Thanks for taking the time to reply in detail. Rather than going at this point by point again let's try to summarize what I feel is the position.
You appear to be saying that
Firstly: a reference text that represents the "true Bible" can be readily arrived at;
Secondly: a non-contradictory reading of that reference text can be readily arrived at;
Thirdly: there is some significance to be attached to these two observations
I deny all three points.
Firstly, I note you intend to use the "King James" translation of the Bible as your reference text. This is, of course, based on source texts and in some places it is not clear what source texts, or what readings of certain source texts, were used to compile this version. It is certainly based on a resolution of a number of source texts. Whether this resolution was readily arrived at, or is a reasonable one, or is the best one, is a matter for much dispute. However, you have decided, for your own unstated reasons, to accept this as a reference text. I deny it is the most suitable such text, but it is your choice.
Secondly, your statement that "the existence of a consistent, non-contradictory interpretation is a fact" seems to be based on the assumption that the King James translation is such an interpretation. I would deny it, as there are numerous inconsistencies in its translation, but, as you shall see, it is of no signifance whether or not it is self-consistent.
Thirdly, should any significance be attached to the self-consistency of your translated text? The canon of the Bible has been selected from among many texts through great and heated debate which has led to schism and separation - those books which were rejected from the western canon were rejected in great part because they contradicted other texts, or because their interpretation contradicted other interpretations. In other words, the canon has been selected to have as few contradictions as possible. Moreover, your preferred translation was also compiled by scholars commited in principle to a Biblical text free of contradiction.
That a version of texts selected for consistency, translated by those committed to consistency, results in a consistent translation is hardly a matter for wonder, unless your awe is particularly easily inspired.
Now to a few details:[b] [QUOTE]Yet those words still have known definitions.[/b][/QUOTE]
My point was, and remains, that they do not.[b] [QUOTE]Though there is discussion over which of those definitions is correct, the correct definition still exists. To claim otherwise is to claim that the word is in actuality just a random assortment of letters with no intended meaning.[/b][/QUOTE]
I simply claim that the orginal intention of the author in many cases can no longer be readily arrived at. That the author had an intention, I do not doubt, but it is lost to us.[b] [QUOTE]Again the presence of debate does not negate the facts. Though there is a difference of opinion regarding which arrangement is correct, the arrangement itself still exists.[/b][/QUOTE]
Your argument here is not meaningless, but simply pointless, as one cannot readily identify any one arrangement as the authors original intention, the existence of any one arrangement is as significant or insignificant as any other. If I translate "en arche en ho logos" - in the beginning was the word, as "A long time ago there was a logo" it is surely a fact, by your lights, that my arrangement of words, use of definitions, and my intepretation exists. So what?[b] [QUOTE]The difficulty to discover which grammatical structure is used does not negate the fact that such a structure is indeed utilized.[/b][/QUOTE]
I really don't the point you are trying to make - it is not a fact that the text in some places uses any one grammatical structure. The most you can mean is that "a given structure is possibly utilized" which is very different.[b] [QUOTE]Parataxis simply refers to “the coordination of grammatical elements such as phrases or clauses without the use of coordinating elements such as conjunctions.” (Webster’s II New Riverside University Dictionary)[/b][/QUOTE]
Thank you - I think I know what parataxis is without referring to Webster's, which in this case, to my mind, gives a fairly poor definition anyway. The imporant point is that the semantic significance of the coordination is entirely a matter for interpretation.
Take my example "You toucha my car. I smasha your face." These sentences, coordinated by parataxis, have a wide range of possible semantic resolutions, among which are ...
If you toucha my car, as a result of that action, I will smasha your face.
You habitually toucha my car. I habitually smasha your face. These things are not connected except that they are both things we habitually do.
You toucha my car. Then I smasha your face. That is the order in which these events will happen - I am not smashaing your face because you touchad my car, it is just the temporal order in which the events will occur.
The Bible is full of such parataxic constructions.[b] [QUOTE]In the case of Romans 13:1, the verse does not display true parataxis. The two phrases are divided by a coordinating element, the colon.[/b][/QUOTE]
It does indeed show true parataxis - the colon is merely in the translation.[b] [QUOTE]However, even if this verse did show true parataxis, there is more to grammar than just parataxis and hypotaxis. For instance, formality, genre, and punctuation must always be taken into consideration.[/b][/QUOTE]
Of course, though be careful when attempting to read anything into these things in translation - especially 17th century English punctuation! Let me give you an example of the difficulty in translation. Given the KJV English translation could you readily stylistically identify the writer of the Gospel of John from the writer of Peter's letters or Paul's letters. Yet their styles in Greek are extremely personal and individual in their mannerisms, tone and diction. Further, one must wonder how different Western theology would have been if we had, since the early church, dropped the formality and addressed god as "Daddy" as Our Lord instructed us? [b] [QUOTE]I am not the one arguing that the mere presence of debate necessitates the inexistence of fact.[/b][/QUOTE]
Nor am I - simply that the presence and nature of the debate negates any significance your purported facts may have.
