Failed Prophecy: Psalm 22

Psalm 22 is one of the most popular places to look for the supposed Old Testament prophecies fulfilled by the life of Jesus. Apologists claim that it closely parallels the crucifixion story but was written roughly 1000 years earlier.

The very first verse of this chapter is, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” which are the last words of Jesus according to Matthew and Mark.

Verse 7: “All who see me mock me; they hurl insults, shaking their heads. ‘He trusts in the Lord,’ they say, ‘Let the Lord rescue him.’” Sure enough, Mark records the onlookers insulting Jesus and mocking his inability to free himself.

Verse 16: “they have pierced my hands and my feet” sounds like the crucifixion. This form of execution was practiced by many cultures in the Ancient Near East for centuries before the time of Jesus, but it probably didn’t go back as far as the writing of this psalm. In that case, this verse looks prophetic.

Verse 18: “They divide my garments among them and cast lots for my clothing,” as noted in Mark.

A skeptical interpretation 

These are some clear parallels, but what best explains this—that this ancient psalm really did predict the crucifixion or that the gospel story was deliberately written to mimic a prophecy? The author of Mark was surely familiar with this psalm and could’ve added the distribution of the clothes, the mocking from the crowd, and the last words.

But what about the piercing of the hands and feet? It may not say that. A better translation may be, “like a lion they pin my hands and feet.” The NET Bible’s comment:

The psalmist may envision a lion pinning the hands and feet of its victim to the ground with its paws (a scene depicted in ancient Near Eastern art), or a lion biting the hands and feet.

Make that change and see what verse 16 says:

wild dogs surround me—
a gang of evil men crowd around me;
like a lion they pin my hands and feet.

No longer do we have a good parallel to the crucifixion story. (Let me note, however, that there are arguments for each interpretation of the verse.)

Let’s reconsider those last words: “My God, why have you forsaken me?” Does forsaking Jesus sound like part of God’s plan? This doesn’t sound like the cool-headed, in-control Jesus written about in Luke and John.

What it sounds like is Gnosticism (not in the Psalm, but when transplanted into the gospels). The Gnostic Gospel of Philip (third century) explains it this way, “‘My God, My God, why, lord, have you forsaken me?’ [Jesus] spoke these words on the cross, for he had left that place.” That is, Christ the god entered Jesus the man at baptism (remember the dove?) but then abandoned Jesus at the crucifixion.

What about the skipped verses?

Now consider the entire chapter. The apologetic claim rests on picking intriguing little fragments out of context, but taken as a whole this looks even less like the crucifixion story.

Verse 9: “Yet you brought me out of the womb; you made me trust in you”—again, this sounds like an ordinary man. The first person of the Trinity wouldn’t need to make the second person of the Trinity trust him.

Verse 12: “Many bulls surround me; strong bulls of Bashan [a place known for its cattle] encircle me. Roaring lions tearing their prey open their mouths wide against me.” Bulls and lions? That sounds like martyrdom in an arena, not crucifixion.

Verse 17: “I can count all my bones.” This unfortunate guy is clearly mistreated, but (again) this isn’t the gospel story.

Verse 20: “Deliver my life from the sword, my precious life from the power of the dogs. Rescue me from the mouth of the lions; save me from the horns of the wild oxen.” Ditto.

And the biggest problem with shoehorning of Psalm 22 into the gospel story is that there’s no reference to the resurrection! How can this be the story of the sacrifice of Jesus without the punch line?

See also: Failed Prophecy: Isaiah 53

To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason
is like administering medicine to the dead.
—  Thomas Paine

Photo credit: Wikipedia

About Bob Seidensticker
  • Isaac

    you didnt even mention verse 1,7-8, 15, or 18. The “prophetic” verses that you outlined are not widely accepted as prophetic. Demount the main prophetic verses before the lessers. then your argument will be better

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined/ Bob Seidensticker

      Isaac: You need to read a post thoroughly before making specific accusations. I think those verses are pretty much covered.

  • Jibby

    Matthew 2:15 and Hosea 11:1 are claimed as prophetic by most fundamentalists. The meaning of Hosea 11:1 isn’t prophetic but it is simply telling a history lesson of Israel deliverance from Egypt. Matthew tries to tie it in with Jesus leaving Egypt while as Hosea continues, Hosea writes that Israel worshipped idols in verse 2 or 3. If this is so that means Jesus supposedly worshipped idols, as it appears. Mathew 2:15 can’t be a fulfillment of Hosea 11:1.

  • Mark

    as also in all his epistles, speaking in
    them of these things, in which are some
    things hard to understand, which
    untaught and unstable people twist to
    their own destruction, as they do also the
    rest of the Scriptures.

  • J.hop

    Make that change and see what verse 16 says:

    wild dogs surround me—
    a gang of evil men crowd around me;
    like a lion they pin my hands and feet.

    No longer do we have a good parallel to the crucifixion story.

    Really??? I’m pretty sure if a lion pins your feet (or mauls/bites your feet) your skin is going to be pierced. A gang of evil men (Roman soldiers) surround me and like a lion they pin (instead of actual lion claws they use nails) my hands and feet. Sounds prophetic to me. It is always interesting to hear another “intellectual” try to disprove the Bible and fail like so many others over the past few thousand years. I wonder if the Bible was really just a book of tall tales and folk lore, would people put so much energy into trying to disprove it… probably not. The Bible is the divinely inspired word of God. It is 100% true, accurate, and complete.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

      How bad does a “prophecy” have to be before you agree that it’s not a prophecy? I imagine that we’re equally skeptical of non-Christian prophecies. That God needs you to prop up these texts as prophecies doesn’t say much for the truth of Christianity.

      Why is it so hard to imagine a good prophecy? Write down yourself a paragraph summarizing the crucifixion and resurrection. That is what a prophecy would look like (along with unambiguous indications of the date). Not hard for an omniscient god, right?

      As for your bafflement at why non-Christians care about Christianity, Christianity has an impact on the world, and not always for good.

    • Kidder

      If this is prophetic and is referring to Jesus then it needs to be a direct unambiguous claim so that we don’t get confused by everyone’s opinion. Since there isn’t any, you have to take it at face value. So if it’s David writing the psalm then the psalm is referring the one who wrote it. David was a poet, so of course he’s wasn’t, literally, meaning every word he said. There’s no claim of a prophecy, therefore, it isn’t a prophecy.

  • Dr Jon

    Atheism has left you a bitter, purposeless man. Oh, you do have purpose, to make everyone else as bitter as you. Guess we’ll all find out after we die. Good luck with that one!

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

      I don’t have an absolute purpose (do you?) but I have plenty of purpose. I assign it myself.

      What happens after we die? And how do you know?

  • Lesli Spice

    Actually the Hebrew could be interpreted eithey way – both valid “like a lion” is a possible choice but it is not the better choice because it does not make sense in the context and your opinion that it is “better” does not make it so.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

      I didn’t say that it was better. I say that it may be better.

      And why reject the lion interpretation? The translators at the NET Bible have no problem with it. They say that a lion standing on someone’s hands and feet was depicted in art. Sounds like a scary image.

      Anyway, your points are quibbles. The conclusion remains: Ps. 22 is no prophecy of the crucifixion and resurrection.

  • Lesli Spice

    The lion interpretion makes less sense in the context. It is also just your opinion on whether or not Ps. 22 is a prophecy of the crucifixion and resurrection. You are free to be an unbeliever. But you spend energy to try to convice others of your opinion. Why not just accept it as a valid possibility? You hurt yourself.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

      The lion interpretion makes less sense in the context.

      Oh? And what’s the context?

      If you say that it’s the premonition of the crucifixion of Jesus, then you’ve revealed your biases.

      It is also just your opinion on whether or not Ps. 22 is a prophecy of the crucifixion and resurrection.

      Well, it’s my evaluation of the evidence. You have a different evaluation? Show me, but address the point that if a “prophecy” this vague and nonspecific and off-target from another religion were shown to you, you’d reject it just like I do in the Christian case.

      Why not just accept it as a valid possibility?

      Accept what? That Ps. 22 is a prophecy or that Jesus is the son of God?

      • Lesli Spice

        I believe in Jesus Christ. I am a sinner, I believe in the salvation of Jesus Christ, and that he willingly came to earth to die for our sins and to show us there is eternal life. I am a believer. I have bias. However, unless I am incorrect, you portray youself as someone who is objective without bias. You deceive yourself.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          We all have biases, but we don’t correct for those biases in the same way.

          Did you have more to say about the questions in my previous comment?

      • Lesli Spice

        Acknowledge that there are two acceptable interpretations in Psalm 22 according to the Hebrew language. It is correct to say “like a lion” my hands and feet and it is correct to say “They have pierced my hands and feet”

        As for evidence, see

        Isaiah 53:5 But he was wounded because of our crimes,crushed because of our sins;the disciplining that makes us whole fell on him,and by his bruises we are healed.

        see Zechariah 12:10 and I will pour out on the house of
        David and on those living in Yerushalayim a spirit of grace and
        prayer;and they will look to me, whom they pierced.”

        They will mourn for him as one mourns for an only son;
        they will be in bitterness on his behalf like the bitterness for a
        firstborn son.

        Matthew 27:35 – After they had nailed him to the stake, they divided his clothes among them by throwing dice.

        Luke 23:34 – Yeshua said, “Father, forgive them; they don’t
        understand what they are doing.”

        John 3:16

        For God so loved the world that he gave his only and unique Son, so that everyone who trusts in him may have eternal life, instead of being utterly destroyed.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Acknowledge that there are two acceptable interpretations in Psalm 22 according to the Hebrew language

          Can’t do that. I’m not aware enough of the scholarship. I’m happy to go with the consensus on this one.

          As for evidence, see
          Isaiah 53:5

          Huh? How is Isaiah evidence in support of a psalm?

          As for that chapter, I didn’t think much of that “prophecy” either. See my smackdown here.

          You’d laugh at someone else giving you “prophecies” from their religion that were equally shallow.

  • Mickadilly

    “they will come and tell about his saving deeds; they will tell a future generation what he has accomplished.” This is at the end of Psalm 22. The Psalmist is talking of what God has accomplished of course. This seems to hint at the salvation offered through Christ to me. You may say that there is not a hint at the Resurrection but I think this is. The Psalmist says in his suffering, God answered him and then he talks about this amazing plan that will be rejoiced about for generations to come. That is a hint to me that this is prophetic. Not to mention, when Jesus uttered those last words, he and every religious scholar knew them…it was a well known scripture. Jesus was saying the title of psalm as though to fulfill the prophesy and affirm that what David wrote has indeed taken place just now. These guys talk about references to the “Lion” translation too—>>>https://www.christiancourier.com/articles/441-does-psalm-22-prophesy-the-crucifixion-of-christ

  • Mickadilly

    Also, it mentions how “all the nations will join in the celebration…” So…gentiles too? The saving grace for the world is mentioned. The Jews were the chosen ones….they stayed away from gentiles and abhorred them…but if all the earth is to join in the celebration….it just doesn’t add up to the cultural view of gentiles at the time. For all they knew, gentiles were damned forever. That also makes this Psalm seem to hint at Christ. Christ came for us all. Gentile and Jew.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

      You’re saying that, taken as a whole, the evidence points unambiguously to this being a prophecy of Jesus?

  • Maxximiliann

    “The Messiah would be pierced, but his bones would not be broken. Inhabitants of Jerusalem would “look to the One whom they pierced through.” (Zech. 12:10) And Psalm 34:20 states: “[God] is guarding all the bones of that one; not one of them has been broken.” Confirming these points, the apostle John wrote: “One of the soldiers jabbed his [Jesus’] side with a spear, and immediately blood and water came out. And he that has seen it [John] has borne witness, and his witness is true . . . These things took place in order for the scripture to be fulfilled: ‘Not a bone of his will be crushed.’ And, again, a different scripture says: ‘They will look to the One whom they pierced.’”—John 19:33-37.

    This ties in nicely with the imagery we read at Psalms 22:16. As always, context is king.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

      Is something remarkable here?

      • Maxximiliann

        I hear ‘ya. After all anybody can regularly predict specific future events dozens and dozens if not hundreds of years well in advance of their taking place with pinpoint accuracy ..

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          And yet you’ve yet to show this to us once. I’d have thought that, this being such a big deal for you, you’d have some slam-dunk evidence. Unfortunately, that Experience Project link was quite weak.

        • Maxximiliann

          Adversus solem ne loquitor.

          Which is why you’ve refuted the mountain of evidence presented in its totality … oh … wait …

          Time to put up or …

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          I have a long blog post, remember? If you have found flaws, point them out for all to see.

        • Maxximiliann

          Remember this http://bit.ly/1197U6R? Where’s your refutation? (Notice I said refutation not pusillanimous hand waving)

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Remember how I asked you for the best argument? And you gave it to me. And I responded.

        • islandbrewer

          Off topic, (apologies Bob, but I just wanted to catch attention), but may as well mention it here. In honor of you, Joseph O Polanco, and your JoHo sensibilities, I’m going down to the Red Cross to donate blood, today.

          That blood (most common, A+, they’re always calling me to donate more) will be put into a stranger’s veins in order to save their life.

          It’s great! It’s one of the simplest most efficient ways to make a huge life saving impact on others’ lives.

          I encourage anyone and everyone who is capable of donating to do so, in your name, Joseph O Polanco.

          If you don’t like the Red Cross for whatever reason, there are hospital and University blood centers where you can donate, too.

    • MNb

      Great. Now let’s look a bit further.

      Zech 12:9 “And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem.”
      That didn’t exactly happen between 30 CE and 40 CE, did it? In 70 CE rather the contrary …. If this is a prophecy the jews are right – the messias hasn’t come yet. You should reconvert.

      • TheNuszAbides

        weasel words! “seek to destroy” – obviously the ~seeking~ is ongoing.
        …of course, they turned that into a problem when they made all-seeing, all-knowing, all-powerful etc. ‘documented fact’ rather than just something you say to Him to stay on His good Side…

  • Rocky Ramirez

    The are a few flaws with this article. First, both christian tradition and scripture affirms the complete humanity of Jesus. Consequently, a christian would not find and do not find anything inconsistent with the text speaking of him as a normal human. Second, your “better translation” analysis of verse 16 is just wrong in light of recent findings. It is not a translation issue, it is the text used to translate the passage. The text used by modern Jews does not have “pierced” in it but the Septuagint, an ancient translation of the text into Greek does as well as a Hebrew fragment associated with the dead sea scrolls http://www.torahresource.com/EnglishArticles/Ps22.16.pdf. Consequently, the oldest Hebrew text available (about 50 B.C.) as well as a earlier translation (250 B.C.) both say “pierced”. The issue has been settled. For obvious reason those who rejected Jesus tampered with the text.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

      First, both christian tradition and scripture affirms the complete humanity of Jesus.

      Adoptionistic humanity? Where Jesus was an ordinary guy (though perhaps much more godly than average) who was converted into the role of being Christ?

      This isn’t the typical party line within Christianity.

      the oldest Hebrew text available (about 50 B.C.) as well as a earlier translation (250 B.C.) both say “pierced”.

      Are you consistent here with favoring the older Hebrew text over the Septuagint? Or do you jump around, depending on which has the interpretation you favor?

      If the former, I imagine you reject the virgin birth story, seeing Isaiah 7 as referring to a “maiden” rather than a “virgin”?

      But back to Ps. 22. The fact remains that (1) this is a very poor description of the passion story and (2) the gospel writers were quite familiar with the psalm, and we must assume that they added details from the psalm to their writing rather than that this was some sort of magical fulfillment of prophecy.

      • Rocky Ramirez

        In response to my first point, I am not talking about adoptionism, I am talking about the hypostatic union (i.e. Jesus is complete human and fully God). So although you may have a hard time with this teaching, it is the orthodox understanding and tradition. As far as the oldest text, I think you are mistaken on the “typical party line within Christianity”. Most Christians would trust the oldest text. Isaiah 7 is another story and off topic. The oldest Hebrew text and the oldest translation of it without question say “pierced”. So, the facts are that your implication that (if I understand you correctly) they manipulated the text is impossible. The text in question per-dated their existence. In addition, if you are saying that the crusifiction itself is invented by the writers of the Gospels then you would be in denial of accepted non christian historians; both modern and ancient. So, this is a clear example of prophesy that pre-dated christians and Christ himself by 100’s or as most would agree over a 1000 years and anyone who reads it can clearly see it foretelling Jesus’ death.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          I am not talking about adoptionism

          You may not be, but you need an adoptionistic view to pull in Ps. 22 as relevant to the gospel story.

          although you may have a hard time with this teaching, it is the orthodox understanding and tradition.

          Fair enough. Then reject the adoptionistic flavor of Ps. 22 as a premonition of the passion narrative.

          Most Christians would trust the oldest text.

          Sounds like a smart policy. I’m simply asking you to be consistent.

          Isaiah 7 is another story and off topic.

          Yes, it is another story, but it’s a test of your consistency.

          if you are saying that the crusifiction itself is invented by the w riters o f the Gospels then you would be in denial of accepted non christian historians

          I make no such claim.

          this is a clear example of prophesy that pre-dated christians and Christ himself by 100’s or as most would agree over a 1000 years and anyone who reads it can clearly see it foretelling Jesus’ death.

          And by ignoring my entire argument, you win! Unfortunately, if you actually read it, you’ll see that overwhelming problems remain. No, this is no instance of fulfilled prophecy.

        • Rocky Ramirez

          Although you may have difficulty seeing the passion narrative being consistent with the hypostatic union, I don’t and neither does the rest of Christendom. In fact this makes perfect sense. Seeing the passion narrative here does not demand adoptionism at all. I do believe the oldest text is the best in all cases including Is 7. Again, even here like before,I think you are missing the real argument. That said, you do concede that the word “pierced” is the proper translation, correct?

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          you may have difficulty seeing the passion narrative being consistent with the hypostatic union

          Huh? That’s not the point. The point is that Ps. 22 is no foretelling of the passion narrative.

          Seeing the passion narrative here does not demand adoptionism at all.

          Then respond to my points arguing that it does.

          I do believe the oldest text is the best in all cases including Is 7.

          Sounds good. I like consistency.

          I think you are missing the real argument.

          Since I picked the argument and wrote the post, that’s surprising. If there’s a different topic, which I missed in my post, point that out.

          That said, you do consed that the word “pierced” is the proper translation, correct?

          Incorrect. I didn’t just make up that interpretation about lions but gave the citation for the Bible source for it. Not a bunch of liberal loonies.

          As I hope was clear from the post, I’m hardly saying that only one interpretation is possible.

        • Rocky Ramirez

          I understand that we disagree with this being a foretelling of the future and that is fine. To an unbiased reader, I think it is clear. When I said “the real argument” I was referring to Is 7. Everyone agrees that the oldest text is correct. In that case it the argument is over the translation of the word. Anyway, back to the topic. I know that the Wikipedia article you sited gives a lot of differing translations but it did not consider the new evidence from the dead sea scroll that says “pierced”. It predates all of the Hebrew text the Wikipedia article uses by 100’s of years (and in my opinion shows that the Septuagint translators had it correct all along). So then, will you concede that you are being inconsistent since you said that trusting the oldest text “Sounds like a smart policy”?

        • Rocky Ramirez

          Let me address some of your other arguments that you feel diminish the prophetic nature of the text.

          First, saying that the Gospel authors would have known about the Psalm and simply wrote what they knew the text said would happen would be an argument that would be made for any prophesy, if, for the sake of argument it was a prophesy. So, real prophesy or fake, you could make the same argument. So, by themselves those particular points don’t do much for us 2000 years after.

          Second, This is why the piercing of the hands and feet verse is critical. This is one thing, the crusifiction, that is historical fact and is evident from extra biblical evidence. Since this is something that happened and was foretold hundreds of years before that form of execution was used, it is powerful evidence for its prophetic nature and validates the rest of the text.

          Third, Let me address the individual verses you have a problem with.
          V.9 Jesus was a real man fully human. So describing his birth seems like a non-issue

          V.12 Here, you fail to understand that poetic nature of the psalm. This is a metaphor of his executors and enemies and what they are doing to him.

          V.17 Jesus’ bones were not broken when he was executed

          V.18 Same as verse 12

          As an atheist, you have a strong desire for this not to be prophetic so it is clear why it is so hard for you to see the obvious. If you were to read this chapter to a non-christian who is also not an atheist and ask him what this was describing or what it was about, as long as they were familiar with the execution of Jesus, they would say that it was Jesus.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          saying that the Gospel authors would have known about the Psalm and simply wrote what they knew the text said would happen would be an argument that would be made for any prophesy,

          Huh? My point is that a valid prophecy would not give the author of the fulfillment a chance to know the prophecy beforehand. That’s why the gospels fail in any claim for prophecy.

          This is one thing, the crusifiction, that is historical fact and is evident from extra biblical evidence. Since this is something that happened and was foretold hundreds of years before that form of execution was used, it is powerful evidence for its prophetic nature and validates the rest of the text.

          Let me get this straight. You read “they pierce my hands and feet,” and you know with certainty that they’re referring to crucifixion?

          Third, Let me address the individual verses you have a problem with.

          Imagine that you give Ps. 22 to a neutral observer who hasn’t heard the gospel story. You say that this is a prophecy, and you ask him what it’s a prophecy of. You’re telling me that he could give a recreation of the passion narrative with nothing extraneous? The burial, the empty tomb, and (of course) the resurrection?

          I doubt it.

          V.9 Jesus was a real man fully human. So describing his birth seems like a non-issue

          You need to address the point squarely. Go back and read it.

          V.12 Here, you fail to understand that poetic nature of the psalm. This is a metaphor of his executors and enemies and what they are doing to him.

          And you fail to understand that “pierce hands and feet” is poetic license to mean something completely different. Oh … no, wait a minute. That one is to be taken literally.

          I’m confused …

          V.17 Jesus’ bones were not broken when he was executed

          Sure, you can jam it to fit your presupposition. But that’s not what it says.

          As an atheist, you have a strong desire for this not to be prophetic

          As a freethinker, I have a strong desire to let it speak for itself without presupposition.

          If you were to read this chapter to a non-christian who is also not an atheist and ask him what this was describing or what it was about, as long as they were familiar with the execution of Jesus, they would say that it was Jesus.

          (1) No, they wouldn’t. They would see the same differences I do. (2) Your “as long as” qualifier is telling. No one could recreate the passion narrative from this.

          I guess it’s not much of a prophecy then.

        • Rocky Ramirez

          In response, let me start by saying that the level of evidence needed in order to prove something is different for everyone. There is always room for some doubt. However, if you raise the level of proof to be one that excluded any doubt then you have raised the level of proof to an impossibility and make it clear that you have another standard for the issue at hand. This is not what I would call a “freethinker” and I am becoming convinced that you have done this with this subject. However, let me attempt to address what you have said.

          Huh? My point is that a valid prophecy would not give the author
          of the fulfillment a chance to know the prophecy beforehand. That’s why
          the gospels fail in any claim for prophecy.

          First, If people to whom the prophesy was made were at the same time unaware of the prophesy itself, the prophesy would go fulfilled but unnoticed. It would have to be well known by a large group of people to be able to identify its fulfillment. This was not a time of mass media like today. If the authors made up the details of the crusifiction, they would have been called on it by their contemporaries who were there at the time. When the Gospels were written, there were many witnesses still alive. I am sure that you are unable to produce any evidence for this.

          Let me get this straight. You read “they pierce my hands and feet,” and
          you know with certainty that they’re referring to crucifixion?

          Um…yes. Can you find some doubt…sure but even you said “In that case, this verse looks prophetic”. Then you incorrectly said it was a mistranslation for obvious reasons. The fact that you would use an old argument that has been proven wrong, not only shows how troubling this verse is to you but it’s complication to your view is evident by your admission that “it looks prophetic”.

          Imagine that you give Ps. 22 to a neutral observer who hasn’t heard the
          gospel story. You say that this is a prophecy, and you ask him what it’s
          a prophecy of. You’re telling me that he could give a recreation
          of the passion narrative with nothing extraneous? The burial, the empty
          tomb, and (of course) the resurrection?

          I did not say that it would be evident to the unbiased person that it was prophesy, only that Psalms 22 was a description of the crucifiction. If you were to tell that unbiased person after they identified Psalms 22 that it was written well before Jesus existed, that MAY convince them that it is prophesy. “The burial, the empty
          tomb, and (of course) the resurrection?” is not relevant to this chapter.

          And you fail to understand that “pierce hands and feet” is poetic
          license to mean something completely different. Oh … no, wait a minute. That one is to be taken literally.

          Let me say that your condensation is unbecoming of an armature attempting to take on a craft without any formal training. Even though, let me say that even an amateur attempting a hermeneutics exercise in this genre of literature will see your intellectual dishonesty since the “lions” and “dogs” were previously qualified as “evildoers”.

          Honestly, the individual verses you have problems with are in my opinion insignificant to the issue.

          The real question is the translation of “pierced” because, even as you have admitted “In that case, this verse looks prophetic”. With the clear evidence that is available, will you at least concede that the correct translation of the oldest Hebrew manuscript and the oldest translation should be “pierced” or concede that you are inconstant with your statement that the practice of trusting the oldest text “Sounds like a smart policy”.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          if you raise the level of proof to be one that excluded any doubt then you have raised the level of proof to an impossibility and make it clear that you have another standard for the issue at hand. This is not what I would call a “freethinker”

          I am asking for precisely the kind of evidence for the bold claim of prophecy that you would demand from someone from another religion. The one who seems to have the double standard is you.

          You’re telling me that when some guy from another religion tells you that a prophet in his religion made an accurate prophecy, but you find out that the prophet had read the prophecy before writing about the fulfillment, you’re going to agree that that was an accurate prophecy?

          I write here about what makes a good prophecy. I think you’ll agree that they’re good rules (at least when we apply them to the other guy—you may not like them applied to Christianity).

          If people to whom the prophesy was made were at the same time unaware of the prophesy itself, the prophesy would go fulfilled but unnoticed.

          Person A makes the prophecy. Then person B (who we know hasn’t read the prophecy) documents the fulfillment. Then person C makes the connection.

          No, it’s not hard. If person B knows about the prophecy, how can we trust his claims of fulfillment? How do we know that he didn’t just rewrite the prophecy, claim that it just happened, and lie about the fulfillment?

          If the authors made up the details of the crusifiction

          I don’t argue that it was invented. I argue that it’s legend.

          they would have been called on it by their contemporaries who were there at the time.

          The Naysayer Hypothesis fails.

          When the Gospels were written, there were many witnesses still alive.

          So you assume that it all happened as documented? I thought that the truth of the gospel claim is what we’re trying to figure out.

          you incorrectly said it was a mistranslation for obvious reasons.

          What are the “obvious reasons”? That I’m a liar and must twist the facts to invent a case?

          So you’re sure that it’s a mistranslation? Is this unanimous among scholars? Since I got that analysis from the NET Bible, I think not.

          The fact that you would use an old argument that has been proven wrong, not only shows how troubling this verse is to you

          Can we drop this? It’s hardly central to my argument.

          I did not say that it would be evident to the unbiased person that it was prophesy, only that Psalms 22 was a description of the crucifiction.

          So you’re saying that Ps. 22 is a retrodiction—a prophecy in hindsight. That the original audience wouldn’t know the actual meaning. Is that right?

          Sounds like Nostradamus or the Bible Code—always right but useless for predicting anything about the future.

          “The burial, the empty tomb, and (of course) the resurrection?” is not relevant to this chapter.

          Yeah, good point. I’ve always thought that the point of the passion narrative was, “Jesus got his ass kicked.” That whole resurrection and conquering death thing is really overblown.

          Let me say that your condensation is unbecoming of an armature attempting to take on a craft without any formal training.

          I was using sarcasm to make a point, not to mock.

          your intellectual dishonesty since the “lions” and “dogs” were previously qualified as “evildoers”.

          Dishonesty is a bold charge that I don’t much care for. Prove it or withdraw it.

          The real question is the translation of “pierced” because, even as you have admitted “In that case, this verse looks prophetic”.

          In stage magic, this is called “misdirection.” You don’t have an argument, but you want to focus on the one small point that you think is in your favor. As I’ve made clear, we can dismiss this point. Obviously, my argument doesn’t stand on just this.

        • Rocky Ramirez

          First, I do see myself as an open minded person and if some demonstrated a prophesy from another religion and I determined that there was little doubt about it’s validity, I would defiantly be compelled to examine the religious claims. I do not have a double standard here.

          While I for the most part agree with your “good prophesy” standard (although I disagree with some of your Biblical examples), I do think that this particular prophesy is a “good prophesy”. I was encouraged to see you use a sort of formula (A,B,C thing) as a way of reasoning the issue. There are two problems with it though. First, you assume that it is the only formula that will demonstrate sufficient evidence to “prove” a prophesy. Second, in a philosophical debate, the proper format one should use is a syllogism. Although what you do with your A,B,C formula is close to doing that it is incomplete. Let me give you an example.

          A. If crucifixion became a method of execution around 100 B.C.

          B. And at about 900 B.C. a religious figure was predicted to suffer by crucifixion.

          C. Then in 33 A.D. Jesus was executed by crucifixion

          D. Therefore, Jesus’ crucifixion was successfully predicted

          In this case, non-christians (Romans/Jews) fulfilled the prophesy and executed Jesus and non-christians recorded it (Romans, Tacitus/Jews, Josephus).

          Now, while you may argue that the Gospel writers may have written in the details around the crucifixion from what they know the Psalm to say, they had no control over the form of execution; crucifixion.

          Consequently, if Psalms 22 foretells crucifixion, it becomes convincing evidence that it is Jesus is the subject of Psalms 22.

          Now, let me address some other things in your response.

          Dishonesty is a bold charge that I don’t much care for. Prove it or withdraw it.

          I assumed that the average individual would be able to notice what I would perceive to be a clear qualifier “evildoers”. If this is not true in your case, I withdraw the dishonesty charge.

          What are the “obvious reasons”? That I’m a liar and must twist the facts to invent a case?

          Okay, maybe not so obvious because I can’t read either your heart or mind. However, from the way you are avoiding being confronted by the evidence I have provided, I would say at the very least you are not twisting but ignoring the facts.

          So you’re sure that it’s a mistranslation? Is this unanimous among scholars? Since I got that analysis from the NET Bible, I think not.

          First of all, I am sure that the translation is correct. The problem is that those who translate that passage who do not translate it as pierced are using Hebrew text from around the 800’s instead of the Dead Sea Scrolls (50 B.C.). ALL of the oldest texts say “pierced”. Second, nothing is unanimous among scholars and blind faith in the study notes of the NET Bible is silly for any serious discussion. I am sure you do not take everything they say as “Gospel” so I hope you are not conveniently picking the things you like and dismissing those you don’t…for the sake of consistency.

          Consequently, I will not drop this topic because, as you said regarding v.16 “In that case, this verse looks prophetic” and I would agree. So, the real question is the translation of “pierced” because, even as you again have admitted “In that case, this verse looks prophetic”.

          Now, let me challenge you again with hopes that you address this seriously. With the clear evidence that is available, will you at least concede that the correct translation of the OLDEST Hebrew manuscript should be “pierced” or concede that you are inconstant with your statement that the practice of trusting the oldest text “Sounds like a smart policy”.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          if some demonstrated a prophesy from another religion and I determined that there was little doubt about it’s validity, I would defiantly be compelled to examine the religious claims.

          That’s great to hear, but it doesn’t address the question. You seemed to imagine that the gospel approach to prophecy (where the documenter of the fulfillment already knows about the “prophecy”) is OK within Christianity. Now I’m asking you to be consistent and accept the same crappy evidence from someone else.

          B. And at about 900 B.C. a religious figure was predicted to suffer by crucifixion.

          This is the sticky one. “They pierced my hands and feet” isn’t quite the same as “they crucified him.” You just pierce someone’s hands and feet, and you don’t get the choking death that is crucifixion’s hallmark.

          non-christians recorded it (Romans, Tacitus/Jews, Josephus).

          Non-Christians recorded what? The crucifixion? Remind me what you’re referring to here—this doesn’t sound familiar to me.

          Now, while you may argue that the Gospel writers may have written in the details around the crucifixion from what they know the Psalm to say, they had no control over the form of execution; crucifixion.

          The gospel writers wrote down the crucifixion, too. The crucifixion was part of the story. Why assume that it was true?

          I assumed that the average individual would be able to notice what I would perceive to be a clear qualifier “evildoers”. If this is not true in your case, I withdraw the dishonesty charge.

          Prove or withdraw.

          from the way you are avoiding being confronted by the evidence I have provided, I would say at the very least you are not twisting but ignoring the facts.

          Wow—it’s not hard. (1) I don’t much care about the “lion pinning my hands and feet” bit. It’s not central to my argument, so stop focusing on it. (2) The evidence you provide argues that the lion interpretation isn’t the only one. It even suggests that it may not be the best one. Fine. I argued simply that it is a possible interpretation given by New Testament scholars.

          First of all, I am sure that the translation is correct.

          Cool! Tell those idiots at the NET Bible and we’ll all be on the same page. For some reason, they think there’s another interpretation.

          blind faith in the study notes of the NET Bible is silly for any serious discussion

          Uh, yeah. Obviously.

          I am sure you do not take everything they say as “Gospel”

          I wonder then at the chiding in the previous sentence.

          Consequently, I will not drop this topic because, as you said regarding v.16

          Why? It’s a tangent? Your focus on this small point says that that’s about all that you’ve got. Do you concede the rest of my points? If not, I suggest that you focus on that part of your argument, because it’s crumbled.

        • Rocky Ramirez

          That’s great to hear, but it doesn’t address the question. You seemed to imagine that the gospel approach to prophecy (where the documenter of the fulfillment already knows about the “prophecy”) is OK within Christianity.

          This could be acceptable if the documenter had no power to bring self fulfillment (State crucifixion)of the prophesy and was not a part in fulfilling the prophesy (Romans/Jewish leadership).

          And at about 900 B.C. a religious figure was predicted to suffer by crucifixion.

          This is the sticky one. “They pierced my hands and feet” isn’t quite the same as “they crucified him.” You just pierce someone’s hands and feet, and you don’t get the choking death that is crucifixion’s hallmark.

          I disagree. The word crucifixion is not used but I would contend that it is a clear description of it. Even you said regarding vs.16 that, “In that case, this verse looks prophetic”. I know it is hard to escape you’re own previous conclusion but in this case I gladly agree with it. Although you try to invalidating that conclusion with an erroneous diatribe on the word “pierced” in the text, If you asked the average person on the street what you think happened to a person if you say their hands and feet were pierced, i would confidently assert that they would likely say that is sounds like crucifixion.

          Let me just clarify my point about the historicity of the crucifixion. All I am saying is that, apart from the Gospel writers, the crucifixion of Jesus is a historic certainty. It is one thing about Jesus that historians, for the most part, are universally agreed upon and is a presupposition of my syllogism. (If you do not accept Jesus’ crucifixion as a historic event, let me know because I do not want to waist my time with a person who should not be taken seriously)

          A. If crucifixion became a method of execution around 100 B.C.

          B. And at about 900 B.C. a religious figure was predicted to suffer by crucifixion.

          C. Then in 33 A.D. Jesus was executed by crucifixion

          D. Therefore, Jesus’ crucifixion was successfully predicted

          I assumed that the average individual would be able to notice what I would perceive to be a clear qualifier “evildoers”. If this is not true in your case, I withdraw the dishonesty charge.

          Prove or withdraw.

          Before I decide what to do here, please clarify. Are you saying that you think the author of the Psalm is talking about literal wild beast or do you think he is making use of a metaphor to describe the previous qualifier “evildoers”?

          Cool! Tell those idiots at the NET Bible and we’ll all be on the same page. For some reason, they think there’s another interpretation.

          The “idiots” you refer to did not have the newly discovered dead sea scroll to decide what word is best to translate. However, if even now they contend that “pierced” is not the correct word here, I would question their motives for 1. Ignoring new evidence and 2. being in a small minority of modern scholarship.

          Consequently, I will not drop this topic because, as you said regarding v.16

          Why? It’s a tangent? Your focus on this small point says that that’s about all that you’ve got. Do you concede the rest of my points? If not, I suggest that you focus on that part of your argument, because it’s crumbled.

          First, I have already conceded that most of your other points are historic possibilities (without agreeing that they are historic realities). Second, it is verse 16 that demonstrates the prophetic nature of this verse as you also concluded when you said “In that case, this verse looks prophetic”. Consequently, it is your argument that crumbles in light of verse 16. Therefore, I will challenge you again with hopes that you will this time address this seriously. With the clear evidence that is available, will you at least concede that the correct translation of the OLDEST Hebrew manuscript should be “pierced” or concede that you are inconstant with your statement that the practice of trusting the oldest text “Sounds like a smart policy”.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          (You need to make clear any material of mine with quotes or the HTML blockquote operators.)

          This could be acceptable if the documenter had no power to bring self fulfillment

          Absolutely not. Person A writes the prophecy, and person B writes the fulfillment after reading the prophecy from person A. You don’t see a glaring problem here? You’d be OK with this “fulfillment” from someone else’s religion?

          The word crucifixion is not used but I would contend that it is a clear description of it.

          Show it to an independent third party, unfamiliar with crucifixion, and see if they describe someone hanging by his hands on a cross.

          Seriously, this is the depths you sink to to support the contention that God exists? Shouldn’t alarm bells be ringing that God should be able to do better than this if he actually is as fabulous as they say he is? You’re shoring up a truly crappy claim of prophecy.

          apart from the Gospel writers, the crucifixion of Jesus is a historic certainty.

          OK, that’s a clear and bold claim. Good for you for not being vague. What’s your evidence?

          If you do not accept Jesus’ crucifixion as a historic event, let me know because I do not want to waist my time with a person who should not be taken seriously

          The gospels are the end result of decades of oral history. Did Jesus actually exist and actually get crucified? Maybe. Doesn’t much matter to me. You’re looking down the wrong end of a telescope trying to find what actually happened, and that’s when the gospels were just written! 2000 years later, with who knows what kinds of modifications, we’re in no position to say with any certainty what happened, let alone conclude that the miracles happened.

          B. And at about 900 B.C. a religious figure was predicted to suffer by crucifixion.

          We have very poor evidence of this claim, as I’ve made clear.

          D. Therefore, Jesus’ crucifixion was successfully predicted

          You prefer the low-hanging fruit than tackling the tough parts, but you really should consider the big picture if you have any interest in actually addressing the problem honestly. Ps. 22 is a poor description of the passion narrative.

          This is trivial to see. Imagine giving Ps. 22 to one person who knows nothing of the Jesus story, and have them summarize it. Next, have another person (also knowing nothing of the Jesus tory) summarize the passion story in one of the gospels. Then have the people swap summaries and ask them if these are roughly the same story.

          Before I decide what to do here, please clarify.

          OK, I will: avoid charging someone with lying unless the evidence is clear. This helps us stay on topic.

          The “idiots” you refer to did not have the newly discovered dead sea scroll to decide what word is best to translate.

          Huh?? I’m almost certain that they did. This is a recent project.

