Debate: Rich Rodriguez vs Pastor Joe

Rich_Rodriguez's picture


The premise of the debate was whether or not the New Testament is reliable. This was a continuation from a previous discussion we had on the subject of the manuscript evidence. I argue that the argumentation Pastor Joe fallaciously uses to support his assertions are flawed. These are the central issues we discuss and the arguments he supports which I do not.

Joe’s argument:

- Over 5,000 Greek manuscripts from before 325 C.E (A.D.)
- Only 40 lines are in question
- Is accurate within 99.5% amongst the manuscripts.
- He also claims that the NT is more reliable than the Iliad.

I thoroughly refute every one of these claims and address several issues (like contradictions) which lend credence to my premise that the NT is not a reliable amongst its earliest texts.

By the end of the debate Joe concedes that:

- Only 6% (300+) of the manuscripts were written prior to the 9th century.
- The 40 lines argument is flawed and unsubstantiated.
- Instead of 99.5% the bible is closer to 62.9% (which is lower than the Iliad).

This was not a very productive debate since we seemed to be talking past each other for the majority of the time. If you decide to listen to it make sure you listen to the last ten minutes which he gets officially PWNED!!

Broken link

Hey, first off, I'd like to mention that I'm really interested in this subject.

Do you have any sources you could point me to that support our point (i.e, Biblical unreliability)? I have previously argued against Christians who claim Biblical scientific "foresight" (I'm not very experienced but you can see my videos on YouTube, username BibleBreaker)

Anyway, the link above ( appears to be broken; could you post the working link?




HeyZeusCreaseToe's picture


I think that you need to change to the code on this forum when you make those long link addresses. Here it is though in accessible format.


“Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.” Yoda

Hambydammit's picture

Yep.  In the new format,

Yep.  In the new format, there's apparently a character limit to links.  If you see "..." in your link, it's too long and will not work properly.  As a precaution, it's always better to embed the link in text.

By the way, I haven't said this before, but it was nice to see you kick this guy's ass.


Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin
Books about atheism

HeyZeusCreaseToe's picture

He's footnoting himself

I especially like the part where he claims you are appealing to authority(Bart Ehrman) then goes on to prove that Daniel Wallace and F.F. Bruce(his authorities) have documented sources for only 40 lines of difference and 99.5% bible accuracy. Then when he looks for the footnote reference he says, "well he is footnoting himself, but he is an expert in his field." Classic!

He wouldn't answer any of the variance questions, because he cannot reconcile that harmonization is the only way he could possibly address the issue of having completely different facts(facts only in the sense of events taking place in this mythic history) that contradict each other. His whole argument for not addressing the variance in the NT was basically "this debate is about variance, accuracy, and reliability not harmonization." Contradictions of events harmonized to create a semi-coherent rationalization is the only way an apologetic  can understand anything in the NT relating to the Gospels. To believe the Gospels without harmonization literally means that you have to believe multiple tellings of the same stories, eventhough they directly contradict themselves(your 3 days, 3nights reference for an example).

His argument of reliability doesn't have to mean truth, is in direct conflict with his "inerrancy of the bible" claim. He just alludes to a bible verse saying(paraphrasing): God and Jesus told us that they would give us the right information, therefore, whatever information we have must be right because they said it would be. The circular logic, compartmentalization, and apologetic rationalizations for these claims is staggering.



“Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.” Yoda

All right, thanks.

All right, thanks.