Church at the Cross, Grapevine (2016) – Many people claim that the Bible is merely a human book, irrelevant, full of errors, and unreliable as an authoritative source of truth for all people. But, what does the evidence suggest? Can we trust the Bible? Speaker: Dr. Dan Wallace (author and Sr. Professor of New Testament Studies, Dallas Theological Seminary).
Two things struck me about these videos that a city-boy like me can now apply more vividly the application of some of these verses herein that many “salt-of-the-earth” folks already know well. These two things are that they literally know their masters voice… AND they also know they are going to be nourished. Wow… these verses come to life for me… enjoy
“I assure you: Anyone who doesn’t enter the sheep pen by the door but climbs in some other way, is a thief and a robber. The one who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. The doorkeeper opens it for him, and the sheep hear his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought all his own outside, he goes ahead of them. The sheep follow him because they recognize his voice. They will never follow a stranger; instead they will run away from him, because they don’t recognize the voice of strangers.”
Jesus gave them this illustration, but they did not understand what He was telling them.
So Jesus said again, “I assure you: I am the door of the sheep. All who came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep didn’t listen to them. I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved and will come in and go out and find pasture.
A thief comes only to steal and to kill and to destroy. I have come so that they may have life and have it in abundance. I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. The hired man, since he is not the shepherd and doesn’t own the sheep, leaves them and runs away when he sees a wolf coming. The wolf then snatches and scatters them. This happens because he is a hired man and doesn’t care about the sheep. I am the good shepherd.
I know My own sheep, and they know Me, as the Father knows Me, and I know the Father. I lay down My life for the sheep. But I have other sheep that are not of this fold; I must bring them also, and they will listen to My voice. Then there will be one flock, one shepherd. This is why the Father loves Me, because I am laying down My life so I may take it up again. No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down on My own. I have the right to lay it down, and I have the right to take it up again. I have received this command from My Father.”
Again a division took place among the Jews because of these words. Many of them were saying, “He has a demon and He’s crazy! Why do you listen to Him?” Others were saying, “These aren’t the words of someone demon-possessed. Can a demon open the eyes of the blind?”
When they found Him on the other side of the sea, they said to Him, “Rabbi, when did You get here?” Jesus answered, “I assure you: You are looking for Me, not because you saw the signs, but because you ate the loaves and were filled. Don’t work for the food that perishes but for the food that lasts for eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you, because God the Father has set His seal of approval on Him.”
“What can we do to perform the works of God?” they asked. Jesus replied, “This is the work of God—that you believe in the One He has sent.”
“What sign then are You going to do so we may see and believe You?” they asked. “What are You going to perform? Our fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, just as it is written: He gave them bread from heaven to eat.” Jesus said to them, “I assure you: Moses didn’t give you the bread from heaven, but My Father gives you the real bread from heaven. For the bread of God is the One who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.” Then they said, “Sir, give us this bread always!”
“I am the bread of life,” Jesus told them. “No one who comes to Me will ever be hungry, and no one who believes in Me will ever be thirsty again. But as I told you, you’ve seen Me, and yet you do not believe. Everyone the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will never cast out. For I have come down from heaven, not to do My will, but the will of Him who sent Me. This is the will of Him who sent Me: that I should lose none of those He has given Me but should raise them up on the last day. For this is the will of My Father: that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.”
Therefore the Jews started complaining about Him because He said, “I am the bread that came down from heaven.” They were saying, “Isn’t this Jesus the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How can He now say, ‘I have come down from heaven’?” Jesus answered them, “Stop complaining among yourselves. No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him, and I will raise him up on the last day. It is written in the Prophets: And they will all be taught by God.Everyone who has listened to and learned from the Father comes to Me — not that anyone has seen the Father except the One who is from God. He has seen the Father. I assure you: Anyone who believes has eternal life. I am the bread of life. Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died. This is the bread that comes down from heaven so that anyone may eat of it and not die. I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread he will live forever. The bread that I will give for the life of the world is My flesh.”
At that, the Jews argued among themselves, “How can this man give us His flesh to eat?” So Jesus said to them, “I assure you: Unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you do not have life in yourselves. Anyone who eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day, because My flesh is real food and My blood is real drink. The one who eats My flesh and drinks My blood lives in Me, and I in him. Just as the living Father sent Me and I live because of the Father, so the one who feeds on Me will live because of Me. This is the bread that came down from heaven; it is not like the manna your fathers ate—and they died. The one who eats this bread will live forever.”
He said these things while teaching in the synagogue in Capernaum.
I have updated the “Triceratops Horn” section, as, the Los Angeles County Superior Court Ruled against California State University Northridge (CSUN) in favor of Dr. Mak Armitage.
This will be an update to previous posts on this .com and my previous blog (BlogSpot). It will serve as a part-two-of-a-two-part discussion to young earth views that deals with evidences of mankind throughout all geological ages. While this is far from an in-depth excoriation of the evidences, it is a good introduction to some of them. I do not start off or bring up young earth creationism typically. Typically I will lead off with talking about theistic evidences [MACRO evidences for God] that assume a mainstream assumption about the age of the cosmos/earth. But the below evidences can be incorporated into a response when challenged about the topic. (See also: “Two Ways to Look At Origins;” and, “Reason and Faith.”)
As usual, all graphics are linked for further resource hunting. One may wish to visit my post on Archaeology and the Bible, which includes some responses to skeptics from a decade[+] ago.
+900yr-old Carving In the Ta Prohm Temple of Angkor Wat
This was part of a larger post/blog I did entitled, “Dinosaurs, the Bible, and Creation Proofs.” After a discussion with a fellow believer I wanted to get this video isolated here and it is included in my “Must See Videos” section in the left-hand column. With that small intro, here it is:
The above videos are one OF MANY evidences that humankind at one point may have seen dinosaurs… more evidence exists that just what I am providing here, but the above is one of the clearest examples of not just ancients finding bones, but see skin, muscle, and eyes of a stegosaurus.
Tyrannosaurus (T-Rex) Blood Cells & Protein
By using immunological tests, Gerard Muyzer of Leiden University in the Netherlands, isolated samples from some fresh T-Rex bone that had a specific bone protein (osteocalcin) in them. These proteins, reported in Geology magazine (Oct. 1992), are very unstable, and cannot last for very many years once the creature who carries them dies [perm-a-freeze cannot account for the longevity evolution gives to these proteins]. The photo [right] is a newer find where malleable flesh and intact blood cells are throughout. H/t to The Pearcey Report for this story from WND that keeps evolving:
Paleontologist Mary Schweitzer of North Carolina State University first claimed to have isolated soft tissues and collagen from a Tyrannosaurus rex leg bone several years ago.
But because the leg was broken during excavation, the evidence was damaged and could never be independently confirmed. (And evidence keeps amassing to support their claims as Nature discusses.)
Schweitzer then examined a more pristine leg of a plant-eating hadrosaur excavated from sandstone and found even better samples of soft tissue, according to the report.
“Our findings demonstrated that it did contain basement membrane matrix,” said Lewis Cantley, chief of the division of signal transduction at Beth Israel Deaconess, and a co-author on the Science study. Basement membranes, which degrade and regenerate during development and wound repair, comprise a continuous extracellular matrix that links endothelial, epithelial, muscle, or neuronal cells and their adjacent stroma.
In situ mass spectrometery independently verified amino acids in dinosaur tissues, including the collagen signature amino acid, hydroxylated proline.
While scientists previously questioned the possibility that soft tissue could survive tens of millions of years of fossilization, few seem to be questioning their assumptions that dinosaurs actually went extinct 65 million years ago.
Young earth proponents see something entirely different in the findings. As one creationist noted: “There’s no way this blood could be 80 million years old. The evolutionists are just saying so because they cannot bear the thought of recent dinosaurs causing their millions of years scenario to come crashing down. Without the millions of years, Darwinism is dead, dead, dead.”
The evidence that hemoglobin has indeed survived in this dinosaur bone (which casts immense doubt upon the ‘millions of years’ idea) is, to date, as follows:
- The tissue was coloured reddish brown, the colour of hemoglobin, as was liquid extracted from the dinosaur tissue.
- Hemoglobin contains heme units. Chemical signatures unique to heme were found in the specimens when certain wavelengths of laser light were applied.
- Because it contains iron, heme reacts to magnetic fields differently from other proteins—extracts from this specimen reacted in the same way as modem heme compounds.
- To ensure that the samples had not been contaminated with certain bacteria which have heme (but never the protein hemoglobin), extracts of the dinosaur fossil were injected over several weeks into rats. If there was even a minute amount of hemoglobin present in the T. Rex sample, the rats’ immune system should build up detectable antibodies against this compound. This is exactly what happened in carefully controlled experiments.
- Dinosaur Soft Tissue: In seeming desperation, evolutionists turn to iron to preserve the idea of millions of years;
- and, DNA And Bone Cells Found In Dinosaur Bone.
(Above graphic) The numbers in the “( )” represent millions of years, so “(10)” would mean 10-million years old. And again, the labs that do this for the dinosaur bones cannot re-calibrate their machines off of a slug because all similar non-mineralized bones have C14 in them (take note I included the non-creationist reference at the bottom of the small quote to point out that the scientific community is finding this troubling):
The consistent failure of carbon dating facilities to find carbon-dead samples to serve as baselines highlights the regularity with which they have detected measurable amounts of radiocarbon in samples from Phanerozoic settings (Nadeau et al., 2001). Simply put, carbonaceous materials from any portion of the geologic column deposited millions of years ago should, with the exception of rare instances of contami¬nation, contain zero “C atoms. This reasonable assumption follows from the half-life of “C, which places a time limit on its duration of about 100,000 years until the number of “C atoms become too few to detect with accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) (Hebert, 2013).
 Nadeau, M.-J., P.M. Grootes, A. Voelker, F. Bruhn, A. Duhr, and A. Oriwall. 2001. Carbonate ‘4C background: does it have multiple personalities? Radiocarbon 43:2A, 169-176.
Triceratops Horn Gets Dr. Mark Armitage fired from CSUN
What happens when you publish a peer-reviewed paper that states inconvenient facts against Darwinism? Better yet, photos (see near bottom, click to enlarge) that cast doubt on prevailing paradigms.
You get fired.
…UPDATE (Oct 1st, 2016)
Just to recap this case before the good news:
…In February 2013, he published his findings in Acta Histochemica, a journal of cell and tissue research (M. H. Armitage and K. L. Anderson Acta Histochem. 115, 603–608; 2013). Two weeks later, he was fired from his job at California State University, Northridge (CSUN), where he managed the biology department’s electron and confocal microscopy suite.
Now he is embroiled in a long-shot legal fight to get his job back. In July, his lawyers filed a wrongful-termination suit claiming that religious intolerance motivated the dismissal: as a young-Earth creationist, Armitage says that finding soft tissue in the fossil supports his belief that such specimens date to the time of the biblical flood, which he puts at about 4,000 years ago.
The suit alleges that faculty members hostile to Armitage had him fired because they could not stand working with a creationist who had been published in a legitimate scientific journal. He and his attorneys at the Pacific Justice Institute, a conservative legal organization based in Sacramento, California, that focuses on religious and family issues, have repeatedly made that claim in the press. But specialists in US labour law suggest that his claim of religious intolerance might have difficulty standing up if the case goes to trial.
In recent years, a schoolteacher, academic and NASA employee who were creationists have claimed that they were fired unjustly for their religious beliefs. (None were reinstated.) But what makes this case different is that Armitage managed to survive for years in a mainstream academic institution and to publish research in a respected peer-reviewed journal….
Well, the court ruled in Dr. Armitage’s favor (Dr. Armitage posted this video Oct 1st, 2016):
- The Los Angeles County Superior Court Ruled against California State University for wrongfully terminating microscopy laboratory director Mark Armitage in Spring of 2013. The judge found that they discriminated against Armitage’s religion after he published his findings of soft tissues he found in a Triceratops horn from Montana. The university chose to settle out of court rather than to appear in court for a jury trial.
BACK TO ORIGINAL POST…
Mark Hollis Armitage
Kevin Lee Anderson
Department of Biology, California State University, 18111 Nordhoff Street, Northridge, CA 91330-8303, USA
Soft fibrillar bone tissues were obtained from a supraorbital horn of Triceratops horridus collected at the Hell Creek Formation in Montana, USA. Soft material was present in pre and post-decalcified bone. Horn material yielded numerous small sheets of lamellar bone matrix. This matrix possessed visible microstructures consistent with lamellar bone osteocytes. Some sheets of soft tissue had multiple layers of intact tissues with osteocyte-like structures featuring filipodial-like interconnections and secondary branching. Both oblate and stellate types of osteocyte-like cells were present in sheets of soft tissues and exhibited organelle-like microstructures. SEM analysis yielded osteocyte-like cells featuring filipodial extensions of 18–20 μm in length. Filipodial extensions were delicate and showed no evidence of any permineralization or crystallization artifact and therefore were interpreted to be soft. This is the first report of sheets of soft tissues from Triceratops horn bearing layers of osteocytes, and extends the range and type of dinosaur specimens known to contain non-fossilized material in bone matrix.
