Validity of the Bible.

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It is vital for the Christian to know that the book he believes in has exceptional proof. With such an important topic, I thought it necessary for this post to be long. When confronted with skepticism of the Bible’s truth, many Christians simply say something like, “I believe that the Bible is true.” The problem is: It doesn’t matter what you believe; it matters that it is actually true. With that in mind, what proof is there of the Bible?

Uniqueness- Though it doesn’t make it true, the uniqueness of the Bible is unparalleled. Here is a book that was: 1. Written over a 1600 year span. 2. Written during 60 generations. 3. Written by over 40 authors from every walk of life including kings, peasants, statesmen, fishermen, etc. 4. Written in many different places including a wilderness, a dungeon, a hillside and inside a palace, written while traveling, on the isle of Patmos, and in the rigors of a military campaign. 5. Written at different times and during different moods: David in times of war. Solomon in times of peace. Some writings were written during heights of joy, others were written in sorrow and despair. 6. Written on three continents and in three different languages. 9. Its subject matter includes hundreds of controversial subjects which would normally create opposing opinions when mentioned or discussed. 10. Despite all of these extremes, the Bible’s continuity is astounding. Imagine simply ten modern day authors writing a book about a similar controversial subject; it would likely be a confusing conglomeration. The way the Bible agrees with itself is wonderfully great. Not only does the Bible show amazing things inside its pages, but facts simply about it show uniqueness. The Bible has approximately 150 million copies printed annually. That far outweighs the printing of any other book. Also, more than 5,000 ancient, hand written, Greek New Testaments are in existence today, greatly exceeding any other writing from long ago. Homer’s Iliad,which is considered very valid by modern critics, has only five hundred manuscripts in known existence. The Bible’s uniqueness is amazing.

Claimed to be written by God- Most people don’t realize it, but the Bible claims to be written by God. 2Timothy 3:16 “All scripture is given by inspiration of God,” 2Peter 1:21 “For prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.”  God used men as a tool to write the Bible. Some may say that because men are not perfect, men couldn’t write the perfect word of God. This is where God’s supernatural power arrives. It’s been said, “God can draw a straight line with a crooked stick.” He is powerful enough to enact a flawless scripture using flawed people. The Bible says, “thus saith the Lord…” over 3,000 times. But just because the Bible claims to be written by God isn’t enough. I could write a note that says, “-from God” at the end, but that wouldn’t mean it was true. Now I’ll show some actual proofs of the Bible’s truth.

Non-contradictory– The first test employed to test the validity of a document, like the Bible, is a test that checks for internal contradictions.  If a document gives two different dates for the same event or explains an event two different ways, it is discarded.  However, there must be no way to explain away the contradiction, or the contradiction will be ignored.  The Bible has many apparent contradictions, if you look hard enough, but they can all be explained away to misinterpretation, mistranslation, etc.  There are no contradictions that hold well enough to disprove the Bible.

History and Archaeological– There hasn’t been a single fact of history that has contradicted the Bible. The Bible was always supported historical data. If men had written a book with so much history, it would be very likely to hold many errors. Not so with the Bible, after all these years, not a single historical fallacy has been found. It is the same with archaeological data. To this day, there hasn’t been anything in the Middle East found that contradicts the Bible; in fact, the archaeologist’s finds have strengthened the Bible’s validity. Over 25,000 archaeological finds have been discovered relating to the Bible, and each supports the Bible’s trustworthiness. “If you can believe the physical records in the Bible to be true, why can’t you believe in the spiritual?” Is a good question to ask.

Prophecy– This is truly the greatest proof of the Bible (Isaiah 48:3-7). Prophecy is a great ally to us. Suppose someone was to write a book that fortold events of the future, and those events didn’t come to pass, you could reasonably say that the book is false. Now if the prophecy did happen, it would provide great validity for the book. Statistically, there is no possible way for a human to prophecy the future with 100% accuracy, but that is exactly what the Bible has done. Approximately 25% of the Bible contains foretelling of the future. That means that a quarter of the Bible is prophecy. All have come true except for a few that will happen when Christ returns. Not only have they been fulfilled, but they have been fulfilled to the minutest degree. Here are a few starters:

  • Zechariah 11:12b “…So they paid me thirty pieces of silver.” It was said the Messiah would be betrayed for thirty pieces of silver. Jesus was betrayed for thirty pieces of silver! (Matthew 26:15)
  • The Old testament states that the Messiah will be born in Bethlehem (Micah 5:2, John 7:42). It also says that the Messiah will come out of Egypt (Hosea 11:1, Mathew 2:15). Then the Old Testament also says that he will be called a Nazarene (Isaiah 11:1,Mathew 2:23). The Jews were confused by these references because they took it to mean that God would be coming from three different places. They considered that maybe there was going to be more than one Messiah. The amazing thing is, is that Jesus fulfilled all of these prophecies Himself! He was born in Bethlehem, he then was taken by his parents to Egypt to escape Herod’s wrath. Later Jesus returned to Nazareth and thus, was called a Nazarene.
  • In Ezekiel 26:3-21 it prophecies some very precise prophecies about the great city Tyre. It says: 1. Nebuchadnezzar will destroy the mainland city of Tyre. 2. Many nations fight against Tyre. 3. Make her bare rock; flat like the top of a rock. 4. Fishermen will spread their nets over the site. 5. Throw debris into the water. 6. Never be rebuilt. 7. Never to be found again. These prophecies have all come true to amazing detail. After Nebuchadnezzar attacked Tyre, Alexander the Great attacked Tyre and eventually pulled it into the sea. It was made a bare rock, and to this day fishermen spread their nets on it. And lest people think that nearly every big city of ancient days is destroyed, it also says how the city of Sidon would be attacked, but it never says that it would be destroyed. Sidon was, in fact, not destroyed, but Tyre was brought to ruin. There are many more biblical prophecies that have been fulfilled through history.
  • The prophecy in these verses is overwhelming: Psalms 22:15 “My strength is dried up like a potsherd; and my tongue cleaveth to my jaws; and thou hast brought me into the dust of death. 16 For dogs have compassed me: the assembly of the wicked have inclosed me: they pierced my hands and my feet. 17 I may tell all my bones: they look and stare upon me.18 They part my garments among them, and cast lots upon my vesture.” When it says, “My tongue cleaveth to my jaws”, it refers to Christ thirst and his asking for a drink while on the cross (John 19:23). Later it says, “they pierced my hands and my feet”. Jesus was nailed to the cross by His hands and feet (John 20:25). A remarkable fact is that at the time these verses were written crucifixion wasn’t even invented. It would be over 800 years before a cross was even used as a means of punishment. It then says, “I may tell all my bones:”. In other words, it is saying that He can count all of his bones; they aren’t broken. In the normal crucifixion process the soldiers would break the legs of the punished to make breathing more difficult. But when the Roman soldier saw that Jesus was already dead, he instead simply speared Him in the side (John 19:26). Lastly, when it says, ” They part my garments among them, and cast lots upon my vesture.”, it is astounding to note that Jesus’ garment was truly gambled on by the soldiers with lots(John 19:24).

