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An Answer to The Crypto Attack of “Higher Criticism” Against the Bible

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January 24, 2013 in Politics

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An Answer to The Crypto Attack of “Higher Criticism” Against the Bible

THE ORIGIN OF HIGHER CRITICISM

 

From Renaissance humanism to the arrogance of German scholarship, to the era of the Enlightenment of European Diesm, a common thread seems to be continually evident throughout, namely, the committed, comprehensive attack on the Bible as the holy, infallible, inerrant, and inspired Word of God. In contemplating the issue of “origins” of attack on the Bible, I can’t help but to think of that original enemy of God’s Word, that chief of liars who with his subtlety intending to be the beginning of his assault said, “Hath God indeed said You shall not eat of every tree of the garden?” – Genesis 3:1. His fully unveiled and direct contradiction to the instructions given to Eve, the first woman, later when he says, “Ye shall not surely die.” – Gen 3:4, leaves no doubt in my mind as to the origins of any attack on the Bible, as the authoritative Word of God.

 

The affects of such intellectual rebellion extend to every aspect of society, and much to the shame and disadvantage of the modern Christian church due to her theology of retreat and her application of it via the abdication of contending for the Faith in many significant ways. Church in America has primarily become a social feel good club which seeks to take its cues from the world whereby she is in effect, being discipled by it, rather than being regularly conditioned and equipped in applying the marching orders of her Commander in Chief in the discipling of the nations for Him. This isn’t to say that there aren’t any good things going on with God’s people at the local church. Indeed there are many programs implemented for the evangelizing of communities, and all of the activities typically associated with outreach efforts of the modern church witness. Yet, the “Pressing of the Crown Rights of King Jesus” in every area of life & thought remains elusive and seemingly invisible to those commissioned to such great a task. With much ground lost over the decades in various spheres of society, the Church has much work to do in order to regain a footing in the Great Commission given just before the ascension of her Lord. An uncompromising Faith and adherence to the Bible as our standard is the foundation for our progress.

 

THE TECHNIQUES OF HIGHER CRITICISM

 

In his ancient and never ending quest for independance from God and His judgments, autonomous man has and will continue to use a vast array of schemes to dislodge God from any involvement in society, and will not stop short of seeking to negatively affect the very trust and faith that faithful, believing Christians have in God. In conjunction with the “literary” technical trench work of the lower critics, the “higher” critics attempt to sell the overly complex and absurd product of their efforts as the “higher” and more theologically sound conclusion that man should follow regarding any teaching of the Bible, and even God Himself.

 

Such attempts at the supposed “nobler” understanding of the very Word of the living God are a sinful denial of the Law of God written on the hearts of men, a denial not of mere ignorance, but of sinful desires to escape the inevitable judgement that awaits them. They construct preposterous systems that actually illuminate the contrasts to Biblical truth, and then require the adherence to such systems by Bible believing people. Such attempts are as preposterous as the image of the tail wagging the dog, when everyone knows that the dog wags the tail.

 

THE ETHICS OF HIGHER CRITICISM

 

The legacy of higher criticism is that it is wholly impotent in regards to any lasting affects on displacing the Word of God as the transcendent and ultimate source of truth for every area of life. Autonomous man doesn’t have a problem with having a knowledge of God, for the very Law of God is written on his heart, as he was created in God’s image. Rather, he has an obedience problem. He seeks to confront the supposed lack of Biblical unity in order to construct a humanistic system of ethics whereby he can, “Set God straight” in order that society and the world can be then ordered to his fallacious presuppositions. These endeavors have at times produced the most totalitarian regimes in recent hisoty via the collaborations with evolution, communism, and other humanistic lies that are ever attempting to rise up against the knowledge of God.

 

THE FATE OF HIGHER CRITICISM AND ITS PRACTITIONERS

 

It is a true saying that “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” It is a total act of God’s grace bestowed to the unregenerate person when they are sobered from their spiritually drunken stupor and given an appreciation, and even a love for God and His Word. Ideas have consequences, and so do actions. The world is in an accelerated pace it seems, to construct a new order of things, an order where God is not invited, and His Word not accepted. Yet, in the end, these futile attempts display their eventual failure as they are relegated to the ash heap of history, and the grave judgment of eternity.


