Why is the belief in Biblical inerrancy important to people?

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  • Nick Tamen wrote: »
    lilbuddha wrote: »
    Nope. I said upthread that the only reason I was here at all was to demonstrate that inerrantists come in more stripes than the caricature. I have no interest in arguing over dead horses, at least at the present time.
    Then I cannot let go the contention that you all belong in the same catagory. Where you see differences,I see similarities.
    I am not trying to be mean, I am trying to let you see how I see this issue.
    I’m afraid that sounds awfully close to “you people are all alike” to me.
    Mother fuck. Over here.
  • Martin54Martin54 Shipmate
    Might I ask which of these any of us can't tick?

    I can only tick XVI but not if that means one must tick the rest.
  • Barnabas62Barnabas62 Purgatory Host, Epiphanies Host
    edited February 3
    The staement on hermeneutics is interesting.
    We affirm that the text of Scripture is to be interpreted by grammatico-historical exegesis, taking account of its literary forms and devices, and that Scripture is to interpret Scripture. We deny the legitimacy of any treatment of the text or quest for sources lying behind it that leads to relativizing, dehistoricizing, or discounting its teaching, or rejecting its claims to authorship.

    The discussion I had with MPaul suggests that he would have some problems with the denial, since he seems very comfortable with the idea that John's gospel plays around with chronology and sequence.

    I have problems with all of the articles, found myself saying "yes but" while I was reading them. Eutychus is right, the statements seem both political and self-authorised.
  • Barnabas62 wrote: »
    The staement on hermeneutics is interesting.
    We affirm that the text of Scripture is to be interpreted by grammatico-historical exegesis, taking account of its literary forms and devices, and that Scripture is to interpret Scripture. We deny the legitimacy of any treatment of the text or quest for sources lying behind it that leads to relativizing, dehistoricizing, or discounting its teaching, or rejecting its claims to authorship.

    In other words, find your conclusion, then reject any evidence that doesn't support it. Are these people Republicans?
  • Martin54Martin54 Shipmate
    Are bears Catholic?
  • and in what universe is "dehistoricising its teachings" a meaningful statement?
  • The Fair Planet of Academe, perhaps?
  • My point is that the bible, as a text, doesn't have teachings, and these have been established, within the church, over time. Texts can't have teachings, unless you endow them with personhood. And that really is idolatry in the form of bibliolatry.
  • Martin54Martin54 Shipmate
    Agreed.
  • I think I can agree with VIII, but I lost the will to live in reading the document not long after that.

    These people really do aspire to be an evangelical Sanhedrin, and their authoritative proclamations do not sit well with their authoritative denial (II) that "Church creeds, councils, or declarations have authority greater than or equal to the authority of the Bible."
  • Gee DGee D Shipmate
    and in what universe is "dehistoricising its teachings" a meaningful statement?

    Thank you - and much the same can be said about the remainder of the passage.
  • Martin54Martin54 Shipmate
    edited February 3
    Eeeeee, E. How do you do VIII? He asked rhetorically. I went through all XIX. That many years ago I'd have ticked more. Twice that, all. Progressive revelation in microcosm. Ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny and all that.
  • VIII doesn't seem to commit one to much if one assumes God was in any way behind the Scriptures, apart from asserting he didn't override anyone's personality in doing so.
  • Martin54Martin54 Shipmate
    They mean it stronger than that to a paradoxical degree surely? And in your diluted form, how was He?
  • My take is that God wanted part of his revelation to be written and preserved, and has acted through and with human agency both at the time of writing and subsequently to ensure that.

    In that sense I more or less agree with the part of VII that says " The mode of divine inspiration remains largely a mystery to us." It goes on to "DENY that inspiration can be reduced to human insight". I sort of agree with that, but don't agree that human insight has nothing to do with it as that DENIAL might suggest.

    I'm not sure picking apart this declaration is really very constructive.
  • EnochEnoch Shipmate
    What I find slightly challenging, though not as challenging perhaps as I ought to, is that although I have a high view of the authority of scripture, I would find it very difficult to find any of the nineteen Articles that I would be comfortable unconditionally putting my name to. I find some of the denials even more of a problem than the affirmations.

