Criticism of Messianic Prophecy

COPYRIGHT WARNING

Criticism is often put forth regarding whether certain scriptures from the Hebrew scriptures, are in fact prophetic. From the vantage point of the Jew who does not believe that Jesus is the Messiah, none of the events of Jesus life, death, and resurrection are held as fulfillments of the ancient prophets.

The atheist and agnostic refuse to believe that anything in the Bible is credible; particularly the application of scriptures which assert that Jesus is the object of these verses.

What we find, is that those who are predisposed to a non belief in God, or doubt the validity of scripture as God’s word, are less likely to believe that the Prophecies of the Messiah are genuine.

If for example, a person does not believe that the first amendment of the Constitution of the United States, was written to protect religion from government—but instead to protect government from religion, the interpretation of these words will be received according to the forethoughts of those who read this text. In fact, the framers of the Constitution intended that the new government of the United States, would not impede the free exercise of religion for its citizens, as the government of England had formerly instituted.

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”

In this regard, the interpretation of text is always understood by the inclinations of those who read them.

For the untrained, the correct interpretation of Messianic Prophecy is often unfathomable. Just as a non mathematician would find a correct understanding of Einstein’s calculations difficult to comprehend, those who have no education in Biblical interpretation, will find scriptures related to the Messiah extremely arduous.

The accuracy of the Bible by scholars

Robert D. Wilson, Ph.D., February 4, 1856–October 11, 1930, was an American linguist and Biblical Scholar who was fluent in 45 ancient languages and dialects and had memorized the entire Old Testament in Hebrew. Dr. Wilson was able to recite, from memory, every word of the Hebrew scriptures without missing a syllable.[1]

Dr. Wilson demonstrated that the secular accounts of 29 ancient kings from 10 different nations were inaccurate. At the same time, He also firmly established that the names of these kings, as they are recorded in the Old Testament scriptures, matched the artifacts of Archeology empirically.[2]

Today, those who have criticized the Bible for being inaccurate have eaten their own words. The secular record has been proven inaccurate by discoveries of modern archeology, while the Biblical descriptions of archeological artifacts have been proven true.[3]

Previous claims that certain references in the Bible, such as the depiction of King David, Pontius Pilate, and the ancient Hittites—once claimed by critics of the Old Testament as myths, have been proven by archeological discoveries to be absolutely accurate.

Professor Wilson wrote:

“I have come to the conviction that no man knows enough to attack the veracity of the Old Testament. Every time when anyone has been able to get together enough documentary ‘proofs’ to undertake an investigation, the biblical facts in the original text have victoriously met the test“[4]

Today, no credible scholar disputes the accuracy of Biblical accounts of ancient cities, cultures, or people. They are beyond dispute and without impeachment.

Nelson Glueck is considered one of the world’s greatest Archeologists. His work in the discovery of over 1,500 ancient sites led him to the firm conclusion that every reference in the Old Testament scriptures which refers to an ancient city, civilization, or people were entirely accurate in every regard.

In the words of Dr. Nelson Glueck:

“It may be stated categorically that no archeological discovery has ever controverted a single biblical reference. Scores of archeological findings have been made which confirm in clear outline or in exact detail historical statements in the Bible.”[5]

The evidence presented to us by the archeological record of ancient history demands a conclusion that the Bible is perfect in all its descriptions of the historical events it reports. Dr. Wilson describes the record of Biblical precision, which accurately describes names, cities, and events of history, as a marvel unequalled by any other literature of antiquity.

That the Hebrew writers should have transliterated these names with such accuracy and conformity to philological principles is a wonderful proof of their thorough care and scholarship and of their access to the original sources. That the names should have been transmitted to us through so many copyings and so many centuries in so complete a state of preservation is a phenomenon unequaled in the history of literature.“[6]

Those who purport to be “experts” or scholarly authorities on the inaccuracies allegedly found in the Bible should go back to school and learn the important study of Paleography and the ancient languages in which the Bible was written.[7]

“Before a man has the right to speak about the history, the language, and the paleography of the Old Testament, the Christian church has the right to demand that such a man should establish his ability to do so.” —R.D. Wilson

In regards to the New Testament and the facts that it reports to us in its narrative: Sir William Ramsey, world famous historian and renowned archeologist, describes the statements of the New Testament regarding the geographical and historical references it makes, as existing without a single error.

