Bible Secrets Revealed?: A Response to the New History Channel Series (Part 2)

Crusades

This is the second installment of my new blog series which responds to each new episode of the History Channel series, Bible Secrets Revealed (the previous installment can be found here).  The latest episode is entitled, “The Promised Land.”

On a positive note, let me say from the beginning that the accuracy and balance of this latest episode is a substantive improvement over the debut episode.  There are even interviews with scholars who disagreed with one another, rather than all sharing the same view.

That said, there are still a number of places where the documentary makes some claims that are problematic.  Let me just mention a view.

1. God-ordained Genocide?  Not surprisingly, the documentary observes the violence in the modern day “holy land” and looks for something to blame.  The answer is not surprising: the Bible is to blame.  The Bible records God’s command that Israel destroy all the peoples living in the land.  Thus, God himself creates a culture of violence in the holy land.

Of course, this sort of objection against the Bible is not a new one.  But, no attempt is made to provide a more balanced perspective.  It should be observed that there is no universal command in the Bible for Jews/Christians to go around killing people.  Rather, in the conquest of Canaan, God used the Israelite army as agents of his holy judgment.  God judges people throughout all the Bible and uses a variety of means (plague, famine, fire from heaven, etc.). Human armies are just another one of those means.

One might object that the people of Canaan were peaceful and innocent and did not deserve God’s judgment.  But, at least according to the biblical rationale itself, all people are deserving God’s judgment (cf. Rom 3:1-20).  Moreover, there are good reasons to think that the Canaanite religions were quite wicked, even committed to child sacrifice (cf., Lev 18:21).

2. Israelite Exodus Made-Up?  Secondly, the documentary goes out of its way to cast doubt on the historical authenticity of the Exodus, arguing that we should be able to find physical/archaeological remains of this event and we do not.   It then concludes, “The problem is that our faith tells us one thing and that the facts and evidence tell us something else.”

But, this whole conclusion is built entirely on an argument from silence.  The mere fact that we haven’t found physical evidence of Israel’s desert wanderings is meaningless given how many hundreds of miles of desert we are talking about and the corollary likelihood that such artifacts would be deeply buried.

Moreover, it should also be observed that we have no physical evidence for the vast majority of historical events.  We are aware of most events simply through written historical records.  If we affirmed only historical events corroborated by positive physical evidence, we would have very little history left.

Thankfully, the documentary does interview some evangelical scholars that raise some of these same concerns.

3. Crusading Christians as the Aggressors?  No documentary on the holy land would be complete without trotting out the standard laundry list of Christian atrocities during the Crusades.  Now, let it be said that many aspects of these Christian holy wars were downright wrong.  No argument there.  But, to portray Christians as the militant aggressors against innocent, peaceful Muslims is only a half-truth.  For more on this point, see Rodney Stark’s book, God’s Battalions.

These three misrepresentations combine to serve a larger narrative, namely that Jews/Christians have no real claim on the Holy Land because the Exodus is a myth, and, more than that, the violence in the modern day Holy Land is due to the violent and aggressive teachings of the Bible.  And glaringly absent in all of these discussions is any reference to (or condemnation of) Muslim violence in the Holy Land, historically or in the present, or any discussion of similar themed passages in the Koran.

The payoff of this narrative is clear.  If we are to have real peace in the holy land, we need to move away from and beyond our religious commitments (particularly Christian ones).  Religious commitments are the problem, not the solution.

Or, so we are told.

 

 

 

Comments

Bible Secrets Revealed?: A Response to the New History Channel Series (Part 2) — 48 Comments

  1. TV land can be a place of dangerous deceptions regarding documentaries. It’s no wonder Jesus teaches us to be on our guard, even if many are ensnared. Great insight & teaching regarding the Word of truth. Prov 18:17

    • Anaquaduck, I firmly agree with your perceptions of TV land, and would also add literature too can be a place of dangerous deceptions. While I take a keen interest in really questioning and evaluating what I read, I certainly adhere to your statement about Prov. 18:17 “The one who states his case first seems right, until the other comes and examines him.” The Bible came first (by far) and this documentary is the “other” coming to examine.for whatever flaws either side may present, you make a good point here and we should put into question the contents of the Bible.

