Hey Y'all,

I have gotten a lot of help on here before and come to you with another question...

 

Recently, I spoke with an athiest who I overheard mentioning that he could not believe in a book that has been translated so many times and can't be true. He also said that he couldn't believe in something that doesn't have facts behind it. I posed to him 2 questions. Below are my questions and his answers. I would like to know your thoughts on his answers before I respond. Thanks! God Bless!

 

1. My question:

 I heard you state your position on the Bible by discrediting it since it has been translated over the years (which I assume makes you question how close to the original it is). Have you studied this topic before (how accuratly it has been translated)?

 

His Answer:

"I was responding to the claim that there were prophecies, presumedly given by Jesus, that were both written in the Bible and that came true. Considering that the very first list of the books of the Bible wasn't compiled until 382 AD should draw more than average skepticism of these tales of prophecy. I also know that there have been mistakes in translation, but I don't know of many. Honestly, what it comes down to for me is that it's a book. I have tried to read it twice before, but I think it's pretty horribly written, for any piece of writing. It is certainly somewhat useful as a historical work, but there obviously isn't any evidence that any of the supernatural occurrences or claims of the Bible were or are true. The fact that people believe that they are because of the combination of being told that they are and a book saying that they are just baffles me.

 

2. My question:

In order for you to believe in something, does there have to be scientific proof that it exists? If so, then in order for you to ever believe in a God, there would have to be some difinitive scientific proof? 

 

His Answer:
"Does scientific mean with reason, evidence, and logic behind something? Because, if that's what you mean, then yes. To me, that's just using my mind. Would you agree that there is no evidence for the existence of a god, or multiple gods, or any higher being? Of course, if one begins with the conclusion that there is a creator god and works backward, everything would be 'evidence' of this god. This, however, isn't a reasonably sound thought process."

Views: 202

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

These appear to be fairly good questions with some fairly good responses. Yes, if a book has been translated several times, one should be skeptical of its authenticity until it can be confirmed. However, many new translations of the Bible come directly from the original languages, rather than via the translations of translations, meaning they'll probably be accurate descriptions of the original text.

 

Of course, that is only half the issue of the first question - the other is whether there is any evidence of the supernatural occurrences. Given the very nature of the events described in the Bible, it would be hard to find evidence of such occurrences. I don't imagine walking on water would leave many archaeological remains so you'll have to justify your belief in these events from textual data alone. "Is a written record of a supernatural event sufficient evidence to believe it happened?" is a question you'll have to answer. 

 

The second question is shorter and is simply "yes I need evidence to believe in something" which is, IMO, a perfectly reasonable position to have. So first, ask what evidence would be enough (to check they have an open mind) then provide that evidence.

Don't know how much help I'll be, but I'll give it a stab.

My question:

I heard you state your position on the Bible by discrediting it since it has been translated over the years (which I assume makes you question how close to the original it is). Have you studied this topic before (how accuratly it has been translated)?

His Answer:

"I was responding to the claim that there were prophecies, presumedly given by Jesus, that were both written in the Bible and that came true. Considering that the very first list of the books of the Bible wasn't compiled until 382 AD should draw more than average skepticism of these tales of prophecy. I also know that there have been mistakes in translation, but I don't know of many. Honestly, what it comes down to for me is that it's a book. I have tried to read it twice before, but I think it's pretty horribly written, for any piece of writing. It is certainly somewhat useful as a historical work, but there obviously isn't any evidence that any of the supernatural occurrences or claims of the Bible were or are true. The fact that people believe that they are because of the combination of being told that they are and a book saying that they are just baffles me.

There are a couple of issues at play here, and they should be responded to individually.

First, translation does not invalidate a book, there are many that have been translated, and the integrity of the Bible in that process is greater than any other work (even shakespeare). Additionally, translation is a dynamic process, mostly because language is dynamic. Words we use today don't mean the same thing they did even 50 years ago. The original "English" (see Beowolf) is practically unreadable to us today. With changes in language word choice and structure changes. Because of this, when translating it is best to look at the original manuscripts, and translate, as best one can, what the words meant then to what they would mean today. As this is a process undertaken by men, mistakes have come up, usually printing errors. Some small differences in manuscripts lead to different phrasing in the English versions, but I have found none that affects the basic teaching and doctrines of the Bible.

Second, you're respondant is using the date of the compilation to doubt the prophecies of the Bible. What should be looked at is not the date they were compiled, but the date they were written. We have copies of letters and the books of the bible extending back to the first century AD - beyond this, there is very little doubt the original manuscripts (which we don't have) were written in and by the generation that was with Jesus (prior to 70 AD).

