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Old 1st February 2013, 02:32 PM   #41
Dinwar
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Originally Posted by RecoveringYuppy View Post
Agreed that it had to change, but what change at the Council of Nicea?
Already been corrected. My point was just that in defining cannon, certain books were removed--something I don't think anyone who's studied history will argue with.
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Old 1st February 2013, 03:13 PM   #42
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Originally Posted by Pup View Post
I don't think the people we're talking about are "biblical scholars." There are people who believe the King James version was directly inspired by God. For example:

http://www.jesus-is-savior.com/Bible/KJB/inspired.htm
Those people are fanatical nut jobs. People may use the King James Version, usually because it sounds nice and "old fashionedy" but when pressed in discussion only a complete idiot would argue they are not translations.
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Old 1st February 2013, 03:32 PM   #43
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Originally Posted by Dinwar View Post
Trivially false. The Bible was necessarily altered at least twice: once at the Councel of Nicea, were what we now consider "The Bible" was established, and once (for each language other than Greek and Aramaic) into whatever language you're reading it in. These can be considered justifiable alterations (the first to remove false documents, and the second to allow people to understand it), but they ARE alterations and therefore prove that claim false.

As I understand it, the KJV was translated with an emphasis on making the text sound good, rather than accuracy. No serious Biblical scholar, of any sect or none, that I've encountered uses the KJV. Most laugh when you mention it.

It's going to be enormously hard to be a Christian, then. The most honest way around this is to learn the original languages the various books in the Bible were written in, and to read any extant copies of the rejected works you can get your hands on--again, in their original text (preferably accurate copies of the original document, such as clear photo-quality scans or the like, because marginalia can be just as important as the text). If you're unwilling to do that, you are relying on fallable people to translate the words at minimum--and if you read the Bible only, you're relying on whole committees of fallable people to pick your reading for you (if you think they're devinely inspired, read up on your history).

This will require a great deal of work, and the project probably won't yield results anyway.
Originally Posted by sleepy_lioness View Post
I see this canard all the time on Skeptic sites, that the canon of the Bible was set at Nicaea - it must be a false meme. The Council of Nicaea of 325 was important for establishing the Nicene Creed (not quite the same as the one said in churches today, which was finalised at the Council of Constantinople in 381), for opposing the Arian heresy, and for fixing the date of Easter. We have the proceedings, and we know that the canon of Scripture was not discussed. So it is factually incorrect to say that the canon of the Bible was fixed at Nicaea. Incidentally, there were two Nicean Councils, but the Second Council of Nicaea, in 787, was all about icons and again didn't discuss Scripture.

The story of the closing of the canon (or canons - I think the Old and New Testaments should be considered separately) is far more complicated than that, and it's known that different Christian groups had different texts which they considered holy. It's generally accepted that the canon of the Old Testament was closed by about the end of the second century AD, and that of the New sometime by about the fourth or fifth centuries. The first extant source we have which lists all the books of the New Testament, though (IIRC) not in the usual order, is a letter from Athanasius of 367, but nobody knows where he got the list from. There are lots of interesting debates about how certain writings came to be considered 'Scripture' and others not, but as far as we know there was never a moment when a group sat down and rubber-stamped the consensus. The confusion with Nicaea might have arisen because a young Athanasius was at the Council (in a junior capacity, as bag-carrier to Alexander bishop of Alexandria), or perhaps because the Creed was fixed there.

tl;dr version: The canon of Scripture was not fixed at Nicaea. In fact they never discussed it there.
oh lol I was going to cite you
http://forums.randi.org/showpost.php...postcount=1314
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Old 1st February 2013, 03:33 PM   #44
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Originally Posted by sleepy_lioness View Post
I see this canard all the time on Skeptic sites, that the canon of the Bible was set at Nicaea - it must be a false meme. The Council of Nicaea of 325 was important for establishing the Nicene Creed (not quite the same as the one said in churches today, which was finalised at the Council of Constantinople in 381), for opposing the Arian heresy, and for fixing the date of Easter. We have the proceedings, and we know that the canon of Scripture was not discussed. So it is factually incorrect to say that the canon of the Bible was fixed at Nicaea. Incidentally, there were two Nicean Councils, but the Second Council of Nicaea, in 787, was all about icons and again didn't discuss Scripture.

The story of the closing of the canon (or canons - I think the Old and New Testaments should be considered separately) is far more complicated than that, and it's known that different Christian groups had different texts which they considered holy. It's generally accepted that the canon of the Old Testament was closed by about the end of the second century AD, and that of the New sometime by about the fourth or fifth centuries. The first extant source we have which lists all the books of the New Testament, though (IIRC) not in the usual order, is a letter from Athanasius of 367, but nobody knows where he got the list from. There are lots of interesting debates about how certain writings came to be considered 'Scripture' and others not, but as far as we know there was never a moment when a group sat down and rubber-stamped the consensus. The confusion with Nicaea might have arisen because a young Athanasius was at the Council (in a junior capacity, as bag-carrier to Alexander bishop of Alexandria), or perhaps because the Creed was fixed there.

tl;dr version: The canon of Scripture was not fixed at Nicaea. In fact they never discussed it there.

