Saturday, April 30, 2011

Why Americans Hate Atheists

I found this interesting article on why Americans Dislike Atheists

By Gregory Pauland Phil Zuckerman, Published: April 29 on

Long after blacks and Jews have made great strides, and even as homosexuals gain respect, acceptance and new rights, there is still a group that lots of Americans just don’t like much: atheists. Those who don’t believe in God are widely considered to be immoral, wicked and angry. They can’t join the Boy Scouts. Atheist soldiers are rated potentially deficient when they do not score as sufficiently “spiritual” in military psychological evaluations. Surveys find that most Americans refuse or are reluctant to marry or vote for nontheists; in other words, nonbelievers are one minority still commonly denied in practical terms the right to assume office despite the constitutional ban on religious tests.

Rarely denounced by the mainstream, this stunning anti-atheist discrimination is egged on by Christian conservatives who stridently — and uncivilly — declare that the lack of godly faith is detrimental to society, rendering nonbelievers intrinsically suspect and second-class citizens.

Is this knee-jerk dislike of atheists warranted? Not even close.

A growing body of social science research reveals that atheists, and non-religious people in general, are far from the unsavory beings many assume them to be. On basic questions of morality and human decency — issues such as governmental use of torture, the death penalty, punitive hitting of children, racism, sexism, homophobia, anti-Semitism, environmental degradation or human rights — the irreligious tend to be more ethical than their religious peers, particularly compared with those who describe themselves as very religious.

Consider that at the societal level, murder rates are far lower in secularized nations such as Japan or Sweden than they are in the much more religious United States, which also has a much greater portion of its population in prison. Even within this country, those states with the highest levels of church attendance, such as Louisiana and Mississippi, have significantly higher murder rates than far less religious states such as Vermont and Oregon.

As individuals, atheists tend to score high on measures of intelligence, especially verbal ability and scientific literacy. They tend to raise their children to solve problems rationally, to make up their own minds when it comes to existential questions and to obey the golden rule. They are more likely to practice safe sex than the strongly religious are, and are less likely to be nationalistic or ethnocentric. They value freedom of thought.

While many studies show that secular Americans don’t fare as well as the religious when it comes to certain indicators of mental health or subjective well-being, new scholarship is showing that the relationships among atheism, theism, and mental health and well-being are complex. After all, Denmark, which is among the least religious countries in the history of the world, consistently rates as the happiest of nations. And studies of apostates — people who were religious but later rejected their religion — report feeling happier, better and liberated in their post-religious lives.

Nontheism isn’t all balloons and ice cream. Some studies suggest that suicide rates are higher among the non-religious. But surveys indicating that religious Americans are better off can be misleading because they include among the non-religious fence-sitters who are as likely to believe in God, whereas atheists who are more convinced are doing about as well as devout believers. On numerous respected measures of societal success — rates of poverty, teenage pregnancy, abortion, sexually transmitted diseases, obesity, drug use and crime, as well as economics — high levels of secularity are consistently correlated with positive outcomes in first-world nations. None of the secular advanced democracies suffers from the combined social ills seen here in Christian America.

More than 2,000 years ago, whoever wrote Psalm 14 claimed that atheists were foolish and corrupt, incapable of doing any good. These put-downs have had sticking power. Negative stereotypes of atheists are alive and well. Yet like all stereotypes, they aren’t true — and perhaps they tell us more about those who harbor them than those who are maligned by them. So when the likes of Glenn Beck, Sarah Palin, Bill O’Reilly and Newt Gingrich engage in the politics of division and destruction by maligning atheists, they do so in disregard of reality.

As with other national minority groups, atheism is enjoying rapid growth. Despite the bigotry, the number of American nontheists has tripled as a proportion of the general population since the 1960s. Younger generations’ tolerance for the endless disputes of religion is waning fast. Surveys designed to overcome the understandable reluctance to admit atheism have found that as many as 60 million Americans — a fifth of the population — are not believers. Our nonreligious compatriots should be accorded the same respect as other minorities.

Gregory Paul is an independent researcher in sociology and evolution. Phil Zuckerman, a professor of sociology at Pitzer College, is the author of “Society Without God.”

Monday, April 25, 2011

More Modification of Beliefs and Religion

More proof that religious views vary drastically from person to person; the data comes from a couple different surveys. It seems to me like this is a modification of the God of the Gaps idea. It is intelligent people thinking that it doesn’t make sense for good people to go to hell just because they didn’t accept Jesus Christ; so they adjust their faith and modify it a bit more to make themselves feel better. Why not just get rid of the whole damn faith in the first place? It will save you a lifetime of having to ‘fix it’ so that it can still fit with reality.
Anyway, here is what the survey found:
“Twenty-five percent of born-again Christians said all people are eventually saved or accepted by God. A similar proportion, 26 percent, said a person’s religion does not matter because all faiths teach the same lessons. And an even higher proportion, 40 percent, of born-again Christians said they believe Christians and Muslims worship the same God.
Barna defined universalism as the belief that all human beings will eventually be saved after death. The California-based research and polling firm defines born-again Christians as people who have made ‘a personal commitment to Jesus Christ that is still important in their life today, and who believe they will go to heaven after death because they confessed their sins and accepted Jesus Christ as their savior.’”

