“Your comment below is fundamentally untrue. You need to look into 2 Timothy 3:16–17 which says that scripture is “God-breathed” and is useful for teaching equipping. That’s very different to divine revelation (like in the Book of Revelation) and giving us all facts so that we know everything about everything.”

If writings breathed by God are no more accurate than writings not breathed by God, then the term “God breathed” is meaningless. Do you consider Genesis to be divinely revealed, or “God breathed”?

”You, also have not at all proved an inaccuracy.”

Yes I have, whether or not you accept that. The fact that I cannot change your mind doesn’t make me wrong, it makes you stubborn. Millions more are not so stubborn and have reasoned their way out of their brainwashed condition. Christianity is rapidly bleeding members if you haven’t noticed.

”You’ve simply looked at he words used and feel, looking through today’s lens, that it wasn’t as overt as you’d like it to be.”

Translation: I have compared the statements concerning nature and cosmology in scripture to a modern scientific understanding of those topics and shown that the authors of scripture were comparatively ignorant, where they should not have been if there were any degree of divine input in the writing of the Bible.

”You’ve taken a single painting by one artist to support your point about what the Bible means, but their interpretation is not absolute and it may not be intended to be like-for-like with the text regardless.”

Here, you have misrepresented my argument as having been based entirely on one painting. We both know that is not the case. This is part 1 of a 6 part series, and only meant to be an introduction to the topic. If you are disinclined to do that much reading, Here’s the Cliff’s Notes.

Alternatively, go and speak with any historian specializing in that region of the world and that era. They will all tell you the same thing I have. You can confirm this with five minutes of Googling if you stick to university sources rather than apologetics ministries.

”Over 1,000 years before Jesus, Isaiah knew that the Messiah would be pierced — before crucifixion was even a method of execution. Was that one a fluke?”

May I see the verse? I’ll bet good money it’s a huge stretch, and what Jews consider an incorrect interpretation of the Torah. They have quite a few complaints about how Christians skew their holy text in order to manufacture support for Christianity.

”I sincerely hope you haven’t rejected a whole faith because of this tenuous issue and wonder which worldview you have subscribed to which has all the answers laid for you with no doubts.”

No, there are plenty of other reasons to conclude Christianity is false. Evolution, neuroscience, heuristic analysis, and being an adult educated in a first world country with opposable thumbs, an IQ higher than room temperature, the same number of toes on both feet and all of my original teeth.

This is not a tenuous issue though. It is not simply my opinion that the authors of scripture believed in the same model of cosmology as neighboring Egypt and Babylon at that time. It is the consensus of historians specializing in that region of the world and the relevant centuries.

Oddly, I don’t see you defending Egyptian or Babylonian religion. Where they contain mistaken assumptions about nature, you just let them be wrong instead of propping them up with apologetics. Why is that?

”Even most Islamic scholars acknowledge that the Biblical scriptures are the most verified and independently supported texts in world history.”

I doubt this, given that the premise of Islam is that it’s a restoration of accuracy to the Bible, which they consider to have been necessary because of it’s corruption. Do you have any non-Christian sources for that claim?

”Thousands of people were writing about what going on at the time, many of them against Jesus’ motives and claims but acknowledged the crowds, the words he said and effect he had on people.”

The same is true of L. Ron Hubbard, David Koresh and Jim Jones. The press, during their lives, exhaustively documented the growth of their respective groups despite not believing in the teachings of their founding figures. Does this make their teachings more credible?

”Where have you heard that the ‘quantity and quality of supporting evidence [in the Bible] is the same [as in the Qur’an]’? There have been hundreds of ‘messiahs’ and ‘prophets’ over the years but only Jesus is the only one whose death caused the world’s largest faith.”

Islam will be the world’s largest faith within a few decades. Will that make it true? Does the number of people who believe something make a proposition more credible, somehow? If you started out with multiple competing religions, shouldn’t you expect eventually one of them will rise to the top? Pewdiepie is currently the world’s top Youtuber. Does this mean he is supernatural? Is there something special about the guy? Or do competitions always have a winner?

”That’s because so many saw him alive after he died. Why would the disciples go out and die for a ‘Son of God’ who died and faded away?”

Why would Mormons suffer torture and death for their beliefs during Executive Order 44, wherein the governor of Missouri authorized the extermination of all Mormons in that territory?

As you have argued above, nobody ever dies for something that isn’t true. Nobody is ever simply deeply deceived and thus dies for their beliefs under the sincere impression that they are giving their lives for the highest good.

