How can we trust the Bible if it's not inerrant?

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How can we trust the Bible if it's not inerrant?

Post #1

Post by otseng »

From the On the Bible being inerrant thread:
nobspeople wrote: Wed Sep 22, 2021 9:42 amHow can you trust something that's written about god that contradictory, contains errors and just plain wrong at times? Is there a logical way to do so, or do you just want it to be god's word so much that you overlook these things like happens so often through the history of christianity?
otseng wrote: Wed Sep 22, 2021 7:08 am The Bible can still be God's word, inspired, authoritative, and trustworthy without the need to believe in inerrancy.
For debate:
How can the Bible be considered authoritative and inspired without the need to believe in the doctrine of inerrancy?

While debating, do not simply state verses to say the Bible is inspired or trustworthy.

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Re: How can we trust the Bible if it's not inerrant?

Post #1891

Post by DrNoGods »

[Replying to otseng in post #1894]
The primary reason they could identify it was the herringbone weave on the cloth. But, this could've been addressed by unravelling or shredding the samples. It's not like they needed an intact cloth to test it because the AMS process would be burning the entire specimen.
This does seem strange as the sample is burned:

"Organic samples are converted to CO2 by oxidation at 800oC using CuO. The CO2 is purified in the presence of silver wire to absorb any SOx and NOx that is produced. CO2 is collected from shells by reaction with phosphoric acid. The CO2 is then reduced to graphite with H2 at 550oC using an iron catalyst."

But again, unless the testing labs were expected of a conspiracy or of being otherwise dishonest, the fact that they knew the samples were from the shroud should have no impact on their measurements, although obviously a blind test would have been much better and helped to deflect claims of dishonesty. What motivation would the testing labs have to doctor the results? Why would they favor any date over any other?
Also, the lack of finding a herringbone weave cloth as a control is evidence this cloth could not have been medieval. We have no archaeological artifacts of any linen cloth with a herringbone weave from the middle ages.
You may have referenced this article earlier, but it makes a good case for the type of loom used to create the Chevron pattern of the shroud:

https://medievalshroud.com/the-medieval-weave/

And this one indicates that there are examples of similar weaves from various locations in Europe in the 6th - 12th centuries:

https://sagy.vikingove.cz/en/the-use-of ... 0-1200-ad/

They identify a few examples (5) made from linen, hemp or nettle. Are there examples of the shroud weave (linen) from the 1st century to show they had the technology to produce such a weave?
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Re: How can we trust the Bible if it's not inerrant?

Post #1892

Post by otseng »

DrNoGods wrote: Sun Feb 19, 2023 12:34 pm What is confusing to me is why the church would not want retesting using more areas and samples. Wouldn't they want this to date to the 1st century and therefore question test results that showed otherwise? I'd have thought they would want this to be the "real" thing (burial shroud of Jesus), but it appears they are happy with the medieval dates.
I'll explain later why I think there'll never be another test on the shroud, whether it be a destructive test or a non-destructive test.
DrNoGods wrote: Sun Feb 19, 2023 12:57 pm But again, unless the testing labs were expected of a conspiracy or of being otherwise dishonest, the fact that they knew the samples were from the shroud should have no impact on their measurements, although obviously a blind test would have been much better and helped to deflect claims of dishonesty. What motivation would the testing labs have to doctor the results? Why would they favor any date over any other?
Were they intentionally being fraudulent to match the D'Arcis memo date? Not sure, but their actions sure seem to indicate they're trying to hide something. The actions of the C-14 labs are just as much a conundrum as their dating result.
Are there examples of the shroud weave (linen) from the 1st century to show they had the technology to produce such a weave?
Yes, during the first century they had the technology to produce the herringbone weave.
Various herringbone weaves have been found in antiquity:

