The Instigator
Truth_seeker
Pro (for)
Losing
5 Points
The Contender
Blade-of-Truth
Con (against)
Winning
15 Points

The Bible is absolute

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 6 votes the winner is...
Blade-of-Truth
Voting Style: Judge Point System: 7 Point
Started: 9/3/2014 Category: Religion
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,144 times Debate No: 61214
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (36)
Votes (6)

 

Truth_seeker

Pro

My position is that the doctrine of the Bible is absolute, not that everyone agrees, but that it exists and it can be found using the historical grammatical method. My opponent can point out several denominations within Christianity to support his/her beliefs.

Opening argument:

Critics have pointed out "If the Bible is the truth, why are there so many denominations?" Why? Because the Bible has so much power unlike any other book in the world. Yes, the Bible in a way caused the crusades, "holy wars" between science and religion, between political parties, between nations, campaigns against abortion, organizations, and others. Thousands have died over the Bible. The Bible is a super-weapon (like a nuke) that corrupt and ignorant leaders would want to get their hands on to profit and enslave the ignorant, the absolute truth that men seek to distort and claim that it's "God's will."

First round acceptance.
Blade-of-Truth

Con

I thank Truth_Seeker for giving me this opportunity to debate such a thought-provoking topic with him.

As this round is for acceptance, I accept the challenge and will now return the floor to Pro.
Debate Round No. 1
Truth_seeker

Pro

Western civilization has distorted much of the near eastern perspective of the Bible, hence the solutions to resolve any false doctrines is to use evidence and the historical grammatical method and/or biblical hermeneutics.

1) Note that there are no changes to the doctrine of Scriptures. Which doctrine? Doesn't matter, it could be doctrine X or Y, etc. The point is that no doctrine has changed.

The Old Testament has only three spelling changes, none affecting doctrine (1). The New Testament also has no errors affecting doctrine (2).

2) The method is as follows :

1. Lexical analysis - Steps are taken to discover how words are used and way they are used. The different order of the sentence, punctuation, tenses, language, context, are all key to understanding the Bible

2. Historical/cultural analysis - Studying the surrounding history and culture of the time period. For example, if your studying the Gospels, it's best if you familiarize yourself with Rome, Greek Hellenization, rabbinic Judaism, etc.

3. Contextual analysis - Examining the context of a specific word, phrase, idiom, and so on in it's proper place.

4. Theological analysis - All verses must be taken into consideration on a topic before coming up with sound theology

5. Literary analysis - figuring out whether a book is allegorical, metaphorical, literal, historical, a parable, psalm, so on can help determine the theology

Thus many of our interpretations can be resolved through using these principles (3).

I will outline the basics of the Christian doctrine :

1. God is triune (Gen. 1:26-27 Elohim is plural based on a plural Hebrew verb "make" (4)
2. God created all things (Col. 1:16)
3. Jesus is the eternal son of God made in flesh (John 1:1)
4. The Law brings death, but faith in Jesus gives eternal life (Rom. 8:2)

The reason why Christianity has so many denominations is not simply because people believe differently, it's because there is an entire history and development of different doctrines which makes the question "which denomination is right?" easier to answer. I begin by examining Catholicism, oneness Pentecostalism, and Mormonism. Your welcome to bring more denominations. There are several things to consider :

1) Origin - How did this doctrine originate?

2) Doctrine - What does it state? What do its followers believe and why?

3) Biblical contradictions - Does it contradict what the Bible originally teaches?

Catholicism:

Constantine influenced much of Christianity today. No evidence demonstrates that Mary or that Jesus ever used the rituals, sacraments, invocation of saints, and the traditions of the Catholic church.

Catholics claim that they "venerate" the virgin Mary, however that is clearly idolatry.

Exo. 20:4-5

"4 "You shall not make for yourself a carved image"any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; 5 you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me"

Mary herself was a sinner needing a savior (Luke 1:47).

Catholics will also teach that the pope is a part in the head of the church, however no where in Scripture is such a concept found.

Catholics are taught to call their bishops and priests fathers, but Scripture forbids this (Matthew 23:9).

Repetitious and religious prayers was also advised against (Matthew 6:7).

Catholic traditions upholds that praying to saints is biblical, however we are to pray in only name (John 14:13"14).

Oneness Pentecostalism:

Oneness Pentecostalism began as debates within the Pentecostal movement over the Trinity (an already existing concept). It was criticized by the older denominations with Trinitarian members. Some already began saying that God was only one. John G. Schaep then claimed to have prayed all night and received the revelation that the name of the father, son, and holy ghost was Jesus.

Oneness Pentecostals teach God is singularly one when it contradicts what the Hebrew says. Furthermore, John 1:1 says:

1 "In the beginning was the Word (Jesus), and the Word was with [pros] God, and the Word was God."

The Greek word pros means "to, near" (5). This completely refutes oneness theology.

Oneness Pentecostals tend to claim that speaking in tongues was a heavenly language in the early church, however that's not what Acts 2:8 says

8 "And how is it that we hear, each of us in his own native language?"

Oneness pentecostals will also claim that the Trinitarian formula is unbibilical, however Matt. 28:19 says:

"Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit."

Mormonism:

Mormon doctrine teaches that God the father was made of flesh (6). This contradicts John and other Gospels which say that only God's son came in the flesh.

Mormons like Catholics teach that salvation is by works as well (7). This goes against Rom. 3:28, Rom. 4:1-5, Rom. 5:1, etc.)

Conclusion:

We see how easy it is for someone to start a whole movement of followers based on a misrepresentation of the Bible. Compare all of the diverse beliefs of the Bible other than those i listed from different denominations and you will see that not one is supported in Scripture.

Sources:

http://en.wikipedia.org...

1. Walter C. Kaiser, Jr. The Old Testament Documents: Are They Reliable and Relevant? (Downers Grove, Illinois: InterVarsity Press, 2001), p. 45-46.

2. Geisler, Norman L., Nix, William E., A General Introduction to the Bible (Chicago: Moody Press, 1986) 475.

3. http://en.wikipedia.org...

4. Glinert Modern Hebrew: An Essential Grammar Routledge p14 section 13 "(b)Agreement of verbs Verbs agree with their subject, and not only in gender and number but also in person. Present tense verbs distinguish masculine from feminine and singular from plural:"

5. http://www.blueletterbible.org...

6. Jesus the Christ, by James Talmage, p. 8

7. Articles of Faith, p. 432
Blade-of-Truth

Con

Thank you truth_seeker.

The resolution is clear: Pro is claiming that "The Bible is Absolute". I am arguing that the Bible is not absolute.

Absolute is defined in the Oxford dictionary as:

1. Not qualified or diminished in any way; total. [1]
1.2 (Of powers or rights) not subject to any limitation; unconditional. [1]

I only share the second definition because my opponent stated that the Bible has powers similar to a super-weapon.

[1] http://www.oxforddictionaries.com...

These definitions allow for two immediate challenges to be posed:

1) Whether the Bible is or has ever been diminished in any way. Most will agree that the Bible we have today is not the original Bible but rather one that has gone through several changes including the inclusion and removal of specific texts, alterations to the actual wording used, and amount of differing versions of the Bible that are in use today. In fact, some scholars at the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary have already found over 17,000 pages of variations. [2]

2) Whether the Bible is taken unconditionally or not. I will be going into both these points later but first wish to define Bible since it has yet to be defined by Pro.

[2] http://www.npr.org...

Bible is defined in the Oxford dictionary as:

1. The Christian scriptures, consisting of the 66 books of the Old and New Testaments.

1.1
(the Bible) The Jewish scriptures, consisting of the Torah or Law, the Prophets, and the Hagiographa or Writings.
1.3 A particular edition or translation of the Bible:the New English Bible. [3]
[3] http://www.oxforddictionaries.com...

What is interesting about the definition found under 1.3 is that even Oxford scholars acknowledge that there are differing editions or translations of the Bible.

Arguments

I. Apocrypha Books.

The apocrypha is a selection of books which were published in the original 1611 King James Bible. These apocryphal books were positioned between the Old and New Testament in Protestant Bibles and interspersed between modern OT & NT books in the Roman Catholic Bibles. The apocrypha were even a part of the KJV for 274 years until being removed in 1885 A.D. [4] These texts have had a long history of being rejected and accepted, the former instance being found in the actions of the Protestants during the reformation and the latter by the Roman Catholic Council of Trent in 1546. [5] These are merely two cases among several others that can be seen throughout history, but this raises an important challenge to Pro...

If a collection of books such as the Bible is to be deemed absolute, then first and foremost shouldn't we have no trouble coming to a consensus as to which books are actually part of this "absolute" bible? The fact that it was considered part of the Bible for nearly 2,000 years - only to be removed a little over 150 years ago most certainly raises some questions. A common challenge to the validity of these texts as being a part of the Bible or not is that some of the books cannot be found in their original Hebrew forms. This, however, has been shown to be incorrect as the Dead Sea Scrolls which date back to 70 A.D. contain some of these apocrypha books in their original Hebrew text. [4] So, again, why were these books removed? Was it not man who dictated if these books should be removed or not throughout history? How can such a book as the Bible be considered "absolute" when men are literally taking out whatever books they please? This alone goes against the very definition of Absolute - a definition that Oxford Theological Scholars stand by.

[4] http://www.kingjamesbibleonline.org...

[5] http://sacred-texts.com...

II. The countless interpretations of the text.

Last summer, I spent three months "investigating" the Mormon church. What I found most interesting about their interpretation of the Bible is that along with accepting the OT & NT as God's word, they also have an additional two books - The Doctrine and Covenants, and the Pearl of Great Price. [6] If the Modern Bible is absolute, then why do the Mormons believe their version is the correct one? This problem goes for many different denominations in Christianity and even between the Christian Old Testament and the Jewish Torah. All of these denominations claim that the Bible is correct but only if it matches their interpretation of it. Again, this point clearly goes against the very definition of Absolute.

Even if we go with the part of the Absolute definition which applies to totality, or if it is total or not. Which version is the total one? The Mormon interpretation? The roman catholic interpretation? The Protestant interpretation? The list can go on. Or perhaps the total version IS the one that is 80 books instead of the recently edited 66 book version (recent being within the last 150 years). Unfortunately, none of these interpretations of the Bible can be deemed Absolute. If one was, then the other denominations would instantly lose power to the one denomination that is practicing the teachings of the absolute bible. What is the point of having a non-absolute Bible? Clearly, the very reason there are so many interpretations and denominations is precisely due to the fact that the Bible is not absolute - but rather, open to differing interpretations.

[6] http://en.wikipedia.org...

III. The Bible is subject to limitation and is not unconditional.

The latter half of this contention has already been explained in the previous argument. We can clearly see that there are numerous denominations of Christianity which all interpret the Bible differently. When posed with the question of 'Why are there so many denominations?' GotQuestions.org, a Christian website dedicated to answering questions for fellow Christians replied with, "denominations are based on disagreements over the interpretation of Scripture. An example would be the meaning and purpose of baptism. Is baptism a requirement for salvation or is it symbolic of the salvation process? There are denominations on both sides of this issue and have used the issue to separate and form denominations." [7]

This gives a response to the question of whether the Bible is unconditional or not - the answer being that the Bible is clearly not unconditional. If it was, there would not be different denominations attempting to set the conditions of what Baptism is or represents. Yet another clear example showing why the Bible cannot be absolute, this time due to it not being unconditional.

But is it subject to limitation?

Most certainly! I've already shown this when sharing the history of the Bible's changes which include the removal of the apocrypha books. Let's look at one aspect of Christianity which varies in the limitations presented with it, the Sabbath. Is it Saturday or Sunday? My mother, who grew up in a Seventh Day Adventist household, would tell you that it is on Saturday. Whereas my father, who was a southern Baptist would say it is Sunday. This alone reflects that even tenets of the Bible including the Sabbath as the day of rest is subject to differing conditions and interpretations - the complete opposite of something supposedly absolute. Are we supposed to not do any kind of work on the Sabbath? Are we to wait until a specific time to eat? Different denominations have differing limitations they apply to their understanding of the Sabbath. Would such a concept as the Sabbath truly be allowed such differing limitations if it belonged to something which is absolute? I don't believe it would, and think that the reasons I've stated above will also show the audience the same conclusion I've come to in regards to whether the Bible is actually absolute or not.

Rebuttals

1) This claim is absurd. You share a claim made by one man who wrote a book I can't even access.

Doctrine is defined as: a set of ideas or beliefs that are taught or believed to be true. [7] Pro is attempting to claim that the set of ideas or beliefs taught since the inception of the Bible haven't changed, this is completely inaccurate. Just to show how inaccurate Pro is, I will include a list of 10 outdated Christian beliefs from a wonderfully informative site known as listverse.com: http://listverse.com...

Some examples given in the link above include Self-Flagellation, Selling Indulgences, and Lilith (Adam's first wife before Eve).

[7] http://www.merriam-webster.com...

2) Pro shares a method for analysis - there is nothing to rebut against as it is not an actual argument. I will say that there is some fault with the method itself, but this is of no relevance to the resolution we are debating. Pro also states that our interpretations can be resolved through using these principles - but it is in-fact these principles which allow us to create interpretations. My opponent does not see this fact though.

3) Pro begins to share methods for determining which denomination is 'right'. What is made evident by these attempts is that Pro fails to realize that the very fact that we have to do such things shows in itself that the Bible is not absolute, but rather open to interpretation and conditional.

It seems that Pro is attempting to show, in general, that these denominations are incorrect in their interpretations and that the Bible in itself is absolute. I have taken it a step further by using the fact that there are so many differing denominations as proof that the Bible, which they all look towards for guidance, is not actually absolute, not unconditional, and not total in its original form. The fact that the Bible itself has gone through edits, alterations, and have had its books either supported or removed shows that it is the work of man (at-least nowadays) and not in fact absolute.
Debate Round No. 2
Truth_seeker

Pro

Thanks Blade

Before i move on, i stated that the Bible is absolute, though there are disagreements, but they can resolved. Most would agree that science is objective and that if evidence and interpretation support a theory, scientists are thus obligated to accept it. Those who disagree, we disregard as credible sources. Similarly, the Bible works in the same way. Every denomination in a sense agrees to look at the Bible to derive it's truths (regardless of what they are). Evidence and interpretation shall determine which interpretation was originally held by the authors of the Bible and once it's been discovered, there can no longer be any question as to what the Bible teaches.

1. While yes, scholars have found thousands of variations, these are misleading (1). Most consist of minor errors and still most are in agreement, not affecting a single doctrine (I will explain the types of errors made later).

In the source con gave, the story of the Adulteress is claimed to not be in the originals, however there is historical evidence proving otherwise.

Jerome states it's found in many Greek and Latin manuscripts (2). Augustine said that it was removed as it contradicted the church's teaching concerning forgiveness (3). Nikon also testifies (4). The "Apostolic Constitutions" also gives evidence it was there in it's earliest manuscripts (5).

It is the same with Mark's long ending. Just because it's omitted does not mean it was not original. In the N.T manuscripts, the scribes would typically begin writing a new book right after the ending but that's not what we find. We find a large blank space in which the long ending of Mark could fit in (photos are shown in the link). It's then argued that a later scribe found it unnecessary to include it (6). Some scholars argue that there are multiple witnesses cited to indicate that Mark originally belonged to the canon (7).