Not only did Jesus fulfill these prophecies, but He fulfilled more than 300 other prophecies. And they had been written down for hundreds of years before he was born. The odds for one man to fulfill 300 prophecies in one lifetime are next to impossible. The Bible has over 2,000 prophecies in the Old Testament alone. No other religious book even compares to that . Believing the Bible to be true is not a blind leap of faith, rather it is a calculated step of faith into Jesus.

These statements were compiled using information found in the Bible, Evidence That Demands a Verdict by Josh McDowell, The Case for Christ by Lee Strobel, One Thing You Can’t Do In Heaven by Mark Cahill, and One Heartbeat Away by Mark Cahill. (Levi speaking)

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37 Responses to “Validity of the Bible.”

  1. jjfortheking Says:

    Good post!

    I know who wrote it… 🙂

    J.J.

  2. teens4evangelism Says:

    I’ll bet you didn’t realize that it was a team effort :-). Though it was MOSTLY written by a single person.

  3. jjfortheking Says:

    Oh it was?

    Well, good job, team!

    J.J. 🙂

  4. brunettegramrgrl Says:

    Wow, this was a great post!! Thx so much, it’s oustanding!! I really appreciate the scripture back-up too. Is it ok if I paste it into a word doc and print it out? (in case it’s copyrighted or whatever…)

    😉

    ~Mia

  5. teens4evangelism Says:

    Haha. We don’t copyright our posts. We do, however, charge for licenses for printing them. $50 will give you an unrestricted license. 🙂 jk. Go ahead.

  6. Cingergirl Says:

    You guys were exactly what i was looking for! I’m wrighting an essay for my high school english class and you guys were the only ones i found that wasn’t eaither saying good things but with no evedence to back it up or just bashing it and being totally uncalled for in their remarks. Thanks for making this site and proving that not all christians talk in mindless rants.

  7. Footballjock Says:

    I think it’s so cool that teens have their own site to spread the gospel. This site is going to be a resource for my english essay on the validity of the bible, and I think you all did a great job. Thanks so much!

  8. Carrie Says:

    I read your post, what an awesome post. I found your article to be full of facts and the truth. Keep up the good work team!!

  9. Kennith Says:

    So it doesn’t bother anyone that for thousands of years the bible has been re-written and re translated and changed to meet the selfish demands of kings and spiritual leaders. Sorry but the bible is as valid as the torah or any other ancient book of sexist, racist, contradictory bullshit. Though the morals in the bible are great, there is no reason to devote your life to something this ridiculous.

    • teens4evangelism Says:

      I’m sorry you see things that way Kennith. The truth of the matter is that everything you brought up is all misconceptions. I’ll address your points individually.

      Re-written and re-translated and changed many times We have actually found very, very old copies of both the Old and New Testaments, predating the kings and spiritual leaders whom it was supposedly changed to benefit. The differences were extremely minimal, and none of them affected doctrine in the least. Most of them were just due to the way that languages naturally change over time, modifying things like spelling and syntax. So we can be sure that the copy we have today is as accurate as the original.

      Additionally, there is a lot of exterior evidence supporting many of the major claims of the Bible. If you would like more details on this, let me know, and I can post them, but they’re a little too long for this comment.

      The Bible is sexist and racist This is not true at all. In fact, according to the Bible, there really is only one race. There is no biblical justification for hating African-Americans, Mexicans, Arabs, etc. As far as the Bible being sexist, it actually values women much more highly than many of the cultures of the time did. While you might call it anti-feminist, that would be a matter of opinion based on the idea that men are supposed to rule their households, which many people even today agree with. So there is no basis for calling it racist or sexist.

      The Bible is contradictory Not true in the least. Show me a single true contradiction, and then I will debate you on this point. Just throwing out the word contradiction says nothing unless you can back it up.

      Great morals, but not a life basis This statement is contradicts what you said about racism and sexism. Take your pick. You can’t have both. And the Bible itself demands devotion. You must accept or reject this demand.

      While I can appreciate opposing views, I would encourage you to form your beliefs on the evidence and the facts, not on your own bias or unsupported statements made by people who really don’t know what they’re talking about.

      • Kennith Says:

        First off I want to apologize if I came off sounding like a typical atheist. I am by no means an atheist and I actually get more annoyed with outspoken atheists than any religious people. I think there are too many inexplicable things and the universe is too balanced and vast for there not to be some sort of presence that is what some might call “divine”. I just firmly believe that this god is not the one portrayed in Christian mythology, with his human emotions of jealousy and anger.

        I the lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of
the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth
generation.

