Table of Contents
JB Bennett 2/20/02
JB Bennet 2/23/03
is obvious you are an unlearned person. Have you never taken
philosophy(ie. logic) or journalism (who, what, when, where)?
Mark Smith here} Ross provides a typical
Christian response. For all the pretended claims to "love" that Christians
make to the world, notice how rude and UN-loving they are when they think the
world isn't watching. Notice he leads with what's called an Ad
Hominum attack- that is, he attacks ME rather than my ARGUMENTS. This is THE
foulest, lowest, dirtiest tactic one can use in debates. People who do
this usually do so because they lack good rebuttals. Attack the messenger
rather than the message.
Or perhaps you have never had the opportunity to be a witness for an event the
police have had to piece together. I can see why, you would fall into the common
trap of self- contradiction. The four gospel accounts do not contradict one
another, they congeal together. Example; four witnesses saw a lady who had
been grabbed and kidnapped. The first witness said the woman was wearing a
blue skirt and had brown hair. The second witness said the woman had on a
blue suit and her hair was long. The third witness said she had long brown hair
and was dressed in blue. The fourth said she had long hair and blue jacket.
Is this a contradiction or just pieces of the truth that when put together
portray the entire image?
Mark Smith here} Ross makes a mistake that is common
to Fundy Christians when trying to explain away contradictions within
the Bible. When NOT speaking regarding contradictions, they will claim
heavenly perfection for their book. However, when speaking of contradictions,
all of a sudden their book is no longer perfect: now they have human authors
just making honest mistakes that any other human witness might make. Well
Ross, a mistake is a mistake- honest or not, and you can't have a perfect
Bible with imperfections. Sorry, but you're not impressing us. The world
laughs at your Christian doublespeak.
Spend some time reading a few books on logic before you anwer
these questions and advertise your own folly. Meanwhile, I will pray that
the truth hit you the same way Paul got it on his trip to Emaus 2000 years ago.
Mark Smith here} In all of this, Ross neglects to tell
us just exactly what was on that damn sign. Matthew tried, Mark tried, Luke
tried, and so did John. Each came up with a different story. When four
different men give four different versions of the one and same sign, that is
called a "contradiction". Ross- look up the word "contradiction" in one of
your books, ok??? Also please notice, like MOST "Christians" who email me,
Ross doesn't have the guts to even sign his or her name to the email. Big,
brave Christian- ha ha ha.
I have read your article titled "The Sign On The Cross"
Your article reads, "Deceitful Christians over the years kept adding to the
story, building it up."
where is this evidence? Or are you speculating?
Mark Smith here} As I said in my essay, the FACT that
the earliest gospel has the simplest version, and the latest gospel has the
most complicated version, this is evidence of a story evolving. Are you so
dense you've never heard of something called a "fish story"? Have you never
played the parlor game "gossip" where a story is wispered from person to
person around a large circle, and by the time the story gets back to where it
started, the story has grown, changed, evolved???
Your article reads, "We find each Gospel author coming straight out claiming
to tell us what exactly was written on that sign".
Where does it say each gospel author documented the exact message on the
sign? I cannot find any scripture that supports your claim nor can I find
any scripture that indicates that this was the only message inscribed on the
sign. I would even venture to guess that it is likely that there was more
writing on the sign, but that would be speculation....which is what you are
Mark Smith here} Thanks for mentioning this. I had
assumed WRONGLY that anyone who was serious about this issue would at least
take the time to READ the verses for themselves out of their own Bibles. I was
wrong. I have added the following to the web article, to prevent future
We find each Gospel author coming straight out claiming to tell us what
exactly was written on that sign. Matthew says they put up a sign
which read, then tells us WHAT was read on the sign (Mt 27:37). Mark says THE
inscription against him read, and then tells us WHAT was read on the sign (Mk
15:26). Luke wrote there was an inscription above Jesus, then tells us what it
said (Lk 23:38). John is the most specific. John writes that Pilate wrote an
inscription, and then put that inscription on the cross, then tells us via "it
was written" exactly what WAS written on that sign (Jn 19:19). There was no
ambiguity about WHAT was written on the sign.
