Why God Killed Achan, His Innocent Children, and His Animals

by Joshua Tilghman on August 14, 2012


Have you ever read a story in the Bible that bothered you so bad you wanted to scream at God? I sure have. At least before I realized what most Bible lessons were all about. I will never forget reading the story of Achan’s sin in the Old Testament that is presented soon after the Battle of Jericho. I was about fourteen years old and I wasn’t the same afterwards.

In case you are not familiar with the story, let me recap. Achan was a pretty normal guy. He had a wife and kids. He was one of the Children of Israel, and he was part of the Battle of Jericho with Joshua and the rest of the Israelites. After the walls fell, the Israelites went in to loot the place. However, God declared that all these spoils were accursed and not for the children of Israel. In other words, don’t take any of it for yourselves because they were the Lord’s and meant to go into the Lord’s treasury.

Poor Achan. He couldn’t resist. He took a Babylonian garment, 200 shekels of silver, and a wedge of gold and buried them in his tent. I guess he figured he deserved something for his faithfulness, right? The act cost Achan his life, but that’s not even the scary part of the story. The seriousness of this story is found in what happened to Achan’s innocent family. Please read the short excerpt below:

“And Joshua, and all Israel with him, took Achan the son of Zerah, and the silver, and the garment, and the wedge of gold, and his sons, and his daughters, and his oxen, and his asses, and his sheep, and his tent…And all Israel stoned him with stones, and burned them with fire…” (Joshua 7:24-25).

Not even the daughters and animals got off on this one. Apparently, God’s wrath is so serious that even the tent had to be burned in order to satisfy his lust for justice, right?

When I read this story as a young teenager, I wanted some kind of justification for such an act from God. This is what I got from a commentary in the King James Key Word Study Bible:

“Since Deuteronomy 24:16 prohibited the execution of children for the sins of their fathers, it is evident that Achan’s children must have condoned or assisted him in what he did.”

Oh really? What about the oxen, donkeys, and sheep? Were they in on Achan’s sin too? I can see it now…the donkeys agreed to dig the hole in the ground while the sheep and oxen stood watch outside the tent. And I seriously doubt the Biblical author of Joshua wanted us to think that all Achan’s sons and daughters took part in this act. So what in the world is going on here? What kind of God would burn innocent children and animals because of one man’s sin? Jesus taught us that God cared about the flowers of the field even. Surely he wouldn’t burn innocent children and animals.

The answer, thank goodness, is that God wouldn’t. So how can we reconcile this Old Testament story?

As a fourteen year-old boy, I couldn’t. In fact, even though I don’t remember doing this, I wouldn’t be surprised if I spent the next week trying to uncover all the naughty things my father had in his possession so my sister and I didn’t go to hell. The story of Achan is scary stuff when it is taught to be literal! And it is Biblical stories like these that give the traditional Christian mindset all kinds of false information and fuel about who and what God is. It’s also information like this that gives pastors and religious leaders the fuel to tell their sheeple that they better do EXACTLY what God says or their going to roast in the afterlife!

That’s why it’s so important to understand that the Bible is NOT literal. And that’s okay. It’s still the greatest book ever compiled in my opinion because it’s the best roadmap to your soul’s journey here on this earth.

All that being said, what is the esoteric truth of this story and how can it help us understand something about ourselves?

First we must realize that Achan was not a literal man. Neither were his wife, children, and animals. But they are in the story for a good reason. If you read the post before this one, then you understand that the Battle of Jericho was about raising you conscious awareness and all the people and objects in the story represent an aspect of us. That’s what’s so great about the Bible stories—they all teach us something about becoming a Christ. Achan’s story does the same.

Let’s get a wider view of this whole event. In the literal representation of the story, Achan wasn’t the only one affected. All of Israel was blamed because Achan’s act defiled the entire camp (conscious mind). The reason Achan’s sin came up in the first place is because shortly after Achan stole the goods, Israel lost a battle against the men of Ai (Amorites). Consider the scripture below when Joshua is begging God for an answer on why they lost the battle to the enemy:

“Israel hath sinned, and they have also transgressed my covenant which I commanded them: for they have even taken of the accursed thing, and have also stolen, and dissembled also, and they have put it even among their own stuff. Therefore the children of Israel could not stand before their enemies…” (Joshua 7:11-12).

