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Switch to Forum Live View The BIBLE: Reliability and Historical Accuracy
2 years ago  ::  May 15, 2012 - 9:14PM #11
Joe68
Posts: 289

May 15, 2012 -- 5:24PM, TPaine wrote:


May 15, 2012 -- 11:12AM, Rgurley4 wrote:


The TRUTH in the historical documents of Scripture and its study...


The absolute truth is SPIRITUAL truth. Relative truths come from Man.
The supreme place to find SPIRITUAL truth is in the Scriptures and supporting historical documents.
 
The LIBERAL VIEW?:



...the Bible is no more special than any other book, holy or otherwise....
...the Bible can be used and manipulated to teach whatever someone wants it to teach... 
...IF the Bible is/was God's way of reaching out to mankind, it is an extremely poor effort on God's part...



The Bible teaches some decent moral and ethical codes, but those are also taught in other holy books as well as in Æsop's Fables and the Confucian Si Shu, and Wu Jing among others.


May 15, 2012 -- 11:12AM, Rgurley4 wrote:

CONSERVATIVE VIEW OF THE BIBLE:


The Bible (Scripture) is the supreme authority when compared to other writings and precepts in all matters....especially "doctrine" = absolute spiritual truth!



And the proof of that claim is....?


May 15, 2012 -- 11:12AM, Rgurley4 wrote:

All of the ACTUAL WORDS therein were "Spirit Inspired", and "superintended" by God.



If so why are there so many contradictions, false statements, misinterpretations, and mis-attributions in it? Wouldn't an omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent God make sure that wouldn't happen?


May 15, 2012 -- 11:12AM, Rgurley4 wrote:

The authors and their scribes recorded these words in "original manuscripts" which were without error.



Since we don't have any original manuscripts how do we know they were without error? We don't even know who the majority of authors were. In the New Testament only seven of the thirteen Pauline epistles (Romans, 1 & 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Philippians, 1 Thessalonians, and Philemon) and the Revelation of John of Patmos are correctly attributed. The rest are pseudepigraphic or anonymous.


May 15, 2012 -- 11:12AM, Rgurley4 wrote:

Systematic study of Scripture leads one to the conclusion that it is God's supreme way of speaking to Man.



I doubt it was God who caused the men who translated the Hebrew Tanakh into the Greek Septuagint (LXX) to mistranslate ha'almah in Isaiah 7:14 as virgin rather than young woman. The Hebrew word for virgin is betulah. Since the author of Matthew was a Greek speaker he used the LXX as his source.


May 15, 2012 -- 11:12AM, Rgurley4 wrote:

The "economy" or God's methods of relating to Man changed from Old Testament times to New Testament due to the historical appearance of Jesus of Nazareth, the Messiah, the God-Man.



It seems likely there was a historical Jesus of Nazareth in the first century CE. It would make sense that an itinerant Jewish rabbi who preached the message of Hillel the Elder who had died in 10 BCE. Rome would have considered his popularity to be a threat to their rule, his message would have been a threat to the Bet Shammai dominated Sanhedrin which opposed Hillel's views, and the combination could have led to his crucifixion.


May 15, 2012 -- 11:12AM, Rgurley4 wrote:

The Bible as a piece of literature is withhout peer, and it has been miraculously inspired, dictated, written, copied, preserved, translated, and distributed.



There are many pieces of literature that surpass the Bible. Some examples that predated the New Testament are Homer's Iliad and Odyssey, Plato's Apology of Socrates and Republic, Aristotle's Poetics, Nicomachean Ethics, Politics, and De Anima, Virgil's Eclogues (or Bucolics), the Georgics, and Aeneid, Livy's Ab Urbe Condita Libri, Cicero's De Re Publica and De Legibus, and Cato the Elder's Praecepta ad Filium



If so why are there so many contradictions, false statements, misinterpretations, and mis-attributions in it? Wouldn't an omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent God make sure that wouldn't happen?


The claim that the Bible has “so many contradictions, false statements, misinterpretations, and mis-attributions” has yet to be demonstrated


Since we don't have any original manuscripts how do we know they were without error?


