Yup, you heard it here. The plagues. God getting involved right up to his neck in magic stuff. People and animals dying all over the shop. Frogs; gnats; darkness; rivers of blood; boils; hail; firstborns of Egyptian families and animals dying. AND THEN the army getting destroyed by a parted sea coming down on their heads.
Category Biblical Exegesis
I have been kindly asked to give a talk to the Dorset Humanists next month, They seemed to enjoy my last few talks so much as to want me to create a talk to deliver. I am gratefully obliging.
I will be looking at arguments for and against God, starting off with the wide deistic arguments from philosophy, and then narrowing down to particular arguments concerning the historicity and probability of the Judeo-Christian God. Here is something I am working on with regards to the ridiculousness of the Exodus account.
This is Part 3 of a critical examination of the MMEL hypothesis of the Star of Bethlehem. Go to the index here.
So far in this critical appraisal of the MMEL hypothesis, there has not been much attention paid to the actual theory of what the Star of Bethlehem was other than to say it deals with conjunctions of Jupiter and Venus in the years 3 and 2 BCE. While already it is falsified as an explanation of Matthew’s account since it takes place after the death of Herod the Great (see Part 1 & Part 2), I shall not ignore what possible astronomical or astrological explanations are here. Perhaps they can explain the Star in another way (including helping create the narrative based on a back-calculation rather than an authentic historical tradition), or the conjunctions of another type can be related to what the Magi were interested in.
Chris Hallquist’s blog The Incredible Halq is the first reputable blog that I have seen which has so seriously gone to…
Here is a good talk from Richard Carrier as it sets out his thesis from start to finish and it is recent. See what you think. Are you a mythicist? Are you a historicist? Or are you, like me, somewhat agnostic?
I posted my first take on John Loftus’ and Randal Rauser’s debate book God Or Godless? recently. Randal Rauser has…
Last week, I introduced you to John W. Loftus and Randal Rauser’s new debate-style book, God or Godless? I am now going to furnish you with a review. I commend Baker Books for sending me a review copy.
So here’s the thing. The Christian seems to historiographically rate the NT over and above the other biblical books so that the Gospels have hermeneutic priority over any other book. My last book (The Nativity: A Critical Examination), and my subsequent radio debate with Randal Rauser, showed that the only time the Gospels are verifiable – that they intersect with known facts and verifiable incidents – is during the nativity accounts of Matthew and Luke.
Jeremiah 19: 19 Thus says the Lord, “Go and buy a potter’s earthenware jar, and take some of the elders of the people and some of the [a]senior…
“In a recently posted You Tube sermon, the pastor of Chalcedon Presbyterian Church, Dr. Joe Morecraft says in a Biblical…
WARNING. Watch this video will disturb you. It is horrific. But I ask that you do so, Christian, Muslim, atheist or other. You will never watch it again, and it will scar you. But remember, this activity was divinely decreed by an all-loving God. Yes, all-loving. And for what? For all of the actions below.
It’s been a few months since my radio debate with Randal Rauser on the subject of the reliability of the nativity accounts in the Gospels of Luke and Matthew. You can listen to the debate by following the link from here. If you have not listened to it, please let me know what you think.
Good news on the speaking front, for me (not that any of you will particularly care!). I have been booked…
James G. Crossley is a biblical scholar who has written a good few books. He stands out in the biblical studies community as being secular – a rarity in a field which spends so much time analysing the Bible. Crossley rose to a little more fame than the standard when he debated William Lane Craig. Crossley also has an unusual position of adhering to a particularly early dating for Mark.
Having seen theist after theist squirm and perform mental gymnastics in order to make sense of the countenancing of slavery within the Bible, it’s about time Nonstampcollector produced a knockdown video on this subject.
Thinking about the tomb, in the context of the last post, it is incredibly suspect that the place of the greatest spiritual and religious significance in the whole world seems not to have been venerated at least not until the 4th century CE onwards). This then prompts these questions:
Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. A Jewish preacher being the human incarnation of an all-powerful being, dying on a cross and being resurrected from the dead, is probably one of the most extraordinary claims ever made. But a collection of ancient documents like the Gospels is everything but extraordinary evidence.
In my opinion, documents like the gospels could never be sufficient to establish such an extraordinary claim beyond reasonable doubt. And this has nothing to do with a “bias towards naturalism”. I also don´t believe extraordinary claims which do not violate the laws of nature in any way, simply because an ancient document claims they happened.
In this post, I am going to look at the resurrection account given by Matthew, in particular his addition found in no other Gospel account, that there were guards stationed at the tomb.
According to Matthew, the chief priests were worried that the disciples might steal Jesus’ body to fake a resurrection, so they went to Pilate and got permission to post a guard on the tomb. When Jesus rose from the dead, the guards reported it to the priests, and the priests bribed them to claim that disciples stole the body while they were asleep. Matthew claims that “to this day” Jews report the body as stolen (as opposed to resurrected).
That’s true. You heard it right here. An exclusive.
William Lane Craig is something of a knight in shining armour to the Christian fraternity. He is ubiquitous – whenever there is an event, he has something to say about it (the Sandy Hook massacre, for example), and whenever there is a philosophical argument, Christians reference him and his apologetics. It seems that he says “jump” and Christians say “how high?”
Psalm 137 is one of the most famous Psalms, it has been set to music by many composers (you have most likely heard the famous interpretation by Boney M), but virtually always, the last verse is omitted. Why is that? Well, let´s look at the Psalm: