Is Bible true or is it revelation from God?
First Round : Introductions, short reasons why Bible is true/not true. Point which are going to be held as proof for/against Bible.
Second Round : Arguments to prove Bible is true/not true.
Third Round : Rebuttals; And at the end of arguments opponents will ask 5 questions to each other which are answered in fourth round.
1. Bible contradicts attributes of God.
2. Bible contradicts concept of revelation.
3. Bible contradicts itself.
4. Bible contradicts basic scientific and arithmetic facts.
5. Bible contradicts common morality and ethics.
6. Chain of transmission is unknown/lost.
7. The books in the Bible are not in original languages.
8. Manuscripts contradicts each other.
9. Manuscripts are written century(s) later.
6, 8 and 9 are related to each other, but I am going to analyze each of them. If you read 5 and say, “it cannot be true, Bible is the source of morality”, then you have not read the Bible.
Thank you for reading,
….. and I ask the opponent to follow the rules.
Firstly, the fundamental positions in this debate are "The Bible is true" and "The Bible is untrue." The debate title mentions "Revelation from God," but this was not indicated in the rules and summary of arguments, neither was "revelation" nor the phrase "revelation from God" defined. Therefore, I can only assume my opponent meant to focus on the truth or untruth of the Bible, and this point about "revelation" was meant to be part of the debate supporting the Con position.
Before this can be effectively argued, we need a handful of definitions.
The concept of truth must be defined. My opponent has not defined what this means in this context, so I will assert the following as clarification for the purposes of this debate:
"True" is something which is factual or situationally accurate.
Furthermore, my opponent has not defined "The Bible," as this can mean different things for different traditions. For this debate, I assert "The Bible" to be:
The Hebrew Scriptures (the Tanakh), organized into 39 books in the Christian Old Testament, and the 27 books of the Christian New Testament. These are the standard Protestant canon.
Other Biblical texts considered deuterocanonical (for example, texts from the Catholic Bible or the Eastern Orthodox tradition) may be used anecdotally in the debate, but will not necessarily be considered toward the decision.
Based on this, I will be arguing the following points:
1) The Bible is neither an historical nor mathematical textbook, but a record of religious tradition, moral code, and theological teaching, compiled by multiple authors over the course of more than a thousand years.
2) The text of the Old Testament (the Hebrew Scriptures) was meant to pass on oral traditions of the Hebrews, and in its context in Christian scripture, to inform the events in the New Testament.
3) The New Testament is a compiled series of accounts, letters, etc. that were addressed to multiple audiences with varying, but specific, cultural and religious needs.
4) The Bible contains many genres of literature.
5) The chain of transmission is not, in fact, lost, but has been traced fairly well.
6) We have multiple translations from the past two thousand plus years of the texts, as well as many manuscripts of the original languages.
7) Manuscript variants do not necessarily preclude truth nor indicate contradiction.
8) The Bible is not meant to be taken literally in all cases.
9) The Bible accurately describes and informs the religious traditions that it was intended, and it provides insight that has led to factual discovery throughout history.
10) The Old Testament, in the Christian tradition, MUST be read and understood in context of BOTH the ancient Hebrew tradition it describes and the Christian tradition which builds upon it.
I await my opponents first arguments. And again, thank you for bringing up this topic.
First of all, I will define few things, for not to be confused in the future arguments. By "Revelation", I meant what God reveals to the chosen people, the word of God. Also, I do not take everything literally in Bible, because semitic languages are languages of methapores, some verses must be analyzed from methaphorical prespective. And by trurh of Bible, I meant if everything Bible says is true (literal or methaphorical) or if everything christians says about Bible is true. My opponent chose Protestant Canon, I do not have any objection. But I would like to know which version of Bible he is going to quote, King James, NIV, NRSV or other. Now let's talk about my points.
1. Bible contradicts atributes of God.
- GEN1:9,10 - "And God said, “Let the water under the sky be gathered to one place, and let dry ground appear.” And it was so. God called the dry ground “land,” and the gathered waters he called “seas.” And God saw that it was good." - That means God saw that what He created is good after He created it. God did not know it was good before He created it. It contradicts All-Knowing. "And God saw that it was good." also found in next verses.
- PSA18:10 - "He mounted the cherubim and flew; he soared on the wings of the wind." - The Omnipresent God riding naked children with wings.
- GEN3:8,9 - "Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden. But the Lord God called to the man, “Where are you?” " - God did not know where they (Adam and Eve) are.
2. Bible contradicts concept of revelation.
In religion and theology, revelation is the revealing or disclosing of some form of truth or knowledge through communication with a deity or other supernatural entity or entities (http://en.wikipedia.org...). Those revelations are written down and form a book. Why God sends down revelations, to show the straight way to man kind, in order to make people to believe in God. Sio the revelation must contain rational, logical, evidentual arguments in order to make people believe in God. Fact is a fact after it is proven to be fact. Saying, Bible is "the" revelation from God, does not make Bible revelation from God. Revelation must have counter-arguments for those who say, it is not revelation. Bible does not defend itself agains such arguments, and neither does provide us with rational, logical and evidentual arguments. Means Bible does not say, It is the revelation from God, and proof is here and there. Bible has erotic and pornographic scenes (sex before marriage, threesomes, incest, group sex, kinky fetish cuckolding and, gay sex - read the Genesis). The prophets of God are sinners, in the Bible. Means God chose mass murderers, adulterers, alchoholics to lead the people to the God, that is insane.
