Tuesday, August 19, 2014

William Lane Craig: Are the Gospel Narratives Legendary or Historically Reliable?

The four gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John) present the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth. However, since many people don't want to accept what the gospels say about Jesus, it has become common to pretend that the gospels are nothing but myths and legends.

In this short video, William Lane Craig offers five reasons for treating the gospels as historically reliable.


  1. Are the Gospels accurate ? Arguments against them being accurate portrayals of actual events which transpired : 1. Two of the four gospels were written by people who never met Jesus. 2. All the Gospels were written at least 30 YEARS after the events took place 3. The Gospel writers were all Jewish . Their first languages would have been Hebrew/Aramaic , not Greek. So why would God use hebrew/aramaic speaking people to record supposedly God inspired events in their second/third language... 4. Please explain how a person who never met Jesus can accurately record a dialogue between Jesus and a woman at the well , 30+ years after the events took place in a language which the writer is not the most proficient in , WHILST NO DISCIPLES WERE EVEN PRESENT?....

    No Judge in his right mind would ever claim the Gospels to be accurate if presented with the above information. Christianity is based on such a great case of circular reasoning it even puts Islam to shame .... JESUS LOVES ME , YES I KNOW , FOR THE BIBLE TOLD ME SO........ Does that mean i should believe the Brothers Grimm as well , was their really a cinderella , a snow white , a hansel and gretel??

      The alarm caused in Jerusalem amidst the elder apostles and the Nazarene Church at the immorality which disfigured Pauline Christianity, was not the only cause of the mistrust wherewith they viewed him and his teaching.
      And the first of these was the intense prejudice which existed among the Jews of Palestine against Greek modes of thought, manners, culture, even against the Greek language.
      The second was the jealousy with which the Palestinian Jews regarded the Alexandrine Jews, their mode of interpreting Scripture, and their system of theology.
      Paul, an accomplished Greek scholar, brought up at Tarsus amidst Hellenistic Jews, adopted the theology and exegesis in vogue at Alexandria, and on both these accounts excited the suspicion and dislike of the national party at Jerusalem. The Nazarenes were imbued with the prejudices they had acquired in their childhood, in the midst of which they had grown up, and they could not but regard Paul with alarm when he turned without disguise to the Greeks, and introduced into the Church the theological system and scriptural interpretations of a Jewish community they had always regarded as of questionable orthodoxy.
      First let us consider the causes which contributed to the creation of the prejudice against the Hellenizers. Judaea had served as the battle-field of the Greek kings of Egypt and Syria. Whether Judaea fell under the dominion of Syria or Egypt it mattered not; Ptolemies and Seleucides alike were intolerable oppressors. But it was especially the latter who excited to its last exasperation the fanaticism of the Jews, and called forth in their breasts an ineffaceable antipathy towards everything that was Greek.
      The temple was pillaged by them, the sanctuary was violated, the high-priesthood degraded. Antiochus Epiphanes entertained the audacious design of completely overthrowing the religion of the Jews, of forcibly Hellenizing them. For this purpose he forbade the celebration of the Sabbaths and feasts drenched the sanctuary with blood to pollute it, the sacrifices were not permitted, circumcision was made illegal. The sufferings of the Jews, driven into deserts and remote hiding-places in the mountains, are described in the first book of the Maccabees.
      Yet there was a party disposed to acquiesce in this attempt at changing the whole current of their nation's life, ready to undo the work of Ezra, break with their past, and fling themselves into the tide of Greek civilization and philosophic thought. These men set up a gymnasium in Jerusalem, Graecised their names, openly scoffed at the Law, ignored the Sabbath, and neglected circumcision.1

      (1.Joseph. Antiq. xii. 5; 1 Maccab. i. 11-15, 43, 52; 2 Maccab. iv. 9-16.)
      At the head of this party stood the high-priests Jason and Menelaus. The author of the first book of the Maccabees styles these conformists to the state policy, “evil men, seducing many to despise the Law.” Josephus designates them as “wicked” and “impious.”2
      (2. πονήροι, ἀσεβεῖς.—Antiq. xiii. 4, xii. 10.)


