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Aindriú
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« on: November 04, 2010, 08:42:53 PM »

I'm looking for guidance.

While I'm wholeheartedly Christian, a problem I've had since my 'unitarian' days has been 'why only the Jews'. That's is, the New Testament is based on God coming to Earth and physically communicating the Word to the world. But why do we consider the Old Testament to be infallible? If the Old Testament, why not traditions and Godly experiences from other cultures? Did God really only communicate fully to the Jews? Is Jesus the fulfillment of the Old Testament or of a greater pool of cultural theology.

I feel as though I'm being taunted to sway my faith (though it is not, yet). Does anyone have any spiritual advice?
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« Reply #1 on: November 04, 2010, 09:20:57 PM »

The OT is preparation and foreshadow for the coming of the Messiah and gives everything needed to recognize Him. While Christ came for everyone in all cultures, He was born into one particular culture. That's why the OT isn't really one single covenant, but a promise made to Adam and Eve (gen 3:15), Seth, Noah, Shem, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, his twelve sons, and finally to the tribe of Judah (where we get the word "Jew"). If the Jews were God's chosen people, what were they chosen for? And, more importantly, how was this accomplished?

Also don't forget the passages in Romans where St Paul writes that while God personally revealed Himself to the Jews, the fact that all of creation proclaims His glory and testifies of Him alongside the natural conscience of man created in the image and likeness of Him do give all people of all cultures of all times the opportunity to follow after Him according to what they were naturally given.

I hope this helps a little.
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And FWIW, these are our Fathers too, you know.

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« Reply #2 on: November 04, 2010, 11:30:19 PM »

I'm looking for guidance.

While I'm wholeheartedly Christian, a problem I've had since my 'unitarian' days has been 'why only the Jews'. That's is, the New Testament is based on God coming to Earth and physically communicating the Word to the world. But why do we consider the Old Testament to be infallible? If the Old Testament, why not traditions and Godly experiences from other cultures? Did God really only communicate fully to the Jews? Is Jesus the fulfillment of the Old Testament or of a greater pool of cultural theology.

I feel as though I'm being taunted to sway my faith (though it is not, yet). Does anyone have any spiritual advice?

Because the Jews lived where Asia and Africa and Europe join together, the center of the "old world", from whence it could spread around the world. What better place than there?

I probably just gave one of the least important explanations/reasons if it even is one.

From your ground-up approach, you can look at what religions were Monotheist, think about times when ancient Egypt had monotheism, like the Akhenaton idea.

Anyway, I don't claim to have "THE" answer.

However, I am sorry to give a boring standard answer, but you may want to start reading the first few books of the bible and see what it gives about this.

Regards.
« Last Edit: November 04, 2010, 11:31:59 PM by rakovsky » Logged
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« Reply #3 on: November 04, 2010, 11:35:17 PM »

Also, I should add that Melodist gave a good answer. It wasn't ONLY the Jews. If you read in the Bible, there are alot of times when others besides the Jews believed in God and prayed/interacted with Him.

Plus, the Jews themselves are not some pure race, but made of many ancient peoples who joined the tribe of Israel.

There is alot of "mythology" about Christianity.

Regards.
« Last Edit: November 04, 2010, 11:35:43 PM by rakovsky » Logged
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« Reply #4 on: November 04, 2010, 11:48:05 PM »

I'm looking for guidance.

While I'm wholeheartedly Christian, a problem I've had since my 'unitarian' days has been 'why only the Jews'. That's is, the New Testament is based on God coming to Earth and physically communicating the Word to the world. But why do we consider the Old Testament to be infallible? If the Old Testament, why not traditions and Godly experiences from other cultures? Did God really only communicate fully to the Jews? Is Jesus the fulfillment of the Old Testament or of a greater pool of cultural theology.

I feel as though I'm being taunted to sway my faith (though it is not, yet). Does anyone have any spiritual advice?
Many focus on the privledges of the Chosen People. Few look at the responsibility and high standard to maintain.

Amos 1:1 The words of Amos, who was among the shepherds of Teko'a, which he saw concerning Israel in the days of Uzzi'ah king of Judah and in the days of Jerobo'am the son of Jo'ash, king of Israel, two years before the earthquake.

