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Old 07-07-2009, 12:55 PM
 
4,706 posts, read 3,591,489 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kdbrich View Post
...God allowed Satan to influence David.
Those three words are fraught with so many problems I don't even know where to start.

 
Old 07-07-2009, 01:49 PM
 
Location: London, UK
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I was going to respond to a post setting out a list of prophecies of Jesus and ( just the plonking claims) and the actual text, but I can't remember where it was. Anyway, it's really for my own reference but, if anyone finds it useful, I'm happy.

As the Son of God
Ps 2:7 Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion.
7 I will declare the decree: the LORD hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee. 8 Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession. 9 Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter's vessel.

This is a prophecy about the Messiah. A king who reigns in Zion; Jerusalem. It is one of those Messiah references I would pick if I was looking for evidence of a military, Jewish, messiah., not a Christ - type Messiah.
[
]Lu 1:32,35 And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.

That Luke says so is no assurance that it was so. Of course, the people that share Luke's beliefs endore it but what other evidence is there that it is or was the case? The passage does not appear in any other gospel.
Whether this has been fulfilled is arguable. He doesn't have the throne of his father, unless this is seen in some metaphorical or symbolic way or something to happen in the future.
Is Jesus reigning over the House of Jacob?

Why are the Jews sometimes called the House of Jacob and sometimes the Children of Israel?
Our forefather Jacob was later given an additional name -- Israel,1 which is why the Jews, his children, are referred to by both names.

Why are the Jews sometimes called the House of Jacob and sometimes the Children of Israel? - The Details

so the House of Jacob is the Jews.

Hi Anon,
The House of Jacob refers to the Nation of Israel. The Bible often uses the names interchangeably, but they mean the same thing. Jacob's twelve sons are the twelve tribes of Israel. God changed Jacob's name to Israel in Genesis 32:28.
Jesus Christ is a Jew and Israelite and specifically a descendent of the tribe of Judah. God promised Israel He would give them an everlasting kingdom and that the Messiah would rule over the house of David forever. In 1 Chronicles 16:13-24 it is explained that God was making an everlasting covenant with Jacob and his children. In this passage God mentions both the names of Jacob and Israel.
Presently, Jesus of course is the Christ (Messiah) and sits on the throne of David, which is the throne of Israel.

Baptists: House of Jacob, twelve tribes of israel, tribe of judah

This is a chatroom but it expresses the view of certain Christians at least. I cannot see that Jesus is sitting on any throne of David, except on a metaphysical sense and a metaphysical prophecy fulfillment is no prophecy fulfillment except for wishful thinking.

As the seed of the woman
Ge 3:15 And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.
Ga 4:4
4 But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, 5 To redeem them that were under the law

I see no connection whatsoever between these as prophecy. All it says is that Paul thinks that Jesus, a man born of a woman, came from God

As the seed of Abraham
17:14 And the uncircumcised man childwhoseflesh of his foreskin is not circumcised , that soul shall be cut off from his people; he hath broken my covenant.
22:18 And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice.

This is talking about the covenant between God and Abraham and all his descendents thereafter. It lays down the circumcision rite as mandatory which, since Paul argued against it being neccessary for sharing the 'promise',does not suggest that Galatians is likely to show a fulfilment of that as prophecy,

]Ga 3:16 He therefore that ministereth to you the Spirit, and worketh miracles among you, doeth he it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?
Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness. Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham

This is no prophecy of Jesus, it is what I have argued elsewhere: that Paul argued that Abraham was righteous, before the Law and so faith should be enough. But the above genesis quote shows that righteusness in not enough to be one of the seed of Abraham. One has to be circumcised or one is not part of the covenant made with Abraham.

As the seed of Isaac
Ge 21:12 in Isaac shall thy seed be called. And also of the son of the bondwoman will I make a nation, because he is thy seed.
Heb 11:17-19 By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac: and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son, Of whom it was said, That in Isaac shall thy seed be called:

You can read the whole of Hebrews. It is about how faith enabled the OT figures to have God do things for them (as though he couldn't have done it with or without), but I can see nothing that makes this look like a prophecy that Jesus was messiah, son of God or anything else

Hmm. I'm sorry that some some of the font viruses seem to have affected my comments.

