Not enough evidence, God! Not enough evidence!

Throwback Thursday…

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The great atheist philosopher Bertrand Russell was once asked what he would say if he found himself standing before God on the judgment day and God asked him, “Why didn’t you believe in Me?” Russell replied, “I would say, ‘Not enough evidence, God! Not enough evidence!'”

Interesting sentiment from Russell if you think about it for a minute.

I’m not trying to show any disrespect for Russell, or to diminish his intelligence, or make light of his sincerity in the least. I am sure Russell’s beliefs were sincere and I believe he had genuine and, in his mind anyway, logical and rational reasons for having such beliefs

That being said, the statement “Not enough evidence, God! Not enough evidence!” is loaded with problems.

Problem number one is what God Himself has to say. I don’t think He minces any words here. [emphasis added]

“For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities–his eternal power and divine nature–have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.

– Romans 1:20

…without excuse

…without excuse

…without excuse

Let that sink in a minute then ask yourself if Russell is making the intellectually arrogant mistake of blaming his lack of belief on the failure of a divine being who gave humanity no excuse.

Are you making the same mistake Russell did? If so, how do you think the conversation at judgment will go?

You: “Not enough evidence, God! Not enough evidence!”

God: “…without excuse.”

Seems fairly cut and dry to me.

Anyway. I made what I feel is a fairly compelling case for the reliability of the Gospel yesterday which (and this completely surprised me) failed to impress a non-believer and frequent commenter on this blog.

Of course the post did not contain rock-solid proof but it did contain compelling evidence that makes it highly likely that the Gospel accounts found in the Bible are reliable. And, therein lies the problem, and the reason for this post. In other words, I believe it.

But, what exactly compels people, normal people like you and me, to believe anything?

Of course, it’s our will, our pride, our presuppositions, and our arrogance.

I can’t provide proof that is coercive enough to compel anyone to become a Christian if it is something they do not want to do any more than I, or God Himself, or anyone else for that matter, can prove that God exists.

It’s impossible for God to prove His existence to beings with freedom of thought. For any conceivable thing that God could do to demonstrate his existence, one or more of the following objections can always be made:

· The person(s) witnessing the demonstration were hallucinating or dreaming

· The demonstration was an optical illusion

· The demonstration is a natural phenomenon which science will eventually explain

· The demonstration was not caused by God, but by someone else, possibly someone masquerading as God: Satan, an advanced race of aliens, a committee of deities, etc.

· The demonstration was misinterpreted: aliens made a mistake when they tried to contact us, the scientists who documented it made mistakes or were biased towards theism, etc.

· God existed when he caused the demonstration to occur, but he’s since vanished or died

· The demonstration never occurred, because the world was created yesterday and all our memories were faked, or because The Matrix is reality and this world is a virtual simulation created by aliens/robots/etc. to occupy our minds

Since many of the above objections can’t be absolutely disproven, God’s existence can’t be absolutely proven. This holds even for such popular suggestions as God’s writing a message in the sky or God implanting knowledge of his existence in every human (actually, God has already done things similar to both of these).

A message in the sky could have come from aliens; an inborn knowledge of God could have been a lie implanted by the alien race that created us, or it could be an evolutionary artifact dating to the time when human-level consciousness first emerged.

God has granted us freedom of thought, which includes the freedom to deny his existence. (Incidentally, Jesus pointed out this phenomenon in Luke 16:19-31, and we see it in practice in passages like Mark 3:22 and Exodus 32:1.)

Bottom line here is that belief in God, Jesus, and Christianity are matters of the heart, not the head. Russell’s, and maybe your, problem is not that there wasn’t/isn’t enough evidence available.

Instead, his problem was that he made a conscious choice not to believe the evidence he had, the same evidence we all have.

So if you’re waiting for me, or any other blogger, to give you something that will compel you to believe, force you to believe, or remove all possible doubt about belief, I have news for you.

It isn’t going to happen.

Now before you chock up my failure as a win for non-believers, you should read what God has to say on the matter. He will judge you, not me. And He will judge you on what you chose to believe, not on the fact that He “failed” to give you the evidence you thought you needed.

And, and I might be just speculating here, He certainly won’t give you a pass because I wasn’t able to make a case you thought was compelling enough.

“The fool says in his heart, ‘There is no God.’”

– Psalm 14:1

“For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities–his eternal power and divine nature–have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.

– Romans 1:20

“Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

– John 14:6



Categories: Apologetics, Christianity

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

286 replies

  1. There is never enough evidence to convince an unbeliever that God is real, His wrath awaits, and Jesus is the only refuge. Lost man sits in judgment on holy God and can only be convicted of the truth if the Holy Spirit regenerates the soul of the man.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Once logic and man’s ego get involved in this debate there is no way to convince an unbeliever that The Bible is truth. They have hardened their hearts to truth and lean on their own understanding, rather than turning their ears towards God. This happened in the Garden of Eden when both the woman and man ere told they could be like God. Your bog is always full of encouragement. There are times when the encourager needs encouraging. I will pray for your continued strength.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I share my testimony and a days writing you may send to someone else who is blind to the truth found in God’s Word…

      As one who can personally testify of a changed heart, regenerated by God through saving faith alone in the Lord Jesus Christ, your blindness to the truth found in God’s Word is to be expected… I was personally hooked on internet porn for some time… I could have even been on a porn site the morning God graced me with salvation at the age of 54… Praise God for His longsuffering with me. I have included a days writing that mathematically proves that the Bible is 100% inspired by God, as 40 or so writers made over 1000 prophecies, which up until recently 668 have come about… Interestingly, not one of these 668 prophecies of the future has ever been proven false… Check out this link below for 1 chance in 100 billion, billion, billion, billion that man could write the Bible without God’s direction through the Holy Spirit…

      Have a blessed day in the Lord, bruce

      Spend some time here… http://godsmanforever.com/2014/11/17/the-bible-is-nothing-but-the-truth-proven-mathematically-11172014-by-bruce/

      P,S, I re-post this a few times a year to share the Gospel of Christ, with the truth about how God graces sinners through saving faith alone in the Lord Jesus Christ… Blessings in Christ, bruce

      http://godsmanforever.com/2015/01/04/the-truth-about-sin-1042015-by-bruce-reposted-from-7112013/

      Liked by 3 people

  3. What the frak is this utter drivel?

    You insult your own limited intelligence with this back-slapping, hug yourself Oh-I-feel-so clever- tripe.

    I am not asking for evidence for a god.
    I asked for a single piece of contemporary evidence for the character, Jesus of Nazareth.
    I really believed that even you had just a tad more grey matter.

    Honestly this just makes you look like a blithering idiot.

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    • And here we go with the insults.

      You are asking for something you will reject no matter how compelling it is because you want no part of belief.

      If you really desire proof you can have faith in, what’s stopping you from looking for it?

      You have the same access to the same information I do.

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      • I asked for contemporary evidence for Jesus of Nazareth. You said I must hold on, suggesting you had some, and then you produce this?
        You are a fraud, James and you know it. You have nothing. Not a thing.
        And all you are trying to do is wriggle out of
        your self – created strait jacket with rather pathetic semantics in a somewhat silly attempt to make yourself look clever.
        It did not work.
        There is no evidence and the character you worship is nothing but a narrative construct.
        That is what you <em have to deal with.
        Get used to it my friend. It's all make believe.

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        • Arkenaten – show us some contemporary evidence for any ancient historical person. That is an impossible task. All the evidence of an ancient person having lived is ancient. Everything else is secondary and hearsay. Your demand for such demonstrates you care not for the truth, but sit in judgment of the One Who created you.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Good points.

            The point I tried to make in the post is that illogical demands for evidence makes a non-believer’s lack of belief someone else’s problem.

            The Russell quote sums that up perfectly.

            Liked by 1 person

          • We are talking about a man that walked on water, was the darling of thousands, performed miracles every where he went, cured the blind, raised the dead, not least the Saints that went walkabout in Jerusalem during his supposed crucifixion and eventually came back from the dead himself.

            And you are telling me this attracted no attention during the three years he walked the length and breadth of Galilee.

            Don’t be such a fatuous arse.

            He is a narrative construct. Plain and simple.

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            • Arkenaten – The Bible is full of evidence that you refuse to acknowledge. Many unbelievers admit that there is more ancient manuscript evidence of the Bible than for any other not-as-ancient writings that everybody takes as credible. You do not believe because God has not granted you the faith necessary to believe.

              Liked by 1 person

              • Don’t come here and lecture me like some damn rookie! I haven’t got the time for people like you who have just woken up and think the are the first to realise coke has bubbles!
                What you know of the history and compilation of the bible wouldn’t fit on the back of cigarette packet, and you demonstrate this with this formulaic indoctrinated apologist spiel.
                You know zip about the archaeology.
                You know zip about the gospels, Eusebius, Marcion, Arius, Celsus Tacitus or even Josephus.
                Go and read some history before you dare come and lecture me.
                Start with science. Maybe Herzog, Finkelstein, Dever or Kenyon.

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                • There are none so blind as those who will not see. But – as I have already mentioned – this is not your doing. All men are blind to the Truth unless the Lord of heaven open his eyes.

                  Liked by 1 person

                  • Yep…a truly indoctrinated fool. As soon as one is presented with the task of doing some genuine research, or forced t confront genuine, simple common sense question they back out and return with stupid drivel.
                    Is it any wonder people like Ken Ham and Ron Wyatt are the laughing stock of the scientific community when they have groupies like you hanging on to their every word.
                    What next? Will you ask me why I hate ”God?”
                    Or did a member of the clergy ”damage ” me in some way?
                    Or maybe you will pray for me?
                    You guys are so damned predictable.
                    What are you so afraid of?

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                • Oh Ark,

                  You spend an extraordinary amount of time commenting here and on a few other blogs I follow so it seems you do have time to spend on people like us.

                  Why?

                  What do you stand to gain from people you consistently claim are liars, frauds, idiots, mentally diminished, arses, delusional, indoctrinated?

                  Did I miss any of your terms of endearment?

                  This doesn’t seem very productive to me.

                  Again, why?

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                  • Because religion is one of the major divisive forces of humanity – because people like you indoctrinate this shit into children.
                    Because if we were rid of it it would be one less thing to worry about and remove one major barrier to uniting people across the globe.

                    Because you have absolutely nothing to support a single claim that you make, evidenced by the fact that even in your own ridiculous religion you cannot agree – there are around 30,000 different Christian cults alone!
                    Because in the name of your damn god people have butchered their way across the globe.
                    Why?
                    Figure it out yet, hombre, or are you going to retort with another dip-shit reply?

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                    • Ark,

                      So if I’d only given you some contemporary evidence for the existence of Jesus, all this bitterness, anger, and hatred of religion would have went away?

                      God is capable of doing amazing things but…

                      I will pray for you and, Ken Ham and I will both pray for you this weekend before our Zumba class.

                      God bless,

                      James

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                    • Think about me what you will, I am ending this before it devolves further.

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                    • And the cowardly exit – as always.
                      You have no integrity and demonstrate how shallow you and your religion are every time you or your fellow christians post a blog.

                      I feel for any children you may come into contact with.

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        • I know what I told you, felt that there was nothing I could say to sway you, so I decided to post what I did.

          Anyway, why do you constantly assert that “there is no evidence”, then ask for me to provide some.

          You can either believe there might be evidence you haven’t seen which could prove you wrong or that there is none, not both.

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        • If you are truely interested there’s a good book called Case for Christ that does demonstrate historical evidence of Jesus outside the Bible

          Liked by 1 person

          • Lee Strobel? Are you out of your frakking mind?
            The guy is a paramount arsehole.
            There is NO EVIDENCE. Understand?
            Super …

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            • Roman historians actually did document Jesus and the crucifixion

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              • I apologize for my “friend” Ark. At times he acts like someone who is off their meds.

                Liked by 1 person

              • Errrrr, what?

                Where on earth do you get your “information” from?

                There doesn’t exist a single contemporary source for a man name Jesus. Not one. Nothing. Not even a piece of graffiti.

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                • There is a lot of evidence John.

                  The case for the reliability of the New Testament Gospel eyewitness accounts is dependent on the reliability of the authors. Eyewitnesses are typically evaluated in criminal trials by asking four critical questions: Were the witnesses really present at the time of the crime? Can the witnesses’ accounts be corroborated in some way? Have the witnesses changed their story over time? Do the witnesses have biases causing them to lie, exaggerate or misinterpret what was seen? We can examine the Gospels and their authors by asking similar questions. Is the Bible true? The cumulative case for the trustworthy nature of the Gospels confirms their reliability:

                  (1) The Gospels Were Written Early

                  It’s much harder to tell an elaborate lie in the same generation as those who witnessed the truth. The Gospels were written early enough to have been cross-checked by those who were still alive and would have known better:

                  (a) The missing information in the Book of Acts (i.e. the destruction of the Temple, the siege of Jerusalem, the deaths of Peter, Paul and James) is best explained by dating Acts prior to 61AD

                  (b) Luke wrote his Gospel prior to the Book of Acts

                  (c) Paul’s referencing of Luke 10:6-7 (1 Timothy 5:17-18, written in 63-64AD) and Luke 22:19-20 (1 Corinthians 11:23-26, written in 53-57AD) is best explained by dating the Gospel of Luke prior to 53-57AD

                  (d) Luke’s reference to his Gospel as “orderly” in Luke 1:3 (as compared to Bishop Papias’ 1st Century description of Mark’s account as “not, indeed, in order”) and Luke’s repeated references of Mark’s Gospels are best explained by dating Mark’s Gospel prior to Luke’s from 45-50AD

                  (2) The Gospels Have Been Corroborated

                  The Gospel accounts of the first century are better corroborated than any other ancient historical account:

                  (a) Archaeology corroborates many people, locations and events described in the Gospels

                  (b) Ancient Jewish, Greek and Pagan accounts corroborate the outline of Jesus’ identity, life, death and resurrection

                  (c) The Gospel authors correctly identify minor, local geographic features and cities in the region of the accounts

                  (d) The Gospel authors correctly cite the ancient proper names used by people in the region of the accounts

                  (e) Mark’s repeated reference and familiarity with Peter corroborates Papias’ description of Mark’s authorship of the account

                  (f) The authors of the Gospels support one another unintentionally with details obscure details between the accounts

                  (3) The Gospels Have Been Accurately Delivered

                  The Gospels were cherished and treated as Scripture from the earliest of times. We can test their content and accurate transmission:

                  (a) A New Testament “Chain of Custody” can be reconstructed from the Gospel authors (through their subsequent students) to confirm the original content of the documents

                  (b) Much of the Gospels (and all the critical features of Jesus) can be confirmed in the writings of the Church Fathers

                  (c) The vast number of ancient copies of the Gospels can be compared to one another to identify and eliminate late additions and copyist variants within the text

                  (d) The earliest caretakers of the text considered it to be a precise, divinely inspired document worthy of careful preservation

                  (4) The Gospels Authors Were Unbiased

                  The authors of the Gospels claimed to be eyewitnesses who were transformed by what they observed in Jesus of Nazareth:

                  (a) The authors were convinced on the basis of observation afterward, rather than biased beforehand

                  (b) The three motives driving bias were absent in the lives of the authors. They were not driven by financial gain, sexual (or relational) lust or the pursuit of power. They died without any of these advantages

                  (c) The testimony of the authors was attested by their willingness to die for what they claimed. There is no evidence any of them ever recanted their testimony

                  The gospel authors were present during the life of Jesus and wrote their accounts early enough to be cross-checked by those who knew Jesus. Their accounts can be sufficiently corroborated and have been accurately delivered to us through the centuries. The authors lacked motive to lie to us about their observations and died rather than recant their testimony. Is the Bible true? The case for the reliability of the Gospels is strong and substantive. We have good reason to trust what the eyewitnesses told us about Jesus of Nazareth.

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                  • One question James: Who wrote the gospels?

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                    • There are excellent reasons for maintaining the traditional ascriptions of Gospel authorship.

                      Who do you believe wrote them?

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                    • “There are excellent reasons for maintaining the traditional ascriptions of Gospel authorship.

                      What does that mean? What “traditional ascriptions”?

                      Simple question, James: Who wrote the gospels?

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                    • The Gospels were written by Matthew, Mark, John, and Luke.

                      Their authorship, date, and historicity, is supported by the weight of the evidence, and rejected only by those whose own theological agenda forbids them from accepting it.

                      Who do you think wrote them?

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                    • You aren’t serious, are you?

                      No scholar attributes the gospels to anyone called Matthew, Mark, Luke or John. In fact, the “according to” was only added in the 4th (or was it late 3rd?) Century. The simple truth is, no one knows who wrote those books. They are anonymous.

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                    • That is absolute bull. Present your evidence please.

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                    • Google is your friend.

                      And seriously, if you don’t know even this much about your book, then there’s probably really no hope for you.

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                    • So you decline. OK.

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                    • You’re serious then? You really don’t know this?

                      Good heavens! I am honestly shocked at your ignorance. Seriously, I didn’t think anyone, even a rabid fundamentalist, didn’t know this.

                      Here, a starting link, from a Christian website.

                      https://thechurchoftruth.wordpress.com/synoptic-gospels-not-writen-by-matt-mark-luke-or-john/

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                    • Very funny sir. That website is Christian like I am a man.
                      Of course it’s one of the many kook “scholar” agenda driven cherry-picked places you probably read all the time.

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                    • There’s no helping you. You madam, are willfully ignorant.

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                    • I don’t think that’s a fair assessment of Madelyn at all John.

