Just curious what others think about his explanation:
John and Nelson,
Thanks a lot for taking the time to dialogue with me about this. The cracked eggs in the basket is where I'm at, personally. I've exposed myself to enough that now I'm in a pickle. The mountain is tottering, but at the same time I find my mind reflexively countering with every "possible" counter argument, no matter how absurd, which is mentally exhausting.
He's standing on his head not to do so, but he just dropped out of the "The Bible is literally true" camp. He'll have few friends in the Christian community.
People often forget that (a) what is in The Bible is the result of a committee many centuries ago and that (b) we are imprisoned by the fact that we are reading a translation from ancient Greek, which itself was a translation from early Middle Eastern languages.
Okay, so you need a basis for why it is inspired in the first place. The bible may have largely been in use since the 2nd century, but many books were far from settled until the 5th century. Revelation, Hebrews, 2, 3 John... The canonization process at Hippo and Carthage seem pretty human and pretty close to what we now know as Eastern Orthodox Christianity.
The author says "The Autographs are inspired" yet does not seriously consider major textual corruption as possible.
The counter-argument is that if corruption of the Church could occur, there is no reason to doubt the possibility of corruption of the text.
Second, we have been scientifically analyzing the structure of the NT since the time of Wescott and Hort to demonstrate through textual criticism what texts are the oldest and most reliable. This has shown us that interpolation did indeed occur. The critical text has been very refined, and the process for discovering the oldest texts is pretty systematic and tight.
We have also gotten very good at other types of higher criticism and are able to spot interpolations. It is obvious to many that the NT books as they stand today are using borrowed material, and thus not first source material. Perhaps the autographs are inspired, but given that the synoptic gospels all borrow from the same source, as they share identical core material, yet include other passages that supplement that core material that differs in style and are obviously from another author.
The gospel of John clearly had more than one author, as it ends a page before it is finished, and the book can neatly be seperated with the seven signs of the gospel of John as the original text, which makes that early ending make sense. This is where the majority of biblical scholars stand with Raymond Brown on this issue of Johnannine literature.
We can verify the Pauline authorship of a number of texts, and sadly most of the reasons why people don't like Paul is because of texts that we have analyzed and concluded are works of later authors and attributed to Paul, such as 1 and 2 Timothy. The Pauline texts seem to be fairly close to the originals.
As others have said this is not a novel position. That the bible is addressing the spiritual truth of the matter whereas the facts involved don't matter is a position that many take in light of the need to assimilate the obvious.
However, the question of canonization needs to be taken seriously. How do we know this text was inspired in the first place?
john, had i read this post entirely, i would not have been so stubborn in my reply to your response!
good job explaining this!
Nothing new here. Christian apologists have long been using this tortuous tactic to deflect criticism based on easily disproved nonsense in the scriptures. It's nothing more than a pathetic attempt at rescuing the Bible from any rational criticism. "interpreted correctly" simply means twisting the words to mean something other than what they clearly say, because what they say is so patently preposterous. Orr's "reasoned inerrancy" apparently refers to HIS reason - certainly not MINE. God must have had a lot of faith in our reasoning powers, I guess, to be able to discern what He REALLY meant from the WORDS He used. But it surely would have helped those of us without Orr's interpretive powers if He had simply said what He meant.
well stated Dale..
for thousands of years, believers have been trusting that the men they follow are actually hearing from the god they want to serve, unfortunately, many are not worthy of that trust. like a bad multi-level marketing scam, the leaders have way too much to lose to NOT make shit up! believers today have theology upon theology and we have a church in practicality that in no way resembles a cohesive unit. though the claim of unity is heard, many sects are at war with each other to PROVE their interpretation is the ONLY TRUE one!
IF this god they claim to serve was all-knowing, he would have written his 'word of life' manual with directions as to how to use it and how to read it rather than letting 'flawed' man fill that role. we see many people using the bible as their only authority for their life and we see that the bible over and over again is wrong on moral issues as well as historical and scientific issues. that being said, apologists for centuries have been devising new clever schemes and mental gymnastics which seem to convince the 'sheep' that their truth is correct, and then have the nerve to say we atheists are all demonic and satan worshippers when we question their theology based on what the book actually says!
that, mr orr, is why this topic is seen as such a critical issue IN the church today and why there is a battle going on from both sides of this debate. IF the bible is 100% correct, then there are a lot of things that must be explained by man's reasoning to justify the horrible god found in the bible <i don't differentiate the old and new as jesus clearly states "i and the father are one" so if that is even remotely true, then jesus IS yahweh, not just metaphorically, but in essence> which man has been doing since Paul unleashed his hate on the 1st and second century cultures.
That is a point. Any book we make called a "Bible" such as "the boatbuilders bible" or something like that contains precise and detailed instructions.
The bible on the other hand is vague, and addresses most problems indirectly.
I would disagree with you though about Paul. For his time, he was incredibly progressive. When you remove the pseudo-pauline works from the bible, you get a much different image of Paul.
progressive? slavery? progressive? wives must submit to their husbands.. progressive? women must me silent in church and should NEVER hold leadership in the church? progressive? have i missed the "progressive" gospel that the church of jerusalem rejected before paul set out to make sure his misogynistic world-view was propagated throughout the world?
When you remove the pseudo-pauline works from the bible, you get a much different image of Paul.
this is exactly the point we are making in this entire discussion! the bible MUST be edited and explained to not offend everyone it is trying to 'save'! my image of paul is that he probably didn't even exist in the first place but is a compilation of many wandering preachers and story tellers around during that time, but that can be another discussion for another forum.
I regret to inform you, but you are mistaken. The problem, and I mean dangerous problem is that you are spreading this as fact, when this has been a critical scholarly study in the halls of the finest academic institutions since the Teubingen school, which was by no means religious. You are discrediting the very important work of many many scholars, and that is just bad on your part.
ok, so what am i mistaken on? what the bible attributes to paul NOT being progressive or that if you take out the bad stuff paul is an ok dude!?
and what am i spreading as fact?
i am not sure what point you are making other than making THE point this discussion is seeking to understand! IF the bad things the bible says as 'god's inerrant word' need editing from a spin doctor, then why claim it to be his word in the first place? seems to me it is not bad on my part as i don't really care what the latest explanation of HOW it got there is, the reality is it is THERE in the first place being passed of as moral perfection! that to me is the only point at issue here not who wrote the shit or whether paul really lived or not, neither of those points are relevant to this discussion and actually only further the case against the bible as an 'inspired' work in the first place! how could an all-knowing god write a piece of fiction and call it his 'word of life' and then rely on men by the thousands and millions to interpret it for him? that to me just makes no sense what so ever! he could very easily have included a set of guidelines by which ALL would know which parts are 100% true, and which are just made up shit!
None of that. You said that Paul started spreading his hate. Even now you quoted as a reply from books that no serious scholar from Yale, Harvard, Oxford, Teubingen or Princeton and all the other leading institutions of higher learning considers to be legitimately from Paul... There are textual linguistic reasons, and even Origen in the early third century pointed them out.
If you remember, I said "I disagree, Paul was progressive for his time" and "Pseudo-pauline works are just that, pseudo" Then you wrote a rebuttal citing a bunch of books Paul never wrote. Nobody with an education in the subject matter, unless they are a Christian, believes Paul wrote them.
btw, please keep in mind that I have already agreed to most of your original post, and you were the one attempting rebuttal to that objection