Three items appear below

1   Biblical Bloomers
2   Biblical Bloomers Pruned
3   Wrong, Wrong, Wrong


(Investigator 142, 2012 January)

Jesus was born on the 25th of December.
WRONG — He was born on the 6th of January. The date was changed to accord with the Pagan tradition.

The Messiah was the name of Jesus.
WRONG — He was given the Hebrew name Joshua, but known as Yeshua. This was translated into the Greek "Jesus”.

It was prophesied in the Old Testament that a virgin shall give birth.
WRONG — The Hebrew word "Almah” was the designation for a young woman. This was mistranslated to read "virgin”.

Jesus grew up in the Town of Nazareth.
WRONG — It has been established that Nazareth did not exist at that time.

Jesus was born in a stable, surrounded by adoring farm animals.
WRONG — Nowhere in the Gospels is the word "stable” used. In Matthew, the Wise Men find Mary and the baby in a house.

There were three wise men.
WRONG — The number was never mentioned. There may have been more (and they were Pagan).

Jesus Christ was the only saviour and messiah.
WRONG — There were at least twenty-three, beginning with the Egyptian godman Osiris more than 2,000 years earlier, and nearly all were born to a virgin mother on the 25th of December — the winter solstice.

The halo and the cross are exclusively Christian symbols.
WRONG — They can be traced back to the Egyptian sun-god cult of Aten.

The Gospels were written by scribes contemporary to the time of Jesus.
WRONG — They were written by unknown scribes at the Nicene council in far-away Turkey, where Jesus Christ was proclaimed Son of God. The Pagan Emperor Constantine officiated.

The Sabbath has always been observed on Sunday.
WRONG — The Sabbath was traditionally observed on Saturday but was changed to accord with the Pagan religion, the SUN-day.

Brian de Kretser




(Investigator 143, 2012 May)

In Investigator 142 Mr De Kretser lists ten "Biblical Bloomers". Most, however, are dubious and require pruning:

Jesus' birth date?
December 25th is merely the official birth day. If my evidence for the "Star of Bethlehem” is correct (See #81) then the "wise men” reached Bethlehem in June but this was at least 40 days after Jesus' birth.

The Messiah's name was Joshua not Jesus?
"Joshua" comes from Hebrew and "Jesus" from Greek. Different languages pronounce names differently but this is not something to make a fuss about.

"Almah" in Isaiah's prophecy means "young woman" not "virgin"?
"Almah" can mean either depending on context. (See #92) The Septuagint's use of the word "virgin", despite everyone knowing that virgins don't give birth, shows that the translators recognized, two centuries before Jesus came, that the prophecy referred to someone special i.e. the Messiah.

Jesus in Nazareth?
The claim that Nazareth didn't exist in the 1st century is atheistic fiction. Part of Nazareth was archaeologically excavated in 2009. (See #131)

Jesus not born in a stable?
Luke says there were no spare rooms at the inn in Bethlehem and uses the word "manger" (2:7-16) which referred to a trough animals eat from. Therefore many conclude that a stable is implied. The arrival of the "wise men" occurred at least 40 days later when Mary and Joseph were in a "house". (Matthew 2)

How many "wise men"?
Mr De Kretser is here correct and scores one point since "The number is never mentioned." Three is merely inferred from the three types of gifts — gold, frankincense, myrrh.

Were there at least 23 saviours besides Jesus?
In the Old Testament anyone who defeated military attacks on Israel was a "deliverer" or "saviour" and included various judges, David and others. These were "saviours" in a different sense to Jesus. If any pagan cults called their idols or gods "saviours" then these too were saviours in a different sense.

Are the halo and cross, exclusively Christian?
De Kretser is correct that other religions also used these symbols.

Were the Gospels written in the time of Constantine?
This is nonsense since fragments of New Testament manuscripts from the 2nd century still exist, and the Jewish Talmud of the 2nd century refers (albeit critically) to Christians and their beliefs. (See #140 page 47ff; #77; #127)

Sabbath changed from Saturday to Sunday to accord with Pagan religion?
The Jewish Sabbath was from nightfall Friday to nightfall Saturday. Christians switched to Sunday, not to please Pagans but to honor Christ's resurrection: "Some judge one day to be better than another, while others judge all days to be alike… Those who observe the day, observe it in honor of the Lord." (Romans 14:5-6; Colossians 2:16)

De Kretser has scored two out of ten. He would do better if he consulted reliable sources.

Wrong Wrong Wrong

Kevin Rogers

(Investigator 143)

I refer to Brian de Kretser's article on Biblical Bloomers in Investigator #142. I don't normally comment on Brian's articles, as I thought that his approach and content are bizarre. However, in the same issue, John Williams included Brian in the "collectively superior" class, so this is why I am writing.

Brian provided a list of 10 supposed Biblical bloomers. Virtually none of them are. They are supposed errors in what some people have said about the Bible, not errors in the Bible itself. This includes celebrating Christmas on the 25th of December and the number of wise men. The Bible does not mention Jesus' date of birth and so it is unknown; I don't know where Brian got the 6th January from. The church did indeed displace a pagan festival to celebrate Christmas but never claimed that this was his actual birthday. Brian is correct in saying that the number of wise men is not mentioned; it is simply inferred from the number of gifts. These traditions have been added and so are not Biblical bloomers.

The claim that really is absolutely bizarre is his claim that the gospels were written by unknown scribes at the Nicene council. However, it is the universal opinion of Biblical and historical scholars that the gospels were completed in the latter half of the first century, well over 200 years before the Council of Nicaea. Some claim that the gospel of John was written as late as 110 AD; but this is a minority view.

Some of the reasons that scholars agree that the gospels were written in the 1st century are as follows:

Brian's usual style of writing is to list a set of sceptical propositions, which he rarely justifies. He continuously throws mud at Christianity and hopes that some of it sticks. In the past I have shown that many of his claims are completely wrong. He simply ignores my comments and throws another lot of mud.

In the past Brian has undersigned his name with "Institute for Research into Religions", which I believe he uses to enhance his credibility. This institution has no web site and is not listed in the yellow pages. It is more likely that Nazareth existed in the time of Jesus than that the Institute for Research into Religions exists now. However, Brian is indeed the Northern Territory point of contact for the Australian Skeptics.

The Bible investigated — including scores of Bible debates on this website: