Excerpt From My Book on Child Sacrifice

I've received more than one email from Christians who say that of all the issues I write about in my book the most troubling one concerns child sacrifice in the Bible (imagine that!?). Here's the excerpt below (from pp. 136-37). What d'ya think?

When it comes to child sacrifice it was actually commanded by God. In Exodus 22:29-30 we read:
“You shall not delay to offer from the fullness of your harvest and from the outflow of your presses. The first-born of your sons you shall give to me. You shall do likewise with your oxen and with your sheep: seven days it shall be with its dam; on the eighth day you shall give it to me.”
Later on God admitted he did this in Ezekiel 20:25-26 where he purportedly said:
“Moreover I gave them statutes that were not good and ordinances by which they could not have life; and I defiled them through their very gifts in making them offer by fire all their first-born, that I might horrify them; I did it that they might know that I am the LORD.” (See note). [19]
The context of the Exodus passage just quoted above concerns offerings and sacrifices, and it says God requires that first born sons are to be literally sacrificed to him. Hence, unlike other passages where there is the possibility of redemption with a substitute sacrifice (cf. Exodus 13:13; 34:10-20), none is stated there. The concept of "redemption" is an interesting one that goes hand in hand with child sacrifice, because animals were substituted for the firstborn. Yet that says nothing against the idea that a better sacrifice was the firstborn child himself, and many people in the Old Testament did just that. Circumcision was probably a substitutionary child sacrifice (Exodus 4:24). Child sacrifice was probably only considered evil when it was done in the name of a foreign god, and doing so was punishable by death precisely because it was offered to another deity (Leviticus 20:2; 18:21 Deuteronomy 12:31; 18:10; II Kings 17:17 23:10; II Chronicles 28:3; 33:4-10; Ps 106:38; Isaiah 57:5,6; Jeremiah 7:31 32:35 Ezekiel 16:20,21; 20:26,31; 23:37,39; Acts 7:43).

Child sacrifice was something that several Biblical people either did, or assisted others in doing so. Abraham was not morally repulsed by the command itself and there is no command against this practice there by God (Genesis 22). Then there is Jepthah who sacrificed his daughter because of a stupid vow (Judges 11); David (II Sam. 21:7-9); Solomon and his wives (I Kings 3:16); Ahab (I Kings 16:33-34); Ahaz (II Kings 16:2-3); Hoshea (II Kings 17:7); and Manasseh (II Kings 21:6; II Chronicles 33:6). It was a problem for King Josiah (II King 23:10), for Jeremiah (Jeremiah 7:30-31; 19:3-5; 32:35), and Ezekiel (Ezekiel 16:20-21; 20:25-26, 30-31). The prophet Micah wonders if he should sacrifice his oldest son “as a sin offering” (6:6-8). It was a practice so prevalent when offered to foreign gods, that it is named as one of the reasons God sent the Babylonians to conquer Israel and forcibly take many of them as captives (II Kings 17:16-18). We even read where the King of Moab sacrificed his son which caused the Israelites to retreat in defeat. Moab’s sacrifice created a great “wrath,” (ketzef), which was an external force to the warriors in the story, indicating that his sacrifice caused some divinity to act on behalf of Moab. (II Kings. 3:26-27). In the New Testament God the Father sacrifices his only son (Jesus) as the central redemptive act of Christianity, and God still seeks to fulfill his lust for human sacrifice by burning humans forever in the lake of fire.

----------

[19] Hector Avalos tells us that, “For most of biblical history, Yahweh was not against child sacrifice per se, but rather against child sacrifice to other gods.” See his Creationists for Genocide. Jon D. Levenson states that "only at a particular stage rather late in the history of Israel was child sacrifice branded as counter to the will of YHWH and thus ipso facto idolatrous." The Death and Resurrection of the Beloved Son, (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1993), p. 5. Susan Niditch, in War in the Hebrew Bible: A Study in the Ethics of Violence (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1993) says, “While there is considerable controversy about the matter, the consensus over the last decade concludes that child sacrifice was a part of ancient Israelite religion to large segments of Israelite communities of various periods.” p. 47. S. Ackerman argues that within the ancient Israelite community, “the cult of child sacrifice was felt in some circles to be a legitimate expression of Yawistic faith.” Under Every Green Tree: Popular Religion in Sixth-Century Judah (Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1992), p. 137. See also Francesca Stavrakopoulou, King Manasseh and Child Sacrifice: Biblical Distortions of Historical Realities, (Walter De Gruyter Inc., 2004).

First published 7/30/09

119 comments:

Sabio Lantz said...

Wow, I haven't gotten to that part of your book. Good reason to keep reading ! Nasty stuff. Well, nasty if you only really expected different back then and I guess we shouldn't.

AIGBusted said...

When will the new book come out?

John W. Loftus said...

In March.

ahswan said...

John, it's impossible to interpret this out of context (what Israel already had been instructed re firstborn children, such as Ex 13).

DRC said...

From the ForeRunner Commentary"

Exodus 22:29-30:

"Here, God tells the Israelites that their firstborn cattle and sheep must be offered to Him on the eighth day of life. Likewise, the firstborn of the Israelite children—or rather the redeeming sacrificial lambs with which the parents bought back their newborn babies from God—must be offered on the babies' eighth day of life. In the case of a boy, this coincides with the day of his circumcision. The baby was "presented" to God at this time, and, although the parents had redeemed the baby, God still claimed the firstborn as being special to Him and still belonging to Him!"

DRC said...

So as you can see, the child was not killed! It was DEDICATED to God!

John W. Loftus said...

DRC that exegesis does not fit the plain text of the Biblical passage. It appears to be doing nothing but explaining it away. And it says nothing about Ezekiel 20:25-26.

You must make your profile viewable if you expect to comment here, trolls ya know.

Mr. Hyde said...

John,

I am not sure what to think of this post. I have read many of your posts and I don't think I have ever seen such dishonesty in your writing before this post.

Either you are purposely taking these passages out of context, which is dishonest, or you refuse to see the context of the passage, which is dishonest in its own right.

The passage you quote in Exodus contains a shotgun blast of commands from God. I assume that you know chapters and verses were not inspired, so simply reading the entire "shotgun blast" makes it obvious that there was not only talk about sacrifice. But a long list of many different topics that if written today would almost certainly have been placed in a bulleted list.

The passage in Ezekiel is much the same. You fail to take the whole context. God is recounting the disobedience of Israel that is bringing about his punishment of them. Part of their disobedience was child sacrifice.

Furthermore, God says in Jeremiah 7:31 "They have built the high places of Topheth in the Valley of Ben Hinnom to burn their sons and daughters in the fire—something I did not command, nor did it enter my mind." God makes it clear that he did not command them to offer their children as sacrifices to him, which supports the context of the other passages.

John W. Loftus said...

Mr. Hyde, did you read the link to what Dr. Avalos wrote? I didn't think so. And have you read the books I listed? Again, I don't think so. Perhaps anyone who disagrees with you is dishonest, right? Then let me turn that back on you. Sheesh.

Steven Carr said...

Mr.Hyde
Furthermore, God says in Jeremiah 7:31 "They have built the high places of Topheth in the Valley of Ben Hinnom to burn their sons and daughters in the fire—something I did not command, nor did it enter my mind."

CARR
So you have found a bit of the Bible which contradicts the other bit.

How is that a refutation of John's post?


'....and I defiled them through their very gifts in making them offer by fire all their first-born, that I might horrify them; I did it that they might know that I am the LORD.”

Who is the 'I' who made them offer by fire all their first-born, that he might horrify them?

Harry McCall said...

Mr. Hyde claims:
Furthermore, God says in Jeremiah 7:31 "They have built the high places of Topheth in the Valley of Ben Hinnom to burn their sons and daughters in the fire—something I did not command, nor did it enter my mind." God makes it clear that he did not command them to offer their children as sacrifices to him, which supports the context of the other passages.

Harry’s reply: Fact is the much later dating of Jeremiah 7:31 totally ignores the Jewish Akedah in Genesis 22:1-2:
Now it came about after these things, that God tested Abraham, and said to him, “Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am.” He said, “Take now your son, your only son, whom you love, Isaac, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I will tell you.

Plus, The practice of child sacrifice was common is Israel as noted by Michael Fishbane:

Beyond these various hints of vestigial cultic practices regarding the existence of sacrifice of the first-born Israelite male, the unofficial practice of child sacrifice apparently continued throughout ancient Israelite history and was due to a variety of factors.

