Saturday, April 3, 2010

My Brother the bad ass reads my blog and left this e-mail to pass on to T-Vick

RESPONSE TO TRISTAN

It’s not butter; it is soybean oil, palm oil and some other stuff
Since “disbelief” is not being able to believe something which in all likelihood
is true, “disbelief” is the perfect word to describe the atheist. Christianity
is true, not because it works (i.e., here is how it changed me) but because it
is factual, founded on facts and the internal evidence of the Bible shows this
to be so. Here are some examples:
We read in Ezekiel 26, the prophecy concerning the city of Tyre, a powerful,
walled city of ancient times. “Therefore, this is what the Sovereign LORD says:
I am your enemy, O Tyre, and I will bring many nations against you, like the
waves of the sea crashing against your shoreline. They will destroy the walls of
Tyre and tear down its towers. I will scrape away its soil and make it a bare
rock! It will be just a rock in the sea, a place for fishermen to spread their
nets, for I have spoken, says the Sovereign LORD.

What happened to Tyre? A few years after Ezekiel made this prophecy,
Nebuchadnezzar paid them a visit. For 13 years he laid siege to the city and
finally broke down part of its wall and destroyed the city. Many thousands of
people of the city fled to an island a half mile off shore and built ANOTHER
city there.

250 years after that another conquer came and he demanded that the city
surrender to him. The city laughed at him but the new conqueror didn’t like to
be trifled with so he came up with a plan to reach this city in the sea that
seemed completely untouchable. He would take all of the walls of the old city
and build a causeway out to the new city so he could overtake it. Which is what
he did and in doing so he scrapped the city bare. BTW that was Alexander the
Great.

The causeway that he built (and he actually did help carry the rocks to inspire
his men) remains to this day. You can go see it on your next trip to the Holy
land. But be careful as you walk along it ----- not to step on any of the nets
of the local fishermen. That is where they dry them.

There are countless OT predictions about Jesus the Messiah validated in the NT
that prove what we believe is true, it is not a fairy tale. They concern many
things like His name, things He would do, be done to Him, and even some things
He would say. Since it is Easter here are a few in that regard:
The Triumphal Entry was foretold in the book of Zech. 9:9 and was written about
520 BC, We see Jesus fulfilling this in Mark 11: 7 -9.
How about Jesus betrayed by a friend – David wrote this a thousand years before
Christ in Psalm 41:9 when he said, “Even my close friend, whom I trusted, he
who shared my bread, has lifted up his heel against me”. Judas of course
fulfills this.
I wont display all the passages, you can read them if you want to but here are
a few more:
That Jesus would be betrayed for 30 pieces of silver, the price of a slave.
Foretold by Zechariah (11:12) 400 years before His death, Matt. 26:15
That He would be spat on and struck, Isaiah 50:6 & Matt. 26: 67, made about 700
years before this happened.
That He would be crucified with sinners, Isaiah 53: 12 & Mark 15: 27, 28, this
prophecy also was made about 700 years before the birth of Christ.
That His hands and feet would be pierced, Zechariah 12;10 & John 20:27
That the soldiers would gamble for His clothes, an amazing detail! Psalm 22: 17,
18 & John 19
Even some of the very words He would say were foretold centuries before. Psalm
22: 1 & Matt. 27:46
That not a bone of His would be broken, again made many centuries before it
happened. Psalm 34: 20 & John 19: 32 – 34
That is just a few. Over and over again the Bible says that this was done in
order to fulfill Scripture so we could weigh the evidence.
I was never an atheist but I was an unbeliever, a doubter, a skeptic that I was
convinced by the evidence. As for the atheist, they have no holy men of old
that spoke the word of the LORD, I guess that makes them a “non – prophet”
organization.

32 comments:

  1. Thanks for reading Bud, See ya Monday night at Larosa's Pizza. Can't wait.

    Peace out, feeno

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hmm, first I want to wish to all my Christian friends a sincere Happy Easter. Don't know about where you all live, but the weather is fantastic here.

