11/06/2009                                                                                       View Comments

Except A Corn of Wheat...

by Sharon: Bachelor of Science UM
"Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit." John 12:24 KJV

This verse, attributed to Jesus in the New Testament, is glaringly wrong. Can you see why?

Never mind whether or not Jesus actually lived, or whether or not this translation holds the "true" words of God. For the sake of argument, let us assume all of that is true, and these were the actual words spoken by Jesus, and therefore the actual words of God to us. What is wrong with the above statement ? Where does this statement fail in its assessment of both how to grow crops and how to live ones life?

For years I had an organic garden I cultivated and tended. It gave me great joy to learn the intricacies of how best to grow flowers and vegetables. I learned much about germinating seeds and spent many happy hours in my house with small containers of dirt containing all kinds of seeds under warming lights, waiting for the first hint of spring.

We have the advantage of science which explains that when you plant a seed it can do one of two things, it can die (many do) or it can germinate. So what is wrong with this statement by Jesus?

Well first of all it shows that Jesus and those in his generation, did not know the first thing about what happens to seeds when they are planted! Apparently they thought that when you plant a seed it dies and then "springs to life" in some sort of "resurrection" event thereby producing bountiful harvests. That is not what happens to seeds when they are planted.

We have the advantage of science which explains that when you plant a seed it can do one of two things, it can die (many do) or it can germinate. Those seeds which remain alive under the ground and germinate are the ones that produce crops. Those seeds that die produce nothing. Dead seeds produce no crops.

In addition to my organic garden I was also a devout evangelical Christian. I tended my garden faithfully, as I did my Christian faith. "Laying down my life" for others was a given, as this is what Jesus commanded. So I concentrated on applying my efforts to seeing that others became successful in their jobs and careers, while not worrying about my own success, as "God" would take care of that. I also applied my efforts to seeing that the "Kingdom of God" was advanced by volunteering my time and money to make my local church successful. For decades I was certain that my devotion to the principles of Christianity would provide me with a secure future, in this world and the world to come.

Then the marriage I trusted in to secure my life ended. Suddenly I was left without job opportunities and no secure source of income or health insurance. The three children I had devoted my "career years" to raising, launched into successful young adulthood and left home for college and excellent career prospects. I had "died to myself" and the result was now I had no career, no husband, and three kids I couldn't afford to help or enjoy. A complete reassessment was necessary!

Fortunately I rebounded quickly and cast off ancient superstitious "faith based" thinking and replaced it with science supported "reason based" thinking.

This bible verse is just one of many that showcases the ignorance of Jesus and his generation regarding many subjects, which science has since that time accurately detailed.


webmdave said...

wow, the worst thing about being decieved is you don't know you are
you think your on track, I got it, I know all about it.Maybe your just decieved.You say your not.You don't know half of it.Maybe it's in what you don't know.How can you comment on what you don't know or do you know it all. I did'n think so.

webmdave said...

Zak Fletcher -That comment is gobbledygoop. Care to try again?

webmdave said...

Dear guest,

How about this, how about you learn to use the contraction for "you are"(which, BTW, is "you're"), and then come back, and perhaps someone might take you seriously. And for the record, I won't be one of those people, simply because your argument is fallacious(and ridiculous), namely, the argument that implies that because we non-believers don't "know it all", then we can't possibly know for certain that invisible, conscious beings don't exist. For one thing, no one here claims to "know it all", so you attack a strawman. Notwithstanding, just because we don't "know it all" doesn't mean that we can't reasonably conclude that things for which there is no good, credible evidence aren't likely to exist. For instance, there is no good, credible evidence that Poseidon exists at the bottom of the sea and causes earthquakes. There is no good, credible evidence that Thor lives in the sky and hurls lightening bolts at earth. Are we being unreasonable to conclude that the aforementioned "gods" don't exist, just because we don't "know it all"??? 'Didn't think so. Likewise, we aren't being unreasonable to conclude that an invisible, flying, undead man-god doesn't live in anyone's "heart".

webmdave said...

Nope, Zek, you can't know you're not being deceived. Even your own senses can play you false. So the best thing to do is to take steps to minimise the chances that you are being.

First, look for consistency. Even a very elaborate deception could have flaws in it, point where details in the story don't agree with each other. E.g. when things grow in the retelling or subtle details change with each repetition, or when one version contradicts another, those are strong hints that there is a fair amount of fantasy in the tale.

Second, compare with reality. Putting aside the solipsist argument and assuming for a moment we're not chained up in some platonic cave, trapped in a VR matrix, or merely a brain in a jar somewhere, reality is one of the strongest rulers to measure up a tale against. I mean most people, for example, would be able to distinguish between a historical tale and a fairy tale at the first mention of dragons or unicorns. Fanciful events or errors of geography, history or science are good indicators of falsehood.

Finally, is it just too good to be true? Probability and statistics is a powerful tool when used correctly, but even a cursory evaluation of the likelihood of a story can be revealing? Like an African businessman emailing you out of the blue to offer you millions of dollars, or you actually being the 10 millionth person to view some pop-up ad and so to have instantly won a yacht, it doesn't take too much insight to recognise these scams for what they are. Sure they could be on the level but let's be honest, the odds of that are far smaller than the very real chance that it's a con; even on the balance of imperfect evidence, the right call is simply made.

So when someone next come to you pushing a barely consistent tale full of errors, impossibilities and vastly improbable events and promising you the Earth and more, but not in any easily verifiable way. You'll know it for the deception it is now, won't you?

webmdave said...

Zek Fletcher: "How can you comment on what you don't know..."

Precisely, Zek. Come back when you've deconverted from Christianity and know what we've been through. In the meantime... Shoo.

webmdave said...

Zek: How can you comment on what you don't know or do you know it all

One doesn't have to "know it all" to discern if the improbable exists or not.
e.g. We can rest assured that flying pink unicorns aren't orbiting Uranus without actually inspecting the entire planet.

You are the one making the claim so the burden is upon you to provide the evidence.
Your assumptions are just that and totally baseless.

Come back when you can think logically, okay

webmdave said...

Hey ATF, Welcome back brother!

I see that you've retained your fine form in verbal pugilism!

Where's the P.S. parenthetical statement??


webmdave said...


How ya doing ole buddy?

Hey if you're looking for a couple good books to read, then I suggest you get hold of THE GOD VIRUS and THE ATHEIST'S INTRODUCTION TO THE NEW TESTAMENT.

Both of these books have greatly impressed me and offer plenty of ammo in your debunking efforts here.

ATF (Who's typical "parenthetical statement" here, weren't much appreciated elsewhere)

webmdave said...

Great! I will look forward to it.

I always enjoy your comments