1. Standard memberblakbuzzrd
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    28 May '07 07:49
    Is it possible for something to be true without being factually accurate?

    That is, could a biblical story be true, even if it historically happened differently, or even not at all?

    What would truth mean in such circumstances?
  2. Standard memberKellyJay
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    28 May '07 08:04
    Originally posted by blakbuzzrd
    Is it possible for something to be true without being factually accurate?

    That is, could a biblical story be true, even if it historically happened differently, or even not at all?

    What would truth mean in such circumstances?
    A story is either true or not, to say it happened differently than what
    was being told means it isn't true, seems simple enough. Now is it
    possible that is it true from different perspectives where you could
    get different takes on the same event, I'd say that is completely
    possible.
    Kelly
  3. Standard membershavixmir
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    28 May '07 08:09
    Originally posted by KellyJay
    A story is either true or not, to say it happened differently than what
    was being told means it isn't true, seems simple enough. Now is it
    possible that is it true from different perspectives where you could
    get different takes on the same event, I'd say that is completely
    possible.
    Kelly
    Say the story of the parting of the Red sea didn't take place in the red sea, but in the English channel.

    Would that mean the story is untrue?
  4. Standard memberKellyJay
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    28 May '07 08:10
    Originally posted by shavixmir
    Say the story of the parting of the Red sea didn't take place in the red sea, but in the English channel.

    Would that mean the story is untrue?
    I'd say you'd have an issue with the story if that were the case.
    Kelly
  5. Standard membershavixmir
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    28 May '07 08:18
    Originally posted by KellyJay
    I'd say you'd have an issue with the story if that were the case.
    Kelly
    Yes. An issue, but does it actually make it untrue.

    I did a parachute jump two years ago with a 40 second free fall.

    Actually, the jump was 3 years ago. Does that little year make the basis of the story any less true?
  6. Standard memberKellyJay
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    28 May '07 08:24
    Originally posted by shavixmir
    Yes. An issue, but does it actually make it untrue.

    I did a parachute jump two years ago with a 40 second free fall.

    Actually, the jump was 3 years ago. Does that little year make the basis of the story any less true?
    Just one of the factual parts about it, yes
    You can tell a story, get one fact wrong that happens to be little or
    big part of the whole thing, but if it is an important part of the story
    it could call the whole thing into question. It depends on the how
    important a part of the story is in error.
    Kelly
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    28 May '07 12:185 edits
    Originally posted by blakbuzzrd
    Is it possible for something to be true without being factually accurate?

    That is, could a biblical story be true, even if it historically happened differently, or even not at all?

    What would truth mean in such circumstances?
    I once read a book on the court proceedings to a Gunfight that occured at the OK Coral in the old American West. Wayatt Earp and his brothers were involved with a Doctor Holiday and some enemies of the Earps.

    It was very interesting because I had seen a few Hollywood inactments of this famous gunfight. But in a law court there was contradictory testimony about who fired the first shot. And some said that there was more than one shot fired at a time. It was difficult to reconstruct from the testimonies who was really at fault.

    One thing was certain was that there darn sure was a confrontation and a gunfight between the Earps, Doc Holiday and some cowboys who were hostile to the Earps.

    Now I come to the New Testament. I read Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. It is not that easy for me to piece together exactly what happened on the day Jesus was said to have risen from the dead. One thing amid the different testimonies is sure to me. Jesus did rise from the dead. A miracle occured.

