Bible Prophecies: Fulfilled or Fail?

Bible Prophecies: Fulfilled or Fail? September 19, 2016

hugh ross reasons to believe bible prophecyReasons to Believe is an old-earth Creationist ministry that claims that science supports the Bible and that “the Bible is 100% without error.” Hugh Ross, the founder, gives us 13 of what he says are thousands of biblical prophecies in “Fulfilled Prophecy: Evidence for the Reliability of the Bible.”

Let’s see how lucky number 13 is for Dr. Ross.

He begins:

Approximately 2,500 prophecies appear in the pages of the Bible, about 2,000 of which already have been fulfilled to the letter—no errors….

Since the probability for any one of these prophecies having been fulfilled by chance averages less than one in ten (figured very conservatively) and since the prophecies are for the most part independent of one another, the odds for all these prophecies having been fulfilled by chance without error is less than one in 102000.

I love it when apologists rely on volume over accuracy. (“Okay, I know that most of these UFO reports are crap, but if we say that each has just a one percent chance of being accurate, when you consider the enormous number of them, this is very strong evidence!”) Uh huh. Does that make astrology accurate, too?

Ross again:

The acid test for identifying a prophet of God is recorded by Moses in Deuteronomy 18:21–22. According to this Bible passage (and others), God’s prophets, as distinct from Satan’s spokesmen [mediums and clairvoyants such as Jeanne Dixon or Edgar Cayce], are 100 percent accurate in their predictions. There is no room for error.

I notice that Ross didn’t quote one verse before, which demands death for any false prophet. He’s claiming that all of his prophecies came true perfectly, so consider the upcoming critique to see how he does. Ross says that there is “no room for error”? We’ll return to that claim uncomfortably often to check.

1. The book of Daniel predicts the crucifixion of Jesus. Daniel predicted that the Messiah would begin his public ministry 483 years after the decree to rebuild Jerusalem, that the Messiah would be killed, and that the second destruction of Jerusalem would follow. “Abundant documentation shows that these prophecies were perfectly fulfilled in the life (and crucifixion) of Jesus Christ.”

“Probability of chance fulfillment = 1 in 105.”

I’ve written at length about the various interpretations of Daniel. Christians have several, so Ross would get pushback from other Christians who believe in a contradictory interpretation.

I’ll let that earlier post discuss the details of what Daniel says, but note that the Bible doesn’t record a decree to rebuild Jerusalem, it records four of them.* Apologists pick the one that best serves their calculations and hope no one notices the others.

The interpretation that best fits the facts has the book written, not by Daniel in the sixth century BCE, but by an unknown author around 167 BCE. The atonement and the end of the world was expected in about 164 BCE. (More.)

I would say more about the probabilities assigned to each individual prophecy, but there’s not much to say. Ross justifies these values with little more than that they come “from a group of secular research scientists.” Presumably, Ross wants the fact that they’re not Christian to show that they’re objective, but without their work, we have nothing to evaluate.

How would you even assign a probability to this one given that there’s a plausible and completely natural explanation? There was no fulfilled prophecy, so the calculation is meaningless.

2. The prophet Micah names Bethlehem as the birthplace of the Messiah.

Matthew 2 says that Jesus was born in Bethlehem and cites the relevant verses in Micah 5 as prophecy. But since Matthew had read this “prophecy,” this makes him an unreliable source to report the fulfillment of that prophecy.

There is even a scholarly term for this error, vaticinia ex eventu, which means “prophecy after the event.” It’s revealing that historians needed such a term. This is the kind of error that Christians would spot in an instant in a claim from another religion, and yet Christians like Ross either don’t notice or have a different standard for their religion’s prophecies.

Ross is right that Micah refers to Bethlehem as the birthplace of someone important:

Though you [Bethlehem] are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel. (Micah 5:2)

However, we must read it in context. Micah was written when Assyria was attacking both Israel and Judea. This “ruler” would be the one to lead the fight against the invaders:

He will deliver us from the Assyrians when they invade our land.… Your hand will be lifted up in triumph over your enemies, and all your foes will be destroyed. (Micah 5:6–9)

Does this sound like any part of the gospel story? You still want to pretend that this “ruler over Israel” is Jesus?

This “prophecy” is also given a probability of chance fulfillment of 1/105, which is ridiculous when the natural explanation is obvious and the supernatural explanation doesn’t even fit.

 


See also: What Makes a Good Prophecy (and Why Bible Prophecies Aren’t)


 

3. Zechariah predicts that “the Messiah would be betrayed for the price of a slave—thirty pieces of silver.” The prophecy is fulfilled when Matthew records that very payment made to Judas the traitor.

Actually, Zechariah 11:12–13 laments that God is unappreciated by the people of Israel. There is nothing about a Messiah or betrayal. And then when Matthew 27:3–10 attempts to connect the Judas/30-pieces-of-silver story with the prophecy, it gets the prophet wrong and names Jeremiah instead. (So much for the Bible being 100% without error, as Ross claims.)

Zechariah refers to a potter, not a potter’s field; nevertheless, Ross sees that as an important parallel between Zechariah and Matthew. But when you look at the two stories of the last hours of Judas (Acts 1:18–19 vs. Matthew 27:4–8), you see that they’re incompatible.

  • Who possessed and spent the thirty pieces of silver? Acts says that Judas bought a field with the money. Matthew says that Judas returned the money to the priests, which they declared tainted, and they bought the field.
  • How did Judas die? Acts says that he died from a fall, while Matthew says that he hanged himself.
  • There is a “Field of Blood” in both stories. Why was it named that? In Acts, it was named this because Judas fell and died in it. In Matthew, it was because it was bought with the blood money.

The probability given here is 1/1011, which is ridiculous when, yet again, this is a prophecy after the fact and the claimed connection simply isn’t there.

Ross said that Bible prophecies have “no room for error.” That’s a good criterion, but in that case, these are not Bible prophecies.

Continued in part 2.

Think of how stupid the average person is,
and realize half of them are stupider than that.
— George Carlin

* The Old Testament has four decrees for the rebuilding of Jerusalem, each with a different date (Ross’s calculations use the third one):

  • Decree of Cyrus: 538–536 BCE (2 Chronicles 36:22–3)
  • Decree of Darius Hystaspes: 521 BCE (Ezra 6:6–12)
  • Decree of Artaxerxes to Ezra: 458 BCE (Ezra 7:11–26)
  • Decree of Artaxerxes to Nehemiah: 444 BCE (Nehemiah 2:1–8)

Image credit: Modern Event Preparedness, flickr, CC

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • busterggi

    Funny how none of the Christian apologists mention how the prophesy of Jesus returning to begin his rule while at least some of his original followers were still alive was obviously wrong.

    • epicurus

      And if you mention it, just watch the back peddling and bizarre explanations fly of what Jesus actually meant. Because of course Jesus could never be wrong, so He must have meant something else.

    • Inconvenient truth. Sometimes a plain reading of the Bible doesn’t suit them.

      • wtfwjtd

        To the apologist, the Bible almost never means what it says; it means…whatever they say it means, in the context of whatever conversation they happen to be in at the moment. In other words, Biblical meaning is always a moving target.
        Biblical Prophecy is like shooting a piece of paper, and then drawing a target around the resulting hole.

        • And that’s why there are 45,000 denominations. And counting.

        • Almost an exact quote: “No man ever believes that the Bible means what it says; he is always convinced that it says what he means.”-George Bernard Shaw

    • mordred

      The last JWs showing up at my door claimed this was not a problem, because some of them will be among those resurrected when he returns, so they will be alive when he returns.

      I’m afraid that was the point where I started laughing.

      • epeeist

        Latest Jesus and Mo.

      • Jack Baynes

        Jesus said they would not taste death.
        Duh.. death doesn’t have a flavor. It’s like tofu

        • Greg G.

          Dammit, Jack, you beat me to it.

    • Many churches do not teach millenialism. They teach that the church is the kingdom and that the prophecies were fulfilled on the day of Pentecost, so many of the people Jesus was talking to were still alive. And regarding the prophecies about the coming tribulations, well, that was about the destruction of Jerusalem. So many Christians think that those were fulfilled prophecies, and that Jesus will return one more time, not to establish an earthly kingdom, but for final judgment when the universe will be destroyed and everyone will go either to Heaven or Hell.

      • Greg G.

        Preterism?

        • Had to look that up. Yes, that’s what I’m referring to. I was in the Church of Christ, so our “proof texts” said there was only one thing remaining to be fulfilled, the final judgment. And also, miracles don’t happen anymore! Got a proof text for that, too!

        • Greg G.

          And also, miracles don’t happen anymore!

          Does that means that car wreck where the Bible wasn’t harmed was not a miracle?

  • Dys

    The entire “look at all these fulfilled prophecies” attempts are full of far too many holes to be taken seriously, and are much easier to explain without a need for magical foresight.

    The authors of the NT were very familiar with the OT, and were perfectly capable of crafting stories to match up with the prophecies (or invented prophecies) of the OT.

    • T-Paine

      They (the authors) all had Septuagint copies with them. I would bet they had their copies open on their desks as they were writing their tales in a blank codex!

      • Greg G.

        Paul was prone to paraphrasing with varying degrees of accuracy. Much of that was due to the point he was trying to make.

    • And yet it’s the one my wife tries to use on me. *sigh* That and “no other book is like this one!”

  • GubbaBumpkin

    In memory of WinAce
    Prophecy for Dummies

  • Jack Baynes

    Those are my favorite kinds of prophecy, where a prophecy in one part of the book is fulfilled in another part of the book.

    Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone prophesies that Harry will kill Voldemort, then in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows it comes true!!! Harry Potter must be true!

  • RichardSRussell

    Every cake is a miraculous fulfillment of a prophecy called a recipe.

    • Sophia Sadek

      If it comes out of my oven in one piece, it is a miracle.

      • Greg G.

        When I try to double that recipe, everything looks good until I put the cake into the oven at 700 F and back it for 50 minutes. Then it becomes a burnt sacrifice.

        • A friend of mine put a cake in the oven. The oven apparently was haunted and switched itself to Clean mode (where it locks the door and turns the temperature up to 700 degrees for 3 hours). It wouldn’t cancel, and she had to turn it off at the circuit breaker.

          True story.

        • Kodie

          It’s only good manners to put a cake in the oven before it cleans itself, as a gesture of gratitude. I mean, if an oven can clean itself, you don’t have to stick your head in there.

        • Jack Baynes

          And you especially don’t want to be sticking your head in a haunted oven to clean it.

        • Greg G.

          Put enough icing on it and nobody is the wiser.

  • RichardSRussell

    They couldn’t even get out of the very 1st chapter of the very 1st book of the New Testment without an egregious whopper — one which gets read from every Protestant pulpit at Christmas every year, and none of the sheep notice how blatantly contradictory it is:

    (23) Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name EMMANUEL, which being interpreted is, God with us….

    (25) And [Joseph] knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name JESUS.

    • “Emmanuel” was his middle name.

      Most people think that it was Jesus H. Christ, but it was actually Jesus E. Christ.

      If you ever need another bullshit answer, just let me know.

      • RichardSRussell

        I imagine that, over the years during which you’ve been doing this blog, you’ve heard WAY more than your fair share of bullshit answers!

      • Cygnus

        Most middle name of Jesus I heard was: Jesus F Christ

        I didn’t want to say what “F” stands for because it is not allowed to say the name of the Lord in an atheist blog.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Is that another Cygnusism?

        • Cygnus

          Is this another biting me in the ass?

        • Ignorant Amos

          Such a huge target, it’s hard to miss really.

        • Cygnus

          So you don’t miss biting me in the ass because a I have a big ass?
          How more stupid you can get?

        • MNb

          A lot more – until he is as stupid as you. That’s still a long way to go.

        • Ignorant Amos

          I’ll take that as a compliment of sorts…}8O)~

        • Cygnus

          You meant to say as stupid as you are. But at least you admit he’s stupid and you still have to work on your English.
          Stupidity is not quantifiable (i.e. “a lot more”) it manifests, like in what you write.

        • MNb

          So comprehensive reading doesn’t belong to your skills either. However you think mind reading does.

          “Stupidity is not quantifiable”
          Even this backfires to you. If you are convinced of this you shouldn’t have asked “how more stupid ….?”

        • Cygnus

          The fact that the adjective “stupid” has subjective degrees of comparison doesn’t make “stupid” quantifiable. You are such a moron that you confuse “stupidity’ with “ignorance”. BTW “moron” is a term used in psychology to describe your mild intellectual disability

        • Ignorant Amos

          Stupidity is not quantifiable

          Ach, c’mon now Cygnus, not even you can be that stupid. I mean, who could be so stupid to say such a stupid thing?

          Stupid people have lots of problems. They mess up, foul up, and screw up. In a world in which intelligence is adaptive, stupid people obtain less value, and they suffer the consequences. To combat stupidity, society has invented education and training. Used wisely, education and training can build skills and even raise intelligence itself. A barrier to this course of action is that many, perhaps most, of the stupid people fail to understand that they are stupid. Like others, they believe that they are better than average. Except that in their case, this belief is grossly in error, and it keeps them from taking remedial action.

          The regression account of the pattern makes no psychological distinctions between stupid and smart people other than that the former are stupider than the latter. They both tend to self-enhance, and neither achieves perfect accuracy. By contrast, Dunning and colleagues maintain that there is something special about stupid people. These people are doubly stupid because they get low scores without realizing that they do. Ross Mueller and I suggested that a hypothesis that refers to two separate phenomena (type I stupidity and type II stupidity) requires separate measures. Claiming 2 layers of stupidity is not parsimonious (not smart) if a single linear model can explain the data. The idea that stupid people are also plagued by meta-stupidity could be corroborated, for example, their estimated percentiles (i.e., what percentages of others they think they outperformed) were even higher than the estimates provided by intermediate performers. Williams, Dunning, and Kruger (2013) now present data with just this sort of pattern. Plotting estimates of own performance against measured performance, they find a U-shaped curve, which amounts to a quadratic trend in statistical analysis. What changed in the last 14 years?

          To Williams et al., participants scoring 0 are stupider than participants scoring 1 or 2. Type I stupidity is now the product of type II stupidity. >/i>

          https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/one-among-many/201308/stupid-people

        • Cygnus

          In spite of his Ph.D, Joachim I Krueger doesn’t hide the fact that he can manifest his ignorance (not stupidity). Psychology used to describe some grades of mental deficiency as “moron”, but “stupid” is used by ignorant psychologists,especially american psychologists.

          Idiotic”, “imbecilic”, “stupid” were formerly considered a valid descriptor in the psychological community, but it is now deprecated in use by psychologists.

          So, you are just a retard trying to explain that adjectives can have degrees of comparison, yet the comparison are subjective while the fact that you are mentally retarded is real.

        • Ignorant Amos

          In spite of his Ph.D, Joachim I Krueger doesn’t hide the fact that he can manifest his ignorance (not stupidity).

          So what? Everyone is ignorant about most things, otherwise omniscience. What has that got to do with anything I presented?

          Psychology used to describe some grades of mental deficiency as “moron”, but “stupid” is used by ignorant psychologists,especially american psychologists.

          So what, again? Just more red herrings and non sequiturs, what’s your point?

          Idiotic”, “imbecilic”, “stupid” were formerly considered a valid descriptor in the psychological community, but it is now deprecated in use by psychologists.

          So what, AGAIN? Who gives a fuck?

          It was once believed that the four humors defined a persons temperament and they tell me baked beans are magnetically cleaned…Mount Nowshak is also the 52nd highest mountain in the world, all very interesting in their own way, but what’s your point?

          So, you are just a retard trying to explain that adjectives can have degrees of comparison, yet the comparison are subjective while the fact that you are mentally retarded is real.

          So I’m retarded trying to explain that adjectives can have degrees of comparison, yet in the same fucking sentence you say, “the comparison are subjective”, really?

          You are a fucking moron. Do you not know what a comparative adjective is, Cygnus?

          Of course adjectives are subjective. To someone penniless, I’m rich. To me and the penniless, a millionaire is richer. To the penniless, me and a millionaire, a billionaire is richer and richest. To someone with ill health, we are all rich.

          Recognizing and choosing comparative adjectives really isn’t difficult. Just remember they are used to compare two objects, people, or places, they are created by adding the suffix -er to the positive form of a one-syllable adjective or they are have the word more or less preceding them if the positive adjective is three syllables or more. By keeping these simple rules in mind – plus memorizing a few irregular forms – you can confidently use comparative adjectives in your writing.

          stu·pid (sto͞o′pĭd, styo͞o′-)
          adj. stu·pid·er, stu·pid·est

          Example. In a set of hypothetical idiots.

          MNb is stupid.

          Ignorant Amos is stupider.

          Cygnus is the stupidest.

          To BobS were are all stupid, but I’m stupider and you are stupidest by demonstration. It being subjective doesn’t change the fact that there are levels of stupidity and only the stupidest are too stupid to realise it.

          You’ve got Dunning-Kruger effect real bad. Or is bad not quantifiable either?

          You can carry on digging this hole you’ve started, but you are going to look stupid, stupider and the stupidest.

        • MNb

          “MNb is stupid”
          and barely stupid enough to deny it.

        • Cygnus

          You used a retard scale to show that “Cygnus is the stupidest”
          But what else can I expect from you?

        • Kodie

          Why do you think you’re contributing anything.

        • Cygnus

          I contribute by trying to educate Ignorant about stupidity. Stupidity is not quantifiable and by quantifiable it means there should be a unit of measuring of stupidity.

          However, if you consider Ignorant retard comparisons (stupid, less stupid, more stupid) as quantifying stupidity, then you don’t have a clue what contributing means.

          On the other hand, mental retardness can be observed when an oligophrenic continues his/her pathetic quest to insult me.

        • MR

          You certainly contribute to the stupidity around here.

        • Cygnus

          Including yours.

        • MR

          Each is responsible for his own. Take steps, Mr. Molesley. Maybe you’ll find that some of your contribution is actually appreciated.

        • Cygnus

          So, if I don’t get your vote, Ignorant’s and MNb’s, I don’t bring any contribution? And all that pathetic, and pitiful attempts to insult me, voting each others trying to hide your insecurity, you call it contribution? C’mon, get a life.

        • MR

          Not when you spend most of your time simply being a douche for the sake of being a douche. That’s not what I call contribution, no.

        • Ignorant Amos

          So, if I don’t get your vote, Ignorant’s and MNb’s,

          That you think this is about a popular back slapping contest only shows just how stupid you can be.

          Kodie is less than armored by your witless and asinine contribution. Susan has taken the tact not to engage you because she has taken your word for it that you have a mental illness.

          Here’s the rub, if you say silly shit, expect to get called out on it, being an unbeliever doesn’t get asininity a free pass. Your asininity shines a bad light on others in the mind of those that would look for fools in our midst.

          I don’t bring any contribution?

          What contribution you may or may not make is drowned out by your fuckwittery. People tend to latch on to fuckwittery, especially when it is rare and they can monopolise on it against the atheist side.

