Board index Science and the Bible

Science and the Bible contradict

Postby Stabby » Mon Sep 18, 2017 3:26 pm

Science directly contradicts religion and specifically the bible. If you have an issue with that, it may be because you have a habit of twisting what the bible says in a vein attempt to make it work with science.

Here's your main problem. The bible is not concordant with science.
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Re: Science and the Bible contradict

Postby jimwalton » Mon Sep 18, 2017 3:27 pm

Wait a minute. You're making assumptions before conversation. Let's talk. Where in the world does science directly contradict religion and specifically the Bible? You gotta put your money where your mouth is and show where science contradicts the Bible.
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Re: Science and the Bible contradict

Postby Stabby » Mon Sep 18, 2017 3:47 pm

Is this serious? Science has been pushing God from gap to gap until, now, it's very unlikely that God exists. The idea of faith in general goes completely against science. As far as where science contradicts the bible...take your pick. Everything from the resurrection, to turning water into wine, tearing down city walls with musical instruments, Jesus being nailed through his hands, the list goes on! I'm a bit blown away that you think they go hand in hand.
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Re: Science and the Bible contradict

Postby jimwalton » Mon Sep 18, 2017 3:59 pm

Faith doesn't go against science. In the Bible, faith is evidentiary. I define Biblical faith as "making an assumption of truth based on enough evidence to make that assumption reasonable." In my opinion, belief is always a choice, and is always based on evidence. When you sit down in a chair, you didn’t think twice about sitting down. You believe that the chair will hold you. Faith? Yes. You’ve sat in chairs hundreds of times, but you can't be absolutely sure it will hold you this time. Things do break on occasion. But you make an assumption of truth based on enough evidence to make it reasonable for you to make that assumption, and you sit down. That’s faith, and it was a conscious choice.

Almost all of life works this way because we can never know what lies ahead. Every time you turn a door knob you are expressing faith. Because 10,000 times you’ve turned a door knob, and it opened the door. So you turn the knob and move forward. Does it always work that way? No. Sometimes you turn the knob and the door doesn’t open. But you make an assumption of truth based on enough evidence to make it reasonable for you to make that assumption.

We know chairs hold people. That's past experience and learning. We know turning door knobs open doors. We know that when we turn a key a car starts. But every time we turn a car key, we do it because we believe it will start. The evidence is compelling, and it was a conscious choice. We don't know for sure that the car will start, and unfortunately sometimes it doesn't. Then we use our knowledge to try to figure out what to do about it. We dial our phone (as an act of faith, assuming it will work and help us reach another person), and try to get help.

You'll notice in the Bible that evidence precedes faith. There is no "dumping on a random doorstep" and good luck to ya! God appears to Moses in a burning bush before he expect him to believe. He gave signs to take back to Pharaoh and the Israelite people, so they could see the signs before they were expected to believe. So also through the whole OT. In the NT, Jesus started off with turning water into wine, healing some people, casting out demons, and then he taught them about faith. And they couldn't possibly understand the resurrection until there was some evidence to go on. The whole Bible is God revealing himself to us all—and I mean actually, not through some exercise of faith.

My faith in God is a conscious choice because I find the evidence compelling. It's an assumption of truth based on enough evidence to make it reasonable for me to make that assumption. When you read the Bible, people came to Jesus to be healed because they had heard about other people who had been healed. They had seen other people whom Jesus had healed. People had heard him teach. Their faith was based on evidence. Jesus kept giving them new information, and they gained new knowledge from it. Based on that knowledge, they acted with more faith. People came to him to make requests. See how it works? My belief in God is based on my knowledge of the credibility of those writings, the logic of the teaching, and the historical evidence behind it all. The resurrection, for instance, has evidences that give it credibility that motivate me to believe in it. My faith in the resurrection is an assumption of truth based on enough evidence that makes it reasonable to hold that assumption. The same is true for my belief in the existence of God, my belief that the Bible is God's word, and my understanding of how life works.

