The God of the Bible Flunks Geography 

God surely wouldn’t be ignorant of geography…would he? To save this question from being rhetorical, I'll answer it by saying no, it would be impossible for God to be mistaken because God is omniscient! God is God, part of what distinguishes God from man are three key attributes: omniscience, omnipresence & omnipotence.

Pardon the bold & provocative title...if you can suspend judgment for 10-12 minutes you will discover the Bible's most egregious error (geographical) which in turn starts a domino effect which obliterates Biblical claims of God's omniscience and furthermore destroys the Biblical case for inerrancy. The writer has the highest respect for God, this is not an attack upon God, this is a defense of God and his attributes!

A Biblical error has great significance, but what does it really mean? It means that inerrancy can no longer be asserted and that the fundamentalist/apologist will need to squirm for rhetorical tricks that they hope will subdue reason. Establishing a Biblical error destroys the Christian claim that it's God is omniscient!  A God that is mistaken can't be considered to be all knowing (the error validates this) it also proves that the writer must be a mortal & that the character portrayed as God fails to have sufficient credentials to be considered God.

The simplest, easiest of all Biblical errors to be understood occurs early in the Bible, in Genesis 2. This geographical blunder cannot be reconciled! Biblical inerrancy never makes it past the Garden of Eden, this error hasn't garnered its due recognition as the "King" of all Biblical errors.

It's difficult to conceptualize God. One could expend the time attaining a Bible College or Seminary degree chasing the concept – or be more succinct and do as the Deists and Masons do by referring to God as the Supreme Being.  

The fundamental error of modern times lies in the fact that the yawning abyss of quality in the difference between God and man has been removed. The result in dogmatic theology is a mockery of God ...

 

Søren Kierkegaard, Journals, November 20, 1847

This writer, a Deist, has a much higher view of God than the Christians do. That is not a boast, I’m sincerely expressing that God, to be God, must not be a flawed entity. Many things, including the content of the Bible, have been ascribed to God which degrade his attributes. Kierkegaard’s quote aptly expresses the thought.  

Christian theologians have borrowed Deist terminology, degrading the concept of God and its luster-- and gotten away with it. Kierkegaard said it well, the Bible mocks God. A "funny" thing happened when scripture became written…it changes from a subjective sentiment to an OBJECTIVE claim that begs for scrutiny.  

Subjective sentiment is somewhat “safe” from scrutiny. Belief in God should remain a personal subjective belief. Subjective experiences can be true, but nearly impossible for the claimant to prove or another to disprove. However, objective claims (such as the Bible) belong in a different courtroom and can be cross-examined and thus challenged for its legitimacy. A witness that is shown to have diminished credibility cannot be trusted; nor can a Holy Book with blatant errors be deemed credible and should not be represented as emanating from God. The character from the Bible doesn’t have the requisite attributes to be God.  

Kierkegaard’s infinite qualitative distinction emphasizes the very different attributes of finite and temporal men and the infinite and eternal qualities of a Supreme Being. The Bible has successfully brought down god to man’s level as this most egregious Bible error will prove. The Bible cannot pass Kierkegaard’s infinite qualitative distinction standard and thus people with integrity need to accept the reality that God has had “his” identity stolen by Christians.  

While conceptualizing God is difficult, the concept shouldn't be abandoned. Imagine that the real God, somewhere looking down upon his creation, as he reviews the many absurdities that have been ascribed to him and what he might be feeling about these?  This is an essay, not a book so I won’t go deeply into them here. God must be shaking his head, bewildered that mortals, via the scriptures, believe that God could be so cruel that God would direct 2 she bears to come from out of the woods and kill 42 little children because these children had mocked Elisha for having a bald head (2 Kings 2: 23-24). That according to conservative estimates, that the God of the Bible is a killer and behind an estimated 25 million kills throughout the scriptures. That God could be jealous (a character flaw).

Just with the previous paragraph, God must feel that his character, intelligence and heart are mischaracterized…that he shakes his head in disbelief that these things could be attributed to a Supreme Being is simply hard to fathom. If God were truly jealous and vengeful…perhaps there would be no more Christianity as God counter acts to being insulted.  

