The Jesus Timeline

by Luke Muehlhauser on December 14, 2009 in Bible,Historical Jesus,Video

There are so many blatant contradictions in the Bible, and apologists’ attempts to reconcile many of them are so clearly dishonest and absurd, that I haven’t yet spent any time writing about the contradictions in the Bible. To me, denying the that there are any contradictions in the Bible is more ignorant than denying that species evolve. I can barely bring myself to discuss the topic.

But I’m happy to post somebody else’s video about it. Here’s one that Jeff H recently linked to, concerning the gospels’ conflicting timelines for Jesus’ life, and it’s pretty good:

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{ 85 comments… read them below or add one }

Reginald Selkirk December 14, 2009 at 6:09 am

theBEattitude features a Conflciting Bible teaching of the week.

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Justfinethanks December 14, 2009 at 7:31 am

When people repeat WL Craig’s Pro-ID claim that only non-naturalists can truly examine the evidence for Darwinian evolution objectively (since naturalists are allegedly committed to only one interpretation of the evidence), I like to respond by saying that only non-christians can truly examine the evidence for the coherence of the bible objectively (since Christians are committed to only one interpretation of the evidence.)

That usually shuts ‘em up good.

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Jason Finney December 14, 2009 at 10:01 am

There are so many blatant contradictions in the Bible, and apologists’ attempts to reconcile many of them are so clearly dishonest and absurd,

Well happy day ya bitter ol’ coot! Man you are B I T T E R mate. Clearly someone peed in your wheaties at some point. This website aint scholarly, it’s all about R E V E N G E. :) Of it’s all done under the pretext of feigned congeniality, but hey, what’s a little lemon juice between blokes!

Now look. The only thing that is “clearly dishonest and absurd” is your deliberate avoidance of Jesus “love your neighbor” teachings and the positive impact they have had on thousands of people you have known throughout your life. To only focus on the worst parts of Christianity, when you KNOW there are so many great people that practice it, is not only dishonest, it is absurd and I might just say pathetic.

At least be honest mate. At least tell the truth about your experiences with Christianity… helping people.. serving others.. putting people before yourself… how your family and church helped so many people in need… come on mate you can do it. Let’s see some balance.

:D

Cheers and beers!

Jason

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Lee A. P. December 14, 2009 at 10:25 am

I calleth on the great SATAN to find this Australian douchesnoggle who goes by the name “Jason Finney” and I hereby demand that the dark lord fuck him in his annoying Aussie asshole with his jagged demonic penis. In Darwin I pray.

Dude, seriously, shut the fuck up. You guys believe that you have the copyright on truth and that all others will be tortured for eternity for disagreeing. It is impossible for an atheist to hold a more hateful belief about anyone than the Christian holds about non-believers. Jesus did not invent “love thy neighbor”. Neighbors were loved before Jesus.

Jesus WAS the first Biblical character to spout on and on about “wailing and gnawing of teeth”. As far as I can tell his Biblical character (as far as we can trust the Bible, which isn’t very far) invented the concept of eternal torment. At least he was the first one to talk about it.

Get your asshole ready for Satan’s jagged dong “mate”.

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Alex December 14, 2009 at 10:31 am

“To me, denying the that there are any contradictions in the Bible is more ignorant than denying that species evolve. I can barely bring myself to discuss the topic.”

–Agreed. It’s tiresome. And all the biblers tell you is that it is all about goodness and charity and how dare you bring up the nonsense. They’ll interpret the nonsense for you and tell you what you need to know. Just keep those checks coming. No questions… No questions…

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Josh December 14, 2009 at 10:38 am

I really think that these arguments are useless. I used to make them all the time but there were two problems: 1) There are some DAMNED clever explanations. I mean, they’re full of crap, but damn they are clever. 2) In some sense, it’s not germane. My atheism entails a disbelief in most gods without even considering their specific stories because, e.g. no story of super natural powers that’s more than 1000 years old is even worth considering.

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John D December 14, 2009 at 11:11 am

Is there anyway to ban Jason?

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Walter December 14, 2009 at 11:44 am

John D: Is there anyway to ban Jason?  

Jason is just trolling for shits and giggles. Just ignore him.

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Rich December 14, 2009 at 12:08 pm

Jason is a poor advert for Christianity. Let him continue.

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Rich December 14, 2009 at 12:10 pm

Jason argues from utility not veracity. I feel honour bound to point him towards opium.

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Jake de Backer December 14, 2009 at 12:33 pm

Jason,

‘Ello Guv’na, you haven’t responded to my bloody rejoinder yet. Been busy here spewing forth your usual tripe in this thread and the one before it in lou of replying to one of your mates, ay? You trying to take the piss out of me? Be honest mate, don’t be so B I T T E R and respond to me. Bloody hell, look at the time.

Cheerio,
J.

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John D December 14, 2009 at 1:08 pm

Rich: Jason is a poor advert for Christianity. Let him continue.

Okay. I overreacted. I wouldn’t like to get a reputation for being censorial. Let me just say, he is FUCKING ANNOYING.

Peace and Love,
J-Dizzle

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Rich December 14, 2009 at 1:19 pm

No worries John. Love your new blog, BTW.

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Jake de Backer December 14, 2009 at 1:44 pm

John D

That’s twice now I’ve heard of your wonderful blog. Will you post me a link, buddy?

J. de Backer

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Rich December 14, 2009 at 1:51 pm
Fortuna December 14, 2009 at 2:06 pm

Summa;

Well happy day ya bitter ol’ coot! Man you are B I T T E R mate. Clearly someone peed in your wheaties at some point. This website aint scholarly, it’s all about R E V E N G E. :) Of it’s all done under the pretext of feigned congeniality, but hey, what’s a little lemon juice between blokes!

Pretty ironic for a guy/gal who started “commonsensetheism.com” just to spite all those meanie atheists commenting on this blog. Did anybody actually end up commenting on that atrocity like s/he asked? Pretty creepy how s/he was desperate to get our IP addresses.

Now look. The only thing that is “clearly dishonest and absurd” is your deliberate avoidance of Jesus “love your neighbor” teachings and the positive impact they have had on thousands of people you have known throughout your life. To only focus on the worst parts of Christianity, when you KNOW there are so many great people that practice it, is not only dishonest, it is absurd and I might just say pathetic.

I’d say your complete inability to read the parts of this blog that would be inconvenient for your preferred opinion on this matter is absurd and pathetic. Luke mentions the positive aspects of Christianity all the time.

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Jake de Backer December 14, 2009 at 2:47 pm

Rich,

Much obliged.

J.

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Jason Finney December 14, 2009 at 3:06 pm

It’s amazing how my opinion draws these people out of the woodwork–especially given the fact that I haven’t addressed ANY of my comments at them. Isn’t that bizzare? Can you imagine people would be so loyal to Luke that they would defend him in such a radical manner? I can’t.

All I have done is state my opinion on a blog that INVITES opinion. I haven’t cussed, I haven’t been vulgar, I haven’t even been angry. All I’ve done is state my colourful opinion about the subject matter and what I perceive to be gaping holes in the author’s credibility as an authority on religion.

Now, it is important to state why I have posted here. I haven’t any problem with the blog author personally. What I have a problem with is the unbalanced attack on a religion he clearly does not understand and has only “experienced” in a vacuum. Why do I say “clearly”? Because the nature of his questions clearly betray his lack of knowledge. This is a problem for me because he posts all his articles from an assumed authoritative standpoint, one that literally BEGS to be refuted.

Just because I rebuke and poke fun at the many contradictions and misinformation being splashed across these web pages does not make me a bad Christian or a bad example for Christianity. I haven’t said I am more righteous than the blog author, nor have I labeled him with any adjectives other than those that ***I** think aptly describe him based on what I have read here. If you read back on my posts, I always quote the items I have problems with, and I never post anything just for the sake of posting to be annoying.

So why am I annoying? What is so annoying about my views OTHER THAN THE FACT that there is at least a kernel of truth to them? So WHAT if I post with different pseudonyms. It keeps things colorful and fun. So what if I am hyperbolic and boisterous? It breaks up monotony. So what if I am sharply critical of this blog author and think most of the stuff he writes is insincere and misinformed. It’s MY opinion and I’ll have it if I want ya bullies! :D

If the blog author here doesn’t want opinions, why even have comments open to them? Why not just close down comments all together so no one can openly challenge the posts and question the author’s authenticity?

All that said, I invite every single one of you over to our new blog http://www.commonsensetheism.com. You have 100% permission to blast the authors, question their sincerity, rip the content, and say whatever you want as long as you are not profane, vulgar, or threatening. We can handle your criticisms–no matter how colorful and boisterous– without threatening you, banning you, swearing at you, divulging your IP, or calling you names.

In closing, I find it very confusing and contradictory that a group of people who take so much pride in being skeptics detest skeptics so much–skeptics that don’t agree with them, that is.

You know what me thinks? Me thinks Luke and both his imaginary and real friends here can dish it out but they can’t take it.

Good day mates

Your friend,

Jason

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Jason Finney December 14, 2009 at 3:12 pm

I’d say your complete inability to read the parts of this blog that would be inconvenient for your preferred opinion on this matter is absurd and pathetic. Luke mentions the positive aspects of Christianity all the time.

Whoever wrote this is delusional. “ALL THE TIME”?????? Talk about absurd and pathetic. Really? ALL THE TIME, huh? Have a look at the last 15 articles. ALL THE TIME. LOL. Ok

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John D December 14, 2009 at 3:21 pm

Rich: No worries John. Love your new blog, BTW.

Shucks. Thanks. It’s still very much a work in progress, but I’m glad you enjoy.

Jake de Backer: That’s twice now I’ve heard of your wonderful blog. Will you post me a link, buddy?

I know Rich posted a link, but clicking on my name will bring you there as well.

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Allen M. December 14, 2009 at 3:46 pm

Wow there are some very angry people here who can not stand when people pose opinions they don’t agree with. I have not taken the time to read all the posts from this guy but I have read this a couple times now and I don’t see how it could draw the kind of rancid replies it did.. unless there is something more than meets the eye at play here. This guy is entitled to his opinion… and that’s all I think this is.. albeit a “boisterous” one as he says. I also don’t see how his opinions make him any less of a Christian.

