Chariot Wheels in the Red Sea Hoax Persists

Wing Nut Daily recently featured a brand new article about a very old hoax, centered on the claim that chariot wheels have been found in the Red Sea. That anyone could see the photos of relatively new and shiny metal wheels and not be skeptical astonishes me. That anyone could simply take the word of a sensationalist news source that these objects are solid gold (and hence not covered by coral) and that no one has found and removed them suggests that some people have yet to learn the difference between faith and gullibility.

One looks like it might be a ferry steering wheel, which makes me think this has less to say about the historical accuracy of the Exodus account, and more to say about whether it is a good idea to take a ferry trip on the Red Sea.

The hoax is at least as old as the charlatan Ron Wyatt. There are a wide array of sites, some explicitly by Christians, focused on exposing the lies and deceptions perpetrated by this individual.

That others have come along to try to profit from similar claims is unsurprising. That frauds can be exposed and have no effect on people’s willingness to believe is, however, disturbing.

Why The Exodus Was Necessary
Happy Passover!
Geza Vermes Lecture on the Dead Sea Scrolls
Talpiot Tomb Geology
  • Beau Quilter

    There’s a common “proof” of the resurrection of Jesus that goes something like this:
    The tomb must have been empty because 1st century Christians didn’t have to believe it on face value, they could have gone to check; or Paul’s 500 witnesses of Jesus appearances must have been real because any Christian living at the time could have gone to find them and verify their stories. In other words, the early our source for information about the resurrection, the more likely it occurred, because the source is verifiable.

    As this post illustrates, even with all the verification tools of the 21st century at our disposal – the internet, telephones, airplanes, and interstate transportation systems – people are still quite easily duped in large numbers. Do we really think the illiterate masses of the 1st century would have travelled around the Mediterranean on foot, camel, or boat checking sources?

    • GSystems

      Such a great point. I’m only here to share with someone else who thought this information was factual… Wonderful point!!

      • beau_quilter

        Thanks.

        I used to know a preacher who would spout from the pulpit, “where is the body?” His premise was that the Roman or Jewish authorities could have disproven early Christians by producing the body of Jesus, if he hadn’t risen from the dead.

        Even assuming that texts like the Acts of the Apostles, written decades later, are factual accounts, if we take it at face value that the church began on the day of Pentecost, and suppose that the authorities went searching for a body on that day, the body they would have found (fifty days after the crucifixion according to Acts) would have been an unrecognizable pile of decomposed flesh.

        • Ariela

          But, it would have been recognised as a pile of decomposed flesh. There is a story where Jesus rasies a man, Lazarus, from the dead and he walks out of his tomb stinking like a dead body would. So the people of the day would not have been strangers to decomposed flesh. They’d know that was a dead body. Point was, the tomb was empty even of those kind of remains. To the point that soldiers started rumors that the body must have been stolen. Maybe it was, maybe it wasn’t, but apparently it wasn’t in the tomb.

          • beau_quilter

            Only if you give credence to “empty tomb” stories that conflict with each other and were written at least forty years after the purported death of Jesus in a language that Jesus and his disciples did not speak.

            • TSE

              But you know, there are OTHER texts that speak of the resurrection than just the Bible. Look it up.

              • beau_quilter

                Heck, TSE, there are thousands of “OTHER texts that speak of the resurrection than just the Bible”; many of them are still being written today.

                But there are no texts written by witnesses to the resurrection. Look it up.

                • James A. McElfresh

                  Actually there are. This peter guy who was purportedly a follower, he wrote to affirm it, Luke wrote his accounts based on eye witness accounts, secular texts and by secular i mean official letters not having religious prejudices being written on official matters of the state from the time period indicate that the Romans in the area were aware that the tomb was empty but blamed it on the followers of Jesus. Jewish writings also deal with the issue in the same way. The point is not was the tomb empty, anyone still arguing this is still in the elementary school of thought; the point is how it became so. Now the true skeptic can begin his work because everything up to this point can be believed and explained as either natural phenomenon misinterpreted or simply misrepresented. Jesus is an incontrovertible historical figure. That much is clear. That he said what he was attributed to say is also easily proven. I have no problems with that. The thing we have to ask is if he was who and what he said he was, namely the incarnated god that all people have a vague idea exists in some form. If that can be proven then we must accept all other facts about him since they ultimately pale in comparison to this claim. A genuine self resurrection from a state of lifelessness would be a first in the history of man. If Jesus managed that then great, I have my opinions after careful research but I wont foist them on anyone who won’t listen to reason. The point I’m making is before you guys dither to ad hominid attacks make sure you have actually done all your own thinking and study and not lazily accepted some pre chewed crap you heard in a class or online. Your brain deserves better then that and your particular stand deserves a better defence.

                  • beau_quilter

                    Are you referring to the Gospel of Peter, which most Christians don’t find credible? Or perhaps the epistles of 1st and 2nd Peter, which don’t mention an empty tomb and which most scholars consider to be pseudepigraphal (forged)?

                    Luke wasn’t a witness of the resurrection. Period. I take his additional claims of connections to witnesses with a huge grain of salt, considering the fact that much of his text is copied verbatim from Mark.

                    Nope, their are no “official”, “secular” accounts of Romans being aware of the empty tomb. Only the conflicting gospel stories, written generations after the purported events.

                    Of course scholars still disagree on the existence of an empty tomb; it is not “elementary school of thought”, as you put it.

                    No, it’s not “easily proven” that Jesus “said what he was attributed to say”. The best scholars can’t agree on that!

                    I’m not sure what to make of the rest of your rambling false assertions.

                  • sharon taylor

                    Well presented. It does come down to, “who do men say that I am” And the clear mind will not dismiss as easily as some do on this site.

                • Flossie

                  Then go away. No one cares whether you believe or not. Why do you care and fight against those who do?

                  “In the last days – 2 witnesses will be slain in the streets of Jerusalem… no one will dispose of their corpses…… the entire world will witness this event at once”. These words were written thousands of years before mankind could even fathom technology such as wifi or the internet.

                  Pretty strong statement isn’t it? that’s probably the one you should convince yourself not to worry about.

                  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

                    I don’t follow your reasoning. Is your point that, if you today, knowing that the world is spherical and populated all around, read an ancient text written in a time when they did not know about gravity and so assumed that the Earth was populated only on top, then when it mentions something being seen by everyone, you think it is predicting the internet era rather than reflecting the knowledge they had in their time?

                    • Flossie

                      I think you follow my reasoning better than you want to admit.
                      So …for the sake of “your” understanding, let’s say the world is flat.
                      Does it make a difference? It would still be quite expansive and hard to see one event happening from way over on the other end.

                    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

                      Isn’t that view likewise informed by exploration of the globe – sorry, the world, whatever you think its shape may be – since the time of the Biblical authors?

                    • Flossie

                      I said for “the sake of YOUR understanding” we would call it flat, because that was your argument.
                      We now know the world is a “sphere”, or at least some of us do. Either way, the same argument applies.

                    • Aaron Legare

                      McGrath, you sound to me to be a false Christian. Why do you haunt the halls of an institution, filling space in an academic chair which should be filled by a believer? You are a Jesus hater, and you have no place in being any sort of teacher on this or any other Christian subject. You are a sick, sick human being.

                    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

                      I think you have a strange view of what my university is, who and what I hate or love, and much else. You show no signs of having read anything that I’ve written, since you don’t interact with the details. I’ll give you a chance to show that you can do better, because the fact that someone holds a different view than you – especially if then hold it because the evidence points to it – does not make them sick. Whether you think so because you yourself are sick cannot be determined by what you’ve written thus far, but what you have said in comments thus far certainly suggests that, at the very least, you have a lot to learn about how to talk to other people, and how to support your own viewpoint with evidence or, when necessary, revise it in light of evidence.

                    • Ayatolla Howmany

                      Spoken like a true Christian, hate filled and delusional.

                    • Jared

                      Yeah, that is the new thing:speak truth and be a hater. That is so gay.

                  • Beau Quilter

                    Hello Flossie

                    The most revealing part of your comment is the statement that “no one cares”.

                    Most of my friends are Christians, though the nature of their beliefs vary widely. We have good times and great conversations; their faith doesn’t offend me and my lack of faith doesn’t offend them. And we do care. I care about them and what they think; they care about me and my thoughts as well. I like to think that the best aspects of their religious beliefs prompt them to care.

                    I’m not sure what you’re trying to imply with the Revelation passage; though if you’re trying to share something scary, you might back up a few verses and talk about “the beast that comes up from the bottomless pit”.

                    • Flossie

                      Basically, you missed the point.
                      I have read your comments and they are very arrogant and condescending to Christians.
                      For example: the difference between us is “corpses coming to life and other miracles and magic”.
                      I have not problem with you being a non-believe, devil worshiper, Wicca or just nothing.
                      My point…. you shouldn’t have a problem with others as well.
                      I never bring up passages from the Bible to be “scary”.
                      I, as you did in your comment, was making a point.

                    • Beau Quilter

                      How is it condescending to say that someone believes corpses can come to life, if that is, in fact, what someone believes?

                      Some of my best friends believe that corpses can come to life.

                    • Flossie

                      Then you should ask them to explain it to you.

                    • Beau Quilter

                      Explain what to me?

                    • Flossie

                      That you are disrespectful to make fun of and mock “your best friends’ ” religious beliefs.
                      Just so you know, the “no one cares” comment was referring to you only.

                    • Beau Quilter

                      My friends make fun of me all the time – we’re all in good humor about our differences.

                      And, yes, I was already aware that you think no one cares about me. Fortunately, I know that to be false from experience.

                    • Flossie

                      I think the screen name “Twisted Quilter” suits you better.
                      I did not say “no one cares about you”…..I said “no one cares whether you believe or not”. I can see why your friends make fun of you all the time – practice up on those comprehensive skills.
                      Most non believers think they are intellectually superior to believers and you are no exception. You have every right to believe order came from chaos….I do not….and just because you do, doesn’t make you Bill Nye.

                    • Beau Quilter

                      Well, that I know to be false, too. How would you know who cares about my beliefs?

                      You’ve made it clear that you don’t. Any other personal derision you would like to hurl my way?

                    • Flossie

                      It’s not about beliefs at all with you. You just want to argue.
                      Ask these people on here if they care….go ahead.

                    • Beau Quilter

                      I don’t have to ask (who would need to ask such a thing). I have friendly conversations on this blog all the time; that’s why I enjoy James’ blog so much. There are a diverse set of opinions expressed with plenty of mutual interest.

                    • Flossie

                      Again……no one gave you advice or spoke of people who care.

                    • Beau Quilter

                      Well, I thought you did, Flossie:

                      “Then go away. No one cares whether you believe or not.”

                      “Ask these people on here if they care….go ahead.”

                    • http://Dorianmattar.com Dorian Moises Mattar

                      I care and it’s obvious based on the comments, that he is way over your knowledge on the subject. It’s also obvious that you are avoiding the facts, and diverting the argument because you don’t have a leg to stand on.

                  • Ian

                    the entire world will witness this event at once

                    It is easy to have amazing foretellings if you’re allowed to just make up stuff as you like.

                    How you get “βλέπουσιν ἐκ … ἐθνῶν” to mean the whole world will witness this at the same time via the internet is some creative reading.

                    With ‘strong statements’ like that, I don’t think anyone need be worried.

                    • Flossie

                      That’s just my point. Everyone is entitled to their own belief and not matter what that is – it should be respected. I don’t like the fact that someone gets on here and belittles a Christian for believing in “magic” etc. and they themselves believe that order was created by chaos.
                      To me….that would be magic. In the middle of a 500 mph tornado you have a perfect tree with not a leaf disturbed. lol.

                    • Beau Quilter

                      You have every right to believe that, Flossie. I wouldn’t ask you to go away, or say that I do not care what you believe.

                    • Flossie

                      If I ridicule, demean and make fun of you……. then you should.

                    • Beau Quilter

                      No, Flossie, I shouldn’t.

                    • Flossie

                      Yes, Beau Quilter, you should.
                      Now, let’s leave it at that.

                    • Beau Quilter

                      Well, I disagree, so it’s difficult to “leave it at that”. I would never tell someone on James’ blog to “go away” or tell them “no one cares what you believe”. I don’t have the right (or ill will) for the former; and there’s no way I could know the latter to be true. In fact, I can’t think of a single person for whom the latter would be true.

                    • Flossie

                      Do you want a gold star or something?
                      You are a bully. You were on here making fun of others and demeaning them for their religious beliefs.
                      You got called out on that.
                      It is what it is.

                    • Beau Quilter

                      Flossie

                      Debating belief systems is not bullying or demeaning. It is part of the healthy give and take of people who know that our beliefs and philosophies are important and should be vetted. If you watch this blog, you’ll see theists of all stripes have a bit of fun with my belief system frequently. I don’t take it as rudeness – it’s all part of spirited discussion in good humor.

                      Bullying is when one commenter tells another to go away and that no one cares what he believes.

                    • Ian

                      I don’t like the fact that someone gets on here and belittles a Christian for believing in “magic” etc. and they themselves believe that order was created by chaos.

