That's Your Interpretation!
How often we hear this phrase parroted when trying to bring some truth of the Scripture to those who are without God in the World. Or, There's so many interpretations how can one know what to believe? But, when they are asked the last time they read the Bible there is usually a long silence. Then it is revealed that their complaint is just an excuse for the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart, revealing their own unwillingness to seek the Truth of God in His Word. It is just another form of rebellion against our Creator.
But if that is the claim, how should we answer this? Does the Bible need interpreting? Many believe the Bible is a very mystical book and hard to understand so it must necessitate a special holy man or a priest to expound its contents. Otherwise, how can we really know what God is saying and what He means? Is it possible for man to understand what the message of the Bible is, or do we need someone who will read it for us and give us the meaning?
The answers to man's questions are given in the Scriptures themselves, which man neglects to read. The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple (Psalms 119:130). He also promises to help illumine our understand saying, the Holy Ghost shall teach you all things he will guide you into all truth (John 14:26, 16:13).
Since all Scripture is given by inspiration of God (2Timothy 3:16) He knows exactly what they mean, so we must rely on His wisdom and not our own. Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law (Psalms 119:18). In Luke 24:45, it was Jesus who opened their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures .
In our fallen nature, we have different ways and thoughts compared to God. Let the wicked forsake his way , and the unrighteous man his thoughts : and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways , saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts (Isaiah 55:7-9).
He says be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind , that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God (Romans 12:2). We must then, Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths (Proverbs 3:5-6).
If we would be further convinced in our minds as to how we ought to interpret God's Word, we must look to the Bible to see how the word interpretation is used. In the Old Testament God did communicate His will to His servants at different times and in various manners through His prophets. One manner of communication was through dreams and visions (although this method is not used today because we have the whole counsel of God: Hebrews 1:1-2).
God had given certain men, such as Joseph (Genesis 40-41) and Daniel (Daniel 2, 4-5), the ability to interpret these dreams and give the meaning. These dreams were as motion pictures without words and therefore they needed explaining by the man of God. There were also those who could interpret or translate one language into another (Genesis 42:23, Ezra 4:7), which was used to communicate with someone of a foreign language. These are the two main usages in the Old Testament where interpretation was needed. Dreams and foreign language needed to be interpreted, but the plain Word of God needed no such thing.
In the New Testament, the word interpreted is used as well. Again in the sense to translate what has been spoken or written in a foreign tongue into the vernacular (Matthew 1:23, Mark 15:22). There was also the gift of interpretation , that was used to translate foreign languages or tongues, which God gave to individuals in the early Church for edification of the body of Christ (1Corinthians 12:10, 14:5).
Besides these usages there is the final mention of interpretation in the book of 2 Peter. Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost (2Peter 1:20-21). The authority of Scripture is attested by fulfilled prophecy (Isaiah 46:9-10), and when we study the Scriptures they must not be understood or interpreted apart from the whole counsel of God. That is, we cannot isolate one passage of the Bible and build a doctrine upon it. If you cannot get the whole counsel of God to confirm your teaching you better drop it and start over.
J. Vernon McGee used an excellent illustration to describe the difference between one-verse doctrines, and teachings that the whole Bible confirms. He says it is the difference between riding in a good, solid, four-wheeled wagon and on a unicycle. How easy it is to fall from one and not the other. He goes on to say While it is wonderful to have one marvelous verse of Scripture, if it tells a great truth, there will be at least two or three verses and usually a whole chapter on it somewhere in the Bible.
In other words, no Scripture should be understood without confirming it with the rest of the Scriptures. Isaiah says precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line (Isaiah 28:10). When the apostle Paul was teaching the saints at Ephesus he said I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God (Acts 20:27).
For the most part, if we would understand the Truth of God's Word, it is important to study all 66 books of the Bible and take them literally. Many have used the late Dr. David Cooper's rule who has said, When the plain sense of Scripture makes common sense, seek no other sense; therefore, take every word at its primary, ordinary, usual, literal meaning unless the facts of the immediate context, studied in the light of related passages and axiomatic and fundamental truths, indicate clearly otherwise.
We could maybe paraphrase this as follows, When the literal sense makes good sense, seek no other sense, lest you come up with nonsense . Words have meaning, and if you do not understand a word, a good dictionary would be handy in helping you to expand your vocabulary.
Simple Rules to follow:
Consider the whole Bible for the Scriptures cannot be broken (John 10:35).
It is important to understand who is being spoken to (Example: The Church or
Background and historical context (OT or NT) is essential. Don't pluck any
Scripture up out of its context.
Interpret the Scriptures literally. God means what He says. While there may be
to the Scriptures, there is only one
. Apart from this, we must also allow for figures of speech, parables and
symbolism, which are always explained in the context or elsewhere in Bible.
What about alleged contradictions? There have been many complaints of alleged contradictions by the skeptics, atheists, and unbelievers alike, but every time their mouths have been stopped. One example is as follows. The Lord had prophesied through the prophet Ezekiel that King Zedekiah would be taken captive to Babylon to the land of the Chaldeans; yet shall he not see it , though he shall die there (Ezekiel 12:13). Yet the prophet Jeremiah said, thine eyes shall behold the eyes of the king of Babylon , and he shall speak with thee mouth to mouth, and thou shalt go to Babylon (Jeremiah 34:3). On the one hand it appears that Zedekiah would not see Babylon and yet he would behold the king of Babylon. But both of these prophecies proved true. Zedekiah saw the king of Babylon at Riblah; but his eyes were there put out, so he did not see Babylon, where he was carried captive (Jeremiah 39:5-7). All the alleged contradictions have similar explanations that can easily be revealed with a little knowledge of the Bible.
What about all the different translations? Another complaint put forth by the unbeliever when the topic of interpretation has been brought forth is that there are so many different translations of the Bible so how can we know what God is saying? The devil no doubt would try to corrupt the Word of God (2 Corinthians 2:17), misquote the Word (Luke 4:10,11), and try to get us to doubt the Word of God (Genesis 3:1-5), and the numerous Bible Versions that have recently flooded the market has accomplished just that.
Although this can be a complex subject we would like to point out a few obvious reasons for choosing the King James Versions of the Bible.
of the modern translations except the King James Version alone have copyrights
by big money making corporations. These copyrights can only be obtained by
making enough change to the text so that it does not look like the original.
You can print as many King James Bibles as you would like without having to pay
® a nickel! Because the Bible is the world's bestseller, there have been
over 100 versions published, most of them proliferated in the last 25 years.
Remember the Scriptures warning,
And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise
(2Peter 2:3). There are many who serve not the Lord but their own belly.
Almost all but a few of the modern versions use a different underlying Greek
Text in the New Testament and even those who use the
are found to use the same paraphrasing that is found in all the other modern
versions. Using a different Greek Text means that some words are added and that
some words and even whole passages are missing. Those who have added or taken
away from God's Word are under some of the fiercest condemnation found in the
Bible (Revelation 22:18-19).
How then do we know which Bible is God's Word and which is not? The King James Version (NT) is translated from the Greek Received Text (otherwise known as the Textus Recepticus ) while almost all others use Westcott and Hort's fabricated and corrupt text called the Nestle-Aland Text . These men created a New Greek Text primarily from what is called the Sinaticus and Vaticanus manuscripts. Because these two very old Manuscripts differed greatly (over 3000 places alone in the 4 Gospels), they combined the two texts selecting what appeared to be best in their own eyes (This is known as Textual Criticism) and made an entirely new Greek Text which goes by their name. So their Eclectic Text was a mixture or a collective of the corrupt manuscripts of Vaticanus and Sinaticus .
These texts were acknowledged as corrupt and were rejected by the Bible believing church. They may have been older and in better shape than any other manuscripts because they were set aside (likely because they were known to contain errors) and not literally read to pieces and worn out. These Texts were characterized as having a Shorter Text (Minority Text), being Older, and having a Harder Reading (Difficult).
The KJV on the other hand, uses what is known as the Received Text , having been received by the people of God down through the ages. There can be found over 5000 copies or partial copies and parchments using this underlying Text. (Westcott and Hort's underlying text has only had a handful of copies, which all differ one from the other.) The KJV is characterized by a Longer Reading (Majority Text), and it also has some very old manuscripts dating back to the first century. God has promised to preserve His Word (Psalm 12:6-7, 119:89, Isaiah 40:8, Matthew 5:18, Luke 16:17, 1Peter 1:24-25) and this He has done in the Received Text ( Masoretic Text in the Hebrew of the Old Testament) from which the Bible can be translated into all the languages of the world.
Another complaint by modernists against the KJV that is often repeated is
it is too hard to understand because of the
. But I would ask, when was the last time you read the Word of God? Do you
apply yourself to the study of it? How many hours a day do you spend reading
it? I do not understand Nuclear Science either, but then again, I have never
studied it. Is it not a worthwhile venture to read and study the very Inspired
Words that the Creator of the Universe has written for us? If it is the very
Word of the Almighty God, should we not want to know about Him and see what He
has to say? Think about it, of all that is written, why would this not be our
first selection of books to study?
But why does the KJV use the Thee's and the Thou's ? In the language of the Greek New Testament and Hebrew Old Testament there is a very distinct difference between the second person singular and the second person plural pronouns. We make no difference in modern English--both singular and plural are translated you. However, in old English there exists a difference just as there is in the Greek and Hebrew. As a result the old English used in the Authorized Version gives a far more precise translation than would the modern English versions. The KJV was written in what is known as the Elizabethan Period. The text is most eloquent amongst all the literature this world has ever known.
In our Authorized Version, THEE (Gr. soi ), THOU (Gr. su ), THY (Gr. sou ), and THINE (Gr. sos ) are always singular. YOU (Gr. humas & humin ), YE (Gr. humeis ), and YOUR (Gr. humon ), are always plural. A good rule to follow is this: If the second person pronoun starts with a "T" (in the KJV) then it is singular. If it starts with a "Y" it is plural. This information helps us to better understand who is speaking and who is being spoken to in the Word of God. The KJV translators used different words here because they were different in the original Greek. In the new versions these are all mongrelized and translated you with no distinction between the singular and plural.
So in our ministry, we can only wholeheartedly recommend the King James Bible. It has been the standard English version for most Christians for over 400 years. It is most reliable, tried and proven throughout many revivals and missionary movements of the past, true to the original ancient manuscripts, whose translators are known to be godly men and very capable in their knowledge of the ancient languages. Known and loved by thousands of English speaking people for hundreds of years, the authorized King James Bible, we believe, no modern version can replace nor come close to comparing.
God is not the author of confusion and this flood of modern versions in these last days has for the most part rendered congregational reading unattainable, and reading along with other ministers of the pulpit impossible.
What we would suggest to all, if you do not understand God's Word, keep reading and studying, seeking the will of the Lord and He will make it clear. A prerequisite to understanding God's truth is a genuine willingness to believe the truth and to follow God's will even if it goes against one's personal preference. Jesus said, If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine (John 7:17).
The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple. The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes. The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb. Moreover by them is thy servant warned: and in keeping of them there is great reward (Psalm 19:7-8).
Again you avoid and dance around the majority of what I write.
1. Regarding Nazareth:
I view this article to be objective since it actually quotes what biblical scholars themselves conclude and what history has to say about Nazareth.
