Tag Archives: Jesus

Bible Test for False Gods

With so many religions in the world, and people worshiping so many different deities, wouldn’t it be nice if there was a way to determine which gods were real and which were false?

Imagine you find yourself in a city where the people worship two gods, how could you go about proving which of them, if either is the real “God?”

Well, if you believe in the Bible, the answer is simple. The Bible lays out a specific solution to this very problem. In 1 Kings chapter 18 Elijah comes to a town where the people worship Baal and the LORD. Elijah tells the people they need to figure out which is the real God and worship him, whether it’s the LORD or Baal.

“How long halt ye between two opinions? If the LORD be God, follow him: but if Baal, then follow him.” (1 Kings 18:21)

Elijah didn’t simply assert the validity of his god, he didn’t simply tell people to pray about it. He needed to demonstrate that the LORD was real and more powerful than Baal. So, he devised a test for both gods.

Elijah suggested that he and the prophets of Baal both offer a sacrifice to their deity. They will both choose a bullock and place it upon the altar but place no fire underneath. The god who can light his own altar will be considered the real god.

“And call ye on the name of your gods, and I will call on the name of the LORD: and the God that answerth by fire, let him be God.” (1 Kings 18:24)

In the Bible story, Elijah allows the prophets of Baal to go first. They pray from morning until noon. When Baal still hadn’t answered their prayers, Elijah mocked those who prayed to him saying they needed to pray louder because their god must be talking, traveling, or possibly sleeping.

“And when it came to pass at noon, that Elijah mocked them, and said, Cry aloud: for he is a god; either he is talking, or is pursuing, or he is on a journey, or peradventure he sleepeth, and must be awaked.” (1 Kings 18:27)

The prophets of Baal prayed louder and started flagellating themselves until they were bleeding profusely. They prayed all day until the time of the evening sacrifice, however, Baal still did not answer their cries.

“And it came to pass, when midday was past, and they prophesied until the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice, that there was neither voice, nor any to answer, not any that regarded.” (1 Kings 18:29)

Then it was Elijah’s turn. He built an altar out of 12 stones and dug a trench around it. Then he placed wood and the pieces of the bull upon the altar. Next, Elijah had the people dump barrels of water on the altar and the wood until it filled the trench surrounding the altar.

“Fill four barrels with water, and pour it on the burnt sacrifice and on the wood. And he said, Do it a second time. And they did it a second time. And he said, Do it a third time. And they did it a third time. And the water ran round about the altar; and he filled the trench also with water.” (1 Kings 18:33-35)

Now, it was Elijah’s turn to pray. He only needed to ask once, the LORD answered immediately.

“Then the fire of the LORD fell, and consumed the burnt sacrifice, and the wood, and the stones, and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench.” (1 Kings 18:38)

The people were instantly convinced.

“And when all the people saw it, they fell on their faces: and they said, The LORD, he is the God; the LORD, he is the God.” (1 Kings 18:39)

It should be a simple matter to prove that your god is “the God.” If your god is able to light a fire based on your prayer alone then it is a real god, if not, it is a false god.

If a Christian wants to prove their God is real, hand them a match and ask them to pray to the LORD to light it. (They can even dunk it in water first if they want. You can even offer to taunt them and mock them like Elijah did to the prophets of Baal when their God didn’t answer.) According to the Bible, if the LORD is unable to  light the match then he isn’t a real god.

I have never yet had a Christian take up the challenge. Which means the prophets of Baal had more faith in their “false god” than the Christian has in the “real God.”

Christians refuse to take up the challenge because, regardless of how much faith they claim to have, they KNOW their prayer will not be answered. They know beyond a shadow of a doubt that the LORD will not light the match. It doesn’t matter how fervently they pray, their prayers will go unanswered, just like those of the prophets of Baal.

One Christian I asked to take the challenge refused and quoted Matthew 12:39.

“An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign…”

I simply had him continue reading:

“… and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas: For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.” (Matthew 12:40)

I pointed out that Jesus fails that test as well because he wasn’t “in the heart of the earth” for “three days and three nights.” According to all of the gospels, Jesus died on a Friday and was buried that evening then was raised the following Sunday. That’s only one day and two nights. It’s a false prophecy, he failed his own test.

Back to the subject, why was the inability of Baal to light a fire by prayer considered proof positive that Baal was not a real God, but Christians won’t consider it proof that the LORD is not real?

One last thing. After proving his God was real, Elijah had the people capture all 450 prophets of Baal and then he slew them all. Perhaps he wanted to demonstrate the loving nature of the LORD.

“And Elijah said unto them, Take the prophets of Baal; let not one of them escape. And they took them: and Elijah brought them down to the brook Kishon, and slew them there.” (1 Kings 18:40)

Email — Adam and Eve

Not all my email is from people who disagree with me.  Below is an email from someone who enjoys my  blog posts.

