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Biblical Analysis of the Super Bowl

Christianity and atheism discussion and Does God exist?Everyone’s familiar with Tim Tebow’s public thanks to God for his football success and his love of the Bible verse John 3:16: “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

Many of us have heard some of the spooky 3:16 connections with Tebow’s next-to-last game this season. The Broncos beat the Steelers on January 8 in Tebow’s first NFL playoff game, with Tebow throwing for 316 yards. This was three years to the day that Tebow made a public splash wearing eye black that read “John 3:16” in the BCS Championship game. In the win against the Steelers, Tebow averaged 31.6 yards for each pass completion, an NFL record for postseason games.

Let’s do the same kind of analysis on Eli Manning’s Super Bowl win on Sunday. He threw a total of 296 yards.

There is no book in the Bible with the verse 2:96, so the significance must instead be in verse 29:6. Several books have this verse.

Put the turban on his head and attach the sacred emblem to the turban. (Ex. 29:6)

Maybe this represents Manning being declared the game’s MVP.

My path was drenched with cream and the rock poured out for me streams of olive oil. (Job 29:6)

This may represent the accolades he received after the game.

The LORD Almighty will come with thunder and earthquake and great noise, with windstorm and tempest and flames of a devouring fire. (Isaiah 29:6)

That’s more like it—some godly justice! God is obviously furious with the results of the game. I’ll bet he was a Patriots fan.

That’s a big claim appropriate for the year’s biggest game.

Still, I wondered if there was more. I realized my error when I converted yards into the biblical measure of cubits. There’s a bit of fuzziness in the definition of the cubit, and 296 yards becomes something in the range 511 to 518 cubits. Since Tebow’s quote is from the New Testament, let’s look there for verses in the range 5:11–18.

Mark 5:11–18 is the story of demons cast from a possessed man into 2000 pigs. In Luke, it’s the story of Jesus healing leprosy. In John, Jesus gets into trouble with the Jewish leaders because he heals on the Sabbath. James and 1 John both state that prayer heals sick people, and they make a causal connection between sin and sickness.

The message starts to take shape—something about mental and physical illness being caused by sin and demons.

The breakthrough came when I went back to the quarterback’s name—Eli Manning. That’s Elisha Manning. Of course—the Old Testament prophet Elisha! it wasn’t the New Testament but the Old Testament that had the clue. And there it was, in 2 Kings 5:11–18, the story of Naaman, a general from Aram (today’s central Syria), who had leprosy.

Naaman had heard of the power of the Yahweh and came to Israel for healing. Elisha commanded him to wash seven times in the Jordan. Naaman had expected some ordeal or fee and considered this a snub, but his servants persuaded him to give it a try, and sure enough, his leprosy was cured. Naaman realized the power of Yahweh and asked forgiveness when he would be obliged to bow before Rimmon (Baal) back in Syria. Elisha granted it, saying “Go in peace.”

The scales fell from my eyes. God’s message in this Super Bowl is that he can cure leprosy. Leprosy is now reliably treated with antibiotics, of course, so this isn’t especially relevant, but it’s good to know that God’s still concerned about diseases that have little or no impact on society today.

I know what Christian apologists will say about my analysis. They’ll say that this is arbitrary, that I’m just picking and choosing verses based on what I want to find, collecting ridiculous passages and ignoring the rest. They’ll say that the chapter and verse divisions are not divinely inspired, with the New Testament being divided into verses only in the 1500s. They’ll say that this entire analysis is nonsense, built on nothing solid.

And to that I say …

Busted! You got me. That’s exactly what I was doing. I was indeed picking verses with an agenda.

But then if it’s nonsense when I do it, why is it any more meaningful when Christians do it?

Photo credit: Catholic Online

About Bob Seidensticker
  • Rick Townsend

    It’s no different when you cherry pick verses than when anyone else does it. Wrong. See—we agree again! Christians don’t need to do this to answer your concerns, so if they do, feel free to point it out.