If you have a non biblical 1st century source that proves Nazareth existed please respond with the source. You said it existed. Prove it. You will make front page news and probably will be on CNN by tomorrow.
2. The conflicting genealogies.....that was predicatble. Even though Matthew and Luke's gospel say that the genealogies given are that of Jesus' father Joseph you rationalize it by claiming Luke really meant Mary. Assuming that is true how then can you be sure that anything else you read means what it says? I don't mean this - I really mean this......If you are going to open that can of worms it leaves the entire thing wide open to interpretation. Surely you can see that.
God was not really loving that child he was sexually harrasing her.......
3. You ignored what I said about Paul's writngs. Jesus was originally a celestial concept and not a real person. None of the mid 1st century writings speak of that nativity, crucifiction, the miracles etc. All the elements of the myth you now accept as truth are absent from the historical record until the late 1st century - both secular and non secular.
4. Stop quoting bible verses, or "the bible tells us". You cannot prove the bible with the bible. This is circular logic and it fails in law courts so it certainly fails here.
5. I have a question : "Why do you not believe in the god Mithras?" Why do you reject that this god exists?
His adherents believe in final judgement, heaven and hell, ritual blood drinking and flesh eating and more - all elements in common with Christianity and in fact since Mithras predates Christainity and was in the same locality (Rome) the logical inference is that Christianity stole and absorbed these concepts into their own theology. BTW The vatican is built upon a Mithraic site after the Christians killed and oppressed believers of that religion.
I submit to you that Christianity is the most evil religion in world history. Islam a close #2. Before you get defensive there is ample evidence to support this assertion:
The destruction of Pagan Temples, making heresy a crime and killing and torturing those who failed to become Christian, telling children they are sinners is a form of abuse, witch burnings, Spanish Inquisition, the 7 Crusades, the Children's Crusade, blaming the Jews for the Black Death in 1348 and subsequently killing them, killing native Americans for their unwilligness to "submit to Jesus", slavery, the St. Bartholomew's Day Massacre of 1572, all crimes rooted in the Christian religion. But not for Christianity they would not have occured.
Even if your God were real I would not worship him. According to the bible itself your God has murdered millions of people, and on many occasions over very minor issues.
Christianity wants you to believe that a perfect God was sitting unhappy in the sky upset with the creation that he himself made. And although the bible says that God planned all the days in advance and knew how every day of world history would unfold he sets up the original sin in the Garden of Eden and blames humans for the sin he created.
Rather show empathy and responsibilty and forget the whole thing he decides that what would make him happy is a blood scarifice. So he chooses to sacrifice himself to himself for the weekend. (3 days) Since God can create people at the snap of fingers where is the sacrifice?
Soldiers fighting for your country for weeks and getting tortured, dismembered and killed have performed a far greater sacrifice than the fictional Jesus ever did. Why not worship them?
Your god according to your holy book is immoral.
In your Holy book God orders the murder of many innocent children. That is also immoral. And if you "worship" such a deity than I submit to you that you are immoral as well.
The burden of proof rests with the claiment. Even if all the science in the world were proved wrong tomorrow it would not make Christianity true by default. That sets up a false dicotomoy and ignores the hundreds of other religions which all fail to meet their burden of prof as well and like your religion believe that they are the ones who "got it right".
On the site, you spend a lot of time incorrectly debunking science when the reality is your time should be spent proving YOUR religion's claims true using secular sources.
Joseph was clearly the son of Jacob (Matthew 1:16), so Luke 3:23 should be understood to mean "son-in-law of Heli." Thus the genealogy of Christ in Luke is actually the genealogy of Mary, while Matthew gives that of Joseph. Actually the word "son" in Luke 3:23 is not in the original, so it would be legitimate to supply either "son" or "son-in-law" in this context. Since Matthew and Luke clearly record much common material, it is certain that neither one could unknowingly incorporate such a flagrant apparent mistake as the wrong genealogy in his record. As it is, however, the two genealogies show that both parents were descendants of David. Joseph through Solomon (Matthew 1:7-15), thus inheriting the legal right to the throne of David, and Mary through Nathan (Luke 3:23-31), her line thus carrying the seed of David, since Solomon's line had been refused the throne because of Jechoniah's sin (Jeremiah 22:24-30 and Jeremiah 33:15-17).
You have a very twisted view of Christianity. There are many cults that fly the Christian banner but serve not the Lord Jesus Christ. Read the Devils Favorite Trick, as it appears you have fallen for it along with a great company of others: http://www.accordingtothescriptures.org/doctrine/devilstrick.html
"But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them." (2 Corinthians 4:4)
6. You are aware that Pauls’ Jesus was a celestial concept right? The original Jesus. That in the mid 1st century those who believed in a Jesus believed in a spiritual being only. Jesus was not human in their belief. If you don’t know this read your bible. It was the writers of the gospels who changed this and by about 100CE were declaring that Jesus was a real figure. Paul’s Jesus was not born, did not die, was not crucified, and performed no miracles. That part of the myth came later. Mark made Jesus real person and gave him a biography. Matthew copied Mark and embellished the story. Luke disagreed with Matthew on some key points and his gospel in places directly contradicts Matthew. (His genealogy and born during the reign of who are 2 famous examples but there are others) John contradicts all 3 synoptic gospels.
