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Book No Errors in My Bible, Sorry About Yours by Mark Johansen (2010-12-04)


No Errors in My Bible, Sorry About Yours by Mark Johansen (2010-12-04)

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Review Text

  • By John Addis on September 29, 2015

    Some engineers raised in Christianity and educated in math and science feel the need to justify their religious beliefs using science, and this is the case with author Mark Johansen.To give Johansen some credit, he often states the claims he is trying to refute well and succinctly.He seeks not to put one authority above the other but to find common ground (p 5). His attempts are fascinating to watch and sometimes show flashes of insight. Johansen’s understanding of Wellhausen and Richard Elliot Friedman’s information-dense, scholarly text on Wellhausen is near zero. Johansen is not close to being in Friedman’s league, and apparently fails to understand “Who Wrote the Bible?”.One flash of insight, perhaps original, is in his attempt to rationalize Joshua 10 with science (p 53). The earth could be stopped from spinning on its axis if slowed gradually over half an hour or so with nothing flying off into space. Johansen’s math and reasoning are correct, and having satisfied himself that this deceleration is no worse or noticeable than a jet slowing to land, he rests his case. After all, if God can stop the earth from spinning, he can take 30 minutes to do so and the sun would appear to stand still.Everything that is tied down will indeed slow down, but bodies of water are not tied down. The Mediterranean and some of the Atlantic Ocean, travelling at 700 mph, would end up covering most of the middle east in a tidal wave unlike anything ever seen on earth. Little would be left.There are simpler explanations of Joshua 10, and simple is good. Of course, one strong possibility is that this is simply a boastful tale written in the no longer extant Book of Jasher. But if some plausibility is needed, the explanation of Greenberg’s myth #86 of “101 Myths of the Bible” will do.That story was first written in the Book of Jasher long after the alleged events. It was rewritten, from memory of the Book of Jasher (Joshua 10:13), apparently lost, otherwise it could have been quoted. Hence the story of the sun standing still over Gibeon and the moon over Ajalon, was written after at least its second oral rendition, likely in the Exilic period.We know that Deuteronomy 7:3 forbade Israelites from marrying Hivites, because they followed other gods. Archaeologically, we know one Hivite location is Gibeon. We know they were pagans. They had a plurality of gods, including the sun-god, Samash.It is plausible there were two tribes, one, Hivite, worshipping the sun-god in Gibeon and the other worshipping the moon-god, Yerach, in Ajalon. There is physical archaeological evidence of moon worship at Tel Gezer, just 2 miles WSW of Ajalon. The Jasher authors were concerned to show the Hebrew god stronger than the pagan gods so they might well have written (or meant) that sun and moon-worshiping tribal warriors did not move in deference to the Hebrew god.Writing was crude, non-standard, before the 10th century BCE. What was meant in the Book of Jasher was then misunderstood or misremembered by the author-priests of Joshua 10 500 years later. These Exilic authors, being god-fearing but scientifically ignorant, wrote that the sun and moon themselves stood still for 24 hours, each over a different location.This explanation is simple and requires no supernatural events. It requires no god, not even a Joshua. Yet Fundamentalists who take the Bible literally contort astronomical reality beyond all reason just to make the fragile words of scientifically illiterate writers, reinterpreted after 500 years, be errorless. That Exilic Period authors would write astronomical nonsense is understandable. They were ignorant of such matters. They had an excuse! What is the excuse of a modern Fundamentalist Christian?Fundamentalist fears are clear: Admit that one small part of the Bible is wrong, and the house of cards collapses. Apologetics is an existential labor. – John Addis- john dot addis at mail dot com

  • By Roberta Rhodes on June 18, 2015

    Book Review - Answers to Your Questions about Heaven - David Jeremiah (Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. Carol Stream, Illinois)This book does what the title promises: it answers our questions about heaven. Its compact 4" x 6" size actually enhances the value--you can tuck it in a purse or roomy pocket. Answers ... is in a Q and A format, assigning one question per page. David Jeremiah's answers are direct and biblical and free from erudite theological jargon--although Dr. Jeremiah is capable of and qualified to do that. Answers ... is for anyone who has ever asked, "Will there be work to do in heaven?" "What role do angels play when a believer dies?" "What happens to children lost through miscarriages or abortions?" The Table of Contents provides easy access to these questions and many more. I'm recommending David Jeremiah's book to all my friends.

  • By Shoopette on February 3, 2011

    I was really excited to read this book. There are many things that I believe about God and the Bible, but I sometimes don't know how to answer when someone brings up a question or criticism about something that I believe. I confess that I have not done all of the scientific/historical research that I should in order to defend my faith. After reading this book, I am now more prepared!In "No Errors in My Bible, Sorry About Yours," Mark Johansen lays out many different criticisms of the Christian faith and the Bible and gives rebuttals to them based on scientific and historical evidence. The criticisms are divided into categories (i.e. "Scientific," "History," "Inspiration & Authorship") and are organized effectively. The author explains up front that this report will sound defensive, but that is what it is: a defense of Christianity.For a non-fiction book, this was one I really enjoyed reading. It was pretty easy to read the author's style of writing, and I only got bogged down a little during the historical stuff. But that is only because history isn't really my thing. (Now, the scientific stuff...I ate that up!) The `questions' and `answers' were laid out in a logical way (very organized...I could tell that this author is an engineer by trade!), which I liked a lot. I also appreciated the author's metaphors that were used throughout the book. The examples from everyday life of how to think through a particular `problem' related to believing the Bible were enlightening. This author is obviously a true Christian and has researched the topic of Biblical authenticity very thoroughly.A critique for this book is that there were several typos and editing mistakes throughout the volume. Also, the cover art for the book seemed a little bit odd to me, but that is just my preference.This book made me realize that I need to study for myself why I believe what I believe and how I can defend myself in a world that is increasingly anti-Christian. I think that every Christian needs to examine the facts for themselves, but this book would definitely be a step in the right direction to do just that.The book "No Errors in My Bible, Sorry About Yours" by Mark Johansen was given to me by GoodReads through their "First Reads" giveaway program.

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