The Jeremiah Tablet – Evidence of the Bible’s Accurate History


An ancient clay tablet dating back to 595 BCE has recently added more corroborative evidence of the historical accuracy of the Bible.

jeremiah_tablet_0721

The pictured tablet contains an inscription that is translated as:

[Regarding] 1.5 minas (0.75 kg) of gold, the property of Nabu-sharrussu-ukin, the chief eunuch, which he sent via Arad-Banitu the eunuch to [the temple] Esangila: Arad-Banitu has delivered [it] to Esangila. In the presence of Bel-usat, son of Alpaya, the royal bodyguard, [and of] Nadin, son of Marduk-zer-ibni. Month XI, day 18, year 10 [of] Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon.

Now, why is that name Nabu-sharrussu-ukin bolded? As it turns out, that is the key part of the inscription with regards to the following verse from the Old Testament of the Bible:

“Then all the officials of the king of Babylon came and took seats in the Middle Gate: Nergal-Sharezer of Samgar, Nebo-Sarsekim a chief officer, Nergal-Sharezer a high official and all the other officials of the king of Babylon.” – Jeremiah 39:3

That name, Nebo-Sarsekim, is the same name as Nabu-sharrussu-ukin although worded differently. It’s like Susan compared to Suzanne.

Now, the mention of names like Cyrus, Nebuchadnezzar or Caesar would be nothing special. Famous rulers like these would have been remembered long after their time had passed.

But hundreds of years later, who would remember the name of a mere court official in an empire full of various officials?

Thus it is argued that the book of Jeremiah was really written as an accurate hisorical record during the time-span it covers – not as a fake story made up long after the events. And if it is so accurate on such minor details, would it not too be accurate on the important events – such as the Jewish exile to Babylon?

See Nebo-Sarsekim Tablet for more details, and see also the famous Cyrus cylinder for another archaeological artifact that correlates with the Biblical narrative of Ezra 1:1-4.

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Excerpts from Time.com:

On July 10 the Museum announced that a Viennese expert working his way through thousands of similar clay documents in its possession translated one dating from 595 B.C that described a gift of 1.7 lbs. of gold to a Babylonian temple by a “chief eunuch” named Nabu-sharrussu-ukin.

A museum official called it “a world-class find.” What makes the ancient but seemingly mundane receipt significant is that the book of Jeremiah in the Hebrew Bible (or Old Testament) mentions the exact same official — though under a different transliteration, Nebo-Sarsekim, and a different title, chief officer, as accompanying the Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar when he marched against Jerusalem in 587.

According to some experts, that proves that whoever wrote Jeremiah wasn’t making it up.

Conservatives are calling the Nebo-Sarsekim tablet, stamped in cuneiform script, such a proof. Lawson Stone, a professor of Old Testament at Asbury Theological Seminary in Wilmore, Kentucky, describes Nebo-Sarsekim’s rank as roughly equivalent to Deputy Undersecretary of the Interior.

“The logical assumption,” he contends, “is that Jeremiah wasn’t written by a later writer, but a person writing at the time. I don’t know why a later writer trying to create a legendary basis for [a later Jewish regime] would want to make reference to a third-ranked Babylonian clerk. This argues that the document is accurate in its references to the world around it.”


18 Responses to “The Jeremiah Tablet – Evidence of the Bible’s Accurate History”

  1. Hun Boon Says:

    Let me just say upfront that I’ve no clue about the religious significance of the find, nor what the bible says. Just going by pure logic here.

    hmm.. Chief eunuch Nabu-sharrussu-ukin is the same person as Chief officer Nebo-Sarsekim? Actually that’s just a minor issue.

    More importantly, I would disagree with you on the following:

    And if it is so accurate on such minor details, would it not too be accurate on the important events – such as the Jewish exile to Babylon?

    Actually no. Wouldn’t major events be more likely to be distorted by writers with their own agendas? On the other hand, a minor detail like an officer’s name would probably be left unaltered.

  2. Scott Thong Says:

    The Wikipedia link has more versions of the name comparison btw.

    This is gist of the old truthful narrative vs. propaganda debate:
    Did the writers of the Biblical books have an ulterior motive in recording their experiences? Undoubtedly. They wanted to leave important lessons for future generations.

    But does this mean that the writers fudges the facts or intentionally lied? That’s up to archaeology and document study to decide.

    However, in the case of the Jeremiah tablet, the point being raised is this: Would a propaganda writer in post-Babylonian times (say, around 300 BCE when the Jews lived in Israel again) have the ability to accurately include various small details? Or would he have had to make up all the names as he went along?

    After all, who would bother checking if the names and places were accurate back in 300 BCE? How would they tell without an archaeological dig to find the artifacts? Why even bother when all that mattered at the time was a propaganda piece?

    Compare it to a diary… Irrelevant details are included everywhere, which are very unlikely to have been made up. True, the writer may have invented fantastic fibs such as meeting Prince William face to face – but this

    I’m not so familiar with the Jeremiah account, but I know more about the books said to have been written by Moses (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy – together known as the Pentateuch). Were they written by Moses as he led the Israelites from Egypt to the Promised Land, or was it all made up by a temple priest hundreds of years later as a political tool?

    In the Pentateuch, we find many ‘small’ details like using long-dead Egyptian names for places in Israel (insted of the 300 BCE-current Hebrew names), directions for how to set up camp and dig latrines in a desert, references to various life found in the desert but not in Israel… In short, incredible research for a fake writer to carry out for a propaganda piece!

    Various archaeological finds correlate with historical events described in the Bible – even ones believed to be proven nonexistant, then proven existant by later discoveries (e.g. the Hittites, Sodom & Gomorrah the 4 kings vs 5 kings of Genesis).

    Links on Bible historical events:
    Brief summary: http://debate.org.uk/topics/history/bib-qur/bibdoc.htm
    More details on four historical items: http://www.probe.org/content/view/31/77/
    4 vs 5 kings: http://www.oldtestamentstudies.net/patriarchs/genesis14.asp?item=3&variant=0

    But even with all these discoveries, it can still be debated that the small details are accurate while the larger story is false. Archaeology can never prove the Bible (especially with regards to spiritual things such as God and salvation), but it can prove that the Bible is intended as a factual account and not a fanciful bedtime storybook.

