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Author Topic: The Evolution Thread to End All Evolution Threads  (Read 23745 times) Average Rating: 0
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Matthew777
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« Reply #90 on: April 11, 2005, 06:09:47 PM »

Science is not able to tell us the age of the earth. There must be a reason why we have the genaeologies of Scripture. According to the Septuagint, the world is 7,500 years old.
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« Reply #91 on: April 11, 2005, 06:13:20 PM »

OK, I can see you're only interested in monologue. (Actually, I saw this a while back but was hoping that someone would come in with something more substantive). I'm through here unless anyone has anything new to add.
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« Reply #92 on: April 11, 2005, 06:20:25 PM »

Matthew,

I've already demonstrated that the fathers are far from in agreement on the interpretation of the Creation account, so stop appealing to them, they just dont all support your conclusions. Ultimatley only the School of Antioch would have fully supported this posistion you claim as universally patristic. Moreover, from the manner in which St. Basil presented his Interpretation of the Creation account, heavily relying on the Science of the Day, it is quite likely that he would have been open to a theory such as Evolution had science presented it to him. Of course, that is just speculation, but it has more basis in fact than most your claims here.
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« Reply #93 on: April 11, 2005, 07:41:11 PM »

Science is not able to tell us the age of the earth.

Oh really? <Glyph of one raised eyebrow> and just how precise do you expect it to be? To the year? month? more?

How about rocks?:
http://pubs.usgs.gov/gip/geotime/age.html
http://www-astronomy.mps.ohio-state.edu/~pogge/Ast161/Unit5/deeptime.html


and this link that speaks of an plus/minus 1%
http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/faq-age-of-earth.html

Once againg you have made flat declarations without any supporting evidence. I decline to accept you as an authority.

Quote
There must be a reason why we have the genaeologies of Scripture. According to the Septuagint, the world is 7,500 years old.

and according to Bishop Ussher it was created in October 4004 B.C. using a number of works to calculate it.
http://www-astronomy.mps.ohio-state.edu/~pogge/Ast161/Unit5/ussher.html

Imho, Bp. Ussher was a better scholar then some here.

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« Reply #94 on: April 11, 2005, 08:14:54 PM »

Through the mercy of God we are being saved. And may Him be all the Glory yesterday and today and in days of the future until there is  a day, and after that whenever and always from all through all and for all. Amin.


It seems to me that brothers and sisters are talking about things and questions of the new world where these kind of questions are common and everpresent. In my mind there is not a single confusing question in regard to Theory of Evolution that we should ponder before the Church does so. As far as teaching as impressed by the Holy Mother Church, the Bride of our Lord and Saviour, Christ Jesus, it is very simple to see that it would be an abssurd to assume that THERE IS a concept of Evolution in any part of canon law, because until this age, brought by questioners of the west, nobody ever questioned the Creationism as you people call it and place it, that way, into a relativitic place to Evolution making them same, even to each other just one of two theories. And canon law mostly deals with thing that were questioned. Sorry, you will have to wait until next Oecumenical Synod or the first one that will deal with Evolution. What I am trying to say, going hand in hand with Protestants and Atheists and arguing in their arguments, you become one and all of them. (Note Ps, 1,1.)

In my mind it is a sin of heresy to disregard thus revealed truths.
And those are:
I believe in one God, Father Almighty, Maker of Heaven and Earth and of everything visible and invisable. (Proffesion A, the Symbol of faith of Holy Fathers of the Christian Church as formulated by Holy Fathers led by Holy Spirit during the First Oecumenical Council and confirmed after by all other Councils of the Church).

Concerning the World
"On Creation
Q. Who created the world, how and why?
A. God created the world in six days, from nothing, with only the power of His
   Word, that He might make other beings happy also.

Q. Into what parts can we divide the world?
A. Into the visible world, that is, what we see (the earth, stars, etc.) and
   into the invisable, that is, what we do not see, (spirits)."

Taken from current Catechism of the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Chruch of the East, in front of Serbian people also known as Orthodox Church (pp 12-13, Belgrade 2003, edition of the BelgradeTheological Faculty of he Serbian Orthodox Church, with the blessing of his holyness P. Pavle)

And these statements are clear what the Holy Mother Church states through its concenssus of faith. All statements given by mortal man that are not affirming this statement, or, are in full or part negatory to dogma or dogmas of as promulgated by Holy Mother Church, the Body of Christ are heretic therefore heterodox and let it be anathema. (Note Cathecism is not a document of Oecumenical Nature but can be changed with the time, unlike the formulae given by Oecumenical Council which are timely-eternal).





I wish now to answer questions that have been asked at the start fo this thread, in order.

Given that the fathers of the Church interpreted Genesis as a historical account and the purported evidence for Darwinism is very lacking, then why is there such a hostility of American Orthodox Christians toward Creationism? Why are so many Orthodox Christians illiterate of patristic theology?

Creationsnism is a protestant term that many are familiar with in America. It is not Orthodox term. Orthodox Church does not see Creationism or Evolution as matters of salvation and it does not consider them (yet) as a dogmatic issue for the fact that in the oppinion of the Church the Truth needed for salvation has been given and is as was and as taught, preached and sung by ALL, EVERYWHERE and ALWAYS. The statement of faith needed for slavation (DOGMA) is as stated in 1st. Article of the Symbol of Faith of the Orthodox Church. This is position of the Church and to that I have nothing to add.
Why such a hostility of American Orthodox Christians toward creationism. In my oppinion it is due to the fact that many Protestant sects deem this as a fight between religion and science and is theres (American Orthodox Christians) 'knee-jerk' reaction to anything that is formaly protestant.
Why are so many Orthodox illiterate in Patristic theology? Well there are over 23.000.000 pages of Patristic theology. I guess people who are working 2 jobs and have kids do not have time to read alot. Thats why Church has a symbol of faith. Form this all theology comes. It all theology one needs to know. Reading fathers is good. But not all fathers all the time correct and some may be rather heterodox. I am sure that this is a question of proper patristics and not of this forum. There is one truth and whoever, man or women of the mortal flesh, may be (is) teaching othervise and contrary to the articles of faith (DOGMAS) let it be anathema.
I do not see statements needed for salvations (dogmas) on the same plain as statements of anybody mortal. Therefore I don't consider that there is a conflict between Orthodox Church and science, because Orthodox Church for largest part does not consider science as area of salvation and scientist because of their approach to facts of life do not know ALL THE TRUTH and where there might be a conflict between the two it should be regarded as a sin of ignorance.  In the end i believe that there is truth needed for salvation and that is scientific truth needed for whatever reasons one may be looking into them.



What meaning is there to the doctrine of ancestral sin if the fall were not a historical event?
Why are Adam and Eve considered saints by the Orthodox Church if they were not historical persons?
If Genesis were not a factual history, then why didn't God reveal this to Jesus Christ, Saint Paul and the fathers of the Church?


Dogmas regarding Ancestral Sin and other statetements of faith should not be used for bickering in regard to this, in my view, purely western protestant/atheist discussion. I will say that IF THEORY OF EVOLUTION is in any part contrary to the ORTODOX FAITH as promulgated by Tradition, that would mean that THAT PART of theory of evolution in not correct. But this doen not mean that all of Theory is incorrect (Science is still evolving in all aspects).  I certainly believe that elements of the report regarding Ancestral sin are historical event as thought by Orthodox Church. How these connect to Evolution/Creationism saga going on in the west? Well, I am sorry to say that the Oppinion of the Church has not yet been formulated in traditional way, so all arguments are without Canonical support that this question may require, As far as Ancestral sin is concerned it is clear from Lk. 3,23-38. (note Lk. 3,38. especially) what Church believes in regard to Adam being historical. I belive that person who is negating reveiled truth for sake of saving his/her own oppinion, let it be anathema. I am not entering in classification of the historicity of Genesis because it had been done by the Fathers of the Church. The question regarding revelation about Genesis in the New Testament is question of atheological argument using some form of theological methodology.



