Monday, May 29, 2017

... on Tower of Babel - a Classic (quora)

Why must we believe that, according to the Bible, all the world languages started from the Tower of Babel? Is there any archaeological evidence and plausible facts to support this?

Hans-Georg Lundahl
Studied religions as curious parallels and contrasts to Xtian faith since 9, 10?
Answered 3m ago
If you believe the Bible, you must believe this. Wait, I’ll come back to a little proviso.

Even without archaeological evidence, even without support.

Now, what we must believe is that all the ORIGINAL 72 world languages started out at Babel (except Hebrew continuing from before Babel, but that could be a 73:rd one).

We are NOT in any way, shape or form obliged to believe French and Spanish are immediate products of the punitive miracle of Babel rather than the results after centuries of an earlier language known as Latin. We are not even obliged to think Latin as we know it, or Mycenean Greek as we know the oldest Greek, are immediate products of the punitive and protective miracle at Babel.

Some say Proto-Indo-European was one of the languages resulting from Babel, but one problem is, if so it displaced a lot of other ones.

Greek would have been spoken by descendants of Iavan, Latin by descendants of … well, a mixture of diverse peoples, Gaulish, Irish, Cappadocia, and presumably Hittite by descendants of Gomer. Yet all these are counted by most linguists as descending from Proto-Indo-European.

One solution is that Iavan and a lot of other ethnic tribes splitting up after Babel did sacrifice their own language or get invaded by one or other of the other ones.

Another solution is that instead Iavan’s and Gomer’s and the Semite Lud’s and a few more languages influenced each other in an Indo-European melting pot, and once we see them historically, they have all been Indo-Europeanised. That is my position, with option of Hittite acting as a kind of catalyst for the melting pot. Other option, Indo-European was a lingua franca, an Esperanto, that failed. These are not mutually exclusive.

Since Proto-Indo-European is not a documented language (unless identic with Hittite), but a reconstructed one, other reconstructions of the scenario of how Indo-European language family came to be are possible.

With Romance language group, we know they all came from Latin, the older language is preserved and so are the delays between people in the countries obviously speaking Latin and them obviously speaking some other thing.

With the Balkan language group, we know they all came from diverse languages, Turkish from Central Asia, Bulgarian from Russian steppes, extinct Uralian Bulgarian language from Asia, anything on Serbocroatian and Slovenian scale from Russian steppes, Greek had been there in the South, most traits of Romanian are from Romance language group, i e from Latin, Albanian could be the Illyrian which had been there north of the Greeks and so on. THEN they started acquiring common traits, borrowing from each other.

With the West European language group we know both Latin and later French acted as matrices for influencing other languages, due to being spoken by élites.

With the Indo-European language group, either one is missing such a scenario in the Hittites, or one does not know what it really looked like, and either way all three possibilities can be considered as per our real present knowledge - even if only the parallel to the Romance language group is being generally presented as, not just a plausible reconstruction from our knowledge, but even part of our knowledge.

In fact, if, as I suppose, Babel was Göbekli Tepe, the archaeological span of 9600 - 8600 BC identic to the traditionally 40 years of Tower of Babel - City, there is indeed some supporting evidence : most old Indo-European languages start showing up to the West of it, to the North you have Uralic and Altaic languages hovering without writing for some time, to the East you have Semitic and other Oriental languages.

This would be at least consistent with any new languages after Babel walking out in directions radially outwards from it.

... on Quoran Questions Needing Improvement

Here are links to the questions needing improvement, and two of them were probably in restricted access for other reasons:

To creationists: Do you think that the penguins travelled all the way from Antarctica to the Middle East in order to hitch a ride on Noah's boat?

Hans-Georg Lundahl
Blog : "".
Debating evolutionists for 15 years +.
Answered May 12
I don’t know where penguins lived in the pre-Flood world, just that they gravitated to one edge (Tierra de Fuego and Antarctica) after it.

As to how they came to the Ark, God led them.

He could have either led some couple from very far away, or they could have lived nearer, or they could have come from a Nodian zoo, which they ran away from a few days before the Flood, nearby.

God knows how to arrange that kind of things.

[God led them = God sent angels to lead them.]

A Login
Answered May 1
From what I have read there seems to be good evidence of a single continent in ancient history called Pangaea, so no Antarctica before the Noahic flood. It would still be a long way for Penguins to walk (across half a large continent maybe), but not quite as far as today’s Antarctica.

One hypothesis is that the continents formed during after the flood through a mechanism called Catastrophic Plate Techtonics.

Lucha Tijuanera
Updated 12h ago
We do not know if it was a local or a general deluge.

If it is was general, there is nothing impossible to God. He has angels that could bring the pengüins from Antartica or even from beyond.

[I upvoted the last one here, because of angels. Not because of local flood.]

Can someone help translate the attached words to Latin?

  • spirituality without religion
  • my individuality resolute
  • will of the 3 indisputable

[It seems that the question was already improved, since the words as I saw them were in a sequence, as if one sentence.]

Hans-Georg Lundahl
Studied religions as curious parallels and contrasts to Xtian faith since 9, 10?
Answered 1h ago
I am sorry, but I think Google translate has garbled a Latin sentence for you.

And I think it is unmendable.

Do you have the original Latin yourself?

If so, tell me when you disclose it!

[Actually, when I saw it, it was given as "back to Latin" and "without Google tran", so it would have been a Google translate from one Latin phrase, as it read. That did need improvement if really three diverse phrases as here. Other answerer gave answers as if translating three separate phrases into Latin.]


Can someone help translate the listed words into Latin?

  • spirituality without religion
  • My individuality resolute, the will of the 3 indisputable

I am 16 years old, what books would you recomend me to read? (science, philosophy and something to make you more knowledgeable)

Hans-Georg Lundahl
Writing? I've been doing that for some time.
Answered 13m ago
Chesterton, and then let it branch out.

Not just Father Brown and novels, but also his essays and monographic books.

G. K. Chesterton's Works on the Web

I think the last one was marked as needing improvement, because I recommended Chesterton.

Perhaps some nincompoop following me around thought I needed clarifications on knowledgeable, or was confused in answering Chesterton, who is best known for Father Brown. But really and truly, even by reading Father Brown, you are conducted to some themes where he was more knowledgeable than his Protestant ceontemporarty public, and if you add to that his non-fiction, of which there is plenty, reading Chesterton and branching out from him, is a very good general education.

And the first one was probably marked as needing improvement because of angels being mentioned in answer, some clearly atheistic minded thinkers would have considered the answer as not serious or showing mental confusion. If those were the reasons, quora has a problem with the moderation team.

... on Restrainer and Pre-Trib, Disagreeing with Chuck Missler

The Antichrist and The Restrainer - Chuck Missler
Koinonia House

You think the Church is the restrainer?

No. The Roman Empire (ended in Russia October 1917 and in Austria-Hungary in 1918) is.

The specific event [CM had said taking away of restrainer was a specific event, not a gradual petering out.] was most likely when Karl von Habsburg left Hofburg - or will be a future impossibility of restoration or failure of restoration of Roman Imperial dignity.

Haydock : "St. Jerome indeed, and others, thought that the Roman empire was to subsist till the antichrist's coming, which by the event most interpreters conclude to be a mistake, and that it cannot be said the Roman empire continues to this time."

If it didn't subsist to the coming of the final Antichrist, it subsisted to the coming of clear precursors, such as Vladimir (not the Vladimirovich, as yet) and Bela, after Nicolas and Karl were taken out of the way.

In my study of how WW-1 echoes Apocalypse 19 verse by verse, I find Bela Kun rather than Lenin the closest parallel to Antichrist.

[Did I miss posting the link or did they edit it out? I am posting this Monday and was commenting this one Saturday. Here it is, anyway:]

Φιλολoγικά/Philologica : War of 14 a Rehearsal for Harmageddon?

[And I do think I did post a link to the Haydock commentary. But not seeing one now. Here it is:]


[If not, that was a bit clumsy, since I actually quoted from it.]

If the Holy Spirit were the restrainer, He could not be taken away.

As you said, He is given without repentance, and this to a Church which also is always there. Matthew 28.

As there were Roman Emperors up to end of WW-1, and as the world has been going very rapidly downhill since then, I think Roman Emperors is pretty right.

Also, confer the fact that the four beasts of Daniel reappear as composite beast of Antichrist - missing precisely one animal component : it has no eagles' wings.

Czarist Russia had eagles' wings as a symbol, but Putin hasn't got them.

