The entire Christian faith is predicated on that single claim more than on anything else. If you don’t believe that, then you are completely out of step with your church and its history. Given that, how can any Believer account for any of the following:
- There are two different creation stories in Genesis…a few verses apart;
- There is no evidence in either the historical record, nor from decades of diligent exploration and research on the part of Israeli archaeologists, for the existence of Moses nor the event described as the Exodus;
- Similarly…there is no archaeological evidence for the existence of Nazareth prior to the third century A.D. Neither is it mentioned in either the ”inventory” of 63 Galilean cities and towns found in the Talmud, nor in the Histories of Josephus…who led a military campaign in and around Galilee (900 sq. miles – think Carroll County) in the First Jewish War (60 A.D.) and who listed 45 cities and towns, but no Nazareth;
- The Bible contains several hundred contradictory passages – that is, passages that, if one is true, than the other cannot be;
- In Genesis, bats are referred to as birds (What, God was weak at biology?);
- The Noachian flood story is predicated on a simple, but huge, fallacy…that all the living creatures on earth lived within easy walking distance of Noah’s house (How do you suppose the kangaroos got there?);
- There was not, ever in Roman history, a census requiring all males to return to the city of their birth to be counted. It never happened, so Joseph never had to travel to Bethlehem in spite of what the gospel story claims;
- There was no “slaughter of the innocents” under Herod. Not only is it not corroborated by any contemporary records or writings, but John the Baptist himself was only slightly older than Jesus. How did he survive?
- At Jesus’ crucifixion, the Bible claims there was an earthquake, the sun disappeared, and the dead came back to life. As incredible as such events would be, no one alive wrote down a thing to substantiate the story. It is as though no one noticed; or that
- Jesus is quoted as having said several times to his followers “There are some of you here today who shall not have tasted death before…(the 2nd coming)” (Did we all miss something?).
So…how can you claim any part of the Bible, or your own particular beliefs, to be true?
I know…you don’t want to think about this…but you should. The rest of your lives, not to mention your sanity, are at risk.
Let me close on a very contemporary example of just how damaging accepting the claims of the Bible on Faith can be:
Little Madeline Neumann is dead.
She died of diabetes.
Dale and Leilani Neumann, her parents, chose to pray to God/Jesus to heal her when she fell ill rather than seek medical attention. The mother has been quoted as believing that the girl could still be resurrected. (As a side note, the parents have been charged with negligent homicide in Madeline’s death.)
Question: What did these parents do wrong?
If you are a Christian who believes the Bible to be the inerrant word of an omniscient and omnipotent God, the answer is incredibly simple…NOTHING! The Neumanns did precisely what Jesus, the son of and one with the Abrahamic God, is recorded in the Bible to have instructed.
Multiple times. For example:
In Matthew 7:7 Jesus says: "Ask, and it will be given you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For every one who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. Or what man of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him! "
Again, in John, chapter 14, verses 12 through 14: "I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it"
And again we read in James 5:15-16: "And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up."
This is not an exhaustive list; merely a sampling. But
- If the Bible is the Inerrant Word of an omniscient, omnipotent God, and
- If the Neumanns did as the Bible in numerous verses instructs, then
None of the typical mumbo-jumbo is acceptable here: “God works in mysterious ways”, or “God does answer all prayers, sometimes just not the way we want”.
That’s Bullshit! Read the verses above again. Whip out you own copy and examine any of the dozen or more of the others that say the same sort of thing.
There are no qualifiers, no hedges. “…You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it" doesn’t leave a whole lot of wiggle room!
There is another answer, of course. The only answer that makes sense.
Not only is the Bible not the inerrant word of an omniscient, omnipotent God, but…there is no God.
It was sheer and utter ignorant superstition that murdered poor Madeline; on the part of the Neumanns, on the part of whoever taught them such crap in the first place, and on the part of the entire Christian community worldwide which, in spite of overwhelming evidence to the contrary, insists on continuing to give credence to bronze-age myths in what is supposed to be an age of science and reason, therefore enabling helpless morons like the Neumanns.
So…what do you believe?
If, for whatever reason, you are choosing to believe some of the prehistoric myths, but not all; how do you choose? What are your criteria? What, exactly, gives one unsubstantiated myth more credence than another?
Take some time. Think about it.