: This community is getting really good at making dartboards out of books that aren't even published yet.
Well, no more than it does of films that haven't even been made yet, at any rate.
Rich Kennedy wrote:
: I've always been uncomfortable with the term inerrancy.
Yeah, it's a completely indefensible term if it's taken literally, as applied to the Bible itself, and the efforts of some savvier evangelicals to save the word by saying that the Bible is inerrant not with regard to the content of the text itself but with regard to how it "serves God's purposes" or something just makes me wonder why we don't ditch the word altogether.
: "In the original autographs" is not something I want to defend without the original autographs to hand.
Heh, an interesting point, and not one I think I've ever heard anyone make before.
As far as proper methods for interpreting scripture go... well, it always catches me by surprise when I come across a New Testament passage that interprets an Old Testament passage in a way that most modern evangelicals would find rather sloppy or creative or, um, non-biblical.
Case in point: The other day I posted some stuff in our thread on Paul
about the difficulties in calculating how long the Israelites were in Egypt before the Exodus. In Genesis, God makes a covenant with Abraham and predicts that his descendants will be strangers in a foreign country -- enslaved and mistreated -- for 400 years. In the standard Hebrew version of Exodus, we are told that the Hebrews stayed in Egypt for 430 years -- but the Greek and Samaritan versions of that text tell us that the Hebrews stayed in Egypt AND CANAAN for 430 years, thereby apparently indicating that God's prediction included the time that Abraham, Isaac and Jacob lived in Canaan prior to the move to Egypt. Then Paul comes along, in Galatians, and clearly casts his lot with the 430-years-in-Egypt-and-Canaan crowd -- relying, as the New Testament writers so often do, on the Greek Septuagint version of the Old Testament and not on the original Hebrew version (at least as it is currently known to us; cf. also the version of Amos that James is quoted as citing in Acts 15).
One of the interesting little details here is that the NIV translation of Exodus says "430 years in Egypt" and relegates "and Canaan" to a footnote -- even though later Christian tradition, as embodied by New Testament co-author Paul himself, would presumably have put Canaan in the main text. But things get even more complicated when we look at the larger point that Paul is making, and how he makes it. Paul talks about how a promise was made to Abraham's "seed", singular, rather than "seeds", plural. But is this a distinction that would have made any sense, in context, in the original Hebrew or even in Greek? The OT passage that Paul cites is translated in the NIV not as "seed" but as "offspring", which would seem to make sense to anyone who was reading Genesis without the filters that Paul or any other Christian writer put on it. (Cf. also how Matthew's gospel insists on the idea that Isaiah 7:14 was predicting a "virgin" birth even though, in its original Hebrew and historical context, the passage was saying no such thing. Although in THAT case, I believe the NIV allows the later Greco-Christian interpretation of the OT to trump other, arguably more literal, readings of that passage.) So what do we do with those filters themselves?
Edited by Peter T Chattaway, 23 March 2011 - 08:54 PM.