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Formal Debate: The Bible Is Not the Inspired Word of God

Discussion in 'Formal Debate Threads' started by MarkRohfrietsch, May 17, 2014.

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  1. MarkRohfrietsch

    MarkRohfrietsch Unapologetic Apologist Supporter

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    1. Topic and Title: The Bible Is Not the Inspired Word of God
    2. Rounds: Ten alternating rounds with BlueLightningTN beginning with the affirmative position; and pshun2404 responding with the negative position.
    3. Time Limit: Three Days following the approval of a post to Respond
    4. Maximum Post Length 1,000 Words (including quotes)
    5. Quotes: Quotes and Outside References are allowed
    6. The Peanut gallery will be moderated, that means that each post will be reviewed for compliance with all the rules of Christian Forums. That means that the debate and the progress of that debate may be discussed there, but the topic may not be debated by the participants of the PG thread. Posts made there are moderated, which means that they are invisible until approved by a moderator.
    7. Start date: Whenever BlueLighteningTN is ready.
    The Peanut gallery thread may be found here: http://www.christianforums.com/t7822818/#post65621740
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2014
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  2. BL2KTN

    BL2KTN Scholar, Author, Educator

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    The Bible Is Not the Inspired Word of God

    Before beginning, I would like to thank the owners and administrators of Christianforums.com for allowing me the opportunity, and Pshun2404 for his commitment. It is my hope that through this debate, we will all learn and be edified, regardless of your position.



    What Text from the Creator of the Cosmos Should Look Like:

    If one were to look for a text which had been inspired, "breathed", or somehow written (even if through humans) by the divine, what would one expect to see? It is an extremely important question since what we'll be looking at in this debate is whether or not the divine wrote or participated in the writing of the bible. As I see it, here are a couple of things most people would agree upon in regards to what divine communication should look like:

    1) It should transcend whatever culture produces it since the origination is divine.
    2) The text should not contradict itself.
    3) It should be accurate in its factual details.
    4) Its portrayal of the divine should be mature and insightful, not immature and petty.
    5) At the very least, the text should represent the very best that humanity can aspire to, if not even greater.

    And with that set of criteria, let us look at the bible and whether or not it is, in fact, the inspired word of God.



    The Cosmology of the Bible

    The bible was written in the area known as Israel (Isra'el: literally "may El persevere"), thousands of years ago, in a region called "Canaan." The people in the area known as Israel are called Hebrews or Israelites, and these individuals are surrounded by various other city-states, kingdoms, tribes, etc. All of these people groups, including the Hebrews, believe in a god called "El". In the pantheon of Canaanite gods, El is the father of all the other gods, the father of humanity. According to the Canaanite texts, El sits upon a throne on his mountain abode, a bearded anthropomorphic deity, from which the rivers that feed the seas flow forth. It is therefore unsurprising that El in the Hebrew bible is referred to as "El Shaddai" (meaning "El of the Mountain") which is erroneously translated as "God Almighty" in English bibles. El is said in the Ugaritic texts to have fathered many lesser gods with his wife Ashterah: Baal, Moloch, Mot, Yam, and Yahweh are but a few of the seventy total.

    And so we find the Hebrew people with a writing of their own about how El created the world. Even today, there are people who try to believe parts of this creation story about El, though almost nobody believes in the full teachings of the account. In the Hebrew creation story, El separates waters into two bodies - one below the earth, and one above it. The waters above are held in place by a "firmament" - literally a hard surface which holds back the water from whence the rain falls. To the ancient Hebrews, this made sense. Water fell from the sky and water bubbled up from the ground - obviously there were two sources of water.

    Yet today nobody believes there is an invisible domed vault above us (known in Hebrew as the raqî‘a). Nobody believes that we are sitting in an expanse with waters above and waters below; we know today that water vapor is all around us. Additionally, nobody really believes that the stars were placed inside the domed raqî‘a in order to be signs for festivals. This is impossible given that the stars do not exist within a dome, but instead are incredible distances away, and most are invisible to the naked eye. Indeed, to read the Genesis 1 account and to believe it is to believe in this:

    [​IMG]

    It made sense to ancient Hebrews because they lacked the information that we have. The world as we know it, however, looks very little like the world El creates in Genesis 1. Even this process differs, however, when we get to the creation story of Yahweh in Genesis 2.

    Here, Yahweh creates a single man named Adam, placing him in a garden. This is already different than in Genesis 1 in which El creates men and women as his last creative act before resting. Yahweh, however, creates this single man and then creates all the animals so that Adam can have a helper. Yahweh brings the animals to Adam, but Yahweh realizes that none of them are suitable helpers for the man. At this point, the tale is extremely immature as it supposes the creator of everything (if the author even believed that) isn't smart enough to know Adam needs a female companion, not a rhinoceros. It makes one wonder if Yahweh understood the other animals also needed male and female counterparts. Continuing on, after Yahweh makes a single man, then all the animals, finally Yahweh makes a woman. Yahweh never rests.

    In just the first two chapters we're already breaking the criteria for what divine authorship should look like:

    1) It doesn't transcend the culture. - The cosmology of Genesis 1 is ancient Levant, not accurate cosmology.
    2) It is contradictory. The creation order of El and Yahweh are different.
    3) The sky is inaccurate. There is no solid dome holding waters above the sky, nor are the stars located along this dome.
    4) Yahweh has childlike intellect. Yahweh has to figure out that Adam needs a female, not a goat or a kangaroo... does this seem like the author of quantum physics?


    The Two Gods of the Hebrew Bible

    So why are there two contradictory creation stories, one by El and one by Yahweh? I'll discuss in the future, but let's end on a cliffhanger:

    "I am Yahweh. And I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob as El of the Mountain, and I was not known to them by the name Yahweh." -- Exodus 6:2-3



    Until the next...
    BlueLightningTN
     
    Last edited: May 19, 2014
  3. pshun2404

    pshun2404 Newbie

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    Yes and welcome to you

    The premise being argued is “The Bible Isn't the Inspired Word of God”…this is a debate, therefore the burden of proof is primarily yours to prove your case. I am defending the view that the Bible is inspired and that it must be for reasons that I will present.

    Now just discussing or declaring what you believe or I believe is fine (mostly what you have done in your first post) but the debate is really about overall evidences…evidence which you will present and evidence that I will present…and finally do the evidences we present indicate a “most likely” or “not likely” truth value regarding your premise.

    So for me, the best evidence is empirical. In three dictionaries I looked into “Empirical” is described as follows:

    based on, concerned with, or verifiable by observation or experience rather than theory or pure logic alone; originating in or based on observation or experience; relying on experience or observation alone often without due regard for system and theory ; capable of being verified or disproved by observation or experiment.

    So when I apply this definition to the Holy Scriptures and that which is produced therein and as a result of I believe I have sufficient evidences to indicate they are indeed inspired by God.

    What you have done is created criteria which you will be satisfied with that are already filled with assumption and opinion. This in fact skews the possibility of objectivity because you have already decided and made judgments on individual lines or points of text that you preconceived to fit your interpretations of those texts. But there are two or more views, each held by many, regarding the many questions you pose and they all have been answered over and over, some from as early as the 2nd century…why reinvent the wheel?

    So to spare the debate from getting caught up in minutia, my posts will go in a different direction so do not be offended if I do not answer each and every point which could take many pages of back and forth arguments. (Which I can do if you want. We can take one at a time, but then the debate is over).
    So I would think…IF there was a God who is trying to communicate with these ancient Hebrew people (from long before the Israelites by the way) He would communicate with them in language and through cultural symbols that they could/would process in order to get the point being made, as that was His purpose…to communicate certain things. This communication finally being written down (many thousands of years after the events)…perhaps as passed down through Noah, through Shem, but we can only speculate, perhaps by direct revelation alone (but the text does not say that), or by a combination of both methods (which the text does on fact imply)…

    Genesis 1 and 2 are not two creation stories blended if looked at correctly, and the second set of animals were not meant to satisfy Adams need to not be alone, if read correctly…male and female were always the plan for all creatures with animal bodies. Chapter 1 is about creation (bara – to call forth) in creation male and female are simultaneous…and chapter 2 is about formation (yatzar – to give form to) and in formation it tells us He made (yatzar) the male first and the female second.

    So I am NOT going to get persuades or enticed into a battle of each and every little nuance or word or false anachronism, that IMO would divert the thread. Since at least Augustine not every detail of the first three chapters are taken to be literal in a wooden literal sense. The purpose here is to bring us (in story form) to the fall…the entire rest of the Bible till the very last page of the last book is about man’s redemption…His gracious offer (which begins in Gen. 3:15), how it will be manifest in human time (through Christ), and its culmination in the second coming (parousia) and the Judgment and final destinies.

    If you would like to deal with alleged contradictions, rather bog us down in item by item minutia (which could take 100’s of pages), then let us take that up on a separate thread (not a debate which is limited but a conversation where two reasonable people can discuss and even perhaps at some places agree to disagree or outright disagree).

    I found many things in your first post to be inaccurate, some mere opinion, and some the unfounded opinion of others who by mere consensus decided they are correct (sometimes in the face of evidences that contradict their assumptions…like the Documentary Hypothesis).

    It should transcend whatever culture produces it since the origination is divine (not if He wishes to communicate in a way they will comprehend)

    The text should not contradict itself (and it does not)

    It should be accurate in its factual details (which the Bible is if regarding “factual” details, but there is also analogy, metaphor, hyperbole, narrative, opinions of people, parallelism, the poetic and apocalyptic forms, etc., for ex. Jesus is the door to the sheepfold but He is not made of wood with a latch and hinges)

    Its portrayal of the divine should be mature and insightful, not immature and petty (and it is)

    At the very least, the text should represent the very best that humanity can aspire to, if not even greater (which it does and clearly you and I fall short).
    Let me begin by positing a question to obtain your opinion. Was the inspiration for the Bible…

    a) The efforts of good well intentioned (knowledgeable or unknowledgeable) people
    b) Bad, ill-intentioned, (knowledgeable or unknowledgeable) people
    c) or by an outside Intelligence (God), with insights unknowable to mere humans

    You can think about that one and get back to me on it in your next post and I will give my analysis of the logic of your response. Thanks
     
  4. BL2KTN

    BL2KTN Scholar, Author, Educator

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    Gods of the Hebrew Bible

    Responses to Pshun2404

    You give no reasoning for how or why you find empirical evidence of divine origin from the scriptures.

    Feel free to critique my five requirements for potentially divine text. Also feel free to provide your own ideas for baseline requirements of a text inspired by the creator of the cosmos. If my questions have been answered ad nauseum, this debate should be a cakewalk for you.

    What does it mean to read the text correctly?

    You say that the second set of animals "were not meant to satisfy Adam's need to be alone," yet that is exactly what the text says:

    "Then the Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper as his complement.” So the Lord God formed out of the ground every wild animal and every bird of the sky, and brought each to the man to see what he would call it. And whatever the man called a living creature, that was its name.

    The man gave names to all the livestock, to the birds of the sky, and to every wild animal; but for the man no helper was found as his complement."
    -- Genesis 2:18-20


    You may not like that Yahweh tries to give Adam an animal companion before deciding to make a female human. You may believe that Yahweh knew all along that Adam needed a female mate. However, let us put aside beliefs and stick with what the text actually says. What the text actually says is that Yahweh brought Adam all the animals, which he had created after man, and then finding no companion for Adam, Yahweh created woman next.

