So you believe … ? Sunday 7.30am

Thank you Erhman and Licona.  Thank you all for your comments.  Please keep the conversation going.

The other night we were watching a programme called “Posh Pawn”.  An upmarket pawn shop where items can be (and are) valued in big numbers.  A few pieces of jewelry @ £48k.  A car @ £100k.  These are offers to buy – made only after careful checking.  These are numbers the pawn shop is confident of – because they are confident of turning a profit when they sell the item on.

Which is why they turned down one piece presented as “unique” with a hoped-for value of £25k.  With regret (it was a tasty item) the pawn shop was unable to establish beyond doubt the provenance of this item.  And because the item was (probably) so unique, and the seller’s expectation (definitely) so high – they chose not to offer any price at all.  The owner left with a smile.

But we all “knew” he was unhappy – or else why try to sell it for £25k in the first place?

Is the bible historically reliable?

I have now heard at least four versions: “Yes it is – all of it” “Yes – mostly” “Yes – but not those parts”“No it isn’t – not any of it.” 

I have heard “evidence” convoluted.  I have seen claim and counter-claim.  I know some believe it explains the beginning of time – others regard it as a cruel fairy story.  Proving provenance is the goal.  My version has value – your version does not.  My opinion is true – yours is not.  Mine is the real deal – yours is a sham.  Mine is good theology – yours is bad.

Theology …

And the dialogue comes straight back to a belief in God proving provenance of the sacred text. Except that “theology” is “the study of the nature of God“.  So good or bad theology is not “evidence” for the bible as historically reliable.  Not unless the bible is God and God is the bible. And that is straight back to faith based belief.

Is the bible historically reliable and accurate?

I grew up believing it is and was.  Because our Queen is the protector of the faith. Because senior politicians are seen attending church and mentioning their faith as provenance of their integrity.  Because we have public holidays because of the bible.  We spend a fortune each year at Christmas because of the bible.  So when my parents …. and their friends at church … and bible reading notes … and the clergy … and the whole country and the annual calendar of my country …  when all “that” lines up …

What’s not to believe?  Which means the bible and religion are part of all our daily lives.  So provenance must have been proven – or else why all “that”?

So is the bible historically accurate?

Well …  And now the variants of Yes and No continue.  And with it the invention of provenance of the bible as historically accurate or not. And with it all the vested interests that hang from it or not.

I have a very serious question.

If I believe the bible is not totally historically reliable … if I see no merit in filleting out the bits that might be reliable from the bits that are not … if the bible is so unique (or maybe is not) … if, like the pawn shop, I feel unable to say “yes the bible is reliable historically” … where do I then fit if I continue to live my life with a “real deal divine being” of some sort (like GSHJ)?

Because what I see in this dialogue of evidence and reliability is that along with this “assumption of provenance” lies this “reality” that: Either …
I don’t believe the bible is historically reliable so I cannot believe in God (as defined – and all that goes with it).  Or …
I do believe the bible (ditto) so I must believe in God (as ditto).  But …
(there seems to be no third option)

I don’t believe the bible is historically reliable, and I still believe in “God” as love, and I can (and do) find “God” as love in the bible.

Objection, you honour, objection!  The witness is once again seeking safety in that of which there is no evidence.  This really will not do.  We deal in facts in this court, and facts require only a yes or no – we cannot have an “either or”.  M’lord, I really must insist that there are no “buts” allowed in this courtroom!

Does the church agree? (It does m’lord) Does the non-church agree? (It does m’lord) Very well then, no “buts” allowed.  We will restrict ourselves to only that which allows a yes or a no.

(And then we are so far from faith that we need “religion” to fill the void. And religion fulls that void with “faith based” facts as answers for every question.)


(tomorrow my “personal summation” – wahoo!) 

