Tuesday, September 27, 2016

A Familiar Game

From the Errancyn Discussion group, 8-1-99:

No, we will not know if you Christians are right or not when we die,
because if there is no consciousness after death, and there is no 
evidence to prove that there is, then we will be dead. Even your 
inspired word of God says the same: "The living know that they 
will die, but the dead know nothing; they have no more reward, 
and even the memory of them is lost" (Ecc. 9:5).

Yes, the passage you cite (Ecc. 9:5) states "The living know
that they will die, but the dead know nothing; they have no
more reward, and even the memory of them is lost". The word
"know" as used in regard to the living and the dead is
"yada" which means 'to know'. 

That's really profound, Eric. You're saying that know meant know.

Since it is applied to both the living and the dead, it must mean
the same thing. So, your point is well made with -this- verse.
However, there are other verses speaking of the life beyond
the grave. Let's take a look at them:

1). "But God will redeem my life from the grave, he will
surely take me to himself."-Ps. 49:15.
One cannot escape the conclusion that the writer expects to
be given life again by God and will live in the presence of
God after he dies.
2). "Multitudes who sleep in the dust of the earth will
awake: some to everlasting life, others to shame and
everlasting contempt."-Dan. 12:2.

We see that Eric is playing a familiar game. "Yes, yes," he says, 
"the Bible does say that the dead know nothing, but over here in 
another passage, it indicates that the dead have awareness." All 
he has done is prove that the Bible is inconsistent. 

So, what do we see. On the one hand we see that the grave
is the end of existence, but on the other hand we see that
life goes on after the grave.

It is possible that the Daniel 12:2 passage is a further
amplification of the Ecclesiastes 9:5 passage you cited. If
taken by itself, Ecc. 9:5 would indicate that you are
correct and that after we die, we cease to exist. But,
other passages indicate more information about the state of
the soul after death.

And this indicates something which -must- be understood by
believers and critics alike: The bible reveals spiritual
information gradually over time. The bible took some 1,500
years to compile. During that time more and more knowledge
was revealed. One cannot expect to cite one verse in
'proof' of some doctrine. One needs to (as the bible puts
it) "take the whole council of God" on a given issue, and
see what -all- the scriptures are saying on a given subject.

So what Eric seems to be saying is that God "inspired" writers 
to  record incorrect information, but "gradually over time," God amplified his prior revelations through inspiration and corrected 
the false impressions that his earlier inspirations had revealed.

Who can believe such gibberish as this? What was to prevent 
God at the time he "inspired" the writing of Ecclesiastes to reveal 
to the writer that when a person dies, his/her awareness or consciousness continues on into another life? Furthermore, Eric 
is playing the let-scripture-interpret-scripture game. We will see inerrantists quoting what the apostle Paul said in orderto interpret what Moses really meant in a passage in the Pentateuch. This
line of argumentation attempts to prove inerrancy by assuming inerrancy. It is arguing that Moses couldn't have meant what he obviously said, because if he meant this, then what he said contradicts what Paul said. This irrational argument fails to take into consideration that "Moses" was an entirely different person from the apostle Paul. They were separated in time by several centuries, so it is entirely possible that they had conflicting views. The writer of Ecclesiastes could easily have thought that death 
was the end of human awareness, whereas the person writing 
Daniel thought that human consciousness continued into another life. No one can prove by quoting what "Daniel" said that the 
writer of Ecclesiastes didn't mean that human awareness ended at death. To so argue is to assume the question that is being debated.

Farrell Till

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