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). 

Does God Tempt Us?

In the Epistle of James we read “Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone.” (James 1:13). However, doesn’t that contradict the fact that God tempted Abraham, Job and Paul?  

Adam’s Sin Resulted in the Corruption of Nature, and in Pain  

Death came into existence as a consequence of not following God’s commandments and guidance for a happy, eternal and painless life. Yet man disobeyed God and followed Satan’s temptations. God warned man of eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, “for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.” (Genesis 2: 16,17). 

The consequences of the fall were not only death but also a corrupted sinful nature which resulted in pain. God told Adam: “Cursed is the ground for your sake; In toil you shall eat of it All the days of your life. Both thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you, And you shall eat the herb of the field. In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread Till you return to the ground, For out of it you were taken; For dust you are, And to dust you shall return.” (Genesis 3:17-19). 

Therefore, the original sin that man freely committed has caused the earth to be cursed and also made living on it to be painful until the time of death. 

Satan tempts us, and God allows it for a Purpose 

But hasn’t God tempted Job beyond measure and caused him physical and psychological pain? In the Book of Job for example “Then the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered My servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, one who fears God and shuns evil? And still he holds fast to his integrity, although you incited Me against him, to destroy him without cause.” So, Satan answered the Lord and said, “Skin for skin! Yes, all that a man has he will give for his life. But stretch out Your hand now, and touch his bone and his flesh, and he will surely curse You to Your face!” And the Lord said to Satan, “Behold, he is in your hand, but spare his life. (Job 2:3-6). 

It is clear from this passage that it was Satan that tempted Job, yet Satan first needed the permission from God to tempt Job. 

Therefore, if we’re being tempted, we can be sure that God has allowed the temptations for a specific reason. In the case of Job, he was taught to be humble, he received double of everything he had (Job 42:12), and he saw God (Job 42:5). The same can be said of Paul who was tempted by Satan “lest I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of revelations, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure” (2 Corinthians 12:7) 

But didn’t God tempt Abraham? 

God’s request to Abraham to sacrifice his son is not temptation by evil. There was no painful outcome to this temptation whether Abraham obeyed God or not. Had Abraham not obeyed God, his son Isaac would have continued to live, and had he obeyed, which he did, God redeemed Isaac and no harm had befell the boy (Genesis 22:12) 

In conclusion, temptation and pain are the result of the fallen nature that man freely brought upon himself. Each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires. “When desire is conceived, it gives birth to sin. And when sin becomes full-grown, it brings forth death” (James 1:13-17). God does not tempt us with evil, yet He allows our temptation by Satan for a good purpose. 

How Did Judas Die?

How did Judas die? Who bought the field? Is it Jeremiah or Zechariah, who prophesied about the potter’s field? 

Let’s imagine a hypothetical situation where someone asks you to get a piece of paper from their desk, and you actually went and found that there was no paper on the desk, but you found a piece of paper on the floor and the window was open, would you think that this person lied to you? Or would you conclude that the paper may have fallen from the desk to the floor due to the air current from the open window? 

This is exactly the answer to those who say that there is a contradiction in the Bible regarding the death of Judas. The Gospel of Matthew says that he “went away and hanged himself” (Matthew 27:5), while Luke the evangelist in the book of Acts says that “he fell headlong, his body burst open and all his intestines spilled out” (Acts 1:18). Which of them is telling the truth? If we examine the text closely, we will understand that he hanged himself, then fell on the ground, which led to his body bursting open, and his intestines spilling out. So it is an arrangement of events and not a contradiction, as the skeptics claim. 

As for the purchase of the field, we find the Gospel of Matthew saying that the chief priests consulted and bought the potter’s field with the silver that Judas threw in the temple, and being the price of blood, the priests decided that it cannot enter the treasury. On the other hand, the book of Acts says that Judas acquired the field. Who among them says the truth? 

To respond to this suspicion of contradiction, we must return to two points: 

The first point is the original language in which the text was written, because going back to the original language tells us what the writer intended from the text. In the book of Acts, Luke the Evangelist says that Judas (acquired) a field… The word to acquire here in the original language is written ἐκτήσατο (aktisato) which is a verb in the ancient Greek language meaning that a person gained or acquired something through another person, i.e. a third party. Judas here was a third party in the acquisition process,  as it was acquired through the chief priests.Luke did not go into the details, but directly mentioned the end result, and he said that Judas fell on his face (as a result of the decomposition of the hanged body or the breaking of the rope with which he hanged himself) and he mentioned that he acquired the field (as a result of the high priests buying the field with the money of Judas himself, as Matthew said in his gospel). 

The second point is the way Matthew wrote his gospel. We find that Matthew always links events with the prophecies of the old Testament, so he mentions the details that can be linked in the minds of the Jews with their scriptures to prove to them that these events were foretold by the prophets, so we find him mentioning the name of the field (the potter’s field, while Luke did not mention the name of the field in the book of Acts) and connects it directly to a prophecy from the Old Testament and says that the chief priests took the silver and bought the field. 

We come to the last issue, which is who is the prophet who prophesied the potter’s field? This prophecy is partially mentioned in the book of Zechariah, and partially in the book of Jeremiah. Did he make a mistake when he cited the prophet Jeremiah instead of the prophet Zechariah? 