    The two creation stories do not mesh.

    I am aware that you want a different purpose to exist for the creation stories than to explain the creation. Long-gone commentators, knowing the ancient cosmology was flawed, determined that the first chapters should arbitrarily be symbolic, not literal. Yet the original author and audience saw this as an accurate account of how the elohim created the world around them. Your statement that this changed around the time of Augustine clearly displays this point. That you now need to review the material in a symbolic manner, rather than its originally intended purpose, shows that the material is likely not divinely inspired. It shows that the text, once shown to be very flawed, was relegated to symbolic, so that it could still hold its place in the Hebrew bible and Old Testament.

    Feel free to cite those and explain their inaccuracy.

    Your question is partially unanswerable. Both A and B would require that I know the intention of ancient writers, and given that I often don't know the intent of modern writers, I find the pursuit of this information to be folly. As for C, it is quite clear that I do not believe it to be originated by the divine, and I will have eight more posts after this continuing to show why.

    Overall Thoughts on Post #3
    Ultimately, I find very little substance. You assert my criteria are flawed, yet provide no reasoning. You say the stories mesh, but you display no evidence. You completely ignore the cosmology of Genesis (and, indeed, the entire Pentateuch). You claim the bible is empirically the word of God, yet you give no empirical data in support.

    And so, let's look at the cliffhanger from my original post...

    El and Yahweh

    As previously stated, El (chief god in Canaanite religion) is declared to be Yahweh (son of El in Canaanite religion) at the burning bush. This is lost on English readers since El is often translated simply as "God" while "Yahweh" is translated as "LORD".

    But how do we know that El is a specific god and not just a term for "god"? In Genesis 33:20 Jacob builds an altar to "’el ’elohe yišra’el" ("El, god of Isra'el)". There is no mistaking it - Jacob is building an altar to the head of the Canaanite pantheon, El. We see further evidence that El and Yahweh were separate gods, later assimilated into one, when we read the following in Deu 32:

    "When the Most High (’elyôn) gave to the nations their inheritance, when he separated humanity, he fixed the boundaries of the peoples according to the number of divine beings. For Yahweh’s portion is his people, Jacob his allotted heritage."

    The text here says that El has assigned the borders for the nations (obviously untrue), and set the number of those nations based on the number of divine beings (obviously untrue). One of those divine beings, Yahweh, is allotted the descendants of Jacob.

    So as I conclude my second post about why the bible is not the inspired word of the divine, let us consider the following:

    Do we honestly believe that specific, ancient Canaanite gods are real, and that they inspired the bible?

    El
    [​IMG]

    Yahweh
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: May 21, 2014
  5. pshun2404

    pshun2404 Newbie

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    I want you to know I have not ignored your concerns. It is just that I will not fall for following after and being led through an infinite maze of questions on minute details we could discuss elsewhere. You have posed that the Bible contradicts itself, and that it is contrary to what we can know about our reality as your first evidence that it is not inspired. I will be glad to deal with these issues later.

    So once again, my role in the debate is to provide evidences which support “inspiration”. That man could not have been alone in its design or intent of what has become our Holy Scriptures. Especially such an ancient culturally limited peoples! The Bible itself has no other kindred type with which it can be compared in all of ancient literature. So this is my first evidence.

    The fact that over 30 authors from very different walks of life (male and female), who being young and old, most of whom never knew one another, from different continents in at least three different languages, would at different times in history over 1500 years, randomly write of their experiences and observations (see empirical) with such a being, and that these various genre of writings, would all come together in one place in time, having an uncanny unity of theme and purpose in their message, all pointing to a single central event in human history, which at the time had not yet come, which would so radically change people’s lives, and the world as we knew it, forever, is so far beyond mathematical probability that the fact of its mere existence itself speaks loudly in favor of some sort of outside intelligent force being involved.

    However this is not all that its very presence speaks to. Its presence however negates the probability of a human plan, or collusion to engineer any kind of conclusive system of belief. Because such a plan would have to have involved the collusion of millions of people in different places that worked out or created the circumstances necessary to pull this off. These many, many, very different people, would have to have been in cahoots over centuries of time. One line of testimony from Eridu near the Persian gulf, another from what we now call Iraq, another person from Turkey writing letters, one from Syria, another out of the area of Armenia, one a lawyer, another a physician, another a politician/general, another a farmer, a queen, fishermen, priests, kings, and shepherds, and so on, sometimes hundreds of years apart many of whom knew not of the others….Wow! I myself coming to this position I now defend only because of my personal experiences and observations (and after so coming dedicating many years of digging through all sorts of evidences…empirical, legal, philosophical, historical, archaeological, etc.). Amazing! As a scientifically oriented person (which I am) who did not even come to this God until he was 32 years old, I find the phenomena of such a set of data existing in one place as it does totally unexplainable by purely human means or intent.

    Secondly, knowing the above verifiable FACTS about what resulted in “The Bible” to be true, I have to reject any attempt to declare the notion to accuse that using one set or piece of writings found therein supporting or lending evidential testimony to another is circular reasoning. Because if one were to take a conclusion or hypothesis regarding any other subject matter and the conclusions found or determined were supported by thirty other researchers or persons in a different fields (anthropology, biology, psychology…), at different time periods, from different lands…such agreement would and could only be taken as confirmation. It could not be rationally construed to be circular in any way.

    Now thirdly, just like any other social or physical experiment, millions who have ventured to actually engaged the experiment offered therein, from different walks, different cultures, all ages, and times, of both genders, again most of whom have never known each other, mostly have come to the same conclusion (the numbers are overwhelming), and that is, that the God revealed therein is real and living, and that this God is involved in the actions and events of human history (now there is some in-house debate as to the level of involvement, but of the involvement there is no doubt among any who have experienced God or observed His workings).

    Therefore according to the rules of evidence and proof, I offer this unexplainable phenomena (unlike any other writing or selection of writings ever) as my first “evidences” that are empirical and verifiable. Millions of people, many of whom are highly intelligent rational persons, some like myself with a scientific background, having taken the challenges posed thereby, having experienced and observed similar expected results in the change of their own nature, the fulfillment of prophesied events, and the effect of these principles on political systems and the course of history, which IMO speaks very loudly in favor of an intelligence outside of mankind being involved in this unique and effectual library (Biblios) of books and letters (which in and of itself is unparalleled in all of human history).

    I could have gone into so much more detail just on this one point alone, but the basic postulate is logical, and sound, and I believe tough to refute. If this unity of writings, and agreement of conclusion were true of any other matter (a historical event, a scientific fact, and so on), it would not even be doubted.

    So piece #1 that I offer you is the presence of such a book of books that stands against all odds and probabilities of it even existing.

    Piece #2 is the validated change promised that has experientially occurred as declared, and has been observed to have happened in the lives of so many that have ventured to apply its message. The message of this God has changed the world as we know it.
    Thanks!
     
  6. BL2KTN

    BL2KTN Scholar, Author, Educator

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    How the Bible Came to Be

    I strongly disagree that there is unity of theme and purpose in the bible. Instead, I posit that the bible presents many different ideas, often contradictory, upon a variety of topics. I am unimpressed that a selection of texts would have some shared narratives or goals... if one selects that which agrees with preferred opinion, one can shape a compilation's message. Here's an example:

    The Jewish Gospels

    Of the more than thirty gospels written about Jesus, four remain in canon. Some would argue that these other gospels were flawed. Perhaps... but certainly not all. Indeed, the church fathers quoted from a very specific group of these destroyed gospels: The Jewish-Christian Gospels.

    Quoted by Clement of Alexandria, Origen, Eusebius, Epiphanius, and Jerome, these gospels were nonetheless scrapped from the New Testament and then destroyed, never to be seen again. Why? Why would Jewish gospels accurate enough for early church fathers not only be kept out of the New Testament, but then discarded into oblivion... not even respected enough to be maintained? Keep in mind that these are Jewish gospels. Who were the apostles? Jews. These Jewish gospels were written in the languages of the apostles. But what about the gospels we have today - what languages were they written in? Greek.

    So we have gospels supposedly written by the disciples of Jesus, except that they're written in Greek for gentile audiences (every gospel explains Jewish customs and Aramaic phrases). The gospels which were written in the natural language of the disciples were good enough for the church fathers, but yet were destroyed. Is it any wonder that Christianity didn't take off in Judaism?

    And certainly the gospels we have weren't selected for accuracy. How can anything be believed by these ancient accounts when the final words of Jesus are different in three different books? This is not perspective, this is historical inaccuracy:

    Final Words of Jesus
    Mark and Matthew: My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?
    Luke: Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit.
    John: It is finished.

    Historically Inaccurate, Preferred Theologies
    So why do you discard Jewish gospels good enough to quote in favor of accounts that contradict one another in hundreds of ways? You do so because the four selected represent the desired theology. For a look at just how flawed the selection process was, read Irenaeus' defense of the forced canon:

    "It is not possible that the gospels can be either more or fewer in number than they are. For, since there are four zones of the world in which we live, and four principal winds, while the church is scattered throughout all the world, and the “pillar and ground” of the church is the gospel and the spirit of life; it is fitting that she should have four pillars, breathing out immortality on every side, and vivifying men afresh."

    [​IMG]

    So the very first person to give a written apology for the forced cannon essentially defends it based on "four winds" (so untrue and stupid), and "four zones" (flat-earth, four-corner ideology). Is that sufficient for destroying Jewish-written gospels cited by church leaders?

    Back to the Criteria
    1) It should transcend culture... The Jewish gospels were destroyed, and replaced by gospels written in the language and dialect of the culture that propagated the religion. It does not transcend culture, but instead is a product of it.
    2) The text should not contradict... From the genealogies of Jesus, to his teachings, to his final words, the gospels are filled with contradictions.
    5) ...the text should represent the very best that humanity can aspire to... The defense of the forced canon, chosen over 100 years after Jesus' death, is based on flat-earth and four-wind concepts. Is this the best that humanity can do?

    If one chooses 13% of the gospels to use in cannon, does so based on ridiculous logic of the "four winds", and selects gospels which contradict one another in hundreds of ways... it does not speak well to your position. The canonization of the Old Testament will provide no better reflection on your idea. If one eliminates all works that disagree with a desired theology, it's fairly easy to get a unified message, even at the cost of accuracy.

    [​IMG]

    If you're going to provide evidence of the bible's divine origination, please do so with reasoning that one wouldn't hear from Muslims, Latter Day Saints, etc, in regards to their holy books.



    Conclusion

    #1: I have sufficiently demonstrated that the presence of the bible is not impressive in the least. The selection of the gospels alone is incredibly broken. Having texts that somewhat agree with one another is unremarkable when nearly 90% (including closer sources) are destroyed.

    #2: The message of Allah has changed the world as we know it, the message of Buddha has changed the world as we know it, etc.

    This brings us to an interesting point that I look forward to examining in my next post:

    What are the messages of El and Yahweh?
     
