Why I Don’t Trust The Bible – The New Testament authors misuse Hebrew scriptures

This is part 3 of a series (see part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4, part 5). 

I often tell people that if it were not for the Old Testament, I would probably still be a devout Christian. Based on my personal experience, it’s more common to find Old Testament scholars who are liberals or unbelievers than it is to find New Testament scholars of the same disposition (though the field is certainly filled with all kinds of scholars).

So what makes the Old Testament so difficult? There are lots of issues that are strange for the modern reader, ranging from moral atrocities and scientific absurdities, to strange rituals or customs. Yet it was not merely these elements of the of the Old testament that caused me to abandon the Bible as a “moral compass,” but also seeing how the New Testament authors interpreted and assimilated the ancient Hebrew text to the point of “taking it out of context.” If I used the same biblical hermeneutic that the NT authors used, I would fail every single bible interpretation course available today, from conservative and liberal seminaries. And that… just feels odd.

For example, if you grow up a Christian you will often hear these grand statements about ancient prophecies that were recorded in the Hebrew Bible and fulfilled in the Christian New testament, and yet, upon closer inspection all of these are completely taken out of context. In this post we will survey some of the popular places where the abuse of the OT by the NT writers creates a cacophonous disharmony in this book that is purported to be divinely harmonious.
Basically, there are many “oops” moments where a careful reader of the text can be nearly certain the NT writers made mistakes and misunderstood, misappropriated, misremembered, and very loosely paraphrased certain passages to the point of changing the meaning, and this bodes very unwell for claims that this book is without error.

 

OUT OF CONTEXT PROPHECIES

There are dozens of examples of this (in fact, if you’ve ever seen those famous lists of “300 prophecies Jesus fulfilled” you will find that Jewish scholars persuasively argue that every single one of them is clearly out of context or misunderstood). Since we don’t have time for 300, lets looks at some of the most well-known examples.

 

1. Oops, the wrong virgin

WHAT IT IS: In Mat 1:23, the Gospel author writes that Jesus’ birth fulfilled a famous prophecy from Isaiah. “Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.”

HOW THEY MESSED UP: The prophecy cited can be found in Isaiah 7:14. The problem is, it wasn’t a prophecy about the distant future, instead Isaiah was speaking to people in his own time. More specifically, in context the prophecy given was to King Ahaz of Judah, who was currently at war against the nations of Israel and Syria. Isaiah’s prophecy is that that the birth of this child would serve as a sign to Ahaz that his enemies would be destroyed swiftly.

  • “In the days of Ahaz… Rezin the king of Syria and Pekah the king of Israel came up to Jerusalem to wage war against it… And the Lord said to Isaiah, “Go out to meet Ahaz… and say to him, ‘Be careful, be quiet, do not fear, and do not let your heart be faint because of these two… “It shall not stand, and it shall not come to pass”… Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel. He shall eat curds and honey when he knows how to refuse the evil and choose the good. For before the boy knows how to refuse the evil and choose the good, the land whose two kings you dread will be deserted.” (Isaiah 7:1-16)

The prophecy, in context, clearly states this child grows up during the life of King Ahaz, who lived 700 years before the New Testament era.

HOW THEY MESSED UP EVEN MORE: In fact, Hebrew scholars say the Hebrew word almah doesn’t mean ‘virgin’ but ‘young woman.’ This is likely due to the fact that the popular Greek translation of the Hebrew Bible that was available to Matthew, called the Septuagint uses a Greek word, parthenos, that often means ‘virgin’ even when the original Hebrew does not. However, even parthenos doesn’t always refer to a true virgin, for example in Genesis 34:2-4 Shechem raped Dinah and she is afterwards called a parthenos, even though obviously is no longer a virgin. In any case, modern Bible translations like the seminary standard, the NRSV, have started using “young woman” instead of virgin.

HOW THEY MESSED UP A THIRD TIME: To make matters worse, 2 Chronicles 28 tells us the rest of this story and it turns out that the two kings in question, instead of failing in their war against Ahaz, as Isaiah had foretold, actually succeeded in destroying Ahaz and taking over Jerusalem, causing 120,000 of his people to be slaughtered. Jerusalem was plundered, and 200,000 women and children were carried into captivity. “Isaiahs prophecy” in chapter 7 predicted the exact opposite, it failed to predict the future. (Christians reply that the reason this prophecy failed was because Ahaz did not trust the Lord, so you know, it’s all okay, this Immanuel child was unnecessary after all, and no one saw that coming?)

 

2. Oops, it was David, not Jesus

WHAT IT IS: In Mat 27:35, the author states: “they crucified him, and parted his garments, casting lots: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, ‘They parted my garments among them, and upon my vesture did they cast lots.”

HOW THEY MESSED UP: Matthew is quoting Psalm 22:18 as a prophecy, but in the original passage it is not a prophecy but rather David begging to be physically saved. There is no mention of a future messiah, but simply Davids plea for deliverance from physical death. Reading the full text makes this very clear; it refers to David and his brothers, not Jesus the son of God:

  • they divide my garments among them, and for my clothing they cast lots. But you, O LORD, do not be far off! O you my help, come quickly to my aid! Deliver my soul from the sword, my precious life from the power of the dog! Save me from the mouth of the lion! You have rescued me from the horns of the wild oxen! I will tell of your name to my brothers; in the midst of the congregation I will praise you.

HOW THEY MESSED UP EVEN MORE: Most contemporary Bible translations have removed the latter part of the passage, deeming it a later addition, and it remains only in the KJV and other Textus Receptus based texts, including the Russian Synodal Translation.

 

3. Oops, the missing third day

WHAT IT IS:  In Luke 24:46, the gospel author narrates Jesus as saying: “Thus it is written and thus it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day.”

HOW THEY MESSED UP: Yet, there is no prophecy, or even purported prophecy in the Hebrew bible that states this, whether explicitly or implicitly.  The closest possibility is Hosea 6:2 “After two days will He revive us: on the third day He will raise us up, and we shall live before Him.” However, there is a slight problem with this passage, it is patently clear that this does not refer to Christ but to the Hebrew nation repenting of sin and being restored. Christ after all, never had to repent.

 

4. Oops, did Jesus sacrifice to idols?

WHAT IT IS: The author of Matthew writes of Jesus escaping to Egypt “And he rose and took the child and his mother by night and departed to Egypt… This was to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet, “Out of Egypt I called my son.”