          And all that pathetic, and pitiful attempts to insult me,…

          You bring it on yourself Cygnus. I learned this the hard way in over ten years of atheist interneting. I learned by paying attention to some very educated interlocutors, a number of whom are on this very site. I used to write stupid shite when firing from the hip. You can guarantee that someone in the audience will pick it up. So what I learned over time was to do a quick look to see if what I think I’m saying is correct, is actually correct. It isn’t foolproof, but you’ll be amazed at the stuff one thought they knew, they don’t.

          Your major malfunction is a refusal to accept any criticism, demand that you don’t make mistakes, and assert that the rest of the audience and the sources they cite are wrong without any constructive rebuttal.

          People don’t look stupid for accepting an error being pointed out, you look stupid for doubling down and insisting you are right when it’s obvious you are wrong.

          Case in point, your generalisation of Christians being unintelligent. In a sub-thread that includes the comment.

          “I am totally free to call Christians I know as morons, idiots, mentally retarded and totally fucks up.

          https://disqus.com/home/discussion/crossexamined/why_we_disagree_on_moral_issues_42/#comment-2764122933

          Sorta hoists you by your own petard when you yourself quantifies stupidity though, does it not?

          …voting each others trying to hide your insecurity, you call it contribution?

          Not at all. An example just to prove your ignorance. MNb disagree’s with a number of this forums members on the historicity of Jesus question, including me. When the subject comes up, he is not behind the door on pointing out that he thinks we are being stupid and gives his reasons. I reply that I think his certainty is stupid and attempt to give my reasons why. We all don’t agree here on everything. Argumentum ad populum is not a position favoured here, but when everyone in the room is abstaining from getting involved, or shaking their heads when you are the only one nodding, perhaps a bit of self reassessment is called for, no?

          C’mon, get a life.

          Spooooiiiiinnnng!

        • Cygnus

          Guess what? You got a vote from the third member of the group that outnumbers my stupidity.
          Waiting for MR and ignorant votes Oh, you added Kodie in your group? Was that necessary for your insecurity?

        • Kodie

          When you get your hackles up, you’re not even a little interesting. It’s normal idea to punch back, but this is junk. I find you mostly at fault for instigating it, and escalating it. Nobody wants to say “sorry, let’s get over this petty bullshit” but I will do you a favor, and say folks, let’s get over this petty bullshit. Whoever shits on this post is at fault for continuing a bullshit waste of time feud of no consequence.

        • MNb

          Yeah, time to start ignoring him again. He’s an empty barrel.

        • Cygnus

          I am not escalating anything, it just amuses me that you are interested to add a reply to that not even little inserting discussion about stupidity.
          I guess they are continuing that stupid discussion for they seem so envious about not being as stupid as me 🙂
          “They” are from 3 to 6 and you can’t find one among them to tell the others “What’s wrong with you guys? Can’t you let it go?” But no, they find another stupid thing to contribute.

        • MNb

          Your stupidity is further confirmed by your whining about upvotes. You’re the first unbeliever to do so; usually it’s the stupid christians – invariably creationists – who do so as a last resort.
          Your main if not only use on this blog is reminding us that unbelief is no guarantee against stupidity. You show this in about 90% of your comments and are as unwilling to get rid of your beloved stupidities as almost all creationists – who incidentally also arrogantly claim they want to educate others and invariably miserably fail.

        • Cygnus

          I am not whining about you finding solace in being up-voted by your stupid, but not so stupid as you, elite in “quantifying” stupidity vis-a-vis to “more or less” stupids.

        • MNb

          “if you consider Ignorant retard comparisons (stupid, less stupid, more stupid) as quantifying stupidity”
          I’m afraid this demonstrates your stupidity, not IA’s.

        • Cygnus

          Dear retard, quantifying requires a unit of measurement, THEN you can quantify – express or measure the quantity of stupidity.

          But let me really quantify stupidity, you, Ignorant and MR are there stupids, I am one, therefore the quantity of stupidity is heavier on your side 🙂

        • MNb

          Dear Squeaking Swan, you don’t even understand what you’re arguing against. As such you just confirm you stupidity.
          Now IA already has tried to explain it to you so there is no use in me trying. All that remains is: if you meet one retard on a blog he/she is a retard. When you meet six of them you are the retard.

        • Cygnus

          Heh, I have fun answering to stupids according to their stupidity, even if others may think that I am looking as stupid as them. If stupids want to continue with their stupidity, then let it be.

        • MNb

          No, we don’t think you are looking as stupid as us. We have concluded from your many stupid comments that you’re more stupid than us, even if stupidity isn’t measurable and quantifiable.
          One fine example is in your very comment.

          If “the stupidest” is meaningless because not measurable and quantifiable than your “as stupid as them” is meaningless as well. You have contradicted yourself without realizing it.
          That’s one of the most stupid things to do on internet. I know, because it happened to myself. The difference between me and you is that I sometimes realize and admit my stupidities, hoping to avoid them in the future. You never admit your stupidities and thus remain stuck in your stupidity. And that, my dear Squeaking Swan, is the utter stupidity. You share it with nearly all creacrappers.
          Plus of course the same applies. If you meet one stupid on a blog he/she is the stupid one. When you meet six of them you are the stupid one.
          May I conclude that you’re so stupid that this flies above your stupid head?

        • Ignorant Amos

          Another wasted effort I suspect.

          As Kodie points out, this flogged dead horse has run its course. There is no talking to Cygnus, he is a lost cause. He is best ignored and allowed to wallow in his asininity, frustrating as that might be.

          My only concern is that some of his moronic musings will give succour to the straw man atheist that theists have built in their heads. But there doesn’t seem to be much that can be done about it if Cygnus can’t or won’t accept that he is not infallible.

        • MNb

          Yup. My reason to jump in was to give you a bit of support (as if you needed it that badly, ha). It’s easy to get carried away and that’s one stupidity of mine I’m quick to admit.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Well, it has been a bit slow over the last couple of days.

          No one gets anymore carried away than me.

          The issue isn’t quite just a case of arguing for arguments sake as it dovetails in with the Dunning-Kruger thread along similar lines, but no more time should be wasted on Cygnus, he doesn’t seem worth it in hindsight.

        • Cygnus

          “No, we don’t think you are looking as stupid as us”
          ===
          This is the stupidest thing I have ever had the displeasure of seeing, your stupidity very existence means the world is a shade more idiotic. Well done. Well done. Enlarge the group of stupids that are not as stupid as I. The more the merrier.

        • Ignorant Amos

          However, if you consider Ignorant retard comparisons (stupid, less stupid, more stupid) as quantifying stupidity, then you don’t have a clue what contributing means.

          Where did I make these “retard” comparisons, “stupid, less stupid, more stupid”?

          You are a stupid lying cretin Cygnus.

          You can prattle on all you like, but the fact remains, there are levels of stupidity. An individuals stupidity is quantifiable and you’ve presented exactly zero of anything in support of your stupid assertion it is not.

          http://bookofthrees.com/iq-test-3-levels-of-stupidity/

          The World Stupidity Awards and Darwin Awards are examples of quantifiable stupidity.

          The later was used as data to support the assertion, “Men really are more stupid than women, research shows”.

          http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/science/science-news/11288874/Men-really-are-more-stupid-than-women-research-shows.html

          In “Understanding Stupidity”, James F. Welles defines stupidity this way: “The term may be used to designate a mentality which is considered to be informed, deliberate and maladaptive.” Welles distinguishes stupidity from ignorance; one must know they are acting in their own worst interest. Secondly, it must be a choice, not a forced act or accident. Lastly, it requires the activity to be maladaptive, in that it is in the worst interest of the actor, and specifically done to prevent adaption to new data or existing circumstances.”

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stupidity

          Now, with all that said….you carry on with your stupid line of reasoning and prove my point.

          https://qph.ec.quoracdn.net/main-qimg-2e1439c2f98cff0ae5edd4504038c199-c?convert_to_webp=true

        • Cygnus

          “…you carry on with your stupid line of reasoning”
          ===
          Nah, you did a great job with: ” there are levels of stupidity.”

          Go back to school and learn about IQ. There are levels of intelligence, yours cannot be measured, it is infinitesimal, negligible, as is for any other retard, be happy, ignorance is bliss.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Nah, you did a great job with: ” there are levels of stupidity.”

          And there ARE levels, your denying it doesn’t change that fact. You’ll have to forgive my not just accepting your unsupported rantings on this point, it’s not how argument is done around here. I have repeatedly shown examples which you either ignore, can’t comprehend, or have hand waved away. Observers of this can witness your stupidity first hand.

          Go back to school and learn about IQ.

          Perhaps you should try taking some of your own advice.

          You do not appear to know what an IQ test is Cygnus.

          A clue for you, it is in the name. Intelligence quotient.

          There are levels of intelligence,…

          Good. We agree on this point, that’s a good foundation to begin with.

          An intelligence quotient (IQ) is a total score derived from one of several standardized tests designed to assess human intelligence.

          Let me clarify. It is a method used for measuring and assessing levels of intelligence.

          Now, with that in mind, let’s move forward…slowly, just for you.

          Stupidity is a level of intelligence. If you can measure intelligence, you can measure stupidity, ergo it is quantifiable. Every one here knows folk that are stupider than other folk. Fact.

          stu·pid
          ˈst(y)o͞opəd/

          adjective: stupid; comparative adjective: stupider; superlative adjective: stupidest

          1. lacking intelligence or common sense.
          “I was stupid enough to think she was perfect”

          synonyms: unintelligent, ignorant, dense, foolish, dull-witted, slow, simpleminded, vacuous, vapid, idiotic, imbecilic, imbecile, obtuse, doltish; More

          antonyms: intelligent, sensible

          Now. Do you see how this fits together, dimwit?

          The IQ Test is used to measure ones level of intelligence. Ones level of intelligence is used to measure ones level of stupidity. They are directly proportional, apparently.

          It isn’t rocket science.

          …yours cannot be measured, it is infinitesimal, negligible, as is for any other retard, be happy, ignorance is bliss.

          Which is just the kind of knuckle dragging nonsense you keep repeating and it is not doing you any favours.

        • Cygnus

          Dear retard, it is not rocket science that comparisons are not quantifying.
          “More or less” without a unit of measure is not quantifying, it is just idiotic comparing of “stupidity”, like you are doing, an imbecilic “direct proportional” of intelligence.
          Lack of intelligence is not stupidity, is mental retardation, something you suffer from.

        • Ignorant Amos

          So you don’t miss biting me in the ass because a I have a big ass?

          Not understand parody then? Figures.

          How more stupid you can get?

          A mountain of stupid to climb to get to your level, that’s for sure Cygnus.

      • T-Paine

        No it is actually Jesus H(emmanuel) Christ. The H is silent.

        • I should’ve known that English pronunciation rules apply. After all, the Bible was written in English.

          “If English was good enough for Jesus Christ, it’s good enough for Texas.” — Texas governor Miriam “Ma” Ferguson, when arguing against the teaching of foreign languages in the 1920s

        • Philmonomer

          Unfortunately, the quote sounds too good to be true.

        • Your skepticism is appropriate, but I believe it’s an actual quote. I’ve only seen it used approvingly. If you find otherwise, please let us know.

        • Greg G.

          I once saw the quote attributed to a more recent figure and someone corrected the person to an earlier time and I think it was Ferguson. So I can back it up with a memory with less than twenty years of corruption.

        • Philmonomer

          This source (Benjamin Zimmer: a linguist and a research associate at the Univ. of Penn. at the time he wrote this) seems to think it’s fake:

          http://itre.cis.upenn.edu/%7Emyl/languagelog/archives/003084.html

          I couldn’t find anything that says the quote is real.

          [It also seems possible to me that it was actually said, but with a wink and a nod–a joke–although I couldn’t find any actual record of it being said as a joke or otherwise.]

        • It’s interesting that so popular a saying can’t be well attributed.

        • MNb

          If she said it she might not be the first one:

          http://itre.cis.upenn.edu/~myl/languagelog/archives/003084.html

          Just like Marx was not the first one to say that religion is the opiate of the people, Churchill did not coin the expression Iron Curtain, President Kennedy was not the first to recommend asking what you can do for your country and Paley did no invent the watchmaker analogy.

          (respectively Novalis, Göbbels, Judge Holmes and Cicero as far as I know).

        • Thanks for the research.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Miriam Ferguson is often credited with a quote allegedly spoken in reference to bilingualism in Texas schools: “If English was good enough for Jesus Christ, it ought to be good enough for the children of Texas.” However, variations of this going back to 1881 were often used to ridicule the claimed backwardness of various unnamed Christians, which supports the argument that the attribution to Ferguson is false.

        • So that’s why I didn’t have to take a foreign language in high school!? (It could very well be the case. It wasn’t a requirement in the state in the 1970s, and not by my high school.)

      • al kimeea

        H for haploid

      • MR

        Harry Potter?

        Jesus Harry Potter Christ

        Maybe JK Rowling was the second coming and we all missed it!

        • Ignorant Amos

          Interesting…

          http://www.jesuspotterharrychrist.com

          A PDF is available online.

        • Greg G.

          Could be Jesus MF Christ, if one were to believe the Trinitarians.

        • sandy

          Perhaps one of the greatest observations or questions ever taken on christianity and the birth of Christ ever. From this point on in history, this point MUST be debated. Congratulations

  • Robert Conner

    Failed. Definitely failed. Here’s a partial list:

    And he said to them, “Truly I tell you, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see that the kingdom of God has come with power. (Mark 9:1)

    Didn’t happen. They all died.

    Even so, you too, when you see these things happening, recognize that He is near, right at the door. Truly I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place. (Mark 13:29-30)

    Nope, that generation passed away.

    …we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. (1 Thessalonians 4:15-17)

    Also didn’t happen. Nobody Paul wrote to is “still alive.”

    “I am,” said Jesus. “And you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven.” (Mark 14:62)

    So didn’t happen.

    When you are persecuted in one place, flee to another. Truly I tell you, you will not finish going through the towns of Israel before the Son of Man comes. (Matthew 10:23)

    Also didn’t happen. Again.

    Truly I tell you, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom. (Matthew 16:28)

    Nope, didn’t happen either. All dead.

    What I am saying, brothers, is that the time is short. From now on those who have wives should live as if they had none… (1 Corinthians 7:29)

    Au contraire, plenty of time. Take a second honeymoon in Ireland. Take your gay spouse.

    Now these things happened to them as an example, but they were written down for our instruction, on whom the end of the ages has come. (1 Corinthians 10:11)

    Sorry! Wrong again! It’s all still here.

    And do this, understanding the present time: The hour has already come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. The night is nearly over; the day is almost here… (Romans 13:11-12)

    Almost here? Not even close.

    He who is the faithful witness to all these things says, “Yes, I am coming soon!” Amen! Come, Lord Jesus! (Revelation 22:20)

    Don’t wait up.

    They will say, “Where is this ‘coming’ he promised? Ever since our ancestors died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation.” (2 Peter 3:4)

    Good question!

    • Good list, thanks.

    • busterggi

      Regular Criswell wasn’t he?

    • al kimeea

      You are, of course, taking all those verses out of context. /s

      • Robert Conner

        And what “context” is that, Al?

        • Ignorant Amos

          I think al is being sarcastic…the “/s” tends to give it away. }8O)~

        • Robert Conner

          Sorry! Reading comprehension 101!

        • Ignorant Amos

          Hey pal, ave been there, eaten the tee shirt, watched the pie, wore the movie….so not much wrong with that as long as it is understood when pointed out.

        • al kimeea

          Yes the context of snark

        • Ignorant Amos

          Well, if it ain’t context that is our problem, it will be interpretation, or cultural relativism, or translation, or some other apologetics fuckwittery. Anything to rescue the unsaveable.

  • Cygnus

    Prophecy is a method by which related sets of information can be gathered, analyzed, and compared in such a way that it becomes possible to see trends of the past and thus predict with great accuracy the market trends of the future.

  • Logan Blackisle

    The Bible Skeptic’s playlist ‘Top 10 (Failed) Proofs the Bible Is True’ is a pretty good resource re: biblical prophecies: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLw-sbZFAk8EHxfA7oq-N5bD8AXw6FS5qC

  • Mick

    My favourite prediction appears on this site: http://christianity.about.com/od/biblefactsandlists/a/Prophecies-Jesus.htm
    The site lists 44 predictions about Jesus and #1 on the list reads:
    Messiah would be born of a woman.

    I laughed and laughed and laughed.

    • busterggi

      Had he been born of a man it would have been a lot more miraculous albeit painful.

    • Jack Baynes

      I love how they make a big deal of Jesus being descended from David (even though both genealogies only lead to Joseph…). Given how many wives Solomon had, descendants of David couldn’t have been all that remarkable.

    • GuineaPigDan .

      Sadly that “prophecy” (Genesis 3:15) is very popular among Catholics, because they like to insert Mary as “the woman” crushing the serpent. http://www.catholic.com/quickquestions/who-is-the-woman-referred-to-in-genesis-315-eve-or-mary Some apologists try to read the virgin birth into the passage, saying that the Hebrew term for “seed” can also mean semen, and since only men produce seed/semen, a woman having seed therefore must be a virgin birth. Jewish sites point out that women are said to have “seed” in other places in the Bible, such as Hagar in Genesis 16, so the virgin birth interpretation is a stretch.

  • Greg G.

    There is a “Field of Blood” in both stories. Why was it named that? In Acts, it was named this because Judas fell and died in it. In Matthew, it was because it was bought with the blood money.

    Jeremiah 19:1-2 also refers to pottery outside the Potsherd Gate in the Valley of Hinnom. Jeremiah 19:6 says it will be called the “valley of Slaughter”. I suspect that Matthew used that passage, too.

    If it was where they made pottery, the soil was clay and would have a reddish color. That is why it would be called “the Field of Blood” which would inspire stories of death and mayhem.

  • Tommykey69

    My favorite failed prophecy is when Isaiah mentions that the Nile will dry up. Well, some 2,500 or so years have passed, and it hasn’t dried up yet.

    • Greg G.

      My favorite is Ezekiel 26:1-14, about how the city of Tyre would be destroyed and never inhabited again but it is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities on Earth.

      • Ignorant Amos

        Yeah, but it will happen someday, so the prophecy is sound. Isn’t that how these things work? No need to quibble with chronology when it is all about interpretation, right?

      • That’s my favorite because Christians insist that this is an example of one that WAS fulfilled! It’s a great example of how dishonest apologists are. The passage clearly says that Nebuchadnezzar would destroy Tyre. Alexander the Great’s general did it. “It was fulfilled by Alexander” they say, but that’s not what was “prophesied!”

        It’s obvious that it was written after the fact, and that the writer didn’t quite know the story.

      • Agabu

        is this Tyre the Phoenician Empire one or modern day Lebanon Tyre one? The two Tyres can’t be the same even if located on the same spot. Surely a city cannot be more desolate or more uninhabited than one that no longer exists unless one thinks modern Lebanon and ancient Phoenicia are the same empire.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Are you being willfully ignorant or what?

          You really are a knuckle dragging fuckwit.

          Tyre, Lebanon, 2750 BCE…once upon a time Phoenician.

          Tyre was founded around 2750 BC according to Herodotus and was originally built as a walled city upon the mainland. Phoenicians from Tyre settled in houses around Memphis, south of the temple of Hephaestus in a district called the Tyrian Camp. Tyre’s name appears on monuments as early as 1300 BC. Philo of Byblos (in Eusebius) quotes the antiquarian authority Sanchuniathon as stating that it was first occupied by Hypsuranius. Sanchuniathon’s work is said to be dedicated to “Abibalus king of Berytus”—possibly the Abibaal who was king of Tyre.

