Tag Archives: Gordon Stein (1941-1996)

RESPONDING TO HARRY KROTO’S BRILLIANT RENOWNED ACADEMICS!! Part 51 ( Walter Sinnott-Armstrong of Duke contends that the existence of evil makes it unlikely that God exists! )

On November 21, 2014 I received a letter from Nobel Laureate Harry Kroto and it said:

…Please click on this URL http://vimeo.com/26991975

and you will hear what far smarter people than I have to say on this matter. I agree with them.

Harry Kroto

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Fig 9. The Sussex team from left: (back) Ala’a Abdul Sada and Jon Hare (front) HK, Roger Taylor and David Walton and Dr. Harry Kroto is the 1996 Chemistry Nobel Prize Winner and he is seen the photo below on the left seated:

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Walter Sinnott-Armstrong

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Walter Sinnott-Armstrong (born 1955) is an American philosopher. He specializes in ethics, epistemology, and more recently in neuroethics, the philosophy of law, and the philosophy of cognitive science. He is the Chauncey Stillman Professor of Practical Ethics in the Department of Philosophy and the Kenan Institute for Ethics at Duke University.[1] He earned his Ph.D. from Yale University under the supervision of Robert Fogelin and Ruth Barcan Marcus, and taught for many years at Dartmouth College, before moving to Duke.[2]

His Moral Skepticisms (2006) defends the view that we do not have fully adequate responses to the moral skeptic. It also defends a coherentist moral epistemology, which he has defended for decades. His Morality Without God? (2009) endorses the moral philosophy of his former colleague Bernard Gert as an alternative to religious views of morality.[citation needed]

In 1999, he debated William Lane Craig in a debate ‘God? A Debate Between A Christian and An Atheist’. [3]

Walter Sinnott-Armstrong argues that God is not only not essential to morality, but moral behaviour should be independent of religion. A separate entity one could say. He strongly disagrees with several core ideas: that atheists are immoral people; that any society will become like lord of the flies if it becomes too secular; that without morality being laid out in front of us, like a commandment, we have no reason to be moral; that absolute moral standards require the existence of a God, he sees that people themselves are inherently good and not bad; and that without religion, we simply couldn’t know what is bad and what is good.

Publications[edit]

Some of his notable publications include:

  • Moral Dilemmas (Basil Blackwell, 1988)
  • God? A Debate between a Christian and an Atheist, by William Lane Craig and Walter Sinnott-Armstrong (New York: Oxford University Press, 2003)
  • Moral Skepticisms, Oxford University Press, 2006.
  • editor, Moral Psychology (Five Volumes), MIT Press, 2008.
  • Morality Without God?, Oxford University Press, 2009.

References[edit]

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In  the second video below in the 66th clip in this series are his words and  my response is below them. 

50 Renowned Academics Speaking About God (Part 1)

Another 50 Renowned Academics Speaking About God (Part 2)

A Further 50 Renowned Academics Speaking About God (Part 3)

I grew up at Bellevue Baptist Church under the leadership of our pastor Adrian Rogers and I read many books by the Evangelical Philosopher Francis Schaeffer and have had the opportunity to contact many of the evolutionists or humanistic academics that they have mentioned in their works. Many of these scholars have taken the time to respond back to me in the last 20 years and some of the names  included are  Ernest Mayr (1904-2005), George Wald (1906-1997), Carl Sagan (1934-1996),  Robert Shapiro (1935-2011), Nicolaas Bloembergen (1920-),  Brian Charlesworth (1945-),  Francisco J. Ayala (1934-) Elliott Sober (1948-), Kevin Padian (1951-), Matt Cartmill (1943-) , Milton Fingerman (1928-), John J. Shea (1969-), , Michael A. Crawford (1938-), Paul Kurtz (1925-2012), Sol Gordon (1923-2008), Albert Ellis (1913-2007), Barbara Marie Tabler (1915-1996), Renate Vambery (1916-2005), Archie J. Bahm (1907-1996), Aron S “Gil” Martin ( 1910-1997), Matthew I. Spetter (1921-2012), H. J. Eysenck (1916-1997), Robert L. Erdmann (1929-2006), Mary Morain (1911-1999), Lloyd Morain (1917-2010),  Warren Allen Smith (1921-), Bette Chambers (1930-),  Gordon Stein (1941-1996) , Milton Friedman (1912-2006), John Hospers (1918-2011), Michael Martin (1932-), John R. Cole  (1942-),   Wolf Roder,  Susan Blackmore (1951-),  Christopher C. French (1956-)  Walter R. Rowe Thomas Gilovich (1954-), Paul QuinceyHarry Kroto (1939-), Marty E. Martin (1928-), Richard Rubenstein (1924-), James Terry McCollum (1936-), Edward O. WIlson (1929-), Lewis Wolpert (1929), Gerald Holton (1922-), Martin Rees (1942-), Alan Macfarlane (1941-),  Roald Hoffmann (1937-), Herbert Kroemer (1928-), Thomas H. Jukes (1906-1999), Glenn BranchGeoff Harcourt (1931-), and  Ray T. Cragun (1976-).

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QUOTE FROM WALTER SINNOTT-ARMSTRONG

So you got omnipotence and you realize to have omnipotence you got to have God is unchanging, but you forget by adding unchanging in order to keep omnipotence that is going to conflict with active in the world. Now you are losing omnipotence because now He can’t act in the world. The problem is to keep the whole thing in a coherent bundle and even if there is not a logical contradiction in there, I don’t see how that is going to happen.

 

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Below is a letter I sent to answer this statement.

April 6, 2015

Dr. Walter Sinnott-Armstrong, Department of Philosophy

Dear Dr. Sinnott-Armstrong,

I am looking forward to the Duke v. Wisconsin game tonight. I have always been a big fan of Coach K. The funny thing is that he will be visiting my kid’s small high school gym soon since 7 ft 3 in Freshman Connor Vanover is on our Arkansas Baptist High School basketball team. John Calipari has already seen him play this year!!!!

I saw your interview on CLOSER TO TRUTH and that prompted me to write you today. Let me start off by saying that this is not the first time that I have written you. Earlier I shared several letters of correspondence I had with Carl Sagan, and Antony Flew. Both men were strong believers in evolution as you are today. Instead of talking to you about their views today I wanted to discuss the views of you and Charles Darwin. Previously I wrote you concerning Carl Sagan’s passion for the SEARCH FOR EXTRATERRESTRIAL INTELLIGENCE (SETI) program.

I just finished reading the online addition of the book Darwin, Francis ed. 1892. Charles Darwin: his life told in an autobiographical chapter, and in a selected series of his published letters [abridged edition]. London: John Murray. There are several points that Charles Darwin makes in this book that were very wise, honest, logical, shocking and some that were not so wise. The Christian Philosopher Francis Schaeffer once said of Darwin’s writings, “Darwin in his autobiography and in his letters showed that all through his life he never really came to a quietness concerning the possibility that chance really explained the situation of the biological world. You will find there is much material on this [from Darwin] extended over many many years that constantly he was wrestling with this problem.”

Your QUOTE from the program CLOSER TO TRUTH: So you got omnipotence and you realize to have omnipotence you got to have God is unchanging, but you forget by adding unchanging in order to keep omnipotence that is going to conflict with active in the world. Now you are losing omnipotence because now He can’t act in the world. The problem is to keep the whole thing in a coherent bundle and even if there is not a logical contradiction in there, I don’t see how that is going to happen.

On February 15, 2015 at our church service at FELLOWSHIP BIBLE CHURCH in Little Rock, Arkansas, our teaching pastor Brandon Barnard told the story of my good friends Roger and Terrie Cheuvront  and the tragic death of their 19 year daughter Danaea on April 15, 2007 in a traffic accident. I was at the Funeral Home when the minister came in that very day, and I found the words of the pastor as a great comfort because we knew Danaea was in heaven. The sermon on 2-15-15 was about the time that Jesus wept at sight of his friend Lazarus’ tomb, and this 11th chapter of John had comforted Terrie Cheuvront because she knew that Jesus had felt the same pain that we have and he will eventually raise us too from the dead and her daughter Danaea is even now in heaven with Christ.

Rev Barnard actually read these words from Terri at our service: “God never intended us to experience sin and death, but sin brought about this consequence. I could be mad at death and all that it meant but the amazing thing was when I realized God’s plan then God took the anger and replaced it with His grace. It made me realize at a deeper level what God had truly done for me on the cross. He conquered sin and death for me. What amazing glorious hope he gives us. We live because He lives. Yes I am separated from my daughter now but there will be a glorious reunion.”

Let me make three points concerning the problem of evil and suffering. First, the problem of evil and suffering hit this world in a big way because of Adam and what happened in Genesis Chapter 3. Second, if there is no God then there is no way to distinguish good from evil and there will be no ultimate punishment for Hitler and Josef Mengele. (By the way Mengele never faced punishment and lived his long life out in peace.) Third. Christ came and suffered and will destroy all evil from this world eventually forever.

Point number two reminds me of Woody Allen’s 1989 movie, CRIMES AND MISDEMEANORS.  In this film, Allen attacks his own atheistic view of morality. Martin Landau plays a Jewish eye doctor named Judah Rosenthal raised by a religious father who always told him, “The eyes of God are always upon you.” However, Judah later concludes that God doesn’t exist. He has his mistress (played in the film by Anjelica Huston) murdered because she continually threatened to blow the whistle on his past questionable, probably illegal, business activities. She also attempted to break up Judah’s respectable marriage by going public with their two-year affair. Judah struggles with his conscience throughout the remainder of the movie and continues to be haunted by his father’s words: “The eyes of God are always upon you.” This is a very scary phrase to a young boy, Judah observes. He often wondered how penetrating God’s eyes are.

Later in the film, Judah reflects on the conversation his religious father had with Judah ‘s unbelieving Aunt May at the dinner table many years ago:

“Come on Sol, open your eyes. Six million Jews burned to death by the Nazis, and they got away with it because might makes right,” says aunt May

Sol replies, “May, how did they get away with it?”

Judah asks, “If a man kills, then what?”

Sol responds to his son, “Then in one way or another he will be punished.”

Aunt May comments, “I say if he can do it and get away with it and he chooses not to be bothered by the ethics, then he is home free.”

Judah ‘s final conclusion was that might did make right. He observed that one day, because of this conclusion, he woke up and the cloud of guilt was gone. He was, as his aunt said, “home free.”

Woody Allen has exposed a weakness in his own humanistic view that God is not necessary as a basis for good ethics. There must be an enforcement factor in order to convince Judah not to resort to murder. Otherwise, it is fully to Judah ‘s advantage to remove this troublesome woman from his life. CAN A MATERIALIST OR A HUMANIST THAT DOES NOT BELIEVE IN AN AFTERLIFE GIVE JUDAH ONE REASON WHY HE SHOULDN’T HAVE HIS MISTRESS KILLED?

The Bible tells us, “{God} has also set eternity in the hearts of men…” (Ecclesiastes 3:11 NIV). The secularist calls this an illusion, but the Bible tells us that the idea that we will survive the grave was planted in everyone’s heart by God Himself. Romans 1:19-21 tells us that God has instilled a conscience in everyone that points each of them to Him and tells them what is right and wrong (also Romans 2:14 -15).

It’s no wonder, then, that one of Allen’s fellow humanists would comment, “Certain moral truths — such as do not kill, do not steal, and do not lie — do have a special status of being not just ‘mere opinion’ but bulwarks of humanitarian action. I have no intention of saying, ‘I think Hitler was wrong.’ Hitler WAS wrong.” (Gloria Leitner, “A Perspective on Belief,” THE HUMANIST, May/June 1997, pp. 38-39)

Here Leitner is reasoning from her God-given conscience and not from humanist philosophy. It wasn’t long before she received criticism. Humanist Abigail Ann Martin responded, “Neither am I an advocate of Hitler; however, by whose criteria is he evil?” (THE HUMANIST, September/October 1997, p. 2)

Christians agree with Judah ‘s father that “The eyes of God are always upon us.” Proverbs 5:21 asserts, “For the ways of man are before the eyes of the Lord, and He ponders all his paths.” Revelation 20:12 states, “…And the dead were judged (sentenced) by what they had done (their whole way of feeling and acting, their aims and endeavors) in accordance with what was recorded in the books” (Amplified Version). The Bible is revealed truth from God. It is the basis for our morality. Judah inherited the Jewish ethical values of the Ten Commandments from his father, but, through years of life as a skeptic, his standards had been lowered. Finally, we discover that Judah ‘s secular version of morality does not resemble his father’s biblically-based morality.

Woody Allen’s CRIMES AND MISDEMEANORS forces unbelievers to grapple with the logical conclusions of a purely secular morality, and  the secularist has no basis for asserting that Judah is wrong.

Larry King actually mentioned on his show, LARRY KING LIVE, that Chuck Colson had discussed the movie CRIMES AND MISDEMEANORS with him. Colson asked King if life was just a Darwinian struggle where the ruthless come out on top. Colson continued, “When we do wrong, is that our only choice? Either live tormented by guilt, or else kill our conscience and live like beasts?” (BREAKPOINT COMMENTARY, “Finding Common Ground,” September 14, 1993)

AT THE BEGINNING OF THIS LETTER I MENTIONED THE THEOLOGICAL ISSUE OF PAIN, SUFFERING AND THE EXISTENCE OF EVIL IN THE WORLD. CHARLES DARWIN ALSO SPENT A LOT OF TIME TALKING ABOUT THIS ISSUE OF EVIL AND SUFFERING. When I read the book  Charles Darwin: his life told in an autobiographical chapter, and in a selected series of his published letters, I also read  a commentary on it by Francis Schaeffer and I wanted to both  quote some of Charles Darwin’s own words to you and then include the comments of Francis Schaeffer on those words. I have also enclosed a CD with two messages from Adrian Rogers and Bill Elliff concerning Darwinism.

Darwin, C. R. to Doedes, N. D.2 Apr 1873

“I am sure you will excuse my writing at length, when I tell you that I have long been much out of health, and am now staying away from my home for rest. It is impossible to answer your question briefly; and I am not sure that I could do so, even if I wrote at some length. But I may say that the impossibility of conceiving that this grand and wondrous universe, with our conscious selves, arose through chance, seems to me the chief argument for the existence of God; but whether this is an argument of real value, I have never been able to decide…....Nor can I overlook the difficulty from the immense amount of suffering through the world.”

Francis Schaeffer observed:

This of course is a valid problem. The only answer to the problem of evil is the biblical answer of the fall. Darwin has a problem because he never had a high view of revelation, so he doesn’t have the answer any more than the liberal theologian has the answer. If you don’t have a space-time fall then you don’t have an answer to suffering. If you have a very, very significant man at the beginning, Darwin did not have that, but if you had a very significant, wonderful man at the beginning and can change history then the fall is the possible answer that can be given to Darwin’s 2nd argument.

The passages which here follow are extracts, somewhat abbreviated, from a part of the Autobiography, written in 1876, in which my father gives the history of his religious views:—

But passing over the endless beautiful adaptations which we everywhere meet with, it may be asked how can the generally beneficent arrangement of the world be accounted for? Some writers indeed are so much impressed with the amount of suffering in the world, that they doubt, if we look to all sentient beings, whether there is more of misery or of happiness; whether the world as a whole is a good or a bad one. According to my judgment happiness decidedly prevails, though this would be very difficult to prove.”

Francis Schaeffer commented:

We come now to a funny situation where Darwin is arguing there is more happiness than sorry in the world. In this I think he is right. What he is saying if you could have a balance of 51% of happiness then it would open the door to thinking God is good, but I would never argue this way because it is not 51% of happiness versus 49% of unhappiness in the universe but how could a good God make unhappiness at all. The answer is in the [space time fall in Genesis].

Darwin continued:

“If the truth of this conclusion be granted, it harmonizes well with the effects which we might expect from natural selection. If all the individuals of any species were habitually to suffer to an extreme degree, they would neglect to propagate their kind; but we have no reason to believe that this has ever, or at least often occurred. Some other considerations, moreover, lead to the belief that all sentient begins have been formed so as to enjoy, as a general rule, happiness. Every one who believes, as I do, that all the corporeal and mental organs (excepting those which are neither advantageous nor disadvantageous to the possessor) of all beings have been developed through natural selection, or the survival of the fittest, together with use or habit, will admit that these organs have been formed so that their possessors may compete successfully with other beings, and thus increase in number.”

Francis Schaeffer noted:

What he is saying here is that from his own view he needs to hold that suffering is less than happiness otherwise what would drive the creatures on toward natural selection. The Christian of course does not have this problem. The Christian says everything is in agony because the whole has been thrown out of joint and there has been an reordering of the universe because of the fall. We don’t have to find such a balance as he was grappling with here.

From Darwin’s section on religion:

“The sum of such pleasures as these, which are habitual or frequently recurrent, give, as I can hardly doubt, to most sentient beings an excess of happiness over misery, although many occasionally suffer much. Such suffering is quite compatible with the belief in Natural Selection, which is not perfect in its action, but tends only to render each species as successful as possible in the battle for life with other species, in wonderfully complex and changing circumstances.  That there is much suffering in the world no one disputes. Some have attempted to explain this with reference to man by imagining that it serves for his moral improvement. But the number of men in the world is as nothing compared with that of all other sentient beings, and they often suffer greatly without any moral improvement. This very old argument from the existence of suffering against the existence of an intelligent First Cause seems to me a strong one; whereas, as just remarked, the presence of much suffering agrees well with the view that all organic beings have been developed through variation and natural selection.”

Francis Schaeffer :

He has to argue this otherwise what drove the creatures on. He has to have a 51% or 52% happiness. Then he says what does this do to God. We would answer if there is no space time fall it makes God if He exists the devil, on the other hand with a space time fall you have another answer.

WITHOUT THE VIEW THAT THE GARDEN OF EDEN EXISTED OR IN THE EXISTENCE OF HEAVEN THEN YOUR ANALYSIS IS THE ONLY ONE THAT IS PROBABLE. FURTHERMORE,  IF WE WERE NOT CREATED BY GOD THEN WE HAVE NO HOPE FOR OUR ETERNAL FUTURES.  I sent you a CD that starts off with the song DUST IN THE WIND by Kerry Livgren of the group KANSAS which was a hit song in 1978 when it rose to #6 on the charts because so many people connected with the message of the song. It included these words, “All we do, crumbles to the ground though we refuse to see, Dust in the Wind, All we are is dust in the wind, Don’t hang on, Nothing lasts forever but the Earth and Sky, It slips away, And all your money won’t another minute buy.”

Kerry Livgren himself said that he wrote the song because he saw where man was without a personal God in the picture. Solomon pointed out in the Book of Ecclesiastes that those who believe that God doesn’t exist must accept three things. FIRST, death is the end and SECOND, chance and time are the only guiding forces in this life.  FINALLY, power reigns in this life and the scales are never balanced. The Christian can  face death and also confront the world knowing that it is not determined by chance and time alone and finally there is a judge who will balance the scales.

Both Kerry Livgren and the bass player Dave Hope of Kansas became Christians eventually. Kerry Livgren first tried Eastern Religions and Dave Hope had to come out of a heavy drug addiction. I was shocked and elated to see their personal testimony on The 700 Club in 1981 and that same  interview can be seen on You Tube today. Livgren lives in Topeka, Kansas today where he teaches “Diggers,” a Sunday school class at Topeka Bible ChurchDAVE HOPE is the head of Worship, Evangelism and Outreach at Immanuel Anglican Church in Destin, Florida.

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.com, http://www.thedailyhatch.org, cell ph 501-920-5733, Box 23416, LittleRock, AR 72221, United States

Is the Bible historically accurate? Here are some of the posts I have done in the past on the subject: 1. The Babylonian Chronicleof Nebuchadnezzars Siege of Jerusalem2. Hezekiah’s Siloam Tunnel Inscription. 3. Taylor Prism (Sennacherib Hexagonal Prism)4. Biblical Cities Attested Archaeologically. 5. The Discovery of the Hittites6.Shishak Smiting His Captives7. Moabite Stone8Black Obelisk of Shalmaneser III9A Verification of places in Gospel of John and Book of Acts., 9B Discovery of Ebla Tablets10. Cyrus Cylinder11. Puru “The lot of Yahali” 9th Century B.C.E.12. The Uzziah Tablet Inscription13. The Pilate Inscription14. Caiaphas Ossuary14 B Pontius Pilate Part 214c. Three greatest American Archaeologists moved to accept Bible’s accuracy through archaeology.

You can hear DAVE HOPE and Kerry Livgren’s stories from this youtube link:

(part 1 ten minutes)

(part 2 ten minutes)

Kansas – Dust in the Wind (Official Video)

Uploaded on Nov 7, 2009

Pre-Order Miracles Out of Nowhere now at http://www.miraclesoutofnowhere.com

About the film:
In 1973, six guys in a local band from America’s heartland began a journey that surpassed even their own wildest expectations, by achieving worldwide superstardom… watch the story unfold as the incredible story of the band KANSAS is told for the first time in the DVD Miracles Out of Nowhere.

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Adrian Rogers on Darwinism

WILLIAM LANE CRAIG VS WALTER SINNOTT-ARMSTRONG: EVIL, SUFFERING AND GOD’S EXISTENCE

This is one the top 4 best debates that William Lane Craig has done in my opinion. (The other two are Craig-Millican debate and the first and second Craig-Dacey debates) This one doesn’t seem to get a lot of play on the Internet: there’s no video, transcript or anything. But it is a great debate, and on a problem we are all concerned about: the problem of evil and suffering. One other thing – Sinnott-Armstrong is also a very courteous, respectful and intelligent scholar and he is very good at defending his side. This is a very cordial and engaging debate, and because it was held in front of a church audience, it was targeted to laymen and not academics.

The MP3 file is here.

There is also a book based on this debate, published by Oxford University Press. I was actually able to find a PDF of it online. I should also remind people that you can get the wonderful Craig-Hitchens debate DVD from Amazon.com if you are looking for a debate to watch, or show in your church.

The debaters:

The format:

  • WSA: 15 minutes
  • WLC: 15 minutes
  • Debaters discussion: 6 minutes
  • Moderated discussion: 10 minutes
  • Audience Q&A: 18 minutes
  • WSA: 5 minutes
  • WLC: 5 minutes

SUMMARY:

WSA opening speech:

Evil is incompatible with the concept of God (three features all-powerful, all-god, all-knowing)

God’s additional attributes: eternal, effective and personal (a person)

He will be debating against the Christian God in this debate, specifically

Contention: no being has all of the three features of the concept of God

His argument: is not a deductive argument, but an inductive/probabilistic argument

Examples of pointless, unjustified suffering: a sick child who dies, earthquakes, famines

The inductive argument from evil:

  1.  If there were an all-powerful and all-good God, then there would not be any evil in the world unless that evil is logically necessary for some adequately compensating good.
  2.  There is evil in the world.
  3.  Some of that evil is not logically necessary for some adequately compensating good.
  4. Therefore, there can’t be a God who is all-powerful and all-good.

Defining terms:

  • Evil: anything that all rational people avoid for themselves, unless they have some adequate reason to want that evil for themselves (e.g. – pain, disability, death)
  • Adequate reason: some evils do have an adequate reason, like going to the dentist – you avoid a worse evil by having a filling

God could prevent tooth decay with no pain

God can even change the laws of physics in order to make people not suffer

Responses by Christians:

  • Evil as a punishment for sin: but evil is not distributed in accordance with sin, like babies
  • Children who suffer will go straight to Heaven: but it would be better to go to Heaven and not suffer
  • Free will: this response doesn’t account for natural evil, like disease, earthquakes, lightning
  • Character formation theodicy: there are other ways for God to form character, by showing movies
  • Character formation theodicy: it’s not fair to let X suffer so that Y will know God
  • God allows evil to turn people towards him: God would be an egomaniac to do that
  • We are not in a position to know that any particular evil is pointless: if we don’t see a reason then there is no reason
  • Inductive evil is minor compared to the evidences for God: arguments for a Creator do not prove that God is good

WLC opening speech:

Summarizing Walter’s argument

  1. If God exists, gratuitous does not exist.
  2. Gratuitous evil exists.
  3. Therefore, God does not exist.

Gratuitous evil means evil that God has no morally sufficient reason to permit. WSA doesn’t think that all evil is incompatible with God’s existence, just gratuitous evil.

Everyone admits that there are instances of evil and suffering such that we cannot see the morally sufficient reason why God would allow it to occur.

The claim of the atheist is that if they cannot see that there is a moral justification for allowing some instance evil, then there is no moral justification for that instance of evil.

Here are three reasons why we should not expect to know the morally sufficient reasons why God permits apparently pointless evil.

  1. the ripple effect: the morally sufficient reason for allowing some instance of evil may only be seen in another place or another time
  2. Three Christian doctrines undermine the claim that specific evils really are gratuitous
  3. Walter’s own premise 1 allows us to argue for God’s existence, which means that evil is not gratuitous

Christian doctrines from 2.:

  • The purpose of life is not happiness, and it is not God’s job to make us happy – we are here to know God. Many evils are gratuitous if we are concerned about being happy, but they are not gratuitous for producing the knowledge of God. What WSA has to show is that God could reduce the amount of suffering in the world while still retaining the same amount of knowledge of God’s existence and character.
  • Man is in rebellion, and many of the evils we see are caused by humans misusing their free will to harm others and cause suffering
  • For those who accept Christ, suffering is redeemed by eternal life with God, which is a benefit that far outweighs any sufferings and evils we experience in our earthly lives

Arguing for God in 3.

  • If God exists, gratuitous does not exist.
  • God exists
  • Therefore, gratuitous does not exist.

Four reasons to think that God exists:

  • the kalam cosmological argument
  • the fine-tuning argument
  • the moral argument
  • the argument from evil

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_______________ The Beatles documentary || A Long and Winding Road || Episode 5 (This video discusses Stg. Pepper’s creation I have dedicated several posts to this series on the Beatles and I don’t know when this series will end because Francis Schaeffer spent a lot of time listening to the Beatles and talking and writing about […]

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_______________ Francis Schaeffer pictured below: _____________________ I have included the 27 minute  episode THE AGE OF NONREASON by Francis Schaeffer. In that video Schaeffer noted,  ” Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band…for a time it became the rallying cry for young people throughout the world. It expressed the essence of their lives, thoughts and their feelings.” How Should […]

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 47 Woody Allen and Professor Levy and the death of “Optimistic Humanism” from the movie CRIMES AND MISDEMEANORS Plus Charles Darwin’s comments too!!! (Feature on artist Rodney Graham)

Crimes and Misdemeanors: A Discussion: Part 1 ___________________________________ Today I will answer the simple question: IS IT POSSIBLE TO BE AN OPTIMISTIC SECULAR HUMANIST THAT DOES NOT BELIEVE IN GOD OR AN AFTERLIFE? This question has been around for a long time and you can go back to the 19th century and read this same […]

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE PART 46 Friedrich Nietzsche (Featured artist is Thomas Schütte)

____________________________________ Francis Schaeffer pictured below: __________ Francis Schaeffer has written extensively on art and culture spanning the last 2000years and here are some posts I have done on this subject before : Francis Schaeffer’s “How should we then live?” Video and outline of episode 10 “Final Choices” , episode 9 “The Age of Personal Peace and Affluence”, episode 8 […]

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 45 Woody Allen “Reason is Dead” (Feature on artists Allora & Calzadilla )

Love and Death [Woody Allen] – What if there is no God? [PL] ___________ _______________ How Should We then Live Episode 7 small (Age of Nonreason) #02 How Should We Then Live? (Promo Clip) Dr. Francis Schaeffer 10 Worldview and Truth Two Minute Warning: How Then Should We Live?: Francis Schaeffer at 100 Francis Schaeffer […]

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 44 The Book of Genesis (Featured artist is Trey McCarley )

___________________________________ Francis Schaeffer pictured below: ____________________________ Francis Schaeffer “BASIS FOR HUMAN DIGNITY” Whatever…HTTHR Dr. Francis schaeffer – The flow of Materialism(from Part 4 of Whatever happened to human race?) Dr. Francis Schaeffer – The Biblical flow of Truth & History (intro) Francis Schaeffer – The Biblical Flow of History & Truth (1) Dr. Francis Schaeffer […]

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RESPONDING TO HARRY KROTO’S BRILLIANT RENOWNED ACADEMICS!! Part 50 Elizabeth Loftus, UC Irvine, “…Out there in the world of religious beliefs…you can indoctrinate people with these beliefs even if they don’t make much sense”

On November 21, 2014 I received a letter from Nobel Laureate Harry Kroto and it said:

…Please click on this URL http://vimeo.com/26991975

and you will hear what far smarter people than I have to say on this matter. I agree with them.

Harry Kroto

_________________

Below you have picture of 1996 Chemistry Nobel Prize Winner Dr. Harry Kroto (on right and  Reg Colin on left):

______________________

Elizabeth Loftus

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Elizabeth F. Loftus
Elizabeth Loftus-TAM 9-July 2011.JPG

Elizabeth Loftus in 2011
Born October 16, 1944
Los Angeles[1]
Residence California
Citizenship United States
Nationality United States
Fields Psychology, CognitivePsychology, Psychology and Law
Institutions University of California, Irvine
University of Washington
New School University
National Judicial College,University of Nevada
Harvard University
Georgetown University Law Center
Alma mater Stanford University
University of California, Los Angeles
Doctoral advisor Patrick Suppes
Known for Studies of human memory and their application to forensic settings
Notable awards Grawemeyer Award (2005)
National Academy of Sciences(2004)
Royal Society of Edinburgh(2005)

Elizabeth F. Loftus (born Elizabeth Fishman, in 1944)[2][3][4] is an American cognitive psychologist and expert on human memory. She has conducted extensive research on the malleability of human memory. Loftus is best known for her ground-breaking work on the misinformation effect and eyewitness memory,[5] and the creation and nature of false memories,[6] including recovered memories of childhood sexual abuse.[7] As well as her prolific work inside the laboratory, Loftus has been heavily involved in applying her research to legal settings; she has consulted or provided expert witness testimony for hundreds of cases.[7][8] Loftus has been recognized throughout the world for her work, receiving numerous awards and honorary degrees. In 2002, Loftus was ranked 58th in the Review of General Psychology’s list of the 100 most influential psychological researchers of the 20th century, and was the highest ranked woman on the list.[9]

_____________________________

In  the third video below in the 117th clip in this series are her words and  my response is below them. 

50 Renowned Academics Speaking About God (Part 1)

Another 50 Renowned Academics Speaking About God (Part 2)

A Further 50 Renowned Academics Speaking About God (Part 3)

I grew up at Bellevue Baptist Church under the leadership of our pastor Adrian Rogers and I read many books by the Evangelical Philosopher Francis Schaeffer and have had the opportunity to contact many of the evolutionists or humanistic academics that they have mentioned in their works. Many of these scholars have taken the time to respond back to me in the last 20 years and some of the names  included are  Ernest Mayr (1904-2005), George Wald (1906-1997), Carl Sagan (1934-1996),  Robert Shapiro (1935-2011), Nicolaas Bloembergen (1920-),  Brian Charlesworth (1945-),  Francisco J. Ayala (1934-) Elliott Sober (1948-), Kevin Padian (1951-), Matt Cartmill (1943-) , Milton Fingerman (1928-), John J. Shea (1969-), , Michael A. Crawford (1938-), Paul Kurtz (1925-2012), Sol Gordon (1923-2008), Albert Ellis (1913-2007), Barbara Marie Tabler (1915-1996), Renate Vambery (1916-2005), Archie J. Bahm (1907-1996), Aron S “Gil” Martin ( 1910-1997), Matthew I. Spetter (1921-2012), H. J. Eysenck (1916-1997), Robert L. Erdmann (1929-2006), Mary Morain (1911-1999), Lloyd Morain (1917-2010),  Warren Allen Smith (1921-), Bette Chambers (1930-),  Gordon Stein (1941-1996) , Milton Friedman (1912-2006), John Hospers (1918-2011), Michael Martin (1932-), John R. Cole  (1942-),   Wolf Roder,  Susan Blackmore (1951-),  Christopher C. French (1956-)  Walter R. Rowe Thomas Gilovich (1954-), Paul QuinceyHarry Kroto (1939-), Marty E. Martin (1928-), Richard Rubenstein (1924-), James Terry McCollum (1936-), Edward O. WIlson (1929-), Lewis Wolpert (1929), Gerald Holton (1922-), Martin Rees (1942-), Alan Macfarlane (1941-),  Roald Hoffmann (1937-), Herbert Kroemer (1928-), Thomas H. Jukes (1906-1999), Glenn BranchGeoff Harcourt (1931-), and  Ray T. Cragun (1976-).

___________

Elizabeth Loftus QUOTE from the program CLOSER TO TRUTH:

In our research we have planted whole memories into the minds of people. We have made people believe that they did things that they didn’t do, complete memories, you choked on a small object, you were attacked by a vicious animal. Some whole very rich event happened to you when you were younger…So it seems if we can do that in a short period of time because we are bringing a seemly credible source to bear on the subject but out there in the world of religious beliefs where you are soaked in repetition of those beliefs. You are hearing from them and from lots of other people. People all around you are believing them, it is no wonder that you can indoctrinate people with these beliefs even if they don’t make much sense.

___________

Let me respond to some of the professor’s points. First, the reason that so many people believe in God is given to us in the first chapter of the book of Romans and I explain more below. Actually the Bible assumes that every knows that God exists but some people just choose to ignore God and rebel against God. Second, the Bible is rooted in history and as a result we can investigate the accuracy of the historical details given in the Bible. That is also discussed below. You can judge for yourself if these beliefs “don’t make much sense” by examining the accuracy of the truth claims dealing with real historical events first and if they don’t match the historical details then I would agree that they should be abandoned. 

Below is a letter I wrote to Dr. Loftus earlier.

January 16, 2015

Professor Elizabeth Loftus, UC Irvine,

Dear Dr. Loftus,

I saw recently your involvement in the film series RENOWNED ACADEMICS SPEAKING ABOUT GOD on You Tube and I am almost my finished with my response to your quote and it will be appearing soon on http://www.thedailyhatch.org.

Now on to the other topics I wanted to discuss with you today. I wanted to write you today for two reasons. First, is there a good chance that deep down in your conscience you have repressed the belief in your heart that God does exist and is there a possibility  this deep belief of yours  be shown through a lie-detector? (Back in the late 1990’s I had the opportunity to correspond with over a dozen members of CSICOP on just this very issue.)

Second, I wanted to point out some scientific evidence that caused Antony Flew to switch from an atheist (as you are now) to a theist. Twenty years I had the opportunity to correspond with two individuals that were regarded as two of the most famous atheists of the 20th Century, Antony Flew and Carl Sagan. (I have enclosed some of those letters between us.) I had read the books and seen the films of the Christian philosopher Francis Schaeffer and he had discussed the works of both of these men. I sent both of these gentlemen philosophical arguments from Schaeffer in these letters and in the first letter I sent a cassette tape of my pastor’s sermon IS THE BIBLE TRUE? (CD is enclosed also.) You may have noticed in the news a few years that Antony Flew actually became a theist in 2004 and remained one until his death in 2010. Carl Sagan remained a skeptic until his dying day in 1996.

You will notice in the enclosed letter from June 1, 1994 that Dr. Flew commented, “Thank you for sending me the IS THE BIBLE TRUE? tape to which I have just listened with great interest and, I trust, profit.” It would be a great honor for me if you would take time and drop me a note and let me know what your reaction is to this same message.

I have a good friend who is a street preacher who preaches on the Santa Monica Promenade in California and during the Q/A sessions he does have lots of atheists that enjoy their time at the mic. When this happens he  always quotes Romans 1:18-19 (Amplified Bible) ” For God’s wrath and indignation are revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who in their wickedness REPRESS and HINDER the truth and make it inoperative. For that which is KNOWN about God is EVIDENT to them and MADE PLAIN IN THEIR INNER CONSCIOUSNESS, because God  has SHOWN IT TO THEM,”(emphasis mine). Then he  tells the atheist that the atheist already knows that God exists but he has been suppressing that knowledge in unrighteousness. This usually infuriates the atheist.

My friend draws some large crowds at times and was thinking about setting up a lie detector test and see if atheists actually secretly believe in God. He discussed this project with me since he knew that I had done a lot of research on the idea about 20 years ago.

Nelson Price in THE EMMANUEL FACTOR (1987) tells the story about Brown Trucking Company in Georgia who used to give polygraph tests to their job applicants. However, in part of the test the operator asked, “Do you believe in God?” In every instance when a professing atheist answered “No,” the test showed the person to be lying. My pastor Adrian Rogers used to tell this same story to illustrate Romans 1:19 and it was his conclusion that “there is no such thing anywhere on earth as a true atheist. If a man says he doesn’t believe in God, then he is lying. God has put his moral consciousness into every man’s heart, and a man has to try to kick his conscience to death to say he doesn’t believe in God.”

It is true that polygraph tests for use in hiring were banned by Congress in 1988.  Mr and Mrs Claude Brown on Aug 25, 1994  wrote me a letter confirming that over 15,000 applicants previous to 1988 had taken the polygraph test and EVERYTIME SOMEONE SAID THEY DID NOT BELIEVE IN GOD, THE MACHINE SAID THEY WERE LYING.

It had been difficult to catch up to the Browns. I had heard about them from Dr. Rogers’ sermon but I did not have enough information to locate them. Dr. Rogers referred me to Dr. Nelson Price and Dr. Price’s office told me that Claude Brown lived in Atlanta. After writing letters to all 9 of the entries for Claude Brown in the Atlanta telephone book, I finally got in touch with the Browns.

Adrian Rogers also pointed out that the Bible does not recognize the theoretical atheist.  Psalms 14:1: The fool has said in his heart, “There is no God.”  Dr Rogers notes, “The fool is treating God like he would treat food he did not desire in a cafeteria line. ‘No broccoli for me!’ ” In other words, the fool just doesn’t want God in his life and is a practical atheist, but not a theoretical atheist. Charles Ryrie in the The Ryrie Study Bible came to the same conclusion on this verse.

Here are the conclusions of the experts I wrote in the secular world concerning the lie detector test and it’s ability to get at the truth:

Professor Frank Horvath of the School of Criminal Justice at Michigan State University has testified before Congress concerning the validity of the polygraph machine. He has stated on numerous occasions that “the evidence from those who have actually been affected by polygraph testing in the workplace is quite contrary to what has been expressed by critics. I give this evidence greater weight than I give to the most of the comments of critics” (letter to me dated October 6, 1994).

There was no better organization suited to investigate this claim concerning the lie detector test than the Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal (CSICOP). This organization changed their name to the Committe for Skeptical Inquiry in 2006. This organization includes anyone who wants to help debunk the whole ever-expanding gamut of misleading, outlandish, and fraudulent claims made in the name of science. I AM WRITING YOU TODAY BECAUSE YOU ARE ASSOCIATED WITH CSICOP.

I read The Skeptical Review(publication of CSICOP) for several years during the 90’s and I would write letters to these scientists about taking this project on and putting it to the test.  Below are some of  their responses (15 to 20 years old now):

1st Observation: Religious culture of USA could have influenced polygraph test results.
ANTONY FLEW  (formerly of Reading University in England, now deceased, in a letter to me dated 8-11-96) noted, “For all the evidence so far available seems to be of people from a culture in which people are either directly brought up to believe in the existence of God or at least are strongly even if only unconsciously influenced by those who do. Even if everyone from such a culture revealed unconscious belief, it would not really begin to show that — as Descartes maintained— the idea of God is so to speak the Creator’s trademark, stamped on human souls by their Creator at their creation.”

2nd Observation: Polygraph Machines do not work. JOHN R. COLE, anthropologist, editor, National Center for Science Education, Dr. WOLF RODER, professor of Geography, University of Cincinnati, Dr. SUSAN BLACKMORE,Dept of Psychology, University of the West of England, Dr. CHRISTOPHER C. FRENCH, Psychology Dept, Goldsmith’s College, University of London, Dr.WALTER F. ROWE, The George Washington University, Dept of Forensic Sciences, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.

3rd Observation: The sample size probably was not large enough to apply statistical inference. (These gentlemen made the following assertion before I received the letter back from Claude Brown that revealed that the sample size was over 15,000.) JOHN GEOHEGAN, Chairman of New Mexicans for Science and Reason, Dr. WOLF RODER, and Dr WALTER F. ROWE (in a letter dated July 12, 1994) stated, “The polygraph operator for Brown Trucking Company has probably examined only a few hundred or a few thousand job applicants. I would surmise that only a very small number of these were actually atheists. It seems a statistically insignificant (and distinctly nonrandom) sampling of the 5 billion human beings currently inhabiting the earth. Dr. Nelson Price also seems to be impugning the integrity of anyone who claims to be an atheist in a rather underhanded fashion.”