      PART 2
      The memory of the miseries endured in the persecution of Antiochus did not fade out of the Jewish mind, neither did the party disappear which was disposed to symbolize with Greek culture, and was opposed to Jewish prejudice. Nor did the abhorrence in which it was held lose its intensity.
      From the date of the Antiochian persecution, the names of “Greek” or “friend of the Greeks” were used as synonymous with “traitor” and “apostate.”
      Seventy years before Christ, whilst Hyrcanus was besieging Aristobulus in Jerusalem, the besiegers furnished the besieged daily with lambs for the sacrifice. An old Jew, belonging to the anti-national party, warned Hyrcanus that as long as the city was supplied with animals for the altar, so long it would hold out. On the morrow, in place of a lamb, a pig was flung over the walls. The earth shuddered at the impiety, and the heads of the synagogue solemnly cursed from thenceforth whosoever of their nation should for the future teach the Greek tongue to his sons.3
      (3. Baba-Kama, fol. 82; Menachoth, fol. 64; Sota, fol. 49; San-Baba, fol. 90.)
      Whether this incident be true or not, it proves that a century after Antiochus Epiphanes the Jews entertained a hatred of that Greek culture which they regarded as a source of incredulity and impiety.
      The son of Duma asked his uncle Israel if, after having learned the whole Law, he might not study the philosophy of the Greeks.
      “The Book of the Law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night.” (Joshua. 1:8), “find me an hour which is neither day nor night, and in that study your Greek philosophy.”4 said the old man.
      (4. Menachoth, fol. 99.)
      Gamaliel, the teacher of Paul, was well versed in Greek literature; that this caused uneasiness in his day is probable; and indeed the Gemara labours to explain the fact of his knowledge of Greek, and apologizes for it.5
      (5. Baba-Kama, fol. 63.)
      Consequently Saul, the disciple of Gamaliel, also a Greek scholar, would be likely to incur the same suspicion, as one leaning away from strict Judaism towards Gentile culture.
      The Jews of Palestine viewed the Alexandrine Jews with dislike, and mistrusted the translation into Greek of their sacred books. They said it was a day of sin and blasphemy when the version of the Septuagint was made, equal only in wickedness to that on which their fathers had made the golden calf.6
      (6. Mass. Sopherim, c. i. in Othonis Lexicon Rabbin. p. 329.)


      PART 3
      The loudly-proclaimed intention of Paul to turn to the Gentiles, his attitude of hostility towards the Law, the abrogation of the Sabbath and substitution for it of the Lord's-day, his denunciation of circumcision, his abandonment of his Jewish name for a Gentile one, led to his being identified by the Jews of Palestine with the abhorred Hellenistic party; and the Nazarene Christians shared to the full in the national prejudices.
      The Jews, at the time of the first spread of Christianity, were dispersed over the whole world; and in Greece and Asia Minor occupied a quarter, and exercised influence, in every town. The Seleucides had given the right of citizenship to these Asiatic Jews, and had extended to them some sort of protection. The close association of these Jews with Greeks necessarily led to the adoption of some of their ideas. Since Ezra, the dominant principle of the Palestinian and Babylonish rabbis had been to create a “hedge of the Law,” to constitute of the legal prescriptions a net lacing those over whom it was cast with minute yet tough fibres, stifling spontaneity. Whilst rabbinism was narrowing the Jewish horizon, Greek philosophy was widening man's range of vision. The tendencies of Jewish theology and Greek philosophy were radically opposed.
      The Alexandrine Jews never submitted to be involved in the meshes of rabbinism. They produced a school of thinkers, of whom Aristobulus was the first known exponent, and Philo the last expression, which sought to combine Mosaism with Platonism, to explain the Pentateuch as the foundation of a philosophic system closely related to the highest and best theories of the Greeks.
      In the Holy Land, routine, the uniform repetition of prescribed forms, the absence of all alien currents of thought, tended insensibly to transform religion into formalism, and to identify it with the ceremonies which are its exterior manifestation.
      In Egypt, on the other hand, the Alexandrine Jews, ambitious to give to the Greeks an exalted idea of their religion, strove to bring into prominence its great doctrines of the Unity of the Godhead, of Creation, and Providence. All secondary points were allegorized or slurred over. As Palestinian rabbinism became essentially ceremonial, Alexandrine Judaism became essentially spiritual. The streams of life and thought in these members of the same race were diametrically opposed.
      The Jews settled in Asia Minor, subjected to the same influences, actuated by the same motives, as the Egyptian Jews, looked to Alexandria rather than to Jerusalem or Babylon for guidance, and were consequently involved in the same jealous dislike which fell on the Jews of Egypt.7
      (7. Philo is not mentioned by name once in the Talmud, nor has a single sentiment or interpretation of an Alexandrine Jew been admitted into the Jerusalem or Babylonish Talmud.)
      There can be no doubt that Paul was acquainted with, and influenced by, the views of the Alexandrine school. That he had read some of Philo's works is more than probable. How much he drew from the writings of Aristobulus the Peripatetic cannot be told, as none of the books of that learned but eclectic Jew have been preserved.8
      (8. Aristobulus wrote a book to prove that the Greek sages drew their philosophy from Moses, and addressed his book to Ptolemy Philometor.)
      In more than one point Paul departs from the traditional methods of the Palestinian rabbis, to adopt those of the Alexandrines. The Jews of Palestine did not admit the allegorical interpretation of Scripture. Paul, on two occasions, follows the Hellenistic mode of allegorizing the sacred text. On one of these occasions he uses an allegory of Philo, while slightly varying its application.9
      (9. Galatians. 4: 24, 25.)


