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A fairly accurate, but incomplete INDEX of Posts & good overview of this blog READ SOME REASONS TO REJECT ORTHODOX JUDAISM my April 2014 post or click link above. Highlighted words lead to other posts almost all in my blog. Born into an Orthodox Jewish family (1950's) and went to Orthodox Yeshiva from kindergarten thru High School plus some Beis Medrash.Became an agnostic in my 20's and an atheist later on. My blog will discuss the arguments for god and Orthodox Judaism and will provide counter arguments. I no longer take comments. My blog uses academic sources, the Torah, Talmud and commentators to justify my assertions. The posts get updated. INDEX OF POSTS SEE MAY 2017 or click link above.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Proof of God from Secrets in Holy Texts

The claim is made that an alleged divinely inspired ancient holy text has a "fact" that an ancient human author could not have known, yet the “fact” has  now been shown to be true.

Does this imply that indeed God authored or inspired the book ? No

(Here is an example of such a "fact". There are similar examples from other religions. The Torah lists 4 animals that have only one of the two required kosher signs. How could the Torah have known that for the entire planet those are the only four.   If desired see       proof-of-god-from-kosher-animals for more details of the argument. Lets assume for the sake of argument that indeed those are the only four animals that have only one of the two required kosher signs.) 

We must rule out other possibilities such as - could it be a coincidence or chance the text got the "fact" correct. {ETA for example the text speculated or guessed. } ?  

We must consider the nature of the "fact". How remarkable is it that it gets that "fact" correct ? 

We must also consider if there is evidence that the book as a whole has much incorrect information or suggest human authorship.

We must consider the entire book and see if its really making a precise secret knowledge statement or if we are using current knowledge and retrospectively projecting it back into the book. 

We must consider if the book was even intending to make a secret knowledge statement.  

I would argue any known holy texts would not pass the tests.

And the level of evidence is higher than normally required, because an extraordinary claim is being made.

Finally, it is important to mention that some ancient Greeks for example came close to "modern" discoveries. This includes for example the concept of "atoms", rudimentary evolution and even Newtons first law of motion. Does this mean they had secret divine knowledge ? Of course not, they were using imagination, speculation and keen observation.


{ETA 9/29/2014 Are the holy text verses unambiguously making a clear statement. For example: 

Genesis 6:1 And it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born unto them, 2 that the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives, whomsoever they chose. 3 And the LORD said: 'My spirit shall not abide in man for ever, for that he also is flesh; therefore shall his days be a hundred and twenty years.' 

Some argue that indeed the life span of man is 120 years - how did the Torah know this ?

The Torah verses are unclear and have been given different interpretations and only several of these are provided below. Is it providing a fact about life spans ?

Rashi -  Until a hundred and twenty years I will delay My wrath towards them, but if they do not repent, I will bring a flood upon them.  So Rashi provides an interpretation unrelated to the life span of people, but as a warning.

The next two sources do relate the verses to life spans.

 Page 7 The Interpreters One-Volume Commentary On The Bible sixth printing 1982 - explains as follows:
After divine beings marry beautiful human females, God says 120 years life span, as if to say the offspring will not be immortal like gods.

Page 21 Jewish Publication Society - The Jewish Sudy Bible 2004 Berlin and Brettler - Interprets it a an explanation why humans do not live as long as their forebears.

Lets assume the Torah meant 120 years as maximum life span.

If the Torah has one verse wrong it implies it is not divine. Yet we know people can potentially live past 120 years and at least one has been documented at 122 years old. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_the_verified_oldest_people 

It is also plausible observation would show most people dying under 100. So the Torah authors threw in a few more years as an upper limit. 

It is also plausible 120 had mystical significance to Sumerians and perhaps other ancient near east cultures including the ancient Israelites. For example one Sumerian King reined 60 years, one  120 years and  another 360 (multiples of 60, but not all kings reigned with multiples of 60). This hypothesis needs to be researched. }

{ETA 1/15/2015 Here is another so called divine secret this time in the Talmud. Rabban Gamaliel said to them: I have it on the authority of the house of my father's father that the renewal of the moon takes place after not less than twenty-nine days and a
half and two-thirds of an hour and seventy-three halakin

The notes to the Talmud explain: Lit., ‘parts’ (sc. of one hour), 73/1080 X 60 m = 4 m 3 1/3 sec. 

If I did the math correctly I get the lunar cycle is 29.53031632

Some Rabbis then claim it was impossible for anybody in 
the days of the Talmud to know this without divine knowledge.

Balderdash 

First notice Rabban Gamaliel makes no claim for divine 
knowledge. So why would some modern Rabbi's ?

Second - given the the number of days between two eclipses it easy to calculate the lunar cycle to the precision in the Talmud. Ancient people could have made the observations and did the calculations. 

Third the Ancient Babylonians already new this value or 
could have easily calculated it. 

See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lunar_theory#Babylon
"They [the ancient Babylonians] built up a numerical 
theory of the main irregularities in the Moon's motion,
reaching remarkably good estimates for the (different) 
periods of the three most prominent features of the Moon's 
motion:-The synodic month, i.e. the mean period for the 
phases of the Moon. The so-called System B reckons the 
synodic month as 29 days and (sexagesimally) 3,11;0,50 
time degrees (of 4 of our minutes): this converts to 
29.530594 days = 29d 12h 44m 3.33s, to compare with a
modern value (as at 1900 Jan 0) of 29.530589, or 29d 12h 
44m 2.9s " }


Related posts: Proof of God from Gematria/NumerologyProof of God from Circumcisionproof-of-god-via-jewish-survival- and bible predictorproof-of-god-from-kosher-animals



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