No fabrication in Gospels

by Shining One 103 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • Shining One
    Shining One

    Hey Kid,
    Coming from a citizen of a country that never had the moxy to revolt from the English your reaction was predictable. There are a lot of brave and independent Canucks but obviously you are one of the politically correct socialists that can't stand the success south of the border. If America falls your sorry butt is going to be in deep doo doo. You don't think the Euroweenies are going to take a chance on bleeding to save you, do you?
    I have some news for you. Whichever form of despotism takes over, whether it be Islamic or Socialist, diversion from the Sharia Law or Party Line is not tolerated.

  • Shining One
    Shining One

    >The template for the story (sacred King, dying god/man,descending wisdom figure etc.) was centuries old by the time the Gosples were written.
    No relevance at all....the conclusion does not follow the premise.
    >Also it is unlikely that any of the 4 represent the earliest forms of a Jesus (Joshuah/Savior) story given the abundance of these stories in circulation and the literary relationship the 4 have.
    Really, where is your proof or is this just more speculation?
    >I have no doubt that with so many versions in circulation there was a call for an "accurate" one.
    Then you are in the fringe left minority. I will stop here, no need to wast more time.

  • peacefulpete

    >Also it is unlikely that any of the 4 represent the earliest forms of a Jesus (Joshuah/Savior) story given the abundance of these stories in circulation and the literary relationship the 4 have.

    Funny but I thought it was you (I guess it was Forschner) that introduced the point that there were many versions in circulation by the time Luke was written, or did you forget that is how the book opens? As to the literary relationship between the Gospels, I suggest you get yourself a parallel synopsis of the Gospels. I would hate to have you left in the 18th century.

    Then you are in the fringe left minority. I will stop here, no need to wast more time.

    So would you prefer I accept the "consensus" ? I agree you are wasting time, everyones.

  • peacefulpete

    Remember he votes folks.

  • Leolaia

    Forscher.....I can only give a brief inadequate reply, as I'm about to leave on a trip...

    First, you are right that conservative scholarship has become increasingly marginalized in the 20th century, and I concur that this has a lot to do with underlying philosophical premises. But while conservatives may view this as an unjustified power grab by rationalists who deny traditional presumptions about biblical inerrancy and inspiration, I view this as a methodological move in the right direction for the reasons described in my last post. Conservatives may rightly recognize that this involves a denial (or more accurately for some, a suspending) of faith in divine inspiration and inerrancy, but since faith is by definition an a priori belief in a certain state of affairs, it is a premise that imposes conditions on the kind of conclusions that in the end will be deemed "acceptable" (i.e. felicitous to the premise). Of course, there are "rationalists" who may be biased in the reverse way and refuse to accept any conclusions that support traditional views regardless of the evidence and logic; that is, they adopt their positions only to discredit or reject traditional views. Both extreme stances I see as equally polemical and biased, and I believe that each specific claim or problem should be assessed and evaluated on its own terms. For those in the middle of these two extremes, skepticism and faith have lesser roles respectively but the most objective and soundest analytic course is to not adopt a priori premises that involve special pleading and/or shift the burden of proof. The belief that the Bible apart from all other literature is uniquely inerrant and/or inspired (etc.) precludes one from adopting certain conclusions even if that is where the evidence leads him/her, it imposes a double standard on how evidence is evaluated, it reifies the canonical division of scripture, and it takes inerrancy as a given rather than something that needs to be demonstrated. This approach does not preclude conclusions that support traditional views; it rather puts non-traditional hypotheses on a more equal footing with traditional ones. For example, should a fourth-century BC manuscript of Daniel turn up, this would be decisive evidence confirming the traditional view and falsifying the ex eventu characterization of the book's prophecies. So in theory, these notions can be demonstrated and thus belong not in the premise but in the hypotheses being tested with evidence. The available evidence strongly persuades me that Daniel is not a sixth-century BC work, and tho each individual strand of evidence is violable and can be downplayed or interpreted in a less parsimonious fashion to maintain a traditional view of the book, the cumulative weight of all the evidence put together imho makes the hypothesis of Daniel as an early second-century BC pseudepigraphon the most probable and reasonable view. I can't get into any specific evidence right now of course, but that is my present assessment and my point is that I would not have been able to evaluate the evidence with as much of an open mind as I have if I had not first suspended the premise that Daniel must be a sixth-century BC work as tradition holds. I do not say that it is completely impossible that the traditional view is correct, but I evaluate it as most unlikely compared to the critical view. I also must hasten to add that we all have our own biases and thus my evaluation or anyone's evaluation is not ever the "last word" (hence the seeming endless discussion and reevaluation of hypotheses in the field), but this also does not mean that all claims have the same violable status.

