SCEPTIC.INFO Free your mind - question!
SCEPTIC.INFO Free your mind - question!
SCIENCE SPEAKS by Peter Stoner and Robert Newman
A small fundamentalist Christian book, Science Speaks, by Peter W. Stoner and Robert C. Newman presents what is purported to be mathematical proof that Jesus supernaturally fulfilled Old Testament predictions proving that he was who he said he was and that God knew the future. These proofs take the form of proving that chance is too unlikely to have been the reason for the fulfilment.
The research in the book is easily proved unreliable.
Page 79. One day there will be no trace of the city of Samaria and the foundations will be thrown into the valley to make the site a field and a vineyard according to Micah 1:6. The city still existed in the time of Jesus but since, the prophecy has been fulfilled.
Is this fulfilment really miraculous? The Jews had a simplistic black and white world-view. The good Jew would prosper and the bad one would get on for a while and then calamity would strike. Samaria departed from the Jewish faith and formed a brand of Judaism that was contaminated with pagan doctrines. Thus Micah did not make his prophecy because he saw the future but because he believed the Jewish superstition. Chance saw to it that the prophecy was seemingly fulfilled. The site was good for vines and since the Samaritans were a minority and the Jews were told to utterly destroy apostate cities Micah felt safe in predicting that there would be nothing left of the city.
Moreover Micah wrote just a small while before Samaria had a fall and yet some make out that his predicting that was a marvellous prophecy. He knew the way the political situation was going and that it had to happen so he did not need to be a prophet for that. When he wrote that so close to the time what evidence is there that it was not written after?
Incredibly, the book cites Joshua 6:26 as a prophecy which was fulfilled according to 1 Kings 16. There is no evidence that the prophecy was recorded before the event when the Kings book has to record the fulfilment.
The prophecies of Isaiah (13) and Jeremiah (51) saying that Babylon shall be destroyed is unimpressive for it was the city of a hated empire and all empires fall. Isaiah knew that when this happened it would not be reinhabited because since it was such a strong city – it had 90 foot thick walls - its enemies would make sure it would be no use to anybody ever again. It was in the middle of the desert which hardly advertised it as a potential home that should be restored. It was too expensive to rebuild. But Isaiah was proved wrong when part of Babylon was rebuilt to make the town of Hilla (All Prophets Were False! Stephen Van Eck).
Jeremiah knew it was an okay guess that nobody was going to take the stones for their own use so no wonder he predicted that. Yet Stoner claims to feel that all these forecasts show that God told the prophets what was in the future. His calculation that the probability for the prophecy being fulfilled by chance which is 1 in 5X10 to the power of 9 is way out. Saddam Hussein has used the stones of Babylon for construction projects contrary to Jeremiah 51:26. Reasons for Hope quotes Isaiah saying that just like Sodom and Gomorrah were uninhabitable after their destruction by fire so will Babylon be uninhabitable (page 51). Then a page later we learn that the Persian Royal Family stayed there in 199 AD to play sports! The same silly book claims that Julian the Apostate tried to rebuild the Jerusalem Temple to prove Christ wrong and miracles happened to prevent the work taking place (page 56). Conveniently, we are not given a quote from Christ that it would not be rebuilt for there is none. The Bible never says exactly when Babylon was to be destroyed so if it had been a thriving city in our day they would be telling us to wait and see. Isaiah 13 says that the prophecy is about Babylon and it tells Babylon that the whole world will be destroyed with it. It may say it will happen soon but Christians habitually ignore the word soon in the Bible. And nobody in the Church tells us that Jeremiah said that Babylon would be sunk under the sea (51:42). When it rises up again it is a land of drought (v43).
Babylon Past Present and Future by the Worldwide Church of God 1990 page 17 gives us pictures of the restoration work at many of Babylon’s main buildings. Nebuchadnezzar’s palace is being restored and it's the main building in the city. This totally contradicts the Isaiah 13 prophecy because it says the city will be so uninhabited that nobody will never pitch tents there! It has inhabitants contrary to Jeremiah 51:37.
Page 101. The statistics for Jesus’ birth in Bethlehem as predicted by Micah 5 mean nothing when Mary and Joseph alone saw the birth meaning that nobody could prove Jesus really was born there. If the New Testament were history, Mary and Joseph would not have been able to say that he was born there for that would have brought the stigma of causing the massacre of the Innocents on them. Micah only said that the person he predicted would come from Bethlehem. That does not mean he would be necessarily born there.
Page 103. Zechariah 13:6 where one speaks of being wounded in the house of his friends is assumed to forecast the betrayal of Jesus by Judas Iscariot. The authors believe that it is so uncommon to be betrayed to death by a friend so the figure chosen was that there was a 1 in 1000 chance of this being fulfilled by chance! First, the New Testament says that Judas was not a real friend to Jesus. He stole from Jesus’ purse. If he liked Jesus he liked money more. And secondly, Jesus was not wounded in Judas’ house. The fact that real friends are few and far between show the real slant of this eccentric book. It shows that it juggles the figures. It cooks the Bible books.