      PART 4
      The Palestinian Jews knew of no seven orders of angels; the classification of the celestial hierarchy was adopted by Paul10 from Philo and his school. The identification of idols with demons11 was also distinctively Alexandrine.
      (10. Colossians 1:16.)
      (11. 1 Corinthians. 10:21.)
      But what is far more remarkable is to find in Philo, born between thirty and forty years before Jesus, the key to most of Paul's theology,—the doctrines of the all-sufficiency of faith, of the worthlessness of good works, of the imputation of righteousness, of grace, mediation, atonement.
      But in Philo, these doctrines drift purposeless. Paul took them and applied them to Jesus, and at once they fell into their ranks and places. What was in suspension in Philo, crystallized in Paul. What the Baptist was to the Judaean Jews, that Philo was to the Hellenistic Jews; his thoughts, his theories, were—
      “In the flecker'd dawning
      The glitterance of Christ.”12

      (12. Dante, Parad. xiv.)
      The Fathers, perplexed at finding Pauline words, expressions, ideas, in the writings of Philo, and unwilling to admit that Paul had derived them from Philo, invented a myth that the Alexandrine Jew came to Rome and was there converted to the Christian faith. Chronology and a critical examination of the writings of the Jewish Plato have burst that bubble.13
      (13. See the question carefully discussed in M. F. Delaunay's Moines et Sibylles; Paris, 1874, pp. 28 sq.)
      The fact that Paul was deeply saturated with the philosophy of the Alexandrine Jews has given rise also to two obstinate Christian legends,—that Dionysius the Areopagite, author of the Celestial Hierarchy, the Divine Names, etc., was the disciple of Paul, and that Seneca the philosopher was also his convert and pupil. Dionysius took Philo's system of the universe and emanations from the Godhead and Christianized them. The influence of Philo on the system of Dionysius saute aux yeux, as the French would say. And Dionysius protests, again and again, in his writings that he learned his doctrine from Paul.
      From a very early age, the Fathers insisted on Seneca having been a convert of Paul; they pointed out the striking analogies in their writings, the similarity in their thoughts. How was this explicable unless one had been the pupil of the other? But Seneca, we know, lived some time in Alexandria with his uncle, Severus, prefect of Egypt; and at that time the young Roman, there can be little question, became acquainted with the writings of Philo.14
      (14. See, on this curious topic, C. Aubertin: Sénèque et St. Paul; Paris, 1872.)
      Thus Paul, by adopting the mode of Biblical interpretation of a rival school to that dominant in Judaea, by absorbing its philosophy, applying it to the person of Jesus and the moral governance of the Church, by associating with Asiatic Jews, known to be infected with Greek philosophic heresies, and by his open invocation to the Gentiles to come into and share in all the plenitude of the privileges of the gospel, incurred the suspicion, distrust, dislike of the believers in Jerusalem, who had grown up in the midst of national prejudices which Paul shocked.
      It has been argued with much plausibility, that because certain of the primitive Fathers were unacquainted with the four Gospels now accounted Canonical, that therefore those Gospels are compositions subsequent to their date, and that therefore also their authority as testimonies to the acts and sayings of Jesus is sensibly weakened, if not wholly overthrown. It is true that there were certain Fathers of the first two centuries who were unacquainted with our Gospels, but the above conclusions drawn from this fact are unsound.


