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Another Anecdote about Being Consistently Critical

As I was thinking today about the need to be consistently critical with all of our sources – not just the ones we want to be critical of (this was the topic of yesterday’s post, with an ultimate view of what I want to say about Josephus as a possible witness to the practice of Jews burying their executed dead on the days of their deaths) -- another anecdote occurred to me that I thought might help illustrate my point.   Here it is.  In the next post I get to Josephus, I promise. As some of you know, I have had a number of debates with evangelical Christians on the question of whether we know what the original writings of the New Testament actually said.   The typical line from these evangelical Christians is that since we have so *many* surviving manuscripts of the NT, that we can be almost completely certain that we know what the authors wrote in the vast majority of cases (virtually all).   My view is that we simply cannot know for [...]

2020-04-03T16:43:32-04:00July 23rd, 2014|Bart's Critics|

Possibly of Some Interest

  Some of you may get the magazine Biblical Archaeology Review.  It often has interesting stuff in it, forthe non-specialists.  Here's the announcment of a recent article of possible interest.   Biblical Views: The Value of Methodological Doubt Ron Hendel Defends Critical Biblical Scholarship   What's the use of critical Biblical scholarship? If you asked evangelical Calvinist philosopher Alvin Plantinga, he'd probably say "not much." He compares the endeavor to mowing the lawn with nail clippers. Instead he believes only in the inerrancy of scripture, trusting that the Holy Spirit will reveal everything one needs to understand the Bible. Ron Hendel, on the other hand, the Norma and Sam Dabby Professor of Hebrew Bible and Jewish Studies at the University of California, Berkeley, believes that critical Biblical scholarship and the methodological doubt that accompanies it are valuable tools for understanding and appreciating the Biblical text. Unlike the certainty that accompanies Plantinga's belief in the inerrancy of scripture, the questioning of authority and tradition that comprises methodological doubt can ultimately lead to greater clarity and more solid faith, [...]

2017-12-20T12:26:11-05:00July 13th, 2012|History of Biblical Scholarship, Public Forum|
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