Third, you're respondant wants specific confirmation of the supernatural aspects of the biblical account. My favorite response to this is "What would you accept as evidence of it?" - Written Testimony? The Biblical account of the plagues of Egypt and the parting of the Red Sea were written by Moses, who was there, and witnessed them. - Physical evidence? Jericho has been found, and the state of the city is what would be expected from the biblical account (walls fell outward, not inward) - Fossils are buried under catastrophic conditions consistent with a worldwide flood. -- He likely won't accept this evidence, as it can be "interpreted" in other ways, which comes down to presuppositions....

Last, the final sentence is telling, more about him not taking the Bible as anything but a book of stories. In a polite way I'd ask, how does he know that the earth goes round the sun? Did he get this from a book? Was he told? How does he know that there even is such a thing as the planet Uranus. Has he seen it himself, or was he told? Did he read it in a book? What he's really stating is he doesn't trust the author of the book (God really).

My 2nd question:

In order for you to believe in something, does there have to be scientific proof that it exists? That is what I gathered from reading your comments. I apologize if I misunderstood what you were saying. If so, then in order for you to ever believe in a God, there would have to be some difinitive scientific proof? Again, sorry if that was not what you were saying.

His Answer:

"Does scientific mean with reason, evidence, and logic behind something? Because, if that's what you mean, then yes. To me, that's just using my mind. Would you agree that there is no evidence for the existence of a god, or multiple gods, or any higher being? Of course, if one begins with the conclusion that there is a creator god and works backward, everything would be 'evidence' of this god. This, however, isn't a reasonably sound thought process."
Here is perhaps where you might be able to make some headway, as here he is trying to use his basic beliefs in "reason, evidence and logic" and stating that the YEC position does not meet these qualifications. If you've read it, the Ultimate Proof of Creation goes in depth on these, but I'll try and give a quick treatment to it.

Without presupposing that Christianity is true, you cannot "prove" anything at all, only the Christian worldview gives a foundation for proof itself. Logic and reason are founded on principles of uniformity of nature, reliability of senses, even the very existence of logic is not 'reasonable' without the christian perspecitve.

As an example, from an evolutionary worldview, how do we know our senses are reliable? As there are different levels of vision, and we are theoretically evolving all the time, maybe my vision is better than yours - or maybe my brain interprets the information differently because I've evolved a different perspective than you, and mine is better, or worse. How can you be sure what I see is the same as what you see, or even if I see the same thing happen again that my brain won't see it differently?

Or lets take a rule of logic - the law of non-contradiction. One thing, and its opposite cannot both be true simultaneously. (ie. I cannot both be at work and NOT at work simultaneously). From an evolutionary perspective, why is this true? What reason do they have to be certain of it? Experience cannot be used, because in an evolutionary worldview everything could change from one instant to another, so what is true now may not be true then. On what basis to they believe (as it is a belief) that this rule of logic is true today, yesterday, and into the future, or on earth, the moon, pluto, or the other side of the galaxy. Maybe it's not true there. Maybe it won't be true tomorrow.

By the way, from a christian worldview we know our senses are reliable because God made them and they would need to be reliable for us to fulfill the mandate he gave us of subduing the earth. From a christian worldview we can trust things to be the same tomorrow as they are today because God doesn't change and he said he'd maintain order in his word. We can trust things to follow logical rules because God is logical. We have reason to believe these things, they do not.

A treatment of presuppositional apologetics can be found on the AIG website as well, one such article is here.

I would say Brian Guiley's response is a good template to use in answering this atheist. There are a few things I would also add and expand.

 

It’s useful to find out what type of atheist you are dealing with. There seems to be two types of atheists

 

a) Materialist atheist. In this view there is just the material world (containing dogs, rocks, etc)


b) Dualist atheist. In this view, there is both a material world (containing things like dogs, rocks) and an immaterial world (containing things like laws of logic, conceptual relationships, and so on)

 

For the materialist atheist the very presence of logic, information theory and morality falsifies a purely materialistic atheist position and shows their worldview to be inconsistent to their reality.

 

For the dualist atheist the question here is why does the material world feel compelled to obey the immaterial laws? What enables the material world to change, while the immaterial world apparently does not? These questions are easily answered by the Christian world view, but the atheist has no cogent response to this.

 

I spoke with an atheist who I overheard mentioning that he could not believe in a book that has been translated so many times and can't be true

 

This is really a ‘begging the question’ fallacy because the atheist is assuming what he is attempting to prove. If we replace 'book' with 'science book' the atheist by his very statement should not believe in science both because science books are translated and go through many revisions.

