Over the course of the last two years there there has emerged a certain degree of respect toward Christianity within atheistic circles. Prominent atheist thinkers such as Stefan Molyneux and Jordan Peterson, for example, have identified Christianity as the primary bulwark against the spread of cultural Marxism and its religious fetish, Islam, and have advocated employing Christian principles in the fight against these totalitarian forces.
It was not so long ago that atheists relentlessly trolled Christians, mocking them for believing in their “invisible sky God.” One could neither mention the commandments of God nor faith in Jesus as being necessary or even beneficial for one’s life without withering ridicule. However, this mocking has diminished in proportion to the growing awareness of the the utility of Christian principles in the fight against Marxism, and many atheists are now loudly proclaiming the value of Christian faith and virtue in public spaces without derision.
There’s just one problem: They’re not real Christians. Certainly, they understand that there is profit to be had in embodying Christian virtues, but that doesn’t make an individual Christian. Moreover, Christian virtues are derived from the individual Christian’s experience. You can try to divide them, but you will fail.
You see, these “cultural Christians” do not believe in the existence of God. They believe that the scriptures were written by extraordinarily clever men in order to teach their people how to live good lives. To them, there was no flood of Noah. Jonah was never swallowed by a fish. Sodom and Gomorrah were not destroyed by fire and brimstone from heaven, and may never have existed in the first place. The exodus never took place. Most importantly, they believe that the Son of God never incarnated himself in human flesh and blood to die for our trespasses and provide a template for a just and charitable life.
In other words, no.
The belief in the literal word of God is indispensable to possessing Christian virtue. Without that belief, there will not be the trust or conviction in either the scriptures or God Himself necessary to subject one’s self to divine law and bring about a reformation of the mind. Without a reformation of the mind there can be no revival of the spirit, and without a revival of the spirit the character cannot change. If the character does not change, Christian virtues and principles cannot truly manifest. Certainly, Christian virtues can be pretended at, but there will be no conviction behind them, and the pretender is doomed to failure and defeat.
Why does the cultural Christian discount the literal word of God? I think it comes down to two factors. On one hand, society demands they reject the scriptures. Government schools mock God’s word, teaching its students that only superstitious fools would take it literally, and tickling their vanity by convincing them that they are intellectual giants by rejecting the Bible. But when have these schools ever taught the truth about anything? These are the same schools that teach that men and women are equal, that all races are exactly the same, and that pointing out any difference is tantamount to irrational bigotry. They teach that fractional reserve banking is the most responsible means of managing the economy, that we should worship the state, and that endless foreign invasions are anything but a war crime. They insist that boys are just broken girls, and drug and emotionally abuse those who dare to show any kind of original thought or initiative. Why would you believe anything these people have to say?
On the other hand, I think, is a lack of paternal role models. If Christianity is anything, it is a religion of fatherhood. God acts as father to the believer, remaking in them a new spirit and adopting them into the Heavenly family. The believer then surrenders their will to their new father, trusting in His benevolence and power. But if that individual grew up in a single mother’s household and never had a father, or if their father was inconsistent, hypocritical, or abusive, how can the believer conceive of a loving, reliable, paternal God? How can they ever trust their Father in Heaven without fear of being taken advantage of?
I offer this challenge to cultural Christians. Set aside everything that the tribe demands you believe about Christianity and the scriptures. Set aside any personal dislike of Christians you may have known, Christians who have betrayed their divine mandate and trespassed against you. Reallocate your free time for a little while to see if the scriptures are truly without historical support.
How should you do this? When performing research, the researcher never tests the hypothesis, as that is impossible. One would have to prove the hypothesis in every possible scenario, and that is beyond human capability. Instead, the researcher must test the opposite of the hypothesis, known as the null hypothesis. If you can prove the null hypothesis, then the hypothesis is proved false, and the researcher has gained knowledge.
What is the hypothesis of the cultural Christian? It is that, though Christianity has some useful ideas about how to live your life, the scriptures are without historical validity and not literally true. Therefore you must test the null hypothesis, and attempt to find evidence in the archaeological record that provides support for the events recorded in the scriptures. Only when you have made your best attempt and failed can you be certain that your original skepticism was proven correct.
For what should you search? I recommend that you look for Noah’s ark, resting in the mountains of Ararat. Search for the blasted ruins of Sodom, Gomorrah, and the other cities of the plain. Examine the granaries of Joseph, buried beneath the sands of Saqqara. Explore Mount Sanai in Midian, the rock of Horeb from which water flowed for Israel, and the chariots of Pharaoh Thutmose III which lie submerged beneath the Gulf of Aqaba. Dig into the documents of ancient Egypt in search of records of Moses. Search for the remains of the giants of Canaan and their megalithic architecture. Attempt to locate the Ark of the Covenant and the first temple furniture. Thoroughly search these things out, and only then come back here and tell me that the God of the Bible is a myth employed by scribes to exert control over society. If you find no such evidence, rest assured that you were right all along, but if you do find evidence, consider that you may have just discovered the secret weapon to defeating cultural Marxism, resisting Islam, and saving yourself in this life and the life to come.
The Scriptures use a number of different methods of encoding meaning. There exists the literal meaning, the spiritual meaning, and the typological meaning. However, one form of meaning that is often overlooked is that meaning which is encoded into names.
I do not speak merely of meaning encoded into single names. Certainly that exists, especially among the old testament patriarchs, or even the name of YHWH Himself. However, this article will primarily concentrate on messages encoded into multiple names, such as specific biblical blood lines. We will be primarily using two resources in our examination, namely A Dictionary of the Proper Names of the Old and New Testament Scriputres by J. B. Jackson and Strong’s Concordance with Hebrew and Greek Lexicon by James Strong.
