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 Who Wrote The Bible and Why It Matters 
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Post Re: Who Wrote The Bible and Why It Matters
UK Lion wrote:
steensn wrote:
1) Something was written and a name or names was attributed to it.

Anyone can do that. This is very poor evidence. And you can't disagree because Jesus Christ himself has nicked my log in details and has written these words.


Very true, but if something is attributed to an author that is evidence that it is from that author. The burden of proof is now on the disenter to prove that it is not from that author. Saying "anyone could" do something simply is muddying the waters and ignores reality which is that it helps the case to define who the author is.

UK Lion wrote:
Quote:
2) The early church, those alive at that time, attributed these to the person that was still alive at that time that was one of the leaders.

The first person who attempted to form a biblical cannon was Origen who was born about 120 years after St Peter died. So I don't see how your statement is supportable. Incidentally, he left 2 Peter out!

Who in the early Church prior to AD67 supported St Peter's authorship of 2 Peter?


I didn't name each book specifically neither did I note every book as being accounted for. My statement isn't conclusive about every book, just most. Origen also included some extra books we don't see today and doesn't tell us why or why not 2 Peter. It was the first attempt we KNOW of, but for a while those leters were certainly not pulled together in one book.

UK Lion wrote:
Quote:
3) We have a culture that regularly used scribes for dictation purposes, especially those in high places within originizations.
4) We have books that note in themselves multiple authors but do not give tell who the main author is.
5) We have a culture, much like our own that credits the "highest ranking" person with the work. (see any disertation from a PhD candidate or PhD... the work is done by the grad students yet the credit goes to the guy pulling the strings)


Here you are mixing up disagreeing with some of the arguments for non-Petrine authorship with support for Petrine authorship.

Wags asked you to provide evidence that St Peter wrote it, not to disagree with the arguments he didn't.


The burden of proof is not on me. The books claim an authorship, I don't need to prove their authorship, one cannot even do that so it is an asinine request. I'm not mixing up anything here, I'm keeping to reality. The standard for proof does not suddenly get higher just because someone doesn't like the current outcome.

UK Lion wrote:
Quote:
6) We are VERY certain of the timeline of pretty much most of these books in question and that they are within a close enough time period to be credible.


Please provide details on the certainty of the dating of 2 Peter. I have struggled to find anything.

2 Peter refers to Pauline Epistles so most have been written after AD60, that much is certain. Which gives it a maximum 7 year window for authorship before you get into any other factors.


Again I said MOST. There are a few outliers. All we know is that 2 Peter must have been written after 60 AD and if written by Peter before 67 AD when he died. That gives us a VERY large reasonable window to work with. Anyone suggesting a 7 year window is even questionable timeframe to write something is so caught up in bias thinking they have lost it. People are presidents and start global wars in less than 7 years and people actually question whether or not someone can write a 2 page letter? Really?

The only thing the evidence shows us is what period Peter likely wrote it, not deter us from believing he did.

UK Lion wrote:
Quote:
7) We have third party writtings noting the existence of these writtings and attributing some to the right author or at least noting the Christians at that time asserting the authorship.

For 2 Peter these are?

It appears from 2 Peter, even from reading pro-Petrine authorship articles, the extent of the evidence is:

1. the author claims to be Peter

2. it was accepted into biblical cannon, some 100 years plus after its authorship.

This doesn't strike me as particularly strong evidence for authorship.


Doesn't need to be, the burden of proof isn't required to show anything more. There is no evidence that gives us reason to doubt it that cannot be explained by way of typical common practice that Peter was likely to use.

You are creating unreasonable expectations and logical fallacies on burden of proof.

UK Lion wrote:
Quote:
We take the above agreed upon situtaion, no one really disagrees with that information above, then we say things like this:

Quote:
- because the writting style of a book written by Paul and a book said to be written by Paul are different, they must not be penned by Paul even though we know they could have been penned by two different scribes... WHAT!?


I find your characterisation of this criticism of Petrine authorship unfair.

The criticisms are not simply matters of writing style that could be explained by someone different actually being the one holding the pen. They are matters of the fundamental concepts used, such that the originator of the ideas is unlikely the same person, not just that the person who wrote those ideas down might be different.


Really? Because if you asked me about creation 10 years ago and you asked me again today I would give you fundamentally different answers. If you are expanding it to concepts, well then that puts another crappy complaint again as well. To think no one grows in their thinking and have revelations of different thought it silly to say the least. The claim is that God himself authored these letters through them. See, you guys ignore the claim and reduce it to something so insignificant it seems like they were done by the same person(s), on the same topic, one right after another.

Instead, what we have are many letters, written by several different author or author combinations, over a very long time, to different people going through different problems, addressing different issues, etc. Am I being unfair? Only to the same extent the critism is being unfair and overly simplifying their assessment. We are not talking about two internet post, written in succession, responding to the same topic, the same person, on the same day.

What is ironic is that in this case the conclusion is critisism of authorship and in other cases where we read works we call it "evolution of thought." We simply apply different standards based on our opinion of what we want it to be. My claim is that the critism being presented is no more condemning that questioning the authorship of Shakespeare's work over his career. In one case we have no interest in arguing the authorship because it doesn't effect us. In the other we need to overcompensate for our beliefs to affirm them even more.

