Monday, February 28, 2011

Why all the many excuses for not interacting with Lampe’s work, on the Roman Catholic side, need to be ignored.

Nick said: If someone like Lampe denies the Pauline authorship of the Pastorals and even says they contain blatant historical errors, then he’s not a “conservative.” He could be right in other departments or with other arguments, but that’s case by case, and doesn’t change the fact a rejection of Biblical inerrancy can never place a person in the “conservative” category.

On Page 2, Lampe seems to say he doesn’t trust the accuracy of the Pastorals, 1 Peter, Luke-Acts, and Mark in his overall research.


Nick gets this second item wrong. Lampe doesn’t “seem to say he distrusts the accuracy of the Pastorals...” He says, he avoids using them because they are contested; to rely on their historical accuracy would only cause the accuracy of his own arguments to be questioned. And so, in order to avoid such questioning, he chooses only to use information that is not contested. Here is his actual quote:

Peter Lampe: We face a tour through a variety of material: literary materials, above all, but also epigraphical and archaeological ones are at hand, which often become illuminating only in combination. What is contested with respect to geographical provenance (e.g., the Pastorals, 1 Peter, Luke-Acts, Mark), is relegated to the “footnote cellar” with the well-known “cf.” at relevant points, so that the results [of my work] will not be burdened a priori by uncertainty. There is an abundance of sufficiently clear urban Roman sources, and for those other text-complexes special studies have already been produced. Even if the Pastorals, 1 Peter, Luke, and Mark are related to the “footnote cellar,” there is still ample New Testament material left for consideration in the text above. (Lampe’s actual quote, page 2).

So clearly, what Lampe is saying is that, while these texts are contested, he will rely on those texts that are not contested, and in doing so, he will strengthen the force of his argument.


On the other hand, consider Joseph Ratzinger: For evaluating the relationship of the pastoral epistles to the great Pauline epistles, a brief passage in the first epistle to the Corinthians seems important to me .... If we take this text seriously, we must acknowledge that, whoever may have composed them, the Pastoral epistles are ... (Joseph Ratzinger [with a stamp that says “Pope Benedict XVI” on the front], San Francisco: Ignatius Press, (c) 1982/1987, pg 280).

Again, Nick said: this evidence is clear that Lampe denies Biblical inerrancy and Pauline authorship for many Pauline epistles. Overall, he fits the liberal scholar MO which is to be quick to downplay and discredit the inerrancy and inspiration of Scripture in favor of secular works.

Now there’s a mark of certainty for you!

Add this to his fuzzy endorsement of "resurrection of the whole man" (and the "fusion" into oneness," and his citation, as pope, of Teilhard de Chardin, and you Catholic guys have got yourselves a whale of a good example of why you seriously need to consider swimming back this way.

9 comments:

John Bugay said...

I should point out, too, the differences in approach. Lampe is up-front with his comments; which aren't personal remarks of his own opinion; rather, he understands that others have differing opinions ("contested"); his interest is in producing the best work that he possibly can.

Ratzinger, on the other hand, uses fuzzy language where ever he can. When it finally comes out (after a number of mentions of the "Pastoral epistles) that Ratzinger does not take a stand on the Pauline authorship, it's hidden, in an evasive way, in the far back of a book that has no index.

Just sayin'.

Nick said...

At most your argument would amount to saying B16 is operating from a liberal MO (I haven't read the quotes in context, so I'm limited in what I can say).

What I find quite ironic in your post is that you did precisely what you accused B16 of doing, using 'fuzzy language', since you spun Lampe's situation to be more positive than it really is.

Lampe shouldn't consider those other books "contested," unless he himself holds them in low regard already. If you (or anyone) believes those books to be inspired, then you shouldn't fear the quality of your arguments would be questioned. The only place such fear exists - and holds any weight - is in the realm of liberal scholarship who wont endorse views that claim Biblical inspiration and inerrancy. So John, you're being just as 'fuzzy' in your presentation.

And when Lampe himself says the Pastorals contain blatant historical errors, then of course he wont trust them when making his arguments.

Your post does nothing except show how far true 'conservative' Biblical scholarship (which is built from the cornerstone of inspiration and inerrancy) has fallen in our lifetime.

Nick said...