          I would question their motives for 1. Ignoring new evidence and 2. being in a small minority of modern scholarship.

          Question away. I’ve already given you a link. Shine a harsh light on this corrupt project!

          Second, it is verse 16 that demonstrates the prophetic nature of this verse as you also concluded when you said “In that case, this verse looks prophetic”.

          Wow—you certainly are vindictive. Enjoy. I’ve said all that I can about my approach and the sources.

          So Ps. 22 isn’t interesting. What’s interesting is Ps. 22:16 and only that verse? My approach is quite different. The claim is that Ps. 22 is a prophetic summary of the passion narrative. It’s not, and the omission of the resurrection is the most obvious clue.

        • Rocky Ramirez

          Join the discussion…

          My Closing Arguments

          “Absolutely not. Person A writes the prophecy, and person B
          writes the fulfillment after reading the prophecy from person A. You don’t see
          a glaring problem here? You’d be OK with this “fulfillment” from someone else’s
          religion?”

          This is not the example I give,
          either in my syllogism or in any of my illustrations. So no, the example you
          gave is not one I would be okay with. Let me use your example to hopefully
          explain what I am contending.

          Person A. the Psalmist, writes a
          prophecy that describes what you initially said “sounds like the crucifixion”
          and “looks prophetic” in verse 16, hundreds of years before crucifixion was
          employed.

          Person B. The Roman government,
          about 800 years later, devises crucifixion as an execution method who, along
          with the Jewish leadership fulfill the prophecy by crucifying Jesus.

          Person C. The followers of the
          crucified Jesus make the connection.

          And again, my argument using a
          syllogism:

          A. If crucifixion became a method
          of execution around 100 B.C.

          B. And at about 900 B.C. a
          religious figure was predicted to suffer by crucifixion.

          C. Then in 33 A.D. Jesus was
          executed using crucifixion by his religious and political enemies.

          D. Therefore, Jesus’ crucifixion
          was successfully predicted

          This type of prophecy is a valid
          one that demands serious consideration despite its religious denomination.

          “The gospels are the end result of decades of oral history. Did
          Jesus actually exist and actually get crucified? Maybe. Doesn’t much matter to
          me. You’re looking down the wrong end of a telescope trying to find what
          actually happened, and that’s when the gospels were just written! 2000 years
          later, with who knows what kinds of modifications, we’re in no position to say
          with any certainty what happened, let alone conclude that the miracles
          happened.”

          If you are unsure of the
          historicity of Jesus and his crucifixion then I would have to conclude that a
          person searching for the truth on matters such as these, should not take you
          seriously. I will not humor you by wasting my time producing evidence for
          well-accepted historic facts. Just as I would not entertain those who argue
          that Mohamed, Aristotle, Plato, Alexander the Great, etc. did not exist.

          B. And at about 900 B.C. a religious figure was
          predicted to suffer by crucifixion.

          “We have very poor evidence of this claim, as I’ve made clear.”

          Your double talk intrigues me. You
          have previously said that verse 16. “sounds like the crucifixion” and “looks
          prophetic”. Again, it looks like you are attempting to escape your own previous
          conclusions.

          Before I decide what to do here, please
          clarify.

          “OK, I will: avoid charging someone with lying unless the
          evidence is clear. This helps us stay on topic.”

          So you will not clarify if the
          statement in question was dishonest or an amateur misinterpretation. Either
          way, whatever the answer is, it makes it hard to take you seriously.

          The “idiots” you refer to did not
          have the newly discovered Dead Sea scroll to decide what word is best to
          translate.

          “Huh?? I’m almost certain that they did. This is a recent
          project.”

          I would question their motives for 1. Ignoring
          new evidence and 2. Being in a small minority of modern scholarship.

          “Question away. I’ve already given you a link. Shine a harsh
          light on this corrupt project!”

          Since you will not do proper
          research on your own but blindly trust the study notes in the NET. I will do it
          for you. Especially since this is central to my argument.

          In the NET translation elucidation
          found here http://www.bible-researcher.com/net.html
          under the “Text-Critical Decisions” it is said;

          “In the Old Testament, the translators seem to have
          preferred the Masoretic text, although they often abandon it in places where
          small difficulties arise. In a pinch, they adopt an easier reading from the
          Dead Sea Scrolls, or a reading indicated by the ancient versions, or a
          conjectural emendation.”

          So, the translators used the
          Masoretic text (800-100 AD) and only used the Dead Sea Scrolls when
          difficulties came up. In this case, they did not use the Dead Sea Scrolls (50
          BC – 50 AD) to assist them in translating Psalms 22:16 since it is not
          indicated in the notes. This is verified by the June 2005 publishing of the Journal of Evangelical Theological Society,
          states on p.288; http://www.etsjets.org/files/JETS-PDFs/48/48-2/48-2-pp283-299_JETS.pdf

          “Only
          three translations of the OT have come out since then, the NET Bible (2001),
          which does not read “pierce,” and the esv (2001) and the hcsb (2004), which do.
          The esv and hcsb both reference Hebrew manu- scripts to support this reading,
          but they typically say “Dead Sea Scroll” (esv) or “DSS” (hcsb) when citing Dead
          Sea Scrolls. Thus, neither esv nor hcsb is citing 5/6ÓevPsalms. No English
          version, then, cites this scroll yet. Future editions of the nrsv, njb, reb,
          and nab may read “pierce,” because they are usually at the forefront of
          versions that make use of Qumranic readings.”

          Consequently, it is clear that the
          NET translators did not use the oldest and therefore most accurate Hebrew text
          in their translation. I am embarrassed for you, attempting to use such an old
          argument to dismiss the “pierced” translation of Psalms 22:16. I have to admit that
          your picking of old data that has long been considered outdated, gives the
          impression that you are in over your head and not to be taken seriously.

          Based on the arguments I have made
          throughout this discussion, I contend that Psalms 22 with emphasis on v.16 is
          prophetic and demands serious consideration.

          I rest my case.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          This is not the example I give,

          That’s nice. It is the example I give.

          Since you refuse to answer the question, I will: no, this is a terrible “prophecy.” No one, Christian or atheist, should accept as a supernatural prophecy a situation where the guy reporting the fulfillment also knows about the prophecy claim and is motivated to see the claim fulfilled. Wow—why is this hard?

          the Psalmist, writes a prophecy that describes what you initially said “sounds like the crucifixion”

          I actually wrote an entire blog post about why Ps. 22 isn’t a prophecy. Oh, wait a minute—it’s this post.

          You focus on one verse where you think you have traction, and I’ve told you many times already that we can drop that point. That you come back to it over and over and over again makes clear what your argument is—not much.

          No, “pierced my hands and feet” is not the same thing as “was crucified.” No objective third party would call them equivalent.

          B. And at about 900 B.C. a religious figure was predicted to suffer by crucifixion.

          And, again: give Ps. 22 to an objective observer and see if they see it as a good summary of the passion narrative.

          They won’t.

          This type of prophecy is a valid one that demands serious consideration despite its religious denomination.

          “This type of prophecy,” where (1) the author of the fulfillment knew about the prophecy and would be eager to document a fulfilled prophecy and (2) the historical event has some very important traits (resurrection, in this case) that are not in the original prophecy, is laughably inadequate to support the enormous claim that God exists and the Bible documents his supernatural prophecies.

          If you are unsure of the historicity of Jesus and his crucifixion then I would have to conclude that a person searching for the truth on matters such as these, should not take you seriously.

          Wow—you’re clairvoyant! That must be cool. I wish I knew history with 100% accuracy.

          I will not humor you by wasting my time producing evidence for well-accepted historic facts.

          As I’ve made clear, I have no interest in discussing the Jesus Myth hypothesis.

          Just as I would not entertain those who argue that Mohamed, Aristotle, Plato, Alexander the Great, etc. did not exist.

          All of these men may have had supernatural tales told about them (certainly true for Alexander and Mohammed). What do historians do with supernatural claims?

          (Discuss among yourselves.)

          it makes it hard to take you seriously.

          You hardly need a reason for this, do you?

          I would question their motives for 1. Ignoring new evidence and 2. Being in a small minority of modern scholarship.

          Wow—I wonder if this is more clairvoyance. You must be a really smart scholar or something with a thorough knowledge of the ANE to be so confident. Cool!

          Since you will not do proper research on your own but blindly trust the study notes in the NET.

          Wrong again. See for yourself in how I treat this source in the post.

          Especially since this is central to my argument.

          I’m a little surprised that you admit so readily that this one verse is your whole argument. It does show how minimal it is.

          In the NET translation elucidation found here http://www.bible-researcher.co… under the “Text-Critical Decisions” it is said;

          So you agree with me. You’re retracting your “The ‘idiots’ you refer to did not have the newly discovered dead sea scroll to decide what word is best to translate,” right?

          My advice: aim before firing.

          So, the translators used the Masoretic text (800-100 AD) and only used the Dead Sea Scrolls when difficulties came up. In this case, they did not use the Dead Sea Scrolls (50 BC – 50 AD) to assist them in translating Psalms 22:16 since it is not indicated in the notes.

          Nice detective work. Now, the real question: why did they translate 22:16 the way they did?

          BTW, here’s another article rejecting the lions interpretation.

          I am embarrassed for you, attempting to use such an old argument to dismiss the “pierced” translation of Psalms 22:16.

          Ah, some Christian compassion at last. Gee, thanks–it needs work.

          I have to admit that your picking of old data that has long been considered outdated, gives the impression that you are in over your head and not to be taken seriously.

          You worry this one argument like a dog with a bone. You don’t address the argument in its entirety, presumably because you can’t.

          Unlike you, my argument is much more than just Ps. 22:16. I just reread the few sentences in the original post and I’m satisfied that they give the lion interpretation as just one option (with two citations of sources), not as the only option. Unlike you, I’m not certain that I have the right interpretation.

          I rest my case.

          There is a god!

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          To an unbiased reader, I think it is clear.

          Clear how? That it is a prophecy? Fine, then go through my argument and tell me what’s wrong with it. (You keep avoiding this—any reason?)

          When I said “the real argument” I was referring to Is 7.

          I’ve written another post on that. Take a look.

          So then, will you concede that you are being inconsistent since you said that trusting the oldest text “Sounds like a s mart policy”?

          I didn’t say that, did I?

          Now, if you could focus on the issue at hand—this post—that’d be great. I’m hearing a lot of hot air but no arguments. I’m assuming that you concede that my argument is basically sound?

        • MNb

          Dutch catholic scholars don’t agree that “pierced” is the proper translation.

          http://www.willibrordbijbel.nl/?p=page&i=34725,34757

          You won’t find the word “doorboren” on this page.
          Last time I checked Dutch catholic scholars were christians too.

          You won’t find the word “doorboren” here either:

          http://www.online-bijbel.nl/bijbelboek/Psalmen/22/

          The Dutch protestant translation from 1618 CE. It uses “doorgraven” instead (22:16), which means something like digged through.

        • Pofarmer

          I’ve also seen it translated bitten through, which makes more sense given the setting.

        • MNb

          “anyone who reads it”
          Then I’m not anyone, because I clearly see a person in death throes – which applies to all crucifixions ever done, not only Jesus’. It also applies to say American prisoners in a Vietnamese prison about 45 years ago.
          In other words, it foretells so much it foretells nothing.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Next thing you’ll be telling us that the writings of Nostradamus foretell nothing.

  • veritatis_splendor

    The latter part of the psalm shows that God has heard him in the end. This alludes to Christ’s resurrection.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

      So you’re unconvinced by my argument? If you could point out the specific errors, that would be helpful.

      • veritatis_splendor

        Yes, I’m not convinced. You said there was no reference to the resurrection, but the latter half of this psalm changed in tone and said that God heard the prayer (Ps 22:24) of deliverance. This could reference to the resurrection when Christ was delivered from the dead. Psalm 22:29 also seem to reference the resurrection of the saved that Christianity preaches.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          No honest seeker of the truth comes at this question with the assumption that there is a real supernatural prophecy to see if there’s any reason to doubt it. The burden of proof is yours.

          If you’re saying that you can squint and see prophecy there, OK. That’s not what we’re trying to do.

        • veritatis_splendor

          I’m not trying to prove to you that this is a prophecy. I’m just saying that your argument that this is not a prophecy because certain parts cannot apply to what happened to Christ is false, because they can.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          So it’s a poor match to the life of Jesus, but it’s still a prophecy? How does that work?

          I hear that God is pretty darn smart. He could’ve put the right description of the coming savior into the head of the author of Ps. 22. That it compares poorly either means that God wasn’t much interested in getting that prophecy in there accurately, or it’s not a prophecy.

        • Stephen

          The fact that this blog post exists is a blow to Christianity. Remember what Christianity is all about…. A claim that the world needs saving and that it can be achieved by adopting certain beliefs or through works.

          If it was in any way important to the new testament god that his creatures act in such a manner he would certainly not reveal his wishes in such a terrible way.

        • MNb

          “Who live on earth copiously will sit at table and bow”?
          That’s plural, so how this refers to Jesus’ resurrection is beyond me. Jews assume that humans have souls too.

        • veritatis_splendor

          I said 22:9 might refer to the resurrection of the saved (ie, Christians who benefited from Christ’s salvation.) I think the verses telling the psalmist being “heard” pertains to Christ’s resurrection.

          But the words in psalms more directly linked to Christ’s resurrection is psalm 16:10 “For you will not leave my soul in Sheol, you will not allow your holy one to experience corruption.” IIRC, it is argued that the understanding at that time is that the dead decomposes by the fourth day, so that the Christ must be resurrected within 3 days.

        • MNb

          Well, you think. But it’s nothing but your interpretation in retrospect. Pastafarians do that too.

        • Kodie

          How is this more a prophesy than a script? If I write a play, is that a prophesy when I audition actors to rehearse the parts and perform it at a later date? Or in the case of a series of books or a tv show – the author has some kind of outline so earlier episodes can foreshadow later things and later things call back to earlier details. I guess since the bible is written by a bunch of different people who had no earlier references to work with, it all came together without the benefit of later authors knowing what the earlier books said at all.

        • veritatis_splendor

          Because a script is meant to be intentionally staged. A crucifixion scene, with details like men casting lots for his garments, is very hard to stage. In fact why would anyone do that? If I were a false prophet, I’d rather pick convenient “prophecies” that would not put me to a painful death.

        • Kodie

          Who says it was physically staged?

        • veritatis_splendor

          Wasn’t this what you were trying to argue? Please correct me if I misinterpreted.

        • Kodie

          It could have been. It doesn’t need to be. You believe it happened? Other people believe it happened. They are impressed with the prophesy coming to pass with such accuracy (?) and promoting the truth and inerrancy of the book. I see a book that was written later than another book, and one book said this would happen, and a later author ensured that it did, at least in the book. Or do you read books imagining the events in it physically taking place? They may be made into a movie, but that’s not what I’m talking about now. The authors had a motive to prove the book inerrant, containing true prophesies, requiring a divine hand or so it would seem, and people are gullible.

        • hector_jones

          one book said this would happen, and a later author ensured that it did

          I don’t even see that much. I just see an author making a standard literary allusion to an earlier work of literature, something that writers do all the time. I don’t think the gospel writers had a prophecy in mind at all. If they had, they would have dealt with the bulls and other problems that Bob highlights. Later Christians decided for themselves they wanted to see a prophecy fulfilled.

        • Kodie

          I admit I’m not that intimate with the bible. I am making speculations on the fly. I don’t think the events of Jesus’s crucifixion really happened, i.e., not physically staged for the purpose of fulfilling an earlier book proclaiming to be a prophesy. I don’t even know if the earlier book proclaims to be such, only that people can’t seem to grasp that a statement of prophesy can be made, and then later when someone thinks it’s time, fulfilled. Jesus made some unfulfilled prophesies, so what’s up with that? Aren’t the people of the US especially and in the Middle East trying to generate the apocalypse foretold to be coming within the lifetime of the audience 2000 years ago? They are impatient. They are actually trying to stage something frightening for their imagined glory.

        • hector_jones

          It took me a second to understand what this ‘staging’ argument was about. I must have missed other comments in this thread because I can’t see where it comes from, it just seems to pop up in splendor’s recent comment.

          But it’s laughable. Does he think someone is arguing that everything actually happened just as the gospels say, and therefore it must have been staged just to make it look like a prophecy fulfilled? No. We are saying the gospels are just stories written by men who were intimately familiar with the OT, so they alluded to it in the same manner that writers do to this very day.

        • Kodie

          “at least in the book”. I don’t imagine that people would set up a fake staging. Let’s use the example of the crucifixion anyway for argument’s sake, as in setting up a big lie for people to fall for, physically singling out a guy to be the patsy, getting his ego built up, getting him in trouble, and then letting him get crucified to sell their religion. I think that is the plot of Life of Brian? And then setting up the tomb to be empty, and plotting Weekend at Bernie’s with Paul. That would be pretty elaborate as conspiracies go. But I don’t say that it could never happen that people would instigate an event that would end up fulfilling a prophesy they wanted fulfilled either. I think in that case, they’d want it sincerely fulfilled, as in the apocalypse. They might take it as a task given them by god, like when Christians murder abortion doctors or join the military to get in on the holy war. In case you ever noticed, nothing ever gets done if we leave it up to god. People have to help each other, or kill someone god wanted dead, or whatever it is, the idea is that each of us has our purpose, and if you don’t know what it is yet, you might just go crazy and martyr yourself for your deity. It’s easier to write it in a book and hope it gets legs and passes for history.

        • veritatis_splendor

          I think the authors of the Gospels were intentionally arguing that the prophecies were fulfilled in Christ because of the things they witnessed. That is why during the account of the passion, they would allude to the concerned Old Testament texts.

          Yes, I think the accounts were intending to say that the events really happened. In John 19:35 “The man who saw it has given testimony, and his testimony is true. He knows that he tells the truth, and he testifies so that you also may believe.” So I think, they are eyewitness accounts. I also believe they are credible because the apostles preached this against the powers that be in that time, in the face of ostracization, persecution, and martyrdom.

          As for the prophecies concerning Christ, I’m led to believe them because a lot of passages seem to be significantly referring to his life and purpose. I mean, one or two passages could be doubtful, but if you see many events or passages in the books of the Old Testament seemingly prefiguring his arrival, it’s harder to explain away.

        • Kodie

          It’s really easy to explain it away if his character is foreshadowed. All they have to do is plant him in the later book and match up the details. That’s all I’m saying, the prophesy is just a script. The character later acted the way the script said that he would. They were intended to sound historical, but that does not mean that they were.

        • veritatis_splendor

          But that would be an elaborate, difficult conspiracy, especially in the case of Christ’s crucifixion and resurrection. Like I said, it escapes me why anyone would want to be crucified. Also, you have to establish how they were able to fabricate a myth and convince their contemporaries that they actually happened. It’s very difficult because the Gospels claim public events that anyone would’ve easily verified if they were false.

        • Kodie

          He wasn’t crucified. That doesn’t even discount, “why would anyone want to be crucified” – ask any martyr. If someone thinks they’re supposed to fulfill the prophesy, as Jesus is written to contemplate his role, then voluntarily endure. That’s not a gift, that’s delusion and masochism. But back to the point, you might want to read some of Bob’s other posts on myths and legends, and the naysayer’s fallacy.

        • hector_jones

          If Jesus was God wouldn’t he have known that he was going to be crucified? Aren’t Christians the ones who argue that, in effect, the entire crucifixion and resurrection is staged … by God? Isn’t that what motivates you to see prophecy in Psalm 22 in the first place?

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          It’s very difficult because the Gospels claim public events that anyone would’ve easily verified if they were false.

          No. The Naysayer Hypothesis is popular but fails completely.

        • Stephen

          Admitting that one or two passages may be doubtful is a major concession. That is simply an admission that god has trouble in making his wishes known.

          Why would Jesus, in an attempt to convince mankind to change their ways, choose such dubious methods of communication? Many well meaning Jews for instance would have rejected Christianity solely on the conflicting interpretations of Ps22:16. Was he trying to trick them?

        • MNb

          “Admitting that one or two passages may be doubtful is a major concession.”
          Only if you take the Bible literally iso metaphorically. Of course the question rises which passages are just metaphors and what the criteria are. Still I think we atheists should criticize the metaphorical meanings of the texts as well. I especially think of the atonement doctrine and the odes to self-sacrifice.

        • veritatis_splendor

          I am saying “could be doubtful” (for skeptics, that is) for the sake of argument. I am commenting more on the strength of Biblical prophecies being numerous and simultaneously fulfilled by Christ rather than conceding the weakness of a single prophecy.

          I’m actually interested how the Jews interpret these prophecies. All I know is that to them, their Messiah has not yet come. To me, that is very telling because after Christ arrived, there has been no more prophecies regarding the Messiah.

        • TheNuszAbides

          how is that telling? is midrash known for diversion into prophecy of any sort?

        • Arbustin

          The short answer is we don’t interpret them as being about the messiah, and rather as an allegory on the historical treatment of the Jewish people.

        • TheNuszAbides

          “an admission that god has trouble in making his wishes known”

          alternatively, it’s all exactly as he planned because… um… it would be no fair to The Adversary if EVERYBODY could figure out the prophecy!

          not that i expect anyone would publicly admit buying into the ‘god accepts dare/wager from satan’ narrative…

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4_G9awnDCmg&

    • MNb

      Not in the Dutch translation. 22:22 …. “You answer me”. Followed by praise the lord in many variations.
      See the link I gave above.

      • veritatis_splendor

        I cannot comment on the link because I can’t understand Dutch.

        In v19-21, the speaker in the Psalm asked for rescue.

        In 22:24, it says God heard. “24 For he hath not despised nor abhorred the affliction of the afflicted; neither hath he hid his face from him; but when he cried unto him, he heard.”

        The praises that follow is consistent with being heard. In v31 “31 They shall come, and shall declare his righteousness unto a people that shall be born, that he HATH DONE this,” which seems to mean that God had accomplished

        I think Christianity takes Christ’s resurrection as how God granted his petitions to be rescued from death. In Hebrews 5:7, Paul said “In the days of his flesh, Jesus offered up prayers and supplications, with loud cries and tears, to him who was able to save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverence.”

    • hector_jones

      This is backwards. The Gospels of Mark and Matthew make an obvious literary allusion to Psalm 22. That’s all that’s going on here. Have you never taken a literature course?

      • veritatis_splendor

        ?

        I am still referring to this particular psalm (22). Where did you think I referred to?

        • hector_jones

          I do not understand your confusion. Take your mind off the bible just for a second. Do you understand what a literary allusion is and how literary allusion works in writings other than the bible?

  • RichardSRussell

    You could fill a book with all the failed prophecies of Christianity.
    In fact, it’s already been done.
    It’s called the Bible.

  • Guest

    Something tells me this entry was linked somewhere else. You got jumped!

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

      I have today’s post redirecting to an older post. Hopefully it’s working fine now … ?

  • alfaretta

    That’s the Jehovah’s Witness bible. From what I can tell at adventist.org, SDA prefer the more literal translations over the more poetic (like the King James version).

  • Ozark

    I’ve been listening to the Bible Geek podcasts recently and exhausted all of the currently available ones. Does anybody have a recommendation of some good Podcasts I can listen to now?

    Doesn’t really have to be Bible related and I don’t want to listen to someone’s political propaganda. Some good, geeky history based ones might be nice.

    Just looking for suggestions!

    It could also be some good Youtube Videos as this streams nicely over the Bluetooth in my new car as well.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

      Price also has The Human Bible, though that’ll be a little more elementary than the Bible Geek. Reasonable Doubts is my favorite atheist podcast.

      For history, you might consider In Our Time with Melvyn Bragg. For religious history, Religions of the Ancient Mediterranean has some serious scholarship.

      Issues, Etc. or Unbelievable! are good Christian podcasts.

      “NPR Topics: Religion” for general religion.

      Science Talk for science (Scientific American). Skeptoid for debunking.

    • wtfwjtd

      If you are interested in some info on the gospels, a guy on YouTube called truthsurge has a well-done series of videos called Excavating the Empty Tomb. The audio should stream nicely and make an enjoyable listen.

      • Pofarmer

        TruthSurge is excellent. Matt Dillahunty is good, too. I love listening to Christopher Hitchens debates on Youtube. There is a very good “Joe Rogan Experience” with Neil Degrasse Tyson, and also one with Sam Harris, for something a little lighter, but still informative.

    • MGreen

      There is a great series on YouTube. A ~25 part Yale Old Testament course taught by Christine Hayes. There is also a ~25 part Ancient Israel NYU course taught by Daniel Fleming. Yale also has a free New Testament course online but I haven’t watched it.

      Amy Levine (Vanderbilt U) has a 12 hour OT lecture on Audible but it costs some of that money stuff. It’s not bad.

      There is a decent podcast by Prof. Philip Harland called Religions of the Ancient Mediterranean. About 90 episodes. I haven’t listened to it all yet.

  • MNb

    The Dutch “Nieuwe Willibrord” translation is a very far echo of a prophecy.

    22:7 I’m a worm and not a human, despised by everybody, scorned by the people.
    22:10 You have drawn me from the underbelly of my mother, entrusted me to her breasts.
    22:14-16 rapacituous roaring lions open their huge jaws wide.
    Like water I’m poured all over, my bones fall apart, my heart is like wax, it melts in my body.
    My force is dry as a potsherd, my tongue sticks to my palate, you lay me down in the dust of death.
    22:18-19 I can count all my bones, they look on me with malicious joy, distribute my clothes amongst each other and draw lots on my cloak.
    22:21 Deliver my soul from the sword, my life from the grip of those dogs.

    http://www.willibrordbijbel.nl/?p=page&i=28131,28162

    Remember: official translation by catholic scholars.

    Powerful stuff, deserves the Nobel Price for Literature. Someone suffers, begs, begs, begs his god for help, gets despaired and is relieved when divine help finally arrives (my interpretation: in the form of dying).
    A prophecy? I guess some people in Auschwitz must have felt this way.

  • SparklingMoon

    Psalm22: 20~24
    But You, O LORD, be not far off; O You my help, hasten to my assistance ===== For He has not despised nor abhorred the affliction of the afflicted; Nor has He hidden His face from him; But when he cried to Him for help, He heard.
    ………………………………………………………………………………………….
    If these verses are considered by the followers of Trinity a prophecy for the rescue of Jesus then its verse 24th has a message for them that God Almighty had heard the prayers of Jesus and had saved him to die on cross. In Matthew 26:36 – 46, which relate that after getting information, through revelation, of his impending arrest, Jesus prayed to God all night, on his face, and in tears, and such prayer offered with such humility, and for which Jesus had ample time, could not go unaccepted; for the cry of an elect of God, addressed at a time of distress, is never turned down. How was it then, that the prayer of Jesus which he had addressed all night with a painful heart and in a state of distress was rejected?

    Jesus had said: The Father who is in heaven listens to me. Therefore, when his prayer addressed in such a state of distress was not heard, how can it be said that God heard his prayers? The gospels also show that Jesus (peace be on him) was certain at heart that his prayer had been accepted; he had great confidence in that prayer. That is why when he was arrested and put on the Cross, and when he found the circumstances not according to his expectations, he involuntarily cried ‘Eli, Eli lama sabachthani’, meaning, ‘My God, my God why hast Thou forsaken me.’, i.e., he did not expect that it would come to this — that he would die on the Cross. He believed that his prayer would be heard.

    So, both these references to the gospel show that Jesus firmly believed that his prayer would be heard and accepted, that his tearful supplications addressed throughout the night would not be wasted,whereas he had himself taught his disciples, on divine authority: When you pray, the prayer will be accepted. Although Jesus knew from God that there was a great affliction in store for him, yet, like all righteous persons, he prayed to God, believing that there was nothing impossible for God and that God determined whether any events would happen or not.

    Therefore, the rejection of Jesus’ own prayer would have shaken the faith of the disciples. Was it possible to place before the disciples an example destructive of their faith?If they had seen with their own eyes that the prayer of a great prophet like Jesus, addressed all night with burning passion, was not accepted, the unfortunate example would have been very trying for their faith. Therefore, the Merciful God could not but have accepted this prayer. It is certain the prayer offered at Gethsemane was accepted.(Jesus in India)

    • Kenyo Cakti

      God did forsaken Jesus at the cross because at the cross all human sins and God judgement were casted upon Him. Jesus always addressed God as Father, only at the cross He shouted God instead Father. Jesus lost His relationship with the Father at the cross so we people can have relationship with God and call Him Father!. How amazing is Jesus .. He totally sacrificed everything that He got for us to have it

      • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

        Jesus sacrificed everything? What did he sacrifice?

        He was out of action for a day and a half, and now he’s back up in heaven–a rather modest “sacrifice,” IMO.

      • SparklingMoon

        This concept is, in fact, the religion of Paul and not that of Jesus Christ, for the latter never taught the doctrine of the Trinity. As long as he lived, he only taught the Oneness of God and His being without partner. After he died, his brother James—who was his successor and a holy man— also taught the Oneness of God. But Paul unjustly opposed him and started preaching contrary to his true teachings, and went to the extent of creating a new faith. He set his followers against the Torah and taught them that there was no need for the Law after the Messiah’s Atonement, and Christians did not need to follow the Torah because the Messiah’s blood was enough to wipe away their sins. The followers of Trinity claim that the Messiah agreed to take upon himself all the sins of the world and to die on the cross in order to bring salvation to others, and that God allowed His own son to be killed so as to redeem the sinners.

        How people’s hearts can be cleansed of sin by such an unmerited death and how the crucifixion of an innocent man can cause anyone’s sins to be forgiven! This method is not only contrary to justice, but also to mercy; for it is unjust to punish an innocent person in place of the guilty one, and it is cruel to kill one’s own son in such a callous manner, and that too in vain. The real cause of the current deluge of sin,, is lack of God-realization, and as long as the cause persists it is impossible to negate the effect. What kind of logic is it to say that although the cause — which is the lack of God-realization — is still present, the effect—sin— has been eradicated!

        Jesus, the Messiah, is truly one of the very beloved and pious servants of God and is one of those who are the chosen people of God whom God purifies with His own Hand and keeps them under the shadow of His light. He is not God as has been conjectured, but has close relations with God and is among the perfect ones of which there are only a few. He ,alway,called towards God Almighty because ‘the real source and essence of salvation is man’s personal love for God, which leads to his union with Him, because a lover cannot remain separated from his beloved. Since God Himself is Light, His love produces ‘the light of salvation’. The love which is ingrained in human nature draws the love of God,and then God’s personal love gives extraordinary strength and enthusiasm to man’s personal love, and the union of the two results in the state of ‘annihilation’ and culminates in the light of ‘immortality with God’. The fact that the meeting of the two loves necessarily leads to ‘annihilation in God’ and the body (which is only a veil) is totally consumed, and the soul becomes wholly submerged in Divine love, can be illustrated with the example of a man who is struck with lightning. The fire falls upon him from heaven, and its powerful attraction draws the fire that is within him, and this results in the annihilation of the body. In the same way, spiritual annihilation also requires two kinds of fires: the heavenly fire and the inner fire of man. The meeting of both these fires creates a state of ‘annihilation , without which the spiritual journey remains incomplete. This is the state of ‘annihiliation’ where the journey of the spiritual wayfarers comes to an end, and it is the limit beyond which human endeavour cannot go. After reaching the point of Fana, man is granted the status of ‘eternity’ as a gift and a favor. (Lecture Lahore)

  • Roger Quill

    Verse 12: When interpreting prophecy, typically it seems there is given room for figurative interpretation. Bulls and Lions likely are interpreted as figuratively indicating “wicked men” as the animal description and “wicked men” description occur in parallel lines. Comp. the parrallelism in Verse 20 between “sword” (violence, war?), “dogs”, “lions”, and “oxen”

    Verse 17: It might be good to not that this is occasionally cited for the “not one of his bone’s will be broken” prophecy, albeit, I believe, incorrectly from the traditional Christian understanding.

    The hands and feet piercing is very debatable, and I’m certain you can find manuscripts supporting the piercing reading. The LXX, for example, maintains the “pierce” reading and such requires less “guessing” since the a ‘direct’ translation of the Hebrew would be “…a lion…my hands and feet…” which requires more interpolations than the “….pierce my hands and feet” rendering.

  • brandon allbritton

    You say that the most likely explanation is that the Gospel writers were merely mimicking a prophecy rather than the crucifixion being a real fulfillment of prophecy. But then you go on to attempt to prove that the psalm is mistranslated and doesn’t even parallel the crucifixion. So let’s say you are right but if so then I am having a hard time understanding how your first attempt to say that the disciples were merely mimicking a prophecy could hold water if you are correct in your mistranslation idea. If the psalm has been translated wrongly by modern scholars and has always been known to be speaking of a lion pinning the hands and feet and has nothing to do with a crucifixion then why would you say that the gospel writers are mimicking a prophecy? Surely the gospel writers wouldn’t have tried to mimick a psalm that according to you speaks nothing of a crucifixion would they? So which is it?

    Also keep in mind that no Jewish person had the slightest clue that these old testament words had anything to do with what would happen to the Messiah. It was and still is the consensus of the Jewish people that the Messiah would be a national leader and restore them to their former prominence. To think that anyone with the traditional view of the purpose of the Messiah could have fabricated such a story that so perfectly lines up with the entire Canon of scripture is in my opinion unrealistic. Why else do you think they crucified Jesus? They believed Him to be a liar because nothing He said indicated to them that He was the Messiah. These were people who knew the OT scriptures better than anyone and on the basis of their understanding of scripture they rejected Jesus as the Messiah. No human being saw the OT speaking of the Messiah in the way that Jesus came. YET, when Jesus came and we now look back at the OT writings it is so clear that He is definitely the fulfillment of those writings. The New Testament so perfectly fulfills and compliments the OT that there is no way that it could have been fabricated. Only after the giving of the Holy Spirit can we look back and see how perfectly cohesive the Gospel of Jesus Christ fulfills the OT. I think this proves that the gospel writers couldn’t have fabricated the story because it wouldn’t have even been a possible one in their minds as Jewish people. God designed it this way so that by the rejection of the Messiah the salvation of the world could come.

    Acts 4:27-28 NASB

    For truly in this city there were gathered together against Your holy servant Jesus, whom You anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, to do whatever Your hand and Your purpose predestined to occur.

    • Pofarmer

      Keep in mind, that these regions were being Hellenized at this time. People like Philo of Alexandria were busy combining Greek thought with Jewish religion. The same sorts of people were working through the OT, and they thought they were picking out long lost prophecies of the messiah, and the idea was that he had come and gone at an unspecified time in the past, and they had missed him. That’s basically Paul’s Jesus. At a later point, the Gospel authors added more, and Put Jesus into History. Try Randal Helms. “The gospel Fictions” for much more on this.

      • brandon allbritton

        We don’t have any evidence that this is the case for the biblical writers. We can come up with all kinds of ways to discredit the writers. But in light of the nature and tone of the writers it doesn’t seem likely that they were simply making stuff up and giving their lives for it.

        • Greg G.

          We don’t have any evidence that this is the case for the biblical writers.

          No evidence? We have evidence from Paul himself and pseudo-Paul.

          Galatians 1:11-12
          11 For I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that the gospel that was proclaimed by me is not of human origin; 12 for I did not receive it from a human source, nor was I taught it, but I received it through a revelation of Jesus Christ.

          Romans 16:25-27
          25 Now to God who is able to strengthen you according to my gospel and the proclamation of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery that was kept secret for long ages 26 but is now disclosed, and through the prophetic writings is made known to all the Gentiles, according to the command of the eternal God, to bring about the obedience of faith— 27 to the only wise God, through Jesus Christ, to whom be the glory forever! Amen.

          1 Corinthians 2:7
          But we speak God’s wisdom, secret and hidden, which God decreed before the ages for our glory.

          Ephesians 3:2-9
          2 for surely you have already heard of the commission of God’s grace that was given me for you, 3 and how the mystery was made known to me by revelation, as I wrote above in a few words, 4 a reading of which will enable you to perceive my understanding of the mystery of Christ. 5 In former generations this mystery was not made known to humankind, as it has now been revealed to his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit: 6 that is, the Gentiles have become fellow heirs, members of the same body, and sharers in the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel. 7 Of this gospel I have become a servant according to the gift of God’s grace that was given me by the working of his power. 8 Although I am the very least of all the saints, this grace was given to me to bring to the Gentiles the news of the boundless riches of Christ, 9 and to make everyone see what is the plan of the mystery hidden for ages in God who created all things;

          For the gospels, New Testament Narrative as Old Testament Midrash by Robert M. Price is a collection of the works of other scholars, working independently, that account for nearly every passage in Mark coming from other sources that are not even about Jesus.

          Would you like more evidence?

          The giving their lives for it is more fiction. Apparently the noble death became popular in the second century among the Christian community in a “my saint died more nobly than your saint” kind of way. Some of them have more than one death. Do you really believe milk came out of Paul’s neck when he was beheaded? Some say he was crucified, too. One apostle died in two different places by two different means and was buried in two other places. How gullible do you want to be?

        • brandon allbritton

          I guess we will just have to agree to disagree because you obviously have no good understanding of Paul nor the rest of the bible. Good day sir.

        • Greg G.

          I don’t agree to disagree. You only say that so you can bury your head in the sand. I gave you evidence and you ran from it. I think it is you who doesn’t understand Paul.

          Here is a list of everything I could find of Paul making claims about Jesus and at least one place where the information can be found in the OT: Can you find anyplace where Paul makes a claim about Jesus that I missed?

          Past
          Descended from David > Romans 1:3, Romans 15:12 > 2 Samuel 7:12, Isaiah 11:10

          Declared Son of God > Romans 1:4 > Psalm 2:7

          Made of woman, > Galatians 4:4 > Isaiah 7:14, Isaiah 49:1, Isaiah 49:5

          Made under the law > Galatians 4:4, Galatians 3:10-12* > Deuteronomy 27:26, Habakkuk 2:4, Leviticus 18:5

          Did not please himself > Romans 15:3* > Psalm 69:9

          Became a servant of the circumcised > Romans 15:8 > Isaiah 53:11

          For the Gentiles > Romans 15:9-12* > Psalm 18:49, 2 Samuel 22:50, Deuteronomy 32:43, Psalm 117:1, Isaiah 11:10

          Was betrayed > 1 Corinthians 11:23 > Psalm 41:9

          Took loaf of bread and wine > 1 Corinthians 11:23-26 > Psalm 41:9, Exodus 24:8, Leviticus 17:11, Isaiah 53:12 (“wine” = “blood of grapes” allusions in Genesis 49:11, Deuteronomy 32:14, Isaiah 49:26, Zechariah 9:15)

          Was crucified for sins > 1 Corinthians 2:2, 1 Corinthians 15:3, Galatians 2:20, Galatians 3:13* > Isaiah 53:12, Deuteronomy 21:23

          Was buried > 1 Corinthians 15:4 > Isaiah 53:9

          Was raised > Romans 1:4, Romans 8:34, 1 Corinthians 15:4 > Hosea 6:2, Psalm 16:10, Psalm 41:10

          Present
          Sits next to God > Romans 8:34 > Psalm 110:1, Psalm 110:5

          Intercedes > Romans 8:34 > Isaiah 53:12

          Future
          Will come > 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17, 1 Corinthians 15:51-54*, Philippians 3:20-21 > Isaiah 26:19-21, Daniel 7:11, Daniel 7:13; Daniel 12:2, Isaiah 25:8

          (* indicates that passage contains a direct quote from the Old Testament)

          Paul’s sources for the Philippians Hymn:

          5 Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus,
          1 Corinthians 11:1
          Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ.

