FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 407 Page 233 in THE GOD DELUSION: “Another candidate for a purely designed religion is Mormonism. Joseph Smith, its enterprisingly mendacious inventor, went to the lengths of inventing from scratch a whole new bogus American history” Featured artist is Luo Zhongli

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Bill Maher and Richard Dawkins

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Francis and Edith Schaeffer at their home in Switzerland with some visiting friends

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Schaeffer with his wife Edith in Switzerland.


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Richard Dawkins and John Lennox

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July 18, 2019

Richard Dawkins c/o Richard Dawkins Foundation, 
Washington, DC 20005

Dear Mr. Dawkins,

Page 233 in THE GOD DELUSION: “Another candidate for a purely designed religion is Mormonism. Joseph Smith, its enterprisingly mendacious inventor, went to the lengths of inventing from scratch a whole new bogus American history”

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I have written about this issue of fake Book of Mormon history on my blog and here is a portion of a blog post I did below:

From time to time you will read articles in the Arkansas press by  such writers as  John BrummettMax Brantley and Gene Lyons  that poke fun at those that actually believe the Bible is historically accurate when in fact the Bible is backed up by many archaeological facts. The Book of Mormon is blindly accepted even though archaeology has disproven many of the facts that are claimed by it. For instance, take the issues of horses and weapons.

Horses are mentioned eleven times in the Book of Mormon in the context of its New World setting.[33] There is no evidence that horses existed on the American continent during the 2500-3000year history of the Book of Mormon (2500 BC – 400 AD) The only evidence of horses on the American continent dates to pre-historic times,[34](between 12,500 and 10,000 BC.[35]). It is widely accepted that horses were extinct in the Western Hemisphere over 10,000 years ago and did not reappear there until the Spaniards brought them from Europe.[36] Horses were re-introduced to the Americas (Caribbean) by Christopher Columbus in 1493[37] and to the American continent by Cortés in 1519.[38]

Rick Deem wrote the article, “Archaeology/Anthropolocical Problems in the Book of Mormon,” and in it he asserted:

The Book of Mormon claims to be a record of the inhabitants of the Americas during the period from 2000 B.C. to 400 A.D. It makes many claims about the history and anthropology of pre-Columbian American cultures. Unfortunately, the author of the book, Joseph Smith, had little or no knowledge of pre-Columbian American civilizations. Borrowing and adapting many stories from the Old and New Testaments, Joseph Smith was unaware that the earlier Native American people were part of stone-age civilizations that were significantly less advanced than Hebrew and other Middle Eastern cultures of biblical times.

Weapons of war

The Book of Mormon describes the presence of chariots in the New World.However, archeologists have found neither evidence of chariots or even evidence of wheeled vehicle usage during the period described in the Book of Mormon. Scimitar (“cimiter”) – not found in the New World Scimitars (spelled “cimeters” by Joseph Smith), were Old-World weapons of war that were mentioned throughout the Book of Mormon.However, they have not been found to have existed in the New World. LDS apologists cite the Mesoamerican maccuahuitl as a possible “cimiter”.However, the maccuahuitl was a hardwood club with obsidian blades, which is quite different from the heavy, two-handed curved steel blade of the “cimeter.” The Book of Mormon expressly states that the American peoples of the period used weapons of war made of metals,although none of these weapons have ever been found. The Hill Cumorah in New York is described as the location of two major wars that involved the deaths of millions of people. However, no remains or even weapons of war have been found there.

In contrast look at some of the archaeological evidence concerning the Bible. The Old and New Testaments present a rich description of biblical peoples, places and cultures. Archeology of the Middle East has revealed the cities, weapons, crops, animals, coins, writings, and references to biblical characters found in the Bible. However, none of the cities mentioned in the Book of Mormon have ever been identified by qualified archeologists. In addition, many Book of Mormon references to metals, weapons, crops, animals, articles of clothing are known to have not been present in the Americas during the time period claimed in the Book of Mormon.

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Archaeological Evidence verifying biblical cities

by Matt Slick

There is very little doubt in anyone’s mind about the reality of so many of the Old and New Testament cities mentioned in the Bible. Therefore, it is hardly necessary to document their existence. Nevertheless, following is a partial list of some of the cities mentioned in the Bible that have been found and excavated by archaeologists. This is simply more evidence that the Bible describes actual locations that can be verified. This means that at the very least, the Bible accurately reflects the locations and cities of ancient times.

Remember, this is only a partial list. There are hundreds of biblical cities that have been verified in archaeological digs.