      PART 5
      At the close of the first century almost every Church had its own Gospel, with which alone it was acquainted. But it does not follow that these Gospels were not as trustworthy, as genuine records, as the four which we now alone recognize.
      It is possible, from what has been preserved of some of these lost Gospels, to form an estimate of their scope and character. We find that they bore a very close resemblance to the extant Synoptical Gospels, though they were by no means identical with them.
      We find that they contained most of what exists in our three first Evangels, in exactly the same words; but that some were fuller, others less complete, than the accepted Synoptics.
      If we discover whole paragraphs absolutely identical in the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, of the Hebrews, of the Clementines, of the Lord, it goes far to prove that all the Evangelists drew upon a common fund. And if we see that, though using the same material, they arranged it differently, we are forced to the conclusion that this material they incorporated in their biographies existed in anecdota, not in a consecutive narrative.
      Some, at least, of the Gospels were in existence at the close of the first century; but the documents of which they were composed were then old and accepted.
      And though it is indisputable that in the second century the Four had not acquired that supremacy which brought about the disappearance of the other Gospels, and were therefore not quoted by the Fathers in preference to them, it is also certain that all the material out of which both the extant and the lost Synoptics were composed was then in existence, and was received in the Church as true and canonical.
      Admitting fully the force of modern Biblical criticism, I cannot admit all its most sweeping conclusions, for they are often, I think, more sweeping than just.
      The material out of which all the Synoptical Gospels, extant or, lost, were composed, was in existence and in circulation in the Churches in the first century. That material is—the sayings of Jesus on various occasions, and the incidents in his life. These sayings and doings of the Lord, I see no reason to doubt, were written down from the mouths of apostles and eye-witnesses, in order that the teaching and example of Christ might be read to believers in every Church during the celebration of the Lord’s Day.


      PART 6
      The early Church followed with remarkable fidelity the customs of the Essenes, so faithfully that Josephus mistook the Nazarenes for members of the Essene sect; and in the third century Eusebius was convinced that the Therapeutae, their Egyptian counterparts, were actually primitive Christians.15
      (15. Euseb. Hist. Eccl. ii. 17. The Bishop of Caesarea is quoting from Philo's account of the Therapeutae, and argues that these Alexandrine Jews must have been Christians, because their manner of life, religious customs and doctrines, were identical with those of Christians. “Their meetings, the distinction of the sexes at these meetings, the religious exercises performed at them, are still in vogue among us at the present day, and, especially at the commemoration of the Savior’s passion, we, like them, pass the time in fasting and vigil, and in the study of the divine word. All these the above-named author (Philo) has accurately described in his writings, and are the same customs that are observed by us alone, at the present day, particularly the vigils of the great Feast, and the exercises in them, and the hymns that are commonly recited among us. He states that, whilst one sings gracefully with a certain measure, the others, listening in silence, join in at the final clauses of the hymns; also that, on the above-named days, they lie on straw spread on the ground, and, to use his own words, abstain altogether from wine and from flesh. Water is their only drink, and the relish of their bread salt and hyssop. Besides this, he describes the grades of dignity among those who administer the ecclesiastical functions committed to them, those of deacons, and the presidencies of the episcopate as the highest. Therefore,” Eusebius concludes, “it is obvious to all that Philo, when he wrote these statements, had in view the first heralds of the gospel, and the original practices handed down from the apostles.”)
      The Essenes assembled on the Sabbath for a solemn feast, in white robes, and, with faces turned to the East, sang antiphonal hymns, broke bread and drank together of the cup of love. During this solemn celebration the president read portions from the sacred Scriptures, and the exhortations of the elders. At the Christian Supper the ceremonial was identical;16 Pliny's description of a Christian assembly might be a paragraph from Josephus or Philo describing an Essene or Therapeutic celebration. In place of the record of the wanderings of the Israelites and the wars of their kings being read at their conventions, the president read the journeys of the Lord, his discourses and miracles.
      (16. It is deserving of remark that the turning to the East for prayer, common to the Essenes and primitive Christians, was forbidden by the Mosaic Law and denounced by prophets. When the Essenes diverged from the Law, the Christians followed their lead.)
      No sooner was a Church founded by an apostle than there rose a demand for this sort of instruction, and it was supplied by the jottings-down of reminiscences of the Jesus and his teaching, orally given by those who had companied with him.
      Thus there sprang into existence an abundant crop of memorials of the Master, surrounded by every possible guarantee of their truth. And these fragmentary records passed from one Church to another. The pious zeal of an Antiochian community furnished with the memorials of Peter would borrow of Jerusalem the memorials of James and Matthew. One of the traditions of John found its way into the Hebrew Gospel—that of the visit of Nicodemus; but it never came into the possession of the compiler of the first Gospel or of Luke.


