Is The Fine Tuning Of The Universe An Evidence For The Existence Of God?

If you gaze at the universe with a curious eye, you would find wonder on every level, our universe is a true masterpiece! This, when viewed through the eyes of faith, we see a personal God crafting a complex universe that includes our life-giving home, the Earth. But does science see the same thing? To answer this question, we shall discuss the concept of the fine tuning of the universe.  

What does “fine tuning” mean? 

Fine tuning in itself does not mean that there is a designer behind the creation of the universe. However, what it does scientifically mean is that the universe is held by physical constants within a very narrow range that permits life to exist. One clear example of this is the gravitational force constant (G), which is the large scale attraction force that holds people on earth, and holds planets, stars, and galaxies together. If these gravitational constants varied by just 1 part in 10^60 (one in ten to the sixtieth parts) none of us would exist.  

The odds that all the physical constants that hold the universe exist as we have them now is 1 to 10^120 (that is one in ten to the one hundred and twentieth). To put that into perspective, the number of atoms in the universe is 1 to 10^80

Given the extremely low probability that these physical constants were randomly orchestrated and calibrated to permit life to exist, there is a case to be made that there must be an intelligent mind that deliberately fine tuned the universe to enable life to exist. 

There are a few objections to this argument though that we will discuss here. 

First objection: The term “fine tuning” means that there is a designer behind the formation of the universe. 

Reply: According to the book “A Fortunate Universe” by Geraint Lewis and Luke Barnes, fine tuning is defined as a technical term borrowed from physics and refers to the contrast between a wide range of possibilities and a narrow range of a particular outcome or phenomenon. So, by “fine-tuning” one does not mean “designed” and the term itself has nothing to do with intentional planning or intelligence, but it simply means that the physical constants of the universe fall into an exquisitely narrow range of values which make our universe life-permitting.  

Second objection: The physical constants are not fine-tuned, so this whole fine-tuning theory isn’t real.  

Reply: When scientists quantify their observations, they notice that the laws of nature follow a certain set of numerical values that are consistent across space and time. These values are known as physical constants and they appear to provide symmetry across the universe. If there is a slight change in any of the many constants, life wouldn’t exist.  

One clear example of this is the gravitational force constant (G), which is large scale attractive force, holds people on planets, and holds planets, stars, and galaxies together, if this constant varied by just 1 part in 1060 (one in ten to the sixtieth parts) none of us would exist.  

Another example is the Cosmological constant, which controls the expansion speed of the universe, the cosmological constant must be fine-tuned to something like 1 part in 10^120. So, a change in its value by mere one part in ten to the one hundred twentieth parts would cause the universe to expand too rapidly or too slowly which would make the universe life-prohibiting.  

In addition to these two constants, there are many other constants that must be fine-tuned and any slight change in the value of one of them would result in a lifeless universe. Some of these physical constants include: the velocity of light, the mass of the electron, electromagnetism coupling constant, and many others.  

Aside from the physical constants, there are many well-established examples of fine-tuning which are widely accepted even by scientists who are generally hostile to theism and design. For instance, Stephen Hawking, in the book “A Brief History of Time” has admitted: “The remarkable fact is that the values of these numbers [the constants of physics] seem to have been very finely adjusted to make possible the development of life.” 

So, the fact that the universe is able to support life depending on various of its fundamental characteristics, notably on the form of the laws of nature, on the values of some constants of nature, and on aspects of the universe’s conditions in its very early stages, is what science and renowned scientists agree on.  

Third objection: God isn’t the one who fine-tuned the universe and designed it to host life. Fine tuning could be due to necessity or chance.  

Reply: First, let’s talk about physical necessity. According to this alternative, the universe has to be life-permitting. The constants and the quantities had to have the values that they do. It is literally physically impossible for the universe to be life-prohibiting. It is physically necessary that the universe be a life-permitting universe. Truth is, there is no reason or evidence to suggest that fine-tuning is necessary! In the book “God and Design,” Paul Davies states that “There is not a shred of evidence that the Universe is logically necessary. Indeed, as a theoretical physicist I find it rather easy to imagine alternative universes that are logically consistent, and therefore equal contenders of reality”. So, blind necessity isn’t something to consider behind fine-tuning.  

Secondly comes the chance or in other words coincidence. Supporters of this fallacy claim that constants of nature and initial conditions have arbitrary values, and it is just a matter of coincidence that all their actual values turn out to enable life. The idea of “lucky accidents” or chance is simply absurd. Why? Think about this: If you found an aquarium in your house, with water and plants and food in the right combination required to keep goldfish alive, wouldn’t you reasonably infer that someone put it there because they wanted to pet goldfish, rather than the possibility that all of this occurred by accident?  Similarly, the universe has ended up with a “little aquarium” for humans namely, our earth. So it is much more reasonable to suppose that, rather than being an accident, things were set up deliberately to allow for this development. 

As astronomer Fred Hoyle wrote: “A common sense interpretation of the facts suggests that a super-intellect has monkeyed with physics, as well as with chemistry and biology.”  And the physicist Freeman Dyson wrote: “The more I examine the universe, and the details of its architecture, the more evidence I find that the Universe in some sense must have known we were coming.” Then, do we really need to consider chance as a cause for fine-tuning?  

Fourth objection: Perhaps we live in a multiverse where there are a set of parallel universes with differing laws, constants, and initial conditions and that one universe happened to permit life and that we just happened to exist in that very universe.  

Reply: The biggest question for the multiverse is, “Is this science?”  It is highly improbable that we could ever do any measurements of another universe, at least at the moment, as it is inaccessible to us. Cosmologists themselves debate whether the multiverse is in the realm of science. Even if the multiverse theories are right, they still wouldn’t eliminate fine-tuning.  

