Did early Christians knowingly design the Bible Wheel?

A reader left this comment yesterday, touching upon my question Who Designed the Bible Wheel?:

Richard,

After doing a Google search this evening, on another idea, I came across your Bible Wheel site and this post of yours. This is the first I’ve heard of the wheel and I found the concept of it very intriguing. I’ve not been able to read through all of the posts in this discussion but decided to add my thoughts after reading a few of them.

I grew up a Christian but no longer attend a church on any regular basis. Primarily, for me, it is a problem with the politicalization of thought that I seem to find in almost any “Christian” church, especially in the USA. And the current focus on “obedience”, which any autocrat also strives for. I am now one of those people that the Roman Catholic church seems to despise, one who has created their own “spirituality” to live by. Even though I have adopted some Roman Catholic traditions in my own spirituality.

Atheism is not my creed but I am trained in computer science, web site design, database development and similar skills. I say this in order to explain my response to a personal query that you made, paraphrasing – along the lines of “why is the pattern of the Bible Wheel there, is it divine?”

For me the Bible was written by human beings, organized by human beings, with the implied belief that it was divinely inspired. As such the “writers” would make every attempt to codify or collect or organize those words in patterns that they were taught to be, thought to be, divine. The most obvious one being the 22 letters of the Hebrew alphabet. In patterns that fit the nature of the material. The writers of the books of the Bible would have used what they believed to be appropriate ways of organizing Divine material. I say this as one who organizes information and ideas on a regular basis using computers.

Who’s to say that the books were not indeed organized in this way in the 3rd century, or some other time, with the idea that only those who organized the work would understand it and in so doing there was no need to bring attention to the method of organization? Until, perhaps, you finally stumbled upon the pattern. Perhaps I have only a superficial understanding of your Bible Wheel from only a cursory look at it and you see much more to the pattern. But such linguistic patterns seem quite natural and obvious to me in my line of work.

Nowadays we use charts, patterns, mind maps, memory peg systems, and many other ways of organizing, memorizing, communicating ideas. If nothing else your Bible Wheel has given me a simple way to visualize the Bible in a way I’ve never had. As to the content of that book, as we see here, the debate will go on for quite some time…

Thanks for a beautiful, informative, and well designed web site that sparks so much thought and discussion.

All the Best,
Bob

I am delighted with Bob’s question.  It is exactly what an intelligent skeptic would assume as the “default explanation” of any authentic patterns found in the Bible. Obviously, any intelligently designed patterns found in a book written and organized by humans must be attributed to at least one of those humans! It seems like a no-brainer. But the situation is not so simple. To see this, we need only review the natural history of the Bible and the nature of the patterns we are seeking to explain.

The Bible Wheel is a simple two-dimensional representation of the traditional “Protestant” Bible consisting of 66 books. The patterns it displays are critically dependent upon the exact order, number, and content of the books. The content and the order of the books are identical to those found in the Latin Vulgate with the Apocryphal (Deutero-canonical) books removed. This was because the Reformers held to the Palestinian Canon of the Old Testament, which is identical in content to the Jewish Tanakh, though many of the books are in a different order (see my discussion of the relation between the two canons here). Thus, the Protestant Bible, and hence the Bible Wheel, is the product of largely independent efforts by three disparate groups who had contrary religious perspectives and competing motivations:

  1. The Jews established the content of the Protestant OT but with a different order.
  2. The Catholics established the order of the Protestant OT following the LXX which included the Apocrypha.
  3. The Reformers established the complete pattern of 66 books by simply removing the Apocrypha.

Therefore, the resulting pattern – the Bible Wheel – cannot be attributed to the Jews, the Catholics, or the Reformers. I really liked this argument when I was a Christian because I believed it showed how the “hidden hand of God” led these three groups to produce his book without their knowledge. I’m still convinced by the argument, though I’m now mystified by “who” really did it since I don’t believe in the traditional God of Christian theism. (And neither am I an atheist … but that’s a discussion for later.)

