PART 1 – What is Evidence
“I used to think of faith as the opposite of reason. In this characterization of the dichotomy, I believed that atheists were reasonable “freethinkers” while Christians were simple, mindless drones who blindly followed the unreasonable teachings of their leadership. But if you think about it, faith is actually the opposite of unbelief, not the opposite of reason.”
Well, yes, but believing ANYTHING without evidence, is not reasonable. So, indirectly, faith is not reasonable if it means acceptance of anything without evidence.
“As I began to read through the Bible as a skeptic, I came to understand that the biblical definition of faith is a well-placed and reasonable inference based on evidence.”
IF there is EVIDENCE, faith is not needed.
“Oftentimes people will reject the message of Christianity because they will say they cannot accept anything which cannot be proven scientifically. This is actually a highly uninformed statement because no fact of history can be confirmed through the Scientific Method, none whatsoever. “
This is just not true. For example, video documents history, meaning we can actually rewatch history. WE can also look at evidence and be 99,9999999% sure something happened. Allt though, that is not a 100%.
“When people make the claim, “Science is the only way to really know the truth,” they should be asked how they “really know” that that statement is true; has science helped them come to that conclusion?”
It is of course based on that there are no other KNOWN methods for gaining truth. The statement is true with just a minor adjustment: “Science is the only way WE KNOW OF to really know the truth,”
“ But there are more:
- Logical and mathematical truths: these must be accepted as foundational presuppositions in order for us to engage in any scientific study, so we clearly can’t use science to determine the logic and math facts that precede science.”
But as soon as math does not correlate with nature, that math is wrong. So, math can be accepted on its own merits, but, it can be excluded through EVIDENCE.,
Logical truths are something made up, logic is used to remove faulty conclusions, it can not draw its own without scientific observations.
“2. Metaphysical truths: some truths about the nature of the world (such as whether or not the external world is real in the first place) cannot be determined through the use of science.”
It cannot be determined AT ALL with the methods available today. But we of course do not ASSUME that they are true, without evidence. So they are not even “truths” to begin with.
“3. Moral and ethical truths: Science cannot tell us what is morally virtuous or vile. It may, on occasion help us to know what “is” (related to the material world), but science can never tell us what “ought to be” (related to moral judgments).”
There are no moral or ethical truths. That is just interpretation and culture.
“4. Aesthetic truths: Science cannot help us to determine or judge what is beautiful or what is ugly.”
But these are not truths, since they are up to opinion, they can never be anything but subjective truths, and those lack scientific value.
“5. Historical truths: Perhaps most important to the study of the Christian worldview, science cannot determine what is true historically. “
This is a common creationist LIE, there is no distinction in real science between observational and historical science, that is make-belief made up by Ken Ham. We can know the past in the same way we can solve a murder without eyewitnesses, by looking at evidence.
“Science can tell us nothing about who won the Oscar for best picture last year, and in a similar way, science can tell us nothing about the ancient claims related to the historicity of Jesus or the historical reliability of the Bible.”
Of course it can, by looking at evidence we can know the past. For example, when studying history, which is not a natural science, we look at documents and what historians of that time said, none of the historians of Biblical time mentioned Jesus, and he is not in the Roman records. So, Jesus’ existence is most likely a fabrication based on this evidence.
“They simply cannot be recreated and observed for truth.”
DIRECT observation has not been a requirement in science for 700 years.
“If we are going to reject all categories of truth that cannot be determined or verified scientifically, we are going to have to reject all truths related to logic, mathematics, morals, aesthetics, history or metaphysics.”
Logic can never prove anything, and math is out if it does not correlate with observations. The rest are not considered truths at all, but are simply subjective. ALL verifiable truths, right now, comes from science, the rest is just speculation.
“The most important claims and assertions of life would have to be ignored as untrustworthy.”
Such as? Jim has not provided such claims and assertions. He has put forward a few we can easily do without however.
“More importantly, an over-reliance on science eliminates explanatory options on the basis of bias. There is a difference between the scientific method (a rational process of testing) and scientism (an irrational commitment to philosophical naturalism).”
But scientists is absolutely true with just one little addition to its statement: “As far as we know”. That is, as far as we know, there is no other methods for gaining verifiable truth than science.
“Philosophical naturalists refuse to consider anything outside the natural world as an explanation for the events they observe. “
Because such explanations would be pure guesses. Speculations built on absolutely nothing.
“Christians, on the other hand, are better able to let the evidence take them where it leads. “
They have no evidence, they let GUESSES take them where they lead.
“If natural laws and processes can account for a particular phenomenon, so be it.”
And if they cannot, it only implies we do not have a great enough understanding of the natural laws. It implies nothing but us not understanding.
“If natural laws and processes fall short of providing an explanation”
Then nothing, then we do not have knowledge enough and more research is required.
“and the evidence points to the existence of something supernatural, that explanation is still on the table.”
Sure, there just is no evidence that points to the supernatural.
“Philosophical naturalism rules out an entire category of supernatural explanation even before it seeks to determine if anything supernatural exists!”
Not really, it just STARTS with evidence, not ASSUMPTIONS. IF there is no evidence, we do not assume something exists.
“It turns out that the Christian worldview has the ability to embrace natural explanations without rejecting the supernatural ones out of hand.”
Usually through a process called “cherry picking”. Jim here for example, do not accept the evidence for evolution or abiogenesis, not because he has evidence against them, but because he does not like them to be true.
“An over-reliance on science (often described as “scientism”) causes us to reject anything supernatural before we even begin to investigate an explanation.”
Jim is taking things in the wrong order. WE do not ASSUME the supernatural BEFORE there is EVIDENCE that such a thing exists.
“Which of these two approaches is most prejudicial?”
ASSUMING the supernatural is.
“Which is least tolerant of the variety of explanations that are available to us?”
Creationists as a rule, who rejects things as evolution, abiogenesis, and the big bang, which has massive support in science. Jim said himself that if there are natural explanation, that is fine. Well, in the case of life and the universe, we have a natural explanation. Jim has just rejected it based on his FAITH that it is not true, that is, his GUESS.
“If the Scientific Method was the only method of proving something, you couldn’t prove that you went to bed last night or that you had lunch today. “
Yes, we could. We could for example use at skin flakes in the bed, that would have your DNA. We can determine how far they have gotten in the decay-process, and in that way, both see THAT and WHEN you have been to bed.
IF we examine a person’s stomach, we can conclude, trough science, what this person has been eating.
“There’s no way you can repeat those events in a controlled situation.”
No need, we only have to be able to repeat THE EVIDENCE, not the event.
“The Scientific Method is incapable of duplicating, and consequently, validating any historical event and that includes biblical events. “
We have no need of duplicating the event. That is not what “observable” means in science. Let’s take evolution as an example. By looking at evidence, such as fossils, DNA, Embryology, Biogeography, and so on, we can conclude, with great certainty, what happened in the past.
“Though scripture cannot be proven through the Scientific Method, like all matters in history, it can be proven through the Legal-Historical Method. “
No, it can be indicated, but unlike science, it will never be verifiable, it will always remain a GUESS.
“The Legal-Historical Method is what we use in our courts of law every day. It is based on showing that something is true (fact) beyond a reasonable doubt. “
That is also how science works actually. Evolution for example, is true beyond any reasonable doubt, 99,99% certainty.
“In other words, a verdict is reached on the basis of the weight of the evidence where there is no reasonable basis for doubting the decision.”
And the strongest evidence in courts, are the scientific ones.
“The Legal-Historical Method involves three kinds of testimony: Oral Testimony, Written Records, and Physical Exhibits. “
And only the Physical counts as conclusive. Written records and Oral testimony means nothing if we can produce physical evidence against them. DNA does not lie, witnesses sometimes do.
“As one example, Paul, a contemporary of Jesus, wrote an historical narrative (First Corinthians chapter 15, written within 32 years of the event) and stated that there were over 512 Oral witnesses to the fact of Christ’s resurrection. We have the Written record of the Apostle’s themselves (those who knew Jesus and witnessed the events) in the New Testament manuscripts verifying the fact that Jesus did rise from the dead.”
So, we have a CLAIM by ONE PERSON that there are 512 witnesses. Why believe him?
“And we have Physical evidence of Jesus’ resurrection: the tomb is empty and there is no body to prove otherwise. “
The supporters of the Garden tomb being evidence are basing this on its closeness to Golgata, and also that it looks like described in the Bible, however, it was outside the city limits during biblical times.
“But those are just a few. The truly massive amount of evidence is outlined in the following pages.”
Hope so… So far nothing…
“But there are, in fact, many things that we know without the benefit of science. In fact, the very statement, “Science is the only way to really know the truth” cannot be verified with any kind of scientific experiment; it is, instead, a philosophical proclamation about the nature of truth. “
But with a small modification it works: ““Science is the only way WE KNOW OF to really know the truth”
“Well, there are several good reasons to trust a courtroom over a laboratory when trying to determine what happened at some point in the distant past:”
Not really, but let’s see what Jim puts forward.
“The Nature of the Courtroom Vets Claims Aggressively”
So does science. Peer review is ruthless. If one person studying at any university in the world find an error in your work, it is out. And the scientists have no say in WHO peer reviews them, no one can stop anyone from doing it.
“If you trust that a scientific peer review process ensures an accurate outcome, you’re sadly mistaken. “
No one believes it does. What it does is making DISHONEST RESEARCH almost impossible. You cannot lie about your evidence in science, because if you do, someone peer reviewing will notice, and your research will be out.
“The antiquated prior theories in virtually every discipline of science (theories that have now been abandoned by the scientific community) were all subject to peer review. “
Yes, because peer review does not ensure correctness, it ensures HONESTY.
“This process of review was inadequate to exclude false ideas. “
It was never meant to. The scientific method in itself does that.
“Courtrooms have a far more aggressive vetting process. Opposing attorneys begin by opposing each other’s ideas and claims. This public vetting of truth claims is far more aggressive than scientific peer review.”
No, it is not. Most ideas in science will be proven wrong BY SCIENCE. That is not the case with the court of law. And there are MANY cases where innocent people have been convicted, and guilty people have gotten off. The court takes POPULAR OPINION into account. It also matter how much MONEY you have. That is not very correct, and does not yield the best results.
“How many times have you asked your kids to tell you what happened earlier in the day? Have you ever been inclined to verify their claims with an experiment? Instead, weren’t you more likely to find another eyewitness if “
But there would be no way of verifying that another eyewitness is telling the truth either. What people say, is not evidence, ever. They can be wrong, they can lie, and so on.
“It’s important to remember that courtrooms are not devoid of scientific examination. There are many limited aspects of historical events that can be examined scientifically to corroborate the claims of eyewitnesses and help to establish what happened at a particular crime scene. “
And if we cannot, they remain PURE SPECULATION. WE need to verify that people are speaking the truth, everytime they speak, if we are to reach truth. This means that even if a person ha never been wrong ad never lied in his entire life, it makes no difference, he may lie and be wrong in the next sentence anyway.
“There are many forms of forensic science that are employed in corroborating such claims, and while these scientific endeavors are inadequate to fully tell us what happened, they are sufficient to provide us with limited information to assist in the process. The courtroom is not a place where science is ignored or demeaned; it’s simply a place where the limited role of science is understood and acknowledged.”
It is actually not. The only evidence that counts as conclusive in the court of law, is scientific evidence. IF we have a thousand eyewitnesses, all pointing out the same guy, videos of him doing the crime. And so on. If we find that the DNA on the scene is not his, he will go free. In the court of law, DNA is more conclusive than video and a 1000 eyewitnesses. DNA never lies, video and witnesses does.
“Our culture trusts scientists far more than it trusts lawyers, that’s a fairly safe statement. When a scientist tells the culture that something is true, it is far more likely to be embraced without challenge.”
By laypeople, sure, but within the scientific community, the competition is ruthless, you get famous by proving other scientists wrong, so, all scientists want to prove each other wrong. Everything in science is challenged, EVERYTHING.
“That’s another reason why courtrooms are a far better place to determine what happened in the historic past. When a scientist makes a claim standing in a laboratory, he is often the final arbiter of truth.”
No, he is not. He is ruthlessly peer reviewed by people who which to prove him wrong, until no scientist can find anything wrong with the paper in question. THEN, it is delivered to the public. I personally failed peer review 17 times before passing.
“Other scientists may weigh in and agree (or disagree) with the first scientist, but “non-scientist” observers play little role in the process.”
Of course! Just as non-surgeons do not participate in a surgery. We do not want laypeople to have a say in how a bridge s constructed, it would fall down. Why listen to people who have not studied the subject? We are only interested in observers that has an education and understand what it is they are observing, and that has the knowledge to draw conclusion based on evidence.
“When a lawyer makes a claim standing in a courtroom, he is never the final arbiter of truth. Other lawyers may weigh in and agree (or disagree), but an entire collection of “non-lawyer observers” play the most important role in the process.”
Exactly, THAT is the problem. Popular opinion makes absolutely no difference, expert opinion however, is central. It is why you do not let your garbageman perform surgery on you. It is not that you mind him or look down at him, it is because he does not have the knowledge needed to perform the task at hand.
“Jurors make the final decision in the courtroom and it’s the juror’s decision that is then examined and questioned by the culture. Jurors stand between the claims of lawyers (and their associates) and the culture that is waiting for a decision. There is no such jury standing between the claims of scientists (and their associates) and the culture that is waiting for a decision.”
Yes, imagine if that was true with science, what a travesty! Uneducated people, not understanding the subject or how the evidence would look like, would have a say in what is considered true. Courts has lowered the standards of science, because if they did not, no one would be convicted basically, scientific demands are too high for that.
“The daily process of determining truth that occurs in courtrooms across America has been established for a reason. It’s still the single best method of determining what happened in the past. “
Then it should be interesting for Jim to know, that the US court has deemed intelligent design unscientific, and evolution scientific. That is why it is forbidden to teach ID in science class in most states of the US.
“Police investigators on an accident scene, for instance, use the principles of cause and effect every day to determine who was ultimately responsible and how it happened. Eventually, we must face the question of the original cause—and uncaused First Cause.”
No, we do not. For several reasons:
- The laws of cause and effects are laws of our universe, before the big bang, they may not apply. At least, one cannot assume they did.
- It is INCREDIBLY bad logic, to say that everything needs a cause, and then explain this away with saying that something is uncaused.
- We do not know what was before the big bang, it could have been another universe in an eternally repeating process, it could be that there is a multiverse and that this is eternal, it could be that something can come from nothing. And so on.
“A scientific experiment specifically tries to relate effects to causes, in the form of quantitative equations if possible. Thus, if one repeats the same experiment with exactly the same factors, then exactly the same results will be reproduced.”
Exactly… But most scientific experiments are bound to the laws of our universe (or well, all of them).
“ The very basis of the highly reputed ”scientific method” is this very law of causality—that effects are in and like their causes, and that like causes produce like effects. Science in the modern sense would be altogether impossible if cause and effect should cease.”
Well, yes, so an UNCAUSED CAUSE, would be deemed very unscientific.
“This law inevitably leads to a choice between two alternatives: (1) an infinite chain of nonprimary causes (nothing ultimately responsible for all observable causes and effects)”
Which is quite possible. There is nothing speaking against it.
“or (2) an uncaused primary Cause of all causes (the One absolute Cause that initiated everything).”
That would go strictly against the rules of cause and effect. One have to choose, either a cause is needed, and then an uncaused cause is impossible, or they are not needed, and then an uncaused cause is not necessary.
“1. There is no new mass/energy coming into existence anywhere in the universe, and every bit of that original mass/energy is still here.”
Yes, which is ZERO. The universe total energy is ZERO.
“2. Every time something happens (an event takes place), some of the energy becomes unavailable.”
Well, transformed, but, close…
“The First Law (of thermodynamcs) tells us that matter (mass/energy) can be changed, but can neither be created nor destroyed. The Second Law tells us that all phenomena (mass/energy) continually proceed to lower levels of usefulness.”
IN ISOLATED SYSTEMS, that is VERY important. The laws of thermodynamics are out the window as soon as energy is added to a system. For example, they do not apply to earth, because earth receives energy from the sun.
