Table of Contents
----------------------










The Bible:  Worthy of Your Trust?


Eyewitness Testimony Invalidated

     Responses to Eyewitness Testimony Invalidated

God Is Not The Author

History or HIS-STORY?

How Firm A Foundation... of Forgeries???

James the Brother of Jesus

Schizophrenia and Personal Revelations

     Responses to Schizophrenia




The God of The Bible

Biblegod Is Not Perfect

    Responses to Biblegod Not Perfect

Biblegod The Warcriminal

    Responses to Biblegod
The Warcriminal


Tyrannosaurus Pettius Rex

Jehovah Unmasked

In or Out or Neit
her


Acts of God

September 11th Biblegod Did Nothing

    Responses to September 11th




The God of The Bible:
Does He Exist?

E=MC Disproves God

    Responses to E=MC

How To Prove The Existence of God

    Responses to How To Prove The Existence of God

Shopping For A God

Transcendental La La Land




Caught in a Lie:  Contradictions Within The Bible

Don't Be Such A Cretan

The Genealogy of Jesus

Galilee vs Jerusalem

Matthew vs John

Intrinsic Contradictions

Splainin To Do

The Intercontinental Ballistic Jesus

The Sign on The Cross

     Responses to The Sign on The Cross




Sand, Not Rock:  What Christianity is Really Built Upon

The Atonement

Monotheism Not Biblical

The Ten Commandments

Christianity Has Pagan DNA

Faith

Misc. Topics & Thoughts




Jesus:  False Prophet?


False Prophet- Liar, Fraud!

 If Anybody Else But Jesus…

 Jesus and His Expired Prophecies

Matthew 24 Verse by Verse

Mt 24:34 What The Scholars Say

Significance of Jesus Being a False Prophet

Preterism

     Responses to Jesus The False Prophet




Jesus:  Resurrected?

Even If True

Evidence That Doesn't Demand a Verdict

The Roman Soldiers: "We Were There!"

     Responses to Roman Soldiers




Churchianity Examined

Connecting The Dots

The Authority Totem

Twenty Percent Fewer Errors

Fire The Clergy

     Responses to Fire The Clergy

The Wealth of Churches

Authority In Church Government

The Fleecing of The Flock

The Great Commission Does Not Apply




CAUTIONChristianity May Be Hazardous to Your Health

Victims of Religion

   Responses to Victims of Religion

Voices In Our Head

Brainwashing

   Responses to Brainwashing

We Love Our Lies




Christian Morality or Lack Thereof 

Christianity Doesn't Work as Advertised

Hypocrisy- Thy Name is Christian

Morality

The Gospel of Jesus

 Happy Father's Day

He Wasn't a REAL Christian




Evangelical Atheism

Free JCnot4me Business Cards
JCnot4me Business Cards- FREE!

Without A Leg To Stand On (A Message For Freethinkers)

Give To Him That Asks

   Responses to Give To Him That Asks

Just Say No

   Responses to Just Say No

Damn The Truth- Full Speed Ahead

Answering Christian Stock Arguments

Modern Miracle Workers

Atheists In America

Anti-Religious Songs

Do Unto Others

Kissing Hank's Ass

Why Beer Is Better Than Jesus

Poster: Jesus is a Liar & Lunatic

The Good News of Atheism

The Skeptic’s Prayer

What Would Jesus Do?




Christian Cults

Consumers Guide to Religion- John Cleese of Monty Python (audio file)

Geek Speak Like a Fundy

   Responses to Geek Speak 101

How To Be a Fundy

-----

Baptists} Once Saved, Always Saved: Always False

Catholics: Only Child or Eldest Brother

Church of Christ

   Responses to Church of Christ Essays

Dr. Robert Schuller: Racism By A Nose

Jehovah Witnesses

Nazarenes} Entire Sanctification = Entire Nonsense

   Responses to Entire Sactification

Mormons

Seventh Day Adventists




For Christians...

Message to Christian Apologists

Notes to Christians Battling Atheists

Move A Mountain

Hope

Ex-Christians Get No Respect

Abortion

Hellfire For Homosexuals and Roses




Creationism, aka Intelligent Design

The Universe According To The Bible

   Responses to The Universe

In The Beginning God Was Nuts

Intelligent Design




Politics

Legalize Prostitution

Its The Economy, Stupid

Illegal Immigration

Bush Is Outta Here!!!

The Bush Monkey

Twilights Last Gleaming




Contra Craig
    (Dr. William Lane Craig)


Contra Craig

   Responses to Contra Craig




Misc.

