What did Jesus think of the Old Testament?

jesus6.jpgJohn MacArthur mentioned several important things about what Jesus thought of the Old Testament in a recent sermon series.  Here are some of them plus my own comments.

For one thing, He thought He wrote it (and I believe him).  Christians have traditionally held these views:

  1. Jesus is God as He claimed to be.
  2. God inspired the Bible.
  3. Therefore, Jesus inspired the Bible.

Interestingly, the references Jesus made to the Old Testament were often the most controversial parts and/or those characters that some liberal theologians think were fictional – Satan, Noah, Jonah, Sodom.  When Jesus refers to them there isn’t even a hint that they weren’t real.

He didn’t appear to have any problem with the destruction of the world (except for Noah and his family) and He clearly taught that the majority of people will go to Hell.  So we should dispense with the false dichotomy of the vengeful Old Testament God and the kinder, gentler New Testament God right here.

Matthew 7:13 “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it.

Jesus is the theme of Scripture, and He thought it spoke accurately of himself.

John 5:39-40 You diligently study the Scriptures because you think that by them you possess eternal life. These are the Scriptures that testify about me, yet you refuse to come to me to have life.

Jesus came to fulfill the law, not to tweak it or refine it.  Many passages refer to this, for example:

John 15:25 But this is to fulfill what is written in their Law: ‘They hated me without reason.’

On the road to Emmaus – aka “the world’s greatest Bible study” – Jesus explained it all and showed He they should have been able to see it.  He clearly thought the whole book was about him, so He was either correct or a raging egomaniac.

Luke 24:25-27 He said to them, “How foolish you are, and how slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Did not the Christ have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?” And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself.

Jesus quoted or referred to the Old Testament roughly 180 times – about 10% of everything recorded in the Gospels.  He thought the Old Testament was error free.  If there were errors and He knew about them, that would have been evil.  If there were errors and He didn’t know about them, then He wasn’t God.

 

Matthew 5:18 I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished.

Jesus used Scripture to counter Satan and was completely confident in it.

 

Luke 4:3-4 The devil said to him, “If you are the Son of God, tell this stone to become bread.” Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man does not live on bread alone.’

Jesus also used Scripture to answer John the Baptist in Luke 7. 

A final thought: Some people put more weight on the “red letters,” i.e., what Jesus is directly quoted as saying.  But the whole Bible is his Word.  And He used many of the red letters to refer to and explain the black letters. 

 

35 thoughts on “What did Jesus think of the Old Testament?

  1. What else can I say, Amen.

    This unnecessary separation of old and new testament goes back to the 5th century. Even then some folks were uncomfortable with explaining God’s actions in the OT- not to mention quite anti-semitic. Today I wonder if the disrespect and/or neglect shown for the OT comes from a lack of desire to explain God’s actions or from the anti-antisemitism that pervades much of Christian theology.

  2. Great post Neil! What we need to know about God and Jesus is written in the Bible. There are no errors (Bible difficulties, yes; errors, no) and the “argument from silence” claim that some use to excuse their sin doesn’t hold any water. John wrote:

    Jhn 21:25 And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen.

    • if there are no errors, how can there be different accounts of the same event? And you cant say people perceive things in different ways. The accounts are not the same. period. so either there is an error or youre just justifying.

      • And you cant say people perceive things in different ways. The accounts are not the same. period.

        Actually, I can say that, and I will say that. I think your comment is in error. Two or more people will almost always have different perspectives on the same event.

        If you think there are really errors then you need to identify them.

      • Sorry Neil but i think you’ve lost the plot… saying the bible is not in error is ludicrous at best. Not only does the bible contradict itself in relation to the same subjects but you have 4 official and numerous unofficial gospels giving totally contradictory views of Jesus himself.
        if Christians claim the bible is “inspired” by god or the holy ghost, then both made mistakes. if you claiming as you say above, that people wrote the material and therefore are not infallible, then its simply like any other story book with no bases in reality.
        there is nothing in the bible that proves itself beyond simple belief. we know the earth in not 6000 years old. we know humans did not evolve from nothing 6000 years ago. and we know there was not a global flood killing everyone and everything in the middle of the 25th millennium BCE.
        we do however know that most of the mythological stories found in the bible, such as the flood, the tower of Babylon, Adam, Eve and the snake,and even Jesus dying on a cross and “resurrecting” “3 days” later already existed before the bible was written and before Jesus was said to exist.
        the Romans, Greeks and Egyptians already had trinities and sons of gods before Jesus showed and even had Mithra doing the same “passion show” that Jesus was said to perform, before Jesus was born.
        there is nothing new about this story, only rehashed and re-released for a new audience.