      • The context of the verse may well mean a just hearing with order rather than a secular documentary from TV land. Some things really require the wisdom of Solomon. How you can examine a Theocracy from several thousand years ago with truth & equity is best left to God himself I would say unless you have jurisdiction. It is God himself that makes the point, teaching us to be just & impartial, but also obedient.

        • I have no juristiction. I also have no intimate knowledges of Solomon’s wisdom or lack of. Wise assertion and we can find agreeable terms if you suggest we leave it to God and not the Bible.

  2. Please forgive me for breaking up this lengthy post into sections.
    Part 1
    First and foremost, I must applaud the author on beginning with a positive note and also the show for including a wider variety of guests. Hopefully, we all agree hearing every side allows for the best discourse, and maybe progress is indeed being made in all this.

    Let us now examine the points made:

    Point 1: God-Ordained Genocide. It is fair to say the program targets the Bible. After all, that is what the whole series is about. I would have to say similar assertions within the program could be made about other religions. On the other hand, we must be mindful not to enter into a “they did it so why can’t we” state of mind. I also agree with the author that they “just didn’t go around killing people” (though I can’t recall the show actually saying that. They clearly had an agenda, more politically driven than anything else(noting that the two often become entangled). We might be able to entertain the idea that controlling the holy land is good business for any competitive religion. The argument made in Romans might be compelling if indeed we can prove divine righteousness. Problematic is the systematic butchering of every man,woman, and child (including infants) while blitzing one’s city does little to make sacrificing a child seem any more horrific. sadly, whatever children that were not sacrificed were killed by our biblical army anyway. Moreover, some cities were lost, retaken, and we simply failed to defeat certain regions leading us to enter negotiations (not exactly the destroy them all result the God in the Bible hoped for). Do I think the Canaanites were entirely peaceful…no…is any people as a whole…doubtful. However, I am of the mind God had little to do with all this as the bible states, and like the documentary, human intervention prevailed. What better jusification to convince your army than to say God said so? That line still works to this day.
    See point 2

    • I think there is more to it, as terrible as suffering & violence can be. From an evolutionary world view, there is no moral argument chemically speaking. Yes many may say God said so, but to check the historical facts we have the Bible. God is building a nation via Abraham that will be a blessing & a curse to those around. From that nation the Christ will come, He will be a blessing to all nations. It’s something I would never have thought of but God has a way of being peculiar at times. Like a light people will either be drawn to it or favour the darkness.

      We may think or believe we have a means of getting to the bottom of things but humans are very limited & bias, even with data. Darwinian ideas have also been taken on board to fuel wars as people seek power, glory, fitness & survival. On that basis I would say intelligence & evolution is not all it’s cracked up to be yet I don’t see any programs challenging their falsities & misgivings to the same degree. In fact I see almost the opposite.

      • Interesting assessment. I disagree with you stating the bible as historical fact…historical in accuracy seems to be one of points explored here. Please list these wars which include NO religious backing along with falsities and misgivings. Evidence always helps make these examinations clearer. I do not doubt you and agree can see your point about intelligence and evolution. As always I hold that humans ( both religious and not) are not all we’re cracked up to be. I do think anti evolution programs exist. just google anti evolution documentary. I’ve not seen them but several come up. maybe one will intrigue you. Also try asking librarians or organizations (check for credibility). See, I’m not just a one sided nay sayer. Good luck and have fun.

        • You can also google wars based on evolutionary ideology (the falsity & misgivings was in relation to evolution) & yes there are anti evolution programs but these are not given public voice & volume (a familiar pattern). The Bible tells me God has often worked with jars of clay to accomplish salvation throughout the ages. As a Creator he has not left us as orphans but walks with us in a relationship based on love, mercy & justice thanks to Christ.

          Thanks too for the opportunity to discuss & declare…evidence is of no value if you don’t know how to interpret what is before you, some things require repentance & faith not just ascertained knowledge wether we have one side or many.

          • I don’t disagree that wars exist on that point, I simply asked for you to name some specific wars where absolutely no religous rhetoric was used. Your second point should lead to a clear answer…what are these shows, why aren’t they presented to the public, and what can you do to get them seen? If you feel strongly about this issue, then pursue it. Let apathy not be the reason.