        – Exodus 20:5
        Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.
        -1 Corinthians 13:4-5
        Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.
        – 1 John 4:8

        If God is love, and love is not angry or jealous, how is God jealous and angry? I believe in a god of all love, balance, good vibrations, the god that created this cyclical world we live in with checks and balances. Humans took a beautiful thing and made a cult out of it, and I think religions like Christianity, Judaism, Scientology, Mormonism, etc. were all invented by people so that men (specifically) in charge could use guilt in order to control the people of their respective society.

        When I said the bible was contradictory, I probably came off as ignorant for not providing example. I grew up in a Christian church for 15+ years and even after I realized there was something kind of fishy going on, I did research to see for myself how credible the bible was. I didn’t stop believing for years until it finally sank in and I could use logic to sort out all the questions I had about religion. Here are some (not even close to all) of the contradictions in the bible:
        1) Namecalling:

        • Matthew 5:22 “Whosoever shall say Thou fool, shall be in danger of hellfire.” [Jesus speaking]
        • Matthew 23:17 “Ye fools and blind.” [Jesus speaking]
        • Psalm 14:1 “The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God.”
        2) Is God visible?
        • Genesis 32:30 “For I have seen God face to face.”
        • Exodus 33:11 “And the Lord spake unto Moses face to face, as a man speaketh unto his friend.”
        • John 1:18 “No man hath seen God at any time.”
        • Exodus 33:20 “Thou canst not see my face: for there shall no man see me, and live.”
        • John 6:46 “Not that any man hath seen the Father, save he which is of God [Jesus], he hath seen the Father.”
        • John 4:12 “No man hath seen God at any time.”

        3) Is God Peaceful?
        • Romans 15:33 “The God of peace.”
        • Isaiah 2:4 “. . . and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.”
        • Exodus 15:3 “The Lord is a man of war.”
        • Joel 3:9-10 “Prepare war, wake up the mighty men, let all the men of war draw near; let them come up: Beat your plowshares into swords, and your pruninghooks into spears: let the weak say, I am strong.

        4) Does God tempt us with evil?
        • James 1:13 “Let no man say . . . I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man.”
        • Genesis 22:1 “And it came to pass after these things, that God did tempt Abraham.”

        5) Does God ever change his mind?
        • Malachi 3:6 “For I am the Lord; I change not.”
        • Numbers 23:19 “God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent.”
        • Ezekiel 24:14 “I the Lord have spoken it: it shall come to pass, and I will do it; I will not go back, neither will I spare, neither will I repent.”
        • Exodus 32:14 “And the Lord repented of the evil which he thought to do unto his people.”
        • Genesis 6:6,7 “And it repented the Lord that he had made man on the earth . . . And the Lord said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth . . . for it repenteth me that I have made him.”

        6) Should we kill?
        • Exodus 20:13 “Thou shalt not kill.”
        • Leviticus 24:17 “And he that killeth any man shall surely be put to death.”
        • I Samuel 6:19 ” . . . and the people lamented because the Lord had smitten many of the people with a great slaughter.”
        • I Samuel 15:2,3,7,8 “Thus saith the Lord . . . Now go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass. . . . And Saul smote the Amalekites . . . and utterly destroyed all the people with the edge of the sword.”
        • Numbers 15:36 “And all the congregation brought him without the camp, and stoned him with stones, and he died; as the Lord commanded Moses.”
        • Hosea 13:16 “they shall fall by the sword: their infants shall be dashed in pieces, and their women with children shall be ripped up.”

        This brings me to sexism, which is frequent in the bible:
        • “When a woman has her regular flow of blood, the impurity of her monthly period will last seven days, and anyone who touches her will be unclean till evening. … If a man lies with her and her monthly flow touches him, he will be unclean for seven days…” Leviticus 15:19-32.
        • “Man born of woman. Who can bring what is pure from the impure? No one!” Job 14:1-4
        • “If however the charge is true and no proof of the girl’s virginity can be found, she shall be brought to the door of her father’s house and there the men of her town shall stone her to death…” Deuteronomy 22:13-21. (they didn’t do this to men)
        • “For man did not come from woman, but woman from man; neither was man created for woman, but woman for man. For this reason, and because of the angels, the woman ought to have a sign of authority on her head;” 1 Corinthians 11:9, 10.
”women should remain silent in churches. They are not allowed to speak, but must be in submission…”1 Corinthians 14:34
”Wives submit to your husbands, as is fitting to the Lord.” Colossians 3:18

        Why would we believe that woman came from man when woman has the ability to create life? I would be much more inclined to believe Eve came first, and even more inclined to believe that we evolved over millions of years from single cell organisms. That’s why in every single animal cell there are thousands of mitochondria, which are microscopic organisms with completely separate DNA from humans. If we didn’t evolve, we wouldn’t have other organisms living symbiotically with us.

        Another reason I’m surprised the bible is still relevant is that if you really look at many of the prophecies that were supposedly foretold and occurred (which many people see as proof of the validity of the bible) have been proven to have been written after the fact. Many prophecies were of cities falling and didn’t even become “fulfilled” for thousands of years, and if you think about it, any city is inevitable to fall in a couple thousand years. Also, here’s this:
        MAT 24:34 Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.
        MAR 13:30 Verily I say unto you, that this generation shall not pass, till all these things be done.
        LUK 21:32 Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass away, till all be fulfilled.

        Why would Jesus lie?

        The Noah story is absolutely ridiculous, and actually suggests that an all knowing, all loving God was fed up and angry enough with his own creation to kill almost everyone on earth besides Noahs family. If this is so, why are there so many different races? Humans couldn’t have evolved that fast in a couple thousand years. The bible also suggests the earth is only 6,000 years old, which has definitely been proven wrong.

        And as far as the morals go, I think Jesus, real or not, had a lot of good things to say despite the many contradictions. He taught (mostly) of peace and acceptance and forgiveness and that’s all important. So that’s just a few of the things I’ve found in the bible. I want to stress again that I do believe in some sort of a god, but the Christian god just doesn’t make sense to me.