      • All you’ve done is pass along a bunch of quotes from the Big Book O’ Atheist Sound Bites.

        The real Gospels don’t contradict. The unofficial gospels are unofficial for a reason: they don’t belong.

        if you claiming as you say above, that people wrote the material and therefore are not infallible, then its simply like any other story book with no bases in reality.

        You don’t understand the claim. It was penned by men but turned out exactly as God wanted it to. Just because people do make mistakes doesn’t mean they always make mistakes.

        we do however know that most of the mythological stories found in the bible, such as the flood, the tower of Babylon, Adam, Eve and the snake,and even Jesus dying on a cross and “resurrecting” “3 days” later already existed before the bible was written and before Jesus was said to exist.

        the Romans, Greeks and Egyptians already had trinities and sons of gods before Jesus showed and even had Mithra doing the same “passion show” that Jesus was said to perform, before Jesus was born.

        The “copycat” claim is groundless. Anyone passing that along has not done their homework — http://wp.me/p1wGU-gy .

  3. Neil,
    I have been blessed to find your website. I have found the OT is absolutely crucial in understanding the NT and our repsonsiblities to God. Great post! thanks.

  4. “does it offend you when people don’t respect your family and/or relationship?”

    Nope, not in the least. As as a matter of fact I expect it. Christ told me to expect such treatment from the world.

    “The world cannot hate you, but it hates me because I testify that what it does is evil.”

    “If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.”

    “Blessed are you when men hate you, when they exclude you and insult you and reject your name as evil, because of the Son of Man.”

    So, no, I don’t get offended. Probably because I don’t seek you acceptance or your approval. I seek only the approval of God. Maybe one day you will do the same. Until then I shall be sure to mention you in my prayers.

  5. Christine – thanks! I love John 21:25. That speaks Volumes.

    Mark – welcome! I enjoy your blog.

    TotalT – Uh, sorry about that! One of the risks of blogging, I suppose. Usually it works out for the best. Excellent points about not expecting love from the world.

    David, you have now linked to the United Church of Christ, the Unitarian “church” and an atheist website. I’d make a joke about how they are indistinguishable but that would be too easy. Oops – I did it without even trying!

    Seriously, if you are trying to establish credibility for your views rather than cheap shots at Christians then you might want to try a different approach.

  6. Christ told me to expect such treatment from the world.
    TT – treat it as a badge of honor.

    Neil – great post.

    Marvin Olasky wrote a good piece in “World” suggesting (or at least it suggested to me) that in the long run God’s way of conducting war led to less suffering and loss of life that what we do now.

    Let me know if you did not see it and I will try to find it.

  7. “Christ told me to expect such treatment from the world.”

    You must be lying! Jesus told ME that people like you are sociopathic and mentally ill by choice, because of your highly internalized evil. You people spend all day telling lies about how wonderful the world would be if it was a theocracy according to your particular delusion – thankfully you don’t have the power to inflict the excruciating tortures on nonbelievers that you used to. Anyone who is knowledgable in ACTUAL history, science, and theology knows the significance of what you write. All you are is someone who never grew up after school, you still have revenge fantasies that are not significantly different than a 13 year old who thinks that people who are smarter than them are doing it to be mean to them, or something.

  8. Uh, thanks for visiting and the fact-free rant.

    Seriously, if you want to actually engage on a specific point that is fine, but if this is your normal mode of communication I don’t think this blog is the right place for you.

  9. I just finished N.T. Wright’s book on the authority of scripture, and I love the tow ways he describes the relationship between NT and OT. I’ll try to paraphrase.

    1. The Bible is like a play in multiple acts (creation, fall, Israel, Christ, the Church). We are in act 5, and although the end has been written, the period between Acts and Revelation is still “being written” and we all have parts. But as we “play our parts” we can not diverge from the plot established in the earlier acts.

    2. He also describes the relationship as similar to improvising in a jazz band. There is a place in the composed piece for improvisation, but the improvisor cannot go beyond the scope of the written piece. In other words you would’d improvise in the key of F if the piece is in the key of G. You also wouldn’t play a dixieland part in a jazz fusion piece.