4th Observation: The question (Do you believe in God?)  was out of place and it surprised the applicants. THOMAS GILOVICH, psychologist, Cornell Univ., Dr. ZEN FAULKES, professor of Biology, University of Victoria (Canada), ROBERT CRAIG, Head of Indiana Skeptics Organization, Dr. WALTER ROWE, 
 
5th Observation: Proof that everyone believes in God’s existence does not prove that God does in fact exist. PAUL QUINCEY, Nathional Physical Laboratory,(England), Dr. CLAUDIO BENSKI, Schneider Electric, CFEPP, (France),
6th Observation: Both the courts and Congress recognize that lie-detectors don’t work and that is why they were banned in 1988.  (Governments and the military still use them.)
Dr WALTER ROWE, KATHLEEN M. DILLION, professor of Psychology, Western New England College.
7th Observation:This information concerning Claude Brown’s claim has been passed on to us via a tv preacher and eveybody knows that they are untrustworthy– look at their history. WOLF RODER.
______________
Solomon wisely noted in Ecclesiastes 3:11 “God has planted eternity in the heart of men…” (Living Bible). No wonder Bertrand Russell wrote in his autobiography, “It is odd, isn’t it? I feel passionately for this world and many things and people in it, and yet…what is it all? There must be something more important, one feels, though I don’t believe there is. I am haunted. Some ghosts, for some extra mundane regions, seem always trying to tell me something that I am to repeat to the world, but I cannot understand that message.”
Gene Emery, science writer for Providence Journal-Bulletin is a past winner of the CSICOP “Responsibility in Journalism Award” and he had the best suggestion of all when he suggested, “Actually, if you want to make a good case about whether Romans 1:19 is true, arrange to have a polygraph operator (preferably an atheist or agnostic) brought to the next CSICOP meeting. (I’m not a member of CSICOP, by the way, so I can’t give you an official invitation or anything.) If none of the folks at that meeting can convince the machine that they truly believe in God, maybe there is, in fact, an innate willingness to believe in God.”

DO YOU HAVE ANY REACTIONS TO ADD TO THESE 7 OBSERVATIONS THAT I GOT 15 YEARS AGO? Thank you again for your time and I know how busy you are.

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

Is the Bible historically accurate? Here are some of the posts I have done in the past on the subject: 1. The Babylonian Chronicleof Nebuchadnezzars Siege of Jerusalem2. Hezekiah’s Siloam Tunnel Inscription. 3. Taylor Prism (Sennacherib Hexagonal Prism)4. Biblical Cities Attested Archaeologically. 5. The Discovery of the Hittites6.Shishak Smiting His Captives7. Moabite Stone8Black Obelisk of Shalmaneser III9A Verification of places in Gospel of John and Book of Acts., 9B Discovery of Ebla Tablets10. Cyrus Cylinder11. Puru “The lot of Yahali” 9th Century B.C.E.12. The Uzziah Tablet Inscription13. The Pilate Inscription14. Caiaphas Ossuary14 B Pontius Pilate Part 214c. Three greatest American Archaeologists moved to accept Bible’s accuracy through archaeology.

The Bible and Archaeology – Is the Bible from God? (Kyle Butt 42 min)

Below is a piece of that evidence given by Francis Schaeffer concerning the accuracy of the Bible.

TRUTH AND HISTORY (chapter 5 of WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE HUMAN RACE?, under footnote #96)

Now we should Now we should turn to one of the most spectacular of modern archaeological discoveries, Ebla. While digging on an extensive mound forty-four miles south of Aleppo in Syria in 1974/75, an Italian archaeological expedition came across another of the vast libraries to which we referred earlier. A small room within the palace suddenly yielded up a thousand tablets and fragments, while another not far away a further fourteen thousand. There lay row upon row, just where they had fallen from the burning wooden shelves when the palace was destroyed about 2250 B.C.

What secrets did these tablets reveal? Without wishing to seem unnecessarily repetitive, we can say immediately that Ebla represents yet another discovery from the ancient past which does not make it harder for us to believe the Bible, but quite the opposite. And remember, these tablets date from well before the time of Abraham. The implications of this discovery will not be exhausted by even the turn of this century. The translation and publication of such a vast number of tablets will take years and years. It is important to understand that the information we now have from Ebla does not bear directly upon the Bible. As far as has been discovered, there is no certain reference to individuals mentioned in the Bible, though many names are similar, for example, Ishmael, Israel, and so forth. Biblical place names like Megiddo, Hazor, Lachish are also referred to. What is clear, however, is that certain individuals outside the Bible who previously had been considered fictitious by the critical scholars, simply because of their antiquity, are now quite definitely historic characters.

For example, the Assyrian King Tudiya (approximately 2500 B.C.) had already been known from the Assyrian king list composed about 1000 B.C. His name appeared at the head of the list, but his reality was dismissed by many scholars as “free invention, or a corruption.”  In fact, he was very much a real king of Ebla. Thus, the genealogical tradition of the earlier parts of the Assyrian king list has been vindicated. It preserves faithfully, over a period of 1,500 years, the memory of real, early people who were Assyrian rulers. What we must learn from this is that when we find similar material in the Old Testament, such as the genealogical list in Genesis 7 or the patriarchal stories, we should be careful not to reject them out of hand, as the scholars have so often done. We must remember that these ancient cultures were just as capable of recording their histories as we are.

The most important aspect of the Ebla discoveries is undoubtedly their language. This has been found to be ancient West-Semitic language to which such languages as Hebrew, Canaanite, Ugaritic, Aramaic, and Moabite are related. Thus we have now, for the first time, the whole “tradition” of West-Semitic language stretching over 2,500 years–something which was previously true only of Egyptian and Akkadian, to which Babylonian and Assyrian belong.

Up until quite recently, therefore, this meant that scholars could argue that many words which appeared in the Hebrew Old Testament were what they called “late.” What they meant by this was that these words indicated a much later authorship than the time stated by the text itself. It would be as if one of us pretended to write a sixteenth-century  book using such modern words as AUTOMOBILE and COMPUTER. In the case of the Pentateuch, for example, this was one of the arguments which led some scholars to suggest that it was not Moses who wrote these books, as the Bible says, but anonymous scribes from approximately 1,000 years later. The discoveries at Ebla have shown that many of these words were not late, but very early. Here is yet another example of a claimed “scientific” approach that merely reflects the philosophical prejudices of the scholars involved.

 
Archaeology Confirms The Biblical Account

        Oftentimes people are not told about the archaeological discoveries that document the truths written in the Bible. We are told that science and the Bible disagree. But as is really the case: True science and the Bible do not contradict each other. We supply many short articles which show that archaeology confirms God’s Written Word, The Bible.

        The below articles are excerpted from various Archaeological trade journals and publications including Light on Archaeology magazine, and Associates for Biblical Research.

Archaeology: The study of human antiquities – usually as
discovered by excavation.  (Chambers English Dictionary)

Below we supply articles from the Associates for Biblical Research and Light on Archaeology to point the reader to the wealth of information that has literally been unearthed by the spades of patient, dedicated people which helps to confirm the historical accuracy of the Bible – God’s Word. Many sights exist in the lands mentioned in the Bible where artifacts of many kinds reveal the life and customs of the people who lived there many centuries earlier.

The Bible has been ridiculed and dismissed in recent times as inaccurate and unreliable. However, students of Biblical Archaeology have found that as the science of archaeology becomes more sophisticated, much more evidence is coming to light regularly that says just the opposite! Finds have been made that show us how historically accurate God’s Word really is.

For those of us who have been privileged to visit Israel – God’s Land, it is thrilling to look down and examine the shaft that Joab climbed up to take the city of Jebus (later Jerusalem) for King David.[2 Sam 5.7-9 : 1 Chron 11.5-7] It is exciting to wade through King Hezekiah’s tunnel, from the spring of Gihon to the pool of Siloam (Silwan). [2 Kings 20.20] It is fascinating to examine the actual scrolls found at Qumram by the Dead Sea and to walk around the Citadel of Jerusalem; the remains of Herod’s fortress palace where Christ was paraded, mocked and then condemned by Pilate.[ Luke 23.1-25] All of these places give us visible evidence of the accuracy of the Biblical record.

The following series of articles are only a small sample of the information available, but, hopefully, the object will be achieved to direct the reader to further studies of the deeper truths revealed in the Bible.

So with your Bible in hand, you are invited to examine the evidence to see whether the work of the archaeologist confirms or denies God’s Word.

NOTE:  We supply the below articles with the gracious permission of Bible Archeology.  They also provide a free magazine as well, the address for signing up for that is supplied at the end of this study. 

TEL MARDIKH: Have you heard of the Empire of Ebla? It is not surprising if you have not – for modern history text books make no references to this kingdom, which existed from approximately 2,300 B.C. to 1,700 B.C.

In fact, only students of ancient Middle East history are likely to have come across the name of Ebla, and even then, only in passing – not realizing the extent and power of this empire which stretched around the shores of the eastern Mediterranean for nearly 600 years. Now the re-writing of our history books will again be necessary to fill the gaps in our knowledge of the past; for there has been a remarkable archaeological discovery in Syria between Aleppo and Damascus, on the site of Tel Mardikh.

On this site of a 4,000 year old fortification, perhaps the most remarkable ‘find’ of the century has been uncovered – 18,000 fired clay and rock tablets relating to the economy, administration and international dealings of this once great empire of Ebla.

Popular history of the third millennium B.C. is taught with little regard for the Biblical account of the customs, manners, social behavior and level of education of the people of this period.

Now for the first time it appears that there exists a record contemporary with the Biblical account of the times, and so different is the picture it reveals from that of accepted historical suppositions, that the linguist in charge of the tablets, Dr Pettinato, has claimed that this discovery calls for a fundamental revision of third millennium B.C. culture and history.

The tablets were discovered in some out-buildings of a palace situated within the vast fortifications around the top of the tel. Many of the buildings, due to their solid roofs of some two feet in thickness, are intact and free of debris. Most of the walls are plastered a gray-green color, with murals in good condition. The two rooms in which the tablets were discovered had been shelved with wood but, due to time and the weight of the tablets, this shelving had collapsed with some breakages; but the tablets, many containing 3,000 lines of cuneiform writing, are in readable condition.

The tablets tell of an ’empire’ and names many areas under the control of Ebla, such as Sinai, Assyria, Lebanon, Cyprus, Carchemish, Lachish, Gaza, Hazor and others. Bible students will readily recognize that many of these names appear in the Old Testament record and it is interesting to note that of the three languages of the tablets, an hitherto unknown tongue, closely resembling Hebrew is prevalent and many common names recorded by the people of Ebla are easily recognizable to Bible readers.

  • AB-RA-MU – (ABRAM)
  • E-SA-UM – (ESAU)
  • IS-MA-EL – (ISHMAEL)
  • IS-RA-EL – (ISRAEL)
  • MI-KA-EL – (MICHAEL)
  • MI-KA-YAH – (MICAIAH)
  • YE-RU-SA-LU-UM – (JERUSALEM)

Further, many common Ebla words are the same as Hebrew, such as ‘and’ (WA), ‘perfect’ (TAMMIN), ‘fall’ (NAPAL) and ‘good’ (TOB).

But perhaps most interesting of all are the quite extensive descriptions of the Creation and of the Flood, so often derided by modern historians.

The tablets are being translated and published and their contents will be invaluable in enlarging our understanding of the world of 2,000 BC; for they reveal a sophisticated system of international and civil law, including treaties of trade between Ebla and her neighbors within the framework of political agreements. These have been likened to the present-day Treaty of Rome between the EC members.

In addition, long lists of zoological, geographic and mathematical material have been found and there are weather forecasts in some meteorological texts. Records were made of visiting Mesopotamian scribes and mathematicians.

Proverbs and literary works are also preserved, including a set of bilingual tablets for the purpose of teaching translation, besides thousands of matching words. There seems no doubt that the tablets of Tel Mardikh contain the worlds oldest vocabulary lists – a source of no little consternation to students of ancient languages; for it is widely held that Biblical Hebrew is an evolved language, used during the first millennium BC Isaiah, the Hebrew prophet however, had indicated that his language was ‘the language of Canaan’, [Isaiah 19v18] and the Tel Mardikh tablets now support the Biblical reference – Hebrew has now to be recognized as one of the world’s oldest languages (and perhaps the language spoken by Noah, Canaan being the grandson of Noah through Ham). [ Genesis 10v6]

Interesting for Bible students is the fact that the Bible records that Abram, together with his father Terah, left the city of Ur in southern Mesopotamia to go into Canaan. They traveled as far as Haran and dwelt there. [Genesis 11v31,32] Haran was some 300 miles north east from the site at Tell Mardikh and appears to be named after Haran, Abram’s brother. [ Genesis 11v27 ] On his journey to Canaan, Abram in all probability, passed through Tel Mardikh, the then centre of trade and commerce, and of course, the language of Abram would be that of Ebla and of Canaan.

The other two languages written in cuneiform and discovered at Tel Mardikh are Sumerian and Akkadian. It had previously been assumed that the earliest cuneiform languages, were these two languages, developed in east and south Mesopotamia and the possibility that Syrian and Canaanite communications existed in cuneiform had been ruled out (with the exception of Ugaritic texts). But the Tel Mardikh tablets now reveal Sumerian scripts pre-dating those found in eastern Mesopotamia – throwing accepted theories of language origins to the winds. The Akkadian scripts found at Tel Mardikh refer mainly to the later period of the history of Ebla. One of the deities worshipped at Mardikh was Marduk or the Merodak of the Bible. It appears to be basically the same name as Nimrod, the ‘mighty hunter before the Lord’ mentioned in Genesis 10v9 Nimrod, who founded the city of Babel, appears to have been deified and the cult continued long after Ebla had ceased. The main consonants of Nimrod are M R D, hence:

  • N i M R o D
  • M a R D ikh
  • M e R o D ak

Tel Mardikh was then the place of worship for Mardikh.

The finds of Tel Mardikh and the Empire of Ebla, so far have only revealed confirmation of the scriptural narrative.

Related posts:

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RESPONDING TO HARRY KROTO’S BRILLIANT RENOWNED ACADEMICS!! Part 49 Bart Ehrman “Why should one think that God performed the miracle of inspiring the words in the first place if He didn’t perform the miracle of preserving the words?”

On November 21, 2014 I received a letter from Nobel Laureate Harry Kroto and it said:

…Please click on this URL http://vimeo.com/26991975

and you will hear what far smarter people than I have to say on this matter. I agree with them.

Harry Kroto

____________________

Below you have picture of 1996 Chemistry Nobel Prize Winner Dr. Harry Kroto:

________________________

Did Jesus Rise From The Dead -Bart Ehrman Vs William Lane Craig

Bart D. Ehrman

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
“Ehrman” redirects here. For another historian, see John Ehrman.
Bart D. Ehrman
Bart-d-ehrman-2012-wikipedia.jpg

Professor Bart D. Ehrman, Ph.D., M.Div.
Born October 5, 1955 (age 59)
Lawrence, Kansas, United States
Nationality American
Education BA (1978), MDiv (1981), PhD (1985)
Alma mater Moody Bible Institute
Wheaton College
Princeton Theological Seminary
Employer The Department of Religious Studies, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Known for New Testament authenticationand textual variants, historical Jesus, early Christian writings, orthodox corruption of scripture.
Spouse(s) Sarah Beckwith
Children Kelly and Derek
Website www.bartdehrman.com

Bart D. Ehrman /ərmən/ (born October 5, 1955) is an American New Testament scholar, currently the James A. Gray Distinguished Professor of Religious Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is a leading scholar in his field, having written and edited over 25 books, including three college textbooks, and has also achieved acclaim at the popular level, authoring five New York Times bestsellers. Ehrman’s work focuses on textual criticism of the New Testament, the historical Jesus, and the development of early Christianity.

Bart Ehrman vs. James White Debate P1

Education[edit]

Ehrman grew up in Lawrence, Kansas, and attended Lawrence High School, where he was on the state champion debate team in 1973. He began studying the Bible and its original languages at Moody Bible Institute, where he earned the school’s three-year diploma in 1976.[1] He is a 1978 graduate of Wheaton College in Illinois, where he received his bachelor’s degree. He received his PhD and M.Div. from Princeton Theological Seminary, where he studied under Bruce Metzger. He received magna cum laude for both his BA in 1978 and PhD in 1985.[2]

Was the New Testament Forged? Darrell Bock vs. Bart D. Ehrman

Career[edit]

Ehrman became an Evangelical Christian as a teenager. In his books, he recounts his youthful enthusiasm as a born-again, fundamentalist Christian, certain that God had inspired the wording of the Bible and protected its texts from all error.[1] His desire to understand the original words of the Bible led him to the study of ancient languages and also textual criticism. During his graduate studies, however, he became convinced that there are contradictions and discrepancies in the biblical manuscripts that could not be harmonized or reconciled. He remained a liberal Christian for 15 years but later became an agnostic after struggling with the philosophical problems of evil and suffering.[1]

Ehrman has taught at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill since 1988, after four years of teaching at Rutgers University. At UNC he has served as both the Director of Graduate Studies and the Chair of the Department of Religious Studies. He was the recipient of the 2009 J. W. Pope “Spirit of Inquiry” Teaching Award, the 1993 UNC Undergraduate Student Teaching Award, the 1994 Phillip and Ruth Hettleman Prize for Artistic and Scholarly Achievement, and the Bowman and Gordon Gray Award for excellence in teaching.[2]

Ehrman currently serves as co-editor of the series New Testament Tools, Studies, and Documents (E. J. Brill), co-editor-in-chief for the journal Vigiliae Christianae, and on several other editorial boards for journals and monographs. Ehrman formerly served as President of the Southeast Region of the Society of Biblical Literature, chair of the New Testament textual criticism section of the Society, book review editor of the Journal of Biblical Literature, and editor of the monograph series The New Testament in the Greek Fathers (Scholars Press).[2]

Ehrman speaks extensively throughout the United States and has participated in many public debates, including debates with William Lane Craig, Dinesh D’Souza, Mike Licona, Craig A. Evans, Daniel B. Wallace, Richard Swinburne,Peter J. Williams, James White, Darrell Bock and Michael L. Brown.

In 2006 and 2009 he appeared on The Colbert Report,[3][4] as well as The Daily Show,[5] to promote his books Misquoting Jesus, and Jesus, Interrupted (respectively).

Ehrman has appeared on the History Channel, the National Geographic Channel, Discovery Channel, A&E, Dateline NBC, CNN, and NPR’s Fresh Air and his writings have been featured in TIME, Newsweek, The New York Times,The New Yorker, and The Washington Post.[6]

Bart Ehrman vs. James White Debate P2

_____________________________

In  the second video below in the 86th clip in this series are his words and  my response is below them. 

50 Renowned Academics Speaking About God (Part 1)

Another 50 Renowned Academics Speaking About God (Part 2)

A Further 50 Renowned Academics Speaking About God (Part 3)

___________

Quote from Bart Ehrman:

In the book THE TEXTUAL RELIABILITY OF THE NEW TESTAMENT: A DIALOGUE by Bart Ehrman and Daniel B. Wallace and in the film series RENOWNED ACADEMICS SPEAKING ABOUT GOD, Dr. Ehrman noted:

The Bible is the most widely purchased, most thoroughly read, most broadly misunderstood book in the history of human civilization. One of the things that people misunderstand, of course—especially my nineteen-year-old students from North Carolina—is that when we’re reading the Bible, we’re not actually reading the words of Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, or Paul. We’re reading translations of those words from the Greek of the New Testament. And something is always lost in translation. Not only that, we’re not reading translations of the originals of Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, or Paul, because we don’t have the originals of any of the books of the New Testament. What we have are copies made centuries later—in most instances, many centuries later. These thousands of copies that we have all differ from one another in lots of little ways, and sometimes in big ways. There are places where we don’t know what the authors of the New Testament originally wrote. For some Christians, that’s not a big problem because they don’t have a high view of Scripture. For others, it’s a big problem indeed. What does it mean to say that God inspired the words of the text if we don’t have the words? Moreover, why should one think that God performed the miracle of inspiring the words in the first place if he didn’t perform the miracle of preserving the words? If he meant to give us his very words, why didn’t he make sure we received them?

________

I have two responses to Dr. Ehrman’s assertions. First, the Bible is the most well preserved ancient historical document in the world today and you can look at the Dead Sea Scrolls if you want to see how well the Old Testament was preserved over the centuries or you can look the manuscript evidence that Matt Slick provides in the article below concerning the New Testament. In both cases it is amazing how well God preserved these manuscripts for us. I agree with Slick’s conclusion, “The Christian has substantially superior criteria for affirming the New Testament documents than he does for any other ancient writing.”

Second, I do have a “high view of Scripture” as Dr Ehrman used to when he was an evangelical  and I think that evidence from biblical archaeology backs up my view that the scriptures are historically accurate. I have included some of that evidence below and also a letter of April 14, 2015 written to Dr. Ehrman that included some evidence of that sort.

Manuscript evidence for superior New Testament reliability

by Matt Slick

The New Testament is constantly under attack, and its reliability and accuracy are often contested by critics. If the critics want to disregard the New Testament, then they must also disregard other ancient writings by Plato, Aristotle, and Homer.  This is because the New Testament documents are better preserved and more numerous than any other ancient writings. Because they are so numerous, they can be cross checked for accuracy . . . and they are very consistent.

There are presently 5,686 Greek manuscripts in existence today for the New Testament.1 If we were to compare the number of New Testament manuscripts to other ancient writings, we find that the New Testament manuscripts far outweigh the others in quantity.2

Author Date
Written
Earliest Copy Approximate Time Span between original & copy Number of Copies Accuracy of Copies
Lucretius died 55 or 53 B.C. 1,100 yrs 2 —-
Pliny A.D. 61-113 A.D. 850 750 yrs 7 —-
Plato 427-347 B.C. A.D. 900 1,200 yrs 7 —-
Demosthenes 4th Cent. B.C. A.D. 1100 800 yrs 8 —-
Herodotus 480-425 B.C. A.D. 900 1,300 yrs 8 —-
Suetonius A.D. 75-160 A.D. 950 800 yrs 8 —-
Thucydides 460-400 B.C. A.D. 900 1,300 yrs 8 —-
Euripides 480-406 B.C. A.D. 1100 1,300 yrs 9 —-
Aristophanes 450-385 B.C. A.D. 900 1200 10 —-
Caesar 100-44 B.C. A.D. 900 1,000 10 —-
Livy 59 BC-AD 17 —- ??? 20 —-
Tacitus circa A.D. 100 A.D. 1100 1,000 yrs 20 —-
Aristotle 384-322 B.C. A.D. 1100 1,400 49 —-
Sophocles 496-406 B.C. A.D. 1000 1,400 yrs 193 —-
Homer (Iliad) 900 B.C. 400 B.C. 500 yrs 643 95%
New
Testament
1st Cent. A.D. (A.D. 50-100) 2nd Cent. A.D.
(c. A.D. 130 f.)
less than 100 years 5600 99.5%

As you can see, there are thousands more New Testament Greek manuscripts than any other ancient writing. The internal consistency of the New Testament documents is about 99.5% textually pure. That is an amazing accuracy. In addition, there are over 19,000 copies in the Syriac, Latin, Coptic, and Aramaic languages. The total supporting New Testament manuscript base is over 24,000.

Almost all Biblical scholars agree that the New Testament documents were all written before the close of the First Century. If Jesus was crucified in A.D. 30., then that means the entire New Testament was completed within 70 years. This is important because it means there were plenty of people around when the New Testament documents were penned–people who could have contested the writings. In other words, those who wrote the documents knew that if they were inaccurate, plenty of people would have pointed it out. But, we have absolutely no ancient documents contemporary with the First Century that contest the New Testament texts.

Furthermore, another important aspect of this discussion is the fact that we have a fragment of the Gospel of John that dates back to around 29 years from the original writing (John Rylands Papyri A.D. 125). This is extremely close to the original writing date. This is simply unheard of in any other ancient writing, and it demonstrates that the Gospel of John is a First Century document.

Below is a chart with some of the oldest extant New Testament manuscripts compared to when they were originally penned. Compare these time spans with the next closest, which is Homer’sIliad, where the closest copy from the original is 500 years later. Undoubtedly, that period of time allows for more textual corruption in its transmission. How much less so for the New Testament documents?

Important
Manuscript
Papyri
Contents Date
Original Written
MSS
Date
Approx.
Time Span
Location
p52
(John Rylands
Fragment)3
John 18:31-33, 37-38 circa
A.D. 96
circa
A.D.
125
29 yrs John Rylands Library, Manchester, England
P46
(Chester Beatty Papyrus)
Rom. 5:17-6:3, 5-14, 8:15-25, 27-35,10:1-11, 22, 24-33, 35, 16:1-23, 25-27, Heb., 1 & 2 Cor., Eph., Gal., Phil., Col., 1 Thess. 1:1, 9-10, 2:1-3, 5:5-9, 23-28 50’s-70’s circa
A.D.
200
Approx.
150 yrs
Chester Beatty Museum, Dublin & Ann Arbor, Michigan, University of Michigan library
P66
(Bodmer Papyrus)
John 1:1-6:11, 35-14:26, fragment of 14:29-21:9 70’s circa
A.D.
200
Approx.
130 yrs
Cologne, Geneva
P67 Matt. 3:9, 15, 5:20-22, 25-28 circa
A.D.
200
Approx.
130 yrs
Barcelona, Fundacion San Lucas Evangelista, P. Barc.1

If the critics of the Bible dismiss the New Testament as reliable information, then they must also dismiss the reliability of the writings of Plato, Aristotle, Caesar, Homer, and the other authors mentioned in the chart at the beginning of the paper. On the other hand, if the critics acknowledge the historicity and writings of those other individuals, then they must also retain the historicity and writings of the New Testament authors, after all, the evidence for the New Testament’s reliability is far greater than the others. The Christian has substantially superior criteria for affirming the New Testament documents than he does for any other ancient writing. It is good evidence on which to base the trust in the reliability of the New Testament.

  • 1.Norman Geisler & Peter Bocchino, Unshakeable Foundations, (Minneapolis, MN: Bethany House Publishers, 2001) p. 256.
  • 2.The above chart was adapted from three sources: 1) Christian Apologetics, by Norman Geisler, 1976, p. 307, 2) the article “Archaeology and History attest to the Reliability of the Bible,” by Richard M. Fales, Ph.D., in The Evidence Bible, Compiled by Ray Comfort, Bridge-Logos Publishers, Gainesville, FL, 2001, p. 163, and 3) A Ready Defense, by Josh Mcdowell, 1993, p. 45.
  • 3.“Deissmann was convinced that p52 was written well within the reign of Hadrian (A.D. 117-38) and perhaps even during the time of Trajan (A.D. 98-117)” (Footnote #2 found on pg. 39 of The Text of the New Testament, by Bruce M. Metzger, 2nd Ed. 1968, Oxford University Press, NY, NY). Bruce Metzger has authored more than 50 books. He holds two Masters Degrees, a Ph.D. and has been awarded several honorary doctorates. “He is past president of the Society of Biblical Literature, the International Society for New Testament Studies, and the North American Patristic Society.”–From, The Case for Christ, by Lee Strobel, Zondervan Publishers, 1998, Grand Rapids, MI: pg. 57.

April 14, 2015

Dear Dr. Ehrman,

I have really enjoyed listening to your You Tube videos and I really liked the debate you did with William Lane Craig. In that debate you said you went to Moody Bible Institute and Wheaton College. I WONDER IF YOU GOT TO HEAR MY HERO FRANCIS SCHAEFFER SPEAK IN PERSON?  I know that he visited both locations  both in the 1960’s and 1970’s. I just purchased 88 of his messages given on Moody Bible Radio Broadcasts and I know that his first three books were actually transcripts from his speeches at Wheaton in 1967.

As you can tell from reading this letter I am an evangelical Christian and I have made it a hobby of mine to correspond with scientists or academics like yourself over the last 25 years. Some of those who corresponded back with me have been  Ernest Mayr (1904-2005), George Wald (1906-1997), Carl Sagan (1934-1996),  Robert Shapiro (1935-2011), Nicolaas Bloembergen (1920-),  Brian Charlesworth (1945-),  Francisco J. Ayala (1934-) Elliott Sober (1948-), Kevin Padian (1951-), Matt Cartmill (1943-) , Milton Fingerman (1928-), John J. Shea (1969-), , Michael A. Crawford (1938-), Paul Kurtz (1925-2012), Sol Gordon (1923-2008), Albert Ellis (1913-2007), Barbara Marie Tabler (1915-1996), Renate Vambery (1916-2005), Archie J. Bahm (1907-1996), Aron S “Gil” Martin ( 1910-1997), Matthew I. Spetter (1921-2012), H. J. Eysenck (1916-1997), Robert L. Erdmann (1929-2006), Mary Morain (1911-1999), Lloyd Morain (1917-2010),  Warren Allen Smith (1921-), Bette Chambers (1930-),  Gordon Stein (1941-1996) , Milton Friedman (1912-2006), John Hospers (1918-2011), Michael Martin (1932-).Harry Kroto (1939-), Marty E. Martin (1928-), Richard Rubenstein (1924-), James Terry McCollum (1936-), Edward O. WIlson (1929-), Lewis Wolpert (1929), Gerald Holton (1922-), Martin Rees (1942-), Alan Macfarlane (1941-),  Roald Hoffmann (1937-), Herbert Kroemer (1928-), Thomas H. Jukes (1906-1999), Glenn BranchGeoff Harcourt (1931-) and  Ray T. Cragun (1976-). I would consider it an honor to add you to this very distinguished list. 

I just finished reading the online addition of the book Darwin, Francis ed. 1892. Charles Darwin: his life told in an autobiographical chapter, and in a selected series of his published letters [abridged edition]. London: John Murray. There are several points that Charles Darwin makes in this book that were very wise, honest, logical, shocking and some that were not so wise. The Christian Philosopher Francis Schaeffer once said of Darwin’s writings, “Darwin in his autobiography and in his letters showed that all through his life he never really came to a quietness concerning the possibility that chance really explained the situation of the biological world. You will find there is much material on this [from Darwin] extended over many many years that constantly he was wrestling with this problem.”

I THINK DARWIN OPENED UP ABOUT HIS MOST INNER FEELINGS MUCH MORE THAN HE HAS BEEN GIVEN CREDIT FOR AND THAT IS WHAT I WROTE YOU ABOUT TODAY SINCE YOU ALSO DEALT WITH THIS SAME ISSUE OF LOSING YOUR BECAUSE OF THE PROBLEM OF EVIL!!!!!! Since I wrote you about that issue last time, I am going to just focus on the evolution of his religious views and I thought you could relate to these. By the way there is an article by J. Warner Wallace that discusses some of your views that I thought you may be interested in (Investigating Bart Ehrman’s Top Ten Troublesome Bible Verses).

 Just like Darwin you lost your faith not  overnight but it was  over time. I am sure that you love music like I do and that would make you even more curious about Darwin’s later life.  I read the book Charles Darwin: his life told in an autobiographical chapter, and in a selected series of his published letters  and was surprised because of what Darwin said about science causing him to lose his aesthetic tastes. I am going to quote some of Charles Darwin’s own words and then include the comments of Francis Schaeffer on those words. I have also enclosed a CD with two messages from Adrian Rogers and Bill Elliff concerning Darwinism.

 CHARLES DARWIN’S AUTOBIOGRAPHY. Addendum. Written May 1st, 1881 [the year before his death].

“I have said that in one respect my mind has changed during the last twenty or thirty years. Up to the age of thirty, or beyond it, poetry of many kinds, such as the works of Milton, Gray, Byron, Wordsworth, Coleridge, and Shelley, gave me great pleasure, and even as a schoolboy I took intense delight in Shakespeare, especially in the historical plays. I have also said that formerly pictures gave me considerable, and music very great delight. But now for many years I cannot endure to read a line of poetry: I have tried lately to read Shakespeare, and found it so intolerably dull that it nauseated me. I have also almost lost my taste for pictures or music. Music generally sets me thinking too energetically on what I have been at work on, instead of giving me pleasure. I retain some taste for fine scenery, but it does not cause me the exquisite delight which it formerly did….My mind seems to have become a kind of machine for grinding general laws out of large collections of facts, but why this should have caused the atrophy of that part of the brain alone, on which the higher tastes depend, I cannot conceive….The loss of these tastes is a loss of happiness, and may possibly be injurious to the intellect, and more probably to the moral character, by enfeebling the emotional part of our nature.”

Francis Schaeffer commented:

This is the old man Darwin writing at the end of his life. What he is saying here is the further he has gone on with his studies the more he has seen himself reduced to a machine as far as aesthetic things are concerned. I think this is crucial because as we go through this we find that his struggles and my sincere conviction is that he never came to the logical conclusion of his own position, but he nevertheless in the death of the higher qualities as he calls them, art, music, poetry, and so on, what he had happen to him was his own theory was producing this in his own self just as his theories a hundred years later have produced this in our culture. 

Darwin, C. R. to Fordyce, John7 May 1879

“I may state that my judgment often fluctuates . . . In my most extreme fluctuations I have never been an Atheist in the sense of denying the existence of a God. I think that generally (and more and more as I grow older), but not always, that an Agnostic would be the more correct description of my state of mind.”

Francis Schaeffer asserted:

What we find now is that he comes to the place in being agnostic, but as we read through this section on religion what we find is in reality his reason leads him against this position, which is interesting but his theory makes him accept the  position of agnosticism….. I think what you have in Darwin is a magnificent example, although a sad one of what I lecture on in apologetics,  and that is if a man takes a set of nonchristian presuppositions he is forced eventually to be in a place of tension. The more consistent he is with his own nonchristian presuppositions the more he is away from the real world. When he is closer to the real world then he is more illogical to his own presuppositions.

Darwin, C. R. to Doedes, N. D.2 Apr 1873

“But I  may say that the impossibility of conceiving that this grand and wondrous universe, with our conscious selves, arose through chance, seems to me the chief argument for the existence of God; but whether this is an argument of real value, I have never been able to decide.”

Francis Schaeffer observed:

So he sees here exactly the same that I would labor and what Paul gives in Romans chapter one, and that is first this tremendous universe [and it’s form] and the second thing, the mannishness of man and the concept of this arising from chance is very difficult for him to come to accept and he is forced to leap into this, his own kind of Kierkegaardian leap, but he is forced to leap into this because of his presuppositions but when in reality the real world troubles him. He sees there is no third alternative. If you do not have the existence of God then you only have chance. In my own lectures I am constantly pointing out there are only two possibilities, either a personal God or this concept of the impersonal plus time plus chance and Darwin understood this . You will notice that he divides it into the same exact two points that Paul does in Romans chapter one into and that Carl Gustav Jung (1875-1961) will in the problem of existence, the external universe, and man and his consciousness. Paul points out there are these two steps that man is confronted with…

______________

Here below is the Romans passage that Schaeffer is referring to and verse 19 refers to what Schaeffer calls “the mannishness of man” and verse 20 refers to Schaeffer’s other point which is  “the universe and it’s form.”Romans 1:18-22Amplified Bible (AMP) 18 For God’s [holy] wrath and indignation are revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who in their wickedness repress and hinder the truth and make it inoperative. 19 For that which is known about God is evident to them and made plain in their inner consciousness, because God [Himself] has shown it to them. 20 For ever since the creation of the world His invisible nature and attributes, that is, His eternal power and divinity, have been made intelligible and clearly discernible in and through the things that have been made (His handiworks). So [men] are without excuse [altogether without any defense or justification], 21 Because when they knew and recognized Him as God, they did not honor andglorify Him as God or give Him thanks. But instead they became futile andgodless in their thinking [with vain imaginings, foolish reasoning, and stupid speculations] and their senseless minds were darkened. 22 Claiming to be wise, they became fools [professing to be smart, they made simpletons of themselves]

In 1879 Charles Darwin was applied to by a German student, in a similar manner. The letter was answered by a member of my father’s family, who wrote:–

“Mr. Darwin…considers that the theory of Evolution is quite compatible with the belief in a God; but that you must remember that different persons have different definitions of what they mean by God.” 

Francis Schaeffer commented:

You find a great confusion in his writings although there is a general structure in them. Here he says the word “God” is alright but you find later what he doesn’t take is a personal God. Of course, what you open is the whole modern linguistics concerning the word “God.” is God a pantheistic God? What kind of God is God? Darwin says there is nothing incompatible with the word “God.”

This, however, did not satisfy the German youth, who again wrote to my father, and received from him the following reply:—

” Science has nothing to do with Christ, except in so far as the habit of scientific research makes a man cautious in admitting evidence. For myself, I do not believe that there ever has been any revelation.”

Francis Schaeffer observed:

So he has come to the place as an old man that he doesn’t believe there has been any revelation. In his younger years he held a different position.

The passages which here follow are extracts, somewhat abbreviated, from a part of the Autobiography, written in 1876, in which my father gives the history of his religious views:—“During these two years* (ft note *October 1836 to January 1839.) I was led to think much about religion. Whilst on board the Beagle I was quite orthodox, and I remember being heartily laughed at by several of the officers (though themselves orthodox) for quoting the Bible as an unanswerable authority on some point of morality.

Francis Schaeffer noted:

So you find that as a younger man he did accept the Bible. As an older man he has given up revelation but he is not satisfied with his own answers. He is caught in the tension that modern man is caught in. He is a prefiguration  of the modern man and he himself contributed to. Then Darwin goes on and tells us why he gave up the Bible.

Darwin went on to write:

I suppose it was the novelty of the argument that amused them. But I had gradually come by this time, i.e. 1836 to 1836, to see that the Old Testament was no more to be trusted than the sacred books of the Hindoos. The question then continually rose before my mind and would not be banished,—is it credible that if God were now to make a revelation to the Hindoos, he would permit it to be connected with the belief in Vishnu, Siva, &c., as Christianity is connected with the Old Testament? This appeared to me utterly incredible.

Francis Schaeffer asserted:

Darwin is saying that he gave up the New Testament because it was connected to the Old Testament. He gave up the Old Testament because it conflicted with his own theory. Did he have a real answer himself and the answer is no. At the end of his life we see that he is dehumanized by his position and on the other side we see that he never comes to the place of intellectual satisfaction for himself that his answers were sufficient.

Darwin continued:

“BUT I WAS VERY UNWILLING  TO GIVE UP MY BELIEF; I feel sure of this, for I can well remember often and often inventing day-dreams of old letters between distinguished Romans, and manuscripts being discovered at Pompeii or elsewhere, which confirmed in the most striking manner all that was written in the Gospels.

Francis Schaeffer commented:

This is very sad. He lies on his bunk and the Beagle tosses and turns and he makes daydreams, and his dreams and hopes are that someone would find in Pompeii or some place like this, an old manuscript by a distinguished Roman that would put his stamp of authority on it, which would be able to show that Christ existed. This is undoubtedly what he is talking about. Darwin gave up this hope with great difficulty. I think he didn’t want to come to the position where his accepted presuppositions were driving him. He didn’t want to give it up, just as an older man he understood where it would lead…

———–

The area of Biblical Archaeology has advanced so much since Darwin wrote these words in the 19th century!!!!! ASK YOURSELF THIS SIMPLE QUESTION BEFORE YOU PUT YOUR FAITH IN THE ACCURACY OF THE SCRIPTURES: Is the Bible historically accurate and have I taken the time to examine the evidence? Here are some of the posts I have done in the past on the subject and if you like you could just google these subjects: 1. The Babylonian Chronicleof Nebuchadnezzars Siege of Jerusalem2. Hezekiah’s Siloam Tunnel Inscription. 3. Taylor Prism (Sennacherib Hexagonal Prism)4. Biblical Cities Attested Archaeologically. 5. The Discovery of the Hittites6.Shishak Smiting His Captives7. Moabite Stone8Black Obelisk of Shalmaneser III9A Verification of places in Gospel of John and Book of Acts., 9B Discovery of Ebla Tablets10. Cyrus Cylinder11. Puru “The lot of Yahali” 9th Century B.C.E.12. The Uzziah Tablet Inscription13. The Pilate Inscription14. Caiaphas Ossuary14 B Pontius Pilate Part 214c. Three greatest American Archaeologists moved to accept Bible’s accuracy through archaeology.,

Darwin also noted:

“But I found it more and more difficult, with free scope given to my imagination, to invent evidence which would suffice to convince me. Thus disbelief crept over me at a very slow rate, but was at last complete. THE RATE WAS SLOW that I felt no distress. Although I did not think much about the existence of a personal God until a considerably later period of my life,”

Francis Schaeffer commented:

So there is something deficient in his position from the beginning. The word of God if it is going to mean something, must mean a personal God. The word “God” is without much meaning otherwise.