Did you notice how God blamed Achan’s sin on all of Israel? Almost as if by magic or some negative energy, the simple fact of having the accursed goods in Achan’s tent (all of Israel’s possession) caused Israel to be affected negatively. Why?

The Israelites aren’t literal people either. They represent the journey of all of us here in the physical plane. Collectively, the Israelites represent our consciousness and souls.

And the enemies of the Israelites represent egoistic thoughts of the mind that we must crucify in order to get to the Promised Land (enlightenment / Christ consciousness). That’s why God could tell his people to slay even the innocent children and babies. They all represent thoughts of the lower nature which, if go unchecked, can infect the rest of your mind, soul, and spiritual journey. So when Joshua’s men lost the battle to the men of Ai, we know that this represents the mind was having some ego problems keeping them from being successful on the road to enlightenment.

Now consider Achan again. Achan is also an aspect of the egoistic mind, and so are all his children and possessions. Even though the walls had already been brought down in the Battle of Jericho, complete bliss in the Promised Land was not yet achieved. Why? Because the Promised Land is not a place of clouds, angels, and nothing but happiness. Enlightenment is not a permanent state of being where you are immune to everything and anything. It is a realization, and you must choose to become that realization from moment to moment.

Achan represents that part of our ego which is dangerous and strong enough to bring our raised consciousness crashing down. And just like Achan’s sin affected the entire Israelite camp, so can our egos affect our entire spiritual, physical, and emotional makeup.

So why didn’t Achan have a chance to repent? The author would like us to understand that the entire community of the Israelites (all the collective thoughts of the mind) must remain pure and holy (recognition and dissolution of the ego) in order for God (Christ consciousness) to manifest in us. An Achan type of mindset will sacrifice your access to God and Christ consciousness. Achan and anything that was associated with him (thoughts stemming from ego) had to be sacrificed to cleanse the Israelite camp (spiritual mind).

How Can This Knowledge Help You?

Please understand that the ego is not sinful in and of itself. But what is sinful (missing the mark / ignorant) is when humanity doesn’t have the conscious ability or power to recognize the ego. We must realize the ego for what it is. It certainly isn’t the eternal Christ nature within you. The ego is subject to death, for the ego is created and maintained by your thoughts. God is beyond thought. Realizing the Christ nature within you is beyond thought. You can’t suddenly say a prayer, make a mental note of repentance from a sin, and then expect to have been saved. Salvation is a state of BEING in the Promised Land (Present awareness). If the ego is in the driver’s seat of your soul’s journey, you are going to wander in the wilderness for 40 years (40 being a symbol of an entire lifespan) and then die without having attained salvation and you’ll be reincarnated because your consciousness makeup is still gravitated towards ego (physical / carnal ) living. Learn to BE in the moment, fully giving yourself to the situation at hand. Try it. It’s truly liberating! And all the while this type of meditation is raising your awareness.

Janet August 15, 2012 at 9:39 am

This is a fantastic post! I, too, have grappled with understanding literal translations of some stories of the Bible. I honestly never once thought that they could represent aspects of our human nature and the struggle we have remembering the Divine. Great thoughts here. Thank you!

Joshua Tilghman August 15, 2012 at 3:54 pm

Janet,

Yes, the Bible is full of this! More and more of us are realizing this again. Thanks so much for commenting.

william j fencil August 15, 2012 at 2:43 pm

You get ou need to be born again. I was a psych nurse for years and in psych and specie[zin g
LSD pts. When I acpted christ I read the new testment for three years and no other books. I think you need to know crist and rethink the ID EGO and SUPEREGO It is appoted once to die in this world.
william j fencil CRNA

Joshua Tilghman August 15, 2012 at 4:00 pm

William,

I understand your viewpoint. I, too, got “saved” and became a “born-again” Christian many years ago. But as I began to ask myself what being “saved” really means, I began to understand that the traditional Christian message is great for many beginning the path to spirituality, but it isn’t the end. It is only a small beginning to transformation. Jesus’ original teachings have been highly distorted. I recommend that you continue to search and ask questions. When you come to a scripture that doesn’t seem to make sense, you may be right, so please don’t be afraid to question everything. I wish you the best!

shrimp April 2, 2016 at 8:35 am

Can you share what your born again experience was? How did you get saved many years ago? What does that mean?