HOW THEY MESSED UP: However, the original “prophecy” wasn’t something that could be “fulfilled” in the first place, instead it’s a song about the sinful nation of the Hebrews, who are collectively called “son.” If this passage was a prophecy about Jesus, it would also mean that Jesus sacrificed to idols.

  • “When Israel was a child, I loved him, and out of Egypt I called my son. The more they were called, the more they went away; they kept sacrificing to the Baals and burning offerings to idols.” (Hosea 11:1-2)

 

5. Oops, the dead children aren’t dead

WHAT IT IS: The author of Matthew (2:16-18) writes that: “Herod, when he saw that he had been tricked by the wise men, became furious, and he sent and killed all the male children in Bethlehem… Then was fulfilled what was spoken by the prophet Jeremiah (31:15) 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.”

HOW THEY MESSED UP: Matthew claims the “prophecy” of Jeremiah a fulfillment of the murder of children in Bethlehem. However, a careful reader of the Hebrew bible will note that in the original passage from Jeremiah, there is a section that speaks of the children returning from captivity in Babylon:

  •  “Rachel is weeping for her children; she refuses to be comforted for her children, because they are no more.“Thus says the Lord: “Keep your voice from weeping, and your eyes from tears, for there is a reward for your work, declares the Lord, and they shall come back from the land of the enemy.”

Dead children do not return “from the land of the enemy” and thus clearly the Jeremiah passage speaks of captivity, not the murder of babies.

 

6. Oops, the missing prophet

WHAT IT IS: The author of Matthew writes “In those days John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Judea, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” For this is he who was spoken of by the prophet Isaiah when he said, The voice of one crying in the wilderness:‘ Prepare the way of the Lord; make his paths straight.’”

HOW THEY MESSED UP: Herein Matthew claims that Johns ministry is prophesied in the Hebrew Bible? Is it? When you read the original passage you can see, manifestly clear, that it speaks of Jerusalem’s repentance after receiving double payment for sin, not about a “he” but about an “it.” There is nothing at all that is specific about (a) the future, (b) the Messiah or (c) John, but only about Jerusalem’s iniquity/forgiveness:

  • “Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and cry to her that her warfare is ended, that her iniquity is pardoned, that she has received from the Lord’s hand double for all her sins. A voice cries: “In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord; make straight in the desert a highway for our God. Every valley shall be lifted up, and every mountain and hill be made low; the uneven ground shall become level, and the rough places a plain. And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed” (Isaiah 40:2-5)

Also, note how Matthew changes “a voice” in the wilderness to “the voice of one” to make it refer to an actual person, when originally it refers to an impersonal sound.

 

7. Oops, the wrong book of the Bible

WHAT IT IS: Matthew 27:9-10, which summarizes Judas’ betrayal of Jesus ends the story by claiming that:

  • “Then was fulfilled what had been spoken by the prophet Jeremiah, saying, “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.”

HOW THEY MESSED UP: And yet, there is no clear mention of this prophecy in the book of Jeremiah. The closest one is Jeremiah 32:9 which states that “I bought the field which was at Anathoth from Hanamel my uncle’s son, and I weighed out the silver for him, seventeen shekels of silver.” Ironically enough, the famous Christian biblical scholar/apologist, Gleason Archer, tries to argue that this is the passage it refers to, but he does so dishonestly. Archer uses the phrase a certain number of shekelsinstead of quoting the text directly as seventeen shekelsin order to hide the big discrepancy from his readers (Encyclopedia of Bible Difficulties, 1982, p. 345).

The Matthew passage is actually much closer in structure to a passage in the writings of Zechariah, however, this passage is unmistakably about Zechariah writing of his own experiences, not a future prophecy about a betrayer named Judah.

  • “And they weighed out as my wages thirty pieces of silver.  Then the Lord said to me, “Throw it to the potter”—the lordly price at which I was priced by them. So I took the thirty pieces of silver and threw them into the house of the Lord, to the potter.  Then I broke my second staff Union, annulling the brotherhood between Judah and Israel. (Zech 11:12-13)

But what about Midrash or Pesher hermeneutics?

So how do Christians respond to all this? Conservative bible scholars point to a category of “prophecy” called pesher. The basic gist of it is that this kind of prophetic interpretation  includes a (1) primary contextual fulfillment and (2) secondary “hints” and glimpses.

For example, say we have a prophecy “Thus saith Thor, during the reign of Vijzerog, there will be a war between our people and the enemy, and we shall win the war.” The primary context is a war between two nations that happens during the reign of a specific ancient ruler who lived 1000 years ago. Using a pesher interpretation of prophecy we could take the ancient Germanic phrase “we will win the war” out of context, and use it to say “See, our current US regime was prophesized ‘to win the war’ in Iraq that we are fighting today!”

So basically, one can take anything out of context, and use it to say anything they want.

 

MISQUOTES OF THE OLD TESTAMENT

Most Christians know that there are hundreds of occasions where the NT authors quote the OT, but they don’t know that most of these quotes read differently than the original citation. The majority of this is due to the fact that there were (at least) two versions of the Hebrew bible that NT authors had access to, the Hebrew Masoretic text, and the Greek Septuagint, and these two have many have significant differences. There are also other occasions where NT authors had agendas that shaped the way they quoted these passages. And perhaps, there were simple mistakes, misquotes, and instances of bad memorization.

Each of these examples, on its own, isn’t very substantial, but as a whole, seeing this trend cast some doubt on the claims of biblical inerrancy. If there are multiple versions of the same text, which one is truly Gods inerrant word? Let’s looks at a couple of examples.

 

1. Oops, going from ‘you’ to ‘me’

HOW THEY QUOTE IT:  “As it is written in Isaiah the prophet: “Behold, I send my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way.” (Mark 1:2)

WHAT THE HEBREW ACTUALLY SAYS: Isaiah doesn’t have such a passage. The Old Testament passage that comes closest to Marks citation is written by a different prophet, Malachi: “Behold, I send my messenger, and he will prepare the way before me. And the Lord whom you seek will suddenly come to his temple; and the messenger of the covenant in whom you delight, behold, he is coming, says the LORD of hosts.” (Malachi 3:1)

Notice the biblical words “before me” are converted into “ahead of you” to fit the context.