And no, Roman Emperors in the Christian sense have not been promoters of sins, fomentors of social problems or eager to profit from these to increase central power.

Even a Pagan and a persecutor of Christians, Diocletian, said "I hate nothing as much as change".

In other words, they were very Constitution abiding, generally - if you except Peter the Great in Russia and Joseph II in Austria.

Only God has ever restrained sin as sin.

Perhaps a point.

But even sinners have restrained lawlessness as lawlessness. Even Theseus, who believed he was a son of "Posei-don" (in his day "potei Daon" = "lord Dagon") and allowed a demon to act that part, even Theseus restrained the lawlessness of a man like Procrustes.

God's protection of Job against Satan can be involved in the actvity of the restrainer, but, God is not the restrainer, rather the restrainer is one whom Satan at first cannot remove, like at first he could not give Job plagues, and then finds he can remove, like Satan gave Job sores.

[The restraining of Antichrist is] "an agency of the Holy Spirit".

But the Holy Spirit can act through evil men!

He spoke the Gospel through Kaiaphas. He preached repentance to Ninivites through a man who did not want them to regain His grace and who rebelled against His mission.

Therefore, while the Restrainer is such thanks to the Holy Spirit, it can be a man or a series of men, and of men who are not always themselves holy.

Not always - but usually. Most prophets were holier than Jonah. Most kohanim were holier then Kaiaphas who maybe even knowingly murdered God.

Note that the Holy Spirit is symbolised by olive oil, and that not just prophets and priests, but also certain rulers, kings, and Holy Roman Emperors too, from Charlemagne to Karl of Habsburg, from Justinian to Nicolas II, unless I misrecall are chrismated, are anointed with oil, since the Church (Catholic Church and Orthodox Church, the right Church and a very close rival) is asking the Holy Ghost to help them in restraining lawlessness.

Or were so doing, up to 1917-1918.

The Church is not having a pre-Trib rapture.

The saints are however in some sense beaten by Antichrist - like an army is beaten.

Hence, while the Church is not itself a military unit in the most literal battle field sense, it involves one, which Antichrist can beat.

He can't beat the Holy Spirit. He can't beat the faithful of the Church as faithful of the Church, at least not those who most are willing to sacrifice. But if the saints have an army, it can be beaten, they can be considered as beaten by its defeat.

When the Czarist army under Denykin was beaten by Trotski's Red Army, in a sense, that was a prefiguring of Antichrist beating ... whatever and whoever is the Army of the Saints.

A person can be grammatically neuter whether naturally masculine or feminine. In German, Hänsel and Gretel are naturally masculine and feminine, but through the [German dialectal diminutive] ending -el, they are both neuter.

So, the restrainer, in masculine, is NOT the Holy Spirit.

If the Restrainer is Holy Roman Emperors, the man of sin can already be revealed.

No, you are wrong in believing a pre-Trib rapture for all of the Church and you are also wrong to consider that as the Restrainer being taken out of the way.

And so, the restrainer can well have been already taken out of the way, about 100 years ago.

St Paul did not say the Man of Sin would be revealed immediately after the taking away.

"Don't look for him, we look for the coming King"

Well, but the King won't be coming until the Man of Sin comes ... and that one will deceive a lot ... and it was told to count the number of his name (Apocalypse 13:18).

Saturday, May 27, 2017

... on Sufficiency of Scripture and Bible Canon (feat. our very special guest star : J. P. Holding)

Assorted retorts from yahoo boards and elsewhere : ... on Sufficiency of Scripture and Bible Canon (feat. our very special guest star : J. P. Holding) · Great Bishop of Geneva! : Answering a Page about "Apocrypha"

For some who are not familiar with the genre I am using here (and no, it is not the dialogue which is default genre on this blog), you first listen to the video. You then read the text of my comments. The hours after I publish this, the text will probably still be top of comments, but when there are 1000 plus comments, you will need to go here to read them. In each comment I give time signature, often an indication of what J. P. Holding was saying at that point, and my response to it. So, the genre is not "dialogue", but detailed comment including in some places refutation.

TL;DR of below : J. P. Holding misconstrues what "sufficiency of Scripture" was about, and also partially refutes both this heresy and gives me opportunity to refute the heresy he is promoting on so called "Apocrypha" or "Deuterocanonic Books".