Michael Fishbane, Biblical Interpretation in Ancient Israel (Oxford, Oxford University Press, 1985) p. 186.

Jeffrey said...

Without a doubt, the primary way Christians rationalize this is that God is good, therefore these verses cannot really be talking about child sacrifice.

This is one place where even the maddening consistency of "the definition of good is what God does/commands" cannot hold up. If they were to apply this reasoning consistently, God's commands would inform their concept of good, and not the other way around.

Mr. Hyde said...

What a fire storm my comment created. I think that perhaps my tone was not what I inteded. I was surprised at John's logic, but I was not attacking John--just his logic. Hopefully that clears up some things and let me state for the record that I want a civil debate here on this. I will try to answer all of the points brought against my original comment.

@John
I have not read the entirety of the books which you linked to in your post; however, I did read your entire post. Upon reviewing the Scriptures you referenced in full context I simply could not glean the meaning which you stated in your post. This is why I wrote that I felt you were being dishonest because I have read your posts for some time now and you have always been correct for the most part. Whether I agreed with you conclusions is a different matter.

@Steven Carr
I do not believe I have found a part of the Bible that contradicts the other bit because I think John has got the first bit wrong. That is where the debate lies. You obviously believe John is correct where I do not. I do not see the first passage as referring to God commanding them to perform child sacrifice.

@Harry McCall
The passage you cite in Genesis 22 is not a completed act of sacrifice. God tells Abraham to sacrifice Isaac, but stops him before he follows through with the action (Genesis 22:10-11).

The Bible makes it clear that child sacrifice was common in Israel. That is not the point of contention though; the point is whether or not God commanded them to perform child sacrifice.

I think I answered everyone...

Owlmirror said...

A point that perhaps Dr. Avalos might have emphasized more:

In the appendices to Who wrote the Bible?, Richard Friedman noted that Genesis 22 is an Elohist tale -- but the interjection that "saves" Isaac is by an angel of YHVH. This interjection is attributed to the Redactor. Friedman notes, also, that Genesis 22 ends with Abraham coming down the mountain alone -- and Isaac is not mentioned in any later Elohist document (Exodus 22, which Avalos cites as commanding that fistborns be given to God, is also an Elohist document). Later Midrashic commentators noted this discrepancy, and wondered if Abraham had in fact sacrificed Isaac.

The above seems somewhat incomplete to me, though, so I'm going to speculate a bit. It's possible that other scholars actually have already suggested some of these ideas; if so, I am not aware of it.

The biggest problem, I think, is the question of who Jacob's father was supposed to be in the Elohist stories about him. A notion that occurred to me is that there may have been a tradition of naming the next son after a sacrificed firstborn with the same name as the sacrificed son. Thus, there were, in the original stories about them, two Isaacs -- it was simply understood by all that heard that the Isaac who fathered Jacob was actually the brother of the sacrificed firstborn Isaac.

The Documentary Hypothesis makes it clear that the bible is a patchwork that reflects the struggles of various religious factions -- Israelite priests against Judean priests (and vice versa); Aaronids versus Mushites; and the later Judean priests trying to make sense of the holy texts that were, to them, already very old traditions.

I note that Genesis 21, describing the birth of Jacob, is a bit of a mishmash, sometimes even parts of one verse being attributed to Elohists and the other to YHVHists. I wonder if the theme that Isaac was the son of Abraham and Sarah's old age (which starts even earlier, in Gen 18) is a actually a remnant of another struggle, between YHVHist anti-child-sacrificers and Elohist pro-child-sacrificers. That is, the emphasis that Isaac was the child of their old age was added to undermine the very idea that Abraham would sacrifice Isaac -- even in a child-sacrificing culture, if a father had a son late in life, it might very well be accepted that he and his wife would not be required to sacrifice that son, since they might well have no more as replacements.

Anyway, that's just a notion I thought I would toss out for the scholars to consider.

Owlmirror said...

«"I note that Genesis 21, describing the birth of Jacob,

Bah. I meant the birth of Isaac, of course.

Dr. Hector Avalos said...

Mr. Hyde is not really addressing the text of Ezekiel 20:25-26, which reads (RSV):

[25] Moreover I gave them statutes that were not good and ordinances by which they could not have life;
[26] and I defiled them through their very gifts in making them offer by fire all their first-born, that I might horrify them; I did it that they might know that I am the LORD.


First, it is Yahweh who says that HE gave the Israelites statutes that “ were not good.” How is that out of context?

Second, it is Yahweh who says that HE was the one “making them offer by fire all their first-born.”

Now, how is God MAKING SOMEONE DO X not considered an endorsement of, or a commandment to do, X, regardless of the reason?

Perhaps Mr. Hyde can tell us how “the proper context” changes the meaning of those statements into something opposite. And so my questions for Mr. Hyde are?

1. Does Yahweh say in Ezekiel 20:25 that HE GAVE Israelites these commandments that were not good? YES or NO?

2. Does Yahweh say in Ezekiel 20:26 that it was HE who was MAKING the Israelites sacrifice their first-born by fire? YES or NO?

DRC said...

Ezekiel 20:26 is about their first born ANIMALS - not children! PLEASE!

Dr. Hector Avalos said...

DRC provides no support for the statement made.

The Hebrew phrase translated in Ezekiel 20:26 as “first-born” is PETER REHEM (more literally, womb-opener”).

So, DRC, could you explain how you concluded that this Hebrew phrase is restricted only to animals or refers only to animals in Ezekiel 20:26?

And why do you translate the phrase “KOL PETER REHEM” as not inclusive of human beings. It seems that “ALL first-born” would include human beings, as otherwise you do not explain why we cannot take the Hebrew word, KOL (“all”), for exactly what it says.

And what do you make of the occurrence of PETER REHEM in Numbers 3:12-13 (RSV)?

[12] "Behold, I have taken the Levites from among the people of Israel instead of every first-born that opens the womb [PETER REHEM] among the people of Israel. The Levites shall be mine,

[13] for all the first-born are mine; on the day that I slew all the first-born in the land of Egypt, I consecrated for my own all the first-born in Israel, both of man and of beast; they shall be mine: I am the LORD."

It seems here that in Numbers 3:12 PETER REHEM is applied to human beings, and it also is in a context of slaughter because it references the killing of the Egyptian first-born human children.

So some questions for DRC:
1. Why would sacrificing their first-born animals "horrify" the Israelites?

2. Why were Yahweh’s statutes described as “not good”?

3. Can you give me an instance in the Hebrew Bible that shows that the Hebrew phrase PETER REHEM cannot refer to human beings?

NOTE: My Hebrew transliterations are approximate.

DRC said...

I am not saying that it CANNOT - I am sayiing that it DOES NOT in Ezekiel 20:26. The offering of FIRST FRUITS of produce and FIRST BORN of animals was a common ritual. Your examples do not say one word about CHILD sacrifice. Exodus 22:30 is about child DEDICATION and Ezekiel 20:26 is about womb opening (first born)animals.

Dr. Hector Avalos said...

DRC:
You are only giving us your say-so here. What
supports your conclusion? Give us specifics.

And you still have not answered these questions:

1. Why would sacrificing their first-born animals "horrify" the Israelites?

2. Why were Yahweh’s statutes described as “not good”?

DRC said...

Also, you asked:

"1. Why would sacrificing their first-born animals "horrify" the Israelites?

2. Why were Yahweh’s statutes described as “not good”?"


Here is a literal translation of Ezekiel 20:26 - "And I defile them by their own gifts, By causing to pass away every opener of a womb, So that I make them desolate, So that they know that I [am] Yahweh."

DESOLATE - not HORRIFIED. That was God's rebuke to their self serving sacrifices instead of obedience - with which He was not pleased. That it why it was NOT GOOD.

Dr. Hector Avalos said...

Why did you translate the Hebrew word
as "desolate"? Or why do you accept that as a correct translation of the Hebrew? Can you provide that Hebrew word for us?

DRC said...

The Hebrew word is SHAMEM:

"A primitive root; to stun (or intransitively, grow numb), i.e. Devastate or (figuratively) stupefy (both usually in a passive sense) -- make amazed, be astonied, (be an) astonish(-ment), (be, bring into, unto, lay, lie, make) desolate(-ion, places), be destitute, destroy (self), (lay, lie, make) waste, wonder."

strongsnumbers.com/hebrew/8074.htm

Dr. Hector Avalos said...