According to the Barna analysis, 43 percent of Americans in general agreed with the statement “It doesn’t matter what religious faith you follow because they all teach the same lessons,” while 54 percent disagreed.
For many evangelicals, the idea of Christians holding universalist ideas is particularly disturbing because it nullifies the need for Christ to die on the cross and the message of Jesus that he is the only way, truth and life.
Various research firms have reported different data on the prevalence of universalist beliefs among born-again believers and more specifically, evangelicals.
A 2008 Pew Forum survey revealed that 57 percent of evangelicals agreed with the idea that other religions than their own can lead to eternal life. After tweaking the definition of "evangelical," however, LifeWay Research, found that only two out of 10 evangelicals agreed with the statement that eternal life can be obtained through religions other than Christianity.
While universalism is nothing new, some believe cultural trends are placing pressure on Christians and their beliefs.
Don Carson, research professor of New Testament at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, said at The Gospel Coalition’s national conference last week that many are feeling pressure from the culture "to find universalism attractive."
"There are pressures in our culture to reduce the truth content of Scripture and then simply dismiss people by saying that they're intolerant or narrow-minded ... or bigoted without actually engaging the truth question at all. And that is really sad and in the long haul, horribly dangerous."
Barna’s analysis on beliefs regarding universalism and pluralism is based on data from telephone interviews conducted in the OmniPollSM and from Barna Group’s theolographic TM database from 2005 through 2011.

Every time somebody takes a good look at their beliefs, they see how archaic they are and they are forced to either modify them to fit or reject them entirely. If your faith says that you must accept Jesus into your heart to be saved (it says this straight and to the point, not something that is kind of 'assumed') then the fact that you modify this to include good people who don't accept Jesus, means that you conflict with your beliefs! Not in a tiny way, but a drastic way and with a core belief! Why continue to twist the words of the Bible, just to make it seem the slightest bit civilised and praise worthy? Just accept your belief is wrong, lose it, and move on! 

Be a good human being because you are a good human being, not cause the bible tells you how to! This will save you a lifetime of trying to justify the atrocities of your religion.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Social Stigma Keeps Many Atheists Quiet

Inside and outside the American Atheists national convention Saturday, people wanted to make sure their message was heard.

A panel discussion about local activism efforts that included members of Iowa atheist groups kicked off the convention's second full day.

"It is amazing what billboards can do to simply have people realize you exist," said Jason Kelley of Des Moines, referring to a pre-convention Des Moines advertising campaign declaring the absence of God.
Randy Henderson, president of Iowa Atheists and Freethinkers, estimated that Iowa has 300,000 people who identify as atheists. He said those people have the potential to bring about - or prevent - an array of changes in the state. Whether participating in charity events or lobbying against laws they perceive as threatening religious freedom, Henderson said Iowa atheists have an underappreciated strength in numbers.

A stigma attached with being an atheist keeps people quiet, Henderson said. As a result, even some active members of the Iowa atheists group have not disclosed their beliefs to co-workers, bosses, friends or even family.

While atheists gathered inside the Embassy Suites hotel in Des Moines, a dozen people from various Christian groups lingered outside in the chilly wind. Brian Sargent, 46, of Iowa City's Open Air Baptist Church held a black and white sign that read "Jesus Christ is Lord and King."

"When you do open-air ministry it isn't about a single event, its an ongoing mission," Sargent said. While he acknowledges the atheists' hope to contribute to their communities, Sargent said "activity minus God leads to a state of downward-spiraling events."

Alycen Vance, a member of Siouxland Atheists, Agnostics and Freethinkers, said that in western Iowa the political and social climate is less welcoming to alternative beliefs.

"I've talked via Facebook with very interested, very supportive people that don't want to go out in public when people can recognize them and firebomb their car," Vance said. "And I mean I have literally heard that phrase 'I don't want people firebombing my house' or 'killing my dogs' or 'beating up my children at school.' There is definitely a big fear of stigma."

Daniel Sitzmann said that the Siouxland group has been denied opportunities to participate in charity fundraisers and that plaques noting its contributions to public spaces have been defaced.

Tyler Smidt, 26, of Wellman stood on the sidewalk west of the hotel handing out pamphlets titled "The ABCs of the Gospel." Smidt said people in his church would deplore the acts of harassment some atheists inside the hotel described.

There should be a separation between church and state in the United States, and faith should not be a part of politics, Smidt agreed. So what brought him to the convention?

"The reception (of the pamphlet) isn't what matters. It's about sharing the word of God," Smidt said.

There is some room for common ground when it comes to voicing viewpoints, Vance said.

"Our goal is not world domination," Vance said. "And their goal isn't world domination either."

The Philosophy of Atheism

To give an adequate exposition of the Philosophy of Atheism, it would be necessary to go into the historical changes of the belief in a Deity, from its earliest beginning to the present day. But that is not within the scope of the present paper. However, it is not out of place to mention, in passing, that the concept God, Supernatural Power, Spirit, Deity, or in whatever other term the essence of Theism may have found expression, has become more indefinite and obscure in the course of time and progress. In other words, the God idea is growing more impersonal and nebulous in proportion as the human mind is learning to understand natural phenomena and in the degree that science progressively correlates human and social events.

God, today, no longer represents the same forces as in the beginning of His existence; neither does He direct human destiny with the same Iron hand as of yore. Rather does the God idea express a sort of spiritualistic stimulus to satisfy the fads and fancies of every shade of human weakness. In the course of human development the God idea has been forced to adapt itself to every phase of human affairs, which is perfectly consistent with the origin of the idea itself.

The conception of gods originated in fear and curiosity. Primitive man, unable to understand the phenomena of nature and harassed by them, saw in every terrifying manifestation some sinister force expressly directed against him; and as ignorance and fear are the parents of all superstition, the troubled fancy of primitive man wove the God idea.

