With the run up to this Presidential election, my predominant focus has been on politics. However it is the mission of this blog to deal with both politics and religion. So, without further ado, let us turn our attention to matters religious.
Some Beginning Propositions
When I speak of God, I’m speaking of an entity, being, spirit, collective intelligence that is self-aware, exists outside of the space-time continuum as well as within it. I am proposing that this thing we call God is omnipotent – all powerful – omnipresent – there is no space where it isn’t – and omniscient – it knows all that is, isn’t, may be and won’t be. God does not engage in deception or misrepresentation.
If we can agree that God would have to possess these attributes, then we may also make some assumptions about how such an entity might handle it’s interactions where they intersect our reality.
A collection of books by various authors, mostly unknown, that purports to contain historical accounts of events, some of which are paranormal and attributed to God. Believers see divine providence and assert that the inter-connected content is ordained by God. Many believe it to be inerrant although that number is dwindling.
An assertion that is either factually inaccurate, a contradiction leading to a mutually exclusive outcome. (If something is one way, then it cannot be another way e.g. If you’re in Alaska you cannot also be in Florida at the same time.) A prophecy that did not come to pass.
Brief History of the Bible
“All roads lead towards truth… but then detour into dogma, tradition and ritual. To reach truth you must be willing to cross the wilderness without roads, paths or signposts. TRUTH: You will always find it in the last place you look.”
__Benjamin T. Moore, Jr.
If you take a look at your Bible the first thing you’ll notice on the cover are the words, “Holy Bible.” The second thing you’ll notice will be the version. It might say, “King James Version,” “Revised Standard Version,” or some other of the numerous versions that exist today. You should ask yourself immediately the following two things:
- Who determined that this book – Bible – was “holy?”
- How many versions can there be of “God’s Words?”
If I deliver a set of instructions to you on how to fix an omelette, there may be other ways to fix an omelette, but it won’t be my way. If I say only put diced ham and cheese in the omelette and you add onions, green peppers and mushrooms, you may indeed have a very tasty omelette, but that’s not what I ordered.
If you ask the average person what the oldest written text ever found was, particularly if they identify as “Christian,” you’re bound to hear, “the Bible.” This is one of the things in the minds of many that give the document such weight. The reality is, the Hindu Vedas are in fact older than the Bible by hundreds of years. Remember, we’re talking about written texts. Not engraved texts found on walls, on cuneiform tablets or inscribed on Egyptian – KeMeTian – temples, tombs and pyramids.
Human knowledge has followed two tracks. There is what people actually knew or believed and related orally. Then there is what someone actually took the time to write down in or on some medium. For example. You no doubt know the way to your mother’s house or the home of some other relative. You do not need a GPS. You can hop in your car and go. Probably most of the people in your family also know the way. Why haven’t you written the directions down and drawn a map? Simple answer – in the form of a question – “who needs one?”
Now if your beloved relative has transitioned out of this life into the next, and you want to visit their grave site, you may suddenly have the need to write down directions. You may record the cemetery where they’re buried, the plot number, directions for how to find it as well as a detailed drawing. You may in fact distribute this amongst your other relatives. You now have a reason to write this information down and record it.
Things are written down for a reason. Those reasons are as varied as the people who write them. Some things are written down for no other reason than to profit from them. Some things are written down to commemorate an event. Some things are written down to bring fame and recognition to the writer. There may be truth in what is written. What is written may also be a complete work of fiction. Yes, human beings have often written fiction or told fictitious stories down through history.
“Until the Lions tell their tale, the story of the hunt will always glorify the hunters.” __African Proverb
History is just that: His-Story! Just because something was written down, doesn’t make it either factual or true. In 1,000 years should some archaeologist from the future dig up a copy of Dr. Suess’ “The Cat in the Hat,” should that archaeologist infer that we lived in a time when there were 6′ Cats wearing multicolored hats walking around, getting children in trouble? Theodor Seuss Geisel was not an actual doctor. Pretty much everyone knows this today… however, 1,000 years from now? One may only guess what learned conclusion they might come to.
Nobody Knows Who Wrote The Bible
Most people do not know that nobody actually knows who actually wrote the books in their Bibles. The names of the actual authors are unknown and at this point unknowable. The first five books of the Bible which come from the Jewish Torah are referred to as the Pentateuch. In your Bible these would be the books, Genesis through Deuteronomy inclusive. Tradition has it that Moses wrote them, however his death is recorded within those books and unless he figured out a way to write from beyond the grave… at the very least, he had help from persons unknown.
The same is true for the New Testament. The Gospels were written from 90 to 300 years after the death of Jesus. They haven’t found any autographed copies or fragments of copies signed by the original authors. It is most probable that whomever actually wrote the Gospels, had never met Jesus, never heard his teachings directly but were writing down traditions and stories that had been circulating within the community of the followers of Jesus.
What about books like the “Book of Ruth,” Song of Solomon,” “Psalms of David” etc? Those books certainly carry the names of their supposed authors, but the reality is, there is no proof that the persons named actually wrote their books and precious little proof that many of them actually lived. Does this strike you as odd? You must remember that customs and conventions thousands of years ago were not as they are today. It was not unknown for someone to write a book and put someone famous’ name on it to lend more credence and weight to what they were writing.
Literacy Rates – Publishing Costs
One of the problems with looking back at history is we filter history through the lens of today. 2,000 years ago, less than 10% of the population was actually literate. By that I mean could read and write. Less than 20% could read just a little. They couldn’t write but they could figure out simple messages if they saw them written down. This means 80% of the population not only could not read, but they could not even sign their names if you asked them to.
Books, scrolls and writing were the province of the extremely wealthy and even then, only the wealthy who actually took an interest in such things. In today’s dollars with a denarii figured at roughly $21, a single sheet of papyrus cost $30. A book would cost anywhere between $10,000 to $100,000 or more to have in your library. There were no printing presses so each book had to be painstakingly copied letter by letter by a Scribe and they didn’t come cheap. A Scribe was paid between $420 and $525 per 100 lines of text. This probably had a lot to do with why so few people invested the time in learning to read or write. Compared to growing your food, tending your livestock, repairing your domicile and making enough money to pay your taxes and care for yourself and your family, being literate was way down on the list of priorities.
Thus, when you hear about ancient texts you need to understand that they were commissioned by someone of great wealth and power. It wasn’t by someone who woke up one day and thought, hey! I believe I’ll write the great Hebrew, Greek, Egyptian novel, get rich and famous and go on the lecture circuit. The person had a particular story they wanted told, a particular version of history they wanted recorded and they wanted it told or recorded their way! Most often, it was to show them in the very best light or show someone else in a very negative light. There was no such thing as “journalistic integrity.” There was no obligation to even report the facts. This was a bought and paid for story plain and simple.
Think about what this means for the notion of some poor wandering prophet writing down a book of prophecies based on voices he hears speaking to him out of thin air. Some of the prophets were so poor they had to beg bread. Some spent more time in the wilderness than they did in what passed for cities, villages or towns. Where did they learn to read and write? Where did they and how did they get the money to buy writing materials. If they did not write themselves, where did they get the money to hire Scribes?
Let us also make note of another misconception. The Bible – Bible means a “collection of books” – did not exist until someone carefully selected these books, assemble them together and call them a “Bible.” The people whom wrote these books, whomever they actually were, at the time they wrote them did not consider themselves to be writing sacred texts. At no time did they think to themselves, what I’m writing will be included in a Bible that people will worship and revere. As I said earlier, they had their motives most of which were more political than holy.
How Your Bible Came To Be
The Genesis of your Bible – not the book Genesis – can be traced back to a Pagan Roman Emperor by the name of Constantine. The myths surrounding him notwithstanding, Constantine was a Pagan. He was not baptized a “Christian” until he was on his deathbed. One might speculate as to whether or not he even knew he was being baptized when it happened.
Constantine was interested in consolidating his power and unifying his empire. He believed that a “universal” – that is what the word Catholic means – religion would serve to do just that. Isn’t it interesting that he chose a religion that contains an admonition to pay your taxes? “Render to Caesar the things which are Caesar’s and to God the things which are God’s.” We cannot have a religion that risks the revenue stream now can we?
Also, the concept of a wonderful afterlife would be good for his soldiers. If you die in service to the emperor, not to worry, right into paradise you go! Might even make them fight with abandon. They’ve got nothing to lose and heaven to gain. Moral provisions? Also a good thing. Cuts down on crime within the empire. Frankly? Adopting “Christianity” as the “Universal” religion had quite an upside.
To this end, Constantine convened a series of councils known as the “Nicene Councils,” the first being circa 325 AD. About 300 “Bishops” from around the empire were summoned to Nice to hammer out this new religion. Think about this for a moment. If you’ve already got Bishops, shouldn’t the religion already be codified and set up? The fact you’ve got Bishops suggests there is already a church with a hierarchy, structure and rules.
The conventional wisdom is, the Nicene councils were to bring about agreement between all these various sects, who basically all believed the same thing.Now some may have a problem with this. I do. Nevertheless, let’s proceed.
Little known fact. Not everyone thought Jesus was divine. Indeed this matter had to be debated and put up for a vote. Thus was Jesus’ divinity established by the vote of a group of Bishops. Many things taken for granted or as articles of faith today, were nothing of the sort when “Christianity” was launched. One might say that the very myth of Jesus was fleshed out and given substance at the several councils of Nicaea.
Without going into all the disputes and reportedly a fist fight, they finally began to make progress in setting up the Religion that Constantine wanted. He was certainly paying the costs involved with setting things up.
Fifty Bibles For Fifty Churches
Constantine had plans to open up 50 churches across his empire. In each church he wanted a Bible – an authorized collection of texts – that could be read from and taught from. Since no such Bible existed, one had to be assembled (created) and once again, disputes raged and tempers flared.
There were numerous “Gospels” floating around. Many you’ve never heard of today. There were books like “The Acts of Peter the Apostle” and the “Gospel of Peter.” The “Gospel of Thomas” and a host of others you’d be hard pressed to find today. Some of the stories they related were… shall we say, pretty far out there! I mean, talking Crosses? Really??? Nevertheless, there were people who revered these Gospels, cherished them and believed every word of them.
The story is told that the dispute over which books should be included raged so hotly that finally Constantine intervened. His solution was to collect the books and place them in a tower over the weekend and let God decide. Supposedly this was done. When they checked the tower on the first of the week, God had removed all the books except for the ones he wanted included in their Bible. Now, the more astute amongst you might ask the next question. To wit: Who had the key to the tower?
Thus we got the first Catholic – Universal – Bible with the four Gospels that we’ve all come to know and love. Of course this process has been ongoing over the centuries with new books added. The Old Testament began to take shape. Even today the Catholic Bible contains several books not included in the “authorized King James” version of the Bible.
When reading your Bible it is important to ask yourself some basic questions. Some of them are so obvious we take the answers for granted, but we really shouldn’t.
- Who is the author’s intended audience?
- If it’s a conversation, who is there recording the conversation?
- Are there any witnesses?
- What is the author’s intent in relaying this information?
- Is this believable?
- Is this consistent with other Biblical assertions?
- Was this translated correctly?
Everything in the Bible is not written as an instruction for you. Your church would look at you funny if you showed up one Sunday with a cow in tow to be sacrificed as a sin offering. There are conversations recorded in the Bible – word for word dialogues – when there was nobody around to record them. For instance, the oldest book of the Bible, the Book of Job, contains a conversation between God and Satan. The Bible says that the “sons of God” were present, but we have no books written by Angels. So who recorded the conversation? Presumably no human beings were sitting in on a meeting of the”sons of God.” You would think they would have been noticed.
