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Authentic Christian Believer
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About Kat22

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  • More About Me
    Any God worth following is going to encourage you to pick everything apart and find LOGICAL answers. I have seen many who allow their emotional experiences to get in the way of a fair investigation. Give me facts, not bias, and I will listen.

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  • Still have any Gods? If so, who or what?
    YHWH, my Adonai
  1. Be happy to start a conversation with you. Send me a message and we can start there.

  2. Love your comments in the "Theological Kryptonite" thread. I've just started seriously studying Christian Theology and Apologetics, and you seem like you have pretty good experience in these fields. Maybe we could have a discussion of our own sometime to actually get a deeper understanding instead of learning in such a hostile environment (although defending the faith here does help).

  3. Hello all:) Sorry I seemed to have skipped out but I needed to step back and really take your views seriously. In order to do that, I needed to stop posting replys. I have decided, in the interest of learning instead of telling people what is right, to open my own topic for any exchanges of information. For all those who want to check it out, it's called "Getting down to the root..." Thanks for giving me so much to think about. Kat22
  4. I don't know you, Bluesman but hello anyway Thanks for the info and tips, Mythra and Open_Minded I know I can sound pretty arrogant and I appologise for when I do. I really am in search of as much knowledge as I can grasp. Looking at everything I have studied, from both secular and Christian sources and the experiences of myself and those around me, more evidence points towards Christ than away from Him. However, if I really believe that my faith is right. I should not be afraid to research what others have against it. As for the Q. Isn't that kind of like a "best of" type writting? That was dated 40-80 AD, right? And Thomas... still studying that one. Sorry if I leaned towards the side that favored my position. Honestly, I can't say that it wasn't intentional. I wasn't sure about the earlier times but I had an idea. I will try to be more well rounded with future statements. Putting the full range of possibilities and not just what favors my view. From what I understand, there isn't much argument over the belief that the gospels were written by Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Am I wrong? I mean, honestly, three of them weren't necessarily the best choices if they weren't the real writters. Two weren't even disciples and Matthew was the Tax collector, right? Not the best choice for names if they weren't the authors. I found a site that goes through all of them and, as far as I can see, it is a secular site. It was hard for me to believe that there were so many early writings! How does one sift through all of them and figure out what is actually authentic accounts and sayings of Christ and which were written by people trying to defame Him? I just don't know how they did it. Here's the list: The numbers on the left are for an estimated range of dating. 30-60 Passion Narrative 40-80 Lost Sayings Gospel Q 50-60 1 Thessalonians 50-60 Philippians 50-60 Galatians 50-60 1 Corinthians 50-60 2 Corinthians 50-60 Romans 50-60 Philemon 50-80 Colossians 50-90 Signs Gospel 50-95 Book of Hebrews 50-120 Didache 50-140 Gospel of Thomas 50-140 Oxyrhynchus 1224 Gospel 50-200 Sophia of Jesus Christ 65-80 Gospel of Mark 70-100 Epistle of James 70-120 Egerton Gospel 70-160 Gospel of Peter 70-160 Secret Mark 70-200 Fayyum Fragment 70-200 Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs 73-200 Mara Bar Serapion 80-100 2 Thessalonians 80-100 Ephesians 80-100 Gospel of Matthew 