Subject: Evidence That Demands a Verdict: section II Date: 12 Feb 92 20:28:24 GMT Evidence

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From: jwm@SUN4.JHUAPL.EDU (James W. Meritt) Subject: Evidence That Demands a Verdict: section II Date: 12 Feb 92 20:28:24 GMT _Evidence_That_Demands_a_Verdict_ is aa book that presents "historical evidences for the christian faith". It is produced by the Campus Crusade for Christ, Inc and was prepared by a Magna Cum Laude graduate of Talbot Theological Seminary. Since I'm a lot better with logic and the scientific method than languages and history, I will primarily be concerned with the massive logical flaws present, though I will include other items. The entire text is rife with circular reasoning, attempts at incremental confirmation, pleading to authority, and insufficient set definition, but there are many other logical errors. Please do not assume that just because it isn't mentioned here as an error I believe that it is correct. He also made up his own outline format. I'm going to try to keep his organization. Lines beginning with "}" are direct quotes taken from the book. The material I present is either written by me, or by someone on USENET, a mailing list, or email. Where appropriate, I asked their permission to quote. Look upon them as "witnesses" for Josh's "verdict". Since his title seems to indicate SOME judicial standpart, using "verdict", I believe that this will show that it is either wrong, unconfirmed, debateable, or biased. Thus, it "demands" no such thing. Given the wide press this book gets, I expected better. }SECTION II THE ACADEMY AWARDS - IF JESUS WAS NOT GOD, THEN HE DESERVED } AN OSCAR. (p 79) } Chapter 5. Jesus - A man of history } Jesus is a man of history Eric Marsh writes: "As far as I can tell, there is no historical documentation about Jesus at the time of his life; the only documentation came some 70+ years after his death." } Christian Sources for the Historicity of Jesus } 27 different new testament documents Amazing. The NT supports the NT. } church fathers No kidding. Does the term "vested interest" ring a bell? Amusingly enough, none in his list lived within a century of the proposed time. Hence, do direct witness, just hearsay (at best). } Non-biblical sources for the Historicity of Jesus } Cornelius Tacitus James J. Lippard writes: "In Tacitus' Annals (XV, 44), he mentions Christians and states that "Christus, from whom the name had its origin, suffered the extreme penalty during the reign of Tiberius at the hands of one of our procurators, Pontius Pilatus" (Tacitus 1942, vol. 1, pp. 380-381). Several facts call this into question as independent testimony to Jesus' history. The first is that the late date of its writing (120 C.E.) indicates that Tacitus was most likely merely repeating what Christians themselves said. Second, the earliest existing manuscript containing this passage is from the Middle Ages. Third, it was not Tacitus' practice to consult original documents and in fact Roman crucifixion records would not be accessible to the ordinary Roman citizen (Wells 1971, pp. 186-188). Fourth, the passage's inaccuracy is indicated by its misuse of the title "Christ" as a proper name and its reference to Pilate as "procurator" rather than his correct title, "prefect" (Wells 82, p. 16)." } Lucian of Samosta This is a second-century satirist. Excuse me for not accepting the unverified statement of a comedian two centuries after the fact as an authoratitive source. } Flavius Josephus Eric Rescorla wrote: "Not Josephus. That passage is commonly regarded as a forgery. As for the AD/BC system, surely you are aware that that was developed hundreds of years later, and actually has the WRONG date for Jesus's birth (judging from the texts) by a couple of years." } Suetonius (AD120) James J. Lippard writes: "Suetonius wrote in the second century of a Jewish revolt in Rome during the reign of Claudius which was instigated by "Chrestus" (Tranquillus 1957, p. 197). Claudius reigned from 41-54 C.E.; it is unlikely that Christians were instigating revolt at such an early date, and certainly not under the leadership of Jesus himself. It is also unlikely that this is really a reference to Christians--"Chrestus" was a common name among slaves and freemen at the time, and appears more than eighty times in surviving Latin inscriptions of Rome (Wells 1971, pp. 185-186)." Karl Kluge wrote: "The only references to Christ in Roman historians (as opposed to references to Christians, such as Pliny's report) are an unclear reference in Suetonius, who mentions an expulsion of Jews from Rome due to the agitation of "Chrestus", and Tacitus who mentions Christ's crucifixtion by Pilate in describing Nero's persecution." } Plinius Secundus, Pliny the Yunger Charles Hedrick writes: "Pliny the Younger wrote a letter in 112 describing Christians and asking the Emperor what to do about them. However references to Christ are clearly in the context of their belief about him, so this does not constitute any independent confirmation." James J. Lippard writes: "Among the letters (X, 96-97) of Pliny is one to the Emperor Trajan (in 112 C.E.) asking for advice in dealing with Christians. His only mention of Jesus is to say that those who denied Christ were not punished (Pliny 1963, pp. 293-295). This testimony cannot be considered confirmation of Jesus' historicity as it is not independent of Christian tradition." } Tertullian (AD 197) James J. Lippard writes: " In attempt to counteract this silence, early Christians both forged documents and alleged that pagan documents attesting to Jesus' existence did exist. The best known forgery is a correspondence between Seneca and Paul, written in Rome in the late fourth century (Johnson 1976, p. 99; Wells 1971, pp. 189-190). Another such forgery is a third-century letter from Pilate to "his emperor Claudius" which insists that the disciples did not steal Jesus' body from the tomb. This letter's author overlooked the fact that Pilate was governor of Judea only until 36 C.E. while Claudius did not become emperor until 41 C.E. (Hoffman 1984, pp. 65-66). The second method was used by Justin Martyr, who states in his first Apology (Chapter 35) that Roman records of the crucifixion exist; and by Tertullian, who claimed (in 197 C.E.) that Pilate wrote a report to Tiberius about the crucifixion and resurrection resulting in the senate convening to place Christ among the gods. These claims are rejected by historians (Wells 1971, pp. 189-190). [McDowell cites both of these claims, one of them without any disclaimer, the other with a too mild disclaimer.]" } Thallus, the Samaritan-born historian Even McDowell admits that his writings have "Disappeared". Charles Hedrick writes: "Thallus, a Samaritan-born historian. McDowell says that he mentioned Christ in 52 AD. However his works are no longer extant, so we have only citations of it by others. I haven't seen any quotations of his mentions of Christ." } Phlegon, a first century historian Whose Chronicales have been lost... } letter of Mara Bar-Serapion Who complained about how little "The jews gained from executing their wise king". Doesn't say it was Jesus at all. } Justin Martyr Who was writing at about AD150 about nonexistent records. The quote given is unattributed, but appears to be from the psalms. } The Jewish Talmuds Mark Haefner writes: "The Mishnah and Gemara together, are usually known as the Talmud. The Gemara (commentaries) is where you would find several references to christianity, although, as one might expect, not very favorable. This is also where the alleged Roman father of Jesus is mentioned (Ben-Pantera), which, as some have suggested, this could also be a corruption of the greek Parthenos (virgin)." } Bibliography His authoratative source is an encyclopedia. sheesh. Among his authoritative sources we find an article from the Palm Beach Post-Times from sunday, Feb 13, 1972. } Chapter 6. Jesus - God`s Son (p 89) } His direct claims to deity Kenn Barry writes: "By contrast, I can't think of anything even in the Bible that so much as indicates Jesus was literate. He knew the law and the prophets all right, but whether he was instructed orally or by reading is unclear." } His trial See elsewhere in this file as to why this is a totally inaccurate claim. } his other claims This is interesting, since we have NO personal claims. We DO have what OTHERS say that he said, but that's hearsay. John Emery writes: "Jesus didn't write anything personally Himself.It was His closest followers that wrote and testified of Him:" Eric Marsh writes: "I don't think that we really know what he may have claimed; what we know is in your religion's holy book, and many consider that material to be _very_ questionable. As for miracles and the rest, there has hardly ever been a shortage of claims to such but far too often, once those claims are investigated they generally don't pan out." } equality with the Father The references given are only from John. From the gospel accounts we can read how the direct witnesses viewed the validity of this claim. } I am I And so am I. So? } Jesus is due the same honor as that given to God. So it is claimed that he claimed. But so did British nobility in mideval europe. } to know me and } believe in me These two sound a lot like the common personality cults visable throughout the world at any time. } He who has seen me Yeah. See the above. } I say unto you... That's nice. A lead in instead of quote marks. } his acceptance of worship as God The same could be said of the Temple goddesses of Rome. } his claims confirmed by others Members of almost any personality cult say the same. Ask moonies. } His indirect claims to diety } forgiveness of sin Since this is the only place that "sin" is described in the first place, and that there is no objective way to determine if a "sin" exists, if it does not, if it is forgiven, or if it is not this is unsubstantiated. } immutable This entire section is straight and nothing but pleading from authority, and the authority is a book published by Dallas Theological Seminary Press. Excuse me for not buying a foregone conclusion. } life A clever unsupportable claim. Believers die just as easily as anone else. } judgement } His titles of deity } YHWH } Son of God The bible seems to claim that EVERYONE is. } Son of Man In Ezekiel 28:21, for instance, the LORD uses this address to Ezekiel. Biology indicates that EVERY Homo Sapien is. } Abba, Father Does "Our Father, who art in heaven..." ring a bell? } Chapter 7. The Trilemma - Lord, Liar or Lunatic? This is a totally artificial universal set derived (apparently) by his wishful thinking. It is his attempt to get the answer he wants by the elimination of those he does not like. And as long as there exists even ONE possibility not included, the exhaustive search method cannot work. For example, the possibility that the claims as in his text was not the claims Jesus made is not included. James J. Lippard writes: "The "Liar/Lunatic/Lord" trilemma is obviously bogus, and is one of my pet peeves with McDowell. It assumes that the New Testament's description of Jesus' words is quite accurate, which is at best a highly questionable assumption. Most biblical scholars reject it." Robert Low writes: "Finally, the logic used: McDowell argues from the classical apologist trichotomy, that Jesus was mad, bad, or God. That this is invalid is almost too obvious to be worth pointing out. It only follows from one particularly narrow reading of the NT writings, a reading not accepted even by all those who believe in Biblical infallibility!" Jim Perry writes: "Ad hominem, anti-semitism, and Poisoning the Well spring to mind here, not to mention that this quote, whatever one makes of it, is pure opinion/conclusion, not "evidence", let alone "convicting evidence". This chapter is almost entirely quotes of this flavor, and as usual there is no reference to any material contradictory