    This is despite the fact that I have a high view of the authority of scripture - by Ship standards probably very high. I wouldn't though use the word 'inerrant'. I don't have a problem with the general scientific view of either the age of the earth or evolution. Nor do I think that scripture obliges me to believe that a bat is a bird - there's actually an argument from the text that will get dogmatists out of that one - or that eagles carry their eaglets through the air on their backs - they don't. Arguments about those sorts of issues, though, enable people on the inerrantist side of the debate to duck letting scripture engage fully with them.

    Where I do have a real problem is that it's easy to get the impression that many of those who don't treat scripture as authoritative are starting from a position that they will only accept scripture so far as it fits in with what they already want to think or believe. They don't want to be challenged, and this is an easy way of avoiding being challenged. That strikes me as an inherently disastrous approach to the spiritual realm, ontologically the wrong way round.
  • Thank you. I suspect that my own position isn't far different to yours. In no way would I want to aside the tremendous scientific and other knowledge now available to us, nor would I wish to abandon the use of my brain when thinking about our faith. But I am suspicious of any interpretation which seems to make rational human thought the arbiter of what we can and can't believe. Not only does this reduce our faith to very finite levels, it rules out any possibility of knowing a God who ultimately operates in divinely "mysterious ways".
  • Martin54Martin54 Shipmate
    Enoch wrote: »
    What I find slightly challenging, though not as challenging perhaps as I ought to, is that although I have a high view of the authority of scripture, I would find it very difficult to find any of the nineteen Articles that I would be comfortable unconditionally putting my name to. I find some of the denials even more of a problem than the affirmations.

    This is despite the fact that I have a high view of the authority of scripture - by Ship standards probably very high. I wouldn't though use the word 'inerrant'. I don't have a problem with the general scientific view of either the age of the earth or evolution. Nor do I think that scripture obliges me to believe that a bat is a bird - there's actually an argument from the text that will get dogmatists out of that one - or that eagles carry their eaglets through the air on their backs - they don't. Arguments about those sorts of issues, though, enable people on the inerrantist side of the debate to duck letting scripture engage fully with them.

    Where I do have a real problem is that it's easy to get the impression that many of those who don't treat scripture as authoritative are starting from a position that they will only accept scripture so far as it fits in with what they already want to think or believe. They don't want to be challenged, and this is an easy way of avoiding being challenged. That strikes me as an inherently disastrous approach to the spiritual realm, ontologically the wrong way round.

    Who are these people?
  • Martin54Martin54 Shipmate
    Thank you. I suspect that my own position isn't far different to yours. In no way would I want to aside the tremendous scientific and other knowledge now available to us, nor would I wish to abandon the use of my brain when thinking about our faith. But I am suspicious of any interpretation which seems to make rational human thought the arbiter of what we can and can't believe. Not only does this reduce our faith to very finite levels, it rules out any possibility of knowing a God who ultimately operates in divinely "mysterious ways".

    No first order interpretation can make the text inerrant and/or infallible. Or make the God of Bronze Age near savages truly mysterious. God is mysterious regardless of the long turbulent streams of text.
  • Enoch wrote: »
    letting scripture engage fully with them.

    This sums it up for me. I think this challenge is a more useful distinction than inerrantist/"liberal" and does not align with the latter divide. As I've said upthread, the issue is not ticking boxes in some legalese hammered out in the 1960s but whether one is prepared to be engaged by Scripture.
  • lilbuddhalilbuddha Shipmate
    edited February 4
    Thank you. I suspect that my own position isn't far different to yours. In no way would I want to aside the tremendous scientific and other knowledge now available to us, nor would I wish to abandon the use of my brain when thinking about our faith. But I am suspicious of any interpretation which seems to make rational human thought the arbiter of what we can and can't believe. Not only does this reduce our faith to very finite levels, it rules out any possibility of knowing a God who ultimately operates in divinely "mysterious ways".
    Seriously, WTF? You cannot process the words in the Bible AT. ALL. without that which makes the rational part of being human. And "mysterious ways" indeed if God cannot manage a more coherent manner of revelation that doesn't result in several, then dozens, then hundreds if not thousands of sects and subsects and then millions of different interpretations within that. Mysterious in fucking deed.
    The rational is the only cohesive thing about reading the Bible.