80-110 1 Peter 80-120 Epistle of Barnabas 80-130 Gospel of Luke 80-130 Acts of the Apostles 80-140 1 Clement 80-150 Gospel of the Egyptians 80-150 Gospel of the Hebrews 80-250 Christian Sibyllines 90-95 Apocalypse of John 90-120 Gospel of John 90-120 1 John 90-120 2 John 90-120 3 John 90-120 Epistle of Jude 93 Flavius Josephus 100-150 1 Timothy 100-150 2 Timothy 100-150 Titus 100-150 Apocalypse of Peter 100-150 Secret Book of James 100-150 Preaching of Peter 100-160 Gospel of the Ebionites 100-160 Gospel of the Nazoreans 100-160 Shepherd of Hermas 100-160 2 Peter 100-200 Odes of Solomon 101-220 Book of Elchasai 105-115 Ignatius of Antioch 110-140 Polycarp to the Philippians 110-140 Papias 110-160 Oxyrhynchus 840 Gospel 110-160 Traditions of Matthias 111-112 Pliny the Younger 115 Suetonius 115 Tacitus 120-130 Quadratus of Athens 120-130 Apology of Aristides 120-140 Basilides 120-140 Naassene Fragment 120-160 Valentinus 120-180 Apocryphon of John 120-180 Gospel of Mary 120-180 Dialogue of the Savior 120-180 Gospel of the Savior 120-180 2nd Apocalypse of James 120-180 Trimorphic Protennoia 130-140 Marcion 130-150 Aristo of Pella 130-160 Epiphanes On Righteousness 130-160 Ophite Diagrams 130-160 2 Clement 130-170 Gospel of Judas 130-200 Epistle of Mathetes to Diognetus 140-150 Epistula Apostolorum 140-160 Ptolemy 140-160 Isidore 140-170 Fronto 140-170 Infancy Gospel of James 140-170 Infancy Gospel of Thomas 140-180 Gospel of Truth 150-160 Martyrdom of Polycarp 150-160 Justin Martyr 150-180 Excerpts of Theodotus 150-180 Heracleon 150-200 Ascension of Isaiah 150-200 Acts of Peter 150-200 Acts of John 150-200 Acts of Paul 150-200 Acts of Andrew 150-225 Acts of Peter and the Twelve 150-225 Book of Thomas the Contender 150-250 Fifth and Sixth Books of Esra 150-300 Authoritative Teaching 150-300 Coptic Apocalypse of Paul 150-300 Discourse on the Eighth and Ninth 150-300 Melchizedek 150-400 Acts of Pilate 150-400 Anti-Marcionite Prologues 160-170 Tatian's Address to the Greeks 160-180 Claudius Apollinaris 160-180 Apelles 160-180 Julius Cassianus 160-250 Octavius of Minucius Felix 161-180 Acts of Carpus 165-175 Melito of Sardis 165-175 Hegesippus 165-175 Dionysius of Corinth 165-175 Lucian of Samosata 167 Marcus Aurelius 170-175 Diatessaron 170-200 Dura-Europos Gospel Harmony 170-200 Muratorian Canon 170-200 Treatise on the Resurrection 170-220 Letter of Peter to Philip 175-180 Athenagoras of Athens 175-185 Irenaeus of Lyons 175-185 Rhodon 175-185 Theophilus of Caesarea 175-190 Galen 178 Celsus 178 Letter from Vienna and Lyons 180 Passion of the Scillitan Martyrs 180-185 Theophilus of Antioch 180-185 Acts of Apollonius 180-220 Bardesanes 180-220 Kerygmata Petrou 180-230 Hippolytus of Rome 180-250 1st Apocalypse of James 180-250 Gospel of Philip 182-202 Clement of Alexandria 185-195 Maximus of Jerusalem 185-195 Polycrates of Ephesus 188-217 Talmud 189-199 Victor I 190-210 Pantaenus 193 Anonymous Anti-Montanist 193-216 Inscription of Abercius 197-220 Tertullian 200-210 Serapion of Antioch 200-210 Apollonius 200-220 Caius 200-220 Philostratus 200-225 Acts of Thomas 200-250 Didascalia 200-250 Books of Jeu 200-300 Pistis Sophia 200-300 Coptic Apocalypse of Peter 203 Acts of Perpetua and Felicitas 203-250 Origen Is there anything I am missing from this list? Are some of the dates inaccurate or does this pretty much cover the correct possible years? Let me know if this site is not giving an accurate list.
  5. With that definition, I guess I would say I believe it to be the inspired word of God. If it was given by God word for word, it would be perfect. If it was perfect, it would have no contradictions. If it had no contradictions, it would be labled as fake due to the idea of translators collaboration to "fix" any problems. I think God allowed human error because it was meant to reach the hearts of humans. If it seemed to perfect to be real, humans would not be able to connect with it.