      PART 7
      After a while, each Church set to work to string the anecdota it possessed into a consecutive story, and thus the Synoptical Gospels came into being.
      Of these, some were more complete than others, some were composed of more unique material than the others.
      The second Gospel, if we may trust Papias, and I see no reason for doubting his testimony, is the composition of Mark, the disciple of Peter, and consists exclusively of the recollections of Peter. This Gospel was not coordinated probably till late, till long after the disjointed memorabilia were in circulation. It first circulated in Egypt; but in at least one of the Petrine Churches—that of Rhossus (Turkey) —the recollections of Peter had already been arranged in a consecutive memoir, and, in A.D. 190, Serapion, Bishop of Antioch, found the Church of Rhossus holding exclusively to this book as a Gospel of traditional authority, received from the leader of the apostles.
      The Gospel of Matthew, on the other hand, is a diatessaron (The Diatessaron (c 160–175) is the most prominent early Gospel harmony; and was created by Tatian, an early Christian Assyrian apologist and ascetic ) composed of four independent collections of memorabilia. Its groundwork is a book by Matthew the apostle, a collection of the discourses of the Lord. Whether Matthew wrote also a collection of the acts of Jesus, or contributed disconnected anecdotes of Jesus to Churches of his founding, and these were woven in with his work on the discourses of Jesus, is possible, but is conjectural only.
      But what is clear is, that into the first Gospel was incorporated much, not all, of the material used by Mark for the construction of his Gospel, viz. the recollections of Peter. That the first evangelist did not merely amplify the Mark Gospel appears from his arranging the order of his anecdotes differently; that he did use the same “anecdota”(1.
      a short account of a particular incident or event, especially of an interesting or amusing nature. 2. a short, obscure historical or biographical account.) is evidenced by the fact of his using them often word for word.
      The Gospel of the Hebrews and the Gospel quoted in the Clementines were composed in precisely the same manner, and of the same materials, but not of all the same.
      That the Gospel of Matthew, as it stands, was the composition of that apostle, cannot be seriously maintained; yet its authority as a record of facts, not as a record of their chronological sequence, remains undisturbed.
      The Gospel of Luke went, apparently, through two editions. After the issue of his original Gospel, which, there is reason to believe, is that adopted by Marcion, fresh material came into his hands, and he revised and amplified his book.
      That this second edition was not the product of another hand, is shown by the fact that characteristic expressions found in the original text occur also in the additions.
      The Pauline character of the Luke Gospel has been frequently commented on. It is curious to observe how much more pronounced this was in the first edition. The third Gospel underwent revision under the influence of the same wave of feeling which moved Luke to write the Christian Odyssey, the Acts, nominally of the Apostles, really of Paul. With the imprisonment of Paul the tide turned, and a reconciliatory movement set strongly in. Into this the Apostle of Love threw himself, and he succeeded in directing it.