If the Orthodox Church has no opinion on natural science, then why did the holy fathers tell us to not allow secular wisdom to influence our interpretation of Scripture?
This is typical western question. Even it might be painful for us we have to except, sometimes our dearest themes, might mot be really important. Holy Fathers HAVE NOT DEALT with the question of science as understood today. They dealt with secular wisdom. In real terms that means that there is ONLY ONE way by which human kind can understant Holy scripture and thus message of the same. This has nothing to do with secular themes. The fact that Church has not pondered this question yet (through the only way of Ekklesial pondering, which is Oecumenical Synod) makes it question out of realm of faith (thus not needed for salvation). When and if Church makes Dogma that is concerned in this field that will become Tradition of the Chuch.



If Genesis only tells the "why" but not the "how" of God's creative work then why did the fathers of the Church explain the meaning of Genesis as a true historical account?
I believe that Holy Fathers have spoken according to there own revelation. The fact what they said is not the point, the point is HOW THEY LIVED according to what they said. If fathers believed in Historicity of Genesis they did so because it was so reveiled to them. I am not saying otherwise, but I am saying that making oppinion regarding something that Church has not yet made Her oppinion about, is not wise.



And finally, given that the fathers of the Church insisted on the historicity of Genesis, Why is there not an official statement of the Church against evolutionism?
Due to the fact that Church HAS NOT made official statement for or against evolutionism. Having said this, it is not our office to do that for the Church.




To conclude, I believe that it is a question that should be pondered but I do not see it as something important, as much as you do anyway.  Science is using methodology of PROOF, Theology is using methology of Divine Revelation and system of faith. These are different in all aspects. These can at times be in contradiction. This is so due to a moment in scientific development that science is at some stage or at the oppinion of people in regard to questions. This may not be factual situation. Let us worry about our lives an follow great examples of sacrifice for the Lord who sacrified everything for us and our salvation. Talking about things that Church has not talked about is very unwise. On the same time talking about things incontrary to the Church is deadly. Creationism might sound very right and Evolution might seem very wrong. Let us not be quick to make decision about something that Orthodox Church has not made decision yet. Leave heterdoxy to heterodox. On this question Church has been silent. We should do also.

NOTE: If a statement stated by a mortal man is contrary to Doctrine deemed by The Church as needed for salvation (Dogma), this statement is heretic therefore heterodox. This is he only measure we have, for now.



God bless.

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« Reply #95 on: April 12, 2005, 09:12:36 AM »

Hi all!

Hmm, lessee here...

Rho, you posted:

Quote
Yom" appears as a 24-hour day in every place (w/ one exception, I believe) in the Scr. I bring it up to show that these are not to be understood as anything other than days.

But that is not how we, for whom Hebrew is our native & first language, understand it. I refer you to the section entitled "Cosmology: The Age of the Earth" in that article by Rabbi Hillel Goldberg I cited in my previous post (http://www.ou.org/publications/ja/5760summer/genesis.pdf).

Quote
...God creating the kosmos with the appearance of age...

Rabbi Goldberg writes:

Quote
Falsifiability, a requirement of argument, is the idea that if a point is not subject to refutation — if it does not take into account contradictory evidence — it cannot be true. If claims of evolution made from the fossil record do not grapple with gaps inthe record, these claims become a matter of dogma or intuition. In Darwinism, the absence of falsifiability characterizes its treatment of paleontology — and more. Some organisms have mal-adaptive traits, yet survive. Under Darwinism, they should not, since Darwinism requires the survival of the fittest. Other organisms exhibit diametrically opposed traits, yet both survive. Under Darwinism, only one should. Evolutionary biology, however, incorporates all contingencies. Its practitioners readily expand or contract its definition in order to divert evidentiary challenges. No claim is falsifiable —therefore, none can be true.

Taking your idea into account (which I'll call "appearanceofageism"), I could rewrite the foregoing as follows:

Quote
Falsifiability, a requirement of argument, is the idea that if a point is not subject to refutation — if it does not take into account contradictory evidence — it cannot be true. If claims of appearanceofageism made from the fossil record do not grapple with gcontradictory evidence, these claims become a matter of dogma or intuition...Appearanceofageism, however, incorporates all contingencies. Its practitioners readily expand or contract its definition in order to divert evidentiary challenges. No claim is falsifiable — therefore, none can be true.

Appearanceofageism, by its very nature, admits of no contradictory evidence whatsoever. It cannot be argued against.

Keble, you posted:

Quote
Personally I think it is a lot easier to accept that Genesis 1 is interested in telling us about God rather than about natural history, than it is to accept a God whose intent in creation is deceitful. The first is consistent with scripture, and the second is not.

Well said!

Beayf, you spoke of the "God of the gaps" idea. Believe it or not, this past Saturday night I went to a study session in memory of a deceased member of our community & one of the rabbis who spoke discussed this very idea.

The God that I, as an orthodox Jew, believe in is certainly not a God of the gaps. Before eating bread, an orthodox Jew says the following blessing: "Blessed are You, Lord our God, Eternal King, Who Brings Forth Bread From the Earth." But, as we call know, bread doesn't come from the Earth Wheat does but it has to be harvested in sufficient quantity, threshed, winnowed and ground into flour. Then you have to add water (and usually yeast), mix and bake. Breadmaking is a quintessentially human process. What does God have to do with it? Yet it is precisely because there are no gaps in the making of bread that this blessing is considered the highest/holiest of all of our blessings over food. By reciting it, we acknowledge God as the Ultimate, if not the Proximate, Cause of everything and as our Ultimate, if not Proximate, Benefactor. Saying this blessing over this quintessentially human product saves us from pride and prevents us from falling into the (same) error described in both Deuteronomy 8:17 ("and you say in your heart, 'My power and the might of my hand has gotten me this wealth') and Jeremiah 9:23 ("Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom..."). Saying this blessing teaches us to see the miraculous in the mundane and to internalize the lesson in Psalm 127:1 (which is the antidote to the aforementioned error in Deuteronomy and Jeremiah), "Except the Lord build the house, they who build it labor in vain; except that the Lord keep the city, the watchman wakes in vain."

However, while my God is not a spiritual gap-plugger, neither is He Bishop Usher's God.

Howzat?

Be well!

MBZ


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« Reply #96 on: April 12, 2005, 04:07:17 PM »

Quote
Some organisms have mal-adaptive traits, yet survive. Under Darwinism, they should not, since Darwinism requires the survival of the fittest.

The good rabbi misunderstands how evolution works. It is perfectly possible for a population with maladaptive traits to survive, if it possesses other, adaptive traits that offset the maladaptations. Evolution isn't concerned with the best design, only with the design that works well enough.

Quote
Evolutionary biology, however, incorporates all contingencies.

