[QUOTE][b]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?[/QUOTE]
The order of fossils is a fact. Either they are stacked in a particular order or they are not. While it may take some field work to determine that order, it is a fact that can be verified by others. As for the sequence, it is the positioning of those fossils.
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][B]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.[/QUOTE]
Biblical apologetics does not interest me, it never seems to accomplish anything. Really the best indicator is the Holy Spirit, a highly personal form of revelation that is easily explained away by non-believers as us believers simply trying to trick ourselves into believing through wishful thinking. I believe in the Holy Spirit but I can certainly respect and understand the opinion of nonbelievers on the matter.
[QUOTE][B]While an internally inconsistent book doesn't prove anything, an internally consistent book would.[/QUOTE]
Depending on the quality of the paper trail, if we could use the original manuscripts it would help a great deal. I allow that a consistent book is better than an inconsistent one. I don't think a consistent book with no paper trail would "prove" anything though, except perhaps good editing.
[QUOTE][B]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" [/QUOTE]
When you haven't had a prophet in 2000 years and your professors of religion get their divine authority in Bible colleges, this is the result.
[QUOTE][B]The depressing context of the compilation of the Bible is no more depressing than the early life of Joseph, Egypt, the captivity in Babylon or the crucifiction of Jesus.[/QUOTE]
The teachings of the Christian religion were chosen by a Pagan to accomplish a political end. Now there are those factions in the Christian world that believe that book is inerrant?
[QUOTE][B]The 66th chapter discusses the 'new heavens and the new earth' as does the 66th book of the Bible (Revelations).[/QUOTE]
The order of the books of the Bible was decided by the Council of Nicea. This goes back to editing. If this is not coincidence, it is not divine either.
[QUOTE][B]The 7-sticked candlestick was the source of light (cf the word) in the Tabernacle. It had 66 pieces. When broken in 'half' (4/3 sticks) it breaks into 39 and 27 part components.[/QUOTE]
George W Bush = 11 letters. New York City = 11 letters. Afghanistan = 11 letters. The Pentagon = 11 letters. Air Force One = 11 letters. Colin Powell = 11 letters. Shakesville (Pennsylvania) = 11 letters. "It's Bull****" = 11 letters. Flight 11, first to strike WTC, had 92 passengers, 9+2 = 11 65 passengers on Flight 77, 6+5 = 11 WTC Building 7, 47 stories, 4+7 = 11 http://www.greaterthings.com/News/911/Eleven/
(By the way, I'm not religiously affiliated with the link above)
[QUOTE][B]Have a look at Jesus' use of the Old Testament.[/QUOTE]
Jesus frequently spoke in metaphors. The incidents he refered to did not necessarily have to happen for them to be useful in teaching.
[QUOTE][B]And which books do you want to remove from the canon?[/QUOTE]
I don't feel qualified to remove any books from the canon, but I would like to suggest the possible additions of Acts of Solomon (1 Kings 11:41) and The Book of the Wars of the LORD (Numbers 21:14).
[This message has been edited by gene90, 08-06-2002]
[QUOTE][B]Please explain how your example is an proof of a lack of consistency. I am not aware of any Scripture which is contradicted by the salvation of the said thief.[/QUOTE]
Mark 15:32, "They that were crucified with him reviled him".
[QUOTE][B]That is incorrect. Constantine established what was to become known as the Catholic Church, but the teachings of Christianity were established long before his rise to power.[/QUOTE]
The teachings of mainstream Christianity are (supposedly) in the Bible (though not everything in the Bible is taught or practiced by mainline Christianity). The Bible was compiled by Constantine. Constantine is not infallible. Therefore the Bible is not necessarily infallible.
[QUOTE][B]They agree that those teachings were in existence even before his birth.[/QUOTE]
By the time of Constantine those teachings had begun to change and Christianity was split into sects. He chose a particular sect and founded the universal Christian Church upon the notions that suited his purposes. Some things were lost. Other unnecessary practices (baptism for infants) were adopted. Another problem we have here is the lack of prophecy in the Christian religion for 2000 years. Teachings are interpreted by man, they inevitably turn from the Godly into the work of man unless they are being regularly renewed through prophecy. Mainline Christianity is almost a dead faith, circulated by men according to the principles and logic as they see fit with no prophecy and very few works, and certainly none like unto old. First it was Constantine, then Martin Luther and hundreds of other people who took it upon themselves to further alter the doctrine of the Christian church to fit their own personal ideals. This is true apostasy, and it is almost everywhere.
[QUOTE][B]The early Christians were most likely aware of each portion of Scripture upon its completion. This is evidenced by II Peter 3:15-16.[/QUOTE]
The Scripture cite only mentions the epistles of Paul. I would expect that the Christian church would indeed be aware of a letter addressed to it. I'm concerned about other books that were lost, such as the ones mentioned in the Bible but are absent. I'm also concerned, that if everyone is so sure about the Bible being perfect and inerrant, why there has ever been uncertainty regarding the Apocrypha.
[QUOTE][B]The complete canon of the 66 books was known to and mentioned by the church fathers of the first, second, and third centuries.[/QUOTE]
That's incorrect, because the "complete canon" consists of more than 66 books. The modern canon of mainline Christianity, as of AD 300, has 66 books. As I have pointed out, there are books referenced in the OT that were lost. Also, unless some verse in the NT actually lists the entire contents of the Holy Bible, how do you know this? Finally, if the list were known, there would have been no need for the Council of Nicea to compile the Bible in the first place.
(You realize of course that there was a time when you could just ask a prophet and not have to debate things like this.)