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Neon Genesis

Question For Christians About Biblical Inerrancy

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Guest end3
The part the fascinate me most in the resurrection story--which also very few ever mention in a sermon--is that one of the stories (Matthew) claim that the streets were filled with zombies after the earthquake. Basically, the ground was shaken so hard that even the dead saints woke up, and started to walk around like zombies in the city and preached to people. Now, one might consider this to be extremely strange, but what I find even more strange is... how did these people die again? And if they were resurrected just like Jesus, does it mean all of them were saviors? Are we all cleansed in the blood of the unnamed and anonymous dead zombies who walked Jerusalem after the earthquake? Who can say if it really was Jesus' blood who clean us. Maybe it was the other dead guy in the tomb next to Jesus who really was the one, and Jesus was just one of the other dead dudes? And why didn't every scholar in the city write about this extraordinary event? Dead people walking downtown and preaching... it must have been a rare sight... someone non-Christian must have written about it. Why is there no accounts of this event outside of the Bible?

 

Exactly.. and if Jesus was bodily, physically resurrected.. where is his body now? It did not go up into the sky into heaven because we have been there... its not there. So where did the body go? Fine, his spirit is in heaven... fine, I'll concede that. WHERE IS THE PHYSICAL BODY?????

 

If the body was not corrupt, why would it have needed to be discarded?

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Guest end3
In addition, Peter says in II Peter 3:15,16; "just as also Paul, our beloved brother, according to the wisdom given to him, wrote to you, as also in all his letters, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which the untaught and unstable distort, as they do the rest of the Scriptures, to their own destruction."

 

So we see that Paul's Gospel preaching/interpretation was the same as that of Peter, James, and John. SO there is no "one-man show" regarding the doctrine of the Gospel, these men had different segments of mankind that they ministered among. But we see that Peter acknowledged Paul's wisdom & ministry to non-Jews, and equated Paul's letters with Scripture.

 

Both these men - as did all the Apostles - taught Jesus Christ as God Incarnate who fulfilled Messianic prophecies, who's perfect life made Him the Lamb of God whose death took away the sin of the world, whose resurrection declared His Deity and secured our justification before God - and by God's grace people entrust themsleves to Jesus as their Lord & Savior, thus obtaining God's salvation as a gift of His grace.

 

SO is there anything else re: this issue that cuses you consternation?

Absolute bunk. 2 Peter you say?

 

This is a quote from Bart D. Ehrman, who has a "Ph.D and M.Div. from Princeton Theological Seminary, where he studied under Bruce Metzger. He currently serves as the chairman of the Department of Religious Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He was the President of the Southeast Region of the Society of Biblical Literature, and worked closely as an editor on a number of the Society's publications. Currently, he co-edits the series New Testament Tools and Studies." (from here). Here's what this genuine scholar says about 2 Peter in his book Lost Christianities, page 11,

 

"Other books, however are widely regarded as forged. The author of 2 Peter explicitly claims to be Simon Peter, the disciple of Jesus, who beheld the transfiguration (1:16-18).
But critical scholars are virtually unanimous that it was not written by him
. So too the Pastoral epistles of 1 and 2 Timothy and Titus: They claim to be written by Paul, but appear to have been written long after his death.

 

How could forgeries make it into the New Testament? Possibly it is better to reverse the question: Why shouldn't forgeries have made it into the New Testament? Who was collecting the books? When did they do so? And how would
they
have known whether a book that claims to be written by Peter was actually written by Peter or that a book allegedly written by Paul was actually by Paul? So far as we know, none of the letters was included in a cannon of sacred texts until decades after they were written, and the New Testament canon as a whole still had not reached final form for another two centuries after that. How would someone hundreds of years later know who had written the books?"

 

So... to your argument that Paul was preaching the same gospel as all these others is without merit. Paul's writings came first, the some forger much later has Peter agreeing with Paul, because they wanted to. John, likewise was written long after Paul.

 

You know, I think someone asked you for the credentials of these scholars you're relying on. Have you offered any names yet? Do you deny what Erhman claims that, critical scholars are virtually unanimous that it was not written by him"?

 

So far you sound like you've just memorized a bunch of arguments, and as of yet I'm not hearing any dialog, just parroting.

 

Perhaps the Spirit is the Teacher.

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In addition, Peter says in II Peter 3:15,16; "just as also Paul, our beloved brother, according to the wisdom given to him, wrote to you, as also in all his letters, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which the untaught and unstable distort, as they do the rest of the Scriptures, to their own destruction."

 

So we see that Paul's Gospel preaching/interpretation was the same as that of Peter, James, and John. SO there is no "one-man show" regarding the doctrine of the Gospel, these men had different segments of mankind that they ministered among. But we see that Peter acknowledged Paul's wisdom & ministry to non-Jews, and equated Paul's letters with Scripture.

 

Both these men - as did all the Apostles - taught Jesus Christ as God Incarnate who fulfilled Messianic prophecies, who's perfect life made Him the Lamb of God whose death took away the sin of the world, whose resurrection declared His Deity and secured our justification before God - and by God's grace people entrust themsleves to Jesus as their Lord & Savior, thus obtaining God's salvation as a gift of His grace.

 

SO is there anything else re: this issue that cuses you consternation?

Absolute bunk. 2 Peter you say?

