After last week’s article I hadn’t intended on writing another religious article directly after it, but this was simply what I felt like writing this week. Sadly with writing I can’t force myself to write about anything specific; if I do I end up getting instant “writers block.” I’m not quite sure if this is what “writers block” is to everyone, but for me it’s when I start to think too much. There’s times where I can think very deeply into something, but if I try to force it then I’ll get no where. For me to write anything with considerable length it has to come naturally, because even if I really really really want to write about something, I’ll sit down, open Pages and then spend the next hour focusing on the first sentence (this is also why I dislike writing classes, because I’m too overly focused on every word that I spend 5 hours on each paragraph). So this is simply what came to me this week, and I’ll try to get something up before Donald Trump’s inauguration.
Over the years I’ve heard some pretty ignorant points made in arguments from both sides of politics and philosophy. Some of it comes from people getting so worked up they say things they realize they don’t even believe once reflecting on the conversation a couple hours later. I’ve had that happen to me years ago on simple things and that’s why I’ll never go into live debating as a hobby. It’s too frustrating and I’d probably never be able to sleep at night while regretting all the things I COULD have said, but just didn’t think of them at the moment. However today isn’t about people making split second arguments that sound stupid. Instead we’ll be focusing on a specific argument brought up against the Bible. This is an argument that I’ve heard from all sorts of people who simply dismissed religion before they learned too much about any religious text.
In the most generic terms possible the argument I’m talking about is those who will try to make the point that the scripture was “written by some guy who wanted to make a best-seller.” To anyone who’s given the Bible any acknowledgment will probably think I’m making this point up. I’ve seriously gotten this argument from people though. First off, the Bible is a combination of many books written over thousands of years. Although there is obvious debated amongst historians, religious groups and secular groups, most can tell the Old Testament books were written at different times. The Torah being the most debated by historians and most agreed upon by Abrahamic Religions, is the first five books of the Bible. These books are universally agreed to be written at a different time than the books in the rest of the Hebrew Bible (which makes up the Christian Old Testament). I’m not going to go into the history of every book in the Old Testament and cover every possible argument for each, but there’s a wide verity of different kinds of books in the Old Testament for completely different reasons. With their different tones I would assume even from outside a historical or religious interest that these book were written at different times. Non-messianic, but still religious, Jews do not believe in the New Testament because the New Testament was written after the coming of the messiah (Aka Jesus, in which they do not believe is the messiah). Now obviously this whole thing wasn’t written by one guy otherwise we wouldn’t be finding ancient Jewish artifacts from before Jesus was even on earth. You could then talk about corruption and how over the years all this could have been altered, but one of the best examples of how well documents can be preserved is what is known as the “Dead Sea Scrolls.” These scrolls contain almost the entire Hebrew Bible and are nearly 2,000 years old. Funny enough after finding these scrolls scholars were shocked to find out the text has held up pretty faithfully over the years.
Now that was the general history most people believe, but there is some very basic arguments made against the New Testament that I think people need to apply some logic to. Being very similar to the previous point, some people will say “what if all the Disciples were conspiring to make it seem like Jesus came back to life?” Well now-a-days I can see people believing that with how little we trust each other, but this argument just raises more questions. Why would the 11 remaining disciples lie? What did they have to gain? If it was recognition or material gain why did 10 of them happily go to their death and never repented? Most Christians and many historians believe Peter chose to be hung UPSIDE DOWN on a cross because he did not feel worthy to be executed in the same manner as Jesus. That’s quite a stretch to keep a “conspiracy” hidden. You would think these guys would have admitted this was a hoax if they were going to DIE for what they proclaimed. I mean John got to live out his life, be it full of apocalyptic visions and segregated from society. Then there’s the simple stuff. Why would the disciples admit the women were the first to notice Jesus’ body was gone? Back then no one would take a women’s word so seriously, if they fabricated the story why was Mary the first to see Jesus? And if we were to ignore historical evidence and say the New Testament was somehow just a false story created by a single person to trick people after BC turned to AD (that’s BCE and CE for those trying to hide history), then why did this single person try to deceive the Jewish community with fake authors that have literally no background of trustworthiness?
Seriously, why would someone make-up a character like Matthew, who was a hated tax collector, then expect people to take a book in his name seriously? Who would try to make up a character like Saul, who actively killed Christians, and then have him repent and end up writing nearly half the books in the New Testament? If the New Testament was written by a single person that person was a mad man, because there’s no reason a tax collector would make a good identity to push a new religion. There’s no reason why a person who had previously killed people in this religion be the candidate to write letters to the early churches in Rome, Corinth, Galatia, Ephesus, Philippi, Colosse and Thessalonica. All these points just allow us to view the whole abnormality of the situation; and once again we’re at that point where you can either believe everything came by a very very very coincidental chain of events, or that quite possibly designed and inspired by God. Not the 12 Disciples, not the Jewish leaders and not even Pontius Pilate understood how Jesus could be the messiah. The events that took place were in contrast to everything around them. Jews were expecting a conquerer, and Pontius Pilate was not even slightly worried about Jesus overthrowing his earthly authority if he let him go. What the Bible speaks of is an uncontrollable faith that literally grew across all nations, because God did not come to kill the sinners, but to be killed to save the sinners. That’s just crazy enough to be true.