this does not have major implications for just protestants but for all Christians who have doggedly stood on a literal interpretation of those readings. Most Protestants could absorb the idea of metaphoric creation and move on, without throwing out all of their kit. Many already take a two-forked approach.

    The problem as I see it, is if we are taught in as youth or as adults from the pulpit it is all fact, all without error, all actual quotes of Jesus, when so often those people saying that know different we are doing a disservice to our congregants, parishioners and fellow man.
    Too much mysticism, not enough revelation; but there is something called 'The pleasure of finding things out'. It is good to be aware that there are always possibilities beyond what we know, and mysticism teaches that.

    They think we aren't ready for personal responsibility and an open understanding of the situation. That we need the bible to remain a rock and will hold to it despite evidence to the contrary. To me this waters down reality, ignoring the obvious, ignoring truth. Yet the truth will set us free.
    People naturally tend to think it. I tend to think it. The main issue is when bad ministers are rewarded for being bad, so it has a lot to do with the way churches are organized right now. You need organization that encourages good organization.

    Truth is the bible is full of valuable information that will yeild amazing bounty in our lives. This is not despite the fact that it contains errors, added text, mythology, metaphor, parables, analogies, and stories...but because it does.
    What protestants are missing is a continuous tradition, so they cannot conceive that God would allow them to be betrayed with errors in the NT. In fact, they often take the NT as commentary upon Genesis through Malachi, not as a dependent but as a replacement. The lucky ones change to see the NT as dependent, but most protestant doctrines are difficult to support that way as they were not derived that way. Catholics skip over the problem as they already have a tradition.

    And if we can open our eyes to what the book is, what it contains and why and be honest with ourselves that some modified it to complete a story, that others did it out of corruption, that the oral tradition was amplified to allow folks to repeat it, and not get hung up on every jot and tittle we'd be able to revel in the mystical, the metaphor, the mystery, the beauty it contains.
    I mostly agree with you, but kids are mystics by default. If you give them no guidance in their imagination, then they will waste it on a useless fantasy. Leverage their memorization skills, and make it easier for them to understand many lessons later as they awaken.
    Communicate through an art that can only be appreciated by the young. You mentioned Genesis: have you noticed that Genesis (creation account through flood) specifically avoids using any overt references to sex, as if it is meant for children? Sex takes place, but not if you don't already know about sex.

    Bart indicates that the following text was not originally included either..but added because so many changes were being made!! This is not an indication of the purity or innerancy of the bible but the distortion that was happening at the time.
    Given the mystical nature of Revelation, that last line fits right in. It is an addition, it is a good one. It fits.

    Orange you glad I didn't say banana?
     
  3. GlorytoGod

    GlorytoGod There is a River

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    this thread is nothing more that a contrived attack on fundamentalist Christians, surely not what interfaith is about :eek:
     
  4. wil

    wil UNeyeR1 Moderator

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    Namaste Dream,

    I often get lambasted for indicating we have no quotes of Jesus as they are all handed down word of mouth. (oh and I also get lambasted for quoting the bible, such irony is fun) And then even if we were to argue that we did have exact quotes of a man who evidently left us none of his writings and no one appears to have found it valuable to take notes at the time...(oh to take a camcorder back 2000 years!) and now we have umpteen various tranlsations and interpretations and versions all of which are exact quotes?? We all know that is impossible. So we all believe our version is correct, or most correct? When I talk to folks that have learned Hebrew, Greek, or Aramaic, they tell me that you can't accurately translate any of it into english as any translation misses something.

    So you say it is a good add to Revelation hundreds of years after the fact? So it is ok to add a statement that says its not ok, even if they meant it for one thing and we take it as another?
     
  5. Dream

    Dream New Member

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    First, I made at least one typo. I mean to say 'If it is an addition, then it is a good one. It fits.'
     
  6. wil

    wil UNeyeR1 Moderator

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    Namaste GtG,

    That is not my intention. It is an open discussion as to the nature of scripture. Of additions, alterations and distortions to the books that are contained in the bible.
     
  7. Dream

    Dream New Member

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    First, I made at least one typo. I mean to say 'If it is an addition, then it is a good one. It fits.'
    As for me, there is absolutely no way I would want to malign the truth in any way. I don't oppose fundamentalist Christians. Also Salty is just confused about what fundamentalist means. (*slaps Salty*) Thomas is not at all conspiring with anybody in here. Wil is probably just high.

