The Divergence of Christianity and Judaism

The religion of Judaism had been well established within the first millennium BC, and in Israel, prior to the rise of Christianity, Judaism remained the dominant religion of the people. Thus, Jesus was also Jewish, and all His earliest followers were Jewish. And yet, less than a century after Jesus was crucified in the early 30’s AD, the early Christian and bishop Ignatius of Antioch had written that “It is monstrous to talk of Jesus Christ and to practice Judaism” (Magnesians 10:3). So what happened?

The process of the divergence of Christianity from Judaism I think is best articulated by the renowned scholar Daniel Boyarin, in his book Border Lines: The Partition of Judaeo-Christianity. Boyarin, who is himself a Jew, reveals several important factors regarding how the two religions diverged, and as Boyarin shows, this must be done in the context of the study of the history of heresiology, or the history of heresy. Christianity and Judaism did not diverge as a result of the two views becoming more and more gradually dissimilar but as a result of the ‘leaders’ of each view defining the borders of their own worldviews over many centuries in order to exclude theological concepts they considered heretical, and these concepts usually belonged to the opposing view. The centerpiece theology of this debate was Logos theology, or the view that the one God was more than one person, so that, for the Christians, Jesus could also have been a part of the godhead, the view of binitarianism which stated that God was one being, but two persons. Of course, as Boyarin demonstrates at length, numerous Jews during the first century and earlier had already believed that God could have a multiplicity of the persons (as is reflected by the Wisdom traditions, Memra (Memra is the Hebrew word for ‘Logos’, and ‘Logos’ is the Greek word for ‘Word’, see John 1:1-18; “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God”) traditions, Second Temple exegesis indebted to Daniel 7 (‘Ancient of Days’ and ‘Son of Man’ discussions) and the discussion in the rabbinic texts regarding the idea of many Jews known as the ‘Two Powers in Heaven’.

Even though many Jews had held this view, by the time of the second century, the Rabbis began to view this idea as a heresy, as is first reflected in the Mishna (c. 200 AD) and then the Tosefta (c. 250 AD). From the first to the second century AD, however, the concept of heresy itself underwent a change in definition. The word heresy comes from the Greek haireseis, and by at least the time that the Book of Acts was written, this word only meant a choice of belief or adherence, belonging to a sect (of Judaism here, such as the other sects of Judaism from the first century like that of the Pharisees and Saudacees). This is clearly reflected in, for example, Acts 26:5, where we read “They have known for a long time, if they are willing to testify, that I have belonged to the strictest sect (haireseis) of our religion and lived as a Pharisee.” This passage undoubtedly reveals the early meaning of this phrase had no implications of what we would now identify with the concept of heresy — that is, a wrong, or contrary (heterodox rather than orthodox) belief. The change in definition came, at the latest, by the time of the writings of Justin Martyr c. 150 AD where Justin writes in his Dialogue with Trypho:

I will again relate words spoken by Moses, from which we can recognize without any question that He conversed with one different in numbers from Himself and possessed of reason. Now these are the words: And God said: Behold, Adam has become as one of Us, to know good and evil. Therefore by saying as one of Us He has indicated also number in those that were present together, two at least. For I cannot consider that assertion true which is affirmed by what you call an heretical (haireseis) party among you, and cannot be proved by the teachers of that heresy, that He was speaking to the angels, or that the human body was the work of angels. (Dialogue 62:2)

The pejorative use of the phrase “what you call”, combined with Justin’s other uses of the word haireseis, as Boyarin notes on pp. 40-41 of his monograph, demonstrate that by the time of Justin, the term ‘heresy’ had shifted from referring to a sectarian view to describing a wrong belief. A close cognate word to heresy was the Hebrew word minut, which was the term that the Rabbis after Justin used to describe a heretical view. Thus, now that there was a word and concept available from distinguishing between a simple viewpoint within a religion, to an incorrect and ungodly view of a religion, the leaders of Christianity and Judaism could define what constituted heresy and thus pave the borderlines around their ideologies that no one could cross, lest they reveal they were a heretic rather than a genuine believer.

Thus, in the second century, the Christians begun to claim that if you do not accept the multiplicity of God’s person (i.e. Logos theology), then you are not a Christian but a Jew, and the Jews said that if you do accept the multiplicity of God’s person, then you are not a Jew but a Christian. Thus, the borderlines of correct and orthodox Christianity had been paved, and the borderlines of correct and orthodox Judaism had been paved. There were some early ideologies, such as the Ebionites and Nazoreans, who claimed to be both Jewish and Christian. In other words, this was a hybrid worldview of the two religions. While these two views flourished most around c. 400 AD, it quickly becomes no surprise that Epiphanius (4th century) and Jerome (5th century) claimed that while they claimed to be hybrids, both Christians and Jews, they were actually “neither”. Thus, all middle ground was eliminated, and furthermore, the existence of these hybrid religions implied the existence of a pure version of the religion, not tainted by heresy (see pp. 207-210 and 212-4 in Boyarin’s book).

Other changes in definition also occurred during the 4th-5th centuries AD, as Boyarin also goes on to demonstrate. Religio (religion) for example, went from meaning ethnicities, populations and geographies, to referring to and characterizing belief systems. Superstitio (superstition) went from meaning excessive worship and obeisance to the divine, to simply becoming a word that refers to an actually incorrect practice or religion. Quickly, the available tools for the entire and complete divergence between Christianity and Judaism had started to become established. During the Second Temple Period, the Jews considered the world outside of Israel to be Gentiles. By the times of the composition of the final layers of the Palestinian and Babylonian Talmuds, the Christians and pagans themselves took on the role, in the Jewish perspective, of the Gentiles that had existed in the Second Temple Period. At the various councils of the 3rd-5th centuries, Christians began laying down their orthodoxies and correct beliefs, such as famously during the Council of Nicaea in c. 325 AD, whereas the Jews, inundated by the differing beliefs and interpretations, concluded that all views of the Rabbis come from God, and that in God’s understanding, all contradictions are resolved — and the only interpretations that could stop one from being a Jew was either Logos theology itself or the view that there can be one correct interpretation and that some Rabbis had gotten it wrong. This had concluded with the Jewish view that “an Israelite, even though he sins, is still an Israelite”, and thus defined the conceptual transition of Judaism from a religion to an ethnicity as is what we see today.