Let's suppose for arguments sake that the sign says:
"This is Jesus the Nazerene, King of the Jews"
Would it be incorrect to say the sign says any of the following:
"This is Jesus", "Jesus, King of the Jews", "King of the Jews", etc, etc,
Mark Smith here} You missed one of my biggest points.
WHEN you are told that someone wrote a sign, THEN you are told WHAT was
written on the sign, you expect the person telling you actually TOLD you WHAT
was written on the sign- especially when that "someone" is supposedly an
inspired holy spook.
It could be argued that indeed the sign says all of these things. What
about the different language argument you ask? Why complicate things?
There doesn't have to be more than on language to explain it.
Mark Smith here} Genius- THAT was the explanation of
your Norm Geisler, so go argue with HIM, not me.
I do not see how you can argue that deceitful christians manipulated the
scriptures as you have indicated when you have approached the matter with a
hardened heart and sinful conviction. At the very least you have proven
that you have tunnel vision.
Your article reads (with a few inserts), "Where exactly is the evidence
anyway that supports the contention that each language contained different
<or the same> information from the other languages? Where is the evidence
that each language contained unique <or not unique> information? There isn't
any!!! Once again, we see <Mark Smith> not hesitating to base theological
conclusions upon hypothetical assumptions, IF that is what's needed to save
<his faith in nothing>....But however much the Christians desire to defend
the errors of their religion, in the court of human reason <we are dealing
with God whom is perfect in every way, not imperfect humans like you or
myself> conjectures and wishful thinking are NOT admissible <No? and your
arguments are admissable? Who made you king? Does it not say
received the word with great eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to
see whether these things were so" (Acts 17:11)?>. Just because you want to
explain away a contradiction does NOT give you the right to make up
"evidence" out of thin air. No evidence? Then no argument. Case closed.
<couldn't have said it better myself!>
I really must thank you...your web site gives me new opportunities to
examine the scriptures.
Mark Smith here} And once again, hard-core Christians
show they are unable to actually THINK anything through. Yes, you have proven
to the world how hard-headed you are- congratulations, idiot.
love in Christ,
I visited your site and read your response to a previous letter in the
"sign" page. I believe that you missed the entire point of this guys
letter. You don't even comment on the content of the letter, but rather
comment on how common debating tactics and mistakes. Please specifically
address the issues that are under debate. I have no doubt about your
debating skills, however I doubt your knowledge of the subject. It appears
quite often that you attack the abilities of the deliverer and completely
ignore what was delivered. Please respond.
Mark here} That email from an "ARoss" made the following three points to me:
1) You are an unlearned person.
2) Human witnesses often give conflicting testimony.
3) Read books on logic before you advertise your own
Unless I've got my head up my ass like you do, I DID answer each of his three
"points" (if you want to call them that.) How could you have read and not
noticed that??? In fact, my responses are about equal in length to the original
email. And I DID address his #2 point, and I'm sorry you're too blind to read
it. And I'm sorry but I'm not going to play your little game of verbal bullshit.
Could you also make available to the public all of the information that is
being shared (ie emails, web sites, etc). I wrote you a letter in response
and it was not listed with my other comments. What kind of debating tactic
is this. If your aim is to persuade others that christianity is false, then
lay all the cards on the table and not the cards that will help you win the
hand. If the bible is false and you can prove it after answering all the
questions then the more power to your cause.
Mark here} No, I'm NOT going to take up valuable web site space with every email
from every lunatic religionist on the planet. YOU may think the drivel spewing
out from your keyboard is pure inspiration- others may not. As to my leaving out
any of your emails, the ONLY one I left out was an email from you saying you'd
be writing a future email. Why should I publish that, please??? As to laying ALL
the cards on the table, I go out of my way to do that- sorry you can't see that,
but it's just too dark where your head's at to see much of anything, isn't it???
I appreciate your willingness to understand scripture. I hope that you
would acknowledge the fact that your
wrong when proven wrong, just like I
would welcome such correction, but when you don't present all of the facts
to those whom may not be involved it's called deception. I am
wondering...does an athiest like
yourself consider deception a good thing or
a bad thing?
Mark here} I respond in kind. Your kind of Christian arrogance irritates me.