A similar problem occurs in the New Testament when Jesus is led into the wilderness to be tempted by Satan. Again, whom was there? Which brave, intrepid Disciple went along to record the dialogue between Jesus and Satan? Did that Disciple eat while Jesus fasted 40 days and 40 nights? The account gives a verbatim dialogue between Jesus and Satan, yet there was no one present to record it.
These are basic questions you should consider when reading an account. When we go to the movies, even if it is something like “Lincoln,” what we’re viewing is an artistic re-imagining of events that the writers and producer of the movie were not present to have witnessed. We may find the movie enjoyable, thought provoking and inspiring, but we do not take it for gospel. It’s a movie. Woven into it’s very fabric is a message or depiction that the producer, writers and directors wish to portray.
Biblical Errors In The Old Testament
Genesis starts off with a bang! Physicist might call it “the Big Bang.” Nevertheless, we have an account of events which took place when there was no human being to record what actually happened or was said. Let’s look at the first two chapters of Genesis which give two mutually exclusive – if it is one way then it cannot be the other way – accounts of the creation of Man.
In the first chapter, Man is created on the 6th day but after all the animals are created. Turn the page to the second chapter and you have a slightly different retelling of the creation of Man. This one is much more poetic. However, if you read it carefully, in this chapter man is created before all the animals are created. Indeed, the reason given for the creation of the animals is so that man will not be alone. Since it cannot have been both ways, we have a conflict or a Biblical error. Since God was the only one around, he ought to have known exactly how He did things. It seems doubtful that God would get confused as to the order of events.
Some Biblical errors fall right on top of one another. Consider the question, has anyone actually seen God? Depends on which passage you happen to be reading. In the Book of Exodus, your Bibles says that God spoke to Moses face to face as a man speaks to his friend. However a few verses later, Moses asks God to show him his face and God says, “no man may see my face and live.” Then to really muddy the waters, in the New Testament in John, the Bible says that “no man has seen God at any time.” So, which is it? All of these passages cannot be right. When we have mutually exclusive accounts, we have Biblical errors.
While perhaps not a Biblical error, there are some accounts in the Bible that are simply absurd. For instance, it turns out that God is powerless against chariots made out of iron. The Bible recounts a series of battles in which Judah was successful. It says “the Lord was with Judah.” he could drive out the inhabitants of the mountains, but not the people in the valley because they had “chariots of iron.” Thus, according to the Bible, the creator of the universe, the one who can speak worlds into existence, hang the stars in space… when it comes to iron chariots? Powerless! I wonder how he’d do against a 57 Chevy?
One of the things that Biblical apologist hang their hats on is Biblical prophecy. They love to declare that fulfilled prophecies prove the divine inspiration of the Bible. Are they right? Before we explore this topic let me relate a little story from the early years in my wife’s and my relationship.
We hadn’t been together very long and we were still figuring one another out. She knew that I was a private investigator/bodyguard. She knew that I had done work for the FEDS. She also knew that I put people under surveillance for a living. These are things that she knew about my professional life.
On the day in question, I accompanied her to a butcher shop. She was going to cater an event for the weekend and we were buying the meat in bulk. I sat in the car and waited while she went in to negotiate for what she needed. She was in there for quite some time. When she came out she apologized and of course began explaining. I told her not to worry. I fully understood. Then I dropped my bomb shell. I said, “well, hell! If some fool hadn’t called asking the butcher whether or not they processed deer, that hunters brought in, you would have been out of there in no time.”
Her mouth dropped open. A frown creased her face and she exclaimed, “how did you know that???” I smiled and told her, “sweetheart, you and me are so linked, all I have to do is tune into your frequency and it’s almost as if I’m right there with you.”
She wasn’t buying my paranormal explanation… at all! She immediately began going through her purse searching. I asked, “what are you looking for?”
“A bug!” “Obviously you’ve planted a bug on me.” At this point I broke out in laughter!
“A bug???” “What makes you think I’d do something like that?”
“You’re a detective. Did you plant a bug on me???” By this point I was nearly splitting my sides with laughter. Of course she didn’t see any humor in the situation in the least. From her perspective this was a trust issue.
