How I understand the Old Testament

Much of this is a review of what I’ve written on the subject but will serve as an appropriate ending to this brief series, “Making Sense of the Old Testament,” by summarizing how I read the text.

We’ll already seen that understanding the Old Testament means interpreting the culture it was written to as well the text itself. 

The Old Testament is anthropological as well as theological. It’s the story of how a people experienced God in their ancient world and culture. Reading it in order to prove its historicity is actually reading against the nature of the text. They didn’t write “history” like we do today.

But as I showed last time, stories like the Exodus have some historical veracity in spite of current mainstream archeology concluding the contrary. This doesn’t mean that all of the Old Testament narratives should be taken with wooden literalism. It’s not uncommon for ancient writers to employ hyperbole and even embellish events for various reasons.

Then the question is, how do I know what’s actual history and what is something added by zealous scribes for effect?

Letting Jesus interpret the Old Testament for us

The answer is actually simple. We employ what I’ve called the “Jesus Hermeneutic” (interpretative method). I’ve written extensively on this already (link to posts above) so I won’t go over it all here.

What I’m saying is that we don’t just read the Bible indiscriminately, assuming everything that’s attributed to God in the text is telling us what God is actually like. There are many other factors that go beyond the scope of this post to explain why this is so, but know with confidence that the only accurate way we can know what God is actually like is how Jesus reveals Him to us:

18 No one has ever seen God. But the unique One, who is himself God, is near to the Father’s heart. He has revealed God to us. (John 1:18 NLT *)

John Wesley engaged the text this way:

Jesus is “the criterion” for evaluating Scripture, the prism through which the Hebrew Scriptures must be read.” (Wesley, “Free Grace”)

We also need to learn how to read the Scripture like Jesus, as C.S Cowles summarizes:

While Jesus affirmed the Hebrew Scriptures as the authentic Word of God, he did not endorse every word in them as God’s. He rejected some Torah texts as representing the original intention and will of God, such as Moses’ divorce laws (Mark 10:4–9). He displaced Moses’ laws governing vengeance with his new ethic of active nonviolent resistance, of “overcome[ing] evil with good” (Matt. 5:38–42; Rom. 12:21). His command to “love your enemies” (Matt. 5:44) represents a total repudiation of Moses’ genocidal commands and stands in judgment on Joshua’s campaign of ethnic cleansing. In his word of absolution to the woman taken in adultery, Jesus contravened the clear injunctions of the Torah calling for adulterers to be put to death (John 8:1–11; cf. Lev. 20:10; Deut. 22:22).”  (Cowles, Show Them No Mercy: 4 Views on God and Canaanite Genocide, Kindle loc. 489 *)

Whatever is like Jesus is like God; whatever is not like Jesus is not like God, no matter who says it (John 14:7; Heb.1:3).

The multiple voices of the Old Testament

As Old Testament scholar Walter Brueggeman points out, the Bible is full of  testimony and counter-testimony. We don’t need atheists and skeptics to point out the “red spades” and “black hearts” for us because Scripture disputes them openly!

What we need are eyes to see them.

There are at least three voices in Scripture. First, you have the narrative, the military conquests, etc. This is what Brad Jersak calls the “government press release” or “ministry of propaganda” voice. Brueggemann would call it the “testimony.”

Then, you have the prophetic voice that often undermines and questions this narrative. Jersak calls this the “embedded journalist” voice (Brueggemann: “counter-testimony”). I showed this in “Was Ezra xenophobic?” with Amos’ prophetic response to Israel’s religious racial pride (Amos 9:7). There’s also Jeremiah’s and Isaiah’s questioning of Israel’s idea of worship, saying He never wanted their burnt offerings! (See Jer.7:22-23; Isa.1:11-18.)

The third and final voice is that of Jesus, as already mentioned. For instance, Jesus says six times in Matthew chapter five, “You have heard it said, but I say….”, basically subverting Israel’s whole view of the nature of God and what it means to follow Him.

Digging down to the true inspiration of Scripture

What we discover by taking all of these voices into account is not contradiction, but God’s true desire unveiled, which has always been to have a people whose hearts are fully engaged with His as He has always been fully devoted to them. It’s absolutely brilliant!

From Genesis to Revelation, it all comes down to this one thing: other-centered, self-giving love—for God and for others. This is the “Law of Christ” (Matt.22:37-40; Gal.6:1-2). And we can do this because God loved us first (2 Cor.5:14-15; 1 John 4:19).

The Bible invites us to not just read the text, but to engage the text. This is because the text is relationally understood. Rather than accepting what it says with unquestioning obedience, (“The Bible says it, I believe it, that settles it”), we should practice the art of faithful questioning. We should let “His light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ.” (2 Cor.4:6). As I said in part two, we need to let the Bible study us (Heb.4:12).

I will end with a video clip I’ve used before from Brad Jersak. He describes a similar journey with the Bible that I went through myself. He talks about three “eras” in his relationship with the Bible. I fast-forwarded the clip to his third phase which is pertinent to our discussion here. It’s a longer clip, but worth watching if you want to understand the testimony/counter-testimony internally embedded in the Old Testament.

* All emphasis added.

About Mel Wild

God's favorite (and so are you), a son and a father, happily married to the same beautiful woman for 41 years. We have three incredible adult children. My passion is pursuing the Father's heart in Christ and giving it away to others. My favorite pastime is being iconoclastic and trailblazing the depths of God's grace. I'm also senior pastor of Cornerstone Church in Wisconsin.
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268 Responses to How I understand the Old Testament

  1. john zande says:

    But as I showed last time, stories like the Exodus have some historical veracity in spite of current mainstream archeology concluding the contrary.

    No, you did nothing of the sort. You demonstrated nothing.

  2. Well said, Mel. It helps me to read it as a love story. There is some amazing historical veracity going on too, that becomes apparent when you begin to understand the cultural context. Jewish culture and traditions can sometimes be like living cultural history. I got to have Passover with some Jewish friends once and all that feasting made parts of the bible really come alive. Here we are thousands of years later still hanging onto those traditions.

    • john zande says:

      It helps me to read it as a love story.

      They entered into a covenant to seek the Lord, the God of their fathers, with all their heart and soul; and everyone who would not seek the Lord, the God of Israel, was to be put to death, whether small or great, whether man or woman. (2 Chronicles 15:12-13)

      Quite love story, Inanity.

    • john zande says:

      “Then I heard the LORD say to the other men, “Follow him through the city and kill everyone whose forehead is not marked. Show no mercy; have no pity! Kill them all, old and young, girls and women and little children. But do not touch anyone with the mark. Begin your task right here at the Temple.” So they began by killing the seventy leaders. “Defile the Temple!” the LORD commanded. “Fill its courtyards with the bodies of those you kill! Go!” So they went throughout the city and did as they were told.” (Ezekiel 9:5-7 NLT)

      Just some more lovely passages from this love story…

      • Zande, you are like a broken record, just recycling your same talking points, year after year. Many sins are forgivable, but I’m not so sure about the act of being boring. You are lucky I am not God, I would have already turned all the boring people who cannot seem to think critically, into pillars of salt.

        • john zande says:

          More poetry from this love story:

          And at midnight the LORD killed all the firstborn sons in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn son of Pharaoh, who sat on the throne, to the firstborn son of the captive in the dungeon. Even the firstborn of their livestock were killed. Pharaoh and his officials and all the people of Egypt woke up during the night, and loud wailing was heard throughout the land of Egypt. There was not a single house where someone had not died. (Exodus 12:29-30 NLT)

          Anyone who is captured will be run through with a sword. Their little children will be dashed to death right before their eyes. Their homes will be sacked and their wives raped by the attacking hordes. For I will stir up the Medes against Babylon, and no amount of silver or gold will buy them off. The attacking armies will shoot down the young people with arrows. They will have no mercy on helpless babies and will show no compassion for the children. (Isaiah 13:15-18 NLT)

      • Mel Wild says:

        @ John Z. And this is why Jesus never quoted any of these passages. He didn’t think much of the zealous hyperbole either.

    • Mel Wild says:

      Thanks IB. Yes, it really is a love story when you bother to go past the anthropological language of some of the narrative. Some of the love language is very direct. This is why Jesus summed it up as loving God and others. Actually, it’s a tragic love story in the OT when you see how many times God’s love was not returned by the object of His affections.

      And on the Passover tradition (and all Jewish traditions), this is a very good point. The shaping of people and communities and nations for so many generations is very difficult to explain without a historical foundation. And as the guy said in the Exodus documentary, who would make this up! Who would make up a story of slaves who actually don’t get it right and fail most of the time? That absolutely runs counter to all the other cultural stories in the ancient world.

  3. “How Jesus reveals it to us” is key. One of your readers wanted me to explain our God to him or why certain things are allowed to happen. Some aspects about our relationship with God are not concrete, but very personal and powerful revelations I’m not able to put into words. By the Spirit and not just by the printed Word do we absorb the power of each verse. I agree scripture is full of counter-testimony but many people fail to realize the Bible wasn’t written all at once. Times changed.
    Great points you made here.

    • Mel Wild says:

      Amen, Lilka. Very good points. I understand exactly what you mean. 🙂

      Because God is, first and foremost, relational and not mechanical or intellectual, it is hard to explain in a concrete way. For instance, how do I explain my love for my wife, and I can see her! I can use words but that doesn’t really communicate how I feel, and what our relationship is like. As Paul said in 1 Cor. 2, the natural mind cannot understand spiritual things because they are spiritually discerned. While this series of apologetic posts is dealing with the concrete evidence, it doesn’t begin to explain our relationship with God. It can only give surface-level signposts that point to the actual relationship with God. The person still must open their heart to truly understand anything about Him or the Bible.

      And, yes, the Bible was written over centuries by different people, different cultures and circumstances, to a very different ancient audience in different languages. This is why reading it like a textbook doesn’t begin to unveil what it’s saying to us today.

  4. Arkenaten says:

    I’ve spent a bit of time watching Rohl on the Tube. He comes across as a sincere bloke, quite well read and he winds up Kitchen something chronic!
    But while he has garnered some sympathy from some quarters for his theories there just seems to be too many holes; crucial aspects of the biblical tale he is not addressing and even his sympathizers recognize these major flaws in his argument,including redefining much of the regional history as well.
    This is something that those Christians who have jumped on the bandwagon have not addressed either, because they are unaware pf all the implications or are simply keeping quiet.

    I get the impression that if there were no biblical tale involved there would not be so much controversy.

    And the gaps he does not seem to have addressed involve Kadesh, for one.
    And you haven’t attempted to address it either, Mel, for some reason. Are you going to at least offer something?

    We can backtrack further and wonder why the Red Sea crossing is not mentioned ( as far as I was able to ascertain)
    And numbers?
    It is these nagging details that are like pebbles in the shoe, and they won’t go away.

    And as John pointed out, you haven’t yet identified which areas of the Exodus tale you consider have veracity, something I think you should at least ”put your money where your mouth is” as the saying goes and state which parts of the story you consider are actually historical.

    • Mel Wild says:

      The documentary was focused on the Exodus itself. Mahoney’s next documentary is on Moses and includes the Red Sea crossing, etc.

      Rohl is an Egyptologist so his focus is more on their time in Egypt.

      • Arkenaten says:

        I acknowledge this, but his theory falls apart if he is not prepared to acknowledge the entire Exodus story or the historical impact on the surrounding region.
        And this is one of the major bug bears it seems.

        I am concerned that Mohoney’s next film will lean more toward the theological and the supernatural as it surely must if he is going to explore The Red Sea Crossing (sic) and Horeb etc.
        If this is the case he will lose all credibility.
        And it still does not address the fact the area was under Egyptian occupation as John points out.

        As for Rohl being primarily concerned with Egyptology why then does he not address the issue of the Pharaoh giving chase to all the fleeing Israelites?
        Or have I missed this?

        And you have not addressed a single issue I have asked you about either.
        Surely you can appreciate why your entire thesis is viewed upon with such prejudice when you simply refuse to tackle the issues we raise.
        If your aim is simply to quell your own doubts, rather than pursue truth through following up all lines of inquiry then I am afraid you have done more harm than good.

        But the least you could do is have the decency to address the points I have raised, especially regarding what numbers you believe were involved and also the major logistical issues at Kadesh.

        • Mel Wild says:

          I acknowledge this, but his theory falls apart if he is not prepared to acknowledge the entire Exodus story or the historical impact on the surrounding region.
          And this is one of the major bug bears it seems.

          I believe he does fill the gaps in some of his writings I’ve seen but the point is that his expertise is in Egyptology. I’m sure he will go further in the next documentary with Mahoney when they focus in on the rest of the story.

          And you have not addressed a single issue I have asked you about either.
          Surely you can appreciate why your entire thesis is viewed upon with such prejudice when you simply refuse to tackle the issues we raise.

          And you have a habit of changing the subject, bringing up questions way beyond or not relevant to my post. I’m not going to go down every rabbit trail with you. My goal was not to answer all your questions but to take a very brief look at the Old Testament and show that there is evidence behind the stories. I have used the Exodus as an example. I may come back to this at another time and answer your other questions.

          If your aim is simply to quell your own doubts, rather than pursue truth through following up all lines of inquiry then I am afraid you have done more harm than good.

          Wishful thinking. I didn’t need to quell anything. I personally really don’t care that much about apologetics. I did this to show that there is a basis for what we believe. This would not change my relationship with God, one way or the other. My daily relationship with God is more real than some pottery and bones in the dirt somewhere. I don’t need to prove anything.

