Biblical studies: June 2004 Archives

My list of favorite posts is getting fairly long, and I've decided to remove some of the earlier ones. I still want to have a link to them, so I'm linking to them in this post, and then I'll put this post in the list of favorite posts. That way the list will be shorter, but I'll be able to find them fairly easily without having to search the whole site.

New low for racist left looks at a poster making fun of National Security Adviser Condoleeza Rice that I believe to be racist. I explain why in the post, and somehow some slack-jawed yokels found the post, completely ignored my reasoning and everything about me that a quick look around my site would reveal, and proceeded to call me a racist. It was probably the most commented-on entry in the history of my blog, and the comments are quite characteristic of the average response to the kind of point I was making, which is simply to ignore it and change the subject, to charge me with things I never said and don't believe, and to take everything I said in the most uncharitable way possible.

Pacifism links to my fairly comprehensive teaching notes on arguments for and against pacifism, including both philosophical and biblical arguments.

Personhood and Abortion summarizes some of my views on abortion, in response to some statements by Senator Sam Brownback (R, KS). Careful-thinking people realize that personhood is the central issue in the debate (not life or humanity), but personhood by itself itself doesn't decide the issue one way or the other, giving pro-life and pro-choice reasons for thinking that. I offer two considerations that should also come into play, one having to do with violence and the other from the fact that we view very early miscarriages as unfortunate but not as bad as losing a child at a later developmental stage.

Update: I've removed some of the posts originally in this entry and put them into a topical one on apologetics, because they belong there. This one's a little haphazard themewise.

Update 2: I've moved more into Christian Ethics Posts. This post is getting smaller and smaller.

Nicene Theology has a much better summary of the basics of text criticism than I could have hoped to do properly. So those who have looked at these KJV discussions with Textus Receptus, Majority Text, Septuagint, and all that and want a basic primer on what these terms all refer to and what the basic issues are. In the process, Darren gives a better account of why it's best to use the whole of the textual tradition divine providence has given us than to stick with one textual tradition, as the KJV-only group insists on doing.

Rebecca Writes gives some thoughts on the KJV-only position. Much of what she says isn't directed toward the more moderate position like Mac's (which I've discussed here), but some of what she says might apply to his position. On the textual issue, which is one place Mac agrees with the KJV-only position, she expresses one thing that I didn't think I made clear enough:

They have already made up their minds about the way they think God ought to have preserved his word, and it would be difficult for them to keep trusting in a God who may have done things differently than the way they think would be the best way.

I think that's exactly what's going on in many cases. There's an a priori commitment to a principle about what counts as God preserving his word, and that principle by definition rules out the richer textual tradition that I've argued will help us to capture better what the original text said. Yet nowhere in scripture is such a principle stated.

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