Sunday, January 28, 2007

Holtz on Blasphemy of the Holy Spirit

In AAC.2002, Brian Holtz takes "And everyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven [Lk 12:10]" to mean that Jesus proclaimed Himself inferior to the Holy Spirit. This is not the case; Jesus' statement means that blasphemy against the Holy Spirit removes all hope of coming to Jesus Christ for forgiveness and salvation, since no one can come to Jesus except through the Holy Spirit [1 Cor 12:3].

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Jeconiah Became King At Age 18

Jeconiah became king when he was 18 [2 Ki 24:8]; 2 Chr 36:9 says he was 8 due to a copyist (scribal) error. The context indicates 18 is correct: how likely is the imprisonment of an eight-year-old boy with seven sons? [1 Chr 3:17]
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Thursday, January 25, 2007

Time of Jesus' Crucifixion

The Gospels contradict each other about the time Christ was crucified

Jesus Christ was crucified at about 9:00 A.M. The synoptic Gospels (Matthew, Mark, and Luke) used the Hebrew clock, which commenced at 6:00 A.M. (dawn). John used the Roman clock (midnight to noon system.)

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Holtz on Jn 8:28

Atheist Brian Holtz quotes Jn 8:28, but not fully, so that the message can be misleading. The entire verse says, "So when Jesus said, When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will know that I AM and that I do nothing own my own but speak just what the Father has taught me." Jesus can be referring to His human nature (Jesus has two natures and thus two intellects) or the Father's eternal generation of Him while at the same time claiming to be Yahweh and affirming the harmony between the persons of the Trinity.

Friday, January 19, 2007


As Glenn M. Miller points out, the execution of the Amalekites was not genocide; it does not conform to the definition of genocide: the Amalekites were neither an internal group nor a minority group, the Israeli government never exerted control over them, they were not targeted on the basis of race, and they were not chased in other countries. It was not a case of Israeli despotism or ethnic cleansing; the dangerous nomadic Amalekites committed violence, looting, raiding, and kidnapping against Israel and other nations despite God's numerous warnings and patience (many good Amalekites followed God's pleas and emigrated to Israel for a happier life). The fate of the innocents was a direct result of the heinous actions of the warrior class, their leaders. The Amalekite military had to be totally destroyed in order for the desert to be rid of the Amalekites. The non-military Amalekites could not possibly be absorbed by Israel, welfare, or adequate relief programs; they would lack infrastructure and skills to succeed and contribute to society, women would not be safe, and there was no incentive to use them as laborers. The Amalekites were spared of the prolonged agonies of dehydration, starvation, and exposure, which would, in the Ancient Near East, certainly have resulted had they been left in the desert. The women and children were not killed as a punishment, but as a truly inevitable consequence of the punishment of the military men; they were victims of the military fathers.


Thursday, January 18, 2007

Holtz On The Efficacy of Jesus' Exorcisms

Holtz.AAC.2002: "Jesus apparently admits [Lk 11:24-26] that his cures for demonic possession are often not permanent." Whether a person can be possessed again depends on whether that person freely accepts the Holy Spirit, and not on Jesus' power. Holtz might then argue that this betrays psychosomatic faith healing, but that is not consistent with the data, as I have posted previously.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Judas & Silver

Mt 27:9-10 says "Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by Jeremiah the prophet, saying: And they took the thirty pieces of silver, the price of him that was prized, whom they prized of the children of Israel. And they gave them unto the potter's field, as the Lord appointed to me." St. Matthew gives a mixed citation of Jeremiah and Zechariah, referring to it as Jeremiah because he was the major prophet. In a similar vein, Mk 1:2 attributes Mal 3:1 and Isa 40:3 to Isaiah and Rom 9:27 attributes Hos 2:1 and Isa 10:22 to Isaiah.

Zech 11:12-13 says "And I said to them: If it be good in your eyes, bring hither my wages, and if not, be quiet. And they weighed for my wages thirty pieces of silver. And the Lord said to me: Cast it to the potter, a handsome price, that I was prized at by them. And I took the thirty pieces of silver, and I cast them into the house of the Lord to the potter."

Jeremiah mentions a potter, purchase, Valley of Ennom (Field of Blood), "the blood of innocents," renaming a place for burial, and the purchasing a field with silver:

Jer 18:1-6: "The word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord, saying: Arise, and go down into the potter's house, and there thou shalt hear My words. And I went down into the potter's house, and behold he was doing a work on the wheel. And the vessel was broken which he was making of clay with his hands: and turning he made another vessel, as it seemed good in his eyes to make it. Then the word of the Lord came to me, saying: Cannot I do with you, as this potter, house of Israel, saith the Lord? behold as clay is in the hand of the potter, so are you in my hand, O house of Israel."

