Originally posted by benzene
Good point. Especially in a society where we tend to regard the ancients as rather quaint and simplistic, it is very hard to attribute to them the sort of accuracy we would like. However, if the Bible really is something more than just a book of ancient texts, it should be reflected in it's accuracy in areas we can test.
Big if - this is selective argument. The whole discussion here centres around the fact that the Bible is NOT something more than a book of ancient texts. Not since the Church started getting creative with it anyway.
This reminds me of another point: why did the Church have the unbelievable arrogance to actually co-opt the sacred texts of another religion and sequester them for their own ends. The NT just wasn't enough - not that it existed at the beginning of the Xian religion - maybe that's why.
The Old Testament is Judaic
- it is not Christian, leave it alone !
You beat me to it. Actually, I believe that God protected the writings that best told the story, and then handed them to the Israelites, who, if you look back into history, were fanatical about keeping the documents unchanged and protected.
Which is why the Jewish OT is different from the Xian.
Which is why the contemporary documents we have found last century - from Nag Hammadi to the Dead Sea Scrolls paint a hugely different picture.
Either God didn't do such a good job 'entrusting' or else there is something of the human, all too human here. I wonder which it could be ?
Good idea. Check the bible out. See if the civilizations that the bible mentioned actually existed. Check out this country of "Ur" that Abraham is supposed to have come from. Stuff like that.
One more time: All this proves is that the original writer was familiar with those historical issues and was perhaps a contemporary It does not prove anything about God
What I did, after I reached the conclusion that there had to be a Designer, based upon what I saw in nature, was to go and read all of the major holy books of different religions, like the Bhagavad Gita, the Koran, the Bible, etc.
Maybe it was my western bias, but only the Bible told a concise, and where it could be tested, completely accurate story.
I think many Christians, actually, treat God like an inscrutable "divine force". I tend to look at it; "If God wanted to tell the history of the world, how would he do it?".
Well, He sure as hell wouldn't come up with a bunch of contradictory texts, separate them in time of writing by up to 3000 years, divide them across to opposing religions and dump the whole lot in the hands of the psychopathic torturers and murderers of the Catholic Church with a blank cheque to do with them as they wished.
Yes, many of them actually. I just read an article by a microbiologist who believes that God made the world work according to certain physical laws, that basically predestined it for evental concious life. I completely disagree with him on the scientific principles of his argument, but his belief is a pretty common one these days.
Heck, I would like to be a naturalist some days. Without God, we're basically intellegent animals. Why bother explaining God at all? I mean, if there is no divine personality to be accountable to, you can do whatever you want, right?
No, not really. From where I am, I just look at the fundamental problems that science has trying to fit a naturalistic model into the constrainments of fact. (arguments like the thermodynamics of abiogenesis, irreducible complexity, the absense of macroevolution, etc.) However, if you have an axiom that a Designer made these objects, you are then obligated (at least I was) to do a little research into who this Designer might be.
Good plan, not so sure about the execution....
A note to everybody bickering about the euphrates, and the other rivers.
Someone said that a flood as big as the one stated in the bible would (most likely) destroy any existing topography around which these rivers might have existed. (As well as destroying the garden of eden). Absolutely right.
What makes more sense is that as the earth was repopulated after the flood, the same (or similar) names would have been given to major rivers. Especially if the new river reminded the settlers of the old, pre-flood one. A similar analogy would be the tradition of naming cities in America after cities from the country of origin. I grew up just outside of "New London", as a matter of fact.
So the handful of people on the ark had knowledge of all the ancient names of the whole world right ?
Come to think of it, with a storm that big and the wind force required during 40 days it is highly unlikely that a boat could start in the middle east and still be in the middle east when the storm abated.
This suggests more a smaller localised flood and I believe this is the opinion of most scholars today.
As for the Ark not holding enough animals, this is a very old argument, one big enough that it's had several books written about it. First, here's a synopsis of one, but the best I have found would be John Woodmorappe's "Noah's Ark: a feasibility study".
Segovius (incorrectly) states that the bible says five of each animal were taken on the ark. Only five of every "clean" animal were taken, i.e. those considered edible. This would (presumably) allow for a faster regeneration of basic herbivores like sheep, cattle, etc.
Genesis 6:19-20: "And of every living thing of all flesh, you shall bring TWO
of every kind into the ark, to keep them alive with you; they shall be male and female._ 20Of the birds after their kind, and of the animals after their kind, of every creeping thing of the ground after its kind, two of every kind will come to you to keep them alive."
Genesis 7:2-3): "You shall take with you of every clean animal by SEVENS
, a male and his female; and of the animals that are not clean two, a male and his female; 3also of the birds of the sky, by sevens, male and female, to keep offspring alive on the face of all the earth."
And that doesn't count the food supply. Hey, maybe that's what happened to the Dinosaurs....Shem got bored and started....uhh....never mind....