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                    • I’m sorry, you know I’m usually not rude, but that type of utter ignorance pushes me over the edge.

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                    • And yet you keep engaging?

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                    • To her? No, that was my last comment. There’s no point at all wasting my time on the likes of that type of blind, crude, uneducated black hole of oblivion.

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                    • John. I asked you a to support your statement. You declined to do so. In what way does demonstrate MY ignorance?

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                    • John,

                      We don’t agree on much but, credit where credit is due, you are pretty good at defending atheism.

                      That being said, why do you waste your time and bring frustration on yourself by endlessly debating people who are arguably not gifted Christian apologists? Seems like a monumental waste of time to me.

                      I like discussing faith with non-believers but there are some who comment here I couldn’t be bothered with because I know the conversation will be mind-numbing.

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                    • I wasn’t talking to Madblog. She butted in.

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                    • Joined the conversation would be a better way to put it, she is always welcome here.

                      Even still, what about David? Seems like you beat up on him for sport then claim he’s an idiot. Why?

                      Seems a bit school yard bullyish to me.

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                    • I never called him an idiot.

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                    • I know but that seems to be the general assessment between you and your peers. I read Ark’s blog.

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                    • A conclusion based on very strong and repeated streams of evidence, as you have recently discovered regarding Wyatt’s wheel. It’s one thing to be unaware of information (such as the contemporary state of biblical archaeology and the general thinking of Jewish rabbis), but its another thing altogether to be willfully, deliberately, purposefully ignorant of things, such as the position held by Creationists, as David is. That type of “belief” deserves no respect. As the meme goes:

                      Blockquote>In the age of information, ignorance is a choice.

                      This doesn’t, however, mean I think David a fool, or an idiot… Simply misguided and confused, and probably a great deal scared.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • Wyatt’s wheel is nutty but I am a creationist and believe it’s a perfectly rational belief.

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                    • You’re a young earth Creationist, or just someone who think your particular Middle Eastern god (the one from the Ugarit pantheon, son of El and Ashera) had a hand in the Bang 14 billion years ago?

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • I am a creationist who believes the Bible doesn’t require us to believe creation happened in six literal days.

                      So, young Earth? No!

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • I don’t think David is misguided or confused at all, he reminds me of me 15 years ago.

                      If I had to make an honest assessment of David, It would be that I think he gets in over his head, he choses his battles poorly, and he doesn’t have much experience with internet atheists.

                      Who knows though. Could be he’s cutting his teeth now and will one day be one of the greatest apologists of our time 🙂

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • With the material you guy’s have to work off, I doubt it 😉

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                    • Concerning their authorship the Rev. Dr. Hooykaas says: “They appeared anonymously. The titles placed above them in our Bibles owe their origin to a later ecclesiastical tradition which deserves no confidence whatever” (Bible for Learners, Vol. III, p. 24).

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                    • The “anonymity” of the Gospels authors is something that many Skeptics claim. Yet I have noted that in making this argument, critics never explain to us how their arguments would work if applied equally to secular ancient documents whose authenticity and authorship is never (or is no longer) questioned, but are every bit as “anonymous” in the same sense that the Gospels are.

                      If it is objected that the Gospel authors nowhere name themselves in their texts — and this is a very common point to be made, even among traditionalists — then this applies equally to numerous other ancient documents, such as Tacitus’ Annals. Authorial attributions are found not in the text proper, but in titles, just like the Gospels.

                      Critics may claim that these were added later to the Gospels, but they need to provide textual evidence of this (i.e., an obvious copy of Matthew with no title attribution to Matthew, and dated earlier or early enough to suggest that it was not simply a late, accidental ommission), and at any rate, why is it not supposed that the titles were added later to the secular works as well?

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                    • James, I believe you know fully well that there does not exist a single scholar today who contends the gospels were written by anyone who knew Jesus, let alone by the names given to the text. They are anonymous. This is common knowledge. In fact, the four gospels were not even mentioned by any church father until late in the 2nd Century, and do remember, they were written in Greek, not Aramaic.

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              • It was one Roman historian – Tacitus – and repeated here-say. And some say even this is an interpolation. Do you truly think you are dealing with a damp behind the ears rookie?

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                • So if you don’t believe a secular historian you won’t accept any evidence

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                  • You are probably a relatively new re-born who is demonstrating this by the lack of intellectualism in your questions.
                    Strobel? honestly,</em?

                    And then Tacitus?
                    If you have only recently come across Tacitus I suspect you are also busy being fed all the other fundamentalist horse apples that are a prominent feature of your fundamentalism.
                    There is a very good chance I know more about Tacitus than you've have visits to the toilet for a crap.
                    I'll offer 1-10 you haven't even '
                    held a copy of Annals or Histories let alone read the frakking books.
                    Please do not offer Josephus as your next ”witness”.

                    May I suggest you first go and look in a dictionary and read the meaning of Contemporary.
                    Once you have done that and if you wish to have an adult conversation and ask a grown up question, feel free.

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  4. good message – will said! God bless

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Certain folks DEMAND answers from scripture, Sola scriptura! they shout, while at the same time DENY THE AUTHORITY from scripture which gives the answers their only merit. Look at the supreme lack of logic being engaged, where the precursor to the question, guarantees ANY answer as completely unacceptable.

    There is NO correct answer to the atheist under his own terms.

    Would it be wrong to laugh at such a statement? Hoop jumping, fact twisting, and logic avoiding are all used to justify further unbelief, while at the same time charging the believer with malfeasance.

    ‘In the name of Jesus Christ of NAZARETH, rise up and walk,’ said our colleague Peter, and immediately through the worth of that fair name, a lame man rises up and walks for the first time.

    But yea, nothing ever good came out of Nazareth, after all, it was a town like Pitcairn, Pennsylvania. Ever heard of it?…….. That’s the point.

    O how the foolishness of God is wiser than men.

    Liked by 1 person

    • There is no ”authority” in scripture.
      It is nothing but historical fiction and the compilation has suffered from dreadful redaction and some awful interpolation.

      I am surprised the average intelligent christian does not cringe when they read it.
      Mind you, if you are the poster boy for your religion, Colorstorm …. hmmm.
      Yep, I get it….

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  6. (This is for the silent ones in the bleachers, watching from afar, as God’s word puts man in his place every time)

    ‘There is no authority in scripture?’ Five sighs.

    The genealogies are undisputable. The records are infallible. The words are convicting. The prophecies are sure. There is no book on earth which presents man as the word of God does, after all, God knows what is in man. No other book on earth reveals the Lights and Perfections of the living God. Then there are the ‘living epistles,’ the lives of men, known and read by all.

    No authority? It is the eternal anvil which has not only withstood, but wore out every petty hammer against it, including yours. Remember the great bible scholar Satan? Yea him. His attack on the word of God left Him empty as He had the audacity to twist and quote scripture to the Lord of glory. And the Lord simply magnified His AUTHORITY with the exemplary response: ‘It is written again,’ and the arch-enemy was reduced to the slithering creature that he is. And oh by the way, All authority in heaven and on earth belongs to Christ.

    The Lord gave no explanation, no credibility to the assault, whose only dialog was: ‘It is written, again.’ Period. Did you hear that? No explanation.

    But your insolence will persist, and your folly will continue to be visible to all. And you will continue to assault the moon with a pea shooter Meanwhile, the lustre of God’s word will lose nothing.

    .

    (I’ll not use up any more of James space here).

    Liked by 1 person

    • You can use as much space here as you want 🙂

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    • Your ignorance is astounding, though quite understandable considering every bit of critical thought has been metaphorically beaten out of you on the ”anvil’ of indoctrination.
      You come across as a blathering idiot and every request for evidence t back even a single claim is met with scriptural diatribe.

      Show me a single piece of peer reviewed evidence that supports any f this blatant polemic you continue to espouse?
      The average Christian scholar would cringe with embarrassment to be in your presence, Colorstorm, and this continued attempt to shore up your fellow fundies pathetically weak arguments is ignoble and merely highlights their overall ignorance as well as your own.

      I suspect that your mindless ramblings would even have the character Jesus of Nazareth wincing at the level of mindless sycophant that claims to be following in his footsteps which, I might add, none of you are in any way imaginable.
      You are a shameful disgrace to your religion.

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      • In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, (did I say Nazareth?)

        what you call ‘scriptural diatribe’ is the AUTHORITY which you deny.

        As far as a disgrace, yes, I agree, wish I were more like Christ.

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        • Hey Dickhead! Wonder when you would grace us with your amazing intellect.

          Be like Jesus of Nazareth?
          Well, give away all your possessions, leave your family and bugger off to the wilderness somewhere.
          Oh …and don’t call us … we’ll call you.

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    • Amen brother !! Amen !!

      Blessings in Christ, bruce

      Liked by 1 person

  7. ““For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities–his eternal power and divine nature–have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made”

    “Let that sink in a minute then ask yourself if Russell is making the intellectually arrogant mistake of blaming his lack of belief on the failure of a divine being who gave humanity no excuse.”

    What is meant by the statement ‘a divine being’? What’s your definition for ‘divine’? “God’s invisible qualities–his eternal power and divine nature” are just words to me, is ‘invisible’ just ‘not visible’ and god can somehow be mapped by say, gravity?

    ‘Invisible’ here reads like a placeholder, it doesn’t appear to mean ‘not visible to light’ so much as it means ‘not interacting with the universe in any discernable way at all’. If I’m wrong, please let me know.

    “And He will judge you on what you chose to believe, not on the fact that He “failed” to give you the evidence you thought you needed.”

    I’m trying to figure out this ‘choose to believe’ stuff. Did you choose to believe in god, or were you convinced? In your ‘conversion story’ you seemed to make the argument that you were covinced, especially when you read the bible. Were you not convinced by evidence?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hey Andrew,

      Thanks for reading and replying.

      Some interesting stuff here, I will get to all of it soon.

      James

      Like

    • Andrew,

      I am not a deep person who writes things that are open to many different interpretations.

      That being said, it’s hard to believe you don’t know exactly what I mean by “divine being.”

      In the same regard, my use of “invisible” should not be confusing either.

      As far as my testimony goes, yes I was convinced by evidence I found convincing. But, and I think it’s important to note, I was convinced before I accepted God.

      This is important because, even though I was convinced, I chose to reject what I was convinced of in favor of what I wanted to be true.

      This is what many non-believers do which is why would say you can most certainly chose what you want to believe.

      Even C.S. Lewis himself came to God as “the most reluctant skeptic in all of England.”

      If I sound glib or condescending here, that is not my intent, I think your comments are reasonable and fair.

      I do however think you should know that I am not a fan of lengthy philosophical discussions that often lead nowhere or word games.

      God and Christianity are very simple, I prefer to weed out noise and keep discussions the same way.

      James

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      • “I am not a deep person who writes things that are open to many different interpretations.

        That being said, it’s hard to believe you don’t know exactly what I mean by “divine being.””

        I am not a person who enjoys putting words in other people’s mouths, so I tend to ask for a LOT of clarification, especially on religious topics because while this might seem strange to you, I’ve actually heard a lot of different types of answers to that question. Partly why I hold the view that ‘god is ill-defined’.

        Likewise, I don’t really hold a definition myself, because any definition I’ve been confronted with generally becomes self-contradictory, which gets far more confusing… or I get lots of answers of people telling me “you know what I mean, drop the issue” when in point of fact, I really *don’t*. I never grew up with religion, the arguments from any religion lack a translation into my epistimology as for how they can be considered reliable. Let alone hearing a coherent definition for what someone means by ‘god’ or the ‘supernatural’, or even ‘divine’.

        So while you say “even though I was convinced, I chose to reject what I was convinced of in favor of what I wanted to be true”…

        I really never did go through that process, exposure to religion happened well after I learned skeptical inquiry and it seems a lot of people have problems with continued questions of ‘why’ or ‘what do you mean’ when it comes to them explaining religious faith.

        That might be fine for them, but if I’m to be convinced of something, I really do need to understand it. I don’t understand religious epistimology, the evidence for belief, let alone what the ‘god’ concept itself is supposed to be defined as. Not for lack of trying, either, I do spend strange amounts of time reading philosophical arguments.

        I think my favorite CS Lewis quote, since you’re evidently a fan, would be “I have found that nothing is more dangerous to one’s own faith than the work of an apologist. No doctrine of that faith seems to me so spectral, so unreal as the one that I have just successfully defended in a public debate.”

        It seems even the biggest apologetics eventually come down to ‘there are no intellectually satisfying justifications’, but then if that’s the case, why does anyone come to believe in the first place?

        I’m less convinced these topics are ‘simple’ with each new person I talk to. It might be if you only had to keep one description of your ‘chosen’ god in your head at one time, but my mind is filled with arguments from dozens of religions, handfulls of sects in each one, and a basic epistimology which centers around skeptical observation. Religion in my mind is anything but simple.

        Also, for what it’s worth, my major was in physics, so my entire education has concerned about very strictly defining terms and understanding clear pathways for evidence tied to observation. That roughly is how I form thoughts and try to parse through what someone says. My questions are seldom aimed at random words or phrases, when I ask for a definition, I really am asking for a definition… one I cannot provide for you without putting words in your mouth. I usually like to avoid doing that.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Andrew,

          Not trying to insult your intelligence here but have you heard the Gospel message in a simple form?

          You talk a lot about God, epistemology, philosophy…which only, to me anyway, confuse the conversation.

          Hear the Gospel, be moved by the Holy Spirit to believe it, respond to it.

          That is all there is to it, really.

          Like

      • “have you heard the Gospel message in a simple form?”

        I have, but generally I’m pretty sure that form wouldn’t be something easy for you to agree with. ‘The bible is like any other religious book from a bronze age society. It has some useful glimpses into the world back then, and can be analyzed like Herodotus, but ultimately, just a book’.

        If I’m to take the bible, or any other religious book, as ‘true’ then philosophy and epistemology are likely the only ways of convincing me, because ‘faith’ or ‘belief without sufficient evidence’ is antithetical to the way I distinguish ‘fact’ and ‘fiction’. Naive belief isn’t satisfying for me, I spend way too much time questioning what I believe and why. And my physics education really did help satisfy my inquisitive nature. It’s amazing the kinds of things you can learn about the universe with just a basic calculus education, let alone higher order math.

        If I were ‘moved by the holy spirit’ I wouldn’t know what that would feel like, because I literally have no concept in my mind of what you mean by ‘holy spirit’. When you were young, and felt emotions of joy, excitement, awe, I’m sure your parents told you “that’s the holy spirit”. When I was young, when I felt those things I was reading science books, when I looked up at the stars and for the first time got a basic understanding of just how incomprehensibly huge it is. Those emotions are tied to entirely different sets of phenomenon for me, and when I read the bible, or any other religious book, I find them interesting glimpses into the past, but I don’t feel any of the kind of overwhelming feeling of awe like I did when I first learned how to derive a constant speed of light from Maxwell’s Equations. (That moment will likely stay with me till I die, there’s something so magical about the process) Herodotus was a fun read but I don’t believe that there are giant gold digging ants in India.

        … ‘A brief history of time’ was a fun read, complete with ‘facts’, but compared to when I learned how to derive a simple big bang model from statistical mechanics (or hell, deriving stat mechanics itself) was WAY more awe inspiring and illuminating than any book which gives me ad hoc facts without the explanations behind them. No prophets, no central authority, just simple math.

        The gospel, to me, reads like a religious book from an old society, and I have a lot of different religious texts to look at to compare to. Feelings of awe, wonder, and mystery come not when I just learn an ad hoc fact about the universe, but more importantly, learn how we came to know that fact.

        It would be very hard to convince me to adopt a different system of belief unless you challenge the ways I come to my belief. My epistemology doesn’t recognize ‘faith’ as useful, nor ‘wanting’ as useful for distinguishing fact. But, those positions are subject to change via the same process of questioning.

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      • Actually, now that I think about it… the only perspective of the bible that I’ve ever quite enjoyed is nonstampcollector’s youtube videos but I’m PRETTTTYYYY sure you’re not going to enjoy those much at all, and might find them deeply offensive. So, your choice if you want to expose yourself to blasphemy or not. I found them wonderful, but I am very very much not a Christian.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Andrew,

          In all honesty there isn’t much of a chance I will watch the videos.

          Not because I will be offended, I get offended on this blog (and for 15 years in other forums) all the time for what I believe in and see it as little more than an occupational hazard.

          The fact that you see the videos as possibly offensive says, to me anyway, that your thinking is somewhat different than that of the person behind the videos.

          I have seen similar, I’m sure, videos and read similar sentiments and have always gathered that potential offense of readers/viewers isn’t something that is considered or even recognized at all.

          I get that you think they’re wonderful, there was a time when I probably would have too, but the fact that you considered the feelings of a believer speaks volumes. Many non-believers delight in offending people like me and do it for sport.

          James

          Like

      • “The fact that you see it as possibly offensive says, to me anyway, that your thinking is somewhat different than that of the person behind the videos.”

        Not particularly, I just think they’d be offensive to anyone who hasn’t been lead to the conclusion that ‘yeah, that’s how Christians argue’. I’d imagine most Christians watching the videos would say “straw-man straw-man straw-man” over and over, or “we aren’t in a position to question god’s judgement”… but for someone outside the bubble, who has been confronted with nearly any rationalization under the book, yeah, the videos are hilarious.

        I’m just capable of trying to see things from other perspectives, and for someone who doesn’t share my perspective, I’m pretty sure it’d be easy to be offended.

        “Many non-believers delight in offending people like me and do it for sport.”