    I have no doubt that Robert D. Wilson was a most eminently qualified scholar and doubtless contributed much to scholarship (as do many others), but I don't think his evaluation of the evidence should be taken at face value or regarded as definitive without comparing it with other analyses of the evidence. Admittedly, I have not read much of him and I'm unable to give a fair assessment of his arguments, but I took a look at his approach towards Daniel 4 to see how he discusses the evidence and he comes across more as a defense attorney (or apologist) defending Daniel from criticism than dispassionately assessing the relative merits of either hypothesis. Thus he says in conclusion: "From the above discussion it is evident that the madness of Nebuchadnezzar may be taken literally, that he may have been mad for seven years, and that proof is needed to show the incredibility alleged as attaching to his supposed incapacity for governing" (Vol. 1, p. 293-294). The discussion does not assess the likelihood of Nebuchadnezzar not being mad for seven years; the burden of proof is rather on others to prove beyond doubt that Daniel 4 is unhistorical, until then the null hypothesis stands. This approach I find to be quite unsatisfying because of the underlying "innocent until proven guilty" premise and the lack of probabalistic thinking (i.e. the demand of proof). The scope of the inquiry is also narrowly limited to questions of the story's "incredibility" and does not address other literary and historical arguments that bear on the question of historicity, such as the evidence that the story originally pertained to Nabonidus, rather than Nebuchadnezzar (some of which was already available at the time Wilson wrote his book, and the evidence discovered since then has strengthened this view). His linguistic discussion of 'iddan "time" also comes across as inadequate, for he does not even discuss the sense it has in ch. 7 (or the fact that kairos was used in Greek with the sense of "year"). Again, this not meant in any way to be a comprehensive assessment of Wilson's views, but I must admit to not find his discussion very satisfying.

    I mentioned that the critiques which still form the weight of the consensus opinion on the debate about the age of the book of Daniel and other biblical texts were proven without ground a long time ago by a scholar by the name of Robert wilson and others. There is good reason why his arguements still stand and are accepted by the majority of scholars despite all the years that have passed since his life and death.

    Again, if this is "the majority opinion," I don't see it reflected much in any of the work being done in Qumran studies, early Judaism and Maccabean studies, Enochic research, etc., not to mention the work being done on Daniel itself. The Maccabean dating of Daniel is accepted throughout. Wilson's arguments undoubtedly still stand with all the evangelical scholars who for obvious reasons concur, but if they comprise the "majority" of scholarship, I confess to have seen precious little of that point of view in the academic literature. While you seem to view this as due to a strangehold by an elite of "rationalist" scholars, I believe most at the forefront of these fields accept the critical view of Daniel on the weight of the evidence, while the majority (?) of conservative scholars, whatever their actual number, are tied to the traditional view regardless of the evidence (this is not to say that they are not genuinely persuaded by the evidence supporting their views but they are precluded from concluding otherwise by the premises discussed earlier), and participate little in current debates or have limited impact because the dating of Daniel is not a controversial issue any more (while other issues pertaining to the text, interpretation, and context remain current foci of research).

    Anyway, I must leave now to prepare for my flight, so any more particulars will have to be addressed sometime later....sorry I couldn't comment on all the things you've brought up....

  • Abaddon


    Abaddon doesn't have the experience nor the longevity to be of the 'old guard'. He wasn't even around for the old H2O board. As far as weasels go, he is a young one....LOL. How's that for an Ad Hominem, Abadacadabra?

    Ah Rex... if we could train a chimp to do what you do it would be deemed remarkable and people would pay to see it.

    Coming from a supposed human (I've wondered whether you're a poorly written Turing Test) it is is simply dull and depressing, a bit like the street musician people give money to so they go away.

    But you 'coming to the rescue' of a kindred spirit - nah, strike that, it's very unlikely XJW4EVR is as bad as you - is funny as you have shown time and time again in disucssions you can't 'fight' your way out of a wet brown paper bag, no matter what self-felatory opinion you have of yourself.

    It's like being rescued by Custer at Little Big Horn...

