BIBLICAL NONSENSE HIGHLIGHTS
It’s not a shocking discovery that parents pass on their religious beliefs through their children. Muslim parents tend to have Muslim children; Christian parents tend to have Christian children; atheist parents tend to have atheist children. These traditions simply cannot be maintained by chance alone. Because religious beliefs are certainly not in our DNA, a child’s environment must necessarily affect his religious affiliation in some manner. In fact, all children are born agnostic and remain so until influenced by the religious convictions of their parents. I think it would be more than fair to say that if the most avid Christian preacher of your hometown had been born in Israel to Jewish parents, he probably would have been the most avid Rabbi in a comparable Israeli city. Subsequently, he would have been just as certain that he was preaching the truth about Judaism as he is now doing for Christianity. It also follows that he would view Christians as misguided and pray to God for them to stop acknowledging Jesus as his son.
In almost every case, individuals become members of their respective religious groups because their parents were also members. Likewise, the parents are only members because their parents were also members. This pattern should prompt the question of how far back this visionless trend continues. To answer, recall the primary reason from the previous chapter why America and Europe are Christian regions: the citizens of the Roman Empire needed stability in their government. Roman acceptance probably had nothing to do with what they analytically believed was the most accurate religion. Instead of initiating an honest and impartial analysis of the new evidence that science and enlightened thinking have provided, people simply bury their heads in the sand and observe whatever beliefs they were conquered with or whatever religion their ancestors needed thousands of years ago. Moreover, this type of reckless behavior goes unnoticed because religious individuals exhibit it throughout almost every culture around the globe.
When children are at a very young age, their parents unknowingly initiate the conditioning process by informing them that everyone is imperfect. Because they’re not perfect, they must take a role model who seemingly defines perfection: Jesus Christ. By turning their lives over to Jesus, they receive forgiveness for their imperfections and inadequacies. Next, parents must make their children fear the consequences of remaining alone with their imperfections. As a result, they are convinced that Hell is the ultimate destination for people who don’t rely on the support system. In this place called Hell, those who choose not to accept Jesus will burn in perpetual agony. Since the consequences of not accepting the support system are so horrific, and the steps necessary to eliminate the consequence are so simplistic, children will learn to adopt these beliefs if only to keep a distance from the supposed punishment. By this point, children certainly become willing to follow those who know this system best.
To continue the conditioning process, parents must successfully keep their children free from external contradicting influences by encompassing them within a Christian environment in a Christian country with weekly Christian refreshment. Other religions would obviously present conflicting information and weaken their bonds with Jesus Christ, the head of the support system. The other religions would also illustrate the contradictions and consequential uncertainties shared amongst all beliefs. This mental havoc would also create cognitive dissonance, the tendency driven by uncomfortable feelings to repel or justify contradictory information, before there is enough conditioning to stabilize the belief.
Just as Paul told the Romans that there was a sense of urgency in accepting Jesus, parents tell their children that they’ll go to Hell if they know about Jesus and refuse to worship him. Since Jesus could possibly return today or tomorrow, time is of the utmost essence. They absolutely must accept Jesus as soon as possible in order for God to save them from the perpetual punishments of Hell. If they choose not to accept Jesus before they die, that trip to Hell would certainly be in order. Finally, we must not forget about the ultimate reward for accepting Jesus: an eternal stay in Heaven with infinite happiness. How many impressionable young children could possibly refuse this “genuine” offer?
At the tender age this process usually begins, children typically aren’t able to rationalize these assertions or challenge their validity. Just the opposite, children habitually give benefit of the doubt to their parents and role models. As time goes by, the vast Christian American environment consistently pounds the imperative system into their heads day after day, week after week, month after month, and year after year. By their teenage years, most Christians couldn’t possibly consider the presence of an error in the Bible, much less a completely erroneous foundation, because it’s unquestionably the perfect word of God to them. They believe this notion because they’re lifelong members of a society that has continually reinforced the “special” nature of Christianity. Needless to say, every religion is “special” in its own isolated environment of observance.