Wow, fantastic post.

Edited by Gaspode:  Removed breach of Rule 12
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Old 1st February 2013, 03:34 PM   #45
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Originally Posted by Akuma Tennou View Post
Yikes, my bad, I got you backwards. I'm used to telling people:



Be careful because when someone sounds super duper assured, half the time they are just spouting things they read somewhere else without verifying it.

Happens all the time.
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Old 1st February 2013, 03:45 PM   #46
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Originally Posted by truethat View Post
Yikes, my bad, I got you backwards. I'm used to telling people:



Be careful because when someone sounds super duper assured, half the time they are just spouting things they read somewhere else without verifying it.

Happens all the time.
I did (slightly though) cross check sleepy_lioness claims, and felt really fool to parrot that nicene council thing without doing so before. There's no evidence whatsoever that that council did decide the canon. What's sure is the canon has indeed been decided, and I guess the choice was made mainly for political reasons than religious ones.
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Old 1st February 2013, 04:00 PM   #47
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Originally Posted by Akuma Tennou View Post
I did (slightly though) cross check sleepy_lioness claims, and felt really fool to parrot that nicene council thing without doing so before. There's no evidence whatsoever that that council did decide the canon. What's sure is the canon has indeed been decided, and I guess the choice was made mainly for political reasons than religious ones.
I reedited my post. I had thought you had fallen for Dinwar's claims. Now I've just gone and confused everything. LOL

The Yikes was a correction of my mistake. Not aimed towards you. The rest, certain people on here like to play as if they are well versed in some areas. They ain't.
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Old 1st February 2013, 04:42 PM   #48
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Originally Posted by truethat View Post
Those people are fanatical nut jobs. People may use the King James Version, usually because it sounds nice and "old fashionedy" but when pressed in discussion only a complete idiot would argue they are not translations.
We're talking about common Christian claims, not only what Biblical scholars say. I don't see that it's any more nutty for someone to think God inspired a translation than to think that God inspired any particular original version. Once one invokes God, whether 500 years ago or 5000 years ago, rationality has left the building, no matter how rigorous their scholarship is in ancient languages.

CplFerro said some Christians claim the KJF is "the only valid verson." I took "valid" to mean holy, true, the word of God, etc. So you're mixing up two things that are separate: whether people claim the KJV is a translation into English from the original languages, and whether it's the only "valid" version.

It's not uncommon for Christians to claim that the KJV translators were directly inspired by God, even if they also acknowledge that the KJV is obviously in English rather than the original languages, and even if they're aware that it's a combination of variations of old texts and other translations. In fact, they may feel that it's the one version that God inspired the translators to pull together from the various recopied versions floating around.

Last edited by Pup; 1st February 2013 at 04:48 PM. Reason: left out a word
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Old 1st February 2013, 04:45 PM   #49
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I doubt that very very much. It is uncommon unless they are stupid. But who knows perhaps y'all are surrounded by idiots. Most people I know are aware that the KJV is an inspired translation not a divinely inspired text. The Bible is divinely inspired in it's original form. The translation protects that but it's not the divinely inspired translation.
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Old 1st February 2013, 05:05 PM   #50
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Originally Posted by truethat View Post
Most people I know are aware that the KJV is an inspired translation not a divinely inspired text. The Bible is divinely inspired in it's original form. The translation protects that but it's not the divinely inspired translation.
Not sure how that contradicts my post. The KJV is different enough from any single specific collection of older foreign-language texts, that it's either a divinely inspired collection/translation/whatever, or a nice piece of poetry based on old manuscripts.

If asked, I expect that these kinds of people would say that God inspired the original oral tradition and writings that have been lost over the years, and then reinspired the KJV translators to pull it all together and get it right again.
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Old 1st February 2013, 05:07 PM   #51
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Originally Posted by Pup View Post
Not sure how that contradicts my post. The KJV is different enough from any single specific collection of older foreign-language texts, that it's either a divinely inspired collection/translation/whatever, or a nice piece of poetry based on old manuscripts.

If asked, I expect that these kinds of people would say that God inspired the original oral tradition and writings that have been lost over the years, and then reinspired the KJV translators to pull it all together and get it right again.
Those are so rare as to not even be mentioned. I have never met a person who would make that last statement.
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Old 1st February 2013, 05:14 PM   #52
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Originally Posted by Pup View Post
Not sure how that contradicts my post. The KJV is different enough from any single specific collection of older foreign-language texts, that it's either a divinely inspired collection/translation/whatever, or a nice piece of poetry based on old manuscripts.

