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Chapter 7, The Divinity of Christ, THE HANDBOOK OF CHRISTIAN APOLOGETICS

Chapter seven of this book lamely attempts to prove that Jesus was God.

It says that he claimed to be God and that he forgave sins which only God could do. Being written by two Roman Catholics they believe no such thing for they hold that God gave his power to forgive sins to priests and priests are not God.

It says Jesus made claims that only God could make like, “I am the resurrection and the life”. But Jesus claimed to be the saviour. If God gave him the power to save then Jesus could make such claims without being God.
 
We are also told that Jesus changed Simon’s name to Peter though in Judaism only God could do that for names were believed to be given by God. But Jesus never said he changed Peter’s name on his own authority but did all he did by the power and authority of God. God could have told Jesus to make Simon a Peter. Also we are told that Jesus had total contempt for Jewish beliefs that were unsupported by scripture. The superstition that only God could change a name would certainly have been one of those. And Jesus didn’t say he accepted it and not all did. How dare this book presume that he did accept it!

Page 154 dishonestly argues that the incarnation, God becoming a man, is possible. What right has anybody who believes that Jesus was fully God and fully man two separate natures in one person to say that the incarnation is possible? He cannot know when it is like a contradiction. If it is a paradox then how do we know if it is a paradox or a contradiction?

Page 155 dishonestly takes it for granted that Jesus was trustworthy and says that anybody who reads the gospels knows that. But anybody who writes about an idol usually leaves out the critical bits and besides there are many who see the gospel Jesus as evil incarnate because of what they read. Most people have faults in their ethical outlook and are not qualified to make the judgement that Jesus was integrity itself.

It is also dishonest to say that Jesus was not a liar for no man in his circumstances could have gotten away with that. What you can get away with depends on what people want to think of you and the popularity of Jesus shows that people did want to think highly of him.
 
The argument dishonours Jesus for it reasons that Jesus isn’t as important as what people thought of him!
 
But whatever happened at the time of the alleged resurrection could have made sure that even if Jesus had failed and had been found out he would soon have been rehabilitated. It was easy for Jesus if he wanted to claim to be God for he had supporters who might have been willing to see him as God so he might have lied. Then it argues that Jesus was too nice to have been a liar and that when he gave up all he had and his life for what he said he must have been telling the truth for liars don’t do that but are after money and power and fame. Jesus certainly did court fame and the gospels say this courting was very successful.   If he hadn’t then the Christians should be wondering if perhaps Jesus was a masochist? Conveniently, that possibility is left out of this manipulative book. Another problem is the thought that if Jesus claimed to be God he had to be telling the truth for the Jews would be far too unlikely to have believed in him then for they were strict monotheists. This argument is dishonest because the Bible-believers believe that Jesus claimed to be God and had loads of fans among the Jews and so many in fact that the high priest had to work out a discreet plan to apprehend him.

Then it is inferred that nobody would have made up the lie and certainly not the apostles who died for Jesus and then it is said that it couldn’t be a mistake for nobody would be naïve enough to believe it if it were not true and then it is said that it takes a long time for men to be divinised. Buddha and Muhammad would have taken two or three generations for the divinisation to be credible. But all cults are founded on error and get away with it. The Divine Light Mission that had millions of followers some years ago thrived on tricks done with the senses that made many think were experiences of God and when their God was ALIVE!

Page 159 deceitfully argues that insane people who think they are God are usually egotistic, inflexible, dull, predictable, uncreative and very judgemental and says that since Jesus claimed to be God and was not like any of these people he was telling the truth. This is the straw-man approach now. But the argument conveniently ignores the fact that the brain is very complex and a sane man might have another side to him that is completely insane. Jesus could have been saner than the rest of us but suffered from some neurosis that made him insane whenever it came to religion. A well-balanced person might have an obsession with washing his or her hands imagining all kinds of bugs on them that are not on them at all. It’s life. You can have a good computer but which prints garbage when commanded to print. So it is sane and insane, so to speak. No two insane people are alike just like no two sane people are alike either. The view however that Jesus had to be insane to wrongly claim to be God if he was sincere is flawed because Jesus might have been sane but had a compulsion like sex-addicts might have but which in his case made him need to act like God and claim to be God. Christians do not want to deal with this possibility at all for they know it cannot be proved that Jesus was not like that. A sane man will claim to be God if he has believers willing to think he is God.
 