          Phoenicia ….. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phoenicia

          By your logic, the Dublin today can’t be the same one settled by the Vikings, or London, England can’t be the same one that the Romans established in 43 CE since England didn’t exist since the Germanic tribes of Angles hadn’t created a settlement there until the 5th century.

          Oh ta be so asinine, with just one head

        • Agabu

          Ah where to start with a guy with “ignorant” in his screen name. The Tyre of the Phoenician empire was destroyed. So some later people came and built another city on it and maintained the name Tyre. That doesn’t make it the same Tyre, let alone a city still tied to the ancient Phoenicians. The new Tyre is tied to who now built it. Ah ta be ignorant and wear it as a badge of honour.

        • Ah ta be ignorant and wear it as a badge of honour.

          You ought to know. Your own Bible says of Tyre, “I will make you a bare rock, and you will become a place to spread fishnets. You will never be rebuilt, for I the Lord have spoken” (Ez. 26:14).

          And yet you said:

          The Tyre of the Phoenician empire was destroyed. So some later people came and built another city on it and maintained the name Tyre.

          Yes, they did. And you’ve admitted that the prophecy loses. Whoops.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Damn…just read this after commenting.

          The only place on a rock in that area is the ancient island city of Tyre and that is the place the prophecy references numerous time. The landbridge was constructed later by Alexander the Great linking the island to the coastal town of Ushu.

          Here is a school text used in Egypt, from the late 13th century BC: “WHAT IS UZU LIKE? THEY SAY ANOTHER TOWN IS IN THE SEA, NAMED TYRE-THE-PORT. WATER IS TAKEN (TO) IT BY THE BOATS, AND IT IS RICHER IN FISH THAN SAND.” (ANET, p.477) Note that this text didn’t say that Tyre HAD a port in the sea; Tyre IS the port! Also, note the word “another.” Uzu (Ushu) is NOT Tyre!

          Both the Hebrew name (Zor) and the Arabic name (Sour) of Tyre mean “rock,” and the only rock around is the island. The surrounding mainland is rather flat, and it is hard to see how one could make a “rock” out of flat land, even if the land had been rocky. Relief from the Bronze gates of Balawat of Shalmaneser III (858-824 BC) show Tyre paying tribute. This tribute is brought from an ISLAND by boat; Tyre proper is identified as an island city–not a mainland settlement. Esarhaddon (680-669 BC) of Assyria boasts of conquering Tyre, which is identified as an island. “I CONQUERED TYRE, WHICH IS (AN ISLAND) AMIDST THE SEA.” (ANET, p.290)

          https://etb-biblical-errancy.blogspot.co.uk/2012/04/ezekiels-prophecy-of-tyre-failed.html

          It is flabbergasting how the various apologetics will contradict each other in contortions in order to be able to handwave away the numerous blatant failures in the prophecy account.

        • Agabu

          R-i-g-h-t! No actually Bob S. loses. It’s already well established how inept he is at Bible interpretation.

        • Since you said nothing to counter my point, can I assume that you made a mistake and that Ezekiel got it completely wrong?

        • Agabu

          You’d like that wouldn’t you? I wont give you the satisfaction. No only you are mistaken. Read my response to Greg above on Ezekiel 26:14 which dismantles the myth that Ezekiel got it wrong.

        • Greg G.

          Do you mean me? I haven’t got a notice of any response from you that dismantles anything. Maybe you forgot to hit “Post as Agabu” before you closed the window.

        • Five minutes of searching for what you could’ve just repeated always puts me in a good mood.

          I found this from you: “The statement in Ezekiel 26:14 does not deny there would be buildings on the island. It means that Tyre would never be rebuilt into the commercial superpower she was in Ezekiel’s day.”

          And yet Ez. 26:14 says, “I will make you a bare rock, and you will become a place to spread fishnets. You will never be rebuilt, for I the Lord have spoken.”

          You’re wrong once again. Ezekiel’s “You will never be rebuilt” means “No problem if it’s rebuilt”? No need to wonder why skeptics look at apologists like you and are disgusted by your reinterpreting things to fit your presuppositions.

          Ask yourself what it means that you need to lie like this to preserve the idea of the accuracy of this ancient book of myths.

        • Kodie

          You are delusional in your grasp of what anything you said dismantled anything Greg G. said.

        • Ignorant Amos

          So Alexander the Great drove out the Phoenicians to Carthage and settled Tyre himself…the argument isn’t has Tyre been sacked at various times in it’s history, the argument is that it has been continuously inhabited since 2750 BCE. Apparently the history and archaeology supports such a claim.

          World Heritage Sites connected to Oldest continuously inhabited cities

          http://www.worldheritagesite.org/tags/tag.php?id=1224

          When whichever side ends up finally wining the Syrian war and settling the decimated ancient city of Aleppo will that mean that it’s 4,300 years BCE plus continuous habitation will be broken.

          You will have to show me that Tyre was leveled and that EVERYONE left for a period of time, whereupon new settlers arrived and rebuilt and settled. Can you do that?

          And even then, your pedantic ballix, even if warranted, still flies in the face of the prophet.

          Ezekiel 26:14 “I will make you a bare rock; you shall be a place for the spreading of nets; you shall never be rebuilt; for I the Lord have spoken, says the Lord God.”

          BTW, you do know you’ve engaged in a pathetic fallacious ad hominem attack, yes?

        • Agabu

          As a siderbar to my response to Greg G, consider the following:

          The country of Lebanon has been developing Tyre as a tourist attraction in recent years. However, visitors during the 19th century reported only a tiny village with a few miserable hovels. Patricia Bikai, the only legal excavator in recent times, observes that little of the splendor remained at this time. Ships in the 1800s usually bypassed it, except to occasionally stop and gloat over it (Bikai 1990: 22–23).

          In 1838, the year following a devastating earthquake, Edward Robinson visited the area and made the following remarks:

          I continued my walk along the shore of the peninsula, part of which is now unoccupied except as “a place to spread nets upon” [Ez 26:5, 14] musing upon the pride and fall of ancient Tyre. Here was the little isle, once covered by her palaces and surrounded by her fleets: but alas! Thy riches and thy fame…Where are they? Tyre has indeed become like “the top of a rock” [Ez 26:4, 14]. [Seeing only broken pillars beneath the waves, he remarked:] The hovels that now nestle upon a portion of her site present no contradiction of the dread decree, “You will never be rebuilt” [Ez 26:14] (1852: 395).

          The lithographs of David Roberts (see front cover and pages 48–49) show the utter devastation there in 1839. In 1894 D. L. Miller wrote the following about Tyre:

          When Volney visited the place some years ago he wrote, “The whole village of Tyre contains only 50 or 60 poor families who live obscurely on the produce of their little and trifling fishery” (587).

          A traveler visiting Tyre over a century ago made this observation:

          The island, as such, is not more than a mile in length. The part which projects south beyond the isthmus is perhaps a quarter of a mile broad, and is rocky and uneven. It is now unoccupied except by fishermen, as a “place to spread nets on” (Thompson 1969: 190–91).

          In the early 20th century, only 500 impoverished Persian schismatics lived there in miserable hovels (M. Unger: 1966:1121–22). In 1911, Hastings’ A Dictionary of the Bible called Tyre “a stagnant village in a stagnant Turkey.” It was avoided by steamers, being considered too insignificant for a visit (Mackie 1911: 825).

          PS: I don’t think I did. But if I did engage in an ad hominem attack, I apologise.

        • Ignorant Amos
        • Agabu

          And yet here you are basking in thick-headedness and ignorance.

        • Ignorant Amos
        • MNb

          “only a tiny village”
          So still inhabited.

          “part of which is now unoccupied”
          So still partly inhabited.

          “only 50 or 60 poor families”
          So still partly inhabited.

          “only 500 impoverished Persian schismatics lived there”
          So still partly inhabited.
          Such things happen to many cities. If you think this evidence for the prophecy then you trivialize that prophecy. I can do it too.
          One day a homosexual will be the President of the United States.
          I don’t say when. I don’t specify what I mean with homosexuality.
          I don’t specify United States.
          Now just let’s wait long enough.

        • Agabu

          Stop grasping at straws man. It’s not doing you any favours. The tiny village, 50 or 60 families and 500 impoverished Persian schismatics weren’t living in the old Tyre razed by Alexander the Great. That Tyre’s ruins are still buried beneath the ground and the water is testimony to “her” being gone foever. Although Alexander did not completely destroy Tyre seeing as it did later regain prominence. The fact is in 1291 AD the Mameluke Muslims took it and reduced it to ashes. It was the policy of these invaders to make their destruction so severe that Crusaders would not be tempted to ever reoccupy it (Hitti 1997).

        • Greg G.

          One impoverished Persian living there after Nebuchadnezzar would mean the city was inhabited and the prophecy was invalidated.

        • Agabu

          No it wouldn’t. The fact that you mention Nebuchadnezzar shows how you haven’t really read the prophecy and properly understood it. A succession of nations coming against ancient Tyre is in view beginning with Babylon.

        • Greg G.

          The many nations are mentioned before Nebuchadnezzar is mentioned as the king of kings. The many nations would then be under Nebuchadnezzar who finishes them. So the fact that it was standing in Alexander the Great’s day is a prophecy failure.

          Ezekiel says it would not be inhabited. If it is inhabited, the prophecy fails.

        • Ignorant Amos

          That Tyre’s ruins are still buried beneath the ground and the water is testimony to “her” being gone foever.

          That comment alone refutes the prophecy ya clown.

          Hoist by your own petard methinks.

        • MNb

          As my feet are firmly planted on the solid ground of the hard facts you yourself have provided I don’t need any straws.
          You are jumping to and fro between island/peninsula Tyre and main land Tyre like a frog on hot plate. You can’t even decide in what year the prophecy was actually fulfilled. So you have done a good job confirming what I wrote above: you have trivialized the city so much that it has become as meaningless as my prophecy that one day a homosexual will be President of the USA.

        • Greg G.

          The country of Lebanon has been developing Tyre as a tourist attraction in recent years.

          Lebanon has been rebuilding the city which refutes the Ezekiel prophecy about it and the superstition that the Bible is reliable. Tyre is the fourth largest city in Lebanon.

        • Agabu

          No it doesn’t refute anything in the Bible. Is Lebanon rebuilding Tyre as the old city complete with palaces and temples in honour of ancient deities, re-branding it as Phoenician and not Lebanese in character and re-establishing the city as a world commercial superpower rivaling New York, London or Tokyo? Hmmm…you got your work cut out for you man. I wait in bated breath for your “evidence” in this regard.

        • Kodie

          Welcome to planet earth? Reinhabiting the land itself refutes this “prediction”. People don’t usually prefer to go backwards in time, they progress, they don’t live in the past. When the bible “prophesies” that the Jews will return to make a nation of Israel, it’s really really important to them that they get back to a particular land, that it’s the actual piece of land itself, but not really about how much has changed, or even the people who live there now.

        • Greg G.

          Ezekiel 26:14 says it would not be rebuilt.

        • MR

          Guess it depends on your definition of not. Let’s take a look, shall we?

          And I will make thee like the top of a rock: thou shalt be a place to spread nets upon; thou shalt be built no more: for I the Lord have spoken it, saith the Lord God. –Ezekiel 26.14

          Okay, so what does ‘no’ actually mean? Well, it means nothing, nada, zero, zilch. So, clearly, the word being nothing, we can simply remove it from the text so that it now reads:

          …thou shalt be built __ more: for I the Lord have spoken it, saith the Lord God.

          See. Problem solved.

          Christian Apologetics 101: When you’re wrong, just bluff your way through.

          [e: obscure reference: History of the Siege of Lisbon –Jose Saramago]

        • Ignorant Amos

          I’ve read some cracking apologetics on this one.

          One of the most disputed aspects concerning Ezekiel’s prophecy is the statement that the city of Tyre would “never be rebuilt” (26:14), and “be no more forever” (28:19). The skeptic points to modern day Tyre and suggests that these statements have failed to materialize. Till stated: “In fact, Tyre still exists today, as anyone able to read a map can verify. This obvious failure of a highly touted Old Testament prophet is just one more nail in the coffin of the Bible inerrancy doctrine” (n.d.).

          Several possible solutions dissolve this alleged problem,…

          http://apologeticspress.org/apcontent.aspx?category=13&article=1790

          From there the hilarity begins.

        • MNb

          A brilliant observation:

          “Any traces of the Phoenician city were either destroyed long ago or remain buried under today’s city.”
          Indeed it would be highly remarkable if the remnants of the old Phoenician city were found above today’s city.

        • MR

          Even as a Christian I would have cringed. Strobel had a similar effect on me. They so stretch credulity, it’s painful.

          Again, imagine no one had seen this text before and it was just recently found. Now imagine that the prophecy was attributed to a Muslim prophet, say, and was used to support Islam. Would Christians buy these same arguments? No, the arguments are bad; it’s the apologist’s need to believe they’re true that makes them seem convincing.

        • Agabu

          And “she” wasn’t rebuilt. Notice the use of personal pronouns with respect to the city in Ezekiel 26:1-14. The statement that Tyre will never be rebuilt means more than the restructuring of stones, wood and mortar. Tyre will never regain international prominence as a world trader and colonizer. She will never be a rich, prosperous, flourishing, world power as she was in Ezekiel’s day. The denial of rebuilding goes far beyond a mere architectural project. it must include making Tyre into the “person” she was in the early sixth century BC. It must be kept in mind that the meaning is “YOU will never be rebuilt,” not “the city will never be rebuilt.”

          The statement in Ezekiel 26:14 does not deny there would be buildings on the island. It means that Tyre would never be rebuilt into the commercial superpower she was in Ezekiel’s day. It means that the palaces and temples of Ezekiel’s day would forever lie deep underneath the ground (and the water), never to be revived. It would in no way be rebuilt into the prosperous, powerful living entity she was at the time the oracle was given.

          A close reading of the text of Ezekiel 26:1-14 reveals the following facts:

          1. The rubble from Tyre would be put into the sea. This was fulfilled in 332 BC by Alexander the Great’s army, 250 years after Ezekiel was written.

          2. The passage does not state that Nebuchadnezzar would capture the island city and get its wealth. On the other hand, it does not say Nebuchadnezzar would not conquer Tyre at all—he conquered “Old Tyre.” It
          simply states he did not get anything of value from it. This is exactly what Ezekiel 29:17ff states. There is no contradiction.

          3. The total destruction of Tyre would be accomplished gradually by one nation after another.

          4. In the end Tyre would be destroyed down to the bare rock and never rebuilt. The final destruction took place in AD 1291, almost 2,000 years after Ezekiel was written.

          Thus it turns out that, with a close investigation of the text and history, Ezekiel 26 is actually a proof text for the truth, trustworthiness and divine origin of the Bible!

        • busterggi

          As long as you ignore reality the bible is 100% !

        • Agabu

          More like as long as you ignore reality the Bible’s a fraud.

        • MNb

          The reality that Tyre is rebuild, you mean?
          That armies in 1000 BCE didn’t have 1,3 million soldiers like 2 Sam. 24:9 claims? Compare: Napoleon invaded Russia with 0,5 million soldiers.

        • Agabu

          Well if the Tyre of Ezekiel’s day has been rebuilt, show me a picture of its original Phoenician buildings, and I’ll concede the point

        • Greg G.

          Is Jerusalem still standing? It was destroyed twice. Show me a picture of its original buildings or the buildings of the rebuilt city.

        • Agabu

          Sorry, but we’re not talking about Jerusalem here. Your bait and switch tactics only show you got nothing in the way of evidence in this regard. But if you want to keep your pretensions about the Bible being wrong, whatever makes you sleep at night man.

        • Kodie

          Man, you are really fucking hypocritical. It’s not bait and switch, it’s showing you a fucking analogy right from your precious bible. You accept a definition, you reject a definition, whichever fits your need for the bible to be “right” all the time, no matter what. Whatever helps YOU sleep at night, but why are you bothering smart people with your dumb problems? That’s the real question at hand.

        • Kodie

          I don’t think you understand how time works.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Or much of anything else for that matter.

        • MNb

          Well if the London of the 7th Century is the same as the London of 2016, show me a picture of its original 7th Century buildings.
          The more often you repeat your silly argument the sillier it becomes.
          Also thanks for ignoring the other example, thus confirming what Busterggi wrote above: the Bible is 100% for you because you ignore reality (that a tribal army about 3000 years ago can’t be 2,6 times as large as Napoleon’s Grand Armee).

        • Ignorant Amos

          C’mon…Moses traipsed around the desert with circa 3 million folk and associated livestock while running roughshod over all in his path…didn’t he?

          Cause the buybull authors never made stuff up.

          In other news, Nostradamus was sure some spot on prophet with them there quatrains.

        • epeeist

          1000BCE – world population estimate is 50 million (source). Somehow I doubt that a goodly chunk of them were in an army in the Middle East at the time. If there had you might have thought that there would have been some archaeological evidence…

        • Jack Baynes

          Why do you stop at 26:14 and not continue on to 26:20?

        • Agabu

          Because verse 14 is largely the point in question. But I catch your meaning. Context is important, after all. Verse 20 rather gloriously confirms the fact that modern archaeologists have not unearthed the great buildings of Ezekiel’s day. Such great structures as the palace and temple of Hercules are yet to be found. James Pritchard, University of Pennsylvania archaeology director at Sarepta in Lebanon (1971), made the following observation:

          Tyre, to be sure, is a principal showplace of archaeological treasures from the Hellenistic and Roman periods. Yet so spectacular are its public buildings that they cannot be removed to get at the remains that lie beneath (1978: 11).

        • Jack Baynes

          Context is important

          Yes, it is. And when we add the context of the later verses, your argument is destroyed like Tyre was not.

          Verses 19 and 20 make it clear that the city will not be inhabitable an more, not just your claim that Tyre will just not be the power it once was.

        • Agabu

          Sorry to burst your bubble, but my argument isn’t destroyed. Your flimsy handling of the biblical text though is. Keep grasping at those straws. It’s all you’ve got. Read my response to Greg G. about Ezekiel 26:14

        • Jack Baynes

          You mean where you claim it doesn’t mean that Tyre will have no buildings just that it won’t be the commercial superpower it was?

          If you don’t stop reading at 26:14, it’s very clear that the chapter is saying that Tyre will no longer be inhabited. But that’s exactly why you want to stop early.

        • Agabu

          How cute. Those straws must have the feeling of cashmere. Yes the Old Tyre of Ezekiel’s day is no longer inhabited. “She” is buried beneath everything else.

        • Jack Baynes

          It does not say “You will never again be a great city”, it is “You will never again be inhabited”.

        • Agabu

          Exactly. YOU will never be inhabited. And she isn’t. The old Tyre is gone forever. Today it’s a world heritage site with later buildings built over the original old Tyre. And your point is what again.

        • Jack Baynes

          No, just because the city is not the power it once was, does not mean it ever ceased to exist.