I love your stuff.  I just wanted to tell you that, and offer you words of encouragement.  I know the pain of telling someone a truth and having them rationalize it and dismiss you without having presented any argument.  Most of the time, they don’t even have the capacity to recognize defeat in a debate.  I think that the faith philosophy forces them to repress their natural inclination to logic, reason, and skepticism.  I sympathize with them because I used to be a Christian: terrified to even think anything critical of my faith or my savior.  This is an exchange that really sums up the frustration if you want to read it.  I just wanted to say keep it up.  You’re welcome to post my response all over your blog.

Best wishes,

Brad

Her first response to the knowledge of good and evil argument:

I think you misunderstood the story completely. The point was that, they were created so pure, without a sin, they were innocent like children, but they were not like children incapable to sin. Adam an Eve was able to choose. They also were free to choose. They were not slaves. As you don’t force your loved ones to love you, God didn’t force them to love Him, even though he made a very wonderful world for them and loved them very much. But they chose not to obey his rules, they cheated God, so they were actually evil in God’s eyes! So how could God then let them live forever as long as they didn’t keep his word? Can God live together with evil? Of course not! And that’s when God chose to make us mortal, and let us suffer in this world.
As you know from that time men were sinners, and never could stop from sinning all over again more and more. Now we inherit the sin to each other, also help each other to do it.

My response:

Maybe you’ve missed the point I made: Adam and Eve were ignorant about the WHOLE subject of good and evil—they were utterly incapable of thinking about it, talking about it, or making any decisions about it. There is no way you can say it is morally just to punish someone for doing wrong when they have no concept of wrong. Likewise, it would be moral abasement to praise the creature for doing something that was morally proper, because he couldn’t have known it was good. Any decision he makes concerning good and evil is nullified by his ignorance. And if he does something good or evil, it is completely by accident and has nothing to do with his ability for discernment in such matters—because he has no discerning ability whatsoever. Let’s pretend that you had a child with a disability. And you told him not to do something, but he did it anyway. But also pretend that a part of his condition means that he cannot decipher language very well. In essence, it doesn’t matter what you told him, he can’t understand you. But after you discovered that he disobeyed you, with the full knowledge of his condition, you begin to beat him mercilessly until he screams in anguish and tears fill his eyes. You continue to beat him and as he begs for mercy, you kill him. This what god does in that story; could you do that to your own child? Adam and Eve are not human beings, they are Ken and Barbie dolls. They have a severe mental handicap: they are not just under informed, they are absolutely ignorant. The only thing happening before the fall of “man” was Adam naming animals all day and Eve lounging around with snakes. There may not have been a care in the world, but they wouldn’t have known it because they were just two oblivious husks of human beings. If anything, the “Fall of man” was the best thing that ever happened to him. The problem with the theological connotations behind that wretched story is that it tells people that they are wicked, evil sinners, and there is nothing they can do about it. What a terrible concept! First man is given the boot (from what we are told is a good place) for, when it comes down to the details, being ignorant. Now, post-Fall, he’s born evil, capable of nothing but sinning, except for the chance occasion that something else (but never him) commits a good act but uses his body like a puppet—and he had better make sure to direct the credit for such good deeds to the higher power and not himself or else it will be hubris. I don’t see how it’s defensible but through blind faith and a mind always prepared to rationalize every truth that contradicts it’s belief—which, as I showed earlier, is based on obfuscation. The main point that I want to underline concerning the texts, which is true of the Ark, the Fall, and every other story in the Bible is that they should never be interpreted as historical facts; they should be interpreted as symbolic, metaphysical ideas. To interpret the stories as historical facts is to miss the whole point behind them which is to present a metaphysical or symbolic idea.

Her Response:

Adam and Eve were not ignorant at all. God let them know that you must not eat from this tree, and that was an order, but they didn’t listen to God, can’t you see the difference? They did something that God didn’t want them to do, so that a sin. They were not incapable to understand as you are saying, it’s the opposite, they knew God but just liked “more” than what they got, but lost even what they had.

There are very evil and wicked people ,very bad bad people, so it’s not a terrible concept, it’s reality.

Thank you for the kind words, I will definitely put that on the blog. I always appreciate a good well-worded argument. Here is the approach I like to take when I’m discussing the Genesis creation story:

God told Adam and Eve “Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.”

The serpent told them: Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.”

Now they have heard 2 claims, one from God and one from the serpent. Both claims were told to individuals who do not yet possess the ability to tell right from wrong or good from evil. (The tree was the “Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil” to say they already knew good from evil means this was just a normal tree and not a tree of “knowledge” as the Bible God claimed.)

According to Genesis 3:22, God said: “Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil” confirming that the serpent told the truth when he described the results of eating the fruit.