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13 responses to An Answer to The Crypto Attack of “Higher Criticism” Against the Bible

  1. Forgive me if I came across as insulting, I usually do not respect posts that are cut and pasted regurgitation of other peoples words. Now that it seems you have found a voice of your own I can begin respecting you.

    “You talk a big talk about exegesis yet I wonder, what hermeneutical process do you use? What are your methods?”
    > I am of the belief that hermenutics must proceed exegesis. To project a doctrinal bias into ones exegesis is to put the cart before the horse and is antithetical to any sound theology. If we fail to understand the intended message to the author of text how can we possibly understand its meaning to our lives?The message of scripture for us should be the same as it was for the author which is why exegesis is the starting point.

    ““I do not personally pursue proper exegesis (if you don’t know what that means by now please look it up) because I am running from God’s judgement but because I am interested in what God is actually communicating through the Bible.”
    >Lets reword this slightly. “I pursue exegesis because I am interested in what God is saying, not because of the three options you provided. How do you misconstrue this as a contradiction?

    ” Wow! Remind me not to ever look to you for sound theology. A double minded man is truly unstable in all his ways, and you sir are quite double minded indeed.”
    > You remind me of Piers Morgan: simply reply with insult when in disagreement. You took an entire paragraph to say that I contradicted myself and to insult me. You haven’t actually said anything here.

    “Another area of your glaring instability is that you are actually an anti creationist”
    > If you define creationist as one who adheres to the popular notion of creationism, specifically the kind that depicts God creating the universe in 6-24hour days then yes I am anti-creationist. I think this is completely unbiblical. Although the New Testament does speak of God “creating” we must understand that this is because of the heavy influence of Greko/Roman worldview of the Hebrew people. The Old Testament, especially the Genesis account say nothing of God creating. Period. Please allow me to explain.

    The word “creation” is a Greek invention. It is an abstract construct. Hebrew people did not use abstract constructs as it was not a part of their etymology. Hebrew is solely a pictographic language; please refer to the paleo-Hebrew alphabet for evidence of this:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I_2f78uOeJw

    Hebrew people used words that one could draw a picture of; each letter in a word is itself a picture. Words that one cannot draw a picture of are called abstract. Draw a picture of “nothing” and I dont mean leave the page blank. You cannot draw a picture of “nothing” anymore than you can draw a picture of “something”. Draw a picture of the word “create”. You cannot do it because “create” is an abstract construct which wasn’t invented until the Greek language emerged. And since abstract constructs did not exist….

    • …in the Hebrew language, the Genesis account cannot possibly say that God “created”. To translate bara as “create” is erroneous and has been for centuries. Ex Nihilo is not an Old Testement concept, although traces of it begin to appear in the New Testement mostly because of the influence that Greko/Roman culture had on Hebrew etymology. To suggest that the Hebrew people believed that God (literally Elohym, or “powers” {plural}) *created *something out of *nothing is to suggest that the Hebrew language uses abstract constructs which it does not. Therefore Genesis does not say that God created anything at all. Please refer to this video for a more wholesome treatment of the word bara:

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z4Eb5HmzJtA&list=PLFECF9B7A74203DB3
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SbcB1puaOyc

      I believe that God “created” *everything out of *nothing but not because it is written in Genesis. I believe that God created the cosmos using evolutionary forces as He continues to do. But I am not a creationist. I believe creationism is unbiblical and based in centuries old misconceptions and dogma. Peace.

      • Correction:
        I meant to say that I am a creationist in the sense that I believe God is responsible for creation by undisclosed but scientifically appreciable means, specifically through evolutionary dynamics. Creationsts are often conflated with creationism which adheres to the specific rejection of evolutionary dynamics and interpret the Bible through their personal lens of literalism and cosmology instead of the lens of the Hebrew writers. Not all creationsts adhere to the restrictions of creationism as to Gods creative methodology. ie myself. Peace.

      • The more I read your posts the more I’m convinced of the theological instability of your position and arguments. I say this not to be insulting, but simply observing what I see as true.

        “in the Hebrew language, the Genesis account cannot possibly say that God “created”. To translate bara as “create” is erroneous and has been for centuries.”
        >One of the ways in which “bara” is used is to mean “create” and is so used in the first verse of Genesis chapter 1 regarding heaven and earth.
        “In the beginning God created(“bara”) the heaven and the earth.” (Gen 1:1)

        The Hebrew word “asah” is used in Genesis chapter 1:7 and means “to make” in this Scriptural context.
        “And God made(“asah”) the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so.” (Gen 1:7).