  • Chorazin
    1. Matt. 11:21, “Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the miracles had occurred in Tyre and Sidon which occurred in you, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes.”
      1. “Excavations of the now deserted town indicate that it once covered an area of twelve acres and was built on a series of terraces with the basalt stone local to this mountainous region.”6
  • Dan
    1. Judges 18:29, “And they called the name of the city Dan, after the name of Dan their father who was born in Israel; however, the name of the city formerly was Laish.”
      1. “The excavation of Dan began in 1966 under the direction fo Avraham Biran.”7
      2. “Formerly called Laish, it is mentioned in the execration texts, the eighteenth-century b.c. Mari tablets, and the records of the Egyptian pharaoh Thutmose III. It is identified with Tel Dan (modern Tell el-Qadi) covering about 50 acres in the center of a fertile valley near one of the principal springs feeding the Jordan River…Tel Dan has been excavated by A. Biran since 1966. The earliest occupation, probably the full extent of the tell, goes back to about the middle of the third millennium B.C.”8
  • Ephesus
    1. Eph. 1:1, “Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, to the saints who are at Ephesus, and who are faithful in Christ Jesus.”
      1. “Austrian archaeologists in this century [2oth] have excavated the 24,000-seat theater and the commercial agora, as well as many other public buildings and streets of the first and second centuries a.d., so that the modern visitor can gain some impression of the city as known by Paul.9

Over the years there have been many criticisms leveled against the Bible concerning its historical reliability. These criticisms are usually based on a lack of evidence from outside sources to confirm the Biblical record. Since the Bible is a religious book, many scholars take the position that it is biased and cannot be trusted unless we have corroborating evidence from extra-Biblical sources. In other words, the Bible is guilty until proven innocent, and a lack of outside evidence places the Biblical account in doubt.

This standard is far different from that applied to other ancient documents, even though many, if not most, have a religious element. They are considered to be accurate, unless there is evidence to show that they are not. Although it is not possible to verify every incident in the Bible, the discoveries of archaeology since the mid-1800s have demonstrated the reliability and plausibility of the Bible narrative.

Here are some examples:

  • Many thought the Biblical references to Solomon’s wealth were greatly exaggerated. Recovered records from the past show that wealth in antiquity was concentrated with the king and Solomon’s prosperity was entirely feasible.
  • It was once claimed there was no Assyrianking named Sargon as recorded in Isaiah 20:1, because this name was not known in any other record. Then, Sargon’s palace was discovered in Khorsabad, Iraq. The very event mentioned in Isaiah 20, his capture of Ashdod, was recorded on the palace walls. What is more, fragments of a stela memorializing the victory were found at Ashdod itself.
  • Another king who was in doubt was Belshazzar, king of Babylon, named in Daniel 5. The last king of Babylon was Nabonidus according to recorded history. Tablets were found showing that Belshazzar was Nabonidus’ son who served as coregent in Babylon. Thus, Belshazzar could offer to make Daniel “third highest ruler in the kingdom” (Dan. 5:16) for reading the handwriting on the wall, the highest available position. Here we see the “eye-witness” nature of the Biblical record, as is so often brought out by the discoveries of archaeology.

How does archaeology conclusively demonstrate the Bible to be reliable and unique among all the holy books of world religions? Answers

For many more archaeological evidences in support of the Bible, see Archaeology and the Bible


[ If this information has been helpful, please prayerfully consider a donation to help pay the expenses for making this faith-building service available to you and your family! Donations are tax-deductible. ]

Author: Bryant Wood of Associates for Biblical ResearchThe Bible maintains several characteristics that prove it is from God. One of those is the fact that the Bible is accurate in every one of its details. The field of archaeology brings to light this amazing accuracy.

Is the Bible historically accurate? Here are some of the posts I have done in the past on the subject:


1. 
The Babylonian Chronicle
of Nebuchadnezzars Siege of Jerusalem

This clay tablet is a Babylonian chronicle recording events from 605-594BC. It was first translated in 1956 and is now in the British Museum. The cuneiform text on this clay tablet tells, among other things, 3 main events: 1. The Battle of Carchemish (famous battle for world supremacy where Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon defeated Pharoah Necho of Egypt, 605 BC.), 2. The accession to the throne of Nebuchadnezzar II, the Chaldean, and 3. The capture of Jerusalem on the 16th of March, 598 BC.

2. Hezekiah’s Siloam Tunnel Inscription.

King Hezekiah of Judah ruled from 721 to 686 BC. Fearing a siege by the Assyrian king, Sennacherib, Hezekiah preserved Jerusalem’s water supply by cutting a tunnel through 1,750 feet of solid rock from the Gihon Spring to the Pool of Siloam inside the city walls (2 Kings 20; 2 Chron. 32). At the Siloam end of the tunnel, an inscription, presently in the archaeological museum at Istanbul, Turkey, celebrates this remarkable accomplishment.

3. Taylor Prism (Sennacherib Hexagonal Prism)

It contains the victories of Sennacherib himself, the Assyrian king who had besieged Jerusalem in 701 BC during the reign of king Hezekiah, it never mentions any defeats. On the prism Sennacherib boasts that he shut up “Hezekiah the Judahite” within Jerusalem his own royal city “like a caged bird.” This prism is among the three accounts discovered so far which have been left by the Assyrian king Sennacherib of his campaign against Israel and Judah.

4. Biblical Cities Attested Archaeologically.

In addition to Jericho, places such as Haran, Hazor, Dan, Megiddo, Shechem, Samaria, Shiloh, Gezer, Gibeah, Beth Shemesh, Beth Shean, Beersheba, Lachish, and many other urban sites have been excavated, quite apart from such larger and obvious locations as Jerusalem or Babylon. Such geographical markers are extremely significant in demonstrating that fact, not fantasy, is intended in the Old Testament historical narratives;

5. The Discovery of the Hittites

Most doubting scholars back then said that the Hittites were just a “mythical people that are only mentioned in the Bible.” Some skeptics pointed to the fact that the Bible pictures the Hittites as a very big nation that was worthy of being coalition partners with Egypt (II Kings 7:6), and these bible critics would assert that surely we would have found records of this great nation of Hittites.  The ironic thing is that when the Hittite nation was discovered, a vast amount of Hittite documents were found. Among those documents was the treaty between Ramesses II and the Hittite King.

6.Shishak Smiting His Captives

The Bible mentions that Shishak marched his troops into the land of Judah and plundered a host of cities including Jerusalem,  this has been confirmed by archaeologists. Shishak’s own record of his campaign is inscribed on the south wall of the Great Temple of Amon at Karnak in Egypt. In his campaign he presents 156 cities of Judea to his god Amon.

7. Moabite Stone

The Moabite Stone also known as the Mesha Stele is an interesting story. The Bible says in 2 Kings 3:5 that Mesha the king of Moab stopped paying tribute to Israel and rebelled and fought against Israel and later he recorded this event. This record from Mesha has been discovered.

8Black Obelisk of Shalmaneser III

The tribute of Jehu, son of Omri, silver, gold, bowls of gold, chalices of gold, cups of gold, vases of gold, lead, a sceptre for the king, and spear-shafts, I have received.”

9A Verification of places in Gospel of John and Book of Acts.

Sir William Ramsay, famed archaeologist, began a study of Asia Minor with little regard for the book of Acts. He later wrote:

I found myself brought into contact with the Book of Acts as an authority for the topography, antiquities and society of Asia Minor. It was gradually borne upon me that in various details the narrative showed marvelous truth.

9B Discovery of Ebla TabletsWhen I think of discoveries like the Ebla Tablets that verify  names like Adam, Eve, Ishmael, David and Saul were in common usage when the Bible said they were, it makes me think of what amazing confirmation that is of the historical accuracy of the Bible.

10. Cyrus Cylinder

There is a well preserved cylinder seal in the Yale University Library from Cyrus which contains his commands to resettle the captive nations.

11. Puru “The lot of Yahali” 9th Century B.C.E.

This cube is inscribed with the name and titles of Yahali and a prayer: “In his year assigned to him by lot (puru) may the harvest of the land of Assyria prosper and thrive, in front of the gods Assur and Adad may his lot (puru) fall.”  It provides a prototype (the only one ever recovered) for the lots (purim) cast by Haman to fix a date for the destruction of the Jews of the Persian Empire, ostensibly in the fifth century B.C.E. (Esther 3:7; cf. 9:26).

12. The Uzziah Tablet Inscription

The Bible mentions Uzziah or Azariah as the king of the southern kingdom of Judah in 2 Kings 15. The Uzziah Tablet Inscription is a stone tablet (35 cm high x 34 cm wide x 6 cm deep) with letters inscribed in ancient Hebrew text with an Aramaic style of writing, which dates to around 30-70 AD. The text reveals the burial site of Uzziah of Judah, who died in 747 BC.

13. The Pilate Inscription

The Pilate Inscription is the only known occurrence of the name Pontius Pilate in any ancient inscription. Visitors to the Caesarea theater today see a replica, the original is in the Israel Museum in Jerusalem. There have been a few bronze coins found that were struck form 29-32 AD by Pontius Pilate

14. Caiaphas Ossuary

This beautifully decorated ossuary found in the ruins of Jerusalem, contained the bones of Caiaphas, the first century AD. high priest during the time of Jesus.

14 B Pontius Pilate Part 2      

In June 1961 Italian archaeologists led by Dr. Frova were excavating an ancient Roman amphitheatre near Caesarea-on-the-Sea (Maritima) and uncovered this interesting limestone block. On the face is a monumental inscription which is part of a larger dedication to Tiberius Caesar which clearly says that it was from “Pontius Pilate, Prefect of Judea.”

14c. Three greatest American Archaeologists moved to accept Bible’s accuracy through archaeology.

