Follow the Evidence; It’ll Show you Where to Go

There are people who have abandoned reason. Such is the extent of their abdication of reason that they can believe two contradictory things at once. Consider first the documentary hypothesis-that Moses did not write the Torah but rather a set of anonymous editors did so over several centuries. They are known only as J, E, D, and P.

On one hand, these (at least 4) editors were so masterful and skilled that between 850 BC and AD 1750, no one noticed it. This includes centuries of readers whose native tongue, first language, was Hebrew. None of them noticed it. Even when Biblical Hebrew was replaced with Mishnaic Hebrew and then Amoritic Hebrew (both closer to Biblical Hebrew than our English is to Chaucer), none of the readers could discern the seams.

On the other hand, the editors were so sloppy and terrible at their work that the documentarians wonder how for so many centuries the seams went unnoticed. The seams are in fact so noticeable that if a student of Hebrew dares stand up and say, “The Torah was written by one hand,” then we are stupid, blind, and unworthy of further education in Hebrew.

The same with Isaiah (no one would ever write 39 chapters of wrath and then 27 chapters of mercy). Daniel (who would switch languages mid-book and then switch back?). They are so without imagination that they cannot fathom why. Yet, Isaiah’s chapters of wrath contain great statements of mercy. His chapters of mercy also include some of the most wrathful statements in the Bible (consider where the Lord comes walking up to the Prophet with his robe dipped in the blood of his enemies or in the last part of the book where those in the new city can look outside and see those who yet rebel in torment).

Then there are dating issues that make me scratch my head. For example, many argue that First Enoch must have been written after Christ and had Christian editors. Never mind that 4 of the 5 sections have been found at Qumran and dated to the BC era. Never mind that when Enoch speaks to the Messiah in that missing section (Similitudes), this Christian editor left out any mention of the Cross, scars, resurrection, a second Advent, and of those things that early Christian writers mention when they speak of the Messiah.

And oh yeah, this mythical Christian editor of Similitudes left in the part where the Messiah tells Enoch that Enoch will be the Judge of the Final Throne, that is the Messiah.

Go back and read that again if you need to. Read it three times. Four times. FIVE EVEN. Read it until you can figure out how anyone can say this with a straight face. How they can say that a Christian editor left out significant parts of the Messiah’s story and forgot to take out the part where the Messiah is misidentified. There’s also an inconvenient fact that a book which is almost unquestioned as coming from the turn of the era, Testament of Abraham, alludes to the part where the Messiah says Enoch is He. Yes, they believe that one book can quote a book written almost two centuries later. (I did once find a writer who dated Testament of Abraham to the third century, because it quotes Similitudes and since Similitudes is written second century, ToA must be third.)

I have had this conversation with several people who date Enoch to the Christian era. They have all done so because they read someone else do so and hadn’t followed the evidence for themselves. After pointing these things out, some follow the evidence and admit that Enoch was BC. Others refuse. With one exception, those still insisting Enoch was 2nd century AD were far left in politics and theology (mostly atheists). That exception was Christian, and in the discussion he admitted to me that he was not reading my arguments for a pre-Christian Enoch. He had made up his mind and how dare I confuse him with facts.

Evidence, people. God gave us reason to use it.

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About frankluke

Professionally: pastor, programmer, writer. Personally: husband, father.
This entry was posted in Apologetics, Bible, Christianity and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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