It's nonsense.

UK Lion wrote:
Quote:
What is the lest convoluted and most likely scenario is that Paul and Peter used the typical means of the time to pen these letters which would automatically ensure the fact they would be different styles. As well, if a group of people write something in different proportions each time, again, we would certainly see writting style differences between them.

The most logical and less convoluted conclusion to make is that they were the authors or part authors, but not necessarily the penners or main penners. That is the most logical conclusion to make.


I am afraid that is more convoluted than saying 2 different people wrote them. If you are making a claim to Occam's Razor here, it supports differing authorship not the same.


Sorry, it isn't like that at all. It COULD support 1) Different authorships 2) using a scribe 3) many authors with varying degrees of influence. The book identifies an author or authors, that hurts point 1, it is a piece of evidence we must consider. Then we take into context the common act of scribes, again, positive mark for #2. Then we read the LIST of authors of some books in question and see that it wasn't just Peter as the oversimplification was made, check mark for #3.

We then take the evidence that it seems the same person didn't pen it and the less convoluted option is #2. It uses all the given knwon facts to answer the quetion. To say it is #1 means you must ignore a data point that says it is common practice to have a scribe write for you.

We take evidence that they seem to be from different ideas and look at the options and see there is a claim for 3 authors. The option that best concludes ALL data available then #3 as #1 ignores the fact there are stated MANY authors.

Now we have cleared up almost all of the issues noted.

2 Peter is the main one left. It seems to talk of more and different things than what first Peter did.. so obviously they can't be the same person right!? Wait... we see many works over an author's life show evolution of thought and focus... why are we creating a double standard here? The book notes Peter as the author, we have no evidence it wasn't written after 67 AD, just 60 AD therefore if falls within Peter's lifetime potentially. If we apply the same standards we do to other's work, then we have no reason to doubt the evidence presented saying it was written BY Peter and therefore #2 is the most inclusive option.

#1 is always an option. but you have to artificially remove the obviously most plausible explinations for any doubt. It is less likely that someone wrote something and it was correctly accredited to them than not. To go against the most likely solution that BEST describes the situation, while completely acceptable, shows a desire to ignore the contextual evidence at hand. All I ask is that it be acknowledged and not passed around as the most correct conclusion.

UK Lion wrote:
Quote:
To insist on saying that they didn't write it, means you are taking it upon yourself to decide that they 1) didn't use common practices of the time (which is an assumption you have to make without any real knowledge, facts, or data, just conjecture one cannot know) or 2) the other writters didn't have any influence or weren't fellow authors at all (again, an assumption not based on facts or data, just conjecture one cannot know).


You take it upon yourself to decide that only if you assume Petrine authorship and set out to disprove it.

If you start from a neutral position then it is you doing all the assuming (around use of scribes etc) to explain differences in style and concept between the letters. They may be perfectly valid assumptions, and may be correct. I am not taking issue here with your assumptions, just pointing out that your characterisation of the debate is tremendously skewed because you start from the assumption of authorship rather than from a neutral position.


You MUST decide Petrine authorship as the starting point, it is completely illogical to do so. The book states an authorship, that is the starting point. You cannot start from a blank slate, it is illogical. The burden of proof is to prove it incorrect, not correct.

Here is where we fundamentally disagree. I am trying to recharacterize the debate to show the burden of proof is not to confirm the authorship of 2 Peter or other books in question but rather the burden of proof is on the dissention of their authorship. It is reasonable and customary to take the assertion of authorship as the starting point, since it is not something that is objectionable from that standpoint. The idea of authorship of the Bible is not from the start/ clean slate something to object to. The claim of authorship doesn't assert something that cannot be taken as an axium. it isn't in confliction with another topic or problem.

Therefore, we must start not from a clean slate and prove on or the other, but rather start at whot he book says authored it. We can take that as a starting point and should place the burden of proof on proving it wasn't authored by them. It is wrong to start with a blank slate and try to prove either direction because the standard is, per our science of authorship, that unless there are reasons to question, the authorship is credited to who it is said to be from. WE cannot make special cases because we don't like the book or don't believe in it.

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April 1st, 2011, 11:25 am
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Post Re: Who Wrote The Bible and Why It Matters
Pablo] Thanks, it is nice to know I kinda get it. I agree reaction was negative, but that was to prove a point. I also think you are thinking much too narrow, why does there only have to be one truth? You have already limited your thinking. [/quote]

You can believe ANYTHING you want... and by kinda get it, you have brought up questions that Christians talk about and discuss all the time. They are questions that are not out of the realm of agnostics or Christians. We share those same questions.

But I actually haven't limited my thinking. What you proposed isn't two or more different truths. If tow or more of "our" truths (ideas from different regions etc.) are truth, then there still is only one main truth and that is includes things we've called one "truth." It is just semantics I think... I still see it as one truth even if it includes many of our "truths." I will say though that some "truths" such as Christianity as made such a bold and restrictive claim that it cannot be combined with many truths as the Bible states Christianity as. So if Christianity is part of one truth it is aslo only possible by it's own claims to be the whole truth as well.

