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  #1  
Old 07-20-2019, 2:52 PM
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Default Book of Eli

What did you guys think of the ending of the movie? I was thinking the movie was alright until I got to the end. Just ludicrous in my view. I think it casts doubt on the integrity of the Bible as the inerrant word of God.
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Old 07-20-2019, 3:30 PM
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No offense, but in order to understand the film I think you first need to do your homework on the historicity of the Bible as a “literary text.”

Might I recommend any of the books by Bart Ehrman

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bart_D._Ehrman
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Old 07-20-2019, 3:53 PM
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Lol bart ehrman? No bias there...
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Old 07-20-2019, 4:07 PM
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You know its just a movie, right?
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Old 07-20-2019, 4:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Arrieta578 View Post
No offense, but in order to understand the film I think you first need to do your homework on the historicity of the Bible as a “literary text.”

Might I recommend any of the books by Bart Ehrman

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bart_D._Ehrman
Bart is an agnostic so I don't find him credible.
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Old 07-20-2019, 4:26 PM
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You know its just a movie, right?
Really? I thought it was real!
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Old 07-20-2019, 5:21 PM
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I found it crazy that he was blind the whole time
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Old 07-20-2019, 5:29 PM
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I found it crazy that he was blind the whole time
Lol.
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Old 07-20-2019, 5:34 PM
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When Denzel sat at the desk and said get some paper...lots of it... I felt like a victim of bait and switch.
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Old 07-20-2019, 5:47 PM
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Ehrman, despite being agnostic, is both accessible as a writer and is a solid scholar....

However, there is a long historical list of religious thinkers that deal with the historicity of the Bible. Here are just a few...

Cardinal Bessarion
Angelo Poliziano aka “Politian”
Lorenzo Valla Adnotaciones in Novum Testamentum
Erasmus of Rotterdam
Richard Bently
J.J. Wetstein
Johann Ernesti
Fredrick Wolf
Karl Lachmann
J. A. Bengel
Etc...

As I see it, the movie deals with the idea that the Bible itself, while a scared text, is like all ancient books (to include the Koran for that matter) which are subject to oral tradition and scribes —and therefore contains transcription errors, mistakes (made by scribes), contradictions in accounts, addendums by monks, marginalia, etc...

We know for example that the Gospels were not written by Mathew, Mark, Luke and John. We know that they were written years after the Death. We know from a close reading of the Gospels that they contradict one another. We also know that there are many ancient variations of the Bible and that “books”, “testaments” or stories about the life of Jesus were included and excluded by specific people for specific reasons. That is to say, we know something about the historicity of this text.

This should not threaten or shake our “Faith”. By the very definition of the term, to have “Faith” is to “Believe” based upon the Spiritual without evidence or proof. If we had “proof” that the Bible was the exact unaltered Word of God, then we would not need Faith.

I find the movie interesting because just like Mathew, Mark, Luke or John the Bible itself now becomes the “Testament According Eli”. As such, through the trials and turbulations of Eli it will once again take its fundamental role and prominence in bringing the “Word of God” to humanity. Only in this case, in the film humanity has been all but destroyed in this post apocalyptic world. By bringing the Bible to those charged with rebuilding society, Eli becomes a sort of new prophet who delivers not only the message of salvation, but in doing so, salvation itself —and thereby extending and preserving the Christian tradition and saving those who choose to believe for all eternity.

In the end, as others have said, “it’s just a movie”... enjoy it for what it is....

Last edited by Arrieta578; 07-20-2019 at 6:03 PM..
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Old 07-20-2019, 9:19 PM
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PS: Just occurred to me... Eli is short for Elias or Elijah. Elijah's name means “Yahweh is my God” and is spelled Elias in some versions of the Bible. The story of his prophetic career in the northern kingdom of Israel during the reigns of Kings Ahab and Ahaziah is told in 1 Kings 17–19 and 2 Kings 1–2 in the Bible.
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Old 07-20-2019, 10:09 PM
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2 thumbs up to Arrieta578, you nailed it sir.
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Old 07-20-2019, 10:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Arrieta578 View Post
Ehrman, despite being agnostic, is both accessible as a writer and is a solid scholar....

However, there is a long historical list of religious thinkers that deal with the historicity of the Bible. Here are just a few...