So tell me why you translated it as
you did in Ezekiel 20:26 on linguistic grounds--Clue: using only Strong's Concordance will not help you here.

DRC said...

I did not translate it myself, that was a direct quote from one of my literal Bibles. It is caled the "Concordant Literal Bible". The "Young's Lteral Bible" says the same thing. I have both versions on my computer along with an interlinear.

John W. Loftus said...

DRC the act of translation is also to some degree an act of interpretation, so you can't really comment on how best to translate these words. You could, however, read the books listed to see why scholars other than conservatives interpret these words the way they do.

DRC said...

I agree with you John. So it is obvious there are various meanings available here, but both of my literal bibles chose the same meaning. Does that mean they are right? No, of course not. But HORRIFIED is not a proper fit and the lexicon does not even have that rendering as a possibility.

So either way, there is no evidence in the text, nor in parallel passages to suggest that this is child sacrifice. The rest of the OT sacrifices were animals and produce. I see no evidence whatsoever for any child sacrifices being made to God or commanded by God to the Israelites. The one exception of Abraham and Isaac has already been addressed.

John W. Loftus said...

Jepthah? King of Moab? The prophet Micah? Solomon? Others?

I guess you can only see what your faith will allow you to see. You simply refuse to see. That's par for the course in my opinion.

I think I know who you are. Be careful. Don't slip up or you'l be gone yet another time.

Dr. Hector Avalos said...

I agree with John. But here are other problems with using Strong's Concordance :

-Strong is simply using the King James Version, and so Strong simply plugs in the Hebrew words translated by the KJV. It does not mean the KJV is any better at translating that Hebrew word.

-If Strong had used another version (e.g., the RSV) for its concordance, it would have other words keyed to the Hebrew word.

-The fact is that even conservative versions disagree with Strong and the KJV. For example, the NIV has: “I might fill them with horror.”

In any case, that is why you cannot simply cite Strong and think you have a good argument. You have to explain why you think Strong (or the KJV on which he depends) is correct. DRC has not done that. For example, DRC is not explaining why the NIV is not chosen over the KJV.

But even if DRC were able to establish “desolate” as the meaning, then this does not exlude the sacrifice of children here.

DRC does not explain why KOL does not include children.

DRC is not explaining how killing first-born animals would “desolate” the Israelites, given that they killed animals all the time.

And why does the word "horrify" not a FIT for
the act of killing your firs-born children. It
seems that it is a PERFECT fit if you love your
children.

As to the Lexicons, what Lexicons is DRC using?

DRC said...

Jepthah made a stupid vow, God did not ask for it or command it. Nor did God command the others. People made all kinds of ridiculous vows and promises to God to try to get God to do something on their behalf, or to try and appease God due to their guilt over their sins. It seems unfortunate that some people are still trying to appease God today with "stupid" vows and sacrifices that God is not commanding, wanting, or pleased with in any way.

In Hoses 6:6 it says that God desires mercy and not sacrifice.

Dr. Hector Avalos said...

DRC,
One ought never use concordances as Lexicons. They are good glossaries at best, but not real scholarly lexicons. All the standard Lexicons have some version of “horrify” as a meaning for at least some forms of this Hebrew word. Just a few examples:

Brown, Driver, and Briggs: “causing horror”

Koehler-Baumgartner (1999): “be appalled”—“to cause people to be dumfounded, disconcerted, awestruck.”

Diccionario Biblico...(1994) by Alonso Schökel: “estar horrorizado” (= be horrified”).

I worked on translating the last Hebrew dictionary into English (for a brief period), and I know how to establish (or not establish) the meaning of Hebrew words.

I also know that some definitions are just interpretations of the lexicographer, and each lexicographer must be able to explain how he
or she established that definition.

That is why a lot of new lexicography is at least more honest in giving the reasons why this or that word means what the lexicographer says it means. Sometimes we cannot know, and the lexicographer should say so.

You will see that a lot of more recent lexicographers focus on the debates about how to establish meaning rather than just giving you a meaning.

You can find my entries in Eerdmans Dictionary of the Bible, The Anchor Bible Dictionary, and The New Interpreter’s Dictionary of the Bible, among others.

DRC said...

Dr Avalos,

I appreciate your knowledge of the Hebrew, but the fact remains, that regardless of your translation of SHAMEM, there is no evidence in the OT of God ever commanding nor endorsing child sacrifice. The evidence is overwhelmingly against such a notion. Once again, all of the specific sacrifices listed are of grains, produce, animals, etc. Nothing about children.

Dr. Hector Avalos said...

DRC says:
Jephthah made a stupid vow, God did not ask for it or command it. Nor did God command the others.

As you yourself admit, God certainly did command the sacrifice of Isaac even if it was not carried through.

Now why would Abraham not question that? Was it because he assumed Yahweh could ask for such a thing? Otherwise, why did Abraham not think that Yahweh was some demonic figure and the true God would NEVER ask such a thing?

This is where you also miss the point of the Jephthah story. Yahweh saved Isaac, but he did not save Jephthah's daughter.

So what if it were a stupid vow on Jephthah's part? Yahweh could have saved her just as easily or killed Jephthah for making a stupid vow.

And Yahweh did command the killing of many Canaanite children as in 1 Samuel 15:1-3. This was part of the HEREM institution which entailed a sacrifice of the opponents' children sometimes.

So I am not sure what you mean by: "Nor did God command the others."

Given those facts, I am not sure why you resist the notion that God could have ordered the sacrifice of children.

He certainly killed a whole lot of first-born children in Egypt and in the Flood, and so what would stop him from doing it again to punish Israel?

Are you of the opinion that killing infants is ALWAYS wrong? YES or NO?

DRC said...

Dr Avalos,

You are asking me to stand in judgment against God Almighty which I refuse to do. He is the giver and taker of life.

Abraham knew in his heart that God would either stop him from the sacrifice or raise Isaac from the dead, for he said "WE will be back".

And this thread is about child SACRIFICE - not the killing of the Canaanites.

John W. Loftus said...

DRC as I suspected, you are the same person I've banned several times who continues coming back under different names. You never really try to understand the arguments, in my opinion. You've had a personal experience with God and that's the only epistemological warrant for why you see things the way you do. You do not address some of our arguments head on, but instead merely repeat yourself as if you were never listenning to us in the first place.

No more comments from you.

Dr. Hector Avalos said...

DRC says:
"there is no evidence in the OT of God ever commanding nor endorsing child sacrifice. The evidence is overwhelmingly against such a notion."

Actually, I think the evidence is overwhelmingly for the notion that God can order the killing of children. There is nothing about ordering child "SACRIFICE" that makes that action any more off-limits to Yahweh, given these instances of infanticide on his part:

A. He killed masses of children in the Flood (and so how is "sacrificing" children to him ethically different" for him"?

B. He ordered Abraham to sacrifice his son. Abraham thought at least this was a possible legitimate request.

C. He killed the first-born of Egypt.That probably amounted to thousands right there.

D. He ordered the killing of the Amalekite
children as punishment. These are seen as part of a sacrificial ritual of HEREM.

E. He killed the child of David as punishment for what David did in 2 Samuel 12:14.

Those instances alone, depending on your estimate of the world population at the supposed time of the Flood, would amount to thousands of children. Therefore, what would MAKE THE SACRIFICE OF CHILDREN TO YAHWEH MORE ABHORRENT
than drowning them, burning them, or swording them to death?


But you are judging God no matter what you say. If you say he allows killing of children for HIS purposes, then you are the one JUDGING that this is a legitimate action for YOUR GOD.

Ultimately, all you are giving us is a circular argument:

"I believe what the Almighty does is Right because
I believe whatever the Almighty does is Right."


Therefore, YOU ARE THE ULTIMATE judge of right and wrong even if you say you believe in a God or not. You are a MORAL RELATIVIST no more and no less.

Given that DRC may not reply here, I offer this as food for thought for all defenders of biblical genocide.

Toby said...

Wow, this has been an excellent thread and I've learned much. Dr. Avalos' comments on the attitude that some/many OT Jews had toward child sacrifice explains so much about why many of the stories are even in the Bible.

If I was Abraham and God told me to offer my firstborn son in a fire, I would have never considered such a command. I would reject such a God even if it meant my own damnation. But Avalos is right, for a father to even consider such an act to the point of taking him to the alter indicates that their culture was somewhat more accepting of it than ours. DenCol tried to argued that because Abraham said "We will come back" that therefore he knew God would spare Isaac. This brings about just as many problems as it solves, it argues that Abraham never had any intention of following God's orders, that God's orders only need to be followed when we agree, and God likes to scare the living daylight out of people.