        • Agabu

          The thing is the Old Tyre was almost completely razed by Alexander the Great in 332 BC, and then decisively reduced to ashes in 1291 AD by the mamaluke Muslims. I’d say that pretty much left it non=existent. Later building projects just made another city for the modern era serving modern interests rather than ancient Phoenician ones.

        • Jack Baynes

          And in 315 BC, Antigonus laid siege to Tyre and captured it. I guess Alexander didn’t totally destroy it after all if it needed to be besieged only 17 years later.

          I can find no reference to Tyre being totally destroyed in 1291. Conquered, yes, but conquering a city doesn’t destroy its identity.

        • Agabu

          Really? So does Tyre maintain it’s Phoenician roots and culture? Is it at present Phoenician in character or stewarded over by Phoenicians?

        • Jack Baynes

          So now we’ve gone from “Tyre will be utterly destroyed and uninhabitted forever” to ” Tyre’s culture will change over time.”?

          If that’s all the Bible meant then definitely chock that up as a trivial “prophecy”.

        • Ignorant Amos

          The irony is that poor Agg’s can’t see that it is his apologetic’s that is clutching at all the straws…poor sod.

        • Greg G.

          Irrelevant. The prophecy says nothing about Phoenician genocide. The city is inhabited. That is counter to the prophecy.

        • Kodie

          Makes me wonder if there is some Phoenician diaspora that doesn’t have the biblical prophesy to finance its “fulfillment”. You are being too forgiving to your bible, and I guess it’s fear that if you don’t GAWD SENDS YOU TO HAYELL.

        • Greg G.

          Tyre keeps coming back, just the way the prophecy says it would not.

        • busterggi

          Agabu would look at the ‘grandfather’s axe’ problem and decide it is really about grandmother’s washboard.

        • Greg G.

          Literally LOL.

        • Myna A.

          Perfect

        • Myna A.

          If only there had been a biblical prophecy about Pompeii never coming back. Now that would have been impressive. Archeologists and historians are scrambling to record every inch of that ancient city because when Vesuvius blows again, and it will, Pompeii is forever gone. Now there’s a prophecy for you.

        • Greg G.

          God: The prophecy was about Pompeii. Ezekiel simply misspelled it.

        • Myna A.

          Oh man, I’d hate to be Ezekiel right about now. He must still feel the burn. A grave error, indeed, and we know how Yahweh feels about errors!

        • Is that what you’re arguing now? If the original building don’t exist then “you will never again be inhabited” is true?

          I guess Paris, London, and other cities with a long history are all uninhabited.

          Isn’t it marvelous what you find out when you twist the Bible to suit your agenda? Praise the Lord.

        • epeeist

          Isn’t it marvelous what you find out when you twist the Bible to suit your agenda? Praise the Lord.

          Having thought he was merely stupid I now see that he is grossly dishonest as well.

        • The three little words that some guys find hard to say aren’t “I love you” but “I was wrong.”

        • Ignorant Amos

          So true…especially young guys.

        • MNb

          With such guys stupidity and dishonesty walk hand in hand until the difference has become irrelevant.

        • busterggi

          hmmmm…using that logic – believers say heaven is eternal BUT Christian dogma says there was war in heaven when Satan rebelled so at least some of heaven was destroyed, even if it was rebuilt the original heaven no longer exists and therefore heaven is NOT eternal.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Details man, details, what’s with all these awkward details?

        • Greg G.

          Then the prophecy is trivial as all cities end up either desolate or buried under modern cities. If a prophecy must be interpreted in its most trivial way to make it a prophecy, it is not really a prophecy.

          Oh, look! I told somebody the sun would be in the sky again today and there it is.

        • Agabu

          The prophecy isn’t trivial at all. Ezekiel was talking about the Tyre of his day. Nothing trivial about that; He knew nothing of Greg G.’s 21st century Tyre. His Tyre was Phoenician, and yours is Lebanese. The problem is your approach to the Bible is anachronistic. This is your failure. But you cling to it, because it’s the only way your argument works for you.

        • Greg G.

          He knew nothing of Greg G.’s 21st century Tyre.

          It’s not my Tyre but the fact that Ezekiel knew nothing about it is why his prophecy is a failure. Tyre exists, it existed in Ezekiel’s day, it existed when Nebuchadnezzar took it, it existed when Alexander took it, and it continued to exist. Ezekiel didn’t know what he was talking about. Today’s Tyre is the same place it always was. National alliances come and go. Populations live and die. But Tyre as a city has existed continuously for thousands of years. It is inhabited. It is good for things other than stretching out nets. That refutes the prophecy.

        • Agabu

          Awww…feet stomping. Keep tap dancing. Your favourite “Bible prophecy failure” is a dud under close scrutiny. Just find another one. The Tyre of the Phoenician empire is gone. She aint coming back. No one can even get to her ruins. No one, and I mean, no one lives in her. She is truly uninhabited underneath all that rubble. It would seem Ezekiel knew what he was talking about and you just don’t my friend. But if you are so desperate to prove the Bible wrong, go ask for permission from the Lebanese government to dig her up if they’ll let you. Otherwise, admit your failures in proving the Bible wrong. I’m sure more tap dancing is on the way from you in this regard just to keep the status quo in your mental state towards the Good Book.

        • Myna A.

          It’s time to watch the ‘Dance with Agabu’ show again!!

          The Tyre of the Phoenician empire is gone.

          Oh me, oh my! On November 15th, 1864 Atlanta, that grand city of Antebellum Georgia, was burned to the ground! Oh, shall ye never rise again, fair Atlanta!

        • Agabu

          Oh my, Myna, and this flies as reasoning in your head? How cute. Who prophesied the demise of Atlanta, Georgia in the Bible? So Atlanta was burned to the ground, who rebuilt it? The United Kingdom or was it still part of the same country thus maintaining continuity as the same city under the same ruling authorities? It seems like you and Greg are pretty good tap dancing partners. Figures. This echo chamber turned ballroom dance studio is a helluva place to dance to one’s own tune, and thinking it’s the best tune ever. Other tunes be damned.

        • Myna A.

          Dance, Agabu, dance!

        • Kodie

          Your selective interpretations are amusing.

        • Ignorant Amos
        • Greg G.

          Ezekiel 26:10 says “His horses shall be so many, that their dust shall cover you.” Another failure.

          Have you even read what you are defending? You said here:

          1. The rubble from Tyre would be put into the sea. This was fulfilled in 332 BC by Alexander the Great’s army, 250 years after Ezekiel was written.

          Ezekiel 26:12 says that but Ezekiel is making the prophecy about the island city. He refers to the daughter cities on the land to distinguish them. Alexander may have used the the “stones and timber and soil” from the daughter cities to reach the island but he did not use the “stones and timber and soil” like it says in Ezekiel.

          Try reading the passage for comprehension, then go weep in private.

        • Ignorant Amos

          I blame the giddy God spec’s being worn and the fact of being pissed up on copious amounts of Kool-Aid at the time Agg’s is attempting to read his scriptures, myself.

        • Kodie

          That’s you giving up. Greg G. has outsmarted you and you can’t think of anything to say. You lost, you lose, you are a loser. No argument from me, that’s just how pitiful and bitter you sound giving up. Greg G. speaks to you clear fucking English, and you accuse him because you have nothing else up your ass to poop out.

          Good luck.

        • if you are so desperate to prove the Bible wrong

          Desperate? You’re the one who declares that any city old enough to have outlived its original buildings is uninhabited. Tap dancing for the Lord? You might want to reevaluate a religion that forces you do play this game.

          In the distance … what’s that? I think that’s baby Jesus crying.

        • Agabu

          Baby Jesus crying? Where? O man, missed him by a whisker.

          Anyway, I didn’t say that any city old enough to have outlived its original buildings is uninhabited. My point is that the ancient Phoenician city of Tyre met her ruin and through terrible waves of enemy attack beginning with king Nebuchadnezzar was left in ruins and buried beneath the earth just like Ezekiel predicted. The fact is nothing of old Phoenician Tyre is left and excavations haven’t even gotten to anything of note relating to the Phoenician era. Ezekiel 26:19-21 is the crescendo that makes this very clear. Since you’re so fixated on Ezekiel 26:14 very much, you conveniently ignore what is stated around this verse since it’s really a part of the whole.

        • Baby Jesus crying? Where? O man, missed him by a whisker.

          You did indeed. You seem tone deaf to how your treatment of the Bible sounds to baby Jesus. And to the rest of us who are reading your stuff.

          I didn’t say that any city old enough to have outlived its original buildings is uninhabited.

          Of course not, because that would be ridiculous. You simply said that any city that has been destroyed can be rebuilt and thriving, but “You will never be rebuilt” would nevertheless still be true.

          Because, y’know, you can’t allow the Bible to be wrong.

          The fact is nothing of old Phoenician Tyre is left

          Then admit that the prophecy failed. (Doesn’t the Bible have something, somewhere about not lying? Wouldn’t “I was wrong” be just what a good Christian would say?)

          Since you’re so fixated on Ezekiel 26:14 very much, you conveniently ignore what is stated around this verse since it’s really a part of the whole.

          Because it admits that it will be rebuilt? Or what?

        • MNb

          “Baby Jesus crying? Where? O man, missed him by a whisker.”
          Of course – you’re blind while seeing, deaf while hearing and dumb while talking. Perhaps you’re good at pinball though.

          My point is that the ancient Phoenician city of Tyre met her ruin ….”
          and thus one big ad hoc argument.

        • Jack Baynes

          . My point is that the ancient Phoenician city of Tyre met her ruin

          And the survivors rebuilt the city, again and again, just like Ezekiel said they wouldn’t.

        • MNb

          “Your favourite “Bible prophecy failure” is a dud under close scrutiny.”
          Let me fix this for you:

          “Your favourite “Bible prophecy failure” is a dud because I refuse to apply my arguments to any other city than Tyre.”

        • MR

          Pffft. The Phoenician Tyre wasn’t the Lebanese Tyre, so then Ezekiel’s Tyre wasn’t Alexander’s Tyre wasn’t the Mameluk’s Tyre…, yadda, yadda, yadda. So the prophecy never got fulfilled. Arbitrary rules: wank, wank, wank.

          Anyone can go read Ezekiel 26 and see for themselves that his portrayal of the prophecy is unrecognizable when you read the actual prophecy.

          Not to mention that the prophecy refers to Tyre’s fall, singular, not falls, plural; it clearly refers to Nebuchadneezar, only, describing in detail just what Nebuchadneezar’s army will do to Tyre; and refers to “the day of your fall,” not days, not years, not a series of events spanning thousands of years. One read of the actual prophecy and Aggie’s characterization of it is clearly bullshit.

        • Kodie

          Nothing trivial at all? You are making Ezekiel sound like Grandpa Simpson!

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C03feurAuXw

        • epeeist

          The prophecy isn’t trivial at all. Ezekiel was talking about the Tyre of his day. Nothing trivial about that

          But it is completely trivial. My parents moved to a Leeds that had suffered in the German bombing. The sites that were bombed have now gone, built upon or otherwise renovated. The Leeds of their day has gone. But Leeds as a city still exists and thrives.

          All of your posts play fast and loose with the concept of identity, something that you are deliberately obscurantist about because to be more exact would show your claim to be meaningless.

        • MNb

          “Ezekiel was talking about the Tyre of his day.”
          Yeah. And every single city of his day has disappeared according to your standard. Thanks for confirming that you have trivialized the prophecy.

          “The problem is your approach to the Bible is anachronistic.”
          The problem is that you refuse to use your arguments to any other city of Ezekiel’s time (which means your accusation of anachronism is false) but Tyre, because doing so shows that the prophecy is as trivial as “tomorrow we will see the Sun in the sky again”.

          Indeed, you cling to it, because it’s the only way your argument works for you.

        • Thanks for confirming that you have trivialized the prophecy.

          Good point–if Agabu wins, he loses. By lowering the bar to allow his Tyre prophecy to be fulfilled, he makes it a trivial achievement. What venerable city hasn’t been destroyed by his bizarre definition?

        • TheNuszAbides

          exactly. none of the details are remarkable; Ezekiel needed no distinctive inspiration to weave an ominous narrative of .

          bugs me when more arrogant/goofy members of the “different ways of knowing” camp pose tripe like scriptural prophecy as a rebuttal/counterpart to the predictive power of rigorous scientific investigation. scientific discovery improves scientific methodology, yes? the more details we compile, the more precisely we can calibrate more and more instruments of investigation (sorry, i’m probably just echoing various posts of yours at this point–damn echo chambers!). prophecy and its fawning commentators improve nothing but chest-beating zealotry and smug condescension. it’s pure theatre, and noise overwhelming signal. its ‘knowledge’ has no utility (at least not for anyone who can figure out–and for myriad alternative reasons/excuses anyway–how to get the hell out of DodgeTyre). is there any prophecy whose significance doesn’t boil down to “better get right with boss or [this ultimately undefinable but definitely infinitely horrible thing will happen to you]/[this ultimately undefinable but definitely infinitely wonderful thing won’t happen to you]!”. Kodie was the first one i can recall seeing make the comparison to marketing, which is particularly spot-on for demagoguesprophets.

        • MR

          OMG, GG, I am so glad you started this thread. This has turned out to be a hilarious example of the desperate lengths a theist will go to defend the indefensible.

        • Myna A.

          x 10!

        • Ignorant Amos
        • Kodie

          The sun isn’t always there. You will not be a meteorologist.

          (And then you weren’t – ta-dah!)

        • Greg G.

          The pronoun referring to Tyre is a translation artifact.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Nae bother…that was prophesied too.

        • Greg G.

          I think that is about Atlantis.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Amazing!

          Pretzelmania apologetics of the finest twisting.

          7 “For here is what Adonai Elohim says: ‘I will bring upon Tzor, from the north, N’vukhadretzar king of Bavel, king of kings, with horses, chariots, cavalry, and a great and powerful army.

          8 “ ‘Your daughters on the mainland he will put to death with the sword. He will build siege-towers against you,
          he will build a ramp against you and raise a screen of shields against you.

          9 He will pound your walls with his battering-rams and break down your towers with his axes.

          10 His horses are so many that their dust will cover you. The thunder of cavalry, wagons and chariots will shake your walls, as he enters your gates, like men storming a city through a breach.

          11 With the hoofs of his horses he will trample your streets. He will put your people to the sword and pull to the ground your massive standing-stones.

          12 They will seize your wealth, loot your wares, break down your walls, destroy your fine houses; then they will throw your stones and timber and even your dust into the sea.

          13 I will put an end to your singing, the sound of your lyres will be heard no more.

          14 I will reduce you to bare rock, you will be a place for drying fish nets, you will never be built again, for I, Adonai, have spoken,’ says Adonai Elohim.”

          https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Ezekiel%2026:1-14&version=CJB

          The “he” and “his” is who?

        • Agabu

          Perfectly good explanation above. Read it again. Being thick in the head isn’t doing you any favours. There’s no real counter argument here that makes sense of the facts of Ezekiel 26:1-14. Try again.

        • Ignorant Amos
        • MNb

          Tsssk ….. that Babinski guy is using awful things like logic and evidence. This is apologetics we are doing, so we should be looking for lame excuses.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Ha Ha!

          Ya forgot the sarcasm emoticon, Agg’s might think yer being serious.

        • Agabu

          Not until you kick that hobgoblin of ignorance in the corners of your mind out.

        • MNb

          If you adjust your standards of “good explanation” often enough to you predetermined conclusion you will also succeed. In the same way I can explain that you were not born from your mother but found in a cauliflower.

        • MR

          I think it would be instructive to everyone if Agabu were to sit down and sketch out a detailed interpretation of the prophecy according to him. How it went down with Nebbie, Alex, the Mamluks, et al. Then we can take his convoluted interpretation and set it side by side with the actual prophecy and let everyone judge for themselves how convincing it is.

        • TheNuszAbides

          it sounds slightly painful to me, though quite possibly Greg G.’s cup of tea. i suppose it’d be half-decent exercise if i ever end up seriously pursuing copyediting.

        • TheNuszAbides

          you will be a place for drying fish nets

          is this supposed to be a humiliation? the twist of a cutting remark, playing upon the elitism of Tyre’s owner(s)? in any case it sure has a ring of secret-society-bonus-prize for fans of the “fishers of men” metaphor.

        • Ignorant Amos

          is this supposed to be a humiliation? the twist of a cutting remark, playing upon the elitism of Tyre’s owner(s)?

          Pretty much. According to some commentaries at least anyway.

        • Greg G.

          And “she” wasn’t rebuilt. Notice the use of personal pronouns with respect to the city in Ezekiel 26:1-14.

          Notice that the Hebrew doesn’t have pronouns in the sentence.

          The statement that Tyre will never be rebuilt means more than the restructuring of stones, wood and mortar. Tyre will never regain international prominence as a world trader and colonizer. She will never be a rich, prosperous, flourishing, world power as she was in Ezekiel’s day. The denial of rebuilding goes far beyond a mere architectural project. it must include making Tyre into the “person” she was in the early sixth century BC. It must be kept in mind that the meaning is “YOU will never be rebuilt,” not “the city will never be rebuilt.”

          The verse says the city will only be a place for spreading nets. Don’t allow your cognitive dissonance to divert your attention from what the prophecy says.

          The statement in Ezekiel 26:14 does not deny there would be buildings on the island.

          Why are picking on a statement here or there. Read the whole chapter. It does deny that there would be buildings there.

          Tyre was not scraped down to the bare rock. Jerusalem was destroyed twice. How is that possible by your standards? If Tyre is not the same Tyre that it was, then Jerusalem is not the same Jerusalem.

          It means that Tyre would never be rebuilt into the commercial superpower she was in Ezekiel’s day.

          Tyre is more robust than it was 25 centuries ago. It is not a major seaport now because there are other cities that are bigger but it is still bigger than it ever was.

          Edit to add From Wikipedia:

          Tyre is an ancient Phoenician city and the legendary birthplace of Europa and Dido (Elissa). Today it is the fourth largest city in Lebanon[4] and houses one of the nation’s major ports.

          Thus it turns out that, with a close investigation of the text and history, Ezekiel 26 is actually a proof text for the truth, trustworthiness and divine origin of the Bible!

          The fact that false statements are required to make the Bible appear to be true proves that it is a pack of lies.

        • Agabu

          You haven’t really shown anything here in the way of a legitimate error. Lebanon’s Tyre is robust. Phoenicia’s Tyre is gone, gone, gone. With respect to Jerusalem, the Israelis do make a distinction between the modern city’s architecture and the old city. Is it the same city? It’s certainly not the same as the one Jesus visited. There was no Kenneset then, let alone an airport among many other architectural features.

        • Greg G.

          The Tyre in the New Testament refutes the prophecy, too.

          Is modern Jerusalem the same city as 8th century BC Jerusalem?

        • Agabu

          Keep dreaming. You’re the one refuting the prophecy (which you laughably fail at) not the New Testament. Jerusalem is in any case irrelevant here. It isn’t the point of discussion.

        • Greg G.

          It is relevant to the discussion. I want to be sure you do not apply a double standard between the two cases. If Jerusalem is the same city after all these destructions, then you have no case for Tyre. If you think it is a different city, then it is not the City of David anymore.

          The fact that you failed to answer the question is telling.

