Tuesday, March 07, 2006

J. P Holding's apologetics quiz for skeptics

Since quite a few skeptics read this blog, I'm sure this will interest you. HT: John DePoe

11 comments:

John W. Loftus said...

It's just interesting Vic, that you would think this was worthy to post. But maybe you did it in fun.

M. Ross Fergus said...

I've seen that before. ...quite humorous

Frank Walton said...

JP Holding is the man! You ought to like him Loftus.

Edward T. Babinski said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Edward T. Babinski said...

I would like Holding to take his quiz answers to the next level.

For instance, Holding acknowledges the use of hyperbole, but anyone who studies the Bible and recognizes how widespread the use of hyperbole, exagerrated numbers, tall tales, and ridiculous metaphors, was, might also recognize that such items are so widespread in the Bible that labeling such a book an "inspired" document appears to be the ultimate hyperbole.

The same goes for Holding's admission concerning the way Gospel authors used "pesher" methods of interpreting verses in the Greek Old Testament. The inspired authors of the inspired Gospels employed methods of interpretation that scholars do not recognize as valid today. But we are still supposed to agree that the Gospels were inspired.

Same goes for an Epistle author, Jude, citing a passage from "The Book of Enoch," as if that book contained a true prophecy composed by "Enoch the seventh from Adam." Again, talk about gullibility. We don't even know whether "Jude" wrote the epistle of Jude, so it may be that we have a pseudonymous letter writer citing another pseudonymous source as a true prophecy, neither "Jude" nor "Enoch, the seventh from Adam," having been actual authors of the letter and book. How "inspired" does that sound?

Same goes for Holding's arguments that the rise of Christianity and Christian religious dogmas and doctrines lay miraculously outside the Hellenized millieu in which they arose. Reminds me of creationists who keep their eyes on any and all "gaps" in the fossil record and won't listen to evidence from genetics or the fossil record that provides evidence of shared continuities.

As for intertestamental Hebrew wisdom literature that Holding mentions, I suppose he thinks that literature arose completely independantly of Hellenized influences as well. Sheesh.

The good news is that Holding has gotten as far as he has over the past seven years of his reading regime. No telling where his views may be in the next seven years. On the negative side, he continues to keep his mind tightly compartmenalized, "concentrating" as he says, on Biblical exegesis, rather than studying parallel subjects such as geology, biology, evolution. He directs people to "Answers in Genesis" for all the "answers" in those areas [sic], since he apparently remains a young-earth creationist.

Steven Carr said...

Holding's view that the teaching of Jesus paralleled other ancient writers merely reinforces the idea that Christianity mimics other ancient ideas.

Frank Walton said...

Holding took on both Ed Babinski and Steven Carr.

Edward T. Babinski said...

Frank,
You are referring to two pieces I wrote. One contained some general remarks I made in regard to J.P. Holding and the historical study of the Bible; and the second was in regard to J.P. Holding's take on the tale of Eden, the serpent, and "satan."

Concerning the latter, Holding misunderstood that snakes stick their tongues out primarily to "taste-smell" molecules in the air, and not primarily to ingest items like dust/pollen grains (that Holding bemoanedly claimed irritated his "turbinates.") Holding attempted to argue that there was a "cursed" side to the way snakes taste-smell molecules in the air by flicking their tongues out. Apparently getting a little "dust" on their tongues during the process was a horrendous "curse" that God had to lay down personally on all serpents for what one of them talked Eve into doing eons ago.

I replied that every animal ingests dust and/or pollen into their noses with every breath of air, and that lots of animals scurried along the ground as well. But serpents were "cursed?"--Ahem, "cursed" with the ability to smell molecules hanging in the air like every other creature? "Cursed" with the ability to detect food, mates, and their location, via such a sense of smell? It would be far more of a "curse" to remove the ability to smell entirely, or to be cursed with Holding's own allergic reaction to pollen/dust. Those two things truly would be recognizable as "curses."

As for Holding's attempts to drag "Satan" into the Garden of Eden tale, he cites an intertestamental book with its non-canonical conjecture; and he ignores the questions that even fellow Evangelicals like Dr. John Walton raised concerning the usage of "satan" in the O.T.--questions that can be found Walton's NIV APPLICATION COMMENTARY on GENESIS, available at any large Evangelical bookstore. Many of the same questions I raised are found in Walton's book.

