The Instigator
Pro (for)
10 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
5 Points

Christianity is False

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Post Voting Period
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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/1/2013 Category: Religion
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 991 times Debate No: 35206
Debate Rounds (4)
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Votes (3)




I realized I've never debated this topic on DDO.

Resolved: Christianity is False

Burden of Proof is shared.

To avoid semantics, frustration, and confusion, Con will assume the Bible is completely and literally true.


Only 3 contentions max. This is so we can both have ample space to refute, hopefully.

No Forfeits
No Insults
72 Hours to Post Argument
8000 Characters Max
1 Week Voting Period
First round is for acceptance only


Ok, I accept, bring on your three contentions
Debate Round No. 1


Thanks Daley.

My basic argument is like so,

1. 2 Timothy 3:16 says “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness,”
2. God is suppose to be perfect
3. His scripture is full of errors making it imperfect
4. A perfect God can't breath an imperfect book

C. Christianity is false

Since it's assumed by Con that the Bible is completely and literally true, premise 3 is the one he must refute and I must defend.

Argument 1: Geocentrism

The scriptures seem to subscribe to the outdated Geocentric model of the Solar System.

Joshua 10:12-13

12 Then spake Joshua to the Lord in the day when the Lord delivered up the Amorites before the children of Israel, and he said in the sight of Israel, Sun, stand thou still upon Gibeon; and thou, Moon, in the valley of Ajalon.

13 And the sun stood still, and the moon stayed, until the people had avenged themselves upon their enemies. Is not this written in the book of Jasher? So the sun stood still in the midst of heaven, and hasted not to go down about a whole day.

The only way this can work is if the sun goes around the Earth.This is an outdated model, proven by many lines of evidence.

*Stellar parallax [1]
*Basic Gravity [2]
*Stellar aberration [3]

We also know the Earth rotates by the effects it produces. Like,

* Coriolis effect [4]

* Foucault pendulum [5].

There's many more problems with the Geocentric model [6]

Argument 2: Contradiction between Jesus' birth

The Problem

The Gospel of Luke claims (2.1-2) that Jesus was born during a census that we know from the historian Josephus took place after Herod the Great died, and after his successor, Archelaus, was deposed. But Matthew claims (2.1-3) that Jesus was born when Herod the Great was still alive--possibly two years before he died (2:7-16). Other elements of their stories also contradict each other. Since Josephus precisely dates the census to 6 A.D. and Herod's death to 4 B.C., and the sequence is indisputable, Luke and Matthew contradict each other.” - Richard Carrier [7]

Many have tried to refute this contradiction, yet none have succeed. Some have tried to claim that Quirinius was governor twice. In Roman history there's no evidence that someone ever governed a province twice. Further evidence show there was no possible way for him to be governor twice, since we know who was governor between 12-3 B.C. Richard Carrier refutes every apologist answer to this contraction in source [7].

...this becomes an irreconcilable contradiction after an examination of all the relevant facts.” - Richard Carrier

Argument 3: Failed Archeology

Walls of Jericho

In the 1930s, an archaeological expedition was led by a man named John Gerstang. He hoped to find evidence of the Jericho walls as described in the bible. The evidence from his journey came up to what he believed to be conclusive. He found broken fragments of pottery in some houses that were built over the walls and dated them to about 1400 B.C. In the time and place where the bible said! [8]

However, further investigation continued by Kathleen Kenyon proved Gerstang to be wrong. She proved the walls were destroyed about a thousand years before Gerstang’s date! That's 2,300 B.C! Her interpretation is accepted by archaeologists today, not Gerstang’s! There also couldn't have been another wall, because the evidence between 1400 and 1300 BC shows there was only one tiny building and some tombs. Jericho wouldn't have been settled and they would've found just a few huts or possibly nothing at all in the time of 1300 B.C. The bible was wrong, again.[9][10][11][12]

Thanks, now to Con.

[2] Curtis Wilson, "The Newtonian achievement in astronomy", pages 233–274
[9] Ibid
[10] Davidson & Leaney, Biblical Criticism: p46
[11] Fox, The Unauthorized Version: p226-227
[12] Stiebing, Out of the Desert: p46-47


Sun stood still
Joshua 10 doesn"t say that the sun stood still by natural means, for that would contradict science. Rather, it says Joshua prayed for help and God answered by stopping the sun supernaturally. Unless Pro can prove there is no God, which isn"t the subject of this debate anyway, he hasn"t shown the Bible to be wrong. If an omnipotent God exists who spoke the universe into being, surely he can do as he pleases with it.

