The Secular Bible Study Hour
he so-called Secular Bible Study Hour is a weekly shortwave radio broadcast that claims the Bible is thoroughly untrustworthy, and not to be believed. Hosted by a complete reprobate named Dr. Elliott Lesser, the program claims there are "thousand" of errors in the scriptures. Dr. Lesser mails out, and promotes subscriptions to, The Bibles Review Newsletter, a newsletter published by people who apparently live to criticize the Bible.
The Bibles Review Newsletter, published out of Phoenix Arizona, is a detailed broadside on the Bible that makes dozens of claims in each issue attacking the veracity of scripture. In the issue we examined, they claimed the following proved the scriptures are contradictory:
1. II Kings 19 is virtually identical with Isaiah 37
2. There are two intermixed flood stories
3. There are dating inconsistencies with Abraham-Jacob-Joseph stories
4. There are valid Botanical explanations for the burning bush encounter of Moses
5. Christianity has obviously incorporated Essene, Zoroastrian, Buddhist, pagan, and other pre-Christian beliefs into the religion
6. There are inconsistencies with Jesus' genealogy, birth, sayings, etc
7. There are many pre-Christian pagan gods that had virgin births & who were resurrected historical and scientific inaccuracies.
The letter we examined (Volume 3 #12) also claimed the following:
"the Bible with its huge number of contradictions, as well as conflicting and repetitive stories is disorganized to a great extent."
"Some of the concepts, tales, and claims that have been plagiarized from older myths and beliefs, which I have pointed out, include the creation, deluge, Passover, Easter, virgin birth, cross, death followed by burial and a resurrection, etc."
"At times one gets the impression that the biblical writers took a number of ancient myths with minor modification repeated them with name changes: Yahweh for Baal or El and other deities; Jesus for Tammuz, Mithra, and others; Mary for Inanna, Isis, and others; Peter for Ananda, et al."
"Why did God select a betrothed woman to bear His child? Does this not make Him guilty of adultery?"
"According to Jackson [J.G. writing in Pagan Origins Of The Christ Myth, published by the American Atheist Press], whether Jesus lived or not, we may conclude with certainty, that Christianity is of Pagan origin....December 25, celebrated as Jesus' birthday, is an approximation of the winter solstice and the brithday of several Pagan sun-gods."
Many statements made in this cheap piece of photocopied trash masquerading as a periodical are not inconsistencies at all, but simply phenomena associated with the manuscript development. For instance, the fact that Isaiah 37 mirrors II Kings proves nothing. The books of Kings and Chronicles were the official state records of the kings of Judah and the kings of Israel. Because one particular account, ostensibly penned by Isaiah, is duplicated in Kings, only demonstrates the historian editing kings chose to append the record for the sake of a complete account of what actually happened in the Assyrian clash that is chronicled in Isaiah 37.
The account happens to be one of the most magnificent supernatural interventions in scripture -- an episode in which the angel of the LORD executed 185,000 men. One might think the ancient chroniclers of the Judean historical registry wanted to be sure the episode was not soon forgotten.
Although a "scholarly" tone is offered when these educated morons assert with a straight face that there is a "burning bush" that is "still found in the Middle East," how simple it would be to prove this ridiculous statement with a home video recorder! One would think the Discovery Channel or the Science Channel would pay handsomely for such footage; but then, that would require some effort at documenting such an outlandish statement. How much easier it is to simply flail away at the Biblical account on a word processor than actually going to the trouble to prove such nonsense.
Dr. Lesser is dishonest even in naming his radio program when it is anything but a "secular" study of the Bible. The very term implies an impartial analysis that is unclouded by religious dogma, whereas this man is clearly an enemy of the faith. He should be more honest and call the show Shredding The Scriptures, or the Atheist Hour, or some other more accurate appellation, for there is nothing impartial about this program for it is clear these men hate the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Virtually all the criticisms of the Bible offered by the Bible Review newsletter, or Dr. Lesser's misnamed weekly radio diatribe have been more than adequately answered in numerous books. John Haley's classic work Alleged Discrepancies Of The Bible (available through the catalog at Christianmedianetwork.com) is a superb 473 page defense of the veracity of scripture. Other works, such as Problem Texts, by Dr. Peter Ruckman, and Evidence That Demands A Verdict from Josh McDowell are worthy contributions to the criticisms of losers like Dr. Lesser.
The accusation that Christianity is simply another variant in a long line of virgins inseminated by a deity and producing a divine son is more problematic. This similarity to Pagan myth is genuine, and undeniable. However, there is another explanation. In the book of Genesis, we see that Lucifer, in the form of the serpent, is notified by God that the Seed of the woman shall "Bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel." (Genesis 3:15).
In this revealing encounter, Lucifer learns that God will redeem fallen man through the agency of the "seed" of the woman -- i.e. a descendant of Eve. Thus, as early as Genesis 3, Satan is in the position of formulating a plan to seek to counterfeit a work that has yet to occur. By offering 999 religious alternatives in the form of Pagan divine son myths, he is able to distract from the original. Furthermore, by utilizing this approach, he is able to make it appear that the Christian religion is just another variation on what by that time, had become an enduring theme.
This subject is examined at length in the Christian Media writing The Star Seed Conspiracy (see the catalog at Christianmedianetwork.com). Furthermore, the very fact that vast numbers of "believers" refuse to recognize this intrusive importation of Pagan myth into Christianity in the form of Christmas trees, the Ishtar celebration (Easter is derived from this), and the association of the birth of Christ with the winter solstice (and the Pagan Saturnalia, etc) simply demonstrates that many that profess themselves to be Christians are nothing of the kind.
Indeed, the fact that the very same scriptures that predict that vast numbers of professing "believers" will become completely deceived are being castigated by these atheistic teachers demonstrates the veracity of the prophecies in the first place. In short, the deceivers are themselves deceived (II Timothy 3:13) -- and they are fulfilling a multitude of prophecies in the process.
Scripture plainly instructs the believers to "be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves." (James 1:22). Because huge numbers Of "Christians" refuse to follow that admonition does not prove the admonition itself is invalid, or not scriptural. It simply demonstrates there will be a huge number of professing "Christians" to keep Dr. Lesser and his foolhardy friends company in the lake of fire.