          But the least you could do is have the decency to address the points I have raised, especially regarding what numbers you believe were involved and also the major logistical issues at Kadesh.

          Here’s the thing, Ark. C.S. Lewis was right. We who believe will see God in everything while you won’t see God in anything. There’s no amount of evidence that will convince you while your heart is closed. No matter what I bring up, you will always want more proof, so that truly is a fool’s errand. I have shown what I wanted to show here. Again, I may come back to this later and answer more of your questions, but for now I need to move on.

        • Arkenaten says:

          This would not change my relationship with God, one way or the other. My daily relationship with God is more real than some pottery and bones in the dirt somewhere. I don’t need to prove anything.

          Every topic is relevant to this story. Every single one.
          YOUR god is the meglomaniacal egotistical genocidal son-of-a-bitch and more importantly fictitious Yahweh.
          This is what you beleive in.

          So may I ask, if you are only prepared to flash your pseudo intellectual tripe in a series of hand-waving blog posts and haven’t the integrity to even follow up and fact check the material you post or the simple common sense to ask questions that are critical to the story then with all due respect if you don’t really give a shit about the Old Testament then what the fuck did you waste your time with this load of utterly ridiculous hand-waving, un-scholarly diatribe ?

        • Mel Wild says:

          Every topic is relevant to this story. Every single one.
          YOUR god is the meglomaniacal egotistical genocidal son-of-a-bitch and more importantly fictitious Yahweh.
          This is what you beleive in.

          I see your channeling Richard Dawkins now. 🙂

          I’m not repeating the rest of your vitriolic comments because their very nature pretty much says a lot about you, and also why people don’t take your adolescent mocking seriously. I’ve already told you my goal was to post a brief overview of how to understand the Old Testament, NOT to prove the Old Testament. You are always free to disagree, Ark. And, besides, you ask a lot of questions but never answer any of mine so it’s hypocritical of you for even saying these things. If you want to rant against some apologist forever then you’ll need to go elsewhere. That is not me.

        • Arkenaten says:

          You have only asked one question – about Hamlet – and I gave my word I would answer it. Yet you still have not met the simple condition …. because you know exactly why you can’t.

          Your problem with belief is the facts do not line up. They never have and never will, Mel.
          This is why you are unable to answer questions pertaining to Kadesh for example.
          Or how” Joshua ” was able to invade Canaan while the Egyptians governed it.
          And when the Red Sea crossing comes up the ”solution” will be risible.

          While some others consider you tell lies I simply think you are incapable of facing the facts and thus create these scenarios to try to make you feel better about your faith. otherwise the cognitive dissonance would drive you around the bend.

          Your ”take’ and garbage such as other centered love might work on credulous believers like IB and Wally, but that is setting the bar so low it should be considered an insult to your profession.
          The adolescent rant is all your’s Mel, only you couch it in theological gobbledy-gook in order to hide your hand.
          You have no real interest in historical truth, only a fiction that meets your broken expectations.

        • Mel Wild says:

          Not only have you not answered my Hamlet question by hiding behind your silly condition, you didn’t give me the verse you referred to in accusing me of not answering every question you might ask, and you gave no counterclaim to either my design or resurrection claims. You just say “It’s fiction” which is saying nothing at all. And again, most of your questions are red herrings because you won’t deal with the actual subject. It seems almost impossible for you not to make a fallacious argument, as I’ve had to point out to you, over and over again.

          So, again, believe whatever you want. And we are free not to believe anything you say.

        • Arkenaten says:

          Not a silly condition, merely one you refuse to address – because you can’t, can you, Mel? That’s the truth of the matter.
          But my offer still stands if you have the integrity to at least attempt to answer it.
          I am if nothing a man of my word.

          The resurrection is fiction. You have provided no verifiable evidence to suggest otherwise.

          Red Herring?
          How is asking you to explain or at least offer an answer to the problem regarding Kadesh Barnea a red herring?

          How is asking you to tell me how many people you believe fled Egypt a red herring?
          And how is asking you to offer an answer why Rohl did not address the subject of Pharaoh pursuing the fleeing Israelites a red herring?
          They are all integral to the story of the Exodus and all you do is hand wave them away!

          What are you, Mel, a Christian or a fraud?

        • Mel Wild says:

          Not a silly condition, merely one you refuse to address – because you can’t, can you, Mel? That’s the truth of the matter.

          Yes, it is, Ark. I asked you the question first, so it’s just another dodge of yours. I don’t believe you have an answer and you have given me no reason to believe otherwise.

          The resurrection is fiction. You have provided no verifiable evidence to suggest otherwise.

          And fiction is not an answer. You must provide a better explanation for the evidence surrounding the claim (that most scholars agree on) if you say it’s fiction.

          So why should I answer any of your questions? You can call me names and accuse me of anything you want if that makes you feel better, but it’s rather hollow and meaningless coming from you.

        • Arkenaten says:

          Your Hamlet scenario was simply a hypathetical exercise, where Jesus the Nazarene actually referenced the character Moses as if he were a real historiucal person. Knowing that Moses was NOT a real person but a narrative construct al you have to do is explain why JC thought he WAS real and I’ll answer you Hamlet question.
          Just explain why Jesus thought Moses was real.

          Fiction is the perfect answer when the subject is fictitious. How could it possibly
          be anything else?

          And we are back to the explaining the Exodus and the lack of evidence….

        • Mel Wild says:

          The hypothetical question about Hamlet has nothing whatsoever to do with Jesus or Moses, Ark. It has to do with how would one answer an intuition that they may be created, or a character in a play like with Hamlet? How would one talk about the possibility of a designer? This question itself has nothing to do with the Christianity explanation. It’s an existential question.

        • Arkenaten says:

          But you believe the designer to be Jesus, yes or no?

          Tell me why Jesus thought Moses was a real person, Mel.

        • Mel Wild says:

          Yes, but it has nothing to do with the question.

        • Arkenaten says:

          Then answer why the creator of the universe thought Moses was a real person,please.

        • Mel Wild says:

          That’s yet another question, Ark. I wanted you to answer my simple question.

        • Arkenaten says:

          Your question relates to a creator. An omniscient creator. So explain why your omniscient creator considered a narrative construct was a real historical character.
          Are you that scared to face the truth, Mel?

        • Mel Wild says:

          No, you still don’t get it. I want to know how YOU would answer the question.

        • Arkenaten says:

          And I give you my word I will answer when you tell me why your god thought a make believe biblical person was real?

        • Mel Wild says:

          Your question creates a false dichotomy. The Scripture doesn’t teach that the human Jesus was omniscient, so even if Moses did not exist (which I’m not saying), it doesn’t follow that “God” thought He existed. Jesus could’ve simply been appealing to His religious tradition.

          The hypostatic union of Christ (dual nature) does not mean that the human Jesus was omniscient. We know He wasn’t. He grew in wisdom and knowledge (Luke 2:52)., and did not know when the end would come (Matt.24:36). This was His human side of the dual nature, called the hypostatic union.

        • Arkenaten says:

          so even if Moses did not exist (which I’m not saying),

          So you are saying he did, in fact exist.
          Do you have any evidence to back this assertion?

        • Mel Wild says:

          Yes, I do believe He existed. And you cannot prove that He absolutely did not exist. But that’s a totally different subject and not the point of my answer to your question nor the point of my question.

        • Arkenaten says:

          Sorry, when you use the capital ‘H’ here it confuses the hell out of me . Are you referring to JC or Moses?

        • Mel Wild says:

          Sorry, the capital H was a mistake. I meant Moses (small “h”).

        • Arkenaten says:

          ‘Proof’ is generally reserved for mathematics. I As a rule I do not use the term and certainly not in these contexts and do not go in for such silly statements ” and and you cannot prove he did not ”etc …. which comes across as something we said as kids on the school playground – except you missed the ”so there!”
          Therefore, based upon what evidence do you believe Moises was a real historical person ( which these days flies in the face of practically all academia as I am sure you must know by now.)

        • Mel Wild says:

          I told you I may answer that specifically another time. As far as what a majority of academia believes, that constantly changes. We’ll see in 50 years which way the wind blows.

        • Arkenaten says:

          *Smile* And once more you hark back to Mahoney’s movie and Rohl’s chronology and simply hand wave everything else away.
          And not a single mention of Kadesh.

          Don’t you ever get tired of looking in the mirror and wondering how you can be such a disingenuous fraud, Mel?

        • Mel Wild says:

          And once again you dodge my questions, so look in the mirror when you say that, Ark.

          Should I then call you a “disingenuous fraud” because you allege you know the answer to the Hamlet question and will answer it when I answer your irrelevant question?

        • Arkenaten says:

          Know? There is no ”Know” merely an answer. And when you tell me why JC believed Moses was a real person I’ll answer it.
          But at least I now know why YOU believe Mo was real.

        • Mel Wild says:

          Okay, you say you have an answer.

        • Arkenaten says:

          And JC thought Moses was real because …?

        • Mel Wild says:

          Because no one doubted his existence. It would not even be a relevant question in the first century Jewish culture.

        • Arkenaten says:

          Aaah … we make progress.
          However, based on archaeological evidence we know he was a work of fiction.

          So, just to clarify, are you saying this is the reason Jesus the Nazarene did not realise he was a fictitious character?

        • Mel Wild says:

          No, you don’t know that, Ark. You are overstating what archeologists are saying. As you said, we can only “know” a fact mathematically. They can only rightly say they have no archeological evidence for Moses. But that’s not the same thing as absolutely proving he didn’t exist. And the jury is still out on the evidence. So the premise of your question cannot be proven.

        • Arkenaten says:

          No, proofs are usually restricted to such things as Mathematics.
          Based on evidence we can say that Moses was a narrative construct.

          And the jury is still out on the evidence.

          What jury? Where? This is not the Scopes trial for the gods sake.

          So, once again. If you beleive that Moses was a real person then please offer up your evidence for this belief.

        • Mel Wild says:

          The “jury is still out” was a figure of speech and you know that. Now, you’re just wasting my time. I have to leave my computer for awhile anyway.

        • Arkenaten says:

          So, the archaeologists and historians who still consider Moses was a real person. Who are they?
          It goes without saying only secular scholars etc for obvious reasons.

        • Mel Wild says:

          Only secular scholars? Haha…right. It goes without saying that ALL history and archeology is biased. You must take their particular bias into consideration. And I gave you David Rohl who is an agnostic!

          It’s all biased and open to change with new data because all you have are scraps and tatters, which represents a very small fraction of actual history. You have to make an interpretation based on the scraps and, from that, extrapolate and make a conclusion. My point is that they can only truly say that they’ve found little or no evidence apart from the Bible, but they can’t prove He didn’t exist.

        • john zande says:

          You are overstating what archeologists are saying.

          Really?

          The second edition Encyclopaedia Judaica (which assesses all theological, archaeological and scientific evidences) concludes that the entire Exodus narrative was

          “dramatically woven out of various strands of tradition… he [Moses] wasn’t a historical character.”

          That last line again:

          … he [Moses] wasn’t a historical character.”

          You were saying, Mel…?

        • Mel Wild says:

          These are extrapolations based on lack of archeological evidence. They don’t constitute absolute historical facts. Archeology cannot prove or disprove a biblical character, only lend credibility if evidence is found. Not to mention, it’s all based on a faulty chronology that is now being debated.

        • john zande says:

          These are extrapolations based on lack of archeological evidence.

          No Mel, it is a conclusion drawn from an overwhelming body of contradictory evidence.

          Any allusion to “absence of evidence” is a bold faced lie.

          Not to mention, it’s all based on a faulty chronology that is now being debated.

          No Mel. You’ve created a pantomime and are trying to push it as something real.

          The “debate” you’re trying to say exists is the equivilant of the “debate” that exists between the Theory of Evolution and Creationism.

          That is to say, there is no debate.

          If there were a “debate” we would see fully fledged schools of thought with entire academic campus’s (lead by professors and heads of deptartments) leaning one way or another, publishing peer-reviewed papers based on a body of verifiable (but contestable) evidence, in recognised journals.

          Such a “debate,” for example, did exist recently between the famed archaeological departments at Tel Aviv University and Jerusalem’s Hebrew University, where competing schools of thought (supported by active dig sites) “debated” whether or not Judah had an urban society in the 9th century BCE… a debate concerning the fabled United Kingdom.

          As it stands, you have a handful of chaps from private (often evangelical) institutions, like this strange Institute for the Study of Interdisciplinary Sciences David Rohl was the director of.

          That is not a professional institution, Mel.

          And the ideas of Rohl and others are floated in their books and vanity press magazines, not peer-reviewed journals, paid for by evangelical groups, and given catchy names like The Biblical Archaeology Review to give the impression of being real scientific journals.

          They’re not.

          As it stands, we only have book reviews published in JSTOR, and these are far from flattering.

          Simply put, you are lying when you say “it’s all based on a faulty chronology that is now being debated”

          And this is before we even address the actual matter here: changing the chronology of Egyptain kings does nothing to help you on your ultimate motive, to prove the Exodus narrative.

          Nothing at all.

          In fact, it creates even greater problems, making the narrative even less believable when superimposed over the overwhelming body of contradictory evidence.

        • john zande says:

          The hypostatic union of Christ (dual nature) does not mean that the human Jesus was omniscient. We know He wasn’t. He grew in wisdom and knowledge (Luke 2:52)., and did not know when the end would come (Matt.24:36). This was His human side of the dual nature, called the hypostatic union.