  3. Hun Boon Says:

    In short, incredible research for a fake writer to carry out for a propaganda piece!

    Think you misunderstood my point. I’m not saying that the entire document is made up.

    What I’m saying is, getting a minor detail like a name correct doesn’t mean that the rest of the document is therefore true as well. It isn’t necessarily so, just wanted to point out the fallacy in your reasoning.

    As for whether the bible or the events depicted in it is accurate, I’ll leave that to the historians.

  4. Scott Thong Says:

    Yeah, I got your point.

    I was just trying to point out that it would be a killer amount of effort – for an ancient writer with scanty resources – to research all the minor details in order to bolster his totally bluff main points in a propaganda piece.

    Especially when ancient skeptics would have been similarly hard pressed to go and check the minor details for accuracy.

    It would have been much easier, but just as bluffingly effective, for the propaganda writer to make up plausible sounding names of centuries-ago foreigners. If the bluffing writer lived long after the time of the events, nobody would know the difference right?

    Whereas if the writer lived at the time of the events (such as the Babylonian invasion), he would have had access to the everyday details. So would everyone else, and nobody would believe a patently bluff account of a major event like a national invasion!

    So… If the writer lived long after the events, he couldn’t or wouldn’t bother to use accurate minor details so long as the main point is there. If he lived at the time of the events, he wouldn’t be able to lie with everyone else knowing the true story.

    In short, the presence of accurate minor details makes the false-main-point-propaganda theory that much more improbable and unrealistic.

    No true point can prove that any other other point is true. However, the more points that are true overall, the higher the likelihood that the other points are true.

    Compare to the boy who cried wolf or a sneaky guy known to be a liar. When they tell the truth, you can’t be sure it isn’t another lie (as he usually tells).

    Or a legendary account full of patently improbable stories. When studying the account, you’d assume that anything inside is made up until proven historically true.

    Now take instead, a steadfastedly stable and honest person. You’d think twice about calling him a nutcase when he runs down the road screaming about an alien invasion. He might actually be telling the truth (as he usually does).

    Or a factual document, such as a compilation on the History of British Colonial Malaya. You’d assume that anything contained in the text is meant to be true and historical until proven false.

    Therefore, if it can be shown that the Bible’s account of history is for the overwhelming part proven factually accurate and historically sound, then it can be assumed that the whole document was meant to be taken as a truthful record (and not as a mythology or propaganda retelling).

    So no single or few true points can prove that any other point is true, but enough true poitns can give the benefit of the doubt to other points.

  5. Hun Boon Says:

    Yes I know what you’re trying to say.

    Or a legendary account full of patently improbable stories.

    Would you consider a story of a man called Ahmed in Penang, parting the sea with his hands last Saturday to be improbable? How about a man called Moses doing the same nearly 2000 years ago? 🙂

    Well, my personal opinion of the bible is that there are historically accurate information in it, but the stories are a different matter altogether.

  6. King James Says:

    Hun Boon,

    I see both of your points, but since there are a ton of things considered “evidence” being discovered of biblical events or people, it’s hard to tell. For example the “tomb of Jesus” where it read something similar to “Jesus was here” in arabic, is definately something made up and or purposely planted. It provides no such evidence to support that Jesus did indeed die and was buried in that certain tomb.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/6397373.stm

    Things like that are just laughable. Why over 2000 years later are these things found, compared to admires or even enemies of Jesus from that time when he was alive who could have raided that area or perahps no one at the time did such a thing but perhaps decades later, researchers from neighboring countries maybe stumbled upon this tomb? Someone or people had to have found this site, it shouldn’t take over 2000 years to find such a thing. Even the knights who led the crusades and their search for the “cup of chirst” had a better chance at finding such a thing, even though their chance were perhaps slim as well.

    I dunno, it is very hard to tell now a days what is real discovery and what may be planted.

    – James

  7. Scott Thong Says:

    James, you might find my apologetics/satire piece on the subject of what happened to the body of Jesus to be amusing:
    https://scottthong.wordpress.com/2007/01/17/the-locked-tomb-mystery-whodunit/

    And the discovery of another so-called tomb of Jesus, complete with family:
    https://scottthong.wordpress.com/2007/03/05/tomb-with-jesus-familys-body-in-it-blahblahblah/

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    Hun Boon, well if documented evidence showed Ahmed parting the Penang straits, like TV footage and scientists unable to disprove his miracle, I would have to believe it, whatever my previous beliefs!

    Similarly, if all the evidence adds up in the Bible’s general facts, then I would have no reason not to believe it would suddenly be misleading on the more unbelievable accounts.

    I mean, it’s easy enough to fool people with small changes to minor details… But who expects the very practical, intelligent and worldwise Jews (of all people) to believe something as unusual as dividing a huge body of water? They’ve been accused of many things, but seldom are the Jews accused of stupidity!

    In fact, many of the more miraculous accounts in the Bible have actually been correlated with archaeological discoveries. Every event leaves a mark on the earth, after all – not just clay tablets and pottery.

    The volcanic sulphur found in the destroyed remains of cities (Sodom and Gomorrah), a wall found fallen so flat the diggers could walk on it (Jericho’s walls), documented records of horrible calamities coming all in a row (the Ten Plagues of Egypt)…

    I’ll go into that in detail in a future comment or post.

    —————————————

    I would still be totally awestruck if Ahmed could do such a thing. In fact, I would be similarly wowed if Moses could do something as impossible as part the seas!

    People just don’t have superpowers. To God, however, it wouldn’t even be considered an effort.

    Put it this way: There are a lot of seemingly ‘impossible’ things accepted by the scientific community, things that seem miraculous due to their sheer improbability.

    1) The accepted Big Bang theory states that everything (all space-time of the whole universe) was created in an instant. Where did this everything come from? From nothing. Srsly, out of nothing the universe was formed.

    What caused this change to happen? It has to be something that exists outside of reality, time and space – since all these things were created in the Big Bang. Imagine that, the Big Bang eventually happened even though time does not exist to pass!. What thus caused the Big Bang that formed everything we know?

