We Can Know the Words of the Old Testament Part 2 — The Domain for Truth

Another excellent post from the desk of SlimJim! Part TwoThis is a keeper!

We can know the words of the Old Testament Part 1 Review: Last week we saw four reasons why we can know the original words of the Old Testament Reason #1: God’s Word says the Word of God will endure forever Reason #2: The Old Testament was written down. Reason #3: Temple officials were intentional […]

via We can know the words of the Old Testament Part 2 — The Domain for Truth

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Disciple of Jesus, married to Peggy, with 5 grown up children, 7 grand children, ex-Canadian military and residing in beautiful Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, Canada. a.k.a. "Papa"

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Posted in Apologetics, Faith, Old Testament, Textual Criticism
30 comments on “We Can Know the Words of the Old Testament Part 2 — The Domain for Truth
  1. Arkenaten says:

    It is absolutely marvelous that archaeology can uncover such wonders and to such a high degree of accuracy as well. The discovery at Qumran was momentous, of this there is no doubt.
    The real issue of course is how much of these words convey actual historical events?

    Now that is a different kettle of fish entirely.

    Although, if the copper scroll is a real ”treasure map” discovering any cache will be another monumental find.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Bruce says:

      Hi Ark. I infrequently check out your blog to see if your take on Christianity has changed at all, your recent post entitled “Dumb and Dumber” being a case in point, but I see that I must give you full marks for consistency. I’m curious why you seem drawn to deliberately expound upon the numerous deficiencies within Christianity that you frequently showcase. Is it your superior mental capabilities that you seek to be recognized or is it the agreement that you receive from some of your followers that reinforces your conviction? Surely you can comprehend that there are many very intelligent and gifted individuals who would strongly differ with many of your accusations. Experimental particle physicist Dr Michael G Strauss, synthetic organic chemist Dr. James M. Tour and Dr William Lane Craig are just three that come to mind. My point being, your post on Dumb and Dumber basically ridicules any who would seriously entertain believing in Jesus Christ and the record of His ministry and the early church, as recorded in the Gospels and Epistles of the New Testament. Your statement “Are we dealing with a group of men who were as thick as a brick of lard?” pretty well encapsulates the conclusion that you are drawing. I am acutely aware that for every argument I may put forward, you in all probability, could produce some argument that would call into question the validity of my argument. Let’s be realistic, not all Christians are dumb. Matter of fact, there are many who would leave both you and I in the dust should we compare their mental capabilities with our own. To infer that the Apostles were all dumb and any who believe their testimony are dumb is ludicrous. Of course you knew that going in, but I’m presuming that the rational behind your post was not to identify this “obvious” deficiency but rather to showcase your superior mental capabilities and obtain confirming acknowledgement as per some of the resulting comments. God is real. Jesus Christ was and is His Son and He is real. I have experienced the guidance and leading of His Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit of God is real. You don’t agree, understood. But please do not insult my intelligence and the worth of my faith and trust in Jesus. At no time have I endeavoured to insult your intelligence. Best regards.

      Like

      • Arkenaten says:

        The primary reason for engaging on this topic is my ongoing fascination with those, such as yourself, who are adamant there is ample objective evidence for the claims made for its veracity.
        And yet, to date not a single piece of evidence has ever been forthcoming.Not even from such scientific luminaries as Francis Collins.
        It is ALL about faith and compartmentalism which enables such highly intelligent people like Collins to function in a naturalistic world.

        One piece of objective evidence and everything would likely change for every non-believer and also those who have as much, if not more, commitment to other religions – Islam Hinduism etc.
        Just one.

        As to the piece I wrote.

        I feel fully justified in the description of the Apostles. They were with Jesus for the entirety of his ministry, whether one year or three ( I opted for two),witnessed every kind of miracle, including the resurrections of several people.
        And according to gJohn Jesus performed more amazing things that entire libraries could not contain them.
        Therefore, that they all ”ran for cover’ suggests they were either as dumb as soup of perhaps there was a lot of poetic licence going on with all these divine acts.

