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Posts Tagged ‘scripture’

 

For today’s post we will tackle the question the Skeptic Annotated Bible asked: Should we follow our own hearts?

Here are the two answers which the skeptic believes indicate a Bible contradiction:

We should follow our heart and eyes.

Rejoice, young man, during your childhood, and let your heart be pleasant during the days of young manhood. And follow the impulses of your heart and the desires of your eyes. Yet know that God will bring you to judgment for all these things.” (Ecclesiastes 11:9)

We should not follow our heart and eyes.

It shall be a tassel for you to look at and remember all the commandments of the Lord, so as to do them and not follow after your own heart and your own eyes, after which you played the harlot,” (Numbers 15:39)

He who trusts in his own heart is a fool, But he who walks wisely will be delivered.” (Proverbs 28:26)

(All Scriptural quotation comes from the New American Standard Bible)

Here’s a closer look at whether or not there is a contradiction:

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For today’s post we will tackle the question the Skeptic Annotated Bible asked: On what day of the month was Jehoiachin released from prison?

Here are the two answers which the skeptic believes indicate a Bible contradiction:

On the 27th day of the month.

Now it came about in the thirty-seventh year of the exile of Jehoiachin king of Judah, in the twelfth month, on the twenty-seventh day of the month, that Evil-merodach king of Babylon, in the year that he became king, released Jehoiachin king of Judah from prison” (2 Kings 25:27)

On 25th day of the month.

Now it came about in the thirty-seventh year of the exile of Jehoiachin king of Judah, in the twelfth month, on the twenty-fifth of the month, that Evil-merodach king of Babylon, in the first year of his reign, showed favor to Jehoiachin king of Judah and brought him out of prison.” (Jeremiah 52:31)

(All Scriptural quotation comes from the New American Standard Bible)

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For today’s post we will tackle the question the Skeptic Annotated Bible asked: Is it OK to marry a Moabite?

Here are the two answers which the skeptic believes indicate a Bible contradiction (along with the wording by the skeptics of  additional thoughts):

Yes

“13 So Boaz took Ruth, and she became his wife, and he went in to her. And the Lord [a]enabled her to conceive, and she gave birth to a son. 14 Then the women said to Naomi, “Blessed is the Lord who has not left you without a [b]redeemer today, and may his name [c]become famous in Israel. 15 May he also be to you a restorer of life and a sustainer of your old age; for your daughter-in-law, who loves you [d]and is better to you than seven sons, has given birth to him.” 16 Then Naomi took the child [e]and laid him in her lap, and became his nurse. 17 The neighbor women gave him a name, saying, “A son has been born to Naomi!” So they named him Obed. He is the father of Jesse, the father of David.” (Ruth 4:13-17)

No

Now when these things had been completed, the princes approached me, saying, “The people of Israel and the priests and the Levites have not separated themselves from the peoples of the lands, according to their abominations, those of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Jebusites, the Ammonites, the Moabites, the Egyptians and the Amorites. 2 For they have taken some of their daughters as wives for themselves and for their sons, so that the holy race has intermingled with the peoples of the lands; indeed, the hands of the princes and the rulers have been foremost in this unfaithfulness.” 3 When I heard about this matter, I tore my garment and my robe, and pulled some of the hair from my head and my beard, and sat down appalled.” (Ezra 9:1-3)

SAB gave this commentary: “Ezra was so upset when he heard that the Isralites were marrying Moabites (among others) that he rent his garment and mantle, plucked out the hair of his head and beard, and sat down astonished.”

In those days I also saw that the Jews had married women from Ashdod, Ammon and Moab. 24 As for their children, half spoke in the language of Ashdod, and none of them was able to speak the language of Judah, but [b]the language of his own people. 25 So I contended with them and cursed them and struck some of them and pulled out their hair, and made them swear by God, “You shall not give your daughters to their sons, nor take of their daughters for your sons or for yourselves. 26 Did not Solomon king of Israel sin regarding these things? Yet among the many nations there was no king like him, and he was loved by his God, and God made him king over all Israel; nevertheless the foreign women caused even him to sin. 27 Do we then hear about you that you have committed all this great evil by acting unfaithfully against our God by marrying foreign women?” (Nehemiah 13:23-27)

SAB gave this commentary: “Nehemiah was also upset by Israelites marrying wives from Moab; so upset, in fact, that he cursed all of them, smote some of them, and plucked off their hair, and made them swear not to give their daughters to Moabite sons, or take Moabite daughters for themselves or their sons.”

(All Scriptural quotation comes from the New American Standard Bible)

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For today’s post we will tackle the question the Skeptic Annotated Bible asked: Was Mahli the son of Levi?

Here are the two answers which the skeptic believes indicate a Bible contradiction (along with the wording by the skeptics of  additional thoughts):

Yes, Mahli was Levi’s son.

According to the good hand of our God upon us they brought us a man of insight of the sons of Mahli, the son of Levi, the son of Israel, namely Sherebiah, and his sons and brothers, 18 men” (Ezra 8:18)

No.

Mahli was not the son of Levi.

The sons of Levi: Gershon, Kohath, and Merari..” (Genesis 46:11, 1 Chronicles 6:1, 6:16)

David divided them into divisions according to the sons of Levi: Gershon, Kohath, and Merari.” (1 Chronicles 23:6)

These are the names of the sons of Levi according to their generations: Gershon and Kohath and Merari; and the length of Levi’s life was one hundred and thirty-seven years.” (Exodus 6:16)

He was the son of Merari.

