How Can You Belive In a God that Damns your children?

This is a hard question, one that not many parents which to take into consideration. What if my, very own children are condemned to Hell by the God I love?

The truth is, your children are not only your children but children of God, and all moral accountability is ultimately directed to God. For perhaps the greatest answer ever given to this question by one of the worlds best philosophers, click here or the link below:

http://www.reasonablefaith.org/worshiping-a-god-who-might-damn-your-children

Earliest Life Ever Found On Earth and God

The complexity of biological information is beyond the comprehension of man. The secrets of life are being scratched at their surface, and the colossal amount of information we have acquired so far is only the beginning of what is to come. Ever since the dawn of man, God was considered the source of all that exists in the universe, and the last century of biological research has propelled this fact into levels of confirmation beyond that which could have been predicted. Indeed, with every coming year, it seems as if the certainty of God as the Creator of all life on Earth is multiplied, with abiogenesis seeming more like another fiction in which has more to account for with virtually every other lab experiment that goes by. For those who do not know, abiogenesis is the idea that life naturally arose on Earth. Despite the fact that after centuries of attempt, and with scores of experiments involving world renowned scientists utilizing the uppermost technology of the day, these experiments have not only utterly failed to yield a single, self-replicating cell, they have failed to yield anything that could even be considered a failure of an attempt for a cell!

Over the past year, from the beginning of September 2016 until now, the nonsensical man-made theorem of abiogenesis has taken significant damage in yet another way. Usually, abiogenesis can be dismissed because there is too much complexity in biological information to account for, but what we have here is an entirely new type of debunking that wasn’t exactly very easy to see coming, but gladly welcomed nonetheless. But, it is here now, and it gives us another reason to savor every last moment when hysterically laughing at some unfortunate souls who are actually convinced that life arose naturally on Earth.

One year ago, the earliest known confirmed life on Earth was about published in a 1980 study, being 3.48 billion years old. This gave the advocates of biogenesis a nice cushion of 1.1 billion years for life to begin, for the Earth is some 4.55 billion years old. Indeed, they believed they had more then enough time. That finding was made nearly three decades ago. Then, in 2016, the month of September (less than a year ago from this day), the new oldest life on Earth was found. Indeed, published by several scientists named llen P. Nutman, Vickie C. Bennett, Clark R.L. Friend, Martin J. Van Kranendonk & Allan R. Chivas, a study was published to the journal Nature, detailing the discovery of the newest oldest life ever found on Earth, about 3.7 billion years old. This pushed back the oldest signs of life an astonishing 220,000,000 years, and therefore shaved away 220,000,000 years from the cushion that the advocates of abiogenesis had to account for the origins of life. But it gets even better.

On January 9th of this year, another study was published to Nature, pushing back the origins of life even further. Indeed, this study found potential microfossils that are, at the lastest about 3.77 billion years old, and at the earliest 4.28 billion years old. The abstract of this study states;

Here we describe putative fossilized microorganisms that are at least 3,770 million and possibly 4,280 million years old in ferruginous sedimentary rocks, interpreted as seafloor-hydrothermal vent-related precipitates, from the Nuvvuagittuq belt in Quebec, Canada.

In other words, life is known to have originated at least 3.8 billion years ago, and at best about 4.3 billion years ago. This means abiogenesis has lost it’s 1.1 billion year cushion, and now has is sitting on a rather uncomfortable 300-800 million years. These scientific findings came in under a single year, and have given another blow to the hypothesis of abiogenesis, making it even more difficult to explain. Anyways, God created all life on Earth, if that makes things a little more clear for everybody.

The Omnipotence Paradox

God is literally the greatest possible being. God is omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscience, self-existing and ever-being, and all the above.

But… Can God create a stone so large that even He cannot lift it? Can God will Himself out of existence create a puzzle so hard that even He cannot solve it?

If God can create a stone so large that even He cannot lift it, then there is something He cannot do and He is not omnipotent. If he can’t create a stone so large that even he cannot lift it, He is not omnipotence in the first place. At least, according to the omnipotence paradox.

The omnipotence paradox is an atheistic argument against the existence of God. Since some atheists are more honest, and admit that they cannot rule out God’s existence unless they actually cough up actual evidence against the existence of God, this is one of the arguments they try. And in fact, this argument is universally laughed at by philosophers, because it, although seems intriguing on its face, would fail to sustain itself even after a single Philosophy 101 course. One of the worlds greatest and most influential living philosophers, Dr. William Lane Craig comments the following on it;

…people will often ask if God can make a stone to heavy for him to lift. If he is all-powerful, shouldn’t God be able to make a stone that is so heavy that he is unable to lift it? If you say, “No, he can lift anything!” then that means there is something he can’t do – which is make such a stone. This is a logical impossibility. Could God bring it about that Jesus both died on the cross and did not die on the cross? That again seems logically inconceivable – that is a logical contradiction. Can God make a round square or a married bachelor? Those sorts of logical impossibilities are typically exempted from omnipotence. Omnipotence doesn’t mean the ability to do things that are logically impossible. Indeed, something that is logically impossible isn’t really a thing at all, when you think about it. It is not as though there is some “thing” that God can’t do. Those are just contradictory combinations of words, and there is no such thing as a round square or a stone too heavy for God to lift. This is not an infringement of his omnipotence, as it is typically understood.

The omnipotence paradox, in essence, is feeble. Omnipotence is being able to do all things, however logically impossible or logically incoherent concepts are not things at all, the question “Can God create a stone so heavy that He cannot lift it?” is on logically nonsensical and has no actual meaning, because it is not logically valid. Logically impossible things are not things at all, they are nothing, they are just self-contradictory ideas that have no actual meaning, and thus have no relevance to omnipotence. God is omnipotent, and so by definition, He can do all things.

The question “Can God create a stone so heavy that He cannot lift it?” posits that it is possible that a stone exist that is beyond the limits of an omnipotent being, but such a stone cannot exist in any conceivable world, and therefore is logically invalid. Likewise, asking if God can will Himself out of existence, if God can create a puzzle so hard He cannot solve, or if He can create a square circle, all presuppose logically invalid concepts, and thus are of no meaning. The only way for any of these questions to bear meaning is to show that logically invalid concepts are actually logical in some possible world, which is by definition impossible — therefore, the omnipotence paradox is invalid. This is something that all the worlds best and weakest philosophers understand, and thus there is no logical problem for the existence of God.

Viewing The Image Of God

Men and women, all people are made in the image of God. In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth, and towards the end of His creation process, we are told He finally made us humans. We are also told that we humans are made in His image.

[Genesis 1:26] Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness. They will rule the fish of the sea, the birds of the sky, the livestock, all the earth, and the creatures that crawl on the earth.”

Indeed, this is a glorious thing about mankind in which we can thank God infinitely for, however with every great teaching of the Bible comes along Satan to attempt to confuse the heathen about. Very recently, I’ve come across some rather hilarious objection to the Bible that seems to seriously lack consideration and thought pertaining to the teaching that humans are made in the image of God. In fact, there are two of them which basically touch up on the same issue. This is how the heathen will invoke them;

  1. If God is spaceless, how can He have an image?
  2. If we are made in the image of God, how come humans all look differently?

Almost instantly, it can be realized that the objections are based on a false premise, and that is that God’s image is a physical depiction of God alike a drawing of Abraham Lincoln.

Of course, this interpretation pertaining to what the Bible means by the ‘image of God’ is flat out wrong and it should be very obvious that it is so. This false interpretation of what the Bible means regarding the phrase ‘image of God’ can be resolved by simply getting to the fifth chapter of Genesis.

[Genesis 5:1-2] These are the family records of the descendants of Adam. On the day that God created man, He made him in the likeness of God; He created them male and female. When they were created, He blessed them and called them man.

