Top 10: Things Christians Don’t Know (Revised Addendum)

Many who are familiar with my style of writing know that I prefer to make pithy, and punchy points with entertainment in mind rather than blog a 10,000 word essay that only die-hard theologians would ever bother to read. Let’s be honest with one another, in the age of Twitter people don’t read the news anymore they scan it. Therefore the objective of my blog is to promote thought, discussion, and earnest debate by lobbing up a few hanging curve balls with brevity in mind.

Having said that, my blog post titled ‘Top 10: Facts Christians Don’t Know’ has received more than 10,000 views in the past 24hrs with a high number of visitors requesting citations or references in relation to the aforementioned post. You asketh and you shall receiveth :)

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.

Some have confused my point – I am not making an absolute claim here. I am merely calling his life into question. The fact of the matter is we have no record, no document to prove Jesus of Nazareth ever truly existed. My feeling is that there was such a man but only in the form as an eccentric preacher with a fan base of no more than a 100. If you recall Monty Python’s Life of Brian, the scene where dozens of preachers are prohesizing from atop of their respective soapboxes then that is where Jesus’ celebrity would have started and stopped whilst he was alive. His later biography carpentered together by mortal men with their own motives long after his time had passed.

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.

There is not even an argument on this point. We know for certain that Matthew, Mark, Luke, or John were written long after the purported time of Jesus’ life. Furthermore, we know that Jesus’ followers were lower-class Aramaic speakers as opposed to the highly educated Greek-speaking Christians who wrote about him nearly 100 years later.

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.

Refer to Matthew 15:21-28: “He (Jesus) answered, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” But she (from Caanan) came and knelt before him, saying, “Lord, help me.” He answered, “It is not fair to take the children’s food  and throw it to the dogs.”

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.

One such example is portrayed in the narrative of Jesus attending the wedding in Canaan whereby the host’s had run out of booze, and Mary, presumably wishing to continue her buzz, requested that Jesus pull one of his special party tricks to solve the liquor crisis. Jesus replied angrily, “Dear Woman, why do you involve me? My time has not yet come.” (John 2:4)

Other example illustrated in Matthew 12:48 whereby Jesus is yabbering on in his usual jibberish to his small band of followers when someone in the audience yells out, “Jesus, your Mother is waiting and wants to speak to you.” Jesus replies curtly, “Who is my mother?” before walking off in the opposite direction.

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.

Obviously I can’t highlight every discrepancy here, but many are illustrated in my book. For this point here I will include the wording from one of my all-time favorite cartoons that I found at that illustrates the resurrection narrative:

Priest: Thanks everyone for participating in this year’s Easter Parade Pageant. Alright kids we need to rehearse the part where it’s Easter morning and the first visitors arrive at Jesus’ tomb. Now who’s in the scene?

Child 1: I am. Matthew 28:2-5 says an angel came down from heaven to greet them.

Child 2: No it wasn’t an angel, it was a young woman. Just look at Mark 16:5

Child 3:Hello! Luke 24:4 says very clearly it was ‘Two men’

Child 4: Well according to John 20:1-2 nobody was there.

Priest: Children, the contradictions don’t matter! What matters is that we unquestioningly accept the magic of the resurrection even within the face of such glaring contradictions within the story.

Child 4: Father that was the most wonderfully concise summary of Christianity I have ever heard.

Priest: Thank you child. It is blind submission to authority that got me where I am today.

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.

Mark 10:45: “The Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life asa ransom to many.” (Atoning sacrifice)

Luke: The death of the innocent one should make people repent for their sins so that he may forgive them. (Refer Acts 2:36-38)

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?

Matthew 5:17-18: “Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill. For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished.” 

Paul: His view is that a Christian is justified by faith in Jesus’ death and resurrection, and NOT by the observance of Jewish/Mosaic Law. (Refer Romans and Galatians)

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.

Source: Why a Year of the Bible would Horrify it’s Sponsors

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! 

Admittedly I made an ambiguous statement here. The New Testament has Jesus and Paul, between them, promising his return on 36 occasions.

