Daniel’s End Times Prediction: Take Two

Sunset

Wait a minute—another interpretation of Daniel 9? We recently explored one Christian interpretation here. If several interpretations are possible, this is clearly a malleable text, which doesn’t give much confidence in any clear and unambiguous prophecy in the Bible.

In fact, it’s worse than that. This has been fertile ground for imaginative Christians for two millennia, and many conflicting ideas have arisen. For a long list of scholars and amateurs who weighed in with their interpretation of the evidence, go here and search for “List of Historicist Biblical Expositors.”

(For the first post in this series, go here.)

Christian interpretation #2

This is the Dispensationalist interpretation (which gets into the rapture, premillennialism, Revelation as prophecy, and so on). I summarized Daniel 9:24–7 in a previous post, so go there if you need a refresher on the steps in that prophecy.

With this interpretation, start the clock with the Decree of Artaxerxes to rebuild the Temple given to Nehemiah in 444 BCE (Nehemiah 2:1–8). If we count ahead as before using 7 weeks + 62 weeks (–444 + 483 + 1 = 40 CE), the final week would be 40–47 CE. This is obviously too late to align with any popular dates associated with the death of Jesus.

The clever (or desperate) solution is to declare a “prophetic year” to be twelve 30-day months, creating a 360-day year. Supporters defend this by pointing to several verses where round numbers are used (42 months are equated with 1260 days, for example).

If this is correct, our years have been too long. They need to be scaled by 360 (days in a “prophetic year”) divided by 365.25 (days in a Julian year). Our 483-year jump is now only 476 years, and the final week begins in 33 CE. If we say that Jesus died in this year, we have the Anointed One dying at the right time (again assuming that we can add 7 weeks to the 62 weeks).

But what about that final week? Proponents of this hypothesis imagine an unspecified amount of time before this Tribulation Period starts, though the prophecy says nothing about this. If we allow this, however, the destruction of the Temple in 70 CE can explain the reference to destruction. But that has its own problems: the “ruler who will come” who destroyed the Temple is the one in the final week, so the Tribulation must’ve already happened in the first century, which means no rapture or tribulation in our own future.

Some proponents go so far as to imagine that this prophecy accurately predicts the crucifixion to the day. To those prophecy enthusiasts, I ask if anyone decoded the puzzle before the event. If it’s clear to you, some of the smart Jews of that time must’ve figured it out. They had almost five centuries, after all.

And what about Jews today? Daniel is their holy book, too. Are they convinced by this claim that Jesus is prophesied within Daniel? If not, I wonder what possible use this undecipherable prophecy could’ve had.

(For a detailed slap-down of this claim of to-the-day accuracy, I refer you to Sandoval.)

But this interpretation don’t work so good either

The first Christian interpretation of Daniel didn’t work, and this one is also full of problems.

Problem 1: We still have the initial verse saying that the atonement is at the end of 70 weeks. Christian theology says that the death of Jesus is the atonement, but this interpretation of Daniel demands that the final week is still in our future.

Problem 2: The “prophetic year” is nonsense. The Jewish calendar alternates between 29- and 30-day months, giving a 354-day year, and it has a complicated mechanism that adds months to keep it in sync with the solar year. Yes, there are Bible verses that give time spans of days that, if precise, would point to a 30-day month. No, there is no reason to think that a special, grossly wrong calendar was ever used. Do those who argue for the prophetic year use it to calculate the millennium as only 985 years? Do they scale time periods used in other prophecies? Consistency, please.

Problem 3: A floating final week isn’t what the prophecy says. There was no gap after the 7 weeks; why imagine one after the 62 weeks (I mean, besides that you’re trying to shoehorn the facts into your presuppositions)?

And most of the problems from the previous attempt apply as well. It makes no sense of the 7 week/62 week distinction, there is no justification for picking this start date out of the alternatives, and it ignores the evidence in Daniel that the final week was roughly 171–164 BCE.

Looking back to Daniel chapters 11–12, the prophecy discussed earlier, we saw the same idea of half of a 7-year period. Clearly, chapter 9 is yet one more interpretation of the same time period, and we need to bring in Antiochus Epiphanes, the Seleucid mustache-twisting villain of the Maccabean Revolt.

Reinterpreting the end as being during this time makes a lot more sense of the text. We’ll explore that interpretation in the final post in this series.

 To surrender to ignorance and call it God
has always been premature,
and it remains premature today.
— Isaac Asimov

(This is an update of a post that originally appeared 3/27/14.)

Image credit: DominÖ, flickr, CC

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  • Bei Dawei

    1844 was the year of the “Great Disappointment” when, based on calculations like these, Adventists expected the Second Coming to occur. Baha’is believe the prophecy to have been fulfilled by the emergence of their own religion (or its closely-related predecessor, Babism) in that year. The son of the Baha’i Founder, whose interpretation is considered authoritative, explicitly endorses a set of calculations based on the Book of Daniel.

  • Kevin K

    The problem with the “fun with numbers” approach is that the writers of the bible didn’t merely “round” numbers. They used words that have been translated as a specific number, when the original meaning was “many”. So, you can make a case for just about any number above 3.

  • Raging Bee

    So it’s Daniel giving us our End Times predictions now? I remember when it was Ezekiel and Revelation. Plus ca change and all that…

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

      There’s even more of this apocalyptic literature that’s noncanonical. It was a big movement within Judaism in the intertestamental period (200 BCE – first century CE or something like that).

      • Kevin K

        I think that’s really the missing piece of this whole “how in the world did something as mind-bogglingly idiotic as Christianity get started” picture.

        We hear a lot about how there were tons of Messianic preachers (each claiming the title for themselves, naturally) around at the time leading up to the Jewish Wars. But not much about the headwaters of that particular “movement”. Surely it wasn’t merely a consequence of Roman occupation? After all, that particular spit of oil-less sand spent far more time under occupation than not.

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

          It is oil-less, but it’s the crossroads between the enormously important civilizations of Egypt, Mesopotamia, and Greece/Rome. They would’ve known of a lot of supernatural beliefs.

          That Christianity is just an amalgam of bits we find elsewhere makes clear (to me) that this is just one more manmade religion. A religion worshiping a real god would look radically different.

        • Kevin K

          Which points how we don’t do nearly enough in examining the syncretic nature of Christianity (and Judaism itself). We seem to be pretty good about pointing out where Judaism, Christianity, and Zoroastrianism got mashed together to create Islam, however.

        • Greg G.

          It’s not far from the Silk Road trade routes opened up by Alexander the Great so they would have access to the civilizations of India and the Far East, too. Buddhist art was influenced by the Greeks around that time.

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

          Great point. I’ve heard Robert M. Price talk about Buddhist and other Indian influences, but I thought those were a bit tenuous (mostly because I’ve not read up on that aspect).

  • RichardSRussell

    I was listening to NPR radio coverage of the aftermath of Hurricanes Irma and Maria doing a major number of Puerto Rico, and sure enuf, there are a whole flock of TBs there taking it as a sign of the end times, with some specific references to Sep. 24 as the Final Day of Earth, for reasons known only to them and, presumably, God and Daniel.

    Rest assured that there are hucksters and charlatans more than eager to take advantage of this mass hysteria to make a quick buck off of the poor ignorant schmucks who have already lost almost everything!

    • Kevin K

      And yet, when asked, none of those schmucks ever want to give me their stuff. Why can’t I have your Ford F-150 pick-up truck? You’re not going to be needing it … are you?

      • RichardSRussell

        Something approaching a decade ago, I heard about a couple of enterprising atheists who had started a pet-care service aimed at the fundagelical market. They’d charge an annual premium for TBs who wanted to be sure that somebody would look after their pets after they themselves had been raptured away. Part of the deal was a contract in which the service operators solemnly promised that they’d resign from the company if they ever saw the light and got religion. Apparently they were doing well enuf at the outset to warrant some news coverage. Haven’t heard much about them recently, tho.

        • Kevin K

          What a great idea!

      • eric

        Ah, but you forget Ambrose Bierce’s definition of Christian (my emphasis): “One who believes that the New Testament is a divinely inspired book admirably suited to the spiritual needs of his neighbor.” The prophecies aren’t supposed to change their behavior, silly boy, they are supposed to change yours

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

      Well, yeah. We just had a solar eclipse!

      How much evidence do you need? You want an engraved invitation to the End??

    • Chuck Johnson

      Sell them some Rapture insurance.
      Those that get left behind get the payoff.

    • Joe

      Funny, while those hurricanes were lashing Florida and Texas there was no sign of the end times in Sydney, Australia.

      Almost as if those were local weather effects.

  • Ed Senter

    Problem 1: Why do you insist the atonement come at the end of 70 weeks and not at the 69th? Because you have a problem with the Gap? Luke 4:16 justifies a gap where Jesus was reading from Isaiah 61 and stops right in the middle of a sentence.
    Problem 2: How can the prophetic year be nonsense? Because it predicts to the day Christ’s death? That proves the prophetic year is the way to go.
    Problem 3: So you can’t figure out the 7/62 week distinction? The first 7 weeks (49 years) are for the rebuilding of the Temple- “The street shall be built again, and the walls in straightness of times.” Dan 9:25 Then after 62 weeks from that (434 years) Christ shall be slain.