    Anyway, I thought that both of those examples do a nice job of explaining the relationship, as well as describing some limitations on how we interpret scripture.

  10. Unfortunately, you missed much of Jesus’ teaching.

    Consider: Matthew 5:21-48. Mark 7, Matthew 23, Mark 3 etc. and you discover that Jesus critiques the law itself. What one finds in Jesus’ teaching is both an intensification and relaxation of the OT law which cannot be accounted for by speaking of continuity with the OT.

  11. Hi Todd,

    I’m not sure I follow. Are you saying that Jesus disagreed with the OT? He certainly clarified things for them and showed the listeners where they were being hypocritical, but He didn’t disagree with a letter of it.

  12. So if Jesus believed the OT to be true, aren’t we essentially talking about the Torah/Tanakh?

    “Jesus came to fulfill the law, not to tweak it or refine it.”

    If so, then why do Christians deviate so from Jewish law?

    I’m not trying to be snarky or sarcastic, just ignorant and trying to understand.

  13. @Smgumby:

    Read the scripture in its full context.

    Matthew 5:17 “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.”(NIV)

    “The phrase “the Law and the Prophets” is repeated in 7:12. The two occurrences of this phrase mark the beginning and end of the body of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount and show that Jesus is taking pains to relate his teaching and place in the history of redemption to the OT Scriptures.”[1]

    This scripture indicates that Jesus’s view of the Law and the Prophets were that His coming brought fulfillment of them both.

    [1] Zondervan NIV Bible Commentary “Matthew 5.17” (2 volumes) Kenneth L. Barker and John R. Kohlenberger III Copyright © 1994 by Zondervan.

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  15. I have a hard time with the Old Testament. Quite barbaric. How many of us would murder children and infants at the command of Joshua/Jehovah? All because it supposedley is going to lead to less suffering, freedom from idolatry, and obedience to God? Not a sin to kill if following God’s word? Isn’t it the same motivation that Al Queda and the Taliban use. Shouldn’t we support their actions since it is based on what the Bible teachings about the need to be purified from the stain of idolatry.
    Jesus, his teachings, his life, his sacrifice. All very believable. He cared for children. He cared for the sick and needy. He exposed hypocrisy. He treated women with respect.
    Yet, he seems to affirm “all” in the Old Testament. That creates a challenge. You have to be a narcissist, or sociopath, or schizophrenic to be willing to kill children. I’m loving God and loving you and so I’m killing you. Sounds like blood atonement. Doing them a favor???

    I think it is sociopathic, psychopathic, and contradictory. I can understand judgement and wrath to satisfy the demands of justice. (If we don’t repent and take up the cross and follow him) It is far from justice to cut up children with a sword or dash them against rocks. Is that really what the loving creator would want us to do for him?

    • Hi Robert,

      Have you read all of the OT and the NT? I mean every chapter? If you have, then you are entitled to your opinion, but in my experience most people lodging your criticism haven’t read it all and certainly not in context.

      Few seem to realize that God commanded a one-time clearing out of the promised land of an evil people that had failed to repent for 400 years. See Leviticus 18 and other spots for a list of their misdeeds, including child sacrifice.

      On to the NT: Few seem to note all the references to Hell and punishment made by Jesus.

      More importantly, they miss the obvious: Jesus is God, and therefore the whole book is his. He didn’t disagree with anything in the OT. It is a classic case of making a god in their own image, and that is a sin.

  16. one thing that strikes me everytime i look into such issues is christians pick and choose what they wanna say from the bible.

    if you ask them anything, they will respond with : have you read the whole scripture in full? if not, you don’t know what you are talking about.

    they will always nullify all the barbaric and ridiculuous things in the bible by quoting how jesus died for our sins etc (john 3:16). but essentially, the god of the old testament is the god of the new testament.

    the god of old testament is only 1000 to 3000years earlier than the god of the new testament. can an eternal god change his attitude in such a short time? no. according to the bible, god said ‘i change not’.

    yet if you read Judges chapter 19 verse 24 to 29, you will see a man allow his wife/concubine (coincidentally labelled as an unfaithful one) to be gang raped throughout the night and left to die on the door step. When he found her, all he said as ‘get up, it is time to go’. after realising she is dead from her ordeal, he cut her up limb from limb into 12 pieces and send it to 12 tribes in israel to incite a war.

    i”m a guy and i think it is extremely barbaric. And I don’t ever think this chapter has ever been discussed on a cherry sunday morning service. i nearly vomitted when i first read that chapter.