    Last edited: May 21, 2014
  7. pshun2404

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    This next piece of evidence involves something missed by all but the really intent, and that is the hidden qualities the source author made sure were part of this collection of works. The, what I consider, inhuman genius at work, who could (especially from Moses backward) engineer a text in the way many of these texts are engineered being filled with unexplainable patterns that a human author would never have bothered with, nor would have conceived of. For lack of space and concern for the other pieces of evidence that must be revealed I will titillate your imagination with a couple here.

    Genesis 1:1 is a thesis like statement that is followed by commentary until the last page of Revelations. It is a masterfully composed statement which uses all 22 characters of the Hebrew Aleph-Beth. Which means it also contains every numerical value their culture and communication symbols allow. So in this first statement lies the potential for all that can be said hereafter and all that can be calculated as time, dates, value, and so on. Every word that any man can ever think or speak has the building blocks for all right here in this first statement. Every letter of words, and every number of every computation, is contained in “In the Beginning God created the heaven and the earth.”

    Also the Bible has made it clear that the number 7 is symbolic of completion and speaks of God’s perfection. And this first statement is a perfect “7” Hebrew words. The first three if taken separately have 14 Hebrew characters (2 x 7) and the last 4 also have 14 Hebrew characters (2 x 7), and is thus comprised of 28 Hebrew characters (4x7) in all. The fourth and fifth words have 7…the sixth and seventh have 7…the three key nouns ‘God ‘, ‘heaven’, and ‘earth’ are composed of 14 letters, and there is more (just in this one verse). This of course as you know is followed by 7 time periods/stages/cycles of the creation process spoke of in Genesis 1:1, God ceasing or desisting on the 7th day. Then in the text of the Old Testament to follow “seven” occurs 287 times (41 x 7), “seventh” occurs 98 times (14 x 7), “seventy” occurs 56 times (8 x 7), and the word “seven-fold” occurs exactly 7 times!

    This same sort of heptadic structure interwoven in such a way as it remains unnoticeable to most (which is often disturbed in modern versions) is found in many places throughout the scriptures. A number of these hidden in plain sight mathematical patterns are found in the Greek New Testament as well. Matthew chapter 1 is replete with them as is the book of Revelations, and I am not speaking of the obvious use of the number (see The Creation Beyond Space and Time, by Chuck Missler).

    For an ancient human (or cunning group) to have chosen any language, and have made such a sentence which contains all its letters and all its numbers, which tells us the foundational premise of all its following 65 additional books (which were not even written yet and not by them), is not only unthinkable, but not do-able. Many skeptics have tried and always and only fail, even using computers. The person (alive or dead) who would/could do such a thing would have to be the world’s greatest linguist of all time, or a God.

    Now finally in this presentation I would like you to consider another intra-Biblical phenomena that one of my brothers recently referred to as the Tapestry effect (the same word was also given to me by the Spirit for this same phenomena). As part of the inhuman consistency of theme and purpose of these many different books and letters, in all their genres, from their different socio-economic classes, and so on, over the many centuries…,there are threads of themes in Genesis that run throughout the entire library. No man or group of such dispersed peoples (in time, place, status, etc.) could have worked this out. There are threads of genealogies that later, five writers away, take on major significance in human history. Like the threads beginning with Jacob’s pronouncements over Ephraim and Judah and Levi that become so important even through the time of Jesus, and his message, purpose and so on. I know you are probably unable to know what I am speaking of here without having read it all many times, but these threads (like the precession of the seed promise) are like glue that makes it all fit together with a consistency you just do not find anywhere else. This is unfathomable. Again, for a human or even a group of colluding humans to have engineered this is unthinkable…the hoax would have to have been carried out with intention over centuries involving too many unforeseen circumstances (like choices made by surrounding and sometimes distant nations, and by in-house individuals, that had not yet occurred,).

    Many centuries later, in our time, 1,000s of peoples, places, and events once mentioned only in the Old Testament have been validated. Nobody near our time even knew of many of these things save their being mentioned in the Bible many years before they even occurred. Like the effect of the invasions of Tilgath-Pilesar and Nebuchadnezzar on what was happening in the time of Messiah and after. Early liberal scholars swore the book a lie, only to have their foot placed firmly in their mouth. But absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. Look at the early disturbance between Ishmael and Isaac. Is it not still to this day one of the pivotal issues of history? Who could have known? Only a God who could foresee it, that warned us about it!

    These phenomena are unexplainable by human means, or by human purpose or intention, yet they are real…and some of the things predicted back then are now part of our present history. Though it is not humanly possible, it is so! Thanks
     
  8. BL2KTN

    BL2KTN Scholar, Author, Educator

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    The Messages of El and Yahweh

    Responses to Pshun2404

    That ancient scribes would use all 22 characters of an alphabet/numbering system in a writing is no more a sign of divine interaction than finding all the English letters in the script for Mary Poppins.

    "Gematria is an Assyro-Babylonian system of numerology later adopted by Jews which assigns numerical value to a word or phrase, in the belief that words or phrases with identical numerical values bear some relation to each other..."
    -- Gematria - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Were the Babylonians also divinely inspired in their writings?

    I showed you in the last post how it is completely unremarkable that some similar messages can be found in a selection of the texts. I gave just one example of how the gospels were selected, though I could give many more. In review, if compilers destroy texts that disagree with their own beliefs, what you are left with is some degree of uniformity on issues important to the canon-makers (though certainly the bible is very contradictory on many topics).

    Places and events happening during the time of the writing of the texts are typically accurate, while places and events occurring before the text was written are woefully incorrect.

    "The reference to the Chaldeans has led biblical historians to an interesting conclusion. The Chaldeans lived around the sixth-to-fifth century B.C., when Jewish scribes first wrote down the oral tradition of Abraham's story as they put together the Hebrew Bible. Therefore, since the oral tradition mentioned Ur as the starting point for Abraham and his family, historians think that it would have been logical for scribes to assume the name was tied to the same place they knew in their period..."
    -- Ur of the Summerians?

    I have demonstrated with historical records how it is explainable, not remarkable in the least, and actually the process of delusional, ignorant individuals (picking the gospels based on the four corners of the world). Yet for all my explaining, you don't seem to be responding to anything I say - it appears you believe yourself to be providing information in a vacuum. Let the readers then determine for themselves which understanding displays more comfort in scrutiny.

    Messages in the Bible: Divine or Evil?

    The bible is full of beautiful stories, prose, and ancient culture, which when the text is respected, are incredible reads. For example:

    "For God sent not his son to condemn the world, but that through Him the whole world might be saved." -- John 3:17

    [​IMG]

    The picture of a deity sending a beloved child to save all of humanity is beautiful, even if the logic is flawed. And indeed, throughout the bible we see so many examples of altruism, hope, perseverance, morality, and philosophy. Yet because the bible is not divinely inspired, we also see many examples of depravity - unfortunately, it is sometimes supported by El/Yahweh:

    Hymen isn't attached? Stone her.
    People try to make peace with you, make them slaves.
    Yahweh tricks Israel into burning their firstborn.
    Beat slaves til they can't walk.
    Joyful infanticide
    Yahweh's punishment: Cannibalize your children
    Abortions by Yahweh's Priests
    Godly man hands over his sex slave to be gang raped, then mutilates her: no judgement.
    Man tries to avoid impregnating his brother's widow, Yahweh kills him.
    Rape a girl and Yahweh says you can buy her.
    Moses says kill everybody but the girls: they're sex slaves.
    Sacrifice human and animal firstborn, so says Yahweh.
    Won't punch a prophet of Yahweh? Yahweh will kill you with a lion.
    Don't want to chop someone to death? You're a curse.
    Jepthah must keep his vow to Yahweh by sacrificing his daughter.

    [​IMG]

    I have chosen these fifteen because they aren't based on contradictions or vague translations - they are explicit and either from Yahweh or men the bible identifies as "righteous."

    1) It doesn't transcend the culture. - Mass rape, beating slaves, stoning women because their hymen isn't fully connected... these certainly do not transcend the culture of the brutal ancient Levant societies. In fact, these may actually be worse!
    4) Its portrayal of the divine should be mature and insightful. Is a god that kills a man who refuses to punch a religious leader what we could possibly call mature? Is a god that lets a rapist buy his victim in any way insightful?
    5) At the very least, the text should represent the very best that humanity can aspire to, if not even greater. Laws that allow rapists to purchase victims, that stone virgins with unattached hymens, that call for cannibalizing children, etc... these are not the best that humanity can aspire to, these are the worst. The evil in these examples are astounding.

    Up next: The New Testament...
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2014
  9. pshun2404

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    My next piece of verifiable evidence is fulfilled prophecy. Because of the great number we do not have room to cover I will give you a few undeniable examples to consider.

    The first I present here is Ezekiel’s prophecy over Tyre. In one of his visions he foretold of Tyre’s fall by siege at the hand of Nebuchadnezzar. The Lord says “many nations shall come against you” (these were Babylon, Persia, and finally Greece). He tells of how the waves will come up against them (referring to their retreat to the Island fortress) and “they shall destroy the walls of Tyre 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 spreading nets in the midst of the sea, for I have spoken” Only one who could see what has not yet happened with certainty could make such a claim.

    So first Nebi sieges their royal city and nearly topples it to the ground. "During the siege, the Tyrians destroyed a causeway which had connected the offshore islands to the mainland [the one Hiram had built], and retreated behind the [island] city's walls, said to be 50 metres (160 ft) high" (Insight Guide: Syria & Lebanon, 2000, p. 316). Nebi only got to destroy the mainland part but was able to capture and carry away the royal family as prophesied in Jeremiah 27. Then later the Persians came and conquered what was left on the mainland and ruled the people, even those on the Island offshore.

    But when Alexander the Great came against Persia (Ezekiel being long dead)! He would not settle desist and so though he had no navy he had his men use the destroyed old city and literally built a new causeway (Ezekiel 26:12 - They will plunder your wealth and loot your merchandise; they will break down your walls and demolish your fine houses and throw your stones, timber and rubble into the sea). reaching and absolutely destroying Tyrians once and for all. The Island was left uninhabited and to this day actually is a place where fishermen dry their nets. The odds an Ezekiel could know this in such detail hundreds of years before it happened is phenomenal.

    Then in Daniel 9 where we learn that after the Messiah who would be cut off (Isaiah 53:8 - is killed) another prince (Titus) would come and siege the city and destroy the Temple ending the oblations and sacrifices forever. And so it was and is to this day!

    Finally on this point though we know there were many prophecies fulfilled by Jesus of Nazareth proving without doubt that He was the awaited Messiah. The work of Mathematician Peter Stoner and Astrophysicist Dr. Robert Newman set out to figure the probabilities (but many have been calculated by others) of one man in human history fulfilling just 8 such prophecies spoken 100s of years before His birth. In their conclusive work Science Speaks (see On-line HTML revised edition 2002) with only going into the most apparent elements revealed (from the scriptural passages, not even including all the circumstance and people that had to take choose, behave and be in place to make these things happen, declared a probability of 1 in 10 to the 17th power. That’s 1 chance in 100,000,000,000,000,000 (1 in 100 quadrillion).

