Hello, everyone. Eric Wilson here. This is going to be a brief video because I’m still getting my new place set up. It was an exhausting move. (May I never have to do another one.) But soon the video studio is fully configured, I hope to be able to use it to produce videos more quickly.
As we have observed on previous occasions, more and more Jehovah’s Witnesses are waking up to the reality of the organization. News coverage of the child sexual abuse scandal is not going away and is becoming harder and harder for sincere Witnesses to ignore. Then, there’s the alarming reality of the widespread sale of Kingdom halls and the subsequent shrinkage in the number of congregations. Five have just been put up for sale in my area alone, and that’s just the beginning. Many longstanding congregations have simply disappeared, being subsumed to make one from two or from three. Increase and expansion have always been what Jehovah’s Witnesses point to when they claim God’s blessing, but that no longer fits the reality.
When the day finally comes for some who awaken, the majority sadly abandon all hope. So fearful are they of being deceived ever again that they actually fall prey to further deception, believing that there is no God, or if there is, he doesn’t really care about us. They go on the internet and swallow down all manner of silly conspiracy theories and anyone who wants to trash the Bible becomes their guru.
Having seen the organization for what it is, they now question everything. Don’t get me wrong. It’s important to question everything, but if you’re going to do it, then do it. Critical thinking doesn’t question some things and then stop. The critical thinker doesn’t find an answer he or she likes and then turns off the mind. The real critical thinker questions everything!
Let me illustrate. Let’s say that you question whether the flood really occurred. That’s a really big question, because both Jesus and Peter referred to the Flood of Noah’s Day, so if it never occurred, it really means we can’t trust any of the Bible as God’s word. It’s just another book from men. (Mt 24:36-39; 1 Pe 3:19, 20) Fine, so you want to know if there is anything that would either prove or disprove that the Flood described in Genesis really happened.
You go on the internet and you find some who claim that it could not have happened because the age of the pyramids is known and according to Bible chronology, they were already built when the Flood happened, so there should be water damage showing, yet there is none. Therefore, the conclusion is that the Flood is a Bible myth.
The reasoning sounds logical. You accept as fact the date of the Flood as expressed in Scripture and the age of the pyramids as established by archeology and science. So, the conclusion seem inescapable.
But are you truly thinking critically? Are you really questioning everything?
If you have listened to my videos you will know that I am a strong proponent of critical thought. That doesn’t just apply to the teachings of religious leaders, but must apply to everyone who presumes to teach us, instruct us, or just share their opinions with us. It certainly applies to me. I would not want anyone to accept anything I say at face value. A proverb says, “thinking ability will keep watch over you, and discernment will safeguard you…” (Pr 2:11)
Our ability to think, to discern, to critically analyse is what safeguards us from the deception which is all around us. But thinking ability or critical thinking is like a muscle. The more you use it, the stronger it gets. Use it only a little, and it gets weaker.
So, what are we missing if we accept the reasoning of those who claim the age of the pyramids prove there was no Flood?
The Bible tells us:
“The first to state his case seems right, Until the other party comes and cross-examines him.” (Pr 18:17)
If we listen only to videos that try to prove there was no Flood, we are only hearing one side of the argument. Yet, we might say, how could anyone argue against this. It’s just math. True, but this math is based on two premises which we have accepted unquestioningly. A critical thinker questions everything—everything. If you do not question the premise upon which an argument is based, how do you know your argument has a rock-solid foundation? For all you know, you might actually be building on sand.
The argument against the Flood being true is that ‘the age of the pyramids is known and it predates the date the Bible sets for the Flood, yet there is no evidence of water damage on any of the pyramids.’
I am a Bible student, so I have a natural bias causing me to believe the Bible is always right. Therefore, the one element of this argument that I would be disinclined to question is that the Bible is wrong about the date of the Flood. And it is for this reason, this personal bias, that the one premise I should question above all others is whether the Bible chronology is accurate.
That may sound like an astonishing statement to make, but I want to think about it this way: What I am holding in my hand is a bible, but really it is not a bible. We call it a bible, but when we read the title, it says, “The New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures”. It’s a translation. This is also a translation: The Jerusalem Bible. It’s called a bible, but it’s a translation; this one by the Catholic Church. And over here, we have the Holy Bible—simply called the Holy Bible…King James. The full name is the King James Version. It’s called a version. A version of what? Again, all of these are versions, or translations, or renderings of…original manuscripts? No. Of copies. No one has the original manuscripts; the actual parchments, or tablets, or whatever it may be that were penned by the original Bible writers. All we have are copies. That’s not a bad thing. Actually, it’s quite a good thing, as we’ll see later on. But the important thing to remember is that we’re dealing with translations; so therefore, we have to question: What are they translated from? Are there multiple sources and do they agree?
I should add a little note in here for those who think the King James is the only true Bible. It is a good Bible, yes, but it was done by a committee appointed by King James and as any other committee that works on any Bible translation, they were guided by their own understanding and their own biases. So really, we cannot except any particular translation or version as the one Bible. But rather we should use all of them and then go deeper into interlinears until we find the truth.
The points I’m trying to make are these: If you’re going to question anything in Scripture make sure you listen to both sides of the argument. And if you’re going to question anything, make sure you question everything, even things you hold to be fundamentally and unalterably true.
I have come to believe that the age of the pyramids actually contributes to proving there was a flood. But instead of explaining that, I’m going to let someone else do it. After all, why reinvent the wheel when someone has already done it and done it better than I would have.
At the end of this video I will put up a video link for you to follow to get the answers to the questions we have just raised. The author of the video is a Christian like myself. I don’t know him personally and so cannot say that I would agree with all his scriptural understandings, but I will not allow differences of opinion to separate me from anyone who believes sincerely in the Christ. That is the mindset of Jehovah’s Witnesses and I no longer accept that as valid. But what is important here is not the messenger, but the message. You must make your own evaluation based on the evidence. Just make sure always that you look at all the evidence before arriving at a conclusion. I hope to be back in the swing of things next week but until then, may our Lord continue to bless your work.