 

This is a quote from Bart D. Ehrman, who has a "Ph.D and M.Div. from Princeton Theological Seminary, where he studied under Bruce Metzger. He currently serves as the chairman of the Department of Religious Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He was the President of the Southeast Region of the Society of Biblical Literature, and worked closely as an editor on a number of the Society's publications. Currently, he co-edits the series New Testament Tools and Studies." (from here). Here's what this genuine scholar says about 2 Peter in his book Lost Christianities, page 11,

 

"Other books, however are widely regarded as forged. The author of 2 Peter explicitly claims to be Simon Peter, the disciple of Jesus, who beheld the transfiguration (1:16-18).
But critical scholars are virtually unanimous that it was not written by him
. So too the Pastoral epistles of 1 and 2 Timothy and Titus: They claim to be written by Paul, but appear to have been written long after his death.

 

How could forgeries make it into the New Testament? Possibly it is better to reverse the question: Why shouldn't forgeries have made it into the New Testament? Who was collecting the books? When did they do so? And how would
they
have known whether a book that claims to be written by Peter was actually written by Peter or that a book allegedly written by Paul was actually by Paul? So far as we know, none of the letters was included in a cannon of sacred texts until decades after they were written, and the New Testament canon as a whole still had not reached final form for another two centuries after that. How would someone hundreds of years later know who had written the books?"

 

So... to your argument that Paul was preaching the same gospel as all these others is without merit. Paul's writings came first, the some forger much later has Peter agreeing with Paul, because they wanted to. John, likewise was written long after Paul.

 

You know, I think someone asked you for the credentials of these scholars you're relying on. Have you offered any names yet? Do you deny what Erhman claims that, critical scholars are virtually unanimous that it was not written by him"?

 

So far you sound like you've just memorized a bunch of arguments, and as of yet I'm not hearing any dialog, just parroting.

 

A-man, I do not disagree that Ehrman and others of his ilk actually do deny what other scholars affirm re: Biblical authors.

 

But Dr. Greg Beale from Wheaton College, Dr. D.A. Carson of Trinity Seminary in Deerfield, IL; Dr. Al Mohler of Southern Seminary in Louisville, KY; and Dr. Robert Thomas who taught at Talbot and The Master's Seminary, both in the LA area. And I daresay the faculties of Dallas Theological Seminary, Denver Seminary, The Master's Seminary in LA; San Francisco Seminary, Concordia Seminary in St. Louis, and other conservative seminaries would disagree with Ehrman's assessment.

In addition, many of the faculty at Talbot and Gordon-Conwell (in Boston) seminaries would also disagree with Erhman. As I am not currently in my office, I will suplly other names soon.

 

I wonder what Erhman says about the plethora of ancient Greek NT manuscripts dating back to the John Ryland fragment (dated 150AD) containing a portion of John's Gospel, believed by many to be composed no later than 90AD - especially in comparison to the paucity of ancient documents of the Greek philosophers, or documents concerning Ceasar, or those written by Tacitus, etc, etc, etc. A little research will show that the NT is the single most attested ancient document - by far.

 

And I would ask you to note the arrogance of Ehrman. He speaks as though 1st - 4th Century people were just bumpkins, with no powers of discernment, accepting nearly anything that comes down the pike with a special claim. And yet - early church history shows that many people had written their own treatise against Christianity - and that several Christian apologists answered back in like manner. The fact is: Christianity was hotly debated and under scrutiny. Christians were instructed to "test everything and accept what is good." - and they were very dsicerning in which books were accepted as canon - and which books were rejected, AND many books were, in fact, rejected. He speaks as though these people - who were obviously much closer to the issue of forming the NT canon than he is - just didn't have what it takes. How patriarchal!!

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The part the fascinate me most in the resurrection story--which also very few ever mention in a sermon--is that one of the stories (Matthew) claim that the streets were filled with zombies after the earthquake. Basically, the ground was shaken so hard that even the dead saints woke up, and started to walk around like zombies in the city and preached to people. Now, one might consider this to be extremely strange, but what I find even more strange is... how did these people die again? And if they were resurrected just like Jesus, does it mean all of them were saviors? Are we all cleansed in the blood of the unnamed and anonymous dead zombies who walked Jerusalem after the earthquake? Who can say if it really was Jesus' blood who clean us. Maybe it was the other dead guy in the tomb next to Jesus who really was the one, and Jesus was just one of the other dead dudes? And why didn't every scholar in the city write about this extraordinary event? Dead people walking downtown and preaching... it must have been a rare sight... someone non-Christian must have written about it. Why is there no accounts of this event outside of the Bible?

 

Exactly.. and if Jesus was bodily, physically resurrected.. where is his body now? It did not go up into the sky into heaven because we have been there... its not there. So where did the body go? Fine, his spirit is in heaven... fine, I'll concede that. WHERE IS THE PHYSICAL BODY?????

 

Why do other Gospel writers have to record all the same details? Answer - they don't. They each focussed on different aspects of the resurrection of Christ. As to the location of the Resurrection Body, or Glorified Body of Christ - it's in heaven. The Second Person of the Trinity, Jesus the Christ - is forever the unique God-Man. Now in heaven at the right hand of the Father, He will return to Earth physically - to judge all mankind. And if you think that nothing 'physical' exists in heaven - you need to read your Bibles again.

 

His Glorified Body is obviously different than our current, corruptible human bodies, but it is physical. He ate fish in front of them, and challenged Thomas to touch His wounds - yet He also appeared instantly in their midst. Paul answers the question of what kind of body will believers have when they are resurrected and with God forever in heaven in I Corinthians 15:35-57. Here Paul explains that our bodies will then be "imperishable... glory... power... spiritual... heavenly... immortal..." This is the ultimate victory over sin and evil, when God fashions all His children with a perfect, glorified physical body for an eternity to be lived in His very Presence. "For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform the body of our humble estate into conformity with the body of His glory, by the exertion of the power that He has even to subject all things to Himself. Philippians 3:20,21.