          6 who, though he was in the form of God,
          Isaiah 52:14
          Just as there were many who were astonished at him
              —so marred was his appearance, beyond human semblance,
              and his form beyond that of mortals—

                did not regard equality with God
          Isaiah 9:6
          For a child has been born for us,
              a son given to us;
          authority rests upon his shoulders;
              and he is named
          Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
              Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

                as something to be exploited,
          Isaiah 53:7
          He was oppressed, and he was afflicted,
              yet he did not open his mouth;
          like a lamb that is led to the slaughter,
              and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent,
              so he did not open his mouth.

          7 but emptied himself,
          Isaiah 53:12b
          because he poured out himself to death,

                taking the form of a slave,
          Isaiah 52:13a
          “See, my servant shall prosper”

                being born in human likeness.
          Isaiah 49:5
          and now the Lord says,
              who formed me in the womb to be his servant,

            And being found in human form,
          Isaiah 53:2
          For he grew up before him like a young plant,
              and like a root out of dry ground;
          he had no form or majesty that we should look at him,
              nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.

          he humbled himself
          Isaiah 53:3
          He was despised and rejected by others;
              a man of suffering and acquainted with infirmity;
          and as one from whom others hide their faces
              he was despised, and we held him of no account.

                and became obedient to the point of death—
          Isaiah 53:10
          Yet it was the will of the Lord to crush him with pain.
          When you make his life an offering for sin,
              he shall see his offspring, and shall prolong his days;
          through him the will of the Lord shall prosper.

                even death on a cross.
          Deuteronomy 21:23 (per Galatians 3:13)
          23 his corpse must not remain all night upon the tree;
          you shall bury him that same day, for anyone hung on a
          tree is under God’s curse. You must not defile the land
          that the Lord your God is giving you for possession.

          9 Therefore God also highly exalted him
          Isaiah 53:12a
          Therefore I will allot him a portion with the great,
              and he shall divide the spoil with the strong;

                and gave him the name
          Isaiah 54:5a
          For your Maker is your husband,
              the Lord of hosts is his name;

                that is above every name,
          Isaiah 54:5b
          the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer,
              the God of the whole earth he is called.

          10 so that at the name of Jesus
          Isaiah 49:22
          Thus says the Lord God:
          I will soon lift up my hand to the nations,
              and raise my signal to the peoples;
          and they shall bring your sons in their bosom,
              and your daughters shall be carried on their shoulders.

                every knee should bend,
          Isaiah 45:23a
          By myself I have sworn,
              from my mouth has gone forth in righteousness
              a word that shall not return:
          “To me every knee shall bow,

                in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
          Isaiah 45:22
          Turn to me and be saved,
              all the ends of the earth!
              For I am God, and there is no other.

          11 and every tongue should confess
          Isaiah 45:23b
              every tongue shall swear.

                that Jesus Christ is Lord,
          Isaiah 45:24
          Only in the Lord, it shall be said of me,
              are righteousness and strength;
          all who were incensed against him
              shall come to him and be ashamed.
                  to the glory of God the Father.
          Isaiah 45:25
          In the Lord all the offspring of Israel
              shall triumph and glory.

        • brandon allbritton

          Ok so tell me what point you are making because I am having difficulty seeing it in what you are writing.

        • Greg G.

          Pofarmer said the New Testament writers recycled ideas from the Old Testament. He said “That’s basically Paul’s Jesus.” You said there was no evidence for that. I have just proved to you that everything Paul says about Jesus, besides his fanboy adulation, is found in the Old Testament.

          The early epistles do not support anything about Jesus being an itinerant preacher from Galilee. That came from Mark. I gave you a link that shows where Mark got the information from the Old Testament and the literature of the day.

          When you say what I gave is not evidence, it’s the cognitive dissonance speaking. You are stuck trying to maintain belief in what your preacher tells you when the evidence that he is wrong is right before your eyes.

        • Erwin

          Re ‘Paul teaching from the old Testament’:
          Exactly , what would you expect? he went ‘to the Jew first’,being one himself, ‘a Pharisee above Pharisees’,

          persecuting the church of Christ, the saints, unto death; remember Stephen? Paul ( then Saul of Tarsus) was the ‘guy holding the coats’ of those stoning him.

          ref Acts 7:48-59; 1Corinthians 1:2; Romans 1:7; Philippians 4:21-22; Colossians 1:26; Revelation 14:12; Psalm 116:15.

          Have you not ever heard of ‘Bible Prophecy’ or ‘ the fulfilled prophecies of Christ first coming,

          and soon ( shortly and quickly ) to be fulfilled, second coming still pending, where you were ‘churched’? ref Revelation 22:12-21.

          Also, ref Psalm 71:17,1-19, lest you forget!

        • Greg G.

          Re ‘Paul teaching from the old Testament’:
          Exactly , what would you expect?

          I would expect him to have some actual information about Jesus. If he knew someone who knew him, he would surely have had an interesting anecdote.But it isn’t just Paul, it’s every single early epistle. None of them give any information. Paul does talk about prophecy but he doesn’t say it had been fulfilled yet.

          If you say the gospels were fulfilled prophecy, then you would be saying that the popular literature of the day was also prophecy as Mark has Jesus repeating many things we find in The Odyssey and The Iliad. I provided a link that explains a little of that.

          The church has been saying that Jesus would be here this generation for a few hundred generations now. It’s a long running scam, almost as long as the Jewish Messiah scam that it evolved from.

        • Erwin

          ref 2Peter 3:3-18;
          You’re not the first, or last, to argue thus!
          ref Acts 9:1-22 & 1Corinthians 15:1-11 Re Paul and Christ!

        • Greg G.

          2 Peter is a late epistle. People were apparently scoffing already. He was trying to make that look like a sign that the Messiah was coming even that far back. Thanks for helping to prove my point.

        • Erwin

          Re ‘the point’:
          ref 2Timothy 2:16,19,14-19.

        • Greg G.

          I assume you meant 2 Timothy 3:16.

          The Pastorals are late epistles. If Paul had written it, he would have only been referring to the Old Testament.

          1 & 2 Timothy have certainly swerved from Paul’s message.

        • Erwin

          No, 2Tim2:14-19, 16&19 in particular.

        • Pofarmer

          Look up the scholarship on 2 Timothy. Early Christian writings.com

        • brandon allbritton

          Oh ok I misunderstood what you were saying. Yes I would agree that Paul’s Jesus is rooted in OT. So because of this you think your point is valid that Paul and the others basically fabricated Jesus out of an old book. Well that’s certainly a possibility, but a highly unlikely one given that no Jew saw the OT that way. But say there were a band of ragamuffins that sought to fabricate a messiah out of some old writings. What was their motive? Why would they give their lives for a hoax. That’s takin a joke a little too far wouldn’t ya think? Also, if it’s all a hoax, why would people have bought into this story so much So that there were more copies of manuscripts copied and circulated than any other piece of literature?

        • Kodie

          Does it ever occur to you that they fell for this story for the same reason you did? And how do you know they died? That’s part of the story meant to convince someone like you, hundreds or thousands of years later. Who said it had to be a hoax cooked up by the characters in the book? It really doesn’t take a lot to make up a religion and successfully sell it, look at LDS and Scientology. Why do you think Christianity had more authentic roots?

        • brandon allbritton

          Ok well what about all of the other martyrs documented all throughout history?

        • Kodie

          So if all your friends jumped off a bridge, you would too?

        • Greg G.

          “My favorite apostle died a better death than yours did.”

          What about all the martyrs that are documented as being martyred to death twice?

        • brandon allbritton

          You can’t believe everything you read. You know that

        • Greg G.

          You can’t believe everything you read.

          Especially not when reading stories from second century Christians. Why do you do it?

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Sounds like we’re all on the same page. But then the support on which your worldview rests is suspect as you now admit.

        • MNb

          What about all the German soldiers who died for Hitler at the Eastern Front?

        • Pofarmer

          So? Because you believe something does not make it true. People die for false beliefs all the time.

        • Greg G.

          Paul, and the apostles before him, started reading the OT metaphors as hidden history as I showed him saying. They thought the fact that these mysteries being revealed to their generation was an indication that the Messiah was coming during that generation. But they also were reading Isaiah, the most quoted book in the New Testament, about the Suffering Servant, the metaphor that represented the nation of Israel, as history in a meta-metaphor kind of way. So he sincerely believed that Jesus was a real person from centuries past and that the idea that he had been resurrected was suddenly seen by Cephas, Paul, James, et al.

          Paul never met Jesus, that is clear. He says he got no information about it from human sources. All the information he gives us comes from scripture so reading scripture a new way is apparently what he calls revelation. In 1 Corinthians 15:3-8, Paul uses the same Greek word for his “appeared to” that he uses for everybody else showing that he didn’t think their “appeared to” was different from his own. If he meant they had actually seen a resurrected Jesus, he wouldn’t have followed that up with such a lousy argument for the resurrection.

          Since we can see that the Gospels are made up by combining multiple sources using mimesis, we can dispense with the idea that the apostles were ignorant fishermen. They were literate people.

        • Erwin

          Re ‘Isaiah’:
          ref Isaiah 42:7,61:1-2; Luke 4:16-21.
          Re ‘education’:
          ref John 14:26; 1John 2:27; Luke 6:40; 2Timothy 2:15; Romans 12:6-7.

          ref John 15:16; John 6:70; Romans 8:28;
          Re ‘the necessity of the THING (including you and I ) consequent.’ M.L., ‘On the Bondage of the Will’;

          ie, ‘for every action there is a (necessary ) reaction’,
          a start and a (… ) finish, a means and a (… ) end, an instigator and a (…) culminator.

          ‘..,And such were some of you..’
          1Cor 6:9-11,

          ‘…But God, Who is rich in mercy…’ Ephesians 2:1-10.
          ref John 8:31-32.

        • Greg G.

          If I have to guess what verses you are trying to point to, it’s not worth the effort. Just copy and paste the passages. How am I supposed to look up Luke 4:26-21?

        • Erwin

          Luke 4:16-21, sorry, posting from iphone with large fingers:-).

        • Greg G.

          I understand. I like that spell check corrects a lot of those, not so much with numbers though. It gets frustrating when I spell a word correctly and it changes it to something else.

        • Erwin

          ditto ( ” ). Peace! ✌

        • Greg G.

          Matthew 4:15-16 draws on Isaiah 42:7 and Isaiah 9:1-2.
          Luke 4:16-21 quotes Isaiah 61:1-2. Some believe Isaiah 61:2 is the reason Mark limits Jesus’ ministry to one year.

          Re ‘education’:
          ref John 14:26; 1John 2:27; Luke 6:40; 2Timothy 2:15; Romans 12:6-7.

          This is how Paul was reading the Old Testament, relying on some voice in his head, when he convinced himself that a Jesus character had suffered and died around the time of Isaiah.

          Romans 8:28 is saying “the end justifies the means.” Paul gets the idea from Genesis 50:20 or Jeremiah 29:11. He didn’t learn it from a teacher named Jesus.

        • Erwin

          Isaiah, part of the Bible, the Word of God, ‘thy word is Truth’,

          ‘Jesus the way, the truth…’, ‘ the Word made flesh’, ‘in the beginning the Word was with God , and was ( and is ) God’, you know the verses, I’m sure;

          Learning the Word via the Holy Spirit is learning from Jesus, the Living Word ( see

        • Dys

          ’round and ’round you go.

        • Erwin

          “Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith…”
          Hebrews 12:2

          The ‘Great I Am’, ‘the way,truth, life,the resurrection, the light of the world, the door, The Son of God, the Word made flesh; I Am He, the Messiah!’

          “The Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End!”

        • Dys

          So you’re basically admitting that the picture accurately represents what you’re doing. Got it, thanks.

        • Greg G.

          But it is not the same as learning it from a first century Jesus. Paul didn’t hear anything from a first century Jesus. If he thought the other apostles had learned from a first century Jesus, he wouldn’t be saying things like this:

          2 Corinthians 11:5-6 (NRSV)
          5 I think that I am not in the least inferior to these super-apostles. 6 I may be untrained in speech, but not in knowledge; certainly in every way and in all things we have made this evident to you.

          2 Corinthians 12:11 (NRSV)
          11 I have been a fool! You forced me to it. Indeed you should have been the ones commending me, for I am not at all inferior to these super-apostles, even though I am nothing.

        • Kodie

          You believe the bible because the bible tells you to. That’s irrational.

        • brandon allbritton

          Ok, now tell me how you know this about Paul because your argument there seems purely speculative. You need some valid documentation that all of Paul’s understanding of Jesus was fabricated from “hidden mysteries” of the OT. Can you prove that Paul had not received revelation from God both new and enlightenment from the words of the past prophets?

          Also Paul was originally persecuting Christians. Why the sudden change?

          Tell me how you know that Paul believed Jesus was from centuries past?

        • Greg G.

          I have explained it by showing you where Paul has said these things and not reading the gospels back into what he is saying.

        • brandon allbritton

          Well then you have no argument because nowhere in all of the verses that you gave did Paul mean what you say he did. So…

        • Greg G.

          Paul knew nothing about the gospels. Mark took some of what Paul said and added a bunch of stuff to it. You think Paul was talking about a recently deceased Jesus. Where does he say that?

        • Pofarmer

          Ehrman writes that Paul be lived Jesus was a preexisting a heavenly angel, at an undetermined time in the past, and gives verses in support. I don’t have those verses at hand. Since there has never been a confirmed case of revelation, it seems more pertinent to go with how we know stories developed and how people developed them. To do otherwise is special pleading.

        • Pofarmer

          You need some valid documentation that all of Paul’s understanding of Jesus was fabricated from “hidden mysteries” of the OT”

          Pauls own words are the evidence. He knows nothing about Jesus that couldn’t come from old testament readings.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          No one says that the Jesus story was deliberately invented.

          No one says it was a hoax.

          “Who would die for a lie” has been debunked here (search bar is above, on the right).

          Religious people copy their sacred books–what’s surprising about that?

          I fear that the atheism you illuminate for your flock isn’t especially realistic.

        • TheNuszAbides

          of course, in minutes it goes from Greg “obviously” having “no good understanding” to you having difficulty seeing his point.
          please practice not making sweeping statements you can’t support.

        • Erwin

          Re ‘old testament sources’:
          ref to my post

        • brandon allbritton

          I’m sorry but you’ve offered no credible or logical evidence sir.

        • Greg G.

          There is more information there than you can read in the 4 minutes it took you to respond. I gave you Paul’s own words and the work of several New Testament scholars.

        • brandon allbritton

          I don’t need any more than 4 minutes to ask what your point is by listing me a bunch of verses that I know very well already. Again what’s your point?

        • Greg G.

          Given below just now. You said there was no evidence. I gave you a ton of it.

        • Pofarmer

          “The New Testament so perfectly fulfills and compliments the OT that there is no way that it could have been fabricated.”

          See, to a skeptical person, this proves exactly that it was fabricated. The whole “King Messiah, gonna kick the occupiers ass” was obviously not working.

        • brandon allbritton

          Well you certainly are entitled to be skeptical but the one thing about skepticism is that it can’t prove anything but only doubt. Ill pray that you lose your skepticism and see the truth.

        • Pofarmer

          Oh please, I’m not the one here with something to prove. You made the claims, now stick around and logically deal with the implications of those claims, or run away and pray about it. I came about my skepticism seeking the truth. I wish the same for you.

        • Greg G.

          You assumed that we are ignorant of the Bible. Most of us are ex-Christians. We have looked at the Bible from different sides of the issue. We decided reality is more reasonable.

        • brandon allbritton

          There is no such thing as an ex-Christian. If you claim to have used to be one but are not one now then your present condition shows that you never truly believed and were born again. That’s where you and I are different. I have true regeneration. If you knew me personally you would not be able to deny the change in me.

        • Kodie

          The “change in you” does not prove that Jesus changed you. There is definitely some such thing as an ex-Christian. You just have to stop fooling yourself and live in the real world, but something tells me you’ve been threatened well and marketed well, and can’t dump the fiction.

        • brandon allbritton

          Well that’s your opinion ma’am. :)

        • Kodie

          Your opinion was that there is no such thing as an ex-Christian, but you are just the dupe of faulty logic. How come you haven’t answered my question – how much money do you pay to the church for them to appeal to your ego?

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Hilarious. Many of the people who claim to be ex-Christians would’ve said precisely this when they were at your stage.

        • brandon allbritton

          Probably

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          So since you’re identical to them, how do you know they were wrong and that you’re never going to fall away?

        • brandon allbritton

          I guess we will just have to wait and see won’t we?

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          That’s certainly my position. You seem to be convinced that you know the answer right now.

        • Dys

          How arrogantly (and ignorantly) presumptive of you. I understand why such a belief is comforting, since it allows you to dismiss other people’s claims out of hand, but you aren’t qualified to make any such distinction. It requires a level of knowledge you don’t have.

          I could just as easily insist that you’re not a real Christian, and that you don’t really believe any of the things you’re saying. But I don’t have that knowledge, just as you don’t have it about ex-Christians.

        • Greg G.

          There is no such thing as a bona fide Christian as it’s based on mythology.

        • Pofarmer

          Yep, your brain is powerful organ. I don’t doubt change at all, just the source of it.

        • MNb

          “There is no such thing as an ex-Christian.”
          So you not only hate Kodie (that’s why you started to address her looks) but also deconverts like Pofarmer.

        • brandon allbritton

          Most professing Christians and even church leaders are ignorant of the bible. Most professing Christians that I know do not thoroughly study their bibles. Unfortunately the mold of Christians that we typically see are not representative of a truly born again believer.

        • Kodie

          Because it’s really, really difficult to immerse yourself that deeply into a fantasy. But YOU belong to an elite group!!! Lol, you idiot. How much money do you pay them for the privilege?

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          What apologetic argument(s) are most compelling to you and uphold your faith? And what arguments do you think are most compelling to atheists?

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          How do you explain that Christianity continues to fragment? It is at 42,000 denominations and counting. I’d have thought that a single reliable source of information (the Bible) would’ve meant that everyone was singing the same song.

        • Greg G.

          I agree. So many believe the Bible is the word of God but are not the least bit interested in reading what he has to say.

        • Pofarmer

          I read the bible,more than ever when I started soubting. A. Honest reading, plus other reading, led me to full on atheism.

        • brandon allbritton

          I highly doubt that even when you claimed to be a Christian that you truly studied God’s word rigorously and sought to exegete it’s content properly.

        • Kodie

          OH! That, you doubt????

          You’re funny. How much do you pay your church to teach you what atheists really think and scare you into sticking with them?

        • brandon allbritton

          Well yes I do doubt. Lol I know that it is my opinion as I’m entitled to one the same as you are ma’am. I generally tithe 10% of mine and my wife’s income. But I am a pastor and teach others about what you atheists believe 😉

        • Kodie

          You’re not entitled to an opinion about Greg’s personal experience, you dummy, you made an unsupported assertion.

        • Kodie

          The church doesn’t want to lose any members, so do you think it’s because of the money or they really can guarantee the safety of your eternal soul? They use poor arguments to retain members and send you out to prey on gullible people, but you don’t know shit about atheists, you know even less about what you believe and why.

        • brandon allbritton

          I don’t base my faith and understanding on what someone has told me. I find my confidence rooted in the infallible word of God of which I study everyday guided bybthr holy Spirit of God.

        • Kodie

          Yes you do. That book was authored by people, and you give them authority over your life. You assert that it’s infallible even when countered with its fallibility, you retreat “agree to disagree” and preserve your cognitive dissonance over reason.

        • brandon allbritton

          Penned by people but authored by God.

        • Kodie

          Oh really. Demonstrate its authenticity – oh yeah, you started with that, and quickly gave up because the argument got too intellectual for you, you just agree to disagree.

        • brandon allbritton

          No just too hard to do on a forum.

        • Kodie

          We do it all the time. Are you not committed to your position, or just not knowledgeable? You’re wasting a lot of time being evasive about it.

        • brandon allbritton

          What do you want me to teach you about? One at a time please.

        • Kodie

          You made an assertion and Greg G. and Pofarmer owned you, so your response was, and I quote:

          You are very misinformed.

          Further downthread, you played “agree to disagree,” “everyone’s entitled to their own opinion,” you’re going to hell, “no such thing as an ex-Christian,” “they have it all wrong,” “aren’t you pretty?,” and “too hard to do on a forum.”

          Why are you so evasive? I just don’t think you know anything, you just have wishful thinking and act as though you’re in an elite group of real biblical scholars and true Christians, but you keep retreating when it gets too close to a discussion.

        • brandon allbritton

          Give me a topic and I’ll tell you what I know.

        • Kodie

          You had a topic, why did you stop talking about it? Don’t you know what you’re talking about?

        • brandon allbritton

          Refresh my memory

        • Kodie

          I guess you have nothing then.

        • brandon allbritton

          Ok well when you feel like asking a question just ask. One at a time though please.

        • Kodie

          I don’t have a question, you asshole. You started in with a long post, Greg G. and Pofarmer responded to you with counterarguments, and you just said, “You are very misinformed.”

          Why do you think I want to know anything from you? You’re the one who posted an assertion that wouldn’t stand up to the challenge.

          And you know it.

        • brandon allbritton

          If don’t want to know anything from me then why have you spent over an hour going back and forth with me? Sounds like a waste of time to me. One thing though that you have to live with and that is that You could not keep your cool when discussing these things and I did. What’s different about you and me? Why is it that you cannot keep your cool but resort to name calling and have done so all your life?

        • Kodie

          So you’re back to being condescending? You “kept your cool” by trolling and being evasive, and I am pointing out the flaws and challenging your assertions and evasions. So easy for you to keep calm under the circumstances when you don’t have anything else to say.

        • MNb

          I have a question for you, a very simple one. Why don’t you start praying 24/7 for me, as you promised? Sure, you didn’t promise the 24/7 part, but only that suffices.

        • MNb

          God authored the Bible which proves god.
          Yeah.

        • MNb

          And there you got the idea to talk about Kodie’s appearance. Yeah.

        • Dys

          I don’t base my faith and understanding on what someone has told me.

          Yes, you do. That they wrote it down approximately 2,000 years ago doesn’t change the fact that you’re basing your faith on what someone told you. Unfortunately for you, inspiration is impossible to prove, so you’re taking their word for it. And the bible is most certainly fallible – the notion that it isn’t is merely a faith-based assertion. You’re stuck in a self-referential loop:

        • brandon allbritton

          Well aren’t you pleasant :) pretty and pleasant. What a combination.

        • Kodie

          What a condescending thing to say, asshole.

        • brandon allbritton

          I meant the pretty but not the other. I figured you could discern that. Lol

        • Kodie

          You’re evading the argument by objectifying me, typical Christian sexist.

        • MNb

          More hatefulness. Whether Kodie is pretty or not is totally irrelevant on these pages. You may be a look-alike of John Abraham or Denzel Washington. Also totally irrelevant.
          You only bring up her looks to put her down. You do that because your christian hate towards atheists.

        • brandon allbritton

          I’m just messing with you. Lighten up a little. Can we not discuss such things without the hatefulness?

        • Kodie

          You’re the one who hated, and halted the discussion.

        • brandon allbritton

          Iv not hated and halted anything ma’am.

        • Kodie

          Yeah, it’s normal to stop a pretty smart girl from talking, just compliment her and she will run to look in the mirror and brush her hair and stop challenging your faulty logic. Didn’t see you try that on anyone else.

        • TheNuszAbides

          well, it would’ve been unseemly on so many authentically-born-again levels for him to openly admire Bob’s musculature or the stylishness of Greg’s robes…

        • Kodie

          Ah, I see now why he deleted his account – his wife might find this comment. Maybe she already has. I wonder if he’d like it if someone called his wife pretty to shut her up either?

        • MNb

          Eeehhh yes – above you expressed your hateful and usubstantiated expectation that I will go to Hell. Also your offer to pray for us is hateful – so hateful it can only be neutralized when you practice it 24/7. Plus your lie that atheists believe is hateful.

        • Kodie

          Did you delete your account, Brandon Allbritton, because your wife might find out your comment history?

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Doubting is good.

          How do you ensure that what you teach your flock about atheists is correct? I like that you’re spending some time here, BTW; surrounding yourself with contrary opinions is a good start.

        • brandon allbritton

          There are lots of resources out there that are written by atheists expounding on what they think. I also have listened to many debates by men like Richard dawkins, Bart Herman etc.

        • Greg G.

          Bart Ehrman entered the field an Evangelical Christian who was on fire for the Lord. He discovered that what his church taught about the Bible was not true. I’m not sure he calls himself an atheist or an agnostic but he got there by reason and a thorough knowledge of the Bible. You should, too.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          My own humble submissions about the apologetics arguments (see the books at the top of the page, along the right column) are fiction aimed at Christians.

        • MNb

          That’s why you start praying 24/7 for me – then you won’t spread harmful nonsense like “about what you atheists believe”. This very expression is harmful nonsense.

        • Pofarmer

          So, what do Atheists believe?

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          You’re saying that there aren’t ex-Christian scholars that weren’t far better educated about Christianity than you? Bart Ehrman, Robert Price, Dan Barker, Rich Lyons, and so on?

        • brandon allbritton

          No that’s not what I said at all. But their conclusions about Christianity are wrong and not the end all of all arguments concerning.

        • Kodie

          You can’t just state that they’re wrong and leave it at that.

        • brandon allbritton

          Give me one of their stances on a subject and we can talk.

        • Kodie

          No that’s not what I said at all. But their conclusions about Christianity are wrong and not the end all of all arguments concerning.

          You already picked one, Brandon Allbritton.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          How do you know? I just listed 4 scholars who say you’re wrong. Why should I think you’ve got it figured out? Heck, why should you?

        • brandon allbritton

          I could list 5 that say they are wrong lol that’s not a valid argument

        • Kodie

          What’s not a valid argument? Asking you why you think you’re right and we’re wrong? You COULD list 5 but you don’t back yourself up.

        • brandon allbritton

          Ravi Zecharias, James White, John Piper, John MacArthur, Irwin Lutzer, Doug Wilson, Al Mohler

        • Kodie

          Why should I think you’ve got it figured out? Heck, why should you?

          … are some questions you evade by saying “that’s not a valid argument.” Typical evasive Christian!

        • brandon allbritton

          You shouldn’t take my word that iv got it figured out. You should read the bible with an open mind and in prayer asking for wisdom.

        • Kodie

          Ha ha, “open mind.” In prayer, asking for “wisdom” to shut down my faculties of reason?

          How many other religions have you investigated with an open mind and in prayer asking for wisdom? Because they all make the same variety of claims.

        • Pofarmer

          Btdt.

        • MNb

          Prayer shows lack of wisdom as it closes the mind by definition. That’s why I asked you to pray 24/7 for me. That will do us good.

        • Dys

          But you just previously admitted it’s not possible to read the bible with an open mind. You have to believe it’s all true first. But apologists don’t really mean that they want people to read the bible with an open mind. What they tend to mean is they want people to just accept it all unquestioningly in a devotional manner, not critically and skeptically.

          And if someone does read it with an open mind, as many atheists have, and comes to different conclusions than you did, you’ll just retreat back to “you’re reading it wrong”.

        • Pofarmer

          Hep. It’s when I started to read,the bible,with an open mind, that I could see what it was.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Do you model this open mindedness? For what other religions have you walked the walk and earnestly and honestly asked for the wisdom to see that that religion was correct?

        • hector_jones

          The bible … yawn

        • Heather

          Dear Yahweh,

          Please give me the wisdom to understand the bible. You gave it to a bunch of weak, worthless humans to write up and damned it they didn’t fuck it up.

          Amen…

        • Greg G.

          But the 5 you list are more worried about their faith than their scholarship.

        • TheNuszAbides

          ergo, the truly-properly-born-again such as Proudly Anonymous Guest can and will dismiss the others on any converse examples since they place ‘too much’ importance on scholarship!

        • Greg G.

          He wasn’t Guest when I responded to him. Wasn’t he “brandon allbritton” then? He must have embarrassed himself. He said he was a pastor. Maybe he was afraid his congregation would see that he didn’t do so well.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          What’s invalid? I’m simply saying that Christianity is very fragmented. You seem to imagine that you’re the pope of all Christianity with your confident “their conclusions about Christianity are wrong.” Not so.

        • Pofarmer

          Really, so you just dismiss people you don’t agree with? How do you ever learn anything?

        • brandon allbritton

          Isn’t that What you are doing to me right now?

        • Kodie

          Lol, you retreated several hours ago, dismissing Greg G. and Pofarmer, and now you are playing the game of “I don’t have to hold up my end of the discussion.”

        • Pofarmer

          Not at all, your arguments have been dealt with directly.

        • brandon allbritton

          And yours have been dismissed directly for lack of credibility and unprovable speculation. You are basing your arguments on what a couple prominent atheists have told you and bought into it hook line and sinker

        • Kodie

          You pay 10% of your income, Pofarmer pays nothing. Who is the sucker?

          And, you did not dismiss anything directly, your exact quote was “You are very misinformed.”

        • Pofarmer

          Really? You don’t have any idea what my reading includes.

        • TheNuszAbides

          if you provided substance it would be addressed. your circular assertions and evasions are what’s being dismissed.

        • Greg G.

          Is that your greatest fear, that people who were commited Christians re-examine their faith and rationally decide it’s silly?

        • Pofarmer

          Brandon, gimme a fucking break. Bart Ehrman has studied the NT as much as anyone. I became an Atheist while searching and studying and trying to find the “Truth” of Catholicism.

        • brandon allbritton

          There is little truth in Catholicism. It’s a works based religion, not true and biblical Christianity.

        • Pofarmer

          No true Scotsman twice in the same conversation? Geez. But, it doesn’t matter. If you turn the techniques to discredit catholicism back on itself, the results are the same.

        • MNb

          There is little truth in you either. Why haven’t you started yet praying 24/7 for me? Apparently you didn’t mean your offer seriously, because I badly need you to pray 24/7 for me. Less will not do.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Brandon: Sounds like MNb is meeting you more than halfway by volunteering his soul to be acted on by the Holy Spirit in response to your prayers. If you’re not going to pray unceasingly for him, at least tell us what you think would happen if you did.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          You’re saying that nowhere in the Bible is the claim made that works gets you into heaven?

        • brandon allbritton

          That’s what I’m saying Bob. Nowhere. Paul is very explicit about it. Jesus was too. Just most people do not know how to interpret in light of context and in light of all of scripture. But the bible clearly denies our works as a means of justification.

          Romans 3:28 NASB

          For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from works of the Law.

          We are all sinners in need of God’s free grace.

        • Pofarmer

          Never read James?

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          As Pofarmer said, James is a counterexample. As is the parable of the sheep and goat (Matt. 25).

          The idea that God has a test of faith? What a sick piece of work that makes him. The Christian afterlife is nonsense, but getting in because of works makes much more sense.

        • Kodie

          How could it be so tricky to interpret the bible and also be explicit and clear?

          “God’s grace” isn’t free- it entails “praying for the wisdom” to leave ones rational faculties behind and buy this fiction – also, 10% of one’s income annually. Doesn’t strike you as the least bit suspicious that you are “concerned” about our souls? Because you’re really a pawn.

        • TheNuszAbides

          the Properly Faithy Decoder Ring can’t be put into words; alas, if only divine magick worked that way!

        • Greg G.

          That seems to be Paul’s opinion. It seems to be in opposition to the circumcision faction. The Epistle of James looks like a point by point refutation of Galatians where Paul was very sarcastic toward the “pillars”, Peter, James, and John.

        • TheNuszAbides

          well you at least get half a point for that one.

        • Kodie

          Now who’s being charitable. It’s irrational to reject Catholicism on that basis.

        • TheNuszAbides

          you got me.

        • brandon allbritton

          Man cannot come to the truth himself. It takes God.

        • Kodie

          What if god is imaginary? God does not seem to light up everyone and give them a chance at salvation, he seems pretty ok letting most of us burn for not getting the weak signal and interpreting the vague signs.

        • brandon allbritton

          Are they vague or are you blind?

        • Kodie

          I’m not brainwashed by biblical marketing and illogical arguments you keep using.

        • Pofarmer

          Some things have to be believed to be seen.

        • MNb

          It takes god to come to god. As I never came to god obviously he doesn’t exist according to your poor logic.
          See? More harmful nonsens. So could you fulfill my wish and start praying 24/7 for me? We all will be better off.

        • TheNuszAbides

          methinks you’re playing the hand too strongly; the temptation to take you up on the prayerbombing easily marks you as devil-tongued!

        • Dys

          Circular reasoning is fun.

        • ajginn

          If man can’t come to the truth himself, then what’s the point of all your caterwauling?

          I guess God just doesn’t love us enough to reveal the “truth”.

        • Pofarmer

          No true Scotsmans fail. You are racking em up.

        • MNb

          “Ill pray that …..”
          You don’t pray enough. Only 24/7 suffices.

        • Dys

          Ill pray that you lose your skepticism and see the truth.

          No thank you. I value intellectual honesty too much to toss it away for gullibility.

        • brandon allbritton

          You are very misinformed.

        • Pofarmer

          Cognitive dissonance hit ya?

        • brandon allbritton

          Lol no I don’t think so.

        • Pofarmer

          Well, that’s funny, because Greg just offered up a boatload of , ya know, evidence for his claims. All you have are theological claims. I could give you a host of places to go and books to read on the NT, and specifically on Paul. Hell, you could start with Bart Ehrman’s site, “Christianity in Antiquity” and read through his posts there. But I imagine he doesn’t agree with you either.

        • brandon allbritton

          Hey man it’s cool if you disagree. I wish you didn’t because I care about where you will spend eternity. But it’s ok man. You are convinced of your belief and I am convinced of mine. In the end we will just have to see what happens after we die right? That will tell whose evidence was right.

        • Pofarmer

          Proselytization fail. Pascals wager fail. Maybe you need to read Bob’s stupid arguments posts?

        • Kodie

          So you ran out of argument, so.. threats? Empty imaginary threats.

        • brandon allbritton

          Umm nope lol

        • Kodie

          Your argument has been discredited to my satisfaction, so I don’t know why you think threatening us with hell is your next move. It’s hilarious how weak you are.

        • brandon allbritton

          I’m not threatening anyone. Hell is part of my understanding of the bible. Its where people go who reject the love of God’s offer of salvation. And you are right about me being weak. I am weak which is why I need Jesus.

          2 Corinthians 12:10 NASB
          Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong.

        • brandon allbritton

          1 Corinthians 1:18 NASB

          For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.

        • 90Lew90

          Embrace the ignorance…

        • Greg G.

          Paul got that from the Old Testament, too, from Isaiah 29:14. He quotes it in the next verse.

        • Kodie

          You can’t seem to handle that that is meaningless to anyone. You haven’t used your wits to argue in favor of the bible’s authenticity, so it seems you’re backed into a corner now. The bible is a powerful marketing tool, and uses these kinds of techniques to ply you and make you think you’re making the only smart choice – by calling everyone else a fool and threaten YOU with what will happen to YOU if you don’t join up. YOU are the one who is buying this. How much money do you give your church?

        • Dys

          Ah, the good old pathetic “you’re just reading it wrong” defense.

        • MNb

          Could you fulfill my wish and go praying for me 24/7? Then we will be saved from your harmful Bible quotes.

        • Kodie

          You’re weak is why this argument works on you, and why you resort to it when your first argument fails to wow us. Threaten us with eternal damnation – make no mistake, it’s a threat, I don’t know why you don’t recognize it as such.

          You have no credibility and given no reason to take you seriously. Christianity is where you go when you reject logic. God’s salvation is an imaginary offer, you’ve given no reason to take you seriously.

        • TheNuszAbides

          “it’s a threat, I don’t know why you don’t recognize it as such.”

          perhaps he’s too caught up in his world-weary head-shaking pity-oozing martyrtastic love for pretty atheists.

        • Greg G.

          That verse is false modesty. In the very next verse he says:

          2 Corinthians 12:11
          11 I have made a fool of myself, but you drove me to it. I ought to have been commended by you, for I am not in the least inferior to the “super-apostles,” even though I am nothing.

        • Pofarmer

          You mean where God impregnated a virgin, then offers himself as a sacrifice to himself to save us from himself?

        • MNb

          “Its where people go who …..”
          Could you fulfill my wish and go praying for me 24/7? Then we will be saved from your harmful nonsense.

        • Dys

          Hell is part of my understanding of the bible

          And there’s no evidence any such place exists. So there’s no point in worrying about it unless the goal is to fear-monger people into believing, which amounts to a threat.

        • ajginn

          Are you afraid of Jahannam? If not, why not?

        • MNb

          Thomas Covenant was.

        • ajginn

          Its where people go who reject the love of God’s offer of salvation.

          Wait, you just said down below that only God can reveal truth. If so, how can I do anything other than reject God’s love. It’s not like I can choose to love him if only he can draw me.

          Calvinists love to talk out of both sides of their mouths. On one hand, God is in control of everything. On the other you need to choose to follow Jesus. Maybe you haven’t noticed, but these are contradictory positions.

        • Greg G.

          We have the same evidence. You interpret it in terms of magic and support it with confirmation bias. There’s a long history of that method not working. When people stopped trying to put God into every explanation, they were finally able to understand nature which resulted in the technological revolution.

        • TheNuszAbides

          well, “not working” in the sense of not being cognitively coherent, but it certainly seems to ‘work’ in terms of comforting blather.

        • Greg G.

          Excellent observation. BTW, who was the last person who responded to him before he took his avatar and ran away? That person won the internet today.

        • Kodie

          His last comment was in response to Bob S.

        • TheNuszAbides

          what was the avatar?

        • Greg G.

          I was using a fake ID as my poetic license. It appears that he deleted his account then logged in using the same name.

        • 90Lew90

          “I wish you didn’t because I care about where you will spend eternity.”

          No you don’t. You’ll go about your day and hardly give it another thought. By next week it won’t enter your mind. That’s because deep down, you don’t even believe it yourself but you must cling to your faith in order to avoid looking a fool.

        • brandon allbritton

          If you want me to pray for you everyday I will. Just say so. But there is such a thing as priority. Its not realistic that I could remember every individual everyday. But I do pray everyday for all who do not know Jesus to come to know Him and receive Him as Lord and be saved. I think that that does show that I do care about other people’s souls. Why else would I pray everyday for them?

        • Kodie

          Superstition?

        • Greg G.

          I would prefer that you just send me a dollar every week. Then you would know that it is doing something.

          Nothing fails like prayer.

        • 90Lew90

          Asexual masturbation?

        • MNb

          “If you want me to pray for you everyday I will.”
          I want you to pray for me 24/7. Then you are at least not capable of doing any harm.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          You’re threatening an atheist with hell? I don’t think that kind of thing works.