> The resurrection

In the Arctic tundra, the wooly bear caterpillar ((Pyrrharctia Isabella; the Isabella Tiger moth) freezes solid to the point where all life functions cease. The heart stops beating; no ingestion or excretion; no brain function; no respiration. And yet in the spring it comes back to life and continues on its merry way. Resurrection is scientifically possible, and occurs regularly in this caterpillar. Someone may object that Jesus' resurrection and the life cycle of the wooly bear caterpillar are not in the same category of phenomena, since the caterpillar is merely in a stage of dormancy safeguarded by a cryoprotectant. And yet death manifests many of the same qualities: cessation of all life functions, an absence of any attribute characteristic of vitality, and complete dormancy. While dormancy implies only a temporary suspension of function with expectation of renewal, Christian theology treats death in exactly the same manner, and the resurrection of Christ is specifically designed to prove that such is the case. When we die, according to Christian theology, the body enters a state of dormancy ("sleep"), awaiting a future bodily resurrection. Jesus' successful and effective resurrection is the guarantee of exactly that renewal from dormancy that we see in the caterpillar.

> Turning water to wine

A miracle, for sure. Alvin Plantinga asks what the problem is in believing in miracles—why should anyone object to it? "Why can't the causal continuum be rent by the interference of supernatural, transcendent powers? Why are miracles necessarily incompatible with modern science? They are only incompatible if it can be proved that nature is a closed continuum of cause and effect, and closed to intervention or interference on the part of beings outside that continuum, including God himself." In no way does the predictable character of nature exclude the possibility of miraculous events. Science cannot prove that the universe is all there is, meaning that it's a closed causal system. "Natural laws offer no threat to special divine action."

> Tearing down city walls with musical instruments

Jericho is in a fault zone. There have been many earthquakes in the area. The miracle was not the earthquake, but the specific timing of the earthquake with the musical instruments. The Bible doesn't say that the musical instruments caused the walls to fall, but only that the falling of the walls was coincident with the blowing of the horns.

> Jesus being nailed through the hands

He was nailed through the wrists. The Gospels don't claim the nails went through his hands. The only reference to that is where Thomas (in John 20) wanted to see his hands as proof, and Jesus showed them. The word used for hands (χερσὶν) could be used also of the wrist or forearm.

We still don't have a problem here. Faith isn't against evidence/science. And science doesn't contradict the Bible.
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Re: Science and the Bible contradict

Postby Stabby » Mon Sep 18, 2017 8:45 pm

> I define Biblical faith as "making an assumption of truth based on enough evidence to make that assumption reasonable."

Let's be clear about something. You don't get to make the definition of words. The actual definition of faith includes a very important line, "firm belief in something for which there is no proof".

> When you sit down in a chair, you didn’t think twice about sitting down. You believe that the chair will hold you. Faith? Yes.

Here's the big flaw with that: I can scientifically verify that said chair will hold me. I can check if it was made properly, is still intact, and on level ground. You cannot scientifically verify the existence of God or that miracles have ever occurred.
Almost all of life works this way because we can never know what lies ahead. Every time you turn a door knob you are expressing faith. Because 10,000 times you’ve turned a door knob, and it opened the door. So you turn the knob and move forward. Does it always work that way? No. Sometimes you turn the knob and the door doesn’t open. But you make an assumption of truth based on enough evidence to make it reasonable for you to make that assumption.

An assumption based on evidence is not taking something on faith. Basing that same idea on faith would be having no idea what that door knob will do but believing it will turn based on no prior evidence of that ever happening.

> You'll notice in the Bible that evidence precedes faith.

I have never noticed that. Ever. In fact, I would be inclined to call someone that claimed this either disingenuous or a flat out liar.

> The whole Bible is God revealing himself to us all—and I mean actually, not through some exercise of faith.

Then why has he never revealed himself to anyone living now? How is there zero evidence for God if, as you say, the evidence precedes faith?

> My belief in God is based on my knowledge of the credibility of those writings, the logic of the teaching, and the historical evidence behind it all.

1 Corinthians 14:34

You must see how barbaric this is.

> In the Arctic tundra, the wooly bear caterpillar ((Pyrrharctia Isabella; the Isabella Tiger moth) freezes solid to the point where all life functions cease. The heart stops beating; no ingestion or excretion; no brain function; no respiration. And yet in the spring it comes back to life and continues on its merry way. Resurrection is scientifically possible, and occurs regularly in this caterpillar. Someone may object that Jesus' resurrection and the life cycle of the wooly bear caterpillar are not in the same category of phenomena, since the caterpillar is merely in a stage of dormancy safeguarded by a cryoprotectant. And yet death manifests many of the same qualities: cessation of all life functions, an absence of any attribute characteristic of vitality, and complete dormancy. While dormancy implies only a temporary suspension of function with expectation of renewal, Christian theology treats death in exactly the same manner, and the resurrection of Christ is specifically designed to prove that such is the case. When we die, according to Christian theology, the body enters a state of dormancy ("sleep"), awaiting a future bodily resurrection. Jesus' successful and effective resurrection is the guarantee of exactly that renewal from dormancy that we see in the caterpillar.

You must have long arms to reach this far.

> Alvin Plantinga asks what the problem is in believing in miracles—why should anyone object to it?

You said yourself that evidence is important, why throw that away here?

> We still don't have a problem here. Faith isn't against evidence/science. And science doesn't contradict the Bible.

There is a massive problem. You lack any sort of evidence for your claims. The bible itself cannot prove the bible true, this is the circular argument you have been making. Faith is directly against science as evidence would move it from faith to fact. Science indeed contradicts the bible. Again, you have failed to show evidence.
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Re: Science and the Bible contradict

Postby jimwalton » Mon Sep 18, 2017 9:08 pm

> Let's be clear about something. You don't get to make the definition of words

Of course not. That's how the Bible treats faith. In Hebrews 11.1 it says, "Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see." The word "confidence" is ὑπόστασις: "Being sure of; substantial nature; reality (often in contrast to what merely seems to be." So he defines it as something we can know, not believing in something for which there is no proof.

But he's not done. He says it's "being sure of what we hope for," but then he follows it with "certain of what we do not see." The word for "certain" is ἔλεγχος: "Proof." The dictionary definition is not the Bible's definition. What the Bible means by faith is a certainty about the reality of things based on evidence.

> Here's the big flaw with that: I can scientifically verify that said chair will hold me.

That's not a flaw at all. My belief that the chair will hold me is based on evidence, and even sometimes on scientific verifiability. That's not a problem.

> I have never noticed that. Ever.

- Before God asked Moses to believe in Him, he revealed himself in the burning bush and did some miracles for him
- Before God asked Abraham to believe in Him, he spoke to him and gave him a vision (Gn. 15).
- Before Jesus asked the disciples to believe in him, he talked with them for a day, and then showed them a miracle (the turning of water to wine)
- Before Jesus asked Paul to believe in Him, he appeared to Paul.

There are hundreds more. In the Bible evidence always precedes faith.

> Then why has he never revealed himself to anyone living now?

He does. There is an increasing amount of reports of hundreds of Muslims having visions of Jesus and turning to Christianity.

https://www.lausanneworldpulse.com/pers ... 95/01-2007

In there is says: "Beginning in 2002, a group of people interested in this phenomenon took initial steps in bringing it to the attention of a worldwide audience through a series of video programs. Numerous on-site interviews were conducted with former Muslims who had experienced a dream or vision of Jesus resulting in their conversion to Christianity."

This is just one such source.

> 1 Cor. 14.34

Ha, ha ha. Wow, that's such a radical change of subject I got whiplash! This is a much bigger discussion, but we know from 1 Cor. 11 (same author, same book) that the women were allowed to speak in the church. There is something very specific going on in 1 Cor. 14 pertaining to the use and abuse of spiritual gifts and the disruption of the services by a particular group. The context makes all the difference. But this is a conversation for a different post.

> The wooly bear caterpillar

You're the one who said that science contradicts the idea of resurrection. All I did was show an example of resurrection from science to refute your argument.

> Alvin Plantinga... "You said yourself that evidence is important, why throw that away here?"

I'm not throwing it away. Plantinga's point is that there is no evidence to confirm that the universe is a closed system, and if we follow the evidence we have to allow for miracles. The evidence of science doesn't preclude the possibility of miracles. "In no way does the predictable character of nature exclude the possibility of miraculous events. Science cannot prove that the universe is all there is, meaning that it's a closed causal system."

> You lack any sort of evidence for your claims.

- Faith is a knowledge based on evidences, as evidenced by chairs, keys, doorknobs, and every other part of our normal lives.
- The writings of Scripture give evidence to the concept that evidence precedes faith.
- The wooly bear caterpillar gives evidence from the natural world of resurrection.
- Science gives no evidence of that the universe is a closed system.

> The bible itself cannot prove the bible true, this is the circular argument you have been making.

We haven't even touched on this argument, so you can't rightly confuse me of circular reasoning. I haven't even done any reasoning from the Bible.

> Science indeed contradicts the bible.

Where's your evidence? I have countered the few you threw at me. Science doesn't contradict the Bible at all. As a matter of fact, Alvin Plantinga (I know, Plantinga again) wrote a whole book logically showing how science has more in common with theism than naturalism. It's called Where the Conflict Really Lies, if you're interested.
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Re: Science and the Bible contradict

Postby Stabby » Tue Sep 19, 2017 2:42 pm

> and assurance about what we do not see.