Last edited by AREQUIPA; 07-07-2009 at 02:00 PM..
 
Old 07-07-2009, 03:24 PM
 
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When Christians refer to the Bible as 'inerrant', they are referring to the original documents.Obviously not every group that undertakes to translate or transcribe the Bible is error free. And not even every Christian has a full understanding of what the doctrine of inerrancy is all about.So, these supposed errors based on various English versions of a document written primarily in Greek and Hebrew ought to be examined in another way.But don't count on that. It's far too easy to set up a strawman.
 
Old 07-07-2009, 04:21 PM
 
Location: Victoria, BC.
24,023 posts, read 16,666,083 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by c'est la vie View Post
When Christians refer to the Bible as 'inerrant', they are referring to the original documents.Obviously not every group that undertakes to translate or transcribe the Bible is error free. And not even every Christian has a full understanding of what the doctrine of inerrancy is all about.So, these supposed errors based on various English versions of a document written primarily in Greek and Hebrew ought to be examined in another way.But don't count on that. It's far too easy to set up a strawman.
So that must mean that the English versions are not to be trusted. No wonder I can't make sense of the bible. I suppose all good Christians read Greek, Hebrew and Aramaic, is that right?...

Actually I really think it is just another one of many cop outs you fundies use when errors are pointed out in your revered story book.
 
Old 07-08-2009, 02:45 AM
 
Location: London, UK
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Ok, next bit of the list of prophecies...maybe I should just open a prophecy thread.

The way I'm doing this is to build up a body of reference so one doesn't have to do a weeks' research every time a theist claims that there are 300 prophecies proving ...whatever it is they are arguing.

Prophecy of Jesus -
As the seed of Isaac
Ge 21:12 in Isaac shall thy seed be called. 13 And also of the son of the bondwoman will I make a nation, because he is thy seed.
Heb 11:17-19 17 By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac: and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son, 18 Of whom it was said, That in Isaac shall thy seed be called:

You can read the whole of Hebrews. It is about how faith enabled the OT figures to have God do things for them (as though he couldn't have done it with or without), but I can see nothing that makes this look like a prophecy that Jesus was messiah, son of God or anything else.

His coming at a set time
Ge 49:10 And Jacob called unto his sons, and said, Gather yourselves together, that I may tell you that which shall befall you in the last days. 2 Gather yourselves together, and hear, ye sons of Jacob; and hearken unto Israel your father.

Read the chapter and see whether the 'Last days' has anything to do with Jesus or second comings or apocalypses. Nothing.

Da 9:24,25 9:24 Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy.

This is better. The idea is that from the date of this prophecy "In the first year of Darius the son of Ahasuerus,...In the first year of his reign I Daniel understood by books the number of the years, whereof the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah the prophet, that he would accomplish seventy years in the desolations of Jerusalem. "

Supposedly it adds up to the 1st century if it relates to Jesus. It is a complicated matter and I think I should put this at the end. Though I'm not going to get bogged down in the complexities, just set out some of the problems.

Lu 2:1 but this refers to the Roman census, held after Herod and died and Archchelaus deposed, as Matthew says was the reason why Joseph and his family could return. What has this to do with some supposed ordained time?

His being born of a virgin
Isa 7:14 Mt 1:22,23 Lu 2:7
This should not have been included. The Bethulah/almah mistranslation is as notorious as Ray Comfort's banana (or Piltdown man, ok) and ought to have put this supposed prophecy to bed long ago.

His being called Immanuel Isa 7:14 Moreover the LORD spake again unto Ahaz, saying, 11 Ask thee a sign of the LORD thy God; ask it either in the depth, or in the height above. 12 But Ahaz said, I will not ask, neither will I tempt the LORD. 13 And he said, Hear ye now, O house of David; Is it a small thing for you to weary men, but will ye weary my God also? 14 Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin (in the hebrew this just means a young woman, virgin OR NOT, in Greek it was translated 'Parthenos' - virgo intacta) shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call F45 his name Immanuel. 15 Butter and honey shall he eat, that he may know to refuse the evil, and choose the good. 16 For before the child shall know to refuse the evil, and choose the good, the land that thou abhorrest shall be forsaken of both her kings.