By Textual Criticism it can be shown that the Biblical text is in the upper 90th percentile of what the original authors intended. Much much higher than any other ancient work. But this is altogether diffferent from the historical accuracy of the Bible.


We don't even know who the majority of authors were.


This is a different issue from the historical accuracy of the Bible.


I doubt it was God who caused the men who translated the Hebrew Tanakh into the Greek Septuagint (LXX) to mistranslate ha'almah in Isaiah 7:14 as virgin rather than young woman. The Hebrew word for virgin is betulah. Since the author of Matthew was a Greek speaker he used the LXX as his source.


It wasn’t “mistranslated”. The LXX was written by 72 elders of Israel and they specifically chose the Greek word "parthenos," which means virgin. This clearly demonstrates the common Jewish understanding of this passage at that time. So how does this make it a “mistranslation”?


The Greek word for "virgin" in both the Greek Septuagint and Matthew is parthenos, which means a virgin female.


The Hebrew word in Isaiah 7:14 is almah. This rare noun (used 7x in Hebrew Bible) signifies a young woman, a girl, or an unmarried maiden (Gen 24:43; Exod 2:8; Isa 7:14; Ps 68:26; Prov 30:19; Song 1:3; 6:8). The focus of almah is on youth, not virginity.


But the spiritual and moral ethos in Hebrew culture assumed that young unmarried girls had no sexual experience. In that historical and cultural milieu it would be very unusual for an almah not to be a virgin.


Twice, the Jewish translators who produced the Greek Septuagint (LXX) in the 2nd century BC rendered almah as parthenos:


Gen 24:43 — Isaac's future wife Rebekah is "the maiden/virgin [ha'almah]"
Isa 7:14 — Isaiah's wife is "the maiden/virgin" [ha'almah]


In the five other occurences of almah the LXX translators used neanis (young girl) (Exod 2:8; Ps 68:26; Prov 30:19; Song 1:3; 6:8).


So it seems that they did understand the differences between neanis and parthenos.


Re: Hillel the Elder.


I’m not sure what argument you are making here. Jesus was influenced by Hillel? Jesus was Hillel? Or maybe you mean something else. In any event how does this impact the historical accuracy of the Bible? Seems like more of a historical Jesus question. How does one even quantify that?


Do other works "surpass" the Bible?


How does one even quantify that? 


And how does this even impact the historical reliability of the Bible?  

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2 years ago  ::  May 16, 2012 - 2:53AM #12
Namchuck
Posts: 11,558

The Bible is littered with contradictions, inconsistencies, and enough silliness sufficient to demonstrate that it is wholly the work of men. One of its most glaring contradictions is found in the irreconcilable accounts of creation in Genesis 1 & 2. There are also staggering inconsistencies in these accounts with what we now know about the nature of Nature.


As I've cited elsewhere, Mark Twain summed up the Bible best when he said: 'The Bible is full of interest. It has noble poetry in it; and some clever fables; and some blood-drenched history; and some good morals; and a wealth of obscenity; and upwards of a thousand lies'.




 

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2 years ago  ::  May 16, 2012 - 10:26AM #13
Joe68
Posts: 289

May 16, 2012 -- 2:53AM, Namchuck wrote:


The Bible is littered with contradictions, inconsistencies, and enough silliness sufficient to demonstrate that it is wholly the work of men. One of its most glaring contradictions is found in the irreconcilable accounts of creation in Genesis 1 & 2. There are also staggering inconsistencies in these accounts with what we now know about the nature of Nature...



You don’t specify what these alleged contradictions and inconsistencies are so I will have to just take a stab at what you are referring to.


Some suppose that in Gen 1 the Creator is a transcendent Being, majestically and distantly bringing the creation into existence. In Gen 2, he is characterized by naive anthropomorphisms which imply an inferior status. For example, in Genesis 2 the writer says that Jehovah “formed,” “breathed,” “planted,” etc. What the they have failed to notice is that anthropomorphic terminology also is employed in Gen 1:1-2:4. In that section, God “called,” “saw,” “rested,” etc.  So there is no validity to this argument.