Joshua Tilghman April 5, 2016 at 1:39 pm

Shrimp,

The born again or resurrection experience is an ongoing process which is often not found in one lifetime. The traditional explanation is that one confesses their sins and commits their life to Christ, but as you can see they are still wrought with emotional and mental baggage. I do not claim to be free of this either, but still am in the process of crucifying the ego. The traditional interpretation would also do well to admit this. If you have time and search other articles on the site, you will see examples of my spiritual walk and understandings. Blessings.

Tom J December 10, 2016 at 9:54 pm

So you say the bible is not to be taken literally????

That’s why it’s so important to understand that the Bible is NOT literal. And that’s okay. It’s still the greatest book ever compiled in my opinion because ….

really??? Are you for real, Joshua Tilgman??

Joshua Tilghman March 1, 2017 at 9:46 pm

Tom, sure I am for real. Obviously you are too or you wouldn’t have google searched this topic. Consider the title. There are a lot of people who struggle with this type of God. And that’s the natural mind at work. I am sorry for the late reply, but if you wish you discuss this matter further feel free.

Suzy August 15, 2012 at 4:21 pm

Thank you for this! It reminds me that I’ve been hoping you’ll write about Abraham being tested to sacrifice his son. Perhaps you already have – let me know because I’d love your insight. I remember being horrified by that story, but with your illumination it’s beginning to make sense. Thanks again for clarifying these spiritual lessons.

Joshua Tilghman August 15, 2012 at 5:02 pm

Suzy,

My pleasure. And thanks for the suggested topic dealing with Abraham and the sacrifice of Isaac. I was horrified by that one too. I have not done a post on this yet, but I will! As always, I appreciate your comments!

Tom J December 10, 2016 at 9:56 pm

Josh, I have a real problem with what you say! Ive got to be missing something somewhere.

Joshua Tilghman March 1, 2017 at 9:44 pm

No worries. Elaborate.

Tamara August 19, 2012 at 3:54 pm

Josh —
Thank you for this — throughout my spiritual journey, some of the “acts of God” in the Bible tormented me as well and at times actually pushed me away from him. They didn’t make sense and I could not conceive of them, even in my most lowly physical and egotistical state 🙂 I wanted no part of a God who could do such things, even if it meant I would go to his “hell.” I believe there are a lot of people who feel and have felt the same way. I have learned the hard way only in recent years how important it is to be vigilant in recognizing and disarming the beliefs of the ego … separation, littleness, etc. Believing in the perfection of the Universe, I know those who can use it, will have a source of “divine intervention.”

Joshua Tilghman August 20, 2012 at 12:51 pm

Tamra,

Thanks so much for sharing the details of your personal life story as it relates to the Bible and God. The fear you and I–and millions of others–have shared over stories like these has caused a lot of confusion. The Bible needs to be handled properly, and all the stories should be put into the proper perspective if we are going to be led and influenced by it.

Christine Hoeflich August 20, 2012 at 12:22 am

Thanks Josh. I don’t remember the Achan story, but I do remember reading several stories in the Bible that felt to me that the Old Testament God was messed-up in the head. And I don’t remember the Catholic nuns (or even the priests) treating these stories as other than literal!

Christine Hoeflich August 20, 2012 at 12:24 am

P.S. I concur with Suzy on you writing about the Abraham story!

joel boley January 4, 2013 at 9:12 pm

He destroyed the whole family because- “A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump” -Galatians 5:19. The “whole lump” being Israel, and the “little leaven” being the “household” of Achan.
yes, this story is literal…people have trouble dealing with this because they look at this world with too much interest…Christians are aliens here, ‘citizens of another kingdom’…this story is disturbing if you hold onto this world to tightly…’70×7’ is a metaphor…but this and abraham and issac are literal…
disappointed in the faulty teaching

Joshua Tilghman January 5, 2013 at 11:43 am

Joel,

Thanks for taking the time to comment. We’ll just have to respectively agree to disagree. 10 years ago I would have been right there with you. I used to use the same scripture from Galatians to back up my beliefs. Fortunately, I began to see contradictions that most aren’t willing to entertain. When one begins to learn that the true meaning of the scripture is veiled behind symbolism and metaphor, God actually begins to make sense, and so do stories like these.

