Re: [asa] The apostle warns of evolution

From: Janice Matchett <>
Date: Tue Sep 05 2006 - 14:09:54 EDT

At 04:10 PM 9/4/2006, George Murphy wrote:

>The argument in II Pet.3 has to do with the
>delay of the parousia. Many in the 1st
>generation of Christians thought the parousia to
>be imminent and some, as we can see from I
>Thess.4, were disturbed by the fact that some
>Christians had died before that happened. For
>those with such an expectation, the death of
>the whole apostolic generation would of course
>raise doubts about the truth of the Christian
>message. Thus in context "fathers" most
>naturally refers to the apostles & perhaps other prominent early Christians.

@ "...Who are the persons Peter calls "our
fathers"? Kelly (p. 355) and Schelkle (p. 224)
argue that they were first-generation Christians.
But Bigg (p. 291) and Green (Peter and Jude, p.
128-29) consider this unlikely. "Fathers" are
much more likely to be OT fathers as in John
6:31, Acts 3:13, Romans 9:5, and Hebrews 1:1.
This is the normal NT usage, and the other view
requires a clumsy forger to have missed so
obvious a blunder. "Our fathers died" (lit.,
"fell asleep") is a lovely metaphor for the death
of believers (cf. Acts 7:60; 1Thess 4:13-14). [Blum, EBCOT]

[relevant examples snipped]

[ Even an "authority" you probably highly esteem
] Bauckham admits that the weight of the
evidence is for this interpretation (WBC:290):
"Those who wish to maintain that 'the fathers'
are the OT patriarchs or prophets have the weight
of usage on their side. In early Christian
literature, continuing Jewish usage, hoi pateres
('the fathers') means the OT 'fathers,' i.e. the
patriarchs or, more generally, the righteous men
of OT times (John 7:22; Acts 13:32; Rom 9:5; Heb
1:1; Barn. 5:7; 14:1; Apoc. Pet. E 16; Ep. Apost.
[Coptic] 28); apart from our passage, the only
possible exception is 2 Clem 19:4, which could
refer to dead Christians but most probably refers to the OT saints..."
Accordingly, the data is against your
(Item #9 over 1/2 way down the page under:
"Question...are 1st and 2nd Peter NOT by Peter,
but by someone using his name?")

>This is only one indication of the relative
>lateness of II Peter but is supportive of
>that. Among other things, the fact that the
>letters of Paul are referred to as among the
>"scriptures" (3:16) - the only place in the NT
>where this terms is used in reference to NT
>writings - is another indication. .."

@ "[You're] ..really following the party line of
HiCritz--without even thinking critically about
the assumptions teeming in their arguments..."
(Scroll down to item #11 over 1/2 way down the
page under: "Question...are 1st and 2nd Peter NOT
by Peter, but by someone using his name?")

>I don't consider Holding much of an authority. ...." ~ Shalom George

@ When atheists and other skeptics use that red
herring against him, Holding accurately points
out how intellectually dishonest it is, since
those using it already KNOW that the reason he
locates and quotes the latest highly respected
scholarly authorities is precisely because he
doesn't portray himself as an "authority" either
- except in his areas of expertise, which are:

MASTERS IN LIBRARY SCIENCE, 1991 Florida State University
BACHELORS IN ENGLISH, 1990 University of Central Florida

As a matter of fact, careful readers will know
that your _real_ disagreement isn't with him
- it's with the scholarly "authorities" he
consults and inconveniently quotes.