Not really. The theory of evolution can be easily falsified -- find us some rabbit fossils in pre-Cambrian layers, or a human who reproduces by asexual budding, or a dog giving birth to a frog, and you'll blow the current theory out of the water.
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« Reply #97 on: April 12, 2005, 05:28:49 PM »

and according to Bishop Ussher it was created in October 4004 B.C. using a number of works to calculate it.
http://www-astronomy.mps.ohio-state.edu/~pogge/Ast161/Unit5/ussher.html

Imho, Bp. Ussher was a better scholar then some here.

GiC:< Applause and other gestures of support!> Smiley


Ebor

Bishop Usher used the Masoretic text to date the age of the earth. The Septuagint, on the other hand, is older and therefore more reliable. The fathers of the Church dated the earth at less than 10,000 years old, based on the Septuagint:
http://www.robibrad.demon.co.uk/Chapter3.htm
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« Reply #98 on: April 12, 2005, 05:35:27 PM »

Let us not be quick to make decision about something that Orthodox Church has not made decision yet. Leave heterdoxy to heterodox. On this question Church has been silent. We should do also.

The fathers of the Church were definitely not silent on this matter. We have no reason to not believe in the patristic understanding of Genesis. Darwinism is an attempt to give a naturalistic answer to a fundamentally theological question. I do not enjoy debating this issue because it really should be a non-issue. Theistic evolution is an attempt to marry Darwinism with the Word of God. However, one need only allow the text to speak for itself to notice the contradiction. The philosophy of Darwinism is antithetical to traditional Christian theology.
The more I think about the disagreements people have over this, the more my head hurts.


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« Reply #99 on: April 13, 2005, 12:47:04 AM »

Oh, mate... give it a break....
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« Reply #100 on: April 13, 2005, 07:09:08 AM »

Bishop Usher used the Masoretic text to date the age of the earth. The Septuagint, on the other hand, is older and therefore more reliable. The fathers of the Church dated the earth at less than 10,000 years old, based on the Septuagint:
http://www.robibrad.demon.co.uk/Chapter3.htm

Well, my wife checked this one out, but she says it's my turn to do the refuting, so here goes:

There's no reference to the Septuagint on the referenced page, and there's also no specific agreement about the age of the earth mentioned there. You've found a reasonably good reference (one which we've discussed before, BTW) but you are misrepresenting what it says.
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« Reply #101 on: April 13, 2005, 07:27:33 AM »

Hi all!

Matthew777, you posted:

Quote
Bishop Usher used the Masoretic text to date the age of the earth. The Septuagint, on the other hand, is older and therefore more reliable.

I know that this is off-topic but...

A Greek translation is more reliable than the original Hebrew? Huh :scratch:

Be well!

MBZ
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« Reply #102 on: April 13, 2005, 07:31:27 AM »

While I do not involve myself in these Evolution threads - the topic is moot to Orthodoxy- I did note that the referenced "fathers" on the page linked seem to pre-date the Masorite text, most considersably so. Hence, one may 'assume' the Septuagint was being used.
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« Reply #103 on: April 13, 2005, 07:32:59 AM »

Hi all!

Matthew777, you posted:



I know that this is off-topic but...

A Greek translation is more reliable than the original Hebrew?  Huh :scratch:

Be well!

MBZ

Maybe not...but where is this 'original' Hebrew?
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« Reply #104 on: April 13, 2005, 07:57:02 AM »

MBZ,

Quote
A Greek translation is more reliable than the original Hebrew?

Just a couple of general issues to consider in relation to the above comment:

1)   The Septuagint, being a translation, is hence an interpretation. As we know, there are disputes today regarding what specific Hebrew words of the Bible originally meant, and the range or restriction of their intended implications and applications etc. Given that the Septuagint is a 3rd century B.C. translation (the oldest translation of the Bible we know) performed by Jewish scholars (a date and authorship which the general consensus of the schorlarly community agrees with), it is therefore essential for consideration, since it provides us with information regarding how the Hebrew was understood by those who were obviously in a much more reliable position both historically, culturally, and religiously, to define what certain words meant.

2)   The Greek translation may be considered more reliable in the sense that it provides us data concerning differing pre-Masoretic divergent Hebrew texts which would have provided the basis for any divergent readings between the Hebrew Masoretic and the Greek Septuagint; as dead sea scroll research has proven. In this sense, the Greek translation may be deemed more reliable with regards to providing a more reliable reading - a reading which may have been prone to scribal errors (whether they be innocent or deliberate is for each individual to conclude on their own) resulting in the various divergent readings found in the Masoretic text.

Point 2) ^ obviously relates to +æ-ü+¦-â-ä+++¦+++«-é’s very valid question: but where is this 'original' Hebrew?


Anyways, this is obviously absolutely irrelevant to the nature of this thread, and maybe even irrelevant to the purpose of why the Septuagint translation was brought up in the first place (?), but I just thought I would throw in my two cents nonetheless.

Peace.
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« Reply #105 on: April 13, 2005, 08:12:34 AM »

Hi all!

Well, it is an article of the Orthodox (Jewish!) faith that the Torah we have today is the same & exact Torah that God revealed to Moses. See http://www.aish.com/shavuottorah/shavuottorahdefault/Accuracy_of_Torah_Text.asp & http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/biography/benAsher.html. The Masoretic text fixed by Aaron ben Moses ben Asher is merely standard regarding (more or less) vowelization & cantillation of the text, but the unvoweled text (of the kind that Torah scrolls must be written in ) itself is, as we believe, unchanged. The Aleppo Codex (http://www.imj.org.il/eng/shrine/aleppo.html), which ben Asher edited himself is at the Israel Museum here in Jerusalem. That the texts found among the Dead Sea Scrolls may & do have variations is irrelevant. Sectarian heretics like the authors of the the Scrolls cannot be relied on to accurately transmit texts in accordance with the rules & norms of the normative orthodoxy that they broke away from, denied & despised.

About the translation of the Septuagint by our Sages,this past Dec. 22 was one of 4 first-light-until-nightfall fast days on our calendar, on which we abstain from food & drink (but not from bathing, marital relations, and wearing jewelery, cosmetics & leather, all of which we abstain from on the 2 'round-the-clock fasts on our calendar). It is the 10th of the Hebrew month of Tevet (the "fast of the tenth [month]" referred to in Zechariah 8:19), on which we recall Nebuchadnezzar's siege of Jerusalem (see II Kings 25:1). But it also marks the translation of the Torah into Greek, i.e. the Septuagint (see http://www.aish.com/literacy/mitzvahs/The_Tenth_of_Tevet.asp). That the Torah was translated into another language is considered a cause for sadness & a reason to mourn. Our Sages say that when the Torah was translated (into Greek), (spiritual) darkness descended on the world. Remember, our Sages were compelled by Ptolemy II to translate the Torah; it wasn't their choice.

Regarding, "what specific Hebrew words of the Bible originally meant, and the range or restriction of their intended implications and applications etc.," we rely on our Sages, who pass on the traditions that they have received from their teachers, who received them from their teachers, etc., all the way back to the people who actually wrote the books and/or were there at the time. (We rely on our Sages in much the same way as you rely on the Church. While Infallibility is, of course, a particularly Roman Catholic doctrine, we do believe in an unbroken chain of tradition (http://www.aish.com/holidays/shavuot/last/chain.htm#precise)
stretching from Moses himself all the way to our Sages who compiled the Talmuds (and from then to today). Insofar as we're talking about linguistics, textual interpretation, etymology, idiom, etc., we would humbly submit that this is more than sufficient.

