[b-hebrew] Re: Job & Sumer

Tony Costa tmcos at rogers.com
Fri Jun 11 16:41:14 EDT 2004


George, so then it is all relative? What are your comments on the points I
raised with the citations of the Pastoral Letters re: sound doctrine and the
Church Fathers on orthodoxy?

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 4:23 PM
Subject: Re: [b-hebrew] Re: Job & Sumer


> Tony,
>
> Because the works you mention are not authoritative for faith at all.  If
> the Bible were only as authoritative as these, it would not be
> authoritative at all.  It is supremely authoritative for faith.
>
> gfsomsel
> ________
>
> On Fri, 11 Jun 2004 16:12:14 -0400 "Tony Costa" <tmcos at rogers.com>
> writes:
> > "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
> > > >
> > > > _______________________________________________
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> > > > b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org
> > > > http://lists.ibiblio.org/mailman/listinfo/b-hebrew
> > > >
> > > >
> >
> > _______________________________________________
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> >
> >




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