Sunday, April 28, 2013

FacePalm of the Day - Debunking Christianity: Sinner, Do You Know Jesus?

Harry McCall has posted another of his really ignorant arguments that he is deluded enough to really believe is a "death blow" for Christianity. In this case he correctly seems to understand the scripture:

"And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved." - Acts 4:12

There is no one else through whom we must be saved other than Jesus of Nazareth - the Christ - son of the Living God.  This is definitely what Peter was saying.  However McCall attempts to make the following argument:

To keep our souls out of an eternal fiery Hell, we need to be “washed in the blood of the Lamb”, that is the blood of Jesus. But since the Gospels can’t agree (see below) on just who and what this Divine Man is, we are forced to look outside of the New Testament of a savior named Jesus.

McCall is wrong.The Gospels are not confused.  McCall is confused.  He offers the following "evidence" that the Gospel of Matthew is confused as to which Jesus we need to put our faith in.

A major problem in the Gospel of Matthew 27: 17 is that we have more than one Jesus crucified by Ponitus Pilate! As pointed out by Bruce Metzger in his A Textural Commentary on the Greek New Testament, 2nd ed., 1994 p. 56 states:

In a tenth century uncial manuscript (S) and in about twenty minuscule manuscripts a marginal comment states: “In many ancient copies which I have met with I found Barabbas himself likewise called ‘Jesus’; that is, the question of Pilate . . . “ συνηγμένων οὖν αὐτῶν εἶπεν αὐτοῖς ὁ Πειλᾶτος• τίνα θέλετε ἀπολύσω ὑμῖν, Βαραββᾶν ἢ Ἰησοῦν τὸν λεγόμενον Χριστόν; (So when the crowd had gathered, Pilate asked them, "Which one do you want me to release to you: Jesus Barabbas, or Jesus who is called the Messiah?")

Dr Bruce Metzger was only talking about one manuscript and it's not saying that Pilate did not know which man was the Messiah.

 In a closing statement on this verse Metzger notes that “A majority of the Committee was of the opinion that the original text of Matthew had the double name in both verses and that Ἰησοῦν was deliberately suppressed in most witnesses for reverential considerationor we might more accurately note for apologetic / theological purposes! 

Metzger was not making an apologetic or a theological  point but McCall want to make a point but only manages to fail miserably. Before I explain the main thing he misses, I want to point out that he tries to give multiple examples of other men named "Jesus".

What is really sad is that McCall mistake is so obvious!  He is making the assumption that the name "Jesus" would have to been unique for scripture to be true.  "Jesus" wasn't even the name in the Aramaic. His name is "Yeshua". "Jesus" is the Greek transliteration of "Yeshua" and in English "Yeshua comes to us as "Joshua". It doesn't matter what language you use - Aramaic, Hebrew, Greek, or English - the name was a common name in 1st century Palestine. There are more than 14 men referenced as Jesus from that time period. Extremely popular.  This is why they did a lot of disambiguation. And in each of McCall's examples there is disambiguation in the examples. Thanks, McCall, for making my point for me. In no way is anyone in the Bible confused as to which Jesus they were referring too - any more than I can confuse John Loftus with my grandfather just because they have the same first name.

To add insult to common sense and scholarship, John Loftus offered the following *ahem <cough> insight.

Harry, you're good at unearthing this interesting stuff. Keep it up. 

If Loftus is the learned scholar he pretends to be - the one whom Dr William Lane Craig - is too scared to debate, then why could he not identify such an obvious flaw in logic?

Perhaps Loftus and McCall should learn something from a real scholar.

 Lecture with Dr. Peter Williams from Lanier Theological Library on Vimeo.

Debunking Christianity: Sinner, Do You Know Jesus?
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