2 And he said: "The LORD roars from Zion, and utters his voice from Jerusalem; the pastures of the shepherds mourn, and the top of Carmel withers."
3 Thus says the LORD: "For three transgressions of Damascus, and for four, I will not revoke the punishment; because they have threshed Gilead with threshing sledges of iron.
4 So I will send a fire upon the house of Haz'ael, and it shall devour the strongholds of Ben-ha'dad.
5 I will break the bar of Damascus, and cut off the inhabitants from the Valley of Aven, and him that holds the scepter from Beth-eden; and the people of Syria shall go into exile to Kir," says the LORD.

6 Thus says the LORD: "For three transgressions of Gaza, and for four, I will not revoke the punishment; because they carried into exile a whole people to deliver them up to Edom.
7 So I will send a fire upon the wall of Gaza, and it shall devour her strongholds.
8 I will cut off the inhabitants from Ashdod, and him that holds the scepter from Ash'kelon; I will turn my hand against Ekron; and the remnant of the Philistines shall perish," says the Lord GOD.

9 Thus says the LORD: "For three transgressions of Tyre, and for four, I will not revoke the punishment; because they delivered up a whole people to Edom, and did not remember the covenant of brotherhood.
10 So I will send a fire upon the wall of Tyre, and it shall devour her strongholds."

11 Thus says the LORD: "For three transgressions of Edom, and for four, I will not revoke the punishment; because he pursued his brother with the sword, and cast off all pity, and his anger tore perpetually, and he kept his wrath for ever.
12 So I will send a fire upon Teman, and it shall devour the strongholds of Bozrah."

13 Thus says the LORD: "For three transgressions of the Ammonites, and for four, I will not revoke the punishment; because they have ripped up women with child in Gilead, that they might enlarge their border.
14 So I will kindle a fire in the wall of Rabbah, and it shall devour her strongholds, with shouting in the day of battle, with a tempest in the day of the whirlwind;
15 and their king shall go into exile, he and his princes together," says the LORD.

2: Thus says the LORD: "For three transgressions of Moab, and for four, I will not revoke the punishment; because he burned to lime the bones of the king of Edom.
2 So I will send a fire upon Moab, and it shall devour the strongholds of Ker'ioth, and Moab shall die amid uproar, amid shouting and the sound of the trumpet;
3 I will cut off the ruler from its midst, and will slay all its princes with him," says the LORD.

4 Thus says the LORD: "For three transgressions of Judah, and for four, I will not revoke the punishment; because they have rejected the law of the LORD, and have not kept his statutes, but their lies have led them astray, after which their fathers walked.
5 So I will send a fire upon Judah, and it shall devour the strongholds of Jerusalem."

6 Thus says the LORD: "For three transgressions of Israel, and for four, I will not revoke the punishment; because they sell the righteous for silver, and the needy for a pair of shoes--
7 they that trample the head of the poor into the dust of the earth, and turn aside the way of the afflicted; a man and his father go in to the same maiden, so that my holy name is profaned;
8 they lay themselves down beside every altar upon garments taken in pledge; and in the house of their God they drink the wine of those who have been fined.

9 "Yet I destroyed the Amorite before them, whose height was like the height of the cedars, and who was as strong as the oaks; I destroyed his fruit above, and his roots beneath.
10 Also I brought you up out of the land of Egypt, and led you forty years in the wilderness, to possess the land of the Amorite.
11 And I raised up some of your sons for prophets, and some of your young men for Nazirites. Is it not indeed so, O people of Israel?" says the LORD.
12 "But you made the Nazirites drink wine, and commanded the prophets, saying, 'You shall not prophesy.'
13 "Behold, I will press you down in your place, as a cart full of sheaves presses down.
14 Flight shall perish from the swift, and the strong shall not retain his strength, nor shall the mighty save his life;
15 he who handles the bow shall not stand, and he who is swift of foot shall not save himself, nor shall he who rides the horse save his life;
16 and he who is stout of heart among the mighty shall flee away naked in that day," says the LORD.
3: Hear this word that the LORD has spoken against you, O people of Israel, against the whole family which I brought up out of the land of Egypt:
2 "You only have I known of all the families of the earth; therefore I will punish you for all your iniquities."

3 "Do two walk together, unless they have made an appointment?
4 Does a lion roar in the forest, when he has no prey? Does a young lion cry out from his den, if he has taken nothing?
5 Does a bird fall in a snare on the earth, when there is no trap for it? Does a snare spring up from the ground, when it has taken nothing?
6 Is a trumpet blown in a city, and the people are not afraid? Does evil befall a city, unless the LORD has done it?
7 Surely the Lord GOD does nothing, without revealing his secret to his servants the prophets.
8 The lion has roared; who will not fear? The Lord GOD has spoken; who can but prophesy?"