            I somewhat really like the jars of clay. I also think it can open up an avenue in saying that the church or the Bible often becomes a way of affirmation and praise. We use the fact that we are “good bible reading, church going” people to adorn our jars, if you will. Fortunately, like pottery barn, we don’t have to adorn our jars with every ornament (aka every word of the bible) but can rather conveniently pick and choose what works best for us individually and leave the rest on the shelf.) I don’t think you have been orphaned and think love, mercy, and justice (though the last can be tricky), dare I say salvation, can be fulfilled without the Bible.

            Great point in your last paragraph and I think that applies to both sides. I am more or less with you on the concept of faith (though many on my “side” of this debate would disagree with me). Ascertained knowledge and faith can work together in some respects. If the evidence within the bible is tampered with or flawed, is it really good evidence of God’s word? That becomes the question put forth here and the entire crux of the documentary.

            On a final note, I hope I don’t come off as completely brash…as I don’t intend to at all. In fact, I think you are rather well versed, articulate, and enjoy hearing your thoughts. In real life we may have been colleagues or even friends despite our disagreement. The best to you in all things and in all ways.

    • I am not sure of your depth of reading of the Bible. Yes, God told Joshua to kill all of the inhabitants of the “Promised Land” upon entering the promise land. This land was not a land of peace and tranquility. Various tribes and families would war with each other on a continual basis. Ending the existence of the tribes and peoples of the “Promised Land” would circumvent or prevent wars in the future. Joshua failed to follow through with the taking of all the land and killing off various people groups. In return, war and killing continued in the region for thousands of years brought on by the ancestors of those Joshua failed to eliminate. For example, leaving 10,000 alive would cause the deaths of 250,000+ in later years.

      God also brought the Philistines, Amorites, Ammonites, Babylonians and many others to attack the Israelites as punishment for their sins (usually revolving around the worship of false gods, such as Asherah). Most Americans don’t (don’t want to) believe in the God of the Bible who punishes people for doing evil. It’s not a nice thing to believe.

      I like your phrase, “I am of the mind…” You are equating your ability to think and reason as being above the Bible. You can have that viewpoint, as many do by the way they live their lives. Our minds are limited and finite, even the most brilliant minds. God is unlimited and infinite. Humans using all of their faculties and spending a lifetime at work have a difficult time seeing all of history and humanity in the same way God can with just a glimpse. (Of course, if you believe God chose to reveal himself through the Bible.)

  3. Point 2. Israelite Exodus Made Up?
    The exodus does bring up several conundrums. Indeed, the desert is vast and difficult to search. What we can do is look at where Exodus begins. there is much debate about what the records say and what the bible say in regards to who the pharaoh is during this time. I will be first to admit I need to research this more but it is a loose end and a point for contention. What about the sheer number of people led out on the exodus? No physical evidence at all? The author makes assertions about written texts, and his comments only make me respect paleontology more because the dinosaurs left no written records and find them in the most obscure places. The same is true of ancient human migrations. Yet nothing on the exodus. I will be utterly fair is saying that the lack of evidence doesn’t rule it out, but I will be fair to the other side in saying there is little to support it either. I will say re-reading exodus challenged what I believe as the documentary states. I tend to view servent/slave holding, selling daughters, and multiple spouses as unsavory, but the bible exodus seems to say its okay. interesting.

    See point 3

    • Where is the proof that the Exodus is made up? Would a Pharaoh who considers himself to be god write out a history of people walking out of his country after seeing the power of another god displayed? That is not how history was controlled. The trail in the desert disappeared long ago.

      According to the account, the people lived in tents and traveled from one place to another, leaving very little to nothing behind. Everything the people owned lasted for the entire time in the desert so they didn’t throw out old clothes (which would have decayed) or other items normally used up and thrown away. So, archaeological evidence would be very little in the desert and spread in a vast area.

      You choose not to believe in the historicity of the Bible and that is your choice. People believe in many histories that have far less proof than the Bible. They believe ancient Roman histories that have copies with many proven errors. People believe ancient Egyptian histories with only copies and no archeological evidence.

      Did slavery exist? Yes. There was no such thing as bankruptcy court in ancient times. If you owed a debt you could not pay, you had two choices: death or slavery.
      Multiple spouses? You don’t like it but this is still part of life in many places in the world.