Editorials

   Responses To Editorials

Comments to JCnot4me- Pro + Con

One Picture is Worth...

Links- Other Websites Worth Checking Out




Books You Should Read   

Jehovah Unmasked cover
Jehovah Unmasked




Ha Ha Ha

Christian Election Poster

Flying Spaghetti Monster

Invitation from Rev. Jim Jones

Jokes

Pranks

Songs and Poems




 





 

Don’t Be Such a Cretan About It!

“Cretans Are ALWAYS Liars” (Titus 1:12)

 

(Mark  Smith, March 1996)

 


Responses to this Cretan essay

 


 

If the New Testament were actually written “without errors” as the Biblical Inerrantists claim, then to win any debate against an Atheist a Fundy would need to merely point out to us Atheists that it is written thus and such in the New Testament and that would be the end of the debate. And to many Fundies, that IS the extent of any debate, for they are of the belief that:

 

God Said It / I Believe It / That Settles It

 

For that reason, this claim of Inerrancy must be dealt a swift death as soon as possible. Fundies do not merely claim that the New Testament is a “good” book, or even a reasonably accurate book. They claim it is a PERFECT book, 100% devoid of any errors whatsoever, like a chain where each link is pristine and pure. Therefore, to prove it is not 100% error-free, all we have to do is find one error and thus, with our “intellectual bolt-cutters”, we have busted open one link of the perfectionist chain that holds up the claim and the entire pomposity of perfection comes crashing to the ground. How many errors does it take to DISprove “a total lack of errors”??? Just one. Does it have to be a major, earth-shaking error? No; any small error will do, as Jesus himself said:

 

“The man ((or Bible)) who can be trusted in LITTLE things, can be trusted also in great; and the man ((or Bible)) who is dishonest in little things IS DISHONEST ALSO IN GREAT THINGS.”  

(Luke 16:10, NEB)

 

Or as the  famous Christian minister and founder of Methodism John Wesley once wrote,

 

If there be any mistake in the Bible, there may well be a thousand. If there be one falsehood in that book, it did not come from the God of truth.

(John Wesley, Journal, Wed.,  July 24, 1776)

 

Remember, the Fundies are the ones making this self-righteous claim about their book, and their arrogant claim, upon examination, will fall as fast as a Rev. Swaggart  for a $5.00 whore.

 

*****

 

The “chain” of evidence that supports the claim of inerrancy needs only one small link to be clipped, and the whole Christian assumption comes crashing down. Our “bolt-cutters” in this case are going to concentrate on one link within the New Testament, a small section in the epistle entitled Titus. Embedded within this letter from the Apostle Paul is an absurd little “brain teaser” that we all became familiar with as children, even you children that had “mush for brains” as Rush Limbaugh would say. In fact, it is the very absurdity of it that made it fun to contemplate. Of course, no one but an idiot with more than “half their brain tied behind their back” would have ever thought of taking it seriously. And yet here it is, as serious as a funeral, embedded smack-dab within “The Holy Scriptures,”  claiming inspiration from “Almighty God” himself, according to the Fundies.

 

The brain teaser of which I speak, the version we all grew up with, went something like this:

(1)        I am a liar.

(2)        Everything I say is a lie.

(3)        What I just said is true.

 

Well, it turns out that this same simple brain teaser is also found within The New Testament. Check out what the “inspired” Apostle Paul wrote in the “inerrant & perfect” New Testament, NASB version:

 

 

Titus 1:12,13

One of themselves, a prophet of their own, said, "Cretans are ALWAYS liars, evil beasts, lazy gluttons."  This testimony is TRUE. For this cause reprove them severely that they may be sound in the faith.

 

 

 

To be specific, the absurdity is this: a Cretan (who “cannot tell the truth”) stating the “truth” that Cretans “can not tell the truth.” Then Joe Hovah (who “cannot tell a lie”) compounds the lie by inspiring Paul to label the Cretan’s absurdity as “truth.” I would also like to point out the moral shortcoming of the "inspired" Apostle Paul here using known LIARS upon which to build his argument to Titus- anything to win an argument, eh Christian Paul??? Lies or brain teasers- take your choice.

 

I know this is confusing, and may take a minute to sink in. That’s OK-- remember, this is what brain teasers are supposed to do-- they’re supposed to act as speed bumps to your thinking to force you to slow down and contemplate. To help you digest it a little better, let’s look at the same data side-by-side in tabular form:

 

 

Nonsensical Brain Teaser

Inspired Nonsense of Gawd

I am a liar.