    Now on to business. I know it appears as if a lot of the events of the NT where 'prophesied' in the OT, but I've read articles that explain how parts of the NT were 'edited' by Emperor Constantine's scribes to make it look like some events of the NT matched a prophecy made earlier in the OT. So while this shouldn't affect your faith in any way, it is why, personally, I have some disbelief over the matter. That said, I hope you enjoy this glorious day, looks like winter is finally over. Happy Easter.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Lordship

    Thank you. And I wish you a great day as well. And yes, here in the 'Nati the weather is perfect.

    Now back to bitness, this is what it all boils down to good sir, who are you gonna believe?

    Peace in Mississippi

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thanks GTA.

    I would only add that the septuagint Bible was copied centuries before the birth of Christ and we can know that these prophesies were not manipulated in any way.

    Insofar as your brother Feeno, tell him to forget about it. Some people have a definition for the word "evidence" that isnt found in any dictionary in the world.

    “Now there was a rich man, and he habitually dressed in purple and fine linen, joyously living in splendor every day. “And a poor man named Lazarus was laid at his gate, covered with sores, and longing to be fed with the crumbs which were falling from the rich man’s table; besides, even the dogs were coming and licking his sores. “Now the poor man died and was carried away by the angels to Abraham’s bosom; and the rich man also died and was buried. “In Hades he lifted up his eyes, being in torment, and saw Abraham far away and Lazarus in his bosom. “And he cried out and said, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus so that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool off my tongue, for I am in agony in this flame.’ “But Abraham said, ‘Child, remember that during your life you received your good things, and likewise Lazarus bad things; but now he is being comforted here, and you are in agony. ‘And besides all this, between us and you there is a great chasm fixed, so that those who wish to come over from here to you will not be able, and that none may cross over from there to us.’ “And he said, ‘Then I beg you, father, that you send him to my father’s house— for I have five brothers—in order that he may warn them, so that they will not also come to this place of torment.’ “But Abraham said, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them hear them.’ “But he said, ‘No, father Abraham, but if someone goes to them from the dead, they will repent!’ “But he said to him, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be persuaded even if someone rises from the dead.’”

    Luke Chapter 16

    ReplyDelete
  5. OH MY....

    First of all. Factual evidence is a paradox. Simply not true. And, as always, JD's definition of evidence is nothing short of a child's.Something akin too" I believe in the Tooth Fairy because my mom said so".

    The canonization of the Bible is controversial at best. Feeno, I would suggest that you read "The Pagan Christ" by Tom Harpur. You will understand the psychology of why they needed to create prophecy that appeared true to appease the people. Before you outline the Bible as being evidence onto itself, you have to look at the context of how it was put together. Then, you will understand why these prophecies were placed there in the way that they were.

    Happy Chocolate Bunny Day to you and your family.

    ReplyDelete
  6. as always, JD's definition of evidence is nothing short of a child's

    Actually, JD's definition of the word "evidence" is nothing short of the one provided by bing.com

    evidence (n): statements of witnesses: the oral or written statements of witnesses and other people involved in a trial or official inquiry

    Since I've provided a common dictionary definition, perhaps you could cite the dictionary definition of "evidence" that you are using? Tink?

    " I believe in the Tooth Fairy because my mom said so"

    Please point me toward the tooth fairy texts and tell me if there are 2000 years worth of exegesis on them.

    Does archeological evidence support the tooth fairy texts (provided they exist) as well as the Holy Bible?

    (a) What witnesses have ever claimed to see the toothfairy and (b) did they endure horrific deaths to the end rather than recant their testmonies?

    If you can provide credible "evidence of the above Tink, then I concede that tooth fairy belief=God/Resurrection belief. If you can't then you must concede that they are not the same thing.

    ReplyDelete
  7. 美麗的事物是永恆的快樂,它的可愛日有增加,不會消逝而去 ..................................................

    ReplyDelete
  8. One of the problems which always crops up concerns the quantum of proof necessary toe demonstrate the existence of God and the veracity of the Judeo-Christian revelation regarding His plan for creation. The materialist will only accept proof which conforms to the scientific method, i.e. which can be repeated by many in discrete tests. The materialist then confuses the absence of such proof, with the idea that a belief in God is not Rational. That is, if one starts with the proposition that God is not a possible explanation, then, by definition, there is no evidence which will be convincing. That seems to be the sticking point with most atheists, I think.