to } bibliography: Among his unbiased, authoritative sources he lists an unpublished thesis from the Dallas Theological Seminary, a book from the Dallas Theological Seminary Press, a book from the Lutherin Book Concern, a book from the Bible Truth Depot, one from Scripture Press publications, Inc., one from The Christian Victory Publishing Co., one from the American Tract Society, an unpublished dissertation from Dallas Theological Seminary, and a lot from Moody Press. } Chapter 8. The great proposition (p 111) } If God became man, then we would expect Him to: And how were THESE selection made?!?!? But if you read the fine print, you notice that Josh admitted to _FIRST_ reading _Protestant_Christian_Evidences_. Hence, even pretending that he is aiming to be convinced of something when he is using the conclusion to formulate the question is absurd and an excellent example of circular logic. } 1. Have an unusual entrance into life (Josh keys from virgin birth) COX, RALPH LUTHER, III writes: "Further, he the Hebrew word "almah," (young woman), as specifically, "virgin." But, this is not a prophecy about the Messiah. It is not a prophecy about an event to happen 750 years later. It is not a prophecy about a virgin (bethulah) mother. In short, it not about Jesus. Matthew has made use of a verse out of context, and tries to make it fit the specific case of Mary. It should be noted that if we want to read the prophecy in a general manner, a very general one, it can be made to fit Mary. Mary, virgin or not, was indeed a young woman with child. Of course, the fit is shady and has problems. Jesus, while thought of by later Christians to be G'd walking among men, was never called by the name, Immanuel. If Christianity wished to claim this prophecy for Jesus, it becomes at best a cut-and-paste prophecy... a second class prophecy. Not too convincing." } 2. Be without sin Two points of interest. First, Jesus was presented as having broken MANY of the OT laws, which (since they were suppose to have been given by God) constituted "sinning". Now, if you take the view that no matter WHAT he did, it wasn't sinning this becomes an empty claim that anyone could satisfy. Second, much of Josh's "support" for this statement comes from many authority-figures saying that it was evidently true since Jesus appeared to believe that he was blameless and then equated "thought without blame" with "without fault" with "sinless". We use the term criminally insane to describe similar attitudes in court. } 3. manifest the supernatural in the form of miracles Another odd statement, considering how many magicians and sorcerers there have been. Moses was suppose to have met a bunch, most Kings employed a few, Crowley was (in my opinion) a wierd magician. There were so many that they even gave anti-magician (necromancedr, witch, fortunetallar,...) guidance. } 4. have an acute sense of difference from other men A not-uncommon characteristic. On one hand there are those who claim their difference is because of a "cosmic consciousness (everyone from the Prince/Buddah to Rev. Moon) and in others it is attributable to paranoia (see "mass murderers") } 5. speak the greatest words ever spopken Pleading to authority, the authority being the rather biased professor of theology at Easter Baptist Theological Seminary. Besides which, those who know the words of Mohammad, John Smith, Crowley,Euclid, Einstein... might tend to disagree. } 6. have a lasting and universal influence lasting: The fat lady hasn't sung yet. universal: considering the cases of Islam, Wicca, Buddhism,... this does not seem to be a justified statement. } 7. satisfy the spiritual hunger in man Since I am aware of christians converting to taoists, wiccans, and other spiritual groups, and I am aware of non-christians (athiests, buddhists, druids) who know of christianity and do not "convert", this does not seem to be a substantiated statement. } 8. Exercise power over death } "It is seen that Jesus was not forced to give up his life" OK. So Jesus didn't die on the cross. As you wish. Or maybe you mean "Stay dead"? Shirley McLain makes the same claim of herself. } biographies: His unbiased references include Faith Press, Inc., the United Church Press, Westminister Press, the American Tract Society, Good News Publishers, Inc., the magazine Christian Century, Scripture Press Publications, Christian Heritage, Inc, Christian Culture Press, Sword of the Lord Publishers, the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, and Back to the Bible Broadcast. } Chapter 9. The Messianic Prophecies of the Old Testament fulfilled } in Jesus Christ Logically speaking, this chapter is horrible. You cannot verify a text from itself, but only (at best) check its consistency. And NONE of the "fulfilled" items have any verification other than the same bible that made them. } credentials of Jesus as the Messiah through fulfilled prophecy } 1. Born of the seed of woman GEN 3:15 And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel. Like, who isn't? EVERYONE (iaw the Bible, anyway) is a descendent of a woman. } 2. born of a virgin James J. Lippard writes: "Probably the most famous of these prophecies is the prophecy that Jesus would be born of a virgin. The gospels of Matthew (1:18-25) and Luke (1:26-35) both claim that Jesus was born of a virgin, but only Matthew (1:23) appeals to the Hebrew scriptures as an explanation for why this should be the case. The verse appealed to is Isaiah 7:14, which reads: "Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: Behold, a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call his name Immanuel." There are a number of difficulties with this passage. As many have noted, the Hebrew word translated as "virgin" in this verse is "almah," which is more accurately translated simply as "young woman." The Hebrew word "bethulah" means "virgin." In the book of Isaiah, "bethulah" appears four times (23:12, 37:22, 47:1, 62:5), so its author was aware of the word. In the New American Standard translation of the Bible, all other appearances of "almah" are translated simply as "girl," "maid," or "maiden" (viz: Genesis 24:43, Exodus 2:8, Psalms 68:25, Proverbs 30:19, Song of Solomon 1:3, 6:8). Thus the claimed fulfillment adds a biologically impossible condition which is not even present in the original prophecy(1). Another problem is that nowhere in the New Testament does Mary, Jesus' mother, refer to him as "Immanuel." Thus we have no evidence that one of the conditions of the prophecy was ever fulfilled. But the most serious problem with this alleged messianic prophecy is that it has been taken out of context. Looking at the entire seventh chapter of Isaiah, it becomes clear that the child in question is to be born as a sign to Ahaz, King of Judah, that he will not be defeated in battle by Rezin, King of Syria, and Pekah, son of the King of Israel. Jesus' birth was some seven centuries late to be such a sign. J. Edward Barrett (1988, p. 14) points out evidence that early Christians rejected the virgin birth. One piece of Barrett's evidence is that in 1 Timothy 1:3-4, the writer (who may or may not be the apostle Paul) advises that his audience "instruct certain men not to teach strange doctrines, nor to pay attention to myths and endless genealogies, which give rise to mere speculation rather than furthering the administration of God which is by faith." The earliest gospel, Mark, lacks an account of Jesus' birth, as does John, the latest gospel. Virgin birth is obviously quite relevant to genealogy, and both Matthew and Luke present Jesus' genealogy in close proximity to the story." } 3. son of God See above. } 4. seed of Abraham James J. Lippard writes: " There are various alleged genealogical prophecies about the ancestry of the Messiah. It is claimed that Genesis 22:18 and 12:2-3 are prophecies that the Messiah will be a descendent of Abraham, but these verses say nothing about the Messiah. They say simply that the descendents of Abraham will be blessed." GEN 21:12 And God said unto Abraham, Let it not be grievous in thy sight because of the lad, and because of thy bondwoman; in all that Sarah hath said unto thee, hearken unto her voice; for in Isaac shall thy seed be called. Excuse me, but these are the verses he referred to. I see what appears to be a promise that the nation will descend from him (as taught in sunday school) and the birth of Isaac, but zip about Christ. } 5. son of Isaac GEN 21:12 And God said unto Abraham, Let it not be grievous in thy sight because of the lad, and because of thy bondwoman; in all that Sarah hath said unto thee, hearken unto her voice; for in Isaac shall thy seed be called. Looks more like instructions to name Abraham's son Isaac to me... } 6. son of Jacob NUM 24:15 And he took up his parable, and said, Balaam the son of Beor hath said, and the man whose eyes are open hath said: NUM 24:16 He hath said, which heard the words of God, and knew the knowledge of the most High, which saw the vision of the Al- mighty, falling into a trance, but having his eyes open: NUM 24:17 I shall see him, but not now: I shall behold him, but not nigh: there shall come a Star out of Jacob, and a Sceptre shall rise out of Israel, and shall smite the corners of Moab, and destroy all the children of Sheth. NUM 24:18 And Edom shall be a possession, Seir also shall be a possession for his enemies; and Israel shall do valiantly. NUM 24:19 Out of Jacob shall come he that shall have dominion, and shall destroy him that remaineth of the city. NUM 24:20 And when he looked on Amalek, he took up his parable, and said, Amalek was the first of the nations; but his latter end shall be that he perish for ever. Looks more like a promise that some mean somabitch will rule Israel and do some serious butt-kickin'. This is Jesus?!?!? } 7. tribe of Judah Genesis 49:7 Cursed be their anger, for it was fierce; and their wrath for it was cruel: I will divide them in Jacob and scatter them in Israel. Genesis 49:8 Judah, thou art he whom thy brethren shall praise: they hand shall be at the neck of thine enemies; thy father's children shall bow down before thee. Genesis 49:9 Judah is a lion's whelp: from the prey, my son, thou art gone up: he stooped down, he couched as a lion, and as an old lion, who shall rouse him up? Genesis 49:10 The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come, and unto him shall the gathering of the people be. Excuse me again, but this reads as the standard run of promises given. This is in the section "Jacob's dying blessing", and it is the standard "who is in charge" speach. And there is the minor detail that Shiloh is desolate ruins with the remains of a synagogue... } 8. family line of Jesse ISA 10:33 Behold, the Lord, the LORD of hosts, shall lop the bough with terror: and the high ones of stature shall be hewn down, and the haughty shall be humbled. ISA 10:34 And he shall cut down the thickets of the forest with iron, and Lebanon shall fall by a mighty one. ISA 11:1 And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots: ISA 11:2 And the spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD; ISA 11:3 And shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the LORD: and he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears: ISA 11:4 But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth: with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked. Excuse me, but this appears to be talking about a quite destructive individual, who causes the downfall of Lebanon, and slays the wicked with his words. Sounds much more like a conquering war-king than Jesus. } 9. house of David JER 23:3 And I will gather the remnant of my flock out of all countries whither I have driven them, and will bring them again to their folds; and they shall be fruitful and increase. JER 23:4 And I will set up shepherds over them which shall feed them: and they shall fear no more, nor be dismayed, neither shall