The “I” corresponds to the Bible’s Cretan prophet (“one of themselves, a prophet of their own”), and the “liar” part corresponds to the Bible’s “always liars.”  Thus the “I am a liar” is paralleled perfectly in the Bible.

Everything I say is a lie.

The all-inclusive “everything...lie” is paralleled by the Bible’s all-inclusive “always...liars.” Thus the “Everything I say is a lie” is also paralleled perfectly in the Bible.

What I just said is true.

The “what I just said” is paralleled by the Bible’s “this testimony (which was just said).” And the “is true” is obviously paralleled by the Bible’s “is true.” Thus the “What I just said is true” is paralleled perfectly in the Bible as well.

 

 

So what we have here is a perfect match-up between “wholly” nonsense on the left, and “Holy” writ on the right.  Everyone freely admits the brain teaser on the left to be illogical, impossible nonsense.  Yet because the exact same nonsense, just slightly re-written on the right hand side, is also found between the covers of some “holy book,” does this documented nonsense now somehow magically transform itself into “holy truth” ????? Hell no! And if the Christians didn’t have a vested interest to protect, if somehow you showed them the chart above and managed to persuade them  that the right hand side was actually from a NON-Christian “holy book,” they would freely admit the stupidity of that holy book ASAP. They would see immediately that “the glove fits,” and they would convict! But show them this crap comes right out of their own damn Bible, and whoa! Years of hypnotism by the Christian myth kicks in and down go the blinders over the eyes, in go the earplugs, and up goes the force-field around the brain, and off they go a chanting like a bunch of brain-dead O.J. supporters, “The gloves didn’t fit, you must not convict!”  Now, no matter what evidence you show them, they can’t see it. Period. They have been hypnotized by years of constant Christian chanting and brain washing into being able to NOT see the obvious, when the obvious is too unpleasant. But nonsense is nonsense, regardless of how many  people call it “sacred truth.”

 

To clarify even further, let’s expand what Paul wrote to Titus, and define a few of his key words-- after all, before we can know what the verses mean we have to understand what the words mean.

 

 

Titus 1:12-13

E X P A N D E D

 

One of THEMSELVES, a prophet of THEIR OWN, said, "Cretans

 

(“Cretan” is defined in Strongs Concordance  as: A Cretan, an inhabitant of the island of Crete)

 

are ALWAYS

 

(“Always” is defined in Strongs Concordance as: From an obsolete primary noun apparently meaning continued duration  (1) perpetually, incessantly (2) invariably, at any and every time)

 

LIARS"

 

(“Liar” is defined in Strongs Concordance as: (1) a liar (2) one who breaks faith  (3) a false and faithless man).

 

This testimony is TRUE.

 

 

 

 

Let’s now analyze the context around these verses. After all, we wouldn’t want to encourage any Fundies to do their usual knee-jerk reaction of accusing us of taking verses out of context. 

 

Paul  wrote these verses originally within a letter addressed to his friend and co-worker Titus, whom he had left on the island of Crete. Titus was to finish the task of getting things organized, and to appoint elders to rule the various Cretan congregations located there (Titus 1:5). These Cretan elders appointed by Titus had to be knowledgeable in orthodox doctrine, in order to fight against Cretan heretics that had infiltrated the churches there (Titus 1:9). These Cretan heretics were “empty talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision” (Titus 1:10). Apparently, some of the Cretan heretics had splintered off from the main body of heretics there and had joined a competing brand of Christianity known as the Circumcision Party,  of which Paul was in constant competition against (Galatians 2:12 et al). Of these two heretical Cretan factions, the worst was the Circumcision Party (Titus 1:10).  Paul then quotes a racial slur from the famous Cretan philosopher Epimenides, to show just how bad these Cretans really were (Titus 1:12). Then, as if that weren’t enough, he goes on to add his own support for this racial slur by declaring what the Cretan philosopher had said was true (Titus 1:13). Paul, being the spokesman for the Christian god (according to the Fundies), has thus stamped with the divine seal of approval this absurd racial slur against the entire population of the island of Crete.

 (As a humorous aside, I have a friend who knows of a Greek-Orthodox bishop from the island of Crete who proudly displays a framed enlargement of this verse upon his office wall!)

