Thursday, May 08, 2014

Obvious truths?

Yes, if you're willing to read honestly.

Two replies, one offered to a Roman Catholic who is afraid to deal with the Word of God as the Word of God, and the other to an atheist who is either so uninformed or so perverse as to try to undermine the faith of the weak.

From here (pending moderation):

To Rose:
Facts are facts.
If the history -- even in the Old Testament -- isn't true, then you can't trust Christ, Who said that it is.
You're not only "not Sola Scriptura" -- by the way, neither are Southern Baptists, even though they [might] think they are -- you're not any Scriptura.
You need to rethink that.
To Hiker:
With regard to your so-called "contradictions":
1) The Creation accounts (not "stories") do not conflict; they focus on the event from two different perspectives.
Both accounts were written by the same author, Moses, who was educated in all the wisdom of the ancient world. Don't you think that he would have noticed that he was "contradicting" himself? And the people of ancient Israel, to whom this subject matter was Life-and-Death and who preserved Moses' writings as the very words of God -- don't you think someone (everyone!) would have noticed? "Hey, wait a minute, Moses ...."
2) "Two different flood stories"? Genesis is still written by Moses.
3) The fact that you have to ask where was Jesus born and where His parents lived indicates that you're either intellectually-lazy or cravenly-dishonest, since the answer is available to anyone who can read. [The tone of this line bothers me, but taken in context, it seems necessary, since Hiker is not asking honestly; he's trying to destroy Rose's faith.]
Christ was born in Bethlehem, in a manger. When the Magi (number unstated) find Him, it's close to two years later, which we know from the historical record: Herod ordered the slaughter of all male babies two-years-old and younger based on the time of Christ's birth he learned from the wise men:
"Then 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 and in all that region who were two years old or under, according to the time that he had ascertained from the wise men" (Matthew 2:16).)
4) As for Bethlehem or Nazareth? No one's ever moved from one city to another, have they?
"And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the town of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David [...]" (Luke 2:4). 
"And when they had performed everything according to the Law of the Lord, they returned into Galilee, to their own town of Nazareth [...]" (Luke 2:39). 
5) Archaeology has uncovered another reign as governor/proconsul for someone named Quirinius, because, you know, no one's ever been named the same as someone else or served in an office twice.
[Luke calls Pontius Pilate "governor of Judea" in Luke 3, even though Pilate was "procurator"; Luke used the word to mean "one who governs" and not necessarily as a title. Luke also notes that the Luke 2 census was the "first" while Quirinius was governor; he notes a later census under Quirinius in Acts 5. Finally, Vardaman notes microletters on the Lapis Venetus also placing Quirinius as proconsul of Syria and Cilicia c. 12/11 B.C.]

Your objections are simplistic, dishonest, and stale. You're neither reading nor thinking for yourself, or you're hoping only to undermine the faith of others.
Perhaps, Hiker, it's time for you to reexamine your religion. And your motives.