lördag 1 oktober 2016

Answering Bernard Ramm on Inerrancy

Biblical Inerrancy - Because Catholic (in Answer to Trent Horn) · Answering Bernard Ramm on Inerrancy

Here is a quote for ya!

First, it has been alleged that there are contradictions in Holy Scripture. The most obvious reference here is to the various places in Scripture where two different numbers are given in two different passages. Stephen speaks of the Israelites being in Egypt four hundred years (Acts 7:6) whereas Paul says the stay was four hundred and thirty years (Cal. 3.17).

The Relation of Science, Factual Statements and the Doctrine of Biblical Inerrancy
BERNARD RAMM, Professor of Christian (sic) Theology (sic)
American Baptist Seminary of the West Covina, California
From JASA 21 (December 1969): 98-104.

"Cal" is not Col-ossians, but Gal-atians.

Acts 7 :6 And God said to him: *That his seed should sojourn in a strange country, and that they should bring them under bondage, and treat them ill for four hundred years:

Ver. 6. For four hundred years, counting from the birth of Isaac, which was twenty-five years after the call and promises made to Abraham. It is certain the Israelites were not four hundred years in Egypt. (Witham) --- Four hundred. These words are taken from the fifteenth chapter of Genesis, in which Moses mentions the same number of years. This calculation is made from the entry of Abraham into Chanaan, to the departure of the Israelites out of Egypt. Strictly, the Israelites did not remain in Egypt more than two hundred and fifteen years.

Galatians 3 :16 To Abraham were the promises made, and to his seed. He saith not, And to his seeds, as of many: but as of one, And to thy seed, who is Christ. 17 Now this I say, that the testament which was confirmed by God, the law which was made after four hundred and thirty years, doth not disannul to make the promise of no effect.

Ver. 15, &c. The law which was made after four hundred and thirty years (consult the chronologists) does not make void the testament: nor the promise which God himself made to Abraham, that mankind should be blessed only by Christ. Etc

Neither figure is speaking of only the stay in Egypt. First figure is from birth of Isaac, when Abraham was 100 years, since it speaks of how long his seed was going to stay in a strange land – counting both Canaan before Joshua and Egypt as such. Second figure is from promise to law, given very little after Exodus from Egypt, and the promise was given when Abraham was 70 years, 30 years before the birth of Isaac. Or actually 25. Meaning Ramm has a point when saying Hebrews sometimes like round numbers, 430 standing for 425 (I don't think the law was given only 5 years after the Exodus - but if it doesn't contradict the text of Exodus, perhaps it was after all).

Ramm, again :

Nobody can play the game of infallibilities in the twentieth century and win. The Roman Catholic Church thought they had it won with an infallible Tradition (Scripture and tradition with the small "t"), and with an infallible pope, and with infallible ecumenical councils. But now all is in turmoil because historical science has caught up with the Roman Catholic Church. All of these infallibilities must eventually be conveyed in the fallible language of a bishop or a priest to the laity; or, the theologians who study these infallible documents come up with alternate interpretations illustrating that the infallible document is subject to many fallible interpretations; or, as many "concessionist" Roman Catholic theologians are saying nowadays, all the papal utterances and decrees of councils must be seen in their historical context and so corrected or adjusted. For example, the position of justification taken by the counter-Reformation Council of Trent is hard to square with the latest Greek studies of the New Testament. So we are told the decree of the council of Trent was meant to neutralize the one-sided forensic view of the Reforiners and therefore must be interpreted in that light. All decrees of popes and councils are historically relative. So the game of infallibilities has really been lost in the Roman Catholic Church.

As a Catholic, I think Catholic documents should NOT be interpreted like concessionists do. They were the ones responsible for the recent, if such, apostasy. Inerrancy is a Catholic Doctrine and Dogma.

Ramm made the mistake of thinking, just because some Catholics have given up, the Church has given up.

Curious that Ramm, a 20th C. Protestant, would NOT know that the 400 years included staying in Chanaan under Chanaanite rule before getting to Egypt, but Rob. Witham, a Roman Catholic Bishop writing his commentary in 1738 from exile in Douay, DID know it. Perhaps because Catholics do read the Bible? I mean, a comment like "consult the chronologists" meaning those of Biblical chronology, does seem to indicate there are things to be said for reading the Bible together as opposed to doing so on one's own.

Hans Georg Lundahl
Nanterre UL
St Remigius

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