    Furthermore, the Jews did not understand this prophecy fully because it was still in the future to them. They did, however, understand the prophecy of the Son of Man at Dan 7:13 because that is where the Kingdom is restored to Israel.
    The 70th week can not even be understood without the book of Revelation. It was written after the destruction of Jerusalem which occurred in 70AD. Revelation and Daniel go hand in hand.

    • Otto

      Funny how prophecy’s can only be viewed properly after the fact.

      • Ed Senter

        What is funny is how even a blind pig finds an acorn every once in a while. You are correct.

        The proof of a prophet is whether or not what he says comes true. You can’t know that until after the fact.

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

          The proof of a prophecy is whether it is seen by contemporaries as being about the future, it’s clear and unambiguous, and it comes to pass. Finding it after the fact as some do with Nostradamus doesn’t count.

        • Ed Senter

          Once again, the Book says otherwise. “4 But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.” And, “9 And he said, Go thy way, Daniel: for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end.
          10 Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand.” Daniel 12

          So, the prophecy in Daniel is not for contemporaries, it is for “the time of the end”. It is only in the last 200 years could these passages be understood. Israel’s presence in the Middle East is once again established. If you view prophecy as not a prediction, but a validation of God’s word that inspires faith, you just might get it. Prophecy is like a mountain range. You might look upon peaks and see only linear time, but you will miss the valleys of time between the peaks.

          Bob, I answered your problems, will you remain obstinate?

        • Greg G.

          That was written into Daniel to fake that it was from a few hundred years earlier to explain why nobody had heard of it in the second century BC. It had very specific prophecies being fulfilled and then they went to shit. That’s how it is dated to around 166 BC. The “correct” prophecies are correct up to 167 BC but all subsequent prophecies fail because they were about the death of a person who died in 164 BC, but not the way the prophecies predicted so they are failures.

          Your rationalizations are like a seven-year old who is trying to maintain his belief in Santa Claus.

        • MR

          Yeah, Daniel was one of the straws that broke the camel’s back for me. The justification required is simply too implausible. No Christian would think twice about calling bullshit if it had been, say, a Muslim prophecy.

        • Ed Senter

          I guess the same nutjobs who wrote the fake crap must have also written the fake crap in Matthew 24 where Jesus himself is quoting Daniel talking about the anti-christ. Yeah, right.
          Your conspiracy theories are just too complicated for even the most evil of masterminds. You are lost, wiz.

        • Otto

          How does Jesus talking about a boogie man give it any credibility?

        • Joe

          It’s like when a Marvel superhero shows up in another hero’s movie. It makes the story seem more connected.

        • TheNuszAbides

          and lo, on the second day, there formed a Panel on Retcon-Silience …

        • Ed Senter

          If you claim Daniel was made up, who made it up? -the Jews who were expecting Messiah to appear in the clouds and save them from the Romans, or, Christians who knew Jesus was the Messiah and were expecting his return in their lifetimes?

          The answer is Daniel was not made up. The prophecy is for the endtimes, just like Daniel said, which is now since Israel became a state and establishing a presence in Jerusalem.

        • Otto

          You didn’t answer my question.

        • Ed Senter

          Bob claims Daniel was written in the 160s BC as history- that is the reason it is accurate. Yet, the prophecies intended to be future events, are just gobbledegook and therefore made up nonsense.
          Jesus, talking about the anti-Christ, gives credibility that those prophecies as future events are indeed future events.

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

          But they’re not in our future if they were written in the late 160s BCE and intended to come true just a few years later.

        • Ed Senter

          But they did not come to pass “a few years later”. Daniel’s prophecy is to his people, the Jews. Daniel interpreted Nebuchadnezzar’s dream, then had 3 other visions each providing more detail. All cumulating with an everlasting Kingdom. Just before this everlasting Kingdom, will be a Kingdom that initiates a peace treaty with the Jews. That Kingdom will be lead by the anti-Christ. The establishment of the nation state of Israel sets the Jews up for this peace treaty.

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

          No, they didn’t come to pass, just like all biblical prophecies. I’m simply giving a naturalistic explanation that plausibly explains the available facts.

        • Ed Senter

          There are at least 300 specific prophesies fulfilled in Christ.
          And your plausible explanation merely denies that many prophecies to the chosen people of Israel are yet to be fulfilled and are still in the future.
          That is obstinacy- not intelligent inquiry.

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

          Fulfilled prophecies? Give me a couple. And be sure that these aren’t the kind of crappy “prophecies” that you and I would laugh at if given by a non-Christian believer.

        • Ed Senter

          I already gave the prophecy in Daniel that gave the exact date of Christ’s crucifixion.

          And I did a google search and found this: http://www.accordingtothescriptures.org/prophecy/353prophecies.html

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

          I’m not going to respond to 355 “prophecies.”

          If you want a response from me and have one or two that you think are especially powerful examples, give them to me. Or, if you don’t much care for evidence and just believe cuz you just believe, then maybe don’t bother.

        • Ed Senter

          How about Psalm 22? There are several prophecies there fulfilled by Christ on the cross.

        • Greg G.

          Mark used Psalm 22 as a source material for the crucifixion scene.

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

          So this is the one you’re going to stick with? You’re not going to run away and bring up another one, are you?

          Here’s my response to that prophecy claim:
          http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined/2014/04/failed-prophecy-psalm-22-debunked/

        • Rudy R

          Is it also obstinacy to expect the names of those 500 that saw Jesus after his supposed resurrection? Numbers are meaningless unless you can substantiate them with evidence.

        • Ed Senter

          He certainly appeared to the 11 apostles, Mary Magdalene, Martha, Mother Mary, brother James, and many others are named. Are you just too obstinate to see that?

        • Rudy R

          I would frame my position as skeptical, not obstinate. There is NT scholarship that exposes the problems for those who claim the Gospels are historically accurate. You leave Paul out of the list for obvious reasons, because Paul did not write in his Epistles about Jesus as a historical person. And to state with certainty that Jesus appeared to all those people would amount to uncritical thinking on your part. Historians can only piece together artifacts to draw probable conclusions, and when it comes to Jesus, there are only copies of copies of copies of artifacts that can’t be confirmed to represent a 51% probability to being true.

        • Ed Senter

          Here’s the choice:
          1. Jesus rose from the dead.
          2. Jesus did not rise from the dead.
          Results:
          1. He rose, then we shall rise also.
          2. We are dead, the end.

        • adam
        • Rudy R

          Therein lies the root cause of belief in Jesus. It’s scary as shit for many to think that it’s all over once your dead.

        • Ed Senter

          What a waste to think that you are nothing but an amalgamation set to expire.

        • Kodie

          What a waste to eat breakfast when you will just be hungry again in a few hours. Your religion has given you a sour attitude of childish dependence to validate you.

        • Rudy R

          On the contrary, it’s a waste to think you exist to solely to satisfy someone else’s objective. And if you don’t adhere to their arbitrary and capricious rules, you will have wished you were never created in the first place.

        • adam
        • Kodie

          Religion has made you sick in the head and unable to cope with reality if you think that.

        • adam

          “He certainly appeared to the 11 apostles”

          Superman certainly can fly.

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

          But isn’t it weird that the prophecies in Daniel weren’t realized (as you see them, anyway) until recently? Shouldn’t they have guided the Jews who were contemporary with its authorship?

        • Ed Senter

          No prophecy was ever meant to guide the Jews. In fact, the Jews often killed the prophet or threw him in jail. No, the purpose of prophecy has always been to show that God is in control. In spite of themselves, God is not done with Israel and they will always be his oracle people showing how God reconciles the world to himself.

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

          Tricky! God inspires accurate prophecies, but they don’t look like prophecies. Indeed, the Bible rails against false prophecies. I guess it takes much spiritual discernment to separate the actual prophecies from the falsely claimed prophecies.

          Good thing we have you to find the pearls.

        • Ed Senter

          Sarcasm sure can damper a conversation, eh?
          “Cast no pearl before swine”.

          You appear just as dogmatic about what you believe a prophecy should reveal as you accuse me. Who said any prophecy should be on your timetable?

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

          I’m not sure it was sarcasm.

          I have very clear ideas about what an accurate prophecy should be. And I’ll bet that you have a similar idea… when we’re talking about some other religion’s prophecies–they should be unexpected, precise, and so on.

          Why give your religion a pass? It’s almost like you know you have to lower the bar, otherwise you’d have none.

        • Ed Senter

          First of all, it starts with an attitude adjustment. If you are looking for a God of your own creation, you will never find him. For God to be God, he has no needs. He doesn’t need me. He doesn’t need you. He needs no one. We are just along for the ride.
          Religion can be defined as man’s attempt to find God.
          Whereas, Christianity is God reconciling the world to Himself.