Geocentric Model
We often say in modern language that the sun rises and sets even though we know it doesn"t travel over and under the earth; so is Pro going to accuse most of humanity of holding a geocentric model too? No, we use this language because this is how it looks from our vantage point, and Joshua 10 is written from a human vantage point where it seemed like the sun stood still. While God could have done this by stopping the earth"s rotation, alternatively, he could have made a refraction of solar and lunar light rays to produce the same effect.

Quirinius and Jesus" Birth
In 1764 an inscription known as the Lapis Tiburtinus was found in Rome, which contains information most scholars acknowledge could apply only to Quirinius. (Corpus Inscriptionum Latinarum, edited by H."Dessau, Berlin, 1887, Vol. 14, p. 397, No. 3613) It contains the statement that on going to Syria he became governor (or, legate) for "the second time." On the basis of inscriptions found in Antioch containing Quirinius" name, many historians acknowledge that Quirinius was also governor of Syria in the B.C.E. period. Many scholars, in view of the evidence of an earlier governorship by Quirinius, suggest the years 3-2"B.C.E. The census mentioned in the Bible took place around that time.

Herod's Death
In dating the time that Herod was appointed king by Rome, Josephus locates the event as occurring during the rule of certain Roman consuls. According to this, Herod"s appointment as king would be in 40"B.C.E. By the same method Josephus places Herod"s capture of Jerusalem in 37"B.C.E., but he also says that this occurred 27 years after the capture of the city by Pompey (which was in 63"B.C.E.). (Jewish Antiquities, XIV, 487, 488 [xvi, 4]) His reference to that latter event would make the date of Herod"s taking the city of Jerusalem 36"B.C.E. Now, Josephus says that Herod died 34 years after he took Jerusalem. (Jewish Antiquities, XVII, 190, 191 [viii, 1]) This might indicate that the date of his death was 2 or perhaps 1"B.C.E.
According to Josephus, Herod died not long after an eclipse of the moon and before a Passover. (Jewish Antiquities, XVII, 167 [vi, 4]; 213 [ix, 3]) There was a total eclipse of the moon in 1"B.C.E., about three months before Passover, while the one in 4"B.C.E. was only partial. The total eclipse in 1"B.C.E. was on January 8 (January 10, Julian), 18 days before Shebat 2, the traditional day of Herod"s death. Another eclipse (partial) occurred on December 27 of 1"B.C.E. (December 29, Julian).

Jericho While Kenyon doesn"t agree with the dates given by most denominations, she goes on to report possible indications of another destruction that might have taken place on the site in 1325"B.C.E. and suggests: "If the destruction of Jericho is to be associated with an invasion under Joshua, this [latter] is the date that archaeology suggests." (The Illustrated Bible Dictionary, 1980, Part 2, pp."749, 750; Archaeological Discoveries in the Holy Land, 1967, p."28) The Bible doesn"t give a date for the fall of Jericho, so what Pro is challenging is some dates proposed by some denominations who calculate to 1400, but these folks don"t claim to be infallible as is God"s Word. It may be that Jericho fell in 1325 BC as she supposes, which would make our calculations fallible but wouldn"t attack God"s word and Christianity on the whole.

Kathleen said that the fall of Jericho occurred in 1550 BC, not 2300 BC as Pro argues. She based this conclusion on the fact that she couldn"t find a particular kind of imported pottery found at other sites in the Near East"thus Jericho must have been unoccupied at the time. Archaeologist Dr. Bryant Wood showed that she excavated in a poor section of town where the inhabitants could not have afforded to buy such imported pottery, so her findings were based on wrong expectations. "Kenyon's analysis was based on what was not found at Jericho rather than what was found" ("Did the Israelites Conquer Jericho?," Biblical Archaeology Review , March-April 1990, p. 50). Wood discovered that Kathleen did find indigenous pottery dating to the proposed time of Jericho"s fall but had ignored it. She also overlooked the fact that Garstang had found painted pottery from that same time. Egyptian amulets he found at a nearby cemetery also indicated the site was frequently inhabited for centuries right up till the time Christians propose for the city"s fall, demolishing her claim of an occupation gap.