I think it bodes well for Luke to have a variety of colorful opinions on his site. People who are blasting posters are discouraging civil exchange of ideas here. My verdict is: let the guy have his say. He’s not hurting anything other than status quo.

I don’t see anything unreasonable about this post other than the fact that it is–as he admits–a bit boisterous. But overall it’s kind of fun, too.

Anyway Luke himself doesn’t appear to be annoyed by this so I can’t understand why anyone else would be.

————————-

Well happy day ya bitter ol’ coot! Man you are B I T T E R mate. Clearly someone peed in your wheaties at some point. This website aint scholarly, it’s all about R E V E N G E. :) Of it’s all done under the pretext of feigned congeniality, but hey, what’s a little lemon juice between blokes!

Now look. The only thing that is “clearly dishonest and absurd” is your deliberate avoidance of Jesus “love your neighbor” teachings and the positive impact they have had on thousands of people you have known throughout your life. To only focus on the worst parts of Christianity, when you KNOW there are so many great people that practice it, is not only dishonest, it is absurd and I might just say pathetic.

At least be honest mate. At least tell the truth about your experiences with Christianity… helping people.. serving others.. putting people before yourself… how your family and church helped so many people in need… come on mate you can do it. Let’s see some balance.

:D

Cheers and beers!

Jason

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Ghostface Killah December 14, 2009 at 3:54 pm

What is all the fuss about? Read what dude said. It makes sense. If the guy who wrote this article is always showing only one side of a religion when he knows it has a much better side and has even experienced it himself, isn’t that a little underhanded? Well I rephrase that—-is that a real common sense approach to exploring the topic of Christianity?

Yo I lurk on this website and read a lot, but I agree it could use some variation. All the posters seem to say the same thing. Nice to see someone look at this from a completely different angle. I am with Allen. I say dude’s posts are harmless. You can tell he’s just having a little fun at it , too. I don’t find that offensive and I also see the humor in what he is saying. I checked out the commontheism website and it too like this site has some interesting things to say. I think the two sites compliment each other! How’s them apples!

Yall stay sweet!

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Gray Matter December 14, 2009 at 4:04 pm

I think it’s a great idea Jason! How about Luke post an article on all the good experiences he had with Christianity! What would be so bad about that? He could share photo albums of him on missions overseas helping people in need and in his town making it a better place, he could share the many stories about how he prayed for sick people and they were actually healed, he could tell us about some of the many friends he made, and so forth and so on. I honestly can not find a single bad thing about Luke posting what would most likely be a long, in depth article about the virtues of Christianity, why it is a good thing for society, how awesome his parents and family are, and all that good stuff. What would be so darn wrong with a little positivity? My oh my did Jason’s little request for some balance cause an uproar!

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John D December 14, 2009 at 4:31 pm

Actually Jason/Summa/Gray Matter/Allen M., Luke did write such a post:

http://commonsenseatheism.com/?p=3377

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Lee A. P. December 14, 2009 at 4:32 pm

First off Luke has made many posts like that.

2nd, the blog is not about Christianities virtues.It is about truth. Is Christianity true or is it not?

Its not. You will not be tortured for eternity because you disbelieve in a book that contains stories of talking animals and the magically undeadened son of God who is also magically God at the same time.

Evangelical and fundamentalist Christians believe the most hateful things imaginable about non-believers. They believe they will be etnerally tormented for disagreeing. That is the most hateful belief anyone can possibly hold about a nother person.

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lukeprog December 14, 2009 at 5:43 pm

Oh my God. Too dumb. Jason Finney, Allen M., Ghostface Killah, and Gray Matter are all the same person (same IP, anonymized).

Ghostface Killah about Jason: “Read what the dude said. It makes sense.”

Gray Matter about Jason: “I think it’s a great idea Jason!”

I’m now banning all proxy IPs from commenting on this site.

Please grow up. Seriously. You are embarrassing the other Christians here.

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Nathaniel December 14, 2009 at 6:02 pm

I watched the first video, and I have to say that this is a really poor piece of work. Armstrong misrepresents Luke 2:2 as a claim that Mary was pregnant during the “administration” of Quirinius of Syria (0:51-0:58); what Luke actually says in eight terse words of Greek is that the enrollment was set in motion (εγενετο) when Quirinius was governor of Syria. The significance of this locution has been discussed fully and often; there is no need to resort (as McDowell does) to a double administration by Quirinius in order to understand the passage.

Armstrong claims (1:54-) that “Josephus tells us in Antiquities of the Jews that John the Baptist was in fact arrested around the time of 36 AD.” Nope: read Antiquities 18.5.1-2 for yourself. He immediately misrepresents Luke again, claiming that “Luke tells us that John the Baptist was arrested because he was speaking out against Herod Antipas’s marriage to his dead brother’s widowed wife, Herodias.” [Emphasis added] There’s a cookie for the first person who can find in Luke 3 the Greek words — aw, heck, why make this hard, a cookie if you can find ‘em in English — that describe Herod’s brother as “dead” or his erstwhile wife as a “widow.” In fact, as Josephus goes on to say, Herod Antipas’s army got wiped out because Aretas got help from some people who belonged to the tetrarchy of Philip, which makes it pretty plain that Philip was still alive at the time. But Armstrong needs this prop to support his crazy claim that the chronology of both Luke and Josephus puts the crucifixion at AD 36.

Armstrong makes various other amusing and daffy moves, such as when he tries to reason from a December 25 birthday (1:05-1:09), as if that were any part of the Gospels. But it is unnecessary to go on at greater length. I’ve seen enough here to persuade me that (1) either he doessn’t know spit about history or he doesn’t care about getting it right, (2) his video is an embarrassment to intelligent atheists, and (3) its popularity (5 star rating with nearly 200 ratings on YouTube) strongly suggests that a lot of atheists are so clueless that they can’t be bothered to do basic fact checking with respect to something that favors their cause.

Of course, (3) characterizes an awful lot of Christians, too. But that’s no excuse for a lack of quality control.

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Fortuna December 14, 2009 at 6:49 pm

Summa said;

Whoever wrote this is delusional. “ALL THE TIME”?????? Talk about absurd and pathetic. Really? ALL THE TIME, huh? Have a look at the last 15 articles. ALL THE TIME. LOL. Ok

I wrote it, Summa. And just for kicks, I did look back at the last several articles. Luke talks about how much he enjoyed being a Christian in the article about how he told his family he was an atheist. It was a comfortable place for him to be. Sounds like a mention of Christianity’s upside to me, and having read the site for several months now, I’m quite certain I recall those popping up on a regular basis.

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SteveK December 14, 2009 at 11:27 pm

Don’t know how much of the videos are actually true, but I’d be willing to grant them for sake of clarity and ask what follows from this discovery. Is it, Jesus never existed? Jesus was never crucified and raised? Atheism is true? JTB is a liar? Gospel writers weren’t good with details? It’s all a myth? Scribes make mistakes?

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BenYachov December 15, 2009 at 1:21 am

This is a terrible video & where I to lose my belief in God tomorrow I would discourage any thoughtful atheist from using this video’s claims of Biblical “Contradiction” since they are so badly argued & short sighted. For example Luke 2:3 uses the word “hegmoneuontos” which is translated commonly as “governor”. The formal Roman Title of Quirinius was Legate of Syria but “hegmoneuontos” could refer to a Legate or to Propraetor (senatorial governor), or Procurator (like Pontius Pilate), or Quaestor (imperial commissioner). To make a big deal of the fact many popular modern translations which are made for a popular modern audience render “hegmoneuontos”= “Governor”, is more than a bit asinine considering the English word “Governor” itself can be synonymous with the words “Propraetor”, “Procurator” “Legate”…etc.

Or to explain it another way who was the First President of the USA? You might say George Washington but you could also say John Hanson was the First President. Hanson was the first President of the Congress under the Articles of Confederation (before Washington)and he was the first to use the shortened title “President of the United States” in official documents. However unlike Washington’s later Office under the Constitution Hanson had no executive powers, he was not legally head of state indeed the only similarity between these offices is their common use of the title “President of the United States”. Of course when people say Washington was the First President they usually mean under the Constitution.

Anyway I am unmoved by an implicit argument that suggests the English word “Governor” can only mean “Legate”. The silly atheist who made this video is applying Biblical inerrancy to the English translation of a Text with ad hoc arguments from special pleading. That is not a valid argument in favor of the errancy of this text even if God turned out not to exist.

On the other hand according to John M. Rist of Cambridge to quote an abstract of an article of his Quote“in Luke 2:2 we should read ‘Quintilius’ instead of ‘Quirinius’. The evidence is primarily that of Tertullian, and the conclusion is that Luke 2:2 as emended confirms that the evangelist or his source held that Jesus was born not in AD 6, but in 7 or 6 BC, in line with other evidence in Luke himself and in Matthew. Further textual suggestions as to how we could make sense of the census are appended.” End Quote

Thus we might be confusing Publius Sulpicius Quirinius the fellow who became Legate of Syria in 6AD with Publius Quinctilius Varus a Roman governor of the province of Africa. Who went on to govern Syria, with four legions under his command. The Jewish historian Josephus mentions the swift action of Varus against a messianic revolt in Judaea after the death of Rome’s client king Herod the Great in 4 BC. That might render the issue of two alleged “govenorships” (i.e being Legate or some previous none Legate office) theory of Quirinus moot.

Or we might take the view held by historian F. M. Heichelheim, in his work on the history of Roman Syria. Examining the Greek grammatical structure of Luke 2:2, he argued that the original meaning was properly rendered as: “This census was the first before (=πρώτη) that under the prefectureship of Quirinius in Syria.”[2] He observed that the Greek word “protos”, usually translated as “first”, may also mean “before” or “former” when followed by the genitive case. Thus, St. Luke was saying that the census which prompted the Holy Family to go to Bethlehem was before the census conducted by Quirinius. The more famous census of Quirinius in A.D. 6 was simply serving as a marker for the reader of Luke’s Gospel, allowing Luke to point to a census that had occurred previously. Luke intended to place the events around the birth of Jesus before Quirinius’s governorship and census in A.D. 6. Heichelheim rightly observed that this translation would resolve “all difficulties”. This proposal has found acceptance as a legitimate resolution to the problem from several other scholars, including Nigel Turner, F. F. Bruce, Brook W. R. Pearson, Ben Witherington III, H. W. Hoehner etc. This would also make the problem moot.