      The interesting thing about history in the Bible is it shows the good, the bad, the ugly, the successes, the failures, the right choices, the wrong choices, the consequences and many other aspects of human life. Histories of other old cultures and civilizations tended to only show the good and the successes. People are already writing the history of the USA in new ways and in new viewpoints, ignoring the writings of the founding fathers, penned by their own hands.

      • wait…are you saying its okay to have multiple wives? I just want to clarify. The Bible says it’s okay…Do YOU believe it’s okay?

        • The Bible doesn’t say it is wrong to have more than one wife. The New Testament verse everyone goes to says “deacons” or leaders of the church should not have more than one wife. Within the context of the surrounding verses, the reason these people should only have one wife is to have time available to serve the church and perform the necessary duties. In fact, Paul wrote that Christians shouldn’t be married so they could give all of their time to doing God’s work but that it is ok to be married if you so desire.

          I only have one wife and couldn’t imagine keeping up with more than one. I have visited other cultures where people have more than one wife. I don’t condemn those people with more than one wife. The prevailing culture in the USA frowns upon having more than one wife for the most part. This cultural idea may be changing as people are promoting various love lifestyles. Current laws in the USA outlaw having more than one wife and I believe citizens should obey the laws of their land unless the laws oppose the teachings of the New Testament.

  4. Point 3. Crusading Christians:

    Crusade we did. Sufficient evidence exists that political and underhanded working were afoot and disguised as religious acts. Again, I don’t think any group is “innocent” but we certainly went into it with bloody intent and displayed,as a religion, unparalleled violence. Agreeing with the author of this blog, we get the lions share of the attention, but I think we wreaked the most mayhem them and ourselves. The author brings up Stark’s God’s Batallion. Okay, so after advocating a loaded title like this, no more picking on Bible reveled title should be allowed…call it even if anything. The problem with this book it is filled with fantastical depictions, outdated material, heavily refuted and inaccurate information, and a healthy dose of bias. Note that I am relaying not only my opinion but many others here. Read a few amazon reviews and visit a few uninterested (unbias) history PhDs who read the book. The blog author seems to complain about disinformation and bias by presenting a book filled with both. I do appreciate this book mentioned because it serves as a teachable moment, which revolves around the fact should never agree with what is written on the pages because it seems credible. Read it, then fact check and do your homework from an objective standpoint. This extend all the way from Stark’s book to the bible itself.

    See last point

    • Christianity has been one of the least, if not the least, violent religions of the world. People always point to the Crusades because the only thing they can point to is the Crusades. (The Catholic church had some other problems.) We get a statement like “The Crusade Period from 1095 to 1303 represented over 200 years of Christians fighting and killing innocent people.”
      Crusade 1: 1095-1099
      Crusade 2: 1147-1149
      Crusade 3: 1187-1192
      Crusade 4: 1202-1204
      Crusade 5: 1217-1221

      You get the idea. Someone would get the boldness to go on a Crusade to fulfill a purpose and it would last two to five years. Then, there would be years, even decades without a Crusade. Next, people want to paint modern Christianity with the Crusading bloodlust brush. During the years of the Crusades, the average person did not have a very good understanding of the Bible. The religious leaders told people what to do and the people did it. The religious leaders want to take back the Holy City of Jerusalem because they want it and the people obeyed. There were many other factors as well. The actions of the Crusades do not negate the integrity or the historicity of the Bible.

      The death and destruction of the Crusades pales in comparison to WW1 or WW2 or the dropping of atomic bomb killing everything and destroying everything.

      The Crusades have been written and re-written multiple times with various historical viewpoints over the last 1,000 years during the Reformation, Counter-Reformation, Enlightenment, Romanicism and others. Further proof as to how difficult it is to keep a history straight over the centuries and yet, the Bible has held to the exact same histories for thousands of years.

      Christianity spread throughout the world in a matter of a couple of centuries without provoking any violence but being the recipient of countless violent acts which still happen today.

