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?

 


LEE STROBEL HAS THE RIGHT TO JUDGE ARCHEALOGY AND SCIENCE IN THE NAME OF FAITH?

FROM ďTHE CASE FOR CHRISTĒ, THE BEST-SELLING BOOK  BY LEE STROBEL

STROBELíS LIE:
 
Archaeology has never unequivocally contradicted the Bible.
 
THE TRUTH:
 
Even if that were true there would still be items that are in contradiction to a more or less degree of probability. It would mean you believe in the Bible not because of the credibility of its message but because you want to. This egoism is not Christianity. Archaeology is subject to interpretation and the Christians who say it supports the Bible are taking advantage of that and are reluctant to tell you that. There are thousands of archaeologists who hold that archaeology has proved the Bible wrong at least in some things.

STROBELíS LIE:
 
An account that contains no contradictions is contrived so the gospels with seeming contradictions are true.
 
THE TRUTH:
 
Then after saying that the book proceeds to argue that there are no contradictions in or between the gospels.
 
STROBELíS LIE:
 
Blombergís view that nobody ever wrote history in the gospel times without trying to convey some ideology across is approved.
 
THE TRUTH:
 
The reason it is approved for it is undeniable that the gospels were written to draw people to faith in Jesus and it is trying to say that despite this they are reliable for propaganda usually contains a large dose of deceit, selective reporting and half-truth.
 
Lots of books were not written for ideological ends. The gospels themselves contain portions that are not ideological.
 
STROBELíS LIE:
 
The book solves the contradiction between the genealogies of Jesus in Matthew and Luke by saying that that they did not always mean literally that x was the son of y and preferred to focus on the historically important members of the bloodline which was why they left ones out.
 
THE TRUTH:
 
So we are to believe that Matthew and Luke agreed with one another without any evidence that they actually did? It is easier to believe that they contradicted instead of listening to all these solutions which are just speculation. The solutions ignore the fact that genealogies are to prove the unbroken nature of the bloodline. What is the point of giving a list with half the people left out and which means one relationship literally and another figuratively?
 
STROBELíS LIE:
 
There were two Quirinius because Luke says that Jesus was born when Quirinius when governor of Syria which means 6AD according to the historian Josephus. Matthew says Jesus was born before Herod died in 4BC.  So both Josephus and Matthew are right because there were two of them.
 
THE TRUTH:
 
Christians need to pretend there is no contradiction. One solution is that there were two Quiriniuses. Another is that Quirinius reigned twice. The Case for Christ says there is a coin that indicates that there were two. It doesnít prove it though. Obviously neither Luke or God knew that there were two! The fact of the matter is that Luke would have said which one he meant. When Luke picked Quirinius instead of Herod as a time marker it shows that Quirinius did not reign at the time of Herod. There was no point in using Quirinius as a time marker if he reigned twice so Luke would have told us what reign it was. There is no doubt that Luke and Matthew did contradict one another regarding the time of the birth of Jesus and the age of Jesus which means that Luke lied about the care he took in researching. If Matthew remembered a Jesus who was about 34 when he died and Luke has one who was 24 then that is a very serious difference because age differences of that scale were very noticeable in those times and would be a serious indication that one of these men was largely inventing his material. This would cast suspicion on all the gospellers for nobody should have needed to do all this inventing unless Jesus were either non-existent or very unimportant and obscure both of which positions contradict the gospels. The idea that Josephus was the one that was wrong is just pure desperation to salvage the gospels.
 
STROBELíS LIE:
 
The book agrees that the London Papyrus backs up the ridiculous story of the census in Luke in which people had to travel to their ancestral home to be enrolled.
 
THE TRUTH:
 
The papyrus simply says that people have to stay where they are living now to be enrolled. Luke made up the census as an excuse to get Joseph and Mary to Bethlehem which was not their home, but the home of their distant ancestors, to be able to say Jesus was born there.
 
STROBELíS LIE:
 
The Gospel picture of Pilate as a weak and easily scared leader who reluctantly put Jesus to death matches the secular accounts which speak of how ruthless and psychopathic he was for his protector Sejanus fell from power in 31AD meaning that Pilate had to be nicer to people after that.
 
THE TRUTH:
 
There is no evidence Pilate was that dependant on Sejanus and that there was no other protector. If Pilate indulged in criminal activity he would have went down with him or after Sejanus was out of the way. A leader who was that easily bullied would have been sacked on the spot especially one that wanted to save Jesus from crucifixion though Rome didnít tolerate men who claimed to be the Messiah and would not suffer them to live.
 
STROBELíS LIE:
 
Blomberg is right to say if the New Testament had lied the enemies of Christianity would have made sure everybody knew about it.
 