    quite hyprocrites. christians will always try to come up with some answers to justify such things in the bible and wrap everything up with ‘ for god loves us so so much that he sends his only son jesus to earth and die for our despicable sins’.

    the way christians view things:
    a) if something doesn’t make sense in the bible, you must re-read the scripture and realise that god punishes so severely because he loved them so much. if this still doesn’t work, you say it is metaphorical, don’t take the literal meaning of that verse.

    b) if something does make sense in the bible, you glorify it. and you use it everthing someone ask query (a) and wrap it out with jesus sacrificed himself in such a horrible death FOR YOU!!!!!

    let me ask you a question, why does god sound so emotional in the bible. he sounds almost human.

    • Hi Rick — that seems contradictory. You accuse us of picking and choosing AND reading the whole thing in context. I’d pick a lane and stay in it.

      Re. Judges 19 — yep, that is grisly. Just re-read it recently. But you imply that it was God’s ideal and a model for Christian behavior. That isn’t true.

      Yes, God did send his Son to die for your despicable sins. You have a choice: Take the punishment yourself for your despicable sins, or trust in Jesus and his payment on your behalf.

  17. OK well I want to say a few things and I just want you to know that I am being completely unbiased. I was raised as a Romanian Orthodox Christian and yes now I am an Atheist now. But my point or points I would like to make are these. 1 Pro Christianity ( I am grouping all that believe in god and jesus) all you seem to say is “have you read the scripture in its entirety” to a statement or question that an Atheist person may have stated or asked. Well if, lets say for discussion purposes only; that if I were a TRUE BELIEVER, it would be prudent of me to give an ANSWER, not an answer structured as a question. Going back to have you read the scripture in its entirety, because that is not an answer that is an answer to a question that you do not know the answer to. I am not condemning you for your ignorance to the question. What I am simply saying is; that it is not an answer. But rather a way for most to to get around the question, as so many of you have seemed to do in this blog. @ NEIL Yes, God did send his Son to die for your despicable sins. Well from your statement that is rather ignorant and judgmental I would like to share a passage with you from the bible. Here is perhaps the mother of verses ignored: “Judge not, that ye be not judged” (Matthew 7:1) and “Judge not, and ye shall not be judged, condemn not and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven” (Luke 6:37). I have yet to meet a Christian who has not judged my atheism. The whole world is chalk full of judges, juries, voters, employers, teachers, etc. which are all constantly judging others. My point is this speaking at least on my behalf and most Atheists that I know. One of the biggest problems with Christians of today (not the BIBLE) is that you are hypocritical you say one thing yet the Bible says another. Now just for some insight not that my education makes me know more than anyone but for 25 years I was a Devout orthodox christian. I also studied biblical theology, philosophy. One day it came to me that christians regardless of which secular teachings you come from are misinterpreting the Bible for what it is rather than what it is supposed to represent. My basic and simple point is 99.9999% of Christians are living in sin because they fail to follow the words and teachings of Christ and they want to sculpt the bible to meet their needs rather than meet the needs of God and Christ and If there is a god and the day of judgment comes you will remember what it is here that I have said. Because you will not be permitted in to the gates of heaven. And most of you will try and show me how I am wrong but those of you who do are still missing something very important from the BIBLE, I truly hope there will be one of you who can tell me what it is that I am getting at; By me suggesting that you will tell me how I am wrong because there is a passage in the bible that coincides directly with what I am suggesting but I am not your teacher. So if you are a true believer someone out there can tell me what it is I am implying. One last point 99.99999999999% of christians do not want to follow the BIBLE both OT and NT in it entirety because they to not posses the will nor the moral courage to do so. Being a true believe means giving ones self COMPLETELY unto GOD and CHRIST but we are to greedy to do so because we fill we should be able to do what we want because somewhere in history someone said it is ok to sin as long as you ask for forgiveness well if you read the BIBLE that is incorrect. For one simple fact the laws have been given to you not only buy god but by Christ as well and they are in TWO BOOKS they are there for you to read and follow so if you choose to sin guess what, YOU CHOSE TO DO IT AGAINST GOD HE HAS ALREADY TOLD YOU WHAT NOT TO DO CORRECT OR INCORRECT. NOW I COULD CONTINUE ON AND ON AND ON BUT I HAVE A LIFE TO LIVE AND WELL I WOULD LIKE TO GET BACK TO IT SO UNTILL JUDGMENT DAY PEACE BE UPON YOU.