But does this argument eliminate the possibility that someone like Jerome (who had the opportunity as the translator the Vulgate) might have deliberately designed the pattern of 66 books to fit the Bible Wheel? It is well known that he supported the Palestinian Canon and opposed the Apocrypha, which some think he included in the Vulgate only under duress. And he wrote about the symbolic meaning of the Hebrew letters and called them the “alphabet of divine wisdom” and noted that the Jews had counted their books to conform to its twenty-two letters. So could he be the “secret designer” of the Bible Wheel? The answer is easy to find. It is “no” because the canon was already established in almost its complete form before Jerome began working as a translator. Here is what Cyril of Jerusalem wrote around the year 350 AD (note that he uses the Jewish count of twenty two, but follows mostly the Christian order):

Of these read the two and twenty books, but have nothing to do with the apocryphal writings. Study earnestly these only which we read openly in the Church. Far wiser and more pious than thyself were the Apostles, and the bishops of old time, the presidents of the Church who handed down these books. Being therefore a child of the Church, trench thou not upon its statutes. And of the Old Testament, as we have said, study the two and twenty books, which, if thou art desirous of learning, strive to remember by name, as I recite them. For of the Law the books of Moses are the first five, Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy. And next, Joshua the son of Nave, and the book of Judges, including Ruth, counted as seventh. And of the other historical books, the first and second books of the Kings are among the Hebrews one book; also the third and fourth one book. And in like manner, the first and second of Chronicles are with them one book; and the first and second of Esdras are counted one. Esther is the twelfth book; and these are the Historical writings. But those which are written in verses are five, Job, and the book of Psalms, and Proverbs, and Ecclesiastes, and the Song of Songs, which is the seventeenth book. And after these come the five Prophetic books: of the Twelve Prophets one book, of Isaiah one, of Jeremiah one, including Baruch and Lamentations and the Epistle; then Ezekiel, and the Book of Daniel, the twenty-second of the Old Testament.

The Canon Wheel

The Canon Wheel

OK – great! Maybe Cyril of Jerusalem designed the Bible Wheel? Nope. That’s impossible because his list is not exactly correct. It’s close, but no cigar. It even includes one book of the Apocrypha, Baruch, though Cyril explicitly warned his readers to “have nothing to do with the apocryphal writings.” Cyril’s list further amplifies the challenge for any naturalistic explanation because not only did he list the content of the OT, but also the categorical system that gives rise to the Canon Wheel. He received the books in groups – the five books of the Law, the twelve Historical books, the five Wisdom books (which he called “verse”), and the Twelve Minor Prophets. The are four of the seven divisions that define the perfect symmetry of the Canon Wheel, which also is isomorphic to the tri-radiant halo seen in traditional iconography of Christ! I discuss this in my article called The Tri-Radiant Halo as the Sign of Deity.

Prayer in the Garden

It is this kind of synergy that seems to imply that the Bible Wheel arose from someplace other than the deliberate design of any human or group of humans. Extremely profound symbolic meanings just “burst” from the Bible Wheel without any effort on my part. I experienced it as a process of pure scientific discovery that all followed from the “surprisingly simply act” of merely “rolling up” the list of books on a spindle wheel of twenty-two spokes. See my article What is the Bible Wheel for a brief explanation. The patterns exist on many levels from the very detailed relations between the books and the Hebrew letters on a given Spoke to the large-scale symmetry of the Canon Wheel. And they are made of “pieces” that existed before Christ was born so they could not have been “put there” to fit a pattern after the fact.

Now let’s focus now on the more detailed patterns that require explanation. There are a number of passages in the OT that are designed upon the pattern of the Hebrew alphabet. Many scholars see these as of little significance, as a mere mnemonic device or perhaps even a “degradation of style” because of the mechanical “A is for apple, B is for bat” format.  But the Bible Wheel throws these passages into a whole new light. Indeed, they are the key to understanding the pattern of the entire Bible. The Alphabetic Verses establish the order of the alphabet as well as “key words” that are associated with each letter. I call these “Alphabetic KeyWords” and the amazing thing is that they correspond to the order and content of the books of the Bible. For example, the 18th letter is Tzaddi. The ancient Hebrew tradition says this letter is a symbol of “Righteousness” because in Hebrew the word “righteous” is Tzadik – it starts with a Tzaddi and sounds very much like the name of the letter. Thus it is little surprise that we find this word used frequently in the Alphabetic Verses corresponding to the 18th letter. For example:

  • AV Ps 119:137 Righteous (Tzaddik) art thou, O LORD, and upright are thy judgments.
  • AV Ps 145:17 The LORD is righteous (tzaddik) in all his ways, and holy in all his works.
  • AV Lam 1:18 The LORD is righteous (tzaddik); for I have rebelled against his commandment.

None of this is surprising in and of itself. The “surprise” comes when we look at Spoke 18 of the Bible Wheel, which is dominated by books with unique relations to the idea of “righteousness.” The first book on Spoke 18 is Job – its central question is “Why do bad things happen to the righteous?” or alternately, “How can God be righteous if he allows the innocent to suffer?” Technically, it is a theodicy – an attempt to explain how God can be righteous in light of the existence of evil. This is the first book on Spoke 18, correpsonding to Tzaddi, the symbol of Righteousness. I discuss this in my article Job’s Theodicy: The Justification of God.

Likewise, we see a similarly profound connection between Righteousness and the second book on Spoke 18, the Gospel of Matthew, which is rightly called the “Gospel of Righteousness” because it emphasizes the idea of righteousness to extreme degree relative to the other Gospels. Here’s a graph of the number of occurrences of the word “righteousness” in the four Gospels:

Righteousness in the Gospels

I discuss this in my article To Fulfill All Righteousness (title taken from the first words spoken by Jesus in Matthew’s Gospel).

Finally, we see the same pattern in the third book on Spoken 18, 1 John, which also has an unusually strong emphasis upon righteousness and which is the only book in the Bible to refer to Christ by the title Jesus Christ the Righteous (which also is the title of my article on that book).

Now the really amazing thing about Matthew’s emphasis upon righteousness is that the Alphabetic KeyWord seems to have been “inserted” into his passages where it is missing the parallels in the other Gospels. For example:

  • Matt 6:33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
  • Luke 12:31 But rather seek ye the kingdom of God; and all these things shall be added unto you.

We see similar patterns in the other Gospels. Mark on Spoke 19 has specific emphasis upon ideas relating to Quph KeyWords that are missing from the parallel passages, and Luke on Spoke 20 has specific emphasis relating Resh KeyWords that are missing from the others. I discuss this in my article audaciously called The Solution to the Synoptic Problem.

Likewise, we see a similar phenomena when comparing the parallel passages between Kings and Chronicles. The differences correspond to the Alphabetic KeyWords which were defined in the Alphabetic Verses in the OT hundreds of years before Christ or the NT or the Bible Wheel.

These kinds of patterns saturate the Bible Wheel, and there is absolutely no way in the world that they can be explained as the work of any human or group of humans. I could go on and on like this. The evidence of some sort of “supernatural design” seems as solid and incontrovertible to me now as it did when I was a Christian. And as far as I know, I am looking at the Bible Wheel with the same critical eye by which I judged the Bible itself to full of errors, contradictions, logical absurdities, and moral abominations attributed to God. And as yet, not one person has ever – after years of debate on internet forums with fierce opponents – found anything like a systematic error or fundamental flaw in the evidence I have presented. But what does it all mean? That’s the mystery … but one big clue is that the Bible Wheel looks like a mandala, which are “archetypes of wholeness” (Jung) and this suggests that the Bible Wheel could represent a new stage of growth of the planetary mind – the “individuation” of the planetary consciousness when we finally heal the internal divisions and enter in to our “birthright” as true “children of God” with a unified heart of goodness that arises from our souls rather than an external book of dogmas that can be endlessly debated and never understood. I discuss these ideas a bit in my post The Bible Wheel as a Cosmic Mandala of Archetypal Wholeness. Just thinking out loud … gotta love my new freedom!

 

 