The Line of Seth:
Let’s begin by exploring the meaning of the names of the pre-flood descendents of Adam, passing down the line of his righteous son, Seth.
Adam: Man, or red earth. Some have speculated this may mean that Adam had a ruddy, Mediterranean complexion.
Seth: Appointed, put, or substituted. This refers to the fact that Seth was a substitution for Abel following his murder by his brother, Cain.
Enosh: Mortal. This likely points to the mortality of man.
Cainan: Most sources suggest the meaning of Cainan is smith, fabricator, or possession. However, some sources claim that Cainan means sorrow, so I took a closer look. Cainan (also Kenan) is really “qeynan” in Hebrew. Another word, “qiynah,” means a sorrowful dirge or lamentation. Qiynah is used to refer to the Kenites, and is derived from the name Cain. The etymological similarity is far too close to ignore, and so I think we can safely conclude that Cainan also means sorrow.
Mahalelel: Praise of God, or the blessed God.
Jared: To come down, descend, or descender.
Enoch: Initiated, dedicated, train, or teach.
Methuselah: Man of a dart, they died, or his death shall bring. The name Methuselah is the combination of two verbs: Mat (or mut) and shalah. Mat means man or mankind, but mut means death, or to kill by violence. Shalah means to bring, or send. Interestingly, if you do the math you will find that Methuselah died the same year as the flood of Noah, so his death truly did bring the flood.
Lamech: J.B. Jackson’s Dictionary of the Proper Names of the Old and New Testament Scriptures lists the meaning of Lamech as “why thus with the” or “unto bringing low,” but I do not know from where he arrived at the first conclusion. Strong’s Concordance says that Lamech (lemek) is “From an unused root of uncertain meaning.” Thus, if we are to accurately determine the meaning of the name, we must break it down.
Lamech may be a combination of “le” and “muk.” Le means to, or towards, and muk means to be low, or depressed. Some have compared lamech to the english word lamentation, suggesting that despairing may be a good definition for Lamech. However, considering it comes from an unused root, we may never know for sure what it means, precisely.
Now that we have the meanings of these various names, let’s put them together into a single paragraph. Man is appointed mortal sorrow. The blessed God shall come down, teaching. His death shall bring the despairing rest.
Here we have a messianic prophecy encoded into the names of the antedeluvian patriarchs, thousands of years before the time of Jesus. Of course, the more picky among us may take issue with the meaning of Lamech’s name, but even if we substitute despairing with low or depressed, the meaning of the prophecy remains the same. If the Sethite bloodline contains just such a message, it begs the question: What about the line of Cain?
The Line of Cain:
Cain: Maker, fabricator, smith, or sorrow. Very similar to Cainan.
Enoch: Initiated, dedicated, train, or teach. See above.
Irad: Fugitive, A wild ass, or city of witness.
Mehujael: Smitten of God, or blot out that Jah is my God.
Methushael: Man who is of God, or they died enquiring.
Lamech: Why thus with the, unto bringing low, depressed, or despairing. See above.
Now, when putting together the names of the line of Cain a message does emerge, but the children of Lamech, for some reason, don’t seem to be part of it, so I left them out. The message is as follows: A fabricator dedicated a wild ass to blotting out that Jah is my God. They died despairing.
I think we can safely conclude that these names are not mere coincidence. If God encoded messages in the names of the antedeluvian patriarchs, what about other names from scripture? What about the name of God himself, YHWH?
When God came to Moses in the form of a burning bush in the third chapter of Exodus, he named himself “I AM.” The Hebrew word for “I AM” is spelled YHWH, and is referred to by scholars as the tetragrammaton. The tetragrammaton appears in scripture more than 6,000 times, and is usually incorrectly translated as “the Lord.” In Hebrew, not only names, but also individual letters and numbers have meaning. So what do the letters which make up the name of God mean?
Y: Yod, meaning hand. Symbolizes power.
H: He (or hey), meaning behold.
W: Vav (or waw), meaning hook, peg, or nail.
Thus, the name of God is spelled Yod-Hey-Vav-Hey. Reading right to left as the Hebrews did, this does not make much sense, but if we read it in reverse, we get “behold the nail, behold the hand.” It is not much of a stretch to say that this is a reference to the crucifixion. Moreover, the tetragrammaton identifies YHWH as the “right hand” of the Father, the one on whom the fate of the human race “hangs”. That being said, the tetragrammaton appears in scripture as early as the Torah and the book of Job. The Torah was written by Moses during his exile in Midian 15 centuries before the time of Christ, and the events recorded in the book of Job are thought by many to have occurred before the flood of Noah, itself a thousand years before Moses. Such clear and sophisticated foreknowledge makes it very difficult for atheists to argue that scripture is merely the result of the imaginations of a bunch of primitive, superstitious men.
Scripture is filled with nuggets of information such as these, if we have the wit to find them. If you are interested in searching for such encoded knowledge, I suggest using E-sword with Strong’s Concordance with Hebrew and Greek Lexicon. Both E-sword and Strong’s Concordance are free and readily available on the internet. J. B. Jackson’s Dictionary of the Proper Names of the Old and New Testament Scriputres is likewise free in PDF form, and each can be downloaded from the links below:
A Dictionary of the Proper Names of the Old and New Testaments:
- Jackson, J. B. A Dictionary of the Proper Names of the Old and New Testament Scriptures, Being an Accurate and Literal Translation from the Original Tongues. 1908.
- Strong, James. Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible, 1890.
- “Behold the Nail, Behold the Hand – The Secret (Sacred) Name of God – YHWH.” YouTube, uploaded by Offgrid Life, 18 February, 2012, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0p2ZqRCipX4