Cardinal Bessarion
Angelo Poliziano aka “Politian”
Lorenzo Valla Adnotaciones in Novum Testamentum
Erasmus of Rotterdam
Richard Bently
J.J. Wetstein
Johann Ernesti
Fredrick Wolf
Karl Lachmann
J. A. Bengel
Etc...

As I see it, the movie deals with the idea that the Bible itself, while a scared text, is like all ancient books (to include the Koran for that matter) which are subject to oral tradition and scribes —and therefore contains transcription errors, mistakes (made by scribes), contradictions in accounts, addendums by monks, marginalia, etc...

We know for example that the Gospels were not written by Mathew, Mark, Luke and John. We know that they were written years after the Death. We know from a close reading of the Gospels that they contradict one another. We also know that there are many ancient variations of the Bible and that “books”, “testaments” or stories about the life of Jesus were included and excluded by specific people for specific reasons. That is to say, we know something about the historicity of this text.

This should not threaten or shake our “Faith”. By the very definition of the term, to have “Faith” is to “Believe” based upon the Spiritual without evidence or proof. If we had “proof” that the Bible was the exact unaltered Word of God, then we would not need Faith.

I find the movie interesting because just like Mathew, Mark, Luke or John the Bible itself now becomes the “Testament According Eli”. As such, through the trials and turbulations of Eli it will once again take its fundamental role and prominence in bringing the “Word of God” to humanity. Only in this case, in the film humanity has been all but destroyed in this post apocalyptic world. By bringing the Bible to those charged with rebuilding society, Eli becomes a sort of new prophet who delivers not only the message of salvation, but in doing so, salvation itself —and thereby extending and preserving the Christian tradition and saving those who choose to believe for all eternity.

In the end, as others have said, “it’s just a movie”... enjoy it for what it is....
You summed up exactly why I thought the movie was garbage. It's inconceivable that he was able to memorize the Bible word for word, verse by verse. For that reason, his version of the Bible is cast into doubt that it's the inerrant word of God. Rather, it's man's word commingled with God's inspiration and it's subject to translation and transcription errors. And that's the general misconception of the current Bible.
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Old 07-20-2019, 10:37 PM
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2 thumbs up to Arrieta578, you nailed it sir.
Yes, nailed the incorrect view of the current Bible.
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Old 07-20-2019, 11:00 PM
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i don't think a Braille version of the old and new testaments would have fit in that book.
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Old 07-21-2019, 12:14 AM
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You summed up exactly why I thought the movie was garbage. It's inconceivable that he was able to memorize the Bible word for word, verse by verse. For that reason, his version of the Bible is cast into doubt that it's the inerrant Word of God...
Seriously? So who do you believe wrote the Gospel of John? John certainly didn’t write it? Do you believe Noah built an Ark? What about Moses and the Red Sea? Don’t you believe in the power of God? In “miracles”? The whole point is Eli was “called upon by a ‘voice’ to find the Book and deliver it “West”. Don’t you believe if God were to call upon Eli to deliver the Book and protect him, He could also inspire Eli to miraculously memorize it? Suspend your disbelief for a moment and enjoy the film as a “story”. After all, it’s just fiction. I don’t think it’s an attack on Christianity or the Bible.

Another couple of interesting comments from the film. Eli, when locked in his cell mysteriously escapes while an armed guard stands outside and then continues walking “west.” When they enter the cell, the bars on the window are still locked closed. This is reminiscent of Peter’s famous escape the night before his execution which is echoed throughout history with other miraculous escapes by other devout Christians like John of the Cross, for example.

Then, there is the issue that the last Bible, when in the hands of evil ironically is in a language inaccessible to the unbeliever —in this case Braille, a coded language which requires translation (a Divine gift?) just like the original ancient Greek texts requires translation into English. The Apostles spoke Aramaic and were not literate. The Gospels were written in Greek who supposedly heard the Apostle speak and give “testament” (an eye witness account) as to what they saw and experienced. Thus, from the beginning when discussing the Gospels we are working with a translation (Aramaic to Greek). We read our Bibles in English however. Again, a translation of a translation of someone who spoke Aramaic over 2000 years ago —and that’s a best case scenario. We don’t have the original texts or translations of the Gospels, only copies of copies that are in most cases incomplete. The earliest manuscript of a New Testament text is a business-card-sized fragment from the Gospel of John, Rylands Library Papyrus P52, which may be as early as the first half of the 2nd century.

Finally, there is the issue of Eli’s companion and her mother who is also blind like Eli. It should be noted that prophets in the Old Testament and in Greek mythology are traditionally blind and as a result they are the only ones who can truely “see.” Solara —meaning ‘sun’ in Latin— is similar to the Biblical “Mary” figures. When Eli is shot, abandoned and left to die it is Solara who returns to help. Why? Because she prayed with Eli and she felt something. She too is now a “believer.”

And why “West”? Because the Bible and Christianity are fundamental basis for all of western civilization. Without Christianity there would be no Humanism, no Renaissance, no Enlightenment, no Descartes, no Cartesian split, no concept of the individual, no concept of personal freedom or liberty. So it only make sense that Eli must go “west” because that is where “western civilization ” starts and must be reborn... (yea, I know this is very Eurocentric thinking...).

You don’t have to like the film. I only responded because you brought it up.

Last edited by Arrieta578; 07-21-2019 at 12:34 AM..
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Old 07-21-2019, 6:22 AM
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I want to know more about "cat oil"
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Old 07-21-2019, 7:35 AM
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Seriously? So who do you believe wrote the Gospel of John? John certainly didn’t write it? Do you believe Noah built an Ark? What about Moses and the Red Sea? Don’t you believe in the power of God? In “miracles”? The whole point is Eli was “called upon by a ‘voice’ to find the Book and deliver it “West”. Don’t you believe if God were to call upon Eli to deliver the Book and protect him, He could also inspire Eli to miraculously memorize it? Suspend your disbelief for a moment and enjoy the film as a “story”. After all, it’s just fiction. I don’t think it’s an attack on Christianity or the Bible.

Another couple of interesting comments from the film. Eli, when locked in his cell mysteriously escapes while an armed guard stands outside and then continues walking “west.” When they enter the cell, the bars on the window are still locked closed. This is reminiscent of Peter’s famous escape the night before his execution which is echoed throughout history with other miraculous escapes by other devout Christians like John of the Cross, for example.

Then, there is the issue that the last Bible, when in the hands of evil ironically is in a language inaccessible to the unbeliever —in this case Braille, a coded language which requires translation (a Divine gift?) just like the original ancient Greek texts requires translation into English. The Apostles spoke Aramaic and were not literate. The Gospels were written in Greek who supposedly heard the Apostle speak and give “testament” (an eye witness account) as to what they saw and experienced. Thus, from the beginning when discussing the Gospels we are working with a translation (Aramaic to Greek). We read our Bibles in English however. Again, a translation of a translation of someone who spoke Aramaic over 2000 years ago —and that’s a best case scenario. We don’t have the original texts or translations of the Gospels, only copies of copies that are in most cases incomplete. The earliest manuscript of a New Testament text is a business-card-sized fragment from the Gospel of John, Rylands Library Papyrus P52, which may be as early as the first half of the 2nd century.

Finally, there is the issue of Eli’s companion and her mother who is also blind like Eli. It should be noted that prophets in the Old Testament and in Greek mythology are traditionally blind and as a result they are the only ones who can truely “see.” Solara —meaning ‘sun’ in Latin— is similar to the Biblical “Mary” figures. When Eli is shot, abandoned and left to die it is Solara who returns to help. Why? Because she prayed with Eli and she felt something. She too is now a “believer.”

And why “West”? Because the Bible and Christianity are fundamental basis for all of western civilization. Without Christianity there would be no Humanism, no Renaissance, no Enlightenment, no Descartes, no Cartesian split, no concept of the individual, no concept of personal freedom or liberty. So it only make sense that Eli must go “west” because that is where “western civilization ” starts and must be reborn... (yea, I know this is very Eurocentric thinking...).

You don’t have to like the film. I only responded because you brought it up.
Wow. John didn't write John??? Who knew?
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Old 07-21-2019, 7:47 AM
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Eli is not blind.
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Old 07-21-2019, 8:46 AM
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Yes, nailed the incorrect view of the current Bible.
Nope.
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Old 07-21-2019, 9:54 AM
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I enjoyed the movie. If you are looking for theological or factual accuracy in a Sci-Fi movie you need to rethink why you are watching them.
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Old 07-21-2019, 12:02 PM
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I enjoyed the movie. If you are looking for theological or factual accuracy in a Sci-Fi movie you need to rethink why you are watching them.
I agree. My guess is that the OP’s concern over the film however might be that somehow the issues raised in the movie about the nature of Scripture as “text”, despite being a fictional story, somehow undermines or threatens his particular understanding of the Bible as the “inerrant” Word of God.