If asked, I expect that these kinds of people would say that God inspired the original oral tradition and writings that have been lost over the years, and then reinspired the KJV translators to pull it all together and get it right again.
The old "god is a dick" and he ignores things for awhile and people gum up the works. God could have inspired all of the people who made copies and copies of copies, etc.. But no. And note that he didn't inspire anyone in outside of a few "chosen people". Again, "god is a dick theory".

It's narcissism. God made sure the Bible was correct for me. Screw the folks living in Africa, Asia, Americas. They didn't need gods word.
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Old 1st February 2013, 05:38 PM   #53
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Originally Posted by RandFan View Post
The old "god is a dick" and he ignores things for awhile and people gum up the works. God could have inspired all of the people who made copies and copies of copies, etc.. But no. And note that he didn't inspire anyone in outside of a few "chosen people". Again, "god is a dick theory".

It's narcissism. God made sure the Bible was correct for me. Screw the folks living in Africa, Asia, Americas. They didn't need deserve gods word.
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Old 1st February 2013, 06:23 PM   #54
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Originally Posted by truethat View Post
I doubt that very very much. It is uncommon unless they are stupid. But who knows perhaps y'all are surrounded by idiots. Most people I know are aware that the KJV is an inspired translation not a divinely inspired text. The Bible is divinely inspired in it's original form. The translation protects that but it's not the divinely inspired translation.
So what is that "original form"?

As for the Hebrew Bible, a.k.a. the Old Testament, there are at least four text traditions: the Masoretic text, the Septuagint (and its Hebrew original), the Samaritan Pentateuch, and the text variants seen in the Death Sea Scrolls.

The manuscripts of the New Testament have been categorized in five different text traditions. IIRC, only one third of the NT verses is identical in all manuscripts or exhibits only one variation.

"Divine inspiration" falls flat on its face when you actually look at the variation in the preserved texts. There is no way to determine which text variant is the original form. And really, would an omnipotent God allow that His Inspired Text became corrupted by copyists who, by error or by design, changed His Texts?
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Old 1st February 2013, 07:47 PM   #55
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Originally Posted by truethat View Post
The Bible is divinely inspired in it's original form.
Which form would that be, and when did this occur?

Since the Christian Bible as we know it did not even exist before about 300AD, anything written before then could only be a 'precursor' used in the production of this 'original form'. Perhaps those earlier texts helped to inspire the writers of this hypothetical 'original' Christian Bible. However any differences would not be a result of inaccurate translation, but simply because the earlier writings were indeed just inspiration - not canon.

Originally Posted by The Catholic Encyclopedia
The idea of a complete and clear-cut canon of the New Testament existing from the beginning, that is from Apostolic times, has no foundation in history. The Canon of the New Testament, like that of the Old, is the result of a development, of a process at once stimulated by disputes with doubters, both within and without the Church, and retarded by certain obscurities and natural hesitations, and which did not reach its final term until the dogmatic definition of the Tridentine Council.

Originally Posted by truethat
People may use the King James Version, usually because it sounds nice and "old fashionedy" but when pressed in discussion only a complete idiot would argue they are not translations.
If there is a Christian Bible which can be said to be the most 'divinely inspired' then it should be a later version, one which has become more accurate over time as a result of accumulated 'divine inspiration'. Translation, rather than merely preserving and/or corrupting the message, may be helping to correct earlier mistakes or omissions. If this is a reasonable supposition then why should the KJV be excluded from consideration? Why should only people who believe that the KJV is the most 'True' be called stupid, when nobody else can prove that their version is any better?

Some people argue that older must be better, so whichever is the oldest must be the best - even if it is incomplete, anomalous, irrelevant or incomprehensible to most readers. To them I ask: which version of the US Constitution is the most valid - the original one that was drafted in 1787, or after the 1st amendment, or the 2nd, the 14th, the 27th? Or perhaps we should be deferring to the writings of John Locke, or the Magna Carta? If only the 'original' Bible is guaranteed to be a true and accurate guide to moral behavior, why do we have to abide by our current constitution?
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Old 1st February 2013, 09:30 PM   #56
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Ask away, you're talking to people who truly believe that Moses led his people out of Egypt even though there is zero evidence for this.
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Old 1st February 2013, 10:17 PM   #57
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Originally Posted by truethat View Post
Those are so rare as to not even be mentioned. I have never met a person who would make that last statement.
I disagree that they're too rare to mention. Just a little googling turns up lots of mentions about the topic. Here's one random example from the first page of a Google search:

http://stellarhousepublishing.com/ki...e-history.html


Quote:
This more recent claim regarding only the originals being inspired essentially overrides the centuries-old, widely held notion that English translations such as the King James Bible are inerrant; yet, there remain King James inerrantists.

