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  • d P s 4 4 4 5 6 I f t h e s e c o n d i t r e p r e s e n t s t h e b r e a d t h o f C h r i s t i a n c h a r i t y b y w h i c h J e s u s l o v e d e v e n h i s e n e m i e s R o m 5 1 0 I s a 5 3 1 2 L k 2 3 3 4 a n d b y w h i c h h i s f o l l o w e r s a r e c a l l e d u p o n t o d o t h e s a m e A n d H e z r o n b e g o t R a m T h e n a m e R a m m e a n s o n h i g h a n d i t p r e f i g u r e s t h e n a m e o f J e s u s w h i c h i s a b o v e e v e r y n a m e t h a t i s n a m e d E p h 1 2 1 1 3 1 1 A n d R a m b e g o t A m m i n a d a b w h i c h m e a n s a c t i n g f r e e l y a n d s i g n i f i e s t h e f r e e a c t o f w i l l o f J e s u s i n s a c r i f i c i n g H i m s e l f f o r t h e g o o d o f m a n k i n d P s 5 3 5 4 8 I s a 5 3 7 J n 6 3 8 1 4 A n d A m m i n a d a b b e g o t N a h s o n w h i c h m e a n s e i t h e r a u g u r y o r s e r p e n t i n e a n d s i g n i f i e s J e s u s k n o w l e d g e o f t h e f u t u r e H e b 4 1 3 o r i t m e a n s t h e p r u d e n c e o f J e s u s J o b 1 2 1 6 M a t t 1 0 1 6 o r h i s s e l f s a c r i f i c e o n t h e C r o s s J n 3 1 4 M o r a l l y i t a l s o m e a n s t h e k n o w l e d g e o f t h e f u t u r e t h a t c o m e s t o t h e f a i t h f u l f r o m t h e r e a d i n g o f S a c r e d S c r i p t u r e A n d N a h s o n b e g o t S a l m o n w h i c h m e a n s s e n s i b l e a n d p r e f i g u r e s J e s u s i n w h o m a r e a l l t h e t r e a s u r e s o f w i s d o m a n d k n o w l e d g e C o l 2 3 I t a l s o s i g n i f i e s t h e a b i l i t y t o d i s t i n g u i s h g o o d f r o m b a d t h a t c o m e s f r o m k n o w l e d g e o f t h e S c r i p t u r e s M o r a l l y j u s t a s t h e f i r s t f i v e n a m e s s i g n i f y t h e s t a t e o f b e g i n n e r s i n t h e o r d e r o f s a n c t i f i c a t i o n s o t h e n e x t f i v e n a m e s s i g n i f y t h o s e a d v a n c i n g t o w a r d s h o l i n e s s 1 5 1 2 A n d S a l m o n b e g o t B o a z f r o m R a h a b T h e n a m e B o a z m e a n s s t r o n g w h i l e R a h a b m e a n s h u n g e r o r s p a c i o u s A n d t h e n a m e B o a z s i g n i f i e s J e s u s C h r i s t J e r 1 6 1 9 w h i l e R a h a b s i g n i f i e s t h e C h u r c h b o t h a s h u n g e r M a t t 5 6 a n d a s s p a c i o u s I s a 5 4 2 R a h a b h u n g a s c a r l e t c o r d f r o m h e r w i n d o w J o s 2 2 1 O u r w i n d o w i s o u r m o u t h a n d i t i s f r o m t h e w o r d o f p r e a c h i n g t h a t t h e C h u r c h h a s b e e n s p r e a d t h r o u g h o u t t h e w o r l d A n d B o a z b e g o t O b e d f r o m R u t h T h e n a m e O b e d m e a n s s e r v a n t a n d R u t h m e a n s b e a u t y T h e n a m e O b e d s i g n i f i e s C h r i s t t h e s u f f e r i n g S e r v a n t I s a 4 3 2 4 a n d R u t h t h e M o a b i t e s i g n i f i e s t h e m e m b e r s o f t h e C h u r c h c o n v e r t e d f r o m i d o l a t r y s i n c e M o a b m e a n s o u t o f t h e f a t h e r n a m e l y o u t o f t h e D e v i l J n 8 4 4 O r R u t h m e a n s s e e i n g o r h a s t e n i n g a n d s i g n i f i e s t h e C h u r c h w h i c h s e e s G o d i n p u r i t y o f h e a r t a n d h a s t e n s t o t h e p r i z e o f t h e h e a v e n l y v o c a t i o n 1 6 A n d O b e d b e g o t J e s s e w h i c h m e a n s s a c r i f i c e o r b u r n i n g a n d s i g n i f i e s J e s u s w h o o f f e r e d H i m s e l f t o G o d a s a v i c t i m i n a n o d o r o f s w e e t n e s s H e b 1 0 1 4 M o r a l l y i t s i g n i f i e s t h e f i r e o f d i v i n e l o v e i n t h e h e a r t s o f h i s f o l l o w e r s L k 1 2 4 9 A n d J e s s e b e g o t K i n g D a v i d D a v i d m e a n s s t r o n g o f h a n d o r d e s i r a b l e i n a p p e a r a n c e a n d t h e n a m e s i g n i f i e s J e s u s L k 1 1 2 2 o r P s 4 4 4 5 3 1 7 1 3 T r o p o l o g i c a l l y t h e s e l a s t f o u r n a m e s r e p r e s e n t t h e f r u i t s o f t h e s p i r i t u a l l y p e r f e c t B o a z s i g n i f i e s t h e v i r t u e o f f o r t i t u d e I s a 4 0 3 P r o v 3 1 1 0 O b e d s i g n i f i e s t h e v i r t u e o f h u m i l i t y L k 2 2 2 6 A n d J e s s e s i g n i f i e s t h e f e r v o r o f t h e s u p e r n a t u r a l v i r t u e o f c h a r i t y P s 1 4 0 1 4 1 2 w h i l e K i n g D a v i d s i g n i f i e s a r r i v i n g i n t o t h e K i n g d o m o f G o d o n E a r t h a n d u l t i m a t e l y i n t o t h e K i n g d o m o f G o d i n H e a v e n 1 P e t 2 9 A p o c 5 1 0 1 8 1 4 A n d D a v i d b e g o t S o l o m o n o f h e r w h o h a d b e e n t h e w i f e o f U r i a h S o l o m o n m e a n s p e a c e a b l e a n d s i g n i f i e s C h r i s t J n 1 4 2 7 a s w e l l a s h i s f o l l o w e r s t h e p e a c e m a k e r s M a t t 5 9 F r o m t h e f o r t i t u d e o f d o i n g g o o d c o m e s p e a c e o f c o n s c i e n c e P s 1 1 8 1 1 9 1 6 5 U r i a h w a s a g o o d m a n i n h i s l i f e b u t i n t h i s a l l e g o r y h e r e p r e s e n t s t h e e v i l o n e H i s n a m e m e a n s m y l i g h t i s G o d a n d i t s i g n i f i e s t h e D e v i l I s a 1 4 1 4 T h e n a m e B a t h s h e e b a m e a n s w e l l o f s e v e n a n d s i g n i f i e s t h e C h u r c h o f t h e G e n t i l e s w i t h h e r s e v e n f o l d b a p t i s m a l g r a c e A n d S o l o m o n b e g o t R e h o b o a m T h e n a m e R e h o b o a m m e a n s f o r c e a n d i t s i g n i f i e s J e s u s C h r i s t b e c a u s e C h r i s t c o n v e r t e d t h e p e o p l e b y t h e f o r c e o f h i s p r e a c h i n g O r i t m e a n s t h e b r e a d t h o f h i s p e o p l e a n d t h u s s i g n i f i e s t h a t m a n y w o u l d c o m e t o J e s u s f r o m t h e E a s t a n d f r o m t h e W e s t M a t t 8 1 1 a n d w o u l d s u b s e q u e n t l y b e e x p a n s i v e i n t h e i r z e a l o u s o u t r e a c h t o o t h e r s A n d R e h o b o a m b e g o t A b i j a h w h i c h m e a n s m y f a t h e r i s G o d a n d s i g n i f i e s C h r i s t H e b 1 5 a s w e l l a s t h e v i r t u e s o f c h a r i t y a n d m e r c y i n t h e a d o p t e d c h i l d r e n o f G o d M a t t 5 4 4 4 5 L k 6 3 6 1 9 1 5 A n d A b i j a h b e g o t A s a w h i c h m e a n s l i f t i n g o n e s e l f u p j u s t a s r e s p o n s i b l e C h r i s t i a n s m u s t c o n s t a n t l y l i f t t h e m s e l v e s u p o n a c c o u n t o f t h e i r r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s a n d t h e n a m e A s a s i g n i f i e s J e s u s L k 2 4 0 A n d A s a b e g o t J e h o s h a p h a t w h i c h m e a n s j u d g i n g o r t h e L o r d j u d g e s a n d t h i s n a m e s i g n i f i e s C h r i s t J n 5 2 2 a s w e l l a s a l l s p i r i t u a l p e r s o n s 1 C o r 2 1 5 A n d J e h o s h a p h a t b e g o t J o r a m w h i c h m e a n s l i v i n g o n h i g h o r t h e L o r d e x a l t s w h i c h s i g n i f i e s C h r i s t J n 3 1 3 P s 1 1 2 1 1 3 4 a s w e l l a s a l l h o l y p e r s o n s I s a 3 3 1 5 P h i l 3 2 0 A n d J o r a m b e g o t U z z i a h w h i c h m e a n s r o b u s t o f t h e L o r d a n d s i g n i f i e s J e s u s P s 1 1 7 1 1 8 1 4 a s w e l l a s a l l C h r i s t i a n s A n d U z z i a h b e g o t J o t h a m w h i c h m e a n s a d v a n c e d a n d s i g n i f i e s C h r i s t t h r o u g h w h o m t h e C h u r c h a d v a n c e s d a i l y P s 8 3 8 4 8 a s w e l l a s t h o s e m e m b e r s o f C h r i s t w h o m a k e c o n t i n u a l s p i r i t u a l p r o g r e s s P s 8 3 8 4 8 O r i t m e a n s c o m p l e t e d a n d s i g n i f i e s C h r i s t w h o i s t h e f u l f i l l m e n t o f t h e O l d L a w R o m 1 0 4 2 0 A n d J o t h a m b e g o t A h a z w h i c h m e a n s c o m p r e h e n d i n g a n d t h i s s i g n i f i e s J e s u s C h r i s t L k 1 0 2 2 a s w e l l a s t h o s e m e m b e r s w h o b y a d v a n c i n g i n v i r t u e c o m e t o a d e e p e r k n o w l e d g e o f G o d P s 1 1 8 1 1 9 1 0 4 6 3 6 4 1 0 O r i t m e a n s t u r n i n g a n d a g a i n s i g n i f i e s J e s u s R e t u r n t o M e s a y s t h e L o r d o f H o s t s a n d I w i l l r e t u r n t o y o u Z e c h 1 3 A n d A h a z b e g o t H e z e k i a h w h i c h m e a n s G o d i s s t r o n g o r s t r o n g i n t h e L o r d a n d t h i s p e r t a i n s b o t h t o J e s u s w h o i s s t r o n g i n t h e b a t t l e a s w e l l a s t o h i s f o l l o w e r s 2 K g 2 S a m 2 2 2 A n d H e z e k i a h b e g o t M a n a s s e h w h i c h m e a n s f o r g e t f u l n e s s a n d t h i s b e f i t s C h r i s t w h o f o r g e t s t h e s i n s o f t h e r e p e n t a n t I s a 4 3 2 5 E z e k 1 8 2 1 a s w e l l a s h i s f o l l o w e r s w h o a r e f o r g e t f u l o f t h e i r a t t a c h m e n t s t o t h i s w o r l d G e n 4 1 5 1 P s 4 4 4 5 1 1 A n d M a n a s s e h b e g o t A m o s w h i c h m e a n s f a i t h f u l o r n o u r i s h i n g a n d t h i s b e f i t s C h r i s t w h o i s f a i t h f u l i n a l l h i s w o r d s P s 1 4 4 1 4 5 1 3 a n d n o u r i s h e s l i k e a p a r e n t H o s 1 1 3 M a t t 2 3 3 7 J n 6 5 6 A n d A m o s b e g o t J o s i a h w h i c h m e a n s s a f e t y o f t h e L o r d a n d t h i s b e f i t s C h r i s t P s 1 1 1 2 6 o r i t m e a n s i n c e n s e a n d t h i s a l s o p e r t a i n s t o C h r i s t E p h 5 2 a n d t o t h e p r a y e r o f h i s f o l l o w e r s P s 1 4 0 1 4 1 2 A n d J o s i a h b e g o t J e c h o n i a h a n d h i s b r o t h e r s i n t h e d e p o r t a t i o n t o B a b y l o n t h a t i s j u s t b e f o r e t h e d e p o r t a t i o n t o B a b y l o n H i s n a m e w a s o r i g i n a l l y J e h o i a c h i n w h i c h m e a n s t h e L o r d w i l l e s t a b l i s h o r p r e p a r a t i o n o f t h e L o r d b u t w a s a l t e r e d b y t h e p r o p h e t J e r e m i a h t o J e c h o n i a h t o g i v e i t t h e m e a n i n g o f t h e L o r d w i l l p u t s t r a i g h t 2 1 1 6 A n d a f t e r t h e d e p o r t a t i o n t o B a b y l o n A t t h i s p o i n t t h e g e n e a l o g y t u r n s a c o r n e r f r o m k i n g s t o p r i v a t e p e r s o n s J e r e m i a h 2 2 3 0 a n d t h i s s i g n i f i e s J e s u s t h e c o r n e r s t o n e w h o b r i n g s t o g e t h e r t h e C h u r c h o f t h e J e w s a n d t h e C h u r c h o f t h e G e n t i l e s P s 1 1 7 1 1 8 2 2 A c t s 1 3 4 6 J e c h o n i a h b e g o t S h e a l t i e l w h i c h m e a n s m y p e t i t i o n o r I p e t i t i o n e d f r o m G o d a n d s i g n i f i e s J e s u s C h r i s t i n h i s p e t i t i o n s J n 1 7 1 1 w h o w a s h e a r d f o r h i s r e v e r e n c e H e b 5 7 A n d S h e a l t i e l b e g o t Z e r u b b a b e l w h i c h m e a n s t e a c h e r o f B a b e l t h a t i s t e a c h e r o f c o n f u s i o n a n d t h i s n a m e s i g n i f i e s C h r i s t w h o w a s a t e a c h e r o f c o n f u s e d p e o p l e M a t t 9 1 3 J n 1 2 1 3 A n d Z e r u b b a b e l b e g o t A b i u d w h i c h m e a n s h e i s m y f a t h e r a n d t h i s n a m e s i g n i f i e s J e s u s P s 8 8 8 9 2 7 M a t t 1 6 1 7 a n d t r o p o l o g i c a l l y t h e f a t h e r h o o d o f t h e p r e a c h e r 1 C o r 4 1 5 2 2 M o r a l l y i n t h e t h i r d s e t f i r s t c o m e s t h e c l a s s o f t e a c h e r s f o u r g e n e r a t i o n s B e f o r e p r a y e r c o m e s p r e p a r a t i o n J e c h o n i a h S i r 1 8 2 3 t h e n p r a y e r S h e a l t i e l E p h 6 1 9 t h e n t e a c h i n g Z e r u b b a b e l a n d f i n a l l y p r e a c h i n g A b i u d 1 7 A n d A b i u d b e g o t E l i a k i m T h e n a m e E l i a k i m m e a n s r e s u r r e c t i o n o r G o d w i l l s e t u p a n d t h i s n a m e p e r t a i n s t o J e s u s w h o i s t h e r e s u r r e c t i o n a n d t h e l i f e J n 1 1 2 5 a n d 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  • i s a c c u r a t e M a t t h e w p r e s e n t s h i s g e n e a l o g y w i t h t h e w o r d s T h e b o o k o f t h e g e n e r a t i o n b i b l o s g e n e s e M s o f J e s u s C h r i s t s o n o f D a v i d s o n o f A b r a h a m M t 1 1 T h e G r e e k w o r d b i b l o s m e a n s a w r i t t e n t a b l e t a s d o e s t h e c o r r e s p o n d i n g H e b r e w w o r d s e p r T h e r e f o r e t h e b o o k o f t h e g e n e r a t i o n r e f e r r e d t o b y M a t t h e w s e e m s t o b e a w r i t t e n g e n e a l o g i c a l r e c o r d t o w h i c h h e i s r e f e r r i n g a d o c u m e n t t h a t h e i s q u o t i n g T h i s i s t h e r e f o r e a n e x p l i c i t c i t a t i o n o f a d o c u m e n t L u k e b e g i n s h i s g e n e a l o g i c a l p r e s e n t a t i o n w i t h t h e w o r d s a s w a s s u p p o s e d N o w i t i s c l e a r t h a t L u k e i s s a y i n g t h a t J e s u s w a s o n l y s u p p o s e d t o b e t h e s o n o f J o s e p h w h e r e a s i n b i o l o g i c a l f a c t h e w a s n o t B u t i t i s p o s s i b l e t h a t t h e p h r a s e a s w a s s u p p o s e d a p p l i e s a s w e l l t o o t h e r l i n k s i n t h e g e n e a l o g y o r e v e n t o t h e w h o l e g e n e a l o g y T h u s L u k e m a y n o t b e g u a r a n t e e i n g t h e h i s t o r i c a l a c c u r a c y o f t h e g e n e a l o g y w h i c h h e p r e s e n t s i n f a c t h e m a y b e i m p l y i n g t h a t t h e g e n e a l o g y i s n o t h i s t o r i c a l l y a c c u r a t e F r o m t h e s e i n d i c a t i o n s r e g a r d i n g M a t t h e w a n d L u k e i t i s p o s s i b l e t o r e t a i n t h e c o m p l e t e h i s t o r i c a l a c c u r a c y o f t h e t w o i n s p i r e d w r i t e r s a c c o r d i n g t o t h e i r e x p r e s s i n t e n t i o n a n d a t t h e s a m e t i m e t o c o n s i d e r p o s s i b l e i n a c c u r a c i e s a n d c o n f u s i o n s i n t h e l i s t s o f n a m e s t h e m s e l v e s A n a l y s i s o f t h e t e x t s o f M a t t h e w a