    The atheist would answer, nothing. Nothing exists outside of time and space. Therefore, everything came from nothing because of nothing, and for no purpose.

    The theist would answer, God. God exists outside of time and space, which He created. Everything came from nothing because of God, for His purposes.

    2) The probability of life arising from random chance, no guiding intelligence involved, has been calculated to be about this: Take an atom. Mark it. Mix it in with every other atom in the universe. Now find that single marked atom.

    Your time limit is the current age of the universe – which is not enough time to find it going through every atom one by one. Wait, scratch that, you are only given a few hundred million years – the age of the Earth when it had cooled down enough to support life.

    The chances of you ever finding that atom is BETTER than the chance that living molecules can form without some process we do not know of helping it along!

    Francis Crick himself, co-discoverer of DNA along with James Watson, once described it thus: “An honest man, armed with all the knowledge available to us now, could only state that in some sense, the origin of life appears at the moment to be almost a miracle, so many are the conditions which would have had to have been satisfied to get it going.”

    3) Are you familiar with the Christian doctrine of the Trinity? It states that God exists as the Father, the Son (Jesus) and the Holy Spirit. All three are God. Yet they are not three Gods, and not one God either, not even three together like 3-in-1 Milo… But THREE AS ONE GOD!

    It totally doesn’t make sense, and boggles the logic centres of my mind! Yet that is what is interpreted from a study of the Bible.

    Why do I bring this up? Because such an impossible thing as 3 = 1 actually exists in our scientific reality!

    See my post on various examples, especially towards the bottom where the accepted scientific theory of ‘chemical resonance’ fits the 3 = 1 explanation of the Trinity exactly.

    https://scottthong.wordpress.com/2006/07/24/the-trinity-examples-in-real-life/

    4) And there is always C.S. Lewis’ famous trilemma argument. From the Bible’s account of Jesus, it is clear that He claimed Himself to be God.

    Now, three possibilities exist. First, Jesus was a plain old liar. He never really thought He was God, but tricked people into following Him. But that means He can no longer be looked up to as a good example. Nor did His actions fit with a liar’s, for He was selfless and honest – to the point of death.

    Second, Jesus was a lunatic. He really did think He was God, but many people think they are Napolean Bonaparte. But Jesus’ behaviour and personality do not seem at all erratic, weird or abnormal. Instead, He showed incredible empathy and understanding.

    The third choice that is left, is that Jesus really was God as He claimed… He was the Lord.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trilemma#Lewis.27s_trilemma

    I don’t accept Richard Dawkins’ fourth option, that Jesus was honestly mistaken, because you’d have to be crazy to honestly think you are the God who created all the heavens and earth.

    —————————————–

    All together, what I am trying to state with my points is that miracles seem to have happened before in this existence, miracles are what God does, and there is reason to believe that the Bible’s ‘fanciful’ accounts of miracles are likely to be truthful… No matter how impossible and absurd they may seem.

    And there is always the experiential evidence of God… The ‘personal miracles’ that believers have experienced.

    My own experience with a very improbable set of coincidences happening just when I’ve been praying about it lead me to believe that someone up there was definitely affecting the dice rolls of chance.

  8. King James Says:

    Scott,

    I admire your way of viewing both sides of the story from a religious and a scientific stand point. It shows that you do not accept things without some type of evidence, even when that evidence contradicts or goes against the “thing” that is being questioned.

    Ok here’s my questions. How then would these miracles be truthful if there isn’t a way of knowing if it natural causes or God’s “handy work”? Just the same as if some say that Satan can work miracles just like God. Well, how would someone tell the difference? These miracles are not with the “signature” of the one working them. If some one were to pray for guidance and that guidance happens to be the work of Satan, how would that person know if he/she believes that they are being guided in the right direction?

    But here’s a more reality based example: A tsunami that perhaps demolished a small island and killed hundreds of people and animals with it’s devistating waves. The deeply religious would say that it was God’s work and he made this happen for a reason. That reason could perhaps be to punish since most of the destruction in the bible have been caused by God’s anger and wrath.

    But, from a “scientific” view, this tsunami that destroyed the most of the people and animals was perhaps caused by continental drift and the constant moving and shift of the Earth’s continents. That effect would be caused by the constant shifting of the Earth’s crust from beneath the sea bed. And that effect would be caused by large rigid blocks of the Earth’s surface which appears to move in units. Of course when the plates move, the continents and the ocean floor above move as well.

    There was cause and effect motion going on there that led to the tsunami, compared to the religious view where the cause was from God only. None one would say that God made the Earth’s continents shift allowing it to quake and which then causing the tsunami. That would mean that every single thing that happens whether by natue and by man would be blamed on God. Similar to a man killing and saays that either God or Satan made him doing it, at some point people are going to be demand that others should take responsibility for their own actions. But how can that be when many believe that God controls their actions?

    Any way you look at the situation, it appears to be a “logical” reason and a some what “illogical” reason based on and believed to be an invisible super being that many believe made this tsunami happen. Could there have been a scientific explaination for God’s miracles, such as the flood in the story Noah’s Ark? Perhaps, it is said that there will be a similar flood to come due to the melting of the glaciers. However, we know the natural cause for this event but we do not know the natural cause of the flood in Noah’s Ark besides evidence proving that there was once a flood some time ago.

    There has never been a reoccurance of this event for man to look at it and analyze it from a scientific stand point. Most of these events happened when there was nothing else to do but believe that a higher power made these things happen.

    An eclipse was once believed to be God’s anger towards creation, so he hid the sun. The sun ‘rising” and “setting” was once believed to be the Sun actually going up and down over the east and west horizons, which later was proven to be the Earth’s rotation around the Sun and even that fact was scrutinized by many.

    I think certain events that are said to be of God could be less than what it seems to be due to our ignorance and laziness of wanting to examine the reasons without offending God in some way or offending other people, only to be scrutinized and condemned, like Galileo for example.

    If these miracles or events are indeed from God, then would his miracles or even the words of the Bible be targeted to Earth only and not the rest of the universe?