Very aptly, the world-renowned atheist and anarchist, Michael Bakunin, says in his great work God and the State: "All religions, with their gods, their demi-gods, and their prophets, their messiahs and their saints, were created by the prejudiced fancy of men who had not attained the full development and full possession of their faculties. Consequently, the religious heaven is nothing but the mirage in which man, exalted by ignorance and faith, discovered his own image, but enlarged and reversed – that is divinized. The history of religions, of the birth, grandeur, and the decline of the gods who had succeeded one another in human belief, is nothing, therefore, but the development of the collective intelligence and conscience of mankind. As fast as they discovered, in the course of their historically progressive advance, either in themselves or in external nature, a quality, or even any great defect whatever, they attributed it to their gods, after having exaggerated and enlarged it beyond measure, after the manner of children, by an act of their religious fancy. . . . With all due respect, then, to the metaphysicians and religious idealists, philosophers, politicians or poets: the idea of God implies the abdication of human reason and justice; it is the most decisive negation of human liberty, and necessarily ends in the enslavement of mankind, both in theory and practice."

Thus the God idea, revived, readjusted, and enlarged or narrowed, according to the necessity of the time, has dominated humanity and will continue to do so until man will raise his head to the sunlit day, unafraid and with an awakened will to himself. In proportion as man learns to realize himself and mold his own destiny theism becomes superfluous. How far man will be able to find his relation to his fellows will depend entirely upon how much he can outgrow his dependence upon God.

Already there are indications that theism, which is the theory of speculation, is being replaced by Atheism, the science of demonstration; the one hangs in the metaphysical clouds of the Beyond, while the other has its roots firmly in the soil. It is the earth, not heaven, which man must rescue if he is truly to be saved.

The decline of theism is a most interesting spectacle, especially as manifested in the anxiety of the theists, whatever their particular brand. They realize, much to their distress, that the masses are growing daily more atheistic, more anti-religious; that they are quite willing to leave the Great Beyond and its heavenly domain to the angels and sparrows; because more and more the masses are becoming engrossed in the problems of their immediate existence.

How to bring the masses back to the God idea, the spirit, the First Cause, etc. – that is the most pressing question to all theists. Metaphysical as all these questions seem to be, they yet have a very marked physical background. Inasmuch as religion, "Divine Truth," rewards and punishments are the trade-marks of the largest, the most corrupt and pernicious, the most powerful and lucrative industry in the world, not excepting the industry of manufacturing guns and munitions. It is the industry of befogging the human mind and stifling the human heart. Necessity knows no law; hence the majority of theists are compelled to take up every subject, even if it has no bearing upon a deity or revelation or the Great Beyond. Perhaps they sense the fact that humanity is growing weary of the hundred and one brands of God.

How to raise this dead level of theistic belief is really a matter of life and death for all denominations. Therefore their tolerance; but it is a tolerance not of understanding; but of weakness. Perhaps that explains the efforts fostered in all religious publications to combine variegated religious philosophies and conflicting theistic theories into one denominational trust. More and more, the various concepts "of the only tree God, the only pure spirit, -the only true religion" are tolerantly glossed over in the frantic effort to establish a common ground to rescue the modern mass from the "pernicious" influence of atheistic ideas.

It is characteristic of theistic "tolerance" that no one really cares what the people believe in, just so they believe or pretend to believe. To accomplish this end, the crudest and vulgarest methods are being used. Religious endeavor meetings and revivals with Billy Sunday as their champion - methods which must outrage every refined sense, and which in their effect upon the ignorant and curious often tend to create a mild state of insanity not infrequently coupled with eroto-mania. All these frantic efforts find approval and support from the earthly powers; from the Russian despot to the American President; from Rockefeller and Wanamaker down to the pettiest business man. They blow that capital invested in Billy Sunday, the Y.M.C.A., Christian Science, and various other religious institutions will return enormous profits from the subdued, tamed, and dull masses. Consciously or unconsciously, most theists see in gods and devils, heaven and hell; reward and punishment, a whip to lash the people into obedience, meekness and contentment. The truth is that theism would have lost its footing long before this but for the combined support of Mammon and power. How thoroughly bankrupt it really is, is being demonstrated in the trenches and battlefields of Europe today.

Have not all theists painted their Deity as the god of love and goodness? Yet after thousands of years of such preachments the gods remain deaf to the agony of the human race. Confucius cares not for the poverty, squalor and misery of people of China. Buddha remains undisturbed in his philosophical indifference to the famine and starvation of outraged Hindoos; Jahve continues deaf to the bitter cry of Israel; while Jesus refuses to rise from the dead against his Christians who are butchering each other.

The burden of all song and praise "unto the Highest" has been that God stands for justice and mercy. Yet injustice among men is ever on the increase; the outrages committed against the masses in this country alone would seem enough to overflow the very heavens. But where are the gods to make an end to all these horrors, these wrongs, this inhumanity to man? No, not the gods, but MAN must rise in his mighty wrath. He, deceived by all the deities, betrayed by their emissaries, he, himself, must undertake to usher in justice upon the earth.