What kinds of errors are there in the Bible? The book "Understanding Scripture: An Overview of the Bible's Origin, Reliability, and Meaning" outlines it:

a. spelling and nonsense changes

b. minor changes - addition or omission of the Greek definite article

c. Changes such as "gospel of God" with "gospel of Christ" which essentially mean the same thing.

As i cited early on, these errors have no affected a single doctrine in the Bible.

2. The Apocrypha

While it's true that the DSS have the Apocrypha, multiple sources indicate that not even the Jews considered them to be canonical.

According to the manual of disciple, only the 66 books (Torah, writings, psalms, prophets, etc.) were considered by the Essenes as divinely inspired (8). The Zadokite document also agrees (9). The Apocrypha and other extra-biblical writings were excluded and not seen as inspired (10). Josephus also cites the 66 books (11).

Thus the Apocrypha was never included in the canon of the 66 books originally considered to be divinely inspired.

3. Interpretations

The problem is that people focus on discovering "which interpretation is right? The Mormons? The Calvinists? etc." The question should be "How did the authors of the Scriptures originally interpret the Bible?" It can be systematically approached by using the historical grammatical method above.

As i had stated, the trinity for example is supported by the Hebrew and Greek, therefore it eliminates many interpretations and refutes many doctrines who say otherwise. The numbers of interpretations are thus not "countless."

Objections:

I'll answer some objections which might be made in advance

1) Some say that because the authors are dead, the original interpretation cannot be found, however this reasoning is flawed. The purpose of writing is to preserve thoughts and ideas on paper. What those ideas are can be understood better by studying the surrounding culture of the author's day.

2) Con cites GotQuestions.org to say that denominations form because of bias, however bias is found in any field no matter how advanced, even in Science. The focus is not the fact that there is bias, but finding solutions to remove bias using strict methods as it's already agreed to objectively accept evidence presented. Yes, people can be biased but several factors ensure that no false doctrine is being taught:

a. Looking at all Scriptures on the topic - If i only point out that baptism in a study is not needed for salvation based on one Scripture, i'm biased and vice versa.

b. Being bias does not always equate to being false unless there's evidence disproving a claim which hasn't given all the facts.

3) Con claims that the historical grammatical method allows us to create interpretations, however that is how any method works or otherwise, we would not be able to expand our knowledge. The historical grammatical method serves in eliminating false interpretations and supporting interpretations upon the evidence presented.

4) Firstly, i never said that the methods determine which denomination is true, i specifically spoke about doctrine which is not what a denomination only consists of. On top of that, the Bible is too complex to be restricted to any denomination. Although some consider myself a protestant, i don't agree with many of their beliefs and don't consider the protestant movement to be necessarily "divine" in the same sense as the Bible was thousands of years ago.

5) Con brings up outdated doctrinal ideas and for character purposes, i will only address the ones he mentioned.

Lilith - Lilith is a rabbinic legend in Jewish myth derived from Mesopotamian myths (12). It has no biblical origin.

Self-Flagellation - Characterized by a need for penance and atonement of sins. This is unbiblical for the reason that

a) No where is it commanded in the O.T

b) God considers all sinners (Rom. 3:23) and righteous deeds to gain salvation as worthless (Isa. 64:6)

c) Jesus is the only mediator between God and man for the forgiveness of sins (Acts 4:12, 1 Tim. 2:5, Gal. 2:21, Gal. 3:21, etc.)

This also eliminates the doctrine of indulgences.

Con lists the Sabbath as an example to set limits on the absoluteness of the Bible. I'll give a brief summary on it:

It's vital to make a distinction between the extreme specifics on the commandment and what the Torah actually says. The rabbis in Jesus day were more concerned with how to observe the Sabbath (what day it's on, what's to be done, when to eat, etc.). There were 39 prohibited things on the Sabbath (13). Jesus was more concerned with the heart of the Sabbath. Theologically, the commandment to keep the Sabbath is to keep God's divine rest (Gen. 2) holy. The ten commandments had yet to appear until Exodus 16 (the Hebrew word for Sabbath observance Shabaton is 1st mentioned). The Pharisees attempted to condemn Jesus for "working" on the Sabbath but no where in the Torah does it forbid doing the works of God on the Sabbath. Spiritually, we enter God's original rest through faith in Jesus (Hebrews 3-4). Col. 2:16-17 explains how the Sabbath observance was a foreshadowing of Jesus.

Sources:

1. Wallace, Daniel, "The Majority Text and the Original Text: Are They Identical?," Bibliotheca Sacra, April-June, 1991, 157-8.

2. Migne, Patrologiae Cursus Completus, Series Latina, vol. 23, col. 579.

3. Corpus Scriptorum Ecclesiasticorum Latinorum, Academia Litterarum Vindobonensis, vol. xxxxi, p.387.

4. S. S. Patrum J. B. Cotelerius, Antwerp, 1698, vol. i, p.235.

5. Didascalia Apostolorum, trans. by R. Hugh Connolly, Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1929, p.76. F. X. Funk, Didascalia et Constitutiones Apostolorum, Paderborn, 1905, vol. 1, p. 92.

6. http://www.kjvtoday.com...

7. F.H.A. Scrivener, A Plain Introduction to the Criticism of the New Testament, fourth ed. (London: George Bell and Sons, 1894), volume 2, pp. 337-344.

8. Harris, R. Laird. Inspiration and Canonicity of the Scriptures. Greenville, SC, 1995. 140-141.

9. pg. 141

10. pg. 141

11. Flavius Josephus, Against Apion, book 1, paragraph 8.

12. http://en.wikipedia.org...

13. http://en.wikipedia.org...
Blade-of-Truth

Con

I. Opponent fails to provide proof and defeats himself.

Immediately in the first paragraph my opponent states that the Bible is absolute. He then tries to build a connection between the scientific method and the process that differing denominations go through in their search for "the truth". Unfortunately for my opponent, if the Bible was able to pass through the scientific method then he wouldn't be needing to admit there are disagreements about the absoluteness. You see, it would already be established that it is objectively absolute, just as the scientific method shows objective truths about that which we experience or observe. Furthermore, in the last sentence my opponent states:

"Evidence and interpretation shall determine which interpretation was originally held by the authors of the Bible and once it's been discovered, there can no longer be any question as to what the Bible teaches."

I've underlined two problems with this statement:

1 - Interpretation shall determine interpretation? That part of the sentence makes no logical sense.
2 - Once it's been discovered? Meaning it hasn't been discovered yet?! Pro acknowledges that such things haven't been discovered yet. Therefore, my opponent has no proof to his claim that the Bible is absolute as it has yet to be discovered by his own admission. My opponent has defeated his own argument.

My opponent then attempts to rebut my point about there being over 17,000 variations found by simply stating they are misleading and sourcing a book. Unfortunately I do not have access to this book, nor should he expect the audience to have unbridled access to this book. It is Pros burden to justify his position which entails providing proof. Saying that "most are in agreement, not affecting a single doctrine" is a claim that requires Pro needs to show how "most are in agreement", or how these 17,000 variations "don't affect a single doctrine".

This is extended to sources 2-5 that Pro shared to rebut the point about John's book being altered to include a story about Jesus. Why he expects me to have access to these books is beyond me, and I do hope the judges take note of this. I've shared sources easily accessible to anyone, yet I cannot access any of his sources so far to verify any of his claims. My opponent attempts to rebut Mark's ending but his rebuttal is completely off. He speaks about a "long ending" without realizing that the point made in the article I shared was about Christ's rise 3 days after crucifixion and how it was added to better match with the other disciple's stories in the 2nd & 3rd century. He failed to touch this point at all. The article spoke of multiple endings as well as some forms of the manuscripts with no endings at all. Mark being in the original canon or not wasn't even part of my argument. Thus Pro is rebutting against nothing instead of actually rebutting my challenges.