This raises a very interesting theological concern for those preoccupied with questions of Christian Doctrine —which is the idea that the Bible as the “inerrant” Word of God is not a historical or a textual premise, but rather a theological one based upon Faith. And yet, it is very interesting that most current theologians (especially American religious thinkers) intentionally choose to ignore or not even consider the textual issues surrounding the creation of the New Testament. To say it another way, how are you supposed to formulate Christian Doctrine (religious practice) from the words of the New Testament, when you are unsure as to exactly what those words are?

The answer of course is to take it on “Faith” that the Authorized Version of the King James Bible, extensively re-edited by Benjamin Blayney at Oxford in 1769, is now the “corrected” inerrant Word of God and as a result is a “fixed” (meaning unchanging) text.
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Old 07-21-2019, 6:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Wordupmybrotha View Post
You summed up exactly why I thought the movie was garbage. It's inconceivable that he was able to memorize the Bible word for word, verse by verse. For that reason, his version of the Bible is cast into doubt that it's the inerrant word of God. Rather, it's man's word commingled with God's inspiration and it's subject to translation and transcription errors. And that's the general misconception of the current Bible.
Hmm... So you were fine with the all the other inaccuracies in the movie, such as a blind man being able to one kill hordes of bad guys simply by using his elevated sense of hearing, but you bow out when the film maker puts forth that he might also have an impossibly perfect memory?

I think you're splitting hairs at the very least.

While I don't think it was a great movie, I was entertained. Then again, I wasn't looking at is as a piece trying proselytize or teach the word of God either.

If I want to feel/be in reverence of Christ or God, I don't look for it in movies. I pray or go to Worship service.
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Old 07-21-2019, 8:38 PM
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Hmm... So you were fine with the all the other inaccuracies in the movie, such as a blind man being able to one kill hordes of bad guys simply by using his elevated sense of hearing
I don't think he was blind

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but you bow out when the film maker puts forth that he might also have an impossibly perfect memory?
Yep. Whoever uses that bible and whatever religion is derived from it hinges on that ONE man's memory and that ONE scribe's ability to transcribe accurately. Sounds like mormonism. The contents of the Christian Bible, on the other hand, has been corroborated by multiple eyewitnesses who were still alive at the time of the writings and the accuracies of the transcriptions were validated by mutiplicities of manuscripts. Refer to writings of Bruce Metzger mentioned in the Case For Christ by Lee Strobel.

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Then again, I wasn't looking at is as a piece trying proselytize or teach the word of God either.

If I want to feel/be in reverence of Christ or God, I don't look for it in movies. I pray or go to Worship service.
Me too
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Old 07-21-2019, 8:41 PM
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To say it another way, how are you supposed to formulate Christian Doctrine (religious practice) from the words of the New Testament, when you are unsure as to exactly what those words are?.
Have you read The Case For Christ by Lee Strobel?
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Old 07-21-2019, 9:49 PM
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Have you read The Case For Christ by Lee Strobel?
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Have you read The Case For Christ by Lee Strobel?
In my humble opinion, and please don’t take this as an insult, but I read The Case for Christ as “American” Evangelical Apologetics designed to convince innocent people to “believe” and I think Christian Apologetics is dead and indefensible in light of the historical record. Furthermore, for me personally “Faith” built on apologetic arguments cannot be authentic “Faith”.

Let me explain. I have a very good friend who cheats on his wife. She is both brilliant and beautiful—she speaks five languages: French, Spanish, German, English and Italian. She holds a Ph.D. in Medieval French Literature from an Ivy League University. She is sexy and elegant. And yet, my friend has been cheating on her on a regular basis over and over again for the last 20 years. He is a liar. His stories of where he has been, with whom, for how long, and for what reason never add up. And she’s not an idiot. She knows he’s a liar. She knows he is cheating on her. In fact, she even knows many of the women he’s slept with. In some cases, these other women are her “friends”. She goes to the movies and goes to lunch with them. They are married and have children together.

Despite all this, she also “believes” three other things: 1) He loves her. 2) He will always come home to her. And, 3) in this sense he is loyal to her.

This, in my opinion is true “Faith”. It’s believing in something when all the evidence is against you. She doesn’t need anyone to tell her why he is faithful to her. She “Believes” and that is enough.

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Old 07-21-2019, 9:52 PM
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I look at the movie from this lens.