10. Jesus did not know his reason to die. “Father why have you forsaken me”. But in Luke he welcomes his death, “into your arms I come”

Refer to Mark where Jesus is rejected by all, abandoned by his disciples, denied three times by his closest buddy, rejected by the Jews condemned by the Romans, mocked by passersby and the other men crucified next to him before his last moments of life he then also feels abandoned by God. “Father why have you forsaken me?”

Refer to Luke where Jesus is not in shock at what is happening to him. He is not even mocked by his fellow condemned criminals, and even replies, “Truly I will tell you today you will be with me in paradise.” (Luke 23:42-43) This is a man who is sure in the reason of his death, and at ease that God is watching over him. A far cry from, “Why have you forsaken me?”

CJ Werleman

Author ‘God Hates You. Hate Him Back’ (Making Sense of the Bible) or available at Amazon or Barnes & Noble

8 responses to “Top 10: Things Christians Don’t Know (Revised Addendum)

  1. I suggest you include some way for others to see the comments made to the orignal.

  2. You are stupid and you need a reality check first of all he didn’t call her dog as you so described it. You should read the passage more clearly. Secondly he was referring to taking food away from childrens hands and throwing them out to the dogs. You need to check you references again. No wonder you write such nonexistent futile comments. You are not wise as you think you still didn’t get it right.
    Oh yeah the muslims have proof he did exist but they believe he was a profit and not the son of god. THEY EVEN ADMIT JESUS DID EXIST BUT ONLY AS A MESSANGER OF GOD!!!!.

    • You have a point that the author of the article may be reading too much into the wording in that particular example. Using the word “dog” to describe the woman was not necessarily the intent when Jesus could have easily meant otherwise.

      However, this is a list of the top ten things Christians don’t know. You merely rejected point 3 of the 10 points in the argument.

      As for point 2 where you say that Muslims have proof, they claimed that he was a prophet because they wanted to resolve the issue of whether or not Jesus was the Messiah. This doesn’t reject point 2 because:

      A) This is a case of the Muslims covering all their bases to establish their credibility. If Jesus remained the Messiah, then there would be issues about the credibility of the Prophet Mohammad because it wouldn’t make much sense to have a prophet after humanity has encountered a “true” way to reach salvation. In the end, they don’t provide any non-religious evidence of Jesus Christ.
      B) Point 2 is saying there isn’t any evidence that Jesus had lived from 4 BCE to 30 AD. Even if you can consider all of the evidence provided by the Muslims to be factual, the evidence does not fall within that date. The only way to reject this point is to provide a primary source validating the existence of Jesus (meaning it has to be dated from 4 BCE to 30 AD). Both the Bible and the Qu’ran are accepted be written after 100 AD, making them secondary sources.

  3. Yes the bible is full of contradictions, discrepancies, and just plain nonsense. But most Christians are either too blind or too dishonest with themselves to see this. That’s the problem.

  4. #4 “Jesus replied angrily, “My time has not yet come”.

    Can you tell me what translation you are using please? Specifically, where are you getting the word “angrily” from?

    #7 Now that you’re more specific: The law *has* been fulfilled by Jesus. Salvation is through faith, but that doesn’t mean that Christians should ignore the law, as both Paul and Matthew say.

  5. I am also an atheist AND I can read. You tend to extrapolate a lot of information from the sayings of Jesus.
    You wrote:
    Jesus replied ‘angrily’, “Dear Woman, why do you involve me? My time has not yet come.” (John 2:4)

    I read this and know from my own reading that it does not say that Jesus was angry. We do not know what he said; we weren’t there. There is no doubt in my mind that IF he lived he was NOT the son of God but when atheists overstate their case they are as bad as Christians.
    You were making fun of them because they don’t know their bible and they are not going to learn it from you are they?
    Those who have not, or do not check these things might believe all that you say, but what it does to me, is cause me to mistrust the source and then not read on any further.
    There is a need for intellectual honesty among us atheists.