Edwin Yamauchi knows the score:

“Higher” or literary criticism is the study which
attempts to determine the questions of
authorship, of the date, and of the composition
of any literary texts on the basis of vocabulary,
style, and consistency . . . . In biblical
studies higher criticism received its classic
exposition in 1878 in the work of Julius
Wellhausen [through the Documentary/JEDP
Hypothesis, which dated elements of the
Pentateuch from the 9th to the 6th centuries, BC]
. . . on the basis of Wellhausen’s concept of the
evolution of Israel’s religion. According to this
viewpoint, which was influenced by Darwin and
Hegel, the religion of the Hebrews evolved at
first into a national henotheism . . . and only
much later in the time of the literary prophets
and the Exile into an ethical monotheism . . . .
Wellhausen, who was a great Arabic and Hebrew
scholar, reconstructed Israelite life on the
basis of Arabic poetry. He refused to believe
that either Egyptian or Akkadian had been deciphered.

In New Testament criticism the scholar who
corresponds . . . to Julius Wellhausen . . . is
F. C. Baur of Tubingen (1792 – 1860). . . . Baur
seems to have been influenced by Hegel’s
philosophy. The philosophic dialectic of Hegel
assumed that history went through a pattern of
thesis-antithesis-synthesis. According to Baur,
Paul represented Gentile Christianity (thesis)
advocating freedom from the law. Peter’s party
representing Jewish Christianity (antithesis) and
advocating adherence to the law was the group
that reacted against Paul’s teaching. From this
conflict emerged a synthesis of the second century church (as seen in Acts) .

  . . . Baur having established an evolutionary
scheme of development believed he could date the
New Testament documents according to their place
in this pattern. On this basis he accepted only
four of the epistles as genuinely Pauline . . .
John’s Gospel was dated as late as the second
half of the second century. The Acts of the
Apostles was also assigned this late date . . .
Baur’s views were quite dominant throughout the
nineteenth century and have left a lasting legacy
for the twentieth century , though many of his
assumptions have been disproved . . . . .
Johannes Munck . . . argues that the Tubingen
concept of a struggle between Jewish-Christian
nomism and Gentile-Christian antinomism has now
been compressed by scholars into the thirty years
between the death of Jesus and the death of
Paul.[The Stones and the Scriptures (Grand
Rapids, MI: Baker, 1972), pp. 27 – 30., 92 - 3]

To insist on a standard of proof that is not used
for other similar cases of historical documents, betrays a hidden agenda.

Quoting Dr. John Warwick Montgomery - The Jury
Returns: A Juridical Defense of

"As for the skepticism of the so-called higher
critics (or redaction critics) in the
["L"-word] theological tradition, it stems from
an outmoded methodology (almost universally
discarded today by classical and literary
scholars and by specialists in comparative Near
Eastern studies), and from unjustified
philosophical presuppositions (such as
anti-supernaturalistic bias and bias in favor of
religious evolution). A.N. Sherwin-White, a
specialist in Roman law, countered such critics
in his 1960-61 Sarum Lectures at the University of London.

It is astonishing that while Graeco-Roman
historians have been growing in confidence, the
twentieth-century study of the Gospel narratives,
starting from the no less promising material, has
taken so gloomy a turn in the development of
form-criticism that the more advanced exponents
of it apparently maintain-so far as an amateur
can understand the matter-that the historical
Christ is unknowable and the history of His
mission cannot be written. This seems very
curious when one compares the case for the
best-known contemporary of Christ, who like
Christ is a well-documented figure-Tiberius
Caesar. The story of his reign is known from four
sources, the Annals of Tacitus and the biography
of Suetonius, written some eighty or ninety years
later, the brief contemporary record of Velleius
Paterculus, and the third century history of
Cassius Dio. These disagree amongst themselves in
the wildest possible fashion, both in major
matters of political action or motive and in
specific details of minor events. Everyone would
admit that Tacitus is the best of all the
sources, and yet no serious modern historian
would accept at face value the majority of the
statements of Tacitus about the motives of
Tiberius. But this does not prevent the belief
that the material of Tacitus can be used to write a history of Tiberius.

The conclusion is inescapable: if one compares
the New Testament documents with universally
accepted secular writings of antiquity, the New
Testament is more than vindicated. ..."

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Received on Tue Sep 5 14:10:48 2006

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