they be lacking, saith the LORD. JER 23:5 Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth. JER 23:6 In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is his name whereby he shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS. JER 23:7 Therefore, behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that they shall no more say, The LORD liveth, which brought up the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt; JER 23:8 But, The LORD liveth, which brought up and which led the seed of the house of Israel out of the north country, and from all countries whither I had driven them; and they shall dwell in their own land. I don't recall this description as fitting Jesus. Sounds more like a great unifying King. Even if Josh was 100% right on his assertions on 4-9, if it were the last it HAD to be the earlier. Not, even by his assumptions, vaguely independent events. James J. Lippard writes on 5,6,7,8,and 9: "Other claimed prophecies about the Messiah's ancestry are that he will be of the tribe of Judah (Genesis 49:10, Micah 5:2), of the family line of Jesse (Isaiah 11:1, 10), and of the house of David (Jeremiah 23:5, 2 Samuel 7:12-16, Psalms 132:11). Some of these do appear to be genuine messianic prophecies, but others simply seem to refer to future kings. All of these verses refer to kings--and thus none have been fulfilled by Jesus. But the problems for these prophecies run even deeper. Is Jesus actually of the tribe of Judah, the family line of Jesse, and the house of David? The sole evidence for this is two sets of genealogies for Jesus, in Matthew 1:1-17 and Luke 3:23-38. Both of these trace Jesus' lineage through his father, Joseph. If the virgin birth story is taken seriously, then Jesus lacks the proper ancestry. On the other hand, if the genealogy in Matthew is taken seriously, then Jesus has as an ancestor Jeconiah (Matthew 1:12), of whom the prophet Jeremiah said, "Write this man down as childless, a man who will not prosper in his days, for no man of his descendants will prosper sitting on the throne of David or ruling again in Judah." (Jeremiah 22:30) The genealogy in Luke suffers from the same problem, since it includes Shealtiel and Zerubbabel, both of whom were descendents of Jeconiah." } 10. born at Bethlehem Funny thing. While McDowell gives Micah 5:2 as the "prophecy", his discussion doesn't mention it at all. MIC 5:1 Now gather thyself in troops, O daughter of troops: he hath laid siege against us: they shall smite the judge of Israel with a rod upon the cheek. MIC 5:2 But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting. MIC 5:3 Therefore will he give them up, until the time that she which travaileth hath brought forth: then the remnant of his brethren shall return unto the children of Israel. And Micah goes on talking about a military conquest of Assyria and the gentiles. Doesn't sound a lot like the Prince of Peace... James J. Lippard writes: " A second claimed birth prophecy is that Jesus would be born in the city of Bethlehem, cited in Matthew (2:1-6), Luke (2:4-7), and John's (7:42) gospels. Of these, Matthew and John specifically refer to prophecy in the Hebrew scriptures. The passage referred to is Micah 5:2, which reads: "But as for you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, too little to be among the clans of Judah, from you one will go forth for me to be ruler in Israel. His goings forth are from long ago, from the days of eternity." "Ephrathah" is the ancient name of Bethlehem (Genesis 35:19, Ruth 4:11) but, to confuse matters, "Bethlehem Ephrathah" is also the name of a person: Bethlehem the son (or grandson) of Ephrathah (1 Chronicles 4:4, 2:50-51). This prophecy could therefore refer to either a native of the town or to a descendent of the person. If the latter, Jesus does not qualify since neither of his alleged genealogies (more on these later) list either Bethlehem or Ephrathah. If the former (more likely since Bethlehem was the birthplace of King David, from whom the Messiah is supposed to be descended), then Jesus qualifies by birthplace(2), but fails to meet the condition of being "ruler in Israel." Christians claim that this is a prophecy which will be fulfilled at the Second Coming." ... "The gospel of John says nothing about Jesus being from Bethlehem, but instead says that he is from Nazareth in Galilee. See John 1:45-46 and 7:41-42,52.3There are two common attempts made to resolve these contradictions. The most common among evangelical Christians is to claim that Luke's genealogy is that of Mary, not Joseph. This fails to explain the repeated convergence followed by divergence as you trace the ancestry backward. It also fails to explain why the Luke genealogy contains almost twice as many ancestors as Matthew's in the same time period. A second explanation is that each case of divergence is the result of Levirate marriage. That is, the discrepant fathers are brothers of each other, and when one died the other married his brother's wife. This explanation also fails to explain the difference in number of ancestors." } 11. presented with gifts PSA 72:10 The kings of Tarshish and of the isles shall bring presents: the kings of Sheba and Seba shall offer gifts. PSA 72:11 Yea, all kings shall fall down before him: all nations shall serve him. PSA 72:12 For he shall deliver the needy when he crieth; the poor also, and him that hath no helper. PSA 72:13 He shall spare the poor and needy, and shall save the souls of the needy. According to the prophecy, the Kings of Tarshish, the isles, Sheba and Seba were suppose to be there. But no Kings are mentioned, just Magi. And as for the poor: MAT 26:11 For ye have the poor always with you; but me ye have not always. MAR 14:7 For ye have the poor with you always, and whensoever ye will ye may do them good: but me ye have not always. JOH 12:8 For the poor always ye have with you; but me ye have not always. AKA "looking out for number one". } 12. Herod kills children James J. Lippard writes: " Another prophecy related to the birth of Jesus I wish to address is that the Messiah would be born at a time when King Herod was killing children. Only the gospel of Matthew (2:16-18) makes this claim about a prophecy of Jeremiah (31:15). But the prophecy in question states that "A voice was heard in Ramah, weeping and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children; and she refused to be comforted, because they were no more." "Rachel weeping for her children" refers to the mother of Joseph and Benjamin (and wife of Jacob) weeping about her children taken captive to Egypt. In context, the verse is about the Babylonian captivity, which its author witnessed. Subsequent verses speak of the children being returned, and thus it refers to captivity rather than murder. A further problem is that no historian of the time seems to have taken note of Herod's alleged mass slaughter of male children. Flavius Josephus, who chronicled Herod's abuses, makes no mention of it. Matthew goes on to claim that to evade Herod's murders, Jesus was taken as a child to Egypt. This is done, according to Matthew 2:15, in order "that what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet might be fulfilled, saying, 'Out of Egypt did I call my son.'" This is a reference to Hosea 11:1, which is not a messianic prophecy at all. It is a reference to the Exodus of the Jews from Egypt." COX, RALPH LUTHER, III writes: " After Jesus's birth in Bethlehem, Matthew tells about a quick (and elsewhere unmentioned) excursion to Egypt, as if he wishes to liken Jesus to Moses. This was done to escape an alleged infanticidal rampage of the king, Herod. [Mt 2.15] ...and remained there until the death of Herod. This was to fulfil what the lord had spoken: "Out of Egypt I have cal-led my son." What the lord really said was this. [Hosea 11.1] When Israel was a child, I loved him. And, out of Egypt I called my son. The more I called them (my people), the more they went from me; they kept sacrificing to the Ba'als, and kept burning incense to idols. Matthew conveniently omits the rest of Hosea's oracle. But, it was indeed Israel that, once called out of Egypt, wanted to return. This is history. Jesus is certainly not being spoken of here. And, if we are to draw some kind of parallel here, we wind up with a Jesus that flees and resists G'd. Again, this prophecy is just not as convincing as Matthew probably had hoped. ... As for Herod and his infanticide, it is rather unlikely that such an event actually occurred. One never knows, but the event is not mentioned or alluded to anywhere else in the Bible, nor is it mentioned in any of the secular records of the time. Herod was particularly unliked in his reign, and many far less evil deeds of Herod were carefully recorded. This might be a prime example of how events were added to Jesus's life to enhance the message of the church's gospel." } 13. his pre-existence Now how the heck are we suppose to tell that?!?!? Interestingly enough, reincarnation also would fit the prophecy. Reincarnation was a not-uncommon belief at the time/place. Besides which, his "prophecy" is: MIC 5:2 But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting. Which doesn't, to me, appear to have anything to do with it. } 14. he shall be called Lord COX, RALPH LUTHER, III writes: "The word "lord" is often mistakenly capitalised by Christian bibles to denote divinity in this lord. But, in the Hebrew, the word is "adoni," and no capitalisation exists. Adoni simply means "lord," a generic term as we would use it. It is used often in the scriptures to refer to kings and to G'd. It is merely an address of respect. There is nothing in the text itself to imply that the word refers either to divinity or to the messiah-king." } 15. shall be Immanuel (God with us) James J. Lippard writes: Another problem is that nowhere in the New Testament does Mary, Jesus' mother, refer to him as "Immanuel." Thus we have no evidence that one of the conditions of the prophecy was ever fulfilled. } 16. shall be a prophet This isn't saying much. Almost EVERYONE seemed to qualify themself. } 17. priest PSA 110:3 Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power, in the beauties of holiness from the womb of the morning: thou hast the dew of thy youth. PSA 110:4 The LORD hath sworn, and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek. PSA 110:5 The Lord at thy right hand shall strike through kings in the day of his wrath. PSA 110:6 He shall judge among the heathen, he shall fill the places with the dead bodies; he shall wound the heads over many countries. PSA 110:7 He shall drink of the brook in the way: therefore shall he lift up the head. Sounds more like a temporal ruler, and a not-too-friendly one at that. Lotsa wrath, striking, dead bodies, wounds, and such. And where else has this order been mentioned? I can find ONE: GEN 14:17 And the king of Sodom went out to meet him after his return from the slaughter of Chedorlaomer, and of the kings that were with him, at the valley of Shaveh, which is the king's dale. GEN 14:18 And Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine: and he was the priest of the most high God. GEN 14:19 And he blessed him, and said, Blessed be Abram of the most high God, possessor of heaven and earth: GEN 14:20 And blessed be the most high God, which hath delivered thine enemies into thy hand. And he gave him tithes of all. So it looks like a very temporal priest-king, heavy on slaughter, feasts, and such. Apparently like others in the area. And egypt, too, if I recall. priest-kings have been popular. } 18. judge ISA 33:20 Look upon Zion, the city of our solemnities: thine eyes shall see Jerusalem a quiet habitation, a tabernacle that shall not be taken down; not one of the stakes thereof shall ever be removed, neither shall any of the cords thereof be broken. ISA 33:21 But there the glorious LORD will be unto us a place of broad rivers and streams; wherein