    Cheers.

    ReplyDelete
  9. JD- I can assure you that I most certainly do not consider BING.COM as the place where I would define evidence. Once again, you really have NO idea what you are talking about. Evidence is a complicated thing. Evidence can be in referral to legal issues, historical issues, medical practice, BEST evidence based practice, all of which relate back to an empirical framework. In fact, BING.COM provided you with what is considered to be the least reliable type of evidence. Had you dug a little deeper you would have learned this. So, perhaps you would like to clarify which type of evidence you would like me to get you from academic sources (cause that is what you are really doing because you have absolutely no knowledge of what constitutes an academic source and what does not) and I will be happy to look up that definition of evidence in the big boy books for you.

    As for the Tooth Fairy comment- it was a joke. Clearly, you cannot be sarcastic with children. So, let me illuminate my subtext for you in black and white language. "I believe that a man rose from the dead because people said that he did." Actually try to come up with a real understanding of evidence outside of people saying that it happened, and we will continue this discussion. Until then, case closed. I don't talk stupid anymore.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Feeno- The fact the people say that it happened, and wrote down what people say is not evidence. By the same token, I could say that I was walking down the street, and God walked up to me in the form of a homeless man and told me that I need to tie my shoes.... Same logic, and that type of "accuracy" would create chaos in the world.

    The Bible's written word is not evidence. Evidence requires proof, validity, and a tool for evaluation. The Church stifled empirical advancement because they understood that these types of processes would lead to skepticism. Science is advancing at a rapid rate.

    Have you ever looked at this "story" from a medical perspective? People are on a continuum with their level of consciousness when they are dying. People can appear very dead, but may have one heartbeat a minute when they are close to death. Often, when a person is close to death, they will have a lucid period, and may even appear to be better, but die shortly thereafter. From the perspective of people with no medical knowledge whatsoever, or before science had developed biological evidence of the process of dying, a person may appear to be resurrected, or back from the dead during this time. Just something to think about.

    ReplyDelete
  11. "Saved by the bell"

    Yeah Tink ....They used to have a special bell for people supposed to be dead ...This was because they had realised some folks were actually being mistakenly buried alive .They had found fingernail scratch marks inside of coffens? ..or something

    So they added bells ....The idea was hopefully people taking care of the graveyards,would hear them bells being rung by anyone wrongfully buried and not yet actually dead.

    Hence came the old saying "saved by the bell"

    Off topic i know....But i thought it was quite interesting

    ReplyDelete
  12. May be off topic, but it is the same as what I am saying. What people termed as "miracles" when they still believed that the earth was flat has very feasible explanations today. And, I think that this is the core of the issue. Religious people do not define evidence objectively. They really like the subjective experience of faith, and would rather believe in the fairytale for the comfort that it provides them. No offense Feeno.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Tink

    None taken, thanks anyways. That's why I like talking to you guys. I truly like what you have to say, whether it hurts my feelings or not. Which it never does. Also have fun doing your church visits, I can't wait to read the book your help writing. Please keep everyone posted on it's progress.

    Gandopolis, "saved by the bell" I did not know that, very interesting. Thanks.

    Peace in Mississippi, feeno

    ReplyDelete
  14. Thank you Feeno.... I will, eventually. Big project to undertake. But, for all of you who have helped me on my blog, I will figure out a way to extend my thanks in a distinct way. Not sure how I will do that yet, but it will work itself out in time.

    ReplyDelete
  15. *sigh*

    I really don't want to start a long argument about this, so I'm going to regret it, but I just can't let such terrible "evidence" go uncriticized. No offense to your brother, feeno, but that stuff gets parroted all the time by Christians, and it's a sign that they clearly don't know anything other than what their pastor has told them (and maybe Lee Strobel) has told them.