  5. Final point

    I appreciate the blog author’s point of view, but respectfully disagree. I think the payoff is not to move away from our religion, but rather to re-examine the writings in the Bible. Certainly Muslim violence exists in the holy land and in the Koran. There are many peaceful Muslims who deal with criticism of their religion on a daily basis. Does this mean I believe their religion is any more accurate…no, but we would be flat out lying to say the Koran isn’t disputed. Again, this documentary is about the Bible and that is what they discuss. We have to be careful not to launch into sophomoric fingerprinting. Elementary example: Just because I am questioned for taking the cookie and little Johnnie isn’t means this is unfair. Well, should I have taken the cookie regardless? Pardon, the analogy but what this boils down to is self reflection, looking at our beliefs/bible regardless of what others happen to be.

    Finally, I respect the blog author as an intellectual person who takes take to present his ideas and raise discourse, often a difficult and enduring task. Thank you so much for allowing me come on board and share.

  6. Here is a quote I like by world-renowned New Testament scholar F. F. Bruce that counters criticism directed at the NT:

    “Perhaps we can appreciate how wealthy the New Testament is in manuscript attestation if we compare the textual material for other ancient historical works. For Caesarʼs Gallic War (composed between 58 and 50 BC) there are several extant MSS, but only nine or ten are good, and the oldest is some 900 years later than Caesarʼs day. Of the 142 books of the Roman History of Livy (59 BC- AD 17) only thirty-five survive; these are known to us from not more than twenty MSS of any consequence, only one of which, and that containing fragments of Books iii-vi, is as old as the fourth century.

    Of the fourteen books of the Histories of Tacitus (c. AD 100) only four and a half survive; of the sixteen books of his Annals, ten survive in full and two in part. The text of these extant portions of his two great historical works depends entirely on two MSS, one of the ninth century and one of the eleventh. The extant MSS of his minor works 18 (Dialogus de Oratoribus, Agricola, Germania) all descend from a codex of the tenth century. The History of Thucydides (c. 460-400 BC) is known to us from eight MSS, the earliest belonging to c. AD 900, and a few papyrus scraps, belonging to about the beginning of the Christian era. The same is true of the History of Herodotus (c. 488-428 BC).

    Yet no classical scholar would listen to an argument that the authenticity of Herodotus or Thucydides is in doubt because the earliest MSS of their works which are of any use to us are over 1,300 years later than the originals.”

    F. F. Bruce, The New Testament Documents: Are They Reliable? (Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1981), p. 11.

  7. “[E]very line of reasoning that is exalted against the knowledge of God, and every kind of objection or challenge to the faith that is raised by unbelievers arises from an attitude of the heart and within the intellectual context of a world-and-life view” (i.e., presuppositions)… “To interpret a fact of history involves a philosophy of history. But a philosophy of history is at the same time a philosophy of reality as a whole.”.. “Historical apologetics becomes genuinely fruitful only if it is conjoined with philosophical apologetics.” Van Til’s Apologetics (Bahnsen), In Defense of the Faith and Introduction to Systematic Theology (Van Til).

    If one begins with the presupposition that the Bible is not the word of God, one will wind up with conclusions that are, well, unbiblical at best, and anti-Christian at worst. While as Christians or Jews we must admit that the annihilation of entire societies seems to be a harsh edict from God, we do not put ourselves in the place of judging God’s word or his actions as reported in the Bible. However, the only god who apparently still “tells” his people to annihilate infidels is Allah of the Muslims.

    Jesus Christ, when incarnated on the earth, mediated or mitigated SOME of the premises of the Old Testament; however, if we believe that He is the same yesterday, today and forever, we understand that He was involved in the commandments to annihilate those ancient societies (cf. Joshua 5:13-15). One of mitigated commandments was that we should, “Love your enemies…”. But we also know that Jesus was rebutting errant rabbinical teaching at the time of his earthly ministry. Just war is another argument altogether.

    My point, albeit somewhat circuitous, is that we all begin with presuppositions, and if we begin by questioning the historical and philosophical accuracy of the Bible, we will wind up with conclusions supported by our fallen reasoning. Whereas, if we begin with the presupposition that the Bible is historically and philosophically accurate, we will conclude that His ways are higher than our ways and His thoughts higher than our thoughts, and that, as Dr. Kruger demonstrates, we should rather examine ourselves and our reasoning if it does not correlate to the truth of Scripture.