 

..he couldn't believe in something that doesn't have facts behind it

 

This is an arbitrary statement. It's really prejudicial conjecture. If the atheist had bothered to consult a local library, they would have found that archaeological findings coincide with many of the historical accounts of the bible. In fact in his later statement he acknowledges the bible contains facts because the atheist states “It is certainly somewhat useful as a historical work” which further highlights his inconsistency.

 

but there obviously isn't any evidence that any of the supernatural occurrences or claims of the Bible were or are true.

 

There is evidence. For example the law of evidence governs the use of testimony and exhibits in a judicial or administrative proceeding. In many instances the bible gives the names and provides witnesses to supernatural events and some of these witnesses were hostile i.e. the healing of the blind man. In the system of law almost all evidence must be sponsored by a witness, who has sworn or solemnly affirmed to tell the truth.

 

But the atheist rejects evidence of a legal nature because they only want a certain type of evidence i.e. empirical science. 

 

But, even when scientific evidence points to a creator the atheist will still reject it. For example, The SETI project looks for proof of intelligent life and if they were to find radio signals from space and were to detect codes with stop sequences and defined instructions within it, then it would indicate proof that intelligence is out there. Yet within DNA and the cell, life has considerable information, including multiple coding systems, in the interacting processing systems, the memories that store its programs and data, and the communications media. Yet, atheists will reject this as not proof of intelligence! Evolution discounts intelligence as the mechanism of life, but rigidly sticks to undirected chance over billions of years guided by natural selection. Not realizing that natural selection is a concept and does not actually guide anything.

 

Would you agree that there is no evidence for the existence of a god…

 

You could equally say, does the atheist have evidence for this claim, or is it simply a blind faith? In order to know for certain that God does not exist, you would have to know everything about the universe; otherwise, how could you be sure that God is not found in some area of the universe that you have not explored? And you’d also have to know about everything that is potentially beyond the universe otherwise, how could you know that God is not found “outside” the physical universe?

 

You’d have to know absolutely everything about everything in order to know that there is no God: in which case you would be omniscient which is one aspect of deity! So you would essentially have to be God in order to know that there is no God, in which case God does exist.

 

This is the irrationality of atheists, because they would deny absolutes, yet live by an ‘absolute’ statement that there is no God.

 

Conclusion

 

There are many evidences outside the bible that will bring a reasonable, logical, rational person to the conviction that there is a higher power to us. But it is through the bible one can really know God and is proof to the believer of God’s existence. Validating our world view with the reality we live in provides strong evidence from a Christian perspective. A disbeliever lives inconsistently to their reality. The bottom line is that the atheist rejects God no matter how strong the evidence.

The question is not a question of authenticity. It's a question of accuracy . Everyone has played "Chinese whispers" in school. This consists of single sentence in the time span of an hour. It invariablely gets screwed up.  How can anyone expect a proper translation over centuries, through multiple languages , coming under the influence of individual biases, & cultural biases ... Add to that the fact that it was cobbled together by committee & really all you have left is faith.

 The weight of the entire doctrine can rest on a single word. Take for instance the whole idea of the virgin birth.  ....... 

in the English: "Behold, a virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel" (Isa. vii, 14.) The Hebrew words ha-almah mean simply the young woman; and harah is the Hebrew past or perfect tense, "conceived," which in Hebrew, as in English, represents past and completed action. Honestly translated, the verse reads: "Behold, the young woman has conceived-[is with child)-and beareth a son and calleth his name Immanuel."

Almah means simply a young woman, of marriageable age, whether married or not, or a virgin or not; in a broad general sense exactly like girl or maid in English, when we say shop-girl, parlor-maid, bar-maid, without reference to or vouching for her technical virginity, which, in Hebrew, is always expressed by the word bethulah. But in the Septuagint translation into Greek, the Hebrew almah was erroneously rendered into the Greek parthenos, virgin, with the definite article 'ha' in Hebrew, and e in Greek, (the), rendered into the indefinite "a" by later falsifying translators. (See Is It God's Word? pp. 277-279; EB. ii, 2162; New Commentary on the Holy Scripture, Pt. I, p. 439.) And St. Jerome falsely used the Latin word virgo.

"As early as the second century B.C.," says the distinguished Hebrew scholar and critic, Salomon Reinach, "the Jews perceived the error and pointed it out to the Greeks; but the Church knowingly persisted in the false reading, and for over fifteen centuries she has clung to her error." (Orpheus, p, 197.) The truth of this accusation of conscious persistence in known error through the centuries is proved by confession of St. Jerome, who made the celebrated Vulgate translation from the Hebrew into Latin, and intentionally "clung to the error," though Jerome well knew that it was an error and false; and thus he perpetuated through fifteen hundred years the myth of the "prophetic virgin birth" of Jesus called Christ.