What Kenyon, Garstang and other excavators discovered at Jericho agrees in detail with the account in the book of Joshua. (Redating the Exodus and Conquest, by John J."Bimson, 1981, pp."22-27, 110-115, 132-137; Biblical Archaeology Review, September/October"1987, pp."45,"46) They found collapsed walls, not walls that were broken down from the outside but that had fallen down (Joshua 6:20). The walls didn"t fall inward, but outward , creating a ramp of fallen bricks by which the Israelites "went up into the city, every man straight before him." Kenyon"s work showed on the west side of the tell, at the base of the retaining, "fallen red bricks piling nearly to the top of the revetment. These probably came from the wall on the summit of the bank [and/or] .".". the brickwork above the revetment." (Kathleen M. Kenyon, Excavations at Jericho, 3:110, London, British School of Archaeology in Jerusalem, 1981) At the southern end of the mound, and Italian team found the same thing in 1997. She also supported the Bible record that the city was heavily fortified. (Deu 9:1).

Unusually large amounts of grain found in the ruins shows that the city endured only a short siege, which the Bible numbers at seven days (Jos 6:12-20), and that the grain had been recently harvested (Joshua 3:15). Also, because grain was a valuable commodity almost always plundered by conquering forces, the large amount left in the ruins bespeaks the accuracy of the Bible record that God commanded that nothing in the city be taken except valuable metals to be used for the treasury of the Lord (Joshua 6:24).

Kenyon herself admits: "The destruction was complete. Walls and floors were blackened or reddened by fire, and every room was filled with fallen bricks, timbers, and household utensils; in most rooms the fallen debris was heavily burnt, but the collapse of the walls of the eastern rooms seems to have taken place before they were affected by the fire" (("Did the Israelites Conquer Jericho?," Biblical Archaeology Review , March-April 1990, p. 56). So archaeology reveals the walls had collapsed before the city was burned, just as the Bible says (Jos 6:20-24).

Rahab"s house was built on the side of the wall (Joshua 2:15). If the walls fell, how was her house spared? (Joshua 2:12"21, 6:17, 22"23). The German excavation of 1907"1909 found that on the north a short stretch of the lower city wall did not fall as everywhere else. A portion of that mudbrick wall was still standing to a height of over eight feet. (Ernst Sellin and Carl Watzinger, Jericho die Ergebnisse der Ausgrabungen, Osnabr"ck, Otto Zeller Verlag, p. 58, 1973). What is more, there were houses built against the wall! Could this be where Rahab"s house was?
Debate Round No. 2



Con starts the debate off with a straw man fallacy. My argument had nothing to do with claiming miracles can’t happen naturally. If the Bible says the Sun stopped supernaturally or not, it doesn’t matter. I was saying the Sun doesn’t move at all. The method of stoppage according to the story has no bearing at all. What part of my argument suggested anything of the such?

His next part, I almost completely agree with. The only way Con could defend his position is exactly the way I thought he would. By claiming the book was written from a human POV. However, to take this position would be to reject the complete and literal truth of the Bible. You have to concede that human error can get into the Bible because it’s written from a human POV. Thus, Christianity is false, as the Bible contains error. Although we use language like the Sun rose, we all know what we’re talking about. If we were to ask a being to do something about the Sun, we wouldn’t ask from a language like this. Claiming God could’ve stopped the Earth’s rotation or refracted solar rays is nothing more than speculation away from the text.

Con’s rebuttal is refuted.

Christmas Contradiction

Lapis Tiburtinus

Con cites the Lapis Tiburtinus to prove Quirinius was governor twice. First, let’s get to the part in question of the Lapis.







There’s various problems with claiming this is evidence of Quirinius’ double governorship. Richard Carrier says [1],

The most obvious problem with this piece of "evidence" is that it doesn't even mention Quirinius! No one knows who this is. Numerous possible candidates have been proposed and debated, but the notion that it could be Quirinius was only supported by the wishful thinking of a few 18th and 19th century scholars (esp. Sanclemente, Mommsen, and Ramsay). But it is unlikely to be his. We know of no second defeat of a king in the career of Quirinius, though Tacitus writes his obituary in Annals 3.48, where surely such a double honor would have been mentioned, especially since a "victory celebration" was a big deal--involving several festal days of public thanksgiving at the command of the emperor. We also have no evidence that Quirinius governed Asia. Though that isn't improbable, we do know of another man, Lucius Calpurnius Piso, who did govern Asia and who defeated the kings of Thrace twice, and received at least one "victory celebration" for doing so, as well as the Triumphal Decoration, and who may also have governed Syria.Though it cannot be proved that this is Piso's epitaph, it is clear that it would sooner belong to him than Quirinius. Thus, to ignore him and choose Quirinius would go against probability. Yet even if we lacked such a candidate as Piso, to declare this an epitaph of Quirinius is still pure speculation.