_________________

Francis Schaeffer noted that in Darwin’s 1876 Autobiography that Darwin he is going to set forth two arguments for God in this and again you will find when he comes to the end of this that he is in tremendous tension. Darwin wrote, 

“At the present day the most usual argument for the existence of an intelligent God is drawn from the deep inward conviction and feelings which are experienced by most persons.Formerly I was led by feelings such as those just referred to (although I do not think that the religious sentiment was ever strongly developed in me), to the firm conviction of the existence of God and of the immortality of the soul. In my Journal I wrote that whilst standing in the midst of the grandeur of a Brazilian forest, ‘it is not possible to give an adequate idea of the higher feelings of wonder, admiration, and devotion which fill and elevate the mind.’ I well remember my conviction that there is more in man than the mere breath of his body; but now the grandest scenes would not cause any such convictions and feelings to rise in my mind. It may be truly said that I am like a man who has become COLOUR-BLIND.”

Francis Schaeffer remarked:

Now Darwin says when I look back and when I look at nature I came to the conclusion that man can not be just a fly! But now Darwin has moved from being a younger man to an older man and he has allowed his presuppositions to enter in to block his logic, these things at the end of his life he had no intellectual answer for. To block them out in favor of his theory. Remember the letter of his that said he had lost all aesthetic senses when he had got older and he had become a clod himself. Now interesting he says just the same thing, but not in relation to the arts, namely music, pictures, etc, but to nature itself. Darwin said, “But now the grandest scenes would not cause any such convictions  and feelings to rise in my mind. It may be truly said that I am like a man who has become colour-blind…” So now you see that Darwin’s presuppositions have not only robbed him of the beauty of man’s creation in art, but now the universe. He can’t look at it now and see the beauty. The reason he can’t see the beauty is for a very, very , very simple reason: THE BEAUTY DRIVES HIM TO DISTRACTION. THIS IS WHERE MODERN MAN IS AND IT IS HELL. The art is hell because it reminds him of man and how great man is, and where does it fit in his system? It doesn’t. When he looks at nature and it’s beauty he is driven to the same distraction and so consequently you find what has built up inside him is a real death, not  only the beauty of the artistic but the beauty of nature. He has no answer in his logic and he is left in tension.  He dies and has become less than human because these two great things (such as any kind of art and the beauty of  nature) that would make him human  stand against his theory.

________________

Darwin like you was consistent with his view of the UNIFORMITY OF  NATURAL CAUSES in a closed system and it cost him the love of music, art and the beauty of nature. TWO OTHER ALSO HELD THIS SAME view  of uniformity of natural causes in a closed system in 1978 when their hit song DUST IN THE WIND rose to the top 10 in the music charts.

_______________________________________

IF WE ARE LEFT WITH JUST THE MACHINE THEN WHAT IS THE FINAL CONCLUSION IF THERE WAS NO PERSONAL GOD THAT CREATED US? I sent you a CD that starts off with the song DUST IN THE WIND by Kerry Livgren of the group KANSAS which was a hit song in 1978 when it rose to #6 on the charts because so many people connected with the message of the song. It included these words, “All we do, crumbles to the ground though we refuse to see, Dust in the Wind, All we are is dust in the wind, Don’t hang on, Nothing lasts forever but the Earth and Sky, It slips away, And all your money won’t another minute buy.”

Kerry Livgren himself said that he wrote the song because he saw where man was without a personal God in the picture. Solomon pointed out in the Book of Ecclesiastes that those who believe that God doesn’t exist must accept three things. FIRST, death is the end and SECOND, chance and time are the only guiding forces in this life.  FINALLY, power reigns in this life and the scales are never balanced. The Christian can  face death and also confront the world knowing that it is not determined by chance and time alone and finally there is a judge who will balance the scales.

Both Kerry Livgren and the bass player Dave Hope of Kansas became Christians eventually. Kerry Livgren first tried Eastern Religions and Dave Hope had to come out of a heavy drug addiction. I was shocked and elated to see their personal testimony on The 700 Club in 1981 and that same  interview can be seen on You Tube today. Livgren lives in Topeka, Kansas today where he teaches “Diggers,” a Sunday school class at Topeka Bible ChurchDAVE HOPE is the head of Worship, Evangelism and Outreach at Immanuel Anglican Church in Destin, Florida.

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.com, http://www.thedailyhatch.org, cell ph 501-920-5733, Box 23416, LittleRock, AR 72221, United States

You can hear DAVE HOPE and Kerry Livgren’s stories from this youtube link:

(part 1 ten minutes)

(part 2 ten minutes)

Kansas – Dust in the Wind (Official Video)

Uploaded on Nov 7, 2009

Pre-Order Miracles Out of Nowhere now at http://www.miraclesoutofnowhere.com

About the film:
In 1973, six guys in a local band from America’s heartland began a journey that surpassed even their own wildest expectations, by achieving worldwide superstardom… watch the story unfold as the incredible story of the band KANSAS is told for the first time in the DVD Miracles Out of Nowhere.

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Adrian Rogers on Darwinism

The Bible and Archaeology – Is the Bible from God? (Kyle Butt 42 min)

Below is a piece of that evidence given by Francis Schaeffer concerning the accuracy of the Bible.

TRUTH AND HISTORY (chapter 5 of WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE HUMAN RACE?, under footnote #96)

 

We should take one last step back into the history of the Old Testament. In the previous note we looked first at the Dead Sea Scrolls, dating to around 100 B.C. Then we went back to the period of the Late Monarchy and looked first at the siege of Hezekiah in Jerusalem by Sennacherib in 701 B.C. and also at the last years of Judah down to about 600 B.C. Then we went further back to about 850 B.C., to Ahab and Jezebel, the ivory house, the Black Obelisk, the Moabite Stone and so on–then back again to about 950 B.C., to the time of Solomon and his son Rehoboam and the campaign by Shishak, the Egyptian pharaoh.

This should have built up in our minds a vivid impression of the historic reliability of the biblical text, including even the seemingly obscure details such as the ration tablets in Babylon. We saw, in other words, not only that the Bible gives us a marvelous world view that ties in with the nature of reality and answers the basic problems which philosophers have asked down through the centuries, but also that the Bible is completely reliable, EVEN ON THE HISTORICAL LEVEL.

The previous notes looked back to the time of Moses and Joshua, the escape from Egypt, and the settlement in Canaan. Now we will go back further–back as far as Genesis 12, near the beginning of the Bible.

Do we find that the narrative fades away to a never-never land of myths and legends? By no means. For we have to remind ourselves that although Genesis 12 deals with events a long time ago from our moment of history (about 2000 B.C. or a bit later), the civilized world was already not just old but ancient when Abram/Abraham left “Ur of the Chaldeans” (see Genesis 11:31).

Ur itself was excavated some fifty years ago. In the British Museum, for example, one can see the magnificent contents of a royal burial chamber from Ur. This includes a gold headdress still in position about the head of a queen who died in Ur about 2500 B.C. It has also been possible to reconstruct from archaeological remains what the streets and buildings must have been like at the time.

Like Ur, the rest of the world of the patriarchs (that is, of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob) was firm reality. Such places as Haran, where Abraham went first, have been discovered. So has Shechem from this time, with its Canaanite stone walls, which are still standing, and its temple.

Genesis 12:5-9New American Standard Bible (NASB)

Abram took Sarai his wife and Lot his nephew, and all their possessions which they had accumulated, and the [a]persons which they had acquired in Haran, and they [b]set out for the land of Canaan; thus they came to the land of Canaan. Abram passed through the land as far as the site of Shechem, to the[c]oak of Moreh. Now the Canaanite was then in the land. The Lord appeared to Abram and said, “To your [d]descendants I will give this land.” So he built an altar there to the Lord who had appeared to him. Then he proceeded from there to the mountain on the east of Bethel, and pitched his tent, with Bethel on the west and Ai on the east; and there he built an altar to the Lord andcalled upon the name of the Lord. Abram journeyed on, continuing toward the[e]Negev.

Haran and Shechem may be unfamiliar names to us but the Negrev (or Negeb) is a name we have all read frequently in the news accounts of our own day. 

Negev Nuclear Research Center – Israel

The Negev – Israel’s Desert

This article was first published in the Spring 2005 issue of Bible and Spade.
“If the full meaning of a passage [in the Bible] is to be grasped, the context of the passage needs to be appropriately developed” (Greenwold 2004: 72). In his pithy study of Luke’s Gospel account of Elizabeth and Zachariah, Greenwold gives an example of what he means: “All too often in our church lifetime, we end up being given many theological and doctrinal factual ornaments, but seldom are we shown the tree upon which to hang them. It’s as if we have been handed dozens of pieces to a puzzle, but have never seen what the finished picture on the top of the puzzle box looks like” (2004: 73). I think that Greenwold has it right.
Jesus and the woman at Jacob’s well in John 4 is an excellent case in point. The story takes place near the Old Testament city of Shechem. Shechem is mentioned 60 times in the Old Testament. The city had been abandoned by New Testament times, but Stephen reiterates its importance in his speech in Acts 7:16. A small village, Sychar, was near the ruins of Shechem in New Testament times and is mentioned in the John 4 account (Jn 4:5). Unfortunately, most Bible studies of events at or near Shechem, and commentaries on the Book of John, omit Shechem’s pivotal role in Bible history and how it fit into God’s salvation plan.
 
The narrow pass where ancient Shechem is located at the modern city of Nablus, view west. Mt. Gerizim is on the left and Mt. Ebal on the right. Dr. James C. Martin.
Archaeological investigations have corroborated much of what the Bible has to say about Shechem’s physical and cultural aspects. Archaeology has confirmed Shechem’s location, its history, and many Biblical details. In this article I will integrate what archaeology has illuminated about this important place and its geographical importance with a macro look at Shechem’s place in revealing God’s promise and plan to restore believers to Him.1
Map of Shechem area showing the location of Tell Balata (ancient Shechem), Joseph’s tomb and Jacob’s Well. ASOR, 2002.
Location and Exploration
About 30 mi (49 km) north of Jerusalem is a low, 15-acre mound, known as Tell Balata. This nondescript ruin covers what was ancient Shechem. The tell rests in a long, narrow, east-west valley with the two highest mountains in central Palestine towering over it, Mt. Ebal on the north and Mt. Gerizim on the south. The Hebrew word shekemmeans “back” or “shoulder,” which probably refers to Shechem’s placement between the two mountains. Coming from the south, the major road from Beersheba, Hebron and Jerusalem splits here. One branch goes east, around Mt. Ebal, and provides access to the Jordan Valley and cities like Beth Shan. The western arm leads to the coastal plain and cities to the north such as Samaria and Dothan. Thus, ancient Shechem and its modern counterpart, Nablus, are in a very strategic location along the watershed road between Judah, the Jordan Valley, Transjordan, and the Galilee.2
In 1903, a group of German scholars under the direction of H. Tiersch examined Tell Balata and concluded it was ancient Shechem. Until that time there had been controversy over whether Tell Balata, or the modern city of Nablus nearby, was the location of ancient Shechem. Tiersch’s identification has never been seriously questioned.
E. Sellin led an Austro-German excavation team to Tell Balata in 1913 and 1914. His work was interrupted by World War I. Sellin began work again in 1926 and continued until 1936. Work was resumed in 1956 by an American team under the direction of G. E. Wright and B. W. Anderson. The latest season of excavations at Tell Balata was in 1973 under the direction of W. G. Dever (Campbell 1993: 1347; Seger 1997:21).
Aerial view of the ruins of Shechem. On the right is the Middle Bronze fortification wall and in the upper center the “Migdal,” or fortress, temple. Holy Land Satellite Atlas, 1999, p. 100.
Abram at Shechem
The first mention of Shechem in the Bible is Genesis 12:6, when Abram first entered Canaan. It is succinctly described: “Abram traveled through the land as far as the site of the great tree of Moreh at Shechem.” At that time, God promised Abram, “To your offspring I will give this land” (Gn 12:7). The next mention of Shechem is 11 chapters, and about 200 years, later, when the Bible records that Jacob, Abram’s grandson, “camped within sight of the city” (Gn 33:18).
Assuming a conservative dating for the Patriarchal events in the Bible,3 note that Abram camped in Canaan about 2090 BC and there is no mention of a city. However, when Jacob arrived 200 hundred years later, around 1890 BC, the Bible notes that he “camped within sight of the city [Shechem].” In the original Hebrew, the word translated in our English Bible as “city” meant a permanent, walled settlement (Hansen 2003:81, Wood 1999:23). Genesis 34:20 and 24 report that Shechem had a city gate; therefore it was fortified.
Can archaeology clarify if there was or was not a city? Yes. The absence of a “city” and walls at Tell Balata when Abram came through and the existence of a city in the time of Jacob is in complete agreement with what the Bible indicates is Shechem’s early history.
Excavations have revealed that the earliest urbanization at Tell Balata was in MB I (Levels XXII-XXI), about 1900–1750 BC. MB I was when Jacob lived by the city of Shechem. Prior to MB I, in the time of Abram’s visit, archaeology has demonstrated that there was a gap in settlement and an absence of fortification walls. Thus, there was no “city” for Abram to reference, as the Bible correctly infers (Campbell 1993: 1347).
Jacob and Joseph at Shechem
What was the city like when Jacob settled there? Archaeologists have revealed that Tell Balata in MB I had structures with mudbrick walls on stone foundations and they have found an abundance of artifacts typical of domestic living (Toombs 1992: 1179). The Bible records that during Jacob’s stay he purchased land near Shechem. This parcel would become the place where his son, Joseph, would later be entombed (Jos 24:32). The tumultuous Dinah affair also occurred during Jacob’s stay at Shechem. Its aftermath resulted in the murder of Shechem’s male population by two of Jacob’s sons (Gn 33–34). Subsequently, God told Jacob to move to Bethel (Gn 35:1) and then on to Hebron (Gn 35:7).
The next Biblical mention of Shechem is in connection with the story of 17-year-old Joseph, Jacob’s son, who was sold into slavery by his jealous brothers (Gn 37). In the account, Joseph’s brothers were grazing the family’s flocks near Shechem when Jacob sent Joseph to inquire of them. After looking for them at Shechem, he found them a short distance north at Dothan. There, the brothers conspired to sell Joseph into slavery, setting the stage for the subsequent accounts of Joseph’s rise to power, Jacob and his family moving to Egypt and, later, Israel’s oppression by Egyptian Pharaohs.
The earliest known extra-Biblical written record of Shechem comes from the Middle Bronze period. It is an inscription on a stele (an upright standing stone) of an Egyptian, Khu-Sebek, who was a nobleman in the court of Sesostris III (ca. 1880–1840 BC). It was found in 1901 by the renowned archaeologist J. Garstang at Abydos, Egypt. King Sesostris III became ruler shortly after Jacob was at Shechem, and he was probably the king when Jacob died in Egypt. Khu-Sebek’s stele describes how the king’s army campaigned in a foreign country named Sekmem (Shechem) and how “Sekmem fell” (Toombs 1992: 1179). W. Shea believes that the campaign on Khu-Sebek’s stele is none other than the Egyptians’ account of the military encounters experienced by the entourage accompanying Joseph when Jacob’s embalmed body was brought to Canaan for entombment at Machpelah (Gn 50:12–14) (Shea 1992: 38 ff.).
Khu-Sebek’s stele reveals that as early as the 19th century BC, Shechem was an important strategic location and a place worthy of mention in a notable Egyptian’s biography.
Stela of Khu-Sebek. He is shown seated, accompanied by members of his family, his nurse, and the superintendent of the cabinet. Discovered by British archaeologist John Garstang at Abydos, Egypt, in 1901, the stela is now on display in the museum of the University of Manchester, England. Mike Luddeni.
Joshua at Shechem
A little over 400 years later, God rescued the Israelites from Egyptian bondage and led them through the desert wilderness for 40 years. Near the end of this sojourn, their leader Moses said that once they entered the land God had promised them (at Shechem, see Gn 12:7!), they were to erect an altar on Mt. Ebal (Dt 27:4) and read portions of the Law while the people were assembled before Mounts Ebal and Gerizim (Dt 11:26–30; 27:12, 13).
As I noted above, the mountains of Ebal and Gerizim overlook the valley wherein lay Shechem. The mountains form a natural amphitheater in which the recitation of the Law could easily be heard. Despite the mountains’ heights (Ebal is 3,083 ft [940 m] and Gerizim is 2,890 ft [881 m]), there are many contemporary accounts of people speaking from the slopes of the mountains and being heard in the valley below. Even with the noise of the busy modern city of Nablus, I myself have been in the park at the top of Gerizim and clearly heard the voices of children playing in the Balata refugee camp at Gerizim’s base.
Joshua fulfilled Moses’ instructions and led the people directly to Gerizim and Ebal after defeating the stronghold at Ai (Jos 7–8). Assuming an “early Exodus” date (1446 BC), the Israelite entry into Canaan, after 40 years in the wilderness, was approximately 1406 BC, in the Late Bronze (LB) IB period.4 LB IB corresponds with Tell Balata’s Level XIV (Campbell 1993: 1347; Toombs 1992: 1178). During the 350 years of the previous MB period, the city had been fortified with earthen embankments and cyclopean wall fortifications. However, Shechem was destroyed around 1540 BC. The ferocity of the destruction resulted in debris covering the city up to a depth of 5.25 ft (1.6 m). It is surmised that the Egyptian armies of Ahmose I or Amenhotep I were the aggressors (Toombs 1992: 1182).
About 90 years after that catastrophe the city was rebuilt early in the LB I period, around 1450 BC. Level XIV corresponds to this date and is noted for the reconstruction of the city’s defensive walls, homes, and a well built, fortress-type, temple. This Level XIV occupation was the city at which Joshua and the Israelites arrived to fulfill Moses’ orders to read the Law before Ebal and Gerizim around 1406 BC.
The Book of Joshua makes an interesting observation about that visit:
All Israel, aliens and citizens alike…. were standing on both sides of the ark of the covenant of the LORD, facing those who carried it…. There was not a word of all that Moses had commanded that Joshua did not read to the whole assembly of Israel, including the women and children, and the aliens who lived among them (Jos 8:33, 35).
It appears that the crowd who heard the words of the Law that day was composed of both Israelites and native Shechemites (aliens)! The Bible implies that both Shechemites and Israelites co-existed at Shechem. This unusual situation can be further confirmed by the fact that Shechem became one of only three Israelite Cities of Refuge on the west side of the Jordan River, as well as being a city of the Levitical priesthood (Jos 20:7; 21:21). All this occurred even though there is no record in the Bible of it being taken in battle.5
Years later, Joshua again gathered the Israelites at Shechem (Jos 24). He reminded them of God’s promises and how He had fulfilled those promises and delivered them from diversities. Joshua then challenged the people to say whom they would serve and they promised to serve God (Jos 24:14–20). The renewal ceremony between the Israelites and God recognized the promises God made to Abraham (Gn 12:7; 17:7, 8), Jacob, and the people at Sinai through Moses (Ex 24:8).
The next event at Shechem in the Bible was the fulfillment of another promise: the burial of the Patriarch Joseph. Just before his death in Egypt, Joseph asked his brothers to bring his body back to the land “promised to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob” when God delivered them from Egypt (Gn 50:24–25).
And Joseph’s bones, which the Israelites had brought up from Egypt, were buried at Shechem in the tract of land that Jacob bought for a hundred pieces of silver from the sons of Hamor, the father of Shechem. This became the inheritance of Joseph’s descendants (Jos 24:32).
Today, there is a place near Tell Balata venerated by the Jewish and Samaritan faiths as the traditional location of Joseph’s tomb. The shrine marking the tomb, and an associated Jewish school, were reduced to rubble in October 2000 in the wake of the most recent hostilities between the Palestinian Arabs and the State of Israel. Conflicting views have abounded as to whether this was, in fact, Joseph’s final resting place. Unfortunately, no archaeological excavations are known to have taken place at this site that could verify that this was the true location of the tomb of Joseph. Several ancient texts mention the site, but the exact location of Joseph’s tomb is still in question.
The discovery of a LB Egyptian library at Amarna has provided additional insights on the LB period. Letters in the library reveal Egypt’s relationship with Canaan’s rulers in the mid-14th century BC. Some of the letters disclose that the kings of Shechem were independent of Egypt. Further, Shechem’s rulers were criticized by other Canaanite rulers for cooperating with an invading group of desert people called the Habiru. Many conservative evangelical scholars (e.g., Wood 1997; 2003: 269–71) believe the Habiru were the Israelites of the early Judges period.
Letter from Labayu, king of Shechem, to the king of Egypt, probably Amenhotep III. It is defiant in tone, suggesting Labayu had a measure of independence from Egypt (Hess 1993). The letter, numbered El Amarna 252, is written in Akkadian cuneiform, albeit with Canaanite grammar and syntax, and is on display in the British Museum. Mike Luddeni.
Abimelech at Shechem
Later in Bible history, Abimelech, the son of Gideon’s Shechemite concubine (Jgs 8:31), colluded with some Shechemites to kill 70 of Abimelech’s brothers (Jgs 8:30–31; 9). However, Abimelech’s youngest brother Jotham survived (Jgs 9:5). Jotham climbed to the top of Mt. Gerizim and shouted to the Shechemites below. He foretold the destruction of the men of Shechem by fire (Jgs 9:7–21). Later in the same chapter we read that the people of Shechem rose against Abimelech’s leadership. In response, Abimelech fought against the city and razed it. During the attack the leaders of Shechem tried to save themselves in “the stronghold of the temple of El-berith” (Jgs 9:46). The story continues:
He [Abimelech] took an ax and cut off some branches, which he lifted to his shoulders. He ordered the men with him, “Quick! Do what you have seen me do!” So all the men cut branches and followed Abimelech. They piled them against the stronghold and set it on fire over the people inside. So all the people in the tower of Shechem, about a thousand men and women, also died (Jgs 9:48–49).
Archaeologists (e.g., E. Campbell, B. Mazar, G. E. Wright and L. Stager) refer to the “tower of Shechem” as “the Tower (migdal) Temple or Fortress-Temple” of Shechem (Campbell 1993: 1348, Stager 2003: 26 and 68 note 1). Stager recently reexamined the work of Wright who, in 1926, excavated a large building that has been reported to be this Fortress-Temple (Stager 2003). Stager’s conclusions are that this Temple, “Temple 1, ” was, in fact, the migdal referred to in Judges 9. It is the largest such Canaanite structure found in Israel and was 70 ft (21 m) wide, 86 ft (26 m) long with stone foundation walls 17 ft (5.1 m) thick. The foundation supported a multistory mudbrick and timber temple with an entrance flanked by two large towers. Stager hypothesized that the courtyard of this temple could have been where Joshua “took a large stone and set it up there under the oak near the holy place of the LORD” (Jos 24:26).
Stager (2003: 68) places the destruction of the Fortress-Temple around 1100 BC. So does Seger (1997: 22), who correlates the destruction debris found at Level XI as being from the Iron IA period. Campbell (1993: 1347) states that there was a “significant” destruction “around 1100 BCE” and guardedly concludes, “connecting Level XI with the story underlying Judges 9 is plausible” (1993: 1352).
Dating Shechem’s destruction to 1100 BC helps confirm the Biblical date of 1406 BC as the beginning of the Conquest in Canaan. To do this, it is necessary to know that immediately after we read in the Bible of Abimelech’s destruction of Shechem, Jephthah, the ninth Judge, appears (Jgs 11, 12). Jephthah was hired by Israelites who lived in Gilead, east of the Jordan River, to confront the Ammonites who had made war on them for 18 years. Jephthah first attempted diplomacy with the Ammonite king. He reminded the Ammonite king that the Israelites had been in the land east of the Jordan River for “300 years” (Jgs 11:21–26). Jephthah, of course, was referring to the time when Moses led the Israelites through that region and defeated numerous kings (Nm 21:21–31).
Thus, if Abimelech destroyed Shechem ca. 1125–1100 BC (Jgs 9), and Abimelech was a contemporary of Jephthah, the Conquest would have occurred about 300 years earlier, in ca. 1400 BC (1100 BC + 300 years = 1400 BC).
Shechem in the Time of the Divided Monarchy
The Bible sheds little light on Shechem’s role during the reigns of Saul, David or Solomon. Rehoboam, Solomon’s son, was next in line for the throne. All the Israelites assembled at Shechem to anoint Rehoboam king. Rehoboam, however, acted foolishly by chiding the northern tribes and telling them he would tax them heavily. In defense, the northern tribes retaliated by separating themselves from Rehoboam and the southern kingdom. The northern tribes made Jeroboam I king of their region. The country, formerly unified under David and Solomon, became divided. The northern region and tribes, led by Jeroboam I, was known as Israel. The southern area and tribes, first led by Rehoboam, is referred to as Judah in the Bible.
Levels X and IX at Tell Balata represent the Jeroboam I period and are noted for carefully built houses of selected stones. The discovery of stone foundations for stairs suggests two-story, four-room houses, typical homes of that period (Dever 1994: 80–81). Campbell concludes that Level IX (920–810 BC) has “tangible evidence of Jeroboam I’s rebuilding (1 Kg 12:25) and a return to city status” (1993: 1352–53).
The Assyrian invasion of Israel in 724 BC (2 Kgs 17:5–6) brought another destruction to Shechem. The evidence is in Level VII. Toombs noted that in Level VII the city was “reduced to a heap of ruins, completely covered by debris of fallen brickwork, burned beams and tumbled building stones,” typical examples of Assyrian thoroughness (1992: 1185). In addition to the destruction, the Assyrians placed exiled peoples from other nations into the region around Shechem, a common Assyrian practice (2 Kgs 17:23–24).
These new peoples added Yahweh to their own beliefs (2 Kgs 17:25–30). The new religion mimicked Judaism in many respects and Mt. Gerizim was made the center of its worship. New Testament practitioners of the cult are called “Samaritans,” which also referred to the people who lived in the vicinity (Mt 10:5; Lk 9:52, 10:53; 17:16; Jn 4:7, 9, 22, 39, 40; 8:48; Acts 8:25). A remnant of the ancient Samaritans still lives on Mt. Gerizim and they practice sacrifices there just as they did 2,700 years ago.7
Shechem in the Intertestamental Period
Between the Old and New Testaments, Shechem had a modest recovery and there is an abundance of evidence that excellent buildings were constructed in this, the Hellenistic, period (ca. 330–107 BC). It was during this time that the Samaritans built a large temple and sacrificial platform on Mt. Gerizim, the remains of which were still visible in Jesus’ day (Jn 4:20).
As fighting between the Ptolemies and Seleucids swirled around the country in the intertestamental period, physical decline again took place at Shechem. This decline culminated when the Jewish leader, John Hyrcanus, took advantage of the temporary absence of outside armies and destroyed the Samaritan temple on Mt. Gerizim (ca. 126 BC). He leveled the city in 107 BC. Shechem never recovered from this destruction and lay in ruins until identified by Tierschin 1901.
Shechem in the New Testament Period
Samaritans continued to live in the area during the following years, the Roman period. This is confirmed by the discovery of human burials from the period on the lower slopes of Mt. Ebal (Magen 1993: 1358–59). It is known that Samaritans also made several attempts to renew their cult worship on Mt. Gerizim. The Romans suppressed their efforts and in AD 72 constructed a new city, Flavia-Neapolis, about 1 mi (1.6 km) west of Tell Balata (Magen 2001: 40). This new city is now Nablus, a modern Arab city of about 120,000 people8 whose name is probably a corruption of Roman city, Neapolis.
About 500 yd (460 m) southeast of Tell Balata is an ancient well, venerated to be a well that Jacob, the Patriarch, dug when he lived there. Such a well is not mentioned in the Old Testament. There is a small Arab village, Askar, just north of the well. Most scholars associate Askar with Sychar, the village in John 4 near “Jacob’s well” (Jn 4:6). The authenticity of the well is not only based on its physical identification in John 4, but also on “the fact that all traditions-—Jewish, Samaritan, Christian and Muslim-—support it” (Stefanovic 1992: 608). Several churches in Christian history have been built on the site of the well and today it is located under a recently constructed Greek Orthodox church. Access to the well is gained by going down steps from the apse of the new church.
Jacob’s well as it appeared in the 1870s. In the right background is Mt. Gerizim with the tomb of the Arab sheikh, where the ruins of the Samaritan temple were located in New Testament times, visible at the peak.Todd Bolen.
Jacob’s well, at the base of Mt. Gerizim, is at the junction of the main road leading from Jerusalem in the south. Here, the road splits with the eastern branch going toward the Jordan Valley and the western branch leading to Nablus, and in NT times, Samaria and the Galilee. It is an excellent setting for one of the most important passages in the Bible-—the account of Jesus’ verbal Messianic announcement in the fourth chapter of John. In this passage Jesus meets a Samaritan woman at Jacob’s well, dialogues with her, and tells her He is the long-awaited Messiah.
Mt. Gerizim (left peak) as seen from Jacob’s well. When the Samaritan woman said to Jesus, “Our fathers worshipped on this mountain,” she was no doubt referring to the ruins of the Samaritan temple on top of Mt. Gerizim. The small structure on the peak marks the location of the ruins of the Samaritan temple that easily could have been seen from Jacob’s well in Jesus’ day. Bryant Wood.
Significance of Shechem in Understanding John 4
This article began by stating that context in reading the Bible was important to full understanding of what the original writers wanted the original hearers/listeners to know. In the case of Shechem, it is clear that the writer of John’s Gospel was appealing to the hearer/reader’s understanding of Shechem’s unique historical and theological context.
First, the author established that the event took place at Sychar (Jn 4:6). By making reference to Jacob he reminded his readers/hearers that this is where Jacob first settled when he returned to the Promised Land from Paddan Aram (Gn 33:18). At this spot Abram received God’s promise that “To your offspring I will give this land” (Gn 12:7). In addition to God’s promise given here to Abram, the writer wanted the hearer/reader to remember that many human agreements were made at Shechem in Bible history. Unfortunately, most were corrupted because of man’s sin. For example, Jacob made a promise to spare Hamor and the Shechemites after Dinah was sexually violated. Jacob’s use of circumcision to confirm the agreement with the Shechemites was the same symbol God had ordained as “the sign of the covenant between Me and you” (Gn 17:11). To seal a human agreement in this manner and have it subsequently abrogated as Jacob’s sons had done (Gn 34), could not have escaped the attention of the original hearers/reader.
Later, we read in the Bible that Jacob did not destroy family idols: rather he simply placed them under a tree near Shechem (Gn 35). This whole account is a testimony to the human condition and our willful tendency not to obey God. Jacob, who even had the privilege of a personal revelation from God, still could not totally eliminate idol worship; he played on the edge and placed the idols under a tree rather than destroying them.
The reader/hearer also should have been reminded that Shechem was near the place where Joseph’s brothers sold him into slavery and then concocted a lie to explain Joseph’s absence to their father Jacob (Gn 37)—another example of man’s deceit and deception.
All of these accounts are, in themselves, mini-stories that illustrate the human condition and how incapable we are of making a lasting promise to God. As a result, we are in need of rescue and restoration and only God, with His patience, could develop and execute a plan, seen throughout Bible history, for accomplishing a restoration that did not rely on man’s fallible nature.
Juxtaposed against the human failings, lies and deceits, the hearer/reader’s attention was brought to the fact that Shechem was where God reminded the people that He is faithful. Having given Abram the promise of the land, the Israelites were to remember that promise by going to Shechem, building an altar worshipping and re-reading God’s Law. This would refresh in the minds of the Israelites how God had led them out of bondage as He had promised and into a land He had promised. The rededication ceremony was accomplished and is described in Joshua 8. Following the conquest, Joshua again assembled the people at Shechem where he reviewed God’s promises and Israel’s obligations, eliciting from the people an agreement that they would “serve the Lord our God and obey Him” (Jos 24:24). This promise was another one that was repeatedly broken as revealed in the succeeding books of the Old Testament.
Earlier in Israel’s history Joseph, as he lay dying in Egypt, reminded the people that God would lead them to the land He had promised to Abraham, Isaac and his father Jacob. He asked that when they did return, they “carry my bones up from this place” (Gn 50:25). This was fulfilled in Joshua 24:32 when the body of Joseph was placed in a tomb in Shechem.
The Hebrew hearer/reader would also remember that Shechem became the center for the idolatrous worship practices that occurred following Israel’s capture by the Assyrians. Importing peoples from other lands and exporting Jewish believers, syncretism of pagan beliefs and Jewish practices resulted in a corrupted form of worship that became centered at Shechem and on Mt. Gerizim by people who were known as Samaritans. They chose to be worshippers of other gods despite their earlier promise in Joshua 24.

Ruins of a fifth century AD octagonal church on Mt. Gerizim, view north. The church, dedicated to Mary, was built on top of a temple built by the Samaritans in the late fifth century BC. John Hyrcanus destroyed the temple in the late second century BC. The small domed building at the northeast corner, the tomb of an Arab sheikh, is the structure visible from Jacob’s well in the valley below. IAA.
I believe the author of John wanted the reader and hearer to recognize and associate Shechem with God’s eternal unbroken promises, man’s corrupted state, the need for a Rescuer and how a Rescuer had been promised throughout history. In John 4 the Rescuer is revealed. The Samaritan woman makes known the promise: “I know that Messiah is coming (He who is called Christ); when that One comes, He will declare all things to us.” And the Rescuer, Jesus, replied that the Messiah was at hand: “I Who speak to you am He” (Jn 4:26)!
The Samaritan woman’s response was to immediately run into the village, leaving her water jar behind, and tell everyone that the Rescuer was there. What glorious news! The Samaritans rushed to the well, welcomed Him and exclaimed that Jesus was the Rescuer, “the Savior of the world” (Jn 4:42).
It should challenge us to remember that shortly after Jesus’ declaration that He was Messiah, He would complete the promise and achieve the rescue through His death, burial and ascension. As He prepared His disciples for their duties, He told them that they would be His “witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:8). The story of Shechem and the Samaritan region had come full circle—from the promises to the Patriarchs to fulfillment of salvation as heard by the woman at the well and declared to the disciples.
Now we have the contextual history of Shechem. It is apparent that the original hearer/reader of John’s Gospel fully understood how Shechem had been a focal point of God’s unbroken promises and man’s fallibility. Hopefully, for the reader of this essay, all pieces of the puzzle of Shechem can now be understood and assembled so one can see the finished picture. And what a wonderful picture it is!
Footnotes
1. The author wishes to express his appreciation to Dr. James C. Martin for permission to use the photographs credited to him in this article.
2. For a discussion of geographical criteria that make for strategic locations in ancient Israel, see Hansen 1991.
3. For these dates, see Davis 1975: 29.
4. For a brief discussion of how this date is derived, see Hansen 2003: 80.
5. See Wood 1997 for his explanation of this unusual situation.
6. For a more thorough discussion of the Amarna tablets and the identity of the Habiru, see Archer 1994: 288–95; Wood 1995 and 2003: 269–71.
7. For a description of the modern Samaritans and how they practice Passover, see Bolen 2001.
Bibliography
Archer, Gleason L.
1994 A Survey of Old Testament Introduction, new and revised ed. Chicago: Moody.
Bolen, Todd
2001 Samaritan Passover. Bible and Spade 14: 41–42.
Campbell, Edward F.
1993 Shechem. Pp. 1345–54 in The New Encyclopedia of Archaeological Excavations in the Holy Land4, ed. Ephraim Stern. New York: Simon & Schuster.
Davis, John J.
1975 Paradise to Prison: Studies in Genesis. Grand Rapids MI: Baker.
Dever, William G.
1994 Monumental Architecture in Ancient Israel in the Period of the United Monarchy. Bible and Spade 7: 68–87.
Greenwold, Douglas
2004 Zechariah & Elizabeth: Persistent Faith in a Faithful God. Rockville MD: Bible-in-Context Ministries.
Hansen, David G.
1991 The Case of Meggido [sic]. Archaeology and Biblical Research 4: 84–93.
2003 Large Cities that Have Walls up to the Sky: Canaanite Fortifications in the Late Bronze I Period.Bible and Spade 16: 78–88.
Hess, Richard S.
1993 Smitten Ant Bites Back: Rhetorical Forms in the Amarna Correspondence from Shechem. Pp. 95–111 in Verses in Ancient Near Eastern Prose, eds. Johannes C. de Moor and Wilfred G.E. Watson, Alter Orient und Altes Testament 42. Kevelaer, Germany: Butzon & Bercker.
Magen, Itzhak
1993 Neapolis. Pp. 1354–59 in The New Encyclopedia of Archaeological Excavations in the Holy Land4, ed. Ephraim Stern. New York: Simon & Schuster.
2001 The Sacred Precinct on Mount Gerizim. Bible and Spade 14:37–40.
Seger, Joe D.
1997 Shechem. Pp. 19–23 in The Oxford Encyclopedia of Archaeology in the Near East 5, ed. Eric M. Myers. New York: Oxford University Press.
Shea, William H.
1992 The Burial of Jacob: A New Correlation Between Genesis 50 and an Egyptian Inscription.Archaeology and Biblical Research 5:33–44.
Stager, Lawrence E.
2003 The Shechem Temple where Abimelech Massacred a Thousand. Biblical Archaeological Review28.4:26–35, 68–69.
Stefanovic, Zdravko
1992 Jacob’s Well. Pp. 608–609 in The Anchor Bible Dictionary 3, ed. David N. Freedman. New York: Doubleday.
Toombs, Lawrence E.
1992 Shechem. Pp. 1174–86 in The Anchor Bible Dictionary 5, ed, David N. Freedman. New York: Doubleday.
Wood, Bryant G.
1995 Reexamining The Late Bronze Era: An Interview with Bryant Wood by Gordon Govier. Bible and Spade 8: 47–53.
1997 The Role of Shechem in the Conquest of Canaan. Pp 245–56 in To Understand the Scriptures: Essays in Honor of William H. Shea, ed. David Merling. Berrien Springs MI: Institute of Archaeology/Siegfried H. Horn Archaeological Museum.
1999 The Search for Joshua’s Ai: Excavations at Kh. el-Maqatir. Bible and Spade 12:21–30.
21
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Investigating Bart Ehrman’s Top Ten Troublesome Bible Verses

120On the final page of the paperback edition of Misquoting Jesus, Bart Ehrman famously listed the “Top Ten Verses That Were Not Originally in the New Testament.” In an effort to discredit the reliability of the New Testament text, Ehrman offered this list to demonstrate the existence of many late insertions in the text. He found this reality troubling as a young man, and eventually walked away from his Christian faith as a result:

“The Bible began to appear to me as a very human book. Just as human scribes had copied, and changed, the texts of scripture, so too had human authors originally written the texts of scripture. This was a human book from beginning to end.”  (from Misquoting Jesus)

Let’s take a look at Ehrman’s list of troublesome verses and examine how they impact the reliability of the New Testament text:

1 John 5:7
There are three that bear witness in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit, and these three are one.

John 8:7
Let the one who is without sin among you be the first to cast a stone at her.

John 8:11
Neither do I condemn you. Go and sin no more.

Luke 22:44
In his anguish Jesus began to pray more earnestly, and his sweat became like great drops of blood falling to the ground.

Luke 22:20
And in the same way after supper Jesus took the cup and said, “This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood.“

Mark 16:17
These signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will cast out demons and they will speak with new tongues.

Mark 16:18
And they will take up snakes in their hands, and if they drink poison it will not harm them, and they will lay their hands on the sick and they will become well.

John 5:4
For an angel of the Lord went down at certain times into the pool and disturbed the waters; and whoever was the first to step in when the water was disturbed was healed of whatever disease he had.

Luke 24:12
But Peter rose up and ran to the tomb, and stooping down to look in, he saw the linen clothes by themselves. And he went away to his own home, marveling at what had happened.

Luke 24:51
And when Jesus blessed them he departed from them and he was taken up into heaven

While this list may seem large (and even surprising for those of us who haven’t examined the presence of textual variants in the New Testament), I think this list does little to impact the reliability of the text. In fact, I think Ehrman is profiting from the unfamiliarity that most Christians have with the presence of textual variants. The list does seem shocking and daunting if you’ve never taken the time to examine matters such as these. But if you stop and think about it and examine each verse listed here, the impact is actually very minimal. I recognize four truths about these verses:

The Verses are Designated Earlier
Seven of these passages (John 8:7, John 8:11, Luke 22:44, Luke 22:20, Mark 16:17, Mark 16:18 and John 5:4) are already clearly designated in my Bible (I’m using the ESV for this blog post). It’s not as though these specious verses are hidden; most modern translations do an excellent job of including everything, then identifying those verses that are variants. Check it out for yourself. You’ll see that these verses, like many others in the text, have been clearly marked.

