> Greetings one and all. I am thrilled to be a member of this group. Let
> me introduce myself: My name is Richard Amiel McGough. I am 42 yo and
> the author of the site recently introduced here by Vernon Jenkins:
> www.BibleWheel.com. I have two degrees from Washington State
> University, (1984); one in Mathematics and one in Physics. I nearly
> completed a PhD dissertation on the problem of Irreversibility in
> Quantum Mechanics. Anyone here familiar with the issues involved in
> that quest could probably guess a number of reasons why I did not
> complete it. I am currently the Sr. Systems Engineer at GE Financial
> Assurance (the financial branch of General Electric in Seattle,
> Washington, USA.) My thesis is exceedingly simple: A symmetric
> structure naturally emerges from the traditional protestant Canon when
> it is displayed in the form of a Wheel consisting of 22 Spokes and 3
> concentric wheels within the Wheel. Each Spoke is governed by one of
> the 22 letters of the Hebrew alphabet. Common themes, profoundly
> integrated with the traditional Rabbinic understanding of the Hebrew
> letters, unite the books that constitute each Spoke. When the seven
> traditional divisions of the Christian Canon are displayed upon this
> Wheel, a sevenfold structure exhibiting both radial and bilateral
> symmetry emerges. I believe that no one familiar with the history of
> Scripture could successfully argue that this is the work of
> man. Likewise, those familiar with statistics would be hard pressed to
> argue that a work consisting of 66 objects (66! = 5x10^91) would just
> happen to fall into a symmetric structure by chance. The Bible,
> therefore, is the Work of God. Go to the site to learn more. I greatly
> desire comments and criticism.
Richard - Please note that I am posting this to you privately, not to
the asa list in general.
I am sorry to have to give you what may appear to be a rude
reception to the list, but the
type of argument which you present is very questionable theologically.
Let me just note a few points.
1. As David Campbell points out in a post to the list, the
numbering of 66 books in traditional protestant Bibles has no
2. The reference to the King James Bible on your website
failed to note that the original KJV contained the books of the
Apocrypha in a separate section, in this regard being similar to
Luther's translation. See my earlier post to the list for further
detail on this.
3. Accepting the protestant canon for the sake of argument, the
division of it into 7 parts as you do is arbitrary. E.g., there is no
logical or theological reason for separating "major" and "minor"
prophets. In the Hebrew Bible, e.g., all of those are included with
some of the historical books as "the former and latter prophets." One
could equally well divide the epistles into the Pauline ones addressed
to specific churches or persons and the catholic epistles, or put
Revelation in a separate New Testament category.
4. The claim that this "proof of the divine origin of the Holy
Bible" is "self-evident" raises immediate suspicion. (Vernon Jenkins
makes similar claims.) It's a form of argument from intimidation - what
one of my physics profs called the "any fool can see" proof. But if
this seems too harsh, we could try an empirical approach: How many
people on the asa list, most of whom are Christians with some scientific
training, will accept this "proof" at first glance, as they should if
it's self evident.
5. This "proof" has nothing to do with Christ, who is the
center of scripture. You do cite John 20:31 as giving the purpose of
the Bible (which requires a extension, albeit a legitimate one, from the
purpose of the 4th Gospel to that of the whole of scripture), but the
divine character of the Bible is supposedly to be proven quite apart
from any christological considerations. This means that in principle a
person could accept the Bible as wholly inspired, true, authoritative &c
- & then start to try to find out what it's about! That way lie all
sorts of sectarian pitfalls.
A person comes to believe that the Bible is a true witness to
God's ultimate revelation in Christ
when he or she has come to believe in Christ through that witness. "If
you will not believe, surely you shall not be established" (Is.7:9).
I want to be clear that I am not questioning the quality of your
Christian faith. But I think that the way in which you're trying to
prove the divine origin of scripture is fraught with several kinds of
problems. & it's not necessary. The Holy Spirit will bring people to
faith in Christ by the preaching of Christ, not by questionable
George L. Murphy
"The Science-Theology Interface"
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