7. Virgin Birth:>> The original Hebrew word used in the bible was “almah” denoting young woman. The Hebrew word for virgin was Bethulah which was not used. “Matthew” rifling through the old texts yanks out almah and mistranlstes into Greek “Parthenos” which denotes “Virgin”. This that part of the fraud was born. There seems to be no smoking gun here for either side as neither of us can “prove’ what was thinking but I’ll offer this bit of reasoning: “Almah” denotes “Young Woman” and can mean a virgin or simply a young woman. It’s ambiguous. But let’s suppose I wanted to write a story and 1 sentence involved “a young woman went to the market” Would I write “A human went to the market” Or would I be specific and write “A young woman went to the market”. A human can be a woman in the same way almah can be a virgin. If I were writing the story and my intent was to convey “Virgin: I would carefully choose my language and use the word “bethulah” or as in my version of the story “A young woman went to the market. Wouldn’t you? Wouldn’t anybody? Be honest. If your intent is to write about a virgin you would choose a specific word denoting virgin and not use a general term. When that scripture was composed the Hebrews had not yet warmed up to the common motif of virgin births which was a common element in Pagan mythology. Frankly I fail to see what is so special about a virgin birth anyway. Its simple. IVF anybody? Many women around the world conceive children today with implanted sperm. No sex required.
8. Regarding Nazareth. Matthew changed “Nazarene” meaning “The long haired” to “Nazareth” to fictitiously give Jesus a place of abode. There is no archeological evidence that the Nazareth of today existed in the 1st century whether as a thriving community or a struggling settlement
9. Your closing paragraph veers away from the issue and does not address it. Your closing threats are akin to the caged Christian backed into a corner when challenged. Threats of hell and what will happen to me because I reject the claims made by Christianity. Why do I care? There are a multiple reasons. A person’s beliefs effect their actions and decisions. Christianity is responsible for such things as slavery (YES - Several Popes passed papal bulls related to and support of the slave trade & the Bible fully endorses slavery) , Inquisition, Witch hunts, hate crimes against homosexuals and “non believers”, the destruction of the ancient European culture, the destruction of many other cultures, the Crusades and more. You are a human just like me. We are no different. If you care whether your beliefs are true I invite you to do some honest and serious research into the matter yourself. I have. Research material both religious and secular. Learn about other religions and how they compare with Christianity and how they differ. Study Sumerian mythology, Babylonian and Egyptian mythology which all have common motifs that were assimilated into the Jewish Islamic and Christian religions. I assume you are an intelligent person who seems to be able to articulate himself well. The unfortunate thing is, that somebody indoctrinated you into the Christian belief system at some point in your life. Had you been born in Saudi Arabia you & I would be debating the existence of Allah with you in support and me opposed. It probably will not happen in my life time but I hope one day the human race can rise above all religion and we can live in reality rather than a world of delusion created by ancient goat herders from the Bronze Age.
6. Wow, do you really believe what you are saying? I doubt if you are going to get any followers on that one. As for the genealogies in Luke and Matthew, there is no contradiction at all once you understand that the genealogy of Christ in Luke is actually the genealogy of Mary, while Matthew gives that of Joseph.
7. You are mistaken. Naarah is the Hebrew word to denote a "young woman". Almah is the Hebrew word to denote a young woman that is a virgin, and when the 54 scholars translated the KJB they chose to translate almah in this particular context virgin. You will have a hard time convincing anyone otherwise except those who have come out of a liberal seminary. Bottom line for me is that the virgin birth was prophesied 700 years before it came to pass and was wonderfully fulfilled in that virgin Mary. God was "made in the likeness of men" (Philippians 2:7), God sent "his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh" (Romans 8:3), yet He was "without sin" (Hebrews 4:15), and God chose to do it through the virgin birth. Christ was not born like you and I with a sinful nature, born of Adam's race. He was miraculously conceived of the Holy Ghost. The Bible tells us that the payment for sin is death. I could not die for your sin because I have sin of my own. I too need a redeemer who could take away my sin. Jesus was without sin and therefore could die for your sins and mine. "For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins. Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me" (Hebrews 10:4-5). God prepared Him a body in the womb of that virgin and God was manifest in the flesh with the sole purpose to redeem a fallen mankind, and to save them from their sins, so they might have the free gift of everlasting life when they receive Christ.
8. You reject the earliest historical document of this record so there is many things you will not accept. For some it does not matter how much evidence is available. Many today believe the Holocaust did not happen, or that man never landed on the moon etc. You need to examine your heart. If you are seriously looking for evidence of early archaeological evidence of Nazareth just Google it. You will find evidence on the very first page of your search.
9. When you die do you know where you will be? I am not talking about the tent you now live in that is decaying and will soon be dust. I am talking about you, the spirit that now resides in your body. The spirit is not physical. That is the part that will go on to live forever, where is your choice. Read "The Devils Favorite Trick" on this website. It appears you have fallen for it. The Pope is not Christian, and Roman Catholicism is not Biblical Christianity. The Bible tells us to "Prove all things" so you are not that far from being a true Christian. I have done my own research and have come out of a cult because of it, although being trained from a child of it's "truth". I have a library full of books on all the topics you have mentioned and more. I have a book that I wrote called "Mystery of the Mayans and Aztecs Solved" with the subtitle, "Unlocking the mysteries of the Inhabitants, Languages, and Religions of the World" that is a summation of my own research. If you email me your mailing address I would be glad to send you a free copy. For me it is not hard to believe in an Almighty God and Creator, just by looking at all the amazing marvels of creation. It demands a Creator, a Master designer. Some believe in evolution which I have seen to be the greatest hoax this world has ever known.
1. Your opening line: “Let's face it, if Jesus were not real there would be no Christianity,” Again using your own reasoning & logic….The gods & goddesses: .Hercules, Enlil, Enki, Thor, Frei, Mithras, Isis, Ra, Mercury, Mars, Asherah, Baal, Jupiter, Zeus…..you get the idea – MUST all be real otherwise they would not have any followers? This is what you are saying. Oh really???? So you believe in them as well????