n d L u k e a c c o r d i n g t o t h e p r i n c i p l e s o f t r u e h i s t o r i o g r a p h y d o e s n o t o n t h e o n e h a n d e x c l u d e t h e p o s s i b i l i t y t h a t o n e o r b o t h o f t h e s e s a c r e d w r i t e r s i n p r e s e n t i n g a g e n e a l o g i c a l l i s t i n t e n d e d t o p r e s e n t d o u b t f u l o r e r r o n e o u s n a m e s t o c o n t r a s t w i t h w h a t t h e y w e r e r e a l l y a f f i r m i n g a b o u t t h e o r i g i n o f J e s u s O n t h e o t h e r h a n d t e x t u a l a n a l y s i s d o e s n o t s h o w u n a m b i g u o u s l y t h a t e i t h e r E v a n g e l i s t d i d i n f a c t i n t e n d n o t t o g u a r a n t e e h i s l i s t o r t h a t e i t h e r l i s t i s i n f a c t t o s o m e d e g r e e h i s t o r i c a l l y i n a c c u r a t e 2 4 1 6 M a t t 1 1 T h e b o o k o f t h e g e n e r a t i o n b í b l o s g e n e s e M s M a t t h e w i s q u o t i n g f r o m a d o c u m e n t p r o b a b l y f r o m a p i e c e o f p a p y r u s c o n t a i n i n g a l i s t o f n a m e s o f J e s u s C h r i s t T h e l i s t o f n a m e s p u r p o r t s t o b e t h e a n c e s t r y o f J e s u s o f N a z a r e t h b u t i t d o e s n o t l i n k u p t o H i m b i o l o g i c a l l y M a t t h e w a f f i r m s h e r e t h a t J e s u s i s t h e M e s s i a h t h e O n e A n o i n t e d b y G o d a s t h e S a v i o r o f m a n k i n d s o n o f D a v i d s o n o f A b r a h a m T h i s s u m m a r y o f t h e c h r o n o l o g i c a l l i s t t o f o l l o w s e t s u p a n h i s t o r i c a l r e t r o s p e c t a s t h e b a s i s o f a n h i s t o r i c a l e x p l a n a t i o n t o b e i n c l u d e d b y t h e e v a n g e l i s t I t t e l l s u s a l s o t h a t t h e w o r d s o n w i l l b e u s e d a l s o i n t h e b r o a d e r s e n s e o f a n y d i r e c t l i n e m a l e d e s c e n d e n t 1 7 M a t t 1 2 1 6 A b r a h a m b e g o t I s a a c T h e G r e e k w o r d e g e n n s e n m e a n s b e g o t i n t h e s e n s e o f p h y s i c a l p r o c r e a t i o n f r o m t h e m a l e s e e d P a r a p h r a s e s s u c h a s A b r a h a m w a s t h e f a t h e r o f I s a a c B r o w n R S V J e r u s a l e m B i b l e o r A b r a h a m b e c a m e t h e f a t h e r o f I s a a c N e w A m e r i c a n B i b l e a r e i n c o r r e c t a n d m i s s t h e l i t e r a l m e a n i n g o f t h e c h a p t e r w h i c h s t r e s s e s t h e p a s s i n g o f t h e m a l e s e e d f r o m A b r a h a m t o J o s e p h b u t n o t t o J e s u s s e e n o 3 a b o v e T h e L a t i n V u l g a t e a n d t h e D o u a y R h e i m s E n g l i s h t r a n s l a t i o n s a r e c o r r e c t o n t h i s p o i n t 1 8 M a t t 1 1 7 S o a l l t h e g e n e r a t i o n s f r o m A b r a h a m t o D a v i d a r e f o u r t e e n g e n e r a t i o n s T h e r e a r e f o u r t e e n n a m e s i n t h e s e t f r o m A b r a h a m t o D a v i d A b r a h a m i s c o u n t e d a s a g e n e r a t i o n p r o b a b l y i n v i e w o f t h e s y m b o l i c m e a n i n g o f t h e n a m e A b r a m w a s r e b o r n i n f a i t h a n d h i s n a m e w a s c h a n g e d t o A b r a h a m F a t h e r o f N a t i o n s G e n 1 7 5 B r o w n a v e r s t h a t t h e r e h a d t o b e m o r e t h a n f o u r t e e n g e n e r a t i o n s i n t h e f i r s t s e t s i n c e s o m e 7 5 0 y e a r s s e p a r a t e d A b r a h a m f r o m D a v i d 2 5 B u t M a t t h e w i s n o t s a y i n g t h a t t h e r e w e r e o n l y f o u r t e e n i m m e d i a t e g e n e r a t i o n s M a t t h e w i s s a y i n g t h a t t h e r e w e r e f o u r t e e n q u a l i f i e d g e n e r a t i o n s i n e a c h s e t a n d h i s p o i n t h a s f o r c e a s l o n g a s t h e r e a r e d i s c e r n i b l e r e a s o n s f o r h i s o m i t t i n g s o m e o f t h e i m m e d i a t e g e n e r a t i o n s i n k e e p i n g w i t h t h e p u r p o s e o f h i s w r i t i n g F r o m t h e e a r l i e s t t i m e s c o m m e n t a t o r s h a v e r e m a r k e d t h a t s o m e i m m e d i a t e g e n e r a t i o n s w e r e o m i t t e d b y M a t t h e w b e c a u s e o f w i c k e d n e s s T h u s t h e w i c k e d n e s s o f O n a n w h o w a s t e d h i s s e e d o n t h e g r o u n d G e n 3 8 9 l e d t o t h e e l i m i n a t i o n b y G o d o f o n e g e n e r a t i o n i n t h e d e s c e n t o f t h e s e e d f r o m A b r a h a m t o D a v i d a n d t h i s c o u l d b e a r e a s o n w h y M a t t h e w a d d e d A b r a h a m t o m a k e t h e n u m b e r f o u r t e e n 1 9 A n d f r o m D a v i d t o t h e d e p o r t a t i o n t o B a b y l o n f o u r t e e n g e n e r a t i o n s T h e s e c o n d s e t o f f o u r t e e n n a m e s i n t h e M a t t h e a n g e n e a l o g y s a y s t h a t J o r a m b e g o t U z z z i a h M a t t 1 8 w h e r e a s w e k n o w t h a t J o r a m w a s a c t u a l l y t h e g r e a t g r e a t g r a n d f a t h e r o f U z z i a h o t h e r w i s e k n o w n a s A z a r i a h b e c a u s e i n 1 C h r o n 3 1 1 1 2 w e r e a d a n d J o r a m b e g o t O c h o z i a h f r o m w h o m s p r a n g J o a s a n d h i s s o n A m a s i a h b e g o t A z a r i a h H e n c e M a t t h e w o m i t s t h e g e n e r a t i o n s o f O c h o z i a h J o a s a n d A m a s i a h f r o m h i s l i s t a n d t h e j u d g m e n t s g i v e n i n t h e O l d T e s t a m e n t u p o n t h e s e p e o p l e m a y t e l l u s w h y S t J e r o m e 2 6 s e e s a r e a s o n i n t h e f a c t t h a t J o r a m m a r r i e d A t h a l i a h t h e d a u g h t e r o f J e z e b e l o f S i d o n w h o d r e w h i m d e e p e r a n d d e e p e r i n t o t h e p r a c t i c e s o f i d o l a t r y c f 2 K g 4 K g 3 3 a n d t h a t t h e t h r e e g e n e r a t i o n s o f s o n s s u c c e e d i n g h i m c o n t i n u e d i n t h e w o r s h i p o f i d o l s I n t h e v e r y f i r s t o f t h e T e n C o m m a n d m e n t s g i v e n b y G o d t h r o u g h M o s e s o n M o u n t S i n a i i t w a s s t a t e d T h o u s h a l t n o t h a v e f o r e i g n g o d s b e f o r e m e T h o u s h a l t n o t a d o r e o r s e r v e t h e m I a m t h e L o r d t h y G o d p o w e r f u l a n d j e a l o u s v i s i t i n g t h e i n i q u i t y o f f a t h e r s u p o n t h e i r c h i l d r e n u n t o t h e t h i r d a n d f o u r t h g e n e r a t i o n o f t h o s e t h a t h a t e m e a n d s h o w i n g m e r c y u n t o t h o u s a n d s t o t h o s e t h a t l o v e m e a n d k e e p m y c o m m a n d m e n t s E x 2 0 3 6 N o w S o l o m o n w a s a s i n n e r a n d a n i d o l a t e r 1 K g 3 K g 1 1 7 8 b u t h e h a d a g o o d m a n f o r h i s f a t h e r a n d w a s t h e r e f o r e n o t p u n i s h e d i n h i s o w n g e n e r a t i o n 1 K g 3 K g 1 1 1 2 S t A u g u s t i n e 2 7 p o i n t s o u t t h a t t h e s a m e w a s t r u e o f J e h o r a m w h o h a d J o s a p h a t f o r h i s f a t h e r a n d t h e r e f o r e d i d n o t h a v e h i s n a m e r e m o v e d f r o m M a t t h e w s g e n e a l o g y c f 2 C h r 2 1 7 2 0 S t J o h n C h r y s o s t o m 2 8 a d d s t h e f u r t h e r r e a s o n t h a t t h e L o r d h a d o r d e r e d t h e h o u s e o f A h a b t o b e e x t i r p a t e d f r o m t h e f a c e o f t h e e a r t h 2 K g 4 K g 9 8 a n d t h e t h r e e k i n g s e l i m i n a t e d b y M a t t h e w w e r e a s d e s c e n d a n t s o f A t h a l i a h o f t h e s e e d o f A h a b J e h u e r a d i c a t e d t h e w o r s h i p o f B a a l f r o m I s r a e l b u t h e d i d n o t f o r s a k e t h e g o l d e n c a l v e s i n B e t h e l a n d D a n N e v e r t h e l e s s t h e L o r d s a i d t o h i m B e c a u s e y o u h a v e d i l i g e n t l y p e r f o r m e d w h a t w a s r i g h t a n d p l e a s i n g i n m y e y e s a n d h a v e d o n e t o t h e h o u s e o f A h a b i n k e e p i n g w i t h e v e r y t h i n g t h a t w a s i n m y h e a r t y o u r c h i l d r e n s h a l l s i t u p o n t h e t h r o n e o f I s r a e l u n t o t h e f o u r t h g e n e r a t i o n 2 K g 4 K g 1 0 2 8 3 1 S o i t i s i n t e r e s t i n g t o n o t e t h a t w h i l e t h e s e g e n e r a t i o n s o f J e h u w e r e i n s e r t e d i n t o t h e r o y a l l i n e a g e o f I s r a e l t h e t h r e e g e n e r a t i o n s o f A h a b w e r e t a k e n o u t o f t h e g e n e a l o g y o f J e s u s b y t h e j u d g m e n t o f G o d t h r o u g h t h e i n s p i r e d p e n o f S t M a t t h e w 2 1 I n c o n c l u d i n g h i s s e c o n d s e t o f f o u r t e e n g e n e r a t i o n s M a t t 1 1 1 A n d J o s i a h b e g o t J e c h o n i a h a n d h i s b r o t h e r s a t t h e t i m e o f t h e d e p o r t a t i o n t o B a b y l o n T h i s s t a t e m e n t s e e m s e r r o n e o u s C r i t i c s h a v e f r o m t h e e a r l i e s t t i m e s p o i n t e d o u t t h a t t h e O l d T e s t a m e n t e g 1 C h r 3 1 5 1 6 t e l l s a d i f f e r e n t s t o r y A n d t h e s o n s o f J o s i a h w e r e t h e f i r s t b o r n J o h a n a n t h e s e c o n d J o a k i m t h e t h i r d Z e d e k i a h t h e f o u r t h S e l l u m O f J o a k i m w e r e b o r n J e c h o n i a h a n d Z e d e k i a h S o i t s e e m s t h a t M a t t h e w 1 1 1 s h o u l d r e a d A n d J o s i a h b e g o t J o a k i m a n d h i s b r o t h e r s A n d J o a k i m b e g o t J o a c h i n J e c h o n i a h j u s t b e f o r e t h e d e p o r t a t i o n t o B a b y l o n T h e p a g a n p h i l o s o p h e r P o r p h y r y c l a i m e d t h a t t h i s c o n f u s i o n o f p e r s o n s p r o v e s t h e e x i s t e n c e o f h i s t o r i c a l e r r o r s i n t h e G o s p e l s T w o b a s i c s o l u t i o n s t o t h i s p r o b l e m o f c o n f u s i o n o f p e r 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  • o r m c r i t i c a l m e t h o d t o a n a l y z e t h e s e p a s s a g e s o f t h e G o s p e l s t h e b u r d e n o f p r o o f i s o n h i m t o s h o w t h a t t h e V i r g i n a l C o n c e p t i o n r e a l l y a n d h i s t o r i c a l l y t o o k p l a c e a n d e v e n m o r e s o t h e I n c a r n a t i o n o f t h e e t e r n a l S o n o f G o d B u t D a n i é l o u d o e s n o t a t t e m p t t o d o s o A s a n y r e a l i s t i c t h i n k e r w i l l a d m i t i f t h e a n g e l i c a p p e a r a n c e s i n t h e a c c o u n t s a r e i m a g i n a r y i f a l l t h e w o r d s w e r e i n v e n t e d a n d p l a c e d o n t h e l i p s o f a n i m a g i n a r y a n g e l i f t h e p r o p h e c y i n I s a i a h w a s t w i s t e d t o f i t a b e l i e f a n d i f a l l o f t h i s i s t o b e c o n s i d e r e d a n h o n e s t a n d l e g i t i m a t e m e a n s o f e x p r e s s i n g C h r i s t i a n f a i t h t h e n t h e r e w a s n o t h i n g t o p r e v e n t C h r i s t i a n b e l i e v e r s f r o m i n v e n t i n g t h e V i r g i n a l C o n c e p t i o n a s w e l l A s a b e l i e v i n g C a t h o l i c D a n i é l o u a c c e p t s t h e d o g m a o f t h e I n c a r n a t i o n b u t a s a t e a c h e r h e i s f o r c e d t o d e p e n d o n t h e s o l i d a n d p r e f o r m c r i t i c a l f a i t h o f h i s C a t h o l i c r e a d e r s h i p t o a c c e p t t h e h i s t o r i c i t y o f t h e s e t w o p h y s i c a l f a c t s i n s p i t e o f t h e d a m a g e t h a t h e i s d o i n g h e r e t o t h e e v i d e n c e T h e r e i s s o m e t h i n g s e r i o u s l y m i s s i n g i n t h i s k i n d o f s c h o l a r s h i p 7 I f a s D a n i é l o u a v e r s R u d o l f B u l t m a n n h a s p r o v e d t h a t t h e s c e n e o f t h e A n n u n c i a t i o n t o M a r y i n L u k e i s a m i d r a s h o f I s a i a h 9 h e h a s a l s o p r o v e d t h a t t h e i d e a o f t h e V i r g i n a l C o n c e p t i o n i s a H e l l e n i s t i c f a n t a s y t h a t w a s a d d e d l a t e r t o a n o r i g i n a l l y P a l e s t i n i a n r e p o r t a c c o r d i n g t o w h i c h a n a n g e l s i m p l y p r o m i s e d t o J o s e p h t h a t h i s s o n w o u l d b e t h e M e s s i a h A g a i n a c c o r d i n g t o B u l t m a n n t h e A n n u n c i a t i o n t o M a r y i n L u k e i s a H e l l e n i s t i c e l a b o r a t i o n o f a n o l d e r s t o r y w h i c h h a d i t t h a t a n a n g e l a p p e a r e d t o M a r y a n d s i m p l y t o l d h e r t h a t s h e w o u l d b e t h e m o t h e r o f t h e M e s s i a h B y u s i n g B u l t m a n n a s a n a u t h o r i t y a n d t h e n n o t a t t e m p t i n g t o r e f u t e B u l t m a n n s d e n i a l o f t h e h i s t o r i c a l t r u t h o f t h e V i r g i n a l C o n c e p t i o n a n d t h e I n c a r n a t i o n D a n i é l o u l o s e s h i s a r g u m e n t t h a t e i t h e r o f t h e s e e v e r r e a l l y t o o k p l a c e I t i s a p i t y t h a t C a t h o l i c f o r m c r i t i c s h a v e s p e n t s o m u c h t i m e a d a p t i n g B u l t m a n n s m e t h o d s t o t h e i r s c h o l a r s h i p a n d s o l i t t l e t i m e r e f u t i n g t h e o b v i o u s f a l l a c i e s i n h i s r e a s o n i n g 4 8 T h e i d e a o f t h e i m p o s s i b i l i t y o f m i r a c l e s a n d t h e c o n s e q u e n t i m p o s s i b i l i t y o f a n y o b j e c t i v e l y r e a l m i r a c u l o u s a c c o u n t s i s a n a t u r a l i s t i c p r e s u p p o s i t i o n o f B u l t m a n n s f o r m c r i t i c a l m e t h o d A l s o p r e s u p p o s e d i s t h e i d e a f o l l o w i n g a l o n g t h e l i n e s o f É m i l D u r k h e i m s t h e o r y o f t h e b a s i c d i f f e r e n c e b e t w e e n p r i m i t i v e s o c i e t i e s a n d m o d e r n s o c i e t i e s t h a t t h e e a r l y C h r i s t i a n c o m m u n i t y w a s a p r i m i t i v e s o c i e t y w h o s e i n s t i n c t i v e f a i t h r e s p o n s e s a n d s t o r i e s w e r e a l w a y s d e p e n d e n t u p o n i d e a s a l r e a d y t r a d i t i o n a l i n t h e i r m i l i e u H e n c e B u l t m a n n l