      PART 8
      The Apostolic Church was a well-spring tumultuously gushing forth its superabundance of living waters; there was a clashing of jets, a conflict of ripples; but directly John gave to it its definite organization, the flood rushed out between these banks, obedient to a common impulse, the clashing forces produced a resultant, the conflicting ripples blended into rhythmic waves, and the brook became a river, and the river became a sea.
      The lost Gospels are no mere literary curiosity, the examination of them no barren study. They furnish us with most precious information on the manner in which all the Gospels were compiled; they enable us in several instances to determine the correct reading in our canonical Matthew and Luke; they even supply us with particulars to fill lacunae which exist, or have been made, in our Synoptics.
      The poor stuff that has passed current too long among us as Biblical criticism is altogether unworthy of English scholars and theologians. The great shafts that have been driven into Christian antiquity, the mines that have been opened by the patient labors of German students, have not received sufficient attention at our hands. If some of our commentators timorously venture to their mouths, it is only to shrink back again scared at the gnomes their imagination pictures as haunting those recesses, or at the abysses down which they may be precipitated, that they suppose lie open in those passages.
      This spirit is neither courageous nor honest. God's truth is helped by no man's ignorance.
      It may be that we are dazzled, bewildered by the light and rush of new ideas exploding around us on every side; but, for all that, a cellar is no safe retreat. The vault will crumble in and bury us.
      The new lights that break in on us are not always the lanterns of burglars.
      An Essay
      On the Toledoth Jeschu, and the Petrine and Pauline Gospels of the First Three Centuries of Which Fragments Remain.
      Rev. S. Baring-Gould, M.A.
      November 2nd, 1874.
      Author of “The Origin and Development of Religious Belief,” “Legendary Lives of the Old Testament Characters.” Etc.
      Williams and Norgate
      London, Edinburgh
      (Editing & Emphasis added)

  2. And the award for worst arguments ever goes to . . .

    Doug said: "Two of the four gospels were written by people who never met Jesus."

    Interesting. All of my biographies of George Washington were written by people who never met George Washington. Hence, according to you, they can't be "accurate portrayals of actual events which transpired." I guess I'll throw them out.

    Doug said: "All the Gospels were written at least 30 YEARS after the events took place."

    Nice. All of my biographies of George Washington were written at least two centuries after the events took place. Hence, according to you, they can't be "accurate portrayals of actual events which transpired." Again, I'll need to throw them out.

    Doug said: "The Gospel writers were all Jewish . Their first languages would have been Hebrew/Aramaic , not Greek. So why would God use hebrew/aramaic speaking people to record supposedly God inspired events in their second/third language..."

    Oh my goodness. Ever heard of Alexander the Great? He spread the Greek language from Europe to India. After that, if you wanted to spread your message so that people could understand it, you spread it in Greek. (It's a good thing the Gospel writers weren't as silly as you! Christianity would have been limited to Hebrew speakers!) All of the Gospel writers would have spoken Greek, because Israel was under Roman control. Since Matthew was a tax collector, and Luke wasn't even from Israel, they certainly would have spoken Greek. Apparently, in your world, people are limited to one language, and nothing can ever be translated! LOL!

    Doug said: "Please explain how a person who never met Jesus can accurately record a dialogue between Jesus and a woman at the well , 30+ years after the events took place in a language which the writer is not the most proficient in , WHILST NO DISCIPLES WERE EVEN PRESENT?"

    (1) That was written by John, who definitely knew Jesus. (2) If you read the story, you'll see that the woman immediately started sharing the story with everyone who would listen. (3) The disciples stayed there for two days. But apparently, in Doug's world, it's impossible for a woman or for Jesus to mention the discussion in those two days or at any point in the future. LOL!

    Doug, your reasoning, if applied consistently, would rule out nearly all historical investigation. But I'm willing to wager that you ONLY apply this hyperskeptical nonsense to Christianity. Thank you for proving that human beings are in spiritual rebellion against God!

    This is why it's important to study, Doug. When you start attacking something without knowing anything, you end up looking silly.