The United States has finally become the absolute last modernized country to see a sharp drop in the proportion of Christians comprising its population. The landmark ARIS 2001 study indicates that the percentage of Americans who consider themselves Christian has dropped about one percent every year, from 86.2% in 1990 to 76.5% in 2001. Less than half that number will ever satisfy the simplistic purported requirements of entering Heaven. Meanwhile, the percentage of Americans who have no religion grew about one-half percent every year, from 8% in 1990 to 14% in 2001. Furthermore, 13% of Christians joined the faith after belonging to a different religion, while 17% of Christians will eventually leave the faith. On the other hand, 23% of those with no religion left Christianity or some other belief, while only 5% will eventually leave a state of agnosticism/atheism to join a religion.
Later in Genesis, Jacob successfully alters the color patterns on lambs and goats so that he could differentiate the stronger ones from the weaker ones. He purportedly accomplished this feat by placing peeled tree branches in front of the mating livestock (Genesis 30:37-39). Following his absurd achievement, an angel of God visits him in a dream and praises him for his work in genetics (Genesis 31:11-12). As someone with a thorough background in human physiology, I hold the opinion that this is easily the single most embarrassing error contained between the Bible’s covers. Peeled branches have absolutely no effect on an organism’s appearance; DNA does. As an extremely quick summary of the topic, the general rule is that half of an offspring’s DNA comes from each parent with the more dominant type being physically expressed. The specific genes in the DNA sequence are the determining factor for the animals’ colors. Of course, such advanced understanding was way beyond the scope of the ancient Hebrew. Divine inspiration obviously doesn’t resonate from this passage either.
The suggestion that the Bible is lacking a scientific foundation is nothing less than a colossal understatement. The Bible has failed fair, impartial, and universally applicable tests in multiple fields of science. If God truly is the inspiration behind this purportedly divine declaration to the world, he shows absolutely no interest in its understandability or accuracy in astronomy, cosmology, zoology, botany, anthropology, geology, ecology, geography, physiology, and several other disciplines not covered in this chapter. In fact, the Bible handicaps those who use their “God-given” talents of reason and logic to settle blatant biblical problems. Nothing can be more detrimental to the authenticity of a statement than contradictory phenomena that we readily observe and experience. With no other evidence to consider, these natural manifestations should always override what we might hope and think to be correct explanations for unignorable discrepancies. Such is the power of science and reason. They are the impartial pursuit of an answer to a question, not the search for supplements to a predetermined answer.
A little known but important piece of information about the Genesis flood is that the extremely similar Epic of Gilgamesh in the Sumerian legend predates Noah’s story by at least one thousand years in the written form and at least five hundred years for the setting. The similarities between the two tales are so remarkable that we cannot write them off in good conscience as mere coincidences. In the earlier flood legend, Utnapishtim receives instructions and exact dimensions on how to construct a large ship to avoid an imminent flood (as does Noah in Genesis 6:14-16), takes animals and his family aboard to preserve life on earth (as does Noah in Genesis 6:19-7:1), lands the ship on a mountain after the flood has stopped (as does Noah in Genesis 8:4), releases a dove and a raven from the ship in order to aid his search for dry land (as does Noah in Genesis 8:6-11), and burns a sacrifice after the flood for the gods who find its odor pleasing (as does Noah in Genesis 8:20-21). Because several additional minor parallels exist, I would encourage everyone to read Tablet XI of the short epic in its entirety in order to appreciate fully the similarities between the two legends. Since the Gilgamesh tale is the earlier version of the two, we can only surmise that the authors of Genesis copied the Epic of Gilgamesh or inadvertently patterned the story of Noah’s ark on an even more ancient flood legend that we have yet to discover.