        • Agabu

          Ah Greg. Jerusalem was never prophesied as going to be destroyed and never rebuilt. Sorry but this is an apples to oranges comparison. Jerusalem remains Jerusalem. There;s no reason to think it isn’t. After all, it is in Jewish hands as it was historically.

        • Greg G.

          My question has nothing to do with prophecies. It is merely to find a defintion of sameness with regard to cities that you are willing to commit to.

          It’s not just that an apologist can find plausible rationalizations to make the Bible appear to be inerrant, every rationalization must be consistent with all of the other rationalizations.

        • Agabu

          There are no rationalizations I’m engaged in. I’m just reading the text in the sense in which it is written. Ezekiel 26 (particularly verse 20) make it very clear that the ancient Phoenician city of Tyre would be buried beneath the earth with verse 21 adding that it wouldn’t be found. The fact is nothing of Phoenician character is to be found anywhere in modern Tyre. Go to middleeast.com and you’ll see that that is the case. There are a lot of seleucid, achamenid or Roman antiquities to be found but no Phoenician stuff has been dug up save ironically for a grave sometime in 1991 I believe..

        • MNb

          “Phoenician city of Tyre ….”
          is a big rationalization as the word “Phoenician” is nowhere to be found in the chapter.
          Plus of course adding “Phoenician” once again makes the prophecy trivial. I can assure you that at some given point in the future the Japanese city of Tokyo won’t exist anymore. This applies to every single city whenever wherever. Just wait long enough.
          Funny how you keep on confirming what you deny.

        • Greg G.

          The ruins are not buried. The Romans didn’t import building materials. They made use of what was there. The fact that the Phoenician remnants are recycled means that they were rebuilt and the city is inhabited. Tyre was supposed to be like uninhabited cities, not like re-inhabited cities.

        • Kodie

          Why is this particular thing even a prophesy to them? I don’t get it. Some city mentioned in the bible has new citizens and it is reinhabited or not technically reinhabited since none of them are Phoenicians, whatevs. This is important why?

        • Greg G.

          Bible inerrancy. Some Christians believe that if errors are recognized, the whole religion falls apart.

        • Ignorant Amos

          For good reason too. Perfect doesn’t do error’s.

          One chink and the armour is compromised.

          The holy rollers are fecked up big time.

          http://inmymentalmind.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/house-of-cards-crashing.jpg

        • Kodie

          I think the whole religion falls apart, but not from stupid predictions that probably come true but don’t stay true forever. Prophesy is not real, exaggeration is standard procedure.

        • TheNuszAbides

          i don’t mean this in a ‘corrective’ sense, i just like plopping nuggets of language trivia: -sy is the verb form, -cy is the noun form. in a way, even more trivial since it is, as you say, not real.

        • Greg G.

          Also, “-cy” is pronounced like “see” while “-sy” is pronounced like “sigh”.

        • TheNuszAbides

          true facts!

        • TheNuszAbides

          it’s by far the most banal facet of faith, from where this bookworm is sitting. head in the clouds can be cute or even inspiring, like a stopped clock can be accurate, but head in the sand is thoroughly unappealing.

        • MNb

          This is important because they can’t stand incorrect prophecies.
          It’s where the biggest fun is with these folks. In their twisted mind admitting that they are wrong on even small points makes their entire belief system tumbling down.

        • TheNuszAbides

          this is where i wanted S.Harris to extend his “i can derive mystical revelations from a cookbook” bit of The End of Faith. not just sketching out the casual ease of ‘woo association’, but also the abysmally arbitrary ‘standards’ between exegesis of Our Team’s Extra-Special Text and Their Team’s Extra-Special Text (if They even have one! *patronizing chuckle*).

        • TheNuszAbides

          i think it’s an extension of the marketing you’ve noticed in many other aspects of religious ‘outreach’/bluster. “hey, movers and shakers! pull your valuables out of Tyre before its inevitable ruin! oh, and get right with Gawd(TM) and His Chosen(TM) or else!”

          “… how does he know this stuff? an invisible omnipotence Tells Him So? that’s so impressive … i want to know stuff ahead of time too!”

        • That’s a good point. Those verses make additional prophecies that fail: “when I bring the ocean depths over you and its vast waters cover you” (26:19). Tyre is still above water. Whoops.

        • Agabu

          Here is an example of your inept interpretation. Verse 19 is using ocean depths and the vast waters as a metaphor for waves of enemy attack. Why? Because this is consistent with what was stated earlier about bringing many nations against Tyre and be buried beneath the earth. Your disregard for context is why you woodenly interpret this as referring to Tyre being below water (only that in your peculiar view that it is still above water and thus prophecy fail allegedly).

        • Verse 19 is using ocean depths and the vast waters as a metaphor for waves of enemy attack. Why? Because this is consistent with what was stated earlier about bringing many nations against Tyre and be buried beneath the earth.

          Oh, I get it. Verse 19 is metaphorical just like the previous verses weren’t.

          As a meta comment, let’s ignore your lying for Jesus and all that. You’ve thought a lot about this, and it’s possible that you might have a new insight that’s actually valid and that some of us here would use to change our attitude about this passage in Ezekiel. But you’ve poisoned your own well to such an extent that if you did share some useful point, most would be beyond listening to it–either they would no longer care about your bullshit or they would be ignoring this thread. You shoot yourself in the foot. Think about that next time you defend a piece of ground at all costs.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Hoist by his own petard….Shakespeare’s “Hamlet”….but look to the book of Esther.

        • TheNuszAbides

          pff, now you’ve got me looking to it. hdu

        • TheNuszAbides

          Oh, I get it. Verse 19 is metaphorical just like the previous verses weren’t.

          if clear and useful information is clear and useful, marketing becomes drastically less relevant. i’d say metaphor’s the champeen (sham-peen?) of all rhetoric for the purposes of Selling the Cure. (with all due respect to Robert K. Smith & Co.)

        • Kodie

          Why would they use metaphors? You are being too lenient and gullible. There’s nothing you say that makes any fucking sense, unless you’re under the fucking spell of religious necessity that the text means whatever you want.

        • TheNuszAbides

          and even with all the Phoenician buildings buried, they didn’t have the “depths” brought over them. except vis a vis tin-eared metaphor, obviously.

        • Greg G.

          Forget Tyre for the five seconds it takes to type either “yes” or “no” and click “Post as Agabu” to answer the question of whether Jerusalem is still the “City of David”.

          Now, I am curious why you have refused to answer the question so far.

        • Agabu

          Once again, Jerusalem is irrelevant to this discussion.

        • Greg G.

          Yes, Jerusalem is irrelevant to this conversation but how you define whether a city is the same is completely relevant. If it is important to your beliefs that Jerusalem is the same city, you cannot maintain your absurd argument that Old Testament Tyre is not New Testament Tyre.

          Otherwise your definition is so flexible you are dishonest, especially to yourself.

        • TheNuszAbides

          ironically

          no, Alanis. just no.

        • Agabu’s errors are coming home to roost. I can’t imagine he’s so stupid that he doesn’t see the problem, but he’ll just tap dance away and hope that his cloud of farts will confuse the truth. And he’ll never admit that his own religion is forcing him into these contortions and that maybe that’s worth reconsidering.

        • TheNuszAbides

          that’s a depressing prophecy. moar cowbell!

        • epeeist

          Is modern Jerusalem the same city as 8th century BC Jerusalem?

          This looks like a bastard mixture of the “Ship of Theseus” and the Sorites paradox.

          If and when they rebuild over the place where the Twin Towers were then will it be valid to still call the city “New York”?

          This is the 350th anniversary of the great fire of London where a significant proportion of the city burnt down. Should the city that was rebuilt still be called “London”?

          I was in a small town called Alesund in Norway earlier this year. It was a small, wooden fishing village that burnt down completely at the end of the 19th century. The residents rebuilt it in brick and stone (and very nice it looks too) and still call the place Alesund. Are they right to do so?

          This all raises the question of what identity means, in this case in terms of location over time.

        • Greg G.

          Indeed. The primary language used in London didn’t exist when London was founded. How could this be tge same city?

          Agabu speaks and can type in English. How can he be the same baby that came from his mother’s womb?

        • epeeist

          How can he be the same baby that came from his mother’s womb?

          Careful now. This sounds very much like, say it quietly, metaphysics.

        • MNb

          Which London? It was destroyed by the invading Saxons somewhere in the 5th Century and rebuild a bit further after a couple of years. It was also renamed. Can you show me the ruins of Roman Londium? Or Saxon Lundenwic? How can London be the same city that was build by the Romans in the 1st Century?
          It’s all so confusing.

        • Ignorant Amos

          That’ll be Agg’s next body swerve, that it wasn’t called Tyre in Ezikiel’s day, so not the same place. Just wait til ya see.

          He’s a funny guy in a sorry sort of way, but the pub beckons, so enough of these high jinks and frivolity, am off out on the lash.

        • I hear that the atoms in the human body are recycled every 7 years or sooner. If Agabu is older than 7, that’s not Agabu. “Agabu” is uninhabited.

        • MNb

          Better still – “Agabu” is not alive anymore.
          If you have some time to burn and like to be entertained, IA above gave this link:

          https://etb-biblical-errancy.blogspot.co.uk/2012/04/ezekiels-prophecy-of-tyre-failed.html

          Regarding time burning – in your mail box there is something you promised to read about one and a half week ago. Did it slip your mind?

        • Agabu

          I’ll give you that one. Very funny.

        • TheNuszAbides

          but whoa, they stopped worshiping [list of deities] and started worshiping others! that’s so unique and unpredictable, even to Ancient Zeke’s slice of human history!

        • Ignorant Amos

          As an example, I live in Carrickfergus. Formerly Craigfergus and Cragfergus, Ulster Scots for the Irish Carraig Ḟearġais which means rock of Fergus. It pre-dates Belfast by centuries.

          There is evidence of a settlement here going back to late Mesolithic and Neolithic times, which means there were folk running about here before God created the universe and Adam started shagging Eve in the Garden of Eden, but the place name only goes back to the 6th century and the Dalriada king, Fergus the Great. Nevertheless, the place has been sacked a number of times since, but no one is going to claim it is not the same place that was named after King Fergus, albeit only the rock stands from that time..

          https://www.qub.ac.uk/schools/CentreforArchaeologicalFieldworkCAF/PDFFileStore/Filetoupload,275117,en.pdf

          An interesting aside for our American friends, John Paul Jones won a naval battle here during the War of Independence and the homestead of president Andrew Jackson’s parents is just along the road from where I sit. A lot of U.S. servicemen were also stationed here during WWII, air force and U.S. Ranger’s.

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carrickfergus

        • Kodie

          Yeah, we noticed Jews aren’t really picky about the ambience, as long as they can displace people who live there now, because that actual piece of land is essential, and has therefore fulfilled by brute force a prophesy they needed to be fulfilled to demonstrate its fulfillment.

          I’m sure this is way over your head though.

        • MNb

          “It’s certainly not the same as the one Jesus visited.”
          And this applies to every single city in the world. That means your argument for the prophecy is meaningless.
          Thanks.

        • Aram

          FYI The old city of Jerusalem that exists today was built mostly in the 1500s.

        • Ignorant Amos

          And belonged to the Muslim’s from time-to-time too, so I here. Not the same Jerusalem at all then in that case.

        • Aram

          Indeed. The walls and gates were built by the Turkish sultan Suleiman the Magnificent. (I assume he gave himself this name 😉

        • Myna A.

          Is it the same city? It’s certainly not the same as the one Jesus visited.

          Kodie asked you earlier if you had an issue with comprehending the concept of time. It becomes increasingly obvious that you do have an issue. Is Rome the same as it was 2000 years ago? 500 years ago? 70 years ago? If Tyre was prophesied to fall, never to be rebuilt, and it was rebuilt, the prophecy fails. Empires rise and fall. Cities are built over ruins and reclaimed.

        • I wonder how you know that this is the correct interpretation, since it’s not the obvious one. I’m guessing because it’s the one that would be most convenient to you.

          1. How does this work when Alexander hadn’t gotten to Tyre until he’d finished the causeway?

        • Agabu

          How do I know this is the correct interpretation? Because I read it in context and drew my ideas from the text with deep regard for context rather than mere texts without regard for context as is often the case with a sloppy interpreter such as yourself. You read the Bible to find errors in it, and glory in doing so. Only a fool will trust your fancifully imaginary interpretations that are only obvious to yourself.

          As for Alexander, the causeway he built gave him access to the island-city. This made it possible for him to actually demolish the old city. This he did in order to reuse its cut stone.

        • How do I know this is the correct interpretation? Because I read it in context and drew my ideas from the text with deep regard for context

          What I hear you saying is that accuracy is your sole concern. You’d be happy to conclude that the Bible “prophecy” was wrong if that was indeed where the facts led you. Is that right?

          Only a fool will trust your fancifully imaginary interpretations that are only obvious to yourself.

          The interpretation that the Tyre “prophecy” is crap is held by everyone here except for you. I don’t think you want to make a popularity argument.

        • Agabu

          Not interested in popularity. I already understand that this place is mostly an echo chamber that is not accommodating to the counter views I espouse. That is a given. And yes, accuracy is my sole concern. I’d be happy to conclude that the Bible prophecy is wrong if that is for sure were the facts led.

        • I’ll let the public decide whether your actions support that claim that you only follow the evidence. Since your interpretation is so strained and so, well, wrong, I must confess that I’m not convinced. At all.

        • Agabu

          Not surprising that you think it’s wrong or that you’re not convinced at all especially when one considers you’re so committed to finding errors in the Bible as your starting point. This bias is what makes you such an inept and irresponsible interpreter of the Biblical text, I’m sorry to say. Your interpretative assumptions and manglings are what’s really wrong here.

        • Ignorant Amos

          And yet you don’t believe a Quran devout Muslim and their inerrant scriptures…why is that ya tit?

          Or the Book of Mormon? Where’s your starting point on that religious text ya feckin’ tit? You wouldn’t be bias, would ya? Nipple head.

        • MR

          All one has to do is read the prophecy. Agabu’s twisted rendition of it is so far out there as to make Ezekiel portrayal unrecognizable. They’re not even talking about the same thing. And it’s pretty bad when you have to stretch a definition of a term beyond believability. This is the tactics of con men. Is that what God is reduced to?

        • Greg G.

          This is the tactics of con men. Is that what God is reduced to?

          Ever since the priesthood was invented.

        • TheNuszAbides

          ah, the Holy Reduction.

        • Myna A.

          The key word is not popularity, Agabu. The key word is compelling. Do you offer compelling evidence for your claim? Thus far, no, you do not offer a compelling case for your position.

        • MNb

          “accuracy is my sole concern”
          Nope. Clinging to your predetermined conclusion is.

        • Greg G.

          The prophecy is that the pieces of the island city would be cast into the sea not the stones of the daughter cities but it was the stones of the daughter cities that were used to create the causeway that gave access to the island city. Therefore your apologetic is stupid.

        • Agabu

          Once again you’ve mangled the prophecy for your own ends. That’s the only thing that’s ridiculously stupid here. Highlights of the prophecy are in order once again:

          1. Many nations would come against Tyre (Ezek. 26:3). Which they did. Ba

          2. The walls of Tyre would be broken down (Ezek. 26:4)

          3. Dust would be scraped from her, and she would be left like a bare rock (Ezek. 26:4)

          4. Tyre would be a place for the spreading of nets (Ezek. 26:5)

          5. Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, would build a siege wall around Tyre (Ezek. 26:8)

          6. Nebuchadnezzar would plunder the city (Ezek. 26:9-12)

          7. The stones, timber and soil of Tyre would be cast into the sea (Ezek. 26:12)

          8. The city would never be rebuilt (Ezek. 26:14)

          The fact is the modern city of Tyre is of modest size and is near the ancient site, though not identical to it. Archaeological photographs of the ancient site show ruins from ancient Tyre scattered over many acres of land. No city has been rebuilt over these ruins, however, in fulfillment of this prophecy. Yes, the mainland city of Tyre was later rebuilt and assumed some of its
          former importance during the Hellenistic period. But as for the island
          city, it apparently sank below the surface of the Mediterranean…All that
          remains of it is a series of black reefs offshore from Tyre, which
          surely could not have been there in the first and second millennia b.c.,
          since they pose such a threat to navigation.

          One historian wrote, “Alexander did far more against Tyre than Shalmaneser or Nebuchadnezzar had done. Not content with crushing her, he took care that she NEVER SHOULD REVIVE; for he founded Alexandria as
          her substitute, and changed forever the track of the commerce of the world.” (Edward Creasy, Fifteen Decisive Battles of the World, ch. 4).

        • Greg G.

          Have you surrendered? You repeated your list to a post that refuted point 7 of your list.

          Your list omits that Tyre would be like the uninhabited cities. It is not like the uninhabited cities. That’s probably why your list omits it.

          Doesn’t it say that many nations will attack before Nebuchadnezzar. Nebuchadnezzar is prophesied to do what you claim was fulfilled by Alexander.

        • Agabu

          Surrendered? Not at all Greg. And no, you were unsuccessful in your refutation of point 7. It doesn’t say Nebuchadnezzar would attack after many nations but rather that king Nebby would be the first of many nations.

        • Greg G.

          Point 7 is about the the stones timber, and soil of Tyre being thrown into the sea. You have claimed that Alexander building the causeway fulfilled that. The causeway was not built from the stones, timber, and soil of Tyre as there was no access to Tyre until they built the causeway. That is what the post you replied to was about:
          ( http://disq.us/p/1c93hhe )

          Ezekiel distinguishes between Tyre and its daughter cities on the mainland. You should, too.

          Is your continuous missing of the point due to your cognitive dissonance that stops your brain from thinking when faced with the errancy of the Bible shining through or is it just deliberate, dishonest diversion?

        • He says that Alexander built the causeway and then threw all of Tyre into the water. That’s a compelling argument except that he gives no military reason why Alexander would go to that extra work and gives no evidence that that’s what Alexander did.

          So Agabu wins this round … except for that whole lack-of-evidence thing.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Agabu is a tit….pure and simple.

        • Ignorant Amos
        • With all this war metaphor (surrender, etc.), I wonder why you’re the inept stand-in for God. Can’t he get up off his fat ass and come down here to clarify things?

          I wonder what it says that he never does that. Maybe he doesn’t exist.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Canon fodder first, Bob….send in the canon fodder first to check out the enemies strength…..you obviously know noting about war. Agabu is just canon fodder…wait until the big guns arrive.

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cannon_fodder

          Watch Zulu…they knew all about canon fodder them Zulu’s did…but we had Chard, a fellow Royal Engineer…a friend of mine is a descendant of a VC winner from that engagement.

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zulu_(1964_film)

        • wait until the big guns arrive

          You’re very optimistic. I’ve been waiting for Mr. fat ass Big Guns for years, and nothing. Call me crazy, but I’m beginning to think that he doesn’t exist.

          Watch Zulu…they knew all about canon fodder

          “Whatever happens,
          We have got
          The Vicker’s gun,
          And they have not.”

        • Ignorant Amos

          Not in Zulu…it was a Boxer Henry rifle and a bayonet with some guts behind it. No miracle.

          Colour Sergeant Bourne: It’s a miracle.

          Lieutenant John Chard: If it’s a miracle, Colour Sergeant, it’s a short chamber Boxer Henry point 45 caliber miracle.