        As respectfully as possible,
        Kennith

      • teens4evangelism Says:

        Thank you for clarifying your position, and also for not using the all-too-common hate speech directed against Christians. To be honest I had taken you for an uninformed atheist from your comment, but I’m glad to see you’ve thought this through. There are too many people who believe certain things–including Christianity–without ever thinking them through. Having said that, and having read your points, I’ll address them as I did before.

        Regarding God’s love: You have to understand the nature of God to really understand this one. First of all, regarding his jealousy–God’s “jealousy” is not like human “jealousy.” When the Bible says that love does not envy, it is saying that love does not desire to have something that someone else has instead of being happy for them. However, God is “jealous” in that he wants us–the objects of his love. And in reality we belong entirely to him, because he made us. Regardless of who you think he is or what he is like, you can’t deny that you belong to him, unless you deny that he made you. So really this is a matter of understanding the terms in context of the whole.

        As far as his anger goes, there’s also a difference between godly anger and unloving anger. One important thing to remember is this: God can forbid certain things from us but still do them himself, because he can do them perfectly. I can drive, but I would never let my 10 year old sister drive, because I know how and she does not. But beyond that, God does not even forbid all anger. You can hardly believe that we should never be angry–if you would say that tell you aren’t angry about Hitler or Stalin killing millions of people. Things like that are things we should be angry about. Such things are what God gets angry about, though he gets angry about other sins as well, such as lying, adultery, theft, etc. So God can still be loving while he is angry.

        Contradictions: I can be more thorough on this point now that you’ve been specific. First of all, for a contradiction to truly rule out any document, there must exist no reasonable explanation for why it isn’t a real contradiction. I’m not saying this just for the Bible; historical documents of all kinds are tested this way. Second, you absolutely have to keep everything in context. Sometimes passages can seem to mean one thing, but when you take the passage along with surrounding text, you find that it actually means something quite different, thereby getting rid of the contradiction. Third, you must remember that Bible was written in other languages–Hebrew, Greek, and Aramaic–that often have words or phrases that are difficult to translate into English. So you have to capture the meaning of the original languages, which takes care of certain contradictions that I have seen. Finally, some contradictions you really can’t understand unless you truly grasp certain aspects of Christian doctrine. I will be using these things to address your specific examples:

        Name callingI have a couple things to say about this. First, there is a big difference between God calling someone a name that truly describes them and a human being judgmental. Second, remember what I said about the original language. When Jesus said that calling someone a fool is wrong, he didn’t actually use the word for fool. The actual word is “Raca,” which is a term for contempt. Basically, what Jesus means is that you shouldn’t have contempt for other people, because that is the equivalent of murder in God’s eyes. Calling someone out about sin is never prohibited, and that’s what God is doing in the passages you pointed out. So there’s no real contradiction there.

        Is God visible? I’ll have to admit this one is a bit tougher both to understand and to explain. But there is an explanation, and I’ll try to make it clear. When any man has “seen God,” what he has seen is a manifestation of God’s glory. Moses, when he asked to see God, asked God to show him his glory, and that’s what he saw–or at least a part of it. It’s not quite the same as actually “seeing God,” and when people in the Bible “saw God,” they really saw a manifestation of his glory. I know that’s rather difficult to understand, but if you think about it it is a reasonable explanation. You also have to keep in mind that the men who wrote the Bible were trying to use words that describe physical phenomena (such as seeing) to describe spiritual phenomena, for which we have no words. The language is not going to be entirely clear. I hope that makes sense. I’m not a theologian, just a teenager who cares.

        Is God peaceful? The passages you brought up were about different kinds of peace. The passage from Romans is talking about personal and inner peace, such as Christians had during times that were most certainly NOT peaceful, like the persecution under Nero. God is willing to use war to punish the wicked. He is, however, patient with those people, and prefers that they repent. But he let’s them choose that for themselves.

        Does God tempt us? Once again, this goes back to understanding terms. When God “tempted” Abraham, he was testing his faith. When the Bible says God does not “tempt” us, it’s talking about tempting us with sin, which God never does. That one could probably be taken care of simply by using a translation other than the King James Version, which it appears you used. It’s a decent translation, but I find it rather unclear sometimes.

        Does God ever change his mind? This is actually argued about among Christians, but I believe the Bible clearly says that he does not. So you ask, what about God repenting of the action he planned to take against the Israelites? And what about God being sorry that he had made man? First of all, understand that the term “repent” in the first instance means “turn away”. He turned away from his intended action. And I think he planned to all along–he was just waiting for Moses to pray and intercede for them, which you can understand if you read the whole passage instead of just that verse. As far as the part of being sorry about having made man, he clearly was not entirely sorry, because he spared Noah. Also, I think once again he knew all along what would happen–if man became so evil, he planned all along to destroy them. He certainly didn’t want that to happen, but in the end people chose their own way, so God wiped them out. You can call that hateful of God, but I’ll address that later.

        Should we kill? This is a clear misunderstanding between the words “murder” and “kill.” Yes, the King James Version uses kill in every instance, but the original Hebrew word used when God forbade killing actually had the connotations of murder. Also, When Jesus talked about that verse in the New Testament, he always used the Greek word that means murder, not the general word that means kill. Murder–the taking of a life without just cause–is always wrong. Killing, on the other hand, is wrong when it is done without cause and is thus murder, but is justified in certain instances–punishment, for example (you can argue about capital punishment but I don’t want to get into that now, I’m just showing that there’s no real contradiction).

        Now regarding sexism. Some of the verses you brought up (like the Leviticus one) don’t really seem to say anything bad about women. But I’ll address the other ones.