Some say that in chapter 1 man is represented as having been made “in the image of God” (27), yet in chapter 2, he is merely “formed...of the dust of the ground” (7), thus suggesting two different creation accounts. The point of comparison is too limited and thus unfair. As professor John Sailhamer observed:


...we should not overlook the fact that the topic of the “creation of man” in chapter 2 is not limited merely to v. 7. In fact, the topic of the creation of the man and the woman is the focus of the whole of chapter 2. What the author had stated as a simple fact in chapter 1 (man, male and female, was created in God’s likeness) is explained and developed throughout the narrative of chapter 2. We cannot contrast the depiction of the creation of man in chapter 1 with only one verse in chapter 2; we must compare the whole of the chapter (Sailhamer, The Expositor’s Bible Commentary, 1990, 2:40-41).


Another “contradiction” is said to be the creation-order of plants and man. In chapter 1 plants were created on the third day of the initial week (11-12), and man was made on the sixth day (26ff.), whereas in chapter 2, plants and herbs seem not to appear until after the formation of man (5ff.)


However in Genesis 1 the original creation of the botanical world is in view, while in Genesis 2 the emphasis is upon the fact that plant production for consumption had not commenced, for as yet there was neither a consumer nor a cultivator of the ground, which factors are remedied in verses 6-7.


 “that the words rendered plant, field, and grew, never occur in the first chapter; they are terms expressive of the produce of labour and cultivation; so that the historian evidently means that no cultivated land and no vegetables fit for the use of man were yet in existence on the earth” (Browne , The Bible Commentary, ed. F.C. Cook, 1981, 1:39).


Yet another “contradiction” is that Genesis 1 represents animals as existing before man (24-26), yet Genesis 2 has Adam created before the animals are formed (19). However a careful reading of the text of Genesis 2:19 merely suggests that the animals were formed before being brought to man; it says nothing about the relative origins of man and beast in terms of chronology. Those who see this are merely reading something into the text that simply is not there. 


Are there differences in the inspired narratives of Genesis 1 and 2? Of course there are. But differences do not necessarily imply contradictions. The real question is this: Is there a purpose to these variations? Indeed there is. Furthermore, there are a number of factors that militate against the notion that Genesis 1 and 2 are independent and contradictory accounts of the creation.


First, careful analysis reveals that there is deliberate purpose in the individuality of these two sections of Scripture. In Genesis 1 there is a broad outline of the events of the creation week, which reaches its climax with the origin of mankind in the very image of God. In Genesis 2 there is the special emphasis upon man, the divine preparation of his home, the formation of a suitable mate, etc. Edward J. Young has a good statement of this matter:


There are different emphases in the two chapters...but the reason for these is obvious. Chapter 1 continues the narrative of creation until the climax, namely, man made in the image and likeness of God. To prepare the way for the account of the fall, chapter 2 gives certain added details about man’s original condition, which would have been incongruous and out of place in the grand, declarative march of chapter 1 (Young, An Introduction to the Old Testament, p. 53).


This type of procedure was not unknown in the literary methodology of antiquity. In fact Gleason Archer observed that:


 “…the technique of recapitulation was widely practiced in ancient Semitic literature. The author would first introduce his account with a short statement summarizing the whole transaction, and then he would follow it up with a more detailed and circumstantial account when dealing with matters of special importance” (Archer, A Survey of Old Testament Introduction, p. 118).


Genesis 1 is chronological, revealing the sequential events of the creation week, whereas Genesis 2 is topical, with special concern for man and his environment. This procedure is not unknown elsewhere in biblical literature. Matthew’s account of the ministry of Christ is more topical, while Mark’s record is more chronological.


Furthermore, there is clear evidence that Genesis 2 was never an independent creation account. There are simply too many crucial elements missing for that to have been the case. For instance, there is no mention in Genesis 2 of the creation of the Earth, and there is no reference to the oceans or fish. There is no allusion to the Sun, Moon, and stars, etc. Archer has pointed out that there is not an origins record in the entire literature collection of the ancient Near East that omits discussing the creation of the Sun, Moon, seas, etc. (See: Archer, Encyclopedia of Bible Difficulties, p. 69).


