Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Criterion of Embarrassment

Last month I mentioned the “criterion of embarrassment” and how it might not apply so well with the female discoverers of the tomb. The criterion of embarrassment is a bona fide earmark of truth used by historians, but it can also backfire on Christian apologists. I have only one example to give in this article, but it’s a big one: Matthew 27:46 (NIV):
About three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” (which means “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”).
I’ll agree with the Christian who thinks that the criterion of embarrassment brings significant verisimilitude points here, but it also poses a problem for those who believe Jesus is the incarnation of God. Jesus, being an incarnation of God, would be omniscient and thus would know that this what’s being uttered here isn’t quite true. Moreover, this phrase is far more likely to be uttered if atheism is true and Jesus was not the Son of God, but rather some poor deluded soul. So while I think it’s more likely than not that Jesus uttered this phrase, this would seem to be evidence against Christianity.