Re: Grounds for disbelief

From: Jan de Koning (
Date: Tue Jun 03 2003 - 10:59:12 EDT

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    At 06:04 PM 02/06/2003 -0400, wrote:
    >By <>Aviva Lori
    >Archaeologist Israel Finkelstein and his colleagues are stirring
    >controversy with contentions that many biblical stories never happened,
    >but were written by what he calls `a creative copywriter' to advance an
    >ideological agenda.
      Finally, I cannot resist the temptation to say something in a debate that
    I have been involved in for many years, probably for fifty years or more.

    "Never happened" and "advance an ideological agenda" are expressions which
    have a certain "ideological" background. Expressions like that do not
    help. All of us are Christians, the ASA is after all an organization of
    Christians, according to its statutes. That means that all of us accept
    the Bible. If anyone not the death and resurrection has no meaning for
    that person, and such a person has no right to call himself a
    Chrisrian. That non-Christians disagree with me, us, is nothing new. Nor
    is it new that outsiders don't accept the Bible.

    My remarks here do not mean, that therefor our differences have no
    meaning. From my own experience I would say, that the greatest difficulty
    is, that many have not had a basic Christian schooling, and accept
    Christianity only for part of their life, which means that when they study,
    they do not try to fit their daily studies into their Christian acceptance
    of the Bible.

    I have to add here right away, that accepting the Bible does not mean, that
    therefor you have to read it as a science-text, nor do you have to put it
    aside as something irrelevant for your daily studies. But, as you go out
    of your way in your "scientific" studies, you should go "out of your way"
    in your biblical studies. Both are founded on the works of the same God
    who will not fool you in either place. That means that you should be doing
    a lot more than just saying "Science" says, or the "Bible"says. It is just
    laziness (sorry, for saying it that way, but I don't know another way) to
    say, "the Bible says", or "Science" says, without giving any thorough
    reply to the difficulties raised. Thus far I missed that. I do not want
    to get involved again. Thus far I have not seen any thorough discussion of
    the Bible, which takes into account the studies of orthodox Christian
    theologians, who reject the way some try to get out of the difficulties by
    saying you have to read the Bible as a beginner in the 21st century will
    read it. Readers on this forum should not be beginners, either in
    Bible reading, nor in science.

     From the side of the "literal" readers of the Bible, I miss very much a
    discussion of the language, human history, philosophies etc. of the peoples
    in biblical times. Their story telling is different. An example which
    most of us accept is Jesus' telling of stories. We call them
    parables. Another place where we see it in modern history telling. As my
    name indicates, I am originally a Dutch Calvinist. The way I read about
    the Dutch-English wars in the seventeenth century is very different in
    Dutch books than it is in English books. That is only a few centuries
    ago. As long as we do not talk about the history AND philosophies of the
    Bible-writers we are not getting anywhere. The arguments are often not
    replied to, nor even heard, which makes this discussion utterly uselees and

    Jan de Koning



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