Saturday, November 21, 2015

Business Insider & The Bible

The video presents a somewhat negative view of Scripture from Business Insider.

However, I was aware of these and other Bible difficulties within my first seven years of Canadian Christian academia and from my own research.

This was before I worked on secular research theses only degrees in England and Wales, for twelve years. Ending with a Doctorate.

Business Insider admits there are related scholarly debates.

In other words, this is not really new news.

More so this type of information works against a fundamentalist dictation theory of Scripture and that God maintains Scripture within a dictation theory model.

But one could observe I did not hold to dictation theory, years ago on my sites.

However, the type of information does not work against a view of the Scripture, the original autographs, as inspired by God and God the Holy Spirit through writers associated with Christ, that were Apostles and Disciples and associated scribes, written without theological error and with inerrancy.

God did not place a supernatural force field of protection around the original Biblical autographs.

God did not place a supernatural force field of protection around copies of the Scripture to maintain accuracy.

Rather the Scripture has been maintained through ancient and modern scholarship with the use of thousands of manuscripts in whole and part, critical thinking and reasoning with God's guidance.

God's has a sovereign and providential role in this theologically.

And God is the first cause in all things, philosophically. He wills and sanctions all things.

I could add to the type of points made in the video that there are various versions of texts in the New Testament Greek and various English Bible versions (for example), but with minor differences. However central, orthodox theology and the Gospel remains consistent in message.


Satire And Theology October 31, 2006

Cited and edited from my second blog

The divine inspiration of Scripture was noted as important.

The New Testament is not full of mythological stories of clearly fictional characters, but actual people that existed. The same group of people discussed within the New Testament, is also the group that produced the Scripture. Therefore, the New Testament is historically grounded on eyewitness testimony, and associates of eyewitnesses.

Since every manuscript contains scribal errors, we can conclude the copies are not equal to the original inspired letters. This does not mean that we have to abandon the Biblical idea of inspired Scripture. I firmly hold to the concept of 2 Timothy 3:16 that all Scripture is inspired by God for teaching, and training. I think we can deduce that scribal errors do not equate with theological errors, and therefore scribal errors do not eradicate or change the New Testament’s essential doctrines.

There are enough New Testament documents extant that scholars would know if certain schools of manuscripts contained serious differences in theology from other schools. This is why as Christians we do not need to take seriously the claims of critics that state that lost or hidden New Testament era documents from the group of eyewitnesses contradict the ones found in the New Testament.

The manuscript evidence supports the fact that there are scribal errors in the documents, but does not support the idea of major theological differences between different groups of manuscripts.

My theory of inspiration would include the idea that God inspired the original New Testament documents written by those within the group of Christ and the Apostles.

Since the documents would eventually physically disintegrate, God would have to use supernatural means to maintain the original documents. The idea of God using some kind of supernatural force field to maintain the documents as good as new does not seem in line with how God works in our world over a long period, and so it is not surprising that God allowed the originals to be destroyed or lost, and instead maintained his Scripture through copying.

The copying mistakes did not affect any major doctrine, but we do have related issues like with the ending of Mark. Mark 16: 9-20 does not appear in Codex Vaticanus (B),or Codex Sinaiticus (Sin), the two oldest groups of manuscripts. Marlowe (2006: 1).

The manuscripts have Mark ending at 16: 8. However, 16: 9-20 does appear in Codex Alexandrinus (A), which is a slightly newer manuscript. Miller (2005: 1).

It is possible a scribe or scribes added 16: 9-20, which became part the majority of New Testament texts, but it does not change the essential message of the Gospel or New Testament. We have copies from the two older groups of manuscripts which allow scholars to speculate that it is possible that Mark 16: 9-20 was not written by Mark, but written by a scribe at a later date.

God has therefore not allowed a corruption of New Testament theology at its core even if he did allow an uninspired scribe to write 16: 9-20 and allowed it to become part of the majority text.

It is also possible that Mark died and God inspired an associate who had known Mark to complete the book which appears in the majority text. This view held to by my Mark Biblical Studies professor, at Seminary, for example.

My essential Christian theology is not changed whether or not Mark ends at 16: 8 or 16: 9-20. If Mark died and the book ended at 16: 8, I do not see any need to place demands upon the Markan text and state that it had to have contained an actual resurrection appearance. The ending of the book does make it clear that Christ was no longer in the tomb and was resurrected. The tomb was empty, and a man, likely of supernatural origin in 16: 6-7 made it clear that Christ had risen.

My hope is that a scribe or scribes did not think that the lack of a resurrection appearance and an abrupt ending meant that another ending had to be created.

My New American Standard Bible has two different additional endings after 16: 8. However, if endings were added by scribes, God has still provided the Church with evidence of this from Codex Vaticanus (B),and Codex Sinaiticus (Sin). The Church could therefore take anything stated in these verses as less than Biblically authoritative, but these verses do not influence major Christian doctrines.

I therefore can view our present New Testament as an essentially accurate copy of the original inspired word of God.

Inspiration and inerrancy of the original autographs can be reasonably held to theologically; as can the view God has accurately maintained his Scripture.

But admittedly, this a moderate conservative position and not a fundamentalist one, but may evidence lead and not pre-set assumptions.

Marlowe, Michael D. (2006) ‘Mark 16: 9-20’,, Ohio.

Miller, Dave (2005) ‘Is Mark 16: 9-20 Inspired?’, Apologetics, Montgomery, Alabama.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015


Travel+Leisure: Facebook

CONWAY DAVID A. AND RONALD MUNSON (1997) The Elements of Reasoning, Wadsworth Publishing Company, New York.

PIRIE, MADSEN (2006)(2015) How To Win Every Argument, Bloomsbury, London.

WALTON, DOUGLAS (1996) ‘Informal Fallacy’, in Robert Audi, (ed), The Cambridge Dictionary of Philosophy, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press.

Examples from Pirie

I met the ambassador riding his horse. He was snorting and steaming, so I gave him a lump of sugar.' (38)

'FOR SALE: Car by elderly lady with new body and spare tyre. (38)


I now just realize this is how 'tyre' is spelled in British English. I wrote my MPhil and PhD theses with British English, but 'tyre' is still new to me.

(Canadian and American English is 'tire')

Amphiboly is the fallacy of ambiguous construction. (37)

The fallacy occurs often when one fails to consider alternate readings. (38)

This could be due to mistakes in punctuation and grammar.

He states that astrology makes good use of amphiboly as do fortune tellers and a prophet to 'hedge his bets' (38) and 'have it both ways. (38)

This would of course be a false prophet. A true prophet, receiving actual information from God would do no such thing and to hedge bets would risk death in error. Deuteronomy 13 and 18 both stating a false prophet within the Old Testament, Mosaic Law should be put to death.

In the New Testament context a false prophet is to be exposed as such by the Church. This minus the Mosaic Law. 2 Peter (false prophets and false teachers) and Jude (false teachers) are two notable New Testament books to expose false religionists. Jesus also mentioned false Christs and false prophets in Matthew 24.

I am not implying or indicating that all prophets use amphiboly, although to Pirie's credit, he points out a tool that can be used by false religionists.

'The Elements' text is useful considering vagueness and ambiguity in writing arguments.

Vagueness described as a term's lack of precision (176) and ambiguity allows for various possible meanings, each which may be precise. (176).

In Cambridge, Amphiboly is called '(double arrangement)' as traditional fallacy from Aristotle's list. (376). It is the use of 'syntactically ambiguous sentences.' (376).