Bible History and Theology: History of Israel: Religion in 21st Century:Is not Jesus the 'Word of God'? Is he not the sole center of your adoration and worship? Is it not he with whom you have a relationship? While many things might interfere with or rob you of your desire to have relationship with him, how can anything dissolve him into nothing? How can he cease to be? I am amazed at how many people 'worship' the book. 'The Word of God, The Word of God', I hear fundamentalists preach from street corners, and my question is, 'which word of God'.
(Originally published as A Theological Newsletter to the Christians, entitled:
"In Defense of God". Monday July 19th 2004.)
If you do some research into R.P.BenDedek, you might find him referred to as a theologian. But what is a theologian?
The Merriam-Webster online dictionary describes a theologian as a specialist in theology, which it defines as the study of religious faith, practice, and experience; especially the study of God and of God's relation to the world. It also refers to a theological theory or system.
From this perspective I might well be defined as a theologian, although as a specialist, I am actually a specialist in the chronological history of Ancient Israel. I have in fact studied theology from a variety of perspectives and in a variety of places.
When I set about the task of researching and writing about the chronological history of Israel, I did not do so from any interest in theology, but an interest in history, and in my naivety or perhaps arrogance, I thought that Jews and Christians would be thrilled about my discoveries. But I was wrong. While I anticipated the Jewish reaction, I have to admit that my ignorance in understanding Christian fundamentalist thinking left me unprepared for the responses that I have encountered.
If you pick up any two books on the history of Israel, you will find that as far as chronology goes, there is no exact or precise concordance of opinion as to when various events listed in Israel's History actually took place. By exact or precise I don't mean that some writers disagree by some few months, but that such disagreements can vary by up to fifty years or so.
Now if you know nothing about the History of Israel, and specifically, nothing about the chronological records in the Bible, you might find a variety of ways to explain why such writers disagree. But for those of you who do know something about the Biblical records for the divided Kingdom of Israel, that is to say, for that period of time between the death of Solomon and the time when Samaria fell to the Assyrians, then you know that these records are 'synchronous'.That is to say, that the Bible links or cross references a specific year of one King in the Northern Capital (Samaria in Israel), with his counterpart in the Southern Capital (Jerusalem in Judah).
There are two problems with the data provided in the Bible. The first is, that the synchronisms don't work, unless you 'presumptively add' to the record, by making assumptions for which neither the record nor the archaeological or historical evidence provides any substantiation. The second problem is that when you calculate the data in 'real' years, there are far too many years, based upon the evidence at hand. As you travel backward in time beyond the death of Solomon, the problem becomes exponential.
No one has ever been able to adequately solve this riddle, and as Professor D.J. Wiseman of the British Academy once warned me, 'Two dozen crackpots every year claim to have solved the problem'.
So you might think that religious people might be glad to know that someone has solved the problem. It is such a simple thing, that they can even study it on the internet at Kingscalendar.com. But here is the catch. While religious people know that the Biblical Data is excessive, and equally they know that there is 'an' answer, the kingscalendar answer requires believing that the data recorded in the Bible, was actually 'tampered' with, before the Bible even became the Bible. In other words, a couple of hundred years before the Bible became the Bible, someone changed the records in the historical documents of Israel.
Now why is this a problem? I'll tell you. It's call 'Biblical Infallibility'. Modern day fundamentalists believe that God dictated the Bible. He called together a few people, and told them 'precisely what to write', and therefore, God being God, He could not have made any errors.
Now as I said, I was totally unprepared for this type of thinking. You see, what I had always thought, was that throughout the history of Israel, God at various times and in sundry places, manifested himself in various ways in human history, and on many of those occasions, he directly spoke with the prophets who dutifully recorded his 'precise' words. Nevertheless, the collection of writings, which Nehemiah began to collate around the middle of the 5th century BCE, remained a human record of both the secular and religious history of the nation. In fact, if you read the Bible carefully, you will notice that there are a lot of books mentioned in the Bible, which are no longer in existence, or have not yet been found.
I was under the mistaken impression, that 'Biblical Inerrancy' mean that God's inspiration, revelation, illumination and particular relationship with the prophets and peoples of Israel, meant that these collections of writings written over a period of 1000 years, produced and provided an accurate picture of God, and that in nothing does it portray God erroneously. But as I have researched the matter, I have found that many people believe such things as (and I quote from The Chicago Statement on Bibllical Inerrancy
Point 2. Holy Scripture, being God's own Word, written by men prepared and superintended by His Spirit, is of infallible divine authority in all matters upon which it touches:
Point 4. Being wholly and verbally God-given, Scripture is without error or fault in all its teaching...
Note that it is wholly and verbally God-given. The books of Kings and Chronicles however make no mention of God's verbal instructions. Indeed they actually are quite clear in their assertion that they are a collation of other material.
