Many people believe the Israelites were enslaved in Egypt for 400 years based on what is written in Genesis 15:13 or 430 years based on what it says in Exodus 12:40. However, the Israelites couldn’t have been enslaved in Egypt for 400 or 430 years. The issue is that these numbers conflict with the math in the story and in actuality they couldn’t have been in Egypt for more than 350 years maximum.Continue reading
Category Archives: Textual Criticism
Answering criticism of the biblical text by skeptics.
The Bible on Scientific Nomenclature
If the Bible is the truth how come we don’t see scientific distinctions in nature with the naming of creatures and objects? For example, some people question how can there have been no death before the fall if God allowed humans and animals to eat plants, aren’t plants alive? The first audience of the bible didn’t have the knowledge and understanding we have today so the text needed to be simple enough for it to be understood through time at different levels of human knowledge as well as across cultures no matter the level of education. Jesus’ parables are primarily about agriculture because no matter how much humans progress scientifically, we all still eat from the same process of sowing and reaping.Continue reading
Chronology in the Bible
Not everything in the bible is written with chronology in mind. Imagine reading a story or even watching a movie, and the story has 3 separate events taking place in 3 different locations at the same time. When the author presents the story, they can’t tell what is happening in all 3 locations at the same time, because writing is a linear action that happens letter by letter on a page, page by page in a book. Normally a writer will write about one event and then use a transition word like “meanwhile” and cut to another location for another event. The writing would be a mess if they were trying to write about 3 faraway events happening at the same time because they would have constantly interjected to explain which even they are talking about.Continue reading
David and Bathsheba
Some people say Bathsheba in 2 Samuel 11 was a promiscuous woman seducing David, and she trapped him in adultery. Upon further examination, it seems clear to me that he assaulted her. David was the king and so Bathsheba really didn’t have much choice but to submit to him, and she probably couldn’t refuse his advances because he could kill her. He did kill her husband to cover the affair, so we know he is capable of this, therefore, in reality, he is the only one guilty here.Continue reading
Is the Torah Still Valid?
The Torah says some things that clash with modern culture, especially on the issue of moral laws in regard to sex practices, however, Jesus believed in the Torah and even said belief in the Torah was necessary to receive his teachings. When people push it off as man-made writing, it’s because they don’t want to be accountable for it, but Jesus believed it was God’s word. According to Moses and Jesus, the Torah is God’s instructions written down. God told Moses what to write and the Israelites were expected to live by it. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 says that all scripture is “God-breathed”, which means God inspires people to write about him. It was the spiritual inspiration that moved Moses, the prophets, and the apostles to write about what God was doing for Israel and with Jesus.Continue reading
Sins of the Parents and their Children
Does God punish children for the sins of their parents? What about punishing parents for their children’s sins? There seems to be conflicting scripture on this but I believe there is a simple explanation.Continue reading
Is Jesus Insulting the Phoenician Woman?
In Jesus’ conversation with the Phoenician woman in Matthew 15:21-28, and Mark 7:24-30, she asked him to exorcise the demon from her daughter and he says that the children’s (Israel’s) bread should not go to the dogs (Gentiles). Critics see this as Jesus insulting the woman’s daughter by calling her a dog. It’s true that calling someone a “dog” was a common insult in the Ancient Near East and dogs are even considered unclean in some cultures. The linguistic and the larger literary context of Jesus’s meeting with the Syro-Phoenician women in Matthew 15 and Mark 7 shows that this is not actually the case here. The greek text uses the word κυνάριον (kunarion) which is a little dog or pet dog. Some parts of the bible reference a wild dog or κύων (kuón) in the greek, which is used as an insult when not referring to a literal dog. Since he uses the former, he is calling her daughter a pet puppy (a beloved member of the family), in comparison to the children of Israel. She knows this and still believes he will help her and he does.Continue reading
Israelite Conquest: Genocide or Judgment
Many ask the question did God really command the Israelites to kill the children of Canaan? The simple answer is yes, the Israelites were told to destroy the culture of Canaan entirely. Notice they weren’t told to destroy literally all Canaanites since they clearly spared Rahab the prostitute and her family because she submitted to the God of Israel. Besides Rahab, the Gibeonites gave themselves to Israel as slaves in Joshua 9, so they were spared. Lastly, Joshua and Caleb led the charge against Canaan after Moses died. Ever notice, that Caleb’s father was a Kenizzite (Num 32:12, Joshua 14:14), which means he is a Canaanite (Gen 15:18-21), yet God used him to fight for Israel against the Canaanites. This shows that not all Canaanites were destroyed, which means God isn’t “racist” as some may say. Everyone has a choice between repentance and pride, and only a few were repentant. The Israelite’s goal was to get rid of the Canaanite’s sinful culture which was manipulated by spiritual darkness, not absolute genocide but a cleansing of the sin from the land.Continue reading
Dragons in the Bible?
Some bible skeptics critique the bible’s historicity because dinosaurs are not mentioned. The word Dinosaur is an English word invented in the 1800s so it wouldn’t be in the KJV which was written in 1611. In addition, it means terrible (deinos) lizard (sauros) in greek, and one ancient equivalent of this would be dragons. Dinosaur fossils have been referred to as ”dragon bones” by the ancient Chinese and various other cultures around the world. Likewise, Europeans linked them to being ancient creatures from the bible like the Behemoth (Job 40:15) or the Leviathan (Job 41:31). Critics have a problem with the idea that dragons are the dinosaurs of the bible and are there as dragons because they are so mythologized by various world cultures. In the west, dragons are usually depicted as having big bellies and wings, and they breathe fire, while they are more serpentine in East Asia (Shenlong) and Mesoamerica (Quetzalcoatl). On the topic of dinosaurs being related to dragons, I had a thought about the “fire breathing” aspect of dragons. I have three theories of what many myths and legends about dragons (particularly in the west) mean when they refer to “breathing fire” as a trait of dragons. I think the first one is the truth, but maybe the other two are possible.Continue reading
Did God Almost Break His Promise
Some people object to God’s anger at the Israelites in Exodus 32 and Numbers 14 because he threatened to kill them off and start over, which would violate his promise to Jacob that all of his children will inherit the promised land of Canaan because they are from Abraham’s seed (1 Chr 16:14-18, Gen 35:12, Gen 48:21-22, Gen 50:22-26), and thus making God a covenant breaker and untrustworthy.Continue reading