    Comparatively they proposed an equal probability and this is what they said, ““Suppose that we take 10 to the 17 silver dollars and lay them on the face of Texas. They will cover all of the state two feet deep. Now mark one of these silver dollars and stir the whole mass thoroughly, all over the state. Blindfold a man and tell him that he can travel as far as he wishes, but he must pick up one silver dollar and say that this is the right one. What chance would he have of getting the right one? Just the same chance that the prophets would have had of writing these eight prophecies and having them all come true in any one man, from their day to the present time, providing they wrote using their own wisdom.” (see Science Speaks…by Stoner….)

    Noting over 50 prophecies fulfilled by the existence of this man, Mathematician David Williams, Computer Systems Manager for the Mathematics Faculty, at the University of Newcastle, Australia, after years of calculating the probabilities of prophetic fulfillment begs the case...he says,

    ”Anyone can make predictions. Having those prophecies fulfilled is vastly different. In fact, the more statements made about the future, and the more the detail, then the less likely the precise fulfillment will be…how does someone "arrange" to be born in a specific family? How does one "arrange" to be born in a specified city, in which their parents don't actually live? How does one "arrange" their own death - and specifically by crucifixion, with two others, and then "arrange" to have their executioners gamble for His clothing? How does one "arrange" to be betrayed in advance? How does one "arrange" to have the executioners carry out the regular practice of breaking the legs of the two victims on either side, but not their own? “ In conclusion he says “Indeed, it may be possible for someone to fake one or two of the Messianic prophecies, but it would be impossible for any one person to arrange and fulfill all of these prophecies.”

    Thus this is not possibly contrived by humans. But more unbelievable though factually true is that He fulfilled so many more making the probability so far outside of possible it must be repressed in the public forum. No human invention could have pulled this off.

    The return to the land in our time, the restoration of the language, the six day war, the replenishing of the land, the getting the Jewish people from Ethiopia and the uttermost North, and so very much more in our time…
    Not nearly enough room but this should do…
     
    Last edited: May 24, 2014
  10. BL2KTN

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    Prophecies of the Bible: Proof or Disproof?

    Due to Pshun2404's discussion on prophecies, this halfway post will change from New Testament to prophecies:

    Ezekiel's Prophecy about Tyre
    Pshun2404 presents us with a prophecy by Ezekiel as a major proof of the bible being divinely inspired. However, critical inspection of the text reveals it does not line up with reality. Here are a few verses of scripture from Ezekiel's prophecy, with a comparison to reality. For reference, we'll be using Ezekiel 26.

    For this is what the Lord God says: “See, I am about to bring King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon, king of kings, against Tyre from the north with horses, chariots, cavalry, and a vast company of troops. He will slaughter your villages on the mainland with the sword.

    This part of the prophecy did occur. It wasn't hard to predict since it was eminent.

    He will set up siege works against you, and will build a ramp[a] and raise a wall of shields against you. He will direct the blows of his battering rams against your walls and tear down your towers with his iron tools.

    This also occurred. Since Ezekiel knew Nebuchadnezzar was about to wage war, it wasn't hard to predict.

    His horses will be so numerous that their dust will cover you. When he enters your gates as an army entering a breached city, your walls will shake from the noise of cavalry, wagons, and chariots. He will trample all your streets with the hooves of his horses. He will slaughter your people with the sword, and your mighty pillars will fall to the ground.

    And here is where Ezekiel's prediction fell apart. Nebuchadnezzar did not breach the city, instead having to settle for a negotiated truce. Let's now jump to Ezekiel 29 where the prophet admits the prophecy Pshun2404 uses as evidence was actually a failure:

    Son of man, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon made his army labor strenuously against Tyre. Every head was made bald and every shoulder chafed, but he and his army received no compensation from Tyre for the labor he expended against it. Therefore this is what the Lord God says: I am going to give the land of Egypt to Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, who will carry off its wealth, seizing its spoil and taking its plunder. This will be his army’s compensation.

    Amazing that Yahweh supposedly brought Nebuchadnezzar to utterly destroy Tyre, yet it didn't happen. And did Nebuchadnezzar receive the land of Egypt as Yahweh said? Nope, that didn't happen either. Egypt, in fact, did just fine.

    So whatever happened to Tyre? Was it ever utterly destroyed, never to be rebuilt again? Well, the only time it was ever completely destroyed was in 1291, and that was when it was a Christian city being wiped out for its Christianity. I'm not sure how that punished the city of Tyre 1,800 years earlier. But not to worry, it was rebuilt anyway:

    [​IMG]

    Somebody really needs to tell those buildings they're messing up Ezekiel's prophecy!

    [​IMG]

    Failed Prophecies of the Bible

    Egypt Will Be Desolate for Forty Years and Egyptians Dispersed - Never happened.
    King of Syria will not harm Judah - The King of Syria did harm Judah: 2 Chronicles 28
    Egypt will speak Canaanite - Canaanite is a dead language and Egypt never spoke it.
    Yahweh will drive out the Jebusites - Whoops, Yahweh didn't drive out the Jebusites: Joshua 15:63
    Yahweh will send every enemy away from Israel in terror - How many defeats are recorded in the bible alone?

    Pshun2404 mentions one prophecy in particular, yet fails to include the entire prophecy so that we can see it is greatly flawed.

    Israel will be secure once reconstituted

    Hasn't Iran threatened to wipe out Israel with nuclear war? Aren't they currently developing bombs? Isn't Israel constantly bombarded with threats from Palestine, Syria, etc? Isn't Israel one of the most endangered nations in the world?

    Prophecies about Jesus

    But doesn't Jesus match up with many prophecies?

    For this is what the LORD says: 'David will never fail to have a man to sit on the throne of the house of Israel. -- Jeremiah 33:17

    Yet that is most certainly untrue... unless Jesus is descended from David. And is he?

    While the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them, "What do you think about the Christ? Whose son is he?" "The son of David," they replied. He said to them, "How is it then that David, speaking by the Spirit, calls him 'Lord'? For he says, 'The Lord said to my Lord: "Sit at my right hand until I put your enemies under your feet." ' If then David calls him 'Lord,' how can he be his son? -- Matthew 22:41-45

    Jesus doesn't seem to think the Christ can be descended from David.

    But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times. -- Micah 5:2

    This is the supposed prophecy about Jesus being born in the city Bethlehem... except this refers to the clan of Bethlehem Ephrathah... and the leader that is going to come from this clan has a specific purpose according to Micah 5:6:

    So He will rescue us from Assyria
    when it invades our land,
    when it marches against our territory.


    None of the that matches Jesus.

    More Jesus prophecies in the next post...
     
  11. pshun2404

    pshun2404 Newbie

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    Tyre was not a failure, it was fulfilled by Alexander the Great. And as I said, what became of Tyre after Nebi, “the Island”, certainly was and still is left uninhabited and is a place where fishermen dry their nets. This new “mainland city” is not Tyre (only named Tyre) and there are no Tyrians occupying this city.

    Hasn't Iran threatened to wipe out Israel with nuclear war? Aren't they currently developing bombs? Isn't Israel constantly bombarded with threats from Palestine, Syria, etc? Isn't Israel one of the most endangered nations in the world?

    Yes! But Israel is going nowhere until the har’Miggedo war begins (coming soon to a theatre near you).

    As for your poor rendition and misunderstanding of this offshoot of Jesse, who is also His root, I will let your errors stand for their own witness before God. But rest assured He is already bringing home the Israelites that were sown in among the gentiles (during the Assyrian campaign), and will gather all others upon His return.

    So I just don’t see much to respond to. Statements about “Mary Poppins script”? Genesis 1:1 we’re talking about an opening sentence underlying the basis of other books not even be written for hundreds of years. I have seen some pangrams in English…“the quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog”, …or “Pack my box with five dozen liquor jugs”. Just gibberish! If you are unable to see the vast difference I cannot help.

    So not in a vacuum… just don’t see much to respond to

    So next for your consideration is the fact that there are statements in this ancient time found only in the Bible, written from the perspective of an outside observer, which could not possibly be knowable to people at the time these scriptures were given. Some examples follow…

    In a time when all cultures we have records from believed the number of stars were fixed the Bible tells us

    Genesis 22:17
    Blessing I will bless you, and multiplying I will multiply your descendants as the stars of the heaven and as the sand which is on the seashore


    Jeremiah 33:22
    “As the host of heaven cannot be numbered, nor the sand of the sea measured…”

    telling us that the number of stars are uncountable…Science has confirmed this as the number of stars we can now determine with telescopes is estimated to be around 10 to the 21st power and the number of grains of sand on the shores to be around 10 to the 25th power (Albeit there are many more undetectable stars and the number of grains change continuously)

    ALL ancients thought the stars to all be very much the same but the Bible says each is unique…

    1 Corinthians 15:41
    There is one glory of the sun, another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars; for one star differs from another star in glory.
    In about the past 400 years science finally caught up and confirmed this also to be true…

    All ancient cultures had explanations for the earth’s support (Atlas, the Hindu 7 Elephants, the African back of the giant turtle theory, etc.) but in the Bible around 1500-1300 B.C. in Job we read the Lord telling Job

    Job 26:7
    He stretches out the north over empty space; He hangs the earth on nothing.

    God says the earth is suspended or supported by nothing of such sort. To the eye of the ancient beholder, if they could see from space, it would look as if the earth were suspended on nothing, no strings, wires, giant human/gods, no ethereal animals, etc. (Remember my criteria was that if God or a god were to communicate to ancients He would use terms and language and symbols they could understand). A fact they could not have known, but has been proven to be true.

    Ancients believed the wind blew in straight lines from the four cardinal points and interacted and thus affected one another and that the winds had no substance in and of themselves. The Bible teaches the winds moved in circular fashion (Eccles. 1:6 and elsewhere) and that even the whirlwind itself has weight or substance (Job 28:25)…the latter being an unknowable fact until science proved it many centuries later.

    Now notwithstanding the existence of a Job Cousteau there are insights into the oceans that ancient man could just not have known…

    Genesis 7:11
    …on that day all the fountains of the great deep were broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened.

    Job 38:16 says "Have you entered into the springs of the sea or walked in the recesses of the deep?

    Springs in the sea? Recesses (lit. trenches) in the deep? We only discovered these trenches in the late 19th century, and only in most recent times have we been able to go down into these trenches. And what did we find? Springs! At the bottom of the deep!

    All ancient cultures and religious philosophies taught light to be a static medium through which we travel, like the “ether”. God asks the Psalmist (38:19) if he can discern “the way“ to the source of light! The word for “way” means a traveled path or road. For centuries skeptics mocked and jeered at this obvious error. Yet over time, three men unlocked the keys. Surely light travels and follows its path.

    Now there are over 50 such phenomena not possibly knowable by mere men written into the Bible at this time. My favorites regard the presence of Israel in our time but to be precise for your sake would be another 1000 words or more. Yes statements about all sorts of matters proved by science only in recent times are in the Old Testament…but I understand there are also matters spoken to an ancient people without our modern vocabulary or benefited by our modern research…He had to communicate in a way they would comprehend (but it was for a greater purpose…their redemption which was still far into the future).
     