        • Greg G.

          I’m glad he didn’t threaten to tell Santa Claus about our evil ways.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Cuz that guy actually delivers!

        • Dys

          In the end we will just have to see what happens after we die right?”

          Since there’s not really any good evidence that there’s an afterlife, “after we die” isn’t particularly meaningful, because there won’t be any ‘us’ at that point.

        • MNb

          “because I care about where you will spend eternity.”
          We’re better off if you don’t.

        • Erwin

          A Word of advice and encouragement, from one believer to another, when conversing with ‘these’:

          Revelation 12:11; Hebrews 4:12; Ephesians 6:11-18; Matthew 4:4;
          Deuteronomy 8:3;
          Joshua1:6-9.

        • Kodie

          More role-playing nonsense.

          Your life is not an epic.

        • Erwin

          Re ‘wisdom’: ref James 4:3, 1-10.

        • Kodie

          Cult propaganda.

        • Dys

          In other words, just keep spouting things that you can’t support. You’re basically just trying to justify your own ego trip and inoculating yourself against rational inquiry.

        • Dys

          I care about where you will spend eternity.

          I wasn’t aware anyone had ever demonstrated that there was an afterlife in the first place, let alone the possible locations. You’ve put the cart far ahead of the horse.

  • Pofarmer

    Why did what’s his face suddenly go to guest?

    • hector_jones

      I’m not certain, but I think that happens if the person deletes the account. Disqus is stupid.

      • Pofarmer

        I think he he didn’t want to be tracked to this thread.

        • hector_jones

          Who was it? I forget what name he was using.

        • Pofarmer

          Brandon Whittington I think. I know the first name was brandon.

        • Kodie

          brandon allbritton. What kind of troll will he be next?

        • Kodie

          It was a new account anyway, just to post in this thread. I checked it earlier.

        • Pofarmer

          Ah. Then why suddenly delete it when he started getting his ass handed to him?

        • Kodie

          Cowardice.

        • Greg G.

          It was because he was getting his anonymous ass handed to him.

    • TheNuszAbides

      weirder is that i started reading that thread just an hour or so ago, and one of his comments is still under a name.
      http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined/2012/09/failed-prophecy-psalm-22/#comment-1629877879

      • Pofarmer

        I bet he accidentally replied by that name in the guest box.

  • Believer

    Lord, I pray for each and every soul involved in this comment strand, that you would remove the heart of stone and insert the heart of flesh so that they might hear and respond to you in faith. Your ways are not our ways, God, and we will never be able to understand the depths of your love, kindness, steadfastness, righteousness, holiness and justice. Thank you for coming down to earth, choosing to be made lower than your own creation for a little while, by bearing our sin burden and taking our place on the cross. Which in turn makes a way for us to enjoy a relationship with you here on earth and for eternity in heaven. “For God so loved the world that he gave His only Son, that whosoever believe in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” Amen. “The man who is constantly toiling for and seeking truth but never finding it is hoisted high on the shoulders of his peers, but the man who actually finds truth is made low and despised.”

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

      This magical incantation will surely be effective. (Or at least it would if you’d remembered to put the Amen on the end. It’s like abracadabra–you must do it just right.)

      • MR

        No, wait, Bob, I think I might be feeling the Holy Spirit’s love growing inside me as we speak…. O’p, never mind. Gas.

    • Pofarmer

      “”The man who is constantly toiling for and seeking truth but never
      finding it is hoisted high on the shoulders of his peers, but the man
      who actually finds truth is made low and despised.””

      I think some examples are in order. I’ll wait. Won’t hold my breath, though.

    • MNb

      “I pray for each and every soul involved in this comment strand”
      I hope you enjoy yourself; I couldn’t care less.

  • Agnus

    It’s not really up to you what it says. It is up to the Theologians . All I can say is prior to the c20th not one single person questioned that it said “they pierced my hands and my feet.”

    Even the 1917 version of the Jewish Tanakh states

    22:16 For dogs have compassed me: the assembly of the wicked have inclosed me: they pierced my hands and my feet.”
    http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Bible/Psalms22.html

    People who don’t choose to believe, are choosing to prefer NOT to.

    Don’t embaress yourselves. You have the free-will God gave you to not believe, but please don’t try and rob other people of the good news, that God came to dwell amongst man, to die at Passover, the only acceptable Sin offering, shedding His OWN sinless blood, as a FIT Sacrifice for MANY who might humble themselves to accept His gift of Redemption.

    PS You overlooked THIS one, also in the Jewish Tanakh from 1917

    Zechariah 12:10 GOD SPEAKING!!!!!!!!

    “And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn.”

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

      It’s not really up to you what it says. It is up to the Theologians .

      Uh huh. And, as I showed, the jury’s out. I didn’t make up the bit about the lions. That came from scholars.

      All I can say is prior to the c20th not one single person questioned that it said “they pierced my hands and my feet.”

      Maybe you should go back to Theologian school. Since the Masoretic text has the lion version, I fear that you’re wrong.

      Don’t embaress yourselves.

      There’s a lot more to the argument than the lion thing. If you have any response to the actual argument, I’d be interested to hear it.

      please don’t try and rob other people of the good news

      Deconversion isn’t really my goal, though if it makes sense for a reader, that’s fine. Your admonition to avoid sharing one’s worldview is interesting. Do you follow it?

      Zechariah 12:10 GOD SPEAKING!!!!!!!!

      “And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn.”

      What is this supposed to be? A prophecy of the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus? If so, you could hardly deduce the “good news” from this.

      Figure out what a prophecy is, because these aren’t it.

  • Billy

    Before the Dead Sea Scrolls were found this dicusion of “they pierce my hand and feet” was a very hot one. Sceptics of the Bible simply could not believe that someone could write such a deteiled description of crusifiction and the way Jesus would die almost 1000 years before it happened. At that time it was eacy for sceptics to claim all kinds of faulds of the Old Testament, because the oldest manuscripts we had dated around 900 AD. The claim at that time was that almost the whole psalm was written after the crusifiction of Jesus.

    However after the Dead Sea Scrolls were found, which date back to 200 BC that argument was totally refuted and could not be used. Then the arguments changed,to the one that Bob is now arguing.

    The diference between “Pierce” and “like a lion” is very small. The Hebrew word ‘כאר, ka’ari, translated “like a lion” and the word כארו, ka’aru,translates “they dug,” which would be translated to the Greek word ὤρυξαν, oruxsan, “they dug” or “they pierced.” The difference thus is whether the original word ended with a vav or a yod. Psalm 22:16(17) was found in the Dead Sea Scrolls but was so damaged, that is could not be read. However scraps from a scroll found at Nachal Hever did contain the words from Psalm 22:16 (17) and they were very clear. The word clearly ended in a vav and not a yod and was thus a 3rd person plural verb: “They dug” or “They pierced”

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

      The “like a lion” bit is a small matter. The entire psalm does a poor job of paralleling the Jesus story, as the post makes clear.

      • Billy

        No
        Bob, this is not correct. The matter of the fact is, that if you, want
        to be a critic of the Bible without looking at it objectively, you will
        never find the truth. And this is the case in any discussion. The “pierce my hand and feet” is very
        crucial to this argument. Many of the other things you are bringing up,
        you can just say that the first Christians wrote the stories in the
        gospels to match Psalm 22 (subsequent write up), but it will be hard for
        you to say, that the Romans invented crucifixion as a death penalty to
        match Psalm 22:16 (17). Thus this is in deed an important part of the
        argument. The fact, that you just dismisses this, and want to rather
        talk about the rest of the Psalm shows, that you are not an objective
        critic, but arrive at this argument with a presupposition that the Bible
        is not the Word of God

        • Pofarmer

          “but it will be hard for
          you to say, that the Romans invented crucifixion as a death penalty to
          match Psalm 22:16 (17)”

          What?

        • Billy

          Yes I mean it exactly the way I say it.
          Sceptics of the Bible can always try to say, that statements like “My God, My God, why has thou forsaken me”, was something the first christians wrote to match the prophecy in Psalm 22. But when it somes to “They pierse my hands and feet”, the sceptics can not just use the same argument, because it is well known also from extra Biblical Writings, that Jesus was crucified. When Psalm 22 was written crisifixion was not even known.

        • Pofarmer

          Which is why Psalm 22 isnt about crucifixion.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          So when you look up “crucifixion” in the dictionary, it says: “they pierce your hands and feet”?

          Last time I checked, there was more to it than that. Your entire argument is quite a stretch. Imagine how you’d evaluate a prophecy claim within some other religion. I’m sure you’d be as skeptical as I am here.

        • Philmonomer

          In any case, we don’t actually know his hands and feet were nailed to the cross. It appears more likely that hands were tied on:

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jehohanan

          It is also certainly possible that the “piercing” was an invention of the author(s) of the Gospels (to fit the Psalm).

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          It’s fascinating that crucifixion is taken for granted and yet we have so little historical evidence for specifically how it happened. Good point about the piercing–tying the arms gets the job done as well.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Yes, that is a minority translation, but perhaps you’ve noticed that I didn’t make it up. I give the reference to the Christian scholars who make it.

          And no, the lion thing is not crucial to the discussion. I repeat: remove that if it annoys you and critique the argument that remains. Ps. 22 as a prophecy fails.

          The fact that you dismiss the observation that Ps. 22 has no parallel to the resurrection, which, I think you’ll agree, is the punch line to the gospel story, makes it clear that you are not an objective critic.

      • Billy

        And by the way, the Psalm is not paralleling the Jesus story. How can you parallel a story several hundred years before it happened. Psalm 22 is prophecying about the death of Jesus.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          the Psalm is not paralleling the Jesus story. How can you parallel a story several hundred years before it happened

          Kinda clueless today? You ought to read what a recent Christian wrote. Billy was his name, I think. He had it figured out: he made clear that Ps. 22 was a prophecy. That’s what we call tales that parallel historical events “several hundred years before it happened.”

    • Pofarmer

      “The claim at that time was that almost the whole psalm was written after the crusifiction of Jesus.”

      Since when? As far as I know,,it was always known the old testament, well, predated the new testament. Who was making these arguments?

      • Billy

        Sorry. What I meant was, not that the Psalm was written after, but that the claim has been, that the gospel accounts were made to match the Psalm 22 account. By the way I don’t think this is the case. If you read everything I wrote you will understand what I mean.

        • Pofarmer

          I mainly understand you’re completely missguided.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          That the gospels were written to pick up bits of the OT as imaginary prophecy is the screamingly obvious explanation. That’s not proof, of course, and I’m happy to investigate the clues otherwise (as I’ve done in several posts here).

          All I’ve gotten from your comments is that you reject this idea. You’ve given us no reason to accept your thinking, though.

        • Greg G.

          Almost everything in the New Testament is based on the Old Testament. Well, some of the words of Jesus was stolen from the Epistle of James, Mark borrowed from Homer and Luke relied on Josephus, but the bulk is from the OT.

  • James

    Wow. What a horrible argument to persuade yourself that this is not a messianic prophecy. It’s clear that your bias has concluded your thoughts on the text before drawing your conclusion. It amazes me to what great lengths people will go to deny Christ.

    • 90Lew90

      Shocking isn’t it!

    • Billy

      I totaly agree with you James. so often I see, that people do not approach the Bible with an open mind, but with a preposition that the Bible is wrong. It is impossible and useless to argue with these kind of sceptics.

      • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

        Tell that to the Christians whose faith is fading who are pleading, begging for God to give some clue that the gospel message is correct. And getting nothing but crickets.

        What explains this? They’re just not suffering enough anguish? Not open minded enough? God’s an asshole?

        Or maybe it’s just pretend like all the others?

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

      Say, I have an idea! If you want to tell the atheists how they’ve gotten it wrong, give and actual, y’know, argument.

      You’ve made clear that I’m biased … but done nothing to show the error(s). Methinks this is all bluster and no argument.

  • Lorenzo Witeout

    You can draw a horse to the water but you cant make him drink, you can draw an atheist to proof but you cant make him think

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

      And if the glove don’t fit, you must acquit, right?!

      I love rhymes. They make it so easy to see that something is true.

      Say, here’s a challenge for you: show actual reasons why the post above is flawed. In regular English.

  • Jerry

    Bob. The oldest copies of the Hebrew bible were written without punctuation. This is what the Septuagint (Greek translation) is based on. This translation was written and distributed between 3rd century BC and 2nd century BC.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Septuagint

    The Masoretic text (which is what modern Bibles are based on) was copied accurately (as can be seen by Dead Sea Scrolls) but a slight nuance was added… punctuation. These rabbi’s added punctuation to the old Hebrew texts… Christians argue that the changes were to specifically remove references to Jesus.

    Explanation of Masoretic changes
    http://theaquilareport.com/punctuating-the-bible/

    Masoretic vs. Septuagint translations
    http://www.oodegr.co/english/protestantism/masoretic_vs_septuagint.htm

    There were many verses affected by this as you can see.

    • adam

      “Legend

      These titles refer to a legendary story, according to which seventy or seventy-two Jewish scholars were asked by the Greek King of Egypt Ptolemy II Philadelphus to translate the Torah from Biblical Hebrew into Greek, for inclusion in the Library of Alexandria.[8]

      This legend is first found in the pseudepigraphic Letter of Aristeas to his brother Philocrates,[9] and is repeated, with embellishments, by Philo of Alexandria, Josephus[10][11] and by various later sources, including St. Augustine.[12] A version of the legend is found in the Tractate Megillah of the Babylonian Talmud:”

      The date of the 3rd century BCE, given in the legend, is supported
      (for the Torah translation) by a number of factors, including the Greek
      being representative of early Koine, citations beginning as early as the
      2nd century BCE, and early manuscripts datable to the 2nd century.[15][16]

      After the Torah, other books were translated over the next two to
      three centuries. It is not altogether clear which was translated when,
      or where; some may even have been translated twice, into different
      versions, and then revised.[17] The quality and style of the different translators also varied considerably from book to book, from the literal to paraphrasing to interpretative.”

      “Since Late Antiquity, once attributed to a Council of Jamnia, mainstream rabbinic Judaism
      rejected the Septuagint as valid Jewish scriptural texts. Several
      reasons have been given for this. First, some mistranslations were
      claimed. Second, the Hebrew source texts, in some cases (particularly
      the Book of Daniel), used for the Septuagint differed from the Masoretic tradition of Hebrew texts, which was chosen as canonical by the Jewish rabbis.[26] Third, the rabbis wanted to distinguish their tradition from the newly emerging tradition of Christianity.[20][27”

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Septuagint

      “The discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls at Qumran,
      dating from c. 150 BCE-75 CE, shows that in this period there was not
      always the scrupulous uniformity of text that was so stressed in later
      centuries. “http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Masoretic_Text

      So a book of legends, what is your point?

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

      You’re saying that every OT book in the Dead Sea scrolls collection shows no change when compared to the later Masoretic text? I don’t think so. At best, perhaps one could argue that the many changes aren’t especially important. (I’ve only read on this issue minimally.)

      But what is the point of this tangential history lesson?

      • Jerry

        Because it shows how the Jews changed the texts to undermine Jesus.

      • TheNuszAbides

        wow. he really went there. bet he’s got a file on their smear-job of Paul too…

  • John

    You may try to paint the writers of the gospel to be liars. However, you will never be able to explain why first hand witnesses to the same events never challenged their claims. Only you and others started doing this thousands of years after the fact. You will never be able to explain why Millions of people over 2000 years later still follow him as our God. The most difficult thing you will have to explain is why the Gospel writers allowed themselves to be killed for their beliefs when it would have been easy to recant their stories if they were untrue. The simple fact is you want to prove there is no God in order to justify how you live. However, the simple fact is, you, like all of us are going to die one day. If your theory is correct then you are food for worms. If your theory is wrong you will still be food for worms. If my theory is wrong I will be food for worms. If my theory is correct I will spend eternity with the God of the Universe. I have a 50% shot. You my friend have none. I will pray for you. Suggest you read Mere Christianity by CS Lewis and then Case for Christ by Lee Strobel. God speed my brother. Praying you find your way out of the pit of hate and skepticism.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

      you will never be able to explain why first hand witnesses to the same events never challenged their claims.

      This Naysayer Hypothesis fails when you think about it a bit. Read this.

      You will never be able to explain why Millions of people over 2000 years later still follow him as our God.

      You’ll have to clarify the difficulty. Sounds pretty easy to me. However you explain the popularity of Mormonism or Islam or Hinduism, you’ll probably find my response as well.

      why the Gospel writers allowed themselves to be killed for their beliefs when it would have been easy to recant their stories if they were untrue

      “Who would die for a lie?” is it? Another weak argument, I’m afraid. Your Christian sources haven’t prepared you very well (though I applaud your coming here to expand your mind a bit).

      I respond to that argument here.

      you want to prove there is no God in order to justify how you live.

      That’s weird. I thought it was because there was insufficient evidence. No?

      If my theory is correct I will spend eternity with the God of the Universe. I have a 50% shot.

      Your childish grasp of probability is hilarious.

      If you want my take of this elementary argument, search “Pascal’s Wager” for my posts on the subject. I’m tired of looking them up for you.

      I will pray for you.

      I will think for you.

      Suggest you read Mere Christianity by CS Lewis and then Case for Christ by Lee Strobel.

      Read them, had a laugh, blogged about them. (And you really need something more meaty than Strobel.)

      Praying you find your way out of the pit of hate and skepticism.

      Ah, I see. If I disagree with you, it couldn’t be that you’re simply wrong, that your supernatural beliefs are no more correct than those of the Buddhist or Zeus worshipper?

    • MNb

      And you will never be able to explain why so many SSers were willing to die at the Eastern Front between 1941 and 1945.

      “If my theory is correct I will spend eternity with the God of the Universe.”
      Have fun. I pass.

      “out of the pit of hate and skepticism.”
      I have never been in a pit of hate. I hope to stay in the pit of skepticism the rest of my life. I don’t want to become as gullible as you.

      “I will pray for you.”
      Pick your choice:

      http://www.patheos.com/blogs/barrierbreaker/atheists-responding-to-the-christian-phrase-ill-pray-for-you/

  • Scott Davidson

    Bob, I realize your article which I came across is a few years old so I am going to guess you still believe what you believe and I can respect that because after all God gave us that liberty to believe what we want. Since this is the only article I have read from you and I can see your responses I am going to go out on a limb and gather that you would say that God does not exist. Correct me if I have that wrong.
    So I ask this of you Bob that if you do not believe God exists and we came into existence somehow I would have to conclude that you would to fall into the camp that we got here through an event such as the popular big bang idea. I can provide answers to questions such as Who created, What was created, How was it created, When was it created and How long did it take to create but if I were to ask you one simple question regarding the idea of big bang’s time and energy I am curious what answer you could provide. So here is the question. Energy is a thing, so where did the energy come from if there is no creator?
    I believe before any conversation can move along such as trying to promote the idea of evolution one has to be able to answer that first question or else we cannot move forward to how life began and how anything evolved.
    I look forward to your response.
    Have a blessed day.
    Scott

    • MNb

      “God gave us that liberty to believe what we want.”
      Do you apply that to gravity and electricity as well?

      “the popular big bang idea”
      The Big Bang is not an idea. It’s an empirical and historical fact.

      https://cosmology.carnegiescience.edu/timeline/1929
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cosmic_microwave_background

      Both only make sense if our Universe was smaller in the past. So at some point it must have been infinitesimally small. That point is called the Big Bang (quite often also the time interval shortly after).

      “Energy is a thing, so where did the energy come from if there is no creator?”
      The total energy of our Universe is likely exactly zero. Almost all galaxies are moving away from each other. The simple equation Work = Force x displacement applied to them results in negative gravitational energy, because force and displacement have opposite directions.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zero-energy_universe

      So we can safely move on to the discussion of abiogenesis (the origin of Earthly life) you’re hinted at. But before we do I’d like to point out that the argument “unsolved problem in science hence god” is a logical fallacy.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/God_of_the_gaps

      If you want to replace science by some god-hypothesis it’s not enough to reject scientific theories. You also need to bring up a consistent and coherent alternative. In fact that alternative also should be testable, but I won’t demand that from you, because it’s impossible by definition.

      “the idea of evolution”
      You could call evolution an idea indeed. So are gravity and electricity.

      • Scott Davidson

        The Big Bang is not an idea. It’s an empirical and historical fact.
        I ask you then to provide the evidence that energy existed before anything else did to provide the spark that brought the universe into existence.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          (Try to put quotes around someone else’s stuff so we can read it more easily.)

          No one knows what preceded the Big Bang. Maybe nothing, and nothing is unstable. Maybe our universe came from material from some other universe. Maybe the amount of total energy is zero because gravity is negative.

          Simple common sense platitudes like “everything has a cause” or “something can’t come from nothing” don’t serve us well at the frontier of science.

        • Scott Davidson

          (Simple common sense platitudes like “everything has a cause” or “something can’t come from nothing” don’t serve us well at the frontier of science.)

          Bob I added a definition of science:
          the intellectual and practical activity encompassing the systematic study of the structure and behavior of the physical and natural world through observation and experiment:

          In order to make absolutely sure that the science of the big bang is correct then wouldn’t there at least have to be the observation portion to confirm it’s authenticity? Since secular scientists estimate that the earth is billions of years old it would be rather hard for anyone to have done that, agree?

          So really all secular scientists have is their best guess as to how we all came about along with fancy articles with a lot of fancy words. But in the end they don’t know, which makes the creation account credible and true. I urge you again to take a look at the Creation Northwest Research website and watch the many videos they have from various people including scientists that give very compelling evidence for God’s work.

        • Rudy R

          The very first video on the web site attempts to support weather climate change deniers with a climate model that includes a post-flood Ice Age scenario. No credible scientist would base their theory with the assumption that the Old Testament flood actually occurred.

        • Susan

          So really all secular scientists have is their best guess as to how we all came about along with fancy articles with a lot of fancy words.

          You don’t seem to understand the process from which they derive their “best guess” and why it is reliable. That you dismiss it as “fancy articles with a lot of fancy words” only tells us that you don’t understand the subjects about which you are commenting.

          Apologists are not going to educate you.

          But in the end, they don’t know

          Don’t know what?

          which makes the creation account credible and true.

          No. It doesn’t. This is fallacious. “You don’t know so my answer is correct.” is not an acceptable argument. .
          .
          .

        • MR
          which makes the creation account credible and true.

          No. It doesn’t. This is fallacious. “You don’t know so my answer is correct.” is not an acceptable argument.

          My God, that’s quite a leap to make! The biblical creation account is no more credible than any other other creation myth, and he has a hell of a lot of work to do to show that it is true.

        • MNb

          “In order to make absolutely sure”
          Forget it. Science doesn’t make anything absolutely sure. It doesn’t even make absolutely sure you will fall downward when jumping off a bridge tomorrow.

          “the observation portion to confirm it’s authenticity?”
          So you haven’t read the links I provided. You may enjoy science a great deal, you are not interested in new scientific ideas. See, there you could have found that observation portion. Here they are again:

          https://cosmology.carnegiescience.edu/timeline/1929
          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cosmic_microwave_background

          “Since secular scientists estimate that the earth is billions of years old”
          BWAHAHAHAHA! Showing that you’re just an ignorant creationist, producing creacrap. Totally not secular:

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Georges_Lemaitre

          This catholic priest and thus totally non-secular scientist was instrumental in the research of the event that later would be named Big Bang. He was not the first though, as that page claims. That was soviet-commie Alexander Friedmann. Do you see the beauty here? To do science well it doesn’t matter if you believe in god or not.

          “very compelling evidence for God’s work.”

          Thanks – with this formulation you convinced me that nobody needs to watch those videos. Evidence for god is a contradictio in terminis, because evidence is by definition empirical hence natural. God is by definition supernatural.
          Btw I’m a much better reader than listener, so I’m not going to watch any video anyway.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          The Big Bang is the scientific consensus. I’m a layman, and I have no grounds from which to call that wrong. It might be wrong, of course, but any statement to that effect coming from my mouth would be the blatherings of an ill-informed layman.

          Ditto for you.

          If you’re simply an armchair scientist who simply wants to learn stuff, that’s great. I do detect an agenda behind all this, however, and that’s not science. You need to choose—you can’t be both.

          So really all secular scientists have is their best guess as to how we all came about along with fancy articles with a lot of fancy words.

          1. Secular or not is irrelevant.

          2. Yes, of course it’s a best guess. They could be wrong. Welcome to the realities of science. (You got anything better? Show us … with the evidence.)

          3. “Fancy words”? Read some of the crap that Alvin Plantinga or WLC write. Science is a discipline that has no obligation to satisfy your common sense or education. If you don’t know what a deSitter space is, join the club. If you really want to know, that’s what Wikipedia is for.

          But in the end they don’t know, which makes the creation account credible and true.

          … aaaaand your agenda is revealed. No, “science can’t be sure” doesn’t lead to “therefore, God.”

        • Scott Davidson

          Of course I have an agenda. Why do you excuse the possibility of God creating everything. Do you think that will make you what weak minded, unable to think, unable to reason. Those are the comments I receive and I do not believe myself to be any of these. I believe Bob that if you acknowledge that God exists then you know that you are then accountable to Him and that does not fit into your life.

          My agenda is to point people to God’s love and grace toward His creation which Bob whether you like it or not God designed you, He gave you your characteristics, your attributes which are a reflection of Him. He loves you so much that even though you reject Him He still blesses you and came Himself to die for you so that if you believe in Him and put your trust in Him He will bring you into an eternal life with Him in His Kingdom. I am going to be there and I hope you will be there as well.
          Some people are one’s that need proof which is why I talk about creation, but ultimately each person has to realize that if they reject Jesus they are choosing their own eternal destiny which is called hell and I do not want to see anyone spend life after death there.

        • 90Lew90

          At the moment I’m in the throes of a massive toothache. When I was a kid and got sick, my mother would tell me to “offer it up”. Now, if Jesus were to walk into this room at the minute and try to tell me that this abominable pain and my swollen face was intended to make me feel closer to him, I’d punch the bastard. If he punched me back I might thank him if he burst this infernal abscess, and then I’d really go to town on him if I thought for a minute he was putting me through this to make a masochist of me. Do you have any idea how stupid — how unutterably stupid — the Jesus proposal is? Would you for goodness sake pluck your head from your rectum? There’s no other way to put it: You’re a twat. A completely and utterly gormless, gullible, dickhead twat! The only thing less believable about the claims made for Jesus of Nazareth are that people like you believe them. Catch yourself on you knob.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          My mouth hurts just reading about it. Get thee to a dentist!

        • 90Lew90

          Antibiotics haven’t kicked in yet, so not a wink of sleep was had. On the upside, it’s a beautiful Spring morning and I’ve made (well, am making) a Pane Pugliese and a big lasagne for later. Very industrious. Between the messing about in the kitchen and much Ibuprofen it’s bearable. Although I do look a bit like this:

        • MNb

          May Science be with you.

        • Dys

          Why do you excuse the possibility of God creating everything

          Lack of compelling evidence. Instead, what is always stated is that you have to believe first, and then interpret everything as evidence for God afterward. That’s not rational.

          The rest of your comment is little more than theological assertions that have no basis in reality. Super-duper believing that it’s true doesn’t make it so, nor is preaching an argument. You’ve entirely failed on pushing the pseudo-science angle, so now you’ve resorted to proselytizing. But since you haven’t backed any of it up with credible sources, there’s no reason to believe any of it.

          He will bring you into an eternal life with Him in His Kingdom. I am going to be there and I hope you will be there as well.

          Since there’s no credible evidence that heaven exists, all you’ve really got there is wishful thinking.

          if they reject Jesus they are choosing their own eternal destiny which is called hell and I do not want to see anyone spend life after death there.

          Then you’re in luck, as there’s no good evidence that there’s an afterlife, and no evidence whatsoever that hell exists. Problem solved, you can stop worrying.

        • Scott Davidson

          I suppose it is because I see lost people as worth the effort to reach. It really does bring sorrow to my soul knowing what is in your future and yet you ignore it not sure if you give it any thought at all.

          I do find it interesting that Bob writes a article on the falsehoods of Biblical prophesies yet he rejects it and tries to disprove something that He does not even believe exists. That makes no sense at all.

        • MNb

          “It really does bring sorrow to my soul”
          No, it doesn’t – you don’t have a soul. Neither do I. Nobody does.

          “disprove something that He does not even believe exists.”

          My dear self-deluded creacrapper, BobS doesn’t believe exactly because god has been disproven ……

        • Rudy R

          The reason atheists spend time trying to refute the Christian religion is because Christians try (and succeed) to incorporate their religious laws into public laws. These laws impact the lives of non-believers, so it’s not nonsensical for atheists to provide Christians an alternate view that they wouldn’t otherwise be exposed to in their religious bubble. It’s seemingly working, because those that self identify as non-religious is growing.

        • Kodie

          I’m glad it takes up so much of your concern to worry about people who are not lost. People like you are why Bob and others write about what many fantasies Christians believe and why they are fantasies and not part of the real world. You’re delusional.

        • Dys

          But the truth is that you don’t know. You’ve confused knowledge with belief.

          yet you ignore it not sure if you give it any thought at all.

          But I haven’t ignored it. I gave it precisely as much attention as it deserved. But you haven’t presented anything new, and you’re referencing creationist websites to try and dispute science. And the truly funny thing is that in the above posts you’ve dismissed all the science that disagrees with your position out of hand. Bit hypocritical of you, I’d say.

          I do find it interesting that Bob writes a article on the falsehoods of Biblical prophesies yet he rejects it and tries to disprove something that He does not even believe exists.

          Please don’t tell me you’re going with that idiotic canard of “Everyone knows God exists” and pretending people discussing it somehow constitutes evidence. Because that would be extremely dishonest.

          That makes no sense at all.

          Actually, it does, but I don’t think you understand skepticism. You need to progress beyond “Science isn’t perfect, therefore God”, because that’s nothing more than god of the gaps thinking.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          I do find it interesting that Bob writes a article on the falsehoods of Biblical prophesies yet he rejects it and tries to disprove something that He does not even believe exists. That makes no sense at all.

          speaking of not making sense, I couldn’t make sense of this paragraph. What is the concern here? What am I doing that’s odd?

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          My “agenda” is seeking the truth. I follow the evidence.

          If your agenda is to support your God conclusion regardless of the evidence, then your analysis won’t be worth much.

          if they reject Jesus they are choosing their own eternal destiny which is called hell

          Your savior created a place of eternal torment? Not a very nice savior.

        • Scott Davidson

          Bob, my heavenly Father is a Holy and Just God. If you had a family member murdered by someone and when that person was going to be given the verdict by the judge but the judge decided to let the person go free you would agree that that judge is not just, right? How is that any different than what God does. He loves you so much and is patient with us that He gives you time to repent of your sins and turn to Him but as a Holy and Just God that time will run out and you will have condemned yourself to hell when you die.

        • MNb

          Your imaginary father may be a holy and just god, if he sends honest people to Hell he is not a loving one.

          “If you had a family member murdered by someone and when that person was going to be given the verdict by the judge but the judge decided to let the person go free you would agree that that judge is not just, right?”
          Actually my father was murdered several years ago. I wouldn’t want that person to be punished eternally, no. At the other hand I wouldn’t want share eternity with that person in Heaven either, thank you very much.

          “He loves you so much”
          If he does he will grant me my wish and send me back into non-existence.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Eternal torment is “just”? For what crimes? Even Hitler doesn’t deserve eternal torment.

          He loves me to pieces but he doesn’t bother to make himself known? Since he knows that’s going to put me in hell, his actions don’t seem very loving.

        • MNb

          “Why do you excuse the possibility of God creating everything.”
          Because it doesn’t make sense and because science has had a bigger influence on our Earthly reality in 200+ years than god in several millennia.

          “to point people to God’s love and grace toward His creation”
          Like I wrote above, if god’s love is genuine he won’t send me to Hell and neither to Heaven, but let me descend into oblivion and nothingness after I die.

          “He gave you your characteristics”
          No, my parents did.

          “which is why I talk about creation”
          Your talk is no evidence.

        • Pofarmer

          Tell ya what Scott. You go through the week with only the things created by God, and I’ll go through the week with only things created by science. I predict you don’t make it out the door of your house.

        • wtfwjtd

          ” I believe Bob that if you acknowledge that God exists then you know that you are then accountable to Him and that does not fit into your life.”

          Cool! I see how this works: You say, ” if you acknowledge that God exists then you know that you are then accountable to Him..”

          So, since Bob does not acknowledge that God exists, I can therefore logically conclude that Bob is not accountable to Him.
          Problem solved, you can quit worrying!

        • Dys

          In order to make absolutely sure that the science of the big bang is
          correct then wouldn’t there at least have to be the observation portion
          to confirm it’s authenticity?

          Yep, and they’ve done that by observing redshifts in the cosmos. Creationists continually try to draw a false divide between what they term observational science and historical science. But it doesn’t exist, nor do they honestly act as if it were. Unless they don’t think forensics works at all, but I don’t believe any of them are that disconnected from reality.

          But in the end they don’t know, which makes the creation account credible and true.

          Massive logic fail on your part, as you’ve just committed a complete non sequitur.

          The creation account is decidedly not credible nor true. The story in Genesis describes a flat disc shaped earth with a domed firmament. And it gets the order of things wrong as well. There are so many things wrong with the creation narrative that your best bet is to write the whole thing off as a metaphor.

        • MNb

          “But it doesn’t exist”
          No, but even if it does the distinction works against them. Radiometry is totally observational science.

        • Cognissive Disco Dance

          But in the end they don’t know, which makes the creation account credible and true.

          No it doesn’t. It makes the Buddha reincarnate.

          I urge you again

          “Urge” duly noted. Evolution science makes evolution credible and true, right? Yeah didn’t think so.

        • Pofarmer

          Read MNb’s response again. The energy in the Universe likely totals zero. The Big Bang is a quantum level event. Things at that level are not intuitive for us.

      • Scott Davidson

        (When the Universe was young, before the formation of stars and planets, it was denser, much hotter, and filled with a uniform glow from a white-hot fog of hydrogen plasma)

        After reading through the link on CMB and all the terms they use I ask the question again how did the universe come into existence as the link stated before the formation of the stars, planets etc…. And where did the material come from to form the planets? Nothing cannot create anything. If you start with nothing you still end with nothing.

        • Pofarmer

          Scott, if you are really interested in trying to understand, you need to get off of creationist sites and interact with the work of astrophysicists like Laurence Kraus and Sean Carroll. Sean Carrolls blog is called “Preposterousuniverse”. Between them they have hundreds, if not over a thousand technical papers and articles.

        • Scott Davidson

          I do my research regarding secular sources and it seems foolish to believe that we all got here from a beginning where there was nothing.

        • Dys

          But the fact is that no one, including you, knows that there ever was “nothing”. According to the current scientific consensus, the Big Bang was the starting point to the universe as it currently exists. Before that? Who knows? Jumping to “there was nothing” is unwarranted.

        • MNb

          No, you don’t do your research, because a) you haven’t told us what you mean with nothing (are quantum fields nothing?) and b) you haven’t read any of the links I provided.

        • Pofarmer

          What does that sentence even mean?

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          You, least of all, should be impressed by your analysis of science. You know that you’re just a layman. On what grounds do you reject the scientific consensus?

        • MNb

          “how did the universe come into existence”
          Physics has not settled yet on this issue because there is a lack of empirical data. One option is quantum fluctuation.

          http://www.space.com/16281-big-bang-god-intervention-science.html

          “where did the material come from to form the planets”
          You may enjoy science a great deal, you’re not capable of recognizing it when presented to you. I already answered that question. The total amount of energy/matter (they are interchangable) in our Universe is likely exactly zero.

        • Rudy R

          I agree with Pofarmer. Suggest you read anything by Carl Sagan. He’s such an eloquent writer and isn’t pushing any agenda other than his love and awe of the universe.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

      Science has lots of ideas to explain what came before the Big Bang (and note that even that question is ill-formed if time itself came into existence with the Big Bang).

      Science provides its answers with evidence; that’s why it takes a long time. But science is the only avenue that has ever taught us about reality.

      Yes, I realize that Christianity gives answers, but they come without evidence. They’re useless. “God did it” is unfalsifiable, and no, that’s not a good thing.

      • Scott Davidson

        Bob, I have to press on this question. You even stated that science has lots of ideas however the prevailing one is that time and energy are at it’s core what caused the big bang. I believe you to be an intelligent guy who certainly couldn’t believe that someone came from nothing so again I ask where did the energy come from?
        Also, Bob what is the evidence that energy was in existence before the big bang occurred?

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          I believe you to be an intelligent guy who certainly couldn’t believe that someone came from nothing

          Why do you ask? Was “nothing” what the Big Bang came from? That’s certainly not the scientific consensus, so I don’t see why any layman would declare that.

          so again I ask where did the energy come from?

          Don’t know. Not really on my short list of urgent questions. When science has a good answer (10 years? 50 years?), we’ll find out.

          Why? Do you know? If so, share it with us (and don’t forget to show your work).

          My approach to science is pretty reliable and pretty easy: whatever the scientific consensus says, I accept it. It ain’t perfect, but there’s no more reasonable approach for a layman.

        • Scott Davidson

          Typo, I meant to write something from nothing.

          Bob, I am asking you to take a look at this article because it seems that the consensus amongst secular scientists is unraveling regarding a big bang idea.

          http://creation.com/secular-scientists-blast-the-big-bang

          I would encourage you to look into websites such as Northwest Creation Network: I provided a link for you
          http://www.nwcreation.net/

          to test your approach to what you believe. I enjoy science a great deal and now that technology is becoming so advanced it is being used to support a loving God who created both you and me along with everything we see.

        • Rudy R

          You’re sources are highly suspect. The bombshell letter from your first link is not signed by scientists, but only has typed names of scientists. How do we know those typed-in names represent legitimate signatures? For the sake of argument, let’s just assume that the letter is legitimate and the list of scientists disagree with the Big Bang theory. We don’t know what their theory is for how the universe came to be, but we would assume that their theories wouldn’t include an Intelligent Designer, because they are secular scientists.
          Looking at the list, I picked the first scientist that looked legit, since he had Cornell credentials. Low and behold, Thomas Gold believed in the “steady-state” theory, which no credible cosmologist would claim to believe. Steady State is the proposition that there is no beginning and no end to the universe, essentially an eternal universe, something ID creationists would not agree. Again, Herman Bondi, another scientist on the list, was a “steady state” proponent.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          The only interesting signers of a statement that challenges the Big Bang (and is that actually what this statement does? I only skimmed it) would be cosmologists. I don’t know that that’s the case here. Surely the “Scientists and Engineers” section will be almost devoid of cosmologists.

          The paper was written in 2004. What’s changed since then? Is the Big Bang well accepted within the field? If so, the case is closed. We laymen have nothing to grab onto if we want to challenge it.

        • MNb

          From Wikipedia

          “Wieland is a medical doctor”
          and hence knows zilch about cutting edge physics.

          “I enjoy science a great deal”
          Irrelevant. The question is if you accept it. The answer is obviously no or you would not rely on a medical doctor writing about cutting edge physics.
          OK, let me have some fun with your medical doctor Carl Wieland.