At last, only a morally perfect God would value life! This God, who especially created human beings with free will and ensured that the universe’s physical laws, constants and initial conditions allowed for their existence, is the one who carefully fine-tuned our universe.  

What Is The Orthodox View On The Solus Christus Doctrine?

Solus Christus, the teaching that “Christ alone” is the means to salvation, was formulated in response to the strongly mediatorial understanding popular among sixteenth-century Roman Catholic clergy that only through the clergy can man approach God.  

Solus Christus and Priesthood 

The fear is that a fallible human being would presume to stand between a believer and God, that a priest could actually prevent someone from having access to salvation. This idea is similar to Donatism which was a Christian sect leading to a schism in the Church, in the region of the Church of Carthage, from the fourth to the sixth centuries AD. Donatists argued that Christian clergy must be faultless for their ministry to be effective and their prayers and sacraments to be valid. But instead of a denial of the efficacy of the sacraments from a particularly wicked priest, Protestants denied priesthood altogether because of the fallibility of the clergy. In the sense that the Reformers usually meant it, that salvation is possible only in and through Christ.  

Solus Christus is acceptable to Orthodox and Catholic doctrine but not the  accompanying rejection of the clerical role, and most especially in serving the sacraments. Some reformers emphasized the “priesthood of all believers” to the exclusion of the sacerdotal priesthood, thereby pitting the laity against the clergy. Orthodoxy also believes in the priesthood of all believers, but not in the eldership (the meaning of the presbyterate) of all believers. Ancient Israel had a similar notion for all believers: “And you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation. These are the words which you shall speak to the children of Israel.” (Exodus 19:6, NKJV) yet Israel still retained a sacrificial priesthood to carry out the temple worship. The clergy has a role to play in salvation as the ministers of the sacraments, as the ones who are icons of Christ in offering up the sacrifice, but it is not an absolute role. God may save someone despite the wickedness of a priest, and we regard all believers as icons of Christ and members of the royal priesthood.  

Solus Christus and Saints 

Solus Christus, was also a response to the intercession of departed saints, since “Christ alone” has everything to do with salvation. Orthodox and Catholic churches don’t see departed saints as people who speak to God because we can’t. They are fellow believers whom we call alongside us to pray with us and for us.  We believe that departed Saints are alive in Paradise and are the triumphant members of the same one church in which we are militant members. We are all members of the Church, which is the one Body of Jesus Christ. The triumphant become invisible members because of the death of their bodies, and the ones still in material flesh are the visible ones. In God’s sight, we are all a visible holy family. Saints departed from earth, but did not leave the church; their love toward their brothers did not cease by their departure and dwelling in Paradise. Their prayers for the salvation of all the world never cease. They pray for us, and we venerate them as they are our holy and dear friends. The intercession of Saints doctrine is based on Scripture. We ask for the intercessions of the saints, as Jacob did when he asked for the intercessions of his grandfather Abraham and his father Isaac “Then Jacob said, “O God of my father Abraham and God of my father Isaac, the Lord who said to me, ‘Return to your country and to your family, and I will deal well with you” (Gen. 32:9, NKJV). Moses asked for the intercession of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob “Remember Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, Your servants, to whom You swore by Your own self, and said to them, ‘I will multiply your descendants as the stars of heaven; and all this land that I have spoken of I give to your descendants, and they shall inherit it forever.’ So, the Lord relented from the harm which He said He would do to His people.” (Exod. 32:13-14, NKJV). We Believe the Saints are not dead and they have special privileges in front of God as Our Lord and Savior taught “nor can they die anymore, for they are equal to the angels and are sons of God, being sons of the resurrection. But even Moses showed in the burning bush passage that the dead are raised, when he called the Lord ‘the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.’ For He is not the God of the dead but of the living, for all live to Him.” (Luke 20:36-38, NKJV). 

What Is The Orthodox View Of The Sola Gratia Doctrine?

The teaching of sola gratia is that it is only God’s grace that accomplishes salvation. No act of man contributes to salvation in any way. This doctrine is closely associated with sola Fide, as faith is what activates saving grace. Sola gratia holds that man has absolutely no role in his salvation. That is, God saves you whether you want it or not. He also damns you whether you want it or not. This view is called monergism (“one actor,” i.e., God). These two actions together are called double predestination—both the saved and the damned are predestined to their fates. In this case, both faith and grace are gifts from God and do not involve man’s will in any way.  

Most sola gratia believers are not this extreme, however; they believe that man must at least assent to salvation at some point, even if only once. Sola gratia disregards the doctrine of free will that God granted mankind from the beginning of creation. Orthodoxy believes in synergism, that God and man are co-workers: “We then, as workers together with Him, also plead with you not to receive the grace of God in vain” ( 2 Cor. 6:1, NKJV).  

One of the principal problems with sola gratia is that grace is understood as something other than God Himself. In Reformation theology, grace is “unmerited favor,” an attitude in God, often contrasted with His wrath. For Orthodoxy, grace is uncreated, grace is God, His actual presence and activity. But if grace is merely “favor,” then union with God (theosis) is precluded. 

The Doctrine Of The Trinity From The Writings Of The Apostolic Fathers

The Apostolic Fathers were the early leaders of the Church from the second century to the fourth century CE. Their writings demonstrate a clear understanding of the Trinity of God as taught in the New Testament. Below are some examples: 

Saint Ignatius of Antioch 

Early reference to the Trinity was mentioned in the Epistle of Saint Ignatius of Antioch to the Magnesians, written around 108 CE. He exhorted believers to live in obedience to “Christ, and to the Father, and to the Spirit” (Ignatius’s Letter to the Magnesians, Chapter 8) 

The Didache  

The Didache, or the teachings of the twelve Apostles, dated late first century, directs Christians to “baptize in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit”.  