EkhristosAnesti, you also posted:

Quote
The Septuagint, being a translation, is hence an interpretation.

As a Hebrew-to-English translator (hence my fondness for, and bias towards, originals) with almost 12 years' experience, you are, of course, quite correct.

Quote
Anyways, this is obviously absolutely irrelevant to the nature of this thread, and maybe even irrelevant to the purpose of why the Septuagint translation was brought up in the first place (?), but I just thought I would throw in my two cents nonetheless.

Sure, it's OT, but I would say that your $0.02 is well spent!  Smiley

Be well!

MBZ
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« Reply #106 on: April 13, 2005, 02:03:52 PM »



Well, my wife checked this one out, but she says it's my turn to do the refuting, so here goes:

There's no reference to the Septuagint on the referenced page, and there's also no specific agreement about the age of the earth mentioned there. You've found a reasonably good reference (one which we've discussed before, BTW) but you are misrepresenting what it says.


"Biblical dating of Creation
The Bible begins with the Book of Genesis, in which God creates the world, including the first human, a man named Adam, in six days. Genesis goes on to list many of Adam's descendants, in many cases giving the ages at which they had children and died. If these events and ages are interpreted literally throughout, it is possible to build up a chronology in which many of the events of the Old Testament are dated to an estimated number of years after the Creation.

Some scholars have gone further, and have attempted to tie in this Biblical chronology with that of recorded history, thus establishing a date for the Creation in a modern calendar. Since there are periods in the Biblical story where dates are not given, the chronology has been subject to interpretation in many different ways, resulting in a variety of estimates of the date of Creation.

Two dominant dates for Biblical Creation using such models exist, about 5500 BC and about 4000 BC. These were calculated from the genealogies in two versions of the Bible, with most of the difference arising from two versions of Genesis. The oldest was translated into Greek from the Hebrew Torah during the third century BC as the first book of the Septuagint. It was used by Jews until about 100, then by all Christians until 405, then by the Byzantines until 1453, and is still used by the various Orthodox churches. The newest was due to a revision of the Torah by Jews about 100, which was slightly modified about 900 (though not affecting this genealogy), and is still used by all Jews. Jerome translated it into Latin as the first book of the Vulgate in 405, then it was used by all Western Christians, who split into Roman Catholics and Protestants beginning in 1517. Basically, the patriarchs from Adam to the father of Abraham were often 100 years older when they begat their named son in the Septuagint than they were in the Vulgate (Genesis 5, 11). The net difference between the two genealogies was 1466 years (ignoring the "second year after the flood" ambiguity), which is virtually all of the 1500-year difference between 5500 BC and 4000 BC.

Jewish scholars subscribing to similar interpretations give two dates for Creation according to the Talmud. They state that the first day of Creation week was either Elul 25, AM 1 or Adar 25, AM 1, almost twelve or six months, respectively, after the modern epoch of the Hebrew calendar. Most prefer Elul 25 whereas a few prefer Adar 25. These place the sixth day of Creation week, when Adam was created, on the first day of the following month, either Tishri or Nisan, the first month of either the civil or biblical year, respectively. In both cases, the epoch of the modern calendar was called the molad tohu or mean new moon of chaos, because it occurred before Creation. This epoch was Tishri 1, AM 1 or October 7, 3761 BC, the latter being the corresponding tabular date (same daylight period) in the proleptic Julian calendar.

According to the Eastern Orthodox Church calendar, the world was created on September 1, 5509 BC."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dating_Creation#Biblical_dating_of_Creation

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« Reply #107 on: April 13, 2005, 02:06:26 PM »



Anyways, this is obviously absolutely irrelevant to the nature of this thread, and maybe even irrelevant to the purpose of why the Septuagint translation was brought up in the first place (?), but I just thought I would throw in my two cents nonetheless.


The Masoretic text dates the Creation at roughly 4004 b.c. while the Septuagint dates the event at roughly 5,500 b.c. The fathers of the Church, in their dating of the Creation, utilized the Septuagint.
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« Reply #108 on: April 13, 2005, 04:50:07 PM »

The Masoretic text dates the Creation at roughly 4004 b.c. while the Septuagint dates the event at roughly 5,500 b.c. The fathers of the Church, in their dating of the Creation, utilized the Septuagint.

Well, actually, the MT doesn't give a specific age, and I have every reason to believe that the LXX also does not specify a date. There are some very nice links off the Wikipedia article you link to that belie the notion a consistent pattern of dates. For example, in this article a pretty good account of some of the differences in dating. It gives a definite LXX date, citing this article from a creationist site. The second article gives the same date, citing one "Albufaragi", but it doesn't say who or what this is, and every Google reference leads one way or another back to the same obscurity. So I have no idea where this date really comes from, but I'm hard pressed to believe that it actually appears in the text of the Septuagint. I have to suspect that the date is one person's Ussherian calculation using the LXX, and as one can see in the articles that tehre is a wide difference of opinion even among the church fathers-- none of whom is cited as providing a specific date.
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« Reply #109 on: April 13, 2005, 06:37:33 PM »

Why do you persist in questioning the fact that the traditional position of the Church is different from yours?

Based on the genealogies of the Septuagint, the fathers of the Church dated the earth centures before Bishop Usher.

"Strictly speaking, there is no special Byzantine calendar. I used this name in the Program only for short, because otherwise I had to write something similar to "variation of the Julian calendar, which was used in Byzantine at the time of the Emperor Constans and according to which years counting was conducted since the World Creation, which happened on Saturday, September 1, 5509 B.C.".

In Byzantine Julian calendar was used, and the counting was conducted from the World Creation. The Date of the World Creation was determined in various ways, i.e. there were many eras since the World Creation. Besides the era since the World Creation on September 1, 5509 B.C., I could mention the era since Adam (from creation of Adam) — Friday, March 1, 5508 B.C. Both eras came to Russia from Byzantine and were used for several centuries to date the events.

Period of 532 years is named Indiction. All dates of the Orthodox Easter in any indictions are exactly repeated.

Thus, the Julian calendar with Byzantine era from the World Creation on September 1, 5509 B.C. was realized in the Program under the name "Byzantine calendar"."
http://www.junecalends.com/documents.html#Byzantine_Calendar

I've already shown you a scholarly exposition of the fathers in their dating:
www.robibrad.demon.co.uk/pdf/chapter3.pdf

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« Reply #110 on: April 13, 2005, 06:45:57 PM »

Why do you persist in questioning the fact that the traditional position of the Church is different from yours?

You seem to throw phrases like that around an awful lot, and as I demonstrated earlier, it isn't always true. Please, give me evidence for the 'traditinal posistion of the Church' an Oecumenical Synod would be nice, if you dont have that a few universally accepted local synods would do, now if you want to make that claim again based on patristic sources, please try not to rely on only one school of thought, but discuss what was believed in the Alexandrian School and Cappadocian School as well as your beloved Antiochian School (just using fathers from the Anitochian School I could give you a very good defence of Nestorianism).
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« Reply #111 on: April 13, 2005, 06:48:03 PM »

In dating the earth, the position of the church fathers is that the earth is less than 10,000 years old. In the Orthodox calender, the creation occurred in September 1, 5509 B.C.; this is referenced in Genesis, Creation and Early Man.
Alexandrian School, Cappadocian School and the Antiochian School may have disagreed on the meaning of the Hexaemeron but a young earth was universally accepted in the early Church. Even Origen dated the earth at less than 10,00 years old.
It would be hard to deny that the this is the traditional position of the Church.
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« Reply #112 on: April 13, 2005, 06:53:59 PM »

In dating the earth, the position of the church fathers is that the earth is less than 10,000 years old. In the Orthodox calender, the creation occurred in September 1, 5509 B.C.; this is referenced in Genesis, Creation and Early Man.
It would be hard to deny that the this is the traditional position of the Church.