2. My Bat man analogy: Your original comment was & I’’ll paraphrase was that “Because the bible lists real people & places that proves the miracle claims true.” I pointed out that it is easy to create a fictional character and drop him into a real historic setting. This is Logic 101. Your assertion is false. Each claim must stand on it’s own merit. The fact that real people & places in the bible exist does not prove the miracle claims true. Sure everyone in 2012 knows Bat Man is false, but what if Barrack Obama suddenly declared Bat Man was real and forced you & the world by the sword to worship him. In 200 years your descendants growing up in a world of Bat Man believers would believe he really existed, especially back in the Dark Ages in a world void of education. In the same way by 312 CE, 5% of Rome was Christian. When Constantine took power he made the 5% minority Christianity the legal religion of Rome and by the end of the 4rth century all other beliefs were declared illegal, heresy and punishable by DEATH. This is how your religion spread. Mass murder & threats
3. I am beginning to think I know more about your religion than you do. But I digress. You quote Paul Maier…..again the argument from authority and claim there is lots of evidence of Jesus. What evidence? Name 1 CONTEMPORARY account written in 33 CE or earlier. According to the bible Jesus was seen and followed by thousands. So it should be easy to find one scribe who wrote about him secular or otherwise. Problem is – for Christians - nobody wrote a thing. I repeat there are NO CONTEMPORARY accounts of Jesus during the time he is purported to have existed. All the people you cite WERE NOT CONTEMPORARY! They were late first century. Nobody disputes there were not believers in a Jesus in the late first century just as there were believers in the god Mithras in the late first century. I assume you don’t believe in Mithras? If you don’t why don’t you believe in Mithras?
4. You mention Josephus. I assume you mean the Testimonium Flavium? The well known forgery dropped into his works “Antiquity of the Jews”? Even most Biblical scholars recognize that as a forgery since it was never quoted anywhere prior to the year 340. Catholic Bishop Eusebius was the first to mention it and this man is well known for before a prolific liar.
5. None of the gospels claim to be eye witnesses. (Again you make a false assertion. One of many) And even if there were eye witnesses this is a red herring. Today there are people who claim to have been abucted by aliens yet they can provide no proof and few are believed. These are first hand accounts who have no proof for their claim of alien abuction. An eye witness would perhaps prove the historicity of Jesus assuming they were being honest but it would not prove the miracle parts of the story true. Nevertheless we don’t even have 1 single eye witness account
1. Just in case you do not know all these idols are from the Greek and Roman Pantheon. No one today follows them. These were idols that they first fashioned with their minds in the constellations and then made idols to worship them. Or as the Bible says, "...God turned, and gave them up to worship the host of heaven ... ye took up the tabernacle of Moloch, and the star of your god Remphan, figures which ye made to worship them..." (Acts 7:42-43) If you would like to know more on this subject we have a couple of articles on our website that go into more detail on this, called "Stars, Idols and Demons" and "The Mystery of Religion".
2. Your batman theory just does not wash. It may have worked in the "Dark Ages" of superstition, but will not work today. When Constantine legalized Christianity in 324 AD what happen was that Constantine's form of Christianity was a pagan one. People became Christians for all the wrong reasons now. Pagan temples were turned into cathedrals, idols names were changed to saints, such as, the idols of Isis and Horus, the Madonna with Child, was changed to Mary and the babe Jesus. The head of the pagan priesthood, the Pontifex Maximus (ceasar), now became the presiding Bishop of Rome over all other bishops. This is how ROMAN Catholicism (a cult) was formed. To become a Christian in the first three centuries meant a certain painful death. After the legalization of Christianity, it meant exaltation to high positions in government etc. The Pagans would not be converted so the world converted Christianity. That is called apostasy in the Bible, or a departure from the faith. You can read more about this in our article called "Babylon and the Church Today" for more information on this topic.
3. The ministry of Jesus Christ began approximately the last three years of His life and then He was crucified and died for our sins and rose again from the dead approximately 33 AD. Now you want something written "in 33 CE or earlier". You must take into account that it is hard to write details of an account before they happen. In your critique of your Creator Jesus Christ, you should also take into account that those were not the days of Twitter and Facebook, TV, CNN, ABC, Fox News, computers and the printing press. The first accounts of the life and death of Christ were written by his companions, which were recorded in the Bible by the apostles. You must also understand that in those days when things were written on the skins of animals or on papyri, they were read and handled and wore out rather quickly and copies needed to be made, and this is how most documents have come down to us today. Christianity in its beginnings may have been quite insignificant. There were only approximately 100 people in the upper room before Pentecost. But as it began to grow from that "little flock" (Luke 12:32) it began to be noticed and hence, the latter half of the first century is where you would expect to find secular mention of this "sect", which records have survived to this day such as Josephus, Tacitus, Pliny the Younger, etc.
4. I cannot believe the extent that some will go to try and banish the reality of Jesus Christ from their life and minds. You are grasping at straws my friend. People have been trying to destroy the Bible with its historical record for thousands of years, but it remains true. They are gone and God's Word remains. "For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away: But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you." (1 Peter 1:24-25)
5. "For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve: After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep. After that, he was seen of James; then of all the apostles. And last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time." (1 Corinthians 15:3-8)
"Asking one or two questions at a time may get a response, but for now, in response to your first question, I will leave you with this: the Bible deals with real people, places and events, and at every turn it has been found to be the most accurate historically document the world has ever known. I do not know where you get your information from but consider what one of the world's most respected archaeologists, William F. Albright had to say, "There can be no doubt that archaeology has confirmed the substantial historicity of Old Testament tradition."
You are using the argument from authority.