All this, collectively, explains and allows us to understand how the various sects of Judaism in the first century, including one so termed to be held by a small group known as ‘Christians’, paved the borders around what is acceptable Judaism in a way that starkly contrasted it with the world of the Christians who, themselves, began paving the borders around their own acceptable beliefs as they begun to rise and conquer the Roman Empire. The centrality of this division was Logos theology, the view that God could have more than one person alongside the Father (and that would be Jesus for the Christians, this is otherwise known as binitarianism), which, although was a common Jewish belief before Christianity, become unacceptable during the 2nd century. The rabbis tried to equate binitarianism with ditheism (the belief that there are two gods) and condemned the entire concept as a heresy, or minut. This is how, as Boyarin shows, Christianity and Judaism had diverged. Boyarin’s case goes much more in depth than this, and I cannot do it justice here, analyzing all sectors and developments of the evidence, and is a highly recommended read and is certainly one of the most influential scholarly works since the beginning of the 21st century. Alas!

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Academic Christianity

Recently, I’ve been creating a new page on this blog documenting advancements in Christian academia, and the defense of Christianity since 1990, when the worldwide academic movement of Christianity, in my opinion, really took off. I’ve worked pretty hard on it and it’s now my longest (or maybe second longest) page on this website since I’ve documented quite a bit on it. To draw attention to it here, I thought I’d post some of the progress I’ve had on it and re-post a number of the archaeological advancements I’ve recounted since 1990:

(you can access the full page by clicking here)

1990 and Beyond

Archaeological Discoveries

In the November of 1990, in a burial cave located in South Jerusalem, several ancient ossuaries were discovered, one bearing the name “Joseph, son of Caiaphas”. This Caiaphas has been identified by archaeologists to have been the High Priest of Israel, Caiaphas, who is mentioned towards the end of the Gospels as an antagonist of Jesus and one of the men who ended up causing Jesus to get crucified on charges of blasphemy. In other words, this ossuary has validated the existence of this important man, and it should be mentioned alongside the Miriam Ossuary discovered in 2011 which also mentions Caiaphas, and it says “Miriam daughter of Yeshua son of Caiaphas, priest of Ma’azya from Beit Imri”.

One of the greatest archaeological discoveries relating to the truth of the history of the Bible was made in 1993, when excavations at Tel Dan lead by the famous archaeologist Avraham Biran discovered the first archaeological inscription mentioning King David by name (now known as the Tel Dan Inscription dating to the middle of the 9th century BC), shifting academia into accepting the historicity of David, one of the most important men of the Old Testament. The contents of the inscription provided substantial substantiation to the historicity of 2 Kings 9, of which I have written further about here. A year later in 1994, André Lemaire and Émile Puech, two important epigraphers, both independently came to the conclusion that David is further mentioned in the Mesha Stele, dating to about c. 840 BC.

In the ancient Philistine site of Gath, excavations led by the renowned archaeologist and scholar Aren Maier discovered a pottery sherd containing an important inscription in 2005. As the Washington Times reported;

A shard of pottery unearthed in a decade-old dig in southern Israel carried an inscription in early Semitic style spelling “Alwat and “Wlt,” likely Philistine renderings of the name Goliath, said Aren Maeir, who directed the excavation.

The sherd, found in Gath, the hometown of the famous Goliath known from the Bible (1 Samuel 17:41), contained an Indo-European name that is etymologically similar to ‘Goliath’. According to Maier, “Here we have very nice evidence the name Goliath appearing in the Bible in the context of the story of David and Goliath … is not some later literary creation.” In other words, this finding confirmed that the name Goliath was likely a real name in Goliath’s period in the hometown of Gath, lending credibility to the biblical account of David’s battle with Goliath and as something that could not have been invented by later biblical writers.

In 2007, Michael Jursa, an Associate Professor of Assyriology at Vienna University found an ancient Babylonian tablet referring to a man named Nabu-sharrussu-ukin, a chief member of Nebuchadnezzar’s royal court. The significance of the realization of this identity was that Jursa realized this figure was already known to have been mentioned in the Bible, precisely, Jeremiah 39:3, thereby confirming his existence (although the Bible offers a variant spelling of this his name, Nebo-sar-sekim, although the figures have been identified as the same person).  According to Irving Finkel regarding thisfinding, assistant keeper in the British Museum’s Middle East Department, “This is a fantastic discovery, a world-class find… If Nebo-Sarsekim existed, which other lesser figures in the Old Testament existed? A throwaway detail in the Old Testament turns out to be accurate and true. I think that it means that the whole of the narrative [of Jeremiah] takes on a new kind of power.”

Before 2000, no synagogues were entirely known to have been found anywhere in ancient Israel in the Second Temple Period (530 BC – 70 AD), Judah, Samaria or Galilee. Since the Gospels recorded that Jesus preached in synagogues during His ministry in the Second Temple Period, some scholars concluded that the Gospels, written decades later, projected their own time into the time of Jesus and erroneously placed synagogues in His story, even though they didn’t exist at the time. Since then, in a short period, eight synagogues have been discovered dating to the period Jesus lived in, the first being in Gamla, another in Magdal, discovered in excavations in 2009 alongside the Magdala Stone, and a more recent one being discovered in 2016 at Tel Rechesh, the first synagogue found in a rural rather than an urban setting. These series of discoveries in a brief period of time confirmed that synagogues did in fact exist during Jesus’ ministry, and that the Gospels had not misplaced them into the story. Matthew wrote “Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom, and healing every disease and sickness among the people” (4:23).