o o k e d f o r i d e a s e x i s t i n g i n t h e i r O l d T e s t a m e n t t r a d i t i o n a s s o u r c e s f o r t h e u n o r i g i n a l s t o r i e s t h a t t h e y w o u l d h a v e g o n e o n t o e l a b o r a t e a n d a d a p t t o t h e i r n e w f a i t h N o w t h i s p r e s u p p o s i t i o n i s n o t i n k e e p i n g w i t h g o o d h i s t o r i c a l t h e o r y b e c a u s e t r u e a n d v a l i d h i s t o r i c a l m e t h o d t a k e s t h e f a c t s a s i t f i n d s t h e m m i r a c u l o u s e v e n t s i n c l u d e d i f t h e y c o m e a l o n g w i t h o u t p r e s u m i n g t o d e t e r m i n e i n a d v a n c e o n a n a t u r a l i s t i c b a s i s w h a t t h e f a c t s c o u l d o r c o u l d n o t h a v e b e e n A n d t h e i d e a t h a t t h e e a r l y C h r i s t i a n s w e r e i n t e l l e c t u a l l y i n c a p a b l e o f o r i g i n a t i n g t h e i r o w n s t o r i e s a n d c o u l d n o t e v e n d i s t i n g u i s h c l e a r l y b e t w e e n t h e r e a l a n d t h e i m a g i n a r y i s c o n t r a r y t o h i s t o r i c a l f a c t N o t o n l y d o e s a n u n b i a s e d r e a d i n g o f t h e b i b l i c a l t e x t s h o w t h e c o n s t a n t p r e s e n c e o f a d i s t i n c t i o n b e t w e e n f a c t a n d f a n c y b u t t h i s c a n a l s o b e s h o w n f r o m s o u r c e s o u t s i d e o f t h e S c r i p t u r e s A n d a u t h e n t i c C h r i s t i a n f a i t h i s a f a i t h w h o s e o b j e c t s a r e h i s t o r i c a l f a c t s 9 S i n c e f a c t s a r e t h e b e d r o c k o f r e a l m e a n i n g h i s t o r i c a l s c i e n c e v a l i d l y d i s t i n g u i s h e s b e t w e e n t h e b a s i c c h r o n o l o g y o f a n a c c o u n t a n d t h e h i s t o r i c a l e x p l a n a t i o n t h a t a c c o m p a n i e s i t B e c a u s e b i b l i c a l h i s t o r y i s a n i n s p i r e d o b j e c t o f f a i t h i t i s n e c e s s a r y f o r f a i t h s e e k i n g u n d e r s t a n d i n g t o p r e s u m e t h e h i s t o r i c a l t r u t h o f a S c r i p t u r a l a c c o u n t u n l e s s t h e s a c r e d w r i t e r e x p l i c i t l y o r i m p l i c i t l y i n d i c a t e s t h a t i t i s n o t h i s i n t e n t i o n t o e x p r e s s h i s t o r i c a l t r u t h D o u b t s d o a r i s e w h e n a p p a r e n t c o n t r a d i c t i o n s a r e e n c o u n t e r e d a n d t h e s e d o n e e d t o b e r e s o l v e d b u t b y c o r r e c t l o g i c a l a n d h i s t o r i c a l a n a l y s i s T h e m i d r a s h t h e o r y o f G o s p e l i n t e r p r e t a t i o n e x c l u d e s i n a d v a n c e t h e i n t e n t i o n o f t h e G o s p e l w r i t e r s t o r e c o r d t h e h i s t o r i c a l f a c t s i n t h e a c c o u n t s t h a t t h e y g i v e a n d i t t u r n s h i s t o r i o g r a p h i c a r t i n t o f i c t i o n a l f a n t a s y I t a s s u m e s a n o v e l i s t i c a p p r o a c h o f t h e G o s p e l w r i t e r s w i t h o u t f i r s t h a v i n g a n a l y z e d o n t h e l e v e l o f h i s t o r i c a l s c i e n c e w h e t h e r t h i s n o v e l i s t i c a p p r o a c h i s s c i e n t i f i c a l l y j u s t i f i e d a n d w i t h o u t a s s e s s i n g e s p e c i a l l y o n t h e p a r t o f C a t h o l i c s c h o l a r s t h e d a m a g e t h a t s u c h a n a p p r o a c h w i l l d o t o t h e i r f a i t h a n d o u r s A n i m p o r t a n t d i s t i n c t i o n i g n o r e d b y D a n i é l o u a n d b y a l l f o r m c r i t i c s i s t h e d i f f e r e n c e b e t w e e n t h e f i n i s o p e r i s a n d t h e f i n i s o p e r a n t i s o f a w o r k p r o d u c e d T h e f i n i s o p e r i s i s t h e p u r p o s e o f t h e w o r k w h i l e t h e f i n i s o p e r a n t i s i s t h e p u r p o s e o f t h e w o r k e r T h e f i n i s o p e r i s o f S t M a t t h e w a n d S t L u k e w a s t o r e c o r d t h e h i s t o r i c a l f a c t s t h a t t o o k p l a c e T h e f i n i s o p e r a n t i s o f t h e s a m e w a s t o i n s t r u c t t h e f a i t h o f b e l i e v e r s G o d t h e H o l y S p i r i t w a s f u l l y c a p a b l e o f p r e s e n t i n g t h r o u g h t h e i n s p i r e d w r i t e r s d e e p p a t t e r n s o f m e a n i n g e m b e d d e d i n a s e r i e s o f t r u e h i s t o r i c a l f a c t s i n o r d e r t o c o n v e y t h e t r u t h s t h a t H e w i s h e d t o c o m m u n i c a t e 5 1 0 T w o c r u c i a l h i s t o r i c a l f a c t s n a r r a t e d b y M a t t h e w a n d L u k e i n t h e a n n u n c i a t i o n s t o J o s e p h a n d t o M a r y a r e t h e a s s u m i n g o f a h u m a n n a t u r e b y t h e W o r d o f G o d t o f o r m t h e G o d M a n a n d h i s V i r g i n a l C o n c e p t i o n a s t h e m o d e o f t h i s d i v i n e i n t e r v e n t i o n T h e y a r e r e a l c o n c r e t e h a p p e n i n g s i n t e g r a t e d i n t o t h e p r o c e s s o f u n i v e r s a l h i s t o r y a n d k n o w n a s s u c h i n t h e r e t r o s p e c t i v e c o n s c i o u s n e s s o f m a n W h i l e D a n i é l o u s e e k s t o r e t a i n t h e s e t w o e v e n t s h i s m e t h o d o b s t r u c t s h i m f r o m d o i n g s o H e d o e s n o t s a v e t h e f a c t b e c a u s e h e i n c l u d e s i t w i t h i n a n a l l e g e d l y f i c t i t i o u s s t o r y a n d h e d o e s n o t s a v e t h e c o n t e n t b e c a u s e h e r e d u c e s t h e h i s t o r i c a l c o n t e n t o f t h e e p i s o d e s t o t h e m e r e l y h u m a n e v e n t o f J o s e p h s h a v i n g l e g a l l y a d o p t e d J e s u s T h e r e a l c o n t e n t o f t h e r e v e l a t i o n t o M a r y w a s t h a t s h e w a s h i s t o r i c a l l y t o b e c o m e t h e M o t h e r o f G o d I n c a r n a t e W h o w o u l d a l s o b e t h e M e s s i a h a n d i t w a s a l s o r e v e a l e d t o M a r y t h a t t h i s i n c a r n a t i o n w o u l d t a k e p l a c e b y w a y o f t h e h i s t o r i c a l e v e n t o f a v i r g i n a l c o n c e p t i o n M a r y e x p e r i e n c e d t h e V i r g i n a l C o n c e p t i o n t o b e h i s t o r i c a l l y t r u e J o s e p h c a m e t o k n o w o f t h e V i r g i n a l C o n c e p t i o n t h r o u g h h i s b e l i e f i n t h e m e s s a g e o f a n a n g e l 1 1 D a n i é l o u c l a i m s t h a t J e s u s w a s n o t a d e s c e n d a n t o f D a v i d t h r o u g h M a r y f o r t h e r e a s o n t h a t M a r y w a s n o t a d e s c e n d a n t o f D a v i d p 1 6 b u t t h e r e a r e p o w e r f u l a r g u m e n t s t o t h e c o n t r a r y S t J e r o m e a f f i r m s t h a t M a r y w a s a c l o s e r e l a t i v e o f J o s e p h a n d t h e r e f o r e a m e m b e r o f t h e t r i b e o f J u d a h a n d o f t h e f a m i l y o f D a v i d 6 T h i s t e s t i m o n y i s r e i n f o r c e d b y S t A m b r o s e T e r t u l l i a n S t J o h n C h r y s o s t o m a n d S t J o h n D a m a s c e n e 7 T h e F a t h e r s o f t h e C h u r c h a l m o s t u n a n i m o u s l y d e f e n d t h e D a v i d i c d e s c e n t o f M a r y a n d t h e s a m e c o n c l u s i o n i s i n k e e p i n g w i t h c o n t e m p o r a r y r e s e a r c h 8 1 2 A p r o b l e m t h a t l u r k s i n t h i s d i s c u s s i o n i s h o w a c h a r a c t e r i n a d r e a m c a n b e r e g a r d e d a s a w i t n e s s t o a n e x t r a o r d i n a r y h i s t o r i c a l e v e n t I f J o s e p h w a s a j u s t m a n o n l y i n t h e f o r m c r i t i c a l s e n s e o f b e i n g a n a ï v e o b s e r v e r o f t h e M o s a i c L a w h e c o u l d e a s i l y h a v e a l l o w e d h i s c

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  • LT129 - A Neo-Patristic Approach to Biblical Inspiration
    contradictions with one another although good science always makes this attempt The techniques of form criticism initiated by Hermann Gunkel were arising according to which every plausible crack in the biblical fabric was accorded an advance of the historical method and every truly historical vestige remaining in the Bible was deemed a snag to be overcome 4 Swain goes on to affirm that the new historical criticism was combating a negative defensive attitude which implicitly identified biblical truth with scientific and historical accuracy And he continues it was in this context that various documents of the Magisterium such as those listed in nos 2B 2C above and others by Pope Pius X the Pontifical Biblical Commission and Pope Benedict XV saw the necessity of affirming that the sacred books contained revelation without error 2 But there is an equivocation in Swain s use of the expression scientific and historical accuracy The replies of the Pontifical Biblical Commission and other documents of the Magisterium had made clear that the biblical genre even of its very nature was not limited to the material precision that modern historians often set for themselves but here we are not dealing with a question of precision The question is rather of historical and scientific truth or error The Magisterium has clearly and consistently taught over the centuries that the sacred text contains no scientific or historical errors and Swain is trying to get around that The negative defensive attitude that he mentions is a feature of Catholic apologetics that has always been functional in the Church but which has been greatly weakened in recent times due largely to the failure of Catholic historical critics to recognize the fallacies in the attacks made against the truth of the Scriptures in the name of history and science The negative defensive attitude that he mentions is a feature of Catholic apologetics that has always been functional in the Church but which has been greatly weakened in recent times due largely to the failure of Catholic historical critics to recognize the fallacies in the attacks made against the truth of the Scriptures in the name of history and science 5 Raymond Collins also presents an historical critical view of biblical inspiration where he says that objections to the theory of verbal inspiration have led most critical scholars to abandon it 3 While this statement refers directly to what he calls the prophetic model of inspiration it has impact on the traditional Catholic approach The words of Sacred Scripture are verbal expressions and it is the traditional teaching of the Church that these words are inspired see no 2C above The inspiration of Sacred Scripture refers not to the events themselves but to their verbal expression And even though human writing processes were at work a discernible supernatural process was also at work and it is plainly evident both in the rapport of faith to the teaching of Scripture and in the inerrancy of the text The non Catholic originators of historical criticism and of the form critical method such as Hermann Gunkel and Rudolf Bultmann openly excluded any real divine action underlying the writing of the Scriptures and Catholic historical critics like Raymond Collins and Lionel Swain have the burden of clearly showing how their stand significantly differs from the original rationalist position which is plainly contrary to the perennial teaching of the Church But no clear Catholic position emerges here While acknowledging that the historical critical method was the child of the Enlightenment Collins points out that it brought about the modification of traditional formulations by many Roman Catholics The Magisterium intervened to correct these modifications see nos 2A 2E above but according to Collins in somewhat negative fashion 4 Thus Collins continues the inerrant truth of the Bible was deemed all important but this approach he says has changed since Vatican II However Collins and other Catholic historical critics are simply exploiting an ambiguity in the wording of Dei Verbum regarding that truth which God for the sake of our salvation wished to see confided to the sacred Scriptures These scholars read the text as though it means only that truth which is aimed at our salvation but this reading is contrary to the intention of the Council as is clearly indicated in the footnotes that the Council itself appended to these words In fact the footnotes of the conciliar document include references to Providentissimus Deus exactly where it says that divine inspiration absolutely excludes any error EB 124 see no 2B above and that error cannot be ascribed to the human authors as distinct from the divine Author EB 125 see again no 2B above And the same footnote references include the following judgment from Providentissimus Deus It follows that those who maintain that an error is possible in any genuine passage of the sacred writings either pervert the Catholic notion of inspiration or make God the author of such error Hence the opinion that biblical inerrancy covers only that truth which pertains to our salvation cannot be sustained as is brought out in the encyclical Humani generis of Pope Pius XII 1950 where he excludes once again the opinion already several times condemned according to which the immunity from errors of Sacred Writ extends only to those things which are conveyed concerning God and moral and religious matters see no 2E above 6 Collins points out that increased data available to historical critical scholars regarding the origins of the earth and of the human race led to incompatibility between scientific knowledge and a naïve literal reading of the creation narratives 5 Here Collins makes almost synonymous the adjectives naïve and litera l but there is a big difference between the two While the Galileo case is usually the grand exhibit of secular humanists on this question the fact is that Catholic exegetical tradition has regularly cautioned against naïve readings of the Scriptures while upholding the literal reading of the same Modern empirical science has raised serious questions regarding the reading of the days of creation in Genesis 1 but the Magisterium in the replies of the Pontifical Biblical Commission of June 30 1909 EB 324 331 has also clarified this in a very satisfying way and it is by no means clear that the six creative interventions of God described in the first chapter of Genesis are at all incompatible with the findings of modern empirical science 6 Similarly the reduction by historical critics of the story of Adam and Eve in Gen 2 3 to the level of religious fiction is not based upon solid historical reasoning While Catholic form critics in using the method of Gunkel and Bultmann do not necessarily accept all of Gunkel s and Bultmann s outrageous conclusions they have been singularly inept at refuting them As far as the needed refutation of errors is concerned the multitude of fallacies in Gunkel s Genesis 1901 and Bultmann s History of the Synoptic Tradition 1921 have now lain undigested in the belly of Catholic historical criticism in the first case for more than a century and in the other for more than eighty five years Gunkel s Genesis and Bultmann s History of the Synoptic Tradition are insults to Catholic belief but no Catholic historical critic has ever written a worthy response to either of them The English translation of the third edition 1910 of Gunkel s Genesis published in 1997 can even be found on sale in many Catholic book stores mixed indiscriminately with works by solidly Catholic authors and Bultmann is often quoted favorably in Catholic historical critical commentaries 7 Collins maintains that form criticism has demonstrated that to a large extent the books of the Bible are products of faith communities 7 but he and other Catholic form critics do not distinguish adequately how their notion of creative faith communities differs significantly from the rationalist notion of Bultmann whose use of the term is earlier and in possession Bultmann reasoned from the rationalist social theories of Émil Durkheim to his pseudo scientific idea of the creative Christian community whose religious fantasy supposedly created most of the fictitious stories that he says constitute the Gospels but this idea has no basis in objective history Catholics who use the Bultmannian theory of the creative Christian community have actually imported into their work a rationalist presupposition about faith communities that does great injustice to the human writers and to the text of the Bible Émil Durkheim 1858 1917 a French agnostic writer and teacher who was very influential for weal and for woe in the rise of modern sociology contrasted two basic types of society primitive and modern Primitive society he said is mechanically organized and depends for its cohesion on the pressure of a collective conscience presenting collective representations that are independent of individual consciousness Of these preconcepual forms religion is said to be the clearest expression 8 In his final major work The Elementary Forms of Religious Life 1912 using the pre supposition that society is anterior to the individual together with data collected from observations of the habits of Australian aborigines Durkheim maintained that the most fundamental ideas of religion are distillations of social experience He held that the basic and universal distinction between the sacred and the profane arises instinctively in society and that from the felt power of the community primitive man derived gradually his sense of deity and of the binding nature of the sacred Relative to Immanuel Kant s theory of knowledge he held that the basic categories of thought arose from the pressure of primitive community practices 9 Durkheim s theory however much it might apply to Australian aborigines when it was applied by Bultmann to the early Christian Church contradicted all historical experience and all Jewish and Christian religious belief That Bultmann s idea does not concur with historical science can be shown by a detailed analysis of his exegesis of the Gospels but Catholic form critics have not done this When we see them explaining the origin of supposedly fictitious stories and statements in the Gospels as having arisen because of dogmatic apologetic or polemic needs and other purposes of this sort we do not indeed hear them claiming to be promoting the Durkheimian paradigm of the primitive and pre rational religious community but neither do we find them giving clear evidence that they are opposing this rationalist structure And it is this same irrational idea that is rejected in the encyclical Pascendi dominici gregis of Pope Pius X where it rules out the modernist notion that belief in the objects of Christian faith is based ultimately upon a subjective feeling that arose instinctively in the sub conscious of the primitive Christian community Pascendi no 7 Hence it is not that Catholic form critics profess this error but rather that they are so remiss in excluding it from their interpretations 8 Collins downplays the perennial teaching of the Church as he affirms that since the Second Vatican Council inerrant Scriptural truth has not received primary emphasis in Roman Catholic circles because of a more adequate understanding of the nature of the Scriptures namely that they are not primarily a source for doctrine 10 One can well wonder at the word manipulations and mental gymnastics that it took these Roman Catholic circles to arrive at this conclusion which directly and flatly contradicts the quotations from the Magisterium that are given in number 2 above Collins goes on to assert that concentra tion on the inspiration of individual sentences and isolated biblical texts can produce a type of fundamentalism 11 The word fundamentalism applies to a group of American Protestant communities which adopted in the 1890s a brief set of propositions that they considered to be fundamental to all Christian belief but Collins extends it here to embrace the whole traditional Catholic approach to the inerrancy of the sacred text including that of the Fathers of the Church the great medieval theologians most Catholic commen tators up to the end of the nineteenth century and the traditional teachings of the Church as quoted above Collins uses the new form critical idea of literary forms to emphasize the salvific truth of the Bible which he says lies not so much in that its passages are without error but in that through them God manifests his fidelity to his people bringing them into loving union with himself 12 Thus biblical inerrancy recedes to a vague general theme hypothesized by the interpreter to ride above a biblical text believed to be composed mostly of fictitious stories and historical errors but how this presupposed divine underlying sense which alone is given the character of inerrancy can escape the strictures of Humani generis as quoted above at no 2E is a mystery to me 9 Under the title of Inspiration Today Swain presents a similar position to that of Collins as he explains his under standing of the idea that the Bible is entirely man s work and entirely God s work The concept of God s transcendent causality is truly liberating because it facilitates the dissociation of the notion of inspir ation from any one of its preconceived modes such as let us say the modes defined by the Magisterium of the Church as quoted in no 2 above because he continues revelation affirms the fact of inspiration but it is left for human research for us the exegetes based on the data of the Scriptures themselves which only we the exegetes can identify to describe exactly how the Holy Spirit inspired the sacred writers 13 Note how Pope Pius XII comments on this idea in number 2E above But what is meant by God s transcendent causality Swain explains by drawing a parallel with the doctrine of creation particularly in the light of the last century s evolutionary theories I think that he is referring to the theories of certain theistic evolutionists who maintain that God created the original state of the universe and then left it to evolve on its own which is a new form of Deism According to this parallel God would be seen to have allowed the Scriptures to be composed and written entirely by the natural forces of human activity but transcendentally they would be God s Scriptures as well even though there would be no discernible divine factor apart from the natural human endeavor This idea is truly liberating not only from the traditional teaching of the Church but also from the need to defend the divine element against non believing critics who don t believe in it such as the mainstream non Catholic historical critics of today In other words while Swain allows that the actual Scriptures were written under a specific motion of the Holy Spirit related to certain charismatic functions within the people and at the service both of God and of the people 14 he does not explain how this motion of the Holy Spirit could appear and be identified in the actual exegesis of the text and how therefore it is a real element at all A NEO PATRISTIC UNDERSTANDING OF BIBLICAL INSPIRATION 10 The neo patristic approach follows the traditional teaching of the Church regarding the divine inspiration of Sacred Scripture as expressed in the decrees of the ecumenical councils in the papal encyclicals and in other documents of the Magisterium as summarized in the Catechism of the Catholic Church It maintains that the divinely revealed realities that are presented in it have been written down under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit that God is the Author of Sacred Scripture and that the canonical books of the Old and New Testaments have been written whole and entire with all their parts under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit cf Dei Verbum 11 CCC 105 The neo patristic approach holds that God used the sacred writers in such a way that they made full use of their own faculties and powers so as to be true authors but also in such a manner that they wrote whatever He wanted written and no more cf Dei Verbum 11 CCC 106 This means that they were preserved from writing any historical or natural errors either because God willed that they write such errors or that they added them on their own Thus the books of Sacred Scripture firmly faithfully and without error teach that truth which God for the sake of our salvation wished to see confided to the Sacred Scriptures Dei Verbum 11 CCC 107 Since it is the teaching of the Church that biblical inspiration absolutely excludes and rejects any error Prov Deus 2C above and since it is an obligation of interpreters to refute the objections of those who deny the inerrancy of the Scriptures Divino afflante Spiritu 2D above neo patristic exegesis under takes the time honored task of defending biblical inerrancy in the face of difficulties raised not only by non believers but also by believing historical critics Therefore it rejects the approach which casts biblical apologetics under the name of concordism and fundamentalism and seeks to show the methodological mistakes of those who attribute errors to the sacred text While neo patristic scholars cannot claim to have a ready answer to every difficulty that has been or could be raised the number of superficially presented discrepancies is so great at the present time that the field of correction is wide open 11 Lionel Swain s affirmation that in recent centuries it became increasingly evident that statements of Sacred Scripture could no longer be taken simply at their face value appears to be valid only to the extent that Catholic theologians and exegetes were neglecting their duty to solve the problems raised by some modern empirical scientists and by historians especially of the historical critical school It must be kept in mind that Catholic historical critical exegetes have no intellectual tradition of their own and they tend to look back historically not

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  • LT128 - Regarding the Schönborn-Barr Exchange Over Evolution
    Darwinism point to evidence of design In fact as of Feb ruary 2007 over 700 scientists had signed a statement prepared by the Seattle based Center for Science and Culture opposing the neo Darwinian tenets of random mutation and natural selection as the mechanism for the rise of biological species 13 9 Barr points out that in most branches of science the word random is used to discuss things like the motions of molecules in a gas the fluctuations of quantum fields noise in electronic devices and statis tical errors in a data set But is there any valid inference from random occurrences on the sub atomic level to the supposedly random occurrence of biological species That the movement of molecules in a gas may sometimes be unpredictable and thus occurring by chance does not logically suggest that the emergence of mice and elephants may also occur by chance When dealing with sub stances of minimal complexity and having a minimum of substantial form our ability to predict their actions may consequently also be minimal But the discussion here is about highly complex organisms It is not a valid inference to say that if hydrogen can spontaneously become water then given enough time it could also spontaneously become living organisms Nor is it valid to conclude that if no intelligent design can be discerned in rain drops falling on a surface therefore there may be no intelligent design in more complex events such as the emergence of a biological species Schönborn is opposing the methodological error of scientism which assumes that only the reductive purview of empirical science renders fully certified knowledge while all other approaches however satisfying some of them may be to the human spirit produce only hearsay and opinion 10 Barr does not make this error but he seems here to be indirectly defending an erroneous approach that is not completely his own Schönborn quotes the Catechism of the Catholic Church as teaching that God created the world according to His wisdom and the world is not the product of any necessity what ever nor of blind fate or chance CCC 295 Barr counters that to say that within the universe there is statistical randomness is not to say that the whole world is a product of chance 14 But in terms of complex ity to say that biological species are a product of chance comes