Saint Clement of Rome (c. 35-99) 

Saint Clement of Rome mentioned the Trinity in his writings as well. He rhetorically asks in his epistle as to why corruption exists among some in the Christian community; “Do we not have one God, and one Christ, and one gracious Spirit that has been poured out upon us, and one calling in Christ?” (1 Clement 46:6).  

The first apology Justin martyr (100-165 AD) 

In chapter 61 on Christian Baptism from Justin’s first apology, he mentioned “the Father and Lord of the universe, and of our Savior Jesus Christ, and of the Holy Spirit” starting with the trinity doctrine in a second century writing.  

Justin Martyr is the first to use much of the terminology that would later become widespread in codified Trinitarian theology. For example, he describes that the Son and Father are the same “being” (ousia) and yet are also distinct faces (prosopa), anticipating the three persons (hypostases) that come with Tertullian and later authors. 

The Consequences Of The Sexual Revolution

By the middle of the twentieth century, Americans adopted a liberal attitude towards sex. There were two famous books that perhaps marked the turning point: “Sexual Behavior and the Human Male” (1948) and “Sexual Behavior and the Human Female” (1953) authored by Alfred Kinsey. This was the beginning of what is called “the sexual revolution.” 

The sexual revolution was a social movement that challenged traditional codes of behavior related to sexuality and interpersonal relationships throughout the United States and the developed world from the 1960s to the 1970s. Sexual liberation included increased acceptance of sex outside of traditional natural heterosexual, monogamous relationships (primarily marriage). The normalization of contraception and the pill, public nudity, pornography, premarital sex, homosexuality, masturbation, alternative forms of sexuality, and the legalization of abortion all followed. Also, it was marked by more talk of sex and more education for young people, so they would not grow up with sexual “neuroses” like their parents.  

Now, western societies that had adopted such liberal attitude towards out of order sexual behaviors are suffering the consequences of their choices. The consequences are rampant adultery and divorce, increasing child molestation and organized pedophilia, widespread prostitution and pornography, militant homosexuality, more than 25 sexually transmitted diseases, millions of unwanted pregnancies leading to abortion, and the increasing disintegration of the family unit and with it the disintegration of society in general. Since the beginning of HIV, 79.3 million [55.9–110 million] people have been infected and 36.3 million [27.2–47.8 million] people have died of HIV. Globally, 37.7 million [30.2–45.1 million] people were living with HIV at the end of 2020. An estimated 0.7% [0.6-0.9%] of adults aged 15–49 years worldwide are still living with HIV.

Is It Enough To Lead A Good Moral Life To Go To Heaven?

Let us begin our article by thinking about the scene of the older son in Christ’s parable of the Prodigal Son who was furiously saying…  

“Look! All these years I’ve been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders. Yet you never gave me even a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends” (Luke 15:29) 

Now, let’s contemplate his expressions… “I’ve been slaving for you” and “never disobeyed you” …  such an unfair father, right? How can someone be so loyal, so good and just… so perfect and not being “appreciated enough” by his father … Simply, this is the ultimate debate of is it enough to be good to go to heaven? But before we dive into the topic, let us state a few biblical truths that the church had believed in and lived with for 2,000 years now.  

First, the question of who gets saved and who doesn’t isn’t ours to answer, it is God’s simply because He created the universe, and He alone judges humans: “the Father judges no one, but has assigned all judgment to the Son” (John 5:22). 

Second, the Bible states that the “absolute goodness” just doesn’t exist. “They have all turned aside; They have together become unprofitable; There is none who does good, no, not one” (Romans 3:12). So people may appear as “righteous” or “flawless” yet they are not that good and they would still need salvation “for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12). 

Third, the will of God is made crystal-clear in the Bible which states that “God wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth” (1 Timothy 2:4). So it is in God’s heart to save the people He created because simply He loves them.  

With that being set, let us tackle the most celebrated points of view that support the claim that “yes being good is actually enough to go to heaven.”  

Claim: Some religions like “Hinduism” and “Buddhism” and others call for highly ethical and extremely virtuous behaviors that many people label as “good behaviors” or “spiritual” ones such as yoga and other forms of meditation. Wouldn’t such spirituality lead to salvation? 

Response: Let us be honest and say that many of these “spiritual” acts like meditation look similar to meditation in Christianity and are practiced to refine one’s behavior. Yet, they do not lead to heaven as these practices totally exclude the name of Lord Jesus and the necessary faith in Him to be saved. Such meditations are done outside of Him and as the bible says in Romans 10:13 “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved”. So, any of these practices should include faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior in order for it to help us be good or lead us to heaven. This claim is also defective as these so-called “spiritual practices” do not work on strengthening the faith in the first place as it is essential for entering heaven as explained in Hebrews 11:6 “But without faith it is impossible to please Him”.  

Claim: The relationship between a person and God is a private one, it is kind of secretive, and it’s definitely not for us to judge  

Response: Let us observe the term that the Bible uses which is “Inherit the kingdom of God” in 1 Corinthians 6:10 and the story of Noah in “But I will establish My covenant with you; and you shall go into the ark—you, your sons, your wife, and your sons’ wives with you.” This notion of “kingdom of God” and the story of Noah explain the concept of heaven not just as a private matter. It is given through belonging to the Father through a solid relationship between God and man and not a secretive one. It involves one’s worshiping of God with his/her family in church.   