I should also note Horst Braunert rebuttal to Heichelheim doesn’t seem all that plausible if Acts was written before Gospel of Luke instead of vise versa & even then at best Acts 5:37 is a clear reference to the Census of Quirinius in 6AD but it doesn’t logically follow that is the only Census Luke knew of just because he used a definite article “the census” this it is not a conclusive argument against Heichelheim.

Also the Atheist Youtuber merely dismisses plausible solutions to these alleged contradictions as mere ad hoc while making a lot of unstated ad hoc assumptions of his own. Does it not occur to him the profane contemporary historians might make historical claims that contradict each other? Or they might contain errors themselves? John Mair says Josephus contains some apparent historical errors. Treating non-biblical sources as practically inerrant when they contradict scripture merely begs the question.

Ben Witherington’s view on biblical error:
http://gzacharias.blogspot.com/2009/12/some-rules-for-examining-biblical.html

Finally as for the verse “Now Jesus himself was about thirty years old when he began his ministry” taken at face value is clearly an approximation of his age & not a definitive statement he was literally 30 & could not have been a few years older or younger. Merely dismissing the obvious with ridicule doesn’t prove a hypothetically inerrant & Divinely Inspired Bible can’t make approximating statements.

As Ben Witherington says Quote “we need to understand what an error would look like. It would violate the principle of noncontradiction, which says that A and not-A cannot both be true at the same time in the same way. For example, it would be an error if one of the gospels said Jesus was born in Nazareth, and another said he was born in Bethlehem. They might both be wrong, but they can’t both be right.”End Quote.

Josh the Atheist above who said”I really think that these arguments are useless. I used to make them all the time but there were two problems: 1) There are some DAMNED clever explanations. I mean, they’re full of crap, but damn they are clever.” has a better understanding then the Atheist youtube.

I would finally add reconciling all the alleged contradictions wouldn’t prove God Inspired the Bible since (excluding it’s supernatural claims & claims of supernatural events) it could in theory be without any clear historic error & internally consistent by mere chance. Atheists are better off arguing against the existence of God or gods as Josh says then wasting time on these inconclusive arguments.

Those are my two cents cheers.

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BenYachov December 15, 2009 at 2:11 am

I would second Nathaniel’s statements also I forgot to credit the Heichelheim argument I gave as a verbatum quote from an article from the Conservapedia.

http://www.conservapedia.com/Luke_and_the_Census

Cheers.

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Omgredxface December 15, 2009 at 4:40 am

” helping people.. serving others.. putting people before yourself… how your family and church helped so many people in need… come on mate you can do it. Let’s see some balance.”
Anyone else hate this argument as much as me and i hear it a lot… /shoots self in face!
As if Christianity is the only group of people in the world to do things…What do the people making this argument expect me to do, become a Christian and start tipping bigger?

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Rich December 15, 2009 at 5:37 am

The special pleading begins. We should start at the beginning: Genesis. Clearly wrong.

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BenYachov December 15, 2009 at 10:33 am

>The special pleading begins.

I reply: Rather the snide anti-intellectual dismissals from the fundie atheist crowd begins. Somewhere rational commonsense Atheists are cringing. The later have my sympathy & my regards.

Let me tell you something Rich. I am by the Grace of God a Catholic Christian. I don’t believe in either the Koran or Mormonism. But in my time I’ve seen other Christians make asinine arguments & ill informed polemics against these religions and I have always called them out on it. Why? Because I believe the Maxim of Pope Leo XIII “The Truth of God has no use for any man’s lie”.

It’s truly sad you have so little regard for you own belief/non-belief system that you would tolerate bad & ill informed arguments to support it. Sad indeed.

It’s clear one does not have to believe in god(s) to know this Youtube Atheist is not well informed & doesn’t know what he is talking about in regards to History. No rational Atheist should use his video anymore then I should use the “apologetics” of Ray Comfort. That’s just common sense. Nuff said.

>We should start at the beginning: Genesis. Clearly wrong.

I reply: Now begins the moving of the goal posts and the changing of the subject. Well I’ll indulge you because this is my own area of study. Genesis is “wrong”? Which interpretation of Genesis? Fiat Creationism? Progressive Creationism? Theistic Evolution/Evolutionary Creationism? Are we talking concordism, Framework interpretation or allegorical?

Are we talking patristics? Since the Church Fathers either held the days of Creation too be thousand year time frames(& the majority of them where Amillienialists so that might not be taken literally), the days as indefinite time periods (like Philo, Origin & Augustine)
or as literal 24 hour days (like most of the Greek Fathers & Syrian which of course is moot anyway in light of a Framework interpretation).

So which is it? BTW as a Catholic I am free to hold any one of these interpretations & am not beholden to any one. I lean somewhere between Progressive Creationism & Theistic Evolution but in the end I am a Creation Agnostic. I believe God created the world in the Past at the Beginning & I care not if he really did it in 4004BC or 13 Billion BC.

Cheers.

PS Luke do you remember in your discussion with Vox linking to an essay criticizing Theistic Evolution? I’ve read it & all can say is Yikes! That author makes Armstrong here look like Stephen Hawking. Some advice Atheists should NEVER use Fiat Creationist inter religious polemics while working on the assumption Progressives & Theistic Evolutions have never answered them back. I’m just saying.

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Jeff H December 15, 2009 at 11:38 am

Ben Yachov,

I am grateful for the time that you’ve taken to critique these videos. I will confess that even though I linked to the articles (that Luke later grabbed and put up here), I haven’t spent a long time studying the details of this issue in particular. I am aware of several ad hoc explanations to try and smush the Gospel accounts together, and (as Rich points out) those attempts are a matter of special pleading. However, when it comes to the original Greek, I’m at a bit of a loss, having never studied it myself. When I get some time, I’m going to take a look into the specific items that you mention.

Just as somewhat of a side note, despite your seeming knowledge on the matter, linking to Conservapedia damages your credibility somewhat. The bias of that source makes it difficult to take anything they say seriously. Are there any more neutral sources that you may have off-hand?

But anyway, like I said, thank you for taking the time to display alternate points of view to those expressed in the video. At the very least, it shows us not to blindly accept something that a YouTube video tells us…

SteveK,

The author of the videos is a deist, so the purpose of it is not to prove atheism correct. From what I have gleaned from some of his other videos, he believes the view that Jesus never existed (one which I do not support), and that the Bible is not the inspired word of God. As a deist, that’s what he spends a lot of time debunking, since he wants to espouse the viewpoint that the universe is the “word of God”, and not special revelation from a specific religion. So this video would be done in order to question the authenticity of the Bible, specifically in regards to its inspiration. Hopefully that helps give some background to the video.

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SteveK December 15, 2009 at 11:57 am

Hi Jeff H,
The author is correct in that these things raise questions. It’s the conclusions being offered that I’m wondering about. If the author of the video (or Luke) thinks this stuff nullifies inspired writing and/or divine revelation then neither knows the meaning of non-sequitur. It brings them into question, but we already had those questions on the table.

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BenYachov December 15, 2009 at 12:37 pm

Hey Jeff thank you for the praise.

You wrote:
>Just as somewhat of a side note, despite your seeming knowledge on the matter, linking to Conservapedia damages your credibility somewhat.

I reply: I’ll remember that the next time someone else cites wikipedia.

( Is it me or does every scientist who is a theist or is sympathetic to theism(like Paul Daves) have a CONTROVERSY section in their wiki entry dissing their theism & or sympathies while Atheists like Dawkins get a pass? What’s up with that?)

>The bias of that source makes it difficult to take anything they say seriously. Are there any more neutral sources that you may have off-hand?

I reply: Rather the entry on the Census of Quirinius is bias over at the wikipedia IMHO(favoring the views of radical errantists) & the conservapedia is the contrast & equal time because of it’s bias in the other direction. Reason then dictates one should compare the arguments both articles make & make a judgment on the content of the articles themselves. IMHO even if one denies God’s Existence it seems foolish to argue (as Braunert does as cited in the wiki article) that the use of the definite article in Act 5:37 implies Luke is only familiar with the census in 6AD & knows of no other census taking place in history? That’s like me believing only Obama & Harry Reid tried to pass health care & Clintons never existed. It’s a silly argument. That’s just commonsense.

As for “neutral sources” that begs the question since what we have here is a conflict between two bias parties (Atheist/Skeptics vs Theists)& the one who makes the more rational argument wins IMHO.

We are all bias & like Brian the Atheist Dog on FAMILY GUY I can at least admit it. Can you?

Like I said you DON’T have to believe in God to see the Conservapedia makes the better argument than the Wikipedia IMHO.

>At the very least, it shows us not to blindly accept something that a YouTube video tells us…

I reply: Thank you sir! :-) Well then I’ve done my job. I would also caution you Atheists that maybe, just maybe, there REALLY ISN’T (as Luke seems to imply in his post) a slam dunk example of Biblical errancy. Logically that by itself doesn’t prove the Bible is Divinely Inspired but it just might be Atheists are barking up the wrong tree.

My advice stick to philosophical arguments AGAINST the existence of God. That’s your best bet since if you disprove God philosophically then by definition the Bible, the Koran, Rege Vedas, Book of Mormon etc… all fall.

This so called Biblical errancy thing is a dead end.

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Jeff H December 15, 2009 at 5:33 pm

SteveK,

Well, I suppose the argument the author would likely make is that “If God wrote a book, there should be no errors or contradictions in it.” Perhaps that’s a little simplistic, but considering that there are many Christians who would agree, perhaps it’s not too off the map. At any rate, if it truly is a contradiction, I don’t think it would “nullify” the entire Bible, but as you said, it would call into question these issues, and provide some evidence against inerrantism.

BenYachov,

I’ll remember that the next time someone else cites wikipedia.

