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December 18, 2008


Before I started listening to the STR podcasts things like this used to drive me nuts. I would always wonder how people could just make statements like this when there was so much evidence to the contrary.

Now I realize it's because they are, as Greg says, building a house with no walls, by just asserting things without proof or argument.

Knowing that, I now have a better place to start a counter-conversation than "that's SO not true!"

National Geographic is a joke! They've been running serious TV programs based on "the Da Vinci Code" and other ridiculous non-biblical materials. (It was kind of cool, though, when the Sci-Fi channel, of all channels, ran a biblically-based program debunking "the Da Vinci Code" a couple years ago.)

I can understand your irritation, Melinda, but on the other hand I can see where they are coming from. See, normally when you are looking at a book that contains so much fanciful information that generally would not be believed under ordinary circumstances (resurrections, miracles, etc), you regard that text as less reliable. Josephus perhaps has some of that stuff, but on the other hand he's also proved to be quite reliable, and his texts contain far less of the fanciful than the gospels. We also know that he records Herod's crimes in meticulous detail and omits the crime mentioned in Matthew. Whereas this story from Matthew fits the pattern of the mythic hero archetype (the attempt to kill the hero as a child).

It seems to me that to say we ought to just start by taking Matthew at his word is just special pleading. Is this what we do with other texts about mythic miracle working heroes as they follow mythical patterns? I'm not saying Matthew is false. I'm saying that it is understandable that a person would start by assuming it is false.

But then, what's the big deal? It's only inerrancy we're talking about right? Why get so worked up about this? Apologists like to tell me that inerrancy doesn't affect the resurrection. I think it does though, and that's why I think things like this draw the ire of the apologist.

>> And Matthew, a Jew and native of the country, surely would have been aware of such a bloody act. The heinous killing of so many children in a small country would have been widely known.

Wouldn't this also apply to Josephus? I wonder why he didn't mention it.

- Jim

Let's quit talking. Will someone call up National Geographic Magazine, find the responsible party for the article, and then put them on the spot and ask them up front "Do you believe the Bible is subjective mythology and superstition?" and then the all important second question "why? what valid reasons?"

And then ask them if they are willing to go public with their reasons?

"Religion is myth and feeling; science is fact and knowledge. There's no argument beyond that assumption."

You can't reasonably demand that the authors provide arguments for every claim that they make. Some claims are simply common knowledge. That science has more credibility than religion is one of these claims. Since most of their readership have presumably come to terms with this fact, space can be used to explore more interesting ideas. Don't let this spoil your holidays. Besides, National Geographic still has some pretty cool photos.

Good thing christianity's not a religion!

There is no corroboration of the explicit incident of the murder of the innocents as recorded in Matthew's account. There is corroboration that Herod was the type of tyrant that could do such a thing.

The reason I believe the account is not that it is has the kind of corroboration that could be scientifically accepted as history, but that I know God by means of the One the story tells us about.

And that there is no evidence that the account, (though not so corroborated,) is not true.

The real reason for believing the account is the miracle of the gospel and that God is knowable to those who come to believe its joyous news:

That our Christ was born a man, and lived a sinless life and died as our substitute to meet the requirment of a holy God's justice, and rose from the dead to justify our faith in Him, so we who do not deserve mercy, might obtain God's mercy as a gift.

And the true religion of Christianity comes as a result being that, "Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world." - James 1:27.

God saved his own child, and let the others to be killed by a tyrant.

A lesson for us all there.

Look after your own, and who cares what happens to other people

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