Monday, September 16, 2013

Answers to “Ten Questions Christians Can’t Answer”

Joseph Herrin (09-16-2013)

If you missed the original post that this one follows up on, you can find it at the following link:

http://www.parablesblog.blogspot.com/2013/08/ten-questions-christians-cant-answer.html

In the above post I provided a link to a video posted by a Bible skeptic. The author posited ten questions that he stated Christians could not answer. I provided an answer to the first question and challenged readers to provide answers to the remaining ones. Following are the ten questions.

Question #1:
When Noah’s ark landed, how did the kangaroos make it back to Australia?

Question #2: If the ark was covered in pitch, or tar, to make it watertight, it also made it airtight. How did the animals survive more than one or two days, living in complete darkness without any fresh air? Remember, the rain lasted forty days and forty nights. Noah couldn’t open the window in the top.

Question #3: Since Adam and Eve didn’t know right from wrong before eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, why did God then punish them for something they didn’t understand they were doing?

Question #4:
Why would God place a forbidden tree in the garden so close to His innocent creation, and allow Satan to tempt them into eating from it, all the while looking on without doing a thing to prevent it?

Question #5: When the women went to Jesus’ empty tomb, was the stone already rolled away, or did an angel roll it away after the women got there?

Question #6: On the first day of the week, when Jesus rose from the dead, how many women went to the tomb, and which ones?

Question #7: If you believe the creation account in Genesis is mere allegory, then why don’t you throw out Paul’s epistles, because he believed that the creation account was a historical fact?

Question #8: How many donkeys did Jesus ride on His triumphal entry into Jerusalem? Was it one donkey, like Mark, Luke and John say, or was it two donkeys like Matthew said?

Question #9:
Matthew and Luke both provide genealogies for Jesus, going all the way back to Adam. Using both of those lists, who was Joseph’s father?

Question #10: Was Jesus crucified on the first day of Passover like the gospel of John says, or the next day, like the other three gospels say?

A couple of energetic saints provided answers to all of the remaining questions. However, most of the replies were for only one or two of the questions.  I have decided to post ALL of the replies I received since the response was not overwhelming. If you have a comment on any of the answers, please use the comment field below. Remember to include your name if you want your comment to be posted. Anonymous comments will not be posted.

Question #1:
I really appreciate your blog. And i agree we don't give a good account of our faith and its going to get tougher.
I hope you don't mind a little unbiblical fact  about question 1# ? Kangaroos can swim, even though I totally agree with continental drift and God separating the countries, it is a fact that they can and do swim.
As to the ark being airtight! I wonder is it wrong to just accept by faith that if God sealed it he also sustained life by his own breath or would the sheer size of it be  possibly full of air? Battleships and submarines are airtight. I don't think too many earlier ones had ventilation ?  I know this is not a biblical answer but its hard when you have believed all your life by faith much of what we read. And I do read my Bible Old And New Testament. I don't believe they were in total darkness! I believe they had lamps and oil but the God who was fire by night and cloud by day to the Israelites surely if he purposed the ark he sustained it also. Anyway will go away now and ponder this blog and search the scriptures by the Holy Spirit thank you for challenging us!
Tara Gill


Questions #1-3: For the first question, after thinking about it for a minute I thought of Pangea as well. I never would have thought of the answer you gave, and it is shameful that I never studied scripture like I have been doing now.
My response to question two is that when God gave Noah the instructions for building the ark, God gave specific instructions to Noah and just as you talked about in your recent Push Back post about God doing things decently and in order, God knew what he was doing and He provided everything that they needed.
For question three God instructed Adam to not eat of the tree in Genesis 2:17, he obviously told Eve this as well because she responded to the serpent with those instructions in 3:3. They DID understand what they were doing, we are not robots God gave us free will.  I will think about the other questions and study them more.
Sireeta Taylor


Question # 2:
Genesis Ch8, v13
And it came to pass in the six hundredth and first year, in the first month, the first day of the month, the waters were dried up from off the earth: and Noah removed the covering of the ark, and looked, and, behold, the face of the ground was dry (desolate).

