My new book, The Delusion of Christianity: An Invitation to the Torah for Humanity, has been published. It is available on Amazon and other marketplaces. Below, I provide a brief summary of the main themes of the book.
My motivation for adding another drop of notes in this vast theological subject matter is simple: I wanted to present my points---from a historical and philosophical perspective---as to why I do not have sufficient evidence to espouse the ch'ristian dogma. I start by granting the benefit of the doubt to the open-minded skeptic (who is genuinely looking for answers) as well as to the fervent ch'ristian evangelist (who won't refrain from fishing souls on the street). Based on that approach, I construct a simple logical framework of three claims that I believe are necessary and sufficient to espouse the ch'ristian tenets. I spend the rest of part one of the book arguing why each of those three claims does not stand the test of logic and historicity. In part two of the book, I proceed to invite the open-minded skeptic as well as the deluded ch'ristian to embrace the primordial faith---Torah Judaism for Non-Jews---which the Jewish Nation has preserved since they inherited the commandments at Mount Sinai.
For the open-minded skeptic, I argue that the reason why most refuse to dig deeper into the matter is because they are discouraged by the subtle difference between questions on the nature of G-d and the existence of G-d. Skeptics often answer the question of existence in the negative by arguing that the nature of G-d is such that it precludes the possibility of an all-loving, all-merciful deity. The mother of all contentions is the logical impossibility of predestination and free will, especially in the touchy case of the problem of evil: why do bad things happen? To address these objections, I present the view of compatibilism and I argue that only in the case that G-d exists can there truly be free will. I construct a tree-based model of our decision-making process in life, which shapes what our life tree looks like given the decisions we make at every instant we are alive (see Exhibit 3 below extracted from page 39 of my book). I conclude that only if G-d exists are we truly free, for G-d can provide infinitely many choices for us to make, including the option to do evil. It is, then, our choice to go either direction---good or evil---which affects the rest of the world for better or worse.
After addressing the main scientific and philosophical objections from skeptics, I proceed to construct a logical framework to analyze the logical and historical validity of ch'ristian tenets. The claims are simple and I derived them from a through experiment in response to a question from a ch'ristian friend: What would it take me to establish faith in G-d as per the ch'ristian doctrine? Clearly, the New Testament documents, where we learn about the new Greco-Roman religion, should be historically reliable. In other words, the material we read in the ch'ristian Bible should not have been doctored away from the original manuscripts and events. Then, given the claim that the Tanakh scriptures have been reliably preserved (which I explain why is the case in my book), one should demonstrate that the supposed Tanakh prophecies were fulfilled as taught by Christendom. The three claims are listed below as I have presented them in the book (page 50):
Claim 1 – The Property of Fulfilled Prophecies The alleged prophecies on the physical resurrection of the Messiah as developed in the Old Testament scriptures were fulfilled as exposed in the New Testament scriptures.
Claim 2 – The Property of Reliability The scriptures have been stably and reliably transmitted without distorting the primal Christian doctrine. This property encompasses the following requirements, all of which must be validated for Claim 2 to be valid:
Claim 2(a) Old Testament scriptures are historically intact (legitimately so), and
Claim 2(b) Old Testament scriptures are historically reliable (i.e., accurately record the proclaimed events), and
Claim 2(c) New Testament scriptures are historically intact (legitimately so), and
Claim 2(d) New Testament scriptures and the proclaimed events surrounding physical resurrection are historically reliable. The historical authenticity would have to be determined by sufficient reliable evidence.
Claim 3 – The Property of Divinity Jesus is the prophesied Messiah and, by Christian theology, the Son of God.
In order for the ch'ristian doctrine to hold, all three claims above must be collectively valid beyond reasonable doubt. In the book, I analyze the logical implications between the three properties and conclude that any inquiry into the validity of the ch'ristian doctrinal claims should start by analyzing the Property of Reliability, i.e., whether the written records of the ch'ristian Bible are historically reliable. I argue they are not, given the relatively large historical blackout between the supposed date of Yeshua's crucifixion (33 C.E., to minimize bias) and the earliest unearthed manuscripts (mid-second century C.E., to avoid bias). I illustrate a simple histogram of the manuscripts with key historical events in Exhibit 10 (page 116):
It's easy to see the historical gap between the crucifixion (first solid vertical line) and the supposed manuscripts in the second century (eight of them represented by the second dashed vertical line). In other words, there is zero historical material during that period---we simply have copies of copies from the emerging powerful Church and no other reference material to assess their validity. I use this and many other historical and philosophical arguments to conclude that the Property of Reliability does not hold and, as such, a sane mind ought to suspend judgment with respect to the ch'ristian dogma.
Technically, because the New Testament documents are not reliable, an open-minded reader should end their inquiry into the ch'ristian faith at that point. Many people, however, choose to believe what they wish were true. With that in mind, I proceed to analyze the other two claims of my framework to conclude, based on evidence from Torah Judaism, historical research, and thought experiments, that those claims do not hold either (exhibit from page 206):
I leverage this conclusion to introduce the reader to the ancient faith of the Divine Code, which the Jewish Nation has preserved since Mount Sinai. I briefly present the seven commandments, I argue on their ethical implications, present a brief history of the movement, and discuss what it means to live a life of faith in G-d beyond the letter.
I would like to end this article with a quote from Rabbi Abraham Kook (Quoted in Arthur Hertzberg, ed. Judaism. The Unity of the Jewish Spirit Throughout the Ages. George Braziller, 1962, p. 44):
The world and all that it contains is waiting for the Light of Israel, for the Exalted Light radiating from Him Whose Name is to be praised. This people was fashioned by God to speak of His glory; it was granted the heritage of the blessing of Abraham so that it might disseminate the knowledge of God. . . . The Light of Israel is not a Utopian dream, or some abstract morality, or merely a pious wish and a noble vision. It does not wash its hands of the material world and all its values, abandoning the flesh, and society and government to wallow in their impurity, and forsaking the forces of nature, which fell in the Fall of Man, to remain in their low estate. It is, rather, a raising of all life.
Feel free to comment below to request a free paperback if you cannot afford the book at the listed price. A portion of the proceedings will go to the Noahide Academy of Israel.
By Yair Borici
Yair Borici embraced the opportunity to observe the Torah for Non-Jews in 2014 upon running into a talk on the Crown of the Torah by Rabbi Manis Friedman while learning Biblical Hebrew on his own. He studied the Sheva Miztwoth Hashem (Divine Code) by Rabbi Moshe Weiner and took the various courses with Rabbi Moshe Perets in the World Noahide Academy starting in 2016. Yair also attended courses with Sephardi Rabbis going beyond the seven categories, including studying Mishneh Torah by the Rambam. Yair has studied is'lam and ch'ristianity extensively for the past 22 years. His focus is raising awareness of and edifying various audiences on the ancient faith in the one true God that the Jewish Nation has carefully preserved since they received the Torah at Sinai.