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Author Topic:   Using the Bible as fact...
Peter
Member (Idle past 2180 days)
Posts: 2160
From: Cambridgeshire, UK.
Joined: 02-05-2002


Message 25 of 113 (8996)
04-26-2002 8:12 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by compmage
03-27-2002 1:23 AM


quote:
Originally posted by compmage:

I have asked this question before, though not on this forum, and not recieved a real answer. Maybe I'll get on here.

How can anyone argue using the Bible (or any other holy book) as fact when;

a) They can't provide evidence that there is a god of any sort.
b) Even assuming a, they would need to show that this god is the one that they worship
c) Even assuming a and b, they would still need to show that their holy book comes from their god or at least is sanctioned by him/her/it.

Maybe someone can give me an explanation?


I don't beleive that any of the above a REQUIRED to verify the
Bible.

What IS needed is independent historical corroboration of the
MAIN characters of the bible.

Major land battles may have been included in a work of fiction,
likewise important figures of the time (cf. Homer's Iliad ... a
work of fiction based upon the very real, archealogically
evidenced siege of Troy).

Find some independent record about Moses or Abraham ... perhaps
Joseph would be a good one since he, like Moses, lived
in the Egyptian court.

Or evidence for the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah that CANNOT
be explained by natural phenomena.

Or remants of the tower of Babel (which must have been a phenomenal
structure).

Or evidence of a garden of Eden to which man is forbidden entry
by an angel with a fiery sword.

[This message has been edited by Peter, 05-15-2002]


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by compmage, posted 03-27-2002 1:23 AM compmage has not yet responded

    
Peter
Member (Idle past 2180 days)
Posts: 2160
From: Cambridgeshire, UK.
Joined: 02-05-2002


Message 31 of 113 (11297)
06-11-2002 7:17 AM
Reply to: Message 30 by Jet
06-09-2002 11:59 PM


[QUOTE]Originally posted by Jet:
[b][QUOTE]Originally posted by TrueCreation:

"5 For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water:
6 Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished:"

--Odly, this seems to imply that the bible may cooperate with an old universe, though a young Earth, hmmmmm...

***Interesting, I used a similar approach in another thread to imply that the earth must be exceedingly old, the argument being that in order for us to be able to observe light from stars and galaxies that are multiplied thousands of light years away, the earth must be extremely old. No one bit! Perhaps there were no YECs, perhaps they missed the subtle inferences that I made. Now do not misunderstand my point of view. I am indeed an OEC. I believe that there is Biblical evidence for this, even as a YEC must believe that there is Biblical evidence for their position. I just happen to be one of those OECs who believe that the earth was destroyed by a great flood between Genesis 1:1 and Genesis 1:2. I realize that EVOs are fond of using the argument that YECs and OECs apparently interpret certain scriptures differently. I see it differently. I accept it as a difference of opinion and not interpretation. I believe the Bible interprets itself without any help from men. The interpretation always remains the same, only the opinions concerning that interpretation are different. At any rate, I put the bait out there and not even one person took a nibble, not even the EVOs, and I thought they would at least try to use it as a justification for their belief in a universe that is billions, and an earth that is millions of years old. Go figure! Sometimes the fish just don't bite! They're still hungry, they just want different bait to nibble on.

[/b][/QUOTE]

Would you care to elaborate the difference between 'an opinion
on the meaning of a text' and 'the interpretation of a text' ?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 30 by Jet, posted 06-09-2002 11:59 PM Jet has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 32 by Jet, posted 06-11-2002 6:12 PM Peter has responded

    
Peter
Member (Idle past 2180 days)
Posts: 2160
From: Cambridgeshire, UK.
Joined: 02-05-2002


Message 34 of 113 (11381)
06-12-2002 8:28 AM
Reply to: Message 32 by Jet
06-11-2002 6:12 PM


quote:
Originally posted by Jet:
***Sure! I would be glad to!

Interpretation: Explanation of what is obscure; A translation from one language into another. [New International Dictionary]

Opinion: That which is opined; belief stronger than impression, less strong than positive knowledge. [New International Dictionary]

I hope that helps!

Shalom

Jet


I asked for the difference in meaning between two phrases ...
you have provided dictionary defintions of two words.

Not the same, try again


This message is a reply to:
 Message 32 by Jet, posted 06-11-2002 6:12 PM Jet has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 36 by Jet, posted 06-12-2002 1:35 PM Peter has responded

    
Peter
Member (Idle past 2180 days)
Posts: 2160
From: Cambridgeshire, UK.
Joined: 02-05-2002


Message 38 of 113 (11417)
06-12-2002 4:27 PM
Reply to: Message 36 by Jet
06-12-2002 1:35 PM


quote:
Originally posted by Jet:
Sounds like semantics to me. Did I miss something?

