Thursday, June 4, 2009

1 Peter 3:15: Why fundies hate it

Debate any creationist on astronomy or evolution, and you're likely to be met with a sneer. If you ask them to give a scientific alternative to either of these topics, they'll shut right up. If you ask what the red shift is, and they'll shut right up. Prove that their holy book of choice is not inerrant, and they'll shut right up. Ask them to reconcile Matthew 2:1-6 with Luke 2:1-6, and they'll shut right up. Nope, it's not very difficult to pull the rug out from under a fundamental creationist. Especially those who claim to love science, but don't have the first clue about the scientific method, let alone a theory.

Over the past few weeks I have been debating the fundies over at Ray's blog. The more questions I ask, the more I'm met with silence. It's annoying.

Skeptics often ask creationists for evidence of their claims, which always starts with, "In the begininning..." or some variant of "Abracadabra!" But whenever a creationist asks for evidence for the Big Bang, or evolutionary biology, they practically have the evidence thrown at them. Taxonomy, geology, astrophysics, chemistry, genetics, biology, you name it - the evidence there by the boatload for them to sift through. But the moment it's given to them, creationists just shrug it off like it doesn't exist. And the whole time, they say they love science.

Bologna sauce!

Enter 1 Peter 3:15. It says:

"But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:"

In other words, if you want to put that loud-mouthed, sniveling, snot-nosed creationist in their place, ask them a question about life or the universe based on science, cite this verse, and they'll flee from the Bible like a plague.

11 comments:

freed said...

Well, first of all I don't debate and wouldn't debate about astronomy or evolution but I will and always do ask questions when you make statements that puzzle me.

You said...Ask them to reconcile Matthew 2:1-6 with Luke 2:1-6, and they'll shut right up. Nope, it's not very difficult to pull the rug out from under a fundamental creationist..

What are you referring to in these verses that needs to be reconciled?

Matt said...

Freed,

The second chapter of the Gospel of Matthew states that Jesus was born during the reign of King Herod the Great. In verse 1 we read:

"After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem:"

King Herod was born in 73 BCE and died in 4 B.C. This means that, according to the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus would have to have been born during or before 4 BCE.

However, the second chapter of the Gospel of Luke states that Jesus was born during the Census of Quirinius. In verses 1 - 7 we read:

"In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) And everyone went to his own town to register.

So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child.

While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn."

The Census of Quirinius took place between 6 and 7 CE. If this is true, then Jesus would had to have been born in one of these two years.

These two dates contradict each other. Therefore, the Bible is not inerrant.

On the lighter side of life, Shaun rocks.

freed said...

Well, well, well...good for Shaun.
(Sorry, I don't know who Shaun is)

Augustus was the Roman emperor from 31 B.C. to A.D. 14. Quirinius was the governor or administrator over a major census organized to facilitate the collection of taxes.

Outside the Scripture, ancient records tie Quirinius to a census only in A.D. 6, but this is too late to be the one referred to here. So it may be that the census spanned the period from Varus to Quirinius and was referred to by the name of the one who completed it, sometime in the period immediately following Herod's death.

It is also possible that Quirinius served as governor twice in his career, since there is a gap in the governship records between 4 B.C. and A.D. 1, the period between Varus and Gaius Caesar. The problem here is that the gap follows Herod's death, rather than preceding it, as the timing of Jesus' birth requires - so says my Bible commentary.

See? I didn't run. We may not have settled anything because neither of us was there, but you have not proved anything anymore than I have. :)

Michele said...

Bah! Shaun is the sheep in your avatar. Look him up on youtube. Funny stuff.

Anyway, even if there was a census immediately following the death of Herod, it doesn't reconcile Jesus' birth since Matthew says that Jesus was born during his reign.

freed said...

I read some commentary tonight that is way too long to type here but the short of it is that it says "In light of Luke's meticulous care as a historian, it would be unreasonable to charge him with such an obvious anachronism. Indeed, archeology has vindicated Luke."

A fragment of stone discovered at Tivoli (near Rome) in A.D. 1764 contains an inscription in honor of a Roman official who, it states, was twice governor of Syria and Phoenicia during the reign of Augustus. The author states the details listed on the stone can fit no one but Quirinius. Thus,he must have served as governor in Syria twice.

It is generally thought by scholars that 6 B.C. is the earliest possible date for Christ's birth.

Evidently the census was ordered by Caesar Augustus in 8 B.C. but was not actually carried out in Palestine until 2--4 years later, perhaps because of political difficulties between Rome and Herod.

Therefore the precise year of Christ's birth cannot be known with certainty, but it was probably no earlier than 6 B.C. and certainly no later than 4 B.C.

I wrote all this because in your OP you stated Ask them to reconcile Matthew 2:1-6 with Luke 2:1-6, and they'll shut right up..

This was my effort to reconcile the two.

Michele said...

A couple of points here.

We know that there were only two Roman governors during the latter part of Herod's reign until his death in 4 BCE - Sentius Saturninis (9 - 6 BCE), and Varus (from 6 - 4 BCE). Therefore, there is no possibility that Quirinius is the governor you're looking for.

Secondly, the two-time governor you that you're referring to would be Varus, once from 6 - 4 BCE, and again again from 2 BCE - 1 CE. The Therefore, the inscription you're referring to applies to Varus, not Quirinius.

Matt said...

Bah! Michele is my wife's userID. I keep posting using her ID by mistake. Sorry.

"The Therefore, the inscription..." Sorry about the typo.

Even if Quirinius were the two-time governor you're referring to, it wouldn't matter. He was not one of the governors during Herod's reign.

freed said...

Matt, Michelle, really Matt...haha

Anyway, my point in even discussing this with you is to show that I didn't "shut right up" as you suggested all "fundies" do.

This subject is not a matter of inerrancy, IMHO. It's confusing at most, but not a matter to shatter my belief.

We were not there and can only rely on what records were left. After several thousand years, I'm sure things get a little muddled. lost, etc. It's just not a problem for me, or for any real believer. I'm not even interested in what you call an error.

What I've read, and posted here, is a good enough explanation for me, even though it was never a problem for me, to begin with.

Actually? I find the subject boring.

I notice you didn't reply to my comments on your Hal Lindsey thread. An oversight? No worry.
I've stated my thoughts.

I would like to end with the comment that you seem really nice. Nicer than most atheists when dealing with Christians. It was appreciated.

Matt said...

"Anyway, my point in even discussing this with you is to show that I didn't "shut right up" as you suggested all 'fundies' do."

Duly noted.

"Actually? I find the subject boring."

You shouldn't. This argument is integral to the foundation of Christianity. If Jesus cares so much about us that he gave us his "word" [the Bible] but he can't even remember when his birthday was, how can be be called God?

"I notice you didn't reply to my comments on your Hal Lindsey thread. An oversight? No worry I've stated my thoughts."

I almost forgot about that. He's still a disingenuous, dishonest piece of garbage. Sorry.

"I would like to end with the comment that you seem really nice. Nicer than most atheists when dealing with Christians. It was appreciated."

Thanks, but I'm not an atheist. :)

freed said...

You're not an antheist???

What are you then?

Matt said...

I'm just someone who's hungry for knowledge.