The Verses are Described Elsewhere
Three of these passages (Luke 22:20, Luke 24:12 and Luke 24:51) are simply reiterations of information that is given to us in other gospels. So, although these verses could be removed from Luke, their claims are found elsewhere in passages that are uncontested (see Matthew 26:28, Mark 14:24, John 20:3-7, Acts 1:9-11).

The Verses are Decidedly Extraneous
That leaves only one verse on Ehrman’s list (1 John 5:7) that begs for explanation. But even if this verse can’t be reconciled, it’s clearly extraneous. The doctrine of the Trinity it addresses is found elsewhere in the scripture. Like other scribal variants, it may have been included by a scribe to make the doctrine clearer, but with all the other Biblical evidence for the triune nature of God, this verse has no impact on our understanding of the Trinity. The superfluous nature of this verse is similar to the vast majority of all Biblical textual variants; they have no impact on the theological or historical claims of the text.

The Verses are Detected Easily
Perhaps most importantly, these late entries were easy to detect, given the large number of ancient Biblical manuscripts we possess. By comparing these texts, we are able to determine which verses should not be in our Bible today, and the same discipline that allows us to determine what is specious, allows us to determine what is special. The skill set that allows us to identify what doesn’t belong is the very same skill set that allows us to identify what does belong.

I’ve written a lot more about this issue in a chapter in my book entitled, “Separating Artifacts from Evidence.” It turns out that Ehrman has the ability to complain about the existence of these passages only because we happen to possess the accurate methodology to remove them from consideration in the first place. As a result, we ought to have even more confidence that we possess documents today that are a reliable reflection of what was originally written thousands of years ago.

J. Warner Wallace is a Cold-Case Detective, a Christian Case Maker, and the author of Cold-Case Christianity

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Ivar Giaever

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Ivar Giæver
Ivar Giaever.jpg
Born April 5, 1929 (age 85)
Bergen, Norway
Nationality Norway, USA (1964)
Fields Physics
Alma mater Norwegian Institute of Technology,
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Known for Solid-state physics
Notable awards Oliver E. Buckley Condensed Matter Prize (1965)
Nobel Prize in Physics (1973)

Ivar Giaever (Norwegian: Giæver; born April 5, 1929) is a physicist who shared the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1973 with Leo Esaki and Brian Josephson “for their discoveries regarding tunnelling phenomena in solids“.[1] Giaever’s share of the prize was specifically for his “experimental discoveries regarding tunnelling phenomena in superconductors“.[2] Giaever is an institute professor emeritus at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, a professor-at-large at the University of Oslo, and the president of Applied Biophysics.[3]

Early life and education

Giaever earned a degree in mechanical engineering from the Norwegian Institute of Technology in Trondheim in 1952. In 1954, he emigrated from Norway to Canada, where he was employed by the Canadian division of General Electric. He moved to the United States two years later, joining General Electric’s Corporate Research and Development Center in Schenectady, New York, in 1958. He has lived in Niskayuna, New York, since then, taking up US citizenship in 1964. While working for General Electric, Giaever earned a Ph.D. at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 1964.[4]

The Nobel Prize

The work that led to Giaever’s Nobel Prize was performed at General Electric in 1960. Following on Esaki’s discovery of electron tunnelling in semiconductors in 1958, Giaever showed that tunnelling also took place in superconductors, demonstrating tunnelling through a very thin layer of oxide surrounded on both sides by metal in a superconducting or normal state.[5] Giaever’s experiments demonstrated the existence of an energy gap in superconductors, one of the most important predictions of the BCS theory of superconductivity, which had been developed in 1957.[6] Giaever’s experimental demonstration of tunnelling in superconductors stimulated the theoretical physicist Brian Josephson to work on the phenomenon, leading to his prediction of the Josephson effect in 1962. Esaki and Giaever shared half of the 1973 Nobel Prize, and Josephson received the other half.[1]

Giaever’s research later in his career was mainly in the field of biophysics. In 1969, he researched Biophysics for a year as a fellow at Clare Hall, University of Cambridge, through a Guggenheim Fellowship, and he continued to work in this area after he returned to the US.[4]

He has co-signed a letter from over 70 Nobel laureate scientists to the Louisiana Legislature supporting the repeal of Louisiana’s creationism law, the Louisiana Science Education Act.[7]

Other prizes

In addition to the Nobel Prize, he has also been awarded the Oliver E. Buckley Prize by the American Physical Society in 1965, and the Zworykin Award by the National Academy of Engineering in 1974.[3] He is a member of the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters.[8]

Views on global warming

According to The Wall Street Journal, Giaever has described man-made global warming as a “new religion,”[9] with references to a report released by the U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee (minority), led by Jim Inhofe, in March 2009.[10] The report states that Giaever has said “I am a skeptic… Global warming has become a new religion.”[10][11]

In a featured story in Norway’s largest newspaper, Aftenposten, 26 June 2011, Giaever stated, “It is amazing how stable temperature has been over the last 150 years.”[12]

On 13 September 2011, though honored as a Fellow, Giaever resigned from the American Physical Society over its official position noting: “In the APS it is ok to discuss whether the mass of the proton changes over time and how a multi-universe behaves, but the evidence of global warming is incontrovertible?”[13]

As part of the 62nd Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting, Giaever referred to agreement with the evidence of climate change as a “religion” and commented on the significance of the apparent rise in temperature when he stated “What does it mean that the temperature has gone up 0.8 degrees? Probably nothing.” Referring to the selection of evidence in his presentation, Giaever stated “I pick and choose when I give this talk just the way the previous speaker [Mario Molina] picked and chose when he gave his talk.” Giaever concluded his presentation with a pronouncement: “Is climate change pseudoscience? If I’m going to answer the question, the answer is: absolutely.”[14][15]

________________

_________

The PseudoScience of CO2 Based Climate

Published on May 11, 2013

The 1973 Nobel Prize co-winner in physics Dr. Ivar Giaever discusses and exposes the “pseudoscience” of global warming (now marketed as “climate change”), the fraud that carbon dioxide is a driver of climate, the laughable hype comparison of “little frogs versus big humans,” and on and on.

His Nobel Prize bio page is here :
http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prize…

For an excellent review of the POSITIVE effects of INCREASED atmospheric carbon dioxide please review three YouTube videos P2qVNK6zFgE and q3Oyl97foy8 and LPNiBVU2QIA.

Ivar GiaeverIvar Giaever

Ivar Giaever
Eminent Scholar, Nobel Laureate, Physics, 1973 Chair, Physics Executive Advisory Board Ph.D., theoretical physics, 1964, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

In  the first video below in the 28th clip in this series are his words and  my response is below them. 

50 Renowned Academics Speaking About God (Part 1)

Another 50 Renowned Academics Speaking About God (Part 2)

A Further 50 Renowned Academics Speaking About God (Part 3)

I grew up at Bellevue Baptist Church under the leadership of our pastor Adrian Rogers and I read many books by the Evangelical Philosopher Francis Schaeffer and have had the opportunity to contact many of the evolutionists or humanistic academics that they have mentioned in their works. Many of these scholars have taken the time to respond back to me in the last 20 years and some of the names  included are  Ernest Mayr (1904-2005), George Wald (1906-1997), Carl Sagan (1934-1996),  Robert Shapiro (1935-2011), Nicolaas Bloembergen (1920-),  Brian Charlesworth (1945-),  Francisco J. Ayala (1934-) Elliott Sober (1948-), Kevin Padian (1951-), Matt Cartmill (1943-) , Milton Fingerman (1928-), John J. Shea (1969-), , Michael A. Crawford (1938-), Paul Kurtz (1925-2012), Sol Gordon (1923-2008), Albert Ellis (1913-2007), Barbara Marie Tabler (1915-1996), Renate Vambery (1916-2005), Archie J. Bahm (1907-1996), Aron S “Gil” Martin ( 1910-1997), Matthew I. Spetter (1921-2012), H. J. Eysenck (1916-1997), Robert L. Erdmann (1929-2006), Mary Morain (1911-1999), Lloyd Morain (1917-2010),  Warren Allen Smith (1921-), Bette Chambers (1930-),  Gordon Stein (1941-1996) , Milton Friedman (1912-2006), John Hospers (1918-2011), Michael Martin (1932-), John R. Cole  (1942-),   Wolf Roder,  Susan Blackmore (1951-),  Christopher C. French (1956-)  Walter R. Rowe Thomas Gilovich (1954-), Paul QuinceyHarry Kroto (1939-), Marty E. Martin (1928-), Richard Rubenstein (1924-), James Terry McCollum (1936-), Edward O. WIlson (1929-), Lewis Wolpert (1929), Gerald Holton (1922-), Martin Rees (1942-), Alan Macfarlane (1941-),  Roald Hoffmann (1937-), Herbert Kroemer (1928-), Thomas H. Jukes (1906-1999), Glenn BranchGeoff Harcourt (1931-), and  Ray T. Cragun (1976-).

Quote from Ivar Giaever in the popular You Tube video “Renowned Acaemics Speaking About God:

 

Are you a religious person?
“Absolutely not.”
…Can you say more about that?
“Well, you could say all sorts things about that and offend people maybe but the fact is I’m not religious and I don’t like religion and I think religion is to blame for a lot of the ills in this world.”

My response to that assertion is below:

October 15, 2015

Professor Ivar Giaever, c/o Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Dear Dr. Giaever,

Recently I read the article, “Deniers” in their midst – All is not well in Nobel Prize Land, by  (dated ) and here is portion of it:

Dr. Ivar Giaever, a Nobel Prize-Winner for physics in 1973, declared his dissent on man-made global warming claims at a Nobel forum on July 1, 2015.

“I would say that basically global warming is a non-problem,” Dr. Giaever announced during his speech titled “Global Warming Revisited.

Image result for ivar giaever

Giaever, a former professor at the School of Engineering and School of Science Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, received the 1973 physics Nobel for his work on quantum tunneling. Giaever delivered his remarks at the 65th Nobel Laureate Conference in Lindau, Germany, which drew 65 recipients of the prize. Giaever is also featured in thenew documentary “Climate Hustle”, set for release in Fall 2015.

Giaever was one of President Obama’s key scientific supporters in 2008 when he joinedover 70 Nobel Science Laureates in endorsing Obama in an October 29, 2008 open letter. Giaever signed his name to the letter which read in part: “The country urgently needs a visionary leader…We are convinced that Senator Barack Obama is such a leader, and we urge you to join us in supporting him.”

But seven years after signing the letter, Giaever now mocks President Obama for warning that “no challenge poses a greater threat to future generations than climate change”. Giaever called it a “ridiculous statement.”

“That is what he said. That is a ridiculous statement,” Giaever explained.

_________________

I am glad that you don’t bow to peer pressure!!!!

In the popular You Tube video “Renowned Academics Speaking About God” you made the following statement:

Are you a religious person?
“Absolutely not.”
…Can you say more about that?
“Well, you could say all sorts things about that and offend people maybe but the fact is I’m not religious and I don’t like religion and I think religion is to blame for a lot of the ills in this world.”

I would agree with you that many people have done evil things in the name of religion, and let me make a few points about that. My view is that of evangelical Christianity. The crusades were done by Catholics. However, the point could be made that atheists and those who hold their views have killed far more in the last 100 years than all the Catholics through all the centuries. Take a look at this article by Ravi Zacharias below. 

Atheists Charge: “What about the thousands who have been killed in the name of religion?”

by Ravi Zacharias (from his book “Can Man Live Without God”)

One of the great blind spots of a philosophy that attempts to disavow God is its unwillingness to look into the face of the monster it has begotten and own up to being its creator. It is here that living without God meets its first insurmountable obstacle, the inability to escape the infinite reach of a moral law. Across scores of campuses in our world I have seen outraged students or faculty members waiting with predatorial glee to pounce upon religion, eager to make the oft-repeated but ill-understood charge: What about the thousands who have been killed in the name of religion?

The emotion-laden question is not nearly as troublesome to answer if the questioner first explains all the killing that has resulted from those who have lived without God, such as Hitler, Stalin, Mussolini, Mao, et al. The antitheist is quick to excoriate all religious belief by generically laying the blame at the door of all who claim to be religious, without distinction. By the same measure, why is there not an equal enthusiasm to distribute blame for violence engendered by some of the irreligious?

But the rub goes even deeper than that. The attackers of religion have forgotten that these large-scale slaughters at the hands of antitheists were the logical outworking of their God-denying philosophy. Contrastingly, the violence spawned by those who killed in the name of Christ would never have been sanctioned by the Christ of the Scriptures. Those who killed in the name of God were clearly self-serving politicizers of religion, an amalgam Christ ever resisted in His life and teaching. Their means and their message were in contradiction to the gospel. Atheism, on the other hand provides the logical basis for an autonomous, domineering will, expelling morality. Darwin himself predicted this slippery slope of violence if evolutionary theory were translated into a philosophy of life. Nietzche talked of the enshrouding darkness that had fallen over mankind–he saw its ramifications. The Russian novelist Fyodor Dostoevski repeatedly wrote of the hell that is let loose when man comes adrift from his Creators moorings and himself becomes god–he understood the consequences. Now, asproof positive, we witness our culture as a whole in a mindless drift toward lawlessness–we live with the inexorable result of autonomies in collision.

In case you fear that I am carrying this too far, I present the following for your consideration. It is not always easy in life to pinpoint moments that dramatically change you for the future. Sometimes, however, in retrospect we are able to look back upon such a moment and say, “For me, that was it.” Let me introduce you to one such experience for me.

A few years ago when I was speaking in Poland I was taken to the Nazi death camps of Auschwitz and Birkenau. I shall never be the same. Many, many times in silence I have reflected upon my first visit there, where the words of Hitler envisioning a generation of young people without a conscience are aptly hung on a wall, grimly reminding the visitor of the hell unleashed when his goal was realized.

I freed Germany from the stupid and degrading fallacies of conscience and morality…. We will train young people before whom the world will tremble. I want young people capable of violence–imperious, relentless and cruel.

On display for all to behold are thousands of pounds of women’s hair, retrieved and marketed as a commodity by the Nazi exterminators, architects of the final solution that sent multitudes to the gas ovens. The incredible reminders–from rooms filled with pictures of abused and castrated children to the toiletries and clothing that are stacked to the ceiling–cast an overwhelming pall of somberness upon the visitor.

That this was conceived and nurtured in the mind of the most educated nation at that time in history and brought forth on the soil that had also given birth to the Enlightenment almost defies belief. But it was atheism’s legitimate offspring. Man was beginning to live without God.

________

As a scientist you don’t accept anything on “blind faith” and I don’t blame you at all. Let me further respond with the words of Francis Schaeffer from his book HE IS THERE AND HE IS NOT SILENT (the chapter is entitled, “Is Propositional Revelation Nonsense?”

Of course, if the infinite uncreated Personal communicated to the finite created personal, he would not exhaust himself in his communication; but two things are clear here:
 
1. Even communication between once created person and another is not exhaustive, but that does not mean that for that reason it is not true. 
 
2. If the uncreated Personal really cared for the created personal, it could not be thought unexpected for him to tell the created personal things of a propositional nature; otherwise as a finite being the created personal would have numerous things he could not know if he just began with himself as a limited, finite reference point. In such a case, there is no intrinsic reason why the uncreated Personal could communicate some vaguely true things, but could not communicate propositional truth concerning the world surrounding the created personal – for fun, let’s call that science. Or why he could not communicate propositional truth to the created personal concerning the sequence that followed the uncreated Personal making everything he made – let’s call that history. There is no reason we could think of why he could not tell these two types of propositional things truly. They would not be exhaustive; but could we think of any reason why they would not be true? The above is, of course, what the Bible claims for itself in regard to propositional revelation.
DOES THE BIBLE ERR IN THE AREA OF SCIENCE AND HISTORY? The Bible is true from cover to cover and can be trusted. Charles Darwin himself longed for evidence to come forward from the area of  Biblical Archaeology  but so much has  advanced  since Darwin wrote these words in the 19th century! Here are some of the posts I have done in the past on the subject and if you like you could just google these subjects: 1. The Babylonian Chronicleof Nebuchadnezzars Siege of Jerusalem, 2. Hezekiah’s Siloam Tunnel Inscription.13. The Pilate Inscription14. Caiaphas Ossuary14 B Pontius Pilate Part 214c. Three greatest American Archaeologists moved to accept Bible’s accuracy through archaeology.

Recently I had the opportunity to come across a very interesting article by Michael Polanyi,LIFE TRANSCENDING PHYSICS AND CHEMISTRY, in the magazine CHEMICAL AND ENGINEERING NEWS, August 21, 1967, and I also got hold of a 1968 talk by Francis Schaeffer based on this article. Polanyi’s son John actually won the 1986 Nobel Prize for Chemistry. This article by Michael Polanyi concerns Francis Crick and James Watson and their discovery of DNA in 1953. Polanyi noted:

Mechanisms, whether man-made or morphological, are boundary conditions harnessing the laws of in
animate nature, being themselves irreducible to those laws. The pattern of organic bases in DNA which functions as a genetic code is a boundary condition irreducible to physics and chemistry. Further controlling principles of life may be represented as a hierarchy of boundary conditions extending, in the case of man, to consciousness and responsibility.

I would like to send you a CD copy of this talk because I thought you may find it very interesting. It includes references to not only James D. Watson, and Francis Crick but also  Maurice Wilkins, Erwin Schrodinger, J.S. Haldane (his son was the famous J.B.S. Haldane), Peter Medawar, and Barry Commoner. I WONDER IF YOU EVER HAD THE OPPORTUNITY TO RUN ACROSS THESE MEN OR ANY OF THEIR FORMER STUDENTS?

Below is a portion of the transcript from the CD and Michael Polanyi’s words are in italics while Francis Schaeffer’s words are not:

During the past 15 years, I have worked on these questions, achieving gradually stages of the argument presented in this paper. These are:

  1. Machines are not formed by physical and chemical equilibration. 
  2. The functional terms needed for characterizing a machine cannot for defined in terms of physics and chemistry. 

Polanyi is talking about specific machines but I would include the great cause and effect machine of the external universe that functions on a cause and effect basis. So if this is true of the watch,  then you have to ask the same question about the total machine that Sartre points out that is there, and that is the cause and effect universe.Polanyi doesn’t touch on this and he doesn’t have an answer, and I know people who know him. Yet nevertheless he sees the situation exactly as it is. And I would point out what  Alfred North Whitehead (1861–1947) and J. Robert Oppenheimer (1904–1967) said and that it needed a Christian consensus to produce modern science because it was the Christian consensus that gave the concept that the world being created by a reasonable God and that it could be found out and discovered by reason. So the modern science when it began with Copernicus and Galileo and all these men conceived that the cause and effect system of the universe would be there on the basis that it was created by a reasonable God, and that is Einstein’s big dilemma and that is why he became a mystic at the end of life…What Polanyi says here can be extended to the watch, and the bridge and the automobile but also to the big cause and effect universe.You have to give some kind of answer to this too and I would say this to Michael Polanyi if Iever have a chance to talk to him.You need another explanation too Polanyi.

3. No physical chemical topography will tell us that we have a machine before us and what its functions are. 

In other words, if you only know the chemicals and the physics you don’t know if you have a machine. It may just be junk. So nobody in the world could tell if it was a machine from merely the “physical chemical-topography.” You have to look at the machineness of the machine to say it is a machine. You could take an automobile and smash it into a small piece of metal with a giant press and it would have the same properties of the automobile, but the automobile would have disappeared. The automobile-ness of the automobile is something else than the physical chemical-topography.

4. Such a topography can completely identify one particular specimen of a machine, but can tell us nothing about a class of machines. 

5. And if we are asked how the same solid system can be subject to control by two independent principles, the answer is: The boundary conditions of the system are free of control by physics and can be controlled therefore by nonphysical, purely technical, principles. 

In other words you have to explain the engineering by something other than merely physical principles and of course it is. You can’t explain the watchness of the watch merely by this. You can explain it on the basis of engineering principles in which the human mind conceives of a use for the machine and produces the machine. But notice where Polanyi is and that is in our argument of a need of personality in the universe though Polanyi doesn’t draw this final conclusion, though I thought that is the only explanation.

If you look at the watch a man has made it for the purpose of telling time. When you see the automobile a man has made it for the purpose of locomotion and the explanation of the difference is not in the chemical and physical properties but in the personality of a man to make these two different machines for two different purposes out of the same material. So what you are left here is the need of personality in the universe.

____

Thank you for your time. I know how busy you are and I want to thank you for taking the time to read this letter.

Sincerely,

Everette Hatcher,

P.O. Box 23416, Little Rock, AR 72221, United States, cell ph 501-920-5733, everettehatcher@gmail.com

The Bible and Archaeology – Is the Bible from God? (Kyle Butt 42 min)

Below is a piece of that evidence given by Francis Schaeffer concerning the accuracy of the Bible.

TRUTH AND HISTORY (chapter 5 of WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE HUMAN RACE?, under footnote #96)

Now we should Now we should turn to one of the most spectacular of modern archaeological discoveries, Ebla. While digging on an extensive mound forty-four miles south of Aleppo in Syria in 1974/75, an Italian archaeological expedition came across another of the vast libraries to which we referred earlier. A small room within the palace suddenly yielded up a thousand tablets and fragments, while another not far away a further fourteen thousand. There lay row upon row, just where they had fallen from the burning wooden shelves when the palace was destroyed about 2250 B.C.

What secrets did these tablets reveal? Without wishing to seem unnecessarily repetitive, we can say immediately that Ebla represents yet another discovery from the ancient past which does not make it harder for us to believe the Bible, but quite the opposite. And remember, these tablets date from well before the time of Abraham. The implications of this discovery will not be exhausted by even the turn of this century. The translation and publication of such a vast number of tablets will take years and years. It is important to understand that the information we now have from Ebla does not bear directly upon the Bible. As far as has been discovered, there is no certain reference to individuals mentioned in the Bible, though many names are similar, for example, Ishmael, Israel, and so forth. Biblical place names like Megiddo, Hazor, Lachish are also referred to. What is clear, however, is that certain individuals outside the Bible who previously had been considered fictitious by the critical scholars, simply because of their antiquity, are now quite definitely historic characters.

For example, the Assyrian King Tudiya (approximately 2500 B.C.) had already been known from the Assyrian king list composed about 1000 B.C. His name appeared at the head of the list, but his reality was dismissed by many scholars as “free invention, or a corruption.”  In fact, he was very much a real king of Ebla. Thus, the genealogical tradition of the earlier parts of the Assyrian king list has been vindicated. It preserves faithfully, over a period of 1,500 years, the memory of real, early people who were Assyrian rulers. What we must learn from this is that when we find similar material in the Old Testament, such as the genealogical list in Genesis 7 or the patriarchal stories, we should be careful not to reject them out of hand, as the scholars have so often done. We must remember that these ancient cultures were just as capable of recording their histories as we are.

The most important aspect of the Ebla discoveries is undoubtedly their language. This has been found to be ancient West-Semitic language to which such languages as Hebrew, Canaanite, Ugaritic, Aramaic, and Moabite are related. Thus we have now, for the first time, the whole “tradition” of West-Semitic language stretching over 2,500 years–something which was previously true only of Egyptian and Akkadian, to which Babylonian and Assyrian belong.

Up until quite recently, therefore, this meant that scholars could argue that many words which appeared in the Hebrew Old Testament were what they called “late.” What they meant by this was that these words indicated a much later authorship than the time stated by the text itself. It would be as if one of us pretended to write a sixteenth-century  book using such modern words as AUTOMOBILE and COMPUTER. In the case of the Pentateuch, for example, this was one of the arguments which led some scholars to suggest that it was not Moses who wrote these books, as the Bible says, but anonymous scribes from approximately 1,000 years later. The discoveries at Ebla have shown that many of these words were not late, but very early. Here is yet another example of a claimed “scientific” approach that merely reflects the philosophical prejudices of the scholars involved.

 
Archaeology Confirms The Biblical Account

        Oftentimes people are not told about the archaeological discoveries that document the truths written in the Bible. We are told that science and the Bible disagree. But as is really the case: True science and the Bible do not contradict each other. We supply many short articles which show that archaeology confirms God’s Written Word, The Bible.

        The below articles are excerpted from various Archaeological trade journals and publications including Light on Archaeology magazine, and Associates for Biblical Research.

Archaeology: The study of human antiquities – usually as
discovered by excavation.  (Chambers English Dictionary)

Below we supply articles from the Associates for Biblical Research and Light on Archaeology to point the reader to the wealth of information that has literally been unearthed by the spades of patient, dedicated people which helps to confirm the historical accuracy of the Bible – God’s Word. Many sights exist in the lands mentioned in the Bible where artifacts of many kinds reveal the life and customs of the people who lived there many centuries earlier.

The Bible has been ridiculed and dismissed in recent times as inaccurate and unreliable. However, students of Biblical Archaeology have found that as the science of archaeology becomes more sophisticated, much more evidence is coming to light regularly that says just the opposite! Finds have been made that show us how historically accurate God’s Word really is.

For those of us who have been privileged to visit Israel – God’s Land, it is thrilling to look down and examine the shaft that Joab climbed up to take the city of Jebus (later Jerusalem) for King David.[2 Sam 5.7-9 : 1 Chron 11.5-7] It is exciting to wade through King Hezekiah’s tunnel, from the spring of Gihon to the pool of Siloam (Silwan). [2 Kings 20.20] It is fascinating to examine the actual scrolls found at Qumram by the Dead Sea and to walk around the Citadel of Jerusalem; the remains of Herod’s fortress palace where Christ was paraded, mocked and then condemned by Pilate.[ Luke 23.1-25] All of these places give us visible evidence of the accuracy of the Biblical record.

The following series of articles are only a small sample of the information available, but, hopefully, the object will be achieved to direct the reader to further studies of the deeper truths revealed in the Bible.

So with your Bible in hand, you are invited to examine the evidence to see whether the work of the archaeologist confirms or denies God’s Word.

NOTE:  We supply the below articles with the gracious permission of Bible Archeology.  They also provide a free magazine as well, the address for signing up for that is supplied at the end of this study. 

TEL MARDIKH: Have you heard of the Empire of Ebla? It is not surprising if you have not – for modern history text books make no references to this kingdom, which existed from approximately 2,300 B.C. to 1,700 B.C.

In fact, only students of ancient Middle East history are likely to have come across the name of Ebla, and even then, only in passing – not realizing the extent and power of this empire which stretched around the shores of the eastern Mediterranean for nearly 600 years. Now the re-writing of our history books will again be necessary to fill the gaps in our knowledge of the past; for there has been a remarkable archaeological discovery in Syria between Aleppo and Damascus, on the site of Tel Mardikh.

On this site of a 4,000 year old fortification, perhaps the most remarkable ‘find’ of the century has been uncovered – 18,000 fired clay and rock tablets relating to the economy, administration and international dealings of this once great empire of Ebla.

Popular history of the third millennium B.C. is taught with little regard for the Biblical account of the customs, manners, social behavior and level of education of the people of this period.

Now for the first time it appears that there exists a record contemporary with the Biblical account of the times, and so different is the picture it reveals from that of accepted historical suppositions, that the linguist in charge of the tablets, Dr Pettinato, has claimed that this discovery calls for a fundamental revision of third millennium B.C. culture and history.

The tablets were discovered in some out-buildings of a palace situated within the vast fortifications around the top of the tel. Many of the buildings, due to their solid roofs of some two feet in thickness, are intact and free of debris. Most of the walls are plastered a gray-green color, with murals in good condition. The two rooms in which the tablets were discovered had been shelved with wood but, due to time and the weight of the tablets, this shelving had collapsed with some breakages; but the tablets, many containing 3,000 lines of cuneiform writing, are in readable condition.

The tablets tell of an ’empire’ and names many areas under the control of Ebla, such as Sinai, Assyria, Lebanon, Cyprus, Carchemish, Lachish, Gaza, Hazor and others. Bible students will readily recognize that many of these names appear in the Old Testament record and it is interesting to note that of the three languages of the tablets, an hitherto unknown tongue, closely resembling Hebrew is prevalent and many common names recorded by the people of Ebla are easily recognizable to Bible readers.

  • AB-RA-MU – (ABRAM)
  • E-SA-UM – (ESAU)
  • IS-MA-EL – (ISHMAEL)
  • IS-RA-EL – (ISRAEL)
  • MI-KA-EL – (MICHAEL)
  • MI-KA-YAH – (MICAIAH)
  • YE-RU-SA-LU-UM – (JERUSALEM)

Further, many common Ebla words are the same as Hebrew, such as ‘and’ (WA), ‘perfect’ (TAMMIN), ‘fall’ (NAPAL) and ‘good’ (TOB).

But perhaps most interesting of all are the quite extensive descriptions of the Creation and of the Flood, so often derided by modern historians.

The tablets are being translated and published and their contents will be invaluable in enlarging our understanding of the world of 2,000 BC; for they reveal a sophisticated system of international and civil law, including treaties of trade between Ebla and her neighbors within the framework of political agreements. These have been likened to the present-day Treaty of Rome between the EC members.

In addition, long lists of zoological, geographic and mathematical material have been found and there are weather forecasts in some meteorological texts. Records were made of visiting Mesopotamian scribes and mathematicians.

Proverbs and literary works are also preserved, including a set of bilingual tablets for the purpose of teaching translation, besides thousands of matching words. There seems no doubt that the tablets of Tel Mardikh contain the worlds oldest vocabulary lists – a source of no little consternation to students of ancient languages; for it is widely held that Biblical Hebrew is an evolved language, used during the first millennium BC Isaiah, the Hebrew prophet however, had indicated that his language was ‘the language of Canaan’, [Isaiah 19v18] and the Tel Mardikh tablets now support the Biblical reference – Hebrew has now to be recognized as one of the world’s oldest languages (and perhaps the language spoken by Noah, Canaan being the grandson of Noah through Ham). [ Genesis 10v6]

Interesting for Bible students is the fact that the Bible records that Abram, together with his father Terah, left the city of Ur in southern Mesopotamia to go into Canaan. They traveled as far as Haran and dwelt there. [Genesis 11v31,32] Haran was some 300 miles north east from the site at Tell Mardikh and appears to be named after Haran, Abram’s brother. [ Genesis 11v27 ] On his journey to Canaan, Abram in all probability, passed through Tel Mardikh, the then centre of trade and commerce, and of course, the language of Abram would be that of Ebla and of Canaan.

The other two languages written in cuneiform and discovered at Tel Mardikh are Sumerian and Akkadian. It had previously been assumed that the earliest cuneiform languages, were these two languages, developed in east and south Mesopotamia and the possibility that Syrian and Canaanite communications existed in cuneiform had been ruled out (with the exception of Ugaritic texts). But the Tel Mardikh tablets now reveal Sumerian scripts pre-dating those found in eastern Mesopotamia – throwing accepted theories of language origins to the winds. The Akkadian scripts found at Tel Mardikh refer mainly to the later period of the history of Ebla. One of the deities worshipped at Mardikh was Marduk or the Merodak of the Bible. It appears to be basically the same name as Nimrod, the ‘mighty hunter before the Lord’ mentioned in Genesis 10v9 Nimrod, who founded the city of Babel, appears to have been deified and the cult continued long after Ebla had ceased. The main consonants of Nimrod are M R D, hence:

  • N i M R o D
  • M a R D ikh
  • M e R o D ak

Tel Mardikh was then the place of worship for Mardikh.

The finds of Tel Mardikh and the Empire of Ebla, so far have only revealed confirmation of the scriptural narrative.

Related posts:

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 53 THE BEATLES (Part E, Stg. Pepper’s and John Lennon’s search in 1967 for truth was through drugs, money, laughter, etc & similar to King Solomon’s, LOTS OF PICTURES OF JOHN AND CYNTHIA) (Feature on artist Yoko Ono)

The John Lennon and the Beatles really were on a long search for meaning and fulfillment in their lives  just like King Solomon did in the Book of Ecclesiastes. Solomon looked into learning (1:12-18, 2:12-17), laughter, ladies, luxuries, and liquor (2:1-2, 8, 10, 11), and labor (2:4-6, 18-20). He fount that without God in the picture all […]

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 52 THE BEATLES (Part D, There is evidence that the Beatles may have been exposed to Francis Schaeffer!!!) (Feature on artist Anna Margaret Rose Freeman )

______________   George Harrison Swears & Insults Paul and Yoko Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds- The Beatles The Beatles:   I have dedicated several posts to this series on the Beatles and I don’t know when this series will end because Francis Schaeffer spent a lot of time listening to the Beatles and talking […]

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 51 THE BEATLES (Part C, List of those on cover of Stg.Pepper’s ) (Feature on artist Raqib Shaw )

  The Beatles in a press conference after their Return from the USA Uploaded on Nov 29, 2010 The Beatles in a press conference after their Return from the USA. The Beatles:   I have dedicated several posts to this series on the Beatles and I don’t know when this series will end because Francis […]

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 50 THE BEATLES (Part B, The Psychedelic Music of the Beatles) (Feature on artist Peter Blake )

__________________   Beatles 1966 Last interview I have dedicated several posts to this series on the Beatles and I don’t know when this series will end because Francis Schaeffer spent a lot of time listening to the Beatles and talking and writing about them and their impact on the culture of the 1960’s. In this […]

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 49 THE BEATLES (Part A, The Meaning of Stg. Pepper’s Cover) (Feature on artist Mika Tajima)

_______________ The Beatles documentary || A Long and Winding Road || Episode 5 (This video discusses Stg. Pepper’s creation I have dedicated several posts to this series on the Beatles and I don’t know when this series will end because Francis Schaeffer spent a lot of time listening to the Beatles and talking and writing about […]

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE PART 48 “BLOW UP” by Michelangelo Antonioni makes Philosophic Statement (Feature on artist Nancy Holt)

_______________ Francis Schaeffer pictured below: _____________________ I have included the 27 minute  episode THE AGE OF NONREASON by Francis Schaeffer. In that video Schaeffer noted,  ” Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band…for a time it became the rallying cry for young people throughout the world. It expressed the essence of their lives, thoughts and their feelings.” How Should […]

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 47 Woody Allen and Professor Levy and the death of “Optimistic Humanism” from the movie CRIMES AND MISDEMEANORS Plus Charles Darwin’s comments too!!! (Feature on artist Rodney Graham)

Crimes and Misdemeanors: A Discussion: Part 1 ___________________________________ Today I will answer the simple question: IS IT POSSIBLE TO BE AN OPTIMISTIC SECULAR HUMANIST THAT DOES NOT BELIEVE IN GOD OR AN AFTERLIFE? This question has been around for a long time and you can go back to the 19th century and read this same […]

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE PART 46 Friedrich Nietzsche (Featured artist is Thomas Schütte)

____________________________________ Francis Schaeffer pictured below: __________ Francis Schaeffer has written extensively on art and culture spanning the last 2000years and here are some posts I have done on this subject before : Francis Schaeffer’s “How should we then live?” Video and outline of episode 10 “Final Choices” , episode 9 “The Age of Personal Peace and Affluence”, episode 8 […]

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 45 Woody Allen “Reason is Dead” (Feature on artists Allora & Calzadilla )

Love and Death [Woody Allen] – What if there is no God? [PL] ___________ _______________ How Should We then Live Episode 7 small (Age of Nonreason) #02 How Should We Then Live? (Promo Clip) Dr. Francis Schaeffer 10 Worldview and Truth Two Minute Warning: How Then Should We Live?: Francis Schaeffer at 100 Francis Schaeffer […]

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___________________________________ Francis Schaeffer pictured below: ____________________________ Francis Schaeffer “BASIS FOR HUMAN DIGNITY” Whatever…HTTHR Dr. Francis schaeffer – The flow of Materialism(from Part 4 of Whatever happened to human race?) Dr. Francis Schaeffer – The Biblical flow of Truth & History (intro) Francis Schaeffer – The Biblical Flow of History & Truth (1) Dr. Francis Schaeffer […]

RESPONDING TO HARRY KROTO’S BRILLIANT RENOWNED ACADEMICS!! Part 47 ( Jonathan Haidt psychologist New York Univ, “Historical…claims of religions are mostly false”)

 

It’s Hard to Gross Out a Libertarian: Jonathan Haidt on Sex, Politics, and Disgust

Jonathan Haidt on Libertarian Psychology

Nothing is Good or Bad

Published on Apr 23, 2012

Jonathan Haidt speaks about happiness and how nothing is good or bad.

Searching for Meaning

_____________________________

On November 21, 2014 I received a letter from Nobel Laureate Harry Kroto and it said:

…Please click on this URL http://vimeo.com/26991975

and you will hear what far smarter people than I have to say on this matter. I agree with them.

Harry Kroto

_________________

Fig 9. The Sussex team from left: (back) Ala’a Abdul Sada and Jon Hare (front) HK, Roger Taylor and David Walton and Dr. Harry Kroto is the 1996 Chemistry Nobel Prize Winner and he is seen the photo below on the left seated:

________________

Jonathan Haidt

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jonathan Haidt
Jonathan Haidt 2012 03.jpg
Born October 19, 1963 (age 51)
New York City
Residence New York City
Fields Social psychology, moral psychology, positive psychology,cultural psychology
Institutions University of Virginia (1995-2011),
New York University—Stern School of Business (current)
Alma mater Yale University (B.A.),
University of Pennsylvania(Ph.D.)
Thesis Moral Judgment, Affect, and Culture, or, Is it Wrong to Eat Your Dog? (1992)
Doctoral advisor Jonathan Baron, Alan Fiske

Jonathan David Haidt (pronounced “height”) is a social psychologist and Professor of Ethical Leadership at New York University’s Stern School of Business.[1] His academic specialization is the psychology of morality and the moral emotions. Haidt is the author of two books: The Happiness Hypothesis: Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom (2006) and The Righteous Mind: Why Good People are Divided by Politics and Religion (2012), which became a New York Times bestseller.[2] He was named one of the “top global thinkers” by Foreign Policy Magazine,[3] and one of the “top world thinkers” by Prospect magazine.[4] His three TED talks have been viewed more than 3 million times.[5]

_____________________________

In  the second video below in the 76th clip in this series are his words and  my response is below them. 

50 Renowned Academics Speaking About God (Part 1)

Another 50 Renowned Academics Speaking About God (Part 2)

A Further 50 Renowned Academics Speaking About God (Part 3)

I grew up at Bellevue Baptist Church under the leadership of our pastor Adrian Rogers and I read many books by the Evangelical Philosopher Francis Schaeffer and have had the opportunity to contact many of the evolutionists or humanistic academics that they have mentioned in their works. Many of these scholars have taken the time to respond back to me in the last 20 years and some of the names  included are  Ernest Mayr (1904-2005), George Wald (1906-1997), Carl Sagan (1934-1996),  Robert Shapiro (1935-2011), Nicolaas Bloembergen (1920-),  Brian Charlesworth (1945-),  Francisco J. Ayala (1934-) Elliott Sober (1948-), Kevin Padian (1951-), Matt Cartmill (1943-) , Milton Fingerman (1928-), John J. Shea (1969-), , Michael A. Crawford (1938-), Paul Kurtz (1925-2012), Sol Gordon (1923-2008), Albert Ellis (1913-2007), Barbara Marie Tabler (1915-1996), Renate Vambery (1916-2005), Archie J. Bahm (1907-1996), Aron S “Gil” Martin ( 1910-1997), Matthew I. Spetter (1921-2012), H. J. Eysenck (1916-1997), Robert L. Erdmann (1929-2006), Mary Morain (1911-1999), Lloyd Morain (1917-2010),  Warren Allen Smith (1921-), Bette Chambers (1930-),  Gordon Stein (1941-1996) , Milton Friedman (1912-2006), John Hospers (1918-2011), Michael Martin (1932-), John R. Cole  (1942-),   Wolf Roder,  Susan Blackmore (1951-),  Christopher C. French (1956-)  Walter R. Rowe Thomas Gilovich (1954-), Paul QuinceyHarry Kroto (1939-), Marty E. Martin (1928-), Richard Rubenstein (1924-), James Terry McCollum (1936-), Edward O. WIlson (1929-), Lewis Wolpert (1929), Gerald Holton (1922-), Martin Rees (1942-), Alan Macfarlane (1941-),  Roald Hoffmann (1937-), Herbert Kroemer (1928-), Thomas H. Jukes (1906-1999), Glenn BranchGeoff Harcourt (1931-), and  Ray T. Cragun (1976-).