I do appreciate your attitude though. Some who disagree aren’t so respectful. Blessings.

Ronnie Shakespeare February 19, 2013 at 2:05 pm

If we take the stories in the OT as not literal. Do we take the stories in the NT of Christ as not literal ?

Joshua Tilghman February 19, 2013 at 3:11 pm

That’s correct, Ronnie! At first I know this is hard to digest, but let it sit awhile and then go back and read the gospels. It’ll help.

Swiss Kinist January 20, 2015 at 1:17 pm

Translation:

I used to take what God says seriously, until it started going against what my flesh desires, and against my own reason and understanding (Prov. 3:5,6)

The problem is, that Americans view the scripture from an American viewpoint, with American values and American morality, instead of a Biblical viewpoint, with Biblical values based on the word of God.

Joshua Tilghman January 29, 2015 at 5:46 pm

Hi Swiss,

I understand your reluctance, but I spent many years denying the flesh in the conventional interpretation of Christianity. The Bible goes much deeper, and conventional Christianity will never do it justice.

anny May 1, 2013 at 6:56 am

I looked in my Hebrew dictionary for the meaning of the name Achan. I could only find a derivative of this name that meant something like serpent’s herb which indicates that Achan must be another word for serpent. He is the son of Zerach, which means the Shining One, Lucifer. So it becomes clear who or what Achan is and you are totally right in your explanation. It is a last attempt by the ego to pull us back within its control.

Joshua Tilghman May 1, 2013 at 9:20 pm

Thanks Anny. I never connected Achan with serpent. Good to know!

anny May 2, 2013 at 2:48 am

I did not either but this time I decided to look it up in the dictionary. As I said, the word Achan itself I did not find so I suppose the word as such is probably not in use any more. Zerach can be read as zarach, which means to shine (sun). So the interpretation, especially with a view to the combination of the two was obvious to me. The phrase ben (or bat) .. almost always has a deeper meaning, although of course in the literal sense it means son or daughter of, or a certain age.

Eugene W August 31, 2013 at 9:14 pm

Anny the name Zerah does mean shine or brightness and the name Achan means troublemaker, however there is no correlation between these names and Lucifer. I would like to see where you got your deduction from. This story Joshua is literal and so is the New Testament. Anyway you do have a right to your interpretation for NOW, because later we will all realize God meant what He said when He stated that no scripture is for private interpretation. Do ask God to help you understand His word.

Cherie Erten January 18, 2014 at 1:47 pm

Joshua, another ghost into the light, I well remember that horrible story. I haven’t forgotten the hellfire and brimstone preachers, who would scream to the top of their lungs all red faced. “IF YOU DON’T DO THIS YOU WILL GO TO ETERNAL HELL.” Still imprinted.

Joshua Tilghman January 24, 2014 at 5:45 pm

Understood, Cherie. Thanks for your comment!

Mike Bull July 18, 2014 at 11:26 pm

Regarding the execution of Achan’s family and livestock, it would appear that Achan’s judgment replicated the ban upon Jericho rather than any Covenant Sanctions upon Israel. He was judged not only as a Gentile, but as part of Jericho. Jericho was entirely offered as a “first fruits” of the Land, a whole burnt offering in which “all flesh” was cut off. Achan had put his entire house under the ban, just as Rahab’s faith saved anyone in her house. It is also interesting that Rahab married into the line of Perez, and the execution of Achan’s family ended the line of Zerah, the two sons of Tamar to Judah (see Matthew 1). So, rather than writing off the Bible as a morality fable because we judge it by our own standards, it often pays to dig a little further and do some homework.

Aurelio Sablone August 14, 2014 at 1:24 pm

Hey, Joshua!…

I just LOVE your website!… You have been very blessed with these new interpretations of the Bible that make so much more sense to someone who has started to “awaken”… I was once also part of a fundamentalist Christian group who believed that only a few would be saved and the rest of humanity would go to hell in a handbasket and burn forever in torture…

What kind of “loving” God could do that? I eventually thought… and left the church…

I’ve done quite a bit of self-study on the Bible, but I never had the esoteric interpretations spelled out like you’ve done… You’re providing a great service in the world at this time as you help all of us who are evolving come to a new and more enlightened view of the Bible…

LOve,

Aurelio.