Fr. Seraphim's book is not the definitive Orthodox source no matter how much you want to argue that he uses "patristic sources".  You need to get this concept past your mind.  Answer GiC's question:  give him concrete examples from Fathers from different schools of thought (Antiochian, Alexandrian, Capadoccian, etc.).  Referring someone to Fr. Seraphim's book doesn't count - not for this point anyway.
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« Reply #113 on: April 13, 2005, 06:55:57 PM »

Are you able to disprove any thing I've said? I've provided references.

"Hippolytus (c 170236) wrote, "For in six days the world was made, and [the Creator] rested on the seventh" (Against Heresies 4:48). In a more detailed discussion of the age of the earth in which he taught that the world was less than six thousand years old he wrote, "For as the times are noted from the foundation of the world, and reckoned from Adam, they set clearly before us the matter with which our inquiry deals. For the first appearance of our Lord in the flesh took place in Bethlehem, under Augustus. in the year 5500; and He suffered in the thirty-third year. And 6,000 years must needs be accomplished, in order that the Sabbath may come, the rest, the holy day 'on which God rested from all His works.' For the Sabbath is the type and emblem of the future kingdom of the saints, when they 'shall reign with Christ,' when He comes from heaven, as John says in his Apocalypse: for 'a day with the Lord is as a thousand years.' Since, then, in six days God made all things. it follows that 6,000 years must be fulfilled. And they are not yet fulfilled, as John says: 'five are fallen; one is,' that is, the sixth; 'the other is not yet come "(On Daniel 2:4).
  From this we see once again that Hippolytus taught that the world was created in six days, and that the world would continue six thousand years from the "foundation of the world."
  Clement of Alexandria (c 150-220) also did not teach a great age of the earth but reckoned time from creation to his lifetime to be only 5,784 years: "From Augustus to Commodus are two hundred and twenty-two years.' and from Adam to the death of Commodus five thousand seven hundred and eighty-four years, two months, twelve days" (Miscellanies 1:21). Concerning the fourth commandment, he simply states that "the creation of the world was concluded in six days" (Miscellanies 6:16). In light of the fact that Clement considered time from Adam to his day as only 5,784 years it is hard even to pretend that he thought of the six days of creation as billions of years.
  Origin wrote, "After these statements, Celsus, from a secret desire to cast discredit upon the Mosaic account of the creation, which teaches that the world is not yet ten thousand years old, but very much under that,... And yet, against his will, Celsus is entangled into testifying that the world is comparatively modern, and not yet ten thousand years old" (Celsus 1:20). Note that Origen emphasizes that Celsus was in error and motivated by a "secret desire to cast discredit upon the Mosaic account of creation." According to Origen what is the Mosaic account? He plainly states the Mosaic account of creation "teaches that the world is not yet ten thousand years old, but very much under that.
Augustine wrote, "As to those who are always asking why man was not created during these countless ages of the infinitely extended past, and came into being so lately that, according to Scripture, less than 6000 years have elapsed since He began to be, just as I replied regarding the origin of the world to those who will not believe that it is not eternal, but had a beginning" (City of God 12:12)."
http://stjohnsrcus.inetnebr.com/page7.htm

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« Reply #114 on: April 13, 2005, 07:29:30 PM »

Not as good as I would have hoped, but better than I expected. (Come on, the RCUS? If you're using their articles to defend your posistion you're in trouble...though while I was a member of the RCUS I heard far better arguments for creationism than I've heard on this board.)

But the problem still exists that these fathers are trying to approach the issue scientifically (except for Augustine, whose point is that the world does have a beginning and is not eternal) with the best resources they had at hand, for them that was the scriptural account of History, they lacked any other means of scientific exploration. If the fathers had had the benifit of modern science available to them, whose to say that they wouldn't have embraced evolution? In light of the often scientific method the subject is approached with (this is Especially True with St. Basil and St. Clement of Alexandria...less so St. Gregory of Nyssa, and St. Cyril who were more concerned with Philosophy than science) it would actually be quite reasonable to assume that some of these fathers would have embraced the theory of evolution, and would have had no trouble seeing the creation account as an allegory, as many of them thought it an Allegory anyway.
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« Reply #115 on: April 13, 2005, 07:32:25 PM »

I would assume that the Catholic Encyclopedia contains the same quotes of the fathers in their patristic database. The quote of Origen is here: http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/04161.htm
The quote of Clement is here: http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/02101.htm
The quote of Hippolytus is here: http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/0502.htm
The quote of Augustine is here: http://www.catholicfirst.com/thefaith/churchfathers/Volume11/augustincity12.cfm

I doubt that the fathers would make such a concession considering that they refuted the secular ideas on the age of the earth, the creation, etc. with the words of Scripture alone. Furthermore, the apostolic doctrines of ancestral sin, the fall of man, the goodness of the first-created world, etc. would be called into question if Genesis were not a historical account.

Could you please quote some fathers who read Genesis as an allegory?

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« Reply #116 on: April 13, 2005, 07:42:13 PM »

However, while my God is not a spiritual gap-plugger, neither is He Bishop Usher's God.

Just to be clear, I in nowise meant that Bp. Ussher's calculation was the correct one. I cited him as a person who did the calculating, using more then just the Masoretic text as the article I link shows but Matthew seems to have missed:

"Contrary to popular misconception, Ussher did not simply count up years by following who begat whom in the Book of Genesis. Rather, he undertook a careful, critical synthesis of historical documents including Biblical, Middle Eastern and Mediterranean sources, knowledge of the calendrical systems of antiquity, Roman history, and any ancient documentary sources he could get acquire and verify (then as now the lucrative traffic in antiquities lead to numerous counterfeits in circulation). His scholarship was impeccible, and the end of that scholarship was not so much to fix the date of Creation (although that was the one result we remember), but rather to compile as complete and historically correct a chronology of human history as the documentary evidence would allow.'

On a side note a friend of mine found in a used bookshop in and lent to me: Challenge Torah Views on Science and Its Problems put out by the Association of Othodox Jewish Scientists, Aryeh Carmell and Cyril Domb editors. It's very interesting.

Also, MZB, I like your idea of the bovine background, I have observed the same phenomenon in my own children as you have in your sons. Grin

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« Reply #117 on: April 13, 2005, 07:45:29 PM »

Oh, check this out:

"Where Byzantine influences prevailed the years were generally numbered from the beginning of the world (ab origine mundi). This era was calculated from 1 September, and the birth of Christ, which is the point of departure of our present chronology, took place in the year 5509 of the Byzantine system."
http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/04636c.htm


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« Reply #118 on: April 13, 2005, 08:06:10 PM »

"Until Peter the Great's rule, Russia counted time from the creation of the world, which the Russian Orthodox Church calculated as having occurred in 5509 BC."
http://www.eamonn.com/archives/000901.html

"Dr. Vera Rossovskaja, astronomer of the Research Institute at Leningrad, wrote a notable book, The Remote Past of the Calendar, published in 1936, in which she stated that up to the end of the fifteenth century the Russian year began on March 1. Years were counted from the "creation of the world," an event that was placed in the year 5509 B.C."
http://personal.ecu.edu/MCCARTYR/Russia.html

"September 1, 5509 BC - day of creation of the world (according to the Byzantine Empire) and beginning of their calendar"
 http://explanation-guide.info/meaning/6th-millennium-BC.html

"...whereas the most famous Eastern Creation is the epoch of the Byzantine Era, 5509 b.c."
 http://encyclopedia.thefreedictionary.com/Genealogies+of+Genesis

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« Reply #119 on: April 13, 2005, 08:20:03 PM »

Why do you persist in questioning the fact that the traditional position of the Church is different from yours?