The character in the movie was a man of faith. He was commanded by God to accomplish a task (deliver the bible). He was truly commanded by God, much like Moses and many others from the bible. On that path he encountered trials along the way (being blind, people trying to cheat and kill him, sexual temptation, etc) but God watched over his faithful messenger. Eli would not have been able to fight, shoot, to have bullets miss him from close range, to maintain his direction without God's help. Similarly when Eli gave away the physical bible and was shot in the stomach, God gave him the strength to continue to reach his destination and provided the words for him when he had to dictate the bible to the Librarian. Eli did not memorize the bible, the words were given to him by God so that Eli could accomplish the mission God gave him.
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Old 07-21-2019, 10:05 PM
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I don't think he was blind



Yep. Whoever uses that bible and whatever religion is derived from it hinges on that ONE man's memory and that ONE scribe's ability to transcribe accurately. Sounds like mormonism. The contents of the Christian Bible, on the other hand, has been corroborated by multiple eyewitnesses who were still alive at the time of the writings and the accuracies of the transcriptions were validated by mutiplicities of manuscripts. Refer to writings of Bruce Metzger mentioned in the Case For Christ by Lee Strobel.
I disagree, I think he was blind. I think it's important because he would not have been able to accomplish what he did on its own.

The 10 commandments came were given to Moses directly by God. We shouldn't limit what God is capable of. Samson was given by God enormous strength to accomplish the tasks God gave him. Jonah was swallowed and spit back up by a whale sent by God to put him back on path.
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Old 07-21-2019, 10:19 PM
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I disagree, I think he was blind. I think it's important because he would not have been able to accomplish what he did on its own.

The 10 commandments came were given to Moses directly by God. We shouldn't limit what God is capable of. Samsung was given by God enormous strength to accomplish the tasks God gave him. Jonah was swallowed and spit back up by a whale sent by God to put him back on path.
You might be Samson and not Samsung.
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The virgin requires more work (don't they all )

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Z gets around. lol
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  #30  
Old 07-21-2019, 10:25 PM
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You might be Samson and not Samsung.
Auto-correct. Thank-you for pointing it out, fixed it
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  #31  
Old 07-22-2019, 3:07 AM
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In my humble opinion, and please don’t take this as an insult, but I read The Case for Christ as “American” Evangelical Apologetics designed to convince innocent people to “believe” and I think Christian Apologetics is dead and indefensible in light of the historical record. Furthermore, for me personally “Faith” built on apologetic arguments cannot be authentic “Faith”.

Let me explain. I have a very good friend who cheats on his wife. She is both brilliant and beautiful—she speaks five languages: French, Spanish, German, English and Italian. She holds a Ph.D. in Medieval French Literature from an Ivy League University. She is sexy and elegant. And yet, my friend has been cheating on her on a regular basis over and over again for the last 20 years. He is a liar. His stories of where he has been, with whom, for how long, and for what reason never add up. And she’s not an idiot. She knows he’s a liar. She knows he is cheating on her. In fact, she even knows many of the women he’s slept with. In some cases, these other women are her “friends”. She goes to the movies and goes to lunch with them. They are married and have children together.

Despite all this, she also “believes” three other things: 1) He loves her. 2) He will always come home to her. And, 3) in this sense he is loyal to her.

This, in my opinion is true “Faith”. It’s believing in something when all the evidence is against you. She doesn’t need anyone to tell her why he is faithful to her. She “Believes” and that is enough.
By "innocent", I think you meant "naive", but didn't want to offend. I appreciate that.

Saying that true faith is one without apologetics implies that reason and faith are mutually exclusive. To me, "being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see", is rooted in apologetics and goes like this:

God said he is good and he always keeps his promises. God has been good to me in the past and he has been good to others in the past. Therfore I will trust him to be good to me in the future even if things don't make sense.

Isn't that faith based on apologetics?

Your friend's wife probably has similar "reasoning" that convinces her that her husband loves her and is loyal to her.
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Old 07-22-2019, 3:26 AM
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I disagree, I think he was blind. I think it's important because he would not have been able to accomplish what he did on its own.

The 10 commandments came were given to Moses directly by God. We shouldn't limit what God is capable of. Samson was given by God enormous strength to accomplish the tasks God gave him. Jonah was swallowed and spit back up by a whale sent by God to put him back on path.
Ok, if people believe Eli was blind the whole time, like a Sixth Sense bombshell ending about Bruce Willis (don't want to spoil the ending), I can "see" how you might like the movie.