  6. I will concede that there are Pegan stories which claim the same thing. So, let's put them to the same test. What is there message/written word? Do they have confimation from sources outside of their relgion? Are there enough manuscriipts to cross reference to prove it hasn't been changed from something else into what it is known as today? BTW Somewhere down the line, somone gave me the argument that if we do not have the orignals it doesn't matter if we have a whole bunch of other copies. Or somthing like that. I think I need to clarify my position. The number of manuscripts available, to cross reference with the NT, is astronimcal compared to other historical documents. Here's a little excerpt of data. "There is an unprecedented number of copies of the New Testament that have survived. Scholars wish they had 1/10 the number of documents for other ancient literature! There are only 9 copies of Josephus' The Jewish War, and these copies were written in the 10th - 12th centuries. Yet, this work is considered to be historically accurate. Astonishingly, the second runner-up for the largest number of ancient documents goes to Homer's Illiad, which was the sacred literature of the ancient Greeks. There are fewer than 650 of these manuscripts and many are quite fragmentary. Fragments of John's gospel have been found that date as early as 150 AD. This find has literally rewritten popular views of history. Two of the almost complete New Testament documents date back to the 4th Century! These two texts play an important role in the NIV Bible. This means we have documents within 2 generations of the events, unlike 8 or 10 centuries for much of our other historical documents. In addition to the over 5,000 Greek manuscripts, there are about 24,000 other ancient New Testament documents in other languages found in areas such as Egypt and Ethiopia." The more documents, from different time periods, the more you can see what matches and what doesn't. With so many available, they have a really good idea of what the original NT said.
  7. No denomination. I can't stand the idea of denominations. I believe that Christ did everything that is said in the NT and that He is God incarnate. That's it
  8. When everything I have studied leans toward the claims of Christ being true and confirmed by outside sources. And the fact that it is confirmed by outside sources that disciples were martyred for their faith; then anyone who says this is not true, I will not believe. Unless I find out different, that's where I stand.
  9. The big difference IMO with Alexander is that you have historical accounts of him, even things that he wrote him self. And the historian authors actually tried to write a fair and honest report of him, and reduce all the "magic" flavoring to the stories. Unfortunately we don't have any document like that about Jesus, and the stories we have sounds way too much like a Superman Comic than a historical report. 1) What does IMO mean? 2) For the sake of argument, let's say the bible is the word of God for a moment. God didn't write a thing from the OT, why should Christ when He is just the incarnation of God? 3) Who's to say that the accounts of Christ weren't fair and honest? Just because both Believers and non believers of the time both claim he did miraculous things? Maybe that means He did. Even the jews who refused to accept Jesus as the Messiah still did not deny that Christ performed miracles. They just say that he was a magician and not sent from God. Account from Josephus. I used this particular site because it does not favor Christianity but accuses them of rewriting the account. Then it gives an Arabic account which is deemed (by this site) as more accurate. I am fine with that. It still shows, for those who deny that Jesus ever existed, that He was a real person, was crucified and was claimed to be seen alive again. Tertullian A slanderous account of Christ. Does not deny marvelous works but calls him demon possessed. Then goes on to say that he really was absent (he says stolen) from the cave. Confirming that the tomb WAS empty. 