Despite their liberal training, it was archaeological research that bolstered their confidence in the biblical text:Albright said of himself, “I must admit that I tried to be rational and empirical in my approach [but] we all have presuppositions of a philosophical order.” The same statement could be applied as easily to Gleuck and Wright, for all three were deeply imbued with the theological perceptions which infused their work.

Another example is given by Francis Schaeffer:


A much more dramatic story surrounds the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls in the present century. The Dead Sea Scrolls, some of which relate to the text of the Bible, were found at Qumran, about fifteen miles from Jerusalem.

Most of the Old Testament was originally written in Hebrew, and the New Testament in Greek. Many people have been troubled  by the length of time that has elapsed between the original writing of the documents and the present translations. How could the originals be copied from generation to generation and not be grossly distorted in the process? There is, however, much to reassure confidence in the text we have.

In the case of the New Testament, there are codes of the whole New Testament (that is, manuscripts in book form, like the Codes Sinaiticus and Codex Alexandrinus, dated around the fourth and fifth centuries respectively) and also thousands of fragments, some of them dating back to the second century. The earliest known so far is kept in the John Rylands Library in Manchester, England. It is only a small fragment, containing on one side John 18:31-33 and on the reverse, verses 37 and 38. It is important, however, both for its early date (about A.D.125) and for the place where it was discovered, namely Egypt. This shows that John’s Gospel was known and read in Egypt at that early time. There are thousands of such New Testament texts in Greek from the early centuries after Christ’s death and resurrection.

In the case of the Old Testament, however, there was once a problem. There were no copies of the Hebrew Old Testament in existence which dated from before the ninth century after Christ. This did not mean that there was no way to check the Old Testament, for there were other translations in existence, such as the Syriac and the Septuagint (a translation into Greek from several centuries before Christ). However, there was no Hebrew version of the Old Testament from earlier than the ninth century after Christ–because to the Jews the Scripture was so holy it was the common practice to destroy the copies of the Old Testament when they wore out, so that they would not fall into disrespectful use.

Then in 1947, a Bedouin Arab made a discovery not far from Qumran, which changed everything. While looking for sheep, he came across a cave in which he discovered some earthenware jars containing a number of scrolls. (There jars are now in the Israeli Shrine of the Book in Jerusalem.) Since that time at least ten other caves in the same vicinity have yielded up other scrolls and fragments. Copies of all the Old Testament books except Esther have been discovered (in part or complete) among these remains. One of the most dramatic single pieces was a copy of the Book of Isaiah dated approximately a hundred years before Christ. What was particularly striking about this is the great closeness of the discovered text tothe Hebrew text, whicch we previously had, a text written about a thousand years later!

On the issue of text, the Bible is unique as ancient documents go. No other book from that long ago exists in even a small percentage of the copies we have of the Greek and Hebrew texts which make up the Bible. We can be satisfied that we have a copy in our hands which closely approximates the original. Of course, there have been some mistakes in copying, and all translation lose something of the original language. That is inevitable. But the fact that most of us use translations into French, German, Chinise, English, and so on does not mean that we have an inadequate idea of what was written originally. We lose some of the nuances of the language, even when the translation is good, but we do not lose the essential content and communication.

The answer to find meaning in life is found in putting your faith and trust in Jesus Christ. The Bible is true from cover to cover and can be trusted.

Thank you again for your time and I know how busy you are.

Everette Hatcher, everettehatcher@gmail.comhttp://www.thedailyhatch.org, cell ph 501-920-5733, Box 23416, LittleRock, AR 72221, United States

Dawkins, Hitchens, Dennett, Harris 

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Canary Islands 2014: Harold Kroto and Richard Dawkins

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Francis Schaeffer pictured below:

The Basis of Human Dignity by Francis Schaeffer

Richard Dawkins, founder of the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science. Credit: Don Arnold Getty Images

Francis Schaeffer in 1984

Christian Manifesto by Francis Schaeffer

Francis Schaeffer in 1982

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Whatever Happened to the Human Race? Episode 1

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Garik Israelian, Stephen Hawking, Alexey Leonov, Brian May, Richard Dawkins and Harry Kroto

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Featured artist is Luo Zhongli 

Luo Zhongli

Luo Zhongli is a painter known for his portraits of laborers in rural parts of his country. His famous work is Father (1980), an empathetic portrait of a wrinkled elderly man. Luo Zhongli dedicated the space to a farmer, symbolizing the commencement of the time of people. 

Born in China, he went to Sichuan Fine Arts Institute. He followed to Belgium where he qualified for MFA from the Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp. His work has been exhibited in cities worldwide. The contemporary artist lives in China. His paintings are held in the collections of the National Art Museum of China in Beijing, the Shanghai Art Museum, and the Singapore Art Museum.

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