Punch Bowling #1: The Sufficiency of Scripture

The wonderful summersaults of Reformation ideology!

If Luther as a disciple of fairly recent Erasmus who had been alerted by also fairly recent Valla* (all of the three Catholic priests before writing, and the two non-Luther remained so!) that details about less recent and closer to Gospel times Roman Antiquities* were being gotten wrong makes a contextualising comment from purely human scholarship, that is fine with "sufficiency of Scripture".

B u t if Erasmus responds (like he did in De Libero Arbitrio, I think) about the need of reading much less recent and much closer to the Gospel times Church Fathers, like St Jerome, oh, no, that is "human traditions"!

* Valla specialised in showing what the Roman currency of money really was like. De Asse et Partibus eius. I am not making this up! Really relevant for a full understanding of any Gospel text involving Shekels, I suppose, but perhaps a bit superfluous to understanding the theological part of it.

Catholics rely on specific extra-Biblical, but Biblically endorsed information sources, like St Jerome. Lutherans rely on specific extra-Biblical, Biblically not endorsed information sources, like Valla. And for that matter Erasmus, when it came to pronouncing Koiné as Attic was pronounced by Plato, except where spelling differs.

"The Original Writings were Greek."

OK, I am into the LXX too, as a good substitute for the lost Hebrew "Vorlage" of it, but LXX is after all a translation ...

Irrelevant to the point? Well, so could Valla's De Asse be irrelevant to any point about parables or events involving money in NT. While the theological analysis by Sts Augustine, Jerome, Chrysostom could be very relevant - the precise thing Luther jettisoned.

If you actually said "Greek and Hebrew", I am watching this in sound off with subtitles. A neat lesson about computers not at all getting language.

But the "sufficiency of Scripture" was NOT in response to the texts some Catholics term Deuterocanonical and Protestants usually term Apocrypha (a term also covering heretical and spurious wrtitings like infamous Gospel of Thomas, not meaning the Childhood Gospel of St Thomas, but the other one). We had TWO distinct disputes. Just on Scripture.

Sufficiency of Scripture, aka Sola Scriptura, condemned by Trent responding Scripture must be interpreted according to the Church, Fathers as history of the Church being, whenever agreeing, nearly on par with Scripture, Magisterium of the present as rulers of the Church being the present mouthpiece of both.

Judaising OT canon, motivated by St Paul saying they back then received Moses and Prophets from the Jews (who up to very recently - indeed childhood of St Paul himself - had been the true Church of God) and pushed into meaning Reformers ought to take the OT canon from Masoretic version, from Jews having been not the true Church for 1400 and some years. Except the Reformers even then didn't quite do that. This was condemned by Trent responding by reaffirming canonicity of ALL books mentioned by the council of Carthage.

Yep, the very same ancient Church Council which first in so many words gave you 27 books of NT, also in so many words included I and II Maccabees in OT! And Trent stood by it.

Note, I am not sure whether Council of Carthage also said all other books are non-canon, but Trent did not. At least not explicitly.

Depends on exact status of dioceses like Iasi admitting III and IV Maccabees or Susdal/Moscow admitting "I Esra" (in another sense than we use I Esra as your Esra, Russians call that II Esra. Our II Esra and their III Esra is your Nehemia). Or Aksum admitting book of Henoch. Because Trent explicitly stated "as received by the Church".

Argue Orthodox and Monophysites are quite outside the Church and there was no proof these books were admitted by the dioceses before they became Schismatic or Heretic, well, that proves 73 books ("72 books, or 73 if Baruch be counted separately from Jeremiah") are all [there is of the] canon.

Argue either they somehow remained in the Church or the books were at least received by them before the separation from Church, you open up at least some possibility for Catholic Church to confirm these books.

But the question between sufficiency of Scripture vs sufficiency of Scripture, Fathers and Magisterium is separate from the other question about which books belong to the canon.

That "specific set" of authoritative texts:

  • did not exist on the Christian side, since all Christians previous to Reformation admitted Deuterocanonical texts (unless you count as Christians Albigensians who threw out most of both OT and NT, like Marcion!)
  • did not exist on the Jewish side either, since the Jews obviously did not admit any of the 27 NT books
  • but was a Judaeo-Christian hybrid canon.