Well okay, I know Wikipedia can be a bit dodgy sometimes, especially in areas like politics and religion (that can be strongly biased), but at least it aspires to be neutral. You have to admit, “Conservapedia” might happen to be a little biased toward conservative beliefs, right? I’m not trying to say that we should immediately discount sources…arguments stand on their own. But at the same time, it’s best to try to have unbiased sources, in the interest of drawing attention to the arguments themselves. Otherwise it’s kind of like citing Nazi propaganda to get information on Jewish customs (of course, that’s an extreme example lol).

Rather the entry on the Census of Quirinius is bias over at the wikipedia IMHO(favoring the views of radical errantists) & the conservapedia is the contrast & equal time because of it’s bias in the other direction. Reason then dictates one should compare the arguments both articles make & make a judgment on the content of the articles themselves.

Right, well I did that, and the Wikipedia article seems to be more thorough and complete. Ultimately, they say that “The majority view among modern scholars is that there was only one census, in 6 C.E., and the author of the Gospel of Luke misidentified it with the reign of Herod the Great”, but I think they give a good summary of the variety of arguments through the centuries. Not saying that the Conservapedia one was all that bad (much better than most), but just read this part and tell me if you think it might be a little more biased:

It has been alleged that Luke made up this record to make it seem as if the prophecy, that the Messiah would be born in Bethlehem (Micah 5:2), had been fulfilled. Against this several points should be made. First, it goes without saying that, if Luke was inspired by God, then he would have made no fabrication, since God does not lie. Second, setting this belief aside, the fact that Luke was a historian, who no where else can be accused of fabrication, stands against this view. Even if one points to (supposed) errors elsewhere on Luke’s part, that would still be far different from an accusation of fabrication. Third the aforementioned point that Luke could not afford to make up an account that would be known to be false to his audience (immediately after stating a case for his own creditability) shows this accusation to be ridiculous. And the fourth and final point is the simple fact that Luke, as Smith pointed out, had “no good reason” to fabricate the account. Luke did not even mention the prophecy in his account, and, whatever the case, Matthew managed to place the Holy Family in Bethlehem without mentioning the census (and Matthew did mention the prophecy).

In particular, I like the part where they throw in the idea that somehow Luke is now an “historian”. Where exactly are they getting that? He tries to write an “orderly account” and somehow that qualifies him as an historian? Wow. Apparently I’m one too then. But anyway. I found the majority of the Conservapedia article…unconvincing.

As for “neutral sources” that begs the question since what we have here is a conflict between two bias parties (Atheist/Skeptics vs Theists)& the one who makes the more rational argument wins IMHO.

Well, that’s not exactly accurate. There are at least three parties here: conservative Christian historians, liberal Christian historians, and atheists/skeptics. And I daresay that the majority of the arguing is between the two Christian factions. I agree that they’re all biased, but they’re not all trying to discredit the Biblical account.

We are all bias & like Brian the Atheist Dog on FAMILY GUY I can at least admit it. Can you?

Yep. I’m biased, you’re biased, we’re all biased. Hooray! That’s why the consensus of experts is so important – because it helps to limit the bias, and keeps an informed opinion. They may still be wrong, but they’re least likely to be. And while there may be no “consensus” among scholars on this area of the census, there seems to be a “majority” anyway.

But anyway, thanks for the information. I can at least concede that there are some less ad hoc reconciliations that don’t involve magically making Quirinius serve an extra term. I still think it’s more likely, though, that Luke was just drawing on a tradition – not that he “made it up”, so to speak, but just relied on perhaps some unreliable sources.

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g December 15, 2009 at 6:04 pm

Ben Yachov:

“Is it me or does every scientist who is a theist or is sympathetic to theism (like Paul Davies) have a CONTROVERSY section in their wiki entry dissing their theism & or sympathies while Atheists like Dawkins get a pass?”

Apparently it’s just you. I took a few prominent examples (note: these were not cherry-picked, they were the first ones I thought of). Francis Collins: section on “religious views”, nothing focused on controversy. Ken Miller: brief mention that he’s RC, no section on religious views or controversy. Russell Stannard: brief mention that he’s a “religious believer” at the start of a list of his books (several of which are about science and religion). John Polkinghorne: a fair amount about his religious views (he is, after all, a priest as well as a physicist), one paragraph on criticisms of his views. These are all people known for being both scientists and religious (typically because they’ve publicized their religious beliefs somewhat), so it doesn’t seem unreasonable for those beliefs to be mentioned in their Wikipedia articles. And, for comparison: Richard Dawkins: lengthy section on his (non/anti-)religious views, including a substantial paragraph about criticisms of his writings on religion. Victor Stenger: one paragraph about his (non/anti-)religious views.I don’t see any sort of double standard here: the coverage of each person’s religious views seems to me proportionate, and I don’t see any sign that criticism of those views is more prominent when the people in question are religious rather than nonreligious.

I’ll remember that the next time someone else cites wikipedia.

The only thing Conservapedia and Wikipedia have in common is that they both end in “pedia”.

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drj December 15, 2009 at 6:23 pm

One quick perusal through Conservapedia’s pages on evolution and you’ll see that site is about as accurate as pretty much any tabloid at the quickie mart, with stories about alien lesbian nazi hookers, and sightings of michael jackson clone zombies. We’re talking Answers in Genesis and Kent Hovind crazy, possibly worse.

The one thing such information sources have over Conservapedia, is that they realize they just make stuff up, for entertainment. Conservapedians actually take themselves seriously.

Even most of the conservatives I talk too, are uneasy about that site. The exceptions are the ultra literalist, young-earth extremist Christians.. who love it to pieces, for obvious reasons.

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Mike Young December 15, 2009 at 7:47 pm

I am a Christian, and I will now tell you how to properly debunk Biblical inerrancy.
You can do it, but not from attacking Lukes dates. This is because christian have a response to your argument. In fact the argument against inerrancy from Luke’s dates seems like a lock until you read the argument from Dr. Dave Miller which is here: http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/1810
now I will debunk biblical inerrancy in just a minute but first to quote the relevant passage from Dr. Miller:
“Being the meticulous historian that he was, Luke demonstrated his awareness of a separate provincial census during Quirinius’ governorship beginning in A.D. 6 (Acts 5:37). In view of this familiarity, he surely would not have confused this census with one taken ten or more years earlier. Hence Luke claimed that a prior census was, indeed, taken at the command of Caesar Augustus sometime prior to 4 B.C. He flagged this earlier census by using the expression prote egeneto (“first took place”)—which assumes a later one (cf. Nicoll, n.d., 1:471). To question the authenticity of this claim, simply because no explicit reference has yet been found, is unwarranted and prejudicial. No one questions the historicity of the second census taken by Quirinius about A.D. 6/7, despite the fact that the sole authority for it is a single inscription found in Venice. Sir William Ramsay, world-renowned and widely acclaimed authority on such matters, wrote over one hundred years ago: “[W]hen we consider how purely accidental is the evidence for the second census, the want of evidence for the first seems to constitute no argument against the trustworthiness of Luke’s statement” (1897, p. 386).”
So if you really want to pin us Christians down you need a much better argument that is impossible to refute and cast doubt upon….here is one such contradiction. Ready? Here it is:

The book of Mark claims that the quote from Luke 1:2 comes out of Isaiah. It doesn’t, It comes from Malachai 3:1.

There you go, biblical inerrancy debunked. Now, since I debunked biblical inerrancy properly for you Luke (Atheists never seem to know how to do it so I figured I’d give you a hand) , I would appreciate you giving me an explanation as to how debunking inerrancy is supposed to debunk Christianity as a whole. Cheers.

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BenYachov December 15, 2009 at 8:48 pm

Hey Jeff,

>Well okay, I know Wikipedia can be a bit dodgy sometimes, especially in areas like politics and religion (that can be strongly biased), but at least it aspires to be neutral.

I reply: We are going to have to agree to disagree because in my experience they aspire to do no such thing. They are extremely bias. But what can you do my friend?

>But at the same time, it’s best to try to have unbiased sources, in the interest of drawing attention to the arguments themselves.

I reply: The information I took from the Conservapedia defended Heichelheim’s view & gave a list of Bible scholars who agree with it & I can follow up & read their writings on the subject.

Thus it served it’s purpose. Even I cite the Wikipedia when it gets it right or I use the Bibliographic info provided which more often then not shows a deeper view than the Wiki hatchet job.

In the end both the Wikipedia & Conservapedia are useless. Since they can be edited by ANYONE & the articles are constantly changing. Case in point the John Hanson article used to make more explicit references to him being the Other First President of the USA & it explored that issue. Now it’s changed. Who knows how it will morph tommorow? Not that that change was bad but it is anoying.

A real Encylopedia says the same thing & if you want to change it you put out a new edition & you don’t let bias chuckleheads contribute to it.

>Right, well I did that, and the Wikipedia article seems to be more thorough and complete.

I reply: It’s clearly structured to give the various solutions to the Luke historical Problem and then rebutt them with the views of skeptical & or liberal scholars & leave out any counter-rebuttle or down play it. Though it does have a lot of backround information a conservative Bible scholar can use. OTOH this particular conservapedia article gives a great counter rebuttle. If you stick with the Wikipedia alone you would simply assume Heichelheim’s view has no merit which is not the case.

>Ultimately, they say that “The majority view among modern scholars is that there was only one census, in 6 C.E., and the author of the Gospel of Luke misidentified it with the reign of Herod the Great”, but I think they give a good summary of the variety of arguments through the centuries.

I reply: OTOH if both the Gospel & Acts have the same author & it’s clear from Acts 5:37 the author is aware of the 6AD Census it seems unlikely he would get his facts so bad confused by mixing and matching them. Thus at best if you insist on a purely naturalistic interpretation you could still say the author made up an early census to contrast with the 6AD one which is plausible if you accept Heichelheim’s view.
You can believe the Gospel writer was a fraud but I see no evidence he was stupid.

>In particular, I like the part where they throw in the idea that somehow Luke is now an “historian”. Where exactly are they getting that? He tries to write an “orderly account” and somehow that qualifies him as an historian?

I reply: By what standard do you claim he wasn’t a historian? He was as much a historian as Josephus. He wrote about the history of the time & the early church.