I began with a mind unfavorable to (the accuracy of the New Testament) but more recently I found myself brought into contact with the Book of Acts as an authority for the topography, antiquities, and society of Asia Minor. It was gradually borne upon me that in various details the narrative showed marvelous truth.”[8]

Dr. Ramsey believed, at the onset, that the accounts which are described in the Gospel of Luke and the Book of Acts were inaccurate. Over 100 years ago, he undertook an expedition to Asia to try and refute the New Testament, only to become so overwhelmed by the evidence that he became a follower of Jesus Christ.

“Luke is a historian of the first rank; not merely are his statements of fact trustworthy…this author should be placed along with the very greatest historians.”[9]

Archeological accuracy points to literary accuracy

Since Luke’s description of cities, names, places, and customs are perfect in their historical accuracy, it is certain that the accounts of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection are also accurate and reliable.

The fact that Luke has been confirmed as a scholarly historian of specific details regarding the history of the first century, it is certain that he also recorded for us, with the same precision, the specific events which transpired concerning the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Luke’s integrity as a historical scholar demands that we accept, with confidence, his testimony of Jesus’ resurrection, which is the foundation of the entire Christian church.

One of the criticism’s of Luke’s account of Jesus’ life is found in his description of the census that he says was ordered by Caesar Agustus.

Luke 2:1-3 And it came to pass in those days that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. 2 This census first took place while Quirinius was governing Syria. 3 So all went to be registered, everyone to his own city.

Because no archeological discovery had ever previously verified that such a census took place, Luke was regarded in past history as having embellished this story. A later discovery regarding the taxes of the kingdom of the Roman government revealed that the tax payers were enrolled every 14 years by the use of a census. Archeology has uncovered facts which verify that Caesar Agustus did conduct the precise census described, during the period of time Luke specified—near the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem.[10]

Further, an inscription discovered in Antioch describes Quirinius in 7 B.C., who was the governor of Syria, on two occasions—7 B.C. and 6 A.D.—a fact that is confirmed by the Jewish historian Josephus.[11]

An archeological discovery in Egypt, uncovered a Papyrus which specifically describes the details of this census spoken of by Luke, under Caesar Agustus:

“Because of the approaching census it is necessary that all those residing for any cause away from their homes should at once prepare to return to their own governments in order that they may complete the family registration of the enrollment and that the tilled lands may retain those belonging to them.”[12]

In his book, Archeological Confirmation of the New Testament,” Dr. F. F. Bruce describes a problem that was present in Luke’s description of the Tetrarch of Abilene in Luke 3:1.

Luke 3:1 Now in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, Pontius Pilate being governor of Judea, Herod being tetrarch of Galilee, his brother Philip tetrarch of Iturea and the region of Trachonitis, and Lysanias tetrarch of Abilene...

Previously, there was no record of anyone called “Lysanius” as the tetrarch of Abilene during the time that Luke specified that he was there. In recent history, an archeological discovery made in Damascus, Syria, describes a person called “Freedman of Lysanias the Tetrarch.” Scholars date this inscription at between 14 A.D and 29 A.D.[13] This is the same period of time in which Luke had written of Lysanias.

An interesting discovery in 1910, by Sir William Ramsey, debunked the secular record of Cicero of the Romans who described Iconium as being in Lycaonia. Luke describes Lystra and Derbe as being in Lycaonia.

Acts 14:6 they became aware of it and fled to Lystra and Derbe, cities of Lycaonia, and to the surrounding region.

The secular record has been erroneously held as more reliable and accurate than the Biblical record in past history. This continues to be a common error that is made today. The facts bearing witness—the Bible is always right in matters of history and the secular record is consistently wrong. This truth has been confirmed by archeological discoveries over the entire course of human history—all over the world.