 

2. Oops, not “praise” but “strength”

HOW THEY QUOTE IT: said to Him, “Do You hear what these children are saying?” And Jesus said to them, “Yes; have you never read, ‘Out of the mouth of infants and nursing babes you have prepared praise for yourself” (Matthew 21:16)

WHAT THE HEBREW ACTUALLY SAYS: Psalm 8:2 “From the mouth of infants and nursing babes You have established strength because of your adversaries to make the enemy and the revengeful cease.

The radical difference here is due to a divergence between the Septuagint and Masoretic texts (originally this was a mistranslation in the Greek, but since Matthew used a mistranslation we’re stuck with it.)

 

3. Oops, a voice becomes a person

HOW THEY QUOTE IT: “For this is the one referred to by Isaiah the prophet when he said, ‘the voice of the one crying in the wilderness, make ready the way of the lord, make his paths straight'” (Matthew 3:3)

WHAT THE HEBREW ACTUALLY SAYS:  A voice is calling, “Clear the way for the LORD in the wilderness; Make smooth in the desert a highway for our God.” (Isaiah 40:3)

Notice “a voice” is altered to “the voice of the one” in order to make this into a prophecy about a person, rather than using the description of a sound. This is used to change this passage into a prophecy about John. There are also other textual differences. Which instance of this passage contain the original words of God?

 

4. Oops, is receiving different than giving?

HOW THEY QUOTE IT:: “Therefore it says, ‘when he ascended on high, he led captive a host of captives, and he gave gifts to men‘”(Ephesians 4:8)

WHAT THE HEBREW ACTUALLY SAYS:  “You have ascended on high, You have led captive Your captives; You have received gifts among men, Even among the rebellious also, that the LORD God may dwell there.” (Psalm 68:18)

“You have ascended” is changed to “he ascended” to change the context to be about Jesus, when in the original Psalm it spoke of Yahweh. A bigger difference is the changing of “received gifts among men” into “gave gifts to men.”  Perhaps this is to account for the differences between Yahweh (who was served by receiving gifts) and Jesus (who was associated with grace and giving of gifts). Perhaps its something else, there have been various attempted explanations, but none are ultimately convincing.

 

5. Oops, now we’re just adding whole sentences

HOW THEY QUOTE IT: “The spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives, and recovery of sight to the blind, to set free those who are oppressed, to proclaim the favorable year of the Lord.” (Luke 4:17-19)

WHAT THE HEBREW ACTUALLY SAYS:  ”The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, Because the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the afflicted; He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to captives and freedom to prisoners; To proclaim the favorable year of the LORD And the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn” (Isaiah 61:1-2)

Besides the fact that there are significant textual differences throughout the whole passage, Luke even inserts a whole new phrase missing from the Isaiah passage he is quoting.

6. Oops, confusing the afflicted with the humble

HOW THEY QUOTE IT: “You younger men, likewise, be subject to your elders; and all of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, for God is opposed ot the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” (1 Peter 5:5)

WHAT THE HEBREW ACTUALLY SAYS: “Though He scoffs at the scoffers, Yet He gives grace to the afflicted.” (Prov 3:34)

The differences here are “scoffers” which is turned into “proud” and “humble” which becomes “afflicted.” The latter significantly changes the meaning of the passage. One can be afflicted an not humble, one be humble and not afflicted.

 

7. Oops, caught sneaking in theology

HOW THEY QUOTE IT:  “There is none righteous, not even one” (Romans 3:9-10)

WHAT THE HEBREW ACTUALLY SAYS: “There is no one who does good, not even one.” (Psalm 14:1-3)

Paul changes “no one who does good” to “none righteous” for a specific theological agenda, in order to speak of righteousness and sinful nature, rather than just good deeds. However, if you ask a modern day Christian, doing good and righteousness are not necessarily the same (according to the doctrine of original sin, a baby that is born before doing any deeds at all, is not righteous because of its sinful nature).

 

8. Oops, rewarded on the earth becomes scarcely saved

HOW THEY QUOTE IT: “And ‘If the righteous is scarcely saved, what will become of the ungodly and the sinner?'” (1 Peter 4:18)

WHAT THE HEBREW ACTUALLY SAYS: “If the righteous will be rewarded in the earth, How much more the wicked and the sinner!” (Proverbs 11:31)

These passages are so different one would think they are completely separate verses. Peter quotes the Greek Septuagint, of Prov 11:31, while the above quote is based on the the Hebrew Masoretic text. This change works really well with Peters New Testament theology as the Hebrew is converted about rewards on the earth, and Peters language of salvation implies eternal life.

 

9. Oops, the Gentiles added in the Gentiles

HOW THEY QUOTE IT: “a bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not quench, until he brings justice to victory; and in his name the Gentiles will hope.” (Matthew 12:20-21)

WHAT THE HEBREW ACTUALLY SAYS:  “a bruised reed he will not break, and a faintly burning wick he will not quench; he will faithfully bring forth justice.” (Isaiah 42:3)

This is another case where the Septuagint (a Greek, therefore “gentile” translation”) causes the differences to appear in our modern Bibles. The Septuagint version adds “and in his name the Gentiles will hope” which is a radical addition, absent from the original Hebrew, and Matthew incorporates this into the New testament.

 

SLOPPY KNOWLEDGE OF THE HEBREW BIBLE

1. Oops, Mathew got his Zechariahs’ confused

WHAT THEY SAID: In Matthew 23:35, the gospel author depicts Jesus saying “so that upon you may fall the guilt of all the righteous blood shed on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah, the son of Berechiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar.”

HOW THEY MESSED UP:  As it turns out, that’s the wrong Zechariah; The one who was stoned in the temple by the faithless Jewish people was Zechariah, the son of Jehoiada (2 Chronicles 24:20-21). The prophet Zechariah, was actually the son of Berechiah, and he was certainly not murdered between the temple and the altar.

 

2. Oops, Luke can’t count?

WHAT THEY SAID: “after this, Joseph sent for his father Jacob and his whole family, seventy-five in all.“ (Acts 7:14)

HOW THEY MESSED UP: Luke quoted the Greek Septuagint, which differs from the Hebrew Masoretic text, and while that may get Luke off the hook, it does nothing good for biblical inerrancy.