          The question that arises from that statement is this: How did he know, then, that he was speaking the truth?

        • Mel Wild says:

          That would be simple. Because the Law of Moses and the Exodus is central to Israel’s story as a people. But they didn’t look at stories to try to prove them scientifically like we do today. They were more interested in what the story spoke to them than its historical veracity. In this, Rabbi Wolpe has a point. But none of that necessarily means that a person named Moses didn’t actually exist.

        • john zande says:

          Huh?

          I think you misread my question. If Jesus was human, and didn’t know he was Yhwh, didn’t possess Yhwh’s powers, then how did he know what he (a simply, ordinary man) was saying was truth?

        • Mel Wild says:

          You are mistaken. I never said Jesus didn’t know He was God the Son. I said He wasn’t omniscient as a human being. According to Christian theology, Jesus possessed a dual nature called the “hypostatic union.” While He grew in wisdom as a human, He also knew He was God the Eternal Son. There are many other statements that attest to this aspect of His nature like Matt.11:27; Luke 2:49; John 1:1-3, 18; 8:58; 14:7; 17:24 and others.

        • john zande says:

          Oh, so he suspended that part of his supernatural powers, but kept all the others.

          Okaaaay. Got it. Thanks.

          Good.

          Grief.

        • Mel Wild says:

          Yes, absolutely. That’s central to Christology. One of the oldest creeds predating Paul’s letters.

          6  Who, being in very nature God,
              did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;
          7 rather, he made himself nothing
              by taking the very nature of a servant,
              being made in human likeness.
          8 And being found in appearance as a man,
              he humbled himself
              by becoming obedient to death—
                  even death on a cross! (Phil.2:6-8)

        • john zande says:

          So, why suspend that power, but not the others?

        • Mel Wild says:

          He suspended ALL of His powers as God. He said He did nothing except what He saw the Father do. He lived a life totally dependent on the Father and the power of the Spirit.

        • john zande says:

          He suspended ALL of His powers as God.

          No he didn’t.

          He brought people back to life, heal the sick, turn a fish into an ATM machine, walk on water, float, convene with the dead, kill people with a look, blind an entire village…

          But choose to not know basic regional history.

          Yep. That makes perfect sense.

        • Mel Wild says:

          Jesus only operated in the power of the Spirit, NOT as God. Again, He did NOTHING of Himself (John 5:19-20). You are totally missing the point about how Jesus did what He did while on the earth.

        • john zande says:

          Oh, so Yhwh was just borrowing Yhwh’s powers, when he needed them, because he had access to them all, but knowing basic regional history wasn’t deemed important, even though he wound up speaking untruths by deliberately suspending that particular power… but not the others, like turning water in wine so people could have a fun time at a wedding.

          Keep going Mel… you’re spinning a thoroughly convincing story here.

        • Mel Wild says:

          Again, you do not understand Christian theology at all with regard to the incarnate Christ. Christ willingly giving up His powers, living a life totally dependent on the Father in the Holy Spirit IS Christianity. And you cannot prove that He spoke untruths. Archeology cannot prove that. They can only say they’ve found no evidence; the rest is just speculation.

          And, of course, if you are stuck in an Naturalist worldview, you will mock anything supernatural. What else is new?

        • john zande says:

          Yes, yes, I understood you. Yhwh suspended all his powers, but kept the menu open, and accessed those powers all the time, for everything, including turning a fish into an ATM machine, but never bothered with accessing the power to know history… even though he was intimately involved in that history.

          Persuasive stuff.

          Makes about as much sense as this.

          Christianity in Ten Words:

          God sacrificed himself,
          to himself,
          to save humanity from himself.

        • Mel Wild says:

          Christianity in Ten Words:
          God sacrificed himself,
          to himself,
          to save humanity from himself.

          You are parroting Anselm or Calvin’s atonement inventions, not what the early church believed for the first 1,100 years or what the Orthodox church ever believed (they called it heresy). It would read more like this:

          God offered Himself,
          because of love,
          To save us from ourselves.

        • john zande says:

          Erm, no.

          God sacrificed himself,
          to himself,
          to save humanity from himself.

          Who, after all, is the judge and executioner, Mel?

          But back to the topic.

          So, turning a fish into an ATM machine was more important than speaking the truth about a history he was apparently involved in.

          That’s an interesting hypothesis you’ve got there.

        • Mel Wild says:

          God sacrificed himself,
          to himself,
          to save humanity from himself.
          Who, after all, is the judge and executioner, Mel?

          No, John. You are just parroting a particular atonement theory made up in the eleventh century. One that is untenable.
          We (via the Romans, Jews) were the judge and executioners of Jesus.

          Your quip about turning a fish into an ATM machine is just more proof you have no idea what I’m talking about, even though you think you do.

        • john zande says:

          Who is the judge and executioner, Mel?

        • Mel Wild says:

          I told you. We were the executioners, represented by Pilate and the Sanhedrin (Political and religious powers). We were the ones who needed reconciling because of our enmity with God (2 Cor.5:19; Col.1:21).

        • john zande says:

          YHWH IS EXECUTIONER

          Matthew 25:41 “Then He will also say to those on His left, ‘Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels;

          Matthew 10:28 And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell.

          James 4:12 There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the one who is able to save and destroy

        • Mel Wild says:

          You were talking about the atonement, I believe. The verses you are stating here are not about the atonement. We were the executioners of Jesus. This is why Jesus said, “Father, forgive THEM for they know not what they do.” Obviously, He didn’t think God was the one punishing Him.

        • john zande says:

          Yhwh is the Judge

          Psalm 75:7 But God is the Judge
          Psalm 50:6 For God Himself is judge
          Isaiah 66:16 For the LORD will execute judgment by fire And by His sword on all flesh
          Hebrews 12:23 …..and to God, the Judge of all…
          Isaiah 3:13 The LORD arises to contend, And stands to judge the people.
          Psalm 50:4 He summons the heavens above, And the earth, to judge His people:
          Psalm 82:1 God takes His stand in His own congregation; He judges in the midst of the rulers.
          Revelation 20:12 And I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne, and books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the book of life; and the dead were judged from the things which were written in the books, according to their deeds.
          Psalm 9:8 And He will judge the world in righteousness; He will execute judgment for the peoples with equity.
          Psalm 82:8 Arise, O God, judge the earth!

          And Yhwh is the executioner

          James 4:12 There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the one who is able to save and destroy

          So:

          God sacrificed himself,
          to himself,
          to save humanity from himself.

        • john zande says:

          Fish ATM: Matthew 17:24-27

          Quite some magic, for a “man” who knows nothing.

        • Mel Wild says:

          Trusting in God for provision (pay tax) is not the same thing as being omniscient. Jesus did what the Father showed Him to do, nothing more.

        • john zande says:

          Supernatural powers to pay a tax… Yes.

          Supernatural powers to know basic regional history… No.

          Got it.

          Thanks.

        • Mel Wild says:

          “…but never bothered with accessing the power to know history… even though he was intimately involved in that history.

          That’s probably because Moses’ existence was not a question since everything believed he existed. And you can’t prove he didn’t. You are reading into the Bible from your 21st century mindset, separated from this ancient culture, something they would never be concerned about.

        • john zande says:

          Ah…

          But turning a fish into an ATM machine was, apparently, essential.

          Got it.

        • john zande says:

          Sorry, terrible grammar.

          He suspended ALL of His powers as God.

          No he didn’t.

          He brought people back to life, healed the sick, turned a fish into an ATM machine, walked on water, floated, convened with the dead, killed people with a look, blinded an entire village…

          But, oddly, he chose to not know basic regional history.

          Yep. That makes perfect sense.

        • john zande says:

          Mel?

          Why suspend that power, but not the others?

        • john zande says:

          Out of curiosity, what is this “Hamlet” question?

        • john zande says:

          Could you repeat here? Just curious. Keep seeing it raised.

        • Mel Wild says:

          You really need to read the post and watch the short video. The question is in context of that.

        • john zande says:

          Please, could you just repeat here?

        • john zande says:

          OK, read it.

          how would Hamlet find out if his suspicions are true?

          Kill himself… Or start burning everything down. Or simply refuse to move.

        • Mel Wild says:

          🙂 I suppose that would be one answer. Not sure what burning everything down would solve, unless you mean everyone dies. But your answer would not be one preferred by most people living, and it still doesn’t address the question one would have while alive.

        • john zande says:

          I answered your question.

          Just admit it.

          If he refused to move, but the story kept going on around him, with characters talking to him, yet without any context, then he would haved proven he was inside a story unfolding without his input.

          Or he could deliberately mess up his lines, just saying “Rabbit!” 30 times, then wait for the out-of-context next line delivered by the other actor.

          There are any number of ways.

          So, next conundrum…?

  5. Wally Fry says:

    Oh Mel…you have invoked the wrath of the stone god now LOL. Better duck he throws rocks when he is ticked off

    • Arkenaten says:

      Hello, Wally. How’s my favorite Dinosaur hugger today?

      • Wally Fry says:

        I’m dandy Ark. Thanks for the enquiry.

        • Arkenaten says:

          Tell us, Wally, why do you think there is no evidence of the Exodus at Kadesh Barnea?
          After all, the Israelites spent around 38 years there didn’t they?
          What is your take on this issue?

        • Wally Fry says:

          Ark, my “take” on this won’t be wasted on you. I am extraordinarily busy, and frankly my available time is best spent edifying existing believers or reaching out to those who might be the slightest bit receptive. Scoffers, haters and atheists evangelists? No time for that. Your track record in adult conversation is….well, it’s non existent. Mel has been the epitome of patience with you, and when he finally stops you in your tracks, all you have left is vulgarity and juvenile insults. So, pass.

          Have a nice day!

    • Mel Wild says:

      None have hit so far. I’ll be fine but thanks. I’m sure there will be a few your way now. 🙂

  6. Arkenaten says:

    Again, you do not understand Christian theology at all with regard to the incarnate Christ. Christ willingly giving up His powers,

    Where in the gospels does Jesus state this?

    • Mel Wild says:

      John 5:19-20 and other places in the Gospels. And Phil.2:6-8, which predates the gospels.

      • Arkenaten says:

        yes, thank you. I was looking for the verse where Jesus says he has given up his powers as Yahweh. Here he merely acknowledges he is the son.
        So where exactly does Jesus says he has willingly given up his powers as Yahweh.

        • Mel Wild says:

          I think I answered that. And I also answered it with John because he asked the same question.

          When Jesus said He can do nothing, it means nothing. And Phil. 2:6-8 predates the Gospels as a creed, so the early church obviously got His point.

        • Arkenaten says:

          Yes, I have read the bible as well, more often than is healthy for me, I think
          I am fully aware of such passages, thanks, Mel, you don’t need to list them.
          You stated Jesus willingly gave up his powers.
          Which verse /passage did Jesus state this as you have said.
          All I want is the verse.

        • Mel Wild says:

          I gave you two verses that teach this point. First, Jesus said He could do nothing of Himself, but only what the Father showed Him (John 5:19). Paul articulates this further with the creed in Phil.2:6-8.

          Okay, got to go…

        • Arkenaten says:

          Please stop trying to lay hermeneutics on me Mel.
          Once again. You said Jesus willingly gave up his power, which suggests a conscious decision.
          So, please state the biblical verse where Jesus acknowledges he has willingly given up his ”power”.

          You obviously know this verse as you are commanded not to lie.
          If you have made a mistake fair enough.

        • Mel Wild says:

          It’s called exegesis, Ark, which is how you derive the right interpretation of what’s being said or what is meant by what is said. I said Jesus did in fact do this, but I didn’t say He said it in those exact words. But the meaning is clear, which I’ve shown by way of exegesis. Jesus said He could do NOTHING OF HIMSELF apart from the Father; Paul said He completely emptied Himself. There is no doubt this means.

          Other places He says…

          “My food,” said Jesus, “is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work. (John 4:34)

          The fact that Jesus allowed us to crucify Him is the ultimate act of laying down His power.

          “Do you think I cannot call on my Father, and he will at once put at my disposal more than twelve legions of angels? 54 But how then would the Scriptures be fulfilled that say it must happen in this way?” (Matt.26:53-54)

  7. Arkenaten says:

    hermeneutics
    ˌhəːmɪˈnjuːtɪks/Submeter
    noun
    the branch of knowledge that deals with interpretation, especially of the Bible or literary texts.

    • Mel Wild says:

      Hermeneutics is the methodology of interpretation and exegesis is the critical explanation or interpretation of a text. For instance, I use a Jesus hermeneutic to understand the Old Testament; I exegete the passages I gave you. There is a difference.

      • Arkenaten says:

        Yes, Mel,I know. You use YOUR interpretation and as usual you haven’t got a clue.

        • Mel Wild says:

          Whatever…thanks for your opinion.

        • Arkenaten says:

          Well, you have given no reason so far to be trusted. All you do is corrupt the evidence to suit your own corrupt worldview.

          If there was such a thing as a ”sinner” you would most certainly qualify by disingenuity and ignorance.

        • Mel Wild says:

          You are very good at throwing out accusations, Ark. Exactly how have I corrupted evidence? And exactly how am I being disingenuous?

        • Arkenaten says:

          You keep some of my comments in moderation for one thing …

        • Mel Wild says:

          That’s not corrupting evidence or being disingenuous, Ark. It’s called moderation for a reason, which I have a right to do. When you keep repeating yourself, especially getting belligerent with your adolescent name-calling and vulgarity, I moderate it because it provides nothing substantial to the conversation. I have a right to do that.