But how did he know that the thing he hid the bible in was a TV? How did he see that single house off in the distance? It appeared that he saw the cemetery in the backyard. It appeared that he saw the old couple's shakes. Didn't he also "recognize" the rapist in the bar?
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Old 07-22-2019, 9:43 AM
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If he hid the Bible in the TV, he touched the TV. With your eyes closed a TV has a glass front and the rest is wood, plastic or metal. A random box or piece of furniture usually doesn't have a glass front.

I'll have to double check but I think the girl points out the house first and Eli simply agrees they should go to it

You can hear the old couples shakes when they are being served tea, the clanging of the china.

The old man is telling them about Intruders and what he did to them, it wouldn't be hard to figure out the couple killed them

He recognized the rapist by the sound of his voice (maybe even his smell?)

I agree that if he could see the movie would be pretty stupid. In fact I remember thinking exactly that until seeing the ending and then watching the movie again with the knowledge he was blind.
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Old 07-22-2019, 10:51 AM
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If you believe a blind man could cross thousands of miles of apocalyptic terrain in a journey taking years because of God's help.... then just ASSUME that God told him to hide it in the friggin' TV.

After all.... it is a movie for crissake
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Old 07-22-2019, 10:51 AM
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If you believe a blind man could cross thousands of miles of apocalyptic terrain in a journey taking years because of God's help.... then just ASSUME that God told him to hide it in the friggin' TV.

After all.... it is a movie for crissake

The real question I have is his recipe for cat oil...
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  #36  
Old 07-22-2019, 11:20 AM
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Originally Posted by Wordupmybrotha View Post
By "innocent", I think you meant "naive", but didn't want to offend. I appreciate that.

Saying that true faith is one without apologetics implies that reason and faith are mutually exclusive. To me, "being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see", is rooted in apologetics and goes like this:

God said he is good and he always keeps his promises. God has been good to me in the past and he has been good to others in the past. Therfore I will trust him to be good to me in the future even if things don't make sense.

Isn't that faith based on apologetics?

Your friend's wife probably has similar "reasoning" that convinces her that her husband loves her and is loyal to her.
Alright, let me try and explain why Evangelical Christian Apologetics is dead another way. The overwhelming majority of peer reviewed Biblical scholars now agree on two basic precepts:

1) There are numerous, serious and significant variants in all of the early Christian manuscripts that make up the New Testament. Theses variants are irrefutable.
2) Without some significant new major archeological find (like the Dead Sea Scrolls), it has become impossible to talk about any notion of an “original”, “single” or “standardized” version or the New Testament.

For all practical purposes, the only Biblical scholars that do not agree with these precepts are American Evangelicals and variants thereof. The question is why?

The answer of course has to do with the Evangelical insistence that the Bible is both the inspired and inerrant word of God —and as such, should be understood literally and without exegesis. However, due to the numerous, serious and significant variations of the New Testament, not to mention all the problems with “authorship” and what constitutes an “author,” which verision is the inerrant and inspired word of God? You have many to choose from.

Evangelical scholars have been forced by the physical evidence to accept the reality that there are variations and that there is no single Alexandrian authoritative manuscript. Their apologia lies in the idea that the “authentic text” (inspired and inerrant) lies not in one single manuscript, but in the “manuscript tradition” itself and the variations are not really significant or serious.

Non-Evangelical scholars have pointed out time and time again that these variations are both serious and significant and Evangelical scholars have been forced to quietly concede the point. Nonetheless they continue to attempt to cling to the idea of the “manuscript tradition” itself as justification for an “inspired and inerrant” text. However, in doing so, non-Evangelical scholars point out then that it is the “people” (albeit scholars) who are still making the decisions as to which variation and/or reading is the “correct one” based on context, textual clues, “intended” meaning and yes, doctrine. At this point the Evangelical apologia falls apart because scholars themselves cannot agree on what are the correct variations. And that is why I claim Christian Evangelical Apologetics is dead. It is an indefensible argument.

Catholic scholars on the other hand do not have this problem of “text” to the same degree as Evangelicals do because they do not claim that the Bible is to be understood “literally” as the “inerrant word of God” in the same way as Evangelicals. Their reading is more nuanced, careful, and intellectually cynical. Rather Catholic doctine makes clear that the Bible requires “explanation and interpretation” by properly “trained” (read “inspired”) followers of the Faith. Additionally, from Augustine forward, Catholic scholars have acknowledged that due to the requirement for biblical exegesis multiple readings and interpretations of the Bible are possible, that the Bible is not to be taken literally, and so long as they are orthodoxical and anagogic in accordance with doctrine, then these readings are by nature — and therefore the text itself— “inerrant and the divinely inspired word of God.”