          If you study the Bible, no where will you see a prophecy as a prediction. Prophecies are given to show that God is in control. Often, the prophecy will not be understood until after it comes to pass. Unbelievers will not get it. Furthermore, unbelievers won’t even know that there is anything to get.

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

          First of all, it starts with an attitude adjustment. If you are looking for a God of your own creation, you will never find him. For God to be God, he has no needs. He doesn’t need me. He doesn’t need you. He needs no one. We are just along for the ride.

          Why did God create us then? If things were perfect before (with just the Trinity doing whatever Trinities do), you’d think it was perfect. But if not, what improvement could humanity possibly make?

          Religion can be defined as man’s attempt to find God.

          Whether or not there’s a god to find.

          If you study the Bible, no where will you see a prophecy as a prediction.

          Is. 7 (the Emmanuel story) is a prediction: “before the boy knows enough to reject the wrong and choose the right, the land of the two kings you dread will be laid waste.”

          Prophecies are given to show that God is in control. Often, the prophecy will not be understood until after it comes to pass.

          Then what good is the prophecy if it’s so vague, ambiguous, and debatable? This god of yours is pretty inept if his message keeps getting bungled. It’s almost like he’s not even there.

        • Ed Senter

          There is a back story between God and Satan which little is revealed in the books of the Bible. God did not choose to redeem fallen angels. Some say man was created to fill the gap left by these fallen angels. Whatever the full story is, God did decide to redeem fallen man and that is what the Bible is mostly about. To me, it would all be a bunch of hooey if it were not for the person of Jesus Christ. The resurrection validates it all.

        • Rudy R

          For God to be God, he has no needs. He doesn’t need me. He doesn’t need you. He needs no one.

          And then again, He created humans in his own likeness. Sort of begs the question, why?

        • Ed Senter

          Gives one a sense of wonder, eh?

        • Greg G.

          Yes, like why would God eat? Why would he have a mouth? Why an anus? If there were no female gods, why would he have sex organs? Moses saw his butt. Why have a butt? Humans look a lot like monkeys. Why would God look like a monkey? You just have to wonder…

        • Rudy R

          Yeah, if you’re a Christian. For all others, it’s not logical. But then again, the Christian god isn’t logical.

        • Kodie

          Yeah, wonder why grown-ups can be so gullible and insecure.

        • Joe

          If you claim Daniel was made up, who made it up?

          An unknown, though obviously educated, Jew.

        • TheNuszAbides

          How does a story about Jesus talking about a boogie man give itanything any credibility?

          fixed for precision.

        • Otto

          I was being generous by stipulating that issue…;)

        • Joe

          I guess the same nutjobs who wrote the fake crap must have also written the fake crap in Matthew 24 where Jesus himself is quoting Daniel talking about the anti-christ.

          What was to stop anyone writing “fake crap” into the Bible?

          You don’t think it was possible the author of Matthew had read the prophecies in Daniel?

        • Otto

          Not just possible, almost certain.

        • Ed Senter

          Let’s suppose Daniel was all made up. Well, Jesus quoted from Daniel in Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. Paul quoted from Daniel in I and II Thessalonians. Then John in Revelations meshes perfectly with Daniel.
          Now who made up Daniel? Was it the Jews who were expecting Messiah to appear in the clouds and save them from the Romans, or was it the Christians who knew Jesus was Messiah and were awaiting his second coming?
          The answer is simple. You can’t make this stuff up and you atheists are just too obstinate to admit it.

        • Joe

          Was it the Jews who were expecting Messiah to appear in the clouds and save them from the Romans, or was it the Christians who knew Jesus was Messiah and were awaiting his second coming?

          Considering Christians didn’t exist at the time, it was most likely Jews looking for hope in times of Roman oppression.

          You can’t make this stuff up and you atheists are just too obstinate to admit it.

          What exactly can’t be made up?

        • Ed Senter

          Go back up the thread. The wiz claimed that someone added “the end times”/Chapter 12 to Daniel since he claims the prophecy failed. Why would the Jews make it up? Why would Christians make it up? Adding the ending like wiz claimed would not do anything to help either’s position. Therefore, the prophecy is true and part of it is still waiting to be fulfilled.

        • Joe

          Why would the Jews make it up?

          To give people hope. Like I already said.

          Adding the ending like wiz claimed would not do anything to help either’s position.

          Yes it would.

        • Ed Senter

          The Christian’s hope is finished in Christ.
          The Jews’ hope is coming to fruition in the everlasting Kingdom. The Jews have reestablished a presence in Jerusalem which is the most obvious sign of the end times.

        • Joe

          The Jews have reestablished a presence in Jerusalem which is the most obvious sign of the end times.

          You know modern Israel was chosen as the Jewish homeland specifically because of the prophecy? It’s like me prophesying I’m going to drink a soda, then going to my fridge and drinking a soda.

        • Ed Senter

          If you knew how improbable the nation state of Israel’s creation was and that everyone of the surrounding nations are intent on their destruction, you would realize how wrong you are. President Harry Truman was a devote Bible student and was instrumental in insisting on the USA support of Israel as a nation in 1948.

        • Joe

          If you knew how improbable the nation state of Israel’s creation was and that everyone of the surrounding nations are intent on their destruction, you would realize how wrong you are

          How improbable was it?

          President Harry Truman was a devote Bible student and was instrumental in insisting on the USA support of Israel as a nation in 1948.

          Which validates my point. He was aware pf the prophesy and worked specifically to make it true.

        • Ed Senter

          It was about as improbable as Truman getting elected in 1948. Truman got very little support from his own party, a third party got most of his votes, and Thomas Dewey was such a sure thing that newspapers announced him as the winner.

        • Joe

          I don’t know what your point is?

          No matter how he got elected, Truman and the Allies worked to set up a Jewish state to fulfill a prophecy. It’s the same reason that the religious right support Israel to this day. Not for any compassionate grounds, but eschatological ones.

        • Ed Senter

          And I don’t know what your point is. Is the nation state of Israel a sign of the end times like I said or isn’t it?
          Truman went against all his advisors.
          The Biblical support for Israel is “I will bless those that bless thee, and I will curse those that curse thee”. I don’t think anyone is for the nation state of Israel because it fulfills prophecy. Most Christians don’t have a clue about prophesy.

        • Greg G.

          I don’t have conspiracy theories. I think the Bible was written by very sincere people who didn’t know where the sun went at night and were extremely superstitious because they didn’t know any better. They weren’t conspiring, they were just looking for knowledge in all the wrong places.

        • Ed Senter

          How funny that you think you are so superior to the Bible writers. Their knowledge came from God. No man under his own power could weave together the knowledge revealed in the Bible.

        • Greg G.

          How funny that Christians think they are so superior because the voices in their heads and warm fuzzy feelings in their stomach are a god thingy talking at them.

        • Cozmo the Magician

          Um, your ‘knowledge from god’ is full of contradictions, false statements, ignorance, and just plain BS. Bats aint birds. The earth is not flat. PI does NOT equal 3. Plants don’t grown without light. The sky is NOT a big bowl over the earth with little twinklies stuck to it and/or little holes punched through it. There is NOT a big layer of water over the bowl that comes through when windows get opened. I could go on, but somehow I doubt you will even think about these things. Most likely you will stick your fingers in your ears and head back in the sand.

        • Ed Senter

          You mean your flat earth view of an afterlife? What is amazing is the atheist’s absence of wonder upon things that are unseen.

        • Cozmo the Magician

          “absence of wonder upon things that are unseen” nope i wonder a lot about how you can believe in shit that is unseen and backed up by absolutely NO EVIDENCE. Are you going to worship my invisible pet dragon ‘Fluffy’? You can’t see that either, and it exists just as much as your fairy sky-daddy.

        • Ed Senter

          The books of the Bible are evidence, pal. You just don’t believe it or haven’t been taught right.

        • Michael Neville

          So is the Quran evidence or have you not been taught right about it? How about the Vedas or the Book of Mormon? What’s so special about your favorite “holy” book?

        • Ed Senter

          Perhaps one of the biggest mysteries is why the same word brings life to some and death to others. Why is there so much dissent in the world? I can tell you what all the major religions teach. I can even dare say that most adherents to those religions don’t even know what they believe. Most believe more in a tradition than any living God.

        • Michael Neville

          That’s certainly true for most Christians.

        • Cozmo the Magician

          A book filled with contradictions and complete bullshit is evidence of WHAT exactly? That your god is fucking idiot worshiped by even bigger idiots and promoted by bigoted idiots? Yeah, I can go with that. See , i was actually taught things like logic and reason. Sorry that in your make believe world that just aint right. But for most of the human race, logic and reason is how REAL shit gets done. Your fairy tales have done nothing but promote hatred and ignorance. And BTW , I am NOT your ‘pal’. I have much better standards than to call someone like you ‘pal’.

        • Ed Senter

          petulant child, your bias is duly noted.
          It was logic and reason that caused me to believe that there is a God. It is pure atheist dogma to believe that the Bible is “filled with contradictions and complete bullshit”.
          Give me one “contradiction”.