          If you say something respectful, like an adult would do, I post it. But this blog is not a place for you to just say whatever you want.

        • Arkenaten says:

          Your entire worldview is one of vulgarity as it demeans and threatens and condemns, especially the way it corrupts children, and is based upon human sacrifice.
          It is barbaric.
          Furthermore, it is based on wholly unsubstantiated claims, promoted by self-proclaimed followers of a make believe god.

          Your claims are undeserving of any respect, and by extension, neither are you.

        • Mel Wild says:

          Your entire worldview is one of vulgarity as it demeans and threatens and condemns, especially the way it corrupts children, and is based upon human sacrifice.
          It is barbaric.

          Again, thanks for your opinion and parroting the New Atheist talking points. I have some questions about your accusations though.

          How is my faith based on human sacrifice?

          Since when has using agnostic Egyptologists like David Rohl for my Exodus argument become something “promoted by self-proclaimed followers of make-believe god?”

          And you still haven’t answered my question about being disingenuous and corrupting evidence. If you’re going to make accusations you better be able to back them with facts.

        • Arkenaten says:

          Again, thanks for your opinion and parroting the New Atheist talking points. I have some questions about your accusations though.

          Demonstrable fact. And history is littered with the bodies to prove it.
          Deny it and you will make yourself a liar,

          How is my faith based on human sacrifice?

          Really? Your man god was not nailed to a cross because blood was required?

          … and corrupting evidence.

          The Pentateuch and Moses and the Exodus are perfect examples.

        • Mel Wild says:

          Demonstrable fact. And history is littered with the bodies to prove it.
          Deny it and you will make yourself a liar…

          The New Atheist’s talking points here are based on a totally anachronistic understanding of the culture and really bad theology. People like Dawkins are the worst offenders. He should’ve stayed with biology. Something he actually knows something about.

          How is my faith based on human sacrifice?
          Really? Your man god was not nailed to a cross because blood was required?

          You couldn’t be more wrong. The cross of Christ was not a human sacrifice. You are simply reciting a bad atonement theory. Human sacrifices were an ancient means to appease angry gods so they would not burn their villages, etc. The crucifixion stands in stark contrast to this pagan notion. First, it was an unjust murder. The New Testament writers clearly laid the blame on the Sanhedrin and the Romans (Gentiles). But Jesus allowed us to kill him so we could be rescued from ourselves. He willingly let us murder Him so that He could take all our enmity and evil upon Himself, put it to death, and then bring us with Him to God (2 Cor.5:19). This is why Paul said that if the principalities and powers would’ve know what this accomplished, they would never have crucified Jesus (1 Cor.2:7-8).

          … and corrupting evidence.
          The Pentateuch and Moses and the Exodus are perfect examples.

          That’s an opinion not corrupting evidence. I have shown that there is evidence for the Exodus when we look in the right place. The only reason conventional archeologists say there isn’t any evidence is because of a faulty chronology, which Rohl and others have shown, and which I believe will be corrected in the coming decades once the Egyptologists who have books and their lofty reputation to defend are gone.

          So, none of these things proves that I am intentionally corrupting evidence or being disingenuous. You just don’t agree with my position. That’s fine. Adults would respectfully disagree. But your accusations are unwarranted.

        • john zande says:

          Jesus offering himself is a claim of a sacrificial atonement. It’s in Judaism. In Leviticus (4:35,5:10) we have :

          “The priest shall then offer the other as a burnt offering in the prescribed way and make atonement for them for the sin they have committed, and they will be forgiven.”

          What is sacrificed (a blood sacrifice) doesn’t matter. One may simply interchange animal for human, the idea is exactly the same. What matters is a perceived debt is being paid with the life of another. Sins forgiven.

        • Mel Wild says:

          That is a common but erroneous connection. The Levitical priesthood could never take away sins. It was never intended to. It was used as a symbol (using ancient pagan ideas) to free Israel from its guilty conscience by putting the blame on someone or something else (e.g., “scapegoating” animals). Anthropologist, Rene Girard has documented scapegoating as a common practice in the ancient world as a way to bring peace between warring tribes going back to the beginning of civilization.

          While Jesus’ death and resurrection can be seen in a vicarious way of understanding what He did for us and to us, NONE of the early church fathers ever saw it as God needing to punish Him so He could forgive us. Obviously, Jesus forgave people’s sins long before the cross, so that is not true. That view of the atonement was a later invention starting in the eleventh century with Anselm. I’ve written a lot about that here. The early church saw it as Jesus freeing us from ourselves and Satan’s hold of death over us, then bringing us into the very life of God (Eph.2:6; Col.3:3; 2 Pet.1:4; Heb. 12:22-24).

          God was not killing Jesus so He could forgive us. Jesus was willingly giving Himself to us and we killed Him (the ultimate scapegoat). So, now, when we look to God’s other-centered self-giving love demonstrated when we put Him on a pole, we are healed from our own self-destruction and bondage. This is why Jesus used the story of Moses and the bronze snake on the pole to describe salvation.

          14 As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up; 15 so that whoever believes will in Him have eternal life. 16 “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. (John 3:14-17)

          Notice there is nothing in Jesus’ statement about human sacrifice here. Salvation is about healing humankind from our own foolishness (snake bite), our enmity against God and murderous hearts, accomplished by Jesus fusing all of our darkness and sin to His divine nature and putting it to death in the flesh, thus freeing us from the bondage of death and reconciling us back to Himself. When the Bible talks about the “blood,” it is simply saying that Jesus shed His blood by doing this for us. And that blood speaks of something better than that of Abel (the first religious killing based in vengeance) or of Levitical sacrifices (Heb.8:6; 12:24). Christ’s atonement is not retributive justice; it’s restorative justice.

        • john zande says:

          “Without shedding of blood there is no forgiveness” (Heb. 9:22).

        • Mel Wild says:

          You are taking that line out of context. First, the writer is quoting the OLD testament, not saying that God had to kill Jesus in order to forgive us. Obviously, this cannot be true since Jesus forgave people before the cross.

          The point is what enacts the New Covenant. This is the argument the writer makes:

          16 For where a covenant is, there must of necessity be the death of the one who made it. 17 For a covenant is valid only when men are dead, for it is never in force while the one who made it lives. (Heb.9:16-17).

          The Covenant was made between God and Jesus with Abraham as a proxy (Gal.3:17). The Mosaic Covenant was ADDED because of the transgression at Mt.Sinai (Gal.3:19). Jesus perfectly obeyed His Father’s will, even to the point of death, which sealed this covenant forever. That’s what the blood means in this context. And our part in the New Covenant is to believe Jesus perfectly completed it, even to the point of death (look to the cross). It has nothing to do with appeasing and angry deity.

        • john zande says:

          This is from a Christian website:

          The whole of the Old Testament, every book, points toward the Great Sacrifice that was to come—that of Jesus’ sacrificial giving of His own life on our behalf…..

          Of course, the Israelites did not know of Jesus per se, or how He would die on their behalf and then rise again, but they did believe God would be sending them a Savior. All of the many, many blood sacrifices seen throughout the Old Testament were foreshadowing the true, once-for-all-time sacrifice to come so that the Israelites would never forget that, without the blood, there is no forgiveness….

          Hebrews 9:11-18 confirms the symbolism of blood as life and applies Leviticus 17:11 to the sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Christ. Verse 12 states clearly that the Old Testament blood sacrifices were temporary and only atoned for sin partially and for a short time, hence the need to repeat the sacrifices yearly. But when Christ entered the Most Holy Place, He did so to offer His own blood once for all time, making future sacrifices unnecessary. This is what Jesus meant by His dying words on the cross: “It is finished” (John 19:30). Never again would the blood of bulls and goats cleanse men from their sin. Only by accepting Jesus’ blood, shed on the cross for the remission of sins, can we stand before God covered in the righteousness of Christ (2 Corinthians 5:21).

        • Mel Wild says:

          Quoting Christian websites doesn’t make it so, John. There are several theories of atonement. I have already explained the context of Hebrews 9 so I won’t go over it again here. What was “finished” was Jesus fulfilling the covenant (made through Abraham) that Israel could not finish. Again, the New Covenant was sealed by His being obedient to the end, thus sealing it forever with His death. Again, there is nothing here that say God must kill Jesus for us. That is a faulty understanding. Jesus fulfilled the covenant for us.

        • john zande says:

          God, speaking to Moses, declares: “For the life of a creature is in the blood, and I have given it to you to make atonement for yourselves on the altar; it is the blood that makes atonement for one’s life.”

        • Mel Wild says:

          Again, that’s the Mosaic covenant, and I have already explained the purpose.

        • john zande says:

          It’s really quite astonishing… Even your basic theology is a pantomime (inside a pantomime), Mel.

        • Mel Wild says:

          How is my giving you the early church’s understanding of Jesus fulfilling the covenant, and showing the proper context for what the New Testament writers were saying about the new covenant a pantomime, John?

          No, I am just not parroting an appeasement theology that you’ve apparently bought into, one that has plagued the church for 900 years. If Jesus had to be punished in order for God to forgive us how could He constantly forgive sinners during His earthly ministry? This position is untenable.

        • john zande says:

          Good grief, Mel, can you at least once just try and be thoroughly upfront and truthful?

          This is Paul, who evangelicals, like yourself, follow (Romans 3:25):

          God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of his blood–to be received by faith.

          Jesus even says: for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins

          Sacrificial atonement (ultimately, vicarious redemption) is the central bloody theme of your religion.

          Jesus, of course, was a Jew, so the story presented plays the Jewish line, as clearly stated throughout the OT: blood sacrifice for the atonement of sin.

          For crying out loud, Jesus is called the sacrificial lamb!

          Here is another Christian site: Jesus Christ, the one perfect God-man, came to offer the pure, complete and everlasting sacrifice to make payment for our sin … Hebrews chapters 8-10 beautifully explain how Christ became the eternal High Priest, entering heaven (the Holy of Holies), once and for all, not by the blood of sacrificial animals, but by his own precious blood on the cross. Christ poured out his life in the ultimate atoning sacrifice for our sin and the sins of the world.

          I can, quite literally, go on for days just posting lines from Christians contradicting you.

          So, Mel, for once, be truthful. I’ll help you. Here is what you should have said right from the beginning:

          “Yes Ark, you’re right, Christianity holds Jesus was a blood sacrifice for the forgiveness of sins. I, however, believe something else, and have fashioned my own personal theology, and that personal theology goes something like this…”

        • Mel Wild says:

          John, all you are showing me are Christian sites that embrace Penal Substitutionary Atonement (PSA). I probably understand that doctrine better than you do and have written on it extensively. You can see some of the posts here. But please listen. While this is, by far, the most popular atonement theory in the Latin West, is just ONE of many atonement theories, and a relatively modern one (900 years old). One which the Greek Orthodox call heresy. I am not making up my own version of the atonement. I am standing on the foundation of the early church fathers for the first thousand years of Christianity (both East and West). All of the Orthodox church still embrace it, and it’s being rediscovered among Western Churches now. It is not a new invention; it’s the original teaching on it. You can read it yourself in the Ante-Nicene fathers.

          To be clear, yes we do have forgiveness of sin with Jesus’ death (shedding of blood), not to appease God but because we have been changed. Jesus death put our sin, our death, our enmity…to death with it. While you can use the Old Testament sacrificial system as a type and shadow, Jesus was like a lamb, that is NOT what happened at Calvary. This Lamb put sin to death. When Jesus died, we died, when He was buried, we were buried, when He ascended to God, we ascended with Him. THIS is central to Paul’s teaching and to Christianity. This is call the New Creation, which is unprecedented in human history. That is not the same thing as pagan appeasement. It’s restorative, not retributive.

          And let’s look at Rom.3:25 briefly. Many English translations don’t do it justice.

          3:25 Jesus exhibits God’s mercy. His blood propitiation persuades humankind that God has dealt with the historic record of their sin.” (Rom.3:25 MIRROR)

          The word, propitiation literally means “mercy seat.” God had mercy on our blind foolishness. Also notice that His mercy persuades US that God has dealt with our guilty conscience forever. God reconciled US to Himself, not the other way around (see 2 Cor.5:19). There is nothing here that says God had to punish Jesus so that He could forgive us. Again, Jesus forgave people of their sins before the cross.

        • john zande says:

          Don’t try and tell me I’m wrong.

          You should be honest and simply say, “I have my own beliefs on this matter, beliefs that run contrary to general Christian theology…”

        • Arkenaten says:

          Deny it and you will make yourself a liar…

          The New Atheist’s talking points here are based on a totally anachronistic understanding of the culture and really bad theology. People like Dawkins are the worst offenders. He should’ve stayed with biology. Something he actually knows something about.

          Fortunately, I do not need Dawkins or anyone else to read a history book or your bible.
          History is littered with the slaughter of millions who would not accept one version or another of your religion. The Cathars are a good example. The Inquisition is another, and the thousand s f woman burned as Witches yet another.
          So it seems you are denying the bloody history of your vile religion. If this is the case, then you are a liar.

          How is my faith based on human sacrifice?
          Really? Your man god was not nailed to a cross because blood was required?

          You couldn’t be more wrong. The cross of Christ was not a human sacrifice. You are simply reciting a bad atonement theory. Human sacrifices were an ancient means to appease angry gods so they would not burn their villages, etc. The crucifixion stands in stark contrast to this pagan notion. First, it was an unjust murder. The New Testament writers clearly laid the blame on the Sanhedrin and the Romans (Gentiles). But Jesus allowed us to kill him so we could be rescued from ourselves. He willingly let us murder Him so that He could take all our enmity and evil upon Himself, put it to death, and then bring us with Him to God (2 Cor.5:19). This is why Paul said that if the principalities and powers would’ve know what this accomplished, they would never have crucified Jesus (1 Cor.2:7-8).