        “And God made (asah) two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: He made the stars also.” – (Gen 1:16)

        “And God created (bara), the great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that it was good.” – (Gen 1:21).

        “And God made (asah), the beast of the earth after this kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good.” – (Gen 1:25).

        “And God said, Let us make (asah), man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. – (Gen 1:26).

        “So God created (bara), man in his own image, in the image of God created (bara), he him; male and female created (bara), he them.” – (Gen 1:27).

        In the second chapter of Genesis we see the use of the word “yatsar”, which means to “form, fashion, formulate, frame, make, and gives the imagery of a potter.

        “And the Lord God formed (yatsar), man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life: and man became a living soul.” – (Gen 2:7).

        “And the Lord God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make (asah), him an help meet for him.” – (Gen 2:18).

        “And out of the ground the LORD God formed (yatsar), every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof.” – (Gen 2:19).

        In the 22nd verse of Genesis 2 we see the use of the word “banah” which means, “to build, set, repair, obtain children, and to make.” And certainly in the context of this verse it infers the creation of the first woman.

        “And the rib, which the Lord God had taken from man, made (banah), he a woman, and brought her unto the man.” – (Gen 2:22).

        • All throughout Genesis chapter 1 we see God creating things, as well as in Genesis chapter 2. Both “Ex-Nihilo” and via the use of other substances, (the dust of the earth in the creation of Adam, the rib of man to create Eve), we see God creating.

          You most certainly are not a creationist in any true sense of the word. Instead you have adopted the word according to your own definition and stated that God has used undisclosed means, yet scientifically appreciable, namely, evolutionary dynamics. Yet, God has clearly disclosed his creation to us in Genesis 1, that creation is certainly scientific (As God is the creator of science, and science being a part of His creative process), and the dynamics were certainly not evolutionary.

          Another flaw in your whole process is that you appeal to Hebrew over sound theology whereby your presuppositions are compromised. The Biblical languages are greatly useful, yet not when they are used incorrectly, or incompletely thereby skewing doctrine and causing one to err from the teaching of the Christian Faith. You must put the horse before the cart, not the cart before the horse. All of this is a demonstration or an outworking of your lack of faith. And as such, you cannot but help to operate this way.

          Your position is not even accepted by hard core evolutionists. You are rejected by creationists, and evolutionists because of your compromised position as a “Theistic evolutionist.” You are in sort of a half way position, compromised and “lukewarm.”

          As I’ve stated before, your instability with creationism is foundational, and compromises anything further you say or teach regarding doctrine, theology, etc. Your position and teaching truly is heretical and I sincerely urge you to repent of it, embrace Christ and the sound doctrines of His Word. Do not for your own sake, and for the sake of those whom you influence, end up maintaining the condemned position of “Theistic evolution” and any and all other heretical doctrines and positions into eternity. Peace……

        • “>One of the ways in which “bara” is used is to mean “create” and is so used in the first verse of Genesis chapter 1 regarding heaven and earth.
          “In the beginning God created(“bara”) the heaven and the earth.” (Gen 1:1)”

          >> How is it possible that bara means create when the very word create (and its subsequent meaning) is a Greek abstract construct which posts dates Biblical Hebrew? The same principle applies to asah. Though Strongs translates them both as meaning create, this translation is erroneous because the concept of Ex Nihilo post dates the Hebrew world view and language system. This is difficult to come to terms with when ones is accustomed to the doctrinal bias the that is typical of Strongs. Deeper anthropological and etymological study into the roots of ancient Hebrew will show us that these translations do not fully reflect the Hebrew writings. The Hebrew people did not possess a concept of Ex Nihilo. This is a Greek invention and one that you and I tend to take for granted because we think in Greek abstract constructs all the time. Who would have though that the Hebrew people would have possessed a diametrically different concept of existentialism except the theologian who is willing to dig deep into the meaning of ancient Hebrew and who is courageous enough to truly allow the text to speak for itself. I have provided videos that help us to understand what is going on in Genesis.