    My interest is in church tradition & what it does to make Catholics so secure in their position. There are some differences in the older NT texts that, for protestants, need explaining. Catholics do not really rely directly upon the accuracy of the NT, and how is that possible for them? There are all kinds of fundamentalist arguments made against Jesus, against the church, against corruptions and rites and popes etc., but the church has weathered them and come through with faithful believing priests and laypersons. The people know the accusations, so why do they still rely upon tradition? How does it give the Catholics confidence against Protestant claims, against the Documentary Hypothesis, and even when the NT appears to have some corruptions? Face it, if your minister had as much gold as they do, wouldn't you switch to another church? They don't, though!
     
  8. wil

    wil UNeyeR1 Moderator

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    Actually they do. The largest denomination of Christians is Catholic, and they say the second largest is former Catholics.

    Orange ya glad I'm not high?

    And back to the 'if' see you have no issues with what was added to the texts as it fits in your paradigm...just like the top 10 that shouldn't be in, but we often quote...it fits our understanding, it has been there long enough for our acceptance and for me or anyone else to say it doesn't belong because it wasn't there origionally is cause to be an attack on those that want it to stay even if it doesn't belong.
     
  9. Dream

    Dream New Member

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    There are not that many former Catholics being manufactured per year. Contrasted with the total number of current Catholics, the Protestants are few, and that includes many who are not formerly Catholic. We go way back, though. In North Carolina we have 300 or 400 year-old Baptist church buildings. I'm not a former Catholic but am probably six to eight generations removed from ancestors that were former Catholics or perhaps Catholics who were required to become Anglicans, Lutherans, Calvinists etc. (I suspect Church of England.) The worldwide mob of Protestants has always been smaller than the Catholic mobs.
     
  10. Saltmeister

    Saltmeister The Dangerous Dinner

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    I'm confused? I am most certaintly not! I will now explain what I was talking about. A year or so ago, I based my concept on the following web site.

    Fundamentalist Christianity - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    The article seems to have changed since I last read it, so I had to go and look elsewhere for info that would help explain my concept of fundamentalist Christianity. At the end of my post I will explain my own concept of what "fundamentalist Christianity" is.

    The first here lists the so-called "Five Fundamentals" of a movement that came to be called "fundamentalist Christianity."

    Fundamentalism

    The third point in the second part, highlighted in bold, is where I would like to put an emphasis. It is the strict adherence to a system of doctrines, the belief either that they take Christianity more seriously than others, or that everybody else isn't a true Christian.

    The following is another perspective. It is the idea that God has fixed ideas on moral and ethical issues. That is what I see as yet another aspect of what I call "Christian fundamentalism."

    Liberal-Bane – The Real Truth About Christian Fundamentalism

    The Historical Roots of America's Christian Fundamentalism

    Christian Fundamentalism

    Fundamentalism

    Another quote:

    Christian fundamentalism - Blog Toplist

    I am basing my concept of fundamentalism on the sentence highlighted in bold, not the last part.

    Christian fundamentalism fuels hatred, war - Christian Aggression

    Christian Fundamentalism is not militant - Reader comments at DanielPipes.org

    Interesting view, but after that, it doesn't seem to say much.

    I'd like to clarify that I'm not basing my concept of Christian fundamentalism on adherence to the Five Fundamentals, which was the original definition, but the latter, influenced by the September 11th attacks, which served as a metaphor for Fundie Christianity as a phenomenon of religious people who behaved like cosmic and ideological terrorists.

    "Fundie Christianity" according to the latter definition disturbs me because it is supremacist. It believes it is more devout, more devoted and loyal to Christianity than me. It is a phenomenon of bragging, boastfulness, arrogance and conceit. I am not talking about the Five Fundamentals here. I am talking about bragging, boastfulness, arrogance and conceit. If there is a reason why the Five Fundamentals may be involved, and why conformists to the Five Fundamentals are often equated with this concept of Fundie Christianity, it's because they often brag about their conformity to the Five Fundamentals, which puts those conformists to the original definition of Fundie Christianity in the same category as the latter.
     
  11. Saltmeister

    Saltmeister The Dangerous Dinner

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    But maybe that's the truth about the NT. People have to be careful. It's not because it isn't accurate. It's because of what people are likely to start thinking, saying and doing after they start reading it.

    People need to know that they can't just read something and think they can take it away and do something with it. A written tradition may have good things to say about a religion or religious community, but that isn't a license to be supremacist. It doesn't mean that everything that followers of the religion do are good, noble and honourable. It also doesn't mean that anything bad said about followers of another religion means that everything else it says or does is bad, corrupt or ignoble.

    What Fundamentalist Christianity misses or does not understand is that it is not possible to operate or function without external tradition. The written tradition of Christianity is just a subset of all that Christianity is, was and will come to be in the future. Fundamentalist Christianity asserts and claims sola scriptura, that the NT can stand on its own, that its own interpretation of the NT is sola scriptura, but this is a contradiction.