          How many times have you written that you killed Jesus the Nazarene. How many times has Wally written that crime (sin) demands punishment? And that Jesus ‘’paid it all’’.
          In the bible, Jesus the Nazarene forgave a woman her sins and sent her on her way. Yet you believe he had to die for yours. That is a blood sacrifice. He is considered the sacrificial lamb.
          When the cross was first used as a symbol it displayed a lamb.

          … and corrupting evidence.
          The Pentateuch and Moses and the Exodus are perfect examples.

          That’s an opinion not corrupting evidence. I have shown that there is evidence for the Exodus when we look in the right place. The only reason conventional archeologists say there isn’t any evidence is because of a faulty chronology, which Rohl and others have shown, which I believe will be corrected in the coming decades once the Egyptologists who have books and their lofty reputation to defend are gone.

          Not an opinion. Accepted as fact based on evidence. Evidence accepted by almost the entire scholarly and archaeological field.

          So, none of these things proves that I am intentionally corrupting evidence or being disingenuous. You just don’t agree with my position. That’s fine. Adult would respectfully disagree. But your accusations are unwarranted.

          They all prove you are corrupting evidence as you refuse point blank to accept the evidence, much like Creationists refuse to accept evolution.

  8. Oh my goodness, Ark. Sheesh. In the ultimate twist of irony, I too often get accused of being a sinner and un Christ-like…by atheists! Now that’s not only disingenuous, it’s completely illogical.

    • Arkenaten says:

      You have demonstrated time and again you are little more than an indoctrinated fool.
      You are taught to believe you are a sinner, and have t confess as much and can never be worthy enough and you accept it.
      I feel a modicum of sympathy for such stupidity. However, what is worse …. much worse, is you you inculcate such vile beliefs into children. You should be ashamed.

      • Mel Wild says:

        @Ark. I see you’re resorting to name calling again, instead of having an adult conversation. And you still wonder why you have no credibility and must be moderated or banned from people’s sites?

        We will see who is the fool.

      • Wally Fry says:

        Ark

        Counseling believers on the quality if their faith is what is moronic.

        Your only repeated argument is that we are stupid. That is a stupid argument

        You should be ashamed that you apparently have dedicated your life to telling children there is no God. That is the real abuse

        • Arkenaten says:

          You do not accept evolution. You believe dinosaurs coexisted with humans.
          This is sheer stupidity or wanton ignorance. You choose.

          You should be ashamed that you apparently have dedicated your life to telling children there is no God. That is the real abuse

          Actually, my children were intelligent enough to be able to work this out for themselves.
          I have never actually told any child gods don’t exist.

        • Wally Fry says:

          Really. The topic of religion never came up in your home?

        • Arkenaten says:

          Nope.
          I grew up a cultural Christian. Only after one of my brothers died did my mother return to the church. The topic of religion was never raised when I was growing up.

          I’ve been an atheist for as long as I can remember, but I only began studying and researching religion when I needed some background on Moses for a novel I was writing.
          Imagine my surprise when I discovered there was nothing!
          Imagine my even greater surprise when I discovered there were people who thought the earth was only 10,000 years old and even believed dinosaurs coexisted with humans.
          The first time I encountered YECs I think I was in my early forties. Initially, I thought it was a joke. I could not believe there were actually people who would think things like Adam and Eve and Noah’s Ark were literal.

          My wife is Catholic and my children went to a private Catholic school – Marist Brothers.
          But by the time they left they were non- believers.
          On the odd occasion that they asked me why I was reading the bible I explained my reason. But by this time they were practically adults.
          Occasionally they have asked about certain aspect of theology, or biblical related subjects, but usually only if they are after historical information and they know I have researched this stuff.

          Now is when you get to call me a liar I suppose,, as you usually do, yes?

        • Wally Fry says:

          So your children, attending a Catholic school, never asked their fathers thoughts on God?

          Got it lol

        • Arkenaten says:

          Nope. Never once.
          Ask John. He went to a Catholic school.
          they are generally quite liberal in their teaching.
          And at that stage I wasn’t as hard-arsed as I am now about religion.

          We enrolled them at the school because the education was considered the best.

        • Wally Fry says:

          So your children never asked you about God??

          Yeah ok

        • Arkenaten says:

          Nope. I already said they didn’t. They may have asked my wife. If they did she never said.
          And I explained, the only times they asked about religion was when they saw me reading the bible.
          You must not try to compare the fundamentalist life you grew up in or were surrounded by.
          In the main it isn’t like that here in South Africa, and certainly not n the circles we move in.

        • Wally Fry says:

          So what did you tell them about the Bible when they asked? Did you offer an opinion as to it’s veracity?

        • Arkenaten says:

          They asked why I was reading it. My wife actually thought I might be becoming a born again Christian!
          I explained the reason – research for the novel I was writing.
          They were okay after this.
          And as said, hey were not children by this stage.

        • Wally Fry says:

          You didn’t answer my full question

        • Arkenaten says:

          Ah, sorry … you mean about the veracity?
          They never asked.
          Although in the interest of full disclosure they know my views, but it is not something we ever discussed, if this makes sense.
          For example, they never believed the Noah’s ark story as they learned about evolution at school.

        • Wally Fry says:

          So you offered your views. Got it

          Did you do this on more than one occasion?

        • Arkenaten says:

          Not that I am aware of. As I said it is not a subject that is ever raised.
          It would seem rather silly that being non believers themselves they would continue to quiz me about it, would not you think?

        • Wally Fry says:

          Could you have done it And not been aware? Some sort if atheist zombie trance maybe?

          Ark. The very idea that you conducted your entire family life on a completely religiously neutral environment is absurd

          Again you prove you are a waste of time

          Peace

        • Arkenaten says:

          You see, this is why as a fundamentalist you cannot grasp the idea that religion is not the centre of every one else’s world.

          The term Cultural Christian is exactly that.
          We do not go to church( except for the d Christening or wedding, there are no prayers over meals etc.
          I am the only religious one in the house simply because of my interest in it.
          Yes, everyone knows I am an atheist and my family are effectively non-believers.
          So why would you think a completely religiously neutral environment is absurd?

          It just isn’t important and not discussed.
          Just because I am involved here in Blogland doesn’t mean this translates to my social or family life.
          It really doesn’t any more than I’ll bet it doesn’t for John Z either.

          Just because you are heavily involved with your church and god belief does not mean everyone else is.

          The conversations that usually occupy my family involve business and football and music and stuff like this.

        • Wally Fry says:

          Gotcha. No prob. You say its so, then its so.

          I get it. You don’t have enough security in your militant atheist beliefs to share them in real life.

          Interesting, really. You seem so very brave in print on my computer screeen.

        • Arkenaten says:

          But why would I try to convince people about atheism when they are already non believers?

          Everything I have ever said to you on the blogs I would say to your face. On this you have my word..

        • john zande says:

          Religion wasn’t even taught. We had a comparative religion class for one year (Grade 10), and that was it.

          Wally probably thinks his tiny little pocket of Jesusville is reflective of the western world.

          And no, Wally, religion was never discussed in our house. Raised a Catholic, yes, even took a trip to the Vatican as a kid, but in Australia, discussing religion and politics in a home is considered the height of rudesness. I never even knew who my parents voted for. Discussing religion in politics is also a huge No No. Your country would be wise to follow the lead of others.

          But then again, Pew just released a poll that found that an astonishing “fifty-eight percent of Republicans say colleges and universities have a negative effect on the country.”

        • Wally Fry says:

          And you reflect the clearly revealed God. Sheer wanton ignorance or complete stubborn rebellion. You don’t need to pick as it’s all the above

        • Arkenaten says:

          So you consider believing dinosaurs existing with humans is the rational, honest scientific choice do you?

        • Wally Fry says:

          Actually it’s YOUR life that is the agenda at the moment.

          Put away your insult gun.

        • Arkenaten says:

          My life?
          What would you like to know, Wally?
          I’ll tell you anything you like , you know I do not tell lies, if you tell me why you believe dinosaurs coexisted with humans.

        • Wally Fry says:

          Ahhh. Got it

          Conditions again. Ark says:

          Of course I will answer your question

          If this, then that. Now this now tgat

          Figures.

        • Arkenaten says:

          You were the one who said this was about my life.
          I have no idea how you arrived at this. *Shrugs*
          But if you want to know something ask.
          And if you don’t want to tell me why you believe dinosaurs co-existed with humans, then don’t. Your Christian friends will stand by you, even if they believe you are wrong – as they do, trust me on that.

        • Wally Fry says:

          If my Christian friends have an issue with me they will tell me

          Be careful putting words in their mouths

        • Arkenaten says:

          Oh, I am not putting words in their mouths. But they do believe you are wrong.
          Mel does not believe in YEC and he certainly doesn’t believe dinosaurs co-existed with humans.
          Ask him…
          So, are you going to tell me why you believe dinosaurs co existed with humans?
          I really am interested in understanding how YECs come to this understanding as I have never heard a proper explanation.

        • Wally Fry says:

          No I’m not but thanks for the kind offer

          And They who Ark? Who is this homogeneous “they” you speak of?

          If you are referring to some actual group I would like a roster of members so that I can properly address their concerns with me

        • Arkenaten says:

          Oh, sorry, I meant your fellow Christians on this blog, Mel, IB, and most of the ones you and I have had dialogue with. SOM, Colorstorm, etc.

          Are you embarrassed to discuss abut dinosaurs etc?

        • Wally Fry says:

          So, you know how each of those Christians feel?

          Do tell.

          Names and specific beliefs please.

          Sorry, Ark, but you are the one who made the broad, sweeping assertion about the “they” who thinks collectively I am an idiot.

          Names. Beliefs by name.

          Ready set go

        • Arkenaten says:

          I already gave you names, Wally.
          Did you not read the comment?
          If you know of certain Christians that are YEC that are on the blogs you and I visit, then please tell me. As far as I am away none of them believe dinosaurs co-existed with humans.
          But I’ll try to help out.
          Here is a partial list of Crispians who do not believe in vegetarian dinosaurs and consider the earth is Old.
          Mel, IB, Colorstorm, (even though he says it is flat) SoM, James, everyone who comments on your blog as far as can ascertain ( you can correct me of course), Scientific Christian,Trish,
          Crikey, I cannot remember them all, you know. But none of these are YEC.

        • Wally Fry says:

          Really, so you know this? You know the exact beliefs of each of these you have named?

          Especially since your supposed group includes every one who comments on my blog.

          Sorry, Ark. You said it. Back it up.

          Names. Specific beliefs and doctrines by believer. Details

          Do it Ark, you know everything. Just ask yourself.

        • Arkenaten says:

          I did. They are NOT YEC.
          What else do you need?
          I made no other claims.
          So cant you give me just a hint why you believe dinosaurs roamed the earth with humans?

        • Wally Fry says:

          Yes. You claimed everyone who comments on my blog refutes my beliefs.

          Either back up that statement or be chalked up as a posturing, spineless,lying coward.

          Look, Ark. I stand firmly on my beliefs, and I feel absolutely NO shame over it. I’ll tell that to Mel, IB, SoM, James, and anybody else who wants to hear it. They don’t have to agree. I don’t have to agree with them.

          But, your problem is, you said EVERYBODY WHO COMMENTS ON MY BLOG.

          That’s a big statement and I want proof

        • Arkenaten says:

          Actually I said … as far as I can ascertain . Go read it again. I also said you are welcome to correct me.
          Please, feel free to tell me which of your visitors believe dinosaurs roamed the earth with humans.
          I really am fascinated to find out if there are more people like you.

          Yes, of course, you are perfectly free to believe whatever you like. However, if you wish that others also believe the way you do it would seem logical that you provide evidence for such beliefs, wouldn’t you agree?
          I mean, what would you tell Mel for example if he asked:
          ”Wally, how come you believe dinosaurs existed alongside human beings?”

        • Wally Fry says:

          Ahhhhh…so if you end it with the words “as far as I can ascertain”, then you are released from the obligation to speak truth?

          That’s very cool!

          Now, since the entire world knows that putting that at the end of a sentence does not mean you get so say anything, anytime, then you still sort of have to back up what you said.

          You clearly said ALL of my commenters refute my beliefs

        • Arkenaten says:

          No, this is called …. being honest.
          A new concept for you, I realise, but one you could get used to if you try.

          I did not use the word refute in our dialogue did I

        • Wally Fry says:

          No, darn it foiled again! Of course, spin it your way. You are very smart, Ark. I hope some day to rise to your level Lol..

          See the previous comment.

          Ark, you are a spineless coward, a bully, and a liar.

          Have a nice day!

        • Arkenaten says:

          Well, fortunately everyone here can read and the liar certainly is not me.

          Have a day.

        • Wally Fry says:

          And what is so funny about your fixation with my supposed young earth beliefs is that I have always been absolutely clear that I am still working that out for myself. That I probably LEAN that way, but that’s about it. My feelings on dinosaurs have never actually been mentioned by me in a conversation either with or around you.

          Soooooooooooooooo…you assignment of all this to me makes you….