Realizing that I’d better let her off the hook, I explained pulling out my cellphone, “I was the fool that called.” We both had a good laugh together then. The point is, she was so focused on the arcane she missed the obvious. The simplest explanation is often the most correct. No need for bugs or listening devices. I knew about the call because I was the one who had placed it.
When it comes to the Bible, we look at it as though everything was written in sequential, chronological order. Most people do not realize that the Book of Job was written before the Book of Genesis. The Book of Job is the oldest book in the Bible. Thus when you read about some prophecy and then a few chapters or books later it seems to come true, you simply accept that as proof. I could write a book predicting the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 and write it such that it appeared to be a prophecy. Today we have copyrights that record publishing dates. Back then, they didn’t have this system.
Even so, contrary to popular belief, all prophecies in the Bible did not come true. Let’s look at a couple of rather startling failures.
The Prophecy Against Tyre
When it comes to unambiguous failures, this one has to be pretty high on the list. You can read about it in the 26th chapter of Ezekiel. According to Ezekiel, God is extremely angry with Tyre. He is so angry, he tells Ezekiel that he is going to utterly destroy Tyre. He really vents his spleen! Death, destruction, fire and the sword. As a matter of fact, when God gets through, Tyre will be nothing but a rock useful for drying the nets of fishermen.
First a brief description: Tyre was an ancient city that sat on an island about a half a mile off the coast of Lebanon. The walls of the city came right down to the shoreline. Thus, there was no place to land a sizeable force or set up siege engines. You had to attack it by boat and once they closed the gates, the city was easily defended. The defenders of Tyre could rain down all sorts of misery on anyone attempting to attack their city.
The prophecy against Tyre is one of the most specific prophecies you will find in your Bible. Ezekiel tells you that Nebuchadnezzar will accomplish this destruction. The great thing about this prophecy is, we can test it today. Verse 21 of the 26th Chapter of Ezekiel specifically says that so utter will the destruction of Tyre be, that it will never again be found though people search for it. That’s pretty specific. Keep that verse in mind.
Here is what actually happened. Nebuchadnezzar did attack the city. He was unable to take it and in fact went broke trying. Thus he turned his forces towards Egypt in hopes of collecting some loot. Tyre was eventually taken by none other than, Alexander of Macedon, commonly known as “Alexander the Great.” To accomplish this feat, Alexander built a half mile long causeway by throwing rocks and debris into the water, all the way out to the island. He then made a road on top of it and rolled his siege engines right up to the city gates.
However, instead of utterly destroying the city and putting everyone to the sword, he did what most who are bent on world conquest did. He left a garrison, set up a governor, taxed the people and moved on. I guess if you want to rule the world, it defeats your purpose if you destroy everything in your path.
What about “never being able to find Tyre again, even if you search for it?” That part is easily testable today. We know that Jesus visited Tyre in his time and we know that the people of Tyre were causing head aches for King Herod. The final nail in the coffin? You can not only visit Tyre in Lebanon today – It’s now called Sour – but if you search the coastline in Google Maps, you can actually see the remains of the causeway Alexander built out to the little island. Is this a Biblical error? You tell me. I say it is.
Virgin Birth Prophecy
This one is a prophecy every Christian knows… possibly by “heart.” “Behold a virgin shall conceive and bare a son and shall call his name Immanuel.” You will find this prophecy in Isaiah 7:14. This passage is guaranteed to be read every Christmas in almost every Christian church. Almost every Christian agrees that this is a prophecy of Jesus’ birth given 700 years before the fact. Sounds pretty convincing doesn’t it?
The problem is, this passage is rarely if ever read in context. It is important to ask, who was the Isaiah talking to and why was he giving the prophecy. If you read the entire passage you find that King Ahaz was worried about two armies massing on his borders in preparation to attack him. Rezin the king of Syria and Pekah the king of Israel were preparing to launch a combined attack. To put things mildly, King Ahaz had a lot on his mind.