          “things that we have never observed—inflation,”

          http://www.gizmag.com/bicep2-quantum-gravity-cosmic-inflation-harvard-smithsonian/31245/
          http://www-personal.umich.edu/~ktfreese/Inflationary_Cosmology_from_Theory_to_Observation_and_Back.pdf

          “dark matter”

          http://www.upi.com/Science_News/2014/01/21/First-direct-observation-of-cosmic-dark-matter-web-described/52551390350390/

          “and dark energy”

          http://www.u-tokyo.ac.jp/en/utokyo-research/editors-choice/dark-energy/
          http://www.its.caltech.edu/~rdputter/thesis.pdf

          “are the most prominent examples”
          not of what your ignorant good doctor writes, but how physicists creatively find ways to get observations indeed.
          Fail. Big fail.

          “the big bang theory can boast of no quantitative predictions that have subsequently been validated by observation.”
          BWAHAHAHAHA!
          There is no big bang theory. There are several. The Big Bang is a historical event and the two decisive observations have been made long ago – in 1927 by Hubble (the expanding universe) and in 1965 by Penzias and Wilson (cosmic background radiation). Your ignorant good doctor is at least half a century behind.
          OK, enough fun for one comment. There is no need to read the rest of that article after those bloopers, let alone to comment. It’s creacrap.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Let me get this straight. You’re pointing me to Creation Ministries International, a group that has a faith statement, if you can believe such a thing. That faith statement includes “The doctrines of Creator and Creation cannot ultimately be divorced from the Gospel of Jesus Christ.” And that’s a reliable source of science?

          Wrong.

          I live in Seattle, and I’ve been to a number of local Creationist meetings and conferences. I’m on the mailing list for the NW Creation Network (I was hoping to go to that thing in Bothel on Thursday but missed it). You’re in the area?

        • MNb

          “the prevailing one is that time and energy are at it’s core what caused the big bang”
          No, it’s not. The prevailing ones (there are several) are all probabilistic.

          “certainly couldn’t believe that someone came from nothing”

          First you’ll have to define nothing. Are quantum fields nothing? That’s a crucial question. If you don’t answer it you’re not capable of saying anything sensible about this issue.
          Second you’ll have to explain how your god made something from nothing.

    • Ron

      How does that relate to the thread topic (Failed Prophecy: Psalm 22)?

      • Scott Davidson

        Ron, don’t worry about the prophecy. I had a question about creation and Bob did not seem to mind talking about that.

        • Ron

          Hey, no problem. Just pointing out that changing the subject is a tacit admission you cannot find fault with the arguments put forth in the original thread topic.

    • 90Lew90

      “Since this is the only article I have read from you and I can see your responses I am going to go out on a limb and gather that you would say that God does not exist.”

      Slow. Clap. For. The. Genius.

  • Scott Davidson

    Can’t fault me for trying. I understand why people deny God’s existence which saddens me but one thing that cannot be denied is the evidence of a changed life. When I stopped running from the truth of who Jesus is and surrendered my life to Him is when I stopped being an angry, self-centered person who had a vile temper and lived for myself. Through the work of God’s Holy Spirit that old self is dead and I am a new person because of Jesus, and that is something that no one can refute. Take care all.

    • Susan

      I understand why people deny God’s existence

      That’s a strange statement. You haven’t even explained what “God” is and established its existence.

      How do you contort this in your system of thought into a denial of “God’s existence?”

      How would you evaluate any truth claim?

      Take care all.

      But what about Hell? Shouldn’t you be trying to save us from it?

      I don’t believe it’s real, but you do, don’t you? If I were a theist, I’d put less emphasis on protecting my beliefs and more emphasis on saving people from eternal damnation.

      “Take care” is a pretty lame sentiment given the implications of your belief system.

      • Scott Davidson

        Good points Susan. How would you respond if I did tell you that without putting your faith in Jesus you condemn yourself to hell? That’s what I thought.

        What I share is how Jesus transforms the life of a lost person which is what I was describing about myself. Now Susan I don’t need to establish God’s existence to you since you already know of His existence but are suppressing the truth. How do I know this, God describes it perfectly in Romans 1.

        Susan if you acknowledged God’s existence and that He is the creator of all then you would realize that you are accountable to Him and then you would have a dilemma. But without the help of God you continue believing that He does not exist and fall right into the deception that satan has over you.

        Hell is a very real place Susan and there will be no rest, constant turmoil that God describes as weeping and gnashing of teeth. Did God create this place? Yes He did but as I said earlier you will have no one but yourself to lay blame because you have heard how to be saved and unless there is a surrendering to Jesus then your existence after death will be eternal torment. I don’t want to see that happen to anyone.

        • MNb

          “What I share is how Jesus transforms the life of a lost person which is what I was describing about myself.”
          Yeah yeah and there are thousands of deconversion stories. If what you share is evidence for god then those deconversion stories is evidence against.

          “you have heard how to be saved”

          I did so like 40 years ago, so your contribution has been superfluous. To make things worse, already as a teen I realized that christian heaven isn’t any more attractive than hell. Both are eternal torment. At the other hand, if your god is a loving god indeed, then undoubtedly he will grant me my wish after I die – to descend in nothingness.

        • Pofarmer

          So, you deny science to keep your faith in tact?

        • Rudy R

          “Religion has actually convinced people that there’s an invisible man living in the sky who watches everything you do, every minute of every day. And the invisible man has a special list of ten things he does not want you to do. And if you do any of these ten things, he has a special place, full of fire and smoke and burning and torture and anguish, where he will send you to live and suffer and burn and choke and scream and cry forever and ever ’til the end of time!

          But He loves you.”

          –George Carlin

        • magnolia

          Well if George Carlin wrote that the poor man missed out on a theological education, if not a rather greater one. What on earth makes you quote such substandard thoughts. It is really unsophisticated and cringeworthy and a bit embarrassing.. Ever heard of a straw man argument? If not, look it up before you embarrass yourself any further. Try “ad hominem” while you’re about it.

        • Kodie

          You don’t sound like someone who knows what they’re talking about.

        • magnolia

          Was that a joke to illustrate “ad hominem” debating skills?

          He is free to discredit Christian concepts of hell, but he draws a ridiculous melodramatic picture held by virtually no one and then smashes it down. This achieves next to nothing.

          There is a problem with the idea that all go to Heaven. For example Stalin, Hitler, Pol Pot….. and so on. As for rubbishing the 10 commandments actually few people can make a cogent case for adultery, lying and murder. Why dispute the universally held?

        • adam

          Hitler was a Christian.

          What do you mean he did not go to heaven?
          He was doing Jesus’s will according to Martin Luther:

        • magnolia

          Hitler was not a Christian. Do you really not get this? Christians are exhorted to love their neighbours as themselves; this has never included wholesale slaughter. Indeed for the first three centuries the pre-Constantinian church was pacifist.

          Furthermore most of the Nazi leadership was heavily into occultism. Read “The Last Days of Hitler” by Hugh Trevor-Roper if you doubt this. Old German pre-Christian myths featured largely in the whole Aryan thing, together with Hitler’s love of Darwinism, even to the extent of that foul entity, social Darwinism, still beloved by some of the modern day anti-humanist scientists, many of whom are atheists, for whom the words “selective breeding” ring sweetly in the ears.

          Martin Luther lived several centuries before Hitler so I think it is a gross historical injustice to his memory to suggest he might have in any way agreed with him!

          Is history still taught in your schools?

        • adam

          Of course Hitler was a Christian, in the very same manner as YOU are.

          Wholesale slaughter is done and sanctions by the bible “god’

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zt5gLf455Q8

          “Hence today I believe that I am acting in accordance
          with the will of the Almighty Creator: by defending myself
          against the Jew, I am fighting for the work of the Lord.”

          Although Hitler did not practice religion in a churchly sense, he certainly believed in the Bible’s God. Raised as Catholic he went to a monastery school and, interestingly, walked everyday past a stone arch which was carved the monastery’s coat of arms which included a swastika. As a young boy, Hitler’s most ardent goal was to become a priest. Much of his philosophy came from the Bible, and more influentially, from the Christian Social movement. (The German Christian Social movement, remarkably, resembles the Christian Right movement in America today.) Many have questioned Hitler’s stand on Christianity. Although he fought
          against certain Catholic priests who opposed him for political reasons, his belief in God and country never left him. Many Christians throughout history have opposed Christian priests for various reasons; this does not necessarily make one against one’s own Christian beliefs. Nor did the Vatican’s Pope & bishops ever
          disown him; in fact they blessed him! As evidence to his claimed Christianity, he said:

          “My feelings as a Christian points me to my Lord and
          Savior as a fighter. It points me to the man who once in loneliness, surrounded by a few followers, recognized these Jews for what they were and summoned men to fight against them and who, God’s truth! was greatest not as a sufferer but as a fighter. In boundless
          love as a Christian and as a man I read through the passage which tells us how the Lord at last rose in His might and seized the scourge to drive out of the Temple the brood of vipers and adders.How terrific was His fight for the world against the Jewish poison.To-day, after two thousand years, with deepest emotion I recognize
          more profoundly than ever before the fact that it was for this that He had to shed His blood upon the Cross. As a Christian I have no duty to allow myself to be cheated, but I have the duty to be a fighter for truth and justice… And if there is anything which could demonstrate that we are acting rightly it is the distress that daily grows. For as a Christian I have also a duty to my own people.

          -Adolf Hitler, in a speech on 12 April 1922 (Norman H. Baynes, ed. The Speeches of Adolf Hitler, April 1922-August 1939, Vol. 1 of 2, pp. 19-20, Oxford University Press, 1942)”

          Apparently you were home schooled in history?

        • Rudy R

          And don’t forget Martin Luther’s best seller, On the “Jews and Their Lies.”

        • adam

          You mean the inspiration for Kristallnacht?

          Martin Sasse, Nazi Party member and bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Thuringia, leading member of the Nazi German Christians, one of the schismatic factions of German Protestantism, published a compendium of Martin Luther’s writings shortly after the Kristallnacht; Sasse “applauded the burning of the synagogues” and the coincidence of the day, writing in the introduction, “On 10 November 1938, on Luther’s birthday, the synagogues are burning in Germany.” The German people, he urged, ought to heed these words “of the greatest anti-Semite of his time, the warner of his people against the Jews.”
          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kristallnacht

        • magnolia

          Not at all. All you have done is wrench a quotation from a speech, in 1922, a year which does not characterise the years 1939-45, which are the key years. Do you not think he might have altered his beliefs anyway between those years? 1922 is 17 years before the key dates. Before the time when grace was said to Hitler. All you show, if your quotation is accurate, is that he had at one stage a very warped version of what might arguably be termed Christianity, though I would not term it such. Christianity is Christian discipleship, and demands that you understand and follow Jesus. If Jesus would not recognise it as what he taught it is not Christianity, even if it references episodes within his life. Atheists and Communists do that, after all. Jesus never ever lifted a hand in anger . He was never a freedom fighter or warrior. Pretending otherwise is just ridiculous.

          Apparently you have not read Trevor-Roper, who documents the widespread occultism. You have similar occultism, eugenicists and social darwinists amongst your politicians now. Hitler said: “The law of existence prescribes uninterrupted killing, so that the better may live.” His version of eugenics, aka social darwinism, as popularised by Francis Galton. If you think that that is Christian in any way shape and form, you are severely deluded.

          It is night time here, and I have had enough of these fruitless talks. A tree bears fruit according to its nature and it just feels really stupid to be debating whether Hitler was a Christian, as if his actions did not show his real beliefs when he was so powerful. Common sense is a starting point and not something to struggle towards laboriously.

        • Kodie

          Just wanted to point out that your big important vocabulary words just sound clumsy when you use them. It’s not that nobody knows what they mean, but you sound like you are using a thesaurus to sound more credible, than actually making your point to sound credible with information. Any English professor I ever had would put a big red slash across those words and just ask that you try to sound more natural, because you’re not coming across as intelligent. You don’t have the writing skill to wield a wide vocabulary.

        • MNb

          “the years 1939-45, which are the key years.”
          You call, I answer.

          1941 to general Gerhard Engel: “I am now as before a Catholic and will always remain so.”

          1944 speech: “I may not be a light of the church, a pulpiteer, but deep down I am a pious man, and believe that whoever fights bravely in defense of the natural laws framed by God and never capitulates will never be deserted by the Lawgiver, but will, in the end, receive the blessings of Providence.”

          http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Religious_views_of_Adolf_Hitler

          Hitler’s views didn’t change anymore from say 1922 on.

        • magnolia

          “I may not be a light of the church…but”
          Wanting to appeal to Christians, whilst aware he rarely goes to church or prays, that sounds like. I could gather a host of similar quotations from present day politicians. “I’m not the religious type, but …..usually. “Can you not read between the lines?

          “Deep down I am a pious man”……oh, yes, how deep down, how well obscured, how covered with sins of this and that, are we talking?

          “I am an honest sort of a guy” said Britain’s very own Tony Blair who had lied through his teeth about the dodgy dossier and war with Iraq.

          “will never be deserted by the Lawgiver”. Note the emphasis, not the Shepherd, not the Saviour, the Lawgiver, hmmm. He could almost have said “the Great Architect”…something remote and cold that likes people slaughtering one another. A fig leaf of nominal gentle Christianity plus a whole shedload of cold Germanic myth and not a little Nazi death cult stuff, with that number your Skull and Bones guys share in so sweetly.
          What is it 221 or something? I would watch out!

        • adam

          There are more quotes….
          MANY more quotes… for your home schooling

          You dont think YOUR Jesus would recognize the Canaanite holocaust that he commanded as ‘god’?

          Kristallnacht was based on Martin Luthers own words about what should happen to the Jews.

          THIS IS the history of YOUR Christianity..
          The FRUIT of its Tree.

          The Christianity of Hitler revealed in his
          speeches and proclamations

          Compiled by Jim Walker

          http://www.nobeliefs.com/speeches.htm

        • magnolia

          I refuse to debate further with you as you are not fully a grown up. You probably would have to look up historiography on wikipedia if I said you had never studied it.I have already differed from your definition of Christianity but that has not yet permeated your skull. I am not going to fall into the incredibly stupid pit of feeling I have to justify every comment and every action from anyone who has ever in their whole life described themselves as a nominal, or committed Christian. What I will try to support is what I consider authentic Christianity as lived and spoken of by Jesus Christ, and the apostles within the New Testament. That I am qualified, though not perfect at doing. I am less good at the OT, having after 35 years of committed Christianity, for example, only just realised that Jepthah never had to, nor would have been asked to, sacrifice his daughter, under Jewish practice of the time. All Christians are like this. We are on a learning curve. Sometimes you think you can throw anything at any Christian and that is justified. It is not.

          As for your quotations, each one needs to be verified, and put into a timeline, and a context, alongside heaps and heaps and heaps of other quotations and documents; that is what is meant by research. Some of your connections are ridiculous, esp. about Kristalnacht.

          You are a sily little fule, as Molesworth say, and you have no clue about proper historical methodology in your foolish rants.

          There, you are so irritating I have gone ad hominem myself.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          feeling I have to justify every comment and every action from anyone who has ever in their whole life described themselves as a nominal, or committed Christian

          That makes sense, but isn’t it odd that it’s possible to interpret Christianity in myriad ways? If it actually were the word of God, don’t you think he would ensure that it wasn’t confusing or ambiguous? Perhaps you’re seeing some of the clues that turn Christians into atheists.

          only just realised that Jepthah never had to, nor would have been asked to, sacrifice his daughter, under Jewish practice of the time.

          The issue is: Why did God allow it to happen? If Jephthah misinterpreted God’s desires, God should’ve stepped in to correct him. That that didn’t happen doesn’t reflect badly on Jephthah as much as it does on God.

          As for your quotations, each one needs to be verified, and put into a timeline, and a context, alongside heaps and heaps and heaps of other quotations and documents; that is what is meant by research

          The plain and simple truth of God ain’t so plain and simple, eh? And now we’re back to the first problem: Christianity is ambiguous. Don’t ignore what that clue is telling you.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Molesworth as in Whizz for Atoms? I read that when I was 5th grade, as I recall. Very fun.

        • adam

          You have nothing to argue from EXCEPT your own ignorance and blindness…

          It is NOT my definition

          Full Definition of CHRISTIAN

          1 a : one who professes belief in the teachings of Jesus Christ

          http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/christian

          AGAIN the Canaanite holocaust is JUST as Christian as the Nazi one.

          The TRUTH is irritating to you, you say?
          It usually is for LIARS….and DECEIVERS

        • magnolia

          Loud mouthed shouting never makes an argument worthy of respect. It is all that you -apparently- are up to. Clearly not a leading light of your school debating society. You never learned to engage with what the other person was saying, did you?

          You are a very rude little boy. Have I called you “LIAR” and “DECEIVER”? Nope. Can you not do calm? Can you not do rational? Or is it just rationalwiki to which you scuttle to have your preconceptions stroked? Ironic that. Do you dare to read whole books that come from a different perspective? Is that scary?

          Grow up. Get a life.

          Read the New Testament if you wish to know what a Christian is. A Christian is a follower and disciple of Christ. No one but an idiot would wish to disagree. The Oxford dictionary makes more sense in this respect- not surprisingly. I have no idea why you think Jesus led a holocaust, but that is your problem, and between you and your therapist. It is wildly inaccurate!

          Discussion closed. This is my last post as I have a life.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Last post to adam or last post here? There are a few unanswered questions in comments that I (at least) have made. I’d be interested in your replies.

        • adam

          “Loud mouthed shouting never makes an argument worthy of respect.”

          FACTS do,
          …. which is why your argument is not worthy of respect.

          So YOU dont believe that Jesus is the ‘god’ of the OT?

          I call those who LIE – LIARS…
          And you have done so by saying Hitler was not a ‘Christian’ when clearly he professes belief, JUST AS YOU DO.

          The denial of your lie after receiving the information verifying YOUR lie, is an act of deception.

          It should be your ‘last post’ if this is the best that your ‘faith’ has prepared for you as an argument.

        • MNb

          “Loud mouthed shouting never makes an argument worthy of respect.”
          No, but evidence can totally be presented in a loud mouthed way. But you don’t care about arguments.

          “A Christian is a follower and disciple of Christ.”
          What Hitler claimed to be. Thanks for confirming.

          “This is my last post as I have a life.”
          I wish you all the best with it. Maybe you’ll learn what the role of evidence is.

        • adam

          “Maybe you’ll learn what the role of evidence is.”

          The power of Satan trying his ‘faith’?

        • 90Lew90

          It pains me when I come across Christians who are reasonably articulate and bright who say they’re “on a learning curve”. I sigh. What an utter waste of time. What a waste of a mind. And then I get angry about religion again.

        • Kodie

          What it means to be a “true” Christian is whatever your church tells you. There’s no real rule of interpreting it right or wrong, unless you think god exists, but lets people figure it out themselves. If he would just show his face and clear everything up, there would be no confusion, right? Why doesn’t he just do that? Everyone who thinks they are a Christian is convinced they’re the ones doing it right, including Hitler. There is no one to tell them they are doing it wrong except other Christians who interpret differently, and yet feel as strongly that they are correct. Hitler’s genocide, by the way, seemed secondary to other Christians than his invasion of other territories. Nobody was sickened about the genocide, nobody started a war with him over the genocide.

        • Kodie

          Why would Hitler hate Jews in particular if he was not a Christian, nor how could he instigate the social machinery to exterminate them, and what were those people in Germany who were spared, if not Jewish, then Christian.

          You don’t seem to get that Christians are “exhorted” to do whatever their leader “exhorts” them to do. Look around, Christians are “exhorted” to discriminate potential customers based on their sexual orientation. Whatever you think Christianity is only applies to whatever your leader tells you and what resonates with you personally. It is just a marketing scheme to use the bible to manipulate people to do whatever one leader “exhorts” their followers to behave like. They can justify anything with that fucking book. Just because your way is “right” you can’t say they are doing it wrong – selective interpretation of the bible is the Christian thing to do.

          History tells us that Hitler is a bad man, liars (you said in another post that there is no “cogent” argument anyone could make for lying) tell us he must be an atheist because he’s not a Christian like them. Nobody wants to take credit for his mistakes or allow the possibility that Christianity is whatever anyone wants it to be, whatever one can justify killing millions of people because they are following orders. There is a great amount of evidence that Hitler considered himself a Christian, but I will even grant you that if he was not actually a Christian, he could never, ever, have managed to motivate so many to act out his cause without using their beliefs in the lord savior Jesus Christ. If they were non-believers, they would have said WTF. If they are believers, they could be persuaded to believe and to do anything. We saw The Wave in school as an example of how easy it is to convince people to do the wrong thing using their wholesome upstanding values to do wrong against other people. Didn’t you see it? Christianity is a tool to manage and manipulate people, nothing at all else.

          You’re not going to hell, you’re not going anywhere when you die. Why do you think so? What things do you do differently because you think so that you would not do otherwise?

        • MNb

          Is history taught in your school?

          “this has never included wholesale slaughter.”
          Except of course when the crusaders conquered Jerusalem around 1100 CE, and when the pope ordered to kill off all Cathars in the early 13th Century.

          “Indeed for the first three centuries the pre-Constantinian church was pacifist.”
          Yeah. The remarkable fact though is that christians threw that pacifism out of the window at the first oppurtunity.

          “heavily into occultism”
          Hitler was not most of the nazi leadership. He was THE leader.

          “together with Hitler’s love of Darwinism”
          BWAHAHAHAHA!
          No, they definitely don’t teach history in your school. I quote:

          “The fox remains always a fox, the goose remains a goose, and the tiger will retain the character of a tiger.”
          “iron law of Nature–which compels the various species to keep within the definite limits of their own life-forms when propagating and multiplying their kind.”
          Mein Kampf. Hitler was a creationist. And burned Origin of Species.

          https://sciencenotes.wordpress.com/2008/05/05/whose-books-did-hitler-bur/

          “Martin Luther lived several centuries before Hitler so I think it is a gross historical injustice to his memory to suggest he might have in any way agreed with him!”
          Yeah. When commemorating Luther don’t forget to praise

          http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/anti-semitism/Luther_on_Jews.html

        • Pofarmer

          It’s kind of sad, isn’t it?

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          The Origin of Species was on the list of banned books in Germany. Like you, I find it hilarious when apologists hit this land mine.

          The idea that Hitler left kiss marks on his framed photo of Charles Darwin doesn’t fly.

        • magnolia

          What is that ridiculous “BWAHAHA” . Civilised people don’t make raucous noises in capitals. You lot think you are really knowledgeable but are untrained in thinking appropriately in historical terms. You wrench things out of context, pay little attention to timelines, philosophy, the cultures or geography of anywhere else than the U.S, or the development of thought, and act as if science is the discipline above all. You start with the conclusion you wish to reach, and shout and bully your way arrogantly thinking that the most arrogance and bravado and shouting and ridicule you can do the better your argument.

          A bit like the US foreign policy starting wars all around the world , which is really annoying the whole world. Often you don’t even know where a country is , let alone its history before you are 2 weeks later baying for the extermination of its citizens.

          I’m done with the ignorant ill -read arrogant posturing here.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          What is that ridiculous “BWAHAHA”

          It’s the laugh of an evil genius.

          A bit like the US foreign policy starting wars all around the world

          Don’t think that MNb will defend US foreign policy. He’s not from there.

        • 90Lew90

          Your entire first paragraph here describes well my experience of Christian posters.

        • MNb

          “What is that ridiculous “BWAHAHA”
          That’s the sound of MNb laughing out loud.

          “Civilised people don’t make raucous noises in capitals.”
          Correct. I’m not civilized. Unlike you though I respect facts. I presented many of them; all of them refuted what you wrote.

          “the cultures or geography of anywhere else than the U.S”
          BWAHAHAHAHA!
          I have never even set foot in the good old USA. I’m Dutch.

          “You start with the conclusion you wish to reach,”
          No. I provided extensive evidence plus gave sources, ao Mein Kampf. If necessary I can give you the exact chapter – it’s on line.

          “and bully your way”
          Yes, I like teasing ignorant christians like you.

          “Often you don’t even know where a country is”
          Try me. Do you know the difference between Guyana, Guinea and Guinee? Without looking up? I do.
          Hey, thanks for showing that everything you write does not apply to me, but to yourself. You write a lot about me and don’t provide any evidence. You’re like an empty barrel; a lot of noise and no content.

          “I’m done with ……”

          Your first sensible words. Now you could take the next step and apply them to yourself.

        • Pofarmer
        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          The anti-Semitism in Hitler’s Germany was put there in large part by anti-Semitism from German Martin Luther.

          Praise the Lord.

        • Greg G.

          You have been unsurprisingly misinformed. The ideas espoused by Martin Luther are not remote at all from what went on in Nazi Germany. Hitler credited Martin Luther as a great reformer in Mein Kampf.

          Some Nazi officials who took Martin Luther as a good example to follow:
          Walter Buch, the head of the Nazi Party court
          Hans Hinkel, Goebbels’ Reich Chamber of Culture
          Erich Koch, Reich Commissioner for Ukraine and President of the East Prussian Protestant Church Synod
          Bernhard Rust, Minister of Education
          Hans Schemm, Bavarian Minister of Education and Culture, famous for saying “Our religion is Christ, our politics Fatherland!”

          In brief, dear princes and lords, those of you who have Jews under your rule– if my counsel does not please you, find better advice, so that you and we all can be rid of the unbearable, devilish burden of the Jews, lest we become guilty sharers before God in the lies, blasphemy, the defamation, and the curses which the mad Jews indulge in so freely and wantonly against the person of our Lord Jesus Christ, this dear mother, all Christians, all authority, and ourselves. Do not grant them protection, safe-conduct, or communion with us. . . . With this faithful counsel and warning I wish to cleanse and exonerate my conscience.

          Let the government deal with them in this respect, as I have suggested. But whether the government acts or not, let everyone at least be guided by his own conscience and form for himself a definition or image of a Jew.

          Accordingly, it must and dare not be considered a trifling matter but a most serious one to seek counsel against this and to save our souls from the Jews, that is, from the devil and from eternal death. My advice, as I said earlier, is:
          First, that their synagogues be burned down, and that all who are able toss sulphur and pitch; it would be good if someone could also throw in some hellfire…
          Second, that all their books– their prayer books, their Talmudic writings, also the entire Bible– be taken from them, not leaving them one leaf, and that these be preserved for those who may be converted…
          Third, that they be forbidden on pain of death to praise God, to give thanks, to pray, and to teach publicly among us and in our country…
          Fourth, that they be forbidden to utter the name of God within our hearing. For we cannot with a good conscience listen to this or tolerate it…

          But what will happen even if we do burn down the Jews’ synagogues and forbid them publicly to praise God, to pray, to teach, to utter God’s name? They will still keep doing it in secret. If we know that they are doing this in secret, it is the same as if they were doing it publicly. For our knowledge of their secret doings and our toleration of them implies that they are not secret after all and thus our conscience is encumbered with it before God.

          If we wish to wash our hands of the Jews’ blasphemy and not share in their guilt, we have to part company with them. They must be driven from our country.

          …they remain our daily murderers and bloodthirsty foes in their hearts. Their prayers and curses furnish evidence of that, as do the many stories which relate their torturing of children and all sorts of crimes for which they have often been burned at the stake or banished.

          …that everyone would gladly be rid of them.

          If I had power over the Jews, as our princes and cities have, I would deal severely with their lying mouth.

          They [rulers] must act like a good physician who, when gangrene has set in proceeds without mercy to cut, saw, and burn flesh, veins, bone, and marrow. Such a procedure must also be followed in this instance. Burn down their synagogues, forbid all that I enumerated earlier, force them to work, and deal harshly with them, as Moses did…
          If this does not help we must drive them out like mad dogs.

          All quotes from Martin Luther, On the Jews and Their Lies

          Source: Martin Luther’s dirty little book: On the Jews and their lies

          I’m not sure where this one came from:
          If I had to baptize a Jew, I would take him to the bridge of the Elbe, hang a stone around his neck and push him over with the words “I baptize thee in the name of Abraham”” –Martin Luther

        • magnolia

          You can find early pro-Semitic statements from Luther, and later ones, when he had gone somewhat crazy, and when his friends were begging him to desist, such as you state. Yes you can mine him for both, according to your desire. But that is besides the two points that Hitler was never Lutheran. (Bonhoeffer was, but that is an aside), and that much of the causation was financial, (a fact we need also to watch with the Greek situation now.) Also with politicians they can appear Sikhs to the Sikh, crypto-jewish to the Jews, Christian to the Christians, and really going Buddhism-wards to the Buddhists, whilst very sympathetic to the atheist when talking to them. I am not anti-politician as many relations have been in politics, just saying it as it is. These people want to survive.

          The point is what is authentically Christianity, and what is sub-Christianity, and it really is not unreasonable to ask that Christianity should remain defined as following Christ. Yes this shows up a lot of so called Christianity as “sub-Christianity”, and mine is included all too often. But so be it. Jesus was put to death partly because Judas became aware that he wasn’t going to lead a freedom fight to kick the Romans out. Going into Jerusalem on a donkey made this abundantly clear.

          Thank you for being polite. It does get to me if I suggest a serious book like Prof. Hugh Trevor-Roper’s, where he spent 5 years interviewing participants, and perused 1000s of documents, and people throw back insults and wikipedia. Knowledge rubs the edges off us and we find common ground and not just yelling! All the best.

        • adam

          Trevor-Roper’s reputation was damaged in 1983 when he authenticated the Hitler Diaries and they were shown shortly afterwards to be forgeries.

          Trevor-Roper argued that history should be understood as an art, not a science, and that the key attribute of a successful historian was the power of their imagination

          Investigating Hitler’s last days In November 1945, Trevor-Roper was ordered by Dick White, the then head of counter-intelligence in the British sector of Berlin to investigate the circumstances of Adolf Hitler’s death, and to rebut the Soviet propaganda that Hitler was alive and living in the West.[7] Using the alias of “Major Oughton”, Trevor-Roper interviewed or prepared questions for several officials, high and low, who had been present in the Führerbunker with Hitler, and who had been able to escape to the West, including Bernd Freytag von Loringhoven.[8] For the most part, however, Trevor-Roper relied primarily on the investigations and interviews already completed by hundreds of British,
          American and Canadian intelligence officers.[9][10] He did not have access to Soviet materials.
          Working very rapidly, Trevor-Roper drafted his most famous book, The Last Days of Hitler in which he described the last ten days of Hitler’s life, and the fates of some of the higher-ranking members of the inner circle as well of
          key lesser figures. Trevor-Roper transformed the evidence into a literary work, with sardonic humour and drama, and was much influenced by the prose styles of two of his favourite historians, Edward Gibbon and Lord Macaulay.
          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hugh_Trevor-Roper

          This Trevor-Roper?

          Who didnt even do his own work for “The Last Days of Hitler”? And who thinks IMAGINATION is the key to being a good historian, INSTEAD of collecting his OWN EVIDENCE?

          I bet you are a believing of Ron Wyatt’s too…

        • MNb

          “the two points that Hitler was never Lutheran.”
          Nobody here claimed that. Personally I’m not even sure if Hitler could be called a catholic, though apparently did so himself. Our claim is that Hitler was a christian (and we were not talking his accomplices – just Hitler) and there is plenty of evidence for it – evidence you prefer to ignore.
          Before you start to talk about “authentical christianity” and “sub-christianity” you should provide meaningful definitions or it’s impossible to distinguish the two.

          “Knowledge rubs the edges off us”

          You’ll never acquire much knowledge if you neglect evidence (like I provided) and prefer baseless assumptions. That results in nonsense like me being an ignorant American who isn’t capable of finding small countries on a world map. Really, that one made my day!

        • 90Lew90

          I’d say it’s a gross injustice to Darwin to associate him with pseudo-scientific “social Darwinism”, which would have horrified him. “Social Darwinism” has little to do with Darwin and is much more the child of Herbert Spencer. Luther’s anti-Semitism doesn’t get off the hook so easily.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Christians like to rant about eugenics in the past, which is fine, but let’s just put things in the right categories. Eugenics and related policies aren’t science; they’re politics.

        • 90Lew90

          Exactly.

        • Rudy R

          Christians always seem to understand god’s mind when it comes to who gets to live in heaven, but claim god’s mind is unknowable when asked why god allows children to suffer needlessly.

        • adam

          Oh the power of propaganda and self-delusion….

        • Kodie

          No, that was my opinion based on reading your posts. You didn’t really make much out of your opportunity to critique the Carlin quote. You just blather your opinion.

          Look, though, even I know the bible says “judge not lest ye be judged.” What straw man are you talking about? What do genocidal megalomaniacs have to do with the 10 commandments being only 3 that you listed to be universally held values, or just socially agreed upon but muddy terms, that most people break by coming up with very good reasons, and the law from god says not to break them or go directly to hell. You are actually going to call “ad hominem” or “straw man” without supporting those accusations, and then while you’re at it, “there is a problem with” and blah blah blah “atheists are murderers!!!!!” You have zero ability to make a coherent thought. And that’s not even my opinion anymore, you have demonstrated it with your posts.

          Try to put a little more thought into your writing if you think you had something to say.

        • Rudy R

          I take it you disagree with George Carlin’s thoughts then.

        • magnolia

          Yes!

        • Rudy R

          We disagree then.

        • Ron

          Enlighten me. Which points did Carlin get wrong?

        • Rudy R

          Why wouldn’t you want to see anyone go to Hell? If your god is righteous, and he created Hell for those that don’t love him, then people that go to hell is righteous, and you should want that.

        • MR

          Hell is a very real place Susan and there will be no rest, constant turmoil that God describes as weeping and gnashing of teeth. Did God create this place? Yes He did but as I said earlier you will have no one but yourself to lay blame because you have heard how to be saved and unless there is a surrendering to Jesus then your existence after death will be eternal torment.

          According to you, then, God also created Susan, knowing (being omniscient and all) that he was creating her for eternal torment. Remember, Susan didn’t ask to be created. Infinite torment for finite sins. He created her in spite of what he knew. What kind of sadistic fuck does that? Not the kind of God who loves his creation, that’s for sure. Sorry, but it sounds like you’ve been sold a bill of goods.

          I don’t want to see that happen to anyone.

          That must make you better than God, then, because clearly he doesn’t have a problem with it. In fact, it appears that he created the vast majority of mankind precisely for that purpose.

          It seems to me that you’re either worshiping a monster or a myth.

        • 90Lew90

          “Created sick and commanded to be well,” is how it was put by a bloke I rather miss. *Raises glass, puffs on cigarette…*

        • Greg G.

          I miss watching new videos of his debates a lot.

        • Pofarmer

          Nobody does it quite like Hitch. I first started watching his debates and was offended. Then I got to listening more and realized, “shit, this dude is right.” Then his words actually became soothing, to some degree.

        • magnolia

          When you thought those words perhaps it should have struck you that the thinking in those terms was not propitious to the intelligence of the conclusion.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Someone needs a hug. And a dictionary.

        • 90Lew90

          Same here. I was genuinely upset when he died and I’m not the kind of person who gets emotional about the passing of people I’ve never met.

        • 90Lew90

          Daft. And thoroughly unhealthy. Didn’t anyone tell you thinking those thoughts can make you go blind? And you’ll grow hair on your palms. Have you heard Muslims have tails? I’d be much more concerned about that.

        • Dys

          Now Susan I don’t need to establish God’s existence to you since you already know of His existence but are suppressing the truth.

          Sorry Scott, but this is an extremely arrogant and mind-numbingly stupid position for you to take. And your only support for it is that it’s written in your favourite book. Here’s a helpful hint for your future attempts at apologetics: Don’t start by presuming to know someone else’s mind. Because you don’t. Otherwise you come off sounding like a pompous ass.

          For instance, I could use the exact same dishonest tactic and claim that you know there really isn’t a God, but you pretend as an emotional crutch. See the problem? Much like our other visiting apologist Greg (not Greg G.), you’re a shitty mind-reader. So don’t try. Because all you’re really doing is lazily shirking your burden of proof by making unwarranted, biased assumptions.

          What I share is how Jesus transforms the life of a lost person

          Anecdotal evidence via divine revelation that is therefore not incumbent on anyone else to accept or believe? Yeah, we’ve heard it before. It’s not compelling.

          Hell is a very real place

          No, it’s not. See how easy it is to counter assertions you don’t have any evidence for?

          Run along, you apparently don’t have anything substantive to say. Just unsupported assertions and the stereotypical turn or burn nonsense.

        • Kodie

          What you don’t realize is that you are subject to the great “power of suggestion”. Your “transformed life” is not due to the power of Jesus but to your susceptibility to the power of suggestion. Your “transformed life” is not evidence of Jesus but of your gullibility to the power of suggestion. You are like Dumbo with his big ears, so big he could fly, but he was “transformed” into a flying elephant by the power of suggestion that a magic crow feather gave him the ability to fly, and when he accidentally dropped his feather during a big number at the circus, he despaired and proceeded to drop like a stone, but his mouse friend shouted to him to flap his ears and fly, so he did.

          If you felt so bad that you needed the validation from an eternal invisible and imaginary source to turn your life around, then you are the poster boy for the power of suggestion. Maybe if you realized it, your life would fall apart again, but there is really no reason for that. You were sold a package deal by whoever came by you and helped you by telling you all about the healing properties of your imaginary friend, Jesus Christ. You are basically preaching to people who don’t believe this nonsense by someone who was gullible enough to believe the story, hook, line, and sinker.

          Seriously, what is so wrong with your life that you need to latch onto a cult and settle for the entire package? You can just as surely follow directions to a calmer and more productive life without attributing those changes to a fictional character, and then fulfill your existence hereafter spreading this manure to others in the misguided belief that they need your help. You’re not going to heaven, but you’re not going to hell either. If that’s too pointless for you, then you are self-absorbed and greedy for more than any human is worth. If you want to make the most of your life, consider that it’s finite and you are wasting it trying to win souls as part of the obligations to your cult. You shouldn’t feel sad for anyone just because they haven’t found Jesus, and it’s really insulting that you do. You’re a pawn, and that’s what’s sad. How much money have you paid so far?

        • Susan

          That’s what I thought

          Specifically what did you think?

          Jesus transforms the life of a lost person which is what I was describing about myself

          Lost how? People “transform” their lives every day without Jesus belief. If something about your life has improved (as vague a claim as that is), that’s lovely. It has no bearing on the truthfulness of the assertions you’ve accepted and are making here.

          if you acknowledged God’s existence

          I can’t “acknowledge” anything that hasn’t been clearly defined and demonstrated to be real. Do both and acknowledgement is a simple step.

          you would realize you are accountable to Him

          Why? Because he can squish me? Is that the only accountability that matters? That’s not accountability in any moral or intellectual sense.

          God describes as weeping and gnashing of teeth.

          All I see so far is humans describing it. Humans can come up with some pretty sick scenarios. There are all kinds of deities and all kinds of hells. The christian hell isn’t particularly unique or impressive. There is no evidence for it. It’s a control tactic, a sort of control tactic to which humans have demonstrated themselves to be highly susceptible. .