Other noted scholars such as Dr. Adrian Nicholas Sherwin-White, a British historian and scholar—regarding Ancient Rome, wrote his doctoral thesis on the treatment of the New Testament from the point of view of Roman law and society.

Dr. Sherwin-White said this regarding the work of Dr. Ramsey’s conclusions on the book of Acts:

“Any attempt to reject its (the New Testament’s) basic historicity even in matters of detail must now appear absurd. Roman historians have long taken it for granted.”[14]

Dr. Sherwin-White examined the records of Rome and concluded that their own history proved the narrative of the New Testament scriptures regarding the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.[15]

When criticism is offered by those who are untrained, regarding the prophetic scriptures of the Messiah, we must disregard their censure. Unless of course, we are simply seeking validation of our own unwillingness to accept the assertions of facts. The intellectually honest will always seek the truth in any matter, when the facts of any important subject is unknown. The mind that is genuinely searching for truth, will consider evidence by those who are qualified to make their conclusions. When we examine the commentary of those who are genuinely qualified to deduce the validity of Messianic scriptures and their fulfillment, we obtain accurate information. When we accept the conclusions of the adversary who has no credentials to make factual conclusions, we make ourselves fools. Take for example, the following text from the atheist web site: “infidels.”

“Every case of alleged fulfillment of messianic prophecy suffers from one of the following failings: (1) the alleged Old Testament prophecy is not a messianic prophecy or not a prophecy at all, (2) the prophecy has not been fulfilled by Jesus, or (3) the prophecy is so vague as to be unconvincing in its application to Jesus.”[16]

In reality, when the trained examine the assertion of the author of this web site, it quickly becomes evident that all of his conclusions are conjecture and erroneous. This is due to the education of the author which includes no training whatsoever in Biblical interpretation, nor the history of Jewish scripture.

Number one in the above statement, describes all Biblical prophecy as non Messianic, in direct conflict with the world’s best Hebrew Scholars. The men who are proficient in Jewish Biblical text may not regard Jesus as the object of Messianic Prophecy, but they absolutely endorse the certainty that hundreds of text in the Hebrew Scriptures are applicable to the coming Messiah. The author of the above comment, Jim Lippard, is not qualified to make the conclusions that he has offered. The reader should be aware that these statements are made from the position of someone who regards all of the text of the Hebrew and Greek Scriptures as non inspired by God and simply the comments of men. An atheist can never be a valid expert in matters regarding Jewish or Christian ancient texts.

The second assertion by Mr. Lippard, that these prophecies are “so vague” that they are unconvincing, is also untrue. In fact, when any diligent person examines the Prophecies of the Messiah, they immediately discover how graphic and specific these prophecies are. Over 30 years ago when I first began to examine the Messianic Prophecies of the Bible, I was struck by how clear and precise these prophecies actually are. My first thoughts were that no person from history could have ever fulfilled any of these detailed predictions. When I examined the text of the New Testament and discovered that honest men had written their accounts of Jesus life, death, and resurrection, I realized that Jesus of Nazareth must be the only candidate for Messiah.

In one of the specific and detailed Prophecies of the Messiah, David writes that the coming Messiah will not have a single bone broken during His execution for the sins of the world.

In the following prophecy, the first question the untrained might ask is: “What does the Passover Lamb have to do with Jesus and the fact that none of His bones were broken.” This is an excellent question, and one that highlights the need to understand the Bible and have a good working knowledge of the scriptures, before we can understand a particular prophecy.

It is well understood that Jesus was claiming to be “The Lamb which takes away the sins of the world.” When Jesus appeared at the Jordan river at the beginning of His ministry, John the Baptist proclaimed that Jesus is the Lamb that God had typified in the Passover Lamb of Israel.

“The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” —John 1:29

As we examine the qualifications of the Passover Lamb, and the entire procedure of Passover, we are struck by how detailed God was in ordering this remembrance of Israel’s deliverance from the bondage of Pharaoh. There were several requirements for a candidate as the Passover lamb. As we compare these requirements with the attributes of Jesus, we find that His life and manner of living were perfectly aligned with those of the Passover lamb. Clearly, when God was instructing Moses on the type of Lamb, and the manner in which he should be offered, He was thinking about His Son who would come into the world and become The Lamb who takes away the sins of the world.

