Hard Questions or Bad Arguments? Part 6

Continuing in this series, we look at a few more of the issues raised by J.H. McKenna.

It took only six days for God to make the universe, but God could not save humanity all at once in an instant in one day? Thousands of years preceded Jesus and thousands of years have followed Jesus—and still most people have not been saved.

This objection assumes two things: 1) that God was not saving people before Jesus came and 2)how many God intends to save. The reality is that God was saving people before Christ came and has been saving people ever since Christ came, and they were all saved by the same manner at the same time: through Christ’s self-giving at Calvary. This seems like a broken record to me to say this again, but it was not about “saving humanity” but about saving a people dedicated to Christ. The time that it took was simply irrelevant to how God desired to accomplish it.

If Jesus had intended to start a new religious system he would have written it down himself during his lifetime, like dozens of previous Jewish prophets.

Jesus never intended to “start a new religious system“. Reading the gospels, one cannot help but note that Jesus was working inside a system that had developed hundreds of years before his birth, in the synagogue system, and the early church was modeled after it, using its liturgical materials and offices. It was one reason why it was the confession of Christ as Lord over and against Caesar became the defining means during the periods of persecution because, from the outside, there was no real way to tell Christians from Jews. The division only became more apparent as Jews differentiated themselves from Christians.

Why would anyone assume that Jesus would have “written it down during his lifetime“? Jesus was busy, constantly moving, a wanted man, he barely had time to eat. Further more…well, let’s just take a look at this excerpt from the Lexham Bible Dictionary,

[The] designation “writing prophets” does not mean that the prophets themselves were literate (though they may have been), only that their sayings have been preserved in volumes attributed to them. Jeremiah 51:60 does record that the prophet Jeremiah “wrote on a scroll all the disasters that would befall Babylon,” but this may mean that he instructed a scribe to write the sayings (see Jer 51:59). Aside from the book of Jeremiah, little is known about the writing process of the prophetic books.

Redditt, Paul. “Prophets, the.” Ed. John D. Barry et al. The Lexham Bible Dictionary 2016 : n. pag. Print. (emphasis added)

In fact there’s arguments as to whether or not there was a formal training school in ancient Israel for training young men to serve in such a capacity. Needless to say, it simply doesn’t follow that Jesus, since he did not intend to start a “new religion” but pointed to what he considered and insisted to be authoritative (the Law and the Prophets).

Jesus is depicted in the gospels as disrespecting his mother when he was twelve years old and when he was a grown man.

Actually, no, Jesus was not “disrespectful“, but was perfectly respectful in accordance to the time and culture in which he lived.

Jesus did not practice his own rule: he did not love his enemies but berated them with unwarranted bitterness.

He called them to repentance, which is the highest form of love as a Torah observant Jew.

Okay, so those last two, weren’t arguments as much as accusations, but they’re common and based upon ignorance. So until next time.

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