    What I mean is, is God an “Earthly” God or a “Universal” God? Are his works and miracles only targeted for this planet compared to the billions of other galaxies and planets in the universe? How far does God’s word extend? Which again goes back to the question of him being an “Earthly” or “Universal” God.

    – James

  9. Scott Thong Says:

    I’m glad you approve of my skeptical mindset. My personal stance on many doctrines and teachings has changed over the years, several times in fact, as I’ve learnt about new evidence and arguments.

    Similarly, my scientific beliefs have changed as I learnt more… I was once convinced of evolution and ambivalently accepting about human-caused global warming, but now I am skeptical about both.

    On your pondering about how we can tell whether a happening is God’s doing, or simply a coincidence… Well, it’s actually pretty impossible to tell! I like the way it’s put in an episode of Futurama:

    “When you do things right, people won’t be sure you’ve done anything at all.” – A Giant Computer in Space That May Be God
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Godfellas

    Things like megafloods and raining fire (Sodom & Gomorrah) may have been natural occurences, but God warning His chosen ones would be undoubtedly supernatural.

    Unless of course, the survivors escaped by chance and then fibbed about the whole God-told-me thing. Maybe Noah just liked big wooden toys and lots of exotic pets.

    I’ve said that archaeology cannot prove the Bible’s claims of divine intervention, and it’s so true. So a wall in Jericho fell down and we have dug up the 2000 year old evidence – how can we tell the difference whether it fell over because God pushed it or because people pushed it? Or so this dude named Jesus taught new things and was crucified – what makes Him different from any other executed rebel?

    That’s where the probability factor comes in. Natural phenomena happen all the time. But what are the chances that these things would happen – repeatedly – just when the time is exactly ripe for them to happen?

    Like say, massive rain starting just after Noah finished the ark. Or the sun going wonky just as Joshua’s army needed longer daylight. Or an eclipse happening just as Jesus died (refer http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thallus_%28historian%29 for an ancient, nonChristian account that verifies this actually happening).

    But as I said, the Israelites could just bluff after they had just happened to benefit from the phenomena.

    I’ve had my own experience with highly-improbable multiple coincidences that took place at the time I prayed to God regarding something… But unlikely as they may be, it could still be disregarded as coincidence.

    I have the feeling that if one day, EVERY account of miraculous history in the Bible has been verified to have actually happened… Then critics will move on to dismissing them all as natural phenomena and coincidence!

    (Reminds me of that hypthetical scenario: If God were to suddenly appear in blazing glory in front of a staunch atheist and tell him to his face that GOD DOES EXIST AND HERE I AM TALKING TO YOU!!! … The atheist would dismiss it as a hallucination, illusion, trick or etc.)

    ———————————–

    On whether God is focused solely on this world, it’s hard to say. We can’t even tell whether God has placed intelligent life on other planets in some far-flung corner of the universe, and whether they need a Saviour the same way we do.

    I would say that He is definitely a universal God, but for the purposes of the Bible and God’s plan for us Earthlings, coverage of Earth will suffice. (The Bible is mostly focused on the Jews focused by the way, they being His original race chosen to spread His message).

    If He is doing miracles and Saviouring life forms in Alpha Centauri, it’s not really relevant to us at this time.

    And it can be argued that God has been shown to move His hand in all parts of the universe, through the initiating of the Big Bang. As I said, what caused a change in the status quo of nothingness, thus causing the Big Bang to happen and form everything from nothing?

    ————————–

    On the case of psycho killers claiming God or Satan made them do something, I would dismiss their plea for insanity and ring up the firing squad.

    God gave us free will, which is basis of the entirety of Christianity (and Judaism). If we were meant to be pre-programmed robots, we wouldn’t ever sin and need salvation.

    In order to discern whether a thought, voice or spiritual experience is from God or from the devil, Christians are advised the following: Does the thing glorify God? Does it go against God’s written word in the Bible (thou shall not murder)? Can the spirit acknowledge Jesus as its Lord? If not, then it’s not a holy message from God.

    There’s also a few other hard questions to ponder, which I’ve worked out my own answers to:

    1) If God knows everything that will happen, then He already knows what our choices will be – making His giving us free will nothing but a sick game! (Judas Iscariot in Jesus Christ Superstar complained on this point)

    2) Why does God bother to be so vague and perhaps-maybe about His existence? Especially if He really wants us all to be saved like the Bible claims.

    3) If God is in control of everything and knew everything in advance, then He must be one sick sociopath to make a reality where mankind sins and suffers, His son Jesus has to die and millions will burn in hell!

  10. King James Says:

    Haha..Scott,

    while I was reading your post, I was shaking my head in amazment. We share very similar view points and the last three questions, I have pondering and meditating on for a very very long time. It even came to a point where I was afraid to ask those questions openly without being labeled or frowned upon in some way. The questions totally make sense to me which is why I’m a little skeptic about the “Jealous God” of the OT.

    Btw, I did see that episode of futurama and what the computer said would be true, except for when God is angry then his work is very noticeable. As a child, I used to be afraid to question whether God exist or not. I didn’t want him to kill me for questioning him. I then use to wonder how it was possible to love someone or something that you fear so much. I still do not think that it is possible to love someone or something that you fear more than you love. If that’s the case then it wouldn’t be real love but a forced feeling.

    In regards to the creation of the universe/big bang theory. I can neither fully agree with either concept and the reason would be that we were not there. In some cases, being told or reading about an event doesn’t take much to accept because if we do not believe then most cases we are they told, “well if you don’t believe me, then go check it out for yourself”. We can be guided to the destination which the event took place. For example a car accident (left over wreckage), a fight between two men (a tooth and blood all over the ground), etc.

    But something so mysterious as the universe where it is just impossible to know anything else besides it’s existing for billions of years. Just about ever event in our reality leaves a temporary or perminent mark or scar. That is the signature of the event that happened but there is no signature for the creation of the universe. There’s nothing to offically determine that God created this and theres nothing to officially determine that it just appeared without a caused or reason or even that it existed.