          Colour Sergeant Bourne: And a bayonet, sir, with some guts behind.

          I’ve only watched the film a few hundred times. It is Corps history.

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Chard

        • TheNuszAbides

          I’ve been waiting for Mr. fat ass Big Guns for years, and nothing. Call me crazy, but I’m beginning to think that he doesn’t exist.

          cue the Pearls Before Swine derailment.

        • MNb

          Greg G was unsuccessful in making you clear that point 7 was refuted – but that says way more about you than about Greg G.

        • Ignorant Amos

          You have to know that lots of cities worldwide are not the big cheese they once were, but are still the cities they’ve always been, ya tit?

          Rome, Dublin, London…are just a few examples.

        • Ignorant Amos

          As for Alexander, the causeway he built gave him access to the island-city. This made it possible for him to actually demolish the old city. This he did in order to reuse its cut stone.

          So Alex built the causeway using the stone he got from the city he sacked using the stone walls of the sacked city he built the causeway to sack?

          You are a tit Agabu.

        • Your problem is that you’re seeing it from a macro standpoint. See it from a quantum standpoint where future energy can be borrowed and then repaid. Alexander did a quantum destruction of Tyre where he threw its rubble into the sea before the destruction.

          Another thought experiment: it’s like Amos from 2020 coming to you today in a time machine, giving you the plans, and then after you build it (in 2020), you go back to 2016 and give yourself the plans. So never is the time machine actually invented … just like never did Alexander have to build the causeway from the mainland while being attacked from Tyre.

          Your problem is you’re just not thinking outside the box. Listen and learn from Agabu–his entire brain is outside the box. And outside his skull.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Of course…how silly of me. I watched ARQ on Friday night, you’d think I would know better ffs. What an onion head.

        • Kodie

          Hilarious! You have no regard for its context, you only have regard for preserving your beliefs.

        • Jack Baynes

          “Context” must mean “Whatever it takes to make Agabu’s interpretation work.”

        • TheNuszAbides

          sounds like a dare.

        • WayneMan

          You are using the Bill Clinton play book where when questioned about Monica he replied, “It depends on what your definition of ‘is’ is.”.

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/c074c6e764f061e536272af39fb712c64ad456ad56d8989efde0574100a9ea4e.jpg

        • MNb

          The same spot it is.

          http://www.livius.org/articles/place/tyre/

          “unless one thinks modern Lebanon and ancient Phoenicia are the same empire.”

          Unless you think Brandenburg, Prussia, the French client state New Brandenburg, Prussia again, the Second German Empire, the Weimar Republic, Nazi Germany, West-Germany and the Federal Republic the same nations we have 8 or 9 Berlins that no longer exist. Surely the city cannot be more desolate or more uninhabited than that. Here a picture of that desolate and uninhabited city:
          https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/6/62/Live8_berlin_publikum.jpg
          As desolate and uninhabited as Tyrus.
          That or you wrote total nonsense.

        • Ignorant Amos

          I’m opting for total nonsense, but that’s apologetics for ya.

        • TheNuszAbides

          i’m wondering if the “but there weren’t any naysayers” or “the naysayers could not rhetorically defeat/deter the august-yet-scrappy founders” schtick has a more overt connection to the evolved/imposed social distaste for pedants.

        • Greg G.

          Tyre the Phoenician Empire and modern day Lebanon Tyre are the same city.

          Ezekiel 26:14 (NRSV)14 I will make you a bare rock;    you shall be a place for spreading nets.You shall never again be rebuilt,    for I the Lord have spoken,    says the Lord God.

          It is not “bare rock”. But it was continuously inhabited so the “never again be rebuilt” part is sort of correct.

        • Ignorant Amos

          The prophecy, as I see it, is supposed to mean that the rock foundation of the island upon which Tyre is built upon, will be laid bare. In other words, wiped clear of buildings and whatever surface earth, so that the ground is leveled enough to spread out the fishing nets.

          That means that the author of the prophecy had some knowledge that the Tyre in question was the one built on the rocky island just off the coast. Which is the city that the Nebuchadnezzar in the prophecy set siege to for 13 years and failed to conquer and destroy. That means the bullshit apologetic that it was some mainland Tyre, or suburb thereof, being referred to in the prophecy is nonsense.

        • MNb

          I couldn’t find a good map or aerial picture, but I’m pretty sure many of the current 117 000 inhabitants (Wikipedia) live now on what was the main land then.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Of course. But the Tyre described in the prophecy is clearly the city built upon the rock island out in the sea and heavily fortified, not some mainland suburb.

          https://wonderland1981.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/tyre24.jpg

          http://www.thewordmp3.com/picts/tyre_two_cities_small.jpg

          http://www.biblearchaeology.org/image.axd?picture=2010%2F1%2FCityofTyre.jpg

        • MNb

          Yeah,found that picture as well – but I looked for a picture or map including main land Tyre.
          I haven’t checked the prophecy myself. It’s Agabu who brought up the destruction of main land Tyre (which was inhabited as well before Alexander the Great conquered it); now he’s gone back to island/peninsula Tyre again. He doesn’t know anymore what he’s arguing, except that one way or another the prophecy must be true.

        • Ignorant Amos

          The two side by side maps on the closed link above show before and after images.

          Agabu is defo all over the parish, like a mad woman’s shit.

          Here is the maps again…

          http://www.biblearchaeology.org/image.axd?picture=2010%2F1%2FCityofTyre.jpg

        • TheNuszAbides

          all over the parish, like a mad woman’s shit

          oh, how i’ve missed my Amos.

    • Kevin K

      Matthew 16:28 — “Truly I tell you, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom.”

      If that isn’t a failed prophecy, I don’t know what is. If Jesus ever did show up, he should be stoned to death.

  • Sophia Sadek

    The gospels portray Jesus as doing things to deliberately fulfill the prophesies of Isaiah. That is more like the kind of self-fulfilling prophesy we saw with astrological predictions.

    • Read Hugh Ross’s original article to find the outlandish probabilities he assigns to these laughably bad prophecies. Pretty much every one is a prediction after the fact.

    • TheNuszAbides

      when the people with the most shiny things/weapons/desperation for attention/power/relevance repeat it enough … even more people will go along with it just to shut them up (or maybe not get oppressed/slaughtered/tortured).

      • Sophia Sadek

        It is always more beneficial to be oppressed than to oppress.

        • TheNuszAbides

          suffering is strength?

        • Sophia Sadek

          Someone once pointed out that if it does not kill you, it will make you stronger.

  • JBSchmidt

    1) It is difficult to place a time stamp on apocalyptic writing. It makes more sense in context. Daniel had just been praying about the end of the 70 years of Babylonian captivity. The message from Gabriel is to say the people of Israel will now wait for a period of time for their Savior.

    2) The Assyrian invasion doesn’t fit with the larger picture presented in Micah. If you go back to Chapter 4, Micah references the Babylonia captivity and their subsequent return. Seeing as his audience is mainly the southern half of Israel, those who went to Babylon and not Assyria and the Assyrian captives never returned, the statement you quote in 5:5 must be part of the entire prophecy in chapter 5. It references Christ’s deliverance from sin.

    As for Matthew lying to keep the story, that requires a couple of things to be happening. 1) A very big conspiracy among a few faithful that spread unabated through heavily jewish and pagan territories. 2) Any evidence putting Jesus birth anywhere else.

    3) Did you read Chapter 11? It is absolutely not, “Zechariah 11:12–13 laments that God is unappreciated by the people of Israel” Rather, had you read it, it is God lamenting the religious leaders of Israel leading the people away from God. It is God who received a mere slaves wages from the people after all he had done for them. When read correctly it fits quite well.

    The part I love best about this article is your addition of probability. It is far less than the probability of earth being built by the forces of the universe exactly where it is to produce life.

    • MNb

      “It is far less than the probability of earth being built by the forces of the universe exactly where it is to produce life.”
      Yeah. The probability of some random planet in the Universe built by the forces of that Universe exactly where it is to produce life is about 1 (one) though. Just like the probability of some random person winning the lottery is about 1 (one).

      • MR

        Exactly. This is what I call the lottery fallacy. It’s like saying, “OMG, the odds of winning the lottery are 100 million to 1 and John won the lottery. It’s a miracle!” John was never the goal. It could have been anyone. It’s no surprise that someone should win the lottery; you don’t go in after the fact and call John’s winning it a miracle.

        The same for the universe. You can pick any (and every) state of the universe and talk about how astronomical the odds are of that particular state happening at any particular time, but that one particular state was never the goal. You don’t go in after the fact and get to claim a miracle unless you put your bet down at the beginning.

        • Greg G.

          A sufficiently shuffled deck of 52 cards has over 8 * 10^67 possible combinations. Any particular shuffle results in something that has a 1 in 8 followed by 67 digits chance of occurring yet the chance of exactly one of those combinations occurring is exactly one in one. Every shuffle is a miracle.

        • MR

          Every shuffle is a miracle.

        • Zeta

          JBSchmidt needs to consider how unlikely his own existence is. His father released an estimated 250 million sperm cells on that fateful day when he was conceived. That is a 1 in 250 million chance. Apply that same calculation to the probability of the conceptions of his own father and mother when their respective parents had sex and also the probability that the parents met in the first place in the sea of humanity. Extend that calculation backwards in time for some generations and he will quickly see that his own existence is extremely unlikely indeed. It is a miracle that he exists at all.

        • T-Paine

          A great video about all of this by Dark Antics (aka Dark Matter)

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hKPrBV_PCKs

        • MR

          Excellent. Thanks for posting.

        • Aram

          When I was eight or nine we went to rent Return to Oz and the video clerk gushed about how out of hundreds of Dorothy’s they’d picked this one and isn’t that amazing.
          Even then I was thinking, but they had to pick someone.

        • MR

          Critical thinking at eight. Awesome.

          And how certain can he be that there wasn’t a better Dorothy out there that never got the chance to shine? How do we know that life isn’t so common as to be no big deal? Our understanding of the universe is so decidedly narrow, we simply can’t say. Perhaps there are things out there in the universe that make even life pale in comparison. We’re likely just some backwater Dorothy with mediocre talent that doesn’t deserve the time of day. No talent but we’ve got great odds.

    • Jack Baynes

      As for Matthew lying to keep the story, that requires a couple of things to be happening. 1) A very big conspiracy among a few faithful that spread unabated through heavily jewish and pagan territories. 2) Any evidence putting Jesus birth anywhere else.

      Is it a very big conspiracy or does it just require a few faithful? I’d say the latter.

      This would be a remarkably simple conspiracy. One follower says “If Jesus were born in Bethlehem, this would fulfill another prophecy. So let’s say he was born in Bethlehem.”

      How likely is it that anyone hearing the story would know any differently? The story says Joseph and Mary were just travelling to Bethlehem, not living there, so even in Bethlehem you couldn’t ask “Do you remember this guy named Jesus?”

    • Dys

      It is far less than the probability of earth being built by the forces of the universe exactly where it is to produce life.

      Creationists don’t have any probabilities to offer, ergo your statement is patently untrue. What creationists do is manufacture dubious probabilities, and hope no one notices the massively fallacious argument from incredulity they’re committing.

      The fact is that there’s no probability that can be assigned for any god doing anything, ever. So saying something is less likely than that is, to be blunt, complete bullshit.

    • Heretic (apostate of FSM)

      The part I love best about this article is your addition of probability.
      It is far less than the probability of earth being built by the forces
      of the universe exactly where it is to produce life.

      If you accepted a bet from me that I could show you one person flipping the same side of a coin 10 times in a row, I would reliably win it every time…if I took you to a room with 1024 people, all motivated by their chance of sharing in the windfall. This scheme is reliable in that the chances of one person flipping heads 10 times in a row is 1 in 1024. This number is quite negligible in comparison to the size of the universe!

      Your argument is an appeal to ignorance, and nothing more.

    • It is difficult to place a time stamp on apocalyptic writing. It makes more sense in context.

      No, it makes more sense to assume that any accurate “prophecies” were actually written after the fact.

      The Assyrian invasion doesn’t fit with the larger picture presented in Micah.

      Nevertheless, this hero born in Bethlehem will be a general who will kick Assyria’s ass.

      Whoops.

      As for Matthew lying to keep the story, that requires a couple of things to be happening.

      Huh? Matthew reads Micah and thinks, “Hey, that sounds a bit prophecy-like, if I just ignore the context. I’ll ‘fulfill’ that in my new gospel.” Or, the equivalent addition was made through the process of oral history, and Matthew simply wrote that down. No conspiracy needed.

      Did you read Chapter 11?

      Yup.

      It is absolutely not, “Zechariah 11:12–13 laments that God is unappreciated by the people of Israel”

      God busts his ass, but he’s dismissed like a servant. Sounds like God is unappreciated by the people of Israel.

      The part I love best about this article is your addition of probability.

      Huh? The nonsensical probability evaluations are in Ross’s original article.

      • JBSchmidt

        “No, it makes more sense to assume that any accurate “prophecies” were actually written after the fact.”

        Says you. However that is based on your rejection of God, not because you have proof to the contrary.

        “Nevertheless”

        If you choose not to understand the context, what’s the point?

        “Yup.”

        It isn’t Zechariah’s Lament, it is God’s. Zechariah is writing God’s word’s. I know you reject God, but if you are going to criticize a story at least understand how it is written.

        “The nonsensical probability evaluations are in Ross’s original article.”

        I know. That was poorly for effect. Aside from you, I say it worked well. The group think is strong in this forum.

        • MNb

          “However that is based on your rejection of God, not because you have proof to the contrary.”
          We already know that you only accept evidence when it suits you and rather lie when it doesn’t. So my reaction won’t make any difference. Still.
          The author of Matthew could read and write. He was raised in jewish culture. That proves he had read the Old Testamentical books and Micah too. Also he wanted to promote his hero Jesus. From here it’s not a big jump to the conclusion ‘I’ll fulfill that in my gospel”.
          No rejection of any god involved here. You’re showing your own prejudice once again.
          Or you are simply lying – again.

          “Zechariah is writing God’s word’s.”
          Something you don’t even try to prove. Proof is not for you, it’s only for atheists.
          Double standard ….

        • “No, it makes more sense to assume that any accurate “prophecies” were actually written after the fact.”
          Says you.

          … and the historians. The fact that Daniel’s “predictions” are quite accurate up to the 160s BCE but then abysmally wrong afterwards suggests (wait for it!) that it was written in the 160s. That’s how historians think.

          However that is based on your rejection of God, not because you have proof to the contrary.

          Wrong again. I don’t reject God first and then assemble the pieces of reality to support that view. Others start with a conclusion. Not me.

          I have no proof of anything outside of math and logic, nor does anyone. What I have done, instead, is follow the evidence. You got evidence that I haven’t seen that supports the God hypothesis? Show us.

          “Nevertheless”
          If you choose not to understand the context, what’s the point?

          Agreed. We’re talking about a general from the 8th century BCE, and you imagine him as Jesus.

          Wow.

          It isn’t Zechariah’s Lament, it is God’s. Zechariah is writing God’s word’s.

          Yup.

          I know you reject God, but if you are going to criticize a story at least understand how it is written.

          God busts his ass, but he’s dismissed like a servant. Sounds like God is unappreciated by the people of Israel.

          “The nonsensical probability evaluations are in Ross’s original article.”
          I know. That was poorly for effect. Aside from you, I say it worked well. The group think is strong in this forum.

          No idea what this is supposed to mean.

        • JBSchmidt

          “the historians”

          Which ones would those be? Those that share your worldview?

          “You got evidence that I haven’t seen that supports the God hypothesis? Show us.”

          Case in point. You have no counter evidence to the prophecy. The Bible says something, that thing happened. You then read out of context or out of form and assume a new conclusion.

          “God busts his ass, but he’s dismissed like a servant. Sounds like God is unappreciated by the people of Israel.”

          Great, we agree that God said it. Then how would Matthew find this obscure passage and make up a fiction story about Judas, to promote a dead guy he thought was a good teacher. What would be his motive to work that hard, considering he had a cushy tax collector gig, to prop up a man that failed? That sounds more far fetched then the words being inspired by God.

        • “the historians”
          Which ones would those be? Those that share your worldview?

          The ones who say this:
          “The prophecies of Daniel are accurate down to the career of Antiochus IV Epiphanes, king of Syria and oppressor of the Jews, but not in its prediction of his death: the author seems to know about Antiochus’ two campaigns in Egypt (169 and 167 BC), the desecration of the Temple (the “abomination of desolation”), and the fortification of the Akra (a fortress built inside Jerusalem), but he seems to know nothing about the reconstruction of the Temple or about the actual circumstances of Antiochus’ death in late 164. Chapters 10–12 must therefore have been written between 167 and 164 BC.”

          It’s not like this is hard. Some ancient book “prophesies” up to a certain date but then gets it completely wrong afterwards suggests rather strongly when the book was written. You would jump on this explanation as the falling-off-a-log easy answer in any case except one that challenges your religion.

          Case in point. You have no counter evidence to the prophecy. The Bible says something, that thing happened. You then read out of context or out of form and assume a new conclusion.

          Out of context isn’t good. Did I do that? Show me.

          Here again, when someone else’s holy book has a claimed prophecy, you’re telling me you wouldn’t be precisely as skeptical as I am?

          Show me that you use the same criteria to weigh Christian claims as other religions’ claims. Sure doesn’t look like it.

          “God busts his ass, but he’s dismissed like a servant. Sounds like God is unappreciated by the people of Israel.”
          Great, we agree that God said it.

          Good. I wonder then at all the “at least understand how it is written” chastising.

          Then how would Matthew find this obscure passage and make up a fiction story about Judas

          No one says that the gospels are made-up fiction. Except Christians erecting straw men, that is.

          What would be his motive to work that hard, considering he had a cushy tax collector gig, to prop up a man that failed? That sounds more far fetched then the words being inspired by God.

          Why do you believe? That’s why the author of Matthew believed.

          Where’s the puzzle?

        • JBSchmidt

          “The ones who say this:”

          You still have an author who has no evidence, besides skepticism to make a claim on the book of Daniel. His work is based purely on conjecture. Do we have earlier copies of Daniel that are lacking this information?

          “No one says that the gospels are made-up fiction”

          So……..they are facts?

        • Kodie

          Taking any part of the bible, Christians don’t do anything else but conjecture to give “plausible” scenarios how it happened. You don’t have evidence. Consider that “didn’t happen” is at least just as plausible a scenario to throw out there. At least. You have no basis on which to criticize it.

        • Greg G.

          “No one says that the gospels are made-up fiction”

          He may have been referring to me. I say that the gospels are fiction but I am no one.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Yeah, but I think Bob means made up fiction out of older myth and legend, older fiction if ya like. Not made up fiction from whole cloth.

          There is a difference.

          P.s…you go also with the former, not the later, as do I.

        • I hadn’t gotten that from your writing. I thought just that you were a Jesus Mythicist (which in my mind is quite different from saying that the gospel story was deliberately made up).

        • Greg G.

          Stories about the words and deeds of a fictional person are fiction. Stories of physical interactions between historical and fictional people are fiction. When the stories are derived from combinations of older works of fiction, the stories are fiction.

          I think Jesus was imagined from reading allegory as if it was a hidden mystery about a real person.