Adam and Eve didn’t die the day they ate the fruit, but they did become “as gods, knowing good and evil.” God said Adam and Eve would “surely die” the same day they ate the fruit – that didn’t happen – instead, God realized they could still become immortal so he kicked them out of the garden. “… lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever: Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden…” (If someone uses the “a day to God is like 1000 years to mankind” argument, they’re saying God lacks basic conversion skills.)

Sure Adam and Eve knew something would happen if they eat from the tree, they had been told they will either “surely die,” or will “not surely die” and will become “as gods, knowing good and evil.” They didn’t know that obeying God was good and disobeying God was evil. They simply had two contradictory accounts of what would happen if they ate the fruit… and to top it off, the Bible says the fruit looked good.

Notice what God did NOT tell Adam and Eve.

He did not say: “Watch out for the serpent, he lies.”

He did not say: “If you choose to disobey me you will condemn you and all your children and every future generation of mankind to be tortured for eternity.”

He did not say: “If you eat the fruit you won’t actually die the same day, but you will be kicked out of the garden and forced to work for a living and have painful childbirth – and I will create poisonous plants and man-eating animals, and microscopic flesh-eating bacteria who will eat your future children alive.”

It’s like me telling you I have a quarter is in my right hand, and someone else telling you it is in my left hand.  Then asking you to guess which hand the quarter was in and telling you I will kill you if you get it wrong.  You didn’t see me place the quarter, so you wouldn’t know who was telling the truth.

Christians often argue that Adam and Eve did die that day, spiritually.   Saying they died spiritually is to simply ignore the meaning of the words used. The word translated as “surely die” in Genesis 2:17 is “muwth” it is the same word used in Genesis 5:5 to describe the physical death of Adam “And all the days that Adam lived were nine hundred and thirty years: and he died.” It’s also the same word used to describe the physical death of: Seth, Enos, Cainan, Mahalaleel, Jared, Methuselah, Lamech, Noah, Haran, and Terah. (And that’s just in the first 11 books of Genesis) It’s also the word used for the “thou shalt surely die” threat God made against Abimelech in a dream (Gen 20:7) if he didn’t return the prophet’s wife.

The same word, the same threat, from the same God, in the same book – yet the same people would argue that the meaning is completely different. The same word is used more than 500 other times in the Bible, each time referring to physical death — except (according to some apologists) this ONE time.

I hope that helps with your discussion.

Thanks again for the email,

Your friend,
Shawn

Mathematical Proof that Jesus is God

It is often claimed by Christians that Jesus fulfilled numerous prophecies within the Old Testament, so I decided to take a look at some of these claims and see if they stand up to basic critical analysis.

Often times Christians will list several prophecies at once, and list statistics for each prophecy. Despite numerous requests, I’ve never had a Christian actually present the methodology used to determine the figures reported. Several prophecies will have completely different statistics listed depending on your source. The basis of claims regarding Jesus fulfilling Old Testament Prophecies, especially claims with statistical figures attached, is that the statistical likelihood that someone “just happened” to fulfill so many Old Testament prophesies is so unlikely that it is not reasonable to think of Jesus as anything other than the Messiah.

Statistics are useful tools when they are based on accurate figures, but they have their limits.

Let’s look at an example: Let’s assume the odds of predicting the final score in a Vikings vs. Cardinals is 1/5000 (whether or not this is an accurate statistic is not important). The odds of you correctly predicting the outcome of a specific game on a specific day are very small. That is only true if you are predicting the outcome of a specific game. If you make an open-ended prediction – that someday the outcome of a Vikings vs. Cardinals game will be X – then the statistical likelihood of your guess one day being correct becomes nearly 1/1. It also becomes impossible to prove your prediction wrong, since you can always say you were predicting the outcome of a future game.

There is another problem with biblical prophecies, we don’t know how accurately the bible portrays the life of Jesus – some biblical scholars even doubt whether or not there was a historical Jesus on whom the stories were based.

Let’s return to the sports analogy for a moment. Imagine you are a sports commentator reporting the outcome of a game that took place 150 years ago, you weren’t at the game and neither was anyone currently living. No one can validate any account or correct any errors. In fact, there is no way for you to verify your own information. If you found an earlier prediction about the game you may use it to create your commentary. You may simply assume the prediction turned out to be right, even though the prediction was actually false. You are in a position to simply make up figures to match the prediction, and no one can prove you wrong. In fact, you could invent an entire game based on the prediction, the actual game need not ever to have taken place. Statistics are useless when discussing a completely fictional, or highly embellished, story.

Let’s review several “prophecies” and see if Jesus’ “fulfillment” of these prophecies is as incredible as some people make it out to be:

Prophecy 1: Born in Bethlehem

The odds of someone being born in a specific town will vary wildly based on where their parents live, where their ancestors are from, how often they travel, where they travel, etc. The odds of me being born in Bethlehem were extremely low, because my family is not from Bethlehem, and has never visited that part of the world. If Joseph and Mary lived in Bethlehem – as the book of Matthew claims – then the likelihood that their child would be born there is almost 1 to 1. (Most people are born in the city where their parents live.)