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15 Comments

  1. Jorge Utur
    Posted September 19, 2011 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

    Dear Mr. Mc Gough,
    Like Bob I also stumbled upon your article on the bible wheel. After almost 10 years of actively researching the bible (and experiencing its truths and wisdom) I am astounded that you have failed to grasp the simplicity of answers that you seek lie in the contents of the book.
    In my personal research and eureka moments I have been humbled by the fact that the bible is not a book that is open to minds of great intellect but rather it ‘opens’ itself to the mind that is earnest and patient enough to read its pages dilligently over and over again with the firm belief that it is God’s Holy Word.
    I first want to congratulate you for determining that modern christianity in itself is a stumbling block to the freedom to explore new ideas…I sincerely understand where you are the moment. But I want to caution you on that.
    Every navigator knows that to determine where he stands and where he is going he will need an orientation in terms of space. This is the same for any free mind..you need to be oriented where YOU stand.
    In this regard, among all the books you have read the bible stands out clearly a having a divine if not perfect authorship. In its contents the divine writer has identified Himself and revealed His plans. You cannot ignore this fact…and therein lies you space orientation.
    To answer your questions on why God would have the Israelites slaughter their enemies you need to grasp three concepts; one: the human being like God is triune having a body, soul and spirit; two: the biblical hint of spiritual conception where Adam having ‘breath in his nostrils’ viz a viz ‘spirit’ passes it on in conception to his progeny, i.e. the father passes spiritual life to the children and the mother only nurtures the embryo and plays a part in the formation of its ‘flesh’. This is why the bible says Adam begat.. and David begat..etc. This is why Jesus is said to have come from the father…His spirit was directly from the father bypassing the corruption that overcame Adam’s spirit.
    Finally the third concept comes from a deep analysis of Genesis 6 on the account of the ‘watchers’ or the sons of God mating with daughters of men and procuring male children (Mighty men of old)..in this regard think about the offspring of these mighty men and spirit that was passed on. Every male child would pass on this evil spirit to its offspring hence the first flood. Think about it, in every case God speaks what will happen and His call is for faith/belief in His Word and the person who heeds it will be safe!
    Now, in spiritual matters a spirit is a an entity that has consciousness but no body. The spirits of angels are eternal…the offspring of angelic beings crossbred with human beings will have mortal bodies but immortal spirits (I know you would ask what about a soul?)…the spirit animates the flesh/body. In this regard disembodied spirits (resulting from the flood) seek to find a body to dwell in and therein lie many of your answers.
    The deeds of the enemies of Israel lay in pervasions that gave ‘legal ground’ for the working of wicked spirits in their lives. All wicked spirits move from body to body on the basis of spiritual legal ground such as sex, murder, birth etc and the absence/binding up of ‘the strongman’ alluded to by Yahawshua’s story on how evil spirits operate.
    The requirement for the Israelites to ‘utterly destroy’ these people is based on their spiritual condition as a conduit for the continued spiritual wickedness on earth and it is a pattern for the modern believer to understand the true hidden nature of the universe. To be the executer of God’s judgement is not a sin…for if God was to destroy them Himself He would have done it as He did Sodom and Gomorrah. The Israelite story of their conquests and defeats has deep inner meanings that will only become plain with much dilligent study…my challenge to you.
    This is a brief sketch to get your explorative juices flowing. Please note that I have not quoted the scripture in detail as I am assuming you are familiar with its text. I am not open to debate but rather to a dialogue that will be mutually benefitting in understanding this outstanding work of art that is the bible.
    Finally I also note that you have been drawn to the ‘eastern mystical concepts of universal consciousness’ hence your analogy between the bible wheel and… The bible warns of an antichrist (In place of the Messiah) who will unite the world with such concepts. To this end remember that the word holy means ‘set apart’. Take time to see the confusion that has been thrown at you is not random and start again from the beginning…read the Word!

    Keep in touch,

    J. Utur

  2. LP
    Posted October 15, 2011 at 3:11 am | Permalink

    You are obviouly a deep thinker and your comments are very insightful. I was hoping you could shed some light on this question, that has spurred my bible research. Why would the Messiah inspire the creation of a religion that demands Jews to reject Sinai (ex 19.4) without explanation?

  3. Posted October 15, 2011 at 10:29 am | Permalink

    Hi LP,

    Thanks for the kind words. The text says:

    Exodus 19:3 And Moses went up unto God, and the LORD called unto him out of the mountain, saying, Thus shalt thou say to the house of Jacob, and tell the children of Israel; 4 Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bare you on eagles’ wings, and brought you unto myself. 5 Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine: 6 And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel.