The mad book spells out several objections to the view that Jesus claimed to be God in the sense that Eastern Mysticism has people claiming to be God (page 165-171). Jesus still might not have claimed to be God the ruler of the universe but to be part of a pantheistic God like gurus in India do and here is the answer to the book’s twisted logic and half-truths. This would mean he was misunderstood by his followers and died before he had a chance to put them straight and maybe they couldn’t take it what he was trying to tell them because they accepted the Jewish idea of an external God. Perhaps Jesus did not understand his own mysticism fully and that was why he was not your typical guru. The lie is told that Jesus was not a guru for he was a Jew. But the Jews all agreed that he was a heretic and not a Jew and had his own new ideas of what being a Jew meant. For example, he hated man-made Jewish tradition. He might have thought he was a Jew but lots of Catholics think they are Catholics though they are anything but. Another lie the book tells us that that Jesus said he had no esoteric (hidden) teaching (John 18:20,21) so he was not a guru for a guru has a mystical experience to offer that cannot be expressed in words. What happened was Pilate asked him about his teaching and he told Pilate to go and ask the people he preached to for he said nothing in secret. This does not mean that Jesus did not offer a mystical experience for he could have made the mistake of trying to communicate how to get the experience and what it was like and meant in words. The gurus believe that their scriptures help you to get the experience though they do not communicate it for you have to have the experience by yourself to know what they mean. Another lie is that as a Jew Jesus thought God was separate from the creation and that there was an eternal Hell which are doctrines that are incompatible with pantheism. But perhaps he believed that to say that the creation was separate from God and not God meant only that it was experientially separated from God for it had to experience God to be united with him. And it is possible that some parts of the creation will be damned forever because they will never realise they are God. Total pantheists can contradict themselves unawares.
 
The final lie is that Jesus had no way of hearing the teachings of the Eastern Mystics. That is totally dishonest speculation. Nobody knows. There were pagans in the Holy Land who could have provided access to such teachings. There were mystics who had the same mystical ideas and spiritiuality as those in the East and who developed them independently.
 
Jesus could have claimed to be God in the same way that Catholics are able to say their communion wafers are God. It is a mystery of the same kind. Just as a communion wafer falls to the ground and becomes dirty and decays unlike God would so Jesus sinned or made mistakes and still could have thought he was God. Jesus might have had no experience of being God and being a man nothing in his psyche would have indicated that he was God. To say Jesus claimed to be God and it was a mystery how and why even to him is to say he is no more insane than the Catholics are. A psychiatrist might have thought there was nothing wrong with him.
 
We must remember that if Jesus was fully man and fully God like the vast majority of Christians assert then even if he did claim to be God and was wrong he was not on a par with the lunatic who thinks he runs the universe for Jesus would have claimed that it was revealed to him that he was God though he perhaps could not understand how and why and had no experience of being God. A sane man can claim to be that kind of God that Jesus might have been. The insane man will claim to know everything and be able to do everything while Jesus might have said he had these abilities but could not access them so that he had the awareness and problems of an ordinary man.

Then it is said that the profile of the apostles rules out them being liars. But we know precious little about them! We don’t even know if they were really killed for Jesus. It would make a lot of difference of they were caught by accident and then executed with no escape. They would only be martyrs if they refused to give up Jesus though the reward for denying him would be their lives.

Page 161 says that the Gospel writers were not lunatics for no lunatic could have written even one chapter of the gospels. You’d be surprised. And sane people do warm to the teachings of lunatics – how else do you explain all the different and bizarre religions in the world all of which think every sect but their own is daft?
 
There is no need to even think the gospel writers were insane. There is no honesty in people who feel the need to refute the gospellers being insane and who do not refute the possibility that demons with unimaginably high IQ’s used them to pull off a fraudulent story. The demons would seem so nice and charming. Perhaps they possessed or influenced the writers and got them to write the gospels in order to distort the prophet Jesus’ life and teaching. They would have done this for some unknown purpose.
 
Christians say the gospels had good results so demons were not their ultimate authors. Christians disagree all the time on why demons may have done this or that miracle so it is futile to look for the results of faith in the gospels to work out whether the origin was evil or good especially when what the demons were trying to do could have backfired.
 
Another fraudulent book, Reasons for Hope, says that if Jesus had been a lunatic the Jews would not have worked so hard to discredit him (page 91). But all they did was make sure that he would be crucified – there is good reason to think that this was a gospel slander. The gospels which are seen as infallible in this book say the Jews never really argued against him which would point to him being a possible lunatic, and after his death they said he was stolen. It was only natural that the Jewish leaders would have chatted to him and directed jibes at him and there is no reason to think they went out of their way to do it all the time as this crazy book implies. And they did not try hard to get rid of him if the gospels are to believed. They did not throw Jesus’ fans out of the Synagogues and they let Jesus and them into the Temple. They did not send preachers with the refutation of Jesus to take over as soon as he stopped preaching. Lunatic or not, if Jesus had a massive following who adored him as the gospels claim it could have been that the Jews had to debate with him and try hard to get rid of him. He could have been one crank they could not afford to ignore because of his influence. They could have got Herod to jail him early in his ministry but they did not. They could have forced Jesus to write a letter to the people explaining why he suddenly had to go abroad and then have him secretly exiled. This proves that the Jews scandalising themselves to have Jesus crucified in public is simply preposterous. My belief is that the Jews never bothered much with Jesus for the gospels lied about his popularity and lied that he claimed to be the Christ. Reasons for Hope gives us reason to despair at human intellectual perverseness again. One could not expect anything else but nonsense from a book that argues that since Jesus said his body was the unique temple of God that he was claiming to be God (page 92).

