So, then I have a hard time understanding what you mean by ‘inerrant’? Isn’t it an error to say, as Exodus 21:20 does, that some humans are the property of others? Isn’t it an error to say that it is morally permissible to beat one’s slaves? And isn’t it an error to say that God uttered Ex 21:20?
Unfortunately cannot answe this question in a short post. If you want the teaching on Scripture it is summed up in the Encyclical, Dei Verbum . It acknowledges the divine and human authors and the historical context in which they are written.
Frank, that sentence above confuses me. I have always read that “Biblical inerrancy” refers to the claim that every event described in the Bible happened exactly as written. That claim rules out any possibility of events in the Bible being metaphors or teaching stories.
[quote author=“frankr”]Well what about the peppered moth hoax.
The claim about a hoax has been promoted by Jonathan Wells, who is an advocate of intelligent design. I find that highly suspicious, because of the long history of “creation scientists” like Duane Gish who try to prove Biblical inerrancy using pseudo-scientific methods. Science cannot deal with the supernatural because there is no way to test such claims.
Well, we’ve talked about is fairly extensively before (last September to be precise):
[quote author=“frankr”]It comes down to the word sacred. Yes all the Sctiptures are sacred, all the scriptures are Holy Spirit coauthored. This does not traanslate that all the scriptures are doctrinal. There are posts on this thread I believe about the Church banning the bible from the laity in the middle ages. The danger that they perceived was not that they would read it for themselves and further their education. No the danger was that they would read the Bible and misinterpret the Scriptures. If you want examples of what they feared then read through any of these threads and see how easily scripture can be misinterpreted. Miller just wrote a long passage showing how the Scriptures can be used to justify anything. He has a point. This is why the Catholic Church has always held that the interpretation of Scripture is the job of the Church. This does not mean that we cannot read and meditate and interpret Scriptures but it does mean there are limits. We cannot say that Jesus was not God although we could read the Gospel of Mark and come to that conclusion. We cannot say that Jesus was not man though we might get that from reading John’s letters. The Church sets the boundaries for the discussion.
So yes Exodus is sacred but the Bible is not a rule book that one picks up and says God said this therefore I can do it. It has to be taken in context of the whole Christian faith. If you want examples of the misuse of Scripture look to Scripture itself. When Jesus is tempted by the Devil what does Satan do? He quotes Scripture? “It is written .... If you want to understand how some of the old testament writings changed with Jesus look at the words of Jesus prohibiting Divorce “Moses allowed divorce because the people were hard headed… I tell you…” ( I wish I knew my Scripture better but you get the point.)
Finally the church from the beginning has always stressed the four senses of Scripture: the historical (literal), the tropological (moral), the allegorical, and the anagogical. Scripture has to read in this way.
And here is my response:
[quote author=“waltercat”]Well, I thought I was following you, but now I’m not so sure.
It is very uncomfortable to have to admit that not only are texts that condone slavery sacred but also co-authored by God (in his guise as the Holy Spirit). It would be more comfortable to say that humans authored the texts and the Holy Spirit guided us to the proper conclusion concerning which are sacred. But this option would allow us to condem Exodus 21:20 as non-sacred tripe; it would allow us the intellectually and morally satisfying option of rejeting the repulsive parts of the Bible.
I understand, thanks to your help, that Exodus 21:20 is not Catholic Doctrine. But I just can’t figure out why anyone would want to claim that it is sacred or that God co-wrote it. If God really is the co-author, why didn’t he, during some part of the revision process, say, “You know, we really out to strike that repulsive bit about slavery.” The fact that He did not makes me skeptical of his moral superiority.
I was in a different part of the country back then, and obviously much more with it, intellectually speaking. (I have always been suspicious of the water in California).
My very good question still stands. Is Ex 21:20 co-authored by God? If it is not doctrinal, why claim that God co-authored it? And if it is not doctrinal, isn’t that tantamount to saying that it’s erroneous?
HERE is a link to the discussion of which the above quotes are a part. The quotes occur on page nine of the thread.
Slavery is not doctrinal. The author of Scripture is doctrinal. Here lies the complexity. We cannot analyze Scriptures in the same sense we would a biology book. One is dealing with revelation and the other with science. We can use the various method in our exegesis but the analysis will not render similar to results. So yes God is the author of all of Scripture but it must be taken in the context of Scripture. The culture of 2000 BC is going to be slightly different from our own.