[quote="Pablo wrote:
Just don't let Jeffrey eat one of Mother Teresa's spirit fingers...


You assume that what Jeffery did in the past is the same person that he was when he died.

Pablo wrote:
I've never denied this, in fact I've never been asked this.


I've never asked you but, but I've asked a lot and have never had anyone admit it.

Pablo wrote:
As for your other post, interesting how you can read my mind and say I have "already chosen not to believe in that possibility" when I already stated that I was raised Christian (specifically Catholic) so I initially did believe in that possibility but as I grew older questioned it and eventually did and about face on what I was tought to believe. It was hard to break free but when I held my beliefs up to logic, reason and common sense - I just couldn't go on with the same line of thought (or rather belief). That was my own personal experience and I'm not going to apologize for it. As someone who has flip-flopped, I also see the possibility of one day rediscovering faith if "experience" leads me that way as far fetched as that seems at this moment. As such, I am totally open to the possibility and open to other reasonale explanations.


I haven't said you didn't go through a process to choose, just that you are using the conclusion you have came to through whatever means and data you used to confirm or remove options based not on facts or reason but your opinion on the conclusion.

Pablo wrote:
Now let me ask you, are you willing to consider the alternative? Are you truly open?


Sure, but my requirements to switch thoughts is going to be a very high standard. I have switched my sub thoughts within Christianity based on what I have learned to date. To switch "truths" would take a LOT and I will admit I have passed a point where I am actively searching for other options.

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April 1st, 2011, 12:01 pm
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Post Re: Who Wrote The Bible and Why It Matters
steensn wrote:
Very true, but if something is attributed to an author that is evidence that it is from that author. The burden of proof is now on the disenter to prove that it is not from that author. Saying "anyone could" do something simply is muddying the waters and ignores reality which is that it helps the case to define who the author is.

I completely disagree.

I claimed that Jesus Christ authored my last message. Do you honestly believe that this means the burden of proof is on you to disprove that?

steensn wrote:
I didn't name each book specifically neither did I note every book as being accounted for. My statement isn't conclusive about every book, just most. Origen also included some extra books we don't see today and doesn't tell us why or why not 2 Peter. It was the first attempt we KNOW of, but for a while those leters were certainly not pulled together in one book.

So on the subject of 2 Peter you would agree that your statement (that early church leaders attributed authorship to Peter within his lifetime) is incorrect and therefore not evidence for Petrine authorship?
steensn wrote:
The burden of proof is not on me. The books claim an authorship, I don't need to prove their authorship, one cannot even do that so it is an asinine request. I'm not mixing up anything here, I'm keeping to reality. The standard for proof does not suddenly get higher just because someone doesn't like the current outcome.

Again, fundamental difference here. I am amazed you think you do not need evidence for authorship, simply a claim within the book will suffice and it is up to others to prove alternative authorship. By the way, the Archbishop of Canterbury is writing this post (Jesus got bored).

No one has asked you to prove authorship, just provide evidence for it (ie don't just attack the arguments against, provide evidence for). Requesting that evidence is not an asinine request, it's a perfectly reasonable one.

steensn wrote:
Again I said MOST. There are a few outliers. All we know is that 2 Peter must have been written after 60 AD and if written by Peter before 67 AD when he died. That gives us a VERY large reasonable window to work with. Anyone suggesting a 7 year window is even questionable timeframe to write something is so caught up in bias thinking they have lost it. People are presidents and start global wars in less than 7 years and people actually question whether or not someone can write a 2 page letter? Really?

Again, you are mixing things up.

You raised certainty of timing as evidence for Petrine authorship. I am asking you to provide me with evidence of that certainty of timing. I am not attacking Petrine authorship on the basis of a "short" window (7 years is, as you say, not short). I am attacking your support of Petrine authorship based on "certainty of timing" because that certainty of timing is clearly not there.

So what support is there for a pre-AD67 authorship of 2 Peter? Saying "Peter died then" is simply circular logic I'm afraid. If there is evidence (other than Peter's date of death) for a pre-67 authorship then I would agree that this is evidence for his authorship. As I understand it, though there is no such evidence.
steensn wrote:
Doesn't need to be, the burden of proof isn't required to show anything more. There is no evidence that gives us reason to doubt it that cannot be explained by way of typical common practice that Peter was likely to use.

You are creating unreasonable expectations and logical fallacies on burden of proof.

Wow, that's some serious pot calling the kettle black.

I am asking that we start from a neutral standpoint of "we do not know who wrote this text" then examine all the evidence surrounding the text to try and come to a conclusion on who wrote it.

You are asking that we assume (solely based on a claim of authorship) Petrine authorship and then the burden of proof is on the person who wishes to disagree.

It is you, not me, who is creating unreasonable expectations and logical fallacies on burden of proof.

If the evidence of Petrine authorship (including the claim within the text) is stronger than the question marks over it, I would consider it likely that it was written by St Peter. I would not require conclusive proof. Conversly, if the question marks are stronger than the evidence for I would consider it unlikely - again, not requiring conclusive proof. This is the middle, neutral, sensible, logical position to take. Yours is the extreme, one sided, prejudiced and illogical position.

steensn wrote:
Really? Because if you asked me about creation 10 years ago and you asked me again today I would give you fundamentally different answers. If you are expanding it to concepts, well then that puts another crappy complaint again as well.