                      There are plenty of things I don’t like.

                      Given that this site exists to explore ideas, not to pander to commenter’s “likes”, you could instead try to make a case that your beliefs on ‘chaos’ and ‘order’ are a better explanation than the alternative materialistic explanation. Or that your ‘strong statement’ from Revelation is reasonably understood as a reference to ICT.

                      Otherwise you’re just tone trolling. And given the first line of your first comment on here, that would be pretty hypocritical.

                    • Flossie

                      It’s pretty hypocritical of you.
                      Calling out someone for being a bully doesn’t make me troll.

                    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

                      I did not see anyone bullying here, and was astonished at your assumption that people ought to respond in kind to inappropriate behavior that is directed at them online.

                      I would be grateful if this discussion could return to the topic of bogus claims about proof of the Exodus story which charlatans have made. That was the subject of the blog post you are commenting on.

                    • Flossie

                      Then stop commenting.
                      I am astonished at your lack of comprehension.

                    • Beau Quilter

                      Flossie. Do you realize that you just told the author of the blog to stop commenting?

                    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

                      Yep, I think that makes clear that we do indeed have a troll on our hands.

                    • blockedforbeingreal

                      Yep, I think that makes you a hypocrite to block anyone who doesn’t agree with you.
                      You can have an intelligent discussion without being an a$$.
                      Sincerely;
                      Blocked for being real.

                    • Beau Quilter

                      Blockedforbeingreal

                      Clearly you weren’t blocked very effectively if you can continue to make silly accusations against a blogger who allows a far greater diversity of opinion than you can find on most blogs about religion.

                    • Guest

                      Yes, Flossie knows. Perhaps she should have broke it down and said “stop commenting to ME”. Simple enough?

                    • Beau Quilter

                      Even if she (he?) had said “stop commenting to ME”, the comment would still be fairly inane:

                      “Please allow me to trample my opinions all over the website you’ve worked hard to build over the years, but don’t dare give me your opinion in reply.”

                    • Guest

                      A blog is a multitude of discussions and opinions expressed openly. Flossie was blocked because she called out the blog for not allowing open expression. It’s acceptable to express mean and hateful opinions toward those you don’t agree with, but unacceptable to be called out for doing so. No one trampled anywhere.

                    • Beau Quilter

                      Was she blocked? I wasn’t aware. That is completely up to James’ discretion.

                      When did Flossie call out the blog for not allowing open expression?

                    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

                      And now we see typical troll behavior – create a newacount to circumvent the ban, pretend you are a different gender from your previous fake persona, and pretend to be multiple commenters. How can anyone do that and either think they are standing for honest free expression, or giving a good impression of their religion? I honestly don’t get it.

                    • Beau Quilter

                      Oh, of course! (I was a little slow to see it).

                    • Bennett

                      LoL.Well.I thoroughly enjoyed that trouncing.I can’t count the time that I have expressed my disagreement only to be told that “no one cares”.THEN I’m told to take it to my own space if i want to talk about it.So I do.THEN they tell me to keep my opinions to myself because they are disturbing all the other beliefs l guess.The old shut-up-in-the-name-of-free-speech argument.How does an ideology that spent hundreds of years killing people for disagreeing with them have the audacity to accuse someone else of being a bully for expressing their opinion?I see this sentiment quite often and I have trouble taking it seriously.I see persecution as burning someone at the stake or hanging but it seems persecution these days means “disagreement”.For the record.I care what you believe,that was entertaining.

                    • Beau Quilter

                      Thanks for caring :)

                    • Guesti

                      Yo, I don’t know if this blog is still going, but I just have one thing to say after reading all this banter. Regardless of scientific proof or the lack-there-of, true Christians will always have one thing that you wont. And that’s faith. They won’t argue, as previous have, there is just simply no need for them to; they know that what they believe is true and there requires no justification.

                    • http://timebottle.weebly.com/ Beau Quilter

                      Good for them! I have no problem with them.

                      Are you a “true Christian”? Because unlike the “true Christians” you describe, you appear to be looking for an argument.

                    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

                      That is a very dubious – not to mention unbiblical – way of defining “faith.” Where in the Bible is faith defined as believing that certain things happened despite the evidence indicating otherwise? In the Bible, faith is not dogmatism against the evidence but trust in God in the midst of the uncertainty that is an inherent part of human life.

                    • Bel Dym

                      I think the whole lot of people went off topic. The point of this article was to dismiss the “discoveries” of chariots and bodies “found” in the Red Sea. Why discuss each other’s beliefs or lack of thereof? We are never going to convince either side of the aisle.

                    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

                      I assume that the reason this post from 2012 has seen a spike in discussion recently is because of the spoof news article that circulated, claiming that bodies and chariots had been found in the Red Sea, proving the Exodus, and many people circulated it without recognizing the site as a fake news one.

                      That gets at the heart of the matter. It is not about an aisle with two sides. Photos which could have been taken anywhere, of alleged artifacts which have never been studied by professionals, simply aren’t proof of the Exodus any more than of Bigfoot or aliens among us. Unless one has embraced the need to investigate in a fair manner that is founded on evidence and investigation, then they are not even discussing the topic seriously, whatever side of the imaginary aisle they happen to be on.

                    • Bel Dym

                      The reason I did a search on this topic was because someone at another site was peddling these alleged discoveries as fact. The person question is a huge Ron Wyatt fan. I am a huge skeptic…thus I rather research to find out how credible some of these allegations are. This is how I came across this article written in 2012.

                      Sure it is not about “an aisle with two sides,” however, some people who are desperate to find historical evidenced that supports the biblical account will believe in articles such as this. They see these photographs with the location of these “findings” and viola…you now have thousands of ppl spreading this as fact all over the internet. Then you have articles that refute these pictures as hoax, but those same people will think that this is the “devil’s” work in trying to deny that the biblical account is indeed supported by archaeology discoveries. So, there are two sides of the aisle, one that relies on scientific evidence to support beliefs, and the other side, who rely on faith. Arguing between reason and faith…is a frustrating and futile battle. History has proven that many phenomenon once attributed to divine intervention have been proven to have other causative factors. In my opinion…a divine being would transcend the scientific method, however it would not also delve in the pits of bizarre and stupidity. If there is a God…I would dare to say…that humans have spent most of their existence misrepresenting what most likely could not be understood with the limitations of a human mind. Just maybe.

                    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

                      Glad you were able to find your way here. I hope you found this blog post useful. And I hope you will find it within yourself to begin to hope that people who are dogmatic may nonetheless, just possibly, learn something if we present evidence and arguments in a patient and well-informed manner.

                    • http://Dorianmattar.com Dorian Moises Mattar

                      Everyone is entitled to their own beliefs, but not their own facts and you have none.

                    • kilvehk

                      your deity speaks words and in doing so changes the very nature of reality. that is a textbook definition of magic.

                • Aaron Legare

                  John 20:2 Then she ran and came to Simon Peter, and to the other disciple whom Jesus loved, and said to them, They took away the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they laid Him.
                  John 20:3 Then Peter and the other disciple went out and came to the tomb.
                  John 20:4 And the two ran together, and the other disciple ran in front more quickly than Peter and came first to the tomb.

                  John, an apostle, who refers to himself here as the one “whom Jesus loved” and the “other disciple” writes, as an eyewitness, that he did, himself, see the empty tomb, but did not go in as Peter did.

                  You are right that John did not witness the actual SECOND of the resurrection, but he did see the empty tomb, saw the death of Jesus, likely participated in the burial and did claim to have seen the resurrected Jesus. And, he testified to this fact, without the early chburch contradicting his testimony. A thousand and more individual witnesses did not condemn the books of Matthew, Mark, Luke nor John.

                  So, you only have your sour grapes. You speak like a fool. You are informed by your imagination, and speak from the impetus of your own opinion. You seem to be little impacted by the hard, firm, dependable facts. I imagine you would doubt your own birth if it served your agenda.

                  • Beau Quilter

                    I don’t have sour grapes, Aaron, and my imagination is informed by biblical scholarship. You should read a bit legitimate scholarship in Johannine authorship.

            • Aaron Legare

              Excuse me, but you, Mr. Quilter, are speaking nonsense. Jesus spoke Greek and quoted from the Septuigint, a Greek language version of the Hebrew writings. Greek was the common language of the empire, and was widely spoken. There is much evidence that the apostles and disciples would have understood Greek, and have spoken it. There is NO evidence which I have ever heard or seen to indicate otherwise. And, because YOU can not understand the narratives about the women viewing the tomb, does not mean that they conflict. You are confusing YOUR ignorance with the writer’s able comments, and are making yourself appear foolish.

              • Beau Quilter

                Oh my Aaron. It is extremely unlikely that Jesus quoted the Greek septuagint. Assuming the gospels are correct about his reading in synagogues, he would have been reading in Hebrew. It was the gospel writers that used the Septuagint. If you have seen “NO evidence” that disciples of Jesus spoke in Aramaic, I can only assume that you are poorly read on the subject.

                Here’s an interesting article in which the Pope and the prime minister of Israel have a dispute over the language spoken by Jesus: interestingly, neither suggest Greek.

                http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/worldviews/wp/2014/05/27/what-language-did-jesus-speak-the-pope-and-israels-prime-minister-disagree/

                The Pope says Aramaic, the PM says Hebrew. Most scholars would suggest that both are correct, to an extent.

            • Aaron Legare

              I also want to add, that if you are going to restrict your opinion to being that which is informed of by evidence (as an enlightened person would), that you might choose to acknowledge that the ONLY extant historical documents which exist (Josephus, Talmud, Philo, Bible, Gnostic writings) record that the enemies of Jesus, the leading priests of the temple at that time, acknowledged the tomb to be empty (Talmuds), fail to refute the Biblical story when referencing it (Josephus, Philo, Gnostic writings) or give eyewitness testimony to the empty tomb (Bible). And while you might claim that the written account occurred 40 years later (probably much earlier for Matthew, around A.D. 48, and written in Aramaic, not Greek) you must also acknowledge (or be a charlatan yourself) that the man who wrote the account was also an eyewitness of the tomb, the ascension and the resurrected appearances of Jesus. In other words, your words above are foolishness, and are unsupported by historical evidence or reason.

              • Beau Quilter

                This post is a bit confused; I don’t think you quite understand what those extra-biblical accounts actually say.

                Hmmm … this is a fairly old blog post, but a week after Flossie is canned, you locate this old post and start posting with a very similar defensive tone. I wonder if Aaron Legare could be Flossie in disguise?

        • zealotron

          Think about that in regards to evolution! You just did a major service to YEC’s It is a very valid point. without a quick burial that blocks out oxygen…the bones or plant material quickly decomposes. If it’s on a shoreline, (footprints) it would very soon be washed away…but a rapid and tremendous flooding would explain fossils and layers like waves being n our continents, which is what is found.

          • Beau Quilter

            Riiighht – because a global flood is the only possible thing that could explain natural burials. Everybody knows there’s no such things as local floods, peat bogs, mud slides, rainstorms, swamps, avalanches, sand storms, river beds, streams, lakes, or oceans.

        • Kevin

          George Washington was never President of the U.S either. All that stuff written in the history books was just made up.

          • Beau Quilter

            Fortunately, for George Washington, we have hundreds of eyewitness accounts, as well the writing of the man himself. Writings that aren’t just preserved in copies, but actual pieces of parchment that bear his signature.

            We also have the house he lived in, the church he attended, even chairs that he sat upon, still with us.

            Comparing Jesus to George Washington is a bit like comparing Archimedes to Sir Isaac Newton.

    • Gregg Woodcox

      Proof to me at least would be the fact that none of Christ’s disciples stood by him. Because they were afraid to die. After the resurrection they were no longer afraid of death. Proof of this would be they all were killed in varies ways except John. And people did search out and try to verify the stories. And even write a book about it. The book of Luke.

      • Beau Quilter

        Even if willingness to die for a belief were proof of the belief (it’s not, of course – virtually all religions have martyrs) you have no proof that the apostles were martyred. Only vague tales that come from Christians centuries later. Luke was written decades later, and a huge percentage of Luke is a verbatim copy of verses found in Mark and Matthew.

  • spinkham
  • FIREFOXX

    If a person is going to deny the truth of the Bible, they will not accept any facts supporting the Bible, even though they are hit over the head with the plain evidence.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

      OK, but is it not also true that someone can be determined to adhere to the historical factuality of the Bible at all costs, and thus they will not accept any evidence that suggests otherwise?

      • Jim Bart

        You’re wrong,, I will. Show me evidence this is not true and I will gladly move on. It doesn’t mean I won’t believe the bible. I believed the bible long before this evidence, So if you believe in God, this evidence, or lack of evidence, shouldn’t make a difference.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

          No, that isn’t how it works. When someone makes a claim to have found evidence, and doesn’t provide any documentation, it isn’t at all acceptable to complain that critics have not proven the claim is false. If we are not given documentation and evidence, we cannot make a case one way or the other. Offer evidence, and I will offer in response whatever appraisal thereof I consider appropriate.