    I don’t understand why you think the New Testament tells the Jews to reject this text. The NT says this text is fulfilled by those Jews who believe in Jesus:

    1 Peter 2:1 Therefore, laying aside all malice, all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and all evil speaking, 2 as newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby, 3 if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is gracious. 4 Coming to Him [Messiah] as to a living stone, rejected indeed by men, but chosen by God and precious, 5 you also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. 6 Therefore it is also contained in the Scripture, “Behold, I lay in Zion A chief cornerstone, elect, precious, And he who believes on Him will by no means be put to shame.” 7 Therefore, to you who believe, He is precious; but to those who are disobedient, “The stone which the builders rejected Has become the chief cornerstone,” 8 and “A stone of stumbling And a rock of offense.” They stumble, being disobedient to the word, to which they also were appointed. 9 ¶ But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;

    Many folks are all confused by the Bible because they forget that the first Christians were Jews who believed that Jesus was Messiah. If they were correct, then they were the “faithful remnant” of “true Israel” who believed that God had fulfilled his promise to give the Messiah and to make them (the first century believing Jews) to be “a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation.”

    All the best,

    Richard

  4. LP
    Posted October 16, 2011 at 8:05 pm | Permalink

    Thank you Richard for responding.

    I agree with your response that Peter realized how important ex 19.4 was to this small flock of people (later called Jews) who had arrived at Sinai from Egypt . Once G-d had spoken to these people the world, as we know it, was born. Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bare you on eagles’ wings, and brought you unto myself. 5 Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine: 6 And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel. So beautifully. said, by G-d, as his preamble to his written word, the 10 Commandments. (Lately, there has arisen a question by Bibilical Scholars about the Hebrew word obey, mentioned in places, that can also be also translated as UPHOLD. i.e Gal 3.10 Duet 27.26

    IMO the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, and 10th commandments have been underattack since day one by moral secularist.

    Well, this was the jist of my orignal question, which goes unanswered. However, I will not give up my faith in the interrelationship between revelation and concealment. Knowing that for some elements of revelation to be possible there must be some concealment, because total revelation would be overwhelming. ex. 21.19

  5. Posted October 18, 2011 at 9:48 am | Permalink

    Hi LP,

    Sorry for the slow response.

    The word translated “obey” in Exo 19:5 is sh’ma. It literally means “hear.” I don’t see how it could mean “uphold.” Where did you read about that?

    As for the “secularists” attacking the Ten Commandments – well, what else should we expect? It would be a moral error to try to make them the law of the land because that would mean Muslims and Hindus and Atheists would all have to obey the command to have no other God than YHWH, and its just not right to force people to pretend to believe things they don’t really believe. And besides that it would mean that America would be a Jewish or Christian theocracy. Is that what you think we should do? If so, which version of Judaism or Christianity do you think should rule our country?

    Now it seems from your answer that you still believe that the New Testament teaches Jews to reject Exodus 19:4. Is that correct? If so, why would you say that? Do you deny the NT, or are you saying that it is being wrongly interpreted? I don’t understand your point, but I would be interested in learning more.

    All the best,

    Richard

  6. LP
    Posted October 28, 2011 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

    Hey Richard,

    Thanks again, Forgive my short comment. Council of Laodicea Canon 29. Sinai is Divine Morality found in all religions.

  7. Posted November 2, 2011 at 2:25 pm | Permalink

    Hi LP,

    Sorry for the slow response. I can guess why you might thing Canon 29 is significant. But a little more info from you would have helped. Here’s what it says [source]:

    CANON 29

    Christians must not judaize by resting on the Sabbath, but must work on that day, rather honouring the Lord’s Day; and, if they can, resting then as Christians. But if any shall be found to be judaizers, let them be anathema from Christ.

    Now this ruling of the church is often mistaken as introducing the Sunday Sabbath, but that is not necessarily the case. It is very late, from the mid-fourth century. It seems more likely that it merely enforced what had been a common practice amongst Christians from early times.

    These kinds of arguments about sabbaths and dietary laws and all that never lead to anything fruitful as far as I can tell. And besides, the Sabbath was never commanded to Christians – it was a sign of the Old Covenant given to the theocracy of Israel.

    And do you have any idea of what the “Sabbath prohibitions” should be? The Bible says almost nothing on this topic, and the Jews have made up their own set of rules. So it all seems pretty pointless to me.