dangerously close to saying that the whole world is a product of chance And Barr does not say this He doesn t oppose the idea of chance to the exis tence of God the Creator and he sees in many ways within the neo Darwinian framework the presupposed existence of a universe whose structure matter processes and laws are of a special character as is verified by the many so called anthropic coincidences which he says have been identified by physicists and chemists 15 Schönborn calls this a more modest and acceptable form of neo Darwinism which leaves room for divine guidance but still sees no real plan purpose or design in living things Barr does not see it this way he accepts in the words of Pope Benedict XVI that we are not some casual and meaningless product of evolution and he avows that personally he is not at all sure that the neo Darwinian framework is a sufficient one for biology 16 11 Barr maintains that for neo Darwinian theory in general the use of the word random in random mutations does not necessarily mean unguided or unplanned no 2 above But is this really true for most biologists and for most other people In Schönborn s view Barr is not defending mainline neo Darwinism but rather his own modest version which could potentially be compatible with the philo sophical truth about nature 17 Schönborn makes the point that the role of randomness in Darwinian biology is quite different from its role in thermody namics quantum theory and other natural sciences where the random behavior of the parts is embedded in and constrained by a deeply mathematical and precise conceptual structure whereas the randomness of Darwinian biology is simply random as is also its natural selection 18 And this observation seems to be true Barr opens up the question where he notes that some biologists out of carelessness or from an anti religious animus do argue from the randomness of genetic mutations to the philosophical conclusion that the history of life is unguided and unplanned 19 Not only but this seems to be the usual understanding of people in general Webster s Third New Inter national Dictionary Unabridged Edition 2002 defines the word random as lacking or seeming to lack a regular plan purpose or pattern or having the same probability of occurring as every other member of a set Does neo Darwinian theory maintain that random genetic mutations only seem to lack a regular plan or purpose without implying that conclusion Or again does neo Darwinian theory allow that the process of biological evolution may ultimately have been planned to be unplanned There may be a logical contra diction here Barr may be qualifying the use of the word where he refers to statistical randomness for certain molecular or sub molecular events but biologists generally seem to use the word without making any such clear restriction of meaning What textbook of biology what article on neo Darwinian evolution in constantly using the expression random mutations points out for the sake of precision that the expression does not necessarily mean unguided or unplanned 12 What about the reductive approach to empirical biology Does an empirical biologist have to be thinking about overall design while he is doing his work No in general but yes in the sense that he is not entitled to exclude it Barr s position is by no means restricted to the reductive approach to knowledge He acknowledges the special creation by God of every human soul And he with the Church rejects those atheistic and mater ialistic philosophies of evolution which deny God s providential governance of the world 20 It is Schön born s point however that the use of purely reductive methods in the study of reality leads to incomplete knowledge 21 The widespread reaction of neo Darwinian biologists against the very suggestion of intelligent design as an element of biological knowledge shows that they are excluding it And this is unreasonable In fact the broad mechanistic exclusion by the majority of biologists of the existence of intelligently designed living forms is a methodological approach that appears to be unreasonable and contrary to common experience 13 Barr s appeal to the distinction between the actual hypotheses of legitimate science and the phil o sophical errors often mistakenly thought to follow from them points to an error that runs through the whole controversy about evolution because many popularizers of neo Darwinian theory carry the valid empirical re sults beyond what the facts warrant It also raises the whole question of the validity of philosophy Certainly in modern times philosophical errors have abounded But are there not also philosophical truths Schönborn maintains that his argument is not based on modern science or on theology but rather on valid philosophy which is the science of common experience He affirms that it is the philosophical knowledge of reality that is most in need of defense in our time 22 So while it has been claimed that the clash between random mutation and intelligent design cannot be resolved by theol ogy Schönborn maintains that it can be resolved in favor of design with the help of valid philosophy 14 In his critical article Barr does not go into detail on the question of philosophy but in Modern Physics and Ancient Faith 23 he argues in favor of the intelligent design of the universe especially in opposition to the materialist approach to knowledge He finds that there is reason to believe after all that the world is the product of design and that life is perhaps part of that design MPAF p 29 He reasons that the structure of the universe may point to the God who designed it MPAF p 65 In fact if at the end of the road the physical laws of the universe are proven to have a symmetric structure then science really has no alternative to offer to the Argument from Cosmic Design for the existence of God MPAF p 106 Hence the Argument from Design of St Thomas Aquinas still stands and is stronger than ever before MPAF p 108 24 And to say that the ultimate laws of nature have evolved by a natural process of evolution is self contradictory MPAF p 107 We do live in a universe whose order in the sense of observance of its mathematical rules is perfect or nearly so MPAF p 108 And the structure of the laws of physics cannot in the final analysis be explained by some kind of theory of natural selection MPAF p 109 Hence science has not succeeded in completely accounting for the symmetrical structure of the universe without the need to invoke a designer MPAF p 105 Similarly Barr argues strongly against the material ist approach to science He maintains that materialism is an anti religious mythology MPAF pp 4 5 Materialists he says put blind and unreasonable trust in the false notion that the non material is beyond the pale of rational discourse MPAF pp 15 16 116 In sum materialism accepts only those facts that fit its preconceptions while ignoring all the others MPAF p 223 Barr cautions that he is not writing about proofs but only that recent discoveries have begun to confound the materialist s expectations and thus to corroborate the expectations of those who believe in God MPAF p 29 As Barr sees the matter neither the view of the theist nor the view of the materialist can be rigorously proven from the scientific facts but it is rather a question of whose view is rendered more credible by the scientific facts MPAF p 144 15 Accordingly Barr s affirmation of intelligent design is qualified While there is reason to believe that the world and living organisms are intelligently designed and the structure of the universe may point to its having been designed by God empirical science has not yet reached the end of the road in its search for the ultimate laws of the universe and so its intelligent design is not a settled question cf the preceding paragraph The debate continues regarding the place of man in the universe MPAF p 25 In fact he notes the discovery of the anthropic coincidences has not ended the old debate between religion and materialism but it has dramatically changed the terms of the debate inasmuch as evidence abounds that man was built into the process of nature and we now have to see whether this evidence really means what it seems to mean MPAF p 117 Recognition of intelligent design is teleology whereas according to many accounts of the history of science the Scientific Revolution took place only when scientists abandoned teleology in favor of investigating the physical mechanisms that underlie phenomena MPAF p 138 In other words he says the Scientific Revolution was made possible only by the abandonment of more philosophical modes of thought in favor of mechanistic ones MPAF p 35 So when it comes to real scientific research teleological thinking can be a genuine showstopper MPAF p 139 But on the other hand Barr agrees that to a certain degree we must trust our experiences if we are to do any rational thinking at all including scientific thinking MPAF p 189 and more specifically there are always steps in scientific reasoning that seem obvious to common sense but are not on the list of steps that can be carried out within the formal system MPAF p 222 Again with regard to quantum theory it is impossible to bring all of the knowing processes within a closed physical system MPAF p 254 16 Schönborn on the other hand while not denying the autonomy of empirical science holds for the autonomy also of the perennial science of common experience namely Scholastic philosophy in a unity and interdependence rooted in the one continuum of reality He opposes the prevailing spirit matter dualism by which physical reality is limited to the reductive claims of modern empirical science and joined only in a mysterious way to belief in the immaterial realities known to faith and philosophy 25 Schönborn is here opposing the positivistic materialism accepted by most empirical scientists whereby philosophical and religious beliefs are considered to be at best elements of a second class kind of reality not made up of the hard facts of science but providing nevertheless a certain feeling of fulfillment for the human spirit as do also by the way other pursuits such as music drama and sports On the basis of the absolute separation of faith and reason proposed by some Protestant reformers in the sixteenth century the objects of faith were consigned to a separate realm of consciousness that does not impinge on the world of empirical science or question theories that empirical scientists sustain and out of this distinction came the religious outlook of fideism on the one hand and the rationalist approach to Sacred Scripture on the other Schönborn for his part upholds the unity of being and the right of Catholic theology and philosophy to defend the real objects of faith by a right use of reason that does converge in some ways with the objects of empirical research His call for Catholics to awaken from their dogmatic slumber is in my estimation a call to remember that correct philosophy and theology are sciences and not just doubtfully factual human pursuits One is reminded of the unthinking fashion today even among Catholic philosophers and theologians to distinguish between science and philosophy or science and theology rather than be tween empirical science and philosophical science or empirical science and theological science When Scholastic philosophers define science as the knowledge of things in their causes they mean the knowledge of real things in their real causes and thus more comprehensively science can be defined as the certified knowledge of reality While empirical scientists are dealing with some aspects of reality philosophers and theologians are dealing with other needed aspects of the same reality 17 Barr does studiously oppose doctrinaire materialism but why would it have been necessary for empirical scientists to abandon traditional philosophical thinking in favor of a mechanistic approach and thus to turn scientific progress into a scientific revolution in order to reach the knowledge that they have today Why were empirical scientists obligated to turn their gaze completely away from the obvious design of living organisms in order to focus mechanistically upon the merely material side of their reality in order to promote their field of knowledge It seems that they were just adopting another philosophy of an inferior kind Even a militant atheist like Richard Dawkins admits that living organisms have every appearance of being artistic and engineering masterpieces but his mechanistic focus prevents him from recognizing this reality 26 Recently physicist Anthony Rizzi has lucidly argued that sound phil osophy includ ing the knowledge of formal and final causes is a science on a par with the empirical sciences and is actually a prerequisite for proper thinking even in the empirical sciences He notes also and with reason that the prevalent attitude today among empirical scien tists that philosophical principles are foreign to their field of study is itself an implicit although not well thought out philosophy 27 18 Barr is of the opinion that the neo Darwinian theory of natural selection may or may not be a scientifically sufficient explanation for the origin of species MPAF p 109 110 And he thinks that since neither the theist s nor the materialist s position can be rigorously proven from the scientific facts it is only a matter of which view is more plausible or credible MPAF pp 144 145 Schönborn on the con trary maintains that the theist position can be rigorously proven from the scientific facts of philosophy and that the design of biological organisms is a philosophically scientific fact based upon the reality of common experience and the solid use of reason Of course technical science can disprove things that seem obvious to common sense and has often done so but it does have to disprove them not just advance plausible conjectures to the contrary For instance the hypothesis of chance operating in an infinity of universes for which there is absolutely no physical evidence cannot offset the evidence for design in common experience Empirical science advances through the discovery of physical laws on the basis of which it can make solid predictions but the randomness of genetic mutations is not based on any physical law it assumes the absence of any controlling physical law What new species or other organic substance can be predicted from a process of random mutations And natural selection has no role in the production of new organic structures it only selects from organic structures that already exist It seems to follow that neo Darwinism is not a scientific theory it is rather an ideology that is being imposed upon the data of biological science 19 Retired chemist Ronald Dressman in a newly published book presents formidable arguments against the neo Darwinian theory of random mutations and natural selection which he says contradicts the physical and chemical laws of the universe 28 and he un folds a new theoretical framework of evolution complete with sensible mechanisms of accomplishment according to which the entity that evolved was not the phenotype of the species but only the gamete on the ground that there is no compelling evidence to insist upon our believing that the mutation of that genic DNA that is the genetic basis the genotype of the