3rd century quote from 2nd century Celsus. Another slanderous claim against Christ. Trying to reason away to claim that Christ was born of a virgin. The previous claim that Christ was born a "bastard" is based off of an obscure quote from a genealogy found bySimeon b. Azzai that is sometimes being used in reference to Jesus. Here is an account that also accuses Him of sorcery. As well as speaking of the execution of five of the apostles. They seem to have believed that Jesus had five students (whether the rest were called something else or not, we don't know). So there are a few of the earlier claims, from people who saw Jesus as anything BUT God, that not only do not deny His miracles but try to pawn it off as coming from a demon possessed bastard (granted, the bastard part is an extreme reach due to the quote the claim comes from). I know... I'm leaving myself wide open. But, hey, I'm going for stuff that are accounts from people who do not think Christ is divine. So, of course, they will bash his character. The question is, was He demon possessed or not? And, If I have just proved that there are accounts (outside the bible) of disciples being martyred, imagine how many more there are. So they were killed and refused to say that it was a lie. granted... First off, which "inspired word" do you place your trust in? Catholic Bible, Any of the Reformation Bibles, etc. Im not trying to bait you into another discussion, or tear up your comments. I just want to be able to understand where youre coming from. Second, why do you believe it to be the most reliable and accurate? Im sorry. Im not understanding the logic. A book that has errors and contradictions does not add to it's reliability. If in med-school, my surgical books said to "never inject coccaine into a patient, but instead always give topically," but in another part of it it says "always inject coccaine into a patient," we would have a problem there. One, it's true to never inject coccaine. Two, I would lose my license for doing so. Three, i'd have to question everything the book had taught. Four, i'd have to reject that book and learn from a new one. Great. The issue of contradictions we can discuss in another thread then I still contend a book is more trustworthy for not having any errors. But again i ask, what makes the book you read more trustworthy from other "inspired words" of God? Is it because what the other scriptures say dont agree with what you were taught to believe? And also, what makes it more trustworthy than any other religious books? We can all contend here that it has been altered from it's original. In more ways than one i might add. Evidence shows, through comparisons of later discoveries of older manuscripts and linguistics, that the synoptic Gospels have been altered. The most famous one is in "the Great Commission". It is widely accepted by secular and non-secular scholars that Mark 16:9-20 were later added to try and coincide with the Epistles of Paul. Another way, though more of a technicality but still misleading, is how the New Testament quotes phrophecies in the Old Testament (I will not speak of how the prophecies are taken out of context because it's not relevant at this point. That we can discuss in a separate thread). In the verses they quote, the words are altered in a way to change the meaning of the prophecy. Changing the word Ephratha, which is the name of a person and a clan, with the land of Judah greatly changes the meaning of a verse. you can check out what i speak of here: http://www.ex-christian.net/index.php?show...mp;#entry191922 All i know is, any book that misleads, contains errors, and contradicts i choose not to trust. Applying it to a person, it doesnt makes them more trustworthy either. Moreover, a person in a book that contradicts themeselves and the book, doesnt make them trustworthy either. -Rhem To sum it up shortly (I know, I'm not too good at that), it comes down to their claims of Christ. Everything I have read and studied (so far) leans more towards the claims of the NT being true. As my preveous post demonstrates in part. Non-Christain Jewish accounts show that they do not deny, even from early times, that Christ performed miracles. They, of all people, are the least likely to put myth/legend into the story of Jesus. They would go to any length to make sure that their accounts did not show Him doing something miraculous if He didn't really do it. Sorry, let me clarify. To sum it up shortly (I know, I'm not too good at that), it comes down to the fact that their claims of Christ do not line up with the NT. Everything I have read and studied (so far) leans more towards the claims of the NT being true than anything else. As my preveous post demonstrates in part. Non-Christain Jewish accounts show that they do not deny, even from early times, that Christ performed miracles and that his tomb was empty and he was claimed to be risen from the dead. And they also confirm that at least five (from the accounts I have posted) apostles were killed because of their faith in Him. They, of all people, are the least likely to put myth/legend into the story of Jesus. They would go to any length to make sure that their accounts did not show Him doing something miraculous if He didn't really do it.