    It is hard to put together exactly the sequence of events. But the essence of the witness seems to be trustworthy. This kind of multiple testimonies, difficult to reconcile, I take as a sign of the authenticity of the core event.
  8. Cape Town
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    28 May '07 12:36
    Originally posted by jaywill
    It is hard to put together exactly the sequence of events. But the essence of the witness seems to be trustworthy. This kind of multiple testimonies, difficult to reconcile, I take as a sign of the authenticity of the core event.
    Actually you believed that he rose from the dead before you read the Gospels and now you want to justify said belief. I could easily find many examples of multiple testimonies reporting an even which you yourself would immediately claim to be unauthentic. To take a similar example what about testimonies about Mohamed or other religious figures who's authenticity you would deny. There is significant evidence that the gospel writers copied from each other so they are hardly 'multiple testimonies' but more a case of different translations with embellishments of an original story. So if I find you 100 different versions of one of Grimms Fairy tales will you take it as a sign of the authenticity of fairies?
    The problem is you apply your logic selectively and only to a document you have already decided must be factual and are only applying the logic to try and dispel the nagging feeling that there is a problem.
  9. Standard memberKellyJay
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    28 May '07 13:39
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    Actually you believed that he rose from the dead before you read the Gospels and now you want to justify said belief. I could easily find many examples of multiple testimonies reporting an even which you yourself would immediately claim to be unauthentic. To take a similar example what about testimonies about Mohamed or other religious figures who's authe ...[text shortened]... nd are only applying the logic to try and dispel the nagging feeling that there is a problem.
    Actually all of mankind does that with their foundational beliefs,
    people how deny God are always on the look out for something to
    justify their beliefs, just as those that accept God is real look for that
    which shows their beliefs to be valid.
    Kelly
  10. Cape Town
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    28 May '07 14:15
    Originally posted by KellyJay
    Actually all of mankind does that with their foundational beliefs,
    people how deny God are always on the look out for something to
    justify their beliefs, just as those that accept God is real look for that
    which shows their beliefs to be valid.
    Kelly
    Though not in the way you are implying. I do not go around trying to justify my belief that God does not exist because it is not a foundational belief for me. It is simply a fact. Just like you would not call it a foundational belief that Buddha is not some very important entity in your life. You wouldn't go round trying to justify that.
    Also, I doubt if you can find any case in my life where I have made any claims as ridiculous as the one I was replying to, in order to try to justify any of my foundational beliefs.

    ..look for that which shows their beliefs to be valid.
    There is a distinct difference between 'look for' and 'invent'. He was inventing as there was no actual evidence there which he would agree with upon reflection if he would just read my post and the counter examples given. Unless maybe he also believes in fairy tales.
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    28 May '07 14:282 edits
    +++++++++++++++
    Actually you believed that he rose from the dead before you read the Gospels and now you want to justify said belief.
    +++++++++++++++


    You cannot presume to know my personal experience.

    Secondly, if He did actually RISE and can be known, it makes NO DIFFERENCE if I read first and believed second or believed first and read second.

    If it IS true what difference does it make? Figure that into your argument with you other observations.

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++
    I could easily find many examples of multiple testimonies reporting an even which you yourself would immediately claim to be unauthentic.
    ++++++++++++


    Maybe so.

    +++++++++++++++++++++
    To take a similar example what about testimonies about Mohamed or other religious figures who's authenticity you would deny.
    ++++++++


    But I never met Mohammed. I did meet Jesus.

    I don't doubt that there was such a person as Mohammed and that he thought he was a prophet of God.

    ++++++++++++++++++
    There is significant evidence that the gospel writers copied from each other so they are hardly 'multiple testimonies' but more a case of different translations with embellishments of an original story.
    +++++++++++++


    A certain professor Greenleaf, an expert on Evidence came as a a skeptic to the New Testametn. He carefully studied its evidence as a legal expert on evidence. Eventually, he became convinced of the authenticity of the resurrection of Jesus.

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++
    So if I find you 100 different versions of one of Grimms Fairy tales will you take it as a sign of the authenticity of fairies?
    ++++++++



    The New Testament is not a "Once upon a time in a far off land ..." kind of book. The flavor and the style is nothing like Grimm's Fairy Tales.

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++==
    The problem is you apply your logic selectively and only to a document you have already decided must be factual and are only applying the logic to try and dispel the nagging feeling that there is a problem.+++++++++++


    I don't care about "nagging feelings". Faith always has an element of doubt.

    But I assure you any "nagging feeling" of doubt certainly doesn't arise from any of the kinds of excuses you write here.

    Eighty or ninety percent of the stuff you write makes me feel that probably I'm on the right track to trust Christ and His apostles.
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    28 May '07 14:38
    The Gospel does not follow the second chapter of Genesis. The Bible contains a long long history of God's dealing with man's doubts, rationals, disobedience, temptations, rebellions toward God.