This claim is referring to Micah 5:2, which says: “But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.”

There are several problems that make it impossible for Jesus to have fulfilled this prophecy. (Notice that most of the time when this prophecy is mentioned, only part of the prophecy is actually voiced. The part about being a “ruler in Israel” is usually ignored for some reason.)

First: “Ephratah” is the ancient name of Bethlehem, but “Bethlehem Ephratah” is also the name of a person: Bethlehem the son (or grandson) of Ephratah (depending on whether you go by the genealogy listed in 1 Chronicles 4:4 or 1 Chronicles 2:50-51). Which means this prophecy could refer to either a native of the town of Bethlehem or to a descendent of Bethlehem Ephratah. If the latter, Jesus does not qualify since neither of his alleged genealogies (found in Matthew and Luke) list either Bethlehem or Ephratah. If the former (which is the usual claim), then Jesus may qualify by birthplace but he still fails to meet the condition of being “ruler in Israel.” Most Christians claim this part of the prophecy is yet to be fulfilled. (See my comment earlier comment about saying you were predicting a future game whenever the prediction fails.)

Second, and perhaps more important, are the differences in the gospel accounts. The gospels of Mark and John never mention Jesus’ birthplace. (Mark is generally accepted as the oldest gospel.) The nativity story only appears in Matthew and Luke. The authors of both gospels report that Jesus was born in Bethlehem, but they have drastically different ways of getting him there.

Matthew says Joseph and Mary lived in Bethlehem then moved to Nazareth after fleeing to Egypt with Jesus to avoid the slaughter of the innocents (Herod’s order to kill every male child in Judea). Luke says Joseph and Mary lived in Nazareth, and that Jesus was only born in Bethlehem because Joseph and Mary were forced to travel there to enroll in a census. Luke makes no mention of Herod’s slaughter (neither does any other historian, including Josephus), and Matthew makes no mention of the census. Both stories are mutually exclusive and contradictory.

Even the date of Jesus’ birth varies drastically between the two stories. Matthew places Jesus’ birth during the reign of Herod (Matt 2:1) 4 B.C. or earlier, while Luke has Jesus being born when Quirinius was governing Syria (Luke 2:1-2), 10 years later in 6 A.D.

Although both gospels place Jesus’ birthplace in Bethlehem, they disagree on nearly every conceivable point. Of one thing we can be certain – one or both of these accounts is wrong.

Since we’re focusing on statistics, which is statistically more likely?

1. Jesus’ parents simultaneously lived in Bethlehem and Nazareth, Jesus was born during the reign of Herod and then again 10 years later when Quirinius was governing Syria, and that Herod slaughtered thousands of children but no one other than the writer of Matthew noticed?

or…

2. The writers of Matthew and Luke independently embellished an earlier account (such as Mark) and each invented their own nativity story in order to make the character of Jesus “fulfill” the prophecy in Micah?

We know people lie and embellish, we also know the gospels of Matthew and Luke were not written until nearly 100 years after the events they report. But I’ll let you decide the odds for each of those yourself.

For the first “fulfilled prophecy,” Micah 5:2, we know that at least one (possibly both) of the gospel writers fabricated the nativity account in order to make that Jesus’ story fulfill the existing prophecy (like the sports commentator who invents his own scores for a 100 year old game to match an earlier prediction), but they were unable to embellish the story enough to satisfy the entire prophecy because Jesus was never the “ruler of Israel.”

Prophecy 1: Micah 5:2 – False.

Prophecy 2: Preceded by a Messenger

This is referring to the prophecy in Malachi 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.”

Christians claim this prophecy was fulfilled by John the Baptist. But, did John the Baptist really “prepare the way” for Jesus? Josephus, the historian, talks about John the Baptist in great detail, but he never mentions any tie with Jesus. The earliest Christian writings (the letters from Paul) don’t mention John the Baptist at all. The gospel of John says John the Baptist recognized Jesus as the Messiah before he was arrested by Herod, but Matthew and Luke both have John the Baptist sending messengers while he was in prison to ask Jesus if he is the Messiah. (Matt 11:2-3, Luke 7:18-20) “Art thou he that should come? or look we for another?”

If John the Baptist were truly sent to “prepare the way” for Jesus, why would he have needed to ask this question?

For the second “fulfilled prophecy,” Malachi 3:1, we know that at least 2 of the gospel accounts shed serious doubt on the fulfillment of this prophecy.

Prophecy 2: Malachi 3:1 – false according to 2 gospel accounts

Prophecy 3: Entered Jerusalem on a Colt

This is referring to the prophecy in Zechariah 9:9 “Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass.”

First of all, in a world without cars does anything really think it was rare for people to ride into Jerusalem on horses or donkeys?

