RE: Black Sea Flood

From: Dr. Blake Nelson (
Date: Fri May 03 2002 - 00:53:48 EDT

  • Next message: Walter Hicks: "Re: Truth"

    --- Glenn Morton <> wrote:
    > >-----Original Message-----
    > >From:
    > []On
    > >Behalf Of Shuan Rose
    > On the other hand we seem to find nothing wrong with
    > a guy who raised
    > Lazarus from the dead after 3 days, changed water to
    > wine, walked on water,
    > fed 5000 with a tiny bit of food, and who himself
    > walked into locked rooms.

    Because these are better historically attested by
    multiple sources and by the Resurrection.

    Moreover, from a practical standpoint, the pentateuch
    has gone through so many more iterations than any book
    of the new testament before the first extant
    manuscript that we are much more likely to be mindful
    of errors and adulterations to Genesis than we are to
    say the Gospel of John. To ignore the reality that
    Genesis could have been heavily redacted in the
    intervening hundreds of years or thousands from the
    original manuscript to the most recent extant scraps
    is taking a lot on faith.

    There is less of an historical gap between the
    original manuscripts of the New Testament documents
    and the first extant scraps we have of them.

    > Why on earth are these latter stories more
    > believable than the ones you
    > mention? And if we apply a single standard to both
    > OT and NT, then why
    > don't we claim that the NT is a different sort of
    > literature?

    We cant apply a single standard. Looking at the Old
    Testament, there are clearly different kinds of books
    -- poetry, histories, wisdom books, allegory, songs,
    etc. They cannot all be treated the same. Moreover,
    we have less certainty about their accurate
    transmittal over time.

    Moreover, they have different intents. I do not see
    that Genesis can be read as an historical report in
    the same way that the Gospels are intended to relate
    the life of Jesus to those who did not experience it.
    You cannot treat the books of the Bible as uniformly
    the same.

    And why do we
    > have to find the body for the game to be up? We all
    > know that dead people
    > don't rise--name one of your acquaintances who has
    > died and then after 3
    > days started walking and talking again.

    If they did, this would mean Jesus was not special.

    > To me, we have a double standard-one for those silly
    > unbelievable OT stories
    > and one for those really believable NT stories. It
    > seems to me that if we
    > can believe a God who can perform the NT stories,
    > what is the problem with
    > believing that that same God can actually perform
    > the OT stories?

    To me it is not a question of whether it was possible
    for God to do that. For me it is a question of does
    it matter to faith in Jesus the Christ. I say no for
    numerous reasons that I have already explicated and
    some that I haven't. That does not mean that I do not
    believe the stories are true. By and large, I do not
    know if they (some OT stories) are true. But, it does
    not matter to Christian faith if they are or are not.

    > Did God
    > suddenly learn how to do miracles sometime between
    > 400 BC and 4BC?

    Why do you insist on this sort of ridicule argument?
    It is not an argument at all, because this is not the
    assertion. The assertion is that we can be MORE
    CONFIDENT in the documents of the NT for a whole
    variety of reasons that I have already laid out.

    Think about it as a probability. The probability of
    NT documents being true is higher on a whole variety
    of criteria: 1) recency, 2) lack of potential
    alteration or loss to the text, 3) less "fanciful"
    images (talking donkeys are more fantastic to me than
    water being turned into wine, as CS Lewis pointed out
    all of Jesus' miracles did in short order what God
    does naturally), 4) the intent of the Gospel authors
    was to relate the life of Jesus, I do not think the
    Genesis authors intended a science textbook, I could
    go on, but it seems as if I am typing toward deaf ears
    who see everything as a step function: all or nothing.
      I reject that as simply not based in reality.
    Everything in the universe is about probability. Very
    few things approach the probability of either +1 or

    > >Beyond the IM,
    > >I'm prepared to be open-minded.
    > >Speaking of observational Data, Glenn, I observe
    > that there are parallels
    > >between Genesis 1-11 and various Near Eastern
    > myths.
    > I don't have a problem with that. There are
    > parallels. But, if the
    > statement, "In the Beginning, God created the
    > heavens and the earth', is
    > false, literally false, then we are worshippiing the
    > wrong God.

    No one has argued this that I have seen on the list.
    I only see arguments against a literal sequence of
    events as being NECESSARY to Christian faith.

    > Either there
    > isn't one, or we need to find the true God. And
    > since that statement above
    > is in that literature which everyone finds otherwise
    > so unbelievable why
    > should we believe that simple statement?

    This is tendentious. See above.

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