Do we prevent somebody being hurt by superstition or faith by rejecting and challenging those things? 

Is it mistaken to support organised religion in membership or donations?

If people do good because they are human, not because God prompts them then is it right to risk giving God any credit when they alone own their good?

Patrick H
Gormley


ENCYCLOPAEDIA OF BIBLE DIFFICULTIES ON JESUS

Gleason W Archer’s Encyclopedia of Bible Difficulties is one of the books (two editions considered in this work) at the forefront of religious systems that allege that there is no error in the Bible for it is the word of God. Let us quote from the book and put this claim to the test. For Christians, the Bible is the word of Jesus for Jesus is God so they say that Jesus did not sit down and write any books but is still the person who is more responsible for what is in the Bible than the human authors were. Somehow both Jesus and man wrote the Bible. If Jesus is just a man, this claim amounts to spiritism or occultism.

The book goes,

QUOTE: Evangelicals do not try to prove that the Bible has no mistakes so that they can be sure the Bible is the Word of God. One might prove that a newspaper article is free from all mistakes, but that would not prove that the newspaper article is the Word of God. Christians hold the Bible to be the Word of God (and inerrant) because they are convinced that Jesus, the Lord of the church, believed it and taught His disciples to believe it. And ultimately their conviction of its truth rests on the witness of the Holy Spirit. Likewise evangelicals do not hold that inerrant inspiration eliminates the human element in the production of the Bible. True, evangelicals have stressed the divine authorship of Scripture because this is most frequently denied and it is this that gives Scripture its unique importance. But informed evangelicals have always insisted on a truly human authorship of Scripture. Even those who were willing to use the word dictation (as did Calvin and the Tridentine Council of the Roman Catholic church) always made very clear that they were not referring to the model of a boss dictating to a stenographer. Rather, they meant to stress the divine (as well as human) responsibility for the words of Scripture.

COMMENT: I agree that without God being the chooser of the words of scripture as much as man is the idea of a divine and infallible Bible is not sustainable. Verbal inspiration is the correct Christian position. Or it is the position that the religion needs to take for anything else shouts, “Another man-made religion!”

QUOTE ABOUT EZEKIEL ASKING IF HE IS WRITING ABOUT A PRINCE OR THE DEVIL: Other commentators propose that verses 1-11 refer to the human prince, but that verses 11-19 refer to Satan. Those who advocate this view point to the change of reference from "the prince (nagid) of Tyre" in verse 2, to "the king (melek) of Tyre" in verse 12. This change of reference from prince to king, coupled with such statements as "you were in Eden" (v. 13), "you were the anointed cherub" (v. 14), and "you were perfect in your ways from the day you were created" (v. 15) may indicate that this section is about Satan. To the contrary, others simply understand these phrases as hyperbolic (literary exaggeration) references to the human prince and king.

COMMENT: It shows that the prince being virtually declared a god warns us to be careful with language that divinises Christ in the New Testament. Scholars can think what they like but if Jesus could be divine maybe the prince is too? He is called it more point-blanked than Jesus was even in the New Testament.

QUOTE ABOUT CONFUSION IN FAMILY LISTS IN THE BIBLE: Others have proposed that perhaps Abimelech was another name for Achish. It was not an uncommon practice in ancient times to have two names. Gideon was also named Jerubbaal (Jud. 6:32; 7:1), and Solomon also went by the name Jedidiah (2 Sam. 12:25). It is possible that the name Abimelech was a recurring name in a certain dynasty of the Philistines.

COMMENT: Matthew and Luke had to show Jesus was Messiah but that is primarily done through showing the bloodline. A Messiah is the king sent by God and has to be a real king in body and soul. What use then is Jesus’ genealogy given by Matthew and Luke if confusion is that rife? It amounts to saying they failed to show he really had a Messiah bloodline.

Attempts to say that both Matthew and Luke were tracing Jesus’ line through Joseph are doomed to fail. It is supposed Matthew was about the legal royal bloodline and Luke the natural bloodline. The differences are put down to Levirate law. Levirate law allowed a dead man’s line to be performed by his brother so that the children were not the brothers! A bizarre form of artificial insemination that transcends all biology! But this ignores how rarely such law was used and there was no way to show where it could apply. Where were the certificates for there was no other way to manage the system?