“When this universal law is traced backwards, one is faced again with the possibility that there is an ongoing chain of ever-decreasing effects, resulting from an infinite chain of nonprimary ever-increasing causes. However, what appears more probable is the existence of an uncaused Source, an omnipotent, omniscient, eternal, and Primary, First Cause.”
Jim, you JUST SAID, that if we actually examine the EVIDENCE, and trace it backwards, we get to an ongoing chain. This is actually also wrong. The fact of the matter is, that we do not know, and guessing gets us nowhere. There is no evidence of this first cause. There are ARGUMENTS, but no EVIDENCE.
PART 2 – Evidence
“God has not hidden Himself from us; all around us we see evidence of His existence. Look, for example, at the worlds He created. “
OK, here is the problem. Existence in all its glory, is the QUESTION we are trying to answer. God is an attempted answer at what caused existence, life, and so on. Science is also trying to answer those very same questions. The point here being, that the QUESTION cannot be used as EVIDENCE, that would be CIRCULAR.
“Did this amazing universe just happen by chance? “
We do not know. Anything goes when the rules of our universe no longer apply. There are alternatives to “chance” and “god”. It could be an unknown process that is nowhere close to anything we have imagined today.
“Not at all; it would take far more faith to believe that, than to believe God created it”.
No faith is required to say “we do not know”. No faith is required to follow evidence.
“But God revealed Himself to us in a far greater and more personal way: by coming down from heaven and walking among us in the person of Jesus Christ. ““
THAT is a CLAIM that requires EVIDENCE. That is, we need EVIDENCE that Jesus was god.
“Do you want to know what God is like? Look at Jesus Christ, for He was God in human flesh.”
And the evidence for this is what?
“And when you see Him as He really is, you’ll realize not only that God exists, but that He loves you, and He is worthy of your complete faith and trust and commitment. (Billy Graham)”
“Some say that they just want proof. They want someone to “prove” to them that God exists. But is that really what they want? Would they change their worldview if the evidence dictated? If what they believe is not true, would they really want to know?”
“Many have claimed that the evidence for the existence of a loving all-powerful and just Creator is not worthy of their consideration.”
Everything that has evidence is worthy of consideration.
“In my atheistic-evolutionary days, I accepted that something could come out of nothing, that life cold come from non-life, yet I could never provide proof for such claims. “
Then why did you believe it Jim? I believe the same things because there is MASSIVE evidence. There are smart and dumb atheists as well, and an atheist accepting evolution without evidence, is a dumb one.
“In fact, those popular theories did not even agree with my training and education. Although I would never admit it, I knew the laws of thermodynamics that I studied and applied in my vocation, directly refuted evolutionary and Big Bang theories. “
No they do not. This is the most common misunderstanding among creationists. I could argue these closer, explain that the universe has a total of zero energy (as much + as -), and that it therefore does not break these laws is coming from nothing. BUT, we only need one sentence to destroy this one: THE LAWS OF THERMODYNAMICS ONLY APPLY TO ISOLATED SYSTEMS, EARTH IS NOT AN ISOLATED SYSTEM.
“Where is this abundant evidence that some suggest? How can some people be so confident about these questions of origin? “
In the case of the big bang, the main evidence is the cosmic background radiation. It exists, and as far as scientists know, there is no other explanation for it than the big bang.
Something coming from nothing works with the laws of thermodynamics since the universe has zero total energy.
When it comes to evolution, there are 4 million pieces of evidence, some of the top ones being:
1: Geographical placement of the living species ( Biogeography – The current and past distribution of species on the planet)
2: DNA. E.g. Our DNA is very close to that of apes, a bit further from that of rats, a bit further from that of reptiles, and so on. Just like we can use DNA to see who is your father, it can be used to see what was your ancestor, one is not harder than the other.
3: Vestigial and atavistic organs – E.g. Leg and pelvic bones in whales, dolphins, and some snakes; unused eyes in blind cave fish, unused wings in flightless birds and insects; flowers in non-fertilizing plants (like dandelions); in humans, wisdom teeth, tailbones, appendix, the plantaris muscle in the calf (useless in humans, used for grasping with the feet in primates).
4: Species share similarities that are signs of their common ancestry
5: Species have traits that are the remnants of past generations.
6: Evolution reproduced in the lab or documented in nature:
- Two strains of fruit flies lost the ability to interbreed and produce fertile offspring in the lab over a 4-year span … i.e. they became two new species. (Easily repeated experiment.)
- A new plant species (a type of firewood), created by a doubling of the chromosome count from the original stock (Mosquin, 1967).
- Multiple species of the house mouse unique to the Faeroe Islands occurred within 250 years of introduction of a foundation species on the island.
- Formation of 5 new species of cichlid fishes that have formed in a single lake within 4,000 years of introduction of a parent species.
7: Genetic evidence. E.g. the fact that humans have a huge number of genes (as much as 96%) in common with other great apes … and (as much as 50%) with wheat plants. The pattern of genetic evidence follows the tell-tale patterns of ancestral relationships (more genes in common between recently related species, and fading the further back in time).
8: Molecular evidence – These are commonalities in DNA … which is separate from genetic commonalities … much of our DNA does not code for genes at all. But random mutations (basically ‘typos’) enter into DNA at a known rate over the centuries. This is called the ‘molecular clock’ and again gives excellent evidence of when humans diverged from other apes (about 6 million years ago, according to this molecular clock), and this corresponds perfectly with when these fossils first appear in the fossil record (using radiometric dating).
9: Evidence from proteins Proteins – E.g., things like blood proteins (the things that give us our A, B, O blood typing and the Rh factor (the plus/minus thing) which incidentally stands for ‘rhesus monkey’); the exact structure of the insulin molecule; and my favorite, the proteins responsible for color vision. The specific proteins found in human color vision are exactly the same as those found in Old World primates (the great apes and the monkeys found in Africa and Asia). These proteins are absent in New World primates (the Central and South American monkeys), and from all other mammals. In fact among the New World primates, only the howler monkey has color vision … but these use slightly *different* proteins, coded on different locations and chromosomes, than humans and the OW primates. This is yet more evidence of a closer link between humans and the OW primates.
10: Embryology – E.g. Legs on dolphin embryos
11: Homology – E.g. the same bones in the same relative positions in primate hands, bat wings, bird wings, mammals, whale and penguin flippers, pterosaur wings, horse legs, the forelimbs of moles, and webbed amphibian legs.
12: Bacteriology, virology, immunology, pest-control – I.e. the way that bacteria evolve in response to antibiotics (we can compare strains of tuberculosis today, with samples of older epidemics and can see the specific structures), or viruses (like HIV) respond to antivirals, or insects evolving in response to pesticides.
13: The fact that modern medicine works for a large part (Evolution is the presumption, if evolution is wrong, then modern medicine should not work).
14: Chromosome 2.
15: The recurrent laryngeal nerve
16: Fossils becoming more advanced the higher up in the rock-layer they are
17: The recent evolution of the peppered moth
18: The E. coli long-term evolution experiment
19: The culex pipiens f. molestus, a species of subterranean mosquito which diverged from the common mosquito about 14 years ago and is completely reliant on the heat from underground train networks to survive.
20: Nylonase, nylon eating bacteria which again are reliant on a man made product that does not exist naturally
21: Other evidence that confirms the other ones, such as plate tectonics proving Biogeography (nr 1) right.
Here are 260 000 more:
“Can evidence alone change a person’s view given a lifelong attachment to his own beliefs? “
If the person is rational, yes.
“Hundreds of books have been published over the years that investigate the claims of the Bible. Page after page of historical facts relating to biblical and extra-biblical manuscripts have been documented. “
Yes, and they have come to different conclusions, several of them that the bible is not reliable.
“The amount of evidence is enormous. But let’s be realistic, no amount of evidence will convince someone against his will. “
Evidence has nothing to do with will, if there is evidence, and you do not accept it, you are being irrational. For example, to not accept that chromosome 2 is strong evidence for apes relation to man, you are irrational. A rational person needs to accept ALL EVIDENCE as long as this evidence holds up. IF a person says that evidence does not hold up, it is up to the person claiming that to prove it. For example, if Jim here says that Chromosome 2 is not evidence of ape/human relations, he needs to provide EVIDENCE that it is not.
“In many cases, they often impose a burden of proof on Biblical matters that they would never impose on issues connected with the worldview they hold. “
WRONG! We hold our own beliefs to the same standards. The person who claims something ALWAYS has the burden of proof. The reason I believe in evolution, is that there is MASSIVE evidence, 4 million of them.
“Why do some abandon their long-held bias against something and others will not?”
Rationality. If you are rational you change your mind every time there is new evidence. Nothing is holy. Even if you have believed in something all your life, spent time teaching it, built a career on it. If you are rational you still change your ideas in a heartbeat with evidence.
“But can Christianity be dismissed that easily? Many have tried.”
Christianity has not been proven in the first place. There is no need to disprove something that is not proven first.
“What kind of book is the Bible? I submit there are only two plausible answers. The Bible is merely a book by man about God, or it is a book given by God through man, to man.
If the first is true, then the Bible is a record of human wisdom marked by human limitations. “
This seems to be the case. It is the DEFAULT stance until there is EVIDENCE. Unless you prove that the book is special, it is not considered to be.
“If the second is true, then God is the ultimate author and His word is the last word; a supernatural book, bearing supernatural marks. In a sense, it would contain “God’s fingerprints” for all to see.”
PRETTY BIG IF. Jim provides no evidence so far that it is.
“As some of you know, biblical writers claimed repeatedly that they were transmitting the very “word of God,” infallible and authoritative beyond anything they themselves could produce. This is an amazing thing for any writer to claim.”
And if you do not prove it, it is a CRAZY thing to claim.
“If the forty or so men who penned the Scriptures were wrong in these claims, then they must have been lying, insane, or both.”
OR, they might have been LIED TO. If we cannot prove any of them correct, it may be anyone of them.
“But, if the greatest and most influential book of all ages, containing the most beautiful literature and the most perfect moral code ever devised, was written by deceiving fanatics, then what hope is there for anyone to ever find meaning and purpose in this world? “
Well, this is Jim’s personal opinion (it being the best book ever), I would say that hope is quite good subjectively, but we will most likely never find a objective purpose.
“Are we just products of a random fusion of electrons destined to be forgotten as we get recycled into the material world around us?”
We do not know… Possibly.
M MANUSCRIPT AUTHORITY
“It is often alleged that since the Bible has been copied many times, what we have today cannot be historically reliable. Yet historical MSS research suggests differently. “
Well, all though that is partly true, it is hardly a main-argument against the Bible. We know for a fact that there has been changes in the Bible from the original.
“Any doubt by critics regarding the accurate transmission of manuscripts was erased in 1947 with the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls.”
That actually strengthen the doubts. When we found them, we saw that there had been quite a few changes made between them and the KJV.
“Hundreds of scrolls that were buried for nearly 2000 years were found in ancient clay vessels. These ancient scrolls (dated prior to 100 B.C.) were buried in Bedouin caves in the vicinity of Qumran, near the Dead Sea. It can now be demonstrated that the biblical Old Testament (OT) text, except for minor grammatical changes in language, is identical to what we have today. “
That is a lie, several changes has been made in the bible, for example the change from Gerasenes to Gadarenes in Mark 8:28. 2 different places.
“All those who had claimed textual corruption prior to this discovery, are now very silent.”
No, they have just said what they wanted to say, and it has not been proven wrong. There is no need to repeat oneself.
“Regarding New Testament (NT) manuscripts (MSS), they exceed 24,000. No other ancient writing is close. In addition, all the NT writings have been written within close proximity of Jesus’ death, “very probably between A.D. 50 and 75” (ref: William F. Albright, American archaeologist).”
It is between 50 and 110, but that is NOT close, 1 year is not even that close. 1 month can be considered close. That it has many copies proves absolutely nothing.
“These writings were recorded either by eyewitnesses themselves or by those who wrote the accounts of eyewitnesses. “
No, there is one person CLAIMING to be an eyewitness, and that is Paul. The rest 500, is simply claimed to exist by Paul. There is no evidence whatsoever that they exist. Mark, Lucas, Matthey, and John, do not claim to be eyewitnesses. They are simply retelling a story they have heard.
“Importantly, these New Testament accounts of Christ were being circulated within the lifetimes of those who lived while Jesus had his ministry. “
No, there is no evidence of this, at least not presented so far.
“This is important. These people could certainly confirm or deny the accuracy of the accounts being circulated. “
Not really. There was no news, no people double checking information, most people could not read. It was extremely easy to lie to people of such a time. I mean, imagine what you could get away with if it was almost impossible to double check the information.
“In short, the contemporaries of Jesus could not afford to risk inaccuracies in their writings (not to speak of willful manipulation of the facts), which would at once be exposed by those who would be only too glad to do so.”
In our time, several people have made up evidence in science, and this is in a time when information is ruthlessly double checked. So, in a time when there was MUCH easier to get away with lying, it is likely it happened more often.
“Had there been any tendency to depart from the facts of Jesus’ life in any material respect, the possible presence of hostile witnesses in the audience would have served as a further corrective. “
Maybe they did? It just was not documented because they lost? History is written by the winners.
“But these declarations and writings were not contested.”
How do you know? Maybe the critics was killed? Maybe the literature has been lost?
“The Christian tradition claimed to narrate a series of well-known deeds and publicly taught doctrines at a time when false statements could, and would, be challenged. The silence of those who lived during the events in question strongly supports the claim that these event descriptions are indeed accurate. “
WHAT? Jim actually argues that because there is no officially documented evidence, Christianity’s claims was never challenged. Furthermore, yes, SILENCE speaks. Philo’s silence for example, a historian living in Jerusalem during the events surrounding Jesus, and who has not written a word about it. Strange that a historian of that time, the most famous one of his time, in that area, would not mention it.
“Virtually all major religions – even those opposing Jesus – acknowledge his existence. “
No, that is not true, Islam does, but says he is not god. Hinduism and Buddhism usually accepts many religions. They do not see them as competing against each other. But he is not mentioned in their scriptures, no.
“In our court system, historical reliability is determined through the textual transmission of how documents reach us. “
“When it comes to the manuscript authority of the New Testament, the abundance of material is almost embarrassing in contrast. After the early papyri manuscript discoveries that bridged the gap between the times of Christ and the second century, an abundance of other MSS came to light. Over 24,000 copies of New Testament manuscripts are in existence today. Second in manuscript authority after the New Testament is the Iliad with only 643.”
Which proves nothing of course, except the book being popular.
“Sir Frederic Kenyon, who was the director and principal librarian at the British Museum and second to none in authority”
There is no authority in science. Anyone has as much authority as long they bring EVIDENCE. It is all about EVIDENCE, not who puts them forward.
“concludes: “The interval then between the dates of original composition and the earliest extant evidence becomes so small as to be in fact negligible, and the last foundation for any doubt that the Scriptures have come down to us substantially as they were written has now been removed. Both the authenticity and the general integrity of the books of the New Testament may be regarded as finally established.”
This is a CLAIM/ a QUOTE. Not evidence of course. When are news papers written, the same day or the day after something happens, right? Because 1 whole year, is TOO FAR AWAY to be RELIABLE. The Bible has 50 years at least between the events and them being codified.
“Sir William Ramsay is regarded as one of the greatest archaeologists ever to have lived. He was a student of the German historical school that taught that the Book of Acts in the NT was a product of mid-second century A.D. and n(…..) He was forced to conclude that “Luke is a historian of the first rank…this author should be placed along with the very greatest of historians.” Because of the accuracy of even the minutest detail, Ramsey finally conceded that Acts could not be a second-century document but was rather a mid-first-century account.”
William Ramsay was a great CHEMIST (so not an archeologist) of the late 1800’s! He is outdated and not an expert on the subject.
“Some suggest that the incredible survival of the Christian record is less a miracle than just the senseless expansion of a myth. If that is so, why haven’t other religions – with more prominent leaders, with lifelong ministries, and with less persecution – produced similar results? Good question, but few answers.”
Well, the short answer is, we have seen similar results with Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, the Pyramid texts, and so on.
