Biblical Inerrancy

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  • LouiseLouise Epiphanies Host
    Hosting
    Would people please not make insulting personal accusations to each other? If you want to say to someone 'You do X' or 'You are Y' where X or Y are not complimentary or neutral then please take it to Hell and stop trading personal accusations here.

    By the way, if you are being labelled by another poster as an atheist or unbeliever and you don't happily self-describe in this way, could you please flag that up to me? I don't know in every case who is what and it's absolutely not Ok for posters to use these terms as insults to people who would be offended by such accusations.

    Please save such accusations for the Hell board.

    Thanks
    Louise
    Dead Horses Host

    Hosting off
  • I would expect that you and everybody else on the Ship regularly use 'phenomenal' language by referring to 'sunrise' and 'sunset' even though as good Copernicans you know that in scientific terms it's not the Sun that's making the relevant movements.

    Actually in scientific terms it's perfectly reasonable to describe observations from the frame of reference of the observer, so long as one comprehends when one frame is accelerated relative to another. Absolute position and absolute motion are not valid physical concepts.

    Agreed - but most people using language like 'sunrise/set' are not thinking anywhere near so scientifically!

    Point is that back in XXXBCE, people are saying 'sunrise/set' because they believe it's the sun that's (mainly) moving; in 2018 most people using those words are just using the traditional words even though that doesn't correspond to what they believe is happening, ie that the Earth's rotation is the main cause of the appearance. But of course it does correspond to what they see - the 'phenomenon'; whence the description of 'phenomenal language' for such usage.

    Point is also that 'phenomenal' language is valid in an everyday context. The Bible uses it along with various other 'literary devices' and we have to allow for such uses and indeed celebrate the Bible's artistic variety....

    Louise - not sure if I've unintentionally done what you're worried about. As it happens I was brought up at a time when it was quite conventional to use language of "If you say...." and so on, and it would be understood that the 'you' was hypothetical rather than personal; and it's not an easy habit to change when you've been doing it for decades....
  • MPaulMPaul Shipmate
    Steve Langton. I think I would broadly agree with your interpretive framework so with your permission that probably delivers me from being a hyper literalist.

    Lilbuddah. You seem a bit angry at God to me. I don’t think he minds but he doesn’t take a lot of notice when we vent. Regarding what Jesus said, the best scholarship dates all gospels pretty early relative to the depicted events and inaccuracies would have been pointed out by living eye witnesses. Mark seems to have been Peter’s scribe and Luke was clearly a research buff who gleaned and summated. He claims consecutive order for his events, the only one to do so.

    Martin 54: your statement of their being only facts is very naive. You and I are similar in age. I was converted from Catholicism at age 21 and there were unmistakable supernatural events I remember clearly. You cannot set you ‘facts’ which are only a pseudo scientific narrative that changes daily, (remember 4th form Science in the 1960s) against my experience of God’s reality,which you do not share. You by contrast rightly discerned the controlling cult of Armstrongism and rejected it. But their is a baby with the bath water. You need to revisit scripture IMV.

    Louise. I agree. I did refer to Croesus as an unbeliever and also Lilbuddah but it was not intended to suggest anything about them they had not also said about themselves over time. I did also refer to Martin 54 as a sceptic and apologise. I am not up for trading insults.
  • CrœsosCrœsos Shipmate
    Crœsos wrote: »
    The main failure of literalism is that it doesn't deliver what it promises. The idea is that if you read the words as actually written (or as translated) everyone will agree on what they mean and there will be no such thing as theological disagreement any more. The fact that this is not the case even among those who claim to adhere to a "literal" reading of scripture argues that there's a failure here. Most often it's attributed to bad faith on the part of that other guy, who is clearly not reading "literally" or is doing so in bad faith.

    Judging by that comment about (alleged) cyborgs I think you may be confusing me with MPaul and other hyperliteralists. I'm not putting forward that kind of case.

    @MPaul is more of a gnostic, believing that if you gnow the gnosis and have access to the secret decoder ring you get when you join the club then scriptures will tell you something very different than someone who just reads them as written. The fact that both you and he consider his approach to be "literal" (hyper- or otherwise) indicates that the has more to do with the conclusions reached than the actual approach taken to scripture.
    My point which you've quoted was that generally when liberals have to actually interpret a particular text, rather than just make grandiose 'soundbites' about the Bible in general, they find the text is not all that much of a proverbial 'wax nose' to be shaped however you want. Even with maximum allowance for the various literary devices, the range of credible meaning is still fairly narrow and pretty much what evangelicals have always said, while it can't credibly be interpreted as the liberal theologian would prefer.

    Have you considered that picking clobber texts to deploy out of context rather than considering how they fit within the framework of "the Bible in general" isn't really how we read any other book?

    Take, for example, the debates over the permissibly of slavery that took place in American Christianity during the first part of the nineteenth century. (Not coincidentally when a lot of the intellectual groundwork for modern ideas of Biblical "literalism" was laid down.) The pro-slavery side took your point of view, that the Bible explicitly permits, and even in some cases commands, enslavement. Therefore the institution was both good and holy. A more "liberal" view, as you use the term, would look at "the Bible in general" and make what you consider "grandiose soundbites" (though a lot of them were quite lengthy for soundbites) about the over-arching narrative of both liberation and human dignity they found within scripture. This, apparently, was the wrong way to read the Bible, despite the fact that it's the way most other books are read.
  • MPaul wrote: »
    You are doing the exact same thing..stating unequivocally that your twisted mythical version of reality..is somehow self evident fact. You are totally deceived poor man.