3. Bible contradicts itself. Internal consistancy.
- " In the earlier manuscripts of Mark 1:2, the composite quotation from Malachi 3:1 and Isaiah 40:3 is introduced by the formula "As it is written in Isaiah the Prophet". Later scribes, sensing this involves a difficulty replaced "As it is written in Isaiah the Prophet" with the general statement "As it is written in the prophets". Since the quotation which Matthew(27:9) attributes to the prophet Jeremiah actually comes from Zechariah(11:12f), it is not surprising that some scribes sought to mend the error either by substituting the correct name or by omitting the name altogether. A few scribes attempted to harmonize the Johannine account of the chronology of the Passion with that in Mark by changing ’sixth hour’ of John 19:14 to ‘third hour’ (which appears in Mark 15:25). At John 1:28, Origen altered Bethany to Bethabara in order to remove what he regarded as a geographical difficulty, and this reading is extant today in MSS. 33 69 and many others, including those which lie behind the King James version. The statement in Mark 8:31, that ‘the Son of man must suffer many things…and be killed and after three days rise again’, seems to involve a chronological difficulty, and some copyists changed the phrase to the more familiar expression, ‘on the third day’. The author of the Epistle to the Hebrews places the golden altar of incense in the Holy of Holies (Heb. 9:4), which is contrary to the Old Testament description of the Tabernacle (Exod. 30:1-6). The scribe of Codex Vaticanus and the translator of the Ethiopic version correct the account by transferring the words to 9:2, where the furniture of the Holy Place is itemized. " - Bruce M. Metzger, The Text of the New Testament. Its Transmission, Corruption, and Restoration, pp. 199-200.
- Who was at the Empty Tomb? Is it:
MAT 28:1 - In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre.
MAR 16:1 - And when the sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, had bought sweet spices, that they might come and anoint him.
JOH 20:1 - The first day of the week cometh Mary Magdalene early, when it was yet dark, unto the sepulchre, and seeth the stone taken away from the sepulchre.- How many stalls and horsemen?
1KI 4:26 - And Solomon had forty thousand stalls of horses for his chariots, and twelve thousand horsemen.
2CH 9:25 - And Solomon had four thousand stalls for horses and chariots, and twelve thousand horsemen; whom he bestowed in the chariot cities, and with the king at Jerusalem.There tons of internal consistencies in the Bible, just google the word "internal consistencies in the Bible".
4. Bible contradicts basic scientific and arithmetic facts.- 2CHR 4:1,2,3 - "He made a bronze altar twenty cubits long, twenty cubits wide and ten cubits high.He made the Sea of cast metal, circular in shape, measuring ten cubits from rim to rim and five cubits high. It took a line of thirty cubits to measure around it.Below the rim, figures of bulls encircled it—ten to a cubit.The bulls were cast in two rows in one piece with the Sea." - God who created the Universe and everything in it and yet does not know what π (pi) is. Do not tell me, it is an approximate, because the word in hebrew means exactly equal to, not otherwise. The circumference should be ~31.4.
In Genesis, Chapter 1, God created light before soure of light, and day and night existed even before the creation of Sun.
- Gen1:7 - "So God made the vault and separated the water under the vault (sky) from the water above it" - There is no water above the sky.
Again in Genesis, Chapter 1, God created plant life before Sun, Earth was created before Sun. Light was created before Sun. That is a discrimination against Sun.
There tons of scientific contradictis in Bible, you can google it. These were just few of them. And the reason I talk about it, because The All-Knowing God does not know facts that even today's five-year-old kid knows, of-course according to Bible.
5. Bible contradicts common morality and ethics.I talked about it on my second point. The sex stories, mass murder, genocide and etc., all are in the Bible.
6. Chain of transmission is unknown/lost.I even do not have to talk about it. Show me the full chain of transmission of Pentatuch, other books of OT, and for NT. You do not have it.
7. The books in the Bible are not in original languages.In order to establish that we have the books in the Bible in original language (Hebrew and Aramaic), you have to show chain of transmission. And by Chain of transmission I mean, Who wrote it, where wrote it, which year was it, from whom he took the stories, and etc.
7. The books in the Bible are not in original languages.We have thousands of manuscripts of NT, and none two of them are same, and contradicts each other. Read the book written by Bruce Metzger. And also study the history and transmision of Pentatuch.
9. Manuscripts are written century(s) later.
If you say otherwise, prove that I am wrong, and you have first hand copies of the books of Bible, signed by prophets.
Firstly, let me address my opponent's introductory statements. Since my opponent did not initially define "truth," this was left to me, and I did so in my previous post. My opponent appears to be altering this and the basic question by now redefining and saying "everything the Bible says is true," rather than "the Bible is true," which deals rather with the totality of the texts. I cannot argue against anything but the actual proposal. As such, we shall continue with the premise that "the Bible is true/untrue" based on the totality of the texts and their situational accuracy. However, "everything Christians say about the Bible" is far too broad, and it was never included in the debate. Theological differences between groups are far too vast to argue legitimately this topic. Since it is too broad to be a reasonable debate and was not part of the original proposal, it is not accepted as an additional point of debate.
In terms of scripture, I reserve the right to use any and all translations and languages in my arguments of rebuttals, including (but not limited to) Hebrew, Koine Greek, and English (multiple versions). I will append the version information to any quoted scripture, however.