  • “The descendants of Jacob numbered seventy in all; Joseph was already in Egypt.” (Exodus 1:5)
  • “With the two sons who had been born to Joseph in Egypt, the members of Jacob’s family, which went to Egypt, were seventy in all.” (Genesis 46:27)

 

3. Oops, Mark confuses two high priests

WHAT THEY SAID: In Mark 2:26 Jesus is described as quoting the Old Testament. “Have you never read what David did when he was in need and he and his companions became hungry;  how he entered the house of God in the time of Abiathar the high priest, and ate the consecrated bread, which is not lawful for anyone to eat except the priests, and he also gave it to those who were with him?”

HOW THEY MESSED UP: As anyone can easily confirm by reading 1 Samuel 21:1-6, it wasn’t Abiathar but Abiathar’s father, Ahimelech, who was high priest when David did this. But just in case you don’t believe me, here is a direct quote: “Then David came to Ahimelech the priest.

 

4. Oops, John quotes “the Scripture”, when no such scripture exists.

WHAT THEY SAID:In John 7:38, Jesus quotes scripture to describe the rewards promised to his followers: “Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.'”

HOW THEY MESSED UPAnd yet, theologians and biblical scholars must admit that there is no such scripture in the Hebrew Bible. Did the author of John misremember? Perhaps he used one of the many ancient texts that have been lost? And if this refers to some text that has been lost, can “Scripture” be lost?

 

5. Oops, Mathew also quotes passage a nonexistent “Scripture” that doesn’t exist.

WHAT THEY SAID: Matthew claims that Jesus’ living in Nazareth “fulfilled that which was spoken by the prophets, He shall be called a Nazarene” (Mat 2:23).

HOW THEY MESSED UP:  And yet, to the great dismay of conservative apologists, there is no such prophecy in the Bible. But you can’t take away credit from them for a lack of trying, there have been dozens of attempts to find something to fit into this prophecy. The most interesting one I’ve read attempts to make the case that “he will be called a Nazarene” just means there are prophecies that vaguely say the Messiah will have the characteristics of a Nazarene, not that there is an actual prophecy that says “he shall be called a Nazarene.”

 

6. Oops, Luke doesn’t want to be left behind, also quotes “Scripture” that doesn’t exist.

WHAT THEY SAID: In Luke 24:46 we are given a picture of Jesus predicting his own death, “He told them, “This is what is written: The Christ will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day”

HOW THEY MESSED UP: Those words don’t exist anywhere in the Hebrew scripture. As before, apologists have tried to come up with all manner of explanations. The most common is to trace this back to Hosea who wrote: “After two days will He revive us: on the third day He will raise us up, and we shall live before Him” (Hosea 6:2). Anyone can clearly see the Hosea passage is not at all “the Christ will suffer” but speaks of a sinful Israel being restored.

 

7. Oops, Matthew is confused by poetry, and claims Jesus rode two donkeys at once

WHAT THEY SAID: An ancient poem in Zechariah 9:9 states “Behold, your king is coming to you … humble, and mounted on a donkey, even on a colt, the foal of a donkey” The last two lines repeat the same thing in a different way; this is a form of Hebrew poetry called parallelism.

HOW THEY MESSED UP: The author of Matthew believed this was a prophecy about Jesus and attempted to follow it literally, thus he wrote about two separate donkeys.

  • Jesus sent two disciples, saying to them, “Go into the village opposite you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied there and a colt with her; untie them and bring them to Me… brought the donkey and the colt, and laid their coats on them; and He sat on the coats.” (Matthew 21:1-11)

Yes, Matthew literally dictates that Jesus rode the donkey and the colt at the same time. (The other gospel authors who write about this, Mark and Luke, only mention one donkey).

13 responses

  1. Hey Yuriy,

    I posted on another one of your articles, and like I said in that one, I really appreciate your blog posts and have enjoyed reading them. I love personally wrestling with the Bible and I love hearing about other people who are doing it as well, even though we might come to different conclusions. The Biblical literature truly is unpredictable and dynamic, whether one is a follower of Jesus, an orthodox Jew, or an atheist bible scholar.

    I loved reading this specific post because I love discussing this whole issue with people – namely how the early church used the Hebrew Scriptures. It is true what you say, if we were to adopt the methods of people like Paul, Matthew and others, we’d probably fail any basic modern hermeneutics class.

    Firstly, I want to say that I don’t necessarily believe the Bible is ‘inerrant.’ The Bible never makes that claim and I find that Christians can often times fight hard for a claim like this and at the same time miss the point entirely of what the Bible actually is. My faith doesn’t rest on the Bible, nor did the early church. My faith (and the early church’s faith) rests upon the historical resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth. Consider how before a single letter of the new testament documents were written down, the early church was already booming into existence in the Roman Empire. Their faith was not a result of some ‘inerrant’ collection of documents written by the apostles and others, their faith was a result of Jesus’ resurrection and the testimony of those who had met him after his resurrection. If Jesus actually rose physically from the dead, whether Matthew or Luke or John made mistakes in their writings decades later has no impact on Jesus’ past resurrection and what that means for the world.

    My faith rests upon a person and his historical life and death and most importantly his resurrection (without which the early church movement wouldn’t have gotten off the ground), not on a book (the Bible). Yet I love the Bible and believe that the authority of Jesus resonates through its pages into the hearts of those he is transforming.

    Now, shifting a little, the way I look at what you discussed above, namely the New Testament’s use of the Old Testament, is like this:

    In 1st century Judaism there were different groups of Jews with different ideas of what it would look like when the ancient promises of God would come to fruition and be fulfilled – namely what it would be like when God returned to dwell among his people and restore Israel, destroy their enemies, end their extended exile, renew the covenant, purify/rebuild the Temple, usher in the great eschatological age to come and vindicate his people. Sometimes this looked like mass resurrection, other times it looked like political revolt, etc. People had different ideas…but among these ideas, no one ever suggested that it would look like someone or something like Jesus of Nazareth, his life, his death and his resurrection. The events surrounding Jesus’ life were absolutely NOT what 1st century Jews were looking for. A crucified and risen messiah was blasphemous, a reason why Paul of Tarsus zealously hunted down early Christians to stop them from defiling Israel with their proclamation of a crucified and risen Messiah.

    Now, if Jews had these scriptures and promises that clearly looked to point towards one thing, but then here was a group of Jews in the 1st century that went around claiming that the fulfillment of the whole Hebrew narrative and promises had been realized in something no one had ever expected, namely a crucified and risen Jewish man, what might account for this random re-reading and re-interpreting of the Hebrew Scriptures?