        When you talk about stoning a promiscuous woman, you say that they didn’t do that to men, that is 100% false. If you keep reading in the passage you find this: Deuteronomy 22:22-24 (English Standard Version), “22 If a man is found lying with the wife of another man, both of them shall die, the man who lay with the woman, and the woman. So you shall purge the evil from Israel. 23If there is a betrothed virgin, and a man meets her in the city and lies with her, 24then you shall bring them both out to the gate of that city, and you shall stone them to death with stones, the young woman because she did not cry for help though she was in the city, and the man because he violated his neighbor’s wife. So you shall purge the evil from your midst.” Both the man AND the woman were stoned. Also, in the passage you talked about, if the man wrongly accused his wife of being promiscuous, they whipped him for dishonoring her. That’s not sexist.

        Talking about woman coming from man, that’s merely a statement of fact (you can argue with the creation story but I’ll address that later) and demonstrates that men should be the heads of their household, with which I agree. Men in general have stronger personalities and base their decisions off of reason and logic (with some exceptions), whereas women tend to be naturally submissive and tend to base decisions off of emotions (once again, their are exceptions). Men make better leaders–call me sexist if you want, but the sociological evidence is on my side. And that verse from Job is not talking about women being unclean–you took that out of context. Job was saying that an unclean human cannot produce a clean human, and ALL humans are unclean, i.e. sinful.

        With regards to women being silent in church, in context of the whole passage you see that Paul simply desired order in the church. Women had a tendency to ask questions that interrupted the service–this was a problem, so Paul told them to stop. They could still ask questions, they just had to wait til later. And once again, regarding women being submissive to their husbands, this simply means that husbands should be the leaders of their house. It doesn’t mean that women have to do everything men say. It’s not really sexist at all. Just realistic.

        Regarding the idea of evolution, and talking about mitochondria as if they were symbiotic organisms–that’s a scientific theory with little or no proof. Yes, mitochondria have their own DNA, but that doesn’t prove anything. The fact is, mitochondria are organelles that reproduce along with the rest of the organelles in a cell. They are not separate organisms. Even scientists who hold to the Endosymbiotic Theory wouldn’t say they are separate organisms, just that they were.

        Regarding prophecies, I don’t know where you get the idea that they were written after they were fulfilled. We have discovered manuscripts, like the Dead Sea Scrolls, that predate the events that they predicted–and not by thousands of years. It has not been proven that they were written afterwards–it is just the opposite.

        The prophecies that Jesus made are admittedly difficult to understand. However, prophecy in general is rarely clear. I’m not trying to be evasive–I’ll admit that I don’t know how to explain this one. But like I said, I’m no theologian–I’m still in high school. I will ask some people I know who are more learned in this area than me, and hopefully I can get back to you with a better answer.

        Regarding Noah and the Flood: Calling something ridiculous is hardly an argument against it–I believe the Noah story is perfectly reasonable.
        There is scientific evidence for it as well, such as seashells found on the tops of mountains and in the driest deserts. And yes, an all-knowing and all-loving God WAS fed up and angry enough to kill almost everyone. That was humanity’s fault. I don’t think you understand how evil they were. The Bible says that every intention of their hearts were evil. Not the kind of creation God wanted, but he wanted them to have a choice, because without choice there can be no love. That’s a rather complicated idea that I can explain more if you want.

        Finally, regarding Jesus–First off, he definitely existed. That’s confirmed by secular as well as biblical historians. And you cannot simply call him a great moral teacher. He claimed to be God. A man who claims to be God can be only 1 of 3 things–God, just as he claimed; a lunatic who believes himself God but isn’t; or a liar, trying to deceive everyone. Jesus had to be one of them. I believe his miracles and resurrection (both historically confirmed without the Bible; more information on that in my other blog: http://mostreasonablefaith.wordpress.com/) show him to be God. But you have to decide for yourself.

        I really enjoy discussions like this, so if you have more questions, arguments, or comments, please post them. I’m not afraid of scrutiny. As long as you continue to be respectful (which you were, and i appreciate that), I think this is a good discussion to have.

        Respectfully,
        Matt

  10. Kennith Says:

    I only replied in the first place because I thought you seemed semi intelligent and would at least consider some of the things I said, but now I realize that you are too obsessed with the bible to think rationally. You are so desperate to prove the bible right that you say all these things have been “proven” or seem “reasonable” but the mitochondria thing is just a scientific theory and doesn’t prove anything. Sorry, but I talked to a scientist at the University of Missouri and she said it is a generally accepted fact that single cell animals and mitochondria evolved together and at some point one engulfed the other and they began to live symbiotically, so theres my proof.
    You say that when people said they saw the God that’s not what it means. In fact, most christians use this argument in most debates regardless of the topic: “Yes, that’s what the bible says, but it’s not necessarily what it means.” This is a weak argument. Also, explain why Jesus said to his disciples that before that generation was over that everything he said would have come true. Also, you never explained how God could justify the slaying of infants while republicans are pro life and say that no baby deserves to die (and by the way, I think the whole “life begins at conception” thing is ridiculous too). Slaying infants is murder no matter which way you slice it (pun intended). You can’t just explain away God having human emotions by saying we humans can’t understand God well enough for his actions to make sense. He has human emotions because humans wrote the bible. Humans made up the idea of this man in the sky. There are passages in the bible that say God inspired men to write the bible and that he provided the knowledge for them to write this perfectly true document. If that’s the case, why is nothing ever what it seems in the bible? Why so cryptic and metaphorical? And also, in revelations it’s supposed to be a vision of the apocalypse, but notice how antiquated everything is. It’s all out of date but were supposed to believe that this is exactly what will happen? I don’t buy it.
    You also didn’t mention how the bible calls a woman’s period unclean. Why would a bodily function supposedly invented by God make a woman unclean or unholy? You can’t deny the blatant sexism in the bible because that’s how society was back then, and if a society invents a religion, it’s going to reflect its ideals. And I didn’t even mention the many times God justifies the ownership of slaves, and even says that men slaves are worth more than women slaves.
    Most christians don’t agree with polygamy, but almost every “righteous” character in the bible practices this or has mistresses. That’s adultery last time I checked.
    Finally, the main reason that I see no reason to continue this conversation (and my main reason for thinking that you are too brainwashed by christianity to think logically) is that you find it “reasonable” that one man and his family made a boat the size of a football field and got 2 of EVERY animal on it (actually there are passages in the bible that say some animals were collected 7 at a time). If you honestly believe this is reasonable but evolution isn’t, I feel sorry for you. “I think once again he knew all along what would happen–if man became so evil, he planned all along to destroy them. He certainly didn’t want that to happen, but in the end people chose their own way, so God wiped them out.” Your proof is an assumption. You can’t call me out for using mitochondria as an argument and then have an argument that starts out with “I think”. And if God knew this would happen the whole time, then what’s the point of it all? God knew that he would make a whole race of people and then kill them all and start over with Noah? Why didn’t he just start with Noah? And again, why are there black people and asians and hispanics etc if we all came from Noah’s presumably middle eastern family? There wasn’t enough time for us to evolve that way (oh wait, you don’t believe in evolution). And this is just an afterthought, but in genesis there is a contradiction with the order that things were created. It said people were created after animals in Genesis 1:25-27 and before animals in Genesis 2:18-19. So explain dinosaurs, unless you don’t believe in them either. If the bible was inspired by God so that man may write the truth, why does God claim rabbits chew cud and snakes eat dirt? Cause they don’t. God allegedly created the sun halfway through the week, after there had already been several days. This wouldn’t happen (if you know anything about astronomy, which is doubtful).
    On second thought, I would like to continue this conversation because it is absolutely fascinating to me that a person in this day and age can take all of this as complete fact. But, then again, you are only a teenager so I don’t expect you to be a genius. I’d say by the time I was about 17 I started to realize how idiotic most of the stories in the bible are, and honestly now that I’ve come to terms with the fact that christianity is a myth, I’m way happier as a person because I don’t have to live with that sense of guilt that is forced upon every child born into a christian/catholic/jewish/muslim home. Again, sorry if any of this sounds disrespectful, but I am an impassioned debater at heart. Look forward to continuing this conversation.
    Sincerely,
    Kennith

