Wikipedia at least has a bibliography at the end of the articles so you can look up the original source material for the citation included. You are right, if you quoted wikipedia on an acedemic paper you would be heavily criticised, but there is nothing wrong with using it to find the original work and it does provide a good summation which is valid, as long as you cross reference.
DOES THE BIBLE really really EXIST?
So XJW4EVR, lets hear it. What do you disagree with from Terry's Wiki reference? Be specific, and tell us how it is factually incorrect.
I expect better from you then to do hit and run ridicule on an essay that is clearly researched and reasoned.
Btw, for XJ4EVR specifically, and ridiculers in general, remember an old lesson from our former cultish religion:
Apostates were bad evil people to be avoided. Not because what they said or asserted was correct, but because if it wasn't in the WT, then it was wrong. It could then be ridiculed, simply for not being in the WT.
So I hope you will excuse me if I point out that while XJW4EVR is correct in his assertion that Wiki doesn't pass scholarly muster for college papers, that shouldn't in any way cause the information contained therin to be rejected. This isn't college. and XJW4EVR has the ability to specifically address any point of disagreement or contention. Instead, he tries to demonize the whole argument by starting a sideshow argument on the merits of a Wiki quote.
All quotes in that Wiki quote were referenced, attributed, and easily researched. Having read Ehrman and Metzger, I know that this is what they said. Also, frankly, the history of how the bible got to us is easily found, and one cannot help but see the naked politics behind the assembling of the now accepted bible cannon. Thats history.
Now I understand if you are a Christian how that information and the assertions Terry made might make you feel uncomfortable. So be it. Why would it make you feel uncomfortable though? Because the assertions are lies and are wrong, or is it because it causes one to cast a different light on their faith and the source of it?
In any case, XJW4EVR, we know that colleges don't want Cliffs notes, and using other people's research in their papers. So what does that have to do with Terry's treatment? This isn't college, its a commentary, a truthful one, about how the bible got to us.
So back to the my original point here: Don't use the JW method of ridiculing what you disagree with. Address it head on. Even one point Terry theoretically got wrong will weaken his arguement, right? So XJW4EVR, find that point, and lets go at it.
I expect better of former JW then to use JW debating methods.
What Christianity has is a "Court system" with lots and lots of judges who cite something which cannot be attested to as an actual LAW.
Because of how the commonly referred to "Bible" was transmitted over time from person to group to organization to denomination only a HEARSAY can be asserted which does NOT meet any standard of law.
For example: If there is a dispute over, say, a person's WILL when he dies---the WILL itself must be produced in evidence. Nobody can produce hearsay or something copied from a purported "original" manuscript. It won't fly. Best Evidence is required. Not a copy.
There is good reason for this, obviously. A person who will PROFIT from a reading of said WILL in a certain way cannot be made party to the making of that WILL in the first place. Self-interest would over-ride objectivity.
The GOVERNING BODY interprets the "Bible" by saying THEY are in charge of how you are to understand it!
Well, duh! The interpreter is reading into the scripture (itself a hearsay transmitted by copies over centuries) a self-aggrandizing interpretation!!
Kind of like this:
Poor old Daddy died. Who did he leave his fortune to?
Where is the will?
Hey, it's in YOUR handwriting!
Yep, Poor old daddy was too sick to write it. I took down his words for him. He wanted me to have it all.
Working in a bookstore, as I do, and getting my hands on hundreds of theology books, texts and such (I work in the Religion/Philosophy section) I've read maybe a couple of hundred explanations by various famous bible scholars as to WHY God didn't see fit to preserve the original hand written manuscripts, payapri, and whatnot.
The lightness with which this is dismissed is, frankly, rather telling of a deeper motive which I think is profound.
If there is no way to correct any errors, corruptions, gloss, additions, omissions, alterations in text in our BIBLE over the centures, then, the IMPLICATIONS ARE ASTOUNDING!
Orthodoxy (right doctrine) is IMPOSSIBLE!
No argument can have provable merit!
No scripture citation can have probity!
Denominations are mere obstinate in-fighting over fluff!
Is it any wonder? Without a STANDARD for error detection....all is lost to uncertainty.
The glaring fact remains: GOD DID NOT SEE FIT to preserve a single ORIGINAL writing for compare/contrast with later productions of so-called Scripture.
If it wasn't important enough to PRESERVE for God.....how can we hold the BIBLE as our standard for TRUE RELIGION?
Social, economic, and political power are at the core of explaining what happened, tragically, to Christianity. It became what its early adherents loathed.
Christianity was about a PERSONAL relationship with God, though Jesus.
It was YOU - Jesus - God, period.
This was done via the HS, the Spirit of God that helped the believer understand God's Love.
Organised Religion and the heirachy it created, destroyed that personal realtionship and put the "organization" in the middle and the organizations tool of control was the bible.
As a wise man once said: What you hate...you become.
I don't ususally read your threads
THIS one however I read and totally agree with. There is absolutely no reason to believe that what we call the Bible is even remotely close to what was originally written. And let's not forget that there are some "manuscripts" that were deliberately left out of what most religions refer to as the Bible.
Who decides such things? How would they be able to make such assertions that some things belong and others don't? How does anyone determine how words have changed their meanings? In some cases changed so much that we may never know the original meaning of a word.
Thank you Lady Lee. I keep kicking myself in the butt for NOT KNOWING all this decades ago!
Without having an uncorrupt basic text eveything else is just ridiculous speculation and not even interpretation at all.
This issue above all else is really where the "attack' against Governing Body pronouncement should, in my opinion, be directed.
All their power stems from a false basis. They interpret what doesn't even exist.