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Evil Men and Seducers Again

Evil Men and Seducers Again
By Jack Kinsella

Somebody sent me a link to a website whose publisher allegedly claims to expose the errors in the Bible, which he claims are legion.

I read the page and found it to be pretty typical of the genre. I once had a big thick book called, “The Encylopedia of Biblical Errancy” that made the same claims. Interestingly enough, they chose all the same alleged ‘errors’ and made almost the identical mistakes in misreading the Bible text in question.

As I was thumbing through it, I was amused to think that somebody probably worked on this thing for years, staying up late, reading dusty books, drinking too much coffee…and this was all he had to show for his efforts.

Bible debunkers get a big kick out of ‘proving’ alleged Biblical contradictions — particularly to new Christians, who are easy prey for these kind of spiritual predators.

This particular website was proudly signed by one Joseph Francis Alward, who devoted his efforts to proving the Bible’s arithmetic doesn’t add up.

Alward introduces his subject, saying, “Because creation lasted six days and God rested on the seventh, the number seven is perhaps the most sacred in the Old Testament.”

“Likewise, he writes, “multiples of seven are part of what Old Testament writers MAY have regarded as a divine arithmetic. Thus, one speaks of a week of days, or a week of years (seven years). The prophet Daniel, for example, predicted that there would be a period of seventy weeks (490 years) from the end of the Babylonian exile until the coming of the Messiah (Daniel 9:24-27)”.

Well, what do you think so far? Do you see where the guy jumps off the cliff in his first two sentences? His case begins on the premise that the number seven is ‘perhaps the most sacred in the Old Testament’ and rests on the assumption that ‘multiples of seven are part of what Old Testament writers MAY have regarded as a divine arithmetic’.

Two assumptions, both wrong, that when added together, invent the Bible ‘fact’ he is about to debunk.

“As we shall see below,” writes Alward, “Matthew, apparently in a misguided belief that Jesus’ genealogy should contain a prophetic numerical pattern based on divine “weeks”, forced Jesus’ genealogy into a grouping of two “weeks” of ancestors, and in so doing, had to omit four names, and count one twice.”

This would be amusing if such trash were not so spiritually deadly. So, as Alward says in his invitation, let’s ‘see below’ (I wonder if that was a Freudian slip?)

“Let us now take a close look at Matthew’s genealogy of Jesus to see how his verses have been deceiving readers for almost two thousand years.” Alward writes, before dropping his bombshell:

“We have taken the genealogy listed in Matthew 1:1-16 and compared it to the genealogy in 1 Chronicles 1:34 – 3:17. Readers who check Chronicles will note that Jacob’s old name, Israel, was used. The names shown in the brackets–Ajaziah, Joash, Amaziah, and Jeohoiakim–appear in Chronicles but not in Matthew.”

Alward is entirely correct in that those four names were omitted by Matthew’s geneology, but that is the only accurate thing contained in his entire ‘refutation’.

Having already added two assumptions about the number 7 to create a ‘fact’ he bolsters that ‘fact’ with yet a THIRD assumption, then a fourth, until he has invented his own doctrine.

“The generations from Abraham to David are, indeed, fourteen, just as Matthew said. But, the second group of names poses a problem for Matthew. The Old Testament shows that from David until the carrying away into Babylon are eighteen generations, not fourteen.”

Having discovered this ‘secret’ that Alward evidently believes went unnoticed for two thousand years or more, he continues;

“The four names in the brackets seem to have been deliberately snipped out of the list by someone, perhaps Matthew, perhaps to fit the imagined or hoped-for prophecy pattern. It is not as if these men were insignificant; two of them–Ahaziah and Jehoiakim–were kings.”

Alward assumes the four names were ‘snipped’ by ‘perhaps’ Matthew, ‘perhaps’ to fit what he ASSUMES IS an ‘imagined or hoped for prophecy pattern’ contained in the three groups of fourteen.

Alward continues to build his house of cards carefully, so that they’ll fall apart easily when he is ready to ‘prove’ his alleged ‘case’.

“We will perhaps never know whether Matthew deliberately omitted the four names from his genealogy, or whether the sources upon which he based his writings were incomplete or faked,” concludes Alward.

“Either way, it is evident that there were not, as Matthew asserts, fourteen generations from David to the time of the exile into Babylon; there were eighteen.”