In Genesis 1:26, the Bible says we are made in God’s image, and in Genesis 5:1-2 we are told that we are made in God’s likeness. The phrase ‘we are made in God’s image’ means exactly what ‘we are made in God’s likeness’ means. So, what does it mean to be made in the image and likeness of God? That does not mean that God made billions of copies of Himself, rather it means that humans bear qualities of the likeness of God. God can become angry, and humans can become angry. God can love, and humans can love. This has nothing to do with the flesh or how someone looks like. This phrase, ‘image of God’ is a symbolic phrase used to show that God made humans to bear qualities that He Himself bears. Therefore, it does not mean or invoke a physical portrait of God, that exists in the dimension of space. This objection to the Bible has been shown to be errorful. The Bible is the true perfect Word of God, so what exactly could we have expected? Hallelujah and amen! Unfortunately however — there is no end to these ridiculous objections to the Bible. Hopefully we can, in time, address all of them and end all these misconceptions.

Jesus Claimed To Be God… Again

Since some time ago, one of my first posts on this blog was titled Jesus Claimed To Be God — where I provided a very lengthy post to show that Jesus did in fact put the claim of God upon Himself. However, upon further research, I realized that the debate on this issue was a lot deeper, and a lot further than my initial blog on this topic had entailed to discuss.  For example, I read Tim O’Neill’s objections to this idea (Tim is an atheist historian) as well as watched the debate between Bart Ehrman and Justin Bass (both have a PhD). I’ve already posted a full rebuttal to Tim’s post (and it can be found by scrolling under Tim’s answer), however it’s time for me to fully update this on my blog. This new post will serve as a further defending the claim that Jesus claimed to be God. We will respond to both the arguments of those who deny that Jesus claimed to be God.

Jesus as God in Paul’s epistles?

Believe it or not, some people actually believe Paul did not view Jesus as God. Scholars and textual critics only view seven of Paul’s letters as definitely authentic and were certainly written by Paul — the book of Romans, Galatians, 1 Corinthians, 2 Corinthians, 1 Thessalonians, Philemon and Phillipians. Although the other six contain obvious references of Jesus as being divine (Titus 2:13, Colossians 2:9), they are argued to be pseudonymous by the majority of Scholars and thus not authentic to Paul’s name and thereby do not reflect Paul’s views. Although I disagree that they are pseudonymous, I will not reference them in discussion of Paul’s views. Here, we will see that Paul obviously viewed Jesus as God.

Let us see that Paul’s texts that clearly establish Jesus as God, and how those who deny this wish to respond are able to respond.

Phillipians 2:5–7: Make your own attitude that of Christ Jesus, who, being in very nature of God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.

A very obvious reference to Jesus as God, correct? The dissidents argue otherwise. Here, they say that the Greek word for the word ‘nature’ is μορφῇ (which is correct) — but they also claim that this Greek term does not mean ‘nature’, it merely means ‘shape’. Thus, Paul says the following:

Phillipians 2:5-7: Make your own attitude that of Christ Jesus, who, being in the very shape of God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage, rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.

Then, the claim is put forth that this does not mean Jesus is God, it really (somehow) means that Jesus is taking on human likeness in some pre-existing celestial form. Unfortunately for these people, although they wish to pertain to this rather fanciful interpretation of this obvious verse, they are wrong. The Greek word μορφῇ does not only mean shape, μορφῇ can mean both shape and form. 3444. μορφή (morphé) — form, shape — in other words, translations like the HCSB are correct when they translate Phillipians 2:5-7 to say the following:

Phillipians 2:5–7 Make your own attitude that of Christ Jesus, who, existing in the form of God, did not consider equality with God as something to be used for His own advantage. Instead He emptied Himself by assuming the form of a slave, taking on the likeness of men. And when He had come as a man in His external form,

Saying that the phrase “Jesus existed in the form of God” doesn’t actually mean “Jesus existed in the form of God” will always be a rather simple attempt to explain away this clear-cut phrase from Paul here. Paul here very clearly places Jesus as God. It only gets worse from here though. These people that attempt to completely re-interpret these straight forward statements will not like the fact that the Greek word μορφῇ is exercised elsewhere in the Biblical Greek literature, such as Mark 16:12.

Mark 16:12: After this, Jesus appeared in a different form to two of them as they walked along in the country.

The Greek word μορφῇ here is used very obviously, and we can see that this Greek word means taking on a physical form, so when Paul says “Jesus exists in the form of God”, he means that “Jesus literally exists in the physical form of God”. So it seems to me there is no possible way to put forth a plausible view where the text in Phillipians 2:5-7 does not amazingly clearly interpret Jesus as God. This itself can drive the position of these dissidents into the ground, but there is more.

[Romans 9:5] The ancestors are theirs, and from them, by physical descent, came the Christ, who is God over all, praised forever. Amen.

Another very clear verse, right? It says the Christ (Jesus) is “God over all”, right? Not to the deniers. The deniers rightfully point out that there is great debate over how this verse is to be translated and where the punctuation goes, as punctuation didn’t exist in the first century when Paul wrote Romans. Thus, it is up the modern Greek scholars to determine where the puncutation in Biblical verses are to be placed in light of the verses context. So these are the contending translations of the verse:

” … from their race… is the Christ who is God over all, blessed forever”

” … from their race… is the Christ, who is over all. God forever be blessed!”

” … from their race… is the Christ. God who is over all be forever blessed!”

The deniers will tell you that only the first one views Jesus as God, but this is again false. As you can see, the second translation says “Christ, who is over all”. If Paul views Jesus as being over all things, or as being the highest being, then Paul views Jesus as God. So, two translations put Jesus as God and one doesn’t. But is the third translation really plausible? Notice, the translation has the unbearably long phrase “God who is over all be forever blessed!” — is this an accurate translation? No where else in Paul’s literature is such phraseology used, giving us good reason to believe that such a translation is false, it is in error. Therefore, all viable translations clearly put forth that Jesus is God.

Now, we will see other Pauline verses that make it extraordinarily obvious that Jesus is God. Firstly, we see Paul recording that people pray to Jesus.

[1 Corinthians 1:2] To God’s church at Corinth, to those who are sanctified in Christ Jesus and called as saints, with all those in every place who call on the name of Jesus Christ our Lord—both their Lord and ours.

I didn’t know Paul thought people could pray to someone other then God? Now, take a look at this verse which is an elephant in the room to anyone claiming Jesus isn’t viewed as God by Paul:

[Phillipians 2:10–11] so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow—
of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth—and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Paul tells us that at the return of Jesus, ALL PEOPLES IN HEAVEN AND ON EARTH AND UNDER THE Earth will BOW down to Jesus, and will CONFESS that Jesus is Lord. It gets amazingly worse for these people when the word translated as ‘Lord’ is κύριος, which means one who exercises absolute ownership. 2962. κύριος (kurios) — lord, master — if Jesus wasn’t God, then why does the entire world bow down on the mark of His name? This becomes increasingly more troublesome when we see this phrase in Phillipians 2:10-11 correlate with the following Old Testament text.

[Isaiah 45:23-25] By Myself I have sworn; Truth has gone from My mouth, a word that will not be revoked: Every knee will bow to Me, every tongue will swear allegiance. It will be said to Me: Righteousness and strength is only in the Lord.” All who are enraged against Him will come to Him and be put to shame. All the descendants of Israel
will be justified and find glory through the Lord.

We now see that what Paul is actually doing in Phillipians 2 is literally correlating an Old Testament text on the almighty Yahweh where Yahweh receives divine homage DIRECTLY with Jesus. This is a type of evidence in the Pauline epistles for the defenders of the idea that Paul portrays Jesus as God fascinates even myself. Seriously. But the problems get much more enormous for anyone continuously denying this. Paul views Jesus and God as the same person. For example, did Paul preach the Gospel of God?

[Romans 15:16] “to be a minister of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles with the priestly duty of proclaiming the gospel of God, so that the Gentiles might become an offering acceptable to God, sanctified by the Holy Spirit.”

Or did Paul preach the gospel of Christ?

[Galatians 1:6–7] I am astonished how quickly you are deserting the One who called you by the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— which is not even a gospel. Evidently some people are troubling you and trying to distort the gospel of Christ.