One of the most important events recounted in the Old Testament is the Babylonian invasion of Israel and Jerusalem c. 605 BC, and the exile of the Jewish people out of Israel. Although this event had already been authenticated from Babylonian records discovered in the 19th century, another detail of Babylon’s invasion that 2 Kings and Jeremiah record were confirmed, that is, that Babylon burned down Jerusalem during its invasion. According to Joe Uziel, leading excavations in an eastern portion of the City of David in 2017 on behalf of the IAA, found that Jerusalem had been set on fire by the invading forces of Babylon as they conquered the land of the Israelite’s.


(you can access the full page by clicking here)

Isaiah 53 Confirms Christianity

Christianity, the worlds greatest religion. Not only is the Christian faith more widespread then all other religious beliefs that have existed throughout history, but it is also the one true religion as well. Much confirmation has come to Christianity, especially from history and archaeology. Indeed, I’ve done a number of posts on the archaeological and historical confirmation of the Bible (see here and here for some examples). But one of the more well-known forms of complete confirmation of the proposition of Christianity and the Lord Jesus are biblical prophecies.

Biblical prophecies are what God foretells in the books of the Bible. And indeed, God declares to us that He tells the end from the beginning.

[Isaiah 46:10] Remember what happened long ago, for I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and no one is like Me. I declare the end from the beginning, and from long ago what is not yet done, saying: My plan will take place, and I will do all My will.

I believe the greatest prophecy in the entire Old Testament is a prophecy from the Book of Isaiah. This prophecy is the prophecy of Isaiah 53, the suffering servant prophecy. Contrary to popular thought, scholars agree the prophecy actually starts in Isaiah 52:13, not Isaiah 53:1 (but I will refer to the entire thing as Isaiah 53 later on). Considering that, we shall now quote the passage and behold one of God’s ultimate confirmations of Christianity through Jesus. A long prophecy, just to warn you.


[Isaiah 52:13-Isaiah 53:12] See, My Servant will act wisely; He will be raised and lifted up and greatly exalted. Just as many were appalled at You—His appearance was so disfigured that He did not look like a man, and His form did not resemble a human being—
so He will sprinkle many nations. Kings will shut their mouths because of Him, For they will see what had not been told them, and they will understand what they had not heard. Who has believed what we have heard? And who has the arm of the Lord been revealed to? He grew up before Him like a young plant and like a root out of dry ground. He didn’t have an impressive form or majesty that we should look at Him, no appearance that we should desire Him. He was despised and rejected by men, a man of suffering who knew what sickness was. He was like someone people turned away from; He was despised, and we didn’t value Him. Yet He Himself bore our sicknesses, and He carried our pains; but we in turn regarded Him stricken, struck down by God, and afflicted. But He was pierced because of our transgressions, crushed because of our iniquities; punishment for our peace was on Him, and we are healed by His wounds. We all went astray like sheep; we all have turned to our own way; and the Lord has punished Him for the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed and afflicted, yet He did not open His mouth. Like a lamb led to the slaughter and like a sheep silent before her shearers, He did not open His mouth. He was taken away because of oppression and judgment; and who considered His fate? For He was cut off from the land of the living; He was struck because of my people’s rebellion. They made His grave with the wicked and with a rich man at His death, although He had done no violence and had not spoken deceitfully. Yet the Lord was pleased to crush Him severely. When You make Him a restitution offering, He will see His seed, He will prolong His days, and by His hand, the Lord’s pleasure will be accomplished. He will see it out of His anguish, and He will be satisfied with His knowledge. My righteous Servant will justify many, and He will carry their iniquities. Therefore I will give Him the many as a portion, and He will receive the mighty as spoil, because He submitted Himself to death, and was counted among the rebels; yet He bore the sin of many and interceded for the rebels.


Indeed, a miraculous prophecy written more than half a millennium before Jesus was born. The Book of Isaiah foretells many things about Jesus.

  1. This prophecy predicts Jesus will be rejected by man, Isaiah 53:3 says “He was despised and rejected by men, a man of suffering who knew what sickness was.”
  2. This prophecy predicts the crucifixion of Jesus, Isaiah 53:5 says “But He was pierced because of our transgressions, crushed because of our iniquities;” (another prophecy that speak of Jesus’ crucifixion is Psalm 22:16)
  3. This prophecy predicts that Jesus will be oppressed and detained, Isaiah 53:7 says “He was oppressed and afflicted, yet He did not open His mouth.”
  4. This prophecy predicts Jesus will be buried by a rich man (whom we know as Joseph of Arimathea), Isaiah 53:9 says “They made His grave with the wicked and with a rich man at His death,”
  5. This prophecy predicts Jesus will be sinless in His life, Isaiah 53:9 also says “although He had done no violence and had not spoken deceitfully.”
  6. This prophecy predicts Jesus will be considered a criminal, Isaiah 53:12 says “because He submitted Himself to death, and was counted among the rebels;”
  7. This prophecy predicts Jesus will die for our sins, Isaiah 53:12 also says “yet He bore the sin of many and interceded for the rebels.”

There is absolutely not a figment of doubt that the Isaiah 53 prophecy miraculously references to Jesus hundreds of years before Jesus was born. The false prophecies of Nostradamus are inconceivable vague, but the words of Isaiah are so unimaginably specific and clear that they speak of Jesus, that no other man in the history of humanity fulfilled such prophecy.

And in fact, to prove this refers to Jesus by anyone’s conception, there is a popular video I found by PuritanPictures where a Christian finds a random Atheist, reads the Isaiah 53 prophecy without telling him that it predates the life of Jesus, asks him who it is talking about, and he answers that it speaks of Jesus! I will post this video on the bottom of this post.

Indeed, and here is a video of random Jews in Israel even being convinced that this speaks of Jesus!

This removes any doubt about the miraculous nature of this prophecy. Some of the disbelievers wish to challenge this, however, and luckily for me there are no logical responses to this prophecy. So, I will now rebuke and rebut all the weak claims against it and its nature. If you go around, these are the objections you will hear.