Briefly commenting on my opponent's points, to be fully addressed in rebuttal:
1) My opponent has provided no evidence, definitive or otherwise, stating the God of the Bible's omniscience or omnipotence. Therefore, my opponent has shown attributes that (if taken literally) do not contradict anything yet shown. However, should my opponent wish to bring something up in the next round that reintroduces this argument, I will gladly rebut. Until then, this point is irrelevant.
2) My opponent here has claimed revelation to be "revealing or disclosing of some form of truth or knowledge through communication with a deity or other supernatural entity/entities." I accept this definition. I will address further in rebuttal.
3) My opponent has cited no sources, providing only speculation, so I will await his providing these so I can address them in rebuttal, but I would remind my opponent that, while we are using the Protestant Canon for our debate, historical context and development of the texts are key in this debate.
4) I will address these in rebuttal, but I would suggest double checking translations or providing evidence, as nothing but hearsay has been given for some of these examples.
5 & 6) I will address in rebuttal.
7) My opponent is factually inaccurate about the original language of the vast majority of the New Testament, which is Koine Greek, not Aramaic. Other than this, I will address in rebuttal.
8) This seems to be something of a re-hashing of 7. I will address in rebuttal.
9) My opponent has presented a statement as fact without citation or other support. I will gladly address when such is given, but this point is irrelevant otherwise, as it is not my burden to disprove an unsupported claim.
1) The Bible is not an historical textbook. It is not meant to be a genealogical record. It is not meant to be an account of details of mundane and everyday occurrences. The Old Testament addresses specifically the relationship between the God of Israel and His chosen people, the Hebrews, and their stories and tales relating to this relationship throughout their history, but is not in and of itself a record of that history in the sense we would think of today. Likewise, the New Testament is the account of the change in this relationship through the ministry of the man known as Jesus of Nazareth, believed to be the Christ/Messiah by his followers. In this way, though the Bible may contain factual inaccuracies, it is completely true in its message and intent to inform those who follow the religions in question as to the relationship between their God and themselves. This debate is not whether this God exists, but whether the Bible is true or situationally accurate. As such, it is most certainly true. It accomplishes its purpose.
2) The Hebrew Scriptures (the Old Testament) are the written forms of oral traditions and stories passed down amongst the Hebrews. They were originally not meant to be written, historical accounts of Israel and its forefathers, but stories of inspiration and hope that illustrate how their God would provide, chastise, and otherwise interact with his chosen people as a figure not dissimilar to a parent. As such, these stories contain tales of kindness, wrath, love, hatred, and other instances that would adequately provide a picture of how their God might guide them to a better future through many circumstances. They were mostly written down only once the Israelites were exiled, in order to preserve their oral traditions and teaching. In light of the New Testament, the Old Testament gives cultural and religious context for the revolutionary Jesus of Nazareth, who challenged much of the status quo that the Hebrews' organized religion had become. Again, this most certainly shows situational accuracy in the attempt to convey the relationship of God found in the Hebrew (and ultimately Christian) religion.
3) The New Testament was written primarily in Koine Greek, not Aramaic, and its authors were varied, as were their reasons for writing. Paul's letters (both those he wrote and those attributed to him by his own disciples) were originally in Greek. Paul, having been raised on the Septuagint, primarily quotes Hebrew Scripture from the Greek, rather than the Hebrew for instance. This New Testament was written at various times (especially the epistles, which were addressed to specific congregations with specific needs), but the Gospels, like the Hebrew Scriptures, are generally agreed to be compilations from early, firsthand knowledge, accounts from those present to their disciples, and oral traditions which had sprung up as early as the time of Jesus's actual ministry. The Gospels especially, though often described as "historical narratives" today, use many common 1st century and earlier literary traditions, some of which include attributive authorship as a means of respect for one's teacher. For instance, a disciple of a master might write a treatise espousing what his master taught, but the writing would be attributed to the master out of respect.
Each of the Gospels served specific purposes to those who originally compiled them, and all, while recounting events as one might expect an history, are bound to come from different individuals. Eyewitnesses today commonly show widely variant recountings of factual events, yet courts admit them as evidence, and their underlying truth is not questioned unless perjury is suspected. Likewise, one cannot simply point to minor differences in multiple accounts as proof of overall untruth or deception. Especially in the case of the early life of Jesus (prior to his ministry), these were compilations of oral traditions surrounding the rabbi, and were not meant to be absolutely literal, but rather descriptive of the general events and the character of Jesus and his family.
4) It is obvious that many genres are included in the Bible. Parables, Psalms, etc. are found throughout, and though some denominations adhere to a literalist belief of the text, this does not necessarily equate to an accurate reading. Ergo, if there is the legitimate possibility of metaphor, a moral to be taught, or other such non-literal device, such must be reasonably considered.
5) Saying that the chain of transmission is lost is disingenuous. These texts were compiled from many varying sources. For example, many different members of the Hebrew priesthood participated in writing down the oral tradition of the Hebrews while in exile in the mid first millennium B.C.E. These were kept by the Hebrews until the Second Temple Period began, when the Hebrews once again had a place to worship according to their customs. There is no break in the existence of Hebrew scripture between this time and the present, and there is a great deal of commentary, and even a meaningful translation into Greek done in the intervening time.