  • Retro

    Put the turban on his head and attach the sacred emblem to the turban. (Ex. 29:6)

    What do football players do? They put helmuts on their heads… and what do these helmuts have on them… EMBLEMS!!!

    Obviously this verse is a fulfilled prophecy about football. How, I ask you, could an Old Testament writer know about football when it hadn’t been invented yet?

    Take that all you athiestic jerks. Now you have all the proof you could ever hope for… believe now or burn forever in hell!!!

    • Bob Seidensticker

      Wow–I did not see that. The clairvoyance of biblical prophecy is new clear to me!

  • Retro

    Mark 5:11–18 is the story of demons cast from a possessed man into 2000 pigs…

    What are footballs made of… pigs.

    And there it was, in 2 Kings 5:11–18, the story of Naaman, a general from Aram (today’s central Syria), who had leprosy.

    What organ does leprosy affect… the skin.

    Put it together, and you have pig skin… EXACTLY what footballs are made of!!!

    Another fulfilled prophecy about football made by prophets who could not have known about football… CHECKMATE atheists!!!

  • Bob Calvan

    Wow! Are you two that bored? Sad.

    • Rick T

      They do seem to be having a mockery yuk-fest. Makes me very motivated to make a serious attempt to answer Bob S.’s questions about principles of Bible study. Think he’ll take that info seriously? I’m thinking there’s not much point.

      • Retro

        You think my prophetic interpretations are ridiculous, but I’m not really doing anything different than what Matthew did.

        The “prophecy” in Zechariah 9: 9 reads:

        Rejoice greatly, Daughter Zion!
        Shout, Daughter Jerusalem!
        See, your king comes to you,
        righteous and victorious,
        lowly and riding on a donkey,
        on a colt, the foal of a donkey.

        The other three gospels interpret it as meaning only one animal. Matthew, however, reads it as meaning two animals, and adjusts his gospel so it reads:

        Matt 21:2 “Go to the village ahead of you, and at once you will find a donkey tied there, with her colt by her. Untie them and bring them to me.

        Matt 21:7 They brought the donkey and the colt and placed their cloaks on them for Jesus to sit on.

        So then, what actually happened historically? One way or the other, someone was tweaking their gospel to fit the prediction…

  • Bob Calvan

    You think my prophetic interpretations are ridiculous, but I’m not really doing anything different than what Matthew did.

    Retro I have to work right now..But there is a simple answer to your alleged cantradiction. (which this is not) I will address it tonight. Here is a hint Look up “Telescoping” go to aomin.org.

    • Retro

      Bob C wrote: Here is a hint Look up “Telescoping” go to aomin.org.

      I looked it up, and here is what I found:

      http://www.aomin.org/aoblog/index.php?itemid=1334

      But there is a simple answer to your alleged cantradiction. (which this is not)

      My point is not that it is a contradiction, but rather that Matthew tweaked his gospel account to match the prophecy.

      Read Matthew’s quotation of Zech 9:9:

      ‘See, your king comes to you,
      gentle and riding on a donkey,
      and on a colt, the foal of a donkey.

      Notice it reads “AND on a colt”…

      Now read what Zech 9:9 actually says:

      See, your king comes to you,
      righteous and victorious,
      lowly and riding on a donkey,
      on a colt, the foal of a donkey.

      Notice, it doesn’t use the word “and”.

      Now then, if historically there were two animals, why did the other gospels only mention one? By mentioning only one animal, they were tweaking their gospel account to better fit the prophecy in their version of Zech 9:9.

      If historically there was only one animal, why would Matthew say there were two? By mentioning two animals, Matthew is tweaking his gospel account to better fit the prophecy to better fit his version of Zech 9:9.

      It is painfully obvious that the gospels accounts of this event were based on the written prophecy, and not the historical event.

      • Bob Seidensticker

        Zech 9:9 is an example of synonymous parallelism. Apparently, Matthew doesn’t get it (it actually only refers to one animal) and, determined to fulfill a “prophecy,” adapts his account so that Jesus was astride two animals. (Like a circus performer??)

        This is excellent evidence that the gospel writers weren’t historians but storytellers.


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