Also, according to Strong's (since you seem to like it so much) they are more than a half dozen places where God repents of the evil he planned to do or did do. I will have to go look up the references, but I post when I've finished.

Owlmirror said...

«"I appreciate your knowledge of the Hebrew, but the fact remains, that regardless of your translation of SHAMEM, there is no evidence in the OT of God ever commanding nor endorsing child sacrifice.

Technically speaking, there is no evidence of God commanding or endorsing anything whatsoever.

However, from a historical perspective, the question is, did the people who claimed to speak for God also claim that God did at times command child sacrifice? It would appear that they did.

If so, under what conditions were children sacrificed? It seems to me that in the past, when child mortality rates were far higher, sacrificing every firstborn would be simply untenable for a family and for a population. However, another possible speculation is that children were sacrificed but not killed: that is, when children died of natural causes because of that same high mortality rate, their bodies were burned as sacrifices rather than buried like adults.

This might also be connected to the phrase "פטר רחם" (peter rehem). Women were often married off much younger in the past; really barely more than girls. The firstborn of such young mothers might very well have often been stillborn; literally "openers of the womb", in that they stretched the reproductive system, but did not survive themselves. This is, of course, as I said, speculation -- but not completely unsupported, I think.

However, it also seems clear that at times, live and otherwise healthy children were indeed actually killed as sacrifices -- as we see in the story of Jephthah, and in what is implied by the story of the sacrifice of Isaac.

«"The evidence is overwhelmingly against such a notion.

It most certainly is not.

Gandolf said...

DRC said...."It seems unfortunate that some people are still trying to appease God today with "stupid" vows and sacrifices that God is not commanding, wanting, or pleased with in any way."

Just a little unfortunate you say??.....No i say its full of much total madness more like it.

And for what ever reason it is it doesnt really matter so much,as either way its partly got something to do with this bible,thats supposedly said to be divine and of god.

I often read here and listen to faithful folks argue about other things as well such as Slavery,i watch many of them arguing and being confused over whats the exact translations etc.As very many people have also done now for thousands of years,often causing much harm and splitting and dividing etc in the process.

Im thinking hello?? ..Why does it matter so much about the fact of exactness of translations.....Because either way if you really believe this book as supposedly being divine,you also need to really believe some supposed all knowing god would really be so likely to be involved in such a obviously badly written and worded book! that putting all arguments aside factually does in fact confuse and harm and divide very many people.

How do faithful folk really associate that what is supposedly divine,with that what so obviously also causes confusion harm and division etc?

Though madness?....By putting aside as much common sense as possible for a few moments,and hope like hell it can all someday be made to somehow make it seem to all fit?


They really gonna need lots of luck trying to do that :)

Gandolf said...

My above post should read: in (writing) such a obviously badly written and worded book!

Lvka said...

The prophetic passage You refered to is in the same vein as Romans 1:26-28, for instance, or other similar scriptural places. The Law-passage is about circumcision. That Israel abandoned God's advises and followed its own will, and God permitted them to become like unto beasts, as it happened with king Nebuchadnezzar, is their problem. God doesn't force redemption down anyone's throat.

I Love Jesus said...

Speaking of baby killing, if you knew what you knew now and had the chance to go back in time and kill that little innocent baby named Adolf Hitler, would you do so?

Some little innocent babies grow up to be major league dirt bags like murderers, terrorists, child molestors, etc etc. Maybe God was doing everyone a favor by killing all of those nice little innocent babies! He knew exactly what they would be like when they grew up!

So if God chose to kill babies, then fine with me. And what did they miss out on anyway? 70 - 80 years of going through all of this BS? Maybe God did them a favor! I am sure many of you wished you had never been born at certain points in your life. So then, what is all the fuss about God killing babies? Maybe they were much better off. Did you ever think of that?

Toby said...

ILJ wrote, "So then, what is all the fuss about God killing babies? Maybe they were much better off. Did you ever think of that?"

Even the words of Jesus, whom you profress to love, strongly condemn anyone who harms a child. Recently, I think it was you who wrote something like, "You're not going to bait me into saying God does evil things." God doesn't do evil things, except maybe through ommission if God does exist and has the power to do good. Men do evil things and say they are doing them in God's name. The OT is filled with evil done in God's name. Was it you earlier who admitted to as much in the story of Jepthath killing his daughter?

What is sad is even the Bible calls many of God's deeds evil:
Exodus 32:14
And the Lord repented of the evil which he thought to do unto his people.
2 Samuel 24:16
The Lord repented of the evil, and said to the angel that destroyed the people, it is enough: stay now thine hand.
1 Chronicles 21:15
The Lord beheld, and he repented him of the evil, and said to the angel that destroyed, It is enough, stay now thine hand.
Jeremiah 15:6
I [God] am weary of repenting.
Jeremaih 18:8
I [God] will repent of the evil that I thought to do unto them.
Jeremaih 26:3
That I [God]may repent me of the evil, which I purpose to do unto them.
Jeremiah 26:13
The Lord will repent him of the evil that he hath pronounced against you.
Jeremiah 26:19
The Lord repented him of the evil which he had pronounced against them.
Jeremaih 42:10
For I [God] repent me of the evil that I have done unto you.
Amos 7:3, 6
The Lord repented for this.
Jonah 3:10
God repented of the evil, that he had said that he would do unto them.
(Credit: KJV, skepticsannotatedbible.com)

I Love Jesus said...

Toby,

Here is how "RA" can be translated

bad, evil, disagreeable, malignant, unpleasant, (giving pain, unhappiness, misery), displeasing,bad (of its kind - land, water, etc) bad (of value)worse than, worst (comparison)sad, unhappy hurtful unkind (vicious in disposition) wicked (ethically)
in general, of persons, of thoughts deeds, actions, distress, misery, injury, calamity, adversity, injury, wrong, misery,

Translated Words


KJV (663) - adversity, 4; affliction, 6; bad, 13; evil, 442; favoured, 3; grievous, 2; harm, 3; hurt, 20; ill, 5; misc, 34; mischief, 21; naught, 3; noisome, 2; sad, 2; sore, 9; trouble, 10; wicked, 25; wickedness, 59;


NAS (359) - adversity, 7; bad, 25; badly, 1; calamity, 4; deadly, 1; defamed, 1; defames, 1; defect, 1; destroying, 1; disaster, 2; displease, 1; displeased, 1; displeasing, 1; distressing, 1; evil, 218; evil man, 3; evil men, 4; evil things, 4; evildoer, 1; evildoers, 1; evils, 1; great, 1; grievous, 4; harm, 3; harmful, 4; hurt, 1; man, 1; miserable, 1; misfortune, 1; ruin, 3; sad, 4; selfish, 1; serious, 1; severe, 2; sore, 2; surely, 1; threats, 1; treacherous, 1; trouble, 3; troubled, 1; ugly, 6; unpleasant, 2; what is evil, 2; what was evil, 5; which is evil, 3; wicked, 15; wicked women, 1; wickedly, 1; wickedness, 1; wild, 5; worst, 1; wretched, 1;

searchgodsword.org/lex/heb/view.cgi?number=07451&l=en

So as you can plainly see, there are many alternative meanings for RA. I personally do not care for the KJV transaltion, nor the NAS. They are both extremely outdated.

So you verses do not show much because they all depend on the meaning of RA.

P.S. It was not I that said the things you quoted. You have me confused with someone else.

Toby said...

My apologies for confusing you with another.

I agree with you that the KJV is outdated, but someone earlier was using Strong's to back their case, so I used it as well (see my previous post). At any rate, you did little to explain away God's evil acts. You did present some synonyms for the word evil though.

Why did God repent if his actions weren't evil?

I Love Jesus said...

The word REPENT simply means to go the opposite direction. God can choose to change His plans any time He so see fit to do so. In the OT, if someone repents, then God repents of His judgments against them.

Toby said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Toby said...

ILJ,

So God decided not to do his harmful, wicked, mischievous, wretched, treacherous, or ruinous actions (just a sampling of the synonyms you provide for evil) any longer? He turned away from doing those "evil" acts?

Please provide the adjective you prefer for God's commanding of genocide, killing, infanticide, and murder. I’ll stick with the KJV "EVIL" as an appropriately chosen adjective myself.

I Love Jesus said...

