Here is a recent letter that I was unable to reply to (address problems):
> As I read your "Shalom" page I couldn't help but utter "Amen!!" several
> times. I have been studying the Old and New Testaments at Eastern Kentucky
> University, and the situational ethics of Paul got really old to me.
> However, I'm not sure that I am convinced of the inerrancy of the Old
> Testament either. I'm sure you have heard of the Documentary Hypothesis. I
> would be interested in any rebuttals or anything you would have regarding
Well, I am not the best writer around, and sometimes I get pretty worked up and ramble---this is in regards to inerrancy of the Bible ("Old Testament"). Did you read the Bible sections of the site?
The Documentary Hypothesis has been around a loooong time, and I am familiar with it. While I do observe that it is a hypothesis (still), there are variations, shifting criteria, and it may be too oversimplified, and some still have problems with it unrelated to inerancy.
My idea is more concerned with authority for life and observance. I do not expouse a "fundamentalist" style of inerrancy, believing that every letter of every word is "inspired" alà angel's hand on the writer's shoulder.
I see it as human records of both sacred and profane events. The events are the focal point. I do believe that Bene Yisra'el has had communication with Yahweh directly and indirectly. I am not a "UFO guy" but is it so far-fetched to consider that there has been communication with others from and with access to places or even states beyond our comprehension and reach?
If we look at Hebrew and even Christian scripture, it can all be considered a reaction to one such event---the event involving Yisra'el, Mosheh, and Yahweh at Sinay (whether one describes Yahweh as a "little green man" is not important). So it does not matter if Paul said, 'the Torah is done away with' or I say this part of scripture is good, the other bad, or keep the Torah---all of these are still dependent on that event as the item to react to positively or negatively.
The words of Yahweh, sometimes on faith I accept them as such, serve as a core for authority. It could be shown as a digram. Around the Words of Yahweh there would be a zone of reactions to those words. Their proximity to the Center would depend on their conformity to the parameters set within the core. This is really a natural understanding of the Tanak. Think of the Torah (the commands within it) as the core authority, the various prophets (the Nevi'im) struggling with their people's reactions to the Torah (their short-comings and rebelliousness) and their recorded communications (whatever their actual circumstance) with Yahweh surrounding, and further out still a zone occupied by the Ketuvim writings that reflect the ups and down experiences of Yahwists reacting to the world around them based on the Torah parameters or at least a mindset that looked to it for standards.
When it comes to the New Testament writings, the Torah still serves as the rule for their validity. Do the verses or verse fit within the core parameters? Do the verses teach anomia when the core says things like Laws, commands, directives..., observe..., forever? If so, they certainly cannot be inspired for any useful purpose.
Instead, because of the negligence of this approach we have ideas that Yahweh now hates his own people, 5% of the Christian Bible must constantly be shown to negate, and drastically and artificially re-interpret the other 95%. And on and on.
So while I do put great importance on what some are calling the Hebrew Bible (as opposed to the Bible in which they add that 5%), I do not profess typical inerrancy doctrines.
Copyright © Shemayah ben-Avraham