this issue with holding a "high view" of Scriptural innerancy that is free even of historical or mathematical contradiction (as opposed to a supposedly "low" one wherein these things are allowed for) is one on which you yourself have been inconsistent. If it does not matter if a canonical book of Scripture as accepted today contains numerical discrepancies ("Did God lose count somewhere between Samuel, Kings, and Chronicles?") then it should not matter that the book of Judith contains a curious reference to Nebby, King of Assyria.in reference to my accusation of Eastern Orthodoxy's resembling liberal Prot-ism. I admit 2 things:
1) I came to that conclusion (ie, that EO-xy in many ways resembles liberal Prot-ism, particularly in terms of epistemology) a while back (ie, more than 2 yrs ago) and then kind of forgot why I did, b/c I shortly thereafter ceased heavy polemical discussions on the subject, and
2) I forgot to list my 2nd objection to the Book of Judith's canonicity earlier. Not only does it list Nebuchadnezzar as king "in Nineveh" (as opposed to "king of Assyria") (which I mentioned), but it also places the rebuilding of the Temple in Jerusalem chronologically prior to its destruction (which I neglected to mention).
W/ that in mind, I apologise to David Bryan for not putting all my cards on the table at first. 'Twas bad of me.
David Bryan has challenged me on the copyist errors of the OT, as listed by Ben in the first link Bryan posted.
I note in passing that Ben and I once discussed the biblical basis for capital punishment over AIM chat; he finished it by appealing to papal decree. Just sayin'.
In my combox, David Bryan neglects to mention that, in his subsequent forum post he "stand(s) corrected; point conceded."
'Twas in response to this link, posted by another member of the forum, that he said that.
So we can go ahead and disregard Ben's post, as David Bryan went on to say in his comment here. And he himself seemed back then on the forum to agree that this is unimportant.
Finally, it may not have been sufficiently brought out by either of us in our 2004 convo the difference between inspiration and transmission of the biblical text. My claim is that the original manuscripts (MSS) were inerrant, not necessarily the copies.
how do we know which number to "correct," as did the editors of the NIV? Do we know for certain in each case that one number is more ancient than the other?I'm not certain how we know. But again, that's why I said what I said at the time, which was:
is it absolutely necessary to know for certain which numbers are the correct ones in each of these cases? Which important Church doctrine rests on getting these right at this time in the modern era? These comprise such a small amount in comparison to the vastness of the biblical text that it's not worth the worry.Bryan asks:
Also: even if these were mere "copyist errors," is it not still a contradiction within the manuscripts God saw fit to preserve for the Church? How do we know that these lost, "original" manuscripts did not also contain these discrepancies?How could it be a contradiction w/in the MSS? This stuff is God-breathed, man.
And obviously God did not see fit to preserve the copies w/o any error - that's, um, how there are those errors.
Speaking of which, this just occurred to me - this is eXACTly what I was talking about when I compared EO-doxy w/ liberal Prot-ism. Doubting the biblical MSS - it's like a can't-miss proposition for Roman Catholic and EO-dox apologists. Never ceases to amaze me - it's the old saw-off-the-limb approach.
As for James vs Paul...I dunno - we can keep talking about that too, maybe we can put headers on our comments. Or you could tackle it on your blog.