Joshua Tilghman September 7, 2014 at 9:14 am

Aurelio,

Thanks for commenting. I have learned so much from esoteric writers before me. After leaving fundamentalist Christianity, its like the blinders fell off.

Chris February 13, 2015 at 1:23 pm

Josh, I’m surprised to find that you’ve never touched on the sad tale of Uzzah who was killed for seemingly trying to help out by steadying the Ark of the Covenant as it was being moved from one place to another. I have no idea what the esoteric meaning is at the moment but will definitely give it some meditation and reflection. Keep up the great work! Blessings!

Gigi June 28, 2015 at 6:56 am

How do you decide what is biblically literal and what is not? What about Jesus paying for sins on cross? That is worse than stoning Achan and family. Jesus Christ was sinless, yet took the punishment for sinners.

Joshua Tilghman July 19, 2015 at 1:18 pm

Gigi,

That is a good question. I think none of it is meant to be literal, although some of the events in the Bible are based on historical events. I hope that makes sense.

Bryan July 6, 2015 at 10:19 pm

There are very troubling understandings of scripture here in this blog and in the comments. This story is not figurative, but a literal historic fact as a couple of people have stated already. The most troubling statement is from the author himself, who in making the whole of scriptures and Christ meaningless, states that the NT and Christ are to be taken figuratively too. “If Christ did not die, then your faith is in vain.”. I don’t understand how that definitive statement can be anything but literal. The reality of sin cannot be dismissed as figurative. That one fact should trouble the figurativites reading this blog to no end….to hopefully reject this figurative nonsense literally.

Joshua Tilghman July 19, 2015 at 1:14 pm

Bryan, I understand your misgivings, but the scripture you state still rings true, even if Jesus were not literal. The fact is, yes, the Christian religion as it has come down to us would be at stake if he were not literal, but that doesn’t mean the scripture still isn’t important. If Christ represents our story, then in a sense it is still literal, through us, isn’t it?

Joachim October 16, 2015 at 10:59 am

Please read to the end of this, its not all praise, but a very important point at the end.

I appreciate your struggle, it is most deeply AND MOST FRUSTRATINGLY my own also, I have scoured the internet for an answer to the very troubling question: WHY DOES GOD KILL CHILDREN AND INNONCENT PEOPLE?!!?!?!?! – This search led me to your post.

It is refreshing to meet a Christian that SEES the problem for the EVIL that it is, without trying to justify these horrific and evil actions. The drivel that other Christians produce to try to justify these issues is infuriating.

But,

Although your approach is refreshing it is poorly supported. You give me nothing but your assertion to accept your premise that this is metaphorical, allegory. I would love to believe it, I would love to be able to understand how it cannot be literal, but with nothing but your assertion I cannot accept that either, no matter how comforting it may be.

So the search continues…..I hope that we can reconcile our faith in a good god with the horrors that are attributed to him. It is a sad and crippling situation to be in as a Christian.

Some may say “well its all fictional anyway so don’t worry about it”. Sorry, I know enough of the bible to understand that mere men could never have created these writings on their own and for that and several other reasons I know there is a God. So this is not an acceptable position to take either.

Joshua Tilghman December 22, 2015 at 8:26 pm

Joachim,

I understand. Perhaps other articles on the site might help. Best wishes.

Sarah November 2, 2015 at 6:23 am

This is very disappointing. scripture is God breathed. I would quote scripture to support that but since the bible is not viewed as literal that would be pointless. This article is leading other people to doubt the trueness of scripture and is missing the point. I would caution you to do some real research before posting something that will lead others astray. You may never see this comment, but my heart was hurt in seeing so many people agree with you on the bible not being literal and true. It is not just a symbolic book, the events in it (as miraculous and strange as some of them are) actually happened.

Joshua Tilghman December 22, 2015 at 8:18 pm

Thank you for your comment, Sarah. I know it was from the heart. I use to believe in a literal Bible, but gave that view up long ago.

