Parable vs. History - Clarification

Rasmussen, Ryan J. (
Fri, 21 Aug 1998 10:05:48 -0400

Glenn and George,

Just thought I'd try to clarify something before things get a little too
polarized between "history" and "parable" of the Bible. Its starting to
remind me of "naturalism" and "creationism" battle.

George, I don't think that Glenn is saying that EVERYTHING that is
written in the Bible is "historically true". He is saying that there
are certain things that are written in the Bible that are parables but
there are also others that appear to have much more of a "event that
truly occurred" nature to them. It just so happens that the "event"
that the Bible speaks of pertains to his area of his expertise and it is
also appears to be written of as an "event that actually occurred" in

George previously wrote:

Again, I'm not just speaking of your flood scenario but of
the general idea that all biblical accounts must be accurate
history to be true.

George L. Murphy

Glenn previously wrote:

If the Bible indicates that something occurred, then there are
consequences which in
principle, can be examined to see if the consequences occurred. If
observational data for the consequences can't be found, then one is free
question the reality of the event. Given my definition of truth as being
THAT WHICH ACTUALLY EXISTS OR OCCURRED, then if there is no evidence for
some of events given in the Bible, like the Flood (which involves my
professional area--geoscience), then I would be free to conclude that
Flood is a fiction. And rather than doing as my liberal brothers do,
assuming that it still is the Word of God, I would have to question why
Writer went to such an extreme to make it appear as if the account is
historical when it isn't. And if the inspiration of the Bible, (whatever
form that took) is unable to preserve truth in the account, then either
is unwilling or unable to convey the true history to the writer. This
to the argument that nearly drove me to atheism and is why I fight so
for historicity!!!!!!!!!! This is crucial and if anyone can offer an out
this, I would be very appreciative. This is my variation on an argument
advanced by Lactantius who attributed the argument to Epicurus (ca. 300

I think that much of this can be summed up with something that Glenn has
previously written:

...our difference seems to be that you would rather start by saying
something might not be historical and cease looking for historical
verification. And if you stop looking, you will never find it.