        • Greg G.

          The passover meal is eaten at sunset when the Jewish day begins.

          Mark 14:12 says it was the day the Passover was sacrificed, which means that the Passover meal would be eaten at sunset. Mark 14:16 says the disciples prepared that Passover. Mark 14:17-18 says it was evening and they were eating. This would be the time that all the Jews in Jerusalem would be eating the Passover meal.

          In John 13:1, we are told that it was before the Passover. They are eating during John 13. In John 13:29, there was still time to buy things for the feast, so they were not having Passover. Jesus speaks almost continuously from John 14:1 to the end of chapter 17. In John 18, Jesus crosses a brook and gets arrested without having the Passover meal. John 8:28 says Jesus was taken to Pilate’s place but the Jews wouldn’t enter because they would be defiled which means they would not be able to eat the Passover. John 19:14 says it was mid-day on the day of preparation for the Passover.

          Matthew and Luke agree with Mark that Jesus ate the Passover before he was arrested. John says Jesus was arrested before the Passover was eaten. That’s a contradiction.

        • Ed Senter

          These are not contradictions. Passover occurred on the 14th of Nisan followed by the Feast of Unleavened bread on 15th of Nisan which last for 7 Days where no leavened bread can be eaten. The first day of the Feast of Unleavened bread is what known as a High Sabbath where no work occurs. The day before any Sabbath is Preparation Day. Passover is not a Sabbath. The week of this Feast is referred to Passover week. The High Sabbath can occur on any day of the week. The weekly Sabbath is from Friday sundown to Saturday sundown.

          Given all of that, the disciples could prepare and eat the Passover meal at sundown Tuesday, Jesus was arrested that night and crucified and placed in the tomb before sundown Wednesday which began the High Sabbath. Thus, Tuesday was also Preparation Day for the High Sabbath. And the High Priests could still have eaten Passover meal Tuesday night, but must not defile themselves at anytime during Passover. Then Jesus spent 72 hours in the tomb and rose at sundown Saturday. That time being the 1st day of the week during Passover which is the Feast of First Fruits.

        • Greg G.

          The Passover is killed on Preparation Day as in Mark 14:12. The it was night and Jesus was arrested. John 19:14 says it was mid-day on the day of preparation for the Passover – AGAIN.

          Exodus 12:8, 10 (NRSV)8 They shall eat the lamb that same night; they shall eat it roasted over the fire with unleavened bread and bitter herbs.

          10 You shall let none of it remain until the morning; anything that remains until the morning you shall burn.

          The Jews either ate the Passover that night or they did not eat it at all.

        • Ed Senter

          Read all of the translations for John19:14. Is it “for” Passover, or “of” Passover because Preparation Day is before a high Sabbath as recorded in Leviticus 23. The day after Passover is a high Sabbath of Unleavened bread.
          “14 And it was the preparation of the passover, and about the sixth hour: and he saith unto the Jews, Behold your King!” KJV

        • Greg G.

          I have provided a sample of translations of John 19:14 below. They all say “‘preparation day’/’day of preparation’ for/of the passover”. This is the daytime following the arrest of Jesus in John. Even the version you quote tells you it was preparation of the passover.

          The Synoptic Gospels say that it was the day of preparation for the passover then the evening came then Jesus was arrested after the time for the passover. See Mark 14:12 to see that it was the day of preparation (“when they sacrificed the Passover”), Mark 14:16-17 to see that the passover was prepared and they sat down to eat it, and Mark 14:43-52 to see that the Jesus was arrested after they ate.

          John 19:14 http://biblehub.com/john/19-14.htm

          New International Version
          It was the day of Preparation of the Passover; it was about noon. “Here is your king,” Pilate said to the Jews.

          New Living Translation
          It was now about noon on the day of preparation for the Passover. And Pilate said to the people, “Look, here is your king!”

          English Standard Version
          Now it was the day of Preparation of the Passover. It was about the sixth hour. He said to the Jews, “Behold your King!”

          Berean Study Bible
          It was the day of Preparation for the Passover, about the sixth hour. And Pilate said to the Jews, “Here is your King!”

          Berean Literal Bible
          Now it was the Day of Preparation of the Passover; it was about the sixth hour. And he says to the Jews, “Behold your king!”

          New American Standard Bible
          Now it was the day of preparation for the Passover; it was about the sixth hour. And he said to the Jews, “Behold, your King!”

          King James Bible
          And it was the preparation of the passover, and about the sixth hour: and he saith unto the Jews, Behold your King!

          Holman Christian Standard Bible
          It was the preparation day for the Passover, and it was about six in the morning. Then he told the Jews, “Here is your king!”

          International Standard Version
          Now it was the Preparation Day for the Passover, about noon. He told the Jewish leaders, “Here is your king!”

          NET Bible
          (Now it was the day of preparation for the Passover, about noon.) Pilate said to the Jewish leaders, “Look, here is your king!”

          New Heart English Bible
          Now it was the Preparation Day of the Passover, at about the sixth hour. He said to the Jewish leaders, “Look, here is your King.”

          Aramaic Bible in Plain English
          And it was the eve of the Passover, and it was about the sixth hour, and he said to the Judeans, “Behold, here is your King!”

          GOD’S WORD® Translation
          The time was about six o’clock in the morning on the Friday of the Passover festival. Pilate said to the Jews, “Look, here’s your king!”

          New American Standard 1977
          Now it was the day of preparation for the Passover; it was about the sixth hour. And he said to the Jews, “Behold, your King!”

          Jubilee Bible 2000
          And it was the preparation of the passover and about the sixth hour; then he said unto the Jews, Behold your King!

          King James 2000 Bible
          And it was the preparation of the passover, and about the sixth hour: and he said unto the Jews, Behold your King!

          American King James Version
          And it was the preparation of the passover, and about the sixth hour: and he said to the Jews, Behold your King!

          American Standard Version
          Now it was the Preparation of the passover: it was about the sixth hour. And he saith unto the Jews, Behold, your King!

          Douay-Rheims Bible
          And it was the parasceve of the pasch, about the sixth hour, and he saith to the Jews: Behold your king.

          Darby Bible Translation
          (now it was [the] preparation of the passover; it was about the sixth hour;) and he says to the Jews, Behold your king!

          English Revised Version
          Now it was the Preparation of the passover: it was about the sixth hour. And he saith unto the Jews, Behold, your King!

          Webster’s Bible Translation
          And it was the preparation of the passover, and about the sixth hour: and he saith to the Jews, Behold your King!

          Weymouth New Testament
          It was the day of Preparation for the Passover, about six o’clock in the morning. Then he said to the Jews, “There is your king!”

          World English Bible
          Now it was the Preparation Day of the Passover, at about the sixth hour. He said to the Jews, “Behold, your King!”

          Young’s Literal Translation
          and it was the preparation of the passover, and as it were the sixth hour, and he saith to the Jews, ‘Lo, your king!’

        • Ed Senter

          Do you understand that there is a preparation day FOR Passover and a Preparation Day FOR High Sabbath?
          They would have to prepare for the Passover and during the same day prepare for the High Sabbath which was the day after Passover.
          Some times the feast days of Passover and Unleavened Bread and First Fruits were synonymous with “Passover week”.
          See Leviticus 23

        • Greg G.

          I have shown you the verses that say it was preparation day for the passover before the evening when Jesus was arrested in Mark and the verses in John that say it was preparation day for the passover the morning after Jesus was arrested. There is only one day that is preparation day for the passover. Jesus cannot have been arrested after that day and on that day.

          You have been lied to that there are no contradictions in the Bible and you continue to spread it.

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

          Jesus died both before and after Passover? Maybe this is a macro example of quantum superposition. Or maybe the Bible was prescient, and this was the first example of the Schrödinger’s cat experiment.

        • Greg G.

          Crucifixion is one deja vu I would not want.

        • Cozmo the Magician

          Well, here is a link to a page with MANY of themhttps://infidels.org/library/modern/donald_morgan/contradictions.html . A simple google search of ‘bible contradictions’ will give you tons of others. But THIS http://bibviz.com/ has got to be the absolute best. It puts it in a nice interactive and graphic form. But hey, go ahead and show the ‘logic and reason’ that lead you to belief in god. And BTW, calling me a ‘petulant child’ because i have seen no evidence of the existence of your god is an outright insult and shows your lack of intelligence. It shows that trolls really need to be better educated.

        • Greg G.

          You need a space or a linebreak at both ends of an URL to get it to work in Disqus.

        • Cozmo the Magician

          when i previewed my post the links seemed fine, but i added page breaks around them just in case. After all, would not want the troll to claim i was making ‘fake links’ just because it was too lazy to TYPE a url or even just cut/paste.

        • Ed Senter

          I called you a petulant child because you called me and God “fucking idiots”.

          I am a Christian, but I know with out a doubt most Christians don’t have a clue. If you want to make fun of clueless Christians to get your jollys, go ahead. The so called ‘contradictions’ from the site are nothing but poking fun at clueless Christians.