Claim :  Jesus Himself didn’t reach out to all people, some heard of Him and others simply did not. The same thing applies for modern/current times. Many people do not know who Jesus is so it’s certainly unfair for these people to be doomed.   [Text Wrapping Break] 

Response: God is a fair and a loving Father, He asserted in the Bible that “Nevertheless He did not leave Himself without witness” (Acts 14:17). His love and delight for man to be saved is reflected in so many shapes and forms. God sends His people, and sometimes angels, as in the case of Lot, and sometimes He Himself appears to people, as in the case of St. Paul just to show people who seek Him the Truth and save them as in John 18:37 “Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice”. So the idea of God just forgetting about His Beloved people, the people He created is just not the case.  

At last, let us finalize our article with the claim by St. John the Baptist that “He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him” (John 3:36). 

Weekend Top


Is there a proof that God exists? The cosmological argument

Modern scientific theories and hypotheses around the origin of the universe fully support the necessity of a non-material first cause, a “creator”, for the universe. For instance, both the Standard Big Bang Model, and the various proposed Past-extended Big Bang Models, necessitate a beginning of the universe and of time itself. As such, the argument for the existence of a creator from cosmology proceeds as follows: 

  1. The universe, as everything bound by physical laws, has a beginning. Therefore,  
  1. infinite regression of physical causality to explain the existence of the universe is not possible, because of the conclusion in (a) that everything bound by physical laws already has a beginning, Therefore, 
  1. There is either nothing, or something not physical, that caused the universe to exist; but 
  1. Nothing is not capable of causing anything into existence. Therefore, 
  1. the universe was brought to existence by a non-material creator 

The first condition in (a) is proven by modern scientific theories explaining the origin of the universe. Thanks to the Big Bang theory, we now know that the universe and time had a beginning. Whether that beginning was a point of singularity, or an uncertain event (similar to a rounded beginning point of a cone), both possibilities necessitate a beginning to the universe. Alternative Past-extended Big Bang Models such as the bouncing universe or eternal inflation would put the beginning of the universe before the Big Bang, but still necessitate an overall beginning for the universe. This is due to the Second Law of Thermodynamics, the Radiation Paradox and the Borde-Vilenkin-Guth Theorem. For example, the Second Law of Thermodynamics stipulates that all physical events evolve from order to disorder (i.e. low entropy to high entropy), so the universe couldn’t have been eternally bouncing or eternally inflating because entropy cannot decrease, it can only increase or,  stay the same. Our universe started with very tiny entropy. If the universe was eternally bouncing by expanding, then collapsing, then expanding, and so on, then how can our current universe have such a tiny entropy after all these infinite cycles? Of course, this is not possible and would necessitate a beginning to the universe; it couldn’t have been around since eternity given the low entropy that we are observing. Another evidence is the Bore-Vilenkin Guth Theorem which stipulates that as long as matter has positive pressure and density called the average Hubble expansion rate – which it does – then all alternative models for the Past Extended Big Bang such as the bouncing universe or multiverses or higher dimensional cosmologies will all need a boundary for past time, that is, a beginning. 

The second condition (b) flows from the first condition simply because any universe or physical causation for our current universe will itself have to have a beginning. As such, an infinite regression of physical causality is not possible. We are, therefore, left with either nothing causing the universe to exist or something not physical, which is the argument in (c). But nothing can’t cause anything, otherwise nothing will itself be something, which is not nothing! We are only left with something to have caused the universe to exist, but that something can’t be physical because it would be bound to condition (a) of needing a beginning. That non-physical something is the creator of the universe. 


Did the Old Testament and Judaism allude to a Triune God?

Many claim that the doctrine of the trinity was introduced only in the third century when the ecumenical councils had been held to put a framework for orthodox apostolic faith against the Arian and Nestorian heresies which led to the drafting of the creed of faith. However, when examined closely, the doctrine of the trinity was introduced way before that in the Old Testament.

The name that is used for God in the Old Testament is “אֱלֹהִ֔ים” pronounced “’ĕ·lō·hîm” and is usually referred to in the plural, although a singular verb is used sometimes. For example, the first chapter of Genesis states: “Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness” (Genesis 1:26) The hebrew translation of “let us make” is “נַֽעֲשֶׂ֥ה” pronounced “na·‘ă·śeh” which indicates a plural subject. The same phrase was used when God decided to confuse the builders of the tower of Babel: “Come, let Us go down and there confuse their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech.” (Genesis 11:7) the word “נֵֽרְדָ֔ה” pronounced “nê·rə·ḏāh,” means “let Us go down”. It has been also noted in some other books in the Old Testament like the Book of Isaiah, “Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying: “Whom shall I send, And who will go for Us?”” (Isaiah 6:8) using the word “לָ֑נוּ” pronounced “lā·nū”; which means “Us”. This has been always noted as an indication of the hypostasis of the trinity nature of God that is of one will.

Jewish Rabbis used the “Logos” or the word “Memra” also “Ma’amar” or “Dibbur,” in Hebrew, as well as the Holy Spirit “Ruach Ha Kodesh”, in their interpretations to the Old Testament .  