The fact that he can't rebut these is another failure on his part to maintain his BOP as it shows that the Bible is not absolute but in fact altered from its "original" form. This is a case of weak sourcing and failure to maintain the BOP for Pro.

II. The Apocrypha


My opponent is committing the Ad Populum fallacy [1]. He acknowledges that some denominations have or previously had the Apocrypha as part of their canons and still claims that because others do not nor have ever acknowledged it, that therefore it was never included. This is horribly inaccurate and a weak justification at best for making such a claim.

[1] http://www.nizkor.org...

The links I shared in my previous round literally told of the locations where one could find the books now known as the Apocrypha in both Protestant and Roman Catholic Bibles that were in full use as recently as the 1800's. I'll even include a picture [2],[3] showing the books of the Apocrypha listed right along with the Old Testament and New Testament books from a King James Version of the Bible that was printed in 1611:



[2] http://timotheosprologizes.blogspot.com...
[3] http://www.israelitesunite.com...

The links I've shared not only includes the image, but also an excellent recap of information that I already presented in my previous round.

I've now shown empirical evidence of the books known as the apocrypha being included in the original canon which was recognized up until 1885 A.D. My opponent has done nothing but commit logical fallacies, thus this contention remains standing. We cannot say with accuracy that the Bible is absolute when there are times in our recent past where different forms of the Bible existed and were practiced by the church as official doctrine.

III. Multiple Interpretations

Pro says that, "The question should be "How did the authors of the Scriptures originally interpret the Bible?""

This makes no sense. How would the authors of the scriptures interpret something that wasn't compiled yet at the time of them writing the scriptures? It is common knowledge that the scriptures were written at different times [4] and were later compiled together to make the Bible, so it only follows that some of those authors wouldn't even have knowledge of a Bible as it never existed in their time. Asking how they would have interpreted something which wasn't even known at the time is an impossible question to answer, regardless of a historical grammatical method. I hope Pro can see this issue.

[4] http://www.gty.org...

Furthermore, just because the Trinity is supported by Hebrew and Greek manuscripts doesn't mean it eliminates those alternative interpretations. All it means is that the trinity is to be considered as more accurate than other interpretations because it is supported by the Hebrew and Greek manuscripts. Having more weight does not eliminate other interpretations, is just makes them less supported. Also, refuting does nothing to defeat the fact that other interpretations are in practice, it just means that those practices are refutable. Christ's existence is refutable, yet it is still a practiced belief. Thus these refutations fail to defeat the fact that there are countless possible interpretations. The very fact that there are interpretations to begin with refutes the nature of absoluteness.

IV. Objections to my potential arguments

My opponent now attempts to provide rebuttals to arguments I've never even made. What he should have done was spend this space providing rebuttals to the points which remain standing unchallenged.

1) I agree that studying the surroundings of the authors would lead to more accurate interpretations of their writings. The fact that we've been doing so already, and still cannot come to some objective consensus leads me to believe that the Bible is not absolute.

Furthermore, this rebuttal does nothing to affirm your position, but instead expands on a potential method for better identifying the text as it was meant to be interpreted by the author. It is the means to an end, whereas you are required to present the proof of the end, not just a potential method to reach it.

2) The GotQuestion.org quote was, "denominations are based on disagreements over the interpretation of Scripture. An example would be the meaning and purpose of baptism. Is baptism a requirement for salvation or is it symbolic of the salvation process? There are denominations on both sides of this issue and have used the issue to separate and form denominations."

I do not know where you got bias from. Not only are you providing a rebuttal to something I never said, but you are also now putting words into my mouth. I would refer judges to my previous round to confirm that I said no such thing regarding bias in relation to the GotQuestions.org point.

3) You stated that the historical grammatical method would help us identify the accurate interpretations, and I am saying that the very fact of their being multiple interpretations shows that the Bible is not absolute. Only once the proposed method actually finishes its job could we even begin to say that the Bible is absolute. Until those other interpretations are null and void, the Bible can't ever be considered absolute. All it is at this time is a possible solution to identifying the absolute form of the Bible, but that solution hasn't yet been reached.

4) If the Bible was in its absolute form there would be no right or wrong interpretations leading to the formation of differing denominations. It would be absolute in and of itself, and would be accepted across the board for its perfect nature by those who subscribe to the doctrine presented as the Bible.

5) Key word, outdated. Just because they are outdated doesn't mean that they were never accepted as truth. The link showed that denominations formed which practiced such things. I am not arguing that they are valid Christian beliefs, but merely showing the fact that the Bible is so easily susceptible to interpretations such as these that it cannot be absolute. You are showing why they are not valid doctrine which is great, we are one step closer to finding the absolute form of the Bible, but again, as evidenced by the very process you've shown - the Bible and it's absolute form has yet to be discovered.

6) In regards to the Sabbath. That point was to show that the Sabbath as a concept is susceptible to limitation. That is not a quality of something which is absolute per the definition that Oxford Dictionary provides. You've done nothing but share the history of the Sabbath instead of rebutting the fact that it is susceptible to limitations. Limitations that humans have placed on it based on their own interpretations of it.

In Conclusion,

My opponent has failed to provide rebuttals to several arguments, provided misguided rebuttals due to his own misunderstanding of my points, and has utilized sourcing which I cannot verify. I now return the floor to him.
Debate Round No. 3
Truth_seeker

Pro

Con fails to make a few distinctions. There's a difference between Christian scholars and Christian pastors. There's also a difference between scientists and the general public. There are disagreements within the Christian communities simply because of a) bias b) misinformation c) denial of the Truth d) Improper or no application of biblical hermenutics. None of these things have anything to do with the Bible's absoluteness. In science, there also exists that problem (1). However, we do not say because of that science is not absolute do we? Amateur scientists can come to wrong scientific conclusions, but we don't criticize science itself.

"Interpretation shall determine interpretation? That part of the sentence makes no logical sense. "

In science, you have to interpret data and observations in order to make a valid conclusion.

"Once it's been discovered? Meaning it hasn't been discovered yet?! Pro acknowledges that such things haven't been discovered yet. "

Even though the Bible is absolute, it does not imply that we as human beings know that as we are not all knowing. Using Con's logic, we would also have to conclude that science is not absolute (objective) as many discoveries have not been discovered yet, thus defeating his own argument.

Con states that he cannot access my sources but that's no reason to discredit them. For example, one of my sources is Josephus "against Apion" which is found here: (http://www.ccel.org...). Thus we cannot use Con's claim to discredit my sources simply because he cannot access them.

A errors made by Scribes can be found here: http://theresurgence.com...

The explanation for the story of the Adulteress can also be found here: http://www.bible-researcher.com...

Con claims that my rebuttal is completely off, but then focuses on the aftermath of Christs' death. He did not specify which points he wanted answered and claims that Mark's ending was not part of his argument. No matter, it has nothing to do with the discussion, we're concerned about interpretation, not about canon.

Con makes a false accusation. Lets compare the Ad Populum fallacy taken from Con's source with my original argument

1. "Most people approve of X
Therefore X is true"
2. "The Apocrypha and other extra-biblical writings were excluded and not seen as inspired by the Essenes and Josephus"
Therefore the Apocrypha was not originally part of the Hebrew canon

No where did i mention "most Jews held them to be non-canonical."