Because such a position appears untenable, many Christian scholars and apologists today no longer adhere to the notion that translations themselves are inspired, claiming instead that only the "originals" are inspired, as noted. The rank-and-file believers, however, still frequently maintain - as they have been taught - that the King James translation, for one, is inerrant and its translators inspired.

Check out the last two classifications here, group #4 and #5 of King James Only advocates, in James R. White's The King James Only Controversy:



Group #4:

Quote:
Most King James Only advocates would fall into this group. They believe that the KJV itself, as an English language translation, is inspired and therefore inerrant. Many of these folks believe the TR [Textus Receptus] is inspired and inerrant as well... but in practice the importance of the TR begins to fade when the direct claim of the KJV's inspiration is put forward...

It seemingly never crosses the mind of the convinced KJV Only advocate that he or she needs to be just as concerned about the propriety of choosing the KJV as the "standard" as anyone else does when choosing his or her Bible translation... Yet the reason, amost always, is found in the equation: The King James Bible alone = the Word of God alone. That is the foundation of the entire system.


Group #5:



Quote:
Basically, they believe God "re-inspired" the BIble in 1611, rendering it in the English language. As a result, these folks go so far as to say that the Greek and Hebrew texts should be changed to fit the readings found in the KJV! Though this position might strike most as rather extreme, we have found this group to predominate in many areas [among KJV only advocates] due to the influence of key proponents of this system of belief.

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Old 2nd February 2013, 12:39 AM   #58
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Haha group #5 looks like some sort of christian islam
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Old 2nd February 2013, 12:57 AM   #59
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Originally Posted by sleepy_lioness View Post
I see this canard all the time on Skeptic sites, that the canon of the Bible was set at Nicaea - it must be a false meme. The Council of Nicaea of 325 was important for establishing the Nicene Creed (not quite the same as the one said in churches today, which was finalised at the Council of Constantinople in 381), for opposing the Arian heresy, and for fixing the date of Easter. We have the proceedings, and we know that the canon of Scripture was not discussed. So it is factually incorrect to say that the canon of the Bible was fixed at Nicaea. Incidentally, there were two Nicean Councils, but the Second Council of Nicaea, in 787, was all about icons and again didn't discuss Scripture.

The story of the closing of the canon (or canons - I think the Old and New Testaments should be considered separately) is far more complicated than that, and it's known that different Christian groups had different texts which they considered holy. It's generally accepted that the canon of the Old Testament was closed by about the end of the second century AD, and that of the New sometime by about the fourth or fifth centuries. The first extant source we have which lists all the books of the New Testament, though (IIRC) not in the usual order, is a letter from Athanasius of 367, but nobody knows where he got the list from. There are lots of interesting debates about how certain writings came to be considered 'Scripture' and others not, but as far as we know there was never a moment when a group sat down and rubber-stamped the consensus. The confusion with Nicaea might have arisen because a young Athanasius was at the Council (in a junior capacity, as bag-carrier to Alexander bishop of Alexandria), or perhaps because the Creed was fixed there.

tl;dr version: The canon of Scripture was not fixed at Nicaea. In fact they never discussed it there.
While interresting, I don't think the msot important point was that it was fixed by a comitee or by popular vote. The most important point is that it < the new testament > was "fluid" in the first few centuries, and some text fell out, some stayed in, and there is no obvious reason why it happened. In fact it puts a serious crimp IMHO in any textual analysis pretending that J was a real man because the text are so consitent....
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Old 2nd February 2013, 05:09 AM   #60
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Originally Posted by Roger Ramjets View Post
If there is a Christian Bible which can be said to be the most 'divinely inspired' then it should be a later version, one which has become more accurate over time as a result of accumulated 'divine inspiration'. Translation, rather than merely preserving and/or corrupting the message, may be helping to correct earlier mistakes or omissions. If this is a reasonable supposition then why should the KJV be excluded from consideration? Why should only people who believe that the KJV is the most 'True' be called stupid, when nobody else can prove that their version is any better?
Over time, as the texts are copied, more and more changes enter into them. This results in more than one form of the texts. If 'divine inspiration' were accumulating with these scribal errors and emendations, we would now have one version which is "more perfect than ever", and other versions which are "more imperfect than ever". How can anyone tell which is the "more perfect version"?

As I understand it, there are some verses in the current versions that appear to be confused from their earlier forms. Later version of Isaiah 21:8, for example, mention a lion -- "And he cried AS A LION: O Lord...." -- while earlier version, including from the Dead Sea Scrolls, mentions a lookout -- "And the LOOKOUT called, O Lord..." Now that they have access to the older version, there are people out there "correcting" the verses to the allegedly original forms. So, thanks to the Dead Sea Scrolls, they might be undoing their 'divinely inspired' scribal errors and emendations!