    First off, when citing Ezekiel 26, Christians will usually quote verses 1-6, but they'll conveniently leave out verse 7. Let me quote it here for you:

    "For thus says the Lord GOD: Behold, I will bring upon Tyre from the north Nebuchadrez'zar king of Babylon, king of kings, with horses and chariots, and with horsemen and a host of many soldiers."

    Note that this is in connection to the previous verses that feeno's brother already quoted - it's clearly talking about the same event. It definitely states that Nebuchadnezzar was the king that would make Tyre bare and "scrape her soil from her, and make her a bare rock." And yet, as his brother pointed out, King Nebby most certainly did NOT do this. It wasn't until hundreds of years later that Alexander the Great did such a thing. But unfortunately for Christian apologists everywhere, Alexander isn't mentioned anywhere in the verses. Neither are the Greeks/Macedonians, nor is it said that this destruction would actually consist of several completely disconnected events over the span of several hundred years. So the apologists do the next best thing - they don't quote the relevant verses, twist it to suit their purposes, and hope you won't notice.

    If anyone disagrees with me, the text has been written down for quite some time - you go read it yourself and tell me if you would ever get any sort of clue that a guy named "Alexander" would be doing the destroying, just by reading those verses.

    As far as the verses "prophesying" about Jesus, there are several things to note. A) Several verses that Christians give as prophecies clearly weren't written as prophecies. Most notably, the verses in the Psalms about David suffering.

    B) All of these prophecies were seen as fulfilled in Jesus after the fact - and prophecies that only work in reverse are notoriously unreliable (see Nostradamus for details).

    C) The gospel writers clearly had access to all the prophecies when writing their gospels. This is clear since they say stuff like "as written in the Scriptures" and "as told by the prophets". It's entirely possible (and probable) that they adjusted their story of Jesus to fit in with these prophecies. In fact, a very clear example is in Matthew, where he has Jesus riding in on TWO donkeys instead of one, as he misread the original prophecy. This makes it clear that he was changing the story to fit the prophecy.

    ReplyDelete
  16. I just want to settle a long-running piece of semantics which has popped up here, Feeno.

    If you regard "disbelief" as "not being able to believe something which in all likelihood is true", what would you call not being able to believe something which in all likelihood is NOT true? If your attitude toward the Hindu gods is not one of "disbelief", what's the word for it?

    ReplyDelete
  17. Since I am being called out here...

    A couple things:

    1) I would ask your "bad ass bro." to look up something called the Documentary Hypothesis. And then, furthermore, read some of the scholarly criticism regarding it, because just knowing what it is won't be enough.

    2) Re-read John Loftus chapter called "Prophecy and Biblical Authority" (Chapter 16) in his book Why I Became an Atheist. He covers why Prophecy is philosophically problematic in the first few pages, asking "In order to predict the future, God must have foreknowledge. Can he predict the future, especially of free-willed human beings?"

    Philosophically speaking, the answer is no. But this doesn't so much matter, since most believers would say it refers to Christ only. But then I would refer you back up to the Documentary Hypothesis, which leads into my third point.

    3) Christian apologists don't understand the first thing about Jewish history or customs—and if they do they deliberately ignore it because detracts from their belief that Jesus was the literal Son of God. Historians, whether believers or not, have a better grasp on the historical implications of Jewish messianic aspirations.

    I have talked about this "Messiah formulation" extensively in my "Why I am Not a Christian Part 1" post. I know it is long and hard to get through, but you may wish to click on the link below and scroll down to my section and read the part "Was Jesus a Divine Jew, a Royal Jew or a Regular Jew?"

    http://advocatusatheist.blogspot.com/2009/10/why-i-am-not-christian-part-1-redaction.html 

    ReplyDelete
  18. As far as I can tell, the evangelical set up to make Jesus appear to fulfill messianic prophecy is mainly the world of evangelical redactors--who most assuredly ignored the customs, traditions, and cultural contexts of the Jews and early Hebrews.