        • “Fiction” has the sense of a deliberate making-up of things. Stories about the words and deeds of someone who didn’t exist don’t have to be fiction.

          No?

        • Greg G.

          I think Mark knew he was writing fiction in the form of an allegory, whether or not there was a historical Jesus. But stories about someone who didn’t exist would have to be in the fiction genre.

        • If that’s true of Mark, then I definitely see that “fiction” applies. But if you really think King Arthur (say) lived and you write about him, that’s legend not fiction, right?

        • Ignorant Amos

          Harry Potter?

          Harry and his real-life inspiration Ian Potter share a lot more than just a last name. Ian, who is now a damp-proofing technician, grew up four doors down from Rowling, and was just as mischievous as Harry when he was younger. Not to mention that Ian used to dress up like a wizard. I mean, did Rowling need much more inspiration than that?

          http://www.bustle.com/articles/105610-9-real-life-people-who-inspired-harry-potter-characters

          It’s debatable whether Arthur was a real person turned into legend or a fiction turned into legend.

        • epeeist

          It’s debatable whether Arthur was a real person turned into legend or a fiction turned into legend.

          This used to be one of my interests when I was younger. There are a number of hypotheses all of which are associated with a certainly likelihood, what nobody says is that this one is correct and all the others are wrong.

          Now when it comes to an historical Jesus I suspect most here would accept that we should take the same attitude. Try and get a theist to accept that the existence of Jesus is only probable rather than certain and that other hypotheses are possible.

        • TheNuszAbides

          This used to be one of my interests when I was younger.

          same here!

          There are a number of hypotheses all of which are associated with a [certain] likelihood

          but as with any other legendry (that i’ve ever heard of), some of the details (among numerous strands of the elusive/fragmented “true story”) simply must be rejected for the rest to fit credible/verifiable historic figure(s). e.g. Rome demanding tribute from Arthur, who swoops down with an army to teach the Emperor a lesson. (unless of course they made sure to dissuade all record-keepers to keep the incident under wraps, or it was so humiliating that nobody could bring themselves to write an accurate account; here lies the classic similarity to Christians speculating on all kinds of plain evidence for Gospel narratives that could have been eliminated/buried by imperial pogroms and so on …) seems like the more we look, the more Arthur and Jesus are likely to be euhemerized amalgamations of multiple actual and mythical personalities.

        • sandy

          How do we know that the author wasn’t commissioned by the Roman authorities to write a story to pacify the Jews?

        • sandy

          We don’t. The greatest find in history IMO would be to find the original work of Mark with footnotes to the Roman authorities for approval.

        • Greg G.

          Mark uses Aramaic terms and Latin terms. He explains the Aramaic terms but never explains the Latin words. This indicates that Mark’s intended audience knew Latin well but not much Aramaic. Mark was written for Romans, not for Judeans.

        • MNb

          How do we know that the American authorities did not pay Lee Harvey Oswald to kill President Kennedy?

        • Ignorant Amos

          It’s a tricky one. Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes and Harry Potter and the characters in Rowling’s books are based around one or more real people, but sane people don’t doubt for a moment that they are works of fiction. While Arthur and Robin Hood are the same, yet are said to be myth and legends.

        • Greg G.

          You can have a fictional story about people who are real and still living. You can have a fictionalized account of a true story. In the 1960’s, there was the TV show Dragnet where the announcer said at the opening, “The story you are about to watch is true. The names have been changed to protect the innocent.” Jack Webb’s character, Joe Friday had a byline, “Just the facts, ma’am.” One of Bob’s books is a fictional story set in San Francisco at the time of the earthquake.

          But fictional characters may be based on a collection of people or other fictional characters the author has encountered, even if the author can’t identify precisely who they were.

          Fiction can address real things. The Star Trek TV series was complete fiction but it contemplated what humanity was by juxtaposing humans with non-humans.

          So, a story can have some fictional elements and still be a non-fiction story, A fictional story can have some real events and people and still be a fictional story. In either case, the non-fictional parts are non-fiction and the fiction parts are fiction. That goes for legends, too.

          But Mark seems to have known he was writing fiction as he borrowed fiction from the Greeks and Jews to create fictional stories. Even the plausible stories are based on older writings. At best, it might have some elements like Star Trek.

          The Gospel of John seems to be a fictional account based on the irony of Jesus making profound statements that nobody gets. Confusion is the theme. But the first eighteen verses of that gospel reminds me of Star Wars because they are like “Long, long ago, in a galaxy far, far away…”

        • epeeist

          I think Mark knew he was writing fiction in the form of an allegory, whether or not there was a historical Jesus.

          How many times have we seen the claims that a story in teh bibul is meant to be taken metaphorically rather than literally, at least until you turn your back and then Noah reverts to an actual person.

          The question is, can an allegory be true or is it simply meaningful.

        • Greg G.

          The question is, can an allegory be true or is it simply meaningful.

          I live my life as an allegory so my biography will be more meaningful to society than my actual life is.

        • Myna A.

          Like John Chapman, better known as Johnny Appleseed. 1774-1845.

        • TheNuszAbides

          superb strategy! i tip my allegorical hat, sir.

        • You still have an author who has no evidence, besides skepticism to make a claim on the book of Daniel. His work is based purely on conjecture.

          Sounds rock solid to me, but explain your position. What approach would satisfy you that Daniel was indeed written in the 160s BCE?

          “No one says that the gospels are made-up fiction”
          So……..they are facts?

          OK, that’s probably my mistake. I thought you had been in this game for a bit, and I thought that my point would be obvious. But if you’re a complete amateur, let me slow it down for you.

          Ancient books can be accurate (think history or journalism). They can be completely or partially made up (fiction). But then there’s the legend and oral history category. You see, when a story is passed from person to person changes can happen. If they’re deliberate, we’d call that fiction or more likely lying, a hoax, a fraud, and so on. But a long story like the gospel (imagine how long it would take you to recite every bit of the gospels that you know—at least an hour, I’m guessing) passed along by ordinary people (not bards who had memorized it, like Homer), errors will creep in.

          For example, imagine a gospel without the water-into-wine story. “Wait a minute,” the Greek listener might say (and remember that the gospels are filtered through Greek culture). “The Oenotropae could change water into wine. If Jesus was god, couldn’t he do that as well?”

          Or imagine a gospel without the healing miracles. “Asclepius was generous with his healing gifts and even raised the dead. Didn’t Jesus do anything like that?”

          Or a gospel without the resurrection. “Dionysus was killed and then was reborn. You mean Jesus just died, and that was it?”

          I hope this helps.

        • JBSchmidt

          “but explain your position.”

          The author assumes its absence from the a 200BCE writing on the OT Biblical content signifies that it had yet to be written. However, that collection leaves out reference to all Jews living outside Israel, includes only Samuel in the list of judges and leaves out people such as Ezra and Job. Do you now claim all those individuals were added post 200BCE? That isn’t possible based on what we have recorded elsewhere. It is more likely that Daniel was kept out based on whims of the author.

          As for chapters 10-12. If it was written after 200BCE, why aren’t there more details? Seems they could have written the exact history. Further, the end of Chapter 12 refers to the anti-christ and not Antiochus.

          Beyond all that, the author you quote has no proof of an authorship date different from the traditional view of around 550BCE. He simply begins with the premise that prophecy is impossible and then develops his own story from there. It might be good for discussion, but not as evidence of the time of authorship.

          “But if you’re a complete amateur, let me slow it down for you.”

          Thanks.

          “You see, when a story is passed from person to person changes can happen.”

          You have no evidence that this was the course with Matthew, but rather use the same methods as the author you quoted on Daniel. Your begin with your bias and build your version of events from there.

          The same can be said about the myths. You begin with a bias and then attempt to construct a connection.

          “Oenotropae”

          The female god. In that culture, if you were trying to build up Jesus and the Son of God, would you have given him the powers of a female god? Doubt it.

          “Asclepius”

          That’s a good one. There are some of similarities. I assume the authors of the Bible then tweaked it slightly so that Jesus did it with his words and not potions. Seems weak to just speak and not have some kind of incantation or herbs or blood.

          “Dionysus”

          You mean the story of him being torn apart and eaten? Those that ate him were then burned to ash and Dionysus was put back together from the pieces of heart that were left from the meal. What similarities would the Gospel writers be trying to emulate?

          You play this half/half game of fiction vs non-fiction, because you are trying to rationalize your bias against the actual evidence. Not because you have evidence to contradict it. At least Greg G. is honest.

        • The author assumes its absence from the a 200BCE writing on the OT Biblical content signifies that it had yet to be written.

          That’s just one of a number of clues that point to a 160s BCE authorship. The one you need to respond to is that Daniel’s “prophecy” is increasingly accurate up to that time and then goes off the rails.

          Beyond all that, the author you quote has no proof of an authorship date different from the traditional view of around 550BCE.

          Right. Except for the fact that the prophecy fails right about the time of the supposed authorship.

          “You see, when a story is passed from person to person changes can happen.”
          You have no evidence that this was the course with Matthew, but rather use the same methods as the author you quoted on Daniel. Your begin with your bias and build your version of events from there.

          It’s not bias to observe that stories change with the retelling. It’s natural and far, far more plausible than any supernatural explanation.

          “Dionysus”
          You mean the story of him being torn apart and eaten? Those that ate him were then burned to ash and Dionysus was put back together from the pieces of heart that were left from the meal. What similarities would the Gospel writers be trying to emulate?

          The dying and rising part? Or was this a trick question?

          The gospel story came from a culture that was suffused with dying and rising gods. Virgin births. Other magic. That the Jesus has the same kinds of tricks suggests that his story was yet one more.

          Or you could go with the supernatural tale.

        • TheNuszAbides

          In that culture, if you were trying to build up Jesus and the Son of God, would you have given him the powers of a female god?

          hahahahaha … no, see, you actually have to establish that you know something relevant about “that culture” before using such bald rhetoric. otherwise you continue to look the fool. not even faith saves you from that.

          At least Greg G. is honest.

          is that why you decline to respond to at least as many of his points? or would that just be pearls before atheist swine?

        • TheNuszAbides

          No one says that the gospels are 100% made-up fiction.

          fixed. 😉

        • Dys

          Long story short, you really want to believe the prophecy thing is real, despite not having any particularly good reason for doing so beyond being in the Bible.

          Then how would Matthew find this obscure passage and make up a fiction
          story about Judas, to promote a dead guy he thought was a good teacher.

          Because the author of Matthew was really keen on trying to make Jesus fit into the OT prophecies…regardless of whether it made sense or not. For instance, he turned Hosea 11:1 into a prophecy, despite the fact that it wasn’t one.

          What would be his motive to work that hard, considering he had a cushy tax collector gig, to prop up a man that failed?

          You do realize that traditional attribution is not actual authorship, right? We don’t actually know who wrote the Gospel of Matthew.

          That sounds more far fetched then the words being inspired by God.

          But since you don’t appear to have a good grounding of the facts, your conclusion is likewise flawed.

        • TheNuszAbides

          not having any particularly good reason for doing so beyond being in the Bible.

          probably with an insulating/muting layer of trust in those Great Thought Leaders, oh-so-erudite church doctors/fathers who oh-so-prudently curated the oh-so-frequently-unattributable texts.

        • MNb

          “Which ones would those be? Those that share your worldview?”
          Dutch catholic scholars, who produced the Willibrord translation authorized by the Vatican.

          http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined/2016/09/bible-prophecies-fulfilled-or-fail/#comment-2909796068

          Are going to make our day and maintain that BobS shares the official catholic wordview? After your howler on global warming plus your refusal to admit it I think you’re stupid and dishonest enough for it.
          You’re simply wrong.
          Again.

        • Kodie

          “the historians”

          Which ones would those be? Those that share your worldview?

          The ones who do their job correctly? You know, the ones who care about accuracy, not theologians who lean on history when it serves their fairy tale, and then don’t put their fairy tale to the same scrutiny.

        • Jack Baynes

          Great, we agree that God said it. Then how would Matthew find this obscure passage and make up a fiction story about Judas, to promote a dead guy he thought was a good teacher.

          Decades to look over the scriptures to find passages to pretend are prophecies and fulfill them. If you’re trying to create support a budding new religion that really wouldn’t be that much work.

          What would be his motive to work that hard, considering he had a cushy tax collector gig, to prop up a man that failed?

          We don’t know who wrote the Gospel of Matthew or what job he might have had. Clearly he was interested in supporting the growing Christian religion, that was his motivation.

        • Greg G.

          Then how would Matthew find this obscure passage and make up a fiction story about Judas, to promote a dead guy he thought was a good teacher.

          Matthew would make up stories around the scripture he was familiar with, rather than searching for a passage to base a story on.

          Matthew may have invented the teachings. Many of the topics in the Sermon on the Mount and other monologues of Jesus match up to topics from the Epistle of James which follows topics in Galatians as if it is a response to Paul, but James never quotes Jesus.

          What would be his motive to work that hard, considering he had a cushy tax collector gig, to prop up a man that failed?

          Papias says that Matthew wrote a gospel but they couldn’t read it because it was in Aramaic or Hebrew. That means that the Matthew we have received is not the one Papias knew of. If the author of the first book of the New Testament was a tax collector named Matthew, that would be two unlikely coincidences.

        • Ignorant Amos

          What would be his motive to work that hard, considering he had a cushy tax collector gig,…

          The authors of the gospels were all educated to the point of good literacy. I don’t think making a decent living was much of an issue. But take a look around you, leading religious clerics do very well for themselves for doing next to nothing. It’s always beenthat way and the bible itself tells us this very fact.

          You assume that a tax collecting gig was a cushy number too. From what I gather, it was a position loathed by everyone not a tax collector…much like today. If the author of Matthew was a tax collector, why would you assume he wouldn’t want a career change? It is not unheard of ya know.

          …to prop up a man that failed?

          Let’s consider that comment on face value and also grant you, for the sake of argument, that a tax collector turned disciple of this miracle worker actually wrote Matthew, how would he have known about such a failure ahead of time?

          Hindsight is 20/20.

          Now consider Joseph Smith…there’s a guy who convinced a group to follow his nonsense invented from myth and legend. He even had a number of his followers witness the existence of his God given source, godly inscribed golden tablets, and attest to said in affidavits. Why are you not a follower of the Mormon faith? Why were the followers of that failure Joseph Smith so keen to prop him up?

          That sounds more far fetched then the words being inspired by God.

          No, it really doesn’t, or you would be a Muslim or Mormon or the follower of some other religious nonsense claiming divine inspiration. You are not, when your thick skull realises the reasons why, then you will finally comprehend why your flavour of bullshite is the same nonsense with a different odour. And why we don’t buy that either.

        • TheNuszAbides

          why your flavour of bullshite is the same nonsense with a different odour

          i’m getting whiffs of verdigris and mountain hibiscus …

        • Michael Neville

          he had a cushy tax collector gig

          Roman tax collectors, or more properly tax farmers, would buy the privilege to collect taxes. They had to provide a quarterly amount to Rome and any extra they collected they could keep. However they had no support from the Roman army or bureaucracy to help them collect taxes and often had to hire enforcers to ensure their clients coughed up the money. It was an official “protection racket” and while it was possible to become rich as a tax collector, most of them just got by.

        • MR

          The fact that Daniel’s “predictions” are quite accurate up to the 160s BCE but then abysmally wrong afterwards suggests (wait for it that it was written in the 160s. That’s how historians think.

          When I finally decided to read the Bible cover to cover, I remember being all excited when I got to Daniel because even I recognized that the prophecy was talking about Alexander the Great’s kingdom and being split between his four generals…, but then it suddenly got very specific and didn’t seem to match up with actual history anymore.

          A little research and that’s when I first read about Daniel likely being written at the time where it diverged from actual history, not prior. The person who wrote it knew about the past, but couldn’t know the future. I thought, of course, that makes perfect sense. It’s so clearly what happened that it’s laughable to hear someone try to defend Daniel as actual prophecy when it’s spot on up to one point and then fails miserably after. How gullible do they want me to be?

        • Careful. I fear that you’re inviting a finger wagging from JBSchmidt.

        • MR

          How gullible does he want me to be?

        • MNb

          “That’s how historians think.”
          Not only historians, also catholic Bible translators.

          http://www.willibrordbijbel.nl/?p=page&i=57616,57616

          Authorized by the Vatican.

          “Men heeft namelijk ingezien dat de verhalen en de visioenen niet uit de zesde eeuw v.Chr. kunnen dateren. Zowel de taal als de stijl verzetten zich tegen deze vroege datering. Zij moeten geschreven zijn in de eerste helft van de tweede eeuw, ten tijde van het Makkabese verzet tegen de Griekse overheersing. De profetieën van Daniël zijn dus geen echte voorspellingen, maar moeten verstaan worden als ‘voorspellingen na de feiten’ (vaticinia ex eventu).”

          “The fact is, one has realized that the stories and the visions cannot date from the 6th Century BC. Both language and style resist this early dating. They have to be written in the first half of the Second Century (ie between 200 and 150 BCE – MNb), during Maccabean resistance against Greek dominance. So Daniel’s prophecies aren’t real prophecies, but have to be understood as ‘prophecies after the facts’ (vaticinia ex eventu).”

          Underlined by me.

        • TheNuszAbides

          God busts his ass, but he’s dismissed like a servant. Sounds like God is unappreciated by the people of Israel.

          but of course–the OT is chock-full of details/hints convenient to all kinds of “Jews suck” narratives, not to mention self-flagellatory “see how our Greatest Leaders got [us] on God’s wrong side” interpretations for various observant Jews.

        • TheNuszAbides

          “The nonsensical probability evaluations are in Ross’s original article.”
          I know. That was poorly for effect. Aside from you, I say it worked well. The group think is strong in this forum.

          No idea what this is supposed to mean.

          because he’s flailing. and failing either to correct the bungled phrasing of the comment you were responding to (“The part I love best about this article is your addition of probability.”), or to retract his misdirected cut-and-paste from an encouraging response to Ross.
          including an unintentionally ironic Orwellism in his parting shot is almost precious at this point.

        • Kodie

          It doesn’t make you at all skeptical to realize that a “prophet” in a story might “foretell” something that comes about later? Or that people might be eager to fulfill these so-called prophesies on purpose so they can admire the “prophet” for his mystic predictions? That seems to be the most obvious reading, not for gullible folks like you who think it’s very magical and mysterious, and it’s not because we reject god, it’s why we reject the idea that there’s a god. It adds up to a big stupid thing you believe even when there’s a lot of very good reasons why prophesy is bullshit. You forget to think. If you remembered to think, it might seem like bullshit to you too.

    • TheNuszAbides

      It is difficult to place a time stamp on apocalyptic writing.

      what patronizing, cherry-picking claptrap. you’ll gush about the ‘accuracy’ (derived from selectively metaphorical exegesis) of an alleged prophecy until it doesn’t suit you–because they have to be spooky enough to impress the credulous yet vague enough to dissuade stick-in-the-mud skeptics–then pretend the problem lies with the unconvinced reader.