The context of this is war against syria." 7 Thus saith the Lord GOD, It shall not stand, neither shall it come to pass. 8 For the head of Syria is Damascus, and the head of Damascus is Rezin; and within threescore and five years shall Ephraim be broken," It is not a prophecy of a messiah.

Mt 1:22,23
Matthew adds this to the 'Virgin' mistake and refers to 'The prophet' (Isaiah) who foretold.. 21 And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins. 22 Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, 23 Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.

This belies the prophecy right away as Jesus was called Jesus, never Emmanuel. It might be argued the prophecy is really about Jesus being God incarnate (God with us) but that is taking a 'God is with us' warcry, applying it to a person who should (if the prophecy is accurate be CALLED Immanuel) and making it related to a fact which is itself a matter of debate. This is one of the flimsier prophecies.

being born in Bethlehem of Judea
Mic 5:2 Mt 2:1 Lu 2:4-6
As I have argued elsewhere, Jesus was not bortn in Bethlehem. Mark does not mention it, John positively discounts it at John 7.42, and matthew and Luke devise incompatible and unworkable stories in order to fulfull the prophecy. It is becoming clear how this 'prophectic proofs' of Jesus is fiddled.

Great persons coming to adore him
Ps 72: it nothing to do with Jesus. It is about Solomon. "{To Solomon.] Give the king thy judgments, O God, and thy righteousness unto the king's son."
The kings of Tarshish and of the isles shall bring presents: the kings of Sheba and Seba shall offer gifts.

10 Mt 2:1-11 1 Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men (the greek term 'magoi' is used) from the east to Jerusalem, 2 Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him.

What is 'magoi'? Kings from Tarshish or Saba?
"It is not Greek in origin, but generally considered as an old Persian loan word. Old Persian is, not surprisingly, the language of the ancient Persians, and it is an indo-european language like Greek and Latin are, but belonging to the indo-aryan group. This being so, there could well be a
>more exact etymology, but as far as I know there is no good explanation of the word...Your comments are interesting; particularly, since they differ
somewhat from what a member from another list had to say on the topic:. . . .the Magoi were a tribe of the Medes, to the west of the ancient
Persians, and described at some length by Herodotus in Bk 1 of his
Histories (1.140) as being a priestly caste with some distinctive
religious practices that aren't necessarily if at all related to the
Persian (who spoke an Indo-European language, Old Avestan, later Persian,
nov96: Re: The Greek word 'Magoi'

read the page ands search 'magoi' or 'magi', if you need to but the general view of Persia plus Matthew saying they came from the east would rule out Tarshish and the isles and Sheba. Plus, of course, no-one but Matthew mentions this remarkable event. The story itself is unbelievable, even if we could credit that Matthew knew what Herod had said to his persian visitors. I think this one can be put in the overflowing 'no prophecy' bin.

Daniel 70 weeks from..when?
First difficulty is in deciding which king this Darius was. It looks like Darius son of Xerxes There isn't one, though there is an Darius III Codomannus, great-grandson of Darius II, ruled 336330, son of Artaxerxes IV Arses, his son, ruled 338336 B.C. That was after Cyrus (550530 b.c) had ended the Babylonian captivity.
Some have tried to make transliteration of the names of persian kings and some have suggested it was a governor, not a king. Clearly there is confusion.

The date 9:24 "Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy".

There are disagreements about how to calculate 70 weeks, when it should be dated from and what event it relates to. It is mind - bogglingly complex and, after looking at a lot of stuff, I have to say that, again, Wiki gives the best overall view.