“How could the Judeo-Christian Scripture anticipate scientific discovery thousands of years in advance? Even though the Bible is not a scientific text, it is easily demonstrated that when it makes a statement about science, it is not only true, it is amazing given that it was written before modern science existed. Consider just a few:
- The earth is round not flat: For thousands of years people believed the earth was flat. If one went too far, he would fall over the edge. This was taught in both Hindu and Buddhist scripture. In the 1500s, the first ship sailed around the world proving the earth was round. But the round earth was recorded in the Bible 3,000 years ago, long before man discovered it in the 1500s. The prophet Isaiah (40:22) spoke of the ”circle of the earth.” Solomon wrote in Proverbs 8:27, ”He [God] set a compass [circle] upon the face of the deep.” “
“Circle” does not imply a spherical shape. This is REACHING. Also, The earliest reliably documented mention of the spherical Earth concept dates from around the 6th century BC when it appeared in ancient Greek philosophy.”Pythagoras was the first Greek who called the Earth round; though Theophrastus attributes this to Parmenides, and Zeno to Hesiod. So 2600 years ago, the greeks scientifically proved it. And it has been mentioned by the greeks LONG before that.
- “The earth is suspended over nothing: Three thousand years ago the Hindu scriptures recorded the earth was resting on the backs of several huge elephants. The elephants were resting on the back of a very large turtle that was swimming in a sea. Greek mythology claims that the god Atlas was holding the earth on his shoulders. But the Bible in Job 26:7, says, “He[God] stretches out the north over empty space and hangs the earth on nothing.” The earth is suspended in space. Nothing is holding it up. Job wrote about the same time the Hindu Scripture was written. “
- This is an observation most people can do. Once again, the greeks made this observation LONG before that, so did the egyptians. The Mayans were so advanced that they could calculate events in the universe thousands of years ahead.
- The sun and moon are inanimate: Ancient people were afraid of the sun, moon and stars. They thought they were alive — that they were gods. Eclipses are an example of what people feared. (…) However, in the OT, Jeremiah wrote (10:2): ”Thus says the LORD, ‘Do not learn the way of the nations and do not be terrified by the signs of the heavens although the nations are terrified by them.” God went on to reassure Jeremiah that the universe is under God’s control. Later scientists learned that heavenly bodies were not alive and that man need not fear them. Thousands of years before scientists discovered that the planetary bodies were inanimate, the Judeo-Christian Bible contained this scientific fact.”
Once again, it is not strange that knowledge evolved, even back then. In 5000 bc people worshipped RA, the sun god, through they years, these ideas changed, The romans and the greeks had similar ideas as the ancient egyptians. It is not strange that knowledge had evolved since then. And it is not unique to Christianity. At about the same time, both Hinduism and Buddhists had stopped to worship the sun, and had moved on to more abstract gods.
- “With our latest and most advanced telescopes, the expanse of the universe seems to keep growing. The universe is described as almost infinite in extent in Isaiah 55:9. And according to Jeremiah 33:22, the vast number of stars cannot be numbered. This was written 1000s of years before the telescope was invented.”
And today, we know that is wrong. We actually do know the number of stars, the size of the universe, and even its weight.
- “The law of conservation of mass and energy is an empirical law of physics. It was Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz during 1676–1689 who first attempted to form a mathematical expression for this law. In a paper Über die Natur der Wärme, published in the Zeitschrift für Physik in 1837, Karl Friedrich Mohr gave one of the earliest general statements of the doctrine of the conservation of energy. This principle of conservation was alluded to in II Peter 3:7, which was written more than 1700 years earlier.”
- The bottom of the ocean described: Until modern time people thought the ocean floor was sandy like the desert and saucer shaped—deepest in the middle. But in the 1900s oceanographers found the sea had many deep valleys or canyons. The Marianas Trench in the Pacific is so deep (…) It was 3,000 years ago that the Bible spoke of the valleys and mountains of the sea. In Psalm 18:15 (NIV) David wrote of God being the creator of ”the valleys of the sea.” God asked Job (38:16 NIV): ”Have you walked in the recesses [valleys] of the sea?” The prophet Jonah was thrown off a ship and spoke of falling to the bottom of the mountains in the sea (Jonah 2:6).
- The idea that the ocean floor is flat was made up, in a similar manner to the prevalence of the flat earth. Any observation of the ocean floor, no matter how casual, will reveal that its structure is far from flat. Casual swimmers in the Mediterranean are easily able to spot the underwater cliffs and large rock formations that are abundant in its coastline, and Homer informs us that ancient Greek sailors were well aware of the many dangers that rocks posed, especially around Greece and Italy. Realistically, there are only two choices for predicting the appearance of the ocean floor; it’s either flat or mountainous. Getting it right from a 50/50 chance is hardly impressive, particularly as common sense can inform this opinion quite easily.
- Hydrologic cycle and paths described in the sea: In the 1800s, Matthew Maury, an officer in the United States Navy believed his Bible. One day Maury was reading about the dominion man was given over the animals in Psalm 8. He was amazed that verse 8 spoke of the fish and all creatures that swim in the ”paths of the sea.” ”Paths of the sea”— how could this be? He never knew there was such a thing. He was determined to find them. After years of investigation, Maury discovered that the oceans have many paths or currents, which are like rivers flowing through the sea. Maury wrote the first book on oceanography and became known as ”the pathfinder of the seas”— ”the father of modern navigation.” Maury received his idea about ocean currents from reading Psalm 8:8 which was written 3,000 years ago by King David. In addition, Ecclesiastes 1:7 provides a description of the hydrologic cycle of water, rivers and rain.”
Any experience the Old Testament authors would have had about sea travel would have been confined primarily to the Mediterranean Sea area. There is a current in the Mediterranean Sea that is caused by the outflow of warm saline deep water across Gibraltar, which is compensated by an inflow of a less saline surface current of cold Atlantic oceanic water. If this verse is actually referring to currents, there is no reason to assume it is referring to anything other than this current in the Mediterranean Sea. However, it would not take divine inspiration discover such a current. A few boat trips in the affected area would soon make it evident.
Regardless where Matthew Maury got his inspiration, he was not the first to recognize the significance of ocean currents.
- Pleiades, Orion and Arcturus; In the OT Book of Job written thousands of years B.C., God answered Job’s accusation by raising questions concerning the wonders of His creation. Three of these questions found in Job 38:31–32, illustrate the dynamic logic conveyed in God’s questions, “Can you bind the sweet influences of Pleiades, or loose the bands of Orion? Can you guide Arcturus with his sons?”
- – The seven stars of the Pleiades are in reality a grouping of 250 stars. Astronomers have identified 250 stars as actual members of this group, all sharing in a common motion and drifting through space in the same direction. (..)The Pleiades stars may thus be compared to a swarm of birds, flying together to a distant goal. This leaves no doubt that the Pleiades are not a temporary or accidental agglomeration of stars, but a system in which the stars are bound together by a close kinship. Dr. Trumpler said that all this led to an important discovery. Without any reference whatsoever to the Book of Job, he announced to the world that these discoveries prove that the stars in the Pleiades are all bound together and are flying together like a flock of birds as they journey to their distant goal. That is exactly what God said. ”Canst thou bind the sweet influences of Pleiades?” In other words, Are you powerful enough to keep them bound together so that they remain as a family of stars?”
So a physicist used an oversimplification that fits the Biblical description? Hardly good evidence. Also, we know what binds them together. Also, the egyptians had vast knowledge of the universe, so, this may actually have been knowledge lost and rediscovered.
- – Garrett P. Serviss wrote: “Arcturus, one of the greatest suns in the universe, is a runaway whose speed of flight is 257 miles per second. It could be turned into a new course by a(…) of modern discovery and made a statement that has attracted worldwide attention: “The study of the Book of Job and its comparison with the latest scientific discoveries has brought me to the matured conviction that the Bible is an inspired book and was written by the One who made the stars.”
So once again, a quote by some guy, not really evidence. Just one person’s opinion.
- “The Second Law of Thermodynamics is an expression of the universal principle of entropy, stating that the entropy must increase over time. The origin of the second law can be traced to French physicist Sadi Carnot’s 1824 paper Reflections on the Motive Power of Fire. In short, as the universe winds down its entropy increases until there is a heat death sometime in the distant future. The law of increasing entropy is declared in Psalm 102:25-27, “Long ago you created the earth and the heavens as your handiwork but they will come to an end.” This was written thousands of years ago.”
- The second law does say that this universe will come to an end, BUT:
- 1) Entropy may decrease in certain areas of an isolates system. IT is as whole it increases.
- 2) Saying that the world will come to an end is common in all religions, several ones predating Christianity.
- 3) The second law does not say what will happen ones the universe is in full entropy, it may start over. We do not know (so it may not be the end).
- 4) The laws of thermodynamics only apply to isolated systems, we are not sure that the universe is an isolated system, and we are sure earth is not.
- The paramount importance of blood in life processes is mentioned in Leviticus 17:11, written thousands of years before modern medicine had discovered its truth.
This was common knowledge long before that. In the old pagan germanic religions for example, as well as in greek philosophy and mythology.
- Atmospheric circulation is described in Ecclesiastes 1:6, and in Job, written thousands of years ago. Job stated, “[God] made a decree for the rain, and a way for the lightning of the thunder” (Job 28:26). Centuries later, scientists began to discern the “decrees [rules] for the rain.” Rainfall is part of a process called the “water cycle.” The sun evaporates water from the ocean. The water vapor then rises and becomes clouds. This water in the clouds falls back to earth as rain, and collects in streams and rivers, then makes its way back to the ocean. That process repeats itself again and again. About 300 years ago, Galileo discovered this cycle. But amazingly the Scriptures described it centuries before. The prophet Amos (9:6) wrote that God “calls for the water of the sea, and pours them out upon the face of the earth.” Scientists are just beginning to fully understand God’s “decrees for the rain.”
- This is fully observable through the NAKED EYE. You see, when the sun in hot countries are shining on water, you can actually SEE it evaporate.
- Gravitational field is mentioned in Job 26:7, written thousands of years B.C..
- IT says: ”He stretches out the north over empty space And hangs the earth on nothing. “. Gravitational fields are not “nothing”.
- Circumcision (
No, at that point, it is at around 60% of what an adult have. IT is however higher than the first 7 days.
Wintrobe’s Clinical Hematology, 11th Edition. J.P. Greer, Foerster J., Lukens, J.N., Rodgers, G.M., Paraskevas, F., and Glader, B., editor. Philadelphia, PA, USA: Lippincott Williams and Wilkens.
- American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Fetus and Newborn (2003).
- Furthermore, circumcision has MAJOR health risks, including infection, hemorrhage, scarring, difficulty urinating, loss of part or all of the penis, and even death. Circumcision complications can and do occur in even the best clinical settings. No professional medical association in the United States or anywhere else in the world recommends routine circumcision as medically necessary. In fact, leaving boys intact is becoming the norm in the U.S., as parents realize the risks and harms of circumcision.
These scientific statements are not written in the technical jargon of modern science, of course, but in terms of man’s everyday experience.
The statements are simply not saying what Jim says that they say. IT takes A LOT to reach those conclusions.
Nevertheless, they are completely in accord with the most modern scientific facts.
No, they really are not. And these are the part that suits science the best. There are also parts in the Bible about blood rituals to cure disease.
Do you think that could be one of “God’s fingerprints” revealed in His word?
IT is irrelevant what anyone thinks, it is all about evidence. That is the one thing that matters.
Regarding science, it is significant to note that no biblical error/mistake has ever been demonstrated.
Yes, they have apologists, for example, are having trouble with Pi being 3.0 according to the Bible. :
This also includes history, or any other subject for that matter. Of course, many have been claimed but conservative Bible scholars have always been able to work out reasonable solutions to all such allegations.
No, they really have not. Jim however has CHOSEN to cherry pick certain scholars. The darkness at the crucifixion, the rising saints of Matthew, the earthquake, resurrection, and the “crucifixion” itself are mythological events, they were NOT recorded by historians who lived during that period of time. Philo Judaes lived around 50 CE and never mentions the Gospel events; the Roman records of Pilate DO NOT mention Jesus. Thousands of criminals were crucified by the Romans, but no record exists of Jesus, simply because the Pilate did not crucify him. He was saved by God according to Psalms 20:6, Hebrews 5:7, and Al-Quran 4:157. Regarding the alleged “darkness and earthquake in Matthew”, there is not a shred of evidence to support the Gospel story.
Matthew is the only Gospel in the New Testament that records “Herod’s slaughter of the innocents”. We have explicit quotations from scholars to substantiate that “Herod’s slaughter of the innocents” is just another recapture of pagan mythology. The sun-gods of ancient Greece, Rome, and Egypt were threatened at birth, and the order was made to kill all the “new-born infants”. The same episode was replayed in the life of Jesus, who is considered a ‘sun-god’ by modern Secular scholars.
The recent silence of modern skeptics reflects that and the silence is deafening.
No, but they have put forward their thesis, and since no one has proven it wrong, there is no reason to repeat oneself. Critics of the Bible are already leading with a 1000 to nothing, we really do not need to point out anything more before Christians proves all these things wrong.
Guilty until proven innocent?
Here we confront the very crucial question of the burden of proof for the accuracy of Scripture, specifically the New Testament gospels (four books written specifically about Jesus’ life on earth by those around him; Matthew, Mark, Luke, John). Should we assume that the gospels are reliable unless they are proven to be unreliable? Or should we assume the gospels are unreliable unless they are proven to be reliable? Are they innocent until proven guilty or guilty until proven innocent? Critics almost always assume that the gospels are guilty until proven innocent, that is, they assume that the gospels are unreliable unless and until they are proven to be correct concerning some particular fact.
The correct default stance is to not lean one way or another. But as pointed out, the Bible is full of scientific and historical errors, the gospels are FULL och contradictions:
1) How many generations were there between Abraham to David? Matthew 1:17 lists fourteen generations. Matthew 1:2 lists thirteen generations.
2) Is Paul lying? In Acts 20:35 Paul told people ”to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.'” Since Jesus never made such a biblical statement, isn’t Paul guilty of deception?
3) When did the leper become not a leper? (Matthew 8:13 & 8:14) Jesus healed the leper before visiting the house. (Mark 1:29-30 & 1:40-42) Jesus healed the leper after visiting Simon Peter’s house.
4) Who approached Jesus? (Matthew 8:5-7) The Centurion approached Jesus, beseeching help for a sick servant. (Luke 7:3 & 7:6-7) The Centurion did not approach Jesus. He sent friends and elders of the Jews.
5) Was she dead or just dying? (Matthew 9:18) He asked for help, saying his daughter was already dead. (Luke 8:41-42) Jairus approached Jesus for help, because his daughter was dying.
6) Just what did Jesus instruct them to take? (Matthew 10:10) Jesus instructed them not to take a staff, not to wear sandals. (Mark 6:8-9) Jesus instructed his disciples to wear sandals and take a staff on their journey.
7) When did John find out Jesus was the Messiah? (Matthew 11:2-3) While imprisoned. John the Baptist sent followers to Jesus to inquire if Jesus was the messiah. (Luke 7:18-22) While imprisoned. John the Baptist sent followers to Jesus to inquire if Jesus was the Messiah. (John 1 :29-34,36) John already knew Jesus was the Messiah.
8) Who made the request? (Matthew 20:20-21) Their mother requested that James and John, Zebedee’s children, should sit beside Jesus in his Kingdom. (Mark 10:35-37) James and John, Zebedee’s children, requested that they should sit beside Jesus in his Kingdom.
9) What animals were brought to Jesus? (Matthew 21:2-7) two of the disciples brought Jesus an ass and a colt from the village of Bethphage. (Mark 11:2-7) They brought him only a colt.
10) When did the fig tree hear of its doom? (Matthew 21:17-19) Jesus cursed the fig tree after purging the temple. (Mark 11:14-15 & 20) He cursed it before the purging.
11) When did the fig tree keel? (Matthew 21:9) The fig tree withered immediately. and the disciples registered surprise then and there. (Mark 11:12-14 & 20) The morning after Jesus cursed the fig tree, the disciples noticed it had withered and expressed astonishment.