shall go no galley with oars, neither shall gallant ship pass thereby. ISA 33:22 For the LORD is our judge, the LORD is our lawgiver, the LORD is our king; he will save us. ISA 33:23 Thy tacklings are loosed; they could not well strengthen their mast, they could not spread the sail: then is the prey of a great spoil divided; the lame take the prey. ISA 33:24 And the inhabitant shall not say, I am sick: the peo- ple that dwell therein shall be forgiven their iniquity. ISA 34:1 Come near, ye nations, to hear; and hearken, ye people: let the earth hear, and all that is therein; the world, and all things that come forth of it. ISA 34:2 For the indignation of the LORD is upon all nations, and his fury upon all their armies: he hath utterly destroyed them, he hath delivered them to the slaughter. ISA 34:3 Their slain also shall be cast out, and their stink shall come up out of their carcases, and the mountains shall be melted with their blood. ISA 34:4 And all the host of heaven shall be dissolved, and the heavens shall be rolled together as a scroll: and all their host shall fall down, as the leaf falleth off from the vine, and as a falling fig from the fig tree. ISA 34:5 For my sword shall be bathed in heaven: behold, it shall come down upon Idumea, and upon the people of my curse, to judgment. ISA 34:6 The sword of the LORD is filled with blood, it is made fat with fatness, and with the blood of lambs and goats, with the fat of the kidneys of rams: for the LORD hath a sacrifice in Bozrah, and a great slaughter in the land of Idumea. ISA 34:7 And the unicorns shall come down with them, and the bullocks with the bulls; and their land shall be soaked with blood, and their dust made fat with fatness. ISA 34:8 For it is the day of the LORD's vengeance, and the year of recompences for the controversy of Zion. ISA 34:9 And the streams thereof shall be turned into pitch, and the dust thereof into brimstone, and the land thereof shall be- come burning pitch. ISA 34:10 It shall not be quenched night nor day; the smoke thereof shall go up for ever: from generation to generation it shall lie waste; none shall pass through it for ever and ever. ISA 34:11 But the cormorant and the bittern shall possess it; the owl also and the raven shall dwell in it: and he shall stretch out upon it the line of confusion, and the stones of emp- tiness. ISA 34:12 They shall call the nobles thereof to the kingdom, but none shall be there, and all her princes shall be nothing. ISA 34:13 And thorns shall come up in her palaces, nettles and brambles in the fortresses thereof: and it shall be an habitation of dragons, and a court for owls. ISA 34:14 The wild beasts of the desert shall also meet with the wild beasts of the island, and the satyr shall cry to his fellow; the screech owl also shall rest there, and find for herself a place of rest. ISA 34:15 There shall the great owl make her nest, and lay, and hatch, and gather under her shadow: there shall the vultures also be gathered, every one with her mate. It is clear to me (in context) that they are NOT referring to any Prince of Peace but a vicious, but a warrior/king. Claimed to fit, but not demonstrated. } 19. king Obviously not. Making the claim and not being able to back it up is what was claimed to have gotten him terminated. } 20. special anointment of Holy Spirit "Annointed One" means messiah. There were numerous announced contenders at the time. } 21. his zeal for God How is this suppose to serve as an identifier? Besides which, the term was in the "prophecy" but not in his given "fulfilment" verse. Now the prophecy: PSA 69:5 O God, thou knowest my foolishness; and my sins are not hid from thee. PSA 69:6 Let not them that wait on thee, O Lord GOD of hosts, be ashamed for my sake: let not those that seek thee be confounded for my sake, O God of Israel. PSA 69:7 Because for thy sake I have borne reproach; shame hath covered my face. PSA 69:8 I am become a stranger unto my brethren, and an alien unto my mother's children. PSA 69:9 For the zeal of thine house hath eaten me up; and the reproaches of them that reproached thee are fallen upon me. PSA 69:10 When I wept, and chastened my soul with fasting, that was to my reproach. PSA 69:11 I made sackcloth also my garment; and I became a pro- verb to them. PSA 69:12 They that sit in the gate speak against me; and I was the song of the drunkards. PSA 69:13 But as for me, my prayer is unto thee, O LORD, in an acceptable time: O God, in the multitude of thy mercy hear me, in the truth of thy salvation. PSA 69:14 Deliver me out of the mire, and let me not sink: let me be delivered from them that hate me, and out of the deep wa- ters. Any question who prayed in psalms, and who thought he was foolish, zealous for the Lord, wore sackcloth, fasted, ...? Still think that it was Jesus? } prophies concerning his ministry } 22. preceded by messenger James J. Lippard writes: "The first of these, that he would be preceded by a messenger, refers to Isaiah 40:3, which reads, "A voice is calling, 'clear the way for the Lord in the wilderness; make smooth in the desert a highway for our God.'" This verse speaks not of a messenger for the messiah, but of the Jews being released from the Babylonian captivity. Another verse claimed to offer the same prophecy is Malachi 3:1, which says "Behold, I am going to send my messenger, and he will clear the way before me. ..." This may be plausibly taken as a messianic prophecy. But did John the Baptist actually "clear the way" as a messenger for Jesus? The historian Flavius Josephus writes about John the Baptist, but makes no link of his name with that of Jesus (Antiquities of the Jews, 18.5.2; Josephus (1985), p. 382). The earliest of Christian writings, the letters of Paul, make no mention of John the Baptist. The gospels (and the book of Acts, written by the author of Luke) are the only real evidence of a link. But the gospel evidence does not hold up. The gospel of John shows John the Baptist explicitly recognizing Jesus as the Messiah (John 1:25-34) before being cast into prison by Herod (John 3:23-24). But the gospels of Matthew (11:2-3) and Luke (7:18-22) depict John the Baptist, in prison, sending his disciples to Jesus to ask if he claims to be the Messiah. If the story in John were true, John the Baptist would have had no reason to ask this question." } 23. ministry to begin in Galilee James J. Lippard writes: " Christian apologists claim that Jesus' Galilean ministry is prophesied by Isaiah 9:1, which says, "... in earlier times he [God] treated the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali with contempt, but later on he shall make it glorious, by the way of the sea, on the other side of Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles." All this verse says is that God will make the area "glorious"--it says nothing of ministry by the messiah. The subsequent verses (Isaiah 9:6-7) speak of a child to be born who will be king, whose "name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace." Jewish tradition says that this refers to King Hezekiah, not the Messiah (Sigal 1981, pp. 29-32)(4). Isaiah 9:7, if applied to Jesus, is unfulfilled since it speaks of his kingship." } 24. ministry of miracles James J. Lippard writes: " Prophecy of Jesus' miraculous healings are purported to be found in Isaiah 35:5-6 and Isaiah 32:3-4. The latter does not speak of healing, but says that "the eyes of those who see will not be blinded, and the ears of those who hear will listen. And the mind of the hasty will discern the truth, and the tongue of the stammerers will hasten to speak clearly." It is further stated that this will occur during the reign of a king (Isaiah 32:1), which did not occur in Israel during Jesus' ministry. The former verse, on the other hand, describes people being healed ("the eyes of the blind will be opened, and the ears of the deaf will be unstopped") but also, in verses 7-8, describes land being "healed." There is no clear indication here that these healings have anything to do with the Messiah, rather, it is God himself doing the healing. The gospels contain no account of Jesus healing land." } 25. teacher of parables The "prophecy": PSA 78:2 I will open my mouth in a parable: I will utter dark sayings of old: PSA 78:3 Which we have heard and known, and our fathers have told us. Come on. Another prayer by David. When does Jesus address God and talks about their fathers?!?!? COX, RALPH LUTHER, III wrote: " Matthew tries again to make Jesus's parables look like they have the prophetic approval. [Mt 13.35] ...he said nothing to them without a parable. This was to fulfil what was spoken of by the prophet, "I will open my mouth to them in parables. I will utter that which has been hidden since the foundation of the world." Matthew really botches up here. He attempts to quote not from a prophet, but from the Psalms. [Ps 78.2-4] I will open my mouth in parable. I will utter dark sayings of old, things that we all have heard and known, things that our fathers have told us. We will not hide them from their children, but tell to the coming generation the glorious deeds of the lord... As was pointed out, the verses in the Psalms do not really come from a prophet. You might also want to know that earlier copies of Matthew's gospel even inserted Isaiah's name as this prophet. Apparently, later scribes caught the error and tried to cover some of it up. Perhaps the most significant part of this is that, once again, Matthew has altered the Old Testament Scriptures. As Jesus has said earlier, he speaks in parables so that some will not understand them. The parables in the Psalms are not to be hidden. Further, they speak of things "known, that our fathers have told us." Jesus deals with things "hidden since the foundation of the world." Indeed Jesus dealt in a lot of secrecy and confusion. This is in direct opposition to the parables in the Psalms. No wonder Matthew had to rewrite them! And still once again, Matthew's artificial prophecies fall flat on their face. But, Christians rarely look at this. Matthew's prophecies aren't the only things about Christianity that are beginning to look bad." } 26. he was to enter the temple Every male of this religion did. So? } 27. he was to enter Jerusalem on a donkey COX, RALPH LUTHER, III writes: Shortly after accepting the role of the Jewish messiah king, Jesus requests a donkey be brought in for him to ride into Jerusalem. [Mt 21.5] This took place to fulfil what was spoken by the prophet, saying, Tell the daughter of Zion, "Behold, your king is coming to you, humble, mounted on an ass, and on a ass-colt." Of course, the passage quoted from Zechariah 9.9 reads a little differently. Lo, your king comes to you; he is triumphant and victorious, humble, and riding on an ass, on an ass- colt... he will command peace to the nations. There isn't all that much difference here, except that Zechariah only involves one animal --an ass-colt-- while Matthew reads the poetic wording slightly differently. Thus, he has Jesus call for both a colt and an adult ass. From Matthew's version, we get a comical picture of the divine Christ sweating it to straddle two donkeys. This could inevitably lead to a theological, proctological dilemma! We find that in the account written earlier by St. Mark, only the colt was called for and brought to Jesus. This indeed fits the verses of Zechariah properly, and shows us that in Matthew attempt to use prophetic verses, he has bungled. Now, excluding many respectable Christians I have met, I have noticed that while Christ is thought to have ridden on asses, the situation is often reversed nowadays..." James J. Lippard writes: " A final prophecy dealing with Jesus' life and ministry is Zechariah 9:9, which says "Behold, your king is coming to you ... humble, and mounted on a donkey, even on a colt, the foal of a donkey." Again, Jesus was not king, so that aspect of the prophecy remains unfulfilled. The alleged