I can give many more examples, such as when Paul first says the churches belong to God (1 Corinthians 11:16) and then says the churches belong to Christ (Romans 16:16), or when Paul says the Spirit is of God in Romans 8:9 but then says the Spirit is of Christ in the exact same verse Romans 8:9. Paul even tells us the only way to be saved is to call on Jesus name (Romans 10:13) and to say that Jesus is Lord (Romans 10:9) ! The Greek word used for ‘Lord’ is κύριος which is used multiple times to reference God the Father. The evidence shows it is amazingly obvious that Paul viewed Jesus is God. There is more to go through, but this should be pretty clear by now. The Pauline epistles do in fact portray Jesus as God, as this is what Paul believed as well as Jesus and the early Christians. Because Paul is the earliest author of any Christian writings we have, his view that Jesus is God says quite an enormous amount regarding the earliest belief of Christians and the earliest theology of Christianity.

Christ, Son of Man, Son of God, divine phrase or Messianic phrase?

Some of these people like Tim O’Neill argue that the phrases Christ, Son of God, and Son of Man being titles of Jesus does not make Jesus as God in any way. Tim says this in his answer:

“Christ”, “Son of God” and “Son of Man” are all titles of the Jewish Messiah and the Messiah was not considered to be God.

Though he is right about ‘Christ’, which simply means the ‘Messiah’ in Hebrew or ‘the anointed one’ in English, he is dead wrong about the other two. There is no evidence found in the Old Testament that the phrase Son of God or Son of Man are mere terms used upon the Messiah that do not invoke divinity or being God in any way. Both terms are used on Jesus, such as Jesus being called the Son of God in Mark 1:1 or being called the Son of Man in Matthew 20:28. Although there is no evidence these terms only refer to a being aside from God, there is undeniable evidence that the phrase Son of Man in the Old Testament refers to God.

[Daniel 7:13-14] I continued watching in the night visions, and I saw One like a son of man coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was escorted before Him. He was given authority to rule, and glory, and a kingdom; so that those of every people, nation, and language should serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and His kingdom is one that will not be destroyed.

The Son of Man is a figure authority over all peoples of all nations of all languages, whom is forever served by all the world, and possesses an everlasting kingdom in His dominion that will never cease. This figure is obviously God. I have a feeling Tim might go wild about the verses saying that He is given this authority, but this is because God is the Father and Jesus is the Son, and thus authority belongs to the Father by nature. Since when does a regular human control absolute authority over all humanity for eternity? I can find no place in the Old Testament where this is said to be due to anyone but God Himself — but I did find Zechariah 14:9, which tells us that it is Yahweh that is king over all the Earth — so it seems that the Son of Man is… Yahweh? Jesus proclaimed to be the Son of Man, therefore Jesus proclaimed to be Yahweh?

The funny thing that I’ve come to notice is that Tim O’Neill is one of the very only people who seriously believe that the phrase Son of Man does not refer to God. Others like Bart Ehrman fully accept it — but now you may be asking yourself, if Bart Ehrman himself viewed Jesus as not claiming to be God, what does Bart Ehrman do with Jesus’ claims to be the Son of Man if he views it is a term for God? Well, easy! He simply says that the Gospel authors made up every single phrase in the New Testament of Jesus (more than 80) where Jesus calls Himself the Son of Man. More on this later. In fact, if anyone is still denying that Jesus clearly claimed to be God such as in the Synoptic Gospels, perhaps they can take a look at the following few verses:

[Mark 14:60–64] Then the high priest stood up before them all and questioned Jesus, “Don’t You have an answer to what these men are testifying against You?” But He kept silent and did not answer anything. Again the high priest questioned Him, “Are You the Messiah, the Son of the Blessed One?” “I am,” said Jesus, “and all of you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of the Power and coming with the clouds of heaven.” Then the high priest tore his robes and said, “Why do we still need witnesses? You have heard the blasphemy! What is your decision?” And they all condemned Him to be deserving of death.

Jesus affirms He is the Messiah, Son of the Blessed One and the Son of Man all at once, and in response the High Priest rips off his robes and declares that Jesus must be put to death because He committed blasphemy. In Jewish Law, you can only commit blasphemy in this context by claiming to be God.

Let’s go back to the term Christ — Jesus claimed to be the Christ, or the Messiah. These people will sometimes say that the Messiah was never to be a God figure according to the Old Testament… But the Old Testament will now challenge them on this.

[Isaiah 9:6–7] For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us, And the government will rest on his shoulders; And his name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace. The dominion will be vast, and its prosperity will never end. He will reign on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish and sustain it with justice and righteousness from now on and forever. The zeal of the Lord of Hosts will accomplish this.

The Old Testament tells us that the figure who reigns on the throne of David, a son that will be persecuted and will establish an eternal kingdom (this sounds frighteningly like the Messiah) will also be called Mighty God and Eternal Father. So Jesus claiming to be the Messiah is Jesus claiming to be the one who is called Mighty God and Eternal Father, correct? It seems so. Thus, all three terms — Christ, Son of God and Son of Man establish that Jesus claimed to be God.

Jesus as God in the Synoptic Gospels of Luke, Mark, and Matthew

Remember, in the view of those who claim Jesus did not claim to be God, John’s Gospel when saying Jesus is God doesn’t count because it was written too late! Let’s ignore the fact that John the Elder wrote the Gospel of John, a man who directly knew Jesus. Let’s also ignore all the times Jesus calls Himself the Son of Man in the Synoptic Gospels as well, as well as Mark 14:60-64 in which we’ve already made note of. Let’s also put aside Paul’s letters for now. Even aside from all this, Jesus is still clearly shown as God and declares to be God in all the Synoptic Gospels. Jesus says He will literally judge the world on His throne.

[Matthew 25:31–32] “When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory. All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, just as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats.

Who, aside from God alone, is going to sit on their throne and judge the world? We also see the very nice term ‘Son of Man’ appear again. Needless to say, the Old Testament obviously says God judges the world (Amos 5:18–20, Psalm 9:7–8). Anyways, Jesus calls Himself the Lord of the Sabbath.

[Mark 2:27–28] Then Jesus told them, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. Therefore, the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath.”

Needless to say, the Old Testament proclaims that the Sabbath belongs to God only (Ezekiel 31:13, Ezekiel 20:12). Jesus says that He is the Lord of David.

[Matthew 22:41–45] While the Pharisees were together, Jesus questioned them, “What do you think about the Messiah? Whose Son is He?” “David’s,” they told Him. He asked them, “How is it then that David, inspired by the Spirit, calls Him ‘Lord’: The Lord declared to my Lord, ‘Sit at My right hand until I put Your enemies under Your feet’? “If David calls Him ‘Lord,’ how then can the Messiah be his Son?”

Jesus tells us only the Father knows Him, and only He knows the Father and to whom anyone Jesus wishes to reveal the Father to.

Matthew 11:27: All things have been entrusted to Me by My Father. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son desires to reveal Him.

Jesus tells us He is wherever His followers gather, basically saying He can exist anywhere He pleases.

[Matthew 18:20] For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there among them.”

Peter tells Jesus He is literally God’s Son, and Jesus blessed him for it.

[Matthew 16:13-17] When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, He asked His disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” And they said, “Some say John the Baptist; others, Elijah; still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” “But you,” He asked them, “who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God!” And Jesus responded, “Simon son of Jonah, you are blessed because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father in heaven.

Jesus is declared to be the “Holy One”, that is called Son of God.

[Luke 1:35] The angel replied to her: “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. Therefore, the holy One to be born will be called the Son of God.

We can go forwards — Jesus further declares the Father hands Him authority over earth and heaven and so forth. The Gospels contain tens of references to Jesus as the Son of Man in all the Synoptic Gospels (Matthew, Mark and Luke). Jesus is obviously portrayed as God. All this and all these verses together make an overwhelmingly compelling case to Jesus being God as portrayed in the Synoptics. These are not the claims of a mere human being, a human Messiah, or even the mightiest prophet. These are the claims to be put forth onto God and God alone.

Book of Hebrews says Jesus is God?

In discussion on Jesus claim to be God, the Book of Hebrews always seems to be ignored. The Book of Hebrews is an amazingly early text of the New Testament (written 64 AD). This is a very great document in order to understand the earliest interpretation of Jesus amongst the Christians, and lo’ and behold, it says Jesus is God.

