Saturday, September 30, 2023

Continuing with Kristi Burke

Metatron Made Some Mistakes in His Video on Historic Truth being Objective · First Half of a Video by Kristi Burke · Continuing with Kristi Burke

15:10 Exactly.
"it's what we know, all we know, it's all what we have to go off of"

I'd say exactly the same thing for the New Testament, specifically Gospels.

Unless you have a good historic counternarrative.

"I'm not dedicating my entire life and my faith ..."

1) what counts as good evidence counts as good evidence
2) what you decide to dedicate your life to is what you decide to dedicate your life to.

You know, some people have been very seriously convinced Christianity is true, and even so very unwilling to dedicate their life to Christ even in the most basic way of avoiding mortal sins after baptism (and getting baptised if one isn't already).

So, while Christianity being true kind of gives a reason for on some level or other (anything from simple Christian to monk or nun, or even to martyr) to dedicate your life to Christ, this doesn't mean evidence for it being true have to be weighted like motives for dedicating your entire life.

15:51 "people passed along orally before people wrote down"

Let's take Gospel after Gospel, traditional view.

Matthew - no, he was one of he original twelve.
Mark - heard St. Peter who was one of the original twelve.
Luke - heard many of the original witnesses.
John - was the beloved disciple whether that means the Son of Zebedee, as most have thought since Irenaeus, or a Cohen who was a lesser disciple, as Jean Colson took from some hints mainly from before Irenaeus, partly from Bible, partly from Early Church Fathers who stayed in Asia Minor.

So - if by "before" you mean "as sources" - no, no, no and no.

Futhermore, prologue of St. Luke's Gospel says the earliest attempts at writing Gospels were not all preserved.

I would say, there was deliberately a kind of experiment. St. Luke was not given St. Matthew to read. He was told to piece things together, as he was already writing Acts, and he came to a result remarkably close to St. Matthew. Indeed, one of the things said about how St. Mark heard Peter involves: Luke went to Rome to Peter to get the Gospel authorised (like kind of by the first Pope, so, St. Clement the Stromatist saying this, and he was from Alexandria, not too many decades after St. Mark went there, is an arguament for papacy), Peter held up Matthew and Luke side by side, read now from one, now from other, added some own comments, skipped some, jumped some, and Mark didn't notice, but thought Peter was dictating a Gospel, and dutifully took it down.

This means, St. Peter was very impressed by how close Luke came to Matthew.

16:00 The game of telephone is a very good model for what happens when a hysteric housewife picks up the telephone to phone a few other hysteric housewives, and each then picks up her telephone.

It's not a good model for organised oral transmission of what already happened, is much less urgent, and where you can take the time to actually ask intelligent questions and note their answers, and where those who were learning best were picked out for being the next persons to transmit it. Not a good model at all.

16:50 I agree, the argument is lousy.

It cuts both ways.

Sure, you might not have the right to conclude against believing, but most of them (and probably all who are stating that sentence) would on that principle not have a right to conclude for believing.

They could say, "but hey, we rely on Biblical scholars like" (a fav on the Protestant side you are more likely to hear about is what I gather of Lydia McGrew from her fan Erik Manning, but insert any other you have heard of).

You could argue in return that you rely on scholars like Bart Ehrmann or (a little more radical) Richard Carrier.

But right now you are not giving an extra argument against believing, you are answering an argument for believing which really isn't one, just so we are clear on that.

17:00 "it's meant for all people to read and know who God is ..."

No, it's not meant for that.

Here is another way in which doing Christian apologetics will tend to destroy Protestantism, in my own case it made me Catholic, for instance over people telling me "if you don't trust the Catholic Church" (and I didn't - I bought into silly criticisms of Catholic institutions I had really just heard of through a telephone game which might start with Erasmus for Inquisition or with Luther for Indulgences, and into stupid conspiracy thinking about Jesuits) "why do you trust the Bible, that's where the Reformers had the Bible from" - which is true.

I was hearing in history (ninth and tenth grade) on how England and on how Sweden went from Catholicism to Protestantism, each with a slightly different version, and I completed by looking for info in encyclopedias about Scotland or Germany and somewhat less about Netherlands. I knew as a fairly solid historic fact ...

"it's what we know, all we know, it's all what we have to go off of"

... that the Reformers came more than a millennium after the Apostles, and didn't have the NT from them, but from the Catholic Church.

Which, unlike your Evangelical friends doesn't tell one "you only have to read the Bible to know who God is" ...

On the contrary.