Toby,

Whatever floats your boat. You have a distorted view of God, and that is why you are on this blog. This is God's creation, and He can do with it as He so chooses. If you don't like the way He is running the Universe, then so be it. Take it up with Him. If He does not exist, then you have no one to be mad at, do you? So why are all these atheists so upset with Someone who is not real?

Why talk about God being evil if He does not even exist? What is the point? I do not need to go on blogs that discuss space aliens to tell them that I don't believe in little green men. So what exactly is your motivation? What is the point? If we believers are wrong and deluded, what do you care? Why the need for this atheist's club blog? If you are convinced that God does not exist, then why not move on and leave it behind you? Why the need to publicly berate this God that does not exist? I just don't get it?

Walter said...

ILJ aka savedbygrace..."If you are convinced that God does not exist, then why not move on and leave it behind you? Why the need to publicly berate this God that does not exist? I just don't get it?"

Why do you need to defend God? Is he not capable of defending himself?

I Love Jesus said...

I simply said that God can chose to do whatever He so chooses with His creation. I do not always agree with God's decisions either, but I do not need to, and neither do you. Let God be God, and let Walter be Walter.

So again, why the need to tell everyone what you DO NOT believe in? I tell people about God to give them hope. Do you want to tell people there is no God so that they can despair? Once again, what is your agenda? You never answered the question.

Walter said...

ILJ..."So again, why the need to tell everyone what you DO NOT believe in? I tell people about God to give them hope. Do you want to tell people there is no God so that they can despair? Once again, what is your agenda? You never answered the question."


this not my blog, but you can read John's reasons:

http://debunkingchristianity.blogspot.com/2006/05/what-is-my-motivation-in-debunking.html

I Love Jesus said...

What are YOUR reasons Walter?

Toby said...

I Love Jesus wrote, "You have a distorted view of God..."

I have a distorted view of God, but you are the one that thinks God kills babies, orders mass murder and genocide, etc.

Also, explain your last post to me. Was that anger or just irritation? I debate God becuase I enjoy it thoroughly. I love talking with you about the subject! Also, I participate on the blog becuase I feel that I have been set free. I share with others what I have learned for the same reason you do. Its just that I believe that I have been set free from a delusion and you believe I'm deluded.

Walter said...

ILJ..."What are YOUR reasons Walter?"

Like Toby, I enjoy the discussion. If this blog offends Christians you can simply stay away; no one forces Christians to come here and read this blog or any other skeptic's website. I do, however, enjoy a good discussion with an intelligent theist.

I really like Robert Price's answer to why we do what we do:

Robert M. Price: “We are viewed as insidious villains seeking to undermine the belief of the faithful, trying to push them off the heavenly path and into Satan’s arms. But this is not how we view ourselves at all. We find ourselves entering the field as the champions and zealots for a straightforward and accurate understanding of the Bible as an ancient text. In our opinion, it is the fundamentalist, the apologist for Christian supernaturalism, who is propagating false and misleading views of the Bible among the general populace. We are not content to know better and to shake our heads at the foolishness of the untutored masses. We want the Bible to be appreciated for what it is, not for what it is not. And it is not a supernatural oracle book filled with infallible dogmas and wild tales that must be believed at the risk of eternal peril.” [The Empty Tomb: Jesus Beyond the Grave (Prometheus, 2005), p. 15].

I Love Jesus said...

Toby and Walter,

Many drug addicts have been totally set free by God, along with alcoholics, mass murderers, rapists, arsonists, etc etc etc. I have never heard a testimony of someone becoming an atheist and it causing them to give up cocaine. But there are 1000's of such testimonies from people who have turned to Christ for the remission of their sins.

I also enjoy a good debate. I even more enjoy when someone comes to the TRUTH of Jesus Christ and gets delivered from the bondages of their addictions, or saves their marriage and family unity.

Walter said...

ILJ..."Many drug addicts have been totally set free by God, along with alcoholics, mass murderers, rapists, arsonists, etc etc etc. I have never heard a testimony of someone becoming an atheist and it causing them to give up cocaine. But there are 1000's of such testimonies from people who have turned to Christ for the remission of their sins."

http://www.missionislam.com/youth/teen.htm

How One Teen Remembered Allah and Turned her Life Around

It is not uncommon to find stories from all religions claiming that a specific deity turned around someones life. How does this prove that one specific religion is TRUTH? Answer: It doesn't.

I Love Jesus said...

Walter,

But there are no such testimonies from atheists. Just because someone has God's name wrong, does not mean that God will not change their heart. God looks on the heart, so if someone is searching for God, He will respond. God is not limited by "religion".

Walter said...

ILJ,

Cult groups often prey on the weak minded. They give these people a sense of purpose in life, sometimes producing dramatic lifestyle changes. This has more to do with human psychology than religion.

As an open minded agnostic, I am not here to argue for the non-existence of any deity. I mostly argue against the absurd claims of "revealed religions".

I Love Jesus said...

Hi Walter,

Fair enough. We can leave it at that.

Toby said...

ILJ,

You wrote, "But there are no such testimonies from atheists."

You are wrong about this. There are plenty of examples of atheists who have years of sobriety. I am actually licensed to practice in this area and have worked with numerous of them. I used to work in an intensive treatment facility for addicts. Why is it that Christians and athiests have an 80% failure rate when it comes to getting off alcohol and most other drugs when using empirically validated methods and that when they don't use treatment at all they are even higher recidivism rates yet (failures)?

I Love Jesus said...

Toby,

There are literally 1000's of testimonies of Christians who immediatley had victory over their addictions upon conversion. I know of no such testimonies from deconversion.

Jean-Baptiste Emmanuel Zorg said...

"There are literally 1000's of testimonies of Christians who immediatley had victory over their addictions upon conversion."

Double blind studies of pharmacological products have to be performed because of our predilection toward the placebo effect. It seems that people will credit sugar pills with all kinds of cures.

Also, pick a religion, they all have their testimonies of the miraculous. Why should your testimonies bear greater weight than theirs?

I Love Jesus said...

Like I said earlier, God looks at the heart, not at the religion. I am not concerned with religion. I am concerned with transformed lives through the grace and miracle working power of God. God is not limited or confined by someone's religion.

The "Son of Sam", David Berkowitz was 100% rehabiltated after reading the psalms and his conversion to Christ. His metal state is completely renewed without drugs or professional counseling. If that is a placebo effect, then bring on the placebos!

No such testimonies from deconversionists. Maybe they need a better placebo! :-)

Carbon Based said...

"The "Son of Sam", David Berkowitz was 100% rehabiltated after reading the psalms and his conversion to Christ. His metal state is completely renewed without drugs or professional counseling."

Do you have a source for this? Are you trying to tell us that while in prison SofS didn't receive ANY professional counseling? I find this hard to believe.

And BTW your starting to sounds/write like that masturbating troll DenCol/SBG/Rich

Toby said...

ILJ,

There is no peer-reviewed research to substaniate your claims:

"There are literally 1000's of testimonies of Christians who immediatley had victory over their addictions upon conversion. I know of no such testimonies from deconversion."

"No such testimonies from deconversionists. Maybe they need a better placebo! :-?"


You are arguing from ignorance alone. There is no scholarly research that has demonstrated any power of healing through conversions. Anecdotal data alone is not sufficient to establish the case your are making. While I enjoy debating the issues, I have no desire to educate you on how the scientific method works and why it is superior at buidling knowledge than anecdotes/hearsay. So far you've provided plenty of anecdotes and hearsay, but nothing to substaniate anything you've claimed that would pursuade anyone of a scientific mindset. More than that, many of us are Bible College and Seminary graduates. It is almost as though you believe that your easily-understood arguments are going to now pursade us; like I somehow failed to grasp what was being preached at me for 30 years and studied intensely at both the undergraduate and graduate levels for nearly 10 years. I spent the first 30 years of my life as a Christian. I believed largely as you did for most of my life. However, I eventually became educated on how to evaluate evidence. I learned that the type of evidence evangelical Christianity is built upon is mostly superficial. When Christians dig very deep they discover than Christians suffer illness, divorce, claimity with the same frequencies and durations as non-christians. Were there a claim to Christianity providing superior benefits in living, they would show up in the statistics. Overall, there is no signficant benefit given to Christians of any type. You seem to see no difference in the quality of data provided by a well-thought double blinded empricially validated study and the guy at church that says, "God cured me!" The two are not equal. One is much more trust worthy than the other.

John W. Loftus said...