    1. David,

      Will you do a piece on ORAL TRADITION of the Hebrews & the Arabs.

      Explain to the "CHATTERING CLASSES" the cost of manuscripts and the cost of scribes. The gross ignorance of people who can use PC's, but haven't a clue about history. The other thing MOST people today are ignorant of is the language of the Bible and the many types of grammer it uses. There is no way a person can literally quote ALL of the Bible. I was reading about a MOHAMMEDAN quoting Psalm 104:4 and Hebrews 1:7 to prove that JINN & ANGELS are made out of FIRE. If he had read ALL of Psalm 104, he would have realized that the writer was using METAPHORS.

      A piece on the history on WRITTING would go a long way to educating these TIN CANS, who make so much noise, but no sense.

      Another problem I am finding is ATHEISTS defending MOHAMMEDANS.

      (I don't use Muslim, because there are lots of people who SUBMIT to God and have NOTHING in common with MOHAMMEDANS)

      What is it with atheists and their attraction towards Mohammedans?

      Keep up the work with the SATIRE - Mohammedans have a childs mind and like children, they need to see lots of PICTURES - in our case MENTAL PICTURES.

  3. So your biographies of GW carry accurate dialogue between GW and someone else which were conducted in English but recorded in Russian for a predomanently English audience 30+ years after the events. Dave , perhaps you should get a refund at your local bookstore .
    The OT was written in Hebrew for a Jewish audience and is claimed to be God inspired so we know that God likes to reveal his word in the home language of its main early audience. The first converts and early Christians were 99.9% Jews. I find it very interesting how God now changes his game plan to using a second/third language of its early audience to convey his inspired word.

    To end , please could you refer me to a video which shows thousands of chariots at the bottom of the Red sea. Also , seeing that Miracles are the order of the day with Christians , perhaps you can refer me to a couple instances where Christians who were amputees had their arms / legs grown back.

    I am not an amputee , but the question of 'whywontgodhealamputees' crosses my mind when Christians claim they were healed of a headache or broken heart.

  4. Wow. Just when I think the comments can't possibly get any more illogical, you prove me wrong!

    Doug said: "So your biographies of GW carry accurate dialogue between GW and someone else which were conducted in English but recorded in Russian for a predomanently English audience 30+ years after the events. Dave , perhaps you should get a refund at your local bookstore."

    Interesting. The point about biographies of George Washington was that you ruled out anything written 30+ years after an event as automatically unreliable. So any modern biography of George Washington is automatically unreliable, according to you. School textbooks are complete garbage, according to you. History classes are a silly waste of time, according to you.

    But you don't understand this basic point (and how silly your objection is), so now you combine it with Russian? You're actually comparing (1) Greek-speaking authors writing for Greek-speaking readers in Greek with (2) English-speaking authors writing in Russian for English-speaking readers? Does this really make sense in your head? If so, it's proof of the detrimental effects of spiritual rebellion! Thanks again for proving that the Bible is true!

    Doug said: "The OT was written in Hebrew for a Jewish audience and is claimed to be God inspired so we know that God likes to reveal his word in the home language of its main early audience. The first converts and early Christians were 99.9% Jews. I find it very interesting how God now changes his game plan to using a second/third language of its early audience to convey his inspired word."

    LOL! Look at how you completely contradict yourself. You point out that the EARLIEST Christians (i.e., within the first few years of Christianity) spoke Aramaic (even though they would have spoken Greek as well). But you also note that the Gospels were written 30+ years after the events. By that time, of course, the church had spread across the Roman Empire. So if God's approach, according to you, is to "reveal his word in the home language of its main early audience," what was that in the 60s, 70s, and 80s? Was it Aramaic? No, Greek was the main language of the church. But you're demanding that God reveal the scriptures in a language that the vast majority of people wouldn't have understood!

    So let me get this straight. The Gospels can't be the word of God because they were written in a language that people could understand at the time they were written? Oh my goodness. And yet, if the Gospels had been written in Hebrew, you'd be complaining that they were written in a language that people couldn't understand! It seems you'll complain about anything! How original!