Page 162 of the Handbook of Christian Apologetics boasts that the gospels have survived all attacks. But that is only their opinion and it is only insolent fundamentalist twisting and lying and ignorance that is behind belief in the gospels. Unbiased scholars who open their eyes do not believe in the gospels. The Church manipulated politics to get where it is today so it has the upper hand when it comes to influencing people and making sure they are fed plenty of selective evidence.

Then the lie is told that the only explanation for Jesus’ trial and execution was his claim to be God! The man was viewed as a Messiah for Heaven’s sake and a threat to Rome and so he was not trusted and had to be destroyed. If his claim had been the reason he was killed then why do the gospels not make that clear? If he had been up for execution for claiming to be God we would not be reading that the Jews could find nothing in him to justify killing him. Claiming to be God was blasphemy under the law and deserved stoning to death.
 
The Handbook is a disgrace that seeks to use disfigured logic to inflict the likes of Christianity on the world. What is sure and certain is that a man who cannot be shown to have risen from the dead has no right to be adored as God. He’s an idol. On page 182, a chart is made out to show us that if Jesus rose then the result was Christianity, and that if the apostles were deceived it was a hallucination, if they were myth-makers the result was myth, and if they were deceivers the result was conspiracy and if Jesus didn’t die then the swoon theory that he came round in the tomb is true. So we are given five results – which is a huge over-simplification. We are not told that the witnesses could have been fooled by a ghost or a spirit changing their memory. We are not told that they could have been deceivers without a much of a conspiracy – maybe Joseph of Arimathea blackmailed them to say Jesus rose. On page 183, we are told that Roman Soldiers would have been put to death had Jesus survived the cross due to them not doing their job right therefore it is certain that Jesus was killed on the cross. This is nonsense for mistakes do happen and if the authorities could not find the revived Jesus they could not have put the soldiers to death. Had there been a convincing supernatural resurrection the soldiers would have been put to death for the resurrection would be thought to be proof that despite all appearances they bungled the execution of Jesus. The book tells the lie that the blood and the water coming out from Jesus’ pierced side proves that his lungs had collapsed and he had suffocated to death. There are other explanations. The John gospel states that Jesus escaped the traditional breaking of the legs for he died fast. If Jesus had been raising people from the dead then why didn’t the Roman soldiers take a minute to smash his legs like they did for the other two just to make double sure he was dead and perhaps keep him dead? They would have been told to. Incredibly, St Paul is put down as one of the greatest minds in history and his being attracted to Christianity and testifying to the resurrection is thought to be very credible for that reason (page 157). We only have a few letters of his and there is nothing that impressive in his writings and also if he is so smart it is a fact that smart people can be very easily manipulated for their minds think in a more restricted way so somebody can know what buttons to press to get them converted. We do not know if he understood all he wrote. When he was so vague at times it seems he was only using other people’s thoughts or speculations. We do not know what exactly he believed about Jesus but we can be sure it was different from the gospel portrait. And that all this conniving drivel should be used to try and win converts for Jesus is scandalous.
 
The book just gives nonsense to prove the resurrection. All that is proved is what a bucket of poison Christianity really is. When lies are the fruit of the resurrection and Jesus said bad fruits result from what is not authorised by God then God does not want us to believe that Jesus rose.


Handbook of Christian Apologetics Says
 
Jesus called himself the Son of God meaning he was the same kind and the same as God
 
Reason Says
Jesus never indicated that he meant anything like that by the title Son of God
 
Handbook of Christian Apologetics Says
I don’t have the right to forgive your sins against others but God does. Jesus forgave sins so Jesus was God.
 
Reason says:
It seems to be thought that because God makes all things they are his and to hurt a creature of his is to offend him so you have to go to him for forgiveness. But I cannot apologise to God because I hurt Ben for God is not Ben. I can apologise for damaging someone God made but that is different. I am not apologising to God as if God was Ben.   Jesus said that if you harm one of his brethren you are harming Jesus personally. It is the same as hurting Jesus. Jesus also said that we must love God totally and our neighbour as ourselves next meaning that the worst part about hurting a baby or another person is hurting God. This doctrine is total insanity. It is a lie intended to obstruct the realisation that there must be some sins or part of many sins that is none of God’s business. 
 