Even more importantly, this inscription does not really say that the governorship of Syria was held twice, only that a second legateship was held, and that the second post happened to be in Syria. From what remains of the stone, it seems fairly obvious that the first post was the proconsulate of Asia. This means that even if this is the career of Quirinius, all it proves is that he was once the governor of Syria.

The date of Herod's death, be it either 1 or 4 BCE, the argument still works.

Con’s rebuttal is full of holes.


Con straw manned my argument here too. I nor Kathleen said say any type of invasion didn’t happen in 1500. I said the walls wouldn’t have been there. There’s still an error. Con says Jericho could’ve fell in 1325 BC. However, where’s the evidence of that?

Dr. Bryant Wood

First, even if Kathleen is wrong in her methods, her conclusion was confirmed by radiocarbon dating 5 years after “Did the Israelites Conquer Jericho?” was published [3]. Dr. Weinstein said

In any event, the recent publication of a series of high-precision radiocarbon dates of short-lived samples from the MB IIC destruction phase (H.J. Bruins and J. van der Plicht, “The Exodus Enigma,” Nature 382 [1996], pp. 213-214) renders [Wood’s] entire argument moot. These assays consistently and strongly support a 16th century B.C. date for the end of MB IIC Jericho and cannot be reconciled with a late-15th-century B.C. destruction. (pp. 101-102)” [4]

Second, Wood made various mistakes when examining the pottery.

“Pat McGovern and Piotr Bienkowski... have both argued that Late Bronze pottery was handmade, as opposed to wheel-manufacture during the Middle Bronze. Dr. Bienkowskicompared Middle Bronze with Late Bronze II tomb groups at Jericho, and found that the MB pottery was wheel made, while the LB pottery was hand made and heavier. Dr. Bienkowski then studied the Middle Bronze Age pottery from the tell--the pottery Dr. Wood attempted to redate--and found that it was without exception wheel made.

Dr. Wood also failed to mention in his article that if the ‘MB’ city survived until 1400 BCE, then its pottery would overlap with the Late Bronze Age II pottery from the tombs outside the mound, dated 1425-1275 BCE. In fact, there is no such overlap: there is a clear distinction between the tomb LB II pottery and the pottery from the ‘Middle Bronze’ city, indicating a substantial gap.” [4]

Next, Con claims Jericho's archaeology supports a biblical account, but just because some archaeology supports it, doesn't mean my argument false. I wouldn’t prove Christianity true either. I’m unsure if Con was offering this as a positive argument for Christianity. I hope my opponent explains what that section was for in the next round, I do not wish to straw man.

My argument still stands.

Back to Con.


[2] Ronald Syme, "The Titulus Tiburtinus," Roman Papers, vol. 3, Anthony Birley, ed., 1984, pp. 869-884 (originally appeared in Akten des VI. Internationalen Kongresses für Griechische und Lateinische Epigraphik: Vestigia xvii, 1973, pp. 585-601). The primary sources are Corpus Inscriptionum Latinarum 14 § 3613 (= H. Dessau, Inscriptiones Latinae Selectae § 918)





I never said the entire Bible was written from a human point of view, only some of it. What"s more, writing from a human point of view does not automatically imply that error has infiltrated the word of God. Most newspaper articles are written from a human point of view, does that mean they are wrong? Notice Pro argues that "You have to concede that human error CAN get into the Bible because it"s written from a human POV." Because something "can" or "could have" happened is no proof that they did! The Bible authors "could" have exercised their free will and chose to corrupt God"s message, but I have no reason to think they did. Pro could have to show that they did, or even wanted to. You can argue that because something could have happened that therefore it did. On top of all this, God allowing man to put the truth of his message in man"s own words does not make it any less true. The Book of Joshua doesn"t say the sun stood still in outer space, but rather, in the sky. So the intent of the writer and of God was not to express truths of astronomy, but truths of the way we experience or see things. So what did those on the battlefield see? No matter the science or miracle involved, they saw the sun standing still all day long! How else should the writer of Joshua put it?

Neither Christianity or the Bible teaches that everything in the Bible must be taken literally; just read Revelation 1 and 12. Furthermore, contrary to Pro"s position, the sun actually does move. "The Sun orbits the center of the Milky Way at a distance of approximately 24,000"26,000 light-years from the galactic center, completing one clockwise orbit, as viewed from the galactic north pole, in about 225"250 million years." "Since the Sun consists of a plasma and is not solid, it rotates faster at its equator than at its poles."

Some scholars call attention to the fact that the term used by Luke, and usually translated "governor," is he"ge"monR42;. This Greek term is used to describe Roman legates, procurators, and proconsuls, and it means, basically, a "leader" or "high executive officer." Some, therefore, suggest that, at the time of what Luke refers to as the "first registration," Quirinius served in Syria in the capacity of a special legate of the emperor exercising extraordinary powers. A factor that may also aid in understanding the matter is Josephus" clear reference to a dual rulership of Syria, since in his account he speaks of two persons, Saturninus and Volumnius, serving simultaneously as "governors of Syria." (Jewish Antiquities, XVI, 277, 280 [ix, 1]; XVI, 344 [x, 8]) Thus, if Josephus is correct in his listing of Saturninus and Varus as successive presidents of Syria, it is possible that Quirinius served simultaneously either with Saturninus (as Volumnius had done) or with Varus prior to Herod"s death (which likely occurred in 1 B.C.E.). The New Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge presents this view: "Quirinius stood in exactly the same relation to Varus, the governor of Syria, as at a later time Vespasian did to Mucianus. Vespasian conducted the war in Palestine while Mucianus was governor of Syria; and Vespasian was legatus Augusti, holding precisely the same title and technical rank as Mucianus.""1957, Vol. IX, pp. 375, 376.

Luke"s proved accuracy in historical matters gives sound reason for accepting as factual his reference to Quirinius as governor of Syria around the time of Jesus" birth. It may be remembered that Josephus, virtually the only other source of information, was not born until 37 C.E., hence nearly four decades after Jesus" birth. Luke, on the other hand, was already a physician traveling with the apostle Paul by about 49 C.E. when Josephus was but a boy of 12. Of the two, Luke, even on ordinary grounds, is the more likely source for reliable information on the matter of the Syrian governorship just prior to Jesus" birth. Justin Martyr, a Palestinian of the second century C.E., cited the Roman records as proof of Luke"s accuracy as regards Quirinius" governorship at the time of Jesus" birth. (A Catholic Commentary on Holy Scripture, edited by B. Orchard, 1953, p. 943) There is no evidence that Luke"s account was ever challenged by early historians, even by early critics such as Celsus.

Pro clams the 1400 date proves the Bible wrong. Well, show me the verse in the Bible that gives you that date and I"m with you! The date you are arguing against is simply one of others that have been suggested by Christians. Seventh-day Adventists, Jehovah"s Witnesses and Catholics all have different dates for Jesus" death and crucifixion, does that make the Bible wrong? How could it, when the Bible is not the one producing these dates? At most, Pro is attacking one interpretation of the evidence, not the Bible itself, so I don"t see how this proves Christianity false. Being Christian has nothing to do with the date of Jericho"s fall!

I also don"t see why the people of Jericho couldn"t hold onto the custom of having their pottery wheel-made while others around them preferred hand-made pottery. In any case, we don"t even know that these C-14 dates are reliable either. It is claimed that the half-life of carbon-14 is 5, 730 years. No human being has lived long enough to see an atom of carbon decay, so this is pure speculation. Unless Pro can show us how they know this, then they cannot know the age of anything using carbon-decay rates. Further, any scientist depending on such dates "assumes that the amount of carbon-14 in the atmosphere was constant " any variation would speed up or slow down the clock. The clock was initially calibrated by dating objects of known age such as Egyptian mummies and bread from Pompeii; work that won Willard Libby the 1960 Nobel Prize in Chemistry. But even he "realized that there probably would be variation", says Christopher Bronk Ramsey, a geochronologist at the University of Oxford, UK, who led the latest work, published today in Science. Various geologic, atmospheric and solar processes can influence atmospheric carbon-14 levels."
So Pro's sources for Kathleen's dates are speculative at best.