    My opinion will be that it always existed and I say this because even before the universe existed, there was blackness, a void. This void is still a place. And the only way to determine if it is a place is to be conscious of it. To know and to be aware that you are somewhere, even if it is nothing but darkness, hence God being in the state of before the creation of the universe. God was aware of it’s existance which was in darkness, yet still a place. Existance always existed, it take consciousness to be aware ot it existing at all.

    Have you ever seen the movie “The Hitchhiker’s guide to the Galaxy”? Well if you have refer to the part where the whale was falling through the sky. If you haven’t, well there a scene in the movie where a sperm whale is falling through the sky. ou’ll have to rent the movie to know why it’s falling..lol. But it opened it’s eye and was asking questions like , where am I, who am I ? Then it started to name itself and what it was experiencing. It showed some form of awareness.

    So to know get a final answer about the creation of the universe itself I feel to know that, we would have to beeen there in order to know because there is nothing else to determine it’s creation. Even this big bang theory isn’t enough because people would then say that God caused the big bang and the arguement will go on forever as it has been.

    I don’t want to give you too much to read I’ll give my answers to those good questions in the next post.

    – James

  11. King James Says:

    Ok here’s my take o those questions.

    1) If God knows everything that will happen, then He already knows what our choices will be – making His giving us free will nothing but a sick game! (Judas Iscariot in Jesus Christ Superstar complained on this point)

    My answer: I agree. If God does indeed know everything then free will is an illusion. I still think there is no such thing as free will even if it is said that he have it. Here’s my reason. In the Bible, God states that we must worship him and him only yet it is said that we have free will. Now If I decide not to worship God, he will punish me by killing me then top it off by sending me to hell. Now if we do have free will, then any choice we make should not come with such a consequence. When you add in consequence with my freedom to do something and that consequence means my destruction then I feel that it is not “free” will but a forced will.

    For example: A man sneaks up behind you in an alley and puts a gun to your head. He then says, “Give me all of your money or I’ll blow your brains out…it’s your choice”. This man isn’t giving you much of an option since he’s willing to take your life for your money. It is your choice yes but it isn’t much of a choice. When your life is a part of this command or demand, you are then forced to comply.

    If the man were to say, “You can either give me all of your money or you can walk away unharmed”. That statement did not come with include a consequence.

    Or if a divorcing mother were to say to their child, ” You can either live with me or live with your Dad, whatever you decide, I will always love you..it’s your choice”. Compared to, “If you do not live with me, then you are not allowed to visit me and you will be non existent to me..it’s your choice”.

    Or even a jealous husband tells his wife, “Sure you can leave me but if you ever dcide to leave me, I’ll kill you..it’s your choice”. Apparently these people who are making the demands are not making it much of a choice. Then in court, the juedge ask the man why he threated his wife and basically held her hostage. The man then replies, “Well your honor, I told her that she could leave if she wants”. The judge says, “Yes, you did but her free will was destroyed by you threatening her life, leaving her no choice but to comply”.

    So, God is saying if we do not worship him, then he will destroy us and send us to hell. I guess I would have no other choice but to worship him. There is no such thing as this free will. Long ago prisoners were able to go outside for recreation and there was a white line that they were told not to pass or else they would get shot down.

    Many guards will joke around and say, “sure you can leave, you’re free to go anytime you want but once you cross that white line, you will be shot and killed…it’s your choice”. A few tried and failed but the rest knew that they didn’t have a choice but to comply and submit to the rules.

    So I can agree with the first question above. Make sense to me. If free will comes with a consequence and that consequence is the end of my life then it is not worh it.

    2) Why does God bother to be so vague and perhaps-maybe about His existence? Especially if He really wants us all to be saved like the Bible claims.

    Good question again. People would argue about how we were once angels in heaven then we sinned against God by joining forces with Satan so he punished us and sent us to earth to repent. First how is it possible for everyone to agree with one dude? Were we that guilable and without opinion? It appears to be if everyone followed this joker. Now if we were all angels and Satan too was an angel, why did God give me powers or allow him to keep his powers and better yet his memory while we who were no different from him and perhaps had the same powers and memory were wiped clean and stripped away from those things that could be so vital in knowing things?

    To me, this character Satan should be right here with us repenting and stripped of his powers and memory since he’s nothing more than an angel who fell from grace just like the rest of us. So God favored him still?

    If you had children let’s say..four young adults. 22,21, 19 and 18. All three younger children liked to follow the eldest and party and break rules and stay out late. You, wanting to show “tough love” said that you are going to kick them out of the house since they are not folowing the rules. So, you give $5,000 dollars to the eldest child plus the keys to your SUV, but you do not give a dime to the other kids and even told them not to pack anything and to leave this instant.

    Why favor the eldest child over the rest? That’s basically my understanding and the way that I see the situation. All children were equal and were all gulty of breaking the rules, yet one only got a slap on the wrist while others didn’t. There is other ways for dealing with such a problem but that’s how the story is told.

    To answer the question, well seeing how the Jealous God in the OT likes to favor a few over all, it would seem that this God is not the universal God but a God for just certain race. Why reveal hismelf to one race of people and not all especially since there were many believing in some sort of god then that would be evidence of them being spiritual and would perhaps accept him if he were to reveal himself to them like he did the hebrews.

    Another option is that the OT could be some form of control filled with things that would proove that this Jealous God actually exists and once proven to have some effect of control on a small group as the hebrews, it could then be transformed into a New Type of control where it’s target audience would be the people from all nations. The OT seems to be more directed to Hebrews/Jews and the NT seems to be an ungraded form directed to all and the OT and NT were not from super being at all.

    Imagine a person like Buddah with the reputation that he has would seem like God, writing the OT and feeling emotions of jealously, anger and doing the things that God supposely had done back then. It’s a bit hard to swallow and would go against his nature and philosophy.

    Good but difficult question.

    3) If God is in control of everything and knew everything in advance, then He must be one sick sociopath to make a reality where mankind sins and suffers, His son Jesus has to die and millions will burn in hell!