  10. No. I will not "tear it apart". I won't give you the satisfaction of playing the martyr for Christ. You seem to believe that we're simply cruel mockers, who take delight in trying to shake your faith. Well, you're wrong. We're just people having a discussion with a person who holds an opposing view. A person who DECIDED to enter into a discussion with us, ON HER OWN ACCORD. So, please, quit with the breast beating. It's tiresome. Again, comments made are not directed at everyone. There are those who choose to mock me for my comments. Those are the ones that the last comment was directed at so, if you were not one of them feel free to ignore it. With THAT out of the way, I will ask you something, Kat22: Why does the idea of SELF-WORTH offend you so much? You seem to be taking perverse delight in giving god the glory for all of YOUR accomplishments. And you take offense to us when we even suggest that it was ALL YOU who overcame and overcome your struggles. No "god" held you up, or held your hands. YOU did it! Congratulations! Is it REALLY so awful to realize that it was YOU who had the inner strength and character to succeed in life despite the odds? Are we really such awful people for wanting to congratulate YOU for being a success, instead of your Imaginary Friend? I don't understand all of this Christian "humility" nonsense. Why is self-worth so "sinful"? (And please, spare me the Biblical answer. I'm well aware of what the book says. I'm an ex-preacher as well as ex-Christian. I want to hear from your heart, why you believe mankind is "wicked" or "evil" for self-accomplishments. Why MUST it be "god" and nothing else?) I never said that mankind is "wicked" or "evil" for self-accomplishments. There are many things that we do (like getting an education and choosing to use it to help others) where we can say with pride "I chose to take that path and look at the good it has done". Pride is not a bad thing but it must be in balance lest any man boast of something that is not his own. I pride myself in the fact that I chose to listen to what God had to say. But God set the rules for what works and what doesn't. So, if following His instruction leads to the blessings that I have experienced, those blessings come from the fact that God planned out what will work and what doesn't. Therefore, the blessings come from God. I also cannot take credit for the obviously "from God" blessings we have been given. Like the times we have helped someone finanacially and, with a short period of time, have been blessed with 10 times (exactly) what we gave. I cannot take credit for the fact that, before my husband and I started tithing, we struggled financially and were getting deeper into debt. After we started tithing, for some strange reason, the less amount of money we had stretched farther than it ever had before. Cars would last longer without breaking down... less unexpected costs would creep up... unexpected money would come from, what seemed like, out of nowhere. We are not rich at all. But we never want for anything that we need. Ever since we started tithing. Is that a coincidence? It could be. If it only lasted for a little while and then went back to the way it was. But it has been like this for years. So I am happy to say that I am the one that chooses to follow God and God gets the glory for the blessings He gives me. What's wrong with that? I don't feellike I am missing anything by giving Him the credit for the blessings. As a matter of fact, since I started doing that, I have had much less trouble with true arrogance. THAT almost cost me my marraige (on top of all the other stuff that was going on). Yes...and many, many non-Christians have felt it too. I am being sincere. There are no limits to God and certainly no favorites. You and these people have allowed yourself to become open spiritually. I just don't want to see you claim this is only for Christians because then you would close yourself off again and trouble will ensue with people that don't feel as you do. What good can come from feeling you are part of a group that god favors? The ego loves it. I know many evils can come from it. How geniune is your spirituality if you limit God? Obviously you are not paying attention to my posts. I have said before that Non-Christians have had the blessings of God as well. A lot of the time, however, they just don't know that it's God. Thanks so much for doing exactly what Jesus said you should NOT do... Guess you should start praying for forgiveness. Just make sure you do it in private, just like Jesus commanded you to do... since the public praying was condemmed by him. If you understood those scriptures, you would know that He said "to be seen by men". In other words "Don't pray so that others can tell you how spiritual you are because of you longwinded prayer. If I wanted to be seen as spiritual for a public prayer, this is definately not the place to do it. God does not care about your words but your heart. Never presume to know someone's intentions. More importantly, my prayer was not placed for the sake of a smartass retort. It was placed because I felt prompted to do so.
