[b-hebrew] Re: Job & Sumer

Tony Costa tmcos at rogers.com
Fri Jun 11 17:21:42 EDT 2004


George, the reson I raise this issue of relativity is because you claim the
other writings I mentioned outside the Bible are not authoritative for
faith. What is the basis of this reasoning? Ehy are they not authoritative
since some of them were held by faith communitities as well.
Secondly, if faith is independent of doctrine, then is faith objective or
subjective? Is there an objetct to faith, and if so is that object based on
what is true? James 2:19 only asserts in the context of the whole passage
that belief (or faith) without works or demonstration is empty, that is the
whole thrust of James' letter. If your faith has no true basis then is it
true faith?

Tony

----- 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 5:01 PM
Subject: Re: [b-hebrew] Re: Job & Sumer


> 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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