12 thoughts on “So you believe … ? Sunday 7.30am

  1. And that is where dear Henry VIII really messed us up, marrying religion and the judicial system. 😉
    Because religion really screws us our relationship with God, judging this and that and the other when even Jesus didn’t judge the woman who was an adulterer. All he did was warn her off of doing it again. Why? Not because she would be judged (because He didn’t do that!), but because it would mess with her mind.
    Let’s face it, we can argue inerrancy, infallability and theology until the cows come home, but if we don’t have a committed relationship with God, what good do our positions do us?


    • With due respect, you appear to be missing the entire crux of the post: the historical accuracy and reliability of the bible.

      As it should surely be clear by now, the bible is not accurate nor is it reliable therefore it cannot possibly be trustworthy as a source. So as far as the christian god is concerned, Susan, then All Bets Are Off, I’m afraid.

      As I wrote to Paul, the closest you can come if you still wish to align yourself with a god is to be a Deist.
      But to call oneself a Christian is to do so in the knowledge that the evidence is completely unreliable and in most cases false.

      There is no ”committed relationship” with the christian god simply because there is no personal god, as the bible is nothing but geopolitical fiction.


      • “There is no ”committed relationship” with the christian god simply because there is no personal god, as the bible is nothing but geopolitical fiction.”

        If that was not a reality of fiction, “cosplay” would not be a reality, a bunch of fiction writers would not have their fictious characters revered and quoted, and learning and loving and living would so less rich.


          • The thing that intrigues me is why the label – which represents something to you it does not me, something you find distasteful and I don’t – my intigue is why your labelling is so important to you. You claim “banter” but then state frustration. You claim certainty but remain a seeker of evidence for believing in God. You claim a lot of things but then do so much that is contrary. Like sticking around here. I like your company, but you claim not to like mine.

            “Christian” is a label with a ton of baggage. Which is why, if you could find it in yourself not to scan/skip my wonderful prose, you would find the kiddies were already pretty sure of that one.


            • The thing that intrigues me is why the label – which represents something to you it does not me, something you find distasteful and I don’t

              I have tried to explain this to you more times and in more ways that should be considered reasonable. But the reason is simple.
              While you claim a benign belief, millions have been unjustifiably indoctrinated and corrupted – look at Mel and Susan, right here on your blog.

              That your interpretation might be all Love unicorns and Rainbows the same frakkking crap spawned Islamic Fundamentalism which has included child suicide bombers and part-time airline pilots with a penchant for flying into tall buildings.
              In days of Yore, your own version of god belief tortured and burned people at the stake and it was largely Christians who committed the horrendous genocide of the Native Americans. It was with Christian authority that slavery was deemed morally right. And also Apartheid.

              So when are you,once and for all, going to remove the blinkers and stop trying to play both ends of the field and recognize and acknowledge that Christianity in all it’s forms ( and all supernatural faith-based religion) is based upon a foundation of lies and fraud and is simply rotten to the core?

              You claim certainty but remain a seeker of evidence for believing in God.

              You truly think I am looking for a reason to believe in a make-believe god?
              After all this time, and all the comments you must have read by me, here on a blog such as Nate’s you still think this is what I am doing?


    • I think Henry was simply copying an earlier marriage of the political and religious. It seems to be a marriage sought by many political suitors. Seems like the faithful are a plump voting category even today.


  2. The bible is neither historically reliable nor accurate.

    But, I suspect you knew this even before before you started this series of posts.
    There is no wiggle room for being a Christian under such circumstances, there really isn’t, and if you even suggest there is you will only come across as a hypocrite.
    In reality, you have two options, and neither include any form of adherence to the bible: Deism or Atheism.


    • There you go again. Doing that “spoiler” thing you enjoy so much. I meant to say earler – potholes aren’t a problem unless you sit insulated in a motorised vehicle trying to get somewhere as fast as possible. 😊

      Some of these posts are me on foot. Enjoying all the sights, sounds and smells. Just like you in your garden maybe.

      The other observation is that you write “by the rules”. The rules say I can only choose this or that. You really do sound so religious so often. Perhaps one man’s hypocrite is another man not playing by the rules. Maybe.


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