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Switch to Forum Live View Stories, Meanings, and Myths
4 years ago  ::  Sep 10, 2010 - 1:47PM #31
Dennis
Posts: 1,433

Actually, your statement is completely inaccurate, as far as modern biblical scholarship is concerned. I will suggest that you read the first post of a thread entitled "Rules of Evidence" in the Historical Jesus forum for your understanding. The "second principle": "There are no absolute certainties in history." Statements are generally couched in terms dealing with probabilities, possibilities, and so forth. One shouldn't misrepresent biblical scholarship in a biblical forum. When I use, for instance, the word "fiction" or "fictive" to describe Acts, one must realize that this refers to scholarship that concluded, in a consensus of around 80 biblical scholars in the fall of 2002, all but 6% of them concluded that this statement was either virtually certain or probably reliable: "Acts is a work of fiction with some relatively minor historical elements in it." This was based on an essay by Dennis E. Smith ("The Acts of the Apostles and the Rewriting of Christian History," Forum, 5.1). Note that this deals with probabilities, possibilities. Since this was based on work up until this time, it is possible that another group, another time and place, might see Acts as either less or more historical. From what I have read, including this as well as several books on Acts and around 100 essays on Acts, it isn't historical. I am not a scholar and am not speaking to scholars, so I call Acts, as a whole, fiction, just as one would call a modern novel set in a real city with a few names and places that are historically verifiable also as fiction.


The consensus of a group of around the same number of biblical scholars of various faith communities done in 1985 for the four gospels was that around 85% of the acts/sayings of Jesus in them were probably not historical, so I see no reason not to call them "fictive," or "fiction," also. A biblical scholar probably wouldn't categorize as such... But, they aren't historical books, other than having some historical acts and words in them. What is probably the most important aspect of them is the use of the various mythic themes, also found in other ancient Near East literature.


Since it is apparent in the post below that the respondent did not quite grasp the process, the rules of evidence or how terms like "fiction" can be used, I thought I'd fill him or her in.


Sep 10, 2010 -- 11:06AM, teilhard wrote:


Butr, see ... The Logical-Historical-Scientific ERROR in THAT View is to go on THEN to Assert that the Events and Reports recorded and reported in The Bible Stories THEREFORE are obviously "Fictions" of one "kind" or other ...


My own consistent Preference is to take The Texts AS  WE  HAVE  Them and NOT wish or require that they OUGHT to be or to have been something ELSE ...


Sep 10, 2010 -- 7:14AM, Dennis wrote:


"Interestingly, this is so EVEN ( !!! ) for The Bible Stories that are NOT patently "Mythological" in character, but ARE ( not entirely RARE ) History-Fact-Events-Interpreted ..."


Nah, the stories are all mythological in character, as opposed to "historical," as in a modern meaning of the word. There are a few "facts" interspered, mainly in characters and geography (but even in geography, there are mistakes made). Still, it is close to impossible to determine whether, if any of the "stories" have any "historical" veracity to them. Such is the character of the various writings found in the Bible.










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4 years ago  ::  Sep 10, 2010 - 1:56PM #32
teilhard
Posts: 50,681

Yes ... Biblical Scholars have LONG noted and understood that, say, "The Canonical Gospels," ARE "Gospels," and NOT "Biographies of The Historical Loid Jesus of Nazareth" ...


Do we KNOW that ANY of The Events reported in The Canonical Gospels REALLY happened exactly as narrated ... ???  No, of course not ...


Do we KNOW that ANY of The Events reported in The Canonical Gospels did NOT take place as narrated ... ??? Of course not ... No ...

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4 years ago  ::  Sep 10, 2010 - 1:58PM #33
teilhard
Posts: 50,681

The Bible Stories have their OWN Legitimate Authority quite apart from whether or how much They are LIKE -- or NOT like -- "The Annals of [some Secular Historian]" ...


THAT's The Point, you see ...


Jul 25, 2010 -- 6:14PM, teilhard wrote:


In the EXCELLENT Book by Mircea Eliade, "Myth and Reality" ( 1963, Harper ), p. 8, we read:


" ... in societies where myth is still alive the natives carefully distinguish myths -- 'true stories' -- from fables or tales, which they call 'false stories.' ... "


 ... and on p. 9, " ... the Cherokeee distinguish between sacred myths ( cosmogeny, creation of the stars, origin of death ) and profane stories ... "


 ... and on p. 10, " ... whereas 'false stories' can be told anywhere and at any time, myths must not be recited except during a period of sacred time ... "


 


Interestingly, Mythological Stories ( such as The Primordial History Stories in Genesis 1-11 ) have ALWAYS been understood to be of a UNIQUE Category of Meaning ...


So, intriguingly, ONE of the CENTRAL Criteria for Canonization of the many and various "Books" of "The Bible" was their USE in WORSHIP ( i.e., during "Sanctified Time" ) ...





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4 years ago  ::  Sep 11, 2010 - 6:44AM #34
Dennis
Posts: 1,433

Authority (first definition in my dictionary: "the power or right to enforce obedience."


They certainly shouldn't and don't in America... Maybe in some theocracy.


 


Sep 10, 2010 -- 1:58PM, teilhard wrote:


The Bible Stories have their OWN Legitimate Authority quite apart from whether or how much They are LIKE -- or NOT like -- "The Annals of [some Secular Historian]" ...


THAT's The Point, you see ...