The prophecy does not describe just anyone riding into town on a colt, it specifically described a king: someone who, due to his station, would not be expected to ride into town on such a lowly creature. The prophecy is notable because a king has wealth and power and therefore would have no reason to ride a colt. Jesus was not a king, nor was he a powerful or wealthy man. He didn’t even own his own colt. (The colt he rode into Jerusalem was stolen at his order by two of his disciples.)

Jesus was never a king, so immediately this prophecy could not apply to him. Even without that, the “fulfillment” of this prophecy is problematic. According to Mark, Luke, and John Jesus rode in on a colt – however, according to Matt 21:1-11, Jesus rode into Jerusalem simultaneously riding a colt and an ass. (Showing that the authors were confused about what this prophecy specifically described.)

For the third “fulfilled prophecy,” Zechariah 9:9, in a world without cars it wasn’t unusual for ordinary people to ride into a city on a colt or a donkey. Jesus’ lack of wealth and power did not make his ride in on a colt or donkey especially notable. The gospels disagree about the how Jesus arrived in Jerusalem, meaning that one or more of them is wrong and may have been fabricated to make it appear that Jesus fulfilled this prophecy.

Prophecy 3: Zechariah 9:9 – Contradictory accounts suggest fabricated history.

Prophecy 4: Betrayed by a Friend

This is referring to Psalms 41:9 “Yea, mine own familiar friend, in whom I trusted, which did eat of my bread, hath lifted up his heel against me.”

The psalm talks about the bitter pain of being betrayed by a close and trusted friend. However, it is not prophetic. There is no indication that this verse was ever meant to be a prophecy. The verse is quoted by Jesus in John 13:18, but he leaves out an important line “in whom I trusted.” Which makes sense, Jesus supposedly had foreknowledge of who would betray him, and therefore couldn’t have actually trusted Judas.

The fourth “fulfilled prophecy” therefore has several problems: 1) The verse is not a prophecy; 2) If it is treated as prophetic, Jesus’ betrayal by Judas would not qualify due to Jesus’ foreknowledge of the event; and 3) Nearly every person alive has been betrayed by a friend in some way, so the “prophecy” has been fulfilled by nearly every person who has ever lived.

Prophecy 4: Psalms 41:9 – Fulfilled by nearly every person alive, including Jesus

Prophecy 5: Hands and Feet Pierced

This refers to Psalms 22:16, “For dogs have compassed me: the assembly of the wicked have inclosed me: they pierced my hands and my feet.”

Many Christians argue that this entire chapter is a prophetic description of Jesus’ crucifixion. Matthew and Mark both have Jesus quoting part of Psalms 22:1 for his final words: “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” (Luke and John have other words listed as Jesus’ last.)

This is a psalm gives no indication of being prophetic and describes the speaker being hunted down and killed, not being arrested and then crucified. Some scholars have argued that a more accurate translation of verse 16 would be “like a lion they are at my hands and feet.” In fact, most Hebrew manuscripts translate it that way. (Some Bibles, like the English Standard Version and the New International Version are honest enough to admit this in the footnotes.)

I’m not a Hebrew scholar, but there are several verses in this chapter that seem to fit the “lion” translation – and don’t fit well with the idea of a crucifixion.

Psalms 22:13 “They gaped upon me with their mouths, as a ravening and a roaring lion.”
Psalms 22:16 “For dogs have compassed me: the assembly of the wicked have inclosed me: like a lion they are at my hands and feet.”
Psalms 22:20 “Deliver my soul from the sword; my darling from the power of the dog.”
Psalms 22:21 “Save me from the lion’s mouth…”

As you can see, the verse in question makes more sense in context when the when the Jewish translation is used — however, even with the translation Christians prefer the chapter cannot be about Jesus.

Psalms 22: 2 says the man was crying out to God day and night, “O my God, I cry in the day time, but thou hearest not; and in the night season, and am not silent.” Jesus did not cry out to God in the day and the night, he was crucified early in the afternoon and was dead before sun down.

This chapter describe a man being mauled to death and suffering for days, it cannot be a prophecy about Jesus.

The 5th prophecy: Psalms 22:16 – is not a prophecy, and doesn’t describe a crucifixion.

Prophecy 6: Wounded and Whipped by his Enemies

This refers to Isaiah 53:5 “But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.”

During this time period crucifixion was a common death penalty. Jesus’ suffering would not have been significantly more or less than any other person who was unfortunate enough find themselves within this assembly line of torture. The two thieves crucified with Jesus were most likely whipped and wounded as much as Jesus, in fact everyone who was ever crucified was probably beat and whipped first.

The verse in Isaiah describes a person being “wounded for our transgressions.” Jesus wasn’t whipped by the Romans because of our transgressions, he was found guilty of trying to subvert the government and sentenced to die by crucifixion for his crime.

The 6th prophecy, Isaiah 53:5 – failed because Jesus was “wounded and whipped” for his crimes, not for our transgressions.