Shalom

Jet


Yep ... you missed answering my question.

And it is semantics ... in so much as semantics is about
meaning ... and I directly asked you a question concerning
the meaning of two different phrases.

The definition of interpretation that you use is a valid one,
I'm not disputing that ... but in the context of the phrase
it doesn't seem to fit.

'An opinion on the meaning of a text' suggests a subjective
assigning of meaning to the written words of the text ...
that is 'an interpretation of the text'.

In the context within which you used them, I cannot see any different
content ... and asked you to elaborate that difference.

You haven't ... you have provided isolated dictionary defintions ...
selected out of the large number of possible definitions for each
word.

This leads me back to the topic of this thread.

You have found debate and differing opinions over two, very simple
looking phrases.

How then can you claim the Bible as fact, when it contains much more
complex textual content, which itself has been translated across
many languages (not to mention blatantly changed for
political ends).


This message is a reply to:
 Message 36 by Jet, posted 06-12-2002 1:35 PM Jet has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 41 by Jet, posted 06-13-2002 3:14 PM Peter has responded

    
Peter
Member (Idle past 2180 days)
Posts: 2160
From: Cambridgeshire, UK.
Joined: 02-05-2002


Message 54 of 113 (11602)
06-14-2002 3:35 PM
Reply to: Message 41 by Jet
06-13-2002 3:14 PM


quote:
Originally posted by Jet:
Peter says:
In the context within which you used them, I cannot see any different
content ... and asked you to elaborate that difference.

You haven't ... you have provided isolated dictionary defintions ...
selected out of the large number of possible definitions for each
word.

This leads me back to the topic of this thread.

You have found debate and differing opinions over two, very simple
looking phrases.

How then can you claim the Bible as fact, when it contains much more
complex textual content, which itself has been translated across
many languages (not to mention blatantly changed for
political ends).



***Aside from simply stating your personal opinion on specific matters, matters with which I happen to disagree, you simply recycle an already answered question,

Funny I thought debating was about a reasoned discusion of different
viewpoints aimed at increasing ones understanding of an issue
from a different perspective.

As such, should an answer to a question be insufficient, in the
opinion of the debaters, further discussion in order to elaborate
shoudl ensue.

ISn't that the basis of debate ?

quote:
Originally posted by Jet:

the answer to which, you either did not, or could not understand and/or accept.

Yes ... I do not accept your response as answering my question,
and have said so in the hopes that you might try to elaborate
your position, so that my poor little brain can cope with
the answer

quote:
Originally posted by Jet:
So allow me to clarify my position as to my expectations when discussing and debating with others. For your convienence, I have chosen to cut-n-paste rather than refer you to the post in which this statement originates.

"I admit to the expectation of reason and understanding within those to whom I may choose to reply. This, unfortunately, is not always the case. As a youth, one of the many principles greatly impressed upon me was the necessity of developing a great power of reason. I can thank my father, and my grandfather, for that. Perhaps, at times, I require and expect too much from some individuals. The power of reason is not an automatic consequence of physical maturity. Some, like myself, have worked at truly developing the power of reason, and others have not. Mores the pity!"


So did you develop a great power of reason ?

In what ways did you seek to develop this ?

Why do you appear to be not putting that reasoning ability into
practice here ?

Forgive the style of the above ... it was an attempt to illustrate
the nature of your current debating tactic.

'Undermine the arguments against you rather than address them.'

This appears to be a tactic of evasion to me. Any thoughts on that ?

quote:
Originally posted by Jet:

If the reply that I gave was not satisfactory for you, then I am sorry. The above statement is a reasonable expectation. For those who cannot meet that expectation, I suggest they refrain from responding to my posts with the expectation of receiving a reply. TURN THE PAGE!

Shalom

Jet


So effectively you are saying, despite my rejection of your answer,
that you HAVE answered the question and I am too dim witted to
understand your response.

Even should that be the case (I am aware that my own intellect
has limits) is that a reasoned response ?

What started this off was :-

quote:
Originally posted by Jet:

I realize that EVOs are fond of using the argument that YECs and OECs apparently interpret certain scriptures differently. I see it differently. I accept it as a difference of opinion and not interpretation. I believe the Bible interprets itself without any help from men.