You seem to ignore this part. This is another way of saying "no proof". You again are using the bible to "prove" something. This is a mistake. I have shown multiple times that the bible is inconsistent at best and cannot be taken with an assumption of truth.

> The dictionary definition is not the Bible's definition. What the Bible means by faith is a certainty about the reality of things based on evidence.

That's correct, it's not the same definition, the dictionary has the actual definition.

> That's not a flaw at all. My belief that the chair will hold me is based on evidence, and even sometimes on scientific verifiability. That's not a problem.

It's a problem when you are drawing parallels between belief and evidence based knowledge.

> Before God asked Moses to believe in Him, he revealed himself in the burning bush and did some miracles for him
Before God asked Abraham to believe in Him, he spoke to him and gave him a vision (Gn. 15).
Before Jesus asked the disciples to believe in him, he talked with them for a day, and then showed them a miracle (the turning of water to wine)
Before Jesus asked Paul to believe in Him, he appeared to Paul.

> And the bible not being a reliable source for information makes all of this come under scrutiny. I can pull examples from the bible just like you can. In fact your argument is based on the idea that you can form "evidence" for any agenda you want from the texts.

> He does. There is an increasing amount of reports of hundreds of Muslims having visions of Jesus and turning to Christianity.
https://www.lausanneworldpulse.com/pers ... 95/01-2007

In there is says: "Beginning in 2002, a group of people interested in this phenomenon took initial steps in bringing it to the attention of a worldwide audience through a series of video programs. Numerous on-site interviews were conducted with former Muslims who had experienced a dream or vision of Jesus resulting in their conversion to Christianity."

So what would you say about the increasing number of people leaving both religions? Is that Jesus as well? Or maybe Satan, wouldn't that be convenient. Funny how a "vision" leads people into faith while thinking and reasoning pulls people away.

> 1 Cor. 14.34...Ha, ha ha. Wow, that's such a radical change of subject I got whiplash! This is a much bigger discussion, but we know from 1 Cor. 11 (same author, same book) that the women were allowed to speak in the church. There is something very specific going on in 1 Cor. 14 pertaining to the use and abuse of spiritual gifts and the disruption of the services by a particular group. The context makes all the difference. But this is a conversation for a different post.

Change of subject my ass, you are trying to avoid admitting how bad these books are. I responded to you saying this:
My belief in God is based on my knowledge of the credibility of those writings, the logic of the teaching, and the historical evidence behind it all.

You claim the credibility of the writings and that the teachings within those writings are of sound logic. Please, enlighten me as to how you can justify bronze age misogyny. And "context" is a weak argument that will probably only serve an ill attempt to redirect the question.

> You're the one who said that science contradicts the idea of resurrection. All I did was show an example of resurrection from science to refute your argument.

Yes, I said this. You don't seem to see any difference between someone being dead for three days in a hot cave and a caterpillar that can come back after it's frozen. The human example would be a miracle, which by definition is outside natural law and has no evidence for it's occurrence.

> We haven't even touched on this argument, so you can't rightly confuse me of circular reasoning. I haven't even done any reasoning from the Bible.

All of your reasoning has been based on the bible. You are lying at this point.

> Faith is a knowledge based on evidences, as evidenced by chairs, keys, doorknobs, and every other part of our normal lives.

Do you honestly believe that scientists work on the basis of faith? If so, you either have the wrong understanding of what faith is (most likely) or are dangerously misguided on what the field of science is.

> Where's your evidence? I have countered the few you threw at me. Science doesn't contradict the Bible at all. As a matter of fact, Alvin Plantinga (I know, Plantinga again) wrote a whole book logically showing how science has more in common with theism than naturalism. It's called "Where the Conflict Really Lies," if you're interested.

You haven't countered shit. You are the chicken playing chess in this scenario. My evidence:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_PEKppz5cgw

This is a nice list: https://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Biblical_ ... fic_errors

Here is a small summary of fighting scientific discovery: http://www.seesharppress.com/20reasons.html#numbereight
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F4OhXQTMOEc

To claim that the things in the bible are scientifically sound is to be completely irrational. When you are met with something you cannot somehow convince yourself is scientific, you say it's poetic or not literal. Convenient to be able to just pick what gets to be true, isn't it? Even with all your cherry picking it is impossible to avoid the truth that the bible is a grotesque example of a system of morality that should have died out long ago.