    • Hi Shawn,

      That’s quite a paragraph. I don’t know the precise content of your studies or your conversations with Christians, so I’ll focus on your claims here.

      1. You appear to misunderstand the “judge not” passage in Matthew 7. Read the first 5 verses carefully and you should see that Jesus wasn’t saying never to judge, just not to judge hypocritically. And if judging of any kind is so horribly wrong then why are you judging me?

      2. Christians concede and agree that we aren’t perfect. That’s one of the main points — we need Jesus’ perfection because we can never do it on our own!

      I agree that we should all try to follow the Bible more carefully.

      I hope you will reconsider your views.

  18. Todd- being righteously obtuse doesnt make youre argument. contradictions and errors have been noted in the bible for centuries, ones that cant be explained away by different persectives. of the thousands, here are a few..
    Bible debates, perhaps more than any other debate topic, can become lost in endless details of interpretation and subtle questions of translation. It can easily seem that to get into the debate at all requires one to be a Biblical scholar. Fortunately, this is not the case, particularly when dealing with fundamentalists who claim that the Bible is free of error and contradiction.

    The claim of Biblical inerrancy puts the Christian in the position of not just claiming that the original Bible was free of error (and, remember, none of the original autograph manuscripts exist) but that their modern version of the Bible is the end result of an error-free history of copying and translation beginning with the originals. Such a position is so specific that it allows one to falsify it simply by reference to the Bible itself. For example, Gen 32:30 states, “…for I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved.” However, John 1:18 states, “No man hath seen God at any time…” Both statements cannot be true. Either there is an error of fact, or an error of translation. In either case, there is an error. And if there is an error, then infallibility of the Bible (in this case the King James Version) is falsified. A typical defense used here is to look up the meaning of the original Hebrew / Greek, read that one of the words can have multiple meanings, and then pick the meaning that seems to break the contradiction. For example, the Christian might argue that “seen” or “face” means one thing in the first scripture, and something completely different in the second. The logical flaw in this approach is that it amounts to saying that the translator should have chosen to use a different word in one of the two scriptures in order to avoid the resulting logical contradiction that now appears in English—that is, the translator made an error. If no translation error occurred, then an error of fact exists in at least one of the two scriptures. Appeals to “context” are irrelevant in cases like this where simple declarative statements are involved such as “no one has seen God” and “I have seen God.” Simply put, no “context” makes a contradiction or a false statement, like 2 = 3, true.

    If one is prepared to allow for the possibility of translator or transcriber errors, then the claim of Biblical inerrancy is completely undermined since no originals exist to serve as a benchmark against which to identify the errors. Left only with our error-prone copies of the originals, the claim of infallibility becomes completely vacuous. Pandora’s Box would truly be open: You could have the Bible say whatever you want it to say by simply claiming that words to the contrary are the result of copying or translation/interpretation errors, and nothing could prove you wrong.

    Let’s look at several more of these context-independent contradictions and errors of fact.1

    Contradictions

    2 Kings 8:26 says “Two and twenty years old was Ahaziah when he began to reign…” 2 Chronicles 22:2 says “Forty and two years old was Ahaziah when he began to reign…”
    2 Samuel 6:23 says “Therefore Michal the daughter of Saul had no child unto the day of her death” 2 Samuel 21:8 says “But the king took…the five sons of Michal the daughter of Saul”
    2 Samuel 8:3-4 says “David smote also Hadadezer…and took from him…seven hundred horsemen…” 1 Chronicles 18:3-4 says “David smote Hadarezer…and took from him…seven thousand horsemen…”
    1 Kings 4:26 says “And Solomon had forty thousand stalls of horses for his chariots…” 2 Chronicles 9:25 says “And Solomon had four thousand stalls for horses and chariots…”
    2 Kings 25:8 says “And in the fifth month, on the seventh day of the month…Nebuzaradan…came…unto Jerusalem” Jeremiah 52:12 says “…in the fifth month, in the tenth day of the month…came Nebuzaradan…into Jerusalem”
    1 Samuel 31:4-6 says “…Saul took a sword and fell upon it. And when his armourbearer saw that Saul was dead and…died with him. So Saul died…” 2 Samuel 21:12 says “…the Philistines had slain Saul in Gilboa.”
    Gen 2:17 says “But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day thou eastest thereof thou shalt surely die [note: it doesn't say 'spiritual' death] Gen 5:5 says “And all the days that Adam lived were nine hundred and thirty years: and he died.”
    Matt 1:16 says, “And Jacob begat Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus…” Luke 3:23 says “And Jesus…the son of Joseph, which was the son of Heli”
    James 1:13 says “..for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man.” Gen 22:1 says “And it came to pass after these things, that God did tempt Abraham…”
    Gen 6:20 says “Of fowls after their kind and of cattle [etc.]…two of every sort shall come unto thee…” Gen 7:2,3 says “Of every clean beast thou shall take to thee by sevens…Of fowls also of the air by sevens…”
    Luke23:46: “And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, he said, Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit: and having said thus, he gave up the ghost.” John 19:30 “When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.”
    Gen 32:30 states “…for I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved.” John 1:18 states, “No man hath seen God at any time…”