9 Proclaim to the strongholds in Assyria, and to the strongholds in the land of Egypt, and say, "Assemble yourselves upon the mountains of Sama'ria, and see the great tumults within her, and the oppressions in her midst."
10 "They do not know how to do right," says the LORD, "those who store up violence and robbery in their strongholds."
11 Therefore thus says the Lord GOD: "An adversary shall surround the land, and bring down your defenses from you, and your strongholds shall be plundered."
12 Thus says the LORD: "As the shepherd rescues from the mouth of the lion two legs, or a piece of an ear, so shall the people of Israel who dwell in Sama'ria be rescued, with the corner of a couch and part of a bed."

13 "Hear, and testify against the house of Jacob," says the Lord GOD, the God of hosts,
14 "that on the day I punish Israel for his transgressions, I will punish the altars of Bethel, and the horns of the altar shall be cut off and fall to the ground.
15 I will smite the winter house with the summer house; and the houses of ivory shall perish, and the great houses shall come to an end," says the LORD.

8:1 Thus the Lord GOD showed me: behold, a basket of summer fruit.
2 And he said, "Amos, what do you see?" And I said, "A basket of summer fruit [Heb. qayiS]." Then the LORD said to me, "The end [qeyS] has come upon my people Israel; I will never again pass by them.
3 The songs of the temple shall become wailings in that day," says the Lord GOD; "the dead bodies shall be many; in every place they shall be cast out in silence."
4 Hear this, you who trample upon the needy, and bring the poor of the land to an end,
5 saying, "When will the new moon be over, that we may sell grain? And the sabbath, that we may offer wheat for sale, that we may make the ephah small and the shekel great, and deal deceitfully with false balances,
6 that we may buy the poor for silver and the needy for a pair of sandals, and sell the refuse of the wheat?"
7 The LORD has sworn by the pride of Jacob: "Surely I will never forget any of their deeds.
8 Shall not the land tremble on this account, and every one mourn who dwells in it, and all of it rise like the Nile, and be tossed about and sink again, like the Nile of Egypt?"
9 "And on that day," says the Lord GOD, "I will make the sun go down at noon, and darken the earth in broad daylight.
10 I will turn your feasts into mourning, and all your songs into lamentation; I will bring sackcloth upon all loins, and baldness on every head; I will make it like the mourning for an only son, and the end of it like a bitter day.
11 "Behold, the days are coming," says the Lord GOD, "when I will send a famine on the land; not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD.
12 They shall wander from sea to sea, and from north to east; they shall run to and fro, to seek the word of the LORD, but they shall not find it.
13 "In that day the fair virgins and the young men shall faint for thirst.
14 Those who swear by Ash'imah of Sama'ria, and say, 'As thy god lives, O Dan,' and, 'As the way of Beer-sheba lives,' they shall fall, and never rise again."

9:1 I saw the LORD standing beside the altar, and he said: "Smite the capitals until the thresholds shake, and shatter them on the heads of all the people; and what are left of them I will slay with the sword; not one of them shall flee away, not one of them shall escape.
2 "Though they dig into Sheol, from there shall my hand take them; though they climb up to heaven, from there I will bring them down.
3 Though they hide themselves on the top of Carmel, from there I will search out and take them; and though they hide from my sight at the bottom of the sea, there I will command the serpent, and it shall bite them.
4 And though they go into captivity before their enemies, there I will command the sword, and it shall slay them; and I will set my eyes upon them for evil and not for good."

5 The Lord, GOD of hosts, he who touches the earth and it melts, and all who dwell in it mourn, and all of it rises like the Nile, and sinks again, like the Nile of Egypt;
6 who builds his upper chambers in the heavens, and founds his vault upon the earth; who calls for the waters of the sea, and pours them out upon the surface of the earth--the LORD is his name.
7 "Are you not like the Ethiopians to me, O people of Israel?" says the LORD. "Did I not bring up Israel from the land of Egypt, and the Philistines from Caphtor and the Syrians from Kir?
8 Behold, the eyes of the Lord GOD are upon the sinful kingdom, and I will destroy it from the surface of the ground; except that I will not utterly destroy the house of Jacob," says the LORD.
9 "For lo, I will command, and shake the house of Israel among all the nations as one shakes with a sieve, but no pebble shall fall upon the earth.
10 All the sinners of my people shall die by the sword, who say, 'Evil shall not overtake or meet us.'