I am not expanding it to concepts, that is the work of the many scholars who have examined 2 Peter (the vast majority of whom have concluded on non-Petrine authorship). You have attempted to characterise their arguments in this thread and dismiss them, I have simply pointed out you have not done a fair job in attempting to do so. That you think this (concepts) is an idea of mine only demonstrates that you have not fully looked into the issues around the authorship.

steensn wrote:
we have no evidence it wasn't written after 67 AD

I think you meant to say "no evidence it was written after 67AD"?

There's none it was written pre-67 AD. Evidence against includes the fact that it copies and expands on many of the ideas of Jude (written post 67 AD, of course it is possible that Jude was a summary of 2 Peter although it seems odd that God would divinely reveal the Cliff's notes version of something he'd already divinely revealled in more detail), it may refer to the passing of the Apostlistic age and it may refer to the acceptance of Pauline epistles into the cannon - all of which were post 67AD events.

I hasten to add that not one of these factors is conclusive, but all are evidence and it's the latter you claimed wasn't there. You may think it poor evidence but that's no excuse for pretending it doesn't exist.

steensn wrote:
You MUST decide Petrine authorship as the starting point, it is completely illogical to do so. The book states an authorship, that is the starting point. You cannot start from a blank slate, it is illogical. The burden of proof is to prove it incorrect, not correct.

Why must we? Must your starting point in considering this post be that it was authored by the Archbishop of Canterbury?

Why is starting from the point of "we do not know who authored this work, let's try and find out" not be better?

Don't get me wrong, I am not saying that 2 Peter's claims of authorship are not evidence for Petrine authorship. They clearly are. But I completely disagree with your assertion that the claim of authorship means we must start from the position that the claim is true and try and disprove it. That is the biggest logical fallacy in this thread - that you try and turn it round and claim the opposite is simply stunning.

steensn wrote:
It is wrong to start with a blank slate and try to prove either direction because the standard is, per our science of authorship

The science of authorship has consistently concluded that 2 Peter was not written by St Peter. I am surprised to see you make claims to it!

2 Peter has not been examined in a different way by scholars who have considered it, because it is a biblical text, to how non-biblical texts have examined it. You could not be more wrong on the science of authorship.


April 1st, 2011, 12:15 pm
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Post Re: Who Wrote The Bible and Why It Matters
UK Lion wrote:
I claimed that Jesus Christ authored my last message. Do you honestly believe that this means the burden of proof is on you to disprove that?


No, only because technically you are making the claim therefore you must defend it. If i stumbled upon an article you wrote and claimed Jesus authored it then the burden of proof is on me.

UK Lion wrote:
So on the subject of 2 Peter you would agree that your statement (that early church leaders attributed authorship to Peter within his lifetime) is incorrect and therefore not evidence for Petrine authorship?


I didn't say 2 Peter specifically was attributed. I was talking in generals and stated MOST books were. I left open a few options on books that are special cases but didn't specifically mention them. Please don't dwell on a statement that was not all enclusive but just general for most books.

UK Lion wrote:
Again, fundamental difference here. I am amazed you think you do not need evidence for authorship, simply a claim within the book will suffice and it is up to others to prove alternative authorship. By the way, the Archbishop of Canterbury is writing this post (Jesus got bored).

No one has asked you to prove authorship, just provide evidence for it (ie don't just attack the arguments against, provide evidence for). Requesting that evidence is not an asinine request, it's a perfectly reasonable one.


Wrong, it is the general rule of that the authorship is given unless there is reason to doubt, then you work through that evidence to prove it doubtful. 1 Peter has no evidence to support it's evidence for Petrine authorship but there is no evidence to question it so it is generally accepted as Peter's writting. You are creating a double standard...

UK Lion wrote:
Again, you are mixing things up.

You raised certainty of timing as evidence for Petrine authorship. I am asking you to provide me with evidence of that certainty of timing. I am not attacking Petrine authorship on the basis of a "short" window (7 years is, as you say, not short). I am attacking your support of Petrine authorship based on "certainty of timing" because that certainty of timing is clearly not there.

So what support is there for a pre-AD67 authorship of 2 Peter? Saying "Peter died then" is simply circular logic I'm afraid. If there is evidence (other than Peter's date of death) for a pre-67 authorship then I would agree that this is evidence for his authorship. As I understand it, though there is no such evidence.


I cannot, just as no one can pin down the specific authorship of 2 Peter. We don't require that for 1 Peter, why do we for 2 Peter? There is no such evidence for most other books you yourself wouldn't even question, but you single this one out. Either we apply the same logic to all writtings or we don't for all.

UK Lion wrote:
Wow, that's some serious pot calling the kettle black.

I am asking that we start from a neutral standpoint of "we do not know who wrote this text" then examine all the evidence surrounding the text to try and come to a conclusion on who wrote it.

You are asking that we assume (solely based on a claim of authorship) Petrine authorship and then the burden of proof is on the person who wishes to disagree.