I think that what is being questioned is your authority to make statements of what is traditional. You are not a church father. GiC is a seminarian, I gather. MZB knows Hebrew. Others who disagree with you back up their objections like Beayf with the links re transitional fossils. Pardon me, but this gives them more credibility then your devotion to Fr. Seraphim Rose's book and the Hexameron (Have you *read* every bit of that btw?)

Quote
Based on the genealogies of the Septuagint, the fathers of the Church dated the earth centures before Bishop Usher.

And Bp. Ussher used lots of material in his work, not just one source.

Quote

This is a site promoting their calendar software. For information's sake

Quote
I've already shown you a scholarly exposition of the fathers in their dating:
www.robibrad.demon.co.uk/pdf/chapter3.pdf

Have you read all of this work also? One of it's points is that there was not a unanimous view. And the chart of age of the earth has only 6 writers who made "Specific Statements" concerning the age of the earth. (Chart 3.4)


Regarding the point of a Young Earth but created with the "Appearance of Age" I was thinking about fossils in rocks that when tested showed that they were millions of years old but were "actually" less then 10,000 years old. and geological features that showed movements and forces that would not have happened since it would have taken millions of years to do. All of this "Looking old but really young" could put the Creator of the Universe in the same mold as those who make the "Piltdown Man" fraud and other fake fossils.

http://unmuseum.mus.pa.us/piltdown.htm
http://www.guardian.co.uk/life/feature/story/0,13026,1083411,00.html

And I do not believe that the Lord of Heaven and Earth would make frauds.


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« Reply #120 on: April 13, 2005, 08:28:50 PM »

I think that what is being questioned is your authority to make statements of what is traditional. You are not a church father. GiC is a seminarian, I gather. MZB knows Hebrew. Others who disagree with you back up their objections like Beayf with the links re transitional fossils. Pardon me, but this gives them more credibility then your devotion to Fr. Seraphim Rose's book and the Hexameron (Have you *read* every bit of that btw?)

First of all, no mention of modern science should be necessary in the discussion of Biblical Chronology.
Secondly, it is upsetting when objections are made without support when I do provide back up for my claims.
And yes, I've finished reading Genesis Creation and Early Man and St. Basil's commentary on the Hexaemeron.
Fr. Seraphim gave 200 pages of patristic commentary on Genesis, not from his own opinions but from quotes of the church fathers.

According to the Byzantine Calendar, the world is 7500 years old. This date was arrived at from the genealogies in the Greek Bible.
"Where Byzantine influences prevailed the years were generally numbered from the beginning of the world (ab origine mundi). This era was calculated from 1 September, and the birth of Christ, which is the point of departure of our present chronology, took place in the year 5509 of the Byzantine system."
http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/04636c.htm

According to the calendar accepted by the Church, the earth is 7500 years old.


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« Reply #121 on: April 13, 2005, 08:34:21 PM »

'And how could creation take place in time, seeing time was born along with things which exist? . . . That, then, we may be taught that the world was originated and not suppose that God made it in time, prophecy adds: "This is the book of the generation, also of the things in them, when they were created in the day that God made heaven and earth" [Gen. 2:4]. For the expression "when they were created" intimates an indefinite and dateless production. But the expression "in the day that God made them," that is, in and by which God made "all things," and "without which not even one thing was made," points out the activity exerted by the Son'

--St. Clement of Alexandria (Miscellanies 6:16)


'For who that has understanding will suppose that the first and second and third day existed without a sun and moon and stars and that the first day was, as it were, also without a sky? . . . I do not suppose that anyone doubts that these things figuratively indicate certain mysteries, the history having taken place in appearance and not literally' (The Fundamental Doctrines 4:1:16)

'The text said that "there was evening and there was morning;" it did not say "the first day," but said "one day." It is because there was not yet time before the world existed. But time begins to exist with the following days' (Homilies on Genesis)

'And with regard to the creation of the light upon the first day . . . and of the [great] lights and stars upon the fourth . . . we have treated to the best of our ability in our notes upon Genesis, as well as in the foregoing pages, when we found fault with those who, taking the words in their apparent signification, said that the time of six days was occupied in the creation of the world' (Against Celsus 6:60).

--Origen


'For as Adam was told that in the [d]ay [h]e ate of the tree he would die, we know that he did not complete a thousand years. We have perceived, moreover, that the expression, "The day of the Lord is as a thousand years," is connected with this subject.'
(Dialog with Typho the Jew Chapter 81)

'And there are some, again, who relegate the death of Adam to the thousandth year; for since "a day of the Lord is as a thousand years," he did not overstep the thousand years, but died within them, thus bearing out the sentence of his sin.' (Against Heresies 5:23)

--St. Justin Martyr


'The first seven days in the divine arrangement contain seven thousand years'

--St. Cyprian of Carthage (Treatises 11:11)


'Seven days by our reckoning, after the model of the days of creation, make up a week. By the passage of such weeks time rolls on, and in these weeks one day is constituted by the course of the sun from its rising to its setting; but we must bear in mind that these days indeed recall the days of creation, but without in any way being really similar to them' (The Literal Interpretation of Genesis 4:27)

'at least we know that it [the Genesis creation day] is different from the ordinary day with which we are familiar' (The Literal Interpretation of Genesis 5:2)

'For in these days [of creation] the morning and evening are counted until, on the sixth day, all things which God then made were finished, and on the seventh the rest of God was mysteriously and sublimely signalized. What kind of days these were is extremely difficult or perhaps impossible for us to conceive, and how much more to say!' (The City of God 11:6)

-- St. Augustine of Hippo
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« Reply #122 on: April 13, 2005, 08:42:51 PM »

I've already shown that these fathers agreed with me on the age of the earth. Furthermore, one should consider that even if they interpretted that Hexaemeron allegorically, they considered the story of Adam and Eve to be historical.
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« Reply #123 on: April 13, 2005, 08:50:41 PM »

And I submitted that they viewed genesis as an allegory; thus, the numbers they used for the age of the earth was taken from genesis because they had nothing better to use. Today science has offered us other options, and I present that from the views these fathers have presented on Genesis, had they been aware of the theory of Evolution, they would have at least been open to it. Moreover, you have not addressed St. Justin Martyr's belief in the interchangability of 'a day' and 'a thousand years' nor St. Cyprian of Charthage's statement that Creation took 7000 years. Plus you only quoted Origen as saying that 'the Mosaic account of creation "teaches that the world is not yet ten thousand years old;"' you have offered no evidence that he accepts the Genesis account as literal, infact I have presented evidence to the contrary.
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« Reply #124 on: April 14, 2005, 02:29:58 AM »

From what I've read, the Antiochian school of the Fathers were literal in their approach to Genesis, while the Alexandrians were allegorical. So, one cannot argue that the Fathers were literal or allegorical, as some were one and some were the other.