Imagine a prophecy that has a component which is so impossible to fulfill, that should it actually happen, it would be unmistakable evidence that the one who satisfied the requirements of that prophecy, must be the Messiah.

Despite the normal procedure for a crucifixion in which the legs of a man would be broken to hasten his death, Jesus’ legs are not broken during His crucifixion. How could someone engineer his own death by crucifixion, yet none of his bones would be broken, as was common during crucifixions of that day?

Of course, it would be impossible to set up in advance, the events that would happen during the final hours of a person’s life. No sane person would purposely engineer a grotesque and vicious death by crucifixion for himself. If Jesus wanted to deceive the world into believing that He was the Messiah, would He go so far as to ensure that He would be killed by such a horrific event? Under normal circumstances, only a deranged person would do such a thing.

The question then arises: Do insane people say and do the kinds of things that Jesus said and did during the three and one-half years of His public ministry? Jesus healed the sick, raised the dead, and forgave the sins of those who came to Him in repentance. He told everyone in advance that the purpose of His life was to die for the sins of the world. He had no home, possessions, or desire for wealth or power. All of His life was dedicated to loving people and bringing them into a relationship with God.

Since it is apparent that Jesus is not insane and He is no liar, the only option that remains is that He knew what He was doing. Jesus allowed Himself to be put to death because He was following a pre-determined plan—to fulfill the Old Testament prophecies of the coming Messiah.

The Prophecies of the Messiah: Prophecy 96

Not one of the Messiah’s bones will be broken.”

Old Testament Prediction:

Psalms 34:20 “He guards all his bones; Not one of them is broken.

New Testament Fulfillment:

John 19:31-33 “Therefore, because it was the Preparation Day, that the bodies should not remain on the cross on the Sabbath (for that Sabbath was a high day), the Jews asked Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away. Then the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first and of the other who was crucified with Him. But when they came to Jesus and saw that He was already dead, they did not break His legs.”

Application:

The first place where the Bible mentions the Messiah’s bones will not be broken is: Prophecy 24, in describing the Passover Lamb.

The Feast of Passover

According to Exodus 12:3, the Lamb was to be examined on the 10th day of the Hebrew month of Nisan, or April 6 by our current calendar. This was the day that Jesus rode into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, 32 A.D. This event was the fulfillment of Daniel’s prophecy that the Messiah would arrive in Jerusalem 173,880 days from the decree of Artaxerxes, to restore and rebuild Jerusalem. For further details concerning this important prophecy, see Prophecy 309, Prophecies 304-312, and the chapter: The Seven Feasts of Israel.

According to the Book of Exodus:

The Passover Lamb must be a Male (Exodus 12:5). Of curse, we know that Jesus was a male. • He must be Spotless or Perfect. (Exodus 12:5). Jesus is perfect and without sin: “For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin” (Hebrews 4:15). • He must be killed at twilight (Exodus 12:6). This was early evening, the time when Jesus was crucified. “And About the ninth hour (3 p.m.) Jesus cried out with a loud voice ‘Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?’ ” (Matthew 27:46) • The whole assembly of the congregation shall kill it (Exodus 12:6). The Jews, who were gathered before Pilate, declared that Jesus’ blood would be upon them: Let His Blood be upon us and our children (Matthew 27:25). • The Blood shall be for a sign (Exodus 12:13). “…the blood of Jesus Christ, His Son, cleanses us from all sin” (1 John 1:7). • Not one of His bones shall be broken (Exodus 12:43, 46). When the soldiers came to Jesus, they found that He had already died. They did not break His shin bones to hasten death.

How Jesus and the Passover Lamb are one and the same:

Exodus 12:13: “When I see the Blood, I will Pass Over you.Romans 3:25: “…by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed.

Exodus 12:13: “The plague shall not be on you to destroy you.” Romans 8:1: “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus.