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  • LT127 - The Exit of Evolution by Chance
    that actually hinders the search for the truth about evolution p 76 In fact he avers there is for instance no evidence of any immediate ancestor of the first member of any new class of vertebrates p 217 Rather in order to reasonably account for the known similarities in otherwise seemingly unrelated species the notion of ancestry needs to be adjusted from that of straight line descent to a matrix of emergence down through the ages p 216 As a notable example in the case of the Cambrian Explosion the union of a broad spectrum of gametocytes better explains the sudden appearance in the fossil record of almost all of the major groups of invertebrates having hard parts p 297 As for the massive number of extinctions of species reported in the fossil record Dressman finds that his Natural Effectuation Theory gives a better explanation than does neo Darwinian theory inasmuch as it recognizes that progenitor species had to give way to emergent species because of the planned evolution of the environment which was creating new niches to which the new species were fitted to conform p 212 In the broader picture each emerging organism was coordinated to the Ecologization of the planet as the planet was being purposefully prepared for the advent of man p 237 The primary purpose of the Grand Plan of Evolution was to advance biological complexity up to the point at which it was fit for the instilling into man of the immortal soul that confers on him intelligence and free will p 238 In accordance with this theory Dressman adds the observation that after the advent of man no new biological species as perhaps distinguished from subspecies was scheduled to emerge p 202 7 Human beings are in a biological kingdom of their own p 271 Dressman sees a problem with neo Darwinists in their refusal to accept the spiritual intellectual reality of human nature p 263 The evolving biological form of the first human beings was made human by God s infusion of an immortal soul p 265 when at some stage there emerged a human from non human parentage Dressman understands the story of Adam and Eve Gen 2 3 as representing the set of first human beings when God first infused immortal souls into biologically human forms and made them free will human beings p 266 Becoming human was a one generation occurrence and he says there has been no gradual evolution from animal to human but he adds human beings had as their progenitors multiple non human species and racial differences among humans are no more than a manifestation of the differences in the genotypes of the gametes of Incipiation from those various progenitors p 269 Homo habilis and Homo erectus probably preceded the human being Homo sapiens in the line of descent although we may never know from anthropological evidence alone when the first truly human beings emerged However Homo erectus which includes he says such fossils as Java man Peking man Heidelberg man Neanderthal man and Cro Magnon man may actually have been primitive races of human beings p 270 8 REMARKS Ronald Dressman s Not by Chance is more than just another good book on the subject of biological evolution it is a major undertaking that could prove to be a seminal work in the field of evolutionary theory since it calls powerfully upon evolutionary biologists to revise their whole view of the subject And he backs up his call with a multitude of scientific facts The brief summary of his argument given above does not adequately represent the depth and scope of his work which addresses dozens of contemporary issues and reaches far into molecular biology and the fossil record to provide better answers than the prevailing neo Darwinian approach can supply Many Catholic philosophers have provided philosophical arguments against the materialistic outlook of neo Darwinism and many proponents of intelligent design theory have offered convincing arguments against the neo Darwinian ideas of random mutations and natural selection but no one to my knowledge has presented such a full scale paradigm embracing most of the scientific knowledge existing today and organizing it under major headings into a detailed synthesis that certainly to say the least embodies food for thought Dressman combines an awareness of the everyday realities known to philosophy and religion with a comprehensive knowledge of biology and chemistry to address aspects of evolutionary theory that are either ignored or shrugged off by most empirical scientists From the viewpoint of those many who believe that biological evolution is an historical fact if he does not have the ultimate answers he is nevertheless making a good start in the right direction 9 In proposing his idea of Essential Law Dressman adheres to the prevailing view of contemporary physics and chemistry that the activity of the universe is upheld by a network of physical and chemical laws Strangely neo Darwinian theory contradicts this whole structure with its notion of random mutations as the only driving force of biological evolution Against this anomalous position Dressman advances the law of efficient cause and effect explaining that chance is not a cause and he concludes that the paradigm of neo Darwinism does not even pertain to science since science is the study of the law and order that inheres in the substance of the universe not the study of the supposed absence of law and order He maintains that every physical event that occurs in the universe is determined to one only eventuality by the physical laws in existence which can be modified only by the intervention of God or of human free will activity p 16 And Dressman allows explicitly for the intervention of God in the creation of the first substance of the universe in the rise of the first life forms and in the creation of the human rational soul Thus he styles himself a creation evolutionist who admits the hand of God but opposes the belief

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  • LT126 - Historical Science and Biblical Truth
    the events which form the subject matter of a history limits history to its prescientific subject matter g the definition a series of events clustering about some center of interest upon the character and significance of which these events cast light is limited to the character and significance of some center of interest such as a nation a natural epoch or a social development h the definition past events especially those events involving or concerned with mankind is limited to events inasmuch as they are the potential subject matter of history 7 With reference to the above eight definitions of the word history only those pertaining to the study and narration of real events concerns historical science although a fictional account can be examined in the light of reality and this is what historical critics claim to do when they examine what they consider to be fictional accounts in the Bible The determination of exactly what took place in an historical event often requires considerable skill and this skill pertains to historical method Historical interpretation and historical explanation are dependent upon a sufficient framework of principles in the mind of the historian An adequate treatment of human history and natural history requires in part that the historian know how these two branches of history coincide and how they differ And an adequate handling of past events requires an understanding of the relationship of past to present in the mind of the historian and in the events that he studies The use of vague notions of the nature of historical science has tended to divide all modern historians into two schools of thought the positivist school which stresses the massive accumulation of facts with the greatest possible precision while striving somewhat naively to exclude all philosophical interpretation of these facts and the idealist school which takes for granted that past human activities are a matter of human intuition and not of scientific measurement Less known unfortunately is the moderate realist school which combines the precise observation of facts with the employment of a recognized mental frame of reference 3 In the moderate realist view the sensory phenomena from which come the reconstructed events of the past constitute the material object of historical science while the formal object containing the meaning or intelligibility of history resides in the mind of the historian 4 All honest historians in order to construct a meaningful narrative implicitly admit the use of some set of presuppositions giving unity to their results but there is at present no consciously accepted set of principles agreed upon by all bona fide historians which would permit all of them to draw the same conclusions from the same pieces of evidence 5 8 D Arcy notes that while Arnold Toynbee accepts with qualifications the Aristotelian distinction between the techniques of history science and fiction nevertheless history selects facts has recourse to fictions and makes use of laws p 109 Here some sorting out is needed Real history just as much as empirical science deals with facts that is with real objects By fictions D Arcy here seems to mean objects like France the American economy the Christian Democratic Party and many other things of this sort But these are fictions in a different sense from the persons and events of imaginary stories And the historian must make use of laws of various kinds because they are part of his mental framework Even the laws of empirical science are a peripheral part of the mental framework of the historian But it is important to note that there is no opposition between history and science the true opposition is between historical science and empirical science as they are distinguished from fiction With regard to mental frameworks all science must have a dynamic and a static aspect All science is dynamic because it lives in the consciousness of living human beings and comes into being in graduated stages as the mind itself develops And it has its own interpersonal history But science must also be static for there could be no knowledge of the real as such if there were not something stable and abiding as a criterion giving the idea of this reality a certain consistency and identity in itself Furthermore a science could have no interpersonal development if there were not something essential and unchanging which would make the changing aspect of the science a function of the same identical thing In fact the conclusions of any science constitute a doctrine that can be communicated to others 6 9 Science begins in a thinker when he first decides to think in terms of the real as distinguished from the fictional the illusory and the deceptive Concentration of the mind upon the flat field of sensory presentations should lead especially under instruction to a perception of depth made visible through the intellectual operation of the mind The component that gives to science its depth and proper character is the developed recognition of the intellectual dimension of reality Science is mediate knowledge of the real What we call an insight is an act by which a thinker sees in the relevant data a new comprehensive meaning and this meaning comes about through the reference of the significant data to something else already known by the thinker We give to this perception of meaning the name understanding 7 We distinguish between common science usually referred to as common sense and the specialized sciences What makes common sense a science although at the lower level is its reference of sensory data to the notion of reality A specialized science is a system of demonstrated conclusions Wernz Vidal which appear as teaching in textbooks and can simply be memorized to constitute knowledge about science Two species of specialized science are empirical science and historical science Also to be included among the specialized sciences are philosophical science and theological science as can be demonstrated for those who do not recognize them to be sciences 10 Empirical science arises from the admission of mathematical deduction as the formal medium of a viewpoint that would otherwise be technically limited to the inductive method This admission of mathematical reasoning allows the intellectual development of empirical science since with mathematics are implicitly admitted the self evident principles of reason To deny the presence indeed the necessary presence of metaphysical elements in any successful science is to be blind to the obvious although to foster such blindness has become a highly sophisticated endeavor in our time 8 The relationship of scientific disciplines to one another and to science as a whole is studied in that branch of advanced science known as theory of science or metaphysics 11 The historical past is the remembered absent as extended in time and it is essentially related to the present of