The Prophet comes to him with a message from God telling him not to worry. The message is, these two kings will not attack. Given his circumstance, you might imagine that King Ahaz didn’t really have much time for prophets. I imagine he must have smiled and nodded and clearly blew Isaiah off.
Isaiah came back at him more insistently, “ask God for a sign” he said. King Ahaz’s response was on the order of “oh great! If things couldn’t get any worse, now you want me to tempt God to boot!” Isaiah comes back and says, nevertheless, the Lord shall give you this sign. “Behold a virgin shall conceive…”
The important thing to remember is that this prophecy was for Ahaz’s time and needed to take place immediately to have any relevance. The fulfilment of this prophecy some 700 years later, wouldn’t really have proven anything or done king Ahaz any good. Thus on it’s face, this prophecy could not have been about the birth of Jesus.
Those more astute Bible scholars will note that the word “virgin” is a mistranslation. The actual word is “maiden” which of course isn’t that miraculous. Maidens conceive all the time. However there is another problem. Those two kings whom Ahaz was told would not attack? It turns out they did indeed attack. Thus we have yet another failed prophecy and of course a Biblical error.
There are numerous failed prophecies in the Bible. I have only listed a few. What about the New Testament? What about the prophecies of Jesus?
Prophecy Of The Second Coming
Every practicing Christian looks forward to the “Second Coming of Jesus.” The impending arrival of Jesus is used to drum up business for churches and win new converts. It could happen at any minute. It could happen right now.
There is a problem with this notion. If one believes the Bible, the “Second Coming” would already have to of happened. Why do I say this. In Matthew 16:28, Jesus plainly states – to those standing around him, hearing his voice – that some of those present, will not experience death before they see him coming in his Kingdom. For the words of Jesus to be true, there would have to be some people walking around who are over 2,000 years old.
Hopefully you will agree, there are no 2,000 year old people living today. Thus if the prophecy was correct and fulfilled, This entire thing we call Christianity is moot. Jesus has already come back, got his folks and gone. Another failed prophecy and Biblical error.
Three Days and Three Nights Prophecy
Ask almost any Christian, how long was Jesus in the tomb, you get almost instantly the answer, “three days and three nights.” This comes directly from a prophecy Jesus gave concerning his death, burial and resurrection in Matthew 12:40. Jesus says, as the Prophet Jonah was in the belly of the whale for three days and three nights, so shall the “Son of Man” be in the heart of the earth for three days and three nights.
If you ask them the next question; “what days of the week was Jesus crucified and resurrected on?” You’ll get the orthodox answer: “He was crucified on Good Friday and resurrected on Easter Sunday Morning. If you want to have some fun, ask them to count 3 days and 3 nights between Good Friday and Easter Sunday Morning. Can’t be done. Biblical error? Of course it is.
Some will attempt to massage the days to make the prophecy fit, however there are numerous sites that have published a comprehensive time line for the “Passion Week.” Jesus time from his entry into Jerusalem until his crucifixion is well documented.
Biblical Errors In The New Testament
While it is beyond the scope of this article to provide a comprehensive list of all the Biblical errors, let’s explore a few in the New Testament. Just as Genesis started off with a bang, so too does the Book of Matthew. This error involves simple mathematics. If you can count to 42 you can prove this error.
In the very first chapter of the Book of Matthew, a genealogy is given for Jesus. Verse 17 breaks it into 3 sets of 14 “generations.” 3 times 14 equals 42 generations between Jesus and Abraham. Since the passage lists all the generations, all you need to do is go through and count whom begat whom and see if you come up with 42. Simple enough. Simple mathematics. The problem? There are not 42 generations listed. If you don’t believe me, count for yourself.
Of course it is interesting to note, they trace Jesus’ linage through Joseph whom if you believe the “immaculate conception” was not his father. Details, details. However, we have yet another Biblical error.