 

 

The Word “ALWAYS”

Of course, knowing the propensity of Fundies to quibble over minutia, I can hear  them whining already about the word “always.�� Their whining would go something like this: “Well, Paul didn’t say that the Cretans lied every single time they opened their mouths. Even a liar occasionally tells the truth.” Listen: liars lie; that’s why they are called LIARS!  If Rev. Bob says “2+2=4,” is he then a liar? No. If later Rev. Bob says “2+2=2,” is he then a liar? Yes, he is then a liar. And if even later he says “4+4=8,” is Rev. Bob still a liar? No, he is not now a liar, for he told the truth. However, if Rev. Bob ALWAYS said “2+2=2,” then Rev. Bob would ALWAYS be a liar. The key word in the verse is ALWAYS, which as already shown, means:   continued duration  (1) perpetually, incessantly (2) invariably, at any and every time”  (Strongs Concordance).  Paul’s statement is NOT that the Cretans are merely liars or sometimes liars or that they lie occasionally, but rather they are “ALWAYS liars,” that is, their lying is never ending. The accusation Paul is making is that IF words are coming out of a Cretan’s mouth, you know for sure it’s a lie.

 

If I were to say that Christians are ALWAYS nice, I would mean by that there never comes a time when they are NOT nice. Likewise Paul is affirming within these verses  that at any and all times, Cretans are liars. Paul is talking of the duration of their lying. Paul is saying that these people are ALWAYS liars, therefore they are always LYING.  If and when they tell the truth, they are no longer liars; they then become truth-tellers. A person may be a liar one minute, and a truth-teller the next. But if a person is ALWAYS a liar, he is a liar 24 hours a day, and is incapable of telling any truths whatsoever.

 

This, of course,  is an impossibility. When someone says anyone is “always” this or that, they have set themselves up as targets of stupidity in the shooting gallery of the logical. To clarify, look at the opposite situation, of someone who is ALWAYS honest. To be always honest would mean they are never NOT honest. A person who is ALWAYS honest could never do anything DIShonest without losing his title of being “always honest.” Likewise, to say that someone is ALWAYS a liar is equivalent to saying they are never NOT a liar. Moreover, if they were ever to utter just one true statement, they would-- FOR THAT MOMENT if for no other moment in history, cease to be “always a liar.” Therefore, all it takes to disprove Joe Hovah and Biblical Inerrancy is one little Cretan who has told at least one truth, one Cretan who was not “always a liar.” I wonder if we could find such a Cretan as this?????

 

 

We find that honest Cretan right smack-dab in the middle of Paul’s absurdity, hiding there in plain sight. The Christian “god,” in his infinite wisdom, in order to support his absurdity that Cretans can never say anything true, quotes from a Cretan prophet and then turns around and “inspires” Paul to affirm that which he just quoted was TRUE. And thus embedded  here within the New Testament is its own destruction: an honest Cretan who has told a truth, a Cretan who by divine decree was  not  “always a liar.” Since that Cretan prophet actually told a truth, that very truth now proves the falsehood of the original statement of Cretans not being able to tell the truth! Thus the Bible itself has disproved Biblical Inerrancy!!!

 

“One Chance in a Million” Explanations

This situation is what���s known as a  Logical Impossibility, and as such it is a Fundie’s worst nightmare. In all other types of contradictions, there is usually at least a “one chance in a million” explanation, and of course the Christians usually go for it, rather than admit their Bible contains an error or contradiction. This habit of Christian Fundies to always grab at straws in defense of their religion reminds me of a scene in the Jim Carrey movie “Dumb and Dumber” where Jim Carrey (Lloyd) asks Lauren Holly (Mary) a question}

 

LLOYD

I'm gonna ask you something flat out and I want you to answer me honestly: What do you think the chances are of a girl like you and a guy like me ending up together?

 

MARY  (Obviously thrown by this question…)

Lloyd, that's difficult to say. I mean we hardly --

 

LLOYD

--I asked you to be honest, Mary.

 

MARY

But Lloyd, I really can't --

 

LLOYD

--Come on, give it to me straight. I drove a long way to see you, the least you can do is level with me. What are my chances?

 

MARY

Not good.

 

LLOYD

You mean not good, like one out of a hundred?

 

MARY

I'd say more like one out of a million.

 

LLOYD

So… you're telling me there IS a chance!!!