12) Was John the Baptist Elias? ”This is Elias which was to come.” Matthew 11:14 ”And they asked him, what then? Art thou Elias? And he said I am not.” John l:21
13) Who was the father of Joseph? Matthew 1:16 The father of Joseph was Jacob. Luke 3 :23 The father of Joseph was Heli. Christians shall try to LIE and tell you that one is the heritage of Mary and the other Joseph. This is utter bullshit, the Hebrew and Greek cultures NEVER regarded the bloodline of the mother. They were patriarchal societies which only concerned themselves with paternal lineage.
14) How many generations were there from the Babylon captivity to Christ? Matthew 1:17 Fourteen generations, Matthew 1:12-16 Thirteen generations.
15) Matthew 2:15, 19 & 21-23 The infant Christ was taken into Egypt. Luke 2:22 & 39 The infant Christ was NOT taken to Egypt.
16) Matthew 5:1-2 Christ preached his first sermon on the mount. Luke 6:17 & 20 Christ preached his first sermon in the plain.
17) John was in prison when Jesus went into Galilee. Mark 1:14 John was not in prison when Jesus went into Galilee. John 1:43 & 3:22-24
18) What was the nationality of the woman who besought Jesus? Matthew 15:22 ”And behold, a woman of Canaan came out of the same coasts, and cried unto him, Have mercy on me, 0 Lord, thou son of David; my daughter is grievously vexed with a devil.” Mark 7:26 ”The woman was a Greek, a Syrophoenician by nation, and she besought him that he would cast forth the devil out of her daughter.”
19) How many blind men besought Jesus? Matthew 20:30 Two blind men. Luke 18:35-38 Only one blind man.
20) Where did the devil take Jesus first? (Matthew 4:5-8) The Devil took Jesus first to the parapet of the temple, then to a high place to view all the Kingdoms of the world. (Luke 4:5-9) The Devil took Jesus first to a high place to view the kingdoms, then to the parapet of the temple.
21) Can one pray in public? (Matthew 6:5-6) Jesus condemned public prayer. (1 Timothy 2:8) Paul encouraged public prayer.
22) If we decide to do good works, should those works be seen? Matthew 5:16 ”Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works.” 1 Peter 2:12 ”Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that … they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation.” This contradicts: Matthew 6:1-4 ”Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them…that thine alms may be in secret.” Matthew 23:3-5 ”Do not ye after their [Pharisees’] works … all their works they do for to be seen of men.”
23) Who did Jesus tell the Lord’s Prayer to? (Matthew 5:1, 6:9-13 & 7:28) Jesus delivered the Lord’s Prayer during the Sermon on the Mount before the multitudes. (Luke 11:1-4) He delivered it before the disciples alone, and not as part of the Sermon on the Mount.
24) When was Christ crucified? Mark 15:25 ”And it was the third hour and they crucified him.” John 19:14-15 ”And it was the preparation of the Passover, and about the sixth hour; and he saith unto the Jews, Behold your king…Shall I crucify your king?” John 19:14-15.
25) The two thieves reviled Christ. (Matthew 27:44 & Mark 15:32) Only one of the thieves reviled Christ. Luke 23:39-40.
26) In 1 Corinthians 1:17 (”For Christ sent me [Paul] not to baptize but to preach the gospel”) Paul said Jesus was wrong when he said in Matthew 28:19 ”Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them…” Clearly one of these people is wrong, either way, it’s a contradiction.
27) When did Satan enter Judas? Satan entered into Judas while at the supper. John 13:27 Satan entered Judas before the supper. Luke 23:3-4 & 7
28) How many women came to the sepulcher? John 20:1 Only one woman went, Mary Magdalene. Matthew 28:1 Mary Magdalene and the ”other Mary” (Jesus’ mother) went.
29) Mark 16:2 It was sunrise when the two women went to the sepulcher. John 20:1 It was still dark (before sunrise) when Mary Magdalene went alone to the sepulcher.
30) There were two angels seen by the women at the sepulcher and they were standing up. Luke 24:4 There was only one angel seen and he was sitting down. Mark 28:2-5
31) How many angels were within the sepulcher? John 20:11-12 two, Mark 16:5 one.
32) The Holy Ghost bestowed at Pentecost. Acts 1:5-8 & 2:1-4 The holy Ghost bestowed before Pentecost. John 20:22
33) Where did Jesus first appear to the eleven disciples? In a room in Jerusalem. Luke 24:32-37 On a mountain in Galilee. Matthew 28:15-17
34) Where did Christ ascend from? From Mount Olivet. Acts 1:9-12 From Bethany. Luke 24:50-51
35) Can all sins be forgiven? (Acts 13:39) All sins can be forgiven. Great, I’m happy to know God is so merciful, but wait (Mark 3:29) Cursing or blaspheming the Holy Spirit is unforgivable.
36) The Elijah mystery: (Malachi 4:5) Elijah must return before the final days of the world. (Matthew 11:12-14) Jesus said that John the Baptist was Elijah. (Matthew 17:12- 13) Jesus insists that Elijah has already come, and everyone understood him to mean John the Baptist. (Mark 9:13) Jesus insists that Elijah has already come. (John 1:21) John the Baptist maintained that he was not Elijah.
37) Who purchased the potter’s field? Acts 1:18 The field was purchased by Judas. John 20:1 The potter’s field was purchased by the chief priests.
38) Paul’s attendants heard the miraculous voice and stood speechless. Acts 9:7 Paul’s attendants did not hear the voice and were prostrate. Acts 22:9 & 26:14
39) Who bought the Sepulcher? Jacob, Josh 24:32 Abraham, Acts 7:16
40) Was it lawful for the Jews to put Christ to death? ”The Jews answered him, we have a law, and by our law he ought to die.” John 19:7 ”The Jews therefore said unto him, It is not lawful for us to put any man to death.” John 18:31
41) Has anyone ascended up to heaven? Elijah went up to heaven: ”And Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven.” 2 Kings 2:11 ”No man hath ascended up to heaven but he that came down from heaven, even the son of man.” John 3:13
42) Is scripture inspired by God? ”all scripture is given by inspiration of God.” 2 Timothy 3:16 compared to: ”But I speak this by permission and not by commandment.” 1 Corinthians 7:6 ”But to the rest speak I, not the Lord.” 1 Corinthians 7:12 ”That which I speak, I speak it not after the Lord” 2 Corinthians.
So, the Gospels are found guilty so to speak.
But here are five reasons why we ought to assume that the gospels are reliable until proven wrong:
That is NEVER how we think in logic or science. The default stance is to not lean one way or another.
“1. There was insufficient time for legendary influences to expunge the historical facts. The interval of time between the events themselves and the recording of them in the gospel books is too short to have allowed the memory of what had or had not actually happened to be erased.”
How often do newspapers come out? Usually every day right? That is because the news gets outdated and unreliable really quick. Ever heard the police expression that the trace gets “cold” really quick? One year between the events is WAY too much. The Bible has 50 years! That is over 50 times too much to be reliable!
“No modern scholar thinks of the gospels as bald-faced lies, the result of a massive conspiracy.”
There are several, yes. Just follow the sources of this link:
Most scholars see it as semi-fiction.
“The only places you find such conspiracy theories of history are in sensationalist, popular literature or former propaganda from behind the Iron Curtain.”
No, also from professors of a wide variety of subjects. Also, this is a CLAIM, that is not backed up. Jim just claims and claims and claims. I wonder when the evidence will come?
“When you read the pages of the New Testament, there’s no doubt that these people sincerely believed in the truth of what they proclaimed. “
Which argues absolutely nothing. That can be said about Muhammad as well, but Jim does not believe in Islam, does he?
“Ever since the time of D. F. Strauss, skeptical scholars have explained away the gospels as legends, rather like the child’s game of telephone. As the stories about Jesus were passed on over the decades, they got muddled and exaggerated and mythologized until the original facts were all but lost. The Jewish peasant sage was transformed into the divine Son of God. One of the major problems with the legend hypothesis, however, which is almost never addressed by critics, is that the time between Jesus’ death and the writing of the gospels is just too short for this to happen.
One year would be enough, so, there was 50 times the time needed. Remember that there were no newspapers, you could tell people anything.
According to Sherwin-White, the writings of Herodotus enable us to determine the rate at which legend accumulates, and the tests show that even two generations is too short a time span to allow legendary tendencies to wipe out the hard core of historical facts. When Professor Sherwin-White turns to the gospels, he states that for the gospels to be legends, the rate of legendary accumulation would have to be ”unbelievable.” More generations would be needed.
OK, and one professor saying so, will not make it true. Once again, this is cherry picking. People have become legends in one lifetime. Also, doesn’t that say TODAY? It may have gone much faster in an area where everyone had a low education, there were no newspapers, most could not even read, and so on.
This point becomes even more devastating for skeptics when we recall that the gospels themselves use sources that go back even closer to the events of Jesus’ life. For example, the story of Jesus’ suffering and death, commonly called the Passion Story, was probably not originally written by Mark. Rather, Mark may have even used an earlier source for this narrative. Since Mark is the earliest gospel, his source must have been written within just a few years of the event. In fact, Rudolf Pesch, a German expert on Mark, says the Passion source must go back to at least AD 37, just a few years after Jesus’ death.
So there may be an older source to the Bible (this is well known among critics of course), it is called the “Q source” by the way, so what?? So several books copied another fictional book? So what?
Similarly, Paul in his letters passes along information concerning Jesus’ teaching, his Last Supper, his betrayal, crucifixion, burial, and post-resurrection appearances. Paul’s letters were written even before the gospels, and some of his information, such as what he reveals in his first letter to the Corinthian church about the resurrection appearances, has been dated to within five years after Jesus’ death. It just becomes irresponsible to speak of legends in such cases.
No, in Paul’s particular case I would go with “liar” to begin with. A guy that claims to have spoken with witnesses, but that provides no evidence for this being true. Some facts are probably historically correct, that is why the Bible is “SEMI fiction”, not pure fiction.
“2. The gospels are not analogous to folk tales or contemporary ”urban legends.” Tales like those of Paul Bunyan and Pecos Bill or contemporary urban legends like the ”vanishing hitchhiker” rarely concern actual historical individuals and are thus not analogous to the gospel narratives.”
No, as I said, the Bible is what is known as a SEMI-fictional book. It uses real events and mixes it with fantasy. There are many such books: What is the What by Dave Eggers, The Lotus Eaters by Tatjana Soli, Educating Alice: Adventures of a Curious Woman by Alice Steinbach, A Viagem do Elefante A Viagem do Elefante by José Saramago, The Dharma Bums The Dharma Bums by Jack Kerouac, In Search of Lost Time by Marcel Proust, Stealing Buddha’s Dinner by Bich Minh Nguyen, Miami by Joan Didion, After Henry by Joan Didion, What Am I Doing Here? by Bruce Chatwin, Miss Spitfire: Reaching Helen Keller by Sarah Miller, Post Office by Charles Bukowski, The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath, The Subterraneans by Jack Kerouac, Cheaper by the Dozen by Frank B. Gilbreth Jr, Papa’s Wife by Thyra Ferré Björn, Logicomix: An Epic Search for Truth By Apostolos Doxiadis, A Cafecito Story: El Cuento del Cafecito by Julia Alvarez, The Odyssey by Homer, The Iliad The Iliad by Homer, The Aeneid by Virgil, San Francisco by Mark Twai, The Octopus: A Story of California by Frank Norris, Joe Hill by Wallace Stegner, The Painted Bird by Jerzy Kosiński, Crossing to Safety by Wallace Stegner, Angle of Repose by Wallace Stegner, Life on the Mississippi by Mark Twain, The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien, The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan, In Cold Blood by Truman Capote, Seven Pillars of Wisdom: A Triumph by T.E. Lawrence, The Man Who Walked Between the Towers by Mordicai Gerstein, and so on…
Just because all these books incorporate real world events does not make them true as a whole.
- The Jewish transmission of sacred traditions was highly developed and reliable. In an oral culture like that of first century Palestine the ability to memorize and retain large tracts of oral tradition was a highly prized and highly developed skill. From the earliest age children in the home, elementary school, and the synagogue were taught to memorize sacred tradition faithfully. The disciples would have exercised similar care with the teachings of Jesus.
This does however in no way argue that the Gospels are true.
- The Gospel writers have a proven track record of historical reliability. An example is Luke. Luke was the author of a two-part work: the Gospel of Luke and the Acts of the Apostles. These are really one work and are separated in the Bibles because the church grouped the four gospels together at the start of the New Testament. in classical Greek terminology such as was used by Greek historians; after this Luke switches to a more common Greek. But he has put his reader on alert that he can write, should he wish to, like the learned historian. He speaks of his lengthy investigation of the story he’s about to tell and assures us that it is based on eyewitness information and is accordingly the truth.
OK, and how do we know that this is true? No witnesses mentioned by name. This may be enough for someone who already believes, but not for someone who does not. All this is, is a person claiming that something is true. There are thousands of such books. All of these books Jim would call “nonsense”. But not the Bible..
Now who was this author we call Luke? He was clearly not an eyewitness to Jesus’ life, but he did live in Jerusalem at that time and was associated to many followers who were eyewitnesses.
We actually do not know who he was, so, that argues AGAINST the Bible being reliable. Also, a person claiming to have met eyewitnesses, count as ONE secondary source. So Luke is as reliable as all other secondary sources with no real evidence.
We discover an important fact about him from the book of Acts. Beginning in the sixteenth chapter of Acts, when Paul reaches Troas in modern-day Turkey, the author suddenly starts using the first-person plural: ”we set sail from Troas to Samothrace,” ”we remained in Philippi some days,” ”as we were going to the place of prayer,” etc. The most obvious explanation is that the author had joined Paul on his evangelistic tour of the Mediterranean cities.”
Why is that the most obvious explanation? Because Jim thinks so? Because Jim wants it to be? There is certainly no logical or scientific reason to conclude it.
“In chapter 21 he accompanies Paul back to Palestine and finally to Jerusalem. What this means is that the author of Luke and Acts were in fact in first hand contact with the eyewitnesses of Jesus’ life and ministry in Jerusalem.”
No, it means that Paul MAY have been accompanied by Luke, and that means we have TWO secondary sources to Jesus life. We have that for the Hindu holy characters as well. But Jim does not believe in them, does he?
“Skeptical critics have done back-flips to try to avoid this conclusion.”
Must be really stupid critics since it is in no way indicated to begin with.
“They say that the use of the first-person plural in Acts should not be taken literally, that it’s just a literary device which is common in ancient sea voyage stories.
Which is true. And also, even if Paul and Luke met, that means nothing. Two people meetings and making up a story does not make it true. EVIDENCE is all that matters. And so far, Jim has ZERO
“Never mind that many of the passages in Acts are not about Paul’s sea voyage, but take place on land!”
Which does not add reliability.
“The more important point is that this theory, when you check it out, turns out to be sheer fantasy (See discussion in Colin J. Hemer, The Book of Acts in the Setting of Hellenistic History, ed. Conrad H. Gempf, Wissenschaftliche Untersuchungen zum Neuen Testament 49; Tübingen: J. C. B. Mohr, 1989, chap. 8.). There just was no literary device or way of writing about sea voyages that are in the first person plural–the whole thing has been shown to be a scholarly fiction!”
So now Jim is arguing that because a lot of Paul’s voyages took place on land, he cannot have borrowed a literary style from another existing genre of that time. That is called “refuting the example”, a logical fallacy.
“There is no avoiding the conclusion that Luke and Acts were written by a traveling companion of Paul who had the opportunity to interview eyewitnesses to Jesus’ life while in Jerusalem.”
But as pointed out, Paul CLAIMS to have spoken to witnesses, but there is absolutely no reason to believe he is telling the truth.
“Who were some of these eyewitnesses?”
“Was the author reliable in getting the facts straight? The book of Acts enables us to answer that question decisively. The book of Acts overlaps significantly with secular history of the ancient world, and the historical accuracy of Acts is indisputable.”