THE TRUTH:
 
Yamaunchi in the same book states that big opposition to new cults does not start until a few generations down the line. I say that the sect of the Christadelphians which is small has survived since the 1840ís despite the errors it makes in Bible interpretation and the opposition of the Churches. If a world dictator took a liking to this faith and made it the official religion of his empire, it would be a lot bigger. If it hadnít been for Constantine enforcing Christianity and making it the official faith of the Roman Empire the faith could have died out.

STROBELíS LIE:
 
The gospels were written by Matthew, Mark, Luke and John because they were never attributed to anybody else in the early Church despite being anonymous.
 
THE TRUTH:
 
Irenaeus in 180 AD was the first to say the gospels were believed to belong to Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. His attribution was as good as any so it was accepted readily. There had to have been disputes over authorship for confusion had to happen.  
 
STROBELíS LIE:
 
Early in the second century, Papias stated that Matthew recorded Jesusí teaching and Mark the works of Jesus as Peter reported them.
 
THE TRUTH:
 
Hearsay. We donít even know if the Matthew and Mark writings mentioned are our gospels. And the way Papias spoke of them makes it likely that they were not and were merely collections of the oral teaching of Jesus.
 
STROBELíS LIE:
 
Mark and Luke were unknown characters and Matthew as an ex-tax collector would have been the apostle that was most unpopular next to Judas so when the gospels were attributed to them the ascriptions must have been accurate.
 
THE TRUTH:
 
Mark and Luke could have been popular characters in the early Church. If they were thought to have been secretaries to the apostles that would mean their names might have been put to gospels they never wrote. To assume that the ascriptions are accurate because they were unpopular is madness for nobody knows if they were unpopular or not. Moreover, if it were known that the apostles did not write Mark and Luke, two new candidates had to be found and so Mark and Luke could have been guesswork. There is simply no reason to believe that any gospel was written by the person whose name was put on it. If Luke for example really wrote Luke then why didnít he say so for he was the one that claimed to have been doing historical research and interviewing witnesses? What had he to hide? Matthew and John could have been unpopular for all we know. We know Paul complained a lot about being unpopular. It didnít stop people forging traditions and writings in his name (2 Thessalonians 2).  Even the New Testament has writings attributed to Paul that he had nothing to do with. Christianity opposed popular people so it could have been amenable to attributing books of unknown origin to obscure or unpopular Church figures. It was the perception or illusion of a person being trusted by the apostles that mattered not how well known or popular they were.
 
STROBELíS LIE:
 
John is so different from the other three because he knew what was in them and didnít want to repeat it and therefore he ended up using a pile of new material.
 
THE TRUTH
 
Speculation. There is no evidence that John knew the other gospels well. It is most likely that he did not for the books would have been hard to acquire and his gospel can be explained as John largely making it all up. The way Jesus talks is so different in style from the gospels. The difference in style is very obvious.

STROBELíS LIE:
 
The book claims that the miracles of Apollonius are dubious because Philostratus wrote to please the Empress and too long after the events and because she paid him.
 
THE TRUTH:
 
Philostratus writing to please the Empress does not automatically mean he lied. He got his material from sources that claimed to be witnesses of Apollonius. If what Strobel says about Philostratus makes him unreliable, then the gospellers are unreliable for they were written to please Jesus who was not even around then and were also collections of stories about Jesus. There is no evidence that Philostratus lied for money. How does Strobel know that the gospellers were not well paid for churning out their books? Damis was a writer who claimed to be an eyewitnesses to the miracles of Apollonius and his work was used by Philostratus. At least this Messiah had an eyewitness who wrote things down. Jesus had none or at least none that we can be sure of which is just as bad.
 
The view that Philostratus was writing just to please her is pure speculation. There is nothing to indicate that he ever admitted that. So much for good Christians like Strobel not judging people unjustly!
 
STROBELíS LIE:
 
The Book of Q, the hypothetical first version of the gospel story from which most of our gospels were developed has Jesus saying he did miracles so the miracles of Jesus have the best possible witness.
 
THE TRUTH:
 
Jesus did say there were miracles that showed him to be the Messiah but there is no reason to believe the saying was really from Q for it could have been from an Agrapha or oral tradition. And the bit where he says this does not clearly state that Jesus did the miracles directly. Jesus could have pointed to miracles that happened independently of him as signs that somebody special was in the world. For example, people could have been rising from the dead in Syria and he could take that as evidence. He could say that he does miracles all over the world though he is in Israel. And why shouldnít he? God is in Heaven and yet the Bible claims he divided the Red Sea?

STROBELíS LIE:
 
The Gospel of John has spoken about real places like the Well of Jacob so it is entirely real history.
 
THE TRUTH:
 
Still doesnít mean the story is true. The Case for Christ believes that the John gospel was edited by somebody after John wrote it (page 24). A gospel that may have been improved by its editor and not by the prophet who wrote it is hardly impressive when it is right about anything.