          • Jim Bart

            Yes it is how it works. You made the comment.. Now back it up. These are your word’s “they will not accept any evidence that suggests otherwise” so prove yourself. What evidence?? Dont backtrack You got nothing. Thought so… You or anyone else dont have evidence the bible or anything in it is not true.

            • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

              So you are asking for evidence that the Bible contains errors? I thought you were addressing the original post. What would you like to start with? Something simple, such as Matthew’s placement of Jesus’ birth prior to the death of Herod the Great, while Luke places it during the period of direct Roman rule, which was only instituted when Herod’s son was deposed?

              • Jim Bart

                The bible has no errors, only man error’s. So now you claim you understand the word of God when it clearly states The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit. So what is it? Do you believe God, His words and understand them or not believe God, His words but you are claiming you understand? If its the later, the bible says you are a fool. I tend to agree. If you believed you wouldnt have a problem understanding simple basic scripture. But not all is lost, Pray and believe and God will give you understanding, otherwise don’t claim to know what you possibly can’t.

                • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

                  That doesn’t make sense. The Bible is a collection made by human beings of writings made by human beings. Are those the “man’s errors” you are referring to? By identifying God’s words with the words of human beings, you are committing idolatry, and even while you idolize the Bible, you have missed one of its most central teachings, about not turning that which is the work of human hands into a god.

                  • Jim Bart

                    It doesn’t make sense because you are living in darkness. All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. By saying the bible’s words are not Gods words you are calling God a liar.. Idolatry is the worship of idols and Christians don’t worship or pray to a book and make it our God, it’s just the words of God. Silly boy. You know the difference, you aren’t really that naive are you? Sounds to me like you just admitted there’s a God. You can’t have it both ways.

                    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

                      To say that someone who is honest about the Bible and other evidence is “living in darkness” makes no sense, unless you are some sort of demon inhabiting a worldview in which truth is evil and deception is praiseworthy.

                      i have never denied either that Scripture is useful, or that God breathes life into it, which is what the passage says.

                      By saying that the Bible’s words are God’s words you are denying what the human authors of the Bible actually wrote. If God wrote those things, then you would be making God a liar.

                      Did you think you were talking to an atheist? I think you may have misidentified who is silly and naive in this conversation.

                    • Jim Bart

                      I do not deny the written words of the bible are written by men. But there is no errs in it. Not One. The Bible cannot err, since it is God’s Word, and God cannot err. God cannot lie. This does not mean there are no difficulties in the Bible. But the difficulties are not due to God’s perfect revelation, but to our imperfect understanding of it. But saying there may be err’s in the bible you are opening up a huge can of worms for anything go’s. What is real and what is not, what is the truth and what is not.. The unbelievers will have a field day with that thinking. I don’t understand why a christian would argue with another christian over this. The whole time you gave me the impression you were not a believer. Sorry, I do not argue with other believers, but saying their are err’s is a dangerous ground. Have a good day.

                    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

                      I only argue with believers when they spread misinformation about the Bible in a manner that dishonors God and drives other people away from God. To insist that the Bible is the words of God is to make God a deceiver who signed Paul’s name to what were in fact letters not authored by Paul but by God. The worst part is that, when people are told that the Bible is perfect, and then they discover that it isn’t, often they lose their faith. And it is all due to people who claim to be Christians but don’t understand where the Bible comes from and make assertions about it that only show that they themselves are not acquainted with the Bible at more than a superficial level.

                    • J.C.

                      Who are you to judge the word of God???You and you along will answer to God for every word that comes out of your mouth… have fun with that

                    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

                      What are you talking about? Perhaps you have comitted idolatry by treating the words of the ancient humans who wrote the Bible as though they are in fact the words of God? In that case, even while praising the Bible, you are disobeying what it says, about not treating the work of human hands as though it were divine…

                    • hrk3rd

                      Bart, having begun reading the bible at the age of 12 I can tell you that in all of my years I have never seen anything scientific, medical or archaeological or whatever which shows anything in the bible to be false. To the contrary I have found that science, medicine, archaeology and other things have proven things in the bible, at the very least, to be accurate. I have paid attention and have not found anything to be false which is in the bible. I know that one big issue is how old the earth is. Well, there is not any final and provable, beyond a shadow of a doubt in formation that what science believes about the age of anything is true. Now many things are simply accepted but they are not proven. For example the age of the earth has been accepted many times as being this age or that age. It changes as well. So your definition of the bible and things written there in if applied to science would create even bigger questions about the validity of scientific claims and even claims in other areas as well. Now the age of man seems to be spelled out but not the age of the earth. I will be happy to laugh about your trying to show me that it does spell it out and I will be happy to show you how wrong you are. One thing you need to understand it that man has created the “measuring stick” and so then he measures things.

                    • Jim Bart

                      Your comment “Now the age of man seems to be spelled out but not the age of the earth.” You are wrong… If you know the age of man, you know the age of the earth.

                      So I take you up on your challenge.. Your comment “I will be happy to laugh about your trying to show me that it does spell it out and I will be happy to show you how wrong you are.” So here is my answer and please “Show me” I am wrong, but, do it without calling God a liar.

                      If you start at the very beginning, where God creates everything that was created, He means everything… He says there was evening and morning and that is the first day and so on.. He said that so you will know it is a literal day, not millions of years. you can safely say this is the very beginning of everything.. Man, animals, plants, sun and moon and the earth as we know it. All created in 6 days. God makes that more than clear.

                      Now IF you believe the Word of God.. There was NO death before Adam sinned so we know nothing dies before that. No dead dinosaurs or anything that was created died. Nothing is billions of years old. They didn’t exist before that and the bible makes it clear there was no death before Adam sinned.

                      If you say the earth can be billions of years old just because man hasn’t proved it was thousands of years old you are calling God and lair by putting death before Adam sinned.

                      You are using man as your final authority and not the word of God. The bible gives us the generations from Adam on so we can figure the approximate date of the earth is approximately 6000 years old.

                      You don’t need mans evidence to prove anything. Just follow the word of God and you can know the earth can not be millions or billions of years old.

                      So by your own words, You yourself said ” I have paid attention and have not found anything to be false which is in the bible” You also said, “Now the age of man seems to be spelled out” So since we know that, and you know the word of God clearly says there was NO death before Adam sinned, then everything that was created is no older than the age of man. Including the earth.

                      The Word of God does give us an approximate time of total creation of everything on the earth and the heavens above us (air we breath) and all creation. That’s all you need.

                      So I do welcome your response..

                    • Daniel

                      In Gen 1: 1 God created the heaven and the earth. Verse 2 reads: ” And the earth was without form, and void…” God creates perfect. In the original text it is written: “the earth HAYAH which means the earth became…. Nobody knows when God originally created the heaven and the earth. But we do know the time of man from verse 2.

                    • rantrightdave

                      SCRIPTURE CLEARLY STATES THAT MEN’S WORDS WERE INSPIRED BY THE SPIRIT TO BE WRITTEN. IN FACT, THE WORD “INSPIRE” LITERALLY MEANS “GOD BREATHED.” Sorry about the caps! The spirit moved me.

                    • Jonathan Bernier

                      Since Prof. McGrath has never to the best of my knowledge denied the existence of God and in fact if I’m not mistaken identifies as a Christian I’m not quite sure what you think you have achieved by outing him as someone who believes in God. The real problem here is that as much as you think you are defending the Eternal Truths of Christianity (TM) you are actually defending an understanding of Christian faith that is barely a century old. Verbal inerrancy, which is the doctrine you are defending, is basically unknown in the form that you articulate before about 1911, and stands in marked variance from previous Christian understandings of the relationship between the human and the divine authors of scripture. Really Prof. McGrath is just concerned to correct your adherence to a dangerous doctrinal innovation.

                    • Matt Browwwwn
                    • Jonathan Bernier

                      Hmmm. Not sure. Life is short and there are many more productive things one could do with one’s time. Like brush one’s teeth or watch reruns of Doctor Who.

                    • Matt Browwwwn

                      True. I was just wondering because these mythicists are trying to come at me like fire ants, and I thought you’d like to see their arguments, but it’s totally up to you.

                    • Jonathan Bernier

                      They’re really being quite bellicose, at least from what I read. I see you actually being overall quite civil, and just getting gnawed at (to stick with the fire ant analogy). So I am pressing your most recent interlocutor on some matters.

                    • Matt Browwwwn

                      Thanks. I really didn’t want to bother you Jonathan, cause I know you have far better things to do than…..well………………….this. I just thought you might be interested if you were bored:)

                  • rekrah84

                    The Bible says…”All scripture comes from the mouth of God”.

                    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

                      Where does it say that exactly? But even if it did, obviously it could not be referring to the complete collection since the works were written first, and only thereafter became a collection.

                    • rekrah84

                      It’s found in II Timothy 3:16.
                      And why couldn’t it be referring to the complete collection?
                      I imagine the God that created millions of universes, human beings in which one single blood cell is infinitely complex, can part seas, raise people from the dead, cause a blind man to see and the lame to walk; possesing the capability to assure the books of the Bible include exactly what He wanted it to included, would be a piece of cake.

                    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

                      It doesn’t say that. I have found several places online where someone tries to interpret it as meaning those exact words. But that isn’t what the text says. You’re supposedly trying to defend the authority of Scripture, and yet you don’t even care enough about what it says to look up the verse or to distinguish someone’s very dubious paraphrase from what the text says.

                      Appealing to God’s omnipotence is a double-edged sword, since I can respond by saying that, since God is perfectly capable of ensuring that what God wants is found in the Bible, then the fact that it doesn’t come with a list of contents, and doesn’t claim that its author was God rather than the human beings who actually wrote it, shouldn’t you respect what God actually chose to have in the Bible, and stop insisting that it must mean something other than what it actually says and shows itself to be?

                    • rekrah84

                      Then enlighten us and tell us… what does the text say James……….
                      Also, James……God does not have an identity crisis. He knows who He is and does not need to justify Himself or His word to anyone.

                    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

                      Then why are you putting so much effort into attempting to justify God, or rather, your beliefs about God?

                      2 Timothy 3:16 says that all the writing (in this context it can be presumed to be referring to what we would call “scripture” is God-breathed (presumably that is supposed to allude to the Adam story, where God’s breath animates and gives life to lifeless clay) and therefore useful for the purposes listed. There are a great many sites with free access to multiple translations of the Bible. Why not try BibleGateway and read the text? If something isn’t clear, consulting a commentary is a good next step.

                    • GSystems

                      You quietly won the internet a couple weeks ago… Here’s your award…

                      Wow…what a discussion. Indeed, it is the faux Christians who hardly understand what Christianity is about (rebellion…not religion)…messing it up for the rest of us Jesus-image-admiring folk…

                      From one human to another: Thank you.

                    • hrk3rd

                      Jesus let himself be killed. He could have led a rebellion and took over. The mystery for you is why did he not lead a rebellion?

                    • hrk3rd

                      He is not trying to justify God. Just trying to help you. He’s neither trying to justify his beliefs.

                    • hrk3rd

                      James you should find yourself as fortunate that people care enough to try to enlighten you. You are very wrong about the bible. But who has the time to go verse by verse with so many who want to discount God and His word. That is your choice. Now, even if someone did go verse by verse someone like you would discount it. Discount it for very selfish reasons. You don’t want to recognize that you owe God. lol The only way to see the light is to open yourself to it.

                    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

                      You might want to learn a bit more about the person you are talking to before commenting. It can make your comments seem less ridiculous. I will simply point out how oddly convenient it is that you simply do not have enough time to explain what I am supposedly getting wrong, even though you allegedly care, while this blog is me making the time to explain things because I actually do care. You also seem to have missed that this post is only indirectly about the Bible, and is mainly about a charlatan who duped gullible believers.

                    • hrk3rd

                      I work to dispel myths about the bible, Jesus, God, the Holy Spirit and others.

                    • kk164

                      “I work to dispel myths”
                      ROTFLMAO!!!

                    • hrk3rd

                      People like James who do not know the bible or it’s author and then try to argue about it are spoken of in many places in the bible. “To those who are perishing the word of God is foolishness.

                    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

                      What exactly do I not know about the Bible, in your opinion? Your knowledge of it seems to be so inaccurate that you think all the varied writings in it had a single author…

                    • hrk3rd

                      I’ll be happy to reply when I have more time. Busy weekend here and I’m now packing for a trip. I’ve got a week of meetings in another state. I’ll be replying but you’ll have to wait or you can just move on. I’ve been a friend of God for over 40 years now. I was saved at 12 the same year I also stood for Christ in Jr. High School. I take the bible literally but yet man often interprets things based on his own understanding. But I will be happy to put it down here or you can find me on FB. Henry Rudolph Kneitz III I can reply to you that way. Cuz you might lose interest in this thread. Got to go now. Flight at 6:10pm PST and I just started packing. lol

                    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

                      I am happy to wait. It is nice to hear you drop your inappropriately arrogant tone. I suspect that you do not take the Bible as literally as you claim to – for instance, I have yet to meet someone who thinks the dome in Genesis 1 is literal. But the discussion of that can wait until you have more time.

                      Have a nice trip.