Your Church of Christ is full of hot air and bogus claims, I have documented
that, and you have ignored that. Who between us two cares more for the truth,
eh??? Maybe the FACT that not even one single Church of Christ on this planet
has EVER taken up my offer to debate ANY of these issues related to their stupid
religion should tell you WHO is more concerned with truth.
As to your claim that "I would welcome such
correction" let me point out somewhere you can start. In your paragraph above
you made two spelling mistakes. As any grade school student has learned, when
you are trying to write the contraction for "you are" you write it thusly:
you're. The word "your" is incorrect. And your word "athiest" should be
Love in Christ,
would just like to point out to you that the sign above Jesus was written in
4 languages: Greek, Hebrew, Aramaic, and Latin. Not three.
Inscription above the cross of Christ was written in four different languages:
Greek, Hebrew, Aramaic, and Latin. We see this when we look at
Luke 23:38 and
Luke 23:38 clearly states it was written in Greek, Latin, and Hebrew. In
John the word for "Hebrew" is hebraisti. "John
19:20 uses for this the adverbial form Hebraisti, which in gospel
usage did not mean "in Hebrew" but in the Jewish dialect of Aramaic. We know
this because wherever Hebraisti is used elsewhere, as in
20:16, the word is given in its Aramaic form, transcribed into Greek
letters," (Encyclopedia of Bible Difficulties, page 346).
i hope you read this carefully and think on it. thanks.
a concerned reader of you website
Mark Smith here} The length and complexity of my
reply to this has warranted putting it on a more important web page than this
one here. For the reply to this email, go back to
The Sign on The Cross the essay at the bottom, "The Four Language
I didn't read through all the details of the intellectual debate on
your website, because I feel finding the Creator of the universe won't be
done through "intellectualism". In spite of this, I myself have always been
fairly intellectual and an "analyzer" of things (straight A student in high
school and some college, became a certified Tax Practitioner but also a
singer and have always had interest in theological/spiritual things... So
have both right & left brain emphasis in my life. I have also been on both
sides of the Jesus debate (Born again Christian AND New Ager).
The real question is, do you really
WANT to find God, if He is real? One way to check this out within
yourself, is to ask yourself in a real hard core way, "If God WERE real, and
finding Him meant I'd have to give up my pride, my prior understanding of
things, perhaps even my intellectual moorings (again, ONLY if God were
real), the respect of my circle of friends and perhaps career associates...
If finding Him meant you'd have to give up EVERYTHING... Would you be
willing? Or would you rather (perhaps) go to hell with the (short lived)
satisfaction of a big. prideful "fuck you" at God (while he sent you to the
place you preferred to be?). This is just a hypothetical questioning for you
to do within yourself...
Mark Smith here} Valerie, I already FOUND your
gods, and lived with them for twenty years as a Christian. I know all about
your gods, and because of what I know, I reject your gods. I have "been
there, done that" when it comes to your religion. There is NOTHING new you
can teach or show me about your religion that I haven't already been exposed
to or lived thru. Your religion, bottom line, doesn't work as advertised,
and my regret is that it took me so long to realize that.
I agree with you that often (some) Christians can be arrogant when debating,
and/or give incomplete answers. But quite honestly, if you have no real
desire for the real answer if it meant you were wrong, no amount of
reasoning will satisfy you. (Not to mention the fact that Jesus said that
until you are Born again, you are blind and Cannot see Him spiritually). (I
also, by the way, see some of the same kinds of attitudes (arrogance, focus
on what you can attack in a response but bypassing the reasonable
parts...) in your website and responses).
Nonetheless (and not knowing your heart attitude toward God the Creator), I
have some short, partial, and only possible explanations... But certainly
explanations that COULD be true if you were willing to be open to the other
side of the "argument". First, generally speaking, the Bible is not an
intellectual, analytical, linear, ducks-in-a-row making things "easy-to-put
in an intellectual box" writing. It simply can't be understood that way (nor
can it be understood without the Holy Spirit's help; although,
reasoning and apologetic proofs do point towards the Bible's accuracy,
Mark Smith here} That is horseshit, for IF there
really WAS a holy spook helping Christians understand their Bible, THEN
there wouldn't be any disagreements over what it said, would there??? The
FACT that there are zillions of contradictory interpretations means that
there is NO ONE at the helm; NO ONE guiding the interpretation- it's every
man (and woman) for himself!!!