….In 2005, Dr. Mary Schweitzer of North Carolina State University published a ground breaking discovery (see article 1). She and her team of researchers dissected a fossilized Tyrannosaurus rex femur to find inexplicably preserved bone marrow. Two things made this unearthing astounding. First, if the fossils are really millions of years old, they should be completely fossilized by now. Fossilization is the process in which original boney material is replaced by hard minerals. However, in this case, the soft inner parts of the bone were found unfossilized with intact bone marrow. The marrow consisted of soft tissues and intact blood vessels that maintained their elasticity. This is incredible! How could soft, stretchy tissues be preserved in dinosaur remains that evolutionists claim are no younger than 65 million years old? Even in the best state of bone preservation, the soft inner parts should have completely rotted away long ago.
Dr. Schweitzer’s breakthrough publication almost a decade ago has set the stage for additional investigations by many other scientists (see article 2, 3, 4). Since then, the discovery of soft tissues in dinosaur bones has become fairly common (even among different dinosaur species) demonstrating these are not just rare exceptions or anomalies. The latest dinosaur soft tissue finding was a Triceratops specimen found at the Hell Creek formation of Montana by well-published microscopist and former instructor at California State University, Mark Armitage and his colleague Dr. Kevin Anderson of Arkansas State University (see article 5). Their analysis of a Triceratops’ horn showed that it contained original bone, soft tissue, and even complete and exquisitely preserved “bone-building” cells called osteocytes.
As in the case of Schweitzer’s T. rex fossil (see article 1) and other dinosaur soft tissue discoveries like it (see article 2, 3, 4), all the original tissue, both hard and soft, should have wholly disappeared, due either to decay, or to mineral replacement if these bones were millions of years old. The original bone has, however, been preserved down to the most minute detail, as has the soft tissue running through it, including intact blood vessels. As with Dr. Schweitzer’s findings, these tissues were elastic and flexible. Armitage’s research produced breath-taking high resolution micrographs of osteocytes—the tiny cells which, when living, repair and maintain the bone. These detailed micrographs are comparable to those taken of modern bones. (Permission to display published photographs is pending).
Regrettably, those whose worldview requires that dinosaurs lived millions of years are very eager to dismiss the evidence of soft dinosaur tissue (see article 6), but the evidence is now coming from many different scientists (see above links), who are studying a diversity of dinosaurs bones, and publishing in numerous, prestigious scientific journals. Even more disturbing than the attempts to dismiss or discredit the work of these researchers, some of these people are lashing out at the scientists who are making these discoveries. We are very saddened and disturbed to report that Mark Armitage was fired from his position at California State University just days after his paper was published on line. Please pray for Mr. Armitage….
See Also: Cocktails! C14, DNA, collagen in dinosaurs indicates geological timescales are false ~ Photos w/ descriptions below (click to enlarge):
Dinosaurs and the Bible
Most complete new giant dinosaur found in Patagonia
RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) – Brazilian and Argentine paleontologists have discovered the largely complete fossil of a new species of giant dinosaur that roamed what is now northern Patagonia about 80 million years ago.
The herbivorous Futalognkosaurus dukei measured an estimated 105 feet to 112 feet from head to tail and was as high as a four-storey building. It is one of the three biggest dinosaurs yet found in the world.
The find pointed to a new lineage of titanosaurs, with particularly bulky necks, he said.
“Its neck was very big in diameter, strong and huge.”
Fossilized remains of an ecosystem from the same Late Cretaceous age, including well-preserved leaves and fish, were also found. The description was published in the latest issue of the annals of the Brazilian Academy of Sciences.
“The accumulation of fish and leaf fossils, as well as other dinosaurs around the find, is just something fantastic. Leaves and dinosaurs together is a great rarity,” he told Reuters. “It’s like a whole lost world for us.”
He was referring to “The Lost World” by Arthur Conan Doyle, a classic tale set in a remote part of South America where a scientific expedition finds dinosaurs still roaming an isolated plateau.
Some of the leaves made part of the diet of the titanosaur and other specimens found there. The researchers said the fossilized ecosystem pointed to a warm and humid climate in Patagonia, which had forests during the Late Cretaceous period. The area is steppe-like now and almost bare of vegetation.
Researchers believe the carcass of the giant dinosaur, which died of unknown causes, its flesh devoured by predators, was washed into a nearby slow-flowing river, where it created a barrier, accumulating bones and leaves in its structure for many years until all became fossilized.
A fossil of a carnivorous theropod Megaraptor found at the site contained a complete and articulated arm with very large sickle-shaped claws. Previously, similar fragmented bones were interpreted as a foot, researchers said.
The joint Argentine-Brazilian project also works in the Brazilian state of Mato Grosso, where Kellner said an important find has been made but would be revealed at a later date.
Desert-like areas in Argentina are good for preserving fossils, while they are more difficult to find in the wetter soil in Brazil.
There are a few things I take issue with here, but they are minor. Every fossil find involves a river or a local FLOOD. I just love it as a Young Earth Creationist (YEC) to hear this because it confirms in a major way historical and Biblical accounts of a FLOOD. Again, ALL the fossils found are in flood deposits. Okay, let play a game. The game is “Pin the Tail on the Donkey.”
Except we don’t have a donkey, but I’m sure you can figure it out. We have three creatures needing a tail:
Of course, you are probably wondering why I am displaying these comical pictures, and what — if anything — these pictures have to do with dinosaurs and the Bible! Let me explain. The ancient record of a man named Job is found in the Bible. It goes back to a time over 2,000 years before Christ. The fascinating story of Job is one of the oldest pieces of literature on earth. It was written down just a few hundred years after the flood of Noah’s time. In the 40th chapter of Job’s account, we see the record of the Creator Himself speaking to job. He is drawing Job’s attention to one of the wonders of the creation. Let’s read it.
“Look now at the behemoth, which I made along with you…” (verse 15)
Behemoth in the Hebrew simply means large beast. Most bibles have a marginal note by this verse explaining that this creature was most likely an elephant or hippopotamus (half of the above drawings explained!). God is saying to Job, “take a good look at this creature. I am going to demonstrate something to you.”
- “He eats Grass like an ox.” (Verse 15) The animal must be a vegetarian, but it’s likely larger than an ox.
- “See now, the strength is in his hips [or loins].” (Verse 16) This critter must have powerful legs. So it could be an elephant.
- “His power is in his stomach muscles.” (Verse 16) He apparently has a massive mid-section. If that was all we had to go on we could rightly assume Job may very well be looking at a hippo. But let’s read on.
- “He moves his tail like a cedar.” (Verse 17) ……
They are big aren’t they? Now have you seen a tail of an elephant or a hippo? It doesn’t seem that a cedar tree is a very appropriate analogy does it. Let’s re-read – and finish – the verses of study.
Now, I know you are thinking to yourself, “Flood!? Noah!? Bible!? Dinosaurs and man co-existing is outrages by evolutionary terms, I mean, dinosaurs died out at least 64 million years ago! And man didn’t show up on the evolutionary scene till about 1 to 4 million years ago (depending on what evolutionary tree you accept).” Yes, I know this sounds incredible, but some amazing items from history and archaeology are mounting the evidence against this belief that man and dino are separated by massive amounts of time and geological layers. [As hinted at above and below.]
Job 40: 15-24 (KJV)
15 Behold now behemoth [large beast], which I made with thee [all animals and Adam and Eve were created on the sixth day]; he eateth grass as an ox [vegetarian].
16 Lo now, his strength [is] in his loins [large, powerful legs], and his force [is] in the navel of his belly [large mid-section.] 17 He moveth his tail like a cedar [huge tail]: the sinews of his stones are wrapped together.
18 His bones [are as] strong pieces of brass [big bones]; his bones [are] like bars of iron [again, big bones].
19 He [is] the chief of the ways of God [largest or mightiest creation]: he that made him can make his sword to approach unto him [only God can kill him].
20 Surely the mountains bring him forth food, where all the beasts of the field play.
21 He lieth under the shady trees, in the covert of the reed, and fens [we have all seen drawings of these beasts halfway in the water with their head up eating the vegetation on the sides of the banks].
22 The shady trees cover him [with] their shadow; the willows of the brook compass him about [again, in a swamp, or the like].
23 Behold, he drinketh up a river, [and] hasteth not: he trusteth that he can draw up Jordan into his mouth [the NASB says in v. 23: “if a river rages, he is not alarmed. He is confidant, though the Jordan rushes to his mouth”].
24 He taketh it with his eyes: [his] nose pierceth through snares [you cannot catch him].
Here is a paraphrase/adaptation of the above verse:
Although the monstrous creature was obviously a vegetarian, its size was overwhelming. Its hips were built to withstand the enormous force of each pounding step and its midsection was a mass of muscle. Its gigantic tail extended far behind, not unlike a giant cedar tree swaying behind his body. Its bones were built like steel girders with ribs like iron bars to support his enormous weight. Surely this was the greatest among the creatures ever to roam the swamps and rivers of the earth. (Creation.com)
Fresh Duckbill Dinosaur Bones
Newest Discover of soft-dinosaur bones found (click to enlarge):
Actually, soft bones coming from these areas in Alaska are nothing new… but since the famous T-Rex find, it has become kosher to admit them.
Most people think that all known dinosaur bones are fossils, and that this proves dinosaurs died out millions of years ago. Yet “fresh”, unfossilized, dinosaur bones have been found, suggesting that dinosaurs might have lived recently.
In northwestern Alaska in 1961 a geologist found a bed of dinosaur bones in unpermineralized (“unfossilized”) condition. In another case, a young Inuit (Canadian Eskimo) who was working with scientists from Newfoundland’s Memorial University in 1987 on Bylot Island found part of a lower jaw of a duckbill dinosaur. It too was in fresh condition. Here is a portion of an article on this:
The lady was highly skeptical. This guide, who moments before had been discussing animal ecology and evolution, found when confronted with news of the new discovery—that she simply could not believe it. She could not accept that fresh (not permineralized, meaning unfossilized) dinosaur bones had been found in Alaska. Such bones could never have lasted 70 million years, she said.
Unlikely or not, it is a fact that such bones have been found. However, whether they could have lasted in that condition more than a few thousand years is a matter which demands attention.
In 1987, while working with scientists from Memorial University (Newfoundland, Canada) on Bylot Island, just east of the northern tip of Baffin Island, a young Inuit (Canadian Eskimo) picked up a bone fragment. It was identified within days as part of the lower jaw of a duckbill dinosaur and proclaimed to the world as such.1
The story was different however in north-western Alaska. In 1961 a petroleum geologist discovered a large, half-metre-thick bone bed. As the bones were fresh, not permineralized, he assumed that these were recent bison bones. It took 20 years for scientists to recognize duckbill dinosaur bones in this deposit as well as the bones of horned dinosaurs, and large and small carnivorous dinosaurs. Presently William A. Clemens and other scientists from the University of California at Berkeley and the University of Alaska are quarrying the bone bed.2 ….
1. Accounts of this appeared in the popular press, such as in the Edmonton Journal, October 26, 1987, a few months after the event, and in Saturday Night (a monthly magazine of analysis of current events) in August 1989, Vol.104 No.8, pp.16-19.
2. An initial announcement was printed in l985 in Geological Society of America abstract programs Vol.17, p.548. Already in press at that time was an article describing the site and the condition of the bones (Kyle L. Davies, ‘Duck-bill Dinosaurs (Hadrosauridae, Ornithischia) from the North Slope of Alaska’, Journal of Paleontology, Vol.61 No.1, pp.198-200.
The journal Science on December 24, 1993 (pages 2020–2023) reported on the amazing preservation of the bones of a young duckbill dinosaur found in Montana. Under a microscope, the fine structure of the bones was seen to have been preserved to such an extent that cell characteristics could be compared with cells of chicken bone. Claudia Barreto and others said, “In the dinosaur specimens, the same high degree of structural resolution can be seen as in modern specimens.” Even the calcium and phosphorus ratios were comparable. In other words, these appeared to be fresh bones, not fossilized — even though they are claimed to be more than 70 million years old.
Such findings cast serious doubt on the millions of years claimed for the dinosaurs.
Michael Cremo’s Take
A lot of UFO enthusiasts have latched onto Michael’s work. He is of Hindu influence and mentions that the Vedas mention that civilization has been on earth for millions of years. So, a young-earth creationists will look at the same evidence as Dr. Cremo and use IT to bolster the idea that all the animals of the earth were created by the sixth-day of Creation. Here is a short interview of Dr. Cremo on the matter. One should know he is the author of “Forbidden Archaeology“
So, we know — essentially — that Michael Cremo is a new ager… but, we can use the same evidence to show that: “yes, the young earth creationist viewpoint is concurrent with archaeological finds showing that the Hebrew Scripture is correct — man and dinosaur co-existed.” I combined two parts into one video showing an example of one of the oldest evidences of man living in the Cambrian age. As mentioned before, some take the same evidence as examples of the earth being visited by aliens. A great clip either way to show that current theories are off by millions of years:
The Bell Tomb
Yet, consider, for example, the evidence provided by the Bell tomb engravings. In far northern England, near the Scottish border, lies the village of Carlisle. A city with a turbulent history, the Romans built a wall through it, the Vikings invaded it, and the Scots and English fought over it for many years. Located in this English village is the medieval-period Carlisle Cathedral which was founded in A.D. 1122 by King Henry I (“Visit Cumbria…,” n.d.).