    Might it be because they couldn’t deny the fact that Jesus had indeed been raised from the dead, something completely unexpected and unforeseen, and if he had, then the crucifixion and resurrection of this Jewish man named Jesus was INDEED where the whole story had been going, even though not a single person ever expected it. Something extremely shocking had to have happened to force these Jews to radically re-read and re-think the entire narrative of Israel and their Old Testament promises in a way that not any other Jewish group at that time did. The only other major historical incident that I know of that had this sort of profound impact on Jewish interpreters, forcing them to radically re-think the way they read their own scriptures was the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70. Yet the early christians (Paul our best example) were all re-reading the Jewish scriptures before Jerusalem fell in a radically new way. What massive event caused this?

    I think the best response is that Jesus really did rise from the dead.

    It’s almost like watching a movie where you think the plot is going one direction, but the last 5 minutes changes everything and you have to go back and re-watch the whole movie to finally understand that the movie was going in a different direction than what you thought. Like the movie The Book of Eli…I went back and re-watched the movie to see that the main character was indeed blind the whole time!!

    The way the early church used the Hebrew Scriptures is similar. They believe that in the resurrection of Jesus, God’s great eschatological promises for Israel and the world have been fulfilled and inaugurated through Jesus himself. So really, for me, instead of the NT’s way of quoting the OT being a weakness to the foundation of my faith, it actually strengthens my joyous belief that Jesus really did rise from the dead and therefore God has inaugurated his New Creation, or why else would the early church claim that the Hebrew scriptures were leading to this Jewish man’s death and crucifixion all along, as well as the birth of God’s eschatological community (the church).

    Now, in direct response to some of the quotes you posted, might I suggest that perhaps your problem isn’t with how the New Testament authors quoted the old testament, but with 1st century Judaism and their expectations in general? For instance, your point about Matthew making it seem that John the Baptist’s ministry was prophesied in Isaiah 40, I think Matthew (or the author of the 1st gospel if it wasn’t Matthew) felt liberty to change wording because he was tapping into common 1st century Jewish expectations. From my understanding, based on Malachi 4, Jews of that time were expecting an Elijah-like figure who would come before the day of the LORD to proclaim repentance to Israel and the immanent day of his Kingdom. Matthew is tapping into this expectation when he changes wording in Isaiah, since Isaiah 40 is all about the prophet that proclaims that God is right around the corner, about to return and restore his people. Sure, he takes some liberty, but he is tapping to the way that Jews were expecting a Elijah prophetic figure to come.

    Or your point about Matthew 12 adding a verse to Isaiah 42:3 (“and in his name the Gentiles will hope”). I think it’s pretty clear here that Matthew is referencing Isaiah 11:10 (something Paul refers to in Romans 15:12). He’s not being deceptive, he is simply joining a couple concepts and verses that Jews saw as referring to the coming Messianic leader of Israel. And of course you could say that Matthew is mistranslating this Isaiah 11:10 verse, but as I understand it, the Jews of the early church were forced to re-read and re-interpret their scriptures because they couldn’t deny that God had raised Jesus from the dead, and therefore he was the Lord of the nations that the psalmists and prophets had promised in multiple places.

    But the final one I want to challenge you with is Hosea 6:2. I agree, for a long time I was like ‘what do they mean that the scripture said that Jesus would rise after 3 days?’ Now I might be wrong about this but I want to suggest that your problem might be because you are failing to grasp the context within which the early church saw Jesus and how Israel’s story found its climax in him. You are right in pointing out that Hosea 6 is indeed about Israel’s corporate exile and restoration. Most of the prophets are about this. Yet it is common theme in many post-exilic Jewish writings that Jews had the idea that, even though the Jews had returned from exile physically in 516 BCE, they were still in exile (Daniel 9 talks about this – the exile is not just 70 years but 70 times 7). In the time of Jesus, Jews were still longing for the true return from exile…their true restoration. Even when they returned physically, they were dominated by foreign powers, the Persians, the Greeks, and the Romans. They were still longing for the day when God would return to dwell in his temple since his glorious presence had left in the Babylonian exile in 586 BC (see Ezekiel 10:18 and following). What is fascinating about Jesus, is that he embodied Israel’s exile and restoration in himself. His death and resurrection is found within Israel’s expectation that God would deliver them from exile…and Jesus goes straight to the heart of exile (not just Israel’s exile under Roman power (the cross), but Adam/humanity’s exile from the garden which Israel’s history paralleled). Since Hosea 6:2 is talking about Israel’s return from exile in 3 days, and Israel never felt they had been redeem from exile, the early christians saw in Jesus the true end of exile. In his resurrection, Israel’s exile was over and all the nations were welcome to join in this restoration … in JESUS!! He was the Israelite that embodied Israel’s exile and single-handedly ended it. With this early church understanding, you could see why they might discover Jesus within texts about Israel’s restoration from exile since Jesus, as Israel’s representative, had taken Israel’s exile upon himself in the cross, ending it and bringing about the glorious vindication and resurrection life that Israel was longing for.

    Well, hope this makes sense. And feel free to comment. I might be wrong about all of this, but this is where my studies have led me. :)

    Thanks for reading. Bless you Yuriy!!

    • I completely agree! Also, check out “the minimal facts argument” by michael licona. And also some of his books on the ressurection.

      The following is mostly for the original author of this blog. I tried to keep it super short mostly because I’m at work and very limited on time, so please read the whole thing should take about 5 minutes.

      I wanted to reply to this blog as well because I went through a very similar phase of agnosticism in which I doubted all of this. I can tell that he is struggling to believe the credibility of the Christian faith becAuse to him it looks like a lack of intellectual evidence. I’m here to say that it is not the case, and that your absolutely right, no one ever claimed that since the bible it true, therefore Christianity is true l. That is a huge misguided statement. The test we have is the ressurection. And if you look at strictly historical evidence, then the best possible solution of what goes in the gaping hole of history is a physical (easily disproven if it didn’t happen) ressurection. If the author of this blog is reading this, I urge you to read the following authors on this issue.