The philosophy of Atheism expresses the expansion and growth of the human mind. The philosophy of theism, if we can call it philosophy, is static and fixed. Even the mere attempt to pierce these mysteries represents, from the theistic point of view, non-belief in the all-embracing omnipotence, and even a denial of the wisdom of the divine powers outside of man. Fortunately, however, the human mind never was, and never can be, bound by fixities. Hence it is forging ahead in its restless march towards knowledge and life. The human mind is realizing "that the universe is not the result of a creative fiat by some divine intelligence, out of nothing, producing a masterpiece chaotic in perfect operation," but that it is the product of chaotic forces operating through eons of time, of clashes and cataclysms, of repulsion and attraction crystallizing through the principle of selection into what the theists call, "the universe guided into order and beauty." As Joseph McCabe well points out in his Existence ot God: "a law of nature is not a formula drawn up by a legislator, but a mere summary of the observed facts – a 'bundle of facts.' Things do not act in a particular way because there is a law, but we state the 'law' because they act in that way."

The philosophy of Atheism represents a concept of life without any metaphysical Beyond or Divine Regulator. It is the concept of an actual, real world with its liberating, expanding and beautifying possibilities, as against an unreal world, which, with its spirits, oracles, and mean contentment has kept humanity in helpless degradation.

It may seem a wild paradox, and yet it is pathetically true, that this real, visible world and our life should have been so long under the influence of metaphysical speculation, rather than of physical demonstrable forces. Under the lash of the theistic idea, this earth has served no other purpose than as a temporary station to test man's capacity for immolation to the will of God. But the moment man attempted to ascertain the nature of that will, he was told that it was utterly futile for "finite human intelligence" to get beyond the all-powerful infinite will. Under the terrific weight of this omnipotence, man has been bowed into the dust – a will-less creature, broken and sweating in the dark. The triumph of the philosophy of Atheism is to free man from the nightmare of gods; it means the dissolution of the phantoms of the beyond. Again and again the light of reason has dispelled the theistic nightmare, but poverty, misery and fear have recreated the phantoms – though whether old or new, whatever their external form, they differed little in their essence. Atheism, on the other hand, in its philosophic aspect refuses allegiance not merely to a definite concept of God, but it refuses all servitude to the God idea, and opposes the theistic principle as such. Gods in their individual function are not half as pernicious as the principle of theism which represents the belief in a supernatural, or even omnipotent, power to rule the earth and man upon it. It is the absolutism of theism, its pernicious influence upon humanity, its paralyzing effect upon thought and action, which Atheism is fighting with all its power.

The philosophy of Atheism has its root in the earth, in this life; its aim is the emancipation of the human race from all God-heads, be they Judaic, Christian, Mohammedan, Buddhistic, Brahministic, or what not. Mankind has been punished long and heavily for having created its gods; nothing but pain and persecution have been man's lot since gods began. There is but one way out of this blunder: Man must break his fetters which have chained him to the gates of heaven and hell, so that he can begin to fashion out of his reawakened and illumined consciousness a new world upon earth.

Only after the triumph of the Atheistic philosophy in the minds and hearts of man will freedom and beauty be realized. Beauty as a gift from heaven has proved useless. It will, however, become the essence and impetus of life when man learns to see in the earth the only heaven fit for man. Atheism is already helping to free man from his dependence upon punishment and reward as the heavenly bargain-counter for the poor in spirit.

Do not all theists insist that there can be no morality, no justice, honesty or fidelity without the belief in a Divine Power? Based upon fear and hope, such morality has always been a vile product, imbued partiy with self-righteousness, partly with hypocrisy. As to truth, justice, and fidelity, who have been their brave exponents and daring proclaimers? Nearly always the godless ones: the Atheists; they lived, fought, and died for them. They knew that justice, truth, and fidelity are not, conditioned in heaven, but that they are related to and interwoven with the tremendous changes going on in the social and material life of the human race; not fixed and eternal, but fluctuating, even as life itself. To what heights the philosophy of Atheism may yet attain, no one can prophesy. But this much can already be predicted: only by its regenerating fire will human relations be purged from the horrors of the past

Thoughtful people are beginning to realize that moral precepts, imposed upon humanity through religious terror, have become stereotyped and have therefore lost all vitality. A glance at life today, at its disintegrating character, its conflicting interests with their hatreds, crimes, and greed, suffices to prove the sterility of theistic morality.

Man must get back to himself before he can learn his relation to his fellows. Prometheus chained to the Rock of Ages is doomed to remain the prey of the vultures of darkness. Unbind Prometheus, and you dispel the night and its horrors.

Atheism in its negation of gods is at the same time the strongest affirmation of man, and through man, the eternal yea to life, purpose, and beauty.
by Emma Goldman
First published in February 1916 in the Mother Earth journal.

