[b-hebrew] Re: Job & Sumer

George F. Somsel gfsomsel at juno.com
Fri Jun 11 17:01:52 EDT 2004


Where do you get some concept of relativity from what I said?  Faith is
not doctrine and is independent thereof.  This does not mean that there
is no sound doctrine -- simply that having a right opinion is not of
itself faith.  Remember:  "You believe that God is one; you do well. 
Even the demons believe -- and shudder."  (James 2.19) 

gfsomsel
_________

On Fri, 11 Jun 2004 16:41:14 -0400 "Tony Costa" <tmcos at rogers.com>
writes:
> 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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> > > > >
> > > > >
> > >
> > > _______________________________________________
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> > >
> > >
> 
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