Letter to a newspaper...

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Born_in_Crewe, Jul 2, 2011.

  1. Born_in_Crewe

    Born_in_Crewe
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    In one of my local papers in my hometown in Britain, a letter was sent in attacking the Bible as false and being full of contradictions.

    These were some of the main points:

    1. The books of Luke and Matthew tracing two ''completely different family trees of Jesus back to King David''.

    2. Luke's genealogy adding an extra generation between Abraham and Adam.

    3. There are apparently ''213 examples'' where biblical prophecies are not fulfilled (of course, some of them haven't had time yet...)

    4. The Bible stories were ''embellished and corrupted'' before they were written down, and therefore cannot be trusted. (The writer didn't expand on this.)

    5. They were then ''heavily edited'' after being written down (again, the writer did not expand)

    Thoughts please? I would be interested to know how people would attack these arguments and defend the Bible, if you were responding to the letter.
     
  2. Iconoclast

    Iconoclast
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  3. Winman

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    #1 is easy to explain, one is the geneology through Joseph, the other Mary.

    #2 This is difficult to explain, but not impossible. There is an extra name Cainan in Lk 3:36. Gen 11:12 says Arphaxad begat Salah when 35 yrs. old , Lk 3:35-36 says Arphaxad begat Cainan who begat Sala.

    Pure conjecture on my part, but Arphaxad could have begat Cainan when a very young man to a woman he was not married to. Years later, Cainan could have had relations with Arphaxad's wife and begat Salah (Sala). Cainan would have been the biological father, while Arphaxad would have been the legal father. Perhaps a stretch, but absolutely possible.

    #3 You have answered this already, many prophecies are yet to be fulfilled. I would ask the author which specific prophecies have not been fulfilled.

    #4 and 5 are baseless unless he can provide real evidence for his assertions.
     
    #3 Winman, Jul 2, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 2, 2011
  4. freeatlast

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    3 is too broad to answer. 4 and 5 cannot be answered except to reject the accusation.

    [SIZE=+0]1 and 2 can only be answered with possibilities as no one knows for sure and there are several possibilities. So the answer to all this is that the person or persons who pose these accusations are not really interested in truth but are interested in finding areas where they feel they are sound in their rejection of the bible. For them dust your feet.[/SIZE]
     
  5. Born_in_Crewe

    Born_in_Crewe
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    Ok, I'll try and acknowledge each of your replies.

    Iconoclast - as far as I know, the writer is not a Muslim, they certainly didn't say they were, although they did say that there might be a God but the Bible was not true. It sounds like they were using some of the same arguments as Muslims though.

    Winman - a simple but good point about Joseph/Mary. Interesting conspiracy theory which may well be true. You are probably right about the fact there is nothing concrete to say they were edited, we cannot know either way for certain.

    Freeatlast - you may be right about the author, but possibly you may not be. It is hard to tell as I don't recognise the author's name and I know nothing about them, I don't even know if they are male or female as its an unusual name, but they quoted from the Skeptic's annotated Bible so maybe.

    I am considering writing a short rebuttal and submitting anonymously a go, using some of your own points and some of my own thoughts.
     
  6. Winman

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    If you do write a response and it gets responses, let us know.
     
  7. Martin Marprelate

    Martin Marprelate
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    Hello BiC,

    First of all, there are people writing similar stuff in the local paper in Exeter. There are a lot of militant atheists about in Britain today who are very 'evangelistic' and eager to disprove the Bible.

    Secondly, I don't believe that the two genealogies can be explained by saying that one is Joseph's and one is Mary's. That doesn't really explain how the converge at one point and then diverge again.

    Matthew's Genealogy is the Royal Line. It lists either the Kings of Judah or those who would have been king if there had been a kingdom. Luke's is the natuaral genealogy. That is why although our Lord is described as the Descendant of Jesse and the Son of David, He is never described as the Son or Descendant of Solomon or any of the kings who followed. The reason that the two lists come together with Shealtiel and Zerubbabel is that so many of the royal princes were killed by the Babylonians (Jer 52:10 etc.) that Shealtiel was the only one left.