  12. BL2KTN

    BL2KTN Scholar, Author, Educator

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    The New Testament

    Thus far we have mainly concentrated on the flaws of the Old Testament/Hebrew Bible. We have reviewed how El Shaddai (El of the Mountain) and Yahweh were separate gods, later assimilated via the burning bush. We have viewed the flawed, though intriguing, cosmology of the ancient Hebrews with their solid expanse holding back the waters in the sky. We have seen the contradictory creation myths, the horrible evils promoted in the Old Testament, and failed prophecies. Briefly we looked at how the gospels were canonized and some of their inaccuracies. That said, our focus will not shift more primarily to the New Testament in this round. Before doing so, let me briefly respond to Pshun2404's excellent last post:

    Responses to Pshun2404

    Alexander the Great spared the royals and all of those in the temple. The city of Tyre was not destroyed, flourishing again, so that it was a major city. It was under siege again fifteen years after Alexander the Great by the Macedonians. If Ezekiel's prophecy about Tyre being wiped out was fulfilled by Alexander, then who the heck were the Macedonians attacking??? Sieges of Tyre

    Feel free to argue with Google Maps.

    That's not actually how it works in a debate.

    Additional responses:
    1) I really have no idea what you're talking about in regards to Genesis 1:1... The actual Hebrew is בְּרֵאשִׁית, בָּרָא אֱלֹהִים, אֵת הַשָּׁמַיִם, וְאֵת הָאָרֶץ. Even a layperson can see that there are repeated letters and letters not included such as פְּ.
    2) El does promise Abraham that he will bless him with as many descendants as the stars in they sky. Given that there are two-hundred billion stars in just our galaxy alone (and there are billions and billions of other galaxies), I'd say that promise isn't going to happen.
    3) Citing a verse that says you can't count the stars, then telling us the number of stars which exist is ludicrous.
    4) I'm clueless as to what you're talking about when you quote the bible saying each star has a different "glory". I can assure you that science does not measure the glories of anything.
    5) You cite Job saying that God hangs the earth on nothing, at that this somehow shows the ancient author knew of a planet Earth floating in space. It does not. In fact, in verse 11 of that chapter we see: The pillars that hold up the sky tremble, astounded at His rebuke. Yep, there's that raqia again, being held up by pillars.
    6) Genesis 7:11 is referring to the imaginary waters below the land breaking apart and coming upwards, along with the windows in the raqia being opened to let the imaginary water above fall through.
    7) There are not springs in the sea... I'm assuming you're referring to geothermal vents, which are not springs.
    8) You abuse the text when you infer that "recesses of the deep" means anything more than "recesses of the deep." If the author wanted to express the idea of a trench, there were plenty of words that could have been used instead (valley, crack, etc).
    9) Pslams 38:19 says But my enemies are vigorous and powerful; many hate me for no reason. How you think that has anything to do with light is beyond me.

    Issues with the New Testament

    Historical Inaccuracies:
    In Matthew 2:1 we find out that Jesus was born during the reign of Herod. In Luke 2:2 we find out that Jesus was born during the first census. Unfortunately for the NT authors, Herod died in 4 BC while the census occurred in 6 and 7 AD. Matthew may do this because the author wants to tie in a story about Herod murdering babies. The problem is that the murder of innocent children never happened. Joseph Flavius and Josephus both chronicled Herod's various crimes against humanity, and infanticide would have been at the top of the list. Yet, they do not record that it ever happened.

    Of course, Matthew is a gospel that likes to take things over the top. Not only does he get Herod wrong, but the author gives us some very tall tales about Jesus' death. One of the biggest is that the dead came back to life in Jerusalem! Mass resurrections occurred and yet not a single historian writes about it at all. None of the other gospels mention it. How in the world could the dead come forth and it not be a major even recorded in history? Yet that's the author of Matthew for you.

    Matthew's Huge Mistake

    When they approached Jerusalem and came to Bethphage at the Mount of Olives, Jesus then sent two disciples, telling them, “Go into the village ahead of you. At once you will find a donkey tied there, and a colt with her. Untie them and bring them to Me. If anyone says anything to you, you should say that the Lord needs them, and immediately he will send them.”

    This took place so that what was spoken through the prophet might be fulfilled:

    Tell Daughter Zion,
    “Look, your King is coming to you,
    gentle, and mounted on a donkey,
    even on a colt,
    the foal of a beast of burden.”
    The disciples went and did just as Jesus directed them. They brought the donkey and the colt; then they laid their robes on them, and He sat on them.
    -- Matthew 21:1-7

    [​IMG]

    Problem is, Matthew misread the prophecy in Zacheriah ("and" instead of "even").

    It was never two animals at the same time. Strange Matthew couldn't read Hebrew.

    Ready for Paul?
     
    Last edited: May 27, 2014
  13. pshun2404

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    Another piece of evidence is based on the fact that IF a God were communicating with His creatures, THEN the contextual information He gave in His written word would have to be confirm-able. If not then why would we rely on the rest? So you mentioned that the Muslim book has changed the world, Buddha has changed the world (not a book but let’s go with that).

    First has the Quran really changed the world? Are there many that just picking it up and reading it, are forever changed (like me)? No! Where are their freed slaves, their repented murderers, their recovered addicts, their millions being fed, clothed, and medically treated, and so on? There are none. Secondly their “book” as you call it is rarely “accepted” but by the sword or the threat of it. As for the Eightfold Path it speaks nothing of God, nor does it claim to come from God, but the wise prince seeing the evils and inequities developed in Hinduism discerned a “way” (Hindu Methodist) to improve life for man (right intention, right speaking, right action, etc.) which is very commendable and does produce a wonderful way of being a harmonious human we all could learn from. But are other alleged books from the Lord confirmable?

    The Quran is full of historical error and archaeologically questionable places and peoples as is the book of Mormon you mentioned. For just one example the Quran says Jesus of Nazareth was never crucified. Do I really have to go into the many extra-biblical references to this well established historical fact? I think not. Then in another place they fuse Jesus’ mother Mary and Mariam Moses sister as the same person! Abraham talks with Noah (long dead)! It calls Shem “Seth” and even though their book declares the Torah “the ordinance of God” which according to their book “CANNOT be changed”, they replace the Abraham Isaac story to be Abraham Ishmael (and so much much more). How about the Bhagavad Gita…look and see (none!)… confirmable? Not is any sense! USA archaeology alone totally destroys the Mormon myth…

    The Bible on the other hand is confirmable and has been confirmed by historiography and archaeology in literally 1000s of cases. In fact, Archaeology (developed to prove the Bible a myth) has proved to be the needed assistant of Historiography and not ever refuted a single Biblical fact mentioned within its pages. In fact it has served to demonstrate the historic sensibility (as well as proving many facts mentioned only therein for 1000s of years) of the text as well as been the motivation for 1,000s of digs.

    Historiography has been applied and the Bible has passed all three tests (the Biographical, Internal evidence, External evidence) beyond any other known collection of related works. For one example consider this test…

    a) How many copies, fragments, etc., do we actually have?

    b) How do they compare one to another?

    c) How much time has elapsed since the alleged events described?

    d) How do these data stack up against other established works?

    These questions are very important because the number of examples, the closeness of agreement between them, and the time for possible evolvement between the originals and the copies we possess all question the credibility of the writings and the writers.

    So first compare to the second most validated book in ancient history…the Illiad…

    The Illiad places itself at 1200 BC, but the literary/critical scholars insist on the much later date, and even though they have been proven to be incorrect regarding time so many times, I have chosen to use their dating of 800 B.C. as a base comparison.

    a) The original would be from 800 B.C.

    b) The only complete manuscript of antiquity is from around 1300 A.D. (a gap of 21centuries from the original people, places, and events)

    c) The earliest fragmentary copies we have found are from around 400 B.C., which still is a gap of 4 centuries.

    Now let us compare this with the known facts of the New Testament:

    a) Written in parts, by a number of different authors, between 40 A.D. and 100 A.D. (a gap of mere decades, historically comparable would be knowledge of Martin Luther King’s assasination)

    b) The earliest copies and fragments date well within the first century (only about a 35 year gap)

    c) Some of Paul’s letters were in fact circulating only 20 years after the original people, places and events

    d) There are about 5000 manuscripts (20,000 examples if we count fragments and quotations), some of which go back to the early 2nd century (a mere 150 year gap)

    e) Earliest fullest compilation we have so far is from the 4th century, less than 4 centuries compared to the 21 centuries for The Illiad, during which we have a continuous trail of fragments and quotes from the early church going all the way back

    Now, just for perspective….

    Caesar’s, Gallic Wars allegedly written around 75 B.C…our earliest copy from around 900 A.D.! This is a gap of 1000 years. All we have in our possession is 10 copies and these vary in many places. Yet no one worth his salt has one shred of doubt as to the events relayed therein.

    Demosthenes’ version of The Gallic Wars, is from 300 B.C., our earliest example is from 1100 A.D., which is a difference of 1400 years. For Demosthenes’ we have 200 examples.

    Plato’s, The Republic, absolutely believed to have been written by Plato in the time assumed, composed around 400 B.C. which has a 1300 year gap between our earliest 900 A.D. copy! Only 8 ancient copies The Republic have been found. Yet who doubts that Plato wrote this or questions a single inference found therein? Not one!

    The examples could continue, but this should suffice…. The Bible is History so reliable we spend millions chasing down people, places, and events, only mentioned therein and then many are confirmed, others implied…Perhaps I will devote the next thread to Archaeological confirmations…(?)
     
  14. BL2KTN

    BL2KTN Scholar, Author, Educator

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    Archaeology and Paul

    Before beginning, I'll maintain the format we've used thus far and respond to Pshun2404's last contribution. At this point I find greater weakness in the defenses put forth than in the past - the reader can formulate their own opinion. Pshun2404 puts forth that the Quran doesn't change people in the way that the bible has changed him. Obviously, but as the holy book of the second-most followed religion in the world, it does seem to form the worldview of a vast number of individuals. I'm not here to defend any religion, but claiming that only your holy book changes people, while billions claim their other holy books are the best, seems trite.

    And what of Pshun2404's assertion that the bible is archaeologically sound? Well, we've already dealt with this to some degree and the bible was found lacking. Ur of the Chaldeans didn't exist during the supposed time of Abraham, yet the bible says Abraham was from that city. When did Ur of the Chaldeans exist? In the sixth century BC, when the book of Genesis is generally accepted by scholars to have been written. The author thought the city had always been there. It hadn't.

    So that's just one archaeological error the bible makes, and which provides really, really strong evidence for limited-knowledge authors writing from a viewpoint of their own time frame, not being divinely inspired.

    This belief that the bible is archaeologically sound is ridiculous - and though this assertion has been made repeatedly by Pshun2404, contrary to the evidence, he has yet to give any support to his claim. For your review, here are just some of the major historical errors found in the bible:

    [​IMG]

    Camels did not exist in Israel during the time of Abraham and even King David
    David and Solomon probably existed, but they weren't powerful rulers (Note the Egyptians and Assyrians never even mention them... all we have of David is a broken piece of pottery that says "House of David".
    Joshua supposedly wiped out Ai - except he was a thousand years too late
    Jericho was a real city, and was really destroyed... just three hundred years before Joshua: "Bruins, H. J. and van der Plicht, J. "Tell Es-sultan (Jericho): Radiocarbon results of short-lived cereal and multi-year charcoal samples from the end of the Middle Bronze Age." Proceedings of the 15th International 14C Conference. Cook, G. T., Harkness, D. D., Miller, B. F. and Scott. M. (eds.). Radiocarbon. Vol. 37. No. 2. 1995. pp. 213-220"
    The Exodus Would Have Meant a 150 Mile-Long Line of People - Yet There is No Archaeological Evidence (Note that the Sinai could never have supported this many people and animals) -- Page 19
    The book of Daniel is supposedly prophecies from Babylonian exile, yet it only correctly prophecies up until the exact time the text is released -- After 167 BC, every prophecy is wrong. (Page 101)

    Finally, as for Pshun2404's claims to the biblical accuracy in comparison to the oldest manuscripts, I'm rather indifferent. Any person can go read their bible and find places where the margin shows various bits of text were probably added later (the end of Mark is probably the best known example). However, it's completely unrelated to what we're talking about. If the bible is contradictory, historically inaccurate, cosmologically flawed, poorly canonized, morally depraved, erroneously redacted, prophetically amiss, and originally polytheistic, then why on Earth would we care if it has been copied correctly as proof of its divine origins? It is most certainly not divinely inspired, and I think Paul will only add to this conclusion.

