This is from Dr Simon Greenleaf who was one of the founders of Harvard,who was a skeptic who set out to disprove the Bible.
"Greenleaf is an important figure in the development of that Christian school of thought known as legal or juridical apologetics. This school of thought is typified by legally trained scholars applying the canons of proof and argument to the defense of Christian belief. Greenleaf's Testimony of the Evangelists set the model for many subsequent works by legal apologists."
Hardly someone "who was a skeptic who set out to disprove the Bible", (being a xtian apologetic). He may be a potential source of the misapprehension/misapplication of the burden of proof requirement which some religious adherents are desparately grasping at, however.
"That the books of the Old Testament, as we now have them, are genuine; that they existed in the time of our Savior, and were commonly received and referred to among the Jews, as the sacred books of their religion; and that the text of the Four Evangelists has been handed down to us in the state in which it was originally written, that is, without having been materially corrupted or falsified, either by heretics or Christians; are facts which we are entitled to assume as true, until the contrary is shown.
The 'uncorrupted and unaltered' Dead Sea scrolls refute Greenleaf's contention in that they don't match either the toran or, "old testiment' variations of latter "bibles". Contention refuted.
"The genuineness of these writings really admits of as little doubt, and is susceptible of as ready proof, as that of any ancient writings whatever."Every document, apparently ancient, coming from the proper repository or custody, and bearing on its face no evident marks of forger, the law presumes to be genuine, and devolves on the opposing party the burden of proving it to be otherwise.
This presumption would be contested in any court on the basis of being an illogical premise since an "ancient document", whether unforged or not, cannot be assumed to be non-fictional just because it appears to be unaltered. An unaltered work of fiction does not confer accuracy to its contents by dint of being a "genuine ancient document, (e.g. Homer's Odyssey
is a genuine work of poetic fiction however, the events described cannot be substantiated as genuine themselves
). The same applies to 'biblical content' in that the burden of proof regarding the genuine accuracy of its contents rests with those who either claim those contents are accurate, (religious adherents), or those who make a positive assertion that they are not, (which does Not
include those who question the validity nor, apply the burden of proof as a challenge to those who do
make such positive assertions).The burden of showing them to be false and unworthy of credit, is devolved on the party who makes that objection.
Conversely, the burden of proof devolves onto the party making the initial assertion/claim to support the validity of that asserted claim. An "objection" can only arise after
such initial claims are made, (since there needs to be a prior contention/assertion to object to). Therefore, the initial
burden of proof remains with the party who initiated an asserted claim.
" ...as the authoritative source of all ecclesiastical power and government ..."
I'm surprised Greenleaf resorted to such an obvious appeal to authority fallacy, (and this guy was a law professor? sheesh). it is quite erroneous to suppose that the Christian is bound to offer any further proof of their genuineness or authenticity.
That's a nice 'legalistic' dodge however, it isn't just the "genuineness or authenticity" of the religious "documents" which are being questioned, it's mainly been the "genuineness or authenticity" of their content
which has been challenged on the basis of lack of supporting evidence. If the 'esteemed law professor' is inherently suggesting that the burden of proof requires that challengers produce evidence that there is a lack of evidence supporting the validity of the content
of 'biblical documents', then that's inherently a logical fallacy of requiring proof of a negative assertion.
"In the absence of circumstances which generate suspicion, every witness is to be presumed credible, until the contrary is shown; the burden of impeaching his credibility lying on the objector."
Since such 'witness testimony' does "generate suspicion" as to the credibility of what was allegedly witness
in the first place, (which constitutes making an initially asserted claim and therefore, falls under the burden of proof requirement), such challenges are not made regarding whether or not the 'witness' "believes" their testimony to be accurate - especially when such 'testimony' relies entiely upon "faith" being an opinion which lacks evidence - they challenge the ones making such asserted claims to produce evidence supporting them. Essentially, the one making an initially-asserted claim in a debate, (not a "court of law"; which is why "religion" itself isn't "tried" in such courts), in a debate
isn't presumed to be telling the 'truth' by default. The burden of proof remains with the claimant in a debate.
"And first, as to their honesty.They had every possible motive to review carefully the grounds of their faith, and the evidences of the great facts and truths which they asserted ..."
The "ground of their faith" assertion invalidates itself due to being based upon beliefs which lack evidence to support them.
"There is enough of discrepancy to show that there could have been no previous concert among them ..."
Any discrepencies in 'testimony' cast considerable doubt as to the validity of such testimonies. This constitutes "circumstances which generate suspicion" under Greenleaf's own parameters.
I'm relieved that I didn't go to Harvard and have Greenleaf spouting such dubious nonsense as one of my law professors when I aced torts and my first year of law school elsewhere. I would probably would have 'flunked' Greenleaf's class since the same refutations made here would have been made there.
Hey Johnnie...... look up......not at your ceiling Gumby, in this post.
Thanks, 'walks'. What do you estimate as a response; spin-mode or, gloss-over the refutations?