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Agnostic Testimony 13
Dan’s Religious Manifesto (page 6)

by Daniel Hendricks

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Luke came third, and is exceedingly similar to Matthew.  As noted, he also threw in Joseph’s lineage, but it is different from Mark’s version.  Again, this alone should be proof that the Bible cannot be literally true.  Two of its more recent books don’t even agree on a pretty big issue, having not only different genealogies, but differing numbers of generations.  Again, you only need one imperfection to make the whole thing imperfect.

From a non-literal viewpoint, these are three views of one event, told through three different eyes and ears (surely not all three authors were at every event described – even more unlikely, as scholars estimate the dates of authorship as 60-80AD ~ 20 – 40 years after Jesus died).  From a fundamentalist viewpoint, the Gospels must each be literally true, so the obvious inconsistencies are shrugged off or rather wild and crazy explanations for everything are invented. 

A generation or so passes.  (By now we’re up to about 100 AD – approx 70 years after Jesus died – though there were changes and alterations to John for the next 50 years, til about 150 AD, and changes to all texts for even longer.  Bart Ehrman’s Misquoting Jesus gives dozens examples of stories what were not initially in the bible, sometimes not added until a thousand years after the time of Jesus.)

Then John was written.  John has Jesus being God, and with God from the beginning of existence, born and lived divine.[1]  He throws in a lot more of Jesus being much more aggressive, proclaiming himself savior, etc.  Most of the stories you are familiar with probably came from John. 

John also wrote a lot of letters, and gave a lot of advice to the early church.  Again, we have the ignored “women should wear scarves to church, and never talk, if they have questions, they can ask their husbands when they get home”[2] and the oft repeated “gay sex is bad”.  Also again, no rationale ever offered for why one is ignored, and the other preached constantly.

What most intrigues me about Christianity is that the two people most involved in forming the early church are the two big names involved that had the least interaction with Jesus and the Apostles.  Paul (previously Saul) started out hunting and killing Christians, but then converted.  The Apostles didn’t really trust him though, so sent him out on missionary trips all the time.  It was while he was away on such a trip that most of the Apostles were captured and killed.  When he returned, he was pretty much the only one left, and put himself in charge.  Of the gospels, John’s is the most distant in time from Jesus.  Biblical historians put the final completion date of his gospel at something like 120 AD.  In other words, it was written about 80-90 years after Jesus died, and anyone who knew him personally would have also died.  Were someone to offer John’s gospel as testimony in a court case, it would be thrown out as hearsay.  Equal weight (i.e. little to none) should be given to Revelation, which different denominations think is either a prophecy about the end of the world, or a historical document about the fall of Rome, written in such a manner that any Romans who stumbled across it would no know what it meant and thus not kill the owner for owning treasonous documents.

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1 John 1:1 “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” And John 1:14 “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.”  2 1Cor 14:34-35