On February 11, 1478, Richard Bell was elected Bishop of the Carlisle Cathedral, and served some 17 years before resigning on September 4, 1495. He died in 1496 at the age of 86 and,in keeping with British custom, was buried beneath the floor in the cathedral’s choir (Priory and Raines, p. xxviii). The tomb is now covered by a carpet, to prevent any further effacing of the engravings caused by the human foot traffic of many centuries.
The monumental slab is beautifully inlaid with brass, including the facade of the cathedral in outline relief above and to each side of a solid image of the bishop himself, coupled with a solid strip of brass beneath the bishop. The following image is taken from Hutchinson’s 1794 volume The History of the County of Cumberland (p. 602b)…
A narrow strip of brass (9½ feet long) that runs around the outer edge of the tomb cover slab bears Latin words translated:
Here lies the Reverend Father Richard Bell sometime Bishop of Carlisle who departed from this life the twenty-forth [sic] day, in the year of the Lord. Among all the faithful departed through the mercy of God may he rest in perpetual peace. Amen (Weston, p. 62).
Interspersed among these Latin words are engravings of a human face, the trinity, and some 18 animals—a veritable “zoo.” Look carefully at these most intriguing engravings…
Here is the portion of interest to a-holes like myself:
Here is a digitizing of the lines to show them as they originally appeared, from Vance Nelson, Untold Secrets of Planet Earth: Dire Dragons (Red Deer, Alberta Canada: Untold Secrets Publisher, 2013), 62:
The Delk [& Other] Track
At a site that responds to critics about the Delk Track, we get a bit of a background of the print:
In July of 2000, Alvis Delk was wandering through the Paluxy river, in Glen Rose, Texas, when he flipped over a slab of rock which contained a pristine fossil dinosaur track. These tracks are common in the area, and he took it home for a keepsake.
It sat in his living room for eight years.
Sadly, in 2007, he had a bad accident which left him hospitalized for quite some time. When he got home, he needed money to pay off his medical bills, and began to clean off the dinosaur track in hopes that he could perhaps fetch a few hundred dollars for it.
This is when he discovered that was also a fossil human footprint in the rock, still covered under dried clay.
This find has profound ramifications for the Creation/Evolution debate. Evolutionary scholars have admitted that if dinosaurs and humans lived together in the past, then this completely destroys the theory of evolution.
There has been fraud to come out of this area, but the track in question has been Cat-Scanned, unlike the other instances of fraud:
…In August 2008 the granddaughter of one of the townsfolk who first sold the footprints admitted that her grandfather had carved the human footprints as a means of making money during the depression. No one was surprised. (Update: to be fair, Morris was aware in the 1970s that forgeries had been made by a local trickster. Surprisingly, that did not cause him to question the entire enterprise, or the veracity of eyewitness testimony.)
What is fascinating about this story is that he did not carve the tracks, only the prints that were sold. Creationists were so biased by their perspective that the carved prints tricked them into believing that what they were seeing in the river bed, even though some of the prints were outlandishly large, had to be human….
So this is why the Delk Track stands out. Here is a short video explaining the track:
And the bias of these kind of prints is shown in the assumptions made by evolutionists themselves. One main one being with the Laetoli Footprints… which is: if you remove the evolutionary assumptions, there is very little reason to think that the footprints were made by any creature other than man. And this is the whole idea of this post. One site makes these points:
Even Mary Leakey and her team were amazed “at how very human they were” (Ancestral Passions, p. 486).
Tim White, who was involved in excavating the prints, said:
“They are like modern human footprints. If one were left in the sand of a California beach today, and a four-year-old were asked what it was, he would instantly say that someone had walked there. He wouldn’t be able to tell it from a hundred other prints on the beach, nor would you. The external morphology is the same. There is a well-shaped modern heel with a strong arch and a good ball of the foot in front of it. The big toe is straight in line. It doesn’t stick out to the side like an ape toe, or like the big toe in so many drawings you see of Australopithecines in books” (Johanson and Edey, Lucy: The Beginnings of Humankind, p. 250).
Melvin Lubenow says:
“Interpreting the Laetoli footprints is not a question of scholarship; it is a question of logic and the basic rules of evidence. We know what the human foot looks like. There is no evidence that any other creature, past or present, had a foot exactly like the human foot. We also know what human footprints look like. But we will never know for sure what australopithecine footprints look like, because there is no way of associating ‘beyond reasonable doubt’ those extinct creatures with any fossil we might discover” (Bones of Contention, p. 331).
Russell Tuttle of the University of Chicago did an extensive study of habitually unshod people in the mountains of Peru to use in comparison with the Laetoli footprints. He argued that they “resemble those of habitually unshod modern humans” (“The Pitted Pattern of Laetoli Feet,” Natural History, March 1990).
Dr. Duane Gish observes that since footprints of antelopes, pigs, giraffes, elephants, rhinos, hares, ostriches, and other non-extinct animals were also found at Laetoli, that there is no reason to think that the prints were that of anything other than modern man. “In artists’ conceptions of the scene, we see pictures of giraffes for the giraffe footprints, elephants for the elephant footprints, ostriches for the ostrich footprints, etc. And–humans for the human footprints? Oh, no! Occupying the human footprints we see a sub-human creature, half-ape and half-man. While evolutionists concede that a giraffe must have made the giraffe prints, an elephant must have made the elephant prints, etc., their preconceived ideas about evolution and the age of these formations do not allow them to concede that a human made the human prints. Creationists, accepting the plain facts as revealed by the empirical scientific evidence, believe that the prints were made by modern man–Homo sapiens” (The Fossils Still Say No, p. 276).
Two VERY quick bios of the prints are as follows. Keep in mind the only proof that this was not man making the print is an artistic drawing:
In 1978, a team led by Mary Leakey discovered a series of footprints in Tanzania. These are known as the Laetoli footprints. According to many researchers, these footprints are identical to those made by humans. Paleoanthropologist, Donald Johanson stated, ‘Make no mistake about it, they are like modern human footprints’.
Why is it, then, that most scientists reject the idea that humans made these footprints? To understand this odd situation, it’s important to realize that evolutionists think that the footprints were made in mud 3.6 million years ago. Therefore, according to such evolutionary ideas, humans weren’t around then, so the footprints can’t be human! But if a human didn’t make the footprints, who or what did? A Scientific American article acknowledges that this is still an ‘unsolved mystery’ . However, I can’t help but feel it’s a mystery of their own making, caused by their evolutionary thinking, instead of taking the Bible’s history seriously.
This second video is by Dr. Marc Surtees who has a degree in Applied Biology and a PhD in Zoology.
Radioactive Dating Introduction
And here are, for the curious, a great presentation (which I broke up into each assumption for ease of consumption) dealing with dating methods and there problems for dating the earth in long ages:
Intro: What Is Radioactive Dating & Its Assumptions?
Evidence 1: Challenging Assumptions In Radioactive Decay Rate
Evidence 2: Challenging Assumptions In Radioactive Decay Rate
Evidence 3: Challenging Assumptions In Radioactive Decay Rate
Evidence 4: Challenging Assumptions In Radioactive Decay Rate
Evidence 5: Challenging Assumptions In Radioactive Decay Rate
Just A Couple Documentaries
One of my favorite short documentaries about Geology (below). Guy Berthault discusses some evidences from deep sea drilling, deposits at the mouths of rivers, and work done in concert with hydrologists at the Colorado State University hydraulics laboratory at Fort Collins.
I highly recommend watching these two short videos:
“Guy Berthault uses laboratory and sediment flume experiments to test accepted principles for the formation of strata. He shows, using easy to follow computer animation, that in moving currents several of the basic principles of stratigraphy do not apply. These principles, including the principles of superposition and continuity, are applicable only in calm water. He applies flume experiments to the real world of strata, mainly the formation of the layers in the Grand Canyon. Long periods of time are not required to deposit a sequence of strata in a moving current, and multiple beds can be deposited simultaneously, especially as a result of changing current speeds. His results have profound implications for the geological column and the interpretation of fossil sequences.”
- Best article on this work: http://www.icr.org/article/experiments-stratification/
I had a wonderful conversation with a very nice fellow at Starbucks (I will simply refer to him at times as John D.). The encounter started because of the book I was reading and an unsolicited question about it. It was only AFTER the conversation that I noted why question about the book was asked. The book was “Undeniable: How Biology Confirms Our Intuition That Life Is Designed.” (Watch the author speak about the book HERE.) After the conversation had concluded, I realized what drew John D. into engaging me. During the conversation, as you will see, he intimated that he was a lawyer. Hence, the large title that drew him in is “Undeniable.”
Light conversation took place about the book, mainly because I am just beginning the book and do not know the content well enough yet to discuss it specifically. I did steer the conversation towards DNA just a tad — with Stephen Meyer’s book in mind.
For the reader of this post, keep in mind that while I did not go in-depth into the discussion of DNA that immediately follows, I did reference briefly the aspects of information being separate from the means of transmission [matter]:
Evolutionary biologist George Williams observed: “Evolutionary biologists have failed to realize that they work with two more or less incommensurable domains: that of information and that of matter…. The gene is a package of information, not an object. The pattern of base pairs in a DNA molecule specifies the gene. But the DNA molecule is the medium, it’s not the message…. These two domains will never be brought together in any kind of the sense usually implied by the term ‘reductionism. Information doesn’t have mass or charge or length in millimeters. Likewise, matter doesn’t have bytes…. This dearth of shared descriptors makes matter and information two separate domains of existence, which have to be discussed separately, in their own terms.”
As the information theorist Hubert Yockey observes, the “genetic code is constructed to confront and solve the problems of communication and recording by the same principles found . . . in modern communication and computer codes.” Yockey notes that “the technology of information theory and coding theory has been in place in biology for at least 3.85 billion years,” or from the time that life first originated on earth. What should we make of this fact? How did the information in life first arise?
A great example is a newspaper. If you read an article on a topic that is information being passed on to you by another intelligence. The modern roadblock for today’s naturalist is the problem of looking at the molecules that make up the ink printed page stores information via the 26 letters of the alphabet as somehow related to the origin of the information being passed on. The problem is that the newspaper is merely the mediu, for the information. Like a Compact Disc is for music. The CD is merely the medium to carry the information. The
The next question is, how much information can the DNA molecule hold?
a) A pinhead made of DNA: Let us imagine we had enough DNA to fill the volume of a pinhead with a diameter of 2 mm. How many paperbacks (each with 189 pages as in [G19]) could be represented by the information held in that amount of DNA? Answer: about 25 trillion. That would be a pile of these paperback books approximately 920 times the distance from the earth to the moon (384,000 km). In 2011, if we were to equally distribute these paperbacks amongst the approximately 6.93 billion people on Earth, every person would receive about 3,600 copies. b) Drawing a wire: Now let us stretch the material of the 2 mm diameter pinhead into a wire of the same thickness as the DNA molecule (2 x 10-6 mm). How long would this wire be? Unbelievably, it would stretch 33 times around the equator, which has a circumference of 24,860 miles (40,000 km). c) One thousandth of a gram of DNA: If we were to take a milligram (1 mg = 10-3 g) of a (double helix) strand of DNA material, it would almost stretch from the earth to the moon! (Click to enlarge) Dr. George Church, a pioneering molecular geneticist at Harvard/MIT, informed us in a Sciencexpress article in August of 2012, that the digital-information storage capacity of DNA is “very dense.” How dense? One gram of DNA can store 455 exabytes of information. For those readers like myself whose eyes glaze over as soon as computer nerds start talking about bytes and RAM’s I will put it in simple layman’s terms. One gram of DNA – the weight of two Tylenol – can store the same amount of digitally encoded information as a hundred billion DVD’s. Yes, you read correctly, I said a hundred billion DVD’s. Every single piece of information that exists on the Earth today; from every single library, from every single data base, from every single computer, could be stored in one beaker of DNA. This is the same DNA/Genetic Information/Self-Replication System that exists in humans and in bacteria (which are the simplest living organisms that exist today and have ever been known to exist). In short, our DNA-based genetic code, the universal system for all life on our planet, is the most efficient and sophisticated digital information storage, retrieval, and translation system known to man. I will repeat a line from the above graphic description: Let me give you another example of the same sort of reasoning. Imagine that you have just finished reading a fabulous novel. Wanting to read another book like it, you exclaim to a friend, “Wow! That was quite a book. I wonder where I can get a bottle of that ink?” Of course not! You wouldn’t give the ink and paper credit for writing the book. You’d praise the author, and look for another book by the same writer. By some twist of logic, though, many who read the fabulous DNA script want to give credit to the “ink (DNA base code) and paper (proteins)” for composing the code. In a novel, the ink and paper are merely the means the author uses to express his or her thoughts. In the genetic code, the DNA bases and proteins are merely the means God uses to express His thoughts. Human DNA is like a computer program but far, far more advanced than any software ever created. Information is information, neither matter nor energy. No materialism that fails to take account of this can survive the present day. – Norbert Weiner, MIT Mathematician and Father of Cybernetics  This is a fuller quote adapted from two sources: Donald E. Johnson, Probability’s Nature and Nature’s Probability : A Call to Scientific Integrity (Charleston, SC: Booksurge Publishing, 2009), 44; Stephen C. Meyer, Signature in the Cell: DNA and the Evidence for Intelligent Design (New York, NY: Harper One, 2009), 17.  Meyer, ibid.  Perry Marshall, Evolution 2.0: Breaking the Deadlock Between Darwin and Design (Dallas, TX: Benbella Books, 2016), 187.  The graphic to the right of the footnote is from, Werner Gitt, In the Beginning Was Information (Bielefeld, Germany: Christliche Literatur-Verbreitung, 1997), 86.  Werner Gitt, Without Excuse (Atlanta, GA: Creation Book Publishers, 2011), 288 (graph from p. 286).  Moshe Averick, Atheistic Science is Rapidly Sinking in the Quicksand, algemeiner.  Gary Parker, 1.3 The Origin of Life: DNA and Protein, AiG.  Bill Gates, The Road Ahead (New York, NY: Penguin Group, 1995), 188.  Stan Lennard, So Easy a Caveman Could Do It?, RtB.
a) A pinhead made of DNA: Let us imagine we had enough DNA to fill the volume of a pinhead with a diameter of 2 mm. How many paperbacks (each with 189 pages as in [G19]) could be represented by the information held in that amount of DNA? Answer: about 25 trillion. That would be a pile of these paperback books approximately 920 times the distance from the earth to the moon (384,000 km). In 2011, if we were to equally distribute these paperbacks amongst the approximately 6.93 billion people on Earth, every person would receive about 3,600 copies.
b) Drawing a wire: Now let us stretch the material of the 2 mm diameter pinhead into a wire of the same thickness as the DNA molecule (2 x 10-6 mm). How long would this wire be? Unbelievably, it would stretch 33 times around the equator, which has a circumference of 24,860 miles (40,000 km).
c) One thousandth of a gram of DNA: If we were to take a milligram (1 mg = 10-3 g) of a (double helix) strand of DNA material, it would almost stretch from the earth to the moon!