          I, however, rely on reason and logic. Is the Bible the “inerrant” word of God? No, but it does contain the word of God and it reveals God’s purpose and plan for His creation.
          So, bring on a real contradiction and you just might get educated.

        • Cozmo the Magician

          You totes fail to explain any of the contradictions. The site is not ‘poking fun at xtians’ BOTH the sites linked show where the BIBLE ITSELF contradicts ITSELF. And if you are saying the bible is NOT the 100% word of god then that just means YOU are deciding which parts are true based on your OWN beliefs. Not ‘logic and reason’. You can’t have it both ways. Either the bible is the word of a perfect god, or it is words made up by people. And since ‘logic and reason’ say it is made up, then you can’t really expect intelligent people to base their lives on it. There is ample evidence to show when and where the bible has been changed throughout history to reflect the beliefs of people. You really like to speak out of both sides of your mouth. You say the bible is NOT the word of god and then say that it DOES contain the word of god. As we say in World of Warcraft ‘EPIC FAIL’

        • Ed Senter

          We are to “rightly divide” the word of God. Anybody can sling crap and claim its God’s word or ain’t God’s word. Reason and logic ferret out the crap.
          You had better watch out. All you have done is read some atheist propaganda and believe you know something.

        • adam
        • Cozmo the Magician

          Wow, not only do you have a hotline direct to the mind of god via your extraordinary reason and logic, you also have the psychic ability to know what I have read. Um, on second though nope you don’t. Because I have read your big book of bullshit. And ‘you better watch out’ sounds very much like a threat. Blocked and flagged. BYE BYE

        • Kodie

          All Christians posting here currently are claiming they used reason and logic to get to their beliefs, but you are all different denominations, and none of you think you are slinging crap, and none of you can ferret out the crap, because it’s all crap.

        • Kodie

          We just know imaginary places are not real. What kind of sense of wonder are we supposed to have for an imaginary place? I mean, you substitute a “sense of wonder” for an imaginary place for the necessary despair you must have at not existing anymore. We don’t have that.

        • Ed Senter

          I see no difference between asking the question “is there life on other planets” and “is there an afterlife”. Both evoke a sense of wonder.

          “Only a fool says there is no God”- why?- because the alternative is nothing.

        • Kodie

          We are living on a planet and know so much about many other planets, so life on a planet is not an imaginary concept. “Only a fool says there is no god” is a marketing pitch, and you fell for it. All I see are fools who say there is a god, but not enough sense to offer evidence, just your placeholder bullshit “sense of wonder”. Where is a place not inside the universe that you think you will go without your body and glorify your abuser for the rest of eternity?

        • Ed Senter

          How do you know there are other planets outside this solar system? Because some pseudo-intellectual determined an infinitely small bend in light?
          You are flat earth, partner.

        • Kodie

          Look how pathetic you are, calling scientists “pseudo-intellectuals,” and then make some petty little ignorant insecure put-down because you don’t know shit, while referring back to a sense of wonder in something imaginary that YOU likened to something that is within the realm of possibility. Not even the same fucking thing. Why not go fuck yourself, you are here for your own egotistical and emotional reasons, and blathering about nonsense while you’re at it.

        • Greg G.

          I see no difference between asking the question “is there life on other planets” and “is there an afterlife”. Both evoke a sense of wonder.

          Life as we know it requires a brain to process thoughts. We know that brains can exist in our universe and there are billions of galaxies with billions of stars with billions of planets, so it is likely that we are not the only organisms with brains capable of complex technology. The question of whether thoughts can be processed without a processor is a whole different sort of question.

        • Ed Senter

          But does that question evoke wonder?

        • Greg G.

          It did until it no longer made sense. It’s kind of like wondering what kind of cheese the moon is made of. Eventually, it becomes rather absurd.

        • Ed Senter

          If you are satisfied with death, so be it.
          For me, I want to check out eternal life (and that makes a lot of sense).

        • Kevin K

          I would say “prepare to be disappointed”, but since you’ll be dead, you won’t realize that your belief in an after-death experience is pure nonsense.

        • Ed Senter

          At least I will be able to say “I told you so!”, if I am correct.

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

          Maybe I’ll become a Scientologist so I can say the same thing when I die, if it’s correct.

          Would that be a smart move?

        • Greg G.

          Do you remember the EddieCurrent YouTube video where he was trying to play all angles of Pascal’s Wager by adopting many religions?

        • Ed Senter

          I don’t know. But one thing is for sure, if you don’t step into the shower, you ain’t ever going to get wet.

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

          So what I hear you saying is, give Scientology a try, otherwise how will you know whether it’s true or not.

          Did I get the right lesson?

        • Michael Neville

          That’s a very big if.

        • Kevin K

          Nope. Because if there is an after-death experience, you’re as likely to be in Muslim hell, or whatever the hell place that $cientology has, or be reincarnated as a newt.

          Pascal’s wager (which is what you’re engaging in) is bullshit because every religion consigns every other religion to the pit, and you have no way to evaluate which of them is the “correct” religion. In reality, all religions are so patently obviously man-made and flawed, that it’s a wonder that anyone actually and really believes in them. I pity you and your delusions.

        • Ed Senter

          You have changed the topic from “is there an after-life” to “dopey traditions of men”.
          Most Christians I have observed have given up on “the Christian life” and have instead plan on playing the stay out of hell card by praying that they have one last second of cognitive function before they die in which they ask for forgiveness.

          For me, Christianity is not about living right, but is about life itself. That is what Jesus taught. I will leave it up to God to ferret out who gets in or not.
          As for Paschal wager, it is flawed because it subsumes consequences as to whether or not one believes in God or not. To me, if you don’t believe in God, you have already sealed your fate.

        • TheNuszAbides

          No man under his own power could weave together the knowledge revealed in the Bible.

          indeed, getting under one’s own power must do a number on the lower back muscles – and that’s before the weaving starts!

        • TheNuszAbides

          just too complicated for even the most evil of masterminds

          you must’ve really hurt Lex Luthor’s feelings with that zinger.

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

          Your rationalizations are like a seven-year old who is trying to maintain his belief in Santa Claus.

          Including the stamping of the little feet.

        • Lark62

          I predict there will be at least one fatal car accident in the continental US within the next 24 hours.

          I predict a baseball team a will win the World Series and a football team will win the Super Bowl.

          I predict you will not be amazed by my prophecies and that you will not send me $10,000.

          100% accuracy! I’m psychic!

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

          And they were unambiguous with a specific timeframe.

          It’s weird that God can’t duplicate that.

        • Greg G.

          66.7% right. I sent you a check for $10,000. Believe me.

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

          Obstinate? You’ve answered my questions with dogma. Sorry, I’m unimpressed.

          Daniel was written for contemporaries. It was written in the 160s BCE. That’s explained in the first post:
          http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined/2017/09/liars-jesus-daniel-predict-future/

          If someone from another religion used arguments of the sort you’re using, you’d laugh at him. You’d be as skeptical as I am. You’d be able to see through the nonsense as well as I do.

        • Ed Senter

          Dogma? Do you know how many Christians even attempt to spell out the specifics of end times prophecies? -very, very few. The Catholics won’t even touch Daniel and Revelation.
          You believe Daniel was written for contemporaries because you just refuse to accept the accuracy of the prophecies as written for future events. Daniel’s contemporary was Nebuchadrezar. And yes he got it. He got the message that God was in charge.
          And I don’t use arguments. I just read the text.

        • TheNuszAbides

          I just read the text.

          oooh ooh, are you from the fancy school of exegetical hermeneutics they call Plain Reading?
          you don’t even seem to apprehend how inescapably ubiquitous interpretation actually is.

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

          One interpretation (which explains the facts poorly) is that the book was written in the 6th century BCE during the Babylonian captivity.

          Another that explains the facts much better is that it was written in the 160s BCE. This is also preferred because it makes no supernatural assumptions (which we have no good evidence for).

        • Ed Senter

          If you take out the supernatural, then you are left with nothing. God is supernatural. The resurrection is a miracle. If your argument is against the supernatural, then it becomes circular. [Miracles don’t occur, because miracles can’t occur, and anyone who says they occur is a liar, because miracles don’t occur…]

          The 6th century BCE interpretation, which you claim “explains the facts poorly”, more likely explains the facts exactly and most of the “facts” are still in the future. If a 10 nation confederacy forms in what was the ancient Greek Seleucid Kingdom (Iraq, Iran, southern Turkey, Assyria), and 3 of those nations fall, then the confederacy is turned over to another leader (the Anti-Christ) who makes a peace treaty with the nation state of Israel, you will see prophecy fulfilled before you. That is not supernatural but current events.

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

          God is supernatural. The resurrection is a miracle.

          You going to give evidence? Or just drop this turd on the table and expect us to accept it?

          If your argument is against the supernatural, then it becomes circular. [Miracles don’t occur, because miracles can’t occur, and anyone who says they occur is a liar, because miracles don’t occur…]

          Cute! Sometimes I want to pinch your cheek!