The word “covering” in the above verse comes from the Hebrew “mikceh”. The same Hebrew word used to describe the badger covering for the tabernacle. The Hebrew “mikceh” is not used in any other context throughout the Old Testament so we can be confident the ark had the same type of covering. Being made of animal skin, it would have been sufficient to keep out the rain but porous enough to allow air to enter the ark.

Interestingly, to cover the tabernacle, badger skin was placed over ram’s skin died red which pictures our atonement through the blood of Christ. If you look at a badger’s skin, the white markings on its head display the 21st letter of the Hebrew alphabet shin (pictured below). It is also the symbol Jews placed on their door post for protection. It features as the first letter of Shaddai in “El Shaddai” (Almighty God) and is the central letter in both “Yeshua” and “Jerusalem”. Shin carries the numerical value 300 (Gideon’s 300).













Badgers are also adept and killing vipers too!  How about that for symbolism! See this honey badger in the following video - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dq_UN-V9eyM

Question #3:
It would not be accurate to say that they did not know right from wrong, because they were given instructions re the ‘tree.’   I think the ‘knowledge of good and evil’ refers to experiential knowledge rather than instruction.  They chose the scientific method of trial and error and error and error over taking Father’s word for it.  And Adam was willing to leave his Father and cling to his wife, as Yahweh knew that he would do.  And so began the story of man.
Carla Swaim

This person who challenges Christians on why did God punish Adam and Eve when they did not know right from wrong is deceptive and as you stated, does not represent biblical truth.  There was first the age of conscience, then the dispensational age of the law and then with Messiah's coming, the age of grace.  When God created man, he placed in him, on his heart specifically as it says in scripture, the knowledge of God and a knowing of right from wrong imbued or innate from the moment of their creation.  So when God breathed life into the human form, he instilled the awareness of the conscience.  That's supported by the verse that man is without excuse when he claims there's no evidence for God's existence. For the very created things are evidence of that and being imbued with this conscience is what gives a human this innate frame of reference, not of laws yet to come, but of right from wrong.  That's what it means to even have a conscience.  That's why people in remote areas who will maybe never hear the gospel or of Jesus can be saved by their innate knowledge of right and wrong from God written on their hearts and having this conscience to guide them.  I think that may answer this person's cunning little query.
Lisa D'Alia

Question #4:
Answer: free choice, free will.

The man in the YouTube video is to be congratulated for asking thought provoking questions.  If this man were God and had created people, he probably would have created them to look something like himself, in his image.  He would certainly want his creation to have free will, freedom of choice.  Why?  He would reason that without it they would simply be a modified robot, never able to attain to the full potential of being the very image of God himself.  Likewise, granting them 100% freedom of choice would proclaim ultimate, final trust in his creation.  Contrary, if his creatures are not ultimately trustworthy, then he, their maker, could not be trusted for having made them.

Having endowed his creation with free will he would have known this freedom of choice could be used for good as exemplified in a loving, caring nature, or for evil in a selfish, hurtful manner.

Would the man in the video, as Yahweh, our Creator, have known that when he spoke his creation into being by his very words themselves, that his words in effect constitute the “glue” which holds mankind together?  This method of creation would leave man with a choice: accept the word of his Creator, obey and walk in his word (the tree of life), or choose to reject the word, the “glue,” and do what is right in his own eyes (the tree of knowledge of good and evil).  Man could choose to believe that his maker has a “manufacturer’s manual,” (a Bible) which all could choose to follow for their good, or man could choose to trust that mankind, without his maker, knows best, and mankind can therefore set the standard for what is good and what is evil – man’s choice.

Were the man in the video our creator, then he, as Yahweh himself, in his foreknowledge would have known the potential for man choosing to reject the “glue” and thereby commence to fall apart.  He, as Yahweh, could forget about it and walk away, or he could choose to immediately set choices before mankind knowing that mankind learns, the hard way, or the easy way, from his choices.  If he truly loved us, his creation, he would have designed corrective judgments for us to encourage us, should we choose, to repent and turn from that which is harmful to that which brings blessings and life.  Would he know that his creatures, having learned the consequences of bad choices, would now be encouraged to make proper choices, mature and grow into the perfect person they were originally designed to be?