(Click to enlarge)
Dr. George Church, a pioneering molecular geneticist at Harvard/MIT, informed us in a Sciencexpress article in August of 2012, that the digital-information storage capacity of DNA is “very dense.” How dense? One gram of DNA can store 455 exabytes of information. For those readers like myself whose eyes glaze over as soon as computer nerds start talking about bytes and RAM’s I will put it in simple layman’s terms. One gram of DNA – the weight of two Tylenol – can store the same amount of digitally encoded information as a hundred billion DVD’s. Yes, you read correctly, I said a hundred billion DVD’s. Every single piece of information that exists on the Earth today; from every single library, from every single data base, from every single computer, could be stored in one beaker of DNA. This is the same DNA/Genetic Information/Self-Replication System that exists in humans and in bacteria (which are the simplest living organisms that exist today and have ever been known to exist). In short, our DNA-based genetic code, the universal system for all life on our planet, is the most efficient and sophisticated digital information storage, retrieval, and translation system known to man.
I will repeat a line from the above graphic description:
Let me give you another example of the same sort of reasoning. Imagine that you have just finished reading a fabulous novel. Wanting to read another book like it, you exclaim to a friend, “Wow! That was quite a book. I wonder where I can get a bottle of that ink?” Of course not! You wouldn’t give the ink and paper credit for writing the book. You’d praise the author, and look for another book by the same writer. By some twist of logic, though, many who read the fabulous DNA script want to give credit to the “ink (DNA base code) and paper (proteins)” for composing the code. In a novel, the ink and paper are merely the means the author uses to express his or her thoughts. In the genetic code, the DNA bases and proteins are merely the means God uses to express His thoughts.
Human DNA is like a computer program but far, far more advanced than any software ever created.
Information is information, neither matter nor energy. No materialism that fails to take account of this can survive the present day. – Norbert Weiner, MIT Mathematician and Father of Cybernetics
 This is a fuller quote adapted from two sources: Donald E. Johnson, Probability’s Nature and Nature’s Probability : A Call to Scientific Integrity (Charleston, SC: Booksurge Publishing, 2009), 44; Stephen C. Meyer, Signature in the Cell: DNA and the Evidence for Intelligent Design (New York, NY: Harper One, 2009), 17.
 Meyer, ibid.
 Perry Marshall, Evolution 2.0: Breaking the Deadlock Between Darwin and Design (Dallas, TX: Benbella Books, 2016), 187.
 The graphic to the right of the footnote is from, Werner Gitt, In the Beginning Was Information (Bielefeld, Germany: Christliche Literatur-Verbreitung, 1997), 86.
 Werner Gitt, Without Excuse (Atlanta, GA: Creation Book Publishers, 2011), 288 (graph from p. 286).
 Moshe Averick, Atheistic Science is Rapidly Sinking in the Quicksand, algemeiner.
 Gary Parker, 1.3 The Origin of Life: DNA and Protein, AiG.
 Bill Gates, The Road Ahead (New York, NY: Penguin Group, 1995), 188.
 Stan Lennard, So Easy a Caveman Could Do It?, RtB.
After relaying the basics of information and DNA, I then went through what I have memorized quite well — here are the bullet points:
- Albert Einstein developed his general theory of relativity in 1915;
- Around the same time evidence of an expanding universe was being presented to the American Astronomical Society by Vesto Slipher;
- In the 1920s using Einstein’s theory, a Russian mathematician (Alexander Friedman) and the Belgium astronomer (George Lemaitre) predicted the universe was expanding;
- In 1929, Hubble discovered evidence confirming earlier work on the Red-Light shift showing that galaxies are moving away from us;
- In the 1940’s, George Gamow predicted a particular temperature to the universe if the Big Bang happened;
- In 1965, two scientists (Arno Penzias and Robert Woodrow Wilson) discovered the universe’s background radiation — and it was only about 3.7 degrees above absolute zero.
I mentioned that this information from science supports the Hebrew Scripture’s account of creation ex nihilo [from nothing], whereas, all the other writings from the Egyptians, Sumerian, Greeks, as well as all the major religious texts all posit an eternal universe or matter in some form or another. I relayed this quote roughly, noting Dr. Wilson’s participation in the Big-Bang becoming a widely accepted:
- “Certainly there was something that set it all off. Certainly, if you are religious, I can’t think of a better theory of the origin of the universe to match with Genesis.” ~ Robert Wilson: is an American astronomer, 1978 Nobel laureate in physics, who with Arno Allan Penzias discovered in 1964 the cosmic microwave background radiation.
John D. then steered the conversation towards other matters, giving me some biographical information about himself. He mentioned he was a lawyer. I gave him my card to my site and explained that if you hover over “Home” with your mouse (at the top of my site), to click on “Recommended Reads.” I pulled this page up on my phone and mentioned these top four books are by lawyers or people specialized in evidence… the parameters of which courts use as acceptable. I pointed to the Simon Greenleaf book, and started to explain his background to him…
… I noted that Simon Greenleaf wrote what was a first in American history, giving our court system a 3-volume set on what “is” evidence, thus, divorcing us from the British concepts of what courts should and should not accept as evidence. His work, “A Treatise on the Law of Evidence. 3 Vols.,” is considered a classic of American jurisprudence and is still used in law-schools today as part of the history of law. I included a bit more biographical info before getting to the main part of the point. I mentioned Dr. Greenleaf was an atheist (really I should have said agnostic) as well as a Jew who was skeptical of the Resurrection of Jesus. Continuing I said that Simon Greenleaf took his knowledge of what makes good evidence to respond to a challenge by a student in regards to applying the rules of evidence to the Gospels to prove-or-disprove the Resurrection. After about two-years, Dr. Greenleaf became a Christian and wrote his book, “Testimony of the Evangelists.“
Simon Greenleaf died October 6, 1853. Born of Jewish descent on December 5, 1783, Greenleaf was an agnostic, some say atheist, who believed the resurrection of Jesus Christ was either a hoax or a myth. No stranger to truth, and to the proof of the truth, Greenleaf was a principal founder of the Harvard Law School and a world-renowned expert on evidence. Challenged by one of his students one day to “consider the evidence” for the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, Greenleaf set out to disprove it, but ended up concluding that the Resurrection of Jesus Christ was indeed fact, not fiction. Being a man of conviction and reason, and in accordance with his conclusions, Greenleaf converted from Agnosticism to Christianity. His life and works went on to inspire such scholars as John Warwick Montgomery, Josh McDowell, Ross Clifford and Lee Strobel…. (Biographical Info)
It was when I finished that part of our discussion that he mentioned he was Jewish. “Awesome, I am glad I focused in on Simon Greenleaf then,” I thought to myself. John D. then segued by stating that as a lawyer he would never introduce such hearsay/shabby evidence as what the Old Testament affords people, mentioning specifically the old testament not pre-dating the Dead Sea Scrolls in any written form (they date around 200 B.C. or younger. I did not bring up an earlier example (by 400-years) of a partial scroll of Numbers, instead, I wanted to bring into his court room he was apparently running something along the same lines. Or this recent tech advance allowing the reading of a 2,000 year-old scroll:
This comes by way of END TIME blog:
Nearly half a century ago, archaeologists found a charred ancient scroll in the ark of a synagogue on the western shore of the Dead Sea. The lump of carbonized parchment could not be opened or read. Its curators did nothing but conserve it, hoping that new technology might one day emerge to make the scroll legible. Just such a technology has now been perfected by computer scientists at the University of Kentucky. Working with biblical scholars in Jerusalem, they have used a computer to unfurl a digital image of the scroll.
So neat! What does the text say?
It turns out to hold a fragment identical to the Masoretic text of the Hebrew Bible and, at nearly 2,000 years old, is the earliest instance of the text. … The scroll’s content, the first two chapters of the Book of Leviticus, has consonants — early Hebrew texts didn’t specify vowels — that are identical to those of the Masoretic text, the authoritative version of the Hebrew Bible and the one often used as the basis for translations of the Old Testament in Protestant Bibles.
So the authoritative 1000 year old Masoretic text is identical to this 2000 year old text found and examined by computer? Those tenth century monks who precisely copied and instituted rules for further copying so as to ensure perfection of the texts is proved 100% reliable by computer forensics in this millennial age? Even more neat!
“We have never found something as striking as this,” Dr. Tov said. “This is the earliest evidence of the exact form of the medieval text,” he said, referring to the Masoretic text.
It is striking, that a 2000 year old text from Leviticus is exact as to the Masoretic texts copied in 1000 AD! So thrilling…
I mentioned that in the Dead Sea Scrolls was an intact copy of Isaiah. At the time the oldest manuscript the Church had was dated at A.D. 980. When the Dead Sea Scrolls were found we had a copy dated to 125 B.C. — that is just about 1,100 years apart. Only one single word was added to the text that was likewise previously confirmed by the LXX.
The word “light”
He will see it[a] out of His anguish,
and He will be satisfied with His knowledge.
My righteous Servant will justify many,
and He will carry their iniquities.
Footnotes: [a] Isaiah 53:11 DSS [Dead Sea Scrolls],
LXX [Septuagint] read see light
Here we see the ending paragraphs giving an overview of the issue in the excellent book by Dr.’s Geisler and Nix:
With the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls, scholars have Hebrew manuscripts one thousand years earlier than the great Masoretic Text manuscripts, enabling them to check on the fidelity of the Hebrew text. The result of comparative studies reveals that there is a word-for-word identity in more than 95 percent of the cases, and the 5 percent variation consists mostly of slips of the pen and spelling. To be specific, the Isaiah scroll (1Q Isa) from Qumran led the Revised Standard Version translators to make only thirteen changes from the Masoretic Text; eight of those were known from ancient versions, and few of them were significant. More specifically, of the 166 Hebrew words in Isaiah 53 only seventeen Hebrew letters in 1Q Isb differ from the Masoretic Text. Ten letters are a matter of spelling, four are stylistic changes, and the other three compose the word for “light” (add in v. 11), which does not affect the meaning greatly. Furthermore that word is also found in that verse in the LXX and 1Q Isa.
The [many] thousands of Hebrew manuscripts, with their confirmation by the LXX and the Samaritan Pentateuch, and the numerous other crosschecks from outside and inside the text provide overwhelming support for the reliability of the Old Testament text. Hence, it is appropriate to conclude with Sir Frederic Kenyon’s statement, “The Christian can take the whole Bible in his hand and say without fear or hesitation that he holds in it the true word of God, handed down without essential loss from generation to generation throughout the centuries.”
Norman Geisler and William Nix, A General Interdiction to the Bible (Chicago, IL: Moody, 1986), 382.
I mentioned that in our case the court would not worry about the amount of years between the two documents, rather they would show precedence that very little has changed between the two. So In a court all that would matter to the jury is how these texts are transmitted and if this transmission is done well/accurately. John D. even mentioned the telephone game where one kid whispers into another kids ear… and by the end of circle you are left with something different. I would note as politely as possible that that analogy is a non-sequitur, and leave it at that.
(By the way, introducing Detective Wallace’s work always allows me to give my testimony. While I was one of the early inmates to super-max here in my town, he connected with that in that before it officially opened, he got to tour the facility.)
The odd thing is — at least to me — is that he made a comment about hearsay testimony after I mentioned J. Warner Wallace’s BOOK and discussed some of his biographical background. John D. mentioned that to bring into to court a person that hadn’t had a police officer immediately (or very close to the event) write down the witness’ description of events that the testimony would be thrown out.
I was shocked.
