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Author Topic: why on earth did the Protestants take so much away from the Bible?  (Read 3708 times) Average Rating: 0
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bogdan
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« Reply #45 on: February 13, 2011, 05:21:04 PM »

Something I think needs to be addressed is the errors found in the apocrypha.

Judith 1:5, "Now in the twelfth year of his reign, Nabuchodonosor, king of the Assyrians, who reigned in Ninive the great city, fought against Arphaxad and overcame him."

Obviously, Nebudchanezzar was king of the Babylonians, not the Assyrians. How can this be scripture when it's so blatantly inaccurate?

Some scholars believe this was done intentionally to stamp the book as fiction. That does not mean it's not divinely-inspired, that means it's not literal history, or maybe a mixture of real events and fiction ("based on a true story").

Still, apparently most of the Fathers treat it at face value. It could be any number of things: a transmission error in an early manuscript, bad information on the part of the original author, or whatever else. That does not render the entire book worthless. If that is the standard, then the Bible has a lot of credibility issues. Even the gospels disagree on the precise timing of various events. These kinds of details were not important to ancient writers, so we cannot get hung up on them. They were more concerned about the overarching truth of the matter. What kingdom Nebuchadnezzar ruled has no bearing on the Judith story at all.

Baruch 6:2, "And when you are come into Babylon, you shall be there many years, and for a long time, even to seven generations: and after that I will bring you away from thence with peace."

Seven generations? That's way longer than 70 years as predicted in the OT.

Not when people were considered adults at age 12 or 13, got married and consummated immediately, likely leading to children and a generation spacing of 13-14 years. Besides, in the Bible numbers are almost always symbolic and not merely calculations (if they are ever simple calculations).

The number 7 almost always refers to completeness, after the Creation narrative. So when you see "70 years", it means "the fullness of time". "Seven generations" means "the complete number of generations". It means the same thing. This is true both in the agreed-upon books and the deuterocanonical books. If you look at the Talmud, the Jews also understand that numbers are symbolic and not literal. I have found that the only people obsessed with factual accuracy in these details are some branches of Protestantism and people who try to disprove the Bible on the same grounds.

In both of these examples, something can be true, even if it isn't scientifically and factually accurate in every detail.
« Last Edit: February 13, 2011, 05:27:55 PM by bogdan » Logged
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« Reply #46 on: February 13, 2011, 07:53:43 PM »

Something I think needs to be addressed is the errors found in the apocrypha.

Judith 1:5, "Now in the twelfth year of his reign, Nabuchodonosor, king of the Assyrians, who reigned in Ninive the great city, fought against Arphaxad and overcame him."

Obviously, Nebudchanezzar was king of the Babylonians, not the Assyrians. How can this be scripture when it's so blatantly inaccurate?

And here's another historical inaccuracy...

Baruch 6:2, "And when you are come into Babylon, you shall be there many years, and for a long time, even to seven generations: and after that I will bring you away from thence with peace."

Seven generations? That's way longer than 70 years as predicted in the OT.

How old was Ahaziah when he became king?
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NicholasMyra
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« Reply #47 on: February 14, 2011, 04:29:11 PM »

Something I think needs to be addressed is the errors found in the apocrypha.

Judith 1:5, "Now in the twelfth year of his reign, Nabuchodonosor, king of the Assyrians, who reigned in Ninive the great city, fought against Arphaxad and overcame him."

Obviously, Nebudchanezzar was king of the Babylonians, not the Assyrians. How can this be scripture when it's so blatantly inaccurate?
Now, now, hold on a minute here.

Babylonian-Assyrian culture isn't that clear-cut. There were many cultures called "Babylonian". What follows is a simplified version of what went down:
First there were the Amorite Babylonians, who inherited the Sumerian-Akkadian culture in Mesopotamia. Then they were replaced by Kassite Babylonians. Then the Assyrians conquered and absorbed Babylonian civilization. After that, the "Chaldean" or "Neo-Babylonian" dynasty appeared, that was essentially Assyro-Babylonian.

So calling Nebuchadnezzar King of the Assyrians is like calling Alexander the Great "King of the Greeks" even though he was Macedonian and controlled a territory way larger than Greece; or like calling Emperor Constantine XI "Emperor of the Romans" even though Rome had been overrun by barbarians and the western half of the empire long-lost. These titles aren't some historical textbook inaccuracy.
« Last Edit: February 14, 2011, 04:32:26 PM by NicholasMyra » Logged

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« Reply #48 on: February 14, 2011, 05:43:23 PM »

^ I didn't know that. Fascinating.