        Simpy reading the gospel carefully, and objectively soon reveals that pretty much everything is merely a plot device. For example:
        Why on earth would Peter deny Jesus three times? He was effectively Jesus’ right hand man, had witnessed all these amazing things first hand, and yet had no confidence in Jesus?
        It was all about faith.

        Also, look at Joseph of Arimathea. A walk on bit part if ever there was one.
        Jesus was crucified for sedition. A capital crime that always involved the criminal remaining on the cross as an example and eventually buried in a common grave.
        So how do we get Jesus down from the cross and into a tomb so’s he can resurrect in peace and quiet? Enter Joseph of Arimathea.

        Now, if you know your Josephus you will be aware there is a strikingly similar story.

        I understand that when these things are pointed out to Christians they back away and hand wave as much as possible.
        But put yourself in the place of one of the Twelve.
        I’m sure you consider yourself a devout follower of Jesus.
        You believe without question he rose from the dead and you are 2000 years removed from the events in question.
        Now tell me honestly that the disciples weren’t dumb as soup.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Bruce says:

        No Ark, they weren’t dumb as soup, but it wouldn’t matter what reasoning that I presented to you, or what evidence was put in front of you for your acceptance or rejection, as per our previous discussions, there is no evidence that is presented to you, that meets with your criteria requirements. Strange how others, who are just as intelligent as you, if not even more so, don’t have the same recurring difficulties with evidence that you do. Of course you are fully justified in your description of the Apostles, because for you, the deciding factor is always the preeminence of your own thinking. Have a great day Ark and I shall endeavour to not respond to you again. Oh, btw,, nice touch in calling in all your deconverted Christian friends to join this conversation. Are you familiar with the feature “Comment Approval”? Best regards.

        Like

      • Arkenaten says:

        there is no evidence that is presented to you, that meets with your criteria requirements.

        And I reiterate …. you haven’t presented any evidence , only claims.
        I am not in the least close-minded and will look at any and all objective evidence you are prepared to offer.

        Strange how others, who are just as intelligent as you, if not even more so, don’t have the same recurring difficulties with evidence that you do.

        And , once again, they do not believe based on evidence. It is all faith. Look at Collins reason for conversion.

        I re-posted your comment to give former Christians the opportunity to comment based on their direct experience of your position.
        Why don’t you pop over and interact with them? I plan to sit this one out so you will likely only be interacting with former Christians. And I expect Colorstorm will show up so he at least will ”have your back.”
        And you won’t have to put up with moderation either, I give you my word on that score.

        No Ark, they weren’t dumb as soup …

        Yet you believe without question and they, who were intimately involved from start to finish ran away.
        How do you explain this behaviour?

        Regards.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Bruce says:

        Ark, I hesitate to continue this “conversation” but I’m going to give it one more shot.
        Right at the onset you indicated that you have yet to be presented with one piece of objective evidence. One of the standard definitions of objective evidence is that it refers to information based on facts that can be proved by means of research like analysis, measurement, and observation. One can examine and evaluate objective evidence.

        Observation: no evidence is ever fully conclusive. In real life, there is always room for doubt. Is it possible that Christianity may not be true? Yes it is possible, in my estimation, it is highly unlikely, but yes it is possible. In fact, if Christianity is in fact not true, I would be left with more questions about what I have come to appreciate and have experienced, than I had when I first started my journey of “faith”. I’ve experienced the presence of God and seen Him do things for me and my family and others that is just totally unreal. Consequently, if you’re looking for an iron clad observable and testable proof of the reality of God, or that Jesus rose from the dead, you’re not going to find it. What we can do however, is look at the best evidence that is available and then act on it, should we wish to do so. Is there evidence for the claims of Christianity? Yes there is, all kinds of it, if you are willing to look at the evidence that is available and make a decision based on the probability of that information being correct. This is the link of a Christian Physician who is trying to answer the question “Is Christianity Evidence Based?” It’s not perfect but it contains the “essence” of the reality of looking at the evidence that is available. Take a look at it: https://www.cmf.org.uk/resources/publications/content/?context=article&id=326

        I understand your hesitation with regard to putting the breaks on because of faith. I prefer to use the word “trust”. I take a look at a chair, I consider it’s construction and the material that it is made of and I sit on it, trusting that it will support my weight. We make decisions based on faith or trust every day that are in essence immaterial. Prove to me that your wife loves you. Prove to me that love even exists. How about hate? How about evil?
        I thank you for the opportunity to interact with some of your followers but candidly, I just don’t have time for this right now, although I do already know Colorstorm.
        I do want to answer your question of why the Apostles ran away. Short story is that they were totally devastated. And as weird as it sounds, the concept of the resurrection was not something that they were conversant with, even though Jesus told them what was going to happen. Here is a link that provides some of the background on this by William Craig: https://www.reasonablefaith.org/writings/question-answer/old-testament-prophecies-of-jesus-resurrection-1
        Do you recall when Jesus walked towards them on the water and Peter asked Jesus to call him out to Him and Jesus said come? Remember how for the first few steps Peter was able to walk on the water and then the reality of what he was doing hit him and he began to sink? Put yourself in Peter’s shoes. Try to comprehend the spiritual realities that Jesus was conveying to them during His ministry. Did they fully comprehend all that Jesus said, sometimes and sometimes not. Peter was human and when Jesus was arrested and they witnessed Him being beaten and crucified and dead, even though they had been told He would rise again on the 3rd day, they were crushed. And had you or I been there, we likely would have been crushed too. What we think we will do and what we actually do are not necessarily one and the same when we are placed in a life or death situation. I spent 35 years in the Canadian military, I’ve had opposing forces aim their weapons at me. Our perception of reality can change very quickly. But, after Jesus rose from the dead, after He appeared to them over 40 days, multiple times, the reality of what had happened and who Jesus was hit them like a brick wall. Just imagine if you will, if you were there and you witnessed what they witnessed. What would have gone through your mind? Then read Acts and the other Epistles again with the reality of what had transpired in the back of your mind. They indeed then became changed men.
        I don’t believe without question. I have questioned and at some point, if you see the validity of what the Gospel message is and you take that in concert with God revealing of Himself in the OT, it does all add up. And then, with me having been in your shoes, I decided to give God a try and He met me and my journey began. It’s not an easy journey because we fight to maintain control but if one doesn’t give up, if one honestly opens the door to Him, He will come in and He will change your life. I’m 74 years old Ark, I started this journey when I was 26. The key is to be willing to at least think that He may exist and then ask Him to reveal Himself to you. If you are serious, He will. That’s the best I can do for you my friend.
        That and say a prayer for you and ask God to be merciful to you like He was to me and to open your mind and heart to Him, which I have done. The ball is in your court. I sincerely wish you well. Blessings.

        Like

      • Arkenaten says:

        Thanks for the links.
        The first one which, after the medical examples, I have to confess I skip-scanned as I have read all of these examples on numerous different apologist sites. They are all standard arguments, many right out of Apologetics 101.
        None are objective evidence for the claims of Christianity. And I suppose I must be specific and stress I am not talking about such things as there were obviously Christians etc, but the claims that underpin your faith, and primarily the tale of the resurrection etc.

        I have been at pains to state that what the gospels convey is akin to historical fiction. As is Acts.

        But, after Jesus rose from the dead, after He appeared to them over 40 days, multiple times

        Don’t you understand Bruce? This is a faith claim . There is absolutely no evidence of any sort whatsoever to support this!

        Re: Your second link.
        With due respects, I have listened to enough of WLC to last a lifetime and aside from his outdated and debunked KCA, his stance and promotion of Divine Command Theory is not only ridiculous but it simply turns my stomach.