  • Isaiah 53 was actually written after Jesus
  • Isaiah 53 was never meant as a Messianic prophecy until after Jesus came
  • Isaiah 53 is actually talking about Israel, not Jesus (???)
  • Isaiah 53 can’t be talking about Jesus because it contradicts Jesus
  • Isaiah 53 is written in past-tense, and so couldn’t have been a prediction of Jesus

Let’s address all of them now.


Some people, believe it or not, actually conceive that the Book of Isaiah was not written until after Jesus lived. This is false, though. The Book of Isaiah was actually composed in the late 8th century BC, perhaps between 730 – 701 BC. There are numerous historical synchronisms in the Book of Isaiah to this period of time, which removes all doubt as to when it was written. For example, in Isaiah 7:1, the Book of Isaiah speaks that it is recording events contemporaneously to the reign of King Ahaz. King Ahaz is an ancient king whom we now know existed, and died at about 715 BC. We have found the personal seal of King Ahaz. It dates to the 8th century BC.

Ahaz's seal from the Shlomo Moussaieff Collection, London

Furthermore, Tiglath-Pileser III, an Assyrian king, also mentions King Ahaz in his annals, and Tiglath-Pileser III reigned between 745-727 BC. So we have a very good reconstruction of when King Ahaz lived, and therefore when the events of Isaiah were first written. Furthermore, in 2015, the Israeli archaeologist Eilat Mazar discovered the royal bulla of King Hezekiah, the son of King Ahaz, which reads “Belonging to Hezekiah [son of] Ahaz king of Judah”, and dates to between 727 – 698 BC. Finally, the oldest full manuscript of the entire Book of Isaiah is known as the Great Isaiah Scroll, which dates to about 150 BC, more then a century before the birth of Jesus. And it contains Isaiah 53. We have an actual manuscript of this prophecy that was penned more then a century before Jesus was even born. So in other words, we know with certainty that this prophecy does in fact predate Jesus. What about the next objection?

As explained earlier, there are some people who posit that Isaiah 53 was never actually believed to be a Messianic Prophecy before Jesus came, and was just twisted by later Christians into such a thing in order to figment a prophecy of Jesus as being the Messiah. This of course, is historically inaccurate. The Dead Sea Scrolls (DSS) have established that Isaiah 53 was believed to be about the Messiah before Jesus was born. We have already spoken of the Great Isaiah Scroll, which is part of the DSS and dates to about 150 BC (before Jesus was born). Here is an image of the text of Isaiah 53 found in the Great Isaiah Scroll.

Here is a very fine explanation I found to explain the highlighted part of this text.

52:14 includes an obscure hapax legomena מִשְׁחַת that appears in 1QIsaa as משׁחתי which pointed would be מְשַׁחְתִּי məšaḥtî, “I anointed”. This, in conjunction with the added definite article on ʾadam, results in a text which Hengel translates: “I have anointed his appearance beyond that of any (other) man, and his form beyond that of the sons of humanity [the human]”. This has other textual overtones bringing the passage into an explicit connection with “anointing”.

The word Messiah is Hebrew for “the anointed one”, and so the concept of the Messiah was an anointed figure by God, and this view of the Messiah has been implemented into the Great Isaiah Scroll manuscript of Isaiah 53. In other words, manuscripts of Isaiah 53 that exist before Jesus was born contain Messianic overtones, therefore abundantly establishing that Isaiah 53 was regarded as Messianic prophecy before the lifetime of Jesus. This in fact helps further establish Jesus as the fulfiller of this prophecy.

Therefore, we shall now address the third, and perhaps strangest objection of them all. Indeed, some proclaim that this prophecy speaks not of Jesus, but is actually a text about Israel!

This is how the modern rabbi’s and modern Jewish teachers will explain away the Old Testaments references to Jesus. This explanation was also only invented for the sole purpose of combating the claims of Christians, and has no legitimacy. For example, Isaiah 52:14 literally says the servant is a human being, and that this human was beaten so badly (Roman whipping of Jesus?) that his face was disfigured and he no longer even resembled a human being afterwards. In other words, because the prophecy speaks of a human being, it couldn’t possibly be about Israel, which is a country. Isaiah 53:9 says “He had done no violence”, which could not possibly apply to Israel, because Israel’s history is filled with violence and war with the Canaanite’s and Philistine’s. Indeed, Isaiah 53:12 says “because He submitted Himself to death” — someone is going to need to explain how the geographical region of Israel exactly died if they want this to apply to Israel! This should establish, beyond a reasonable doubt, that Isaiah 53 has nothing to do with Israel. For a compilation of several more reasons as to why Isaiah 53 has nothing to do with Israel (such as the use of pronouns in Isaiah 53), read this very concisely written article listing ten full reasons. Indeed, we should take a look at the simpler explanation, and conclude it can only be talking about the Jesus. An important thing for modern Jews to consider is that all the ancient Jews and rabbi’s believed that Isaiah 53 was talking about the Messiah as well, which is very important to consider. The concept of this applying to Israel is a modern day invention that is incompatible with the text.

For the next objection, we have people who don’t think Isaiah 53 lines up with Jesus. They go to painful lengths to try to find discrepancies between Isaiah 53 and Jesus. Here are just a few of them, with rebuttals included.

  • Isaiah 53:3 says “He was despised and rejected by mankind, a man of suffering, and familiar with pain.” — but Jesus was not rejected, he had so many followers! Although he did have followers, he was obviously rejected. He had an entire crowd of Jews at his trial with Pontius Pilate demanding he be put to death, not to mention the very fact that he was put to death which seriously proves he was rejected.
  • Isaiah 53:7 says “He was oppressed and afflicted, yet He did not open His mouth. Like a lamb led to the slaughter and like a sheep silent before her shearers, He did not open His mouth.” — but Jesus spoke during the trial with Pontius Pilate (John 18:34-19:11)! This is a strange objection considering Isaiah 53:7 is talking about the actual whipping, beating and crucifixion of Jesus, not the trial that had occurred beforehand.
  • Isaiah 53:10 says “He will see His seed, He will prolong His days,” — this verse says Jesus would have descendants and children, but He didn’t! This verse actually does not say Jesus would have any actual children of His own, this is clearly speaking of His spiritual progeny. Galatians 3:26 tells us in Christ we are all children of God.