"The Psalms are poetry, not didactic instruction"

While the specific layout of any psalm follows a poetic plan which might be somewhat confusing to certain didactic purposes, the genres do NOT exclude each other.

In other words, the statements in the psalms shall all be taken as true, and at least most of the time even literally true.

I'll give you an example of didactic literature formulated as singable poetry:

A false witness shall not go unpunished:

New blog on the kid : A false witness shall not go un punished, and he that speaketh lies shall not escape ...

"There is nothing in the text which says Scripture has a magical power to educate or to find responses to anything and everything ..."

well, neither in the Psalm, nor in the Classical Protestant "proof text" for sufficiency : "all Scripture is useful" etc. Thank you very much for shooting Reformation in the foot once again!

None of those passages was written after the Bible was finalised!

No shit, Sherlock! I think St Robert Bellarmine and a few more would have said that to Protestant apologists (including, in the case of St Robert, [to] James VI & I of Scotland and England).

From text given in video, not [from] subtitles.

"1) The doctrine of sufficiency of Scripture wasn't formulated to exclude contextual helps."

Not some of them, not those of the Valla and Erasmus type. To exclude some others, yes, very definitely yes.

"2) The Holy Spirit isn't a magic fact-dispensing-on-request gunball machine, and is never protrayed as such."

Well, there is this text about [Matthew 10:19] : But when they shall deliver you up, take no thought how or what to speak: for it shall be given you in that hour what to speak. Just note, this does not exclude reading apologetics way before that hour, way before being delivered up. But yes, in some context the Holy Ghost will indeed dispense answers when needed. And is here portrayed as going to do so.

Friday, May 26, 2017

... on Discrepancies in the Bible (or supposed such, on quora)

Are there any discrepancies in the Bible?

Hans-Georg Lundahl
Studied religions as curious parallels and contrasts to Xtian faith since 9, 10?
Answered just now
Apparent ones, yes.

But all resolvable.

I will be watching this question to see which ones other people bring up.

Piet Bakx
Retired psychiatrist
Answered 1h ago
Many. This one is interesting. Allegedly the same author. The gospel according to Luke. The day that Jesus arose is the day that he also left. Luke 24 is an ongoing tale everything is happening within one day.

In Acts 1:3 he appears to the Apostles for forty days.

The gospel according to Mark shows a tale that the whole story of Jesus was happening in one year. The Gospel according to John makes the story happening in three years.

The family trees of Jesus in Matthew and Luke are not the same. Both indicated to Joseph as the father of Jesus. Contradicts the Virgin Birth.

Does it matter? Does it change your faith that living according to the teachings of Moses, Jesus love thy neighbor, decalogue, mercy instead of rough justice, forgiveness is the right way? So do not worry about discrepancies. Like Jesus take the bible with a pinch of salt.

Hans-Georg Lundahl
Just now
“ The day that Jesus arose is the day that he also left. Luke 24 is an ongoing tale everything is happening within one day.”

Doesn’t say so.

“In Acts 1:3 he appears to the Apostles for forty days.”

Which means that this is where St Luke is giving specific information on time span.

“The gospel according to Mark shows a tale that the whole story of Jesus was happening in one year. The Gospel according to John makes the story happening in three years.”

It happened in three years and some months.

St Mark omits so many things the remaining ones could be from a single year, but they aren’t.

“The family trees of Jesus in Matthew and Luke are not the same. Both indicated to Joseph as the father of Jesus. Contradicts the Virgin Birth.”

Neither contradict the Virgin Birth, since St Joseph was legally Christ’s father.

People have diverse genealogies along diverse lines, and in this case, one of the Gospels goes with someone’s real and other with someone’s step father - who was related as real ancestor of the Blessed Virgin.

“Does it change your faith that living according to the teachings of Moses, Jesus love thy neighbor, decalogue, mercy instead of rough justice, forgiveness is the right way?”

It would, if really a discrepancy, chance my faith in an inerrant Bible, written ultimately by the Holy Ghost qui locutus est per prophetas.

“Like Jesus take the bible with a pinch of salt.”

He didnt.

With your inability to correctly take in information provided by other than yourself, I dread how many you may have misdiagnosed while not yet retired!

Sam Adams
Answered 8h ago
There are a lot of discrepancies - the bible is full of so called “doublets” where the same story is told twice and the two versions don’t agree.