It is you, not me, who is creating unreasonable expectations and logical fallacies on burden of proof.

If the evidence of Petrine authorship (including the claim within the text) is stronger than the question marks over it, I would consider it likely that it was written by St Peter. I would not require conclusive proof. Conversly, if the question marks are stronger than the evidence for I would consider it unlikely - again, not requiring conclusive proof. This is the middle, neutral, sensible, logical position to take. Yours is the extreme, one sided, prejudiced and illogical position.


Absolutaly not, it is NOT standard to start from a neutral standpoint. That is the incorrect standard you are approaching with here. The standard is that you prove the authorship incorrect. You are asking to start from a neutral standpoint but that is not the standard for anything else.

UK Lion wrote:
I am not expanding it to concepts, that is the work of the many scholars who have examined 2 Peter (the vast majority of whom have concluded on non-Petrine authorship). You have attempted to characterise their arguments in this thread and dismiss them, I have simply pointed out you have not done a fair job in attempting to do so. That you think this (concepts) is an idea of mine only demonstrates that you have not fully looked into the issues around the authorship.


And it is easily explained away by normal typical progress of authorships that we explain away for many other authors. If I missed something feel free to bring it up, but this last one is again showing different standards...

UK Lion wrote:
There's none it was written pre-67 AD. Evidence against includes the fact that it copies and expands on many of the ideas of Jude (written post 67 AD, of course it is possible that Jude was a summary of 2 Peter although it seems odd that God would divinely reveal the Cliff's notes version of something he'd already divinely revealled in more detail), it may refer to the passing of the Apostlistic age and it may refer to the acceptance of Pauline epistles into the cannon - all of which were post 67AD events.


It is clear that you have brought up a VERY clear point where there is a very good explination of why the choice of belief or opinion overrides a very clear and obvious solution to the question. To assume God's intent in this situation is projeting how God works instead of the evidence in front of us. There are 4 Gospels accounting most of the same thing... why is this different? Why is there a different standard? It isn't based on facts, in fact, it is contextually out of place to make that statement for things you are not even questioning. You are projecting intent as proof and explination but we have no way to prove that intent and the Bible contextually it is no out of the ordinary...

UK Lion wrote:
I hasten to add that not one of these factors is conclusive, but all are evidence and it's the latter you claimed wasn't there. You may think it poor evidence but that's no excuse for pretending it doesn't exist.


I'm not, I am saying when you stack the claims to the contextual facts they are claims that are easily explained through normal contextual and human operation. They certainly exit and COULD be real... but they are the least likely option. To pick the least likely option you have to consiously make the decision to ignore the clear evidence and say that you know more or cannot accept that explination... not from facts but from unsupported opinion.

That is all fine and good, you can say that you are willing to believe something but I only contend that one should be honest about it. It is overcompensation to take that opinion and pass it around as a logical conclusion. It isno different from the group of people who choose to believe a young earth creation theory in spite of the evidence that clearly shows is in the court of a long evolutionary type creation/whatever you consider non God based life developement. They are over compensating saying "that is junk science, youare wrong, I can debunk it by not believing a certain critical data point, therefore my logic should be credited as unbiased science." They can't just be honest and go, "I'm not willing to accept it based on my belief." I contend that is what is happening here...

I just want people to be honest with their conclusions. We all do it so some extent, but we can't push those as logical conclusions based on agreed upon facts.

UK Lion wrote:
Why must we? Must your starting point in considering this post be that it was authored by the Archbishop of Canterbury?

Why is starting from the point of "we do not know who authored this work, let's try and find out" not be better?

Don't get me wrong, I am not saying that 2 Peter's claims of authorship are not evidence for Petrine authorship. They clearly are. But I completely disagree with your assertion that the claim of authorship means we must start from the position that the claim is true and try and disprove it. That is the biggest logical fallacy in this thread - that you try and turn it round and claim the opposite is simply stunning.


Yes we must unless we want to be inconsistent with how we approach authorship. I didn't make the standard the experts did. Unless we have overbearing evidence that the authorship is not in question then we take it as is. That is the standard...

You can disagree, but that is creating a double standard even within Biblical authorship.


UK Lion wrote:
The science of authorship has consistently concluded that 2 Peter was not written by St Peter. I am surprised to see you make claims to it!

2 Peter has not been examined in a different way by scholars who have considered it, because it is a biblical text, to how non-biblical texts have examined it. You could not be more wrong on the science of authorship.


Every objection to 2 Peter is easily explained by typical common practices of the day and CONSISTENT application of explinations of the differences. There has not been ONE issue brought up here that is not easily explained through typical, normal, everyday, contextual, CONSISTENT application of our understanding of authorship science. In fact, it is clear that "experts" can make assumptions based on their belief, not facts, and since they are "experts" they can create axiums that are not based on fact.

Please, Please, Please, I beg to present these because I think you are making assumptions not based on facts or most likely conclusions but rather expert OPINIONS that get taken as facts. I have addressed every one of the issues with MORE likely situations that clearly you don't disagree with, you just choose the least likely option.