[This message has been edited by Mister Pamboli, 07-13-2002]
I have observed the Bible on many occasions over many years ... I'm not disputing that the Bible exists
That the Bible is filled with words, likewise, is not under dispute. I don't even mind if some versions of the Bible have slighlty different words to one another, that's not my objection.
When the Bible is being USED AS FACT, it is AN interpretation of some passage or other that is used, not the word sequence of that passage.
The interpretation is not fact (and I have agreed that the interpreration of a transition with the fossil record is consistent with ToE, but is still opinion ... although supported from other sources which lend credibility).
You state that King James bible is The One ... and this is the one that contains ELS ... and yet another poster has said that the Massoretic text upon which KJV is based is the least likely candidate for THE bible ... and the English text of KJV has been claimed as modified for political reasons.
Regardless ... it still cannot be used as fact.
If on the other hand one were to say::
The Bible says 'xxx' and this is supported by 1,2, and 3 from extra-biblical sources we may have some additional credibility.
quote:Originally posted by w_fortenberry: Am I to assume then that when you claimed that the Bible can not be used as fact, you did so with limited observation?
If so, allow me to suggest that you increase your observations.
I am not sure how many times I was forced to read the Bible as a kid, but since I hit adulthood I have consciously read it end to end four times. Each time it seems more absurd than the time before. I have gone to the trouble of researching the history of the text(s) and the the archeology of the surrounding area. I even taught myself a wee bit 'o Hebrew.
It was in fact, an obsession with such topics that fueled my education in Anthropology and Philosophy.
One of the perplexing problems in the bible as history, is the volume of water in the flood of Noah and the survival of all present genera of animals. The volume of water necessary to cover 17,000 foot Mount Ararat and place the ark on it, would require nearly two more oceans full of water. It would require three more oceans full of water to cover 29,000 foot Mount Everest. Atmospheric water could account for about 0.0023% of the needed flood water. In the ocean crust and mantle there is a fair amount of water, but not enough to do the job, and would not be available without catastrophic volcanic activity that would destroy the world. If the water was generated in this manner---questionably inferred from the fountains of the deep being broken up----the reverse operation of putting the water back in the rocks would also be necessary. Although some water may have been produced from the earth's crust, along with melting glaciers (which would actually decrease the volume of flood water), this improbable scenario for producing the major part of the flood water and then reabsorbing it, requires us to look for another theory. No scientific theory can account for the needed flood water. Evolutionists do not believe that the flood covered all the mountains---but creationists also have a hard time believing. One explanation is that a monsoon or tsunami swept up from the Persian Gulf to inundate all of Mesopotamia and carry a boat to the upper Euphrates----which goes nearly to Ararat. Some suppose that it rained so hard that a considerable depth of water covered the whole earth even while it was flowing down mountains. Others suppose that the entire earth was not flooded, Noah just assumed that it was. - - - - - Now that I have laid that groundwork (and you will have to guess where I am going with this), I will would ask if you would change your mind about the bible as history, it the ARK was actually discovered on Ararat? William
quote:Originally posted by William E. Harris: Now that I have laid that groundwork (and you will have to guess where I am going with this), I will would ask if you would change your mind about the bible as history, it the ARK was actually discovered on Ararat?
Unfortunately it is not that simple. If you provided sufficient evidence, I would have no option but too 'belief' in the flood story (provided that there are no remaining impossabilities). However, that does not mean the the WHOLE bible is suddenly true.
This is a case of "You buy the bull, you get the bullshit... but in this case it's: You beleive the god, you still get the bullshit" Hasn't the bible contradicted itself enough for you people to realize it is flawed, or does it have to say again "God is all powerful, but cannot destroy chariots of Iron! [Ahh the magical Supermetal!]" -Keenanvi
I may sound like a broken record but we suspect that the flood occurred pre alot of the mountain building and that the tectonic gynmnastics of sea-floor spreading etc covered the continents as understood by mainstream science using the water we have. We can't prove that the entire land surface was simulataneously covered due to erosion of strata - but about 50% was certainly.
Your 0.0023% and 29,000 feet Everests are very poor strawmen. There is not a creationist (scientist) on earth who is proposing the flood of your imagination. I had a headmaster in primary school who could prove that becasue of all our holidays and time spent sleeping in our beds that we only spent a couple of days at school a year. At least he was joking.