Nope, if people go to their death for a belief system, that apparently proves it is true according to your argument. Ergo, Mormonism must be true as well, since many Mormons went to their deaths at the hands of the local government rather than renounce their faith. I suppose you will convert to Mormonism now?

”I’ve seen and read so much on these topics and I’m sorry to say your assumptions and viewpoints are not the areas that skeptics are actually going after…”

I appreciate the apology, but it should be for wasting my time. Skeptics are indeed going after Biblical cosmology, it’s where I found the information needed for this article. Attempting to influence me in this way would only be effective if you were somebody I regarded as especially authoritative or credible, or if I was a suggestible person. Neither are the case.

”As I said before, you’ve used a painting by some gentleman many years ago”

Again, you dishonestly make out my arguments to all be based on a single painting. Nothing could be further from the truth. If I had to guess, I would say you didn’t actually read anything I wrote and simply skimmed the article, saw that picture and made an assumption. If you didn’t find the information you wanted in part 1, go check out parts 2 through 6.

” but don’t actually use meaningful references.”

This is part 1 of a 6 part series and mostly intended to be an introduction to the topic. Here are the other parts, which contain the information you want:

https://medium.com/@alexbeyman/what-does-the-bible-say-about-the-shape-of-the-earth-part-2-82876cd52d88
https://medium.com/@alexbeyman/what-does-the-bible-say-about-the-shape-of-the-earth-part-4-7ad8376201c3
https://medium.com/@alexbeyman/what-does-the-bible-say-about-the-shape-of-the-earth-part-4-4e1824e3b795
https://medium.com/@alexbeyman/what-does-the-bible-say-about-the-shape-of-the-earth-part-6-e82ace4d9b86
https://medium.com/@alexbeyman/what-does-the-bible-say-about-the-shape-of-the-earth-part-6-1b0fcf09f405

”That should be a big red flag to reflect upon, Alex!”

Here are some red flags for you to reflect upon:

Suppose for a minute that there’s a group of people traveling about your area, led by a charismatic speaker who claims that the world is ending soon. He promises he alone can save you, but only if you sell your belongings, devote the rest of your life to him, and cut off family members who try to stop you.

He also wants to change your name, advises you to leave your home/job if necessary to follow him, and says that if you don’t love him more than your own family, you’re not worthy of him. His followers have written a book about him in which he performs many miraculous feats, but no outside source corroborates those claims.

What sort of group is that?

”You make a point about one religion and simply mirror it over to another. That’s not an acceptable level of due-diligence.”

Islam is descended from Christianity and based in large part upon it’s foundational claims. They are not completely different religions. I am sure it will seem sloppy if you don’t know what heuristic analysis is. Here is a primer on that topic.

If I mount arguments against, say, Amway because it is an MLM and employs fundamentally exploitative business practices, then go on to criticize DoTerra for the same reasons, with a large enough audience, somebody present would protest that they are a DoTerra distributor and agree with me that Amway is fraudulent, but it’s a different company from DoTerra so I cannot make valid comparisons. Is that true?

To the distributor it seems true, because the shared formula upon which both companies operate is not known to them. If it was, they wouldn’t have become involved with any MLM. Heuristic analysis is the process of identifying things of a certain type even when the details differ.

As another example, nobody receives the Nigerian prince scam email anymore. Because everybody has heard of it and associates the concept of a Nigerian prince emailing people offers to share his fortune with fraud.

However that email is only the most famous example of a 419 scam. It is far from the only variant of it. In some, there is a Dutch nobleman trying to smuggle diamonds out of the country. In others, there is a stranded astronaut crowdfunding a rescue mission.

The details vary, so people who don’t know how to identify these scams by their underlying structure (“I share large sum with you if you pay comparatively smaller fee to transfer/unlock it”) will not be able to recognize all the creative variants.

Someone who does know the basic formula all of the emails use will be able to recognize them no matter how the details vary, since the formula is the part they can’t change, as it’s what makes these scam emails effective.

”Here’s a few questions for you to ask yourself (I don’t need to know the answers, I ask them of myself too): What do you WANT to believe? What would you LIKE to be true? And why?”

What I want to be true has no influence on what is actually true. If you believe otherwise, it would explain why you’re a Christian. However, while we’re asking questions:

1. What was God doing during the holocaust?
2. Do you agree with scriptural permissions to keep slaves?
3. How old was Mary at the time she became pregnant with Jesus?

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