    Consider, for example, the doctrine of the Trinity or the notion that Jesus is God. That isn't in the written tradition itself. In response to complaints that they promote a belief that isn't in the written tradition, they respond with "this is what it means and what it is trying to say." Yet because it isn't in the written tradition a person who believes otherwise can promote an alternative view that doesn't acknowledge the Trinity concept or "Jesus = God" concept.

    In doing so, however, they "accidentally" create an external tradition, ultimately contradicting themselves that the NT alone is sufficient. The notion of sola scriptura, therefore, is misleading and deceptive.

    Consider this passage:

    I think it fits my argument nicely. This isn't a warning from a Book dropped down from heaven. It is a warning from a first-century spiritual leader named Paul. Paul was a man, a human being, a mere mortal. He was not God. He was, however, a guy whom I believe had a creditable and commendable, and thus, a genuine relationship with God.

    Fundamentalist Christians, in wanting to think of the NT and OT collectively as a book that rivalled science and the millions and billions of textbooks written about it, wanted to think that the NT could have the same enviable status in the world as science and its many textbooks. The idea of Biblical Inerrancy was a response to modernism and the Enlightenment movement.

    Fundamentalist Christians allowed themselves to be captured by "hollow and deceptive philosophy." There is no need to think of the NT as an inerrant text.

    Furthermore, in trying to elevate and promote the NT to the same enviable status as science and its millions and billions of textbooks, they also allowed themselves to be captured by "human traditions" and "the basic principles of this world" rather than "putting their faith in Christ.":):eek:



    The trouble is, Christian churches so far haven't put enough thought into socio-political organisation.

    In the hurry to devote ourselves to legends and trying to create modern incarnations of them, we have neglected our individual mental and emotional and our collective social and political health.

    The socio-political alignment and organisation of a lot of Christian churches is like that of the single-party dictatorship of the Chinese Communist Party in China.

    A lot of Christians in these "fundamentalist" churches follow a "we speak, you believe" philosophy. It's a kind of philosophy where you accept and agree with anything a preacher says because everybody else in the congregation is excited about it and who could ever believe anything bad about the religious establishments of these fundamentalist churches? Everybody wants to believe that the preacher is right, that the preacher is a noble, honourable guy. It's very much like the
    Chinese Communist Party: "we speak, you believe."

    IMAO, Fundamentalist Christianity has dominated Christianity for too long.

    Interfaith? Fundamentalist Christianity is a faction within the same religion, not a separate faith! Fundamentalist Christianity thinks it takes Christianity more seriously than the rest of us. I just don't want this "political party" to be in power any longer. Just like the Chinese Communist Party, Fundamentalist Christianity has to go. It's time for a revolution. We will not be slaves again. Let's bring out the guillotine and then smash it up for good!

    It's time for open revolt against Fundamentalist Christianity!:eek: Time to bring an end to the Christian ancien regime.

    I am sure Jesus would approve.;):rolleyes::cool:
     
  12. Dream

    Dream New Member

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    Wow, Salty. I have only had time to read your first post and the first two articles, but I will catch up later. The Wikipedia article is packed with historical info, and I want to memorize it. It feels very relevant to understanding my own history, although there is a lot of missing information. For instance it mentions nothing about slavery and other huge influences on religion in the country; but it seems to mention many names and events I can use as a scaffold. *Slaps Salty again, just in case.* Carry on, fatal warrior.
     
  13. wil

    wil UNeyeR1 Moderator

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    According to today's news it appears the facts bear out a different conclusion.

    Catholic faithful face church closures - CNN.com
     
  14. Saltmeister

    Saltmeister The Dangerous Dinner

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    I learnt during my search that fundamentalism has two historical meanings, one to do with the Five Fundamentals, which were introduced in the early 20th century in response to modernism. Fundamentalism originally just meant a return to the "original principles." The other, however, which arose later, the term we have now, was a response to that fundamentalism. It now refers to the "dangerous phenomenon" I described above when used as a pejorative.

    Turning the other cheek . . . :D:eek:
     
  15. Dream

    Dream New Member

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    I have read your entire post, though I have not yet caught up on all of your link contributions.
    This argument is made frequently, but I don't think it is understood. I am not saying it is incorrect; however its an argument which never seems to get anywhere. Stated this way it is as interesting as a speed date with a gorilla. A fundamentalist is taught, from youth, that traditions are vain. (& the phrase 'Sola Scriptura' is automatically interpreted to mean 'Bible believing'.) Contrary to these basics, I have heard this argument imposed directly, just as you have heard and repeated it, in forum-space as if it were a persuasive argument to fundamentalists. This does no good.