Obviously, Genesis 2 is a sequel to chapter 1. The latter presupposes the former and is built upon it.


The following summary statement by Kenneth Kitchen is worthy of notice:


It is often claimed that Genesis 1 and 2 contain two different creation-narratives. In point of fact, however, the strictly complementary nature of the “two” accounts is plain enough: Genesis 1 mentions the creation of man as the last of a series, and without any details, whereas in Genesis 2 man is the centre of interest and more specific details are given about him and his setting. There is no incompatible duplication here at all. Failure to recognize the complementary nature of the subject-distinction between a skeleton outline of all creation on the one hand, and the concentration in detail on man and his immediate environment on the other, borders on obscurantism (Kitchen, Ancient Orient and Old Testament, pp. 116-117).


An objective evaluation of Genesis 1 and 2 reveals neither contradictions nor inconsistencies.

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2 years ago  ::  May 16, 2012 - 12:59PM #14
Rgurley4
Posts: 8,653

The Bible focuses on the SPIRIT.


Old Testament (Hebrew + Aramaic) for "spirit"
H7307  ruwach  (rü'·akh) =  Spirit or spirit, wind, breath, side, mind, blast, vain, air, anger, cool, courage...


New Testament (Greek) for "spirit"
G4151  pneuma  (pnyü'-ma) =  Spirit, Holy Ghost, Spirit (of God), Spirit (of the Lord), (My) Spirit, Spirit (of truth), Spirit (of Christ), human (spirit), (evil) spirit, spirit (general), spirit, (Jesus' own) spirit, (Jesus' own) ghost


What other reliable and historical ancient SPIRITUAL document, if any, disproves the SPIRITUAL truths of the Bible?


MY BELIEFS:  I view the Bible as the "Scarlet Thread of Redemption",
beginning with the created Man, spiritually walking and talking with His TRI-UNE Creator, and
ending with a resurrected Man, spiritually reunited and eternally dwelling in the New Heavens and the New Earth, made possiblle by the sacrificial shed blood of the spiritual New Adam, Jesus of Nazareth, The Christ, The  Messiah, The God-Man.


Isaiah 42 ...(NASB)...GOD: Spiritual Creator and Intervenor
5 Thus says God the LORD,
Who created the heavens and stretched them out,
Who spread out the earth and its offspring,
Who gives breath to the people on it , And
(Who gives) spirit to those who walk in it,...


John 16: 12-15 (NASB)...Jesus: the gift of God the Holy Spirit will GUIDE


But when He, (God) the (Holy) Spirit of truth, comes,
He will GUIDE you into all the TRUTH;
for He will not speak on His own initiative,
but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come. (the right path to take!)
He will glorify Me (God the Son,Jesus) , for He will take of Mine and will disclose it to you.
All things that (God) the Father has are Mine; ...


 

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2 years ago  ::  May 16, 2012 - 5:42PM #15
Ken
Posts: 33,859

May 16, 2012 -- 12:59PM, Rgurley4 wrote:

What other reliable and historical ancient SPIRITUAL document, if any, disproves the SPIRITUAL truths of the Bible?



I thumb my nose at all ancient spiritual documents. There isn't the slightest reason to regard any of them as true.

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2 years ago  ::  May 17, 2012 - 3:08AM #16
Namchuck
Posts: 11,558

May 16, 2012 -- 10:26AM, Joe68 wrote:


May 16, 2012 -- 2:53AM, Namchuck wrote:


The Bible is littered with contradictions, inconsistencies, and enough silliness sufficient to demonstrate that it is wholly the work of men. One of its most glaring contradictions is found in the irreconcilable accounts of creation in Genesis 1 & 2. There are also staggering inconsistencies in these accounts with what we now know about the nature of Nature...



You don’t specify what these alleged contradictions and inconsistencies are so I will have to just take a stab at what you are referring to.


Some suppose that in Gen 1 the Creator is a transcendent Being, majestically and distantly bringing the creation into existence. In Gen 2, he is characterized by naive anthropomorphisms which imply an inferior status. For example, in Genesis 2 the writer says that Jehovah “formed,” “breathed,” “planted,” etc. What the they have failed to notice is that anthropomorphic terminology also is employed in Gen 1:1-2:4. In that section, God “called,” “saw,” “rested,” etc.  So there is no validity to this argument.