    ETA: The rational mind that your God supposedly gave you for some reason or other.
  • then hundreds if not thousands of sects and subsects
    Sorry, are you talking about Christianity or Buddhism there?
  • Baptist TrainfanBaptist Trainfan Shipmate
    edited February 4
    lilbuddha wrote: »
    [You cannot process the words in the Bible AT. ALL. without that which makes the rational part of being human.
    The rational is the only cohesive thing about reading the Bible.

    ETA: The rational mind that your God supposedly gave you for some reason or other.
    No, I didn't say or mean that. I certainly do believe in engaging my mind when reading Scripture and I despair of those who adopt a totally uncritical and literalist reading. I also accept - of course - that it was written at very different times and places to where we are today, by prescientific people.

    My gripe is not with people using their minds and intelligence here - I agree 100% that they are God-given. No; it is with people who subject everything in the Bible to a modernistic western "logical" approach and chuck out anything they can't make sense of or understand. To me that is an arrogant way of looking at things as it seems to presuppose that we know more than not only the original authors but also than God himself.

  • Eutychus wrote: »
    then hundreds if not thousands of sects and subsects
    Sorry, are you talking about Christianity or Buddhism there?
    You cannot process my point, so you attack Buddhism? Religions branch for the same reason. Christianity* claims an external guidance that should eliminate or reduce this, Buddhism does not. My point was not an attack on Christianity, but addressing a particular point.
    *For varying degrees, of course.
  • lilbuddha wrote: »
    [You cannot process the words in the Bible AT. ALL. without that which makes the rational part of being human.
    The rational is the only cohesive thing about reading the Bible.

    ETA: The rational mind that your God supposedly gave you for some reason or other.
    No, I didn't say or mean that. I certainly do believe in engaging my mind when reading Scripture and I despair of those who adopt a totally uncritical and literalist reading. I also accept - of course - that it was written at very different times and places to where we are today, by prescientific people.

    My gripe is not with people using their minds and intelligence here - I agree 100% that they are God-given. No; it is with people who subject everything in the Bible to a modernistic western "logical" approach and chuck out anything they can't make sense of or understand. To me that is an arrogant way of looking at things as it seems to presuppose that we know more than not only the original authors but also than God himself.
    Attempting to understand the original authors is part of the rational approach. The last 5 words of your last sentence are problematic. How do you know anything of God? You have a collection of books and some tradition. Those are filtered through people. You do not KNOW God. You might think you have had some revelation, but so does the next bloke who disagrees with you. The only arbiter is that collection of books, filtered through what is deemed the most important bits and an understanding of how people work within the context of the society and time.
    Otherwise you can go with literalism and personal revelation. And neither of those are rational at all.

  • KarlLBKarlLB Shipmate
    lilbuddha wrote: »
    [You cannot process the words in the Bible AT. ALL. without that which makes the rational part of being human.
    The rational is the only cohesive thing about reading the Bible.

    ETA: The rational mind that your God supposedly gave you for some reason or other.
    No, I didn't say or mean that. I certainly do believe in engaging my mind when reading Scripture and I despair of those who adopt a totally uncritical and literalist reading. I also accept - of course - that it was written at very different times and places to where we are today, by prescientific people.

    My gripe is not with people using their minds and intelligence here - I agree 100% that they are God-given. No; it is with people who subject everything in the Bible to a modernistic western "logical" approach and chuck out anything they can't make sense of or understand. To me that is an arrogant way of looking at things as it seems to presuppose that we know more than not only the original authors but also than God himself.