If you want an obvious example, consider the creations stories - there are two distinct (and inconsistent) stories in Genesis alone. And there are a number of other stories scattered thru the bible.

But you might want to try this quiz. See how well you know the gospel story.

Hans-Georg Lundahl
7m ago
“the bible is full of so called “doublets” where the same story is told twice and the two versions don’t agree.”

Did Jesus multiply bread and fish once only and the versions about it disagree, or did He simply do so (at least) twice?

Hans-Georg Lundahl
Just now
“If you want an obvious example, consider the creations stories - there are two distinct (and inconsistent) stories in Genesis alone.”

Genesis 1 gives a broad panorama, Genesis 2 gives details for day 6. No inconsistency.

Paul Farr
Marketing Director
Answered 8h ago
Yes there are a few discrepancies in the Bible.

However, these are only a problem for modern Christians who accept the (relatively) modern doctrine of Biblical inerrancy or divine authorship — a doctrine not espoused by, for example, Paul of Tarsus (who never imagined his letters would become scripture and who always distinguished his word from the word of the Lord) or Jesus of Nazareth.

For Biblical scholars, these discrepancies are clues that allow us to better understand who wrote the books of the Bible and when and where.

There has never been a time when Jews or Christians were all in agreement about theology. There have always been sects and schisms, and always will be.

The Bible is a testament about God (and other things) written by people. Once you accept that, the discrepancies become something to study and learn from, not something to deny or to bash other people over the head with.

[Missed one link]

Hans-Georg Lundahl
10m ago
First supposed discrepancy from your link:

GE 1:3-5 On the first day, God created light, then separated light and darkness.
GE 1:14-19 The sun (which separates night and day) wasn't created until the fourth day.

Solution : light and separation of night and day were there before Sun took over the role of giving light and having its shadow on other side of Earth constitute night.

Second one:

GE 1:11-12, 26-27 Trees were created before man was created.
GE 2:4-9 Man was created before trees were created.

First passage refers to trees in general, second to specific trees involved in the garden of Eden.

Same goes for discrepancies 3 and 4:

GE 1:20-21, 26-27 Birds were created before man was created.
GE 2:7, 19 Man was created before birds were created.

GE 1:24-27 Animals were created before man was created.
GE 2:7, 19 Man was created before animals were created.


GE 1:26 Man is to have dominion over fish, birds, cattle, and all wild animals, yet--
GE 2:15-17 It is wrong to be able to tell good from evil, right from wrong.

In order to hold dominion, it was only necessary for man to know good, not to know both good and evil.

Ben Powell
Have spent 50+ years trying to figure out which bits of Christianity were true.
Answered 7h ago
Of course there are, and more than a few.

But after all, how could it be otherwise?

Except for a few very odd-ball exceptions, even the most conservative Christians recognize that the Bible is made up of

  • Translations of . . .
  • Edited and corrected compliations of the best readings of hundreds of ancient manuscripts, roughly ranging from 200 BC to 600 AD . . .
  • Written in languages that we only imperfectly understand today, and . . .
  • These manuscripts being themselves copies, or copies of copies, or even copies of copies of copies of copies . . .
  • of original manuscripts written, roughly speaking, variously from 1200 BC to 100 AD

Even if you believe, as many American evangelicals do, that the manuscripts in step #5 above were perfect and without error, you still have to acknowledge that errors could, and did, creep in at each other the other steps:

  • translation,
  • textual selection, compilation, & correction,
  • lexicography (determining what THAT word, in THAT syntax might mean), and
  • transmission or copying.

That said, it is my understanding that the Bible is — by far — the best attested ancient manuscript collection that exists. That means it is likely a closer replica of what was originally written than almost any other ancient document you might examine.

But a highly accurate replica is NOT the same as a perfect replica. And given what is required from to bring us such a huge collection of ancient documents, and translate them into contemporary vernacular, it would actually be evidence AGAINST the Bible, if there were no discrepancies, since a Bible free of all discrepancies would point to very recent ‘editing’!

Unfortunately, more that a few American evangelicals, even including many ministers, have confused their doctrine of inerrant original manuscripts, with a doctrine of Biblical inerrancy . . . even though they acknowledge, in their own commentaries and textbooks that there WERE errors in translation and transmission.