Likewise, we see many early manuscripts of New Testament texts which date back to the mid first century C.E., when they were likely originally put down. These were copied numerous times for sharing between different congregations, and differences in Greek dialects spoken in Greece, Galilee, Alexandria, etc. easily explain differences in texts. Similarly, different Jewish sects adapted some Christian teachings at the time. Not only is the record intact, it provides great context for early non-standard Christian groups. Again, there is no break in the chain, as there is no period of time in which these scriptures were lost.
To relate somewhat, we have many different variants of, for example, Renaissance polyphony (musical compositions). These were copied by scribes and composers for use in churches sometimes multiple countries away. Individual pitch or rhythm values often differ, and the original version can sometimes be hard to trace. However, the heart (or, if you will, "truth . . . situational accuracy") of the different variants still remains.
6) The Biblical texts have inspired investigation into the workings of the world and the contributed greatly to the development of modern science, even though the church has often stood in the way of such. Copernicus, Kepler, Galileo, Newton, Faraday, and Planck were all Christians who were at least partly inspired by their beliefs and scripture to search for scientific observation of the universe. As such, the truth of the Bible as it relates to the description and proscription of belief for the ancient Hebrews and Christians and for modern Christians is not only certain, but is greatly contributive to the creation of modern science as we know it.
In summary, the debate posed the question of the Bible's truth, not its factual accuracy in recounting historical, mathematical, or other academic detail. As such, the Bible is true.
First, comments on the comments of my opponent on my points :
A. "everything Bible says is true" vs "Bible is true"?
Now, let's use elementary school logic here. IF everything Bible says is true THEN Bible is true, AND, IF Bible is true THEN everything Bible says is true. Is there problem with this logical sentence?!
Truth - in accord with fact or reality, or fidelity to an original or to a standard or ideal (http://en.wikipedia.org...). The real facts about something : the things that are true; the quality or state of being true; a statement or idea that is true or accepted as true (http://www.merriam-webster.com...). And TRUE means - agreeing with the facts : not false; real or genuine; having all the expected or necessary qualities of a specified type of person or thing(http://www.merriam-webster.com...).
C. "everything Christians say about the Bible"
By this I meant common believes, I am not going argue what Catholics believe is true or false or what eastern orthodox church believes and etc. Just only common believes held by majority.
D. NIV Bible
I used NIV Bible in my argument, if you have objection (If you are saying NIV is not true Bible) I willing to use another version.
E. Attributes of God.
In my first point, the verses I used contradicts the All-Knowing and Omnipresent God. But my opponent asks for Omniscience and Omnipotence. First of all, Omniscience means All-Knowing - Omniscience, mainly in religion, is the capacity to know everything that there is to know (http://en.wikipedia.org...). Secondly, I take it as IF God is Omnipotent then He is not needed to be All-Knowing?! Omnipotence basically means All Power, from Latin. All-Powerful God. Is God All-Powerful? Judges1:19 - "The Lord was with the men of Judah. They took possession of the hill country, but they were unable to drive the people from the plains, because they had chariots fitted with iron." Also this verse contradicts Mark10:27 - "Jesus looked at them and said, "With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God." " Also we found a contradiction within the Bible.
"Could Jesus microwave a burrito so hot that he himself could not eat it?" - Homer Simpson.
F. I cited no sources.
If you read my arguments, you will come to see the sources. The links in parentheses are external links. And when I quote from Bible, I cite the source. Only thing I did not cite the source is sex stories, mass murder and genocide. But I will cite now :
LEV18:9 - "Do not have sexual relations with your sister, either your father’s daughter or your mother’s daughter, whether she was born in the same home or elsewhere." But Abraham did married Sarah, his half-sister (GEN20:12). Nachor (Abraham’s brother) married Melcha (his niece) (GEN11:26-29). Lot and his Daughters, sex and wine (GEN19:31-36). EXO6:20 - "And Amram took to wife Jochabed his aunt by the father’s side". Incestuous rape - Amnon and Thomar, 2Kings13.
DEU17:12 - "Anyone who shows contempt for the judge or for the priest who stands ministering there to the Lord your God is to be put to death. You must purge the evil from Israel". EXO21:15 - "Anyone who attacks their father or mother is to be put to death." DEU13:13-19 - "Suppose you hear in one of the towns the LORD your God is giving you that some worthless rabble among you have led their fellow citizens astray by encouraging them to worship foreign gods. In such cases, you must examine the facts carefully. If you find it is true and can prove that such a detestable act has occurred among you, you must attack that town and completely destroy all its inhabitants, as well as all the livestock. Then you must pile all the plunder in the middle of the street and burn it. Put the entire town to the torch as a burnt offering to the LORD your God. That town must remain a ruin forever; it may never be rebuilt. Keep none of the plunder that has been set apart for destruction. Then the LORD will turn from his fierce anger and be merciful to you. He will have compassion on you and make you a great nation, just as he solemnly promised your ancestors. "The LORD your God will be merciful only if you obey him and keep all the commands I am giving you today, doing what is pleasing to him," - basically means kill the entire town if one person worships another god. And so on, I made my point, and I do not see any point to quote more, but if you want I can quote more, and more, and more than more.