>But at the same time, it’s best to try to have unbiased sources, in the interest of drawing attention to the arguments themselves. Otherwise it’s kind of like citing Nazi propaganda to get information on Jewish customs (of course, that’s an extreme example lol).

I reply: Ironically one of my side projects is defending the Talmud from the smears of Rabid falsely called Traditionalist “Catholics” & their ilk. I see your point. I do, OTOH I don’t have a bias against Bias.

>but just read this part and tell me if you think it might be a little more biased:

I reply: Well I don’t why you are asking this question since I have already conceded the Conservipedia is bias & you have conceded the Wikipedia is dodgy..etc. That section of the Conservapedia that you cited is a good piece of Christian Apologetics nothing more. OTOH I have gone out of my way to point out a lack of historic error in the Bible does not prove it’s divine origin.

>Well, that’s not exactly accurate. There are at least three parties here: conservative Christian historians, liberal Christian historians, and atheists/skeptics.

I reply: You are correct here sir but I was simplifying & treating the liberals as Atheist/Skeptics for practical purposes since their arguments can support that view.

No doubt some extreme Atheists will do that to Bradley Monton the Atheist Philosopher who wrote “Seeking God in Science: An Atheist Defends Intelligent Design”(i.e. treat him like a Theist or a Traitor to Atheism). Not that I’m an ID advocate. I’m a Thomist but I am looking forward to reading Monton’s book. Naturalist Jerry Fodor is releasing a book called “What Darwin Got Wrong”. That should raise some hackels since I believe Jerry is an Atheist. Mind you from a Catholic/Thomistic perspective Darwin is ABSOLUTLY no threat. Indeed if you understand the Thomist view on Divine Providence then the whole Design Vs Chance Meme of the Dawkinites & ID advocates is moot. But it should prove to be entertaining.

But I don’t have the will to go into that now.

>Yep. I’m biased, you’re biased, we’re all biased. Hooray! That’s why the consensus of experts is so important.– because it helps to limit the bias, and keeps an informed opinion.

I reply: But sometimes it’s reasonable to go against the majority. For example even Atheist Physicist Victor Stenger holds a minority view in regards to Quantum Physics, specifically in his belief subatomic particles can travel backward in Time.

>And while there may be no “consensus” among scholars on this area of the census, there seems to be a “majority” anyway.

I reply: I’m skeptical about that alleged “majority”. Majority of whom? The Conservipedia gave lot of name that held a different view.

Anyway Jeff you seem like good people and you make some fine points. It’s nice to dialog with you. Tommorow the Wife & I are going to RIFT TRAXS movie(i.e. the guys from Mystery Science Theater 3000) and I have Christmas shoping to do.

Maybe I’ll stop by here in the future. This is one of the more pleasant Atheist Blogs I’ve been too. OTOH the last one I went too was run by PZ Myers….nuff said ROTFLOL!:-)

Cheers mate.:-)

PS no I’m not British but I watch a lot of BBC America.

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lukeprog December 15, 2009 at 9:18 pm

BenYachov,

You’re talking about the Untenability of Theistic Evolution? Would you like to link to theistic evolutionist responses?

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BenYachov December 15, 2009 at 9:22 pm

>The book of Mark claims that the quote from Luke 1:2 comes out of Isaiah. It doesn’t, It comes from Malachai 3:1.

I reply: Actually Mark 2:1 & it’s mirror Luke 3:2 are a combination of Malachai 3:1 & Isaiah 40:3 so they are in fact citing Isaiah just not only Isaiah. This is an example of paraphrasing the OT which the Disciples & their Jewish contemporaries often did as pointed out by Witherington. OTOH according to my HAYDOCK BIBLE some Syrian Manuscripts render Mark 2:1 “Malachai” & many Greek texts simply “the Prophets”.

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lukeprog December 15, 2009 at 9:35 pm

Mike Young,

Thanks for your help. :)

Debunking Biblical inerrancy does not debunk Christianity.

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lukeprog December 15, 2009 at 9:37 pm

Jesus. I’m busy for a day and there’s like 200 new comments to read through and respond to…

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BenYachov December 15, 2009 at 10:25 pm

Hey Luke,

>You’re talking about the Untenability of Theistic Evolution? Would you like to link to theistic evolutionist responses?

I reply: Maybe, I’ve read a few specific responses from individual Theistic Evolutionists to specific points that are parallel to charges made in this essay but I don’t know what I did with the print outs. But off the top of my head

QUOTE”Pope Pius XII expressed skepticism about evolution (§ 36) and stated explicitly that humanity originated with just one individual (§ 37), contrary to the scientific understanding that human beings originated within population of organisms.”

He also said in that same Encyclical”the Teaching Authority of the Church does not forbid that, in conformity with the present state of human sciences and sacred theology, research and discussions, on the part of men experienced in both fields, take place with regard to the doctrine of evolution, in as far as it inquires into the origin of the human body as coming from pre-existent and living matter”

He restricted Catholics at the time from holding polygenism but even this is not understood as an absolute all time ban by the Church.

Ironically you can read all about that in the Wikipedia. In this case they mostly get it right.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evolution_and_the_Catholic_Church

One thing it might get wrong is just because Adam can be seen as a symbol(as he is referred to by JP2) doesn’t exclude Him from being a real person. After all Mary
is a symbol of both the Church & Israel doesn’t mean we Catholics don’t believe she was/is a real person.

see
http://www.catholic.com/library/Adam_Eve_and_Evolution.asp

Also from an Evangelical Evolutionary Creationist perspective:
http://evanevodialogue.blogspot.com/2008/11/historicity-of-adam-q-with-george.html

Which leads to the whole “Adam was Not a Metaphor” nonsense. Why the false alternative? Is the writer unaware many Theistic Evolutionists (i.e. Catholics & Evangelical Evolutionary Creationists) do believe there was a literal Adam who fell from Grace and the story in Genesis is a symbolic tale of that fall? The Bible is replete with symbolic tales of real events or persons. The Cursing of the Fig Tree is related to Jerusalem’s destruction & so it the parable of the Vineyard.

“The Days of Creation are Literal Days”

Not according to some of the Early Christian Writers who lived WAY before Darwin.

http://www.catholic.com/library/Creation_and_Genesis.asp

OTOH if one holds to the Framework interpretation then it doesn’t matter if they are literal days.

Well I could go one. But I hope the above helps. You have my E-mail Luke I’m out of here.

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Mike Young December 16, 2009 at 12:53 am

Ok your welcome. Glad to be of service. Inerrancy has caused the church no end of problems. its about time we be rid of it. and I meant to say that the quote in mark 1:2. And I have a greek bible. and it says isaiah….sorry ben.

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BenYachov December 16, 2009 at 4:17 am

>and I have a greek bible. and it says isaiah….sorry ben.

I reply: I said “Manuscripts” not Bibles. Have you never heard of textual variations? Seriously dude.

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BenYachov December 16, 2009 at 7:37 am

Update & correction on my part for you Luke.

http://evanevodialogue.blogspot.com/2008/11/that-old-time-theology-revisited.html

The above link gives an example of Evangelical Protestant Theistic Evolutionists who believe in a literal Adam. The other link however is useful in that it give an example how to answer those who make the claim Jesus & Paul took Adam for a literal person.

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lukeprog December 16, 2009 at 8:31 am

That’s an interesting blog, BenYachov.

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Rich December 16, 2009 at 8:32 am

BenYachov: Genesis is “wrong”? Which interpretation of Genesis? Fiat Creationism? Progressive Creationism? Theistic Evolution/Evolutionary Creationism? Are we talking concordism, Framework interpretation or allegorical?

Well, its all wrong. Order, timescale. You can say its allegorical, and that’s an opinion. But if bits of the bible are allegorical, and you’re not told which bits, its not a very good book. Why believe any of it. Maybe its all fiction with ‘be nice to each other (but not gays)’ as the theme? The bottom line is that without mental contortions and special ‘interpretations’ its flat out wrong. And if god didn’t know how it all started, maybe he wasn’t there.

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BenYachov December 16, 2009 at 9:00 am

No problem Luke. I hope the links helps. Like I said that is a very bad essay. All it clearly is is a compilation of Fiat Creationist polemics & assertions & it falsely assumes no Theistic evolution has ever heard these objections before from the Young Earth crowd.

Rich
>Well, its all wrong. Order, timescale.

I reply: But what interpretive frame are we using? You need to answer that or your “It’s all wrong” meme is no better than the Young earth Fiat Creationist who says “Evolution is all wrong”. To answer him…Well what is specifically wrong? The mechanism for natural selection? The philosophical belief evolution is on all levels an undirected process? The mechanistic view that there are only efficient & material causes in nature & there are no final or formal causes? The Thomistic view that God can “direct” the world threw secondary causes & providence & threw Formal & final causes? What’s the deal?

Your objections to Genesis are just as simple minded as the religious fundamentalist’s objections to evolution.

>You can say its allegorical, and that’s an opinion. But if bits of the bible are allegorical, and you’re not told which bits, its not a very good book. Why believe any of it. Maybe its all fiction with ‘be nice to each other (but not gays)’ as the theme? The bottom line is that without mental contortions and special ‘interpretations’ its flat out wrong. And if god didn’t know how it all started, maybe he wasn’t there.

I reply: So what you are really saying is “It’s wrong! Dawkins says it! I believe it & that’ good enough for me!”. Yikes!

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SteveK December 16, 2009 at 11:25 am

Hi Jeff H

“If God wrote a book, there should be no errors or contradictions in it.”

God didn’t put pen to parchment and write it so your statement is not simplistic, it’s inaccurate. And it’s more analogous to a library of books.

If inerrant means no errors of any kind whatsoever, then the bible is obviously not inerrant – but that is trivial. If innerant means not in error with regard to the original message those library of books intended to convey, then I think the bible we have today is inerrant.

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Rich December 16, 2009 at 11:39 am

Ben:

Order is independent of timescale. And its wrong.

Timescale: Its Days -”Yom”, clearly days.

http://scienceblogs.com/evolutionblog/2006/08/the_dayage_theory.php

“Your objections to Genesis are just as simple minded as the religious fundamentalist’s objections to evolution.”

No, they are based on incongruences between its origins narrative and observable / testable reality.