    All the best,

    Richard

  8. LP
    Posted November 4, 2011 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

    Hi Richard,
    Do you remember my original question? It seems to me you just reinforced my quandary. IMO, the NT, is often misleading for secular reasons. Statements like 1 Thessalonians 2.15, Matthew 27.22-25 or John 8.44 etc, are appalling and dishonest. I much prefer Zechariah 9.20-23. P.S The Old Convenant was given to the THEOCRACY of Israel? Don’t forget Sinai, Exodus 19.4, or there would not be a NT. Thank you and Peace Bro

  9. Posted November 4, 2011 at 5:19 pm | Permalink

    Hi LP,

    Yes, I remember your original question. I answered it, and explained why it didn’t make any sense to me. You never responded to the points that I made in my reply.

    Why don’t you just speak plainly? Asking enigmatic questions just leads in us circles.

    You have twice referred to Exodus 19:4 but have never acknowledged that is is applied to Christians in the NT. So maybe that’s the source of your confusion?

    You now have quoted three passages of the NT that condemn the first century Jews who rejected Christ. If you think that they are “appalling and dishonest” it appears you are merely rejecting Christ and the NT. Is that correct? If so, why didn’t you just say so instead of asking circuitous questions?

    In case you didn’t notice, I like plain talk. :-)

    Much peace to you,

    Richard

  10. LP
    Posted November 5, 2011 at 6:11 am | Permalink

    Ah, now I understand you are a Christian and I am a spiritualist. I do not believe it is important to believe in Horus, Mithra, Buddha, Krishna, Moses, Jesus, etc. What I do believe is important is the spiritual (divine) message. I believe in Jesus when he says Mat. 22. 37-40 (Duet 6.5 and Lev 19.18). I believe in the words of Jesus when he speaks about Sinai Matt. 5.18. These are the words of Jesus, not some mere motal. Where does Jesus repudiate Sinai? I know Paul does in Hebrew 8.7. This is the answer I was looking for in my original question. P.S. It often troubles me that the NT refers to Jews as a single group when there were many many different sects in 1st century Israel. Which group does the NT talk about? (Pharasee, Sadducee, Essence, Zealot, etc (very small percentage of population) or the majority of non religious Jews. Puzzleling. TY

  11. Posted November 5, 2011 at 8:07 am | Permalink

    Hey there LP,

    I used to be a Christian, but I’m not any more. And you shouldn’t limit yourself or others with labels. There are as many varieities of Christians and spiritualists as there are people. Indeed, isn’t this the very thing you said you didn’t like about the NT when you said “It often troubles me that the NT refers to Jews as a single group when there were many many different sects in 1st century Israel?”. Of course, that is an important insight that many folks miss.

    Your position on Jesus doesn’t make any sense to me. It seems inconsistent. Everything you know about him was written in the NT. So it makes no sense for you to think that one verse like Matthew 5:18 is “authoritative” while all the other verses found in the same book are not. If you are going to pick and choose like that, you have no good reason to take any of it as “authoritative.” It’s fine if you want to pick and choose what you like and dislike, but then you won’t have any basis to say that Jesus was other than a “mere mortal.”

    So do think that the Gospels are the “Word of God” but the rest of the NT is not? Do you think that Jesus was divine? So now your beliefs seem very confused. You seem to believe in the Old Testament and the NT Gospels, but reject the letters of Paul. What about the letters of Peter, James, John and Jude? Do you reject those too? Why do believe the OT? Do you have any objective basis for your beliefs or do you just “hear what you want to hear and disregard the rest?” (The Boxer~ Simon and Garfunkel.”

    Great chatting!

    Richard

  12. LP
    Posted November 5, 2011 at 11:50 am | Permalink

    We are getting no where fast. Maybe you did not understand my original question or I have not understood your answers yet. I would be happy to respond to your questions regarding Jesus and the Gospels but now I think it is important to get some clarification. Do you think the NT is anti-Judean? I say yes, what do you say? As you know, the three passages I found appalling and dishonest the church also acknowledge and corrected at Vatican II with the Nostra Aetate.

  13. Posted November 5, 2011 at 3:24 pm | Permalink

    The NT was written by Jews, so no, I do not think it is “anti-Judean.”

    Now maybe you could answer my question? Why do you think Jesus was divine if you reject the NT? And why do you believe the OT? I have no idea where you are coming from. Your comments seem to be based on contradictory assumptions.