A pair of woolen leggings found in the permafrost of the Italian-Austrian Alps have a 2:2 herringbone weave, dating to 800 to 500 BC.[6]
A dark blue cloth with a 2:2 herringbone weave was found at Murabba'at Cave in Israel, from the Roman period.[6][7]
A textile with a 2:2 herringbone weave was found at Pompeii, from 79 AD.[6]
An illustration of a cloth having a herringbone weave from Antinoöpolis in Greece from 130 AD.[8]
The Falkirk Tartan, a wool 2:2 herringbone tartan found at Vindolanda in England from around 240 AD.[9][10]
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Herringbone_(cloth)

"The pattern was pervasive to ancient life, it even shows up in religious texts and beliefs. It even emerged as a fabric in ancient Ireland. It was a common fabric found throughout the Old World. However, once the Roman Empire fell, the herringbone pattern all but disappeared."
https://www.padandquill.com/blog/post/t ... erringbone

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Re: How can we trust the Bible if it's not inerrant?

Post #1893

Post by otseng »

The C-14 was tested by three labs. The whole point of having three labs test the shroud was to have independent testing. In order to do this, some things are required to achieve independence:
- Tests should be done concurrently
- There should not be any leaks of data from the lab to the outside world
- All reports should only be submitted to the British Museum
- The British Museum should be the first to disclose the results to the public

According to the official report, it states:

"But the three laboratories undertook not to compare results until after they had been transmitted to the British Museum."
https://www.shroud.com/nature.htm

As it turned out, they did not have independent testing and it was easy for them to compare results.

For one thing, they did not do the tests concurrently.

Arizona began their testing on April 25 and completed testing on June 8.
Oxford began their pretreatment on July 4 and completed testing on Aug 8.
Zurich began their testing in June was completed by July 22.

Zurich began their test in the same month Arizona ended theirs.
Oxford didn't even begin their testing until a month after Arizona had completed theirs.

https://www.shroud.com/history.htm
According to Gonella, Arizona had been the first lab to date their sample, on May 6th, followed by Zurich in late June and Oxford at the end of July. Rumors began in May that Arizona had gotten a medieval date; Arizona asserted they had not leaked any data. None of the labs invited a representative from Turin to be present for the datings. Gonella, however, discovered that Arizona had invited Gove and his assistant for their dating. While they did have Gove sign an agreement that he would not disclose anything before publication, Arizona broke their signed confidentiality agreement with Turin by letting Gove attend. Gonella called the Arizona lab to confirm if it was true. On the 15th, Damon and Donahue wrote to Gonella, justifying their invitation to Gove with the desire to "keep the peace in the family" and apologizing if it was considered inappropriate. According to them, Gove initiated the idea. Damon and Donahue also sent on the 15th to the Cardinal their testing results. The Cardinal thanked them but expressed his disappointment to them that they violated the confidentiality agreement. Gonella asked Tite if he was going to express his displeasure at Arizona’s actions, but Tite said although he found their behavior reprehensible, he thought about it for several days and decided that it was not his job to "act as a police officer."
The 1988 C-14 Dating Of The Shroud of Turin: A Stunning Exposé
Joseph Marino

Zurich had went so far as to bring in a TV crew into their labs.
Although everything related to the results was to be confidential, no less than a BBC TV crew filmed the testing at the Zurich lab. The program was broadcast well before the announcement of the dates on October 13th.
https://www.academia.edu/35676836/Polit ... Dating_N25
Although everything related to the results was to be confidential, no less
than a BBC TV crew filmed the testing at the Zurich lab. The program was broadcast
well before the announcement of the dates on October 13th.
http://newvistas.homestead.com/POLITICS ... UD_PT3.pdf
In Zurich, the filming of all operations by a crew from BBC Timewatch program was allowed. It is reported by Anglican Reverend David Sox, who was also there.
https://www.shroud.com/pdfs/marinelliv.pdf

The newspapers had also published the results months before the official announcement.
The leaks culminated in a story in the London Evening Standard on August 26th with the front-page headline "The Shroud is a Fake," which quoted historian Richard Luckett of Magdalene College in Cambridge, who said, "Laboratories are rather leaky institutions." Riggi said, "The laboratories committed themselves on their honor to provide that nothing would have leaked. Instead, they have exploited the research, they use the rumors to promote themselves.
https://www.academia.edu/35676836/Polit ... Dating_N25