fulfillment of this prophecy is also problematic. According to Mark (10:11-19), Luke (19:28-38), and John (12:12-19), Jesus entered Jerusalem riding on a donkey. But Matthew 21:1-11 has Jesus riding on both a donkey and a colt, indicating his misunderstanding of the prophecy." } 28. "stone of stumbling" to jews PSA 118:22 The stone which the builders refused is become the head stone of the corner. One would be inclined to believe that Josh's racism reared its head again. There is nothing in the "prophecy" about jews. And since the scenarios that do not agree with his personal prejudices are offered from that group, he has to get his dig in. } 29 "light" to gentiles ISA 59:21 As for me, this is my covenant with them, saith the LORD; My spirit that is upon thee, and my words which I have put in thy mouth, shall not depart out of thy mouth, nor out of the mouth of thy seed, nor out of the mouth of thy seed's seed, saith the LORD, from henceforth and for ever. ISA 60:1 Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the LORD is risen upon thee. ISA 60:2 For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the LORD shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee. ISA 60:3 And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising. ISA 60:4 Lift up thine eyes round about, and see: all they gath- er themselves together, they come to thee: thy sons shall come from far, and thy daughters shall be nursed at thy side. ISA 60:5 Then thou shalt see, and flow together, and thine heart shall fear, and be enlarged; because the abundance of the sea shall be converted unto thee, the forces of the Gentiles shall come unto thee. ISA 60:6 The multitude of camels shall cover thee, the dromedaries of Midian and Ephah; all they from Sheba shall come: they shall bring gold and incense; and they shall shew forth the praises of the LORD. ISA 60:7 All the flocks of Kedar shall be gathered together unto thee, the rams of Nebaioth shall minister unto thee: they shall come up with acceptance on mine altar, and I will glorify the house of my glory. I see a lot that didn't happen. COX, RALPH LUTHER, III writes on both jews and gentiles: " Upon healing multitudes of commoners, it is said that Jesus ordered them to keep quiet, presumable so that he wouldn't arouse the attention of the local rulers. [Mt 12.15-21] This was to fulfill what was spoken by the prophet Isaiah. "Behold my servant whom I have chosen, my beloved, with whom my soul is pleased. I will put my spirit on him, and he will announce justice to the Gentiles. He will not wrangle or cry aloud, nor will anyone hear his voice in the streets. He will not break a bruised reed or quench a smoldering wick until he brings justice to victory, and the gentiles will hope in his name." The Isaiah passage quoted reads, [Is 42.1-4] Behold my servant whom I uphold, my chosen, in whom my soul delights. I have put my spirit on him, and he will bring forth justice to the nations. We will not cry or lift up his voice, or make it heard in the street. He will not break a bruised reed, or quench a smoldering wick. He will faithfully bring forth justice. He will not fail (burn dimly) or be discouraged (bruised) until he has established justice in the earth. And the coastlands await his law. You see, Matthew has conveniently left out part of the passage, because it does not suit the dealings of Jesus. Christians could never think of Jesus failing, never would the "light" of mankind burn dimly. But, the servant nation of Israel will indeed come to an end when its job is done. When the gentiles come to embrace G'd there will no longer be a chosen people, but rather all will be the children of G'd. Also, the ending phrase has been changed from the Judaic "...the coastlands await his law." to the Christologic, "the Gentiles will hope in his name." While the original proclaims the Torah law of Jehovah, the other rewrites it to fit its strange doctrine of "believing in the name." If one has any doubt the servant referred to is not Jesus, one has only to read the whole chapter, Isaiah 42, and hear about the beloved but blind and imperfect servant, "a people robbed and plundered..." So, we see that when Matthew's attempt at "prophecy" is examined, it crumbles." } prophecies concerning events after his burial } 30. resurrection PSA 16:1 Preserve me, O God: for in thee do I put my trust. PSA 16:2 O my soul, thou hast said unto the LORD, Thou art my Lord: my goodness extendeth not to thee; PSA 16:3 But to the saints that are in the earth, and to the ex- cellent, in whom is all my delight. PSA 16:4 Their sorrows shall be multiplied that hasten after another god: their drink offerings of blood will I not offer, nor take up their names into my lips. PSA 16:5 The LORD is the portion of mine inheritance and of my cup: thou maintainest my lot. PSA 16:6 The lines are fallen unto me in pleasant places; yea, I have a goodly heritage. PSA 16:7 I will bless the LORD, who hath given me counsel: my reins also instruct me in the night seasons. PSA 16:8 I have set the LORD always before me: because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved. PSA 16:9 Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth: my flesh also shall rest in hope. PSA 16:10 For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption. "preserve me"? Not "thy will be done"? This looks like another of David's prayers and he was talking about himself. Interestingly enough, reincarnation would also fit this "prophecy", and was a not-uncommon belief at the time. John Emery writes: "But here is what there is not: There is no non-believer's or skeptic's eye witness report of the resurrection nor are than any writings written by Jesus Himself." } 31. ascension PSA 68:18 Thou hast ascended on high, thou hast led captivity captive: thou hast received gifts for men; yea, for the rebelli- ous also, that the LORD God might dwell among them. This does not have anything apparently to do with "the ascension" } 32. seated at the right hand of God PSA 110:1 The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool. Doesn't look like a claim for something to happen centuries away, but a conversation at the time. Not only is there no evidence to support this contention, but there is no way to GET any evidence to support it. } prophecies fulfilled in one day } 33. betrayeyd by a friend James J. Lippard writes: "Two verses taken as prophecies of betrayal by a friend are Psalms 41:9 and Psalms 55:12-14, the former of which reads, "Even my close friend, in whom I trusted, who ate my bread, has lifted up his heel against me." Both are psalms which speak of feelings of pain from being betrayed by a close and trusted friend. Yet Jesus already had foreknowledge of his betrayal by Judas (John 13:21-26), and so must not have trusted him. When the gospel of John (13:18) quotes from Psalm 41:9, it tacitly admits this problem by omitting the phrase "in whom I trusted." Neither verse from the Hebrew scriptures gives any indication of being intended as prophetic." } 34. sold for 30 pieces of silver James J. Lippard wrote: " Matthew 26:14-15 states that Judas Iscariot was paid thirty pieces of silver by the Jewish priests as payment for his betrayal. Matthew 27:9 claims that this is done to fulfill a prophecy of Jeremiah. Actually, the verse in question is Zechariah 11:12, which says, "And I said to them, 'If it is good in your sight, give me my wages; but if not, never mind!' So they weighed out thirty shekels of silver as my wages." This verse is Zechariah himself speaking to the people. The following verse (Zechariah 11:13) says, "Then the Lord said to me, 'Throw it to the potter, that magnificent price at which I was valued by them.' So I took the thirty shekels of silver and threw them to the potter in the house of the Lord." Again, this is Zechariah speaking of his own experience. But Matthew 27:5-7 tells a story of Judas Iscariot throwing his payment into the temple before committing suicide, after which the priests used the money to buy a potter's field. This story does not appear in the other gospels (though Acts 1:18-19 says that Judas himself bought a field with the (unspecified amount of) money earned by his betrayal)." } 35. money to be thrown in God's house } 36. price given for Potter's field COX, RALPH LUTHER, III writes: " We are told that Jesus was betrayed while in Jerusalem by one of his followers, Judas Iscariot. Matthew writes, [Mt 27.5-10] And throwing down the pieces of silver in the temple, [Judas] departed... But, the chief priests, taking the silver, said, "It isn't lawful for us to put it in the treasury, since it is blood money." So they... bought a potter's field with it to bury strangers in... Then was fulfilled what was spoken by the prophet Jeremiah, "And they took the thirty pieces of silver, the price of him on whom a price had been set by some of the sons of Israel, and they gave them for the potter's field, as the lord directed me." This prophecy is an utterly gross bastardisation of Old Testament Scripture. First, Matthew has made a mistake regarding the name of the prophet. It is Zechariah who utters the verses which Matthew makes use of. [Zech. 11.12-13] ...And they weighed out my wages, thirty shekels of silver. Then YHVH said to me, "Cast them to the treasury," --the lordly price at which I was paid off by them. So I took the thirty shekels of silver and cast them into the treasury in the house of YHVH. First of all, the verses of Zechariah do not deal with a betrayer of the messiah, or of G'd. The deal with a shepherd, most likely a priest, chosen to serve a function of presiding over the people shortly before G'd would send Judah and Israel into conflict with one another. The word, "treasury," had been replaced by the King James Scholars with "to the potter," precisely because this made Matthew's quote fit better. But, this is a blatant error. The correct translation of the Hebrew is indeed "treasury," which also makes perfect sense in Zechariah's context, whereas "potter's field" is totally unrelated. Whether the mistranslation was intentional or not seems to be beyond speculation. However, given Matthew's track record, one finds it hard to resist the notion of intentional dishonesty. Of course, Matthew would have ample reason for altering the text. The thirty pieces of silver match Judas's situation, and if as most Christians seem to be, the reader is willing to disregard the contextual incongruity, Matthew might have another prophecy to toss around. However, the correct translation of Zechariah directly contradicts the situation with Judas and the high priests. The high priests would not put the money in the treasury. The worthless shepherd of Zechariah does exactly the opposite! Of course, to the average Thursday-Night Bible student, the "prophecy" as presented by Matthew would be taken at New Testament face value. To those, Matthew's work is convincing enough." } 37. forsaken by his disciples ZEC 13:7 Awake, O sword, against my shepherd, and against the man that is my fellow, saith the LORD of hosts: smite the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered: and I will turn mine hand upon the little ones. Funny. I seem to remember more along the lines of "Father, forgive them". I don't seem to recall a lot of smiting, getting the little ones, or zapping the shepard. Seems to be an identity/situation confusion. } 38. accused by false witnesses PSA 35:11 False witnesses did rise up; they laid to my charge things that I knew not. How odd. I though he knew everything. Must be a different reference. } 39. dumb before accusers ISA 53:7 He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth. Herman Rubin writes: "The Torah unconditionally prohibits an accused person testifying against himself in a capital case. The trial account has Jesus answering , "Thou sayest." } 40. wounded and bruised ISA 52:13 Behold, my servant shall deal prudently, he shall be exalted and