    First you have to show the value of external tradition, the reason behind the mystery, the secret of how you know tradition is true. If you cannot do that, then of course a fundamentalist cannot see any value to returning to such tradition. You have said they cannot function without a tradition, but they do not see the value of yours. Their response is that they can function without a tradition just as well as with a tradition they do not see the point of. They cannot see past the polished gold, so
    they will search for another tradition or a way to do without one altogether.

    This actually is not a rejection of external tradition. They are not rejecting tradition but trying to embrace it, seeking an external tradition. It is not the same thing as saying they stand upon the NT as a tradition within itself. No, but a person objecting to trinity is often embracing a tradition of Torah interpretation, for they do not perceive that a continuous tradition has been provided. Usually you are talking about someone who has lost touch with the church tradition or does not see the point in it. Ok it isn't Christian tradition, but they are not rejecting the idea of external tradition. Telling them they've rejected tradition just bounces off, since they see themselves place the value of placing the NT in a greater frame of reference.

    Let us leave the Chinese out of it, because their ideas are not well understood. Conversely, I think every major potential sect of Christianity has been investigated by China for the sake of the stability of its people. This entire drama of Catholics and non-Catholics does not go unobserved, nor do our faults go unnoticed. The US Govt. and We the People often get accused by other countries of saying the same "we speak, you believe". Really, the same question is being asked of us, which is 'What is the seal of your tradition's authenticity?'
     
  16. Saltmeister

    Saltmeister The Dangerous Dinner

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    Firstly, I am not a Catholic and nor am I a Greek or Russian Orthodox Christian. I am simply acknowledging that the Catholic position is better than the Fundamentalist one, that it's impossible to not have a tradition if you're an organised religious community with a creed or ideology. Fundamentalists have an ideology. Their ideology is whatever they say before or after they say "this is what the Bible says." What they fail to understand is that what they say or think the Bible says is just an interpretation and ultimately becomes a tradition.

    That is what I hoped I conveyed in the post in question: that fundamentalists have their own tradition. They just don't call it a tradition. They call it "this is what the Bible says" as if it can speak directly to people in the 21st century and to respective local cultures.

    I am not seeking to replace the ideology of any fundamentalist church with a tradition and nor do I have one to offer. I am simply arguing the idea that they have "no tradition" is incorrect and contradictory.

    The fact that I say that the Catholic position is "better" does not mean I completely agree with it either. I said it was "better," not ideal. That's because for a Catholic to assert his claims, he would have to assert his tradition over that of the fundamentalist. It becomes a matter of "my tradition is better than your's."

    What you said here applies to the Catholic position, not to me. It is the Catholic that must assert his tradition over that of the fundamentalist. As for me, I don't have to assert any tradition. I simply have to say that the notion of sola scriptura is wrong.
     
  17. Dream

    Dream New Member

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    Here is a thread that I enjoyed a lot. Makes me feel old, because it was in 2009!
     
  18. Paladin

    Paladin Purchased Bewilderment

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    So, any new perspectives to report? Any insights since you and Salty debated this?
    It was a good thread and if debate serves any purpose it should be to stretch and edify those involved.
    I particularly like the point of external tradition and purpose of the mystery, there is much more to explore there I should think.
     
  19. Dream

    Dream New Member

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    :) For me yes. I'm a very fundamentalist thinker, which is to say I like to imagine that I have the advantage in a discussion if I understand the subject and the other person doesn't. To a fundamentalist conversation is a floating target that shoots back at you, and if you can get your point across, then the shooting is thankfully over. A non fundamentalist likes to get shot at as much as squeezing the trigger, and there the analogy breaks down. Two non fundamentalists are a food fight.

    I used to think that the purpose of the mysteries was control but a mystery is for teaching. In order to penetrate a particular mystery I've changed so much along the way to understanding that I've become absorbed into the mystery, becoming part of it. It wasn't brain washing but a conversion, and that is the ideal way for a mystery to work. It would be hard then to justify a mystery to an outsider, because once you get it you're part of it. Its like a joke in that you can't start with the punch line but must build up to it.
     
  20. Paladin

    Paladin Purchased Bewilderment

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    I agree. There is something about certain teachers who have a knack for putting very complex things into simple language. I am often amazed at the simple language that expresses something it took me years to comprehend.
    There is a point I think where your understanding takes off from the texts and prayers and becomes alive. I believe Maslow refers to this as a Plateau experience.
     

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