The plain fact is, any doctrine claiming that any particular complete Bible is inerrant is CONTRARY to settled and accepted evangelical doctrine. However, acknowledging the presence of errors in translations and copies greatly complicates the preservation and protection of the denominational peculiarities of particular churches, since these doctrines often depend on just one or two verses in the whole Bible.

By contrast, the [o]rthodox doctrines, taught in the three Ecumenical Creeds, and accepted by all [o]rthodox churches, whether Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, or Protestant — those [o]rthodox doctrines rest on concepts found scattered throughout the Bible, and are untroubled by uncertainties about a particular verse.



  • Yes, there are discrepancies in any Bible you can actual pick up and read, since it is a product of both translation and transmission.
  • And yes, these uncertainties render many denominational peculiarities uncertain and indefensible,
  • But these discrepancies are really no hindrance at all to the acceptance of what CS Lewis called ‘mere Christianity’, or Christianity minus the sectarian oddities.

Hans-Georg Lundahl
14m ago
It is interesting that you argue there must be discrepancies, but do not name even one.

It is also interesting that you consider “mere Christianity” as sth which needs to cut off supposed but unnamed discrepancies of the Bible.

In it you mention Ecumenical Creeds, and one of the articles is “qui loquutus est per prophetas” (and by extension through the NT authors as well, even if only 3 of the 8 were actually prophets (Sts John, Peter - the vision of unclean animals - and Paul).

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

... on Plagiarising Sermons (quora)

A senior pastor keeps plagiarized sermons, but a group of fellow church members protect him. Is plagiarism fine as long as the sermon is effective?

Hans-Georg Lundahl
Studied religions as curious parallels and contrasts to Xtian faith since 9, 10?
Answered just now
I did not know sermons fell under intellectual property rights.

If he seriously took them from another pastor, or huge paragraphs from a blogger, I think he should say who he took it from in case that other wants credit (as I as a blogger do), but not necessarily if he doesn’t.

And if it is from my blogs he took chunks from his sermons, he is apart from crediting me also very welcome to do a few sermons from my blog defending Catholicism as opposed to Protestantism:

Great Bishop of Geneva!

On the other hand, the person who is plagiarised may simply be another pastor, who has his flock and income and doesn’t either need any credit to get an income or disagree with the theology of your pastor.

If you know for certain he plagiarises sermons, why not challenge him to make a sermon on plagiarism in sermons? And on what other pastors’ sermons he is plagiarising?

Obviously, if he plagiarises Church Fathers without distorting them, so much the better for the flock! That would mean you could even go Catholic (or at worst Russian Orthodox) within a year or two.

On the other hand, if he is plagiarising John Knox or John Calvin or Bucer or Luther or Jack Chick, you might do very well to leave him due to his bad theological taste, compared to which a charge like “plagiarised sermons” is simply inane.

Murder? No problem. Arson? OK, we can live with that. Jaywalking …. ghaaaaaaaa! Let’s get outa heeere!

And plagiarising a sermon is to heresy what jaywalking is to murder or arson.

... on Original Sin vs Old Earth, my debate with Suzanne Fortin

How do you reconcile an old earth with the original sin?

Suzanne Fortin
Answered Mon
I simply believe that at some point, a pair of beings with rational souls came into existence, and they performed the first sin. Who this couple is, we will never know because there is no way to verify who had a rational soul in the distant past.

Hans-Georg Lundahl
"I simply believe that at some point, a pair of beings with rational souls came into existence,"

A being or a pair of beings with a rational soul does not "come into existence", they need special creation.

"and they performed the first sin."

Adam and Eve did that, among men (they were later than angelic sinners).

"Who this couple is, we will never know"

But we do know it from the Bible, as exposed by the Church Fathers.

"because there is no way to verify who had a rational soul in the distant past."

If they could talk, they had one.

Suzanne Fortin
18h ago
“come into existence” and “special creation” are the same thing. There is nothing that says one excludes the other. Speech is not absolutely essential to possess a rational soul. The unborn do not have speech but they have rational souls. There is no way to empirically verify in the distant past who had a rational soul and who didn’t.

Hans-Georg Lundahl
16h ago
While someone can accidentally lack speech and have a rational soul, it is impossible to have speech and lack a rational soul.

If you think computers have speech, think again:

Φιλολoγικά/Philologica : On not trusting automatic translations!

And history is empirical in nature, therefore Biblical history will certainly do as who had speech!

