Sunday, October 14, 2018

An Unlikely Story

Farrell Till makes some great points concerning the 
unlikeliness of the behavior of the Israelites during 
their exodus from Egypt and 40 years wandering in 
the Sinai desert. From the Alt. Bible Errancy discussion 
group, 3 Jan 1999:

helpu wrote:
>
>Farrell Till
>
>(Till asserts that since it is unlikely that given the miraculous evidence
>given to the Israelite during the Exodus from Egypt that 'it is unlikely '
>that the Israelites would have doubted God days later. This was a basis for
>proof that the bible is inaccurate or from human origin.)
>
>
HELPU
>I'm sorry to bring this to you seeing that you spent so much time writing
>all these proofs .. I wonder what motivates you to put in such effort?
>
TILL
What about a desire to help people see their way out of a religious
superstition that trapped me for 12 years of my life? If I, say,
volunteered to work at a literacy center to help adults learn how to read,
would you wonder what motivated me to put in such effort? Would it be so
hard for you to assume that I did this because I had the desire to help
people who need help? The desire to help, then, is just one facet of my
motivation.


Thursday, October 11, 2018

...an impossible task...

From the Alt Bible Errancy discussion group, 
27 May 1998:

If proof of the ordinary is necessary to establish biblical 
inerrancy, then how much more would proof of the 
extraordinary be necessary to establish inerrancy? The 
Bible is filled with extraordinary claims, and inerrancy 
can never be established until "poof" of the accuracy 
of those claims is given. In other words, proving biblical 
inerrancy is purely and simply an impossible task, but 
that's not my problem. It's the problem of those who 
make such an absurd claim.

Farrell Till

This Generation

Till has to correct a biblicist's thinking on the Bible's teaching concerning when Jesus said he would return. From the Alt Bible Errancy discussion list, 31 May 1998:

Harry Staiti:

Mk 13.28-30, Mt 24.32-34 and Lk 21.29-32 all predict that
Jesus would return in a unspecified time and that time was to be 
within the first century.

>> 

All the authors state that Jesus would return in ~their~
generation.

>
TREVOR
I'm assuming you've recently joined the list, since this issue has 

been under discussion on other threads. The three passages you
cite above are from three authors, but they all record the same 
speech by Jesus. I just want to clarify that for anyone who has 
not taken the time to look them up. There are no significant 
differences between the three, so essentially we have but one 
statement to deal with:

>

"But immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun
will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the 
stars will fall from the sky, and the powers of the heavens will 
be shaken, and then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in 
the sky, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and 
they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky 
with power and great glory. And He will send forth His angels 
with a great trumpet and they will gather together His elect

from the four winds, from one end of the sky to the other.
Now learn the parable from the fig tree: when its branch has 
already become tender, and puts forth its leaves, you know 
that summer is near; even so you too, when you see all these 
things, recognize that He is near, {right} at the door. Truly I 
say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these 
things take place." (Matt 24:29-34, NAS)

>

Although there are some variations in the preceding discourse
between what each writer includes, these verses culminate in 
all three, to end up with the statement in question. Having thus 
identified the signs of His coming (in response to the disciples' 
questions at the opening of the chapter), Jesus illustrates a point 
with the fig tree. Just as it gives certain indications of the coming 
of summer, these signs will show that Christ's coming is quite near. 
In fact, He goes on to explain that the generation which sees "all 
these things" will not pass away. In the context, there is every 
reason to believe that "this generation" refers to those who see 
the signs. It is only the bias of those who want to see an 
implication of a first century return that requires it to refer to 
the generation alive at the time Jesus was speaking.

>

Friday, October 5, 2018

"Personal Experience"

The following editor's comment by Farrell Till is from the mailbag section of *The Skeptical Review* May/June 1994:

Ho hum, another Christian who has had a "personal experience"! If I had a penny for every Christian who has had a personal experience with Jesus, I could retire a rich man. The only problem, of course, is that "personal experiences" are purely emotional and psychological, so in terms of evidence or proof they are absolutely worthless. Muslims have "personal experiences" and so do Mormons, Hindus, Sikhs, and you name it. If it is a religion, it has its believers who have had personal experiences.

Friday, September 28, 2018

What Kind Of...Deity...?

From the Errancy Discussion list, 10-28-97:

TILL
...I have to wonder what difference it makes what the population of Bethlehem may have been. If the massacre actually happened [Mt 2:1-16], it would be bad enough if just one child was killed. Have you thought about posing these questions to biblicists: what kind of omniscient, omnipotent, omnibenevolent deity would cause his son to be born in a place and circumstances that would cause children to be massacred, and why would such a deity take special efforts to see that his son, who is omni-everything himself and therefore eternal, was saved from the massacre but leave the other male children to be killed? Didn't any of their parents merit dreams in which an angel warned them to take children and flee? Wouldn't raising issues like these be more likely to cause readers to question their beliefs on this moreso than speculations about how many male children were killed?

Monday, September 24, 2018

Ezekiel's Failed Prophecy Against Egypt

An excellent example of biblical prophecy failure--from the Errancy Discussion list, 29 June 1997:

Yet, another Christian with his prophecy fulfillment claims.

ROB
There are many religious books in the world that have many good things
to say. But only the Bible has fulfilled prophecies-with more fulfillments
still to come. The Bible has _never been wrong_ in the past, and it won't
be wrong in the future. It does not even abrogate itself.

TILL
The Bible has _never been wrong_ in the past? What planet has this guy
been living on? I'll cite just one example of many prophecy failures in the
Bible. Ezekiel prophesied that Nebuchadnezzar would destroy Egypt and
that it would lay waste for 40 years, but this never happened.

Monday, September 10, 2018

The Bottom Line

The following are some of my comments from a discussion I had with a Christian:

You conveniently discard or have never even read the parts of the Bible that show Yahweh to be unjust, murderous and just a plain sick cad by any reasonable code of morality. I will bring some of these verses to your attention. I hope you will begin a critical analysis of the Bible, especially the Old Testament, because that is the only way you will arrive at the truth. [Only] looking for reasons to believe in any endeavor, religious or secular, is not a blueprint for finding the truth.