                    • hrk3rd

                      Been so busy. Sorry about the delay. First of all I perceived your responses to be arrogant so that is the reason for the “appropriately arrogant” tone. lol First of all 6 days? It is arrogant for we mortal men to assume that we know what a day was. After all the word which was translated and canonized as “day” is yom which really means time. And then there are disagreements there as well. Also it could not mean a 24 hour period anyway. lol When it says the evening and the morning were the first day there was not even a sun or moon according to our understanding. If in fact the light to guide the day and night are the sun and moon. Those were not created until the 4th day. So how was the day 24 hours long? We don’t really know. So to claim that the world was created in 6 – 24 hour periods is assumptive and arrogant. I know that some people think, “Well God would talk to us so we could understand” well that is assumptive as well. I’m not done yet. Just thought I would deal with this first.

                    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

                      Was this comment intended for someone else, or for a different post? It does not seem to address either the topic of this post, or the focus of our earlier conversation.

                    • hrk3rd

                      Dome. What exactly don’t you think I believe? lol

                    • morcollo

                      My question is “WHICH bible are you all reading?” KJV, NIV, Gideon? There are HUNDREDS of versions on the “BIBLE.” They have all been translated, edited and rewritten to prove someones ideas. So, unless any of you have read the original, Greek, Aremaic, or Hebrew versions, then none of you can be sure of what the bible says or means. AND! the burden of proof is up to the Christians, because NOTHING involving Jesus has EVER been proven.

                    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

                      When I’m dealing with the Bible (since you asked me this question, although I am not sure why) I am dealing with the texts in their original languages. Making this about “Christians” is really besides the point. Surely what matters is what professional historians, applying appropriate historical critical methods and skepticism to our sources, consistently conclude, across a wide array of backgrounds? Nothing in ancient history is really “proven” – that is a term more appropriate for math than history. But there clearly are things in the Bible where the balance of probability is in favor of their being historical, as well as things where the balance is strongly the other way.

              • sheryldotrock

                Which verse in Luke places Christ’s birth “during the period of direct Roman rule, which was only instituted when Herod’s son was deposed”? Luke 1 details John the Baptist’s early history and at the same time confirms the coming Messiah through Elisabeth, cousin to Mary and mother of John. In this passage, six months into her pregnancy with John, (and still under the rule of Herod the Great) Elisabeth is visited by her cousin Mary who was also pregnant at the time (with Christ) albeit much more recently.

                Luke 1:5 “There was in the days of Herod, the king of Judaea, a certain priest named Zacharias, of the course of Abia: and his wife was of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elisabeth.”

                Luke 1:24-31 “And after those days his wife Elisabeth conceived, and hid herself five months, saying, 25 Thus hath the Lord dealt with me in the days wherein he looked on me, to take away my reproach among men. 26 And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, 27 To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary. 28 And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women. 29 And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be. 30 And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God. 31 And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS.”

                Luke 2:1 “And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed.”

                Luke 2:4-6 “And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:) 5 To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child. 6 And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.”

                This was still during the days of Herod spoken of in Luke 1 (Christ is born soon after, Herod is still alive.)

                Matthew 2:19-23 “But when Herod was dead, behold, an angel of the Lord appeareth in a dream to Joseph in Egypt, 20 Saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and go into the land of Israel: for they are dead which sought the young child’s life. 21 And he arose, and took the young child and his mother, and came into the land of Israel. 22 But when he heard that Archelaus did reign in Judaea in the room of his father Herod, he was afraid to go thither: notwithstanding, being warned of God in a dream, he turned aside into the parts of Galilee: 23 And he came and dwelt in a city called Nazareth: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophets, He shall be called a Nazarene.”

                Jesus is a young child at this point-not “being born” at this point. Can you point out the specific verses you are referring to as I see no conflict between the above verses.

                • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

                  Luke connects the birth of Jesus with the census under Quirinius, which is a famous and well-documented event, connected with the transition to direct Roman rule. It essentially sparked the zealot movement.

            • Jonathan Bernier

              You are being very selective in quoting. The full quote is “OK, but is it not also true that someone can be determined to adhere to the historical factuality of the Bible at all costs, and thus they will not accept any evidence that suggests otherwise?” The key word here is “can.” He is not saying that everyone who adheres to the historical factuality of the bible *will* be unwilling to accept contradictory evidence but rather that such a person *can* be unwilling. Are you really going to deny that there are people who are so convinced of a position that they will ignore contradictory evidence?

      • GIGfriend22

        I think one needs to talk about evidence in general??? The bible has a deeper moral code and belief that helps to inspire with our moralities to be better people….. if we are to simply diminish those qualities with which ,,, with out a doubt,,,, has certainly presented itself as great evidence in improving qualities of life for people??? I guess the real question here is to disprove something like the bible might do more harm for the general well fair for our world scene and un scene,,,, if we wish to do that are we ready to handle that consequence? Obviously Clarification just on that alone needs to be more thoroughly examined,,,,,Before people wave the red flag of saying what is true and what isn’t.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

          People have been aware of the fact that the Bible contains things that are not factually accurate for as long as there have been Bibles. I can appreciate being sensitive to the immature who may not be ready to handle such information, but that cannot mean allowing them to be the loudmouthed public voices of Christianity in that immature form, while those who actually know more about the Bible tiptoe around them in order to avoid controversy.

          • GIGfriend22

            ANSWER – Contiains things? Is that a technical term? Ofcourse there are things to which by your perception would not be acurate….how can you explain the acuraces of the metaphorical? Or the metaphysical??? You can’t! Atlest no offense but not your intellectual skill level or focus obviously.
            Another question is why are you so desperate to even slightly be talking about those “ THINGS” and disprove it,,,, it gets to the point were one becomes so anylitical,, so detialed with the tiny things,, and judgmental,, that people start wondering weather or not there is some other
            driving intension for there desperation…. And then you speak about the loud mouths of ingorance or
            imatureity….And although I do agree with you on that,,,,it is just as aragont and ingorant on our own behalfs to simply brush them off,, to not even know or consider their point of view… Weather intellectually true or ingorant that
            too needs to be weighed,, and that is not even done until someone actually lesions,,, hows that for ignorance?….At lest one should atlest hear them out!!! And
            as for the bible there are just as much people who chose to know or learn about the bible and make no effort to tip toe…I should know,, I am one of them…….Although I am not a scholar or have master degrees….I do read and try to educate myself in Dead sea scroll text, Gospel of Tomas which is not even in the bible but apart of the agnostic text.,,, Torah and Bible as well. As long as people have brains to think,, there are always ways to go around it on
            both sides of the arugment…..Thats why those whom believe say, just believe.

            • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

              Your comment is incomprehensible.

              • GIGfriend22

                Al take that as a compliment!!! Mind you though you are not everyone!

                • JamieHaman

                  James F. May not be everyone, but he sure called that one. It is incomprehensible.

                  • JamieHaman

                    Well, now I feel bad. I was unaware that you have a learning disability and commend your efforts.
                    My thanks to GSystems who translated.

                  • GIGfriend22

                    Just because its incomprehensible to you….Dose not mean someone else dose not understand it……Everyone is at there own intellectual level!

              • Tennessee Lady

                You need to read the book, “My professor thinks the Bible is a myth” by Thomas B. Tribelhorn, D.Min., Ph.D. It might answer some of your questions.

                • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

                  I think you need to ask yourself why you would choose to recommend a self-published book by an author who has awarded himself degrees from his own unaccredited seminary, rather than accept what professional archaeologists and historians have to say on this subject.

            • GSystems

              1/2

              I understood what you attempted to say (although I think you can acquiesce to “writing” not being your first skill).

              In so many words, it appears that you’re saying, “Everyone believes as they feel comfortable,” and, “who are we to question their beliefs when those are individual…” Right?
              The article is regarding “believers” who feel the need to cross over into the shared reality to spread their individual belief to non-believers. Surely, the whole point of denoting evidence in the physical world of metaphysical matters would bring about a sleuth of new believers (READ: Income for the church…yes…it is a business…always has been…just read the Bible)

              • GIGfriend22

                Having a learning disability and there for writing is not my best skill….True…But I enjoy it, because it allows me to get all my information from my head out….That otherwise I would not be able to do by simply speaking it….1 because there is to much information, and two you are usually aware of other emotional and physical stimulations around you….Even facial expressions and that too can distort the pattern of thought, as now your attention and thinking has gone to them…. For example…Why are they looking at me that way???? That’s awareness!!! And I do read the bible…..As far as the bible tells me….Its not a business at all….I don’t recall Christ ever saying that….Perhaps you should read it yourself…..Just because it became one….Dose not mean that was the original intension.

                • GSystems

                  I grew up Baptist, so I’m well aware of the Bible… Ironically, many Athiests are former believers…not as many are former athiests who are believers…

                  I’m not saying anything but the facts…
                  I respect your acknowledgement of your present weaknesses…you are stronger because of your acknowledgement (even seeing the comparison between your response and what you wrote to the other commenter shows that you’re improved).

                  However, as you are obviously a person who believes in God, I only encourage you to read more. You seem familiar with the Nag Hammadi texts (which is good…I most closely align with the Gnostics, btw…why I felt the need to comment in that way before)..

                  Keep learning…you’re doing well. Just don’t become so engulfed in what they’re feeding you that you’re not thinking for yourself.

                  You don’t have to believe in the “Holy Bible” to believe in God, or the representation of what Man should be: Jesus…

                  • GIGfriend22

                    There are millions of Christians who claim to be as you put it, Well aware of the bible, And then when you start quoting or, speaking scripture, or philosophy to them,,,they can’t even make one intelligent sentence or simply want to end the conversation…. I can tell a persons awareness by what they do and say……Not by what they claim….As many people claim many things and our 100% wrong,, as well as can be 100% right…That given more reasoning when it has a result…. I have studied the bible….Torah,,,, Dead Sea scrolls and Gospel of Tomas which frankly is not even in the bible.
                    As for why people have left Christianity and converted to Atheism…..There again could be thousands upon thousands of reasons…. Perhaps they did not appreciate the politics of the religious institution the belonged too??? So instead they tried to flee and not change it!! Perhaps some horrible experience happened to them to which really doubted there belief in a God…. Perhaps because of there own lack of knowledge of scripture they could not respond to atheistic perspectives and discussions… Perhaps simply they have not surrounded themselves and life styles where the holy spirit can be more active in there lives…..And instead surrounded themselves with the oppiset of people…..Either way it works both ways….. but at the end of the day…Dose there feelings compromises or create disbelieve in the things and teaching that Christ spoke of??? Besides Just because an atheistic person dose not come back into a faith,,, is simply because they have no faith! They have gone completely to the other side… And see us as the delusional…..Which makes one wonder has ignorance and arrogance really changed….The very thing which religion asks us to work on with in ourselves.
                    Anyways indeed reading is everything but experiencing life too I believe is important as well….

                    • GSystems

                      I absolutely agree.
                      The funny thing is that people are kind of in a “receive-only” state. I blame television…
                      I can’t say that I’m against athiests (my son is an atheist…and I understand much of their perception…it does make sense…and, when you’re not dealing with an arrogant prick, is a quite humble perspective: They…don’t…know).
                      The main thing I’ve acquired through my life experience, is the reality that God was well before religion, and religion has only served to distort God for Man’s own desires…

                      I’m sure that is why many people have turned away…then there are others who have gone to the other branch of the trunk: Islam… One of the fastest growing organized religions…

                      I have a copy of the Koran, but I haven’t cracked it open yet. Being from the tree of Abraham, I’m sure it speaks the same things as the Bible (even speaks of Jesus…as a prophet)…

                      All of these inspired works (even modern works by authors such as Wayne Dyer) reflect the thing that we know is there but that we can’t describe.

                      There will always be people who want to control others. Sadly, this unknown thing that we can’t really describe…has been used to control the masses for millennium.

                    • GIGfriend22

                      My question to you would be how old was is your son? wisdom is not necessarily with age….But understanding all life experiences dose come greater when one has grown…. He might be atheist now….But who knows what another 10 or 20 years will do….. Time works on us…
                      As for the Quran….Well keep an open mind,,, but I would be cautious with that….As there is a lot of inconsistences with that book….I would speak to this further…But I have to go out….Otherwise if you wish to reply I will respond back more thoroughly later…

                  • Eric

                    “not as many are former atheists who are believers…” On the contrary. Every Christian is a former atheist. One moves from unbelief to belief. Although they may not announce to the world that they didn’t believe in God previously, no one is born a Christian. All must come to the cross as the Israelites came to the snake on the staff(Jn 3:14; Num 21:9

            • GSystems

              2/2

              Thus, there is motive and evidence for the Bible not being real in its entirety. In a court of Law, I would have everything I needed to convince a jury that whoever put this forward attempted to maliciously deceive and commit larceny (steal money)…and whoever promoting this (such as yourself) should be arrested for conspiracy…

              Yes… This is how it looks to me from a lawful standpoint… This is why the First Amendment was created…freedom of religion. Cool… The same way I have the freedom to compare notes and denote nonsense when I seen it…

              So whose wrong?