 

 

 

 

 

And just like Lloyd in the scene above, when Atheists confront Fundies with obvious contradictions within their Bible,  Christians would rather get their hopes up with these “one in a million” explanations, rather than go with the more rational route of admitting a contradiction actually exists within their Bible.  Of course, after hearing hundreds of these “one in a million” explanations regarding the seemingly endless supply of contradictions found within The Holy Babble, a Christian Creationist should start to wonder if maybe the tremendous odds of evolution really aren’t all that bad! For myself, over the years, the

convoluted - distorted - contorted

“explanations” that the Christians come up with have ceased to amaze me. Of course, sometimes they just downright lie about what the Bible actually says (see the quote from Geisler later on, in the Cyberspace section) in order to cover-up the contradiction. This “verbal volleyball” and Clintonian “is-is” logic used to amaze me; now it merely disgusts me. It is also yet one more piece of evidence to convince me that I made the right decision in leaving Christianity; for if it takes countless lies and deceptions to defend that religion, chances are that religion isn’t worth defending in the first place. And anyone who has to lie to defend a God of truth has his moral compass pointing in the wrong direction anyway. But given the fact that this contradiction in Titus is a Logical Impossibility  and  not your run-of-the-mill standard contradiction, lies provide the only means of escape for the Fundie stuck in our round room looking for his corner to piss in. In other words, with this contradiction in Titus, we Atheists have the Christians by their proverbial balls.

 

A Logical Impossibility

In a  Logical Impossibility  all exits (and corners to piss in!) are sealed off by the nature of the beast itself. There are no explanations. Period. This is what I have been told for years about Logical Impossibilities by Fundies themselves as they repeatedly challenged me to provide them with such from their Bible. Well Fundies, your challenge has been met. Mere contradictions, to one with an active imagination, always have an escape chute-- no matter how far-fetched. A Logical Impossibility,  however, is absolute, undeniable proof of falsehood. Any Christian Fundie that claims Biblical Inerrancy, facing a Logical Impossibility in his Bible, must abandon his claim, or abandon all claims to rationality. In a Logical Impossibility,  the choice is that simple. As for the Fundie reading this right now, you are at a fork in the road: on your left is truth and rationality; on your right is falsehood, irrationality, mental gymnastics, and Clintonian “is-is” logic. Choose you this day whom you will worship.

 

 

 

Some Biblical Inerrantists out there may yet be showing signs of life upon our intellectual battlefield, so what follows is a merciful “bullet to the head,” which will let them boldly go where no Inerrantist has gone before, to the conclusion that...

 

 “The Apostle Paul Is Highly Illogical, Captain.”

For those Spocks out there who prefer the analytical rather than the intuitive approach to logic,

Ph.D. candidate *Doug Krueger has been kind enough to do this logical breakdown of the Apostle Paul’s apparent breakdown  in logic in Titus 1:12, 13}

 

1.         X {The Cretan Philosopher} is a member of group Y {Cretans}.

2.         X said, "All members of group Y always lie."

3.         X told the truth in (2).

4.         X either told the truth in (2) or X lied in (2).

            [By the law of the excluded middle.]

5.         X did not lie in (2).

            [Restatement of (3).]

6.         If X told the truth in (2), then all members of group Y always lie.

            [By elementary logic.]

7.         All members of group Y always lie.

            [By (3) and (6).]

8.         X always lies.

            [By (7) and (1).]

9.         If X always lies, then (2) is a lie.

            [By elementary logic.]

10.       (2) is a lie.

            [By (8) and (9).]

11.       If (3) is true, then (3) is false.

            [By (6) - (10).]

12.       (3) is either true or false.

            [By the law of excluded middle.]

13.       (3) is false.

            [By (11) and (12).]

14.       If (3) is false, then the bible is not inerrant.

            [By elementary logic.]

15.       The bible is not inerrant.

            [By (13) and (14).]

 

*Doug Krueger, graduate student: Philosophy, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville. Areas of specialization include: epistemology,  20th Century analytic philosophy and the  philosophy of Ludwig Wittgenstein.  Mr. Krueger is originally from Edinburg, Texas. For any comments or criticisms of the above, please direct your remarks directly to him at     dkruege@comp.uark.edu  as Formal Logic confuses the hell out of me.

 

 

 

I hope by now that most of you have come to the conclusion that the New Testament contains at least one error. Of course, some Christians may be jumping in their seats eager to blurt out what they think will answer this problem. Knowing this ahead of time, the whole problem was sent into cyberspace to be kicked around the internet for a while. What follows is a lively exchange of ideas between Christians and Freethinkers regarding Paul’s contradiction in The New Testament, book of Titus.