Handbook of Christian Apologetics Says
 
Everybody reading the gospels agree that Jesus was trustworthy
 
Reason replies:
Lie. The argument is so bad that even most theologians prefer to hold that most of what was written about Jesus in the gospels came from the imagination of the Church. The handbook writers mean that if you don’t see Jesus as trustworthy from reading the gospels then you are a bad person and cannot see it or you are a freak. Every error and false statement hurts and insults. And religion is evil because it refuses to change certain ideas.

Handbook of Christian Apologetics Says
 
The apostles didn’t invent the claim that Jesus was God for what did it do for them, it only brought them martyrdom
 
Reason replies:
You believe that Joseph Smith the Mormon founder who was persecuted for “translating” the Book of Mormon brought the book forth fraudulently and this book says that the Bible you depend on to defend the divinity of Christ has had parts taken away and altered and is unreliable.  
 
Handbook of Christian Apologetics Says

If the divinity of Jesus was a myth, then it is impossible to explain how it was believed in when the eyewitnesses to Jesus were still alive?
 
Reason replies:

 

The prophet hood of Joseph Smith the Mormon founder was a myth and we can prove the first believers accepted the myth. We cannot prove that the apostles believed that Jesus was God soon after he died or ascended into heaven or whatever
  
Handbook of Christian Apologetics Says
 
Jesus was either God, or lied that he was God, was a lunatic thinking he was God, or the claim that he was God was a myth created about him or he claimed to be God in the sense that Hindus believe they are God.
 
Reason replies:

Jesus could have wrongly thought he was God WITHOUT being a lunatic. If the Roman Catholic Church was a very small sect it would be dismissed as mad by the world for believing things like that baptism takes away the tendency to sin and that priests forgive sins and priests turn food and drink into the body and blood of Jesus. It’s only because it is so big that the Church gets away with its craziness. The point is that every religion teaches ideas that are on a par with a man claiming to be God.
 
Handbook of Christian Apologetics Says
 
If Jesus lied about being God he was the most evil liar ever. He wasn’t evil so he told the truth.
 
Reason replies:

Rubbish. Millions of people who are paragons of honesty lie when they can get away with it.
 
Handbook of Christian Apologetics Says

Jesus had no motive to lie for it only brought him persecution and finally death
 
Reason replies:

That Jesus wasn’t stoned for claiming to be God proves that he never made this claim for the Jews didn’t tolerate that. And he was crucified because of jealousy according to the gospels. Even if Jesus never claimed to be God, there were plenty of other reasons for the Jews to want him dead. And the gospels never said he was crucified for claiming to be God. Even if they did he wasn’t specifically crucified for that – there were other things he was put to death for.
  
Handbook of Christian Apologetics Says
Jesus didn’t claim to be God in the guru sense for he never taught the doctrines of the gurus and he taught a moral God unlike the amoral god of the gurus and taught everlasting punishment which contradicts the gurus
 
Reason replies:

 

The guru even when he claims to be God claims he has to journey to learn the truth about what this means and what life is all about. Jesus mightn’t have got very far on the journey. Jesus never said exactly what he meant by God only that God was Father and a spirit and all powerful and good. And Jesus said God has made Hell for sinners to go to at death and from it they cannot get out. If you can condone that you can condone anything and should be amoral to be consistent.
 
Handbook of Christian Apologetics Says
 
No Jew could claim to be God
 
Reason replies: 

That is like saying no Jew could have believed in the Kabballah – a form of Jewish magic and occultism that contradicted the Torah. And the John gospel has Jesus quoting the Jewish Bible where it said ye are gods to shut up the Jews accusing him of blasphemy and of making himself to be God. He could have thought a Jew could claim to be God but he gave no hint that he claimed to be God. He didn’t say the Jews were right about him.
 
Jesus accused the Jews of hatred of God and blasphemy when they said Jesus did exorcisms by demonic power. If a Jew could do that then why couldn’t a Jew claim to be God?  
 
Handbook of Christian Apologetics Says

The gospels are not written in the style of myth but eyewitness reporting
 
Reason replies:

We know the stories of the Old Testament were myths and the gospel writers made sure they copied the traits and characteristics of these stories. They are not written in the style of silly pagan myths but in the fairly restrained and distinctive style of Jewish myths
  
Handbook of Christian Apologetics Says

Lots of references to the Bible are given to show that Jesus claimed to be God and was believed to be God
 
Reason replies:


Though at least they show that Jesus was divine in a symbolic honorific way but not in reality, it is stretching things a bit to think they speak of Jesus being God himself! Verses that deny Jesus was God are ignored. A man called Jesus good teacher and Jesus said don’t call me good for nobody is good only God. The Church makes out he was only rejecting the flattery of being called good by a false man. Nothing in the text indicates flattery so that is out. The Church must ask, “Did he tell the man then that it was okay to flatter God?” Jesus denied he was God or even as good as God. The simplest interpretation is that Jesus didn't want to be called good or perfect. Fancy interpretations of anything are contrived and useless.