              The believer who tries to pull their belief into a reality that we share, yet who also says “Faith, faith, faith?” or,
              The observer and learner–student–that takes the time out to challenge their own faith and realize that that type of faith is ultimately foolishness masked in belief…

              Live well and free yourself…

              Not necessarily from belief (I absolutely LOVE what Jesus stands for…even moreso in the Nag Hammadi texts…oh yeah, it’s “Gnostic” btw…), but definitely from religion. Their only goal is to take your Life…

              A great example is how they use religion in politics; it shapes votes of the uninformed, “faithful” voter. Anyone who does that, you should automatically be leery of since they obviously think it’s ok for you to “pray” that your child or family member gets well, while they put the full force of the US Government’s credit and faith (irony) towards government sponsored health care… Then go to church afterwards, and thank God for their relief…

              lol…Talk about criminals…

            • HowCanPeopleStillBeSoChildish

              “not a scholar” … good thing ’cause you can’t spell to save your life and don’t even know the difference between Weather (meteorological phenomena) and whether. And what in the world is ‘anylitical’ or ‘aragont’, ‘lesions’, ‘atlest’. Man, learn how to spell before you try to start an intellectual conversation. The evidence is against you.

              • GIGfriend22

                Not everyone can be 100% perfect all the time.. I have typed many things to people on Posts areas such as this, and for the most part, for the dumb and ignorant that have nothing intelligent to say, or an inability to stay on topic, they go and attack the spelling….But most people that do reply back to me, understand enough of what I am saying to get it…. And don’t even really mention the spelling….. Perhaps these posts should have spell check if it is such a desperation for you to have people spell every single word right……. Otherwise dude get a life. Maybe you need to learn to generally sound out words. Or develop a visual generalization of the word and learn how to read it?

      • Mark

        Hello James. I’ve run across you again, and I hope I find you well! As usual I could not help myself as I scan this thread; seems you are looking for proof again for Biblical history. (You come up in a Google search #2 for claiming the Hebrew crossing a hoax)

        Have a look at this. All due respect to you and your community here, but I think I already know how you will respond; you’ll look straight at hard proof and call it something else.

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lzb4ekyX1kc

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

          As you will see, I have an image that is used in the clip in my original post. I would be happy to change my mind on this subject. Historical conclusions are always subject to revision. I assume that at some point the objects will be brought to a lab for study. If it turns out to be what the makers of that clip suggest, then that will be an important find. But unfortunately, there have been lots of people who have been willing to jump to conclusions based on shapes and impressions – the supposed Noah’s Ark remains are a great example. And so the obvious way to proceed is for these objects to be studied and analysed, and the results published. It will certainly be hailed as one of the important historical finds in human history, if they do that and their hunches are confirmed.

          • War Wagon alpha 23

            I have been snooping through much of the comment lines here and it appears no one has even considered the reasoning behind the artifacts not being brought up to study. The area in question is under Egyptian control. The Minister of Antiquities has put a ban on removing them. One hub and a femur bone were brought up before the ban was enforced. Of course the Arabic people wouldn’t want the world knowing what had happened. If it were proven the Exodus really happened they would have to admit the God of Israel is superior to Allah.
            As for the age of the earth there’s a book out by Finis Jennings Dake that really puts things in perspective.

            http://www.ministryhelps.com/another-time-another-place-another-man-mark-allison-p-15.html

            Prepare to have your traditional understanding of the creation brought into question. No tin hat stuff here that we were brought here by aliens. This actually brings science and Bible closer together with the exception that science doesn’t recognize a supreme creator.

            • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

              You seem very confused about history – the Arab were not ruling The Egyptians in the story of the Exodus or the period it was set in.

              And your conspiracy theory approach simply doesn’t bear close inspection. Professional archaeologists do all sorts of work in Israel and Egypt, some of it controversial, but we are supposed to believe that in fact, there is nevertheless a big conspiracy to hide the truth, and that the only person who managed to bypass those powerful forces was a notorious charlatan? Really?

    • chrismet

      Oh shut up you delusional cretin.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/YIHU7IVY6DHV3HDC7D7V5C4K3A Matthew

    Umm, ok, so I was waiting for the proof that you have that the photos are fraudulent. Did, I miss something? The one picture you refer to as a “ferry wheel”.. that may be true, but the others that I saw in the photos you refer to looked alot like chariot wheels as is claimed.
    And I suppose it is possible that a ferry sank, the steering wheel came off and fell right in the middle of a bunch of chariot wheels, and the ferry itself disappeared… but so what? Do you have evidence that the photos are fake or not? Thanks.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

      What sort of evidence do you need? Both are showing bright shiny metal objects that are supposedly from more than 3,000 years ago.

      I would expect someone who found something credible to document the find, publish it in a credible manner, and give other researchers the chance to confirm it. Anyone who claims to have discovered something that disproves what all the experts say, and yet is not becoming famous in the field as an expert themselves, is a crank and a charlatan. Do you requiree additional proof of that, or is it as obvious to you as it is to me?

    • JamieHaman

      Ok, I’ll bite. How is a ferry supposed to disappear after sinking, and the wheels are on top of the sand after an estimated 3000 to 6000 years? Nothing else is on top after 3 to 6 thousand years, why would light weight chariot wheels be on top? Light compared to the weight of a ferry?

  • Brian

    having seen personally artifacts as they came ashore in key west from Mel Fishers work o the Senora de Atoca wreck off key West, i can attest that gold which has been on the sea floor in the Caribbean for a LONG time comes up shiny. One would expect that being the rulers Chariots they would be made of gold makes a compelling set of facts. Add to this the lack of Oxygenated water of the red sea and the artifacts look as to be expected.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

      All that has to be done is for any potentially ancient wheel or other item in the Red Sea to be studied by qualified experts and the results published. It would make the person who did so famous and wealthy. If there is such evidence, then by all means take the necessary steps and reap the rewards!

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001852844805 Rich Pait

        That entire area is controlled by Muslim governments who will not reap any benefits to proving the truth. Obelisks have been dated to the correct time period on either side of the Red Sea commemorating the crossing. Even if all this was proven to be 100% true why would a Muslim government want that information released?

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

          It sounds like you are listening to some of the bogus excuses these charlatans offer. You contradicted yourself. Either there is archaeological evidence in that area that corroborates the Exodus and it is possible to do the necessary investigations there, or there aren’t and it isn’t. Can you please choose one lie or the other, since they cannot both be used at the same time.

          • James C.

            Even the bogus excuses of charlatans can have some credence. Archaeological evidence can be there, but not available because of political circumstances.

            • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

              There is simply no evidence of that in this instance, and listening to charlatans is never a good idea. Why not turn instead to trustworthy sources? Without doing so, how will you ever distinguish between a charlatan’s true claims and their false ones?

        • jwalker_cht

          why on earth would Islamic governments have any issue at all with archeology related to the Exodus? you are aware that Islam takes no umbrage with the ancient history of Israel, right? they only dislike this current state of Israel and the Zionist impulse behind its creation.

  • ponderer

    The problem you are not giving any credence to is the fact that the Egyptians will not allow any removal of these artifacts -the ones you are so sure would have been dug up and sold if they were in fact real. The energy you spend in your effort to disbelieve and to dissuade others from believing must be very wearing on you.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

      It takes no effort to believe that someone who has been exposed as a charlatan is a charlatan. Even conservative Christian organizations and individuals that accept a historical Exodus as depicted in the Bible are aware of this and warn against using his false claims as evidence. There is a lot of archaeological work in Egypt. It can be challenging to get permission to investigate something, but it is not impossible, and no one but a treasure-hunter rather than an archaeologist would be focusing on “removing” items rather than studying, dating, and documenting them.

      Perhaps it is easier for someone who works in a field like Biblical studies, which involves archaeology, to spot frauds and fakes in this domain. But I do not think it is impossible even for ordinary people if they will simply take the time to investigate evidence and think critically.

      • Kus

        Sorry james, your argument to disbelieve bias toward your own prejudice…you make me laugh to hear you say about think critically..not sure you know what it means..

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

          This may just be a drive-by troll comment, lobbing an insult never to return. But I will reply in the hope that perhaps that is not the case. No one practices critical thinking perfectly, no one is exempt from our capacity for being in error and even deceiving ourselves. You mention no specifics, and so there is no way of knowing where you consider my critical thinking not to have been practiced as it ought to be. Would you care to be specific, and then talk about it, in the hope that we might assist one another in noticing our blind spots and shortcomings?

  • Esakinis

    A red sea fairy back then lol. It is gold veneer over wood that has rotted so its way to fragile to try to move . This guy isn’t too bright.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

      Did you mean “ferry”? The point is that the object has not been studied. Saying that it is from “back then” rather than recent, that it is gold veneer on wood rather than modern steel, is assuming what Ron Wyatt and others like him simply have not shown. Such testing and careful examination is precisely what ought to have been done, and it is the lack of it that suggests that the claims are those of a charlatan and sensationalist rather than someone interested in archaeology and history. 

  • skepticalofcynics

    If one man says it is true and offers up at least some photos in an attempt to backup his claim (false or not), and another man says, “Hey, that guy is lying,” then you would hope he’d have SOME sort of proof that it is a lie. This article is pointless. It contains no facts or data or even a possibly fake photo to assert his own claim. Why should we believe this article any more than the other that claims it to be true??

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

      No, let me explain how archaeology works. It does not rewrite history because someone says “See this grainy photo? It is the ark of the covenant in China! see this shiny object? It is an ancient Egyptian chariot wheel in the Red Sea!” If Wyatt were doing archaeology, he would have had a team of professionals investigate his find. End of story.

      • anonymous truther

        You might wanna bite your tongue…there is now video evidence and such investigation as you have suggested currently being done. The “grainy” photos you’re talking about are just the discovery/find photos…You know..to persuade groups to invest in an archaeological dig. There must be money for any research to happen and sometimes this can be more political and black market than you realize.

        • anonymous truther

          What i believe is irrelevant but if it is true and those ARE the chariots God sank in the sea thousands of years ago don’t you think there are a lot of powerful religious organizations out there who would want this kept secret! You are naive to think that the world of archaeology is not corrupt. Especially if a find confirms Bible text. Other religions would fight the release of this information.

          • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

            Everyone who buys into a conspiracy believes both that the truth is being covered up and that there is enough information floating about freely that they can know the truth. As someone who works in Biblical studies, I can tell you that there is an enormous market for any plausible case for the Bible being accurate. That a person would find it hard to get a hearing for such results is such a preposterous lie that I cannot but wonder whether you really believe it, much less whether you really expect anyone else to.

          • beau_quilter

            and thus are conspiracy theories born …

          • JD

            These were found over 30 years ago in 1979, Wyatt has since died (and he made other claims of finds which were never substantiated. Other attempts have been made to find the “chariots” yet none were ever brought, or found. Also the pattern of these supposed chariots are not consistent with the story of Exodus. Chariots from 19th Dynasty Egypt did not use metal wheels, and also if these belonged to the pharaohs army we should be seeing dozens if not hundreds of these chariots. This is a pure hoax cooked up by an wannabe archaeologist and irrational biblical literalist desperate to prove mythology true.

            • UVa

              They were wood. Who ever mention them being metal except the gold coverings? And this spot has been dived by many many people besides Ron Wyatt, and finding the same findings. And yes, it is many more than one or two chariots.

              Desperate is an atheist believing in his religion of evolution… That is desperate, believing in nothing…

              • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

                This comment is bizarre. Evolution has nothing to do with atheism. Some if the world’s top biologists are Christians.

                If you have details if who has further studied these alleged finds, and where those professional archaeologists have published the details, please share them here. But just making things up is deceitful behavior of which a religious believer ought to be ashamed.

              • FJ

                In what way would a wheel in the red sea falsify evolution?

              • HowCanPeopleStillBeSoChildish

                That could easily be written as : Desperate is a theist believing in his religion of miracles … That is desperate, believing in nothing…

    • newenglandsun

      LOL!

    • James Graham

      This is exactly what I thought when I finished the article. Some of the comments (the author, James F. McGrath among others) have pointed out that (to paraphrase) you cannot prove a negative. This is 100% true and a big part of the backbone of science.

      The author states “That frauds can be exposed and have no effect on people’s willingness to believe is, however, disturbing.”

      However, the article as a whole simply seems to be saying that there is no proof and that people are gullible. With due respect, the article doesn’t get a good grade with respect to objectivity. I would suggest that to make it more believably objective, certain adjectives and labels (ie “charlatan”, “sensationalist news source” and so on) do nothing to contribute to the strength of the author’s assertions. McGrath isn’t responsible for proving the negative…it is the job of those who claim that the wheels are in fact chariot wheels from ancient Egypt to prove a positive. The author (in the comments section, post-article) speaks of the necessity for research. Great! When someone is willing to allow such research (and fund it), the facts will emerge. But, the article itself only suggests one possibility (and a far-flung one to boot) that the wheel (in one particular picture/location) may be that of a “ferry” wheel. If that was the only wheel, I’d give a tiny bit of creedance to that possibility. The problem is that there are many wheels. I really think that Occam has to be used here, and not just on the “believers” claims, but on ANY claim or hypothesis.