    • Well put and well thought out. I think my concern lays with where the knowledge of God is invested…if anywhere. I really am concerned the knowledge of God does not rest in the Bible because humans have had (and the evidence points this I way) that we humans have corrupted or manipulated this text. Indeed, I could whisk some edits of my own today and who knows who might think this is the word of God years from now. All analogies aside, I hope there is an understanding that not believing in the Bible doesn’t mean one also does not believe in God. The two can be separated, though most churches frown at this religious freedom.

      The Muslims call the ones ordered to kill infidels “extremists” and the we Christians call ours “cults.” There are people who do crazy things on behalf of their God and I just simply call them crazy or religious manipulators. Unless, you mean to say all Muslims want to kill those who don’t believe in Allah? That is what your sentence says after all, but I hope you just mean crazy or motivated people who use religion as a tool, then I’d agree.

      Good point about Jesus rebuttal, but let us get more clarification. In order to avoid a fallacy we must look at the statement “we know Jesus was rebutting…” How do we know any of this? Are we relying on the bible to provide evidence? If so then the evidence is bias and partial. what sources not found in the bible back up this biblical account. My point is the convenience of this all.

      I think I am truly fallen if i believe in mans version of Gods word that most likely fills the bible. I do think there is historical truth mixed with untruth. Creative non fiction sounds harsh but it’s the best I know it to be.

      I agree about God’s thoughts being higher than our own. with that in mind…could it be possible that no book could ever accurately convey Gods message because no person could think high enough to understand? scripture must be flaws if this logic exists. As per Dr. Kruger, would he also agree that we should examine ourself for defects if we believe in scripture? The opposition might say the perilous problem with questioning ourselves for not correlating with scripture can be that questioning itself becomes pointless when we don’t have the faculties to understand God’s higher order thinking anyway. This door swings both ways.

      In conclusion, I feel maybe I ride this review too hard and must say I am sorry for seeming overly critical if it comes out that way. The focus is on the documentary and we may be steering away. To bring it back , I agree with the scholar on the program that said the truth falls somewhere in the middle.

      • The starting position is the challenge. The producers of the series seem to start at this point – The Bible is a book about God and the history of a certain group of people. It is no different than any other book created by a group of people and describing their religious beliefs.
        Christianity starts here – The Bible is God’s revelation of himself to mankind as seen throughout history and set within the context of the Israelite culture.

        These are two very different premises as starting positions. The show we are discussing is about the Bible, not comparative religions (I’d be happy to discuss that as well) so we won’t get into the proofs of other major worldwide religions.

  8. TXSCHOLAR, you seem biased against the western and Biblical view. Certainly, in the case of the Crusades, the Europeans were fighting to recover the land that was taken and the people who were killed or denied their right to freedom to live as followers of Christ. The Koran itself directs conquest by the sword, while the NT calls for love. Followers of the Koran are obeying when they commit acts of terror (review all history and you will find that as the route of spread) while followers of Christ are DISobeying when they do such.

    • Those who kill or commit terror on behalf of the Koran should be put under scrutiny. I may seem particularly critical about the bible, but that is because this is what the program is about…challenging the bible. When/ if a program about the Koran airs, invite me to that blog and I will challenge it with the same determination.

  9. To all posters…THANK YOU in bold for responding intellectually. Some really great points are explored here. Now, my apologies in advance as the holiday season puts me away from my computer and I must reply by cell phone (chubby fingers lead to typos).

    Michael, I looked up your book and must admit I am far from world renown in any shape form or fashion as Mr. Bruce outclasses me there. However, the original copy was written in 1943 (70 years ago) and the author has been dead (1990) for the better part of a century ago. We have come a long way since them and any classical scholar who does not question these issues should be prompted. Fortunately I found that they are in fact being questioned …this is a good thing. I’m not calling Mr. Bruce a fibber because he may have been onto something at the time but within 70 years things have changed. Some dispute this book, but I must be honest that I have not read it entirely to agree or disagree. Perhaps the issue becomes the smoking gun…where is the tangible proof. as I have not read the book, please define the exact version of the bible is the correct one and provide the proof Bruce gives to lay assumption to rest. In this I don’t mean scripture, but rather tangible/physical evidence. This will go a long way in eliminatng all the other silly religions and quieting naysayers.