    Not only is the Torah re-ordered specifically from the Jewish to the Christian canon to change the intent of prophecy fulfillment, but also there is a huge misappropriation of the term "Ebed Yahweh" i.e. "Son of God." Christians never cease to ignore the fact that this term was commonly used to refer to servants of the lord, any Rabbi or holy leader could have this title.

    Bart D. Ehrman goes on to explain:

    "It is important to know that for ancient Jews the term “son of God” could mean a wide range of things. In the Hebrew bible the “son of God” could refer to the nation of Israel (Hosea 11:1), or to the King of Israel (1st Samuel 7:14). In these cases the son of God was someone specially chosen by God to perform his work and mediate his will on earth."

    And this ties into the Davidic Messianic formulation in which Jesus is supposedly that figure in David's vision in Isaiah, the lord says to my Lord... and this leads into the Davidic Psalms which seem to Prophecy the lord will sit at the right hand of the Lord and be born in the city of David.

    Enter Jesus: Hebrew terminology is misappropriated, misunderstood, and purposely misused, and is taken out of context to support an evangelizing movement to tie Jesus into Davidic genealogy... which is confounded by the diverging accounts of Jesus' genealogy in Matthew and Luke, along with the error in Luke's census debate, all of it to make sure that the messiah was born in the city of David, e.g. Bethlehem.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Christopher Hitchens nailed this one when he said:

    "…the jumbled “Old” Testament prophecies indicate that the Messiah will be born in the city of David, which seems indeed to have been Bethlehem. However, Jesus’s parents were apparently from Nazareth and if they had a child he was most probably delivered in that town. Thus a huge amount of fabrication—concerning Augustus, Herod, and Quirinius—is involved in confecting the census tale and moving the nativity scene to Bethlehem (where, by the way, no “stable” is ever mentioned)…"

    But my point is this: In order to get Prophecies fulfilled by an authentic Messiah you first have to have an authentic Messiah. As far as I can tell, the idea of the messiah was conflated with the character of Jesus. In no way does the historical account see Jesus as a Jewish messiah. Christians may think so, but Jews along with the rest of the world do not.

    No actual messiah, then, no actual fulfillment of messianic prophecy. End of debate.

    But I'll raise the stakes. I'll grant you all the prophesies are indeed fulfilled... except for the eschaton (which never happened) which is why Christians invented the second coming, since Jesus himself said all would come to pass. So to finish the job he must return. Here's the deal... if Jesus doesn't return... then it doesn't even matter what you believe are genuine fulfilled prophecies... if he can't return to fulfill the last prophecy then none of it really matters.

    There's a lot riding on that--for Christians that is. And well, I think I can confidently say that it's not likely to happen.

    So I need not debunk each individual prophecy, because the way I see it, Jesus just wasn't really the messiah that David spoke about. And that's why I brought up that Prophet Paradox for you to consider, because even is Jesus was a "messiah" then who is to say which one was the real deal?

    So there is a lot to chew on here. Again, I'm not naive of what Christians think here. You don't need to list all the Prophesies you believe Jesus fulfilled, because even will what I have presented--enough to make an ardent skeptic out of anyone--it just won't take if you're going to shrug it off, not look into it thoroughly, or just disbelieve it regardless of what the evidence suggests.

    That is the proper use of the term "disbelieve" by the way.

    Have a nice day.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Lastly,

    Jeff's post is right on the money.

    If you can ignore the patent misuse of the text, then you can buy into just about anything.

    As Jeff pointed out, many of the Prophecies are wrong. Some weren't even meant to be prophetic in their original context. All of it is conflated and combined with the Nativity of Christ, and so on.

    But my criticism is that you need not even get into the criticism Jeff employs in the first place is there was no messiah to debate the genuineness of prophecy to begin with.

    So take Jeff's part along with my part and then I think your Prophecies are all in trouble.

    And appealing to the Bible doesn't help. Especially since their is inevitably going to be a confirmation bias with any believer who reads the NT... and also... it's highly suspicious when an old book says this prophecy will come to pass... and a new book says the same prophecy came to pass.

    What's your criteria on checking whether or not that new book simply copied the old book--and made the story to fit their agenda?