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April 1st, 2011, 1:14 pm
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Post Re: Who Wrote The Bible and Why It Matters
I'm not going to read this entire thread with the long-winded diatribes, but I'm going to reply to the original post instead - everyone knows that the Bible was written by Kings in order to subjugate the people. End of story. Next subject. :lol:

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April 1st, 2011, 9:38 pm
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Post Re: Who Wrote The Bible and Why It Matters
A very well informed thought.... [-X

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April 2nd, 2011, 1:05 pm
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Post Re: Who Wrote The Bible and Why It Matters
Another point of view/opinion on this topic:

Huffington Post wrote:
Is the Bible True?
David Lose
Author, 'Making Sense of Scripture'

Wait! Don't answer that question too quickly. If you do, you'll likely judge the Bible's veracity by categories established 1,500 years after it was written. Perhaps I should explain.

Disillusioned by the religious fervor that fed the Thirty Years War (1618-1648), the early architects of what would later be called the Enlightenment demanded that all claims about the natural world be verified by the exercise of human reason rather than dogmatic pronouncement. In doing so, they distinguished between values (things one may believe but can't prove) and facts (things one can, and therefore should, prove). For these early modernists, both values and facts represented truth claims, but each of a different order. Over time, however, rationally verified facts -- and the scientific method to which they led -- became so productive and influential that it wasn't all that long until notions of truth became associated almost exclusively with facts.

This preference for facts over values created a crisis for many religious traditions during the 19th and early 20th centuries as biblical scholars, embracing the rational-critical methods of scientific, historical and archeological study, realized that many of the descriptions and claims of the Bible did not withstand critical scrutiny. The sun, as it turned out, did not revolve around the earth, and the world was not created in seven days. Moreover, it became apparent that not only did the Bible provide unreliable historical and scientific information but the biblical writers also often contradicted each other. In Matthew, Mark and Luke, for instance, Jesus drives the money changers from the Temple in Jerusalem shortly before his crucifixion and dies on Passover. In contrast, according to John, Jesus clears the Temple at the beginning of his ministry and is crucified on the day before Passover.

The dubious nature of biblical "history" and "science" and the multiple discrepancies among the four evangelists led to a great schism in Christianity, each side assuming that truth is equated unequivocally with facts. On the liberal side of the divide, scholars concluded that because the Bible was not factually accurate it was in a profound sense not true. Witness, for instance, Bart Ehrman's recent post on who wrote the Bible (and, for that matter, his entire literary career). Conservatives, on the other hand, asserting that the Bible was obviously true, concluded that it therefore must be factually accurate. Hence, they have written tomes that rival the Bible itself in length that engage in intellectual gymnastics in order to iron out all the "so-called" discrepancies in Scripture.

Both sides, however, miss the literary nature and intent of the Bible as stated within its own pages. Take for example Luke, who in his introduction acknowledges that he is not an eye-witness to the events he recounts but depends on multiple other stories about Jesus. He writes what he calls "an orderly account" so that his audience may believe and trust the teaching they have received (Luke 1:1-4). Or consider John, who near the end of his gospel comes clean about carefully arranging stories of Jesus so as to persuade his readers that Jesus is the messiah (John 20:30-31). The gospels -- and, indeed, all of Scripture -- do not seek to prove but to persuade. And so John, convinced that Jesus is "the lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world" (1:29), portrays Jesus as clearing the Temple of money changers at the very outset of his ministry because he, himself, is God's sacrifice. Similarly, Jesus dies on the Day of Preparation at the exact moment the Passover lambs are slaughtered. John's aim is thoroughly theological, not historical.

For this reason, the Bible is filled with testimony, witness, confession and even propaganda. Does it contain some reliable historical information? Of that there is little doubt. Yet, whenever we stumble upon "verifiable facts" -- a notion largely foreign to ancient writers -- we should keep in mind that the biblical authors deployed them not to make a logical argument but rather to persuade their audiences of a larger "truth" that cannot be proved in a laboratory but is finally accepted or not accepted based on its ability to offer a compelling story about the meaning and purpose of the world, God, humanity and everything in between. To attempt to determine whether the Bible is "true" based only on its factual accuracy is therefore to make a profound category mistake, judging its contents by standards its authors were neither cognizant of nor interested in.

By way of illustration, recall for a moment the scene from Quentin Tarantino's Pulp Fiction when the two main characters, Jules and Vincent, argue over how to explain what happened when a drug dealer unloaded his handgun at them at close range but missed them entirely. Vincent (played by John Travolta) believes it's a freak occurrence. Jules (played by Samuel L. Jackson) considers it a miracle. Jules' defense of his judgment bears closely on our discussion. In response to Vincent's assertion that what happened didn't qualify as physically "impossible" and therefore could not be considered miraculous, Jules says, "You're judging this the wrong way. It's not about what. It could be God stopped the bullets, he changed Coke into Pepsi, he found my ... car keys. You don't judge poop like this based on merit. Whether or not what we experienced was an according-to-Hoyle miracle is insignificant. What is significant is that I felt God's touch. God got involved."