Go away "DRC," I mean "I Love Jesus," I mean "savedbygrace" I mean "DenCol." I will be deleting your comments soon so don't bother writing anymore. I just don't get it. All you ever do is masterbate on us. You hardly ever actually deal with our arguments nor with our arguments. You never really listen to us.

No more comments. Start another Blogger account and let's play this game again and again and again.

I guess you just do not have to live by the golden rule when you love Jesus right? That's very dangerous I think, and one reason why we are debunking your faith.

Scott said...

I Love Jesus wrote: But there are no such testimonies from atheists. Just because someone has God's name wrong, does not mean that God will not change their heart. God looks on the heart, so if someone is searching for God, He will respond. God is not limited by "religion".

As a side note: ILJ was comparing apples to oranges.

Atheism is a negative. It does not imply any specific positive belief system or philosophy of looking at life. Christianity, or other religions, are a positive system.

Furthermore, I'm sure there are such testimonies from non-theistic Buddhists, who do not think God's existence is relevant.

Scott said...

YouTube Video

God invents human sacrifice.

Rob R said...

The Ezekiel 20:25-26 comes after the passage describing Israel's rebellion of idolatry and refusal to keep God's statutes. The foot notes of the NET also have some interesting comments here:

The Hebrew term חֻקּוֹת (khuqot; translated “statutes” elsewhere in this chapter) is normally feminine. Here Ezekiel changes the form to masculine: חֻקִּים (khuqim). Further, they are not called “my decrees” as vv. 11 and 13 refer to “my statutes.” The change is a signal that Ezekiel is not talking about the same statutes in vv. 11 and 13, which lead to life

The NIV gives describes God's activity towards the israelites and these laws as "giving them over" to these statutes.

The NASB cross references Romans chapter one where God gives idolators over to their stubborness and abnormal lusts.

It seems to me that the statutes that the Israelites are being given over to are those of the idols that they prostituted themselves before.

As for the passage from exodus on giving the firstborns to God, clearly the context lumps these groups together in the passage because of common ground. They are all first borns, all given to God. But does the text indicate that they are all to be given in the same way? The text doesn't demand it one way or the other and in the greater context of the law, Exodus 13, it indicates that they are not to be given in the same way as a sacrifice.

Some bible scholars don't believe that Jepthah literally sacrificed his daughter because they don't find that this is consistent with the the practices of Israelites at the time. Rather, they say, they gave her over to temple service. Another piece of evidence is due to What Jepthah's daughter mourns... her virginity, not her life. I don't know that this is true but an alternative is that it is a grievious tale that one bible commentator I consulted on this (a few years ago) noted that this story comes in the middle of judges, a tale of tears that demonstrates that Israel had hit rock bottem. Also noted was the contrast between this sacrifice and the One of Abraham of Isaac. Since the order to sacrifice Isaac came from God, the order to halt it came from God. God did not intervene with Jeptha because God did not command it, and Jeptha already had the law of Moses which forbade the sacrifice.




A couple of the examples aren't about ritual sacrifice at all. Not only was the instance with David not about sacrifice, it wasn't clearly of Children. It was vengeance for the evil of Saul. The seven descendants of Saul also could have been involved in the evil that Saul commited against the Gibeonites as evidenced by the comment at the beginning of the chapter "It is on account of Saul and his blood-stained house; it is because he put the Gibeonites to death."

I admit though that they may not have had a personal hand in the issue and this was an instance of corporate responsibility. As an individualist, I find this a difficult possibility to consider, but they weren't individualists. A greater degree of Individualism however did develope amongst God's people later (can't think of the passage though within the prophets were God says he will not hold children accountable for their father's deeds. And Jesus repudiated the idea of corporate punishment towards the children of parents who've sinned.)

As for solomon, the threat of cutting the baby in two was an instance of child sacrifice? GRavy, even school children know that it was a ploy to get the mothers to react to expose the fraud and reveal the true mother.

For so many of the others, of course it's not news that Israel and her king's prostituted themselves before Idol's and did repugnant things.


No, I did not read all the books mentioned and I'm not going to. I have a job, John Loftus's book, and many others that I am currently reading. A fella can only do so much. And I'm a very slow reader.

Toby said...

I love how perfectly we are taught as Christians to dance around difficult issues. If we don't like the plain text reading of a passage, argue the passage with a mix of other biblical passages (different books altogether) to fix it. If that doesn't work, argue culture practices from the time period. No good? Then argue the historical interpretation from what ever period agrees with your opinion. Unless, that is, what they believed the passage meant at the time was wrong, then call it typology and argue that the anti-type is the true meaning of the passage. Still not finding the right backing for your interpretation? Well then, we don't know all of God's reasons for why he did what he did, but clearly he has a good reason, it just wasn't revealed to us. Nevermind all the other bullshit that was revealed, God just left out the most important points--like what the hell he was thinking when he created such a f'ked up world.

End of the day fatigue is setting in and my wife says I'm cranky. Signing off.

db said...

ILJ said: There are literally 1000's of testimonies of Christians who immediatley had victory over their addictions upon conversion. I know of no such testimonies from deconversion.

I know you have been banned, but you'll probably sin against the blog and god and lie to come back anyway, so I will destroy this claim. I was severely addicted as a Christian for 40+ years, and on the day that I realized and accepted that God never existed it was like chains fell from my hands and I walked out a free man. The addiction melted away effortlessly. The cycle of guilt and medication was broken. I have never looked back. Now you have heard a testimony of de-conversion and freedom from addiction.

Carson said...

db,

The freedom you experierinced was the freedom from false teaching and from a counterfeit religious system that indoctrinates people with bondage to rules and legalism. You were freed from churchianity - not Christianity. And that is a good thing. The "church" today is not the church of the Bible. The church today is man made nonsense. You were brainwashed into a cultic ritual of "serving God". That was not Christianity.

Anthony said...

Carson, or should we say DenCol, SavedByGrace, DRC, Dennis Collis, it would be nice if you could make some substantial arguments. I held to a form Christianity that would agree with some of your sentiments such as most people holding to "Churchianity" versus "true" Christianity, that the church today is wholely unlike the first century church which met as house churches and held to a less formal ecclesiology which centered it's ministry in the people and not in "offices" or even leadership.

Whether you hold to a more primitive type of Christianity or a more evolved one such as Catholicism, Presbyterianism, and most other denominations, does't really matter. Bottom line is that Christianity is a falsifiable faith and it has been falsified many times.

Carson said...

If it has been truly falsified, there would be no more reason for any debates, and no more reason for any futher discussion of these issues.

Anthony said...

Carson: If it has been truly falsified, there would be no more reason for any debates, and no more reason for any futher discussion of these issues.

Science, reason, and higher criticism (which was derived from those two) have totally decimated the "truth" of Christianity as an historic faith. Unfortunately most Christians are ignorant of this evidence or they reject it for faith.

Now I don't want to paint with too broad a brush as some Christians will argue that they can still have their Christianity in light of what science and historical criticism have discovered which is the reason that men like Peter Enns, Kenton Sparks, and Darrel Falk can remain believers despite the evidence. All I can say is that they have not considered many aspects of the evidence against Christianity, or they are comfortable with holding mutually exclusive positions at the same time, or they prefer blind faith. For many religion in general and Christianity specifically ties their entire world and life view together and if it is wrong, then they have very little left.

Carson said...

"Science, reason, and higher criticism (which was derived from those two) have totally decimated the "truth" of Christianity as an historic faith."

The Christian faith has not been decimated in the least. In fact, it has not even been wrinkled! If you have some actual facts instead of opinion, I would love to hear it. Every single argument against Christianity on this blog has been thoroughly addressed and debunked. So change the name of this blog to the "Debunking of the Debunkers". You have NOTHING! Absolutely nothing.

Anthony said...

Carson: The Christian faith has not been decimated in the least. In fact, it has not even been wrinkled! If you have some actual facts instead of opinion, I would love to hear it. Every single argument against Christianity on this blog has been thoroughly addressed and debunked.

Dennis, the evidence is overwhelming you just refuse to believe it because of your experience. For you evidence does not matter, you have had your "healings" and your "prophecies" that cannot be demonstrated objectively. You are like the young earth creationists that despite the overwhelming evidence that the earth and the universe are billions of years old, you still cling to the notion that it is only a few thousand years old (I held this view most of my life). You continue to view the evidence with YEC glasses so no matter what the evidence is you have your response to it.

You really are not interested in evidence, you are here merely to preach to us about how god healed you and gave you prophesied and we are supposed to believe your word and accept your message.