          Did God create this place? Yes He did

          So the story goes. It’s humans telling stories. How is this story special? Very specifically, why is this supernatural story more reliably real than tens of thousands of other supernatural stories, most of which have died a cultural death?

          Many muslims believe that considering a mere prophet (Jesus) a deity will condemn you to an eternity of Allah’s hell. Many of them claim to be “transformed” by their connection to Allah. Do you believe them? Why should they believe you? Why should I believe either of you?

          you will have no one but yourself to lay blame

          This makes neither logical nor moral sense.

          I don’t want to see that happen to anyone.

          But you consent to it, call it “good” and are contented enough that billions of humans will suffer eternally, that trillions of sentient non-human beings have suffered on this planet with no redemption awaiting them.

          It’s fine because you’ve found yourself a cult that promises you eternal life and bliss.

        • adam

          Demonstrate that YOUR ‘hell’ is a real place and that YOUR ‘god’ is not IMAGINARY, otherwise you look childish and foolish.

        • magnolia

          Hell is a state of mind that starts in this life, but gets worse in the next. Both Marlowe and Milton knew that centuries back and it is hardly a new thought, though apparently it has grown unfamiliar.

          If you remind atheists of this they reveal how unhappy they are -by and large- by getting very antsy.

        • Greg G.

          If you remind certain Fundamentalists of this they reveal how unhappy they are -by and large- by calling you a salad bar Christian, or worse, for using non-Biblical sources getting very antsy.

        • magnolia

          I ‘m not sure I follow! It is fine where I come from to use Christian writers, the Holy Spirit being alive and kicking and “blowing where he/she listeth”, and some of us are capable of knowing when the thoughts are compatible with Scripture. It’s the aim of a decent-ish education!

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          How do you know you’re interpreting scripture correctly? On just about any issue, you can find thoughtful, educated, loving Christians with a different take.

          Your challenge is to not make the Bible into a sock puppet that simply mirrors your own beliefs.

        • arwoodco

          This website is total bull crap. I dismantle things like this all the time on my YouTube Channel (Godrules). And I so thoroughly love how Google uses them as a reference and bastion of logic.. What a joke.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          You’re just the guy we’ve been looking for! You’ve found errors in this post? Then share them with the rest of us.

        • arwoodco

          No problem, seeing I have already addressed the root of the problem on video.. However, I sense a wee bit of sarcasm in your voice.. You would not happen to be an atheist are you? Nah.. Mocking from an atheist? Totally unheard of. I have about 9000 subs on YouTube and probably will have about 20,000 by the end of the year.. But here you go.. The problem is going back and analyzing the history of scripture and discovering that the Masoretes modified the Hebrew Masoretic Text via Hebrew vowel points.. The Greek Septuagint does not have these modifications(the Dead Sea Scrolls don’t either).. Now why would these wonderful Masoretes modify their own scriptures?? Very simple, to demonize Christians and the Septuagint. Read Justin the Martyr, Tertullian and Irenaeus and they point this all out. Here is my video where I go into detail regarding it.. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T0XxoQLrY3A

        • Kodie

          I just would like to point out, you’re the one who came here with no content acting like a douche. Did you expect to be treated without any sarcasm or insults? Did you expect to be taken seriously because you say something is bullshit with no content to back it up? Come on, you love to think you’re smarter than that!! I can tell. Secondly, who gives a shit how many subscribe to your channel. That’s irrelevant.

          Carry on with your biblical moronitude.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          He’s just showing the ordinary guys in the discussion who has the big dick. I’m appropriately humiliated. Or something.

        • Rudy R

          arwoodco and Bill O’Reilly sound a lot alike. They both brag about how many people love them. Sort of a god complex.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          No problem, seeing I have already addressed the root of the problem on video.

          Haven’t had the pleasure. But you can summarize the issues here.

          However, I sense a wee bit of sarcasm in your voice.

          I get “this website is total bull crap,” and you get a wee bit of sarcasm in return.

          You invited a lot more, so you’re welcome.

          You would not happen to be an atheist are you? Nah.. Mocking from an atheist? Totally unheard of.

          Atheists? Small fry. Drop by and see serious venom from the Christians—they’re the ones you want to learn your hatred from.

          I have about 9000 subs on YouTube and probably will have about 20,000 by the end of the year.

          Golly. You’re the “hero of the beach” like in the Charles Atlas cartoon. You must have lots of girlfriends.

          Now why would these wonderful Masoretes modify their own scriptures?? Very simple, to demonize Christians and the Septuagint. Read Justin the Martyr, Tertullian and Irenaeus and they point this all out. Here is my video where I go into detail regarding it..

          And my argument stands, unscathed. Drop by again if you have an actual substantive response.

          Pro tip: sentences end in one period, not two.

        • arwoodco

          Wow, you are worse than the atheists that visit my YouTube Channel. That takes a special kind of idiot to achieve such a level. Your argument was already decimated by my video. I need not say more. It doesn’t require you to watch my video for your argument to have already been destroyed.. So, basically, you are not interested in anything that proves you wrong, which means you are quite dogmatic and closed minded.. And you are worse than most of the atheists on my channel. But, go ahead and be a complete and utter imbecile claiming victory while being defeated.

        • Kodie

          Besides sounding like a complete idiot windbag, you’re also terrible at self-promotion.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Oh no–I’m totally stoked. Nothing makes me more eager to hear intelligent arguments from someone than a preface that calls me an idiotic shitbag.

        • Kodie

          But you’re worse than most of the atheists on his channel. Second place is the first loser, Bob.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Dang! I wanted to be worse than all of his atheists.

          Ah, well–that’s my stretch goal.

        • Ron

          I honestly don’t have 30 minutes to spare. Do you have a Cliffs Notes version?

        • arwoodco

          The short summation is this “Bob Seidensticker” here doesn’t know much of anything about the history of canonization. In reality, the text referred to that he is playing off of is from the Hebrew Masoretic, which is clearly corrupted by the Masoretes. Originally scripture was written in Paleo-Hebrew. However, around 135 AD, it was changed to the alphabet you see today. There were no Hebrew vowels in scripture originally. The tradition was it was handed down orally and not written in the text. However, that changed when the Jews had to start dealing with Christians and the Old Testament scriptures. As a result, certain theologians on the Jewish side starting putting in the Hebrew vowel points. Also, they started to skew the text by changing some of the traditional Hebrew vowel points, as in some cases, a verse would point to Jesus Christ. This Psalm is one of many examples. Unfortunately, this Psalm is not in the Dead Sea Scrolls. However, most scholars state that the Septuagint more aligns with the Dead Sea Scrolls than the Hebrew Masoretic. This is why the Septuagint gained a lot of credibility after the Dead Sea Scroll find. According to Justin the Martyr and Tertullian, the Pharisees started to change the scriptures (mainly removing certain books, such as the ones removed at the Council of Jamnia). Also, they started to change some of the Hebrew vowel points. They did this to demonize the Septuagint. The reason why is because the Christians were very successfully arguing Jesus was the Messiah using the Greek Septuagint. So the Pharisees decided the best way to solve this would be to remove certain Apocryphal/Deuterocanonical books and to change some of the wording via Hebrew vowel points and then claim that the Christians had actually changed the Septuagint (instead). There are various histories that account for this. Even Jewish theologians do not really discount the fact that the Masoretes steered scripture and selected certain texts that even had errors in them, if it furthered their theology. The Dead Sea Scroll find is actually proof of their changes. And also confirms what various early church fathers wrote. However, the Protestant Church still stands on this false assumption that the Hebrew Masoretic was perfect. This video of mine I am actually showing some of the flawed assumptions that many Protestant leaders had..

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Golly, do I feel stupid. If I didn’t know that you were infallible, I’d have thought that this fascinating dissertation had nothing to say about the specific points in the actual post. Must just be my problem.

        • arwoodco

          You stated in your article “But what about the piercing of the hands and feet? It may not say that. A better translation may be, “like a lion they pin my hands and feet.”” – My video shows how this “lion they pin my hands and feet” is a clear corruption if you do the historical research, which is evidently clear by how you worded your article. Look, I know you dont’ want to believe in God, but don’t pretend like you have proven anything.. You make yourself look like an idiot to people who are clear thinking.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          I give the source for the “like a lion” interpretation. It has no more or less stature than that of the NET Bible where I got it.

          I don’t prove things; I point out the evidence and encourage people to follow it. I’m also quite happy to make my own limitations known. For the reader, I want to be just one data point. Perhaps I’ll provoke them to go do more research and get more data.

          You’ll have to explain the idiot thing. I must be too idiotic to see your point.

        • Kodie

          You believe the bible isn’t silly fiction. What is clear thinking about that?

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Here’s a tip: you need to actually make an argument to claim to have made an argument. I’m not going to watch your video. I’ll take the high road here and encourage you once again to make your argument here.

          I love trash talking and am sharpening my verbal claymore even as we speak. Show me that you’ve got the upper hand by giving me some good arguments.

        • arwoodco

          Even if I wrote it, you would not believe it, and you have no patience to do the research to show your own ignorance. Which means, you are basically hopeless. However, some of the other people here may actually be interested in the truth, and I would recommend you see my video.

        • Kodie

          So basically you just came here to spam your youtube channel, is that it, asshole?

          That’s not how blogs work, dummy!

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          But think how many friends he’s making! That’s a net positive.

        • Kodie

          I’m not so sure his little marketing plan won’t more than double his subscribers by the end of the year as he predicts. There are Christian douchebags who lurk on your blog, I mean sometimes they make a peep, they must be there all the time! They’re going to flock to his channel and give him all the upvotes he can swallow, then he’ll be back by December to brag again about how popular he is. It almost seems like he’s not that interested in debate but actively using atheist blogs to attract traffic to his youtube channel! If I were you, I wouldn’t stand for it.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          But that’s positively … Machiavellian! No Christian would do that.

        • Kodie

          All Christians with sufficient knowledge to post videos to the internet would do that. It’s a pyramid scheme.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Kind of a broken record, aren’t you? “You suck, you’re all idiots, you’re closed minded and wouldn’t understand … but hey, I’ve got a cool video I’d love for you to see!”

          Pro tip: work on your PR.

          But let me find some closure to our little disagreement. Like I predicted, you’ve got nuthin’. You’re shooting blanks. Baby Jesus is crying because you got a big mouth and enjoy trash talking … but when told to lay your cards on the table, you walk away saying that your mom is calling you for lunch.

          Understood. But you are reinforcing a negative stereotype about Christian apologists, I’m afraid.

        • Kodie

          It’s all about driving traffic to his youtube channel. He’s begging you to watch his video by making it seem like he’s desperate to make a point against you and win. Look, fair’s fair – he visited your blog and posted, which is probably giving you traffic. He just wants traffic!!

        • Pofarmer

          I hope you are less cryptic on your youtube channel and maybe even make sense. But, I kinda doubt it.

        • Kodie

          Life on earth isn’t perfect, isn’t that why there’s a myth of The Fall? Why should we be antsy that there’s an imaginary place worse than earth?

        • adam

          So you ignore what Jesus says about hell?

          And do you STILL believe in Santa?

        • MNb

          How did Marlowe and Milton knew? What methods did they use to gain their knowledge?
          Anyhow, if hell is the state of mind that has been mine my entire life (I have never even been baptized) I can only say:

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7iEDGX70Mgo

        • Cognissive Disco Dance

          Both Marlowe and Milton knew that

          What does a reggae singer and a cross-dressing comedian have to do with anything?

    • 90Lew90

      Inane.

    • MNb

      No, you don’t understand why I deny god’s existence, simply because I haven’t told you yet.
      You’re a sad person if you need an imaginary friend to control your tempers. I don’t.

      “that is something that no one can refute.”
      No. I can just shrug it off. Good for you, irrelevant for me.

      So much for enjoying science, btw ….. you don’t even pretend anymore.

    • Pofarmer

      Uhm, Scott, you realize your is common to members of Islam, Buddhism, Mormonism, etc, etc? You changed you. Your brain is a powerful thing.

    • Dys

      You’re not really being faulted for trying. You’re being faulted for trying dishonestly. Pretending to brooch the subject from a scientific perspective, when all you’re really here is to proselytize without evidence. That, and lying about people by telling them what they do and do not know because it says so in a book. But you don’t have that knowledge.

      I stopped being an angry, self-centered person who had a vile temper and lived for myself

      Now you just need to work on the arrogance and dishonesty.

      I am a new person because of Jesus, and that is something that no one can refute.

      It’s also something you haven’t demonstrated. It’s not possible to refute unfalsifiable statements. We can, however, dismiss it based on your utter failure to substantiate it. The only evidence you hypothetically have is that you changed. But no one is required to accept your explanation for that change.

    • Kodie

      A “changed life” is not evidence for the power of a deity; it is the evidence for the power of suggestion. You were once so weak and powerless and insecure, but only the suggestion that you’d gain eternal life could motivate you to pick it up and move on. Don’t make that a weakness on our parts and claim any superiority – you can’t and you shouldn’t, and you have no reason to claim that you are.

      • Brown

        Foolishness. He’s saying that we are all weak and the blood of Christ has been offered to all to make us strong. You seem to think its exclusive to some certain sect of people when it is readily available to all.

        • Kodie

          Brown, go fuck yourself. How about that. If you can’t read, go try school.

        • Dys

          Scott is making assertions that he cannot possible hope to demonstrate. And by extension, so are you. Neither one of you has anything approaching a strong case, just dubious circumstantial evidence.

        • adam

          ” He’s saying that we are all weak and the blood of Christ has been offered to all to make us strong.”

          So after 2000 years WHERE is THIS strength?

          And why is NOBODY using it?

  • MM

    How do you explain the similar prophecies in Isaiah 53 and Zechariah 12:10? Even if I give you the different translation “like a lion they pin my hands and feet”, it still sounds like a prophetic description of Jesus crucifixion, written hundreds, perhaps thousands of years before Jesus. Crucifixion wasn’t even practiced at that time. These scriptures were written by someone outside space/time. God’s laid claim to this – “I make known the end form the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come.” (Isaiah 46:10). This is God’s way of signing scripture, of authenticating it for us. “Your wisdom and knowledge mislead you when you say to yourself, “I am, and there is none besides me.”” (Isaiah 47:10)

    • MR

      “like a lion they pin my hands and feet”, it still sounds like a prophetic description of Jesus crucifixion,

      It does? How does a lion ‘pinning’ someone equate to crucifixion?

      • MM

        It says “LIKE a lion they pin my hands and feet”. A lion doesn’t have hands and feet, a man does. It’s a form of an analogy, a comparison if you will.

        • MR

          Yes, I get that. Show me how the analogy works. It seems to me quite a stretch unless you’re conflating ‘to pin’, as in ‘hold down’ with ‘to affix with pins’, or in this case nails. Those are obviously two very different concepts, and makes for a poor analogy.

        • MM

          Well whether it is a good analogy is subjective I guess. But the various ways the Hebrew word has been translated range from pierce, gouge, dug, pin. You pick the word, the idea remains the same and fits with a crucifixion, as well as the context of the rest of the Psalm. We believe this inspired portion of scripture is Jesus in the 1st person describing the events and emotion of the day.

        • Greg G.

          Those translations are done to fit the Christian narrative. Even Paul did the same in Galatians 3:13 using the Septuagint to arrive at the idea of crucifixion. The Hebrew word was unambiguously “tree”. The Greek word could have been “tree”, “wood”, or “cross”. Modern translations try to use the Hebrew versions but the New Testament authors favored the Septuagint.

        • MM

          Wow. A lot of stuff here. First, I don’t feel “tortured” at all coming to this conclusion. I think the conclusion is a reasonable one considering all the facts. Greg G says: The only Jesus that Paul knew was the one he read about in the scriptures. How did y0u come to that conclusion?? Acts chapters 9 and 26 tell a different story. As far as this discussion is concerned it’s irrelevant how, in what order, or who for that matter, wrote the gospels unless you want to dispute the fact that they were written well after Psalm 22, Isaiah 53 or Zechariah 12:10. The Septuagint was complete about 230BC there about. The copy of Isaiah found in the Dead Sea Scrolls testify to the fact that these prophecies, however you want to translate a specific word here or there, were around long before Jesus and the crucifixion, and again, were written by someone outside space/ time. Isn’t the fact that God laid claim to being outside space/time before Einstein showed us time had a beginning, is relative and is one of the four dimensions we can measure intriguing to you at all??

        • Greg G.

          How did y0u come to that conclusion??

          First, I looked at all the verses in the least disputed as authentic Pauline Epistles where Paul said he did not get his information from a human source and all the times he said he got it from the scriptures. Then I looked at every verse that wasn’t about Jesus sitting in heaven and saw that they were quotes from the Old Testament or allusions to Old Testament passages. None of the verses about Jesus seemed to come from recent knowledge. Then I did the same with the pseudo-Pauline Epistles and except for 1 Timothy, considered by most to be from the 2nd century, it was more of the same. Then I looked at all the other epistles. Except for 2 Peter, another very late forgery, they all referred to Jesus in Old Testament terms.

          Acts chapters 9 and 26 tell a different story.

          Yes, they tell a different story than Paul tells. The narrative of Acts seems to be to get somebody in a position to make a speech and the speech is not always about the situation of the speaker. The discrepancies between what Paul said and what Acts says shows it to be a false narrative. The obvious reliance on stories from Josephus and other writers shows it to be fiction.

          were written by someone outside space/ time

          You’ve jumped the rails. The books of the prophets look like they were written by the most literate people in Judea with an understanding of the world equivalent to everybody else back then.

          Einstein did not show us that time had a beginning. He thought that this galaxy was the universe, didn’t know it was rotating, and put in a constant in his formula to explain why it hadn’t collapsed. He called that his greatest mistake.

          Here is where Paul is telling us where he got his information:

          Galatians 1:11-12
          11 For I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that the gospel that was proclaimed by me is not of human origin; 12 for I did not receive it from a human source, nor was I taught it, but I received it through a revelation of Jesus Christ.

          Romans 1:1-2
          1 Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God, 2 which he promised beforehand through his prophets in the holy scriptures,

          Romans 16:25-27
          25 Now to God who is able to strengthen you according to my gospel and the proclamation of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery that was kept secret for long ages 26 but is now disclosed, and through the prophetic writings is made known to all the Gentiles, according to the command of the eternal God, to bring about the obedience of faith— 27 to the only wise God, through Jesus Christ, to whom be the glory forever! Amen.

          1 Corinthians 2:6-7
          6 Yet among the mature we do speak wisdom, though it is not a wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are doomed to perish. 7 But we speak God’s wisdom, secret and hidden, which God decreed before the ages for our glory.

          Paul thought he was seeing a hidden message that he decoded by taking allegory literally.

          Here are the verses I mentioned above for the “authentic” Pauline epistles:
          http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined/2012/12/what-did-paul-know-about-jesus-not-much/#comment-1714262064

          New Testament Narrative as Old Testament Midrash by Robert M. Price combines the studies of several scholars that traced the sources used by Mark and the other gospels.

          Mark’s Use of the Gospel of Thomas (Part 1) by Stevan Davies fills in a few gaps in the above.

          How a Fictional Jesus Gave Rise to Christianity, by R. G. Price (note the middle initial) shows the allegorical nature of Mark.

        • MM

          Alright Bob – time won’t permit to much depth in my answer, but here goes. Because something is disputed or argued doesn’t make either side of the argument correct, just disputed. The dates and authors of both New and Old Testament have been disputed for decades. Volumes have been written defending both sides. I may even be wrong about authors and exact dates, but it doesn’t change the content. Is the content verifiable beyond a reasonable doubt? There are many extra-biblical sources that site the general history of both old and new testament stories.
          I believe your wrong on your Einstein info. Didn’t he screw with the numbers because he didn’t like the implications of a beginning of the universe instead of the Steady State Theory that was the paradigm at the time??
          The references you find in the new testament to that of old testament are used to prove to the Jews, who made up most of the early church, that Jesus was the predicted Messiah.
          Example: Look below how Peter states in an effort to convince, that he was an eye witness and then he goes on in verse 19 to draw on the word of the Old Testament prophets to drive his point home. In a sense, Peter is saying the fulfilling of the prophecies is more convincing than his own eye-witness account!

          2 Peter 1:16-19King James Version (KJV)

          16 For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty.

          17 For he received from God the Father honour and glory, when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.

          18 And this voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with him in the holy mount.

          19 We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts:

        • MM

          The above is to Greg. Sorry about that.

        • Greg G.

          My friends call me Greg, but you can call me Bob. Booya!

          Just don’t call me late for dinner.

        • MM

          Thanks Greg for the Einstein summation. I dabble in the sciences a little and your explanation is more how I remember it. Dispute on nuances of scripture, even among Christians, is an indisputable fact. Again, because something is disputed doesn’t necessarily make it void of truth. Remember, we’re trying to discern things such as authorship, dates, sources used and so on with the burden of looking back almost 2000 years. I can’t imagine any of us speculating on these areas without error. Think of things such as The Warren Report, who really brought down the Twin Towers, whether we really went to the moon, TWA 800 crash – all under dispute in a much shorter time frame. We handle these by examining the debate from both sides, evaluating the information and coming to a reasonable conclusion of what we think happened, knowing full well that our conclusion is likely only partially correct. That’s all we’re doing with a lot of the topics concerning the who, what, where and when of scripture. We have ample evidence, copies and fragments of scripture, dated to within 200 years of the actual events described to be reasonably sure the events described are true. We have a few fragments that look to be written prior to 70AD, the time of the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans. No book in the history of man has been more scrutinized than the bible and yet it remains reasonable to conclude that what we have in it is a very accurate historical document. The fact that I believe the bible to be inspired requires faith (but I’d argue faith based on such things as the prophecy and fulfillment that started our exchange) , the fact that it is reasonable to assume that it’s an accurate description of actual events does not. In any event, I enjoy the exchange. Thanks for the participation.

        • Greg G.

          Hi MM,
          When you have disputes, you only know that one side is definitely wrong but, unless there are only two possibilities, it doesn’t mean the other side is right.

          Faith is the over-confidence that makes you overlook problems like 2 Peter 1:17.

          I enjoyed the conversation. Enjoy your Easter but save me a peep, please.

        • MM

          No problem with 2 Peter 1:17. Peter’s referring to The Transfiguration (see Luke 17:1-5), not the baptism.

        • Greg G.

          Ok, I’ll give you that, but it is Matthew 17:5. Mark 9:7 and Luke 9:35 do not have the “in whom I am well pleased”.

          The Gospel story is suspect. Mark 9:2 and Matthew 17:1 say Jesus took his three Amigos up on the mountain “after six days” (Luke 9:28 says “8 days”), but from what? Mark is apparently telling us he is making an allusion to Exodus 24:13-18 where Moses went up the mountain and a cloud covered it for six days before the Lord called Moses on the seventh day.

        • Greg G.

          It doesn’t matter who wrote the gospels as their construction shows that they are not from eyewitnesses but that they are literary inventions.

          “For we have not followed cunningly devised fables” from 2 Peter 1:16 shows the author had to defend against the accusation.

          2 Peter 1:17 refers to the baptism scene which caused much controversy among the gospel authors. Mark said the baptism was for “the remission of sins” but why would the Jesus who was God before birth need a baptism for that? How did Peter hear the voice from “excellent glory” when all four gospels have Jesus’ baptism before he met Peter? The author of 2 Peter is reading from the gospels, but not well, rather than telling history. The author of 2 Peter was lying.

          Most of what backs up the gospels from extrabiblical sources comes from Josephus and there is ample evidence in Matthew and Luke that they used Josephus as source material. Luke especially used Josephus as an encyclopedia and a muse, and Luke’s misreadings of Josephus really expose this.

          Einstein did assume the Steady State model. Other galaxies were fuzzy dots on the telescopes of the day. They assumed stars were dispersed randomly instead of gathered in galaxies. It was Hubble and his people who detected and worked out the red shifts that showed most galaxies were moving away from each other and also implied that they were moving away from a common point.

          EDIT: I’m not sure who worked out that the galaxies were moving away from each other.

          Running the calculations backwards implied that the universe had a beginning. It was after that when Einstein decided he was mistaken. But now that more precise measurements are being made, the expansion of the universe appears to be accelerating which means Einstein may have been closer to correct than he thought. His equation looked more elegant if the constant was zero. It seemed to be very close to zero. A negative number or zero would mean the universe would collapse when gravity won out. Too big of a number would mean the universe would continue to expand. That is what they think now.

        • MNb

          “EDIT: I’m not sure who worked out that the galaxies were moving away from each other.”
          Alexander Friedmann was the first to derive this from General Relativity;
          Georges Lemaitre the second; he offered two additional solutions;
          Hubble was the first to observe that galaxies move away from each other, but that was not enough to discredit SST;
          Penzias and Wilson found background radiation in 1964. Since then the issue has been settled. The universe is expanding and there has been a Big Bang.
          There have been more guys involved.

          Which one of the three solutions is not entirely clear yet, but one of the two offered by Lemaitre is currently the favourite.

        • MNb

          Steady State Theory never has been a paradigm in physics. Shortly after Einstein formulated his General Relativity Friedmann and Lemaitre published their findings. But indeed Einstein introduced a cosmological constant to maintain SST. It’s all irrelevant though. The issue has been settled since 1964.

        • Pofarmer

          2 Peter is known to be psuedoepigraphical. It’s a late forgery/early apologetics.

          “who made up most of the early church”

          The Early church may have started with Jews in Jerusalem, but it grew most quickly outside of Jerusalem in the Gentile areas, converting pagans. Richard Carrier discusses it pretty extensively, with copious footnotes to other research, in his book, “Not the impossible faith.”

          You need to know some facts.

          “There are many extra-biblical sources that site the general history of both old and new testament stories.”

          Keep something in mind here regarding the NT especially. The NT is almost exclusively Greek literature, there was a long history in Greek literature of authors putting their heros in real world places and situations.

        • MM

          You’re correct when you say the early church “mostly” grew converting pagans outside Rome. The point I was trying to make was that of the early church in Jerusalem was made up of Jews who were very familiar with the Old Testament prophecies, thus the reason you see New Testament writers appeal to prophecies was in an effort to validate their claim that Jesus was the long awaited Messiah. You have to keep in mind that Christianity is more or less a continuance of the covenants given to Abraham and David (Galatians 3:29).

          I would agree that most of the New Testament was written in Greek, due to it being the dominant language. It was not however Greek literature.

        • Pofarmer

          “I would agree that most of the New Testament was written in Greek, due
          to it being the dominant language. It was not however Greek literature.”

          The New Testament uses Greek forms. It was written by people who were trained in Greek writing, and it also uses Mimesis. Richard Carrier has a Youtube video on the Gospels as Greek Literature. Shouldn’t be hard to find. You could also check out MacDonald on the Homeric stories versus Mark, or Randal Helms “The Gospel fictions” who notes the same things, plus notes that nearly all of the miracles Jesus performs are replays from the OT. If you check on the history, via Ehrman and Carrier, you will soon ascertain that the early church thought Jesus was divine from the very first, which backs up Carriers divine origin story. What we get from Paul, is a heavenly savior that is going to come down to earth and kick some ass and take some names. This Savior is “discovered” by reading scriptures in a new way and mining for “prophecies” of him.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Yeah, I don’t have much sympathy for the argument that goes, “It was written in Greek, but that’s it. Otherwise, it’s 100% kosher.”

          During the Maccabean Revolt, there was not only fighting against the Seleucid overlords, but the Judeans were fighting among themselves with the Greek appeasers and the Greek rejectors (my clumsy words). That is, in 167BC, Greek influence was already problematic enough that it would start a civil war.

        • MNb

          “Isn’t the fact that God laid claim to being outside space/time before Einstein showed us time had a beginning, is relative and is one of the four dimensions we can measure intriguing to you at all??”
          No. Long before Einstein was born intelligent people realized that an immaterial entity being part of our material reality is incoherent. They also realized that space and time are features of that material reality.
          Plus of course no god ever laid down that claim – human believers did.

          Einstein didn’t show us that time had a beginning. Atheist commie Alexander Friedmann and three years later catholic priest Georges Lemaitre did. Finally the theories developed by these three intellectual giants have been refuted for exactly the point and the time interval after that point that space/time is supposed to begin. Indeed there are physicists who think time before the beginning of our Universe is a meaningful concept. The issue hasn’t been settled yet.

        • MR

          Well, that’s kind of the point, it doesn’t fit with a crucifixion. No one who reads that thinks, “Oh, it’s just like a crucifixion.” You’re conflating very different meanings into one to arrive at a tortured conclusion. npi. Like reading Nostradamus. Or conspiracy theories that search for any kind of link to bolster their preconceived notion. Also, see Greg G.’s comments.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

      It doesn’t work as a prophecy because of all the verses that do not fit with the Jesus story.

      If an analogous vaguely similar prophecy claim were made about somebody in another religion, you’d be just as skeptical as I am here.

      You’ve lowered the bar so much here that it’s embarrassing how little you think of your god’s ability to predict the future. This is the best he can do?

      • MM

        Hi Bob – the crazy thing is it isn’t all He has done, although I would say it’s more than we deserve. For the Jew, prophecy is less of predicting the future and more of pattern. The pattern begins immediately after the fall when God makes garments of skin (think blood) to “cover” Adam (Genesis 3:21), through Abraham’s offering of his son and God offering a substitute (Genesis 22), then into the story of Joseph being rejected by his brothers, thrown into a pit, sold into slavery to rise to the point of being his brothers rescuer (Genesis chapters 37-48), to Moses choosing to be mistreated along with the people of God (compare Philippians 2:6-8) to lead them out of slavery to the promised land, through the book of Ruth, all the way into Daniel where God gives a specific timeline for the Messiah to appear (Daniel 9:25-26) and then all the way until Jesus walks into Jerusalem to die (Luke 19:28-44). These are all what are called “types” or “patterns” pointing to what God was going to do through His Son. There are many more of these. Perhaps somewhat vague at times, but given they were written over hundreds of years by different authors who had no specific perception of the Messiah dying in this fashion, to me, is remarkable. Remember, for the most part these writers were waiting on the reigning Messiah to set up His kingdom, not suffer and die.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          This is a literary analysis. It’s mythology. We could do the same thing for Hinduism, say, and look for archetypes or patterns there. There is no reason to see the Bible as being history while the many other books of mythology aren’t.

          And the prophecy claims are an excellent example–if there were really a god behind these, he’d have good prophecies.

        • MM

          Just because it’s literary analysis doesn’t mean the conclusion the analysis leads to is false. I’d argue these prophecies go way beyond good to the point of amazing. Amazing, because many are so specific and verifiable beyond a reasonable doubt, not vague in the sense of what I’ve read from Nostradamus.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          If you’re determined to see Ps. 22 as amazing, even after the list of missed verses (above), I don’t know what more there is to talk about.

          That this is the best that God can do points to his being not particularly divine.

          Read my posts on “prophecies” in Is. 53, Is. 7, and Daniel as well.

        • MM

          I’ll try to do that when I get time. Thanks for the exchange. I enjoyed it.

        • Greg G.

          The nativity of Moses is like the nativity of Baby Zeus being hidden from Chronos. The rest of the Moses story is similar to The Odyssey genre.

          Did God repeatedly orchestrate events to follow his favorite fiction?

        • MM

          Could not the writers of Greek Mythology heard the story of Moses and embellished it?? In a way, that some Biblical stories are repeated throughout different cultures lend more, not less, credence to them.

        • Greg G.

          That could be possible but the evidence shows that the Moses story is fiction so it is still just the same genre.

        • MNb

          Oedipus.
          Paris of Troje.
          Herodus’ infanticide.

        • adam

          “the crazy thing is it isn’t all He has done, although I would say it’s more than we deserve. “

    • Greg G.

      The only Jesus that Paul knew was the one he read about in the scriptures. He tells us this. Mark wrote an allegory of Paul’s Jesus as if he was a first century person and used the OT, Greek literature, and the Christian literature of the day. Mark combines Greek and Jewish stories to create characters and tales. Late first century Christians took Mark literally.

  • lou
    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

      Is this an article supporting Ps. 22 as prophecy? It would be helpful for you to summarize the main points here, particularly those that contradict what I said in the post above. Otherwise, it won’t get much of a hearing.

      • Greg G.

        The page says about what you said in the first half of your article as being fulfilled and ends with an altar call.

    • Greg G.

      That’s a great example. The article opens with:

      Jesus did give of Himself, and it was all foretold in the Scriptures.
      That’s what Jesus said to the disciples on the road, “How slow of heart
      we are to believe all that the prophets foretold.”

      But it ignores all the parts of Psalm 22 that are not found in the Passion narrative as Bob points out in the last half of his article.

  • Brown

    Nice try lol

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

      Yeah, LOL. Drive-by insults don’t do anything to either help us understand the truth or make clear that you actually have something meaningful to say.

      I doubt you do. Prove me wrong.

      • Dys

        I don’t think Brown is properly equipped to respond with anything of substance.

  • rerun

    As promised, I’ll provide commentary throughout and show where you
    mislead your readers.

    a. “The very first verse of this chapter is, “My God, my
    God, why have you forsaken me?” which are the last words of Jesus
    according to Matthew and Mark.”

    However, you’ll notice that Luke and
    John have different endings. Why? The Gospels are four separate
    portraits. Rather than being carbon copies of each other (which
    would actually demonstrate collusion) they are four accounts all of
    which provide important details.

    b. Verse 7: “All who see me mock me; they hurl insults,
    shaking their heads. ‘He trusts in the Lord,’ they say, ‘Let
    the Lord rescue him.’” Sure enough, Mark records the onlookers
    insulting Jesus and mocking his inability to free himself.”

    Are you under the impression that
    the account is true or false? What do you believe the onlookers did?
    If they didn’t insult Jesus what did they do and what is your
    evidence?

    c. Verse 16: “they have pierced my
    hands and my feet” sounds like the crucifixion. This form of
    execution was practiced by many cultures in the Ancient Near East for
    centuries before the time of Jesus, but it probably didn’t go back
    as far as the writing of this psalm. In that case, this verse looks
    prophetic.”

    It was performed mostly by the
    Persians and the Romans perfected it. Even if it didn’t go back to
    the writing of this Psalm that doesn’t negate that it could very well
    be prophetic. It’s pretty specific for not
    being prophetic if it is as you say.

    d. Verse 18:
    “They divide my garments among them and cast lots for my clothing,”
    as noted in Mark.

    Again, are you implying that something different happened? If so
    what is your better evidence?

    e. These are some clear
    parallels, but what best explains this—that this ancient psalm
    really did predict the crucifixion or that the gospel story was
    deliberately written to mimic a prophecy?

    How do we know that your not lying about what you post in your
    blogs after all atheism is not even close to being a dominant
    worldview so who is in the minority? Most people on planet earth
    have a theistic worldview.

    f. The author of Mark was surely familiar with this psalm and
    could’ve added the distribution of the clothes, the mocking from
    the crowd, and the last words.

    That’s correct he could have but
    did he – that’s the
    question.
    If you think there is better evidence then show us.

    g.
    But what about the piercing of the hands and feet? It may not say
    that. A better translation may be, “like a lion they pin my hands
    and feet.”

    You’re loosing already here Bob. How
    do you think a lion holds down its prey – with its big, soft cute
    cuddly paws? It uses its claws!

    h. The NET Bible’s comment: The psalmist may envision a lion
    pinning the hands and feet of its victim
    to the ground with its
    paws (a scene depicted in ancient Near Eastern art), or a lion biting
    the hands and feet.

    Make that change and see what verse 16
    says:

    wild dogs surround me—
    a gang of evil men crowd
    around me;
    like a lion they pin my hands and feet.

    No
    longer do we have a good parallel to the crucifixion story. (Let me
    note, however, that there are arguments for each interpretation of
    the verse.)

    So, here’s a question for the
    audience. Why does Wayne Grudem the primary editor of the ESV
    support the NET translation yet his translation words Psalm 22 in
    this way “For dogs encompass me; a company of evildoers encircles
    me; they have pierced my hands and feet-?” Hmmmmm, that’s a
    mystery. Bob either isn’t aware of this fact or he is aware of it
    and doesn’t want you to know it.

    j. Let’s reconsider
    those last words: “My God, why have you forsaken me?” Does
    forsaking Jesus sound like part of God’s plan? This doesn’t sound
    like the cool-headed, in-control Jesus written about in Luke and
    John.

    Again, four portraits. Someone
    might say the same about you. “You know that doesn’t sound like
    the Bob I was out on the golf course with.” or “You know that
    doesn’t sound like the Bob I was at that concert with.” Four
    portraits.

    k. What it sounds like is Gnosticism (not in the Psalm, but
    when transplanted into the gospels). The Gnostic Gospel of Philip
    (third century) explains it this way, “‘My God, My God, why,
    Lord, have you forsaken me?’ [Jesus] spoke these words on the
    cross, for he had left that place.” That is, Christ the god entered
    Jesus the man at baptism (remember the dove?) but then abandoned
    Jesus at the crucifixion.

    Nobody cares what Philip believes
    in the 3rd
    century. Isn’t it great that Paul’s testimony goes all the way back
    to the cross from 1 Corinthians 15:3-8? Even atheist scholars
    recognize that passage as “gold.”

    l. What about the
    skipped verses? Now consider the entire chapter. The apologetic
    claim rests on picking intriguing little fragments out of context,
    but taken as a whole this looks even less like the crucifixion
    story.

    Verse 9:
    “Yet you brought me out of the womb; you made me trust in
    you”—again,
    this sounds like an ordinary man. The first person
    of the Trinity wouldn’t need to make the second person of the
    Trinity trust him.

    Your
    making a theological assumption. You’re assuming that Jesus was not
    fully human and fully divine. I’m glad your at least wrestling with
    this on some level.

    m. Verse 12: “Many bulls surround me; strong bulls of Bashan
    [a place known for its cattle] encircle me. Roaring lions tearing
    their prey open their mouths wide against me.” Bulls and lions?
    That sounds like martyrdom in an arena, not crucifixion.

    Here’s where your hoping your
    readers don’t actually check your references. So, lets do that shall
    we? What does v. 12 say again “Many bulls surround me; strong
    bulls of Bashan hem me in” (NET). Yet, you don’t even stick to the
    NET translation here but borrow from the commentary. You use the
    NIV! Do you love misleading people? Okay – lets move forward here
    because there’s more. What exactly does the commentary say for v.
    12? Not suprisingly, Bob leads the reader to believe that the
    passage is referring to literal bulls and lions like in a gladiator
    arena. This is hardly the case when we read the actual NET
    commentary which states plainly, “The psalmist figuratively
    compares his enemies to dangerous bulls.”
    Oh – what’s that you mean the psalmist is referring to people?
    Ohhhhhh, because Bob thinks the psalmist is referring to literal
    bulls and lions. Sheesh that was a close one good thing I decided to
    read the commentary and paste Bob’s misquoted verse into Google and
    find out he was quoting from the NIV and not the NET yet he was using
    the NET commentary. Strange.

    o. Verse 17: “I
    can count all my bones.” This unfortunate guy is clearly
    mistreated, but (again) this isn’t the gospel story.