[Hebrews 1:7-8] And about the angels He says: He makes His angels winds, and His servants a fiery flame but to the Son: Your throne, God, is forever and ever, and the scepter of Your kingdom is a scepter of justice.

Finally.. Let’s discuss the Son of Man again.

You’ll recall I said earlier that some people who deny Jesus claimed to be God simply think that Jesus proclaiming Himself to be the Son of Man was ‘made up’ by the Gospel authors. Not only is this the obvious dying breath of someone whom has a failing argument and has to come to terms with the facts that all the Gospels, Pauline letters and earliest Christian texts like the Book of Hebrews and the writings of Ignatius portray Jesus is God — also has absolutely no evidence in support of it. In fact, all the evidence seems to support that Jesus did claim to be the Son of Man based on these sayings. The idea that Jesus historically claimed this passes many historical criterions. For example, it passes the criterion of multiple attestation (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John say Jesus said Himself as the Son of Man), it passes the criterion of early attestation, and it also passes the criterion of dissimilarity. You’ll realize the term ‘Son of Man’ appears almost absolutely nowhere in the New testament apart from the sayings of Jesus — perhaps twice at best. This shows that it is not being made up, as the criterion of dissimilarity shows that this saying of Jesus is unique to Jesus’ quotations, and thus Jesus’ quotations are more likely to be His own (as a fictional quote from John would sound a lot like John’s own writing). All the historical evidence seems to clearly favor the authenticity of this saying, and thus we can have no doubt that Jesus claimed to be God.

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

God, Jealousy and Sin

As I go around the internet reading about God, Christianity, and encountering the disbelievers, I usually notice they always come up with the most ridiculous of accusations against our faith. Recently, one of them has tried to come up with the claim that the Bible invokes God as one who sins! So, how did they come up with such a claim? Well, let’s take a look.

God told Moses that when He was giving the Ten Commandments, He was a jealous God.

[Exodus 20:4-6] Do not make an idol for yourself, whether in the shape of anything in the heavens above or on the earth below or in the waters under the earth. You must not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the fathers’ sin, to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing faithful love to a thousand generations of those who love Me and keep My commands.

This is the Third Commandment. Now, the disbeliever that I encountered had also known of a text in the New Testament which condemns jealousy.

[1 Corinthians 3:3] because you are still fleshly. For since there is envy and strife among you, are you not fleshly and living like unbelievers?

This verse condemns envy, however jealousy and envy are two synonymous words. Paul also outright condemns jealousy in Galatians 5:19-21, so the challenge that is given is not fictional. So what is the solution? God simply does not commit the fleshly of course, and so the solution bears down to the meaning of jealousy in the two passages. There is a difference between sanctified jealousy and sinful jealousy, and that is what we are going to be looking at to solve this discrepancy.

  1. Sanctified jealousy. Sanctified jealousy is the natural response one has when an established relationship is violated — if a husband or wife find out that the other has committed adultery with another person, the husband or wife would experience jealousy, as a negative response to the violation of their relationship.
  2. Sinful jealousy. Sinful jealousy is when one covets another possession from another, such as if you know someone who is quite wealthy, and you are jealous that they bear possessions that you do not. Sinful jealousy involves no relationship, rather when one takes a look at another unrelated person and feels as if they should have or bear what that person possesses, even though they have no claim to such possessions. This is similar to what is condemned in the Tenth Commandment.

As we can see here, God’s jealousy of us breaking our covenant with Him, of us made in His image worshiping false man-made idols, is sanctified, whilst is of course not sinful whatsoever. Thus, we can see this discrepancy being solved once we take a much deeper look at the issue at hand, and we realize that we should never doubt God — who are we to doubt God’s glory when His knowledge is infinitely greater than our own?

[Psalm 139:17-18] God, how difficult Your thoughts are for me to comprehend; how vast their sum is! If I counted them, they would outnumber the grains of sand; when I wake up, I am still with You.

Was The Earth Created In 6 Days?

Do Christians need to believe that the Earth was created in a few days? Let’s examine that question.

There are truly many young-earth creationists out there, and it’s perfectly fine to maintain such a belief, but I want to argue that it is possible to accept a literal interpretation of Genesis and yet not accept six-day creationism. Now, I’d like no one to throw a spear at me just yet — examine what I have to say about the Bible first, and then decide if my head comes off or not. If you have any objections, comment below and we shall discuss them.

Classically, there are the obvious “first day”, “second day”, and so forth passages in Genesis 1.

[Genesis 1:5] God called the light “day,” and He called the darkness “night.” Evening came and then morning: the first day.

Pretty clear, right? There’s just one thing to point out — and that is the meaning of the word ‘day’ in the original Hebrew. This word has four independent meanings in the original Hebrew, and one of them is merely ‘a period of time’.

The Reasons To Believe ministry (their website receives almost 200,000 monthly viewers), argues that there are good reasons to believe that this is the meaning of the verse. For example, this ministry argues that the events of the ‘sixth day’ could not possibly be relegated to a 24-hour period. Travis Campbell, a member of the ministry and a PhD in Philosophical Theology notes nine events that took place during the seventh day, in which some could be quite lengthy;

  • created a host of creatures to live and flourish on the land (Genesis 1:24–25);
  • created human beings (Genesis 1:26–29)—albeit in two stages, the first one being the formation of the man (Adam) out of the dust of the ground (Genesis 2:7);
  • planted a garden in Eden (Genesis 2:8);
  • caused trees and plants to grow in the Garden of Eden in accordance with the same ordinary providence He exercised over creation from the beginning (Genesis 2:9; cf. Genesis 1:11–12, 2:5);
  • placed Adam in the Garden (Genesis 2:15) and appointed him as its keeper;
  • made a covenant with Adam (Genesis 2:16–17; cf. Hosea 6:7);
  • recognized that Adam was alone and noted that this was not a good state of affairs (Genesis 2:18);
  • introduced Adam to the animals, and allowed him to name them (Genesis 2:19–20);
  • put the man to sleep, made a woman (Eve) from a part of Adam’s side, and then brought her to Adam (Genesis 2:21–22).

Take a look at the eighth point, for example. This point regards the following passage;

[Genesis 2:19-20] So the Lord God formed out of the ground every wild animal and every bird of the sky, and brought each to the man to see what he would call it. And whatever the man called a living creature, that was its name. The man gave names to all the livestock, to the birds of the sky, and to every wild animal; but for the man no helper was found as his complement.

In other words, Adam named all the livestock, all the wild animals and all the birds of the sky. There are no doubt, thousands upon thousands of all of these three organisms. Not only does he name them, but he even takes the time to decide that not a single one of them was a viable helper for him in the Garden! How long would this take? This really all occurred in a single day? Remember, this entire point here is completely Biblical.

Now, a second point to make. After Adam names all the livestock, wild animals and birds of the sky, God puts Adam into a deep sleep in order to take out his rib.

[Genesis 1:21-22] So the Lord God caused a deep sleep to come over the man, and he slept. God took one of his ribs and closed the flesh at that place. Then the Lord God made the rib He had taken from the man into a woman and brought her to the man.

If Adam was sleeping, that event must have taken a bit of time itself. Remember, to say I am wrong is to say that all of this fits into a single day. There is one third point that can be made to show that this did not all take place in one single day.

[Genesis 1:23-24] And the man said: This one, at last, is bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh; this one will be called “woman,” for she was taken from man. This is why a man leaves his father and mother and bonds with his wife, and they become one flesh.

Adam, in reaction to finally finding a suitable helper or partner for him after rejecting all the livestock, wild animals and birds of the sky, in relief, says “at last”, implying that this entire course of events all recorded in the sixth day alone lasted quite the amount of time to say the very least. All this, including the fact that the word in the original Hebrew is not limited to the meaning of an actual 24-hour day, may go well to imply that it does not actually mean a single actual 24-hour day at all. These are all Biblical reasons to take such an interpretation into account.

One last point I want to make — regarding a debate that I highly recommend everyone should watch here. If you have not already seen it, watch the debate between Hugh Ross and Kent Hovind. This is one of the best debates I’ve ever seen, and if you still bear that I am false in my claims and position, give this debate an opportunity to change your mind. This is the debate that entirely changed my view. Just to inform, Hugh Ross is also a Christian and he is a PhD in Astronomy. God Bless everyone, and remember, if you think I made any errors here, tell me in the comments.

