http://solomonspalding.com/ Dedicated to exploring the Solomon Spalding authorship claims for the Book of Mormon and uncovering Latter Day Saint origins.
There are many other useful web sites now available, details of which appear at several of the above locations. Other hosts are welcome to link this web site.
The Bible Delusion
Religion: The ultimate con trick.
For a long time I have considered writing a volume concerning ‘The Bible’. The idea stemmed from some clearly impossible aspects of the Old Testament that today are generally accepted by theologians as mythological or allegorical rather than reality; and yet they formed an integral and inextricable part of the Book of Mormon story, writings supposedly from the Book of Abraham, the Book of Moses and some basic concepts taught by Joseph Smith. Therefore, his hoax is further exposed by the truth behind those aspects of the Bible. Some things; such as the ludicrous notion Joseph Smith included in his Book of Moses (5:8) and his Book of Mormon (Jacob 4:4) that all the prophets from the time of Adam taught people to pray to God in the name of Jesus; are already covered in TMD Volume 2. Considering Hebrew Scriptures do not concern the Christian concept of Jesus; the whole notion of any early prophets teaching prayer through him is about as nonsensical as any theological concept could be, yet Smith had the temerity to claim it.
I have subsequently concluded that as there is no definitive proof of God or of whether Jesus Christ even existed as one individual person, those concepts will have to remain (as they probably should remain), matters of faith, for those who choose to believe in such things. I have discovered extensive evidence already published by many archaeologists, Christian and Jewish theologians and scholars, concerning the truth behind much of the Bible and Jewish history. My intention here is to reflect the truth about the Bible, mainly as it relates to Mormon claims. I will provide just a few details which the Mormon Church once again falls foul of completely, as without them being reality there is no foundation for some fundamental core Mormon teachings established by Joseph Smith.
If I ever do write a book on the subject of the Bible, it will relate, not to Mormonism, but to religion in general, as Judaism, Christianity, and Islam all rely on Abrahamic origins.
Whilst much of the Old Testament can certainly be historically, geologically and archeologically proven to be other than as claimed, some is also a real history, albeit greatly elaborated and embellished by successive Hebrew writers in order to make their small semi-nomadic tribes appear as great nations within their region.
When researching and writing The Mormon Delusion, many aspects from the Bible that Joseph Smith referenced and upon which the Mormon Church today relies, came into serious question. After the devastating discovery that Smith was a fraud and that Mormonism was a hoax, it was equally distressing to discover that many aspects that are contained within Mormonism, which stem from the Bible, are also provably false claims. Whilst there may be an element of truth regarding some of the people, places and events, the Bible is also filled with mythology, fiction, legends, fabrications and exaggerations.
The following are some aspects which should be seriously considered in light of the reality concerning the Bible. Some Biblical accounts, upon which the Mormon Church relies, are in fact demonstrably untrue and can be proven to be fables or borrowed legends, constructed to create an historical account of Hebrew tribes which set them apart from and above other nations. They were accepted as real by Smith and so his writings include them. He was a cruel deceiver, using his vivid imagination to create a reality for his followers in order to control and manipulate them. If some aspects of the Bible are provably fiction, then some of Joseph Smith's claims are even more fundamentally flawed than already proven in TMD volumes 1-5.
I have visited the Holy Land and many of the biblical sites. It is perfectly clear, despite what some Christian web sites may claim concerning their own 'Christian' archaeological research that things are not at all as claimed in so-called scripture. For example, I visited old Jericho and looked at the digs and archaeological evidence regarding the early ‘walls’ of the city. Firstly, it was more of a village than a city in biblical times. Modern Jericho, which is not built on the same site as old Jericho, is no more than a small town, even today, with a population of a little over twenty thousand people. Secondly, the original ‘walls’ were some of the oldest in the world, dating back some fourteen thousand years, several thousands of years prior to the biblically claimed date of the creation and of Adam and Eve. Thirdly, they crumbled away (or fell) in a time frame centuries different from the biblically claimed time of Joshua. I will come back to that.