  11. Congratulations. Not many christians who come here have the courage to do such a thing - admitting when they're wrong. If you managed to do so, it could really mean that we can have a honest discussion with you. About Alexander the great - yes, there are contemporary accounts of Alexander, look at the pictures here - a marble inscription of 330 BC, a greek statuette retrieved near tian shan (400 - 300 bc), a coin with alexander on it of 323 BC, and another one of 305 BC (yes, this one is not contemporary, but it's way better than 500 years later, no?) then there is a contemporary bust... and so on. Look at them if you want to. Do you think all of those things are fake? If you think so, that's ok, but explain us why. I am not sure I understand your argument. Did I say there wasn't contemporary accounts of Alexander? If I did, I take it back. My whole discussion about Alexander is that the latest known accurate biography is from the 2nd century. Hm... I don't think it works this way. This is wanting to see things either black or white. Meaning: god has been good to you (giving you strenght, helping you find him, answering your prayers...) so he MUST be good in everything he does. Or - god has been evil with certain people, so he MUST be evil in everything he does and in such a way you would easily recognize it. Let's look it from another perspective: as you know, Hitler had a lover, she was called Eva Braun. Do you think that Hitler was evil with Eva? Do you think that he treated her badly? If so, why do you think so? He was very kind with her, as far as we know, and even put her along him on propaganda posters sometimes, even if he was catholic and catholics heavily frown over non-married couples (as was his case). So if hitler can be evil, even if he was good with Eva, because he ordered the slaughter of 6 millions people and more, can it be that god is evil, even if he was good wth you, because he slaughtered personally the whole world population (even infants) exception made for 1 family? I hope this question will sound logical to you. 1) Comparing an insane human (with which we have video, pictures and news releases documenting his insanity) to God is quite a stretch. 2) God isn't just a blessing to me. I am not the only one who has seen his love and mercy. Millions of people all around the world have seen His power work through their lives. The conclusion is soundly based on His complete actions of love and forgiveness, not just His actions towards me. I just used myself as an example cause I do not have permission to give an account of the experiences that others have had. Another thing, though: I want to ask you... can you pray for Hansolo? This would be the proof many of us need to go back to worshiping your god. Hansolo has very serious problems, his son can't walk anymore, seeing as god answers your prayers but he didn't answer Hansolo's, could you pray for his son to start walking again? After all, there is no reason God shouldn't listen to your prayers, right? ... or is there? 1) I would be more than happy to pray for him. 2) If you read my entire entry (yes I know that can be hard to do w/o falling asleep) you will see that I said I do not always get a "yes". As a matter of fact, I often get a "no" and it isn't till later that I find out why. Nonetheless, he and his son will be in my prayers. 3) If these prayers are answered with a "yes", the bible will still be the bible. It won't all of a sudden bend to your will so that you can agree with everything that is within. Why change your opinion just because of a miracle? That just seems like you are saying "It's possible for all this to be true, God. But I won't believe it until you SHOW me you are there by doing this". You know how far that got the pharisees. As a matter of fact... please do not make fun of this because this is quite a leap for me. I will put a prayer right here.... Father, God... I know I am in a place where many are calling. So many voices that want to know what your truth really is. You did say "seek and ye shall find" and you encourage us to ask questions. These people have asked those questions and have not been given an answer that satisfies them. I lift them up to you and place them in your very capable hands. God, I praise you for what you are. For all that you have shown me and those around me. I thank you for your wisdom in all things, even if I still question some. Please, Lord... forgive me for my arrogance in thinking that I have all the answers. I came here seeking to shed light on those in the dark and have been humbled. I thank you for hearing this prayer that is done in such an unusual way. But it doesn't have to be with voice that one comes to you. The heart is all that matters. Lord I now lift up this man, whom I only know as Hansolo, and his son. God, only you can see into his heart. Only you can travel through his home and know what he is going through as he watches his son. Only you really know what his son is going through. I call on you, as a child of the living God and seek your healing for his son. Father, this plead comes from my heart and I know you say "ask and you shall receive". But I also know that this is not a statement meant for every situation. Sometimes your wisdom shows that there is a greater purpose for saying no. I do not ask for my own will to be done, but for yours and yours alone. Put your hands upon the hearts of this man and his son. Let them have strength in your arms. Hold them up, Lord God. For they need you more than they know. And, Lord, if your answer is no... I pray that this man has a peace that he has never felt before. That he is surrounded by those who can support him and give him comfort. God, I pray for his son to touch his heart with wisdom and strength. That he can look at the attitude of his son and be so amazed that he can do nothing but marvel. I thank for your answer God, whatever that may be. And I say that I do not worship you because the results will be my way (for my way would be to heal this young man). I worship you because you are the Almighty. And giving me a chance to have life and learn about you, alone, makes you worthy of my devotion. In the name of your Son and my Savior, Jesus Christ... amen.
