Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Kicking Against the Pricks, part one:

“…it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks." Acts 26:14


As one of those poor unfortunates who for their living, thinks, and reads and writes about religion, I am often forced -  like a zoo keeper being pelted with monkey poop – to read statements like this one from   


The Bible is a Divine Revelation. In the Bible we find out what God wants mankind to know about Himself and His plan. The Bible is the only written revelation of God to man.


No one has ever successfully refuted the Bible. Many mock the Bible but avoid challenging it point by point. No one who has done in-depth research, honestly examining the evidence for the Bible's inspiration and truthfulness, has been able to disprove the Bible.


History records many who set out to disprove the Bible, who instead became believers. Our Bible is composed of 66 books, by about 40 different writers of various backgrounds, living during a period of about 1,600 years -- yet they present one message. Such a miracle can only be explained by there being one divine Author, who was in control of all these human writers.


The Bible writers came from many walks of life, including kings, peasants, philosophers, fishermen, herdsmen, poets, statesmen, scholars, soldiers, priests, prophets, a tax collector, a tent making rabbi, and a Gentile doctor. The Bible was written in three different languages: Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek.


The writings contained in the Bible belong to a great variety of literary types including history, law, poetry, educational discourses, parables, biography, personal correspondence, and prophecy. Books written by men have no unity of thought on even one subject. Some of them invariably disagree with others. But there is perfect unity between the books of the Bible -- which speak of hundreds of subjects in many fields. There is no contradiction among them.


Who but God could produce such a book?


Or as Kyle Butt, M.A. at Apologetics Press puts it:  


…the Bible does, in fact, contain a legitimate contradiction of some kind, it has not yet been found. When all the facts are considered, each alleged biblical contradiction has been shown to be something other than a true contradiction. That is a powerful statement, considering the fact that no book in the world has been examined more closely or scrutinized more carefully. After the Bible has been put under the high-powered microscope of criticism, and dissected by the razor-sharp scalpel of supposed contradictions, it rises from the surgery with no scratches or scars, none the worse for wear.”


As such, for instruction and fun I humble present:



A bluffers guide to the God debate; Part one:

Biblical contradictions.


The first interesting thing about this argument, is that it appears to be a rather ad hoc, co-option if the Islamic claim that the Qu’ran was so perfect that it must have been written by god, and thus proves the existence of god, what is known in the business as an evidentiary Miracle. The second thing to note, is that, put  simply, the claim that the Bible is free of contradictions is so entirely false and fatuous that it could be made only by a lair, or an illiterate. Even if we look simply at the three synoptic Gospels, which, given that all serious biblical scholars agree, are basically competing plagiarisms of the same text or texts  one might expect to stick to the same story we find dozens of problems.


To take just two examples, Luke says Jesus was born in the reign of Quirinius, while Mathew says it was under the rule of Herod, Luke says that eight days after his birth, Jesus was taken to the Jerusalem Temple before the family returned to Nazareth, while Matthew goes in for the slaughter of the innocences and has the family fleeing to, and living in Egypt until Herod’s death.


However it is the contradictions between the synoptic gospels (Mathew, Mark and Luke) and the gospel of John were things get truly, and obviously inconsistent.  


Mark tells us that Jesus started his ministry after John the Baptist was imprisoned, while John has Jesus meeting up with John in the middle of his Baptizing, and getting Baptized. Mark claims that Jesus restores the sight of a man who was struck blind, while  John claims that the same man had been blind since . Mark claims that having been re-in-sighted, Jesus tells the now ex-blind man not to tell anyone what has happened, while John has Jesus saying no such thing and the man running into town to tell everyone he can find. Matthew says that Simon of Cyrene came to Jesus’ aid after he stumbled on the road to Golgotha and carried the cross, John says Jesus carried his own cross all the way.  In Matthew, Jesus justifies his refusal to save the souls of the Gentiles or Samaritans by telling his disciples that he came to save the 'the lost sheep of the house of Israel' But John claims Jesus never said any such thing and in fact went to Samaria and converted whole villages.


And it goes on this vain. John mentions three Passover feasts, with Jesus and the disciples, meaning that Jesus' ministry must have lasted at lest three years, as opposed to the one-year claimed by the other three gospels. According to John the scourging of the money lenders in the temple is damn near the first thing Jesus does once he gets all messiah-full, while in the other three it’s just before he gets crucified. In John Jesus did all his most notable massiahering in Iudaea Province and Jerusalem, going to Gaililee only briefly, and of his miracles in Galilee only the loafs and fishes and the walking on water mesh with the other three gospels.


In fact, if the other three gospels had been lost and John was all we had to go on, then we would have an entirely different, and perhaps more accurate, and certainly more (if not entirely) human Jesus. John has no great prophetic statements about the coming of the kingdom, and in fact only mentions the kingdom of God twice, once to say, that unless one is born again, he will not see it, and again to affirm that it is not of this world, while the other gospels go on at considerable length about the coming of kingdom as a new earthy order which will over throw the old in a orgy of violence and blood that will give rise to a new post-post-lapserian age


John has no Sermon on the Mount, nor any Olivet discourse, which is Jesus prophetic speech on the Mount of Olives, just before the passion, about the destruction of the Temple, the Tribulation yet to befall Israel, or the various signs of Jesus return. Nor does he instruct his disciples to go out and heal and preach.


In fact John seems to have been so disagreeable he wouldn’t even agree with himself if he could help it,  First John says, or example that Jesus baptized, then latter says that he didn’t baptize, first he claims that  God put all world things into Jesus’ hands, then two chapters latter tells us that god in fact didn’t. He insists that Jesus did not bear witness to himself, then says that he did. And as for John agreeing with anyone else, well frankly that would be a fucking miracle.

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