While we’re on the subject of genealogies, if you think tracing your lineage back to Abraham is impressive, In the “Gospel of Luke,” Jesus’ lineage is traced all the way back to Adam! However, yet another problem appears. Who exactly was Joseph’s father/Jesus’ grandfather? In Luke, Joseph’s father was named “Heli.” In Matthew, Joseph’s father was named “Jacob.” Once again, both assertions cannot be correct. Yet another Biblical error. Confusing? Your Bible says that God is not the author of confusion.
Paul The Apostle?
It is interesting to note, most of the books contained in your New Testament were not written by anyone who actually met Jesus while he was living nor directly heard his teachings. They were written by a man known as Saul of Tarsus. By his own testimony his mission was to destroy “the Jesus Movement.” One might ask if his mission ever changed? But I digress. Following his “conversion” experience on the road to Damascus, He becomes a follower of Jesus, his name is changed – he becomes known as – Paul and declares himself an Apostle.
Let’s examine his accounts of his conversion experience. You’ll find them recorded in the following passages:
As always, when listening to someone relate a subjective experience, the testimony of any eyewitnesses who may have been present, is crucial. Read the 3 accounts and then answer the following questions regarding what the eyewitnesses supposedly experienced.
- What did they see?
- What did they hear?
- What did they do? (Fall down? Stand? Nothing?)
Remember, these accounts are contained in what people – possibly you - believe to be “The Word of God.” Since Paul is relating each account, one might think he would be able to keep his story straight?
“If you tell the truth, you don’t have to remember anything.” __Mark Twain
Paul seems to have a problem with keeping his stories straight. Another example of this problem is in what I call, “Paul’s Great Escape.” You may recall the story of some people coming to get Paul and him being let down in a basket by a rope and making his escape? You’ll find these accounts in the following passages.
It is important to remember, these are not spur of the moment accounts, told right after the event when the adrenaline is flowing. These are written accounts that were carefully thought out, composed and then transcribed letter by letter. In the first account of “Paul’s Great Escape,” it is some evil Jews who were out to murder him. However in the second account, we are told it was a civil matter and people were seeking his arrest. Since it cannot be both ways, once again we have a Biblical error.
It Is Worse Than You Know
It turns out, that there are actually more errors in the New Testament than there are words in the New Testament. Many people simply assume that Jesus spoke Elizabethan English. It is easy to forget that Jesus actually spoke Aramaic. The problem? The earliest surviving texts are all written in Greek. Thus, textually, we begin at least one generation removed. There is what Jesus, the Apostles may have actually said or did and then what people wrote down and reported them as having said or done.
Those who would have actually been eyewitnesses, would have written about it – those few who could actually read and write – in Aramaic. Those texts are lost to time. What came next were the Greek translations of these unknown and unreviewable texts. We do not have the first generation Greek texts. What we have are copies of copies of copies, on and on and on of these texts. Each one transcribed a letter at a time by various unknown Scribes. Did they make any errors? Of course they did. Dr. Bart Ehrman gives an excellent explanation. Here is a 10 minute segment of a presentation on this subject.
You cannot make the argument that God performed the miracle of giving man his written word and then did not perform the second miracle of preserving that written word. The first miracle is meaningless without the second.
To deal with all the Biblical errors would require a several volume set of rather lengthy books. If you’ve made it thus far, you have some idea of how long such an undertaking might be. There are numerous other contradictions and flat out scientifically verifiable factual errors in the Bible. For instance, when Jesus was being tempted by the Devil in the wilderness and he’s taken to a very high point where he is shown all the kingdoms of the Earth, this would only be possible if the Earth were flat. Since God surely knows the absurdity of such a claim, it is highly doubtful that He would have been involved with the dissemination of a factually inaccurate account. You can go to the moon and you will not be able to see the complete surface of the Earth.
All you need is to agree that any one Biblical error exists. Once you find just one, you have to admit there may be others. Thus you really do not know what actually was said or done. I suspect the ultimate irony is, the Bible it’s self tells you that it is not the Word of God. Simply read the very first chapter of the Gospel of John. You are told that the Word of God is not a book or a collection of books. The question is, do you really believe your Bible?