    What leads you to believe that?
    How badly was Jesus tortured do you have any clue? It wasn’t your
    typical “run of the mill” crucifixion

    p. Verse
    20: “Deliver my life from the sword, my precious life from the
    power of the dogs.
    Rescue me from the mouth of the lions; save me
    from the horns of the wild oxen.” Ditto.

    Again, your not even utilizing
    what the commentary stated which was that these animals are
    figurative

    q. And the biggest problem with
    shoehorning of Psalm 22 into the gospel story is that there’s no
    reference to the resurrection! How can this be the story of the
    sacrifice of Jesus without the punch line?

    What horrendous reasoning. So, every
    story about Jesus has to end with “and he was risen from the dead
    on the third day.”

    https://net.bible.org/#!bible/Psalms+22.
    (2015). Retrieved from URL.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

      Why? The Gospels are four separate portraits. Rather than being carbon copies of each other (which would actually demonstrate collusion) they are four accounts all of which provide important details.

      Four authors with different agendas—that explains the different spins each one has.

      If they didn’t insult Jesus what did they do and what is your evidence?

      It’s a story.

      “They divide my garments among them and cast lots for my clothing,” as noted in Mark. Again, are you implying that something different happened? If so what is your better evidence?

      We’re poles apart, aren’t we? The gospel story is a story. I’m not concerned about how the gospel story is out of line with what actually happened just like I’m not concerned about pulling out the history in the Camelot/King Arthur story.

      Mark quoted Ps. 22. What’s surprising or supernatural or prophetic? He had obviously read the Scriptures, so he knew of the Psalm. He dropped in allusions to the prior story deliberately.

      How do we know that your not lying about what you post in your blogs after all atheism is not even close to being a dominant worldview so who is in the minority? Most people on planet earth have a theistic worldview.

      Huh? “Lying” really isn’t much of a concern. I make an argument, you see if it is convincing, and you point out any holes that concern you. Or are you new at this?

      And yes, atheism is a minority viewpoint. Is that just an interesting aside, or is that relevant?

      That’s correct [Mark] could have [inserted bits of Ps. 22 into his gospel] but did he – that’s the question. If you think there is better evidence then show us.

      The plausible natural explanation trumps the supernatural explanation.

      How do you think a lion holds down its prey – with its big, soft cute cuddly paws? It uses its claws!

      That’s nice.

      And how does that tie in with the gospel story?

      Why does Wayne Grudem the primary editor of the ESV support the NET translation yet his translation words Psalm 22 in this way “For dogs encompass me; a company of evildoers encircles me; they have pierced my hands and feet-?” Hmmmmm, that’s a mystery. Bob either isn’t aware of this fact or he is aware of it and doesn’t want you to know it.

      Wow. What a great deception you’ve discovered. I said, “Let me note, however, that there are arguments for each interpretation of the verse.” Despite your best efforts, the Great Conspiracy of 2015® vanishes.

      Nobody cares what Philip believes in the 3rd century.

      Bible scholars tell us that we need to understand the surprising breadth of belief during the early days of Christianity—they make Southern Baptist vs. Episcopal look like a picnic.

      There were great currents in this early religion—Marcionism, Gnosticism, and the Ebionites, for example. If one of these viewpoints helps clear away some of the mystery, that is helpful. (Except for those trying to shoehorn everything into their single, cramped worldview. Kinda sucks for them, I’ll admit.)

      Isn’t it great that Paul’s testimony goes all the way back to the cross from 1 Corinthians 15:3-8? Even atheist scholars recognize that passage as “gold.”

      You mean the passage that seems a bit jarring from the surrounding text? The one that seems dropped in? Yeah, that one might indeed have been a later addition by a scribe. Good catch.

      Your making a theological assumption. You’re assuming that Jesus was not fully human and fully divine. I’m glad your at least wrestling with this on some level.

      I’m explaining Ps. 22—without invoking Jesus. Easy when you drop the presuppositions.

      Do you love misleading people?

      By doing what? Show me the misleading bit.

      How badly was Jesus tortured do you have any clue? It wasn’t your typical “run of the mill” crucifixion

      And how does an extraordinary vs. an ordinary crucifixion mean that he’s so thin that you can see his bones?

      Again, your not even utilizing what the commentary stated which was that these animals are figurative

      A figurative menagerie of savage animals? Odd that we don’t see that in the gospels. Were the mockers like the “horns of the wild oxen”? Were the guards gambling for his clothes “roaring lions … open their mouths wide against me”? Maybe the mean thief on the cross was like the “wild dogs.”

      What horrendous reasoning. So, every story about Jesus has to end with “and he was risen from the dead on the third day.”

      Horrendous indeed. Isn’t it embarrassing when the atheist has to point out to you the point of the Jesus story? “Dude gets beaten up by wild beasts” isn’t much to build a religion on. It’s the conquering of death that is the point.

      • rerun

        It’s all apart of the story Bob. The resurrection and the cross are not mutually exclusive. Both are essential. The cross pays for sin and the resurrection is the receipt. You seem to be unable to comprehend complex theological movements within Scripture or you just choose to ignore them.

        • Greg G.

          That’s not how Paul explains it in Galatians 3:6-14. The “cross” is just some wordplay so that Jesus could become a curse so “the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.” It is nothing but symbolism.

        • rerun

          you’re confused – it’s both

        • adam

          you’re confused – it’s a MYTH….

        • Cognissive Disco Dance

          Yes confuse everyone with a baffling reply lol.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          You mock my insistence that the complete Jesus story must include the resurrection, and now you lecture me that the complete Jesus story must include the resurrection?

          Permit me to think ill of your thinking skills.

        • rerun

          No that’s not what I did at all. You act as though ever time Jesus is mentioned his entire story including the Resurrection must be told. What I’m saying is that when we look at the entire story yes the Resurrection is essential but obviously as we read through it a story is unfolding.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Then I guess we agree: Ps. 22 is a poor parallel to the Jesus story. It has things that aren’t in the gospel story–starvation, wild animals–and it omits things that are key to the gospel story, just for starters, the resurrection.

          Imagine one objective observer distilling down Ps. 22 and another the passion/crucifixion/resurrection story in a gospel. Now compare. Yes, you can find a few parallels. That’s hardly enough to say that Ps. 22 is a prophecy.

        • rerun

          Fine. But that still doesn’t change how sections of Psalm 22 elude to Christ. Even if you “take away” Psalm 22 from the prophecy bag you still have to deal with Isaiah 53 which is clearly about Christ whether you think you can explain it away or not.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          So now you’re saying that Ps. 22 is a teeny bit like the crucifixion story? Granted. So what?

          I have high standards for a prophecy coming from the omniscient creator of the universe. You?

          I’ve written about Is. 53 (and Is. 7) being relevant prophecy is similarly weak.

        • rerun

          Isaiah 53 is clearly about the Messiah. are you saying that it isn’t? Do you deny the potential for any prophecy?

        • Dys

          Stories can be crafted to match supposed prophecies.

        • Greg G.

          Paul seems to have read Isaiah 53 as a long hidden mystery but as history, not prophecy. Mark used parts to write an allegory of Jesus set in the first century. Matthew was apparently the first to mine OT passages to pass off as prophecy.

        • adam

          It is just NOT about Jesus.

          Even the Jews understand that Jesus does not fill the prophecy of the Messiah

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Been there, debunked that.

          I’m happy to entertain any prophecy idea. But I’ll call ’em as I see ’em. While you seem delighted to accept minimal evidence for prophecy, I have higher standards for your god–standards he doesn’t meet.

        • rerun

          If I write a letter to a relative and only describe one of my kids but don’t name them does that mean I’m not talking about them?

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          If you’re writing about the Greatest Story Ever Told and you condense it down to just the passion story but you forget the resurrection, no, you’re not talking about the Jesus story.

        • rerun

          Psalm 22 is apart of a greater book of Psalms. They are each individual portraits Bob

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          So, rephrased so we can all understand it, “OK, fine. I see your point. Ps. 22 is actually a poor parallel to the passion narrative, and only wishful thinking made Christians imagine otherwise.”

          Please try to be clearer in the future. Thanks.

        • Cognissive Disco Dance

          Great point. If God relies on ancient cryptic “poetic license” to save the world, then why shouldn’t you? Please rewrite your question so that it sounds more baffling so that we can spend more time “interpreting” it. We are bored and we need something to do and argue with everyone about. Our eternal souls are at stake, so please be as baffling and as “poetic” as you can. And be ancient too if possible.

      • rerun

        “Four authors with different agendas—that explains the different spins each one has.”

        Maybe – maybe not. Is it possible that they’re all reporting accurate data?

        “It’s a story.”

        Very good Bob it is a story. If it’s a false story why do you spend so much time attempting to refute something that you know is already false? Doesn’t make much sense. What is your agenda?

        “We’re poles apart, aren’t we? The gospel story is a story. I’m not concerned about how the gospel story is out of line with what actually happened just like I’m not concerned about pulling out the history in the Camelot/King Arthur story.”

        Again, then why spend so much time attempting to refute something you already believe to be false?

        “He had obviously read the Scriptures, so he knew of the Psalm. He dropped in allusions to the prior story deliberately.”

        That or he realized what any rational person would that is, hey this looks like its talking about Jesus. The details are too specific Bob.

        “And yes, atheism is a minority viewpoint. Is that just an interesting aside, or is that relevant?”

        It’s relevant because most human beings disagree with you about the existence of God. Why is that? Probably because everything in the human experience leads us to believe that God probably exists.

        “The plausible natural explanation trumps the supernatural explanation.”

        Not necessarily. If the supernatural exists than it would trump the natural explanation given the circumstances. That’s why neo-darwinism doesn’t work because it requires far too much faith to make it credible.

        “That’s nice. And how does that tie in with the gospel story?”

        It’s imagery Bob. If all literature were spelled out cook-book style it would lack human integrity.

        “Wow. What a great deception you’ve discovered. I said, “Let me note, however, that there are arguments for each interpretation of the verse.” Despite your best efforts, the Great Conspiracy of 2015® vanishes.”

        Wrong. You didn’t address the accusation – that you withheld information from the reader. Why would a scholar like Wayne Grudem agree with the NET translation yet translate the same passage differently. It must mean that the two translations aren’t mutually exclusive.

        “Bible scholars tell us that we need to understand the surprising breadth of belief during the early days of Christianity—they make Southern Baptist vs. Episcopal look like a picnic.”

        Which Bible scholars? Bob Price? Gnosticism, Marcionism and Ebioniteism and all of the other isms were false teachings. There’s absolutely no decent on this in the academic community. Who are your wide sweeping references to say otherwise?

        “Youmean the passage that seems a bit jarring from the surrounding text? The one that seems dropped in? Yeah, that one might indeed have been a later addition by a scribe. Good catch.”

        So if I inserted a poem right here that would mean that is was dropped in centuries later? Yeah, that’s how bad your argument really is.

        “I’m explaining Ps. 22—without invoking Jesus. Easy when you drop the presuppositions.”

        Or you could be unbiased and read Psalm 22 in light of history. Hmmmmm, sounds like Jesus doesn’t it? Or do you just ignore history so you can rewrite it how you want to?

        “And how does an extraordinary vs. an ordinary crucifixion mean that he’s so thin that you can see his bones?”

        The whip they used oftentimes exposed flesh and bone Bob. That’s one example.

        “A figurative menagerie of savage animals? Odd that we don’t see that in the gospels. Were the mockers like the “horns of the wild oxen”? Were the guards gambling for his clothes “roaring lions … open their mouths wide against me”? Maybe the mean thief on the cross was like the “wild dogs.”

        Maybe but it doesn’t fit with the crucifixion story which is more akin to being attacked by wild dogs or lions or bulls. Psalm 22 obviously lends itself to physical torture not verbal as you insinuate with your thief on the cross theory.

        “Horrendous indeed. Isn’t it embarrassing when the atheist has to point out to you the point of the Jesus story? “Dude gets beaten up by wild beasts” isn’t much to build a religion on. It’s the conquering of death that is the point.”

        And he did conquer death. You also was crucified for humanity. The two are not mutually exclusive.

        • Kodie

          Very good Bob it is a story. If it’s a false story why do you spend so
          much time attempting to refute something that you know is already false?
          Doesn’t make much sense. What is your agenda?

          You know how Christians like you want to make oppressive laws the rest of us have to follow based on your superstition? If you have the right to believe it’s true, and why do you spend so much time arguing that it is, if it simply is, then Bob and everyone else has the right to argue, with evidence and supporting arguments, that the stories are false. Religion isn’t god, it’s the people. Can’t get much dumber than you without a trip to Australia where Norm lives. Do you think we ought to look forward to the dumbening control of our politics and laws, by people like you who see fit to speak about your religion and try to convince as many people as possible that there ought to be laws on earth to take care of sins against your imaginary friend, because his justice just isn’t fast enough for you. It’s like you don’t have that much faith, and you oughtn’t, so why should we listen to you, take you seriously, or be compelled to obey laws that come out of a fairy tale just because it’s your loose-stool opinion that we’ll be sorry if we don’t? YOU WILL be sorry if we don’t. YOU DON’T actually have much faith in your creator to hand down justice. WE have nothing after death to fear.

          Not like you, you child-mind quivering superstitiously that if you don’t get everyone to agree with you, then YOU might go to hell. You’re not trying to save us, you’re trying to control us. This is America, not a theocracy.

        • rerun

          Then stop trying to make churches marry people that they don’t want to. It’s not an atheocracy either brain train.

        • Kodie

          No church is forced to marry anyone it doesn’t believe should be married. What the fuck kind of paranoia do you have? Are you hospitalized right now? Because I don’t think it’s safe for you out there.

        • MR

          Paranoia / persecution complex indeed. Facts schmacts.

        • rerun

          there’s a line and your groups aren’t going to cross it

        • Kodie

          And you’re bracing for some heavy persecution that’s never going to come. Seriously, you’re paranoid and ignorant of the law. There is a line that no one intends to fucking cross. In your church, you’re safe from the gays! Go and hide in there, because the rest of outside is America.

        • adam

        • Greg G.

          Didn’t religious people say that a few years ago about legalizing gay marriage? Now the majority of the population supports it. Most of that swing is religious people changing their minds. So we’ve already crossed that line. Welcome to the 21st century.

          If you can’t change your mind, are you sure you still have one?

          If you think that allowing marriage between two people regardless of gender increases the possibility of you getting gay married, then you should come out of the closet and stop the loathing you think your religion teaches. If you don’t think it increases the possibility of getting gay married, it’s none of your business. Practice your religion on yourself. You have no right to impose your religion on anybody else.

          You should beg forgiveness from your children for imposing it on them.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          “Saying someone shouldn’t be gay because it’s
          against your religion is like saying someone shouldn’t eat a cupcake because you are on a diet.”

        • Greg G.

          Religion is a choice. You should choose one that makes sense. I am still looking.

        • adam

          Like with slavery it is and will be YOUR groups who cross it and you know why:

        • MNb

          And where is that line?
          What happens if we do cross it?
          Just curious.

        • Greg G.

          The will turn into The Knights Who Say “Persecution”.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          What Kodie said. There’s a lot of case law that makes clear that clerics can set rules for who they will/won’t marry.

          I’m sure that upsets your persecution complex, but I thought you might like to deal with the actual, y’know, facts.

        • rerun

          your group will never be able to tell Christians what we can teach our children, who we have to marry and so and and so on. if the supreme court “changes the definition” of marriage that will mean didly squat to us. We will not obey the government on that issue as well as more issues to come.

        • adam

          ….

        • Dys

          The definition of marriage has changed many times. The fact remains that the concept of marriage does not belong to Christianity – it precedes it.

          It seems your entire rant is based on little more than rampant paranoia and irrational fear mongering leading to yet another case of Christian Persecution Complex.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Even today, the definition of marriage varies slightly from state to state.

        • Kodie

          Just as long as you realize that you don’t have an absolute right to run a public business the way you want to. A cake has nothing to do with marriage. If you are so paranoid that you think the government plans to force your church to marry gay people (when your church won’t even marry people who don’t attend it anyway, most probably), then you should seek shelter underground until it’s safe to come out. The rest of us are trying to live in a free society, including your freedom to practice your dumbass, oppressive, ignorant religion.

          You seem to think your rights are not being protected when you can’t force the government to enforce your superstitions. Go fuck yourself, this is not a theocracy, but your freedom to worship is not infringed upon. Seriously, you think so, but it’s not the case. It’s just another example of how religion warps reality to instigate fear and preparation for a revolution when there’s no fucking reason to be alarmed.

        • adam

          ” We will not obey the government on that issue as well as more issues to come.”

          What a BULL SHIT artist…..

          You dont even obey your own ‘god’…

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Uh, yeah. Who said otherwise?

          What the Supreme Court does will have absolutely zero impact on you. I hope you’re sitting down, because this will clearly be a bombshell: if you don’t like gay marriage, you don’t have to get gay married.

        • Dys

          rerun has apparently been listening to far too many of the right’s religious doomsday paranoids on the gay marriage issue. It seems he thinks that legalizing gay marriage means forcing priests to perform gay marriages.

          I don’t think rerun’s very big on finding out whether the nonsense he’s spouting is true or not. He doesn’t have the time, what with all the non-existent persecution and fear-based paranoia he’s suffering from.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker
        • Kodie

          It’s not like we’re going to dictate who they have to marry, just that they’ll have the same right to marry anyone of the same sex as anyone else.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          The irony is that they’d be outraged at that sentiment but cheer on the homophobic equivalent (“same right to marry anyone of the opposite sex as anyone else”) out of the mouths of fundamentalist apologists.

        • Kodie

          He’s worried the government will force his church to perform gay weddings. I don’t know why he fears this is going to happen. He must be easily riled by troublemakers. I mean, this actually disgusts me almost more than Christians trying to force us to conform to their superstitious stupidity, is the ranting and raving paranoia that riles these people up to act out stupidly against something that’s never going to happen.

          I mean, I understand why business-owners want to make their stand – even though they’re going to lose, the law is imposing on how they like things to be, and as believers, I think they have a right to protest, even if I think they’re wrong… because it’s part of their devout beliefs, I think it’s their obligation to not just roll over and accept these laws. They’ll be made to comply, but they’ll have at least that they tried to feel “good” about. But churches, as long as they’re not run like public businesses, are protected by the 1st amendment.

          Churches, as long as I’ve known churches, do not open their doors to perform weddings for just anyone as it is. You have to go there or appeal to their private rules of joining or being sponsored, or something. They can’t be, and shouldn’t be, forced to perform any gay weddings or accept any gay people in their congregation, etc. The government, because they are the ones legalizing marriage, and they are also the ones you file your marriage license with, not church, offer for anyone legally to marry at town or city hall, if there is no one else to perform the wedding. It’s not the same thing as selling cakes, where people think, just go find another bakery, and there is no bakery because they all deny services. Marriages are a legal government matter, in that you file your license with them, and thereafter, it’s considered legal. You can get married in church all you like, but it’s not legitimate until the license is properly signed by a vested officiant and filed with the state. If nobody will marry you, the clerk always has to.

          Just these people do not understand the huge difference between a wedding and its accoutrements. They do not understand that it’s cake today, and tomorrow, it’s a hardware store’s right not to sell you a hammer to fix your gay stairs in your gay hallway in the gay house you just gay bought, or the grocery store’s right to deny your purchase of a box of cereal to feed your gay-adopted children. Churches are fucking exempt from any pressure or law to perform any weddings they don’t fucking want to. Everyone else is being a fucking selfish bully, but I have to admit, if they don’t at least try, they’re not sincere believers, and even as an atheist, I believe in their right to make a protest, to hold their beliefs that dearly, and make the attempt. I do not extend that courtesy to blatant liars, making panics out of ignorance, and exploiting all the dummies that sit in the pews to freak out. The problem, as I see it, stems from the reliance people have on their church for all information about everything, which their church has purposely engendered, so they don’t think they need to look at a newspaper or read the US Constitution for themselves, and interpret it using their own brain.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          I agree with you that their free speech rights must be defended. They can argue for whatever, in any way they please.

          Where I think I disagree with you is that I would’ve thought that a thoughtful Christian would see that homosexuality is inborn just like skin color, and if denying service as a bias against one inborn trait is bad, doing it against another may be bad for the same reason. I don’t see reason; I see petulance.

        • Kodie

          Well, no, they’re not thoughtful. It’s not a law that they have to be. I think we had this discussion in a recent thread about the wrong side of history – I don’t see these people backing down no matter what laws they have to obey. You know how laws of integration happened, and all those racists still think it ruined everything, and they’re old and going to be dead sooner than later. It’s not like racism is on the way out, either, it’s just that young people have lived in a different world than old people did. I had a whole spiel yesterday when I had just woken up to see a post about … whatever, my thoughts were not coming clearly, but basically that if we all inherited sin, and god was to judge us for it, that’s basically what bigotry of any kind is, and it’s not really going away just because you make a law. I think if the religious want to have their beliefs, even if they affect others, they should hang on, and shall be fought against and forced to comply with laws eventually, if they wish to remain in business.

          I have no special sympathy for them, but if they honestly feel that way, I don’t think it is paranoia because it’s happening. Forcing churches to marry gay couples would never be right, and fearing that to happen just because businesses are being pushed to obey laws, is paranoia, and it’s sown right at church to these ignorant fucks, who think if they back down on their business dealings, they’re coming after churches next. Negatory. I just wouldn’t believe their beliefs are that sincere if they didn’t hang on as long as they could, and I’m never saying they shouldn’t be fought against. You’re not going to make them less ignorant by changing the laws against their wishes, and it would be so much easier if they just changed their minds and were kind to people, but if they feel they’re doing their due diligence to their beliefs, I think they should be able to have that shred. I think it’s not a terrible diversion for them, either. It’s like giving someone a fancy title, it makes them feel like they have something better, but it’s really nothing.

        • Greg G.

          It is churches that are saying that one of their own preachers can’t perform a wedding for gay couple, even when the marriage is legal.

        • rerun

          yeah and we will refuse to do it – no one including your irrational army isn’t going to make us

        • rerun

          correction no one *is going to make us

        • adam

          …..

        • Dys

          Right…because you’re not being persecuted. So stop pretending you are.

        • Greg G.

          What do you not get? A church can fire a preacher who performs a gay wedding, even for his son’s wedding. That’s up to them. It’s only that a business that sells to the public can’t discriminate against someone who wants to purchase their product. Get over it.

        • rerun

          and that’s what I’m saying – we will not be apart of the U.S. governments laws in that case. the government is not God

        • adam

        • Greg G.

          Kent Hovind thought that way. He should be getting out of prison soon. If you hurry and break the law the way he did, you might get to share a cell with him.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          It’s hilarious how clueless you are.

          The Bible is legal here, Christians can practice your religion, and there can be churches throughout town because of the Constitution. That’s it.

          You can pretend that God’s laws supersede everything, but you’re deluding yourself. In this country, the buck stops at the Constitution.

        • Greg G.

          Does he mean “we will not be a part of the U.S. governments laws” or “we will not be apart from the U.S. governments laws”?

        • adam

          ” the government is not God”

          Of course not, because the government is REAL and gods are IMAGINARY….

        • Kodie

          The hilarious thing is that god isn’t even god. Your god is other people who make your decisions for you and just tell you that’s what god wants, and you’re too caught up by your own ignorance to realize it.

        • rerun

          that’s fine take our tax exemption away – so that’s not persecution?

        • Kodie

          If you’re intending to use your church to gain political power, you damn sure better pay taxes. You’re allowed to believe what you want, but you’re not allowed to take more power than that from other people. If you want to be a hypocrite and persecute others who aren’t persecuting you, be an asshole, but don’t try to run a legitimate business serving the public.

        • adam

          No, not when you are violating the tax code that gives that exemption

        • Dys

          Nope – tax exemption isn’t a right, it’s a privilege. One that comes with conditions, which churches routinely violate.

          Playing the persecution card is a red herring.

        • Greg G.

          A church can be a non-profit organization and not be taxed. A political organization cannot be a non-profit organization. A church can be a political organization but it must pay taxes. Or it can stay out of politics and not pay taxes. It’s no different than any other organization. The church can choose to do either. If it plays politics and doesn’t pay taxes, it is stealing from everybody in society. That is just dishonest Christianity.

        • Kodie

          That’s right – churches and other houses of worship are not taxed based on their compliance with non-profit tax status, just like any other charity or non-profit organization, not because religious organizations are automatically tax-exempt, because they’re not.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          I would say that a church with 95% “overhead” (that is, the amount used to run the organization and not being passed along to some sort of good work like a homeless shelter, training program, or soup kitchen) doesn’t deserve tax exempt status. It’s simply not in the same category as CARE, Oxfam, Mercy Corps, and so on.

        • Greg G.

          Most of the tithe is for a seat license for a weekly variety show with music and performance art in the genre of preachment.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Who’s talking about that? (Don’t get me wrong–I’d love to talk about that. Problem is, no one is.)

          But if you want completely indefensible perks that churches have, hidden financial records are at the top of the list. Every Christian should be embarrassed when any church avoids filing a 990 (like every other 501(c)3 in the country), let alone pretty much every one.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Refuse to do what?? How clueless are you? Christians won’t be forced to get gay married, and pastors and priests won’t be forced to conduct gay marriage ceremonies.

          You really need to educate yourself on the issues before speaking with confidence.

        • rerun

          “America today is becoming what I call an atheocracy—a society that is actively hostile to religious faith and religious believers.

          An atheocracy is a dangerous place, both morally and spiritually. Cut off from the religious moorings expressed in the Declaration, we risk becoming a nation without a soul, a people with no common purpose apart from material pursuits. Worse, as Chesterton well understood, without belief in a Creator, our democracy has no compelling reason for defending human rights” – Conley

        • Kodie

          We’re actively hostile to having theocrats make us obey their superstitions by law. Do you not have enough faith personally to accept god to judge us in his time that you have to force us? Whatever this quote is, it’s delusional and ass-backwards. Theists like you, Christians, fear that without a Christian majority leadership, some other group will force them to live like they don’t want to. Guess what, 1st amendment protects both of us, why don’t you let us be, and we won’t force you to fulfill your homosexual fantasies at any time.

        • MNb

          “An atheocracy is a dangerous place, both morally and spiritually.”
          Weird. Many western atheocracies seem to be much safer places, when I look at crime rates, than the USA.
          Chesterton and Conley obviously understood wrongly as those western atheocracies convincingly show.

        • rerun

          right because all societies would be so wonderful if they were modeled around the Netherlands

        • MNb

          I don’t know about you, but I think less than 0,1 % prisoners (less than 12 000 on a population of 16,5 million) more wonderful than 0,75 % (2,3 million on a population of 310 million). Even China doesn’t put so many people in prison. Similar for crime rates. Wonderful or not, The Netherlands (btw countries like Norway, Iceland and Denmark are even doing better) are a less dangerous place than the USA.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          To MNb’s point, I suspect there are other social metrics where the Netherlands is also better than the U.S.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          The U.S. Constitution is secular–the best environment for both atheists and Christians.

          I suggest you strongly support the separation of church and state to keep it that way.

        • rerun

          yet it was founded on “rights endowed by a Creator.” I won’t quibble over what exactly Jefferson mean (he was deist at best) but that doesn’t negate the simple fact that the U.S. Constitution was founded on rights that come from a Creator, i.e. objective rights that are unchangeable. For example, it is not a right for you and other groups to change the definition of words. Here’s an idea – start your own country.

        • Kodie

          Here’s an idea: learn US History from some other objective source than your church. The US constitution has one thing to say about religion, and that is you are free free free to practice it, but you cannot enforce others or use the government to enforce your religious laws on the rest of us. Go fuck yourself, you ignorant piece of unAmerican shit about forming another country, and get used to the laws of this one and how and why they were founded. You dipshit.

        • Dys

          For example, it is not a right for you and other groups to change the definition of words.

          Since you don’t have any grasp on what words mean, and are constantly resorting to your own personal definitions, saying this makes you look like a complete hypocrite.

          Also, the Declaration of Independence didn’t establish our current government, and the Constitution contains no reference to a Creator for a reason. Beliefs on where the rights originated are irrelevant when it comes to our secular government, because it doesn’t deal with where they came from. It deals with defining them and creating protections for them.

          Chesterson was wrong – the notion that without a belief in a creator anything is permissible is a falsehood. In fact, the opposite is true – belief in a Creator can be used to support any position.

          Here’s an idea – educate yourself a bit more before trying to discuss things you clearly don’t understand. For instance, your understanding of morality is incredibly deficient.

        • Greg G.

          You don’t know the difference between the US Constitution and the Declaration of Independence. You think church might be forced to perform gay marriages. You are clueless about the belief systems of other Christian denominations. Maybe you need to get your facts from non-religious sources. They have your brain incapacitated.

        • Pofarmer

          Are you sure which is cause and which is effect on the brain incapacitation?

        • adam

          YOU are an idiot

          “That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,”

          Not from an imaginary ‘god’

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          As adam made clear, the Declaration of Independence makes clear that the government is authorized by the people, not by a god.

          And who cares anyway? The Constitution is the governing document for the country, and it’s 100% secular. Maybe it’s you who should be finding your own country.

        • MNb

          American secularists being the majority (yup – many American christians are secularists as well) I suggest you to start your own country. Putin seems to like christianity very much, perhaps he has some room for you in Inner-Siberia.

        • MNb

          “If the supernatural exists than it would trump the natural explanation given the circumstances.”
          What’s your method to decide this?

          “That’s why neo-darwinism doesn’t work because it requires far too much faith to make it credible.”
          Nope. Like all scientific theories “neo-darwinism” – the proper name is Evolution Theory – requires consistency, coherence, testability and the confirmation of a great variety of empirical data.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Maybe – maybe not. Is it possible that they’re all reporting accurate data?

          No—the contradict too much. If you’re asking if the stories could be essentially true, yes, that’s possible. But why believe that? Historians scrub supernatural claims out of every other story from history. Jesus without the supernatural is just a boring nut from 2000 years ago.

          If it’s a false story why do you spend so much time attempting to refute something that you know is already false? Doesn’t make much sense. What is your agenda?

          Think about it and then have another go.

          Again, then why spend so much time attempting to refute something you already believe to be false?

          One guy is a knitter; another guy is a Muslim extremist. Do you see any reason to be more interested in one over the other?

          Next you’ll say, “OK, but what about the Christian??”

          Figure it out.

          The details are too specific Bob.

          Right. He deliberately dropped in a detail from the Scriptures to imagine a fulfilled prophecy.

          It’s relevant because most human beings disagree with you about the existence of God.

          And most people disagree with you about the nature of God, about God’s name, about God’s purpose, and so on. So I guess we’re both in a sad and lonely club.

          everything in the human experience leads us to believe that God probably exists.

          No, but we see countless manmade religions. Your very large challenge is showing that your religion is actually correct, unlike all the others.

          If the supernatural exists than it would trump the natural explanation given the circumstances.

          ?? If the supernatural exists and we have information that it does, that would indeed change things. Wake me up when that’s the case.

          That’s why neo-darwinism doesn’t work because it requires far too much faith to make it credible.

          And you dig your hole deeper.

          Evolution (assuming that’s what “neo-darwinism” is supposed to mean) is the scientific consensus. You think that your research justifies your rejecting it? Tell me—do you also quibble with pilots when they get into rough air?

          It’s imagery Bob. If all literature were spelled out cook-book style it would lack human integrity.

          Point remains: lions and tigers and bears in Ps. 22 have no parallel in the gospel story. Not one of the authors felt moved to use that literally or as imagery.

          You didn’t address the accusation – that you withheld information from the reader.

          No idea what the problem is. Try again. This time, make it very, very clear where I lied.

          Gnosticism, Marcionism and Ebioniteism and all of the other isms were false teachings.

          Uh … and from their standpoint, you are the heretic. What does that teach us (besides your liking to waste our time)?

          Yes, I realize that one flavor of Christianity won. Doesn’t change the issue—there were lots of interpretations floating around, and we see all of them in the New Testament.

          So if I inserted a poem right here that would mean that is was dropped in centuries later?

          Didn’t say that. Afraid to respond to the actual argument?

          Or you could be unbiased and read Psalm 22 in light of history. Hmmmmm, sounds like Jesus doesn’t it?

          No. So not like Jesus, in fact, that I wrote a whole post about it. You ought to check it out.

          The whip they used oftentimes exposed flesh and bone Bob.

          On his back, rerun.

          A starving man, by contrast, can count his individual ribs.

          You also was crucified for humanity. The two are not mutually exclusive.

          And, like I said initially, Ps. 22 as a Jesus story leaves out the punch line. Not much of a Jesus story.

        • Greg G.

          Maybe – maybe not. Is it possible that they’re all reporting accurate data?

          No, it’s impossible that they are reporting accurate data. They contradict. The differences between the stories in the gospels are theological, not a matter of accuracy. Matthew cleans up the spit and mud miracles in Mark, plus removing any time delayed effects of the miracles. Did Jesus eat the Passover meal before he was arrested? The Synoptics say yes but John makes a big deal of Jesus being the Passover Lamb which is killed the day before the meal.

        • rerun

          according to you they contradict – perhaps you are unable to comprehend all of the information at once like others are able to

        • Dys

          Or perhaps you’re making excuses because you don’t want to admit that there actually is a contradiction.

        • Greg G.

          If you can comprehend what honest scholars cannot, then tell us whether Jesus’ last meal was the Passover, as in the Synoptics, or not, as in John.

    • Greg G.

      Mark took parts of Psalm 22 and reversed them to create part of the Passion narrative. Christians try to make it out to be prophecy. Bob points out the parts Mark didn’t use that show that it is not prophecy. You whiffed on this long-awaited rebuttal.

      The other three canonized gospels used the fictional account of Mark as the foundation of their accounts, making them all fictional accounts.

  • Joshua

    I pray that you wee clearly. If not you will accept doctrine that promises immortality for the coming age through human wisdom and technology and not Jesus. The prophecies are true and I see them working to this day. Revelation 13:15 -http://gf2045.com/- The time is coming, soften your heart or suffer the consequences

    Jesus was human and suffered and felt pain. He is not greater than the Father and makes request to the Father, such as removing the need to crucified. Jesus was born as a child, which means he was in the womb as was tempted like all of us. He always had a choice. He had to be pinned down nonetheless to be cruciified. God loves the world including you and sent His Son so that we can be saved by believing in the son.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

      Why would Jesus request a pass on the crucifixion? He knew better than you ever could that the crucifixion was part of the plan. Not optional.

      Why should we have to believe to be saved? God is furious that people are imperfect, like he made them? OK–he got his human sacrifice. Problem solved.

      And this doesn’t address the post.

  • Pablo Esblo

    I’m a little shocked at a lot of the missed points in this article. Then again; assuming you haven’t read the entire Bible; there would be many missed points. Your commentary on the “bones” line is possibly the most significant failure/missed point. There is strong significance in what happened to an individual’s bones in historical crucifixion; and what differed with Jesus – hence that line being very confirmative of the crucifixion, once again. If uncertain what I mean, please read further and read up on crucifixions from beginning to end in that period.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

      I’m a little shocked at a lot of the missed points in this article.

      Then go through, point by point, and show us how this actually is a substantial, reliable prophecy.

      Your commentary on the “bones” line is possible the most significant failure/missed point.

      Too terse. Explain the error.

      • Its me!

        None of Jesus’ bones were broken during his death, unlike many other crucifixions where they broke the legs of the victim to kill them faster, they didn’t break Jesus’ legs, instead, the pierced His side with a spear.

        • adam

          What YOU have Jesus’s BONES?

          And they show just what?

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          And just like our ol’ buddy Pablo (above), you’ve not responded to the issue.

          There’s plenty of content in that blog post. Don’t just say, “Nuh uh!!” Show me how my reasoning is flawed.

        • Greg G.

          That has nothing to do with Psalm 22.

          The Synoptics have Jesus eating the Passover meal. John has Jesus killed on the day before the Passover. John’s theme was that Jesus represented the Passover lamb. But the Passover lamb is not a sin offering so John seems to be inappropriate on that subject.

    • adam

      What YOU have Jesus’s BONES?

      And they show just what?

  • Ryan

    This is the crusifixtion followed by the prophecy Of the church that would follow i.e. the arena comment, but you will read into it what you please. I’m sorry but your argument against the fulfillment is weak, and you know very well the writers of the gospel writing the gospels to line up with old testament prophecy is a tired argument.

    Please explain the time line prophecy of Daniel if you refuse to except the vilidity of the Gospels. If Crist is not the Messiah, your messiah is 2000 years late.

    • Greg G.

      Please explain the time line prophecy of Daniel if you refuse to except the vilidity of the Gospels. If Crist is not the Messiah, your messiah is 2000 years late.

      Liars for Jesus: Does Daniel Predict the Future?

      Daniel’s End Times Prediction

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

      Looks like you’re typing on a phone.

      When you get to a keyboard, you’ll have to fill us in with an actual argument. The most damning argument is the one you attempt to dismiss, that the authors of the gospels had already read the supposed prophecy. Regardless of any other evidence you might have, that eliminates the entire anecdote from consideration as prophecy.

    • Ryan

      Yes Bob, good observation I am typing on a phone. Way to go, im certain that everyone is thrilled with the fact that you took the time to clarify that. Putting the most important part of your response first; sarcasm. Brilliant.

      “Hi everyone I’m Bob let me start off with I’m a sarcastic _______.” The second response I got…. can I tell you a secret Bob that was the witty part. O wait that wasnt Bob that was Greg G. Thanks for the information Greg, I intend to give the info you linked some serious attention and will study the argument in depth before responding.

      Back to Bobby.

      Wow this sarcasm thing is fun Bob, I see why your write all your response this way. Far out man.

      • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

        No, that wasn’t sarcasm, that was an attempt to be considerate of your environment. When I get to sarcasm, believe me, you’ll know it.

        So no good argument then, just vitriol? You’ll have to stop by often.

  • Forjackbeijer Cool

    “like a lion they pin my hands and feet.”
    sorry dude, but this sounds too much like the crucifixion. the romans clearly pinned his hands and feet to the cross. you can’t really argue against that.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

      The traditional translation sound more like it, though the lion version sounds much less so.

      My point is that the big picture makes this a very poor prophecy, especially since we have no clues that the original listenership would’ve read a far-in-the-future into this.

      • Forjackbeijer Cool

        if you look at the big picture, you it is clear what they are prophesying, but

      • Forjackbeijer Cool

        if you look at the whole psalm 22, it’s clear that they are talking about jesus’ crucifixion, all those prophecies fulfilled, but they could have all been made up, except the pinning or piercing him through his hands and feet. the fact that they prophesied crucifixion is enough for me to believe.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          This is wishful thinking. You ignore the points where they are clearly not talking about the crucifixion.

          And what’s the point of the crucifixion story anyway? It’s only meaningful as preamble to the resurrection story, which is glaringly absent here.

          The natural explanation works just fine.