 

 

*****

 

Detour Into Cretan Cyberspace

This is a detour into the wonderful world of Cyberspace. (“CyberSPACE,” not “cyberSEX”;  Reverends  Swaggart and Bakker please calm down!) I had posted my discovery about Titus upon what is called a “list server” in February of 1996. In a “list server,” whatever is posted goes to all the people subscribed to that list via the internet, and any responses also get delivered electronically to everyone on the list. This particular list is run by Farrell Till, editor of The Skeptical Review, and numbers both Christians and non-Christians among its subscribers. Needless to say, free-for-alls are common-- and entertaining. Of course the Christians usually lose, but no one’s a loser when it comes to gaining knowledge and experience. (For your information, Farrell Till has predicted that the “on-line” explosion going on now will number traditional Fundie Xtianity among its victims.) The response to my posting was awesome-- this topic really hit home. I was receiving about fifty to a hundred responses a day for many days. In fact, the preceding logical analysis by Doug Krueger was one such response. I have culled through the postings, and now for your entertainment I would like to present to you the highlights...

 

NOTE: As these exchanges are now several years old, the email hyperlinks may or may not be valid.

 

The Problem is Stated:

Posting by Farrell Till:

A problem has been identified that cannot be logically compared to what you or I or any other uninspired person might say, and numerous postings have show how that it would have been logically impossible for the Cretan poet to tell the truth, if "Paul" was right in saying that it was true that Cretans were always liars. Since it wouldn't have been possible for the Cretan poet to make a true statement, it wouldn't have been possible for Paul to be right in saying that the Cretan poet's testimony was true.

(Farrell Till:  jftill@theramp.net )

 

 

 

The Responses:

ALWAYS Doesn’t ALWAYS Mean ALWAYS

Christian Paul Nanson posted:

I can't believe what I'm reading.  If someone is a liar, does that mean that he ALWAYS lies?  Maybe we really don't live in the same world after all...

(Paul Nanson:  think@eskimo.com )

 

 

 

Responses:

Posting by Douglas E. Krueger:

No, I'm not saying that one who lies must always lie.  I was simply  pointing out that Titus 1:12 itself states that Cretans are always  liars.  Now, if this is true, then it follows that a Cretan cannot utter  a true statement.  However, verse 13, immediately after 12, of all  things, states that what the Cretan said is true:  "This testimony is  true."  In other words, we don't need to appeal to the real world (where  there ARE Cretans who do not always lie, and in fact there are Cretans who hardly ever lie, I'd say) to find a contradiction.  The contradiction is a logical one.  It is found in the "good book" itself. Correct me if I'm wrong, but it seems that a contradiction cannot be avoided after the Titus verse in question.  The writer states that a Cretan said that Cretans are always liars, and then says that this statement is true.  No more obvious a contradiction could be hoped for.

(Douglas E. Krueger: dkruege@comp.uark.edu )

 

 

 

Posting by Farrell Till:

I can't believe that Nanson can't see the point.  The Cretan poet didn't just say that Cretans are liars; he said that Cretans are *always* liars.  So if a Cretan said that Cretans are *always* liars and then a writer verbally inspired by an omniscient, omnipotent deity, who cannot lie, said that "this testimony is true," then it would necessarily be true that Cretans are ALWAYS  liars, if it were not for the following logical problem:     If it is true that Cretans are always liars, then it would not have been possible for the Cretan's statement of “Cretans are always liars” to be true, because, as a Cretan himself, he would always lie and whatever he said would be untrue.  So why did "Paul" say that a statement that cannot be true was true?  Since "Paul" presumably wrote by the verbal inspiration of an omniscient, omnipotent deity, then that makes this deity responsible for an obvious error. What I really think is that Nanson can see the problem, but he is like all other biblical "apologists": he doesn't want to admit that the Bible contains obvious errors.

(Farrell Till:  Jftill@theramp.net  )

 

 

 

Posting by Christian Paul Nanson:

If I were to say, "Atheists are always jerks," would I be offering a general observation, or an absolute?  Apparently, in Till's mind it could only be the latter.  So, if I my observation had been that atheists have a tendency to be complete jerks, I could not state the observation in this manner without fear of being misunderstand; I would have to qualify it as "Most atheists tend to act like jerks some of the time," or run the risk of being interpreted to mean, "All atheists are always jerks all of the time."

(Paul Nanson:  think@eskimo.com )

 

 

 

Posting by Farrell Till:

If you said in Greek that "Atheists are always jerks" and used a term that meant literally always, and then if a writer who was verbally inspired by an omniscient, omnipotent deity said, "This testimony is true," then why wouldn't that have to mean that all atheists are jerks?  Dardedar has posted a message  (see next posting) that gives Dr. Norman Geisler's effort to explain this logical error.  If there is nothing to it, why do you suppose that an Inerrantist apologist of Geisler's stature bothered to mention it?  Huh, Paul?