Jon January 19, 2016 at 10:06 pm

Friend,

I sympathize with your grappling with these questions. But I would have to respectfully disagree with your conclusions. Please hear me out. The first thing I want to say is that I’m still struggling and wrestling with part of this; hence my google search of Achan with Deuteronomy 24:16 and finding your post. How is it that God seemingly commands what He himself forbids in the Law? I’m still grappling here. But what I do know is that the book of Joshua is written as a historical account. If it was sold by itself in a bookstore, on amazon say, it would be listed under “history” rather than something like “new age.” It’s written as a solid historical record, just like Genesis, or Judges, or the gospels, for that matter. I don’t think any of us would follow the logic you used for Joshua 7 to apply it to the whole of what’s going on in Joshua: that the trip from Egypt to the wilderness to Canaan didn’t actually historically happen, rather, it is solely a personal spiritual lesson for us about the Christian life. The fact is, it’s always both. Not either or, it’s always both. It happened. They went from Egypt to Canaan, they did destroy the Canaanites, they possessed the land in a very physical historical sense. And at the same time, all of it is written for us, and the physical historical events are loaded with spiritual lessons for us in Christ. I don’t think you would probably use the same logic you used for Joshua 7 for Jesus’ miracles in the gospels. Hopefully you wouldn’t use it for the fall of Adam in Genesis 3 either. The Psalms are written as poetry, that’s their genre. The Prophets write with a good bit of complex metaphor and symbolism. But the “History Books” of the Bible are called the History/Historical Books because they are just that, they record historical events. I really believe that taking your principle in interpreting this passage leads to danger in interpreting the bible. It leads to the conclusion we can take spiritual lessons from the Bible without taking it as historically grounded. The fact is, if we can’t trust the history of the Scriptures, we have no foundation to trust in the truth of the spiritual lessons they impart. The Scripture is build on the foundation of historical truth. Jesus was a historical person. If we end up saying He actually didn’t need to exist (I know you’re not saying this, but this conclusion could be drawn from the same principle you are using here), we’ve passed into heresy. I hope that makes some sense.

Again, I’m still wrestling with the tension of the two passages. But one principle that has helped me is that of covenant headship. The way I see Joshua 7 is the biblical story of ruin and redemption. Achan points us back to Adam. Actually, the same 3 Hebrew verbs are used for Achan taking the gold as Eve taking the fruit. Achan alone sinned, but all his posterity, all that belonged to him, is punished along with him. How to explain it? That’s exactly what happened in Genesis 3 (comparing with Romans 5:12-21). Adam alone sinned, right? But Scripture teaches that all of us, all his posterity, are punished along with him for the sin that HE ALONE committed (again, see Romans 5). Joshua 7, among other things, is setting before us the biblical principle of covenant headship. Achan alone sinned, but his whole family is punished. Achan alone sinned, but all Israel was reckoned as being guilty with him, right? It’s the story of the fall. Adam sinned, but we are punished with him, he alone sinned but all of us are guilty with him, he sinned but we are condemned with him. And by the way, it’s this same principle that is the foundation of our justification in Christ. That’s Paul’s argument in Romans 5:12-21. Our justification in Christ happens the exact same way that our condemnation in Adam did. The action of the one man determined the destiny of all those he represented. For Adam it was disobedience that led to death and condemnation for all of us; but for Christ it was obedience that led to life and justification to all of us.

Again, I’m still wrestling with the exact question of how Joshua 7 relates to Deuteronomy 24. But as far as interpreting Joshua 7 itself, I hope this might help a bit.

Respectfully, Jon

Joshua Tilghman February 21, 2016 at 1:09 pm

Jon, I appreciate your honesty and heartfelt comment with regards to the book of Joshua, but I cannot agree that it really happened the way Joshua explains it. Do you really believe the earth stopped rotating causing the sun to stand still in the sky. Can you imagine the implications of such a reality. The entire solar system would have been thrown off kilter, and all of physics would have broken down. The universe doesn’t work like that.

Jessica Goss February 8, 2016 at 8:23 pm

I read your post and was immediately reminded of the false teachers the Bible warns us of. 2 Peter 2:1 But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them- bringing swift destruction on themselves.
Be really careful about twisting the scriptures to suit yourself, after all, Satan does the very same thing.

Joshua Tilghman February 21, 2016 at 1:05 pm

Jessica, I would have thought the same of myself when I was immersed in traditional Christian doctrine. The only reason you are reminded of false teachers is because what I am saying goes against the Orthodox position. Study history, and you will see that the Orthodox position is wrought with so much politics that it cannot be trusted. Many blessings.