    I see Saturday is the day to do the washy and the irony.
  • Notoriously, eyewitnesses can have grossly conflicting accounts of what happened, even though they both witnessed it at the same time. Even from the same side of the room. "But he was there and he heard/saw it" is no guarantee of anything.
  • 1) MPaul
    Yes, you probably do agree more with my basic framework than sometimes appears. In that passage I was trying to distinguish because it seemed as if specific views of yours which I don't agree with were being attributed to me.

    2) Croesos;
    Have you considered that picking clobber texts to deploy out of context rather than considering how they fit within the framework of "the Bible in general" isn't really how we read any other book?

    Not only I have considered it, I try extremely hard to NOT do what you're suggesting there. Which brings us to

    3) Croesos again;
    Take, for example, the debates over the permissibly of slavery that took place in American Christianity during the first part of the nineteenth century. (Not coincidentally when a lot of the intellectual groundwork for modern ideas of Biblical "literalism" was laid down.) The pro-slavery side took your point of view, that the Bible explicitly permits, and even in some cases commands, enslavement. Therefore the institution was both good and holy. A more "liberal" view, as you use the term, would look at "the Bible in general" and make what you consider "grandiose soundbites" (though a lot of them were quite lengthy for soundbites) about the over-arching narrative of both liberation and human dignity they found within scripture. This, apparently, was the wrong way to read the Bible, despite the fact that it's the way most other books are read.

    Boy have you got me wrong!!!

    This goes back to you using that issue on another thread to constantly misrepresent my position on slavery and thereby in the end derail the thread. OK, we'll deal with it here and hopefully I'll then be able to revive that thread without similar interference.... (I was considering a Hell call about it, but since you raise it here....)

    In that other thread I made a brief statement about slavery in which on the one hand I recognised the rather obvious that in the OT God did allow the Israelites to practice slavery - while also insisting, in line with His activity of rescuing the Israelites from slavery in Egypt, that they must treat their slaves in a relatively humane way. I'm not going to go here into all the details but among major points slaves as well as their masters were supposed to benefit from the Sabbath rest, and there was also the institution of the Jubilee which included freeing of slaves and was later famously referenced in the Civil War anthem "Marching through Georgia" (...we bring the Jubilee...)

    The comment I made about that - which far from exhausted the issue, it's just that I was trying to get back to the main point of the thread - was that centuries before Christ and in very different economic circumstances a good deal that we do through (nominally) 'free employment' might be impractical, and in effect slavery was the best option available; but slavery in the more humane form implied by the teaching mentioned above.

    By the time of Jesus societal developments - more elaborate money supply systems for example - would change that. Among other points I might have made were that a great deal of ancient slavery in all societies involved either prisoners of war or criminals where in those times the realistic alternatives would tend to be slavery or a death sentence.

    My other comment which you persistently kept throwing up at me was related to the early Christian era. I did point out that as I saw it Christianity would imply and lead to the end of slavery at least among Christians; but that it wouldn't happen overnight and would be gradually worked out/worked through as the implications of the new faith became clear. The example of Onesimus in the letter to Philemon, and Paul's words in Galatians 3 about there being 'no slave or freeman' in Christ are key texts but far from the only ones.

    You asked a question about whether a Christian slaveowner would crucify an escaped but recaptured slave; and I responded that no, he wouldn't. And you then kept on and on bringing up that comment ('out of context', come to think of it) as if that meant I was simplistically 'OK with slavery' I think your words were.

    I repeatedly denied that, you wouldn't let it go, any answer on my part that really dealt with the issue would literally have been pages long and a totally unjustified tangent to that thread. I invited you to leave the issue off that thread and discuss it on a slavery specific thread, you wouldn't. I eventually decided you had made that thread impossible pro tem and I bailed out of it. And here you still are accusing me of supporting slavery ("The pro-slavery side took your point of view...". which actually isn't my point of view).

    For purposes of this thread my view is that the Bible clearly shows development of the issue over time to what should have been the ending of slavery among Christians, though the issue would be repeatedly 'replayed' as the faith moved into other slave-owning societies and newly converted slave-owners needed to work it out. Far from seeing the institution as 'good and holy' I see it rather as something far from ideal which God was willing to put up with while preparing for the coming of Jesus. As he was also willing to put up with warfare which for Christians is banned, as we'd have been discussing had you let that other thread run naturally.

    There are all kinds of quite complex considerations here including the issues about whether Christians are supposed to run 'Christian states' or be dissenters in an unbelieving state demonstrating a better alternative. Even here there isn't really space to do it in detail; this is already I think just about the longest post I've made on the Ship.

    The point is that it is indeed the overall teaching of the Bible that slavery is ultimately wrong and God's people should not do it. NOT on a 'liberal' basis but precisely on a 'literal sense' interpretation.

    Anabaptists like myself do not interpret the Bible 'flat'; we are very much aware of the way ideas develop over Biblical history and of how much the coming of Jesus changes things - the slavery issue is just a small part of that.

    Don't you, Croesos, ever again suggest that I'm "OK with slavery".
  • Nobody understands analogy.