extolled, and be very high. ISA 52:14 As many were astonied at thee; his visage was so marred more than any man, and his form more than the sons of men: ISA 52:15 So shall he sprinkle many nations; the kings shall shut their mouths at him: for that which had not been told them shall they see; and that which they had not heard shall they con- sider. ISA 53:1 Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the LORD revealed? ISA 53:2 For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him. ISA 53:3 He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. ISA 53:4 Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sor- rows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and af- flicted. ISA 53:5 But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. McDowell has a problem with sequence? This is the block right BEFORE the last one. Maybe he is afraid of context? Which includes exhalted and extolled, and obeyed by kings. Another of David's praises. } 41. smitten and spit upon ISA 50:5 The Lord GOD hath opened mine ear, and I was not rebel- lious, neither turned away back. ISA 50:6 I gave my back to the smiters, and my cheeks to them that plucked off the hair: I hid not my face from shame and spit- ting. ISA 50:7 For the Lord GOD will help me; therefore shall I not be confounded: therefore have I set my face like a flint, and I know that I shall not be ashamed. Doesn't look like a prophecy. Looks like a prayer. } 42. mocked PSA 22:6 But I am a worm, and no man; a reproach of men, and despised of the people. PSA 22:7 All they that see me laugh me to scorn: they shoot out the lip, they shake the head, saying, PSA 22:8 He trusted on the LORD that he would deliver him: let him deliver him, seeing he delighted in him. Jesus thought of himself as a worm? Or maybe JOSH thought of him as a worm. Or maybe different person, and is the writer humbling himself... } 43. fell under the cross PSA 109:21 But do thou for me, O GOD the Lord, for thy name's sake: because thy mercy is good, deliver thou me. PSA 109:22 For I am poor and needy, and my heart is wounded within me. PSA 109:23 I am gone like the shadow when it declineth: I am tossed up and down as the locust. PSA 109:24 My knees are weak through fasting; and my flesh faileth of fatness. PSA 109:25 I became also a reproach unto them: when they looked upon me they shaked their heads. PSA 109:26 Help me, O LORD my God: O save me according to thy mercy: Oh come on. This is obviously a prayer TO God, not a prophecy ABOUT God. Context!!! } 44. hands and feet pierced James J. Lippard wrote: "There are several verses taken to refer to crucifixion: Psalms 22:16, Zechariah 12:10, and Zechariah 13:6 are typical examples. Psalms 22:16 reads, "For dogs have surrounded me; a band of evildoers has encompassed me; they pierced my hands and my feet." The Hebrew word translated here as "pierced" is "ariy," which means "lion." A more accurate translation would be "like a lion [they are gnawing at] my hands and feet." (Sigal 1981, p. 98) Zechariah 12:10 says "they will look on me whom they have pierced; and they will mourn for him, as one mourns for an only son ...." The gospel of John (19:37) takes this as prophecy fulfilled by Jesus' crucifixion, but there is no indication that this speaks of crucifixion. Further, the "him" being mourned for is not the "me" that is being pierced. The Jewish interpretation of this verse is that God is speaking of the people of Israel being "pierced" or attacked (Sigal 1981, pp. 80- 82). Zechariah 13:6 speaks of "these wounds between your arms," spoken of one who claims not to be a prophet and to have been sold as a slave in his youth (Zechariah 13:5). Wounds between one's arms are not characteristic of crucifixion, and Jesus was neither sold as a slave nor claimed not to be a prophet." } 45. cruicfied with thieves COX, RALPH LUTHER, III wrote: " After his arrest, Jesus is quickly executed for claiming the Jewish kingship, messiahship. According to one version of the gospel tale, Jesus gets executed along with two thieves. [Mk 15.27] And with him they crucified two robbers, one on his right, one on his left. And so the scripture was fulfilled which says, "He was reckoned with the transgressors." Here, Mark is trying to link Jesus to a passage in Isaiah 53, about the servant nation of Israel. The passage is not about the messiah, for if one reads the whole chapter of Isaiah 53, and its surrounding chapters, one sees that the servant is a nation. The verses are also about what this servant has gone through in the past, not a prediction of what is to come, in any event. The servant is thought of as a criminal. This also happens to fit the description of Jesus. Had the passage really been about the messiah, it still is not at all clear why executing Jesus between two thieves would fulfill the "prophecy" in Isaiah. Jesus would more fittingly fulfill it with his whole ministry. He was considered a blasphemer and troublemaker all throughout his career. Locking onto a single event is a rather poor way to steal prophecy, at least in this case, as we see that Mark could have had made a better analogy with general comparisons." } 46. made intercession for his persecuters Odd, this is the same that is cursing to destruction (see text on #53). } 47. rejected by his own people ISA 53:3 He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. ISA 53:10 Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand. ISA 53:11 He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities. ISA 53:12 Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors. This is from the block by David from before. McDowell really seems worried about context. Anyway, where is the seed of Jesus, I don't recall his days being extended, ... } 48. hated without a cause PSA 69:4 They that hate me without a cause are more than the hairs of mine head: they that would destroy me, being mine enem- ies wrongfully, are mighty: then I restored that which I took not away. PSA 69:5 O God, thou knowest my foolishness; and my sins are not hid from thee. Jesus was aware of his foolishness? Methinks McDowell has confused David with Jesus again... } 49. friends stood afar off See also #37. PSA 38:11 My lovers and my friends stand aloof from my sore; and my kinsmen stand afar off. I must have missed Jesus's lovers. And looking earlier: PSA 38:4 For mine iniquities are gone over mine head: as an heavy burden they are too heavy for me. followed by an extensive description of various diseases. I didn't know that Jesus was badly diseased and had extensive iniquities. Or maybe this is someone else praying? } 50. people shook their heads PSA 109:24 My knees are weak through fasting; and my flesh faileth of fatness. PSA 109:25 I became also a reproach unto them: when they looked upon me they shaked their heads. PSA 109:26 Help me, O LORD my God: O save me according to thy mercy: Not "thy will be done"? Whence the fasting? Maybe someone else? } 51. stared upon PSA 22:17 I may tell all my bones: they look and stare upon me. further down same prayer. } 52. garments parted and lots cast James J. Lippard wrote: " Only the gospel of John speaks of Jesus' garments being divided among the soldiers and their casting of lots for his tunic (John 19:23-24), and he cites Psalms 22:18 as the prophecy which is thereby fulfilled. This latter verse reads, "They divide my garments among them, and for my clothing they cast lots." This verse tells of one event--clothing being divided by the casting of lots. But John transforms it into two events: first the division of Jesus' clothing apart from his tunic (John 19:23) and then casting of lots for his tunic (John 19:24). It appears that John created a story in an attempt to provide a fulfillment for his misunderstanding of a verse which gives no indication of being a prophecy in the first place." } 53. to suffer thirst PSA 69:19 Thou hast known my reproach, and my shame, and my dishonour: mine adversaries are all before thee. PSA 69:20 Reproach hath broken my heart; and I am full of heavi- ness: and I looked for some to take pity, but there was none; and for comforters, but I found none. PSA 69:21 They gave me also gall for my meat; and in my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink. PSA 69:22 Let their table become a snare before them: and that which should have been for their welfare, let it become a trap. PSA 69:23 Let their eyes be darkened, that they see not; and make their loins continually to shake. PSA 69:24 Pour out thine indignation upon them, and let thy wrathful anger take hold of them. PSA 69:25 Let their habitation be desolate; and let none dwell in their tents. PSA 69:26 For they persecute him whom thou hast smitten; and they talk to the grief of those whom thou hast wounded. PSA 69:27 Add iniquity unto their iniquity: and let them not come into thy righteousness. PSA 69:28 Let them be blotted out of the book of the living, and not be written with the righteous. First he talks about his own shame and dishonor, then expresses reproach and asks for pity, then curses them that God should kill them and destroy where they live. Funny, but this just doesn't sound like "thy will be done" and "Father, forgive them". } 54. gall and vinegar offered him See my extract directly above. James J. Lippard wrote: " Matthew (27:34) speaks of Jesus being given "wine to drink mingled with gall" and Mark (15:23) says he was offered "wine mixed with myrrh." These are both taken to be references to Psalms 69:21, which says "they gave me gall for my food, and for my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink." The Hebrew word here translated as "gall" is "rosh," meaning poison or gall, and referring to some poisonous plant. The verse says that poison is being put into food, which does not apply to the crucifixion. Myrrh, which is not poisonous, is referred to by the Hebrew word "mor," which does not appear in Psalms 69:21. This psalm, which speaks repeatedly of flood waters, gives no indication of being either prophetic or of applying to Jesus." COX, RALPH LUTHER, III wrote: Then, Jesus is led away to be crucified. [Mt 27.34-35] ...they gave him vinegar to drink, mingled with gall; but when he tasted it, he would not drink it. And, when they had crucified him, they divided his garments among them by casting lots: that it might be fulfilled what was spoken by the prophet, "They parted my garments among them, and upon my vesture did they cast lots." First of all, the vinegar offered to Jesus is actually common sour wine, of the type that Roman soldiers drank regularly. We find that right before Jesus dies, the soldiers themselves give him some to drink --not polluted with gall. [Jn 19.28-30] Jesus... said, "I thirst." A bowl of vinegar stood there, so they put a sponge full of the vinegar on hyssop and held it to his mouth. When he had received the vinegar, he said, "It is finished;" But, Matthew seems to be drawing on, not a passage from the prophets, but one from the Psalms. [Ps 69.20-28] I looked for pity, but there was none; and for comforters, but I found none. They gave me poison for food (lit. they put gall in my meat), and for my thirst, they gave me vinegar to drink... Add to them punishment upon punishment, may they have no acquittal from thee. Let them be blotted out of the Book of the Living. Of course, the sour wine offered to Jesus is done at his request of drink. This does indeed seem to be a show of pity. The psalm quoted is about David and his political and military enemies. It is not about the messiah or Jesus. It is then not surprising that we run into further problem when we see that the "Jesus" in the psalm asks G'd for the damnation of the "crucifiers," whereas the Jesus of the gospels says, [Lk 23.34] Jesus said, "Father, forgive them, the don't know what they do!" Further, Matthew misses with his attempt to create prophecy by having gall (a bitter substance) put into Jesus's drink, not his meat, as the