Lonnie February 14, 2016 at 12:28 am

If you don’t believe that Jesus literally died as a substitute for our sins, and deliver us from hell,
what hope do you have for your own personal salvation?

Joshua Tilghman February 21, 2016 at 9:20 am

Lonnie, are you sure you know what salvation is? Is it physically dying and then your spirit goes to heaven forever just because of something you believed? I don’t think its so simple. Salvation is being whole, complete.

Lloyd April 5, 2016 at 8:56 am

Hi Joshua,

You seem to have spun a modern twist on the Bible and I would advise you humbly my friend to rethink the position you have.

This new-age way of thinking is a sure fire way to be led down the garden path and create a new gospel. Please brother, don’t continue down this road or lead others astray. We are not all Christs, there is but one Christ, Jesus, one God who is forever praised, Amen.

I think we need to accept that we do not know why God did certain things. Its okay not to know.

I went down this ‘spiritual awakening’ path and it does nothing but attempt to blur the line between man and God, the exact same thing that satan did in the beginning. Fear God, honor the Creator and humble yourself before Him. Please, I ask that you preach no other Gospel brother.

In Christ,
Lloyd

Joshua Tilghman April 5, 2016 at 1:32 pm

Lloyd,

Thanks for stopping by and commenting. I understand your heartfelt comment, but I have been down the traditional road. It was a good first experience, and necessary. But on the contrary, my journey into the esoteric interpretation of scripture has been a world of blessing and revelation. I hope you keep searching. blessings.

Sarah December 7, 2016 at 7:52 pm

I agreed with a lot of what you were saying, up until you said that the Bible is not literal.

You seem to be a very spiritual person with a genuine love for spiritual things, however I’m worried that you have become very turned around in what the scripture means and is saying. And I would urge you to consider reading the Bible literally and to try praying literal prayers to our literal God.

My purpose in posting is that I have a few questions about some of the things you said in your post. I have no intention of persuading you to my way of thinking, but I am really curious about how you ratify certain things with the way that you interpret the Bible.

1. If the Bible is not written to be taken literally, why should we trust anything that it says?

2. If the Bible is not literal in it’a meaning, why should we obey anything that it says?

3. If our Bible is not literal, is our God literal?

4. If the Bible, being a roadmap for Christian living (like you said), presents the book of Joshua as historical fact, when it is not, isn’t it contradicting itself when it later tells us not to lie?

5. If the Bible I not literal, why does it present itself as if it is? Why would God give us a book that assumes we will take it seriously, if He does not intend for us to do that?

6. If God is the divine author of the Bible, why did He not make it obvious to us that He does not want us to read the Bible literally? Wouldn’t God be lying to us to present something as fact when it is not?

7. If we shouldn’t take the Bible literally, should we even believe that God is real and involved in our lives?

8. If God is real, why should we trust Him if the only words He gives to us are confusing and non-literal?

9. If the Bible can’t be taken literally, what hope do we have after we die? What happens to us? Why should we trust that it is anything good?

10. If the Bible should not be taken literally, what is the moral standard of goodness that we should be living to?

I know you are likely busy, but as you were able to write such a long post about what you believe, I assume that you’ll be able to take the time to thouroughly answer each question.

Joshua Tilghman March 1, 2017 at 9:57 pm

Sarah, thank you for taking the time to comment. Sorry for the late reply. sometimes comment get buried, and other times (as you can see between the length of time that I post) life just gets busy. As per your questions:

Every question you ask begins with the literal view. Basically you are saying, if the Bible states, then how can it be thus? But does the Bible itself really state it is literal? No. If you do a search on my site and come up with the article, why the Bible itself states it is not literal, perhaps you will phrase the questions differently. My mission is not to convince you the Bible is not literal. Only certain people with honest questions to the contradictions will come with an open mind, and then see that historical interpretations are not accurate. For example, take into consideration your question number 8 (I only picked this one because it is currently in front of me). Who and what is God. Your question automatically assumes that my answer is predicated upon your belief about what God is. But it truly isn’t, so how can I even being to try and answer your question?

Ray January 24, 2017 at 9:07 am

Israel literally still possesses the lands that God gave them.

Joshua Tilghman March 1, 2017 at 9:14 pm

Yes, but who is Israel according to the scriptures? One of the heart, not of circumcision as Paul tells us.

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