        I have no desire to offend people for sport, I want to understand people. I want to understand how they think, why they believe what they do, and even if people are wrong about an absurd number of issues, I find it better to understand why than trying to shout “you’re wrong you’re wrong you’re wrong”.

        I mean, you seem to have strange notions about the ‘big bang’, a subject I’m rather well studied on (I even had a professor on WMAP, that you probably should look up cause it’s AWESOME), but if I wanted to convince you that you’re wrong, saying ‘you’re wrong I’m right and smarter and better educated’ is the WORST way to approach it. I’d go about teaching you the same way I was taught, from basic electrodynamics, extended to special relativity and quantum mechanics… then statistical mechanics, and you’d pretty much be home free. I didn’t accept any of those because people told me they’re right, I accepted them because I’ve gone through the rather long process of discovering *why* we know those facts. Teaching you would probably require expanding your math background, but really, a lot of the math is so easy that if you have a basic background in high school algebra, I know how to teach you to derive those facts for yourself.

        My ‘sport’ is thinking, questioning, and discovering, not shouting or insulting.

        … (Actually, if you wanted to learn about the big bang, I really, really like talking about it. I mean a lot. You want to talk about any kinds of feelings of awe or wonder you get from the bible, just thinking about astrophysics makes me a bit giddy.)

        Like

      • Oh, and if you have a basic calculus background it gets SO much easier to teach those facts. Extending algebra to calculus takes a bit of work, first limits, and probably limit proofs just to show the concept is grasped. Then extending that to the limit definition of a derivative… and riemann sums being used to define integrals. And of course the basic theorems of calculus, maybe with a couple techniques here and there, but really, once calculus is formed, vector calc is pretty easy, linear algebra is cake, and with those two firmly in hand electrodynamics is trivial, the reasons we needed quantum mechanics becomes obvious when you prove the ‘ultraviolet catastrophe’ for yourself, and special relativity lets us go back to middle school math to prove the basics of… although that linear algebra knowledge becomes quite useful for understanding four-vectors.

        I’m not sure how many of those are ‘just words’ to you, without any meaning or definition, but I promise you it’s not very technical and not very hard. Math is often given a bad reputation, when it’s really not very bad at all. Sure, Terry Tao’s blog makes my eyes glaze over, but the math needed to understand a lot of the basics of a lot of physics and other sciences is not extremely complicated*.

        *Said before I have ever tried to successfully introduce anyone to the concept of a partition function, let alone the canonical ensemble.

        Like

        • Andrew,

          I have a 16 year old daughter who is taking college algebra for college credit right now and she is a sophomore.

          I, granted it was a while ago, took math through calculus as well as chemistry and physics in high school.

          When I was an undergraduate I signed up for a statistics course, glanced at the textbook, took the CLEP test, and easily got the 3 hours without stepping foot in the classroom.

          Since then I have earned an MBA which required courses in accounting, more statistics, macro and micro economics…

          I can figure out net present value, depreciate costs over time, bla, bla, bla.

          Not saying I’m a physicist here but I do have a pretty intimate understanding of how math works, it comes naturally to me.

          Also, my neighbor is a nuclear physicist and a Christian so the two are not mutually exclusive.

          Like

      • Where have I indicated that it’s impossible to be a physicist and a believer of some faith? While it’s true that cosmologists have fairly low numbers of religious faith in most polls, even there the number isn’t zero.

        Now, I’d argue it’s almost impossible to be a modern cosmologist and deny the big bang post electroweak era, but Fred Hoyle’s ghost will forever continue to haunt me if I said ‘it’s impossible’.

        Anyway, if you had exposure to calculus, then I’ve at least got a basis to handle. And ‘statistics’ is useful, but ‘probability’ is probably the more relevant math discipline to understanding since statistics come from probability theory.

        Have you heard of the ‘curl’ and ‘divergence’ operators? If not, then that’s probably a good place to begin, if you have, then I’ll be able to point you to figure out how to derive a constant c for yourself, and with that, time dilation!

        (You could simply ‘trust’ physicists when they say the speed of light is constant but as I mentioned, I found something really really special the first time I proved it for myself, no amount of people telling me could have convinced me as much as doing it myself… I understood it and understood *why*. That was cool. If it’s not clear, I don’t promote acquisition of ad hoc facts in place of the reasoning behind them.)

        Your nuclear physicist friend could probably help you with that too, I mean, “Christian” or not, math is math, and many of these proofs I’m sure he’s well acquainted with, and finds just as exciting as I do.

        The universe is really, REALLY awesome.

        Like

        • Andrew,

          I never said you said physics and God were not compatible but you do seem to be implying that, if I only had a deeper understanding, I would possibly reevaluate my worldview.

          I actually do trust physicists in matters I don’t understand and I have thought about the big bang quite a bit over the years, it genuinely fascinates me.

          Even if I were to grant you that the big bang is possible, I would still have a major problem getting from there to where we are today using what I know about evolution.

          I agree with you that the universe is awesome, beyond awesome even.

          To me, this speaks to how awesome God is.

          Like

      • “I never said you said physics and God were not compatible but you do seem to be implying that, if I only had a deeper understanding, I would possibly reevaluate my worldview.”

        I’d like to get you to reevaluate your worldview for the sake of reevaluating your worldview, I do the same for myself, that’s an exercise worth indulging in for the sake of it.

        But I would directly state that physics is *nearly* incompatible with a non-big bang cosmology. (I say nearly because everything is subject to reevaluation)… but what most people believe the ‘big bang’ is, isn’t actually what the ‘big bang’ is. There’s a lot of ‘unknowns’ but also a lot of ‘knowns’. They just happen at different scales.

        … It’s just a subject I happen to be really passionate about and can discuss for hours on end without boredom.

        “I actually do trust physicists in matters I don’t understand and I have thought about the big bang quite a bit over the years, it genuinely fascinates me.”

        Because it’s AWESOME. Incredible, amazing, and fun. And what I really love about it is that while getting what’s called the ‘lambda-cold dark energy’ model is quite tricky, proving the basics of the big bang is really really simple, which I found even more incredible. I mean, the fact that such an amazing event can be arrived at via relatively simple mathematics is stunning.

        “Even if I were to grant you that the big bang is possible, I would still have a major problem getting from there to where we are today using what I know about evolution”

        Meh, again, my major was physics. I know a decent bit about evolution, mostly because I’ve spent WAY too long reading random articles about ardi and homo heidelbergensis that I could probably walk someone through the human ancestry tree to go about four million years ago, but it’s not really the most fun of subjects. There are no easy “ah HA! I finally get it!” moments that I can build from, no beautiful clean math. It’s just a fairly messy process with a lot of branches to track through whose evidence is built only by the accumulation of mountains of different facts in multiple different arenas. Equations I can follow. Medical diagrams of the femur of some species of homo eragaster, yeah, I leave that to the people at TalkOrigins.

        I don’t find the ‘evolution/creation’ debate very compelling. I didn’t become a biologist after all. The ‘big bang’ is an easy thing to sidetrack me on because it’s particularly special and because I have had a decent introduction to the topic from cosmologists who specialize in big bang cosmology. It’s a subject I adore, and whenever I see people who either ‘don’t believe in it’ or believe strange things about it, I want to teach them how much more incredible the picture is, and how simple it’d be to discover that with math. Proving the big bang happens to be a lot easier than proving evolution. Not that neither can be done, but just the proofs for at least the general outline of the ‘big bang’ are damn near trivial. (A caveat, I’d say proving anything that happened before the Electroweak Epoch is WAY harder than proving evolution. General outline, fine, specifics, holy crap is that hard.)

        Liked by 1 person

        • I admire your passion for physics, I really do.

          While the subject does fascinate me, I will never have your level of interest nor will I ever get much enjoyment out of discussing it for hours. Sorry.

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        • Andrew,

          Really trying to get some work done here but I did want to touch on something you said.

          “Well, sorta. We’re directly stating that the god described in the bible is described as an immoral being that is described as committing horrible acts that Christians must reconcile to absolve their idea of god from the guilt that any actual entity committing those actions would be guilty of.”

          I would argue that God is presented as He is in the Bible and people are free to make of that what they will.

          That God is an evil being is not a biblical descriptor but instead something that is attributed to Him by people who presuppose He is evil. In other words, this is something many non-believers want to believe because it frees them from worship on moral grounds.

          Something you have also said a few times is that I am a good person, which I appreciate.

          But it has been my experience that, when this line of thinking is used, people often mean that their morality or “goodness” is superior to God’s, therefore worship cannot be reasonably justified.

          Simply put, this is an easy out, IMHO.

          James

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        • Andrew,

          Sorry if I didn’t answer your questions as fully as you may have hoped, I had a much busier day than I expected.

          I also think it’s important for you to know that I try to minimize the amount of time I spend on here over the weekend so you should manage your expectations.

          I do enjoy your comments.

          Have a good weekend,

          James

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      • Ark,

        I discuss these matter how I like to and in accordance with my personal style.

        If you find this off putting enough, there are plenty of other forums you can be a part of.

        James

        Like

      • “That God is an evil being is not a biblical descriptor but instead something that is attributed to Him by people who presuppose He is evil”.

        Lets explore this idea then. “presuppose he is evil”. I’m not doing that. I’m presupposing descriptions of killing people and genocide are evil. I’m saying that when god kills then it is wrong even if it is god because KILLING ITSELF is wrong. I’m talking about shared ethical values that seem to apply to all humans but when god comes in the mixture, god, because it is defined as just and cannot by its definition do anything unjust, suddenly all of those morally abhorrent things become not just ‘ok’, but ‘never morally abhorrent in the first place’.

        I say ‘killing people is evil. Condoning genocide is evil. When I read descriptions of anyone or anything doing that, I call that thing evil based on my presuppositions of the evils of genocide and killing people.’ I didn’t need to presuppose that ‘god is evil’ to read descriptions of atrocities and conclude ‘god is evil’, the presupposition needs to be regarding the nature of morality. Killing doesn’t become ok just because god does it. Excuse me, ‘divine retribution’, because god doesn’t ‘kill’ he just ends life in violent ways for the sins of being imperfect. (Wasn’t it god’s choice to make us imperfect? Couldn’t he have made us ‘perfect’? If it means robbing us of free will, isn’t that better than being punished for all eternity? Why give someone a ‘gift’ when you know the outcome is going to be lots and lots of suffering?)

        When you watch Star Wars do you argue ‘Emperor Palpatene isn’t evil, he’s just misunderstood, if you were a member of the Empire you wouldn’t be saying all these things about him’?

        It seems god is the ONLY being in your mind that you give a free pass for those actions, so much that you stretch the definition of slaughtering entire nations to include ‘justice’.

        Is a description of a being sending two bears to maul someone good if it were anyone but god? Just if it were anyone but god? Is that moral if it were anyone but god?

        … If not, then I think you have a rather large blind spot for ‘godly’ morality.

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    • @Andrew
      Excellent comments, Andrew.
      How anyone can become overawed from reading about a genocidal, meglomaniacal, egotistical misogynist baby killing spiritual rapist and despotic ”son of a bitch” is beyond the realms of normal human reasoning.
      It takes a special kind of individual to read about all these qualities and still declaim: ”Yeah! This guy is real ! This is the example I want to follow. Look how Moses and Joshua turned out? Moral icons! This is The One I need to bow and scrape to and as soon as I have kids I am going to teach the stories and the doctrine to them night and day and if they don’t accept Him I will ensure they understand they will be going to Hell.”
      Isn’t Yahweh just so wonderful ?

      Like

      • “It takes a special kind of individual to read about all these qualities and still declaim: ”Yeah! This guy is real ! This is the example I want to follow.”

        I don’t think it does. It takes a special kind of individual to read those accounts, NOT rationalize them away (such that the genocide and condoning of slavery or murder aren’t ignored) and still believe, but I’m pretty sure nearly anyone who believes reads those passages and doesn’t linger too long on the morality involved. “God works in mysterious ways” and what not, “who am I to question god’s morals” and our beloved ‘context’.

        Those hardly would seem to require a special type of human, they’re thoughts echoed in religion after religion. All it requires is a human who doesn’t confront a potentially uncomfortable fact, and ignores any sense of cognitive dissonance those lines might draw. Sure god sends bears to maul children for insulting elijah, but ‘in context’ it’s not malevolent for a ‘just’ god to punish someone severely for insults. You know these arguments, you know they are there to absolve god of guilt and the people echoing them are not any worse human beings for not wanting to challenge their deity, after all, so far as their religion tells them, challenging god is the one major thing you’re never supposed to do.

        Now, if you had someone who took a pen and paper, sat down from page 1 of the bible, and wrote for themselves an account of each time god kills someone, versus each time satan kills someone… and STILL tries to assert a defense for the morality of the biblical god, you might be onto something.

        After all, a lot of ethics is pretty easy to arrive at without any kind of faith, as I’m sure you know. “Murder is bad”. “Rape is bad”. Etc. Even if the bible doesn’t echo those messages, those who believe in the bible still do hold those values. Clearly someone who believes in a god wouldn’t ascribe bad morals to their god, regardless of what the bible says. If their moral compass begins to make the bible look as gruesome as you or I see them, well, arguments “god is a genocidal egotistical maniac” might hold sway. Until people find their moral compass can’t be reflected in the book, god, to them, holds none of the properties you describe.

        The ethics of most Christians/Jews/Muslims/Hindus/etc tends to be WAY better I find than the ethics of their given holy book. I don’t think we should really lose sight of that fact in dialogue with a believer of any stripe. (I could even give some incredibly weird defenses of Westboro Baptist, hell, I’m sure I could even find myself enjoying a cup of tea to talk with them. Weirdly enough, I think their heart is in the right place. Sorta. Although some of them might delight a bit too much in god’s body count in the bible.)

        Liked by 1 person

        • Great thoughts here Andrew,

          You are 100 percent correct in that there is some cognitive dissonance and glossing over and/or ignoring the uncomfortable bits of the Old Testament on the part of some Christians.

          I however, and I’m not saying this because I believe I am smarter or a better apologist than anyone else, have read all of the problem passages with scrutiny from the perspective of a believer and a non-believer.

          I have also read hundreds of objections to the faith based on the idea that the God of the OT is a horrible serial killer who is not worthy of worship and think they can all be answered.

          Here are my thoughts from an earlier post.

          If you read the Old Testament with the presupposition that you don’t think the God of Christianity is worthy of worship (Like Ark does) and/or read it to find ways to shore up your disbelief, it’s easy to make a seemingly coherent appeal that the OT God is simply awful.

          Consider, for example, the amount of killing that that took place either by or in the name of God.

          While it is true that God intentionally killed many people in the OT, it’s important to understand that God never accidentally does anything. That being the case, there is always, although we might not fully understand it, a reason for His seemingly objectionable actions.

          As nearly everyone knows, to kill and to murder are two different things. Murder is the premeditated, unlawful taking of a life, while killing is, more generally, the taking of a life. Biblically, the same Law that forbids murder permits killing, for example, in self-defense (Exodus 22:2).

          In order for God to commit murder (and therefore be the unjust and immoral being many believe He is), He would have to act unlawfully. You must recognize that God is God. His works are perfect, and all His ways are just. He is a faithful God who does no wrong, upright and just is He (Deuteronomy 32:4; see also Psalm 11:7; 90:9). He created man and expects obedience (Exodus 20:4-6; Exodus 23:21; 2 John 1:6).

          The main objection for most people is that executing innocent is, in fact, murder so when God wipes out whole cities, kills, or directs killing, He is committing an unlawful therfore immoral act. This seems like a reasonable objection on its face but, is it?

          If one searches the Scriptures they will find no examples of God killing innocent people. In fact, compared to God’s holiness, there is no such thing as an innocent person at all. As the Bible says, all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23), and the wages of sin are death (Romans 6:23a).

          In other words, and even though it might be hard for us to understand, God always has a just reason to do everything He does.

          “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD.”

          – Isiah 55:8

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      • “That being the case, there is always, although we might not fully understand it, a reason for His seemingly objectionable actions.”

        Do you recognize though that when you say this, it reads exactly as I echoed ‘ “God works in mysterious ways” and what not, “who am I to question god’s morals” and our beloved ‘context’.’

        You’re absolving god of guilt. Which is fine, because again, you aren’t nearly as bad as a god who does those things, and so you wouldn’t attribute such malice to god, but ‘god has a reason, the actions are only seemingly objectionable’ is nonetheless an excuse to absolve god of the guilt of clearly unconscionable actions. You hold yourself, and humanity to a higher standard than god’s standard for himself. At the very least you have to admit this isn’t ‘leading by example.’

        “He would have to act unlawfully. You must recognize that God is God. His works are perfect, and all His ways are just.”

        Again, this reads as another example of absolving god from guilt just by definition. ‘God is just, so if god kills someone, clearly it’s just, because if it wasn’t just, then god wouldn’t be god, which is clearly not true.”

        Which makes sense. Of COURSE you aren’t going to question god, because who are you to question god. Only until you have some thought along the line of ‘maybe I am allowed to apply my own moral standards to god’ would these arguments begin to hold less sway for you.

        “If one searches the Scriptures they will find no examples of God killing innocent people. In fact, compared to God’s holiness, there is no such thing as an innocent person at all.”