        The key is to be willing to at least think that He may exist …

        You are talking about a divine being. The god man as supposedly represented in the bible.
        It makes no difference if the man existed – an eschatological itinerant Rabbii who was crucified for sedition – but your divine being is another matter entirely.
        For this character it is not unreasonable for me to demand evidence.
        Your personal story is much like so many conversions, with all the elements in place.
        I have never had that emotional void in my life, s I see no need to call on your deity. Neither do I believer in sin or the need for salvation.
        And the best people to listen to on these issues are those who have deconverted, as they have been on both sides of the fence and know exactly where you are coming from.
        Try reading testimonies from those who are now part of the Clergy project.
        They not only discuss/address the topics you and other devout Christians raise – including the emotional/cultural needs but also the doubts and the reasons they deconverted.
        http://clergyproject.org/
        Some are real eye openers.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Bruce says:

        I know about the eye openers, and I have witnessed some really sad journeys. Actually one of them was my own but you stated that the best people to listen to are those who have deconverted. Sorry, can’t agree. I know where I was and I know where I am now and I do not want to go back. It’s awfully hard to convey to you the peace and joy that I experience in walking with my Lord but it is a reality and I am not alone, there are many. You don’t believe in sin or see the need for salvation. I understand but can no longer comprehend that way of thinking because of what I have come to know about myself and the damage I could have done to myself and those that I love. If all you look at is the negative, that is what you will see. But the biggest change, the life course correcting change, comes when you actually trust in Jesus to do what He says He will do. The stories I could tell you. I wish you well Ark and I’m gonna keep you in my prayers. I’ve seen God do what I thought was impossible things with people before and like He says, with God all things are possible. Blessings.

        Like

      • Arkenaten says:

        Read this ….

        http://clergyproject.org/michal-pleban/

        In the end, the one thing that did it for me was observing, as a pastor, how Christians lead their lives when they think nobody is watching. Because if there was one fundamental promise of Christianity that I kept sticking to after years of disappointment, it was that God is changing people’s lives. I could live with God not giving me my daily bread and not delivering me from evil – after all, it could always be because of his perfect heavenly plan that I am just too limited to comprehend. But the one thing that I thought the Bible is clear about is that he is supposed to change people for the better. Maybe not instantly, maybe not completely (not in this life anyway), but by the power of Holy Spirit people should be transformed into the glory of Christ, becoming better, more compassionate, more moral, more Christ-like. But nothing like that happens – in church, they just learn how to masquerade better. This was the final straw, the ultimate promise of the Bible that turned out to be false too. The whole house of theological fine print finally collapsed.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Bruce says:

        I read it, only problem with the summary is that it does indeed happen, like I said, if all you look at is the negative, that is what you will see. If you get real with Jesus, He will get real with you. If you don’t, He won’t. Jesus asks us to individually yoke ourselves to Him. He also says that without Him we can do nothing. That’s pretty inclusive. He also says that our thoughts are not His thoughts and our ways are not His ways. Short story is if you look to Him for guidance and get in line with His commandments, everything changes and it all depends on how quickly or slowly you come to that realization and respond to it. So many people I would love to introduce you to. Blessings!

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      • Arkenaten says:

        Are you doubting the sincerity of these people?
        They are telling you exactly the same tale that you are telling me right now. The same tale that they walked away from.

        His testimony is one of hundreds of similar ones from pastors from every conceivable branch of Christianity.
        It is almost the same as so any who visit and comment on my blog.
        In fact the testimony of some of those who visit my spot is awful, full of threats of hell and real abuse.
        Again, all you are describing is feelings, something each and can every former christian understands and can relate to.

        Pop over and read Ben’s comment.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Bruce says:

        Do you honestly think that I am not aware of what can happen to a Pastor or within a church ? I will check Ben’s comments tomorrow, have family coming over for dinner right now. If all you look at is the negative, that is what you will see. There is another side, look at it.

