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Michael Perry

To answer your question, Steve, shouldn't we distinguish between the Jewish Bible and the New Testament? Put another way, shouldn't we ask two questions: the consequences for Judaism? the consequences for Christianity--that is, for that Christianity according to which Jesus is not merely a child of God (as are we all, in some sense), but the Son of God, Second Person of the Trinity?

Marc R.

I really like Borg's insights here. One problem, I think, that religious communities often suffer under is the lack of a nuanced understanding of what theological decisions about the text mean for the text. Inspiration often cuts off discussion of the ethical dilemmas presented when we live in community, allowing us to make whole sale judgments about what is proper and what is not.

I think there is another point here. Lets say we craft a definition that takes inspiration out -- "the text is an anthology of the ways that man has perceived of God's workings in the world," then that perhaps affords more sympathy regarding the work of God and some of the harder pieces of the text -- like Abraham's sacrifice of Isaac, or teachings by Paul on Homosexuality. It seems that treating the text as inspired and infallible, leads to very inaccurate portrayals of the text , both on the side of confirming the text as accurately describing our values, or showing that our values depart from the text.

I also like Borg quite a bit.


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Antonio Manetti

I agree that would be a great idea. As a layman, it seems to me that current biblical exegesis is a rather anxiety-ridden trek through a mine field or quicksand. Whenever certain biblical claims of fact become untenable, such as the literalist interpretation of creation in Genesis, the exegetes retreat into assertions of metaphore anyway, which further undermines the credibility of scripture -- a no-win situation.

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