Re: [asa] The apostle warns of evolution

From: Janice Matchett <>
Date: Tue Sep 05 2006 - 16:14:24 EDT

At 03:38 PM 9/5/2006, George Murphy wrote:

>While of course I have read various biblical
>scholars & commentaries, the statements I made
>stand on their own. They come from my own
>reading of the text, informed by my own
>theological training. There is no need to
>fantasize about what scholars I supposedly
>"esteem." & the reason I said I don't consider
>Holding much of an authority has nothing to do
>with his degrees &c. It's because some of his
>claims that I've seen - including some you've
>posted &, as I noted, another that had just been
>presented to me on Tweb - are flawed. Whether
>they are his own views or those of someone he
>considers and authority is beside the point.
>If you want to engage the substance of my
>argument yourself, do so - I hope without
>smirks, "lols" &c. But I'm not interested in
>debating Holding via an errand girl.
>~ Shalom George

@ So, like the Haines Lady, unless you pronounce
a claim flawed, "it ain't flawed", huh???

I'm surprised that - based on the myriad of
references I posted - you didn't pick up on the
fact that I don't believe there is any more
substance to your argument than there is to any
other of the typical [fill in the blank] theological scholarship.

If people insist on a standard of proof that is
not used for other similar cases of historical
documents, it betrays a hidden agenda in my book. Sorry.

No doubt you consider John Warwick Montgomery's
observation to be "flawed" also. He's pretty
good at exposing hidden agendas, too:

"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. .."

As his "errand girl", I find it substantive, and right on the mark.

~ Janice

>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]
>Quoting Dr. John Warwick Montgomery - The Jury
>Returns: A Juridical Defense of Christianity
>"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 16:14:49 2006

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