D. " Sola Scriptura " vs. " Tradition "
- What is 'tradition'?
- The two extremes on Tradition (all, none)
- Jesus vs. "tradition" (his quotes of Is 1!)
- Where does doctrinal development come into "sola scriptura"?
- Are the scriptures self-interpreting or do we need 'something else'?
- What about our knowledge of history, language, culture, etc.--not in the Bible?
- A Holistic view--the issue of starting point, Christ-centrism, and iteration
E. Perspicuity vs. "Hiddenness" of revelation
- The point of the parables :
Luke 8:10 He said, "The knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of God has been given to you, but to others I speak in parables, so that, " 'though seeing, they may not see though hearing, they may not understand.'
- 2 Peter 3.16 : He writes the same way in all his letters, speaking in them of these matters. His letters contain some things that are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort, as they do the other Scriptures, to their own destruction.
- The point of the revelation--salvific
- Westminster Confession 1.7: "All things in Scripture are not alike plain in themselves, nor alike clear to all yet those things which are necessary to be known, believed, and observed for salvation, are so clearly propounded and opened in some place of Scripture or other, that not only the learned, but the unlearned, in a due use of ordinary means, may attain unto a sufficient understanding of them"
- e.g. " Contradictions " in the Bible (but remember Mt 22):
Matt. 22:41 While the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them, "What do you think about the Christ ? Whose son is he?" The son of David," they replied. He said to them, "How is it then that David, speaking by the Spirit, calls him 'Lord'? For he says, " 'The Lord said to my Lord: Sit at my right hand until I put your enemies under your feet." ' If then David calls him 'Lord,' how can he be his son?" No one could say a word in reply, and from that day on no one dared to ask him any more questions.
- Revelation seems to accelerate the spiritual journey of the individual (e.g. Pharaoh in Exodus)
- Remember, it is a disclosure model
- Ps. 18:25 To the faithful you show yourself faithful, to the blameless you show yourself blameless, to the pure you show yourself pure, but to the crooked you show yourself shrewd.
- Ps. 25:14 The LORD confides in those who fear him; he makes his covenant known to them.
Prov. 3:32 for the LORD detests a perverse man but takes the upright into his confidence.
VI. Skeptical Issues
"A translation of a translation of a translation..."
- we don't use translations, we use increasing numbers of copies
- Our knowledge of the meaning and text gets better and better (due to archeology)
"The church introduced deliberate errors to further its ends..."
- we would catch them anyway, with all the mss!
- by the time the church might have wanted to do this, it was too late in history
- high standards of ethics
- too many witnesses
- the church actually confronted the cults with these!
- (Irenaeus, Clement of Alexandria, Tertullian, Eusebius, and many other Church Fathers accused the heretics of corrupting the Scriptures in order to have support for their special views. (Metzger, The Text of the New Testament, p 201)
"The miracles stories are later embellishments, made to legendize the leader..."
- not enough time to do this
- too many witnesses
- ethics of truth
- if the resurrection couldn't be refuted, then the others are easy!
"The apostles made it up, to enhance their status"
- not that clever?!
- why create such a 'confusing' account?!
- they died for it!
- too many witnesses
"The bible is literally teeming with errors"
- "name your favorite five..."
- history proves otherwise: problems disappear over time
- we have tons of positive data; easier to suspend judgment
"The biblical stories, concepts, and images are merely plagiarisms from earlier cultures..."
- Job and Egyptian wisdom
- Genesis and Sumerian myth /epics ( Gilgamesh -Creation-Flood)
- From the simple to the complex, not vice versa
"Jesus' belief in the OT was wrong--he was just believing the way 1st century Jews did..." (Modernist view)
- Then why did he disagree in so many other areas?!
- why do we assume 1st century Jews were wrong in this area?
- There are things he didn't know ( Matt. 24:36 ) and he seemed occasionally surprised ( Mark 6.6 ; Luke 7:9 ), but no reason to suspect he was wrong on something this important!
- He was so obviously different! ( Jn 8.23, 38 )
"Revelation is not accurate--it is simply God accommodating his message to our inadequate ways of thinking..."
- He built us to do His communicated will--could He have so under-designed us?!
- How good a job did He do? It's still beyond most (all) of us!
- translation vs. accommodation
- the ethics of deception
- He did some, but only at a precision level
"The bible is just myth--'true' myth, of course--but nonetheless not historical...the writers were not interested in the historical details and/or facts...the imperatives of the message were all that mattered..."