"Many Christian commentators hold that the 69th week reached its fulfillment during the life of Jesus Christ, although there is little consensus regarding whether it points to his birth, baptism, transfiguration, triumphal entry, crucifixion, or some combination of these events. There are three schools of thought on how the 70th week should be interpreted. Historicists hold that the 70th week was fulfilled in the ministry and death of Jesus while Preterists believe that the 70th week was fulfilled in the Destruction of the Temple in 70 AD. By contrast, the Futurist school places an indefinite period of time between the 69th week and the 70th, the latter of which is viewed as a future 7 year tribulation period."...

"Modern Biblical scholars, the Jewish Encyclopedia[15], the Jewish Publication Society study bible and some Evangelical Christian scholars(Vanderwaal, Goldingay, Lucas) all concur that it was an ex eventu prophecy fulfilled in the time of Antiochus Epiphanes. The "anointed," the "prince," mentioned after the first seven times seven units, must be Cyrus, who is called the anointed of the Lord in Isa. xlv. 1 also. He concluded the first seven weeks of years by issuing the decree of liberation, and the time that elapsed between the Chaldean destruction of Jerusalem (586) and the year 538 was just about forty-nine years. The duration of the sixty-two times seven units (434 years) does not correspond with the time 538-171 (367 years); but the chronological knowledge of that age was not very exact. The Seder 'Olam Zuṭa[16] computed the Persian rule to have lasted fifty-two years. This is all the more evident as the last period of seven units must include the seven years 170-164 [17]. This week of years began with the "cutting off of an anointed one"(9:26) referring to the murder of the legitimate high priest Onias III (compare Lev. iv. 3 et seq. on the anointing of the priest) in 170 BC; the "destruction of the city"(9:26) refers to the destruction of Jerusalem and the desolation of the Temple in 168 BC by the forces of Antiochus(1 Macc 1:29-39); the "unto the end of the war"(9:26) refers to the end of the Sixth Syrian War when Antiochus vented his anger on Jerusalem after suffering a humiliating defeat against Egypt(cf Daniel 11:30); the "strong covenant"(9:27) refers to a treaty between apostate Jews and Antiochus; the "cessation of sacrifice and offering"(9:27) refers to the decree of Antiochus suspending temple offerings in 167 BC; the "abomination that causes desolation"(9:27) refers to the altar of Zeus which Antiochus set up in the temple; and the anointing of the Holy of Holies(9:24) refers to the reconsecration of the Temple in 164 BC.[18]
An account of these events is found in Daniel 8, Daniel 11 and in the intertestamental book of 1 Maccabees"
Prophecy of Seventy Weeks - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

It need hardly be said that I am unconvinced that this relates to Jesus or can be put forward as prophetic Bible evidence of the Christian claims.
 
Old 07-08-2009, 04:36 AM
 
Location: Earth
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Quote:
Originally Posted by c'est la vie View Post
When Christians refer to the Bible as 'inerrant', they are referring to the original documents.Obviously not every group that undertakes to translate or transcribe the Bible is error free. And not even every Christian has a full understanding of what the doctrine of inerrancy is all about.So, these supposed errors based on various English versions of a document written primarily in Greek and Hebrew ought to be examined in another way.But don't count on that. It's far too easy to set up a strawman.
What about the deleted and destroyed books?
 
Old 07-08-2009, 12:20 PM
 
207 posts, read 134,492 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chielgirl View Post
What about the deleted and destroyed books?
If you could be more specific, please.
 
Old 07-08-2009, 01:13 PM
 
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What about the fact that different denominations have bibles with different number of books?
 
Old 07-08-2009, 01:22 PM
 
Location: Wisconsin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coosjoaquin View Post
What about the fact that different denominations have bibles with different number of books?
One would think that in issue, wouldnt they? Most often it just ends up being a reason why ones particular dedomination is right and all others are wrong.
 
Old 07-09-2009, 02:05 AM
 
Location: London, UK
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More prophetic Bible babble.

The slaying of the children of Bethlehem Jer 31:15 Mt 2:16-18
The prophecy is nothing to do with Jesus. Matthew has just lifted the reference to another massacre as it seemed appropriate to his Bethlehem massacre story. That is not known to history and we know of Herod's misdeeds. That one would hardly have been overlooked.

