This is one just one post that is part of a point by point discussion regarding whether the New Testament writers were lying or not. Each point being its own post. All the points that I’ve published so far are found in this post: Are The New Testament Writers Lying? : A Point By Point Discussion. This is an ongoing discussion, so please be patient and com back often
Robin Harrison comments in blue
Dan Muhlenkamp in black
Point 3: Stating that the New Testament is not a lie, does not mean that the New Testament is True.
Further, stating that the New Testament is not a lie, does not mean that the New Testament is True. Although Aristotle did not lie about his statement of motion and force, the statement was not true either. Thus, either the New Testament is 100% accurate or it is not completely true. If the New Testament is 100% accurate, then I think we can all concede that the New Testament is not a lie, and this article is irrelevant. Ironically, the only reason to question whether New Testament is a series of lies or not would be if the New Testament, as a whole, is not true. If the New Testament is not true, then where is the truth in Christianity? If you don’t know what is true and what is false, what are you left with? If parts of the Bible are not true, I personally find the Christianity to be of no more value than any other religion (or way of life) that promotes being a moral person. Of course if you are Christian and reading this, chances are you believe morality is a direct creation of Christianity. If it is natural for you to value morality more than validity (or what is really true), I think it would be impossible for you to do anything but defend Christianity, as it is the only way you know how to defend your own morality.
Ultimately I find the purpose of this article irrelevant and arguing with people who believe defending Christianity is the right thing to do pointless, but if I do not address the specifics of the article, I will be taken even less seriously. So from the beginning:
I agree 100% with the first sentence of this statement, but beyond that, the logic seems convoluted at best. I also wonder if Robin would allow the word true to be replaced with “correct” or “accurate” as those words have different connotations. I am not sure when he used “true” if he is speaking about accuracy or honesty.
“The only reason to question whether New Testament is a series of lies or not would be if the New Testament, as a whole, is not true” is only a reasonable statement if we know whether the New Testament is true or not. For example, lets say we are a detective trying to determine what happened at a crime scene. We were not there so we do not know. A witness gives a written testimony about something they saw at the crime scene. What detective would not try to decide if the statement was given in honesty, or was a lie? The only reason to NOT determine if the statement is given in honesty or deception is if you already know for sure what happened. Robin may believe he already knows what happened over 2,000 years ago, but I doubt it. He was not there, and there is no video. In actuality, the most complete record we have of the events is the New Testament, so determining its integrity would be of the highest priority.
If Robin believes that even one inaccurate statement of any kind invalidates the entire New Testament, then how could we reconstruct any historic document. If the New Testament is inaccurate in a scientific fact, that says nothing about its accuracy as a historic document. Robin himself establishes that with his Aristotle analogy. Would Robin say that all of Aristotle’s philosophy work is worthless because he had an incorrect scientific theory? Is all of Einstein’s physics work worthless if one of his thoughts on philosophy prove to be entirely illogical?
Establishing whether the events of the New Testament actually occurred or not are fundamental to determining the validity of Christianity. If we are investigating events, then you cannot cast aside a document’s historical value based on some inaccuracy of science, math or other genre. If that were so, we would know nothing about ancient history because all the works we have are inaccurate in some way.
Now back to the crime scene investigation. If you as a detective determine that a witness is being honest, that does NOT mean he is accurate. However, it does mean your final determination of the actual events must explain why the witness gave the testimony he/she gave. That could be everything from the witness was both drunk and blind, to that the witness was 100 accurate, but you must explain the testimony if you think it is likely to be honest. If you determine it is likely the testimony is a lie, you can ignore it completely. Thus once again, arguing that the truth question is irrelevant appears to almost be a desperate attempt to avoid the investigating the events.
I wrote a post explaining why I believe the New Testament is NOT a lie. I received 2 thoughtful responses from Thomas Muhr and Robin Harrison. Thomas’ response was shorter and more general, but very good. Robin’s response is a point by point essay. I believe each point and his comments are worth considerable discussion and decided to make each point its own post by merging the two papers and adding my comments. Additional comments by Robin or anyone else is encouraged. Links to all related discussions are in the discussion center post below.
Other Posts In This Series
- If I Were God: I would have made it impossible to think the New Testament was a lie.
- God Made It Clear That The New Testament Is Not A Lie
- The New Testament Is A Lie Because…# 2
- The New Testament is a lie because…# 1
- Is The New Testament A Lie: Point 1 – You Can’t Prove Anything
- Is The New Testament A Lie: Point 2 – Whether It Is A Lie Or Not Is Irrelevent.
- Is The New Testament A Lie: Point 3 – Just because it isn’t a lie, doesn’t make it true
- Is The New Testament A Lie: Point 4 – The conspiracy would have been immense and incredibly difficult to concoct and maintain.
- Are The New Testament Writers Lying? : A Point By Point Discussion
- Is The New Testament A Lie: Point 5 – No liar would have had Jesus appear to women first.
- Is The New Testament A Lie: Point 6 – The writers would not have any discrepancies in their stories.
- Is The New Testament A Lie: Point 7 – The writers would not have made themselves look so bad.
- Is The New Testament A Lie: Point 8 – The writers would use "Jesus said…" to solve their problems.
- Is The New Testament A Lie: Point 9 – Liars would never have created a religion that was so difficult to believe or follow.
- Is The New Testament A Lie: Point 10 – Liars would never imagine such a twist of belief.