          Uh, no. That’s not what any atheist here is saying. You make miracle claims; you have the burden of proof; we atheists are patiently waiting evidence, but the null hypothesis is that miracles don’t occur.

          In a similar way, the null hypothesis says that fairies and unicorns don’t exist. That doesn’t prove that they don’t, but that’s our starting point.

          You say your interpretation of Daniel is superior. You need to respond to my detailed arguments. The 10/5 post will be a secular interpretation. Tell me why it’s wrong.

        • MNb

          “If you take out the supernatural, then you are left with nothing’.”
          Yeah. Physics doesn’t exist. Your car doesn’t drive. Contradict this and you confirm the stupidity of this remark.

          “If your argument is against the supernatural, then it becomes circular.”
          A non-sequitur followed by a strawman version of Hume’s On Miracles.
          Miracles can occur. What you have to do is
          1) show that all natural explanations are impossible (so “science doesn’t have an explanation yet” is not enough);
          2) develop a reliable method that separates correct claims about the supernatural from incorrect ones.

          Why would I accept the Resurrection if you don’t accept the Isra and Mi’raj? The Hindu Milk Miracle? Buddha’s Twin Miracle? That five immortal men came from the sky just after Confucius’ birth? Papua cannibalism, based on the idea that you add the wisdom of your victim by eating his brains?
          And if you are willing to accept them, how is the Resurrection evidence for christianity?

          You haven’t even begun trying to answer these simple questions.

        • Ed Senter

          Personally, I am not impressed by miracles. Jesus as recorded supposedly performed so many miracles that all the books could not record them. The anti-Christ will perform miracles and deceive many. You look at these healing ministries on TV and all of these supposed miracles. So what? Someone’s cancer tumor disappeared and the doctors were dumfounded. These people are still going to die. The only question is when? I am, however, impressed by the miracle of the resurrection because that is the basis of Christianity. “Because He lives, I shall live also.” Eternal life is something I can wrap my mind around.

          What do all of these supposed miracles from the other religions have to offer? -Nothing.

        • MNb

          “What do all of these supposed miracles from the other religions have to offer? -Nothing.”
          Which is exactly as much as christianity.

          “Eternal life is something I can wrap my mind around.”
          It only shows your narrow mindedness that you can’t wrap your mind reincarnation and nirvana – and around the fact that muslims don’t need any resurrection to believe in afterlife like you do.

        • Ed Senter

          I suppose you are claiming all religions are the same bullshit, so what? That is idiot thinking.

          Christians are given eternal life for no other reason than faith.
          Muslims get eternal life as a reward.
          Reincarnation and nirvana? Sheesh, who wants an existence of life and death forever?

          Your lack of intelligence is noted for failing to see the difference.

        • Greg G.

          Why should eternal life be a reward for gullibility? It’s probably like first prize is a week in heaven, second prize is two weeks in heaven, third prize is three weeks in heaven, etc, etc, etc. But the booby prize given to the most gullible people is an eternity of stroking God’s huge ego.

        • MNb

          Fortunately what you suppose has zero relevance for and impact on my claims.

          “Sheesh, who wants an existence of life and death forever?”
          Which exactly agrees with me not wanting an existence of life forever …..

          Your ignorance is noted for failing to see that that difference is much smaller than you perceive …..

          “Christians are given eternal life for no other reason than faith.”
          The supporters of predestination (all christians) disagree because of for instance Romans 8:28-39.
          James 2:17-21 explicitly makes clear that there has to be another reason but faith: “2:17 Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.”etc.
          Of course we now can expect from you some mental masturbation to explain this away; I’m not interested. It only will confirm your particular interpretation ,nothing more. What matters is that lots of christians reject your interpretation.

          “Muslims get eternal life as a reward.”
          Five pillars of islam: shahada, salat, zakat, sawm and hadj.
          Shahada literally means ……. surprise …… faith. This is reflected in
          salat, which literally means …… prayer. One example:

          “O my Lord, forgive me, have mercy on me, fulfill my needs, raise me, provide for me, guide me, and protect me from sickness.”
          More here:

          http://www.islamweb.net/en/article/134445/the-islamic-concept-of-faith
          Your lack of ignorance and intelligence is noted for failing to see the similarities.

        • Kodie

          So you pick Christianity because it’s the cheapest.

        • Kevin K

          1. “Argument from consequences” is a logical fallacy.
          2. The “faith only” requirement is not a universal Christian dogma. There are several different flavors.
          3. There is no such thing as “eternal life”. You’re going to die, no matter what you believe in.
          4. What you are going for is a pleasant after-death experience. You want the kitchen upgrade, and expect those who have chosen the wrong landlord will get the basement apartment.
          4a. That’s nonsense on a stick. There is no after-death experience. You die, you decompose. Your thoughts/life experiences/etc. are intrinsically bound to your mortal brain. Once that ceases to function, those are extinguished in the same way a flame is extinguished when you blow out a candle. There is no “after-flame” experience.

        • Ed Senter

          1. If you put a straight stick next to a crooked stick, can you tell the difference? I can.
          2. Hey, I disagree with most Christians about a lot of things.
          3. Yes, we are all going to die. What makes you so sure there is no eternal life? There is more proof of an after life and it begins with the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
          4. Gawd, man, how do you make it through a day? Self-delusion?

        • Kodie

          4. I know it’s hard for an insecure and weak mind like yours to handle, but it’s really not so hard to cope with reality and enjoy life. Just because you’d be a sobbing mess without your religious fantasies doesn’t mean that’s normal.

        • Ed Senter

          You are deluded by your pride.

        • Kodie

          At least I don’t have to make up a fantasy to cope with reality.

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

          But not you, right? You don’t have your ego in the game, right? If you saw that you were wrong, you’d admit it publicly without hesitation. You’d turn your back on your reputation within Christianity simply because your love of the truth would demand that you follow all evidence where it led.

          Right? If so, tell me what would convince you that you were wrong.

        • Ed Senter

          Christianity requires the loss of ego. I have very little in common with most Christians. I can’t even claim that I figured this all out by myself. I thank my teacher, Dr. Gene Scott, with saving me from a life of confusion.

          The truth is all that matters. I have no problem with changing my mind. Like I have said, you place a straight stick next to a crooked stick, the difference is evident.

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

          you place a straight stick next to a crooked stick, the difference is evident.

          And we look at your arguments and tell you that a high school atheist could point out the errors. Clearly, the difference is not evidence to at least one side of this issue.

          Your comparison fails.

        • Ed Senter

          You mean a “high school atheist” like Adam with his silly pictures- caricatures of caricatures?

          And, no one has pointed out a single error in any of my arguments. If you want proof beyond a reasonable doubt, it does not exist- YET!

          1. Is there an after life? is just as reasonable a question as Is there life on other planets? And there is more evidence of the former as of the latter.
          2. Is the existence of the Almighty God possible? Yes!
          3. Is the Bible true? No one has proven otherwise.

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

          no one has pointed out a single error in any of my arguments

          You say crazy shit like, “Well, golly—Israel exists as a country again, so there’s Daniel to a T!” As I pointed out, there’s nothing specific here. You say that you can track the progress according to Daniel’s prediciton, but if you lived to be 200, you’d contentedly keep saying that, never noticing that a real god would give you a little more specificity. And if God doesn’t want it to be specific, don’t tell us that the end is imminent.

        • Michael Neville

          1. The particular dogmatic differences between religions are only of interest to scholars and those who believe in those religions. I don’t care if you call your god Jesus, Allah, Vishnu or Wotan, they’re all equally imaginary.

          2. As Kevin K pointed out, there are Christians who don’t accept redemption by faith alone. Catholics don’t. James 2:24 says “You see that a person is considered righteous by what they do and not by faith alone.” (NIV) I always find it funny when I have to teach Christians about their own faith.

          3. So do you have any evidence for life after death? Remember that I consider the Bible to be a collection of myths, fables and lies, so you’ll have to pull something else out of your rosy red rectum to show that you’ll might be getting harp lessons after your body stops functioning.

          4. You’re the one who’s deluded. You actually believe complete and utter bullshit about a Jewish preacher getting killed and then getting all better a day or two later all to make his daddy happy with people again. And you believe this bullshit without the slightest evidence to support it. No, don’t be telling other people they’re deluded when you’ve fallen for a con and, what’s worse, try to push the con onto other people.

        • Ed Senter

          1. I have taken an objective approach and I have found that some are more true than others.
          2. Most Christians are still milk drinkers (as Paul would say) and can’t reconcile Law with Faith. James was a Jew and never quit being a Jew. Paul taught Faith alone and was the first to reveal the mystery of the Body of Christ as the Church. He would have been more forceful with his teachings if he hadn’t thought Jesus would return in his life time to set the record straight. Unfortunately, the James crowd won out over the doctrines of Paul. That is why I am not Catholic.
          3. Sorry, all I have is the Resurrection. You either get it or you don’t.
          4. Now you resort to ridicule, how funny. I do think that anyone who thinks this life is all there is, is deluded.