Not happening my friend.

Toby said...

Carson wrote,

Every single argument against Christianity on this blog has been thoroughly addressed and debunked.

Is that so? Every single argument? The Bible is perfect in every way is it? The world is approximately 6 to 10 thousands years old, is it? There is evidence for the flood? There is evidence for the Exodus outside of the Bible? Slavery in the Bible isn't a moral problem for the Bible, not its impact throughout history? The Gospels were actually written by eye witnesses and were indeed the purported authors? There are now discovered texts of all NT and OT manuscripts that are orignials?

These are just a fraction of the serious problems with the Bible and Christianity in general where apologists don't have good responses to at all which have been thoroughly discussed and never overturned on this website, nor any other.

Carson said...

Anthony,

I an not a YEC. There are 1000's of Christians who are not YECs. The gap theory says there are billions of years between verse 1 and verse 2 of Genesis and that verse 2 forward is actually a re-creation of the earth. That is why it was formless and void and darkness was upon the face of the deep. The original earth had BECOME formless and void.

So Anthonmy, this YEC accusation is just another one of your false assumptions and is now thoroughy refuted and debunked. Got anything of any actual value? Any FACTS? I am still waiting.

Carson said...

"The Gospels were actually written by eye witnesses and were indeed the purported authors?"

The gospels do not claim any authorship whatsoever! So that argument is now thoroughly debunked. Scratch that one from your list.

Carson said...

"One of the strongest pieces of evidence for a worldwide flood is the existence of what Rupke termed "polystrate fossils." Such fossils are found all over the world. They usually consist of fossil trees that were buried upright, and which often traverse multiple layers of strata such as sandstone, limestone, shale, and even coal beds. 1,2,3,4 They range in size from small rootlets to trees over 80 feet long. 3 Sometimes they are oblique in relation to the surrounding strata, but more often they are perpendicular to it. For example, at Joggins, Nova Scotia, polystrate tree (and root) fossils are found at various intervals throughout roughly 2,500 feet of strata. Many of these are from 10-20 feet long, 5,6 and, at least one was 40 feet long."

arthage.org/EarthOldorYoung/scientific_
evidence_for_a_worldwide%20flood.htm

Toby said...

Carson,

Why so acerbic? So, you are not a YECer, but you beleive in a worldwide flood that wiped out the entire planets population just a few thousand years ago?

Carson said...

Not the ENTIRE population!

Look up "evidence for a world wide flood" on the internet. There are tons of scientific articles on this subject.

So like I keep saying - you have NOTHING!

NEXT!

Toby said...

Carson wrote,

"The gospels do not claim any authorship whatsoever! So that argument is now thoroughly debunked. Scratch that one from your list."

This doesn't mean that it is not an issue, nor a common theology among most Christians. This website attempts to educate others about the problems with the dating and authorship of the gospels as it compares to pop theology.

Consider yourself debunked on this issue. ;)

Carson said...

I do not care one iota for pop theology. The Bible NEVER mentions who the authors of the Gospels are so once again YOU have been thoroughly debunked by the FACTS!

NEXT!

Toby said...

There are no peer-reviewed papers from reputable journals that back your claim of a worldwide flood. In fact, its quite the opposite. The vast majority of geologists and palentologists reject that idea of a worldwide flood. Find one source that is from a reputable peer-reviewed journal that supports your claim that there was a worldwide flood within the last 10,000 years.

Toby said...

Carson,

Christian theology isn't limited to the Bible alone. If it were you'd be a YECer. So how many Bibles have been written with the titles,

"The Gospel According to Matthew"
"The Gospel According to Mark"
"The Gospel According to Luke"
"The Gospel According to John"

Is that not a claim in the very title?

Carson said...

The vast majority???? The vast majority of doctors thought that stomack ulcers were caused by stress! I do not care about your vast majority. I care about the truth. So once agin, do you have any PROVEN and UNDISPUTABLE facts? I am still waiting.

Carson said...

Those TITLES are all man made titles and not part of the Gospels themselves.

NEXT!

Toby said...

Carson,

Also, if you could please educate us on the one true Christian theology since you are obviously the holder of that knowledge. That'd be swell because then we could begin debunking that instead of all the other garbage we've apparently been wasting our time on.

Toby said...

Carson wrote, "Those TITLES are all man made titles and not part of the Gospels themselves."

So what other parts in are Bibles are manmade?

Carson said...

The Bible says that a man will reap what a man sows. That is a proven scientific fact.

NEXT!

Carson said...

"So what other parts in are Bibles are manmade?"

Depends which "BIBLE" you are talking about! All of today's "Bible"s are man made interpretations. The search for the true original text and meaning still goes on.

Toby said...

Carson wrote,

"So once agin, do you have any PROVEN and UNDISPUTABLE facts?"

No, I do not. I just have the majority of evidence behind my claim that there is no world wide flood. Do you have any proven and undisputable facts?

Carson said...

Yes, I certainly do!

Toby said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Toby said...

Carson,

Please provide your "proven" facts.

Also, "undisputed" facts would be even more impressive.

I got to get back to work, have fun!

Carson said...

So once again, do you have any PROVEN and UNDISPUTABLE facts?

Toby answered, "No, I do not."

So then NOTHING has been debunked! NOTHING! Thank you very much for the confirmation.

Anthony said...

Carson, DRC, DenCol: I an not a YEC. There are 1000's of Christians who are not YECs. The gap theory says there are billions of years between verse 1 and verse 2 of Genesis and that verse 2 forward is actually a re-creation of the earth.

You are truly a dispensationalist aren't you? Please tell me you are not a follower of Peter Ruckman are you?

Regarding the gap theory, this notion has been completely debunked both exegetically and historically. No Hebrew scholar today worth her salt holds to such nonsense. The gap theory was invented to accommodate the evidence for an ancient creation.

So Anthonmy, this YEC accusation is just another one of your false assumptions and is now thoroughy refuted and debunked.

Actually if you would have read carefully what I wrote, I never accused you of holding to YEC. I did accuse you of arguing the same way they do, and you proved it with your defense of flood geology. Notice that I said "you are like" the YECers. So you have not debunked anything, that is just wishful thinking.

On the issue of polystrate fossils, see the Wikipedia article here and the Talk Origins article here.

There are numerous places on the web that have demonstrated the fallacy of flood geology, see the one from Talk Origins here for starters.

Any standard text on geology will give abundant evidence for the natural history of the earth and not the flood geology nonsense. I would recommend Donald Prothero's text Evolution of the Earth.

I know Dennis that you won't look anything up and take the time to examine them and to evaluate the evidence provided, but I do hope anyone reading this blog holding to similar views as yours will avail themselves of the resources that I listed.

Toby said...

Carson,

The reason I answered, "No, I do not. I just have the majority of evidence behind my claim that there is no world wide flood" was because proofs apply to mathematics and undisputed is unattainable. The second any idiot disputes something, no matter how much coroborating evidence, then the issue is no longer undisputed.

Anthony,

A great big thank you to you for those links.

Carson said...

From the Talk origins article:

"This article presents a list of questions that the story of Noah's Ark and a global flood leave unanswered and probably unanswerable, such as: How did all the fish survive?"

How did the fish survive????? Is he serious???? That is hysterical!!!! Yes, thanks for those links! They are better than the funny papers!

Carson said...

"Dinosaur Footprints in Coal"

Did you read this article from Talk Origens? What has this got to do with the flood???? ABSOLUTELY NOTHING! This guy is a major moron!

Anthony said...

Carson: "Dinosaur Footprints in Coal"

Did you read this article from Talk Origens? What has this got to do with the flood???? ABSOLUTELY NOTHING! This guy is a major moron!


Um, well flood geologists claim that coal was formed quickly by Noah's flood. Evidence of dinosaur foot prints going through the coal would demonstrate that this wasn't the case. So, apparently the guy isn't really a moron after all.

Anthony said...

Carson: "This article presents a list of questions that the story of Noah's Ark and a global flood leave unanswered and probably unanswerable, such as: How did all the fish survive?"

How did the fish survive????? Is he serious???? That is hysterical!!!! Yes, thanks for those links! They are better than the funny papers!


Come on Dennis, I shouldn't have to do the thinking for you. Here is the actual question and answer from the article:

How did all the fish survive? Some require cool clear water, some need brackish water, some need ocean water, some need water even saltier. A flood would have destroyed at least some of these habitats.

