Wednesday, August 26, 2009

The Big Fraud

That's what atheists think of the New Testament. It's one huge conspiracy, a big lie perpetrated by a group of liars who then went on to begin the greatest movement of human development the world has ever seen.

Critics however have worn themselves out trying to destroy the idea of prophecy as it pertains to the Bible. This is because Biblical prophecy has shown itself in archeology and historical literature to be 100% accurate. The main method of denying or disproving this astounding achievement (Glen and Flute have given us a good example in their comments on my last post) is to try to “late date” anything called Biblical prophecy. What the critics say is that because the prophecies are so accurate (they can't and don't deny this), they must have been written after the events actually happened. When it comes to Old Testament Prophecy in general and the prophecy of Jesus specifically, these people run into somewhat of a problem. Here’s why.

The vast majority of scholars agree that all of the Old Testament Scripture was completed 450 years before Jesus the Christ was born. However even the most sceptical must admit the date of 250 B.C. since that is when the Old Testament was translated into Greek.

In calculating odds of probability, scientists agree that 10 ^ -50 is the same as zero - impossible.

Professor Peter Stoner, himself a sceptic and former Editor of ‘Science Digest’ has calculated that the odds of the prophecies of what happened to Jesus on the last day of His life here on earth, to be 10 ^ -157, against them coming true in one man, accidentally.

This information will have zero positive impact on sceptics like Glen and Flute or even TAM. They will just say something like, "Well, that just proves that those things couldn't have happened the way the Bible says they did."

On the other hand, honest spiritual seekers should give a pause for thought about what exactly took place at the end of Jesus' life on earth.

The following were prophesied from 1000 - 500 years before Jesus was born but were all fulfilled in one day.

. Betrayed by a friend
. Sold for 30 Pieces of silver
. Money "thrown" into God’s house
. His best friends would all run away and desert Him
. People would lie about Him in order to get Him killed
. He never said a thing to defend Himself, such as “That’s a lie” or “I didn’t do that.”
. He was killed by crucifixion
. He asked God to forgive those who were killing Him
. Hated without cause
. Friends stood afar off
. Soldiers would gamble for His clothes
. They’d offer Him a pain killer to drink
. His forsaken cry - “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me.”
. Committed himself to God - “Into they hand I commit My spirit.”
. Bones not broken
. His side pierced with a spear
. Darkness at noon
. Buried in a rich man’s grave

Neither Jesus nor His disciples had any control over the prophecies about:
. Place of birth
. Time of birth
. Manner of birth
. Betrayal
. Manner of death
. People’s reaction
. Piercing, and
. Burial

Jesus said, “Before Abraham was, I AM.” The life of Jesus was put before us in such a way that no one need mistake who He was or is.

From which race He would be born into, right down to the town He would be born in, we have a record of His life on earth before it even began.


Flute said...

What the critics say is that because the prophecies are so accurate (they can't and don't deny this)

I can and do. And if you examined the "prophecies"* with an open mind you find them less than impressive.

*(some of which weren't even prophecies at the time they were written)

Flute said...

There are several mundane ways in which a prediction of the future can be fulfilled:

1. Retrodiction. The "prophecy" can be written or modified after the events fulfilling it have already occurred.
2. Vagueness. The prophecy can be worded in such a way that people can interpret any outcome as a fulfillment. Nostradomus's prophecies are all of this type. Vagueness works particularly well when people are religiously motivated to believe the prophecies.
3. Inevitability. The prophecy can predict something that is almost sure to happen, such as the collapse of a city. Since nothing lasts forever, the city is sure to fall someday. If it has not, it can be said that according to prophecy, it will.
4. Denial. One can claim that the fulfilling events occurred even if they have not. Or, more commonly, one can forget that the prophecy was ever made.
5. Self-fulfillment. A person can act deliberately to satisfy a known prophecy.
I have not seen a prophecy from the Bible or the Koran or the Book of Mormon that did not fit one of these categories.

Flute said...

And don't forget the lists of failed prophecy.

Joshua said that God would, without fail, drive out the Jebusites and Canaanites, among others (Josh. 3:9-10). But those tribes were not driven out (Josh. 15:63, 17:12-13).

Ezekiel said Egypt would be made an uninhabited wasteland for forty years (29:10-14), and Nebuchadrezzar would plunder it (29:19-20). Neither happened.

Nebuchadrezzar and Tyre... and so on.

The Atheist Missionary said...

I give Mak full marks for effort. Isn't this just about the time that he should give up the reasoned debate and start describing how the Holy Spirit talks to him? To be frank, I find those kinds of arguments more difficult to surmount because you can't assail someone's subjective experience.

What do we really have here? Centuries of waiting for a supposed Jewish messiah. A Jewish prophet touring around what is now Israel and Palestine (like that was uncommon). No contemporaneous accounts of any miracles by this prophet although history is replete with contemporaneous accounts of miracles by many (if not most) other prophets and saints. The prophet is supposedly killed by the Romans (they didn't do that often - did they?) and then myths start appearing DECADES after his supposed death. Nero comes up with the bright idea of blaming Christians for the burning of Rome and his viciousness towards them ironically curies them favor with the Roman populace. Chritianity takes off and the rest is history.

Jeff said...

"Neither Jesus nor His disciples had any control over the prophecies about:"

No, but the Gospel writers did. Prove to me how it cannot be the case that the writers of the Gospels simply took all the Old Testament stuff (which, as you admit, was all completed and widespread long before that point) and wrote the story to make Jesus fit them all. Just because Jesus himself couldn't control when and where he was born, doesn't mean that the writers of his story couldn't control where they said he was born.

Please note, as well, that many of the texts that Christians now consider "Messianic prophecies" were not considered as such back in the day. Many are simply archetypes of a suffering, righteous man. The Gospel writers could easily have modified the story somewhat to draw parallels of that archetype to Jesus - and such a practice was common back then. Interestingly enough, many of the texts that weren't considered prophecies - well, Jesus fulfilled those - but the ones that the Jews definitely considered Messianic prophecies...well, he'll fulfill those at his second coming. Seems a little convenient to me.

Bob Ichter said...

Right on Flute !!! I have been debating an imbecilic bible thumper here in are wasting your breath [ or typing ] People indoctrinated into this crazy shit at an early age are almost never smart enough to break free.
They need the crutch religion provides, because they are too scared to live life "alone". Only the few critical thinkers break free to see what a crock organized religion is.

Makarios said...

Only the few critical thinkers break free to see what a crock organized religion is."

And of course you'd be one of them, right? Pfft!