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      • Arkenaten says:

        I have, Bruce. But the so-called positive, re personal experience is ALL based on feelings, and nothing else.
        The complete lack of evidence coupled with false promises is why all these people walk away.
        You simply haven’t come to terms with this …. yet.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Bruce says:

        OK Ark, you do realize what you are saying. That all Christians will experience this, we just haven’t all run into it yet. One would kinda think that this whole Christianity thing should have died out by now. Please note that it hasn’t and I’m telling you that you’re only looking at the negative. I’m keeping you in my prayers. Blessings.

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      • Arkenaten says:

        Yes, Bruce, this is exactly what I am saying.
        It hasn’t ”died out ” yet because of its strong em> cultural roots that are enmeshed in society.
        Similar reasons are there for Islam, Hinduism Judaism etc.
        However, in more socially advanced nations it is most definitely on the wane.

        You sound like a reasonably smart guy, so why don’t you metaphorically step outside your personal (self-contained) religious environment and try to answer why no single religion has ever sprung up independently more than once ?
        Why Christianity for example never featured in any other country than that of it’s origin?
        And the same goes for every other religion!

        Again, anything you describe as positive is merely feelings and every religion will claim the same thing.
        So all we have is evidence of good feelings.

        Like

      • Bruce says:

        Good Morning Ark, I love how you ask me to answer a question and then qualify that any response I make that is positive is merely feelings. Of course there are feelings involved because we are talking about a relationship with God and contrary to what you might think, that can be and is a reality for many, including myself. With regard to evidence, you seem to automatically disqualify any evidence that you can’t objectively quantify. Considering that the God of the Bible says He is a spirit, that pretty well takes care of that one doesn’t it. To say that there is no evidence for the resurrection of Jesus Christ defies logic. There is evidence, you just don’t want to consider it as valid evidence because you can’t put it under a microscope and analyze it to your satisfaction. Good thing we don’t use the same criteria with history. Ah you say, but history doesn’t make the claims that Christianity does ( I am also capable of answering on your behalf). We can find in history that some Roman Emperors declared themselves as deity. What do rational people do, they investigate those claims and determine as to whether these claims were valid or not, based on available evidence. You choose to disqualify any evidence that doesn’t agree with your worldview. That automatically rules out the testimony and legacy of people like Nabeel Qureshi, as an example. Strange how he didn’t experience that expected dip that you assure me happens to everyone.

        I did take the time to go through the 20 comments late last night on the post that you published (21 comments if you count my one comment). Some were sincere and some were just downright insulting. If I had unlimited time at my disposal I would respond to each of them but unfortunately I don’t. As you recall, you were the one who sent a response to a post that I published and I responded to you. When I try to be sincere and honest with you, you invite your friends into the conversation, knowing full well the likely response that the vast majority of them will respond with. And then, to add the tone for the forthcoming entertainment, you indicate that you are off to make popcorn. Do you honestly think that any intelligent person would not pick up on the obvious distain displayed for my response to you, between yourself and Swarn Gill? I see that now there are 47 responses. My apology to sklyjd for not meeting his entertainment expectations.

        I really appreciate that Ark. You’re not looking for an exchange of opinions, you’re looking for a platform in which you can spout off your qualifiers of what you consider as valid evidence and the quick dismissal of my obviously invalid opinion, not to mention, basking in the accompanying accolades of your following. Mission accomplished, I got the message. No wrong doing committed there, is there.

        I could end this final comment of mine with personal negative allegations towards you but I’m not going to. You can ridicule my faith and trust in Jesus all you want. I wish you and your followers well and I will be praying that the God who I serve will bless you all.

        Bruce

        Like

  2. Many thanks dear brother. May your prayers be answered by our loving God.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. SLIMJIM says:

    Thanks for sharing this Bruce!

    Liked by 1 person

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