    Croesos didn't say you are okay with slavery. He said that a certain type of argument was used to support slavery, thus rendering that type of argument suspect. He didn't mention your beliefs at all, nor implicate you in anything having to do with slavery.
  • Oh Steve! You'd been doing so well in this thread and then you had to go and ruin it by bringing up church/state relations. [Not junior hosting, just noting that I'd silently been cheering Steve on for managing so many posts in this thread without]
  • Barnabas62Barnabas62 Purgatory Host, Epiphanies Host
    edited January 20
    The various means of interpretation used by inerrantists aren't governed by literalism, dumb, wooden, or nuanced. That was my point a couple of pages ago. They are governed by the overriding need to deny error.

    In the inerrantist literature you can for example find a ready acceptance of lower criticism. Those who write that way believe that the processes of translation and copying may indeed have incorporated some human misunderstandings and inaccuracies into the original texts. There is nothing wrong, indeed there is everything to be gained, from seeking to recover, as best we can, the contents of the original texts.

    Many, but not all, inerrantists, are perfectly happy to acknowledge the inaccuracies of the KJV translation and discuss the relative merits of the Textus Receptus and more modern Greek versions of the New Testament. These processes are seen as perfectly valid, as a means of using scholarship to provide a more accurate text.

    But higher criticism is another matter. It doesn't matter whether the author is Bultmann or Barth, or a myriad others. Higher criticism is seen as taking criticism too far, placing the critic above scripture, rather than submitting to it. There is a line in the sand which must not be crossed. And we cross it whenever we suggest there is inconsistency, or variation, or even development of ideas.

    For example, I am one of many Christians who sense a trajectory of understanding in scripture about the nature of God, from tribal henotheism, via monotheism, to the mysteries of what we now call Trinitarian belief. So for example, the tribal henotheistic God portrayed in Joshua and Judges is acting perfectly in character to order the 'cleansing' of Canaan of the unbelievers. They are not His people. They worship real but inferior Gods.

    Whereas the monotheistic God is the only God, the God of all, and believers are meant to be 'a light to the Gentiles', not a murderer of Gentiles.

    For me, the trajectory explanation places the genocidal stories in a different context. I do not have to rationalise these stories as somehow consistent with a good God. They may, or may not, be a historical picture of tribal violence in Canaan. They are not relevant to how I see love of God and love of other people today, except in the sense that they point out to me what attitudes I must at all costs avoid.

    And yet, because I see things this way, most inerrantists I have ever met think I am guilty of a dangerous watering down of the authority of scripture in favour of some dodgy, liberal approach. And for the life of me, I have never been able to see why that is the case. The rationalisation of Joshua and Judges strikes me as infinitely more dangerous.
  • That's very much where I'm coming from too, @Barnabas62. I've worked with inerrantists in a couple of places, and have found the insistence on the literal truth of, for example, Noah, unhelpful in showing that 'light to the Gentiles'. The people we are trying to introduce to the love of God stop engaging when asked to believe things they find impossible.
  • by mousethief
    Croesos didn't say you are okay with slavery. He said that a certain type of argument was used to support slavery, thus rendering that type of argument suspect. He didn't mention your beliefs at all, nor implicate you in anything having to do with slavery.

    Last year Croesos spent a large amount of a thread which was actually about church and state repeatedly accusing me of being 'OK with slavery'; and the following quote sounds very much like he is still doing that.... Note the bit I've boldened....

    by Croesos
    The pro-slavery side took your (ie SL's) point of view, that the Bible explicitly permits, and even in some cases commands, enslavement. Therefore the institution was both good and holy

    The reality was that I was actually doing exactly what Croesos purported to support and to want me to do - that is, reading the texts very much in context and 'within the framework of "the Bible in general"'. And therefore I registered the fact that the story records in the early history of Israel post-Exodus that they were allowed by God to keep slaves while being firmly told to treat them with some decency, a major advance for that time. The account then moves on to the NT where the changes brought about by Jesus implied an eventual Christian rejection of slavery which we see being worked out in the early churches.

    I think I made that clear at the time. One of my comments referred to that earlier period and was (only a small part of) the explanation of that situation; the other comment Croesos had a go at was a specific answer to a question by Croesos about possible events in the early Christian transitional period - and ipso facto not the ultimate long-term resolution of the issue. Taking these out of context of my clear rejection of slavery at the time, Croesos chose to use those comments to repeatedly suggest that I was 'OK with slavery'

    Had he been thinking coherently he should have seen the absurdity of suggesting that a modern Anabaptist was remotely likely to be 'OK with slavery' and also really should have appreciated the point that one of the distinctive points of the Anabaptists was precisely to see how things changed and developed through the Bible history ('the Bible in general') and especially changed with the life, death and resurrection of Jesus and the creation of the wider Gentile-inclusive church in continuity with Israel.

    I was more than a bit annoyed that in this thread he seemed to have resumed such tactics....

    Arethosemyfeet; sorry, Shipmate - but an adequate response to Croesos really needed some mention of the church and state issue.

    Barnabas62; I'll come back to your point later - but for now I'll say I have reservations about the word 'inerrant' in this context. Jim Packer - through whom, in his book Fundamentalism and the Word of God I discovered the Tyndale quote - did use the word 'inerrant' but also of course rejected extreme literalism.
  • This is not last year, this is now. Again he is saying that your mode of interpreting scriptures was used to justify slavery, not that YOU are justifying slavery. Methinks the gentleman doth protest too much.
  • mousethief wrote: »
    This is not last year, this is now. Again he is saying that your mode of interpreting scriptures was used to justify slavery, not that YOU are justifying slavery. Methinks the gentleman doth protest too much.