So I brought up a hypothetical crime done in a neighborhood where people typically keep silent, whether out of fear, culture, whatever. Lets say it was a murder. Some months later [even years] some witnesses start coming forward… four of them, and described the events. Each a little different because of recollection, vantage point, their demeanor, and the like. But the witnesses describe something that fit well with the forensic evidence. I was politely blunt with John when I said of course you could easily get a conviction of this murderer. He agreed, mentioning circumstantial evidence. Which is really what we are talking about.
My friends started showing up for the Bible study I was early for… but John had to tell me a story about Jewish tradition and children. “Seders” was the topic and children were the true scribes of tradition. Which is partially true… that is how the Jewish tradition and culture has lasted for all this time – memorization and habit. I even write that Christians should take their Gospel studies as seriously. He discussed how innocent children are not knowing how to even lie to about 4-years old. I did not interrupt him, even though the Bible (see “A”) and studies of children (see “B”) show this not to be the case, I wanted him to say what he needed to say.
Before I said my final statements… as he wanted to get his coffee and go (we had talked almost half-an-hour). I simply reiterated his statement to me near the beginning of the conversation that he had yet to see evidence that he would make him consider or take the Bible seriously (a rough recap of his statement). I got him to admit that he hasn’t gone out of his way to do so, and that if I got him a single book — if he would take it as a gift and consider reading it when he has the time.
To which he agreed.
I then concluded with my final thoughts to close us out. I mainly went over the conversation in bullet point form; mentioning of the evidences we discussed (scientific evidences as well as manuscript evidences) which I added go a long way to build a case for the Bible and the Judeo-Christian faith. I then pointed him back to what he wanted. That is, he shared a colloquial story from his family (which is fine), but his lovely “story” about the innocence of children and their faithful transmission of tradition was no part of what a court would accept.
At that he went his way. John is a regular and I look forward to future discussions with him if he wishes. But more than that, even though I am using a pseudo name for him PLEASE PRAY that the Holy Spirit quicken his heart to His truths. As he reads the book I got him pray that he follows some of the references/resources to further look into the claims of this Jesus.
I hope as well me adding to the conversation and linking out to other resources is a help for your future conversations.
…The total depravity of man is seen throughout the Bible. Man’s heart is “deceitful and desperately wicked” (Jeremiah 17:9). The Bible also teaches us that man is born dead in transgression and sin (Psalm 51:5, Psalm 58:3, Ephesians 2:1-5). The Bible teaches that because unregenerate man is “dead in transgressions” (Ephesians 2:5), he is held captive by a love for sin (John 3:19; John 8:34) so that he will not seek God (Romans 3:10-11) because he loves the darkness (John 3:19) and does not understand the things of God (1 Corinthians 2:14). Therefore, men suppress the truth of God in unrighteousness (Romans 1:18) and continue to willfully live in sin. Because they are totally depraved, this sinful lifestyle seems right to men (Proverbs 14:12) so they reject the gospel of Christ as foolishness (1 Corinthians 1:18) and their mind is “hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is unable to do so” (Romans 8:7).
The Apostle Paul summarizes the total depravity of man in Romans 3:9-18. He begins this passage by saying that “both Jews and Greeks are all under sin.” Simply put, this means that man is under the control of sin or is controlled by his sin nature (his natural tendency to sin)…
Whether lying about raiding the biscuit tin or denying they broke a toy, all children try to mislead their parents at some time. Yet it now appears that babies learn to deceive from a far younger age than anyone previously suspected.
Behavioural experts have found that infants begin to lie from as young as six months. Simple fibs help to train them for more complex deceptions in later life.
Until now, psychologists had thought the developing brains were not capable of the difficult art of lying until four years old.
Following studies of more than 50 children and interviews with parents, Dr Vasudevi Reddy, of the University of Portsmouth’s psychology department, says she has identified seven categories of deception used between six months and three-years-old.
Infants quickly learnt that using tactics such as fake crying and pretend laughing could win them attention. By eight months, more difficult deceptions became apparent, such as concealing forbidden activities or trying to distract parents’ attention.
By the age of two, toddlers could use far more devious techniques, such as bluffing when threatened with a punishment.
Dr Reddy said: “Fake crying is one of the earliest forms of deception to emerge, and infants use it to get attention even though nothing is wrong. You can tell, as they will then pause while they wait to hear if their mother is responding, before crying again.
“It demonstrates they’re clearly able to distinguish that what they are doing will have an effect. This is essentially all adults do when they tell lies, except in adults it becomes more morally loaded.”…
UPDATE — LEVITICUS
The Book of Leviticus in the Bible was probably the first recording of laws concerning public health. The Hebrew people were told to practice personal hygiene by washing and keeping clean. They were also instructed to bury their waste material away from their campsites, to isolate those who were sick, and to burn soiled dressings. They were prohibited from eating animals that had died of natural causes. The procedure for killing an animal was clearly described, and the edible parts were designated.
Gwendolyn R.W. Burton and Paul G. Engelkirk, Microbiology for the Health Sciences, 6th Edition (New York, NY: Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins, 2000), 9.
For the full conversation with the SDA can be found HERE.
The Argument from Silence… known as an “informal fallacy,” or, the argument from ignorance. Great video… I especially like the portion from 2:53 – to – 4:26:
Why do no other ancient sources mention things only in the Bible? Can we trust the Bible even though there is so much silence from the ancient world? This video addresses this issue.
…Specific historical notices sometimes light up dark points in the New Testament, as in a British Museum decree of Gaius Vibius Maximus, prefect of Egypt (104 AD), ordering all who are out of their districts to return to their own homes in view of the approaching census (compare Lu 2:1-5)… (International Standard Bible Encyclopedia Online).
(click to enlarge)
See also a really good article by AIG on archaeology, entitled: Does Archaeology Support the Bible?
Here are census specific links:
This is an excerpt from a book that really points out the impact of Godly men on many persons and facets of life just assumed to be the way they are for no reason. For instance, the impact of John Wesley is immeasurable:
- Vishal Mangalwadi, The Book That Made Your World: How the Bible Created the Soul of Western Civilization (Nashville, TN: Thoomas Nelson, 2011), 270-271, 272.
A further fruit of Wesley’s work were the conversions of William Wilberforce, Lord Shaftesbury, and others, and the development of what is called the Clapham Sect. This was a group of devout evangelicals who lived around Clapham Common, southeast of London. This community of Christians included businessmen, bankers, politicians, colonial governors, and members of Parliament, whose ceaseless, sacrificial labors benefited millions of their fellows at home and abroad–especially in Africa and India.
Restoration of the authority of the Bible in the English world amounted to a civilization finding its soul. Writings of a number of literary men and women give evidence of their recovering a biblical perspective. Poets such as William Blake, William Wordsworth, Robert Browning, Lord Tennyson, and later Rudyard Kipling and John Masefield; novelists like Sir Walter Scott, Charles Dickens, William Thackeray, the Brontë sisters, Robert Louis Stevenson♦ — all these and others owed much to the purging and ennobling influence of the biblical revival.
To the degree their writings were shaped by the Bible’s worldview, they held in check [temperred] the logical consequences of the Enlightenment’s rejection of of revelation…
The following improvements came in a direct line of descent from the Wesleyan revival. First was the abolition of slavery and the emancipation of the industrial workers in England. Then came factory schools, ragged schools, the humanizing of the prison system, the reform of the penal code, the forming of the Salvation Army, the Religious Tract Society, the Pastoral Aid Society, the London City Mission, Müller’s Homes, Fegan’s Homes, the National Children’s Home and Orphanages, the forming of evening classes and polytechnics, Agnes Weston’s Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Rest, YMCAs, Barnardo’s Homes, the NSPCC, the Boy Scouts, Girl Guides, the Royal Society of Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, and the list goes on.
Ninety-nine out of a hundred people behind these movements were Christians. All these movements grew out of the revival of biblical spirituality, the result of John Wesley and his associates opening up the Bible that led to the Great Awakening of hearts, minds, consciences, and wills.
♦ This is not to suggest that everyone was fully Biblical in this worldview, or that no other belief system shaped their mind-set.
Which brings me to the impact of the marriage relationship as it applies to Western Culture, and the impact the Reformation had, yes, even on the marriage relationship:
- Vishal Mangalwadi, The Book That Made Your World: How the Bible Created the Soul of Western Civilization (Nashville, TN: Thoomas Nelson, 2011), 283-291.
ROMAN CATHOLICISM AND THE EMANCIPATION OF WOMEN
[p. 283>] Rodney Stark, in his authoritative study The Rise of Christianity: A Sociologist Reconsiders History, discusses the rise of Christianity in its early pagan Greco-Roman setting. Among other things, he explores the impact of the Bible’s commands concerning adultery, rape, murder, divorce, love for wives, care for widows, and so forth, on womanhood in general. The following is from a section entitled “Wives, Widows, and Brides”:
First of all, a major aspect of women’s improved status in the Christian subculture is that Christians did not condone female infanticide . . . the more favorable Christian view of women is also demonstrated in their condemnation of divorce, incest, marital infidelity, and polygamy. As Fox put it, “fidelity, without divorce, was expected of every Christian.” . . . Like pagans, early Christians prized female chastity, but unlike pagans, they rejected the double standard that gave pagan men so much sexual license. Christian men were urged to remain virgins until marriage, and extramarital sex was condemned as adultery. Chadwick noted that Christianity “regarded unchastity in a husband as no less serious a breach of loyalty and trust than unfaithfulness in a wife.”
Stark pointed out that Christian widows enjoyed substantial advantages over pagan widows, who faced great social pressure to [p. 284>] remarry. Augustus Caesar, for example, fined widows who failed to remarry within two years. When a widow remarried, she lost all her inheritance—it became the property of her new husband. In contrast, the New Testament required Christians to respect and care for widows. Well-to-do Christian widows kept their husbands’ estates, and the church sustained the poorer ones, giving them a choice whether or not to remarry.
Christians also expressed their respect for women by raising the age of marriage. Roman law established twelve as the minimum age at which girls could marry. But the law was nothing more than a recommendation. It carried no penalties and was routinely ignored. The best available studies show that in the Roman Empire the pagans’ daughters were three times more likely than Christians to marry before they were thirteen. By age eleven, 10 percent were wed. Nearly half (44 percent) of the pagan girls were married off by the time they were fourteen, compared with 20 percent of the Christians. In contrast, nearly half (48 percent) of the Christian females did not marry before they were eighteen.
Stark reported that in 1955, French historian Durry published his findings that Roman marriages involving child brides were consummated even if the bride had not achieved puberty. Durry thought that this was not the norm. However, substantial literary evidence has since emerged that consummation of these marriages was taken for granted. Pagan writers like Plutarch called this custom cruel and contrary to nature because it filled girls with hatred and fear. Christians, in contrast, could delay their daughters’ marriages because the New Testament gave them different moral standards—the same standard for men and women. The Bible’s sexual ethic gave Christian girls the time to grow up and become better wives and mothers.
SEX AND MARRIAGE
Rome’s classical culture did not see sex merely as secular pleasure. Like the Tantric sects in India, many Roman temples were packed with prostitutes—female as well as male. An 1889 study found that [p. 285>] quite a few married women of high-ranking families in the Roman Empire had “asked to have their names entered amongst the public prostitutes, in order that they might not be punished for adultery.”
Adultery was a crime with serious consequences because it was an economic offense, taking another man’s property (wife) —not because it was a matter of sexual impurity, a disruption of the holy union of husband and wife or a violation ‘of sacred vows. In fact, extramarital sex with a temple prostitute was considered a purifying, god-pleasing, religious event, if not the very means of Gnostic enlightenment. Even today, many Hindu gurus and Yoga teachers have sex with their female and male devotees on the pretext of “purifying chakras”—the psychic centers in one’s body.
Religious and aristocratic promotion of extramarital sex had colossal consequences. Easy availability of sex without commitment took away men’s motivation to be married. Dislike for marriage had become evident as early as 131 BC, when the Roman censor Quintus Metellus Macedonicus proposed that marriage must be made mandatory. Too many men preferred to remain single, leading the censor to concede: “If we could get on without a wife . . . we would all avoid that annoyance.”
Metellus continued, however, stating that men needed to take into account the long-term welfare of the state: “But since nature has ordained that we can neither live very comfortably with them nor at all without them, we must take thought for our lasting well-being rather than for the pleasure of the moment.” More than a century later, Augustus Caesar quoted this passage to the Senate to justify his own legislation on behalf of marriage. The need was obvious, the argument was compelling, but the legislation was not greeted with any greater enthusiasm the second time around. Historian Beryl Rawson wrote: ” [O]ne theme that recurs in Latin literature is that wives are difficult and therefore men do not care much for marriage.”
Another cumulative result of promiscuity, child marriage, mistreatment of women, divorce, and fear of marriage was that Rome’s pagan population began to decline during the final years of the empire. Unwed mothers and insecure wives (who feared divorce) [p. 286>] chose abortion and infanticide even if their natural instincts were for nurture and care. Toward the end of the second century AD, Minucius Felix charged in Octavius that religious mythology encouraged murder through infanticide and abortion:
I see your newly born sons exposed by you to wild beasts and birds of prey, or cruelly strangled to death. There are also women among you who, by taking certain drugs, destroy the beginnings of the future human being while it is still in the womb and are guilty of infanticide before they are mothers. These practices have certainly come down to you from your gods.