He is faced with a dilemma.  If man’s harmful choices of the tree of knowledge of good and evil were to produce decay, destruction and death, what could he, their creator, do – back off and let them self-destruct, or send divine assistance?  The man in the video, as any decent creator would come to mankind’s aid by giving man the choice to become reunited, rejoined and reconciled with his Creator.  How?  He himself would come to earth, take the penalty/consequence of man’s improper choices, be crucified, spill his blood in payment of the redemption price, and because of his very nature – life itself – resurrect as a powerful being overcoming death and be more than willing to give this overcoming power and life, even eternal life, to all who would choose such.

Biblically, we can see that right out of chute number one our Creator has given us a choice. In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Genesis 1:1.  We can choose to believe he created us or we can choose to believe we evolved from monkeys and act accordingly.  Our choice!

Immediately following, in Genesis 2:9 we see another choice. Out of the ground Yahweh God caused to grow every tree that is pleasing to the sight and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.  Then, in Genesis 2:16-17 we see the consequence of choosing rejection of the creative word, the “glue.” Choose to accept or to reject

Yahweh God commanded the man, saying, “From any tree of the garden you may eat freely;         but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die.”

Throughout Scripture we see choices set before us, as for example in Deuteronomy  30:19-20 regarding his commandments. “I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. So choose life in order that you may live, you and your descendants, by loving Yahweh your God, by obeying His voice, and by holding fast to Him; for this is your life...”

Finally, when we come to the end, we see in the final chapter of the final book, Revelation  22:17, that he continues to give us a choice.  Will we come back to our Creator and his “glue,” the Word Himself, Yahshua/Jesus, who holds us together or not?  “Come!" say the Spirit and the Bride. Whoever hears, echo, "Come!" Is anyone thirsty? Come! All who will, come and drink, drink freely of the Water of Life!”
Roger Norman
Fort Worth, Texas

Questions #1-10:
Question #1----Joseph Herrin answered in a very competent way.
Question#2...... "how did they breath inside the ark if there was pitch on it? My answer: Lord, my heart is not haughty, nor mine eyes lofty, neither do I exercise myself in things too high for me. Psalm 131:1
Question #3..."since Adam and Eve didn´t know right from wrong, why did God punish them"?  My answer: In Genesis 2:17 God plainly said to them, " But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it".......From the moment that God said "THOU SHALT NOT" Adam and Eve were under law. They knew it was wrong to break the commandment of YAHWEH thier creator. They didn´t need to eat from a tree, they heard it straight from Gods mouth.
Question #4..."why did God place the tree there to tempt them in the first place, then just sit back and watch the entire scenario.?..My answer. God don´t want robots to worship him. He wants a people created in his own image with a free will to choose on their own accord to either follow him, and obey his laws, or reject him and his commandments and go their own way. In Deuteronomy 30:19 God told his people..."I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that i have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live. Deuteronomy 31:19.
Question #5...when the women went to the tomb, was the stone already rolled away, or after the women got there"?....My answer. The bible very plainly declares that it was already rolled away. Mark, Luke, and John very plainly says so. They use Matthew 28:2 to try to say that it happened while the women were there, but anyone with any comprehension of the English language at all knows that Matthew 28:2 is a parenthesis (spelling). The writer paused in his discourse of events, and inserted a clause of something that caused the stone to roll away.
Question #6..." how many women went to the tomb"?  My answer. The bible dosent say just how many went to the tomb. It names 4 by name. Luke 24:10 names 3. Mary Magdalene, Joanna and Mary mother of James. Mark 15:47 calls Mary, "the mother of Joses, so this was without the mother of Jesus himself, another account calls her "the other Mary". Then in mark 16:1 it names Salome. Then in Luke 24:1-10 it says there was "other women". So the bible doesn’t pin it down exactly the number of women that went to the tomb. It only names these four.
Question #7...."if you believe that the creation account is mere allegory, then why don´t you throw out Pauls epistles......   My answer. This just shows the silliness of these people that throw these questions at us. I don´t know of any true bible believing Christian that believes that the Genesis account of creation is a "mere allegory".
Question #8....how many donkeys did Jesus ride on on his triumphal entry into Jerusalem. My answer: Again this shows nothing but silliness from these people. The scripture very plainly says that he rode on the colt. He didn´t ride the mother ass, simply because she had been ridden before. He rode the colt because Luke 11:2 says "....Ye shall find a colt tied whereon never man sat...." It is unthinkable that the Messiah would ride into Jerusalem on just any donkey that many people had ridden on. These reprobate people that are throwing these questions at us use Matthew 21:5-7 to try to say it is saying that he rode both of them, when verse 5 plainly says that he sat upon "an ass colt". That is what it says, nothing more.
Question #9....".who was Joseph’s father." My answer: I don´t know where they are coming from on this one. Matthew 1:16 very plainly says that Jacob was Joseph’s earthly father. Then Matthew 1:20 calls him "the son of David." So are they looking at it from a spiritual viewpoint, or a physical one?
Question #10....This is a strange one from these people. Jesus had to have been crucified on Passover. He was the" Lamb of God that Taketh away the sin of the world" John 1:29. Then 1 Corinthians 5:7 says "....Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us." Where they are trying to tangle us up is the fact that there was two Sabbaths that year. One was a High Sabbath, which was Passover, and the other one was the regular weekly Sabbath.
Robert Taylor - Missionary to Mexico