MANY times only SOME of the information is given about events and this is
Obvious throughout the Bible; sometimes other "fill-in" details are given
elsewhere--sometimes not. This was always frustrating to my intellectual
brain, but the more I know God, the more I have SOME understanding of it.
Just as ONE example of why God MIGHT choose to only include certain or "what
seem to us strange" details, is if there were a hidden code running through
the scripture. I'm not even saying there is; but simply that it's a
possible explanation why sometimes only PART of the information is given.
In any case, you can see SO many examples in scripture of this writing style
that allows for other parts of scripture to "fill in the blank", or simply
omits details we might naturally want to know, that it's a KNOWN
"commonality" to any serious student of the Bible.
Given this known fact about the Bible, that often only part of the picture
is given in a particular fragment of scripture (in the end, it all fits
together in many ways like a giant puzzle), there are a few possible
explanations to the seeming "contradictions" you've raised about the "4
signs". First, that each gives only
PART of the sign
(I.e. that "This is Jesus, the Nazarene, the King of
the Jews" was the FULL inscription put on the Cross, and that the different
Gospels only give partial renderings).
Mark Smith here} Sorry, but each gospel clearly
says NOT that this is a part of what was written on the sign, but rather
this is WHAT the sign said. You'll have to go back to the drawing board.
But I think the fact that it
was written in 3 languages is the better explanation...And that the 3
inscriptions worded it each differently.
Mark Smith here} It's really amazing how I can
totally cover something in my essays, and these Christians just totally
forget what I wrote when they type their responses. I already blew
this excuse out of the water- I see no point in repeating myself. Maybe you
should actually READ my essay before CRITICIZING my essay, eh???
Even so, the Gospel renderings could be incomplete without being WRONG...
I.e., maybe in one language it said "This is Jesus, the King of the Jews" and
as Mark was writing he only recalled the "King of the Jews" part... Even
so, what he recorded wouldn't be wrong; just incomplete.
But putting all that aside, the real question is about your heart. God says
we SUPPRESS the truth or what COULD BE KNOWN ABOUT GOD in our
unrighteousness... Either because of sin we wouldn't want to give up,
or because of the more Bottomline hard core truth that we'd have to Submit
to God if we knew He was real... That we'd have to TURN OVER the rulership
of our lives to Him. That's essentially what repentance (unto salvation)
entails... TURNING from a life of SELF rule (supposedly; but there's really
no such thing as self rule anyway... Look at the different bondages in your
life... Do you have control over every bad or self endangering habit?)...
But back to repentance.... Turning from a life of SELF rule to a life
submitted to God for Him to rule. Of course you don't HAVE to, even if you
knew He were real... You could choose to stay in rebellion against Him.
But the truth is He loves you more than you love yourself... That
the majority of His "laws" are there to PROTECT YOU
, with the same
kind of love a Mom would have when she forbids her young child to run out
into the street after his ball (even though the child may not comprehend
the danger and may feel she's "wrong" in restricting him from his zeal).
Mark Smith here} Yes, we all need such
protection from doing such horrible things, such as picking up sticks on the
Sabbath (forbidden in the Jewish Bible). And of course we all need
protection against women going to church hatless (forbidden by Paul in the
Christian Bible). Thank god we are protected from such dangers!!!
The kind of love God would pour
upon you should you choose to find Him, is beyond anything you've ever
experienced or could imagine... It more than makes up for
any difficulties in "living a Christian life"... In fact, you're willing to go
through ANYTHING just to be with Him.... But even so, He so dramatically
changes you on the INSIDE that many things you would've thought almost
impossible to give up, you no longer even WANT to do...
Mark Smith here} I know all about that "love".
Is that the same love that motivated him to create hell??? To create
disease??? To put a damn apple tree in the middle of the world's first
day-care center and expect the little kids not to eat an apple??? AND THEN,
WHEN THEY DID EAT AN APPLE (GEE! SURPRISE SURPRISE!!!) BURN THEM ALIVE FOR
ALL ETERNITY???? Yes, what loooooove, what wonderous looooove.