Pro's arguments boils down to false accusations of a geocentric model, biased tendencies to trust a later historian (Josephus) over one who was closer to the time of the events (Luke), and presenting a false dilemma that Christianity is false if it doesn't vindicate a particular date not found on the Bible, the only Scripture on which Christianity is based.
Debate Round No. 3



I didn’t claim the entire bible was written from a human POV. We’re dealing with the book of Joshua. Nor did I say just because it’s written from a human POV means it’s wrong. I want Con to understand, my point was that human POV isn’t always true. Since the human POV about Geocentricism is in the bible, then the bible is false. I see many problems claiming that Joshua was saying it just looked like the sun stopped.

First, Con has given no reason to accept this over a literal interpretation. Second, one can use this to explain anything. For example, if an atheist is arguing with a christian about how the resurrection was absurd, the christian can claim “The resurrection was from a human point of view. Jesus didn’t actually have to rise, but it just looked like it”. Lastly, Joshua asked God to stop the sun. Why would you ask from a human POV knowing it’s wrong. If one asks a driver to slow down the car, does he say “Slow everything around us.”? Although to the passenger may look like everything is slowing and he may even write it looks this way. Yet asking the driver to slow everything and being serious about it shows the passenger is ignorant. Writing down that everything was slowed shows he’s wrong.

Con then says the bible doesn’t have to be taken literally. I’m puzzled why he would say this, because it was agreed that Con would defend the literal truth of the bible. He then claims the sun does rotate around the milky way. I’m again puzzled, because we all know my argument was about Geocentricism. If the sun did stop revolving around the milky way, how would this have any effect on the Earth’s day?

My argument still stands.

Christmas Contradiction

Lapis Tiburtinus

Con dropped this argument. I wonder why, I’d be glad if Con admitted this argument was in error.

Saturninus, Volumnius and Quirinius

Unfortunately, Con’s new ad hoc argument, I feel is worse than his last. Richard Carrier says

… there was never any such thing as a dual governorship under the Roman Empire, and it would be very strange if there were. It also does not solve the problem of the census--for even if Luke was referring to an earlier date, there could not have been a census of Judaea then, as shown above. Nevertheless, it is argued that Roman provincial commands were ambiguous and thus could be held by multiple persons at the same time, though this is argued with no evidence whatsoever, and it is flatly contradicted by the evidence we do have.

I have seen only two examples offered as evidence to the contrary, but they do not make the case. The first comes from Josephus, where the casual remark "there was a hearing before Saturninus and Volumnius, who were in charge of Syria"is taken to imply that there were two governors in Syria at the same time. But when we read Josephus' account of another hearing within a year or two of that one, we are given more specific information: it was held before "Saturninus and the senior colleagues of Pedanius, among whom was Volumnius the procurator." The procuratorship was a post held by men of the equestrian class (sometimes even ex-slaves), who were ineligible for the position of governor, and always of inferior rank to the governor.... So Volumnius was not and could not have been a governor of Syria, much less co-governor. The second "example" makes essentially the same error. [1]

Next, Con says we should trust Luke because it’s accurate on other areas and Luke was a contemporary running around with Paul at that time.

I’m amazed at the fallacies in this argument. First, Con assumes Luke is accurate to defend Luke’s accuracy. Viciously circular. Second, the argument commits the fallacy of composition. Even if Luke is accurate on some matters doesn’t mean he’s accurate on all matters. Third, even if Luke was a contemporary, this doesn’t mean he’s correct. I can make a claim about President Barack Obama fifteen years from now, but this wouldn’t instantly mean it was true or that I’m more reliable. Lastly, what I feel is the biggest problem is, the gospels are anonymous.

“All four Gospels are anonymous in the sense that none includes the author's name. The traditional names - Matthew, Mark, Luke and John - did not become associated with these writings until the second century” - [2].

The entire basis of which his argument rests hasn’t been proved.

Justin Martyr, a Palestinian of the second century C.E., cited the Roman records as proof of Luke"s accuracy as regards Quirinius" governorship at the time of Jesus" birth.

This is the appeal to authority fallacy. Just because Martyr said it doesn’t make it so. Why should we trust Martyr was accurate? What records are you actually talking about? Instead of citing a person who cited the records, why not cite the records themselves? Where did Martyr even mention it anyway?

There is no evidence that Luke"s account was ever challenged by early historians, even by early critics such as Celsus.

This commits the same appeal to authority fallacy. This doesn’t mean Luke is accurate just because no one challenged it. If there was cult leader who preaches crazy wild things, does the fact no one is challenging him count as evidence he’s correct? False information is false, regardless of who challenges it or who doesn’t.

My argument is still standing.


I’m puzzled why Con would claim some denominations date it to this date. It’s not just some, it’s the widely accepted date [3]. Con claimed in round 2, there is evidence that shows Joshua was dated to 1325, however no evidence was given by him. If Joshua has a different date, why is there no evidence to support it? The oldest manuscript we have of the Old Testament is 2nd century BCE [4]. The only way to date the Old Testament books that are as old as Joshua would be to use internal biblical evidence [5]. If Con objects to the date, he must object to the bible. Also, there would still be some overlap of pottery around that time.

C-14 dating

Con then objects to C-14 dating. However I think the ironic thing is his own source responds to his objection. Con’s objection is something known to archaeologists, geologists and anthropologists. Con is basically saying there is going to be a margin of error. Anyone who knows about carbon dating will admit this. C-14 is can be calibrated independently using different clocks [6][7] and using this, we can measure the margin. It doesn’t make C-14 inaccurate, it just means there’s a margin of error. The very paper I cited said what the margin was, it was plus or minus 38 years [8]. Still doesn’t help Con.

Con’s responses have been refuted.


Con committed a straw man fallacy on the first section. Thinking I meant the Earth can’t stop naturally. Con said Joshua was written from a human POV. However, I showed the many problems with this interpretation. In the next section, Con tells us about the Lapis Tiburtinus, however I quoted Richard Carrier showing this isn’t very good evidence. Con remained silent on that and instead gave us another argument about dual rulership. Again the Historian Carrier refutes it. Con then gives an argument that contains circular reasoning, compositional errors and a shaky basis. In the last section, Con said the dates could be wrong, but not the bible. However, the bible is often dated internally, when you’re dealing with the OT. He also cited Dr. Wood. I cited evidence proving Wood wrong. Con instead only dealt with a little bit on the pottery and attacked the dating methods. However his argument is basically saying there’s a margin of error, which the paper dealt with.

Perhaps the most disappointing thing is that Con didn’t fulfill his BOP. It was agreed in the first round that the burden of proof was shared. Con never provided an argument in favor of Christianity, thus he never met his BOP.



Due to space constraints, all sources are within there.



(1)The Bible says that the sun rises and sets, and of course this is how we see it. So if the Bible says the sun stood still over the battlefield, this is how they saw it. It isn"t false just because it is a human POV; it"s a reality, a truth, about the way we experience life.
(2)I never denied that the sun stood still. I gave proof that the sun does move and so God could have made the sun "and the earth" both stand still. My interpretation doesn"t deny that the sun actually did stand still, it merely additionally involves the stopping of the earth"s rotation and orbit.
(3)Pro is arguing for an interpretation of Joshua that most Christians don"t even hold, then attacking his own literal interpretation. This is like saying the Bible is wrong because the world wasn"t made in six 24-hour days, when the facts is that most Christian Hebrew scholars agree that Genesis 1 doesn"t speak of 24-hour days, and that the Hebrew word for "day" (yohm) means a very long, undefined period of time in those verses. Pro can"t refute the Bible by attacking one literalist interpretation out of many other kinds, but rather, has to show what the writer"s intent was. He hasn"t shown the writer meant anything more than the fact that the sun which normally moves across the sky, stopped moving across the sky. He hasn"t shown the writer was trying to present scientifically accurate astronomy.
(4)The resurrection of a body on earth which people touched and felt with their hands (Luke 24:36-43; John 20:24-29) is very different from how we on earth witness astronomical events, therefore Pro"s comparison here doesn"t justify his claim that we can treat the resurrection in the same light as the sun standing still. What"s more, I would argue that the resurrection appearances are written from a human POV, and that POV was literally correct. Human POVs are not always wrong.
(5)Neither the Bible or Christianity ever claimed the book of Joshua must all be written from God"s point of view. Something doesn"t have to be a divine POV to be true.
Pro says: "Con then says the bible doesn"t have to be taken literally. I"m puzzled why he would say this, because it was agreed that Con would defend the literal truth of the bible."
It"s literally true that we see the sun moving across the sky, and its literally true the people on that battlefield saw this sun stop moving from a day.