    Paul's Radical New Theology and Misconstrued Judaism

    Of all the contributors to the bible, Paul may be the most intriguing. Writing a huge amount of work, Paul takes Christianity by the horns and directs it where it will go - claiming that although he never physically met Jesus, he's now receiving visions that allow him to teach as an apostle. Given that a twelfth apostle was selected after Judas was gone, that makes Paul the thirteenth apostle.

    [​IMG]

    Paul says that he is taught by no man, only Jesus (Galatians 1:11-12). That must have really perturbed the original Apostles who actually knew Jesus then, when Paul taught that Jesus had directly conveyed to Paul how to do the Lord's Supper (1 Cor 11:23-24). The church had been doing the Lord's Supper for the past twenty years, but Paul gets it from Jesus, not from any man. Paul, supposedly knowing the other apostles, should have seen the Lord's Supper and known about it from them... but nay says Paul!

    Now Paul is trying to do several different things with his new theology. One of the major things he wants to do is show that all people are sinful and need Jesus. To do that, he's going to purposefully warp the Hebrew scriptures in a way that requires one to know they're manipulating text. Let's view:

    "What then? Are we any better? Not at all! For we have previously charged that both Jews and Gentiles are all under sin, as it is written:

    There is no one righteous, not even one.
    There is no one who understands;
    there is no one who seeks God.
    All have turned away;
    all alike have become useless.
    There is no one who does what is good,
    not even one.
    -- Romans 3:9-12

    What Paul does here is remarkable. He begins by quoting Psalms 14, and in doing so, takes only the quote he needs to make his argument, completely ignoring the meaning of the psalm. Whereas Paul uses this snippet to argue there is nobody who is righteous, the psalm actually begins by identifying it is only referring to fools. In verse 5 it says "God is with those who are righteous", completely contradicting Paul.

    And with that, I'm at 1,000 words. I'll try to finish up on Paul next time, and then begin wrapping up as we approach the last two posts of the debate.
     
    Last edited: May 29, 2014
  15. pshun2404

    pshun2404 Newbie

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    Response to BLTN’s camel article

    In an article that appeared in the Journal of Near Eastern Studies (1944 edition, pp. 189-190), archaeologist Joseph Free, lists several instances supporting the domestication of camels. A pottery camel’s head and a terra cotta tablet with men riding on and leading camels both from pre-dynastic Egypt, which according to dating scholars (such as Clayton) is around 3150 B.C.!

    He also listed three clay camel heads and a limestone vessel in the form of camel lying down—dating to the First Dynasty of Egypt (3050-2890 B.C.), then several models of camels from the Fourth Dynasty (2613-2498 B.C.), and a petroglyph depicting a camel and a man from the Sixth Dynasty (2345-2184 B.C.). The article declares such evidence has led Egyptologists to conclude that “the extant evidence clearly indicates that the domestic camel was known by 3,000 B.C.” In other words, centuries before Abraham’s time (also see Ancient Orient and Old Testament, Archaeologist K.A. Kitchen, 1966).
    Another convincing find in support of the early domestication is a ancient camel hair rope. A two-strand twist measuring a little over three feet long was found. It was sent to the Natural History Museum where it was analyzed. After testing, it was determined to be from the Third or Fourth Egyptian Dynasty (2686-2498 B.C.). See several other discoveries which show camels as domestic animals (ibid. Free, pp. 189-190).

    In Ancient Orient and the Old Testament, professor Kitchen sites several additional discoveries from around 2,000 B.C. Lexical lists from Mesopotamia showing domesticated camels as far back as this time. Camel bones have been found with household ruins at Mari. A Sumerian text from the time of Abraham discovered in the ancient city of Nippur which clearly implies the domestication of camels by its allusions to the use of camels’ milk (Kitchen, 1966, p. 79). So there is no question, only among the biased.

    Now about BLTN’s local nomadic chiefdom of David source

    Archaeologist Yosef Garfinkel reporting to CBN News tells us…

    In 1868, a stone tablet was discovered…written by a Moabite king named Mesha, an enemy of Israel. The stone dates to around 840 BC, less than 200 years after David and it provides the first known reference to the "House of David" outside the Bible. "And 'House of David,' it means 'dynasty of David.' So we know that there was a person called David, and he had a dynasty,"

    More than a hundred years later the same phrase, "House of David," turned up on another stone, this time in northern Israel. It was written about 200 years after David's rule -- again, by one of Israel's enemies, Hazel, the king of Damascus. He said, “I killed 70 kings. I killed a king from Israel, and a king from the House of David,"

    So now we know David’s house was a kingly house (not the place where he lived) and this proves his lineage was a dynasty not a small local chiefdom. Hazel confirms the presence of the divided Kingdom. Israel ruled in the north and the House of David in the south.

    Then there were places mentioned associated with David that for centuries were only mentioned in the Bible and are now confirmed: David’s desert oasis now called Ein Gedi; description of ancient Hebron is precise; the Philistine city of Gath; the Fortress of David forever called “Khirbet Daoud” by the Bedouins (nomadic chiefdoms) which Garfinkel says "It turns out that this beautiful city and all the finds is from about 1020 to 980 BC, and this is exactly the time of King David,"; the Valley of Elah which served as a neutral zone between the Israelites and the Philistines has unearthed many proofs. In Daoud which we now call Qeiyafa, which was right on the frontlines, excavators discovered a large cache of weapons. Garfinkel said “I'm telling you that this indeed was an area of conflict between two political units. In the Bible, this fortress is mentioned with a different name, Sha'Araym, "The city of two gates." In 1 Samuel 17, Sha'Araym is the place where the Philistines fled after David killed Goliath. In KQ, we have two gates. So if you take the biblical tradition, the location, the chronology, the meaning of the name -- all these aspects fit Khirbet Qeiyafa perfectly".

    See Did David, Solomon Exist? Dig Refutes Naysayers - Inside Israel - CBN News - Christian News 24-7 - CBN.com

    Then more recently we uncovered the Orphel Inscription of which Hebrew scholar and University Professor Gershon Galil says "We are dealing here with real kings…the kingdom of David and Solomon was a real fact" this inscription “places the ancient Israelites in Jerusalem earlier than previously believed, under a time the Bible indicates was King Solomon's rule.”

    Not common at all for any small local nomadic chiefdom…

    Then National Geographic News (Published February 26, 2010) posted an article about Solomon’s Wall, which states, “The tenth-century B.C. wall is 230 feet (70 meters) long and about 6 meters (20 feet) tall. It stands along what was then the edge of Jerusalem—between the Temple Mount, still Jerusalem's paramount landmark, and the ancient City of David, today a modern-day Arab neighborhood called Silwan”… according to archaeologist Eilat Mazar, who led the dig, “The stone barrier is part of a defensive complex that includes a gatehouse, an adjacent building, and a guard tower, which has been only partially excavated,”

    “Over the years, the structures have been partially demolished—their building materials scavenged for later structures—and what remained was buried under rubble,”

    1 Kings talks all about the wall of Jerusalem that Solomon built. The ancient artifacts associated with the massive 270 foot wall all date to around the mid-10th century B.C.! So the archaeologist concludes, "We don't have many kings during the tenth century that could have built such a structure, basically just David and Solomon"….

    But wait….“No, no, no” says the anti-Biblicists…”nomadic chiefdom…nomadic chiefdom…haven’t you been listening to those modernist liberal scholars? Stop inundating me with real facts, I have already made up my mind.”

    Now you can make up yours! In His love…Paul
     
  16. BL2KTN

    BL2KTN Scholar, Author, Educator

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    The Mistakes of Paul and Jesus

    Response to Pshun2404

    First, in the future, please cite your references. I am not impressed that you plagiarized Apologetics Press for the entire first half of your post. I thought I was debating Pshun2404, but clearly I'm debating unknown authors. Still, your uncited articled, Camels and the Composition of Genesis, makes a serious flaw. Yes, archaeologists have discovered a fragment of rope made of camel hair, and yes they've seen some pottery with a camel depicted... but that does not change the fact that we find camel remains abundantly up until the 9th century BC... before the 9th century we find no camel remains. So regardless if you find a piece of rope made out of camel hair, or a piece of pottery depicting a camel, you haven't shown by any stretch of the imagination that camels were domesticated, especially when a million times that evidence points to no camel domestication at the time of the patriarchs.

    "The bones were in archaeological layers dating from the last third of the 10th century BC or later — centuries after the patriarchs lived and decades after the Kingdom of David, according to the Bible," the researchers said. The few camel bones found in earlier archaeological layers probably belonged to wild camels, which archaeologists think lived there during the Neolithic period...

    Notably, all the sites active in the 9th century in the Arava Valley had camel bones, but none of the sites that were active earlier contained them.

    "Tel Aviv University's Department of Archaeology and Near Eastern Cultures say camels weren’t domesticated in Israel until centuries later, more like 900 BC."

    "The introduction of the camel to our region was a very important economic and social development," Ben-Yosef said. "By analyzing archaeological evidence from the copper production sites of the Aravah Valley, we were able to estimate the date of this event in terms of decades rather than centuries."

    - Camel Bones Suggest Error in the Bible

    The rest of your post is full of conjecture. The majority is simply text from CBN, in which "House of David" is stated to mean "Dynasty of David" (it doesn't mean anything other than house/clan). I've already said that David and Solomon existed, but that they aren't recorded by the Assyrians or the Egyptians (who were expert record keepers), so they were likely small. What your references say doesn't change that in the least. That's why I'm in agreement about a defensive wall having been likely built by a king David or a king Solomon. It's nine feet tall for crying out loud - it's not as if we're discussing the pyramids. That a king of a small people group could build a nine foot tall barricade is unremarkable.

    Now, does this post from you (2/3 of which is copy and pasted) defend the bible's flawed archaeology?

    No.

    It doesn't answer why there are zero domesticated camel remains during the times of the patriarchs and King David, yet there is abundant remains starting in the ninth century BC. It doesn't answer the flawed stories about Ai and Jericho. It doesn't explain the impossible Exodus, of which there is zero archaeological evidence. It doesn't deal with the book of Daniel, nor with the reality that David and Solomon were minor leaders of a small people group. It doesn't reconcile the error about Ur of the Chaldeans during the time of Abraham.

    Essentially, your post was three articles copied and pasted together, with mostly 1800s, 1940s, and 1960s references, followed by pretend dialogue from caricatured "liberal scholars".