G. The books in the Bible are not in original languages.
The Gospel manuscripts are in Greek (by Greek, I mean Koine Greek), and here rises the question. Did Jesus spoke Greek? If not then Gospels are not in Original Languages. I say Jesus spoke Aramaic (watch the Gospel according to Mel Gibson, I mean the movie - The Passion of the Christ). Now you will tell for these or those reasons Jesus (could, or might have) spoke Greek, but then you are making assumption, we are dealing with facts here. Can I prove that Jesus spoke Aramaic? Yes, it is easy, all you have to do is to use some induction (Inductive Reasoning). Jesus was a racist (may be The Racist, because Jesus is god, God is Absolute, so every Attribute of God is Absolute, so if Jesus is racist then His racism is Absolute) and he called gentiles pigs and etc. (remember the story of Canaanite woman, MAT15:22-26) He was sent to Lost House of Israel an etc. (you can find racist quotes in NT easily, just google it). And as a racist, he would speak Aramaic, saying Jesus spoke Greek is same with saying Hitler spoke Hebrew.
H. Re-hashing of 7.
Sorry about that, actually 8 should be Bible Manuscripts contradicts each other. For example, none of two different NT manuscripts are same. And many of them contradicts each other.
I. Fact without citation or other support.
I will quote my own words from previous debate - "There are 2 papyri manuscripts from 2nd cen., 5 papyri, 1 uncial manuscripts from 2nd-3rd cen., and 28 papyri and 2 uncial manuscripts from 3rd cen, In later centuries number of manuscripts grows up. That means Jesus "died" in 1st cen., there are no manuscripts. 2nd-3rd cen., there are total 7 papyri and 1 uncial manuscripts, how can you write a total book of NT, with them. The later manuscripts cannot be taken seriously, because there are no evidence for chain of transmission. There are no evidence who wrote that manuscripts, when and where they wrote it. For example, Gospel of John is not Gospel of John, it is Gospel ACCORDING TO John. There are no names no signatures at the end of manuscripts, to indicate who wrote them. And nobody knows who John is. Who say that he knows who John is, just speculates. We know who Alexander the Great is, because there are some historical documents about him. But there are no historical document about John." (http://www.debate.org...) And also, you should know all those manuscripts are in disagreement. I could not possibly examine each manuscript and represent each contradiction, there are character limit for arguments, and you can easily check them online, I have downloaded some copies of manuscripts and also translations, you can also do that. And prove I am wrong, if I am wrong. Also read the book written by Bruce Metzger, he is Bible scholar.
Now moving to my opponents argument :
1. My point is - IF the Message contains factual inaccuracies, THEN Message is incorrect. Also what is the Message (of the Bible)? How do you indicate The Message to be true if the container is broken? (Bible is full of inaccuracies.) Situational accurate does not mean factual and evidential accurate. If something is factual and evidential inaccurate then it is inaccurate, end of story. I did present, facts and evidences about inaccuracy of Bible.
2. We are not talking here about Jesus, but about Bible. What did Jesus do or did not do is another story. Jesus is not proof for accuracy of Bible. I say Jesus is liar, and I prove it :
MAT11:11-15 - "I tell you the truth, John the Baptist is greater than any other person ever born, but even the least important person in the kingdom of heaven is greater than John. Since the time John the Baptist came until now, the kingdom of heaven has been going forward in strength, and people have been trying to take it by force. All the prophets and the law of Moses told about what would happen until the time John came. And if you will believe what they said, you will believe that John is Elijah, whom they said would come. Let those with ears use them and listen!"
JOHN1:21 - " They asked him, Then who are you? Are you Elijah?
He said, I am not.
Are you the Prophet?
He answered, No."
So, Jesus lied about John being Elijah. And by the way, who is the prophet, they were talking about?
3. You are talking about eyewitnesses, but you do not give a name of one eyewitness, show us chain of transmission.
4. Many genres does not prove Bible to be true.
5. I am accepting your assertion to be true, just for sake of argument (actually you did not cite any source) - then here rises the question: The Revelation came to Moses (the books of Pentateuch) in ...... Which year?! And how many centuries later Jews wrote them down?! The chain of transmission for Pentateuch?!
6. "The Biblical texts have inspired investigation into the workings of the world and the contributed greatly to the development of modern science, even though the church has often stood in the way of such", I assume you are joking. How many witches, how many scientists and researchers were killed by biblical inspiration. If there was no Biblical inspiration, we were travelling other galaxies now. Galileo was member of Illuminate, and Newton was member of Rose Cross.
You accused me for not citing sources (but I did cite), but you did not cite any source, did not cite any fact, or evidence. Your argument is Pastor Talking on Sunday Argument.
Question for R4 - Any 5 questions that were asked here.
Instigator’s Round 3 Commentary:
A) There is a problem: my opponent is apparently using a definition of “factual,” rather than the definition of “true” for this debate. Also, there is no argument to show that this is a valid case for “If and only if . . . then” as opposed to merely “If . . . then.” As such, this argument is not logically sound.
B) This is non sequitur. According to the standards for debate, an undefined term may be defined by the Contender. I have done so for “true.”
C) This is still too vague to consider, and it is not accepted as a point of the debate.
D) Non sequitur. There was no stipulation that we were debating a specific version.