“I reply: So what you are really saying is “It’s wrong! Dawkins says it! I believe it & that’ good enough for me!”. Yikes!” That’s not what I’m saying. I already have a scarecrow, thanks. If its a book of truth, it is reasonable to expect it to be true?

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BenYachov December 16, 2009 at 1:35 pm

Rich,

It would help if you would make a specific point & or a specific argument because I refuse to play a game of guess what the erneist Atheist is upset about. The article you have linked too criticizes “concordism”. It doesn’t tell me anything new since I have read similar criticisms of concordism in the writings of Catholic Physicist Fr. Stanley Jaki & Catholic Physicist Stephen M. Barr. The problem with interpreting Genesis in light of current science is when scientific understanding changes then your interpretation of Genesis must change. Through out history this has been done as documented by Fr. Jaki in his book “Genesis 1: A Cosmogenesis?”. Both Progressive Creationists and Theistic Evolutionist have employed concordism. OTOH both Progressive Creationists and Theistic Evolutionist have used the framework interpretation as well. The framework view rejects the idea the days of creation are meant to be understood sequentially. This is in harmony with the plain meaning of the text since the Hebrew doesn’t literally say “First Day” “Second Day”….etc.. but more like “a One Day” “ a Two Day”etc. It’s also not a novelty made up after the 19th century to deal with Darwin or the findings of modern geology. Philo of Alexandra used a framework interpretation and so did St. Augustine. In his mature thought Augustine moved from an allegorical interpretation of Genesis to the “Literal” but his understanding of literal bears little resemblance to how we understand that today.

See here:
http://www.asa3.org/ASA/PSCF/1988/PSCF3-88Young.html

So your beef is Genesis doesn’t seem all that useful as a science text and therefore it is untrue? Ok but then the burden of proof is on you to show the Book of Genesis was supposed to be understood as a science text teaching scientific truth.

Yeah, good luck with that.

As a Catholic Christian I know the Book of Genesis teaches the following theological truths.
1. On God the creator of all things
1. If anyone denies the one true God, creator and lord of things visible and invisible: let him be excommunicated.
2. If anyone is so bold as to assert that there exists nothing besides matter: let him be excommunicated.
3. If anyone says that the substance or essence of God and that of all things are one and the same: let him be excommunicated.
4. If anyone says that finite things, both corporal and spiritual, or at any rate, spiritual, emanated from the divine substance; or that the divine essence, by the manifestation and evolution of itself becomes all things or, finally, that God is a universal or indefinite being which by self determination establishes the totality of things distinct in genera, species and individuals: let him be excommunicated.
5. If anyone does not confess that the world and all things which are contained in it, both spiritual and material, were produced, according to their whole substance, out of nothing by God; or holds that God did not create by his will free from all necessity, but as necessarily as he necessarily loves himself; or denies that the world was created for the glory of God: let him be excommunicated.

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Rich December 16, 2009 at 3:09 pm

I’ll try and simplify it.

Geneisis: WRONG. very, very wrong.

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BenYachov December 17, 2009 at 9:40 am

Whatever.

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Jeff H December 17, 2009 at 9:46 am

SteveK:
God didn’t put pen to parchment and write it so your statement is not simplistic, it’s inaccurate. And it’s more analogous to a library of books.
If inerrant means no errors of any kind whatsoever, then the bible is obviously not inerrant – but that is trivial. If innerant means not in error with regard to the original message those library of books intended to convey, then I think the bible we have today is inerrant.  

Right, well like I said, I wasn’t speaking for myself, I was saying what I think the author of the videos would be likely to say. For justification of that, you can take a look at this video, where he talks about the “word of God” and such:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Blytz7l1dRs

Note that I agree with you – I don’t share his view of the Bible. That’s the view I grew up with, but I am more sympathetic toward moderate/liberal Christians who seem to take textual criticism honestly and seriously. However, regardless of what you or I think, the author is espousing a viewpoint which many Christians would, in fact, agree with (that the Bible must be completely error-free to be the “word of God”). This literalist viewpoint is, like I said, simplistic, and I don’t like that many atheists seem to give so much credence to the view and disregard any honest attempt to establish historical context of the Bible.

With that said, if Luke was intending to write an “orderly account” of the goings-on of Jesus’ life, and if he is wrong about something, then perhaps that at least casts some doubt on the credibility of Luke. I don’t think that means we can automatically throw out the whole Bible, but it means that literalists may need to adjust their viewpoint.

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BenYachov December 17, 2009 at 11:42 am

Inerrancy means that the Scripture firmly, faithfully, and without error teaches that Truth(be that Ttruth Scientic, Historic, doctrinal or moral) which God, for the sake of our salvation, wished to see confided to the Sacred Scriptures.
This is because it has God the Holy Spirit as it’s author along with the human author.

The Bible can’t teach error on any subject in which it is formally teaching. The question then becomes when is the sacred author formally teaching science, history, doctrine, morality etc?

The Bible can & does use different literary gentres. The Gospel of John for example employs a know biographical gentre where the author places the most important events of the subject’s life up front & not in chronological order.

As for Luke I see no evidence he was writing non-chronologically & I have yet to see a real silver bullet “contradiction”.

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Rich December 17, 2009 at 2:07 pm

http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/CH/CH801.html

The creation account in Genesis 1 lists ten major events in this order: (1) a beginning; (2) a primitive earth in darkness and enshrouded in heavy gases and water; (3) light; (4) an expanse or atmosphere; (5) large areas of dry land; (6) land plants; (7) sun, moon, and stars discernible in the expanse, and seasons beginning; (8) sea monsters and flying creatures; (9) wild and tame beasts and mammals; (10) man. The odds of getting that order correct by chance are one in 3,628,800.
Source:
Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, 1985. Life–How Did It Get Here? Brooklyn, NY, p. 37.
Response:
The real order is: (1) a beginning; (2) light; (3) sun and stars; (4) primitive earth, moon, and atmosphere; (5) dry land; (6) sea creatures; (7) some land plants; (8) land creatures and more plants and sea creatures; (9) flying creatures (insects) and more plants and land and sea creatures; (10) mammals, and more land and sea animals, insects, and plants; (11) the first birds, (12) fruiting plants (which is what Genesis talks about) and more land, sea, and flying creatures; (13) man and more of the various animals and plants. That is nothing like the order endorsed by Jehova’s Witnesses.

The odds of choosing that particular order are not one in 3,628,800. Much of the order is constrained. For example, the beginning must have been first, and land had to exist before land animals and plants. When these are taken into account, the chance of getting that order are one in 5,760 at worst.

The claim contradicts what Genesis says. Genesis does not say when the sun and moon became visible (which would not have been until after eyes were created in any event); it tells when they were created. Genesis also refers to fruiting plants, which came after the first sea and land animals.

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Rich December 17, 2009 at 2:11 pm

BenYachov: The Bible can’t teach error on any subject in which it is formally teaching. The question then becomes when is the sacred author formally teaching science, history, doctrine, morality etc?

Does it say that in the bible, some other religious text, or are you making it up?

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BenYachov December 17, 2009 at 4:19 pm

Rich writes:
>Does it say that in the bible, some other religious text, or are you making it up?

I reply: It’s the teaching of Tradition Rich. I’m Catholic so I reject Sola Scriptura(Scripture Alone) as a foolish Tradition of Men (made up by Luther & Co)that nullifies the Word of God & I believe in the Authority of Scripture(2 Tim 3:16), Apostolic Tradition(2 Thes 2:15) & the Church(1 Tim 3:15).

I’m not a Protestant Rich. I’m an orthodox believing Catholic Christian by the Grace of God. That’s important because well if I was an Atheist trying to convince a Baptist his beliefs are false I don’t think I’d waste my time trying to prove to him Muhammed wasn’t a Prophet since he already believes that.

Which is why I don’t understand why you think the views of Jehovah’s Witnesses are relavant here?

>The claim contradicts what Genesis says. Genesis does not say when the sun and moon became visible (which would not have been until after eyes were created in any event); it tells when they were created. Genesis also refers to fruiting plants, which came after the first sea and land animals.

I reply: Ah no that is not correct & I’m not defending concordism ot the JW’s BTW.

Genesis 1:14-19 says “And God said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark seasons and days and years, and let them be lights in the expanse of the sky to give light on the earth.” And it was so. God made two great lights—the greater light to govern the day and the lesser light to govern the night. He also made the stars. 17 God set them in the expanse of the sky to give light on the earth, 18 to govern the day and the night, and to separate light from darkness. And God saw that it was good. 19 And there was evening, and there was morning—the fourth day”

It doesn’t say God “created” them on the fourth day. It does not use the word “bara” which is the strong word for “created”(i.e. as in create from nothing) used in Genesis 1:1 for the Heavens & the Earth.

It uses the phraise u-iosh or (‘asah) which can mean “to do”, “to work”,”to Labor” “to work about anything” “to prepare”etc

See Strong’s concordence
http://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=H6213&t=KJV

Thus the “become visible” interpretation is plausible IMHO.

That’s pretty bad. One has to be very low on the food chain to know less about the Bible then a bunch of JW’s.

Here we have yet another example of fundie skeptics who believe the Bible was written in English.

These talk origins people should just stick to defending Evolution from the perspective of science & leave the Hermunetics to people with an IQ above the #3.

Yikes again.

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Rich December 17, 2009 at 4:53 pm

why don’t you give me your interpretation of the bibles order of things, then we can check it against reality?

Was eve made from a rib, stuff like that.

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BenYachov December 17, 2009 at 8:19 pm

>why don’t you give me your interpretation of the bibles order of things, then we can check it against reality?

I reply: As a Catholic I reject private interpretation of Scripture(2 Peter 2:20) & since the Church has not ever given a definitive dogmatic infallible interpretation of Genesis I see no reason why I have too. My Church has no specific infallibly defined scheme in that regard other then the texts I quoted from Vatican One. I have my own opinions on the subject, which I am allowed to have, but I have no authority from God to bind others to believe them. I hold said opinions to be reasonable, fallible, & subject to change. I hold to the Augustinian principle that we must interpret Holy Scripture in light of natural science AND NOT make erroneous claims about the natural world based on a faulty interpretation of scripture.