[Psalm 24:7-8] Lift up your heads, O gates, And be lifted up, O ancient doors, That the King of glory may come in! Who is the King of glory? The LORD strong and mighty, The LORD mighty in battle.

Does Genesis 1 Contradict Genesis 2?

There are a few absurd accusations of Biblical contradictions made, but probably the most popular one is regarding whether or not Genesis 1 and Genesis 2 contradict.

One must truly ask the unbelievers — how exactly do they devise a contradiction between two chronological texts that are not talking about the same thing? Let’s take a look, starting with Genesis 1.

[Genesis 1:20-27]  Then God said, “Let the water swarm with living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the expanse of the sky.” So God created the large sea-creatures and every living creature that moves and swarms in the water, according to their kinds. He also created every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. So God blessed them, “Be fruitful, multiply, and fill the waters of the seas, and let the birds multiply on the earth.” Evening came and then morning: the fifth day. Then God said, “Let the earth produce living creatures according to their kinds: livestock, creatures that crawl, and the wildlife of the earth according to their kinds.” And it was so. So God made the wildlife of the earth according to their kinds, the livestock according to their kinds, and creatures that crawl on the ground according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good. Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness. They will rule the fish of the sea, the birds of the sky, the livestock, all the earth, and the creatures that crawl on the earth.” So God created man in His own image; He created him in the image of God; He created them male and female.

Let us now see what Genesis 2 has to say.

[Genesis 2:8-19] The Lord God planted a garden in Eden, in the east, and there He placed the man He had formed. The Lord God caused to grow out of the ground every tree pleasing in appearance and good for food, including the tree of life in the middle of the garden, as well as the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. A river went out from Eden to water the garden. From there it divided and became the source of four rivers. The name of the first is Pishon, which flows through the entire land of Havilah, where there is gold. Gold from that land is pure; bdellium and onyx are also there. The name of the second river is Gihon, which flows through the entire land of Cush. The name of the third river is the Tigris, which runs east of Assyria. And the fourth river is the Euphrates. The Lord God took the man and placed him in the garden of Eden to work it and watch over it. And the Lord God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree of the garden, but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for on the day you eat from it, you will certainly die.” Then the Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper as his complement.” So the Lord God formed out of the ground every wild animal and every bird of the sky, and brought each to the man to see what he would call it. And whatever the man called a living creature, that was its name.

They are in fact quite long quotations of each chapter, but in Genesis 1, we see plants and animals are made first, and then man — however in Genesis 2, man appears before plants and animals! A clear contradiction, right??

Now that you’ve finished laughing off that statement, let us answer this accusation. For one, Genesis 2 does not have anything to do with re-describing the creation all over again — it’s talking about something completely different. If Genesis 2 were completely re-describing all of creation, which had just been explained in the earlier chapter, why doesn’t it mention the creation of the heavens and earth, sun and moon, sky, etc?

In reality, Genesis 2 is describing what God is creating in the Garden of Eden. Not the whole world or even the whole universe, just the Garden of Eden — independent of the rest of the world. In the rest of the world, God had already created plants and animals before Adam and Eve were formed. God was not wholesale creating animals and birds in Genesis 2:19, He was just placing them in the Garden of Eden. The funny thing is, Genesis 2:19 is likely past-tense in the original Hebrew, so in fact there would be no creation going on here at all — it is stating how God had already formed the plants and animals. So not only is Genesis 1 and 2 not both talking about the creation of the world, and thus not contradicting, not only does Genesis 2 specifically reference the Garden of Eden, but it doesn’t state when the animals and plants had been created either way, as the Hebrew is past-tense and so it would simply be stating God had already previously formed them, rather than that He was forming them during that moment.

Rather than having a Bible contradiction on our hands, it looks like this is nothing more than a simple misunderstanding. A strange one to presume against the Bible in the first place, but a misunderstanding nonetheless. A laughable one as well.

Evidence for the Exodus

God guided the Israelite’s through the Exodus, where He defeated Pharaoh’s army at the Red Sea. This is indeed one of the greatest narratives found throughout the entirety of the Holy Bible, and contains some of God’s greatest signs, as when He allowed Moses to split open the Red Sea, allowing the Israelite’s to pass through the enormous water mass.

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The Israelite’s were free from Pharaoh’s tyranny when they were being led by Moses, by God’s greatness.

It is, of course, unfortunate, however, that there exist a people who wish to deny the historicity of this great event, being at the heart of the Book of Exodus and one of the greatest acts of God in the entire Holy Bible. Indeed, there exists a charge against God’s words that the events within, such as the Exodus, are nothing more than historical fiction rather than events that have truly occurred in reality. Regarding these charges, we shall now respond to them, and show that exodus is not a mere fiction in the Holy Bible.

To begin, the first thing we will do is find out when the exodus took place. Now, Scholarly research has shown that the reign of king Solomon began in 970 BC. Let us now read a passage from 1 Kings.

[1 Kings 6:1] Solomon began to build the temple for the Lord in the four hundred eightieth year after the Israelites came out of the land of Egypt, in the fourth year of his reign over Israel, in the second month, in the month of Ziv.

Thus, according to 1 Kings 6:1, the fourth year of the reign of Solomon (which would be 966 BC) came 480 years after the Israelite’s came out of the land of Egypt. So, when did the Exodus begin? We merely add 480 years to 966 BC (966 BC was again, the fourth year of Solomon’s reign), and we get a date for the start of the exodus at 1446 BC. There are some out there who think the number of 480 years in 1 Kings 6:1 is not literal and merely represents twelve generations of forty years each, forty years being a representation of a length of a generation — however this proposition has been entirely rebutted, as would be expected of such a random assertion. Another point to make is that the phrase four hundred and eightieth year in 1 Kings 6:1 is ordinal, not cardinal (480th year, not 480 years), which shatters any attempt to interpret it as a representation of twelve generations rather than a precise counting of years, and therefore we can know for sure that 1 Kings 6:1 establishes the exodus as occurring 1446 BC, which would be 480 years before the fourth year of the reign of Solomon. The next passage to look at is in the Book of Judges;

[Judges 11:26] While Israel lived 300 years in Heshbon and its villages, in Aroer and its villages, and in all the cities that are on the banks of the Arnon, why didn’t you take them back at that time?

Now, Judges 11-12:7 took place at the time of Jephthah, who was one of the judges in the Book of Judges over Israel, and under him, the Ammonites were defeated. Dating the time of the judges is not an easy task, but Jephthah is generally thought to have lived somewhere around 1100 BC. Generally, it can be assured that it was at least somewhere between 1130 BC – 1070 BC. Now, according to Judges 11:26, the conquest of Joshua began 300 years prior to Jephthah’s judging, meaning Joshua’s conquest, according to Judges 11:26, started around 1430 BC – 1370 BC. Now, the exodus would have started at least over 40 years prior to Joshua’s conquest, because the Hebrews wandered throughout the Sinai for forty years after the exodus according to the exodus account. Setting the date another 40 years back, we get a date of the start of the exodus, according to Judges 11:26, between 1470 BC – 1410 BC, comfortably over the 1446 BC dating we got from 1 Kings 6:1. The third passage we will use to date the exodus is 1 Chronicles 6:33-37.

[1 Chronicles 6:33-37] Here are the men who served, together with their sons: From the Kohathites: Heman, the musician, the son of Joel, the son of Samuel, the son of Elkanah, the son of Jeroham, the son of Eliel, the son of Toah, the son of Zuph, the son of Elkanah, the son of Mahath, the son of Amasai, the son of Elkanah, the son of Joel, the son of Azariah, the son of Zephaniah, the son of Tahath, the son of Assir, the son of Ebiasaph, the son of Korah,

In 1 Chronicles 6:33-37, we are given 18 generations from Korah in the time of Moses to Heman in the time of David, meaning Moses and David were separated by 18 generations. Thus, this would be 19 generations between Moses and Solomon  (because Solomon was David’s son). One generation usually lasts about 25 years. Assuming 25 years per generation, for 19 generations, we get 475 years between Solomon and Moses. Assuming, let’s say, a 40 year range to ensure accuracy, we’ll estimate 455-495 years for these 19 generations to pass by. So according to 1 Chronicles 6:33-37, Solomon and Moses are separated by about 455-495 years, in which is almost exactly the same as the 480 year difference we are given between Solomon to Moses in 1 Kings 6:1. 1 Chronicles 6:33-37 would put the exodus perhaps anywhere between 1480 BC – 1440 BC. The final passage we will be using as a dating method for the exodus is Ezekiel 40:1.

