Saturday, January 12, 2008

How historically accurate is the Word?

In “True Historicals” Rev. Stephen Cole explores what the Heavenly Doctrines say about the historical accuracy of the Old Testament.
How should the New Churchman regard the historical accuracy of the Old and New Testaments? .... With the twelfth chapter begin the true historicals (historica vera) while the tenth and eleventh chapters are said to be in a style intermediate between the made-up and the true history. But how true are these true historicals? Are they faithful only to the general historical setting while being modified as to particulars for the sake of the internal sense? Or are they an accurate account in each and every particular? ....
The statements in the Writings that do assert the truth of the literal story are, then, usually only of an incidental nature. Any number of such instances would probably not convince the skeptical mind. There is a much more fundamental reason, though, that the true historicals must be regarded as accurate....
The accuracy of the true historicals, then, does not depend on the inherent probability or improbability of the events recorded or upon comparisons with extra-Biblical evidence, although such evidence can be useful in determining what the historicals are speaking of. This accuracy depends, rather, upon the representative nature of these historicals.

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