101 Bible Contradictions

1.Who incited David to count the fighting men of Israel?
·         God did (2 Samuel 24: 1)
·         Satan did (I Chronicles 2 1:1)
2.In that count how many fighting men were found in Israel?
·         Eight hundred thousand (2 Samuel 24:9)
·         One million, one hundred thousand (IChronicles 21:5)
3. How many fighting men were found in Judah?
·         Five hundred thousand (2 Samuel 24:9)
·         Four hundred and seventy thousand (I Chronicles 21:5)
4.God sent his prophet to threaten David with how many years of famine?
·         Seven (2 Samuel 24:13)
·         Three (I Chronicles 21:12)
5.How old was Ahaziah when he began to rule over Jerusalem?
·         Twenty-two (2 Kings 8:26)
·         Forty-two (2 Chronicles 22:2)
6.How old was Jehoiachin when he became king of Jerusalem?
·         Eighteen (2 Kings 24:8)
·         Eight (2 Chronicles 36:9)
7.How long did he rule over Jerusalem?
·         Three months (2 Kings 24:8)
·         Three months and ten days (2 Chronicles 36:9)
8.The chief of the mighty men of David lifted up his spear and killed how many men at one time?
·         Eight hundred (2 Samuel 23:8)
·         Three hundred (I Chronicles 11: 11)
9.When did David bring the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem? Before defeating the Philistines or after?
·         After (2 Samuel 5 and 6)
·         Before (I Chronicles 13 and 14)
10.How many pairs of clean animals did God tell Noah to take into the Ark?
·         Two (Genesis 6:19, 20)
·         Seven (Genesis 7:2). But despite this last instruction only two pairs went into the ark (Genesis 7:8-9)
11.When David defeated the King of Zobah, how many horsemen did he capture?
·         One thousand and seven hundred (2 Samuel 8:4)
·         Seven thousand (I Chronicles 18:4)
12.How many stalls for horses did Solomon have?
·         Forty thousand (I Kings 4:26)
·         Four thousand (2 chronicles 9:25)
13.In what year of King Asa's reign did Baasha, King of Israel die?
·         Twenty-sixth year (I Kings 15:33 - 16:8)
·         Still alive in the thirty-sixth year (2 Chronicles 16:1)
14.How many overseers did Solomon appoint for the work of building the temple?
·         Three thousand six hundred (2 Chronicles 2:2)
·         Three thousand three hundred (I Kings 5:16)
15.Solomon built a facility containing how many baths?
·         Two thousand (1 Kings 7:26)
·         Over three thousand (2 Chronicles 4:5)
16.Of the Israelites who were freed from the Babylonian captivity, how many were the children of
·         Two thousand eight hundred and twelve (Ezra 2:6)
·         Two thousand eight hundred and eighteen (Nehemiah 7:11)
17.How many were the children of Zattu?
·         Nine hundred and forty-five (Ezra 2:8)
·         Eight hundred and forty-five (Nehemiah 7:13)
18.How many were the children of Azgad?
·         One thousand two hundred and twenty-two (Ezra 2:12)
·         Two thousand three hundred and twenty-two (Nehemiah 7:17)
19.How many were the children of Adin?
·         Four hundred and fifty-four (Ezra 2:15)
·         Six hundred and fifty-five (Nehemiah 7:20)
20.How many were the children of Hashum?
·         Two hundred and twenty-three (Ezra 2:19)
·         Three hundred and twenty-eight (Nehemiah 7:22)
21.How many were the children of Bethel and Ai?
·         Two hundred and twenty-three (Ezra 2:28)
·         One hundred and twenty-three (Nehemiah 7:32)
22.Ezra 2:64 and Nehemiah 7:66 agree that the total number of the whole assembly was 42,360. Yet the numbers do not add up to anything close. The totals obtained from each book is as follows:
·         29,818 (Ezra)
·         31,089 (Nehemiah)
23.How many singers accompanied the assembly?
·         Two hundred (Ezra 2:65)
·         Two hundred and forty-five (Nehemiah 7:67)
24.What was the name of King Abijah’s mother?
·         Michaiah, daughter of Uriel of Gibeah (2 Chronicles 13:2)
·         Maachah, daughter of Absalom (2 Chronicles 11:20) But Absalom had only one daughter whose name was Tamar (2 Samuel 14:27)
25.Did Joshua and the Israelites capture Jerusalem?
·         Yes (Joshua 10:23, 40)
·         No (Joshua 15:63)
26.Who was the father of Joseph, husband of Mary?
·         Jacob (Matthew 1:16)
·         Hell (Luke 3:23)
27.Jesus descended from which son of David?
·         Solomon (Matthew 1:6)
·         Nathan (Luke3: 31)
28.Who was the father of Shealtiel?
·         Jechoniah (Matthew 1:12)
·         Neri’ (Luke 3:27)
29.Which son of Zerubbabel was an ancestor of Jesus Christ?
·         Abiud (Matthew 1: 13)
·         Rhesa (Luke 3:27) but the seven sons of Zerubbabel are as follows: i. Meshullam, ii. Hananiah, iii. Hashubah, iv. Ohel, v. Berechiah, vi. Hasadiah, viii. Jushabhesed (I Chronicles 3:19, 20). The names Abiud and Rhesa do not fit in anyway.
30.Who was the father of Uzziah?
·         Joram (Matthew 1:8)
·         Amaziah (2 Chronicles 26:1)
31.Who as the father of Jechoniah?
·         Josiah (Matthew 1:11)
·         Jeholakim (I Chronicles 3:16)
32.How many generations were there from the Babylonian exile until Christ?
·         Matthew says fourteen (Matthew 1:17)
·         But a careful count of the generations reveals only thirteen (see Matthew 1: 12-16)
33.Who was the father of Shelah?
·         Cainan (Luke 3:35-36)
·         Arphaxad (Genesis II: 12)
34.Was John the Baptist Elijah who was to come?
·         Yes (Matthew II: 14, 17:10-13)
·         No (John 1:19-21)
35.Would Jesus inherit David’s throne?
·         Yes. So said the angel (Luke 1:32)
·         No, since he is a descendant of Jehoiakim (see Matthew 1: I 1, I Chronicles 3:16). And Jehoiakim was cursed by God so that none of his descendants can sit upon David’s throne (Jeremiah 36:30)
36.Jesus rode into Jerusalem on how many animals?