  11. Kennith Says:

    Also, I have a side question. If this is enough proof for you to believe in the validity of the bible, then you must believe in aliens right? Because there is just as much evidence for the existence of extra terrestrials and UFOs as there is evidence of the validity of the bible.

  12. Kennith Says:

    this also has some good info on it, watch and get back to me. Thanks!

    • teens4evangelism Says:

      I apologize for taking so long to get back to you, but I have been extremely busy lately. I will reply specifically to the things you said over the weekend.

  13. teens4evangelism Says:

    I have a little bit of time, and I just watched the video you posted, so I’ll respond specifically to that before I move on to your previous post.

    I hope you realize the inaccuracy in that video. In terms of astronomy I’m not sure if it’s accurate or not, but historically and in terms of religion it is definitely off. First of all, Christians don’t actually believe Jesus was born on December 25. We have no idea when he was born. That date was picked for political reasons.

    Secondly, the Egyptian sun god was not Horus but Ra. And he was never crucified–Egyptians hadn’t even conceived of the idea of crucifixion. It was invented by the Romans long after the Egyptian myths of Horus and Ra were invented.

    I’m not 100% sure regarding the other religions, but I’m fairly certain that a lot of that information was fabricated, based both off of the fact that I’ve never heard of any of that anywhere (and I’m not sheltered to just learning history from a Christian point of view) and the other information in the video was off.

    Finally, Jesus has no connection to the sun. The facts that “Son” and “Sun” are homonyms in English is a funny coincidence–but Jesus was not called the “Son of God” in English. That name was given to Him first in Hebrew and then in Greek. Neither language has the same similarity between “sun” and “son.”

    I’m not sure where the creators of that video got their information, but a lot of it was definitely wrong. So for future reference I’ll disregard it. I still plan to get to your other comments, but that is going to be a much longer post, so I don’t have time at the moment to write it.

  14. Kennith Says:

    You didn’t really understand the point I was making, this video is from the Zeitgeist series which is very biased, but so is the bible and you take that as complete fact. My point is, regardless of the accuracy of some of the smaller points, every religion is just a variation of very early religions. The stories in the bible are just variations of ancient stories told by primitive man. The flood story, the death of the messiah, the virgin birth. If you juts study the history of religion and look at it objectively BEFORE you completely surrender yourself to Christianity (or any religion), you’ll see that it’s the same primitive worship thats been going on for eons. Its juju, its the same as tribes worshipping the sun or the moon. If you’ve already accepted the bible as fact, then you can’t look objectively, and I think that’s your problem. But yes please get back to me on the rest of that, I’m curious to hear how you can explain away all the good information that counters the bible and take this ancient book full of meaningless STORIES completely literally.

  15. teens4evangelism Says:

    Sorry I didn’t respond over the weekend like I said I would. My weekend was even busier than the week. I’m still really busy this week, so I probably will be unable to type out a full response until this weekend, assuming I have time then.

  16. Jason McClure Says:

    Wow…I am extremely impressed with both of you (teens4 and Kennith). I wish I had the drive to delve into this topic as meticulously as you both have done. You two at your age make me look like an infant at 42. I came across this posting while looking for a way to show validity to my teenage daughters. They both originally believed (so I thought) in God and Jesus but now that school teaches them other things, they now question it. Not to quash Kenniths reasonings, Teens4 has given me what I was looking for. Thanks.

  17. Kennith Says:

    But he didn’t even bother replying to my last arguments. He clearly had no compelling evidence to continue debating me, yet you take his comments as just what you were looking for? I respect you for questioning, but I think you were just looking for evidence of what you already wanted so badly to believe. I’ve looked in to all the major religions and some minor/ancient religions and they all have similar stories. You just have to separate god (as in the universe) from mythology (gods in holy books with human qualities). Again though, much respect for looking into instead of blindly following.