Prophecy 7: Sold for Thirty Pieces of Silver

Matthew 27:9-10 says Jesus was sold for thirty pieces of silver in order to fulfill a prophecy in Jeremiah “Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by Jeremy the prophet…” Unfortunately for the author of Matthew, there is no such prophecy in Jeremiah.

There is a similar verse in Zechariah 11:12-13, but in those verses Zechariah is talking about himself – and there is no betrayal.

Prophecy 7: Does not exist

Prophecy 8: Spit Upon and Beaten

This prophecy is referring to Isaiah 50:6 “I gave my back to the smiters, and my cheeks to them that plucked off the hair: I hid not my face from shame and spitting”

This is basically the same as #6, many people who have lost fights have been spit upon and beaten. That portion is too vague to be applied to one specific person. However, their is no biblical account of anyone plucking off Jesus’ hair, so he could not have fulfilled this prophecy.

Prophecy 8: Isaiah 50:6 – Failed because Jesus never had his hair plucked off.

Prophecy 9: Have His Betrayal Money Thrown in the Temple and Given for a Potter’s Field

Often listed as a separate prophecy this is actually the same as prophecy 7, the prophecy which doesn’t exist.

Prophecy 9: Doesn’t exist

Silent Before His Accusers

This is referring to Isaiah 53:7 “He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.”

This can not refer to Jesus, all four gospels agree that Jesus spoke to his accusers (although they disagree on what he had to say). According to John 18:33-37, and 19:11, Jesus had plenty to say to Pontius Pilot. Jesus could not have fulfilled this prophecy.

Prophecy 10: Isaiah 53:7 – False according to all gospel accounts.

Prophecy 11: Crucified With Thieves

I’m not personally familiar with any prophecy about the Messiah being crucified with thieves. I searched the internet for this one, and the verse that came up was Isaiah 53:12 “Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.”

I’m guessing many Christians are interpret “he was numbered with the transgressors” to refer to being crucified with thieves. This verse doesn’t say anything about thieves, it says “transgressors,” which could refer to any human being on the planet, since we supposedly all fall short of the glory of God. The prophecy doesn’t mention crucifixion or death.

Prophecy 11: Isaiah 53:12 – Too vague, it could be interpreted in many ways. Doesn’t foretell anything specific.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t find these prophecies to be especially persuasive.

I don’t know _____, therefore I’m right!

Sometimes I love reading the things people send me in my email.  Let me share…


yo dude

Yo, Wazzup?

Hey I watched your video “To all the Christians on youtube.” From my understanding you used to be a Christian but now your an atheist (correct me if my wrong).

You’re right so far.  My video, To All Christians on YouTube, is a rebuttal to a Christian who posted a video basically using Pascal’s Wager. I posted another video much later, My “Awakening” Story, which goes into more detail regarding my de-conversion story if you’re interested.

Ok I am a Christian and I have several questions to ask you.

Awesome, I’ll answer your questions, then you can answer mine.

How do you think the world was created?

What exactly do you mean by “the world?”  Your later questions pertain to how galaxies were created, so I can only assume “the world” does not include our galaxy.  If you’re referring to how the planet formed, it’s really quite simple, and something you could have easily found an answer to within a few seconds.  I recommend watching the video, How the Earth Was Made for a detailed explanation and a history of all the advancements that lead to our current understanding.

If after watching that video you find that you disagree with the process involved in creating the planet, please let me know how YOU think the Earth was made. Please be specific.  If you think a god or gods created the planet, please explain the processes they used and how you came to know and understand the creation method.

How do you think galaxies upon galaxies upon galaxies were created?

The process which created and continues to create galaxies is actually very similar to the process that created our planet. All objects have gravity and are attracted to each other. Gravity is what holds the earth in orbit around the sun, and the sun in orbit around the center of the galaxy.  Again, this is a question to which you could have easily found the answer with a simple search.  The video Birth of the Universe gives a pretty good explanation of the process.

How do you think scientist pick up music coming from stars?

The word “music” is used very loosely here.  There is no actual sound coming from the stars.  Sound describes the vibration of air molecules interacting with the ear drum.  The vast emptiness between our planet and the stars prevents any of them from creating any noticeable effect on the air in our atmosphere.  The “music” from the stars is not sound.

Some scientists have used radio telescopes to collect information about the radioactive decay of hydrogen atoms and then converted the waveform into an audio format, others have used seismometers to study the surface vibrations on the sun (sun quakes), and other stars, then converted the data into an audio format.

The “music from stars” doesn’t have a tune, a melody, or any other characteristic we generally associate with music.  It’s simply poetic language used to describe a method scientists use to learn more about the universe.

You can listen to some examples of this “music” here and here.  Again, if you disagree or have some other explanation for the music from the stars, could you please give me your explanation and how you came to this understanding?

Ever try and make your heart stop beating?

Nope.  Have you?

How long can you go without breathing?