Despite evolution long being firmly established as scientific fact and the tree of life confirmed via several different disciplines which actually render the fossil record superfluous and a kind of 'bonus' if you will, to date, the Mormon Church still takes no official stance on evolution at all. This is probably because the idea of explaining what we now know about the last 13.7 billion years causes more theological problems than the Church could ever cope with. The Mormon Church has two problems here. Firstly, Joseph Smith established clear Mormon doctrine that the Earth has a lifespan of just seven-thousand years "...the hidden things of his economy concerning this earth during the seven thousand years of its continuance, or its temporal existence" (D&C 77:6). Secondly, Smith certainly accepted that Adam built an altar just a few thousand years ago – as he claimed to locate it – and the ‘saints’ would go to see it. The fact that the so-called altar stones contained fossils doesn’t seem to bother the Church at all – at least they certainly don't want to talk about it.
7 April 1931. First Presidency instructs Apostle Joseph Fielding Smith and Seventy’s president B. H. Roberts: “The subject of Pre-Adamites [is] not to be discussed in public by the brethren either for or against the theory, as the Church has not declared itself and its attitude on the question.” (Quinn, The Mormon Hierarchy: Extensions of Power. 1997:821)
A few weeks later:
May 21, 1931 - Apostle James E. Talmage, a believer in organic evolution, writes to his son: “. . . according to a tradition in the Church based on good authority as having risen from a declaration made by the Prophet Joseph Smith, a certain pile of stones at Adamondi-Ahman, Spring Hill, Mo., is really part of the altar on which Adam offered sacrifices, and that I had personally examined those stones and found them to be fossiliferous, so that if those stones be part of the first altar, Adam built it of stones containing corpses, and therefore death must have prevailed in the earth before Adam's time.”
The Church doesn’t officially comment on how that deduction is a reality. Was there then death before Adam and Eve, or did Smith lie about Adam’s altar? As evolution is now established as an absolute scientific fact and as Joseph Smith was a proven and constant compulsive liar, the answers are clear and obvious. Adam was a fictional character and Smith lied about Adam’s altar. Today, the Church most certainly allows members to believe that death entered the world following the ‘fall’ of Adam. Many religions now accept evolution as fact whilst the Mormon Church remains quiet about it. The Pope accepts evolution – and that affects half of the Christian world. He is just a little uncertain as to when ‘mankind’ started having a soul, according to Richard Dawkins book, ‘The Greatest Show on Earth.’
The original ‘walls’ of Jericho were not 'high' – being two stories at most; and they eventually just crumbled, in a time frame several centuries different to the claimed event where Joshua supposedly had the Lord make them miraculously ‘tumble’ so they could take the city with relative ease. Then their God had them kill everyone and everything. We should perhaps ask what these people had ever done to deserve such genocidal treatment? Whether the original walls eventually crumbled due to their age or earthquake (or even by the wrath of a god), they were certainly not destroyed in a timeframe even close to the Joshua claim.
In any event, Joshua could not have actually been there at any time really, as the events preceding this fictitious event were equally as fictitious; including the Israelites being in Egypt, various unrecorded (except in the Bible) plagues, and about two million people crossing the Red Sea and living in and travelling the Sinai for forty years. Most Christian Churches, including the Mormon Church, are quiet about the fact that Egyptian history, which is detailed and extensive, has no account of the Israelites ever being there in any significant numbers and only mentions small encampments on occasion outside city walls. Two million people in the Sinai for forty years would have left some evidence of their existence. Despite many decades of extensive archaeological research, just as with Smith’s claimed Book of Mormon culture, nothing has ever been found.
Israelites, living in Egypt for well over four hundred years, eventually totalling some two-million people, would have been recorded somewhere in Egyptian history. Egypt was defeated in battle at times and had other difficulties which were faithfully recorded. Despite Christian claims that the Egyptians may not have recorded anything about the Israelites due to the embarrassment of the plagues and their departure, the Egyptians did not record selective history and something would certainly have been recorded had the events been close to reality. As with much else in the Bible – these stories were just that – stories; fables, meant to give the Hebrews a more powerful and distinctive past rather than remain known as small semi-nomadic tribes of very little significance.
The following link gives a good accounting of the history and origin of the so-called ‘Israelites’.
I hardly even need to mention a global flood, the concept of which the Mormon Church clings to regarding the earth requiring a literal baptism. Life on this planet is sub-divided into domain, kingdom, phylum, class, order, family, genus, and species. The fact is that there are many millions of species which could not have survived a year long flood and could not have evolved in the short time span since said supposed flood, so everything that could not survive in water must be accounted for as having been in or on the ark. There is abundant and conclusive geological evidence from across the globe that no flood happened on that scale covering everything on the planet and for that length of time ever, let alone in that timeframe.