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'rayskidude' date='Jan 20 2009, 07:11 PM' post='425396']

In addition, Jesus believed the Bible was accurate. Jesus believed in Creation, Adam & Eve, the Flood, Moses using the serpent in the wilderness to cure snake bite, etc. SO, since as Christians we believe that Jesus is God Incarnate - and Jesus believed the Old Testament - then who are we to deny the veracity of those events? Even if they seem strange to us? And also, the Old Testament has been used by archeologists successfully for many years. And different theories that Old Testament people (2,000 BC) couldn't write or travel well has also been disproven from other historical writings.

 

You have no idea what Jesus believed... that he referred to a parable from The Old Testament is not even the slightest evidence of belief it was a historical event.

I was thinking about that too when I read Rayskidude's post. How can he be sure Jesus believe the Bible to be accurate? Maybe it's from when Jesus supposedly said: till that the heaven and the earth may pass away, one iota or one tittle may not pass away from the law. That would indicate that Jesus claims the Word to be complete and without fault, right? But still it's kind of strange that Jesus would use a reference to a Greek letter, and not Hebrew, or Aramaic. It would suggest that Jesus believed the Greek translations are the accurate ones, and not the original Aramaic or Hebrew. But it's more likely the quote was just an addition to the story and not what Jesus really said, which leaves us even more in the dark of knowing Jesus' belief.

 

On another side note, Philo from Alexandria seemed to support the idea of more allegorical interpretation of the creation story, A&E, the ark, etc, and his writings (as I understand it) were preserved by the early Christians, which would be completely heretic literature if Jesus believed the Torah to be literally true. So either the early Christians were heretics, or Jesus wasn't as much literalistic as Ray thinks.

 

The New American Std version, Jesus says in Matthew 5:18, "until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished" and smallest letter most likely referred to the Hebrew letter 'yodh' - which looks like an apostrophe;'. And the stroke refers to Hebrew letters having slight differences, such as P and R, or I and L, or O and Q in English. The Hebrew letters 'resh' ® and 'daleth' (D) differ just by a small stroke, and there are other examples.

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The Law does not mean The Old Testament. In general it can include the Levitical laws in Levitcus and Deuteronomy as well as what Moses gave the people at Mt Sinai. Jesus probably meant something much more abstract... more along the lines of love God and love your neighbor... that was the way he spoke.

True. Still, the reference to "iota" would have been an idiom lost to the uneducated Aramaic fishermen culture. How would the non-literal workers know "iota" meant the "smallest thing?" Seems like the audience was Greek, not Jewish.

 

Guys - Koine Greek was known throughout that part of the world, being the language of business of that day (lingua franca) - like the Pidgen language in Papua New Guinea; and actually like English is quickly becoming over the globe.

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"For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform the body of our humble estate into conformity with the body of His glory, by the exertion of the power that He has even to subject all things to Himself. Philippians 3:20,21.

 

You must be a Paulian. :Hmm:

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A-man, I do not disagree that Ehrman and others of his ilk actually do deny what other scholars affirm re: Biblical authors.

 

You: All scholars agree that "X" happened.

 

Us: Wait a minute there are a lot of scholars that DON'T think "X" happened.

 

You: OH....but those guys don't agree that "X" happened so they aren't real scholars.

 

 

 

Do you know what a "no true Scotsman fallacy" is? Well do you?

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Guest kcdad
I am surprised that you stopped at Gal 1:17 . because we read in 1:18,19 "Then 3 years later I went up to Jerusalem to become acquainted with Cephas (Peter) and stayed with him 15 days... (and) James, the Lord's brother." And then in Gal 2:1-9, Paul states; "Then after 14 years I went up again to Jerusalem... it was because of a revelation that I went up; and I submitted to them the Gospel which I preach among the Gentiles, but I did so in private to those who were of reputation... But from those who were of high reputation... (they) contributed nothing to me. But on the contrary, seeing that I had been entrusted with the Gospel to the uncircumcised - for He who effectually worked for Peter in his apostleship to the circumcised worked for me also to the Gentiles - and recognizing the grace that had been given to me, James and Cephas and John, who were reputed to be pillars, gave me and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship."

 

In addition, Peter says in II Peter 3:15,16; "just as also Paul, our beloved brother, according to the wisdom given to him, wrote to you, as also in all his letters, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which the untaught and unstable distort, as they do the rest of the Scriptures, to their own destruction."

 

So we see that Paul's Gospel preaching/interpretation was the same as that of Peter, James, and John. SO there is no "one-man show" regarding the doctrine of the Gospel, these men had different segments of mankind that they ministered among. But we see that Peter acknowledged Paul's wisdom & ministry to non-Jews, and equated Paul's letters with Scripture.

 

Both these men - as did all the Apostles - taught Jesus Christ as God Incarnate who fulfilled Messianic prophecies, who's perfect life made Him the Lamb of God whose death took away the sin of the world, whose resurrection declared His Deity and secured our justification before God - and by God's grace people entrust themsleves to Jesus as their Lord & Savior, thus obtaining God's salvation as a gift of His grace.

 

SO is there anything else re: this issue that cuses you consternation?