Therefore, I invite Holding to critique the work of his fellow Evangelicals like Professor Walton who teaches O.T. at Wheaton College, and reply to what he has written about the "primeval history" portions of Genesis.

Praisworthy mention should also be made of the book, The Meaning of Creation by Prof. Conrad Hyers, since Hyers was the Chair of Religions at Gustavus Adolphus College, and another fellow Evangelical who discusses the probable sociological background to the primeval history portions of Genesis.

See the following comment about Hyers' book made by a Christian on the internet on February 21, 2005:

"Conrad Hyers: A Must Read ...the single best book on Biblical Interpretation I ever read as a seminarian. Thank God I found it. If anyone wants to get past the literalism thing with Genesis, I recommend Conrad Hyers, The Meaning of Genesis. Read the reviews." [He supplies reviews at his article at boarsheadtavern.com ]

Or read Prof. Christopher Heard's recent blog post, "Why I Am Not A Creationist" at heardworld.com
(Google both the professor's name and the word, Genesis, to read other articles he has on the web concerning how best to understand Genesis and the creation narrative in their linguistic and sociological context.)

A moderate evangelical like the witty Rev. Robert Farrar Capon (Anglican) is also worth reading. See his book, Genesis: The Movie.

And let me know what you and Holding think.

Cheers,
Ed

P.S. Conard Hyers and also a Jewish scholar both have some short pieces on creation and the Bible on the web if you google them by exact name, "Genesis Knowns Nothing of Scientific Creationism," and also, "Biblical Views of Creation," the latter by Dr. Frederick E. Greenspahn

Edward T. Babinski said...

Oh, and speaking of fun quizzes to take, how about these three?

=============

BIBLE QUIZ

Examine me, O Lord, and test my reins and my heart.
- Psalm 26:2 (KJV)

[According to most Bible scholars, the Hebrew word translated as “reins” (in the KJV) refers to kidneys, though I have read a dissenting opinion that says it refers to testicles. Why God would want to “test” such things, rather than a person’s brain, is one of those ancient mysteries of the Bible.]
____________________________

FILL IN THE BLANKS!

QUESTION #1
And the Lord said, “I will cut off from Jeroboam him that _______ against the wall.” (1 Kings 14:10, KJV)

[Answer: pisseth. Yes, the “Lord” used such language, “piss” being one of the seven “Pacifica words” that you can be fined for uttering on radio or TV in America today.]
____________________________

QUESTION #2
And Abraham said to his male servant, “Put, I pray thee, thy hand under my _______, And I will make thee swear by the Lord.” (Gen. 24:2-3 & 47:29, KJV)

[Answer: thigh. “Putting one’s hand under the thigh” was a euphemism for placing it on a person’s genitals. That was apparently how the ancient Hebrews took solemn oaths because of the blessedness of the “seed” which God had promised to multiply to Abraham and his descendants. Today we take solemn oaths by “placing one hand on the Bible.” I guess if we lived in a “Bible-less” society like Abraham’s, the job of bailiff might be more “interesting”: “Please step up to the bench, Miss Jones, and place your right hand under my thigh, and repeat after me, I solemnly swear… OOOO! You’ve got cold hands Miss Jones!” And Miss Jones would repeat, “I solemnly swear OOOO!” (Wes “Duke of Doubt” Anderson)]
____________________________

MULTIPLE CHOICE!

QUESTION #3
Which one of the following is edible, according to the Lord God?

a) The rabbit?
b) The pig?
c) The lobster?
d) The grasshopper?

[Answer: d)--According to the book of Leviticus the rabbit, pig, and lobster are “unclean” animals and must not be eaten, but “you may eat any kind of locust, katydid, cricket or grasshopper.” (Lev. 11:22, NIV) Yum! The King James Version of the Bible adds the word “beetle.” Double-Yum!]
____________________________

QUESTION #4
“Thou shalt not lend upon usury to thy brother; usury of money, usury of victuals, usury of anything that is lent upon usury.” (Deut. 23:19) Here and elsewhere the Lord God prohibits and condemns this abominable practice of “usury.” Usury means:

a) Having cream in your coffee while eating a hamburger?
b) Having sex with the woman on top?
c) Something else?

