This conversation began when I pursued an individual who had entered a Christian chat room and posted very profane and insulting things about Jesus. He flooded the room with blasphemous text. I knew he would be bounced from the room, so I quickly opened up a private chat with him so as not to lose contact with him and hopefully be able to witness in spite of my deficiencies. This dialogue is that chat that we had. However, I removed the foul language. Also, he wrote in all caps.
I would like to add that I used a speech recognition program that converts speech into writing. This explains why I have so much more text than he does.
Matt: I'm not angry with you. Just curious.
Dan: STOP FOOLING YOURSELF WITH THIS ******. THE BIBLE WAS WRITTEN BY A MAN . . . SOMEBODY MADE UP THE BIBLE.
Matt: Actually, it was written by about 40 men over about 1600 years. It is impossible that it would be made by one person.
Dan: YEAH . . . AND HOW DO YOU TRUST THE MEN'S WORD? THE BIBLE IS ALL LIES.
Matt: I do a lot of research. So what in the Bible is lies?
Dan: JESUS WAS JUST AN ORDINARY PERSON JUST LIKE ME AND YOU.
Matt: How you know? How do you know Jesus even lived?
Dan: [DAN, not his real name, put in a website that was very offensive]
Matt: Okay, nice website. So why the hatred?
Dan: IT IS NOT HATE . . . IT IS THE TRUTH.
Matt: So what is the truth? You haven't said anything of any substance yet. All you have done is cussed. [I removed the cussing].
Dan: RELIGION IS JUST A TOOL USED BY YOU FANATIC ******* TO FOOL HUMANS. I CAN PROVE ALL RELIGIONS WRONG.
Matt: Religion is a tool for a lot of people. Religion has been used by many people to control others.
Matt: There are a lot of wackos out there.
Dan: HOW CAN A HUMAN BE GOD'S CREATIONS WHEN A HUMAN CAN CREATE A HUMAN?
Matt: That is not necessarily a logical question. There can be a creator . . . and mankind can create. Just because people can make things does not mean that God does not exist.
Dan: I DIDN'T SAY GOD DOES NOT EXIST . . . I AM TRYING TO PROVE BIBLE TORAH AND QURAN WRONG
Matt: I would help you with the Quran. But I have to admit the Bible has intrigued me.
Dan: LOL WHATEVER MAN . . . YOU AR BLINDED WITH STUPIDITY . . . LOL ARE YOU ON CRACK ?
Matt: Naw, I'm not stupid. What you assume to be true will sometimes be proven to be true if all you seek is what you want to be true. There is far more to this world than you are aware of.
Dan: I WILL NOT BELIEVE IN ANYTHING UNLESS I SEE THE TRUTH FOR MYSELF . . . I NEVER BELIEVE THAT SOMEONE CAN CURE THE BLIND 2000 YEARS AGO.
Matt: Well, I don't think that is a very logical statement for you to make. I mean, can you prove your mother is your mother? Did you watch or give birth? Do you remember it? Can you prove it? If you will not believe anything unless you see it for yourself, then how do you know you have internal organs?
Dan: WELL . . . THEY DO A DNA TEST ON ME THEN IT WILL BE PROVEN . . .
Matt: Will you watch them do the DNA test and will you see the results and comprehend them? Or will you simply trust what someone tells you? I'm only trying to point out that you're not being logically consistent.
Dan: WELL . . . THERE IS NO NEED TO DO THAT . . .
Matt: How do you know?
Dan: WHY SHOULD I DO THAT . . .
Matt: Because you are the one who told me that you will not believe anything unless you see it for yourself.
Dan: GIVE ME A REASON WHY I SHOULD PROVE THAT I AM MY MOTHER'S SON
Matt: I'm simply going by your criteria--your standard. It was just an example. By the way, I have a large website where I put various dialogues from real conversations with people. Since this is a private message, I need to ask your permission. Would it be OK, if I wanted to, to put this dialogue on my website? If you say no, that is fine.
Dan: IT IS FINE WITH ME
Matt: Thank you.
Dan: I ALWAYS WANT THE PROOF . . . I WILL NOT FOLLOW SOMETHING BLINDLY.
Matt: Anyway, I was just trying to demonstrate that your illogic was not very good. If that is the criteria that you are using to demonstrate truth, then you are being inconsistent. If you are being inconsistent, then how can you know what truth really is?
Dan: JUST BECAUSE IT IS WRITTEN IN BIBLE ISN'T SUFFICIENT.