To QUOTE HIM”Usually, even a non-Christian knows something about the earth, the heavens, and the other elements of this world, about the motion and orbit of the stars and even their size and relative positions, about the predictable eclipses of the sun and moon, the cycles of the years and the seasons, about the kinds of animals, shrubs, stones, and so forth, and this knowledge he hold to as being certain from reason and experience. Now, it is a disgraceful and dangerous thing for an infidel to hear a Christian, presumably giving the meaning of Holy Scripture, talking nonsense on these topics; and we should take all means to prevent such an embarrassing situation, in which people show up vast ignorance in a Christian and laugh it to scorn. The shame is not so much that an ignorant individual is derided, but that people outside the household of faith think our sacred writers held such opinions, and, to the great loss of those for whose salvation we toil, the writers of our Scripture are criticized and rejected as unlearned men. If they find a Christian mistaken in a field which they themselves know well and hear him maintaining his foolish opinions about our books, how are they going to believe those books in matters concerning the resurrection of the dead, the hope of eternal life, and the kingdom of heaven, when they think their pages are full of falsehoods and on facts which they themselves have learnt from experience and the light of reason? Reckless and incompetent expounders of Holy Scripture bring untold trouble and sorrow on their wiser brethren when they are caught in one of their mischievous false opinions and are taken to task by those who are not bound by the authority of our sacred books. For then, to defend their utterly foolish and obviously untrue statements, they will try to call upon Holy Scripture for proof and even recite from memory many passages which they think support their position, although they understand neither what they say nor the things about which they make assertion. [1 Timothy 1.7]”
-Saint Augustine

>Was eve made from a rib, stuff like that.

I reply: Well I could believe Fr. Brian Harrison’s personal theory that God might have infused the fertilized ovum/male offspring of a pre-human female hominid with an immortal soul. Gave him eternal life & when he grew up put him to sleep & took a woman out of his body etc. Or I could take the rib story symbolically & believe God gave souls to two adult pre-human homonids etc..

or I could believe the theory mentioned Roberto Masi, from L’Osservatore Romano in 1969, who said QUOTE”according to the opinions of the above mentioned exegetes and theologians, it results that Revelation and Dogma say nothing directly concerning Monogenism or Polygenism, neither in favour nor against them. Besides, these scientific hypotheses are per se outside the field of Revelation. Within this context, different combinations of the scientific theory of evolution are therefore hypothetically possible or compatible with the doctrine of original sin. One can nevertheless consider biological monogenism together. Humanity has its origin in a single couple; this couple committed the sin against God and as a result of this all their children are born in original sin. This is the classical doctrine. Or it is possible to admit a biological polygenism and a theological monogenism. Evolution brought about not a single couple but many men, who constituted the primitive human population. One of these, who may be considered the leader, rebelled against God. This sin passed on to all men, his contemporaries, not by imitation, but by real propagation (Council of Trent Session V, DS. 1513), that is by a real solidarity already existing in this primordial human population. In them actual sinful humanity has its origin. It is also possible to combine biological and theological polygenism: all the primitive human population rebelled concordantly against God and from them are born the other sinful men. These hypotheses are only suppositions which many think are not contrary to Revelation and the bible. Even if we accept as valid the scientific theory of evolution and polygenism, it can still be in accordance with the dogma of original sin in the various manners indicated.”END QUOTE

or the Agnostic philosopher & mathmatician Bertrum Russel once quipped if we for the sake of argument both concede the existence of God & His classic attributes there is no reason why God could not have made the Universe 15 minutes ago. God created everything we know as it existed 15 minutes ago all at once. He created our minds with ready made memories of having lived prior to 15 minute ago & kept from our memories knowlege we didn’t exist prior to 15 minutes ago.

I always loved this thought experiment because if someone could come up with a plausible rational theocity as to why God might morally make a young universe that looked old I might re-consider Young Earth Creationism of course based on Augustine & Aquinas I would still need some science behind it. A Catholic is allowed by the Church to be a young Earth Creationist he just has no authority to insist the rest of his Catholic brethren must be YEC as well. But I won’t hold my breath waitng for such a theocity or the science. Plus I don’t need it God be Praised.

That’s my understanding. Very Catholic & orthodox & thank Jesus not at all Protestant.

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Mike Young December 17, 2009 at 8:33 pm

Dear Ben, I know all about manuscripts but the oldest and most reliable manuscripts use the word Isaiah. Not anything else. Sorry Ben. But I am a believer in Christ like you but I am not an inerrantist

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Rich December 18, 2009 at 7:20 am

Real life courtiers response!

http://atheism.about.com/od/atheismatheiststheism/a/CourtiersReply.htm

Self-referential clap-trap that never anchors to anything real.

You have a book.
It makes testable truth claims.
But you wont test them.

” scientific hypotheses are per se outside the field of Revelation ” – But truth claims about origins are within teh realm of science.

Shameful response to a very simple question. Do you even know what you believe and your book says. Do you always have other people interpret things for you?

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BenYachov December 18, 2009 at 7:25 am

Hey Mike,

>Dear Ben, I know all about manuscripts but the oldest and most reliable manuscripts use the word Isaiah.

I reply: I won’t dispute older(till someone finds an even older manuscript that says different) but how do we know it’s more “reliable”? What’s your objective criteria for this readability since we don’t have the autographs?

Further more it’s still irrelevant because the passage is STILL a combination of Malachi & Isaiah (& Exodus too) so Isaiah is in fact being cited. Plus there are the interpretive methods of Derash, Peshat,remez, sod, Midrash, & Gametra used by the in First century by Jews. It seems clear to me St. Mark is using a derash (comparative meaning, from Hebrew darash—”to inquire” or “to seek”) interpretation.

Your problem my friend is obvious & this is true regardless if God exists or not or the Bible is inerrant or not. Your a Twenty First Century man expecting a First Century document to follow modern conventions. Your like the fellow who reads an Old English text from the 17th century & says “Wow this fellow’s grammar is really bad!”. When in point of fact the fellow’s grammar might be impeccable as he follows the rules of grammar as used by 17th century people without fail.

Thus, do you really believe a First Century Jew learned in the Torah who heard John speak would pipe up & say “Hay wait a minute your misquoting scripture!”? No he would recognize John was using a Daresh of Malachi & Isaiah. Thus there is no error.

Sorry to harsh on you brother but Aquinas teaches me that reason comes before faith & your “example” of Biblical errancy here is not reasonable. That is a brute fact.

>Not anything else. Sorry Ben. But I am a believer in Christ like you but I am not an inerrantist

I reply: Well Protestant schemes of inerrancy often fail because Protestants hold to the Reformation novelty of the so called perspicuity of scripture. Catholics correctly recognize Scripture is inerrant just not perspicuous. We also believe in Tradition & the Authority of the Church. Thus variations in manuscripts, lack of the autographs, & interpretive obscurity don’t really mean anything to us. Thought they can cause poor Protestant sheleps like Bart what’s his face to lose their faith. Sad really.

Anyway Christ be with you my brother.

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Janus Grayden December 18, 2009 at 9:57 am

Ben, I have a line of questioning if you’re interested in pursuing it.

What truth can you assume is contained in 1 Timothy 2:4. From my perspective, it says that God wants all men saved. What is your take, as an inerrantist, on this verse?

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BenYachov December 18, 2009 at 11:39 am

Rich writes
>http://atheism.about.com/od/atheismatheiststheism/a/CourtiersReply.htm

I reply: Ah yet another article I have to plow threw because you can’t articulate your own views, make specific charges against my beliefs, ask concise questions or think for yourself(this everything Dawkins, Myers & their lowbrow fanboyz say is the truth and that good enough for me meme is getting old). Seriously, it’s as bad as listening to Ray Comfort wax eloquent on evolution only about half as smart.

>Self-referential clap-trap that never anchors to anything real.

I reply: That pretty much describes your sad attempts at polemics thus far…..yes & your clear frustration with the brute fact that I AM NOT A PROTESTANT FUNDAMENTALIST YOUNG EARTH CREATIONIST & your failure to accept that brute fact is clearly dogging you.

>You have a book.
It makes testable truth claims.
But you wont test them.

I reply: The burden of proof is still on you to show Genesis is a scientific text teaching science. It is clear you don’t possess even the most rudimentary historical, theological or philosophical knowledge to even begin making a case & like most fundie New Atheist types you are too proud to admit your own limitations.

Your unstated argument here is “Genesis can only legitimately be understood as a text book of modern empirical scientific claims & since it seems to contradict modern empirical scientific claims it must be false”. But I DON’T believe Genesis is to be understood as a text book of modern empirical scientific claims in the first place. I don’t believe it today & I doubt I’ll believe it tomorrow no matter how much you seem to wish otherwise. There is no logical, scientific, philosophical or historically definitive reason for me to believe Genesis MUST be understood as a modern empirical scientific text. You refuse to make that argument for it. You simply state by fiat & so we are at an impasse.

>” scientific hypotheses are per se outside the field of Revelation ” – But truth claims about origins are within teh realm of science.

I reply: Empirical Science can tell us about empirical natural knowledge in regards to the natural facts in relation to the origins of the universe but it can’t prove or disprove metaphysics. Also the implicit Fundamentalist New Atheist claim that “empirical natural knowledge is the only valid knowledge” is self-referential because it can’t be proven empirically without begging the question, thus the whole concept is false by it’s own standards. This warmed over neo-logical positivism was abandoned by AJ Flew at the height of his Atheism decades ago & no serious Metaphysical Naturalist philosopher believes it (i.e. Nagel, Rosenberg or Smithetc). It’s just low bow New Atheists(Dawkins, Myers etc) who are basically incompetent in these areas like the Proverbial Ray Comfort is in regards to Science & Evolution. I’m not impressed.

>Shameful response to a very simple question.

I reply: Rather it was a straight forward response to a purely simplistic question.

>Do you even know what you believe and your book says.

