Click here for previous session




The days of the unhistorical doctrine of verbal inspiration as held
by Old Protestant theology are over. From now onwards the Bible is
understood as an historical book, written and transmitted by men and
therefore subject to the same laws of tradition, the same errors, omissions
and alterations as any other historical source. The men who produced it
were no automata, instruments of God, but individual writers, men of flesh
and blood who had their own decided aims and tendencies in writing, who lived within the limited horizons of their time and were moulded by the
ideas of their environment. 161
Many who examine the evidence with an open mind agree. After all, would God
have inspired inconsistencies such as those listed above? But if the Bible is a book of
human viewpoints, then who can fault people for any opinion they construct from the
framework of contradictory teachings found therein?
One can assert that despite the differences, all four gospels teach the crucifixion,
and this is true. Many satisfy their beliefs with such thoughts. Others wonder what
alternative viewpoints were burned to ashes in the destruction of an estimated 250 to
2,000 acts, epistles, and gospels the council of Nicaea excluded from canonization, and
why the alleged crucifixion was debated among early first century Christians. In other
words, what did they know that we don’t?
With regard to the alleged divinity of Jesus, none of these points matter. Even if
the crucifixion were true, Jesus being raised from the dead would not imply divinity any
more than it would for the children raised through the prayers of Elisha, the dead man
revived through contact with Elisha’s bones, or Lazarus resurrected at the hands of Jesus.
For that matter, God promises to raise all mankind come the Day of Judgment—what will
that make us?

Exhibit #10 — Foreknowledge
Some attribute divinity to Jesus because he had foreknowledge of certain events.
However, isn’t that what prophets do—prophesy? And isn’t this the example of previous
prophets, even though none of them were divine? Significantly, prophets only have
foreknowledge of that which is revealed to them, whereas God’s knowledge is absolute.  Were Jesus divine, we would expect his knowledge to have been comprehensive. Yet we
encounter teachings which cancel this expectation, as follows:
Particularly difficult to explain would be the logion* of Mk 13.31
concerning the Last Day: “But of that day or hour no one knows, neither
the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only.” The authenticity of
this passage can hardly be questioned, for a community bent on exalting
its Lord would scarcely have constructed a saying in which He confesses
ignorance. 162
Summary of Evidence
Some suggest that, despite the objections, the sheer amount of “evidence”
suggests that Jesus was divine. This might be a fair argument, if each piece of evidence
contributed something to support the conclusion. It wouldn’t have to be a lot, but there
has to be some buoyancy to float the argument. Either a couple of big logs or a million twigs bundled together will bear a man down a river. An ounce of gold can be had from
one huge nugget, or from smelting a ton of crude ore. A court case can be concluded with
one perfect photo or a hundred suggestive testimonies. But a million worthless
testimonies won’t support a verdict, and basing a doctrine on ten, or a hundred, or even a
thousand pieces of “evidence,” each one of which brings nothing to support the
conclusion, is as futile as trying to float a raft of rocks, or smelt salt for gold. Add more
rocks, smelt more salt, and the desired result will remain elusive, just as a conclusion
evades a million “evidences,” each one of which lacks the slightest validity.
Do any other “proofs” for the presumed divinity of Jesus remain? When all else
fails, some clergy claim that Jesus was filled with the Holy Spirit, and therefore must be
divine. But was Jesus filled with the Holy Spirit differently from Peter (Acts 4:8),
Stephen (Acts 6:5 and 7:55), Barnabas (Acts 11:24), Elizabeth (Luke 1:41), and
Zacharias (Luke 1:67)?
Some distinguish Jesus from the above individuals by claiming he was filled with
the Holy Spirit before his birth. Others point out that John the Baptist was not associated
with divinity, though Luke 1:15 records, “He [John the Baptist] will also be filled with
the holy spirit, even from his mother’s womb.”
Some regard the Holy Spirit as integral with God. Others struggle to grasp the
concept, certain only that whatever the Holy Spirit is, it is sent to all of the righteous, as
is written, “And we are His witnesses to these things, and so also is the holy spirit whom
God has given to those who obey Him.” (Acts 5:32). The conclusion that the Holy Spirit
is given to all who obey God has the clear ring of reason, and at least this concept stands
up to scripture. The question then arises, “What is this ‘holy spirit’?”


..….continue reading……


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here