  • Zeta

    I used to have the naive view that accomplished scientists and mathematicians would use their considerable intellect and their skepticism (so essential in their normal scientific work) to reject superstition and unfounded claims. That view was shattered completely after I came to know about people such as Hugh Ross, John Lennox and others. I have also been dismayed by some of these and also lesser figures who used fallacious arguments, fabricated claims, or pulled-out-of-their-ass numbers to mislead people who are not so well-versed in the subject.

    It is amazing to see dubious probability values being tossed about to buttress arguments. How did Ross come up with the 1 in 10 chance or 1 in 10^5 chance of some prophecies being true?

    • T-Paine

      Of course not, because these guys are apologists. It’s their job to treat their listeners and readers like mushrooms – keep them in the dark and feed them bullsh*t.

    • MNb

      “I used to have the naive view ….”

      http://www.cracked.com/article_17039_9-real-life-mad-scientists.html

      http://www.cracked.com/article_18638_4-nobel-prize-winners-who-were-clearly-insane.html

      Fortunately science in general doesn’t depend on a single individual. When a branch is so specialized (that seems to be the case in classical philology) that it does the result usually is stagnation. To overcome superstition and unfounded claims science needs a balance of competition and cooperation.

      “It is amazing to see dubious probability values being tossed about to buttress arguments.”
      It doesn’t amaze me anymore. Everything good invented by Homo Sapiens can and at some time will be abused. Probability calculation is no exception.

    • epicurus

      One of the aspects of Christianity and religion I find interesting is the ability to separate and compartmentalize modes of critical thinking between one’s every day life, academic pursuits, and vocation, versus one’s religious belief and evaluation of the particular religious book one believes in, and the ability to instantly turn around and not apply the same generosity of belief to other religious books or world views.
      As an ex christian, I can remember that feeling and practice, and I never thought I was being deluded or inconsistent. So it is no surprise to me that people like Ross or Lennox can engage in those kind of double standards and not feel like they are being inconsistent.

      • MR

        S’true. I sometimes forget that I used to swim in the cognitive dissonance myself. Wouldn’t it be fun to be able to go back in time and put one’s self on the spot. I’m sure I’d squirm and evade just like our good Christian apologists here.

        • Greg G.

          I recall an intelligent kid named Aaron who was a YouTube apologist. He was a creationist when he was in about the 8th grade but a few years later he grew out of it. He started a series called something like “Aaron Refutes Aaron”, where he refuted his creationist videos.

          I wonder if he still does it.

        • You could imagine a blogger making that transition doing the same thing. Technology opens up new interesting possibilities.

          I would very much like to see a variation of that: an atheist blogger who knows the arguments thoroughly converting to a Christian and then going back and showing how he got it wrong. I predict we’ll never see a satisfying version of that (one reason being that the conversion to Christianity isn’t likely to be for intellectual reasons).

          As just a prank, it’d be fun to do that myself. Perhaps I’d get my 15 minutes of fame being interviewed by some big name evangelicals. And then after a week or a year as the cause célèbre, (or maybe enfant terrible) I could write the “Gotcha!” post.

          But I could never do the rebuttal thing.

          JBSchmidt seems to see things from an “Everyone’s biased, so let’s just accept that and move on” situation and can’t imagine that I’m actually honestly trying to follow the facts, discarding arguments that don’t work and admitting mistakes in my reasoning where I find them. But since I do, there is no discarded evidence that Christian Bob could go back and pick up and recast an argument to show the atheist errors.

        • Ignorant Amos

          There are numerous books by the fallen. From Ken Daniels to Dan Barker….Bart Ehrman to Robert M. Price…and all the testimonials on the Clergy Project ta boot…but I’m not aware of anything by a treble agent defection. There is Ryan Bell”s experiment where he decided to take a year out and try the atheist thought process, that backfired as one can see at his “Year Without God” blog.

          http://www.patheos.com/blogs/yearwithoutgod/

          Of course there are the alleged defections the other way too, but I don’t think they can be demonstrated to be anything more than emotionally oriented.

        • epeeist

          Of course there are the alleged defections the other way too

          If you look at the UK then findings from the British Social Attitudes Survey show that of those brought up in the CofE some 44% now report themselves as “No religion”, for Catholics the figure is 32%. Of those brought up with “No religion” some 6% now report themselves as belonging to a religion.

        • Zeta

          Of course there are the alleged defections the other way too, but I don’t think they can be demonstrated to be anything more than emotionally oriented.

          A well-known example is that of Francis Collins who claimed that he was originally an atheist (Any evidence?). One day, he “rounded a corner and saw a beautiful and unexpected frozen waterfall, hundreds of feet high, I knew the search was over. The next morning, I knelt in the dewy grass as the sun rose and surrendered to Jesus Christ

          A beautiful natural scene won him over!

        • epeeist

          Francis Collins who claimed that he was originally an atheist

          I suspect one of those who says “I am an atheist, but…”.

          A beautiful natural scene won him over!

          He apparently became a Catholic because the waterfall was split into three. One wonders, if it had been split into two would he have become a Zoroastrian?

        • Jack Baynes

          Makes about as much sense as when it was explained I sneeze three times when going in to the sun because of the Trinity.
          Nowadays I tend to sneeze four or five times. I wonder which God does that.

        • epeeist

          Nowadays I tend to sneeze four or five times.

          Obviously on a journey to becoming a Hinud…

        • TheNuszAbides

          Corruption!

        • Pofarmer

          How does one claim to be an atheist, but apparently not understand in the slightest why?

        • Kodie

          It’s not that hard. If you aren’t raised with a religion, you assume you don’t have one, thus an atheist. If you are raised in a religion and they describe atheism to you as a rejection of god, and then you get rebellious and think it’s trendy or goth or some shit to be an atheist/satanist, then assume you are/were an atheist. I would not be so uptight with definitions of atheism. You don’t have to be smart, thoughtful, inquisitive, rational, logical, knowledgeable of theistic arguments, knowledgeable of atheistic counter-arguments, etc. I can imagine many theists, as some here have described their experience, of wanting god to notice them and hear their prayers, and feeling no god, assume a god but god has abandoned them, quit trying and consider themselves atheists for lack of a more accurate term that they’d be familiar with. -ism means belief, atheism means not theism, lack of / god / belief, not lack of god / belief.

          I am trying to get through here, people who represent themselves on blogs as atheists are more knowledgeable and connected to arguments and counter-arguments, at least partly from finding blog like this to begin with. There are a lot more atheists who are not connected, and may not have solid reasons.

        • Ignorant Amos

          IIRC, it was how the fall had frozen in three distinct columns and he seen the trinity in there, that helped with the conversion.

          As for his being atheist claim, he said this in interview…

          I went through a phase when I was a casual agnostic, and I am perhaps too quick to assume that others have no more depth than I did.

          http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/ngm/0702/voices.html

          Also this…

          Collins’ conversion to Christianity is detailed at the beginning and end of The Language of God. He grew up in an agnostic family, and knew at an early age that he wanted to be a scientist. At first, he was interested in the physical sciences, since “biology was rather like existential philosophy: it just didn’t make sense” (page 181). However, nearing the end of a Ph.D. program, Collins took a biochemistry course and was hooked. He applied for and was admitted to medical school, from which he graduated and began genetic research and a clinical practice. During one clinic, Collins was asked by a Christian patient about his spiritual beliefs. He didn’t really have an answer, but determined that he should confirm his atheism by studying the best arguments for faith. A pastor directed him to Mere Christianity by C. S. Lewis, which he cites as the main cause of his conversion.

          We had a few extensive discussions about Collins on the old RDFRS site, that was after his book came out and then when it was announced he was being made NIH director, it doesn’t fell like 7 years ago and longer though.

        • Zeta

          Thanks for the info.

        • Kodie

          That kind of sounds like my upbringing. We didn’t talk at all about religion and I thought we were atheists – and I didn’t know there was anything wrong with that… I mean I didn’t think society would think there was something wrong with it, on the basis that folks seemed awfully tolerant where I grew up of people who had different religious traditions, most popular behind Christianity would be Jewish and Hindu. I was aware of religion and sort of drawn to facets of it. I didn’t confirm my atheism for a while yet, or ever really think about the question or know any arguments one way or another, but I knew I didn’t believe in god. Not deep. I could have been drawn in by some so-called intellectual argument at a vulnerable stage, but somehow got out of it. At some point, I realized how seriously adults took their faith, and basically asked, inside my head, “are you fucking serious?” I didn’t want to be hasty, so at some point then I thought about it a lot, read nothing, talked to no one, and just confirmed my atheism about as deeply as anyone could. The arguments are such crap, how could anyone fall for them unless they wanted to.

          Lucky that I passed the stage where I wanted to. I mean, even then, I probably didn’t, you know? I didn’t know much about religion, and about the only “discussion” we might have had as a family was my parents used epithets against “holy-rollers” and “bible-thumpers”, you know you don’t want to take it that dead serious. I never read the bible, but I knew my parents’ opinion of such people who read it literally or protested ordinary school because it disputed their bible was not good. I likened having a religion to having a nationality, and I don’t mean American, I mean the hyphenated 3rd and 4th generation immigrant pride in one’s heritage that one knows nothing about. I mean, you’re Irish right? And you lived in America a while, so you might have encountered these pseudo-Irish. I mean, it makes them feel good, but on some level, they know they’re not …. well it took a long time for me to realize those people take it dead serious too, and not just for fun. Identity is so tricky, because now we have more recent immigrants, and for them it’s definitely more authentic, and more serious, and I don’t have a good reason why it should not be, but to me, it’s just a tradition, and you could easily have a different one, and they’re all food and music and perhaps some values from somewhere. To me, it’s sort of adopting a hobby, or the way you like to decorate your home to feel comfortable to you, like overly cluttered or minimalist or old-fashioned or modern or classical – it’s what you like and how you feel, but if you think think think about it, what it means to you, what it means in general, a table serves a function, and your preference is not everyone’s preference for design.

          I guess that’s how I felt growing up that religion was to people. They found something they liked, some advice that helped, some structure to hang their own personal purpose on, something to identify with as a family, there was art and music and people to hang out with every Sunday. I didn’t literally comprehend that they feared hell after they die, or talked and listened to their imaginary friend, or felt very strongly that I should have to follow their imaginary friend’s rules. When I realized it, it blew my mind. Superstition. It’s just like when they were laughing at Nancy Reagan’s psychic. Come on.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Thank you for sharing.

        • Pofarmer

          That last paragraph is powerful, very powerful. That’s pretty much how I was. I thought religion was for teaching morals, etc, etc. Then I realized that people actually BELIEVED this shit. They believe that Mary is actually in Heaven praying to Jesus to grant prayers to the faithful. They believe that a cracker and wine literally become the body and blood of a 2000 year dead Jewish rabbi. The list goes on and on. Going to a Catholic mass now(I don’t personally intend to go to one again if I can help it) freaks me out, because I realize that people BELIEVE this unbelievable shit. We’re all horrible, horrible sinners headed for hell but for the intercession of JESUS!? Say it with me! Oh, holy shit. I actually got a panic attack sitting in Mass one day with my wife.

        • Kodie

          The last time I was in church was standing up for my sister at her wedding to a guy raised Catholic (oh wait, I was at my nephew’s christening too*), whom she has since divorced, and the bishop had these lines I had to recite about god, that I was conflicted. The funny thing is, if you asked a Christian to say something about god not existing, they would pitch a fit, but as an atheist, I’m expected to affirm things that aren’t true. Because my sister is a totally sensitive panicky bitch, and mostly for her benefit and not for the bishop’s, I had no problem saying lines like I was in a play. I fear the judgment of no one but my sister.

          *I forgot after I started that my nephew was baptized and I had to attend. I didn’t recite or repeat or call back anything the bishop asked, not one amen from my lips. I had my nephew as an infant, we had some time alone, where I know he didn’t understand, but I told him not to believe this bullshit, it’s just a ceremony for his grandparents. I can hardly believe his father believes it, but then there’s this whole Catholic thing that I grew up with – people who discard great amounts of doctrine and do as they please, but have their prejudice of atheists implanted at birth, and love of rituals and recitations that transmit protections, etc. It is so exactly a superstition to me. I might have my local brand of Catholicism to thank for my atheism because it’s so obvious they don’t believe it, but then they do. Such a sharp line between actual behavior alteration in alignment with doctrine (which they don’t), and adherence to ritual (which seems to be what actually counts).

        • TheNuszAbides

          I fear the judgment of no one but my sister.

          thanks for the family story trigger!
          my dad (a de facto atheist at the time) spanked me for wetting the bed (once or twice) and for raising my voice to him (once). there was also a moment of cruelty while i was in high school, and ultimately i ended up avoiding and partly despising him for all of that.
          but from ‘since i can remember’ until well into my 20s, i genuinely feared my mother’s disapproval. she taught me manners and got me to church regularly for as long as my schedule was under her influence. i was a ‘sensitive’ and submissive kid, but i can’t really have any idea whether i would have gravitated towards or held onto basic social cohesive stuff like don’t kill, golden rule etc. in the counterfactual universe in which i didn’t get religiously raised. i was ‘born again’ but all i ever felt was being part of a group; declarations of anything deeper never rang true.

          Such a sharp line between actual behavior alteration in alignment with doctrine (which they don’t), and adherence to ritual (which seems to be what actually counts).

          the ritual is plain old habit reinforcement with theatrical trappings; the rest can mostly be hidden inside an individual’s head (thus, swept under the proverbial rug as needed), as far as most not-tiny congregations operate (obvious exceptions for folks who see each other outside of Sunday Best).

        • Pofarmer

          Isn’t it curious that Collins, being a scientist, didn’t really understand the arguments against God, being an Agnostic and all, and then gets roped in, by, of all people, C.S. Lewis? It’s kind of ridiculous.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Compartmentalization, cognitive dissonance and confirmation bias have a lot to answer for in my opinion.

          If really clever folk can fall foul of such phenomena, what chance has the rest of the gullible masses?

        • Greg G.

          Intelligent people can concoct sophisticated reasons for being wrong.

        • Pofarmer

          And are, in fact, very good at it.

        • That’s Shermer’s Law.

        • Pofarmer

          This is why I’m not just telling my boys that I don’t believe, or whatever. They know why. There are so many more resources available today to help teach than even 10 years ago. My middle boy is subscribed to Darkmatter2525’s youtube channel, for instance.

        • TheNuszAbides

          becoming more aware of the universal weaknesses of humans is why i’m no longer tempted by elitism.

        • TheNuszAbides

          i just keep catching uncited snippets that he picked ‘evangelical’ after the frozen streams, uh, let’s call it ‘epiphany’. did he in fact sign up to a specific denomination?

        • MNb

          Evangelical.

          http://www.salon.com/2006/08/07/collins_6/

          But apparently not hardcore.

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Francis_Collins

          “In 2009, Pope Benedict XVI appointed Collins to the Pontifical Academy of Sciences.”

          http://www.explorefaith.org/faces/my_faith/dr._francis_s._collins_on_faith_and_science.php

          “You can find God in the laboratory, just as much as in the cathedral.”

        • TheNuszAbides

          thanks, i think my last wiki check must have been missing an edit or two.

        • TheNuszAbides

          Ryan Bell”s experiment where he decided to take a year out and try the atheist thought process, that backfired …

          meaning the godlessness stuck? perhaps it was a clever way of gradually outing himself after it had already taken root 😉

        • MNb

          Yeah, the outcome was highly unsurprising.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Ya think he may have been playing the long game then? Interesting.

        • TheNuszAbides

          oh, i’d barely heard of the endeavor previously. i just enjoy playing with hypothetical complexities a bit more than the average bear.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Well in that case, I suppose it is possible, though I don’t see it that way having followed the blog. In any case, if that was the plan, it failed.

          Ryan Bell started the “experiment” from an already ropy position within his faith. Both in his mind and in his physical surrounding environment. So am not sure how big a surprise it really was to a lot of folk around him when the result was announced.

          Bell has said he was becoming more and more a bit of a renegade and that didn’t make him all that popular with his peers and superiors. He took umbrage with a lot of the “bread & butter” issues within evangelical Christianity which wouldn’t have sat very well with the mainstream. Although it did win him praise with some.

          According to Bell, he had the same niggles we all had prior to jumping ship, those of us that had to jump ship that is of course. So on reflection, perhaps it was an inevitable outcome foreseen.

          Part of Ryan’s story going into his project….

          In short, I will do whatever I can to enter the world of atheism and live, for a year, as an atheist. It’s important to make the distinction that I am not an atheist. At least not yet. I am not sure what I am. That’s part of what this year is about.

          For this life-long Christian, and a pastor for nearly 20 years, this feels abnormal. Risky, even. It is as uncomfortable as a lifelong atheist trying on Christianity for a year. Many of my colleagues will fear for my eternal security (what if I somehow die during the year?), others will question my mental health, reasoning that the recent trauma in my life has sent me over the edge. Perhaps they are right. There has been some religious trauma in my life in the last year and it has shaken the foundation of my faith, but honestly, it was getting pretty shaky anyway.

          http://www.patheos.com/blogs/yearwithoutgod/2013/12/31/a-year-without-god-a-former-pastors-journey-into-atheism/

        • TheNuszAbides

          is the “religious trauma” detailed previously (or whenever) in his blog?

        • Ignorant Amos

          The linked blog article originally appeared in The HuffPo and was at the outset of the Year Without God, so no previous details of what the “religious trauma” was in the previous year exactly. At least as far as I can remember, it has been a while and my auld marbles aren’t what they used to be.

          http://www.huffingtonpost.com/ryan-j-bell/a-year-without-god_b_4512842.html

          Ryan Bell is to be found at Life After God these days, as far as am aware. I’ve not looked at it yet maself.

          http://www.lifeaftergod.org/

        • MR

          Reminds me of the Leo Taxil hoax that I was introduced to by Umberto Eco’s, Prague Cemetery.

          https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Léo_Taxil

          And I see an intriguing Chick tract connection that I’ll have to explore later when I’m not on my phone.

        • Pofarmer

          Coda: My conclusion, the strongly religious, even religious leaders, can be both superstitious and gullible.

          I’m not sure that this is exactly Earth shattering news……….

          Witness Pope Frank trying to exorcise a kid with Cerebral Palsy.

        • TheNuszAbides

          (one reason being that the conversion to Christianity isn’t likely to be for intellectual reasons).

          i fancy that my imagination is fairly robust, but the only way i’ve managed to cook up an exception to this is by adventure-narrative-bolstering appeals to magic–positing a world in which mere humans ultimately cannot discover/verify any truth of reality without supernatural aid/attunement/exploitation.

          until this hypothetical breakthrough, it can only ever be a veil of intellectualization over a core of emotional team-choosing.

        • Greg G.

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=szbns0v4hos

          He gave up apologetics and started another channel about something else which he seems to have abandoned due to being out of college, looking for a job, and getting married.

      • Zeta

        epicurus: “As an ex christian, I can remember that feeling and practice, and I never thought I was being deluded or inconsistent.

        Thanks for sharing your personal experience. I have never believed in any religion, so I lack that kind of feeling and thinking.

      • sandy

        Ask a christian if they believe that Mohamed flew on a winged horse through several levels of heaven one night meeting Jesus and Abraham on his way to a meeting with Allah where he negotiated 5 worships a day( to him )versus 30. If they agree, why aren’t you a muslim? If not, what are your reasons? Keep in mind you believe the christian story of…..ya we all know that nonsense