Alward explains away some unheard-of ‘inerrantist’ (presumably a Christian?) that he quotes on his website, so that he can pick the ‘explanation apart.

And he goes on, from false assumptions right on through to misrepresenting the facts already in evidence…

“Thus, according to this fundamentalist’s logic, it would have been legitimate for Matthew, for example, to have made a list of fourteen names beginning with Adam and ending with Jesus and claimed that “there are fourteen generations between Adam and Jesus” (there are actually dozens).”

Dozens? Let’s see. 14 + 4 (the four omitted names) comes to, ummm, 18?

Out of his carefully constructed collection of assumptions and misrepresentations, Alward smugly concludes; “This is an obvious contrivance, invented to hide evidence which clearly shows that the Bible is in error.”


One of the difficulties in debating with such folks is the rule of law. You have to obey it, and they don’t. The Bible is a book of law.

You are bound by what it says, whereas your debate opponent gets to make up anything he wants to rebutt your point. How many times have you heard somebody say, “But, doesn’t the Bible say…” when it doesn’t, but that doesn’t seem to make any difference to them?

That is one reason guys like this can sound so convincing.

Alward takes as his ‘proof text’ Matthew 1:17

“So all the generations from Abraham to David are fourteen generations; and from David until the carrying away into Babylon are fourteen generations; and from the carrying away into Babylon unto Christ are fourteen generations.”

As Alward correctly noted, Ahaziah, Joash, Amaziah, and Jeoiakim were excluded by Matthew in his geneology. But Alward’s case was built on the assumption it was to make the generations come out to fourteen for some mystical reason. Nowhere else in Scripture does this alleged fourteen-year “prophetic pattern” find any support.

Alward just made it up so that he could ‘disprove’ it. (Not very honest for an alleged seeker of truth.)

What’s the real story? Why WERE those four names omitted? Was Matthew trying to doctor the text to make Jesus seem more Divine, as Alward claims?

‘Disproving’ Scripture takes a lot of contorting and explaining. Truth is much simpler.

According to the Law in Deuteronomy 29:20 the names of idolaters are to be ‘blotted out’ forever in Israel.

Being true to the Law (as Matthew was), Ahaziah, Joash, Amaziah, and Jeoiakim were all omitted since they were idol worshippers who had ritually corrupted the people of Judah. Matthew merely followed Jewish Law as was customarily observed by religious Jews of the time. Nothing contrived about that.

Alward assumes Matthew omitted four names to make it ‘come out right’ to prove Jesus’ Divinity. But Matthew’s geneology was intended to establish in the mind of the Jewish reader Christ’s legal right to the throne of David. A right descending from Father to Son. And adopted or not, Jesus was the legal heir to that throne.

Matthew wanted to make the Jews dealt with that fact. It’s as simple as that.

But guys like Alward can’t see it, which, ironically, strengthens the case for Biblical inerrancy. “But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty.” (1 Corinthians 1:27)

Note this well. In the course of weaving his web, he created a doctrine of his own making, which is what made it so easy to pick apart. But all the while, it sounds like he is disproving the Bible, instead.

It is the mission in life for such people to convince others that the Bible is wrong, and there is no God. They are as fervent in their desire to win converts as are Christians, without ever realizing why. Their mission isn’t, as they suppose, ‘self-appointed’ — they just think it is.

The most effective agents the enemy has don’t even know who they are working for. And if they can, they will lead you down the path of assumption to the streets of doubt before you know it.

The very first sentence of the very first Psalm gives the formula for understanding; “Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.”

Note the progression; Walking, standing, sitting. That is exactly what happens to new Christians who get blindsided by such enemy tricks as Alward’s website, or the presumptuously named ‘Encyclopedia of Biblical Errancy’.

We are in the fight of the millennium, a spiritual battle so intense it is about to spill out into our universe. Our only real weapon, Paul tells us, is the “Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God.” (Ephesians 6:17)

The enemy’s tactic is to make us doubt the strength and sharpness of our Sword, so that our faith in it falters during the coming battle. The only way to combat this tactic is to have faith in the Word. Especially when it is under assault.

“Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.” (Ephesians 6:16)

God’s Word WILL stand all tests. Count on it.

“Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.” (Ephesians 6:13)

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