Is Matthew giving the lineage legally through Joseph? Then why does he write as if he is not? It reads like a natural lineage and thus that is what it is. He would have said. Luke could be giving the legal line too for he does not mention Mary though many wish to believe he is giving the natural bloodline through Mary.


QUOTE [was Jesus's alleged kingship/Messiah-ship annulled if he was a son of a divinely banned bloodline?]: JEREMIAH 22:30 - Was Jehoiachin childless or did he have heirs? PROBLEM: Jeremiah was told here to "write this man down as childless." However, Jechoiachin had a son, Shealtiel, who is listed in Matthew 1:12. SOLUTION: First of all, the verse does not say he would actually be childless. Jeremiah was simply told to write him down "as if childless" (NI). Further, this is explained by the last part of the verse, namely, "none of his descendants shall prosper, sitting on the throne of David, and ruling anymore in Judah." This is true of His immediate successors. And it is even true of his long-range successor, Christ, who was not an actual son of Jehoiachin but only a legal son through his legal father, Joseph (see comments on Matt. 1:17). Jesus, however, was the actual son of David through Marv, His actual mother (cf. 2 Sam. 7:12ff; Luke 3:23, 31).

COMMENT: It still says Jesus was not Messiah for God is clear that even if Jehoiachin has children it will not matter – they will be non-existent in God’s eyes. As if childless may mean that allowances are made for this man having had illegitimate children. It does not say any known children were around.


QUOTE: It should be noted that when the Hebrew verb yāšab (“sit enthroned”) is used of a king, it implies a certain degree of permanence rather than so short a time as ninety days. As Jehoiakim’s son, Jehoiachin was not permitted to sit on the throne and carry on the career of the Davidic dynasty. On the contrary, he was removed; and no son or descendant of his was ever permitted to reign as king thereafter on the throne of David. Zerubbabel may have been descended from Jehoiachin through Shealtiel.

COMMENT: Archer is playing lets pretend. The text rules out this man or his line being king and so it rules out Jesus his descendant.

QUOTE: [Jesus is clear that he got the expression abomination of desolation from the Bible author Daniel but scholarship denies that Daniel wrote that bit] If these words of Christ are reliably reported—as of course they are—we can only conclude that Christ personally believed that the historic personage Daniel was the author of the book that contained this eschatological phrase. Moreover Christ made it plain that the fulfillment of the prediction concerning this “abomination of desolation” yet lay in the future. It was not fulfilled by what happened back in 168 B.C., even though a type of this abomination may have been erected by Antiochus in the Jerusalem temple.

COMMENT: Jesus did think Daniel wrote it but he erred in interpreting Daniel. Daniel meant 168 BC. A prophet who can't get the past right can hardly be trusted to get the future right. Jesus' promise to rise from the dead was only written down after the event. Prophecy is so important as it shows God has to be speaking that this speaks louder than finding the body that Jesus is dead.

QUOTE: MATTHEW 22:39 - Does Jesus want us to love ourself first or others? PROBLEM: Jesus says in Matthew that we are to love our neighbor as ourselves. But, if we love ourselves first, before we love our neighbor, then this would be putting self before neighbor. Is Jesus teaching that we should be selfish? SOLUTION: Loving others as we love ourselves can be understood in different ways, but in no way is Jesus implying that we should be selfish. The Bible condemns "lovers of themselves" (2 Tim. 3:2). It exhorts us not to consider only our own interests, but also the interest of others (Phil. 2:4). There are three ways to understand the phrase, "love others as yourself." First, some believe that Jesus is saying that we ought to love others as we ought to love ourselves, namely, unselfishly. This, however, seems far too subtle and dialectical for Jesus' normally straight-forward moral assertions. It would have been more forthright to simply say do not be selfish than the tangled command of loving oneself unselfishly. Second, Jesus could have meant that we should love others as we ought to love ourselves, namely, properly. There is a legitimate self-respect or self love. Ephesians tells us to care for our own bodies, "for no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it" (5:28-29). There is nothing wrong with a legitimate self-care and self-respect. The Bible condemns someone for "thinking of himself more highly than he ought," but urges him to think "soberly" (Rom. 12:3). In this sense, Jesus may be saving love others as you ought to love yourselves. Third, Jesus could have meant that we should love others as much as we do love ourselves. That is, He might have been saying that we should measure how we ought to love others by how we actually do love ourselves selves without implying that the way we love ourselves is correct. Rather, God may be simply pointing to love for self as the standard by which we should judge how much to love others. In this way, there would be an automatic check on our selfish love, since we would have to love others this much too.