Two weeks before the announcement of the results by the British Museum, David Sox had published his book, The Shroud Unmasked, which revealed even he knew the test results prior to the official release.
The book, which was already printed, but not yet released, more than two weeks before the official announcement of the carbon dating results, makes clear that Sox authoritatively knew the carbon dating result well in advance. Inevitably, therefore, someone leaked their result to Sox, and he in turn was responsible directly or indirectly for at least two of the highly publicised leaks from within the U.K., those immediately in the wake of his Timewatch programme, and the Sunday Times premature announcement (headlined an "official" result) of 18 September, which the Sunday Times admitted derived from an advance copy of Sox's book.
https://www.shroud.com/pdfs/n20part4.pdf

It was even admitted by Tite afterwards that "there had probably been leaks contrary to the agreement".
A member of the audience then raised the question whether the laboratories had been in contact with each other during the test phase. After categorically denying it at first, Tite admitted that there had probably been leaks contrary to the agreement, and in the ensuing unrest in the hall he conceded that the so-called blind test too was really no blind test!
http://newvistas.homestead.com/POLITICS ... UD_PT3.pdf

"The laboratories committed themselves on their honor to provide that nothing would have leaked. Instead, they have exploited the research, they use the rumors to promote themselves. For sure they don't come out clean."
Giovanni Riggi, August 1988

By Hall's own testimony:
"Frankly, I think it was a hopeless prospect to keep the result secret. You couldn't with the best will in the world."
Edward Hall, January 1989

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Re: How can we trust the Bible if it's not inerrant?

Post #1894

Post by DrNoGods »

[Replying to otseng in post #1898]
The C-14 was tested by three labs. The whole point of having three labs test the shroud was to have independent testing. In order to do this, some things are required to achieve independence:
- Tests should be done concurrently
- There should not be any leaks of data from the lab to the outside world
- All reports should only be submitted to the British Museum
- The British Museum should be the first to disclose the results to the public
I can see where deviations from the above would cause skeptics of the dating process to point them out, but I don't see how this invalidates the actual AMS C-14 measurement process. There may have been some kind of contamination on the samples they were provided that resulted in the date ranges obtained, but if they correctly weighed the samples and the equipment was properly calibrated and working, they should get correct results regardless of whether all three labs did the measurements concurrently, or there were leaks, or exactly how the results were released and to whom.

Of course, if there was any conspiracy or deviant activity by the parties involved to intentionally doctor the results then they should be tossed out and ignored, but there doesn't seem to be any real evidence of such a thing (or is there beyond only suspicion?). If the sample didn't represent the original shroud material then that would also be a problem, but if that were shown to be the case people would likely not question the C-14 dating effort as it would not have implications for when the original was actually produced.

Still seems strange that they didn't do a better job of testing this thing. We can solve criminal cases going back decades from tiny samples of clothing, blood, a single hair, etc., and have sequenced the entire genome of Neanderthals who died 40,000 years ago, but we can't get cooperation from the "owners" of this piece of cloth to provide access for more extensive testing? To me that seems like a bigger problem than anything else ... why do these people not want to find an answer, which surely can be obtained with confidence using today's technologies.
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Re: How can we trust the Bible if it's not inerrant?