psalm stipulates." } 55. his forsaken cry psalms 22:1a mathew 27:46 } 56. committed himself to god psalm 31:5 luke 23:46 note that here we have TWO different last words. And they are DIFFERENT. James J. Lippard writes on 55 & 56: " The gospels of Matthew (27:46) and Mark (15:34) give Jesus' last words as "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me," a quotation of Psalms 22:1. Luke (23:46) gives "Father, into thy hands I commit my spirit" as Jesus' final words, while John (19:30) has Jesus say "It is finished." Only the first of these is claimed to be fulfillment of prophecy, yet it is hardly miraculous that Jesus would make such a statement. Presumably Jesus was familiar with the Hebrew scriptures. Such a remark, however, is inconsistent with Christian theology. Why would Jesus, supposed to be God incarnate, speak of being forsaken by himself at all, let alone at the culmination of his plan for human salvation? It is also not apparent that Psalms 22 is either prophetic or applicable to Jesus (see Sigal 1981, pp. 95-99)." } 57. bones not broken James J. Lippard wrote: " A final prophecy I wish to examine relating to the crucifixion is that Jesus' bones would not be broken. It is only the gospel of John (19:32-36) which tells of soldiers breaking the legs of the crucifixion victims to hasten their deaths, yet sparing Jesus because he was already dead. John 19:36 cites Psalms 34:20, "He keeps all his bones; not one of them is broken," as the prophecy which is thereby fulfilled. There is no indication that Psalms 34 is intended as prophetic, nor that it applies to Jesus. The intent in the gospel of John is to represent Jesus as a sacrifice, specifically corresponding to the paschal lamb (e.g., John 1:29, 36). A requirement of the paschal lamb is that none of its bones be broken (Exodus 12:46, Numbers 9:12). But this analogy fails for several reasons: the paschal lamb was not for the atonement of sin, and Jewish sacrifices were required to be completely without blemish, sore, or injury (Leviticus 22:20-25) while Jesus was scourged and mutilated (John 19:1; Sigal 1981, pp. 265-268)." } 58. heart broken PSA 22:8 He trusted on the LORD that he would deliver him: let him deliver him, seeing he delighted in him. .... PSA 22:14 I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint: my heart is like wax; it is melted in the midst of my bowels. Looks more like a prayer than a prophecy."Thy will be done" and such... Doesn't look much like a coronary description, either. COX, RALPH LUTHER, III writes: "The reference to the piercing looks a lot like Jesus's crucifixion. John's gospel recount, written about 70 years after the fact, tells us at Jesus's execution, [Jn 19.34,37] But one of the soldiers pierced his side with a spear, and out came blood and water... these things took place that Scripture be fulfilled... "The will look on him whom they've pierced." Of course, this is built on a passage taken blatantly out of context. Prophet Zechariah tells us how much of the nation of Israel will split off from Jerusalem and Judah and go to war with them. [Zc 12.7-10] And YHVH will give victory to Judah... And on that day, I will seek to destroy the nations that come against Jerusalem (in Judah). And I will pour a spirit of compassion and supplication... on Jerusalem so that when they look on him who they have pierced, they will mourn, and weep bitterly over him like you weep over a firstborn child." } 60. darkness over the land yet nobody else seems to have noticed. Anyway: AMO 8:1 Thus hath the Lord GOD shewed unto me: and behold a basket of summer fruit. AMO 8:2 And he said, Amos, what seest thou? And I said, A basket of summer fruit. Then said the LORD unto me, The end is come upon my people of Israel; I will not again pass by them any more. AMO 8:3 And the songs of the temple shall be howlings in that day, saith the Lord GOD: there shall be many dead bodies in every place; they shall cast them forth with silence. AMO 8:4 Hear this, O ye that swallow up the needy, even to make the poor of the land to fail, AMO 8:5 Saying, When will the new moon be gone, that we may sell corn? and the sabbath, that we may set forth wheat, making the ephah small, and the shekel great, and falsifying the balances by deceit? AMO 8:6 That we may buy the poor for silver, and the needy for a pair of shoes; yea, and sell the refuse of the wheat? AMO 8:7 The LORD hath sworn by the excellency of Jacob, Surely I will never forget any of their works. AMO 8:8 Shall not the land tremble for this, and every one mourn that dwelleth therein? and it shall rise up wholly as a flood; and it shall be cast out and drowned, as by the flood of Egypt. AMO 8:9 And it shall come to pass in that day, saith the Lord GOD, that I will cause the sun to go down at noon, and I will darken the earth in the clear day: AMO 8:10 And I will turn your feasts into mourning, and all your songs into lamentation; and I will bring up sackcloth upon all loins, and baldness upon every head; and I will make it as the mourning of an only son, and the end thereof as a bitter day. AMO 8:11 Behold, the days come, saith the Lord GOD, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD: AMO 8:12 And they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east, they shall run to and fro to seek the word of the LORD, and shall not find it. AMO 8:13 In that day shall the fair virgins and young men faint for thirst. AMO 8:14 They that swear by the sin of Samaria, and say, Thy god, O Dan, liveth; and, The manner of Beersheba liveth; even they shall fall, and never rise up again. Looks more like the fall of Israel. Which would suprise the current inhabitants. I must have missed the ground swallowing up people, balding, the fainiting virgins,.... Looks more like the same old "threats from the prophet" like elsewhere. They appeared to have been big on threats. } 61. buried in rich man's tomb ISA 53:8 He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he strick- en. ISA 53:9 And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth. ISA 53:10 Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand. Interesting that this rich tomb is among the wicked, and that he is suppose to have children... } objection: fulfilled prophecy in Jesus was deliberate } ans: things beyond his control but the recording of them was not beyond the control of those who followed him, and the items mentioned are recorded NOWHERE else. } objection: fulfilled prophecy in Jesus was coincidence } ans: not all 61 However, we can note that they are not independent, nor verifiable. And his math/statistics is TERRIBLE. James J. Lippard wrote: "It is worth briefly examining some conclusions regarding messianic prophecies quite contrary to mine presented by Peter Stoner (1952) (and repeated in McDowell (1972)). Stoner calculates the probability of just eight messianic prophecies(5) being fulfilled as 1 in 10 Stoner's book, gives the probability as 1 in 10 number of problems with Stoner's calculations. The probability of each prophecy being fulfilled by chance was arrived at by getting an estimate from "a class in Christian Evidences" at Pasadena City College sponsored by Inter-Varsity Christian Fellowship (Stoner 1952, p. 71). These estimates did not consider any of the above objections to these prophecies, nor did they consider the possibility of intentional fulfillment. (For example, a messiah claimant might hire a John-the-Baptist-style messenger to precede him, or intentionally ride a donkey into the city of Jerusalem.) Another problem with this method is that such probability estimates are notoriously unreliable.(6) Of these problems, the most serious is Stoner's failure to consider the objections I have offered above, and it alone is sufficient to invalidate his calculations." } The time of the Messiah's coming (really counts on Daniel 9) James J. Lippard wrote: "Here's what Dennis McKinsey has to say about it, in issue #79 (July 1989) of _Biblical Errancy_: (67) [i.e., this is the 67th messianic prophecy he's analyzing] DAN. 9:24-25 ("Seventy weeks (69 x 7 = 483 years) are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins...and to anoint the most Holy...from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks and threescore and two weeks (7 + 62 = 69) and (69 x 7 = 483 years): the street shall be built again, and the wall even in troublous times.") This begins, of course, the famous prophecy of Daniel which apologists have seized with maximum celerity. Unfortunately, problems abound. (a) The words "week" and "weeks" come from the Hebrew word which means 7 days, not 7 years. (b) Unlike the RSV which says, "Seventy weeks of years," the KJV says "Seventy weeks." These weeks are real weeks of seven days each, not years. Dan. 10:2-4 shows as much: b1. "I Daniel was mourning 3 full weeks." Would he mourn 21 years? b2. "I ate no pleasant bread, neither came flesh nor wine in my mouth, neither did I anoint myself at all, till 3 whole weeks are fulfilled." Would he have gone without eating these things for 21 years? b3. [...etc. -jjl] (c) 483 years were supposed to elapse from the command to rebuild Jerusalem to the coming of Jesus. The decree of Cyrus to rebuild the temple and Jerusalem was made in 536 B.C. (Isa. 44:28) which is 532 years before the birth of Jesus in 4 B.C., not 483 years. The prophecy was 49 years short. (d) The KJV says "the most Holy," which implies a person, not a place; while the RSV says "a most holy place" and shows a place, not a person, is referred to. (e) The word "Messiah" is never applied to the expected deliverer of the Israelites in the whole Bible. It is indifferently applied to kings, priests, prophets, and those who are inducted into their office. (f) In order to make "Messiah the Prince" apply to Jesus one must distort the text because he was no prince or "Nagid." The Hebrew word "nagid" always denotes a prince or ruler with temporal authority which Jesus lacked. (68) DAN. 9:26: ("And after threescore and two weeks (62) or (7 x 62 = 434 years) shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood..."). (a) After what? If after Cyrus' decree in 536 B.C., there is a problem. Jesus died in 33 A.D. according to most accounts. From 536 B.C. to 33 A.D. is 569 years. 569 years exceeds 434 years by 135 years. The prophecy is 135 years short. (b) If after Jesus' birth, it would mean Jesus lived to be 434 years old. (c) How could Jesus be cut off, i.e., die, after 62 weeks when verse 25 said he would not be born or appear until after 69 weeks? (d) The word "and" implies that Jerusalem was destroyed when the Messiah came. Yet, this did not occur until 70 A.D. which was more than 40 years after the Messiah was cut off. (e) When was Jerusalem ever destroyed by a literal flood? Apologists will, no doubt, abandon their literal approach and claim this is referring to a flood of people." Jim adds: "McKinsey is all wet about the weeks vs. days point. In the Hebrew it's pretty clear--the verses he cites in ch. 10 of Daniel explicitly add the word "day" after the word for "seven," but not so in ch. 9. It is pretty clear that years, not days, are meant in ch. 9. McKinsey also uses Cyrus' decree as the beginning point, whereas McDowell argues that that is incorrect (his discussion of Daniel comes at the end of the section on messianic prophecies). But as McDowell's discussion makes clear, there are at least *four* possible beginning points for the prophecy; Christians choose the one that fits best. I haven't done any calculating on this yet, but take a look at where McDowell does this "reduction of weeks to days" to get 173,880 days. What's this business with 360-day years he's thrown in there in order to get the number he wants? He's left out 2,415 days from 365-day years, and another 120 or so days for leap years. (McDowell does say something earlier about why he uses 360-day years, but I don't really see a justification for it.)" Jim later adds: "I went to the library and checked out Gerald Sigal's book again (_The Jew and the Christian Missionary: A Jewish Response to Missionary Christianity_, 1981, Ktav Publishing House). Chapter 26 of his book is titled "Daniel's Seventy Weeks" and rebuts the claims you have put forth about Daniel's prophecies. Sigal's criticisms may be summarized as follows: 1. Mistranslation. The King James Version makes a number of translation mistakes. (I have checked the New American Standard, and most of these mistakes are corrected there.) These include: putting a definite article before "Messiah the Prince," ignoring the punctuation mark 'atnah in verse 25 (NAS ignores it, too), omitting the definite article before "sixty-two weeks" in verse 26, and translating "v'ayn lo" in verse 26 as "but not for himself" instead of "he shall have nothing." 