And that in no way indicates that the rest is reliable. IF we with a 100% certainly proves that the historical parts of the Bible is correct, that is not even an INDICATION that the mystical parts are. The only things that are proven , are the things that are proven. IF everything in the Bible was proven a 100% true, and the Crucifixion had the same level of evidence as today, it would STILL not be considered more reliable than today! Only the things that has direct evidence is proven. And no one is arguing against that parts of the Bible are historically correct. So far, Jim has not even argued that any miracles was true, he just points to history sometimes correlating with the Bible as evidence that the rest is true, sorry, that is no logical.
“This has recently been demonstrated anew by Colin Hemer, a classical scholar who turned to New Testament studies in his book The Book of Acts in the Setting of Hellenistic History. Hemer goes through the book of Acts with a fine-toothed comb, pulling out a wealth of historical knowledge, ranging from what would have been common knowledge down to details which only a local person would know. Again and again Luke’s accuracy is demonstrated: from the sailings of the Alexandrian corn fleet to the coastal terrain of the Mediterranean islands to the peculiar titles of local officials, Luke gets it right.
The historical parts, partly, BUT, that in no way indicates the rest, Only observations of a miracle proves a miracle. There is no way to tell if Luke is telling the truth about that part.
“Given Luke’s care and demonstrated reliability as well as his contact with eyewitnesses within the first generation after the events, this author is trustworthy.”
No, that is illogical. Just because he was speaking the truth at certain times, does not prove that he does at other times. Only the parts that has direct support in history outside the Bible, can be considered reliable in Luke.
On the basis of the five reasons listed, we are justified in accepting the historical reliability of what the gospels say about Jesus unless they are proven to be wrong.
Which they have at several points. As already pointed out. The date of birth of Jesus differs A LOT between the Gospels. Evidence is all that matters. No matter how reliable the gospels are at certain parts (the parts verified), this tells us NOTHING about the reliability of the parts that are not verified. That I have never lied in my life, in no way argues that my next sentence will not be a lie.
At the very least, we cannot assume they are wrong until proven right.
You should not assume AT ALL at any point.
The person who denies the gospels’ reliability must bear the burden of proof.
The fact that they do not even agree on the date of Jesus birth is quite strong evidence of them not being reliable. And also, I pointed out a large number of historical errors in the Bible earlier or in this text, so we may consider them proven wrong..
The remarkable structure of the Bible should also be noted. Although it is a collection of 66 books, written by 40 different authors on three different continents, in three different languages, over a period of 2,000 years, addressing life’s most controversial topics, it is clearly one book, with perfect unity and consistency throughout.
No it is not. God completely changes between the first and the second testament, and the Gospels have severe inconsistencies, as also have been pointed out earlier on.
Imagine how difficult it would be to get just 2 or 3 people to write with agreement on a given subject, especially when they have never known each other and were influenced by different cultures.
Pretty easy if they had each other’s work, can Jim prove they did not? Of course not…
You would think there would be chaos, confusion, and contradictions. How amazing it is that 40 authors and their 66 books remain absolutely consistent and internally harmonious from beginning to end.
There are entire websites just listing biblical contradictions and scientific errors, I have linked a few them earlier on in the paper.
The individual writers, had no idea that their message was eventually to be incorporated into such a book,
Which explains all the inconsistencies.
but each nevertheless fits perfectly into place and serves its own unique purpose as a component of the whole. Anyone who studies the Bible continually finds remarkable structural and mathematical patterns woven throughout, with complexity incapable of explanation by chance or collusion.
Yes, people read in hidden meaning in A LOT of books. This does not argue they are true. Evidence is all that counts.
It should not be a stretch of the imagination to say that this amazing collection of scripture and its remarkable message was indeed preserved supernaturally,
Yes, it would be a HUUUGE stretch. Even if they were PERFECTLY consistent, that they had read each other’s work would be a MUCH more plausible explanation.
it was certainly not by man –
That is a CLAIM that Jim has not provided any evidence for. It is an ASSUMPTION that cannot be tested.
as man has continually attempted to destroy it.
And has managed quite well to do so.
Isn’t it possible then that this providence could be a “fingerprint of God”? What other explanation is reasonable? At least give it consideration as you continue to read what else is involved.
For example, that they have read each other’s work, that they were written by just a few claiming to be several, that they were just lucky. All of these are more likely than “god”. In fact, everything is more likely than something not indicated by anything.
A ARCHAEOLOGICAL EVIDENCE
“The field of archaeology has exploded in the past 150 years. Prior to this, scholars wrote commentaries with limited knowledge of history and archaeology of the ancient world. Today, an explosion of discoveries is occurring and any of these could easily be used to disprove biblical claims. But have they?
WE believe a lot of the history in the Bible is correct, it is the miraculous parts that we find doubtful. And since they are in no way indicated by evidence, there is no need to disprove them to begin with. The burden of proof is never on the skeptic.
Instead, the Bible has been proven to be historically reliable by numerous archaeological discoveries.
Historically, partly, there are parts that are historically proven wrong in the Bible as well. There are however no discoveries proving the parts we Skeptics doubt.
Archaeology is providing tremendous insight and, unfortunately for critics of the Bible, these discoveries have undermined the statements of critics. With more than 25,000 discoveries now documented, not one has ever contradicted or denied even one word of the Bible.
No they have not. They have silenced the people that say that the Bible is not historically correct at all, there are still absolutely no evidence for any miracles. And no number of historical facts proven will indicate those. That is, there is no evidence of the important parts.
Let’s take a close look at how history and archaeology combine to confirm the accuracy of the Bible. By the end, I think you will agree that the historical record is obvious and unquestionable. Many of the places mentioned in the Bible can easily be identified, even today.
That is mainly because they have changed the names of places to correlate with history, such as the change from Gerasenes to Gadarenes in Mark 8:28.
Hundreds of archaeological sites have yielded abundant evidence that substantiate the Christian’s claim that the Bible can be trusted.
The only parts of the Bible that is considered logically and scientifically reliable are the parts that has been indicated to be true. Everything else counts as fiction until proven true. Even if EVERYTHING was proven true except the miracles, that would not indicate it was also telling the truth about miracles. I could be truthful for all my life and then start lying. That I have previously been truthful does not prove that I always will be.
Since basically no one is debating the historical parts, I am gonna skip forward, since, I am not even trying to argue against parts of the Bible being historically correct, I am arguing that the Miracle never happened, and the Bible correlating with other history, does not indicate that logically.
- The Flood of Noah – the archaeological confirmation of the Flood of Noah’s time is enormous.
- But geology proves there never was a Global flood, and that is conclusive evidence. So that case is closed, there was no global flood (it would be seen in the rock layers). Furthermore, physics proves the flood wrong, that is, there is simply not enough water on earth. I made 4 videos disproving the Biblical flood:
- Stories of the Nochian Flood have been found in almost every civilization in the world.
- That does not speak for it being true. They all give very different accounts of this flood, and it is set in different times. But once agan, geology trumps legends. It is a scientific fact that there has not been a global flood, we have conclusive evidence for that in the rock layers. IT cannot logically and rationally be denied.
- Sodom and Gomorrah – The ruins of Sodom and Gomorrah have been discovered southeast of the Dead Sea. The modern names are Babedh-Dhra (Sodom) and Numeira (Gomorrah). Both places were destroyed at the same time by an enormous inferno. The destruction debris was about three feet thick. What brought about this awful calamity? Startling discoveries in the cemetery at Babedh-Dhra revealed the cause. Archaeologists found that buildings used to bury the dead were burned by a fire that started on the roof (as recorded in Genesis 19:24). The ancient classics from many cultures, such as the histories of Tacitus (Roman), Sanchuniathon (Phoenician), and Josephus (Jewish), reveal that this disaster gripped imaginations.
Sodom and Gomorrah was most likely hit by a meteor. This has happened a few times in the history of earth, so, not very strange. We can easily figure out what happened. The cities got hit by a meteor, since people did not understand meteors at that point, they thought god rained down fire on them, and that is what they wrote. But the scientific explanation is FAAAAR more plausible. We know for a fact meteor strikes happens.
- Flood – The most documented biblical event is the world-wide flood described in Genesis 6-9. A number of Babylonian documents have been discovered which describe the same flood. The Sumerian King List, for example, lists kings who reigned for long periods of time (for details see http://christiananswers.net/q-abr/abr-a009.html). Then a great flood came. Following the flood, Sumerian kings ruled for much shorter periods of time. This is the same pattern found in the Bible. Men had long life spans before the flood and shorter life spans after the flood. The 11th tablet of the Gilgamesh Epic speaks of an ark, animals taken on the ark, birds sent out during the course of the flood, the ark landing on a mountain, and a sacrifice offered after the ark landed. The Story of Adapa tells of a test for immortality involving food, similar to the story of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden.
But in the case of the flood, we got conclusive evidence from Geology and Physics that it did not happen. That trumps all other evidence. Even if every single book in the world had eyewitnesses of a global flood, Geology would be considered stronger evidence. AS I said, it is conclusive. It is a scientific fact that there has never been a global flood.
- We can easily see that this is a lie. We have written accounts of several different languages from all over the world that dates more than 7000 years back. Even if language confusion started to happen, it is certainly not an indication of god.
- Also, onces again, Jim just claims this, he provides no evidence.
New Testament Archaeology
The number of digs and finds in Israel continue to amaze even skeptics. Today, there are thousands of archaeological finds confirming or at least supporting most every event of the New Testament.
Just not any of the events that is connected to miracles.
- Stable of Bethlehem – Several sources indicate that a cave under the “Church of the Nativity” in Bethlehem was the birthplace of Jesus (caves were commonly used as stables). The site has never been seriously disputed by archaeologists. Early authors (Jerome and Paulinus of Nola) indicate the site was marked at the time of Hadrian (117-38 AD). Such early identification is strong evidence.
It is SEVERELY disputed, the garden tomb is proven to not be the tomb of Jesus. Bethlehem is not mentioned in history before after Jesus’ death. Even if it was, it is irrelevant. Most people agree that Jesus existed, and that most of the Biblical history happened. This IN NO WAY indicates miracles. THAT is what we want evidence for, not that parts of the Biblical history happened. Most of us agree that it did.
- The tomb beneath the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem is in all probability the tomb in which Jesus himself was laid by Joseph of Arimathea following the crucifixion. The site of the Church had originally been a Christian place of veneration, but Hadrian (Roman Emperor) had deliberately covered this site (and others) with earth, and built his own temple on top, due to his hatred for Christianity.
The site used to be a temple to Aphrodite. Archaeologists also suggests that the exact location claimed for the tomb would have been within Hadrian’s Temple. The site is currently within the Old City walls, and due to the heights of the terrain, it would be unlikely, from a defense point of view, for the walls to have previously been east of the Church. The tombs western parts are believed to date from the first century, indicating that the site was outside the city at that time, making these evidence questionable at best (Corbo 1981, Bahat 1986, Stern 1993, Colonel 1909, Hachlili 2005).
“The list above is a small fraction of available evidence. “
Mainly of historical events, the few ones about miracles, such as the flood, is disproven, which I have provided evidence for.
All of this leads to this important question: If the New Testament writers were so careful to be exceedingly accurate in even the most minor and incidental details, wouldn’t they have been equally or even more careful in reporting on truly significant events, such as the miracles, teachings, death, and resurrection of Jesus?
Possibly. Jim needs to provide EVIDENCE that this is the case. We NEVER EVER EVER EVER EVER assume if we cannot test the assumption. So this is PURE speculation. It is all about EVIDENCE, not assumptions.
P PROPHETIC ACCURACY
The remarkable evidence of fulfilled prophecy that is contained in scripture
First of all, before we start examining this claim, we must first define what is needed for something to count as a prophecy. It must be accurate. A statement cannot be Biblical foreknowledge if it is not accurate, because knowledge (and thus foreknowledge) excludes inaccurate statements.
- It must be in the Bible. A statement cannot be Biblical foreknowledge if it is not in the Bible, because Biblical foreknowledge definitionally can only come from the Bible itself.
- It must be unambiguous. A statement cannot be Biblical foreknowledge if multiple outcomes could fulfill the foreknowledge, because ambiguity prevents one from knowing whether the foreknowledge was intentional or not.
- It must be improbable. A statement cannot be Biblical foreknowledge if it reasonably could be the result of a pure guess, because foreknowledge requires a person to actually know something true, while a correct guess doesn’t mean that the guesser knows anything. This also excludes contemporary beliefs that happened be true but were believed to be true without solid evidence.
- It must have been unknown. A statement cannot be Biblical foreknowledge if it reasonably could be the result of an educated guess based off contemporary knowledge, because foreknowledge requires a person to know a statement when it would have been impossible, outside of supernatural power, for that person to know it.
Unlike any other religious book, it has demonstrated itself to be the Word of God through its ability to rightly predict the future.
IT is wrong on several occasions! Ezekiel 29:8-15, Ezekiel 30:12 and Isaiah 19:1-8 for example.
The predictions of the prophets present a powerful case for the inspiration of the Bible.
Basically all fail to meet the criteria for a prophecy.
Daniel predicted in the year 538 BC (Daniel 9:24-27) that Christ would come as Israel’s promised Savior and Prince (The Messiah) 483 years after a certain future Persian emperor by the name of Cyrus would give the Jews authority to rebuild Jerusalem, which was then in ruins.
Jim claims the seventy weeks prophecy in Daniel 9:24-27 predicts the crucifixion of Jesus and the Antichrist, in which the Antichrist will enter a third temple and commit a blasphemous act. This is false. According to Daniel 12, the Day of Judgement was supposed to happen 3 and a half years after Antiochus’ persecution of the Jews in the 2nd Century BC. This would make Daniel a false prophet but most Christians still insist that it’s describing a future Great Tribulation. Instead of predicting Jesus, most contemporary scholars think The Messiah in verse 26 (In Hebrew Translations, Messiah is translated as Prince) is Onias the third, a pious religious leader who opposed the Hellenization of the Jews and was murdered. Jews considered religious leaders and rabbis to be ”anointed ones”.
This was clearly and definitely fulfilled, hundreds of years later.
No, it is clearly referring to another situation and it is also not what Daniel says.
King Cyrus of Persia was himself amazed to see that he was named in the Jewish biblical scroll by a prophet writing over 200 years before Cyrus was even born.
Here Jim ignores the well established scholarship that Isaiah is not a single document composed ”more than two hundred years before the events” (incl. by Christians who don’t subscribe to biblical inerrancy), but a composite of at least three different authors writing at different times. It’s hard to astoundingly predict the future when the events you predict are actually in the past.
“The vague, and frequently erroneous, prophecies of people like Jeanne Dixon, Nostradamus, Edgar Cayce, and others, are not in the same category. “
No, they are a little bit better that the Biblical predictions, more precise and less vague, but they are still bullshit.
In all the writings of Buddha, Confucius, and Lao-tse, you will not find a single example of predictive prophecy.
Because these were HONEST people that did not lie about knowing the future.
Consider the prophecies concerning Tyre and Sidon, two great cities on the eastern coast of the Mediterranean. Tyre was to the sea what Babylon was to the land. The great city of Carthage was simply one of the daughters of Tyre, and yet at its height, the prophet in the Old Testament declared that the city of Tyre would be destroyed, never to be rebuilt, and never again to be inhabited (Ezekiel 26:19-21).
Here God explicitly states that Nebuchadnezzar would completely sack and destroy the city of Tyre and that Tyre’s land would never be built upon again. However, this never occurred. After a 13-year siege, Tyre compromised with Nebuchadnezzar and accepted his authority without being destroyed. Despite being conquered and razed by Alexander the Great 240 years later, Tyre still exists.
What happened to the city of Tyre? Ezekiel declared when Tyre was at its height that “they shall destroy the walls of Tyrus, and break down her towers: I will also scrape her dust from her, and make her like the top of a rock. It shall be a place for the spreading of nets in the midst of the sea: for I have spoken it, says the Lord God…And they shall lay thy stones and thy timber and thy dust in the midst of the water…And I will make it like the top of a rock…thou shall be built no more: for I the Lord have spoken it” (Ezekiel 26:4-5, 12-14). A few years after the writing of this prophecy, the great Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon brought his army to Tyre and laid siege to the city.