[Answer: c)--“Usury” means “lending money at a profit.”]
____________________________

QUESTION #5
Solomon “had seven hundred wives, princesses and three hundred concubines” (1 Kings 11:3). Yet his son, Rehoboam, said, “My little finger shall be thicker than my father’s loins” (1 Kings 12:10). This explains:

a) The hasty departure of the Queen of Sheba?
b) Solomon’s obsession with cedar beams?

[Answer: None of the above--Rehoboam’s boast concerning his “loin size” was a metaphor for the way he planned to lay a “heavier yoke” upon his people than his father Solomon had done. Such a metaphor parallels the ancient “penis oath” practiced in the Bible, whereby people would swear an oath or allegiance to a king or tribal leader by “giving the hand (under),” or, “laying it on” the leader’s generative organ.]
____________________________

QUESTION #6
Below are two statements. One of them describes something that Moses and the Israelites did to the Midianites by “the Lord’s” command. The other statement is attributed to the bloody conqueror, Ghengiz Khan. Which is which?

a) A man’s greatest work is to break his enemies, to drive them before him, take from them all the things that are theirs, and to press in his arms the most desirable of their women.

b) They killed the men…captured the women…and plundered their goods… “Kill every male among the little ones…and kill every female who is not a virgin. But spare the virgins for yourselves.”

[Answer: a) Ghenghiz Khan, b) Moses (Num.31). If you couldn’t tell the difference between a bloody conqueror and a religious leader and how they achieved their goals, don’t feel so bad, neither could the Midianites.]
____________________________

QUESTION #7
“Woe to the women that sew pillows to all arm holes” (Ezk. 13:18, KJV). Here and elsewhere the Lord God speaks out against this practice which “Makes souls to fly.” Thus we are warned against:

a) False gods?
b) False prophets?
c) Other?

[Answer: c)--An ancient magical way of cursing people.]
____________________________

QUESTION #8
The “smallest seed” on the face of the earth is

a) The mustard seed?
b) The orchid seed?
c) Onan’s seed?

[Answer: c)--Contrary to what Jesus is recorded as saying in Mark 4:31, the mustard seed is not “the smallest seed on the face of the earth,” the orchid seed is smaller. And Onan’s “seed” which he “spilled on the ground” after refusing to impregnate his brother’s wife (Gen. 38:9) is smaller still!]
____________________________

QUESTION #9
According to Matthew 18:8-9 “thine EYE, HAND or FOOT may offend thee.” What does this mean?

a) If you get caught peeping in someone’s bedroom window your “eye” should be arrested?

b) If you grab a woman’s posterior and get slapped, you should say, “It wasn’t me, it was this #?!$ hand?”

c) If you are a Baptist caught in the act of dancing, you should confess, “My feet made me do it?”

d) All of the above.

[Answer: The above teaching of Jesus regarding the ways in which a person’s bodily extremities may “offend” their owner, makes about as much sense as God “testing” one’s “reins” (kidneys)--as in the verse that was cited at the beginning of this quiz. So if one of your “reins” failed “God’s test” maybe you should “cut out” the offending kidney? “For it is better to enter eternal life without the body part that offended you, rather than be cast into eternal fire with it.” (Compare Mat. 18:8)]
____________________________

GUESS THE PROPHET!

QUESTION #10
Who compared God’s closeness to Israel with the closeness of a man to his underwear, and was commanded to hide his own underwear in a rock?

[Answer: The Prophet Jeremiah (Jer. 13)]
____________________________

QUESTION #11
Who was commanded by God to eat bread baked over human dung, but complained, so God commanded him instead to eat bread baked over cow dung?

[Answer: The Prophet Ezekiel (Ez. 4:12-15)]
____________________________

QUESTION #12
Who was commanded by God to marry a whore and pay for an adulteress to live with him; and also expected God to murder fetuses?

[Answer: The prophet Hosea (Hos. 1:2; 3:1-3; 9:11-16)]
____________________________

QUESTION #13
Who said he would go naked and moan like an owl (or like an ostrich, depending on your translation)?

[Answer: The prophet Micah (Mic. 1:8)]

QUESTION #14
How many men in the Bible are spoken of as slaying single-handedly and with one hand-held weapon (there were no machines guns back then, remember), literally hundreds of other men?