          “In the second chapter of Genesis we see the use of the word “yatsar”, which means to “form, fashion, formulate, frame, make, and gives the imagery of a potter.”

          > I agree with this statement and I believe it furthers my point. A potter makes a pot out of existing material. The pottery made by a potter is not Ex Nihilo. A pot is fashioned out of per-existing clay. The same concept should be applied to both bara and asah because this is the Hebrew way of understanding the cosmos. Genesis is about functionality; it is not about the “stuff” that makes up the universe. A lump of clay is without function until it is fashioned into a pot. God is seen as taking chaotic or functionless entities, such as the clay, and assigning them function, such as a pot. Genesis is not about God creating stuff, that is a Greek way of thinking about the cosmos and we also think of the cosmos in the Greek way. This way of thinking about existence however post dates Hebrew cosmology and is not included in Genesis. The word “create” and it existential concept should not appear in Strongs concordance or in any English bible on this exegesis.

          “You most certainly are not a creationist in any true sense of the word”
          >I believe God created and continues to create. By this criteria alone I am a creationist, at least according to the professional definition of the word.

          ” Both “Ex-Nihilo” and via the use of other substances”
          > I would argue that Gods activity in Genesis is all about the rearranging of existing materials to change what is functionless into what is functional…

          • …Ex Nihilo is post Hebrew and consequently cannot be found in Genesis.

            “we see God creating”
            > We do not see God creating because the very concept of “creation” is a Greek invention. Bara is best translated as “fattening” or “filling up” of existing material and should be translated accordingly. This translation better reflects the Hebrew cosmology, ontology and etymology and is consistent with what we find in other Mesopotamian worldviews.

            “Another flaw in your whole process is that you appeal to Hebrew over sound theology whereby your presuppositions are compromised”

            > What the heck are your presuppositions doing in the interpretive methodology? Sound theology comes from sound exegesis absent any and all presuppositions. You are putting the cart before the horse. If sound exegesis compromises your theology, abandon or revise your theology.

            “The Biblical languages are greatly useful, yet not when they are used incorrectly, or incompletely thereby skewing doctrine and causing one to err from the teaching of the Christian Faith”

            Exegesis before Hermenuetics is rule number one in Biblical interpretation and in the formation of sound theology. You are operating backwards. Creationism uses the biblical language incorrectly by assigning Greek definitions to Hebrew words and the theology of Christ as being anti-evolution is consequently erroneous.

            “All of this is a demonstration or an outworking of your lack of faith”
            >This statement is very vague so let me clear up my position for you. I have faith in Jesus. I also believe that the Hebrew writings, especially those of early Genesis, are mytho-historical. I lack faith in creationism to address science and biblical interpretation responsibly. I have a feeling that you googled “theistic evolution” and came across a creationist site that accuses TE of being niether here nor there. This is a common creationist attack of things creationist do not understand. TE actually avoids conflations; creation = creationism, evolution = atheism, both of these are examples of conflations that should be avoided.
            TE believes that God created the cosmos in ways that He chose not to disclose to the Hebrew people. This in no way compromises essential Christian theology. One can believe in Jesus as creator and in evolution as His creative methodology.

            “As I’ve stated before, your instability with creationism is foundational, and compromises anything further you say or teach regarding doctrine, theology, etc. Your position and teaching truly is heretical and I sincerely urge you to repent of it, embrace Christ and the sound doctrines of His Word. Do not for your own sake, and for the sake of those whom you influence, end up maintaining the condemned position of “Theistic evolution” and any and all other heretical doctrines and positions into eternity. Peace……”

            >Please be careful of making judgments of my acceptability to God or any other moral aspects of my existence. That is not for you to judge. Peace.


    • I certainly don’t mean to insult you and am not interested in a mere trade of insults so I apologize for making you feel insulted. I’ll reply to your posts more thoroughly later when I have the time. Peace.