        • Forjackbeijer Cool

          verse 9, 12, 17 and 20 sound very poetic, i think that the animals are metaphors for the romans.

          and even if those 4 verses don’t completely sound like the crucifixion, they still are talking about the crucifixion.

          but what about the 20 other verses that clearly talk about the stuff that happened during the crucifixion? It is undeniable that he is talking about the even.

          i got a list of all the things which happened and then were fulfilled, and keep in mind that this was all written in the same chapter

          1. My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? why art thou so far from helping me, and from the words of my roaring? (Psalms 22:1).

          This was fulfilled in Matthew 27:46.

          Jesus Christ felt forsaken of the Father as He hung on the cross and suffered the wrath of God against sin and died as the sinner’s substitute. The Bible says in Galatians 3:13 that Jesus actually became a curse, and suffered under the curse of the Father while bearing our sin, that we might be freed from the curse and given the blessing of Abraham, eternal life through the Holy Spirit.

          2. But I am a worm, and no man; a reproach of men, and despised of the people. (Psalms 22:6).

          This is an amazing prophecy, but to capture the fullness of it, we have to look at the Hebrew text behind it. The Hebrew word translated, “worm” in our Bible is actually a name of a very specific worm in Israel. It is a worm that would first be dried out, and then crushed in order to extract a red dye from. This is significant. The same Hebrew word occurs 42 times in the Old Testament, and only 8 of those times is it translated “worm(s)”. The rest of the occurrences translate it as “scarlet” and once as “crimson”. The application is tremendous: Jesus Christ was dried out in intense suffering, and was crushed like a worm under the wrath of God in order to extract the precious bright red substance from Him, His sinless blood, which would be applied to men as a precious dye to cover their sin.

          3. All they that see me laugh me to scorn: they shoot out the lip, they shake the head, saying, He trusted on the LORD that he would deliver him: let him deliver him, seeing he delighted in him. (Psalms 22:7-8).

          This details the intense ridicule and humility He suffered on the Cross. This was literally fulfilled in Matthew 27:39-44.

          4. But thou art he that took me out of the womb: thou didst make me hope when I was upon my mother’s breasts. I was cast upon thee from the womb: thou art my God from my mother’s belly. (Psalms 22:9-10).

          Jesus Christ is the only one who could say this rightfully. He was conceived by the Holy Spirit in the womb of Mary, born a sinless child, always righteous, always perfect, always trusting in God the Father in perfect obedience. Even by the time He was only 12, He was already speaking in circles around the theologians of His day about the deep things of God.

          5. Be not far from me; for trouble is near; for there is none to help. Many bulls have compassed me: strong bulls of Bashan have beset me round. They gaped upon me with their mouths, as a ravening and a roaring lion. (Psalms 22:11-13).

          The strong bulls of Bashan are spoken of because of the reputation of them in the Psalmist’s day as being the strongest, fiercest bulls. This is speaking of the Roman soldiers who crucified Him, who showed no mercy to their victims, but gouged them with their horns of power to pieces. Like wild beasts, they brutally tortured their victims.

          6. My strength is dried up like a potsherd; and my tongue cleaveth to my jaws; and thou hast brought me into the dust of death. (Psalms 22:15).

          Fulfilled, as Christ’s strength left His body. Just at the end of the horrific event, He shouted out, “I thirst” (John 19:28) just prior to His shout of victory, “It is finished!” He died and was buried.

          7. For dogs have compassed me: the assembly of the wicked have enclosed me: they pierced my hands and my feet. (Psalms 22:16).

          “Dogs” was a common Jewish term of insult when talking about Gentiles. The heathen Gentiles would be surrounding Christ during such sufferings, fulfilled at the Cross as the Roman soldiers crucified Him. And His hands and His feat were pierced through to the cross as the wicked gathered around Him in ridicule.

          8. I may tell all my bones: they look and stare upon me. (Psalms 22:17).

          Not a bone of His was broken, fulfilled in John 19:36.

          9. They part my garments among them, and cast lots upon my vesture. (Psalms 22:18).

          Fulfilled in John 19:24.

          10. I will declare thy name unto my brethren: in the midst of the congregation will I praise thee. (Psalms 22:22).

          This is speaking of His glorious resurrection after He was brought down to the dust of death. This was fulfilled literally when Christ appeared to His Jewish brethren, the Apostles, after His resurrection, when they were gathered together in John 20:26. He declared the triumph of God over the works of Satan in the midst of the church.

          11. All the ends of the world shall remember and turn unto the LORD: and all the kindreds of the nations shall worship before thee. (Psalms 22:27).

          This is a glorious prophecy that has been fulfilled as we look around and see all the ends of the world, the Gentile nations, remembering the death of the Son of God and believing in Him for the remission of sins. All the families of the nations are worshipping before God, and will finally worship Him forever, as in Revelation 5:9.

          12. For the kingdom is the LORD’s: and he is the governor among the nations. (Psalms 22:28).

          This has seen partial fulfillment already, as God has proven that He indeed is the King and Ruler of all the earth. Yet, it will see a more literal fulfillment during the Millennial Kingdom of Christ that will come when He returns to earth. Fulfilled completely in Revelation 19:15.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          verse 9, 12, 17 and 20 sound very poetic, i think that the animals are metaphors for the romans.

          and even if those 4 verses don’t completely sound like the crucifixion, they still are talking about the crucifixion.

          If you knew for a fact that Ps. 22 was a prophecy for the crucifixion (which apparently you do), then this kind of thinking would make sense. You would have some impeachable reason for knowing that the stories had parallels, so you’d be free to speculate on what in the Jesus story connects with what in the Ps. 22 story.

          But you don’t. You’re just shoehorning Ps. 22 into an ill-fitting box.

          but what about the 20 other verses that clearly talk about the stuff that happened during the crucifixion? It is undeniable that he is talking about the even.

          Talking about what?

          God is very smart, I’m told. You think he’s going to guide the hand of the author imperfectly? You think this poor fit is the best that the omniscient Creator of the Universe can do? I apparently have a higher estimation of your god than you do.

          1. My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? why art thou so far from helping me, and from the words of my roaring? (Psalms 22:1).

          This was fulfilled in Matthew 27:46.

          You know my response, because you’d respond the same way if someone of another faith tried this same trick on you. The author of Matthew had already read Psalms before he wrote the gospel. This passes for prophecy? That you even throw this one in there shows how bankrupt the argument is.

          This [thing about the worm] is an amazing prophecy

          Not really. What’s amazing is that Christians are able to select the right angle to look at each verse to satisfied their preconception.

          This details the intense ridicule and humility He suffered on the Cross. This was literally fulfilled in Matthew 27:39-44.

          And the author of the gospel read this before he wrote the gospel. Do you see the problem?

          The strong bulls of Bashan are spoken of because of the reputation of them in the Psalmist’s day as being the strongest, fiercest bulls. This is speaking of the Roman soldiers who crucified Him

          No, it’s speaking of bulls!

          Bulls = Romans only in the mind of someone determined to support the claim of prophecy.

          8. I may tell all my bones: they look and stare upon me. (Psalms 22:17).

          Not a bone of His was broken, fulfilled in John 19:36.

          Nope, not what we’re talking about here. This man is starving and his bones are easily counted.

          10. I will declare thy name unto my brethren: in the midst of the congregation will I praise thee. (Psalms 22:22).

          This is speaking of His glorious resurrection

          One wonders why God can’t be clearer. Why is this “prophecy” not obvious to everyone, if it really is? Is there some benefit to keeping it a secret?

          Maybe you’re just shoehorning an OT story into the gospel story, determined to find a prophecy, whether there is one or not.

          11. All the ends of the world shall remember and turn unto the LORD: and all the kindreds of the nations shall worship before thee. (Psalms 22:27).

          This is a glorious prophecy that has been fulfilled as we look around and see all the ends of the world, the Gentile nations, remembering the death of the Son of God and believing in Him for the remission of sins.

          After 2000 years, the world is still not Jewish. Yahweh must be very frustrated.

  • BecauseOfGod

    Jesus did cry out on the cross saying “my God, my God why have you forsaken me?” Jesus said this because, all of the sin of the world was placed onto him. God not being allowed to be in the presence of sin, was force to turn himself away from his son at that moment. its like a lot of different things in the bible, your not going to understand the word of God until you truly look and try to figure out why God chose to do it that way. You will always get the answer because that bible is absolute and perfect there is no higher measure of moral correctness. This chapter is absolutely outlining jesus. and no matter whether you change nailed my hands and my feet to something else it still is speaking of the crucifixion, when it talks about his bones being out of joint (from hanging gone the cross). and no matter how well matthew, mark, luke and John knew the book of psalms, they would not have known that this chapter is talking about Jesus! meaning that they would not have thought about linking this to Jesus. this was only found out to be prophecy because it was fulfilled. what other prophecies are in this that jesus fulfill?

    MY GOD WHY HAVE YOU FORSAKEN ME – MATTHEW 27:46

    I AM POURED OUT LIKE WATER – JOHN 19:34

    I MAY TELL ALL MY BONES – PSALMS 34:20, JOHN 19:36

    THEY PART MY GARMENTS AND CAST LOTS UPON MY VESTURE –
    MATTHEW 27:35, MARK 15:24, LUKE 23:34, JOHN 19:23-24

    PSALM 22:22 “ I will declare thy name unto my brethren: in the midst of the congregation will I praise thee.” – HEBREWS 2:12 “Saying, I will declare thy name unto my brethren, in the midst of the church will i sing praise unto thee”

    and psalm 22:12 talks about the bulls of bashan surrounding him. Amos 4 talks about these animals as have the the form of Godlyness and yet would deny its power.

    Psalm 22: says “but i am worm” there is something very cool to notice here. The original language which is Hebrew is using the word “Towla” where we see the word worm. This word is talking about a specific type of worm that would attach its body firmly and permanently on the trunk of a tree. The worm lays its eggs beneath its body to protect the eggs until hatched. As the worm dies, a crimson fluid would stain its body and the surrounding wood. The scarlet coloured dye is very precious and harvested for things like clothing. What a picture Christ gives us of Him! Dying on a tree, shedding his precious blood that he might (bring many sons unto glory) and life (Hebrews 2:10 – “For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.”) (Isaiah 1:18 – “Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.” ).

    i could go on, this chapter is full of Prophecy that jesus fulfilled all you have to do is look with eyes that actually want to see. God bless

    • MNb

      “Jesus said this because, all of the sin of the world was placed onto him.”
      No. Jesus said this because he knew the Psalms by heart, crucifixions are extremely painful and reciting the Psalms helped him to endure his suffering. That’s exactly the opposite of a prophecy.

      “God not being allowed to be in the presence of sin.”
      ???
      I thought your god was omnipresent. Now suddenly he isn’t, just for your convenience?
      Plus apparently he has to obey some higher power, when “he is not allowed”?

      • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

        God is grossed out by poop as well (Deut. 23:12–14). Apparently, a lot of things are kryptonite to him.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

      Jesus did cry out on the cross saying “my God, my God why have you forsaken me?”

      How do you know? “Cuz the Bible sez” doesn’t count.

      Jesus said this because, all of the sin of the world was placed onto him.

      Big deal. He’s an infinite being, and he has a finite load placed upon him. Not much of an imposition.

      God not being allowed to be in the presence of sin

      Where in the Bible does it say this? Or is this just your denomination’s dogma?

      its like a lot of different things in the bible, your not going to understand the word of God until you truly look and try to figure out why God chose to do it that way.

      And is that how you treat the Koran? You figure that you’re never truly going to understand the will of Allah until you truly try to figure it out from the standpoint of a Muslim?

      You will always get the answer because that bible is absolute and perfect there is no higher measure of moral correctness.

      The Bible is ambiguous. If you want to find loving passages, you can. If you want to find God demanding genocide or supporting slavery, that’s in there, too.

      it still is speaking of the crucifixion

      In your mind, maybe. Not in the minds of the initial audience for Psalm 22.

      no matter how well matthew, mark, luke and John knew the book of psalms, they would not have known that this chapter is talking about Jesus!

      Someone writes, “Oh wow! It happened like this, which is just what the ancient writings said!” and you can’t see the problem?

      this was only found out to be prophecy because it was fulfilled.

      Yeah, that … or the gospel authors wrote the gospel story to pretend that it fulfilled prophecy.

      In response to your long list of “fulfilled prophecies”:

      (1) There is nothing here that maps to the resurrection. For Ps. 22 to be an actual prophecy, it would probably want to include the most important part of the gospel story!

      (2) Imagine someone in 600 BCE (or whenever this Psalm was written) hearing it for the first time. No one would see from it the son of God coming to earth to be crucified, taking on humanity’s sins, and then resurrecting again, etc.

      • MNb

        “How do you know?”
        Principle of embarrassment. It wouldn’t have made much more sense within a fictional story if Jesus had kept his faith in his divine father throughout his dying.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          OK, I’ll grant that that’s a good use of the principle of embarrassment. But it’s pretty darn embarrassing for God (as Jesus) to be confused or frustrated by or frightened by The Plan that he created himself.

          Maybe a little too embarrassing. The Adoptionist view explains things nicely–an ordinary (though quite good) guy gets tapped to be God’s messenger for a few years and then is hung out to dry at the end.

        • MNb

          Adoptionism is theology, not history, so I don’t get what it has to do with the question “how do you know what Jesus cried out on the cross?” If you mean to say that he has deluded himself thinking that he was the messias and at the cross realized it the painful way then I don’t see any problem.

        • Greg G.

          If Mark was making up the Passion narrative based on Psalm 22 and nobody up to that point considered Jesus to have been a first century person, there would have been no embarrassment when Mark wrote it. If later Christians developed a theology with Jesus being a pre-existing being that made Mark’s story embarrassing, it doesn’t make the story true retroactively.

        • MNb

          “If Mark was making up the Passion narrative based on Psalm 22 and nobody up to that point considered Jesus to have been a first century person, there would have been no embarrassment when Mark wrote it.”
          Yes, there would, because the words don’t make sense for a character who is supposed to be the son of god. Had the character, who is supposed to be the son of god, been fictional it would have been far and far more impressive to picture him full of faith despite the suffering. That this doesn’t fit your predetermined conclusion hardly is an objection.

          “If later Christians developed a theology with Jesus being a pre-existing being that made Mark’s story embarrassing, it doesn’t make the story true retroactively.”
          If.
          If my father had been king I would sit on his throne now.

          Quite a while ago you claimed that you could explain all the evidence as easily on a mythological Jesus.
          You became ridiculous – and yes, since then I absolutely don’t take you seriously anymore – when your “easy explanation” was “MNb, if you accept that you’re gullible”.
          Today you show that your claim (“easy explanation”) is incorrect as well.
          Thanks, Pope Gregorius G.

        • Greg G.

          Yes, there would, because the words don’t make sense for a character who is supposed to be the son of god. Had the character, who is supposed to be the son of god, been fictional it would have been far and far more impressive to picture him full of faith despite the suffering. That this doesn’t fit your predetermined conclusion hardly is an objection.

          The character was the adopted son of God in Mark, not the pre-existent son of God in John, Matthew, and Luke. It would not be embarrassing for Mark to have written that. Mark wrote Jesus doing miracles with spit, making two attempts at healings, and miracles with a delayed reaction. Matthew and Luke wrote those out. Does that mean they were embarrassed by them so Mark wrote them because they were true? Mark’s Jesus was not the Jesus of the later gospels.

          If.

          If my father had been king I would sit on his throne now.

          Quite a while ago you claimed that you could explain all the evidence as easily on a mythological Jesus.

          You became ridiculous – and yes, since then I absolutely don’t take you seriously anymore – when your “easy explanation” was “MNb, if you accept that you’re gullible”.

          Today you show that your claim (“easy explanation”) is incorrect as well.

          Thanks, Pope Gregorius G.

          Mark 15:20
          When they had mocked him, they took the purple off him, and put his own garments on him. They led him out to crucify him.
          Psalm 22:7
          All who see me mock at me;
              they make mouths at me, they shake their heads;

          Mark 15:24
          Crucifying him, they parted his garments among them, casting lots on them, what each should take.
          Psalm 22:18
          they divide my clothes among themselves,
              and for my clothing they cast lots.

          Mark 15:29
          29 Those who passed by blasphemed him, wagging their heads, and saying “Ha! You who destroy the temple, and build it in three days, 30 save yourself, and come down from the cross!”
          Psalm 22:7
          All who see me mock at me;
              they make mouths at me, they shake their heads;
          [The Greek word for “wagging” (kinein) is the same word for “shake” in the Septuagint.]

          Mark 15:32
          Let the Christ, the King of Israel, now come down from the cross, that we may see and believe him.
          Psalm 22:8
          “Commit your cause to the Lord; let him deliver—
              let him rescue the one in whom he delights!”

          Mark 15:34
          At the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?” which is, being interpreted, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”
          Psalm 21:1 [Septuagint]
          O God, my God, attend to me: why hast thou forsaken me? the account of my transgressions is far from my salvation.

          The theme of that part of Mark 15 is based on Psalm 22. Are all of those references true or just that one? Mark 15:33 says there was a three hour darkness all over the world at the time of the Passover which is at the time of a full moon. That would be embarrassing unless it was true.

          There is a lot of evidence that Mark was using Psalm 22 to write the passage. Constructing a story about Jesus from Old Testament scripture is not unique here, it is characteristic of the whole Gospel of Mark.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          I’m saying that an Adoptionist view nicely explains why the author of the gospel put those words in the mouth of Jesus.

        • MNb

          So the hypothesis is: the guy who put those words into Jesus’ mouth (Iirc Marcus) was an adoptionist. For your question (“How do you know Jesus actually said those words?”) the hypothesis becomes: according to Marcus Jesus was the son of god, but only part of his life, and put those words into Jesus’ mouth. This replaces the “classical” hypothesis: according to Marcus Jesus was the son of god, who actually said those words. The first is the more complicated one (“part of his life”, “put into his mouth”). So the question is: what part of the Gospel of Marcus can be explained by the “adoptionist” hypothesis, but not by the “classical” hypothesis?

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          So the question is: what part of the Gospel of Marcus can be explained by the “adoptionist” hypothesis, but not by the “classical” hypothesis?

          Like I said: “Why have you forsaken me?” makes no sense from a god to another god when they’re both perfect, know the plan, and wouldn’t screw up the plan. Gods are never shocked that they were forsaken.

          The Adoptionist view explains this nicely. This dude was back to just being himself, without the spirit of Jesus, and had been forsaken.

          There’s a noncanonical gospel (maybe the Gnostic Apocalypse of Peter) that talks about this very thing, where Jesus had left the body and was looking down, laughing at the spectacle. But that’s a tangent.

        • MNb

          “Why have you forsaken me?” makes no sense from a god to another god”
          Nice strawman. May I remind you of the fact that I’m a 7 on the scale of Dawkins? Temporary lapse of memory perhaps, caused by your usual enthusiasm for your own position, which makes you forget what your opponents actually write?
          The “classical” hypothesis is not “from a god to another god. The “classical” hypothesis, as you may reread a few comments downward, is a human being reciting the Psalms to help him enduring the pain that results from being crucified.
          No way the adoptionist view provides a nicer explanation than that simple one.
          So thanks for not answering my question. Also thanks for wasting my time by pulling off the same pseudoscientific tactic that’s so popular among creationists when they can’t answer a question.

          “There’s a noncanonical gospel”
          Thanks again for shifting the goal posts. My question began with

          “what part of the Gospel of Marcus”

          so the relevance of your last paragraph is exactly zero.
          Apparently I have to spell it out for you like I usually have to spell it out for creationists. So I quote myself in case you’re not capable of scrolling downward either:

          BoG: “Jesus said this because, all of the sin of the world was placed onto him.”
          No. Jesus said this because he knew the Psalms by heart, crucifixions are extremely painful and reciting the Psalms helped him to endure his suffering.

          You may notice that nothing here implies “a god speaking to another god”.
          Like I said – nice strawman.
          Maybe we can do science now? Compare the two actual scientific hypotheses iso of comparing one – yours – with silly theology?

        • Greg G.

          You are going off the deep end defending the Embarrassment Criterion. You must assume what it is trying to prove. Why do you call referring to non-canonical gospels as moving the goal post? If they wrote embarrassing things about Jesus, it must be true. Or there were many different beliefs about Jesus in many different groups and none of them had a clue. That explains Mark 15:34 far better than the Embarrassment Criterion.

          Epistle Jesus is only referred to in terms of Old Testament scripture, like the authors didn’t think there was any other way to know about Jesus. Many of the passages about Jesus as an earthly person come from Isaiah 53 which is a song about the Suffering Servant. Their Jesus appears to have been a suffering person from long before their time who is now in heaven.

          So Mark writing about a suffering Jesus as a first century person would not have been too embarrassing for him to write.He knew he was writing fiction because he was using material from other sources. He seems to have expected his readers to recognize his allusions to Homer.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Nice strawman. May I remind you of the fact that I’m a 7 on the scale of Dawkins? Temporary lapse of memory perhaps, caused by your usual enthusiasm for your own position?

          No idea what you’re talking about or how this connects with the conversation.

          I’m trying to make sense of Mark from within Mark. Presumably the first hearers of the book thought it made sense; what sense would that be?

          The “classical” hypothesis is not “from a god to another god. The “classical” hypothesis, as you may reread a few comments downward, is a human being reciting the Psalms to help him enduring the pain that results from being crucified.

          To your point, Mark was written before the Trinity was invented, so I was applying a later interpretation onto Mark, which wasn’t fair.

          I’ve never heard any Christian say that, on the cross, Jesus was “a human being reciting the Psalms to help him enduring the pain.”

          No way the adoptionist view provides a nicer explanation than that simple one .

          Granted, an ordinary human could easily recite the Psalms when under great stress. Are you saying that that’s what we’re talking about? I thought Jesus was the son of God.

          So thanks for not answering my question. Also thanks for wasting my time by pulling off the same pseudoscientific tactic that’s so popular among creationists when they can’t answer a question.

          Uh … I gave you my best. You’re charging me with deliberate evasion? Or stupidity?

          “There’s a noncanonical gospel”

          Thanks again for shifting the goal posts.

          I call it “an interesting aside.” If you want to call it misdirection with a deliberate intent to deceive, please make that charge more clearly.

          My question began with “what part of the Gospel of Marcus” so the relevance of your last paragraph is exactly zero.

          “Minimize interesting asides when talking to MNb”—OK, got it.

          Apparently I have to spell it out for you like I usually have to spell it out for creationists.

          Apparently.

          BoG: “Jesus said this because, all of the sin of the world was placed onto him.”

          MNb: No. Jesus said this because he knew the Psalms by heart, crucifixions are extremely painful and reciting the Psalms helped him to endure his suffering.

          There are 150 psalms. That’s a lot of material. Why did Jesus pick that passage? Was he just repeating it over and over? Did someone overhear him reciting many psalms and just remembered that phrase?

          But (and here is my interpretation) if Mark is literature, not history, why put those words in his mouth? This is the advantage of the Adoptionist hypothesis. But I repeat myself.

          You may notice that nothing here implies “a god speaking to another god”. Like I said – nice strawman.

          You need to have the phrase “(remember, folks, we’re talking about the son of God here)” inserted several times in every Jesus story just so you don’t forget? Seems to me that the existence of Yahweh and Jesus as his son is front and center in the book. If your point is the one I raised above, that the Trinity hadn’t been invented yet, yes, that’s true, as acknowledged above.

        • Greg G.

          Couldn’t have been that. The people who heard it thought he said something else.

          Mark 15:35
          Some of those who stood by, when they heard it, said, “Behold, he is calling Elijah.”

          The story is being told in the omniscient narrator mode, which indicates it is being told as fiction.

          Maybe it was like the last words of Pancho Villa, “Tell them I said something.”

        • Pofarmer

          Uhm, because the whole thing is theology? Because this bookends the statement in the first chapter “This is my Son with who I am well pleased?

        • MNb

          “because the whole thing is theology?”
          I already know that you don’t understand the difference between theology and science as soon as someone drops the name Jesus. That doesn’t mean though that others don’t.
          As a result you don’t recognize that I misunderstood BobS and that he neatly explained what he meant. So your comment is also superfluous. Well done, Cardonal Po.

        • Pofarmer

          And what you don’t seem to understand is the literary devices used in the Gospel of Mark. The Adoptionist theology in Mark is well known and agreed upon. Here is a pretty good article on that, with some good comments.

          http://vridar.org/2015/08/17/the-gospels-written-to-look-like-the-final-jewish-scriptures/#more-61585

          I know you think that we should just bow to the consensus on this, which is funny, since by being an atheist you have already rejected centuries of consenus.

        • MNb

          And what you refuse to accept is

          1) that that literary device in this case doesn’t make any sense if Marcus thought Jesus was divine (to spell it out for you: that quote makes Jesus look bad, urging 2000 years of theologians to produce convoluted explanations like the one BoG presented above); that’s inconvenient for you, so you use the well known creationist tactic of sticking your head into sand;
          2) I have understood BobS explanation underneath that if Marcus was an adoptionist according to him Jesus at the cross was not divine anymore, in which case that quote isn’t embarrassing.

          As long as you refuse to accept these two points I don’t see any reason to take you seriously either, Cardinal Po.
          Plus of course your stupid question why you should accept anything from christian scholars, after which you to my endless amusement had the sheer guts to tell me that every subsequent comment of mine became more stupid – of course exactly like creationists again – without pointing out what my stupidity was. That’s what you’re Cardinal Po for.
          Thou shall not doubt the endless wisdom presented in the decrees issued by Cardinal Po on behalf of Pope Gregory G!

        • Pofarmer

          1) and 2) are not mutually exclusive. Also keep in mind Greg G’s point about Mark more than likely using Psalms.

        • Pofarmer

          Oh, and the “Principle of embarrassment” presupposes an historical figure, so it’s not much good determining if there actually was one.

        • Greg G.

          If you can prove any statement attributed to Jesus is authentic, then you have established that Jesus was historical. They have several criteria to use to do that. I posted this elsewhere a week or so ago:

          How to Tell If a Saying Attributed to Jesus Is Authentic.

          Is the saying repeated similarly by other sources?

            Yes: The saying is authentic by the Criterion of Multiple Attestation.

            No: Is the meaning of the saying altered in later sources?

              Yes: The earlier version of the saying is authentic by the Criterion of Embarrassment.

              No: Is it possible that the saying could have been translated from Aramaic?

                Yes: The saying is authentic by the Criterion of Aramaicisms.

                No: Is the saying similar to first century Jewish thought?

                  Yes: The saying is authentic by the Criterion of Historical Plausibility.

                  No: Does the saying fit well with later Christian thought?

                    Yes: The saying is authentic by the Criterion of Coherence.

                    No: The saying is authentic by the Criterion of Double Dissimilarity.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          So then save yourself the trouble and just declare any saying authentic.

          Who said higher criticism was tough?

        • Greg G.

          If it is in the Bible, it has to be true. Who would lie about Jesus?

      • MR

        Imagine someone in 600 BCE (or whenever this Psalm was written) hearing it for the first time. No one would see from it the son of God coming to earth to be crucified, taking on humanity’s sins, and then resurrecting again, etc.

        No one hearing it for the first time in 2015 CE would see it that way either. We only believed that because we’d been told that’s what it really means. It’s like reading prophecy into Nostradamus.

    • Ron

      “God not being allowed to be in the presence of sin, was force to turn himself away from his son at that moment.”

      How does an omnipresent being distance itself from anything?

    • BecauseOfGod

      I have waited to respond to you for quite some time. In examining the text, this is what I found:

      The Dying, Death and resurrection.
      This chapter starts off with words that we know Jesus spoke on the cross “My God, My God why hast thou forsaken me?” About half way through the chapter it reads “I am poured out like water ” which was making reference to when Jesus was on the cross and had His side pierced and “forthwith came out blood and water” but I noticed that he was pierced in His Side after he had already died… During this time it also talks a lot about being surrounded by the assembly of the wicked and the Bulls of Bashan, which were spoken of as having the form of Godliness and yet would deny its power (possibly speaking of the one third angels who have the form of Godliness and yet fell denying Gods power) this is likley because we know Jesus was in hell for three days spoken of in Matthew 12:40. Then the last third of the chapter says save me from the lions mouth… The Hebrew instead of saying save me, it says give me victory over. Could this have been Jesus asking God to give Him Victory over Death?! Quite possibly. It does line up with the fact that the rest of the chapter Jesus praises God, saying you truly do hear the prayer of the afflicted and help them! And then saying all the generations after will remember that He ( Speaking of God) has done this.

      So we have
      – words we know were spoken while he was alive
      – an event we know happened after death
      – God giving victory over, follow by praise
      – a reiteration that what is now finished was an important event that all generation will remember

      Now we have to define Prophecy
      – if you were God and outside of time, how would you prove to your creation that you are who you say you are. Since you are out side of time one way you would is by, for example, ‘you will fall down a hole in five minutes, and when you fall into that hole you will know I am who I say I am.’ This is precisely what prophecy is! God telling us what will happen so that when we see it happen we will know that he is God.
      – this chapter is the same thing. God tells us the words spoken of By Jesus 1000 years before he lives so that when we see that he spoke these words while reading the New Testament we will believe that not only is God who He says He is But Jesus is who He says He is! And let’s remember that this chapter was not known to be about Jesus until He came and we saw the clear link. So no one who ‘wrote’ the New Testament would have know to attach this psalm to Jesus.

      Let’s remember that the bible shouldn’t be Judged by man interpretation of its content, or what information a single man can remember while being put on the spot. The bible should be judged by the actual writing inside the book. That is if you are actually trying to find the truth and not just declaring victory because you have stumped a few people.

      Don’t ever believe that you have gone so against God that he won’t forgive you. Paul killed believers in Christ before becoming one. God will not hold sin against you if you ask Him.
      I don’t know if you will take that, in fact maybe it’s better if you don’t respond that last part… Just know God still loves you and He will welcome you as His child if you ask…God bless you

      • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

        I have waited to respond to you for quite some time.

        Yes, and I replied right away.

        In this comment, you assume your position and then arrange the evidence to support it. That’s not how we do it—we look at the evidence and then follow it where it leads.

        So we have

        – words we know were spoken while he was alive

        – an event we know happened after death

        – God giving victory over, follow by praise

        – a reiteration that what is now finished was an important event that all generation will remember

        “We know”? No, we don’t know. We just have a story. You say that it’s actually history? Show me.

        This is precisely what prophecy is! God telling us what will happen so that when we see it happen we will know that he is God.

        And what prophecy is not is when Mark reads Psalm 22 first and then writes his gospel. Looks to me like he just worked those dying words into his Jesus story to make it look like fulfilled prophecy.

        let’s remember that this chapter was not known to be about Jesus until He came and we saw the clear link.

        You really shouldn’t admit this to other people. You’re admitting what I also know to be the case: that Psalm 22 was never a prophecy until Mark imagined it to be. Same with Isaiah 7 and the virgin birth, etc.

        Let’s remember that the bible shouldn’t be Judged by man interpretation of its content

        On the contrary: we have no choice but to judge the supernatural claims. No thinking person takes the claims as truth first and then makes up arguments to support that presupposition.

  • Greg G.

    I was reading A Few Remarks on the Problem of Psalm 22:16 on Paul D’s blog. In the comments, John Kesler points out that the word that tends to be translated as “pierce”, or its cognates and synonyms, is the same word (variations of רִי ‘ariy) that is translated as “lion” in Psalm 22:13 and Psalm 22:21.

    I surveyed the following Bible translations:
    American King James Version
    American Standard Version
    Aramaic Bible in Plain English
    Darby Bible Translation
    Douay-Rheims Bible
    English Revised Version
    English Standard Version
    GOD’S WORD® Translation
    Holman Christian Standard Bible
    International Standard Version
    JPS Tanakh 1917
    Jubilee Bible 2000
    King James 2000 Bible
    King James Bible
    NET Bible
    New American Standard 1977
    New American Standard Bible
    New International Version
    New Living Translation
    New Revised Standard Version
    Webster’s Bible Translation
    World English Bible
    Young’s Literal Translation

    Every one of them used “lion” in Psalm 22:13 and Psalm 22:21. Only NET Bible and JPS Tanakh 1917 used “lion” in Psalm 22:16. International Standard Version used “gouged”, Douay-Rheims Bible used “dug”, and New Revised Standard Version used “shriveled”. Each of the others had a form of “pierce”.

  • Robert

    I’m glad your thinking through the texts. I’d like you to consider that your arguments are not as strong as you might think, because you oversimplify the NT use of the OT. I think you would benefit greatly from a book like Beale’s: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B008SAO5KA/. Blessings on your search for truth.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

      Sure, maybe my arguments are not as strong as I think. Unfortunately, you’ve given me no reason to think so.

      Instead of pointing me to Beale, summarize any relevant arguments against my post above. Or feel free to go to any post and point out errors.

  • Doug

    In Luke 24:44 Christ himself declares that the Psalms prophesied of Him. Why is that not enough proof that Psalm 22 is a legitimate prophecy?

    • Dys

      Correction: the gospel claims that Jesus declared such. Which is one of the many problems with trying to use the NT to “prove” prophecies in the OT.

      It doesn’t actually prove anything, other than the author of Luke knew about the prophecy and had Jesus declare that he fulfilled it. That’s it. It doesn’t demonstrate in any way that the prophecy was legitimate or that Jesus fulfilled it. It doesn’t constitute proof in any way, shape, or form.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

      Dys pretty much covered it. We have nothing that Jesus said; we only have documents that claim to report what Jesus said.

      Your Luke reference isn’t compelling. Jesus isn’t saying that every word of the Psalms is a prophecy of him, and he isn’t saying anything to rebut my point-by-point rebuttal that this specific Psalm is about Jesus.

    • Paul D.

      Psalm 22 isn’t a prophecy; it’s a lament psalm.

  • Doug

    Bob,you sound a lot like some Mormons I’ve talked to. So Dys, Luke told Jesus to declare that he fulfilled it. Really? You guys aren’t handling those easy pop flys coming your way out there in left field are you?

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

      The claim of prophecy in Ps. 22 is indeed an easy pop fly. And I caught it, as documented in the post above. If you see any flaws, point them out.

    • Greg G.

      Luke just made up the claim that Jesus declared that he had fulfilled it just as Mark made up that Jesus was quoting Psalm 22 for the crucifixion.

  • phenry

    Hi there everyone, Figured I would throw a few points out for this discussion. 1) Jesus was not surprised about his death, he told his disciples of his death. Nor did he ever believe that God had forsaken him. Just as Jesus did when tempted in the desert he quoted scripture to combat the lie that the pharisees were declaring and the cross was the final temptation of Jesus. Down at verse 24 it declares that God had not turned his back on Jesus and that he heard his cry. This is why just after Jesus cries out he declares into your hands I trust you with my life.Your right that people knew this scripture and Jesus was pointing them to it. 2) The testimony of 2-3 witnesses is enough proof to convict in a court but think of the level of their testimony because this testimony ultimately lead to their deaths. 3) People that want to not believe in prophecy will always dispute the overwhelming evidence. For those that truly seek the truth, God wants you to know Him with an experiential knowledge of His love and acceptance. Jesus is a picture of who God says man is “my beloved, in whom I am well pleased.” Talk to Him and He will hear you, your Father is faithful even unto death.

    • Greg G.

      The testimony of 2-3 witnesses is enough proof to convict in a court but think of the level of their testimony because this testimony ultimately lead to their deaths.

      We don’t have the testimony of 2 or 3 witnesses.

      John, Matthew, and Luke got their information from Mark.

      Mark got some information from Paul but he mostly used centuries old Hebrew and Greek literature to make up the story.

      Paul doesn’t seem to know anything about Jesus but what he read in the Old Testament and doesn’t think anybody else knew more than he did. The other epistles rely the Old Testament with no first century knowledge of Jesus either, except for 1 Timothy and 2 Peter which copied from the gospels.

      2 Peter claims to not be following a “cleverly devised story” but then quotes one of the least plausible stories as proof.

      The only witness we have is Paul saying that his knowledge, which appears to be derived only from the scriptures, was not inferior to the knowledge of the super-apostles. That means there were zero witnesses.

    • MNb

      “the overwhelming evidence”
      for the Flying Spaghetti Monster.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=twIdPRCCTTs

      But you don’t want to believe this, so you will dispute this.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

      People that want to not believe in prophecy will always dispute the overwhelming evidence.

      Overwhelming evidence? I’ve seen paltry evidence. But perhaps I haven’t seen the good stuff–show me some. Or analyze the post above and point out the errors.

    • Rudy R

      Jesus was not surprised about his death, he told his disciples of his death.

      What evidence do you have to support this? From books, journals, or diaries written in Jesus’ own hands? No. Do you have original writings from known authors that document Jesus’ testimony? No.

      Just as Jesus did when tempted in the desert he quoted scripture to combat the lie that the pharisees were declaring and the cross was the final temptation of Jesus.

      Since there are no extant writings from Jesus’ own hands, who witnessed and documented his desert experience?

      The testimony of 2-3 witnesses is enough proof to convict in a court but think of the level of their testimony because this testimony ultimately lead to their deaths.

      How do we know this? From court records? No.

      People that want to not believe in prophecy will always dispute the overwhelming evidence.

      I want to believe in prophesy but I dispute the evidence. So where is your argument now? What is the overwhelming evidence? The Gospels, written by unknown authors, which there is no extant evidence, but copies of copies?

      For those that truly seek the truth, God wants you to know Him with an experiential knowledge of His love and acceptance.

      I truly seek the truth, but I don’t experience God’s knowledge and love. Who more genuinely seeks the truth? If we both genuinely seek the truth, why do you experience the truth and I don’t?

  • phenry

    Well I think Rocky Ramirez did a wonderful job of showing us how flawed your arguments are up threw verse 16 and 17. I also like that you can admit this looks like prophecy because without being there in person to witness it yourself you really got no basis for disputing it. So moving on past verse 16, You say that there is no mention of Jesus or who this psalm maybe referring to. However in verse 26 it says the meek shall eat and be satisfied …..their heart shall live forever. I doubt you can try to dispute that Jesus is referred to as the bread of life throughout the bible and only God can give eternal life. I do expect some form of rejection because you just can’t except it because you believe it is at present a retro-active prophetic event or it just doesn’t fit with your agenda. So for sake of putting this “Failed Prophecy” thing to bed lets’s look at 1 that wasn’t retro-active. Take the names starting from Adam thru Noah and look up their name meanings. Paraphrasing, Man was appointed mortal sorrow, the blessed God will come down teaching that His death shall bring the despairing comfort and rest. Now these descendants from Adam were each about 800-900 years apart from each other and for tell of how God will save man. 1)This prophecy could not have been retro-active because it is written before Jesus came. 2) It also satisfies your criteria that a true prophecy shouldn’t be known before or after because of bias?Really, by this standard nothing could be prophecy?? 3) And just for future reference setting something up like a math problem only looks smart if your steps = the right answers.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

      I gave Rocky Ramirez a good thrashing, if you read the entire conversation. He couldn’t answer the questions I asked him; perhaps you can? That would be a nice addition to the conversation–go for it.

      I missed how I agree that it’s prophecy. Expand on that to make your point more clearly.

      I also missed anything interesting in the second half of your comment. If you want to sharpen any criticism, that would help.


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