And of course, the event is mentioned only by Matthew - another indication that it was invented by him to give a reason for Joseph to go to Egypt - and that was only because Matthew needed to find a reason to have Joseph move to Galilee. In fact this massacre of innocents tale is a test-case example of the debate - textual criticism,the weight of evidence and the question of knowledge. I'd like to run over that below.

His being called out of Egypt Ho 11:1
11:1When Israel was a child, then I loved him, and called my son out of Egypt. As they called them, so they went from them: they sacrificed unto Baalim, and burned incense to graven images.

This is a reference to the Exodus and the Jews then turning to the Caananite gods. It is nothing whatsoever to do with Joseph going to Egypt.

Mt 2:15 And was there until the death of Herod: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Out of Egypt have I called my son.
Matthew has taken this right out of Context and it is even less convincing as prophecy than our friend Campbell's 'tents of Judea' as a prophecy of setting up the state of Israel.

His being preceded by John the Baptist Isa 40:3 The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the LORD, make straight in the desert a highway for our God.
Malachai 3:1 Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the LORD of hosts.

Now, in case I seem to be just dismissing one prophecy after another, let me say that this is much better. Given that they both seem to have a miltary context, they both look persuasively as though they are predicting that a messenger will appear to prepare for some purpose of God's (though in Jesus' time the spirit of God was supposed to have already been in the temple for quite some time).

Mt 3:1,3 Lu 1:17 I can also add Mark 1:3 The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight. John only says there was a man sent from God - John.

Matthew and Luke both see this a prophecy of John the Baptist. Matthew giving the Hosea quote and Luke1:17 And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.

I have no doubt of the historicity of John the baptist. I have no doubt that he was baptising people for the remission of sins for the reason given by the evangelists, though Josephus says that he thought it could only cleanse the body, not the spirit. And I am inclined to believe that Jesus and his disciples did come to be baptised. In fact, to join John. Where the prophecy fails, if it does, is whether John really announced Jesus as the one to come after him, let alone a voice from the clouds.

His being anointed with the Spirit Ps 45:7 45:7 Thou lovest righteousness, and hatest wickedness: therefore God, thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows.

clearly a flattering song about a Jewish King, with references to all the women in the harem. Hardly appropriate to Jesus.
Isa 11:2 61:1 11:1 And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots: 11:2 And the spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD;

This is certainly Messianic and MILITARY in view. 11:14 But they shall fly upon the shoulders of the Philistines toward the west; they shall spoil them of the east together: they shall lay their hand upon Edom and Moab; and the children of Ammon shall obey them.

If anything, it is evidence that the Jews envisaged a conquering military messiah. It is a good messiah prophecy which never came about (except arguably, after 1960, if you see the names as metaphors).

Mt 3:16 is a reference to the voice of god at the baptism John 3:34 For he whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God: for God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto him.

I'm not sure whether this is an error, or the Prover of Prophecies is trying it on a bit in making speculative links between pretty unrelated bits of scripture. In view of the following, I think he is:

Acts 10:38 10:37 That word, I say, ye know, which was published throughout all Judaea, and began from Galilee, after the baptism which John preached 38 How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.

This is not so much pointing up a fulfilled prophecy as trying to persuade us that that Jesus was Messiah and thus the prophecy relates to him. This is not the place to discuss the historicity of the supposed divine imprimatur at the jordan, but this is a circular argument: "If Jesus was messiah, the prophecy relates to him. If the prophecy relates to him, then Jesus must be messiah".

His being a Prophet like to Moses De 18:15-18 18:15 The LORD thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto him ye shall hearken;

18:16 This talks of raising up a prophet, but there is nothing whatsoever to show that this relates to Jesus rather than to any other prophet. In fact, if you read on..
"According to all that thou desiredst of the LORD thy God in Horeb in the day of the assembly, saying, Let me not hear again the voice of the LORD my God, neither let me see this great fire any more, that I die not. 18:17 And the LORD said unto me, They have well spoken that which they have spoken."
It reads like: "Don't let me hear the words of God or see the fire (of God) otherwise I'll die." And God says: "well said".
That doesn't quite fit a prophecy of Jesus that Luke argues in Acts

Acts 3:20-22 For Moses truly said unto the fathers, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear in all things whatsoever he shall say unto you.