"I've now shown empirical evidence of the books known as the apocrypha being included in the original canon which was recognized up until 1885 A.D. My opponent has done nothing but commit logical fallacies,"

Con makes a logical error in saying that because they were in the protestant and catholic canon, they were there in the original canon. I will explain:

1. The Essenes and other Jews (those responsible for O.T manuscripts) didn't recognize the Apocrypha as canonical
2. The Council of Trent (many years after Christ) established the Apocrypha as canonical

Thus it cannot be concluded that the original authors saw the Apocrypha as canonical. Neither Protestant or catholic denominations make up what the original authors believed.

"Pro says that, "The question should be "How did the authors of the Scriptures originally interpret the Bible?""

This makes no sense. How would the authors of the scriptures interpret something that wasn't compiled yet at the time of them writing the scriptures? It is common knowledge that the scriptures were written at different times "

Con took what i said out of context. I was referring to the objective people alive now should have.

"All it means is that the trinity is to be considered as more accurate than other interpretations because it is supported by the Hebrew and Greek manuscripts"

Con just admitted that the Bible is absolute as the Trinity is well supported by the Hebrew and Greek manuscripts and that's coming from a non-Christian. In Science, you must go with the best explanation backed up by the most qualitative and quantitative evidence even though there are countless possibilities which is just how Biblical hermenutics works. With that, i already fulfilled my burden of proof.

Rebuttals:

"My opponent now attempts to provide rebuttals to arguments I've never even made"

I stated "I'll answer some objections which might be made in advance", thus i did not claim that Con made them.

1. The reason i pointed that out was to help establish a more accurate interpretation, that was not all needed to conclude the Bible is absolute.

2. GotQuestions says this about denominations:

"Denominations are used by man out of self-interest. There are denominations today that are in a state of self-destruction as they are being led into apostasy by those who are promoting their personal agendas."

That's an example of bias.

3) I've already shown several instances beginning with Round 2 in which we briefly reached an objective conclusion (something which Con never directly addressed). We thus have evidence that the Historical Grammatical method works.

4) " If the Bible was in its absolute form there would be no right or wrong interpretations leading to the formation of differing denominations"

Con makes a false conclusion, committing the fallacy of false dilemma in which he only considers two possibilities when more exist (2). As i explained before, different denominations arise from many different factors (incorrect conclusions, misinformed audience, bias, personal agendas, etc.). The fact that there are disagreements does not imply that the Bible is not absolute, simply that the Historical Grammatical method was not enforced.

5) "You are showing why they are not valid doctrine which is great, we are one step closer to finding the absolute form of the Bible, but again, as evidenced by the very process you've shown - the Bible and it's absolute form has yet to be discovered. "

The fact that i presented evidence for the Trinity, other interpretations, and disproved these outdated beliefs already proves the Bible is absolute by using inductive reasoning.

6) It's irrelevant whether or not humans place limits on it if it is no longer applicable to date.

Sources:

1. http://en.wikipedia.org...

2. https://yourlogicalfallacyis.com...
Blade-of-Truth

Con

I. "None of these things have anything to do with the Bible's absoluteness."

My opponent tries to claim that I fail at making certain distinctions. This is false. In reality, the distinctions laid forth by Pro to build a connection between science and Christianity is far from accurate. Pro literally tries to say that pursuits of Biblical truth have the same problems that occur within Science and that because that is the case and we don't condemn science as not absolute - then we can't say the Bible isn't absolute.

Pro needs to understand that people constantly say that science isn't absolute [1], so Pro is immediately mistaken in trying to claim that no-one says such things. If anything, science can provide us with observable truths, but no-one has ever claimed with accuracy that science provides absolute truths[2].

[1] http://www.gly.uga.edu...

[2] http://undsci.berkeley.edu...

II. Opponent fails to provide proof and defeats himself (cont.)

"In science, you have to interpret data and observations in order to make a valid conclusion."

This is what my opponent replied with when I presented a challenge about his R3 statement, "interpretations shall determine which interpretation..."

Pro continues to miss my point. The point I was making is that he is acknowledging that humans are interpreting prior interpretations. None of it is absolute in any way, but rather just humans attempting to interpret what other humans meant. Such guesswork goes against the very nature of the term "absolute". Additionally, interpretations are not bound to the same concrete foundations as observable science. Pro is treating this like something which can pass through the scientific method when the reality is that if such a thing was able to make it through such a process it already would have. The Bible is not science, nor is interpreting past interpretations the same science as testing observable phenomenon to arrive at observational truths.

"Even though the Bible is absolute, it does not imply that we as human beings know that - as we are not all knowing."

My opponent continues to make claims about the Bible being absolute without any proof or evidence. Complete failure of BOP on his part. Furthermore, the latter half of this statement is literally acknowledging, once again, that humans don't have a means of proving that it is Absolute yet. As Pro said, "we are not all knowing".

"Using Con's logic, we would also have to conclude that science is not absolute (objective)"

Since isn't absolute. I've already shown this in source links [1] & [2]. Nor does "objective" and "absolute" mean the same thing. Unless my opponent can prove these two terms mean the same thing, or that science is absolute, these counter arguments are defeated.

My opponent now shares 3 links in an attempt to balance his previous source links which are inaccessible books. He forgets completely to rebut the fact that these sources he's now sharing were used as part of an Ad Populum fallacy against my Apocrypha Contention. Pro said that because so and so didn't accept the Apocrypha as part of the original canon - that they never were part of the canon. I have shared several sources, including empirical evidence, that certain denominations including the protestants and roman-Catholics did accept it as part of the canon as recently as 1885 A.D. Pro is just attempting to use sources as a means to balance a much greater issue with his arguments- his ad populum defense.

Pro drops the point about responding incorrectly to the multiple interpretations of Mark & John by saying that he isn't trying to focus on canon but rather interpretations. The entire point was on the multiple interpretations though, so Pro clearly fails to understand that I wasn't talking about canon but the interpretations this whole time. Either he acknowledges this or drops this argument as well.

III. Apocrypha

Pro fails to understand how he committed the Ad Populum fallacy. Pro shared four cases of groups which didn't support the Apocrypha as part of the original canon. Right after that, Pro literally says, "Thus the Apocrypha was never included in the canon of the 66 books originally considered to be divinely inspired."

I've already shown cases where they were accepted as part of the original canon (including empirical evidence) and Pro himself acknowledged that certain denominations did in fact accept those books. Some people accepted it as the original canon, others did not. By Pro appealing to those who "did not accept it as original canon" in order to make the claim that they "never were there in the first place" is most certainly an Ad Populum fallacy.

My point thus still stands that the Bible is not absolute, in this case, based on the fact that we can't even come to a consensus on which books were in the original canon or not. By there being different denominations which accepted different forms of the Bible as truth, it is wholly obvious that the Bible is not absolute. Keep in mind, the term Absolute includes "that which is total" ... so which form of the Bible is the total one? The 66 book canon, or the 80 book one? As long as this question remains with cases supporting both sides, the Bible can never be considered absolute as it is not objectively total but rather only relative dependent on which sect, group, or denomination you belong to.

"Thus it cannot be concluded that the original authors saw the Apocrypha as canonical. Neither Protestant or catholic denominations make up what the original authors believed."

Pro keeps tossing around what the original authors believed, without ever showing what those beliefs are. This is due to his lack of knowledge on what there beliefs were. Hence why we are re-interpreting the Bible once more according to Pro, in order to found out the "original" interpretations as meant by the "original" authors. The fact that the Apocrypha was adopted as original canon, when others didn't view it as original canon does nothing but reflect the fact that the Bible is not total, and clearly subject to limitation. Both of which goes against the very nature of that which is absolute. Pro also continues to fail to realize that the "original" authors had no idea of what the canons were at the times of them writing these books as they weren't compiled together to make the Bible until after they died. He has yet to rebut this point as well.