Post #1895

Post by otseng »

DrNoGods wrote: Mon Feb 20, 2023 8:48 pm
I can see where deviations from the above would cause skeptics of the dating process to point them out, but I don't see how this invalidates the actual AMS C-14 measurement process.
My line of argument now is not against the the science of C-14 dating or how the actual process of how it should be done is flawed. My argument is in the case of the 1988 C-14 dating, the process did not follow proper scientific protocol.
There may have been some kind of contamination on the samples they were provided that resulted in the date ranges obtained, but if they correctly weighed the samples and the equipment was properly calibrated and working, they should get correct results regardless of whether all three labs did the measurements concurrently, or there were leaks, or exactly how the results were released and to whom.
The sample containing material not from the first century is the theory I hold to as to why it gave a medieval date. I'll present the evidence for that after I complete my argument of the process being flawed.
Of course, if there was any conspiracy or deviant activity by the parties involved to intentionally doctor the results then they should be tossed out and ignored, but there doesn't seem to be any real evidence of such a thing (or is there beyond only suspicion?).
It would be hard to prove this. But, it would be easy to prove the standard scientific process was not followed.
We can solve criminal cases going back decades from tiny samples of clothing, blood, a single hair, etc., and have sequenced the entire genome of Neanderthals who died 40,000 years ago, but we can't get cooperation from the "owners" of this piece of cloth to provide access for more extensive testing?
Again, I'll argue later why I believe the RCC will never allow another testing outside of the church on the shroud.

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Re: How can we trust the Bible if it's not inerrant?

Post #1896

Post by otseng »

It is standard procedure for scientists to publicly make available their data for other scientists to also analyze it. However, in the case of the C-14 labs, they would not disclose their data. The data was kept secret for more than 29 years! It took legal action against the British Museum for them to eventually and reluctantly release the data.
For more than 29 years, every request for the release of the raw data from the three laboratories that performed the radiocarbon dating of the Shroud of Turin in 1988 was declined. Then, in 2017, French Shroud researcher Tristan Casabianca used the Freedom of Information Act in the United Kingdom that compelled the British Museum to finally release the long awaited data. The British Museum had acted as the formal supervisor of the three laboratories (Oxford, Zurich and Arizona) during the process and apparently, maintained the archive of all the data.
https://www.shroud.com/late19.htm

It was only in 2017 has the raw data of the 1988 C-14 dating been made available for other scientists to be able to analyze it.
"In 1988, three laboratories performed a radiocarbon analysis of the Turin Shroud. The results, which were centralized by the British Museum
and published in Nature in 1989, provided ‘conclusive evidence’ of the medieval origin of the artefact. However, the raw data were never
released by the institutions. In 2017, in response to a legal request, all raw data kept by the British Museum were made accessible.
https://www.shroud.com/late19.htm
“Three laboratories performed a radiocarbon analysis of the Turin Shroud,” according to Casabianca. “The results, which were centralized by the British Museum and published in Nature in 1989, provided ‘conclusive evidence’ of the medieval origin of the artefact. However, the raw data were never released by the institutions,” he wrote.

In 2017, Casabianca submitted a Freedom of Information request to the British Museum and was allowed to see the data.
https://aleteia.org/2019/07/22/new-data ... eval-hoax/

Why would the British Museum want to hide the raw data? Why would it have to take legal action to get the raw data on the C-14 testing of the shroud?

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Re: How can we trust the Bible if it's not inerrant?

Post #1897

Post by otseng »

In any endeaver, whether it is scientific research or financial dealings or judicial decisions, conflicts of interest should be avoided at all costs. Even if no malicious activity actually happens, the appearance of potential biased activity should be avoided. If a judge is related to a defendent, the judge should recuse himself from the case. If the president of company WILE is a board member of contracting company ACME, then ACME should not be allowed to make a contract bid.
When an investigator’s relationship to an organization affects, or gives the appearance of affecting, his/her objectivity in the conduct of scholarly or scientific research, a conflict of interest is said to occur. The relationship does not have to be a personal nor a financial one.
https://ori.hhs.gov/brief-overview-conflict-interests

In the case of the C-14 testing, there was a conflict of interest. Edward Hall, head of the Oxford lab, was a trustee of the British Museum.
For many years, he was a member of the Scientific Committee of the National Gallery and a Trustee of the British Museum
https://www.independent.co.uk/news/obit ... 60740.html
An argument ensued about a conflict of interest for the British Museum, since
Edward Hall of the Oxford lab was a trustee. The Zurich lab expressed significant concern about this.
http://newvistas.homestead.com/POLITICS ... UD_PT1.pdf

I had mentioned earlier:
otseng wrote: Mon Feb 20, 2023 8:34 am Arizona began their testing on April 25 and completed testing on June 8.
Oxford began their pretreatment on July 4 and completed testing on Aug 8.

