The purpose of this article seems to be to instill more legitimacy towards Christianity by proving that the New Testament was not intentionally deceitful, without regard to whether it is accurate or not. I see two faults at this core of the article: (1) it is impossible to prove that it is not a lie and (2) whether it is a lie or not is irrelevant.
Proving that there are no lies is the logical equivalent to proving that there are no aliens. One could be fairly courageous and say that there is no evidence to make one believe there are no lies in the old testament, just as one could say there is no evidence to believe that aliens do not exist. Either way that prove that the New Testament has no lies (or that there are no aliens) – only that we haven’t discovered any yet. Similarly, in biblical times there was no evidence (or no evidence was yet discovered) to make one believe that the Earth was not fixed in the center of the universe. In fact Psalm 93:1, 96:10, 104:5, and Chronicles 16:30 all make statements similar to “the world is firmly established; it cannot be moved.” It wasn’t until nearly year 1600 that Galileo found evidence to support elsewise! For 1600 years after Jesus and the setting of the New Testament, any “evidence” humans possessed supported the idea that the Earth was fixed in the center of the universe. None of this evidence could prove that the Earth was fixated in the center of the universe, just as none of the evidence in this article can prove that the New Testament is not a lie, perhaps making this article irrelevant.
Further, even if we could prove that the new testament was not a lie, the result would be irrelevant. Stating that the New Testament is not a lie, reveals nothing about the New Testament’s validity. If the New Testament is completely correct and 100% accurate, I think we can all agree that it is not a lie. However the inverse statement (if the New Testament is not a lie, then there are no errors), holds no logical truth to it (as you admit). Aristotle was not lying, when he stated that continuous force was necessary for there to be continuous motion, and he was completely wrong. Since this article makes no attempt to support the validity of the New Testament, it provides no support for the validity of Christianity.
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:
The conspiracy would have been immense and incredibly difficult to concoct and maintain. This event happened 2000 years ago. How many old wars, how many memoirs, how many historical documents tell a tale that sheds a completely false image of king, war hero, or story? Historians look at many historical texts from the viewpoint that although there is no evidence to counter this version of the story, we believe it may be inaccurate because there is an incentive for the writers or people of power to lie about it. We should take the same view towards the Bible, as we all have the greatest incentive to believe it’s version of the story: Christianity was the first religion to offer equality in afterlife. Christianity spread like fire for this reason – not because of the “miracles” and it’s “truth”. Further the Bible contradicts itself hundreds of times: validity is not the reason it has been remained a central religion in the world today. Brief article on the comparisons of Christianity to other religions: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christianity_and_other_religions Great website for discovering thousands of contradictions in the Bible: http://skepticsannotatedbible.com/index.htm
The writers would never have the risen Jesus appear to women first. It’s interesting how often Christians and Atheists alike, say things like “God would have done this” or “Jesus would have done that.” In my mind it’s humors that we are so presumptuous to believe we know the characteristics of the power that created the universe. Wouldn’t a God make himself known to all? Wouldn’t God spread his word directly to all people not through a web of prophets that happened to all fight for the same country? Wouldn’t God get humanity right the first time? But since stories have God doing things that do not make sense, those stories must not be lies! …A majority of lies that humans put together, could have been put together a lot more logically – they could have been much better lies. Saying that if these fishermen were lying, they would have come up with a better lie doesn’t make much sense to me!
The writers would not have any discrepancies in their stories. This aligns with the logic from the previous statement, but I will make another example to further my point. Let’s say that a group of men are suspects for a murder. It would be part of an interrogator’s job to determine if the story the group of men created was a lie or not. When the interrogator separates the suspects and questions them individually he discovers that aspects of their story do not line up. The interrogator would never say “Oh, their stories have discrepancies so these men aren’t lying! After all, if they were lying they would have got their story straight before I started to take a closer look at it!”
The writers would not have created a lie that made them look so bad. Admittedly, people naturally want to make themselves look good. But any person guilty of multiple serious wrong doings isn’t going to portray themselves as an angel. No logical person would portray themselves better than they could get away with. If I have cookie crumbs on my face I might tell mom that I just walked in the room and ate the last 2 cookies that was supposed to be for the neighbors, but certainly not all of them!
Liars would never have created a religion that was so difficult to believe or follow. A person may conclude this looking from a narrow viewpoint, but in the modern world I would expect most Christians not to agree with this statement. Look at the majority of the other religions in the world – as a Christian do you believe that liars created those religions or do you believe that the creators of those religions are that incredibly misguided? Nearly all knowledgeable Christians would agree that Islam is a religions that is more difficult to believe and that it is more difficult of a religion to follow as well. If liars could have created the Islam religion then liars could have created the Christian Religion. If the creators of Islam or the Roman religion really believed their teachings, but their teachings are still not true, how does the idea that because the creators of Christianity believed their teachings, those teachings are probably true?
The New Testament fulfills the Old Testament in a way never considered before Jesus. Liars would never imagine such a twist of belief. Truth is better than fiction. Liars would create a religion that would appeal the people and the desires of the people of that time. How many years passed from when the Old Testament was established and from when the New Testament came to be? In the time of the New Testament, people believed and were taught that hell was a place where they would physically burn. Modern teachings of hell have express hell as more of a place of mental and emotional torture. In biblical times, people experienced villages burning to the ground and they were very susceptible to the idea of burning in hell. Teachings of hell today reflect what we are susceptible to today. One could go on and on about how the teachings of Christianity have changed over time, but the point is that if Christianity is a human creation, we should expect the teachings of the New Testament to be complete changed from the outdated teachings of the Old Testament. On the other hand, if Christianity and morality are a product of God or divinity, I would expect these morals and teachings to stay constant over time – after all don’t Christians believe that their god transcends time? If God is always good, always right, and transcends time, why would his teachings on morality change over time?
The stories were written while witnesses were still alive, and encourage the reader to ask the witnesses, yet there are no writings from the time that accuse the New Testament authors of concocting the entire story. Lack of evidence against, is not evidence for, as discussed previously.
Lies are told for personal gain, but the authors were destroyed by their writing. Thousands have died and suffered for religions outside of Christianity. Martyrs are common in every major religion http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Martyr#Hinduism Further in the event they did lie. If they had come back and admitted the lie, there is a good chance they would have been tortured and killed anyways.
Archeology has proven the authors to be extremely accurate historians. So is it logical to assume they were truthful and accurate about everything but Jesus? 1) We don’t even take the bible literally anymore because it’s consistently proven to be inaccurate with nature. 2) the number of contradictions in the Bible is outrageous 3) Historians take a skeptical view of works where there is a large motivation for the authors to lie, in the event it was a lie Forgery in the Bible (Scholarly Article): http://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=6p9ZVm-poRoC&oi=fnd&pg=PA141&dq=forgery+bible&ots=MFqstWGcI3&sig=6D8ShdWiB1crUPruaP1ypLMnXJw#v=onepage&q=forgery%20bible&f=false
The enemies of the New Testament writers confirmed the strongest tenet of Christianity, the empty tomb. We are dealing with documentation that is 2000 years old – no one piece should make us believe or not believe Christianity or the resurrection as a whole. Although there may be parts of religion that have compelling arguments, if as a whole it is inaccurate, why should we let small parts speak for the whole?
The church in Corinth would have disputed Paul’s letters if he were lying. Valid. Or perhaps they did and this documentation was destroyed by the church. We shouldn’t presume that people would have done or wouldn’t have done something one way or another.
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.