    [​IMG]

    More Errors of Paul

    As we review briefly some additional errors made by Paul, I'm especially going to focus on areas in which Paul and Jesus disagree. Here are but a few:

    Paul says everyone who calls on the Lord will be saved.
    Jesus disagrees.

    Jesus says believers are not judged.
    Paul disagrees.

    Some of the saved can fall away.
    Jesus says that isn't true.

    Jesus says He and the Father are one.
    Paul says Jesus is an image of God.

    Jesus commands believers to go and baptize others.
    But Paul says he's not really supposed to baptize much.

    Jesus says not to boast.
    Paul spends half a chapter boasting

    In fact we might be able to create a debate such as you and I have between Jesus and Paul. Interesting that the thirteenth apostle, he who never met Jesus other than what he said he saw through visions, would contradict Jesus in so many ways.

    [​IMG]

    The errors of Jesus

    But what about Jesus whom Paul is supposed to agree with? Is he recorded as having made any mistakes? Well, unfortunately, he is. I say this with no great pleasure; my modus operandi comes from the recorded teachings of Jesus (love God with all your heart, and love your neighbor as yourself). Yet I must admit that even Jesus made mistakes according to scripture.

    Jesus said that anybody who calls on His name, He would do it (John 14:13-14), yet we know that there are billions of prayers in his name unanswered. In Mark 10:19, Jesus messes up the ten commandments by adding "defraud not," even though that commandment doesn't exist. In Matthew 12:5, Jesus says that the law depicts priests as defiling the Sabbath, yet they are blameless... problem is, that isn't found anywhere in the law. In Matthew 21:6, Jesus misquotes Psalms 8:2. In Luke 23:30 Jesus misquotes Hosea, switching the words "hills" and "mountains".

    But it should not be surprising that Jesus made some errors according to scripture (and there are many more than what I have listed). There is one place in the bible that explicitly says Jesus wasn't all-powerful...

    Then Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his hometown, among his relatives, and in his household.” So He was not able to do any miracles there, except that He laid His hands on a few sick people and healed them. -- Mark 6:4-6

    [​IMG]

    Two more left...
     
  17. pshun2404

    pshun2404 Newbie

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    Re-read the references and I never even heard of your article from Apologetics Press until just now…

    Now for the devastation of Jericho. According to some, occurred anywhere from two hundred (based on the false assumption of Rameses), to a thousand years before he possibly could have arrived. Yet the dating and circumstances, also uncovered at Hatzor, Bethel, and the other Cities allegedly destroyed by Joshua, line up perfectly with the Bible (dating to about or shortly after 1400 B.C.)!

    In 1929, Dr. John Garstang, Director of the British School of Archaeology in Jerusalem, found the walls had fallen out flat (exactly as the Bible had described), the entire city had been burned (yet not plundered). There was no silver or gold, (Scripture tell us God had commanded it to be offered to Him). The granaries were burned with the grain still in them (unheard of anywhere in that time). Among the smashed idols and broken pottery, were Egyptian scarabs from the time around Thutmoses II to Amenhotep III (1400 – 1350 B.C.). Only one section of wall remained. A corner wall window to a single compartment (see the Rehab story). Bethel, Lachish, and the other cities, were all destroyed around the same time period, and since then we have also found the Altar of Joshua at Mount Ebal (discovered by Adam Zertal in 1980). Finally, the Amarna Tablets, written to Amenhotep IV around 1300 B.C., less than a half of a century later, record Joshua’s very name in a description of the wars that had taken place in the land of Canaan.

    Of all the archaeological expeditions of the Joshua cities, the one clung to is the later changed report of Kathleen Kenyon. Insisting the Jericho site to be judged by conventional chronology (and assuming Rameses) claimed since Joshua could not have come into the land until around 1200 B.C. and the dig was from around 1400 B.C., he obviously was a couple of centuries too late. Later she changed her mind.

    Next, there were no “innocent people” in these walled city-states. The people were relentless, violent, territorial, idol worshippers, and worshippers of demons. Many were barbarians, some of whom sacrificed their own children. Rape, robbery, and deriving pleasure from torturing their enemies was commonplace. Many practiced sodomy, pedophilia, and cult prostitution, as part of their religion. Recent archaeological inscriptions indicate that actually they were far worse but we can save that for another conversation if necessary.

    The city Gezar excavated in 1902, and later in 1934. Hatzor was also found, and apparently later rebuilt by King Solomon for commercial and military purposes just as revealed only in the Bible (1 Kings 9:15)! The records we now have for some of these cities goes back as far as 2000 B.C. (see the Mari Archive). Later the others were also found. Further-more, all these cities had been utterly destroyed by fire, sometime between 1500 and 1300 B.C., again exactly the period as revealed by the Bible. This being the time period that the Book of Joshua describes, despite the critical scholars attempts to devise campaigns to post-date the man Joshua as a historical figure, so as to make it seem like he had not arrived on the scene until nearly two hundred years later.

    Hatzor, or Hazor, was more recently excavated again, this by renowned Archaeologist Yigdal Yadin’s prime pupil Ammon Ben-Tor. The results were later confirmed by the respected old scholar himself. In it Ben-Tor found two small palaces within a wall 240 feet long and 12 feet thick, but still the entire city was ransacked and burned. The pottery, as well as the idols were all thoroughly smashed and burned. Dating showed the event to have taken place in the later Bronze age between 1400 and 1300 B.C.! He only four possible groups as being responsible, or capable enough of such utter destruction.

    First, there is the group of people who have come to be known as “the sea peoples“. Just exactly who these people were, we do not really know for sure. Some speculate they were early Greeks or Cretans, others believe them to be related to Tyre, who were also known for their seafaring capabilities.

    However, Ben-Tor notes that none of the telltale ceramics of the "sea peoples " were found. Secondly, other Canaanites may have been capable, only this does not make any sense, because their common Canaanite gods were smashed to pieces, so this is highly unlikely. In the third instance, the Egyptians could have accomplished this. Only whoever did this smashed all of their idols as well. Therefore, ruling them out leaves only one other peoples capable at that time, and that was the Hapiru some of whom were most likely the Hebrews! Rather apologetically, and left with no other option, despite the assumptive conclusionism of the critical school’s unfounded bias, Ben-Tor concluded with this “I can’t help it if this is what is written in the Book of Joshua“!

    Dr. Hershel Shanks, Editor and Chief of Biblical Archaeology Review (see March/April 1990), tells us that recent Radio Carbon testing indicates that the Jericho event, which happened in the same ongoing campaign as the other cities mentioned, did not occur in the later time period that was first implied by Dame Kathleen Kenyon, but rather in this earlier period sometime shortly after 1400 B.C. (again just as the Bible indicates), and this merely confirming the research of many, many, others some of which I have shared with you above.

    Now what does all this mean? It means we cannot always trust the conclusions of those who are wise in their own eyes, simply on the basis of their reputation, or their alleged authority but we must consider as a whole what all the demonstrable evidence indicates.
     
  18. BL2KTN

    BL2KTN Scholar, Author, Educator

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    Refuting Pshun2404

    It is now the ninth round, with only one remaining. I have laid out my claims against the divine origins of the bible. We have seen the flawed cosmology of the ancient Hebrews, the belief in an invisible dome that held the sky together. We have seen that El and Yahweh were separate gods up until the burning bush. We have seen that Jacob worshipped El, the head of the Canaanite pantheon. We have reviewed the canonization of the gospels, and how highly cited Jewish works were destroyed in favor of Greek gospels with contradictory stories. We've looked at the three different accounts of Jesus' last words. We have read together the atrocities put forth by the god of the Old Testament: admittedly requiring child sacrifice to defile the people, having young women with detached hymens stoned, and purchasing rape victims. We have seen the failed prophecies of Tyre, the failed prophecies of Daniel, the erroneous claims of prophecies about Jesus. We've reviewed the massive blunder by the gospel of Matthew. Finally, we've examined the errors of Paul, Jesus, and the archaeology of the bible.

    Let us now remember the criteria from the beginning of the debate:

    [​IMG]

    1) It should transcend whatever culture produces it since the origination is divine.
    The bible does not transcend the cultures from which it originates. It supports slavery, women as property, sex slaves, genocide, and ancient Levant cosmology. It believes in a pantheon of gods from the Canaanite religion, El being the chief of them, whom the patriarchs worship. It is not transcendent in the least.

    2) The text should not contradict itself.
    The very first chapters contradict each other, with the creation order being completely different in Genesis 1 and in Genesis 2. This continues all the way through until Jesus and Paul, where we have seen in great detail that their gospels are very different. Jesus is reported to have said he is God, Paul said he's merely an image of God.

    3) It should be accurate in its factual details.
    From the existence of domesticated camels to the destruction of Ai, the bible fails miserably at factual details. Consider that Abraham is supposed to have come from Ur of the Chaldeans, yet it wouldn't exist for centuries after he supposedly lived. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to get into the geographic mistakes of the New Testament, but I think we've shown convincingly that the bible isn't accurate.

    4) Its portrayal of the divine should be mature and insightful, not immature and petty.
    The god of the Old Testament has a man eaten by lions because he refuses to punch a religious leader. Is there really anything more to say? Yes, there is. It's even worse when God looks for a mate among the animals before using a rib from Adam to make a female. And when a gang of rapists comes along, God sees no wrongdoing when a man throws his sex slave out to them to be gang raped, then cuts her into pieces, mutilating her body. This is not a mature depiction of the creator who is capable of quantum physics.

    5) At the very least, the text should represent the very best that humanity can aspire to, if not even greater.
    The bible doesn't represent the best of what humanity can produce. In places, it is beautiful. In others, it is grotesquely false. It is a book of contradictory messages, changing theology, and brutal, ancient beliefs. It tells of an Exodus that didn't occur, it prophecies correctly until the date it is written, and it follows a war god named Yahweh, son of El, who demands blood sacrifice in order for forgiveness.

    Answers to Pshun2404

    From Apologetics Press:

    " In an article that appeared in the Journal of Near Eastern Studies a half-century ago, professor Joseph Free listed several instances of Egyptian archaeological finds supporting the domestication of camels."

    From Pshun2404:

    "In an article that appeared in the Journal of Near Eastern Studies (1944 edition, pp. 189-190), archaeologist Joseph Free, lists several instances supporting the domestication of camels."

    A few words changed here and there, but anybody can see the plagiarism.

    This is insanity. You tell us the city had been burned, but not plundered... offering to us that instead of being plundered, the silver and gold had been burned as an offering to Yahweh. The problem is, we would have found the melted silver and gold. Silver and gold do not just burn away into nothingness. The city, therefore, was plundered.

    I don't find any evidence whatsoever of Joshua's name in the Amarna letters. They do reference a barbaric people group burning Canaanite cities to the ground - the Abiru (the Egyptian name for murderous outlaws). Still, the tablets never mention that these Abiru came from Egypt, or were former slaves - something we would expect to see considering how hated and renown they should have been if these murderous outlaws were biblical Hebrews.