    It is now and Croesos does appear to be saying now that the pro-slavers took my position. Only they didn't, because it's rather a crucial part of my "mode of interpreting scriptures" that I don't do it 'flat' and I look at the whole - not just that God permitted his people slavery once, but also that He then built on and from that situation (and various other things) to eventually, through Jesus, create a new and better arrangement which did not include slavery.

    Fully explaining that is going to take longer than I've got right now. I'll be back hopefully around 1000pm UK time.
  • Barnabas62 wrote: »
    And yet, because I see things this way, most inerrantists I have ever met think I am guilty of a dangerous watering down of the authority of scripture in favour of some dodgy, liberal approach.
    Instead, they take a dodgy "literal" approach.
    And for the life of me, I have never been able to see why that is the case. The rationalisation of Joshua and Judges strikes me as infinitely more dangerous.
    It is difficult for me not to find it utterly mad. Everyone interprets, and they choose an interpretation that favours God as a murdering bastard.

  • lilbuddhalilbuddha Shipmate
    edited January 20
    It is now and Croesos does appear to be saying now that the pro-slavers took my position.
    He is saying that they used the same logic and reasoning.
    Only they didn't, because it's rather a crucial part of my "mode of interpreting scriptures" that I don't do it 'flat' and I look at the whole - not just that God permitted his people slavery once, but also that He then built on and from that situation (and various other things) to eventually, through Jesus, create a new and better arrangement which did not include slavery.
    Which isn't loads better than saying God approved of slavery. He did a lot of things with great immediacy, but that one required a "go slow" approach?

  • Martin54Martin54 Shipmate
    MPaul wrote: »
    Martin 54: your statement of their being only facts is very naive. You and I are similar in age. I was converted from Catholicism at age 21 and there were unmistakable supernatural events I remember clearly. You cannot set you ‘facts’ which are only a pseudo scientific narrative that changes daily, (remember 4th form Science in the 1960s) against my experience of God’s reality,which you do not share. You by contrast rightly discerned the controlling cult of Armstrongism and rejected it. But their is a baby with the bath water. You need to revisit scripture IMV.

    Where did I say that? Please quote me. As for remembering supernatural events from over 40 years ago, cognitive bias explains all of that, at the time and since. That's a nice Welsh 'you' there. Science, like revelation, is an ever improving approximation, yes. And no one has experienced God's reality for a long, long time. Even by epiphany, Incarnation - the only baby in the bathwater and He's mythic - and what have you. No one has ever experienced it directly. I'm sure I do. And come to what conclusion? That murdering rape victims is love?

  • Barnabas62Barnabas62 Purgatory Host, Epiphanies Host
    edited January 20
    lilbuddha wrote: »
    It is difficult for me not to find it utterly mad. Everyone interprets, and they choose an interpretation that favours God as a murdering bastard.
    Actually it is the method of interpretation which forces the end result. It's quite strange to me. A straightforward reading of the Old Testament leads quite naturally to the possibility that some authors saw God differently to others. But a belief in inerrancy says that any conclusion to that effect must be unsound. If scripture is distorted as a result of the fallibility and partial understanding of any of the authors, then how can it be a reliable guide?

    'Therefore we have to find another explanation in order to defend the reliability of scripture as a guide.".

    That's what is going on. And it is very unfortunate.
  • LouiseLouise Epiphanies Host
    hosting

    Hi Steve Langton, this is not a case for 'considering making a Hell call' in this instance, you must either make the Hell call or not raise the matter at all on any other board. Doing so violates Commandment 4.

    Please stop all discussion of your baggage/ conflict with Croesos on this thread. Please step away from the thread and either make your Hell call or drop the subject here entirely. Could other posters please not reply to the posts discussing this conflict? It doesn't belong on this board.

    Thanks
    Louise
    Dead Horses Host
    hosting off
  • MPaulMPaul Shipmate
    Barnabas: But higher criticism is another matter. It doesn't matter whether the author is Bultmann or Barth, or a myriad others. Higher criticism is seen as taking criticism too far, placing the critic above scripture, rather than submitting to it. There is a line in the sand which must not be crossed. And we cross it whenever we suggest there is inconsistency, or variation, or even development of ideas

    The problem of God ordering violence is the major issue for the new age left wingers here but the rejection of higher criticism was because it made assumptions against the supernatural and measured historicity by that standard.

    EG Daniel 11 has to be late..it is too accurate. No one walks on water so no problem with getting rid of that and seeing the story as allegorical. The objection was that you cannot a priori dismiss miracles or prophecy. God is a supernatural being.

    Regarding God’s moral behaviour, I maintain judgement of that is a category error. God is the judge of all the earth..he does and did right even if our poor human minds want to scream at his actions. The bottom line is that he is God. His ways are beyond human scrutiny. But apart from that I have no problem with his justice and am quite happy to realise that whatever he does to me is less than I deserve. Mercy triumphs over justice.
  • MPaul wrote: »
    The problem of God ordering violence is the major issue for the new age left wingers here but the rejection of higher criticism was because it made assumptions against the supernatural and measured historicity by that standard.
    Exactly who here is a “new age left winger”? And why do you find it necessary to question the good faith motivations of anyone who reads Scripture differently from you?
  • MPaulMPaul Shipmate
    Nick Tamen wrote: »
    MPaul wrote: »
    The problem of God ordering violence is the major issue for the new age left wingers here but the rejection of higher criticism was because it made assumptions against the supernatural and measured historicity by that standard.
    Exactly who here is a “new age left winger”? And why do you find it necessary to question the good faith motivations of anyone who reads Scripture differently from you?
    Not targeting individuals was I? This ‘God is ‘genocidal’ tack is a peculiarly political thing Ihave never come up against and struggle to take seriously. My conclusion is that most people on SOF think God is or should be, a socialist.