IV. Multiple Interpretations

"Con just admitted that the Bible is absolute as the Trinity is well supported by the Hebrew and Greek manuscripts and that's coming from a non-Christian."

What I actually said was, and I quote:

"Furthermore, just because the Trinity is supported by Hebrew and Greek manuscripts doesn't mean it eliminates those alternative interpretations. All it means is that the trinity is to be considered as more accurate than other interpretations because it is supported by the Hebrew and Greek manuscripts."

I literally said, "as more accurate". Not once did I say the Bible is absolute. Please scroll up to the previous round to verify my claim.

This is just a case of Pro selecting certain parts of my statement and trying to manipulate the audience into believing I said something I did not. Once the judges see that I am telling the truth, I hope they consider this manipulation by Pro as an act of poor conduct.

Pro then attempts to state how the scientific method is "just how" Biblical hermeneutics works (a claim which has yet to be proven). While it is evident that a method is necessary to determine which interpretation of the Bible is the most accurate, I would remind Pro that the very fact that we even need to find a method of interpretations shows how the Bible is not absolute. If it was absolute, we would not need to search for these "correct" interpretations.

V. Misc. Rebuttals

1. The point still stands that because they haven't come to an objective consensus yet = the Bible is not absolute. You've done nothing to show otherwise.

2. Okay, so you've shown how bias can exist within Denominations. My point still stands that denominations form due to differentiating interpretations of the Bible. Which again reflects how the Bible is not absolute.

3. You've shown no such conclusion. You've only stated that the method works at reach objective conclusions, but I've yet to see any proof for that claim. I claimed that the method is one that has potential for reaching the conclusion they seek, but that it hasn't reached that conclusion yet since there are still multiple interpretations being practiced. As long as there are mult. interpretations, you cannot say the Bible is absolute. Your method is a means to an end, but not the end all itself.

4. I committed no such fallacy as I never presented two possibilities. I only presented one. One in which the Bible is indeed absolute and is thus not challenged by multiple interpretations. Furthermore, it's not a case of the Method not being enforced - it's a case of the method having yet to complete its work in the first place. As you said, it's a method still being put to work, as in, it hasn't yet finished it's task but is rather in the process.

5. You've presented no such evidence for the Trinity nor have you for "other interpretations". Please show directly where this evidence is, if you have. You also have disproved nothing, but rather shown alternative origins for these "outdated" beliefs.

6. Pro states something completely illogical. I've shown how the differing limitations placed on the Sabbath goes against the very definition of Absolute that I shared in Round 2. Now Pro is saying that is irrelevant because it is "outdated"? How is the Sabbath "outdated" when it is still practiced today by Millions of Christians and other Abrahamic religions?

In Conclusion,

Pro fails to correct his fallacies, fails to maintane his BOP/needs to provide proof to several claims, and respond to several dropped arguments. I now return the floor to Pro, thank you
Debate Round No. 4
Truth_seeker

Pro

I agree with Con that science isn't absolute and that science has observable truths, but the Bible also has that level of objectivity. The difference is that science is changing and the Bible is absolute.

Interpretation:

Con claims that humans interpret prior human interpretations, however i believe Pro underestimates language. There is a distinction between pure logic and science. Pure logic can be true but not necessarily proven whereas science relies on experiments to test hypotheses on the physical realm. When it comes to the Trinity for example, we are not dealing with something physical, but metaphysical. We can know the relationship between the three person Godhead and that they are all one, but anything that is not found in the text is unknown. Do we have to know all there is about God? No. We simply must understand what we are able to understand. This doesn't imply that everything in the Bible cannot be tested. It simply requires wisdom.

The fact that i already pointed out several doctrines which are supported by the Bible proves it's absolute.

I already refuted Con's claim that i was using the Ad Populum fallacy and proved that the original authors probably did not have the canon.

"I've already shown cases where they were accepted as part of the original canon (including empirical evidence) and Pro himself acknowledged that certain denominations did in fact accept those books. Some people accepted it as the original canon, others did not. By Pro appealing to those who "did not accept it as original canon" in order to make the claim that they "never were there in the first place" is most certainly an Ad Populum fallacy. "

Con gave evidence for the catholic church and protestant churches many years later accepting the Apocrypha but never gives evidence from around the 1st century that the original authors likely did.

As i stated, Josephus himself stated that the 66 books were divinely inspired and make up the Tanakh.

Con claims that the Trinity is more accurate than other interpretations, but this is the equivalent of saying that it's absolute. Once we observe that there is linguistic reason to hold the logical proposition that God is triune in nature essentially establishes this as absolute doctrine.

"Pro then attempts to state how the scientific method is "just how" Biblical hermeneutics works (a claim which has yet to be proven). While it is evident that a method is necessary to determine which interpretation of the Bible is the most accurate, I would remind Pro that the very fact that we even need to find a method of interpretations shows how the Bible is not absolute. If it was absolute, we would not need to search for these "correct" interpretations. "

Absolute is different from being all-knowing. Absolute doctrine simply means that everyone can find it objectively.

More Rebuttals:

Con claims that denominations shows that the Bible is absolute or objective, however this does not logically follow. If i tell you a falsehood in science (pseudoscience for example) does that then imply that science is not objective? Of course not.

You essentially did present two possibilities implicitly either 1) It's absolute and all have one single doctrine or 2) It's not absolute and there are many different doctrines.

"You've presented no such evidence for the Trinity nor have you for "other interpretations". Please show directly where this evidence is, if you have. You also have disproved nothing, but rather shown alternative origins for these "outdated" beliefs. "

You admitted earlier that the Trinity is more accurate than other interpretations based on the method of biblical hermenutics which relies on various readings of the O.T manuscripts and N.T as well.

" Pro states something completely illogical. I've shown how the differing limitations placed on the Sabbath goes against the very definition of Absolute that I shared in Round 2. Now Pro is saying that is irrelevant because it is "outdated"? How is the Sabbath "outdated" when it is still practiced today by Millions of Christians and other Abrahamic religions? "

Just because it's practiced among many, doesn't mean the Bible says it's applicable to this day. I gave an explanation earlier.

Conclusion:

The Bible is absolute to those who find it. Just because some deny it, doesn't imply that it's not absolute or objective.
Blade-of-Truth

Con

I. Pro agrees with me, and disagrees with himself.

In R4, Pro attempted to say that science was absolute and that no-one says otherwise. I then shared proof of how science is not considered absolute. Now, Pro is agreeing with my position that science isn't absolute but rather provides observational truths, as I previously pointed out while correcting him in R4. He's done nothing more than correct his position to agree with mine. Pro continues to claim the Bible is absolute immediately afterwards in an attempt to save face from fully agreeing me with in regards to the science claim. Once again, Pro has made this claim without any proof to back it up. I've yet to see proof of the Bible being absolute. The only thing Pro has accomplished throughout this debate in regards to proof is showing a method that can potentially reveal the Bible as absolute. The problem is that the method is still in the process of doing so, it has not completed the task yet. Essentially, Pro has shown no proof to back up his claim - but rather just a method to potentially achieve that proof someday.

II. Multiple Interpretations.

My opponent attempts to create a distinction between science and pure logic to show that while science relies on proof, logic doesn't require it. This is false. Logic and science are not one in the same, this is obvious - but both require proof. In pure logic, the premise and conclusion need to be both valid and sound. In order to prove the validity of something - proof is required. Otherwise, I could simply say whatever claims I'd like, without proof, and it'd be considered valid. For example, if I said:

P1: The sky is blue
P2: We live under the sky
C: We live under a blue sky.