“Memra” also “Ma’amar” or “Dibbur,” meaning “Logos” 

In the Book of Jubilees 12:22, the word of God is sent through the angel to Abraham. In other cases it becomes more and more a personified agency: “By the word of God exist His works” (Ecclus. [Sirach] 42:15); “The Holy One, blessed be He, created the world by the ‘Ma’amar'” (Mek., Beshallaḥ, 10, with reference to Psalm 33. 6). Quite frequent is the expression that “You who have made the universe with Your word and ordained man through Your wisdom to rule over the creatures made by You” (Wisdom 9:1). The same expression is repeated in the Jewish daily  prayers: “Who by Your words cause the evenings to bring darkness, who opens the gates of the sky by Your wisdom”; . . . “who by His speech created the heavens, and by the breath of His mouth all their hosts”; through whose “words all things were created” (Singer’s “Daily Prayer-Book,” pp. 96, 290, 292). So also in 4 Esdras 6:38: “Lord, You spoke on the first day of Creation: ‘Let there be heaven and earth,’ and Your word has accomplished the work”. “Your word, O Lord, heals all things” (Wisdom 16:12); “Your word preserves them that put their trust in You” (Wisdom 16: 26). Especially strong is the personification of the word in Wisdom 18:15: “Your Almighty Word leaped down from heaven out of Your royal throne as a fierce man of war.”  

The Mishnah, with reference to the ten passages in the first chapter of Genesis beginning with “And God said,” speaks of the ten “ma’amarot” (= “speeches”) by which the world was created (Abot 5:1; comp. Gen. R. 4:2: “The upper heavens are held in suspense by the creative Ma’amar”). Out of every speech [“dibbur”] which emanated from God an angel was created (Ḥag. 14a). “The Word [“dibbur”] called none but Moses” (Lev. R. i. 4, 5). “The Word [“dibbur”] went forth from the right hand of God and made a circuit around the camp of Israel” (Cant. R. i. 13). 

In the Targum: 

In the Targum the “Memra” (i.e. “the Word”) figures constantly as the manifestation of the divine power, or as God’s messenger in place of God Himself, wherever the predicate is not in conformity with the dignity or the spirituality of the Deity. 

Instead of the Scriptural “You have not believed in the Lord,” Targ. Deut. i. 32 has “You have not believed in the word of the Lord”; instead of “I shall require it [vengeance] from him,” Targ. Deut. 18:19 has “My word shall require it.” “The Memra,” instead of “the Lord,” is “the consuming fire” (Targ. Deut. 9:3; comp. Targ. Isa. 30:27). The Memra “plagued the people” (Targ. Yer. to Ex.32:35). “The Memra smote him” (II Sam. 6:7; comp. Targ. I Kings 18:24; Hos. 13:14; et al.). Not “God,” but “the Memra,” is met with in Targ. Ex. 19:17 (Targ. Yer. “the Shekinah”; comp. Targ. Ex. 25:22: “I will order My Memra to be there”). “I will cover thee with My Memra,” instead of “My hand” (Targ. Ex. 33:22). Instead of “My soul,” “My Memra shall reject you” (Targ. Lev. 26:30; comp. Isa. 1:14, 42:1; Jer. 6:8; Ezek. 23:18). “The voice of the Memra,” instead of “God,” is heard (Gen. 3: 8; Deut. 4:33, 36; 5:21; Isa. 6: 8; et al.). Where Moses says, “I stood between the Lord and you” (Deut. 5:5), the Targum has, “between the Memra of the Lord and you”; and the “sign between Me and you” becomes a “sign between My Memra and you” (Ex. 31:13, 17; comp. Lev. 26:46; Gen. 9:12; 17: 2, 7, 10; Ezek. 20:12). Instead of God, the Memra comes to Abimelek (Gen. 20:3), and to Balaam (Num. 23: 4). His Memra aids and accompanies Israel, performing wonders for them (Targ. Num. 23:21; Deut. 1:30, 33:3; Targ. Isa. 63:14; Jer. 31:1; Hos. 9:10 [comp. 11:3, “the messenger-angel”]). The Memra goes before Cyrus (Isa. 45:12). The Lord swears by His Memra (Gen. 21:23, 22:16, 24:3; Ex. 32:13; Num. 14:30; Isa. 45:23; Ezek. 20:5; et al.). It is His Memra that repents (Targ. Gen. 6:6, 8:21; I Sam 15:11, 35). Not His “hand,” but His “Memra has laid the foundation of the earth” (Targ. Isa. 48:13); for His Memra’s or Name’s sake does He act (Isa. 48:11; II Kings 19:34). Through the Memra God turns to His people (Targ. Lev. 26: 9; II Kings 18:23), becomes the shield of Abraham (Gen. 15:1), and is with Moses (Ex. 3:12; 4:12,15) and with Israel (Targ. Yer. to Num. 10:35, 36; Isa. 63:14). It is the Memra, not God Himself, against whom man offends (Ex. 14:8; Num. 14:5; I Kings 8:50; II Kings 19:28; Isa. 1:2,16; 45:3, 20; Hos. 5:7, 6:7; Targ. Yer. to Lev. 5:21, 6:2; Deut. 5:11); through His Memra Israel shall be justified (Targ. Isa. 45:25); with the Memra Israel stands in communion (Targ. Josh. 22:24, 27); in the Memra man puts his trust (Targ. Gen. 15: 6; Targ. Yer. to Ex. 14:31; Jer. 39:18, 49:11). 

Memra also reflected Mediatorship. 