Suzanne Fortin
14h ago
While those who have speech are humans, it does not follow that those who DON’T have speech aren’t humans. We simply can’t go back and time and “hear” who had speech, and of course they didn’t have writing. Of course, there was art, but cave art is the earliest example of art *we know of*, There may have been earlier examples. It is simply impossible to empirically and scientifically determine who had a rational soul.

Hans-Georg Lundahl
3m ago
"it does not follow that those who DON’T have speech aren’t humans"

On the individual level you are right, but on the level of a population this is not so.

"We simply can’t go back and time and “hear” who had speech,"

We cannot go back in time and verify anything as first hand observers.

"and of course they didn’t have writing."

What exactly are you basing that on?

"Of course, there was art, but cave art is the earliest example of art *we know of*, There may have been earlier examples."

Most cave art would be post-Flood, and within a few centuries, perhaps even by same artist, when it comes to the paintings of animals.

This I am not basing on going back in time in a time machine, but on comparing the carbon 14 dates, via hypothesis of a rising carbon 14 level after Flood, with Biblical dates.

And no, presumably pre-Flood art is known from Neanderthals too : a flute of bones and mascara.

"It is simply impossible to empirically and scientifically determine who had a rational soul."

Scientifically is not just empirically, but rationally.

And empirically is not just scientifically but historically.

We do not know any other kind who can make art, whether fine art or tools. When you deliberately shape a tool (like flaking out a flint knife) you need to have a mental template of what the result shall be. Therefore it is impossible for non-human kinds to do this. So, any flint tools which don't look like they could have been made as chance results of apes just playing with flint knocking, are a sure sign there was some man with a rational soul around to produce them.

Our history goes back to the beginning of time, minus most of the six days. Whether Adam and Eve invented writing or not, they are in terms of minimal overlaps not further than 8 to 12 generations* from Moses.

Citing Haydock:

Concerning the transactions of these early times, parents would no doubt be careful to instruct their children, by word of mouth, before any of the Scriptures were written; and Moses might derive much information from the same source, as a very few persons formed the chain of tradition, when they lived so many hundred years. Adam would converse with Mathusalem, who knew Sem, as the latter lived in the days of Abram. Isaac, Joseph, and Amram, the father of Moses, were contemporaries: so that seven persons might keep up the memory of things which had happened 2500 years before. But to entitle these accounts to absolute authority, the inspiration of God intervenes; and thus we are convinced, that no word of sacred writers can be questioned. (Haydock)

GENESIS - Chapter III.

As to question whether they had any writing, I have a suspicion Adam on the one hand did invent some writing, but on the other hand just used initial letters for mnemonics help when pupils were taught this or that (especially genealogies) by heart.

Adam, Cain, Henoch etc would have been written on some rock in Nod as ACH.

Adam, Seth, Enos etc like ASE.

A boundary stone between Nod and the land of Sethites (if any) would include a sign meaning boundary and one one side of sign S, on one side C or on one side AS, on other side AC.

Or, after Flood, Noah, Seth, Arphaxad given as NSA, Noah, Cham, Canaan, as NChC etc.

AND one certain von Petzinger did work showing palaeolithical art shows 32 signs repeated all over, again and again. 32 signs are about the right size of an alphabet, plus, if a proto-version of Hebrew alphabet, there would be some more signs for other things - and one of the signs looks as if it meant "branching out of human tribes".

Here is her video:

Why are these 32 symbols found in caves all over Europe | Genevieve von Petzinger

[And here are my comments on it:]**

Assorted retorts from yahoo boards and elsewhere : ... on Genevieve von Petzinger's 32 late palaeolithic signs

Own answer***

Hans-Georg Lundahl
Studied religions as curious parallels and contrasts to Xtian faith since 9, 10?
Answered Tue
By taking Original Sin as fact and “old earth” (as in milions or billions of years) as fairly bad fiction.

* Haydock says 8 generations, but with LXX it might be closer to 12. He is using the overlaps according to Vulgate / Douay Rheims as calculated by Ussher.

** I broke off the copy-blueing before the link and forgot to separately copy-paste the sentence between the links. Hence [in brackets] as not direct quote.

*** The general content of my own answer could presumably be deduced from my comments under Suzanne Fortin's, but I give it anyway, just because I am an egotist.