Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Without a leg to stand on, part two

Continuing with my recap of my conversation, we went from talking about the origin of the universe to talking about the Bible.

I read to him from Isaiah 53, and he knew that this was a passage that purported to be a prophecy of Jesus Christ.  So I asked him how he explained this prophecy, along with Psalm 22 and other passages.  He said that when you give a prophecy it can be sub-consciously put in the minds of people so that they will fulfil it!

Now this is a very strange and strained attempt at an explanation - why is it that these prophecies in Isaiah 53 and Psalm 22 had been in the sub-conscious of the Jewish nation for hundreds of years yet there was only one candidate for fulfilling them and it happened just prior to the destruction of the Temple, which was another Messianic prophecy (Daniel 9 v 24-27)!  Where are all the other Messianic candidates who had a miraculous ministry, claimed deity, were betrayed for 30 pieces of silver, were silent in their unjust trial, were hideously abused and horribly disfigured, crucified, buried in connection with a rich man, and risen from the dead?  If my friend was correct then these sub-conscious fulfilments should have been popping up all the time!  Furthermore, the pieces of the prophetic puzzle were not fulfilled by one person, or a group of people - there were the Jewish leaders who certainly did not believe Jesus was the Messiah, and they weren't even expecting a crucified Messiah - they were expecting a conquering Messiah to put down the Romans.  Yes, then there were the Romans who hadn't a clue about the prophetic Scriptures, yet they spat upon Him (Isaiah 50 v 5-6), crucified Him, gambled for His garments, didn't break His legs etc. etc.  All I can say is, if I were an atheist then this explanation would not allay my fears that the God of Scripture is real.

But I pressed him on an issue that his "explanation" didn't address - how could crucifixion be so accurately described before crucifixion was invented?  His reply was that the Hebrews were probably crucifying each other all the time!  I pointed out that he was the one who claimed that he only took things on evidence, not "faith", yet he has not one shred of evidence that the Hebrews executed anyone by crucifixion, while all the evidence is that they didn't and it wasn't invented as a form of execution until about 500 BC by the Persians.  It is blind faith.