Isaiah 53 is so clearly talking about Jesus that it is slightly funny to see people trying to find discrepancies between the accounts.

Lastly, there are those people who claim Isaiah 53 is written in past tense, and therefore is not referring to events in the future, such as the acts of Jesus. Actually, it contains both past-tense and future-tense elements, showing that all uses of past/present/future tense are obviously literary. Some cases of future tense in Isaiah 52:13-53:12 includes the following phrases;

  • He will be raised and lifted up and greatly exalted (Is. 52:14)
  • so He will sprinkle many nations. Kings will shut their mouths because of Him, For they will see what had not been told them, and they will understand what they had not heard (Is. 52:15)
  • Therefore I will give Him the many as a portion, and He will receive the mighty as spoil, because He submitted Himself to death, and was counted among the rebels; yet He bore the sin of many and interceded for the rebels (Is. 53:12)


There is only one logical conclusion, and that is the Isaiah 53 miraculously foretells of our Lord Jesus Christ. It speaks of a man who will be crushed for our iniquities, of a man who will die for our sins and bear our transgressions. It speaks of a man who will be considered a criminal and submit to death for us and to save us, and by His wounds we are healed and forgiven of our sins. It tells us this man will be pierced, clearly speaking of the coming crucifixion of Jesus, the cross Jesus was nailed and pierced into. This prophecy predated Jesus by centuries and was considered a Messianic prophecy from the start, and that it speaks of Jesus is undeniable. This prophecy proves Christianity is true. God gives us no excuse not to believe once we have seen and been given the evidence, and when Jesus knocks on our door, He awaits our answer. We must repent, and accept salvation which is the gift of God, something we are given and do not earn. And evidence did God give for our faith.

[Isaiah 53:5] But he was pierced for our transgressions, crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon Him, and by His wounds we are healed.

A Look at the Medical & Empirical Evidence for Miracle Healing.

Fantastic post. Thanks.

James Bishop's Theological Rationalism

wc The World Christian Doctors Network, Spain, 2016.

In order to provide some context for this article, please keep in mind that this is a small excerpt from my thesis project. The general response is to Hume who once argued that miracles go against human experience, as well as to make the positive case for the miraculous.

We shouldn’t look past doctors themselves, since it is they who are, far more often than others, so involved in the process of diagnosing illnesses, prescribing treatments and witnessing survival or death. Perhaps they have a thing or two to say about inexplicable cases of healing? In fact, they do. We shall refer to several lines of evidence (also note that this is not intended to be exhaustive).

One study proved quite informative concerning the relationship between religious practices such as prayer, personal beliefs, as well as testimony of miracles, and medical professionals (1)…

View original post 1,401 more words

HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS DOWNLOAD BIBLE

The Bible, which of course is the most sold book in reality, also conquers the digital world. It’s recently been reported (two days ago if I’m not mistaken) that the Bible App (YouVersion) has hit a new landmark, with 250,000,000 downloads. Click HERE to read about it.

That’s a quarter of a billion downloads.

It has been released for less than 10 years, and in the last year alone has gained another 50 MILLION downloads.. A good piece of news to know about, in a world where people are leaving the faith… Just kidding, people only leave Christianity in certain Western countries.

I personally have the app on two different devices. It’s AMAZING, as you can go through the Bible in it in hundreds of languages with over a hundred different versions, you can search up verses with certain phrases and you can even cross-examine different translations. (not a paid adverisement lol)

God Bless!

[Psalm 95:3] For the LORD is a great God And a great King above all gods,

The Bible and the Shape of the Earth

Truly, idea that the Bible claims that the Earth is flat has always been a common lie by the atheists against the true and holy scriptures that we bear witness too — here, we will see how all their claims that the Bible claims a flat Earth are utterly false, and we will study our scriptures and reveal that the Bible unequivocally tells us that the Earth is actually spherical. This should shed some light onto those who do not accept our scriptures as truth because of these unfortunate misunderstandings, that do not originate from pure intentions.

First, let us address common verses quoted by the unbelievers who deceive that they use to attempt to show that the Bible claims the Earth is flat. We will explain them away with ease. Let us begin.

[Isaiah 11:12] He will lift up a banner for the nations and gather the dispersed of Israel; He will collect the scattered of Judah from the four corners of the earth.

One of the first verses quoted will be one that has the Bible saying that the Earth has four corners — which thus somehow translates to a flat Earth. However, it is clear to note that these ‘four corners’ are simply referring to North, South, East and West. We can confirm this by seeing that the Bible later affiliates the four corners of the Earth with the four winds of the Earth. Behold:

[Revelation 7:1] After this I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth, restraining the four winds of the earth so that no wind could blow on the earth or on the sea or on any tree.

As we can see, the first attempt to show the Bible invokes a flat earth is utterly inconsequential. Moving forwards…

[Job 38:13] That it might take hold of the ends of the earth, And the wicked be shaken out of it?

[Daniel 4:11] The tree grew large and became strong And its height reached to the sky, And it was visible to the end of the whole earth.

This verse implies the existence of “the ends of the earth”. However, all “ends of the earth” means is simply the “entire Earth”, nothing more. There is one more type of verse that these people try to use to show the Bible claims the Earth is flat, and it is the following:

[Job 26:11] The pillars that hold up the sky tremble, astounded at His rebuke.

If the Earth has pillars, it must be flat! It might be somewhat confusing what the ‘pillars’ of the Earth in the Bible mean, but this problem simply disappears when we take a look at the Scholarly commentaries on Job 26:11 and understand what these verses truly mean.