    Please, read a few books and have a brain transplant before you try to insult me... you're such a munchkin you use an appeal to antiquity as an insult.

    Is it true you once kept an amphiboly in a bowl and fed it until it turned into a frog?

  • Abaddon


    What fun! Now you're talking about despots, when given free reign I think Christian despotism is exactly what you'd vote for given the chance, although you'd probably call it 'theocratic government'.

    To get the amount of hate and bile you have for everyone who is not an American Christo-facist into your body is a remarkable feat of minaturisation (let alone hypocracy given your claimed religious beliefs).

  • Narkissos

    Just a few addtional explanations on the debate I unwittingly started.

    If I brought up my personal experience with an Evangelical college along with my previous experience with JWs (bad idea apparently), it was definitely not as "academic credentials" but in reply to XJW4EVR's insinuation that critics are not familiar with conservative scholarship. What I meant to say is (1) that I have probably been more exposed to apologetic stuff than the average reader of Biblical academic papers and (2) that I have personally observed a remarkable continuity with the WT style of Bible apologetics (no surprise here, since most of the latter is drawn from Evangelical literature from the 19th century onwards: this type of literature is prominent on the shelves of the Bethel library). I could have added that my experience with Evangelical scholarship didn't stop there as my work of the next decade + implied coordination of a team of the top French-speaking Protestant Bible scholars (ranging confessionally from Adventist to Lutheran, and biblically from hard-line apologists to liberal).

    This, as any personal experience, was not supposed to prove anything as to "who is right," only that criticism cannot always be explained away by mere "ignorance" of apologetics.

    The main problem I have experienced with Evangelical scholarship is that the conclusions of Biblical research are set right from the start. I acknowledge that the label "Evangelical" is probably stricter among French-speaking than English-speaking scholars (for instance, John Goldingay's commentary of Daniel, which accepted a Maccabean dating, was published in the Evangelical WBC series, which still causes a bit of tooth-gnashing among hard-line Evangelicals) . Here if you happen to reach the "wrong" conclusions you are simply "out" of the label, hence out of the institutions. I have heard countless rants against international scholars (such as Karel van der Toorn in the OT field or James Dunn in the NT field) who started "evangelical" and turned "liberal" (at least by French standards). I have seen an American missiology professor being fired after a few years of teaching because his doctrine (something along the neo-orthodox line of Karl Barth and Thomas Torrance) was not "orthodox" enough. My NT professor, a very reasonable man, was accepted in the institution because he was a respected figure of one important Evangelical denomination, but he was not "orthodox enough" either. For instance, he could discreetly admit that 2 Peter might be a pseudepigraphical work. When he retired, one of the first papers of his young successor strongly affirmed the authenticity of 2 Peter, thereby confirming "academically" the institution's stance.

    I don't mean that conservative scholarship as a whole is worthless. You can find a lot of insight in the detailed arguments, which often helpfully point to the real flaws of critical theories and reconstructions. But for the above reasons I do not think you can trust their conclusions, which are actually their starting point.

  • jgnat
    When I did that with your professed beliefs as opposed to your REAL beliefs you got all whiney and had the moddys lecture and warn me.

    Ad-hominem attack. And, sorry, you don't have access to my mind or motives. I am one of the plainest speakers I know. I mean what I say.

    Now you have again set YOUR SAVIOR up for ridicule in your eager rush to proclaim the unpopular parts of scripture as questionable.

    Now, you may think the bible is my savior, but I make the distinction.

    What's that passage say in Hebrews about 'trampling on the blood'?

    By calling me an "unbeliever" you do so.

    Stop hiding behind other authors. Start a thread with one of your foundational beliefs, describe your defence, and let's ge to it.

  • kid-A

    If America falls your sorry butt is going to be in deep doo doo. You don't think the Euroweenies are going to take a chance on bleeding to save you, do you?

    LMAOROFL!!!!!!!!!! oh rex you're so full of shit its hard to believe. Your response is typical and entirely predictable from a bush-loving, right wing xtian fundamentalist. People like you are the reason your country is trillions of dollars in debt and on the verge of decades of budget deficits that will gut your economy. Canada stayed out of your bullshit iraq war and we have a budget "surplus", so go figure!

    Thankfully most Americans dont share your black and white view of the world and will have the common sense to pull your country out of this right wing xtian fundamentalist slide down the republican black hole.

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