      Dr. Michael licona
      Dr. Ravi zarcharias
      Dr. nabeel quireshi
      Dr. Gary Habermass
      Dr. John Lennox (triple doctorates in science)

      There’s many more

      Also, just on a side note, it seems as though you are misinformed on how excactly translations work and what the council of nicea was. But we can save that for a different time.
      And if you wanna chat, I live in Portland and would love to take you to lunch if you are ever in town. I can share excactly why got me to believe the Christian faith and be forced to admit my parents have been right all along.

      May you be richly blessed as your perspective of the truth of the Gospel change and most importantly your relationship with God grow.

      Alex Maksimov

      • Hi Alex, I’ve engaged plenty with Licona’s and Habermas’ works. The other thee scholars you cite are not historians, not sure why you imply their expertise is relevant.

        It seems like you are trying to make an argument from authority? If this is the case be aware that this is a fallacious way of getting to the truth.

        I can also provide you with a list of scholars, all of whom are not from unrelated fields, but are world renowned experts on the historical Jesus who disagree with evangelicals, and since you like credentials, we shall also include these :)

        Burton Mack, PhD
        Robert Funk, PhD
        Dale Allison, PhD
        E.P. Sanders, PhD
        J.D. Crossan, PhD
        Amy-Jill Levine, PhD
        James Crossley, PhD
        Geza Vermes, PhD
        Maurice Casey, PhD

        In any case, since it’s arguments not names that win debates, I’d encourage you to check out the following debate between Licona and Ehrman: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=co_l_Sll66I

    • This video series basically says Rabbis don’t accept Jesus as the Messiah because they are arrogant, proud, and don’t like to be wrong. The great irony here is that you don’t reject Jesus because most likely you were raised that way, and don’t like to be wrong :)

      In any case, the article/video series just pokes fun of people, and vaguely speaks of prophecies. However, here are some of the actual reaosons Jews don’t accept Jesus (spoiler: its not because theyre proud, there are real prophecies that Jesus failed to meet). http://www.26reasons.com/reason8.html

  2. Yuriy,
    You continue to expose the problems with inerrancy, and I’m totally on your side here. There are a great many moderate reasonable non-fundamentalists Christians who also agree. At some point we will have to address these instead of hacking away at the low hanging fruit.

    Critical Biblical history actually sheds some very useful light on the Jewish / Christian interactions between the time of Christ and the writing of the gospels 40+ years later. There really was a bitter history of broken relationships here. The early Christian Jews had hoped and expected all Jews would soon accept Christ. However this didn’t happen and there were major conflicts between the sides. As this was going on and intensifying the gospels were written, with stronger and stronger anti Jewish propaganda occuring in later gospels Matthew and then John even more so. Many of the exclusive claims like “no one comes to the father except through me” were likely turning up the heat on the Jews, to scare them into submission, or maybe just venting some anger.

    Now then, if the gospel authors are also trying hard and stretching things in the New Testament to fit the Old Testament, it’s for the very same reason. To have the holdout Jews accept Christ by playing on prophesy. Having some insight into this is very liberating.

    The Christian fundamentalists love to pump up the validity and connectedness of the Old Testament, but I don’t get it. First off, the farther you look back in time, through oral history, etc., the murkier things become. It’s like looking through smoke, things far away are very hard to see. A great many people have noted the OT doesn’t fit very well with NT, and that Jesus intentionally changed many of its rules (eye for an eye vs. forgiveness, dietary restrictions, unlinking of suffering due to sin, etc.). The NT, even in its errant form, is really quite radical as opposed to OT and other religions. Very little was said of the love of God appart from the NT, and nothing else endorses complete forgiveness like the NT. If you look at the never ending conflict and violence in the middle east, and then you look at the OT, and the Quran, you can start to see what’s going on. The NT stands apart.

  3. I came across your blog a few months ago and have been reading your posts, starting from the very first one, trying to get an understanding of your journey (particularly the reasons for your deconversion).

    Although numerous of your posts give your readers an insight into why and how you came to reject your faith, I think there may be more to it all. I may be mistaken, of course…

    Just today my husband was asking why I am so intrigued by your blog. (Your posts sparked many conversations with him on different issues you have wrestled with). My honest answer was: I am just trying to get a better understanding into why and how believers like yourself come to the conclusions you came to. Perhaps I also want to learn more by having my own faith challenged (you do present some difficult questions, most of which I have wrestled with myself at one time). Perhaps I also want to better equip myself in preparing my own children for a future where they will be able to not only have a solid foundation of their faith, but to be able to critically think and to not be afraid of complex questions presented by those who have come to the conclusion that Christianity is nothing more than a religion based on writings of men.

    Although I disagree with your findings (I wish I could write an argument for every point you present against the God of the Bible and the alleged inconsistencies of the Bible), I do agree with you that the truth remains unshaken no matter how much it is scrutinized or questioned and I do hope and pray that you will come to know the truth.

    We should not be afraid of the tough questions and, I believe, that the greatest disservice our Slavic leaders have done to the young believers is beating them with the “blind faith” concept. Instead of admitting that they do not know the answers to many of the difficult questions, they resort to “don’t question the Bible – just take it by faith.”

    Anyhow, as I wrote above, I wish I could write an argument to every one of the alleged inconsistencies/contradictions you present against the Bible. (Perhaps I can tackle them one by one in my own blog, God willing).

    What I am wondering about is this: did you attempt to exhaust reading all the available scholars on the OT?

    The reason I ask is because most of your presented inconsistencies/contradictions appear inconsistent/contradictory to a reader with a western mindset who doesn’t know anything about the Hebrew culture or the social context in which the OT and NT books were written. But you know that, of course!

    Anyways, to cut to the chase: I have struggled with the same questions, especially once I came across people who challenged my faith in different ways (including people who became atheists, agnostics, or those who converted to other religions like Judaism and Islam).

    Most of what you present in this post are arguments presented by rabbis who do an effective job of rattling Christians who have minimal knowledge of the OT and the NT and are taught the Messianic prophecies without any context into the Hebrew language and culture of the time.

    Have you heard of Dr. Michael L. Brown?
    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_L._Brown

    He authored five volumes on the Jewish Objections to Jesus, addressing the same questions you present (such as the contradictory genealogies of Matthew and Luke, the Isaiah virgin/almah prophecy and many others).

    Again, you may not even be interested in reading anything else to challenge your views at this point. ?

    But truth remains truth regardless of how many scholars and intelligent minds scrutinize it ?

    Blessings ?