      I’m just sayin’…

  • Engineer

    No one makes a wheel out of gold.
    Too soft, it would wear away too fast.

    • UVa

      They were wood covered in gold on the sides. Some chariots were also completely covered in gold. This is well found in ancient Egyptian history.

      To add, there have been many confirm the findings first discovered by Ron Wyatt and that of the Red Sea artifacts. The Egyptian government will not allow artifacts to be bought up. Scared of what it really means in history more than likely. Politics…

      • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

        Don’t just make things up. Provide evidence, or otherwise accept the results of those who actually study the evidence.

  • steve stahler

    Looks like it to me you atheist scum.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

      Sorry, to whom was this rude comment addressed? Presumably not to me, since I am not an atheist. But the idea that exposing charlatans who bilk gullible Christians of money and deceive them makes one either an atheist or scum is bizarre. Christians ought to be concerned with truth, and ought to be the ones at the forefront of exposing the charlatans among our ranks.

      • Jacob

        OK about Jesus’s birth placement, you’ve got this all wrong. There Yes there are two different numbers for it, but one is from Adam to Jesus, the other is from Abraham to Jesus. And since when have ferries had solid gold wheels?

        • Jacob

          Also I hope that you accept Christ someday. I don’t write to you in hate or anger

          • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

            What makes you think that if someone doesn’t accept charlatans’ claims, they haven’t accepted Christ? Being a Christian does not mean being gullible. Indeed, one could question whether someone can have true faith when they are liable to believe things uncritically.

            What different numbers are you talking about? And what evidence do you have (1) that gold, which is soft, was used for chariot wheels, and (2) what Wyatt found, if indeed he found something, was gold?

            Don’t you think that you should take your faith more seriously than just giving credence to people without any sort of critical thinking or fact-checking?

            • Marie Madeleine

              You keep on saying you are Christian. Christian means follower of Christ. Christ never told us us to refute any part of the Bible (the Old Testament at the time of Jesus). He said we should die to ourselves (that is our will, our intelligence, our worldly wisdom and understanding) and allow to the will of God through the guidance of the Holy Spirit to be our guide. So far, I am very sad to have seen none of these in your writings. What I perceive (I maybe wrong, please forgive me any offence) is pride, self-glorification, self-appraisal which is totally contrary to the teachings of our Lord Jesus. Where is the fear of God? What about the Holy Spirit? Christianity is not a religion, nor a set of rules to follow. It is about God living with us and in us and guiding us through the narrow path of self-denial, love, and obedience to God. Whatever your beliefs, you are a child of God and God loves you the same way He loves me and all His children all over the world. I pray that you will allow him to come into your heart and answer all the questions that are in your heart. The same prayer goes for all those who do not believe in God or who are atheist. I love you all.
              May God bless you.

              • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

                I don’t see how you can think that embracing what charlatans say because you like it, and insulting those who criticize them for their deceit, is an appropriate expression of your Christian faith.

                • Marie Madeleine

                  I am sorry I have offended you. Please forgive me. God bless you

              • newenglandsun

                Who says he’s refuting any part of the Bible here?

                I would probably contend against both extremist positions on the Exodus and I’m an unofficial convert to Orthodox Catholicism.

    • newenglandsun

      James McGrath isn’t an atheist. One who spouts heresy, yes (this isn’t one of them by the way), but an atheist, no.
      I’d classify him as somewhere along the lines of a deist but that seems unfair as well. A rationalistic, miracle-denying, theist, possibly, but I don’t know.

  • ScepticalSam

    No scientific fact to back up your claims. All your doing is undermining what could be a fantastic discovery. Go to the site yourself, dive down and gather creditable evidence that this stuff does not exist or is new and what you say might actually mean something. Although your credibility is now in question due to this article I would love to see some scientific evidence to dispute the finding not just word bashing a fellow human being for his belief. Grow up least you be outed as the horrible human being you appear to be.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

      What “claims” are you referring to? It is not my responsibility to acquire new skills to go fact-check for myself claims about faster than light neutrinos, or bigfoot, or extraterrestrial organisms on the edge of space, or anything else sensational. It is for those who make such claims to present evidence to the community of experts in the relevant field(s) and have them investigated and evaluated. It doesn’t make me a horrible human being to think that a claim by an exposed charlatan might be false. It makes me a Christian and also a professional academic, who is concerned in both capacities with truth and with not being deceived by any of the many purveyors of falsehood that are out there.

      • just saying

        after following this thread i see your point and also the other commenters point as well. your point that we should be truth seekers is valid. we as believers need to be discerning. we need to have an understanding of hebrew and an understanding of biblical culture in order to have a more accurate understanding of scripture. the scriptures have been taken out of context and twisted to promote christian doctrines thru the ages. so unless we have a clear understanding of the “old” testament we do not have a clear understanding of the “new” testament as the Messiah’s references and readings were all from the “old” testament.

  • ICTConvT

    Jesus is Santa Claus for adults

  • Shut up

    Sheesh all of you get a life. Especially you, James. I think you’ve commented on everything here. Go do something a little more productive than argue on the computer. Christian people, I understand you’re trying to defend your beliefs but half of these people are atheists. Which means they have some sob story about why they hate religion. Don’t try to deny it, they all have one. Why else would they try so hard to squash peoples hopes and faith? Why else would you see them all over YouTube videos that are specifically for Christians or any other religion, Picking fight sand arguments, when we all know they have no business being there? Misery loves its company. They’re a bunch of angry little human beings.
    You can’t argue with them. Why? Because they don’t believe in anything. They look forward to a depressing eternity in blackness after death because they don’t believe in an afterlife. Can you blame them for being such buzz kills? So please, don’t waste you’re time. Pray for them if you feel like it but arguing with them only fuels their sad little lives.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

      There may be atheists here, as well as Christians, but that is scarcely relevant. The problem with Ron Wyatt is that he was a charlatan. That would be a problem whether he was a Christian, an atheist, or anything else.

  • http://www.fidemturbare.com/ Fidem Turbāre

    If the items are not covered in coral, like most things that have been on the ocean floor for a long time, then they landed there recently seems perfectly reasonable.

  • JonCoKY

    Live, and let live.

  • James Walker

    I love the fact that one of the “researchers” they cite has no training at all in archeology (he is, in fact, a forklift operator by profession) yet he states with absolute certainty that an object he found encrusted with coral was a chariot axle with wheels attached and that he sat in the cab of an ancient chariot. because, you know, forklift operators have an innate knowledge of ancient Egyptian chariot design…

    shortly after that lovely bit (where the chariot parts, mind you, are completely encrusted in coral), we have the statement from another “researcher” that the chariot wheels were covered in gold and precious metals which explains why they were not covered in coral or corroded by the salt water… *sigh*

    it’s a shame when the articles debunk themselves so we don’t have to expend any effort unraveling them…

  • jesse

    none of articles, except this one, claim chariots or wheels were solid gold, but rather gold leaf over wood or other metal. Big, big difference as to weight and strength of chariot, and could still have form of decayed underlying wood from a light weight, fast chariot.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

      They may have updated the page since I blogged about it. Be that as it may, gold is soft and unlikely to be used on the wheels, except perhaps for decoration, but certainly not in a way that could account for coral failing to form on most of the wheels. And it must be pointed out that no one has taken these objects for testing to show that they are ancient Egyptian chariot wheels. All we get are the same photos and the same claims but with no testing or other crucial evidence.

  • jesse

    one was retrieved and taken to Cairo museum. All objects, wheels have coral, except for gold leaf areas. pillars erected by solomin were there until saudis removed one on their side and replaced with metal disc.

  • Geoff

    wow this website is so foolish, you claim to have no faith yet you sit on a chair lol, what a joke, wake up or perish ;)

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

      Why do you define faith to mean “believing charlatans”? That isn’t the Biblical meaning of the term.

  • Geoff

    ps it shows you do believe otherwise you wouldn’t try to disprove it :) people don’t waste their time on things that are not important to them, or do they lol

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

      Combatting misinformation, and stopping people from bringing the Christian faith into disrepute by being gullible and believing charlatans, are both extremely important to me. So too are capitalization and punctuation, albeit to a lesser degree.

      • Geoff

        Wow I am impressed that you bring punctuation into it, you are obviously not a creative person but the dry dull version of a human so I won’t bother debating lol

        • Geoff

          Btw I noticed you debated smoking not being a sin, and that’s good cos you are right, it’s not that which enters a mans mouth that makes him unholy but that which proceeds out of it

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

          Ah, so clear communication lacks creativity? What about expecting evidence for historical claims? Does that too place “unfair constraints” on the imagination?

  • Mark Robn

    # 0807061514

    OK- the article says: “No, it is not a chariot wheel.” — but then, it doesn’t explicitly say what it IS. The BEST that the article offers, just like the BEST that other “scientists” offer, is this:

    “One looks like it *might be a ferry steering wheel, which makes *me *think…”

    “Might”? – “I think”? — OK, it’s not a chariot wheel. But we have sonar, satellite, submarine, and scuba.

    Why can’t you tell me what it emphatically IS?

    and, that is the greatest hoax played on mankind: that someone makes their OPINION to be accepted as “fact”, when the real state of affairs says otherwise.

    Questions?

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

      Since the person who claims to have made the find and claimed it is a chariot wheel did none of the kinds of essential studies you mention, much less more sophisticated ones to date the artifact, it isn’t surprising that people with greater expertise and honesty are being more cautious about this infamous charlatan’s claims. But it is because Ron Wyatt provided no evidence, that others cannot tell you how much of his claims are lies and what actual objects might have been used in making them.

      • Mark Robn

        At least pictures were provided by Wyatt (? “no” evidence ?), and they seem genuine enough (though I admit, without further examination by me, so far).

        So, you’re question is… what, now?

        My question is clear: why can’t skeptics tell people what it actually is — in other words: seems like a waste of time to even read such an article, since it never did clear up what these things actually are?

        It is not enough to just say: “well, I don’t want to agree, so I will come up with my own opinions and say that my beliefs trump a supposed hoax, just because…”

        I need a little more than that for myself, Mr. McGrath. But, thank you for your response; it did help a little. No response required on my end.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

          But without having any way to verify even where the photos were taken, and no study of the composition or age of that which was photographed, all we have is an amateur jumping from “this looks to me a lot like” to “this is” in a manner that, in any case, would be unjustified. But when someone went around making money off of his “find” and claims that it proves something, it is accurately classified as a scam. The irony is that Wyatt is popular among those whose minds no evidence would change, and who don’t trust experts in history or science to bring the truth to light. Presumably whatever Wyatt had photographs of, we would all be better off if a team of scientists and archaeologists had surveyed and analyzed whatever it is.

          • Mark Robn

            You wrote all that, just to basically repeat what I just said. Here’s my point: it is impossible for scientists and archeologists to survey and analyze this, because of two reasons:

            1. As you said above – scientists and archeologists are the very minds that won’t change, no matter how much evidence is presented. In other words, scientists are fallible men, not infallible gods; they judge things via personal opinions already formed.

            And

            2. Let’s suppose that scientists did investigate this issue with the Scientific Method, and they discovered that these artifacts are indeed chair wheels from ancient Egypt, the precise chariots from the event described in the book of Exodus ?

            Do you think these scientists, who have spent education money to build their business based on the Theory of Evolution, who have told the entire world for decades that Evolution is the only viable theory for all academics, would suddenly be honest enough to admit that Darwin was wrong, indeed that they have been wrong all along ?

            I have a lot of faith, as a Christian, but brother — I just don’t have that much faith in the “honesty of man”.

            If you believe that scientists are objective, unbiased, inerrant human beings, I must now call into question your reasoning ability, Mr. McGrath.

            • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

              Scientists are not objective, but the methods of the sciences, and the community of scientists, provide the best methods we have for compensating for human biases. There are good reasons not to adopt your conspiracy theory view of science and scholarship.

              • Mark Robn

                Very well — so, why haven’t scientists and archaeologists analyzed this issue?…

                Or, perhaps the question is this -

                Have scientists and archaeologists analyzed the Red Sea, and have they found evidence to support Exodus?

                and, if so:

                Why haven’t they come forward and rebuffed this before now? Why write an article that basically resolves nothing?

                (Any answer to these fascinating questions would only be opinion and conjecture at this point.)

                No response required. I appreciate your input, Mr. McGrath.

                • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

                  As far as I can tell, Wyatt never communicated directly with archaeologists who might use the tools at their disposal to investigate his claims. Whereas academics must publish and expose their claims to verification and potential falsification, Wyatt seems not to have had enough confidence in what he claimed to find to follow that course. And as for the photos, the one seems like something that was planted or fell their recently, with a piece of coral placed on top of it, while the other may or may not have anything remotely like a chariot wheel beneath it. Archaeologists have looked for evidence of the Exodus before over recent centuries and have consistently been disappointed.