[Ezekiel 40:1] In the twenty-fifth year of our exile, at the beginning of the year, on the tenth day of the month in the fourteenth year after Jerusalem had been captured, on that very day the Lord’s hand was on me, and He brought me there.

Ezekiel 40:1 records the 17th jubilee. But how do we know Ezekiel 40:1 represents a jubilee at all? The phrase “at the beginning of the year” in this verse, translates to Rosh Hashanah in the Hebrew, which was a phrase used to represent the very beginning of the New Year. If you focus on the details of this verse, however, you’ll realize that the verse says it is “on the tenth day of the month”. One may ask, how it can be the beginning of the year if it is on the tenth of the month rather than the first? An Old Testament Scholar, Rodger C. Young explains in a paper (pg. 271) that the only time such an event occurs on the Jewish calendar is when it is the year of the jubilee, meaning that Ezekiel 40:1 represents a jubilee year. So, exactly what year was Ezekiel 40:1 representing? Another hint in the verse is when the verse says “on the tenth day of the month in the fourteenth year after Jerusalem had been captured.” Ezekiel 40:1 represented the year that would come fourteen years after the capture of Jerusalem. Scholars generally contest either a dating of 587 BC, or 586 BC, but in the same paper, Rodger C. Young establishes based on Ezekiel 40:1 that Jerusalem must have been captured in 587 BC.

So, if Ezekiel 40:1 represents fourteen years after 587 BC, 587 BC being the first year, we realize 574 BC is the fourteenth year that Ezekiel 40:1 represents. Now that we know this, we understand Ezekiel 40:1 represents both the year 574 BC and the 17th jubilee. One Jubilee is 49 years, and so 17 Jubilees would span 833 years (17 x 49). If we go back 833 years from 574 BC, starting at 574 BC for the first year, it is evident that the counting of the jubilees begun at 1406 BC. Rodger C. Young concludes;

But when we combine this with the Seder ‘Olam’s (and the Talmud’s) statement that Ezekiel’s Jubilee was the seventeenth Jubilee, then the fact that this gives 1406 as not just the start of a cycle, but the start of the very fast cycle, in agreement with the date of 1406 for Israel’s entry into the land as measured by an independent method, then it logically follows that the counting really did begin in 1406, and the Levitical priests were faithfully measuring the Sabbatical and Jubilee years over all the time that Israel was in its land. (pg. 276)

So, as the Israelite’s started counting their jubilees at their entry into the holy land from the exodus in 1406 BC, we can simply go 40 years back from 1406 BC to get the date of when the exodus started, and behold, we arrive to find the exodus started at 1446 BC.  Thus, we have utilized four independent dating methods to quantify when the exodus began, from 1 Kings 6:1, Judges 11:26, 1 Chronicles 6:33-37 and Ezekiel 40:1, and we have unanimously come to the same time in history about when the exodus began. The fact that four independent dating methods for the beginning of the exodus bring us to the same time period in regards to when the exodus began shows that the exodus was a true historical event, for coincidences do not simply add up like this.

An important area of research to look at when determining the historicity of the exodus is Joshua’s conquest of Canaan, said to commence almost immediately after the Israelite’s entered the Jordan (1406 BC). We have extraordinary historical attestation to the annihilation of Canaanite cities dating to and right after the 1400’s BC when Joshua’s conquest was to take place. Some think that we would expect to see the complete destruction of Canaanite cities around 1400 BC, but unfortunately for these people, this is not what the Biblical text says happened. In  his book Kingdom and Priests: A History of Old Testament Israel, Eugene H. Merrill, an Old Testament scholar explains in the following statement:

Signs of major devastation in the period from 1400 to 1375 would be an acute embarrassment to the traditional view because the Biblical witness is univocal that Israel was commanded to annihilate the Canaanite populations, but to spare the cities and towns in which they lived. And the record explicitly testifies that this mandate was faithfully carried out. The only exceptions were Jericho, Ai, and Hazor. (pg. 90)

In other words, the Exodus narrative only says that the cities Jericho, Ai and Hazor underwent destruction, whilst other Canaanite cities themselves were spared though they had their populations annihilated. And in fact, this is exactly what we see — the only Canaanite cities during the time of Joshua that were actually destroyed align perfectly with the Exodus narrative. In perfect alignment with the Biblical record, the only cities that underwent destruction in the time of Joshua were Jericho, Ai, and Hazor. Let’s discuss all three of them, starting with Jericho.

The first man to date the destruction of Jericho was John Garstang, placing the violent crushing of this city at about 1400 BC. After Garstang had concluded that this was the date of the destruction of Jericho, Palestinian archaeology underwent major advancement and seeing his work was critiqued, he asked a woman named Kathleen Kenyon to re-examine his work and update his findings. After she did so, she ended up seeing that the destruction must be re-dated to 1550 BC, which ended up being accepted by the academic community during her time. This initially posed a problem to the biblical account. Fortunately, decades later an archaeologist named Bryant G. Wood examined her publications, and utilizing new information on top of even newer technology, he concluded that the destruction of Jericho should be dated back to 1400 BC in coordination with Garstang’s initial dating of the destruction of Jericho. Excavations earlier lead by John Garstang had found four royal scarabs that post-date 1550 BC in the site of Jericho, including a scarab from the reign of Hatshepsut (c. 1506-1488 BC) a scarab and a seal from the reign of Thutmose III (c. 1506-1452 BC), and two scarabs from the reign of Amenhotep III (c. 1408-1369 BC). This would imply continual occupation of the site of Jericho up until about c. 1400 BC.

Radiometric dates at the site of Jericho have often yielded a destruction date of 1550 BC, which mainly contributed to Kenyon’s dating of Jericho’s destruction during this time. However, it has recently been revealed that radiometric dates have an offset of about 150 years on average before 1400 BC. Applying a 150-year offset to the radiometric dates of Jericho’s destruction of 1550 BC, we arrive almost too coincidentally at a corrected date of 1400 BC. The archaeological evidence indicates a destruction of Jericho during 1400 BC, at the end of the Late Bronze Age I Period.

Now that we’ve discussed all that, let’s discuss the city Ai. Recent excavations have shown to be very promising. Take a look at the biblical city of Ai.

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The city of Ai (modern day Khirbet el-Maqatir) perfectly establishes Joshua’s conquest. Excavations in Khirbet el-Maqatir reveal many finds, including a fortress and scarab that date to the Late Bronze Age I that conclusively date the destruction of Ai to about 1400 BC, perfectly paralleling the time of the conquest.

As for Hazor, Hazor contains two destruction layers — one in the 15th century BC and 13th century BC. Coincidentally, if the exodus dates to 1446 BC then the following Biblical narrative would necessitate Hazor be destroyed twice, once under Joshua in the late 15th century BC in Joshua 11 and the second time under Deborah and Barak in the 13th century BC in Judges 4. Therefore, the evidence conclusively establishes that archaeology abundantly testifies to the confirmation of the account of Joshua’s conquest, and exactly when it happened, thereby providing great validity for the Exodus account.