Questions #2-10:
Question #2:
Gen 6:16 
You shall make a window for the ark, and you shall finish it to a cubit from above...
Question #3:
From what we know, this was the only commandment that God has given to Adam in the garden, and Even was not even created yet.
Gen 2:16-17 
And YHVH God commanded the man, saying, "Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat;
but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die."
All I need to know here is, why did God ever gave us any of His commandments?
There were commandments and laws even before the official Law was given at Mount Sinai.
Gen 26:4-5 
And I will make your descendants multiply as the stars of heaven; I will give to your descendants all these lands; and in your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed;
because Abraham obeyed My voice and kept My charge, My commandments, My statutes, and My laws."
So my answer is: Every commandment that God had ever given us, was put in place for the sole purpose of testing our hearts. To see who is obedient and who isn’t. God could have easily created us to be perfectly obedient, He could have easily destroyed the serpent even before it spoke and He could have easily made the garden without that tree. But He did none of those things. Instead, He chose to give the command not to eat and then He put that delicious looking tree right in the midst of the garden! Why? Testing.
Noah was tested when God told him to build that humongous arc, Abraham was tested when God told him to sacrifice Isaac, Moses was tested when he was told to go back to Egypt before the pharaoh, with his speech impediment and demand of the pharaoh the most daunting thing: "Let my people go". Even Yahshua was tested for 40 days. Every major figure in the Bible was tested.
If anyone thinks that he/she is not going to be tested by God, that he/she will somehow be exempt from it, is in serious denial about the one true God.
So why is testing so important to God? Easy answer. Who would you invite to spend the whole eternity with you? Eternity is a looooong time. The ones who respect you and love you, or the ones who don’t? God said: "If you love me, you will keep my commandments". You can not love God and not keep His commandments at the same time. 
Deu_5:29 
Oh, that they had such a heart in them that they would fear Me and always keep all My commandments, that it might be well with them and with their children forever!
John_14:15 
"If you love Me, keep My commandments.
John_15:10 
If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father's commandments and abide in His love.
Who does devil hate the most?
Rev_12:17 
And the dragon was enraged with the woman, and he went to make war with the rest of her offspring, who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.
Who does God love the most?
Rev_14:12  Here is the patience of the saints; here are those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus.
Rev_22:14  Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city.
Question #4:
Why would God place a forbidden tree in the garden so close to His innocent creation, and allow Satan to tempt them into eating from it, all the while looking on without doing a thing to prevent it?
Answer:
I just realised I had already answered this in my answer to the question #3.
Question #5:
When the women went to Jesus’ empty tomb, was the stone already rolled away, or did an angel roll it away after the women got there?
Answer:
If we combine side by side the first three Gospel accounts ( I will leave out the description in John, since it is the shortest and couldn’t answer the question above) and if we put them together into one, then it all makes perfect sense.
I will put numbers before each segment so you can understand easier what verses have I combined.
#1
Matthew 28:1 
Now after the Sabbath, as the first day of the week began to dawn, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to see the tomb.
Mark 16:1 
Now when the Sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices, that they might come and anoint Him.
Luke 24:1 
Now on the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they, and certain other women with them, came to the tomb bringing the spices which they had prepared.
#2
Matthew 28:2-4 
And behold, there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat on it.
His countenance was like lightning, and his clothing as white as snow.
And the guards shook for fear of him, and became like dead men.
#3
Mark 16:2-4 
Very early in the morning, on the first day of the week, they came to the tomb when the sun had risen.
And they said among themselves, "Who will roll away the stone from the door of the tomb for us?"
But when they looked up, they saw that the stone had been rolled away—for it was very large.
Luke 24:2-3 
But they found the stone rolled away from the tomb.
Then they went in and did not find the body of the Lord Jesus.
#4
Mark 16:5-7 
And entering the tomb, they saw a young man clothed in a long white robe sitting on the right side; and they were alarmed.
But he said to them, "Do not be alarmed. You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He is risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid Him.
But go, tell His disciples—and Peter—that He is going before you into Galilee; there you will see Him, as He said to you."
Matthew 28:5-7 
But the angel answered and said to the women, "Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified.
He is not here; for He is risen, as He said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay.
And go quickly and tell His disciples that He is risen from the dead, and indeed He is going before you into Galilee; there you will see Him. Behold, I have told you."
Luke 24:4-8 
And it happened, as they were greatly perplexed about this, that behold, two men stood by them in shining garments.
Then, as they were afraid and bowed their faces to the earth, they said to them, "Why do you seek the living among the dead?
He is not here, but is risen! Remember how He spoke to you when He was still in Galilee,
saying, 'The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.' "
And they remembered His words.
#5
Matthew 28:8 
So they went out quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy, and ran to bring His disciples word.
Mark 16:8 
So they went out quickly and fled from the tomb, for they trembled and were amazed. And they said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid.
Luke 24:9 
Then they returned from the tomb and told all these things to the eleven and to all the rest.
By combining these three Gospel accounts, it is clearly evident that the tomb was already opened when they got there.
Question #6:
Answer:
Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of James were definitely participants of the whole event, Salome is said to have only been buying spices with them (Mark 16:1) and of Joanna I am not sure. She may have only been involved with the preparing of spices and ointments (Luke 23:56), or she may have been with the two Mary’s on the way to the tomb, but never actually entered the tomb.
I am looking forward to seeing the answer to this one on your blog