We simply believe in the mainstream theory of marine innundations and bring it forward via accelerated tectonics. The story of the flood is gloriously recorded in the marine strata world-wide.
[This message has been edited by Tranquility Base, 07-22-2002]
Tranquility base I do not believe I stated that I did not belive in a universal flood thate covered all the earth. I just said that my studies in geology has conviced me that it could not have been produced by the "fountains of the deep" and rain alone--along with the replacement of the water. I believe the majority of the water came from elsewhere. I expect the ark to be discovered on Ararat, with full coverave by the media, within 20 years--especially if global warming helps to melt the glaciers there. William
That's nice that you believe in the flood. But in coming up with an alternative to Baumgardner et al please don't create a strawman - that's all I ask. With low relief and the mainstream source of water and innundations there is no a priori problem.
quote:When the Bible is being USED AS FACT, it is AN interpretation of some passage or other that is used, not the word sequence of that passage.
In other words, you are not questioning whether the Bible is a fact but whether any one interpretation can be said to be a factual account of the events stated?
quote:The interpretation is not fact
Are you denying the possibility that an interpretation can be 100% factual?
quote:You state that King James bible is The One ... and this is the one that contains ELS ... and yet another poster has said that the Massoretic text upon which KJV is based is the least likely candidate for THE bible ... and the English text of KJV has been claimed as modified for political reasons.
You must have me confused with another poster; I have not said nything about ELS.
My acceptance of the KJV as the Bible is based primarily on the fact that it is completely internally consistent. It does not contradict itself.
quote:Originally posted by keenanvin: Hasn't the bible contradicted itself enough for you people to realize it is flawed, or does it have to say again "God is all powerful, but cannot destroy chariots of Iron! [Ahh the magical Supermetal!]" -Keenanvi
You are referring to Judges 1:19.
quote:And the LORD was with Judah; and he drave out the inhabitants of the mountain; but could not drive out the inhabitants of the valley, because they had chariots of iron.
The pronoun "he" in this verse refers to Judah not to the Lord and is the subject of both the second and third clause. Thus it was Judah who could not defeat the chariots of iron not God. The reason for Judah's failure is given in Judges 2:1-3.
It would not mean anything if the Bible were internally consistent because if the original texts are inconsistent they can always be "corrected" by editors.
However the Bible is not perfectly internally consistent (for example, the eternal salvation of the thief crucified which Jesus). It shouldn't be expected to be because it is passed down by fallible people (and fallible translators). To claim it is otherwise is to make it into a graven image.
In fact the consequences in which the Bible was compiled and passed down to us are quite depressing. It was compiled by Constantine's boys who had no authority from God -- the contents of the "inerrant" Bible were decided by vote around 300 AD. Constantine wanted to attempt to save the crumbling Roman Empire by establishing Christianity as THE religion of the empire and thus generating unity. His problem was that the early Christians had already begun fragmenting into dozens of sects. In order to generate a universal (catholic) church the unbaptised Emperor gathered the most influential Christian leaders together in one place and hosted a profound theological debate: how much money it would take from his coffers to convince them that Constantine's state-founded version of Christianity was correct. By the way, two bishops refused to agree to the conclusions of the Council of Nicea, they were banished from the Empire. Not long afterwards, Constantine, as Emperor of Rome and unbaptised head of the Christian Church, and the founder of Bible as it is today, began to compile his Heretic Hit-List, and so it was until the Protestant Reformation. Which uses, of course, the same questionable Bible.
Of course, astute readers of the Bible should realize this, they have a good chance of catching the inconsistencies themselves and they should know that this apostasy was inevitable and foretold by prophecy:
[QUOTE]Second Thessalonians Chapter 2 KJV; speaking of the Second Coming[B]3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition[/QUOTE]
Yet the Christian church denies latter-day prophecy and the restoration.
[This message has been edited by gene90, 08-05-2002]
quote:Originally posted by gene90: It would not mean anything if the Bible were internally consistent because if the original texts are inconsistent they can always be "corrected" by editors.
This is how I think about it.
The Bible doesn't give a non-believer much to go on. Most of it is unsupported by external evidence whether written or archeological, and what is supported is pretty trivial-- meaning it is well within human ability to observe and record.
So the only thing left is the book itself. And in the absense of external evidence all one can do is compare it to itself. While an internally inconsistent book doesn't prove anything, an internally consistent book would.
quote:However the Bible is not perfectly internally consistent. It shouldn't be expected to be because it is passed down by fallible people (and fallible translators). To claim it is otherwise is to make it into a graven image.
Agreed, but I was raised with exactly the opposite dogma, and I cannot tell you how many times I have heard the phrase repeated "There is not one single contradiction in the entire book"
In the absense of any other data, apologists tend to grasp onto the internal consistency straw.