It’s painfully obvious that the story is burdened with a number of significant problems. For this reason, many apologists will attempt a hopeless defense for it by suggesting that the tale was speaking of a local flood. This notion, however, clearly contradicts the text, which states that all the mountains of the earth are covered (Genesis 7:19-20). Although the word in the text used for earth, erets, has an ambiguously additional meaning of land, we can still easily determine the author’s intended connotation for this specific passage. How else would God’s flood annihilate every living thing on earth, as this was his stated intention, unless the elevated water extended well beyond the Middle East? An additional difficulty, randomly selected from the pile of problems with the local flood suggestion, is the inability of the ark to travel hundreds of miles to Ararat without water high enough to reach the oceans. Liquids seek their own level and don’t stand in one area without complete confinement. Since the barriers required for this magical constrainment are not present, we can only conclude that a local flood scenario is not only logically impossible but also entirely incompatible with the biblical text.
Recent archaeological evidence, on the other hand, has shed some light on the
possible origins of the ancient global flood legends. Researchers have
suggested that the
Additionally, secular scholars agree that the biblical version of the flood account most likely culminated during the Babylonian Exile. During this troubling period for the Israelites, their priests likely embellished the historical event with supernatural attributes, possibly as a way of manufacturing propaganda to intimidate their captors. In essence, the Israelites may have wanted to increase their own power by frightening others with a deity angry enough to decimate even his own people. If the mystery behind Noah’s ark has this much simpler explanation, why shouldn’t we apply the same reasoning to the remaining ridiculous, unverifiable, and supernaturally based accounts of the incredulous Old Testament?
On the other side of the coin, there’s a singular instance found in Isaiah that Christians often flaunt to promote an imagined harmony between the Bible and the true configuration of the earth. All the while, previously mentioned scriptures authored by Isaiah and his colleagues go completely ignored. Isaiah 40:22 says, “It is he that sitteth upon the circle of the earth.” The word in question here is “circle.” A circle is a flat two-dimensional object, while a sphere, the approximate shape of the earth, is a three-dimensional object. The original Hebrew term used in this verse is chug, meaning circle. The same word is used twice in the book of Job to describe Heaven and the sea, two areas that we have no reason to believe anyone ever considered spherical. Furthermore, Isaiah does not use the actual Hebrew word for sphere, kadur, in 40:22 even though this utilization would have been much more appropriate if Isaiah intended to convey a spherical planet. In addition to this logical analysis of the verse, historians have long determined that a disc-shaped earth was a popular belief not only in the Middle East, but also in Greece before the time of Aristotle. We even have ancient maps of Babylon and Egypt containing illustrations of a circular sea surrounding circular land. When you combine this tangible evidence with other biblical comments regarding the shape of the earth, the likelihood of Isaiah 40:22 referring to a sphere is extremely remote.
Since the authors leave us with these erroneous notions in the Bible, the majority of unbiased persons who hold the knowledge contained within this chapter would not dare defend the blind belief that an omniscient and omnipotent being directly inspired its authorship. These curious statements are just part of the growing number of solid reasons to consider biblical passages twice before recognizing them as absolute truth. We should never accept any statement based solely on the fact that we can find it in an ancient book claimed to have been co-authored by one of ancient society’s many gods.
The authors of Genesis would also have their readers believe that God created the stars on the universe’s fourth day (1:16), about 6000 years ago. However, modern observations tell us that the most distant stars are considerably more than ten billion years in age. Astronomers obtained this valuable piece of knowledge by looking through the powerful Hubble telescope and performing complex number crunching over the discoveries. Because we have applicable procedures for measuring distances this great, such as redshift and parallax (too complicated to get into here), we know the approximate location of distant stars. Since we also know the universal speed of light emanating from these stars, we can now determine that it took the light x amount of years to reach the observing telescope, where x represents the distance of the star divided by the distance light can transverse in one year. Therefore, stars must be at least as old as the time it takes their light to reach the earth from the previously measured distance. Otherwise, we wouldn’t see these stars because their light wouldn’t have reached our eyes yet. In other words, if we are able to see a group of stars ten billion light years away, the distance light can travel in ten billion years, we know that the group of stars is at least ten billion years old because it took the light ten billion years to reach us.
