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Source: (consider it) Thread: rejecting the OT
lilBuddha
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quote:
Originally posted by Doc Tor:
The thing is, I had always assumed that the story of Abraham and Isaac was a story about not sacrificing your first-born son to God.

In Abraham's bronze-age world, it was (apparently, according to both Biblical and other sources) not unknown for first-born children to be sacrificed on the altar/thrown in the flames. And initially, Abraham assumes Yahweh is one of those gods who demands this sacrifice.

Yet, God subverts the expectation by preventing Abraham from killing Isaac and also providing a different sacrifice. This sets Abraham's God apart from the other local gods.

This interpretation holds true to the text, and also removes lB's wall. No leaping required (in this particular case).

In that particular case. Others? Not so clean a wash.

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So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

- A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by cliffdweller:
Not all inerrantists would go as far as your 1st ex but it's at least an option for an inerrantist, whereas not at all in infallibility. I might say "the text is accurately recording that A (mis)heard God tell him to kill B"

Well I've learned something today; I thought inerrentists believed, as per wikipedia, that the bible "is without error or fault in all its teaching"; or, at least, that "Scripture in the original manuscripts does not affirm anything that is contrary to fact"

One would think that if the bible was actually intended to be taken in this way that the passage might just make it clear that old Ab thought he heard God, but didn't.

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arse

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Martin60
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That's not surprising, and in fact emphasizes the transcendent.

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Love wins

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LutheranChik
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Getting back to The OP: I totally disagree that It's reasonable to reject the OT in Toto because of problematic texts because that reaction is based on a flawed assumption that everything in Scriptural is either factual, good, exifying and dictated dire tly from the mind of God, or else it's all rubbish. That's a false dichotomy based on, IMHO, a flawed hermeneutic.


For me the scales fell from my eyes when I was able to set aside my ( unrealistic) expectations of what the OT shoukd be and instead take it as a kind of cultural catechism that returned Jewish exiles collected/ wrote/ redacted to help firm so sense of national/ cultural identity to a defeated, subjugated, scattered people. If you read the texts through that lens, you can at least understand the rationale for the " texts of terror" even if you find them objectionable.

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cliffdweller
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quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
quote:
Originally posted by cliffdweller:
Not all inerrantists would go as far as your 1st ex but it's at least an option for an inerrantist, whereas not at all in infallibility. I might say "the text is accurately recording that A (mis)heard God tell him to kill B"

Well I've learned something today; I thought inerrentists believed, as per wikipedia, that the bible "is without error or fault in all its teaching"; or, at least, that "Scripture in the original manuscripts does not affirm anything that is contrary to fact"

One would think that if the bible was actually intended to be taken in this way that the passage might just make it clear that old Ab thought he heard God, but didn't.

Sorry I was transposing the terms. My bad

It is a rather precise distinction, really an in-house dispute among evangelicals (see marsdens reforming fundamentalism)

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"Here is the world. Beautiful and terrible things will happen. Don't be afraid." -Frederick Buechner

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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by cliffdweller:
Sorry I was transposing the terms. My bad

It is a rather precise distinction, really an in-house dispute among evangelicals (see marsdens reforming fundamentalism)

OK, I could be wrong, but this is my impression of the difference between the two terms in as layman's a way as I can manage -

Inerrancy: the bible is true (in all possible respects of the term), so any errors we see are because we can't understand it, we've interpreted it in erroneous ways, the translation is misleading or because we don't like listening to God's word.


Infallibility: the bible contains all the teaching and wisdom necessary for the Christian. So if one hears someone who says that they know better than the bible, they're wrong. The bible is the ultimate measure by which one assesses the truth.

--

There are some Evangelicals who assert that the bible is inerrant. Which, it seems fairly obvious to me, means that it is also infallible.

But there are also other Evangelicals who seem to be able to separate the concepts, so that they can say it is infallible without it being inerrant - which is to say (to varying degrees) that it is possible to accept that it contains errors and difficulties but that it remains a true record of God's interaction with humans and by extension that it is the ultimate guide for humans.

Others basically don't use these terms - perhaps because they've got an understanding of the faith which is tied to the church, doctrine and orthodox belief.

In a crude sense, Evangelicals are "bible-only", and have developed these ideas to help explain what that means. Those who are "bible and.." tend to not use them.

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arse

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mr cheesy
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To me this hair-splitting comes down to a disagreement as to what is truth. So I've heard some say that Jesus must be referring to specific life histories in the parables otherwise they're not true.

But to me, there are many kind of truth and one doesn't get far with the bible if trying to insist that it must be true for every given possible understanding of the term.

The gospels record several instances of Jesus saying things that are factually wrong. So one then has to decide whether something being factually wrong makes it fallible and therefore whether one has to reject the whole thing.

I say that stories can be factually wrong (even, perhaps, morally wrong) whilst still imparting a deep spiritual truth. Of course, it depends what the story is about; a preacher knowingly telling a story about himself which is not true is a liar and a cheat, and it is hard to believe anything else he says. But someone passing on a story with details that they've misremembered - is that a lie? Someone recording in texts that end up in the bible that they understood something to be from God when it wasn't - is that an untruth?

