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The "human" element of Scripture

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by jonathan.borland, Jun 5, 2013.

  1. jonathan.borland

    jonathan.borland Active Member

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    I'm starting a new thread in case other examples wish to be discussed. This is an expansion of a thread started by GreekTim, Entering or Exiting Jericho: a contradiction?.

    My response was . . .

    To this Tim responded that it changed the account, and asked . . .

    Nothing really, depending on how you define inerrancy. (The CSBI is a good place to start.)

    A more flexible view of inerrancy allows people to tell the same incidents in different ways. It allows, for example, Matthew to say that Jesus healed two specific demoniacs (Matt 8:28–34) even though the two were actually healed individually (cf. Mark 1:21–28 and Mark 5:1–13).

    It allows Matthew to tell that Jesus healed two blind men (Matt 20:29–34) even though each was probably healed individually (cf. Mark 8:22–26 and 10:46–52; but cf. also Matt 9:27–30, which I, as Eusebius, consider to be unique Matthew material without a synoptic parallel).

    It allows Matthew to relate a single message that Jairus' daughter is dead (Matt 9:18--before the healing of the woman), whereas really there were two messages, the first that the daughter was near death (Mark 5:23) and the second that the daughter was dead (Mark 5:35--after the healing of the woman).

    It allows Matthew to say that Jesus cursed a vine and made it wither and discussed it with the disciples all in one episode (Matt 21:20–22), whereas it appears that Jesus cursed it one day (Mark 11:14) and the disciples noticed it withered and asked Jesus about it the next (Mark 11:20–21).

    In my view, all of these narrative choices are allowed the human component of God-inspired Scripture without negating inerrancy. From the above I think you can tell what I think of those who try to "harmonize" each and every difference among the Gospel accounts, whereas in reality all such differences have answers in broader view of inerrancy that allows God-inspired human freedom in the composition of the narrative stories. In this sense, Scripture is like the Jesus himself, both 100% God and 100% human.

    Sincerely,

    Jonathan C. Borland
     
  2. Deacon

    Deacon Well-Known Member
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    Hey Jonathan, have you read Peter Enns controversial book," Inspiration and Incarnation"?

    It's a great book IMO, confronting many difficulties that are frequently ignored in evangelical church culture.

    Enns describes an incarnational model of scripture, which is what you seem to be describing.

    As Jesus was both God and human, our scriptures are a divine book and a human book.
    As a book written by men, it is connected to the ancient cultures and peoples to whom it was written; as a divinely inspired book, it is relevant today.

    Rob
     
  3. quantumfaith

    quantumfaith Active Member

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    Rob, thanks for sharing the link. Sounds like a book I would love to read. Going to see if I can get it on my Nook. Blessings
     
  4. Greektim

    Greektim Well-Known Member

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    I've been meaning to read it as well... I need to add it to my "plan to read" list on shelfari.
     
  5. just-want-peace

    just-want-peace Well-Known Member

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    Just downloaded a "sample" on my I-pad's KINDLE app.;

    I DO love that "sample" option. It has saved my buying several books that I would have gambled on had this option not been available.
     
  6. jonathan.borland

    jonathan.borland Active Member

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    Hi Rob,

    Thanks for the link. I haven't read Enns' book. I did read but didn't like his attack article on Sailhamer regarding the hermeneutics of Hos 11:1 and Matt 2:15, but I admit my bias in this, since Sailhamer was one of my professors in seminary and has influenced my theology and interpretation of the OT. I'll wait until I read Enns' book before I say more.

    I don't wish to understate the human element of the Bible, but I don't wish to overstate it either. I'm not yet sure where on the balance Enns lies.

    Sincerely,

    Jonathan
     
  7. quantumfaith

    quantumfaith Active Member

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    Jonathan, I cannot tell you how much I appreciate your tone and approach. I am assuming you are of the "reformed" tradition. I only wished more here would approach anything of a "controversial" in the same manner that you do. Thank You!!
     
  8. jonathan.borland

    jonathan.borland Active Member

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    Hi Quantum,

    Sometimes I wish I were reformed so I could be cool like all my reformed buddies (even the best man in my wedding and one of my younger brothers!). I think their turning in that direction is in response to a watered down, topical, superficial, easy-going theology that has plagued preaching in some stripes of evangelicalism for many years now. I think their anger at this bad circumstance was genuine and good. They strive to get back to deep, thoroughgoing theology that is relevant in our society and makes a difference for the kingdom. They don't care what people think but only pursue the deep "doctrines of God," no matter how distasteful anyone makes them appear. I don't blame them. If I hadn't studied the pre-Augustinian fathers I might have joined them myself by now! I think there is a better alternative to both ends. Time will tell. I personally think the reformed phenomenon will moderate a bit, but I could be wrong. The zeal that powers it is real and needs to be channeled properly though so it doesn't eventually fizzle out like other reformed revolutions of the past.
     
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