How can light from a star be billions of years old if God created the star only 6000 years ago? The hilarious apologetic answer to this glaring complication is often that “God created the stars 6000 years ago but created their light in transit for us to be able to see them.” To paraphrase this proposal, God is making us see things that never really happened. This suggestion is a classic example of what has been termed a “how-it-could-have-been-scenario,” which substitutes a painfully ridiculous and nonsensical explanation for the obvious answer in the interest of apologetics. It seems that no complication is too difficult for some Christians to invent absurd justifications and phantom harmonizations even though they will consider these acts to be logical violations when used by other religious sects to justify alternative beliefs.
The reason that God decides to drown the entire world, killing nearly every living person and animal on earth, is his belief that people are evil and unworthy of existence (Genesis 6:5). So what if they were evil? As Lenny Bruce once exclaimed, “The fault lies with the manufacturer!” God allegedly created humans, yet he faults us for being guided by our desires, instincts, and natural tendencies. Since he’s supposedly omniscient, God realized how we were destined to turn from the beginning. He must also have realized that his lament would fuel the urge to destroy his precious creations, only to leave himself back where he started. Even so, he creates Adam, yet hundreds of years later, he drowns nearly all the men, women, and children on the face of the earth because he deliberately chose not to make us to his liking the first time.
Even if we suppose the adults deserved to die slow and torturous deaths, what association could we conceivably make between their decisions and the adolescent victims of the flood? Couldn’t God have just placed the innocent children and animals aside for a while so that they wouldn’t drown? If not, how about a humane death at the very least? Drowning is a horrible way for people to die. As a result of hopelessly treading water for hours, their muscles burned due to large amounts of lactic acid production. Once they finally gave up, went under, and held their breaths, acidic carbon dioxide eroded their lungs until the unbearable pain forced them to inhale where there was no air for them to breathe. The water brought into their lungs robbed their bodies of oxygen, causing them to go numb. As water violently rushed in and out of their chests, the currents eventually laid their heavily breathing, slowly dying bodies at the bottom of the ocean. The inhaled water caused their lungs to tear and bleed profusely. As their blood supply dwindled, their hearts slowly came to a halt. Even so, their brains continued to process information for another couple of minutes. They were patently aware that death was imminent, yet they could do nothing to speed it or prevent it. I imagine that their final reflections would have been on what they did to deserve such treatment.
As you see, drowning is not a quick and painless death. Regardless, this is what God did to every man, woman, child, baby, and animal on earth because he made a mistake! To make matters disgustingly worse, the flood accomplished nothing! The omniscient God realizes after the flood that a man’s imagination is evil from youth (Genesis 8:21). He seemingly allows us to be evil to this day, just like those he purportedly drowned in the flood. Even if this was the sole befuddled and immoral act carried out by God, I’m positive that I couldn’t bring myself to worship him. However, this is only the beginning of his mass-murdering spree.
In an exploit of inconceivable irrationality, God sends forth two bears to kill forty-two children for making fun of Elisha’s bald head (2 Kings 2:23-24). Why would the omnibenevolent God feel the necessity to have two bears viciously maul little children for acting like…children? This is supposed to be the same “wonderful” and “loving” God who promises us eternal life, but an entity capable of these inane activities could certainly change his mind and banish all of his worshippers to Hell. Christians never have to justify such passages because, of course, they never read them!
If a man rapes an engaged virgin who doesn’t cry loud enough to draw attention, the community should consider the attack consensual if it took place within the city. Thus, the whore must be stoned to death per God’s instructions. It obviously doesn’t matter if the woman is too scared to scream because the law makes no such exception. The man will be stoned to death as well, not because he committed a brutal atrocity against the woman, but only because he “violated another man’s wife” (Deuteronomy 22:24). Note the shamefully sharp contrast in disciplinary action between raping a woman with a husband and raping a woman without a husband: death versus a pound of silver. Since it’s all the same to the woman, it now becomes clear that God feels the husband is the one who is the victim of the attack.
Dozens more examples of cruelty to women exist throughout the Bible, but I feel this will be sufficient in making my case. Women had suffered terribly for thousands of years because of what men, not any god, wrote in the Bible. To some extent, women still endure coarse treatment stemming from their own religious beliefs and those observed by their husbands. I hope you realize that the authors of the Pentateuch were not divinely inspired to write declarations of women as the sole property of men. Instead, the books should once again read as though some group is depending upon the gullibility of the people to serve their own desires. In essence, the Old Testament authors misled the New Testament authors into believing that they actually recorded the “wonderful” and “loving” God’s authentic orders. Not knowing any other society than the one in which they were raised, the New Testament authors felt compelled to endorse these regulations.
This is the thought that I’m hoping Christian readers will consider among themselves: “I feel that God is a wonderful and loving creator, yet the men who wrote the Old Testament say that God encouraged people to make slaves of foreigners because they worship different gods. He also allowed women to live as slaves because the men believed that females were the inferior gender. These aren’t wonderful and loving decisions. The Old Testament writers even say that God sold slaves and gave rules to Moses permitting his people to beat the male slaves and rape the female slaves. This does not seem right at all. Did God actually say and do all these horrible things, or were the authors probably trying to advance ulterior motives by tricking a gullible audience into believing that these ghastly commands were truly of divine origin?”
As the events of Genesis are purported to have started taking place at least 3000 years before we know of anyone who recorded them on hardcopy, no primary eyewitnesses were around to testify for or against the legitimacy of these claims. If you decide that God actually said the things written in the Bible, it certainly throws out the notion that he’s “wonderful” and “loving.” If, on the other hand, you decide that God would never make the aforementioned suggestions, it certainly brings the validity of the Bible’s content into question. Think about it for a while.
In the first chapter of Matthew, we see the ancestry of Jesus spanning from King David to Joseph, Mary’s husband. The complication with this genealogy is the absolute lack of a blood relationship between Joseph and Jesus. As the story goes, Jesus, a man without an earthly father, was born from a virgin impregnated by God. If the Matthew genealogy is true, Jesus was not a descendant of David. Consequently, he could not be the Messiah allegedly prophesied to arise from the line of David (Psalm 132:11). As you should expect, this was obviously not the author’s intent. Seeing as how the author of Luke probably realized that tracing Jesus’ lineage this way would be a blunder, he created his own genealogy passing through Heli. Even though Luke is specific in stating that Heli is Joseph’s father, I have given Christians the benefit of the doubt that he is Joseph’s father-in-law instead of a second father. To very little surprise, Heli and Mary just so happen to be descendants of King David as well (Luke 3:23-38). The Bible has now begun to insult the intelligence of its audience.
Accounts also differ from Matthew and Luke on when Jesus was born. The more popular account of Matthew has King Herod alive at the time of Jesus’ birth (Chapter 2). From several historical sources, we know Herod’s reign ended in 4 BCE with his violent death. Thus, according to Matthew, Jesus must have been born in or before 4 BCE. The date later designated as Jesus’ birth is misplaced, but there’s nothing biblically wrong about that. However, Luke says that Mary was still with child at the time Quirinius was conducting a census as Governor of Syria (2:1-5). According to meticulously kept Roman history, Quirinius couldn’t have carried out this census until at least 6 CE. Thus, according to Luke, Jesus must have been born in or after 6 CE. In order for the two accounts to be harmonious, Jesus had to be born before 4 BCE and after 6 CE: a feat impossible even for a supernatural being. The two accounts provide a ten-year discrepancy in need of a difficult resolution.