Like the Shekinah (comp. Targ. Num. 23:21), the Memra is accordingly the manifestation of God. “The Memra brings Israel nigh unto God and sits on His throne receiving the prayers of Israel” (Targ. Yer. to Deut. 4:7). It shielded Noah from the flood (Targ. Yer. to Genesis 7:16) and brought about the dispersion of the seventy nations (Genesis 11:8); it is the guardian of Jacob (Gen. 28:20-21, 35:3) and of Israel (Targ. Yer. to Ex. 12:23,29); it works all the wonders in Egypt (Ex. 13:8, 14:25); hardens the heart of Pharaoh (Ex. 18:15); goes before Israel in the wilderness (Targ. Yer. to Ex. 20:1); blesses Israel (Targ. Yer. to Num. 23:8); battles for the people (Targ. Josh. 3:7; 10:14; 23:3). As in ruling over the destiny of man the Memra is the agent of God (Targ. Yer. to Num. 27:16), so also is it in the creation of the earth (Isa. 45:12) and in the execution of justice (Targ. Yer. to Num. 33:4). So, in the future, shall the Memra be the comforter (Targ. Isa. 66:13): “My Shekinah I shall put among you, My Memra shall be unto you for a redeeming deity, and you shall be unto My Name a holy people” (Targ. Yer. to Lev. 22:12). “My Memra shall be unto you like a good plowman who takes off the yoke from the shoulder of the oxen”; “the Memra will roar to gather the exiled” (Targ. Hos. 11:5,10). The Memra is “the witness” (Targ. Yer. 29:23); it will be to Israel like a father (l.c. 31:9) and “will rejoice over them to do them good” (l.c. 32:41). “In the Memra the redemption will be found” (Targ. Zech. 7:5). “The Holy Word” was the subject of the hymns of Job (Test. of Job, 12:3, ed. Kohler). 

Philo of Alexandria was born 20 BC and died 50 AD had even interpreted Memra as the Logos before Saint John used this word in his Gospel “For there are, as it seems, two temples belonging to God; one being this world, in which the high priest is the divine word, his own firstborn son. The other is the rational soul, the priest of which is the real true man, the copy of whom, perceptible to the senses, is he who performs his paternal vows and sacrifices, to whom it is enjoined to put on the aforesaid tunic, the representation of the universal heaven, in order that the world may join with the man in offering sacrifice, and that the man may likewise co-operate with the universe. (1.216)” 

The Holy Spirit “Ruah” רֽוּחַ־

The Holy Spirit is mentioned more than 200 times in the Old Testament. In the book of Judges on Othniel, the son of Kenaz: “The Spirit of the Lord came upon him, and he judged Israel.” (Judges 3:10) and also on Samson: “And the Spirit of the Lord came mightily upon him, and he tore the lion apart ” (Judges 14:6). “The Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon Him, The Spirit of wisdom and understanding, The Spirit of counsel and might, The Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord.” (Isaiah 11:2). And also in the book of Isaiah “Until the Spirit is poured upon us from on high, And the wilderness becomes a fruitful field” (Isaiah 32:15). 

The Holy Spirit is mentioned more than 200 times in the Old Testament. In the book of Judges on Othniel, the son of Kenaz: “The Spirit of the Lord came upon him, and he judged Israel.” (Judges 3:10) and also on Samson: “And the Spirit of the Lord came mightily upon him, and he tore the lion apart ” (Judges 14:6). “The Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon Him, The Spirit of wisdom and understanding, The Spirit of counsel and might, The Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord.” (Isaiah 11:2). And also in the book of Isaiah “Until the Spirit is poured upon us from on high, And the wilderness becomes a fruitful field” (Isaiah 32:15). 

The Triune God revelations in the Old Testament  

God has been seen in revelations in the Old testament many times refuting the ideas that reject the capability of God to be seen and revealed. This of course supports the trinity doctrine because one of the hypostasis is the Word that became flesh.  

Revelation to Hagar 

For example, in Genesis 16, “Then she called the name of the Lord who spoke to her, You-Are- the-God-Who-Sees; for she said, “Have I also here seen Him who sees me?”  Therefore the well was called Beer Lahai Roi;[g] observe, it is between Kadesh and Bered.” (Genesis 16:13-14) the scripture used the word “רָאִ֖יתִי” that means “have I seen”. 

Revelation to Abraham 

Genesis 18 “Then the Lord appeared to him” (Genesis 18:1) using the word “וַיֵּרָ֤א” pronounced “way-yê-rā” means appeared. 

Revelation to Jacob 

Genesis 32 “So Jacob called the name of the place Peniel: “For I have seen God face to face” (Genesis 32:30) 

Revelation to Manoah and his wife 

In the book of Judges “And Manoah said to his wife, “We shall surely die, because we have seen God!”” (Judges 13:22) using the word “רָאִֽינוּ׃” that means we have seen. 

In conclusion, the Word, the Holy Spirit, and the Triune God are all mentioned in the Old Testament and Jewish religious texts foreshadowing what Lord Jesus revealed in the New Testament about the Triune nature of God. 


Is the Christian Faith Founded on the Bible Only?

The Sola Scriptura doctrine means “Scripture alone,” that is relying on the Bible as the only source for the Christian faith. For the early Protestant Reformers, Sola Scriptura led to an implicit divorce from the tradition that was abused by the Roman Catholic Church in some practices and teachings such as the papal infallibility and the selling of indulgences. Sola Scriptura had served the reformers’ goal of attempting to recover the early Church from under the layers of the false Roman Catholic teachings which had accumulated on top of it. The Bible was the only certain, infallible witness to early Christianity that they knew as a kind of tether to the early Apostolic Church as described in the book of Acts. However, while the “traditions of men” established by the Roman Catholic Church are false, most false teachings can be based on the Scriptures as well. The true Christian faith, however, is established by the teachings of the Bible as interpreted and understood by the Apostles and early apostolic fathers. This interpretation has been ingrained in the Church’s liturgical practices as well as documented in the ante Nicene, Nicene, and post Nicene writings of the Church fathers.  