Some say that in chapter 1 man is represented as having been made “in the image of God” (27), yet in chapter 2, he is merely “formed...of the dust of the ground” (7), thus suggesting two different creation accounts. The point of comparison is too limited and thus unfair. As professor John Sailhamer observed:


...we should not overlook the fact that the topic of the “creation of man” in chapter 2 is not limited merely to v. 7. In fact, the topic of the creation of the man and the woman is the focus of the whole of chapter 2. What the author had stated as a simple fact in chapter 1 (man, male and female, was created in God’s likeness) is explained and developed throughout the narrative of chapter 2. We cannot contrast the depiction of the creation of man in chapter 1 with only one verse in chapter 2; we must compare the whole of the chapter (Sailhamer, The Expositor’s Bible Commentary, 1990, 2:40-41).


Another “contradiction” is said to be the creation-order of plants and man. In chapter 1 plants were created on the third day of the initial week (11-12), and man was made on the sixth day (26ff.), whereas in chapter 2, plants and herbs seem not to appear until after the formation of man (5ff.)


However in Genesis 1 the original creation of the botanical world is in view, while in Genesis 2 the emphasis is upon the fact that plant production for consumption had not commenced, for as yet there was neither a consumer nor a cultivator of the ground, which factors are remedied in verses 6-7.


 “that the words rendered plant, field, and grew, never occur in the first chapter; they are terms expressive of the produce of labour and cultivation; so that the historian evidently means that no cultivated land and no vegetables fit for the use of man were yet in existence on the earth” (Browne , The Bible Commentary, ed. F.C. Cook, 1981, 1:39).


Yet another “contradiction” is that Genesis 1 represents animals as existing before man (24-26), yet Genesis 2 has Adam created before the animals are formed (19). However a careful reading of the text of Genesis 2:19 merely suggests that the animals were formed before being brought to man; it says nothing about the relative origins of man and beast in terms of chronology. Those who see this are merely reading something into the text that simply is not there. 


Are there differences in the inspired narratives of Genesis 1 and 2? Of course there are. But differences do not necessarily imply contradictions. The real question is this: Is there a purpose to these variations? Indeed there is. Furthermore, there are a number of factors that militate against the notion that Genesis 1 and 2 are independent and contradictory accounts of the creation.


First, careful analysis reveals that there is deliberate purpose in the individuality of these two sections of Scripture. In Genesis 1 there is a broad outline of the events of the creation week, which reaches its climax with the origin of mankind in the very image of God. In Genesis 2 there is the special emphasis upon man, the divine preparation of his home, the formation of a suitable mate, etc. Edward J. Young has a good statement of this matter:


There are different emphases in the two chapters...but the reason for these is obvious. Chapter 1 continues the narrative of creation until the climax, namely, man made in the image and likeness of God. To prepare the way for the account of the fall, chapter 2 gives certain added details about man’s original condition, which would have been incongruous and out of place in the grand, declarative march of chapter 1 (Young, An Introduction to the Old Testament, p. 53).


This type of procedure was not unknown in the literary methodology of antiquity. In fact Gleason Archer observed that:


 “…the technique of recapitulation was widely practiced in ancient Semitic literature. The author would first introduce his account with a short statement summarizing the whole transaction, and then he would follow it up with a more detailed and circumstantial account when dealing with matters of special importance” (Archer, A Survey of Old Testament Introduction, p. 118).


Genesis 1 is chronological, revealing the sequential events of the creation week, whereas Genesis 2 is topical, with special concern for man and his environment. This procedure is not unknown elsewhere in biblical literature. Matthew’s account of the ministry of Christ is more topical, while Mark’s record is more chronological.


Furthermore, there is clear evidence that Genesis 2 was never an independent creation account. There are simply too many crucial elements missing for that to have been the case. For instance, there is no mention in Genesis 2 of the creation of the Earth, and there is no reference to the oceans or fish. There is no allusion to the Sun, Moon, and stars, etc. Archer has pointed out that there is not an origins record in the entire literature collection of the ancient Near East that omits discussing the creation of the Sun, Moon, seas, etc. (See: Archer, Encyclopedia of Bible Difficulties, p. 69).