Simply and without going into details, the Jews used to divide scriptures of the Old Testament into three parts: the law – the psalms – the prophets. The Jews called the part of the prophets Jeremiah (because at that time it was the first book in the group). Therefore, as we are accustomed to with Matthew when he talks to the Jews, he mentions what they know (what was said by Jeremiah as the overall title of the book of the prophets including the book of Zechariah) and he did not mention the division that we know of today (Zechariah). 

Likewise, the prophecy mentioned by Matthew is a prophecy consisting of two parts, one of which was mentioned in the book of Zechariah, and the other was already mentioned in the book of Jeremiah, but because this part of the book was called Jeremiah, Matthew did not make the division. A skeptic should go back to history to find out how the Jews arranged the Tanakh (the Hebrew name for the Old Testament). 


Judas hanged himself (as mentioned in the Gospel of Matthew) and then fell on his face (as mentioned in the Acts of the Apostles) and the chief priests bought the field by proxy with Judas’ money (as the Gospel of Matthew mentioned), and thus Judas acquired the field as a third party as the verb “acquire” means in the original language (as mentioned in the book of Acts). The prophecy mentioned in the Gospel of Matthew is a prophecy that consists of two parts, one of which is mentioned in the Book of Zechariah and the other in the Book of Jeremiah, but the Jews used to call all the writings of the prophets Jeremiah.  

Did Jesus Heal Two Blind Men Or Only One Blind Man?

Also, did this take place on His way to Jericho or from Jericho? 

According to the gospel of Matthew, Jesus healed two blind men (Matthew 20), while according to the gospels of Mark and Luke, He healed only one blind man (Mark 10 and Luke 18). The gospel of Luke also states that Jesus was entering Jericho (Luke 18), nevertheless, the gospel of Mark states that Jesus was going out of Jericho. 

How can we reconcile the difference between these biblical accounts? 

Those who doubt the authenticity of the bible are diligent in searching for any discrepancy that might prove the existence of a contradiction in the bible. Yet they barely exert the same amount of effort to understand the historical and geographical background of the text which explains most of these alleged contradictions. Additionally, they only read the Bible in their own language without returning to the original language in which the Bible was written.  

One of the famous events that at first glance might seem confusing or contradicting is the healing of the blind men mentioned in the different gospels. But before getting to that event and explaining it, let’s just illustrate what happened with an example. Imagine a friend of yours who owns two mobile phones and one of them got broken. Later that friend told a group of your friends that he was going to fix his phone. Does that statement make him a liar or contradicting himself? You know that he has two mobile phones and him saying that he was going to fix his phone doesn’t contradict the fact that he still has two phones.  

In a similar manner, When Mark and Luke mentioned the event of the blind man healing (the same event mentioned by Matthew due to the use of almost the same words to describe it, hence pointing to the same event), they didn’t mention that there was only one blind man; nevertheless, they focused on the healing of one person as his father was known to the readers at the time. The blind man was Bartimaeus which translates to the “son of Timaeus”. This however does not deny the presence of another blind man. 

Mentioning one does not deny or refute the existence of others. In that sense, the mention in Luke and Mark of only one person doesn’t preclude the possibility that there were two blind men. Had they said that only one blind man was healed, then this would have been a contradiction, but that is not the case. There is also another opinion explaining that these two blind men were not together, it is very possible that one was met by Jesus at the beginning of the road, while the other towards the end of the road. Hence, considering them two separate events Mark and Luke only mentioned one; but Matthew mentioned the two. 

This leads us to the second alleged contradiction: Was Jesus entering or going out of Jericho? 

Between the years 1929 and 1936, the English archaeologist John Gargstang conducted research in Palestine, through which he discovered the existence of two cities with the name of Jericho. One of which is the one whose walls fell before Joshua and the people of Israel (that city was demolished and built several times). And the other is Herod’s Jericho, where the winter palace of Herod is found. It is located southwest of ancient Jericho at about one mile distance. The Jewish historian Josephus spoke of the existence of both cities in his books “The wars of the Jews” and “Antiquities of the Jews”. 

Hence, on his way from across the Jordan river heading to Jerusalem, Jesus was going outside of ancient Jericho (according to Matthew) moving towards Herod’s Jericho (according to Luke); that is where he healed two blind men on his way (according to Matthew). One of them was Bartimaeus (according to Mark) and the other was unknown to the readers. It’s also very possible that the two men were about one mile (1500 meters) apart, leading Mark and Luke to consider them as separate events and therefore, mention only one. 

This explanation should draw our attention to the importance of understanding the background of the text as well as look for the spiritual, literal and historical meaning behind it.        

Does God Break The Laws Of Nature By Doing Miracles?

This question positions the laws of nature as if they are criminal laws, and as such, breaking them is immoral or unreasonable. Therefore, God cannot do miracles, because He can’t be immoral or unreasonable to contradict Himself. 

But that is far from the truth. Moral and civil laws are laws imposed on people to enforce right behaviour. On the other hand, the laws of nature are not imposed on nature. Rather, they are laws that describe how nature behaves normally. The earth doesn’t wake up everyday reading a law that it should revolve around itself every 24 hours, or revolve around the sun every 365 days. It simply does so, and scientific laws aim to explain nature’s normal behavior. By understanding the ordinary behaviour of nature, one can know if a miracle happens, as it doesn’t comply with that ordinary behaviour. 

For example, if you wake up one day discovering that a hundred dollar bill disappeared from your desk drawer, would you conclude that the 100 dollar bill broke the laws of nature or that there is an “agent”, that is someone, who stole the money? Similarly, miracles attest to God as the ultimate authority who can intervene to change nature’s course.