It's interesting how people are often so dismissive of the Bible's factual background, especially the Old Testament, but with time we find more and more evidence for these events, places, and cultures (that city uncovered in Egypt a few years ago comes to mind).
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« Reply #49 on: February 19, 2011, 10:40:08 AM »

And how come the sum of years listed for the individual reigns of the kings of Israel and Judah in the books of Kings are greater than the total time period of the kingdom?

Did Christ overturn the moneychangers' tables at the beginning of his ministry, or at the end?

Did He die after the Passover celebrations or at the same time as  the temple sacrifice was offered?

Did God really create the world in seven days?

Was Noah's flood really "global"?

How many angels can dance on the head of a pin?

The Bible is not a textbook on science, history or anything else for that matter. It is a book that took centuries to write, centuries more to compile and forms the cornerstone of the Holy Tradition of the Church. It contains that which pertains to the history of salvation and directs us spiritually on how to live piously, instructing us in the Orthodox faith of God's chosen people, first the Israelites and now the Church, drawing near to Christ in faith and love. That is its purpose, and it is not even all-encompassing on this matter. It is a cornerstone, but must be understood as part of the bulding, that is, the living and holy Tradition of the Church.

Scripture exists as a core of the teachings of the Church, and upholds Tradition along with the Holy Councils and the guidance of the Holy Spirit active in the Body of Christ (the former items also being infused by His presence). It finds its fulfillment as an organic component within this Tradition amongst the faithful. It is intended to be read in prayer and contemplation, not examined in a laboratory or disected in a classroom.
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« Reply #50 on: February 20, 2011, 12:20:55 AM »

Something I think needs to be addressed is the errors found in the apocrypha.

Judith 1:5, "Now in the twelfth year of his reign, Nabuchodonosor, king of the Assyrians, who reigned in Ninive the great city, fought against Arphaxad and overcame him."

Obviously, Nebudchanezzar was king of the Babylonians, not the Assyrians. How can this be scripture when it's so blatantly inaccurate?
Now, now, hold on a minute here.

Babylonian-Assyrian culture isn't that clear-cut. There were many cultures called "Babylonian". What follows is a simplified version of what went down:
First there were the Amorite Babylonians, who inherited the Sumerian-Akkadian culture in Mesopotamia. Then they were replaced by Kassite Babylonians. Then the Assyrians conquered and absorbed Babylonian civilization. After that, the "Chaldean" or "Neo-Babylonian" dynasty appeared, that was essentially Assyro-Babylonian.

So calling Nebuchadnezzar King of the Assyrians is like calling Alexander the Great "King of the Greeks" even though he was Macedonian and controlled a territory way larger than Greece; or like calling Emperor Constantine XI "Emperor of the Romans" even though Rome had been overrun by barbarians and the western half of the empire long-lost. These titles aren't some historical textbook inaccuracy.

Thank you for that explanation. It was definitely along the lines of what I was looking for.

I have another question. What about the verse in Tobit where it says that giving alms forgives sins? Isn't this wrong since it's not a sacrifice? Also, couldn't it be logically concluded that giving alms today forgives a person of their sins?
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« Reply #51 on: February 20, 2011, 01:45:34 AM »

What about the verse in Tobit where it says that giving alms forgives sins?

Quote from:  Tobit 4:7-11 12:8-9
Give alms of thy substance; and when thou givest alms, let not thine eye be envious, neither turn thy face from any poor, and the face of God shall not be turned away from thee. If thou hast abundance give alms accordingly: if thou have but a little, be not afraid to give according to that little: For thou layest up a good treasure for thyself against the day of necessity. Because that alms do deliver from death, and suffereth not to come into darkness. For alms is a good gift unto all that give it in the sight of the most High.

Prayer is good with fasting and alms and righteousness. A little with righteousness is better than much with unrighteousness. It is better to give alms than to lay up gold: For alms doth deliver from death, and shall purge away all sin. Those that exercise alms and righteousness shall be filled with life:


This passage seems pretty consistent with the sermon on the mount (Matt 5-7), the widow with the two mites (Mark 12:41-44), the man who was told to sell all that he owns and give to the poor (Mark 10:21), the rich man and Lazarus (Luke 16:19-31), and the man in Luke 12:16-21.

Isn't this wrong since it's not a sacrifice?

Paul described the gift he received from the Philippians as "an odour of a sweet smell, a sacrifice acceptable, wellpleasing to God" (Phil 4:18) and the alms of Cornelius were "a memorial before God" (Acts 10:4).

Also, couldn't it be logically concluded that giving alms today forgives a person of their sins?

Yes, if done in faith, love, repentence, and with prayer and fasting in the name of Jesus Christ.

No, if it is meant to be a substitute for and deny any of the above.
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