This fact is ignored in favour of faith in the fanciful. Evidence, again from many locations across the globe, of the continuous existence of humans and / or animals over tens, if not hundreds of thousands and in some cases even millions of years, again refutes such nonsense. To circumvent the evidence, it would require an alternate supposition – perhaps that God placed lots of new species on the planet following the flood. That has not been claimed to my knowledge, as of course it goes against the whole concept of creationism.
The fictional ‘ark’ was described as being about the size of a football field, but apart from the fact that a vessel of that size constructed entirely of 'gopher wood' and 'pitch - inside and out' could not itself actually survive a flood for any number of engineering reasons, how did it accommodate – for example, over three-hundred-and-fifty species of monkey alone? So, start with at least seven-hundred of those and begin counting. End with many millions of species on board and then add thousands of different birds on the roof, most of which cannot land on water, and you start to see the scale of the problem. If you had a hundred such arks, that would still not be enough to accommodate them all.
Then consider how, following the flood, they all managed to not only arrive in different parts of the world, but also magically leave an ancestral record of their existence in those places spanning many thousands (sometimes millions), of earlier years. To accept the ark idea as factual rather than fictional is equal to accepting the reality of Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy combined. In fact, there is actually more (anecdotal) evidence in favour of fairies (not that I am suggesting we should believe in them), than there is remotely supporting the possibility of the flood and an ark. It is just a story; a horrid, genocidal story. People love the story of God saving Noah’s family and some animals but seem to block out the many millions of murders this God committed. But a myth is all it ever was – and provably so. A very good article concerning this area written by Mark Isaak is available here:
Egyptian history and the genealogy of their Kings and Pharaohs spans many thousands of years without a ‘flood’ gap – something Smith has a major problem with in terms of his Book of Abraham. In that book, following the flood, Egyptus, daughter of Ham and Egyptus (son and daughter-in-law of Noah) discovers Egypt after the flood. The Mormon Church is quiet about the fact that this is both historically impossible and that the (English) word 'Egypt' didn’t even exist until the Greeks couldn’t pronounce the name of the country – many centuries later. See TMD Volume 2, Chapter 14 for full details of this nonsense.
The New Testament includes books ascribed to people who did not write them; the books being written and rewritten, decades to even centuries after the supposed time of Jesus Christ, by people who never knew or even met him. The Gospel of John, which is relied upon heavily in Mormonism, is accepted by many theologians as an unhistorical document, written to describe what they would have liked the Saviour to have been like, rather than a remotely true or reliable account of an individual who actually lived. The Book of Revelation is often quoted within Mormonism. It is a book considered by many theologians to have been written by a madman and it was not originally included in the Bible at all. It only later managed to squeeze its way in by the skin of its teeth – on a very narrow vote – in the fourth century CE and it was very reluctantly included when the canon of the Bible was assembled from approximately fifty gospels and literally hundreds of available epistles. Orthodox churches still do not use Revelation for scripture readings during worship. The inclusion of Revelation was and still is actively disputed but Mormons use it to their convenience.
In the Mormon ‘History of the Church’, Chapter 23 of Volume VI contains a discourse by Smith, given at a meeting held in a grove near the Temple on 16 June 1844, just days before he was killed. In it, he speaks of his ‘Godhead’ idea as well as the ‘plurality of Gods’. Smith takes as his text, Revelation 1:6 and quotes it, just as it reads in the KJV.
Rev. 1:6. “And hath made us kings and priests unto God and His Father; to him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.”
This was the basis of his latest theology on plural Gods. Note the phrase, “God and His Father”. Smith then states “It is altogether correct in the translation” in order to support his latest concept – of polytheism.
However, Smith had obviously forgotten that some eleven to fourteen years earlier, he had produced his ‘Inspired Revision’ of the Bible, at which time he still had a singularly monotheistic view. (The official 'First Vision' wasn’t conceived until 1838 and then backdated to 1820 for convenience. See 'The First Vision' article on the side bar). In it, Smith had actually altered that very verse by removing the word ‘and’ to clarify the doctrine that God the Father was the only God and that he did not have a Father himself.
“…and hath made us kings and priests unto God his Father. To him be glory and dominion, forever and ever. Amen.” (Inspired Revision. Rev 1:6).
