As we get closer to the end, what more will we find? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.
We start out with the 1 Cor. 14 passage about women being silent in church. Obviously, Hall thinks his audience hasn’t read the Bible and doesn’t know what’s in it. Any discussion on how some scholars think this is a textual variant not original to Paul? Nope. Any look at any commentaries and meanings of this passage? Nope. This is the kind of low content we expect from Hall. Those curious are recommended to check my interview with Lynn Cohick on this.
He refers to wars between Arabs and Christians and uses Nigeria as an example with 20,000 being killed in God’s name since 1990. Nothing is said about the regimes of Mao, Stalin, or Pol-Pot of course who have done far more, but hey, details. Who needs them?
He asks pastors to stop using Hosea 11:1 in Matthew “Out of Egypt, I called my Son” as a prophecy of Jesus. As per the first entry of today, nothing is said about the ways that texts were interpreted in the times of the apostles. Nothing is said about pesher or midrash. In Matthew’s day, this would have been acceptable. Just as in the past, YHWH called His son Israel out of Egypt, so He does with Jesus as Jesus relives the experiences of Israel.
As if predicting my reply to the 20,000 killed above, he asks how many are killed in the name of atheism. Sadly, he goes the usual route that those were politically motivated and weren’t done in the name of atheism. Yes. It was just a coincidence that they were killing Christians and dynamiting churches. They get a free pass since it wasn’t done in the name of atheism.
He also says atheism is just the lack of a belief. This doesn’t fly at all. If that’s the case, Hall is just giving us his personal psychology and not a worldview. Second, supposing God does exist. In that case, theism and atheism could be true in that theism which says God exists would be true and what is supposed to be its negative since a in front of theism negates it would also be true as atheists who hold to atheism could still exist. Also, I doubt Hall would accept it if I just said “Oh. I hold to theism as I have God belief, but that doesn’t mean I’m claiming anything about reality.”
I also want to suggest what two atheist philosophers say should be taken seriously.
He then says that the same God who said do not kill. The references are the Ten Commandments and Exodus 32:27. Had Hall done a couple of minutes of research on a site like Blue Letter Bible and looked up the words, he would have known they were different words in Hebrew. Alas, that’s not doable for Hall. We dare not research lest we find out we are wrong and we can’t welcome contrary thought.
He makes statements about the Sea of Galilee such as it’s not really a sea and the storms can’t get life threatening. I have seen David Fitzgerald make such a claim before and thankfully, I asked my friend Greg Monette who has been to Israel many times about it.
” The lake is huge. If you google it you will find the dimensions. It’s also in a valley. If you’ve ever been to Galilee the mountains surround it and the wind rushes down. Only someone who hasn’t been to Galilee region would say such a thing. I’ve been on the lake with waves that were at least 3-4 feet high. That was in a big boat. Now make that an ancient fishing boat similar to the one at the Yigal Allon Nof Ginosar Boat Museum where they found the first century fishing boat and it would be very difficult to navigate that boat in the water with saves even 3 feet high and wind blowing hard. There are dozens of windsurfers surfing on Galilee every day in the summertime because the wind is so strong. “
Hall also says you can believe someone walked on water or you can grow up. Yes. Because obviously anyone who believes in miracles just is still stunted in their growth. We’ll see what happens if the big bad adult Hall ever gets the guts to go through works like Craig Keener’s or Candy Gunther Brown’s.
He claims Dionysus was born of a virgin on December 25th, turned water into wine, made a triumphant entry on a donkey, and was killed, resurrected, and bodily ascended into heaven. He has citations, but no page numbers, but having seen many such claims before, I really don’t take them seriously and I have no wish to scour through a whole book looking for them. The only one I think is accurate is that he turned water into wine, fitting for the god of wine.
He says the Didache didn’t make it in the Bible because of the embarrassing fact it doesn’t mention Jesus or the resurrection. Hmmm. That does sound embarrassing. What would be even more embarrassing is if one was to, oh, I don’t know, go to a website and look up the Didache and do a search for Jesus.
Chapter 9. The Eucharist. Now concerning the Eucharist, give thanks this way. First, concerning the cup:
We thank thee, our Father, for the holy vine of David Thy servant, which You madest known to us through Jesus Thy Servant; to Thee be the glory for ever..
And concerning the broken bread:
We thank Thee, our Father, for the life and knowledge which You madest known to us through Jesus Thy Servant; to Thee be the glory for ever. Even as this broken bread was scattered over the hills, and was gathered together and became one, so let Thy Church be gathered together from the ends of the earth into Thy kingdom; for Thine is the glory and the power through Jesus Christ for ever..
But let no one eat or drink of your Eucharist, unless they have been baptized into the name of the Lord; for concerning this also the Lord has said, “Give not that which is holy to the dogs.”
Chapter 10. Prayer after Communion. But after you are filled, give thanks this way:
We thank Thee, holy Father, for Thy holy name which You didst cause to tabernacle in our hearts, and for the knowledge and faith and immortality, which You modest known to us through Jesus Thy Servant; to Thee be the glory for ever. Thou, Master almighty, didst create all things for Thy name’s sake; You gavest food and drink to men for enjoyment, that they might give thanks to Thee; but to us You didst freely give spiritual food and drink and life eternal through Thy Servant. Before all things we thank Thee that You are mighty; to Thee be the glory for ever. Remember, Lord, Thy Church, to deliver it from all evil and to make it perfect in Thy love, and gather it from the four winds, sanctified for Thy kingdom which Thou have prepared for it; for Thine is the power and the glory for ever. Let grace come, and let this world pass away. Hosanna to the God (Son) of David! If any one is holy, let him come; if any one is not so, let him repent. Maranatha. Amen.
Or resurrection, such as at the end of the last chapter.
And third, the resurrection of the dead — yet not of all, but as it is said: “The Lord shall come and all His saints with Him.” Then shall the world see the Lord coming upon the clouds of heaven.
Obviously, Hall did no fact-checking whatsoever. If we cannot trust him on claims we can verify easily, why should we trust him on ones we cannot, such as ones about Dionysus?
He quotes 1 Corinthians 1:19 saying I will destroy human wisdom and discard their most brilliant ideas. He doesn’t even realize Paul is being sarcastic at this point talking about the sophists of his time and how they didn’t really have wisdom. Hall does no research whatsoever.
He says Judas was a good guy and not a traitor. Why? The Gospel of Judas. Never doubt the ability of skeptics to question the closest testimonies we have to the source but give whole-hearted endorsement to the ones that come over a century later.
He says a prophet once asked another to cut him down. The second prophet refused and was killed by a lion for it. Had Hall actually read the text, he would have known the first prophet did not ask to be killed. He asked to be struck.
He points to Joshua 11:6 about hamstringing horses which he describes as torture. This would actually be done to prevent their enemies from using them and thus stopping the loss of more human life. Again, Hall doesn’t bother to look at why something was done. He just says “I don’t like it” and that shows it’s wrong.
Next time, I hope to go through the remaining 66 *cough* facts *cough*.