The long-term consequence of prostitution, permissiveness, singleness, divorce, abortion, infanticide, and decline of population was that Roman towns began to shrink in numbers and size. Eventually the empire had to depend on a constant influx of “barbarian” settlers. As early as the second century, Marcus Aurelius had to draft slaves and gladiators and hire Germans and Scythians in order to fill the ranks of the army. Consequently, Rome became vulnerable. The main challenge to this depressing trend came from the Church, which followed the biblical injunction to Adam and Eve to “be fruitful and multiply.”
Compared to the pagans, the Christians’ commitment to marriage resulted in more secure women and a higher fertility rate. Likewise, Christian opposition to infanticide and abortion resulted in a lower mortality rate. Together the Christian population naturally grew faster than that of Rome’s pagans. Christians’ choices in favor of sexual purity, stable marriage, and care for children, orphans, and widows aided civilization but were not caused by concerns for civilization. Their motive was to please God by obeying his Word.
During the first millennium AD, the Roman Catholic Church was the greatest force for the emancipation of women. In the beginning of the second millennium, however, the “cult of Virgin Mary”♦ and [p. 287>] the idea of earning salvation through religiosity led to an unbiblical exaltation of celibacy. The idea of “salvation by works” often leads to denial of comforts—certain foods, drinks, sleep, sex, marriage, etc. This mind-set—the denial of pleasure and the achievement of righteousness by pious works—caused people to view sex, marriage, family, and economically productive labor (necessary to sustain a family) as concessions for the spiritually inferior. The renunciation of marriage and the pleasures (and responsibilities) of family life were held up as pious virtues. Celibacy became public proof of spiritual superiority. Joining a monastery became the surest way to heaven. This spiritual pride led to gross prejudice against women.
For example, the popular Hammer Against the Witches (AD 1487) seduced Inquisitors to think that women were sexually .insatiable hyenas and a constant danger to men and their society. Tantric sexual permissiveness resulted in similar reactions in mainstream Hinduism—exaltation of asceticism and celibacy (Brahmacharya) with a degrading view of women as temptresses. The Hindu reaction went further than European exaltation of celibacy by considering physical matter, the human body, and sex as inherently evil, in contrast to spirit, which was good. For example, Swami Sivananda, the founder of the Divine Life Society and a pioneer of the modern guru movement, wrote statements such as:
Sex-pleasure is the most devitalizing and demoralizing of pleasures. Sexual pleasure is no pleasure at all. It is a mental delusion. It is false, utterly worthless, and extremely harmful.
Thankfully for the West, the sixteenth-century Reformation began restoring biblical norms for sexual mores. Reformers like Martin Luther argued that, according to God’s Word, sex and marriage were a means to holiness. The family, not the monastery, was the divinely ordained school of character. Acclaimed author and historian Roland [p. 288>] Bainton wrote: “Luther who got married to testify to his faith . . . did more than any other person to determine the tone of German [and Protestant] domestic relations for the next four centuries.” Luther’s home in Wittenberg became the first Christian vicarage after centuries. The biblical norms for family life that Luther taught remained virtually unchallenged until the end of the twentieth century.
Martin Luther’s attack on the Catholic idea of celibacy and his advocacy of the biblical idea of marriage did more to promote the Reformation than his attack on indulgences. He taught that according to the Bible some individuals are called to a celibate life. However, God’s normal plan for human beings is marriage. The doctrine that marriage is spiritually inferior or undesirable is “teaching of the demons.” Luther taught that the family, not the monastery, is God’s school of character; celibacy has become the devil’s trap to lure priests and monks into sin.
Initially, from 1517 to 1521, to ordinary Europeans the Reformation appeared as a matter of theological disputes between experts. Ordinary people woke up to it when priests began to marry as a result of Luther’s little book The Babylonian Captivity. Luther argued that the laws of men could not annul the command of God to marry. God ordained marriage for men before sin entered the world. Sex was a part of the material world that the Creator declared “very good.” Luther noted that the Scripture informs us: “Then the LORD God said, ‘It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.’ In other words, God made Eve for Adam. She is good and necessary for him—a perfect gift planned by divine wisdom. God made only one woman for a man—the two of them to “become one flesh.”
Luther followed up his iconoclastic book with an Address to the Nobility. This presented the practical rationale for priests (not monks) to marry: A priest had to have a housekeeper; to put a man and a woman together was like bringing fire to straw and expecting nothing to happen. The unchaste chastity in the Church needed to be brought to an end. Priests had to be set free to marry. The natural, divinely ordained sexual drive needed to be recognized as a necessary, good, and honorable impulse.
[p. 289>] Luther—a monk—was still hiding in the castle of Wartburg to avoid being burned as a heretic, when three priests affirmed the rightness of his teaching by getting married. Archbishop Albert of Mainz arrested them. Luther sent a stern protest. Albert decided to consult the University of Wittenberg. Luther’s senior colleague and a highly respected scholar, Andreas Carlstadt, answered the bishop’s query by writing a book against celibacy. He concluded that, according to the Bible, a priest not only might marry but that he must marry and father a family. In place of obligatory celibacy, Carlstadt substituted obligatory matrimony and paternity. He went on to confirm his Bible study by setting a personal example. He got married.
Luther was delighted by Carlstadt’s bold decision. He was uncomfortable, however, with Carlstadt’s proposal that even monks should marry. Luther felt that the case for monks, like him, was different from that of priests. Monks had taken voluntary vows to remain celibate. It would be wrong to break those vows. That raised a new question: Did God enjoin the vows of celibacy? Luther’s answer helped create the modern concept of marriage as well as the modern politico-economic world.
The question forced Luther to go back to the Scriptures. He found the monk’s vow against marrying unscriptural and in conflict with charity and liberty. He sent his theses back to the university: “Marriage is good, virginity is better, but liberty is best” From the Bible Luther concluded that monastic vows rested on false and arrogant assumptions that celibate Christians had a special calling or vocation, to observe the counsels of perfection, which were superior to ordinary Christians who obey ordinary moral laws. Luther’s revolutionary conclusion is known as the “priesthood of all believers.”
Luther’s exposition of the Bible began to empty out monasteries. His exposition became the basic theological factor that enabled Protestant nations to develop economically faster than Catholic countries and to build egalitarian democracies. The family is a civilization’s primary engine for economic growth. If a man has no family, he might plant crops, but he is unlikely to plant and nurture trees and develop fields for coming generations. He might dig a cave or hew a [p. 290>] tree house, but he is unlikely to build a home for his grandchildren. The family motivates parents to plan, earn, sacrifice, save, and invest for future generations—for their physical as well as social welfare.
This “priesthood of all believers” negated a priest’s vocation as superior. Luther taught the cobbler was as important as the priest. All vocations had to be honored equally. Each had to be undertaken diligently as a service to God. This biblical priesthood of all believers challenged Europe’s class distinctions. It birthed the modern democratic equality of all citizens—rich or poor, educated or illiterate, old or young, male or female. Luther planted seeds in Europe that yielded their best harvest in America.
On January 10, 1529, Luther preached on the second chapter of the gospel of John. The passage recounts Jesus’ miracle of turning water into wine at a wedding in Cana at his widowed mother’s request. Luther encapsulated the intrinsic goodness of marriage, the priesthood of all believers, the equal value of every vocation, and the family as the school of character:
There are three estates: marriage, virginity, and widowhood. They are all good. None is to be despised. The virgin is not to be esteemed above the widow, nor the widow above the wife, anymore than the tailor is to be esteemed above the butcher. There is no estate to which the Devil is so opposed as to marriage. The clergy have not wanted to be bothered with work and worry. They have been afraid of a nagging wife, disobedient children, difficult relatives, or the dying pig or a cow. They want to lie abed until the sun shines through the window. Our ancestors knew this and would say, “Dear child, be a priest or a nun and have a good time.” I have heard married people say to monks, “You have it easy, but when we get up we do not know where to find our bread.” Marriage is a heavy cross because so many couples quarrel. It is the grace of God when they agree. The Holy Spirit declares there are three wonders: when brothers agree, when neighbors love each other, and when a man and a wife are at one. When I see a pair like that, I am glad as if I were in a garden of roses. It is rare.
[p. 291>] Radical feminists were not the first to see marriage as a “heavy cross”—a burden or slavery. Luther said marriage was slavery for men as much as for women. That is precisely why many men in pagan Rome preferred not to marry but to seek extramarital or homosexual relationships. Christianity made marriage harder for men by requiring that husbands remain faithful, committed, and loving to the same woman—no matter what—”until death do us part.” When a husband is forbidden extramarital affairs, taking a second wife, or divorcing a difficult wife; when he is not allowed to hate or be harsh with her; when he is required to love and honor his wife; then his wife is empowered. She has the security to seek for her dignity and rights.
Marriage brings out the worst in both husbands and wives. They must choose whether to stay in that school of character or to drop out. The Bible made divorce difficult because one does not learn much by quitting a challenging school. The only way to make monogamy work is to value love above pleasure, to pursue holiness and humility rather than power and personal fulfillment, to find grace to repent rather than condemn, to learn sacrifice and patience in place of indulgence and gratification. The modern world was created by countless couples who did just that. In working to preserve their marriages and provide for their children, they invested in the future of civilization itself.
♦ The Reformers saw it as a “cult,” since there was no biblical basis for praying to Mary or for assuming that she had remained a virgin after Jesus’ birth. There is biblical evidence that she had normal marital relations and children with her husband (Matthew 13:55-56; Mark 6:3; Galatians 1:19).
“They know the truth about God because he has made it obvious to them. For ever since the world was created, people have SEEN the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can CLEARLY SEE His invisible qualities — His eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse for not knowing God.” (Romans 1:19-20)
The Bible is indispensable to the Christian walk and faith. How do we know it’s the Word of God though? For instance, I know the Bible is God’s Word because of two “books.” The “Book of Nature” and His “Book of Revelation.” Often times people view this “Book of Revelation” as just the Bible, which is surely a major part of the equation. But this revealed truth and revelation comes by way of us interacting with the Holy Spirit – who is the revealer of revelatory truth.
Evangelical theology holds that Revelation can be found in two spheres: 1) Nature and 2) Scripture. Romans 1:19-20 speaks of the former:
- Because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.
Second Timothy 3:16-17 speaks of the later saying:
- All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.
Romans 1:19-20 speaks of what is theologically called general revelation and 2 Tim. 3:16-17 speaks of special revelation. Human reasoning can show that general revelation is possible since it can demonstrate the existence and nature of God, finite beings that can receive and understand it, and the possibility of objective meaning and truth. However, it is special revelation found only in the canonical books of Scripture that actually manifest the reality of God’s specific message, in human language, to human beings. It is only here that we learn God is a Trinity (Tri—unity), the plan of redemption, and the savior Jesus Christ. General revelation is to all humans, but special revelation is specifically for believers. General revelation contains truth and morality available to all humankind, but special revelation contains truth and morality specifically to God’s people. General revelation is sufficient to condemn humans, but only special revelation contains the message and means of salvation.
Special revelation consists of the sixty-six books recognized as Scripture. What identifies these books as Scripture concerns the rule, standard or canon applied to discover what books constitute special revelation. Norman Geisler’s General Introduction to the Bible lists and applies the following general principles in discovering the canon of Scripture.
1. Written by a prophet of God (Heb. 1:1; 2 Pet. 1:20-21)
2. Confirmed by an act of God (Heb. 2:3-4; John 3:2; Acts 2:22)
3. Tell the truth about God (Deut. 6:22f.; Gal. 1:8)
4. Has the power of God (Heb. 4:12)
5. Accepted by the people of God (1 Thess. 2:13; Dan. 9:2; 2 Pet. 3:15)
Norman L. Geisler and Douglas E. Potter, A Prolegomena to Evangelical Theology (Indian Trail, NC: Norm Geisler International Ministires, 2016), 113-115.
The “Book of Nature” can reveal truth about my Creator and this revelation goes a long way to show me a lot about God and build my trust in Who He says He is and His Word.
Nature as a Book
The metaphor of referring to nature as a revelatory book is deeply rooted in Christian church history. “Book of Nature” references are found even in the patristic writings. For example, Augustine of Hippo (AD 354–430), made the following statement in his classic work the Confessions: “In your great wisdom you, who are our God, speak to us of these things in your Book, the firmament made by you.”1
Protestant reformers continued the Christian practice of speaking of nature as a revelatory book. The Reformed (or Calvinistic) theological tradition in particular articulated the “two books” revelatory perspective. The fullest expression is found in the Belgic Confession, Article 2, written in 1561:
- We know him [God] by two means: First, by the creation, preservation, and government of the universe, since that universe is before our eyes like a beautiful book in which all creatures, great and small, are as letters to make us ponder the invisible things of God…
Second, he makes himself known to us more openly by his holy and divine Word, as much as we need in this life, for his glory and for the salvation of his own.
Later, during the scientific revolution of the seventeenth century, the Christian forefathers of science readily referenced the “two books” of revelation idea. For example, Francis Bacon (1561–1626) famously spoke of “the book of God’s works” and “the book of God’s word” in his work Advancement of Learning in 1605.
So to speak about this book of nature in relation to God and how Romans describes this book… I can agree with Dr. Moreland when he says that he KNOWS God exists from natures evidence:
I, like Dr. Moreland, have a “belief/faith” similar to this:
- “I suspect that most of the individuals who have religious faith are content with blind faith. They feel no obligation to understand what they believe. They may even wish not to have their beliefs disturbed by thought. But if God in whom they believe created them with intellectual and rational powers, that imposes upon them the duty to try to understand the creed of their religion. Not to do so is to verge on superstition.” Morimer J. Adler, “A Philosopher’s Religious Faith,” in, Kelly James Clark, ed., Philosophers Who Believe: The Spiritual Journeys of 11 Leading Thinkers (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1993), 207.
- Certain words can mean very different things to different people. For instance, if I say to an atheist, “I have faith in God,” the atheist assumes I mean that my belief in God has nothing to do with evidence. But this isn’t what I mean by faith at all. When I say that I have faith in God, I mean that I place my trust in God based on what I know about him. (William A. Dembski and Michael R. Licona, Evidence for God: 50 Arguments for Faith from the Bible, History, Philosophy, and Science [Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2010], 38.)
Also others from Dr. Craig, who, really makes a cumalative argument as well:
This side of faith is one that includes but is not limited to just these (thank you Dr. Kreeft!):
- The Argument from Change
- The Argument from Efficient Causality
- The Argument from Time and Contingency
- The Argument from Degrees of Perfection
- The Design Argument
- The Kalam Argument
- The Argument from Contingency
- The Argument from the World as an Interacting Whole
- The Argument from Miracles
- The Argument from Consciousness
- The Argument from Truth
- The Argument from the Origin of the Idea of God
- The Ontological Argument
- The Moral Argument
- The Argument from Conscience
- The Argument from Desire
- The Argument from Aesthetic Experience
- The Argument from Religious Experience
- The Common Consent Argument
- Pascal’s Wager
Here are other great .evidences, Two Dozen (Or So) Theistic Arguments, leading towards belief in God (thank you Dr. Plantinga!):
I. Half a Dozen (or so) ontological (or metaphysical) arguments
(A) The Argument from Intentionality (or Aboutness)
(B) The argument from collections.
(C) The argument From (Natural) numbers
(D) The Argument From Counterfactuals
(E) The Argument from physical constants
(F) The Naive Teleological Argument
(G) Tony Kenny’s style of teleological argument
(h) The ontological argument
I. Another argument thrown in for good measure.
II. Half a dozen Epistemological Arguments
(J) The argument from positive epistemic status
(K) The Argument from the confluence of proper function and reliability
(L) The Argument from Simplicity
(M) The Argument from induction
(N) The Putnamian Argument (the Argument from the Rejection of Global
(O) The Argument from Reference
(P) The Kripke-Wittgenstein Argument From Plus and Quus (See Supplementary
(Q) The General Argument from Intuition
III. Moral arguments
(R) moral arguments (actually R1 to Rn)
(R*) The argument from evil.
IV. Other Arguments
(S) The Argument from Colors and Flavors (Adams and Swinburne)
(T) The argument from Love
(U) The Mozart Argument
(V) The Argument from Play and enjoyment
(W) Arguments from providence and from miracles
(X) C.S. Lewis’s Argument from Nostalgia
(Y) The argument from the meaning of life
(Z) The Argument from (a) to (Y)
Here is a list via WINTERY KNIGHT:
- The kalam cosmological argument and the Big Bang theory
- The fine-tuning argument from cosmological constants and quantities
- The origin of life, part 1 of 2: the building blocks of life
- The origin of life, part 2 of 2: biological information
- The sudden origin of phyla in the Cambrian explosion
- Galactic habitable zones and circumstellar habitable zones
- Irreducible complexity in molecular machines
- The creative limits of natural selection and random mutation
- Angus Menuge’s ontological argument from reason
- Alvin Plantinga’s epistemological argument from reason
- William Lane Craig’s moral argument
- The unexpected applicability of mathematics to nature
- Arguments and scientific evidence for non-physical minds
All the above AND MORE can be found here:
➤ The Two Books of Faith – Nature and Revelatory (this post);
➤ RNA/DNA = Information | Or, What “Is” Information?
➤ Scientific and Anecdotal Evidence for the Beginning of the Universe
➤ The Argument from Reason ~ David Wood
Naturalism is Self-Refuting:
(See also this long list of responses to many skeptical issues.)
Again, this is a faith from the natural side of man and his environment. The “revelatory” side of faith is a miraculous type of faith. Albeit reasoning powers and truth still play a significant role in the Revelatory side of the equation as well, our “reasoning” is guided by the Holy Spirit: “When the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into all the truth. For He will not speak on His own, but He will speak whatever He hears. He will also declare to you what is to come” (John 16:3, HCSB).
This faith is more akin to what Dr. Craig speaks about in his excellent book, Reasonable Faith:
….fundamentally, the way we know Christianity to be true is by the self-authenticating witness of God’s Holy Spirit. Now what do I mean by that? I mean that the experience of the Holy Spirit is veridical and unmistakable (though not necessarily irresistible or indubitable) for him who has it; that such a person does not need supplementary arguments or evidence in order to know and to know with confidence that he is in fact experiencing the Spirit of God; that such experience does not function in this case as a premise in any argument from religious experience to God, but rather is the immediate experiencing of God himself; that in certain contexts the experience of the Holy Spirit will imply the apprehension of certain truths of the Christian religion, such as “God exists,” “I am condemned by God,” “I am reconciled to God,” “Christ lives in me,” and so forth; that such an experience Provides one not only with a subjective assurance of Christianity’s truth, but with objective knowledge of that truth; and that arguments and evidence incompatible with that truth are overwhelmed by the experience of the Holy Spirit for him who attends fully to it.
William Lane Craig, Reasonable Faith: Christian Truth and Apologetics, 3rd ed. (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books, 2008), 43 (More at the bottom of the page)
These Christian positions I emphasize above are believed by myself with 100% certitude. This “belief” is both a combination of the book of nature (showing me evidences that support reasons to trust my Creator) AS WELL AS the revealed truth of the Holy Spirit, of which the Bible plays a huge role in.
In other words, I can have a firm basis for my belief just like a jury hearing the testimony of two eyewitnesses that saw a crime happen… but this is not a 100% belief, just like a jury’s is not a hundred-percent. The addition to the Christians certitude about God’s existence and the trusting of His character would be analogous to transporting the jury to the crime for them to have an inner witness of this past event.
This is what the Christian believes, and is what Nicodemus struggled with:
There was a man from the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. This man came to Him at night and said, “Rabbi, we know that You have come from God as a teacher, for no one could perform these signs You do unless God were with him.”
Jesus replied, “I assure you: Unless someone is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”
“But how can anyone be born when he is old?” Nicodemus asked Him. “Can he enter his mother’s womb a second time and be born?”
Jesus answered, “I assure you: Unless someone is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. Whatever is born of the flesh is flesh, and whatever is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not be amazed that I told you that you must be born again. The wind blows where it pleases, and you hear its sound, but you don’t know where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.”
“How can these things be?” asked Nicodemus.
“Are you a teacher of Israel and don’t know these things?” Jesus replied. “I assure you: We speak what We know and We testify to what We have seen, but you do not accept Our testimony. If I have told you about things that happen on earth and you don’t believe, how will you believe if I tell you about things of heaven? No one has ascended into heaven except the One who descended from heaven—the Son of Man. Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, so that everyone who believes in Him will have eternal life.
“For God loved the world in this way: He gave His One and Only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world that He might condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. Anyone who believes in Him is not condemned, but anyone who does not believe is already condemned, because he has not believed in the name of the One and Only Son of God.
“This, then, is the judgment: The light has come into the world, and people loved darkness rather than the light because their deeds were evil. For everyone who practices wicked things hates the light and avoids it, so that his deeds may not be exposed. But anyone who lives by the truth comes to the light, so that his works may be shown to be accomplished by God.”
How can these things be… exactly.
There is still a supernatural side to our faith. And one cannot even “see the kingdom of God” unless one is born again. And so the “miraculouse” portion needed to bring certitute that the skeptic is asking for is kept from him-or-her until this regeneration, otherwise the mind is at a state of war with God (Romans 8:6-9).
But when God, who from my birth set me apart and called me by His grace, was pleased to reveal His Son in me, so that I could preach Him among the Gentiles, I did not immediately consult with anyone. (Galatians 1:15-16, HCSB)
For you are saved by grace through faith, and this is not from yourselves; it is God’s gift—not from works, so that no one can boast. (Ephesians 2:8–9, HCSB)
For by the grace given to me, I tell everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he should think. Instead, think sensibly, as God has distributed a measure of faith to each one. (Romans 12:3, HCSB)
How do I know the Bible is God’s Word then? Tentatively by the Book of Nature. Assuredly by the witness of Holy Spirit.
Again, there are many streams that combine into this trust of the Bible. I know God exists by the preponderance of the evidence and through the witness of the Holy Spirit… but I bring this dichotomy to the Bible as well.
Having read many of the holy books of the world religions (in part or in full), I am familiar with the structure of these religious scriptures as well as Holy Scripture. These differences are stark! Likewise are the claims in these scriptures that separate the Bible from other works. For instance, “[t]he writings from the Far East, the teachings of Confucius, Buddhism and Hinduism do not even make a claim to be God’s word,” continuing:
They present to their followers a path to a simpler, more satisfactory life. The Muslim Koran makes no claims to being words from Allah. Rather it is the writing of Mohammed, a religious leader, his record of history as well as his desire for the future. But has any prophecy in the Koran come to pass? Only the Christian Bible claims to be God’s very word to man and only the Bible contains the verifiable track record of prophetic fulfillment as evidence of its claims. Biblical prophecies are batting 1000. No other religious group or religious writings can make the same claim.
Similarly, we are called to examine the Scriptures, and this book, unlike any other religious book, has the means to do so… one of the most important arguments that is pivotal to the Christian faith can be found at a post on the Resurrection, entitled: “Christianity Is the Only Falsifiable Religious Worldview.” Other posts that compliment this are:
- Is History “Testable, Repeatable, Falsifiable”
- Is Jesus a Copycat Savior?
- Early Attestation for the New Testament (Buddhist and Christian Manuscript Evidence Compared)
This belief has been a source of contention with many people, even Christians, in the past. But the more I research, the more I find it to be the case that Christianity is the only viable worldview that is historically defensible. The central claims of the Bible demand historic inquiry, as they are based on public events that can be historically verified. In contrast, the central claims of all other religions cannot be historically tested and, therefore, are beyond falsifiability or inquiry. They just have to be believed with blind faith.
Think about it: The believer in the Islamic faith has to trust in a private encounter Muhammad had, and this encounter is unable to be tested historically. We have no way to truly investigate the claims of Joseph Smith (and when we do, they are found wanting). Buddhism and Hinduism are not historic faiths, meaning they don’t have central claims of events in time and space which believers are called upon to investigate. You either adopt their philosophy or you don’t. There is no objective way to test them. Run through every religion that you know of and you will find this to be the case: Either it does not give historic details to the central event, the event does not carry any worldview-changing significance, or there are no historic events which form the foundation of the faith.
This is what it looks like:
So far we have demonstrated the fact that the world’s great religious books cannot all be right. In fact, if any of them is correct in its teachings regarding the supernatural and eternal, the others are by definition wrong. So, how do we decide which documents to trust?
Examine the evidence for their truth claims. Hindu documents, for instance, posit an afterlife filled with reincarnations. Is there any historical support or objective evidence for such a position? Does objective, independent evidence exist to document the Buddha’s enlightenment, or Mohammad’s experiences with Allah? A number of cities, inscriptions, and places are described only in the Book of Mormon; to date, none have been found by archaeologists.
Conversely, independent evidence for the existence and deity of Jesus Christ is remarkable. Manuscript evidence documenting the trustworthy nature of the biblical materials is overwhelming. There are excellent reasons to believe the Bible is what it claims to be: the word of God.
(Much of the following can be found on my post here: A Short Study Defining “Inerrancy”)
So in looking at the Bible I look to it’s INTERNAL TESTS (it’s consistency, it’s claims, the claims of Christ, etc.):
Internal Evidence, of which John Warwick Montgomery writes that literary critics still follow Aristotle’s dictum that “the benefit of the doubt is to be given to the document itself, not arrogated by the critic to himself.” therefore, one must listen to the claims of the document under analysis, and do not assume fraud or error unless the author disqualified himself by contradictions or known factual inaccuracies. As Dr. Horn continues:
- “Think for a moment about what needs to be demonstrated concerning a ‘difficulty’ in order to transfer it into the category of a valid argument against doctrine. Certainly much more is required than the mere appearance of a contradiction. First, we must be certain that we have correctly understood the passage, the sense in which it uses words or numbers. Second, that we possess all available knowledge in this matter. Third, that no further light can possibly be thrown on it by advancing knowledge, textual research, archaeology, etc…. Difficulties do not constitute objections. Unresolved problems are not of necessity errors. This is not to minimize the area of difficulty; it is to see it in perspective. Difficulties are to be grappled with and problems are to drive us to seek clearer light; but until such time as we have total and final light on any issue we are in no position to affirm, ‘Here is a proven error, an unquestionable objection to an infallible Bible.’ It is common knowledge that countless ‘objections’ have fully been resolved since this century began.”