 

Why did Paul go to Jerusalem? (Barnabas had just left him and so did ... er... what's his name.) Paul's mission in the east was a miserable failure. He came to Peter for help... instead he found disagreement and chastisement... Paul gets angry about "The Law". Peter and James insist upon following thew Law, Paul says no. They part.. Paul to go into Turkey, Greece and Rome along the heavily traveled highways to the capitals and NEVER to return to Jerusalem. Despite Paul's claims.. he was not a very good Jew.

 

Try reading Barrie Wilson's How Jesus Became Christian.

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Paul's writing is the reason Christianity is so screwed up, along with the embed notion that 'God's word is infallible' that has been preached around the world. One man believes one thing and it is from GOD, another man believes another thing and it is from GOD, and another believes another and it also is from GOD. But, they all go against each other, but came from God's holy, infallible Word.

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But Dr. Greg Beale from Wheaton College, Dr. D.A. Carson of Trinity Seminary in Deerfield, IL; Dr. Al Mohler of Southern Seminary in Louisville, KY; and Dr. Robert Thomas who taught at Talbot and The Master's Seminary, both in the LA area. And I daresay the faculties of Dallas Theological Seminary, Denver Seminary, The Master's Seminary in LA; San Francisco Seminary, Concordia Seminary in St. Louis, and other conservative seminaries would disagree with Ehrman's assessment.

In addition, many of the faculty at Talbot and Gordon-Conwell (in Boston) seminaries would also disagree with Erhman. As I am not currently in my office, I will suplly other names soon.

Do we really want to trust the views of a "scholar" that actually thinks torture is a reasonably justified position? Quoted from Wikipedia on Al Mohler http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Al_Mohler#Torture
On December 20, 2005, Mohler addressed the problem of whether torture should be used by American military forces in order to gain important information from terrorist suspects. He spoke out against any form of legal codification of torture but stated the following:[16]

 

Under certain circumstances, most morally sensitive persons would surely allow interrogators to yell at prisoners and to use psychological intimidation, sleep deprivation, and the removal of creature comforts for purposes of obtaining vital information. In increasingly serious cases, most would likely allow some use of pharmaceuticals and more intensive and manipulative psychological techniques. In the most extreme of conceivable cases, most would also allow the use of far more serious mechanisms of coercion – even what we would all agree should be labeled as torture.

 

…I would argue that we cannot condone torture by codifying a list of exceptional situations in which techniques of torture might be legitimately used. At the same time, I would also argue that we cannot deny that there could exist circumstances in which such uses of torture might be made necessary.

 

…We are simply not capable, I would argue, of constructing a set of principles and rules for torture that could adequately envision the real-life scenarios under which the pressure and temptation to use extreme coercion would be seriously contemplated.

 

Instead, I would suggest that Senator McCain is correct in arguing that a categorical ban should be adopted as state policy for the U.S., its military, and its agents. At the same time, I would admit that such a policy, like others, has limitations that, under extreme circumstances, may be transcended by other moral claims. The key point is this – at all times and in all cases the use of torture is understood to be morally suspect in the extreme, and generally unjustified.

Do we really want to trust the words of a man that is clearly insane as reliable? And all of your other sources are hardly reliable since all their credentials come from biased fundamentalist Christian colleges. It also says this about the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
Though founded upon its Abstract of Principles, since the 1950s Southern Seminary was believed by many Southern Baptists to have grown increasingly liberal and to have moved away from the tradition of Biblical inerrancy that it had once held. Given the statements made in 2000 by Wake Forest divinity school dean Bill Leonard (a former member of the Southern Seminary faculty) on Wake Forest divinity school admissions, Southern Seminary apparently did include faculty members more liberal than many members of the denomination they were affiliated with.

 

Through the election of conservatives at the national level, Southern Baptists initiated a process to return the seminary to traditional teachings

Does this really make them sound reliable when they're purposely returning to out-dated teachings that have no basis in reality and purposely ignoring the facts?

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After reading over this thread, I know I am out of my league. Coming from an unenlightened place, I will say this: The Bible to me is duplicitous and fallacious. What I have read of it has been rather meaningless and disconnected. In many ways, I don't really care if I am a Bible scholar or not. How many of you Christian apologists have done the background research to reject Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikkhism and the like? Are you expecting me to be as fluent in the material as you are? When I read the story of a father sacrificing his daughter to a being because he was successful in battle, then something is utterly wrong with worshipping that being. Furthermore, there is no CONCRETE, EXTERNAL evidence of military conflicts in the Middle East that claimed over 100,000 lives in the Old Testament period (1000BC to 100BC). There is no conceivable way that an army in that day and age could kill 1,000,000 soldiers at all. If this was possible, every culture of the day would have written about it and bowed down RIGHT THEN AND THERE!!! In short, your book is errant in those regards and therefore it doesn't matter the language or the cultural context from where it sprouted.

 

The Bible is hokum, end of story.

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Han, please - I mean... really, you cannot be serious.

Eehh.. You mean, if I'm serious about you lying? They didn't have disagreement... no wait, they did have disagreement... no wait, they didn't have disagreement... no wait, they did have... make up your mind.

 

The disagreement betwen Peter and Paul in Galatians was NOT over Gospel doctrine, but over appropriate Christian conduct.

Wha?!? So Christian conduct is not part of Gospel doctrine? Basically, all the bunk about eating pork or not, or give to the poor, or love thy neighbor is just some simple stuff called "conduct" and not doctrine?

 

So what did they agreed over? The spelling of Jesus name? What you're saying is that you reduce disagreement to things you pick as unimportant, while non-specific items are supposed to have been agreed upon?