Now, some extraordinary findings have been recently made. Originally, it had been assumed that the Merneptah Stele is the earliest reference in archaeology to Israel, dating back astonishingly early to 1200 BC. But it gets better. In 2001 and 2010, two publications were made that found a reference to the existence of Israel as early as 1350 BC on an ancient topographical relief known as the Berlin Statue Pedestal Relief 21687, located in the Berlin Museum. The first paper was written by Manfred Gorg, and second paper was also written by Manfred Gorg along with Christopher Theis and Peter van der Veen. Both papers established a reading of the ancient Berlin Pedestal most likely read an archaic form of the name Israel, making it an astonishingly early reference to the Israelite nation. In further confirmation of this reading, a 2012 paper published a 3D laser scanning of the Berlin Pedestal Relief that reaffirmed the reading of the two previous papers, further conclusively showing that Israel is in fact referenced in the Berlin Pedestal Reliefestablishing the earliest recording of the nation of Israel in history. Now, why is this important? According to the Exodus, the Hebrews left Egypt and entered into the promised land (Israel) in 1406 BC. This means that almost immediately after the nation of Israel is established, according to the Exodus, the first reference to the nation appears in the archaeological record. The chronology of the Exodus is confirmed by such findings.

Not only do we have historical confirmation of these segments of the Exodus narrative, but the massive sites and regional locations in which would be required for such an extraordinary amount of Israelite’s to travel from Egypt are also attested to. This is an image of the Oasis of Hazeroth, which according to the Bible was one of the locations that the Israelite’s passed through during the exodus, abundantly recorded in various passages of the Pentateuch (five books of Moses).

There are various Biblical passages that mention the Oasis of Hazeroth. These include Numbers 11:35, Numbers 12:16 and Deuteronomy 1:1. This means the locations of where the Bible told us the Israelite’s went through during the exodus not only exist, but are capable of containing such an abundant amount of peoples. No one will question the humor that some people expect remains of extensive farming locations, numerous altars, amongst other things left by the Israelite’s during the exodus, even though it is virtually impossible for such things to survive (or exist in the first place) as a result of several hundred thousand Israelite’s living in a semi-nomadic lifestyle for a mere forty years, which would have much clues covered up by over 3,000 years of heavy erosion and the shifting and alternating desert sands.

Moving forwards, we shall now look at the amazing convergence of the Exodus narrative and Egyptian archaeology. Now, before the exodus, or before 1446 BC, the Israelite’s were foreign slaves to the Egyptians, being forced to build cities for them, amongst other things.

[Exodus 1:11] So the Egyptians assigned taskmasters over the Israelites to oppress them with forced labor. They built Pithom and Rameses as supply cities for Pharaoh.

This is the record of the Holy Bible. What about the Egyptian record? Now, the tomb of vizier Rekhmire, from 1460 BC depicts foreign slaves with an inscription on it saying “making bricks for the workshop-storeplace of the Temple of Amun at Karnak in Thebes.” These are Egyptian inscriptions of foreign slaves in Egypt. The amazing thing is that this inscription is dated to c. 1460 BC (reign of Thutmose III), which parallels the Biblical account of the exodus in which we know the Israelite’s were foreign slaves to the Egyptians just prior to 1446 BC. In other words, we know that the Egyptians had foreign slaves in the exact time that we are told in the Book of Exodus that the Israelite’s were slaves to the Egyptians.

As is also noted by the inscription on the tomb of vizier Rekhmire, Egyptian slaves were engaged in brick-making. It is also known that Egyptian slaves were engaged in both construction work and fieldwork, and all of this is what the Hebrews are described to have been doing in the Book of Exodus. The very architect of Ramesside chronology himself, Kenneth Kitchen in a study titled From the Brickfields of Egypt, has also demonstrated that Egyptian brick-makers had to meet quotas for their brick production — a fact that is highly reminiscent of Exodus 5:4-19.

Now, assuming the date of the exodus is 1446 BC, the pharaoh of the time of the exodus would be Amenhotep II. This is where the Egyptian record continues to confirm with the narrative of the Book of Exodus in the Old Testament. Amenhotep II was the pharaoh of the exodus, yes? May I ask the question, which pharaoh came after Amenhotep II? It was Thutmose IV. There is yet another Egyptian record known as the Dream Stele, and according to the Dream Stele, Thutmose IV, the heir of Amenhotep II, was not the legal heir to the throne of the pharaoh. This is precisely because Amenhotep II’s eldest son would have died in the tenth plague according to the exodus.

[Exodus 11:1-8] The Lord said to Moses, “I will bring one more plague on Pharaoh and on Egypt. After that, he will let you go from here. When he lets you go, he will drive you out of here. Now announce to the people that both men and women should ask their neighbors for silver and gold jewelry.” The Lord gave the people favor in the sight of the Egyptians. And the man Moses was highly regarded in the land of Egypt by Pharaoh’s officials and the people. So Moses said, “This is what Yahweh says: ‘About midnight I will go throughout Egypt, and every firstborn male in the land of Egypt will die, from the firstborn of Pharaoh who sits on his throne to the firstborn of the servant girl who is behind the millstones, as well as every firstborn of the livestock. Then there will be a great cry of anguish through all the land of Egypt such as never was before, or ever will be again. But against all the Israelites, whether man or beast, not even a dog will snarl, so that you may know that Yahweh makes a distinction between Egypt and Israel. All these officials of yours will come down to me and bow before me, saying: Leave, you and all the people who follow you. After that, I will leave.’” And he left Pharaoh’s presence in fierce anger.

As we can see, the Biblical account records that pharaoh’s son died during the exodus, and the Egyptian account readily confirms this Biblical fact as a historical fact. Another striking parallel between history and the Bible that affirms its reality and the reality of the exodus.

Now, one of the first few pharaoh’s after the exodus took place was pharaoh Akhenaten, who reigned from around 1353 BC to 1336 BC.

Now according to the Amarna Letters, which we’ve discussed before, very shocking information is revealed to us. Akhenaten actually converted to monotheism (the belief that there is one God), and even tried to convert all of Egypt to monotheism (giving him the title of the ‘Heretical King’ after his death). Before him, all of the Egyptian pharaohs and peoples were polytheistic, believing in many gods, although the Israelite’s only believed in one true God. Right after the exodus takes place and as the God of Israel defends the monotheistic Hebrews against the army of pharaoh, we note that one of the first few pharaoh’s to reign thereafter shockingly converts to monotheism. This perhaps indicates Akhenaten realizing that his false gods were inferior to the one true God of Israel. The crushing defeat of Egypt could have influenced the theology of Akhenaten, causing him to convert to monotheism.

Now, there is a claim that there is absolutely no archaeological evidence of a mass exodus of people during the time in which the exodus had supposedly taken place or that the Egyptian army as recorded in Exodus 14:26-28 was utterly destroyed. Contrary to these claims, recent findings of archaeology show this is absolutely not true.

Verily, archaeology gives fantastic insight and confirmation to the account of the exodus. Manfred Bietak, a highly respected scholar, excavated the ancient city of Avaris, a major city and military base of Egypt during the 18th Dynasty that had approximately 25,000 inhabitants. Bietak’s excavations revealed that the entire city of Avaris was abandoned at once. Indeed, in a paper titled Perunefer: the principal New Kingdom naval base, Bietak explains the following in a report regarding some geophysical investigations at Avaris;

 Another important matter is the stratigraphy, which shows the abandonment of the site of Tell el Daba/Ezbet Helmy after the reign of Amenhotep II and its reactivation in the late Eighteenth Dynasty. (pg. 17)

Indeed, Bietak’s excavations at ancient Avaris (biblical city of Rameses, modern Tell el-Dab’a) reveals it was entirely abandoned at one point in history. Bietak says that this abandonment occurred after the reign of Amenhotep II (transition between Amenhotep II and Thutmose IV), but in a paper titled Toward Pinpointing the Timing of the Egyptian Abandonment of Avaris During the Middle of the 18th Dynasty by the scholar Douglas Petrovich, the abandonment of Avaris was subsequently shown to have happened during the reign of Amenhotep II himself, rather than during Amenhotep II’s transition with Thutmose IV (or even the actual reign of Thutmose IV). So, during the reign of Amenhotep II, the pharaoh of the exodus, tens of thousands of people abandon an entire major Egyptian city! Coincidentally, the Book of Exodus tells us that under the reign of the exodus-pharaoh, tens of thousands of Hebrews abandon Egypt. There are some people I’ve met who claim that this abandonment of Avaris was actually related to the Hyksos, but this is impossible, as the Hyksos had been removed from Egypt during the reign of Ahmose I (1550 BC), more than a century before the reign of the pharaoh Amenhotep II, which is when the abandonment of Avaris took place (1450-1440 BC?). The abandonment of Avaris during the reign of Amenhotep II establishes solid evidence for the historicity of the exodus from Egypt.