  • MPaul wrote: »
    Not targeting individuals was I?
    You said “The problem of God ordering violence is the major issue for the new age left wingers here.” “Here” suggests that the “new age left wingers” you’re referring to are people in this discussion.
    This ‘God is ‘genocidal’ tack is a peculiarly political thing Ihave never come up against and struggle to take seriously.
    Really? Perhaps you have never encountered it, but it’s hardly a “peculiarly political thing.” It’s a pretty common concern in my experience. Biblical scholars—liberal, conservative and in-between—have wrestled and written extensively on the issue, coming to a variety of conclusions. I know of one conservative Bible scholar who called the destruction of the Canaanites “the major ethical problem in the Old Testament,” recognizing that it is something to come to terms with. Shoot, Jewish rabbis were wrestling with the issue two thousand years ago.

    Instead of presuming that people are just wanting God to be a socialist, consider the possibility that some people may be struggling to reconcile a God who commands the destruction of an entire nation, including children, with the message of Jesus, who said “he who has seen me has seen the Father,” and of the New Testament’s message that God is love. Do you not see how a sincere person trying to be faithful could wrestle with questions like that, and why answers like “we can’t understand God’s ways” come across as dodging the question? Do you not see how an answer like that could make someone want to have nothing to do with such a God?
  • MPaulMPaul Shipmate
    Nick Tamen: people may be struggling to reconcile
    The point is that they never will. It cannot be done. It is either accept or reject the Biblical stories. If you reject then fine look elsewhere for truth but it’s whistling in the dark. God has the right to take life. His judgements are righteous altogether. You attack me and accuse me of judging but you are really attacking the Bible.
  • MPaul wrote: »
    Nick Tamen: people may be struggling to reconcile
    The point is that they never will. It cannot be done. It is either accept or reject the Biblical stories.

    Because God commands us to make the black-or-white fallacy. Oh wait, that's thinking again, and thinking is against God's wishes.
  • MPaulMPaul Shipmate
    mousethief wrote: »
    MPaul wrote: »
    Nick Tamen: people may be struggling to reconcile
    The point is that they never will. It cannot be done. It is either accept or reject the Biblical stories.

    Because God commands us to make the black-or-white fallacy. Oh wait, that's thinking again, and thinking is against God's wishes.
    Fallacy? Command? Not sure exactly what is being mocked here.

  • Doc TorDoc Tor Hell Host
    Your arguments are being mocked, along with the alleged reasoning that leads you to your conclusions.

    I too am utterly baffled and not a little disturbed that you have arrived at a point where you find genocide acceptable because you believe God ordered it. Even more baffling is your insistence that you were up to this point unaware of any serious theological engagement with the story of the Canaanite genocide, given that every OT scholar, be they Jewish or Christian, has had to address it since the year dot.

    Where have you been, and what have you been (not) reading?
  • KarlLBKarlLB Shipmate
    MPaul's definition of a socialist seems to be anyone to the left of Genghis Khan.
  • mousethief wrote: »
    MPaul wrote: »
    The YEC god is a charlatan.

    Hmm, speaking of charlatanism. The Catholic God..Eucharistic wafer in a monstrance. Is the Orthodox God any different? The God of 'Holy' icons. Or the Anglican God? Liturgical claptrap by priests in drag doesn't bring anyone closer to the Biblical God.

    Do you have anything other than ad hominems against straw men? You appear to think everybody would see exactly your point of view if only they stopped being so damnably obstinate. Just to pick on Orthodoxy which is what I'm most familiar with, what is the supposed charlatanry in holy icons? Charlatanry to compare to a 'god' who creates a young world that looks old in order to... well whatever reason.

    Please use small words because I am so worldly I might not get longer ones.

    If you could respond to this post. Thanks.
  • MPaulMPaul Shipmate
    Doc Tor wrote: »
    Your arguments are being mocked, along with the alleged reasoning that leads you to your conclusions.

    I too am utterly baffled and not a little disturbed that you have arrived at a point where you find genocide acceptable because you believe God ordered it. Even more baffling is your insistence that you were up to this point unaware of any serious theological engagement with the story of the Canaanite genocide, given that every OT scholar, be they Jewish or Christian, has had to address it since the year dot.

    Where have you been, and what have you been (not) reading?

    As already stated multiple times.

    The insistence of God’s actions in scripture as genocidal is my issue with your view. To me God is good, loving, just, righteous and kind. This is what the Bible states unequivocally.

    The necessity for him to ‘judge’ at different times in Biblical history is something I am happy to trust him about. Who knows what consequences there would have been had he not done so? We do not know of course but there are many things we cannot know.

    The issue is actually about faith and trust. You can choose to take the Biblical account as read and God at face value or you can become a scoffer, a mocker or a railer against the Bible. That is not an option for me. I have had 40 years of trusting him and knowing he is actually OK. If you want to open your heart you could know him too as I and many others do. Or you could choose, also as many do, to “love darkness rather than light, because their deeds are evil.”

    I pray you and others do not go down that path.

    @Mousethief: I assume the issue is regarding ‘holy icons’. I would lump them with similar religious paraphernalia such as scapulars, rosary beads, holy pictures, relics, crucifixes, holy water, chrism and consecrated wafers, St Christopher medals. statues of the BVM. None have any value, none have any biblical authority and merely promote idolatry or false hopes.
  • MPaul wrote: »
    The issue is actually about faith and trust. You can choose to take the Biblical account as read and God at face value or you can become a scoffer, a mocker or a railer against the Bible.
    It is very obvious that those are not the only two choices.
    That is not an option for me. I have had 40 years of trusting him and knowing he is actually OK. If you want to open your heart you could know him too as I and many others do.
    I say this with absolutely no malice or mockery, but people who see the world as you purport to in your posts are the stuff of cult leader wet dreams.Uncritical acceptance is not why we have the capacity to reason. Which, in the theistic world, would be a gift from your god.
    None have any value, none have any biblical authority
    Neither does uncritical thinking. Blind acceptance is not solid faith.

  • MPaul wrote: »
    @Mousethief: I assume the issue is regarding ‘holy icons’. I would lump them with similar religious paraphernalia such as scapulars, rosary beads, holy pictures, relics, crucifixes, holy water, chrism and consecrated wafers, St Christopher medals. statues of the BVM. None have any value, none have any biblical authority and merely promote idolatry or false hopes.

    I understand that, and I don't insist everybody accept those things. But you said specifically that they were charlatanism. A charlatan is someone tricking people by knowingly claiming to have special powers or knowledge that he doesn't. How does that fit here? Do you think there are people making holy icons who realize they're hokum but do it anyway?

    As for biblical authority: look at the temple. Look at the mercy seat of the Ark of the Covenant. Plenty of holy images. The Ark contained some leftover manna. That's relics. You are confused because you do not acknowledge the scriptures that tell against your pet beliefs.
  • When the Israelites left Egypt they reputedly took with them the bones of Joseph. Sounds like relics to me.

    It also puzzles me that anyone can claim to take the Bible seriously and dismiss the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist. Which part of "this is my body" did you not understand?

    More importantly, we've still not had a coherent answer as to why a loving God orders the deliberate killing of a large group of people, especially those of a particular nation or ethnic group. Since MPaul doesn't like the word "genocide" we'll just use the definition instead.
  • Doc TorDoc Tor Hell Host
    MPaul wrote: »
    The insistence of God’s actions in scripture as genocidal is my issue with your view. To me God is good, loving, just, righteous and kind. This is what the Bible states unequivocally.

    Genocide is a descriptor of what is commanded. You could argue that it's a value-neutral word - what it does is simply describe the action.

    You can't bring yourself to use the word. Even though this is the same word that actual theologians who engage seriously with the text use. I'm interested in engaging seriously with the text, and not about worshipping the text from afar. So I'm going to carry on using that word.
    The issue is actually about faith and trust. You can choose to take the Biblical account as read and God at face value or you can become a scoffer, a mocker or a railer against the Bible. That is not an option for me. I have had 40 years of trusting him and knowing he is actually OK. If you want to open your heart you could know him too as I and many others do. Or you could choose, also as many do, to “love darkness rather than light, because their deeds are evil.”

    God never meant for the Bible to be 'taken at face value'. God meant us to 'meditate on it day and night'. That's what we're doing here. Wrestling with scripture. Only you appear to have given up the fight.
  • MPaulMPaul Shipmate
    When the Israelites left Egypt they reputedly took with them the bones of Joseph. Sounds like relics to me.

    It also puzzles me that anyone can claim to take the Bible seriously and dismiss the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist. Which part of "this is my body" did you not understand?

    More importantly, we've still not had a coherent answer as to why a loving God orders the deliberate killing of a large group of people, especially those of a particular nation or ethnic group. Since MPaul doesn't like the word "genocide" we'll just use the definition instead.

    Not sure why you want me to repeat stuff. That you don’t get difference is obvious but I guess I have to try.

    The eucharisitic Christ, is not Biblical. At the last supper Jesus instituted a memorial feast..but this was to be in remembrance. This was the Christian version of Seder..Passover.. a memorial .a reminder of his death.

    When he stated that his flesh was to be eaten and his blood drunk in John 6 and that this was real food and drink, this was not in a context of Passover. Rather it was in the context of him providing the new manna, and him coming in the character of the new Moses, but the message was that his words were spirit and life. It was contextually about his messianic claim and that faith in him alone saves. He had just performed the miracle of multiplying the bread for the thousands and this teaching was an interpretation of how himself was now the living bread. In that sense faith in him was to be the sustaining reality..the real food.

    Catholicism conflated the two things and added the concept of repeated sacrifices as ‘mass’ is offered. Yet Hebrews tells us clearly he was offered once for all, not continually in ‘masses’. The continual eating of a ‘real presence’ is not commanded.

    Regarding relics, I was taught they were holy. Some physical aspect of a holy saint was often said to be embedded in the altar stone on which a mass was celebrated. No authority is found for this in scripture. Joseph desired burial outside Egypt is all, possibly because of an anticipated resurrection. He identified as a Hebrew rather than an Egyptian and his command concerning his bones was seen in Hebrews 11 as and act of OT faith.

  • You still haven't answered my question below:
    If you do not like the use of the word genocide to describe the killing of the Amorites and the other tribes destroyed by Joshua how else would you describe those actions?