No, this is wrong. Several historical sources proves that they made a deal, and that Tyre never got destroyed. Here Jim’s problem is that he ASSUMES that the Bible is correct and that this is therefore a prophecy, but this is something that never happened. This prophecy was straight out WRONG.
But this is just a small glimpse into the hundreds of detailed predictions that are given in Scripture, details upon details fulfilled in recorded history. Yet people still ignore the Bible.
Well, so far, Jim har presented ZERO prophecies, and ZERO evidence for anything supernatural in the Bible.
They say they reject it, which is true, but based upon what?
In this case, based on historical documents that proves the Bible wrong.
Have they investigated it?
Yes, just as I am doing right now. It is just that Christians always turn out to be lying.
Is it a rejection based on rational evaluation or based on emotion?
Yes. It is based in EVIDENCE. In this latest case, the fact that Tyre was never destroyed. And that the whole prophecy is entirely wrong.
Ronald F. Youngblood; F. F. Bruce; R. K. Harrison, eds. (2012). Unlock the Bible: Keys to Exploring the Culture and Times. Thomas Nelson. p. 347. ISBN 1418547263.
- Allen, Leslie C. (2008). Jeremiah: A Commentary. Westminster John Knox Press. p. 472. ISBN 978-0664222239.
Could the Bible be right when it says, many will not repent because they love their sin?
Anything could be right. But Jim has presented no evidence that anything like “sin” exists to begin with. So there is no reason to assume he is right.
Why should we investigate the Bible? If there is a God trying to communicate with us as the Bible suggests, then wouldn’t it be foolish not to be interested?
If it was TRUE yes, there just is no reason to assume it is.
But for some it’s a “Catch 22”…they want evidence first,
That is not catch 22, it is “being rational, logical, and scientific”. WE do not assume, we only follow evidence, no evidence = Nothing to follow = No reason to believe.
yet the Bible contains the very evidence they need.
Seems unlikely given that Jim has had quite a lot of space to put such evidence forward so far, but have not.
It is clear that, if a person takes the time and care to investigate it, he would realize that the Bible could not have been written by mere human wisdom. A thousand detailed predictions written hundreds of years in advance of the events with 100% accuracy are not possible for humans, no matter how lucky and insightful we think we are.
Jim has NOT presented one single prediction that checks up so far, so, this is just Jim lying. IF the Bible had a thousand fulfilled prophecies, Jim would be right, it is just that it has ZERO.
Consider the magnificent city of Babylon, perhaps the greatest city in ancient times. The walls were fourteen to fifteen miles long. The city consisted of one hundred ninety-six square miles of the most beautiful architecture, hanging gardens and palaces, temples and towers. She drew her stores from no foreign country. She invented an alphabet, worked out the problems of arithmetic, invented implements for measuring time, and advanced beyond all previous peoples in science. Yet God said of Babylon when it was the greatest city in the world: “Babylon, the glory of kingdoms, the beauty of the Chaldees’ excellency, shall be as when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah” (Isaiah 13:19).
It was a time with many wars. Many big cities was destroyed. So, this fails to meet the criteria of prophecy since it could have been an educated guess.
There are more than one hundred specific prophecies concerning Babylon’s fate. Consider the great walls of Babylon. The historian Herodotus tells us that these walls had towers that extended above the 200-foot walls to a height of 300 feet. The walls were 187 feet thick at the base and enclosed an area of 196 square miles. The city of Babylon was impregnable. But God said of those towers and that city: “The broad walls of Babylon shall be utterly broken…It shall be desolate forever” (Jeremiah 51:58, 62). Is that prophecy vague or ambiguous? In no way!
Vague, no, it is not a prophecy because it could be an educated guess.
Prophecy: Israel would be partitioned by the nations of the world (Joel 3:2).
Fulfillment: On November 29, 1947, the United Nations General Assembly approved a motion to partition Palestine into two separate states.
IT is not a prophecy if humans actively can work to fulfil it. They wanted it to be true, so they made it come true.
Prophecy: Israel would be voted into existence by the nations of the world (Ezekiel 38:8).
Fulfillment: On May 16, 1949, Israel was accepted as a member nation of the United Nations.
After serious debate from the jews. They MADE it come true.
That is like a friend of mine saying “in a week, you will eat sushi”
One week later I think: Oh, my friend predicted I would have sushi, let’s make that come true!
That is NOT a prophecy.
Prophecy: Israel would regain her land through warfare (Ezekiel 38:8).
Fulfillment: Four major wars have been fought in the Middle East since 1948. Israel’s highly trained and well-equipped armed forces have successfully defended her territory each time, even against overwhelming odds. The Middle East remains the most volatile and unpredictable region on the globe.
Once again, they fulfilled this prophecy themselves. THEY started wars. And the odds has been on their side since they have been backed by the US! I mean, seriously, not only does Jim not present any prophecies, he also does not seem to know basic history.
To add some opinion, if it was up to me, Israel should be taken from them again, they have proven to not earn such a privilege with their disgusting behaviour towards their neighbors.. That is however not relevant.
Prophecy: Once Israel returned to her Land, she would not be removed from it (Amos 9:15).
Fulfillment: Attempts by the Palestine Liberation Organization to remove Israel from her land have failed miserably—so much so, in fact, that Israel has effectively wiped out the PLO’s stronghold in southern Lebanon and west Beirut. Even many of her Arab neighbors, like Jordan and Egypt, have officially recognized Israel’s right to exist as a free nation.
Israel has been forced to give back land… Also, this is too early to tell. Thirdly, this may still be proven wrong at any point. It is not really a prophecy before the end of times are here.
Prophecy: Israel would regain the city of Jerusalem (Obadiah 1:20).
Fulfillment: On June 7, 1967, the Old City of Jerusalem came under Jewish control for the first time in almost 2,000 years.
By their own power = Not a prophecy, something they fulfilled on purpose so that it would be fulfilled. It is not a prophecy if it is fulfilled on purpose by the very people who claimed they foresaw it. I skip ahead a little bit from here, since there are numerous ones that the Jews themselves has made true, which makes it a non-prophecy.
Prophecy: The cycle of nature would be restored so that rain would fall in its proper season, restoring the productivity of the land (Zechariah 10:1; Joel 2:21-25).
Fulfillment: With the reforesting program changing the contour and character of Israel’s geography in many areas, weather patterns throughout Palestine have been altered. In recent years, rainfall has increased in some areas by as much as 100%. While northern Israel is presently experiencing a drought which has caused the level of the Sea of Galilee to drop to dangerously low levels, this is caused by worldwide climatic conditions, and there is no reason to expect it to continue.
But point being, that as of now, this is a wrongful prophecy UNTIL the drought is over for ever. Globally, we see the opposite, we see nature becoming more and more disturbed.
Prophecy: The nation of Israel would become an exceedingly great army (Ezekiel 37:9-10).
Fulfillment: The raid on Entebbe during the early 1980s was unsurpassed in military strategy, and subsequent strikes into neighboring Lebanon, which virtually annihilated the Soviet-equipped Syrian air force in the process, was an impressive military achievement. The PLO forces, equipped with their Russian-made weapons, were no match for the Israeli onslaught. Current Israeli military might is second to none in the region. It may be truly said that the tactical warfare capability of the Jewish state is among the most sophisticated and effective in all the world.
So, you believe this prophecy is fulfilled by Israel attacking its much weaker neighbors? Israel is strong for ONE reason, the US. Their own military strategy and equipment is laughable. They are strong because of US technology and support. Israel’s army is like nr 10 in the world, so, not very strong (It is a SERIOUS drop-off after the first 3).
Prophecy: The nation of Israel would dwell confidently in their own land (Ezekiel 38:8), “. . . and they shall dwell safely all of them.” The word translated “safely” in the Hebrew text is the word expressing confidence.
Fulfillment: In the 50 years of Israel’s existence as a modern nation, the confidence of the Israelis has been seen to grow consistently, as they recognize that the land that God has given to them will not be taken away.
Too vague. Sorry… How do you even measure it?
For a more comprehensive treatment of biblical prophecy, see Every Prophecy of the Bible: Clear Explanations for Uncertain Times by one of today’s premier prophecy scholars, John F. Walvoord. See also http://www.reasons.org/fulfilled-prophecy-evidence-reliability-bible for additional details on the amazing accuracy of biblical prophecy.
And if you want to see them debunked, just go to talk origins or rational wiki.
I believe that those who say that the Bible was written by men are simply expressing their own ignorance of the subject.
No, we are following EVIDENCE. So far, after 50 pages, Jim has not presented ONE SINGLE PIECE of evidence.
There is nothing like it in all the literature of the world, religious or nonreligious.
This is simply a claim. Hindus, muslims, Buddhists, and so on, begs to differ. Jim has absolutely no evidence for what he is saying, at least not presented this far.
The hand that wrote these Scriptures was the hand of none other than the One who could say, “I am the first and the last; I am the beginning and the end, I am he that knows all things. I am he that declares the things that are not yet come to pass.” But predictions are also promises. God gave us these 1817 predictions in order that we may learn to believe His promises. God promised that the walls of Jerusalem would be rebuilt; that the walls of Babylon would never be rebuilt; that Tyre would be destroyed; that Sidon would continue – so that we may believe His promises.
But Tyre was not destroyed. The city made a deal with the king after 13 years of war, and the city was not destroyed, it still stands. Here you can see it on google maps:
He also promised that whoever believes in his Son shall never die,
But now that we KNOW that he lied about other stuff, why should we believe it?
“The truthfulness of those words and the certainty of their fulfillment are attested to by prophecies that have already come to pass. Those who disregard them have no one to blame for their own destruction but themselves.”
Logically Wrong. That people are not convinced by vague, wrongful, or self -fulfilled prophecies, is not their fault. If anything, it is their creators fault.
S STATISTICAL EVIDENCE
Although history can never be “proven” to everyone’s satisfaction, enormous statistical probability is often viewed as “proof” by scientists, mathematicians, and our courts of law.
No, they may be considered indications however. Something May be more or less likely.
The prophecies about Jesus contained in the Old Testament were written long before his birth.
As discussed earlier on, there are no such prophecies.
The Dead Sea Scrolls provide irrefutable evidence that the accounts were not tampered with over the centuries.
As Pointed out earlier, several parts of the Bible has changed or been added on.
Perhaps the most fascinating prophecies are those regarding Jesus, the promised Messiah, in His first coming (see the following web site http://www.christiananswers.net/dictionary/messianicprophecies.html for more detail).
OK, this site mentions the following “prophecies” among others:
A prophet like unto Moses (Too vague).
The Messiah would be a descendant of Noah’s son, Shem. (Which is not verified except through the Bible itself).
He will be born of a virgin (Which is a biblical CLAIM, not evidence).
He will come while the Temple of Jerusalem is standing (There was no reason to assume at that time that it would be destroyed, so, not a prophecy.)
He will perform many miracles ( And there is not one piece of evidence of this being true)
IT goes on like this, ”He will be betrayed” it says for example. That would be true for thousands of people. It is not a prophecy if it could have been fulfilled several times.
The point here is, that all ”prophecies” on this page, is either too vague, could have happened several times in history, or is something that people could MAKE true.
The life and role of Jesus were precisely recorded in prophecy written hundreds of years before His birth.
Well, in this case 100’s of people are the messiah, since these so called prophecies could have been true for 100’s of people. Remember, for something to count as a prophecy:
It must be accurate. A statement cannot be Biblical foreknowledge if it is not accurate, because knowledge (and thus foreknowledge) excludes inaccurate statements.
It must be in the Bible. A statement cannot be Biblical foreknowledge if it is not in the Bible, because Biblical foreknowledge definitionally can only come from the Bible itself.
It must be unambiguous. A statement cannot be Biblical foreknowledge if multiple outcomes could fulfill the foreknowledge, because ambiguity prevents one from knowing whether the foreknowledge was intentional or not.
It must be improbable. A statement cannot be Biblical foreknowledge if it reasonably could be the result of a pure guess, because foreknowledge requires a person to actually know something true, while a correct guess doesn’t mean that the guesser knows anything. This also excludes contemporary beliefs that happened be true but were believed to be true without solid evidence.
It must have been unknown. A statement cannot be Biblical foreknowledge if it reasonably could be the result of an educated guess based off contemporary knowledge, because foreknowledge requires a person to know a statement when it would have been impossible, outside of supernatural power, for that person to know it.
No biblical prophecies fills these demands.
The descriptions of what Jesus would become include the miraculous elements of His birth, His divine nature, and details of His earthly life. Let’s take a close look at just 23 of these prophecies:
- His exact ancestors from Adam through David and then ancestors to both Mary and Joseph
Gen 9:26-35:12; Num 24:17; Isaiah 11; 2 Samuel 7:12-16; Jeremiah 23:5
This is simply claimed in the Bible. There is no real evidence that it is true.
- A virgin would give birth
This is a Biblical CLAIM that it happened. Not something that is evidence.
- Precise city of Jesus’ birth – Bethlehem in Ephrathah
But there is no reason to believe it is true! I mean, this is like I say that Gandalf the Grey is real because we know his birthplace was Valor.
- The child would be God – Immanuel (God with us)
- This is a CLAIM, not EVIDENCE. Christians claim Jesus was the son of god. They have no evidence, it is not a prophecy until you can prove Jesus actually was god.
- He would be an eternal Savior
This is a CLAIM, not EVIDENCE.
The Savior would be for both the Jews and the Gentiles
But there is absolutely no evidence that there has ever been a savior to begin with.
He would work many miracles
This is a CLAIM, not EVIDENCE. There is absolutely no evidence of these miracles.
He would suffer greatly
There is no evidence that Jesus did. And even if he did, that is true for MANY people. Not something that would require an amazing guess.
He would be crucified for human transgressions
Thousands were. It is not a prophecy if you could easily guess it.
He would bear the sin of many and be made an intercessor
This is a CLAIM, not EVIDENCE. There is no evidence it has happened.
He would be rejected by His own people
Anyone of anytime could have guessed that someone claiming to be god would be rejected by some people.
The exact day of His arrival into Jerusalem prophesied over 550 years prior; This is the famous and incredible “69 weeks” prophecy of 173,880 days. The complex prophecy was first understood by Sir Robert Anderson who was knighted by the Queen of England because of his discovery. Dan 9:20-27; Neh 2:1-6
The classical Christian theory does not provide a plausible explanation for Daniel’s clear distinction between the seven weeks and the sixty-two weeks. The classical interpretation also ignores the obvious parallels between Daniel 9:24-27 on the one hand, and Daniel 8:9-26; 11:31-45 on the other. Actually, all three passages unmistakably describe Antiochus Epiphanes committing a desolating sacrilege or ”abomination that makes desolate” at the Temple and bringing normal Jewish sacrifices to an end for about three and a half years (cf. Daniel 7:25; 12:6-7,11). Daniel 9 places this event at the end of the seventy weeks, and the other two passages place it at ”the time of the end.” The ”abominations” of ”the prince who is to come” in Daniel 9 are to be understood in the light of the unspeakable blasphemies of Antiochus Epiphanes described in the other two passages (cf. also Daniel 7:8,20,25). To make their scheme work, adherents of the classical Christian theory must interpret verses 26 and 27as references to the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD. The problem here is that the fall of Jerusalem lies thirty-seven years outside of the seventy-weeks scheme. Since ”desolations are decreed,” the Romans under General Titus, ”the people of the prince who is to come,” were to ”destroy the city and the sanctuary” of Jerusalem in 70 AD, long after the seventieth week is over, to punish the Jews for their murder of their Messiah. This is an awkward and arbitrary leap. Another problem with this interpretation is that the Hebrew word here translated in verse 26 as ”destroy” is shakhat. In its various grammatical forms, it only means to ”mar,” ”injure,” ”spoil,” ”ruin,” ”pervert,” or ”corrupt.” This can easily refer to the trashing of Jerusalem by Antiochus Epiphanes, but not to Titus’ razing of Jerusalem and its Temple to the ground. Dispensationalist Christians like Dr. Harold Hoehner have a totally different theory. They claim the seventy weeks began in 444 BC with the decree issued by Emperor Artaxerxes I in the twentieth year of his reign authorizing Nehemiah to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem (Nehemiah 2:1-8). The obvious problem with this theory is that the seventieth week would then last from 40 to 47 AD–too late to connect with the crucifixion of Jesus in 30 or 33 AD, or with any other plausibly significant event.