Obviously, Genesis 2 is a sequel to chapter 1. The latter presupposes the former and is built upon it.


The following summary statement by Kenneth Kitchen is worthy of notice:


It is often claimed that Genesis 1 and 2 contain two different creation-narratives. In point of fact, however, the strictly complementary nature of the “two” accounts is plain enough: Genesis 1 mentions the creation of man as the last of a series, and without any details, whereas in Genesis 2 man is the centre of interest and more specific details are given about him and his setting. There is no incompatible duplication here at all. Failure to recognize the complementary nature of the subject-distinction between a skeleton outline of all creation on the one hand, and the concentration in detail on man and his immediate environment on the other, borders on obscurantism (Kitchen, Ancient Orient and Old Testament, pp. 116-117).


An objective evaluation of Genesis 1 and 2 reveals neither contradictions nor inconsistencies.




I didn't think I'd have to specify what the particular contradictions are to anyone familiar with the chapters in question, but I knew that the mere mention of it would solicit just the sort of apologetic contortions that you indulge in with great gusto above.



But let's take the first creation account in Genesis chapter 1, where God creates sequentially in six days, moving from light to the division of waters and firmament, to land and plants, to the sun and moon, and finally to animal life in increasing complexity. On the sixth day he creates human beings, both male and female together: "So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them."


In Genesis chapter II, God creates the earth and heavens and then makes a man "of the dust of the ground". He then creates plants and animals, bringing all the beasts to Adam and granting his first man naming rights. But Adam is lonely, so God creates a female companion from one of his ribs: "And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept; and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the fleshthereof; and the rib, which the Lord God had taken from man, made he the woman, and brought her unto the man. And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman."


The traditional reading, of course, conflates these two stories, taking the basic sequence, with humans last, from Genesis 1, but borrowing the rib scenario for the subsequent creation of Eve from Genesis II.


The contradiction is obvious, but certainly not surprising given that the text has been cobbled together from different sources.


But, as I've said before, the Bible is littered with similar contradictions and inconsistencies. It's a human book with errors.


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2 years ago  ::  May 17, 2012 - 12:06PM #17
Joe68
Posts: 289

The contradiction is that Genesis 2 conflates the basic sequence of Genesis 1?


Your “contradiction” was addressed above by the five experts – those who have studied the history, language, and culture of that period.


1) Recapitulation (to restate briefly) was widely practiced in the ANE. But now it must been seen as a “contradiction”.


2) There is not an origins record in the entire literature collection of the ANE that does not have allusions to the Sun, Moon, and stars, etc. Yet Genesis 2 must now be considered a creation account when it doesn’t even meet the standards of the ANE for one.  


One must integrate what is known of the ANE literary standards (recapitulation) and of what constitutes a creation account (allusions to the Sun, Moon, and stars, etc) to fairly evaluate the Biblical text.  When one does they see that Genesis 2 is not be seen as a separate creation account but a recapitulation of Genesis 1 – a common practice in the historical and cultural milieu of the ANE.


The only errors you’ve shown thus far are your own lack of knowledge or consideration of the literary practices of the ANE in your evaluation the Biblical text.

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2 years ago  ::  May 17, 2012 - 12:18PM #18
amcolph
Posts: 17,363

A recapitulation?


It may have been edited into one, but certain things are non-controversial:


That Gen 2 is the older of the two stories, that the voicing, characterizations and other literary features are very different from Gen 1, all of which suggests different sources as well as different literary agendas for the two stories. 


In other words, there is no reason to suppose that Gen 2 began its career as a recapitulation and continuation of Gen 1.

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2 years ago  ::  May 17, 2012 - 2:24PM #19
TPaine
Posts: 9,288

May 15, 2012 -- 9:14PM, Joe68 wrote:


If so why are there so many contradictions, false statements, misinterpretations, and mis-attributions in it? Wouldn't an omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent God make sure that wouldn't happen?