So yes God is the author of all of Scripture but it must be taken in the context of Scripture. The culture of 2000 BC is going to be slightly different from our own.
So what does this say of the biblical god. He can create the universe but can only author the (apparently) most important book through a primitive culture , only to have educated people consider his work just another of many mythologies. Aren’t you asking us to accept just a little to much with all of this?
[quote author=“frankr”]The culture of 2000 BC is going to be slightly different from our own.
Largely in that it has its head firmly up its a$$ with respect to the possibility of the supernatural. Why do you still take seriously the possibility of the supernatural, Frank? Because it is convenient? Because it is inconvenient? Certainly not because it can be empirically demonstrated.
I know this is difficult for you to take Salt Creek but I will make the argument once again. Empirical evidence applies to the natural world. If the supernatural could be demonstrated empirically then it would not be supernatural but natural. The reason why we call it supernatural is the same reason you use to debunk it. Now there is plenty in the natural world that points to a supernatural world but these are fingerposts to the supernatural and not supernatural per se. I will once again point out the fingerposts, but remember they are only pointers. You can analyze them empirically but they are always going to mean more then your empirical analysis. They are love, beauty, truth, perfection, goodness. I know you write most of these off as products of individual or collective minds but the empirical evidence for such an answer is suspect.
[quote author=“frankr”]If the supernatural could be demonstrated empirically then it would not be supernatural but natural.
I don’t argue that the supernatural is on an even par with the natural or that it is of a different order. I assert that the supernatural is a crock of s**t. Please demonstrate for me that it is not. Have me struck by lightning, or something.
[quote author=“frankr”] Now there is plenty in the natural world that points to a supernatural world but these are fingerposts to the supernatural and not supernatural per se. I will once again point out the fingerposts, but remember they are only pointers. You can analyze them empirically but they are always going to mean more then your empirical analysis. They are love, beauty, truth, perfection, goodness. I know you write most of these off as products of individual or collective minds but the empirical evidence for such an answer is suspect.
If the supernatural cannot be studied empirically, what is it’s epistemology? How do we acquire knowledge of the supernatural?
[quote author=“waltercat”]If the supernatural cannot be studied empirically, what is it’s epistemology? How do we acquire knowledge of the supernatural?
via the ark of the covenant, or the god-o-tron™, or whatever it is called…
They are love, beauty, truth, perfection, goodness
The first two require consciousness which hasn’t been fully understood by science and is indeed mysterious. Neuroscience is bound to tackle these problems in the near future. Remember, it has only been a few decades since we have had neuroscience in the sense we think of it today. Truth simply means a proposition in a system corresponds to a greater, more reliable system (I believe someone is speaking to me (subjective system), this corresponds in reality (the greater system) therefore it is assumed to be true. Perfection is 0 good. Goodness is the desired state.
I have analyzed these empirically and that seems to be all that is required. If you assert that these can be analyzed in a different way then let us know. If you can’t then what is the point debating this topic. You can simple take comfort in the fact the your mind works on a higher level than the empirical rational one and you should not feel the need to concern yourself with us mortals.
We know the supernatural through the pointers of which I spoke and through revelation. The supernatural has been revealed. This is why we call it revelation. Bruno your answer is one of faith. Science will tell us one day. It is nice but it is faith. I do not assert they can be analyzed in a different way I assert that they cannot be fully analyzed using empirical means. To suggest that goodness is merely the desired state is laughable. Your definition for truth is one that presupposes a relativity and your answer for perfection is far from perfect.
Bruno your answer is one of faith. Science will tell us one day. It is nice but it is faith.
Don’t confuse an educated guess with faith. Consciousness is an absolutely unknown and if we never discover its natures I wouldn’t be inordinately shocked. When theist use the word “faith” they mean belief with no evidence. We have been discovering things through science for a long time now and it doesn’t take faith to believe that this will continue.
You do seem content with your higher grasp of things. Instead of enlightening us about the pointers to heaven which, perhaps you believe, could save our souls, you don’t seem concerned at all that I have misapprehended these fingerposts. You address none of the arguments I gave for the fingerposts. You just dismiss them.
The supernatural definitely has not been revealed. You may believe it has been revealed through a few barbarians in the past but these are not reliable or articulate sources and no reasonable human being should dignify them.
[quote author=“frankr”]There is never a time to spit on a man’s grave.
We cannot stop critique just because someone dies, especially not if others at that time praise them. This man was sickening and seeing him potrayed in positive light at all now is perhaps even more so.