Avoiding a hijack: a response to one version of biblical inerrancy

This thread is in response to the following post in the Present evidence for the existence of your deity thread, in order to avoid a further hijack of that thread. I will probably not spend a lot of time making any grand assertions, but the question does not need to clutter GQ, so I am posting it here:

In order: a citation for the errors in the genealogy of Jesus, viz. the genealogies of Jesus:

Matthew		Luke
Abraham		Abraham 
Isaac 		Isaac
Jacob 		Jacob 
Judah		Judah
Perez		Perez 
Hezron		Hezron
Ram 		Ram
Amminadab 	Amminadab
Nahshon 	Nahshon
Salmon		Salmon
Boaz		Boaz 
Obed		Obed
Jesse 		Jesse 
David		David
Solomon		Nathan
Rehoboam 	Menna
Abijah		Eliakim
Asa 		Joseph
Jehoshaphat 	Simeon
Jehoram 	Matthat
Uzziah		Eliezer
Jotham		Joshua
Ahaz 		Er
Hezekiah 	Elmadam
Manasseh 	Cosam
Amon 		Addi
Josiah		Melki
Jeconiah	Neri
Shealtiel 	Shealtiel     **
Zerubbabel 	Zerubbabel    **
Abihud		Joanan
Eliakim 	Josek
Azor		Mattathias
Zadok 		Naggai
Akim 		Nahum
Elihud		Mattathias
Eleazar 	Jannai 
Matthan 	Levi
Jacob 		Heli
Joseph		Joseph 

A Levirate parentage (which is a stretch given that it is not mentioned by either Gospel), fails on the clear differences between the lists. They are identical from Abraham through David, then they are totally different until we get to the Babylonian captivity, where Shealtiel and Zerubbabel show up as father and son, (agreeing with Ezra and Chronicles), then they go haring off in different directions, again until they meet at Joseph. If one wishes to posit a Levirate, you still have the problem that Shealtiel and Zerubbabel show up as part of both chains with different ancestors and different progeny, (and neither agree with Chronicles regarding the father of Shealtiel even though Matthew points to the Captivity at that point).
Appeals to a genealogy of Mary fail on the fact that while inclusion in Judaism is matrilineal, all official offices among the Jews, (such as kingship and priesthood), are patrilineal–and the books themselves both claim that the genealogy goes to Joseph, not Mary. (Why are you doubting the words of scripture on that point?)

As to you having to become an expert on different fields, you get no sympathy from me. I am quite well informed on all the issues raised in these threads, (barring some of the esoteric Physics issues), and I can keep up. In addition, I responded to YOUR claim about the historical nature of scripture. If you don’t have the expertise, then don’t raise the issue.

Following on that statement, combined with your own assertion about the Messiah, I will point out that the vast majority of “messianic prophecies” that Matthew asserts were fullfilled are pretty much things he made up.
The following is the short list of actual Messianic prophecies to which the Jewish people have looked for some 2500 years. Look them up and see how few have actually been fullfilled:

Isaiah 9: 1 - 6
Isaiah 11: 1 - 10
Isaiah 32: 1 - 5
Micah 5: 1, 3 - 8
Jeremiah 23: 5 - 6 and 32: 15 - 16
Jeremiah 30: 9
Hosea 3: 5
Ezekiel 17: 23
Ezekiel 34: 23 ff
Ezekiel 37: 24 ff
Haggai 2: 23
Zechariah 3: 8
Zechariah 6: 12
Zechariah 9: 9 - 10

All the rest of the “prophecies” involved creating incidents in the life of Jesus that would seem to match some ancient text. The most notorious of these, of course, is the Virgin Birth. The Immanuel passage of Isaiah 7:14, alluded to by Matthew 1:23 was never considered Messianic in Judaism, and depends on a mistranslation to even get included. In the Hebrew scripture, Isaiah says that a young woman will give birth to a son and that before he is old enough to know right from wrong, God will lay waste to the kings threatening Judea. When the Septuagint, the Greek translation of the Hebrew Bible, was created, the translators grabbed a word in Greek that could be understood to mean virgin, and Matthew based his “prophecy” on that mistranslation. The Hebrew word used in the passage does not mean virgin, and never has. (Ironically, many Christian churches reject the Septuagint, while relying on its Greek New Testament offshoots.)