In fact, during the reign of Amenhotep II and thereafter, the Egyptian army suddenly transitioned from invading and conquering their dissenters, to making peace treaties. As recorded in the Amarna Letters, specifically El-Amarna Tablet 109;

Previously, at the mere sight of an Egyptian, the kings of Canaan would fl[ee before him, but] now the sons of ‘Abdi-Asirta make men from Egypt prowl [like do]gs.

Thus we see that the Egyptian army was once extraordinarily powerful having absolutely no rivals, even the kings of Canaan fleeing before the power of Egypt. Suddenly, at least by the 14th century BC, Egypt was greatly reduced, so that Canaan no longer feared Egypt. In fact, we can see this fact corroborated by the fact that Egypt suddenly started trying to create peace treaties following the height of their military glory rather than invading whomever it pleased under Amenhotep II’s reign. Douglas Petrovich, in the paper mentioned above, says the following statement;

Once the native Egyptians eradicated the foreign invaders who had dominated their landscape for a century, they quickly moved to rebuild the destroyed city and establish it as a storehouse, eventually to be utilized as a military garrison with weapon-making facilities. Peru-nefer/Avaris became the most vital cog in the unprecedented military campaigning under the reigns of Thutmose III and Amenhotep II. Yet during the height of Egypt’s enterprise and glory, her naval base was abandoned mysteriously, and her imperialistic machinery ground to a halt. Egypt suddenly sought to make treaties rather than seize what she desired. (pg. 21)

In other words, Egypt, during the height of its empire and imperialistic glory was suddenly diminished and it’s major naval base of Avaris is suddenly abandoned, and therefore Egypt could not continue invading what it wanted to conquer. This is corroborating confirmation of pharaoh’s army being heavily defeated during the event of the exodus.

[Exodus 14:26-28] Then the Lord said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand over the sea so that the waters may flow back over the Egyptians and their chariots and horsemen.” Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and at daybreak the sea went back to its place. The Egyptians were fleeing toward it, and the Lord swept them into the sea. The water flowed back and covered the chariots and horsemen—the entire army of Pharaoh that had followed the Israelite’s into the sea. Not one of them survived.

Finally, the Pentateuch (books of Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy), contain a vast knowledge regarding the customs, geography, and etymology of ancient Egypt. Joshua Berman states the following; “At best, we have a text—the Hebrew Bible—that exhibits a good grasp of a wide range of fairly standard aspects of ancient Egyptian realities.”

Image result for book of exodus

One thing to note is the usage of strictly Egyptian names in the Book of Exodus, that primarily and only existed in usage in Egypt in the mid-second millennium BC. As the renowned scholar, Richard Hess puts it,

Although many of these names remained in use later as well, some of them, such as Pinḥas, show an explicit connection with Egyptian personal names at the period in question, and a few, including Ḥevron (Exodus 6:18) and Puah (Exodus 1:15), are attested as personal names only in the mid-second millennium (that is, the 18th to the 13th centuries BCE). The use of other Egyptian words found in the early chapters of Exodus but nowhere else in the Bible similarly supports the view of a connection with Egypt in the same period. Such pieces of incidental information, which would not have been known to a later scribe, point to an antiquity and authenticity in the Exodus account that is difficult to explain otherwise.

Furthermore, the books of the Pentateuch exhibit great knowledge of the geography of Egypt. For example, Genesis 13:10 says “…the entire Jordan Valley as far as Zoar was well watered everywhere like the Lord’s garden and the land of Egypt…” Steven Collins, a specialist in the region of the Jordan Valley comments on this in his book Discovering the City of Sodom regarding the passage Genesis 13:10;

“Here, the well-watered kikkar is compared to (lower) Egypt and the Nile River, which flows northward, dividing into a series of channels in the Nile Delta as it empties into the Mediterranean Sea. The parallels are striking. Both the Nile and the Jordan empty into saline waters. And — on a much smaller scale — the Jordan, like the Nile, also has an alluvial “delta” through which it empties into the northern end of the Dead Sea. Additionally, in antiquity both rivers underwent an annual inundation due to rainfall and snowmelt far upstream. It seems that the writer of Genesis was familiar with the lower Nile area and viewed the Jordan as a ‘Nile in miniature.'” (pg. 117)

In other words, the author of the Pentateuch seems to be highly familiar with the land of Egypt and its geography, including the Nile River. Another fact in the account of the Exodus that confirms the authors specialized knowledge of geography and political state of ancient Egypt is Exodus 13:17, that tells us when the Israelite’s are leaving Egypt, they avoided the northern route in order to avoid military engagement. Joshua Berman also notes that the”…discovery of extensive Egyptian fortifications all along that route from the period in question confirms the accuracy of this observation.” This is consistent with Moses, who was “trained in all the wisdom of the Egyptians” (Acts 7:22) according to the Bible.

Even more evidence of the Pentateuch’s considerable knowledge of ancient Egypt’s customs and geography in the time of the Exodus remains plentiful. For example, you’ll notice in the entire Pentateuch, the name of the Egyptian pharaoh is never given, even though later biblical books like 1 and 2 Kings give the name of the pharaoh they describe (Shishak; 1 Kings 14:25, Necho; 2 Kings 23:29). If the Exodus account was invented, we would expect the Pentateuch to simply make up the name of the pharaoh. However, it seems that the author of Pentateuch employed an Egyptian type of writing custom that only existed in the 15th – 11th centuries BC in Egyptian literature, in which the name of Egypt’s king is never mentioned, rather he is simply referred to by the title of ‘pharaoh’.

Throughout ancient Egyptian literature in the second millennium BC, the power of the king of Egypt is portrayed in Egyptian texts as existing through pharaoh’s arm. In a paper titled The Arm of God Versus the Arm of Pharaoh in the Exodus Narratives by James Hoffmeier, one of the renowned scholars of our day, James quotes many of these Egyptian texts, including two relevant ones here which speak about Amenhotep II (pg. 381);

The accompanying inscription reads: ‘Amenhotep… who smites foreign rules of the far north, he is a god whose arm is great’. He is also called the ‘good god, strong of arm who achieves with his arms’ (pg. 381)

However, something important that James Hoffmeier points out is that Moses does the exact same thing with God. In the Book of Exodus Moses writes the following;

[Exodus 13:14] “In the future, when your son asks you, ‘What does this mean?’ say to him, ‘By the strength of His hand the Lord brought us out of Egypt, out of the place of slavery.

Moses portrays God’s power by God’s arm (so to speak). This is indeed no coincidence. James Hoffmeier points out that Moses wrote in this kind of language as to show that Yahweh’s power is greater than the power of pharaoh, and therefore defeated pharaoh and his gods, and therefore the arm of Yahweh overpowered the arm of pharaoh. James Hoffmeier thus says;

“The drama of the exodus narratives in describing the struggle between God and Pharaoh’s arms is heightened when it is realized that the arm of the Egyptian king was thought to be infused with strength of the supreme god Amun, or the war gods Seth or Montu. The polemical and legitimizing value of these expressions, which appear to go hand in hand, would have had special significance for the reader or hearer of the exodus narratives. By extending his victorious arm, God showed his superiority over pharaoh and the gods of Egypt.” (pg. 387)

The evidence shows that the author of the Pentateuch is highly familiar with the customs, literature, and geography of Egypt of the second millennium BC, in the time of Moses, showing that the account of the Exodus is a highly, highly trustworthy source.

Indeed, there is great historical confirmation of the Exodus of the Holy Bible and the Book of Exodus in the Old Testament deriving from the historical record, indeed bearing much evidence in showing it is the truth of history, rather than anything else. But considering this was initially told to us by God in the first place, what else could we have expected?

It is evident that the narrative of the Bible is clearly and plainly historical fact, and this is being recognized at a greater and greater amount as time passes on. Hallelujah!

[Jeremiah 10:10] But Yahweh is the true God; He is the living God and eternal King. The earthquakes at His wrath, and the nations cannot endure His rage.