Note also, that the work was superintended by the Holy Spirit. This means that the Bible contains only those words that the Holy Spirit wanted put in there.
If there is one argument I have never heard in explanation for discrepancies in the Historical documents of the Bible, it is that 'God ordered that it be recorded like that'. In fact, if there is one argument that the King's Calendar would put forward as justification for its' presentation, it is that the record as it appears, is exactly how God wanted it to appear. A mystery, concealed until the end of time, that the wisdom of the wise might be demonstrated to be foolishness, and that the foolishness of God might be demonstrated to be more wise than the wisdom of men.
What you, dear readers, call the Bible, did not become the Bible until hundreds of years after Nehemiah began to find all the ancient and diverse records and began to put them together in one place. What God may have ordained and orchestrated prior to the canonisation of Scripture (both Christian and Jewish), is not for us to disagree with.
But despite this valiant defense on my part, the bottom line remains that there are errors of fact in the historical sections of the Bible, and an overall chronological anomaly in the total record, which, according to the doctrine of Biblical Infallibility, JUST CANNOT BE!
Why can it not be? Because, as is stated in so many apologetics sites on the internet, if you accept that there is even one error in the Bible, then you cannot trust any of it, and if that happens, then Jesus ceases to be your personal Saviour.
But on this score, I would like to ask one question. Do you have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ the Lord? Do you have a personal relationship with your spouse? If you discovered that something that you believed about your spouse was not in fact so, would your spouse cease to exist? Would your relationship have just been imaginary (lacking reality)?
If you have a personal relationship with God, is it possible for God to cease to exist for any reason? How can God cease to exist, or Jesus not be real, just because your perception of your relationship has changed. In other words, if the Bible ceases to be, does God cease to be? Is your faith in a book, or in the living God?
Is not Jesus the 'Word of God'? Is he not the sole center of your adoration and worship? Is it not he with whom you have a relationship? While many things might interfere with or rob you of your desire to have relationship with him, how can anything dissolve him into nothing? How can he cease to be?
I don't care if anyone believes in my research or not. My work is finished. But I am amazed at how many people 'worship' the book. 'The Word of God, The Word of God', I hear fundamentalists preach from street corners, and my question is, 'which word of God'.
Does the New Testament say, 'The Bible will lead you into all truth?', or does it say, 'The Holy Spirit will lead you into all truth'. Does the Bible say that it witnesses of him, or is it the Spirit of God who witnesses of him.
Does the Bible say that you can know 'about' God, or does it say that you can 'know God'. Does it say that you are 'co-heirs with the Bible' or co-heirs with Christ? Does it say that you must be daily transformed into the image of the Bible? Or the Image of Christ?
I can just hear the thoughts of many of you as you leap to the defense of the 'Holy' Bible. But let me ask you this, is salvation wrought by 'faith in the Bible' or 'faith in Christ?' Do you know Christ as Lord, or the Bible as Lord?
Let me ask you one final question: if 'Being wholly and verbally God-given, Scripture is without error or fault in all its teaching..', why then do men tell you that you will be led into error if you study the Bible on your own? Why is it that if you do not study under your church's guidance, you will fall into wrong doctrine and the devil will gain control of your life?
Is God such an inept writer and teacher that his 'verbally given' word can lead you into error? Think about it!
As for me, God was and is and will always be, no matter what anyone says, does or believes, and he has never ceased from his activity within his creation, be it in the world, the galaxy, the universe or mankind.
I worship no man, no book, no church, no doctrine and no theology, and nor do I make any of them more important than my daily gratitude to and conversation with the Master of the Universe.
"Tell me Oh Man what is good, and what does the Lord require of thee, but to do justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with thy God".
The problems that faced Israel 2000 years ago were the same as we face today in the West. As in Ancient Israel, our Western Judeo-Christian societies are filled with those who have no love for our foundational religion, traditions, culture or history
So what do you call it when statistical probability says that something is impossible, and yet it happens? Well, I suppose when it comes to being struck by lightning, you would call it "bad luck". But what do you call it, when at various points throughout history, a group of people suffer national disasters on the exact same date that their religious deity first pronounced destruction on them, and which coincides with the same date that on two occasions, they had their religious temple destroyed by enemy troops?
At any rate, it is a free country, and we still have the right to express our opinions. Neither a presentation containing 'some' facts, nor one containing big words, should ever sway us to swallow 'hook line and sinker' everything that a speaker says, and in the process, to abandon our own traditions. Now when it comes to ideological perspectives, it is only natural to seek to justify your own with 'proofs', and additionally to find weakness and fault in the opposing ideology. I often wonder why the God of Abraham did not set up a formalised religion in Abraham's day. Perhaps the answer can be found in the Pauline writings which state that God approves of those who live by faith (as opposed to those who live by theology).