His being a Priest after the order of Melchizedek Ps 110:4
110:4 The LORD hath sworn, and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek.

I can't explain why a Davidic Psalm, apparently praising a king, says he is a priest. I'm afraid I can't say I have a answer to everything. However, there is nothing to show this relates to Jesus.

In fact, Hebrews seems to show that Jesus was not High Priest and the gospels do not show him as any kind of priest (though if he wasn't or didn't claim to be, I don't know why he was wearing a seamless temple ephod at the crucifixion)

5:5,6 So also Christ glorified not himself to be made an high priest; but he that said unto him, Thou art my Son, to day have I begotten thee. 5:6 As he saith also in another place, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.

I'll look this up, but it seems that the mere act of anointing made a king a priest also under 'the order of Melchizedek'. I'd expect that is involved with the idea of Messiahship and the heavenly mandate. In any case, it is the circular argument again:
This prophecy shows Jesus was the messiah. How do we know the prophecy relates to Jesus? Because he was the messiah. How do we know he was the Messiah? Because this prophecy shows it.


The Bethlehem narratives are two of the most unworkable in the gospels. They are incompatible despite ingenious attempts to invent an earlier roman census in the time of herod, and they do not work as the Roman tax would not have applied to Galilee, still under Herodian rule, and Matthew's is just ludicrous.

Magoi from Persia would hardly see a star and immediately think 'Jewish king! Let's off and worship'. Nor would they know where to look. Even if they got Herod to ask the Sanhedrin and were told 'Bethlehem' (which alone would show that to the Jews - and to the gospel - writers - 'Messiah' meant 'King of the Jews') once they got to Bethlehem, they'd be tramping the streets asking 'Anyone know where we can find a new-born king?'

We can guess why the stories had to be invented - in order to fulfil the Bethlehem prophecy. Theists will argue that it still could be true, even if the mythical elements are taken out.

Indeed. One can't entirely disprove something like this; one can only say that the evidence is strongly against it, so overwhelmingly so that only someone determined to believe it, despite the way the evidence points would think it any more than myth.

This is the whole point about knowledge. Theists talk of needing to be able to 'prove' (or disprove) something. Final absolute proof or disproof is hard to find. This Bethlehem stuff is as disprovable as anything found in the Bible and yet one Christian I put it to still said it could be true, in spite of all the evidence. And a book - supposed to be a review of biblical evidence, but actually highly biased towards proving Christianity - accepted that the evidence indicated that Luke's and Matthew's nativity narratives were chronologically incompatible, but the author still hoped that some information might yet come to light to explain this discrepancy. Like what? No evidence is ever going to show that Lincoln was assassinated before the civil war. It just ain't never going to happen.

The Bible is evidence for Biblegod and Jesus. To some extent, we are in the position of the creationists - trying to explain away the evidence for Jesus as Creationists are trying to explain away the evidence for evolution. But I think that in the case of the NT, at least, there is some compelling (or it ought to be) evidence that the evangelists are inventing quite a lot and fudging a lot more.
In the case of the creation debate, the creationists are misrepresenting the evidence quite a lot. I know, I have discussed and examined their claims and they frequently turn out to be a misrepresentation of the actual facts (A whale fossil found upright - the strata was vertical. Fossil shells found on mountains. Together with fossil worm burrows. It didn't show the flood had left shells on mountain - tops, the sea floor had risen).

The difference is, that, even if evolution is disproved, it leaves an unknown. It doesn't prove that Genesis has to be the only other answer. But if the gospels arre 'disproved' it takes away Jesus and there is no need to find another 'god'. We don't need one.

Last edited by AREQUIPA; 07-09-2009 at 02:50 AM.. Reason: a should read are
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