Exodus 12:14: “This day shall be to you a memorial.Luke 22:19: “…And He took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, ‘This is My body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me.’ ”

Jesus fulfilled the feast of Passover, by becoming the perfect Passover Lamb, on the precise day the feast was observed, at the right time of the day.

A significant purpose of The Messiah’s was to fulfill the prophetic allusions that Exodus 12 describes. One of the requirements of the Passover feast was that—not one of the bones of the lamb would be broken.

Exodus 12:43,46 And the LORD said to Moses and Aaron, “This is the ordinance of the Passover…, nor shall you break one of its bones.”

Jesus was placed on the cross on the precise day that Passover was observed.

According to Jewish tradition, the body of someone who was crucified could not be left on the cross past the start of the Sabbath, beginning at 6 p.m.[17] Since Jesus was placed on the Cross at the third hour which would be at 9 a.m. on the day before the start of the Sabbath, the Jews wanted to make certain that He did not remain on the Cross by the start of the Sabbath at 6 p.m. Often, those who were crucified would live for days on the cross before they expired.[18] To ensure that Jesus and the two men who were also being crucified were dead before the start of the Sabbath, Roman soldiers were dispatched to break the shin bones of all three men.

If a man were going to set himself up to be identified as the promised Messiah, who would fulfill the prophecy of the Passover Lamb, how could he make sure that during his crucifixion, not one of His bones would be broken?

When Jesus was brought to the Cross to be put to death, it was on the evening of Passover. According to Jewish tradition, the body of someone who was crucified could not be left on the cross past the start of the Sabbath, which began at 6 pm. Since Jesus was placed on the Cross at the 6th hour, which would be at 12 noon, by our time, the Jews in Israel wanted to ensure that He did not remain on the Cross at the start of the Sabbath. Often, those who were crucified would live for days while hanging on the cross before they expired.

The act of breaking the bones in this portion of the lower leg would prevent the crucified from being able to breathe.

As these men were suspended on the cross with their arms outstretched on either side, the lungs were compressed and greatly impeded, making the mechanics of breathing nearly impossible. In order to draw a breath of air, great effort was required to push down with the nail-pierced feet of the crucified, onto the pedestal that he was standing on. The final strike on the body that ultimately caused the death of a crucified man was asphyxiation. After many hours or often days hanging on the cross, a man became too fatigued to stand up on the base of his cross any longer. Not being able to draw a breath, he would expire quickly.[19]

If the bones of the crucified were broken at the middle of the lower leg, it would be impossible to thrust the body upwards and draw a breath. Instead of death by crucifixion taking days, it could occur within minutes. When the Roman guards came to break the legs of the three men who were being crucified on that particular day, they found that Jesus had already expired, and there was no need to break His legs.[20]

We should remember that in most cases, the legs of the condemned on the cross were not broken. In many of the terrible crucifixions that were carried out by the Romans, the condemned were left on the cross until their flesh decayed from off their bones.[21] Only during times of necessity, such as when there was an impending Sabbath, were the legs of the condemned broken. This was only done to promote an expeditious death, allowing their dead bodies to be removed from the cross before the Sabbath began.

The fact that Psalms 34:20 predicted the Messiah would have none of His bones broken (as He fulfills the type of Passover Lamb) implies that the author of this prophecy knew that during the time Jesus was being crucified, Roman soldiers would come to break His legs to hasten His death. Jesus was aware of this prophecy and the fact that at a specific moment the soldiers would arrive. To prevent this prophecy from failing, Jesus dismissed His Spirit and died before the soldiers came to break His legs.

John 19:30 So when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” And bowing His head, He dismissed His spirit. (RCR)

This 96th prophecy is truly an incredible prediction if we would give proper consideration for what has been written.

Someone had seen the events which would transpire at Jesus’ crucifixion before they took place and communicated this information to David, who recorded this prophecy in Psalms 34:20. It is certain that the author who revealed these facts to David was the Son of God, who is called the Logos or the Word of God, known to us in the New Testament as Jesus of Nazareth.