I reply: I absolutely know what I believe & have said so. If you don’t understand what I have said at least have the common sense to ASK A QUESTION instead of pretending you know it all. Whatever boilerplate polemics you have learned against young earth creationism MEAN NOTHING TO ME. I’m not a YEC. How is that not clear to you? At best I think it is extremely very very very remotely possible God MIGHT have made a world that looked old but was in fact young but I would take that idea about as seriously as I would the idea I am a brain in a Jar being deceived by an Evil Mad Scientist. That is I don’t take it seriously.

>Do you always have other people interpret things for you?

I reply: Yes, those who are wiser & more learned than I, by definition, are more trustworthy to interpret things then I am all by myself. I’m sure even Richard Dawkins doesn’t believe he can all by himself understand the mysteries of biology, evolution & the processes of natural science without consulting other scientists or deferring to them.

Clearly you think the Bible in general is supposed to be clear enough for the individual to know all truths & mysteries of life. The Church Fathers & historic Christianity in general balk at that such arrogant pretense. God didn’t give us a Bible Alone. He gave us a Bible, Tradition, reason & a church.

And hypothetically from my perspective if God really doesn’t exist it is STILL NOT CLEAR the Book of Genesis was meant to be used as a scientific text.

Live with it.

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BenYachov December 18, 2009 at 11:47 am

Janus Grayden: Ben, I have a line of questioning if you’re interested in pursuing it.What truth can you assume is contained in 1 Timothy 2:4.From my perspective, it says that God wants all men saved.What is your take, as an inerrantist, on this verse?  

That is a simple but not simplistic, elegant, intelligent specific question that is likely to be hard to answer. I LOVE IT!!!:-)

I’m going to give it a mull for the rest of the day & get back to you. Implicit in your question, if I may venture a guess, is the unstated question “Doesn’t 1 Timothy 2:4 imply universalism & how can that be true in light of the other verses that speak of Hell”.

At least that is how I am going to treat it unless you would like to jump in & clarify if that is what you really mean.

Cheers.

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Janus Grayden December 18, 2009 at 12:15 pm

BenYachov:
Implicit in your question, if I may venture a guess, is the unstated question “Doesn’t 1 Timothy 2:4 imply universalism & how can that be true in light of the other verses that speak of Hell”.

Well, I did say a line of questioning, after all.

Specifically what I mean is that this is explicitly mentioned as a desire of God’s. To be fair, such a verse in the context of a merciful, loving God is pretty redundant. It would be like a caring father stating “I desire for none of my children to go to prison.” It’s a fairly obvious statement.

However, I’m not making the claim that everyone is saved, as there is stark evidence to the contrary throughout the Bible. This poses a serious problem. Are we to assume that the most powerful being with unlimited ability and foreknowledge can’t put together a plan by which all of his and man’s desires are met?

From the engineering perspective, perfection is a 1:0 gain to loss ratio. While impossible for man, we’re talking about a construct for which perfection is par for the course. That said, according to whichever standards for salvation you want, the vast majority of humans who have ever lived do not meet them. Statistically speaking, this is an abject failure on God’s part to get something that He explicitly stated He wants. What makes this especially problematic is that it’s something He can never have.

There’s an additional problem to this. You have said that, by the grace of God, you are a Catholic. The Bible validates this idea that it is God who chooses His own. From the standpoint of an omnipotent, omniscient God, this makes sense. He knew exactly what situation to place you in for you to believe in Him and choose Him and He had the capability of executing it and, voilà, here you are today. To be omniscient and omnipotent is to be aware of everything that results from your actions and every alternative action you could have taken, after all. An all-knowing being that created the universe, therefore, would know exactly what happens to who and what could have been done differently to change that.

The logical progression, which I’m sure you’ve followed, is that God desires all men to be saved and, in fact, is the one who engineers the situations by which those who are saved know God. Therefore, why has this not happened? Certainly it’s within God’s power and is a demonstrable method through which He operates. In fact, the miraculous works of Jesus were performed so that people might believe that He was the Son of God.

God, being omniscient, must know that I would believe if I were to witness such impossibly grand events for myself. He must also know that simply reading disjointed accounts of a person performing them 2000 years ago is not sufficient for me to believe. Surely, He knows what it would take for everyone who has ever, currently, or will ever live to believe.

Any being that willfully allows so many people to suffer in the worst agony imaginable for all eternity is either evil on a level that exceeds any human to date or is incapable.

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Rich December 18, 2009 at 12:41 pm

Ben, Genesis is an account of creation, that is wrong, in both scale and order. How you use that is up to you. I recommend as toilet paper.

“Ah yet another article I have to plow threw because you can’t articulate your own views” -Yes, everything must be written again from scratch. There’s no point in using a concise summary or primary material, that would be too, erm, useful.

Now I get to tick my “brute fact” crazyman bingo card and watch you whine again. One more time, from above:

Ben, Genesis is an account of creation, that is wrong, in both scale and order.

“Also the implicit Fundamentalist New Atheist claim that “empirical natural knowledge is the only valid knowledge” is self-referential because it can’t be proven empirically without begging the question, thus the whole concept is false by it’s own standards”

- well if there is this unknowable knowledge that exists without detection, your wasting both our times. Its all up for grabs. Lunch may eat you, Ben, WATCH OUT!

Methodological naturalism has utility. Mystic woo woo has yet to rock my world.

“I absolutely know…”, really? Is that good philosophy?

“Yes, those who are wiser & more learned than I, by definition, are more trustworthy to interpret things then I am all by myself.” – You’ve abdicated your epistemological responsibility. You may leave the table with no pudding, as you simply can’t assess if your being fed good or bad things.

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BenYachov December 18, 2009 at 1:39 pm

>Ben, Genesis is an account of creation, that is wrong, in both scale and order. How you use that is up to you. I recommend as toilet paper.

I reply: Actually what you are doing here is assuming without proof or rational argument it’s an empirically scientific account of creation. I don’t make that assumption nor have you shown me reason to think otherwise thus your argument is meaningless. I’ll chalk it up to intellectual laziness.

>Ben, Genesis is an account of creation, that is wrong, in both scale and order.

I reply: What kind of account? A scientific account? Philosophical? Allegorical? Typological? I’m assuming at this point because of your inability speak plainly you mean scientific. Ok then YOU STILL have to prove Genesis was meant to be a scientific account. Let’s see your evidence. Clearly you don’t know enough to make the case & are having a meltdown because of it.

>well if there is this unknowable knowledge that exists without detection, your wasting both our times.

What kind of detection? Because one can have other than empirical knowledge & detection. One can have philosophical, logical and conceptual knowledge. For example I can know logically & conceptionally the final end of the human intellect is “to know” & I can’t know that by merely studying brain structures & neuro processes.

You sir are a walking talking category mistake.

>Its all up for grabs. Lunch may eat you, Ben, WATCH OUT!

I reply: To bad you are out to lunch.

>Yes, everything must be written again from scratch. There’s no point in using a concise summary or primary material, that would be too, erm, usefu

I reply: Accept you have made no summary or primary arguments so far all you did is make me guess. That I clearly guessed correctly must really intimidate you.

>Methodological naturalism has utility. Mystic woo woo has yet to rock my world.

I reply: I never invoked mysticism or methodological naturalism. I brought up metaphysical naturalism. You can’t even read plain English.

>You’ve abdicated your epistemological responsibility. You may leave the table with no pudding, as you simply can’t assess if your being fed good or bad things.

I reply: Whatever. We are done.

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Rich December 18, 2009 at 1:48 pm

“Actually what you are doing here is assuming without proof or rational argument it’s an empirically scientific account of creation.”

No. I’m assessing what was written in order and timescale. Factual. If you’re writing about origins, you should probably get how it happened right. And Genesis (both versions!) is terribly wrong. If you want to play games about the meaning of “Yom”, the order is still wrong. Let’s assume its something other than a journalistic account. Then what is? what is its purpose? What is its message?

“Accept you have made no summary or primary arguments…”

The fact the “genesis is a crock” was discovered before my examination of the same is hardly my fault.

“That I clearly guessed correctly must really intimidate you.” The fact you wrote this shows you’re a repressed homosexual who fellates horses. Its a crappy narrative trick, but at least mine was funny.

Now trundle back to teh people who tell you what to think. or bring one to me, for you are a drone.

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BenYachov December 18, 2009 at 1:52 pm

You should tell us all how you really feel Rich & not hold so much back. It’s bad for the stomach.

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Rich December 18, 2009 at 1:56 pm

I feel fine, but I want better for you.

The tragedy is that for some, call them a sheep for long enough and they become one.

An institution that is is riddled with systemic paedophilia, espouses no contraception where aids is pandemic and is wealthy beyond belief while a third of the world starves.

Have a long hard look at yourself and your institution.

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BenYachov December 18, 2009 at 2:00 pm

Janus,

I’ll post some of my thoughts over at your blog on the issues you have raised. Cheers.

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BenYachov December 18, 2009 at 2:26 pm

>I feel fine, but I want better for you.

I reply: I am overcome by the compassion one such as you has shown a repressed homosexual like me who fellates horses.

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drj December 18, 2009 at 3:15 pm

Its tempting to want to criticize Catholics and other denominations with a similar view for NOT interpreting the story of Genesis in a plain reading sense, as do the Biblical literalists. This is generally a huge can of worms, as it requires one to don the clothing of a biblical literalist, and basically make arguments on their behalf.

Its easy to do the reverse as well, and argue to a literalist, that they ought to adopt a more allegorical or symbolic view of Genesis, like the Roman Catholics. This is generally a similarly perilous can of worms, as it forces one to don the clothing of a Catholic, and argue on their behalf.

I suggest avoiding both situations. One can easily argue against either position without having to resort to other religious arguments.

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Rich December 18, 2009 at 3:43 pm

BenYachov: >I feel fine, but I want better for you.I reply: I am overcome by the compassion one such as you has shown a repressed homosexual like me who fellates horses.  (Quote)

I was highlighting the vacuity of your rhetoric.

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BenYachov December 18, 2009 at 9:24 pm

whatever.

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Rich December 18, 2009 at 10:47 pm

BenYachov: whatever.  (Quote)

Is that your thought or did the elders give it to you?

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BenYachov December 19, 2009 at 6:22 am

Brilliant response. Very brilliant.

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BenYachov December 19, 2009 at 6:24 am

btw I must comment drj you so get it. Well done my friend.

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