COMMENT: Love is all about the motive. Legitimate self-love for a Christian means doing it for God and keeping it all about God. It is looking after yourself but not at all for your own sake.

QUOTE: Does Matthew 22:39 teach a godly love of self? Matthew 22:39 contains Christ’s quotation of Leviticus 19:18: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself (NASB). Some have inferred from this that Jesus taught a godly love of self, for one cannot very well love his neighbor unless he also loves himself. There may be a measure of truth in this, but it involves a somewhat different understanding of the word “love” than what is normally used. Certainly the second great commandment involves a proper regard, acceptance, and respect for oneself; but it seems to be quite misleading—if not altogether dangerous—to speak of the Bible as teaching self-love. Interestingly enough, there is only one passage in Scripture that speaks of self-love explicitly, and that is 2 Timothy 3:1–3: “But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. For men will be lovers of self [philautoi], lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving”(NASB). It is interesting to see the categories of character weakness and sinful perversion in which this philautoi appears. And it should be carefully noted that “lovers of self”are grouped with the “unloving”(astorgoi —lacking the natural affection toward one’s own flesh and blood), “haters of good,”and “lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God.”There can be no question but what the term “self-lovers”is presented here as a serious character weakness, a trait of sin.

COMMENT: Excellent! Today's self-love movement is just idolatrous sin in the eyes of Jesus.

QUOTE: MATTHEW 5:17-18 - Did Jesus come to do away with the Law of Moses? PROBLEM: Jesus said very explicitly, "Do not think that I came to destroy stroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy, but to fulfill." However, on one occasion Jesus approved of His disciples when they broke the Jewish law about working on the Sabbath (Mark 2:24), and Jesus Himself apparently did away with the ceremonial law by declaring all meats clean (Mark 7:19). Jesus' disciples clearly rejected much of the OT law, including circumcision (Acts 15; Gal. 5:6; 6:15). Indeed, Paul declared that "You are not under law but under grace" (Rom. 6:14) and that the Ten Commandments engraved in stone have been "taken away in Christ" (2 Cor. 3:14). SOLUTION: In the matter of whether the Law of Moses was done away with by Christ, confusion results from failing to distinguish several things. First of all, there is a confusion of time. During His lifetime, Jesus always kept the Law of Moses Himself, including ordering others to offer sacrifices through the Jewish priests (Matt. 8:4), attending Jewish festivals (John 7:10), and eating the passover lamb (Matt. 26:19). He did on occasion violate the pharisaical (and false) traditions that had grown up around the Law (cf. Matt. 5:43-44), chiding them, "You have made the commandment of God of no effect by your tradition" (Matt. 15:6). The verses that indicate the law has been fulfilled refer to after the Cross when there is "neither Jew nor Greek ... for you are all one in Christ Jesus" (Gal. 3:28). Second, there is a confusion of aspect. At least some of the references (if not all) to the Law being done away with in the NT are speaking of OT ceremonies and types. These ceremonial and typological aspects of the OT Law of Moses were clearly done away with when Jesus, our passover lamb (I Cor. 5:7), fulfilled the Law's types and predictions about His first coming (cf. Heb. 7-10). In this sense, Jesus clearly did away with the ceremonial and typological aspects of the Law, not by destroying the Law, but by fulfilling it. Finally, there is a confusion about context. Even when the moral dimensions of the law are discussed, there is a confusion. For example, not only did Jesus fulfill the moral demands of the Law for us (Rom. 8:2-3), but the national and theocratic context in which God's moral principles were expressed in the OT no longer apply to Christians today. For example, we are not under the commands as Moses expressed them for Israel, since, when expressed for them in the Ten Commandments, it had as its reward that the Jews would live "long upon the land [of Palestine] which the Lord your God is giving you lsraelites" (e.g., Ex. 20:12). When the moral principle expressed in this OT commandment is stated in the NT, it is expressed in a different context, namely, one that is not national or theocratic, but is personal and universal. For all persons who honor their parents, Paul declares that they will "live long on the earth" (Eph. 6:3). Likewise, Christians are no longer under the commandment of Moses to worship on Saturday (Ex. 20:8-11), for, since the Resurrection, , appearances, and Ascension (all of which occurred on Sunday), Christians worship on Sunday instead (see Acts 20:7; 1 Cor. 16:2). Sabbath worship, declared Paul, was only an OT "shadow" of the real substance which was inaugurated by Christ (Col. 2:16-17). Since even the Ten Commandments as such were expressed in a national Jewish, theocratic framework, the NT can speak correctly about that which was "engraved on stones" being "taken away in Christ " (2 Cor. 3:7, 13-14). However, this does not mean that the moral principles embodied in the Ten Commandments, that reflect the very nature of an unchanging God, are not still binding on believers today. Indeed, every one of these principles contained in the Ten Commandments is restated in another context in the NT, except of course the command to rest and worship on Saturday. Christians today are no more under the Ten Commandments as given by Moses to Israel than we are under the Mosaic Law's requirement to be circumcised (see Acts 15; Gal. 3) or to bring a lamb to the temple in Jerusalem for sacrifice. The fact that we are bound by similar moral laws against adultery, lying, stealing, and murder no more proves we are still under the Ten Commandments than the fact that there are similar traffic laws in North Carolina and Texas proves that a Texan is under the laws of North Carolina. The truth is that when one violates the speed laws in Texas he has not thereby violated a similar law in North Carolina, nor is he thereby bound by the penalties of such laws in North Carolina. In like manner, although both the OT and NT speak against adultery, nevertheless, less, the penalty was different -capital punishment in the OT (Lev. 20:10) and only excommunication from the church in the NT (1 Cor. 5:1-13), with the hope of restoration upon repentance (cf. 2 Cor. 2:6-8).