    When I was at school, I was made to learn a rhyme to help me remember the kings and queens of England. It went,
    'Willy. Willy, Harry, Ste,
    Harry, Dick, John, Harry 3.

    This is an accurate list of the monarchs, but it does not mean that they are all descended one from another. In fact William II and Henry I were brothers and Stephen was the nephew of Henry I.

    The rhyme ends,
    'William & Mary, Anna Gloria,
    Four Georges, William and Victoria.'

    George I was only a distant relative of Queen Anne and George III was the grandson of George II. The list misses out Prince Frederick who died before his father, George II.

    So you see that a list of kings could miss out a generation and give a misleading impression of descent, while still being an accurate list. I believe that is what Matthew's genealogy does.

    Also, the Jews were not too concerned about missing out generations. People called the Lord Jesus, 'Son of David' although they knew perfectly well that david had live about 900 years earlier.

    I hope that's not too complicated. Anyone from America will probably be totally bewildered by it.

    The other points raised are too vague to be answered. I would point out some of the prophesies that have been fulfilled and say that they give us confidence that the others will be fulfilled in due course.

    Steve
     
  8. Aaron

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    This is too obvious to be a serious objection. If these genealogies were fabricated to begin with, it would have been a simple matter to rewrite them to make them agree. But they weren't fabricated.

    Iconoclast provided a link to an excellent explanation. Another thing to keep in mind is the purpose of each evangelist. Traditionally it is said that Matthew's audience was primarily jewish, and that his main goal was to present Christ as the fulfillment of the messianic prophecies, so his follows the line of Israel's kings. Luke was a gentile, as was the recipient of his Gospel. Luke's presentation of Christ is more universal, and Christ's humanity figures prominently. Where Matthew started with Abraham and worked down to Christ through Joseph's line, Luke's genaeology startes with Christ and works up to Adam through Mary's. Matthew connects his genaeology with Christ's birth, Luke with His baptism—all of which is significant to the purpose of each evangelist.

    See above.

    The Bible is definitely prophetic. http://www.amazon.com/dp/0801070511/?tag=baptis04-20

    This is an old chestnut, and might have been harder to rebut a couple centuries ago, but recent (being within the last 100 years) manuscript and archaeological evidence have basically pushed that objection into the realm of hogwash.

    Usually when one speaks of embellishment in regard to the Gospels, he is speaking of the miraculous. It's interesting to note that the earliest Gospels, Mt - Lk, written within 30 years of the events, each contain well over 20 accounts of miraculous events; but John, written 50 to 60 years afterward, contains half that.

    It would have been easy to fix the genealogies. See above.

    Here's the text of a letter I wrote to an editor in 2002:
    Answering a reader's question, the Rev. [John Doe] said, " . . . the books of the Bible have undergone serious modification and left us very uncertain about what was originally written." A fading trend in modern scholarship that began two centuries ago spawned that hypothesis, but recent develeopments in archaeology and textual criticism have effectivelly debunked it.

    There is more evidence today supporting the integrity of the biblical texts than exists for any other ancient document. Copyist errors that have survived amount to little more the "typos" that in no way affected their meaning.

    Though modern scholars were uncertain for a time, the new body of evidence leaves little room to doubt that the extant biblical manuscripts accurately reflect the original texts. One may disbelieve their divine inspiration, but none can intelligently deny their integrity.
     
    #8 Aaron, Jul 3, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 3, 2011
  9. Born_in_Crewe

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    Ok, two interesting follow up posts there. I have written an anonymous reply and will let you know if it gets printed and if it gets responses. This local paper only has issue a week, so obviously its a slow process.
     
  10. Born_in_Crewe

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    Ok, two interesting follow up posts there. I have written an anonymous reply and will let you know if it gets printed and if it gets responses. This local paper only has issue a week, so obviously its a slow process.

    Thanks,
    Born_in_Crewe
     
  11. milby

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    Just wondering why you wrote an "anonymous" letter. Most papers wont print letters to the editors unless they are signed.
     

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