    What about if I chuck out the bits which still after 30 odd years and reading what other people have said about them make God out to be an absolute bastard who I desperately hope doesn't exist? Is that OK? Or is it also arrogant?
  • Martin54Martin54 Shipmate
    lilbuddha wrote: »
    [You cannot process the words in the Bible AT. ALL. without that which makes the rational part of being human.
    The rational is the only cohesive thing about reading the Bible.

    ETA: The rational mind that your God supposedly gave you for some reason or other.
    No, I didn't say or mean that. I certainly do believe in engaging my mind when reading Scripture and I despair of those who adopt a totally uncritical and literalist reading. I also accept - of course - that it was written at very different times and places to where we are today, by prescientific people.

    My gripe is not with people using their minds and intelligence here - I agree 100% that they are God-given. No; it is with people who subject everything in the Bible to a modernistic western "logical" approach and chuck out anything they can't make sense of or understand. To me that is an arrogant way of looking at things as it seems to presuppose that we know more than not only the original authors but also than God himself.

    Who are these people?
  • EnochEnoch Shipmate
    @lilbuddha I don't enough about Buddhism to know whether this is too far from what you're used to to make sense.

    Relating to God through scripture is a rational process, but it is not just a rational matter. In some ways, the phrases 'Bible Study' and 'a Study Bible', though often encountered, can be a bit misleading. This isn't a complete parallel but think of it more like how you relate to a painting. You stand in front of a picture. You might rationalise it, think about the composition, the symbolic visual language the painter has used, the way it reflects his or her life, or admire the brushwork and colours, but if it's any good, you also engage with it direct, viscerally, and it relates with you that way too.
  • Martin54Martin54 Shipmate
    Eutychus wrote: »
    My take is that God wanted part of his revelation to be written and preserved, and has acted through and with human agency both at the time of writing and subsequently to ensure that.

    In that sense I more or less agree with the part of VII that says " The mode of divine inspiration remains largely a mystery to us." It goes on to "DENY that inspiration can be reduced to human insight". I sort of agree with that, but don't agree that human insight has nothing to do with it as that DENIAL might suggest.

    I'm not sure picking apart this declaration is really very constructive.

    I'm sure it isn't. It seems that only one person on these boards can sign up to it. Everyone else has to qualify their agreement. More and more. With less and less.
  • And who would that be?
  • Martin54Martin54 Shipmate
    The same person you're thinking of.
  • That would be nobody then. Unless you can show otherwise.
  • LydaLyda Shipmate
    All the shouts of WE AFFIRM and WE DENY are impressive and tell us how serious they are about their conclusions.
  • Their very first point begs a gigantic question: What exactly are "the Scriptures" or "the Bible"? Says who?
  • MPaulMPaul Shipmate
    6
    mousethief wrote: »
    Their very first point begs a gigantic question: What exactly are "the Scriptures" or "the Bible"? Says who?
    Doesn’t seem a problem to most. What exactly is the beef here?

  • Gee DGee D Shipmate
    MPaul wrote: »
    6
    mousethief wrote: »
    Their very first point begs a gigantic question: What exactly are "the Scriptures" or "the Bible"? Says who?
    Doesn’t seem a problem to most. What exactly is the beef here?

    How many books in your Bible, for a start - probably rather more than in mousethief's.
  • Gee D wrote: »
    MPaul wrote: »
    6
    mousethief wrote: »
    Their very first point begs a gigantic question: What exactly are "the Scriptures" or "the Bible"? Says who?
    Doesn’t seem a problem to most. What exactly is the beef here?

    How many books in your Bible, for a start - probably rather more than in mousethief's.

    Quite the opposite. The protties zonked some books that God put in there.

    MPaul, the beef is, how do you define the Bible, and by what authority? That it doesn't seem a problem to "most" (by what right do you speak for these "most", whoever they are?) means nothing. Theology is not a popularity contest.
  • MPaulMPaul Shipmate
    mousethief wrote: »
    Gee D wrote: »
    MPaul wrote: »
    6
    mousethief wrote: »
    Their very first point begs a gigantic question: What exactly are "the Scriptures" or "the Bible"? Says who?
    Doesn’t seem a problem to most. What exactly is the beef here?