The claim that the Bible has “so many contradictions, false statements, misinterpretations, and mis-attributions” has yet to be demonstrated



Matthew and Luke disagree on the events surrounding the birth of Jesus. Matthew claims that Jesus was born in a house in Bethlehem where he was visited by there wise men, escaped to Egypt to avoid the "Massacre of Innocents," Then following Herod's death in 4 BCE returned, but went to Nazareth to avoid the rule of Herod Archelaus. Luke claimed that Joseph and Mary traveled from Nazareth to Bethlehem  to register in the Census of Quirinius which took place in 6 CE after Emperor Augustus exiled Archelaus and made Judea a Roman province. Jesus was born in a manger, visited by shepherds, and 8 days after his birth was circumcised in the temple in Jerusalem.


The genealogies of Jesus in Matthew and Luke are almost completely different yet both claim it is the genealogy thorough Joseph. (Matthew 1:16) (Luke 3:23)


The events leading up to the crucifixion of Jesus differ between Mark and John. Mark claimes that the disciples asked Jesus about preparing the Passover meal which took place on Thursday, the Day of Preparation for the Passover. When the Passover began at sundown on Thursday (which was when Friday started according to the Jewish method of telling time) Jesus and his disciples ate the passover meal, Jesus went out into the garden, was arrested, tried in the morning and crucified at 9:00 AM on Friday. John states that Jesus and the disciples at a meal on Wednesday evening (the Day of Preparation for the Passover), went into the garden, was arrested, tried on Thursday morning and crucified at 12:00 noon on Thursday.


The stories about the death of Judas differ between Matthew and Acts (Luke). Matthew said that Judas regretted his betrayal and tried to return the money he had been paid to the chief priests who refused to take it so Judas threw it on the floor and went out and hung himself. The priests then used the money to buy a potter's field. In Acts Luke said Judas used the money to buy a potter's field for himself, but fell headfirst causing his belly to break wide open. It had nothing to do with the priests.


There are many other examples but this is a good start.


May 15, 2012 -- 9:14PM, Joe68 wrote:

Since we don't have any original manuscripts how do we know they were without error?


By Textual Criticism it can be shown that the Biblical text is in the upper 90th percentile of what the original authors intended. Much much higher than any other ancient work. But this is altogether diffferent from the historical accuracy of the Bible.



Obviously, we have been reading different textual criticisms. We do know that scribes both added and deleted text over the centuries. Passages like the woman taken in adultery (John 7:53-8:12) was added by a scribe at a later date as were the last 12 verses of Mark, and I Corinthians 14:33-36 because they do not exist in the oldest, most accurate, manuscripts.

May 15, 2012 -- 9:14PM, Joe68 wrote:

We don't even know who the majority of authors were.


This is a different issue from the historical accuracy of the Bible.



No it's not. The credibility of the authors depends on how they received their information. If they actually witnessed the events they wrote about it would be more accurate than if it were hearsay evidence from people who heard it from other peop[le.


May 15, 2012 -- 9:14PM, Joe68 wrote:

I doubt it was God who caused the men who translated the Hebrew Tanakh into the Greek Septuagint (LXX) to mistranslate ha'almah in Isaiah 7:14 as virgin rather than young woman. The Hebrew word for virgin is betulah. Since the author of Matthew was a Greek speaker he used the LXX as his source.


It wasn’t “mistranslated”. The LXX was written by 72 elders of Israel and they specifically chose the Greek word "parthenos," which means virgin. This clearly demonstrates the common Jewish understanding of this passage at that time. So how does this make it a “mistranslation”?


The Greek word for "virgin" in both the Greek Septuagint and Matthew is parthenos, which means a virgin female.


The Hebrew word in Isaiah 7:14 is almah. This rare noun (used 7x in Hebrew Bible) signifies a young woman, a girl, or an unmarried maiden (Gen 24:43; Exod 2:8; Isa 7:14; Ps 68:26; Prov 30:19; Song 1:3; 6:8). The focus of almah is on youth, not virginity.