Jesus saw this event in advance, spoke these facts to David, came to earth as the Messiah, and ensured that He died before the soldiers came to break His legs; thereby fulfilling His own word.

This is the stunning reality of Old Testament prophecy:

God, who has seen all of the events of human history—before they take place, communicated the details of the Messiah’s death for the sins of the world—to faithful men who recorded these words for us in the scriptures. When Jesus came to Jerusalem as the fulfillment of all these prophecies, again faithful men recorded the events of Jesus’ life, death and resurrection. These New Testament facts are a fulfillment of everything which was predicted concerning the Messiah. These prophecies were written from hundreds to thousands of years before Jesus fulfilled them in the narrative of the New Testament scriptures.

If we can accept that the universe could not exist, with all of its complexity and impossible beginning, apart from the actions of an intelligent agent, then accepting the certainty that this Being would want to communicate with us, should be logical and reasonable. Since it is by words that we communicate with each other, it is natural that God would chose to communicate with us in the same manner. The fact that He has communicated who He is, and what His plans are for us, in the words of the Bible, is evidence of His existence. The manner in which God has chosen to validate the Bible as an authentic article of His expression, is through the use of prophecy.

A being that is transcendent of time, has the ability to see all the events of linear time. He would not need to predict the future, He has already seen all the events of the future. For God, dwelling in the realm of eternity, all things which exist for us by the unfolding of time, have already taken place. God is not predicting the future, He is reporting what has already happened in eternity.

It is by predictive and fulfilled prophecy that a person may validate the Bible as the word of God. No other set religious or secular documents, have the capacity to predict and show the fulfillment of what the author has spoken, like the Bible. In all other predictive documents of antiquity, these authors were often in error regarding the predictions that were made. In matters of the Hebrew and Greek Scriptures, not one word spoken—prophetically, has ever failed. God told us ahead of time, that when we discover this fact about the Bible, we will know that He is the author of these words.

As Joshua was bringing the children of Israel through the desert with Moses, He had a chance to reflect back upon the many predictions that God had made, and declare to the people: “Not one word has failed.”

“Behold, this day I am going the way of all the earth. And you know in all your hearts and in all your souls that not one thing has failed of all the good things which the LORD your God spoke concerning you. All have come to pass for you; not one word of them has failed.” —Joshua 23:14

These are matters that are difficult for the first time viewer to understand. The first few months that I began to read the Bible, I also did not understand these principles. Later, I learned that God has specifically hidden the meaning of the scriptures from those whose hearts are not sincerely seeking Him. A person may possess a Ph.D in a certain field of knowledge, but be completely unable to understand the words that God has given. God determined that no person can really understand Him, nor the words that He has spoken, until that person comes into a personal relationship with Him. The “natural man,” those who are born by a natural human birth, are not able to understand the things of God. It is only those who experience a second birth, by the spirit, and enter into this relationship with God, who can understand what God has said.

When the man clothed in linen spoke to Daniel regarding the prophecies that he had been given of the last days, he told Daniel:

Daniel 12:10 …none of the wicked shall understand, but the wise shall understand.

Those who have not come into a relationship with God by the sacrifice of the Messiah, will not be able to comprehend the truth of these prophecies. They will seem foolish and make no sense at all. The Bible describes the natural man, the person who has yet to be Born Again by the Spirit of God, as unable to receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to Him.

1 Corinthians 2:14 But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

The person who has come into a new relationship with God, through Jesus Christ, is able to understand the things of the Spirit of God. This person will be looking for the seemingly insignificant parts of the word of God to discover what the Lord might reveal. The intellectual, who does not have the Spirit of the Living God residing within them, cannot understand any of these things because they are spiritually discerned. I am not surprised that highly intelligent men and woman think that Jesus, the Bible, and Prophecy are foolishness. This is what the Lord said would happen when those who think themselves wise, are confronted with spiritual truth—they will not understand it.

1 Corinthians 1:21 For since, in the wisdom of God, the world through wisdom did not know God, it pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe.

