Herbert W. Armstrong
Disproves the Bible!
From Ambassador Report as Reprinted in Rising Star Publications.
In 1958, in the Ambassador College publication The Proof of the Bible, Herbert W. Armstrong thundered authoritatively: "Here is how you can disprove the bible and the very existence of God, if there is no God, and IF the Bible is not inspired! Just go over and build a small city on the site of New Tyre.... Now there is nothing to prevent them [skeptics] from building a city there on the site of New Tyre, except that the Bible they scoff at says they CAN'T!" (p. 20, emphasis Herbert W. Armstrong's)
Today, as Herbert W. Armstrong says, skeptics and atheists are unable to build a city on the site of New Tyre - but not because some mysterious, unseen hand grabs them by a lock of their hair and throws them into the sea every time they try. They are unable to build a city there because the city of Sur (population 15,000) has been resting unobtrusively on the precise location of ancient Tyre since 1766 (Cyclopaedia of Biblical, Theological, and Ecclesiastical Literature, vol. X, p. 620). In fact, when Herbert W. Armstrong himself visited Tyre in 1973, he was forced to admit that "there were quite a number of new high-rise buildings [there]. But, no more are to be built, and by government order, the new structures are to be dismantled and carted off." (The Plain Truth, Jan. 1974, p. 17). But the very fact that modern Sur exists on the site of ancient Tyre- whether these high-rise buildings had been erected of not, means, according to Herbert W. Armstrong, that the Bible has been disproved and that God must cease to exist.
Now God is not about to commit suicide to make Herbert W. Armstrong's fallacious reporting look good. Herbert W. Armstrong is just going to have to suffer the consequences of his foot-in-mouth disease.
Herbert W. Armstrong's Fallacies concerning Tyre:
Herbert W. Armstrong came to his erroneous conclusions because his research into Tyre's history was careless and faulty and his biblical exegesis was inaccurate. If he hadn't tried to force his interpretation of Ezekiel 26 to fit the historical record, he would not have made such a blunder.
He read in Ezekiel 26 that Tyre's walls would be broken down and its stones, timber, and soil cast into the sea (vs. 12). He read that Tyre would become a bare rock (vs. 14) and would no longer be inhabited (vs. 19-21). But the historical account said no such thing. What was he to do? He noticed that the people of New Tyre had constructed a sea wall that had reclaimed some land from the sea, so he falsely concluded all of New Tyre was built in this lowland area. Hence he confidently wrote that "Alexander the Great, after demolishing the buildings of New Tyre, demolished this huge sea wall which had reclaimed the lowland space on which the actual city New Tyre had been built..... God turned the ocean upon the city, and the deep waters cover it to this very day. New Tyre has remained from that day to this like the top of a rock!" (p. 19)
What History Says:
Herbert W. Armstrong did not succeed in reconciling Ezekiel's prophecy about Tyre with the historical record. History states that Alexander scraped most of Old Tyre into the sea, but much of New (insular) Tyre, though burned in the siege, was left intact. Rather than destroy the city completely, Alexander peopled it with new colonists and appointed a new king over Tyre. The city revived so rapidly that 18 years later it had the strength to hold out for 15 months against one of Alexander's former generals (Nina Jidejian, Tyre Through the Ages, Beirut, 1969, pp. 80-81).
History further declare that in the Roman period Tyre's "population overflowed its bounds and occupied a strip of the opposite mainland including the ancient Palaetyrus" (Encyclopaedia Biblica, p. 5,226).
Herbert W. Armstrong tries futilely to assert that the complete site of ancient insular Tyre was inundated by the sea when Alexander demolished the sea wall that had reclaimed some lowland space and that the subsequent revivals of Tyre were not built on the actual site of New Tyre. Some have noticed the remains of a wall and a few columns just offshore from modern Sur and felt perhaps a sunken city lay beneath the blue waters of the Mediterranean, but aerial photography and diving observations by a French team in 1934-36 showed beyond doubt that the walls were the breakwater of the Egyptian harbor, not a section of a submerged city. There is no submerged city lying off the shores of insular Tyre.
The Booklet Killed:
When the ministers at AC realized the extent of the errors in The Proof of the Bible concerning Tyre and Babylon, they decided the booklet had to go and gingerly notified Herbert W. Armstrong through an unsigned memo written by David Jon Hill. Herbert W. Armstrong exploded, as expected, but was mollified when assured that it wasn't his fault but the fault of the Seventh Day Adventists' book Prophesy Speaks, from which much of Herbert W. Armstrong's booklet was purportedly derived.