  6. Lets talk about all ten statements. This may take a while, but I have until Jesus comes back or I get to go see Him.
    #1 I was watching a show on discovery channel that said there was no dispute that Jesus lived. I know you can’t trust everything you hear, like this post, but I think before saying definitively that there is not one fact, maybe you should do some more checking around. And even if there is no solid fact, how many solid facts do we have that any one person lived from that time? I’d say there is more evidence for Jesus than for anyone else.
    #2 Covered in one. Must we be repetitive?
    #3 *Matthew 15:21-28 (The entire version) Leaving that place, Jesus withdrew to the region of Tyre and Sidon. A Canaanite woman from that vicinity came to him, crying out, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on me! My daughter is suffering terribly from demon-possession.” Jesus did not answer a word. So his disciples came to him and urged him, “Send her away, for she keeps crying out after us.” He answered, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel.” (Message says: I’ve got my hands full dealing with the lost sheep of Israel.) The woman came and knelt before him. “Lord, help me!” she said. He replied, “It is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to their dogs.” “Yes, Lord,” she said, “but even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their master’s table.” Then Jesus answered, Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted.” And her daughter was healed from that very hour.* Notice how she refers to herself also as a dog because Jesus was using a simile. Dogs aren’t bad things anyway. They are loving and beautiful creatures made by God.
    #4 Honor thy parent is still there. Lets, once again, take a look into the scripture. The whole story and not just parts of it. * Matthew 12:48 He replied to him, “Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?* but if we look at what is around this story it says *While Jesus was still talking to the crowd his mother and brothers stood outside, wanting to speak to him. Someone told him, “Your mother and brothers are standing outside, wanting to speak to you.* and *Pointing to his disciples, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers. For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.* No where does it say that Jesus turns and walks away. The reason he says Who is my mother, and who are my brothers is because he is trying to teach the crowd that by following God, we are accepted into his family. It doesn’t say, but I am sure that Jesus then went to talk to his mother to see what she wanted.
    #5 After reviewing the scripture I found that we were disputing over if or who they saw. Some possible explanations for these could be that God had each person see something different or maybe they experienced each person but the telling of that person was skipped over because it could have been deemed unimportant but through each account, we can get the full picture.
    #6 This one bothered me but I think I finally got it. Jesus did die as an atonement for our sins but to be you can’t be saved unless you accept Him into your heart and tell him you’ve done wrong. (Confess) God’s ready to forgive you, you just gotta ask for it.
    #7 Bible verses please.
    #8 Nice source. It has absolutely nothing to do with these laws. Please show me actual facts about these new commandments.
    #9 Could you give us some verses because I’m not sure if it says promises. Anyway Jesus did not know when the rapture is going to happen. Only God knew so I don’t think he was promising them.
    #10 I think that is a good question that lots of Christians even ask. I read a book that said something that I can’t quite remember but it was something like He was fully human and fully God and humans sometimes can’t feel God. He suppressed his Godly natures and became human and couldn’t feel God with him even thought he was there the whole time.

    I did not want disrespect you in any way at all, but I do think the true facts do need to be displayed. I respect your view of being an atheist and hopefully you can respect my view of being a 16 year old Christian.
    God Bless you

  7. In your 16 years; you have learned so much; hope you will continue to do so. I didn’t realize it was necessary to state one’s age. Are you implying that all of this great wisdom came from the pen of one so young?

    I think I have the advantage my dear; lived for 67 years, belonged to 2 churches; studied others; know my bible well and the Book of Mormon. I just cannot see that you would be in a position to claim special knowledge about those things. Were you there? Did you see Jesus? None of those things are your own memories or knowledge; they are merely things that others have told you about and you have stuck it in the faith slot in your brain. Religion is a philosophy that not everyone buys into; you just have to accept the facts that you are in unprovable territory. Separate what you want to believe (remember it is not YOUR own memory of the events in the Bible) from the things that are fact based.

    Keep learning and keep your mind open. One day you will be able to make up your own mind about what is true without trusting in books claiming to be scripture; there are so many. Have you ever wondered why we in the western world live by the words of a war-like people from the middle east? The Moslems do too; funny that.

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