You claim context for that sexist passage I posted earlier, I hope you have the "proper" context for all of these as well:
Christianity is misogynistic. Misogyny is fundamental to the basic writings of Christianity. In passage after passage, women are encouraged—no, commanded—to accept an inferior role, and to be ashamed of themselves for the simple fact that they are women. Misogynistic biblical passages are so common that it's difficult to know which to cite. From the New Testament we find "Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church. . . ." (Ephesians 5:22:23) and "These [redeemed] are they which were not defiled with women; . . ." (Revelation 14:4); and from the Old Testament we find "How then can man be justified with God? Or how can he be clean that is born of a woman?" (Job 25:4) Other relevant New Testament passages include Colossians 3:18; 1 Peter 3:7; 1 Corinthians 11:3, 11:9, and 14:34; and 1 Timothy 2:11-12 and 5:5-6. Other Old Testament passages include Numbers 5:20-22 and Leviticus 12:2-5 and 15:17-33.

And here we have some passages about slavery. I can imagine you'd like to say that these views are old and a sign of when it was written. I ask then, why are they still included? Why continue to teach this along side all else?

The Christians who supported and engaged in slavery were amply supported by the Bible, in which slavery is accepted as a given, as simply a part of the social landscape. There are numerous biblical passages that implicitly or explicitly endorse slavery, such as Exodus 21:20-21: "And if a man smite his servant, or his maid with a rod, and he die under his hand; he shall be surely punished. Notwithstanding, if he continue a day or two, he shall not be punished: for he is his money." Other passages that support slavery include Ephesians 6:5, Colossians 3:22, Titus 2:9-10, Exodus 21:2-6, Leviticus 25:44-46, 1 Peter 2:18, and 1 Timothy 6:1. Christian slave owners in colonial America were well acquainted with these passages.

A touch on the historical significance of the bible:

Mark, the oldest of the Gospels, was written at least 30 years after Christ's death, and the newest of them might have been written more than 200 years after his death. These texts have been amended, translated, and re-translated so often that it's extremely difficult to gauge the accuracy of current editions—even aside from the matter of the accuracy of texts written decades or centuries after the death of their subject. This is such a problem that the Jesus Seminar, a colloquium of over 200 Protestant Gospel scholars mostly employed at religious colleges and seminaries, undertook in 1985 a multi-year investigation into the historicity of the statements and deeds attributed to Jesus in the New Testament. They concluded that only 18% of the statements and 16% of the deeds attributed to Jesus had a high likelihood of being historically accurate. So, in a very real sense fundamentalists—who claim to believe in the literal truth of the Bible—are not followers of Jesus Christ; rather, they are followers of those who, decades or centuries later, put words in his mouth.

And to say the bible stands on its own merits is another mistake:

". . . God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man." (James:1:13) "And it came to pass after these things, that God did tempt Abraham." (Genesis 22:1)

". . . for I am merciful, saith the Lord, and I will not keep anger forever." (Jeremiah 3:12) "Ye have kindled a fire in mine anger, which shall burn forever. Thus saith the Lord." (Jeremiah 17:4)

"If I bear witness of myself, my witness is not true." (John 5:31, J.C. speaking) "I am one that bear witness of myself . . ." (John 8:18, J.C. speaking)

"I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved." (Genesis 32:30) "No man hath seen God at any time." (John 1:18) "And I [God] will take away mine hand, and thou shalt see my back parts . . ." (Exodus 33:23)

Will you go on to say these are poor translations? If so, how can the rest of the book be trusted with such an important task? You charge me with dismantling your bible as a foundation for moral and scientific understanding to further my point, which is to say your arguments are from the bible itself. I have done this repeatedly.
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Re: Science and the Bible contradict

Postby jimwalton » Thu Oct 19, 2017 11:41 am

You've maxed out the characters, so I can't possibly respond to it all. I'll go as far as I can.

> and assurance about what we do not see. ...You seem to ignore this part. I didn't ignore this part. What I wrote was, "The word for "certain" is ἔλεγχος: 'Proof.' " He specifically says that faith involves evidence and proof.

> It's not the same definition, the dictionary has the actual definition

Philosophers define their terms before they write, as do members of other disciplines, including science (depending on the presentation). The Bible gets to define what the Bible means by faith. Certainly what the Bible means by God (monotheism) is different than what the culture meant by god (polytheistic mythology). The Bible gets to define how it uses its terms. If you want to know what the Bible means by faith, then you have to accept what the Bible means by faith.

> It's a problem when you are drawing parallels between belief and evidence based knowledge.