  12. Yes, I know it's a technicality but I never said I worship a book. I said I trust the book as the inspired word of the one that I worship. Of all the "words" out there, I believe that it is the most reliable and accurate. Even if there are some contradictions (though most can be explained if one has enough information). If you think about it, the fact that the contradictions are there adds to it's reliability. Why? Because no one changed the contradictions (and I am sure they were noticed) when the books were copied. They kept it just as it was because, to change it, would be altering it from the original. At that point, it would not be trustworthy anymore.
  13. Obviously you ignored my post. Alexander the Great and Jesus is no comparision. And it is bogus that he did have contempories Once again here you go, incase you forgot to read http://www.livius.org/aj-al/alexander/alexander_z1b.html All these authors lived more than three centuries after the events they described, but they used older, nearly contemporary sources, that are now lost Please see the website for the contemporary of Alexander. If you are claiming that the Gospels are historically accurate, then please tell provide me with historical and even biblical evidence for the following stupendous event which surpasses even Jesus's own resurrection Matt 27:50-53 Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost. And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent; And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many. i await your answer, and I am still waiting for the following claim you made Kindly point us to historical or biblical evidence that all the apostles died for their beliefs and name one non-christian documentation that says the disciples were martyred. Again, patience please. I am still gathering the information together and I am one person while you are many. And I never said all the apostles were martered (if I did, it was by mistake). I said that apostles were martyred/ At least one lived a full life (I think it was Matthew). Also, if the accuracy of the NT can be proved, then the disciples being martyred is found in there. However, I will look for non-biblical accounts anyway.
  14. Your answer is found in comparing other documents. Which is why I keep comming back to Alexander the Great. Whe his first biography was written (around 323 BC), 400 years after his death, historians have found it to be reliably accurate. Looking at bigraphies from later dates, they see that legend didn't start to set in until the second 500 years. This was BEFORE Christ and, therefore (if anything) MORE likely to have legend and errors. Based on this norm, the same idea can be applied to the information on Christ. I will have to come back with the links. It's getting late and I have been staring at this computer way too long and have a splitting headache now.
  15. I know this isn't exactly what was suggested but I hope this is better. I know I can be long winded but I am one person responding to quite a few. 1)Conceding where I should: Honesty, looking at all of what you have to say I am seeing a pattern from both groups (me being one group and all of you being the other). What I see is that we can both quote from scholars and find scholars that agree with our point. That is of course, not including the speculations from both sides and emotional comments from both sides. With that in mind, I am changing my angle from one of a fight to one of conceding where I should. After all, it is not open minded of me to continue opposing you without conceding where you have a point. So, here it goes. I agree that there are many contradictions in the bible and that those contradictions can make it hard for one to know if the bible has anything worth while to read from it. I agree that, though (compared to other historical documents) the bible holds up very well in number and date of manuscripts, we do not have original documents and that makes it hard to know what was told in the beginning. I agree that, taking out the emotional comments and speculation about Hebrew soldier attitudes, the story of the other side is well told. It brings up a valid point of "With what we know from the bible about this story, how can God be that cruel?" And I would not want to worship a God who would brutally kill innocent people without cause. 2)What next: With that said, what am I left with? I can give you what I have seen in my life about God. Please do not insult me by saying I am trying to make this all about me. Sometimes all one can do is go based off of their experience to find the truth. I know some people might mock me in different ways; making light of my experience. That's fine... it is still my story and no one can tell me that is a lie. 3)Let's start with the fact that, unlike what you may think, my life hasn't been all blessings.... My parents were divorced the day after my 6th birthday. I moved so often (no, not because of the military) that I had no social skills and was an outcast as a child. To the point of having someone who would spit thick globs of mucus in my hair often. I would nearly throw up every time I had to wash it out in the school bathroom because this boy didn’t brush his teeth. I was molested by my father when I was 12 and violated even worse by a close friend of the family when I was 14. I have been verbally and physically abused and had all the emotional baggage that comes with this list. I had an addiction to food (yeah, that may seem silly to some) that was so bad I would eat until I hurt then turn around and eat again. I even had