Finally, to be clear, I’m not trying to lay claim that Catholicism is superior to any other form of Christianity. Rather, I am simply trying to point out why Evangelicals get themselves into trouble from a theological and historical perspective and how Catholic scholars, who have had more time to learn the hard lessons of Faith have found theological and doctrinal work-arounds to some of the same problems now confronting Evangelicals. Think the current situation with dinosaurs and Evangelicals and compare that to Galileo’s telescope and the Catholic Church.

Finally, I keep going back to this one point: it’s all about Faith.

I’m reminded of a story I recently heard. A Catholic Priest and a Muslim Cleric were arguing about which religion was the true religion over coffee while in Paris. After much debate, the priest invited the cleric to Rome to see the Vatican, meet the Pope, and see all the artistic wonders contained within The Sistine Chapel — in the hopes that the cleric would convert to Christianity. “If after doing this,” said the priest, “you do not convert to Christianity, then I will pay for your whole trip.” The Muslim, believing he was going to get a free trip to Rome accepted the offer.

Upon arriving in the Rome, the priest told the Muslim “You know what, I’m just going to let you wander around the Vatican and see things for yourself first and then we will meet for coffee in the afternoon.” That afternoon came quickly, and when the priest met the cleric, he asked “well, what did you think?” The Muslim quickly and proudly announced that he had converted to Christianity. Overjoyed, the priest said, “Oh Glory be to God! I knew this would happen! But, I didn’t think it would happen this fast! Please, tell me, what was it that you saw that made you convert so quickly?”

The cleric answered, “after spending the day wandering around the Vatican, where I saw the homeless on the streets begging for food and then all the gold artistic riches inside your church, and after reading about the financial scandals regarding all the Cardinals in the Italian newspaper, and after seeing the police arrest various priests and bishops for child molestation, and after seeing the secret tunnels underneath the Vatican use to smuggle in mistresses and prostitutes.... I realized after all this... for you to continue believing in God... well that is true “Faith.”

Last edited by Arrieta578; 07-22-2019 at 12:11 PM..
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Old 07-22-2019, 11:20 AM
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Redundant post... not sure why...

Last edited by Arrieta578; 07-22-2019 at 11:25 AM..
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Old 07-22-2019, 11:46 AM
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Sorry friend. The more manuscripts we find the more it is clear that there is no variation. We have enough first and second century scripts to make an entire new testament that translated to exactly what we have now.
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Old 07-22-2019, 12:02 PM
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Sorry friend. The more manuscripts we find the more it is clear that there is no variation. We have enough first and second century scripts to make an entire new testament that translated to exactly what we have now.
Not according to James White...

“James Robert White is the director of Alpha and Omega Ministries, an Evangelical Reformed Christian apologetics organization based in Phoenix, Arizona. He is the author of more than twenty books. He received a BA from Grand Canyon College, and an MA from Fuller Theological Seminary. He was also a critical consultant for the Lockman Foundation's New American Standard Bible.“

In this debate, White claims their are 12 First and Second Century fragments and gets called on it, as the number is high.
WSee for yourself...


Last edited by Arrieta578; 07-22-2019 at 12:05 PM..
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Old 07-22-2019, 12:41 PM
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Sorry friend. The more manuscripts we find the more it is clear that there is no variation. We have enough first and second century scripts to make an entire new testament that translated to exactly what we have now.
Furthermore, there are no 1st Century fragmentary manuscripts of the New Testament (0-100 AD). The earliest fragmentary manuscript is P52 which dates to the first half of the 2nd Century. There are a total of 4 fragmentary manuscripts that can be securely dated to the 2nd Century (100-200 AD). The other 7 fragmentary manuscripts dates are contested and dated 2-3rd Century. It is not until the 3rd Century where we have portions large enough of fragmentary texts to even put a story together. That is to say, a conglomeration of just 2nd Century fragments strung together without the context of later date texts would be meaningless.

The oldest complete version of the New Testament of course is the Septuagint and is from the 4th Century (300-400 AD).

None of this should be new, contested, or surprising. Evangelical scholars have known about this issue for YEARS.
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