    In actuality, what we see is what we should expect. The bible is based on some fact and some fiction. Jericho was likely destroyed much earlier than the bible records, perhaps by the Hebrews or perhaps not, and other cities such as Ai were absolutely not conquered by the ancient Israelites. Other cities likely were conquered as described. It isn't surprising that the authors of the bible would want to attribute a vast number of victories to their ancient armies, whether they were the victors or not. Places like Ai had likely become legendary among all people groups of the ancient Levant.

    This is silly. There were no innocent people in the Canaanite cities? Really? Five year olds aren't innocent? Infants aren't innocent? And by what moral high ground can the ancient Hebrews claim they were proper judges for the sins of others? We've shown in this debate that the Hebrews sacrificed their own children, as was commanded by Yahweh in order to defile them. We've seen that the Hebrews were okay with mutilating the corpses of sex slaves given over to gang rape. We've seen that the Hebrews were okay with stoning a woman to death if she didn't bleed during sex. This is incredible depravity!

    This is the same Hershel Shanks who was sued and lost in a lawsuit for having plagiarized leading Dead Sea Scrolls author Elisha Qimron. This is the same Hershel Shanks who endorsed the James ossuary as being the real deal... though it is now known to be a scam.

    "“The religionism and ideology of Shanks is also evident in how the magazine judges scholars by the degree to which they support Judaism, Israel, or Zionism… such characterizations also display the degree to which being for or against Israel (not just against Judaism) is important for Shanks.” -- Hector Avalos

    [​IMG]

    So you're citing a known criminal guilty of copyright infringement, a guy who has supported fraudulent archaeology, and someone whose publication exists as a way of supporting Zionism. Of course he would conclude Jericho is dated as the bible describes... and we should trust his conclusions just as much as we trust his conclusions about the James ossuary.
     
  19. pshun2404

    pshun2404 Newbie

    +515
    Non-Denom
    Married
    This is insanity. You tell us the city had been burned, but not plundered... offering to us that instead of being plundered, the silver and gold had been burned as an offering to Yahweh. The problem is, we would have found the melted silver and gold. Silver and gold do not just burn away into nothingness.

    I never said the gold and silver were burned.

    Never mentioned Hebrews out of Egypt

    You must not have read about the final decision on the Ossuary…you are mistaken.

    We find camel remains abundantly up until the 9th century BC... before the 9th century we find no camel remains.

    This statement is an utter self-contradiction, First you say we find them abundantly up until the 9th cent. B.C. then in the same breath you say we do not…

    But the truth is “Camel bones have been found with household ruins at Mari. A Sumerian text from the time of Abraham discovered in the ancient city of Nippur which clearly implies the domestication of camels by its allusions to the use of camels’ milk (Kitchen, 1966, p. 79). So it is more honest to just admit either you did not know OR else you are “selectively excluding” evidence which negates your point and selectively covering what appears to (a technique used by media and Ad men to “shape public opinion” in other words engineer the conclusion). So I unlike you will not falsely accuse you and assume you just did not know.

    You haven't shown by any stretch of the imagination that camels were domesticated

    A petroglyph depicting a camel and a man from the Sixth Dynasty (2345-2184 B.C.).

    A terra cotta tablet with men riding on and leading camels from pre-dynastic Egypt

    Now the story of once vehement atheist Sir William Ramsey:

    Once when teaching on the absurdity of the New Testament as history and the importance of “evidence”, this renowned historian/archaeologist was challenged. Being bothered by this about a year later he set out on what would become a long journey using Luke-Acts as a model to once and for all silence this myth.

    William says, “I may fairly claim to have entered on this investigation without prejudice in favor of the conclusion which I shall now seek to justify to the reader. On the contrary, I began with a mind unfavorable to it...but more recently I found myself brought into contact with the book…as an authority for the topography, antiquities, and society of Asia Minor. It was gradually borne upon me that in various details the narrative showed marvelous truth. In fact, beginning with a fixed idea that the work was essentially a second century composition, and never relying on its evidence as trustworthy for first century conditions, I gradually came to find it a useful ally in some obscure and difficult investigations.”.

    After about a few years of diligent research Ramsey was so convinced he must have made a mistake he re-examined all that he had found. He even revisited some of the places and available examples to confirm.

    He concluded “You may press the words of Luke in a degree beyond any other historian's and they stand the keenest scrutiny and the hardest treatment…Luke is a historian of the first rank; not merely are his statements of facts trustworthy; he is possessed of the true historic sense...In short this author should be placed along with the very greatest of historians

    See St. Paul the Traveler and the Roman Citizen (Grand Rapids, 1951)

    Before completion of his journey Ramsey not only fell on his face and confessed Christ, but went on to become a defender of the faith that even his lifelong friend Robert Ingersoll found difficult to swallow.

    All the world’s greatest archaeologists agree as touching the Old or New Testament (Sir Frederic Kenyon, John Garstang, Yigdal Yadin, W. F. Albright, Joseph Free, and many more) that the claims and attitudes of the critics are contrived historical developments not based on all the facts. Yale’s famed Millar Burrows is quoted as saying “…archaeological work has unquestionably strengthened confidence in the reliability of the Scriptural record. More than one archaeologist has found his respect for the Bible increased by the experience of excavation.... Archaeology has in many cases refuted the views of modern critics. It has shown, in a number of instances, that these views rest on false assumptions and unreal, artificial schemes of historical development (Millar Burrows, What Mean These Stones? (New York: Meridian Books, 1956)." I say Amen…and Amen

    Besides many direct confirmations by 1000s of inscriptions and circumstances of place finds, there are also many evidences found thereby that confirm cultural norms and events that only someone personally familiar with those cultures near the time could possibly have known of (see Ebla, Mari, Armana, Nuzi, and more) and that these help bring understanding to things said in the scriptures is unquestionable! For one example, when Isaac calls his wife Rebekah his “sister” (Genesis 26) modernists accused him of lying, but he was not! Because “wives” could not inherit from the husbands line, there was drawn up a legal contract where the husband could adopt his wife as his “sister” (sisters could inherit and had superior legal protection) and so we see this in Abraham and in Isaac (see “Tablets of Sistership” among C.H.Gordon’s “Nuzi Tablets”). You see my friend, the spade does not lie, but men do!

    As for your criteria….you set them and I did not agree with them…so you kept them to the best of your ability, this is good. I did however keep the rules laid out by the mods. Also I was not planning to and stated I would NOT be reacting to the barrage of typical Bible criticisms (most answered many times) I knew would be forthcoming. My intent was never to win, it was to present evidences for…in my opinion, you had to prove your case and I do not believe you did, and I am sure you feel I also did not.
     
  20. BL2KTN

    BL2KTN Scholar, Author, Educator

    +68
    Deist
    Engaged
    US-Libertarian
    Why?

    We've now reached the end. And so, with this final post, the topic will be "why". Why in the world do some people believe the bible to be the divine word of God? It's going to be an intriguing final entry. And before I do, let's do something different than what transpires in most debates. Let's do this:

    For the sake of the debate, I will concede every single thing Pshun2404 said in his previous post.

    Now why on earth would I do that?

    Let's say that Pshun is right about camels and ossuaries, about silver and gold. Let's say Pshun is right about archaeologists being overwhelmed by the Bible's accuracy and converting due to its authenticity. For the sake of the argument, let's say all that is true. We could argue about that issue infinitum, and if Pshun2404 wants, maybe we can specifically debate the archaeological accuracy of the bible in a future, formal thread. However, the problem for Pshun2404, and for believers of the bible being the divinely inspired word of God, is that the archaeological mistakes I have presented are a tiny, tiny issue for the bible's divine origins.

    We have reviewed that the bible's cosmology is flawed. I don't think Pshun2404 is going to be able to explain away the raqia that is attested to in both Genesis and in Job.

    "Can you join Him in spreading out the skies, hard as a mirror of cast bronze?" -- Job 37:18

    We didn't even get into the worldwide deluge in this debate. Could Pshun2404 possibly explain how the neon tetras in my aquarium survived a worldwide flood when they specifically require freshwater? Or could he explain how these little fish all ended up together in the Amazon River, rather than being spread all over the world due to the flood? Of course not.

    [​IMG]

    We could get into the Tower of Babble, which we didn't. We could discuss why there is zero evidence for the Tower of Babble when we look at linguistic remains of ancient peoples. We could look at how the bible contradicts itself about the Tower when it says the following immediately after the flood:

    " These are the sons of Ham by their clans and languages, in their territories and nations." -- Genesis 10:20

    But we have talked about many pertinent issues in this thread, most of which have not been debated. I suspect we haven't debated them because Pshun2404 has been enthralled with discussing the bible's archaeology and history... and probably because it's what he does. For example, in the following thread you will find Pshun2404 says the exact same things he's said in this debate, verbatim.

    Pshun2404 on Archaeology

    Now there's nothing wrong with that, as long as you understand that he's copying and pasting from some source material that he has been holding onto since at least 2012. This source material uses references from the 1940s, 50s, and 60s, but it really doesn't represent modern archaeology. That's why when Pshun2404 responds to my articles from the 1990s and sooner, he does so with dubious references of long ago. Of course, debating Pshun2404 has been a bit like debating a hundred other sources. Take for example, what turns up if you select a section of Pshun's text and search it on Google:

    An Example of the Plagiarism

    But back to all of those issues we've discussed in this thread which I do not think Pshun2404 has had any answer for:

    1) Why did the exodus leave zero archeological remains behind?
    2) Why does a loving God have laws written for his people that allow a rapist to purchase his victim?
    3) Why does the bible not condemn a man who sacrifices his own father by burning her alive to Yahweh?
    4) Why does Yahweh have a man eaten by lions for refusing to punch a religious leader?
    5) Why was Ai destroyed a thousand years before Joshua?
    6) Why does Jesus misquote Psalms and Isaiah?
    7) Why does Paul purposefully change the meaning of Psalms 14 in Romans 3?
    8) Why is the book of Daniel accurate in its prophecies until 167 BC, and then wrong every single time after that?
    9) Why does the gospel of Matthew mistranslate a prophecy, then have Jesus doing what the mistranslation says (and which no other gospel does)?
    10) Why are there three different attributed last words of Jesus?
    11) Why is the order of creation different in Genesis 1 and Genesis 2?
    12) Why were Jewish gospels destroyed in favor of Greek, contradictory gospels?
    13) How was Abraham from Ur of the Chaledeans when it didn't exist for centuries after he was supposedly from there?
    14) Why would a loving Heavenly Father command his people to beat a woman to death with rocks if her hymen isn't attached?
    15) Why would Moses command for his armies to destroy everything except girls for sex slaves?
    16) Why did God choose a punishment of people eating their innocent children?
    17) Why did God cause people to sacrifice their firstborn children and animals in order to defile them?
    18) Why did Jesus argue that the Christ shouldn't be a descendent of David?
    19) If Jesus commands us not to boast, then why does Paul for an entire chapter of the New Testament?
    20) Why does Jesus say in the New Testament that he will answer anyone who calls in his name, yet we know that billions of prayers in his name go unanswered?

    These are but some of the issues which Pshun2404 has not answered in this debate. And, I actually think that I've responded to every single thing he's said up until the last post (which I'm conceding out of the need to end). Will he answer these in his final post?

    Conclusion

    Why do people believe the bible is the divinely inspired Word of God?

    Because the Emperor Said So

    [​IMG]

    _______

    It's been a pleasure...

    Blue
     
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