If I said such a thing, I'd need to prove that the sky is blue and that we live under the sky in order for the conclusion to be considered both valid and sound. As you can see, pure logic requires proof. In addition, this example can also be seen as a scientific inquiry which might provide grounds for an observational truth. The example works both ways, and in both regards requires proof.

Pro attempted to sneak this incorrect claim in to strengthen his, still unproven, position that the Bible is absolute while trying to show that it doesn't require proof. Fail.

I feel like what Pro was really trying to say was that even though the Bible can't be fully shown to be absolute through testing, it is still absolute. This goes against everything we strive for as a human collective in our pursuit for objective knowledge. If the Bible cannot withstand simple tests to prove its absoluteness, how can we ever say with surety that it is absolute? We can't. Will we be able to someday? Perhaps, but that day isn't today, at-least not to a degree where everyone would agree that the Bible is absolute. As long as someone disagrees, we cannot accurately say the Bible is absolute, as that wouldn't be the case for everyone.

"The fact that I already pointed out several doctrines which are supported by the Bible proves it's absolute."

Pointing out several doctrines which are supported by the Bible proves nothing. We are not debating on certain doctrines, we are debating about the Bible as a whole. Pointing out several doctrines is nothing more than another step to achieving the ultimate goal of showing that the Bible is absolute, but it does not prove it in and of itself, it merely shows that we are making progress to proving that claim using the method shared by Pro. I would remind the audience and judges that if there is even one doctrine which is not shown to be absolute, then the Bible itself cannot be absolute. All of the parts must be intact for something to be total. In the case of the Bible, not all the parts are there - some are practiced by certain denominations while others are not. We cannot thus accurately say the Bible is absolute when we still have conflicting, unsupported, or favored doctrines and practices.

III. Apocrypha

Pro claims he's shown why he didn't commit an Ad Populum fallacy. He's done no such thing. I've shown how he literally acknowledged that some people accepted the books as official doctrine and others did not. He then attempts to appeal to those who have not accepted it and then made the claim that "they were never included in the text" to which I replied with empirical evidence showing those books literally included in the same text as the books of the OT and NT.

To save face, Pro now tries to claim that my argument doesn't hold because I haven't shown people of the 1st century who accepted it as doctrine. What Pro fails to realize is that the Bible wasn't even around in the 1st century. Seriously, the Bible was compiled sometime in the 3rd and 4th century. It was the 1st Council of Nicea in 325 AD that put together the Biblical doctrine some still practice today. So, Pro's claim fails as it is not intellectually accurate with popular history. There is no way anyone could have accepted it as official doctrine in the 1st century as there was no official doctrine in the 1st century. Pro has committed the error of misconstruing history in an attempt to validate a claim which isn't accurate. Anyone can look to see for themselves that there was no Official Bible in the 1st century.

IV. Additional Rebuttals

"Con claims that the Trinity is more accurate than other interpretations, but this is the equivalent of saying that it's absolute. Once we observe that there is linguistic reason to hold the logical proposition that God is triune in nature essentially establishes this as absolute doctrine."

How on earth is stating that something is more accurate than another equivalent to saying that it is absolute?! That is absurd and an unwise stretching of terms in attempt to make a point. More accurate than another does not equal absolute, it literally just means that it has the potential for more validity than the other choice presented. One still needs to prove that it is the most accurate interpretation, not just more accurate than another. There could still be potentially more accurate views out there. Pro needed to prove that it was the most accurate interpretation of everything else out there. He did not do so, and therefore has no grounds to claim that it is absolute.

"Absolute is different from being all-knowing. Absolute doctrine simply means that everyone can find it objectively."

Okay, but can everyone find it objectively? NO. Which is yet another reason why the Bible is not absolute. Obviously people cannot find the doctrine objectively when there are thousands of denominations and each has their own ways of interpreting the text. This is literally the opposite of "finding it objectively" because each of these denominations are interpreting the texts subjectively, and usually apply the lessons relative to their own lives. None of it is objective by any means.

"Con claims that denominations shows that the Bible is not absolute or objective, however this does not logically follow. If i tell you a falsehood in science (pseudoscience for example) does that then imply that science is not objective? Of course not."

It absolutely follows when considering the fact that denominations rise out of disagreements while interpreting the text. I've already proven this by showing the differences in interpreting the Sabbath, differences in understanding how Baptism works, etc.

Furthermore, if you shown me a falsehood in science, then I would not accept it as an observational truth. There is nothing objective about it. I believe Pro has misunderstood the difference between objective truth and observational truth. This is because I've never said science can provide objective truths, but rather observational truths. So, Pro is essentially making a point which holds no grounds intellectually and no basis due to me never making the claim he is now attempting to counter.

In conclusion,

I would like to thank Pro for starting this thought-provoking debate. There are a few issues though in regards to Pro. First, he dropped a few arguments and failed to provide rebuttals to those dropped, this is evident in round 3 and onwards within the Multiple Interpretations Contention I raised. Secondly, Pro has committed several fallacies throughout this debate including Ad Populum to justify a claim which has been soundly defeated. Thirdly, Pro has not once proven that the Bible is absolute, but rather has simply shown a method in which is might be proven someday.

Pro has accomplished nothing except share a method which has potential to prove that the Bible is absolute. He acknowledges himself that this method is still in the process of finding the "original interpretations", and therefore unknowingly acknowledges that even he has no proof yet to show that the Bible is absolute. Pro has relied on tactics which include claiming I've said things I never did (which any judge can see for themselves in R3/R4), falsely interpreting history to claim that the authors knew about original doctrine when they themselves weren't alive when the "original doctrine" was compiled in the 3rd and 4th century, and create false correlations between the scientific method and the pursuit for Biblical absoluteness. On top of all that, I still have no access to a majority of his sources.

In all, I believe that Pro has failed to maintain his BOP, failed to overcome several challenges I presented, and thus soundly loses this debate since it was his obligation to show beyond any doubt that the Bible is absolute. I am confident that he has failed to do so, and stand by my position that the Bible is not absolute. Maybe someday we'll be able to make that claim when the proof comes along, but that day isn't today.

Debate Round No. 5
36 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Mikal 2 years ago
Mikal
Con beat the breaks off pro, this is a reminder for me to vote later

all of pros contentions were ill formulated and did not even touch cons base contentions. This was horribly lopsided
Posted by Jellon 2 years ago
Jellon
@Blade
If nothing else, my comment shower that I remembered you using an opinion website, which the DDO standard on sources strictly and explicitly forbids.
Posted by Jellon 2 years ago
Jellon
Blade is just raging, because people have a different opinion about voting than he does. I disagree with shadow's methodology, but I'm not going to rage about it. Voters should be entitled to their opinions as long as they can justify them within the context given by DDO. Shadow did that, and I respect him for it.

@Blade
my initial RFD included comments on specific things mentioned later on in the debate. For example, I mentioned how my friend truth tried to resolve the interpretation of the Sabbath and that I disagreed with his resolution given my interpretation of Scripture.
as for my comments in our PM, I just got confused with a different debate. It was late and I was tired. I thought you used Google answers, but it was got questions. Eh, same difference. My memory isn't perfect. Sorry.
Posted by Truth_seeker 2 years ago
Truth_seeker
I guess I poorly phrased this after learning about different concepts of what absolute is, but here's what I said 1st round

"My position is that the doctrine of the Bible is absolute, NOT that everyone agrees, but that it exists and it CAN be found using the historical grammatical method. My opponent can point out several denominations within Christianity to support his/her beliefs."

That was my burden of proof
Posted by ShadowKingStudios 2 years ago
ShadowKingStudios
You said twice it should've been a tie. That's how I voted. Again, DDO mandates I obligate my vote to "Most Convincing Argument" whether fully proved or not fully proved. You failed to make the most convincing argument. In fact, the argument that I cited as a guiding factor against you for a split decision you still haven't addressed.

