Re: The Flood Hoax

Date: Fri Sep 20 2002 - 14:22:08 EDT

  • Next message: Walter Hicks: "Re: The Flood Hoax"

      In the textbook the instructor used for the class, the
      scholars had this to say

          Which Interpretation [parable or history wkd] Is Correct?
          No simple solution exists. The larger issue of our
          understanding of biblical inspiration will vitally affect
          our decision. Those who adopt the historical interpretation
          must recognize that fully satisfactory answers to the questions
          raised are not available. Selection of parabolic or
          religious-fiction interpretation necessitates coming to
          grips both with the extraordinary encounter with the fish
          (not a common episode as we usually find in parables) and
          with Jesus' use of Jonah in the Gospels. Those who
          subscribe to the authority of the Lord's words must
          study them carefully. They involve a reinterpretation
          of the basic story. Jonah was swallowed by the fish in
          order to rescue him from drowning and to bring him back
          to land. Jesus was playing off the contemporary Jewish
          understanding in giving it a negative force. Was he
          echoing a popular story, as a preacher might by referring
          to an incident from Pilgrim's Progress?

          The motivation for one's choice of interpretation is
          important. If one decides on the parabolic or symbolic
          interpretation solely because the miraculous element is
          offensive, then the decision is based on a modern a
          priori conclusion which, contrary to the biblical
          position, rejects God's supernatural intervention
          in history. Yet it is entirely possible to decide
          on grounds of literary form and content that the book
          is intended as a sort of parable.

          A firm principle in biblical study is that, even in
          a clearly historical passage, the theological message
          is more important than historical details. The Bible
          was not written to satisfy curiosity about peoples and
          events in the ancient Near East. It was inspired by
          God's spirit, with doctrinal, spiritual, and moral
          intent. As part of the biblical canon, Jonah must
          be studied with primary attention to the theological
          [Lasor, Hubbard, Bush. Old Testament Survey. (W.B. Eerdmans,
          1996, Grand Rapids). p. 386]

      Maybe it can still be argued that there are different kinds
      of Baptists or something. Anyway, whereas they take no firm
      position on whether the text is to be read as a parable or
      as a historical narrative, they point out clear problems with
      a historic position.

      It's not obvious. It might pay to take a seminary
      course (or two) and find out what they really have
      to say before climbing on the soapbox and hollering

      by Grace alone we proceed,

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