YES The bible has real people and real places in it. I agree. It also has a few who are not real ex: Nazareth, which did not exist in the first century. In any case, that proves nothing. Spider Man lives in New York City. By this line of reasoning Spider Man is real by I can find NYC on a map. It is easy to create a fictional character and drop him into a real historic setting with real historic people.
Allow me to demontrate:
"Bat Man was born in San Fransisco in 1906 during the reign of King Edward VII. The grounds shook when he was born. He performed miracles, healed the sick and walked on water. Later he moved to Germany and was arrested by an evil man named Adolf Hitler who tortured and killed him. And after his death he was seen rising into the sky."
If I wrote such a story now - in 200 years you could confirm that there is a San Fransisco, Hitler who lived in 1889-1945, that Edward VII was indeed a reigning king in 1906 and that in 1906 there was an earthquake in San Fransisco.
It does not prove the miracle aspects of my story true. This is Logic 101.
Each claim must stand on its own merit and the fact is there is NO contemporary evidence that a man named Jesus existed. Lots of 2nd century writings sure, but utter silence in the early first century.
Saying the Bible is the most accurate document of its time is an utter lie. The Virgin birth is a mistranslation. There are may contradtions which I am sure you are aware and I could go on but I'll allow you to comment on the above for now.
Let's face it, if Jesus were not real there would be no Christianity, which today number about a billion souls. Luke would have went back to his medicine practice, Matthew to his tax collecting, Peter to his fishing nets, etc., but no, they gave up their life to bring the message of the gospel to a lost and dying world. Many in the early church would have gladly bowed down to idols of Caesar if the fact of the resurrection of Jesus Christ had not taken place, but no, they gladly chose martyrdom, knowing they would obtain a better resurrection.
And today, historians such as Paul L. Maier address this absurdity saying, "The total evidence is so overpowering, so absolute that only the shallowest of intellects would dare to deny Jesus' existence."
There is mention of Jesus by many historians, Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Peter, Paul, Tacitus, Josephus, Pliny the younger, etc. Some of these were eyewitnesses such as Luke who wrote, "Forasmuch as many have taken in hand to set forth in order a declaration of those things which are most surely believed among us, Even as they delivered them unto us, which from the beginning were eyewitnesses, and ministers of the word; It seemed good to me also, having had perfect understanding of all things from the very first, to write unto thee in order, most excellent Theophilus, That thou mightest know the certainty of those things, wherein thou hast been instructed." (Luke 1:1-4)
As for Nazareth not existing in the first century, your argument is from one of silence, Nazareth was quite insignificant in its beginnings as with any city, hence the saying, "can anything good come out of Nazareth?" (John 1:46) The only mention of Nazareth in the Bible is referring to "Jesus of Nazareth", which would obviously, in subsequent centuries, make it a city of renown.
Considering your argument, "Spider Man lives in New York City. By this line of reasoning Spider Man is real by I can find NYC on a map. It is easy to create a fictional character and drop him into a real historic setting with real historic people." This just does not wash as EVERYONE knows that Spiderman is a Marvel Comics super action hero. Nobody believes he is a real person. The same goes for your batman story.
But more than the historical witness is the moral witness of Christ. He "went about doing good", "never man spake like this man". He could challenge His contemporaries, "Which of you can convice me of sin?" We can easily point out the sins in one another's lives, but none could put their finger on Christ because He was God manifest in the flesh, the One who bore our sins on the cross that we might have the free gift of everlasting life. If Jesus never existed in your mind, why all the fuss? Why waste your time? Why not just leave these silly Christians with their fairytales and move on. Oh but you can't, because you know that if it were true that Jesus is alive and He is who He says He is, you will stand before Him as your Judge unless you repent. Many like yourself feel they need to find some jot or tittle that they might throw out the whole counsel of God, despite its overwhelming truth that speaks to the soul of man. I have nothing to lose seeing that Christ already owns my life, and it is in His hands. You on the other hand have eternity to lose. You should reconsider your ways. I will pray for you, that God would open your mind and heart to see.
Oh yes, as for the "virgin birth", it is no mistranslation. I thought the academics have come to understand this by now. But let us follow this through right from the prophecy in Isaiah.
"Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a SIGN (Note: also translated "miracle". What sort of miracle would this be if a girl got pregnant by a man?); Behold, a VIRGIN [Hebrew: Almah] (Note: In the Septuagint, the Greek translation of the Hebrew Scriptures, "Almah" was translated by the 70 Greek/Hebrew scholars as "parthenes" which can only mean "virgin") shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel" (Isaiah 7:14).
As we stated, the word translated "virgin" is from the original Hebrew word "almah" and is used 7 times in the Bible. It is translated once as "damsels", twice as "maid" and 4 times as "virgin". There is no instance that can prove that this word designates a young woman who is not a virgin. There is also another word used more often and translated as virgin, the Hebrew word, "bethuwlah". There is also the Hebrew word naarah, used 62 times which is never used to denote a virgin but is translated "damsel", "maiden", "maid", "young", and "young woman". But apart from that, it would be no "sign" (miracle) for a woman to conceive. Most all women can do this, but this is a further prophecy pointing to the Redeemer who was promised to come and save His people from their sins. When mankind fell, the promise right from the garden was that the "seed" (Genesis 3:15) of the woman would come and destroy the works of the devil.
Also, when we look to the fulfillment of this prophecy we are told in Matthew that "before they [Mary and Joseph] came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost" (Matthew 1:18), and that Joseph "knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son" (v. 25) Even Mary, when she was told that this blessing was to come upon her she said, "How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?" (Luke 1:34) Furthermore, the New Testament was written in koine Greek and the word translated virgin (parthenos) in this case can only mean "virgin", removing any doubt of this miraculous event.