Zurich began their test in the same month Arizona ended theirs.
Oxford didn't even begin their testing until a month after Arizona had completed theirs.
If Hall had inside access at the British Museum, then the Oxford lab would've been able to get to the Arizona data. And why would the Oxford lab start their test one month after the Arizona lab ended theirs?

Later Edward Hall admitted, "Frankly, I think it was a hopeless prospect to keep the result secret. You couldn't with the best will in the world."

Of course it would be a hopeless prospect, since Hall was a trustee member of the British Museum and he would've had access to the Arizona data.

And then afterwards, who would take over Hall's position as head of the Oxford lab? It would be Michael Tite, overseer of the C-14 dating process from the British Museum.
The British Museum had chosen their Head of Research, Dr. Michael
Tite, to preside over the process. While the choice of labs was still up in
the air, Hall suggested to Tite that he might like to succeed him as Head
of the Oxford Unit on his impending retirement. This would, of course,
have to be kept quiet and an “informal” arrangement so as not to
compromise the selection of the Labs. Oxford was duly selected and Tite
did duly succeed Hall. This might sound potentially libellous and indeed
would be if it was not true.
https://www.shroud.com/pdfs/n89part2.pdf
Nor did he shy from exploiting his laboratory's
'success' in its work on the Shroud in order to raise £1 million pounds to found the Edward Hall
Chair in Archaeological Science, a post shortly after taken up by the British Museum's Dr.
Michael Tite. This directly secured the laboratory's future.
https://www.shroud.com/pdfs/n54part11.pdf

It is obvious a conflict of interest was involved with both Edward Hall and Michael Tite.

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Re: How can we trust the Bible if it's not inerrant?

Post #1898

Post by TRANSPONDER »

That looks to me like a technical legal trick to try to get valid evidence thrown out. A conflict of interest (unless you can present how it actually invalidated the C14 result) does not in itself mean the date is wrong. Wouldn't you be better off in presenting the argument as to why the samples are from medieval patching repairs rather than the original shroud?

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Re: How can we trust the Bible if it's not inerrant?

Post #1899

Post by DrNoGods »

[Replying to otseng in post #1902]
In any endeaver, whether it is scientific research or financial dealings or judicial decisions, conflicts of interest should be avoided at all costs. Even if no malicious activity actually happens, the appearance of potential biased activity should be avoided.
Agreed ... it invites suspicion and doubt that could have been avoided, but as TRANSPONDER says it doesn't invalidate the results. It seems the most plausible explanations are that the sample was not from the original shroud material but a later repair, or it was contaminated in some way prior to reaching the testing labs.

Other options like a conspiracy by the testing labs to doctor the results, or similar activity by the British Museum in cahoots with the testing labs, or even the people taking the sample (if for some unknown reason they wanted a medieval date) all seem less likely as what would be the motivation for such nefarious activity?
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Re: How can we trust the Bible if it's not inerrant?

Post #1900

Post by Diogenes »

As DrNoGods points out, the weave of the fabric matches the medieval date. The conspiracy theory re: the C-14 dating to be part of a plot is ridiculous for several reasons.

1. The Vatican could test another small sample themselves. It could be taken from anywhere they want. As to the lame "destructive test" argument, the sample could be taken from the same area of the previous sample (chosen by the Vatican).
2. The scientists and labs testing have their own peers to worry about, knowing they will be second guessed.
3. The scientists and independent labs are fully aware the Vatican could provide more samples and send them to different labs AND do their own tests.
4. My recollection is that testing was observed by others.
5. What evidence is there for a motive to lie or falsify tests and ruin the reputations of the testers?

There is much more evidence for the conclusion of a medieval date of the shroud than there is for the resurrection.
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