        That’s kinda the key. “No one is innocent, so god is allowed to kill whoever he wants and it doesn’t count as murder”. But I do not read that as ‘holy’ or ‘kind’ or ‘loving’. I read that as the description of a child who likes to play rough with his toys. Hell, I kinda see the same thing even from page 1. You *think* god could have perhaps made the ‘tree of knowledge’ ugly, smelly, and far away where even if Adam and Eve are ‘tempted’ it’s not very strong a temptation. Instead, it seems like parent put a two year old on a window ledge next to a piece of candy saying ‘if you eat the candy, I will push you off the ledge’ then saying to the police ‘hey, he had free will, he could have chosen not to eat the candy’ after they show up.

        Again I’m sure you’ve heard that type of perspective countless times, and I’m sure you chock it up to “well… god’s test is more important, god isn’t that capricious’ and every other rationalization you have been taught. That’s perfectly fine and it doesn’t make me think of you, or anyone else who echos those rationalizations up as worse people.

        … But so far as I’m concerned, on the outside looking in, I see a lot of bronze age morality echoed in the bible, and little else.

        I think the better question isn’t ‘are the things you’re saying rationalizations’ but rather

        ‘why should you have to offer these kinds of defenses for god in the first place? If god just led by example, rather than require you to make these defenses, shouldn’t the bible read very differently?’

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        • Andrew,

          As a former non-believer I get where you’re comming from and understand your perspective.

          The Bible says we are to love God with all our hearts, all our minds, and all our strength.

          Nowhere in Scripture are believers told to check their minds at the door and follow God, no matter what, without question.

          In fact, I question God all the time and think it’s a healthy thing to do because it forces me into a deeper understanding.

          I was even mad as Hell at God for nearly two years for not intervening when my brother took his own life (it nearly cost me my faith), so questions are good and not being a blind follower is also good.

          That being said, I think we have differing ideas of what absolution of guilt means. Let me try to explain.

          If my wife cheated on me, I could still see the value in our relationship, still love her, still forgive her, and do whatever I had to do to mend our relationship.

          Although I wouldn’t have to endorse what she did or forget it, it is an objectively horrible thing, I could absolve her of guilt through forgiveness and reconciliation.

          But absolution of guilt is a human concept and something humans can only do to each other.

          When people say Christians absolve God from guilt, they imply that God is an immoral being that has committed horrible acts that He needs to be absolved from so we can follow Him with a clear conscience.

          The point I was trying to make before isn’t that God is bad but what He does is OK because He’s God and I have no right to question Him but that God is all good and cannot, by His nature, do anything bad.

          Hope this makes sense.

          James

          Like

      • Insomnia is a terrible curse to break. I swear I’m living on Japanese time.

        “Although I wouldn’t have to endorse what she did or forget it, it is an objectively horrible thing, I could absolve her of guilt through forgiveness and reconciliation. ”

        Because you’re a good person. Which is why the idea of punishing someone eternally for temporary crimes seems evil, not something a good person would do.

        “When people say Christians absolve God from guilt, they imply that God is an immoral being that has committed horrible acts that He needs to be absolved from so we can follow Him with a clear conscience.”

        Well, sorta. We’re directly stating that ‘the god described in the bible is described as an immoral being that is described as committing horrible acts that Christians must reconcile to absolve their idea of god from the guilt that any actual entity committing those actions would be guilty of’.

        You have to remember that people who say that are using the line of reasoning to examine your thought process, not that they somehow believe the concepts themselves, and honestly think those actions actually happened. When you watch Star Wars you think “wow, Palpatene is evil” but you don’t think Star Wars is real.

        All that said, this is the most interesting line you wrote.

        “In fact, I question God all the time and think it’s a healthy thing to do.”

        I really want to explore that idea. What are your biggest doubts with regard to the concept of a god? Especially since you said ‘coming from a non-believer’, but in your conversion story and subsequent replies, you made it clear you were ‘convinced before you started believing’. (If I’m wrong let me know)

        What were the lines of evidence that convinced you, because if you understand my perspective, and grew up a ‘devout’ (pardon the pun) follower of rational inquiry, you should know what arguments were so compelling, and I’m curious if your doubts and questions go back to the arguments that made you believe in the first place.

        PS. I actually don’t know what “The point I was trying to make before isn’t that God is bad but what He does is OK because He’s God and I have no right to question Him but that God is all good and cannot, by His nature, do anything bad” means.

        The two appear functionally identical to me.

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        • Andrew,

          To your last point.

          These things are not functionally identical at all.

          God does not need to be absolved from guilt so Christians can worship Him, He is not guilty of anything He needs to be absolved from.

          In my testimony I said I had evidence I believed in for a time (maybe this wasn’t clear enough) before I accepted Christ but not for my whole life, there is a difference.
          I really have to get back to work, I’ll get to the rest of this later.

          Like

        • Andrew,

          On your view of punishing people eternally for temporary crimes, I think it might help if you looked at it a different way.

          Saying God punishes people eternally for temporary crimes oversimplifies what is really going on and makes it sound much worse than it really is.

          Christianity does not teach that only Christians deserve to go to heaven. Rather, it teaches that no one (regardless of how good and moral they think they are) deserves to go to heaven, because we have all done wrong during our lives (Rom 3:23). We can gain admittance to heaven by repenting of our wrongs, accepting Jesus Christ’s death as payment for our wrongs and deciding to follow and worship him as Lord.

          The principle is that Jesus is the only way to God, not any particular church or denomination (Jn 6:40). Thus, salvation is accessible to everyone and is intended by God for everyone:

          Turn to me and be saved, all the ends of the earth! (Is 45:22)

          I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people…This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all…
          (1 Tim 2:1, 3-6; see also Is 49:6, 52:10, Rev 5:9)

          Indeed, there are people “from every nation, tribe, people and language” who will be saved (Rev 7:9). Thus, far from being exclusive, Christianity is inclusive. Anyone who chooses to accept Christ as Lord and Savior is a Christian and has equal standing with all other Christians before God.

          You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. (Gal 3:26-28)

          Like

      • “God does not need to be absolved from guilt so Christians can worship Him, He is not guilty of anything He needs to be absolved from.”

        Curious. That was a response to “the point I was trying to make before isn’t that God is bad but what He does is OK because He’s God and I have no right to question Him but that God is all good and cannot, by His nature, do anything bad” where I said I find those two functionally identical. I still do (meaning the statement above failed to convince me) but I’m curious if you have an idea as to why. What do you believe my thought process was when reading that line? I mean, I know you can’t read my mind, but I’m curious if you were to evaluate it from a ‘skeptical position’ if you’re good at poking holes in your own arguments.

        I’m pretty sure you understand how I think, you said you were a ‘non-believer’, so perhaps seeing how you adopt a ‘skeptical’ position might help me understand how you view those thought processes.

        Also…

        “Saying God punishes people eternally for temporary crimes oversimplifies what is really going on and makes it sound much worse than it really is.”

        “Rather, it teaches that no one (regardless of how good and moral they think they are) deserves to go to heaven, because we have all done wrong during our lives”

        That doesn’t really read any differently to me. Yes, I know we have ‘all done wrong’ in our lives. Those are temporary crimes. Eternal punishment for ‘doing some wrong in your life’ is pretty vindictive. You could say ‘well we don’t automatically deserve heaven’ and I suppose that’s fine, but the idea of a hell is something only an Eldridge Abomination could conceive of. (Although I guess there are Christian annihilationists who reject the concept of hell altogether out of a realization that ‘hell’ is a really evil idea)

        Also, I know the bible might say “Anyone who chooses to accept Christ as Lord and Savior is a Christian and has equal standing with all other Christians before God.”

        … But 1000 years ago, before Europeans came to the US, I’m prettttty sure not a single native american ever ‘choose’ to accept your god as god. How could they? I mean if you had never in your life been exposed to the bible, at all, can you really say you’d still be a believer of it?

        Like

  8. Good post!

    Sometimes I wonder what it would be like if my husband never saw all the silly little things I do all day long to show I love him. How awful would it be to be doing everything in your power to show somebody they were loved and to have them wall themselves off and declare, “Sorry, not enough evidence.” I think I’d be tempted to smother them in their sleep. Fortunately, I am not God.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fortunately none of us are God.

      You make some god points here IB, God did everything for us yet people still deny Him.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Which god are you referring to, James?

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        • EL, ELOAH: God “mighty, strong, prominent” (Genesis 7:1; Isaiah 9:6) – etymologically, El appears to mean “power,” as in “I have the power to harm you” (Genesis 31:29). El is associated with other qualities, such as integrity (Numbers 23:19), jealousy (Deuteronomy 5:9), and compassion (Nehemiah 9:31), but the root idea of might remains.

          ELOHIM: God “Creator, Mighty and Strong” (Genesis 17:7; Jeremiah 31:33) – the plural form of Eloah, which accommodates the doctrine of the Trinity. From the Bible’s first sentence, the superlative nature of God’s power is evident as God (Elohim) speaks the world into existence (Genesis 1:1).

          EL SHADDAI: “God Almighty,” “The Mighty One of Jacob” (Genesis 49:24; Psalm 132:2,5) – speaks to God’s ultimate power over all.

          ADONAI: “Lord” (Genesis 15:2; Judges 6:15) – used in place of YHWH, which was thought by the Jews to be too sacred to be uttered by sinful men. In the Old Testament, YHWH is more often used in God’s dealings with His people, while Adonai is used more when He deals with the Gentiles.

          YHWH / YAHWEH / JEHOVAH: “LORD” (Deuteronomy 6:4; Daniel 9:14) – strictly speaking, the only proper name for God. Translated in English Bibles “LORD” (all capitals) to distinguish it from Adonai, “Lord.” The revelation of the name is first given to Moses “I Am who I Am” (Exodus 3:14). This name specifies an immediacy, a presence. Yahweh is present, accessible, near to those who call on Him for deliverance (Psalm 107:13), forgiveness (Psalm 25:11) and guidance (Psalm 31:3).

          YAHWEH-JIREH: “The Lord Will Provide” (Genesis 22:14) – the name memorialized by Abraham when God provided the ram to be sacrificed in place of Isaac.

          YAHWEH-RAPHA: “The Lord Who Heals” (Exodus 15:26) – “I am Jehovah who heals you” both in body and soul. In body, by preserving from and curing diseases, and in soul, by pardoning iniquities.

          YAHWEH-NISSI: “The Lord Our Banner” (Exodus 17:15), where banner is understood to be a rallying place. This name commemorates the desert victory over the Amalekites in Exodus 17.

          YAHWEH-M’KADDESH: “The Lord Who Sanctifies, Makes Holy” (Leviticus 20:8; Ezekiel 37:28) – God makes it clear that He alone, not the law, can cleanse His people and make them holy.

          YAHWEH-SHALOM: “The Lord Our Peace” (Judges 6:24) – the name given by Gideon to the altar he built after the Angel of the Lord assured him he would not die as he thought he would after seeing Him.

          YAHWEH-ELOHIM: “LORD God” (Genesis 2:4; Psalm 59:5) – a combination of God’s unique name YHWH and the generic “Lord,” signifying that He is the Lord of Lords.

          YAHWEH-TSIDKENU: “The Lord Our Righteousness” (Jeremiah 33:16) – As with YHWH-M’Kaddesh, it is God alone who provides righteousness to man, ultimately in the person of His Son, Jesus Christ, who became sin for us “that we might become the Righteousness of God in Him” (2 Corinthians 5:21).

          YAHWEH-ROHI: “The Lord Our Shepherd” (Psalm 23:1) – After David pondered his relationship as a shepherd to his sheep, he realized that was exactly the relationship God had with him, and so he declares, “Yahweh-Rohi is my Shepherd. I shall not want” (Psalm 23:1).

          YAHWEH-SHAMMAH: “The Lord Is There” (Ezekiel 48:35) – the name ascribed to Jerusalem and the Temple there, indicating that the once-departed glory of the Lord (Ezekiel 8—11) had returned (Ezekiel 44:1-4).

          YAHWEH-SABAOTH: “The Lord of Hosts” (Isaiah 1:24; Psalm 46:7) – Hosts means “hordes,” both of angels and of men. He is Lord of the host of heaven and of the inhabitants of the earth, of Jews and Gentiles, of rich and poor, master and slave. The name is expressive of the majesty, power, and authority of God and shows that He is able to accomplish what He determines to do.

          EL ELYON: “Most High” (Deuteronomy 26:19) – derived from the Hebrew root for “go up” or “ascend,” so the implication is of that which is the very highest. El Elyon denotes exaltation and speaks of absolute right to lordship.

          EL ROI: “God of Seeing” (Genesis 16:13) – the name ascribed to God by Hagar, alone and desperate in the wilderness after being driven out by Sarah (Genesis 16:1-14). When Hagar met the Angel of the Lord, she realized she had seen God Himself in a theophany. She also realized that El Roi saw her in her distress and testified that He is a God who lives and sees all.

          EL-OLAM: “Everlasting God” (Psalm 90:1-3) – God’s nature is without beginning or end, free from all constraints of time, and He contains within Himself the very cause of time itself. “From everlasting to everlasting, You are God.”

          EL-GIBHOR: “Mighty God” (Isaiah 9:6) – the name describing the Messiah, Christ Jesus, in this prophetic portion of Isaiah. As a powerful and mighty warrior, the Messiah, the Mighty God, will accomplish the destruction of God’s enemies and rule with a rod of iron (Revelation 19:15).

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          • Excellent! Yahweh. That despotic egotistical self-centered, meglomaniacal, baby killing son of a bitch that reveled in genocide.

            Good one! Nice!

            You do realise that Yahweh was simply one of the Canaanite pantheon and originally had a consort, until the Israelites decided monotheism was better, elevated this particular god and did away with his missus?
            Yes? You do know the history of this particular god, I hope?
            You would be some sort of simple indoctrinated apologist type would you?
            And this was why Marcion wanted to ditch Yahweh. But of course, if his view had ”won the day” you wouldn’t have such things as OT prophecy and Original Sin, now would you?

            Nah … surely, James. you’re not like that imbecilic sycophant Colostorm?
            The gods forbid!

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        • Ark,

          By the way, if you’re trying to get me riled up so I’ll call you a pig, swine, or son of Satan, I’m afraid I’m going to disappoint you.

          I read your blog and find what you write, when it’s not about religion, to be quite enjoyable.

          For the record, I don’t think you’re a bad guy at all.

          Jamss

          Like

          • I’m not. And I have no specific desire to get you riled up, but rather by pricking your conscience I would hope that I might spark a modicum of intelligence that I feel is lurking but is so blatantly absent from degenerate half-wits such as Colorstorm and Wally.

            Liked by 1 person

            • Why, Arkenaten, are you so strident and determined to rail against that which you declare exists not?

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              • Why, Manfred, are you so strident and determined to defend what you have not a shred of evidence for?

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                • As stated more than once, there is voluminous evidence that supports the Christian view and belief. But, as also has been said, it is Creator God who grants the faith required to believe and it is He who said those who are not spiritual (such as yourself) cannot comprehend spiritual things. I do not expect you to understand our (Christians) beliefs. But you worldview is allegedly based on the observable, logical, rational – so why are you so concerned that some of us are not like you?

                  Liked by 1 person

                  • There is plenty of evidence of Christians and the religion of Christianity.
                    There is no verifiable evidence whatsoever of the object of Christianity; the biblical character, Jesus of Nazareth.
                    Of course I understand your beliefs , don’t be a bloody half wit and patronize me!
                    You demonstrate your utter ignorance of your own religion every time you open your mouth.

                    Why am I concerned? Because you indoctrinate kids with this shit. That’s why!

                    However,as you keep asserting there is ”voluminous evidence” to support your belief: let’s see some then?
                    Let me see you post some original ideas on this. Maybe you will surprise me?

                    Oh and I dare you to quote Josephus and Tactitus.
                    Go on, Manfred, I dare you!

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                    • Evidence will not convince you, my spiritually dead Internet friend. I will not cast pearls before you. Read the gospel of John.

                      Like

                    • Lol… Been there, done that.
                      Have you read it? All of the bible?
                      I doubt you’re wealthy enough to throw pearls at me my friend and if you were then you sure as shit aren’t following the character or teachings of Jesus of Nazareth, now are you?

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                    • Ark – I’ve read the entire Bible several times. I know – because it’s written in the Bible – that you CAN NOT understand the truths communicated therein because the Lord God of heaven has not granted you new life by faith in Christ Jesus. It is no surprise that a God-hater cannot understand the Word of God. It is what we are told expect. Man cannot make a lost man believe. Unless the Lord grant you ears to hear, you will not, you cannot, you want not.

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                    • Don’t be such a drivel-driven arse! I don’t hate anything let alone gods, and certainly not the literary construct you genuflect to.
                      Okay, maybe I hate Manchester United on a bad day.

                      If you had not only read the bible, but studied it too, including the history and the archaeology you would know already that the evidence shows that the Pentateuch is historical fiction.

                      Now, I can show a modicum of sympathy for whatever emotional setback you suffered that caused to be coerced into admitting you were some sort of ”sinner”, but if you wish to remain blindly ignorant of fact, wish to believe that dinosaurs were on the Ark, and the world was flooded and and Adam and Eve were real humans and a snake talked and a donkey too, then this is your choice.
                      But do everyone a favour? Don’t preach it to kids, okay?

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                    • The Bible says that those that have not been given faith to believe hate God and are war with Him. If you understood what you read you would know that.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • The Bible says. Read that again … The Bible Says

                      Right. Now I have just stated ( to James – you can read too) ) that the Pentateuch is generally regarded as historical fiction by but the most indoctrinated fundamentalists. ( Sorry, do you know what Historical Fiction is, Manfred? Consider a Tom Clancy novel such as; The Hunt For Red October. Some things described are based real people or places – like in the bible, but the rest is a story – fiction. Get it?)
                      This means that most normal people accept what the scientific and scholarly community including around 85% percent of the Jewish population – whose ancestors wrote the damn books, remember have deduced from the evidence.
                      Once more . It is Historical Fiction.