Matt: Proof is a negotiable thing. Different people require different amounts of verification before it is considered proof. And, I agree. Just because it is written in the Bible doesn't mean it's true. There would have to be something about the Bible or contained in the Bible that would set it apart from other works. If you're interested, I could tell you some of those things. And you could look them up for yourself.
Dan: TELL ME
Matt: I would like to put some verses in here and have you tell me what it's about. I won't hint or do anything, okay?
Matt: "My strength is dried up like a potsherd, And my tongue cleaves to my jaws; And Thou dost lay me in the dust of death. 16 For dogs have surrounded me; A band of evildoers has encompassed me; They pierced my hands and my feet. 17 I can count all my bones. They look, they stare at me; 18 They divide my garments among them, And for my clothing they cast lots." What does that sound like to you? Or what does it remind you of if anything?
Dan: IT IS SOMETHING ABOUT CRUCIFIXION.
Matt: Yes, you are correct. That was from Psalm 22. That Psalm was written about 1000 years before Christ was born. In fact, that Psalm begins with the verse "My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?" which is what Jesus quoted on the cross. The point is this. The Bible contains prophecy--detailed prophecy about Christ--that has come true. No other book has this.
Dan: HOW DO YOU KNOW IT WAS WRITTEN 1000 YEARS BEFORE CHRIST . . . DO YOU HAVE ANY PROOF TO BACK UP YOUR CLAIMS?
Matt: That's a good question. Here's the answer.
Matt: The Old Testament was completed around 400 B.C. This is a historic fact, and there is nobody anywhere of any educational level who's studied it that disagrees with this. In the 1940s a shepherd boy in the Israel area accidentally discovered a pot full of ancient manuscripts. Some of them were dated around 100 years before Christ.
Dan: GOD ALONE KNOWS THE FUTURE . . . BUT ONLY A HISTORIAN CAN ALTER THE PAST . . . THUS . . . NO HISTORIAN SHOULD BE TRUSTED IMPLICITLY.
Matt: Anyway, the Old Testament can be verified to have been written before Christ was born. Therefore the Psalm was written long before Jesus was ever born. There is enough archaeological evidence to substantiate the validity and accuracy of the Old Testament.
Dan: YOU SAID THAT PSALM WAS WRITTEN 1000 YEARS BEFORE CHRIST . . . I WANT PROOF FROM YOU.
Matt: Well, that might be difficult to produce here in text chat.
Matt: If I were to quote the Bible scholars to you, would you believe them?
Dan: NO . . . I BELIEVE WHAT I SEE . . . NOT WHAT I HEAR.
Matt: If I were to point you to books or magazines that discuss the issue archeologically and demonstrate that the Old Testament was written before Christ, would you believe them?
Dan: DROP ME A LINK . . . BUT THEIR ARGUMENT IS FLAWED . . . THEY CAN NOT DETERMINE THE EXACT BIRTHDAY FOR CHRIST . . . THEY CAN NOT EVEN SAY IF CHRIST EXISTED . . . IT IS JUST BASED ON SPECULATIONS AND GUESSINGS. NO REAL TRUTH . . . BIBLE IS A BOOK WHICH HAS CHANGED FROM GENERATION TO GENERATION . . . NO ONE REALLY KNOWS WHO THE AUTHOR IS.
Matt: I have a link for you. It is about the Septuagint. The Septuagint is the Greek translation of the Hebrew Old Testament done around 250 B.C. http://www.septuagint.net/ This can be used to support the premise that the Psalms were written before the birth of Christ. Now, as far as the Bible having been changed from generation to generation. That is not the case. The New Testament, for example, has thousands of ancient copies in existence from very close to the time of Christ up to several hundred years ago. If the Bible had been changed, then the changes would have been made evident in the copies through the centuries. The New Testament, to continue the example, is 99% textually pure. That means that of all the ancient New Testament documents, there is very little manuscript deviation. Most of the deviations are word order changes, misspellings, etc.. They do not affect the meaning or the accuracy of the text.
Dan: LOL YOU DON'T BELIEVE ME IF I TELL YOU I HAVE SEEN 100 VERSIONS OF BIBLE . . . THERE ARE PREACHERS WHO COME TO MY HOUSE EVERYDAY AND TELL ME THAT JESUS WAS BORN IN AMERICA.
Matt: Well, I don't know what preachers would tell you that Jesus was born in America. But Micah 5:2 (that is in the Old Testament, 500 B.C.) tells us that Jesus was born in Bethlehem. Also, all the preachers I know stick to the Bible and what it actually says.