"You are just giving your friend a tie."
Yes, you're right. I did give you that tie too, friend.
Posted by Blade-of-Truth 2 years ago
Blade-of-Truth
"One must show it is scripturally true & one must show it is utterly false biblically."

This debate is not a split-BOP debate. As long as I stop him from proving it is absolute - I win.

The fact that TRUTH_SEEKER didn't make it clear which Bible should be something held against him - since he is the one WHO STARTED THE DEBATE. Not me. You are literally placing the Burden on me when it was the instigators duty to understand the resolution he started. How do you not see this? Literally every argument you've made against me can be flipped onto Truth_Seeker as well. I'll show you:

1. Even if I committed the fallacy of not showing what Bible I was talking about - Truth_Seeker committed the same mistake. So this should automatically be tied instead of being held against me. Especially when he was the one who started the debate and resolution - this is ultimately his burden to clarify the parameters of the debate since he was instigator, not mine.

2. "The faulty premise is the employing terminology of "bible"." Okay, again - this should be a tied fault, not one placed solely on me. Especially considering that by your own admission Truth also used a faulty premise - in fact, he was the one who started with the faulty premise. You using this to justify voting for him is pathetic.

3. "His opinion of [Scripture] are the doctrines are absolute based on historical grammatical evidence. Does NOT matter if he is right, DDO asked "Who made more convincing arguments?" AKA who made more convincing opinions supported by evidence."

What evidence did he provide? He showed a method which is still in use - not one that has completed the job. There is no proof that the Bible is absolute and even Truth_Seeker admitted this. Wake up Shadow. He failed to prove his resolution, he dropped arguments, committed the same fallacy as me, and has even admitted in the comments that he couldn't prove his resolution. His arguments failed him. You are just giving your friend a tie.
Posted by ShadowKingStudios 2 years ago
ShadowKingStudios
0.
What part of verification do you not understand? What part of formalized guidelines do you not comprehend? BoP is a standard you-all throw into the mix for whatever reason you choose. The DDO voting rules are clear. Again, I'm obligated to place a fair vote based on the DDO 7 pt. ruling system, not Blade of Truth's perspective of BoP. Any mod that removes my vote based on my RFD will be doing so from a position of bias. The 7 point voting system is the mandate. There is no guideline within that mandate that states "Who proved their burden of proof?" I'm not obligated to enforce it. However, like I noted I did consider it, that's why you got 3 pts.
Posted by ShadowKingStudios 2 years ago
ShadowKingStudios
1.
Did I commit fallacies?
Yes, you did. My RFD highlighted you both argued from the use of the word "bible" which diminishes you-alls credible argumentation. Debate me under "The Hebrew & Greek Texts of Hebraic Scripture is Absolute" & I'll demonstrate why you'll lose the debate using the flawed word "bible".

you still are foolish enough to give him those points.
I quote myself: "Therefore both parties began on faulty premises that make their arguments weak & confusing, respectively. So who made the least amount of errors to still present the Most Convincing Argument?" The faulty premise is the employing terminology of "bible". You want me to suspend my knowledge that theologians & linguistic scholars refer to the "English translations" as the Bible. And that they refer to the Hebraic & Grecian Texts of the Heb. & Grk manuscripts as "Scripture".

I am arguing that the Bible is not absolute.
Your own words. So which Bible are you arguing is not absolute? The Catholic Bible, KJ Bible, NKJ Bible, NIV Bible, Geneva Bible, Gideon Bible, Confraternity Bible, Lexham English Bible, Amplified Bible, Bishop's Bible, Darby Bible, Coverdale Bible, or from any of the 50+ other bibles? You did not make it clear which Bible you were arguing against. As Seeker didn't fully understand his confused premise: The Bible is absolute.
Posted by ShadowKingStudios 2 years ago
ShadowKingStudios
2.
So what exact was Seeker's most convincing argument? 1st, we must define "argument" based on debate terminology since DDO specifically used that word.
Argument- "an opinion that is supported with evidence" http://www.compuhigh.com...
His opinion: "My position is that the doctrine of the...is absolute, not that everyone agrees, but that it exists and it can be found using the historical grammatical method." Again, the use of the word "Bible" confused his resolution since there are many Bibles & he likely meant "the Scripture" since there is only one Hebrew Scripture, one Greek Scripture. His opinion of [Scripture] are the doctrines are absolute based on historical grammatical evidence. Does NOT matter if he is right, DDO asked "Who made more convincing arguments?" AKA who made more convincing opinions supported by evidence.
Posted by ShadowKingStudios 2 years ago
ShadowKingStudios
3.
Do not give me your version of argument, because a debate definition is the only opinion valid. Now evidence, Merriam-Webster says "something which shows that something else exists or is true". Which arguments--opinions--did Seeker show were "true" in a convincing way? I will show one doctrine you didn't even attempt to discredit as absolute.
Catholics claim that they "venerate" the virgin Mary, however that is clearly idolatry. Exo. 20:4-5
"4 "You shall not make for yourself a carved image"any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; 5 you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me"
Where was your rebuttal showing idolatry isn't an absolute doctrine of the so-called Bible?
Another convincing argument Seeker made that went unrefuted by you was Lilith.
Lilith - Lilith is a rabbinic legend in Jewish myth derived from Mesopotamian myths (12). It has no biblical origin. (You never proved Lilith was a scriptural doctrine, just simply showed a website claiming it was an outdated belief. Some Christians believe the "O, Lucifer..." reference is talking about Jesus, does this belief make it a true absolute doctrine? Or a misinterpretation of a false notion? One must show it is scripturally true & one must show it is utterly false biblically.
Rally against my vote all you want, but true discernment shows that both of you dropped the ball in establishing doctrinal absolutes/non-doctrinal absolutes in the Bible. Oh, wait. Which Bible? You both failed in coherent terminology, Seeker just happened to make the most convincing argument: there is a doctrinal absolute in [the Bible] that idolatry is forbidden to be practiced. You never contested it.
6 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Vote Placed by mishapqueen 2 years ago
mishapqueen
Truth_seekerBlade-of-TruthTied
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Reasons for voting decision: This was a confusing debate. I'm still not exactly sure what the resolution means, but anyway... Pro did a good job, but was not quite able to sufficiently answer Con's points. Kudos to you both.
Vote Placed by LostintheEcho1498 2 years ago
LostintheEcho1498
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Reasons for voting decision: Throughout the debate there were several instances where truth seeker had points refuted that he did not/could not refute. Blade of truth also had more relevant argument. Both had several grammar/spelling errors so no points there. Sources is tied as both used similar sources such as wikipedia and merriam webster along with sources of varying validity.
Vote Placed by Wylted 2 years ago
Wylted
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Reasons for voting decision: Test
Vote Placed by ShadowKingStudios 2 years ago
ShadowKingStudios
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Reasons for voting decision: RFD in the comments.
Vote Placed by Jellon 2 years ago
Jellon
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Reasons for voting decision: Edit was too long. Added RFD in comments.
Vote Placed by whiteflame 2 years ago
whiteflame
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Reasons for voting decision: Generally, Con just ends up shooting himself in the foot too many times in this debate, and has way too much trouble finding his way to his BoP. Every attempt he makes to do so is either fallacious, or is used and then chucked aside in favor of a separate argument. For example, if you're going to use science as your example of something that everyone should view as absolute, then defend the view that science is absolute. Simply defending the idea that it's objective is not enough, and when you outright state that science isn't absolute, you only do damage to your case. Choose your arguments carefully, especially those that seek out your BoP. You can't lose them all and hope to take the debate.