                      Like

            • Ark,

              I appreciate the fact that your opinion of me isn’t 100 percent negative.

              That being said, I think your assessment of Wally and Colorstorm is unfair and a tad juvenile.

              Are they sophisticated apologists who nail every argument and always act as if they are overflowing with God’s grace? No.

              But here’s a newsflash for you. Most Christian bloggers, me included, are not.

              While I may not change your opinion of these guys, they are decent Christians who are doing the best they can to honor God in their way, with the gifts they have.

              The Bible says the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing.

              That must mean that messengers of the cross are thought to be fools to those who are perishing so, I get it.

              While I get it and understand the motivation for it, the insults and constant hominem attacks get tedious.

              Don’t you ever get tired of it?

              Like

              • Disagree. And their blatant ignorance and indoctrinated spewing of scripture – especially Colostorm, clearly demonstrates he for one is not interested in defending his belief by meeting the challenge at any sort of intellectual level, simply because this will be his undoing. Yours too.
                Faith first … everything else a distant second.

                What I cannot understand is why you are all so afraid to deal with the reality: the bible is simply historical fiction.
                Almost the entirety of Jewish culture ( currently around 85% ) have accepted the Pentateuch is fiction and they have come to terms with this.
                Though not widely publicized, It has been in the public domain for at least a couple of generations!
                Generally, once they got over the oops moment it seems to be a shrug and a Oy Vey and business as usual.

                So you made an error in judgement?
                So what?
                It’s not the end of the world.

                I am very, very serious. What are you afraid of?

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    • IB.

      Maybe you would care to outline some of this evidence that we are loved by the god you worship?
      I for one would be truly fascinated.

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  9. Mr. 53:5, I’d just like to say that I appreciate your blog, this particular post, and the patience and grace with which you put up with such hateful, derogatory, arrogant comments.

    I am not a historian, a mathematician, a scientist, or anything of the sort. However, I do understand a little bit about the nature of evidence, being that I have been in a courtroom few times. Much evidence is worthless without context. The same evidence can be used by different parties to come to different conclusions based on how it’s interpreted. So, for someone simply to request evidence does not guarantee that when the evidence is presented a different conclusion is even feasible for the one who has already come to a conclusion.

    I can look out my window and see the sky, the trees, the flowers, and any number of things in nature, including poop on the lawn, speeding cars, pollution, and drive-by shootings. But as a believer, a Christian, I see within the Bible explanations for what I see, which is what gives context to the evidence in front of me. My intellect does not have to be thrown out the window to lie rotting along with the previously mentioned poop in order to believe the Bible, either.

    I do not have any modern, contemporary, or just-off-the-presses evidence that Jesus existed, or whatnot. At the same time I cannot accept that the evidence of creation before me everyday is the product of random, thoughtless processes, those which are supposed to be capable of creating beings capable of such eloquent vulgarities as seen here in the comments above.

    “Evidence! Show me the evidence!” Oh, just stop the charade! You have all the evidence you need! And should one come back from the dead, smelling like smoke, warning you of judgment to come, you’d laugh it off as bad blood pudding (Luke 16:31). Your heart is willfully hardened and incapable of accepting any evidence contrary what you have already determined to be the verdict.

    “I love to think of nature as an unlimited broadcasting station, through which God speaks to us every hour, if we will only tune in.”
    ― George Washington Carver (not an “arse”)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Anthony,

      Great points and, thanks for the compliments, grace is not always easy.

      The quote by Russell sums up belief vs evidence perfectly in that belief is a matter of will, not lack of evidence.

      Thanks for reading and for the thoughtful insight you can call me James.

      Like

    • The problem we face , Anthony, is that for several thousand years, normal people have been subjugated under the heel of religion, whether you like it or not. Whether you care to acknowledge it or not.
      And it still goes on today – just in case you are not au fait with what’s happening with ISIS, Syria, etc etc. Oh, do not worry, I hadn’t forgotten , your religion Anthony, but I imagine there’e enough heinous example I didn’t want to make youy gag on this gorgeous Friday afternoon.
      Tell, me Anthony how much grace do think is being extended when a pedophile Priest is fucking a child and telling them they will go to hell should they speak up?
      How about the at Arse-Hat William Lane Craig lecturing that Divine Command Theory is perfectly acceptable.
      Or humongous arseholes like Ken Ham indoctrinating kids that we all romped around the savanna with dinosaurs that were nice Veggisaurs until naughty Adam and Eve ate an apple.

      I wonder how much grace was extended the likes of Joan of Ark as the flesh slowly peeled off her body on the fire?
      Or all the witches, or the Aztecs, or the people who were burnt simply for reading the bible in English, Anthony.Fellow Christians to boot! Graceful, yes?

      How about the Cathars?

      Or the current crop of frakking maniacs who kill their kids because Apocalypse is just around the corner.
      Or the super righteous who have murdered doctors because they are not happy over abortion issues.
      No that it matters that your god commanded abortion and simply killed babies willy nilly … gracefully, I’m sure.
      And this is the tip of the rotten stinking religious iceberg, Anthony.
      And you know what” You may take your fucking sanctimonious christian ”grace” and stick it where the sun does not shine.

      If you wish to approach this from an evidentiary perspective then lets; start with the Pentateuch shall we?

      Pick your archaeologist, Anthony….with grace, of course.
      Unless you prefer to respond with either a pithy Jesus remark or suggest I shall be burning in Hell? .. gracefully.

      Like

      • Ark,

        And with that bit of proof that you are unwilling to discuss this reasonably, we’re done.

        Have a good weekend, further comments will not be approved.

        James

        Like

      • There are scholarly works on both sides. There are jerks on both sides. There is plenty of blame to go around for atrocities committed throughout the centuries. There are even brilliant men and women who can look at all of this and come to radically different conclusions as to why each event happened. I won’t even begin to argue with you, or anyone else, the details of all these things, no more than arguing over the climate inside an automobile changes whether or not it’s an automobile you are in.

        The biggest evidence for or against God is our existence. Period. Either we are here by nothing creating everything and chance taking over, or we are the product of an original Source. Argue over the upholstery, the carpet, the amenities, but we are in a machine, and it was either made, or it made itself. If it made itself, then why the heck are you so angry with the way the climate control adjusts itself?

        I don’t have the time, nor the desire to debate these things with you, sir. I have seen how you go to these different blogs and feign courtesy, to begin with, only to lash out with vulgarities the moment your elitism boils to the surface. I’ve said all I have to say on this, and you’ve already said enough for me to stomach.

        Liked by 1 person

  10. Hey,James, What are you afraid of? Truth?
    You cannot run from it you know? You really can’t.

    To put a Christian slant on the phrase:
    Publish and be damned, James!

    🙂 You have a super weekend, you hear. Yahweh loves you , if you love him more, of course.

    There y’go … crafted.

    Like

    • I’ll let this one fly 🙂

      By the way, I’m not afraid of anything. I’ll entertain Andrew as long as he is civil.

      I will actually entertain anyone as long as they are civil.

      But when debate gets dragged down to the level you tend to take it, it’s really not worth it.

      James

      Like

  11. Don’t fret, my friend – no amount of evidence can convince a heart that is hardened. The exodus is a great example. No matter what signs and wonders God presented, Pharoah preferred what his magicians conjured up to explain them away. The passage even says that God hardened Pharoah’s heart so that God’s glory could be shown through the signs and wonders.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Couldn’t agree more Tim.

      Thanks for reading and taking the time to comment.

      God bless,

      James

      Like

    • What evidence is there for the Exodus, Tim?

      Like

      • See the movie Patterns of Evidence: the Exodus that just came out. Can’t sum that up in a comment. Too much evidence.

        Like

        • It is nonsense.
          Every review I have read is similar.
          The bloke He went in trying to prove it and came away empty handed.
          There is no evidence.

          What you must understand is the ”minimalist ”position is now held by 85% of the Jewish population, including Rabis across the board.

          There is not a single recognised scholar that will sign off and state that Moses was a real historical figure let alone was an Exodus.

          You need to refocus and look at archaeologists such as Dever, Herzog and Finkelstein.
          Even Albright realised he had nothing.

          Woods wishes to redate the Exodus but this create an entire different set of problems regardng dating Jericho ( Kenyon’s dating is accepted, period.
          Furthermore the entire area was under Egyptian rule when the supposed Exodus took place.
          It is simply a fiction, created in the 6th or 7th century, likely as a cultural bonding aid during the Babylonian Captivity.
          Sorry, Tim. The evidence shows It simply did not happen.

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          • So what is it you want Ark? Ancient historical proof?

            You do know that the phrase “ancient historical proof” is almost a contradiction in terms. This is especially true when the events in question are more than three thousand years past. The best a REASONABLE person can hope to find is a combination of supportive documentation and tangible remnants. The scriptures are one written record, and, as it turns out, there is other evidence available, even for the Exodus, for those who aren’t committed to rejecting it out of hand.

            And, I think, rejecting it out of hand is what you are prone to do.

            Like

            • Why do you keep using the word proof? Have you seen me use it?
              Evidence James, Evidence!
              Are we clear? Not proof.
              Proof, I believe is for maths, and mechanics maybe. Andrew has already mentioned this.

              The evidence indicates the Exodus dd not happen.
              Have you at least read outside your comfort zone regarding this issue?

              If you consider what is at stake for the Jewish people tell me why you think the would deny their own ”history” it weren’t true?
              What possible motivation could Jewish archaeologists and especially Rabbis have to make public announcements that it is simply fiction?
              Just answer these simple questions if you are willing.
              I don’t require a treatise, reams of scripture just plain, simple common-sense reply. Okay?

              Oh, and I think there is still a comment in moderation.

              Like

              • Ark,

                You keep saying things like

                “There is no evidence.”

                And

                “Exodus is a work of fiction.”

                Both of these statements, and all like them, are dismissive and very poor rebuttals.

                If you were honest, you would say there is evidence, you just don’t believe it. Nothing wrong with that.

                Secular researchers such as Rosalie David and Flinders Petrie noted many finds which correspond to the Biblical Exodus narrative. For example…

                • …pyramids built of mud-and-straw bricks (Exodus 5:7-8), and both written and physical evidence that Asiatic people were enslaved in Egypt during this time.

                • …skeletons of infants of three months old and younger, usually several in one box, buried under homes in a slave town called Kahun (Exodus 1:16), corresponding to Pharaoh’s slaughter of Hebrew infants.

                • …masses of houses and shops in Kahun, abandoned so quickly that tools, household implements, and other possessions were left behind. The findings suggest the abandonment was total, hasty, and done on short notice (Exodus 12:30-34,39), consistent with the sudden exit ordered in the wake of Passover.

                • …the Pharaoh of the 12th dynasty, Amenemhat III, had no surviving sons, and his daughter Sobekneferu had no children; this would explain why she took in a Hebrew child — Moses — as a substitute (Exodus 2:5-10). After Moses fled (Exodus 2:11-15), there would have been no heirs, and the 13th dynasty began after Sobekneferu died.

                • …the 13th Dynasty, in which the Exodus would have occurred, is often described by later records as one of bedlam and confusion, and few of monuments of this period survive.

                • …rods used by court advisors which look like snakes (Exodus 7:10-12). This corroborates the sleight-of-hand done by Pharaoh’s advisors.

                • …the Ipuwer papyrus, most recently dated to the 13th Dynasty, is a work of poetry stating: “Plague stalks through the land and blood is everywhere … Nay, but the river is blood… gates, columns and walls are consumed with fire…the son of the high-born man is no longer to be recognized … The stranger people from outside are come into Egypt … Nay, but corn has perished everywhere…”

                • … when Egypt was invaded by the Hyksos (possibly the “stranger people” mentioned by Ipuwer), they offered little or no resistance, something which makes sense only if Egypt’s armies and economy had been recently devastated (Exodus 12:35-36; Exodus 14:26-28).

                • …Neferhotep I, Pharaoh of the 13th Dynasty, was not succeeded by his son, Wahneferhotep, but by his brother Sobkhotpe IV (Exodus 11:45). This harmonizes with the Passover death of Pharaoh’s firstborn.

                • …a lack of a mummy of Neferhotep I himself (Exodus 14:28), indicating he could have been among those wiped out at the Red Sea.

                Like

                • Please answer the question, James and then I will respond to the Petrie claim and the others no problem.

                  Why would Jewish archaeologists and Rabbis publicly renounce their supposed history and state emphatically that the Exodus did not happen and the entire episode is Historical Fiction?
                  This is all I ask. Answer this question.

                  Like

                  • I can’t say that I know why anyone says anything.

                    Like

                    • Fair enough, the I am not prepared to address the Petrie issues, and as the claim you have made regarding Moses is not referenced I shall dismiss it with impunity.

                      Christians are ever ready to leap into the fray when looking for scholarly consensus regarding the historicity of Jesus of Nazareth, and are prepared to cite scholar after scholar, from NT Wright ,CS Lewis and Ehrman and everyone in between, yet when the overwhelming consensus acknowledges the Captivity, Exodus and conquest as described in the Bible simply did not happen you throw up Flanders Petrie and Davids. and obscure material and hypotheisis. Why?
                      It isn’t that I don’t believe there is evidence, virtually every single scholars and archaeologists do not believe.
                      That you refuse to even hazard a guess implies you know you are on quicksanfdy ground as you would have no hesitation replying should we be talking about scholarly consensus regarding the character Jesus of Nazareth.
                      You are defending a fundamentalistposition that no recognised secular scholar will support simply because of lack of evidence.
                      And for the record: the reference in Exodus to the Red Sea was a mistranslation. This alone I find staggering in this day and age that you would still refer to it in context of the biblical tale.
                      < Surely you know this was a mistranslatation?

                      Like

                  • Using a comment coupon. Why would they deny? Hmmm. Tough one. Nope, its actually easy.

                    The New Testament begins: the book of the generation of Jesus Christ the son of David, son of ABRAHAM.

                    To do away with Christ, one must explain away Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. No patriarchs, no Messiah. Clever.

                    And oh, by the way, Jesus Christ ‘came to confirm the promises made unto the fathers……………………’ again, no fathers, no Christ, no promises.

                    The ruling on the field stands: God’s word is good, very good..

                    Like

                    • Could be.

                      Could also be bias, money, they want to make a name for themselves…

                      Like

                    • At the end of the day though, one question remains:

                      What think ye of Christ? All the alleged learning, status, etc, is bul a smokescreen.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • The Patriarchs have been explained.
                      Their forbears have admitted they are fictitious characters. Don’t blame me. I didn’t announce it to the world. They did.
                      I grew up believing they were real like everyone else.
                      Take your issues and go and speak to Finkelstein or Wolpe. Tell them you are somewhat pissed off see what they say.
                      There really is no reason at all to enter into dialogue with you as you are not prepared to address the issue without behaving like an indoctrinated fundamentalist.

                      The ruling does stand. Your god is made up. Ask the Jews. They invented him for you.
                      No point getting upset with me.

                      Like

    • Really? Your god needs to perform circus tricks to impress?

      How strikingly odd….

      Like

  12. And oh, by the way, Jesus Christ ‘came to confirm the promises made unto the fathers……………………’ again, no fathers, no Christ, no promises.

    Yes, this is quite an astute observation, ColorStorm. I am so glad you noticed.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I see what you did there Ark, you are a clever one.

      Like

      • There is more than a grain of truth in my comment, I’m afraid.
        There really is ….

        Liked by 1 person

        • I’m sure you’re sincere Ark, we just disagree.

          Like

          • But my view is based on the view of those who’s ancestors wrote the bible
            I did not invent it. I am merely parroting what almost the entirety of academia has known for nearly a century.

            Your view is based on a fundamentalist belief that the bible is innerant. Or mostly so.
            Why Based on what evidence?

            And when you are asked a sincere, direct question in all honesty , you skip and jive, duck and dive, and grip the bible as if this is evidence.
            Why?
            If it is truth, then it should reveal itself in some fashion But It does not!

            Do you realise I once had an evangelical Pastor for gods’ sake, tell me that archaeologists had found chariot wheels on the floor of the Red Sea!
            Now I knew what was behind this story but just to be 100% sure I asked him for the name of the archaeologist and he told me ..Ron Wyatt.
            I infomred him this was a hoax but he was adamant, I kid you not and blogged about it. When I drew his attention to an article written by a Christian about how Wyatt was a fraud he deleted all my comments and
            refused to discuss the issue further.
            ( sounds like so many christians, sad to say)
            This is a grown and (presumably) intelligent adult who not only accepted the findings of Ron Wyatt, ( without checking) but actually wrote a sermon on it and preached it in his church!
            I kid you not!

            What sort of demented person would do this? Preach a literal reading of Moses to an audience? Who does this in the 21st century, James. Who?

            I ask you once more regarding the Jewish people. Consider just what is at stake for them. I man really consider.
            And again, why would they deny it

            Imagine the Pope announcing that there really was nobody called Jesus. Just imagine this for one second.
            Change for Moses and the Pope for the vast majority of the Jewish population.
            Such an admission is quite staggering!
            Yet this is the truth they faced, based on the evidence.
            So why cannot you face the same issue with a similar degree of integrity and honesty?

            Like

            • Well mr ark-

              The Devil himself is more of a bible scholar than you and all your friends combined, and guess what?

              He found no flaws in the word of God. None. Zippo. Nada. Nula. Zilch. Zero.