One key historical truth about the early Christian Church in the Book of Acts is that the apostles and early believers practiced the faith without a completely documented New Testament as we have it today. The gospels were written ten to forty years after the resurrection of Jesus, i.e. sometime between 40 and 70 AD. Jesus didn’t hand over His teachings and writings to the Church in written text. He didn’t ask His disciples to take notes of His sermons. However, He promised that “these things I have spoken to you while being present with you. But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.” (John 14:25,26, NKJV). What Jesus did is basically this: He established a church of followers guided by the Holy Spirit. He gave this Church the authority to judge in matters of faith.  

Jesus Himself gave authority to the Church to resolve conflicts among believers. He taught the disciples that “if your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. If he hears you, you have gained your brother. But if he will not hear, take with you one or two more, that ‘by the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.’ And if he refuses to hear them, tell it to the church. But if he refuses even to hear the church, let him be to you like a heathen and a tax collector.” (Matthew 18:15-17, NKJV). Jesus didn’t tell his followers to open the New Testament and keep arguing from it to resolve a conflict, simply because it is not practical. Unless a church council, guided by the Holy Spirit, establishes a doctrine, there will never be unity among what Christians believe. Jesus gave this authority to the Church, to always pursue the spirit of unity and maintain authority among believers.  

Early believers followed this teaching of Jesus when they were debating whether Gentile believers must be circumcised or not. The Book of Acts describes the event as follows: “certain men came down from Judea and taught the brethren, “Unless you are circumcised according to the custom of Moses, you cannot be saved.” Therefore, when Paul and Barnabas had no small dissension and dispute with them, they determined that Paul and Barnabas and certain others of them should go up to Jerusalem, to the apostles and elders, about this question.” (Acts 15:1-2, NKJV). It has always been the role of councils from the very early church to determine the orthodox doctrines of the Church, starting with the council of Jerusalem in Acts 15. There was no New Testament available to the Church to judge on this matter, but there was the tradition which carried the true doctrine including the word of God which was documented later.  

Reformers challenged the individual infallibility of the Roman Pope as unbiblical. However, the Sola Scriptura doctrine converts every “believer” to a pope when interpreting the Scripture. The reformation definition of the church as just the congregation of believers begs the question: “who are the correct believers?”. For example, can someone who believes in Jesus as Lord, yet believes that He is of lower status than the Father, and that the Father, Son, be considered as a believer? Just resorting to the Bible in resolving this issue has led to many factions at the time of the Arian heresy. At one point in the Church’s history, the majority of Christians followed the Arian heresy. It is not only Arius who was able to mislead many believers. Anyone can use verses from the Bible to establish a false doctrine. However, the Church, established by Jesus and led by the Apostles and their successors, constitute the authority to judge in such matters through church councils. Sola Scriptura has created millions of popes out of one pope. That is why there are thousands of Protestant denominations with varying doctrines and teachings that are straying away further from the true Christian teaching handed over by Christ and the Apostles. 

Sola Scriptura is also introducing what is exactly a contradiction of what the Scriptures mention in regard to the tradition handed over by Jesus and His apostles. In the first epistle to St. Timothy, St. Paul mentioned the Church as the pillar for truth: “but if I am delayed, I write so that you may know how you ought to conduct yourself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.” (1 Timothy 3:15, NKJV). St. Paul also taught that the Church must hold to traditions in the second epistle to Thessalonians as he commanded the believers to “stand fast and hold the traditions which you were taught, whether by word or our epistle.” (2 Thess. 2:15, NKJV). This verse in particular was changed by the reformers as they introduced a new translation of the New Testament, the New International Version (NIV), that replaces some words to serve their goals. The NIV translates the Greek word paradosis “tradition” as “teaching”. Reformers have thus established a doctrine that suits their own taste, even removing some books from the Old Testament that are called the second Deuterocanonical books, such as Tobit, Judith, and the Wisdom of Solomon. Many verses from these books were quoted by Jesus Himself. We end up with a problem, what good is Sola Scriptura when you can change what constitutes Scripture? 


Is the story of Jesus just a recycled version of Ancient Myths?

Numerous people claim that the story of Christ is not only a fake story but also a recycled one from many ancient myths. This claim was mostly promoted by Gerald Massey, a self-proclaimed Egyptologist. He claimed that multiple gods share the virgin birth on 25th of December, and that it is not a Christian story. Massey concluded this based on his own translations of ancient texts, however, his translations were found to be inaccurate. His translations and studies have, therefore, been refuted by other Egyptologists. In his book “Did Jesus Exist? The Birth of a Divine Man”, Dr. Bart Ehrman, a New Testament scholar focusing on the history of Christ, refuted several claims of why and how the story of Christ is a recycled story. One of the researchers he refuted was Kersey Graves, who wrote a book named ‘’The World’s Sixteen Crucified Saviours’’ in the 19th century. Numerous self-proclaimed scholars blindly followed his work, without looking at his work critically. Graves mentioned 35 people, according to his own research, who had exactly the same story of Christ. Some of these people were Horus, Krishna, Mithras, and Apollonius.

The main claim from Graves is: ‘’It is argued that, as the story of the incarnation of the Christians’ Savior is of more recent date than that of these oriental and ancient religions (as is conceded by Christians themselves), the origin of the former is thus indicated and foreshadowed as being an outgrowth from, if not a plagiarism upon the latter-a borrowed copy, of which the pagan stories furnish the original’’1. Ehrman refuted this saying that there is no claim of a virgin birth of a god in neither any mythology or Eastern religion. Something that did happen is that the birth of several historical figures in itself was seen as a miracle, however, this was not linked to the virginity of the mother. Furthermore, the mothers of these figures had intimate relationships with (demi)gods.  Noteworthy is that Graves lived in a period right after the renaissance (18th century), which is known as a period wherein humanity started rebelling against the Christian faith. 