Dan: SO YOU SEE . . . CHRISTIANITY IS FLAWED . . . BECAUSE THERE ARE DIFFERENT VERSIONS OF BIBLE . . . HOW DO I KNOW WHICH OF IS THE REAL BIBLE. OR IS IT REAL AT ALL ? IS IT THE WORD OF GOD OR NOT?
Matt: It isn't an issue of the "real" Bible. The reason we have different versions of the Bible is not that they are contradictory but that language changes, and the new translations are simply keeping up with the language changes of the times. That's all. Also, the Greek language (the language used in the New Testament) is a very powerful and interesting language. Translating it into English does not always give the full depth of meaning. There are shades of meaning in the Greek that do not exist in English sometimes. Therefore, one translation might be slightly different in emphasis from that of another.
Matt Slick: But this is to be expected when translating any language into another one. I hope this does not sound boastful, but I have had 4 1/2 years of studying Greek in college and graduate school. So, I can take a Greek New Testament, and I can tell you that it is translated properly in our contemporary Bibles.
Dan: YOU GOTTA ACCEPT THE TRUTH . . . THERE IS NO EVIDENCE THAT PSALMS WAS WRITTEN 1000 YEARS AGO BEFORE CHRIST . . .
Matt: Yes, there is evidence. The Septuagint is enough proof to demonstrate that the Old Testament was written before the New Testament was. This brings us to an interesting point. If it is true that the Psalms were written before Christ was born, then its description of the crucifixion would mean to you that there is some prophetic validity to the Bible . . . but if you do not want to believe the Bible and you will not allow yourself to believe the evidence in support of the ancient authorship of the Psalms . . .
Dan: YEAH RIGHT . . . BUT I CANT SEE THE TRUTH . . . THAT'S NOT ENOUGH FOR ME TO ACCEPT . . . JUST BECAUSE SOME HISTORIAN TRANSLATED THE PSALMS DOESN'T MEAN ANYTHING TO ME.
Matt: What would you accept as validity? Here is another link that you can look at on the Web about the Psalms. http://www.brite.tcu.edu/people/Faculty/Craven/Psalms/introduction.html#timeframe. Again, what would constitute sufficient evidence for you in order to validate the prophetic truth of the Bible?
Dan: IF THEY BRING ME THE TORAH . . . THE 1000 YEARS OLD TORAH AND THEY VERIFY THAT THE PAPER WHICH IS USED IN MAKING THE BOOK IS 1000 YEARS OLD AND THEN THEY BRING ME THE BODY OF CHRIST AND VERIFY THAT IT WAS CRUCIFIED AND THAT IT BELONGED TO JESUS THEN I WILL BELIEVE IN CHRISTIANITY AND I GO TO CHURCH EVERYDAY. BUT SINCE YOU CAN NOT DO THAT . . . THEN I WILL REJECT CHRISTIANITY.
Matt: You have a problem there. Your requirements are rather impossible. It seems as though you have constructed requirement that cannot be met. Then, am I right in concluding that the issue with you is not whether or not the Bible is true; rather, isn't it that you desire a reason to deny its truth?
Dan: SO IS YOUR FAITH . . . YOUR FAITH IS IMPOSSIBLE ILLOGICAL.
Matt: It is not impossible nor illogical. A demonstration of the validity of the Old Testament can be reasonably made. However, the New Testament states that the body of Christ was resurrected and that Jesus, who claimed to be God in flesh, ascended into heaven. He is presently dwelling in the heavens and will return one day. So, getting his body is a little tough. The eyewitnesses of the New Testament wrote what they saw. They wrote about the resurrection of Christ. There was no reason for them to lie since to do so would have meant their deaths. In a culture they lived in, their claim that Christ was the Messiah who had risen from the dead cost them their families, their livelihood, and eventually their lives . . . as it did. It is most logical to conclude that they were telling the truth.
Dan: THIS DISCUSSION TAKES US NO WHERE AS I TOLD YOU . . . I WANT A VALID PROOF . . . I DON'T BELIEVE IN HISTORY . . . NOR I DO BELIEVE IN PEOPLE'S GUESSINGS.
Matt: If that is how you want it, then why don't you see if you live that way. See if you are consistent in what you require proof for and what you just except by faith. And then see if you are being consistent in what you require as proof about who Christ is.
[He stopped at this point, so I added this last statement].
Matt: Thank you for the conversation. You can always get a hold of me through my website, www.carm.org.
I cannot help thinking how little our witnessing can accomplish apart from the blessing of God. Only he can open the hearts and minds of people, so that they might see the truth of the gospel.