To rectify this insurmountable problem, Christians have desperately proposed, without justification, that Quirinius was a governor twice. They say this earlier phantom governorship was held sometime before 4 BCE in order for Luke to be consistent with Matthew. Here’s what we know from Roman history: Quintilius was governor from 6 BCE to 3 BCE; Saturninus was governor from 9 BCE to 6 BCE; Titius was governor from 12 BCE to 9 BCE; Quirinius, the governor in question, didn’t obtain consulship until 12 BCE, making him ineligible to hold Syria’s office of governor before that time; no one ever held the governorship of Syria twice; Josephus and Tacitus, the two most important historians from the early Common Era, never mentioned Quirinius holding the post twice; and there would be no reason for Quirinius to conduct a census prior to 6 CE because Judea wasn’t under Roman control until that time. A few contributions of irrelevant evidence and several wild explanations claim to rectify this obvious contradiction, each one through its own unique method, but they’re all nothing more than the most outrageous “how-it-could-have-been-scenarios.” The two accounts contradict greatly over the time Jesus was allegedly born.
God laid down a strangely curious law when he declared that any man with damaged or missing genitals, as well as any man who doesn’t know the names of his ancestors to ten generations, cannot enter into religious congregations (Deuteronomy 23:1-2). First, I don’t see how anyone would know another person had a genital abnormality unless someone literally screened the visitors at the door. As for the burden of proving an ancestry, I doubt that any Hebrew was able to keep accurate and truthful records thousands of years ago. How could anyone indisputably prove that he knew his family line that far back? What was to prevent someone from just conjuring up some names so that he could attend worship? If no one knew this person’s ancestry, no one could disprove him. Wouldn’t the omniscient God realize this futile law wasn’t going to work? More importantly, why is God thoroughly preoccupied with the condition of a man’s genitals? I know I’ve mentioned it before, but the whole matter is patently asinine. This is one of the many absurd rules that Big Brother allegedly distributes to keep his society in order. Likewise, instead of including undeniable proof for the book’s authenticity, he tells us not to wear a piece of clothing made of more than one fabric (Leviticus 19:19). These examples of God’s foolish rules will have to serve for now in order to keep the topic at a reasonable length.
Like mutated locusts, talking animals aren’t uncommon in the Bible. Everyone should remember the talking serpent tempting Eve in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3:1), but there’s an even more hilarious example of an atypical animal. In this instance, a man named Balaam is riding along on his donkey. When the donkey sits down on him twice, Balaam gives it a beating for its rebellion. When the donkey notices a murderous angel in their path, it sits down for a third time. Of course, Balaam delivers an additional flogging upon the donkey’s body. The donkey then asks Balaam, “What have I done unto thee, that thou hast smitten me these three times?” Yes, the donkey argues with its master! Then, Balaam, who does not appear to be the least bit surprised that his ride is questioning his motives, decides to engage in a debate with the donkey by claiming that it mocked him by sitting down. Furthermore, he informs his donkey that it would have already been dead if he had a sword nearby. The donkey then outsmarts him by pointing out that he has always let his master ride him but never asked to ride his master. Thoroughly outsmarted and outclassed, Balaam then concedes defeat in his debate with the donkey (Numbers 22:27-30). Seeing as how no concluding comment that I could make here would do this outdated and obtuse blunder justice, we’ll move on.
While I consider exorcism more of a scientific error than an absurdity, there are definitely some aspects of Jesus’ demon-removals that fit better in this section. According to Matthew, Jesus once encountered a couple of men possessed by devils. As they ask Jesus for a cure, he approves their request by driving the devil spirits into a drove of pigs. Possessed by demons, the pigs leap off a cliff and plunge to their deaths. The witnesses in the town then turn against Jesus as a result of his decision to drive the swine insane (Matthew -34). Why would a man this powerful not just cast the spirits deep into space or somewhere else out of harm’s way? Why intentionally kill innocent animals to make people turn against you? Nevertheless, Jesus also donned his disciples with the mystic power to perform exorcisms (Mark 3:15). Even so, there has yet to be a reliable documented case containing evidence that spirits had possessed a human being. On the other hand, the science of so-called “possessions” closely resembles the effects of neurochemical imbalances.