Question #7:
Answer:
I do not believe it is a mere allegory.
Question #8:
Answer:
The word "him" is inserted into the KJV. It does not exist in the Greek, nor in the Hebrew Matthew.
Mat 21:6-7 
And the disciples went, and did as Jesus commanded them,
And brought the ass, and the colt, and put on them their clothes, and they set (him) thereon.
Therefore, there is no contradiction in the text.
Question #9:
Answer:
This contradiction can only be solved if we admit that the Gospel of Matthew may have been originally written in Hebrew or Aramaic, as the "church fathers" Papias, Origen and Jerome claimed.
Both Hebrew and Aramaic Matthew texts have the word "father" instead of "husband" in the verse 1:16. They both say that Mary’s father was also named Joseph, just as her husband. That one word solves it all. That way we have 14 generations from exile to Yahshua, that way Yahshua is a descendant of David and that way we destroy the apparent contradiction of who was Jospeh’s father in these two lineages.
If we say that we will only believe in Greek, we neither have the 14 generations, nor do we have any blood lineage of Yahshua to king David, and that missing blood lineage would disqualify Him as being the Messiah.
So, I believe what Papias, Origen and Jerome claimed. Matthew was written in Hebrew.
Question #10:
Answer:
There is no "first day" of Passover, there is only one day of Passover, the rest is called The Feast of Unleavened Bread. And on that one day there is only one specific time when the actual appointed time is and that is at dusk. All of the day before the dusk is called the preparation for Passover. During that day of preparation the lambs were slaughtered (just like Yahshua) and only at dusk the lambs were eaten. And according to our Fathers appointed times, Yahshua fulfilled the first 4 Feasts exactly on the day. He was killed on Passover, He was in the grave during the Feast of Unleavened Bread, He rose from the grave on the day of the Firstfruits and He gave His Holly Spirit to the disciples on the Feast of Pentecost.
The last supper was not the real Passover meal, it was simply the last supper that He had with His disciples, because He knew He would not be there to have the Passover meal with them the next evening. If it were the Passover meal then it would be all wrong and Yahshua is not fulfilling His Fathers will all wrong. The day would be wrong, cause they would be the only folks in Jerusalem celebrating it one day early, the house would most likely not be prepared for the Feast, because the whole House would have to be leaven-free and that is not a couple of hour work, and most importantly all the texts say that Yahshua was breaking leavened bread on that day and giving it to His disciples to eat. Absolutely not possible.
So yes, Yahshua was crucified on the only day of the Passover.
Kresimir Hrgovic