Cambridge Bible Commentary:

The “pillars” of the heavens, if the conception be not wholly ideal, may be the lofty mountains on which the heavens seem to rest, and which, as they are lost in the clouds, are spoken of as belonging to heaven. At God’s rebuke, when His voice of thunder rolls, or when earthquakes shake the earth, they tremble with terror of His majesty,

Benson Commentary:

The pillars of heaven tremble — Perhaps the mountains, which by their height and strength seem to reach and support the heavens. And are astonished at his reproof — When God reproveth not them, but men by them, manifesting his displeasure by thunders or earthquakes.

Pulpit Commentary:

The pillars of heaven tremble. The “pillars of heaven” are the mountains, on which the sky seems to rest. These “tremble,” or seem to tremble, at the presence of God (Psalm 18:7; Psalm 114:4; Isaiah 5:25) when he visits the earth in storm and tempest, either because the whole atmosphere is full of disturbance, and the outline of the mountains shifts and changes as rain and storm sweep over them, or because the reverberations of the thunder, which shake the air, seem to shake the earth also. And are astonished at his reproof. To the mind of the poet this “trembling” is expressive of astonishment and consternation. He regards the mountains as hearing the voice of God in the storm, recognizing it as raised in anger, and so trembling and cowering before him.

So, these ‘pillars’, after thorough examination of the biblical evidence, simply mean the the mountains of the Earth.

Now that we have seen any attempts to coincide the Bible with a flat Earth turn out to be very disappointing, we will show that the Bible very clearly explains that the Earth is actually round. The Bible gives us three descriptions of the shape of the Earth that will allow us to piece this puzzle.

[Isaiah 40:22] God is enthroned above the circle of the earth; its inhabitants are like grasshoppers. He stretches out the heavens like thin cloth and spreads them out like a tent to live in.

The Bible tells us that the Earth is circular in some sense.

[Ephesians 4:9] But what does “He ascended” mean except that He descended to the lower parts of the earth?

The Bible tells us that there are ‘lower parts of the earth’, in other words the Earth has multiple layers/regions. It has thickness.

[Matthew 12:40] For as Jonah was in the belly of the huge fish three days and three nights, so the Son of Man will be in the heart of the earth three days and three nights.

The Bible tells us that the Earth has a ‘heart’ or perfect center.

Now that we have collected this information, let us list the three criteria of a shape needed in order to qualify as the Biblical Earth.

  1. It must be circular in some sense
  2. It must be a thick object, with the capacity of having multiple layers (three dimensional)
  3. It must have an absolute center or ‘heart’

The fact is, the only shape in the world that fits all the criterion for the Biblical shape of the Earth is a sphere. Flat circles do not qualify for the second criterion, and cylinders do not qualify for the third (as if the Bible could imply the Earth is a cylinder). However, a sphere is circular, is a thick three dimensional object that can have layers, and has a center in the middle of it. This means that there is no possible way the Bible says the Earth is flat, it evidently and very clearly necessitates the Earth to be a sphere, based on the evidence we have just seen.

Christianity RISING in Finland (Christianity I)

Christianity is on the rise again, in the place you’d least expect it to… FINLAND.

A country where Christianity is almost unknown… Is now returning to the Lord.

Click HERE  to read, or click on this link here..

http://www.christiantoday.com/article/christianity.is.rising.again.in.finland/100757.htm

According to these recent statistics, the portion of the Finnish population that now believes in the Christian God rose from 27% to 33%. That’s an increase of 6%. Atheism also went up by 2% in this time (which is a negligible amount), however this is a sign that Finland will be soon halting its decline in belief in God, meaning that Atheism will get shut down in another Western country, hopefully within the next few decades at most.

Christianity: A Growing Or Dying Religion?

Christianity, as of today, is the worlds largest religion by far. It has over 2,300,000,000 adherents right now, and is the majority of almost all the continents and countries in the world, as well as representing over 30-33% of the world population. Christianity only had 600,000,000 adherents just over a century ago, and so we can see that it underwent an overwhelming rate of growth from 1900 to today, in 2016, in order to exceed 2 billion adherents, and be the first religion to do so as well. The question put forth by a lot of people right now however, is whether or not Christianity, after much increase, is actually declining as of now.

When we speak of the decline of a religion, we mean that it is undergoing a net loss of adherents. This means if we look at the future there will be less Christians overall than there are today. When we speak of a religion dying, we mean that it is undergoing such a fast decline that it is actually set to enter into non-existence or near non-existence in the future. Now, the idea that Christianity is dying is usually put forth by Atheists and Agnostics. Let us not generalize all Atheists and Agnostics, but it is quite definite to say that the ones who put forth this claim have conducted virtually zero research involving demographics.

Our study will look at things in the following order;

  1. Are the number of Christians increasing or decreasing in the world?
  2. Is everyone leaving Christianity?
  3. Christian conversion

Let us begin.

1. Are the number of Christians increasing or decreasing in the world?

The answer to this question is yes. And it is a big yes. Christianity is rapidly growing, and we will look at the statistics to establish this. The two biggest and most reliable recent reports to have come out on the future of religion is the report by Pew Research, and the Center for the Study of Global Christianity. First, we will examine what Pew Research report has to say about the future of Christianity, which was released in 2015 based on 2010 figures, and then we will look at what the Center for the Study of Global Christianity has to say, which is based off of 2012 figures.

a. Pew Research

According to Pew Research, this is the future of Christianity by the number of people who are Christians, by decade, from 2010 to 2050.

2010: In 2010, Christianity had 2,168,330,000 people following the religion.

2020: In 2020, Christianity will have 2,382,750,000 people following the religion.

2030: In 2030, Christianity will have 2,578,790,000 people following the religion.

2040: In 2040, Christianity will have 2,756,390,000 people following the religion.

2050: In 2050, Christianity will have 2,918,070,000 people following the religion.