According to the book, the prediction says that Jesus will have wounded hands which were cut in his friend's house. This is a popular mistranslation for the original says wounds between the hands which is an expression for chest wounds (New American Bible, page 963). But even if it were not it could not be a prediction about Jesus who did not get his wounds in his friend’s house. The prediction says he will be asked what they are. Could you imagine anybody asking Jesus what his crucifixion wounds were caused by?
A prophecy about the Golden Gate being shut until the presence of God sits in it and passes through it (Ezekiel 44) is claimed to refer to 1543 AD when Sultan Suleiman had it walled up. The prophecy seems to refer to the Gate being closed and not walled up. Suleiman would have wanted to fulfil the prophecy for being a Muslim he had his reasons to make the Old Testament parts his religion accepted seem to have come from God.
Micah 3:12 says that Zion will be ploughed (page 86). The city of David, Zion, is said to be a ploughed field but it hasn’t been one since the time of Suleiman. But the context says that the prophecy is meant for the evil priests of the time it was written for the transformation of Zion into a field was to punish them. This never took place.
Bible prophecy fails to provide evidence for the supernatural production of the Bible by supernatural means. What it provides evidence for is that Christians trying to get us to believe in the Bible are operating a scam.
BIBLE QUOTATIONS FROM:
The Amplified Bible
Alleged Discrepancies of the Bible, John W Haley, Whitaker House, Pennsylvania, undated
Are There Hidden Codes in the Bible? Ralph O Muncaster, Harvest House Publishers, Eugene, Oregon, 2000
Attack on the Bible, John R Rice, Sword of the Lord, Murfreesboro, Tennessee, 1965
Bible Dictionary and Concordance, New American Bible, Catholic Edition, CD Stampley Enterprises, Charlotte Enterprises, Inc, North Carolina, 1971
Encyclopaedia of Bible Difficulties, Gleason W Archer, Zondervan, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 1982
Evidence that Demands a Verdict, Vol 1, Alpha, Scripture Press Foundation, Bucks, 1995
God’s Word, Final, Infallible and Forever, Floydd C McElveen, Gospel Truth Ministries, Grand Rapids, 1985
In Search of Certainty, John Guest, Regal Books, Ventura, California, 1983
It Ain’t Necessarily So, Investigating the Truth of the Biblical Past, Matthew Sturgis, Headline Books, London, 2001
Jesus Hypotheses, V Messori, St Paul Publications, Slough, 1977
Science and the Bible, Henry Morris, Moody Press, Bucks, 1988
Science Speaks, Peter W Stoner, Robert C Newman, Moody Press, Chicago, 1976
The Bible Code, Michael Drosnin, Orion, London, 2000
The Case for Jesus the Messiah, John Ankerberg Harvest House, Eugene, Oregon, 1989
The Dark Side, How Evangelical Teachings Corrupt Love and Truth, Valerie Tarico, Ph.D, Dea Press, Seattle, 2006
The Hard Sayings of Jesus, FF Bruce, Hodder & Stoughton, London, 1983
The Late Great Planet Earth, Hal Lindsay, Lakeland, London, 1974
The Signature of God, Grant R Jeffrey, Marshall Pickering, London, 1998
The Truth Behind the Bible Code, Dr Jeffrey Satinover, Sidgwick & Jackson, London, 1997
The Truth of Christianity, WH Turton, Wells Gardner, Darton & Co Ltd, London, 1905
The Unauthorised Version, Robin Lane Fox, Penguin, Middlesex, 1992
The Virginal Conception and Bodily Resurrection of Jesus, Raymond E Brown, Paulist Press, New York, 1973
Theodore Parker’s Discourses, Theodore Parker, Longmans, Green, Rader and Dyer, London, 1876
Whatever Happened to Heaven, Dave Hunt, Harvest House, Eugene, Oregon, 1988
When Critics Ask, Norman Geisler and Thomas Howe, Victor Books, Illinois ,1992
www.awitness.org/essays/levjer.html, A Levite Scribe Pretends to be Jeremiah
www.geocities.com/Nashville/Opry/2092/False.html, Was Jesus Christ a False Prophet?
www.awitness.org/lostmess/fprophet.html, False Prophecy in the Prophets of the Bible
www.hotcc.com/users/shagbark/daniel.html, Kyle Williams, Daniel is False Prophecy
http://cs.anu.edu.au./~bdm/dilugim/secrets.html, Secrets of the Bible Code Invented, Brendan McKay
www.infidels.org/library/modern/richard_carrier/indef/4d.html, When is a Prophecy Miraculous? Richard Carrier
www.mindspring.com/~bab5/BIB/lessons.htm What the Heck is a Jesus Code? This tells us that the Bible Code has a lot of phrases of Satan, His Name is Jesus all through Isaiah 53.
All Prophets Were False! Stephen Van Eck
False Prophecies, Broken Promises, and Misquotes in the Bible
www.infidels.org/library/modern/steven_carr/non-messianic.html, Steven Carr, Critique of Josh McDowells Non-Messianic Prophecies This Site cannot be overly recommended. It is superb.
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