Published On: Mon, Dec 26th, 2016

Is there any thing True about Christianity?

What is Christianity?

  1. God whose name is Jehovah in the beginning created Adam and Eve. Created nature for their pleasure
  2. God orders them not to eat from a specific tree but they disobeyed God. Because of this God curses them along with their progeny, in other words the whole humanity that they will end up in eternal hell after death. So every human being is a born sinner and it is called “Original Sin
  3. God repents and sends his only son Jesus to save the mankind from the Original Sin
  4. A virgin, Mary gives birth to him
  5. Jesus was crucified, suffers immense pain and sheds blood on the cross before dying. God offsets all the pain that human beings have to suffer in eternal hell with the pain that Jesus suffered and relieves them of the Original Sin (applicable only to Christians).
  6. Jesus, thus by relieving Christians of Original Sin, fulfills his responsibility as Christ/Savior/Messiah
  7. He comes back to life on the third day and ascends to heaven. This is called Resurrection
  8. His coming back again at the “End Times”, is called “Second Coming of Jesus”
  9. He orders his disciples to spread the “The Christian Good News” that only Christians go to eternal heaven and rest end up in eternal hell to the entire world.

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 Let’s now see the controversies surrounding Christianity

Creation:

There aren’t many who still believe in this myth that God created everything in 6 days. The Theory of Evolution comprehensively debunks the theory of Creationism. Even the most orthodox Christians are coming to terms with this and saying that 6 days doesn’t literally mean 6 days.

Original Sin

adam-and-eve

Bible doesn’t talk about Original Sin, which is so central to Christian mythology. God did curse Adam and Eve but not their progeny1. In fact Biblical explicitly speaks against Original Sin2.

Virgin Birth

Without Virgin birth Jesus cannot save others as he himself will be a sinner. But there are enough controversies on this from the very beginning, even among Christians. As per the “adoptionist ” view3 Jesus was not divine, is born from the sexual union of his parents and God adopted Jesus as His Son at his baptism. Several waves of adoptionism existed till as late as 18th century4. Neither the original Mark Gospel nor John Gospel mentions virgin birth5.

Jesus as Son of God/Christ/Messiah/Savior

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It’s the Christian belief that God sent his only Son Jesus as Christ/Messiah/Savior to suffer on behalf of all the humanity which is affected by Original Sin and relieve them of it.

 

  • Old Testament neither mentions the name Jesus nor God’s will to send his Son.
  • Jehovah clearly says that there is no savior besides him (Isaiah 43: 11)
  • Not mentioned in any of the 4 gospels. In other words Jesus never said that
  • If Jesus is the Savior, the purpose of him coming to earth is to get crucified and there by relieve Christians of Original Sin. But it doesn’t seem that Jesus wanted this to happen as he tries his best to escape crucifixion6 and also shouts for help while on cross (Mark 15: 1)
  • As per Old Testament Christ is supposed to assemble all the outcasts of Israel, gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth and become their king7. Jesus didn’t do that. This is precisely the reason why the Jews don’t accept Jesus as Messiah and waiting for one

Resurrection

claimsThere are enough reasons to suspect the Resurrection story. Here is what Wikipedia says about this

             The historicity and origin of the Resurrection of Jesus has been the subject of historical research and debate, as well as a topic of discussion among theologians. The accounts of the Gospels, including the empty tomb and the appearances of the risen Jesus to his followers, have been interpreted and analyzed in diverse ways, and have been seen variously as historical accounts of a literal event, as accurate accounts of visionary experiences, as non-literal eschatological parables, and as fabrications of early Christian writers, among various other interpretations. It has been suggested, for example, that Jesus did not die on the cross, that the empty tomb was the result of Jesus’ body having been stolen, or, as was common with Roman crucifixions, that Jesus was never entombed8.

Romans have a tradition of not burying crucified criminals, especially those who are charged against state, like Jesus. Several Biblical scholars like Bart D. Ehrman9 and John Dominic Crossan10 are of the view that Jesus was never buried and so obviously the question of his resurrecting don’t arise

1500 years old world’s oldest surviving bible, Codex Sinaiticus doesn’t mention resurrection of Jesus11

Christian Good News

jesus_let_me_in_medJohn Gospel doesn’t have this and the portion of Mark gospel that speak about this is a fabrication12.

Whoever read the Bible for the first time gets the feeling that it is only about people of Israel and Jehovah, the God of Israel. The mere fact that “God of Israel” occurs 223 times, “Children of Israel” occurs 3160 times and Israel occurs 2548 times in Bible (King James Version) gives weight to this argument

Jesus’ Ascendance to heaven

Jesus’ ascended to heaven and seated on the right hand side of the God after his resurrection. But surprisingly Mathew and John gospels don’t even speak about this and those verses which talk about this in Mark gospel were not in the original12. So, only Luke spoke about this.

Second Coming of Jesus

It’s the Christian belief that Jesus will come at the End Times and take the Christians to eternal heaven and throw the rest in eternal hell. There is not even a single generation in the last 2000 years that passed by without predictions of Jesus’ second coming, including those who were contemporary to Jesus. There are at least three places in Bible where Jesus say that it will happen before that generation passes by13.