    That's Jeff's third point, and you should think about it a little more in depth, because it's not trivial. What methods and tools do you use to discern between that prophecy, and a different one, which may or may not be about Jesus? How do you ensure the historical account is not simply Gospel writers using old myths and making their hero complete these tasks, as a modern retelling of Odysseus?

    I don't think you can. At least not with a much better argument. So this Prophecy bit gets us nowhere. And it's a huge waste of time to argue over it, because if you're concerned with the real history her you MUST be skeptical, but if you just want to side with the devotional convictions of Christian dogma then you can just throw out all skepticism. But if you do that... then I don't see how you can ever validate your points. Therefore it becomes a mute point.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Yes, Tristan. And, there is also the psychological "hook" of having people believe in these types of prophecies being possible. Undermines their own sense of being able to interpret phenomena in their lives.

    ReplyDelete
  22. I was looking forward to coming home and checking out my blog yesterday. But after installing about 200 feet of tile, then going straight to church from work where I then played a little football with the Jr. High kids and after I read some of your responses, I just didn't have any energy left.

    Before I deal with your awesome responses let me try to quickly explain why I try to answer you guys. It's simply because I feel your entitled to get a response after such thoughtful and intelligent positions which you hold. I can honestly say (I think ?) that I have never tried to "win" an argument. I only try to offer an explanation of why I and many Believers feel the way we do. I do this because I believe if someone comes to Christ, it wont be because of something new you have heard on my blog. I believe a belief in God is not a matter of intellect, but a matter of the heart. So no matter how much information one has I don't think it's enough to change their minds unless their is a change in their heart first.

    That's not to say that there isn't plenty of evidence to support what we believe. As a matter of fact I believe the evidence clearly demonstrates that the Bible is indeed God's infallible word. And in defense of the atheist God's word does say in order to please Him, we must have faith. The atheist only has to have faith in themselves?

    Now let's get to the topic at hand concerning the validity of scripture as it relates to prophecy. First let's look at Jeff's concern about verse 7 of Ezekiel 26. I'd just say read it for yourself, Jeff (although a great guy) is just wrong. God's word says that many nations would rise against it. And yes Nebby was one of those who rose up against that city. As a matter of fact from about 587bc to 574bc.

    End of act 1

    ReplyDelete
  23. What does that prove if anything? Her's what I mean about evidence not really making a difference unless it's what we want to hear. This is only one prophecy. There are hundreds of other fulfilled prophecies.

    Yes, I know you can come up with reasons not to believe them. Ultimately an Atheist would have to come up with some sort of conspiracy theory to invalidate these claims. That's why I told his Lordship (the gun toting atheist) he has to decide who he wants to believe. And so does everyone who has ever been born. God ain't in the twisting your arm business. Well, maybe He is? But not enough to take away our free will?

    If I listed 100 hundred fulfilled prophecies would that help anyone? Would you search each one and try to find an answer that is correct, or one that fits your viewpoint.

    If what your saying is true, do you guys think that these conspirators (dudes who wrote the Bible) were brilliant in their intertwining of Scripture? I mean after all the Bible was written over about a 1500 year period. By like 40 different writers. I've heard before it was written by a bunch of goat herders who weren't to bright? Which is it? In your opinion.

    Let me close by saying this: I truly didn't write this to try to win some argument, again I think that is futile. I once told my buddy LX that when I became a Christian it wasn't because of "Christian Apologetic's" This stuff had no bearing on me accepting Christ. But since I've been aware of those trying to "Debunk Christianity" I have looked at all these questions and my faith has only gotten stronger.

    Not a great response, but again you were deserving of some sort of response.

    Dueces Mooses, feeno

    ReplyDelete
  24. Feeno

    I am not looking to "win" an argument. I come to your blog to learn how the Christian mind ticks. What are the things that are important to you? What points of contention is there in your dialogue? What are the themes that emerge from what you say and think? This is purely research to me.

    From that perspective, in many ways we have the advantage. Many of us, to varying degrees, have been in your position. We have walked away for many reasons. However, one thing has been made clear. Many of us have walked away with alot of knowledge behind our steps. In that way, you and many other religious people do not have an even playing field.