 

OUCH !!! HUH ?!?!?

 Wow !!! you failed to answer a single point without a fallacy .
Your point concerning replacing the Bible with a science book is a false analogy. A science book isn't making supernatural claims that can't be tested.  Using a science book was exactly the worst choice you could have made to make your point. All the information contained in it is testable.

 

..he couldn't believe in something that doesn't have facts behind it ....

 

Here, you knowingly straw manned the true point he was trying to make . He was speaking of the supernatural claims. Your contention that archeological evidence of real places is confirmation of Biblical truth is the equivalent of accepting Spiderman & The Fantastic Four as real because Marvel Comics uses NYC as a setting. .

 

You go on to claim there is evidence of the supernatural. Again, you delve into a fallacy. You can't use the Bible as proof of Biblical veracity or truth. the notion defies basic logic.  You're dealing in circular thinking. Completely fallacious.

 

Also, the atheist will accept evidence of a legal nature. The problem is, you don't have any. Testimony, albeit weak is fine. You don't have any. You have hearsay.

You go on to draw another false analogy between a clearly manufactured signal of mechanical origin & a self replicating living organism.

 You then attempt to build a straw man of the atheist's position. The burden of proof rests clearly with the believer & the one making positive claims. Atheism is a rejection of the belief in god. It doesn't replace it with a counter belief. It's a single position on a single question. Your logic maintains that all claims must be held as true unless they can be proved false. Is that truly the way you operate your life ?The notion is completely, intellectually dishonest.  Imagine all the absurd claims you would have to hold as truth because you're unable to falsify them. No, the correct, default position for such claims is disbelief until confirmed. Don't dishonor your position by being ignorant of the contrary. It's not about winning, it's about truth ... Right ? I hope. Tighten up on the logic. Keep at it, brother. Remember, the burden doesn't lie with the atheist. It lies with the one making the positive claim. You must demonstrate your position as truth.

 

Also, if you have some irrefutable proof of any Biblical or supernatural matter, I'd love to hear it

 

Thanks,

T. Jones


Floyd said:

I would say Brian Guiley's response is a good template to use in answering this atheist. There are a few things I would also add and expand.

 

It’s useful to find out what type of atheist you are dealing with. There seems to be two types of atheists

 

a) Materialist atheist. In this view there is just the material world (containing dogs, rocks, etc)


b) Dualist atheist. In this view, there is both a material world (containing things like dogs, rocks) and an immaterial world (containing things like laws of logic, conceptual relationships, and so on)

 

For the materialist atheist the very presence of logic, information theory and morality falsifies a purely materialistic atheist position and shows their worldview to be inconsistent to their reality.

 

For the dualist atheist the question here is why does the material world feel compelled to obey the immaterial laws? What enables the material world to change, while the immaterial world apparently does not? These questions are easily answered by the Christian world view, but the atheist has no cogent response to this.

 

I spoke with an atheist who I overheard mentioning that he could not believe in a book that has been translated so many times and can't be true

 

This is really a ‘begging the question’ fallacy because the atheist is assuming what he is attempting to prove. If we replace 'book' with 'science book' the atheist by his very statement should not believe in science both because science books are translated and go through many revisions.

 

..he couldn't believe in something that doesn't have facts behind it

 

This is an arbitrary statement. It's really prejudicial conjecture. If the atheist had bothered to consult a local library, they would have found that archaeological findings coincide with many of the historical accounts of the bible. In fact in his later statement he acknowledges the bible contains facts because the atheist states “It is certainly somewhat useful as a historical work” which further highlights his inconsistency.

 

but there obviously isn't any evidence that any of the supernatural occurrences or claims of the Bible were or are true.

 

There is evidence. For example the law of evidence governs the use of testimony and exhibits in a judicial or administrative proceeding. In many instances the bible gives the names and provides witnesses to supernatural events and some of these witnesses were hostile i.e. the healing of the blind man. In the system of law almost all evidence must be sponsored by a witness, who has sworn or solemnly affirmed to tell the truth.

 

But the atheist rejects evidence of a legal nature because they only want a certain type of evidence i.e. empirical science. 