the historian relatively as related to the present of an earlier historian and absolutely as related to the present of a contemporary historian The past is by definition not present but any insight into the meaning of the past is necessarily present While the historian makes general use of all of his mental equipment his special medium is the historical present While the term historical present is used in grammar to designate the use of the present tense where the past tense is more literally intended such as in saying the horse crosses the river when the actual meaning is that the horse crossed the river But in historical science the term historical present applies to that area of mental objects that are strictly historical in character It is concrete mobile and tied to a vision of the past it is concrete because present objects like timeless truths are excluded from its purview it is mobile because its ultimate meaning can be recognized only in terms of the contemporary situation of the viewer and it is tied to a vision of the past because it is the point of reference in time from which the retrospective vision of the past springs The past as past is only a being of the mind having a fundament in reality but the past as present is the reality of the meaning of past events which abides in the mind even though the temporal things in which it remotely inheres are gone 9 12 It is important to distinguish between the science of history and the philosophy of history in the sense that a valid philosophy of history would be only the culmination of the science of history consisting in a gathering of all of the major events of history into one meaningful whole while the science of history is largely concerned with proper methods of historical investigation and interpretation D Arcy refers to the philosophy of history as historicism which is not the conventional meaning of the term and his purpose in writing this book is to inquire into the possibility of any valid philosophy of history pp 8 9 Not surprisingly Kantian idealist thinkers like H J Marrou maintain that philosophies of history which try to find organic meaning in the whole course of history should not even be attempted p 60 and positivists tend to say the same pp 161 162 but D Arcy is less skeptical about this and he goes on to say that if a valid philosophy of history is to include supernatural events as well then the Scholastic distinction between knowledge based upon reason and knowledge given by divine revelation would have to be ignored p 64 D Arcy observes that a simple philosophy of history makes its appearance as soon as one adds the belief that God s justice will work itself out p 81 or even allows moral judgment to enter the picture p 162 Yet he is also of the opinion that the explanation of history in terms of Divine Providence has long been abandoned p 96 By whom It is only secularist historians and they are many in trying to exchange the vision of Heaven and hope in the life after death for a vain hope in secular progress who have closed their eyes to the fact of Divine Providence Thus in order to give some underlying reason for the fall of powerful civilizations if Vico uses the fact of Original Sin and Toynbee uses the struggle for existence and the function of challenge and response p 116 120 while the two explanations are not mutually exclusive still Vico stands on more solid ground In my estimation since supernatural events are part of the history of the world the only valid philosophy of history rather has to be a theology of history in which the data of human events are fitted into the larger picture of revelation and grace And since true revelation and verified supernatural happenings are part of the history of the world it is not the artist the poet and the myth spinner that make the philosopher theologian of history but the man of deep historical insight and erudition 13 But how can the providential and the supernatural fit into history if as D Arcy avers there are rules of interpretation but the supernatural and the providential are not measurable by this yardstick p 134 The answer is that history deals with concrete events that are measured only by the proof that they have occurred and not by statistics as in empirical science Thus real supernatural happenings are concrete events that become part of the thread of history while providential acts need to be recognized as such if their purpose has been confirmed by God through divine revelation or divine inspiration Hence the Christian historian uses all of the valid criteria of historical enquiry while at the same time he recognizes the role of Providence especially in the word of Sacred Scripture whose credentials as D Arcy adds are not inferior to those of the confirmed rationalist p 135 In fact they are superior Certainly those who try to substitute the unfolding of the Absolute of the Unconscious or of the mysterious forces of Evolution for the role of God are not solid interpreters of history cf p 139 D Arcy concludes that it is indeed vain as Lewis said to try to formulate any theory which could explain satisfactorily in wider terms what the historian examines methodically and empirically p 215 But is it vain after all The big picture is already given in divine revelation and all accessory theories are subordinate to that And the philosopher of history is already an historian working with a wider mental framework than that of the merely empirical D Arcy notes that even though the interconnection between the Old and the New Testaments and the rise of Christianity would appear to present the philosophy of history on an open dish the fact is that the history of Israel is only a small rivulet in the great stream of history p 229 But here in my estimation the appearance is the reality for in its essentials all history and not just the history of Israel is embraced in the inspired writ of Sacred Scripture as Joseph Pieper maintains p 238 Thus St Augustine and Bishop J B Bossuet took the Church as the foundation and center of their theories of history and this must be the correct method for a Christian philosopher of history p 241 In fact it was St Augustine who initiated the idea that history is constituted by the great creative decisions of God p 247 while St Paul the Apostle earlier expressed the view that the Headship of Christ is the governing idea in the divine act of creation p 269 But in this regard concludes D Arcy the philosopher of history must leave to Christian apologists the work of bringing out the unique character and function of the Church while it is of the world outside of the Church that he himself seeks to make sense and with this conclusion I cannot agree 14 I began by saying that science and history are words that are only vaguely defined by most scholars The variety of conflicting opinions about historical method and historical understanding compiled in Martin C D Arcy s book is a significant witness of this And people talk about historical criticism as a scientific approach without adequately determining what makes historical criticism scientific The expression historical criticism refers in the most general sense to the work of all historians who carefully examine and appraise the sources of their historical knowledge but it applies in religious discussion especially to a particular scholarly tradition known as the historical critical school And this is an unfortunate confusion because while many secular historians study their data with a high degree of accuracy and produce credible accounts the historical method of the historical critical school of biblical scholars is highly questionable For instance historical critical biblical scholars while they should as scientists profess a clear concept of reality have constantly equivocated on the notion of reality in their approach to the text of the Bible It is true that many of the more frankly rationalist historical critics have plainly declared that most of the so called historical accounts in the Bible are for them pure fiction and fantasy Thus Hermann Gunkel and Rudolf Bultmann the principal founders of the form critical method of historical criticism plainly concluded to the fictional character of the biblical texts that they studied but others use euphemisms to cover their belief or resort to an equivocal use of the word reality And even Bultmann resorted to an equivocal definition of the word reality Catholic historical critics usually do not bring up the question of reality at all in analyzing passages of the Bible so that their readers are left to wonder whether they are or are not describing real biblical events but as the years go on they are coming more and more to agree explicitly with their rationalist colleagues that they are dealing with fiction pure and simple At any rate inasmuch as science is the knowledge of reality as such this obscuring of the notion of reality on the part of many scholars of the historical critical school is not characteristic of scientific work 15 With regard to historical science and the question of biblical truth in this article we are focused on the question of historical truth only in those biblical accounts which present themselves as historical and not as poetry parables or some other such kind of writing Included among these accounts for our purposes here are the Book of Genesis and the four canonical Gospels Historical critics subject these accounts to the same methodical criticism as one would subject any other historical narrative without making provision for the character of inerrancy which Catholic faith accords to them In the neo patristic approach the inerrancy of the divinely inspired Scriptures is taken for granted and the exegete therefore seeks to defend their historical truth from attacks on the part of historical critics and others But how can anyone assume the inerrancy of biblical accounts such as the Book of Genesis and the four Gospels after they have been shown by historical critics to be bristling with errors from beginning to end The answer lies in the nature of proof The errors and contradictions in the Scriptures which historical critics like to point out are not as a rule proven but only plausible to a mind that has been pre conditioned to see them as such They all proceed from questionable presuppositions of the method especially of the form critical method which characterizes the historical critical school today Among those biases lying at the base of the form critical method which have not been completely eliminated even by Catholic form critics and which do influence its reasoning are remnants of the false philosophies of naturalism rationalism empiricism subjectivism evolutionism and modernism In the presence of these biases even where they are not recognized or dominant there can be no

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  • LT125 - Francis S. Collins and The Language of God - Part II: Genesis 1-3 and the Origin of Man
    mislead us these recent findings about the genome constitute an overwhelming challenge to those who adhere to the notion that all biological species were created from nothing p 137 However this argument assumes that the placement of ancient repetitive elements in the genome is purely at random and not according to an as yet unidentified systematic function of the organisms and as Collins himself points out it is a mistake to confuse the unknown with the unknowable or the unsolved with the unsolvable p 188 As recent experiments have shown much of what Collins refers to as junk DNA have key roles to play in the development and function of individuals including even repetitive portions of the DNA no 23 above In the words of philosopher of science Stephen Meyer ibid footnote 10 Neo Darwinism affirms that new functional sections of the genome arise by trial and error process of mutation and subsequent selection For this reason historically many neo Darwinists expected or predicted that the large non coding regions of the genome so called junk DNA would lack function altogether Orgel and Crick 1980 On this line of thinking the nonfunctional sections of the genome represent nature s failed experiments that remain in the genome as a kind of artifact of the past activity of the mutation and selection process Advocates of the design hypothesis on the other hand would have predicted that non coding regions of the genome might well reveal hidden functions not only because design theorists do not think that new genetic information arises by a trial and error process of mutation and selection but also because designed systems are often functionally polyvalent Even so as new studies reveal more about the functions performed by the non coding regions of the genome Gibbs 2003 the design hypothesis can no longer be said to make this claim in the form of a specifically future oriented prediction Instead the design hypothesis might be said to gain confirmation or support from its ability to explain this now known evidence albeit after the fact The point to be gathered here is that while the AREs that Collins mentions above may themselves be decapitated and utterly defunct they may nevertheless have been dumped in the relatively same place in the genomes of mice and men by a similar systematic function of the respective organisms 37 Collins points to other parallels in the comparison of the human genome with the genomes of other species to argue against special creation by God He describes the fusion that occurred as we evolved from the apes and other parallels to indicate the need of common ancestors pp 138 139 For instance the knocked out gene caspase 12 exists non functionally in the identical relative location in the human genome as in that of the chimpanzee where it functions very well Collins queries If humans came as a result of a supernatural act of special creation why would God have gone to the trouble of inserting such a nonfunctional gene in this precise location Since I have not yet seen a specific answer to this new question on the level of genetics I wonder about the theological implications If the instance of caspase 12 indicates the