These are very good questions my friend. I do not think that you have seriously considered the real implications of what it would take for organisms to survive such a deluge over such an extended period of time.

guitarstrummr said...

"Because either way if you really believe this book as supposedly being divine,you also need to really believe some supposed all knowing god would really be so likely to be involved in such a obviously badly written and worded book!"

If one is willing to believe the latter, they are certainly shameless to justify the former.

It takes balls to be blind. Sadly, some people's thinking is only below the belt.

Does wit need justification like god does? If so, mega fail on my part. Although I came close, I suppose, with this last piece.

I wonder if anyone is going to understand what I just said.

Carson said...

DINOSAUR FOOTPRINTS FROM A COAL MINE IN EAST-CENTRAL UTAH


"These tracks were made by animals which walked in the peat on the surface of a swamp; their footprints were filled by mud, silt or sand during the flooding of a local river."

stadiumweb.com/reprints/parkerr.html

Made DURING THE FLOODING of a local river! So then that confirms there was flooding during the time these dinasaur footprints were made! It took a while before the flood reached the top of the dinasurs heads!

Do much for debunking the global flood with dinasaur tracks in coal. Try again there Talk Origens!

NEXT!

Anthony said...

Carson: Do much for debunking the global flood with dinasaur tracks in coal. Try again there Talk Origens!

First off, it is Talk "Origins," secondly I'm done with you. You are just simply irrational. I'm sure John will be deleting your comments soon. You have been asked not to comment on here, yet you continue to do so. I made the mistake of thinking that maybe I can get you to at least start thinking a little bit, but no, it's like talking to a brick wall.

Enjoy your delusions for the rest of your life as that is all you have.

John W. Loftus said...

You're done here Carson, i.e., DenCol. Get a life. Go away. no more comments from you.

Anthony said...

Carson: Made DURING THE FLOODING of a local river! So then that confirms there was flooding during the time these dinasaur footprints were made! It took a while before the flood reached the top of the dinasurs heads!

You really are a moron aren't you? According to flood geology coal is made by bio mass being compressed quickly by flood waters and the sediment that it contains and compressing this mass under tremendous heat and pressure to form the coal. You simply cannot have Dinosaur tracks walking through the middle of coal if flood geology is true. Flood geology is simply nonsense and your defense of it speaks volumes. I find it interesting that you defend something that you apparently do not know a lot about.

Okay, I'm done with you and so is John.

Lee Randolph said...

good, then I'll be on the lookout for comments from carson to delete.

Anthony said...

Our good friend Dennis Collis (aka, DenCol, DRC, Carson, and who knows what other names he has used since he has been on this blog), wrote me and he wanted to continue the discussion of dinosaurs, coal and foot prints. I know it sounds silly. He copied some material from a creationist site, here is what he wrote:

Dennis: http://www.creationevolution.org/coal/tracks.htm

Claim:
Evolution happened gradually over a long period of time, with no major catastrophic events.

Claim:
Coal was produced 300,000,000 years ago.

Claim:
Dinosaurs lived from 85,000,000 to 200,000,000 million years ago.

Problem #1:
These dinosaur footprints were taken from a coal mine in Utah.
But, coal was formed 100,000,000 years before dinosaurs appeared on the scene.

Problem #2:
These prints were taken from the roof of the coal mine.

There must have been a monstrous, catastrophic event for these prints to appear deep in the mines of Utah.

These prints were made as dinosaurs walked on the surface of a swampy area, but were miraculously preserved before the natural rebound of swamps?


And here is my response:

Dennis, I doubt very much that I will spend much time doing this with you, but I guess we'll see where it goes.

First, where does the author get the 300 million year figure for the origin of coal? Coal was formed at different times and places. The article from Talk Origins says that the coal was in rocks dating to the Cretaceous, the time of the Dinosaur's. The reason that Dinosaur prints can be found in coal is simple, coal starts off as peat which then hardens and over time and under heat and pressure forms into coal. Obviously the dinosaur made the print before the peat hardened which later became coal.

I don't see where the problem is.

Rob R said...

Gee, did we care so little about the topic that we had to discuss creation science?

Brad said...
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Brad said...

Wow, John. I thought that as a former professing Christian, that you would at least have some command of basic biblical context...silly me.

normajean said...

Suppose child sacrifice was normative in the ANE. If it was then it comes as no surprise that God would accommodate the culture to teach a grander lesson about reality, namely, that God provides and child sacrifice is not necessary. My position is that God meets us where we are—because our hearts are hard-Matt 19:8—and accommodates societal values and institutions that cannot be overturned just yet, but establishes a moral trajectory that intends to lead us away from our wrongs. Successful teachers teach this way when they teach in Ghettos! You guys should know this. You’re social liberals, right? I think we read these stories too much like westerners, sigh.

Manifesting Mini Me (MMM) said...

An old post, but a good topic --- John wrote, "the most troubling one concerns child sacrifice in the Bible "

Child sacrifice is noted in scripture because it was a very real life practice. The perspective that caused this ritual was that 'god' was an angry demanding deity that required blood in order to be appeased.

It was then, very common for ppl to hear god tell them to kill their children, but I doubt that many would have heeded and credited the voice to god for telling them to withdraw their knives, fire, etc. If I truly believed that I must kill my child to pacify god's wrath and retribution/punishment, I may have been too terrified to hear and heed the voice telling me to NOT kill my child. I would have been too fearful that 'god' would have punished me and struck down my entire family, ruined my food resources, etc. etc.

I have asked this before, but not gotten a very good response from former religious Christians, but if the perspective of the OT god were 100% divine, then why the need for a messiah to materialize? And if those who preach that the OT perspective of God is 100% divine, then why not continue to put into practice all of the OT rules and regulations???

3M

Brad said...

Beyond John's contextual and exegetical issues there's other problems that have been overlooked.

You know for such a strict sacrificial command (and the interpretation that John desperately wants), and for all the Old Testament's painstaking devotion to recording Israel's failure or success to keep the sacrificial commands, there sure are a lot of prominent first-born sons mysteriously alive, well, and running around in the Bible between the period in history between Exodus and Ezekiel.

Samuel, Jonathan and Sampson are just three major, national figures that readily come to mind.

There's also another major problem that John overlooked that really makes his "exegesis" look silly, but since this becoming such good blog fodder, I think I'll prepare something more formal on the blog. Cheers to anyone still reading and sifting through 100+ comments on an old thread.

Harry H. McCall, CET said...

And Example of Human Sacrifice in the Bible

In the Book of Joshua, sacrificial elements are brought together in the tale of the fall of Jericho where both the concepts of Holy War and Divine Warrior are incorporated with the ancient Near Eastern magical number seven:

Also seven priests shall carry seven trumpets of rams' horns before the ark; then on the seventh day you shall march around the city seven times, and the priests shall blow the trumpets. "It shall be that when they make a long blast with the ram's horn, and when you hear the sound of the trumpet, all the people shall shout with a great shout; and the wall of the city will fall down flat, and the people will go up every man straight ahead.” (Joshua 6: 4 - 5).

Now that the city wall is destroyed, the sacrificial human slaughter of all the men, women, children, babies and the unborn (along with all their animals) can begin.

Under the ancient concept of Holy War, Yahweh as the Warrior-King deity will lead the Israelite army, but he demands a price! God wants all the booty of the city: Everything from the death of all living things as sacrifice to its gold, silver, bronze and iron. This is his portion called in Hebrew the “harem” or the BAN.

They utterly destroyed everything in the city, both man and woman, young and old, and ox and sheep and donkey, with the edge of the sword…They burned the city with fire, and all that was in it. Only the silver and gold, and articles of bronze and iron, they put into the treasury of the house of the LORD. (Joshua 6: 21 & 24) (12)

The cultic elements flow full and free in Joshua 6 - 7, but the victory is short lived due to hidden sin! Unknown to Joshua, Yahweh is denied his full booty! Not the precious lives of the non-combatants or all of the innocent women, children, babies, the unborn and animals, but Yahweh’s personal greed is for the material metal wealth of the city which is its gold, silver, bronze and iron that could be used in his own earthly house or tabernacle.

Once the murder of all life in Jericho completed, everything is burnt to Yahweh so that he can enjoy the human sacrificial spoils of war. (Notice that the cultic proper killing of life of both humans and animal in Jericho means that their blood must be drained. Thus Joshua 6: 21 makes it a point to tell the Jewish reader of this epic that death was to be by “the edge of the sword” before any ritual or sacrificial burning could take place. (Joshua 6: 24 )