E) My opponent has still not shown evidence for omnipotence, omniscience, or omnipresence, therefore arguing for or against them are moot points. Furthermore, the example in E does not indicate contradiction as, according to Hebrews 13:5 (NRSV) . . . for he has said, “I will never leave you or forsake you.” Presence does not indicate aid. Furthermore, the quaint Homer Simpson quote can be answered with the following from C.S. Lewis’s The Problem With Pain:
“It remains true that all things are possible with God: the intrinsic impossibilities are not things but nonentities. It is no more possible for God than for the weakest of His creatures to carry out both of two mutually exclusive alternatives; not because His power meets an obstacle, but because nonsense remains nonsense even when we talk it about God.”
F) I was not talking about general sources, but the specific arguments being made about MSS. Without the specific MSS from each particular point of debate, I cannot check the original source. The additional Biblical examples given here of various laws, many taken out of temporal continuity (holding up events from Genesis to Levitical law codified by the priesthood several hundred to a thousand years after the fact), but the main problem is that my opponent is arguing that something must be untrue if it counters current societal mores and ethics. This is, obviously, an irrational statement as morality changes by culture and time period. Furthermore, if humanity is indeed imperfect, then stories of humans breaking the moral codes that apply to them do not somehow render irrelevant the moral code as applicable to that culture.
G) Jesus came from a very Hellenistic area: Galilee (see: http://www.hebrew4christians.com...). It is likely that he spoke, if not primarily, Koine Greek, especially with Greek and Latin being quite linguae francae at this period of time, and Jesus spending time with Gentiles who were, assumedly, not speaking Hebrew or Aramaic. Furthermore, many of those disciples came from professions that would have required knowledge of Greek, so to assume that Greek was not a valid language to communicate the tales of Jesus of Nazareth is simply not valid. I don’t believe the Hitler comparison deserves response as it is somewhat tangential to the point and carries a very convoluted argument. As a side note, Mel Gibson’s movie is not an academically valid source.
H) No specific examples given of this contradiction from manuscripts, or how variants automatically mean untruth.
I) I was not requesting all examples, merely some. I never claimed authorship was credited in the Gospels, but explained the 1st and 2nd century tradition of attribution found in the Gospels and many of the Epistles. In addition, your assertions about the number of manuscripts and dating is somewhat outdated (see: http://www.dts.edu...). My opponent has continued to claim many disagreements, but I can only address that which is presented. Additionally, no arguments from Metzgar have been substantially introduced for me to counter, and as such it seems to be nothing but an Appeal to Authority.
Instigator’s Round 3 Responses to My Commentary:
1) Again, this assumes a reading of “factual,” but this is not the debate. As I have stated, the Bible is not an history textbook, but a religious writing placed within an historical context. But, additionally, my opponent claims “If the Message of the contains factual inaccuracies, then the Message is incorrect.” In reality, the second half is “then the Message is factually inaccurate.” I can state that Teddy Roosevelt is dead, incidentally, he was killed with a Bowie knife and a microphone. This does not invalidate the overall point that Roosevelt is in fact dead, though I would be extremely factually inaccurate about the means.
2) This is non sequitur. It does not apply to anything I actually argued.
3) Already addressed.
4) I was not stating this proves it to be true, but rather that my opponent acknowledges various literary genres, but insists on literal interpretation when it helps his case, regardless of other context or wording. That's contradiction.
5) I never claimed Moses authored the Pentateuch. That is old tradition, but generally not accepted as accurate. This does not change the situational accuracy of the contents of the Pentateuch as the laws and oral traditions of the Hebrews.
6) This argument is non sequitur. My point was to submit that the text, as truth in relation to the Jewish and Christian religions, fulfills its purpose of inspiring understanding. I also acknowledged that there are those who misread or resist change based on their own traditions and stubbornness. This does not invalidate the former assertion.
Lastly, my opponent says I cited no sources. True. I did not because I was making an argument for legitimacy and truth of the text as a situationally accurate religious text as it transmits its intended message and cultural tradition. This is evident from the totality of the text itself, and is independent of the specifics which would require citation. My rebuttal cites when necessary.
Instigator’s Round 2 Arguments:
2) Accepting my opponent’s definition of "revelation," my opponent has failed to show how the Bible does not disclose knowledge of the relationship of God with the Israelites (and later, the followers of Christ). Furthermore, revelation is not meant to prove or to "make people believe in God" according to this definition. If one looks throughout the Bible, one finds revelations being given to those who already believe (Matthew 1:20, all the Nevi’im, Revelation 1:1) in order to communicate the shared knowledge or action to other believers (Matthew 1:20, all the Nevi’im, Revelation 1:4). As such, the Bible is definitively revelation, completely unrelated to the question of whether the Bible is true or untrue.
My Five Questions:
1) What is your actual, general argument against the Bible as situationally accurate, other points aside?
2) Do you consider, for instance, the most recent non-Special Edition version of Star Wars (A New Hope) to be a true version of the film? There is a point to be made here.
3) What experience do you have with the different beliefs of varying Christian sects and denominations (Greek Orthodox, Russian Orthodox, Roman Catholic, Anglican, Mainline Protestant, Evangelical Protestant, Non-denominational, etc.)?
4) Explain how, exactly, you arrived at the conclusion that "everything in the Bible is true" equates to "the Bible is true" and vice versa, since this seems to be an obvious case of "If . . . then," but is logically tenuous at best in terms of being "If and only if . . . then," which would allow for the reciprocation you asserted.
5) What, exactly, are "common morality and ethics?" You used the phrase in your introductory statements, but this is highly subjective. The morality and ethics of, for example, the United States are certainly widely variant by location and socio-economic status, and it only gets more varied as you expand to the North American continent and the world at large. As a second part of this question, why do you expect the morals and ethics of the 2nd millennium BCE, 1st millennium BCE, 1st century CE, and modernity to match and equate?