        • Michael Neville

          All you’ve got is the Resurrection, a myth without any evidence to support it, yet you believe it. Are you really surprised that I’m ridiculing you for believing in something that’s ridiculous?

        • Kodie

          2. I’d like to see what you and Ameribear the Catholic have to say to each other. He thinks you’re not a true Christian.

        • Greg G.

          I agree. Rather than concentrate on trying to convert atheists, if they believed John 17:20-23, they would concentrate on converting every other Christian to their point of view so their agreement would impress us into believing.

        • Ed Senter

          I was raised Catholic and went to Catholic school for 12 grades. This is what I learned:
          1. Go to mass on Sunday and Holy Days. Miss mass, go to hell.
          2. No meat on Fridays. Eat a hamburger on Friday, go to hell.
          3. Honor father and mother. Disobey, get a whipping and go to hell.
          4. Jesus was a turn the other cheek hippie who was misunderstood.
          5. Suffering is a virtue.

        • Kodie

          Tell Ameribear you’re a true Christian. I believe you when you say you believe what you believe for real, but his church says that doesn’t matter, and he doesn’t seem to understand what a true Christian is to an atheist – anyone who claims to believe in Jesus and salvation. It is not for me, an atheist, to say you are a true Christian but he is not, or that his arguments are as substantial to debate reality but yours aren’t. To me, you definitely believe in your version though. I also believe he believes what he believes as sincerely as you, but you can’t both be right. From a non-believer perspective, all believers have interpretations and sincere beliefs. Can you look at anyone from another denomination or religion and suggest they aren’t a true Christian or a true Muslim or a true Hindu? You may superficially prefer another Christian of some kind to an atheist (I don’t know why), or that you accept some interpretations of Islam are indeed peaceful, and accept that not all of them are the fundamentalist terrorist kind.

          I really don’t know what you Christians mean by “not a true Christian” to you. Do you understand other Christians are devout and sincere as you are, but disagree about many things that all come from the same book? You need a different way to describe those other Christians like “not saved”, but they are true Christians if they describe themselves and follow whatever dogma their sect has fooled them into believing is correct. We’re all talking from a human/cultural perspective of religion’s affect on people, not your fictional god’s perspective on who would be admitted to heaven (which you happen to share and judge others by).

          Can you separate those into different categories?

          How about you get a conversation between you going. For some reason, you both are never in the same thread.

        • Ed Senter

          I’ll leave “whose the real Christian” up to God. But this topic is about whether the skeptic has mangled the book of Daniel into a caricature of the truth or not.

          As long as you brought up religion’s affect on people, don’t you think people with hope is the glue that holds society together? Does your religion of secular humanism deliver any hope? Oh, you say atheism is not a religion? Really? Are you an island? Utopia is a bigger fantasy than any god based religion ever provided. And you sit in your ivory tower denigrating belief in a deity, ha!

        • epeeist

          Utopia is a bigger fantasy than any god based religion ever provided.

          Utopia? You mean the island written about by the Catholic St. Thomas More, who is reported as saying “I die the King’s good servant, and God’s first.” at his execution.

        • Kodie

          Well, parallel conversations with Ameribear lead me to wonder why we never see any Christians arguing with each other.

          Your hope is imaginary. You don’t hope for the world, you hope for some imaginary afterworld. That isn’t glue, that’s shit.

        • Kodie

          To add another remark to my earlier comment, you don’t actually have any hope. You don’t value your life or anyone’s life. You treat life like a waiting room, and everything you do is just keeping busy and praying to Jesus. No wonder you think atheism is hopeless and meaningless. You really think that if you’re going to die forever someday, you might as well not bother to live, but that’s what you’re doing now. You’re passing the time waiting to be dead so you can go somewhere else that isn’t even there, so you think if there’s no heaven, there’s no reason to live or to hope or to bother being a good person. What a pathetic piece of insecure, judgmental shit your religion turns you into. What kind of “glue” is that to run society? What kind of “hope” is this to run a society, i.e. let’s just organize ourselves and try to make the most impressive parade float so Jesus loves us best, and you’re proposing that the more people we get to work on that stupid float, the better off more of us will be after we die – there’s no meaning in your life other than collecting signatures to pledge to work on that float, and you have the utter arrogance to suggest that’s “hope”. That’s distraction.

          We’re all here on earth for a short time, why waste it being scared of being dead? We’re all in this together alone down here. I don’t know what gives you the impression that people who aren’t living to die like you are without hope, or without social bonds. You are projecting your insecurities on other people, and I notice you are too frightened to even address it when I bring it up. You have to plug up that gaping hole in your psyche with an afterlife, because if you don’t mean something eternally, you might as well go on a killing raping drug fornicating animals spree. I mean, I guess you don’t value temporal comfort either. It’s like without believing you go to heaven after you die, you can’t figure out anything else to be happy about, and that’s not just a sad way to glue society together, it’s a sick way.

          If it’s real, though, you have done a poor job of convincing anyone who is a rational adult that you are not just chanting your childish mantra. Why would god send you to convince people to get on the parade float? Meanwhile, you know it’s not an actual boat, don’t you? it’s just a car pulling a flatbed trailer covered in flowers and tissue paper and maybe a little plywood. Not sea-worthy, not really anything-worthy. You’re focusing on winning some imaginary contest and yeah, it’s true, you could get a few people who get psyched up about that, but that’s the same with [reality time] actual parade floats. Parades are real events that get people excited to work on actual floats for days and sometimes nights to finish an extremely temporal project for the temporal entertainment of spectators and even random people like mayors and merchants appointed as judges. People get fucking excited as fuck about shit like that sometimes, even though they know after the parade, they have to strike the float and return the flatbed to the rental agency. Your life is focusing on the wrong end of this life.

        • Ed Senter

          I value ALL life. That is why I consider every moment as precious.
          I don’t fear death. I consider an after life a continuation of this life. If there is no after life, then WHAT A WASTE. As sentient beings, we are aware that we are aware. I don’t understand how any one can live in this short time frame then believe that’s it. Nothing else. That is simply DESPAIR.
          I fill my life in the present and hope for the future.

          Maybe reality is that death is an aberration.

        • Kodie

          You can’t value life if you think finite life is a waste. You ONLY are able to value something if you are validated by your imaginary friend and he lets you come live with him after you die. Otherwise, you hate life. You just said it, “what a waste”, “despair.” That’s your fucking problem – a messed up perspective. You are so afraid to die, that is your only sense of “hope” is that there is something else. NOT THIS, YOU ONLY VALUE SOMETHING ELSE. That’s not hope. I hope for future generations. I know I won’t be here anymore, and that’s not despair. That’s just how it works, unfortunately for you, who can’t even handle it.

        • Michael Neville

          If there is no after life, then WHAT A WASTE.

          Someone who valued life wouldn’t think it was a waste if there was no pie in the sky when you die.

        • adam
        • adam
        • Kevin K

          1. Meaningless babble.
          2. Good for you…when you all can get together and agree on everything, get back to me and then we can talk about whether you’re right about anything.
          3. Because there is no evidence in favor of it, and every bit of evidence weighing against it. How is it that out of the thousands upon thousands of religious concepts of an after-death experience that this particular one is the correct one? What are the odds that a bunch of Middle East goat herders, who did not know where the sun went at night, got it right?
          4. That’s called ‘projection’. You’re afraid of your own shadow. Get off your knees and stop staring at the ceiling. It’s embarrassing to see grown men behave like this. Put away childish things.

        • Ed Senter

          1. It may be “meaningless babble” to you, but to others, it is great wisdom.
          2. In order to find, you must first seek. If you are sitting around waiting for the proof to be placed before you, you will have a long wait.
          3. Go figure. Out of those thousands, God picked Abraham. The rest is history.
          4. May be projection, but to me, any one who is content with death as the final outcome to this short life we have, must be wearing blinders.

        • adam
        • Greg G.

          2. Hey, I disagree with most Christians about a lot of things.

          There are 45,000+ different denominations in Christianity because of these disagreements. It makes Jesus the biggest prayer failure of all time.

          John 17:20-23 (NRSV)20 “I ask not only on behalf of these, but also on behalf of those who will believe in me through their word, 21 that they may all be one. As you, Father, are in me and I am in you, may they also be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. 22 The glory that you have given me I have given them, so that they may be one, as we are one, 23 I in them and you in me, that they may become completely one, so that the world may know that you have sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.

          To make this prayer not a failure, Christians must agree so much that it impresses the rest of the world into believing. But the Bible is so ambiguous, that it can be interpreted at least 45,000 ways with nothing to validate any one interpretation over another. At most, all but one of the interpretations are wrong but if there is one that is correct, it has no special argument that proves it to be. Since none can make a logical argument for that one being correct, it is more likely that all of them are wrong.

        • Ed Senter

          You think Jesus prayer was a failure because you are lost. The truth is scores of people have been chosen out of the world the past 2,000 years since that prayer. “Many are called but few are chosen.”/
          The Gospel will go out to the world during the millennium when the Kingdom has been restored to Israel. The Jews rejected Christ at his first coming. They will repent at his second coming.