I used to swim a lot and could hold my breath for several minutes back then, but now I’m lucky if I can hold it for 2 minutes.  Why is this important?

How do you think scientist just found another planet evolving around space that was over 2 billion light years away?

I’m assuming you meant “revolve” because planets don’t “evolve.”  It was probably just a simple typo.  Astronomers have located around 500 extrasolar planets so far.  There are several methods used to detect extrasolar planets.  Large (Jupiter-size) planets can be detected by measuring their gravitational effect on the star they orbit.  Smaller (earth size) planets are harder to detect, but if their orbit is parallel to ours scientists can detect them by measuring the amount of light they block when they travel in front of the star they orbit.  This is another question you could have easily answered on your own with a simple search.  This Wikipedia article gives a very thorough explanation.

If this world has been around for billions and billions of years, how come we are only in year 2010?

We’ve used several methods for counting the years throughout history.  According to the Hebrew calendar, which predates the modern calendar, we are living in year 5770.  The Roman’s used to count the years following the foundation of Rome, or they would mark the years according to who was in political power at the time.  The names of the months in our current calendar came from those used in the earlier calendars.  Jesus wasn’t used as a basis for the year until more than 500 years after he died.  A monk named Dionysius was concerned with trying to calculate the correct date for Easter, and at that time the years were counted in A.D. but the “A.D.” referred to Emperor Diocletain.  Dionysius decided to try to calculate the exact year of Jesus’ birth (most scholars believe he got it wrong), he determined that Jesus was born in 753  ab urbe conditâ (753 years after the founding of Rome).  He kept the abbreviation “A.D.” but changed the meaning to “Anno Domini” and the years before Christ’s birth were abbreviated “A.C.” or “Ante Christum.”  There is no year “0,” some historians believe this was because of a deep religious superstition against the number zero at the time.  (Zero literally describes “nothing,” since God is “everything” they believed zero represented the devil or a lack of God.)

The current dating system didn’t become the world standard overnight, in fact, it took several hundred years for it to catch on.  Emperor Charlemagne adopted the dating system and his successors found no reason to change it.  Many Popes and religious leaders continued to use the prior dating system. Eventually, politics won out and it became the standard.

Well because Jesus was born 2,010 years ago. If Jesus was never born, we’d be in year 4,000,000,000,000 right?

No, we wouldn’t be in the year “4,000,000,000,000.”  First, the universe is not believed to be 4 trillion years old, and second because there was no one around back then to start a dating system.  Life needed to develop, then create languages, then writing, then math.  That process takes a while.

Yes, the current dating system is based off a monk’s (erroneous) calculation for Jesus’ birth.  Most of the current calendar is named after ancient gods.  The fact that the current method for calculating the year was originally created to mark the birth of Jesus is no more relevant nowadays than the fact that:

  • January is named for the Roman God “Janus,” God of gates and doorways
  • March is named for the Roman God “Mars,” God of war
  • April is named for the Greek Goddess “Aphrodite,” Goddess of love and beauty
  • May is named for the Greek God “Maia,” Goddess of spring
  • June is named for the Roman Goddess “Juno,” Goddess of marriage
  • Sunday is named for “Sun’s day,” the day set aside by pagan sun worshipers
  • Monday is named for “Moon’s day,” the day set aside by pagans to worship the Goddess of the Moon
  • Tuesday is named for the Norse God “Tyr” or “Tiw,” the God of war
  • Wednesday is named for the Norse God “Wodan,” the God of trade
  • Thursday is named for the Norse God “Thor,” the God of thunder, lightning, and storms
  • Friday is named for the Norse Goddess “Frigg,” Queen of Asgard, the most high goddess.
  • Saturday is named for the Roman God “Saturn,” God of agriculture and harvest

Surely you don’t actually think that the existence of a dating system proves that Jesus is a God, do you?  If so, wouldn’t the other examples above also prove the validity of those other deities?

If God isn’t real, how come everything in the Bible is coming to the truth in these present day times?

I’m afraid you’ll need to be a little more specific.  You see, the prophecies in the Bible are extremely vague and have no actual date by which they are supposed to happen.  This means the prophecies can be interpreted to mean one thing, and when that fails they simply re-assign the prophecy to something else.  If you think any prophecies in the Bible are coming to pass, please share.  And be specific.  I want to know the book and verse describing the prophecy, and the modern example of it “coming to pass.”  Also, please explain how you came to your interpretation of the prophecy.

If God isn’t real, how come many witnesses that died and went to heaven have their testimonies?

People die for stupid reasons all the time.  The fact that someone is willing to die for a belief doesn’t prove that their belief is true.  Surely you don’t think the terrorist’s choice to fly planes into the World Trade Center Towers proves that their religion is the correct one.  After all, they died and went to heaven too (according to their beliefs).

If God isn’t real, how come atheist experienced hell?