The Most Egregious Error of Scripture 

People that believe in God are often ridiculed and portrayed as being stupid by groups we are familiar with. This writer doesn’t feel that people are stupid – they are afraid. Afraid of isolation, afraid to abandon group think. No sane person likes to be ridiculed, but 2.2 billion people are mistaken. To avoid the ridicule, one needs to have the courage to doubt and to use and apply reason. Be your own arbiter and follow along with me (with map & Bible in hand) while exploring the most egregious of all Bible errors.  

Turn to Genesis 2, and while you are at it please listen to Leon Bridges “River” song to set the mood. Notice the refrain “Take Me to Your River” and think of it as a piercing challenge.  

10 And a river went out of Eden to water the garden; and from thence it was parted, and became into four heads.

11 The name of the first is Pison: that is it which compasseth the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold;

12 And the gold of that land is good: there is bdellium and the onyx stone.

13 And the name of the second river is Gihon: the same is it that compasseth the whole land of Ethiopia.

14 And the name of the third river is Hiddekel: that is it which goeth toward the east of Assyria. And the fourth river is Euphrates.

There are so many glaring errors! Where does one start?

Even if there were such a place as the Garden of Eden, it is improbable that dividing a river four ways leaves enough water left over to supply four different rivers that sprang from the initial River of Eden source. Each time you add a river you are diminishing the initial amount of water supply. The Bible says four, so if equally divided each river would only have 25% of the initial supply.

The Pishon River has never been clearly located. With a bit of sarcasm, take me to your river! Flavius Josephus, in the beginning of his Antiquities of the Jews (1st century AD) identified the Pishon with the Ganges (India/Bangladesh). The medieval French rabbi Rashi identified it with the Nile (Africa). I remind the reader, these four rivers were supposedly to have began at one place (The Garden of Eden) which cannot be upon two differing continents.

Bdellium is another problem as it is a resin taken from trees found upon the African Continent in Ethiopia, Eritrea and sub-saharan Africa. Bdellium in Asian countries around the locality of either the Euphrates or Tigris is a stretch. Pliny the Elder's Natural History mentions Bactrium bdellium (ancient Bactria covered the flat region that straddles modern-day Afghanistan, Tajikstan, and Uzbekistan). Folks that is North/East of Iran and at least 1700 miles away from Mesopotamia!

The Euphrates has definitively been located upon the Continent of Asia. It originates in Eastern Turkey and flows westward, eventually emptying into the Persian Gulf. A major source of the Euphrates is the Murat River, it’s mouth is Shatt al-Arab. The entirety of the river is in Asia!

Genesis 2:14 states the name of the third river as the Hiddekel. Christians claim this as the Tigris River which begins in Turkey. While the Tigris & Euphrates Rivers are close to each other; they start at differing points before eventually coming together in what is now Southern Iraq. Mesopotamia (from the Greek, meaning 'between two rivers') further augments this point. That point is that there is space between these two rivers, that they travel a long way before they converge. The writer of the Bible flunks geography because these two rivers fail to start at the same place.  

While it is possible, a river’s course can change over time…but they can’t be Superman like and leap continents! All four of the rivers must be in Asia. While this is elementary, I remind folks that once a river drains into the sea it ceases to be a river any longer.

I have intentionally saved the Gihon River from verse 13 for last. Surely, you already see the impossibility of reconciling the Bible? Don’t you? The Bible is clear, the Gihon River compasseth the whole land of Ethiopia (Africa). Moses, the writer of the first 5 books of the Old Testament was an Egyptian. One would think he would be better acquainted with the geography of Africa than he would with the geography of Asia. Moses’ mention of Gihon’s location alone makes it impossible to reconcile the River of Eden starting at one location and then dividing into four different rivers. Rivers just don’t hop continents.

                      this article was written by Brian Worley

 

 

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Brian Worley    Ex-Minister.org  March 16, 2018   All Rights Reserved

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