(Farrell Till:  Jftill@theramp.net  )

 

 

 

Posting by Darrel Henschell:

For laughs, here is Norman Geisler's excuse for this problem.  From his co-written book When Critics Ask:

TITUS 1:12 -- Doesn't Paul involve himself in a paradox or contradiction here?

Problem: [snip]

Solution: Paul seemed to be aware of this dilemma and quickly added, "This testimony is true" (v.13). In other words, the Cretans generally lie, but at least on this one occasion a Cretan uttered the truth when he characterized the Cretans as liars. In this way the paradox is broken, and no falsehood is thereby included in Scripture.

 (When Critics Ask, Norman Geisler & Thomas Howe, Victor Books, Illinois, 1992, page 507)

That's it. See the clear obfuscation here?  "...Cretans generally lie..."  The scripture doesn't say Cretans "generally lie", it says "Cretans are ALWAYS  liars".

(Darrel Henschell:  Dardedar@aol.com )

 

 

 

Posting by Kyle Kelley:

If you make a statement, most people assume that your words have meaning. If you say that "Atheists are always jerks", most people would assume that you meant that "all atheists are always jerks all of the time." If this what not your intent, then you clearly expressed yourself poorly. Please do some further investigation concerning this passage. This passage does not mean only that Cretans are liars. It means that Cretans are *always* liars. The word "always" means perpetually, incessantly, invariably, at any and every time. It literally means that Cretans are liars all of the time.

(Kyle Kelly: dkkelly@galaxy.galstar.com )

 

 

 

 

Posting by Byron Smith:

It seems that you're trying to suggest that the terms "all" and "always" are not absolutes, allowing for generalization to exist when they are used without modifiers (even OVERgeneralization is generalization on some level, and therefore not absolutely inclusive).  Under these rules it is not an error to state that "all Inerrantists are always highly irrational and prone to psychological afflictions," because we know that some are (some might even say that it is common), and according to these ((Christian)) rules the terms "all" and "always" have not established complete inclusion.  Of course to accept the rules we must redefine the terms "all" and "always," both terms being absolute by definition.  So, basically, you're argument boils down to nothing more than an attempt at redefining the terms "all" and "always." I know what "all" and "always" both mean (as do virtually all preschoolers),  and I have a few dictionaries with which to check it out, just in case.  I'm not buying it, and I'm quite certain I'm not in the minority--not by a long shot! 

(Byron Smith:  IDIC001@aol.com )

 

 

 

 

“Paul Was Rebuking Jews, Not Cretans”

Roger Hutchinson posted this Christian view:

In v 10, we have people identified as "they of the circumcision."  They of the circumcision would be Jews.  In this case, it appears that Paul is referring to Jewish converts. In v 11, Paul says that these people profit by telling people what they want to hear.   One of the Jewish converts, a prophet or one held in high esteem,  made a statement about Cretans.  The statement was what we in today's time would call a racial slur.  Paul says that this is true -- Not that Cretans are liars but that a Jewish convert actually made this statement.  Because of this, Paul tells Titus to oppose such talk and rebuke the Jewish converts so that they would be sound in the faith. Certainly, Paul does not mean that a Cretan made the statement.  The context does not allow it. Paul also cannot be condoning the statement.  If he were, why would he tell Titus to rebuke the person who made the statement?

(Roger Hutchinson: RHutchin@aol.com )

 

 

 


 Responses:

Posting by Tom McCammon:

Wow!  If it doesn't fit, force it, if it breaks, it needed replacing anyway... Again, you assume  they're Jewish... You've picked over the text for the context that suits you, ignoring v. 5:  "For this cause I left thee in CRETE...”    among who? the Masai? the Inuits? could it be ... THE CRETANS?

(Tom McCammon: mccammon@scott.net )

 

 

 

Posting by Farrell Till:

Oh, the context doesn't allow it, does it?  One of their own said, "Cretans are always liars."  If the statement meant what you want it to mean (that the person who said it wasn't a Cretan), then why didn't Paul say, "One of these vain talkers from among the circumcision said..."?  Furthermore, Paul  didn't tell Titus to rebuke "the person who made the statement."  He said, "This testimony is true.  For this reason rebuke THEM sharply."  Them, Roger, THEM! Not "him."  Certainly Paul wasn't  telling Titus to look up Epimenides and rebuke him for saying that Cretans are always liars.  He was saying that the testimony of Epimenides was true and since his testimony was true and Cretans are liars, they (the Cretan troublemakers) should be rebuked sharply. Undoubtedly, even "those of the circumcision" were also Cretans, and why not?  There were Jewish conclaves all over the known world at this time.  Once again, Roger, you're leaning over backwards to keep from admitting the obvious.