Jul 25, 2010 -- 6:14PM, teilhard wrote:


In the EXCELLENT Book by Mircea Eliade, "Myth and Reality" ( 1963, Harper ), p. 8, we read:


" ... in societies where myth is still alive the natives carefully distinguish myths -- 'true stories' -- from fables or tales, which they call 'false stories.' ... "


 ... and on p. 9, " ... the Cherokeee distinguish between sacred myths ( cosmogeny, creation of the stars, origin of death ) and profane stories ... "


 ... and on p. 10, " ... whereas 'false stories' can be told anywhere and at any time, myths must not be recited except during a period of sacred time ... "


 


Interestingly, Mythological Stories ( such as The Primordial History Stories in Genesis 1-11 ) have ALWAYS been understood to be of a UNIQUE Category of Meaning ...


So, intriguingly, ONE of the CENTRAL Criteria for Canonization of the many and various "Books" of "The Bible" was their USE in WORSHIP ( i.e., during "Sanctified Time" ) ...









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4 years ago  ::  Sep 11, 2010 - 12:02PM #35
world citizen
Posts: 5,440

The "authority" in Biblical context is over the human soul, which has been given free will to either obey or disobey God's commandments.  The authority remains nevertheless, just as it does in governmental law - some choose to live by it while others may choose not to.

Blessed is he who mingleth with all men in a spirit of utmost kindliness and love. ~Baha'u'llah
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4 years ago  ::  Sep 12, 2010 - 8:17AM #36
teilhard
Posts: 50,681

The Authority of The Bible Stories -- Mythological in Character, or not -- is received AS such BY and IN The Community of Faith which PRODUCED and RECEIVES The Stories ...

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4 years ago  ::  Sep 12, 2010 - 9:40AM #37
Dennis
Posts: 1,433

Sep 11, 2010 -- 12:02PM, world citizen wrote:


The "authority" in Biblical context is over the human soul, which has been given free will to either obey or disobey God's commandments.  The authority remains nevertheless, just as it does in governmental law - some choose to live by it while others may choose not to.





Hopefully not! Then, one would have to look at "Then the people as a whole answered, 'His blood be on us and on our children!'" (Matt 27:25) as authority, as many have for the last millennium, and as an excuse for genocide.

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4 years ago  ::  Sep 12, 2010 - 10:57AM #38
teilhard
Posts: 50,681

The Observed Fact that Human Beings across Cultures and History HAVE used even "Religion" as an EXCUSE for Folly and Horror reflects the Universality of "Sin" ...


Sep 12, 2010 -- 9:40AM, Dennis wrote:


Sep 11, 2010 -- 12:02PM, world citizen wrote:


The "authority" in Biblical context is over the human soul, which has been given free will to either obey or disobey God's commandments.  The authority remains nevertheless, just as it does in governmental law - some choose to live by it while others may choose not to.





Hopefully not! Then, one would have to look at "Then the people as a whole answered, 'His blood be on us and on our children!'" (Matt 27:25) as authority, as many have for the last millennium, and as an excuse for genocide.





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4 years ago  ::  Sep 12, 2010 - 11:56AM #39
Dennis
Posts: 1,433

Of course, Teil, I was speaking to the authority of the biblical text, not "religion," per se, but besides that, maybe you could give a definition of "sin," as you use it.


 

Sep 12, 2010 -- 10:57AM, teilhard wrote:


The Observed Fact that Human Beings across Cultures and History HAVE used even "Religion" as an EXCUSE for Folly and Horror reflects the Universality of "Sin" ...


Sep 12, 2010 -- 9:40AM, Dennis wrote:


Sep 11, 2010 -- 12:02PM, world citizen wrote:


The "authority" in Biblical context is over the human soul, which has been given free will to either obey or disobey God's commandments.  The authority remains nevertheless, just as it does in governmental law - some choose to live by it while others may choose not to.





Hopefully not! Then, one would have to look at "Then the people as a whole answered, 'His blood be on us and on our children!'" (Matt 27:25) as authority, as many have for the last millennium, and as an excuse for genocide.









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4 years ago  ::  Sep 12, 2010 - 12:30PM #40
teilhard
Posts: 50,681

The Essence of "Sin" is the deliberate Violation of a Relationship, due to one's Self-Centered-ness, " i.e., in Classical Terms, " ... homo incurvatus in se ... " ...


 


BUT ...


 


THIS Thread is not about "Sin," per se, but rather "Stories, Meanings, and Myths" ...


If you wish to discuss The Reality and Nature of "Sin," perhaps you can start a Thread devoted to THAT Topic ...


Sep 12, 2010 -- 11:56AM, Dennis wrote:


Of course, Teil, I was speaking to the authority of the biblical text, not "religion," per se, but besides that, maybe you could give a definition of "sin," as you use it.


 

Sep 12, 2010 -- 10:57AM, teilhard wrote:


The Observed Fact that Human Beings across Cultures and History HAVE used even "Religion" as an EXCUSE for Folly and Horror reflects the Universality of "Sin" ...


Sep 12, 2010 -- 9:40AM, Dennis wrote:


Sep 11, 2010 -- 12:02PM, world citizen wrote:


The "authority" in Biblical context is over the human soul, which has been given free will to either obey or disobey God's commandments.  The authority remains nevertheless, just as it does in governmental law - some choose to live by it while others may choose not to.





Hopefully not! Then, one would have to look at "Then the people as a whole answered, 'His blood be on us and on our children!'" (Matt 27:25) as authority, as many have for the last millennium, and as an excuse for genocide.













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