You can claim that atheists experience Hell and that you experience Heaven but you have no evidence for the existence of either location.  If you are referring to someone having a Near Death Experience, then that is easily explained.  Near Death Experiences happen in all religions, and people always seem to meet the God they already believe in or were raised to believe in.  Buddhists see Buddha, Muslims see Allah, Christians see Jesus, etc.  If an atheist had a Near Death Experience where he went to Hell, then he was probably raised in a Christian, “fire and brimstone” style church.  Which is where his mind pulled the information for the hallucination.

If Near Death Experiences are actually evidence for an afterlife, or for a specific religion – then wouldn’t all non-Christians experience Hell?  Wouldn’t people who had never heard of Jesus come back and start preaching the gospel?  If you’re going to accept one specific NDE as evidence for the validity of a supernatural claim, then you will need to accept all NDEs as proof of their claims.

I am familiar with only one account where a religious person changed their religion after a Near Death Experience.  That person changed from Christian to Muslim.  There is a YouTube video somewhere describing the conversion… I looked for it but I am unable to find it.  (It’s late and I’m tired… so I didn’t look all that hard.)

If God isn’t real, how come amazing miracles happen?

They don’t.  (That was easy.)  Do you have any specific miracles you consider to be especially “amazing?”

You don’t have to answer all these questions, but I want you to ask yourself them.

Oh great, NOW you tell me.

How did we really get here.

My parents had sex.  I’m sure yours did too.

It was God, God created us. And galaxies upon lightyears.

Exactly what evidence do you have that God created us?  So far all you’ve done is list a bunch of questions.  You seem to be saying that because YOU don’t understand the natural explanation for something, a God must be the ONLY possible solution.

You’re saying: “I don’t know _____, therefore I’m right!”

The questions you asked have answers, but I don’t think you’re actually concerned with finding answers.  If you were looking for answers you could easily find them.  Instead, you use your own voluntary ignorance as a reason to believe in God.  After all, if YOU can’t understand how something happened, then it must be impossible for it to have actually happened.  It really is an arrogant statement, and one reserved for religious conversations.  You don’t need to know every detail about how your iPod works down to the molecular level in order to know that the claim that magic music pixies live inside it is bogus.  And it would be wrong for me to claim that your lack of knowledge regarding electronics was “proof” of the magic music pixies.

It’s crazy not to believe in God.

Don’t you find it a little odd to believe that an all-powerful invisible man created the entire world, then cursed it’s entire population for not being gods, impregnated a teenage girl with himself in order to have himself sacrificed to himself so he could get around a bloodthirsty law he created that required him to torture everyone for eternity for a crime their ancient ancestors committed?

Did I also say most of scientist got saved because there was just so much evidence of God?

Nope, you didn’t.  And it’s probably a good thing because it would have been a bold-faced lie.  I appreciate that you are at least attempting to remain honest by not making such a demonstrably false statement.  Especially without providing any evidence to back it up.  Thank you.

The Holy Bible isn’t the only evidence.

I’m still waiting for you to provide ANY evidence, at least beyond your own ignorance.  Your voluntary ignorance isn’t really convincing as far as apologetic arguments go.

Here I also have an opinion book for you to get, you might change your ways. It’s called 90 Minutes in Heaven written by Don Piper. It is about a preacher who was killed in a car accident, was in heaven for 90 minutes, and came back to life after someone prayed for him. It’s a great book, and it’s a must have.

I’ve already explained why Near Death Experiences are useless as evidence.  There are NDE accounts from every religion.  Some NDEs don’t involve a God at all, in some cases people meet loved ones, in other cases they re-live childhood events, and there are even NDE cases where people have reported that they were abducted by aliens while they were “dead.”  Please explain what criteria you use to determine that an NDE should be accepted as true, and when it should be treated as a hallucination created by an oxygen-starved brain.

Near Death Experiences have also been recreated in laboratory conditions which prove the cause can be physiological, and not necessarily supernatural.

Even though we should always have Faith in God, just like any human being, it’s natural to be curious. But Satan uses that tactic to counterfeit God and make you not believe. Also if you ever get a chance and read the Bible, it says that Satan will rule the world. Now it is quite fascinating you were converted from a Christian to an Atheist. God also said people would betray, hate, and Satan would rule the world. Those are signs of the end times.

I’ve read the Bible, a couple times actually.  Have you, or are you just repeating what your pastors have told you?  I don’t hate God, nor have I “betrayed” him, I simply no longer find the claims of his existence to be convincing, for the same reasons you don’t find claims of Santa and the Easter Bunny convincing.  The claims themselves are laughably absurd, and there is no evidence to support them.

If you show me a toy factory at the North Pole being run by elves and flying reindeer, I will believe in Santa.  Likewise, if you show me actual evidence for a God I will believe in a God.  Unfortunately, giving me a list of questions to which you don’t understand the answers isn’t a very good way to defend your belief.