    • Hi Tanya, thanks for the kind comment, here are a few brief responces

      1. I’ve interacted with the works of leading evangelical scholars on this issue, from Paul Copan to Peter Enns to John Walton, compared to these Brown is a bit of a strange quirk, his social media posts are frequently filled with weird misinformation that leads me to not trust him. Just yesterday he shared some quotes about planned parenthood that snopes says are fabricated by a fake email thread in the 90s. Not something a critical thinker regularly does.

      2. In any case, what you are unaware of is that most biblical scholars affirm that there are contradictions in the bible. Evangelicals who accept inerrancy are a tiny fringe minority, last I checked (and I mean this seriously, not in spite) there was not even one Evangelical inerrant teaching at a republic public university, all teach at Evangelical schools that have belief statements one must sign. I wrote a post citing about a dozen of the leading scholars and academic textbooks, including Christians, who state this is the case. Even the Oxford Companion to the Bible, probably the most prestigious academic textbook about the Bible, undeniably affirms this. (See this link for many of these citations http://yuriystasyuk.com/why-i-dont-trust-the-bible-inconsistencies-discrepancies-and-contradictions/)

      Statistics are hard to come by, but the leading scholar of biblical textual criticism from the Evangelical side, Dan Wallace, said:

      “As remarkable as it may sound, most biblical scholars are not Christians. I don’t know the exact numbers, but my guess is that between 60% and 80% of the members of SBL (Society of Biblical Literature) do not believe that Jesus’ death paid for our sins, or that he was bodily raised from the dead.”

      Also from Dan Wallace: “In one of our annual two-day meetings about ten years ago, we got to discussing theological liberalism during lunch. Now before you think that this was a time for bashing liberals, you need to realize that most of the scholars on this committee were theologically liberal. And one of them casually mentioned that, as far as he was aware, 100% of all theological liberals came from an evangelical or fundamentalist background. I thought his numbers were a tad high since I had once met a liberal scholar who did not come from such a background. I’d give it 99%. Whether it’s 99%, 100%, or only 75%, the fact is that overwhelmingly, theological liberals do not start their academic study of the scriptures as theological liberals. They become liberal somewhere along the road.”
      (cited at http://yuriystasyuk.com/why-i-changed-biblical-studies-scares-my-buddies/)

      3. As far as the requirement that “before you reject Christianity, you ought to take time to seriously consider its best arguments by its best scholars” I think its a double standard. Did you read the best intellectual defense of Islamic theology by its leading credentialed scholars before you rejected it? Did you read 1,000 page tomes by sophisticated Mormon scholar-apologists who defend Mormonism before rejection it? Have you seriously considered the best defenses of atheism by its leading philosophers before you rejected it? I sincerely dont think so, so I find this to be a double standard.

      That said, I agree its an epistemically noble thing to always look at the best defense of a particular argument, not just deal with the weak ones, and for this reason, I regularly read stuff by the leading Christian philosophers, like Alvin Plantinga and Richard Swinburne, as well as the responses by atheist philosophers.

      4. As far as some contradictions that I invite you to start looking into, I would encourage you to peruse my second “mini-blog”, specifically the biblical studies category. I don’t keep it up date, but I believe there are half a dozen contradictions that are plotted out in concise charts/graphs that you can attempt to solve without losing the meaning of words. https://factsaboutreligion.wordpress.com/category/biblical-studies/

      Here is one you can start with: https://factsaboutreligion.wordpress.com/2015/02/25/there-are-two-different-dates-and-times-for-the-crucifixion-of-jesus/

      Here is a second: https://factsaboutreligion.wordpress.com/2015/01/29/there-are-diverging-traditions-in-the-bible-like-the-two-stories-of-judas-death/

      Anyway, I sincerely wish you all the best,
      Respectfully,
      Yuriy

      • Thank you for your response, Yuriy.
        Will look into the links you provided.

        As to your criticism of Dr. Michael Brown, you are making your opinion of his critical thinking ability based on one (or a few) posts? Find me one critical thinker who ALWAYS utilizes sound judgment, without any bias and I’ll concede to your point.

        On your statistic of most theologian scholars being liberal: do they all become liberal because they are taught by liberal professors employed by prestigious liberal schools or for other reasons?

        And you are right, I did not read any of the Mormon apologists (or JWs) simply because they came after the canon was completed, each started by a man who claimed to have a special revelation.

        I did read the Quran (and both the Sahih Bukhari and Sahih Mislim) as well as listen to many debates by their well-respected apologists.

        With much respect,
        Tanya

        • Hi Tanya,

          Thanks for the quick reply

          1. Regarding Dr Brown, I realized why I have so much mistrust towards him. Six years ago I was in the Third Wave movement and a fan of Rick Joyner and Todd Bentley, who were closely tied. Dr Brown has been a big supporter of those ministries. He is also very closely tied with other fringe and flat out crazy ministries like that of Sid Roth, who speculate that perhaps aliens run the vatican. No joke. This is not any kind of response towards his published works, but it my honest confession, I can’t seriously take someone who supports preachers that punch to heal, or mystical false prophets that think freemasons are trying to resurrect atlantis (yes, again, this is real.

          2. As far as the defenses of various biblical problems, Dr. Brown aside, there are of course Christian answers, but I think they are completely ad hoc rationalizations and not convincing at all. I have a few brief comments under “But what about Midrash or Pesher hermeneutics?” My main point is, if you can use such an approach to say X also has a secret meaning Y, then we can use approach to pull anything out of anything. Once we can make one phrase mean anything else, we lose the use of language and anything goes.

          3. Regarding professors and biblical scholars, your question implied that they were just trained (or brainwashed?) to be that way by other liberals, right? First I will note if we adopt such a methodology, it means any conservative scholar that learned at a conservative school can be simply discounted because he was brainwashed by conservatives. But, even more than that, Daniel Wallace also says:

          “In one of our annual two-day meetings about ten years ago, we got to discussing theological liberalism during lunch. Now before you think that this was a time for bashing liberals, you need to realize that most of the scholars on this committee were theologically liberal. And one of them casually mentioned that, as far as he was aware, 100% of all theological liberals came from an evangelical or fundamentalist background. I thought his numbers were a tad high since I had once met a liberal scholar who did not come from such a background. I’d give it 99%. Whether it’s 99%, 100%, or only 75%, the fact is that overwhelmingly, theological liberals do not start their academic study of the scriptures as theological liberals. They become liberal somewhere along the road.”