He would ride in on a donkey
We have no real evidence of this ever happening. Also, this may be a self fulfilled prophecy. If Jesus knew that the prophecy said that the saviour would ride in on a Donkey, it is likely that he did so on purpose.
Suffers, is rejected
So the Bible claims, but there is no evidence of it. Jesus is not in the record of crucified people.
True for many people. And there is no evidence that it is true for Jesus.
Lots cast for clothing
No bones broken, Given gall and wine, Pierced with a spear, Posterity to serve Him , Betrayed by friend For 30 pieces of silver, Silver cast on temple floor, used to buy potter’s field.
All Biblical CLAIMS. Not evidence it actually happened.
Experts in statistics estimate the probability of all of these prophecies coming true in any one man is about one chance in 1099 – less than the odds of correctly selecting one electron out of all the matter in the universe – or essentially zero without divine intervention.
1) Which experts?
2) Secondly, there is no evidence that these things came true in Jesus. There isn’t even conclusive evidence that Jesus existed to begin with.
But there were over 300 prophecies fulfilled in the person of Jesus Christ.
So far, Jim has failed to bring up one single one that fills the requirements for a prophecy.
And history has proven, without any doubt whatsoever, that they were fulfilled exactly as the Bible had prophesied hundreds of years earlier.
Not a single one put forward so far. Most could have been educated guesses, some are too vague, some are WRONG (Ezekiel 29:8-15, Ezekiel 30:12 and Isaiah 19:1-8 for example), and so on.
In the book, Science Speaks, mathematician and scientist, Peter Stoner, applies the rules of probability to these prophecies. The chances of just eight of these three-hundred prophecies being fulfilled are one in 10 to the 17th power – that’s 1 in 100,000,000,000,000,000! In the book, Professor Stoner illustrates: Professor Stoner then took 48 of these over 300 fulfilled prophecies. The chances of 48 being fulfilled are 1 in 10 to the 157 power – that’s 1 in 10 with 157 zeros! Here’s how he illustrates:
The book is debunked here:
Before trusting one word “Profesor Stoner” says, one should reat up on him a bit:
And in case you think Professor Stoner’s statistics are exaggerated or without scientific substance, the ”Foreword” of the book, Science Speaks includes an acknowledgement by the prestigious American Scientific Affiliation stating, ”The mathematical analysis included is based upon principles of probability which are thoroughly sound and Professor Stoner has applied these principles in a proper and convincing way.”
And if you follow the links above. There are MANY MANY more professors that calls him a complete failure. My favorite comment is by C. P. Swanson, reviewing Science Speaks in The Quarterly Review of Biology: ”…the author has fallen into the commonest error of using only these facts which bolster his hypothesis, and of discarding or controverting those which do not. For example, his discussion of the theory of evolution is not only misleading; it displays an abysmal ignorance of recent evolutionary studies.”
Professor Stoner concludes, ”This is not merely evidence. It is proof of the Bible’s inspiration by God – proof definite that the universe is not large enough to hold the evidence.”
And, he has no evidence at all. It is a claim by a mad man. He bases his ideas on 8 (I think) prophecies that he CLAIM is fulfilled. But as seen in the link above, that is simply a lie.
Given that the Bible proves so reliable a document, there is every reason to expect that the remaining prophecies centered on the Second Coming and Final Judgment will also be fulfilled to the last letter.
Wait a minute. Where is this evidence? I am like 60 pages in and so far Jim has not put forward one single piece of evidence. Seems like Jim is JUMPING to conclusions, or, that is sort of an understatement. Jim has not put forward absolutely no evidence of anything in the Bible being true, and, he concludes that this makes the Bible a 100% reliable, really???
There are many books written on this subject like, “Signs of the End, Tribulation Dooms,” and “The Rapture Promise”. Who can afford to ignore these coming events, much less miss out on the great things offered to anyone and everyone who submits to the control of the Bible’s author, Jesus Christ? Would a reasonable person take lightly God’s warning of judgment?
Everyone who is logical enough to see right through an appeal to fear such as this one.
A test of historic accuracy is that of external evidence. The issue here is whether other historical material confirms or denies the biblical claims. This is often a decisive test of evidence.
And as most know is a fact. There are no books that confirms the Miraculous parts of the Bible. IT is not the HISTORY part that is in question. Jim argues that since historical events can be confirmed, the miracles must also be true. That is extremely flawed logic.
Lie, we have A LOT!
Yet, in those early years we find many references to Jesus and His followers. Jesus is referred to in pagan, Jewish, and Christian writings outside the New Testament.
No, he is not. But, let’s go through it in detail.
Even the most critical historian can confidently assert that a Jew named Jesus worked as a teacher and wonder-worker in Palestine during the reign of Tiberius, was executed by crucifixion under Pontius Pilate and continued to have followers after his death. Extra-biblical sources confirm what we read in the gospels. Below are a few of these extra-biblical historical references:
We had famous historians that lived in Jesus time, and close by, Philo for example. And he does not mention Jesus. In fact, not one single person of Jesus’ own time mentions him.
- – Historical work referenced by Julius Africanus explains the darkness at the time of Christ’s death as a solar eclipse. While an eclipse did not occur in that period (pointed out by Julius Africanus), a reference to Jesus’ death is presented as fact.
Not an eyewitness, he just retells stories he has heard. So, this is a THIRD HAD SOURCE. Not very reliable.
- – This Jewish historian referenced Jesus, His miracles, His crucifixion, and His disciples. Also referenced are James “…brother of Jesus who was called the Christ,” and John the Baptist.
Most modern scholars believe the original text has been changed by Christian editors, also, Josephus can not have been an eyewitness, and therefore, provides only second hand information. Bishop Warburton said the following:
- – Writing to dispel rumors that Nero caused the great fire of Rome in A.D. 64, he refers to Christians as the followers of “Christus,” who “had undergone the death penalty in the reign of Tiberius, by sentence of the procurator Pontius Pilatus.” The resurrection was called “the pernicious superstition.”
Tacitus was born in 64 C.E, and is therefore not an eye witness. Also, there is no historical evidence, besides this writing by Tacitus himself, that Nero persecuted Christians, furthermore, there is no evidence that Nero burned Rome, so there would most likely be no need to assign blame in the first place. This is reason enough to doubt Tacitus as a source..
- That was over a 100 years after Jesus’ death! No one doubts that there were Christians.
- Once again, over a 100 years after Jesus’ supposed death. In other words, a useless source.
- Hadrian (circa A.D. 117-138) – In response to questions regarding the punishment of Christians who drew people away from pagan gods, which affected the sale of idols, Hadrian commanded that they be “examined” regarding their faith (similar to the response to Pliny the Younger).
- Once again, over a 100 years after Jesus’ supposed death. In other words, a useless source.
- Suetonius (circa A.D. 120) – A historian who wrote about events in the late 40s to 60s. He referred to Christ, the “mischievous and novel superstition” of the resurrection, and Christians being put to death by Nero.
- Once again, over a 100 years after Jesus’ supposed death. In other words, a useless source. There is absolutely no evidence that Nero persecuted Christians or burned Rome.
- Philegon (circa A.D. 140) – Referenced by Julius Africanus and Origen, he referred to the “eclipse,” the earthquake, and Jesus’ prophecies.
- Once again, over a 100 years after Jesus’ supposed death. In other words, a useless source.
- Lucian of Samosata (circa A.D. 170) – This Greek satirist wrote about Christians, Christ, the crucifixion, Christian martyrs, and “novel beliefs.”
- Once again, over a 100 years after Jesus’ supposed death. In other words, a useless source.
- Iraneus writings does not correlate with reality. The problem is, that the Judea Province of this time only had a united rulership under Herod the Great and Herod Agrippa. According to Luke, Jesus was about 30 when he was baptized and this was in the: ”fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar”, which was 29 CE. Even if Jesus supposed birth date was as late as 6 BCE, making Jesus 34 in 29 CE, you do not get to the required minimum of 46 years of age until 41 CE, which
- – A Syrian philosopher, he wrote from prison to his son, comparing Jesus to Socrates and Plato.
- Over a 100 years outdated. Third or fourth-hand information.
- – Several passages from the Talmud and other Jewish writings clearly refer to Jesus Christ. References include:
- The “Hanging” (on a cross) of Jesus on the eve of Passover.
- Identifying Jesus along with the names of five of His disciples.
- Healing in the name of Jesus.
- Scoffing at the “claim” that Jesus was born of a virgin, and implying His birth was probably “illegitimate.”
Talmud has been used as a source for the existence of Jesus. Talmud is referring to ”Yeshu”(Sanhedrin 43a, Sanhedrin 107, Gittin 56b, 57a ). However, this is actually a disciple of Jehoshua Ben-Perachia who lived at least a century before the supposed Christian Jesus. Also, the oldest version of Talmud is still from 300 CE, making it useless as a source.
After many have tried to shatter the historicity and validity of the Scriptures, a rational person would have to conclude that there exists no document from the ancient world witnessed by so excellent a set of textual and historical testimonies, and offering such a superb collection of historical data on which an intelligent decision may be made.
The early years of the Roman Empire is one of the best-documented periods of ancient history, they even kept a record on who was crucified (Carrier 2011), Jerusalem was a center of education (Crossan 1996: 94). Philo of Alexandria and Gaius Plinius Secundus were both historians and philosophers active in the area Jesus supposedly traveled at the time when Jesus supposedly lived. None of them mentions Jesus at any point. So it seem like both those 2 are better sources when it comes to the history of Biblical times, than the Bible is.
An honest person cannot dismiss a source of this kind.
An honest person shouldn’t consider it a good source to begin with. It is semi fiction. Parts fiction, parts history. Until someone PROVES otherwise.
PART 2 – Evidence
o other ancient book is questioned or maligned like the Bible. Critics looking for the flyspeck in the masterpiece allege that there was a long span between the time the events in the New Testament occurred and when they were recorded. They claim another gap exists archaeologically between the earliest copies made and the autographs of the New Testament. In reality, the alleged spaces and so-called gaps exist only in the minds of the critics.
Evidence that the Bible is true can also be found in the testimony of those who have believed it.
No, evidence = Repeatable observations. People’s personal feelings and experiences are not considered evidence.
Multitudes of people, past and present, have found from personal experience that its promises are true, its counsel is sound, its commands and restrictions are wise, and it’s wonderful message of salvation through Jesus meets every need for both time and eternity.
That is also true for Mein Kampf.
But let’s face it, without the resurrection, Christianity is nothing. In fact, without the resurrection, Jesus cannot even be called a good man, but a liar. So we ask, are their good reasons to believe the resurrection was true? Here are just a few:
- Jesus himself testified to his coming resurrection from the dead.
And for that there is no evidence, at all. This is not evidence, this is a BIBLICAL CLAIM requiring evidence to be believable in the first place.
- The tomb was empty on Easter. The earliest documents claim this: ”When they went in they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus” (Luke 24:3). And the enemies of Jesus confirmed it by claiming that the disciples had stolen the body (Matthew 28:13). The dead body of Jesus could not be found. There are four possible ways to account for this.2.1 His foes stole the body. If they did (and they never claimed to have done so), they surely would have produced the body to stop the successful spread of the Christian faith in the very city where the crucifixion occurred. But they could not produce it.
OR, they actually did and it was never written about. OR the book it was written in was destroyed. Does Jim have evidence this is not the case?
Let’s say a body disappears TODAY from the morgue. Is it most likely that it resurrected and walked out of there, or that someone stole it? If we do not have evidence one way or another, I doubt many would go for option 1.
2.2 His friends stole the body. This was an early rumor (Matthew 28:11-15). Is it probable? Could they have overcome the guards at the tomb? More important, would they have begun to preach with such authority that Jesus was raised, knowing that he was not? Would they have risked their lives and accepted beatings for something they knew was a fraud?
People have been willing to die for lies before. Once again, even if their motives was completely MAD, this is still more likely that the body coming back to life.
2.3 Jesus was not dead, but only unconscious when they laid him in the tomb. He awoke, removed the stone, overcame the soldiers, and vanished from history after a few meetings with his disciples in which he convinced them he was risen from the dead. Even the foes of Jesus did not try this line. He was obviously dead. The Romans saw to that. The stone could not be moved by one man from within who had just been stabbed in the side by a spear and spent six hours nailed to a cross.
Yes, this is not very likely. BUT, it is still more likely than him resurrecting. We have seen people survive things they shouldn’t have.
2.4 God raised Jesus from the dead. This is what he said would happen. It is what the disciples said did happen. But as long as there is a remote possibility of explaining the resurrection naturalistically, modern people say we should not jump to a supernatural explanation.
- First of all, this is the least likely option of the 4 put forward.
- 2) There is also option 5: Jesus fooled the people. That he was a con-man.
- 3) No one is trying to naturally explain the resurrection, most modern scientists and rationalists say that the even never took place at all. Either he dies on the cross and stayed dead, or he was never crucified.
Is this reasonable? I don’t think so.
IT is not reasonable to accept the resurrection or the crucifixion of christ happened to begin with since there is no evidence of it. Just claims.
- The disciples were almost immediately transformed from men who were hopeless and fearful after the crucifixion (Luke 24:21, John 20:19) into men who were confident and bold witnesses of the resurrection (Acts 2:24, Acts 3:15, Acts 4:2).
- So willingness to die indicates truth? OK, so ISIS must be speaking the truth then? They are willing to die for their beliefs. The disciples could also have been fooled. Maybe they really believed it, maybe they were payed. Point being, people being lied to or payed of, is more likely than people rising from the dead.
- Paul claimed that, not only had he seen the risen Christ, but that 500 others had seen him also, and many were still alive when he made this public claim.
- Exactly, CLAIMED. He CLAIMS he saw Jesus and he CLAIMS that others did so to. But Paul Claiming things really does not make them true. Now, we want the EVIDENCE for his CLAIMS.
- 5. The sheer existence of a thriving, empire-conquering early Christian church supports the truth of the resurrection claim.
Then empire-conquering early Muslim Churches must support the reality of Islam. And the Chinese empire-conquering must prove atheism! Does not sound like good logic…
- The Apostle Paul’s conversion supports the truth of the resurrection.
No, no person’s devotion or conversion could ever count as EVIDENCE. Repeatable observations, that is the only known thing that provides verifiable truths. In that case, that would be true for all religions. What about that Buddhist Monk who burned himself to death? Talk about devotion. Does that prove Buddhism true?
- The New Testament witnesses do not bear the stamp of dupes or deceivers.
- You could argue anything like that! Stalin seems like a believable person therefore, communism is correct. Here is some advice if you ever go out into the real world Jim: Deceivers rarely bear a stamp.
- There is a self-authenticating glory in the gospel of Christ’s death and resurrection as narrated by the biblical witnesses.
The Bible’s unique effect on human life started with those who lived with and knew Jesus.
This is true for all holy books.
Eyewitnesses to the resurrection of Christ died to tell that story.
ONE person who claims to be an eyewitness and that CLAIMS there were more. That is like me saying I saw a UFO and I also saw 100’s of other people see it.
Jesus’ followers who witnessed his life and resurrection suffered horrible deaths and yet, when given the opportunity to recant, they didn’t. It should be remembered that there have been many people who have died for something they believed to be true. That in itself is not unusual. But no one dies for a known lie.
Well, yes, there are those cases as well. BUT, as a rule people do not. Here is the thing: It is still more likely that people were LIED to, than a man rising from dead. Jim also have not proven that the disciples were not fictional to begin with. It is not hard to make up people that dies for a lie.
This is only an argument if Jim proves the disciples was not fictional and that they were not lied to. I also do not believe they would die for something they knew was not true. But what is the evidence that they did? If Jesus was a fraud, they obviously did not see through his deceit.
