[b-hebrew] Re: Job & Sumer

Tony Costa tmcos at rogers.com
Fri Jun 11 16:12:14 EDT 2004


"You ask if the Bible as authoritative as Homer's Illiad, the Amarna
Letters, Enuma Elish, or Gilgamesh.  Surely you jest.  There is no way
that the Bible is as authoritative as these works."

George, why can't the Bible be as authoritative as these works? On what
logical grounds do you assert that it can't be?

"The canon is the rule of faith.  But I must stress that it is the rule of
FAITH.  It is not the rule for ORTHO - DOXY.  Orthodoxy is gnostic in
origin, not Jewish or Christian. "

If orthodoxy (which by definition means "right opinion", "right belief") is
not the rule and is connected to gnosticism (!), then it is rather odd that
the Early Church Fathers used this term to distinguish heresy from true
doctrine which they called "orthodoxy". Morover, throughout the NT, emphasis
is placed on safe guarding "sound doctrine" (1 Tim.1:10; 6:3; 2 Tim.4:3;
Titus 1:9; Titus 2:1) Especially significant is 2 Tim.4:3 (NIV), "For the
time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine."

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 3:48 PM
Subject: Re: [b-hebrew] Re: Job & Sumer


> You ask if the Bible as authoritative as Homer's Illiad, the Amarna
> Letters, Enuma Elish, or Gilgamesh.  Surely you jest.  There is no way
> that the Bible is as authoritative as these works.
>
> These other works are not authortative at all.  Homer is a great work of
> literature which undoubtedly has some relationship to history if only a
> tenuous one.  The Amarna Letters are somewhat historical in that they
> were at least trying to present their positions to the Pharaoh.  Enuma
> Elish is the Babylonian mythology establishing Marduk as the head of
> their pantheon and might come closest to the Bible is genre.  Gilgamesh
> may have a connection with history (as a legend attached to an historical
> person) but is not itself historical.  None of these, however, are
> authoritative for faith.
>
> The canon is the rule of faith.  But I must stress that it is the rule of
> FAITH.  It is not the rule for ORTHO - DOXY.  Orthodoxy is gnostic in
> origin, not Jewish or Christian.  If one only knew what he is, namely a
> little piece of the divine (according to gnosticism), he would be OK.
> The "Christian" version is  "If one would only think the right thoughts:
> (doctrine 1), (doctrine 2), (doctrine 3), . . . he will be OK.  This is
> in fact anti-Christian.  I think it's also contrary to the Jewish view,
> but I'll leave that to those who hold that position to state.
>
> gfsomsel
> _________
>
> On Fri, 11 Jun 2004 15:03:09 -0400 "Tony Costa" <tmcos at rogers.com>
> writes:
> > 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
> >
> > _______________________________________________
> > b-hebrew mailing list
> > b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org
> > http://lists.ibiblio.org/mailman/listinfo/b-hebrew
> >
> >




More information about the b-hebrew mailing list