          4. You say you reject Mormonism because it came after the canon was completed, but have you read the best answers by their brightest minds? They explan that the canon wasnt completed, surely you cant reject that idea until you read a 500 page book by a Mormon philosopher with two PhDs?? :)
          Also, did you not know that Jews reject Christianity for that reason too? That the Christians are just another movement that came after the canon was completed? I think you will find this chart to be very interesting

          5. You say you have interacted with a few Muslim apologists, have you read a lengthy book series? I mean lets be fair, you are telling me I ought to read Browns series of 4 books, a total of 1200 pages, have you really conducted such a study of Islam? Were you truly and honestly open minded, and did you sincerely consider Islam as a possibility? Or were you just watching “your side” to see how they win?.

          6. Mormonism and Islam aside, have you devoted that intensive amount of time to every religion? Surely if the demand set on us is “before you reject Christianity, read the best defense by its best proponents” you would have to be fair, and apply that demand on about a hundred different religions?

          7. I am also really curious, how much have you explored atheism, deism, pantheism, naturalism and other non-theistic beliefs? Are there any books you have read, podcasts you have listened, to debate series? Etc? Likewise, regarding biblical studies, have you ever read a book critical of the evangelical view of the Bible? Even one from a very liberal perspective? I dont mean to call you uneducated or stupid, I promise I dont think you are, but I am seriously trying to both understand you and stimulate you to give other positions the dedication to give yours. (That is something I have and continually do, even though I can be honest that there are many things I have not had time to explore, but I dont make demands on people that they do serious study of the best arguments from my side side before rejecting it).

          All the best
          Yuriy

          • Thank you for responding, Yuriy.

            You ask fair questions and I want to do my best to answer them. However, I believe you are at a point where no one answer would be sufficient enough and I may simply be wasting my time dialoguing with you.

            I do not know about all the associations of Dr. Brown. But in all fairness to him, do his relationships with those ministers prove that he believes the same things? I am friends with many people who hold different beliefs. I see that you are friends with many different people who may hold different beliefs as well, some of which may be radical and completely wacky. This does not mean that you have the same beliefs, or that you are less of a critical thinker, or that my opinion of you will be based because of those friends. I have many Christian friends who support the flat earth theory, are convinced that the US government is behind 9/11, that vaccines are a huge conspiracy theory, and so on. Never mind the different differences in theological positions… I still consider them my brothers and sisters in Christ and we are unified by Christianity’s core beliefs.

            2). Yes, there are many Christian responses that are ad hoc generalizations but not all. Perhaps the ones you read have been. That is why I asked if you read Dr. Browns material. But you dismiss him altogether because he is friends with Sid Roth and the other fringe movement guys.

            3). I honestly do not know how to answer to this ? The answer I do want to give you will probably be laughable in your opinion because you do not believe in God or the devil. So I will refrain.

            4). My own search for the truth was such that I had to reject everything and start from square one. But contrary to you, I couldn’t be an atheist for a long time. There was just an overwhelming amount of evidence pointing to an intelligent design – the Creator. I eliminated all but three monotheistic religions. The other ones just didn’t make sense to me at all. Judaism without the NT didn’t make sense either. Why do they not follow all the laws today, for instance? Islam was pretty easy to reject simply because of how the Quran was compiled and written and its content – a ripoff of both the OT and the NT. Plus I couldn’t follow a blood thirsty man who was a pedophile, a narcissist, and hell-bent on conquering the world using his ideas and force. At best, he was a schizophrenic and at worst, a power-hungry brilliant man who swayed billions with his teachings. That left Christianity and I started to search for anything that would disprove the Bible. Long story short, so far nothing has been convincing enough. (But I’m also leaving the other part of the answer out. Mainly, the fact that Jesus changed my life in a way no other person or god ever could, the fact that I do believe he walked on this earth, died on the cross and rose and that he is the only way to salvation). A personal relationship. A person can memorize the Bible from Genesis to Revelation but what reveals it to us (all its intricacies and making all its complexities clear) is a personal relationship with Jesus. Jesus addressed the intellectual minds (the Pharisees who knew the Scriptures front to back) in John 5:39 saying, you search the Scriptures in hopes that they will give you an eternal life but the Scriptures point to me. They failed to see Jesus in the Scriptures and so many people fail to see him through the Scriptures as well. (Anyways, don’t know why I’m writing all of this since you lived and breathed this by your own admission). The only thing is, only God really knows the depths of your heart and whether you really had a relationship with Jesus once or not. I do sincerely hope and pray that all is not lost ?

            I believe I answered 5, 6 and 7 above, although not in detail. But I hope you get the general picture.

            Tanya

        • “I did read the Quran (and both the Sahih Bukhari and Sahih Mislim) as well as listen to many debates by their well-respected apologists.”

          “Islam was pretty easy to reject simply because of how the Quran was compiled and written and its content – a ripoff of both the OT and the NT. Plus I couldn’t follow a blood thirsty man who was a pedophile, a narcissist, and hell-bent on conquering the world using his ideas and force. At best, he was a schizophrenic and at worst, a power-hungry brilliant man who swayed billions with his teachings.”

          As an educated Muslim , I can say that Your are Liar ,
          You are a shame on Jesus who was a truthful man who fight against falsehood and you are a shame on every honest Christians.

          Because No One can read the Quran and both the Sahih Bukhari and Sahih Mislim and get into a false conclusion as yours. unless if He/she never read it.

          I can refute all your false claim with just some copy\past articles , but i know you don’t care if its true or false , simply because you don’t even care if your personal belief is true or false. And you know its false but you want to believe it to be true , just because you don’t want to lose the illusion of the free ready made salvation.

          I really cant understand the powerful relationship between many Christians and Falsehood , Is the holy Ghost is inspiring you to lie and commit to such a high level of falsehood ?

          But truth remains truth regardless of how many Dishonest sick people, Ignorant and closed minds people like you scrutinise it.

  4. You quote the following to make the claim that Jesus might have sacrificed to idols:

    “When Israel was a child, I loved him, and out of Egypt I called my son. The more they were called, the more they went away; they kept sacrificing to the Baals and burning offerings to idols.” (Hosea 11:1-2)

    But did you ever consider that this was a narrative about Israel itself? And that God here talks about Israel?

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