  18. teens4evangelism Says:

    I admit, I should have replied. But my lack of a reply was a result of forgetfulness/oversight/lack of time, not lack of evidence/logic. Also, I’d like to point out that insulting my intelligence in an argument is really an insult to your own intelligence. A reasonable debate does not consist of calling your opponent blind, brainwashed, etc. If you’re right, our discussion will show that. No need to call me stupid. Anyway, I’ll pick up where I left off.

    Addressing your mitochondria point, I’d like to point out 3 things: 1) Evolutionary scientists have an agenda. You can laugh this point off if you’d like, but creationists are being fired left and right for mere questioning. But that doesn’t really prove anything. Hence, 2) I’ve read (in an evolutionary minded book, mind you), that the theory of mitochondria originally being symbiotic organisms within other cells is still just a *theory*. 3) Evolution and the theory concerning mitochondria go hand-in-hand. You can’t have one without the other, so neither of them prove each other.

    Regarding my saying the Bible doesn’t mean what it says: my point there was that you have to take everything in context. When you look at the context of the Bible and the passages that talk about people seeing God, it’s fairly clear they always saw a manifestation of Him. Besides, the Bible never says that anyone actually saw God’s face.

    You also mentioned how the Biblical language is antiquated but we’re supposed to believe the apocalyptic stuff is exactly what’s going to happen. Clearly you don’t understand the Bible if you believe that everything in Revelations and the other eschatological prophecies are “exactly what’s going to happen.” Very few Christians claim this, and the ones that do really don’t understand these books. Prophecy is very rarely meant to be taken literally at face value.

    Regarding Jesus’ prophecy: I’ll admit that was a difficult one. But a friend of mine was kind enough to explain it to me. This is a linguistic argument. Remember that the New Testament was written in Greek, not English. The Greek word translated “generation” can also be translated “nation.” The nation of Israel has not yet passed away.

    Regarding a woman’s period: I have yet to meet a woman who has actually been offended by this, but since you seem to think it’s offending to women I’ll address it. The Bible also calls blood unclean. Does that mean the Bible is prejudiced against people? I don’t think so. We all call urinating and defecating unclean, but that doesn’t make us prejudiced. It’s the same way with a woman’s period. The only reason it seems to be sexism is because men don’t have them.

    I’m not sure where you get the idea of the Bible justifying the ownership of slaves or that it says that men slaves are worth more. I’d need to see specifics to understand what you’re talking about. But I’ll address the slavery issue as much as I can now. Slavery back then was a way of getting out of debt, and slaves were generally treated much better than we think. Slaves could even rise to places of importance and were often paid. Slavery didn’t deprive people of personhood like it did in the slavery of the U.S.

    As far as polygamy goes, the Bible never EVER justifies polygamy, and fairly clearly shows that it is not God’s plan (See Genesis after God creates Eve). Yes, men like Abraham and Solomon practiced polygamy, but that doesn’t make it right. David, a man after God’s own heart, committed adultery, but the Bible doesn’t claim that adultery is okay and most definitely condemns it.

    And yes, I find the biblical account of Noah perfectly reasonable. For 3 reasons: 1) I believe in a God who can perform miracles. 2) The boat was rather large, yes, but Noah did take about a year to build it. And things like the pyramids in Egypt show us that ancient people were quite adept at building complicated structures. 3) You have yet to address anything from a linguistically correct standpoint. The Hebrew of the Old Testament tells us that there were 2 (or 7) of every “kind” of animal. Not every species. “Kind” is a much more general term. By the way, I’ll clear something up on this point while I’m at it. I do believe in evolution-MICROevolution. The existence of microevolution has been clearly shown through observational science. But microevolution can occur through the natural changes that occur between parent and child, whereas macroevolution cannot. If I must I can explain this in more detail.

    Anyway, to continue explaining why this matters, there are certain groups of animals that are very closely related, like all canines, all felines, horses and zebras, alpacas and camels and llamas, etc. Animals within these groupings can interbreed, indicating that their genes are compatible with each other. From this we can conclude that there wouldn’t have had to be as many animals on the ark as some people seem to think.

    Also, regarding race, I don’t think you understand what you’re saying. First of all, we have absolutely no idea what Noah’s family looked like. They were “Middle-Eastern” in the sense that they lived in the Middle East, but we haven’t a clue what color their skin was. And keep in mind that in order to change skin color, we only need a change in a very small number of genes. Skin color and other such physical traits make up a very limited portion of our gene pool. So there has in fact been plenty of time since the Flood for us to have developed the various skin colors and other such things that we see today.

    And now, because the best defense is a good offense, I’d like to put a few questions to you.

    First of all, how did life originate in the first place? Scientists have yet to explain an actual origin of life with verifiable evidence.

    Second of all, where did ANYTHING come from? How did matter get here? How did the protons, neutrons, electrons, and energy that form the universe come into existence?

    Thirdly, something that has nothing to do with evolution, what happened to Jesus’ body? (Fyi, we know he was a real historical person who was crucified by Pilate, secular historians have affirmed that).

    In conclusion, I’d like you to know that I’m quite happy with Christianity. I have a reason to live. I have something outside of myself to give my life to. I can live with a sense of real purpose and fulfillment. I don’t have guilt imposed on me by my pastor, parents, friends, etc. I don’t mean to ask personal questions, and feel free to ignore me if you feel I’m prying, but what is your purpose in life? If God is fiction, what reason do you have for living? And I’d appreciate it if you wouldn’t insult my intelligence by assuming that lack of age=lack of brains. Finally, an impassioned debater doesn’t offend people by calling them brainwashed, stupid, etc. An impassioned debater looks solely at the arguments for their own merit. I’d appreciate it if you would rely on argumentation instead of insults.

    Sincerely,
    Matt.

  19. teens4evangelism Says:

    I’ll just add something brief about that video as well.

    The fact that your source above was so biased and presented some clearly misleading information shows that you really can’t trust them when they make all these comparisons between the Jesus story and the other stories. The various stories aren’t *nearly* as similar as they’d like you to believe, at least as far as Jesus goes. I don’t know what information in that video I can trust, because I caught quite a few lies–lies that weren’t “minor points.”