evolution of the human body from an earlier species it does not nevertheless demonstrate the unguided and undesigned evolution of the human body Rather it could suggest that God created the human species and each new species by altering the genes and instilling a different kind of soul in the new organism being conceived The Bible doesn t say that God created each new species ex nihilo but rather from water or from the ground and in the case of man from the dust of the earth and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life Gen 2 7 This could mean along the lines of an expanded theory of St Augustine that Adam came ultimately from dry non living matter and proximately from the egg of the prior species containing an altered genome with newly knocked out caspase 12 and a newly created rational soul The same would be true for Eve A mysterious problem for Darwinian evolutionism is how sexuality arose and why it was kept by natural selection An argument against random mutations in the Darwinian theory is that for a new species to survive both a male and a female of the species would have to appear at approximately the same time and place This problem would be answered if the transformation were effected by creative divine intervention in the genome of the predecessor together with the instilling of a rational soul And the rib of Adam from which Eve was made could have been the genome of Adam 38 Collins considers himself to be a creationist in the sense of one who argues for the existence of a God who was directly involved in the creation of the universe p 171 but he opposes Young Earth Creationism in the sense of an interpretation of the early chapters of the Book of Genesis according to which the creation of the world took place in six twenty four hour days all biological species were created by separate divine interventions and Adam and Eve were true historical figures created directly by God in the Garden of Eden and not descended from previous biological ancestors p 172 He notes that if scientists were to accept these claims as true there would result a complete and irreversible collapse of the sciences of physics chemistry cosmology geology and biology p 174 He asks Is God honored by a demand that his people ignore rigorous scientific conclusions about his creation p 176 Granted the clear danger in unrestrained forms of liberal theology that undermine the real truths of faith he adds is it reasonable for sincere believers to base their whole position in the evolutionary debate on a literalist interpretation with which other equally sincere believers disagree considering also that the God of the Bible is also the God of the genome pp 209 211 As St Augustine in his commentary on the literal sense of Genesis remarked of similar positions so many centuries ago Now it is a disgraceful and dangerous thing for an infidel to hear a Christian presumably giving the meaning of Holy Scripture talking nonsense on these topics Collins p 157 39 Collins is a creationist in the sense that he accepts for almost sure that God made from nothing the stuff that exploded in the original Big Bang p 67 but not in the sense that after that first instant God actually shaped the universe into what it became Perhaps Collins accepts more as well in that he also holds that God made the physical and chemical laws of the universe that guided in some way the whole universe into becoming a habitat on Earth of living biological organisms including especially man the Anthropic Principle Although he doesn t see right now how the first living cell could have arisen spontaneously from non living matter he cautions against assuming that evolutionary science will never cross that gap p 93 But what he definitely holds is that after the first life form arose God let nature itself provide all the succeeding forms of life by a process of random mutation and natural selection no 3 above 40 Young Earth Creationists have reacted strongly against this classic Darwinian position Collins is appealing mainly to Young Earth Creationists to accept the data that he maintains modern science has made clear such as that the universe began as an infinitely dense dimensionless point of pure energy about fourteen billion years ago pp 64 65 and that the Earth is about 4 55 billion years old p 89 Furthermore he adds microbes were in existence on Earth by about 3 85 billion years ago p 89 and suddenly about 550 million years ago a great number of differently structured aquatic life forms began to appear and about 400 million years ago plants appeared on dry land pp 94 95 Then from about 230 million years ago dinosaurs roamed the earth p 95 Finally from about 195 000 years ago our human species Homo sapiens came into being p 96 All of this is of course in great contrast to the theory that the universe the Earth all plants and animals and man have been in existence for no more than 10 000 years 41 Collins asserts that our idea of the origin of the universe has been fundamentally changed over the past seventy five years p 60 What he means is that his view and that of most empirical scientists has undergone a conversion to the theory of the Big Bang and his preoccupation is that about forty five percent of Americans are still adherents to Young Earth Creationism p 172 And why is this I think because evolutionists have not provided for them a satisfactory view of the origin of the world Since the first chapters of Genesis have always provided the worldview of Christianity to destroy the historical truth of these chapters is to destroy this worldview and potentially to destroy Christianity and that is why as Collins admits evolutionists are the greatest promoters of atheism today p 160 As long as the worldview given by divine revelation in Genesis 1 3 is being crudely attacked by evolutionary theorists discerning Christians will resist even while they otherwise accept all of the valid results of empirical science The problem is that evolutionary scientists in their enthusiasm to promote the theory have neglected much of their obligation to be critical in the interpretation and exposition of their results Creation scientists have thus done a service to Christianity and to empirical science itself in pointing out the defects of the theory For instance Walt Brown in the seventh edition of his In the Beginning gives forty two reasonable arguments against the theory of evolution These arguments regard problems such as the following spontaneous generation has never been observed almost all observable mutations are harmful all fossil species appear fully developed no isolated system has ever been observed to increase its information content significantly similarities may just as well imply a common designer there are no independent species of 2 20 cells fossil gaps are largely unfilled the fossil remains of apelike men have tended to be greatly overstated the emergence of the metamorphosis of insects is unexplainable the phenomenon of sexual reproduction is also unexplainable and immune systems were needed by every species from the beginning or they would not have survived 4 Do evolutionary scientists study these objections and seek to refute them No they ignore them or shrug them off Even Francis Collins just passes vaguely over a couple of them in his book with no real refutation p 173 and Darrel Falk while presenting some counter arguments from the fossil record practically ignores the rest Are students of empirical science taught to consider and address these arguments By no means Are teachers of science allowed to mention weaknesses of the theory of evolution to their pupils or to explain as Collins and Falk do in their books that belief in God is not antiquated thereby Absolutely not So the theory of evolution as taught in the schools projects an implicit atheism maintained for sociological reasons by the secularist establishment And that is the main reason why so many Christians are resisting it 42 Collins quotes a passage from C S Lewis referring to the story of Adam and Eve to the effect that man is indeed different from other animals in that God caused to descend upon this organism the self awareness of intelligence and free will and the ability to know God and to make judgments of truth beauty and goodness He understands Lewis interpretation of the story to be a moral lesson rather than a scientific textbook or a biography p 208 While admitting that God can perform supernatural acts he sees the story of Adam and Eve as a poetic and powerful allegory of God s plan for the entrance of the spiritual nature the soul and the Moral Law into humanity p 207 But both Collins and Lewis seem to be missing a third category here in that the story of Adam and Eve in Gen 2 3 while it is neither a scientific textbook nor a biography is nevertheless an historical account That there is allegory in this account has been recognized for millennia but as the Fathers of the Church and many other writers have observed the allegory is set down as the spiritual sense of an historical presentation and it is with the historical presentation that we are concerned here Collins seems to be referring the notion of allegory especially to the creation of the bodies of Adam and Eve rather than to the creation of their souls because he quotes favorably the words of Pope John Paul II in his address of 1996 to the Pontifical Academy of Sciences in which John Paul said following the teaching of Pope Pius XII If the origin of the human body comes through living matter which existed previously the spiritual soul is created directly by God p 202 43 Collins holds that the Moral Law and the universal search for salvation defy evolutionary explanation and point to our spiritual nature p 200 This judgment appears to be authentic as is his own conversion experience but whether it can stand up in the face of the theory of evolution that he accepts is something to be pondered In Collins view the existence of God cannot be proved p 201 it pertains only to the spiritual logic of the heart the mind and the soul p 204 It is then taken to be a matter of interior non scientific experience and here appear problems with his synthesis of faith and reason The first problem is the danger of the radical separation of faith and reason which arose during the Protestant Reformation and is adhered to even today by many whereby the objects of faith are gathered together into a separate universe of discourse from the objects of reason and therefore also from the objects of empirical science According to this view one can be moved interiorly by the sight of a waterfall by the beauty of a symphony by a call to conversion but this is seen to be a subjectively oriented truth different in essence from the reality known to empirical science And so this religious belief cannot defend itself against the charge of illusion The answer to this problem lies in the awareness that the existence of God can be proved from reason Rom 1 19 20 and the reality of the supernatural objects of Christian faith while they cannot be demonstrated by reason neither can they be disproved by reason The answer lies also in the awareness that the existence of God and the objects of Christian faith lie within one and the same continuum of reality as reality is known to the human mind Collins basically accepts this in the sense that he holds that there is no ultimate conflict between faith and science but he also seems to be making the subjective religious worldview and the objective scientific worldview into two somewhat overlapping parallel worlds of knowledge where the religious world is gradually surrendering more and more of its objective reality to the world of empirical science in keeping with the subjectivistic idealism of Immanuel Kant who was himself also struck with awe by the starry heavens without and the Moral Law within p 57 44 The second problem is the error of Modernism which holds that faith arises as a preconceptual sub rational instinct in man which needs to be overcome by science and modern education Those who hold that there is a universal awareness of the Moral Law and a universal desire to know God must be ready to refute the idea that these religious elements of consciousness are not just pre scientific instincts If the idea that God is the source of life has no proof but only plausibility to stand on how can it answer these objections It is not this kind of coexistence that we would find satisfying Then there is the Modernist idea of authentic human existence honed to perfection by Rudolf Bultmann which conceives of faith as a purely subjective activity of the Christian believer whereby the believer having rejected all of the supernatural objects of faith uses the human Jesus as his prime model as he constantly strives to achieve his own authentic existence while knowing that he is doomed in his fallen state never actually to reach it 45 But Christian faith starts out on an entirely different basis The objects of faith are presented by the inspired words of Sacred Scripture and the authentic tradition of the Church The true Christian affirms the historical truth of the Scriptures as well as the objects of Christian faith which are guaranteed by divine revelation and inspiration and he is obliged to defend his belief against temptations to disbelieve The historical truth of the first chapters of Genesis has often been too easily surrendered in recent times As already stated the existence of God can be known from natural reason but for Christians it is principally known from divine revelation together with the whole array of other facts presented in the Bible The defense of these facts is an obligation of Christians and certain of these facts are in discussion here An objection appears in the case of Galileo Galilei who was tried and condemned by the Church for affirming that the Earth is revolving on its axis This was overkill in the defense of the Scriptures because the passages in question can be read in another way but this historical incident does not clear the way for a general surrender of the historical events

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