[b-hebrew] Re: Job & Sumer

Tony Costa tmcos at rogers.com
Fri Jun 11 15:03:09 EDT 2004

George, while you hold the Hebrew Bible and New Testament to be
"authoritative", what do you mean by this? Are they just as authoritative as
Homer's Illiad? The Amarna letters? Would you regard the Enuma Elish as
authoritative on par with Gen 1-2? Is the Epic of Gilgamesh just as
authoritative as the story of Noah in Gen 6-9? Why do choose the biblical
text  over contemporary writings of the time whether they be Canaanite,
Babylonian or Assyrian? Is this question really one of relativism? In other
words, what do you believe constitutes authority in the Bible? When you
allude to the fact that the Bible need not "be authoritative for science,
history, geography, cosmogony, etc." are you implying that truth and fact
are trivial matters in the Bible? Does not the Bible also contain element of
history, geography and cosmogony?

Tony Costa

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "George F. Somsel" <gfsomsel at juno.com>
To: <tmcos at rogers.com>
Cc: <b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org>
Sent: Friday, June 11, 2004 2:31 PM
Subject: Re: [b-hebrew] Re: Job & Sumer

> It may surprise some who have read my comments about mythology and
> literary criticism, but I myself consider the texts which form the canon
> of the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament to be authoritative.  I simply
> don't require that they be authoritative for science, history, geography,
> cosmogony, etc.  If they are scientifically inaccurate by reflecting the
> viewpoints of their time, so what?  If they are historically inaccurate
> as being written at a time when the events were no longer well-known, so
> what?  Are these things what they are meant to inculcate?  It seems to me
> that such a view would reduce faith to a kind of knowledge -- if you
> "know" the right things, you're OK.  I view faith as a trusting in God
> for all things good which doesn't mean that I need to correctly explain
> them.  Thus it is not that anyone who doesn't accept these texts as
> historically accurate also doesn't accept them as "authoratative [sic!]
> and sacred text."
> gfsomsel

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