 

But, even when scientific evidence points to a creator the atheist will still reject it. For example, The SETI project looks for proof of intelligent life and if they were to find radio signals from space and were to detect codes with stop sequences and defined instructions within it, then it would indicate proof that intelligence is out there. Yet within DNA and the cell, life has considerable information, including multiple coding systems, in the interacting processing systems, the memories that store its programs and data, and the communications media. Yet, atheists will reject this as not proof of intelligence! Evolution discounts intelligence as the mechanism of life, but rigidly sticks to undirected chance over billions of years guided by natural selection. Not realizing that natural selection is a concept and does not actually guide anything.

 

Would you agree that there is no evidence for the existence of a god…

 

You could equally say, does the atheist have evidence for this claim, or is it simply a blind faith? In order to know for certain that God does not exist, you would have to know everything about the universe; otherwise, how could you be sure that God is not found in some area of the universe that you have not explored? And you’d also have to know about everything that is potentially beyond the universe otherwise, how could you know that God is not found “outside” the physical universe?

 

You’d have to know absolutely everything about everything in order to know that there is no God: in which case you would be omniscient which is one aspect of deity! So you would essentially have to be God in order to know that there is no God, in which case God does exist.

 

This is the irrationality of atheists, because they would deny absolutes, yet live by an ‘absolute’ statement that there is no God.

 

Conclusion

 

There are many evidences outside the bible that will bring a reasonable, logical, rational person to the conviction that there is a higher power to us. But it is through the bible one can really know God and is proof to the believer of God’s existence. Validating our world view with the reality we live in provides strong evidence from a Christian perspective. A disbeliever lives inconsistently to their reality. The bottom line is that the atheist rejects God no matter how strong the evidence.

 

Your point concerning replacing the Bible with a science book is a false analogy. A science book isn't making supernatural claims that can't be tested.

 

The claim was :

" that he could not believe in a book that has been translated so many times and can't be true.", so the analogy with a science book is perfectly correct.


Here, you knowingly straw manned the true point he was trying to make . He was speaking of the supernatural claims. Your contention that archeological evidence of real places is confirmation of Biblical truth is the equivalent of accepting Spiderman & The Fantastic Four as real because Marvel Comics uses NYC as a setting.

 

He was claiming there is no facts. Fossils are facts, but there is the interpretation of the facts. A worldwide flood, as described in the bible, fits a catastrophic burial of creatures to make the fossils we observe today. Spiderman & The Fantastic Four doesn't claim to be either a science text book or the word of God. Marvel comics are not making any claims.


You can't use the Bible as proof of Biblical veracity or truth. the notion defies basic logic.  You're dealing in circular thinking. Completely fallacious.

 

I said, to the 'believer' the bible is proof of God's existence. So it's perfectly acceptable to use the bible in that sense.


Also, the atheist will accept evidence of a legal nature. The problem is, you don't have any. Testimony, albeit weak is fine. You don't have any. You have hearsay.

 

Your response is just arbitrary, you assert your opinion without any justification. a good supporting argument rests upon a legal understanding of the evidence given by a witness.  A court of law is dependent upon the understanding that the witness being questioned is telling "the truth, the whole truth, nothing but the truth."  If this were to prove false our legal system would no longer function, it must assume a basic integrity on the part of its participants or it is helpless. Certain parts of the bible is historical, it contains testimony of independent witnesses whom verify the claims.

 

You may not accept it, but it's an arbitrary decision by you.

 

You go on to draw another false analogy between a clearly manufactured signal of mechanical origin & a self replicating living organism

 

You have committed a straw man argument here. Information and a self replicating organism that relies on that information are two separate things. A self replicating living organism requires information (DNA) and the functions to replicate itself. It just doesn't replicate itself from thin air. Information is carried in both mechanical and living organism systems. The information in DNA has the instructions to build the proteins, enzymes and functions. And without those instructions the proteins can't be built to transcribe, decode the DNA to build themselves. A conundrum for the atheist. So my point is perfectly valid, that is, prescriptive information is used to act as proof of intelligence in space by the SETI project, yet that same information in DNA which proves a higher intelligence is disbelieved without any adequate scientific support. Billions of years with undirected chance, guided by natural selection and undirected random mistakes has no scientific basis of proof whatsoever. Yet I can prove through empirical science that intelligence always creates prescriptive information. Yes I have shown you proof, but will you believe it?

 

You then attempt to build a straw man of the atheist's position. The burden of proof rests clearly with the believer & the one making positive claims. Atheism is a rejection of the belief in god.

....

Remember, the burden doesn't lie with the atheist. It lies with the one making the positive claim. You must demonstrate your position as truth.

 

Here again you are been totally arbitrary and inconsistent. This really illustrates your inconsistency, for you expect a burden of proof from a believer while at the same time your (who are a believer in the non-existence of God) only proof is that the other side has no proof. This is a fallacy (I suspect the fallacy of bifurcation) because you claim there is only one burden of proof. The burden of proof is on both sides.