Romans 10 says oral explanation is needed:
12 For there is no distinction of the Jew and the Greek: for the same is Lord over all, rich unto all that call upon him. 13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord, shall be saved. 14 How then shall they call on him, in whom they have not believed? Or how shall they believe him, of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear, without a preacher? 15 And how shall they preach unless they be sent, as it is written: How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, of them that bring glad tidings of good things!
II Peter - chapter 3 - says reading Bible books can be an occasion for self deception:
16 As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are certain things hard to be understood, which the unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, to their own destruction.

18:36 To get the main gist, it is enough to trust Catholic bishops, successors of the original apostles.

Yes, that is a credible claim, at least with some leeway.

Orthodox, Copts, Armenians, Assyrians also have bishops going back to the Apostles.

Sure, some of them are going to miss some things, and I just identified an Irish migrant heritage bishop in 1943 as behind a very unwise ruling on Genesis. Not just into "day age" and similar, but even into remodelling the view of Genesis 5 and 11 to suit some moderns ... but that bishop certainly would have told you correctly how to get saved.

Why is less erudition needed?

Partly because it isn't, it's just a different erudition than some modern universities. Bishops actually do consecrate lots of their life to looking into doctrine.

But partly because, the erudition you use is about reconstructing what the original intent was into a Protestant world already disagreeing on it, a Catholic only has to be erudite enough to understand and defend what he's got from tradition - from the Apostles.

19:24 I'd agree - the Bible is, in at least some passages, including certain epistles (specifically mentioned by St. Peter in II Peter 3) not a book for all people to read on their own.

21:12 Yep.

People who didn't know how to even read the Gospels had access to them from Church windows and icons.

Thank you for vindicating the Catholic Church.

22:30 There are two different things here.

The Bible itself, as confirmed by Trent Session IV, does involve the Bible being inerrant.

But it does not promise, nor is it confirmed by Trent anywhere, that nothing in the Bible can be difficult or to some insufficiently instructed misleading as it stands, when the correct understanding, due to cultural changes, is for a modern reader sometimes better conveyed by a paraphrase. Especially the Bible nowhere promises no one will be translating it wrong, and Catholic priests have sometimes burned Protestant vernacular Bible translations over this (and outside England usually not over the fact it is in vernacular as such). For instance, can one use prayer beads and repeat a short prayer like a mantra and enter a kind of light trance? Well, yes. Reading or singing the psalms will also help one enter a state of at least light trance. But some Protestants object because their translation of Matthew 6:7 involving the word "repetition" ... the Greek has "stutterspeak" (battologein), the Latin uses an equivalent "many words" - between them it conveys someone making a petition nervously (like someone stuttering), and starting over and over again in different words, because one is not sure which words the gods will be pleased with and not (perhaps on purpose) misunderstand. Which adds up to a long text, not to many repetitions of a short one.

And before you ask, as you would have back when you were a Protestant, "aren't Hindus and Muslims and Buddhists supposed to be Pagans, and don't they use prayer beads" - yes, but they were very much NOT Greco-Roman Pagans. Greco-Roman paganism involves idols, temples, altars, ritual butchery knives, vessels to get the blood and the meat, and lots of other stuff but no prayer beads. A Greco-Roman prayer to Jove would typically involve a presentation of the offering given, and a request, followed by the immolation of the offering, or if it was a promise, not immediately followed by it. That's it. Hearing the guy pray was exciting (to a certain type of man) exactly as hearing a politician make a speech or raise a toast was.

Romans had very marginal contact with Indians, whether Hindu or Buddhist, and they classified both of these, as well as both Christians and Jews, as "worshippers of Bacchus" - from their pov indulging in a religion of ritual irresponsability. What Jesus was speaking of was Greco-Roman paganism. The Centurion who saw things obey Jesus had more confidence in Jesus than he had ever had in Jove. This is why he could word his request in simple words rather than long explanations. However, Christian prayer is not always just about making requests, prayers of praise are involved in the petition "hallowed be thy name" whather they are 150 psalms or 150 Hail Mary.

25:32 "that in any other circumstance would be completely untrustworthy"

I'd be curious about those other circumstances.

If I don't trust Hercules actually killed a hydra, this is because I think the hydra was not a biological being, but a demonic manifestation. But I still do trust it was plaguing people passing through the Lernaean marshes before Hercules came there, and was no longer doing so after he passed. Equally, I don't trust his being Jove's son at all, but I do trust he had so much muscle force (and irascibility and domineering behaviour), probably partly from demons, as to make his pagan surroundings and himself believe that.

Were your argument that if I trusted the history of Hercules, I'd have to worship him, so, it would have been un-Christian to trust it even as history? Not how Catholics throughout lots of centuries have seen it.

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