Is this a rock or not? I Would like to know

Raymond de Hoop rdehoop at keyaccess.nl
Sat Feb 17 02:08:55 EST 2001



Dan, you wrote:

> (1) all the Biblical writers agree on that claim, yet they don't appear from
> the text itself to be deceived and/or deceiving people but rather men of
> sincere conviction and integrity;

Nonsense, you'll find that claim for their writing very seldom. In the NT
you may find a single claim by Paul and one or two claims with reagrd to the
prophets. But accepting this claim as evidence is not "apart from reasons
founded in my personal theology and worldview" but DUE to "reasons founded
in your personal theology and worldview".

> (2) from a historiography perspective,
> there is little evidence of any normal human agenda--even within the
> supposed "layers of tradition"--since the "bad side" (failures, sins,
> corruption, defeats in battle, etc.) of the promoted hero(s), class, nation,
> tribe, priesthood, etc. is presented (if relevant) consistently and with
> integrity rather than covered up as in other ANE literature;

Tell me about the "bad side" (failures, sins,
corruption, defeats in battle, etc.) of the "promoted hero" called Jesus.

With regard to the Hebrew Bible, you do not discern between the different
layers in the text, for example of Genesis or of parts of the DtrHistory in
1 & 2 Kings.

> (3) i don't
> find the supposed multiple, diverse agendas anyway -- the evidence put forth
> does not impress me personally as anything more than hypotheses motivated by
> *modern human agenda*;

Again, this is not "apart from reasons founded in my personal theology and
worldview" but DUE to "reasons founded in your personal theology and
worldview". Moreover, see the comment above.

> (4) the unity of the diverse texts as i already
> mentioned, i see only one agenda throughout--one message--the need and means
> of human salvation by Yahweh, and i can't see how such a unified message
> would come from so many people in diverse times and circumstances without
> some unifying "influence" upon those men;

Again, this is not "apart from reasons founded in my personal theology and
worldview" but DUE to "reasons founded in your personal theology and
worldview".

> (5) the uniqueness of the HB &
> religion in its ANE context--where did such a strange thing come from in
> such an entirely different kind of world--the moral code (contrast Ugarit
> next door), monotheism (1 or 2 transient exceptions possible in Egypt &
> Nineveh, perhaps both due to Israelite influence!), etc., especially when
> most of the people were not even inclined to follow it?

Its religion is absolutely not unique, the parallels to Ugaritic, Egyptian
and Assyrian religion, laws etc.  are manyfold.
The supposed Israelite influence in Egypt is historically impossible.
Israelite religion was during Iron Age II still polytheistic and may only be
called monolatristic for a part of that period.

> (6) the enduring
> quality of that same HB and religion which continued throughout all
> subsequent ages unlike *any* other ANE religions or documents (though we
> have rediscovered some others by archaeology, of course)--here we all sit
> still disputing about them today! Those are some of "secular" reasons which
> collectively contribute to my conclusion; of course i have other
> faith/authority/worldview reasons.

Again, this is not "apart from reasons founded in my personal theology and
worldview" but DUE to "reasons founded in your personal theology and
worldview". In other words, you are not giving secular reasons but
(historically shaky) assumptions accepted in faith.


I did not write this as a "secular" scholar, who wants to dispute christians
the right to argue their case. I wrote this as a fellow-christian, who just
considers this discussion being much too far influenced by personal
theological arguments. In other words, in our arguments we should discern
better between our personal belief and the assumptions based on that, and
arguments that are commonly accepted (See also my separate reaction to
Christine's posting).

Regards,

Raymond


















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