  • UncleHank

    Everyone is talking about “Evidence”. The co-founder of Harvard Law School was the premier authority on evidence. The head justice of the Supreme Court said this; “Simon Greenleaf is the greatest authority on evidence in the entire world”. Why do i cite this? It is because Simon Greenleaf was an antagonist of the Christian faith and set out on a 2 year journey to “Prove that Jesus Christ DID NOT rise from the dead”. What he discovered is the hard facts that proved just the opposite. He concluded with this statement. “If this evidence were presented to any un-biased jury they would have to conclude that Jesus Christ did indeed rise from the dead.
    He left his Jewish roots and became a Christian and wrote the book, “The Testimonies of the Evangelists”.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

      Just because one believes in Jesus, does not mean that one should uncritically accept the claims of everyone who claims to speak for Jesus, or to follow him, or to offer evidence in support of the Bible. Christians should be at the forefront of policing our ranks and exposing charlatans in our midst. When we fail to do so, it brings the name of Christ into disrepute, and makes Christianity appear to be a religion for the gullible.

  • UncleHank

    We all have “Faith” in something. When it comes to miracles we only need to look at the origin of the universe and the origin of life. BOTH fall under the category of miracles.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

      It depends what one means by miracle, but whatever one’s viewpoint, surely you would agree that belief in miracles does not mean that one should uncritically believe any and all claims to miracles, nor accept the testimony of proven charlatans just because they are claiming to offer proof of Biblical miracles.

  • King Umbarrii

    some people have yet to learn the difference between faith and gullibility.

    Global warming

  • Citizen Patriot

    Characteristics of Gold

    The scientific symbol for gold is Au. It is number 79 on the periodic table of elements. Gold is not magnetic, but it is an excellent conductor of electricity. Its melting point is 1945° F. Gold is not corroded or tarnished by moisture, or oxidized (rust) by the effects of oxygen and water, or affected by ordinary acids, as most other metals are. Deposits of gold that have lain inside a mountain or under a stream bed or even on the ocean’s bottom will remain there and be rather unaffected until moved by the natural forces of the earth-or taken by man.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

      Characteristics of gold: soft metal unlikely to be used for anything other than ornamentation on a chariot wheel; extremely valuable, and thus likely to be kept by those who find it.

      Characteristics of charlatans: they offer spectacular claims but never get around to having the things they say they have found documented, dated, and otherwise studied.

  • Try Jesus

    The evidences that the Bible is true are as follows:

    1.Fulfilled prophesies
    Prophesies in Isaiah 53 were all fulfiled by Jesus.The Dead Sea scrolls which were from 1st century BC prove that they were written before Jesus was born
    Fulfilled prophesies in Daniels dream.He accuratley predicted through God the Babylonian,Medopersian, Greek and Roman empire and how they would collapse
    Ezekiel 26.Dream of Tyre.How Tyre would e destryoed was acuratley prophesied.He prophesied that it would be broken down and thrown into the sea. Exactly the same happened when Alexander did it. Its well known that ezekiel was written well before Alexander
    2.Unity of Scripture
    There are 66 books in the bible with around 39 authors through a period of 1550 years. That the authors are different is easily verifiable from history. There were written by authors with varying level of education, circumstances and in different countries.
    BUT even then the BIBLE NEVER CONTRADICTS itself!! The central theme is always the same. ie what it says abour the nature of God and his commandments are all the same.
    There is the Theme of Jesus ,hidden and revelaed, in all books.The birth of Jesus is especially foretold in Micah, Isaiah, Zecharaiah and PSALMS. Its well known that these books were written before Jesus and Jesus fulfilled all these prophesies.
    3.Archaeological evidence
    That these things menitoned in Bible really existed is becoming more clear day by day with more evidence being unearthed.
    We know from Josephus the Historian that the thins mentioned in first century are as there were mentioned in the New testament.
    Also Davids citadel has been discovered now in May 2014..
    Most of the other cities mentioned in Old testament are well known to have existed
    4. The Bible,unlike other religions, never tries to portray its heroes as as faultless.They are presented “warts and all”. See how David was rebuked for his adultery
    5.Manuscript evidence
    Over 5000 manuscripts of various books of the bible exist! That too with over 95% accuracy. No other historical document in the entire history of the world has that much documentation. Even famous books like Iliad has copies(few) which were written 100 years later after it was written. If we can accept these books why not the Bible with 1000 times more documentary evidence?
    6.Existence of Israel
    No nation in the history of this planet has been scattered and persecuted so much over these 2700 years ( destroyed by Assyria and Babylon in 700s bc, later Rome in 70AD) and still they retained tjeir culture and religion and ..surprise surprise .miraculously formed the nation of Israel again in 1948 despite oppositon from all around. If its not the Hand of God fulfilling His Promise to them to bring them back again (“gather them”) then I ask you what is it!!The work of Gd is clearly written on the History papers!
    If Jesus was a cheat He could have just said that I would Rise in Spirit ..ie resurrection of spirit alone..no one would have been able to deny it..If anyone found His body then they could have said “yeah so what he said he would rise in Spirit”. But no..Jesus said He will rise BODILY..If anyone found His body then that would have been the end of Christianity.
    Its clearly mentioned in the bible that the prince of the world,satan, will blind and veil the hearts of the people so that they wouldnt be able to see and understand the truth. So I am not surprised that many in the forum dont understand.
    But its my duty to give a defense of the Hope that I have ,as commanded in the bible(1 peter 3:15).Therefore I submit my defense . I hope and pray atleast one person will be convinced. You have tried the others..now please Try Jesus. Jesus Christ never fails.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

      This looks like it is just copied and pasted from around the internet without any fact-checking. Take a look at the prophecies that are applied to Jesus in the early chapters of the Gospel of Matthew, and then tell me if you think those texts in their original contexts are predictions about Jesus. That New Testament authors apply texts to Jesus, interpret his life and death through that lens and those texts in light of Jesus, is not the same thing as their having predicted him.

      To claim that there is no contradiction in the Bible merely indicates that you have not read it with any degree of attention to detail. Again, try tracing the geographical movements and chronology between Matthew’s infancy story and Luke’s and you will see what I mean.

      The point about manuscripts is confused. If I make an additional copy, does that make the Bible more accurate? We do have very good manuscript evidence for the Bible. But knowing that what we have in our earliest manuscripts is probably close to what the authors wrote says nothing about the historical accuracy of what they wrote.

      Some other things are presumably things that you were lied to about or misunderstood. David’s citadel, for instance.

      I would encourage you to actually fact-check and investigate these sorts of claims. And then be a Christian not because of bogus and deceptive arguments, but for better reasons. Because by associating Jesus with these deceptive and misleading claims, you are dishonoring him, not honoring him.

      • Try Jesus

        Israeli archaeologist says he’s found citadel captured by King David

        Published May 06, 2014

        Associated Press

        JERUSALEM – An Israeli archaeologist says he has found the legendary citadel captured by King David in his conquest of Jerusalem, rekindling a longstanding debate about using the Bible as a field guide to identifying ancient ruins.

        The claim by Eli Shukron, like many such claims in the field of biblical archaeology, has run into criticism. It joins a string of announcements by Israeli archaeologists saying they have unearthed palaces of the legendary biblical king, who is revered in Jewish religious tradition for establishing Jerusalem as its central holy city — but who has long eluded historians looking for clear-cut evidence of his existence and reign.

        ADVERTISEMENT

        The present-day Israeli-Palestinian conflict is also wrapped up in the subject. The $10 million excavation, made accessible to tourists last month, took place in an Arab neighborhood of Jerusalem and was financed by an organization that settles Jews in guarded homes in Arab areas of east Jerusalem in an attempt to prevent the city from being divided. The Palestinians claim east Jerusalem, captured by Israel in 1967, as the capital of a future independent state.

        Shukron, who excavated at the City of David archaeological site for nearly two decades, says he believes strong evidence supports his theory.

        “This is the citadel of King David, this is the Citadel of Zion, and this is what King David took from the Jebusites,” said Shukron, who said he recently left Israel’s Antiquities Authority to work as a lecturer and tour guide. “The whole site we can compare to the Bible perfectly.”

        Most archaeologists in Israel do not dispute that King David was a historical figure, and a written reference to the “House of David” was found in an archaeological site in northern Israel. But archaeologists are divided on identifying Davidic sites in Jerusalem, which he is said to have made his capital.

        Shukron’s dig, which began in 1995, uncovered a massive fortification of five-ton stones stacked 21 feet wide. Pottery shards helped date the fortification walls to be 3,800 years old. They are the largest walls found in the region from before the time of King Herod, the ambitious builder who expanded the Second Jewish Temple complex in Jerusalem almost 2,100 years ago. The fortification surrounded a water spring and is thought to have protected the ancient city’s water source.

        The fortification was built 800 years before King David would have captured it from its Jebusite rulers. Shukron says the biblical story of David’s conquest of Jerusalem provides clues that point to this particular fortification as David’s entry point into the city.

        In the second Book of Samuel, David orders the capture of the walled city by entering it through the water shaft. Shukron’s excavation uncovered a narrow shaft where spring water flowed into a carved pool, thought to be where city inhabitants would gather to draw water. Excess water would have flowed out of the walled city through another section of the shaft Shukron said he discovered — where he believes the city was penetrated.

        Shukron says no other structure in the area of ancient Jerusalem matches what David would have captured to take the city. The biblical account names it the “Citadel of David” and the “Citadel of Zion.”

        Ronny Reich, who was Shukron’s collaborator at the site until 2008, disagrees with the theory. He said more broken pottery found from the 10th century BC, presumably King David’s reign, should have been found if the fortification had been in use then.

        Shukron said he only found two shards that date close to that time. He believes the reason he didn’t find more is because the site was in continuous use and old pottery would have been cleared out by David’s successors. Much larger quantities of shards found at the site date to about 100 years after King David’s reign.

        Reich said it was not possible to reach definitive conclusions about biblical connections without more direct archaeological evidence.

        “The connection between archaeology and the Bible has become very, very problematic in recent years,” Reich said.

        Critics say that some archaeologists are too eager to hold a spade in one hand and a Bible in the other in a quest to verify the biblical narrative — either due to religious beliefs or to prove the Jewish people’s historic ties to the land. But other respected Israeli archaeologists say recent finds match the biblical account more than naysayers claim.

        Shukron, a veteran archaeologist who has excavated a number of significant sites in Jerusalem, said he drew his conclusions after nearly two decades exploring the ancient city.

        “I know every little thing in the City of David. I didn’t see in any other place such a huge fortification as this,” said Shukron.

        The biblical connection to the site is emphasized at the City of David archaeological park, where the “Spring Citadel” — the excavation’s official name — has been retrofitted for tourists, including a movie projected on a screen in front of the fortification to illustrate how it may have looked 3,800 years ago. The City of David — located in east Jerusalem — is one of the most popular tourist sites in the holy city, with 500,000 tourists visiting last year.

        “We open the Bible and we see how the archaeology and the Bible actually come together in this place,” said Doron Spielman, vice president of the nonprofit Elad Foundation, which oversees the archaeological park. He carried a softcover Bible in his hand as he ambled around the excavation.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

          Most historians accept that there is historical information in the Bible. What some religious believers do not understand is that this is widely accepted and is true of a lot of literature, and thus in no way suggests that the Bible without error or anything of that sort.

      • Try Jesus

        I myself wrote the whole article posted earlier. Copied and pasted from ny own article! The fact that there are contradictions in the gospel confirms the fact that no one tried to change the original gospel writings to make them all look congruent. Man argue that the writings are all cooked up.If someone was cooking uo the books then they wouldnt have made the evnts in Jesus life incongruent in the different gospels

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

          I don’t think that you have understood what is involved in historians studying the Biblical texts. And mainstream Biblical scholarship as practiced by Christians is aware that there is a literary relationship between the New Testament Gospels.

          • Try Jesus

            There is good evidence that a person called Jesus existed in the 1st century. We know about His teachings also from the Gospel and other books. So who was He?

            Please see this video I have made on this issue

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xBCol-2uqlM

            • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

              Since I am a New Testament scholar who regularly makes the point on this blog that we have evidence for a historical Jesus, why do you feel the need to say what you did, much less direct me to your video?

            • Try Jesus

              1 Cor 3:19
              For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God’s sight. As it is written: “He catches the wise in their craftiness”;

              • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

                We were just talking about 1 Corinthians 3 in my Sunday school class this past weekend. Why exactly did you post that verse here?

                • Try Jesus

                  I dont know how you would respond if I told you that the Holy Spirit just brought that verse into my mind. So I posted it.

      • Try Jesus

        The Bible commands in 1 PETER 3:15 Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.
        tHEREFORE HERE GOES..

  • Maggie

    If you don’t believe it then go and figure it out yourself!!!!!!!! Evidence is proven through pictures n research!!!! Asswhole!!!!!!

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

      I do not allow profanity on my blog, even if misspelled, and so your comment will be deleted if you do not edit it.

      Photos with no documentation are proof of nothing – anyone could take a photo of something he or she took to the beach on vacation in Florida, and claim it is from the Red Sea. The research of archaeologists and historians suggest that nothing like the exodus as described in the Bible took place in history perhaps you misunderstood the post? My complaint is that charlatans like Wyatt consistently refuse to participate in research.