As I mentioned, The Bible defines faith in terms of evidence-based knowledge. I don't accept the Hegelian divide between real knowledge and faith. It's a false divide, and it's a lie. Nor do I accept Kierkegaard's relativizing of truth as whatever we deem it to be based on our experiences. That's a lie also.

> how you can justify bronze age misogyny.

I argue that misogyny is not a biblical teaching or practice. We'd have to go into a specific text or texts to discuss this further. There no sense in me spending the rest of the post on this one subject.

> And "context" is a weak argument

Context means EVERYTHING. Cultural and linguistic context changes definitions and usages. "Conversation" in 1600 meant "way of life." Now it means discussing with each other. Gay used to mean happy, now it means homosexual. A "No Standing" sign, because of its context, doesn't mean "No Standing."

> To claim that the things in the bible are scientifically sound is to be completely irrational.

Your point was that science contradicts the Bible, not that everything in the Bible is scientifically sound. They were writing under a different scientific paradigm than ours.

> Christianity is misogynistic. Misogyny is fundamental to the basic writings of Christianity.

Just about everything in this paragraph is incorrect. You can't throw 20 passages at me and expect a reasoned reply. There isn't space to reply. We can talk about them separately, as you wish.

> Slavery

Slavery in the ancient world was not slavery at all, but most often debt-servitude. Unfortunately, we applied the word they used for debt-servitude to the slave pens of Greece and Rome, and then of the horrible person-owning abuses of the western colonial world. Again, words change in meaning. Our taking our understanding of slavery from American history and from Greco-Roman ownership and maltreatment, and thinking that's what the Old Testament is talking about is anachronistic and misguided. "Slavery" in Exodus, Deuteronomy, and Numbers didn't mean what we consider "slavery" to mean. Most "slavery" in the ancient world was debt-servitude (working for someone to be able to pay one's bills, not far from our concept of employment) or corvee labor (working for the gov't, not far from Roosevelt's CCC of the 1930s). There's much more to say here, but no room for it all.

> Mark, the oldest of the Gospels

Most of this paragraph is incorrect also. Mark was probably written in the late 50s. It's impossible that the other Gospels were written 200 years after Jesus because they are quoted in the 2nd century. We have a fragment of John from AD 125. The Diatesseron (a combined narrative of the 4 Gospels) was written in about AD 170.

It's also not true at all that "it's extremely difficult to gauge the accuracy of current editions." The fact is that we have so many manuscripts and fragments that we can know very reliably what the originals said.

The Jesus Seminar isn't exactly the pinnacle of objective scholarship. Their stated goal, in the opening remarks of the Jesus seminar by Robert Funk, included, "We need a new narrative of Jesus, a new gospel, if you will, that places Jesus differently in the grand scheme, the epic story. ... We require a new, liberating fiction, one that squares with the best knowledge we can now accumulate and one that transcends self-serving ideologies. And we need a fiction that we recognize to be fictive."

> Tempt. James 1.13 and Genesis 22.1

The word tempt in James is the Greek πειράζομαι which has the predominant sense of "putting obstacles in front of a person so that they fail." God doesn't do that. The word tempt in Genesis is nisa, meaning "test to approve." Its predominant sense is to put obstacles in front of a person so they succeed by learning to overcome. It's not like the modern English concept of "entice to do wrong".

> Merciful. Jeremiah 3 & 17.

In Jer. 3 he is speaking to Israel. When they repent and return to him, he will show them favor once again. In Jer. 17 he is saying that if they are unrepentant, he will not show them favor once again. But the one who repents can still be saved (17.14). Ya gotta read the context. That's like me asking you if you want to go to the store and you say, "Nah, I don't wanna go." But then later when I go to a movie without you, you protest because you would have been interested. It's not fair for me say, "Hey, you said 'I don't wanna go.' "

> Bear witness of myself

In Jn. 5.31, he is saying that if he testifies about himself they won't accept it, so he lets God testify about him. Jesus is referring to an OT principle that requires two witnesses to prove a case (Dt. 17.6). In John 18 he is referring to that same Deuteronomy text claiming that at this point he has proved his divinity by many signs, so now there are two witnesses: God the Son (himself) and God the Father. You have to read more than 1" deep, or just grab Internet links.

> Seeing God's face

In Genesis 32, Jacob is wrestling with an angel, a messenger of God (Hos. 12.4). Jacob identifies him as Elohim, a term used for God, angels, and even men of God. Moses, in Ex. 33 saw the back of God's goodness.


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