  14. pedro cuesta
    Posted May 14, 2013 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

    Dear Richard,
    I recently came across your biblewheel.com and was nearly blown away with it. I say nearly because I’m a life-long skeptic who has recently come into the knowledge of the God of the (entire) bible and I don’t know enough gematria or hebrew or greek to disprove your analysis. Kudos for your work, insight and revelations to the extent that they are actually trustworthy!

    I also appreciate your angst about Christianity and your turn to unbelief due to your own perceptions about what God ought to be like in all his omnipotence or what his inspired words should express or omit. Because we were created in His image we often like to think as if we were The God and have the temerity to doubt His creation, contradict His plans, assume His powers and, yes, mock His own personality as expressed in the bible.

    I’m also a product of our secular schools and colleges which instilled in me the Darwinian dogma (never mind that current evolutionists have long discarded that dogma and are feverishly proposing neo-Darwinian explanations).

    In little time at all, I have come to understand that chance had nothing to do with the universe; that all information requires a code and a designer; and that life is commensurate with painstaking, brilliant and purpuseful design, namely a Creator. So your statement (below) seems preposterous if born of ignorance or mischievous if born of ‘knowledge':

    I am quite confident that we are the product of evolution, but I don’t know how it all started, and I recognize that there is a big problem with the origin of DNA and life.

    Since you seem to possess all the right analytical and thinking tools that you require please take some time to ponder about the problem of Left-Handed Chirality in Amino Acids. I’ll just get you started with this:

    Nobel prize-winning scientist George Wald once wrote: However improbable we regard this event [evolution], or any of the steps it involves, given enough time, it will almost certainly happen at least once. . . . Time is the hero of the plot. . . . Given so much time, the impossible becomes possible, the possible becomes probable, the probable becomes virtually certain. One only has to wait; time itself performs miracles.18

    In the case of protein formation, the statement “given enough time” is not valid. When we look at the mathematical probabilities of even a small protein (100 amino acids) assembling by random chance, it is beyond anything that has ever been observed.

    What is the probability of ever getting one small protein of 100 left-handed amino acids? (An average protein has at least 300 amino acids in it—all left-handed.) To assemble just 100 left-handed amino acids (far shorter than the average protein) would be the same probability as getting 100 heads in a row when flipping a coin. In order to get 100 heads in a row, we would have to flip a coin 1030 times (this is 10 x 10, 30 times). This is such an astounding improbability that there would not be enough time in the whole history of the universe (even according to evolutionary time frames) for this to happen.
    The ability of complex structures to form by naturalistic processes is essential for the evolution model to work. However, the complexity of life appears to preclude this from happening. According to the laws of probability, if the chance of an event occurring is smaller than 1 in 10-50, then the event will never occur (this is equal to 1 divided by 1050 and is a very small number).19
    What have scientists calculated the probability to be of an average-size protein occurring naturally? Walter Bradley, PhD, materials science, and Charles Thaxton, PhD, chemistry,5 calculated that the probability of amino acids forming into a protein is:
    4.9 x 10-191
    This is well beyond the laws of probability (1×10-50), and a protein is not even close to becoming a complete living cell. Sir Fred Hoyle, PhD, astronomy, and Chandra Wickramasinghe, professor of applied math and astronomy, calculated that the probability of getting a cell by naturalistic processes is:
    1 x 10-40,000
    No matter how large the environment one considers, life cannot have had a random beginning. . . . There are about two thousand enzymes, and the chance of obtaining them all in a random trial is only one part in (1020)2000 = 1040,000, an outrageously small probability that could not be faced even if the whole universe consisted of organic soup.20

    18. G. Wald, “The Origin of Life,” Scientific American 191 (August 1954): 45. Back
    19. Probability expert Emile Borel wrote, “Events whose probabilities are extremely small never occur. . . . We may be led to set at 1 to the 50th power the value of negligible probabilities on the cosmic scale.” (E. Borel, Probabilities and Life, [New York: Dover Publications, 1962], p. 28.) Back
    20. F. Hoyle and C. Wickramasinghe, Evolution from Space (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1984), p. 176. Back

  15. Posted May 20, 2013 at 3:13 pm | Permalink

    Hey there Pedro,

    I have answered your comment in a new post here.

    All the best,

    Richard

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