  • Aaron Legare

    This article contains no argument against the evidence presented by researchers. There is only the blogger writing about his/her own doubt, and doing so while misrepresenting the evidence. There are not “solid gold” chariot wheels, for instance. Electrum is a mix of gold and silver, it was beaten incredibly thin and applied to objects for decorative purposes. The electrum coating to the wooden chariot wheel [supposedly] is millimeters thin, incredibly thin. It is not a “solid gold chariot wheel.” NOVA, in a completely unrelated story, has an episode from 2013 where they recreate an Egyptian chariot. Even these researchers, on a very limited budget, covered an entire chariot with electrum. It is so thin that it is not that expensive.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

      I think you may have misunderstood this blog post. It is a complaint about the fact that there are charlatans masquerading as researchers, claiming to have found things and yet refusing to document them or provide evidence for their claims. There are researchers engaged actively in archaeological and historical research about the origins of Israel, which consistently find the Exodus story, taken at face value, to be at odds with all the information we have from other sources – not only the Red Sea but also the Sinai peninsula and what is today Israel, and also our sources from both Egypt and Canaan. This post is encouraging people to listen to researchers and avoid being taken in by charlatans.

      Did you misunderstand it?

      • Aaron Legare

        Ok, Mr. McGrath… I get it. This is a site for cynical crybabies to whine and fuss. I get it. So, go ahead and post articles with no actual content, and then continue to justify it. There is nothing noteworthy here. There are no scholars or learned people here posting data or research results. Only the cynical child-adults, crying and whining, complaining online without posting any form of content, being the hypocrites they are. If you want to debunk something as a fraud, do so. Give evidence, make a coherent argument… oh, wait, you can’t? All you have is whining and cynicism? Ok then… carry on.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

          Do you not have access to a library? This is a blog. There is no whining here that I am aware of, other than your comment, and so perhaps you are projecting without realizing it? If you have evidence to offer for the claims that people like Ron Wyatt have made, by all means offer it. It will get an interested hearing. But your other comments give the impression that you have nothing substantive to offer – hence your resorting to insults. This isn’t the blog for that sort of thing, and so if you have nothing substantive to offer, this isn’t the place for you. Perhaps you are relatively new and (1) did not realize this, and (2) did not realize that this post is far from the first one on this topic. And so why not read a bit and get a sense of what has already been discussed, and then actually interact with the evidence or lack thereof, rather than resorting to insults, which do nothing other than make yourself look like you have nothing better to offer, and little sense of the appropriate morality when dealing with other human beings?

  • Aaron Legare

    While Ron Wyatt may have been a charlatan as you say (and I would not choose to defend him), I have seen video of these formations which have been documented as to the source (date, person filming etc…). And, researchers who are credible have documented the fact that these formations exist in that portion of the Gulf of Aqaba and not in other portions of the Gulf, nor in other portions of the Red Sea in general or in the Gulf of Suez at similar depths. And, what is more, similar coral formations (as in coral growing on man made objects) in other parts of the world have been removed and studied, and have been found to be coral growing on ancient objects, sometimes with the shape of the coral hinting at the nature of the object underneath.

    Saudi Arabia is not very open in allowing archeological exploration to be done. It can be understood why these objects have not been more closely studied. In the one documented presentation of the picture you show in your post, of the electrum coating that is supposedly in the form of a chariot wheel, the photo was labeled as “a simulated picture” and was computer generated or enhanced photo which represented, repeat “represented” what the diver had recorded on video.

    Your blogged words, to me, seem to be little more than sour grapes and cynicism. And, I do not appreciate the attitude behind the words. The Newaiba Peninsula and this portion of the Gulf of Aqaba, in the opinion of many who have hands on experience with these findings, should be further studied. If you search in the wrong place, you will not find evidence supporting the Exodus. If you look in the right place, YOU might be surprised at what might be found, but I won’t be.

    Seriously, you are supposed to be a scholar. I find you to simply be a bitter man with a bad attitude and few scholarly attributes.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

      I’m afraid that a blog comment by someone claiming they know an unnamed person who has really seen the evidence isn’t the kind of thing that historians and scholars can use as evidence. And given how much useful work has been done on the history of both Egypt and ancient Israel, claiming that the evidence for some particular event is allegedly (1) in a place where archaeologists cannot document it, but (2) nonetheless people with no archaeological expertise have had no trouble seeing it and being convinced by it, makes your case seem that much less impressive. All this would be the case if you had not gone further still by resorting to insults, which always suggests that one is forced to go that route by the lack of substantive evidence for their position.

  • closetatheist

    Literally, as I write, I am also having a fb convo with someone who posted this story as IRREFUTABLE PROOF of Exodus. Oy Vey.

  • Leijona

    Looks like an aluminum pulley, or a wheel from a large valve from a refinery. Like it is going to by lying there in plain sight with no crustacean growth after thousands of years with the shifting sands on the bottom of the sea. Moronic.

  • Jason Barefoot

    The author called this a “hoax”, yet he never gives evidence. Wouldn’t this be easy to debunk? Just swim down there and drag it up…oh wait, a guy did take a camera down and made a tape of it. Youtube it…

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

      I assume you’re kidding, right? On the one hand, you say it is a simple thing to just swim down and drag whatever it is up. Yet on the other hand, you are not at all suspicious that the person who says he swam down and recorded never involved archaeologists or scientists who might be able to demonstrate whether he had made the discovery of a lifetime, or had found something modern that he had misidentified, or might not find anything at all where he claimed it was?

      • Jason Barefoot

        You’re the one claiming the ‘Hoax’, not I. I assumed YOU did the investigating. But alas, just close your eyes and yell HOAX.

        The video I suggested you youtube shows that 1) it was an object that had a man-made shape 2) coral didn’t grow on it and 3) It was more than one object. Your assumption that it could have been a ferry wheel would have merit, if perhaps a small fleet of ferries sank (to account for the wreckage) and if the wheels were made of a material coral doesn’t grow on. But then you would have to account for the fact coral was growing on the surrounding wreckage (proving it was underwater for hundreds of years at least). Idk…you opened the can, so have at it.

        You also said something I find puzzling. //…never involved archaeologists or scientists who might be able to demonstrate whether he had made the discovery of a lifetime…// I know many ‘scientists’ that would say the Bible is correct in every aspect. Your comment is a classic ‘appeal to authority’ fallacy lol.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

          When something is connected with a notorious charlatan, and is offered without any kind of verification but simply asks you to look at video, use your imagination, and believe claims that people with a particular view of the Bible desperately want to believe, then yes, skepticism is appropriate.

          But I still think you are trying to be funny and are kidding with these comments. I find it hard to believe that you could in all seriousness commit the appeal to authority fallacy by claiming that you know many (unnamed) ‘scientists’ (why the scare quotes?) who say the Bible is correct in every aspect, and then accuse me of committing that very fallacy. Surely this is an attempt at humor of some sort?

          It doesn’t take science to know that the Bible cannot be “correct in every aspect.” It just takes trying to fit the infancy stories in Matthew and Luke – the dates, genealogies, and geographic movements of Jesus’ family – together.

          There are a great many artifacts which have appeared on the antiquities market and which, because their provenance is unknown, they have become unsolvable puzzles when, had they been properly excavated in situ, might have confirmed the accuracy of certain details in the Bible. And so the unwillingness of charlatans to invite professionals to evaluate and document their claims is unsurprising. What is really disappointing is when people embrace their claims uncritically and seem not to realize that bringing in experts to date, analyze, and documents is precisely what someone would do if they had a genuine find that confirms the accuracy of a detail in the Bible and were concerned to have that evidence serve to demonstrate that point.

          • Jason Barefoot

            //…use your imagination, and believe claims that people
            with a particular view…// I’m sorry. I had to laugh at this comment. Dr. Gail
            Kennedy had a similar remark in regards to evolution. She said, “the problem
            with those that are unable to see evolution, I think it’s they don’t have imaginations”.
            Why do I find this funny? We are to use our imaginations for evolution, but not
            anything else? Enough about that though. Don’t want to change the subject.

            //I find it hard to believe that you could in all seriousness commit the appeal
            to authority fallacy by claiming that you know many (unnamed) ‘scientists’ (why
            the scare quotes?) who say the Bible is correct in every aspect, and then
            accuse me of committing that very fallacy.//

            In this comment you failed to read my post correctly. You,
            in fact, were appealing to authority by saying if a ‘scientist’ had looked at
            the wreckage you would believe. I merely said if that’s all it takes I know
            many ‘scientist’ that would say the Bible it true. This wasn’t a fallacy on my
            part. It was demonstrating your stance is flawed. If that went over your head,
            my apologizes.

            I’ll close with this for you to ponder. If a ‘scientist’ did
            confirm the wreckage was a chariots wheel would that change anything? Well
            perhaps, maybe the title of your article would change… “Scientist
            confirms wheel, must have fell off a boat circa 1450 bc – because we all know it
            wasn’t from the Exodus”.

            Nice speaking with you and getting an inside look at the
            propaganda.

            • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

              Ah, so you are anti-science and not just anti-history? Using one’s imagination as a layperson to try to picture things that one cannot see with one’s own eyes, but which the historical or scientific evidence points to, is not the same thing as looking at an object and deliberately not using scientific methods to date it because one is afraid that such analysis might not support one’s preconceived notions.

              I did not say that if a scientist looks at an artifact I will believe a charlatan. I indicated that the following of appropriate scholarly procedures is a crucial part of determining what an artifact is or is not evidence of.

              You are quite right that one chariot wheel does not an Exodus make. As long as we have documentary evidence from Egypt which leaves no room for the disruptive nationwide events depicted in the Book of Exodus to have occurred without leaving a trace, and as long as the archaeological and forensic evidence from Israel does not support the conquest stories in Joshua, a single find would not change the entire picture by itself. You seem to approach science and history as means to hopefully prove the things you have decided happened apart from any consideration of evidence. But science and history are in fact the piecing together and correlating of a great many pieces of evidence, and an explanation of a new find must account for the other evidence as well.

              • Jason Barefoot

                I didn’t plan on responding to this tread again, but I feel the need to correct you once more. I’m not now nor have I ever been ‘anti-science’. I’m not sure what gave you this idea. Darwinian evolution is not based on the scientific method. It’s not observable nor repeatable in a lab setting.

                I find it humorous that because we disagree I’m the layman. Science and most of its forefathers, were theists. You seem to reject this either out of willful ignorance or otherwise. Some of the brilliant minds on Earth were theists, more than this, Christian. This may come as a shock. Were they layman also? Did they have a grasp of the ‘scientific method’? Perhaps they are the ‘scientists’ that you seem to be looking for James.

                Stop this charade and do some research on your own. Stop regurgitating the same out dated atheistic propaganda that plagues our country. If you don’t agree, that’s your right, but when you use this type of forum, people will think you’re an expert on this subject- then who’s the charlatan?

                I could say much more, but this wouldn’t change anything. I stand behind my original comment, “The author called this a “hoax”, yet he never gives evidence.”- Good day sir.

                • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

                  You seem to keep getting things backwards. I am calling something a hoax because it is a claim made without evidence when one would reasonably expect evidence to be provided, and the claim has been made by a documented charlatan. Here is one conservative Christian site about Ron Wyatt: http://www.tentmaker.org/WAR/

                  You are poorly informed about the nature of our understanding about evolution, which is solidly based in DNA evidence that was not even available in Darwin’s time.

                  You seem to have mistakenly decided that I am not a Christian, presumably because you have been deceived into believing that Christians must reject the conclusions that scientists and historians draw.

  • Jared

    Amazingly, biblically illiterate people trying to make a case against Christianity. God’s Word is true and the evidence is simply irrefutable!

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

      When you embrace charlatans who say what you want to hear, while calling historians, archaeologists, and other scholars “biblically illiterate,” it does you no credit. It just makes you seem either badly misinformed or dishonest.

      • Jared

        James, you’re speaking nonsense! That is what gay people do.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

          Wow, to your inability to comprehend very basic points of about history and archaeology and scholarship, you are now adding homophobic insults, with no indication that you intend to actually engage in substantive discussion of evidence and the conclusions drawn from it. This is not the kind of blog for you, it would seem, although if you believe that you can repent and behave in a more moral fashion, contact me and I will remove the ban that I am about to put in place.

  • Andrew Dowling

    Wow, this post definitely got linked to the crazy corner of fundie-dom . . . .

  • Proof…God exists

    There have bn many assumptions of this… You forget that scientists have made simulations on how the waters parted. One the fact that you would need a wind speed of at least 70m/h to even shift that amount of water chariots would not be able to move with that speed of wind nor would people they would have been thrown into the waves and killed. 2 there is proof of a stretch of land between Arabia and Egypt. 3 they found bones of horses and people down there if it was a ferrie then how are there horses. 4 in the sims the scientists said that the sand would be muddy and wet. Chariots cannot be ridden through mud and rock. More proof,
    Exodus 14:22King James Version (KJV)

    22 And the children of Israel went into the midst of the sea upon the dry ground: and the waters were a wall unto them on their right hand, and on their left.

    King James Version (KJV)

    Dry ground… Imagine the speed of wind needed to make the ground dry and push a large mass of water


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