    Exactly, for a God to know everthing, infinite knowledge, infinite wisdom and infinite rational understanding. It would be impossible for him to what is said of him to do in the OT, betetr yet create an environment where he controls everything yet allow sin to exist, something that he dispise so much. Was he bored of everything being so perfect? It’s very hard to tell if we are robots or not. Even slaves (of any generation) were free enough to be allowed to have babies but were not allowed to read and learn mathematics. Even the Hebrws were not allowed to read the Torah only the high priests and chiefs which was then interpreted to the masses. Keeping them ignorant and any one questioning their authority would be punished.

    I feel the OT was originally supposed to be something to keep people in check. No one likes a person with an opinion/free thinker. Jesus was the free thinker I feel, which is why they did what they did to him. The Hebrews were not menatally free until Jesus.

    There’s more to it but I’ll just wait for your thoughts..

    – James

  12. Scott Thong Says:

    As a child, I used to be afraid to question whether God exist or not. I didn’t want him to kill me for questioning him. I then use to wonder how it was possible to love someone or something that you fear so much.

    I guess it’s the way you were brougt up and taught about God… For me, God was always my loving protector who really cared what I went through. Whenever something bad happened, I would immediately pray that God helped me out of it.

    One example is when I accidentally broked the video tape my teacher lent me, which she didn’t own – Man, I so panicked! I called my dad, who said he’d deal with it and stop panicking, but then I went and prayed really hard to God to please save me!

    So it’s hard for me to relate on a practical level on your being scared of God, although in theory I can see why you might get that impression.

    Just about ever event in our reality leaves a temporary or perminent mark or scar. That is the signature of the event that happened but there is no signature for the creation of the universe. There’s nothing to offically determine that God created this and theres nothing to officially determine that it just appeared without a caused or reason or even that it existed.

    True that just like any other event, there is no physical evidence to prove that God caused it and not some natural randomness. But there is reason why scientists generally accept that the universe had a starting point in the Big Bang, rather than having always existed unchanging. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Big_bang#Observational_evidence , of which I like the redshift evidence best.

    Even this big bang theory isn’t enough because people would then say that God caused the big bang and the arguement will go on forever as it has been.

    The old question of ‘Who created God?’ The standard answer is that only created things need to be created – God always was.

    It’s funny that the same people who today argue against God’s always existing used to argue that the universe always existed, with no problems there!
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steady_state_theory

    (Richard Dawkins for one of those people today, he argues that intelligent design is invalid because it requires an Intelligent Designer who is so complex that he needs to have been designed too – so who designed him? And who designed above that etc.)

    Another universe theory refers back to the ‘Who created God, who created that creator, who created that creator who created…’ dilemma. It basically says that the universe is in a neverending series of Big Bangs and Big Crunches (everything comes crashing back together). But the problem remains, as there is no start of this cycle.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oscillatory_universe

    I would say that when we meet God face to face in the next life, we can ask Him… But it might still implode my mind, the way I feel it’s gonna when I try thinking the ‘How did God come about’ question!

    1) If God knows everything that will happen, then He already knows what our choices will be – making His giving us free will nothing but a sick game! (Judas Iscariot in Jesus Christ Superstar complained on this point)

    My own shot at explaining it has to do with the notion of alternate realities. You know, where we exist in this world, but there’s another reality where Hitler won the war, or Stalin conquered Europe etc.

    So let’s say God knows all the possible variations that could ever arise… Literally infinite paths in every second, which means mega-infinite all the way over the eons! Like a super game-designer who can actually KNOW every possible combination of codes and results.

    But He has not set it in stone, so we are free to choose our path in life – like game players. But knowing all the possible paths, God knows that no matter what, certain things WILL happen (say, the Sun eventually going red giant, or Jesus coming to Earth). Like the last boss of the game whom you’ll eventually fight, but with what gear and abilities rely on your choices.

    “If you do not live with me, then you are not allowed to visit me and you will be non existent to me..it’s your choice”.

    For my explanation of hell, see https://scottthong.wordpress.com/2006/11/07/hell-if-i-know/ . Basically, my post argues that people who spend their whole lives wanting nothing to do with the Christian God would still have the same attitude in the next life. They would choose hell (defined as where God is not, rather than as literal fire) over heaven, because an eternity worshipping, obeying and luvving God would be the REAL ‘hell’ for them!

    For God’s warnings on obedience, the example I usually use is that of a father warning his daughter: “Now I’m warning you, don’t play with the stove when we’re not home, or you’ll get burnt.” Rather than the father actually coming back and hurting the daughter for disobedience, he is warning her of the inescapable, natural consequence of playing with hot stoves.

    Similarly, God warns us of sin and its effects. He doesn’t force us away from sin, for then we’d only rebel (at least in our hearts, and that would still defeat the purpose of relationship).

    For the cases where God seemed to smite people who blaspheme, an example to explain that is the Ark of the Covenant. Those who touched it died immediately. It can be argued that it was so holy, the holiness energy killed the toucher (whatever holiness energy is).

    Superhot lava kills you if you touch it. Extreme radiation kills you if you even come in range of it. So maybe God’s holiness is so powerful, or His infinite energy so great, that even SAYING bad things at Him causes a connection to a fatally powerful surge! (I am actually making up this theory on the spot!)

    Or you could always use the ‘make an example for the good of everyone else’ explanation, like for Sapphira and Ananias when they lied to God and the early church.

    But I give that I have thought of that before… Either we listen to God or we suffer being away from Him, it’s not much of a choice is it? But neither is whether I live or die when I jump off a cliff…

    2) Why does God bother to be so vague and perhaps-maybe about His existence? Especially if He really wants us all to be saved like the Bible claims.

    There is an argument in Judaism that if God were to be too clear, we would HAVE to believe that He is real, and effectively be given no choice in the matter anymore – i.e. faith and free will would play no part in the decision.

    That’s the whole reason why God placed something as reckless as the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil in the garden of Eden… If He did not leave some loophole that allowed mankind to reject obedience to God, then effectively we would be forced to be obedient – all theory of free will, no practical application.

    People would argue about how we were once angels in heaven then we sinned against God by joining forces with Satan so he punished us and sent us to earth to repent.

    I’ll go only as far as to say that this notion is Biblical and is not claimed by mainstream Christianity, and leave it at that. Sounds like various New Age or pseudo-Christian narratives though. Like how Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that Jesus used to be Michaeh the archangel.