          A liar

        • Arkenaten says:

          I never said you mentioned dinosaurs. But YEC is all about dinosaurs living alongside humans, as part of Young Earth Creationism and how they all were vegetarian until humans sinned etc.
          If you read up about ACE (Accelerated Christian Education) fr example they have books featuring tame dinosaurs!
          Have you ever read any of Johnny Scaramanga’s posts?
          He was once a YEC and went through ACE for a while.
          He has been petitioning the British Government in an effort to have such schools banned, I understand.
          He has just finished his doctoral work on ACE schools.

        • Wally Fry says:

          Yes, Ark. You have repeatedly stated as fact that I believe that about them.

          Good grief are you backpedaling on that as well? Is there any thing you say that you will stand behind? I am getting sadder every minute, as I really looked up to you.

          Let’s see.

          You don’t have the gumption to share your beliefs with real people.

          You think adding”as far as I can ascertain” means you can say untrue things.

          You get so make broad statements about what others believe even when they have never….um…told you what they believe.

          The world you live is is very, very cool.

          And you are a liar.

          Have a nice day!

        • Arkenaten says:

          Yes, I have said you believe dinosaurs existed alongside humans.This is a fundamental part of being YEC.
          I never said you mentioned it.
          If you do not beleive dinosaurs lived alongside humans then you are not YEC. It is as simple as that.

          Adding as far as I can ascertain means I do not want to call people YEC in case they are not but my view in this regard is based on general tone and comments during dialogue.
          As in … the evidence would suggest that none of them are YEC.

          Have a day.

        • Wally Fry says:

          Bummer, so I am not even a very good Young Earth Believer LOL. Since I have never committed to this view with you I an not sure why being told I am a bad one bothers me.

          Look, Ark, you said the things you said. Clearly. They are not true, you have been told they are not true, and you know they are not. Now you scramble in reverse as fast you can to disavow your own lies.

          Bye ark. My to do list for today included debate with a liar. I can check it off now LOL.

          Have a nice day!

        • Arkenaten says:

          Since I have never committed to this view with you I an not sure why being told I am a bad one bothers me.

          You have stated on numerous occasions you are a Young Earth Creationist.
          I suppose I could look them up?
          Are you now denying you have ever claimed you are a YEC?
          I know for a fact you wrote this on James’s blog. That I will swear to, and It would take a while but I would find at least one comment there.

          I never lie.
          I am not a Christian.

        • Wally Fry says:

          I do in fact lean that way. But I have also clearly stated I am still open and working on that issue. THAT is what I have said. Look it up.

        • Arkenaten says:

          Yes, you also said this.
          Should we look on James’s blog?
          You now you wrote it, Wally.

        • Wally Fry says:

          Ark I really don’t care what you do.

          I am not ashamed of my beliefs. I DO lean towards young Earth Creationism. So what. Hey Mel, if it makes you and all of the old earthers feel better, call me names and tell me to leave.

          Ark, you are fine one to try to trap a fellow by his words, when you have just shown you don’t have the fortitude to stand by your own.

          Now, I have hijacked Mel’s place enough for today; I am sure he would like it back.

        • Arkenaten says:

          Of course I stand by my words!

  9. Arkenaten says:

    Good grief are you backpedaling on that as well? Is there any thing you say that you will stand behind? I am getting sadder every minute, as I really looked up to you.

    Sorry, Wally. I missed this.
    Yes, I stand behind everything I believe. For instance, I believe you are a sad, indoctrinated person with a hefty dose of anger management issues which you continually display and this was a primary reason for you going back to the church.

    • Wally Fry says:

      Me anger issues? LOL

      I’m ok here, and am not a bit mad. You say anybody who won’t cow tow to your bully tactics has anger issues. LOL.

      Thanks for the psycho analysis by the way.

      You impress me so much with your insight and compassion.

      Is it time for you to start cursing at me yet? I’m bored and would rather not leave until you do. It’s always such a nice place to end our conversations.

      • Arkenaten says:

        Oh, so you never had anger issues before you got divorced and eventually returned to the church?
        Never hauled off and had a go at anyone?

        No, I think I’ll forgo the cursing …. Mel will only trash my comments if I do that.

        • Wally Fry says:

          Ark, I have had many “gos” in my life LOL. Not everybody lived a genteel British life like you.

        • Arkenaten says:

          As I suspected. Little more than a reborn thug.
          I hope your ex-wife was not one you also slapped?

          Oh, I have to apologize. I just remembered James actually is a YEC. LOL! My bad. How did I forget?
          Old age…

        • Wally Fry says:

          Ah…yeah thugs suck. World would be better off without them. Good thing God loves thugs, too I suppose.

          Really Ark? Accusing a fellow of hitting his wife is how you do now?

          No Ark. I will address that clearly now, so even a liar such as you cannot twist it around.

          No real man lays his hands on a woman in anger. Got it?

          I am done with you Ark.

        • Arkenaten says:

          No, I said I hope you didn’t.
          Tell me, do you just have trouble reading correctly or do behave like a D**k on purpose?

  10. Arkenaten says:

    If Jesus had to be punished in order for God to forgive us how could He constantly forgive sinners during His earthly ministry? This position is untenable.

    This is interesting. Maybe I am reading too much into this but it seems as if you saying there was no actual need for him to have been crucified at all?
    Is this what you are saying?

    • Mel Wild says:

      This is interesting. Maybe I am reading too much into this but it seems as if you saying there was no actual need for him to have been crucified at all?
      Is this what you are saying?

      Not exactly. What I’m saying is that while Jesus’ death was necessary to establish the New Covenant, it wasn’t God needing to punish Him in order to forgive us. That would be describing the worst child abuser in human history. Jesus willingly offered Himself to us, to the point of death, in order to put sin and death to death on the cross. As the early church fathers said, taking our sin means that He fused our sin nature to the divine nature and put it to death. When He died we died. But it wasn’t just what He did for us but what He also did TO us. When He rose again, He took us with him, reconciling us back to God. Now, the way is open for us to have a direct relationship with God because we have been put in Christ. Now, we can participate in the divine nature and take on His nature (2 Pet.1:4). Without His death, none of this would be possible. His death marked the beginning of the New Covenant, which is the New Creation (2 Cor.5:14-21). To see it as a pagan appeasement is a very low view of the atonement that misses the whole point.

      • Arkenaten says:

        Ah, so basically a blood sacrifice.

        • Mel Wild says:

          It was a sacrifice where Jesus withheld nothing in order to redeem us to Himself, even to the point of shedding His own blood, because God would stop at nothing to have us reconciled to Him. It was not a pagan appeasement to an angry deity.

        • Arkenaten says:

          You are just espousing dogma , Mel and it means absolutely nothing to me as I am not indoctrinated into your faith.
          So please, once and for all stop it.
          It is utterly meaningless. Do you understand? To me it is simply meaningless drivel.

          Now, let’s look at the argument.
          On the one hand you state it was not a punishment from Yahweh … who is also Jesus. No one in this conversation ever said the crucifiction of the Jesus the Nazarene was a punishment from a YWH … or Jesus.
          But it has been stated that because of the in of humanity (sic) payment was due to restore balance with YWH/Jesus and that payment was life and life is in the blood .
          Therefore a blood sacrifice was required.
          This is how it has always been interpreted. Ask Wally. He has a compete series called something like Jesus Paid it All or some crap like that.

          If only Jesus’s death was required then he could easily have died of old age and still resurrected to supposedly prove his divinity.
          Imagine all the things he might have accomplished if he had lived til he was ninety?
          So your little sermon is nothing but a fallacious attempt to white wash the required blood sacrifice and roll it up in pretty language.

          Life is in the blood, and a life was required as payment for sin.
          It was a blood sacrifice.

        • Mel Wild says:

          Jesus’ life was required so we could have His life, which is the New Covenant (sealed by His death). That’s the vicarious exchange. This is what ALL the church fathers said up to, and including Augustine. God became a man so that man could become like God. In that exchange when the divine fused our nature to His (as Gregory of Nazianzus stated), putting it to death, our sin was taken away, expunged, forgiven, obliterated forever. That’s not what animal sacrifice could ever do.

        • Arkenaten says:

          And this ….

          But when Christ entered the Most Holy Place, He did so to offer His own blood once for all time, making future sacrifices unnecessary. This is what Jesus meant by His dying words on the cross: “It is finished” (John 19:30). Never again would the blood of bulls and goats cleanse men from their sin. Only by accepting Jesus’ blood, shed on the cross for the remission of sins, can we stand before God covered in the righteousness of Christ (2 Corinthians 5:21).

          It was a Blood Sacrifice.

        • Mel Wild says:

          Yes, Jesus offered His blood but not in the way you suppose.

          The writer of Hebrews is writing to Jewish believers, first relating Jesus’ atonement to the Old Covenant, then showing the clear differences. The first covenant was a Levitical covenant with animal sacrifices that could not cleanse people of sin (it was a forbearance – Rom.3:25); the second covenant is according to the order of Melchizedek (no animal sacrifices but a covenant meal -Gen.14:18; cf.,Matt.26:26-29):

          11 Therefore, if perfection were through the Levitical priesthood (for under it the people received the law), what further need was there that another priest should rise according to the order of Melchizedek, and not be called according to the order of Aaron? (Heb.7:11)

          14 For it is evident that our Lord arose from Judah, of which tribe Moses spoke nothing concerning priesthood. 15 And it is yet far more evident if, in the likeness of Melchizedek, there arises another priest 16 who has come, not according to the law of a fleshly commandment, but according to the power of an endless life. (Heb.7:14-16)

          7 For if that first covenant had been faultless, then no place would have been sought for a second. 8 Because finding fault with them, He says: “Behold, the days are coming, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah— 9 not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they did not continue in My covenant, and I disregarded them, says the Lord. (Heb.8:7-9)

  11. Arkenaten says:

    Oh, and we are still waiting for you to provide the verse where Jesus the Nazarene openly states he willingly gave up his power.

    • Mel Wild says:

      I don’t understand why you keep asking this. YOU were the one brought that up. I never said Jesus said this Himself in those exact words. I said we can interpret what He did say (and what Paul affirmed) to mean this.

      • Arkenaten says:

        No, you said to John that Jesus the Nazarene willingly gave up his power.
        As i said, this suggests a conscious decision.
        And I asked you to show the verse where he says this.
        And to date, you have merely offered exegeses and apologetics.
        And is there really a necessity that I am now the only one under moderation?

        • Mel Wild says:

          Yes, I said that to JohnZ. Of course. But I didn’t say that Jesus said those specific words. You are the one who said that. I said that Jesus said He Himself could do nothing apart from the Father (John 5:19-20).

        • Arkenaten says:

          I didn’t say you said he did. But you stated he willingly gave up his power, which suggest a conscious decision.
          So where in the bible did he announce that he willingly gave up his power.

        • Mel Wild says:

          Ark, are you dense? Why does Jesus have to say this for it to be true? We know full well what He meant when He said He can of Himself do NOTHING. Get it?

          Please stop this inane argument. You’re wasting my time. You can disagree if you want, but I’m not going to keep going around in circles with you.

        • Arkenaten says:

          No, you interpret his words this way. I most certainly do not.
          So, once again, where does he state he willingly gave up his power, Mel?
          He either said it or he didn’t. Which is it?

        • Mel Wild says:

          *Sigh*…then you are dense. Read my comments! Stop wasting my time.

        • Arkenaten says:

          Oh, and now you resort to ad hominums do you? Who is the hypocrite now , then?

        • Mel Wild says:

          That is not what an ad hominum attack is. It is a fallacious argument to dismiss a person instead of what they’re saying. I’m dealing directly with what you’re saying.

          So yes, Ark, you must be dense because you keep asking the same inane questions. If you can’t get the clear meaning from the passages I’ve shown you, there is nothing I can say to you.

        • Arkenaten says:

          And you are either also dense of simply now trying to cover up your error.

          I’ll meet you half way. Find me a secular scholar that agrees with that the Nazarene ”Willingly gave up his power” based on the text you are quoting and I will retract.

        • Mel Wild says:

          No, Ark. I’m not going down your rabbit trail. I don’t care what secular scholars believe about Jesus. You’ve wasted enough of my time.

          Can’t you use your own brain? Look at the key phrases again:

          “My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me….” (John 4:34)
          “Most assuredly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself</strong…(John 5:19)
          “then He said, “Behold, I have come
          to do Your will, O God.” (Heb.10:9)
          7 But He emptied Himself
          8 He humbled Himself
          becoming obedient to the point of death, (Phil.2:6-8)

          He EMPTIED HIMSELF! He CHOSE to do His Father’s will. He could do NOTHING of Himself… A child could understand what is meant. And ALL of these are conscious decisions, Ark. I can’t help you if you refuse to see it. To say it doesn’t mean this is just being dense.

        • Arkenaten says:

          Yes, but you are presupposing he already had power of his own to willingly give up, and that is utter bull-dust.

          You are simply spinning wheels, Mel.
          A sad unfortunate disingenuous indoctrinated apologist concocting fantasies to satisfy your own desperate emotional need – or to give you some sort of reason to remain employed.

        • Mel Wild says:

          Ark, please stop. Now you’re just going embarrass yourself. You’re just digging yourself deeper into a hole because of your stubborn pride.

          Read Phil. 2:6-8 again. Carefully, this time. I will highlight to make it clearer for you:

          6 Who, though existing in the form of God,
          did not consider being equal to God a thing to be grasped.
          7 But He emptied Himselfbecoming the likeness of men
          and being found in appearance as a man.
          8 He humbled Himself
          taking on the form of a slave,
          becoming obedient to the point of death,
          even death on a cross. (Phil. 2:6-8)

          It cannot be any clearer. He existed in the form of God and emptied Himself…

        • Arkenaten says:

          But the Nazarene did not say this.