(IF premises p and q are both TRUE, THEN, proposition (p AND q) is TRUE) AND (IF proposition (p AND q) TRUE, THEN premises p and q are both TRUE). This proposition is not fallacy.
In no dictionary situationally accurate is the definition of Truth. Show the source for your definition so, we can check it. I cited my sources. You cannot redefine something to fit your purposes.
I do not understand this, Are you saying that I has not shown evidence for omni-potence/presence/science from Bible or I has not shown logical and rational arguments for omni-potence/presence/science. Here are the "evidences" from Bible:
a. Omniscience in the Bible : Psalm 147:5; Proverbs 15:3; Romans 8:29; Isaiah 46:10; Job 37:16; Revelation 13:8; Hebrews 6:4-6; 2 Timothy 1:9; Ephesians 1:4; Romans 12:1-21; Romans 8:29-30; Isaiah 45:7; Isaiah 1:1-31; 1 John 5:18; 1 John 3:9; 1 Corinthians 12:1-31; Romans 9:1-33; Daniel 7:1-28.
b. Omnipotence in the Bible : Matthew 19:26; Luke 1:37; Jeremiah 32:27; Isaiah 40:28; Job 42:2; Psalm 147:5; Romans 1:20; Mark 10:27; Hebrews 1:3; Job 37:23; Daniel 2:20-22; Isaiah 44:24; 1 Corinthians 1:25; Daniel 4:35; Exodus 35:1-35; Revelation 19:6; Ephesians 1:19-22; Jeremiah 10:12; Job 36:26;
c. Omnipresence in the Bible : Jeremiah 23:24; Proverbs 15:3; Psalm 139:7-10; Colossians 1:17; Job 34:21; Psalm 139:1-24; Matthew 18:20; Matthew 28:19-20; Isaiah 57:15; Isaiah 43:2; Acts 17:27; Revelation 3:20; Hebrews 4:12; Job 11:7-9; Deuteronomy 31:6; Genesis 4:10; Mark 11:6;
There lots of other verses, only thing you have to do is read the Bible. (*Note: These links are ESV Bible.)
Raping your sister is immoral in every culture.
Where in Gospels Jesus spent time with gentiles?! He called gentiles dogs. Did he spoke "dogs' language"?!
Matt. 10:5 "Go not into the way of the Gentiles"
Matt. 15:24 "I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel"
John 4:22 "Salvation is of the Jews"
I did not give specific examples of contradictions in manuscripts. I suppose you gave not read any book by Bible scholar. Here is the video of Speech of Bart D. Ehrman:
You did not address eyewitness or chain of transmission problems. Show us the Chain of Transmission for Gospels, you cannot, because there is none.
Torah is the book which attributed to Moses. All Jews are agree (of course, all Jews who believe in God).
Returning to revelation again, God sends revelation. And this revelation contains internal or external contradiction. Were this contradictions when God sent them or was the revelation changed by people later.
If contradiction was there when God sent them then God is not God. Sun came to being before it, it is a fact, God is Creator, and only Creator, so He created Sun and the Earth, but when He sent a revelation He made a mistake, pretty BIG mistake. If God can make mistakes, How can we "trust him"? "May be" He was "wrong" about salvation also, who knows, "God works in mysterious ways".
If contradictions are later addition or changes by people then how you determine that all others are not additions or changes?
Who defines the purpose of Bible? If Bible defines it, how do you determine it is not an addition or later changes? If people, who gave them that authority?
So, you are saying there was no way Almighty God can possibly give the exact area of circle?
1. The revelation from God cannot be situationally accurate and sometimes inaccurate. God, Who makes mistakes is not God, so His Revelation is not revelation.
2. Star Wars (I hope) is not revelation from God.
3. I am not and never was Christian, Christianity is the religion built on the false premises.
4. There is no "IFF....THEN" (IFF, means If and only If). But I get idea. You are right (p⇒q)∧(q⇒p) ≡ p⇔q.
5. Not raping your sister is common morality.
Addressing My Opponent’s Statements:
“Everything is true . . . “
My opponent seems to be confusing things with his first statement. If everything in my pantry is breakfast food, then my next home-cooked meal (before going to the store) will be breakfast foods. However, that does necessarily not mean: if my next home-cooked meal before going to the store will be breakfast foods, then everything in my pantry is breakfast food. So my opponent has indeed conflated two ideas here.
This is non sequitur. It ignores the standards of debate.
I originally planned to address these verse-by-verse with quoted verses, but I realized that many of these do not apply at all to their supposed traits, and they would eat my 10,000 character count. Additionally, my opponent never actually argued against omnipotence that I can find. Therefore, I will address specific verses in detail which do relate, and other will be only incidentally mentioned.
“Great is our Lord, and abundant in power; his understanding is beyond measure.” - Psalm 147:5
The number of the stars is currently beyond exact measure (since we cannot see the light of every star we know to be in the universe). We also know that number to be finite, if vast. This is not an argument for omniscience.
“The eyes of the Lord are in every place, keeping watch on the evil and the good.” - Proverbs 15:3
All-seeing is not omniscience.