COMMENT: Good. There is no room for ignoring or downgrading the Old Testament in properly understood Christianity.

QUOTE: In connection with the parable of the pounds (or minas), Christ pronounced this judgment on those who had rebelled against their king (Luke 19:27): “But these enemies of mine, who did not want me to reign over them, bring them here, and slay them in my presence” (NASB). This sounds very much like an endorsement of capital punishment. Again, in Luke 20:14–16, as He concluded the parable of the wicked husbandmen (or tenants), our Lord said: “But when the tenants saw him [the son of the landlord], they talked the matter over. ‘This is the heir,’ they said, ‘Let’s kill him, and the inheritance will be ours.’ So they threw him out of the vineyard and killed him. What then will the owner of the vineyard do to them? He will come and kill those tenants and give the vineyard to others.” Thus it is very clear that neither Christ nor His apostles intended to abrogate the God-given responsibility of the government (under Old Testament law) to protect its citizens and enforce justice by capital punishment.

“If then I am a wrongdoer, and have committed anything worthy of death, I do not refuse to die” (Acts 25:11, NASB).

Numbers 35:31,33: “You shall not take ransom [i.e., allow mere monetary damages] for the life of a murderer who is guilty of death, but he shall surely be put to death…. So you shall not pollute the land in which you are; for blood pollutes the land and no expiation can be made for the land for the blood that is shed on it, except by the blood of him who shed it” (NASB).

Jesus also upheld the right of kings to resort to warfare if the circumstances warrant it, for this is certainly implied in Luke 14:31: “What king, going to make war against another king, does not first sit down and take counsel as to whether he is able with ten thousand troops to meet in battle with one who comes against him with twenty thousand?”No pacifist could use such an illustration as this without appearing to condone warfare as a legitimate measure for a head of state. But even more clearly is this implied by what Jesus said to Pilate in John 18:36: “My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, My servants would fight to prevent My arrest by the Jews.”

COMMENT: Jesus continued the bloodletting attitudes of the Old Testament God.  He never claimed there was such a God.  He viewed God as yesterday and now and today always the same.