Again, how can anyone tell which is the "more perfect" version?
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Old 2nd February 2013, 07:03 AM   #61
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This whole argument (the core one, not this thread) and all the turmoil it has inspired over the centuries, (the burnings at the stake, entire groups of people breaking off from other groups, blah blah)
brings to mind a line from the worst Star Trek movie (The Final Frontier)
Why does god need a star ship?
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Old 2nd February 2013, 07:18 AM   #62
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Originally Posted by Pup View Post
I don't think the people we're talking about are "biblical scholars." There are people who believe the King James version was directly inspired by God. For example:

http://www.jesus-is-savior.com/Bible/KJB/inspired.htm
That shows what happens when people are brainwashed.
Very sad, isn't it?
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Old 2nd February 2013, 09:53 AM   #63
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Edited by Gaspode:  Removed off-topic response to moderated post.


On topic: All of this discussion is a side issue, however. The main issue, which I've repeated a number of times, remains: any Christian or Catholic of even marginal historical literacy already knows that Biblical cannon is a subset of the books calling themselves scripture in the past. Having a copy of those books come to light is going to be nothing more than a historical curiosity to people who know even as much about their religion's past as I do (and I've demonstrated I'm no expert in that field). No one's refuted this point, far as I've seen. So my original conclusion remains supported by the evidence: the idea that the Bible has remained unaltered is trivially false.

Originally Posted by Baffled
Again, how can anyone tell which is the "more perfect" version?
In some cases you can't, but the Bible certainly contains passages that could be easily improved. The whole pi thing, for example. The Creation story is another. The story of the Flood could show vast improvement with the alteration of a few words (ie, instead of saying "world-wide" or whatever, say "across the known world").

And remember, it's not just the Bible that we can look at. Christianity arose from the Jewish religion--that's something no rational follower of Christ can deny (Christ WAS a Jew, after all). The Jewish religion has an origin that archaeologists can explore. Christianity accepts--by accepting its origins--the notion that occasionally God alters the religion. Combined, this would indicate that we should see an increasingly perfect religion through time (again, we can look for examples of it by comparing the texts with exterior facts). The question of Biblical perfection thereby becomes a question of archaeology. I'll leave this to archaeologists to answer; that time period of human history has never really interested me (the earliest prehistory does by necessity, and the Middle Ages do, but after that human history isn't a topic I've studied in much depth).
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Old 2nd February 2013, 12:02 PM   #64
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Originally Posted by sleepy_lioness View Post
There are lots of interesting debates about how certain writings came to be considered 'Scripture' and others not, but as far as we know there was never a moment when a group sat down and rubber-stamped the consensus.
This is not right, IMHO. The 1546 Council of Trent (re)affirmed the canon of the RCC Bible. Before that, the 382 Council of Rome and the 397 Council of Carthage had drawn up lists of the canonical books.
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Old 2nd February 2013, 12:18 PM   #65
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Originally Posted by ddt View Post
This is not right, IMHO. The 1546 Council of Trent (re)affirmed the canon of the RCC Bible. Before that, the 382 Council of Rome and the 397 Council of Carthage had drawn up lists of the canonical books.
That's actually a point I should have mentioned: the concept of "the Bible" being a single, bound book is fairly recent. In the Middle Ages the books of the Bible were often exactly that--individual books, copied separately. Often a single book would contain several cannonical books, along with commentary and bits of other theological thought.

Science has long recognized the power of putting a lot of separate data into a single book. It facilitates analysis by making it relatively easy to flip back and forth between the various parts you're comparing. Anyone with a modern Bible can compare the prophesies in the Old Testament with Jesus' acts in the New Testament. It was a tad harder to do that in the Middle Ages. Also, it's harder to add new data to compelations like the Bible. If "the Bible" refers to a large number of books, slipping in a few extras (or removing them) really isn't that hard. An individual sect can get away with it, simply by writing a new book when they copy the old one. Once it's all bound together, though, you can easily see if new books have been added or old ones taken out.

So there are at minimum three distinct alterations to any modern Bible from the original: 1) picking which books go into it; 2) combining them all into a single volume; and 3) translation. These are by no means in chronological order.
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Old 2nd February 2013, 12:23 PM   #66
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Originally Posted by Pup View Post
http://books.google.com/books?id=qId...26&output=html

Group #4:
Quote:
Most King James Only advocates would fall into this group. They believe that the KJV itself, as an English language translation, is inspired and therefore inerrant. Many of these folks believe the TR [Textus Receptus] is inspired and inerrant as well
And there's group #3:
Quote:
The next group of individuals would insist that the above mentioned Textus Receptus, or Received Text, either has been supernaturally preserved over time or even inspired, and hence maintained in an inerrant condition.
Let's then have a look at how Erasmus prepared the Textus Receptus:
Quote:
Detractors criticize it for being based on only some six manuscripts, containing between them not quite the whole of the New Testament. The missing text was back-translated from the Vulgate.
Erasmus was a smart cookie, and he knew his Latin and Greek, but in my mind, "back-translated" and "preserved" do not match. Furthermore, the six MSS he used are all from the same text tradition and do not show the wide textual variation in early Bible MSS.
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Old 2nd February 2013, 12:37 PM   #67
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Originally Posted by Baffled View Post
Over time, as the texts are copied, more and more changes enter into them. This results in more than one form of the texts. If 'divine inspiration' were accumulating with these scribal errors and emendations, we would now have one version which is "more perfect than ever", and other versions which are "more imperfect than ever". How can anyone tell which is the "more perfect version"?