Please, Valeria, you seem like a nice girl- stop being blind to the truth
about this fiend (not friend) found only within the pages of the Bible. Wake
up, take off the blinders, and see this imaginary being for the monster he
is. No loving parent, regardless of what their kid did, would pour gasoline
over the kid and light him on fire. Please, see that your Biblegod is NOT
the loving parent you think he is, but rather a psychopathic monster.
I'm sure you've heard radical, born again testimonies before and I could go
On & On, but truthfully, the ball's in your court.
Love in Christ, Valerie
Subj: Dear Mark
Date: 4/6/2004 2:41:19 AM Eastern Daylight Time
From: "Kristofer Speer"
Sent from the Internet (Details)
I recently read your article about the sign on the cross. I wasn't swayed in
either direction by the article. Honestly you seemed to have built an argument
on conspiracy theories rather than facts. Yes you could probably find a
translator in the area at the time, but I don't think one was standing right
next to you at any given moment. Yes the scriptures give different accounts of
the sign, but this does not mean it did or didn't exist,
it is an inconsiquential thing to
proving anything one way or another.
Mark Smith here} It is only inconsequential for
those of us who do NOT believe in the inerrancy of the Bible. For those that
DO believe every burb & fart between the covers is "gospel truth" it is a
HUGE problem. The Fundy's claim the Bible to be 100% perfect, and that any
flaw therein disproves their religion. Remember- the strongest chain is only
as strong as it's weakest link- this contradiction is, for the Fundies, a
weak link in their chain.
I would love for you to look up accounts of roman solders, and other people
of that era, you may be surprised to find THEM writing about the cruxifiction of
some guy named Jesus.
Mark Smith here} For almost two thousand years
Christian scholars have looked for ANY mention of Jesus outside of the New
Testament, from the First Century, and have found ZERO. Certainly you must
be aware of this???
If you look at the number of e-mails being written back about the lack of
evidence on your end, you may notice a trend. Most people aren't saying "Your
wrong", they're saying "You still haven't proven it." What I'm writing you
probably don't agree with and this e-mail by it's nature is meaningless, but
it's late at night and I have nothing else to do. Just do me a favor and debate
using words other than Dumbass, and idiot. Those are used to argue, not debate.
Mark Smith here} I noticed that in your entire
email, as in most, you don't really deal with any specifics. I give specific
argument after argument proving there is a contradiction there, and answer
every single of the asinine "explanations" Christians on drugs have come up
with. All that work... and you Christians ignore it, and instead come up
with lame meaningless chatter about nothing. I may have just as well skipped
all of the research and thinking and just said "Contradiction? Is too!!!"
and you people would not have noticed the difference.
Subject: The Sign On Jesus’ Cross
Date: 10/6/2004 1:49:30 PM Pacific Standard Time
Hi dear friend,
I am emailing you in regard to the article you wrote
about the "contradiction" on the gospels about the
sign on Jesus' cross.
The Bible is indeed inspired by God and written by the
hand of men.
Mark Smith here} Well, if you claim it, it must
be true then. After all, the Bible says Christians aren't supposed to lie,
and you're a Christian, therefore you can't lie.
1. "Jesus King of the Jews" or "Jesus the Nazarene,
King of the Jews" means the same thing! - it means:
Jesus KIng of the Jews!!
Mark Smith here} Gee... I thought I covered this
in my essay? Maybe you should try reading my essay before commenting on it,
2.its like me saying a car was red with big 20 inch
wheels and you ommiting the wheels because you forgot,
did not see relevance in it or whatever reason.
3. The gospels are letters written to certain people
or churches to tell a story....like me writting to a
relative about something that made an impact on me and
you writting the same thing in tottaly different
4. Don't forget it was written by men, 2000 years ago
in thge midst of a lot of persecution and stress.
BOTTOM LINE : All 4 gospels say the IMPORTANT thing:
JESUS KING OF THE JEWS!
may God bless you.
Mark Smith here} Gosh Peter, I never saw logic
and reasoning like that before. I guess I'll just have to admit I'm wrong
and retire! Great job at refuting all my points!
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