How ironic it is that not only was Smith a forgetful fraud, but that his reference may well have been originally penned by someone who was mentally ill. It is also an irony that in this instance his ‘correction’ in the IR is actually closer to a literal translation than the KJV. But he is caught out here by reverting to the original text after he had ‘corrected’ it; so much for Joseph Smith being a true prophet. This act alone is proof positive that he was anything but.
The whole concept of original sin, or in Mormon terms, the ‘fall of man’ and the need for ‘atonement’ are accepted as scriptural and yet no such concept ever appeared in Judaism. It was never biblical in the first place. The whole concept of original sin was the late invention of St. Augustine in the fourth century CE. How did ‘sin’ get into the world? Augustine ‘decided’ that sex and death came via Eve. Much of Genesis as we now read it stems from no earlier than 600 BCE. The concept stems from other stories. We tend to forget that the Old Testament is Jewish Scripture hijacked by Christians and made to fit new Christian theology that was invented many years after Jesus supposedly lived. The Jews never did and still do not believe in the devil – or heaven or hell in the Christian sense for that matter. Judaism is an entirely different concept from Christianity in every way.
The whole concept of ‘one God’ was not originally part of Judaism; something many Christians, and especially Mormons, have no idea about. The concept just evolved over time. At the supposed time of Moses and the 'Ten Commandments', their God did not demand they worshipped ONLY him; rather he required that none of their other gods – which they were being weaned off – were put before him. There were always a host of other gods to worship and definitely a feminine deity was popular with the women in particular. Archaeology in Jerusalem, outside the city walls, has seen the discovery of figurines from Jewish settlements dating to 800 BCE. Many centuries after the time of Moses, we have over a thousand of these figurines depicting a feminine God. In Jewish homes, they were then still worshipping multiple Gods and it was only at the end of the eighth century BCE that the single God concept finally became accepted and more firmly established.
In ancient Egypt, monotheism has its roots in the establishment of the one “sun” god by Akhenaten of Amarna (1352-1336 BCE). This was possibly a forerunner of Judaism, Christianity and Islam. The people still followed the traditional gods, such as fertility gods etc.
Later generations branded Akhenaten a criminal and a heretic as he threatened 2000 years of Egyptian religion. The return to the old religion came quickly and was during his son’s time. (Tutankhamen). The boy king reigned from age nine to about eighteen when his uncle who was caretaking should have handed over power. Tut mysteriously died at exactly that point. (Recent DNA testing has established that he fell ill and died, rather than being assassinated). Pharaoh after Pharaoh set about disinheriting the old religion. The idea of one god then surfaced as the God of Moses.
Dr. Oded Lipschitz confirmed that the “single God idea did not take hold until many centuries after Moses supposedly wrote down the Ten Commandments.”
The creation story first started more than five-hundred years after Moses lived. That story, like many other parts of the Old Testament, was created after the Babylonian roust of Jerusalem and the Jews were in exile. They believed they deserved exile as they must have sinned and exile was temporary. The creation story was conceived and written at this time and it draws heavily on Babylonian myth and legends. The Jewish God works alone in an act of benign will. Six-hundred years after he cleared out all rivals, he became the God of the Christians; six-hundred years after that, he also became the God of Islam.
Although Wikipedia can be notoriously inaccurate, it does have a useful thread under the heading ‘Adam and Eve’ which provides basic details of some original myths and legends that preceded the later Biblical story. It is well worth a look.
As a Jewish Rabbi put it: “Belief transcends rationale and understanding.”
Distinguished philosopher, Professor A. C. Grayling, says “There are so many different creation myths from many different parts of history and so many cultures and all of them share something in common, which is the ignorance of the people who created the creation myths. What they wanted was a story to tell. They wanted a narrative. They wanted a beginning for things and so they made up a story about an agent bigger and more powerful than they were from which the world came. Think of this; if you thought the wind and the thunder were agents like yourself but irresistible and more powerful and then you discovered over many generations that they weren’t; they were part of nature; the agencies in question would begin to move out of nature up to the mountain tops and then into the sky and finally outside space and time altogether. As the horizons of science advance, so the gods vanish further and further away. People want to believe it; therefore they stop themselves thinking about it too clearly.”
In terms of Mormonism, relative to the legends of the origins of Native American tribes, I have researched all of them and none have any connection with any Book of Mormon concepts or Christianity. I included one such legend in TMD Vol. 2., concerning a tribe which a Mormon prophet declared were remnant Lamanites.