    Humans are a bit lower on the scale than angels (in terms of power and ability, I guess, but not favour – Christ died for humans, not angels).

    What is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him? You made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor. – Psalm 8:4-5

    To answer the question, well seeing how the Jealous God in the OT likes to favor a few over all, it would seem that this God is not the universal God but a God for just certain race.

    The OT seems to be more directed to Hebrews/Jews and the NT seems to be an ungraded form directed to all and the OT and NT were not from super being at all.

    The OT is definitely targeted at the Jews, and the NT expands God’s grace to all the world.

    “It is too small a thing for you to be my servant
    to restore the tribes of Jacob
    and bring back those of Israel I have kept.
    I will also make you a light for the Gentiles,
    that you may bring my salvation to the ends of the earth.”
    – Isaiah 49:6, about the Redeemer and Holy One of Israel (the Messiah)

    Tough question – like it is sung in the closing song of Jesus Christ Superstar, why didn’t Jesus come in the 20th century? With TV and radio, He could have touched the whole world!

    But then, you can push that to the 21st century – with the Internet and podcats. Push it further and there might be telepathic interfaces, and so on. And further and futher and later…

    Looking at it from this way, it can be argued that God decided the best time to make His move was back in the Roman era, when most of the Empire was connected by roads and a mail system was in place.

    And as for Asia, I’ve just read that since Paul was forbidden by God to go to Asia, but instead was prompted to go to Rome, then God must have had in His mind to use the colonialists to spread the Gospel to Asia… Though 1000+ years later.

    So I guess that God worked to spread His message in stages, for whatever reasons. Which leads to another hard question: 4) What about all the people who never heard the message of Jesus, in the past or today in the jungles? Isn’t it unfair that they will go to hell just because it’s the Christians’ fault for not spreading the Gospel to them yet?

    3) If God is in control of everything and knew everything in advance, then He must be one sick sociopath to make a reality where mankind sins and suffers, His son Jesus has to die and millions will burn in hell!

    Refer question 1 and 2, about how free will is only real if we have a chance to go burn ourselves on the stove and how the Tree of Knowledge is that stove.

    Even the Hebrws were not allowed to read the Torah only the high priests and chiefs which was then interpreted to the masses. Keeping them ignorant and any one questioning their authority would be punished.

    This is one of the reasons Martin Luther broke off from the Roman Catholic Church in the Reformation – he and the Protestants who take after him believe that all men should be allowed, and are able, to read and understand the Bible for themselves.

    But of course, freedom comes with a price… In this case, the throwing off of a single sole authority on all things Bible and Christianity means that various offshoots and cults can claim equal correctness in their interpretation. (Note I said claim, not prove.)

    Phew! This is good mental exercise… But it must be said that all this logicking can only convince the mind, but can’t change men’s hearts which is what really controls their lives.

  13. King James Says:

    Hi Scott,

    I like your analogy on God knowing all. It seems a bit complex though, but would it be fair to view it in a way of him knowing what’s going to happen because he has watched this movie which is the human existence over and over again.

    Also if it is said that he has control over what happens in our lives, then we really don’t have a choice to choose what path we want to take or not. For example, if a person was being pressured to join a church and they prayed to God for guidance until finally, they decide to join the church and even the pastor of the church convinced the person that it was God’s will to allow her to join as if he was the one to pull the strings in her own life. Therefore, it would appear that God was the one to decide if this person would join this church or not and this person is also convinced herself that it was God who made this happen, and to add to this belief, the pastor also adds his own two cents in making the person believe that her decision to join was through God and God alone.

    So where does chosing a path and deciding for self plays a roles in this example, if the person doesn’t want to believe it was their decision to begin with? If people are believing and saying that it is the will of a higher power to make something happen in their lives, then it would appear that it is not their will, but the will of the higher power that they believe in. Which would mean that this higher power is not allowing them to choose their own “weapons” on their own will, but to choose the “weapons” that he wants them to.

    “There is an argument in Judaism that if God were to be too clear, we would HAVE to believe that He is real, and effectively be given no choice in the matter anymore – i.e. faith and free will would play no part in the decision.

    That’s the whole reason why God placed something as reckless as the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil in the garden of Eden… If He did not leave some loophole that allowed mankind to reject obedience to God, then effectively we would be forced”

    I don’t know, a robot doesn’t know that he has no choice unless he was created with the ability to or knowledge of what is free and what is not. Computers are basically slaves to humans until the day that it is created with the ability to be aware and able to understand it’s purpose and know that it is playing the role as slave to humans.

    Even when Adam and Eve were created, God kept them in ignorance. They wre not aware of what was good and what was evil. They didn’t even know that the serpent was tricking them. God could have said along with warning them about the tree of knoweldge, “stay away from that crazy serpent, he is not to be trusted and will try to fool you”.

    But, he didn’t. I don’t even think that they fully understood what God meant when he said, “ye shall die” when he commanded them not to touch the fruit. If someone were to say do not eat that candy or you will die, you better believe that I am not going to touch the piece of candy unless I want to lose my life.

    However, it would appear that they were not afraid of death better yet know what it meant. If a 5 year old child doesn’t know what death is, he/she will not fear it but if explained what death is, surely some kind of fear will over come them. How can they fear God and not fear death?

    However, after eating the apple, thats when they were aware that they were tricked. So who is to blame? Adam and Eve or God for creating such a lose/lose situation? Appears that they didn’t stand a chance since they were created in ignorance and to add to the situation was tricked by the serpent. You simply can not trick someone who knows.

    If they had the ability to know that they were being tricked, they wouldn’t have eaten the apple BUT it would take them to eat the apple to know that they were being tricked.

    Perfect Catch 22

    – James

  14. Scott Thong Says:

    Welcome back King. By now, you should get the vibes that I am a staunch apologist for mainstream Christian doctrines and theology.

    I like your analogy on God knowing all. It seems a bit complex though, but would it be fair to view it in a way of him knowing what’s going to happen because he has watched this movie which is the human existence over and over again.