    The other phrase you picked up on was that the order of creation of the universe in the Bible is now known to be in the wrong order scientifically. If science can describe the order of creation of the universe and that does not match the order as described in Genesis 1:1, what word is acceptable to use here?
  • mousethief wrote: »
    MPaul wrote: »
    @Mousethief: I assume the issue is regarding ‘holy icons’. I would lump them with similar religious paraphernalia such as scapulars, rosary beads, holy pictures, relics, crucifixes, holy water, chrism and consecrated wafers, St Christopher medals. statues of the BVM. None have any value, none have any biblical authority and merely promote idolatry or false hopes.

    I understand that, and I don't insist everybody accept those things. But you said specifically that they were charlatanism. A charlatan is someone tricking people by knowingly claiming to have special powers or knowledge that he doesn't. How does that fit here? Do you think there are people making holy icons who realize they're hokum but do it anyway?

    As for biblical authority: look at the temple. Look at the mercy seat of the Ark of the Covenant. Plenty of holy images. The Ark contained some leftover manna. That's relics. You are confused because you do not acknowledge the scriptures that tell against your pet beliefs.

    Agreed that 'charlatanry' requires a degree of deceit/insincerity and probably the majority of Orthodox/RCs genuinely believe in what they're doing. But also AIUI making icons etc is a quite profitable business and humans being human it would be surprising if there are not quite a few "... people making holy icons who realize they're hokum but do it anyway". Of course even if sincere it may be wrong....

    Yes the Temple and its Tabernacle predecessor contained lots of images. But then they themselves were in a sense 'images', what we might call 'visual aids' looking forward to Jesus and the renewed covenant he brings. In that new covenant there is no need of 'holy' buildings and 'holy' paraphernalia therein, the NT concept is that the faithful Christians are themselves the 'temple' in which God dwells.
  • MPaul wrote: »
    To me God is good, loving, just, righteous and kind. This is what the Bible states unequivocally.
    We agree on this point.
    The issue is actually about faith and trust.
    Again we agree.

    So how do we reconcile belief that God is good, loving, just, righteous and kind, or believe what God, through Scripture, says about love, justice, righteousness and kindness when we are also asked to accept that our good, loving, just, righteous and kind God ordered the mass slaughter of children?

    That you have a way of reconciling those two things is fine, even if others find that method of reconciliation problematic at best. But that you seem to think it’s a problem to even ask the question, that no true believer would ever ask the question, is perplexing to me.
    You can choose to take the Biblical account as read and God at face value or you can become a scoffer, a mocker or a railer against the Bible.
    As has been noted repeatedly, most recently by @lilbuddha, these are not the only two choices.
    MPaul wrote: »
    The eucharisitic Christ, is not Biblical. At the last supper Jesus instituted a memorial feast..but this was to be in remembrance. This was the Christian version of Seder..Passover.. a memorial .a reminder of his death.
    You mean the Passover at which the pascal lamb was eaten? This is an area where an understanding of the Hebrew concepts of "memorial" (including the Passover) and "memorial sacrifice," of the Greek of the NT and of the writings of the early church are helpful. Studying the first two make clear that (English) "memorial," "remembrance" and "reminder" are shallow and inadequate reflections of the what the apostles would have understood Jesus to be saying. Studying the third would illuminate what the early church understood Jesus to have meant. Hint: it is much closer to the Catholic understanding than to the memorialist understanding you put forth—an understanding that, as best I recall, for which there is little evidence anywhere in Christianity until the 16th Century.
    When he stated that his flesh was to be eaten and his blood drunk in John 6 and that this was real food and drink, this was not in a context of Passover. Rather it was in the context of him providing the new manna, and him coming in the character of the new Moses, but the message was that his words were spirit and life. It was contextually about his messianic claim and that faith in him alone saves. He had just performed the miracle of multiplying the bread for the thousands and this teaching was an interpretation of how himself was now the living bread. In that sense faith in him was to be the sustaining reality..the real food.
    That is one interpretation, sure. It is not an interpretation that appears in any writings from the early church. To the contrary, all writings from the early church interpret John 6 as being about the Eucharist/Communion/Lord's Supper/choose your term.
    Catholicism conflated the two things and added the concept of repeated sacrifices as ‘mass’ is offered. Yet Hebrews tells us clearly he was offered once for all, not continually in ‘masses’. The continual eating of a ‘real presence’ is not commanded.
    First, the Catholic teaching is that the Eucharist is participation in the one sacrifice, not a repeated sacrifice. Here is one place that understanding the Hebrew concept of memorial and memorial sacrifice might be helpful.

    Second, the Catholic view of the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist and of the sacrifice of the Mass and the memorialist view you put forth are not the only two options, as the Orthodox*, Lutherans and the Reformed, among others, demonstrate.

    * I'm happy to be corrected if wrong, but my impression is that the Orthodox understanding, while similar in many ways to the Catholic understanding, nonetheless differs.

  • I'm not sure quite why John 6 is the choice of passage with reference to the Eucharist rather than Matthew 26, or the equivalent passage in Luke, or 1 Corinthians 11. Almost like trying to avoid the plain meaning of scripture.
  • I'm not sure quite why John 6 is the choice of passage with reference to the Eucharist rather than Matthew 26, or the equivalent passage in Luke, or 1 Corinthians 11. Almost like trying to avoid the plain meaning of scripture.
    Agreed. But if John 6 is what one is going to cite, then it seems that the early church’s interpretation of what Jesus meant there has to at least be acknowledged and dealt with.