So on Oct. 31, 1972, Hill wrote in an interoffice memo: "The booklet "Proof of the Bible" has been killed by Herbert W. Armstrong. Please destroy existing stock." But the remaining booklets were not destroyed. Orlin Grabbe, former AC instructor in Old Testament Survey, explained why in a widely circulated letter: "50,000 copies still on hand were still sent out, because having recently advertised the booklet, it was decided it would be unwise to disappoint and thus antagonize the customers! (Obviously, a great regard for truth, huh?) In fact, an editorial staff member was told by the pastor of one of the Worldwide Church of God's European churches that the booklet should continue to be sent out with all its errors because it did such a good job bringing people into the Worldwide Church of God. One wonders if God is getting so desperate to get members that he has to resort to deception!
Who wrote The Proof of the BIBLE?
By Tony Badillo
The booklet to the left is printed by Ambassador College and purports to be written by Mr. Herbert W. Armstrong.
But was it?
It would be more accurate to say the Mr. Herbert W. Armstrong re-wrote the booklet because the basic contents, theme, and even structure of the booklet were copied from the Seventh Day Adventist publication "Prophecy Speaks." But this SDA (Seventh Day Adventist) booklet title was changed and subsequently re-appeared under the title "David Dare." And while Prophecy Speaks was changed to David Dare, there was no change in the internal matter at all
Now see a comparison:
Over 2,500 years ago there existed a great city... That city was the mistress of the seas... it was the commercial center of the world.... this New York of the ancient world (was) Tyre."
pp. 6 & 8
"For 2,000 years Tyre grew. ..until she was the mistress of the sea.... She was the commercial center of the world.. .Tyre was the New York of Asia."
"Then after two and one-half centuries, Alexander the Great came down in his swift march conquering everything.
"Two and a half centuries passed. then.. Alexander the Great marched swiftly to attack new Tyre..."
"Here is how you can disprove the Bible and the very existence of God... Just go over and build a small city on the site of New Tyre. A collection of a dollar each from all of the American skeptics alone would be ample."
"I will next tell you how to disprove the Bible. Here is a test... the simple one of rebuilding a city. A dollar each from the unbelievers in England and America would be sufficient to rebuild Tyre."
"How did the prophet Ezekiel...(know) that Sidon would continue to exist, suffering all the while, but that Tyre would never be rebuilt?"
"How did it happen that the prophet (Ezekiel) was right...? How is it that (Tyre)...has never been rebuilt and that (Sidon) . . has continued to exist with agelong suffering...?
Actually, there are more instances of nearly identical language in both booklets but we skip here now to the order or structure of the book-let.:
Both booklets open with a challenge to skeptics. Both quote the same sources, place emphasis on the same points and follow the same structure which is:
I) A discussion of Tyre first,
II) 2) Sidon second,
III) 3) Ashkelon third, and
IV) 4) Egypt fourth
Shown above is the SDA booklet "David Dare." But, we could ask, Why was it given such a strange title? And the answer is that "David Dare" is the name of a fictional character created by the author Earle Albert Rowell. David Dare is a fictional character who goes around "daring" skeptics to disprove God and the Bible. And while David Dare is fictional, his stories are based on the real-life experiences of Earle Albert Rowell --- which is another reason why Herbert W. Armstrong should have given Rowell the credit which he deserved. This is like someone copying Herbert W. Armstrong's autobiography and then giving himself credit for what HWA experienced.
What This Means
No doubt almost all WWCG members, trying desperately to cling to the Herbert W. Armstrong mystique that he is some sort of a special messenger from God will reason, "Oh, I see, this merely means that God gave Mr. Armstrong the ability to sift out the chaff from the wheat in spiritual matters. Therefore, with his penetrating spiritual X-ray vision he was able to extract the truth from these other church booklets."
But wait! Mr. Herbert W. Armstrong says all others are "Satan's churches." One could well ask: Does God need to go to Satan's churches when He wants His servants to learn a new truth? Do the ministers of Satan know the Bible better than the ministers of God? When God wanted Ezekiel, Isaiah, Peter, or Paul to learn. a "new truth," did God send these man to "Satan' a churches" to learn these "new truths?" Is this God's method of revealing something to his true ministers? Did Paul go around to all of the pagan churches extracting a new truth from each one? Or, rather, did he get such truths directly from God's word? Remember, Paul says he "conferred not with flesh and blood" -- - and Herbert W. Armstrong bellows "I say the same thing, brethren."'
One Last Hope
Again, no doubt that some will reason that perhaps EarIe Albert Rowell copied from Mr. Herbert W. Armstrong. But there is no such luck. Rowell's "David Dare" was copyrighted in 1933; Herbert W. Armstrong's Proof of the Bible was copyrighted in 1958--- that's 1/4 of a century later.
Then there is this: If Herbert W. Armstrong is such a good spiritual sorter of truth, why didn't he detect the errors in the SDA publication?
If you have anything you would like to
submit to this site, or any comments,
email me at:
CLICK HERE FOR EMAIL ADDRESS.
Back to "Painful Truth" menu
The content of this site, including but not limited to the text and images herein and their arrangement, are copyright © 1997-2003 by The Painful Truth. All rights reserved.
Do not duplicate, copy or redistribute in any form without prior written consent.