          One thing is for sure: If you don’t seek, you will not find.

        • Greg G.

          You think Jesus prayer was a failure because you are lost. The truth is scores of people have been chosen out of the world the past 2,000 years since that prayer.

          No, read the damn prayer. Jesus prayed that believers would be in such great agreement that the rest of the world would be impressed enough to believe. He says it twice. You believers don’t agree on much at all, just barely enough to be identified as Christians but you don’t even agree on that. So, if the whole world doesn’t believe, then the prayer is a failure. The whole world does not believe, therefore the prayer is a failure. But if the whole world did believe but it was not the result of an impressive amount of agreement between believers, the prayer is still a failure.

          When you say, “Hey, I disagree with most Christians about a lot of things,” you make Jesus a prayer failure because you disagree with other Christians.

          If you believed the Bible, you wouldn’t be arguing with atheists, you would be working out your differences with other Christians. If you all got together to sing Kumbayah and come to an agreement on theology, then the rest of the world would come to be so impressed that the whole world would believe and that would make Jesus a prayer success.

          But probably not. I know it and so do you. It’s a bullshit prayer.

        • Kodie

          Believing other people don’t believe the garbage you believe because they are lost is called a “rationalization”. That means you can’t face facts and have to pretend your beliefs in a fictional character, a fictional place called heaven, and a fictional afterlife there are meaningful. They have taken away your security in life and fed you with lies about what will fulfill you, and then fed you with more lies, because in reality, as the bible “foretells” so astutely, there will be people who think you are fucking nuts, not because that was so wise, but because a baby could predict that. You believe something nutty, and the natural consequence is people will think you are nutty for believing it. That’s natural, that doesn’t mean the bible is psychic.

          Believing other people are lost keeps your mind safe from breaking into a million parts over the crisis they made you think will happen if there is not really a Jesus or a heaven. You need that story to cling to because you are broken otherwise. We don’t. Don’t make shit up about other people or project your insecurities that have sadly been manipulated by your religious leaders and abused for their profit. Many here have already sought and already bought this bullshit, but they stopped believing when they realized it was nonsense. And only because you need it to be true, you rationalize every good point that takes it away from you. You are stuck in infancy. You believe what you wish to be true, and anyone who doesn’t come along with you on the crazy bus must be “lost” only because you are too little of a human to face reality.

        • Ed Senter

          This is what I believe: God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself. For nothing else but faith, I get eternal life.
          How is that “rationalization”?
          What I have learned from atheists is that I must accept death and nothing else.
          The only difference I see is commitment. I have something to lose. You do not.
          I think it is you who rationalizes your disbelief with ridicule and mockery.

        • Kodie

          Well, you can accept reality, or you can build a fantasy and pretend that it’s real, and bother us about it, who are not upset as you are with reality.

          When you tell someone you are shocked how they can get through the day without self-delusion, it ought to make you think, but you’re far-gone and nothing can make you think.

        • Ed Senter

          What do you tell your kids or any child? We exist then we die. The end.
          Does ridicule and mockery bring meaning to your life?

        • Kodie

          Are you a child? You seem to suppose the way we learn to navigate the world is to hide from reality and paralyze ourselves with fear, but that’s not how it is. It’s just that you can’t see any way out of your fantasy without breaking yourself. You’re obviously the broken one here, the one who was lied to until you couldn’t mature any further. I don’t tell children there’s a heaven so nobody really dies, and that their pain pleases their abuser, or that they’re filthy sinners who owe an imaginary character their devotion … or else! That’s sick.

        • adam

          “Does ridicule and mockery bring meaning to your life?”

          Does it to YOUR life:

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/102697e7faecdc67306ad919c76a1e01e698f44fbed89fa96dcc85012ac3ce5f.jpg

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

          One thing is for sure: If you don’t seek, you will not find.

          Are you seeking Xenu? Or Allah? Or the right path of Mormonism? If not, why whine that someone else isn’t seeking?

          Get your own house in order first.

        • Ed Senter

          Why do you think my house is not in order?
          I have spent my whole life seeking.
          I even think atheists are seeking something, but it seems all you have to offer is ridicule and mockery.
          Christianity is not like any other religion.

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

          Why do you think my house is not in order?

          Because you use “seek” as if it’s obvious that it’s Yahweh we should be seeking. This is not obvious.

          I even think atheists are seeking something, but it seems all you have to offer is ridicule and mockery.

          We offer a lot more: we’re telling you where your arguments fail. To some people, that would be invaluable information.

          You’re welcome.

          Christianity is not like any other religion.

          In the same way all the other religions are not like any other.

        • Ed Senter

          Hah, I came to the conclusion that Christianity is the truth after years of treading through the dregs of every other religion.
          And, you are not telling me where my arguments fail, because you are arguing about some caricature of what you think my arguments are. Your arguments are no different than that book I read back in 1980 which presented atheist’s best arguments. Your arguments appeal at best to college freshmen who are too green to know better.
          When I started posting, I didn’t even talk about God. I began asking about an afterlife and is this all there is.

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

          You say something unsupportable or unevidence, and I point it out to you (or one of the many other atheist commenters does). It’s not that hard.

          My arguments suck? That’s interesting–I’m always eager to make them as good as possible. Show me specifically where they fail.

        • Otto

          >>>”The proof of a prophet is whether or not what he says comes true.”

          Predicting earthquakes, wars, and hurricanes is about as insightful as predicting the sun will come up. Like Bob said, it needs to be specific, otherwise it is just an exercise in confirmation bias.

        • Ed Senter

          Yes, the prophecy confirms that God is in control!
          The Book of Daniel was not about those little things you mentioned. It is about Kings and Kingdoms and their relationship with His oracle people Israel.

        • Cady555

          Yes. An exact day and time of all of the 6.0 or greater earthquakes to hit Mexico, Southern Calif, Northern Calif, Washington State and Alaska during the next 10 years would be handy.

          “There’s gonna be an earthquake sonewhere, sometime” not so much.

        • Kevin K

          The proof of the prophet is if he/she makes a clear, unambiguous, and time specific prediction that then comes true, and can’t just be attributed to “blind pig finding an acorn”. Jean Dixon made about a thousand predictions a year, and the only one that definitively “came true” was the assassination of John Kennedy.

        • Ed Senter

          A true prophet speaks for God. A false prophet doesn’t although some predicted things may come to pass.

          Anyway, prophecy is not about making predictions like you claim. True prophecy is always about God being in control.

        • Kevin K

          Someone doesn’t understand the meaning of the word “prophecy”.

        • Ed Senter

          Since you have added nothing to the discussion, that “someone” must be you.

        • TheNuszAbides

          What is funny is how even a blind pig finds an acorn every once in a while.

          yeah, apparently they’ve got these things called olfactory organs

  • Otto

    My son came home from school today and told me he had this exchange in class

    Other kid: “The world is gonna end tomorrow.”
    My son: “No it isn’t.”
    Other Kid: “It says so in the Bible”
    My son: “That’s how you know it is bullshit.”

    I teared up…

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

      Brilliant! I wonder if there will have been a learning moment. Monday will tell.

    • Herald Newman

      It certainly appears that the doomsday predictions of Saturday Sept 23 failed to materialize. Once again those who predicted the end of the world, based on an interpretation of the Bible, have been shown to be wrong.

      This isn’t really all that shocking. Although, with the tension ratcheting up between the US and the DPRK, they may not be far off. It just won’t be Jesus coming through the clouds.

      • Giauz Ragnarock

        Were they wrong? WERE THEY?!!? Or were they more right than we could have ever imagined!/sarcasm

      • Greg G.

        If Jesus does come, he will be coming with the mushroom clouds.

        • Susan

          If Jesus does come, he will be coming with the mushroom clouds.

          Praise Jesus.

  • Lark62

    There was a person who got people to “invest” huge sums of money in his fake investment company.

    He bought a mailing list of thousands of wealthy investors. To half, he sent a prediction that the price of stock A would rise. The other half got a prediction that it would fall. Whichever happened, he kept the list that received the correct “prediction” and tossed the other. Then he sent half a prediction that stock B would rise and half a prediction that it would fall. Again, he kept the list that received the correct “prediction.” After several rounds, he sent a letter to the group that received only successful predictions telling them to invest with him. And a lot of people fell for it.

    • Greg G.

      Alfred Hitchcock Presents – Mail Order Prophet https://the.hitchcock.zone/wiki/Alfred_Hitchcock_Presents_-_Mail_Order_Prophet

      The synopsis on the page does not agree with my recollection. EG Marshall’s character got these letters and was making money. He became so confident in them, he “borrowed” some money from the employer and played the suggestion in his letter. When he didn’t show up for work, Jack Klugman’s character called the police even though there was no money missing. The police told him that there was some guy running a scam and people all over town had lost lots of money. They asked how much his friend lost and Klugman said he didn’t lose money.

      https://the.hitchcock.zone/hitchcock/ahtv/AHP_3_02_2.jpg

      Marshall and Klugman starred together in 12 Angry Men that same year, IIRC.