Starting from the back :-

Interpretation requires an intelligent actor ... the Bible (seeing as
it is a book) cannot interpret anything ... only people can.

In the context of the above I did not understand the difference
between having a 'different opinion of the meaning of a passage
in the bible' and 'having a different interpretation of a passage
in the bible.'

If I present you (or anyone) with a passage from the Bible, and
say what does that mean ... I am asking for your interpretation
of that passage (not a translation into another language).

I am saying 'In your opinion, what does that mean?'

The point, while agree it is a little belaboured, is that if it is
possible to hold different opinions of the meaning of a passage
in the bible, then the bible cannot be held up as fact.

We are EVEN having a disagreement of these two simple phrases!!


This message is a reply to:
 Message 41 by Jet, posted 06-13-2002 3:14 PM Jet has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 56 by Jet, posted 06-14-2002 4:25 PM Peter has not yet responded

    
Peter
Member (Idle past 2180 days)
Posts: 2160
From: Cambridgeshire, UK.
Joined: 02-05-2002


Message 58 of 113 (11696)
06-17-2002 9:03 AM
Reply to: Message 57 by Admin
06-14-2002 5:02 PM


OK.

I'll ask anyone who cares to comment then::

What is the significance of a disagreement over two very
simple phrases to claims that the Bible can be used as fact ?

My opinion is, due to different interpretations of passages,
that the Bible cannot be USED as fact. It is the ambiguity
that leads to this.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 57 by Admin, posted 06-14-2002 5:02 PM Admin has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 59 by w_fortenberry, posted 07-04-2002 1:11 AM Peter has responded

    
Peter
Member (Idle past 2180 days)
Posts: 2160
From: Cambridgeshire, UK.
Joined: 02-05-2002


Message 60 of 113 (12748)
07-04-2002 10:51 AM
Reply to: Message 59 by w_fortenberry
07-04-2002 1:11 AM


It's a reasonable point that you make, but I don't make any claims
that the evolutionary interpretation of the fossil record is a fact.

The FACTs are the layering of fossils.

With language, due to the ambiguity, the facts are lost entirely.

The FACT of the bible is the sequence of words, as the seqeunce
of fossils in the fossil record is the FACT there.

The fossil record is not interpreted in ISOLATION, it has other
investigations which also are consistent with the evolutionary
explanation of the fossil record.

The BIBLE, on the other hand, has no compelling extra-biblical
corroboration, and so we have nothing to cross-check the differing
interpretations against.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 59 by w_fortenberry, posted 07-04-2002 1:11 AM w_fortenberry has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 61 by w_fortenberry, posted 07-06-2002 2:11 PM Peter has responded

    
Peter
Member (Idle past 2180 days)
Posts: 2160
From: Cambridgeshire, UK.
Joined: 02-05-2002


Message 64 of 113 (13029)
07-08-2002 5:09 AM
Reply to: Message 61 by w_fortenberry
07-06-2002 2:11 PM


quote:
Originally posted by w_fortenberry:
Is it the sequence of the fossils that is the fact, or is it their positioning that is a fact with the sequence being your interpretation of that positioning?

Are the conclusions of these other investigations fact or opinion?


Not sure on the difference re: sequence or positioning.

Fossils as found increase in difference from modern forms
as depth of position increases.

So the sequence of the fossil record is the fact, in this
case.

A conclusion, almost by definition, is an opinion isn't it ?

The facts of the other lines of enquiry can be interpreted
in a way which is consistent with an evolutionary interpretation
of the sequence observed in the fossil record.

Since consistent interpretations of different data are possible
the conclusions/opinions lend credence to one another .... but
no they are not fact.

There was a fact, theory, fallacy thread somewhere in which I
ut forward my interpreration of fact and theory in this context
as::

FACT is something observable, where the observer's opinion
is not involved.

THEORY is a consistent interpretation of data.

ToE is a theory (kinda dumb I know since it says Thoery of
Evolution ... but )

The fossil record (and sequence of fossils) are fact.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 61 by w_fortenberry, posted 07-06-2002 2:11 PM w_fortenberry has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 65 by compmage, posted 07-08-2002 7:03 AM Peter has responded
 Message 67 by w_fortenberry, posted 07-08-2002 2:24 PM Peter has responded

    
Peter
Member (Idle past 2180 days)
Posts: 2160
From: Cambridgeshire, UK.
Joined: 02-05-2002


Message 66 of 113 (13054)
07-08-2002 10:28 AM
Reply to: Message 65 by compmage
07-08-2002 7:03 AM


Not entirely sure you can claim evolution as a fact so
glibly ... unless there are allele frequency studies
to hand.