So because they were with him for 3 years, they could not have been lied to. IF Jesus was a fraud, it is MORE LIKELY that the people close to him would trust in the lie. The manson Family ffs! People are easily fooled.
Lying would serve no purpose since Jesus’ ministry would then be moot. Yet historical records and reports about the disciples indicated they all died cruel deaths for their beliefs (except one, John). James (brother of Jesus) was stoned, Peter, Andrew, James the son of Alphaeus, Philip, Simon, and Bartholomew were crucified, Paul was beheaded, Thaddaeus killed by arrows, Matthew and James (son of Zebedee) killed by the sword, and Thomas killed by a spear. Each of these disciples spoke and many wrote about the resurrection of Jesus, and they did so as eyewitnesses. “To these He also presented Himself alive, after His suffering, by many convincing proofs, appearing to them over a period of forty days, and speaking of the things concerning the kingdom of God” (Acts 1:1-3).
Well, this is what the Bible claims. Maybe they were all fictional. The same goes for all similar arguments such as Saul of Tarsus. Maybe he was fictional, and if he was not, he may have been fooled or paid to lie.
Faith versus Evidence
Our desire for evidence is a good reason to investigate the Bible. Even though the Bible is not the only source of evidence, it is a valuable source. Let’s face it, if there is a God trying to communicate with us with the Bible, then isn’t it foolish not to be interested? But for most it is a “Catch 22.” Most want evidence first, yet the Bible contains the evidence they need.
Books are not evidence in themselves, they may be references to evidence. And yes, we always start with evidence BEFORE we believe in something, if we are rational that is. So, BEFORE believing the Bible is true, the logical and rational mind needs EVIDENCE that this is the case. Otherwise anyone could claim anything. WE could claim that the God Delusion by Richard Dawkins was inspired by god, but that you only see this once you accept it to be true. But that is just not logical.
Scripture tells us that we will be judged and held without an excuse of ignorance because of the clear evidence seen in creation. When you think about this wonderful and immense universe, can we really say that all this came from nothing? Can we just pass it off and say “it just happened?” Really?
It is not about what we want, it is about EVIDENCE. There is support for the universe coming from “nothing”. There is no support for this creator. Also, this argument is circular. The QUESTION is “Where did all this come from?” Jim is trying to pass of the question as the Evidence.
From a purely human perspective, having more clearly defined evidence of the existence of God is desirable. Many think it only reasonable that this God, if he exists at all, should show himself. He should stick his head in the sky and reveal himself in no uncertain manner.
What’s wrong with that request? The answer is specifically revealed in the Bible. Yes, God thinks of everything. In short, God doesn’t go for it. Here’s why.Even though God is not a physical being (he tells us he is a spiritual being outside of our time and space), if he did stick his “head” through the sky and speak to all the skeptics in this world, saying, “I am God”, and do so in such a way that they would have no choice but to accept that God does indeed exist, then they would have no way to please God. Scripture tells us that within God’s character, it is impossible to please him without faith. It seems he wants us to turn to him based on limited evidence. However, this evidence includes his creation. That is not all that limited. He says it reveals his divine nature and power. He wants our love and trust based on what we see around us.
Then why does he not reveal himself in the same way he did 2016 years ago? You say yourself that the way he appeared last time did not remove the faith of the people of that time, so why not do something like that again?
No, that evidence cannot be taken to the science lab and used to “prove” he is God. But he does not want that kind of proof for us for us to rely on.
How do you know that Jim? Oh, a book says so…
He wants our trust and faith based on something less than absolute.
Once again, how do you know what God wants Jim? Seems like the argument goes: It says so in an old book, so, it must be true.
He desires that our belief in him come from what we see around us that causes us to think there just might possibly be an all-loving and all-powerful God out there that than explains what we see.
If we observe the universe, we see a universe that works very well without a god, so, what we see around us leads us towards the conclusion that there is no god. You see that is the problem. This god that you claim exists, watches me and judges me for not believing in him, when he is the one who set up a universe that works without him.
Now, having said that, he did actually come into his creation 2000 years ago. Many observed him.
Actually, there is ONE person claiming to be a witness, and he claims there are others. But one witness claiming there are others, is still just one witness. More importantly, why doesn’t god show himself in the same way again?
However, he did not come in such a way that would destroy faith. Quite the contrary. Even in his suffering and death, he did not walk the earth for 33 years to shock people into accepting him as God. He came to demonstrate his love and to show his divinity but in a way that would leave room for faith.
OK, so, why doesn’t he do that again?
So, in God’s economy, faith is important. As strange as it sounds, you cannot please God without it.
Maybe God has an agenda? Maybe he NEEDS us to worship him to gain power or something? Ever thought of that Jim, that God is USING you?
Also, what perfect being would require faith? Requiring faith would be an imperfection in itself.
You can’t exercise the kind of faith the Bible has in mind unless you’re reasonably sure that some particular things are true. In short, it is never a “leap of faith” at all. Biblical faith is based on knowledge, not wishing or blind leaps. Knowledge builds confidence and confidence leads to trust. The kind of faith God is interested in is not wishing. It’s trust based on knowing, a sure confidence grounded in evidence.
But you do not know Jim. I mean, you have demonstrated that for 60 pages soon. Your lacking knowledge of the surrounding world is quite astounding. I mean, it is actually hard to stay this ignorant.
The challenge for everyone is to look for and examine the evidence – to put down all preconceptions and bias beliefs and objectively explore the claim that Jesus Christ is the Son of God;
And many did, and came to the conclusion that he is not. But Jim will not accept that conclusion of course. Everyone who does not agree with Jim’s worldview is simply wrong. Jim has no reason or evidence that they are, they just are..
If evidence didn’t exist or weren’t persuasive, former skeptics like myself would never have become Christians. But while no amount of evidence will convince someone against his will, for the open-minded the evidence is more than sufficient to establish belief.
First of all, everyone knows Jim was never an atheist, it is quite obvious. Or, maybe one of those mad atheists believing in Aliens putting us here and such, but I find it very hard to believe Jim once did not have faith in god. Here is the thing, if the evidence was actually that strong, it would convince everyone who actually looked. That is not true in the case of Christianity. It is however true in, for example, the case of evolution. Everyone who actually understands the evidence accepts it.
The Bible is an uncomfortable, yet undeniable book. From beginning to end, what is revealed about God Himself, His creation, His dealings with mankind, and His plans for the future makes sinful human beings squirm. Since we are all sinners, we have all squirmed at one time or another.
No, not really, Personally I just laugh at the level of stupidity in the Bible. I am not worried AT ALL that there might be a hell and so on.
A great deal more can be said. But now that it has been demonstrated that a person can have confidence in the Bible, what are you going to do with that information?
Nothing really. Most of us are quite fine with anyone believing in anything.
The notion that Jesus is the Son of God, a title ascribed to God in human flesh, is radical. Why would God come into his creation as a man? But the Bible is clear. This Son of God was God himself coming into his creation; from Spirit to Flesh.
OK, there is just no reason to actually believe it is true… So far, Jim has put forward no evidence of this.
God tells us that man fell for the deception of Satan and in so doing rebelled against his Creator.
So, being fooled, is the same as “rebelled” to you Jim? How is “being deceived” the same as “rebelling”?
God coming was to provide man with a way out of this mess. He came into his creation and we nailed him on the cross, just as he knew would happen.
But god is all powerful, he could have just waved his hand to make this happen, instead, he chose torture. Why?
Now what is the conclusion in all this? Can’t the Bible be trusted? Can’t we say with confidence that there is indeed information in the Bible that no human could have known?
The evidence testifies to the trustworthiness of the Bible.
The Evidence? So far you have put forward no evidence Jim. You have CLAIMED a lot of things, but everyone reading your text is still waiting for that evidence you claim to have. Evidence of course being defined as “repeatable observations”.
The force of this evidence is cumulative. Fulfilled prophecy,
As Pointed out, there is no fulfilled prophecy. It is either too vague (Daniel interprets Nebuchadnezzar’s dream, Daniel’s Seventy Weeks Prophecy) educated guesses (that the temple would be rebuilt and destroyed, that there would be unbelievers, that there would be times with more natural disasters) or plain out wrong (Ezekiel 29:8-15, Ezekiel 30:12 and Isaiah 19:1-8 for example). Some are just non-prophecies (Not actually mentioned or misinterpreted), such as
The messiah will be born to a virgin
The messiah will be born in Bethlehem 5.2.1 Oakes
Jesus will be a Nazarene
Jesus will be called out of Egypt 5.4.1 Oakes
Jesus will be pierced
The suffering servant
The great disappointment
No, as pointed out, it is VERY unlikely that the Garden Tomb was the tomb of Jesus given that it was outside the city walls in that time. And that we find cities and so on from that time, is not strange, no one is arguing against small parts of the Bible being true.
the Bible’s internal consistency, external verification,
Can not be verified. In fact, large parts of it could be written by the same person posing as different people. We just do not know.
the Bible’s amazing scientific accuracy and foresight,
There are MANY scientific errors in the Bible, Pi = 3 for example. That there was a Biblical flood.
the manuscript evidence,
Isn’t even agreeing with itself? The date of Jesus’ birth differs by 14 years! Lucas says Jesus preached for one year, Johannes says 4 years, and so on.
the willingness of Jesus’ disciples to suffer and die,
IS not unseen in other religions. 911 does not prove Islam correct. And no, this does not mean the disciples were willing to die for a lie, they may have been deceived for example.
and the testimony of Jesus, as the Son of God, all support one conclusion.
CLAIMING to be the son of god. And yes, it supports one conclusion: That the Bible is a very very outdated book that has very little actual effect on human life today. One may call it an extremely outdated science book.
If I was to present these arguments individually, one might be inclined to argue that the evidence was inconclusive. And that is valid. But, all of these evidences, when taken together, build a strong case for its trustworthiness.
Which evidence? Jim has not presented evidence yet, he has presented 60 pages of CLAIMS.
But now isn’t it your turn? Isn’t it time for you to make a decision. Jesus asked all of us a question when he said, “who do you say that I am?” What decision will you make? It is your free choice. He will not force you to put your trust in him. He loves you too much to force you.
He loves you so much that he will send you to torture if you do not love him back. Hmm, Sounds like a psycho girlfriend.
And just living a good life is not enough. You cannot earn your way to heaven.
That is one problem with the Bible. It actually does not matter if you are Hitler, as long as you love Christ. But if you are a good person, in fact, the best person in the world, you still go to hell if you do not believe in Jesus.
We all have an appointment with death. Every day that goes by brings us one step closer to that inevitable appointment, written in God’s divine date book. But what happens after that?
Well, no one really knows, but Jim will most likely claim to know.
What happens after we breathe our last breath, after our hearts pump their last measure of blood, and after our spirits leave our bodies like a vapor? After leaving this physical world, we will enter into a new spiritual world where there is a second, unavoidable appointment written down in God’s date book.
And the evidence for this is what? That a few historical facts are correct does not make everything in the Bible plausible. Just because there is a Betlehem, does not mean there is also an afterlife. Evidence only proves exactly what they prove, nothing around that.
Our God is a God of mercy and grace, but He is also a God of justice and judgment.
He is a god who claims to love, but that sends people who does not love him back to torture. That is some psycho love.
After we die, no second chances will be given.
And why is that? Because god is evil?
The decisions we make on this side of eternity will determine the judgment God makes about our eternal destiny. You see, God has established a holy law, or a standard of perfection. To break God’s law is to sin against God, and to sin against God means that you must face judgment. The problem is that we have all broken God’s law. Therefore, we all must stand before God to be judged (see Romans 14:10).
Yes, we are actually being judged because our great great great great great great x20 Grandmother, at the wrong fruit, because a talking snake told her to. That is fair. I mean, don’t you think that if someone is sentenced to death, we should kill his whole family. Right? That sounds fair! Don’t just punish the wrongdoers, punish their family as well!
If you want to escape the judgment of God, then you must humble yourself and admit you are a sinner in need of forgiveness, repent of your sins (turn away from sin) and put your trust in Jesus and what He did on the cross, because without Jesus, we would have no hope on that day of judgment. To refuse the cross as the instrument of salvation is to choose it as the instrument of judgment.
But that shouldn’t be a problem right? I mean, if you have been a good person, judgement should not be a problem. Oh, yeah, the problem is of course that you are only judged based on one merit, faith in god, you may kill and plunder, rape even, as long as you are really sorry about it and accepts Jesus.
Have you ever thought or heard this? I’ll wait until I am old, then I’ll get right with God. Well, let’s be honest, you may not get the chance. God may just lose patience with you and end your life.
So, god is so evil, that not only does he send people who are rational, and logical, as well as good people, to torture, he actually also kills people before they have a chance of reaching a conclusion on whether god is real or not, just to get to send people to hell.. Evil.
Perhaps you don’t think He would do such a thing. Then read Genesis 38:7 to see how God killed a man who was wicked. Jesus told of a man who boasted that he had so many goods that he would have to build bigger barns. God called the man a fool and took his life that night.
So in other words, Jim wants us to worship and pray to immoral murderers because they are powerful and could hurt us if we do not. Jim sure is a brave person.
Those who say they will repent in their own time lack the fear of God.
Why would you fear someone that loves you? That sounds like a very destructive relationship. Remember, fear and respect cannot really coexist, if you fear god, you do not respect him.
Their understanding of His nature is erroneous. If they caught a glimpse of His holiness, His righteousness, and His consuming justice, they wouldn’t trifle with His mercy.
Well, we know from human history that this is wrong. People have stood up to oppression many times through history, not seldom risking their very lives toing so. This would be no different. God, as Jim describes him at least, is the most evil dictator of all times, maybe the most horrible being ever written about, would you serve such a monster, or would you rather fight for what is good?
Since no one is guaranteed tomorrow, the best way to be prepared for the judgment is to live for God today. For some, that means receiving Jesus today, asking Him to forgive them of their sins, and giving Him control of their lives.
But many people are INCAPABLE to do so, they need EVIDENCE. And the Bible actually says that it is OK to not accept Jesus if the knowledge never reached you.
Time waits for no one. The clock is ticking, and we are all drawing nearer to that unavoidable appointment with God. Think wisely. Weigh the alternatives. Choose for yourself. Decide now whom you will serve.
Serve god, the most evil being in writing, or, serve what is good and just. Hmmm… But it shouldn’t actually be a problem. As I said, the knowledge never reached me, so, the Bible does not require me to have faith, since I never learned about the evidence of Jesus and so on.
I realize what was presented earlier was pretty heavy with all those facts dug out of manuscripts and archeology. Evidence is not all that exciting sometimes, is it?
What evidence? I am still waiting.
So why do people believe what they believe? Why do people reject the message of the Bible and instead, come up with totally unfounded beliefs of their own?
Well, for the exact same reason Jim believes in the Bible and rejects all other “holy” scriptures.
I’ve asked many people in an effort to understand what they believe and why they believe it. Their reasoning is, well, confusing.
Then Jim may be talking to confused people. The reason you do not believe in ANYTHING is always the same: You have not been convinced by the evidence available. They do not believe in JHVH for the exact same reason you do not believe in Allah.
I’ve found the real reason(s) may not be that apparent. The reasons people give have a lot to do with feeling “safe.” They feel comfortable in declaring that their God is the real God and the God of the Bible is just, well, not real.
Just as Jim does with the God of the Bible.
Their God is easier.
In some cases, in other cases not. The Jewish version of god is often more Complex, especially the Kabbala version of it. The Hindus have may many gods, some are more complex, some are less.
Maybe less judgmental; he likely has lower standards.
No, you Christians follow 10 commandments, jews has 613, devout buddhists has over 200.
Who wants a God to exist anyway that …demands?
All believers it seems like. Basically every religion has a god that punishes. Most likely because they miss a father figure.
No one really wants to be responsible to some “higher being” and to his standard of conduct.
Partly true, but most people would also have a problem with non-existence, being dead that is. So, both sides has uncomfortable to deal with.
And no one really wants to feel guilty. Forget it. Let me alone, I am doing pretty well on my own. Besides, I want to live my life the way I want to.
Well, that would be what we call “human rights”.