  2. “…comprehensive attack on the Bible as the holy, infallible, inerrant, and inspired Word of God.”
    > What is often construed by many “literalists” as an attack on the Bible is nothing more than a proper treatment of scripture through the exegetical process. These self proclaimed literalists have missed the vital truth that what is literal to the 7th century (BCE) author of text may not be literal to the 21st century reader. If one were to suggest that the early chapters of Genesis describe an ancient Mesopotamian worldview that included a flat, disk shaped earth at the center of the universe, and that such a rendering of the text is in fact the literal rendering (because the only literal translation of scripture is the one defined by the author, not by the reader) then I would be accused of “attacking scripture”. I submit that such an accusation would be an attack on exegesis, true literalism and the real attack on the Bible. I have written articles that show how creationism is unbiblical and have been called a heretic for it by those who think themselves literalists but are really just uneducated in proper Biblical interpretation techniques. Theistic evolutionists and actual Biblical literalists have been demonized by those who think of the Bible as a modern science text book when nothing could be father from the truth. Those of us who seek the truth, albeit by the usage of our God given intellect, as it relates to the intended message of the authors of scripture have been demonized by creationists who have little respect for the complexities of Biblical interpretation.

    “The affects of such intellectual rebellion”
    >This is a complete demonization of theologians who uphold exegesis by those who unwittingly and unitellectually rebel against the Bible.

    “Such attempts at the supposed “nobler” understanding of the very Word of the living God are a sinful denial of the Law of God written on the hearts of men”
    > Further uneducated demonization of noble exegesis. Go to Bible school and prepare to have your biblical worldview dismantled and then rebuilt on solid theological ground.

    “sinful desires to escape the inevitable judgement that awaits them”
    > I do not personally pursue proper exegesis (if you don’t know what that means by now please look it up) because I am running from God’s judgement but because I am interested in what God is actually communicating through the Bible. Beware of calling what is good (proper exegesis) evil and what is evil (creationism) good.

    In closing I have to respectfully and completely disagree with this article. Please do not misconstrue my position as rebellious intellectualism or God dodging or satanism. I am just as interested, if not more interested, in preserving the actual message of scripture than most modern literalists. Peace.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jAronIjqqjs&list=UU9LvBOK7QepMARh7tyv4Xlw&index=1
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zf64fnzbxIY&list=UU9LvBOK7QepMARh7tyv4Xlw&index=2

    • No answer? Completely unapologetic?

      • I had to take my time and stop laughing at the instability of your argument and the lack of theological grounding it reveals. Oh, and also your attempts at being insulting are quite amusing as well, although a bit sophomoric. You talk a big talk about exegesis yet I wonder, what hermeneutical process do you use? What are your methods? Oh but wait, how can I ask you this when you contradicted yourself regarding exegis?

        “I do not personally pursue proper exegesis (if you don’t know what that means by now please look it up) because I am running from God’s judgement but because I am interested in what God is actually communicating through the Bible.”
        >So although you you talk a seemingly big talk about exegisis, bottom line is (in your own words), “I do not personally pursue proper exegis?” And you don’t do so because, (in your own words), “But because I am interested in what God is actually communicating through the Bible?” Wow! Remind me not to ever look to you for sound theology. A double minded man is truly unstable in all his ways, and you sir are quite double minded indeed. Or is it that I simply don’t understand you and your position based on my demonizing of you, or my lack of education? (laughing)

        Another area of your glaring instability is that you are actually an anti creationist, or should I say a non-creationist? Are you one of those who would call themselves by the contradictory term of “Theistic evolutionist?” If you can’t get the doctrine of creation correct, then the rest of your argument on anything theological is compromised.

        I don’t think you are limited or would be limited in attacking the Bible if you posited a “flat earth, disk theory” as you suggest, but your attack on the Bible is yet otherwise of a fundamental nature which then becomes complex which is all the more detrimental to you and potentially detrimental to others. No, I wouldn’t call you a satanist, yet, I submit that your position is one of intellectual rebellion against God.

        “Beware of calling what is good (proper exegesis) evil and what is evil (creationism) good.”
        > This comment reveals another area of your instability. I never called or indicated that “proper exegesis” was evil. And again, the fact that you would call creationism evil is an indication of your foundational instability.

        I’d be interested in your views of the doctrine of The Trinity?, or the doctrine of Christ?, or the doctrine of the Church?, or the doctrine of Predestination?, how about the doctrine of God? So many things, I would dare say, all things are severely affected by a lack of adherence to the Biblical doctrine of creation to which you hold.

        You say that you seek truth, I submit to you that Christ Himself is the embodiment of all truth. He can, by the aid of the Holy Spirit, be found in the Holy Scriptures of the Bible. I pray you be guided into all truth.

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