  20. teens4evangelism Says:

    “He didn’t even bother replying to my last arguments. He clearly had no compelling evidence to continue debating me.”

    Just quoting you man.

    • Kennith Says:

      If you recall, I argued my point months ago, and now realize that you are a lost cause. Have fun with all your groovy rules and talking to yourself with your eyes closed. I try to respect peoples religions, but from an outsiders perspective it’s just sad to watch all the indoctrination, abuse, and use of fear and exploitation of peoples’ weaknesses in order to control them. And it’s all for nothing. So have fun, you do your thing. You have the internet, so if you’re ever feeling froggy you can start doing your own research. That’s what I did, back when I still wanted to believe (and wanted a reason to believe). After a couple months of reading and listening to brilliant minds expose religions (all of them) for the charades they are, I knew the truth and I’m happier because of it, and it all started with George Carlin. I choose to look at the world scientifically and adapt my beliefs as I gather information, I don’t struggle to defend something just because I really want to believe it and make outrageous claims. Nor do I claim to know “divine” things nobody could possibly know. So, unfortunately, you are a lost cause. Nothing I can say would persuade you, so I’ll leave you with a definition: faith- belief that is not based on proof. I think that says more about your argument than I ever could. Cheers.

      • teens4evangelism Says:

        I understand that you argued your case months ago. So did I, but that didn’t seem to matter to you before. Simply claiming that you’ve read and researched tells me very little. Especially when you decide to stop arguing the moment I bring up arguments of my own. You didn’t answer a single one of them. Clearly you are the one ignoring factual information.

        I still don’t understand how you can be happy without a reason to live. Quite frankly, if I believed what you did, I would feel pretty pointless. Suicide might start looking pretty good. What’s the point of life isn’t there something greater to live it for, or if this is all there is? According to you, nothing that you or I do matters. Not even a little. That doesn’t sound “happy” to me.

        My final point before I leave you alone (unless you decide you have something else to say that you want me to respond to). Every belief system (and I don’t mean “religion”; I’m including atheism, agnosticism, etc.) requires faith. You can’t prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that you’re right. Feel free to try. Start with something simple like proving that you can trust your senses.

      • Kennith Says:

        The difference between you and I is that you are proud of your faith. I have no faith, I believe what can be proved. I’m not an atheist. Isms are dangerous, and like I said, I gather information and change my beliefs accordingly. You are static, I am dynamic. And that’s all I need to say. If all you have to live for is an afterlife where all you do is worship god for eternity, you can have that. It sounds boring as fuck to me. Plus, streets paved with gold? How shallow is your god? (rhetorical, do not answer) And, again, I’m done trying to convince you because if you reread your rebuttals, you just interpret the bible in a way that is convenient for you, as if you know things I didn’t hear in my 15+ years in the church, and claim to know the intentions behind gods actions. So that’s why I feel you are a waste of time. Plus, you clearly need to believe this charade or, as you said, you’d kill yourself. I think it’d be most responsible of me to let you believe in your little book so I don’t get your blood on my hands. You have the tools to deconvert, its all you man. Best wishes. Don’t kill yourself forreal, maybe seek help if necessary.

      • Kennith Says:

        Religion: bad for the world, great for comedy.

  21. teens4evangelism Says:

    fyi, I wouldn’t really kill myself, I was just making a point.

  22. teens4evangelism Says:

    Clearly this entire debate has accomplished nothing. I’ll leave up the comments so others can see what we’ve said and decide for themselves. And, whether it matters to you or not, I’ll pray for you.

  23. Heather Says:

    I didn’t read the whole Kenneth-Matt debate. I was actually looking for scripture pertaining to the validity of the Bible and how it says that god will preserve his word through the translations. A friendly debate arose recently involving this matter. However, I did manage to read the first couple back and forths and would like to point out something to Matt.

    In the original post, you say “The Bible has many apparent contradictions, if you look hard enough, but they can all be explained away to misinterpretation, mistranslation, etc.” And then in your first response to Kenneth you state that current versions of the Bible are almost identical to the oldest versions.

    I don’t believe you can have it both ways. Either the Bible has been mistranslated and that is the cause for contradictions, or the Bible has not been mistranslated and there are valid contradictions. Honestly, I do believe it is a catch 22, because if the Bible is mistranslated, how can you believe in the validity at all? Especially if god states in the Bible that he will preserve his word. On the other hand, if it hasn’t been mistranslated, there are obvious contradicitons that can no longer be “explained away”.

    • teens4evangelism Says:

      I don’t believe I said mistranslation. It isn’t a matter of mistranslation at all. It’s simply the fact that any translation will inevitably lose some of the original meaning, as some languages simply do not have the capacity to carry all the meaning of other languages. Thus, while the current versions are indeed nearly identical, the mere fact of translation has caused much of the confusion without there being any actual mistakes. Much of the problem would be cleared up if we all knew how to read the Bible in the languages in which it was originally written. But we don’t. So the problem remains.

  24. April Says:

    Thanks for leaving up these comments. I work with pre-teens at my church and this was good for me to think about and see how tough questions can be handled well.

    • Eaglescry24 Says:

      One thing I don’t see on this (a year after the fact) is an address to the implemented guilt claimed in controlling population…( If we want to throw numbers out there) in my 30+ years experience… Relationship trumps religion any day. I can say I have a guilt free relationship with Jesus because His blood has covered my sins. He talks with me and leads me in love and peace. God of the bible beyond religion is the only God who responds. And regarding death- If evolution were right and I was wrong then when I die I cease to exist but if I’m right in my relationship with God then I do get to enjoy complete fulfillment beyond the capacity of the flesh.

      • Eaglescry24 Says:

        By the way, Matt… You sir may be a teenager but I can’t wait to see you when you are 30. “…Study to show yourself approved…”

        -typicalChristian-

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