Also, if you have some irrefutable proof of any Biblical or supernatural matter, I'd love to hear it

 

The supernatural is in the realms outside of physical matter, energy. Information is neither matter nor energy. Information always is produced by intelligence. Prescriptive Information is stored in every living organism. DNA information produces the mind, so intelligence is proven to exist outside our minds. I can scientifically prove information is produced by intelligence.

 

So the proof is on you to scientifically prove that prescriptive information can be produced by other means. I'd love to hear it.

 

I hope you can be open-minded brother.

 

Thanks.

 

 

Much of Hebrew syntax, and therefore accurate translation, is established by context not by the specific form of words.

 

The argument that betulah exclusively meant "virginity" is in fact faulty, and the argument that almah exclusively meant "virginity" is also faulty. Both almah and parthenos can mean both a non-virgin and a virgin in their own contexts.

 

If Isaiah had chosen betulah, then the virgin birth conception would have also applied to the prophecy given to Ahaz three years later. Isaiah chose precisely the only word that could have applied to his prophecy for the almah (young woman) who was of virginity - who would then lose her virginity in the conception of her son.

 

The New Testament writers make it clear that there was a virgin birth.

 

"before they came together she was found to be with child by the Holy Spirit" (Mat 1:18), "do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife; for that which has been conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit" (Mat. 1:20), "and did not know her [sexually] until she gave birth to a Son" (Mat. 1:25), "And Mary said to the angel ‘How can this be, since I know not a man’ [sexually] (Luk. 1:34).

 

So the virgin birth is not at issue, it's whether Isaiah's prophecy was fulfilled in Jesus. 

 

Matthew’s concern is that the son born to Mary is in fulfillment of the name "Immanuel." Matthew, by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, draws us back to Isaiah and shows us that Jesus fulfills in a more direct sense what it means to have "God with us." Matthew’s point identifies by reference who Jesus is and what He will do. The son born in Isaiah’s day was a sign, for Ahaz and the people of Judah, that God was with them, and that God would save them in their circumstance.   Matthew draws upon that instance for his context - that in Jesus, "God is with us," and God is going to save through Him.  Matthew introduced the comparison in 1:21 by quoting the angel who said, "She will bear a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins." He then completes the point in 1:23 by identifying this event of Jesus birth as a most meaningful and significant fulfillment of Isaiah 7:14.


Sources:
http://www.frontline-apologetics.com/Virgin_Birth_Jesus.html
http://www.crivoice.org/isa7-14.html



Tommy Jones said:

The question is not a question of authenticity. It's a question of accuracy . Everyone has played "Chinese whispers" in school. This consists of single sentence in the time span of an hour. It invariablely gets screwed up.  How can anyone expect a proper translation over centuries, through multiple languages , coming under the influence of individual biases, & cultural biases ... Add to that the fact that it was cobbled together by committee & really all you have left is faith.

 The weight of the entire doctrine can rest on a single word. Take for instance the whole idea of the virgin birth.  ....... 

in the English: "Behold, a virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel" (Isa. vii, 14.) The Hebrew words ha-almah mean simply the young woman; and harah is the Hebrew past or perfect tense, "conceived," which in Hebrew, as in English, represents past and completed action. Honestly translated, the verse reads: "Behold, the young woman has conceived-[is with child)-and beareth a son and calleth his name Immanuel."

Almah means simply a young woman, of marriageable age, whether married or not, or a virgin or not; in a broad general sense exactly like girl or maid in English, when we say shop-girl, parlor-maid, bar-maid, without reference to or vouching for her technical virginity, which, in Hebrew, is always expressed by the word bethulah. But in the Septuagint translation into Greek, the Hebrew almah was erroneously rendered into the Greek parthenos, virgin, with the definite article 'ha' in Hebrew, and e in Greek, (the), rendered into the indefinite "a" by later falsifying translators. (See Is It God's Word? pp. 277-279; EB. ii, 2162; New Commentary on the Holy Scripture, Pt. I, p. 439.) And St. Jerome falsely used the Latin word virgo.

"As early as the second century B.C.," says the distinguished Hebrew scholar and critic, Salomon Reinach, "the Jews perceived the error and pointed it out to the Greeks; but the Church knowingly persisted in the false reading, and for over fifteen centuries she has clung to her error." (Orpheus, p, 197.) The truth of this accusation of conscious persistence in known error through the centuries is proved by confession of St. Jerome, who made the celebrated Vulgate translation from the Hebrew into Latin, and intentionally "clung to the error," though Jerome well knew that it was an error and false; and thus he perpetuated through fifteen hundred years the myth of the "prophetic virgin birth" of Jesus called Christ.

