In my experience debating or discussing the Christian faith there appears to be a huge disconnect in terms of biblical literacy between scholars versus your average Sunday churchgoer. Naturally this is to be expected but I am sure Mr and Mrs Happy Clapper would be troubled to learn the following:
1. There is nothing of Jesus outside of the Bible. No artifacts. No self-written manuscripts. No independent historical records to show that such a man walked the earth. It is therefore not historical fact, as Christians like to assert, that Jesus ever lived.
2. We have not a single eye-witness account of the life of Jesus. The gospels, whose identities we do not know, wrote their respective biographies of Jesus almost a century after the alleged date of Jesus’ death. Furthermore, the gospels. most probably, were not even from the same region or nation as Jesus.
3. Jesus was a racist, and he would have rolled in his grave had he learned that Paul preached to the Gentiles (non-Jews). Jesus made it quite clear that his mission was only to heal or save the ‘lost sheep of Israel’. Further, on one occasion, he called a non-Hebrew woman a “dog” which was as cruel an insult anyone could make at that time.
4. Jesus was rude to his mother on no less than three occasions. What ever happened to ‘Honor thy parents’? Further, disrespecting one’s parents was punishable by death under Mosaic Law.
5. That the four gospels narrate vastly different accounts regarding the birth of Jesus; his baptism; his ministry; his trial; his execution, and his resurrection. Not only are there many differences but further troubling is that many are irreconcilable discrepancies.
6. Mark’s reason for Jesus’ death is that his sacrifice was required to make atonement for sin. Whereas Luke’s view is that salvation comes not via atonement but via forgiveness through repentance. Forgiveness and atonement are far from the same thing.
7. Matthew writes that passage to the kingdom of heaven is earned via following the law to the letter and in believing in Christ. Whereas Paul writes that observance of the law will only serve to make salvation problematic, and thus he states that Christians only need believe in the death and resurrection of Jesus to be saved. So which is it?
8. One study found that 65% of Americans cannot name more than 6 of the first 10 commandments, and it is my feeling that 99% do not know any of the additional 603 commandments decreed to Moses. A great number of these laws would shock and appall Sunday Christians, from selling your daughter into sexual slavery, to executing your child for talking back.
9. Jesus promised his followers 36 times that he would return before his contemporaries would see death. 50 generations later and he has yet to fulfill his promise. I think it safe we presume him clinically DEAD!
10. Jesus did not know his reason to die. “Father why have you forsaken me”. But in John he welcomes his death, “into your arms I come”
Author ‘God Hates You. Hate Him Back’ (Making Sense of the Bible)