This year’s trial of the century has just ended, as Johnny Depp sued Ex-Wife Amber Heard for defamation, and she (Neener-Neener) sued him right back for defamation as well, both asserting that the other had abused them and then lied about it. Also, Amber’s dog stepped on a bee. That will be a pivotal piece of information later.
On Johnny’s side, a few dozen witnesses came forward to say that Amber was lying, and to support Johnny’s version of events, such as the time Amber threw a bottle at him, costing him the end of one of his fingers. But on the other side was Amber’s sister Whitney who claims to have seen an actual act of violence. Or maybe she was the victim of an act of violence? Let me break it down for you.
Amber early on admits that there was this ONE TIME she punched Johnny in the face. But in her defense, it was to save her little sister from CERTAIN DEATH! See, she and then husband Johnny were having another fight, near a staircase. Whitney was standing at the top of the stairs, and Johnny (according to Amber) tried to hit Whitney, which would have knocked her down the stairs, possibly killing her. So Amber’s sisterly impulse overcame her and she leapt into violent action to saver her dear little sister. And she PUNCHED that monster IN THE FACE!
But just that once.
After pretty much every other witness described Amber as the instigator and perpetrator of violence against Johnny, her team finally brought out Whitney to tell it like it is and expose Johnny for the monster he is!
THERE SHE WAS… standing at the top of the stairs (just like Amber said!) and as the two (Johnny and Amber) were screaming at each other (Just like Amber said!) Whitney stepped in between them (Amber said that too!) and Johnny comes CHARGING UP THE STAIRS toward Amber with violent intent (Uh, wait…) and Whitney was facing Amber with her back to the stairs (Sort of what Amber said…?) and Johnny hit her in the back as he tried to get past her…
OK, so he… sort of hit her? Bumped into her as he ran UP the stairs?
Hold on… so, Whitney was standing at the top of the stairs and Johnny bumped into her as he ran UP the stairs… meaning he would have knocked her AWAY from the stairs, into the room.
Also, when there is the threat of violence, any person’s natural instinct is to face TOWARD the threat- NOT to turn her back on it. But Whitney had her back to the stairs… had her back to Johnny and was facing Amber.
Ok, well, but, maybe… OH, I forgot, one of Whitney’s former co-workers/room mates also came forward to tell us what Whitney had told her about the incident at the time it happened. To this former room mate, Whitney described Amber as the violent aggressor. She was afraid that Amber was going to kill Johnny. So… a little different once all the facts are in.
I tell you all of that to tell you this:
A conspiracy is a difficult thing to maintain if there is more than one person. Maintaining a lie is hard enough by yourself. Once another person is involved, it’s difficult to get your stories straight so that you can present the same account of events without accidentally calling the other person a liar.
Now, imagine 11 people instead of just two sisters.
Now imagine this was about events that happened in public, sometimes with hundreds or thousands of other witnesses.
Now imagine that this stuff was written down and spoken about over and over for decades in public instead of in one ambiguous newspaper article and two poorly executed trial testimonies.
THIS is the collection of problems faced by the writers of the New Testament. Jesus spent three years as a public figure, teaching and performing miracles in public, and all within the same tiny patch of land that the stories were told in. Then he was executed for sedition and blasphemy because he claimed to be the God and King of the Jews- and again, in Israel where all of his teaching and working of miracles had happened. And then, three days later, his tomb (which was a short walk from the biggest, most important city in the little country where all of this happened) was empty.
And then he had breakfast with his disciples. And dropped in on a few hundred friends. For just over a month.
These people started telling these stories in Jerusalem, where they had happened. Eleven men and a host of witnesses told the same stories about Jesus over and over. And they told these stories in the place where they had happened so that the people hearing these stories could go check on the facts. They could be all, “Hey Jairus, did this Jesus guy REALLY raise your twelve year old daughter back to life after she had died?” And he could be all, “Yeah.” And his daughter could be all, “Totally.” (Mark 5:35-43)
The Roman government wasn’t really fond of these stories, and so they created what we now call “Cancel culture” meaning that if you didn’t stop saying these things, you would be publicly murdered in torturous ways. I strongly suspect that, had you told Whitney that she had to either accuse her sister of being the guilty abuser or you were going to nail her to a piece of wood and leave her hanging in public until she died, she would have told a VERY different story than we got on the stand during this trial. But that’s just speculation. Or hearsay. Maybe both.
All of Jesus’ disciples not only maintained consistent stories about Jesus, but they were willing to be killed instead of changing their stories even though there was nothing of monetary value to be gained from telling these stories. Not one of them changed their story. Almost all of them were killed for not changing their story.
A lot of internet skeptics like to claim that the Bible is the result of a conspiracy. A bunch of guys with nothing to gain made up lies about their murdered teacher, and maintained them even under the threat and punishment of death. That alone is stupid enough, but what I want you to consider is the fact that two sisters talking about a SINGLE PRIVATE INCIDENT were unable to get their stories straight, and we even managed to hear from a third party who told us that one of those sisters told a very different account of events closer to the incident itself.
However, No alternate versions of the Gospel exist. No claims of alternate versions exist. No historical writing tells us that any of the disciples chose to change his story instead of being killed. No historical witness tells us that the story of Jesus life, teaching, miracles, death or resurrection was different at one time. All we are told from every existing copy of the Bible and any extrabiblical sources that discusses it- including those critics who hated Christians and mocked them for their faith- is the fact that Jesus was known to perform miracles and he was executed for claiming to be the God and King of the Jews, and that all of his disciples went to their graves claiming to have seen him risen from the dead. Also, the enemies of the church had as their first argument against this story the claim that the disciples had stolen the body, which admits that the Tomb was in fact empty.
Look, if Amber and Whitney can’t agree on whether Johnny was going to push Whitney DOWN or AWAY FROM the stairs, then there is no way 11 dudes without $100 million to gain are going to keep their story straight if they were making it up. The ONLY way the Bible can be as consistent as it is, is because the guys who wrote it were telling the truth of their own eyewitness accounts. Otherwise it would have been a horrible mess and the church would not have existed past the first generation.
Oh, yes. Remember when I said Amber’s account of her dog stepping on a bee would be a pivotal piece of information? Yeah… I lied. But it’s really funny. Enjoy.