Jules' sense of the criteria necessary to assess truth is far closer to that of the biblical writers than that of not only Vincent but also both contemporary liberals and conservatives alike, as he asserts that the ultimate criteria of truth isn't factual accuracy but a compelling, even transformative witness. Clearly there are many ways to answer the question of whether the Bible is true. If you are interested primarily in its factual accuracy, then your options are clear and you might as well pick a side. If, however, you're interested in a way out of the stalemate and false dichotomy of the present conservative-liberal debate, then you might join Jules in putting the matter differently. When you read the Bible, that is, do you feel God's touch? Does God get involved?

OK, now you can answer the question.

David Lose, author of Making Sense of Scripture, holds the Marbury Anderson Chair in Biblical Preaching at Luther Seminary.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/david-los ... 41949.html


IMO this article reinforces the following:
Quote:
Everything is true, from a certain point of view.

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April 6th, 2011, 11:12 am
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Post Re: Who Wrote The Bible and Why It Matters
It is actually a very good article up to the point it concludes the same way the two straw man it created. I really like how the article laid out the two extremes, honestly the article was dead on and well written in that regard. The "middle ground" though did take a bit fo extreme leaving open the idea that anyone can question any event detailed in the Bible for any reason. Though we find obvious instances where the author's intent was NOT to give historical accounts, we find obvious places were the authors intent was to do just that.

"To attempt to determine whether the Bible is "true" based only on its factual accuracy is therefore to make a profound category mistake, judging its contents by standards its authors were neither cognizant of nor interested in."

This was the best and worst statement in the article. It all to generalizes the authors intent... some were historical in nature. Paul said, "If Christ didn;t literally die on the cross, we Christians are the most sorry group of people on the planet, we would be wasting our time (slightely paraphrased)." Some historical events are required and pertinent to the authors, but it is clear in some cases it simply was not and we force intent that was never there.

But to conclude that "Everything is true, from a certain point of view" is nonsense. Just because we are contending to acknowledge something as true we cannot possibly prove at this point doesn't mean absolute truth doesn't exist. If the "truth" is fague and can be interpreted a few different ways, it is still absolute truth it just isn't as detailed as maybe we make it. On the other hand, it very well could be as detailed and defined as the Bible intends to make the truth about God and there be only "one" truth in our sense of the word.

We muddle up the discussion by this nonsense that Islam is one truth, Christianity is another truth, Buddism another, etc. There is one truth and it could be that a few of these "truths" meet the minimum requirements without creating any contradicting ideas to THE absolute truth. It may be that THE absolute truth is so precise that only something like Islam is true.

What it seems like people try to do is muddy the water on anyone trying to claim a more detailed absolute truth without actually thinking about it. I'm fine with saying that I have onyl circumstantial evidence to support my belief... but just because that is all I have doesn't mean it aint the truth. It is a nonsense conclusion to make, unless you admit it isn't based on the logic you presented and is just your belief.

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April 6th, 2011, 1:03 pm
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Post Re: Who Wrote The Bible and Why It Matters
I would contend that there's just as much, if not more, "muddling" when it comes to the definitions for the terms being used:

    Absolute Truth
    Fact
    Truths

Absolute Truth
Still not quite sure what "Absolute Truth" is; from what I gather though its basically that the Bible and Christianity is right and everyone else is wrong. Of course, there's also the saying about those that deal in absolutes.........

Fact:
Quote:
a piece of information about circumstances that exist or events that have occurred; "first you must collect all the facts of the case"
a statement or assertion of verified information about something that is the case or has happened; "he supported his argument with an impressive array of facts"
an event known to have happened or something known to have existed; "your fears have no basis in fact"; "how much of the story is fact and how much fiction is hard to tell"
a concept whose truth can be proved; "scientific hypotheses are not facts"


Truths
Quote:
truth - a fact that has been verified; "at last he knew the truth"; "the truth is that he didn't want to do it"
truth - conformity to reality or actuality; "they debated the truth of the proposition"; "the situation brought home to us the blunt truth of the military threat"; "he was famous for the truth of his portraits"; "he turned to religion in his search for eternal verities"
truth - accuracy: the quality of being near to the true value; "he was beginning to doubt the accuracy of his compass"; "the lawyer questioned the truth of my account"
truth - United States abolitionist and feminist who was freed from slavery and became a leading advocate of the abolition of slavery and for the rights of women (1797-1883)


Being as your a Christian I would expect you to be of the opinion that the Bible is indeed the "truth" however there just isn't enough factual evidence to back that up. Only those that believe in the book are going to feel as though it is the truth. For example, look at Scientology. Most peeps think they're a bunch of loonies and quite possibly a Cult; however I'm sure if you ask the members of that Church, they would feel quite differently and likey think YOU'RE the loony/cultist one.

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April 6th, 2011, 3:48 pm
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Post Re: Who Wrote The Bible and Why It Matters
Fact: From Dictionary.com

Quote:
1. something that actually exists; reality; truth: Your fears have no basis in fact.
2. something known to exist or to have happened: Space travel is now a fact.
3. a truth known by actual experience or observation; something known to be true: Scientists gather facts about plant growth.
4. something said to be true or supposed to have happened: The facts given by the witness are highly questionable.
5. Law . Often, facts. an actual or alleged event or circumstance, as distinguished from its legal effect or consequence. Compare question of fact, question of law.
—Idioms
6. after the fact, Law . after the commission of a crime: an accessory after the fact.
7. before the fact, Law . prior to the commission of a crime: an accessory before the fact.
8. in fact, actually; really; indeed: In fact, it was a wonder that anyone survived.