              At least he has respect for the word of God, and he certainly knows how it ends.

              Here’s a thought for ya: if 7,000 archaeologists said Moses never lived, I will show you either 7,000 misinformed men, or 7,000 liars.

              Your perpetual insolent charges against the Lord of heaven and earth are almost amusing. You remind me of a kid with a pea shooter trying to sink a submarine.

              Abraham never lived, Moses was a fabrication, oh my too funny. Lets repeat here for clarification:

              The book of the generation of Jesus Christ the son of David, the son of Abraham. The very first verse of the New Testament. Can’t have THAT and be a Jew now huh, so now what?

              Easy, just rewrite history and spin a tale that omits this truth completely. Ha, nice try.

              All your hammers were wore out today there fella, you need a new batch.

              Like

              • I truly believe you have some serious issues.
                You ought to speak to a professional or someone similar.

                I understand you are an indoctrinated fundamentalist, but your rhetoric is embarrassing.

                I have suggested you take up these issue with the inheritors of those that wrote the Torah. But you seem adamant this is unnecessary.
                So be it.If you are afraid to face these issue then I shal ask you the d=same question..

                Why would they deny their own history?
                They are millions and you are one.

                Just tell me why you think they would claim it is all fiction. Be a mature adult just for a few moments and answer this question for me.

                Like

                • The answer is easy arc-

                  Do you EVER take the time to read when somebody posts? The unavoidable layered ramifications?

                  Anyway, the reason They, ahem, meaning the Jews do not believe the record………….drum roll……………….is……………….

                  The same reason YOU do not believe. You are no different.

                  And you expected something else?

                  Like

                  • There seems to be something functionally wrong with your cognitive processing capabilities.
                    The Jewish people didn’t suddenly wake up to the fact that their history is fiction.
                    This is something they have believed for thousands of years and when the scientists had access to the Sinai they went in search of the ”title deeds’.
                    They believed they would find them and were backed to the hilt, emotionally and financially by their own people and christians the world over.
                    It is not only the Jewish people that are by and large admitting the Torah is Historical Fiction but also a great many Christians are acknowledging this as well. Based on the evidence.
                    I cannot help it if you are unable to process this.
                    I cannot help it if you believe something called Satan could not find fault with the Bible. I am fascinated though when he read it, and which version?

                    I hope James allows this thread to stand. People actually need to read what you, write, Colorstorm and seriously think about what they are exposing themselves to when you begin espousing stuff like this

                    I don’t believe because the evidence presented for your claims does not warrant consideration. You demand one must accept without reason.
                    This I will not do. And neither will the Jewish people.
                    They will face the issue with dignity and honesty but most will not run from what the evidence reveals. They will not live a lie.
                    Me neither.

                    You obviously feel comfortable doing so.
                    This is choice.
                    Let’s call it quits, Colorstorm?
                    You have nothing but fundamentalist dogma and it is tiresome and you are giving me a headache.
                    Please go away or grow up a little bit.

                    Like

        • In Reform Judaism’s Spring 2013 edition, Professor David Sperling and Rabbi David Wolpe asserted that the biblical Exodus is a fiction.

          After that was published, Richard Elliott Friedman, who holds a Th.D from Harvard, is the Ann and Jay Davis Professor of Jewish Studies at the University of Georgia and the Katzin Professor of Jewish Civilization Emeritus of the University of California, San Diego, and was a visiting fellow at Cambridge and Oxford and a Senior Fellow of the American Schools of Oriental Research in Jerusalem. He is the author of seven books, including the bestselling Who Wrote the Bible? and Commentary on the Torah. He participated in the City of David Project archaeological excavations of biblical Jerusalem and served as a consultant for PBS’s “Nova: The People of the Covenant: The Origins of Ancient Israel and the Emergence of Judaism” and A&E’s “Who Wrote the Bible?” and “Mysteries of the Bible” wrote.

          “After reading those articles, your readers may have concluded that scholarship shows that the Exodus is fictional, when, in fact, that is not so. There is archaeological evidence and especially textual evidence for the Exodus.

          I respect Professor Sperling and Rabbi Wolpe. They were understandably following the claims of some of our archaeologists. Those archaeologists’ claims that the Exodus never happened are not based on evidence, but largely on its absence. They assert that we’ve combed the Sinai and not found any evidence of the mass of millions of people whom the Bible says were there for 40 years. That assertion is just not true. There have not been many major excavations in the Sinai, and we most certainly have not combed it. Moreover, uncovering objects buried 3,200 years ago is a daunting endeavor. An Israeli colleague laughingly told me that a vehicle that had been lost in the 1973 Yom Kippur War was recently uncovered under 16 meters—that’s 52 feet—of sand. Fifty-two feet in 40 years!”

          Proof? Nope.

          But evidence that you might be wrong, Ark.

          Like

      • James, Hi

        Above, you made a comment beginning with In Reform Judaism’s Spring 2013 edition, Professor David Sperling and Rabbi David Wolpe asserted that the biblical Exodus is a fiction.

        Great CV this guy (Friedman) has, but what are the evidences? All well and good to say, “wait up, wait up…” but typically one then produces the verifiable reasons for asking for pause. Friedman is a theologian, not an archaeologist, and he appears to be making the same fundamental mistakes made by most apologists: they believe there is an absence of evidence. This, simply, is not true. There are mountains of evidence, and it all flatly contradicts the origin narrative contained in the Pentateuch. You see, Friedman here is trying to draw attention to the absence of evidence for the departure and sojourn across the Sinai of some 2.5 million people (which would have been half of Egypt’s population at the time). It’s true. There isn’t a single scrap of evidence, but what he is ignoring, as apologists are wont to do, is the absence of “arrival” data. 2.5 million people flooding into the hills where Mamlekhet (Kingdom) Judah and Mamlekhet (Kingdom) Yisra’el would be established should be exampled in the 14th/13th Century BCE. There is simply no arrival. Nothing. Now, here comes the contradictory evidence. The hills started to be settled in 1100 BCE. This is known fact. It’s referred to as The Settlement Period, and the published population maps are not questioned by any archaeologist or historian, minimalist or maximalist. There is no controversy here. Period. We know there were 11 villages, and the population in the first hundred years of the Settlement Period never exceed 30,000. That is the most generous number proffered, but a figure closer to 15,000 to 20,000 is considered the most accurate.

        Now, why is this date (11ooBCE) so important? Because 50 years earlier the dreaded Philistines invaded the Levant. This is fact. So, instead of the arrival of some 2.5 million people in the 14th/13th Century BCE, we actually have a few thousand refugees from the Canaanite coastal states fleeing into the unpopulated hills in 1100. Judah and Yisra’el were founded then. Yisra’el was the stronger of the two Kingdoms, but after its sacking in 722 BCE, the Judeans saw the opportunity to seize control over (or at least excerpt influence over) their northern neighbour. This is when the Pentateuch was conceived of. It’s a geopolitical work of fiction designed to place Judah at the center of the Jewish world. It’s a unity tale. Abraham and his sons were not historical characters, but metaphors for kingdoms/tribes: Isaac in the north (Israel), Jacob in the south (Edom), and Abraham, the father uniting them all, right in the middle in Hebron (Judah). Now, here’s how we know it’s a fictional story conceived of in the 7th Century: Edom wouldn’t be a nation/kingdom until 800 BCE. It simply did not exist 1,000 years earlier, when the Patriarchs tale is set. It’s a period blunder, just as the Philistines are a period blunder. Yhwh warns Moses to not travel up the coast for fear of warring with them. The problem is, the Philistines wouldn’t actually arrive on the Levant for another 300 years!

        Now, there are a multitude of other period blunders (including most of the stations named in Exodus that simply didn’t exist in the 14th Century, but did exist in the 7th Century, when the story was cobbled together) which constitute part of the unignorable “evidences. ” Just so you know, the only area where there is still a live debate regarding biblical archaeology is whether or not Judah had an urban society in the 9th Century BCE, which relates to the narrative concerning the United Kingdom. That’s it. That’s all there is. The narratives of the Patriarchs, Egypt, Moses, Exodus and Conquest were dismissed as myth over 2 generations ago, and nothing has changed in that time to alter the consensus. As Israel’s oldest daily Newspaper, Hareetz, announced recently:

        Currently there is broad agreement among archaeologists and Bible scholars that there is no historical basis for the narratives of the Patriarchs, the Exodus from Egypt, and the conquest of Canaan, nor any archaeological evidence to make them think otherwise.

        So definitive is the evidence that in 1998, the American Schools of Oriental Research (ASOR), the primary American professional body for archaeologists working in the Middle East, changed the name of its magazine from Biblical Archaeologist to Near Eastern Archaeology simply because the bible had been determined to be (beyond all doubt) an entirely unreliable historical source to direct research into the early Jews, pre-Babylonian captivity. So definitive is the evidence against a historical Moses (and the Exodus he supposedly led) that the second edition Encyclopaedia Judaica (which assess all theological, archaeological and scientific evidences) concludes that the entire narrative was “dramatically woven out of various strands of tradition… he [Moses] wasn’t a historical character.”

        These are the facts.

        Like

        • Hey John,

          I will admit that I am not an expert in archeology and don’t have a particular interest in becoming one.

          That being said, I relly on the work of those who are experts to do all the research.

          I have read many of the claims that the whole of the OT is fiction that cannot be supported with evidence and, some are compelling.

          I have also read claims by experts who tell a completely different story.

          Millar Burrows, the renowned Professor of Archaeology at Yale University, explained what’s going on this way.

          “The excessive skepticism shown toward the Bible by important historical schools… has been progressively discredited. Discovery after discovery has established the accuracy of innumerable details, and has brought increased recognition to the value of the Bible as a source of history.”

          And, Professor William F. Albright, archeologist and head of Palestine’s American School of Oriental Research, observed,

          “The excessive skepticism of many liberal theologians stems not from a careful evaluation of the available data, but from an enormous predisposition against the supernatural.”

          IMHO there isn’t enough for either camp to definitively declare they are absolutely right but there is enough for both camps to believe what they want without checking their intelligence at the door.

          James

          PS. I see your campaign to get Christians to embrace communal living is still going strong.

          Like

          • Hi James

            It’s a little odd that you’re quoting Albright. Albright was working in the 1st half of the 20th century, He’s long dead (1971), but it was actually his work that began to dismantle the entire origin narrative. He didn’t like the fact, but through his work it simply became unignorable. Everything since him has pointed in one direction, and one direction only: myth.

            And again, Burrows is also dead. He died in 1980. That is 25 (an entire generation) years before the first population maps of the Settlement Period were even published. You can’t quote these people and hope to be taken seriously.

            Let me repeat: the only area where there does exist “live debate” in biblical archaeological circles regards whether or not Judah had an urban society in the 9th Century BCE, which relates to the narrative concerning the United Kingdom. I really don’t know how to emphasise this point any more, or any clearer.

            Liked by 1 person

            • John,

              I have read your blog and the comment section multiple times and believe I can say with a reasonable amount of certainty that you think how I came to believe much of what I do is “odd.”

              I did not take up Christian blogging (sometimes I think I should have gone with fitness or fishing) with the misguided idea that I am smart enough about matters of faith to change the mind of every non-believer who reads what I write. Even Lee Strobel and Ravi Zacharias have ardent critics so…

              That being said, all the reading, reasearch, contemplative thought, and prayer I have done over the past 15 years has led me to believe that what I believe to be true about God, origins, sin, Jesus, the Bible salvation…is reasonable and valid.

              Could I be wrong? Sure, a certain amount of faith is required, I will never say it isn’t.

              You can think I’m odd, not the brightest buld on the tree, or downright insane, I’m cool with it.

              In the end, we all have to answer for our beliefs, I’m happy with mine, you’re happy with yours, God will sort it out.

              James

              Liked by 1 person

              • Hi James

                We’re not talking about Jesus, or your particular set of beliefs here, just the Pentateuch, and how it is known and recognised by even the majority of Jewish rabbis to be a 6th and 7th Century BCE geopolitical work of fiction, designed specifically to capitalise on the weakening of Mamlekhet (Kingdom) Yisra’el after its sacking in 722 BCE.

                Of course, the fact that the Jewish Origin tale is a myth does raise some terribly awkward problems for the Christian, and the Muslim. Jesus (and Mohammad) mentioning Abraham and Moses as real historical characters is a colossal blunder. A god should, quite naturally, be fully aware of what is myth, and what is actually historical fact, after all.

                Now, just to clarify, I didn’t call you “odd,” rather your quoting of Albright as odd, considering just how tremendously out-dated he (and Burrows) is, and also because of his actual (accidental, one might say) role in discovering the Jewish origin tale to be myth. The entire thesis began to collapse with his work. Now, he certainly did not set out for that to happen. He believed evidence would be easily found. He was wrong, and the more work he subsequently did, the more it became apparent that nothing was matching. Nothing at all. It wasn’t just all wrong, but a contradictory story was actually emerging, and being cemented with each new dig and extra-biblical source.

                Like

  13. Oh, I am glad John z picked up on this.
    We have been without power for a day and a half down her in Johannesburg ( regulated Power Outages they call it – and then a substation went down, darkening 5 suburbs!) so I have had no chance to respond and much of what has been raised here has mirrored my intended reply – only John is much more erudite and scholarly than I could ever hope to be in this area.
    He has done his homework, of that you can see.

    I too was surprised to read Albright’s name. Even a perfunctory Wiki search will reveal that for all the good things Albright did, his attempt at proving the bible – which is what he set out to do, collapsed spectacularly in archaeological terms and later generations, including some of his won students consider some of his methods what not to do in archaeology.

    Just when I was going to give you the benefit of the doubt regarding simple misreading of data , natural enough considering your fundamental leanings, I see you mentioned Lee Strobel. Oh, dear.

    John is being the gentleman here , by not pointing out the obvious regarding Yeshua Ben Josef in his comments.

    The Jews, by whom the Pentateuch was written for whom the Pentateuch was written could care less about your man-god, other than where it might impact on certain fundamentalists and also ”funding” from the USA and various others who are investing to help create such notable tourist attractions as the ”Disneyesque” Nazareth Village.

    So, let’s call a spade a spade, as genuine archaeologists do okay?
    The evidence genuine archaeologists have retrieved shows the biblical tale is wanton fluff. Nothing more.Period.

    And how does this impact on Jesus of Nazareth?
    Well, now … there may have been a 1st century eschatological prophet running around Galilee. Who could dispute it? Josephus mentions a couple of blokes called Jesus. No disputing this.

    But as for the Lake Tiberius Pedestrian?

    Er …. no. This character, like his Pentateuch counterpart, Moses, is simply a narrative construct.
    And this is the other little bit of archaeology that is not raised by people like Finkelstein and Herzog or Wolpe. They realise, but they just don’t care. And neither does William Dever, former archaeologist and evangelical Christian.

    And even though you and every fundamentalist will vehemently deny this, and probably scoff about it and try to rubbish all such claims, the truth is, all interested parties who are aware know that the Christians who are slowly also becoming aware are beginning to squirm just a little, as more and more archaeological evidence surfaces that refutes the bible.

    Eventually no amount of William Lane Craigs’, Lee Strobels’, Gary Habermaases’ or Mike Liconas’ or even reams of Colorstorm Scriptural passages are going to ”save” or prevent the truth from eventually becoming public knowledge with all the public.

    Like

  14. James, I see no way no respond to Andrew or John, but here is something I posted to a few of your atheist readers…

    As one who can personally testify of a changed heart, regenerated by God through saving faith alone in the Lord Jesus Christ, your blindness to the truth found in God’s Word is to be expected… I was personally hooked on internet porn for some time… I could have even been on a porn site the morning God graced me with salvation at the age of 54… Praise God for His longsuffering with me. I have included a days writing that mathematically proves that the Bible is 100% inspired by God, as 40 or so writers made over 1000 prophecies, which up until recently 668 have come about… Interestingly, not one of these 668 prophecies of the future has ever been proven false… Check out this link below for 1 chance in 100 billion, billion, billion, billion that man could write the Bible without God’s direction through the Holy Spirit…

    Have a blessed day in the Lord, bruce

    Spend some time here… http://godsmanforever.com/2014/11/17/the-bible-is-nothing-but-the-truth-proven-mathematically-11172014-by-bruce/

    P,S, I re-post this a few times a year to share the Gospel of Christ, with the truth about how God graces sinners through saving faith alone in the Lord Jesus Christ… Blessings in Christ, bruce

    http://godsmanforever.com/2015/01/04/the-truth-about-sin-1042015-by-bruce-reposted-from-7112013/

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Bruce.

      Good words and I will check out the links.

      I honestly see know way to respond to many of my commenters, I simply do the best I can knowing that some just won’t hear.

      Thanks for reading and commenting.

      God bless,

      James

      Like

  15. Reblogged this on Armor of God.

    Like

  16. Reblogged this on disturbeddeputy and commented:
    Not enough evidence? If you think that, you’re not looking.

    Like

  17. People who say not enough evidence simply ignore the evidence because they don’t want to accept it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s exactly what they do David, yet they make the burden of proof someone else’s problem instead of being honest.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Which completely violates debate practices.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Just so it’s clear to you, the person making the positive claim has the burden of proof.

          Like

          • Correct, they are making the positive claim that there is no evidence for God.

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            • Wrong. You are making a claim there is a god. The conversation begins there. It’s really not complicated.

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              • Am I making a claim John or is it God’s claim? If I fail to prove anything to you is it ultimately my problem?

                Who’s burden is this?