In response to the beauty of literature and music etc., “Absolutely no one can deny that our emotional lives; what in a secular sense I would call our spiritual lives; are the most important thing about us. That’s why poetry and music matter. That is why love matters. That is why human relationships matter. Why is it necessary, in addition to the beautiful music; to the stirring poetry; to the profundity of our love for other people; to add on these ancient stories of gods and ghosts? They don’t do anything to enrich it and even indeed historically, they get in the way of it.”
A senior pastor, when questioned about the creation, explained “How could a whole dinosaur be preserved? Noah’s flood!”… forgetting that the supposed flood occurred relatively recently and dinosaurs went extinct sixty-five million years before modern humans ever existed. He not only stated that he believed in a six-thousand-year-old earth, but also claimed science was on his side. He did not explain how.
I was most interested to learn when the gospels were actually written and of the growing consensus of thought regarding whether Jesus Christ actually existed as one individual person. The evidence against such an individual actually being real is quite compelling. There is absolutely no evidence to corroborate such a being outside of the claims made in the documents that now form the New Testament. Before anyone cites Josephus, let me add that I have read his works. He was a Jew and the short paragraph that supposedly represents his notation concerning Jesus Christ was clearly a much later interpolation to help support the Christian position and that fact is generally accepted by most historians as well as realistic theologians. An article by Marshall J. Gauvin is worth reading regarding this matter:
The following is a collection of statements that I found most interesting but I have no original reference for them and so apologise to whoever first collated these. They are not mine and original identification appears wherever possible.
"One of the curious features of the book of Genesis is the absence of any reference to what is going on in the ancient Near East during the second millenium B.C. - S Hooke - Peake's Commentary on the Bible, p.188.
“Ur was Sumerian and had no connection with the people known as the Chaldaeans until a thousand years after any possible date to which Abraham can be attributed.” – M. Grant, The History of Ancient Israel, p32.
“Solomon ... in the eyes of Israelite historians, marked the apex of Israelite achievement. Curiously, no reference to him or his father David, or their empire in a non-Israelite source is known ... ” – Isserlin (The Israelites, p72)
“Monumental structures once attributed to the building activities of Solomon in the cities of Megiddo, Gezer and Hazor have been shown over the years to date from various archaeological periods spanning centuries.” – Rohl (A Test of Time, p34)
‘Neither Moses, nor an enslaved Israel nor the event of this Exodus are recorded in any known ancient records outside the Bible ... Although its climate has preserved the tiniest traces of ancient bedouin encampments and the sparse 5000-year-old villages of mine workers there is not a single trace of Moses or the Israelites.’ – John Romer, Testament, pp57/8.
“Damascus reached its zenith during the reign of Hazael ... Transjordanian regions were overrun ... Hazael was able to cross Israelite territory to progress down the coastal plain to take Gath in Philistia ... In fact, Hazael appears to have established an empire or sphere of influence not unlike that ascribed to David.” – B.S.J. Isserlin (The Israelites, p86)
“The desire to read the letters bytdvd as house of david is ... a classic example of scholars working backwards from the Bible rather than forwards from the evidence.” – M. Sturgis, It Ain’t Necessarily So, p129.
“‘Ur of the Chaldees’ in Genesis is clearly an anachronistic reference … ‘Chaldaeans’ did not appear in Mesopotamia until the 7th century BC.” – Magnus Magnusson, The Archaeology of the Bible Lands-BC, pp 31,206.
‘Instead of splitting the carcass of a sea-monster to create the world, as Marduk did, Yahweh divided the Sea of Reeds to let his people escape from Pharaoh and the pursuing army. Instead of slaying the demonic hordes, like Marduk, Yahweh drowned the Egyptians.’ (K. Armstrong, A History of Jerusalem, p31)
“...an archaeological analysis of the patriarchal, conquest, judges, and United Monarchy narratives [shows] that while there is no compelling archaeological evidence for any of them, there is clear archaeological evidence that places the stories themselves in a late 7th-century BCE context.”
“...an archaeological reconstruction of the distinct histories of the kingdoms of Israel and Judah, highlighting the largely neglected history of the Omride Dynasty and attempting to show how the influence of Assyrian imperialism in the region set in motion a chain of events that would eventually make the poorer, more remote, and more religiously conservative kingdom of Judah the belated center of the cultic and national hopes of all Israel.” -Silberman and Finkelstein.