It is one thing for an athiest not to believe in miracles, but this is certainly no mistranslation. For those who believe in the Almighty Creator, the virgin birth is no problem at all, seeing He spoke the whole universe into being by His mighty Word.
It is strange how some have a great problem with the Almighty God creating the universe, yet they have no problem believing the universe started with the explosion (the big bang) of a dot smaller than the size of a proton, and after billions of years here we are, intelligent beings, the result of undirected random chance communicating over computors on the internet. I often wonder whose faith is greater.
You keep quoting the bible. How do you know what is written there is historically accurate? There is NO evidence the Hebrews were in Egypt as the bible says. There is no evidence of King David or Solomon as the bible says. There is no contemporary evidence for Jesus. And so forth. If you accept Christianity why do you reject all other faiths? Are you aware that the creation story of Genesis and the flood myth appear in a variant form in earlier cultures like Babylon and Sumeria? Although in those cases there are gods and they have names. There are marked parallels to suggest that the writers of Genesis borrowed and altered earlier mythology.
Even the Hebrews were polytheists believing in El, Asherah, Yahweh and Baal. They BELIEVED many other gods existed. They worshipped 3 only, Asherah, Yahweh and El.
Since courts in civilized socities do not kill people for working on the Sabbath or killing disobedient children as 2 examples we can assume that most folks disagree with your perfect creator. Care to rationalize that?
You believe in Jesus because you were indoctrinated into that religion, probably at an early age. Yet you reject all other religions without knowing about them. You may may some but you know the theologies of all? What is your response "I heard the word of the lord so I just know"? Or something to that effect.
Muslims believe in Allah as strongly as you believe in Jesus. Ditto for Budhists, Siekhs or any other religion you can name. Not one has EVIDENCE to support it's claims.
While I believe in evolution, if evolution were suddenly proven wrong tomorrow it would not mean you can plug your God into the vacant gap. See science is wrong - therefore God. Sorry doesn't work that way. Assuming you could tear apart science does not prove another claim true. If that were true why not plug Zeus in there instead of Jesus.
I would love to discuss with you any one of these 20 or so points/questions you have since everyone has a reasonable answer, but your drive by shooting approach makes it a little hard to reply because of the space and time involved. I could give you a list of 100 reasons why evolution is stupid and ask you a reply to each one also.
Asking one or two questions at a time may get a response, but for now, in response to your first question, I will leave you with this: the Bible deals with real people, places and events, and at every turn it has been found to be the most accurate historically document the world has ever known. I do not know where you get your information from but consider what one of the world's most respected archaeologists, William F. Albright had to say, "There can be no doubt that archaeology has confirmed the substantial historicity of Old Testament tradition." Consider what the Jewish archaeologist, Nelson Glueck, who was honoured by the liberal Time Magazine, had to say, "It may be stated categorically that no archaeological discovery has ever controverted a biblical reference." Listen also to what Professor William F. Albright, archaeologist and head of Palestine's American School of Oriental Research, had to say, "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."
God Is Inferior and a jerk.
FIRST- Any person who does not advocate slavery is morally superior to God.
God supports and endorses slavery.
(Slaves, obey your earthly masters with deep respect and fear. Serve them sincerely as you would serve Christ. -Ephesians 6:5 NLT). (Christians who are slaves should give their masters full respect so that the name of God and his teaching will not be shamed. If your master is a Christian, that is no excuse for being disrespectful. You should work all the harder because you are helping another believer by your efforts. Teach these truths, Timothy, and encourage everyone to obey them -1 Timothy 6:1-2 NLT)
SECOND- Any person who does not advocate genocide is morally superior to God.
God supports and endorses genocide.
(1 Samuel 6:19) And he smote the men of Bethshemesh, because they had looked into the ark of the LORD, even he smote of the people fifty thousand and threescore and ten men: and the people lamented, because the LORD had smitten [many] of the people with a great slaughter.)
THIRD- Any person who advocates torture and death for something as minor as cursing a parent is morally superior to God.
God supports the death penalty for cursing. All who curse their father or mother must be put to death. They are guilty of a capital offense. (Leviticus 20:9 NLT)
FOURTH - Any person who does not support rape of another is morally superior to God.
(Deuteronomy 22:28-29 NLT) If a man is caught in the act of raping a young woman who is not engaged, he must pay fifty pieces of silver to her father. Then he must marry the young woman because he violated her, and he will never be allowed to divorce her.) What kind of lunatic would make a rape victim marry her attacker? Answer: God!
FIFTH- Any person who advocates killing people based on sexual orientation is morally superior to God. Kill Homosexuals
"If a man lies with a male as with a women, both of them shall be put to death for their abominable deed; they have forfeited their lives." (Leviticus 20:13 NAB) God supports murdering of homosexuals.
SIXTH- Any person who does not agree with murder and child killings is morally superior to God.
God supports child killings and murder.
29. And it came to pass, that at midnight the LORD smote all the firstborn in the land of Egypt
They entered into a covenant to seek the Lord, the God of their fathers, with all their heart and soul; and everyone who would not seek the Lord, the God of Israel, was to be put to death, whether small or great, whether man or woman. (2 Chronicles 15:12-13 NAB)
Chances are if you are reading this you are morally superior to the Judeo/Christian/Islamic God.
Nothing has been taken "out of context". Nobody claims that we are taking JOHN 3:16 out of context. If the bible is continually "taken out of context" it is not an effective book is it.