Truth: From Dictionary.com

Quote:
1. the true or actual state of a matter: He tried to find out the truth.
2. conformity with fact or reality; verity: the truth of a statement.
3. a verified or indisputable fact, proposition, principle, or the like: mathematical truths.
4. the state or character of being true.
5. actuality or actual existence.
6. an obvious or accepted fact; truism; platitude.
7. honesty; integrity; truthfulness.
8. ( often initial capital letter ) ideal or fundamental reality apart from and transcending perceived experience: the basic truths of life.
9. agreement with a standard or original.
10. accuracy, as of position or adjustment.
11. Archaic . fidelity or constancy.
—Idiom
12. in truth, in reality; in fact; actually: In truth, moral decay hastened the decline of the Roman Empire.


Absolute: From Dictionary.com

Quote:
1. free from imperfection; complete; perfect: absolute liberty.
2. not mixed or adulterated; pure: absolute alcohol.
3. complete; outright: an absolute lie; an absolute denial.


Relative: From Dictionary.com

Quote:
5. considered in relation to something else; comparative: the relative merits of democracy and monarchy.
6. existing or having its specific nature only by relation to something else; not absolute or independent: Happiness is relative.
7. having relation or connection.
8. having reference or regard; relevant; pertinent (usually followed by to ): to determine the facts relative to an accident.
9. correspondent; proportionate: Value is relative to demand.
10. (of a term, name, etc.) depending for significance upon something else: “Better” is a relative term.
11. Grammar .
a. noting or pertaining to a word that introduces a subordinate clause of which it is, or is a part of, the subject or predicate and that refers to an expressed or implied element of the principal clause (the antecedent), as the relative pronoun who in He's the man who saw you or the relative adverb where in This is the house where she was born.
b. noting or pertaining to a relative clause.


I have bolded the way I have been using the words above.

Even when I make a post recognizing other opinions on what the absolute truth is, I still get this nonsense of "Well how do you know that you are right, I bet other who disagree think your a nutjob, blah blah blah." I couldn't be more upfront in regards to what I base my belief on. Let's cut the nonsense and move on please, stop arguing something we both agree on...

Now, I have made this statement a hundred times before here and I will make it again:

"I believe the Bible is 100% truth but not 100% fact."

Fact: a truth known by actual experience or observation; something known to be true

Truth: the true or actual state of a matter

I do not have to have the facts to believe something to be true. A parable is something that is an attempt to speak "truth" but not necessarily "fact." Jesus talked of stories, one with a rich man and debtors. Did that story actually occur in rela life? That would be figuring out if it were "fact" or not. Is the stories principles about life and God actually how it is just using that as an example? That would be figuring out if those principles are "truth" or not.

In either case, I do NOT need to have factual evidence to believe the TRUTH (by my own beliefs) taught in the Bible. I simply cannot prove the axiums I'd base my logical proof on, and likewise, you cannot support the axiums your logical proof would be based on to prove me wrong either. That is why it is belief...

What you are doing is creating an unrealistic requirement for everything but what you want to believe and muddying it up by saying "there is no proof for any of these beliefs so therefore all/most of them are right or none of them are right." That is a proposed truth taht as wel, is not based on the same rigor you required the individual proposed truths to meet. Double standards...

Further, you suggested above that:

"Everything is true, from a certain point of view,"

Which is exactly opposite of your requirement fromt your last post which required:

"however there just isn't enough factual evidence to back that up."

It can't be both ways...

So what is "absolute truth?" Well, you propose it is something made up by Christians yet that couldn't be any less informed and biased dismissal. Absolute truth is coined as direct opposition to a concept that has come about regarding "relative truth." You can dismiss it all you want, but if we are going to discuss these topics we have to have ways to sum them up into terms so we aren't explaining them each time.

Absolute Truth: Complete/Not Mixed/Adultered Reality

Relative Truth (Relativism): Comparitive/Subjective Reality

Relative Truth/Relativism is a post-modern ideal that moved us out of the modernism movement into:

"Belief that many, if not all, apparent realities are only social constructs, as they are subject to change inherent to time and place."

As a reaction to that, those who believe that over all the social contstructs there is still a fixed objective truth, the notion of absolute truth was pushed. Though we now acknowledge that a lot of what goes on in our lives are social constraints that have changed over time, even cyclically, that over all of that there is a non-changing truth/reality that no matter what our society deems right or wrong, in the end that unchanging reality is what matters.

So as the world moved away from objective morality to subjective morality, those who disagree with that world view we had to catagorize why we feel that world view is wrong. You dismiss it as Christian jargon but that is only because you live in a country that the main religion is Christianity. Go to a Muslim country and they claim the same concept of "absolute truth."

So do dismiss the concept is short sited and to basically force "truth" and "fact" to mean the same thing is wrong as well...

Just an FYI, Hubbard actually is more relative truth kinda guy, much like Buddism.

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April 6th, 2011, 4:49 pm
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