The New Testament describes three terms which define all human beings:

1. Natural – Gr. “Psuchikos” meaning senses, or sensual. This is a person who is naturally born into the world and is guided primarily by their feelings. (James 3:15 and Jude 19) 2. Carnal – Gr. “Sarkikos” meaning fleshly. This person is “born again” by the Spirit of God but lives and walks to please their flesh. They are described as “Babes in Christ” who have not yet grown into spiritual maturity. (Romans 8:4 1 Corinthians 3:1-4) 3. Spiritual – Gr. “Pneumatikos” meaning spirit led. This is the person who has been “born again” by the Spirit of God and is directed by and controlled by the Spirit. (Ephesians 5:18-20)

The natural man may be highly educated, possesses great ability and be endowed with considerable knowledge. He may be personable, well spoken, and possess the ability to captivate those who listen to his lectures, read his books, or see his programs by visual media. Though wise, the natural man is not able to discern spiritual principles—they are foreign to him. The meaning of scripture is hidden from those who have not yet been born again, as well as the carnal Christian, who can only understand the most basic and simple of Biblical truths.

1 Corinthians 2:14 But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

This is the reason that men such as Jim Lippard, Bob Sidensticker, Lawrence Krauss, Bill Maher, and Richard Dawkins, cannot understand the things of God. By their continual denial of God and unwillingness to acknowledge the vast empirical evidence for His existence, they have become foolish, with hearts that are darkened and unable to perceive the light of truth.

The Atheists Impossible Argument: “The Bible is a Fabrication”
The Errors of Atheists, Regarding the Correct Meaning of Hebrew Prophecies
365 Messianic Prophecies that were fulfilled by Jesus Christ
How Messianic Prophecy is Determined
The Prophecies of the Messiah, a 3,000 page treatise
Josephus as a Credible Witness
Tacitus as a Credible Witness