According to the massive and in-depth Pew Research report, Christianity, from 2010-2050 will grow from having approximately 2.17 billion followers to 2.92 billion followers, which means that this report predicts that the number of Christians will increase by more than 700,000,000 in 40 years.

b. Center for the Study of Global Christianity

The CSGC also has predictions on the number of Christians in the future, but it is not organized in a decade-by-decade manner like it is in the Pew Research report. Rather, across two separate reports, it gives us figures on the number of Christians in 2010, 2020, and 2050. Or maybe I just don’t know how to find 2030 and 2040 figures, who knows. The first report tells us about 2010 and 2020, whilst the second report, being much more recent, tells us about 2015, 2025, and 2050.

2010: In 2010, Christianity had 2,262,586,000 people following the religion.

2015: In 2015, Christianity had 2,419,221,000 people following the religion.

2020: In 2020, Christianity will have 2,550,714,000 people following the religion.

2025: In 2025, Christianity will have 2,727,172,000 people following the religion.

2050: In 2050, Christianity will have approximately 3,310,498,000 followers.

The CSGC reports that in 2010, Christianity had about 2.26 billion followers, and this this will rise to 3.31 billion by 2050, representing an increase by over a billion members in 40 years, and thus the CSGC also predicts an incredibly fast and high rate of expansion of the Christian religion in the future, and that it is growing.

One might question why the Pew Research and CSGC reports differentiate by about 400,000,000 regarding the total number of Christians by the year 2050 — this is because in regions like India and China, where acquiring reliable reports on the number of people following each and individual religion is extraordinarily hard, the CSGC relies on on-the-ground data, and un-official statistics, whilst Pew simply resorts to the safe (but just as potentially inaccurate) official statistics in places where acquiring an accurate share of the population adhering to a single religion is very hard. Thus, when it comes to China, these reports differentiate on the number of Christians by 80,000,000, and that number is about 30,000,000 regarding India. Furthermore, the CSGC predicts that the world population will be considerably higher than Pew Research does by 2050, and with a higher world population, you naturally get more Christians.

c. Extra Considerations

So far, we’ve already seen enough information to completely dispel the myth that Christianity is a dying religion, on the other hand, it is rapidly growing, but there is an extra consideration to take into account for both of these reports.

The Pew Research report presumes that the world population will be about 9.37 billion people by 2050, whilst the CSGC predicts about 9.55 billion people by 2050. However, according to a major 2015 report by the United Nations Population Division from the Department of Economic and Social Affairs, the most recent and updated revised statistics put the world population at 9,725,148,000 (or 9.73 billion) people by 2050, meaning that according to the most recent factually compiled data, Pew Research is missing almost 400 million people from its report to account for their religion, and the CSGC is missing about 200 million. If the world population is hundreds of millions higher than these reports presume, this means that there are hundreds of millions of people whom do not have their religion accounted for, and because Christianity is currently the worlds largest religion, it is very safe to assume that tens of millions of these unaccounted for people, if not over a hundred million, will be themselves Christian. This means that, at the very least, if the Pew Research data is correct, there will be considerably more than 2.92 billion Christians by 2050, and if the CSGC data is correct, there will be considerably more than 3.31 billion Christians by 2050. Christianity will thus grow much more than previously assumed.

2. Is everyone leaving Christianity?

We have all heard about the reports — everyone is leaving Christianity! The churches are empty! Christianity is a dying religion! The boogie man is real! So, is it true?

No.

The people who claim this is true will cherry-pick their sources. They will only look at what is happening in Western countries, and declare that this is therefore happening globally. This could not be further from the truth. In reality, there is in fact a very, very large number of people leaving Christianity in first-world Western countries, but that’s really the only place it’s happening. Pew Research predicts Europe will decline from being about 74% Christian in 2010 to 65% Christian in 2050,  but just because the French and Swedes are turning their backs on Christianity, does not mean the same is happening in Brazil, the Democratic Republic of Congo, or the Philippines. In fact, the West is the only place on the planet where Christianity is declining. Christianity declining in the West of course, does not mean it is declining in general — these Atheists who claim this seem to think that the country they live in is actually the whole world. And sadly for them, even if it was, Christianity still wouldn’t die. Why? Because, if you look at the facts, Christianity WILL RISE AGAIN in the West. This is not me flaunting out of desperation, and from what you are about to see, it is actually a statistical fact.

In reality, the divergence from Christianity is only a temporary ordeal that my end by 2050 all together. In fact, it has already ended in the United Kingdom. A major study released shows that Christianity has actually, according to the most recent statistics, even had a small increase in the share of the British population in recent years from 42% of the population to 43% of the population (and a 3% increase among younger people). The ones without religion declined from 49% of the population to 48% of the population. How long will it be until this atheist fad ends in other Western countries as well? It probably will not continue for too long. In fact, in 2014, more churches opened in America than were shut down for the first time in several decades. 4,000 opened, whilst 3,700 closed, meaning in 2014, the number of American churches increased by 300. Even though the decline of American Christianity is still continuing today, church membership decline seems to have also halted.

In fact, if you look at the statistics, in many Western countries, the number of Christians is actually increasing, even though the Christian share of the population is decreasing. These countries include, according to Pew Research, Canada, America, Norway, Iceland, and perhaps others. Some countries like Denmark have a very small overall decline in the number of Christians. Once the population stops leaving Christianity in Western countries, mass-Christian immigration will end up sinking the non-religious when it comes to the share of Western population countries. The only possible thing that could make Christianity die is if the end of the world literally comes in the next few decades (which I am not denying) and Christians get persecuted into near extinction by the antichrist, or if some kind of nuclear war happens killing off most Christians (although this would also annihilate the atheists and agnostics).