11 "In that day I will raise up the booth of David that is fallen and repair its breaches, and raise up its ruins, and rebuild it as in the days of old;
12 that they may possess the remnant of Edom and all the nations who are called by my name," says the LORD who does this.
13 "Behold, the days are coming," says the LORD, "when the plowman shall overtake the reaper and the treader of grapes him who sows the seed; the mountains shall drip sweet wine, and all the hills shall flow with it.
14 I will restore the fortunes of my people Israel, and they shall rebuild the ruined cities and inhabit them; they shall plant vineyards and drink their wine, and they shall make gardens and eat their fruit.
15 I will plant them upon their land, and they shall never again be plucked up out of the land which I have given them," says the LORD your God.

Unlike the other nations, the Hebrew revelation was refined by fire. As for the place of the other nations, Eusebius covers that nicely:
http://www.tertullian.org/fathers/eusebius_pe_00_intro.htm
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« Reply #5 on: November 05, 2010, 12:45:50 AM »

Thank you, everyone, for your explanations. You've given me some mental ammunition.
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« Reply #6 on: November 05, 2010, 01:23:18 AM »

I'm looking for guidance.

While I'm wholeheartedly Christian, a problem I've had since my 'unitarian' days has been 'why only the Jews'. That's is, the New Testament is based on God coming to Earth and physically communicating the Word to the world. But why do we consider the Old Testament to be infallible? If the Old Testament, why not traditions and Godly experiences from other cultures? Did God really only communicate fully to the Jews? Is Jesus the fulfillment of the Old Testament or of a greater pool of cultural theology.

I feel as though I'm being taunted to sway my faith (though it is not, yet). Does anyone have any spiritual advice?
This is an interesting question that you have brought up. The Chinese and other Oriental people have so many good qualities, it does seem strange that they would have been left out and not chosen as were the Jews?
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« Reply #7 on: November 05, 2010, 02:23:35 AM »

Did God really only communicate fully to the Jews? Is Jesus the fulfillment of the Old Testament or of a greater pool of cultural theology.

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

In regards to the purpose of the Old Testament and the Jewish histories, I believe the Apostle Paul, the Light of the Church speaks on such matters.

Quote
Nevertheless, God was not pleased with most of them; their bodies were scattered in the wilderness.

 6 Now these things occurred as examples to keep us from setting our hearts on evil things as they did. 7 Do not be idolaters, as some of them were; as it is written: “The people sat down to eat and drink and got up to indulge in revelry. as some of them did—and were killed by snakes. 10 And do not grumble, as some of them did—and were killed by the destroying angel.

 11 These things happened to them as examples and were written down as warnings for us, on whom the culmination of the ages has come. 12 So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall! 13 No temptation[c] has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted[d] beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted,[e] he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.
http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1+Corinthians+10&version=NIV

stay blessed,
habte selassie
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ialmisry
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« Reply #8 on: November 05, 2010, 02:44:00 AM »

I'm looking for guidance.

While I'm wholeheartedly Christian, a problem I've had since my 'unitarian' days has been 'why only the Jews'. That's is, the New Testament is based on God coming to Earth and physically communicating the Word to the world. But why do we consider the Old Testament to be infallible? If the Old Testament, why not traditions and Godly experiences from other cultures? Did God really only communicate fully to the Jews? Is Jesus the fulfillment of the Old Testament or of a greater pool of cultural theology.

I feel as though I'm being taunted to sway my faith (though it is not, yet). Does anyone have any spiritual advice?
This is an interesting question that you have brought up. The Chinese and other Oriental people have so many good qualities, it does seem strange that they would have been left out and not chosen as were the Jews?

Left out? They are gentiles like everyone else.

If the Chinese were chosen, their sheer numbers, and not the divine choice, would be the focus of attention.  Since Chinese folk religion will deify anyone (the atheist Mao Tze Dong is now a Chinese god), the Incarnation and Trinity could not be preached in that context without confusion.
« Last Edit: November 05, 2010, 02:45:56 AM by ialmisry » Logged

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« Reply #9 on: November 05, 2010, 03:27:18 AM »

I'm looking for guidance.

While I'm wholeheartedly Christian, a problem I've had since my 'unitarian' days has been 'why only the Jews'. That's is, the New Testament is based on God coming to Earth and physically communicating the Word to the world. But why do we consider the Old Testament to be infallible? If the Old Testament, why not traditions and Godly experiences from other cultures? Did God really only communicate fully to the Jews? Is Jesus the fulfillment of the Old Testament or of a greater pool of cultural theology.