QUOTE: Context for the next quote is how a woman caught in adultery was brought to Jesus to see if he would let the men stone her to death as God commanded in the Bible:

Leviticus 20:10 states: “If there is a man who commits adultery with another man’s wife, … the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death” (NASB). Deuteronomy 22:24 indicates that both of them shall die, the man who lay with the woman, and the woman herself. Thus this entire process in John 8 was legally defective because the woman’s accusers had not brought forward her male partner-in-sin. Without him there could be no valid action taken against her.

Luke 12:14: “Who has appointed Me a judge over you?”), this attempt to remand the case to Him was an obvious farce, devoid of legal justification, and intended only to embarrass the Teacher from Nazareth whom they hoped to discredit. Third, by their own admission, not even the Sanhedrin had the right under the Roman government to execute the death penalty. While they had authority to impose a sentence, capital punishment could not be carried out except under the authorization of the Roman governor. Thus we read in John 18:31: “Pilate therefore said to them, Take Him yourselves, and judge Him according to your law.’ The Jews said to him, ‘We are not permitted to put any one to death’”

He had ruled that the witness who was “without sin” had the responsibility of casting the first stone at the guilty woman, it was essential for at least one of them to have a completely clean conscience before God’s law. But not one of them could honestly claim to be free from sin before the Lord, and all the accusers suddenly found themselves accused and guilty. Hence they took their leave

As we study Jesus’ response to this challenge, we must clearly observe that He neither covered over the guilt of the accused (as if adultery was not, after all, really heinous enough to require the death penalty—in that modern-minded, enlightened first century A.D.); nor did He suggest that death by stoning was no longer the proper way to deal with this offense. He plainly implied that the woman was guilty enough to die, and that the legal mode of execution was by stoning. The point He raised was that the accusers of the woman were themselves guilty under the law, and that they were hardly competent to carry out the sentence. Certainly they had all become guilty of an attempted lynching, completely contrary to the law of the Roman government to which they were all subject. Hence the whole process was voided by their incompetence and illegality.

COMMENT: Context is how a woman caught in adultery was brought to Jesus to see if he would let the men stone her to death as God commanded in the Bible. If Jesus said they may kill her that got him in trouble with the Roman rulers for they banned Jewish ritual murder. If he said yes then he was contradicting the law of God and saying God was wrong. So Jesus had to avoid doing either. Archer does a good analysis. Good to know that the episode is gives no justification for accepting the Christian lie that Jesus had done away with the murderous laws of God demanding that such women be stoned to death without pity.

QUOTE ABOUT MOSES REGULATING DIVORCE: It would be a mistake to assume that the statements of Moses here gave divine sanction to divorce. The passage presents a hypothetical situation which was likely to happen among the people. It simply says that if a man divorces his wife because of some uncleanness in her, and if she remarries, and if her new husband dies or divorces her, it is unlawful for the first husband to take her back. This is not a sanction of divorce. Rather, it is an acknowledgement of the fact of divorce and the implementation of regulation concerning remarriage.

COMMENT: If so then Jesus and Moses were agreed on divorce being wrong. Jesus was not saying Moses made a mistake. And it is obvious that the situation in question was very hypothetical indeed. It would be a very rare occurrence. There is no evidence Jesus had a problem with any moral statement in the Old Testament - he kept affirming moral adherence to it.

QUOTE: MATTHEW 10:5-6 - Did Jesus come only for Jews or also for Gentiles? PROBLEM: Jesus told His disciples to "make disciples of all the nations" (Matt. 28:19), because He had "other sheep ... which are not of this fold" (John 10:16). Even the OT prophets declared that Jesus would be "a light to the Gentiles" (Isa. 49:6). However, Jesus Himself instructed His disciples, "Do not go into the way of the Gentiles, and do not enter a city of the Samaritans" (Matt. 10:5). Later, He affirmed, "I was not sent except to the lost sheep of the house of Israel" (Matt. 15:24). SOLUTION: These apparently contradictory commands refer to two different periods. It is true that Jesus' original mission was to the Jews. But, the Scriptures testify that "He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him" (John 1: 11). The official Jewish position was to reject Him as their Messiah and to crucify Him (Matt. 27; Mark 14; Luke 22; John 18). Therefore, it was after His crucifixion and resurrection that the mission of the disciples was to go to the nations.