As I understand it, there are some verses in the current versions that appear to be confused from their earlier forms. Later version of Isaiah 21:8, for example, mention a lion -- "And he cried AS A LION: O Lord...." -- while earlier version, including from the Dead Sea Scrolls, mentions a lookout -- "And the LOOKOUT called, O Lord..." Now that they have access to the older version, there are people out there "correcting" the verses to the allegedly original forms. So, thanks to the Dead Sea Scrolls, they might be undoing their 'divinely inspired' scribal errors and emendations!

Again, how can anyone tell which is the "more perfect" version?
In his book Misquoting Jesus, Bart Ehrman meticulously documents the various contradictions between the many various copies and the attempts that many scholars have made over the years to objectively deduce what was the original content. You can get a pretty good explanation from Ehrman via YouTube video.

Misquoting Jesus, Stanford Lecture, How The Bible Got Tainted
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Old 2nd February 2013, 12:44 PM   #68
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Originally Posted by monty1 View Post
test of the automod. Everybody who doesn't believe in god is going to hell. Does that do it for automod
Nope. This a factual statement that no one here would disagree with.

Quote:
or does it have to be something a little more direct?
You could try, "Gord-in-Toronto is going to Hell because his plays a Canadian on the InterTubes". Check and see it that works. (Though I suggest you do it in the Test Sub-forum.)
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Old 2nd February 2013, 12:47 PM   #69
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Originally Posted by monty1 View Post
test of the automod. Everybody who doesn't believe in god is going to hell. Does that do it for automod or does it have to be something a little more direct?
If this has to do with the edits to truethat's post and mine, I reported truethat's post and the mods edited both (they took out the part of my post responding to truethat's). Nothing automatic about it.

Originally Posted by ddt
Erasmus was a smart cookie, and he knew his Latin and Greek, but in my mind, "back-translated" and "preserved" do not match.
The old Babblefish issue.
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Old 2nd February 2013, 05:35 PM   #70
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Originally Posted by RandFan View Post
In his book Misquoting Jesus, Bart Ehrman meticulously documents the various contradictions between the many various copies and the attempts that many scholars have made over the years to objectively deduce what was the original content. You can get a pretty good explanation from Ehrman via YouTube video.

Misquoting Jesus, Stanford Lecture, How The Bible Got Tainted
Nobody can deny that the Bible has changed over time, but why should those changes necessarily be a 'taint'? Why must the oldest versions be the most 'pure'? If the Bible was 'divinely inspired' by God, then what is to stop Him from continuing to inspire newer versions? Is God dead, or just not interested anymore?

I can understand historians wanting to find the 'original' version of some work, but that is not a theological issue. In any case, if you look far enough back you find there never was a 'pure' original Bible. There was never a single book (or books) of the Cristian Bible that contained only original writings that not were copies of or inspired by earlier works.

Quote:
Over time, as the texts are copied, more and more changes enter into them. This results in more than one form of the texts.
There were plenty of texts available at the time when the Christian Bible was compiled. We now have about 40 different versions of the Bible written in English, most of which are very similar to each other. But back in the 3rd century AD there were probably thousands of 'biblical' texts, many of which were quite contradictory. I bet that modern bibles are far more homogeneous than those ancient texts, which indicates that the Bible is indeed becoming more 'pure' as time goes on.

As for translations being 'tainted', it is obvious that a translation - however flawed - is better than a text that the recipient can neither read nor comprehend, or which is likely to be misinterpreted due to cultural differences. The text of a modern Bible may not be a direct translation of the earliest versions we can find, but that makes its message more accurate - not less- when read by a member of modern society. Is God's hand evident in these improvements? A religious person who believes in the principle of 'divine inspiration' should think so.

Quote:
If 'divine inspiration' were accumulating with these scribal errors and emendations, we would now have one version which is "more perfect than ever", and other versions which are "more imperfect than ever".
Since the printing press was invented in 1436, scribal errors have become a thing of the past. Modern bibles are almost certainly far more accurate and reliable than the earliest manuscripts produced by scribes (and that's not even counting the deliberate additions, modifications, and redactions which were commonly made for religious or political purposes back then).
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Old 2nd February 2013, 05:42 PM   #71
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Originally Posted by Roger Ramjets View Post
snipped
I do not understand your point. You seem to be asking "how can errors be errors"? What good is the Bible if I don't know what is correct?

ETA: Never mind Pup clued me in.
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Old 2nd February 2013, 05:55 PM   #72
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Quote:
Nobody can deny that the Bible has changed over time, but why should those changes necessarily be a 'taint'? Why must the oldest versions be the most 'pure'? If the Bible was 'divinely inspired' by God, then what is to stop Him from continuing to inspire newer versions? Is God dead, or just not interested anymore?

...

There were plenty of texts available at the time when the Christian Bible was compiled. We now have about 40 different versions of the Bible written in English, most of which are very similar to each other. But back in the 3rd century AD there were probably thousands of 'biblical' texts, many of which were quite contradictory. I bet that modern bibles are far more homogeneous than those ancient texts, which indicates that the Bible is indeed becoming more 'pure' as time goes on.
Sorry for two separate posts but this is more interesting to me and I want to isolate it. I have a real problem with this. Why would a perfect god not provide everyone the same instructions? Why is "pure" important to me if it wasn't important to those who had a different Bible? This is all so ad hoc. It does not have the ring of truth. There is such reverence when it comes to the Bible and scholars have spent more time than you or I could ever comprehend trying determine which is correct and which isn't.

IMO: You paint the character of god in the Bible out as some high school student with an ant farm. We are just play things to him. Some are tortured for sport (job), some are annihilated (see Noah's Flood). He doesn't give the same instruction to all humans.

Originally Posted by God on Trial
Akiba: At the beginning when he repented that he had made human beings and flooded the Earth, why? What had they done? What could they have done to deserve such wholesale slaughter?
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Old 2nd February 2013, 06:03 PM   #73
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Originally Posted by Roger Ramjets View Post
I can understand historians wanting to find the 'original' version of some work, but that is not a theological issue.
Bingo. I think that's an important difference in mindset.

Historians expect to trace something back to an original, because copies and translations can only add errors, so older versions are by definition closer to the "source"--meaning the original person(s) who wrote the information down. (Yes, researching oral tradition complicates that, because you need to find the earliest most-accurate transcriber, but let's not overcomplicate this--it's still based on the logic of trying to trace something back to its source.)

From a theological view, the important "source" is God, who isn't constrained by time or space and can communicate at any time to anyone if he chooses. In that case, the usual rules of logic don't apply; one needs to use a theological mindset (coughmakesomethingupcough) to figure out when and how God produced the most error-free version.
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Old 2nd February 2013, 06:05 PM   #74
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Originally Posted by Pup View Post
Bingo. I think that's an important difference in mindset.

Historians expect to trace something back to an original, because copies and translations can only add errors, so older versions are by definition closer to the "source"--meaning the original person(s) who wrote the information down. (Yes, researching oral tradition complicates that, because you need to find the earliest most-accurate transcriber, but let's not overcomplicate this--it's still based on the logic of trying to trace something back to its source.)

From a theological view, the important "source" is God, who isn't constrained by time or space and can communicate at any time to anyone if he chooses. In that case, the usual rules of logic don't apply; one needs to use a theological mindset (coughmakesomethingupcough) to figure out when and how God produced the most error-free version.
Thanks Pup, I was a bit too thick to understand the point.
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Old 2nd February 2013, 06:27 PM   #75
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Originally Posted by ddt View Post
This is not right, IMHO. The 1546 Council of Trent (re)affirmed the canon of the RCC Bible. Before that, the 382 Council of Rome and the 397 Council of Carthage had drawn up lists of the canonical books.
As I understand it, I don't see how the canon could have been established before the Vulgate was published. I'm not saying a consensus was not about to emerge, but I don't think it was as definitive as the Vulgate put it. And the damasine list was a fake http://www.tertullian.org/articles/b...gelasianum.htm.
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Old 2nd February 2013, 07:06 PM   #76
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Originally Posted by Roger Ramjets
Nobody can deny that the Bible has changed over time, but why should those changes necessarily be a 'taint'?
It was one of the claims referenced by CplFerro. No sane theologian or historian thinks that the Bible hasn't changed, far as I'm aware. Nor do the ones I know have a problem with the idea that later reveleations guided translations.

Quote:
The text of a modern Bible may not be a direct translation of the earliest versions we can find, but that makes its message more accurate - not less- when read by a member of modern society.
Not necessarily. You and I are going to translate a work very differently. For example, I always translate from French very formally and typically with a sorrowful tone (no clue why, but it's something that several people commented on in my life). You may translate in an upbeat and happily familiar tone. Both would be perfectly accurate translations, but they'd be very, very different. Add another translation, and it's going to get ugly quickly. It's not necessarily more accurate, it's merely more comprehensible. And no amount of comprehension can make a folly wise.