“In the fantasy ‘history’ (chapter 1 of the Book of Numbers) 603,550 ‘males of military age’ fled Egypt at the time of the Exodus, which implies a refugee army of at least two million – more than the total population of Egypt itself! And this multitude supposedly wandered the wilderness for forty years, contriving to leave not a trace of their passing for posterity.”
“Despite the mass of contemporary records that have been unearthed in Egypt, not one historical reference to the presence of the Israelites has yet been found there. Not a single mention of Joseph, the Pharaoh’s ‘Grand Vizier’. Not a word about Moses, or the spectacular flight from Egypt and the destruction of the pursuing Egyptian army.” Magnus Magnusson (The Archaeology of the Bible Lands - BC, p43)
“The archaeological evidence in Jerusalem for the famous building projects of Solomon is nonexistent. 19th and early 20th century excavations around the Temple Mount in Jerusalem failed to identify even a trace of Solomon’s fabled Temple or palace complex.” (Finkelstein, Silberman, p128)
“The scientific position is clear. There is no evidence of any kind for the existence of Abraham (supposedly the Israelites’ founding patriarch), Moses, or Solomon. At the time of the Exodus, Canaan—the Promised Land to which the Israelites were fleeing—was ruled and firmly controlled by the very Egypt from which they were trying to escape.
Jerusalem, which was supposed to have become the capital of the great unified empire of King David (he of David and Goliath fame), appears to have been tiny and only sparsely inhabited in the relevant period. Many of the great monuments of ancient Israel attributed on the authority of the Old Testament to King Solomon were of a later date.
Excavations of early Israelite settlements on the West Bank of the Jordan since the 1967 Six Day War have suggested strongly that the Israelites were in fact of local Canaanite stock.
They were probably desert nomads who took to hill farming for economic reasons, and developed into two kingdoms—a northern one called Israel, and a southern called Judah. The Bible reflects the slightly differing traditions of the two kingdoms, and when the north collapsed in the 8th century BC and its people fled south, an attempt was made through written texts to unify and reconcile both peoples. Thus the Old Testament began to take shape.
The Bible says the Israelites first began to worship one God in the time of Moses. But in fact, the Israelites from both north and south were actually polytheistic, and the process of monotheism didn’t begin till many centuries after that supposed time."
Regarding supposed Biblical evidence:
“The Yoash stone, named after a ruler of the ancient Hebrew kingdom of Judah, was cited as possibly the strongest historical evidence of the biblical account of the First Temple, built by King Solomon in the 10th century B.C. and destroyed by the Babylonians in the 6th century B.C. The stone’s inscription gives instructions in ancient Hebrew for maintaining the Temple.
Israeli officials received a tip questioning the authenticity of the Yoash stone two years ago and began an investigation that kept expanding, according to Mr. Dorfman, the Antiquities Authority head. The authority announced in June 2003 that James’s burial box and the Yoash stone were forgeries.
The Israeli authorities said Wednesday that Mr. Golan, working through intermediaries, had been behind both the burial box and the Yoash stone.
The criminal charges filed Wednesday were the first in the case, and they came just days after the Israel Museum said an independent panel had concluded that the ivory pomegranate, which it bought in 1988 from an unknown seller by depositing half a million dollars in a Swiss bank account, was not authentic.
The pomegranate is believed to date back 3,400 years, but its inscription was added recently, the museum said. The Wednesday indictments cited the pomegranate as an example of a high-profile forgery, but did not charge any of the four suspects with counterfeiting it.”
I could continue and record many other aspects that affect both Mormonism and also other religious beliefs – such as the concept that Herod had all the young male children killed. Christians imagine this amounted to thousands if not tens of thousands of children. Historians confirm Herod was far more concerned about his masters in Rome than the locals and he would not have been bothered about rumours of a child king being born. However, had he really had them killed, the village was so small that the entire number of children supposedly killed “would not have filled a minibus” as explained the other evening on a National Geographic programme. The Bible allows us to paint fantastical pictures in our minds that are wildly exaggerated or often just fanciful. I will leave it there and allow the reader to continue his or her own research as they wish. Everything is easily discovered. You only have to take the time to look. My only advice is, don’t trust anything anyone else says – including me – accept evidence, and only evidence in support of any claim.