·         One - a colt (Mark 11:7; cf Luke 19:3 5). “And they brought the colt to Jesus and threw their garments on it; and he sat upon it.”
·         Two - a colt and an ass (Matthew 21:7). “They brought the ass and the colt and put their garments on them and he sat thereon.”
37.How did Simon Peter find out that Jesus was the Christ?
·         By a revelation from heaven (Matthew 16:17)
·         His brother Andrew told him (John 1:41)
38.Where did Jesus first meet Simon Peter and Andrew?
·         By the Sea of Galilee (Matthew 4:18-22)
·         On the banks of river Jordan (John 1:42). After that, Jesus decided to go to Galilee (John 1:43)
39.When Jesus met Jairus was Jairus’ daughter already dead?
·         Yes. Matthew 9:18 quotes him as saying, “My daughter has just died.”
·         No. Mark 5:23 quotes him as saying, “My little daughter is at the point of death.”
40.Did Jesus allow his disciples to keep a staff on their journey?
·         Yes (Mark6: 8)
·         No (Matthew 10:9; Luke 9:3)
41.Did Herod think that Jesus was John the Baptist?
·         Yes (Matthew 14:2; Mark 6:16)
·         No (Luke 9:9)
42.Did John the Baptist recognize Jesus before his baptism?
·         Yes (Matthew 3:13-14)
·         No (John 1:32,33)
43.Did John the Baptist recognize Jesus after his baptism?
·         Yes (John 1:32, 33)
·         No (Matthew 11:2)
44.According to the Gospel of John, what did Jesus say about bearing his own witness?
·         “If I bear witness to myself, my testimony is not true” (John 5:3 1)
·         “Even if I do bear witness to myself, my testimony is true” (John 8:14)
45.When Jesus entered Jerusalem did he cleanse the temple that same day?
·         Yes (Matthew 21:12)
·         No. He went into the temple and looked around, but since it was very late he did nothing. Instead, he went to Bethany to spend the night and returned the next morning to cleanse the temple (Mark I 1:1-17).
46.The Gospels say that Jesus cursed a fig tree. Did the tree wither at once?
·         Yes. (Matthew 21:19)
·         No. It withered overnight (Mark II: 20)
47.Did Judas kiss Jesus?
·         Yes (Matthew 26:48-50)
·         No. Judas could not get close enough to Jesus to kiss him (John 18:3-12)
48.What did Jesus say about Peter’s denial?
·         “The cock will not crow till you have denied me three times” (John 13:38).
·         “Before the cock crows twice you will deny me three times” (Mark 14:30). When the cock crowed once, the three denials were not yet complete (see Mark 14:72).
49.Did Jesus bear his own cross?
·         Yes (John 19:17)
·         No (Matthew 27:31-32)
50.Did Jesus die before the curtain of the temple was torn?
·         Yes (Matthew27: 50-5 1;MarklS: 37-38)
·         No. After the curtain was torn, then Jesus crying with a loud voice, said, “Father, into thy hands I commit my spirit!” And having said this he breathed his last (Luke 23:45-46)
51.Did Jesus say anything secretly?
·         No. “I have said nothing secretly” (John 18:20)
·         Yes. “He did not speak to them without a parable, but privately to his own disciples he explained everything” (Mark 4:34). The disciples asked him “Why do you speak to them in parables?” He said, “To you it has been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given” (Matthew 13: 1 0-11)
52.Where was Jesus at the sixth hour on the day of the crucifixion?
·         On the cross (Mark 15:23)
·         In Pilate’s court (John 19:14)
53.The gospels say that two thieves were crucified along with Jesus. Did both thieves mock Jesus?
·         Yes (Mark 15:32)
·         No. One of them mocked Jesus, the other defended Jesus (Luke 23:43)
54.Did Jesus ascend to Paradise the same day of the crucifixion?
·         Yes. He said to the thief who defended him, “Today you will be with me in Paradise” (Luke 23:43)
·         No. He said to Mary Magdelene two days later, “I have not yet ascended to the Father” (John 20:17)
55.When Paul was on the road to Damascus he saw a light and heard a voice. Did those who were with him hear the voice?
·         Yes (Acts9: 7)
·         No (Acts22: 9)
56.When Paul saw the light he fell to the ground. Did his traveling companions also fall to the ground?
·         Yes (Acts 26:14)
·         No (Acts 9:7)
57.Did the voice spell out on the spot what Paul’s duties were to be?
·         Yes (Acts 26:16-18)
·         No. The voice commanded Paul to go into the city of Damascus and there he will be told what he must do. (Acts9: 7; 22: 10)
58.When the Israelites dwelt in Shittin they committed adultery with the daughters of Moab. God struck them with a plague. How many people died in that plague?
·         Twenty-four thousand (Numbers 25:1 and 9)
·         Twenty-three thousand (I Corinthians 10:8)
59.How many members of the house of Jacob came to Egypt?
·         Seventy souls (Genesis 4&27)
·         Seventy-five souls (Acts 7:14)
60.What did Judas do with the blood money he received for betraying Jesus?
·         He bought a field (Acts 1: 18)
·         He threw all of it into the temple and went away. The priests could not put the blood money into the temple treasury, so they used it to buy a field to bury strangers (Matthew 27:5)
61.How did Judas die?
·         After he threw the money into the temple he went away and hanged himself (Matthew 27:5)
·         After he bought the field with the price of his evil deed he fell headlong and burst open in the middle and all his bowels gushed out (Acts 1:18)
62.Why is the field called “Field of Blood”?
·         Because the priests bought it with the blood money (Matthew 27:8)
·         Because of the bloody death of Judas therein (Acts 1:19)
63.Who is a ransom for whom?
·         “The Son of Man give his life as a ransom for many” (Mark 10:45). “Christ Jesus who gave himself as a ransom for all... “(I Timothy 2:5-6)