“88 Reasons why the Rapture will Be in 1988” by a NASA Engineer that predicted the End Times in 1988 so 45 lakh copies. There were numerous other such predictions about this second coming14

Christmas

mjaxmi1kzgrkmtkzyme5ywy4ntm0Some eastern churches celebrate Christmas in January and not in December15. Following are the reasons why the date of birth of Jesus is controversial

  • Not mentioned in Bible and is decided only 300 years after the death of Jesus16
  • Luke’s gospel says that that at the time of Jesus’ birth (night) the shepherds were in the field watching sheep, which is not possible as December is very cold and rainy in Judea, more so during nights17.
  • December 25th used to be celebrated by Pagans as birth day of the sun18 and so the date was chosen to digest native religions in to Christianity19. Same is the case with Easter and Christmas Tree20

Bible (New Testament)

The four gospels talk about the birth, life, death, resurrection, ascendance to heaven of Jesus and Christians believe they are God inspired and so 100% true. But unfortunately it’s not the case and is far from truth. Reasons

  • There are many many gospels other than these four. Church decided that these four should be in the NT
  • There are several differences between 4 gospels and the number of differences depend on which bible you read (A few already discussed in the article)
  • Neither the originals of the four gospels nor the originals of any other books that are part of NT are available21

Here is what Bart D. Ehrman says in his book “Misquoting Jesus”

                            Not only do we not have the originals, we don’t have the first copies of the originals. We don’t even have copies of the copies of the originals, or copies of the copies of the copies of the originals. What we have are copies made later – much later. In most instances, they are copies made many centuries later. And these copies all differ from one another, in many thousands of places.

Jesus himself – Was there a Jesus at all?

More and more scholars are now questioning the very existence of Jesus. There is not even a single historical record about Jesus from the period in which Jesus supposedly lived (4 BCE – 30/33 CE22). Contrary to the belief of most Christians none of the 4 gospel writers were contemporary to Jesus. Also all the 4 gospels were written by anonymous persons and not Mark, Matthew, Luke and John23.

It is not that there were no historians or the historical records that belong to the supposed period in which Jesus lived. There were many. But still Jesus didn’t find a place in any of these historical records. Had Jesus really lived, his extraordinary life would have for sure found place in the contemporary historical records.

Major reasons Christian Apologists give for Jesus not finding place in any of the contemporary historical records24

  • Judea, the province where Jesus lived is not a prominent place in Roman empire
  • Historians during that period didn’t write much about any religious figures
  • Almost no first century text are available now

 

nailed-itHere is what David Fitzgerald says in his book Nailed – Ten Christian Myths That Shows Jesus Never Existed at All

 

              The truth is something quite different: the first century is actually considered one of the best-documented periods in ancient history, and Judea, far from being a forgotten backwater, was a turbulent province of vital strategic importance to the Romans. There were plenty of writers, both Roman and Jewish, who had great interest in and much to say about the region and its happenings during Jesus’ time. We still have many of their writings today: volumes and volumes from scores of writers detailing humdrum events and lesser exploits of much more mundane figures in Roman Palestine, including several failed Jewish messiahs. If the Gospels were true, or even preserved a kernel of truth at their cores, they certainly had plenty of much more exiting material to catch the eye of contemporary writers and historians24.

 

He goes on to list some extraordinary events mentioned in Bible which for sure would have found place in the contemporary historical records had they actually happened24.

  • Caesar Taxes the world (Luke 2: 1 – 4)
  • Herod’s Slaughter of the Innocents
  • Jesus’ Famous Ministry (Matthew 4: 24 – 25)
  • Jesus’ Triumphant Entry into Jerusalem (Mark 10: 1, 10: 32 – 33)
  • The Trail of Jesus, Crucifixion, Resurrection and ascendance to Heaven

Perhaps this is the reason why Christianity is declining in most of the Western countries

References

  1. Genesis 3: 16-19
  2. Matthew 19: 12 – 13, Deuteronomy 24: 16, Ezekiel 18:20 and Jeremiah 31: 29 – 30
  3. Bart D. Ehrman: Misquoting Jesus à Antiadoptionistic Alterations of the Text à Early Christian Adoptionists
  4. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adoptionism
  5. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virgin_birth_of_Jesus
  6. John 7: 1, John 10: 39, Luke 4: 29 – 30, Luke 22: 42 – 44, Mathew 28: 46
  7. Isaiah 11: 12, Jeremiah 23: 5, Ezekiel 37: 21
  8. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Historicity_and_origin_of_the_Resurrection_of_Jesus (As on 25th Dec 2016 10 AM)
  9. https://ehrmanblog.org/argument-against-jesus-burial-in-hjbg-part-1/
  10. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burial_of_Jesus
  11. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/magazine/7651105.stm
  12. Bart D. Ehrman: Misquoting Jesus à The Copyists of Early Christian Writings à The Last Twelve Verses of Mark
  13. Mark 9: 1, Mathew 16: 27 – 28, 1Tessalonians 4: 15 – 17
  14. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_dates_predicted_for_apocalyptic_events
  15. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christmas
  16. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christmas
  17. Luke 2: 7 – 8
  18. Richard Cohen, Chasing the Sun: The epic Story of the Star That Gives us Life (Quoting Christian Commentator Syrus)
  19. William Walsh, The Story of Santa Klaus , 1970, p. 62
  20. http://theboldindian.com/why-should-hindus-assert-that-yoga-is-hindu-1/
  21. Bart D. Ehrman: Misquoting Jesus à Introduction
  22. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jesus
  23. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gospel
  24. David Fitzgerald, Nailed à Myth No. 2

 

Author: Ranjith Vadiyala

Twitter: @RanjithDharmic

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