I feel as though I'm being taunted to sway my faith (though it is not, yet). Does anyone have any spiritual advice?
This is an interesting question that you have brought up. The Chinese and other Oriental people have so many good qualities, it does seem strange that they would have been left out and not chosen as were the Jews?

Left out? They are gentiles like everyone else.

If the Chinese were chosen, their sheer numbers, and not the divine choice, would be the focus of attention.  Since Chinese folk religion will deify anyone (the atheist Mao Tze Dong is now a Chinese god), the Incarnation and Trinity could not be preached in that context without confusion.
Yes. That is true of course.
What I was thinking of is before the coming of Christ. Why did it occur that the Chinese and other Oriental people of Asia were not chosen, but the Jewish people of the Mideast were chosen by God?
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« Reply #10 on: November 05, 2010, 09:06:55 AM »

I'm looking for guidance.

While I'm wholeheartedly Christian, a problem I've had since my 'unitarian' days has been 'why only the Jews'. That's is, the New Testament is based on God coming to Earth and physically communicating the Word to the world. But why do we consider the Old Testament to be infallible? If the Old Testament, why not traditions and Godly experiences from other cultures? Did God really only communicate fully to the Jews? Is Jesus the fulfillment of the Old Testament or of a greater pool of cultural theology.

I feel as though I'm being taunted to sway my faith (though it is not, yet). Does anyone have any spiritual advice?
This is an interesting question that you have brought up. The Chinese and other Oriental people have so many good qualities, it does seem strange that they would have been left out and not chosen as were the Jews?

Left out? They are gentiles like everyone else.

If the Chinese were chosen, their sheer numbers, and not the divine choice, would be the focus of attention.  Since Chinese folk religion will deify anyone (the atheist Mao Tze Dong is now a Chinese god), the Incarnation and Trinity could not be preached in that context without confusion.
Yes. That is true of course.
What I was thinking of is before the coming of Christ. Why did it occur that the Chinese and other Oriental people of Asia were not chosen, but the Jewish people of the Mideast were chosen by God?

If God had chosen the Chinese and not the Jews, then we would still be having this same discussion today, except that we'd be asking, "Why only the Chinese?".
« Last Edit: November 05, 2010, 09:07:08 AM by PeterTheAleut » Logged
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« Reply #11 on: November 05, 2010, 09:13:20 AM »

Yes, the Jews are the Chosen People but God must be Chinese because he made everything Wink.
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« Reply #12 on: November 05, 2010, 10:26:38 AM »

I'm looking for guidance.

While I'm wholeheartedly Christian, a problem I've had since my 'unitarian' days has been 'why only the Jews'. That's is, the New Testament is based on God coming to Earth and physically communicating the Word to the world. But why do we consider the Old Testament to be infallible? If the Old Testament, why not traditions and Godly experiences from other cultures? Did God really only communicate fully to the Jews? Is Jesus the fulfillment of the Old Testament or of a greater pool of cultural theology.

I feel as though I'm being taunted to sway my faith (though it is not, yet). Does anyone have any spiritual advice?

Because the Jews lived where Asia and Africa and Europe join together, the center of the "old world", from whence it could spread around the world. What better place than there?


I like this.
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« Reply #13 on: November 06, 2010, 10:39:25 PM »

I'm looking for guidance.

 But why do we consider the Old Testament to be infallible?

Do the Orthodox consider the OT "infallible" in general?
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« Reply #14 on: November 07, 2010, 02:17:56 AM »

I'm looking for guidance.

But why do we consider the Old Testament to be infallible?

Do the Orthodox consider the OT "infallible" in general?

Depends on how you define infallible...

- By infallible some people mean: "cannot make an error." I would say that this is a definition of inerrant, not infallible. But in any case, it is my opinion that the Bible is not infallible (or inerrant) in this sense.

- By infallible some people mean: "cannot make a mistake on a teaching". in other words things like numerical discrepancies are ok, but there cannot be any teachings that are wrong, whether scientific, theological, zoological, etc. It is my opinion that the Bible is not infallible in this sense either.

- And finally, by infallible some people mean: "cannot make a mistake in matters of faith and morals". Under this definition the Bible can make mistakes in some areas, but through divine inspiration will not make a mistake on spiritual matters. This is where I would agree that the Bible is infallible.

I hold to this position not because I think that God couldn't have preserved every single passage in the Bible as infallible if He had wanted to, but simply because I don't think he did.
« Last Edit: November 07, 2010, 02:18:31 AM by Asteriktos » Logged

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