The BIBLIOGRAPHICAL TEST is important for the trust of the Bible’s claims as well. The bibliographical test is an examination of the textual transmission by which documents reach us. In other words, since we do not have the original documents, how reliable are the copies we have in regard to the number of manuscripts. I compare, for instance, Buddhist scripture to the record of the manuscript evidence to the Bible in a very long post, but here is one graphic from that post:
There are other evidences that get to within a couple of years of the Messiah’s death that no other religious Scripture can. Here again is a comparison between Christian Scriptures and Buddhist Scripture via Dr. Habermas:
So the above video is a mix of the Bibliographical Test as well as the EXTERNAL TEST. Do other historical materials confirm or deny the internal testimony provided by the documents themselves? In other words, what sources are there – apart from the literature under analysis – that substantiate its accuracy, reliability, and authenticity? Here are a couple examples from differing categories found in my post entitled: Evidence OUTSIDE the Bible for Jesus (Updated w/ Bill Maher)
Hostile Non-Biblical Pagan Witnesses
Thallus is perhaps the earliest secular writer to mention Jesus and he is so ancient that his writings don’t even exist anymore. But Julius Africanus, writing around 221AD does quote Thallus who had previously tried to explain away the darkness that occurred at the point of Jesus’ crucifixion:
“On the whole world there pressed a most fearful darkness; and the rocks were rent by an earthquake, and many places in Judea and other districts were thrown down. This darkness Thallus, in the third book of his History, calls, as appears to me without reason, an eclipse of the sun.” (Julius Africanus, Chronography, 18:1)
If only more of Thallus’ record could be found, we would see that every aspect of Jesus’ life could be verified with a non-biblical source. But there are some things we can conclude from this account: Jesus lived, he was crucified, and there was an earthquake and darkness at the point of his crucifixion.
- (For a more in-depth discussion on the Josephus passage, see: Josephus Fixed by History/Historians)
Pliny the Younger (61-113AD)
Early Christians are also described in secular history. Pliny the Younger, in a letter to the Roman emperor Trajan, describes the lifestyles of early Christians:
“They (the Christians) were in the habit of meeting on a certain fixed day before it was light, when they sang in alternate verses a hymn to Christ, as to a god, and bound themselves by a solemn oath, not to any wicked deeds, but never to commit any fraud, theft or adultery, never to falsify their word, nor deny a trust when they should be called upon to deliver it up; after which it was their custom to separate, and then reassemble to partake of food—but food of an ordinary and innocent kind.”
This EARLY description of the first Christians documents several facts: the first Christians believed that Jesus was GOD, the first Christians upheld a high moral code, and these early followers et regularly to worship Jesus.
Hostile Non-Biblical Jewish Witnesses
In more detail than any other non-biblical historian, Josephus writes about Jesus in his “the Antiquities of the Jews” in 93AD. Josephus was born just four years after the crucifixion. He was a consultant for Jewish rabbis at age thirteen, was a Galilean military commander by the age of sixteen, and he was an eyewitness to much of what he recorded in the first century A.D. Under the rule of roman emperor Vespasian, Josephus was allowed to write a history of the Jews. This history includes three passages about Christians, one in which he describes the death of John the Baptist, one in which he mentions the execution of James and describes him as the brother of Jesus the Christ, and a final passage which describes Jesus as a wise man and the messiah. Now there is much controversy about the writing of Josephus, because the first discoveries of his writings are late enough to have been re-written by Christians, who are accused of making additions to the text. So to be fair, let’s take a look at a scholarly reconstruction that has removed all the possible Christian influence from the text related to Jesus:
“Now around this time lived Jesus, a wise man. For he was a worker of amazing deeds and was a teacher of people who gladly accept the truth. He won over both many Jews and many Greeks. Pilate, when he heard him accused by the leading men among us, condemned him to the cross, (but) those who had first loved him did not cease (doing so). To this day the tribe of Christians named after him has not disappeared” (This neutral reconstruction follows closely the one proposed in the latest treatment by John Meier, Marginal Jew 1:61)
Now there are many other ancient versions of Josephus’ writing which are even more explicit about the nature of his miracles, his life and his status as the Christ, but let’s take this conservative version and see what we can learn. From this text, we can conclude that Jesus lived in Palestine, was a wise man and a teacher, worked amazing deeds, was accused buy the Jews, crucified under Pilate and had followers called Christians!
Jewish Talmud (400-700AD)
While the earliest Talmudic writings of Jewish Rabbis appear in the 5th century, the tradition of these Rabbinic authors indicates that they are faithfully transmitting teachings from the early “Tannaitic” period of the first century BC to the second century AD. There are a number of writings from the Talmud that scholars believe refer to Jesus and many of these writings are said to use code words to describe Jesus (such as “Balaam” or “Ben Stada” or “a certain one”). But let’s be very conservative here. Let’s ONLY look at the passages that refer to Jesus in a more direct way. If we do that, there are still several ancient Talmudic passages we can examine:
“Jesus practiced magic and led Israel astray” (b. Sanhedrin 43a; cf. t. Shabbat 11.15; b. Shabbat 104b)
“Rabbi Hisda (d. 309) said that Rabbi Jeremiah bar Abba said, ‘What is that which is written, ‘No evil will befall you, nor shall any plague come near your house’? (Psalm 91:10)… ‘No evil will befall you’ (means) that evil dreams and evil thoughts will not tempt you; ‘nor shall any plague come near your house’ (means) that you will not have a son or a disciple who burns his food like Jesus of Nazareth.” (b. Sanhedrin 103a; cf. b. Berakhot 17b)
“Our rabbis have taught that Jesus had five disciples: Matthai, Nakai, Nezer, Buni and Todah. They brought Matthai to (to trial). He said, ‘Must Matthai be killed? For it is written, ‘When (mathai) shall I come and appear before God?’” (Psalm 92:2) They said to him, “Yes Matthai must be killed, for it is written, ‘When (mathai) he dies his name will perish’” (Psalm 41:5). They brought Nakai. He said to them, “Must Nakai be killed? For it is written, “The innocent (naqi) and the righteous will not slay’” (Exodus 23:7). They said to him, “Yes, Nakai must be kille, for it is written, ‘In secret places he slays the innocent (naqi)’” (Psalm 10:8). (b. Sanhedrin 43a; the passage continues in a similar way for Nezer, Buni and Todah)
And this, perhaps the most famous of Talmudic passages about Jesus:
“It was taught: On the day before the Passover they hanged Jesus. A herald went before him for forty days (proclaiming), “He will be stoned, because he practiced magic and enticed Israel to go astray. Let anyone who knows anything in his favor come forward and plead for him.” But nothing was found in his favor, and they hanged him on the day before the Passover. (b. Sanhedrin 43a)
From just these passages that mention Jesus by name, we can conclude that Jesus had magical powers, led the Jews away from their beliefs, had disciples who were martyred for their faith (one of whom was named Matthai), and was executed on the day before the Passover.
The many avenues of evidence for the Bible as unique — some discussed here and many not — bring me to a preponderance of evidence that the Bible is the unique Word of the Living God whom I already have natural and revelatory evidence of His Being. And not only does the Bible claim to be the actual Word of God in contradistinction to other “holy” scriptures, so to does Jesus claim to be God whereas Mohammed never claimed to be God, Confucius never claimed to be God, Zoroaster never claimed to be God, Buddha never claimed to be God, Joseph Smith never said he was God….
We have both eyewitness and corroborative witnesses to these events and to the character and person of Jesus. In fact… that is how we attain most of our information about reality and history. History, by-the-by, would be in the category of the Book of Nature:
✦ “What are the distinctive sources for our beliefs about the past? Most of the beliefs we have about the past come to us by the testimony of other people. I wasn’t present at the signing of the Declaration of Independence. I didn’t see my father fight in the [S]econd [W]orld [W]ar. I have been told about these events by sources that I take to be reliable. The testimony of others is generally the main source of our beliefs about the past…. So all our beliefs about the past depend on testimony, or memory, or both.” ~ Tom Morris, Philosophy for Dummies (Foster City, CA: IDG Books; 1999), 57-58.
✦ “In advanced societies specialization in the gathering and production of knowledge and its wider dissemination through spoken and written testimony is a fundamental socio-epistemic fact, and a very large part of each persons body of knowledge and belief stems from testimony.” ~ Robert Audi, ed. The Cambridge Dictionary of Philosophy, 2nd edition (New York, NY: Cambridge University Press. 1999), 909.
✦ “But it is clear that most of what any given individual knows comes from others; palpably with knowledge of history, geography, or science, more subtly with knowledge about every day facts such as when we were born..” ~ Ted Honderich, ed., The Oxford Companion to Philosophy (New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 1995), 869.
How does the “character” of as well as the teachings of Jesus stand up to the other founders of the major religions of the world? Let’s see:
The nine founders among the eleven living religions in the world had characters which attracted many devoted followers during their own lifetime, and still larger numbers during the centuries of subsequent history. They were humble in certain respects, yet they were also confident of a great religious mission. Two of the nine, Mahavira and Buddha, were men so strong-minded and self-reliant that, according to the records, they displayed no need of any divine help, though they both taught the inexorable cosmic law of Karma. They are not reported as having possessed any consciousness of a supreme personal deity. Yet they have been strangely deified by their followers. Indeed, they themselves have been worshipped, even with multitudinous idols.
All of the nine founders of religion, with the exception of Jesus Christ, are reported in their respective sacred scriptures as having passed through a preliminary period of uncertainty, or of searching for religious light. Confucius, late in life, confessed his own sense of shortcomings and his desire for further improvement in knowledge and character. All the founders of the non-Christian religions evinced inconsistencies in their personal character; some of them altered their practical policies under change of circumstances.
Jesus Christ alone is reported as having had a consistent God consciousness, a consistent character himself, and a consistent program for his religion. The most remarkable and valuable aspect of the personality of Jesus Christ is the comprehensiveness and universal availability of his character, as well as its own loftiness, consistency, and sinlessness.
Robert Hume, The World’s Living Religions (New York, NY: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1959), 285-286.
Jesus did say He was God.
His character and actions proved it.
BUT, I also have a confirmation by the living God through the miraculous intervention and witness of the Holy Spirit that the Bible is the Inspired Word of God, making my best inference more than that… making it a certitude that no other worldview offers their adherents.
The study of God and delight in knowing God requires a mode of understanding that transcends simply empirical data gathering, logical deduction, or the dutiful organization of scriptural or traditional texts into a coherent sequence. The Christian study of God intrinsically involves a mode of knowing from the heart that hopes to make the knower “wise unto salvation” (2 Tim. 3:15, KJV, i.e., a knowing grounded in the “sacred writings which have power to make you wise and lead you to salvation,” NEB), to save the soul, to teach the sinner all that is needed to attain saving knowledge of God (Clement of Alex., Who Is the Rich Man That Shall Be Saved? pp. 591-604; Catherine of Siena, Prayers 7, pp. 58-61; Baxter, PW II, pp. 23-25; Wesley, WJW VIII, pp. 20 ff., 290 ff.).
Faith’s knowing is distinguishable from objective, testable, scientific knowledge, although not necessarily inimical to it. It is a form of knowing that embraces the practical question of how we choose to live in the presence of this Source and End of all (Clement of Alex., Exhort. to the Heathen IX, ANF II, pp. 195-97; Teresa of Avila, CWST, III, pp. 219-22; Calvin, Inst. 1.11-13).
- Thomas C. Oden, Systematic Theology, Volume One: The Living God (Peabody, MS: Hendrickson, 2006), 9-10.
The assurance that God has spoken to them directly through his holy Scriptures gave the Reformers their unique boldness. The formation of that truth theologically was the fundamentally new element in the Reformation. The Reformation battle cry was sola Scriptura, “Scripture alone.” But sola Scriptura meant more to the Reformers than that God has revealed himself in the propositions of the Bible. The new element was not that the Bible, being given by God, speaks with God’s authority. The Roman Church held to that as well as the Reformers. The new element, as Packer points out,
- was the belief, borne in upon the Reformers by their own experience of Bible study, that Scripture can and does interpret itself to the faithful from within—Scripture is its own interpreter, Scriptura sui ipsius interpres, as Luther puts it—so that not only does it not need Popes or Councils to tell us, as from God, what it means; it can actually challenge Papal and conciliar pronouncements, convince them of being ungodly and untrue, and require the faithful to part company with them. . . . As Scripture was the only source from which sinners might gain true knowledge of God and godliness, so Scripture was the only judge of what the church had in each age ventured to say in her Lord’s name.
In Luther’s time the Roman Church had weakened the authority of the Bible by exalting human traditions to the stature of Scripture and by insisting that the teaching of the Bible could be communicated to Christian people only through the mediation of popes, councils and priests. The Reformers restored biblical authority by holding that the living God speaks to his people directly and authoritatively through its pages.
- James Montgomery Boice, Foundations of the Christian Faith: A Comprehensive and Readable Theology (Downers Grove, IL: InterVasity Press, 1986), 48-49.
After “The Donald” is asked about a favorite verse of the Bible, Ben Shapiro takes a quick tour on the meaning of an “eye-for-an-eye.” Included at the end is the John Kasich’s faux-pas in a library surrounded by Hasidic Jews.
For more clear and humorous exchanges like this, go to: http://www.am870theanswer.com/pages/the-morning-answer