The sons of Bela were Ard and Naaman: of Ard, the family of the Ardites; of Naaman, the family of the Naamites.” (Numbers 3:20)

The sons of Bela were Ard and Naaman: of Ard, the family of the Ardites; of Naaman, the family of the Naamites.” (1 Chronicles 6:19, 23:21)

The sons of Merari, Mahli and Mushi; the sons of Jaaziah, Beno.” (1 Chronicles 24:26)

(All Scriptural quotation comes from the New American Standard Bible)

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After reading “Logical and Conceptual Reasoning” in Section 4.5, “Thinking God’s Thoughts After Him,” of Van Til’s Apologetics: A Reading and an Analysis by Greg Bahnsen, I wanted to write down quickly some applications and implications from the passage I read (pages 235-236). I’ll include an excerpt here for those unfamiliar with Man’s Analogous Thinking applied to logic:

“Van Til pictured human knowing as “thinking God’s thoughts after Him.” He also maintained that God’s thinking represents perfect coherence. Therefore, in order for men to know things, taught Van Til, they too must think coherently or with logical consistency. “The law of contradiction, therefore, as we know it, is but the expression on a created level of the internal coherence of God’s nature.” So in all of our thinking about Scripture and the world, believers are obligated to think logically, thinking God’s thoughts after Him. “Christians should employ the law of contradiction, whether positive or negatively, as a means by which to systematize the facts of revelation, whether these facts are found in the universe at large or in the Scripture.” Van Til goes on to indicate that in contrast to unbelieving thought, the Christian views logic as a reflection of God’s own thinking, rather than as laws or principles that are “higher” than God or that exist “in independence of God and man.” To explain by application what this means (in part), Van Til held that God’s word must be interpreted logically—that is to say, using God’s thoughts (logical ordering) to interpret God’s thoughts (in Scripture)—but cannot (and may not) in the nature of the case be subject to criticism or rejection on the basis of some supposedly higher logic. Van Til said that there is “no impersonal law of logic” that dictates to God what He can or cannot say; the logical constraints of God’s thinking are the constraints of His own personal nature, which man is to emulate.

After reading, I realized that I too often fail to apply the implications of man thinking analogously after God’s thinking. In a previous post, I attempted to correct the misconception that testing the logic of an interpretation of Scripture is the same as testing the logical veracity of Scripture. However, my previous post stopped short of developing or even stating the basis for the Christian understanding of logic. By failing to do so, readers lose a huge insight to utilize in defense of objections against using Scripture as an ultimate authority or presupposition (see previous post for definition of a presupposition). Hopefully, the excerpt given above allows me to quickly discuss two applications of thinking God’s thoughts after God without a lengthy elaboration or development of my own.

In summary of the passage above I wrote the following implications to God being the originator of logic:

Logic is not:

  1. Neutral, being a standard outside of God and humankind
  2. The laws of logic was not originally created or developed by any person

On the contrary, any person who develops or thinks of the laws of logic are only aligning his or her thoughts to God’s thoughts. Because logic belongs to God and thinking logically aligns oneself to God, a person cannot put God to the test with logic; logic puts the person to the test, indicating whether his or her thoughts correspond to His. This has immediate applications for apologetic issues related to hermeneutics and the canon.

In regards to hermeneutics, using logic to gauge our correct interpretation of the bible is not extrabiblical but is thinking our thoughts after God’s thoughts. God’s mind is completely logical and coherent, therefore any interpretation must reflect analogously God’s mind and way of thinking.

Consequently, even attacks of any biblical doctrine or particular verse in Scripture becomes impotent. Any law of logic the unbeliever or inconsistent Christian appeals to belongs to God. Ultimately then, any objection of logical inconsistency shows that their interpretation, summary, or paraphrasing of Scripture is immediately false. Before the unbeliever or believer alike even begins to point out a logical inconsistency in Scripture the person already is defeated by attacking a straw man (or straw bible, in this case). Not only are logic-based attacks against the Christian a logic bomb inserted into the Bible, the attacks turns out to be a logic bomb already defused by the Christian’s biblical worldview! The attack is not a dangerous threat but a straw man to be blown apart with apologetic vigor.

Moving to the second application, in regards to the canon, when a Christian rejects any document that is not logical he or she is really applying our innate knowledge of God. Because all people know God —regardless if they deny knowing Him, and because Christians know God more fully by studying and believing Scripture, a Christian can quickly reject any idea or thought —moreover, any document— not abiding by the laws of logic (God being the originator of any law of logic). When a Christian believes Scripture, the Christian also is by his or her very faith, admitting, without a word spoken, that he or she recognizes God’s “voice” or “signature” wherever and however God reveals Himself (whether in Scripture or in nature). Moreover, the Christian’s faith reveals an innate knowledge that God’s voice is coherent in His revelation because God by nature is coherent, in His very being.

In conclusion, if you are struggling with defending the Bible as a presupposition when it comes to interpreting the Bible (hermeneutics) or assuming that the Bible is Scripture (the canon) then read up on Chapter 4 of Van Til’s Apologetic: A Reading and An Analysis by Greg L. Bahnsen. Doing so will give deep insights about the place of logic in the Christian worldview and help prepare a apologetic response to questions about the canon or hermeneutics.

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