Do you know the balancings of the clouds, the wondrous works of the one whose knowledge is perfect, - Job 37:16
This could mean all-knowing or it could mean the knowledge God has (whatever amount it is) is perfect, so let’s look at the Hebrew (see: http://www.qbible.com...). We can see the actual meaning is “knowledge which encompasses man’s entire knowledge.” That means God would be smarter than man, but not omniscient by necessity.
Revelation 13:8, Romans 8:29-30, Hebrews 6:4-6, 2 Timothy 1:9, Ephesians 1:4, Isaiah 45:7, Romans 12:2, Isaiah 1:1-31, Isaiah 46:10, 1 John 5:18, 1 John 3:9, 1 Corinthians 12:1-31, Romans 9:1-33, & Daniel 7:1-28 all address a very wide variety of topics, including tangentially related specific foreknowledge, but not a single one of them actually addresses omniscience, so I’m not sure why my opponent cited them.
My opponent asserted as his sole example of “common morality” that “Raping your sister is immoral in every culture.”
In ancient Egypt, incest was normal, at least amongst royals who were thought divine. Siblings often married or copulated as a means of preserving this divine blood . . . keeping it pure. (see: http://www.strangehistory.net...). I can only assume my opponent’s use of “rape” here implies the act against the (in this case) woman, so his assertion simply holds no water. Of course, if my opponent were to concede the ancient definition of rape (a woman violated against the will of her father, husband, or other male authority figure), then my point that ethics and morals are fluid across cultures and times is sufficiently made.
Matthew 10:5 is Jesus sending out his apostles. This is not talking about Jesus. This is obvious in reading from the beginning of the chapter.
Matthew 15:24, taken in context, actually shows Jesus did help the Gentile woman (verse 28 is “Then Jesus answered her, “Woman, great is your faith! Let it be done for you as you wish.” And her daughter was healed instantly.”). I assume your issue comes with the “dogs” reference you have brought up, but you are missing the other somewhat-insult (if you decide to take the metaphor as name-calling rather than strictly metaphor) of calling the Hebrews “children.” Notice it is not “children of God,” or anything else similar to that, but simply “children.” Children were not of high standing in ancient culture.
John 4:22 is also taken out of context, in which Jesus is addressing a non-Jew (a Samaritan woman). More correctly, the translation from the Greek reads “You [Samaritans] worship what you do not know; we [Jews] worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews.” This is a reference to Jewish religious practice and history, and it can also be interpreted as a statement about Jesus himself being Jewish. However, the entire conversation clearly shows the opposite of what my opponent claims the text means, as he is telling the woman that the Temple in Jerusalem (which the Jews lorded over Samaritans) would be destroyed, and neither the Temple nor the mount upon which the Samaritans practiced their worship remain as they did.
“I did not give specific examples of contradictions in manuscripts. I suppose you gave not read any book by Bible scholar.”
I was under the impression I was to debate my opponent, not vague mentions of “any book by Bible scholar,” however, there are many books by Biblical scholars espousing varying viewpoints. I fail to see how this is applicable. As this round is to address that which was already brought up and conclude, not for new arguments, it is hardly fair to further reduce my word count by addressing a 94-minute video from which my opponent has not summarized or argued.
Chain of Transmission:
I have given ample evidence that there is no broken link in the chain we have. My opponent is conflating this with providing specific authors of historical note. He is under the assumption that if events were not written down immediately following their transpiring, then they are invalid.
Attribution to Moses:
My opponent stated “All Jews are agree” RE: belief that Moses authored the Pentateuch. This is patently untrue (see:http://en.wikipedia.org...). Many believing Jews and Christians subscribe to the beliefs that it was compiled over centuries or written during Israelite Exile.
Revelation and Contradiction:
My opponent provided a sufficient counter-argument already here (that errors can be made after the fact of revelation), but, without accepting the premise that factual accuracy must be inherent of all aspects of revelation for it to still pertain as truth, I will address the question posed.
“If contradictions are later addition or changes by people then how you determine that all others are not additions or changes?”
Generally speaking, we’re talking about changes that happen over, centuries and millennia. Common academic practice evaluates grammar and syntax, as well as use of specific words, to place textual editing and redaction. We can easily see that some parts of, for instance, Isaiah were written by multiple authors because they use forms of Hebrew that vary by an hundred to two hundred years in terms of grammar (as a modern English speaker can tell something written two hundred years ago: it doesn’t parse like contemporary writing). Through these analyses, it is possible to determine age, changes mid-text, and other redactions.
Purpose of the Bible:
A little of both. I’ve addressed the academic analysis of texts already, but is it not logical for a religious group to have consensus on its own scriptures? I hardly see how asserting the Bible as anything other than religious text meant to comment on those specific beliefs systems is not a reasonable conclusion. However, my opponent has not provided an alternate purpose of the Bible. An argument against is not itself an answer.
There is no way for the Hebrew’s ancient society to have sufficiently created a circle by my opponent's given parameters. It’s an unreasonable expectation. Regardless, the possibility of a recessed rim remains from the text.
My opponent has not sufficiently argued that errors in detail equate to overall untruth, and the point of the Bible as situationally accurate as scripture is still valid. Ergo, the Bible, I assert, is truth for the purposes it was written. Since even textbooks can contain factual inaccuracies (read any old biology textbooks lately?) and still contain truth overall toward the subject, it is fairly definitive that the Bible, fulfilling its purpose in religious tradition, is truth and contains truth.
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