    I only give you alternate perspectives because you are a decent, intelligent guy. And, more information will only serve to make you more of an articulate and empowered person when you discuss these issues with others. By no means, I do not ever want to come to your blog and find you announcing your atheism. However, I would hope that we only add to your own personal understanding of your faith, and the history that comes with it. At the end of the day, I agree with Dawkins. This idea is in relation to children and the way that we teach them, however I do not mean to refer to you as a kid when I use this, it just conveniently fits what I want to say. We need to teach our kids HOW to think about religion. To ask the right questions.

    At the end of the day, the best choice is the most informed.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Well feeno, thanks for the response. I agree that the point is not to "win" an argument. And like I said, I knew I'd regret responding.

    But I still do disagree with you on Ez. 36. If you read verses 1-6, you see essentially an overview of what God is saying is going to happen to Tyre. Walls will be destroyed, towers torn down, and it will be made a "bare rock." Also, it will become a place to spread nets.

    Then, verse 7 specifically mentions Nebuchadnezzar (who, by the way, was the king of the Babylonian empire, the largest empire of the time period - and it consisted of "many nations"). Verses 8-15 clearly refer to what Nebuchadnezzar is going to do, and look at it - the same language is even used! Walls broken down, towers destroyed, made a "bare rock", a place for spreading nets. The two parts are clearly just one expanding on the other. So it's safe to say that it all refers to Nebuchadnezzar.

    The idea of hiding behind "many nations" as a way of saying that two disconnected events separated by about 240 years (Alexander destroyed Tyre in 332 BC) are actually essentially the same event is pretty weak. At any rate, even if the prophecy leaves open that interpretation, a) it's not what one would assume from just reading it, meaning that the only way the prophecy makes any sense is after the events already happen and thus does not have predictive power, and b) the prophecy could obviously have been made much stronger by simply mentioning Alexander, the Greeks, a period of 240 years, or any other such identifiers. If the only reference to Alexander is "many nations", that's pretty weak. That's like saying that "many people" are going to win the lottery - real insightful there...

    ReplyDelete
  26. Hey Tink

    Anything I can do for your book and or your research will be my privilege.

    When I say I am not trying to win any arguments, I'm not saying that I don't have an agenda. Or as you put it "points of contention". And my "theme" of what I say and think are two-fold. First as a Christian I believe that we are to Serve Christ and love God. And one of the ways to do that is my second point: To help, serve and yes love others. (1Thessalonians 3:12-13). So my agenda as far as my blog is concerned is to spread the Gospel message and encourage those to continue to seek a relationship with Him. The best help I could give anyone.

    And although I believe you don't have to be a Believer to help, serve and love others, you do have to be a Believer to experience what God has in store for you. When I say things like that I don't want to come across as thinking I'm better than anyone. I just believe His word when it says I'm forgiven. And I would like everyone else to experience that as well.

    I know many of atheists have walked away from the faith. And I can't say that their reasons aren't valid. That's not my call, and only they have had those experiences to cause them to leave. But by the same token my experiences in life have drawn me to Christ. And I think I'd be selfish not to share a little about God to others.

    Thanks again for your understanding of my position. And I'm being sincere when I say don't ever let your "niceness" get in the way of being honest about your thoughts when you post here. Because like you I believe the more honest we are with each other, the more we will learn and the more "informed" we are, as you say can only help us all.

    Late, feeno

    P.S. Again, if you ever need a "fundy" answer for your book, let me know.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Hey Jeff

    Well I don't know. It does seem kinda crazy that today, right now there are nets laid out to dry by the local fishermen on the very walls of that city which is now in the sea?

    I'm sure you know that many historians feel that many of these prophecies are so accurate that they weren't even prophecies, but added after the fact. So again we are left to who we are gonna believe.

    And just something extra, but the bible was not meant to be a book of prophecies or history or science. The fact that it is all those things is just because the things that were written down in it are all true.

    And it was written for 2 reasons. One to show the Believer how to live a life pleasing to God. And two to show the un-believer how to acquire a relationship with God.