    How many books in your Bible, for a start - probably rather more than in mousethief's.

    Quite the opposite. The protties zonked some books that God put in there.

    MPaul, the beef is, how do you define the Bible, and by what authority? That it doesn't seem a problem to "most" (by what right do you speak for these "most", whoever they are?) means nothing. Theology is not a popularity contest.

    But I seems that by Nicea, the content was agreed and rubber stamped.
    The OT was Jewish, the NT was apostolic. It seems that what were the holy books was one of the areas of reasonably general agreement.
  • MPaul wrote: »
    6
    mousethief wrote: »
    Their very first point begs a gigantic question: What exactly are "the Scriptures" or "the Bible"? Says who?
    Doesn’t seem a problem to most. What exactly is the beef here?

    By accepting the legitimacy of the canon of scripture you by necessity accept the legitimacy of the Church that bequeathed it to you. If you attempt to reject the authority of the Church to interpret scripture and to pass on that part of the faith not recorded in it then you must first justify why you exclude the Shepherd of Hermas or the Acts of Paul but include 2 Peter and Revelation.
  • Gee DGee D Shipmate
    I was thinking of the Apocrypha (Deuterocanonicals) that do not appear in all.
  • Martin54Martin54 Shipmate
    Eutychus wrote: »
    That would be nobody then. Unless you can show otherwise.

    You mean it's too wishy-washy even for him?!
  • BoogieBoogie Shipmate
    I accept the authority of neither Church nor scripture.

    As a woman I find both recognise/value/understand me less than they should.
  • Martin54Martin54 Shipmate
    How could they by keeping to a script?
  • MPaul wrote: »
    But I seems that by Nicea, the content was agreed and rubber stamped.
    The OT was Jewish, the NT was apostolic. It seems that what were the holy books was one of the areas of reasonably general agreement.
    That's really not what I understood, and my understanding is confirmed by the Wikipedia article, the Development of the Christian Biblical Canon, which says that the canonisation of books in the New Testament was still in progress at the time of the Nicaean Council:
    This process was not yet complete at the time of the First Council of Nicaea in 325, though substantial progress had been made by then.
    According to that article it took until the 5th century to reach a consensus. And this would have been the Catholic Bible which has the 27 books of the New Testament and 46 OT books (which adds up to 73, not the usual 66 quoted in Protestant circles.)
  • MPaul wrote: »
    mousethief wrote: »
    Gee D wrote: »
    MPaul wrote: »
    6
    mousethief wrote: »
    Their very first point begs a gigantic question: What exactly are "the Scriptures" or "the Bible"? Says who?
    Doesn’t seem a problem to most. What exactly is the beef here?

    How many books in your Bible, for a start - probably rather more than in mousethief's.

    Quite the opposite. The protties zonked some books that God put in there.

    MPaul, the beef is, how do you define the Bible, and by what authority? That it doesn't seem a problem to "most" (by what right do you speak for these "most", whoever they are?) means nothing. Theology is not a popularity contest.

    But I seems that by Nicea, the content was agreed and rubber stamped...
    That's not actually true.

  • Martin54 wrote: »
    Eutychus wrote: »
    That would be nobody then. Unless you can show otherwise.

    You mean it's too wishy-washy even for him?!

    @Martin54, I'm seriously considering returning to Hell to deal with you.

    Unless I'm mistaken, the only self-proclaimed inerrantist to have expressed an opinion with regard to the Chicago statement since you introduced it here is @Lamb Chopped, and she expressed reservations about it.

    Having introduced the Chicago statement here, you are now wielding it as a standard to judge Shipmates who haven't even expressed an opinion on it despite it being clear that there is no consensus about it, even among inerrantists. You appear to be attaching as much authority to it as its original authors, which is ironic in the extreme.