COMMENT: Jesus spent a lot of time trying to deal with the Jews. The resurrection may have been invented as a ruse to start promoting his brand of faith to Gentiles. Would Jesus spend so much time talking to wilfully deaf ears? To avoid Jesus being seen as a failure and time waster the resurrection where Jesus commands reaching out to all was necessary. Jesus was a Jew and a committed one and so committed that he preferred to bang his head against the Temple wall. He was a racist for nothing stopped him setting up outreaches to the Gentiles while he kept working on the Jews.

QUOTE: Mark 8:11–13 reads: “And the Pharisees came out and began to argue with Him, seeking from Him a sign from heaven, to test Him. And sighing deeply in His spirit, He said, ‘Why does this generation seek for a sign? Truly I say to you, no sign shall be given to this generation.’ And leaving them, He again embarked and went away to the other side” (NASB).

COMMENT: Jesus is annoyed that they want a sign and says that no sign will be granted in those days. To me in the light of how Mark ends without any resurrection of Jesus appearances Jesus is saying that no sign of the resurrection will take place and thus if people say he rose they say that through faith.

QUOTE: Luke 11:23 reads (with Christ speaking): “He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth.”Luke 9:50, however, quotes Jesus as saying, “Forbid him not, for he that is not against us is for us.” The latter dictum seems much more charitable and kindly than the former. The difficulty is greatly alleviated by the fact that virtually all the Greek manuscripts that are older than the eighth century A.D. do not read “against us …for us”(kath’hēmōn…hyper hēmōn) but rather “against you …for you”(kath’hymōn…hyper hymōn). In other words, prior to that, all available evidence is for the reading “you.”(The reason for this confusion is that by the eighth century these two Greek words of such different meaning were pronounced exactly the same—ēmōn—and are so pronounced by modern Greeks even to this day. There is a considerable difference between Christ Himself and His disciples, and there is therefore no contradiction whatever between the two statements.

COMMENT: This contradicts the encyclopedia's insistence that no copyist error affects doctrine. Compare, "he that is not with me is against me" with the alleged emended version, "he that is not against you/us is for you/us". The two do not mean the same thing. One is divisive and the other is welcoming and inclusive.  It is claimed that as Jesus is so important that not to be for him is against him but the apostles are men so that cannot be said of them.  But this does not take note of how Jesus identified himself with the apostles - even during the ministry they were his voice for one man in those days cannot really and literally and solely teach.

QUOTE: MATTHEW 13:34 - Did Jesus always speak in parables or not? PROBLEM: This text states distinctly that "without a parable He [Jesus] did not speak to them." However, Jesus gave His whole Sermon on the Mount (Matt. 5-7) without a single parable in it. SOLUTION: There are two qualifying factors that must be noted, one of which is stated and another implied. First, Matthew 13:34 states that Jesus spoke these things "to the multitude," whereas the Sermon on the Mount was given to His "disciples" (Matt. 5:1-2; cf. Luke 6:20), even though the multitudes apparently listened in (cf. Matt. 7:28). What is more, Jesus' statement may have only a reference to what He was doing at that time, not on every occasion. It does not say that He always and on every occasion spoke to a crowd only in parables. However, this interpretation is possible, since we have only a limited record of what Jesus spoke (cf. John 21:25).

COMMENT: It could be a contradiction. Mark shows Jesus hardly ever speaking plainly.

QUOTE: How could Zechariah son of Berechiah be the last of the martyrs? And wasn’t he really the son of Jehoiada? In Matthew 23:34–35, Jesus says to the scribes and Pharisees who are plotting His death, “Therefore behold, I am sending you prophets and wise men and scribes; some of them you will kill and crucify,…that upon you may fall all the righteous blood shed on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah the son of Berechiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar.”It is generally supposed that Jesus was actually referring to Zechariah the son of Jehoiada, who was stoned to death in the court of the temple at the order of King Joash, because Zechariah had the temerity to rebuke the government and the citizenry for their cultivation of idolatry. This is recorded in 2 Chronicles 24:20–22. But once this apparent error concerning the name of the martyr’s father has been explained away as a textual error, then it is observed that Zechariah ben Jehoiada, who died 800 B.C., was by no means the last of the Old Testament martyrs; hence he makes a poor balance to Abel, who certainly was the first.