    I would still liken it more to a video game or ad-lib show, once where the Director lets the players decide what to do at each scene. The Director, although he can see all possible futures and thus knows all the possible outcomes, lets the players make their own decisions.

    ——————————

    Also if it is said that he has control over what happens in our lives, then we really don’t have a choice to choose what path we want to take or not.

    The question of free will is a deep one, even if we disregard the religious aspects.

    I’ve been wondering lately, if humans do not have a soul, how do we decide to do things? How do we think? In performing an action, our brain sends a signal through the nerves to the muscles. But what triggers the signal in the brain?

    Certain experiments seem to indicate that the triggering of the signal is arbitrary. Our brain sends a signal and our body obeys, and AFTER that has happened we believe that we ‘wanted’ to do it. Therefore we have no free will, merely the illusion of it.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Free_will#Neuroscience

    If one accepts that we have no free will and something (brain chemicals or genes or God) completely controls us like puppets, then we have personal responsibility. Everything thing we do is ‘not our fault’. Homosexuals are supportive of this notion, for it lets them assign their behaviour entirely to their DNA code.

    Yet for practical purposes, we live as if we each had free will. Just as in the case of brain-in-a-vat (like the Matrix), whether we are real or just imaginary dreams, we live as if we were real, with all the responsibility it entails.

    And here’s a thought experiment for you – if God were using us like puppets, then it wouldn’t really matter anyway. He is the one who makes us sin, and also the one who makes us complain about His unfairness. So it’s Him complaining actually, since we don’t actually have concious minds. Our perceived unfairness becomes a moot point – our opinions don’t actually exist.

    Even if we end up burning in hell (metaphorically or literally), our ‘complaints’ or ‘suffering’ wouldn’t matter, as we are essentially non-entities under the control of the puppet-master.

    In short, if God controls our wills, nothing really matters and our emotions do not really exist.

    ————————————-

    Even when Adam and Eve were created, God kept them in ignorance. They wre not aware of what was good and what was evil. They didn’t even know that the serpent was tricking them. God could have said along with warning them about the tree of knoweldge, “stay away from that crazy serpent, he is not to be trusted and will try to fool you”.

    I think it is our own conception that Adam and Eve were naive and ‘fresh’. It could have been decades or even millenia before the serpent (identified as Satan) came along to tempt them.

    This passage in Genesis is likely written as allegory – likely Satan did not appear as a literal snake, the Trees were not literal trees but rather represented the will of humanity.

    Thus, the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil represented rebellion against God – knowledge of good and evil meaning humans themselves deciding what should be right and what should be wrong. Atheistic humanism today declares this very thing, that morality is determined by human culture.

    This is then what the serpent tempted them with – “You will be like God.” This was also, ironically, the very same prideful ambition that led Satan to attempt a coup against God back when he was called Lucifer.

    And God had already warned them not to touch that ‘tree’, or they would suffer the consequences. The serpent prodded them to doubt or disbelieve God’s warning as a lie – even if God has specifically warned them about Satan, they would likely still be swayed by the doubletalk.

    (“Ted tells me that you get angry easily and are often in denial.” “What?! That’s not true!!!” “Ah, it seems that Ted was right about you!” “Ted is a lying opportunist!” “Ted also warned me you would try to backstab him.”)

    If someone were to say do not eat that candy or you will die, you better believe that I am not going to touch the piece of candy unless I want to lose my life.

    However, it would appear that they were not afraid of death better yet know what it meant. If a 5 year old child doesn’t know what death is, he/she will not fear it but if explained what death is, surely some kind of fear will over come them.

    People are told all the time that smoking, drugs and unprotected free sex will kill them. But they go ahead and do it anyway, even if they really believe that they will get cancer or HIV and have seen people dying from it. Go figure.

    ———————————-

    However, after eating the apple, thats when they were aware that they were tricked. So who is to blame? Adam and Eve or God for creating such a lose/lose situation? Appears that they didn’t stand a chance since they were created in ignorance and to add to the situation was tricked by the serpent. You simply can not trick someone who knows.

    If you believe we have free will, you can still blame God. Remember that He is omniscient – He knows everything that’s going on. And He is omnipotent and all-authoritative – Satan couldn’t torment Job unless God permitted it.

    So with those facts in mind, I believe that God knew Satan wanted to try and woo humanity to turn away from God, and He let Satan go ahead and try. In fact, God would have to had permitted Satan to do it!

    But why? Simply because, if Adam and Eve were never given a practical chance to exercise their free will, then it would be as good as not having free will at all. (You are permitted to vote against the Ruling Party in the next elections, that will be held never!)

    If they had the ability to know that they were being tricked, they wouldn’t have eaten the apple BUT it would take them to eat the apple to know that they were being tricked.

    I believe that they DID have the understanding of lies and trickery. Because the serpent said this to persuade them: “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden?’” and then “You will not surely die, for God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.

    What happened next is that Adam and Eve DISBELIEVED God’s warnings. Sad to say, they decided that God was lying to them, hiding something good from them with a false story about the forbidden fruit being destructive.

    They were fully capable of knowing what trickery entails, and they decided that God was the liar.

    Like teenagers running away from home to follow a cult which tells them their parents hate them, they stopped trusting God who had given them everything. They decided that they should be God.

    When you look at it from that point of view, it becomes very clear that the responsibility for the fall lies with humanity.

  15. Jaz Says:

    An enjoyable and thought provoking thread!

    As always with discussions like this, there are a never ending stream of questions to replace previously answered questions, which seems to be part of our nature.

    Although only offering a particular viewpoint, the best description of “God” that I have ever come across is in Olaf Stapledon’s book “Starmaker”.

    Enjoy!

  16. Hun Boon Says:

    Hi this thread is gay it’s to long ask someone who knows something and cares.

  17. Dante 515 Solved Says:

    Dante 515 Solved…

    […]The Jeremiah Tablet – Evidence of the Bible’s Accurate History « LEADING MALAYSIAN NEOCON[…]…

  18. lakatphuket Says:

    Reblogged this on LakATphuket: Thailand, church, translator, bible s and commented:
    Jeremiah book’s accuracy พบหลักฐานพิสูจน์หนังสือเยเรมีย์เป็นจริง

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