So, I am afraid that your persistent claims that “atheists” will reject anything by Christians is simply outlandish special pleading that is not based on reality. I learned all the problems with the texts that you have tried to use to support your position while studying theology, not reading “atheist” tracts. If you are unaware of those issues, you should probably consider going off and studying the topics for several years before you make any more bogus accusations.

I did some research on this subject for a debate that didn’t materialize.

Here’s some info I dug up:
From here:

The following comes from a footnote here (I think it’s interesting):

Another resolution put forward from apologists is that Jesus was adopted by Joseph and therefore was legally in line for the Davidic thrown. The problem with this is that there is no support at all that Jews around this time period had any sort of custom like this (1, 2). According to this source (1), Jewish law now and back then do not have any such ‘legal institutions’. The author also points out that the stories in the bible that are close to adoption are “cases of adoption within the existing family, often by women, who had little, if any, legal status to pass on, and in no case can it be shown that such an ‘adoption’ had any legal consequences” (1). The authors of this article speculate that the resulting contradiction was the result of Roman customs and intrusion into the Gospels. The author states “we must remember that while Joseph, Mary, and Jesus did live in Judea, the Gospels of Matthew and Luke were presumably written elsewhere” (1). So you could theoretically concede that neither Matthew nor Luke were writing history, as the author is suggesting, then that would be one way to explain the passages. Obviously Roman customs would not validate Jewish messianic expectations and the contradiction would still stand.

Wow, tom. I’m godsmacked! Nice post.

Not only that, but that particular prophecy was thought to have already been fulfilled (with Hezekiah).

The Jews at the time criticized Christianity for this, from Justin Martyr’s dialogue with Trypho:

Baring any new evidence coming in, it looks like Jesus just wasn’t in the right family to fulfill that prophesy.
Are there any prophesies he did fulfill?

How about this one: Matthew 2:23 And he came and dwelt in a city called Nazareth: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophets, He shall be called a Nazarene.

Hmmm… wait, there is a problem here. None of the prophets ever mentioned Nazareth or that the Messiah was going to be a Nazarene.

OK, then there MUST be something else. Surely all these folks asserting the wonderous fulfillment of OT prophecies can’t all be wrong. Let’s see…

This looks good: Matthew 27:9 Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by Jeremiah the prophet, saying, And they took the thirty pieces of silver, the price of him that was valued, whom they of the children of Israel did value.

After all, according to the story, Judas Iscariot took thirty pieces of silver in exchange for betraying Jesus, right? But, we still have a problem. Looks like Matthew, that bastion of Judaism, got his prophets confused. It was Zechariah 11:12 And I said unto them, If ye think good, give me my price; and if not, forbear. So they weighed for my price thirty pieces of silver.

This doesn’t look good.

Hmm…How about prophecies that Christians thought applied to Jesus/Messiah, but actually didn’t?

Such as the one about Jesus being born of a virgin?

Isaiah 7:14 Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.

The earliest apologists had to contend with their Jewish critics on this one. In his Dialogue with Trypho, Trypho says:

BTW, I must insist that the prophecy must have been made and publicized before the event it supposedly predicts-No Postdictions, Please. I’m afraid this eliminates most found in the New Testament.

I knew you were going to say that.

Wasn’t their a prediction about riding into Jerusalem on an ass, which he did in order to fulfill the prophecy?
The stuff out of his control, not so much.

The part I’ve always wondered about that one… Why does Matthew say that Mary naming her son Jesus fulfills a prophecy that says he’d be named Immanuel? You’d think that if the name part were insignificant, he’d just leave it off, but so far as I can tell, the only match there is that she named him at all. Surely the mere act of a mother naming her newborn doesn’t warrant a prophecy?

Technically it was one of many prophecies to king Ahaz. Basically Christians just plucked this one out and ignored that it was fulfilled with Hezekiah. It’s not a referring to Messiahs at all.

Behold, a child shall be born, and his mother shall think he is a good boy, and very handsome.

How far was he thrown?

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    Apparently very far since he hasn’t come back down yet.