The final thing to mention is, in reality, Christians aren’t leaving Christianity, white people are leaving Christianity. Now, I’m a white guy myself (I’m also an Arab dude, and yes, Arabs are Caucasians too), so I don’t mean to insult my own race, but this is the statistical fact. For example, let us take a look at America. In America, amongst the older population, about 70% of all people are white Christians, although 25% of millennials are white Christians, even though 60-70% of millennials are Christian. So, what’s going on? This 40% or so disparity, which is virtually non-existent amongst the older population, is non-white Christians. That means, for the most part in respect to the American population, Latinos. Latinos aren’t really leaving Christianity. Nor are blacks or Asians. Some are? Sure, but not on any serious level. Once a certain number of white people have left Christianity, there will be no more white people to leave Christianity, either because they already have or the decline simply has had its history (like in Britain, white people aren’t leaving Christianity there anymore, because no one is leaving Christianity there anymore as we have seen). This means that any future growth of the non-religious population of the West is limited, and again, will be eventually overrun by immigration.

The next time you hear someone as uneducated in demographics as Richard Dawkins or Sam Harris tell you that God is dead, just remember that philosopher Fredrick Nietsczhe said the following statement;

God is dead.

The only problem is of course, he said that almost 200 years ago.

3. Christian Conversion

So, now that we’ve seen that people are only leaving Christianity in the West, let us ask about what is happening with Christianity in the rest of the world? This is, unfortunately, where the atheistic/agnostic thesis entirely breaks down. The fact is, since the year 1900, so many people have converted to Christianity that it is simply tremendous. First, let us look at Africa.

a. Africa

affiliation-since-1900

From the year 1900-2010, the Christian share in Africa rose from 9% of the population, to 57% of the population. This means that half of Africa converted to Christianity. One in two men, women, and children in an entire continent, in about two to three generations, converted to the Christianianity. What about South Korea?

b. South Korea

ft_14-08-04_religion-in-south-korea_1christianshare310px

In about two to three generations, Christians increased from 1% of the South Korean population to 29% of the South Korean population — meaning that nearly a third of the entire country converted to Christianity in two or three generations. What about Nigeria?

c. Nigeria

I do not have any graphics for you guys on this one, but in Nigeria, Christianity increased from 21.4% of the population in 1953 to 48.2% of the population in 2003. A report by the United States Agency for International Development puts the share of Christians in Nigeria at 47% in 2015, re-affirming the overwhelming conversion into Christianity that occurred under a single generation, where about a third of the entire population converted to Christianity. What about Russia?

d. Russia

russia-1

In the span of under 20 years after the collapse of the USSR, a staggering 41% of the entire Russian population converted to Christianity, representing an utter collapse of atheism and agnosticism in the country. Indeed, atheists and agnostics represented 61% of the population before the USSR, and once people stopped inhaling all the communistic propaganda they were gorging, Christianity immediately explodes. Not only are atheists and agnostics converting to Christianity, but something that confirms the massive Christian explosion is the fact that 2,000,000 Muslims also converted to Christianity during the last 20 years in Russia. This affirms that this was not simply people no longer having the USSR on their backs for being Christian that lead to the resurgence of Christianity, but it was a miraculous Christian revival in the Russian country. Nowadays, over 1,000 churches open in Russia per year. What about China?

e. China

China is the worlds most populous nation. In 1950, there were about one million Protestants in total, as many as 4,000,000 Christians overall. China has become the most hyped up region in the world when it comes to the exploding of Christianity today, and the hype is real. Christianity is growing so fast in China, that some estimate that China, even though it had almost no serious number of Christians in 1950, will become the worlds largest Christian nation by 2030, some estimates put conversion figures to Christianity in China at  10,000-25,000 per day. Exactly how many Christians are in China? Well, there is an international Christian ministry called Asia Harvest, and they took on a very large project. They conducted a massive study, and gathered over 2,000 sources from every city and province in the entire Chinese nation on religious population statistics, and found that 105,000,000 Chinese now adhere to the Christian faith. That’s more than a hundred million conversions to Christianity in China in one generation — a miracle, one could say. These figures are simply overwhelming, Christianity has blown up so fast in China that the government now no longer reports on the official church statistics regarding the number of people who are affiliated with the only legal church in China after the number started going quite insane, and in fact in the last few months, have even attempted to BAN CHILDREN from attending Church to counter-act this growth. The officially Atheist communist party of China doesn’t realize however, that Christian persecution is what lead to Christianity taking over the Roman Empire in the first place. What about Indonesia?

f. Indonesia

Indonesia represents perhaps the greatest number of Muslims converting to Christianity from any country in the world. It also just so happens to be the biggest Muslim country in the world as well. In 2015, a major study was released and published called Believers in Christ from a Muslim Background: A Global Census, and it estimates that 6,500,000 Muslims, in this country, have converted to Christianity. This is a shockingly high figure. It also found that numerous other countries had hundreds of thousands of Muslims converting to Christianity, such as Nigeria, Ethiopia, Iran, Bangladesh, America, Tanzania, Burkina Faso, and Iran. Speaking of Iran…

g. Iran

Iran is today’s biggest Christian conversion engine by far. Perhaps it isn’t in overall numbers, but by rate, there is no question Iran comes out on first. The CSGC released a report saying that Christianity is growing in Iran at the rate of 20% per year, and this is a country where being Christian is illegal. There are reports that now say that there are several thousand thousands to even over a million Iranian Christians. Why is this such a tremendous feat? Because, a few decades ago, there were less than 600 Christians in the country. I personally e-mailed the Asia Harvest international ministry about where Christianity is growing the fastest, and this was their response to me;

The answer (though not strictly Asia) would have to be…. Iran. There is an intense hunger there for the Bible and to learn about Jesus.
Next would be rural areas of India, especially central India, where Hindus and tribals are coming to the Lord in multitudes. However there is little progress in the cities where Muslims and high caste Hindus live.
Good things are happening in patches in China, Laos and, Cambodia and Indonesia. Other parts of Asia are stagnant like Vietnam and Nepal, while others still are going backwards, South Korea being the worst, where the revival of generations ago is in reverse and people are leaving the churches by the hundreds of thousands.

There you have it, folks. Christianity is not dying. On the other hand, it’s rising. Very quickly.

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