 

OUCH !!! HUH ?!?!?

Hi Tommy Jones. You make some interesting obversations. Before I comment on this post, may I ask -  What's your position on evolution?
Excellent. 

Floyd said:

Much of Hebrew syntax, and therefore accurate translation, is established by context not by the specific form of words.

 

The argument that betulah exclusively meant "virginity" is in fact faulty, and the argument that almah exclusively meant "virginity" is also faulty. Both almah and parthenos can mean both a non-virgin and a virgin in their own contexts.

 

If Isaiah had chosen betulah, then the virgin birth conception would have also applied to the prophecy given to Ahaz three years later. Isaiah chose precisely the only word that could have applied to his prophecy for the almah (young woman) who was of virginity - who would then lose her virginity in the conception of her son.

 

The New Testament writers make it clear that there was a virgin birth.

 

"before they came together she was found to be with child by the Holy Spirit" (Mat 1:18), "do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife; for that which has been conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit" (Mat. 1:20), "and did not know her [sexually] until she gave birth to a Son" (Mat. 1:25), "And Mary said to the angel ‘How can this be, since I know not a man’ [sexually] (Luk. 1:34).

 

So the virgin birth is not at issue, it's whether Isaiah's prophecy was fulfilled in Jesus. 

 

Matthew’s concern is that the son born to Mary is in fulfillment of the name "Immanuel." Matthew, by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, draws us back to Isaiah and shows us that Jesus fulfills in a more direct sense what it means to have "God with us." Matthew’s point identifies by reference who Jesus is and what He will do. The son born in Isaiah’s day was a sign, for Ahaz and the people of Judah, that God was with them, and that God would save them in their circumstance.   Matthew draws upon that instance for his context - that in Jesus, "God is with us," and God is going to save through Him.  Matthew introduced the comparison in 1:21 by quoting the angel who said, "She will bear a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins." He then completes the point in 1:23 by identifying this event of Jesus birth as a most meaningful and significant fulfillment of Isaiah 7:14.


Sources:
http://www.frontline-apologetics.com/Virgin_Birth_Jesus.html
http://www.crivoice.org/isa7-14.html



Tommy Jones said:

The question is not a question of authenticity. It's a question of accuracy . Everyone has played "Chinese whispers" in school. This consists of single sentence in the time span of an hour. It invariablely gets screwed up.  How can anyone expect a proper translation over centuries, through multiple languages , coming under the influence of individual biases, & cultural biases ... Add to that the fact that it was cobbled together by committee & really all you have left is faith.

 The weight of the entire doctrine can rest on a single word. Take for instance the whole idea of the virgin birth.  ....... 

in the English: "Behold, a virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel" (Isa. vii, 14.) The Hebrew words ha-almah mean simply the young woman; and harah is the Hebrew past or perfect tense, "conceived," which in Hebrew, as in English, represents past and completed action. Honestly translated, the verse reads: "Behold, the young woman has conceived-[is with child)-and beareth a son and calleth his name Immanuel."

Almah means simply a young woman, of marriageable age, whether married or not, or a virgin or not; in a broad general sense exactly like girl or maid in English, when we say shop-girl, parlor-maid, bar-maid, without reference to or vouching for her technical virginity, which, in Hebrew, is always expressed by the word bethulah. But in the Septuagint translation into Greek, the Hebrew almah was erroneously rendered into the Greek parthenos, virgin, with the definite article 'ha' in Hebrew, and e in Greek, (the), rendered into the indefinite "a" by later falsifying translators. (See Is It God's Word? pp. 277-279; EB. ii, 2162; New Commentary on the Holy Scripture, Pt. I, p. 439.) And St. Jerome falsely used the Latin word virgo.

"As early as the second century B.C.," says the distinguished Hebrew scholar and critic, Salomon Reinach, "the Jews perceived the error and pointed it out to the Greeks; but the Church knowingly persisted in the false reading, and for over fifteen centuries she has clung to her error." (Orpheus, p, 197.) The truth of this accusation of conscious persistence in known error through the centuries is proved by confession of St. Jerome, who made the celebrated Vulgate translation from the Hebrew into Latin, and intentionally "clung to the error," though Jerome well knew that it was an error and false; and thus he perpetuated through fifteen hundred years the myth of the "prophetic virgin birth" of Jesus called Christ.

 

OUCH !!! HUH ?!?!?

Here are the responses I would have:

 

“Considering that the very first list of the books of the Bible wasn't compiled until 382 AD should draw more than average skepticism of these tales of prophecy.”  First, it is a common myth that the Bible was not compiled until the Council of Nicea.  The Old Testament books were recognized before the time of Jesus.  Almost all of the New Testament books were universally accepted within a few decades of being written.  Granted, there was no “formal” listing – none was needed.  The authentic scriptures were nearly universally agreed upon by the church from the time they were written.  It wasn’t until various heretical teachings began to emerge in the 3rd and 4th centuries that a formal list of scriptures was deemed necessary.  Additionally, the date that these books were officially listed is irrelevant to their validity.  We have copies of nearly all of the Bible from much earlier than 382 AD, either in the form of manuscripts or as quotes in other writings.  We have copies of the prophecies that predate their fulfillment in Jesus;  The fulfillments were written and circulated within the lifetimes of eyewitnesses to the events – eyewitnesses who could either confirm or deny the writings.

 

“…but there obviously isn't any evidence that any of the supernatural occurrences or claims of the Bible were or are true.”  First, the Bible itself IS evidence.  It was widely circulated within the lifetimes of eyewitnesses who could verify or deny its claims.  Secondly, there is a tremendous amount of collaborating historical evidence in extrabiblical sources confirming most of the Bible.  Josephus, Philo, and Tacitus are but a few.  There is a tremendous amount of archaeological evidence as well.  The claim that there is no evidence is simply incorrect.  Third, what do you mean by “evidence?”  If you mean naturalistic evidence, then you might be correct, but only because you are using circular logic.  Naturalism limits evidence to natural causes.  Supernatural events are outside of natural causes (super- “outside or above;” natural “having to do with nature”).  Naturalism assumes there is nothing outside of nature; therefore, the supernatural cannot exist.  This is circular logic.

 

“Of course, if one begins with the conclusion that there is a creator god and works backward, everything would be 'evidence' of this god. This, however, isn't a reasonably sound thought process."  Likewise, if one begins with the conclusion there is no God and works backward, everything would be ‘evidence’ there is no God.  This is exactly the same thought process.  Ultimately, everyone works backward from their starting presuppositions.  The question is, which starting point is correct?  Which starting point best explains the world around us?  If one assumes there is no God, then why does the universe exist?  Why are there universal, absolute, unchanging laws of physics, logic, and mathematics?  The universe should be random, if it even existed at all.  Atheism has  no explanation.  If, on the other hand, God does exist, then the universe exists because He created it as a reflection of Himself.  The universal, absolute, unchanging laws reflect the universal, absolute, unchanging nature of God.  What we observe is consistent with God as Creator, and completely inconsistent with random chance and time as creator.

"I also know that there have been mistakes in translation,"

The many translations of the Bible shows that it has been thoroughly proof read. For a good few centuries now and by thousands, if not millions of highly educated people, as well as the billions of readers who cross check words with a Hebrew and Greek lexicon. That could be argued to be a good thing. Many have taken it in hand to write about the subject of Bible translations, conspiratorial, or otherwise, yet none of its critics have found any textual artifacts that shows shows the missing elements that its critics claimed should be there, contrary to that which has been handed down. The Gospel of Q is such an example. There is the Gnostic gospels, but they tend to be added and are self contained in themselves. No one has found a version of our received Bibles, with actual content that is totally different, where by one might say, these are the changes.

I would have thought, that as you go back through the centuries, the more unadulterated the evidence would be. We must have lost a lot, but what proportion of that would confirm the Bible as we know it?

Its like God saying, I have giving you my book, examine it and prove it right or wrong.

 

Prophecy

Most of the prophecies of the Bible deals with nations, generations and our place in society. Rather then calling you by name.

How will someone recognise a fulfillment of a prophecy? In relation to that, how will you know if it were a fixed one, based on God's closing of an event? or a conditional one based on repentance and intercession?

The end is not yet:  And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. Mat 24:6.

 

You should have pointed out that the book of Isaiah (which makes many prophesies about Jesus that came true) is in the Dead Sea Scrolls :D

Reply to Discussion

RSS

About CC

Connecting Christians who believe in Biblical Creation — discussing beliefs, sharing ideas, and recommending evolution-free resources. Please keep all posts relevant to the topics of this community.

Rules of Engagement
Zero Tolerance Policy
Statement of Faith
Creation Terms
FAQ

Homeschool Curriculum

Members

Creation Conversations 2018

What's new @ CC for 2018? 

Creation networking and much more in store for Creation Conversation Members. You'll not want to miss this new year!

© 2019   Created by Creation Conversations.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service