But the spiritual and moral ethos in Hebrew culture assumed that young unmarried girls had no sexual experience. In that historical and cultural milieu it would be very unusual for an almah not to be a virgin.


Twice, the Jewish translators who produced the Greek Septuagint (LXX) in the 2nd century BC rendered almah as parthenos:


Gen 24:43 — Isaac's future wife Rebekah is "the maiden/virgin [ha'almah]"
Isa 7:14 — Isaiah's wife is "the maiden/virgin" [ha'almah]


In the five other occurences of almah the LXX translators used neanis (young girl) (Exod 2:8; Ps 68:26; Prov 30:19; Song 1:3; 6:8).


So it seems that they did understand the differences between neanis and parthenos.



In Isaiah 7:14 the Hebrew states "hinei ha'almah harah veyoledet ben" "behold (hineih) the young woman (ha - the almah- young woman) is pregnant (harah) and shall give birth (ve-and yoledet-shall give birth) to a son (ben)". The Christians translate this as "behold a virgin shall give birth." They have made two mistakes (probably deliberate) in the one verse. They mistranslate "ha" as "a" instead of "the". They mistranslate "almah" as "virgin", when in fact the Hebrew word for virgin is "betulah". Aside from the fact that if you read the context of that prediction you will see clearly that it is predicting an event that was supposed to happen and be seen by king Achaz who lived 700 years before Jesus! Link


May 15, 2012 -- 9:14PM, Joe68 wrote:

Re: Hillel the Elder.


I’m not sure what argument you are making here. Jesus was influenced by Hillel? Jesus was Hillel? Or maybe you mean something else. In any event how does this impact the historical accuracy of the Bible? Seems like more of a historical Jesus question. How does one even quantify that?



I'm saying that much of what Jesus preached was similar to the teaching of Hillel.


May 15, 2012 -- 9:14PM, Joe68 wrote:

Do other works "surpass" the Bible?


How does one even quantify that? 


And how does this even impact the historical reliability of the Bible?



Opinions on what books do or do not surpass the Bible depend on personal opinion. For instance, a Muslim would believe the Qur'an surpasses and is more reliable than the Bible. A Sikh would claim the Guru Granth Sahib is, a Taoist would claim the Tao Te Ching is, a Zoroastrian would claim the Avesta is, some might claim Elucid's Elements is because Elucid's claims can be proven true today.

"It is always to be taken for granted, that those who oppose an equality of rights never mean the exclusion should take place on themselves." -- Thomas Paine: Dissertations on First Principles of Government (July 7, 1795)
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2 years ago  ::  May 18, 2012 - 2:49AM #20
Namchuck
Posts: 11,558

May 17, 2012 -- 12:06PM, Joe68 wrote:


The contradiction is that Genesis 2 conflates the basic sequence of Genesis 1?


Your “contradiction” was addressed above by the five experts – those who have studied the history, language, and culture of that period.


1) Recapitulation (to restate briefly) was widely practiced in the ANE. But now it must been seen as a “contradiction”.


2) There is not an origins record in the entire literature collection of the ANE that does not have allusions to the Sun, Moon, and stars, etc. Yet Genesis 2 must now be considered a creation account when it doesn’t even meet the standards of the ANE for one.  


One must integrate what is known of the ANE literary standards (recapitulation) and of what constitutes a creation account (allusions to the Sun, Moon, and stars, etc) to fairly evaluate the Biblical text.  When one does they see that Genesis 2 is not be seen as a separate creation account but a recapitulation of Genesis 1 – a common practice in the historical and cultural milieu of the ANE.


The only errors you’ve shown thus far are your own lack of knowledge or consideration of the literary practices of the ANE in your evaluation the Biblical text.




The blatant contradictions between the Genesis accounts are not successfully addressed by your - or your "five experts" - sophistry at all, and Genesis 1 and II is just the beginning of the Bible's problems. 


The attempt to explain away the contradictory sequence of creation can't be dismissed with any dull-minded mental gymnastics such as the invocation of "recapitulation". And what kind of recapitulation reverses a sequence!? That sort of inanity is simply not going to cut it with those who study the Bible honestly and know that it is shot through with errors, inconsistencies, and contradictions.


  


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