  10. My, it’s like every year around Christmas and Thanksgiving there got to be some kind of programming attacking the BIble; I’m glad Dr. Kruger that you are responding to this series

    • interesting point. This may be a sore time of year to launch into the series. I also thank mr. Kruger for allowing all views to be shared.

        • Good point. Unlike much of which is in the Bible, we can get a clear and definitive answer. Let us give it a try. MR. KRUGER, ARE YOU ALLOWING ALL VIEWS TO BE SHARED OR ARE YOU RESTRICTING ANY VIEWS TO BE PRESENTED? Anaquaduck makes a good point and I want to be set straight if I am wrong in assuming you are okay with those who agree and don’t agree to post their views. Thanks.

  11. Jesus tells his disciples that the devil is the father of lies. He also warns us about false teachings and paul is constantly warning us about false teachers and teachings. Be careful watching this series it is very deceiving. If you want to know the truth read your bible.

    • Amen! If more followers followed this principle, there’d be less problems inside His body.

    • Interesting. Let us start with your statement “you want to know the truth read your bible”

      Now, let us heed this advice and counter these false teachings and this deceptive program by following your advice and consulting the Bible. To preserve integrity we will take direct quotes from the Bible to eliminate their deception, for the bible is the truth as you suggest. Let’s look at a few.

      First,

      PSA 145:9 The LORD is good to all: and his tender mercies are over all his works.

      and

      JER 13:14 And I will dash them one against another, even the fathers and the sons together, saith the LORD: I will not pity, nor spare, nor have mercy, but destroy them.

      Wait, there seems to be some issue here. Not a good start, but let us try again.

      EXO 15:3 The LORD is a man of war: the LORD is his name.

      and

      EXO 15:3 The LORD is a man of war: the LORD is his name.

      or

      ECC 7:20 For there is not a just man upon earth, that doeth good, and sinneth not.

      and

      JO1 3:9 Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.

      Well, this just seems entirely the opposite and we are directly quoting the bible as I remind. Ah, we do have an ace in the hole. Let us look at Exodus 21. This part is rather clear. We must put our children to death if they strike their father, we can sell out daughters as slaves, and well, slaves in general are allowed. Even 21:21 reminds us that people have a monetary value and can be used as currency.

      These all come directly from the Bible, not the series, and we recall your words,

      “you want to know the truth read your bible”

      In short are you saying these DIRECT QUOTES do not contradict each other? More telling, you do fully support the practices laid out in exodus as the truth and God’s will?

      • You are not taking them in context or in line with the books as a whole. For instance, the easiest to answer is re being born of God. A man born of God is not the same as a man simply born as that refers to being in God’s Spirit, being born again.

        • I am not beyond education. Please provide the lines which support your statement. The literal reading creates enough distance where man must make interpretations. This becomes disheartening. Also, no one has clarified my concerns with exodus. Most just seem to ignore it altogether…also disheartening.

          • I wish I had the time and energy at present to respond well, but, I work for a living and not at theology. I will see if I can after the holidays, God willing.

            I know one thing — before you read the Bible if you would just pray that God will guide you into truth.

          • TXSCHOLAR – considering your screen name is “scholar” surely, you have studied these texts in their original languages so as to make sure the verb tenses are accurately portrayed in the English? I am curious, how many years have you spent studying these texts in their original language? Surely you’re not making assertions on something that you have not studied, because that would be foolish and surely you are not a fool. What about the traditional interpretations that have been given throughout the last several thousand years – what do you think about those?
            And maybe you could be more specific regarding why you think those verses are contradictory? I would appreciate it if you would exegete the verses and give us the authorial intent and then explain why they are contradictory. Maybe creating a formal argument with valid premises and a valid conclusion will help us all to understand. I will be more than happy to interact with you if you are willing to demonstrate that you are willing to actually do some study.

          • Proverbs 22:7 “The rich ruleth over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender.”

            slavery was a means of paying off debts and was a system used by various nations such as Rome. Though that was not how all people became slaves. however the Bible specifies a time which slaves must be liberated from slavery.

            Leviticus 25:10 “And ye shall hallow the fiftieth year, and proclaim liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof: it shall be a jubile unto you; and ye shall return every man unto his possession, and ye shall return every man unto his family.”

      • Interesting how you use a verse without context to support a thought. This has been done for ages by lots of people, including religious leaders, to try to prove their points.