NOTES: [1] 1.This includes all the Biblical and cognate languages, i.e., Hebrew, Aramaic, the Sumerian/Babylonian dialects, Phoenician, Assyrian, Ethiopic, the various Egyptian and Persian dialects. 2.Nelson Glueck: Biblical Archaeologist and President of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, Jonathan M. Brown, Laurence Kutler, Hebrew Union College Press, 2006
[2] “A Scientific Investigation of the Old Testament,” by R. D. Wilson, “Is Higher Criticism Scholarly,” and “Which Bible,” by David Otis Fuller, who studied under Dr. Wilson at Princeton Theological Seminary.
[3] An interesting discovery in 1910 by Sir William Ramsey, debunked the secular record of Cicero of the Romans who described Iconium as being in Lycaonia. Luke describes Lystra and Derbe as being in Lycaonia. Acts 14:6 they became aware of it and fled to Lystra and Derbe, cities of Lycaonia, and to the surrounding region.
[4] Quoted in R. Pache, The Inspiration and Authority of Scripture
[5] Nelson Glueck, Rivers in the Desert, 1960, pageg 31
[6] “A Scientific Investigation of the Old Testament,” by R. D. Wilson
[7] Paleography is the study of ancient writing systems and the deciphering and dating of historical manuscripts
[8] William M. Ramsay, St. Paul the Traveler and the Roman Citizen, 1982, page 8
[9] William M. Ramsay, The Bearing of Recent Discovery on the Trustworthiness of the New Testament, 1915, page 222
[10] 1.John Elder, “Prophets, Idols and Diggers.” Indianapolis, New York: Bobbs-Merrill,1960. Pages 159, 160 2.Joseph Free,. “Archaeology and Bible History.” Wheaton: Scripture Press Publications, 1969, Page 285
[11] Elder, John. Prophets, Idols and Diggers. Indianapolis, New York: Bobbs-Merrill,1960, Page 160
[12] 1.Elder, John. Prophets, Idols and Diggers. Indianapolis, New York: Bobbs-Merrill,1960, Pages 159, 160 2.Free, Joseph. Archaeology and Bible History. Wheaton: Scripture Press Publications, 1969, page 285
[13] F. F. Bruce, “Archaeological Confirmation of the New Testament.” Revelation and the Bible. Edited by Carl Henry. Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1969. Page 321
[14] Adrian Nicholas Sherwin-White, Roman Society and Roman Law in the New Testament, 1963, page 189
[15] Tacitus’ characterization of “Christian abominations” may have been based on the rumors in Rome that during the Eucharist rituals Christians ate the body and drank the blood of their God, interpreting the symbolic ritual as cannibalism by Christians. References: Ancient Rome by William E. Dunstan 2010 ISBN 0-7425-6833-4 page 293 and An introduction to the New Testament and the origins of Christianity by Delbert Royce Burkett 2002 ISBN 0-521-00720-8 page 485
[16] Jim Lippard,http://infidels.org/library/modern/jim_lippard/fabulous-prophecies.html
[17] Deuteronomy 21:22-23
[18] M. Hengel, Crucifixion [London: SCM, 1977]; J. A. Fitzmyer, “Crucifixion in Ancient Palestine, Qumran Literature and the New Testament,” CBQ 40 [1978]: 493- 513.
[19] 1. Lumpkin R: The Physical Suffering of Christ. J Med Assoc Ala 1978;47:8-10, 47. 2. Johnson CD: Medical and cardiological aspects of the passion and crucifixion of Jesus, the Christ. Bol Assoc Med PR1978;70:97-102. 3. Barb AA: The wound in Christ’s side. J Warbury Courtauld Inst 1971;34:320-321. 4. Bucklin R: The legal and medical aspects of the trial and death of Christ. Sci Law 1970; 10:14-26. 5. Mikulicz-Radecki FV: The chest wound in the crucified Christ. Med News 1966; 14:30-40. 6. Davis CT: The crucifixion of Jesus: The passion of Christ from a medical point of view. Ariz Med 1965;22:183-187. 7. Tenney SM: On death by crucifixion. Am Heart J 1964;68:286-287. 8. Bloomquist ER: A doctor looks at crucifixion. Christian Herald, March 1964, pp 35, 46-48. 9. DePasquale NP, Burch GE: Death by crucifixion. Am Heart J 1963;66:434-435. 10. Barbet P: A Doctor at Calvary: The Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ as Described by a Surgeon, Earl of Wicklow (trans). Garden City, NY, Doubleday Image Books, 1953, pp 12-18, 37-147, 159-175, 187-208. 11. Primrose WB: A surgeon looks at the crucifixion. Hibbert J, 1949,pp 382-388. Bergsma S: Did Jesus die of a broken heart? Calvin Forum 1948; 14:163-167. 12. Whitaker JR: The physical cause of the death of our Lord. Cath Manchester Guard 1937;15:83-91. 13. Clark CCP: What was the physical cause of the death of Jesus Christ? Med Rec 189o;38:543. 14. Cooper HC: The agony of death by crucifixion. NY Med J 1883;38;150-153. 15. Stroud W: Treatise on the Physical Cause of the Death of Christ and Its Relation to the Principles and Practice of Christianity, ed 2. London , Hamilton & Adams, 1871, pp28-156, 489-494.
[20] Ibid.
[21] 1. Retief FP, Cilliers L (December 2003). “The history and pathology of crucifixion”. South African Medical Journal 93 (12): 938–41. PMID 14750495. 2 .Haas, Nicu. “Anthropological observations on the skeletal remains from Giv’at ha-Mivtar”, Israel Exploration Journal 20 (1-2), 1970: 38-59; Tzaferis, Vassilios. “Crucifixion – The Archaeological Evidence”, Biblical Archaeology Review 11 (February, 1985): 44–53; Zias, Joseph. “The Crucified Man from Giv’at Ha-Mivtar: A Reappraisal”, Israel Exploration Journal 35 (1), 1985: 22–27; Hengel, Martin. Crucifixion in the ancient world and the folly of the message of the cross (Augsburg Fortress, 1977). ISBN 0-8006-1268-X. See also Spectacles of Death in Ancient Rome, by Donald G. Kyle p. 181, note 93

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