    Although I disagree with some of your thoughts, I was kinda proud that T-Vick noticed how bright you are.

    Peace Holmes, feeno

    ReplyDelete
  28. "With most of the ancient writings relatively few copies are available. For one ancient Roman writer, Cattalos, we only have three copies. With the great historian Herodotus, we have only eight of his writings. The same can be said of most of the other great ancient writings. We have one, two, three, five or ten copies.
    Another important factor to consider when judging the accuracy of ancient manuscript copies is the time span between the copies and the original. Here are the time spans for some of the greatest ancient writings.

    Caesar and his Gaelic Wars, the earliest manuscript is 1,000 years after Ceaser lived.

    Demosthenes, the great orator of Greece: The earliest manuscript is 1,200 years after he wrote.

    Plato, the great philosopher: 1,300 years.

    Herodotus: also 1,300 years.

    The Greek dramatists: 1,400 years.

    Cattalos, the Roman writer: 1,600 years.

    Homer and his classic The Odyssey, which you've probably read : 2,200 years later. Yet millions of copies of this book have been printed. People make it into plays, motion pictures and television programs.

    By the standards of antiquity, the Bible is an amazingly credible document. We do not have two, three or five copies, but 5,750 Greek manuscripts of the New Testament. In various other translations, we have up to 25,000 more copies. Quotations from the New Testament are found in the writings of vitually every one of the early church fathers-those writers living during the first four centuries after Christ.......

    We have numerous papyri manuscripts from the second and third century, some larger manuscripts from the fourth century, and so on. No other ancient writing-of any kind anywhere-rests on as solid a foundation as does the Bible..... Scholar and author A.T. Robertson points out that "much of the New testament can be reproduced from the quotations of the early Christian writers." In fact, virtually the entire New Testament could be reconstructed from these writings alone-even if all of the more than thirty thousand manuscript copies were lost or destroyed!"

    Kennedy, D. James; Skeptics Answered, pgs 25-27 (exerpts)

    ReplyDelete
  29. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  30. I don't see why Christians post numbers of copies as support. Since it seems, at least to me, to complicate their case.

    After all, relatively few copies of the Odyssey survive because it was written 700 years before any Bible story was written down, and in a culture that passed their stories down orally!

    The fact that we have one fragment of a text 700 years older than anything in the Bible is downright miraculous.

    So the Bible has many copies. This is the work of the Essenes, a group of Jewish scholars dedicated to maintaining the stories and written traditions of their people. They were an institution which copied and preserved holy texts, and what's not to go overlooked is, many of the texts the Church deliberately destroyed were recovered along with the Dead Sea Scrolls at the Qumran caves.

    Instead of making the Bible seem like a historical wonder, it makes it seem less historically important due to the fact it was ubiquitous--in other words, the Bible had a high print run. And rarity does not equate to palpable historic truth.

    Most of what the Essenes preserved are rejected by Christians as a whole, yet most Christians couldn't even name you five of the numerous other texts outside of their canon which were reclaimed. Just saying... because it's rare doesn't make it factual. Nor does it prove that because it is from antiquity that it portrays antiquity accurately. And the number of papyri is not so important as what is written on them.

    This is how apologists try and fool you. They say it would literally be impossible to have this many documents if it weren't true! Why would so many people right down and spread fictitious works? Well, the answer is obvious, because it was important to them. It was their philosophy, science, poetry and prose all right there... an entire cultures literary heritage... and that's worth preserving.

    However, just because it exists still doesn't make it true. Further research must be done! We must follow the clues! And only then can we piece together the puzzle of the genuine history and events.

    ReplyDelete
  31. Feeno-

    Here is the other thing. You are an example of the best case scenario. For research purposes, I want to learn how the lowest common denominator thought, and I have learned. You have still maintained your ability to understand how religious beliefs are harmful, and that is important. That is a real asset to you.

    ReplyDelete
  32. Don't mind my spelling errors. I wrote that at like 1 AM my time. Not really seeing the computer screen clearly. Peace out!

    ReplyDelete