___________

JONATHAN HAIDT  QUOTE

Here are a few statements that most all of us would agree with. A world with gods should be measurably different. Secondly, we can’t be certain no supernatural entities exist, but our world does not look like a world with gods. Thirdly, Historical, cosmological and casual claims of religions are mostly false. Fourthly, Religion is a natural phenomenon and should be studied with methods of science.

_____________

Let me make a few observations to start out. First, the first two points are basically opinion about the same point and there is no way to prove “our world does not look like a world with gods.” However, the third point is very key point we can find some agreement on at least in principle. I do agree that if the historical claims of the Bible are shown to be false then the God of the Bible is not worth considering, but is that the case? In the past on my blog I have considered several historical claims the Bible has made and it seems to me that there is a vast amount of archaeology that seems to support the historical claims of the Bible. Here are just a few examples:  1. The Babylonian Chronicleof Nebuchadnezzars Siege of Jerusalem2. Hezekiah’s Siloam Tunnel Inscription. 3. Taylor Prism (Sennacherib Hexagonal Prism)4. Biblical Cities Attested Archaeologically. 5. The Discovery of the Hittites6.Shishak Smiting His Captives7. Moabite Stone8Black Obelisk of Shalmaneser III9A Verification of places in Gospel of John and Book of Acts., 9B Discovery of Ebla Tablets10. Cyrus Cylinder11. Puru “The lot of Yahali” 9th Century B.C.E.12. The Uzziah Tablet Inscription13. The Pilate Inscription14. Caiaphas Ossuary14 B Pontius Pilate Part 214c. Three greatest American Archaeologists moved to accept Bible’s accuracy through archaeology.

The Bible and Archaeology – Is the Bible from God? (Kyle Butt 42 min)

Below is a letter to Dr. Haidt on this same subject:

April 10, 2015

Dr. Jonathan Haidt, New York University,

Dear Dr. Haidt,

I really like the fact that you are a Libertarian. Milton Friedman was a hero of mine and I had the privilege  of corresponding with him. Let me start off by saying that this is not the first time that I have written you. Earlier I shared several letters of correspondence I had with Carl Sagan, and Antony Flew. Both men were strong believers in evolution as you are today. Instead of talking to you about their views today I wanted to discuss the views of you and Charles Darwin.

TWO THINGS MADE ME THINK OF YOU RECENTLY. On April 5, 2015 at the Fellowship Bible Church Easter morning service in Little Rock, Arkansas our pastor Mark Henry described DOUBTING THOMAS and that description made me think of you.  Moreover, your skeptical view towards  Christianity reminds me of CHARLES DARWIN’S growing doubts throughout his life on these same theological issues such as skepticism in reaction to the claims of the Bible!!!

I’m an evangelical Christian and you are a secularist but I am sure we can both agree with the apostle Paul when he said in First Corinthians 15 that if Christ did not rise from the dead then Christians are to be most pited!!!! I attended Easter services this week and this issue came up and Mark Henry asserted that there is plenty of evidence that indicates that the Bible is historically accurate. Did you know that CHARLES DARWIN thought about this very subject quite a lot?

I just finished reading the online addition of the book Darwin, Francis ed. 1892. Charles Darwin: his life told in an autobiographical chapter, and in a selected series of his published letters [abridged edition]. London: John Murray. There are several points that Charles Darwin makes in this book that were very wise, honest, logical, shocking and some that were not so wise. The Christian Philosopher Francis Schaeffer once said of Darwin’s writings, “Darwin in his autobiography and in his letters showed that all through his life he never really came to a quietness concerning the possibility that chance really explained the situation of the biological world. You will find there is much material on this [from Darwin] extended over many manufacturers years that constantly he was wrestling with this problem.”

JONATHAN HAIDT  QUOTE FROM 2007 “BEYOND  BELIEF CONFERENCE”

Here are a few statements that most all of us would agree with. A world with gods should be measurably different. Secondly, we can’t be certain no supernatural entities exist, but our world does not look like a world with gods. Thirdly, Historical, cosmological and casual claims of religions are mostly false. Fourthly, Religion is a natural phenomenon and should be studied with methods of science.

You said, “A world with gods should be measurably different.” Why is that? In Romans 1 the Bible tells us that everyone in their heart knows that God exists. With that in mind then why do we find it difficult to believe that almost everyone is out there trying to reacch out to

Quotes like this indicate to me that you are a DOUBTING THOMAS type. When I read the book  Charles Darwin: his life told in an autobiographical chapter, and in a selected series of his published letters, I also read  a commentary on it by Francis Schaeffer and I wanted to both  quote some of Charles Darwin’s own words to you and then include the comments of Francis Schaeffer on those words. I have also enclosed a CD with two messages from Adrian Rogers and Bill Elliff concerning Darwinism.

The passages which here follow are extracts, somewhat abbreviated, from a part of the Autobiography, written in 1876, in which my father (Charles, this book was put together by Francis Darwin) gives the history of his religious views:—

CHARLES DARWIN’S WORDS:

But now the grandest scenes would not cause any such convictions  and feelings to rise in my mind. It may be truly said that I am like a man who has become colour-blind and the universal belief by men of the existence of redness makes my present loss of perception of not the least value as evidence. This argument would be a valid one if all men of all races had the same inward conviction of the existence of one God; but we know that this is very far from being the case. Therefore I cannot see that such inward convictions and feelings are of any weight as evidence of what really exists. The state of mind which grand scenes formerly excited in me, and which was intimately connected with a belief in God, did not essentially differ from that which is often called the sense of sublimity; and however difficult it may be to explain the genesis of this sense, it can hardly be advanced as an argument for the existence of God, any more than the powerful though vague and similar feelings excited by music.

Francis Schaeffer observed:

You notice that Darwin had already said he had lost his sense of music [appreciation]. However, he brings forth what I think is a false argument. I usually use it in the area of morality. I mention that materialistic anthropologists point out that different people have different moral [systems]  and this is perfectly true, but what the materialist anthropologist can never point out is why man has a sense of moral motion and that is the problem here. Therefore, it is perfectly true that men have different concepts of God and different concepts of moral motion, but Darwin himself is not satisfied in his own position and WHERE DO THEY [MORAL MOTIONS] COME FROM AT ALL? So you are wrestling with the same dilemma here in this reference as you do in the area of all things human. For these men it is not the distinction that raises the problem, but it is the overwhelming factor of the existence of the humanness of man, the mannishness of man. The simple fact is he saw that you are shut up to either God or chance, and he said basically “I don’t see how it could be chance” and at the same time he looks at a mountain or listens to a piece of music it is a testimony that really chance isn’t sufficient enough. So gradually with the sensitivity of his own inborn self conscience he kills it. He deliberately  kills the beauty so it doesn’t argue with his theory. Maybe I am being false to Darwin here. Who can say about Darwin’s subconscious thoughts? It seems to me though this is exactly the case. What you find is a man who can’t stand the argument of the external beauty and the mannishness of man so he just gives it up in this particular place.

_________________

Let make 2 points here. First, the Bible teaches that everyone knows in their heart that God exists because of the beauty of God’s creation and the conscience that God has planted in everyone’s heart (Romans 1).

Second, all humans have moral motions.

 Francis Schaffer in his book THE GOD WHO IS THERE addresses these same issues:

“[in Christianity] there is a sufficient basis for morals. Nobody has ever discovered a way of having real “morals” without a moral absolute. If there is no moral absolute, we are left with hedonism (doing what I like) or some form of the social contract theory (what is best for society as a a hole is right). However, neither of these alternative corresponds to the moral motions that men have. Talk to people long enough and deeply enough, and you will find that they consider some things are really right and something are really wrong. Without absolutes, morals as morals cease to exist, and humanistic mean starting from himself is unable to find the absolute he needs. But because the God of the Bible is there, real morals exist. Within this framework I can say one action is right and another wrong, without talking nonsense.” 117

Now back to my first point, concerning ROMANS CHAPTER ONE. It has been found that when atheists are asked with a polygraph machine if they believe in God and  they so “NO” the polygraph indicates they are lying. Claude Brown actually tested this with over 15,000 job applicants over a long period of time in his trucking line during the 1970’s and most of the 1980’s.   

Romans 1:18-19 (Amplified Bible) ” For God’s wrath and indignation are revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who in their wickedness REPRESS and HINDER the truth and make it inoperative. For that which is KNOWN about God is EVIDENT to them and MADE PLAIN IN THEIR INNER CONSCIOUSNESS, because God  has SHOWN IT TO THEM,”(emphasis mine). At the 37 minute mark on the CD that I sent you today Adrian Rogers noted, “”There is no such thing anywhere on earth as a true atheist. If a man says he doesn’t believe in God, then he is lying. God has put his moral consciousness into every man’s heart, and a man has to try to kick his conscience to death to say he doesn’t believe in God.”

ROMANS CHAPTER ONE IS RIGHT WHEN IT SAYS THAT GOD PUT THAT CONSCIENCE IN EVERYONE’S HEART THAT BEARS WITNESS THAT HE CREATED THEM FOR A PURPOSE AND THAT IS WHY THE VAST MAJORITY OF PEOPLE IN THE WORLD ARE ATTEMPTING TO SEEK OUT GOD!!!!

As a secularist you believe that it is sad indeed that millions of Christians are hoping for heaven but no heaven is waiting for them. Paul took a close look at this issue too:

I Corinthians 15 asserts:

12 But if it is preached that Christ has been raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? 13 If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. 14 And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith. 15 More than that, we are then found to be false witnesses about God, for we have testified about God that he raised Christ from the dead. But he did not raise him if in fact the dead are not raised. 16 For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised either. 17 And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. 18 Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost. 19 If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied.

I sent you a CD that starts off with the song DUST IN THE WIND by Kerry Livgren of the group KANSAS which was a hit song in 1978 when it rose to #6 on the charts because so many people connected with the message of the song. It included these words, “All we do, crumbles to the ground though we refuse to see, Dust in the Wind, All we are is dust in the wind, Don’t hang on, Nothing lasts forever but the Earth and Sky, It slips away, And all your money won’t another minute buy.”

Kerry Livgren himself said that he wrote the song because he saw where man was without a personal God in the picture. Solomon pointed out in the Book of Ecclesiastes that those who believe that God doesn’t exist must accept three things. FIRST, death is the end and SECOND, chance and time are the only guiding forces in this life.  FINALLY, power reigns in this life and the scales are never balanced. The Christian can  face death and also confront the world knowing that it is not determined by chance and time alone and finally there is a judge who will balance the scales.

Both Kerry Livgren and the bass player Dave Hope of Kansas became Christians eventually. Kerry Livgren first tried Eastern Religions and Dave Hope had to come out of a heavy drug addiction. I was shocked and elated to see their personal testimony on The 700 Club in 1981 and that same  interview can be seen on You Tube today. Livgren lives in Topeka, Kansas today where he teaches “Diggers,” a Sunday school class at Topeka Bible ChurchDAVE HOPE is the head of Worship, Evangelism and Outreach at Immanuel Anglican Church in Destin, Florida.

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.com, http://www.thedailyhatch.org, cell ph 501-920-5733, Box 23416, LittleRock, AR 72221, United States

You can hear DAVE HOPE and Kerry Livgren’s stories from this youtube link:

(part 1 ten minutes)

(part 2 ten minutes)

Kansas – Dust in the Wind (Official Video)

Uploaded on Nov 7, 2009

Pre-Order Miracles Out of Nowhere now at http://www.miraclesoutofnowhere.com

About the film:
In 1973, six guys in a local band from America’s heartland began a journey that surpassed even their own wildest expectations, by achieving worldwide superstardom… watch the story unfold as the incredible story of the band KANSAS is told for the first time in the DVD Miracles Out of Nowhere.

_____________________________

Adrian Rogers on Darwinism

Related posts:

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 53 THE BEATLES (Part E, Stg. Pepper’s and John Lennon’s search in 1967 for truth was through drugs, money, laughter, etc & similar to King Solomon’s, LOTS OF PICTURES OF JOHN AND CYNTHIA) (Feature on artist Yoko Ono)

The John Lennon and the Beatles really were on a long search for meaning and fulfillment in their lives  just like King Solomon did in the Book of Ecclesiastes. Solomon looked into learning (1:12-18, 2:12-17), laughter, ladies, luxuries, and liquor (2:1-2, 8, 10, 11), and labor (2:4-6, 18-20). He fount that without God in the picture all […]

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 52 THE BEATLES (Part D, There is evidence that the Beatles may have been exposed to Francis Schaeffer!!!) (Feature on artist Anna Margaret Rose Freeman )

______________   George Harrison Swears & Insults Paul and Yoko Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds- The Beatles The Beatles:   I have dedicated several posts to this series on the Beatles and I don’t know when this series will end because Francis Schaeffer spent a lot of time listening to the Beatles and talking […]

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 51 THE BEATLES (Part C, List of those on cover of Stg.Pepper’s ) (Feature on artist Raqib Shaw )

  The Beatles in a press conference after their Return from the USA Uploaded on Nov 29, 2010 The Beatles in a press conference after their Return from the USA. The Beatles:   I have dedicated several posts to this series on the Beatles and I don’t know when this series will end because Francis […]

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 50 THE BEATLES (Part B, The Psychedelic Music of the Beatles) (Feature on artist Peter Blake )

__________________   Beatles 1966 Last interview I have dedicated several posts to this series on the Beatles and I don’t know when this series will end because Francis Schaeffer spent a lot of time listening to the Beatles and talking and writing about them and their impact on the culture of the 1960’s. In this […]

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 49 THE BEATLES (Part A, The Meaning of Stg. Pepper’s Cover) (Feature on artist Mika Tajima)

_______________ The Beatles documentary || A Long and Winding Road || Episode 5 (This video discusses Stg. Pepper’s creation I have dedicated several posts to this series on the Beatles and I don’t know when this series will end because Francis Schaeffer spent a lot of time listening to the Beatles and talking and writing about […]

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE PART 48 “BLOW UP” by Michelangelo Antonioni makes Philosophic Statement (Feature on artist Nancy Holt)

_______________ Francis Schaeffer pictured below: _____________________ I have included the 27 minute  episode THE AGE OF NONREASON by Francis Schaeffer. In that video Schaeffer noted,  ” Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band…for a time it became the rallying cry for young people throughout the world. It expressed the essence of their lives, thoughts and their feelings.” How Should […]

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 47 Woody Allen and Professor Levy and the death of “Optimistic Humanism” from the movie CRIMES AND MISDEMEANORS Plus Charles Darwin’s comments too!!! (Feature on artist Rodney Graham)

Crimes and Misdemeanors: A Discussion: Part 1 ___________________________________ Today I will answer the simple question: IS IT POSSIBLE TO BE AN OPTIMISTIC SECULAR HUMANIST THAT DOES NOT BELIEVE IN GOD OR AN AFTERLIFE? This question has been around for a long time and you can go back to the 19th century and read this same […]

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE PART 46 Friedrich Nietzsche (Featured artist is Thomas Schütte)

____________________________________ Francis Schaeffer pictured below: __________ Francis Schaeffer has written extensively on art and culture spanning the last 2000years and here are some posts I have done on this subject before : Francis Schaeffer’s “How should we then live?” Video and outline of episode 10 “Final Choices” , episode 9 “The Age of Personal Peace and Affluence”, episode 8 […]

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 45 Woody Allen “Reason is Dead” (Feature on artists Allora & Calzadilla )

Love and Death [Woody Allen] – What if there is no God? [PL] ___________ _______________ How Should We then Live Episode 7 small (Age of Nonreason) #02 How Should We Then Live? (Promo Clip) Dr. Francis Schaeffer 10 Worldview and Truth Two Minute Warning: How Then Should We Live?: Francis Schaeffer at 100 Francis Schaeffer […]

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 44 The Book of Genesis (Featured artist is Trey McCarley )

___________________________________ Francis Schaeffer pictured below: ____________________________ Francis Schaeffer “BASIS FOR HUMAN DIGNITY” Whatever…HTTHR Dr. Francis schaeffer – The flow of Materialism(from Part 4 of Whatever happened to human race?) Dr. Francis Schaeffer – The Biblical flow of Truth & History (intro) Francis Schaeffer – The Biblical Flow of History & Truth (1) Dr. Francis Schaeffer […]

RESPONDING TO HARRY KROTO’S BRILLIANT RENOWNED ACADEMICS!! Part 45 J. L. Schellenberg, Professor of Philosophy, Mt. Saint Vincent Univ, “The Hiddenness argument”

On November 21, 2014 I received a letter from Nobel Laureate Harry Kroto and it said:

…Please click on this URL http://vimeo.com/26991975

and you will hear what far smarter people than I have to say on this matter. I agree with them.

Harry Kroto

_________________

Below you have picture of Dr. Harry Kroto:

______________

J. L. Schellenberg on the program CLOSER TO TRUTH pictured below:

J. L. Schellenberg

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

J. L. Schellenberg (born 1959) is a Canadian philosopher best known for his work in philosophy of religion. He has a DPhil in Philosophy from the University of Oxford, and is Professor of Philosophy at Mount Saint Vincent University and Adjunct Professor in the Faculty of Graduate Studies at Dalhousie University.[1]

Schellenberg’s early development of an argument from divine hiddenness for atheism has been influential.[2] In a subsequent series of books he has arrived at a form of religion called ‘skeptical religion’ which he regards as being compatible with atheism.[3] In 2013 the Cambridge University Press journal Religious Studies published a special issue devoted to critical discussion of Schellenberg’s philosophy of religion.[4]

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In  the third video below in the 127th clip in this series are his words and  my response is below them. 

50 Renowned Academics Speaking About God (Part 1)

Another 50 Renowned Academics Speaking About God (Part 2)

A Further 50 Renowned Academics Speaking About God (Part 3)

Quote from J. L. Schellenberg on the program CLOSER TO TRUTH:

 That is the starting point for the hiddenness argument It starts with the claim that if God exists then God is unsurprisingly loving or perfectly loving and we are talking about the personal idea of an ultimate Divine reality. So if God exists, God is perfectly loving, So if God is perfectly loving then if anyone that is capable of a relationship with God and is not resisting a relationship will be in the position to participate in a relationship with God. To be in the position you have to believe that God exists and so anyone who is capable and nonresistant will believe that God exists, but yet that is not the case. You have plenty of nonresistant non-belief. Therefore, there is no perfectly loving God. Therefore, there is no God.  

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I think that God has imprinted on our souls a conviction that God exists and that is the reason so many people have tried to get a relationship with the creator and that is why we have found that every society acts with moral motions. I expanded on this in my letter to Dr. Schellenberg which is shown below:

February 23, 2015

J.L. Schellenberg, dept of Philosophy, Mount Saint Vincent University,

Dear Dr. J.L. Schellenberg,

As you can tell from reading this letter I am an evangelical Christian and I have made it a hobby of mine to correspond with scientists or academics like yourself over the last 25 years. Some of those who corresponded back with me have been  Ernest Mayr (1904-2005), George Wald (1906-1997), Carl Sagan (1934-1996),  Robert Shapiro (1935-2011), Nicolaas Bloembergen (1920-),  Brian Charlesworth (1945-),  Francisco J. Ayala (1934-) Elliott Sober (1948-), Kevin Padian (1951-), Matt Cartmill (1943-) , Milton Fingerman (1928-), John J. Shea (1969-), , Michael A. Crawford (1938-), Paul Kurtz (1925-2012), Sol Gordon (1923-2008), Albert Ellis (1913-2007), Barbara Marie Tabler (1915-1996), Renate Vambery (1916-2005), Archie J. Bahm (1907-1996), Aron S “Gil” Martin ( 1910-1997), Matthew I. Spetter (1921-2012), H. J. Eysenck (1916-1997), Robert L. Erdmann (1929-2006), Mary Morain (1911-1999), Lloyd Morain (1917-2010),  Warren Allen Smith (1921-), Bette Chambers (1930-),  Gordon Stein (1941-1996) , Milton Friedman (1912-2006), John Hospers (1918-2011), Michael Martin (1932-), John R. Cole  (1942-),   Wolf Roder,  Susan Blackmore (1951-),  Christopher C. French (1956-)  Walter R. Rowe Thomas Gilovich (1954-), Paul QuinceyHarry Kroto (1939-), Marty E. Martin (1928-), Richard Rubenstein (1924-), James Terry McCollum (1936-), Edward O. WIlson (1929-), Lewis Wolpert (1929), Gerald Holton (1922-), Martin Rees (1942-), Alan Macfarlane (1941-),  Roald Hoffmann (1937-), Herbert Kroemer (1928-), Thomas H. Jukes (1906-1999), Glenn BranchGeoff Harcourt (1931-) and  Ray T. Cragun (1976-). I would consider it an honor to add you to this very distinguished list. 

I just finished reading the online addition of the book Darwin, Francis ed. 1892. Charles Darwin: his life told in an autobiographical chapter, and in a selected series of his published letters [abridged edition]. London: John Murray. There are several points that Charles Darwin makes in this book that were very wise, honest, logical, shocking and some that were not so wise. The Christian Philosopher Francis Schaeffer once said of Darwin’s writings, “Darwin in his autobiography and in his letters showed that all through his life he never really came to a quietness concerning the possibility that chance really explained the situation of the biological world. You will find there is much material on this [from Darwin] extended over many many years that constantly he was wrestling with this problem.”

Recently I ran across the following quote from you:

 That is the starting point for the hiddenness argument It starts with the claim that if God exists then God is unsurprisingly loving or perfectly loving and we are talking about the personal idea of an ultimate Divine reality. So if God exists, God is perfectly loving, So if God is perfectly loving then if anyone that is capable of a relationship with God and is not resisting a relationship will be in the position to participate in a relationship with God. To be in the position you have to believe that God exists and so anyone who is capable and nonresistant will believe that God exists, but yet that is not the case. You have plenty of nonresistant non-belief. Therefore, there is no perfectly loving God. Therefore, there is no God.  

 ——–

Let make 2 points here. First, the Bible teaches that everyone knows in their heart that God exists because of the beauty of God’s creation and the conscience that God has planted in everyone’s heart (Romans 1).

Second, all humans have moral motions.

 Francis Schaffer in his book THE GOD WHO IS THERE addresses these same issues:

“[in Christianity] there is a sufficient basis for morals. Nobody has ever discovered a way of having real “morals” without a moral absolute. If there is no moral absolute, we are left with hedonism (doing what I like) or some form of the social contract theory (what is best for society as a a hole is right). However, neither of these alternative corresponds to the moral motions that men have. Talk to people long enough and deeply enough, and you will find that they consider some things are really right and something are really wrong. Without absolutes, morals as morals cease to exist, and humanistic mean starting from himself is unable to find the absolute he needs. But because the God of the Bible is there, real morals exist. Within this framework I can say one action is right and another wrong, without talking nonsense.” 117

Now back to my first point, concerning ROMANS CHAPTER ONE. It has been found that when atheists are asked with a polygraph machine if they believe in God and  they so “NO” the polygraph indicates they are lying. Claude Brown actually tested this with over 15,000 job applicants over a long period of time in his trucking line during the 1970’s and most of the 1980’s.   

Romans 1:18-19 (Amplified Bible) ” For God’s wrath and indignation are revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who in their wickedness REPRESS and HINDER the truth and make it inoperative. For that which is KNOWN about God is EVIDENT to them and MADE PLAIN IN THEIR INNER CONSCIOUSNESS, because God  has SHOWN IT TO THEM,”(emphasis mine).  At the 37 minute mark on the CD that I sent you today Adrian Rogers noted,”“There is no such thing anywhere on earth as a true atheist. If a man says he doesn’t believe in God, then he is lying. God has put his moral consciousness into every man’s heart, and a man has to try to kick his conscience to death to say he doesn’t believe in God.”

ROMANS CHAPTER ONE IS RIGHT WHEN IT SAYS THAT GOD PUT THAT CONSCIENCE IN EVERYONE’S HEART THAT BEARS WITNESS THAT HE CREATED THEM FOR A PURPOSE AND THAT IS WHY THE VAST MAJORITY OF PEOPLE IN THE WORLD ARE ATTEMPTING TO SEEK OUT GOD!!!!

Instead of addressing the issue of which morality is right today, I just what to ask you why you think materialist anthropologists are not able to explain why humans always have a sense of moral motions? No tribe of people have ever been found without moral motions!!!!!

When I read the book  Charles Darwin: his life told in an autobiographical chapter, and in a selected series of his published letters, I also read  a commentary on it by Francis Schaeffer and I wanted to both  quote some of Charles Darwin’s own words to you and then include the comments of Francis Schaeffer on those words. I have also enclosed a CD with two messages from Adrian Rogers and Bill Elliff concerning Darwinism. THESE COMMENTS BY SCHAEFFER ON THE MORAL MOTIONS PROMPTED ME TO WRITE YOU TODAY. 

The passages which here follow are extracts, somewhat abbreviated, from a part of the Autobiography, written in 1876, in which my father gives the history of his religious views:—

CHARLES DARWIN’S WORDS:

But now the grandest scenes would not cause any such convictions  and feelings to rise in my mind. It may be truly said that I am like a man who has become colour-blind and the universal belief by men of the existence of redness makes my present loss of perception of not the least value as evidence. This argument would be a valid one if all men of all races had the same inward conviction of the existence of one God; but we know that this is very far from being the case. Therefore I cannot see that such inward convictions and feelings are of any weight as evidence of what really exists. The state of mind which grand scenes formerly excited in me, and which was intimately connected with a belief in God, did not essentially differ from that which is often called the sense of sublimity; and however difficult it may be to explain the genesis of this sense, it can hardly be advanced as an argument for the existence of God, any more than the powerful though vague and similar feelings excited by music.

Francis Schaeffer observed:

You notice that Darwin had already said he had lost his sense of music [appreciation]. However, he brings forth what I think is a false argument. I usually use it in the area of morality. I mention that materialistic anthropologists point out that different people have different moral [systems]  and this is perfectly true, but what the materialist anthropologist can never point out is why man has a sense of moral motion and that is the problem here. Therefore, it is perfectly true that men have different concepts of God and different concepts of moral motion, but Darwin himself is not satisfied in his own position and WHERE DO THEY [MORAL MOTIONS] COME FROM AT ALL? So you are wrestling with the same dilemma here in this reference as you do in the area of all things human. For these men it is not the distinction that raises the problem, but it is the overwhelming factor of the existence of the humanness of man, the mannishness of man. The simple fact is he saw that you are shut up to either God or chance, and he said basically “I don’t see how it could be chance” and at the same time he looks at a mountain or listens to a piece of music it is a testimony that really chance isn’t sufficient enough. So gradually with the sensitivity of his own inborn self conscience he kills it. He deliberately  kills the beauty so it doesn’t argue with his theory. Maybe I am being false to Darwin here. Who can say about Darwin’s subconscious thoughts? It seems to me though this is exactly the case. What you find is a man who can’t stand the argument of the external beauty and the mannishness of man so he just gives it up in this particular place.

As a secularist you believe that it is sad indeed that millions of Christians are hoping for heaven but no heaven is waiting for them. Paul took a close look at this issue too:

I Corinthians 15 asserts:

12 But if it is preached that Christ has been raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? 13 If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. 14 And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith. 15 More than that, we are then found to be false witnesses about God, for we have testified about God that he raised Christ from the dead. But he did not raise him if in fact the dead are not raised. 16 For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised either. 17 And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. 18 Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost. 19 If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied.

I sent you a CD that starts off with the song DUST IN THE WIND by Kerry Livgren of the group KANSAS which was a hit song in 1978 when it rose to #6 on the charts because so many people connected with the message of the song. It included these words, “All we do, crumbles to the ground though we refuse to see, Dust in the Wind, All we are is dust in the wind, Don’t hang on, Nothing lasts forever but the Earth and Sky, It slips away, And all your money won’t another minute buy.”

Kerry Livgren himself said that he wrote the song because he saw where man was without a personal God in the picture. Solomon pointed out in the Book of Ecclesiastes that those who believe that God doesn’t exist must accept three things. FIRST, death is the end and SECOND, chance and time are the only guiding forces in this life.  FINALLY, power reigns in this life and the scales are never balanced. The Christian can  face death and also confront the world knowing that it is not determined by chance and time alone and finally there is a judge who will balance the scales.

Both Kerry Livgren and the bass player Dave Hope of Kansas became Christians eventually. Kerry Livgren first tried Eastern Religions and Dave Hope had to come out of a heavy drug addiction. I was shocked and elated to see their personal testimony on The 700 Club in 1981 and that same  interview can be seen on You Tube today. Livgren lives in Topeka, Kansas today where he teaches “Diggers,” a Sunday school class at Topeka Bible ChurchDAVE HOPE is the head of Worship, Evangelism and Outreach at Immanuel Anglican Church in Destin, Florida.

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.com, http://www.thedailyhatch.org, cell ph 501-920-5733, Box 23416, LittleRock, AR 72221, United States

Is the Bible historically accurate? Here are some of the posts I have done in the past on the subject: 1. The Babylonian Chronicleof Nebuchadnezzars Siege of Jerusalem2. Hezekiah’s Siloam Tunnel Inscription. 3. Taylor Prism (Sennacherib Hexagonal Prism)4. Biblical Cities Attested Archaeologically. 5. The Discovery of the Hittites6.Shishak Smiting His Captives7. Moabite Stone8Black Obelisk of Shalmaneser III9A Verification of places in Gospel of John and Book of Acts., 9B Discovery of Ebla Tablets10. Cyrus Cylinder11. Puru “The lot of Yahali” 9th Century B.C.E.12. The Uzziah Tablet Inscription13. The Pilate Inscription14. Caiaphas Ossuary14 B Pontius Pilate Part 214c. Three greatest American Archaeologists moved to accept Bible’s accuracy through archaeology.

You can hear DAVE HOPE and Kerry Livgren’s stories from this youtube link:

(part 1 ten minutes)

(part 2 ten minutes)

Kansas – Dust in the Wind (Official Video)

Uploaded on Nov 7, 2009

Pre-Order Miracles Out of Nowhere now at http://www.miraclesoutofnowhere.com

About the film:
In 1973, six guys in a local band from America’s heartland began a journey that surpassed even their own wildest expectations, by achieving worldwide superstardom… watch the story unfold as the incredible story of the band KANSAS is told for the first time in the DVD Miracles Out of Nowhere.

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Adrian Rogers on Darwinism

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The Bible and Archaeology – Is the Bible from God? (Kyle Butt 42 min)

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On November 21, 2014 I received a letter from Nobel Laureate Harry Kroto and it said:

…Please click on this URL http://vimeo.com/26991975

and you will hear what far smarter people than I have to say on this matter. I agree with them.

Harry Kroto

_________________

Below you have picture of Dr. Harry Kroto:

3063098-4x3-700x525

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Dr Hermann Hauser CBE


Entrepreneur and Co-Founder, Amadeus Capital Partners

Dr Hermann Hauser CBE is a serial entrepreneur, in his successful history he has founded and co-founded over 20 technology companies in a wide range of technology industries; including Amadeus Capital Partners, Acorn Computers – where he led the development of the BBC Microcomputor, Active Book Company, Virata, Net Products, NetChannel and Cambridge Network Limited. He was also the Vice President of Research at Olivetti and during his tenure there, established a global network of research laboratories.

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In  the third video below in the 130th clip in this series are his words and  my response is below them. 

50 Renowned Academics Speaking About God (Part 1)

Another 50 Renowned Academics Speaking About God (Part 2)

A Further 50 Renowned Academics Speaking About God (Part 3)

I grew up at Bellevue Baptist Church under the leadership of our pastor Adrian Rogers and I read many books by the Evangelical Philosopher Francis Schaeffer and have had the opportunity to contact many of the evolutionists or humanistic academics that they have mentioned in their works. Many of these scholars have taken the time to respond back to me in the last 20 years and some of the names  included are  Ernest Mayr (1904-2005), George Wald (1906-1997), Carl Sagan (1934-1996),  Robert Shapiro (1935-2011), Nicolaas Bloembergen (1920-),  Brian Charlesworth (1945-),  Francisco J. Ayala (1934-) Elliott Sober (1948-), Kevin Padian (1951-), Matt Cartmill (1943-) , Milton Fingerman (1928-), John J. Shea (1969-), , Michael A. Crawford (1938-), Paul Kurtz (1925-2012), Sol Gordon (1923-2008), Albert Ellis (1913-2007), Barbara Marie Tabler (1915-1996), Renate Vambery (1916-2005), Archie J. Bahm (1907-1996), Aron S “Gil” Martin ( 1910-1997), Matthew I. Spetter (1921-2012), H. J. Eysenck (1916-1997), Robert L. Erdmann (1929-2006), Mary Morain (1911-1999), Lloyd Morain (1917-2010),  Warren Allen Smith (1921-), Bette Chambers (1930-),  Gordon Stein (1941-1996) , Milton Friedman (1912-2006), John Hospers (1918-2011), Michael Martin (1932-), John R. Cole  (1942-),   Wolf Roder,  Susan Blackmore (1951-),  Christopher C. French (1956-)  Walter R. Rowe Thomas Gilovich (1954-), Paul QuinceyHarry Kroto (1939-), Marty E. Martin (1928-), Richard Rubenstein (1924-), James Terry McCollum (1936-), Edward O. WIlson (1929-), Lewis Wolpert (1929), Gerald Holton (1922-), Martin Rees (1942-), Alan Macfarlane (1941-),  Roald Hoffmann (1937-), Herbert Kroemer (1928-), Thomas H. Jukes (1906-1999), Glenn BranchGeoff Harcourt (1931-), and  Ray T. Cragun (1976-).

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Interview of Hermann Hauser – 

Uploaded on Aug 27, 2010

An interview of the scientist and entrepreneur – and one of the main figures in the ‘Cambridge Phenomenon’ – Hermann Hauser. Interviewed on 3rd September 2008 by Alan Macfarlane. For a higher quality, downloadable version, with a summary, please see http://www.alanmacfarlane.com

Interview of Hermann Hauser – part 2

Quote from Hermann Hauser (taken from interviewer Alan Macfarlane):

My parents were originally religious in the way that all Austrians were and it was part of our social fabric that we go to church on Sundays; later, as was the case in my school, the Gymnasium in Kufstein, there was a dramatic change in ordinary Austrians’ attitude to religion which also affected the way my parents lived their religious life; during the eight year period that I was at the Gymnasium there was a change from the dominant position of the Catholic church, where the most important person in the school was the priest, not the Head, but who was an irrelevance by the end of that period; people did not become anti-religious but it just disappeared from their live; we stopped going to church but no one really talked about this change; I recently read both Dawkins ‘The God Delusion’ and ‘The Dawkins Delusion?’ which was interesting because it reminded me of my own thoughts in regard to religion; on one hand I found the former quite liberating to say one is an atheist, which I suppose I am, on the other hand I felt he was overdoing it by suggesting one had to fight religion which I could not identify with; I suppose I became a little disillusioned with religion in Austria as it had become social habit rather than something that was thought through; I remember meeting Steve Furber, one of the brightest people who ever worked for me, one of the inventors of the ARM, now Professor at Manchester; he is religious, he is clearly a lot smarter than I am, so if somebody as smart as him believe then it must be valuable to him and I have to respect that…

______________

My first response is to recount my correspondence with the famous evolutionist Ernst Mayr (1904-2005) of Harvard. In his letter to me he basically said that there are many chemists and molecular biologists who find the story of gradual evolution of life totally convincing and that he is sticking with them. NOTICE IN THE STATEMENT BY HERMANN HAUSER THAT HE IS PERPLEXED AT HOW A BRILLIANT MAN LIKE STEVE FURBER CAN BELIEVE IN GOD!!!! Basically Dr. Mayr’s approach is  an appeal to authority in that he is suggesting that we just accept the brilliant scientists’ point of view because they are brilliant scientists and they are smarter than the rest of us.THERE IS A SIMPLE ANSWER THAT I COULD GIVE to both Dr. Mayr and Dr. Hauser which is  a quote from Adrian Rogers which clarifies the situation a great deal:

Did you know that all atheists are not atheists because of intellectual problems? They’re atheists because of moral problems. You say, “But I know some brilliant people who are atheists.” Well, that may be so, but I know some brilliant people who are not. You say, “I know some foolish people who believe in God.” Well, I know everyone who doesn’t believe in God is foolish.

In other words there are brilliant and stupid people on both sides of the fence and it is not an intellectual issue but a moral one. Let’s take a look at the history of science that was handled down to us from Western Europe and take a closer examination of those great men’s religious views and if their religious views were corrosive to their scientific pursuits? This is the accusation of many modern day evolutionists and I discussed this issue at length in my letter below to Dr. Hauser:

December 25, 2014

Dr. Hermann Hauser,

Dear Dr. Hauser,

I spent a whole summer in England in 1979 and it was a very interesting experience for several reasons. I was part of the organization OPERATION MOBILIZATION and we were an Christian Evangelical group that in that summer went to the homes of Muslims and Hindus and shared the gospel with them in the Manchester area. I also spent some time and London and got to attend All Souls Church, Langham Place, and hear the famous John Stott preach and I got to meet Michael Baughen who was the pastor (or Rector as you would say in England) at the time.  Three noteworthy events during that time and one was attending a MANCHESTER UNITED soccer game. Secondly, I met several people who had recently visited with Cat Stevens and they told me he had recently converted to Islam and changed with name to Yusuf Islam. Cat Stevens had performed the song “Morning Has Broken” a few years earlier and it was one of my favorite songs. Thirdly, I got depressed in August because the sun only came out about 4 or 5 times that whole summer in England.

SINCE YOU ARE INTO SOCCER (BRITISH FOOTBALL LIKE ALL BRITS ARE) THEN YOU MAY BE FAMILIAR WITH “EVERTON GOAL KEEPER TIM HOWARD?” He lives in Collierville, Tennessee in his off season time and my niece often sees him at the fitness club where they both belong. We are big fans of the sport. YOU NEED TO GET OUT AND SEE THAT MOVIE about Stephen Hawking called THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING because it was really good!!!

On November 21, 2014 I received a letter from Nobel Laureate Harry Kroto  who I have been corresponding with and it said:

…Please click on this URL http://vimeo.com/26991975

and you will hear what far smarter people than I have to say on this matter. I agree with them.

Harry Kroto

__________________________

There are 3 videos in this series and they have statements by 150 academics and scientists and I saw that you were featured in this film series. I have been responding to some of the statements concerning God and I plan on responding to what you have said on this issue too.

Now on to the other topics I wanted to discuss with you today. I wanted to write you today for two reasons. First, do you believe that evangelicals should have a place at the table when it comes to science even though we believe in a personal Creator?  Second, I wanted to point out some scientific evidence that caused Antony Flew to switch from an atheist (as you are now) to a theist. Twenty years I had the opportunity to correspond with two individuals that were regarded as two of the most famous atheists of the 20th Century, Antony Flew and Carl Sagan. (I have enclosed some of those letters between us.) I had read the books and seen the films of the Christian philosopher Francis Schaeffer and he had discussed the works of both of these men. I sent both of these gentlemen philosophical arguments from Schaeffer in these letters and in the first letter I sent a cassette tape of my pastor’s sermon IS THE BIBLE TRUE? (CD is enclosed also.) You may have noticed in the news a few years ago that Antony Flew actually became a theist in 2004 and remained one until his death in 2010. Carl Sagan remained a skeptic until his dying day in 1996.

You will notice in the enclosed letter from June 1, 1994 that Dr. Flew commented, “Thank you for sending me the IS THE BIBLE TRUE? tape to which I have just listened with great interest and, I trust, profit.” It would be a great honor for me if you would take time and drop me a note and let me know what your reaction is to this same message.

In 1994 and 1995 I had the opportunity to correspond with the famous evolutionist Dr. Ernst Mayr of Harvard. He stated in his letter of 10-3-94, “Owing to your ideological commitments, it is only natural that you cannot accept the cogency of the scientific evidence. However, to a person such as myself without such commitments, the story of the gradual evolution of life as reconstructed by chemists and molecular biologists is totally convincing.”

I responded by pointing out three points. First, Scientific Naturalism is atheistic by definition. Second, many great scientists of the past were Christians, and that did not disqualify their observations and discoveries. Third, the fact that evolution is true does not rule out God’s existence (Harvard’s own Owen Gingerich and many others such as Francis Collins hold to a Creator and evolution).

Let me just spend some time on my second point. Francis Schaeffer in his book “HOW SHOULD WE THEN LIVE?” stated that according to Alfred North Whitehead and J. Robert Oppenheimer, both renowned philosophers and scientists of our era (but not Christians themselves), modern science was born out of the Christian world view. Whitehead said that Christianity is the “mother of science” because of the insistence on the rationality of God. In the article, “Christianity and Technological Advance – The Astonishing Connection,” by T. V. Varughese, Ph.D, he observed:

Without question, “technology” has now become the new magic word in place of the word “science.” Since technology represents the practical applications of science, it is clearly consumer-oriented. Herein is bright economic promise to all who can provide technology.

In terms of technology, our present world can be divided into at least three groups: countries that are strong providers of technology, both original and improved; countries that are mass producers because of cheaper labor; and countries that are mostly consumers. Without a doubt, being in the position of “originating” superior technology should be a goal for any major country. The difficult question, however, is “how.”

An obvious place to start suggests itself. Why not begin with the countries that have established themselves as strong originators of technology and see if there is a common thread between them? The western nations, after the Renaissance and the Reformation of the 16th century, offer a ready example. Any book on the history of inventions, such as the Guinness Book of Answers, will reveal that the vast majority of scientific inventions have originated in Europe (including Britain) and the USA since the dawn of the 17th century. What led to the fast technological advances in the European countries and North America around that time?

The answer is that something happened which set the stage for science and technology to emerge with full force. Strange as it may seem, that event was the return to Biblical Christianity in these countries.

The Epistemological Foundation of Technology

According to Alfred North Whitehead and J. Robert Oppenheimer, both renowned philosophers and scientists of our era (but not Christians themselves), modern science was born out of the Christian world view. Whitehead said that Christianity is the “mother of science” because of the insistence on the rationality of God.[1] Entomologist Stanley Beck,though not a Christian himself, acknowledged the corner-stone premises of science which the Judeo-Christian world view offers: “The first of the unprovable premises on which science has been based is the belief that the world is real and the human mind is capable of knowing its real nature. The second and best-known postulate underlying the structure of scientific knowledge is that of cause and effect. The third basic scientific premise is that nature is unified.”[2] In other words, the epistemological foundation of technology has been the Judeo-Christian world view presented in the Bible…

Perhaps the most obvious affirmation that Biblical Christianity and science are friends and not foes comes from the fact that most of the early scientists after the Renaissance were also strong believers in the Bible as the authoritative source of knowledge concerning the origin of the universe and man’s place in it.[4] The book of Genesis, the opening book of the Bible, presents the distinctly Judeo-Christian world view of a personal Creator God behind the origin and sustenance of the universe (Genesis 1:1Colossians 1:17; etc.).

Among the early scientists of note who held the Biblical creationist world view are Blaise Pascal (1623-1662), Sir Isaac Newton (1642-1727), and Samuel Morse (1791-1872) – what motivated them was a confidence in the “rationality” behind the universe and the “goodness” of the material world. The creation account in Genesis presents an intelligent, purposeful Creator, who, after completing the creation work, declared it to be very good (Genesis 1:31). That assures us that the physical universe operates under reliable laws which may be discovered by the intelligent mind and used in practical applications. The confidence in the divinely pronounced goodness of the material world removed any reluctance concerning the development of material things for the betterment of life in this world. The spiritual world and the material world can work together in harmony.

 References –

  1. Francis A. Schaeffer: How Should We Then Live (Revell, 1976), p. 132.
  2. Henry M. Morris, Biblical Basis for Modern Science (Baker, 1991), p. 30.
  3. Schaeffer, p. 131.
  4. Henry M. Morris, Men of Science, Men of God (Master Books, CA, 1988), 107 pp.

_____________

Henry Morris pointed out:

Many of these great scientists of the past were before Darwin, but not all of them. However, all of them were acquainted with secular philosophies and some were in fact opponents of Darwinism (Agassiz, Pasteur, Lord Kelvin, Maxwell, Dawson, Virchow, Fabre, Fleming, etc). Many of them believed in the inspiration and authority of the Bible, as well as in the deity and saving work of Jesus Christ. They believed that God had supernaturally created all things, each with its own complex structure for its own unique purpose. They believed that, as scientists, they were “thinking God’s thoughts after Him,” learning to understand and control the laws and processes of nature for God’s glory and man’s good. They believed and practiced science in exactly the same way that modern creationist scientists do.

And somehow this attitude did not hinder them in their commitment to the “scientific method.” In fact one of them, Sir Francis Bacon, is credited with formulating and establishing the scientific method! They seem also to have been able to maintain a proper “scientific attitude,” for it was these men (Newton, Pasteur, Linnaeus, Faraday, Pascal, Lord Kelvin, Maxwell, Kepler, etc.) whose researches and analyses led to the very laws and concepts of science which brought about our modern scientific age…. 

To illustrate the caliber and significance of these great scientists of the past, Tables I and II have been prepared. These tabulations are not complete lists, of course, but at least are representative and they do point up the absurdity of modern assertions that no true scientist can be a creationist and Bible-believing Christian.

Table I lists the creationist “fathers” of many significant branches of modern science. Table II lists the creationist scientists responsible for various vital inventions, discoveries, and other contributions to mankind. These identifications are to some degree oversimplified, of course, for even in the early days of science every new development involved a number of other scientists, before and after. Nevertheless, in each instance, a strong case can be made for attributing the chief responsibility to the creationist scientist indicated. At the very least, his contribution was critically important and thus supports our contention that belief in creation and the Bible helps, rather than hinders, scientific discovery.

_______________

My relatives live 3 miles from Spring Hill, Tennessee. When the new General Motors plant opened there I got to go see it. What if I had said, “The assembly line created a beautiful Saturn automobile!” Hopefully, some would have corrected me by responding, “The assembly line did not create the automobile. It was first designed by the General Motors engineers in Detroit.” ASSUMING EVOLUTION IS TRUE, IT WOULD STILL ONLY BE THE MECHANISM. DOES EVOLUTION ACCOUNT FOR THE DESIGNER?

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

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

Is the Bible historically accurate? Here are some of the posts I have done in the past on the subject: 1. The Babylonian Chronicleof Nebuchadnezzars Siege of Jerusalem2. Hezekiah’s Siloam Tunnel Inscription. 3. Taylor Prism (Sennacherib Hexagonal Prism)4. Biblical Cities Attested Archaeologically. 5. The Discovery of the Hittites6.Shishak Smiting His Captives7. Moabite Stone8Black Obelisk of Shalmaneser III9A Verification of places in Gospel of John and Book of Acts., 9B Discovery of Ebla Tablets10. Cyrus Cylinder11. Puru “The lot of Yahali” 9th Century B.C.E.12. The Uzziah Tablet Inscription13. The Pilate Inscription14. Caiaphas Ossuary14 B Pontius Pilate Part 214c. Three greatest American Archaeologists moved to accept Bible’s accuracy through archaeology.

The Bible and Archaeology – Is the Bible from God? (Kyle Butt 42 min)

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RESPONDING TO HARRY KROTO’S BRILLIANT RENOWNED ACADEMICS!! Part 43 Herman Philipse, professor of philosophy, Utrecht Univ, Netherlands “…scientific advances showed religious knowledge were not valid sources of religious knowledge at all”

 

On November 21, 2014 I received a letter from Nobel Laureate Harry Kroto and it said:

…Please click on this URL http://vimeo.com/26991975

and you will hear what far smarter people than I have to say on this matter. I agree with them.

Harry Kroto

_________________

 

Dr. Harry Kroto is the 1996 Chemistry Nobel Prize Winner and he is seen the photo below on the left:

___________

Herman Philipse

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Herman Philipse
Herman Philipse-crop.jpg

At the Studium Generale of Utrecht University, 2012
Born (1951-05-13) 13 May 1951 (age 63)
The Hague, The Netherlands
Nationality Dutch
Alma mater Leiden University
Occupation Professor of philosophy
Years active 1986–present
Employer Utrecht University
Religion None (Atheist)
Website
http://www.phil.uu.nl/~philipse/

Herman Philipse (born 13 May 1951) is a professor of philosophy at Utrecht University in the Netherlands. From 1986 until 2003, he taught at Leiden University, where he obtained his doctorate in 1983.

_____________________________

In  the second video below in the 70th clip in this series are his words and  my response is below them. 

50 Renowned Academics Speaking About God (Part 1)

Another 50 Renowned Academics Speaking About God (Part 2)

A Further 50 Renowned Academics Speaking About God (Part 3)

Quote from Herman Philipse:

It was very clear there was a fierce battle between science and religion and that scientific advances showed that all so called sources of religious knowledge were not valid sources of religious knowledge at all.

March 12, 2015

Prof.Dr.Mr. H. Philipse,Utrecht, The Netherlands

Dear Dr. Philipse, 

As you can tell from reading this letter I am an evangelical Christian and I have made it a hobby of mine to correspond with scientists or academics like yourself over the last 25 years. Some of those who corresponded back with me have been  Ernest Mayr (1904-2005), George Wald (1906-1997), Carl Sagan (1934-1996),  Robert Shapiro (1935-2011), Nicolaas Bloembergen (1920-),  Brian Charlesworth (1945-),  Francisco J. Ayala (1934-) Elliott Sober (1948-), Kevin Padian (1951-), Matt Cartmill (1943-) , Milton Fingerman (1928-), John J. Shea (1969-), , Michael A. Crawford (1938-), Paul Kurtz (1925-2012), Sol Gordon (1923-2008), Albert Ellis (1913-2007), Barbara Marie Tabler (1915-1996), Renate Vambery (1916-2005), Archie J. Bahm (1907-1996), Aron S “Gil” Martin ( 1910-1997), Matthew I. Spetter (1921-2012), H. J. Eysenck (1916-1997), Robert L. Erdmann (1929-2006), Mary Morain (1911-1999), Lloyd Morain (1917-2010),  Warren Allen Smith (1921-), Bette Chambers (1930-),  Gordon Stein (1941-1996) , Milton Friedman (1912-2006), John Hospers (1918-2011), Michael Martin (1932-), John R. Cole  (1942-),   Wolf Roder,  Susan Blackmore (1951-),  Christopher C. French (1956-)  Walter R. Rowe Thomas Gilovich (1954-), Paul QuinceyHarry Kroto (1939-), Marty E. Martin (1928-), Richard Rubenstein (1924-), James Terry McCollum (1936-), Edward O. WIlson (1929-), Lewis Wolpert (1929), Gerald Holton (1922-), Martin Rees (1942-), Alan Macfarlane (1941-),  Roald Hoffmann (1937-), Herbert Kroemer (1928-), Thomas H. Jukes (1906-1999), Glenn BranchGeoff Harcourt (1931-) and  Ray T. Cragun (1976-). I would consider it an honor to add you to this very distinguished list. 

I just finished reading the online addition of the book Darwin, Francis ed. 1892. Charles Darwin: his life told in an autobiographical chapter, and in a selected series of his published letters [abridged edition]. London: John Murray. There are several points that Charles Darwin makes in this book that were very wise, honest, logical, shocking and some that were not so wise. The Christian Philosopher Francis Schaeffer once said of Darwin’s writings, “Darwin in his autobiography and in his letters showed that all through his life he never really came to a quietness concerning the possibility that chance really explained the situation of the biological world. You will find there is much material on this [from Darwin] extended over many many years that constantly he was wrestling with this problem.”

I recently ran across this quote from you:

It was very clear there was a fierce battle between science and religion and that scientific advances showed that all so called sources of religious knowledge were not valid sources of religious knowledge at all.

YOU MAY FIND IT INTERESTING THAT CHARLES DARWIN WAS ALSO INTERESTED IN THE HISTORICAL ASPECT OF THE BIBLE. When I read the book  Charles Darwin: his life told in an autobiographical chapter, and in a selected series of his published letters, I also read  a commentary on it by Francis Schaeffer and I wanted to both  quote some of Charles Darwin’s own words to you and then include the comments of Francis Schaeffer on those words. I have also enclosed a CD with two messages from Adrian Rogers and Bill Elliff concerning Darwinism.

In 1879 Charles Darwin was applied to by a German student, in a similar manner. The letter was answered by a member of my father’s family, who wrote:–

“Mr. Darwin begs me to say that he receives so many letters, that he cannot answer them all.He considers that the theory of Evolution is quite compatible with the belief in a God; but that you must remember that different persons have different definitions of what they mean by God.” 

Francis Schaeffer commented:

You find a great confusion in his writings although there is a general structure in them. Here he says the word “God” is alright but you find later what he doesn’t take is a personal God. Of course, what you open is the whole modern linguistics concerning the word “God.” is God a pantheistic God? What kind of God is God? Darwin says there is nothing incompatible with the word “God.”

This, however, did not satisfy the German youth, who again wrote to my father, and received from him the following reply:—

“I am much engaged, an old man, and out of health, and I cannot spare time to answer your questions fully,—nor indeed can they be answered. Science has nothing to do with Christ, except in so far as the habit of scientific research makes a man cautious in admitting evidence. For myself, I do not believe that there ever has been any revelation.As for a future life, every man must judge for himself between conflicting vague probabilities.”

Francis Schaeffer observed:

So he has come to the place as an old man that he doesn’t believe there has been any revelation. In his younger years he held a different position. He lost his position not on the basis of reason but simply that it disagreed with his theory and his presuppositions and he was forced to give it up.

The passages which here follow are extracts, somewhat abbreviated, from a part of the Autobiography, written in 1876, in which my father gives the history of his religious views:—“During these two years* (ft note *October 1836 to January 1839.) I was led to think much about religion. Whilst on board the Beagle I was quite orthodox, and I remember being heartily laughed at by several of the officers (though themselves orthodox) for quoting the Bible as an unanswerable authority on some point of morality.

Francis Schaeffer noted:

So you find that as a younger man he did accept the Bible. As an older man he has given up revelation but he is not satisfied with his own answers. He is caught in the tension that modern man is caught in. He is a prefiguration  of the modern man and he himself contributed to. Then Darwin goes on and tells us why he gave up the Bible.

Darwin went to write:

I suppose it was the novelty of the argument that amused them. But I had gradually come by this time, i.e. 1836 to 1836, to see that the Old Testament was no more to be trusted than the sacred books of the Hindoos. The question then continually rose before my mind and would not be banished,—is it credible that if God were now to make a revelation to the Hindoos, he would permit it to be connected with the belief in Vishnu, Siva, &c., as Christianity is connected with the Old Testament? This appeared to me utterly incredible.

Francis Schaeffer asserted:

Darwin is saying that he gave up the New Testament because it was connected to the Old Testament. He gave up the Old Testament because it conflicted with his own theory. Did he have a real answer himself and the answer is no. At the end of his life we see that he is dehumanized by his position and on the other side we see that he never comes to the place of intellectual satisfaction for himself that his answers were sufficient.

Darwin continued:

“But I was very unwilling to give up my belief; I feel sure of this, for I can well remember often and often inventing day-dreams of old letters between distinguished Romans, and manuscripts being discovered at Pompeii or elsewhere, which confirmed in the most striking manner all that was written in the Gospels.

Francis Schaeffer commented:

This is very sad. He lies on his bunk and the Beagle tosses and turns and he makes daydreams, and his dreams and hopes are that someone would find in Pompeii or some place like this, an old manuscript by a distinguished Roman that would put his stamp of authority on it, which would be able to show that Christ existed. This is undoubtedly what he is talking about. Darwin gave up this hope with great difficulty. I think he didn’t want to come to the position where his accepted presuppositions were driving him. He didn’t want to give it up, just as an older man he understood where it would lead and “man can do his duty.” Instinctively this of brains understood where this whole thing was going to eventually go…

SINCE CHARLES DARWIN’S DEATH WE NOW HAVE LOTS OF HISTORICAL RECORDS AND MUCH EVIDENCE FROM THE FIELD OF ARCHAEOLOGY THAT SHOW THE BIBLE IS HISTORICALLY ACCURATE.

**************TAKE TIME TO CONSIDER THIS EVIDENCE BELOW********************

I  have been amazed at the prophecies in the Bible that have been fulfilled in history, and also many of the historical details in the Bible have been confirmed by archaeology too. One of the most amazing is the prediction that the Jews would be brought back and settle in Jerusalem again. Another prophecy in Psalms 22 describes the Messiah dying on a cross  almost 1000 years before the Romans came up with this type of punishment.

Many times it has been alleged that the author of the Book of Daniel was from a later period but how did a later author know these 5 HISTORICAL FACTS? How did he know [1] that Belshazzar was ruling during the last few years of the Babylonian Empire when the name “Belshazzar” was lost to history until 1853 when it was uncovered in the monuments? [2] The author also knew that the Babylonians executed individuals by casting them into fire, and that the Persians threw the condemned to the lions. [3] He knew  the practice in the 6th Century was to mention first the Medes, then the Persians and not the other way around. [4] Plus he knew the laws made by Persian kings could not be revoked and [5] he knew that in the sixth century B.C., Susa was in the province of Elam (Dan. 8:2). Of course, the Book of Daniel (2:37-42) clearly predicted the rise of the 4 world empires in the correct order of Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, and Rome.

One of the top 10 posts on my blog on this next subject concerning Tyre.   John MacArthur went through every detail of the prophecy concerning Tyre and how history shows the Bible prophecy was correct.  Sagan said he had taken a look at Old Testament prophecy and it did not impress him because it was too vague.

HOW CAN ANYONE SAY THAT THIS FOLLOWING PROPHECY CONCERNING TYRE IS “TOO VAGUE?”

Below is an outline from a sermon from Dr. John MacArthur

Photo of John MacArthur

________________

John MacArthur on the amazing fulfilled prophecy on Tyre and how it was fulfilled by historical events.

LESSON

I. BIBLICAL PROPHECY CONCERNING TYRE (Ezekiel 26:1–28:19)

A. The Forecast

1. The specifics

a) That King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon would destroy the mainland city of Tyre (26:7-8).

b) That many nations would rise up against Tyre. These nations would come like waves of the sea, one after another (26:3- 4).

c) That Tyre will be made like a flat rock (26:4, 14).

d) That fisherman will dry their nets there (26:5, 14).

e) That the rubble of the city would be cast into the sea (26:12).

f) That Tyre would never be rebuilt (26:14).

2. The setting

Tyre was a great city. It was one of the largest and most powerful cities of Phoenicia, which is modern day Lebanon.

It was well fortified. A great wall protected the city from land attacks while their world-renowned fleet protected them from attack by sea.

Tyre was a flourishing city during the time when Joshua led Israel into the Promised Land. King Hiram, who began his reign during the rule of David, offered David cedars from Tyre to build his palace. He also loaned David his artisans to craft parts of the great palace (1 Chron. 14:1). Hiram also helped Solomon build the Temple by floating cedars down the shoreline to be picked up and hauled to Jerusalem (2 Chron. 2:16). So Tyre was a great city, and both David and Solomon looked to it for aid.

B. The Fulfillment

1. The prophetic call

a) To Nebuchadnezzar

Not long after the prophecy given by Ezekiel, Nebuchadnezzar did exactly what had been predicted–he laid siege against the city in 585 B.C. For thirteen years Nebuchadnezzar cut off the flow of supplies into the city. In 537 B.C. he finally succeeded in breaking the gates down, but found the city almost empty.

During the thirteen-year siege, the people of Tyre moved all their possessions by ship to an island one-half mile offshore. So Nebuchadnezzar gained no plunder (Ezek. 29:17- 20). Although he destroyed the mainland city (Ezek. 26:8), the new city offshore continued to flourish for 250 years. The prophecy of Ezekiel 26:12–“they shall lay thy stones and thy timber and thy dust in the midst of the water”–remained unfulfilled.

b) To Alexander the Great

At age twenty-two, Alexander the Great came east conquering the known world with an army of between thirty and forty thousand men. Having defeated the Persians under Darius III, Alexander was on the march toward Egypt.

(1) The dilemma

Alexander arrived in the Phoenician territory and demanded that the cities open their gates to him. The citizens of Tyre refused, feeling they were secure on their island with their superior fleet.

(2) The decision

Realizing he did not have a fleet that could match Tyre’s, Alexander decided to build a causeway to the island using the ruins from the mainland city. It was about two hundred feet wide. The prophet said that the city would be thrown into the water, and that’s exactly what happened.

(3) The details

Arrian, a Greek historian, wrote about the overthrow of Tyre and how it was accomplished (The Campaigns of Alexander [New York: Penquin, 1958], pp. 132-43). The fortification of Tyre resembled Alcatraz. The city sat offshore like a rock with walls that came down to the edge of the water. Alexander set out to build the only means to approach the city–a land peninsula. Soldiers started pitching rubble into the water, leveling it off as they went so they could march on it. The water got deeper as they approached the island, and to make their task even more difficult, the people of Tyre bombarded them with missiles.

Werner Keller in The Bible as History tells us that to safeguard the operation, Alexander built mobile shields called “tortoises” (New York: Bantam, 1956], p. 361). Knowing that when they reached the city they would have to scale the walls, Alexander built “Hele-poleis,” which were mobile siege towers 160 foot high. The idea was to roll these structures across the causeway and push them up against the walls. A drawbridge on the front of the towers enabled the soldiers to march across the top of the walls and into the city.

Alexander’s men were under constant attack from people within the city and from the Tyrian navy. Realizing that he needed ships to defend his flanks, Alexander returned to the cities he had conquered and demanded their assistance. That fulfilled the prophecy that God “will cause many nations to come up against thee, as the sea causeth its waves to come up” (Ezek. 26:3).

(4) The destruction

Alexander’s plan succeeded. Eight thousand people were slain and thirty thousand were sold into slavery. It took Alexander seven months to conquer Tyre. The causeway he built can be seen to this day.

2. The prophetic result

How did Ezekiel know all those things would happen? The only explanation is he expressed the mind of God. Historian Philip Myers said, “Alexander the Great reduced it [Tyre] to ruins (332 B.C.). She recovered in a measure from this blow, but never regained the place she had previously held in the world. The larger part of the site … is now as bare as the top of a rock–a place where the fishermen that still frequent the spot spread their nets to dry” (General History for Colleges and High Schools [Boston: Ginn and Co., 1889], p. 55). That fulfills the prophecies of Ezekiel 26:4-5, 14. The island city was repopulated, later to be destroyed by the Moslems in A.D. 1281. However, God said the mainland city would never be rebuilt–and it never has. Jerusalem has been rebuilt many times but Tyre will never be rebuilt because a prophet in Babylon said twenty-five centuries ago, “Thou shalt be built no more” (Ezek. 26:14).

___________________

ANY HISTORIAN CAN HAVE ACCESS TO ALL OF THESE RECORDS. WHY NOT TAKE A FEW MOMENTS AND CHECK OUT THESE FACTS YOURSELF? As a secularist you believe that it is sad indeed that millions of Christians are hoping for heaven but no heaven is waiting for them. Paul took a close look at this issue too:

I Corinthians 15 asserts:

12 But if it is preached that Christ has been raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? 13 If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. 14 And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith. 15 More than that, we are then found to be false witnesses about God, for we have testified about God that he raised Christ from the dead. But he did not raise him if in fact the dead are not raised. 16 For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised either. 17 And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. 18 Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost. 19 If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied.

I sent you a CD that starts off with the song DUST IN THE WIND by Kerry Livgren of the group KANSAS which was a hit song in 1978 when it rose to #6 on the charts because so many people connected with the message of the song. It included these words, “All we do, crumbles to the ground though we refuse to see, Dust in the Wind, All we are is dust in the wind, Don’t hang on, Nothing lasts forever but the Earth and Sky, It slips away, And all your money won’t another minute buy.”

Kerry Livgren himself said that he wrote the song because he saw where man was without a personal God in the picture. Solomon pointed out in the Book of Ecclesiastes that those who believe that God doesn’t exist must accept three things. FIRST, death is the end and SECOND, chance and time are the only guiding forces in this life.  FINALLY, power reigns in this life and the scales are never balanced. The Christian can  face death and also confront the world knowing that it is not determined by chance and time alone and finally there is a judge who will balance the scales.

Both Kerry Livgren and the bass player Dave Hope of Kansas became Christians eventually. Kerry Livgren first tried Eastern Religions and Dave Hope had to come out of a heavy drug addiction. I was shocked and elated to see their personal testimony on The 700 Club in 1981 and that same  interview can be seen on You Tube today. Livgren lives in Topeka, Kansas today where he teaches “Diggers,” a Sunday school class at Topeka Bible ChurchDAVE HOPE is the head of Worship, Evangelism and Outreach at Immanuel Anglican Church in Destin, Florida.

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.com, http://www.thedailyhatch.org, cell ph 501-920-5733, Box 23416, LittleRock, AR 72221, United States

Is the Bible historically accurate? Here are some of the posts I have done in the past on the subject: 1. The Babylonian Chronicleof Nebuchadnezzars Siege of Jerusalem2. Hezekiah’s Siloam Tunnel Inscription. 3. Taylor Prism (Sennacherib Hexagonal Prism)4. Biblical Cities Attested Archaeologically. 5. The Discovery of the Hittites6.Shishak Smiting His Captives7. Moabite Stone8Black Obelisk of Shalmaneser III9A Verification of places in Gospel of John and Book of Acts., 9B Discovery of Ebla Tablets10. Cyrus Cylinder11. Puru “The lot of Yahali” 9th Century B.C.E.12. The Uzziah Tablet Inscription13. The Pilate Inscription14. Caiaphas Ossuary14 B Pontius Pilate Part 214c. Three greatest American Archaeologists moved to accept Bible’s accuracy through archaeology.

You can hear DAVE HOPE and Kerry Livgren’s stories from this youtube link:

(part 1 ten minutes)

(part 2 ten minutes)

Kansas – Dust in the Wind (Official Video)

Uploaded on Nov 7, 2009

Pre-Order Miracles Out of Nowhere now at http://www.miraclesoutofnowhere.com

About the film:
In 1973, six guys in a local band from America’s heartland began a journey that surpassed even their own wildest expectations, by achieving worldwide superstardom… watch the story unfold as the incredible story of the band KANSAS is told for the first time in the DVD Miracles Out of Nowhere.

_____________________________

Adrian Rogers on Darwinism

 

The Bible and Archaeology – Is the Bible from God? (Kyle Butt 42 min)

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RESPONDING TO HARRY KROTO’S BRILLIANT RENOWNED ACADEMICS!! Part 42 Peter Singer, Professor of Bioethics at Princeton University, THE PROBLEM OF EVIL

 

_______

On November 21, 2014 I received a letter from Nobel Laureate Harry Kroto and it said:

…Please click on this URL http://vimeo.com/26991975

and you will hear what far smarter people than I have to say on this matter. I agree with them.

Harry Kroto

_________________

Below you have picture of 1996 Chemistry Nobel Prize Winner Dr. Harry Kroto (on right and  Reg Colin on left):

______________________

Singer1.jpg

Wikipedia notes:

Peter Albert David Singer, AC (born 6 July 1946) is an Australian moral philosopher. He is currently the Ira W. DeCamp Professor of Bioethics at Princeton University, and a Laureate Professor at the Centre for Applied Philosophy and Public Ethics at the University of Melbourne. He specializes in applied ethics and approaches ethical issues from a secular, utilitarianperspective. He is known in particular for his book, Animal Liberation (1975), a canonical text in animal rights/liberation theory. For most of his career, he supported preference utilitarianism, but in his later years became a classical or hedonistic utilitarian, when co-authoring The Point of View of the Universe with Katarzyna de Lazari-Radek.

On two occasions, Singer served as chair of the philosophy department at Monash University, where he founded its Centre for Human Bioethics. In 1996 he stood unsuccessfully as a Greenscandidate for the Australian Senate. In 2004 he was recognised as the Australian Humanist of the Year by the Council of Australian Humanist Societies, and in June 2012 was named a Companion of the Order of Australia for his services to philosophy and bioethics.[2] He serves on the Advisory Board of Incentives for Global Health, the NGO formed to develop the Health Impact Fund proposal. He was voted one of Australia’s ten most influential public intellectuals in 2006.[3] Singer currently serves on the advisory board of Academics Stand Against Poverty(ASAP).

_____________________________

In  the first video below in the 46th clip in this series are his words and  my response is below them. 

50 Renowned Academics Speaking About God (Part 1)

Another 50 Renowned Academics Speaking About God (Part 2)

A Further 50 Renowned Academics Speaking About God (Part 3)

I grew up at Bellevue Baptist Church under the leadership of our pastor Adrian Rogers and I read many books by the Evangelical Philosopher Francis Schaeffer and have had the opportunity to contact many of the evolutionists or humanistic academics that they have mentioned in their works. Many of these scholars have taken the time to respond back to me in the last 20 years and some of the names  included are  Ernest Mayr (1904-2005), George Wald (1906-1997), Carl Sagan (1934-1996),  Robert Shapiro (1935-2011), Nicolaas Bloembergen (1920-),  Brian Charlesworth (1945-),  Francisco J. Ayala (1934-) Elliott Sober (1948-), Kevin Padian (1951-), Matt Cartmill (1943-) , Milton Fingerman (1928-), John J. Shea (1969-), , Michael A. Crawford (1938-), Paul Kurtz (1925-2012), Sol Gordon (1923-2008), Albert Ellis (1913-2007), Barbara Marie Tabler (1915-1996), Renate Vambery (1916-2005), Archie J. Bahm (1907-1996), Aron S “Gil” Martin ( 1910-1997), Matthew I. Spetter (1921-2012), H. J. Eysenck (1916-1997), Robert L. Erdmann (1929-2006), Mary Morain (1911-1999), Lloyd Morain (1917-2010),  Warren Allen Smith (1921-), Bette Chambers (1930-),  Gordon Stein (1941-1996) , Milton Friedman (1912-2006), John Hospers (1918-2011), Michael Martin (1932-), John R. Cole  (1942-),   Wolf Roder,  Susan Blackmore (1951-),  Christopher C. French (1956-)  Walter R. Rowe Thomas Gilovich (1954-), Paul QuinceyHarry Kroto (1939-), Marty E. Martin (1928-), Richard Rubenstein (1924-), James Terry McCollum (1936-), Edward O. WIlson (1929-), Lewis Wolpert (1929), Gerald Holton (1922-), Martin Rees (1942-), Alan Macfarlane (1941-),  Roald Hoffmann (1937-), Herbert Kroemer (1928-), Thomas H. Jukes (1906-1999), Glenn BranchGeoff Harcourt (1931-), and  Ray T. Cragun (1976-).

QUOTE Peter Singer thinks

it is  “monstrous” to believe that “God would create a world where, let’s say, a two-year-old child would die a slow and lingering death from hunger and thirst…” because of Adam and Eve’s sin committed thousands of years before. Even if one thinks that baby’s suffering is “deserved,” “what about the suffering on non-human animals?”

Josh Wilson – Before The Morning (Official Music Video)

One of my favorite songs  is called “Before the Morning” and it is by  the Christian singer Josh Wilson. The lyrics start out: “Why do you have to feel the things that hurt you? If there’s a God who loves you where is He now?” Over the years I have corresponded with several atheists and many times they confront me on this  very issue such as this letter did from Dr. Brian Charlesworth, Dept of Ecology and Evolution, University of Chicago in letter dated May 10, 1994:

Thank you for your various communications. I am afraid that I formed the view many years ago that there is no foundation for any belief in a benevolent creator of the world. For me, there is too much suffering in the world to be compatible with the existence of such a being. 

Let me make three points concerning the problem of evil and suffering. First, the problem of evil and suffering hit this world in a big way because of Adam and what happened in Genesis Chapter 3. Second, if there is no God then there is no way to distinguish good from evil and there will be no ultimate punishment for Hitler and Josef Mengele. Third. Christ came and suffered and will destroy all evil from this world eventually forever.

Recently I went to see the movie GOD’S NOT DEAD in a local theater and that prompted me to read the book of the same name by Rice Broocks. In the movie the problem of evil and suffering is discussed just like it is in the book  and would love to interact further with anyone who would like to see the film is a big hit in theaters this year. On page 5 on the book you will find these words:
Atheists claim that the universe isn’t what you would expect
if a supernatural God existed. All this death and suffering, they say,
are plain evidence that a loving, intelligent God could not be behind
it all. The truth is that God has created a world where free moral
agents are able to have real choices to do good or evil. If God had
created a world without that fundamental choice and option to do
evil, then we wouldn’t be having this discussion. God made a world
where choices are real and humanity is affected by the choices of
other humans. Drunk drivers kill innocent people. Some murder
and steal from their fellow men. Though God gave clear com-
mandments to humanity, we have for the most part ignored these
directives. The mess that results is not God’s fault. It’s ours.
We are called to follow God and love Him with all our hearts
and minds. This means we have to think and investigate. Truth
is another word for reality. When something is true it’s true
everywhere. The multiplication tables are just as true in China
as they are in America. Gravity works in Africa the way it does
in Asia. The fact that there are moral truths that are true every-
where points to a transcendent morality that we did not invent
and from which we cannot escape (C.S.Lewis, MERE CHRISTIANITY,[1952:
New York: Harper Collins, 2001], p. 35).
As Creator, God has placed not only natural laws in the earth
but also spiritual laws. For instance, lying is wrong everywhere.
So is stealing. Cruelty to children is wrong regardless of what
culture you’re in or country you’re from. When these laws are
broken, people are broken. Not only does violating these spiritual
laws separate us from God, but it causes pain in our lives and
in the lives of those around us. The big question becomes, what
can be done about our condition? When we break these spiritual
laws, whom can we call for help? How can we be reconciled to
God as well as break free from this cycle of pain and dysfunction?

Francis Schaeffer in his fine book about modern man ESCAPE FROM REASON  states,

“the True Christian position is that, in space and time and history, there was an unprogrammed man who made a choice, and actually rebelled against God…without Christianity’s answer that God made a significant man in a significant history with evil being the result of Satan’s and then man’s historic space-time revolt, there is no answer but to accept Baudelaire’s answer [‘If there is a God, He is the devil’] with tears. Once the historic Christian answer is put away, all we can do is to leap upstairs and say that against all reason God is good.”(pg. 81)

Someone I knew in 1985 grew up in Germany and was part of the Hitler Youth Program, Was he wrong in his beliefs? 

On what basis does the atheist have to say “Hitler was wrong!!!”

Early in his career Hitler was popular and many of the German people bought into his anti-semetic views. Does the atheist have an intellectual basis to condemn Hitler’s actions?

____________________________________

My friend who grew up in Germany  believed until his dying day that Hitler was right. I had a basis for knowing that Hitler was wrong and here it is below.
It is my view that according the Bible all men are created by God and are valuable.  However, the atheist has no basis for coming to this same conclusion. Francis Schaeffer put it this way:
We cannot deal with people like human beings, we cannot deal with them on the high level of true humanity, unless we really know their origin—who they are. God tells man who he is. God tells us that He created man in His image. So man is some- thing wonderful.
In 1972 Schaeffer wrote the book “He is There and He is Not Silent.” Here is the statement that sums up that book:

One of philosophy’s biggest problems is that anything exists at all and has the form that it does. Another is that man exists as a personal being and makes true choices and has moral responsibility. The Bible gives sufficient answers to these problems. In fact, the only sufficient answer is that the infinite-personal triune God is there and He is not silent. He has spoken to man in the Bible.

In the movie CRIMES AND MISDEMEANORS the basic question Woody Allen is presenting to his own agnostic humanistic worldview is: If you really believe there is no God there to punish you in an afterlife, then why not murder if you can get away with it?   The secular humanist worldview that modern man has adopted does not work in the real world that God has created. God “has planted eternity in the human heart…” (Ecclesiastes 3:11). This is a direct result of our God-given conscience. The apostle Paul said it best in Romans 1:19, “For that which is known about God is evident to them and made plain in their inner consciousness, because God  has shown it to them” (Amplified Version).

It’s no wonder, then, that one of Allen’s fellow humanists would comment, “Certain moral truths — such as do not kill, do not steal, and do not lie — do have a special status of being not just ‘mere opinion’ but bulwarks of humanitarian action. I have no intention of saying, ‘I think Hitler was wrong.’ Hitler WAS wrong.” (Gloria Leitner, “A Perspective on Belief,” The Humanist, May/June 1997, pp.38-39). Here Leitner is reasoning from her God-given conscience and not from humanist philosophy. It wasn’t long before she received criticism.

Humanist Abigail Ann Martin responded, “Neither am I an advocate of Hitler; however, by whose criteria is he evil?” (The Humanist, September/October 1997, p. 2.). Humanists don’t really have an intellectual basis for saying that Hitler was wrong, but their God-given conscience tells them that they are wrong on this issue.

Here is fine film by Francis Schaeffer and Dr. C. Everett Koop that makes the case for human dignity.

Francis Schaeffer “BASIS FOR HUMAN DIGNITY” Whatever…HTTHR

Also here is the link for  another fine article on this same issue by Chuck Colson.

Crimes? What Crimes?

The Grand ‘Sez Who’

Let us take a close look at how you are going to come up with morality as an atheist. When you think about it there is no way around the final conclusion that it is just your opinion against mine concerning morality. There is no final answers. However, if God does exist and he has imparted final answers to us then everything changes.

Take a look at a portion of this paper by Greg Koukl. In this article he points out that atheists don’t even have a basis for saying that Hitler was wrong:

What doesn’t make sense is to look at the existence of evil and question the existence of God. The reason is that atheism turns out being a self-defeating philosophic solution to this problem of evil. Think of what evil is for a minute when we make this kind of objection. Evil is a value judgment that must be measured against a morally perfect standard in order to be meaningful. In other words, something is evil in that it departs from a perfect standard of good. C.S. Lewis made the point, “My argument against God was that the universe seemed so cruel and unjust. But how had I got this idea of just and unjust? A man does not call something crooked unless he has some idea of a straight line.”] He also goes on to point out that a portrait is a good or a bad likeness depending on how it compares with the “perfect” original. So to talk about evil, which is a departure from good, actually presumes something that exists that is absolutely good. If there is no God there’s no perfect standard, no absolute right or wrong, and therefore no departure from that standard. So if there is no God, there can’t be any evil, only personal likes and dislikes–what I prefer morally and what I don’t prefer morally.

This is the big problem with moral relativism as a moral point of view when talking about the problem of evil. If morality is ultimately a matter of personal taste–that’s what most people hold nowadays–then it’s just your opinion what’s good or bad, but it might not be my opinion. Everybody has their own view of morality and if it’s just a matter of personal taste–like preferring steak over broccoli or Brussels sprouts–the objection against the existence of God based on evil actually vanishes because the objection depends on the fact that some things are intrinsically evil–that evil isn’t just a matter of my personal taste, my personal definition. But that evil has absolute existence and the problem for most people today is that there is no thing that is absolutely wrong. Premarital sex? If it’s right for you. Abortion? It’s an individual choice. Killing? It depends on the circumstances. Stealing? Not if it’s from a corporation.

The fact is that most people are drowning in a sea of moral relativism. If everything is allowed then nothing is disallowed. Then nothing is wrong. Then nothing is ultimately evil. What I’m saying is that if moral relativism is true, which it seems like most people seem to believe–even those that object against evil in the world, then the talk of objective evil as a philosophical problem is nonsense. To put it another way, if there is no God, then morals are all relative. And if moral relativism is true, then something like true moral evil can’t exist because evil becomes a relative thing.

An excellent illustration of this point comes from the movie The Quarrel . In this movie, a rabbi and a Jewish secularist meet again after the Second World War after they had been separated. They had gotten into a quarrel as young men, separated on bad terms, and then had their village and their family and everything destroyed through the Second World War, both thinking the other was dead. They meet serendipitously in Toronto, Canada in a park and renew their friendship and renew their old quarrel.divider

Rabbi Hersch says to the secularist Jew Chiam, “If a person does not have the Almighty to turn to, if there’s nothing in the universe that’s higher than human beings, then what’s morality? Well, it’s a matter of opinion. I like milk; you like meat. Hitler likes to kill people; I like to save them. Who’s to say which is better? Do you begin to see the horror of this? If there is no Master of the universe then who’s to say that Hitler did anything wrong? If there is no God then the people that murdered your wife and kids did nothing wrong.”

That is a very, very compelling point coming from the rabbi. In other words, to argue against the existence of God based on the existence of evil forces us into saying something like this: Evil exists, therefore there is no God. If there is no God then good and evil are relative and not absolute, so true evil doesn’t exist, contradicting the first point. Simply put, there cannot be a world in which it makes any sense to say that evil is real and at the same time say that God doesn’t exist. If there is no God then nothing is ultimately bad, deplorable, tragic or worthy of blame. The converse, by the way, is also true. This is the other hard part about this, it cuts both ways. Nothing is ultimately good, honorable, noble or worthy of praise. Everything is ultimately lost in a twilight zone of moral nothingness. To paraphrase the late Dr. Francis Schaeffer, the person who argues against the existence of God based on the existence of evil in the world has both feet firmly planted in mid-air.

_____________

Ricky Gervais in a You Tube clip from the show Piers Morgan Tonight on  1-20-2011 said that he embraced the golden rule because it made sense to him to be good to others so they would be good to you. However, how would that work if there is no ultimate lawmaker that also is our final judge? Rabbi Hersch’s argument to the secularist Jew Chiam seems to point out that without God in the picture it really does come to : “If a person does not have the Almighty to turn to, if there’s nothing in the universe that’s higher than human beings, then what’s morality? Well, it’s a matter of opinion. I like milk; you like meat. Hitler likes to kill people; I like to save them. Who’s to say which is better?”

Francis Schaeffer

Francis Schaeffer pictured above.

_______

Many crime victims feel forsaken by God. So do many divorced people, war prisoners, and starving refugees. But this young man’s cry of desperation carried added significance because of its historical allusion.
The words had appeared about a thousand years earlier in a song written by a king. The details of the song are remarkably similar to the suffering the young man endured. It said, “All who see me mock me; they hurl insults, shaking their heads …. They have pierced my hands and my feet…. They divide my garments among them and cast lots for my clothing.”{2}
Historians record precisely this behavior during the young man’s execution.{3} It was as if a divine drama were unfolding as the man slipped into death.
Researchers have uncovered more than 300 predictions or prophesies literally fulfilled in the life and death of this unique individual. Many of these statements written hundreds of years before his birth-were beyond his human control. One correctly foretold the place of his birth. {4} Another said he would be born of a virgin. {5} He would be preceded by a messenger who would prepare the way for his work, {6} He would enter the capital city as a king but riding on a donkeys back {7} He would be betrayed for thirty pieces of Silver, {8} pierced, {9} executed among thieves, {10} and yet, though wounded, {11} he would suffer no broken bones.{12}
Peter Stoner, a California mathematics professor, calculated the chance probability of just eight of these 300 prophecies coming true in one person. Using conservative estimates, Stoner concluded that the probability is 1 in 10 to the 17th power that those eight could be fulfilled by a fluke.
He says 1017silver dollars would cover the state of Texas two feet deep. Mark one coin with red fingernail polish. Stir the whole batch thoroughly. What chance would a blindfolded person have of picking the marked coin on the first try? One in 1017, the same chance that just eight of the 300 prophecies “just happened” to come true in this man, Jesus. {13}
In his dying cry from the cross Jesus reminded His hearers that His life and death precisely fulfilled God’s previously stated plan. According to the biblical perspective, at the moment of death Jesus experienced the equivalent of eternal separation from God in our place so that we might be forgiven and find new life.
He took the penalty due for all the crime, injustice, evil, sin, and shortcomings of the world-including yours and mine.
Though sinless Himself, He likely felt guilty and abandoned. Then-again in fulfillment of prophecy{14} and contrary to natural law-He came back to life. As somewhat of a skeptic I investigated the evidence for Christ’s resurrection and found it to be one of the best-attested facts in history. {15} To the seeker Jesus Christ offers true inner peace, forgiveness, purpose, and strength for contented living.

SO WHAT?

“OK, great,” you might say, “but what hope does this give the crime or divorce victim, the hungry and bleeding refugee, the citizen paralyzed by a world gone bad?” Will Jesus prevent every crime, reconcile every troubled marriage, restore every refugee, stop every war? No. God has given us free will. Suffering–even unjust suffering–is a necessary consequence of sin.
Sometimes God does intervene to change circumstances. (I’m glad my assailant became nervous and left.) Other times God gives those who believe in Him strength to endure and confidence that He will see them through. In the process, believers mature.
Most significantly we can hope in what He has told us about the future. Seeing how God has fulfilled prophecies in the past gives us confidence to believe those not yet fulfilled. Jesus promises eternal life to all who trust Him for it: “Whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life.”{16}
He promised He would return to rescue people from this dying planet.{17}
He will judge all evil.{18}
Finally justice will prevail. Those who have chosen to place their faith in Him will know true joy: “He shall wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there shall no longer be any death; there shall no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain.”{19}
Does God intend that we ignore temporal evil and mentally float off into unrealistic ethereal bliss? Nor at all. God is in the business of working through people to turn hearts to Him, resolve conflicts, make peace. After my assailant went to prison, I felt motivated to tell him that I forgave him because of Christ. He apologized, saying he, too, has now come to believe in Jesus.
But through every trial, every injustice you suffer, you can know that God is your friend and that one day He will set things right. You can know that He is still on the throne of the universe and that He cares for you. You can know this because His Son was born (Christmas is, of course, a celebration of His birth), lived, died, and came back to life in fulfillment of prophecy. Because of Jesus, if you personally receive His free gift of forgiveness, you can have hope!
Will you trust Him?
Notes
1. Matthew 27:46.
2. Psalm 22.
3. Matthew 27:35-44; John 20:25.
4. Micah 5:2; Matthew 2:1.
5. Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:18, 24-25; Luke 1:26-35.
6. Malachi 3:1; Isaiah 40:3; Matthew 3:1-2.
7. Zechariah 9:9; John 12:15; Matthew 21: 1-9.
8. Zechariah 11:12; Matthew 26:15.
9. Zechariah 12:10; John 19:34, 37.
10. Isaiah 53:12.
11. Matthew 27:38; Isaiah 53:5; Zechariah 13:6; Matthew 27:26.
12. Psalm 34:20; John 19:33, 36.
13. Peter Stoner, Science Speaks, pp. 99-112.
14. Psalm 6:10; Acts 2:31-32.
15. Josh McDowell, Evidence That Demands a Verdict, pp. 185-273.
16. John 5:24.
17. 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18.
18. Revelation 20:10-15.
19. Revelation 21:4 NAS.
©1994 Rusty Wright. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Reprinted with permission from Pursuit magazine (© 1994, Vol. III, No. 3)

About the Author
Rusty Wright, former associate speaker and writer with Probe Ministries, is an international lecturer, award-winning author, and journalist who has spoken on six continents. He holds Bachelor of Science (psychology) and Master of Theology degrees from Duke and Oxford universities, respectively. http://www.rustywright.com/

Dan Guinn posted on his blog at http://www.francisschaefferstudies.org concerning the Nazis and evolution: As Schaeffer points out, “…these ideas helped produce an even more far-reaching yet logical conclusion: the Nazi movement in Germany. Heinrich Himmler (1900-1945), leader of the Gestapo, stated that the law of nature must take its course in the survival of the fittest. The result was the gas chambers. Hitler stated numerous times that Christianity and its notion of charity should be “replaced by the ethic of strength over weakness.” Surely many factors were involved in the rise of National Socialism in Germany. For example, the Christian consensus had largely been lost by the undermining from a rationalistic philosophy and a romantic pantheism on the secular side, and a liberal theology (which was an adoption of rationalism in theological terminology) in the universities and many of the churches. Thus biblical Christianity was no longer giving the consensus for German society. After World War I came political and economic chaos and a flood of moral permissiveness in Germany. Thus, many factors created the situation. But in that setting the theory of the survival of the fittest sanctioned what occurred. ” 

Francis Schaeffer notes that this idea ties into today when we are actually talking about making infanticide legal in some academic settings. Look at what these three humanist scholars have written:

  • Peter Singer, who recently was seated in an endowed chair at Princeton’s Center for Human Values, said, “Killing a disabled infant is not morally equivalent to killing a person. Very often it is not wrong at all.”
  • In May 1973, James D. Watson, the Nobel Prize laureate who discovered the double helix of DNA, granted an interview to Prism magazine, then a publication of the American Medical Association. Time later reported the interview to the general public, quoting Watson as having said, “If a child were not declared alive until three days after birth, then all parents could be allowed the choice only a few are given under the present system. The doctor could allow the child to die if the parents so choose and save a lot of misery and suffering. I believe this view is the only rational, compassionate attitude to have.”
  • In January 1978, Francis Crick, also a Nobel laureate, was quoted in the Pacific News Service as saying “… no newborn infant should be declared human until it has passed certain tests regarding its genetic endowment and that if it fails these tests it forfeits the right to live.”

God Is A Luxury I Can’t Afford – From Crimes And Misdemeanors

___________

Is the Bible historically accurate? Here are some of the posts I have done in the past on the subject: 1. The Babylonian Chronicleof Nebuchadnezzars Siege of Jerusalem2. Hezekiah’s Siloam Tunnel Inscription. 3. Taylor Prism (Sennacherib Hexagonal Prism)4. Biblical Cities Attested Archaeologically. 5. The Discovery of the Hittites6.Shishak Smiting His Captives7. Moabite Stone8Black Obelisk of Shalmaneser III9A Verification of places in Gospel of John and Book of Acts., 9B Discovery of Ebla Tablets10. Cyrus Cylinder11. Puru “The lot of Yahali” 9th Century B.C.E.12. The Uzziah Tablet Inscription13. The Pilate Inscription14. Caiaphas Ossuary14 B Pontius Pilate Part 214c. Three greatest American Archaeologists moved to accept Bible’s accuracy through archaeology.

The Bible and Archaeology – Is the Bible from God? (Kyle Butt 42 min)

Related posts:

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 53 THE BEATLES (Part E, Stg. Pepper’s and John Lennon’s search in 1967 for truth was through drugs, money, laughter, etc & similar to King Solomon’s, LOTS OF PICTURES OF JOHN AND CYNTHIA) (Feature on artist Yoko Ono)

The John Lennon and the Beatles really were on a long search for meaning and fulfillment in their lives  just like King Solomon did in the Book of Ecclesiastes. Solomon looked into learning (1:12-18, 2:12-17), laughter, ladies, luxuries, and liquor (2:1-2, 8, 10, 11), and labor (2:4-6, 18-20). He fount that without God in the picture all […]

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______________   George Harrison Swears & Insults Paul and Yoko Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds- The Beatles The Beatles:   I have dedicated several posts to this series on the Beatles and I don’t know when this series will end because Francis Schaeffer spent a lot of time listening to the Beatles and talking […]

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__________________   Beatles 1966 Last interview I have dedicated several posts to this series on the Beatles and I don’t know when this series will end because Francis Schaeffer spent a lot of time listening to the Beatles and talking and writing about them and their impact on the culture of the 1960’s. In this […]

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 49 THE BEATLES (Part A, The Meaning of Stg. Pepper’s Cover) (Feature on artist Mika Tajima)

_______________ The Beatles documentary || A Long and Winding Road || Episode 5 (This video discusses Stg. Pepper’s creation I have dedicated several posts to this series on the Beatles and I don’t know when this series will end because Francis Schaeffer spent a lot of time listening to the Beatles and talking and writing about […]

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_______________ Francis Schaeffer pictured below: _____________________ I have included the 27 minute  episode THE AGE OF NONREASON by Francis Schaeffer. In that video Schaeffer noted,  ” Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band…for a time it became the rallying cry for young people throughout the world. It expressed the essence of their lives, thoughts and their feelings.” How Should […]

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RESPONDING TO HARRY KROTO’S BRILLIANT RENOWNED ACADEMICS!! Bart Ehrman “Why should one think that God performed the miracle of inspiring the words in the first place if He didn’t perform the miracle of preserving the words?”

On November 21, 2014 I received a letter from Nobel Laureate Harry Kroto and it said:

…Please click on this URL http://vimeo.com/26991975

and you will hear what far smarter people than I have to say on this matter. I agree with them.

Harry Kroto

____________________

Below you have picture of 1996 Chemistry Nobel Prize Winner Dr. Harry Kroto:

________________________

Did Jesus Rise From The Dead -Bart Ehrman Vs William Lane Craig

Bart D. Ehrman

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
“Ehrman” redirects here. For another historian, see John Ehrman.
Bart D. Ehrman
Bart-d-ehrman-2012-wikipedia.jpg

Professor Bart D. Ehrman, Ph.D., M.Div.
Born October 5, 1955 (age 59)
Lawrence, Kansas, United States
Nationality American
Education BA (1978), MDiv (1981), PhD (1985)
Alma mater Moody Bible Institute
Wheaton College
Princeton Theological Seminary
Employer The Department of Religious Studies, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Known for New Testament authenticationand textual variants, historical Jesus, early Christian writings, orthodox corruption of scripture.
Spouse(s) Sarah Beckwith
Children Kelly and Derek
Website www.bartdehrman.com

Bart D. Ehrman /ərmən/ (born October 5, 1955) is an American New Testament scholar, currently the James A. Gray Distinguished Professor of Religious Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is a leading scholar in his field, having written and edited over 25 books, including three college textbooks, and has also achieved acclaim at the popular level, authoring five New York Times bestsellers. Ehrman’s work focuses on textual criticism of the New Testament, the historical Jesus, and the development of early Christianity.

Bart Ehrman vs. James White Debate P1

Education[edit]

Ehrman grew up in Lawrence, Kansas, and attended Lawrence High School, where he was on the state champion debate team in 1973. He began studying the Bible and its original languages at Moody Bible Institute, where he earned the school’s three-year diploma in 1976.[1] He is a 1978 graduate of Wheaton College in Illinois, where he received his bachelor’s degree. He received his PhD and M.Div. from Princeton Theological Seminary, where he studied under Bruce Metzger. He received magna cum laude for both his BA in 1978 and PhD in 1985.[2]

Was the New Testament Forged? Darrell Bock vs. Bart D. Ehrman

Career[edit]

Ehrman became an Evangelical Christian as a teenager. In his books, he recounts his youthful enthusiasm as a born-again, fundamentalist Christian, certain that God had inspired the wording of the Bible and protected its texts from all error.[1] His desire to understand the original words of the Bible led him to the study of ancient languages and also textual criticism. During his graduate studies, however, he became convinced that there are contradictions and discrepancies in the biblical manuscripts that could not be harmonized or reconciled. He remained a liberal Christian for 15 years but later became an agnostic after struggling with the philosophical problems of evil and suffering.[1]

Ehrman has taught at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill since 1988, after four years of teaching at Rutgers University. At UNC he has served as both the Director of Graduate Studies and the Chair of the Department of Religious Studies. He was the recipient of the 2009 J. W. Pope “Spirit of Inquiry” Teaching Award, the 1993 UNC Undergraduate Student Teaching Award, the 1994 Phillip and Ruth Hettleman Prize for Artistic and Scholarly Achievement, and the Bowman and Gordon Gray Award for excellence in teaching.[2]

Ehrman currently serves as co-editor of the series New Testament Tools, Studies, and Documents (E. J. Brill), co-editor-in-chief for the journal Vigiliae Christianae, and on several other editorial boards for journals and monographs. Ehrman formerly served as President of the Southeast Region of the Society of Biblical Literature, chair of the New Testament textual criticism section of the Society, book review editor of the Journal of Biblical Literature, and editor of the monograph series The New Testament in the Greek Fathers (Scholars Press).[2]

Ehrman speaks extensively throughout the United States and has participated in many public debates, including debates with William Lane Craig, Dinesh D’Souza, Mike Licona, Craig A. Evans, Daniel B. Wallace, Richard Swinburne,Peter J. Williams, James White, Darrell Bock and Michael L. Brown.

In 2006 and 2009 he appeared on The Colbert Report,[3][4] as well as The Daily Show,[5] to promote his books Misquoting Jesus, and Jesus, Interrupted (respectively).

Ehrman has appeared on the History Channel, the National Geographic Channel, Discovery Channel, A&E, Dateline NBC, CNN, and NPR’s Fresh Air and his writings have been featured in TIME, Newsweek, The New York Times,The New Yorker, and The Washington Post.[6]

Bart Ehrman vs. James White Debate P2

_____________________________

In  the second video below in the 86th clip in this series are his words and  my response is below them. 

50 Renowned Academics Speaking About God (Part 1)

Another 50 Renowned Academics Speaking About God (Part 2)

A Further 50 Renowned Academics Speaking About God (Part 3)

 

___________

Quote from Bart Ehrman:

In the book THE TEXTUAL RELIABILITY OF THE NEW TESTAMENT: A DIALOGUE by Bart Ehrman and Daniel B. Wallace and in the film series RENOWNED ACADEMICS SPEAKING ABOUT GOD, Dr. Ehrman noted:

The Bible is the most widely purchased, most thoroughly read, most broadly misunderstood book in the history of human civilization. One of the things that people misunderstand, of course—especially my nineteen-year-old students from North Carolina—is that when we’re reading the Bible, we’re not actually reading the words of Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, or Paul. We’re reading translations of those words from the Greek of the New Testament. And something is always lost in translation. Not only that, we’re not reading translations of the originals of Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, or Paul, because we don’t have the originals of any of the books of the New Testament. What we have are copies made centuries later—in most instances, many centuries later. These thousands of copies that we have all differ from one another in lots of little ways, and sometimes in big ways. There are places where we don’t know what the authors of the New Testament originally wrote. For some Christians, that’s not a big problem because they don’t have a high view of Scripture. For others, it’s a big problem indeed. What does it mean to say that God inspired the words of the text if we don’t have the words? Moreover, why should one think that God performed the miracle of inspiring the words in the first place if he didn’t perform the miracle of preserving the words? If he meant to give us his very words, why didn’t he make sure we received them?

________

I have two responses to Dr. Ehrman’s assertions. First, the Bible is the most well preserved ancient historical document in the world today and you can look at the Dead Sea Scrolls if you want to see how well the Old Testament was preserved over the centuries or you can look the manuscript evidence that Matt Slick provides in the article below concerning the New Testament. In both cases it is amazing how well God preserved these manuscripts for us. I agree with Slick’s conclusion, “The Christian has substantially superior criteria for affirming the New Testament documents than he does for any other ancient writing.”

Second, I do have a “high view of Scripture” as Dr Ehrman used to when he was an evangelical  and I think that evidence from biblical archaeology backs up my view that the scriptures are historically accurate. I have included some of that evidence below and also a letter of April 14, 2015 written to Dr. Ehrman that included some evidence of that sort.

Manuscript evidence for superior New Testament reliability

by Matt Slick

The New Testament is constantly under attack, and its reliability and accuracy are often contested by critics. If the critics want to disregard the New Testament, then they must also disregard other ancient writings by Plato, Aristotle, and Homer.  This is because the New Testament documents are better preserved and more numerous than any other ancient writings. Because they are so numerous, they can be cross checked for accuracy . . . and they are very consistent.

There are presently 5,686 Greek manuscripts in existence today for the New Testament.1 If we were to compare the number of New Testament manuscripts to other ancient writings, we find that the New Testament manuscripts far outweigh the others in quantity.2

Author Date
Written
Earliest Copy Approximate Time Span between original & copy Number of Copies Accuracy of Copies
Lucretius died 55 or 53 B.C. 1,100 yrs 2 —-
Pliny A.D. 61-113 A.D. 850 750 yrs 7 —-
Plato 427-347 B.C. A.D. 900 1,200 yrs 7 —-
Demosthenes 4th Cent. B.C. A.D. 1100 800 yrs 8 —-
Herodotus 480-425 B.C. A.D. 900 1,300 yrs 8 —-
Suetonius A.D. 75-160 A.D. 950 800 yrs 8 —-
Thucydides 460-400 B.C. A.D. 900 1,300 yrs 8 —-
Euripides 480-406 B.C. A.D. 1100 1,300 yrs 9 —-
Aristophanes 450-385 B.C. A.D. 900 1200 10 —-
Caesar 100-44 B.C. A.D. 900 1,000 10 —-
Livy 59 BC-AD 17 —- ??? 20 —-
Tacitus circa A.D. 100 A.D. 1100 1,000 yrs 20 —-
Aristotle 384-322 B.C. A.D. 1100 1,400 49 —-
Sophocles 496-406 B.C. A.D. 1000 1,400 yrs 193 —-
Homer (Iliad) 900 B.C. 400 B.C. 500 yrs 643 95%
New
Testament
1st Cent. A.D. (A.D. 50-100) 2nd Cent. A.D.
(c. A.D. 130 f.)
less than 100 years 5600 99.5%

 

As you can see, there are thousands more New Testament Greek manuscripts than any other ancient writing. The internal consistency of the New Testament documents is about 99.5% textually pure. That is an amazing accuracy. In addition, there are over 19,000 copies in the Syriac, Latin, Coptic, and Aramaic languages. The total supporting New Testament manuscript base is over 24,000.

Almost all Biblical scholars agree that the New Testament documents were all written before the close of the First Century. If Jesus was crucified in A.D. 30., then that means the entire New Testament was completed within 70 years. This is important because it means there were plenty of people around when the New Testament documents were penned–people who could have contested the writings. In other words, those who wrote the documents knew that if they were inaccurate, plenty of people would have pointed it out. But, we have absolutely no ancient documents contemporary with the First Century that contest the New Testament texts.

Furthermore, another important aspect of this discussion is the fact that we have a fragment of the Gospel of John that dates back to around 29 years from the original writing (John Rylands Papyri A.D. 125). This is extremely close to the original writing date. This is simply unheard of in any other ancient writing, and it demonstrates that the Gospel of John is a First Century document.

Below is a chart with some of the oldest extant New Testament manuscripts compared to when they were originally penned. Compare these time spans with the next closest, which is Homer’sIliad, where the closest copy from the original is 500 years later. Undoubtedly, that period of time allows for more textual corruption in its transmission. How much less so for the New Testament documents?

Important
Manuscript
Papyri
Contents Date
Original Written
MSS
Date
Approx.
Time Span
Location
p52
(John Rylands
Fragment)3
John 18:31-33, 37-38 circa
A.D. 96
circa
A.D.
125
29 yrs John Rylands Library, Manchester, England
P46
(Chester Beatty Papyrus)
Rom. 5:17-6:3, 5-14, 8:15-25, 27-35,10:1-11, 22, 24-33, 35, 16:1-23, 25-27, Heb., 1 & 2 Cor., Eph., Gal., Phil., Col., 1 Thess. 1:1, 9-10, 2:1-3, 5:5-9, 23-28 50’s-70’s circa
A.D.
200
Approx.
150 yrs
Chester Beatty Museum, Dublin & Ann Arbor, Michigan, University of Michigan library
P66
(Bodmer Papyrus)
John 1:1-6:11, 35-14:26, fragment of 14:29-21:9 70’s circa
A.D.
200
Approx.
130 yrs
Cologne, Geneva
P67 Matt. 3:9, 15, 5:20-22, 25-28 circa
A.D.
200
Approx.
130 yrs
Barcelona, Fundacion San Lucas Evangelista, P. Barc.1

If the critics of the Bible dismiss the New Testament as reliable information, then they must also dismiss the reliability of the writings of Plato, Aristotle, Caesar, Homer, and the other authors mentioned in the chart at the beginning of the paper. On the other hand, if the critics acknowledge the historicity and writings of those other individuals, then they must also retain the historicity and writings of the New Testament authors, after all, the evidence for the New Testament’s reliability is far greater than the others. The Christian has substantially superior criteria for affirming the New Testament documents than he does for any other ancient writing. It is good evidence on which to base the trust in the reliability of the New Testament.

 

  • 1.Norman Geisler & Peter Bocchino, Unshakeable Foundations, (Minneapolis, MN: Bethany House Publishers, 2001) p. 256.
  • 2.The above chart was adapted from three sources: 1) Christian Apologetics, by Norman Geisler, 1976, p. 307, 2) the article “Archaeology and History attest to the Reliability of the Bible,” by Richard M. Fales, Ph.D., in The Evidence Bible, Compiled by Ray Comfort, Bridge-Logos Publishers, Gainesville, FL, 2001, p. 163, and 3) A Ready Defense, by Josh Mcdowell, 1993, p. 45.
  • 3.“Deissmann was convinced that p52 was written well within the reign of Hadrian (A.D. 117-38) and perhaps even during the time of Trajan (A.D. 98-117)” (Footnote #2 found on pg. 39 of The Text of the New Testament, by Bruce M. Metzger, 2nd Ed. 1968, Oxford University Press, NY, NY). Bruce Metzger has authored more than 50 books. He holds two Masters Degrees, a Ph.D. and has been awarded several honorary doctorates. “He is past president of the Society of Biblical Literature, the International Society for New Testament Studies, and the North American Patristic Society.”–From, The Case for Christ, by Lee Strobel, Zondervan Publishers, 1998, Grand Rapids, MI: pg. 57.

 

 

April 14, 2015

Dear Dr. Ehrman,

I have really enjoyed listening to your You Tube videos and I really liked the debate you did with William Lane Craig. In that debate you said you went to Moody Bible Institute and Wheaton College. I WONDER IF YOU GOT TO HEAR MY HERO FRANCIS SCHAEFFER SPEAK IN PERSON?  I know that he visited both locations  both in the 1960’s and 1970’s. I just purchased 88 of his messages given on Moody Bible Radio Broadcasts and I know that his first three books were actually transcripts from his speeches at Wheaton in 1967.

As you can tell from reading this letter I am an evangelical Christian and I have made it a hobby of mine to correspond with scientists or academics like yourself over the last 25 years. Some of those who corresponded back with me have been  Ernest Mayr (1904-2005), George Wald (1906-1997), Carl Sagan (1934-1996),  Robert Shapiro (1935-2011), Nicolaas Bloembergen (1920-),  Brian Charlesworth (1945-),  Francisco J. Ayala (1934-) Elliott Sober (1948-), Kevin Padian (1951-), Matt Cartmill (1943-) , Milton Fingerman (1928-), John J. Shea (1969-), , Michael A. Crawford (1938-), Paul Kurtz (1925-2012), Sol Gordon (1923-2008), Albert Ellis (1913-2007), Barbara Marie Tabler (1915-1996), Renate Vambery (1916-2005), Archie J. Bahm (1907-1996), Aron S “Gil” Martin ( 1910-1997), Matthew I. Spetter (1921-2012), H. J. Eysenck (1916-1997), Robert L. Erdmann (1929-2006), Mary Morain (1911-1999), Lloyd Morain (1917-2010),  Warren Allen Smith (1921-), Bette Chambers (1930-),  Gordon Stein (1941-1996) , Milton Friedman (1912-2006), John Hospers (1918-2011), Michael Martin (1932-).Harry Kroto (1939-), Marty E. Martin (1928-), Richard Rubenstein (1924-), James Terry McCollum (1936-), Edward O. WIlson (1929-), Lewis Wolpert (1929), Gerald Holton (1922-), Martin Rees (1942-), Alan Macfarlane (1941-),  Roald Hoffmann (1937-), Herbert Kroemer (1928-), Thomas H. Jukes (1906-1999), Glenn BranchGeoff Harcourt (1931-) and  Ray T. Cragun (1976-). I would consider it an honor to add you to this very distinguished list. 

I just finished reading the online addition of the book Darwin, Francis ed. 1892. Charles Darwin: his life told in an autobiographical chapter, and in a selected series of his published letters [abridged edition]. London: John Murray. There are several points that Charles Darwin makes in this book that were very wise, honest, logical, shocking and some that were not so wise. The Christian Philosopher Francis Schaeffer once said of Darwin’s writings, “Darwin in his autobiography and in his letters showed that all through his life he never really came to a quietness concerning the possibility that chance really explained the situation of the biological world. You will find there is much material on this [from Darwin] extended over many many years that constantly he was wrestling with this problem.”

I THINK DARWIN OPENED UP ABOUT HIS MOST INNER FEELINGS MUCH MORE THAN HE HAS BEEN GIVEN CREDIT FOR AND THAT IS WHAT I WROTE YOU ABOUT TODAY SINCE YOU ALSO DEALT WITH THIS SAME ISSUE OF LOSING YOUR BECAUSE OF THE PROBLEM OF EVIL!!!!!! Since I wrote you about that issue last time, I am going to just focus on the evolution of his religious views and I thought you could relate to these. By the way there is an article by J. Warner Wallace that discusses some of your views that I thought you may be interested in (Investigating Bart Ehrman’s Top Ten Troublesome Bible Verses).

 Just like Darwin you lost your faith not  overnight but it was  over time. I am sure that you love music like I do and that would make you even more curious about Darwin’s later life.  I read the book Charles Darwin: his life told in an autobiographical chapter, and in a selected series of his published letters  and was surprised because of what Darwin said about science causing him to lose his aesthetic tastes. I am going to quote some of Charles Darwin’s own words and then include the comments of Francis Schaeffer on those words. I have also enclosed a CD with two messages from Adrian Rogers and Bill Elliff concerning Darwinism.

 CHARLES DARWIN’S AUTOBIOGRAPHY. Addendum. Written May 1st, 1881 [the year before his death].

“I have said that in one respect my mind has changed during the last twenty or thirty years. Up to the age of thirty, or beyond it, poetry of many kinds, such as the works of Milton, Gray, Byron, Wordsworth, Coleridge, and Shelley, gave me great pleasure, and even as a schoolboy I took intense delight in Shakespeare, especially in the historical plays. I have also said that formerly pictures gave me considerable, and music very great delight. But now for many years I cannot endure to read a line of poetry: I have tried lately to read Shakespeare, and found it so intolerably dull that it nauseated me. I have also almost lost my taste for pictures or music. Music generally sets me thinking too energetically on what I have been at work on, instead of giving me pleasure. I retain some taste for fine scenery, but it does not cause me the exquisite delight which it formerly did….My mind seems to have become a kind of machine for grinding general laws out of large collections of facts, but why this should have caused the atrophy of that part of the brain alone, on which the higher tastes depend, I cannot conceive….The loss of these tastes is a loss of happiness, and may possibly be injurious to the intellect, and more probably to the moral character, by enfeebling the emotional part of our nature.”

Francis Schaeffer commented:

This is the old man Darwin writing at the end of his life. What he is saying here is the further he has gone on with his studies the more he has seen himself reduced to a machine as far as aesthetic things are concerned. I think this is crucial because as we go through this we find that his struggles and my sincere conviction is that he never came to the logical conclusion of his own position, but he nevertheless in the death of the higher qualities as he calls them, art, music, poetry, and so on, what he had happen to him was his own theory was producing this in his own self just as his theories a hundred years later have produced this in our culture. 

Darwin, C. R. to Fordyce, John7 May 1879

“I may state that my judgment often fluctuates . . . In my most extreme fluctuations I have never been an Atheist in the sense of denying the existence of a God. I think that generally (and more and more as I grow older), but not always, that an Agnostic would be the more correct description of my state of mind.”

Francis Schaeffer asserted:

What we find now is that he comes to the place in being agnostic, but as we read through this section on religion what we find is in reality his reason leads him against this position, which is interesting but his theory makes him accept the  position of agnosticism….. I think what you have in Darwin is a magnificent example, although a sad one of what I lecture on in apologetics,  and that is if a man takes a set of nonchristian presuppositions he is forced eventually to be in a place of tension. The more consistent he is with his own nonchristian presuppositions the more he is away from the real world. When he is closer to the real world then he is more illogical to his own presuppositions.

Darwin, C. R. to Doedes, N. D.2 Apr 1873

“But I  may say that the impossibility of conceiving that this grand and wondrous universe, with our conscious selves, arose through chance, seems to me the chief argument for the existence of God; but whether this is an argument of real value, I have never been able to decide.”

Francis Schaeffer observed:

So he sees here exactly the same that I would labor and what Paul gives in Romans chapter one, and that is first this tremendous universe [and it’s form] and the second thing, the mannishness of man and the concept of this arising from chance is very difficult for him to come to accept and he is forced to leap into this, his own kind of Kierkegaardian leap, but he is forced to leap into this because of his presuppositions but when in reality the real world troubles him. He sees there is no third alternative. If you do not have the existence of God then you only have chance. In my own lectures I am constantly pointing out there are only two possibilities, either a personal God or this concept of the impersonal plus time plus chance and Darwin understood this . You will notice that he divides it into the same exact two points that Paul does in Romans chapter one into and that Carl Gustav Jung (1875-1961) will in the problem of existence, the external universe, and man and his consciousness. Paul points out there are these two steps that man is confronted with…

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Here below is the Romans passage that Schaeffer is referring to and verse 19 refers to what Schaeffer calls “the mannishness of man” and verse 20 refers to Schaeffer’s other point which is  “the universe and it’s form.”Romans 1:18-22Amplified Bible (AMP) 18 For God’s [holy] wrath and indignation are revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who in their wickedness repress and hinder the truth and make it inoperative. 19 For that which is known about God is evident to them and made plain in their inner consciousness, because God [Himself] has shown it to them. 20 For ever since the creation of the world His invisible nature and attributes, that is, His eternal power and divinity, have been made intelligible and clearly discernible in and through the things that have been made (His handiworks). So [men] are without excuse [altogether without any defense or justification], 21 Because when they knew and recognized Him as God, they did not honor andglorify Him as God or give Him thanks. But instead they became futile andgodless in their thinking [with vain imaginings, foolish reasoning, and stupid speculations] and their senseless minds were darkened. 22 Claiming to be wise, they became fools [professing to be smart, they made simpletons of themselves]

In 1879 Charles Darwin was applied to by a German student, in a similar manner. The letter was answered by a member of my father’s family, who wrote:–

“Mr. Darwin…considers that the theory of Evolution is quite compatible with the belief in a God; but that you must remember that different persons have different definitions of what they mean by God.” 

Francis Schaeffer commented:

You find a great confusion in his writings although there is a general structure in them. Here he says the word “God” is alright but you find later what he doesn’t take is a personal God. Of course, what you open is the whole modern linguistics concerning the word “God.” is God a pantheistic God? What kind of God is God? Darwin says there is nothing incompatible with the word “God.”

This, however, did not satisfy the German youth, who again wrote to my father, and received from him the following reply:—

” Science has nothing to do with Christ, except in so far as the habit of scientific research makes a man cautious in admitting evidence. For myself, I do not believe that there ever has been any revelation.”

Francis Schaeffer observed:

So he has come to the place as an old man that he doesn’t believe there has been any revelation. In his younger years he held a different position.

The passages which here follow are extracts, somewhat abbreviated, from a part of the Autobiography, written in 1876, in which my father gives the history of his religious views:—“During these two years* (ft note *October 1836 to January 1839.) I was led to think much about religion. Whilst on board the Beagle I was quite orthodox, and I remember being heartily laughed at by several of the officers (though themselves orthodox) for quoting the Bible as an unanswerable authority on some point of morality.

Francis Schaeffer noted:

So you find that as a younger man he did accept the Bible. As an older man he has given up revelation but he is not satisfied with his own answers. He is caught in the tension that modern man is caught in. He is a prefiguration  of the modern man and he himself contributed to. Then Darwin goes on and tells us why he gave up the Bible.

Darwin went on to write:

I suppose it was the novelty of the argument that amused them. But I had gradually come by this time, i.e. 1836 to 1836, to see that the Old Testament was no more to be trusted than the sacred books of the Hindoos. The question then continually rose before my mind and would not be banished,—is it credible that if God were now to make a revelation to the Hindoos, he would permit it to be connected with the belief in Vishnu, Siva, &c., as Christianity is connected with the Old Testament? This appeared to me utterly incredible.

Francis Schaeffer asserted:

Darwin is saying that he gave up the New Testament because it was connected to the Old Testament. He gave up the Old Testament because it conflicted with his own theory. Did he have a real answer himself and the answer is no. At the end of his life we see that he is dehumanized by his position and on the other side we see that he never comes to the place of intellectual satisfaction for himself that his answers were sufficient.

Darwin continued:

“BUT I WAS VERY UNWILLING  TO GIVE UP MY BELIEF; I feel sure of this, for I can well remember often and often inventing day-dreams of old letters between distinguished Romans, and manuscripts being discovered at Pompeii or elsewhere, which confirmed in the most striking manner all that was written in the Gospels.

Francis Schaeffer commented:

This is very sad. He lies on his bunk and the Beagle tosses and turns and he makes daydreams, and his dreams and hopes are that someone would find in Pompeii or some place like this, an old manuscript by a distinguished Roman that would put his stamp of authority on it, which would be able to show that Christ existed. This is undoubtedly what he is talking about. Darwin gave up this hope with great difficulty. I think he didn’t want to come to the position where his accepted presuppositions were driving him. He didn’t want to give it up, just as an older man he understood where it would lead…

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The area of Biblical Archaeology has advanced so much since Darwin wrote these words in the 19th century!!!!! ASK YOURSELF THIS SIMPLE QUESTION BEFORE YOU PUT YOUR FAITH IN THE ACCURACY OF THE SCRIPTURES: Is the Bible historically accurate and have I taken the time to examine the evidence? Here are some of the posts I have done in the past on the subject and if you like you could just google these subjects: 1. The Babylonian Chronicleof Nebuchadnezzars Siege of Jerusalem2. Hezekiah’s Siloam Tunnel Inscription. 3. Taylor Prism (Sennacherib Hexagonal Prism)4. Biblical Cities Attested Archaeologically. 5. The Discovery of the Hittites6.Shishak Smiting His Captives7. Moabite Stone8Black Obelisk of Shalmaneser III9A Verification of places in Gospel of John and Book of Acts., 9B Discovery of Ebla Tablets10. Cyrus Cylinder11. Puru “The lot of Yahali” 9th Century B.C.E.12. The Uzziah Tablet Inscription13. The Pilate Inscription14. Caiaphas Ossuary14 B Pontius Pilate Part 214c. Three greatest American Archaeologists moved to accept Bible’s accuracy through archaeology.,

Darwin also noted:

“But I found it more and more difficult, with free scope given to my imagination, to invent evidence which would suffice to convince me. Thus disbelief crept over me at a very slow rate, but was at last complete. THE RATE WAS SLOW that I felt no distress. Although I did not think much about the existence of a personal God until a considerably later period of my life,”

Francis Schaeffer commented:

So there is something deficient in his position from the beginning. The word of God if it is going to mean something, must mean a personal God. The word “God” is without much meaning otherwise.

_________________

Francis Schaeffer noted that in Darwin’s 1876 Autobiography that Darwin he is going to set forth two arguments for God in this and again you will find when he comes to the end of this that he is in tremendous tension. Darwin wrote, 

“At the present day the most usual argument for the existence of an intelligent God is drawn from the deep inward conviction and feelings which are experienced by most persons.Formerly I was led by feelings such as those just referred to (although I do not think that the religious sentiment was ever strongly developed in me), to the firm conviction of the existence of God and of the immortality of the soul. In my Journal I wrote that whilst standing in the midst of the grandeur of a Brazilian forest, ‘it is not possible to give an adequate idea of the higher feelings of wonder, admiration, and devotion which fill and elevate the mind.’ I well remember my conviction that there is more in man than the mere breath of his body; but now the grandest scenes would not cause any such convictions and feelings to rise in my mind. It may be truly said that I am like a man who has become COLOUR-BLIND.”

Francis Schaeffer remarked:

Now Darwin says when I look back and when I look at nature I came to the conclusion that man can not be just a fly! But now Darwin has moved from being a younger man to an older man and he has allowed his presuppositions to enter in to block his logic, these things at the end of his life he had no intellectual answer for. To block them out in favor of his theory. Remember the letter of his that said he had lost all aesthetic senses when he had got older and he had become a clod himself. Now interesting he says just the same thing, but not in relation to the arts, namely music, pictures, etc, but to nature itself. Darwin said, “But now the grandest scenes would not cause any such convictions  and feelings to rise in my mind. It may be truly said that I am like a man who has become colour-blind…” So now you see that Darwin’s presuppositions have not only robbed him of the beauty of man’s creation in art, but now the universe. He can’t look at it now and see the beauty. The reason he can’t see the beauty is for a very, very , very simple reason: THE BEAUTY DRIVES HIM TO DISTRACTION. THIS IS WHERE MODERN MAN IS AND IT IS HELL. The art is hell because it reminds him of man and how great man is, and where does it fit in his system? It doesn’t. When he looks at nature and it’s beauty he is driven to the same distraction and so consequently you find what has built up inside him is a real death, not  only the beauty of the artistic but the beauty of nature. He has no answer in his logic and he is left in tension.  He dies and has become less than human because these two great things (such as any kind of art and the beauty of  nature) that would make him human  stand against his theory.

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Darwin like you was consistent with his view of the UNIFORMITY OF  NATURAL CAUSES in a closed system and it cost him the love of music, art and the beauty of nature. TWO OTHER ALSO HELD THIS SAME view  of uniformity of natural causes in a closed system in 1978 when their hit song DUST IN THE WIND rose to the top 10 in the music charts.

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IF WE ARE LEFT WITH JUST THE MACHINE THEN WHAT IS THE FINAL CONCLUSION IF THERE WAS NO PERSONAL GOD THAT CREATED US? I sent you a CD that starts off with the song DUST IN THE WIND by Kerry Livgren of the group KANSAS which was a hit song in 1978 when it rose to #6 on the charts because so many people connected with the message of the song. It included these words, “All we do, crumbles to the ground though we refuse to see, Dust in the Wind, All we are is dust in the wind, Don’t hang on, Nothing lasts forever but the Earth and Sky, It slips away, And all your money won’t another minute buy.”

Kerry Livgren himself said that he wrote the song because he saw where man was without a personal God in the picture. Solomon pointed out in the Book of Ecclesiastes that those who believe that God doesn’t exist must accept three things. FIRST, death is the end and SECOND, chance and time are the only guiding forces in this life.  FINALLY, power reigns in this life and the scales are never balanced. The Christian can  face death and also confront the world knowing that it is not determined by chance and time alone and finally there is a judge who will balance the scales.

Both Kerry Livgren and the bass player Dave Hope of Kansas became Christians eventually. Kerry Livgren first tried Eastern Religions and Dave Hope had to come out of a heavy drug addiction. I was shocked and elated to see their personal testimony on The 700 Club in 1981 and that same  interview can be seen on You Tube today. Livgren lives in Topeka, Kansas today where he teaches “Diggers,” a Sunday school class at Topeka Bible ChurchDAVE HOPE is the head of Worship, Evangelism and Outreach at Immanuel Anglican Church in Destin, Florida.

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.com, http://www.thedailyhatch.org, cell ph 501-920-5733, Box 23416, LittleRock, AR 72221, United States

You can hear DAVE HOPE and Kerry Livgren’s stories from this youtube link:

(part 1 ten minutes)

(part 2 ten minutes)

Kansas – Dust in the Wind (Official Video)

Uploaded on Nov 7, 2009

Pre-Order Miracles Out of Nowhere now at http://www.miraclesoutofnowhere.com

About the film:
In 1973, six guys in a local band from America’s heartland began a journey that surpassed even their own wildest expectations, by achieving worldwide superstardom… watch the story unfold as the incredible story of the band KANSAS is told for the first time in the DVD Miracles Out of Nowhere.

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Adrian Rogers on Darwinism

 

The Bible and Archaeology – Is the Bible from God? (Kyle Butt 42 min)

Below is a piece of that evidence given by Francis Schaeffer concerning the accuracy of the Bible.

TRUTH AND HISTORY (chapter 5 of WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE HUMAN RACE?, under footnote #96)

We should take one last step back into the history of the Old Testament. In the previous note we looked first at the Dead Sea Scrolls, dating to around 100 B.C. Then we went back to the period of the Late Monarchy and looked first at the siege of Hezekiah in Jerusalem by Sennacherib in 701 B.C. and also at the last years of Judah down to about 600 B.C. Then we went further back to about 850 B.C., to Ahab and Jezebel, the ivory house, the Black Obelisk, the Moabite Stone and so on–then back again to about 950 B.C., to the time of Solomon and his son Rehoboam and the campaign by Shishak, the Egyptian pharaoh.

This should have built up in our minds a vivid impression of the historic reliability of the biblical text, including even the seemingly obscure details such as the ration tablets in Babylon. We saw, in other words, not only that the Bible gives us a marvelous world view that ties in with the nature of reality and answers the basic problems which philosophers have asked down through the centuries, but also that the Bible is completely reliable, EVEN ON THE HISTORICAL LEVEL.

The previous notes looked back to the time of Moses and Joshua, the escape from Egypt, and the settlement in Canaan. Now we will go back further–back as far as Genesis 12, near the beginning of the Bible.

Do we find that the narrative fades away to a never-never land of myths and legends? By no means. For we have to remind ourselves that although Genesis 12 deals with events a long time ago from our moment of history (about 2000 B.C. or a bit later), the civilized world was already not just old but ancient when Abram/Abraham left “Ur of the Chaldeans” (see Genesis 11:31).

Ur itself was excavated some fifty years ago. In the British Museum, for example, one can see the magnificent contents of a royal burial chamber from Ur. This includes a gold headdress still in position about the head of a queen who died in Ur about 2500 B.C. It has also been possible to reconstruct from archaeological remains what the streets and buildings must have been like at the time.

Like Ur, the rest of the world of the patriarchs (that is, of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob) was firm reality. Such places as Haran, where Abraham went first, have been discovered. So has Shechem from this time, with its Canaanite stone walls, which are still standing, and its temple.

Genesis 12:5-9New American Standard Bible (NASB)

Abram took Sarai his wife and Lot his nephew, and all their possessions which they had accumulated, and the [a]persons which they had acquired in Haran, and they [b]set out for the land of Canaan; thus they came to the land of Canaan. Abram passed through the land as far as the site of Shechem, to the[c]oak of Moreh. Now the Canaanite was then in the land. The Lord appeared to Abram and said, “To your [d]descendants I will give this land.” So he built an altar there to the Lord who had appeared to him. Then he proceeded from there to the mountain on the east of Bethel, and pitched his tent, with Bethel on the west and Ai on the east; and there he built an altar to the Lord andcalled upon the name of the Lord. Abram journeyed on, continuing toward the[e]Negev.

Haran and Shechem may be unfamiliar names to us but the Negrev (or Negeb) is a name we have all read frequently in the news accounts of our own day. 

Negev Nuclear Research Center – Israel

The Negev – Israel’s Desert

This article was first published in the Spring 2005 issue of Bible and Spade.
“If the full meaning of a passage [in the Bible] is to be grasped, the context of the passage needs to be appropriately developed” (Greenwold 2004: 72). In his pithy study of Luke’s Gospel account of Elizabeth and Zachariah, Greenwold gives an example of what he means: “All too often in our church lifetime, we end up being given many theological and doctrinal factual ornaments, but seldom are we shown the tree upon which to hang them. It’s as if we have been handed dozens of pieces to a puzzle, but have never seen what the finished picture on the top of the puzzle box looks like” (2004: 73). I think that Greenwold has it right.
Jesus and the woman at Jacob’s well in John 4 is an excellent case in point. The story takes place near the Old Testament city of Shechem. Shechem is mentioned 60 times in the Old Testament. The city had been abandoned by New Testament times, but Stephen reiterates its importance in his speech in Acts 7:16. A small village, Sychar, was near the ruins of Shechem in New Testament times and is mentioned in the John 4 account (Jn 4:5). Unfortunately, most Bible studies of events at or near Shechem, and commentaries on the Book of John, omit Shechem’s pivotal role in Bible history and how it fit into God’s salvation plan.
 
The narrow pass where ancient Shechem is located at the modern city of Nablus, view west. Mt. Gerizim is on the left and Mt. Ebal on the right. Dr. James C. Martin.
Archaeological investigations have corroborated much of what the Bible has to say about Shechem’s physical and cultural aspects. Archaeology has confirmed Shechem’s location, its history, and many Biblical details. In this article I will integrate what archaeology has illuminated about this important place and its geographical importance with a macro look at Shechem’s place in revealing God’s promise and plan to restore believers to Him.1
Map of Shechem area showing the location of Tell Balata (ancient Shechem), Joseph’s tomb and Jacob’s Well. ASOR, 2002.
Location and Exploration
About 30 mi (49 km) north of Jerusalem is a low, 15-acre mound, known as Tell Balata. This nondescript ruin covers what was ancient Shechem. The tell rests in a long, narrow, east-west valley with the two highest mountains in central Palestine towering over it, Mt. Ebal on the north and Mt. Gerizim on the south. The Hebrew word shekemmeans “back” or “shoulder,” which probably refers to Shechem’s placement between the two mountains. Coming from the south, the major road from Beersheba, Hebron and Jerusalem splits here. One branch goes east, around Mt. Ebal, and provides access to the Jordan Valley and cities like Beth Shan. The western arm leads to the coastal plain and cities to the north such as Samaria and Dothan. Thus, ancient Shechem and its modern counterpart, Nablus, are in a very strategic location along the watershed road between Judah, the Jordan Valley, Transjordan, and the Galilee.2
In 1903, a group of German scholars under the direction of H. Tiersch examined Tell Balata and concluded it was ancient Shechem. Until that time there had been controversy over whether Tell Balata, or the modern city of Nablus nearby, was the location of ancient Shechem. Tiersch’s identification has never been seriously questioned.
E. Sellin led an Austro-German excavation team to Tell Balata in 1913 and 1914. His work was interrupted by World War I. Sellin began work again in 1926 and continued until 1936. Work was resumed in 1956 by an American team under the direction of G. E. Wright and B. W. Anderson. The latest season of excavations at Tell Balata was in 1973 under the direction of W. G. Dever (Campbell 1993: 1347; Seger 1997:21).
Aerial view of the ruins of Shechem. On the right is the Middle Bronze fortification wall and in the upper center the “Migdal,” or fortress, temple. Holy Land Satellite Atlas, 1999, p. 100.
Abram at Shechem
The first mention of Shechem in the Bible is Genesis 12:6, when Abram first entered Canaan. It is succinctly described: “Abram traveled through the land as far as the site of the great tree of Moreh at Shechem.” At that time, God promised Abram, “To your offspring I will give this land” (Gn 12:7). The next mention of Shechem is 11 chapters, and about 200 years, later, when the Bible records that Jacob, Abram’s grandson, “camped within sight of the city” (Gn 33:18).
Assuming a conservative dating for the Patriarchal events in the Bible,3 note that Abram camped in Canaan about 2090 BC and there is no mention of a city. However, when Jacob arrived 200 hundred years later, around 1890 BC, the Bible notes that he “camped within sight of the city [Shechem].” In the original Hebrew, the word translated in our English Bible as “city” meant a permanent, walled settlement (Hansen 2003:81, Wood 1999:23). Genesis 34:20 and 24 report that Shechem had a city gate; therefore it was fortified.
Can archaeology clarify if there was or was not a city? Yes. The absence of a “city” and walls at Tell Balata when Abram came through and the existence of a city in the time of Jacob is in complete agreement with what the Bible indicates is Shechem’s early history.
Excavations have revealed that the earliest urbanization at Tell Balata was in MB I (Levels XXII-XXI), about 1900–1750 BC. MB I was when Jacob lived by the city of Shechem. Prior to MB I, in the time of Abram’s visit, archaeology has demonstrated that there was a gap in settlement and an absence of fortification walls. Thus, there was no “city” for Abram to reference, as the Bible correctly infers (Campbell 1993: 1347).
Jacob and Joseph at Shechem
What was the city like when Jacob settled there? Archaeologists have revealed that Tell Balata in MB I had structures with mudbrick walls on stone foundations and they have found an abundance of artifacts typical of domestic living (Toombs 1992: 1179). The Bible records that during Jacob’s stay he purchased land near Shechem. This parcel would become the place where his son, Joseph, would later be entombed (Jos 24:32). The tumultuous Dinah affair also occurred during Jacob’s stay at Shechem. Its aftermath resulted in the murder of Shechem’s male population by two of Jacob’s sons (Gn 33–34). Subsequently, God told Jacob to move to Bethel (Gn 35:1) and then on to Hebron (Gn 35:7).
The next Biblical mention of Shechem is in connection with the story of 17-year-old Joseph, Jacob’s son, who was sold into slavery by his jealous brothers (Gn 37). In the account, Joseph’s brothers were grazing the family’s flocks near Shechem when Jacob sent Joseph to inquire of them. After looking for them at Shechem, he found them a short distance north at Dothan. There, the brothers conspired to sell Joseph into slavery, setting the stage for the subsequent accounts of Joseph’s rise to power, Jacob and his family moving to Egypt and, later, Israel’s oppression by Egyptian Pharaohs.
The earliest known extra-Biblical written record of Shechem comes from the Middle Bronze period. It is an inscription on a stele (an upright standing stone) of an Egyptian, Khu-Sebek, who was a nobleman in the court of Sesostris III (ca. 1880–1840 BC). It was found in 1901 by the renowned archaeologist J. Garstang at Abydos, Egypt. King Sesostris III became ruler shortly after Jacob was at Shechem, and he was probably the king when Jacob died in Egypt. Khu-Sebek’s stele describes how the king’s army campaigned in a foreign country named Sekmem (Shechem) and how “Sekmem fell” (Toombs 1992: 1179). W. Shea believes that the campaign on Khu-Sebek’s stele is none other than the Egyptians’ account of the military encounters experienced by the entourage accompanying Joseph when Jacob’s embalmed body was brought to Canaan for entombment at Machpelah (Gn 50:12–14) (Shea 1992: 38 ff.).
Khu-Sebek’s stele reveals that as early as the 19th century BC, Shechem was an important strategic location and a place worthy of mention in a notable Egyptian’s biography.
Stela of Khu-Sebek. He is shown seated, accompanied by members of his family, his nurse, and the superintendent of the cabinet. Discovered by British archaeologist John Garstang at Abydos, Egypt, in 1901, the stela is now on display in the museum of the University of Manchester, England. Mike Luddeni.
Joshua at Shechem
A little over 400 years later, God rescued the Israelites from Egyptian bondage and led them through the desert wilderness for 40 years. Near the end of this sojourn, their leader Moses said that once they entered the land God had promised them (at Shechem, see Gn 12:7!), they were to erect an altar on Mt. Ebal (Dt 27:4) and read portions of the Law while the people were assembled before Mounts Ebal and Gerizim (Dt 11:26–30; 27:12, 13).
As I noted above, the mountains of Ebal and Gerizim overlook the valley wherein lay Shechem. The mountains form a natural amphitheater in which the recitation of the Law could easily be heard. Despite the mountains’ heights (Ebal is 3,083 ft [940 m] and Gerizim is 2,890 ft [881 m]), there are many contemporary accounts of people speaking from the slopes of the mountains and being heard in the valley below. Even with the noise of the busy modern city of Nablus, I myself have been in the park at the top of Gerizim and clearly heard the voices of children playing in the Balata refugee camp at Gerizim’s base.
Joshua fulfilled Moses’ instructions and led the people directly to Gerizim and Ebal after defeating the stronghold at Ai (Jos 7–8). Assuming an “early Exodus” date (1446 BC), the Israelite entry into Canaan, after 40 years in the wilderness, was approximately 1406 BC, in the Late Bronze (LB) IB period.4 LB IB corresponds with Tell Balata’s Level XIV (Campbell 1993: 1347; Toombs 1992: 1178). During the 350 years of the previous MB period, the city had been fortified with earthen embankments and cyclopean wall fortifications. However, Shechem was destroyed around 1540 BC. The ferocity of the destruction resulted in debris covering the city up to a depth of 5.25 ft (1.6 m). It is surmised that the Egyptian armies of Ahmose I or Amenhotep I were the aggressors (Toombs 1992: 1182).
About 90 years after that catastrophe the city was rebuilt early in the LB I period, around 1450 BC. Level XIV corresponds to this date and is noted for the reconstruction of the city’s defensive walls, homes, and a well built, fortress-type, temple. This Level XIV occupation was the city at which Joshua and the Israelites arrived to fulfill Moses’ orders to read the Law before Ebal and Gerizim around 1406 BC.
The Book of Joshua makes an interesting observation about that visit:
All Israel, aliens and citizens alike…. were standing on both sides of the ark of the covenant of the LORD, facing those who carried it…. There was not a word of all that Moses had commanded that Joshua did not read to the whole assembly of Israel, including the women and children, and the aliens who lived among them (Jos 8:33, 35).
It appears that the crowd who heard the words of the Law that day was composed of both Israelites and native Shechemites (aliens)! The Bible implies that both Shechemites and Israelites co-existed at Shechem. This unusual situation can be further confirmed by the fact that Shechem became one of only three Israelite Cities of Refuge on the west side of the Jordan River, as well as being a city of the Levitical priesthood (Jos 20:7; 21:21). All this occurred even though there is no record in the Bible of it being taken in battle.5
Years later, Joshua again gathered the Israelites at Shechem (Jos 24). He reminded them of God’s promises and how He had fulfilled those promises and delivered them from diversities. Joshua then challenged the people to say whom they would serve and they promised to serve God (Jos 24:14–20). The renewal ceremony between the Israelites and God recognized the promises God made to Abraham (Gn 12:7; 17:7, 8), Jacob, and the people at Sinai through Moses (Ex 24:8).
The next event at Shechem in the Bible was the fulfillment of another promise: the burial of the Patriarch Joseph. Just before his death in Egypt, Joseph asked his brothers to bring his body back to the land “promised to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob” when God delivered them from Egypt (Gn 50:24–25).
And Joseph’s bones, which the Israelites had brought up from Egypt, were buried at Shechem in the tract of land that Jacob bought for a hundred pieces of silver from the sons of Hamor, the father of Shechem. This became the inheritance of Joseph’s descendants (Jos 24:32).
Today, there is a place near Tell Balata venerated by the Jewish and Samaritan faiths as the traditional location of Joseph’s tomb. The shrine marking the tomb, and an associated Jewish school, were reduced to rubble in October 2000 in the wake of the most recent hostilities between the Palestinian Arabs and the State of Israel. Conflicting views have abounded as to whether this was, in fact, Joseph’s final resting place. Unfortunately, no archaeological excavations are known to have taken place at this site that could verify that this was the true location of the tomb of Joseph. Several ancient texts mention the site, but the exact location of Joseph’s tomb is still in question.
The discovery of a LB Egyptian library at Amarna has provided additional insights on the LB period. Letters in the library reveal Egypt’s relationship with Canaan’s rulers in the mid-14th century BC. Some of the letters disclose that the kings of Shechem were independent of Egypt. Further, Shechem’s rulers were criticized by other Canaanite rulers for cooperating with an invading group of desert people called the Habiru. Many conservative evangelical scholars (e.g., Wood 1997; 2003: 269–71) believe the Habiru were the Israelites of the early Judges period.
Letter from Labayu, king of Shechem, to the king of Egypt, probably Amenhotep III. It is defiant in tone, suggesting Labayu had a measure of independence from Egypt (Hess 1993). The letter, numbered El Amarna 252, is written in Akkadian cuneiform, albeit with Canaanite grammar and syntax, and is on display in the British Museum. Mike Luddeni.
Abimelech at Shechem
Later in Bible history, Abimelech, the son of Gideon’s Shechemite concubine (Jgs 8:31), colluded with some Shechemites to kill 70 of Abimelech’s brothers (Jgs 8:30–31; 9). However, Abimelech’s youngest brother Jotham survived (Jgs 9:5). Jotham climbed to the top of Mt. Gerizim and shouted to the Shechemites below. He foretold the destruction of the men of Shechem by fire (Jgs 9:7–21). Later in the same chapter we read that the people of Shechem rose against Abimelech’s leadership. In response, Abimelech fought against the city and razed it. During the attack the leaders of Shechem tried to save themselves in “the stronghold of the temple of El-berith” (Jgs 9:46). The story continues:
He [Abimelech] took an ax and cut off some branches, which he lifted to his shoulders. He ordered the men with him, “Quick! Do what you have seen me do!” So all the men cut branches and followed Abimelech. They piled them against the stronghold and set it on fire over the people inside. So all the people in the tower of Shechem, about a thousand men and women, also died (Jgs 9:48–49).
Archaeologists (e.g., E. Campbell, B. Mazar, G. E. Wright and L. Stager) refer to the “tower of Shechem” as “the Tower (migdal) Temple or Fortress-Temple” of Shechem (Campbell 1993: 1348, Stager 2003: 26 and 68 note 1). Stager recently reexamined the work of Wright who, in 1926, excavated a large building that has been reported to be this Fortress-Temple (Stager 2003). Stager’s conclusions are that this Temple, “Temple 1, ” was, in fact, the migdal referred to in Judges 9. It is the largest such Canaanite structure found in Israel and was 70 ft (21 m) wide, 86 ft (26 m) long with stone foundation walls 17 ft (5.1 m) thick. The foundation supported a multistory mudbrick and timber temple with an entrance flanked by two large towers. Stager hypothesized that the courtyard of this temple could have been where Joshua “took a large stone and set it up there under the oak near the holy place of the LORD” (Jos 24:26).
Stager (2003: 68) places the destruction of the Fortress-Temple around 1100 BC. So does Seger (1997: 22), who correlates the destruction debris found at Level XI as being from the Iron IA period. Campbell (1993: 1347) states that there was a “significant” destruction “around 1100 BCE” and guardedly concludes, “connecting Level XI with the story underlying Judges 9 is plausible” (1993: 1352).
Dating Shechem’s destruction to 1100 BC helps confirm the Biblical date of 1406 BC as the beginning of the Conquest in Canaan. To do this, it is necessary to know that immediately after we read in the Bible of Abimelech’s destruction of Shechem, Jephthah, the ninth Judge, appears (Jgs 11, 12). Jephthah was hired by Israelites who lived in Gilead, east of the Jordan River, to confront the Ammonites who had made war on them for 18 years. Jephthah first attempted diplomacy with the Ammonite king. He reminded the Ammonite king that the Israelites had been in the land east of the Jordan River for “300 years” (Jgs 11:21–26). Jephthah, of course, was referring to the time when Moses led the Israelites through that region and defeated numerous kings (Nm 21:21–31).
Thus, if Abimelech destroyed Shechem ca. 1125–1100 BC (Jgs 9), and Abimelech was a contemporary of Jephthah, the Conquest would have occurred about 300 years earlier, in ca. 1400 BC (1100 BC + 300 years = 1400 BC).
Shechem in the Time of the Divided Monarchy
The Bible sheds little light on Shechem’s role during the reigns of Saul, David or Solomon. Rehoboam, Solomon’s son, was next in line for the throne. All the Israelites assembled at Shechem to anoint Rehoboam king. Rehoboam, however, acted foolishly by chiding the northern tribes and telling them he would tax them heavily. In defense, the northern tribes retaliated by separating themselves from Rehoboam and the southern kingdom. The northern tribes made Jeroboam I king of their region. The country, formerly unified under David and Solomon, became divided. The northern region and tribes, led by Jeroboam I, was known as Israel. The southern area and tribes, first led by Rehoboam, is referred to as Judah in the Bible.
Levels X and IX at Tell Balata represent the Jeroboam I period and are noted for carefully built houses of selected stones. The discovery of stone foundations for stairs suggests two-story, four-room houses, typical homes of that period (Dever 1994: 80–81). Campbell concludes that Level IX (920–810 BC) has “tangible evidence of Jeroboam I’s rebuilding (1 Kg 12:25) and a return to city status” (1993: 1352–53).
The Assyrian invasion of Israel in 724 BC (2 Kgs 17:5–6) brought another destruction to Shechem. The evidence is in Level VII. Toombs noted that in Level VII the city was “reduced to a heap of ruins, completely covered by debris of fallen brickwork, burned beams and tumbled building stones,” typical examples of Assyrian thoroughness (1992: 1185). In addition to the destruction, the Assyrians placed exiled peoples from other nations into the region around Shechem, a common Assyrian practice (2 Kgs 17:23–24).
These new peoples added Yahweh to their own beliefs (2 Kgs 17:25–30). The new religion mimicked Judaism in many respects and Mt. Gerizim was made the center of its worship. New Testament practitioners of the cult are called “Samaritans,” which also referred to the people who lived in the vicinity (Mt 10:5; Lk 9:52, 10:53; 17:16; Jn 4:7, 9, 22, 39, 40; 8:48; Acts 8:25). A remnant of the ancient Samaritans still lives on Mt. Gerizim and they practice sacrifices there just as they did 2,700 years ago.7
Shechem in the Intertestamental Period
Between the Old and New Testaments, Shechem had a modest recovery and there is an abundance of evidence that excellent buildings were constructed in this, the Hellenistic, period (ca. 330–107 BC). It was during this time that the Samaritans built a large temple and sacrificial platform on Mt. Gerizim, the remains of which were still visible in Jesus’ day (Jn 4:20).
As fighting between the Ptolemies and Seleucids swirled around the country in the intertestamental period, physical decline again took place at Shechem. This decline culminated when the Jewish leader, John Hyrcanus, took advantage of the temporary absence of outside armies and destroyed the Samaritan temple on Mt. Gerizim (ca. 126 BC). He leveled the city in 107 BC. Shechem never recovered from this destruction and lay in ruins until identified by Tierschin 1901.
Shechem in the New Testament Period
Samaritans continued to live in the area during the following years, the Roman period. This is confirmed by the discovery of human burials from the period on the lower slopes of Mt. Ebal (Magen 1993: 1358–59). It is known that Samaritans also made several attempts to renew their cult worship on Mt. Gerizim. The Romans suppressed their efforts and in AD 72 constructed a new city, Flavia-Neapolis, about 1 mi (1.6 km) west of Tell Balata (Magen 2001: 40). This new city is now Nablus, a modern Arab city of about 120,000 people8 whose name is probably a corruption of Roman city, Neapolis.
About 500 yd (460 m) southeast of Tell Balata is an ancient well, venerated to be a well that Jacob, the Patriarch, dug when he lived there. Such a well is not mentioned in the Old Testament. There is a small Arab village, Askar, just north of the well. Most scholars associate Askar with Sychar, the village in John 4 near “Jacob’s well” (Jn 4:6). The authenticity of the well is not only based on its physical identification in John 4, but also on “the fact that all traditions-—Jewish, Samaritan, Christian and Muslim-—support it” (Stefanovic 1992: 608). Several churches in Christian history have been built on the site of the well and today it is located under a recently constructed Greek Orthodox church. Access to the well is gained by going down steps from the apse of the new church.
Jacob’s well as it appeared in the 1870s. In the right background is Mt. Gerizim with the tomb of the Arab sheikh, where the ruins of the Samaritan temple were located in New Testament times, visible at the peak.Todd Bolen.
Jacob’s well, at the base of Mt. Gerizim, is at the junction of the main road leading from Jerusalem in the south. Here, the road splits with the eastern branch going toward the Jordan Valley and the western branch leading to Nablus, and in NT times, Samaria and the Galilee. It is an excellent setting for one of the most important passages in the Bible-—the account of Jesus’ verbal Messianic announcement in the fourth chapter of John. In this passage Jesus meets a Samaritan woman at Jacob’s well, dialogues with her, and tells her He is the long-awaited Messiah.
Mt. Gerizim (left peak) as seen from Jacob’s well. When the Samaritan woman said to Jesus, “Our fathers worshipped on this mountain,” she was no doubt referring to the ruins of the Samaritan temple on top of Mt. Gerizim. The small structure on the peak marks the location of the ruins of the Samaritan temple that easily could have been seen from Jacob’s well in Jesus’ day. Bryant Wood.
Significance of Shechem in Understanding John 4
This article began by stating that context in reading the Bible was important to full understanding of what the original writers wanted the original hearers/listeners to know. In the case of Shechem, it is clear that the writer of John’s Gospel was appealing to the hearer/reader’s understanding of Shechem’s unique historical and theological context.
First, the author established that the event took place at Sychar (Jn 4:6). By making reference to Jacob he reminded his readers/hearers that this is where Jacob first settled when he returned to the Promised Land from Paddan Aram (Gn 33:18). At this spot Abram received God’s promise that “To your offspring I will give this land” (Gn 12:7). In addition to God’s promise given here to Abram, the writer wanted the hearer/reader to remember that many human agreements were made at Shechem in Bible history. Unfortunately, most were corrupted because of man’s sin. For example, Jacob made a promise to spare Hamor and the Shechemites after Dinah was sexually violated. Jacob’s use of circumcision to confirm the agreement with the Shechemites was the same symbol God had ordained as “the sign of the covenant between Me and you” (Gn 17:11). To seal a human agreement in this manner and have it subsequently abrogated as Jacob’s sons had done (Gn 34), could not have escaped the attention of the original hearers/reader.
Later, we read in the Bible that Jacob did not destroy family idols: rather he simply placed them under a tree near Shechem (Gn 35). This whole account is a testimony to the human condition and our willful tendency not to obey God. Jacob, who even had the privilege of a personal revelation from God, still could not totally eliminate idol worship; he played on the edge and placed the idols under a tree rather than destroying them.
The reader/hearer also should have been reminded that Shechem was near the place where Joseph’s brothers sold him into slavery and then concocted a lie to explain Joseph’s absence to their father Jacob (Gn 37)—another example of man’s deceit and deception.
All of these accounts are, in themselves, mini-stories that illustrate the human condition and how incapable we are of making a lasting promise to God. As a result, we are in need of rescue and restoration and only God, with His patience, could develop and execute a plan, seen throughout Bible history, for accomplishing a restoration that did not rely on man’s fallible nature.
Juxtaposed against the human failings, lies and deceits, the hearer/reader’s attention was brought to the fact that Shechem was where God reminded the people that He is faithful. Having given Abram the promise of the land, the Israelites were to remember that promise by going to Shechem, building an altar worshipping and re-reading God’s Law. This would refresh in the minds of the Israelites how God had led them out of bondage as He had promised and into a land He had promised. The rededication ceremony was accomplished and is described in Joshua 8. Following the conquest, Joshua again assembled the people at Shechem where he reviewed God’s promises and Israel’s obligations, eliciting from the people an agreement that they would “serve the Lord our God and obey Him” (Jos 24:24). This promise was another one that was repeatedly broken as revealed in the succeeding books of the Old Testament.
Earlier in Israel’s history Joseph, as he lay dying in Egypt, reminded the people that God would lead them to the land He had promised to Abraham, Isaac and his father Jacob. He asked that when they did return, they “carry my bones up from this place” (Gn 50:25). This was fulfilled in Joshua 24:32 when the body of Joseph was placed in a tomb in Shechem.
The Hebrew hearer/reader would also remember that Shechem became the center for the idolatrous worship practices that occurred following Israel’s capture by the Assyrians. Importing peoples from other lands and exporting Jewish believers, syncretism of pagan beliefs and Jewish practices resulted in a corrupted form of worship that became centered at Shechem and on Mt. Gerizim by people who were known as Samaritans. They chose to be worshippers of other gods despite their earlier promise in Joshua 24.

Ruins of a fifth century AD octagonal church on Mt. Gerizim, view north. The church, dedicated to Mary, was built on top of a temple built by the Samaritans in the late fifth century BC. John Hyrcanus destroyed the temple in the late second century BC. The small domed building at the northeast corner, the tomb of an Arab sheikh, is the structure visible from Jacob’s well in the valley below. IAA.
I believe the author of John wanted the reader and hearer to recognize and associate Shechem with God’s eternal unbroken promises, man’s corrupted state, the need for a Rescuer and how a Rescuer had been promised throughout history. In John 4 the Rescuer is revealed. The Samaritan woman makes known the promise: “I know that Messiah is coming (He who is called Christ); when that One comes, He will declare all things to us.” And the Rescuer, Jesus, replied that the Messiah was at hand: “I Who speak to you am He” (Jn 4:26)!
The Samaritan woman’s response was to immediately run into the village, leaving her water jar behind, and tell everyone that the Rescuer was there. What glorious news! The Samaritans rushed to the well, welcomed Him and exclaimed that Jesus was the Rescuer, “the Savior of the world” (Jn 4:42).
It should challenge us to remember that shortly after Jesus’ declaration that He was Messiah, He would complete the promise and achieve the rescue through His death, burial and ascension. As He prepared His disciples for their duties, He told them that they would be His “witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:8). The story of Shechem and the Samaritan region had come full circle—from the promises to the Patriarchs to fulfillment of salvation as heard by the woman at the well and declared to the disciples.
Now we have the contextual history of Shechem. It is apparent that the original hearer/reader of John’s Gospel fully understood how Shechem had been a focal point of God’s unbroken promises and man’s fallibility. Hopefully, for the reader of this essay, all pieces of the puzzle of Shechem can now be understood and assembled so one can see the finished picture. And what a wonderful picture it is!
Footnotes
1. The author wishes to express his appreciation to Dr. James C. Martin for permission to use the photographs credited to him in this article.
2. For a discussion of geographical criteria that make for strategic locations in ancient Israel, see Hansen 1991.
3. For these dates, see Davis 1975: 29.
4. For a brief discussion of how this date is derived, see Hansen 2003: 80.
5. See Wood 1997 for his explanation of this unusual situation.
6. For a more thorough discussion of the Amarna tablets and the identity of the Habiru, see Archer 1994: 288–95; Wood 1995 and 2003: 269–71.
7. For a description of the modern Samaritans and how they practice Passover, see Bolen 2001.
Bibliography
Archer, Gleason L.
1994 A Survey of Old Testament Introduction, new and revised ed. Chicago: Moody.
Bolen, Todd
2001 Samaritan Passover. Bible and Spade 14: 41–42.
Campbell, Edward F.
1993 Shechem. Pp. 1345–54 in The New Encyclopedia of Archaeological Excavations in the Holy Land4, ed. Ephraim Stern. New York: Simon & Schuster.
Davis, John J.
1975 Paradise to Prison: Studies in Genesis. Grand Rapids MI: Baker.
Dever, William G.
1994 Monumental Architecture in Ancient Israel in the Period of the United Monarchy. Bible and Spade 7: 68–87.
Greenwold, Douglas
2004 Zechariah & Elizabeth: Persistent Faith in a Faithful God. Rockville MD: Bible-in-Context Ministries.
Hansen, David G.
1991 The Case of Meggido [sic]. Archaeology and Biblical Research 4: 84–93.
2003 Large Cities that Have Walls up to the Sky: Canaanite Fortifications in the Late Bronze I Period.Bible and Spade 16: 78–88.
Hess, Richard S.
1993 Smitten Ant Bites Back: Rhetorical Forms in the Amarna Correspondence from Shechem. Pp. 95–111 in Verses in Ancient Near Eastern Prose, eds. Johannes C. de Moor and Wilfred G.E. Watson, Alter Orient und Altes Testament 42. Kevelaer, Germany: Butzon & Bercker.
Magen, Itzhak
1993 Neapolis. Pp. 1354–59 in The New Encyclopedia of Archaeological Excavations in the Holy Land4, ed. Ephraim Stern. New York: Simon & Schuster.
2001 The Sacred Precinct on Mount Gerizim. Bible and Spade 14:37–40.
Seger, Joe D.
1997 Shechem. Pp. 19–23 in The Oxford Encyclopedia of Archaeology in the Near East 5, ed. Eric M. Myers. New York: Oxford University Press.
Shea, William H.
1992 The Burial of Jacob: A New Correlation Between Genesis 50 and an Egyptian Inscription.Archaeology and Biblical Research 5:33–44.
Stager, Lawrence E.
2003 The Shechem Temple where Abimelech Massacred a Thousand. Biblical Archaeological Review28.4:26–35, 68–69.
Stefanovic, Zdravko
1992 Jacob’s Well. Pp. 608–609 in The Anchor Bible Dictionary 3, ed. David N. Freedman. New York: Doubleday.
Toombs, Lawrence E.
1992 Shechem. Pp. 1174–86 in The Anchor Bible Dictionary 5, ed, David N. Freedman. New York: Doubleday.
Wood, Bryant G.
1995 Reexamining The Late Bronze Era: An Interview with Bryant Wood by Gordon Govier. Bible and Spade 8: 47–53.
1997 The Role of Shechem in the Conquest of Canaan. Pp 245–56 in To Understand the Scriptures: Essays in Honor of William H. Shea, ed. David Merling. Berrien Springs MI: Institute of Archaeology/Siegfried H. Horn Archaeological Museum.
1999 The Search for Joshua’s Ai: Excavations at Kh. el-Maqatir. Bible and Spade 12:21–30.
21
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Investigating Bart Ehrman’s Top Ten Troublesome Bible Verses

120On the final page of the paperback edition of Misquoting Jesus, Bart Ehrman famously listed the “Top Ten Verses That Were Not Originally in the New Testament.” In an effort to discredit the reliability of the New Testament text, Ehrman offered this list to demonstrate the existence of many late insertions in the text. He found this reality troubling as a young man, and eventually walked away from his Christian faith as a result:

“The Bible began to appear to me as a very human book. Just as human scribes had copied, and changed, the texts of scripture, so too had human authors originally written the texts of scripture. This was a human book from beginning to end.”  (from Misquoting Jesus)

Let’s take a look at Ehrman’s list of troublesome verses and examine how they impact the reliability of the New Testament text:

1 John 5:7
There are three that bear witness in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit, and these three are one.

John 8:7
Let the one who is without sin among you be the first to cast a stone at her.

John 8:11
Neither do I condemn you. Go and sin no more.

Luke 22:44
In his anguish Jesus began to pray more earnestly, and his sweat became like great drops of blood falling to the ground.

Luke 22:20
And in the same way after supper Jesus took the cup and said, “This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood.“

Mark 16:17
These signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will cast out demons and they will speak with new tongues.

Mark 16:18
And they will take up snakes in their hands, and if they drink poison it will not harm them, and they will lay their hands on the sick and they will become well.

John 5:4
For an angel of the Lord went down at certain times into the pool and disturbed the waters; and whoever was the first to step in when the water was disturbed was healed of whatever disease he had.

Luke 24:12
But Peter rose up and ran to the tomb, and stooping down to look in, he saw the linen clothes by themselves. And he went away to his own home, marveling at what had happened.

Luke 24:51
And when Jesus blessed them he departed from them and he was taken up into heaven

While this list may seem large (and even surprising for those of us who haven’t examined the presence of textual variants in the New Testament), I think this list does little to impact the reliability of the text. In fact, I think Ehrman is profiting from the unfamiliarity that most Christians have with the presence of textual variants. The list does seem shocking and daunting if you’ve never taken the time to examine matters such as these. But if you stop and think about it and examine each verse listed here, the impact is actually very minimal. I recognize four truths about these verses:

The Verses are Designated Earlier
Seven of these passages (John 8:7, John 8:11, Luke 22:44, Luke 22:20, Mark 16:17, Mark 16:18 and John 5:4) are already clearly designated in my Bible (I’m using the ESV for this blog post). It’s not as though these specious verses are hidden; most modern translations do an excellent job of including everything, then identifying those verses that are variants. Check it out for yourself. You’ll see that these verses, like many others in the text, have been clearly marked.

The Verses are Described Elsewhere
Three of these passages (Luke 22:20, Luke 24:12 and Luke 24:51) are simply reiterations of information that is given to us in other gospels. So, although these verses could be removed from Luke, their claims are found elsewhere in passages that are uncontested (see Matthew 26:28, Mark 14:24, John 20:3-7, Acts 1:9-11).

The Verses are Decidedly Extraneous
That leaves only one verse on Ehrman’s list (1 John 5:7) that begs for explanation. But even if this verse can’t be reconciled, it’s clearly extraneous. The doctrine of the Trinity it addresses is found elsewhere in the scripture. Like other scribal variants, it may have been included by a scribe to make the doctrine clearer, but with all the other Biblical evidence for the triune nature of God, this verse has no impact on our understanding of the Trinity. The superfluous nature of this verse is similar to the vast majority of all Biblical textual variants; they have no impact on the theological or historical claims of the text.

The Verses are Detected Easily
Perhaps most importantly, these late entries were easy to detect, given the large number of ancient Biblical manuscripts we possess. By comparing these texts, we are able to determine which verses should not be in our Bible today, and the same discipline that allows us to determine what is specious, allows us to determine what is special. The skill set that allows us to identify what doesn’t belong is the very same skill set that allows us to identify what does belong.

I’ve written a lot more about this issue in a chapter in my book entitled, “Separating Artifacts from Evidence.” It turns out that Ehrman has the ability to complain about the existence of these passages only because we happen to possess the accurate methodology to remove them from consideration in the first place. As a result, we ought to have even more confidence that we possess documents today that are a reliable reflection of what was originally written thousands of years ago.

J. Warner Wallace is a Cold-Case Detective, a Christian Case Maker, and the author of Cold-Case Christianity

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____________________________________ Francis Schaeffer pictured below: __________ Francis Schaeffer has written extensively on art and culture spanning the last 2000years and here are some posts I have done on this subject before : Francis Schaeffer’s “How should we then live?” Video and outline of episode 10 “Final Choices” , episode 9 “The Age of Personal Peace and Affluence”, episode 8 […]

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 45 Woody Allen “Reason is Dead” (Feature on artists Allora & Calzadilla )

Love and Death [Woody Allen] – What if there is no God? [PL] ___________ _______________ How Should We then Live Episode 7 small (Age of Nonreason) #02 How Should We Then Live? (Promo Clip) Dr. Francis Schaeffer 10 Worldview and Truth Two Minute Warning: How Then Should We Live?: Francis Schaeffer at 100 Francis Schaeffer […]

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 44 The Book of Genesis (Featured artist is Trey McCarley )

___________________________________ Francis Schaeffer pictured below: ____________________________ Francis Schaeffer “BASIS FOR HUMAN DIGNITY” Whatever…HTTHR Dr. Francis schaeffer – The flow of Materialism(from Part 4 of Whatever happened to human race?) Dr. Francis Schaeffer – The Biblical flow of Truth & History (intro) Francis Schaeffer – The Biblical Flow of History & Truth (1) Dr. Francis Schaeffer […]