Daniel 9:24-27 proclaims that in seven sets of seventy weeks (490 weeks), a ruler will arrive and reconstruct a city. The Hebrew word for week, septad, actually means sevens, but the Israelites commonly used the term to refer to a set of seven days. In order for the upcoming prophecy to fit, disingenuous apologists must alter the obvious meaning of septad to seven years in quintessential post hoc fashion. Nevertheless, even if we give the benefit of the miniscule doubt to the apologists and assume that septad refers to a set of seven years, the arrival of this ruler would take place in 55 BCE. We know the starting point of the time in question because the passage refers to Cyrus’ order of cleansing the city in 545 BCE. Thus, prophecy inventors must once again alter the obvious intent of the passage and claim that Cyrus’ heir, Artaxerxes, was the one who gave the order. This puts the new date of arrival around 39 CE, approximately seven years after the presumed death of Jesus. Next, the apologist must shorten the length of a year by averaging the length of a solar year and the length of a lunar year in order to make the prophecy fit nicely with the year of the crucifixion. Even when you allow all of these absurd leniencies, there’s no potent evidence to support the notion that this passage refers to Jesus in any way, shape, form, or fashion. Jesus wasn’t a ruler, and he didn’t rebuild any cities. Even so, a few Christian zealots would like the world to believe that this is a fulfilled prophecy. Would these same apologists bend over backwards to support the text if such statements were found in the Qur’an?
Speaking to a crowd of Pharisees, Jesus preaches about a series of events destined to come upon them that inevitably conclude with their damnation to Hell (Matthew 23). When will these scenarios play out? “Verily I say unto you, All these things shall come upon this generation” (Matthew 23:36). The connotation is clear: the events mentioned throughout the chapter were to take place during the lifetimes of those living in that generation. In order to defend Jesus’ statement, some Christians claim that the makers of the KJV Bible should have translated the Hebrew word genea as age or race. While modern lexicons may support this translation for the very same reason that Christians believe it, what evidences contemporaneous with the era do they have to support this assertion? Nowhere in the New Testament did the translators interpret genea to be anything other than generation. The obvious choice of translation is also consistent with all other failed return prophecies. Again, they begin with the faulty premise of inerrancy and search for the most likely way to maintain this quality. What religion wouldn’t survive an infallibility test given such luxurious leniencies?
With the explosion of Gospel accounts in the second century, containment was an obvious priority for keeping the religion within reasonable limits. The first man known to have offered such a proposal on behalf of the church was Irenaeus of Lyon around 180 CE. His idea was to accredit only four Gospels because there were four zones of the world, four winds, four forms of living creatures, four divisions of man’s estate, and four beasts of the apocalypse. For these poorly thought-out reasons, Irenaeus believed that there should only be four Gospels accepted by the church. As was the case for the horrendous slave-trading institution having its origins in superstitious nonsense, it certainly follows that the most potentially important books in human history would have been decided in a likewise manner. Instead of God providing an unquestionably fitting reason for these Gospel choices, we have a perfectly appropriate act of senselessness leading to the foundation of contemporary Christian faith. Yet, it’s no wonder surrogate accounts, such as the Infancy Gospel, didn’t make the cut when you consider that Jesus strikes his teachers and playmates dead for attempting to correct him.
Just like the apologists of every world religion, I could make the same bald assertion that the Infancy Gospel, along with Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, had God’s inspiration to make it 100% accurate. If anyone thinks that they can find a way to invalidate my claim, I’ll simply generate a “how-it-could-have-been-scenario” that maintains the Gospel’s inerrancy while paying no attention to the improbability and absurdity of my proposed solution.
What if Irenaeus accidentally omitted a fifth truthful Gospel that contained an additional prerequisite for entering into Heaven? Christians won’t accept the stated extrabiblical requirement because there are four, not five, beasts of the apocalypse. I trust that you understand the fundamental flaw with the blatantly uncertain Christian system.