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« Reply #125 on: April 14, 2005, 03:07:46 AM »

From what I've read, the Antiochian school of the Fathers were literal in their approach to Genesis, while the Alexandrians were allegorical. So, one cannot argue that the Fathers were literal or allegorical, as some were one and some were the other.

This is really the point that I have been trying to make...that there is no consistant patristic view on Creation, different fathers viewed the issue in different ways. Thus to present a literalist view as the universal consensus of the fathers is an inaccurate portrayal.
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« Reply #126 on: April 14, 2005, 06:57:10 AM »

This is really the point that I have been trying to make...that there is no consistant patristic view on Creation, different fathers viewed the issue in different ways. Thus to present a literalist view as the universal consensus of the fathers is an inaccurate portrayal.

Amusingly, that's also the point of the work that's being cited now.
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« Reply #127 on: April 14, 2005, 07:38:47 AM »

MBZ,

I will make this my last post in response to this very off-topic issue of the Septuagint vs Masoretic since I dont want to distract the purpose of this thread. We can continue this discussion in PM if you would like - I don’t think it’s worth creating a new thread over unless you really want to.

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Well, it is an article of the Orthodox (Jewish!) faith that the Torah we have today is the same & exact Torah that God revealed to Moses.

I never knew Orthodox Jews believed in impeccable textual transmission; I thought this was only a belief held by the general Islamic community, because of their peculiar conception of the Quran as the literal word of God spoken by Him since time eternity. In any event, such an article of faith may (and does) conflict with what archaeology and history have proven, which is generally that any text of antiquity has over time inevitably undergone certain textual changes, and come down in differing forms - though this certainly need not oppose the general reliability of the text itself, and faith in the substance of what the text proclaims. This is how I as a Christian view both the Old and New Testament - as relatively very accurate and reliable texts (reliable enough to put my faith in them both), but certainly not impeccably preserved word for word - as appealing as the idea is, it's simply not grounded in fact and I can not in all academic honesty adhere to such an extreme conservative viewpoint of the Scriptures. Both the New and Old Testament have come down to us in varying forms amongst various manuscripts - The New Testament is without doubt the most well attested to ancient text, with figures that support the conclusion that we can ascertain the original form of the New Testament, better than we can ascertain the original form of any other ancient text, including the Old Testament.

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The Masoretic text fixed by Aaron ben Moses ben Asher is merely standard regarding (more or less) vowelization & cantillation of the text, but the unvoweled text (of the kind that Torah scrolls must be written in ) itself is, as we believe, unchanged.

The Masoretic text is not simply one fixed text (a misconception many have), but rather a family of variant Hebrew texts. In his book Textual Criticism of the Hebrew Bible (2nd revised edition, 2001), Emanuel Tov of Hebrew University states:

"It is clear from the preceding pages that one of the postulates of biblical research is that the text which is preserved in the various representatives (manuscripts, editions) of what is commonly known as the Masoretic Text, doesn’t reflect the "original text" of the Bible in many details. Even though the concept of an "original text" remains vague, it will still always be legitimate to recognize the vast differences between the Masoretic Text and earlier or different stages of the biblical text. Moreover, even were we to assume that the MT reflects the "original" form of the Bible, we would still need to decide WHICH Masoretic Text reflects this "original text," since the Masoretic Text is not a uniform textual unit, but is rather represented by many witnesses... Similar problems arise when one compares the MT with the other textual witnesses, such as the Qumran scrolls and the putative Hebrew source of the individual ancient translations (such as the LXX). We don’t know which of all these texts faithfully reflects the biblical text. Thus, it shouldn’t be postulated in advance that the MT reflects the original text of the biblical books better than the other texts."

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That the texts found among the Dead Sea Scrolls may & do have variations is irrelevant. Sectarian heretics like the authors of the the Scrolls cannot be relied on to accurately transmit texts in accordance with the rules & norms of the normative orthodoxy that they broke away from, denied & despised.

The Qumranites were not Orthodox Jews? This is the first I have heard of this. Do you have any evidence for this? In any event the findings of the DDS are very revelant regardless of how “Orthodox” this sect is. The scrolls present us with the fact that during that period of time (i.e. 10-11 centuries prior to the earliest extant MT MS) there was a diversity of forms of the Hebrew text, of which today’s MT reflects only ONE of these text-types, as does the pre-masoretic Hebrew text which would have been the basis for the Septuagint translation - hence the authenticity of both the MT and the Septuagint are in a sense vindicated. The fact the Septuagint diverges in its reading in various places from the Masoretic, therefore implies from the objective perspective (on the basis of the evidence of the dds findings that is), that they did not edit the MT, but rather they were translating from an already existing divergent Hebrew form of the Biblethat had existed in 3rd century Palestine - so who is to say which form best reflects the “Original Bible”? Scholars certainly haven’t had any reason to give one textual tradition precedence over another. In explaining the relationship between these two differing forms, Emmanuel Tov states in his book The Text-Critical Use of the Septuagint in Biblical Research:

"The Hebrew text that is presupposed by the Septuagint represents a tradition which is either close to that of the MT or can easily be explained as either a descendant or source of it."

We simply cannot draw anything conclusive in light of the evidence we have.

The New Testament itself further validates the fact that during that time there was more than one form of the Hebrew text, since it quotes scripture that is either a) consistent with both the MT and LXX b) consistent with the LXX but differing from the MT and c) consistent with the MT but differing from the LXX.

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That the Torah was translated into another language is considered a cause for sadness & a reason to mourn....Remember, our Sages were compelled by Ptolemy II to translate the Torah; it wasn't their choice.

It may not have been their idea to perform the translation, but compelled is a strong word, for which I would like to see some evidence for.

I don’t think there is anything to suggest what you’re saying, on the contrary, there have been a number of theories posed by scholars concerning the very reasons for the creation of the LXX:

a)   The Alexandrian ruler wanted an 'authorized version' of the Torah
b)   Local Jewish communities wanted a version sanctioned by Jeruslem
c)   Someone needed to deal with intra-Judaism bickering
d)   Jerusalem wanted to exercise religious control/guidance over Diaspora Jewry.

You’re making it out as if the LXX translation was something that the Jews never wanted and always despised. However, I believe history speaks otherwise.

Certainly many Jews upheld the LXX and used it for their own purposes, most notably the Alexandrian Jews - especially Philo who regarded the translation as divinely inspired and the translators almost as prophets. It was also consistently cited by other Diaspora Jewry as scripture in pre-Christian times, was used and read in synagogues throughout the 6th century, and was (as implied earlier) used at Qumran in pre-Christian times similarly. I believe any later resentment of the LXX in later rabbinic writings is simply a reflection of anti-Christian bias, considering that the Septuagint was used almost as a standard text by the early church.

F.F.Bruce in giving reason for the LLX’s being highly disparaged in certain rabbinical writings later on, states in his book The books and the Parchments:

“From the first century onwards Christians adopted it as their version of the Old Testament and used it freely in their propagation and defense of the Christian faith.”

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Regarding, "what specific Hebrew words of the Bible originally meant, and the range or restriction of their intended implications and applications etc.," we rely on our Sages, who pass on the traditions that they have received from their teachers, who received them from their teachers, etc., all the way back to the people who actually wrote the books and/or were there at the timeGǪ Insofar as we're talking about linguistics, textual interpretation, etymology, idiom, etc., we would humbly submit that this is more than sufficient.

Well how exactly are you approaching this: from a confessional perspective or an academic one?