        • Mel Wild says:

          Ah!!!! Forget it, Ark! If you can’t figure out what is clearly meant by all the statements I have given you, I can’t help you.
          Good-bye.

        • Arkenaten says:

          No, sir, you forget it. You are simply inventing scenarios out of nothing.
          There is nothing that suggests he ”Willingly gave up his power”.
          He states he got it all from his dad.
          And because he never said it or suggested it is the reason you cannot explain it.
          That is the truth and it is time you were honest and acknowledged this.

          Do you not yet realise why so many non- Christians that comment on your blog consider you have absolutely no integrity whatsoever?
          There are a number of theologians that I have a certain amount of respect for even if I flat out disagree with their beliefs.
          But you ….
          No sir. None at all.
          You are conniving and dishonest.

        • Mel Wild says:

          And you are either very dense or dishonest. Because it’s very clear what those verses mean.

          And please…with the atheists on my blog saying I have no integrity? You mean like you, and JohnZ, and tildeb? Right…whatever… You guys are hardly open to actually considering anything I have to say. That is obvious. That’s just your favorite dismissal. You are the one who is devious with your agenda of going on Christian blogs to try to cause trouble and waste people’s time with endless questions that you never accept the answer to.

          And you still haven’t told me exactly how I have no integrity. Or is this just another baseless accusation like all your other ones?

        • Arkenaten says:

          And you are either very dense or dishonest. Because it’s very clear what those verses mean.

          No… again, this is simply what you wish to interpret them to mean and,remember, the Nazarene said nothing to suggest what you are claiming.
          And there is nothing to say he had this power of his own to willingly give up.
          he said he got all from his father, didn’t he, Mel?

          Integrity.
          the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles.
          “a gentleman of complete integrity”
          synonyms: honesty, uprightness, probity, rectitude, honour, honourableness, upstandingness, good character, principle(s), ethics, morals, righteousness, morality, nobility, high-mindedness, right-mindedness, noble-mindedness, virtue, decency, fairness, scrupulousness, sincerity, truthfulness, trustworthiness
          “I never doubted his integrity”

          Much of which you are sorely lacking ….

        • Mel Wild says:

          Ark, the only honest thing you can say is that you don’t agree with me, not that I lack integrity. You are free to disagree. I don’t see how you can’t see it. But that’s your choice.

        • Arkenaten says:

          No, you lack integrity because you continually twist text and invent things to suit your own ever more desperate attempts at interpretation.

        • Mel Wild says:

          What have I invented?

        • Arkenaten says:

          Sorry … have we not been having dialogue about your claim that the Nazarene ”Willingly gave up his power”?

        • Mel Wild says:

          Yes, but how did I invent my interpretation? I have a valid reason for believing this means that Jesus willingly gave up His own power. That is not an invention but based on solid Bible exegesis.

        • Arkenaten says:

          It is false. You simply made it up. Your claim has no veracity.
          And it has been pointed out to you yet you continue to claim it is valid.
          Where is the integrity in this?

          Are you wilfully ignorant?

        • Mel Wild says:

          Ark, I know what I’m talking about. This was one of the earliest teachings by the church fathers. It was part and parcel to the hypostatic union of Christ (fully God, fully man). They called it kenosis (but not in a heretical way it was later taught). In other words, Jesus didn’t lose His divinity in the incarnation (ceased being God), He chose not to use His power but rely on His Father instead. Otherwise, He could not be able to say that we would do when He did and even greater things (John 14:12). That would be a false statement if Jesus operated by His own power. We are not God.

          This explanation from GotQuestions.org is good:

          The term kenosis comes from the Greek word for the doctrine of Christ’s self-emptying in His incarnation. The kenosis was a self-renunciation, not an emptying Himself of deity nor an exchange of deity for humanity. Philippians 2:7 tells us that Jesus “emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men.” Jesus did not cease to be God during His earthly ministry. But He did set aside His heavenly glory of a face-to-face relationship with God. He also set aside His independent authority. During His earthly ministry, Christ completely submitted Himself to the will of the Father. (emphasis added)

          As part of the kenosis, Jesus sometimes operated with the limitations of humanity (John 4:6; 19:28). God does not get tired or thirsty. Matthew 24:36 tells us, “No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.” We might wonder if Jesus was God, how could He not know everything, as God does (Psalm 139:1-6)? It seems that while Jesus was on earth, He surrendered the use of some of His divine attributes. Jesus was still perfectly holy, just, merciful, gracious, righteous, and loving – but to varying degrees Jesus was not omniscient or omnipotent.

          This was one of the earliest doctrines of the church so, no, I’m not making it up. I’m standing firmly on the foundation of Christian doctrine.

        • Arkenaten says:

          Er … no it isn’t.
          And you failed to demonstrate it.

        • Mel Wild says:

          Yes, it is, which I have shown. Your refusal to admit the obvious (and the early church doctrine) is just stubborn bullheaded pride. I’m done with this conversation. You are wasting my time.

        • Arkenaten says:

          No, I am sorry to say you are simply dishonest. And that is the truth.

        • Mel Wild says:

          Right, I’m dishonest because I disagree with you. Excuse me if your accusation has no credibility whatsoever. Good bye.

        • Arkenaten says:

          No, you are dishonest because the evidence you produce does not verify anything you are claiming.

          And this is why you lack integrity.

        • Mel Wild says:

          Nothing has veracity to you, Ark, so excuse me if I don’t believe you.

        • Arkenaten says:

          Trust has to be earned. As does respect.
          You have earned neither. And thus, deserve none.
          Your religion is based on faith and threats.
          The old carrot and the stick.

          And you are a perfect example of this methodology.
          Confess to be being broken and a sinner and acknowledge only your man god can make you whole again.

          Corrupt doctrine based on no verifiable evidence whatsoever.
          It is cruel and abusive.

        • Mel Wild says:

          And that’s why I don’t hold what you say with any credibility, Ark. You have shown, over and over again, that you’re willing to make any accusation imaginable without actually giving a valid reason to back it up. And you make sweeping dismissals, calling it all “fiction,” even though that lie can easily be proven false. You constantly use fallacious argumentation, you love to ask questions but avoid most of my questions or divert by putting conditions on them. Well, I’m sorry but your unqualified and unsubstantiated opinion, which you have a right to have. has no credibility whatsoever.

        • Arkenaten says:

          calling it all “fiction,” even though that lie can easily be proven false.

          I do not lie.
          I am not Christian and have no need to.

          I only put conditions where clarification is required. I am certainly not going to take your faith based wrd for it any more than you will blithely accept Wally’s idiotic belief that vegetarian Dinosaur co- existed with humans.
          If you cannot get an across the board consensus regarding your claims then I am sorry but you are merely peeing in the wind.

          And this is why you are obliged to twist textual interpretation to fit your personal slant. And this is why you lack integrity.

        • Mel Wild says:

          I do not lie.
          I am not Christian and have no need to.

          Haha…funny. You may not think you’re lying but, ironically, you could be delusional. You’ve proven to me that you wouldn’t accept data contrary to your delusion if it hit you in the face. And here’s a good case for that.

        • Arkenaten says:

          Delusional? lol… from someone who believes dead men come back to life and walk on water.

        • Mel Wild says:

          Yes, absolutely. Watch the video and see yourself described to a tee.

        • john zande says:

          You’ve proven to me that you wouldn’t accept data contrary to your delusion if it hit you in the face.

          Goodness, that’s rich.

          Mel, move the dates, great, awesome, now please explain where is the grand United Kingdom (of Saul, David and Solomon) when Hazor (way up in the north) is sacked in 1453 BCE?

          Where is the grand United Kingdom as Seti re-bolsters Egyptian centers and military garrisons across Canaan?

          Where is the grand United Kingdom as Ramses II battled the Hittites in 1274 BCE, then moved his enormous army north on his way to war with Syria?

          Where is the grand United Kingdom while Egyptian officials ruled over Amurru (in southern Syria), and Upe (in the northern Levant), demanding annual tribute?

          Where is the grand United Kingdom when Biridiya, the chieftain of Meggido, needed help with another belligerent tribe?

        • Wally Fry says:

          Ark

          How’s my favorite Biblical illiterate doing? Yeah, you. Any bone head can see what you are doing here, and what your ploy is. First, you CAN’T understand scripture because you are spiritually blind.

          Second. I am wayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy more of a Biblical literalist than Mel. We all know that. But, you failure to accept his explanation for this is patently absurd, and nuts for even you. Even a literalist like me understands that any conclusions one draws from Scripture are rarely, if ever, proven by one magic verse. For you to demand such is ludicrous. Then, for for you to dismiss a sound argument because “It doesn’t say that, i doesn’t say that,” is also patently ludicrous and shows the entire world you aren’t here to have a conversation, but to abuse and wear down Christian bloggers until they can’t see straight.

          Grow up, Ark. Ooze back to your den and have a cackle fest with the other scoffers and haters.

        • Arkenaten says:

          I would comment on your ignorance but Uncle Mel keeps me moderated so there seems little point in entering any sort of meaningful dialogue with someone who thinks there were 40 ft vegetarian T-Rexs running around with humans.

          Have a day.

        • Wally Fry says:

          Great! I am a monstrous ignoramus. If it makes you feel good I will confess to that transgression.

          Now that we have that out of the way, exactly how does that refute the actual point Mel made?

          The fact that I am stupid does not make Mel’s argument wrong. There lies the point. You HAVE no answer. So, all you can do to deflect the clear revelation that you are Biblical/theological illiterate is call me a name.

          Have a nice day!

        • Arkenaten says:

          Doesn’t make me feel good at all, Wally that you are so willfully ignorant.
          It is quite sad , in fact.
          I would actually be quite thrilled if you came on Mel’s blog and announced that you have studied the material and had at least accepted that the age of the earth ran to billions of years rather than a few thousand and dinosaurs died out around 65, 000,000 years ago.

          It would mean that your curiosity and had been peeked enough to do some proper study, and in fact , it would be abso-frakking-lutely awesome to see you write this.

        • Wally Fry says:

          So, again. We aren’t talking about what I believe, or what I might write at some point in the future. Sigh.

          You declared Mel’s exegesis of some scriptures to be incorrect. Thus far you have supported that declaration with nothing other than frantic concerns about me and dinosaurs.

          Prove Mel wrong.

          Have a nice day! I have a brontosaurus to walk now LOL.

        • Arkenaten says:

          They are incorrect and if wish to remain a [edited] idiot for the rest of life I can only wish you well.
          Perhaps Jesus will let you have a pet Allosaurus when you get to heaven?

        • Mel Wild says:

          @Ark. This is why you’re moderated. I edited the F-word (after allowing you some latitude in past comments) because enough is enough. It’s adolescent and uncalled for. You’re only proving that you cannot converse like an adult.

        • Arkenaten says:

          Ah sorry … Wally brings the worse out of me.
          I suppose while telling Wally to eff of is quite naughty telling five year-olds they will be burning in hell for eternity for making Jesus sad is okay, then is it?

        • Mel Wild says:

          Just try to keep it respectful. We can disagree on worldviews, even vehemently, but it doesn’t mean we should call the other person an “___” idiot or belittle them as a person.

        • Arkenaten says:

          Well, I am only echoing what Wally says himself; he is constantly calling himself an idiot …. ”ignoramus” was his latest epithet, and saying he must get back to his cave. Besides, he has a reasonably technical job so he can’t be as stupid as he keeps telling us.
          And I did say I would would be the ”happiest little sacrificial lamb” if he worked out that the earth is billions of years old. It would be a positive sign that we make progress.
          I am sure you must feel sorry for him that he believes dinosaurs ran around with humans and Noah’s Ark was real.
          In fact, it would be the sign of a good Christian pastor to actually educate him on this matter as it is not doing your faith any favors having such beliefs indoctrinated into kids.
          The last thing America needs is a bunch of Ken Ham clones for the gods’ sake.

        • Wally Fry says:

          Now, that’s very cool! If i started declaring myself 6 ‘2″ , handsome and rich, would you say that also?

          LOL.In the meantime..a rebuttal?

        • Arkenaten says:

          I dunno. Maybe? Are you?

        • Wally Fry says:

          Yes, Ark I do bring out the worst in you. Do you know why? Because I don’t cow tow to your bullying tactics and diversions and let you just run amok. Now, how’s about an intelligent rebuttal to Mel’s interpretation of Scripture?

        • Arkenaten says:

          The word is Kowtow.

          Presumably ”cow tow” is something a bovine might do to a wagon or a cart?
          ————————————–
          Bully?
          Tell me, Wally, do you believe non-believers will roast in Hell for eternity?
          Yes, of course you do. You have told me so yourself.
          Does the doctrine of Hell get taught to any of the youngsters that go to Sunday School?

        • Wally Fry says:

          Ah. Good point, thanks for the clarification. I thought something was off with my rendition of that.

          Again. What I believe is NOT the issue here. You have been clearly and repeatedly offered the opportunity to defend an assertion you made.

          You have clearly and repeatedly refused, but instead have tried to deflect, posture, and insult you way out of it.

          Typical.

        • Arkenaten says:

          I’m lost. What assertion is it you think I need to defend, Wally?

        • Wally Fry says:

          No you aren’t. You know exactly what I am asking. Or, maybe you don’t, which only proves that you never actually engage the Christians you talk to, but only look for ways to say what you have already decided you want to say.