Heart4God Website: http://www.heart4god.ws    

Parables Blog: www.parablesblog.blogspot.com    

Mailing Address:
Joseph Herrin
P.O. Box 804
Montezuma, GA 31063

4 comments:

Glenn A. Burkins said...

Wow. There certainly are many who gave this much time and thought. I am humbled by how little I truly know of scripture and am now renewed in my desire to know Him more. Thank you to all of the respondents and to you, brother Joseph, for this post. May our Father continue to bless you.

A fellow disciple of Yashua Christ,
Glenn

Chris said...

To add to the badger message:

The Hebrew letter Shin means 'peace and protection'. It also symbolises the presence of the Father-YHWH.The shin is displayed on the Mezuzah placed on the doorpost at the entrance of the home to symbolise protection and peace in the home.
In England there is currently an outrageous badger cull taking place of an initial 5000 badgers. What spiritual significance does this event have? Is YHWH removing His 'peace and protection' from the earth in these last days?

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-23845851

Chris - Plymouth, England

Aaron Chan said...

Kudos to these Christians who have put in the time to thoughtfully answer these supposedly 'unanswerable questions'. Answers have been pooled from extensive cross-referencing and even some scholarly research on the different bible document texts of different languages(eg: Aramaic, Hebrew, Greek).
Tara Gill is right on the fact that kangaroos do swim. They are strong swimmers and are known to occasionally travel to small offshore islands from off the coast of the mainland in relatively short trips.
However, it's unlikely that they can swim across the ocean on extremely long journeys from one continent to the other unless they go 'island hopping'(there's a pun!) from across a series of pacific islands (malaysia>indonesia>papua new guinea).

I am satisfied with Joseph's answer that the earth (called Pangaea) was divided after the flood, as said in Genesis 10:25.
My thoughts are on whether there are any cross-references that can be made from other sources besides the bible for extra strengthening evidence.

As for the view that since all dinosaurs are millions of years old, some probably aren't that old. Dinosaurs actually are mentioned in the bible. In Job 40:15-24, the Brontosaurus type specifically is mentioned. For further information:
http://www.angelfire.com/mi/dinosaurs/behemoth.html

Sis Shanna said...

Hi Joseph, really enjoyed your story of Nicholas and loved seeing Champ so grown now. Have started on Feather in the Wind adventure myself in Africa. Waited to see if he would send me somewhere here in states, but was invited to go in May and knew the way the doors were opening this is where would be. Am selling my car, if it doesn't sell then know the Father does not have me there for as long as currently believe.
May you be blessed abundantly,
Sis Shannah