I agree that Evolution happens, based upon the facts
I have seen and interprartions thereof, ToE seems
compelling to me, while YEC seems greatly lacking.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 65 by compmage, posted 07-08-2002 7:03 AM compmage has not yet responded

    
Peter
Member (Idle past 2180 days)
Posts: 2160
From: Cambridgeshire, UK.
Joined: 02-05-2002


Message 70 of 113 (13140)
07-09-2002 4:47 AM
Reply to: Message 67 by w_fortenberry
07-08-2002 2:24 PM


quote:
Originally posted by w_fortenberry:

Sequence denotes an order in time. A reference to the sequence of the fossils is a reference to a particular
order in time. The chronological order in which the fossils were laid is still a matter of speculation. Any given
sequence may correspond to your definition for a theory, but it does not meet the requirements you have
presented for a fact. Contrariwise, the position of those fossils in the ground is a fact. It is observable in a way
in which the observers opinion is not involved. For example, the sequence which you have presented is that
the fossils increase in difference from modern forms as depth of position increases. To obtain this sequence
you observed the fact of the fossils’ position plus the fact of the differing anatomies of those fossils and
theorized that those facts could best be explained by a sequence which corresponds to the theory of
evolution.

No. If the position of the fossils is fact, and the differing
anatomies are fact, then the sequence of differentness is fact.

I imose no interpretation (evolutionary or otherwise) I simply
make the observation that as we go deeper, the fossils become
less like modern animals.

I don't even suggest that this is due to the time at which the
fossils were laid down, since that is an interprertation.

There is, quite simply, an observable sequence to fossils. What
that means is the stuff of theory.

quote:
Originally posted by w_fortenberry:

Since they are not fact, in what way are they more valid than the Bible?


The CONCLUSIONS are not fact. I've not said that that makes them
any more or less valid than the bible, only that the bible
cannot be used as fact.

I personally am more convinced by them, because there are several
separate lines of enquiry that match the same theory. But that's
just my opinion.

quote:
Originally posted by w_fortenberry:

Using your definition of a fact, allow me to pose a few conclusions about the Bible.

The actual words which make up the Bible are observable without the involvement of opinion; therefore the existence of those words is a fact.

That each of those words have known definitions is observable without the involvement of opinion; therefore those definitions are facts.


Not entirely. Since the language is ancient there is opinion
involved in the definition of each word.

If there were not we not have the arguments along the lines of
'But the hebrew word [whatever] can also mean/really means' etc.

quote:
Originally posted by w_fortenberry:

The formation of those words into sentences, paragraphs, and books is observable without the involvement of opinion; therefore that structure is a fact.

The correlation of those sentences, paragraphs, and books to certain known grammatical structures is observable without the involvement of opinion; therefore that correlation is a fact.

That those certain grammatical structures limit the definitions of those words is observable without the involvement of opinion; therefore that limitation is a fact.

That the context of each word further limits the possible definitions of those words is observable without the involvement of opinion; therefore that limitation is also a fact.


The first two are fact.

The latter two above are not. They require an interpretation of
what grammar imposes upon the raw words, and as soon as you bring
context in you are adding subjective elements.

quote:
Originally posted by w_fortenberry:

That those words, when viewed in context, taking into consideration the grammatical structures of the sentences, paragraphs, and books thus formed, do not contradict each other in any way is observable without the involvement of opinion; therefore that lack of contradiction is a fact.

No. There are quite heated debates about whether or not there
are contradictions within the bible. There is therefore opinion
involved in that assessment. And again the use of the word
context should be an alert to opinion being involved.

quote:
Originally posted by w_fortenberry:

That historians and scientists do not always agree with the statements of the Bible is observable without the involvement of opinion; therefore that disagreement is a fact.

However, my question is whether those historians and scientists base their disagreement with the Bible on sheer fact or on their opinion of how those facts should be interpreted.


The meaning of any passage of the bible is open to interpretation,
and so cannot be USED as fact. You have above pointed
out where that interpretation starts and where the facts stop.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 67 by w_fortenberry, posted 07-08-2002 2:24 PM w_fortenberry has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 71 by w_fortenberry, posted 07-09-2002 2:07 PM Peter has responded

    
Peter
Member (Idle past 2180 days)
Posts: 2160
From: Cambridgeshire, UK.
Joined: 02-05-2002


Message 75 of 113 (13233)
07-10-2002 4:10 AM
Reply to: Message 71 by w_fortenberry
07-09-2002 2:07 PM


quote:
Originally posted by w_fortenberry:
The question you posed was not whether any stated meaning should be used as fact. The question was whether the Bible itself should be used as fact.

To claim that the meaning of any passage of the Bible is open to interpretation and so cannot be used as fact is to claim that the meaning of any grouping of words is open to interpretation and so cannot be used as fact. To follow this line of reasoning is to depend solely on first hand observation. In which case, nothing anyone says on this site can be used as fact, nor can any thing ever written or stated be used as fact.


Yes.

'First hand observation' is how I have defined a fact. Even then
we have to contend with the possibility that what I see is not
the same as what any other individual sees ... not as easy to
discount as one might think.

Do you disagree that there is ambiguity in the Bible ?

Do you accept that some written phrases/sentences/whatever can
be ambiguous ?

All of the above is WHY the bible cannot be used as fact.
Mister Pamboli clearly has much greater scholastic knowledge of
bible study than I, and so I refer you to his post (with
which I agree).


This message is a reply to:
 Message 71 by w_fortenberry, posted 07-09-2002 2:07 PM w_fortenberry has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 77 by w_fortenberry, posted 07-12-2002 2:41 PM Peter has responded

    
Peter
Member (Idle past 2180 days)
Posts: 2160
From: Cambridgeshire, UK.
Joined: 02-05-2002


Message 79 of 113 (13546)
07-15-2002 4:06 AM
Reply to: Message 77 by w_fortenberry
07-12-2002 2:41 PM


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.

'Don't beleive everything you read.'


This message is a reply to:
 Message 77 by w_fortenberry, posted 07-12-2002 2:41 PM w_fortenberry has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 88 by w_fortenberry, posted 08-03-2002 1:52 AM Peter has responded

    
Peter
Member (Idle past 2180 days)
Posts: 2160
From: Cambridgeshire, UK.
Joined: 02-05-2002


Message 101 of 113 (15274)
08-12-2002 7:35 AM
Reply to: Message 88 by w_fortenberry
08-03-2002 1:52 AM


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?

Peter:: Exactly.

quote:
The interpretation is not fact


Are you denying the possibility that an interpretation can be 100% factual?

Peter:: No. But since we cannot know that without extra biblical
confirmation we are stuck.

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.

Peter:: I wasn't suggesting that it was you who had raised ELS,
sorry if that was unclear. I was simply pointing that there is
a dispute even amongst biblical scholars over which version may
be considered the most correct/accurate.


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.

Peter::
Is it a fact that it is internally consistent?

Is internal consistency sufficient to suggest that something is
factual?

If a work of fiction is internally consistent does that make it fact?

Which is more likely to have internal consistency; fact (which
relates events that have transpired as interpreted through the
filter of the author) or fiction (which is designed to suspend
disbelief and is therefore designed to be internally consistent)?

{Edited it to add some formatting .... should have previewed }

[This message has been edited by Peter, 08-12-2002]


This message is a reply to:
 Message 88 by w_fortenberry, posted 08-03-2002 1:52 AM w_fortenberry has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 103 by w_fortenberry, posted 08-12-2002 2:31 PM Peter has responded

    
Peter
Member (Idle past 2180 days)
Posts: 2160
From: Cambridgeshire, UK.
Joined: 02-05-2002


Message 106 of 113 (15341)
08-13-2002 3:23 AM
Reply to: Message 103 by w_fortenberry
08-12-2002 2:31 PM


quote:
Originally posted by w_fortenberry:
Peter, let me make sure that we understand each other.

The question as it now stands is that of whether a specific translation or interpretation of the Bible exists which maintains internal consistency and which presents a factual account of historical events.


Not entirely ... internal consistency does not equate to
fact. Any good work of fiction will have an internal consistency
at least as good as any version of the Bible, mainly because a
work of fiction is designed to be internally consistent.

But yes, my contention is that the use of a particular interpretation
of the bible cannot be claimed to be fact for a number of reasons:

a) The reader will impose their own context onto anything they
attempt to interpret.

b) The writer will impose his/her context onto the events they de
scribe.

c) The writer may (or may not but we don't know) have political
motives for mis-representing events to show one side in a better
light than others (the winners write the history).

d) Translators filter the translation through their own context.

An argument I have come across in connection with this issue
is that God informed the translators and writers ... my problem
with this is that 'the Bible prooves the existence of God
becuase God wrote it' is not logical.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 103 by w_fortenberry, posted 08-12-2002 2:31 PM w_fortenberry has not yet responded

    
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