Joel wrote: "I guess I'm really asking this: How does one decide what
biblical accounts are historical and what are myth given that we believe
scripture to be "God breathed" and noting that there are a number of
fantastic events related in the bible (e.g. walls of Jerico, plagues on
egypt, various miracles of Christ, etc)? Are we free to consider as myth
anything that seems impossible? If not, how is the line drawn? By what
means do we place Jonah on the myth side whilst affirming the historicity
of Christ's resurrection? Is their any harm in simply believing Jonah to
be historical narrative (i.e. "I see why you have a difficult time
accepting it as such but as for me, I believe it to have happened")?"
To say I have an answer for all that would be really arrogant! All I can
say is to look at each one individually and ask, if it is "strange," does
it make more sense literally or as a myth.
"Is their any harm in simply believing Jonah to be historical narrative?"
Yes. Suppose you teach it as such to a young person, who later realizes
that it is simply a story. Because of this, that person may decide to
reject Christ, thinking that to accept him necessarily means one has to
accept Jonah as history also.
John Burgeson (Burgy)
(science/theology, quantum mechanics, baseball, ethics,
humor, cars, God's intervention into natural causation, etc.)
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