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 10: 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.
Lets go with the really BIG lie theory. Jesus never even existed. EVERYTHING in the New Testament was a lie. We know the Old Testament had been around for many centuries and was studied in depth by the Jewish people before the New Testament was written. You and your buddies decide to create this fictional Jesus guy and you need him to fulfill the Old Testament. All the people who have studied the OT before you are predicting this conquering Messiah. After all, you want your God to be strong don’t you? So you go through the OT and you decide what prophecies you are going to have your character fulfill and this is what you come up with:
- “You know that story about that old guy Abraham taking a stack of wood and having his son Isaac carry the wood up a hill, then build an alter, and when Isaac asks where the sacrifice is Abraham says “God will provide the sacrifice”, and then Abraham almost kills his son (crazy old buzzard) but he stops and sacrifices a ram with its horns caught in a thorn bush instead. I know no one alive right now sees this story as prophetic but lets have our hero fulfill it anyway. Yeah, lets have our hero carry a cross of wood outside a city to a hill and the hero is the son of God (also crazy old man) and our hero is like the ram so lets put a crown of thorns on him. He will be the sacrifice that God is providing. Seriously, this will work guys.”
- “Oh yeah, you know the Psalm 22 about the guy getting the crap beaten out of him. Lets have our hero who we say is the son of God end up having all that stuff in the long miserable Psalm happen to him. Lets even go so far as to have our son of God yell ‘My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?’ This is a great way to fulfill some Old Testament prophecy and get a bunch of followers.
How many more examples to you want? If you are going to tell a lie, wouldn’t you come up with one a lot more believable than that?
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?
Robin is making my point for me again. The New Testament does fulfill the Old Testament in a constant and consistent manner. As if they came from the same source (which I believe the did). What the New Testament doesn’t work at all with is the teaching of MEN, at the time it was written and the teachings that a group of liars would come up with. A good look at Robin’s response basically is, if God wrote both the Old and New Testament, they would go together. The premise of my point is that they do go together, but not in the way people of the time expected. A group of liars would have been motivated by desires for wealth, popularity, or power. If they were motivated by discovery of new truths within the Old Testament, they wouldn’t then turn around and invent a lie.
I really can’t resist using Robin’s own words to make this point even stronger: “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?” That is my point. At the time the New Testament was written it didn’t reflect ANY of the human teachings or ideas of the time. None. Zero. Zip. Nada! The New Testament ONLY makes sense when connected to the age old words and ideas of the Old Testament. Everything in the New Testament is either a fulfillment of, or restatement of, the Old Testament. The human teachings of the time had changed a lot from the Old Testament, but the New Testament writers didn’t follow the human teachings AT ALL!
Liars would have followed the human teachings of the time to gain followers. They would not have come up with this bizarre suffering servant. The suffering servant comes from God’s never-changing, always relevant, Old Testament.
Incidentally, your example of burning in hell also makes my point. The change in what is expected in Hell are the thoughts of modern men. I don’t see any evidence whatsoever that God’s plans for Heaven or Hell have changed. I think anyone who teaches that hell will not be a place of flames and torture, among other things, is simply making stuff up, like men often do. The suffering in hell will surely include mental anguish, but to no believe in a flaming hell makes you a follower of man’s teachings (like the Pharisees), not God’s teachings (like the New Testament writers).
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.