COMMENT: The error was more likely made by Jesus than the text. There is no evidence for a text error and why did nobody try to fix it? Calling somebody a martyr for God is a doctrinal thing so if Jesus got that wrong then he erred in theology. He was a false prophet.

JOHN 7:8 - Did Jesus lie to His brothers? PROBLEM: Jesus' unbelieving brothers challenged Him to go up to Jerusalem and show Himself openly if He was the Messiah (7:3-4). Jesus refused, saying, "I am not yet going up to this feast, for My time has not yet fully come" (v. 8). However, only a few verses later Jesus "went up to the feast" (v. 10). SOLUTION: Jesus did not go up to Jerusalem in the way in which His brothers suggested. They suggested He go and be "known openly" (7:4). But the Scripture explicitly declares that "He also went up to the feast, not openly, but as it were in secret" (7:10).

COMMENT: This is a stretched interpretation. The text is not about why he might go to Jerusalem but just about going. He lied.

QUOTE: When Jesus said to the multitude that challenged Him to work some miracle, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up” (John 2:19), they grievously erred when they interpreted His remarks literally. John 2:21 goes on to explain that Jesus did not mean this prediction literally but spiritually: “But He was speaking about the temple of His body. Therefore when He was raised from the dead, His disciples remembered that He said this, and they believed the Scripture.”

COMMENT: He did mean it literally. For him his body was a temple. If he did not mean it literally then he was a fake prophet giving out predictions that could mean anything.

QUOTE: [The book speculates that the earthquake may have been the cause of moving the stone at Jesus' tomb] The earthquake could hardly have been very extensive; the women seemed to be unaware of its occurrence, whether it happened before they left Jerusalem or while they were walking toward their destination. There is no evidence that it damaged anything in the city itself. But it was sufficient to break the seal placed over the circular stone at the time of interment and roll the stone itself away from its settled position in the downward slanting groove along which it rolled.

COMMENT: So we have a natural explanation for why Jesus tomb was found open. Matthew says however it was an angel came down and rolled it away. But perhaps the angel was thought to have done this using the earthquake. "There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it". The text blames the angel for the earthquake - see Matthew 28.

QUOTE: The Bible says of Jesus' burial cloth that it was lying in a very unusual position. Instead of being spread out in a long, jumbled strip, it was still all wrapped together in one spot (entetyligmenon eis hena topon). Moreover, the soudarion (“long kerchief”) that had been wound around the head of Jesus was not unwound and tossed on the shroud but was still wrapped together and lying right above it (vv.6–7). In other words, no one had removed the graveclothes from the corpse in the usual way; it was as if the body had simply passed right out of the headcloth and shroud and left them empty!

COMMENT: Rubbish. The texts only say that they were tidy. If the body dissolved into thin air that does not fit the Turin Shroud which seems to picture a Jesus who floated in the middle of the cloth anti-gravity style and then fixed the image. The tomb was not supervised all the time when it was open so anybody could have tidied up the cloths. A thief might leave the cloths in case they would help identify the body if he was found with it.

Miracles should not be assumed when the account itself gives no hint of assuming them.  All it says is that the clothes were lying that way.  To the unbiased the question arises - did somebody take Jesus clothes and all and leave those replicas of his burial wrappings to create a decoy or mystery?  A good theft leaves deliberate puzzles.

QUOTE: From Peter’s scanty attire (John 21:7), we gather that it was a hot summer night...

COMMENT: Jesus appeared after his resurrection to Peter who was not wearing much. If Jesus died in hot weather and was stolen from the tomb he would have been devoured by maggots in no time thus serving the purpose of those who wanted to believe he rose from the dead.

All attempts to prove that Jesus the Bible (the Bible calls Jesus the word of God and calls itself that too so in a sense it is claiming to be Jesus) is the word of God fail because the Bible contradicts itself and attempts to hide this are stupid, irresponsible and are fabricated.  Disgusting is the only way to describe such determined efforts to defend and promote and use for worship such a twisted volume as if the blood splatters on it do not count.