2. Bad counting. By leaving out the 'atnah in verse 25, the Christian interpretation of the prophecy is that something will occur after 69 weeks--that is, the distinction between the seven weeks and the 62 weeks is removed. According to Sigal, the correct translation is "...until an anointed one, a prince, shall be seven weeks; then for sixty-two weeks it shall be built again." That is, mashiach (messiah) spoken of in this prophecy is supposed to come after seven weeks, not after 69 weeks. Sigal also discusses the claim of a 360-day "prophetic year" and argues that there is no support for such a concept in the Hebrew scriptures. 3. Incorrect starting point. Sigal rejects the claim that the decree mentioned is properly dated at the time of Nehemiah. Artaxerxes gave Nehemiah permission to rebuild; there was no commandment or decree. In fact, the permission Nehemiah was given was not specifically to rebuild Jerusalem, but for safe conduct through Persian provinces (Nehemiah 2:7) and to use lumber from the royal forests (Nehemiah 2:8). Sigal instead argues that the decree described here must be the decree of Cyrus to rebuild Jerusalem (around 537 B.C.E.). This occurred 49 years after the destruction of Jerusalem and was completed seventy years after the destruction." } bibliography: The unbiased biobliography contains work from the Biblical Research Society, an encyclopedia, the Liturgical Press, Sovereign Grace Publishers, Concordia Publishing House, Southern Methodist Publishing House, and a lot from Moody press again. } Chapter 10. The Resurrection - Hoax or History (p 179) } The Importance of the resurrection straight pleading to authority. The authorities used were from Christian Apologetics: Grand Rapids, a book titled "The Resurrection of Our Lord", from the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, the dictionary of the Apostolic Church, and similar "experts". What the heck would you expect them to say? Sort of like getting praise of Catholicism from the Pope. } The Claims of christ that he would be raised from the dead } The importance of the claims Unsubstantiated claims by a biased authority figure. Null content. } the claims as given by Jesus WHAT claims given by Jesus? I am unaware of anything written by Jesus, or any document at all from the time, or anything not controlled by an involved party. } The Historical Approach } A time-space dimension event Big unsubstantiated lead in by a writer from Christianity Today. } Ignatius (Bishop of Antioch, pupil of Apostle John) This guy was not born until 50AD. } Justin Martin (100-150 years later) } Tertullian (born ca 160) } Josephus Remember this list from earlier? No direct knowledge from ANY of them. } Professor Leaney pleading to authority. So? } Bernard Ramm pleading to authority published in Moody Press. His information comes almost entirely from Acts, which isn't even CLAIMED to have been written by a witness. } Clark Pinnock like the above, this is straight pleading to an authority who uses Acts. In this case he writes for Christianity Today. } The testimony of history and law Herman Rubin writes: "There are many procedural errors there, so many that one is surprised that the story survived in that form. I have no references, and some of these procedural errors I have not read myself. The Torah (the first five books of the Bible) specifies that conviction in a capital case requires two witnesses to the same act. The trial account says that they could not be found. The Torah unconditionally prohibits an accused person testifying against himself in a capital case. The trial account has Jesus answering , "Thou sayest." These are from the Torah, and there is little doubt that a Sanhedrin would not have directly contradicted Torah. In fact, the Talmud gives many extensions of these restrictions, so that it is stated that a death penalty rarely occurred. Here are some more considerations, from the Talmud. A judge cannot pronounce a death penalty on the day of the trial. He must sleep on it. A judge must have an opportunity to change a verdict from guilty to not guilty. The converse is not allowed. Some other historical points. Herod removed the right to try capital cases from the Sanhedrin. And procurators could, and did, select the High Priest from those eligible. Pilate was procurator for 12 years, and Caiaphas was High Priest for 11. The best conjecture I have heard on this is that a court with formal similarity to a Sanhedrin, and operating under Roman law, was convened. Its members may or may not have all been priests; being a priest was not a requirement for being a member of a Sanhedrin, and most were not." } The testimony of early church fathers } The Resurrection Scene } Jesus was dead Interesting, that while Josh does present some of the counter-claims, those that agree with his case are prefixed with "great" or "vivid" and those against his theme are labelled "utterly unfounded". } the tomb This is where, when Professor Guignhert claims otherwise, Josh takes off with "absolutely no supporting evidence" and "totally disregards" and generally insults any way he thinks he can get away with when the Professor lead off with "The truth is that we do not know." What a hypocrite. } the burial } the stone } the seal } the guard This is not universally accepted as true even amongst those who believe the scenario. The guard might have been a roman guard. But a case is also made for it to be a TEMPLE guard. } the disciples } the post-resurrection appearances } The empty tomb So's mine. So's Dracula's. So? } The grave clothes. The argumets appear like those used with the Shroud of Turin. } The seal It seems axiomic that if the stone was moved the seal would be broken. That is a no-information statement. Now, if the stone were moved and the seal were NOT broken, that would be more of notice. } The Roman Guard It is not conclusive that there WAS aRoman guard. Arguments can easily be made (and supported) that the guard was a Temple Guard. } Jesus was alive - post-resurrection appearances (p 223) >Whom did they see at the tomb? MAT 28:2 And, behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it. MAT 28:3 His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow: MAT 28:4 And for fear of him the keepers did shake, and became as dead men. MAT 28:5 And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified. MAR 16:5 And entering into the sepulchre, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, clothed in a long white garment; and they were affrighted. LUK 24:4 And it came to pass, as they were much perplexed thereabout, behold, two men stood by them in shining garments: JOH 20:12 And seeth two angels in white sitting, the one at the head, and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain. } importance of appearances Total argument is an appeal to authority. } Mary Magdalene Interesting that she didn't record anything. No direct evidence. } women returning to the tomb > Who was at the Empty Tomb? Is it : MAT 28:1 In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre. MAR 16:1 And when the sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, had bought sweet spices, that they might come and anoint him. JOH 20:1 The first day of the week cometh Mary Magdalene early, when it was yet dark, unto the sepulchre, and seeth the stone taken away from the sepulchre. } Peter later in the day nothing recorded. Only hearsay from Luke. And lots of others CLAIMED. But none of these claimed hundreds seemed to think it worthy of recording anyplace else. } The enemies of Christ gave no refutation of the resurection Unfortunately, this just doesn't happen to be true. } They were silent Very odd. This is the opposite conclusion from the same conditions that he used earlier with the virgin birth. It would appear that his logic changes to match the desired conclusion. That makes it suspect in both cases. } they mocked Gee, imagine that. In the face of his "convincing evidence" the people AT THE TIME didn't believe it. } Established Historical Fact But in this section he didn't give fact one, just pleading from an "authority" who published in 1906 a phamplet published by the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge and one from the publisher of a Christian Apologetics book. } Established Psychological Facts } the transformed lives of the disciples The same bookstore uses descriptors of this like to identify members of cults while at the same time claiming that the cult is founded upon falsehoods. Logic shift? } the transformed lives of 1900 years of history. I'd claim more for Aristotle. } The Verdict Given that all his "evidence" is circumstantial, hearsay, prejudiced,... I think not. } Established Sociological Facts } An institution: The Christian Church There are a lot of other churches. Hence, no strict conclusion on the relationship may be made. All of his references are from acts. } The phenomenon of the Christian Sunday Yes? }The phenomena of christian sacraments } Communion Oh, give me a break. With all the stuff that is printed on the non-christian communions?!?!? } Baptism Odd, but there seem to be references to baptism in the bible as having happened before Jesus was born. Hence, it could not very well be a result of something that had not happened yet. } The historical phenomena of the church This is NOT the oldest church. By a long shot. (Wiccan, Druid,...) } Inadequate Theories concocted to explain away the resurrection He seems to do just a little prejudgement with this title. Or perhaps he is only covering the inadequate ones and not the adequate ones? } The swooooon theory Notice that he isn't beyond a little mudslinging. The refudiation is done by someone really unbiased: a guy from Scripture Press Publications. An additional note: while the arguments against the theory are almost entirely medical, no medical credentials are evident. } The Theft theory } The view: the disciples stole the body This was popular amongst those of the time. In fact, Josh (accidently?) gives historic references. His refudiation is entirely a plea to authority. Heavy on opinion, low on evidence. } The refutation } The empty tomb has to be explained somehow Why? He has not yet shown it existed in the first place. } The hallucination theory } That the women, and subsequently everyone else, went to the wrong } tomb Well, since the accounts given do not even agree on who was there, they confused something... Conclusion: He is risen, he is risen indeed. Not from McDowell's data it isn't. } biography His unbiased references include a few references from Christianity Today, publications from The Christian Literature Company, the American Baptist Publication Society, the Society for Promoting christian Knowledge, the New Bible Dictionary, an unpublished few thesis from the Dallas Theological Seminary, the Jewish Encyclopedia, Scripture Press Publications, class notes from Talbot Theological Seminary, articles from Christianity Today, publications from the Publishing House of the United Evangelical Church, and a few again from Moody Press.


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