The laws in developed nations are in direct conflict with what God endorses. We punish those who kill, and murder children. We abolished slavery and have made it illegal to own slaves. Torture is illegal. Cursing is not a crime. Globally we don't tolerate this behavior in ourselves so why worship it in a God who does? It makes no sense. Wake up and read what the bible actually says. Read what is actually said by God & Jesus in the bible. I don't believe that either exist. But for those who do - they are debleepedable and not deserving of worship. And I question the morality of any person who states that they "worship God". Shall I call the police on you? A slave owning, raping, child killing, gay bashing serial killer frightens the hell out of me. And so do those who harbor one.
It is sad to see that your ignorance has fuelled hatred towards your Creator.
1)SLAVERY: It must be remembered that in the beginning there was no such relationship between mankind before sin entered the world. In the Bible, you find it used in various fashions. God delivered the Israelites out of slavery from their cruel taskmasters in Egypt. God sent the Israelites into exile and bondage in Babylon because of their gross sin and neglect of their Maker. Also, if someone was indebted to a person and could not pay, he would have to work it off as a servant to him whom he owed the debt. This could never be perpetual for there was the year of Jubilee in which all debts were erased. Today people go to prison to pay their debts. Are you against that too? Unfortunately this system does not pay for that which was stolen, and on top of that the one who has been stolen from gets to pay through his taxes for the wellbeing of the thief and prisoner. That is sure just?? If you overextend yourself to the bank, you will be obliged to pay back your debts to the banker, in essence you are a slave to the lender. Are you against that too? How about your employer, you are his slave/servant to do as he says. If you are against that you will be unemployed and will be searching for another one to be your master if you want to continue to eat. While the Scriptures do not outright condemn slavery/servant hood as such, they taught a new relationship between masters and servants (e.g., Colossians 3:22-4:1; Ephesians 6:5-9), considering both as brothers and fellow servants of Christ, and they urged true Christian behaviour on the part of both master and slave, and eventually these principles would change society itself, as an indirect effect, to which it has, gradually becoming more of an employer-employee relationship.
2)Genocide: The Bible tells us "The soul that sinneth, it shall die." (Ezekiel 18:20) And that "the wages of sin is death" (Romans 6:23). Also, "All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way" (Isaiah 53:6), and "all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23). That God does not strike you and me dead is an amazing thing. It is because of His mercies He allows us to continue another day, for He is "longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance" (2 Peter 3:9). When mankind commits genocide it is an atrocious thing, but if we are put to death by God it is just and right and according to what we deserve from the One we have sinned against. In the context of the Scripture you quoted, Israel at this time had sunk to a new low in turning from their Maker, the nations who then stole the ark where the Philistines who worshipped the sun and idols. Many of these gentile nations performed such abominable acts, even infanticide, slaughtering their own children on alters to their own gods that the time had come for them to be judged. You may call it genocide, but these were irreparably wicked and God would not allow their abominations to go on any longer, and perhaps by this example, many would fear and believe and turn from their wicked ways.
3) Cursing a parent: Sin if it is not nipped in the bud or restrained will go on to wholesale wickedness. When evil is first tolerated, it is not long before it is practiced. That is the lesson of history. We are also told in Deuteronomy, " If a man have a stubborn and rebellious son, which will not obey the voice of his father, or the voice of his mother, and that, when they have chastened him, will not hearken unto them: Then shall his father and his mother lay hold on him, and bring him out unto the elders of his city, and unto the gate of his place; And they shall say unto the elders of his city, This our son is stubborn and rebellious, he will not obey our voice; he is a glutton, and a drunkard. And all the men of his city shall stone him with stones, that he die: so shalt thou put evil away from among you; and all Israel shall hear, and fear." (Deuteronomy 21:18-21) Now you may call this another "minor" incident, but God does not, it only shows how depraved the minds of society have become. But take note that there is no example in the Bible of anyone ever putting to death his son for cursing their parents. This commandment alone was enough to turn many from even attempting such folly, and those who would ignore it and proudly and rebelliously curse their own parents, the ones who have nurtured them and brought them up would reap the consequences of their actions. Records indicate no rebellious son was ever put to death under this law. Every father elected to spare his own son, no matter how sinful the son might have been. Only Christ, the perfectly obedient Son (John 17:4; 8:29) was not spared (Romans 8:32). "Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee." (Exodus 20:12)
4)Rape: Here you are corrupting the Scriptures. There was a death penalty for rape (Read Deuteronomy 22:25-27). The innocent woman was not forced to marry her rapist. You need to read a little more carefully before you think to blaspheme your righteous Maker.
5)Homosexual: Again this just goes to show how far our minds have slipped by endorsing such a perversion. The sins described in the 23rd chapter of Leviticus are considered to be very grievous sins by the Lord Himself. They include infanticide (Leviticus 20:2-5), especially in connection with child sacrifice (note Leviticus 18:21) as practiced in certain idolatrous worship, spiritism (Leviticus 20:6, 27), cursing of parents (Leviticus 20:9), adultery (Leviticus 20:10), incest (Leviticus 20:11), homosexuality (Leviticus 20:13), bestiality (Leviticus 20:15-16), and others. They were punishable by death in Israel, in order to maintain the holiness of the people as a nation set apart to God (Leviticus 20:23-26). Whether or not such punishments should be enforced today is controversial; it is at least obvious that God hates such sins. Yet all are being promoted today in the modern revival of ancient paganism known as the "New-Age" morality.
6)Murdering children: First of all let us take note that in Exodus 19, the smiting of the firstborn, that they were not necessarily babies. (Do you support abortion?) Also, in your first complaint against God, you were against slavery, now you are mad that God would judge the Egyptians who, even after the first nine plagues, would still not set the Israelites free from their bondage. You cannot have it both ways.
The KJV and the Strongs Concordance are wonderful tools! There is a metaphoric
language! The KJV and Strongs Concordance can be downloaded just type in your search bar "esword bible". It would behoove us all to study the language of metaphor!!!