        The Bible shows God has love and hate, joy and anger, peace and war, forgiveness and retribution and list could go on and on. Maybe this isn’t the God people want to believe in but it is the God the Bible reveals.

        Exodus 21 – set specific rules for a specific culture. Children were to honor their parents and if a child attacked a parent, there was a punishment. Look at our society today and how children treat their parents – it is sad. Am I saying we should kill children who strike their parents, no. Should children respect their parents and not strike them or curse them or belittle them? Why not? What moral code is there?

        • Jimmy, Exodus sets specific rules for what culture? Name them, better yet, tell me where the Bible names them? Tut tut, you’re not speaking for God are you?

          “there was a punishment”…that is NOT what the Bible says…it says DEATH.

          Hey, you forgot about the slaves…

          • Jimmy, are you honestly ignorant or are you being simply acting?
            Do you really not know that the laws given in Exodus were given to a specific people group? Do you really not know that it was commanded that the laws be taught to the original hearers’ children?

          • Frank my comment initially directed at Jimmy on 12/10 2:57PM was supposed to be directed to you. Care to answer?

        • Frank: Umm, thought you guys knew which culture the commandments were given to. The Israelite/Jewish culture. Given to Moses for the descendants of Abraham who had been in Egypt and were traveling to the Promised Land.

          Yes, oftentimes, the punishment was death. You and I may not agree with what the punishment was but that doesn’t really matter, it is what the punishment was. Many would say, this sounds really extreme but then again, how many people broke the rules that had death as the punishment? I don’t know. In the New Testament, Jesus showed compassion on people who deserved death and established a new and better way. In fact, many early Christians were killed by the same people who killed Jesus Christ.

          Sorry, I think I addressed slaves elsewhere. The challenge with many people watching the History series and thinking about the Bible is they start with their current culture and ideology of what is correct in their current culture (although the culture is quickly changing in the USA).
          People typically became slaves by putting themselves into debt and having no way to pay the debt off OR lost a battle/war and would either die or become slaves OR could not take care of their families and needed a place to work to survive. Today, we equate slavery to a re-written history of slavery in the USA and apply those thoughts backwards. Do I think I should own people? No, I don’t. If I had no way of feeding my starving children and wife other than becoming a slave would I do it for their sake, yes, if I were desperate enough.

          to Chris: I did say the laws were given to a specific culture and people group. The laws were to be taught to the original hearers and to their children’s children. The phrase “children’s children” means each generation following forever. No, I am not a prophet of God offering “thus says the Lord” words.

          • There are two issues I have here. One, are you saying Christ changed or disobeyed God’s law by allowing those who deserved death to live? If the bible says they should die and Jesus says they should live, which one is right?

            Two, you use the phrase “was” many times, such as “you and I may not agree with what the punishment was…” Does this mean these laws no longer apply? Where in the Bible does it say that these rules should or will be changed? If this is the case here, how many other parts of the Bible no longer apply?

            It would seem that since you don’t agree with people owning slaves, which the Bible condones, then you don’t quite agree with the Bible. I would be willing to reconsider my position when you give me the specific passage stating when these rules will no longer apply. Remember, an all knowing God would have expected our current policy on slaves because the Bible, to my knowledge, does not have a shelf life.

  12. 1. Genocide The only ones totally eliminated during the exodus wars were the ‘giants’ (24 fingers and toes) and for the other ones virgin females were kept alive and married into the 12 Tribes when the became the proper age. As a side note the friends and family of the ones killed will be part of the resurrection that happens when Isa:37 manifests itself. It is allowed as they fit the condition in Re:20:4 that is ‘beheaded for the word of God’.

    2. Exodus is a fact, the crossing was at the narrow part of the Greater and Little Bitter Lakes. That is pretty easy to figure out using the text in Ex:14 and this map.

    http://bibleatlas.org/migdol.htm

    3. Rather than Muslims being heathen there are an example of God giving people an alternative to joining a corrupt Church which it was by 600AD. In 300AD the RCC still used the original Greek and original Hebrew texts, by 600AD they were using the Latin Bible. It is no different than when God removed the 12 Tribes from the Promised Land when they started killing Prophets. That is what Jer:25 is about as the punishment isn’t over until the 7th trump of Re:11 sounds.