 

Are you completely unaware of how many times Peter in the Gospels made rash statements or acted impulsively? Yet, God takes us as flawed and shallow as we are - and by His grace He uses us to accomplish His purposes.

So Peter acts impulsively, and that makes him wrong, while Paul is right, because he had a vision... they didn't have a disagreement, oh, no, they just had a disagreement... which isn't the same thing.

 

Remember, it was this screw-up Peter, who after denying His LORD 3 times, was commisioned by Jesus Christ to; "Feed My sheep."

Remember that this was the screw-up Peter who GOD HANDPICKED!!! 12 people, handpicked out of millions, to be God's chosen apostles, to spread the Gospel to the world. God must be quit dumb or extremely incompetent!

 

The key is: they did not agree on everything, regardless if you try to paint the pretty picture that they did. They didn't, that's a fact, and if it was over small or big doctrine, it still was over interpretation over what Jesus wanted them to do. Peter should have known better, since he was the "rock", while Jesus never made any prediction or prophecy that Paul would come along and fix the mistakes of the 11 incompetent imbeciles God had originally assigned the task.

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Guest kcdad
After reading over this thread, I know I am out of my league. Coming from an unenlightened place, I will say this: The Bible to me is duplicitous and fallacious. What I have read of it has been rather meaningless and disconnected. In many ways, I don't really care if I am a Bible scholar or not. How many of you Christian apologists have done the background research to reject Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikkhism and the like? Are you expecting me to be as fluent in the material as you are? When I read the story of a father sacrificing his daughter to a being because he was successful in battle, then something is utterly wrong with worshipping that being. Furthermore, there is no CONCRETE, EXTERNAL evidence of military conflicts in the Middle East that claimed over 100,000 lives in the Old Testament period (1000BC to 100BC). There is no conceivable way that an army in that day and age could kill 1,000,000 soldiers at all. If this was possible, every culture of the day would have written about it and bowed down RIGHT THEN AND THERE!!! In short, your book is errant in those regards and therefore it doesn't matter the language or the cultural context from where it sprouted.

 

The Bible is hokum, end of story.

 

 

You need to avoid this admission before expressing your opinion...

 

it makes your opinion sound very paranoid... "duplicitous"??? It's a conspiracy!!!!

 

Is Tolkien's trilogy, Lord of The Rings, "duplicitous, fallacious and hokum"???? How about our Declaration of Independence? Mark Twain's works? Jonathon Livingston Seagull?

 

It is not the written work you have problems with... it is the dogma and doctrine applied to it by the bureaucracy of the Church.

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Guest kcdad
The key is: they did not agree on everything, regardless if you try to paint the pretty picture that they did. They didn't, that's a fact, and if it was over small or big doctrine, it still was over interpretation over what Jesus wanted them to do. Peter should have known better, since he was the "rock", while Jesus never made any prediction or prophecy that Paul would come along and fix the mistakes of the 11 incompetent imbeciles God had originally assigned the task.

 

I am not sure Jesus really wanted Peter... or Rocky, as I like to refer to him. I think he really wanted Andrew, and Peter was kind of like Lenny in Of Mice and Men.

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I am not sure Jesus really wanted Peter... or Rocky, as I like to refer to him. I think he really wanted Andrew, and Peter was kind of like Lenny in Of Mice and Men.

Very true, and it makes Jesus very human. Basically, Jesus made mistakes with his choice of disciples. It's quite common both in religion as in the corporate. It's a skill to pick the right partners in business.

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The New American Std version, Jesus says in Matthew 5:18, "until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished" and smallest letter most likely referred to the Hebrew letter 'yodh' - which looks like an apostrophe;'. And the stroke refers to Hebrew letters having slight differences, such as P and R, or I and L, or O and Q in English. The Hebrew letters 'resh' ® and 'daleth' (D) differ just by a small stroke, and there are other examples.

Ok. I can accept that. It's very odd thought that two completely different languages got the exact same idiom. It just so happened that both Araamic and Greek had a small letter, and to make a reference to that letter meant to say: "even the smallest." It's very rare to have expressions like that. For instance, we don't say: "even the smallest i..." No one would get the allusion. Of course they can exist, and they do exist, but they are more common in languages very close, and even then there are telling differences.

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A-man, I do not disagree that Ehrman and others of his ilk actually do deny what other scholars affirm re: Biblical authors.

Thanks for the response. I have to confess when I see someone pull out ad hominem criticisms of scholars right out of the gate, it pretty much tips their hand to me that they don’t have much to back up their disagreements with them. Calling Ehrman and critical scholars as part of an “ilk”, and further attacking his character as “arrogant”, betrays a weak hand on your part. Nevertheless, I will be happy to respond.

 

I’ll take the easy, shortcut road here and just quote a Wiki article on 2 Peter, since you feel Ehrman shouldn’t be paid attention to because of some assumed character flaws:

 

Although 2 Peter internally purports to be a work of the apostle,
most biblical scholars have concluded that Peter is not the author, and instead consider the epistle pseudepigraphical
. Reasons for this include its linguistic differences from 1 Peter, its apparent use of Jude, possible allusions to second-century gnosticism, encouragement in the wake of a delayed parousia, and weak external support.[2] In addition, specific passages offer further clues in support of pseudepigraphy, namely the author's assumption that his audience is familiar with multiple Pauline epistles (2Peter 3:15-16), his implication that the Apostlic generation has passed (2Peter 3:4), and his differentiation between himself and "the apostles of the Lord and Savior" (2Peter 3:2).