    Discussion involves putting forward one's own opinions, not merely sniping obliquely at the shortcomings one perceives in others'.
  • MPaulMPaul Shipmate
    MPaul wrote: »
    mousethief wrote: »
    Gee D wrote: »
    MPaul wrote: »
    6
    mousethief wrote: »
    Their very first point begs a gigantic question: What exactly are "the Scriptures" or "the Bible"? Says who?
    Doesn’t seem a problem to most. What exactly is the beef here?

    How many books in your Bible, for a start - probably rather more than in mousethief's.

    Quite the opposite. The protties zonked some books that God put in there.

    MPaul, the beef is, how do you define the Bible, and by what authority? That it doesn't seem a problem to "most" (by what right do you speak for these "most", whoever they are?) means nothing. Theology is not a popularity contest.

    But I seems that by Nicea, the content was agreed and rubber stamped...
    That's not actually true.
    I think what is true is that the church had the Jewish scriptures. In Lk 24 Jesus rebuked Emmaus travellers for not ‘getting’ he had to die and he explained this by arguing from scripture. In ICor 15 Paulmakes a particular point that Christ died and rose according to the scriptures. We read in Acts that Apollos was mighty in the scriptures. We know from 2Peter that Paul’s writingswere already regarded as authoritative as the rest of the scriptures. What is very clear is that there were scriptures in the early church. The closure of the canon was at Nicea according to the best scholarship but it was really only the sanction of that generation on the books that were already accepted. Essentially, those books were the Jewish scriptures and the apostolic writings.
    .
  • But the canon was not closed at Nicea, see my post above.
  • Martin54Martin54 Shipmate
    @Eutychus - sorry
  • MPaul wrote: »
    I think what is true is that the church had the Jewish scriptures. . . . What is very clear is that there were scriptures in the early church. The closure of the canon was at Nicea according to the best scholarship but it was really only the sanction of that generation on the books that were already accepted. Essentially, those books were the Jewish scriptures and the apostolic writings.
    Yes, but it's not at all clear exactly when consensus was reached as to which books were properly part of the Jewish scriptures. Which books were considered scripture by Jews seems to have still been in flux around the time of Jesus and the apostles.

    Were the Jewish scriptures the 24 books of the Masoretic Text, now canonized by Jews as the Tanahk? (Basically the books included in Protestant Bibles, but grouped and combined differently.) Did it include the additional books and portions of books that are found in the Septuagint? The early church clearly used and relied on the Septuagint, and many of the quotes from and references to the OT in the NT draw from the Septuagint, not the Hebrew text.

    You speak of closure of the canon at Nicea. Leaving aside whether the canon was actually closed then, the canon that was accepted in that era was essentially the OT as found in the Septuagint. Differences developed between East and West as well, such that the Eastern Orthodox and the Roman Catholics to this day have a slightly different OT canon. The canons of some non-Chalcedonian churches, such as the Copts, are different still.

    It was Luther and the Protestants who came after him who removed from the OT those books not found in the Masoretic Text. This was done for two reasons: a preference for using the original Hebrew and for using the Jewish canon, and a belief that some of the "additional" books and writings of the Septuagint, were at odds in some way with the rest of Scripture, particularly as it related to certain disputed doctrines, such as purgatory.

    So there's no question that Protestant Bibles do not include the OT canon that was closed anywhere near the time of Nicea. The Protestant Bible omits parts of that canon. While many Protestant Bibles include, in a separate section, the remaining books and writings—typically called the Apocrypha—and while many Protestant groups consider those books and writings valuable, no Protestant group that I'm aware of currently considers them part of the canon.

    So the question posed by @mousethief is a reasonable one. When claims are made about the Bible and its authority, exactly which set of writings, particularly with regard to the OT, are such claims being made about. Is it:
    1. The books and writings contained in Masoretic Text ultimately accepted by Jews?
    2. The canon as established in or around the time of Nicea, or the councils of Hippo or Carthage?
    3. The canon as it developed with slight tweaks in the ensuing centuries?
    4. The canon established by Luther and other Reformers in the 16th Century?

    And whichever one of these options one considers to be the correct answer, what's the basis for believing that option to be the correct answer?

This discussion has been closed.