·         “The wicked is a ransom for the righteous, and the faithless for the upright” (Proverbs 21:18)
64.Is the Law of Moses useful?
·         Yes. “All scripture is... profitable...” (2 Timothy 3:16)
·         No. “ . . . A former commandment is set aside because of its weakness and uselessness... “(Hebrews 7:18)
65.What was the exact wording on the cross?
·         “This is Jesus the King of the Jews” (Matthew 27:37)
·         “The King of the Jews” (Mark 15:26)
·         “This is the King of the Jews” (Luke 23:38)
·         “Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews” (John 19:19)
66.Did Herod want to kill John the Baptist?
·         Yes (Matthew 14:5)
·         No. It was Herodias, the wife of Herod who wanted to kill him. But Herod knew that he was a righteous man and kept him safe (Mark 6:20)
67.Who was the tenth disciple of Jesus in the list of twelve?
·         Thaddaeus (Matthew 10: 1-4; Mark 3:13 -19)
·         Judas son of James is the corresponding name in Luke’s gospel (Luke 6:12-16)
68.Jesus saw a man sit at the tax collector’s office and called him to be his disciple. What was his name?
·         Matthew (Matthew 9:9)
·         Levi (Mark 2:14; Luke 5:27)
69.Was Jesus crucified on the daytime before the Passover meal or the daytime after?
·         After (Mark 14:12-17)
·         Before. Before the feast of the Passover (John 1) Judas went out at night (John 13:30). The other disciples thought he was going out to buy supplies to prepare for the Passover meal (John 13:29). When Jesus was arrested, the Jews did not enter Pilate’s judgment hail because they wanted to stay clean to eat the Passover (John 18:28). When the judgment was pronounced against Jesus, it was about the sixth hour on the day of Preparation for the Passover (John 19:14)
70.Did Jesus pray to The Father to prevent the crucifixion?
·         Yes. (Matthew 26:39; Mark 14:36; Luke 22:42)
·         No. (John 12:27)
71.In the gospels which say that Jesus prayed to avoid the cross, how many times did ‘he move away from his disciples to pray?
·         Three (Matthew 26:36-46 and Mark 14:32-42)
·         One. No opening is left for another two times. (Luke 22:39-46)
72.Matthew and Mark agree that Jesus went away and prayed three times. What were the words of the second prayer?
·         Mark does not give the words but he says that the words were the same as the first prayer (Mark 14:3 9)
·         Matthew gives us the words, and we can see that they are not the same as in the first (Matthew 26:42)
73.What did the centurion say when Jesus dies?
·         “Certainly this man was innocent” (Luke 23:47)
·         “Truly this man was the Son of God” (Mark 15:39)
74.When Jesus said “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken Me? ” in what language did he speak?
·         Hebrew: the words are “Eloi, Eloi...“(Matthew 27:46)
·         Aramaic: the words are “Eloi, Eloi... “(Mark 15:34)
75.According to the gospels, what were the last words of Jesus before he died?
·         “Father, into thy hands I commit my spirit!” (Luke 23:46)
·         "It is finished" (John 19:30).
76.When Jesus entered Capernaum he healed the slave of a centurion. Did the centurion come personally to request Jesus for this?
·         Yes (Matthew 8:5)
·         No. He sent some elders of the Jews and his friends (Luke 7:3,6)
(a)    Adam was told that if and when he eats the forbidden fruit he would die the same day (Genesis 2:17)
(b)    Adam ate the fruit and went on to live to a ripe old age of 930 years (Genesis 5:5)
·         God decided that the life span of humans will be limited to 120 years (Genesis 6:3)
·         Many people born after that lived longer than 120. Arpachshad lived 438 years. His son Shelah lived 433 years. His son Eber lived 464 years, etc. (Genesis 11:12-16)
79.Apart from Jesus did anyone else ascend to heaven?
·         No (John 3:13)
·         Yes. “And Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven” (2 Kings 2:11)
80.Who was high priest when David went into the house of God and ate the consecrated bread?
·         Abiathar (Mark 2:26)
·         Ahimelech, the father of Abiathar (I Samuel 1:1; 22:20)
81.Was Jesus’ body wrapped in spices before burial in accordance with Jewish burial customs?
·         Yes and his female disciples witnessed his burial (John 19:39-40)
·         No. Jesus was simply wrapped in a linen shroud. Then the women bought and prepared spices “so that they may go and anoint him [Jesus])” (Mark 16: 1)
82.When did the women buy the spices?
·         After “the Sabbath was past” (Mark 16:1)
·         Before the Sabbath. The women “prepared spices and ointments.” Then, “on the Sabbath they rested according to the commandment” (Luke 23:55 to 24:1)
83.At what time of day did the women visit the tomb?
·         “Toward the dawn” (Matthew 28: 1)
·         “When the sun had risen” (Mark 16:2)
84.What was the purpose for which the women went to the tomb?
·         To anoint Jesus’ body with spices (Mark 16: 1; Luke 23:55 to 24: 1)
·         To see the tomb. Nothing about spices here (Matthew 28: 1)
·         For no specified reason. In this gospel the wrapping with spices had been done before the Sabbath (John 20: 1)
85.A large stone was placed at the entrance of the tomb. Where was the stone when the women arrived?
·         They saw that the stone was “Rolled back” (Mark 16:4) They found the stone “rolled away from the tomb” (Luke 24:2) They saw that “the stone had been taken away from the tomb” (John 20:1)
·         As the women approached, an angel descended from heaven, rolled away the stone, and conversed with the women. Matthew made the women witness the spectacular rolling away of the stone (Matthew 28:1-6)
86.Did anyone tell the women what happened to Jesus’ body?