 

A minority of scholars have disagreed with this position
and forwarded reasons in support of genuine Petrine authorship. They argue that the letter did not fit a specific pattern of what they consider pseudepigraphy. The author did not use first person narrative, which Donald Guthrie argues was typical in pseudepigraphy.[3] Certain details in the Transfiguration account differ from the synoptic gospels and that passage lacks embellishment which E. M. B. Green argues was common in apocryphal books.[4] An uncommon title, “our beloved brother,” is given to Paul, where later literature used other titles.[5] The author states that Paul's letters are difficult to understand (2Peter 3:15-16) which Donald Gurthie argues runs counter to the tendency in pseudoepigraphy to enhance the heroic alleged author.[6]

 

Scholars who accept Petrine authorship have a number of explanations concerning the relation between 2 Peter and Jude. It could be that, conversely, Jude used 2 Peter.[7] Other scholars argue that even if 2 Peter used Jude, that does not exclude Petrine authorship.[8] On remaining points, Ben Witherington III argued that the text we have today is a composite, including points taken from the Epistle of Jude, but that it containing a genuine “Petrine fragment”, which he identified as 2Peter 1:12-21.[9] Finally, some scholars[specify] have advanced the hypothesis that differences in style could be explained by Peter having employed different amanuenses (secretaries) for each epistle, or if Peter wrote the second letter himself, while using Silvanus (Silas) as an amanuensis for the first.

 

However, the great majority of scholarship agrees that Peter could not have written this letter
.[10] For example, textual critic Daniel Wallace (though he did not align with the majority) writes that, for most experts, "the issue of authorship is already settled, at least negatively: the apostle Peter did not write this letter" and that "
the
vast bulk
of NT scholars adopts this...perspective
."[11] Werner Kümmel exemplifies this position, stating, "It is certain, therefore, that II Pet does not originate with Peter, and this is today widely acknowledged."[12], as does Stephen L Harris, who states that "[v]irtually no authorities defend the Petrine authorship of 2 Peter."[13] Evangelical historians
D.A. Carson
and Douglas J. Moo wrote that "most modern scholars do not think that the apostle Peter wrote this letter. Indeed,
for no other letter in the New Testament is there a greater consensus that the person who is named as the author could not, in fact, be the author
."[14]

So essentially your saying the "vast bulk of NT scholars", where there is "no greater consensus" against the Petrine authorship of 2 Peter (the words of D.A. Carson, whom you cited as supporting your views), are essentially arrogant "ilk"? So do you think the vast majority of new testament scholarship is unworthy to be listened to, because they don't agree with your inclinations? Why do you refer to them as those of Ehrman's ilk?

 

I'm sorry, but this sounds a whole heck of a lot like the folks at AiG who dismiss the vast bulk of the world's scientists in denying the age of the earth, for no reason other than it seems to cause them great disconsternation to reconcile their beliefs with discovery. And you used the word arrogant for Ehrman. Wouldn't you say those who dismiss the "vast bulk of NT scholars" as "ilk" and "arrogant" are themselves maybe risking just that, sounding arrogant?

 

    , and other conservative seminaries would disagree with Ehrman's assessment.

     

    In addition, many of the faculty at Talbot and Gordon-Conwell (in Boston) seminaries would also disagree with Erhman.

    That’s fine. There’s room for differences of opinion in critical scholarship, however they are in the vast minority, I have to point out. One wonders if those in the minority who stoop to ad hominem attack on liberal scholar’s personal character maybe don’t have all that much to bring to the table for discussion. Honestly, how open are you to anything the “vast bulk of NT scholars” have to say? Or have you made up your mind through faith, and this is basically a case of starting with the answers and looking for support and calling that scholarship?

     

    Who canonized the NT? Were they directly guided by the Holy Spirit? Please answer that for me if you will.

     

    I wonder what Erhman says about the plethora of ancient Greek NT manuscripts dating back to the John Ryland fragment (dated 150AD) containing a portion of John's Gospel, believed by many to be composed no later than 90AD - especially in comparison to the paucity of ancient documents of the Greek philosophers, or documents concerning Ceasar, or those written by Tacitus, etc, etc, etc. A little research will show that the NT is the single most attested ancient document - by far.

    This is misleading. Josh McDowell’s Evidence that Demands a Verdict, uses this to suggest things that are simply not supported by it. What does Ehrman say about P52 and the other MSS? Well, since I have his Lost Christianities book still sitting out on my desk in my office from my previous post here let’s have a look. From pages 218, 219:

    We do not have the original of 1 Thessalonians (i.e., the text that Paul actually wrote) or of any other New Testament book. Nor do we have copies made directly from the originals, nor copies made from the copies of the originals, nor copies made from the copies of the copies. Our earliest “manuscripts” (hand-written copies) of Paul’s letters date from around 200 CD, that is, nearly 150 years after he wrote them. The earliest full manuscripts of the Gospels come from about the same time, although we have some fragments of manuscripts that date earlier, including P52 [
    your John Ryland fragment you mention above
    ], a credit card-sized fragment, usually dated to the first part of the second century, of verses from John 18, discovered in a trash heap in Egypt. But our relatively fully manuscripts from around the year 200 are not preserved intact. Pages and entire books were lost. Indeed, it is not until the fourth century, nearly three hundred years after the New Testament was written, that we begin to get complete manuscripts of all its books.

