If people accept the Bible as reliable as any other book recording ancient events, I’d be happy with that. The question though next is are those claims historically true? I think this is the fundamental issue.
There is a range of possible positions on this:
Absolute minimalist (1) – Nothing in the Bible actually occurred. Everything written does not refer to any actual location, people, or event. Everything should be read figuratively.
Minimalist (2) – Some places and people could exist, most do not. Most events did not happen, esp events that invoke a supernatural explanation. Many names, places, numbers, events have been altered and are a result of legends evolving over time.
Moderate (3) – About half of all historical claims are true and half are false. There would be an equal mixture of events, places, and names that actually correspond with reality and that are entirely fictional.
Maximalist (4) – Almost all events, places, and people existed. Major points would be true and minor details could be incorrect.
Absolute maximalist (5) – Everything in the Bible actually occurred. Every fact and detail claimed in the Bible is true. All narratives should be taken literally.
I place myself as a maximalist (4).
What would you place yourself as?
It does mean (rather) that God is not doing hands on, which you’d expect if there was a god there who cared about the message being given to the world.
Depends on what you mean as “hands on”. God does not need to be directly interacting all the time in events or in the creation of the Bible.
The approach I’ve been using all along in this thread is arguing for the reliability of the Bible without resorting to any supernatural explanation for claims made in the Bible or the origin of the Bible itself.
Two claims that I’ve argued for is a global flood and the tower of Babel. In neither have I appealed to any supernatural causation. Yes, the Bible describes God interacting in these events, but it’s possible to back up these events using empirical evidence.
The point being, – not far from where we were on the tower of Babel, even if it was an actual event – if God isn’t keeping His Book in order and the events don’t seem to back up a religious claim (Of Sumerian gods being angry about the tower, never mind the Jewish god) errancy, never ming being wrong, tends to demolish the religious claims, doesn’t it?
Since I’m not an inerrantist, I do not need to literally interpret it as God being worried about man doing something that would threaten God. I interpret the passage as there was one language in the world, people were creating the tower of Babel, multiple languages originated from the tower of Babel. I believe this was a main point of the passage. The main point was not don’t build a high tower otherwise God will feel threatened.
Just as I said to Otseng, even if there was a massive Flood around 3,700 BC, but it wasn’t Total, that would mean that the Bible claim about the reason for it wasn’t true, no? So even if the history is right, the god -claims aren’t.
I’ve also pointed out a global flood is something that was important for me. It’s not a doctrinal position and it’s not important for Christian belief for others.