Is Yahweh a liar? Part 1 of a 2 part series.

Proverbs 6

16  These six things doth Yahweh hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him:

17  A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood,

18  An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief,

19  A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.

 

I think most Christians are familiar with the above Bible verses. I have commenced a study of them myself because Christianity has a long history of doing all of the above and I want to know if there is anything in the Bible which suggests Yahweh doesn’t mind his believers doing them in certain situations. Below are a few examples of Christianity’s abominations.

 

1) A proud look – Prideful. Christian forums are full of members like this; puffed up with pride at their Bible ‘knowledge’ which shows as a demeaning attitude toward any other Christian that doesn’t believe as they do. Hell, those other Christians aren’t even ‘real’ Christians; they’re just ‘cultural’ Christians, with the emphasis on ‘cult’.

 

2) A lying tongue – Liars. The first was Jesus with his infamous “Verily I say unto you, There be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom.” Add in anything to do with witchcraft, Satanism, tele-evangelism and the Republican Party.

 

3) Hands that shed innocent blood – Murderers. This is probably the most used epithet for historical Christians and it’s no wonder when Christianity’s robes are stained with the blood of negroes, ‘witches’, heretics (especially Jews and Moslems) and anyone else Christian leaders have considered a threat to their ecclesiastic power. Millions of lives all around the world have been extinguished in the name of Yahweh. Each year more victims of Christianity are added to the total, from witch burnings in Africa to abortion clinic bombings in America to ethnic cleansing in Eastern Europe.

 

4) An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations – Devious. Christian leaders have a reputation for doing anything for power, anything for riches. The Catholic Church charged the families of its torture victims for services rendered by its inquisitors. Houston Baptist minister, Charles Gilford, stole $430,000 from his flock. New Orleans Baptist minister, Toris Young, stole $963,900 from his flock. An ordained minister from Tennessee, Derek Cross, stole a $13,000 tractor from a funeral home so he could sell it. The Catholic Church in Germany has recently threatened its laity with excommunication if they refuse to pay a church tax.

 

5) Feet that be swift in running to mischief – Malicious. See 1, 2, 3, 4, 6 and 7.

 

6) A false witness that speaketh lies – Perjurers. Perjury was rife during the trials of ‘witches’. I mean, who really believes these thousands of men, women and children were convicted and executed on the factual evidence of two or more truthful witnesses? The seventeenth century one-time Anglican vicar, Titus Oates, was someone who could almost be termed a professional perjurer. He was the co-inventor of the ‘Popish Plot’. And it has continued down to this day with Joseph Ratzinger lying about his knowledge of the level of child sexual abuse in his Church.

 

7) And he that soweth discord among brethren – Divisive. Catholic versus Protestant. Protestant versus Catholic. The thousands of schismatic sects of Christianity. What else is there to say?

 

I’m sure you can think of many more.

 

Because Christianity is rife with liars (from philandering televangelists to the forum based liars spreading misquotes of scientists and national leaders as if they were the gospel truth) and lying is mentioned twice in the list of abominations, I decided to start with that. I wanted to know if there was anything in the Bible to suggest Yahweh ever condoned such behaviour. Well, at first glance, no. Lying is condemned in verses like Exodus 23:1 “Thou shalt not raise a false report: put not thine hand with the wicked to be an unrighteous witness.”; Leviticus 19:11 "Ye shall not steal, neither deal falsely, neither lie one to another."; Psalm 5:6 “Thou shalt destroy them that speak lies: Yahweh will abhor the bloody and deceitful man.”; Proverbs 12:22 "Lying lips are abomination to Yahweh: but they that deal truly are his delight.” and Revelation 21:8 “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”

 

It’s pretty clear that Yahweh hates lies and he hates liars.

 

Or does he?

 

What is a lie? What is a liar? The International Standard Bible Encyclopaedia defines lying as “something said with intent to deceive.” So, a liar is one who says something with the intention to deceive. The Cambridge dictionary writes, to lie is “to say or write something which is not true in order to deceive someone.” A Biblical definition could be that found at Proverbs 24:28, “deceive…with thy lips.” It’s all about intentional deception; the deceiver and their deceit.

 

Yahweh hates those who say something with the intention to deceive. That appears to be an easy statement to test for truthfulness. I just need to find a direct quote from Yahweh where he is saying not just “don’t lie” or “don’t be a liar” but a quote in which he is the one stating “I hate lies” or “I hate liars” and then find out what happens to liars in the Bible.

 

Step one.

 

Find a direct quote from Yahweh in which he is the one stating “I hate lies” or “I hate liars”

 

I think the following comes close enough.