(Farrell Till:  Jftill@theramp.net  )

 

 

 

Posting by Farrell Till:

Well, what else would we expect from Roger?  He overlooks the fact that the name of the poet who said this is known.  He was Epimenides of Knossos, and he was a Cretan.  "Paul" wasn't talking about just "those of the circumcision."  Verse ten says, "There are also many rebellious people, idle talkers, and deceivers, ESPECIALLY THOSE OF THE CIRCUMCISION...."  That has to mean that Paul had under consideration others besides Jewish converts. Paul said "one of them, their very own prophet, said, "Cretans are always liars, vicious brutes, lazy gluttons."  The statement makes no sense if it is twisted to mean that one of these Jewish converts said that Cretans are always liars.  It would have made sense only if "their very own prophet" had said, "Jewish converts are always liars."

(Farrell Till:  Jftill@theramp.net )

 

 

 

Paul Wasn’t Rebuking, He was Joking

Paul Nanson posted this Christian view:

Till and others want to look at these passages in a vacuum; I can not.  Yes, the text is to be taken literally when that is the obvious way to take it; my argument is that this is a quotation or a cliché, and filled with irony and sarcasm. "Cretans are always liars" is obviously a turn of phrase current in first century Palestine, and should be approached as appropriate to clichés and other figures of speech. To ignore the obvious and claim error based on some obscure literal hermeneutic is asinine, in my opinion.  It's "lame," as they say.

(Paul Nanson:  think@eskimo.com )

 

 

 

Responses:

Posting by Kyle Kelly:

What "obscure literal hermeneutic" are we using, Paul? Are we to assume that a passage is to be taken literally ONLY when it would not result in an obvious contradiction? Please describe your  hermeneutical method in more detail.

 (Kyle Kelly: dkkelly@galaxy.galstar.com )

 

 

 

Posting by Byron Smith:

That would be a compelling argument had I not been aware of the second half to the statement that you have repeatedly ignored.  The passage goes on to state that the cliché is true.  Whether it is cliché or not becomes irrelevant as soon as the Bible makes that claim. Cliché or not, the Bible says it is true--period, and that claim is obviously untenable.  

(Byron Smith:  IDIC001@aol.com )

 

 

 

Posting by Kyle Kelly:

Still, to claim that "Paul" was being sarcastic stretches credulity. There is certainly nothing in the text to indicate that he was being sarcastic. In fact, the only reason Nanson proposes that "Paul" was being sarcastic is because his previous approach  (i.e. “always doesn’t mean always”) was shown to be false. (Kyle Kelly: dkkelly@galaxy.galstar.com)

 

 

End of Transmission From “Cyberspace”

 

 

*******************

 

So, how does a confirmed Biblical contradiction impact a major Christian belief such as the resurrection? It impacts it by destroying the theory of Biblical Inerrancy. With that out of the way and safely buried, it becomes more difficult to casually dismiss tons of contrary data via the simplistic “God said it, I believe it, that settles it��� routine. With Biblical Inerrancy destroyed,  each and every “verse of scripture” ceases  to be divine, becoming instead mere uninspired historical opinion and having to stand or fall on its own merits as such. The Christian chant of  “God said it...” DOGma just got ran over by logical KARma. So the next time a Christian tells you that the New Testament says Jesus arose from the dead, so what! The same New Testament also says

 

“Cretans are always liars.”

 

*******************

 

 

Author’s Note

In the years since, some Christians have claimed to have found an “out” for this contradiction. They say that Paul calls the Cretans “liars” and being a liar does NOT preclude that occasionally they may tell the truth, just like being a “murderer” does NOT mean that one is murdering anyone and everyone 24/7.  My response to this is that Paul does not merely say they are “liars” but that they are ALWAYS liars, which to me DOES preclude them ever telling a truth.

 

 

 

Contact Information for Mark Smith

Set Free!
Orange County, CA

Email     JCnot4me@aol.com

Web Page     JCnot4me.com

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Contact Information

Set Free!  Orange County, CA

Email:     JCnot4me@aol.com             Web Page     JCnot4me.com

NOTICE:  Any and all emails sent to SET FREE become the property of SET FREE to be used or displayed upon the web site of SET FREE however SET FREE decides, but don't worry,  your email address will probably be deleted.   Views contained in SET FREE represent the views of the authors. No implicit approval by SET FREE is to be assumed.