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                • James, it’s really not complicated. Here, i’ll write this slowly because its clear you’re having troubles reading fast 😉

                  The. Person. Making. The. Positive. Claim. Has. The. Burden. Of. Proof.

                  You claim a god exists. You, therefore, are making the positive claim. That is where the conversation begins. Without your claim there is no conversation. Is that clear?

                  Like

                  • Recently, an atheist told me this.

                    “If God loves me, wants to have a relationship with me, and yet doesn’t give me the evidence I need to make me believe in Him, He is basically failing and that has to suck for Him.”

                    This statement is baffling to me for a few reasons.

                    1.  It assumes that God does not love the non-believer because God is not playing by the arbitrary rules the non-believer set up.

                    2.  It assumes that God can fail.

                    3.  It is arrogant beyond all measure.

                    4. It regards ALL of the evidence God has provided as insufficient and makes this insufficiency God’s problem.

                    So, what kind of proof do non-believers generally demand?

                    In almost all cases, they demand scientific proof. They say they want tangible, testable evidence that can be verified using the scientific method. Unfortunately for them such a demand in itself is scientifically impossible.

                    The scientific method is a system of learning that consists of observation, hypothesis, experimentation, prediction, and theory. It is based on logic and observations of the material universe and its properties.

                    The scientific method, along with a materialistic worldview, by its nature, excludes the observation of transcendent things that exist independent of the universe.

                    Instead of demanding that God offer better proof or relying on the false premise that science can ever offer proof, maybe skeptics should spend some time thinking about the absurdity of a world without God.

                    If the only thing certain in life is that we will all die, what happens next?

                    Is there a purpose or do we just die and that’s the end?

                    Here is something to ponder from William Lane Craig

                    If only death stands with open arms at the end of life’s trail, then what is the goal of life?

                    Is it all for nothing?

                    Is there no reason for life?

                    And what of the universe?

                    Is it utterly pointless?

                    If its destiny is a cold grave in the recesses of outer space the answer must be, yes—it is pointless. There is no goal no purpose for the universe. The litter of a dead universe will just go on expanding and expanding—forever.

                    And what of man? Is there no purpose at all for the human race? Or will it simply peter out someday lost in the oblivion of an indifferent universe? The English writer H. G. Wells foresaw such a prospect. In his novel The Time Machine Wells’ time traveler journeys far into the future to discover the destiny of man. All he finds is a dead earth, save for a few lichens and moss, orbiting a gigantic red sun. The only sounds are the rush of the wind and the gentle ripple of the sea.

                    “Beyond these lifeless sounds,” writes Wells, “the world was silent. Silent? It would be hard to convey the stillness of it. All the sounds of man, the bleating of sheep, the cries of birds, the hum of insects, the stir that makes the background of our lives—all that was over.”

                    And so Wells’s time traveler returned. But to what?—to merely an earlier point on the purposeless rush toward oblivion.

                    That seems pretty bleak, noted philosopher Bertrand Russell had more. [emphasis added]

                    “That Man is the product of causes which had no prevision of the end they were achieving; that his origin, his growth, his hopes and fears, his loves and his beliefs, are but the outcome of accidental collocations of atoms; that no fire, no heroism, no intensity of thought and feeling, can preserve an individual life beyond the grave; that all the labours of the ages, all the devotion, all the inspiration, all the noonday brightness of human genius, are destined to extinction in the vast death of the solar system, and that the whole temple of Man’s achievement must inevitably be buried beneath the debris of a universe in ruins—all these things, if not quite beyond dispute, are yet so nearly certain, that no philosophy which rejects them can hope to stand. Only within the scaffolding of these truths, only on the firm foundation of unyielding despair can the soul’s habitation be safely built.”

                    Bertrand Russell (from A Free Man’s Worship, 1903)

                    Our life is not a life of unyielding despair, it has meaning, God gives it meaning, and that is evidence that He exists.

                    He also gives people no excuse to be wrong about Him.

                    “For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.”

                    -Romans 1:20

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                  • Wrong John, I don’t owe you proof.

                    I owe you the best defense of the faith I am capable of and reason for the hope that I have, that is all.

                    Demanding I prove anything to you implies such proof is possible. Do you believe it’s possible? Do you believe I know something you don’t?

                    Or do you want me to admit I have no proof so you can walk away believing you’re a winner?

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                    • James, again, you are making the positive claim. Don’t come crying to me because it’s you who is then burdened with the task of proving that claim. That’s just the way “reality” is set up.

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                    • I owe you no proof John, you are free to believe whatever you want.

                      And, I am not crying to you at all, it is you who came to me.

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                    • Actually, I was correcting David’s colossal error, not even talking to you 😉

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • Does God exist? Yes, there is a God, but of course simply saying that God exists does not mean there is one. The existence of God has been debated for centuries. Atheists deny him, or say they “lack belief in God.” We Christians, of course, not only believe in God but also claim to have a relationship with him through the person of Jesus Christ who has been revealed in the four Gospels of the New Testament. These four Gospels are historical documents that tell us who he was and what he did. They let us know that he claimed to be God in flesh. Consider Exodus 3:14 of the Old Testament when Moses asked God what his name was, God responded with, “I am that I am. Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, I am has sent me to you.” In John 8:58 Jesus said, “. . . before Abraham was, I am.” Whatever you might think of Jesus, according to the Gospels he claimed to be God. So, if you believe Jesus, then God exists.

                      Proving that God exists is another matter. But, you see, proof is for mathematics and logic. How do you “prove” there is a Great Being outside of our universe? Do we look for footprints in a riverbed? Do we examine evidence under a microscope and say, “A ha! There’s God!”? That would be the wrong approach. If God exists, he would be beyond our universe, non-material, and transcendent. So, we would have to look for evidence that is consistent with a non-material and transcendent being.

                      Whatever argument you might accept or deny, it seems that your presuppositions are what determine if you believe in God or not. Atheists, of course, presuppose that God does not exist – by faith. They can’t “know” he doesn’t exist, nor can they prove that in all the universe (or outside of it) there is no God. But, their atheism means they will deny any evidences or explanations used to affirm his existence. On the other hand, Christians who claim to have an encounter with God rely on the revelation of Scripture to tell them who Christ is and who God is.

                      I have to ask, how could there not be a God? Look around you. The heavens declare the glory of God (Psalm 19:1). Consider the vastness of the universe, the perfection of the balance of life, and the incredible complexity of the information structures in DNA. Are we to believe that the super-complex information structures in the DNA molecule are the result of chance? Is life an accident? What about beauty? Is it nothing more than a chemical reaction in the brain? What about morality? Are there any moral absolutes such as, “It is always wrong to torture a baby to death merely for one’s personal pleasure”? Or, is such a moral absolute nothing more than the result of chemical reactions in our brains? If so, how does one chemical reaction which leads to another chemical reaction produce moral absolutes or even logical absolutes? Is it easier to conclude that such truths are the result of chemical reactions and brain wiring, or that they are authored by God? Is morality merely the situational-based whims of people’s preferences? Is the beauty of a sunset and the wonder of a new born baby’s precious life a byproduct of the survival of the fittest?

                      Ask yourself if you believe that the miracle of life is produced from the purposeless motion of atoms that have led to the incredible super-complexity of DNA (it cannot happen by chance). Ask yourself if the universal revulsion to murder is an evolutionary byproduct or an innate obligation to do what is right. If morality has absolutes, it implies an absolute moral giver. But if morality is not absolute, then everything is subjective and there is no right and wrong. What do you think?

                      The vast majority of people all over the world believe there is a God–but of course, that doesn’t mean God exists. Still, there is something within us, something that cries out for meaning, purpose, and direction, and we naturally look to God for their fulfilment. Atheistic evolution doesn’t do it.

                      Some people have said that the reason people believe in God is because societies have brainwashed children into believing he exists. But how do we know it isn’t the other way around? What if atheists are brainwashed by societies into believing that God does not exist? Which is it?

                      Again, is our universe and our existence the product of randomness in chance, or is it the product of purpose and design? Which makes more sense when we look at beauty, purpose, morality, compassion, kindness, grace, and love?

                      We have a tendency to know there is something beyond us because we realize that our own insufficiencies and failures cause us to reach out to something greater than ourselves. That’s why we enjoy superheroes in movies and like to listen to news accounts of miraculous, selfless deeds done by normal people. There is something in us that calls out to that which is greater than we are. There is something that makes us feel bad when we lie, cheat, and steal. Why is that? Why do we have this impulse for moral truth, human greatness, truth absolutes, and personal purpose? Are they the result of cold, mechanical principles of an uncaring universe wrapped up in brain chemistry, or are they the interweavings of the truth of God’s existence that we encounter within our own souls?

                      So, is there a God? Yes there is. He is specifically revealed to us in the Bible, and more specifically in the person of Jesus Christ. If you want to encounter the true and living God, you’ll find him revealed in the Bible. Read the gospels that speak of Jesus. He is the representation of God in flesh, John 1:1,14; Heb. 1:1-3.

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                    • There’s an awful lot wrong with your comment, but lets just focus on two things right at the start. First, you are admitting you are making the positive claim. Therefore, you understand the burden of proof lays with you. Second, you are saying the Middle Eastern god of the Pentateuch exists, which is a secondary positive claim which you now have to prove to, for example, Zoroastrians who’s Creator existed in human imagination looooong before your god.

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                    • Again John, I have to prove nothing.

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                    • Yes you do. That is how reality works. Sorry.

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                    • Got it John 🙂

                      And you are making a colossal error by making the burden of proof mine.

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                    • So, you’re not claiming a god exists?

                      You’re an a-theist, then?

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                    • What part of anything I have ever said could cause you to leap to that conclusion John?

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                    • You said the burden of proof wasn’t yours. That means you’re not making the positive claim that a god exists…. therefore….

                      Listen, James, you can throw as large a tantrum as you like about this, but nothing is going to change the fact: the person making the positive claim has the burden of proof.

                      Would you believe me, James, if i said a giant house-brick named Earl created the universe and loves us, but is desperately shy, so He doesn’t show Himself. Of course not. You would ask me, rightly so, to prove Earls existence, and until I did you’d just assume He didn’t exist… even thought He does, its self-evident.

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                    • John, John, John,

                      Are you really going to go flying spaghetti monster on me? Come on, give me some more credit.

                      When a negative existential truth claim is put forward, the one making the claim has shot himself not in the foot but in the head. Unless the person can be in all places of the entire universe at the same time, he has no way of confirming that whatever he claims does not exist, in fact, does not exist. This is a conundrum the atheist finds him/herself in.

                      Recognizing their predicament, atheists like Richard Dawkins counter such an argument by saying that while they cannot prove a flying spaghetti monster does not exist, it is highly improbable such a thing actually exists, so the wiser intellectual position to hold is one that says such a thing does not exist.

                      However, such an argument commits two errors. First, comparing God with a flying spaghetti monster commits the logical error of faulty analogy. Second, just because something is improbable does not rule out its existence. For example, all scientists admit that humanity’s very existence is inordinately improbable. Scientific scholars acknowledge that it is against all mathematical odds that all of the universe’s cosmic constants and biological mechanisms necessary for life would come to be. Yet they have, and humanity does exist.

                      The question is not whether the existence of God is improbable, but rather is there logical, reasonable evidence that moves one toward a conclusion that God exists?

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                    • Again James, without your “positive claim” there is no conversation. Period.

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                    • Wrong John, there is always a conversation, you just misunderstand what it’s about. Hint, it has nothing to do with how much proof James has.

                      As I said before.

                      “Proving that God exists is another matter. But, you see, proof is for mathematics and logic. How do you “prove” there is a Great Being outside of our universe? Do we look for footprints in a riverbed? Do we examine evidence under a microscope and say, “A ha! There’s God!”? That would be the wrong approach. If God exists, he would be beyond our universe, non-material, and transcendent. So, we would have to look for evidence that is consistent with a non-material and transcendent being.”

                      Based on everything you know about the world John, is it likely there is a God?

                      Whatever you decide is one you, I owe you no proof.

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              • Actually, the person making the claim that there is no God would have to prove how all of this got here without that being. They are the ones making the claim. The fact that there is a God is blatantly obvious.

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                • Again, fabulously wrong. You’re making a habit of this.

                  Without your claim there is no conversation. You are making the positive claim.

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                  • Actually the belief in God outdates the non-belief in God. They are the ones making the radical claim of something different than what common knowledge dictates.

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                    • David,

                      Sometimes atheist assert that there is no proof God exists. The only problem is that an atheist cannot logically make that claim.

                      In order to state there is no proof for God’s existence, the atheist would have to know all alleged proofs that exist in order to then state that there is no proof for God’s existence. But, since he cannot know all things, he cannot logically state there is no proof for God’s existence.

                      At best, an atheist can only state that of all the alleged proofs he has seen thus far, none have worked. He could even say he believes there are no proofs for God’s existence. But then, this means there is the possibility that there is a proof or proofs out there, and that he simply has not yet encountered one.

                      Nevertheless, if there was a proof that truly did prove God’s existence, would the atheist be able to accept it, given that his presuppositions are in opposition to the existence of God? In other words, given that the atheist has a presuppositional base that there is no God, in order for him to accept a proof for God’s existence, he would have to change his presuppositional base. This is not easy to do and would involve a major paradigm shift in the belief structure of the atheist. Therefore, an atheist is presuppositionally hostile to any proofs for God’s existence and is less likely to be objective about such attempted proofs.

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                    • Actually, if we’re talking about “known” human civilsation, then a pantheon of gods outdates your particular Middle Eastern god who made its literary debut in the 7th and 6th Century BCE. Before that, we have pantheistic notions, proceeded by the oldest of them all, ancestor cults.

                      Sorry, but fail, again.

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                    • Human history began with Adam and Eve.

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                    • Adam and Eve, huh? OK, I can see this conversation is going nowhere.

                      Let me just say, I hope you have no contact with children.

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                    • John as I have said no excuse for that kind of behavior. I have been nothing but courteous to you and I would expect the same.

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                  • When the assertion to prove is a negative claim, the burden takes the form of a negative proof, proof of impossibility, or mere evidence of absence. If this negative assertion is in response to a claim made by another party in a debate, asserting the falsehood of the positive claim shifts the burden of proof from the party making the first claim to the one asserting its falsehood, as the position “I do not believe that X is true” is different from the explicit denial “I believe that X is false”.[10] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philosophic_burden_of_proof

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                    • Do you try to be dumb?

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                    • Now you’re acting like Ark, John.

                      Better to walk away like you normally do than resort to insults, no?

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                    • Well, in my defence, David is exercising an appalling degree of dumbness here.

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                    • I disagree John, David is fine.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • John there is no excuse for personal insults. That is inappropriate and clearly an ad hominem attack since you can’t defend your own position.

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                    • I have a low tolerance for stupidity. Sorry.

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                    • I believe the BOP would be on you to prove that I am stupid? Once again, I have been courteous to you and I expect the same.

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                    • David, if you can’t even grasp the concept of burden of proof then you are exercising willful ignorance. It’s really that simple.

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                    • Actually John, I showed you a scenario in which the BOP would actually fall on the negative assertion.

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                    • Not when it comes to gods. No gods have ever been proven. No supernatural claim has ever been proven. None. Ever. The claim has never even made it out of the starting blocks. Your attempt to shift the burden was therefore ludicrous and laughable.

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                    • That is your opinion. I would say that the fact that you even exist proves there is a higher power (God). Evolution doesn’t explain you, God does. He has made himself clearly shown in the world around us Romans 1:20. Besides, I am not the one claiming there is a God. God claimed that He exists. So I guess the burden of proof would fall on God. Romans tells us He has satisfied that. Now, if you want to claim that proof is false then the BOP does in fact shift to you.

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                    • No. It is not my opinion. It is a fact. Deal with it.

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                    • Oh so you are now claiming something as positive fact. Prove it please.

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                    • There it is: supercharged stupidity!

                      Perhaps you can first show me the god that has been “proven” and then I’ll deal with the claim….

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                    • There are quite a few people who have witnessed him in the Bible. Some even walked with Him. That being said, you are the one making the claim, not me. Also, I saw you said the Bible says the world is flat? Either you simply haven’t read the Scripture and are just spewing back what dogmatic jargon you have been taught, or you are just dishonest. Isaiah 40:22 and Job 26:10 might be good places for you to start.

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                    • David, show me which god has been “proven.” No circular reasoning, please.

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                    • Did I say I was arguing the existence of a specific God? No I did not. I said I was arguing the existence of A God. That being said, you are the proof.

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                    • And around and around we go.

                      Listen, David, you can teach your children the earth is 5,000 years old… But just understand that my children probably won’t hire your children.

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                    • I would say 6-12 thousand actually. And I didn’t know that historical science came up in the hiring processes at businesses.

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                    • Being rational and in-touch with reality does

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                    • I am very much rational and in touch with reality. The one who believes we just appeared out of nowhere with no controlling factor would be the one who is illogical and irrational.

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                    • Glad you came around 😉

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • Let’s play with this a bit John, mmmkay?

                      Is it possible that your criteria for evidence is not reasonable?

                      Does your criteria put a requirement upon God (if He exists) that is not realistic? For example:

                      1. Do you want Him to appear before you in blazing glory?

                      Even if that did happen, would you believe He existed; or would you consider it a hallucination of some sort or a trick played on you?

                      2. Does your criteria put a requirement on logic that is not realistic?

                      Do you want Him to make square circles or some other self-contradictory phenomena or make a rock so big He cannot pick it up?

                      I mean, bricks named Earl, flat Earth, Tupperware, communism…you kinda make it hard for me to figure out what you’re thinking sometimes John.