Jer 19:1-6: "Thus saith the Lord: Go, and take a potter's earthen bottle, and take of the ancients of the people, and of the ancients of the priests: And go forth into the valley of the son of Ennom, which is by the entry of the earthen gate, and there thou shalt proclaim the words that I shall tell thee. And thou shalt say: Hear the word of the Lord, O ye kings of Juda, and ye inhabitants of Jerusalem: Thus saith the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: Behold I will bring an affliction upon this place: so that whosoever shall hear it, his ears shall tingle. Because they have forsaken Me, and have profaned this place: and have sacrificed therein to strange gods, whom neither they nor their fathers knew, nor the kings of Juda: and they have filled this place with the blood of innocents. And they have built the high places of Baalim, to burn their children with fire for a holocaust to Baalim: which I did not command, nor speak of, neither did it once come into My mind. Therefore behold the days come, saith the Lord, that this place shall no more be called Topheth, nor the valley of the son of Ennom, but the valley of slaughter."

Jer 19:11: "And thou shalt say to them: Thus saith the Lord of hosts: Even so will I break this people, and this city, as the potter's vessel is broken, which cannot be made whole again: and they shall be buried in Topheth, because there is no other place to bury in."

Jer 32:6-10: "And Jeremiah said: The word of the Lord came to me, saying: Behold, Hanameel the son of Sellum thy cousin shall come to thee, saying: Buy thee my field, which is in Anathoth, for it is thy right to buy it, being next akin. And Hanameel my uncle's son came to me, according to the word of the Lord, to the entry of the prison, and said to me: Buy my field, which is in Anathoth in the land of Benjamin: for the right of inheritance is thine, and thou art next of kin to possess it. And I understood that this was the word of the Lord. And I bought the field of Hanameel my uncle's son, that is in Anathoth: and I weighed him the money, seven staters, and ten pieces of silver. And I wrote it in a book and sealed it, and took witnesses: and I weighed him the money in the balances."

Friday, January 12, 2007

Holtz Misinterprets John 8:42

In AAC.2002 anti-Christian atheist Brian Holtz quotes Jn 8:42 in his argument that Jesus says He is not God: "I came from God and now am here. I have not come on my own, but he sent me." Here Jesus is describing how He works in perfect harmony with the other two persons of the triune God in fulfillment of their eternal recprocal love [cf. Jn 5:19-29; 16:13]. Jesus affirms His glorious preexistence with the Father in Jn 6:36,38,41,50-51; 8:23-24,56-58; 16:28; 17:5. Since God does not give His glory to other beings [Is 42:8; 48:11], Jesus claimed to be God.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Holtz Misinterprets Jn 5:30

In AAC.2002 Brian Holtz quotes Jn 5:30: "By myself I can do nothing; I judge only as I hear, and my judgment is just, for I seek not to please myself but him who sent me." Holtz incorrectly interprets this as Jesus denying that He is omnipotent since the Father can act of Himself. Jn 5:19 makes it clear that Jesus (the Son) and the Father have the same power; Jesus' power is derived from the Father's in His eternal generation; i.e., the Father commands in the sense of eternally giving the Son knowledge and will to act by begetting Him. Jesus and the Father always work together. Jesus affirms His omnipotence (with respect to the execution of His own will, according to St. Thomas Aquinas in his Summa Theologica) [Jn 6:35-40].

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Holtz on Mk 13:32

In Mark 13 Jesus states that He is not omniscient

>Brian Holtz quotes Mk 13:32 hoping to prove that Jesus proclaims that He is not omniscient: "No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father." Here will quote the Catholic Encyclopedia article on Jesus' knowledge; the traditional explanations are: "the Son has no knowledge of the judgment day which He may communicate; or, the Son has no knowledge of this event, which spring from His human nature as such, or again, the Son has no knowledge of the day and the hour, that has not been communicated to Him by the Father."

Friday, January 05, 2007

Holtz on Trivial Prophecy

Holtz.AAC.2002: "No non-trivial prophecy in the Bible has both a) been documented as having been made before the predicted event and b) had its fulfillment documented independently of the Bible itself." I'll proposed the following to start: Daniel's four kingdoms: Babylon (gold), Medo-Persia, Greece (bronze), and Rome (iron); Isaiah's foretelling of Cyrus King of Persia [Is 44:28-45:1] (note that Isaiah was the author of the entire book; there was no Deutero-Isaiah, nor was there a Trito-Isaiah); Daniel's prediction of the number of years until Jesus' death (confirming that this was indeed a revelation from the archangel Gabriel) [Dan 9:24-26].