Approaching this issue academically and hence as impartially as I could, I would definitely consider the pre-Christian Jewish traditions an essential contextual factor for consideration, though not sufficient and certainly not “more than sufficient”. As a man of faith, the jewish traditions are irrelevant to me, and I would submit that my church traditions are more than sufficient in the interpretation of scriptures.
To go further; as an academic student I would argue that my church traditions are objectively justifiable when considered amongst the many other contextual factors that would need to be taken into account for a non-confessional objective exegesis.

So to provide a specific example therefore; I would as a man of faith submit that the almah of Isaiah 7:14 may and does refer to a Virgin, and as an academic student I would submit that Isaiah 7:14 certainly may and probably does refer to a virgin. The former is based primarily upon St Matthew’s understanding of it, which of course I believe to be a divinely enlightened one, and the church fathers affirmation of this, which I believe to be a divinely guided one. The latter would be based upon many contextual factors INCLUDING the fact that this is how the Septuagint interprets it.

Peace.

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« Reply #128 on: April 14, 2005, 01:17:16 PM »

Moreover, you have not addressed St. Justin Martyr's belief in the interchangability of 'a day' and 'a thousand years' nor St. Cyprian of Charthage's statement that Creation took 7000 years.

7000 years does not equal billions of years. Is this an example of reading the text of Genesis allegorically or was it an attempt to interpret the days in a God-befitting manner?
As for more quotes from Origen:
http://www.creationism.org/articles/EarlyChurchLit6Days.htm
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« Reply #129 on: April 14, 2005, 01:20:21 PM »

From what I've read, the Antiochian school of the Fathers were literal in their approach to Genesis, while the Alexandrians were allegorical. So, one cannot argue that the Fathers were literal or allegorical, as some were one and some were the other.

Christina

The only examples I have been shown of an allegorical interpetation is in the meaning of the days in the Hexameron. However, if God created all things simultanaeously, and literal history began with Genesis 2, then the earth would still be young and the Genesis account itself would be relatively the same. Now, if one could provide a father of the church who believed in evolution or that Adam and Eve are mythological characters then please do.

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« Reply #130 on: April 14, 2005, 02:34:37 PM »

In Matthew 19, it is impossible to separate the doctrine taught by Jesus from the historicity of the event which he establishes it on. His concept of marriage- the physical union of man and woman into "one flesh"- is absurd unless the quotation of Adam and Eve refers to actual historical persons of flesh and bone. The validity of Christ's answer to the question of marriage and divorce depends on the reliability of there being a literal creation of male and female in the beginning of time - joined as "one flesh".
Matthew 19:4-6

Some may contend that Jesus was merely speaking in parable but every time that Jesus did so, he made clear that he was speaking in parable.
Others contend that Jesus merely accomodated to the knowledge of his day but Jesus was incredibly honest and rebuked any teaching which He did not believe to be true.
Jesus Christ would not have validated the Creation account if He did not believe it to be a factual history. The omniscience and honesty of Christ establishes Genesis as a historical account. In Hebrews 6:18, we read that it is impossible for God to lie.

Every time He quoted the Old Testament, He referred to it as truth.
For example, Jesus' prophecying of his own death and resurrection hinges on the historicity of Jonah and the big fish. If the historicity of this story is in question, then the historicity of the resurrection should be also.

Jesus would not base the meaning of marriage and divorce on a myth. The fact that God specifically created one male and one female in the beginning of time so that they may become one flesh shows that males and females shall be joined until the end of time:

"4And He answered and said to them, "Have you not read that He who made[a] them at the beginning "made them male and female,' 5and said, "For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh'?[c] 6So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate." (Matthew 19)

Jesus found the Old Testament to be the truth. He did not accomadate in order to meet the "simple understanding" of the first century Jews. He declared that "heaven and earth will pass away but my words will never pass away" (Matthew 24:25), that the "Scriptures cannot be broken" (John 10:35) and that "not one jot nor tittle will pass away from the Law till all is accomplished". (Matthew 5:17-18)

There is no way to separate the doctrinal authority of Christ from the reliability of the Old Testament.

The Old Testament contains truth:
"Sanctify them with your truth. Your word is truth." John 17:17

May peace be upon thee and with thy spirit.

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« Reply #131 on: April 14, 2005, 05:19:28 PM »

7000 years does not equal billions of years. Is this an example of reading the text of Genesis allegorically or was it an attempt to interpret the days in a God-befitting manner?

I'm simply saying that it demonstrates that he was open to the Concept that a 'day' was not 24 hours, but perhaps a thousand years, of course a thousand years can easily be taken figuratively as 'a very long time' that's a very, very, small jump; it's simply foolish to try and argue that the fathers were unanimously behind a literalist interpretation of Scripture. Many were quite opposed to it, especially in Alexandria, where this approach was often blamed for Nestorianism (which is actually a valid arguement). Of course the allegorical extreme has been accused of bring about monophysitism (though I think this argument is less valid than the one re: nestorianism), but in any case there is a balance. Sometimes scripture can be taken literally, other times it should be viewed allegorically, and the Church has never unanimously been behind one or the other, and to argue that they have is to ignore the patristic history of the Church.


You're trying to use the fathers like protestants use the scripture (not surprising since you're getting all this from protestant websites). You give quote of some fathers in support of your posistin, I give some in support of mine, and so on and so forth. Try actually sitting down and reading the fathers, get in the mind of Origen, St. Clement of Alexandria, St. Cyril the Great, et cetera...find out how they thought, how they viewed the world...you will find it is not the black and white protestant literalist interpretation of scripture that you are advocating.

The only examples I have been shown of an allegorical interpetation is in the meaning of the days in the Hexameron. However, if God created all things simultanaeously, and literal history began with Genesis 2, then the earth would still be young and the Genesis account itself would be relatively the same.

Actually the School of Alexandria tended to interpret the whole Bible allegorically, not just Genesis 1.

Now, if one could provide a father of the church who believed in evolution or that Adam and Eve are mythological characters then please do.

First, Allegorical is not the same as Mythological...your argument there is a non sequitur. Secondly, since the theory of Evolution was not presented during the patristic era, it's an absurd argument to say that it is false because those in the patristic era did not accept that which they were ignorant of. There was no theory of gravity during that time either, if I can't find a father to back up basic Physics are you going to dismiss that as well...lol. I hope this demonstrates the problems with and folly in expecting patristic support for a modern scientific theories.
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« Reply #132 on: April 14, 2005, 05:40:12 PM »

But is Darwinism a theory or philosophy? That makes all the difference.

I understand that the Alexandrian school interpretted the Bible allegorically but wasn't that outside of the mainstream?
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« Reply #133 on: April 14, 2005, 05:53:58 PM »

But is Darwinism a theory or philosophy? That makes all the difference.

It's a theory within science...science, however, is essentially a philosophy; the debate at hand is how consonant is scientific philosophy with christian philosophy.

I understand that the Alexandrian school interpretted the Bible allegorically but wasn't that outside of the mainstream?

No, it was not outside of the 'mainstream' it was probably the greatest theological school of the early Church, in many ways and on many issues it defined what 'mainstream' was.
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« Reply #134 on: April 14, 2005, 06:45:33 PM »

No, it was not outside of the 'mainstream' it was probably the greatest theological school of the early Church, in many ways and on many issues it defined what 'mainstream' was.

Why do you place such emphasis on the Alexandrian school of thought?
Would you like to become a non-Chalcedonian?
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