  • AIUI, it is also the Protestant view that we participate in the once-for-all sacrifice - the point is that we are not, as the pre-Reformation view tended to imply, making an additional meritorious sacrifice of our own that earns us stuff like time off purgatory.

    Again AIUI the sacrifices of the OT often also became meals for the priests or even the worshippers; and this was particularly the case with the Passover both on the first occasion and in the later essentially memorial celebration. Our eating of bread and drinking of wine is an ongoing celebration of that aspect of sacrifice but, due to Jesus 'fulfilment' of the OT, without the need of a further sacrifice of an actual lamb. And of course, with Jesus as 'the Lamb of God' it would be inappropriate and effectively impossible for us to eat and drink the actual blood of Jesus in a cannibal feast.

    I've personally been basically happy with the Anglican interpretation that I met in my youth, that it is a case of 'feed on him in your hearts by faith' rather than a 'magical' transubstantiation of the 'elements'.
  • Martin54Martin54 Shipmate
    MPaul wrote: »
    Nick Tamen wrote: »
    MPaul wrote: »
    The problem of God ordering violence is the major issue for the new age left wingers here but the rejection of higher criticism was because it made assumptions against the supernatural and measured historicity by that standard.
    Exactly who here is a “new age left winger”? And why do you find it necessary to question the good faith motivations of anyone who reads Scripture differently from you?
    Not targeting individuals was I? This ‘God is ‘genocidal’ tack is a peculiarly political thing Ihave never come up against and struggle to take seriously. My conclusion is that most people on SOF think God is or should be, a socialist.

    He is.
  • Wait... it's just occurred to me that MPaul will glibly swallow God commanding genocide but balks at Him commanding us to eat his flesh and drink his blood and decides that needs to be metaphored away.
  • Wait... it's just occurred to me that MPaul will glibly swallow God commanding genocide but balks at Him commanding us to eat his flesh and drink his blood and decides that needs to be metaphored away.
    Everyone interprets and excuses;the bible is not a coherent work, it must be interpreted unless one is completely divorced from Jesus' message.
  • Gee DGee D Shipmate
    MPaul wrote: »

    @Mousethief: I assume the issue is regarding ‘holy icons’. I would lump them with similar religious paraphernalia such as scapulars, rosary beads, holy pictures, relics, crucifixes, holy water, chrism and consecrated wafers, St Christopher medals. statues of the BVM. None have any value, none have any biblical authority and merely promote idolatry or false hopes.

    They can be treated in an idolatrous manner, but their normal use is an aid to worship. Take a statue of Our Lady and look beyond the very limited aesthetic merit it has. You see a young girl, who said yes to God, who said that it be to her according to God's will. We see an older woman weeping at the foot of the Cross. That's the proper purpose of them

  • MPaulMPaul Shipmate
    the bible is not a coherent work,
    You’d be doing yourself an eternal favour if you rethought that piece of nonsense.
  • Martin54Martin54 Shipmate
    MPaul wrote: »
    the bible is not a coherent work,

    You’d be doing yourself an eternal favour if you rethought that piece of nonsense.

    To make that work you have had to make up a metanarrative that makes the Bible overwhelmingly, axiomatically coherent, whatever that means.

    What is that metanarrative?

    And what does it have to do with eternity? Which can't dare look in to.
  • Barnabas62Barnabas62 Purgatory Host, Epiphanies Host
    MPaul wrote: »
    the bible is not a coherent work,
    You’d be doing yourself an eternal favour if you rethought that piece of nonsense.

    Probably that's the heart of the matter. Do you think it possible that the Bible contains different understandings of the nature and character of God, thereby reflecting the understandings of the human authors? On a plain reading of the text, that does appear to be the case.

    My point being that the prior belief in inerrancy has secondary effects. One of which is that the human authors, guided by the Holy Spirit, were guarded from writing anything about God which was in contradiction to what other human authors had written.

    If this is indeed the case, then the text should confirm it. But the text does not confirm it. There is very strong evidence that it does not, so far as understandings of God are concerned . There is also very strong evidence of significant variation in the histories in the OT (Samuel and Chronicles), significant story and history variation both within the Synoptic Gospels and when comparing them to the gospel of John.

    Nor is this observable variation explained satisfactorily by dispensational approaches, for example the Darby-Scofield understanding spelled out in the Scofield reference Bible.

    These issues have been the subject of serious scholarship for at least two centuries now and the findings of significant variation are impressive. I won't say undeniable, because there are deniers, but they are very difficult to refute.
  • KarlLBKarlLB Shipmate
    edited January 23
    That's the thing; I don't understand the adherence to inerrancy when a cursory glance at the text shows massive contradictions - to harmonise Samuel and Chronicles requires you to equate God with Satan, or perform some very unconvincing dancing around the plain meaning of the text - the very thing you're trying to defend!

    As for never having considered the Joshua (and later) genocides a problem at all, I really struggle to see how you can do that without actually being a sociopath, totally devoid of any ability to empathise, totally devoid of any sense of right and wrong, any conscience. Either that or you exercise double-think; simultaneously seeing the obvious issue but because The Party, I mean your commitment to inerrancy, says There Is No Problem, There Is No Problem.

    "How many fingers am I holding up? And if the party says it's five, how many is it then?"

    Back in the days I was an inerrancist it was double-think I used. Eventually I couldn't keep it up. "Four! Four! How can I deny what is in front of my eyes! Four fingers!"
  • Doc TorDoc Tor Hell Host
    So much easier if you love Big Brother.
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