     

    After the fourth of firth century, copies of the New Testament become far more common, Indeed, if we count up all of the New Testament manuscripts that have been discovered, it is an impressive number overall.
    We currently know of nearly 5,400 Greek copies of all or part of the New Testament, ranging from tiny scraps of a verse or two that could sit in the palm of your hand to massive tomes containing all twenty-seven books bound together
    . These copies range in date from the second century down to, and beyond, the invention of the printing press in the fifteenth century.
    As a result, the New Testament is preserved in far more manuscripts than any other book from antiquity. There are, for example, few than 700 copies of Homer’s Iliad, few that 350 copies of the plays of Euripides, and only one copy of the first sex book of the Annals of Tacitus.

     

    What is unsettling for those who want to know what the original text said is not the number of New Testament manuscripts, but the dates of these manuscripts and the difference among them. Of course, we would expect the New Testament to be copied in the Middle Ages more frequently than Homer of Euripides or Tacitus; the trained copyists throughout the western world at the time were Christian scribes, frequently monks, who for the most part were preparing copies of texts for religious purposes.
    But the fact that we have thousands of New Testament manuscripts does not in itself mean that we can rest assured that we know what the original text said
    . If we have very few early copies – in fact, scarcely any – how can we know that the text was not changed significantly
    before
    the New Testament began to be reproduced in such large quantities?
    Most surviving copies were made during the Middle Ages, many of them a thousand years after Paul and his companions had died.

     

    I should emphasize that it is not simply a matter of scholarly speculation to say that the words of the New Testament were changed in the process of copying.
    We know that they were changed, because we can compare these 5,400 copies with on another. What is striking is that when we do so, we find that no two copies (except the smallest fragments) agree in all of their wording.
    There can be only one reason for this. The scribes who copied the texts changed them. Nobody knows for certain how often they changed them, because no one has been able yet to count all of the differences among the manuscripts. Some estimates put the number at around 200,000, others at around 300,000 or more. Perhaps it is simplest to express the figure in comparative terms: There are more differences among our manuscripts than there are words in the New Testament.

    So does this answer your question what he would have to say? What this says is that citing how many manuscripts there are in order to hold that up to suggest a validation of the text is extremely misleading. Again to quote his last line in this, “There are more differences among our manuscripts than there are words in the New Testament.”

     

    None of this of course even takes into account all the different Christianities that had outright opposite views, whose texts were destroyed by those who collected the ones that supported their views into a pile and called that sanctioned texts.

     

    And I would ask you to note the arrogance of Ehrman. He speaks as though 1st - 4th Century people were just bumpkins, with no powers of discernment, accepting nearly anything that comes down the pike with a special claim.

    I don’t catch that from him, however that still wouldn’t change the fact that the “vast bulk of NT scholarship” agrees in these areas. Sometimes people with knowledge can become arrogant and sometimes not. That has nothing to do with the scholarship.

     

    Christians were instructed to "test everything and accept what is good." - and they were very dsicerning in which books were accepted as canon - and which books were rejected, AND many books were, in fact, rejected. He speaks as though these people - who were obviously much closer to the issue of forming the NT canon than he is - just didn't have what it takes. How patriarchal!!

    Oh, I hardly take that away from this. Let alone this is not just Ehrman saying these things. Many, many critical NT scholars understand the nature of myth-making. The canonization of the NT was itself a part of that social move, just as the early texts themselves were formed through this process. The canon is simply a piecemeal gathering of various texts that were seen as supporting one group’s views as opposed to another, then used to appear as a whole, cohesive message. It's hardly the case.

     

    This is why you have so many differing theological views. Is man's nature basically evil, or basically good? There were and are differences of view on this. So is this a cohesive revelation to sort out in debates amongst theologians, or is it simpler to to just see them as different points of view in loose collection that's errantly thought intended to be a single message? What answers the mystery more cohesively? Divine inspiration, or a human effort?

     

    I see it hard to deny this. You would have to claim that somehow this collection that was sanctioned was itself done through divine inspiration. Care to offer some Biblical or otherwise authoritative support for that?

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The New American Std version, Jesus says in Matthew 5:18, "until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished" and smallest letter most likely referred to the Hebrew letter 'yodh' - which looks like an apostrophe;'. And the stroke refers to Hebrew letters having slight differences, such as P and R, or I and L, or O and Q in English. The Hebrew letters 'resh' ® and 'daleth' (D) differ just by a small stroke, and there are other examples.

Ok. I can accept that. It's very odd thought that two completely different languages got the exact same idiom. It just so happened that both Araamic and Greek had a small letter, and to make a reference to that letter meant to say: "even the smallest." It's very rare to have expressions like that. For instance, we don't say: "even the smallest i..." No one would get the allusion. Of course they can exist, and they do exist, but they are more common in languages very close, and even then there are telling differences.

 

 

We have "watch your p's and q's" in English.

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We have "watch your p's and q's" in English.

As you can see it has a different construct and a slightly different meaning. It's like the phrase "crossing our fingers," which in Sweden they use the phrase: "holding my thumb." Similar meaning, similarities in construct, but not exactly the same. To say, "every iota" or "every i" or "every yoda" or "every blarghz" and meaning the smallest letter, and meaning to the smallest thing, is extremely identical. Of course these things do exist, but so far when I compare the different languages I know, they don't copy exactly over. For instance, would a Greek understand, "you have to watch your phi's and chi's?" But of course, it is possible, so I concede the point.

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You need to avoid this admission before expressing your opinion...

 

it makes your opinion sound very paranoid... "duplicitous"??? It's a conspiracy!!!!