    There is a long history displaying every kind of imaginable obstacle to man trusting in God. It is hard to come up with an original obstacle to trusting in God.

    The Old Testament is God's Resume. His track record inspires that He can be trusted with the details of the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus.
  13. Standard memberblakbuzzrd
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    28 May '07 15:03
    I guess I'm thinking more of the way that stories about holy men (Jesus, Apollonius of Tyana) and heroes (Heracles, Odysseus) are used by those who tell and listen to them.

    Nobody would look to the Iliad, for example, for an accurate historical account of the Trojan War. What some scholars suspect, though, is that the Iliad helped to transmit truths about proper behavior toward the Gods and daily life. It also portrayed the gods in ways that would confirm general ideas about their identities and characters.

    Sometime stories communicate things we hold to be true, even in the guise of fictional trappings. Tolkien, for example, treated his Middle Earth stories as if they actually happened, but in a different time. Xians frequently note the similarity of the beginning of the Silmarillion, with the story of Illuvatar and Melkor, to conventional xian stories about the beginnings of everything. In fact, since we know Tolkien was a believer and good friends with other xian luminaries like C.S. Lewis, it's subtlely tempting to let Tolkien's narrative flesh out the sketchy parts of what xianity asserts about the beginning (the fall of lucifer etc.).

    It feels like there's some theological truth in Tolkien's story, even if the details aren't factually true.

    The icelandic sagas, recently translated into English, offer a fascinating series of accounts of the settling of Iceland. They also contain all sorts of tall tales and literary figures. Egil Skallagrimsson, for example, is one of Iceland's great figures. He's described as wily but physically immensely powerful, and stories about him include fantastic details about his prodigious strength in his youth, particularly in wrestling with others. There are some details about his life and doings that seem more or less plausible, and some that aren't. The idea of such a literary portrait is to convey what kind of a person someone was through the telling of stories about them.

    This is the same phenomenon you find in sensationalist historical accounts, like those Time-Life series they used to sell on television. The commercials for them invariably included colorful details about folks. Remember the Old West series? The narrator in the commercial says of one John Wesley Hardin that he was "so mean, he once shot a man for snoring too loud!"

    Could be factual, could be fictional. The point is to show how mean that guy was.

    If the stories about Jesus are intended primarily to portray certain character qualities believed to be true of him (e.g., he was the son of God, he was a perfect man, he was a wise judge, he was a healer, etc.), then the details of those stories may fudge a bit on the facts to get the point across. That practice, incidentally, would not have been an issue for 1st-century audiences. They would expect it as part of an oral culture. It would not lessen their belief in the essential truth of the portrait.

    It's like my father-in-law trying to tell a story about his life as a young man, only to be interrupted by my mother-in-law:

    "Jerry, that's not what happened. We did x before y happened, remember?"

    "So?"

    "So your story isn't quite right, Dear."

    "Do you want it to be right, or do you want it to be good?"
  14. Hmmm . . .
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    28 May '07 15:24
    Originally posted by blakbuzzrd
    I guess I'm thinking more of the way that stories about holy men (Jesus, Apollonius of Tyana) and heroes (Heracles, Odysseus) are used by those who tell and listen to them.

    Nobody would look to the Iliad, for example, for an accurate historical account of the Trojan War. What some scholars suspect, though, is that the Iliad helped to transmit truths a ...[text shortened]... ght, Dear."

    "Do you want it to be right, or do you want it to be good?"
    Rec'd.
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    28 May '07 15:581 edit
    Originally posted by blakbuzzrd
    Is it possible for something to be true without being factually accurate?

    That is, could a biblical story be true, even if it historically happened differently, or even not at all?

    What would truth mean in such circumstances?
    If your question is can we have a claim to knowledge without any supporting facts, or in possession of incorrect beliefs, then yes (see Gettier). If the question is can we know something as true, even when it is in opposition to the body of evidence supporting it, then no. If the question is can we glean some truth from otherwise factually unconcerned stories, then sure, why not?
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