What's probably the most astonishing about all this is that I'm the one championing total Biblical inerrancy and inspiration as a non-negotiable for good, conservative Biblical exposition...while John has to take a more low-key approach to save face for his buddy Lampe (in order to keep him 'credible' enough to bash Catholics).

This is a prime example where someone has made a bad argument (using Lampe as an untouchable 'standard') and rather than retract, they'd prefer to save face and defend the indefensible until it ruins their reputation.

zipper778 said...

I admit that I haven't looked at Lampe's work that's being discussed here, so if what I say next sounds unreasonable, then that's why.

With that said Nick, my question to you would be, couldn't Lampe just simply be removing any source of argumentation that would lead the discussion to a different topic rather then his prime arguments? Is it possible that Lampe is only leveling the playing field, even though he may believe that the mentioned books are solid?

It sounds to me Nick that you're jumping the gun and shouting "wolf" when a wolf hasn't appeared yet.

John Bugay said...

Nick said: At most your argument would amount to saying B16 is operating from a liberal MO (I haven't read the quotes in context, so I'm limited in what I can say).

“Liberal MO” seems to be reason enough for you to dismiss Lampe’s work. Will you therefore reject Ratzinger’s work?

I’m responding in kind to you and merely repeating with Benedict – taking snippets of what he said – and wringing a judgment out of them. In fact, this is precisely the way you’ve treated (and dismissed) Lampe.

To be sure, none of the context, either, will give you a clue as to whether Ratzinger would say that Paul wrote the Pastoral epistles or not.

Nick said: Your post does nothing except show how far true 'conservative' Biblical scholarship (which is built from the cornerstone of inspiration and inerrancy) has fallen in our lifetime.

You have no idea what you’re talking about. My latest post has addressed this nonsense.

Nick said: What's probably the most astonishing about all this is that I'm the one championing total Biblical inerrancy and inspiration as a non-negotiable for good, conservative Biblical exposition...while John has to take a more low-key approach to save face for his buddy Lampe (in order to keep him 'credible' enough to bash Catholics).

The approach I’ve taken is mainstream evangelical. And as you’ll see, this approach provides a far more certain foundation of understanding than the “infallibility” that you’ve embraced in the Roman church.

Rhology said...

Nick is hypocritical for refusing to concede the obviously huge liberal presence on RCC's side.

And as for:
while John has to take a more low-key approach to save face for his buddy Lampe

Lampe is giving up the contested texts for the sake of argument, as John said. He's saying: "Even if I grant you that these aren't apostolic in origin, your argument still fails".
Funny that the opposition apparently includes B16.

John Bugay said...

Nick is hypocritical for refusing to concede the obviously huge liberal presence on RCC's side.

Well, but he doesn't count them as real Roman Catholics, and so that means they don't really count.

scotju said...

Bugay, you're right that Nick doesn't count the liberals on our side of the Tiber as real Roman Catholics. In order to be considered a real Catholic by the magisterium and people like Nick and myself, one must believe and act upon what the Church teaches in the Creeds and the various councils such as Nicea. Anyone who doesn't do this can't be considered Catholic. As for Lampe, he can quote all of the scraps of history he wants, but his higher critical bias will distort what that history has to say. So why should anybody, Protestant or Catholic, who has a high view of Scripture care about Lampe's blatterings? I prefer to read the works of men who have a high view of Scripture, and who will be honest enough to admit the truth about something, even if it goes against their biases on it.

John Bugay said...

Scotju, you're just not getting it.

Why did two popes name Raymond Brown to the Pontifical Biblical Commission?

A better question might be, why did JPII name him to that commission, after knowing what he wrote prior to 1978? Why not take him out of circulation at that point?

You actually have no right or authority to make that decision yourself.

As for Lampe, whether you like what he has to say about Scripture or not (and I'd suggest that your view of what he actually says is very, very, very limited), on what ground do you have to ignore the historical work he does? When it is cited by many, many scholars as not just being good historical work, but foundational historical work?

Just because you don't like him?

It's not like he's published his work, and then dozens or hundreds of other scholars disagree with him, or find weaknesses in his work.

They actually cite him because there is nothing wrong with his historical work. If Lampe isn't doing historical work correctly, then there is not a single piece of history that you, within your limited mindset, can believe.

You're just blowing smoke, and we are right to ignore you.