As we come to an end, is there anything new? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.
We’ll try to decide which of the last 66 “facts” I think are relevant today. He says that if you rape a female slave, you owe the temple a ram and you will be forgiven. The slave will receive a severe beating and whipping for no reason. His reference is Lev. 19:20-21.
Let’s see what the passage says.
20 “ ‘If a man sleeps with a female slave who is promised to another man but who has not been ransomed or given her freedom, there must be due punishment. Yet they are not to be put to death, because she had not been freed. 21 The man, however, must bring a ram to the entrance to the tent of meeting for a guilt offering to the LORD. 22 With the ram of the guilt offering the priest is to make atonement for him before the LORD for the sin he has committed, and his sin will be forgiven.
First off, nothing is mentioned about rape. Could it include rape? Perhaps, but it just says sleep. Nothing is said about if this is consensual or not. Since it says they are not to be put to death, I am leaning towards consensual. However, there is absolutely nothing here about beating or whipping. I have no idea where Hall got this unless he just didn’t read the text.
Hall then says this in another fact.
If there was a god and it wrote a book, I would expect it to be perfect in every way. Clearly written. Accessible to everyone. Easily understandable. Promoting peace and love. If there were no god, I would expect humans to create lots of books then say they were written by God. I would expect the books to be full of internal contradictions. And the books would not agree with each other at all. They would contain a haphazard collection of personal stories, letters, vague parables and admonitions. The stories and instructions would be open to multiple conflicting interpretations. They would contain good moral teachings, but they would also have passages of violence, intolerance and hatred. Which scenario lines up with reality?
This sounds convincing to a lot of people, but what evidence does Hall give that this should be so. Is God supposed to control culture and language to such a degree that nothing ever changes whatsoever? Is every word supposed to be magically clear to every culture and the context just magically beamed into our heads? Would this even work anyway? Would some people still just say “Fine, but I don’t care. I would rather have my wealth and sexual pleasures.”? Hall lives in a world where he doesn’t believe and wants to blame God for Hall’s own refusal to do his research and homework. Why is that atheists always tell us that the wonder of science is we get a question and say “Let’s find out!” but when it comes to religion, God is supposed to just give us all the answers upfront?
He says Moses once kidnapped 32,000 virgins and points to Numbers 31. Yes. These were people who had gone out of their way to visit Israel and entice them to break their covenant with YHWH by even their own women selling themselves into prostitution. Israel was not bothering these people and was not a threat to them. Why were the virgins spared? Not for rape purposes, as anyone who participated in battle had to be outside of the camp for a time for purification, but because the virgins were not involved. These girls were likely adopted into Israelite culture then. It’s amazing. When God kills everyone, atheists complain. When He spares anyone, atheists still complain.
He says that for 700 years, no one who was doing exquisite torture doubted their actions were not justified by the Bible. Hall doesn’t tell us when these 700 years were. Without that, I have nothing to go by really.
He says that if God is outside of space and time, then He cannot interact with us because He is paralyzed. He says movement in space requires time and motion is the change of the position of an object with respect to time. Amazing that no philosopher has ever thought to address this. The problem is that Hall has given no real reason to believe this. If a being created space and time, why think He is bound by them. Hall gives no evidence about non-material beings. How did He come across this data anyway that he is presenting?
He says the number of the beast is 616. Is this supposed to be a new fact? I actually agree with him. What of it?
He has the typical knock knock joke with Jesus as the door saying He wants to save you. From what? From what He’ll do if you don’t let Him in. This argument assumes that mankind is innocent and has no need of a savior whatsoever. Hall gives no reason to think that and most of us by personal experience know we have done things wrong. If Hall thinks himself an exception, I have even more reason to be concerned about him.
He also has something about the command in Deuteronomy to stone children. Of course, Hall never does bother to study a passage. If it’s supposed to be news to us, it’s not. I have already written about it here.
He says when judgment day comes, stars will fall out of the sky and land on the Earth and then mockingly says this God-breathed book doesn’t even know what stars are. Well, this internet atheist who thinks he knows enough to write a book doesn’t even know what apocalyptic language is and doesn’t realize that political events are spoken of in cosmic terms. It is by genre not literal. Be patient with Jimmy. He needs to avoid that contrary thought so he won’t experience cognitive dissonance.
With fact 635, he does mention several problems in atheistic communities such as Madalyn Murray O’Hair being murdered by a former employee. Amusingly, he also mentions Richard Carrier being banned from a number of atheist conventions. Hey. 665 facts against the other side. Maybe Hall is feeling generous.
He goes to adherents.com and says there are 4,200 religions on Earth. Color me skeptical, but okay. He then says Christianity has 41,000 denominations. This isn’t the result of an omnipotent deity, but of a group of people afraid of the unknown and death. I have no idea how he got to the last point, but the point about denominations is just wrong. Even Catholic apologists are now pointing this one out.
He cites the end of Matthew 2 saying Jesus will be called a Nazarene which is embarrassing since the Old Testament never mentions Nazareth. Indeed, it doesn’t. Hall doesn’t notice that this is the one place Matthew mentions a fulfillment and uses the plural. I think this is to mean the prophets said Jesus would be a shameful figure. There could also be a pun here as the word for Nazarene can be related to a branch which would mean Jesus is the Messiah, the branch of David.
He says no serious Bible scholar believes that Revelation is future. Well, I would say several likely do. I think they are wrong, but that is beside the point. He also says it was written to give people hope that Jesus would come back and save them from the Romans. That’s not referred to either in the book, although justice does come on Rome and Jerusalem as well. I really wonder how Hall reads Revelation.
Actually, I’m wondering at this point if he reads anything.
He says over 50 million people have been murdered by Catholicism, yet of the instances he gives, they only number 1,480,000. That’s still too many, and I even question those reports, but that is a far cry from 50 million. It’s likely he’s repeating bogus atheist history that is not taken seriously anymore by historians.
He says Jesus didn’t think of Himself as God because he asked “Why do you call me good? No one is good but God alone.” Swing and a miss again. Jesus is not receiving a compliment directly, something that would bind him in that culture to the giver of the compliment, but checking the devotion of the questioner. “You say I am good? If you think that, then you are treating me as if I am God. Are you ready for that?” There was no denial of this. He is saying either He is good and He is God or He is not good in which why listen to Him?
It’s worth noting He goes on in that passage to say that the disciples will sit on twelve thrones judging the twelve tribes. This likely goes back to Jesus since it says twelve and we all know Judas apostasized. Simple question. Where is Jesus going to sit? Jesus could only be sitting on the throne of the Son of Man over the twelve apostles, quite a high view of Himself there.
He says that there are 16 disciples named when there are supposed to be twelve. He says that people did have more than one name, but if they didn’t get the names right, what else did they get wrong? But if someone has more than one name, they did get the names right. It would be acceptable to use either one of them.
Nothing more goes on in this book. In closing, Hall is just someone who really should give up writing about Christianity. He is woefully uninformed. That being said, I hope he doesn’t. He will keep making his fellow atheists more and more uninformed and doing more damage to atheism. Thank God that Jim Hall is writing books. He’s doing more damage to the atheist community than many of my fellow apologists are.