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                    • Don’t be so hard on David, he probably doesn’t grasp that Jesus can’t be taken seriously because He never talked about bras, Tupperware, and lightning so… 😉

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • … or a new, more accurate cosmogony… instead, he confirmed that the Earth was flat.

                      Is the earth flat, James?

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • Flat Earth John?

                      Many a skeptic claims that the Bible depicts a flat earth. Scriptural references such as Revelation 7:1 are cited, which speaks of “four angels standing at the four corners of the earth.” However, this passage makes reference to the cardinal directions as seen on a compass – i.e. north, south, east and west. Terminology to a similar effect is used today when we speak of the sun rising and setting each day, even though we know that it is, in fact, the earth which orbits around the sun.

                      Another passage often referred to is Psalm 75:3, which speaks of God holding the pillars firm. However, the psalms are written in the poetry genre. Rather than referring to literal pillars, this is representative of God’s guaranteeing the earth’s stability. Even when the moral order of the world seems to have crumbled, God will not fully withdraw His sustaining power.

                      In contrast to the supposed “flat earth” verses, there are numerous Scriptures that clearly indicate otherwise. The earth is described in Job 26:7 as being suspended over empty space, implying a spherical figure. This notion is further entertained in Isaiah 40:21-22, which refers to “the circle of the earth.” This is further supported by Proverbs 8:27 (NKJV), which speaks of God drawing a circle on the face of the deep. From a “bird’s-eye view” of the ocean, the horizon is seen as a circle. Such an observation indicates that where light terminates, darkness begins, describing the reality of day and night on a spherical earth.

                      The round-earth idea is further supported by Jesus in Luke 17:31,34: “In that day, he who is on the housetop, and his goods are in the house, let him not come down to take them away. And likewise the one who is in the field, let him not turn back…I tell you, in that night there will be two people in one bed: the one will be taken and the other will be left.” This would seem to indicate the phenomenon of day on one side of the globe while darkness abides on the other.

                      The curvature of the earth is certainly a biblical concept, and there is little or no basis for the charge that the Bible teaches a flat earth. The Scriptures that seem to present a flat earth can all easily be explained when correctly interpreted and understood.

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                    • Yes, the bible does say the earth is flat, and Jesus didn’t even correct this terrible blunder.

                      Like I said, at least a new cosmogony would have been quite impressive.

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                    • No it doesn’t, just like it doesn’t teach Christians to embrace communal living John.

                      I do admire your tenacity John, you never give up.

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                    • Jesus believed in a flat earth. That’s awkward, isn’t it?

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                    • Did he say otherwise? Nope, he didn’t 😉

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                    • Does the Bible teach that the Earth is flat John?

                      Nope, it doesn’t.

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                    • Yes, the bible does teach the earth is flat:

                      Daniel 4:11 “The tree grew, and was strong, and the height thereof reached unto heaven, and the sight thereof to the ENDS OF ALL THE EARTH” (How could one tree be seen by all the Earth if they knew the Earth was round.)

                      Matthew 4:8 “Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them” (Same idea here.)

                      Isaiah 40:22 “”He sits enthroned above the circle of the earth, and its people are like grasshoppers. He stretches out the heavens like a canopy, and spreads them out like a tent to live in.” (How could the “heavens” be spread out over the Earth like a tent if they believe it’s a sphere? They believe the sky literally came down and touched the edges of the Earth.)

                      Job 38:44 “Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation?Tell me, if you understand. Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know! Who stretched a measuring line across it?” (If they thought the Earth was a sphere, wouldn’t they say “around it”… not “across it”?)

                      Job 38:13 “That it might take hold of the ends of the earth, that the wicked might be shaken out of it?” (How can you “take hold of the ends”…of a sphere?)

                      Job 38:15 “The earth takes shape like clay under a seal.” (Clay when stamped under a seal is flattened and round in shape)

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                    • And James, a flat earth is fixed… as it states in Hebrew cosmology:

                      1 Chronicles 16:30: “He has fixed the earth firm, immovable.”
                      Psalm 93:1: “Thou hast fixed the earth immovable and firm …”
                      Psalm 96:10: “He has fixed the earth firm, immovable …”
                      Psalm 104:5: “Thou didst fix the earth on its foundation so that it never can be shaken.”
                      Isaiah 45:18: “…who made the earth and fashioned it, and himself fixed it fast…”

                      Is the earth fixed, James?

                      Jesus believed the earth was fixed, didn’t he? Whoops!

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                    • John,

                      Creative interpretation, as always. Regardless of what you think, the Bible does not teach that the Earth is flat.

                      Some Bible critics have claimed that Revelation 7:1 assumes a flat earth since the verse refers to angels standing at the “four corners” of the earth. Actually, the reference is to the cardinal directions: north, south, east, and west. Similar terminology is often used today when we speak of the sun’s rising and setting, even though the earth, not the sun, is doing the moving. Bible writers used the “language of appearance,” just as people always have. Without it, the intended message would be awkward at best and probably not understood clearly.

                      In the Old Testament, Job 26:7 explains that the earth is suspended in space, the obvious comparison being with the spherical sun and moon.

                      A literal translation of Job 26:10 is “He described a circle upon the face of the waters, until the day and night come to an end.” A spherical earth is also described in Isaiah 40:21-22—“the circle of the earth.”

                      Note, the Biblical Hebrew word for “circle” (chuwg) can also mean “round” or “sphere.”

                      “The Earth a Sphere—Certain astronomical relations were recognized very early. The stars appear as if attached to a globe rotating round the earth once in 24 hours, and this appearance was clearly familiar to the author of the Book of Job, and indeed long before the time of Abraham, since the formation of the constellations could not have been effected without such recognition. But the spherical form of the heavens almost involves a similar form for the earth, and their apparent diurnal rotation certainly means that they are not rigidly connected with the earth, but surround it on all sides at some distance from it. The earth therefore must be freely suspended in space, and so the Book of Job describes it: ‘He stretcheth out the north over empty space, and hangeth the earth upon nothing’ (Job 26:7).” (International Standard Bible Encyclopedia)]

                      Proverbs 8:27 also suggests a round earth by use of the word circle (e.g., New King James Bible and New American Standard Bible). If you are overlooking the ocean, the horizon appears as a circle. This circle on the horizon is described in Job 26:10. The circle on the face of the waters is one of the proofs that the Greeks used for a spherical earth. Yet here it is recorded in Job, ages before the Greeks discovered it. Job 26:10 indicates that where light terminates, darkness begins. This suggests day and night on a spherical globe.

                      The Hebrew record is the oldest, because Job is one of the oldest books in the Bible. Historians generally [wrongly] credit the Greeks with being the first to suggest a spherical earth. In the sixth century B.C., Pythagoras suggested a spherical earth.

                      Eratosthenes of Alexandria (circa 276 to 194 or 192 B.C.) calcuated the circumference of the earth “within 50 miles of the present estimate.”

                      The Greeks also drew meridians and parallels. They identified such areas as the poles, equator, and tropics. This spherical earth concept did not prevail; the Romans drew the earth as a flat disk with oceans around it.

                      The round shape of our planet was a conclusion easily drawn by watching ships disappear over the horizon and also by observing eclipse shadows, and we can assume that such information was well known to New Testament writers. Earth’s spherical shape was, of course, also understood by Christopher Columbus.

                      The implication of a round earth is seen in the book of Luke, where Jesus described his return, Luke 17:31. Jesus said, “In that day,” then in verse 34, “In that night.” This is an allusion to light on one side of the globe and darkness on the other simultaneously.

                      It is also interesting to note that there are 16 scriptures which refer to God stretching out the heavens. These are remarkable confirmations that the Bible is true, as we know today that the heavens are rapidly expanding.

                      “When the Bible touches on scientific subjects, it is entirely accurate.”

                      The idea that the earth is flat is a modern concoction that reached its peak only after Darwinists tried to discredit the Bible, an American history professor says.

                      Jeffrey Burton Russell is a professor of history at the University of California in Santa Barbara. He says in his book Inventing the Flat Earth (written for the 500th anniversary of Christopher Columbus’s journey to America in 1492) that through antiquity and up to the time of Columbus, “nearly unanimous scholarly opinion pronounced the earth spherical.”

                      Russell says there is nothing in the documents from the time of Columbus or in early accounts of his life that suggests any debate about the roundness of the earth. He believes a major source of the myth came from the creator of the Rip Van Winkle story-Washington Irving-who wrote a fictitious account of Columbus’s defending a round earth against misinformed clerics and university professors.

                      But Russell says the flat earth mythology flourished most between 1870 and 1920, and had to do with the ideological setting created by struggles over evolution. He says the flat-earth myth was an ideal way to dismiss the ideas of a religious past in the name of modern science.

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                    • Flat Earth… Embarrassing.

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                    • Don’t mind John, you’re doing fine.

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                    • No he’s not. And neither are you 😉

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          • Nope John,

            Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life.

            You can either believe this or not, that is how you will be judged, period.

            How do you think God will repsond to “not enough proof God, not enough proof”

            Belief is your problem, believers have no burden of proof. All believing there is some burden of proof that belongs to someone else does is absolve one (they think) of accountability

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            • Hi James, we’re talking about who has the burden of proof. It belongs, as it always has, with the person making the positive claim.

              The theist, in case you’re not aware, is the one making the positive claim: a god (their god, no less) exists.

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  18. Ark, I’m just interested. What is your retort–I’m sure you have one ready—for extra-Biblical sources (such as Josephus) for the existence of Jesus of Nazareth? Just curious, not going to debate. I really don’t have time.
    Please give your evidence that a person universally acknowledged by every stripe of secular interested party to have existed…never existed.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Not every secular interested party.
      And when you say Josephus, are you referring to the TF?

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      • As I thought. No case. A simple question, no attempt at a response.
        Yes, every secular scholar, except a tiny cult of anachronistic throwbacks.

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        • No one is denying there could very well have been a smelly little eschatological prophet running around causing shit whom the Romans executed for sedition; even though there is not a shred of contemporary evidence for such a figure, other than a mention by Tacitus – which at best is hearsay and worst could well be an interpolation.
          However, the biblical character; that miracle working , walk-on-water-come -back-from-the-dead character, Jesus of Nazareth is simply a crock of shit. A narrative construct that not a single secular historian in the entire world considers was a real historical person.
          Got that?
          Super!

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        • Yes, every secular scholar,

          Hilarious! And just how many of these ”every” secular scholars are you aware of, you stupid, ignorant woman?

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    • madblog,I’m just interested, what is your retort – I’m sure you have one ready – for the fact that there is not a single piece of contemporary evidence for the character Jesus of Nazareth?
      Just curious, not going to debate. I really don’t have time.
      Please give your evidence that a person who was able to walk on water, feed thousands, cured blind people, raised people from the dead, including himself, is not mentioned by a single contemporary writer, ( and there were a least 100) historian, philosopher, or theologian.

      Like

  19. Reblogged this on ryannickelodeon and commented:
    Bum bum bummm!

    Like

  20. If you ask Ark to present his case, to provide evidence for his belief system or for the specific claims he makes ad infinitum, he declines. He deflects. He’s got nothing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I thought you had gone away?
      I actually love this post. I think James has done a fine job with ”Throwback Thursday” as it calls back to the ”ring” so many of my favorite fundies. Like Creationist Dickheads, David and Wally, and Mrs Rants in Her Pants Madblog …you

      What evidence would you like this time, dear?

      A splinter from the original cross?
      A few fibers from the Shroud of Turin?
      John the Baptist’s underpants?
      An original T-Rex tooth necklace used by Fred Flintstone?
      How about the original sandals Jesus wore when he walked on Lake Tiberius?

      Like

  21. Really guys. Again, it’s one thing to look into the scholarship, read the original source material, and conclude that you don’t agree with the conclusion, or that you would rather not make a commitment to its truth claims. Even to say that the claims are ridiculous.

    It’s quite another to move to a planet where none of the history ever happened and there is no one on Earth who thinks it did, no one in the history ever existed, there are NO scholars who disagree with you in existence, and your only job is to ridicule people who still believe it.

    There’s a name for that.

    Like

    • Well, Madblog, it is important that you understand there is no original source material for anything biblical.
      No one knows who the original authors of the gospels were. You surely know the ”names” were tagged on much later?

      Also, there is no evidence for the character Moses or the Exodus or any of of the Patriarchs, and whether you like it or not, almost universal expert scholarly opinion based on evidence agrees that the Pentateuch is historical fiction.

      If you truly want to learn and understand the truth about the Torah and the ancient Israelites then the information is all there … just go look. But you won’t find it among the fundamentalists, that you be assured.

      How you deal with this is entirely up to you. It won’t change the facts or the evidence.

      Like

  22. I53, I have seen you declare that you will allow no more of this BS from ark, usually after he’s been needlessly bullying one of your other guests, yet in the same threads I see you debating with him again. Repeated many times.

    And now I see you discussing the merits of other guests’ abilities with him. And talking about commenters when they’re not around.

    I’m sorry but this is not cool.

    Like

    • Who have I talked about? I make it a point to defend guests here against Ark.

      As far as Ark goes, his comments are moderated all the time.

      Like

    • Hey mblog-

      Ever seen this by Friedman, as he buries the esteemed gods of archaeology with common sense and facts:

      –I respect Professor Sperling and Rabbi Wolpe. They were understandably following the claims of some of our archaeologists. Those archaeologists’ claims that the Exodus never happened are not based on evidence, but largely on its absence. They assert that we’ve combed the Sinai and not found any evidence of the mass of millions of people whom the Bible says were there for 40 years. That assertion is just not true. There have not been many major excavations in the Sinai, and we most certainly have not combed it. Moreover, uncovering objects buried 3,200 years ago is a daunting endeavor. An Israeli colleague laughingly told me that a vehicle that had been lost in the 1973 Yom Kippur War was recently uncovered under 16 meters—that’s 52 feet—of sand. Fifty-two feet in 40 years!–

      The petty pea shooting attempts at the Creator and His iron clad word are laughable.

      Liked by 2 people

      • That’s nice arkenaten the stone god; five sighs and three yawns.

        Friedman gave zero credibility to your heroes, ahem, one of the so called legends of digs: Wolpe.

        Still impressive the lengths the unbelieving heart of man will travel to TRY to dismiss the biblical narrative of the history of man, as if to discredit God and His word. Pitiable.

        You have no case as well, and one would think your shoes are wore out. Your redundancy is quite boring.

        Like

        • Colorstorm, like all other evangelicals, like to ignore that the first waves of archaeologists were all Christians: bible in one hand, shovel in the other.

          If, of course, they admit to this then they must admit to the evidence, and that is something they will always refuse to do. Reality is not their friend, but they seem perfectly fine with that. Remember, in their sick and skewed minds everything they “don’t like” is explained away as “the devil working his mischief.”

          With people that far gone you can only hope one thing: that they have absolutely no contact whatsoever with children.

          Like

      • Oh dear CS, did you even read what you just posted? LOL!

        Tell me, do you see any “evidence” being presented by the author?

        The answer you’re looking for is, “No”

        And the author is also committing to common tactic used by American evangelicals: “the absence of evidence…” line.

        This is total and absolute bullocks. It’s what mindless evangelical keep trying to tell themselves, ignoring the “fact” that there exists MOUNTAINS of evidence, and its all contradictory!

        Like

        • Apparently john, no learned Jew is credible unless he agrees with you. Interesting.

          That would also explain why you despise Saul of Tarsus (the apostle Paul), Peter, James, John, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, and of course Christ Himself.

          You will lose the battle of history and truth 100% of the time. God’s word is the anvil that has withstood every hammer, and yours is but a plastic ping.

          Like

          • LOL!

            Oh dear CS, I see you’re a little embarrassed about posting a quote which you “thought” defended your position, only to realise it was entirely vaporous.

            Oh well, we all know you can’t actually produce a single reputable source to support you, or a single scrap of evidence, and instead rely on things like Ron Wyatt hoaxes to help you keep “believing” in a story no Rabbi, Biblical Scholar, or Archaeologist believes in.

            In fact, its just American evangelicals who actually still exercise ignorance on this subject. All other Christian sects have accepted the “truth” long ago 🙂

            Like

            • Now that is an interesting observation john; that you are speaking of ‘truth’ as you align yourself with that which you despise.

              Some would call that the height of hypocrisy.

              Reminds me of the false confederacy between Herod and Pilate.

              At the end of the day, God is ever God, and people will continue to mock the Giver of life and His record of man in His own word.

              You are not questioning believers; you are questioning the oath of God. Good luck with that.

              Like

              • I’m sorry CS, but none of that made any sense whatsoever. Have you been drinking? 😉

                What, precisely, am I aligning myself with? Do you mean I’m aligning myself with evidence-based reality?

                If so, then YES, I am! 😉

                Like

  23. I’m sorry, James, if I have finally really been intrusive or inappropriately critical on your blog behavior. It is your blog.
    I actually meant it as a friend asking another friend: what’s up with that? I apologize.

    He’s just trying to rattle our cages and we keep entertaining him.

    Liked by 1 person

    • No need to be sorry Madelyn, no one is perfect so I very well could have been in the wrong.

      I have always found it hard to stop entertaining people I should not but that’s how it goes. One of my many weaknesses.

      James

      Like

  24. Minority? Thank you for a decent compliment ark.

    But the discrediting of events and the cities of scripture? Do you think you are bringing something new? For thousands of years people have denied the veracity of scripture staring proof in the face.

    You are merely one more in a long train of unbelievers.

    Like

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