Re: The Flood Hoax

From: Robert Schneider (
Date: Tue Sep 17 2002 - 11:47:16 EDT

  • Next message: John Burgeson: "Re: The Flood Hoax"

    Ian in his note below interprets Jesus in Matt. 5:17, 18 as referring to the
    "inerrancy" of the scriptures or the law. I think rather that Jesus was
    referring to "fulfillment" rather than "inerrancy." He also writes that
    "Christ re-affirmed OT stories (Jonah in Mt. 12:38-40)" and adds "Were
    Christ's references to Jonah and the flood simply his misunderstanding of
    the scriptures? Did He really believe that Jonah was swallowed by a big
    fish?" Reading this passage from Matthew I see no reason to conclude
    necessarily that Christ thought that the story of Jonah was a historical
    fact. One could make a good case that Christ, being a teller of parables
    himself, recognized that the story of Jonah is an extended parable, for the
    lesson which Christ draws from the story of Jonah is the lesson of that
    parable: repentance. That is one "sign of Jonah" Christ clearly refers to.
    Another is his using the allusion of Jonah in the fish three days and nights
    as an allegory for his forthcoming death and resurrection; the former sign
    is wrapped around the latter.

         Jesus' reference to the flood in Matt. 24:37-39 needs to be seen as part
    of a longer pericope including 36-44. Jesus is using the story of Noah to
    illustrate his point that no one knows when the son of Man will come. He
    was not making a scientific statement about whether the flood was global or
    local, or whether it was historically true or theologically true or both.
    One should not assume that Jesus' views about the flood story matched one's

         Regarding Christ's references to David in Matt. 12, 3-4, I hope I
    haven't overlooked anything, but I have read no posting recently that has
    denied the historicity of David. In fact, I see no reason not question the
    historicity of the story that Christ refers to, even if there are other
    episodes in the David story that combine history with motifs common to
    folklore. One again, Jesus was using this story of David and the shewbread
    as an illustration of the point he was making that the Son of Man is lord of
    the sabbath; he was not arguing with the Pharisees about the historicity of

         Let me add that the doctrine of the Incarnation fully affirms Christ's
    humanity in Jesus, that, as the author of Hebrews put it, he was in every
    respect like us, save without sin. If Jesus was "in every respect like us,"
    he had the same kind of knowledge, with its limitations, as his fellow Jews;
    and as we do. Why should anyone expect otherwise? As a Baptist minister
    friend once said of him, "He didn't know Einstein's theory of relativity
    from day one." Jesus was not the omniscient God walking around in a body
    (cf. Phil 2:5-11): that Gnostic heresy was the first one condemned by the

         My beef with people who use references like these to claim Jesus on
    their side in the debate over literal inerrancy is that they are taking
    verses out of context and in doing so mis-taking and mis-reading them. They
    should take care not to assume that their own interpretation (or logic) is

         Finally, a few remarks. I have witnessed no one on this list "deride"
    any OT story, "or worse." As to the notion that if one does not believe one
    thing in the Bible, how can he believe anything in it, or believe what it
    has to say about salvation, I do not mean any disrespect to Ian or anyone
    else who holds this perspective, but I feel compelled to say that I think
    this either/or thinking does a great disservice to the Bible; and I shall
    yield to the temptation to say with Jesus, "O ye of little faith."

    Bob Schneider

    ----- Original Message -----
    From: "Hassell, Ian C." <>
    To: <>
    Sent: Tuesday, September 17, 2002 7:33 AM
    Subject: RE: The Flood Hoax

    > Jesus (Mt 5:17,18), Paul (2 Tim 3:16,17) and Peter (2 Peter 1:20,21) (and
    > there are probably more) all referenced the inerrancy of the "scriptures"
    > the "law" (they were obviously referring to what we know as the Old
    > Testament). Christ on several occasions re-affirmed OT stories (Jonah in
    > 12:38-40, David in Mt 12:3,4 and the flood in Mt. 24:37-39 and Luke
    > 17:26-32). Throughout the past 6 months that I've been reading this
    > news-post I've seen many pieces of the OT re-explained, negated, derided
    > worse through claims of those understanding modern science much better
    > I do. Were Christ's references to Jonah and the flood simply his
    > misunderstanding of the scriptures? Did He really believe that Jonah was
    > swallowed by a big fish? What are the implications to our acceptance of
    > OT, and to a larger extent our acceptance of Christ, given these quotes
    > him? I'm open to debate on the Bible - we are encouraged to "test all
    > things" (I Thes 5:21) - but at what point does the Bible's inaccuracy
    > to erode our understanding of God? and ultimately the foundation of our
    > faith?
    > If there are errors throughout the Old and New Testaments, how do we know
    > the "important" pieces are accurate. How do we know that Jesus said "I am
    > THE Way..." and not "I am A Way...". At what point do we lose basis for
    > faith? This isn't a call to blind faith, rather it's a challenge of
    > Authority. Which holds ultimate authority: God's omniscience and
    > omnipotence? or the latest interpretations of scientific data?
    > Why try to measure God by our human standards/logic/reason rather than
    > to understand His logic/rationale when the Bible and/or science appear
    > confusing and contradicting? Clearly a philosophical debate, but one at
    > heart of all Biblical interpretation.
    > Ian Hassell

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