Saturninus, Volumnius and Quirinius
Luke is much closer to the time of the events than Josephus and it would be foolish to think that Josephus knew the facts better than Luke.

Pro then argues that the gospels are anonymous because they didn"t include the author"s name. But critics like him never explain to us how this arguments would work if applied equally to secular ancient documents whose authenticity and authorship is not in question, but are every bit as "anonymous" in the same sense that the Gospels are. True, the Gospel authors nowhere name themselves in their texts, but this applies equally to numerous other ancient documents, such as Tacitus' Annals. Authorial attributions are found not in the text proper, but in titles, just like the Gospels. Pro could make the case that these were added later to the Gospels, but they need to provide textual evidence of this (i.e., an obvious copy of Matthew with no title attribution to Matthew, and dated earlier or early enough to suggest that it was not simply a late, accidental omission), and at any rate, why is it not supposed that the titles were added later to the secular works as well? If Luke"s gospel was anonymous, competing names for authorship would have arisen as we know happened with many of the apocryphal gospels; so how is it there is this unanimous agreement among all the various sects of Christians and even unbelievers in the first 300 years of Christianity? Second-century testimony is unanimous in attributing the four Gospels to the persons that now carry their name. This suggests that they received their titles early; for if they had not, there would have been a great deal of speculation as to who had written them. No such controversy is reported among the church fathers.

A fake would have to create a gospel, concoct some story as to how it came peculiarly to be in their possession; get around the problem of why a work by such a person disappeared or was previously unknown; then get the church at large, first in his area and then throughout the Roman Empire (and would not the claimed discovery of such a document cause a sensation, and controversy?), to accept this work as genuine. Pro gave no proof of such a thing. There is no parallel to such a thing in history to suggest that so many people can be conned by four separate forgeries without the conspiracy being unearthed or even challenged, and yet, no such challenge is recorded for the first 400 years of Christianity.

Justin Martyr was also closer to the events than Josephus and he backs up Luke. Where are the records Justin mentions? I could ask that about many records Josephus mentions as well. The fact he points to them as evidence shows they existed and could be checked.

Pro asked: "If there was cult leader who preaches crazy wild things, does the fact no one is challenging him count as evidence he"s correct?" There is no cult leader today or ever has been who was not challenged.

Pro never showed us where the Bible gives us the date of Jericho"s fall either, so I don"t think he has shown the Bible"s date to be false! He says it"s the widely accepted date, well, is Pro"s interpretation of a geocentric model of the solar system where the sun revolves around the earth the widely accepted interpretation of Joshua"s account? No! What bias!

C-14 dating
Con now claims a margin of error of 38 years for C-14 dating, but hasn"t proved this because he can"t even show how he knows the half-life of C-14, without which the margin is meaningless. No scientist has even proven that they can tell how long it takes for C-14 to decay. So this margin of error is pure speculation. What"s more, he hasn"t shown that Jericho has been dated by any other means, such as isocron dating for example.

I am out of time as I'm using a computer at the internet cafe and I have to rush off to work. I also apologize for not presenting a positive argument for Christianity, but my space was taken up responding to Pro and my time was limited. I will do another debate where I will make such a case, but I don't think Pro have shown Christianity to be wrong. It's up to you to decide.
Debate Round No. 4
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3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by Ragnar 3 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: CV BrandonButterworth, who did not read the opening round "To avoid semantics, frustration, and confusion, Con will assume the Bible is completely and literally true." It need not be true, but for the sake of this argument it was.
Vote Placed by BrandonButterworth 3 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: The bible is not a history book, nor is it a science book. Pro seemed to think it was both. Con had many more sources.
Vote Placed by ModusTollens 3 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Con failed to effectively refute Pro's arguments, and in some cases attempted refutations that helped to prove Pro's case. For example, establishing Herod's death around 1 BC (or at a stretch 4 AD) does not help solve the contradiction that the Bible claims a census known to have occured around 7 AD happened during his reign.