[Answer: Five. Abishai & Jashobeam each slew 300 men using only a spear (2 Sam. 23:8 & 1 Chron. 11:11). But that’s nothing, because Shamgar slew 600 men with an ox-goad (Judges 3:31). And Adino slew 800 with a spear (2 Sam. 23:8) Do ya suppose Adino was the inventor of Shish-ka-bob? Last but not least, Samson slew 1000 men with the jaw-bone of an ass (Judges 15:15). If only their techniques in the lethal arts of the “spear,” the “ox-goad” and the “jaw-bone” had been preserved for posterity, imagine what martial arts films Chinese directors could make today.]

Questions 3-5 & 7 by Tony Hendra & Sean Kelly from Not the Bible, with editing and additional questions by E.T.B., Wes “Duke of Doubt” Anderson & Douglas E. Krueger


==================


TRUE CHRISTIAN QUIZ!


Determining whether or not you are a true Christian has never been more imperative than today! According to the World Christian Encyclopedia (Oxford University Press), Christianity now has 150 major ecclesiastical traditions and 33,800 distinct denominations, dioceses, jurisdictions, missions, assemblies, and fellowships. (The total is now up to 45,000.) But never fear, this simple quiz can help determine whether you are a true Christian. All you need do is “Let your yea be yea, and your nay be nay.”

1) Do you lead “a sober and upright existence?” (Titus 2:11-13) (Or do you lean a little to the left?)

2) Are you afraid of being locked out of the heavenly wedding party for being a “foolish virgin?” (Did you ever get a foolish virgin in trouble?)

3) When Jesus said, “Depart from me you accursed into the hellfire prepared for the devil and his angels,” do you think he was referring to telemarketers, or you?

4) Do you fear that when Jesus returns he will “spew” you out of his mouth for being “lukewarm?” (Or do you have no such fear since you’ve eaten Mexican your whole life?)

5) Do you fear “the blood of other people” will be “on your hands” if you don’t tell everyone about the Gospel? (Alternatively, do you remember to wash your hands every time you leave a Gospel tract in a rest room?)

6) Are you ever tempted to “love the world?” (How about after swallowing a handful of Viagra?)

7) Do you ever wonder why killing God’s son was not the greatest sin of all? Or wonder how we could be forgiven for that sin, except by killing another savior whose blood must be shed to “atone” for the sin of killing the first one? And so forth and so on...

End of Quiz

Scoring: If you grinned even once while reading the questions, you’re damned.

E.T.B.


==========


BIBLE QUIZ, PAY CAREFUL ATTENTION

An engineering professor is treating her husband, a loan officer, to dinner for finally giving in to her pleas to shave off that scraggly beard he grew on vacation. His favorite restaurant is a casual place where they both feel comfortable in slacks and cotton/polyester-blend golf shirts. But, as always, she wears the gold and pearl pendant he gave her the day her divorce decree was final. They’re laughing over their menus because they know he always ends up diving into a giant plate of ribs but she won’t be talked into anything more fattening then shrimp.

QUIZ QUESTION: How many Biblical prohibitions are they violating? Well, wives are supposed to be “submissive” to their husbands (1 Peter 3:1). And all women are forbidden to teach men (1 Tim. 2:12), wear gold or pearls (1 Tim. 2:9) or dress in clothing that “pertains to a man” (Deut. 22:5). Shellfish and pork are definitely out (Lev. 11:7) and clothes of more than one fabric (Lev. 19:19). And since the Bible rarely recognizes divorce, they’re committing adultery, which carries the rather harsh penalty of death by stoning (Deut. 22:22). So why are they having such a good time? Probably because they wouldn’t think of worrying about rules that seem absurd, anachronistic or--at best--unrealistic. Yet this same modern-day couple could easily be among the millions of Americans who never hesitate to lean on the Bible to justify their own negative attitudes toward a host of modern questions and issues.

Deb Price, And Say Hi To Joyce

Steven Carr said...

Does Holding really think God cursed serpents because Satan disguised himself as a serpent?

Let us hope Satan never disguises himself as an ex-librarian!

Hiero5ant said...

Thanks for the link. Every so often I am inclined to forget that there are still people in the modern world who openly advocate for genocide -- and who have moderates to make excuses for them.