Quote:
Since the printing press was invented in 1436, scribal errors have become a thing of the past.
Really? Tell that to some of my project managers. Each method has its drawbacks. Hand-written is probably the worst, yes; however, when setting thousands of bits of moveable type it's inevitable that you make an error or fifty. Typing is even worse--typos are annoyingly common, and Word doesn't recognize jargon. Photocopying is a laugh. Ever see a photocopy of a book printed with moveable type? I've got a reprint of one of Owen's works on archetypes in vertebrate form, and parts of it are unreadable. Error are still common, in that each book you have almost certainly has a number of them.

Originally Posted by Pup
Historians expect to trace something back to an original, because copies and translations can only add errors,
Depends on the book. The fourth edition of "Earth: Portrait of a Planet" is, presumably, more accurate than the first edition, in that it keeps up with current research. I'm not sure whether or not theological works work the same way. I'd be willing to bet that Abulard's works are more true (ie, more in accord with reality) than, say, Augustine's.

The issue is the term "error". From a historical perspective ANY change is by definition an error. From a perspective of, say, trying to determine if God is subtly influencing things, alterations may in fact be good things. Not saying I believe it, I'm just saying that it's something that a believer could easily argue.
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Old 2nd February 2013, 07:14 PM   #77
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Busy; will respond soon, thanks.

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Old 2nd February 2013, 08:38 PM   #78
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Originally Posted by Dinwar View Post
Depends on the book. The fourth edition of "Earth: Portrait of a Planet" is, presumably, more accurate than the first edition, in that it keeps up with current research.
I'd say it depends more on the definition of "error" than the book. If the question was about what the first edition of a science book said, then looking at a later edition would give a less accurate answer, even if the later edition was more "accurate" from a scientific perspective because new research had been incorporated.

Quote:
The issue is the term "error". From a historical perspective ANY change is by definition an error. From a perspective of, say, trying to determine if God is subtly influencing things, alterations may in fact be good things. Not saying I believe it, I'm just saying that it's something that a believer could easily argue.
Edited to add: I agree with the above, and I think that puts the emphasis on where it belongs, the definition of error. Historians will be looking for different things than scientists, and different religions will have different beliefs about how God communicates with humans.

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Old 2nd February 2013, 11:32 PM   #79
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Originally Posted by Dinwar View Post
Already been corrected. My point was just that in defining cannon, certain books were removed--something I don't think anyone who's studied history will argue with.
True and the Bible itself refers to books that didn't survive the centuries get to Council of Nicea:

Book of Jasher (Joshua 10:13; 2 Samuel 1:18)

The Book of the Wars of the Lord (Numbers 21:14)

Book of Songs (1 Kings 8:12-13)

The Chronicles of the Kings of Israel (lost/missing) and Chronicles of the Kings of Judah (1 Kings 14:19, 14:29).

The Book of Shemaiah the prophet, and of Iddo the Seer (II Chr 9:29, 12:15, 13:22)

and several others.
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Old 3rd February 2013, 01:39 AM   #80
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Getting back to the OP:

"Do the "Dead Sea Scrolls" prove the Bible wasn't altered?"

No, they are not 'proof' one way or the other.

It is obvious that a collection of earlier works can neither refute nor verify the 'accuracy' of a Bible that was created afterwards - unless it was supposed to be an exact duplication of those earlier works, ie. an anthology. But even if this was the intent, the existence of older documents which were different does not prove that the Bible itself is in error, only that there were variations in earlier texts. The only way we could know for sure whether or not the Bible was 'errant' at its inception would be if we had all the original texts which were used to create it at the time. Since the Dead Sea scrolls precede that event by several hundred years, their evidential value is practically zero.

OTOH, we already have irrefutable evidence that the Bible has been altered since it was created. Therefore the question has already been answered, and any 'proof' that the Dead Sea scrolls could provide is simply unnecessary.

So, given that nobody can seriously suggest that the Bible has not been altered in any way over the last 2000 years, just exactly what are Christians who claim that the Dead Sea Scrolls are proof of Bible inerrancy trying to argue?

One might imagine a case where the Dead Sea scrolls were found to be word-for-word identical to a particular modern Bible, therefore 'proving' that this particular Bible is Unaltered. But this seems like a ridiculously high standard to aim for, given that any modern Bible must have been translated at least once to be of any use, and therefore cannot not reasonably be expected to be 'word-for-word' identical. Of course in practice the Dead Sea scrolls themselves show numerous variations, making this proposal a complete non-starter anyway.

So is anybody who believes that the Dead Sea scrolls prove bible inerrency a complete nut-case? Perhaps, but perhaps their idea of 'inerrency' is not what we think it is. Perhaps it is the message, not the exact wording, that makes the difference for them. By this standard the Wicked Bible would certainly fail, but what about the others? If the message found in the Dead Sea scrolls affirmed what we find in modern Bibles, could that be considered evidence that the Bible has not been 'altered' (as in: had its meaning changed)?
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