 

Zechariah 8

16  These are the things that ye shall do; Speak ye every man the truth to his neighbour; execute the judgment of truth and peace in your gates:

17  And let none of you imagine evil in your hearts against his neighbour; and love no false oath: for all these are things that I hate, saith Yahweh.

 

Yahweh says, through Zechariah, he hates those that don’t speak the truth to his neighbour, a liar. Yahweh says, through Zechariah, he hates a false oath, a lie.

 

Step two.

 

Find out what happens to liars in the Bible.

 

Proverbs 19

5  A false witness shall not be unpunished, and he that speaketh lies shall not escape.

 

Ok, all liars will be caught out and punished. How?

 

Well, Yahweh punished the serpent by making him crawl in and eat dust. It also has to perpetually look out for our feet. We have to look out for its fangs.

 

Genesis 3

14  And Yahweh God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life:

15  And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.

 

But that ‘old serpent’ isn’t a person, so we can ignore eating dirt as a punishment.

 

A more down to earth punishment is described in Deuteronomy.

Deuteronomy 19

16  If a false witness rise up against any man to testify against him that which is wrong;

17  Then both the men, between whom the controversy is, shall stand before Yahweh, before the priests and the judges, which shall be in those days;

18  And the judges shall make diligent inquisition: and, behold, if the witness be a false witness, and hath testified falsely against his brother;

19  Then shall ye do unto him, as he had thought to have done unto his brother: so shalt thou put the evil away from among you.

20  And those which remain shall hear, and fear, and shall henceforth commit no more any such evil among you.

21  And thine eye shall not pity; but life shall go for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot.

 

If you tell the court and Yahweh that Tom committed a murder but he didn’t, you get executed. If you tell the court and Yahweh that Dick did evil to a widow and he didn’t, you get executed. If you tell the court and Yahweh that Harry had sex with your unmarried daughter and he didn’t, you…have to pay yourself fifty shekels of silver and marry her? Well, at least everyone else will fear the consequences and not do what you did.

 

If, on the other hand, you tell a lie to the Holy Ghost, the penalty is a supernaturally induced death. Take note of the fate of the husband and wife team of liars, Ananias and Sapphira.

 

Acts 5

1  But a certain man named Ananias, with Sapphira his wife, sold a possession,

2  And kept back part of the price, his wife also being privy to it, and brought a certain part, and laid it at the apostles’ feet.

3  But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back part of the price of the land?

4  Whiles it remained, was it not thine own? and after it was sold, was it not in thine own power? why hast thou conceived this thing in thine heart? thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God.

5  And Ananias hearing these words fell down, and gave up the ghost: and great fear came on all them that heard these things.

6  And the young men arose, wound him up, and carried him out, and buried him.

7  And it was about the space of three hours after, when his wife, not knowing what was done, came in.

8  And Peter answered unto her, Tell me whether ye sold the land for so much? And she said, Yea, for so much.

9  Then Peter said unto her, How is it that ye have agreed together to tempt the Spirit of Yahweh? behold, the feet of them which have buried thy husband are at the door, and shall carry thee out.

10  Then fell she down straightway at his feet, and yielded up the ghost: and the young men came in, and found her dead, and, carrying her forth, buried her by her husband.

11  And great fear came upon all the church, and upon as many as heard these things.

 

Hmmm… If you promise to give your church some cash and you don’t… Who needs standover men to ensure prompt payment when you have the Holy Ghost on your side?

 

And then there’s the mother of all punishments; loss of any access to Yahweh’s Heavenly city.

 

Revelation 22

14  Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.

15  For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie.

 

If you’re in that group, you’re off to “the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.” If you lie, Yahweh gets you twice!

 

But do all liars get punished?

 

Does Yahweh really hate liars and their lies?

 

Find out in part 2.

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Comment by James Yount on October 3, 2012 at 10:27am
If you're looking for lies celebrated in the bible, a few come to mind: Abraham and Pharaoh, the woman(dinah?) who lied to protect the Israeli spies, the patriarch(Abraham again?) that did a bit of deceitful animal breading for personal gain ,Jacob and his mom took advantage of a blind and old Isaac...
Comment by James Yount on October 3, 2012 at 10:14am
The serpent didn't lie. Unless you think telling a truth with the intent to do harm is a lie. That's a 200 CE understanding of that story though. The ancient summerians and canaanites from whom these stories originated would have interpreted the genesis story differently. Original sin and the mental inadequacy of women is a post Babylonian captivity reinterpretation.

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