Let’s take a closer look at the story of Christ and the proposed parallels.  


The claim is that Horus was born from a virgin, the god Isis, and that Horus was baptized by a person named ‘’Anup the Baptist’’. Anup was later on beheaded, just as John the Baptist was beheaded. Horus went for a certain time into the desert, where he was tempted by the devil, and he, furthermore, raised a person named Asar from death and that Asar means Lazarus. In addition, Horus is claimed to have had 12 disciples, just like Christ had.  

Horus, actually, was an Egyptian god of the heavens (the sun and the moon) and war. He is depicted as a human with a Falcon head. The real story of Horus goes as follows. Horus’ father, the god Osiris, died in a battle and Isis took his body and raised him from death for a certain time in order to get pregnant from him. Regarding Anup the Baptist, there has not been a person named Anup in Egyptian mythology. Massey just used this name in order to strengthen his case against Christ, and later research showed that he twisted the Egyptian God Anubis into Anup. Horus also did not enter into the desert to be tempted by the devil, actually, in Egyptian mythology Horus was poisoned by another god called Seth (who killed his father), and that the god Thot revived him. Regarding that Horus raised Asar from death; Asar is Greek for Osiris, who was his father. His father was, as previously mentioned, raised by his mother Isis to impregnate her. Horus also did not have 12 disciples, this is an inaccurate reference to his sons, who were not only less than 12 but also demigods.  


The claim is that Krishna was also born from a virgin, named Devaka/Devaki, on 25th of December and that Krishna was crucified for our sins, arose from death and ascended into heaven. In addition, he was crucified between two thieves.  

There are four main sources on the life of Krishna, namely: the Mahabharata (poems written by Krishna), the Harivamsha (seen as a sequel to the Mahabharata and resembles the Books of Chronicles from the Old Testament in its content), the Vishnu Purana (a work mainly concerned with cosmology) and the Bhagavata Purana (a work mainly concerned with worship and philosophy). Devaki was ‘’mentally’’ impregnated by Vasudeva, Krishna’s father, yet she was not a virgin as Krishna was their eighth child. Interestingly, the virgin birth is not mentioned in any work mentioning Krishna (the above mentioned works), and is seen as an addition from the 10th century. Krishna’s birthday is one of the most important Indian holidays, although it is not celebrated on 25th of December but at the end of the summer. Krishna has also not been crucified, he was murdered by a hunter named Jara who shot him in his heel. In ancient India, people were not crucified let alone being crucified between robbers. They dealt differently with robbers, based on their ideology. Also, Krishna did not die for our sins as he was cursed twice. At last, he did not ascend into heaven, as his body was cremated. 


The claim is that Mithras was also born from a virgin on the 25th of December and that several shepherds were present at his birth, and Mithras was a known teacher and the good shepherd for his people whom he served with his 12 disciples. Mithras died and resurrected after three days, and his followers kept celebrating Sunday as their lord’s day.  

Mithras, a god from the old Persian mythology, was actually someone who was worshipped by a subpopulation of the Romans, who practiced mysticism. The followers of Mithras lived side by side with Christians in Rome, in the first four centuries, and called themselves the ‘’followers of the Mysteries of Mithras’’. Later on, he was also worshipped by Zoroastrianism.  Mithras was not born on the 25th of December, and the shepherds who witnessed his birth were only mentioned centuries after the New Testament was written, thus likely copied from the New Testament. Mithras was also not seen as a shepherd, only as a mediator. Not a mediator between god and man, but between the ‘’good’’ and ‘’bad’’ gods known in Zoroastrianism. No Persian nor Roman tradition and/or writing about Mithras mentioned that he was a teacher nor shepherd for his people. Mithras did also not die for our sins, the only related story known about Mithras is a story in which he killed a bull. There is no source mentioning that Mithras had died, let alone been resurrected. Tertullian of Carthage (220 AD) mentioned that the followers of Mithras used to enact an Eastern play. 

Apollonius of Tyana 

Apollonius of Tyana is a man who lived around the same time as Jesus Christ. In his new testament textbook, Dr. Bart Ehrman states that he was also conceived by a virgin, was promised to be divine, and an Angel visited his mother before his birth, born miraculously, gathered many followers, and convinced them that he is divine by performing miracles. His opposition eventually delivered them to the Roman authorities and he was killed. There’s no record of the way he was killed however some historical documents claim that he rose from the dead and appeared to his followers and ascended to heaven where he lived eternally in heaven. The source of information is the book written by Sophist Philostratus. 

Now the similarity here is more obvious and compelling, but not the historical background. Apollonius is thought to have been born in 40 CE so his story comes after the death and  resurrection of Christ. It is therefore impossible for Jesus, or the apostles who documented the life of Jesus, to have copied from the life of Apollonius. The contrary might be true though. 

In addition, the life of Apollonius wasn’t documented by eyewitnesses. The earliest and most complete documentation has been developed by Philostratus around 218-238 AD, more than 120 years after Apollonius died. This biography was written to fulfill a request by Julia Domna, the wife of Septimius Severus and mother of Caracalla. It is therefore not a reliable source and begs the question of: where were Apollonius’s devout followers after knowing that he was raised from death and ascended to heaven? 


Numerous people start stressing when reading stories that ‘’debunk’’ Christianity, yet if we would examine these stories more in depth we would conclude that the claims made are not historically correct. Several groups try to debunk our faith and the claims we make using false claims, and therefore we should always read about our faith and the authenticity of it.