    You've shown yourself to be absolutely illogical in your criticisms, so I can't take your questions about the problem of evil seriously. I take the problem of evil seriously, but not coming from you. The problem of evil is actually my field in philosophy, but I've spent enough time responding to someone who has no concern for truth or reality. Discussion's over. If you ever get over your anger and are ready to discuss things seriously, let me know.

  5. Doug, nice having people like you in here. Are you English? Cos if you are not, whatever you are spewing in here will never be consider reliable although they are not reliable for the simple reason that you are one of those people out there yet to understand a thing about the Bible. God do not speak to us in one language. God will never speak to me in a language I don't understand because if he does, then He is not a just God. Has your inner man speak to you in Hausa, Igbo and Yoruba because am so so certain you don't understand this three languages. David Wood thumb ups to you for making things clear to Doug. #Peace

  6. Doug Zembiec on August 20:
    "The Gospel writers were all Jewish . Their first languages would have been Hebrew/Aramaic , not Greek"

    David Ford:
    Indeed. The 4 Gospels were written in Aramaic, and then translated into Greek.
    Mistranslations of the original Aramaic point to the Greek being a translation of the Aramaic. A few examples of translations from the original Aramaic that are better than the Greek translations appear below.

    Matthew 1:15-16:
    Eleud fathered Eleazer. Eleazer fathered
    Matan. Matan fathered
    Yaqub. Yaqub fathered
    Yosip, the protective-male of
    Maryam, from whom was born
    Yeshua, who is called the Meshikha.
    [re: 'protective-male,' PY of peshitta.org had 'kinsman' with this footnote: "Gbra literally means 'protective male.' It is unclear whether the text refers to Maryam's father or to her husband." Mt says it is 14 + 14 + 14 generations in the next paragraph, verse 17. Hence, the Josip in the paragraph starting with verse 18 has to be a different Josip, assuming Matthew could count correctly. See also Younan's article "Mistranslating the Genealogies of Yeshua" in Lataster's

    Matthew 26:6-8:
    And when Yeshua was in Beth-Aniya, in the house of Shimon the potter, a woman approached him who had with her an alabaster vase of ointment which was a very precious perfume, and she poured it upon the head of Yeshua while he was reclining. And his talmida [students] saw and it displeased them….
    [re: 'Shimon the potter,' he was a potter, not-- as the Greek translations have it-- a leper. Lepers didn't have houseguests over.]

    Mark 9:49:
    For with fire everything will be vaporized,
    and with salt every sacrifice will be seasoned.
    [re: 'vaporized,' the root MLKh can mean 'to salt, season' or 'to destroy, vaporize, scatter.' It is the latter meaning that is obviously intended here. The Greek mistranslation points to an Aramaic original. Re: 'seasoned,' Meshikha plays on the dual meaning of MLKh.--PY, of peshitta.org]

    Acts 2:24:
    But Allaha loosed the cords of Sheol and raised him [al-Nabia Yeshua the Nasraya] because it was not possible that he be held in it, in Sheol.
    [re: 'the cords': the Greek versions mistranslated this word as 'pain.' Cf. John 2:15 & 2 Samuel 22:6. --PY]

    Acts 8:27:
    And he [Pileepos] arose (and) went and met a certain mahaymina [believer] who had come from Cush, an official of Qandeq, the malkta [queen] of the Cushites, and he was an authority over all her treasures. And he had come to worship in Urishlim.
    [re: MHYMNA, it can mean either 'believer' or 'eunuch'-- or many similar things. The Greek versions mistranslate this as 'eunuch' instead of the more contextually correct 'believer.'--PY. The Ethiopian _believer_ was intending to worship in Jerusalem, presumably in the temple there-- which eunuchs were prohibited from doing by Deut 23:2.]

    To read 4 biographies about Isa ibn Maryam, see

  7. The 4 Gospels could not have originated from written Aramaic. The reason is that certain words in the Gospels would not have made any sense if they originated in Aramaic. Example , John 3:3. Here Jesus is telling Nicodemus you must be born again. In Greek , you can have a double meaning of the words' born again '. In Aramaic , you only have 1 meaning of Born Again.

    For an explanation of that , click on the below link and watch from 2:00 to 3:00

  8. david you are my favorite apologist