·         Yes. “A young man in a white robe” (Mark 16:5). “Two men ... in dazzling apparel” later described as angels (Luke 24:4 and 24:23). An angel - the one who rolled back the stone (Matthew 16:2). In each case the women were told that Jesus had risen from the dead (Matthew 28:7; Mark 16:6; Luke 24:5 footnote)
·         No. Mary met no one and returned saying, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid him” (John 20:2)
87.When did Mary Magdelene first meet the resurrected Jesus? And how did she react?
·         Mary and the other women met Jesus on their way back from their first and only visit to the tomb. They took hold of his feet and worshipped him (Matthew 28:9)
·         On her second visit to the tomb Mary met Jesus just outside the tomb. When she saw Jesus she did not recognize him. She mistook him for the gardener. She still thinks that Jesus’ body is laid to rest somewhere and she demands to know where. But when Jesus said her name she at once recognized him and called him “Teacher.” Jesus said to her, “Do not hold me...” (John 20:11 to 17)
88.What was Jesus’ instruction for his disciples?
·         “Tell my brethren to go to Galilee, and there they will see me” (Matthew 2 8: 10)
·         “Go to my brethren and say to them, I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God” (John 20:17)
89.When did the disciples return to Galilee?
·         Immediately, because when they saw Jesus in Galilee “some doubted” (Matthew 28:17). This period of uncertainty should not persist
·         After at least 40 days. That evening the disciples were still in Jerusalem (Luke 24:3 3). Jesus appeared to them there and told them, stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high” (Luke 24:49). He was appearing to them “during forty days” (Acts 1:3), and “charged them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the promise ... “(Acts 1:4)
90.To whom did the Midianites sell Joseph?
·         “To the Ishmaelites” (Genesis 37:28)
·         “To Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh” (Genesis 37:36)
91.Who brought Joseph to Egypt?
·         The Ishmaelites bought Joseph and then “took Joseph to Egypt” (Genesis 37:28)
·         “The Midianites had sold him in Egypt” (Genesis 37:36)
·         Joseph said to his brothers “I am your brother, Joseph, whom you sold into Egypt” (Genesis 45:4)
92.Does God change his mind?
·         Yes. “The word of the Lord came to Samuel: “I repent that I have made Saul King...” (I Samuel 15:10 to 11)
·         No. God “will not lie or repent; for he is not a man, that he should repent” (I Samuel 15:29)
·         Yes. “And the Lord repented that he had made Saul King over Israel” (I Samuel 15:35). Notice that the above three quotes are all from the same chapter of the same book! In addition, the Bible shows that God repented on several other occasions:
·         “The Lord was sorry that he made man” (Genesis 6:6)
·         “I am sorry that I have made them” (Genesis 6:7)
·         “And the Lord repented of the evil which he thought to do to his people” (Exodus 32:14).
93.The Bible says that for each miracle Moses and Aaron demonstrated the magicians did the same by their secret arts. Then comes the following feat:
·         Moses and Aaron converted all the available water into blood (Exodus 7:20-21)
·         The magicians did the same (Exodus 7:22). This is impossible, since there would have been no water left to convert into blood.
94.Who killed Goliath?
·         David (I Samuel 17:23, 50)
·         Elhanan (2 Samuel 21:19)
95.Who killed Saul?
·         “Saul took his own sword and fell upon it.... Thus Saul died... (I Samuel 31:4-6)
·         An Amalekite slew him (2 Samuel 1:1- 16)
96.Does every man sin?
·         Yes. “There is no man who does not sin” (I Kings 8:46; see also 2 Chronicles 6:36; Proverbs 20:9; Ecclesiastes 7:20; and I John 1:810)
·         No. True Christians cannot possibly sin, because they are the children of God. “Every one who believes that Jesus is the Christ is a child of God. (I John 5:1). “We should be called children of God; and so we are” (I John 3: 1). “He who loves is born of God” (I John 4:7). “No one born of God commits sin; for God’s nature abides in him, and he cannot sin because he is born of God” (I John 3:9). But, then again, Yes! “If we say we have no sin we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us” (I John 1:8)
97.Who will bear whose burden?
·         “Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ” (Galatians 6:2)
·         “Each man will have to bear his own load” (Galatians 6:5)
98.How many disciples did Jesus appear to after his resurrection?
·         Twelve (I Corinthians 15:5)
·         Eleven (Matthew 27:3-5 and Acts 1:9-26, see also Matthew 28:16; Mark 16:14 footnote; Luke 24:9; Luke 24:3 3)
99.Where was Jesus three days after his baptism?
·         After his baptism, “the spirit immediately drove him out into the wilderness. And he was in the wilderness forty days ... (Mark 1:12-13)
·         Next day after the baptism, Jesus selected two disciples. Second day: Jesus went to Galilee – two more disciples. Third day: Jesus was at a wedding feast in Cana in Galilee (see John 1:35; 1:43; 2:1-11)
100.Was baby Jesus’ life threatened in Jerusalem?
·         Yes, so Joseph fled with him to Egypt and stayed there until Herod died (Matthew 2:13 23)
·         No. The family fled nowhere. They calmly presented the child at the Jerusalem temple according to the Jewish customs and returned to Galilee (Luke 2:21-40)
101.When Jesus walked on water how did the disciples respond?
·         They worshipped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God” (Matthew 14:33)
·         “They were utterly astounded, for they did not understand about the loaves, but their hearts were hardened” (Mark 6:51-52)

by Desolution