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-Newsweek’s ‘Sinful’ Portrayal of the Bible

by Dr. D ~ January 8th, 2015

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The owners and editors of Newsweek Magazine decided to begin 2015 by resurrecting their failed magazine. For some reason they thought it would be a good idea to start over by trying to destroy the Bible and Christianity and by offending hundreds of millions of Christians.

They probably figured that the controversy would be good for publicizing their re-start. They could have done far better if publicity is what they wanted, they could have gone after the Quran and Islam and had their offices attacked rather than merely stirring up hundreds of written responses from Christians.

The offending cover article was entitled-  “The Bible: So Misunderstood It’s a Sin” by Kurt Eichenwald. Eichenwald is known to be an accomplished award winning journalist and writer in the area of finance and business. But in this case he is far outside his normal area of competence and has chosen to write a scurrilous screed full of half truths and questionable research against the Bible with an obvious bias against conservative American Christianity. The real ‘sin’ is how he misunderstands and misrepresents the Bible, traditional Christian teaching, and millions of Christian believers.

<Read the rest of the article on the Apologetica page>

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3 Responses to -Newsweek’s ‘Sinful’ Portrayal of the Bible

  1. Brian

    As you know, Dr. D, I sometimes dig into a topic/article that you have discussed and try to find other “problems” beyond your article.

    On this one, there are so many problems I know not where to begin.

    Consider Luke 3:16: Eichenwald argues that there is an obvious error in the text, since this verse begins with John The Baptist “answering” them, but no one had asked a question. The problem is that the prior verse states that John’s followers were debating “in their hearts” the question that John subsequently answered — i.e. no physical question was asked, but in the context it makes perfect sense.

    Eichenwald argues that the “sun-worshiping” Constantine moved the Christian Sabbath to Sunday at the Council of Nicaea. Acts refers to Christians meeting on the “first day” of the week. And we have considerable evidence that early (pre-Nicaea) Christians met on the first day of the week, Sunday.

    And, did the Counsel of Nicaea create the doctrine of the Trinity, as Eichenwald claims? Then explain the following: “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” And, before anyone asks, we have solid documentary evidence for the existence of this quotation in parchment dating BEFORE the counsel of Nicaea. Indeed, several of the Church fathers (Origen, for one) had mentioned the word “Trinity” in their writings referring to God over a century BEFORE Nicaea.

    What did happen at Nicaea was that Arianism was debated and rejected. Arius argued that Jesus was a created being, subordinate to God — God Light, so to speak. Mainstream Christianity then (as now) held that Jesus and God were one (compare John 1:1).

    By the way, the final vote at Nicaea on Arianism vs mainstream Christianity was 2 Arians vs 316 mainstream votes.

    He expounds at some length on the “discrepancies” between two accounts of Jesus’ birth. Just let me say that the events of Luke involve the days immediately before and after the birth, while Matthew 2 picks up the narrative when Jesus was a toddler. (the Greek word used indicates that Jesus was a “toddler” living in a “house” when the Wise Men arrived – plus remember that Herod asked the Wise Men, when they visited Jerusalem when was Jesus born? Then Herod orders all males “up to two years” in Bethlehem killed — Herod knew he was looking for a toddler.

    If the two accounts were identical (and this is true about other Gospel events), Eichenwald would argue that we don’t have corroboration. In order to have different accounts, to provide independent corroboration, we would need accounts that provide different details, describe events from different perspectives, and include different events that other accounts don’t have. We have that in the Gospels, but because we have 4 different accounts, Eichenwald argues that the accounts are not reliable.

    I could go on and on and on….

  2. Dr. D

    Thanks Brian, all good points as usual. I debated on whether to answer the Newsweek article point by point and decided against it since it would probably involve at least ten pages and a 100 references or so since there are so many errors and false characterizations in the work.
    Here are several answers that I have done in the past to address similar points made by Eichenwald:
    -Sunday worship: Sunday or Sabbath Worship?
    -NT Writings: -NT Writing About Jesus Came Much Later?
    The works of Dr. Bart Ehrman provided much of Eichenwald’s NT textual understanding. Here’s a link to my extensive evaluation of Ehrman’s “Misquoting Jesus“.

  3. Dr. D

    In fact Brian, after re-reading my answer to Ehrman’s “Misquoting Jesus” I realize that it deals with nearly all of the NT textual points that Eichenwald makes in his article and then some.

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