The difference between Martyrdom and Suicide is that the Martyr will gladly die for his faith, if that is the lot that befalls him; whilst a suicide takes matters into his own hands. The early Christian church had to stop people from seeking martyrdom. It is a contradiction in terms. When one lives in China and encounters Christianity everyday, one finds it hard to believe that there is a necessity to have Christian Martyrs in China
Yesterday, Wednesday November 14th, 2012 at about 11am Beijing Time or about dawn in Israel, I published an article at Kingscalendar asking why Israel does not fight back. This morning (7 am Beijing Time) I read that Israel had commenced operations against Gaza. Tonight (6.15pm Beijing Time) as I sit in China reading world news I am disgusted by what I see.
What other country in history has ever been required to provide all the basic necessities to enable their enemy to attack and murder them? Until Israel wakes up to the fact that no one really cares about Israel or Jews; until Israel wakes up that Political Correctness is just a tool by which people can hide their true feelings whilst showing a compassionate face, then Israel is doing nothing more than committing slow suicide. No one cares! No one wants Israel there! They all want to lick the boots of Activist Agendas and Arab Oil and they believe that Israel is worth sacrificing if it means peace from terrorism (but it won't).
Mingxing's company had booked him into the upmarket Kempinski Hotel in Wuxi and he organized and paid for one extra day so that we could go sightseeing. There are two photos in Part one that relate to the Kempinski Hotel Room, but this photo is of the lavish foyer of the Hotel as taken from the first floor landing above the coffee shop. Whilst the Big Buddha is the 'centerpiece' so to speak, the real spectacular is to be found in the Cultural Museum. This place is one helluva spectacular place inside. It sits directly opposite the replica of the Potala Palace, and when you enter you are required to put coverings over your shoes. I suspect that the real reason is to cut down on the cleaning bill. This place was crowded and all those people shuffling along wearing shoe protectors gave the marble floor a really high sheen.
It was decided that unshod horses would not be allowed to be used in commercial ventures. People couldn't ride horses for a living; salesman couldn't load goods onto their horses; and horses could no longer pull carts. While it all seemed quite logical and humane, the unforeseen consequence of the law was that the supply of goods into and out of the town began to dwindle, until in the end, business after business went bankrupt. As time went by the whole city went bust until the only ones left were those who could not afford to move, and one of these was our blacksmith. One day, considering that since the council itself was now gone, the blacksmith decided to restart his business.
Definition: King's Calendar Chronological Research
The Premise: Between the 5th and 3rd centuries BCE (but continuing down to at least 104 BCE), Sectarian redactors transcribed the legitimate 'solar year' chronological records of Israel and Judah, into an artificial form, with listed years as each comprised of 12 months of 4 weeks of 7 days, or 336 days per year, thus creating a 13th artificial year where 12 solar years existed.
When the Synchronous Chronological Data provided in the Books of Kings and Chronicles for the Divided Kingdom Period are measured in years of 336 days, the synchronisms actually align. [Refer to Appendix 5. to see how it synchronises the Divided Kingdom Period]
About the KingsCalendar Publisher
R.P.BenDedek is the owner and Editor of KingsCalendar.com which was originally set up to publicize his research results into the Chronology of Ancient Israel. Those results were published under the title: 'The King's Calendar: The Secret of Qumran'.
Whilst there have been many attempts to solve the chronological riddle of the Bible's synchronisms of reigns of the kings of Israel and Judah and their synchronism with other Ancient Near Eastern Nations, no other research is based on a simple mathematical formula which could, if it is incorrect, be disproved easily. To date, no one has been able to dismiss the mathematical results of this research.
Free to air Academic articles set forth Apologetics for and results of his discovery of an "artificial chronological scheme" running through the Bible, Josephus, the Damascus Documents of the Dead Sea Scrolls, and Seder Olam Rabbah.
In Defense of God: What does 'The Word of God' mean? by R.P. BenDedek | 2 comments | Sign Up
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Written on 01/25/05 at 21:48:19 AEST by Anonymous
so many translations of the same words, some parphrased....
Not sure of your meaning however if you speak more than one language you will understand the difficulty of translation. As a teacher in China, I often find myself trying to explain why you can't translate the Chinese words directly into english. EG. "I like to cook myself" or "I like to play with myself" - or (Said by a boy) "Zhang Xun is my boy friend" (Names in Chinese do not identify Gender).
There is a difference between 'translation' and 'interpretation'. Often they will carry different meanings, and it is the meaning that is what one principally looks for. R.P.BenDedek
Hi BenDedek, I saw your comment on Yeshua International Guestbook. What a beautiful comment/sugestion. we share the same thought in that regard.you can visit my site at www.ourchurch.com/member/a/api God Bless you Apostle Genesis A. Dawuda