- if they use myth, it is so tightly integrated with the history
- we can't seem to identify mythic literary forms (like we can apocalyptic, allegory, etc.)
- How would it look different if our view WAS true?
- NT 'myth' too late in history--too many witnesses and skeptics
- History was too important to the Biblical leaders (and hence to us):
- I Cor 15:17 And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins.
- Jer 25 !
- Daniel 9:1-3 : In the first year of Darius son of Xerxes (a Mede by descent), who was made ruler over the Babylonian kingdom -- in the first year of his reign, I, Daniel, understood from the Scriptures, according to the word of the LORD given to Jeremiah the prophet, that the desolation of Jerusalem would last seventy years. So I turned to the Lord God and pleaded with him in prayer and petition, in fasting, and in sackcloth and ashes.
- This objection only has weight if the myth was generated by mankind--not if it was revealed by God (then the accommodation issue would apply)
- For Christian Growth into Christlikeness
- For the work of Theology and worldview construction
- For the habit of personal study
- For our attitudes toward His Book
- For sharing His message with others
- For worship!
Deut. 5:24 And you said, "The LORD our God has shown us his glory and his majesty, and we have heard his voice from the fire. Today we have seen that a man can live even if God speaks with him.
Deut. 29:29 The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may follow all the words of this law.
Matt. 4:4 Jesus answered, "It is written: 'Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.' "
Why do we have to test 'external revelation'?
- Why couldn't the Bible have been more precise or scientific?
- Name two 'errors' that were answered over time, through archeology.
- How was the canon determined?
- How does P52 bear on the question of the reliability of the mss. we have?
- Refute: In OT times, scribes were not concerned with accuracy of transmission--the concept of a sacred canon just hadn't developed yet."
- Name one kind of revision that HAD TO BE MADE to the OT text over time?
- What is the significance of the NT nomina sacra in relation to scribal discipline in NT transmission?
- Name two safeguards used to ensure the OT text was copied reliably?
- What support for OT mss. reliability did the Dead Sea Scrolls give us?
- What is the main argument against the Conceptual theory of inspiration?
- Does Inspiration refer to the process of the writing or the product ?
- What is the difference between 'native' interpretation and 'literal' interpretation?
- To 'experience' more of the clarity of scripture, what must we do?
Matching: Match the skeptical objection on the left with a possible answer on the right.
A. The bible we have today, as a translation 1. If God acted in history, religious
of a translation of a translation, is probably truth could be expressed in historical
so 'watered down' that we don't even HAVE the terms. The writers didn't need myth--
Bible". they had the exodus, captivity, etc.
2. Actually, it is not clear from arch.
who borrowed from whom, but the
B. The church changed so much of the bible general rule is that the more complex
to further its financial and political agenda. (the outside myths) is based on the
simpler (the OT versions).
3. People don't die for something
C. All the miracles stories about Jesus were they KNOW is a lie--yet the apostles
added much later, to make the founder look all died or were exiled for their claims.
more powerful. And besides, there were too many
witnesses still alive to get away with it.
D. The apostles made up the whole story about 4. But the earliest records we have
Jesus the Messiah and his resurrection. (within a few years of the events) all
describe the miracles, even with all
those eyewitnesses still living. And
they never did find the dead body of
E. The bible is literally teeming with errors! Jesus Christ to refute the resurrection.
5. The main groups didn't, and what
little was done by individuals, we can,
F. It is common knowledge that the Bible is based and do, catch through the abundance of
on older myths from the surrounding cultures. ancient mss.
6. Actually, we don't need to use
translations at all. We have more than
G. Sure Jesus believed the OT--just like all the enough ancient mss (24,000 for the NT!)
other 1st Century Jews. As God became Man, to avoid the 'creeping errors' of the
he had all the knowledge limitations of the men telephone game.
in his day. He was just simply wrong about it.
7. Actually, the number of alleged
errors in the bible GOES DOWN over
time. We have so many cases where
H. The bible is just myth--true myth--and not to Biblical 'problems' were solved through
be taken as historical fact. That would make archeological discovery, that it makes
it more a history book, than a great religious more sense to simply suspend judgment.
and spiritual work.
8. But He corrected them on many
points in which they were in error.
Plus, He was never wrong about
anything else, and he showed advanced
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