Re: The Origins Solution

Date: Mon Oct 15 2001 - 13:13:34 EDT

  • Next message: Dick Fischer: "Re: The Origins Solution"

    Dick wrote,

    << If you prefer to believe the Bible teaches that the
     entire planet spoke only Hebrew after the flood at 2900 BC, but before
     Abraham at 2000 BC, then you have assigned the mistake to the Bible writer,
     not the translators. >>

    Hebrew is the historic belief of the Church, but the Bible does not say that
    directly, though the puns in Hebrew such as ''ish--'ishah' suggest it. But,
    according to the vast majority of biblical scholars the Bible does say in Gen
    11:1 that everyone on earth (the earth of Gen 10, neither just Mesopotamia
    nor the the whole planet) all spoke the same language until the Tower of
    Babel. I agree that this is not true. Your archaeology is quite good. But, in
    order to prevent the Bible writer from making a mistake, you have adopted an
    interpretation of Gen 11:1 which is idiosyncratic, or to put it in Bible
    terms, "a private interpretation."

    Am I really to believe that your private interpretation is right and the vast
    majority of biblical scholars ancient and modern are wrong?

    The same question must be asked of your interpretation of the extent of the
    Flood. The vast majority of scholars ancient and modern understand the
    biblical text as saying that every human being except those on the ark were
    destroyed by the Flood. Even early "local Flood" advocates and most of them
    today try to restrict humanity to living in the area of Mesopotamia at the
    time of the Flood in order to agree with Scripture that all human beings
    outside the ark perished in the Flood. I agree that archaeology and other
    scientific data demand that the Flood be local, but what that means is that
    not every human being outside the ark perished in the Flood. If archaeology
    is correct, the biblical account is not. The biblical account is exaggerated.
    I see no point in warping the Bible with an idiosyncratic interpretation in
    order to force it to agree with the scientific facts. Indeed, how can we
    complain about creation science not being honest with the scientific data if
    we are not honest with the biblical data?

    The Flood of 2900 BC, which we agree is the flood spoken of in Genesis 6-9,
    extended according to both Sumerian and archaeological sources no further
    than Sippar. How then could the ark land in the mountains of Ararat some 300
    miles north of Sippar? The biblical account is exaggerated.

    I think it is fair to say that since creation science adopts idiosyncratic
    interpretations of the scientific data contrary to the consensual scholarship
    of the vast majority of scientists, that it does _violence_ to the scientific
    data. Don't you agree? If you do, then how can one avoid saying that the
    idiosyncratic interpretations of the biblical data, which are contrary to the
    consensual agreement of the vast majority of biblical scholars, do violence
    to the biblical data? If one set of data must be suppressed, I prefer to
    suppress the biblical because suppressing the scientific has caused the
    Church to lose credibility. But, what difference does it make in principle if
    you choose to suppress the biblical data instead of the scientific? Doesn't
    Christianity call for facing both of them honestly?
    In stead of adopting private interpretations, which do violence to the
    scientific data or to Scripture, why not consider the possibility that the
    definition of biblical inspiration which underlies both forms of obscurantism
    is not fully biblical?
    That maybe God can and has accommodated his revelation of Himself (not
    science) to the scientific knowledge of the times? After all, some of the OT
    laws were, according to Jesus, accommodated to the lower ethical standards of
    the times (Matt 19:8), so why not the science of the times? If biblical
    inspiration can encompass accommodation to ethical standards below God's
    perfect righteousness, then why not to scientific standards below his perfect

    When a truly biblical definition of divine inspiration is accepted, we will
    not need to distort either the Bible or the scientific data.

    The Lord's best,




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