    Factual Errors

    1 Kings 7:23 “He made a molten sea, ten cubits from the one brim to the other: it was round all about, and his height was five cubits: and a line of thirty cubits did compass it round about.” Circumference = Pi() x Diameter, which means the line would have to have been over 31 cubits. In order for this to be rounding, it would have had to overstate the amount to ensure that the line did “compass it round about.”
    Lev 11:20-21: “All fowls that creep, going upon all four, shall be an abomination unto you.” Fowl do not go upon all four.
    Lev 11:6: “And the hare, because he cheweth the cud…” Hare do not chew the cud.
    Deut 14:7: ” “…as the camel, and the hare, and the coney: for they chew the cud, but divide not the hoof.” For the hare this is wrong on both counts: Hare don’t chew the cud and they do divide the “hoof.”
    Jonah 1:17 says, “…Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights” Matt 12:40 says “…Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly…” whales and fish are not related
    Matt 13:31-32: ” “the kingdom of heaven is like to a grain of mustard seed which…is the least of all seeds, but when it is grown is the greatest among herbs and becometh a tree.” There are 2 significant errors here: first, there are many smaller seeds, like the orchid seed; and second, mustard plants don’t grow into trees.
    Matt 4:8: ” Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them.” Unless the world is flat, altitude simply will not help you see all the kingdoms of the earth.

    • “The claim of Biblical inerrancy puts the Christian in the position of not just claiming that the original Bible was free of error (and, remember, none of the original autograph manuscripts exist) but that their modern version of the Bible is the end result of an error-free history of copying and translation beginning with the originals. ”

      Sorry to be a buzzkill about your huge copy-and-paste comment, but if that is your claim of inerrancy then you don’t know what you are criticizing. I don’t know of a single textual critic who claims an error-free history of copying and translating. Just read the footnotes of the end of Mark or in John 8, for example, where they note that the earliest manuscripts didn’t have those passages. This isn’t any kind of a secret within conservative scholarship.

      Back to the drawing board for you!

      I think if you do a little study outside of your Big Book O’ Atheist Sound Bites that you’ll find satisfactory answers to those alleged issues.

      • I also encourage you to learn more about biblical textual criticism and how we can be very, very confident about what the originals said — especially on key doctrines.

  19. Neil, not sure who you are, literally – but would just like to give you a compliment on how you handle yourself and your blogsite. I happened to get to your site by researching Jesus and the Old Testament Scriptures for a College paper and have been reading the your blog discussion for about 40 minutes now, between patients (I am a dentist). I have to say that for sometime I have been frustrated with having to learn so much about Ancient Near Eastern literature etc., when all I have been yearning for is some indepth Bible knowledge, but I stand corrected for such criticism. Evidently I need to keep studying because I don’t think I could have answered some of those “statements” as clearly and succintly as you have. May God continue to bless you and all that you do for Him and His Kingdom. Lisa

    • Thanks, that’s a great example of the foolishness of people who rebel against God. Deep down he knew that Christianity was the real, authentic religion. Otherwise, he’d never say something so stupid as that, pretending that if one religion was false then they all must be. As J. Budziszewski, atheist-turned-Christian philosophy professor from the University of Texas say, “Though it always comes as a surprise to intellectuals, there are some forms of stupidity that you must be highly intelligent and educated to commit. God keeps them in His arsenal to pull down mulish pride, and I discovered them all.”

      But the Bible is truly the word of God and carries the good news of how to be reconciled to him — even rebels who currently agree with Asimov.

      Romans 1:18–20 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.

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