 

I don't know. I am not the audience since I wrote that long paragraph. I was simply admitting that when it comes to debating a thoroughly informed Christian, I know I am going to lose. I am coming from the simple point of view that "extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence". Making the claim that an army (or even the Lord Himself) can kill 1,000,000 soldiers without outside corroboration from the opposing culture basically destroys the inerrancy claim for me, no matter if I actually tried to read the Old Testament in Hebrew.

 

Is Tolkien's trilogy, Lord of The Rings, "duplicitous, fallacious and hokum"???? How about our Declaration of Independence? Mark Twain's works? Jonathon Livingston Seagull?

 

I am calling 'false dichotomy' here. Lord of the Rings is a fictional book series not intended to be taken as reality. The Declaration of Independence was a piece of seditious literature that basically gave the finger to the English Monarchy and it was meant to be taken literally for political purposes. The works of Mark Twain are varying from satirical pinings on various topics to his fictional pieces that took swipes at various sacred cows of the 1800's and 1900's. The intention of those pieces varies depended on the whims of the author at the time. In the end, the Bible is taken to be literal (every jot and tittle, every iota or yod) by a sizeable majority that wants to see the entire population changed to fulfill its whims. Only one community of people disregards the Bible in its entirety that I can think of and that is the ex-Christian atheists.

 

It is not the written work you have problems with... it is the dogma and doctrine applied to it by the bureaucracy of the Church.

 

Actually, it is both. A book full of inaccuracies and contradictions is one that can leave open any possible interpretation that anybody can think of and there is a clause (namely the last half Galatians, chapter 1) that allows any person to create their own dogma and claim it as being scripturally inspired.

 

As unenlightened as I am, I am not completely unenlightened. I am an energy-saver bulb, lots of light but little wattage.

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Paul's writing is the reason Christianity is so screwed up, along with the embed notion that 'God's word is infallible' that has been preached around the world. One man believes one thing and it is from GOD, another man believes another thing and it is from GOD, and another believes another and it also is from GOD. But, they all go against each other, but came from God's holy, infallible Word.

 

The biblical precedent for that, in my opinion, is Galatians Chapter 1. I call it "The Division Clause". You have articulated one of my main reasons why I reject Christianity as my religion of choice. The letters of Paul contain the much of what roots modern Christianity (like rejection of homosexual unions). To see your words in print like this sets off my BS Radar.

 

This is why I think committed Christians need to stay away from ExC, the ex-Christian will spot these things, tear it to shreds and spit it back out.

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Why do other Gospel writers have to record all the same details? Answer - they don't.

 

No they don't, but if they are writing about the same subject, their facts do have to match. And many of them don't.

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Guest kcdad
You need to avoid this admission before expressing your opinion...

 

it makes your opinion sound very paranoid... "duplicitous"??? It's a conspiracy!!!!

 

I don't know. I am not the audience since I wrote that long paragraph. I was simply admitting that when it comes to debating a thoroughly informed Christian, I know I am going to lose. I am coming from the simple point of view that "extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence". Making the claim that an army (or even the Lord Himself) can kill 1,000,000 soldiers without outside corroboration from the opposing culture basically destroys the inerrancy claim for me, no matter if I actually tried to read the Old Testament in Hebrew.

 

Is Tolkien's trilogy, Lord of The Rings, "duplicitous, fallacious and hokum"???? How about our Declaration of Independence? Mark Twain's works? Jonathon Livingston Seagull?

 

I am calling 'false dichotomy' here. Lord of the Rings is a fictional book series not intended to be taken as reality. The Declaration of Independence was a piece of seditious literature that basically gave the finger to the English Monarchy and it was meant to be taken literally for political purposes. The works of Mark Twain are varying from satirical pinings on various topics to his fictional pieces that took swipes at various sacred cows of the 1800's and 1900's. The intention of those pieces varies depended on the whims of the author at the time. In the end, the Bible is taken to be literal (every jot and tittle, every iota or yod) by a sizeable majority that wants to see the entire population changed to fulfill its whims. Only one community of people disregards the Bible in its entirety that I can think of and that is the ex-Christian atheists.

 

It is not the written work you have problems with... it is the dogma and doctrine applied to it by the bureaucracy of the Church.

 

Actually, it is both. A book full of inaccuracies and contradictions is one that can leave open any possible interpretation that anybody can think of and there is a clause (namely the last half Galatians, chapter 1) that allows any person to create their own dogma and claim it as being scripturally inspired.

 

As unenlightened as I am, I am not completely unenlightened. I am an energy-saver bulb, lots of light but little wattage.

 

As I am finding out in my church, there are far less "literalists" than you might suspect. The preaching is rather simplistic and literal, but I find the congregation shaking their heads and asking tough questions more and more... partly to my credit I like to think. I am beginning to think that of those that actually have an opinion of their own to express, fewer and fewer are finding any meaning in literal interpretations of the Bible. I was surprised to learn that many whom I thought were very conservative refuse to recite the Creeds and Affirmations of Faith because of the apocalyptic and mystical claims of them. (It's actually rather amusing that when one gets to "only son of God, born of a virgin, conceived of The Holy Spirit..." the congregation gets very quiet until "I believe in The Holy Spirit...")

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Why do other Gospel writers have to record all the same details? Answer - they don't.

 

No they don't, but if they are writing about the same subject, their facts do have to match. And many of them don't.

 

They can't even get the names of the disciples right. (Matthew-Levi, for example)

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