          I’m out.

        • Arkenaten says:

          This thread is so long and I am replying from the drop down while watching a movie.
          What assertion? Just the topic then.

        • Arkenaten says:

          I just looked.
          What rebuttal?
          His exegesis was wrong.
          He claimed the Nazareth willingly gave up his power which suggests a conscious decision.
          This he has been unable to demonstrate.

        • Wally Fry says:

          Great. I am an idiot

          Mel’s exegesis of Scripture is incorrect. Based on your declaration that it is so.

          Did you have something to illustrate that correctness other than your declaration of it?

          Look, my intelligence is not the issue here. The issue is you have made an assertion concerning a fellow’s interpretation, and have offered NOTHING besides your declaration of it.

          Typical, really

          And, interesting too.

        • Mel Wild says:

          Yes, it was a conscious decision. Purposely emptying yourself and not doing your will is willingly giving up your power.

          “Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to finish His work.” (John 4:34)

          “Then Jesus answered and said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do; for whatever He does, the Son also does in like manner. (John 5:19)

          “then He said, “Behold, I have come to do Your will, O God.” (Heb.10:9)

          6 Who, though existing in the form of God,
          did not consider being equal to God a thing to be grasped.
          7 But He emptied Himself
          taking on the form of a slave,
          becoming the likeness of men
          and being found in appearance as a man.
          8 He humbled Himself
          becoming obedient to the point of death,
          even death on a cross. (Phil.2:6-8)

        • Arkenaten says:

          That is NOT stating he willingly gave up,his power. That is not demonstrative of a conscious decision.
          Try again ….

        • Mel Wild says:

          No wonder you’re an atheist. If you don’t get this, there is nothing I can do to help you.

        • Arkenaten says:

          You just seem to twist the text to suit your own insecurities that’s all Mel.
          And we know from scholarly analysis of the text that only around 5% that is claimed to be the words of the Nazarene can be attributed to him which makes your claim even more dubious.

  12. john zande says:

    Mel, I’m curious. Have you ever searched out critiques of Rhol’s ideas? Anything, anything at all? If you have, can you list the major criticisms and give me your opinion on their strength or weakness?

    I’m also curious as to your earlier claim that much of the origin narrative is embellished. This being so, then why, do you think, a story which describes events involving (as you believe) not just a god, but The God, the Creator of the Universe, would need literary embellishment?

    Back to your claims. You say Rhol’s re-dating explains how the Hyksos could have seized power in northern Egypt. That is to say, Egypt had suffered a major calamity and was weakened. So, if you’re assuming a collapse of Egypt, which opened the door to the Hyksos, then you must also be assuming the numbers cited in the narrative to be correct: 2.5 million Hebrews, or half the Egyptian population.

    Half the population leaving would certainly create turmoil.

    That being so, where are the 3 million+ graves at Kadesh Barnea?

    Where is the clear evidence of the arrival of millions of foreigners (people with unique language, technology, customs, diet, architecture, tools etc) in the Judean hills?

    And, as you believe in this earlier date, can you explain how Canaan was simultaneously a vassal state of Egypt (with Egyptian troops stationed across the country) for nearly 500 years and home to the grand United Kingdom, which you seem to be implying was in existence long, long, long before the current dating?

    • Mel Wild says:

      I’ve read some of the critiques on Rohl’s theory but I don’t have the time to prepare what you’re asking for. In a nutshell, most mainstream scholars, like Finkelstein, won’t even consider his theory. They say they’ve “moved past that.” But this dismissal only makes it appear like they won’t because he’s rocking the archeological boat, if you will. I haven’t seen an argument yet that actually disputes the evidence itself. That’s my biased opinion, of course, but I do understand a plausible argument.

      The ironic reality is, this generation of mainstream archeologists may have to retire or die off before any real honest investigation happens in the archeological community at large with respect to chronology. I hope I’m wrong.

      On embellishments, I am describing how ancient writers wrote history. They did not have historicity as we know it today. It has nothing to do with God needing to embellish anything. These writers weren’t omniscient. They wrote from their limited cultural perspective and how they experienced God. The inspirational nature is how it speaks to us.

      Got to go…

      • john zande says:

        I don’t think you’ve read anything.

        And I’m afraid it’s not as simple as you’re trying to make out here, Mel.

        I’ve been reading some incredibly detailed critiques, and it is not good for Rohl, or his muse, Mohoney.

        I won’t link these essays, your set up won’t permit it, but if you’d done any actual research Mel, you would know just how thin the ice is on which you’re trying to pull this fast one over people.

        It seems Rohl is practicing an astonishing degree of scholarly dishonesty, which explains, in part, why his work is roundly ignored.

        His dating is simply laughable, as it flatly ignores Mesopotamian chronology, which is accurate to 20 years… Not the 350 years he’s trying to shift the Egyptian chronology. We can cross-reference these due to the incredible store of the Amarna letters.

        He simply ignores this entire trove of evidence… and for good reason. It ruins his thesis.

        [EDIT- Your comment was excruciatingly long. I put the link to the article instead of your copy and paste]
        http://www.debunking-christianity.com/2016/01/patterns-of-poor-research-critique-of.html

        Seems he’s also quite dishonest.

        Are you aware, for example, he has deliberately cut and pasted text in the Ipuwer story to give the impression of something the text does not say?

        As Professor Hector Avalos (Professor of Religious Studies at Iowa State University) said of this:

        “Rohl is either engaging in blatantly dishonest scholarship or Rohl is reconstructing a sequence to his liking, but without informing the viewer/reader.

        From an academic perspective, he would be removed immediately from any department for that.

        His drawing attention to Hazor is, it seems, thoroughly deceptive. If not an outright lie.

        Rohl refers to a cuneiform tablet found at Hazor that bears a name, which he says (at apx. 1:41:33) is “identical”to the name of Jabin found in the Bible.

        This is pure fantasy.

        When I looked at the actual publication of the tablet, I saw that Rohl is misrepresenting the evidence. The tablet was published in Wayne Horowitz and Aaron Schaffer, “A Fragment of a Letter from Hazor,” Israel Exploration Journal 42 (1992): 165-67.

        Rohl’s entire claim is based on line 1 of the tablet, which reads: a-na ib-ni

        This is the standard introduction in Akkadian correspondence, and simply names the addressee (“[speak”] to Ib-ni…). Ibni is the addressee. The –Addu part that he mentions is not in the actual text, but is a speculative guess on the part of editors of the text.

        The actual name on the tablet is not Yabni or Yabni-Addu as Rohl asserts. He seems to have inserted a West Semitic ya- prefix where there is an Akkadian prefix (i-) and so makes it seem more “identical” than it actually is.

        Furthermore, nothing is said about this Ibni being the king of Hazor or the king of anything else. The addressee could be anyone, including someone not even from Hazor.

        An even bigger problem for Rohl is that Ibni and Yabîn (the transcription for Jabin I will use here to represent the first yodh or –y- consonant more consistently), may not even be a form of the same name or word at all.

        In fact, Rohl’s use of the word “identical” again shows his lack of linguistic expertise. The fact is Yabîn and Ibniare NOT identical if one defines “identical” as having the same letters in exactly the same sequence: i-b-n-iversus y-a-b-i-n (as vocalized in English).

        If Rohl means that they have identical Semitic roots, then that is something else. In that case, cautious Semitic linguists usually say that Ibni and Yabîn are cognate or equivalents, but not that they are “identical.”

        If having the same Semitic root qualifies two names as being “identical,” then Patterns should have disclosed that this is a very common root in names found hundreds of years BEFORE AND HUNDREDS OF YEARS AFTER the Conquest of Hazor. Therefore, it is useless to use it as a dating tool.

        What Rohl is doing is akin to finding a letter in Virginia from the late 1700s addressed to Jorge (the Spanish equivalent of George), and then assuming the addressee must be “identical” with any particular George (e.g., George Washington). George and Jorge are too common and widespread to use as a dating tool or as uniquely identifying any one individual in the archaeological record.

        I could go on, it’s making for fascinating reading.

        I’ll just leave Avalos’ conclusion here. [EDITED – Refer to article link above]

        • Mel Wild says:

          Okay, John. I edited your comment because it was excruciatingly long. Please keep your comments much shorter. It makes the comment section impossible to follow. You can provide a link to an article (which automatically goes into moderation), I will accept it if it’s relevant. I linked the article you were copying and pasting for you.

          As to the article itself, you are quoting Hector Avalos, who an activist atheist. Not exactly an indifferent critique! Nor is it a peer review of any kind. And neither you nor I can properly evaluate this review, so you can get off your pseudo-expert “I know better than you” high horse. And what makes Avalos any more qualified than Rohl? Actually, he’s not. Rohl is an not only an Egyptologist but his expertise is in chronology. Hector Avalos is just an activist atheist college professor with an anti-Christian agenda. And Rohl is an agnostic so he can’t be dismissed as purposely covering up things to prove the Bible.

          I do know that a lot of conclusions archeologists make depends on how things are extrapolated from the data. I will look into it further but I won’t accept the biased critique of some radical activist professor with a blog. Next, you’ll be quoting Richard Carrier, I suppose.

        • john zande says:

          Hector Avalos isprofessor of Religious Studies at Iowa State University. He has a Doctor of Philosophy in Hebrew Bible and Near Eastern Studies from Harvard University (1991), a Master of Theological Studies from Harvard Divinity School (1985), and a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology from the University of Arizona in 1982.

          And it’s not just Avalos rolling their eyes at the farce Rohl is trying to pull. There is not a single ‘scholar’ out there who supports his thesis.

          Not one.

          Mel, give it up.

          You’ve been exposed for pushing a farce.

          I know now why I’ve never heard of this Rohl. He’s a charlatan!

          I was wondering why there were no papers published by him… Well, now I know.

          He can’t get anything published, and he knows it. He hasn’t even tried.

          His interest is feeding gullible evangelicals, like yourself, exactly what they want to hear.

          $$$$$

          You’ve been taken for a ride… a ride you desperately wanted to be taken on.

          Please don’t mention Rohl again.

        • john zande says:

          And you didn’t link the article i was quoting from regarding his atrocious errors in chronology.

          His dating is simply laughable, as it flatly ignores Mesopotamian chronology, which is accurate to 20 years… Not the 350 years he’s trying to shift the Egyptian chronology. We can cross-reference these due to the incredible store of the Amarna letters.

          He simply ignores this entire trove of evidence… and for good reason. It ruins his thesis.

          This is where Rohl runs into a major problem. In order for Rohl to shift the dates forward to some 350 years, this exactly same sequence of rulers would have to exist in the hypothetical correction of dates proposed by Rohl, and that simply isn’t there.

        • Mel Wild says:

          I don’t think you’ve read anything.

          John, do you read anything thing but atheist activists and wild fringe conspiracy theories and myths from other religions?

        • john zande says:

          Name the essays you’ve read, and link to the papers, please.

      • john zande says:

        And the names of the semitic “slaves”, Mel, bear pagan gods compounds… Odd for followers of Yhwh.

        The papyrus contains a list of names of many individuals who are slaves, and Patterns claims that 70% of those names are Semitic.

        Indeed, Patterns (at apx. 12:56) seemingly equates finding Semites in Egypt with finding Israelites. There are many problems with this equation.

        First, one must understand that “Semites” refers to people that speak a Semitic language, and this is a definition that even Patterns accepts, albeit inconsistently.

        However, the vast majority of ancient people that spoke a Semitic language in either the Middle or Late Bronze Ages in the Near East were NOT Hebrews or Israelites.
        These would include all the people of Mesopotamia who spoke Akkadian (Babylonian or Assyrian), and the people that spoke some sort of West Semitic dialect. One fact not disclosed in the documentary is that we have no attestation of a distinctive Hebrew language until about the tenth century BCE.

        Therefore, in terms of statistical probabilities alone, finding Semites in Egypt means that you are far more likely to encounter non-Hebrew Semites than Israelites/Hebrews.

        A similar situation exists today. The number of people who speak Arabic, a Semitic language, is over 100 million by most estimates. Whereas the number of Jews is about 14 million worldwide. Therefore, encountering non-Hebrew Semites is the norm worldwide, and that is one reason why automatically equating Israelites or Hebrews with Semites in Egypt is already statistically misguided.

        In fact, the very pages displayed (at apx. 51:13-51:25 in Patterns) from that Brooklyn Papyrus shows that, if anything, these are NOT Israelites or Hebrews.

        Anyone who has studied Semitic and Israelite onomastics (naming practices) would see that many of those names are compounded with pagan gods, such as Anat, Ba‘al, and Rashpu (Resheph).
        However, NONE of the names have the most distinctive marker of Israelite Yahwistic names, which is the use of Yahweh, or some form thereof (e.g., Yahu, Yah, etc.).

        Rohl (Exodus, p. 135) describes the names on the Brooklyn Papyrus misleadingly as “biblical names,” when they are better described as “cognate” with biblical names or the “equivalent” of biblical names.
        Rohl’s reasoning is akin to finding the Spanish name Guillermo in a list of slaves, and inferring that it must be a specific American named William because the two names are cognate or equivalents in different languages. William can be used by Americans, Irish, Scottish, Australians and other Anglo-phonic speakers.

        I would suggest that in the future, Mel, you do a little research into the “experts” you’re trotting out, and the claims they’re making.

        That is, of course, if you’re interested in presenting truth.

        If deception is all you’re interested in, the you hit Pay Dirt with Rohl.

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