It is certainly confusing for someone reading later. But I'd say that it was the best understanding that they had at the time about the event.

Does that mean it isn't true? Doesn't that depend on what one means by true?

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arse

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Martin60
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Excellent mr c. I realise now I'm a church man predicated on the God in Christ reified in the bible.

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Love wins

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LutheranChik
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But the assumption that something has to be factual in order to be "true" is a function of 19th Century reaction to the Enlightenment -- basically a poor understanding of/ reaction to the scientific and textual criticism advances of that time. I cannot imagine anyone other than a post-Enlightenment fundamentist insisting that Jesus had to have specific factual situations in mind when he created his parables in ordee for them to communicate valid truths. I mean, who does that, other than a modern fundamentalist?

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cliffdweller
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quote:
Originally posted by LutheranChik:
But the assumption that something has to be factual in order to be "true" is a function of 19th Century reaction to the Enlightenment -- basically a poor understanding of/ reaction to the scientific and textual criticism advances of that time. I cannot imagine anyone other than a post-Enlightenment fundamentist insisting that Jesus had to have specific factual situations in mind when he created his parables in ordee for them to communicate valid truths. I mean, who does that, other than a modern fundamentalist?

A fair number of the neo-atheists-- the mirror image of Christian fundamentalists (perhaps because so many were raised that way).

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"Here is the world. Beautiful and terrible things will happen. Don't be afraid." -Frederick Buechner

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Baptist Trainfan
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I've always thought of the parables as "Once upon a time ..." stories, albeit based on true-life situations so the listeners can identify with them.I never thought they had to describe specific historical events.

If Jesus had said, "There was a farmer in my village who went out to sow ..." or "My friend Jacob was travelling from Jerusalem to Jericho ..." or "My mother Mary's aunt once lost a coin ..." then it would be different.

[ 23. September 2017, 07:52: Message edited by: Baptist Trainfan ]

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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by Baptist Trainfan:
I've always thought of the parables as "Once upon a time ..." stories, albeit based on true-life situations so the listeners can identify with them.I never thought they had to describe specific historical events.

If Jesus had said, "There was a farmer in my village who went out to sow ..." or "My friend Jacob was travelling from Jerusalem to Jericho ..." or "My mother Mary's aunt once lost a coin ..." then it would be different.

In fairness, I don't know that this detail would matter much. I think the way stories are remembered means that the context isn't necessarily passed on.

The parables which are retained in the gospels have interesting levels of detail, but we don't know how often they were repeated in front of different audiences and we don't know how the were reconstructed by the authors of the gospels.

It'd be nice if we could make judgements based on what the gospels don't say but it seems to me that this is basically unsound.

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arse

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Baptist Trainfan
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quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
The parables which are retained in the gospels have interesting levels of detail, but we don't know how often they were repeated in front of different audiences and we don't know how the were reconstructed by the authors of the gospels.

I've often thought that some of the alleged discrepancies in these tales, and in Jesus' teaching material, come from the fact that they were repeated by Jesus many times but often with slight variations to fit the context - just as a comic today will vary their routine or stories according to whether they are in Brighton or Glasgow, or in response to audience feedback. I'm sure too that Jesus often put in more "padding" which the Gospel writers omit.

[ 23. September 2017, 08:21: Message edited by: Baptist Trainfan ]

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lilBuddha
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quote:
Originally posted by Baptist Trainfan:
quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
The parables which are retained in the gospels have interesting levels of detail, but we don't know how often they were repeated in front of different audiences and we don't know how the were reconstructed by the authors of the gospels.

I've often thought that some of the alleged discrepancies in these tales, and in Jesus' teaching material, come from the fact that they were repeated by Jesus many times but often with slight variations to fit the context - just as a comic today will vary their routine or stories according to whether they are in Brighton or Glasgow, or in response to audience feedback. I'm sure too that Jesus often put in more "padding" which the Gospel writers omit.
Or it could be they were written by different people who didn't have identical memories.
ISTM, things would be much easier for y'all if God had been a better proofreader.

--------------------
So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

- A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

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cliffdweller
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quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
quote:
Originally posted by Baptist Trainfan:
quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
The parables which are retained in the gospels have interesting levels of detail, but we don't know how often they were repeated in front of different audiences and we don't know how the were reconstructed by the authors of the gospels.

I've often thought that some of the alleged discrepancies in these tales, and in Jesus' teaching material, come from the fact that they were repeated by Jesus many times but often with slight variations to fit the context - just as a comic today will vary their routine or stories according to whether they are in Brighton or Glasgow, or in response to audience feedback. I'm sure too that Jesus often put in more "padding" which the Gospel writers omit.
Or it could be they were written by different people who didn't have identical memories.
ISTM, things would be much easier for y'all if God had been a better proofreader.

Something like
blessed are the cheesemakers?

[ 23. September 2017, 16:46: Message edited by: cliffdweller ]

--------------------
"Here is the world. Beautiful and terrible things will happen. Don't be afraid." -Frederick Buechner

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