a system to my eating so I didn't have to stop due to overload on sugar or salt; I would switch back and forth between the two. At my heaviest, I was 220 ( I am down to 190 now and still losing). I had a hard time getting close to my husband because of the baggage from when I was younger and he felt rejected because of it. A few years ago, he decided a woman at work was giving him more attention than me and started flirting with her and not coming home till around 1 am. I would wish that he was in an accident because, at least then, I would know he wasn't with her. Then I started looking elsewhere and was so ashamed by my actions, and all the people I hurt, that I ended up in the hospital after getting completely sloshed and chucking an entire container of sleeping pills. That's just the stuff off the top of my head. 4)And where was God when all this was happening? Why did He not save me? Why did He not save my little sister who died only 2 weeks after she was born? Why didn't he save my mother from the heartache of that and the 2 miscarriages that she had before? Well, this is what I have seen. He was gently whispering to me and saying He was there for me to get me through it. He was guiding me and loving me until the day I found Him. Did my pain stop once I found Him? No. Some of that stuff didn't happen until AFTER I found Him... including my attempted suicide. But I wasn't listening to Him either. I was trying to do things my way and didn't know what the heck I was doing. So the pain caught up with me and I lost it. Trying to pull my own hair out and beating my head against a wall (literally) before I finally tossed back the pills. But He was patient and He waited... and whispered and loved. Till I finally gave in and started to listen. Listen to what? The words in His precious book. Coincidentally (no I do not believe in coincidences that big) a group was pointed out to me at the very time I was finally ready for it. And, again, there was someone (in a very small group) who was in EXACTLY my shoes only worse and she had come farther. And I submitted to the love and words of Christ. Call it slavery if you want, I call it listening to someone who knows more than me and doing what they say is best. Am I sorry for anything I have been through? Would I change anything that was ever done to me? No. because of what I have been through, I can sympathize and advise others. Help people who have been through hell and just want to die. And I have done so. If I had not been through that hell, I would not be able to help others the way I can now. I would not be motivated to learn more about God's word. 5)Now where am I? I have stayed faithful and have seen prayer after prayer answered and, the more I submit (to Him, not the Church), the more I grow in strength and love for others. The more I am blessed and the more my family and marriage is blessed (still married to the same guy and things are nothing like they were). Did we have anything to do with those changes? Yes. We let Him in and now He flows out. And people stop.... and they wonder. And they tell me that there is something different about me. People that barely know me want to say that I seem to have something special... that I am different than most people they meet. These are not people that are all Christian; they are just people. 6)So, how can I love a God that was so cruel as to order such a horrible slaughter? I can’t and I don’t. I have seen Him work in my life and in others so much that the only thing I can concede is that we must be missing something. After all, the bible isn’t the whole story, right? It’s just a summary of events passed down. And, yes, it changed from person to person (sometimes up to 40%). Some people told the stories word for word while others thought for thought or message for message. Some would put more importance on one event while another wouldn’t even bring that one up. The messages of God’s love and guidance would not change but the stories varied. So, there could very well be parts of the stories that varied from the actual event. We have no idea what the entire story is. All I know is that the God that has shown me He is there (by giving me strength, helping me find Him, answering my prayers and helping me change my life) is not that cruel. The God I worship is not a God that would order the slaughter of millions just because they didn’t worship Him. It goes against everything He has shown me in my life. My conclusion is that something is missing. There is something we do not know or understand. 7)Will I still trust the bible? Yes. I look at it for what it can teach me about how to live my life and the love of Christ; not for what I do not understand. And I have never gone wrong for that. I do not worship God because He has told me what the alternative is. I worship Him because He is my strength, love, kindness, grace, mercy and joy... and He has shown me all these things in my life. Others have seen it too, even if they are not Christian. They just don't know it's God and, the closer you are to Him, the more you see it in your life. Now, I see it everyday. He is either holding me up when everything around me is crashing, giving me joy, helping me with patience, ansering my prayers (though I get "no" a lot; even when I was going through Hell and asking Him to take me out of it)... the list goes on. He has shown me He is there... I can't ignore that. Now I can be thrown anything and, with God's strong arms holding me up, I can get through it all. That’s it. Go ahead and tear it apart.
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