They announced a new common questions page on inerrancy:
This is a good move for them. In the past, there has been downright hostility to inerrancy on the forums. I’m glad they are take a reasonable position on this now. Hopefully this marks a good turn for them.
Interestingly enough, they point to the Lausanne Covenant. Back in 2016, when I first joined BioLogos Voices, I pointed them to the Lausanne Covenant on precisely this issue.
(S. Joshua Swamidass)
Split this topic
is the forum Biologos proper?
Jeff Schloss and many others on Biologos have great respect for the Bible and from you, as I’ve heard you say. You have a very large audience here of disparate views, too. Thanks.
Apparently, this whole month will be about inerrancy. I’d be interested in your view on the Counterpoints book “Five Views on Biblical Inerrancy” if you get a chance.
BioLogos is a large and complex group. Jeff Schloss I’m sure would affirm inerrancy, as would Tremper Longman and Walton, and probably Hardin.
The hostility in referencing was both from the forum but also from staff, and from some of their scholars. Without an official statement like this, inerrancy was seen as a signal of fundamentalism (which it isn’t), which meant open season. I was once reprimanded by a staff member for saying I personally affirmed inerrancy. I think they felt I was rejecting them because they didn’t, but that wasn’t the case.
This position statement is a good move forward from this. They are trying to map out a more inclusive position, that allows for some diversity. They are moving inerrancy from silently tolerated to actually explained and articulated. That is a good thing. Had this been around three years ago, I doubt there would have been so much misunderstandings around this.
I would have probably articulated some things differently but the fact that this was written by the staff is a really good thing. I think it represents a good turn for them.
As a biblical anthropologist, I have diagrammed and analysed the kinship pattern of the biblical Hebrew from the kings lists of Genesis 4, 5, 10, 11, 25 and 36 to the lineages of Mary and Joseph provided in the New Testament. Their marriage and ascendancy pattern has very specific and unique features which remain unchanged from Genesis to the Gospels. In my mind, this is the greatest evidence of the veracity of Scripture because the pattern could not have been “written back” into the many biblical texts at a late date. The kinship pattern is also evidence that the Messianic Faith is narrated by this one people group, a ruler-priest caste, about which we have a great deal of information.
So the next writer couldn’t add more to the legend of the story by reading backward and adding embellishment which is taken by the next writer and the next for over 1700 years. And then finally a group goes over all of them and chose the 66 books to their liking in 300 AD?
No evidence. Just human nature. Watch people’s writings today. Stories are written, embellishments are made by the next reporter/writer/ legends and myths are created. Stories about Gods flourish around the globe for millennia.
Patrick, I am not speaking of adding to a legend. That certainly would be possible. I am speaking of the kinship pattern which requires a deep level of analysis because it is a subtext of the whole of the Bible and largely unrecognized by most readers. The Hebrew practiced endogamy to sustain their social structure of priest-king-prophet. The specific features of the pattern involve marriage to two wives and the right of ascension of two first born sons. Only the first born son of the half-sister wife rules over his father’s territory. This is the wife of the man’s youth, his first wife, as Sarah was to Abraham. The cousin bride is the second wife. She is especially important because it was common for this wife to name her first born son after her father. Thus we have Lamech the Elder and Lamech the Younger. Enoch the Elder and Enoch the Younger. Esau the Elder and Esau the Younger. Korah the Elder and Korah the Younger, etc. The cousin bride’s naming prerogative makes it possible to trace throughout the Bible the maternal lineage of the son of the second wife. The pattern is consistent from Genesis to the New Testament and it is authentic. We are speaking of historical persons and a complex kinship pattern.
I am not disputing any of it. I think that it is fascinating and most likely true and factual account of how the society operated at the time. I accept that the stories of the bible may point to real historical people. But the artifacts and real history of the people and culture of the region and time period continue to show that they, like most cultures, had cultural Gods who helped unify society as to when to plants crops, when to harvest and how to live and survive. Gods may have been necessary in the ancient cultures that you study but not now in a modern secular scientific society, Gods are now unnecessary and mostly divisive to society. I enjoy your work, it shows me how intelligent and resourceful these ancient people and culture were. We should be thankful to them for inventing Gods to progress their society and culture. It was a good human invention that moved humanity forward. But now Gods are useless and divisive to the modern science and reason based world.