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Question For Christians About Biblical Inerrancy


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It is really a little less complicated than it would seem. First, Herod heard of this when? Somewhere between around a year after Christ was born.

On the contrary ... it is quite complicated, or shall we say - conflicting? Herod died in 4 BC, so before going on about the inerrancy of the Bible, why don't we clear up how he could have been around a year after Jesus was supposedly born?

Oh, that's simple. Santa Claus resurrected Herod temporarily for the show, and then died again when it was done.

 

When miracles are used to explain things, anything can be explained.

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I have just one question for Christians to answer. Why must the bible be the 100% literally true and perfect, inerrant word of god for the bible to have any value to it?

 

A simple answer...it doesn't. One way of looking at this is...let's say that the biblical story of Jonah and the whale is not factual. Jonah was a real person, but let's say the whole whale thing is fiction. So what? It's still a good story, still instructive to us here and now, a story of God's provision and salvation. Tons of value, even if it's just a story.

 

The Bible was written by approximately 40 different authors over multiple centuries and at locations on multiple continents. Undoubtedly it contains allegorical stories, and may contain statements that are at odds with each other. Again - it doesn't matter. Christianity and God's promises must be taken on faith. Faith based on LOTS of evidence and personal experience, but faith all the same. I know that my Redeemer lives, and that He lives in my heart. That is my testimony. So it does not matter if some biblical stories are just stories and are not, as you say, inerrant.

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It is really a little less complicated than it would seem. First, Herod heard of this when? Somewhere between around a year after Christ was born.

On the contrary ... it is quite complicated, or shall we say - conflicting? Herod died in 4 BC, so before going on about the inerrancy of the Bible, why don't we clear up how he could have been around a year after Jesus was supposedly born?

Oh, that's simple. Santa Claus resurrected Herod temporarily for the show, and then died again when it was done.

 

When miracles are used to explain things, anything can be explained.

 

Jesus' birthdate was miscalculated when the Gregorian calendar (which established "BC" and "AD") was established. Jesus was born while Herod the Great was alive. This is not a matter of biblical inerrancy, just human miscalculation.

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Herod was not happy concerning this news and when Herod wasn’t happy, no one in Jerusalem was happy. History tells us that Herod was paranoid about being overthrown. He murdered his two older sons in 7 B.C. because he was convinced by the instigation of another son that they were plotting to overthrow him. Antipater, who encouraged his father’s murder of his older brothers, was also killed in 4 B.C., just before Herod’s death, for plotting to overthrow his father. It caused Augustus to joke that he would rather be Herod’s pig than one of his sons. As he approached the end of his life, Herod slaughtered thousands on the least hint that a rebellion might be breaking out.

 

Part of his paranoia might have come from the fact that he wasn’t an Israelite. He was a descendent of Edom. His father aided Julius Caesar during the conquest of Judea and Herod was a friend of Anthony and Octavian (who later became Caesar Augustus). Because of his friendship, he was given the title “King of the Jews,” but it took him three years of hard fighting take hold of his “kingdom.” Now, in his old age, foreigners come announcing the birth of a new King of the Jews. Such news would strike Herod’s deepest fears.

 

http://lavistachurchofchrist.org/LVstudies/GospelAccounts/05JesusBirth.htm

 

This site gives a full and great account of the entire story, but it still does not answer in full the question from the last post. I guess in the end, I would have to conclude that if Herod did here of the birth of Jesus before hand, he may of not related it to a King, or in his mind, a threat. Perhaps the word king, for some reason, like others wanted to stay alive, was never brought up to herod, if this birth of Jesus was. I cannot really expound deeper than that right now.

 

to Cits

 

View Postthe stranger, on 01 January 2011 - 08:03 PM, said:

(2) Also possible Joseph and his family did return right to their home town, but then came back later for an additional census a year later, and perhaps then decided to stay until they were directed otherwise.

 

 

This is just nonsense. It's reading into the text something completely alien to the text, with no evidence whatsoever, in a desperate attempt to remedy the Bible from a glaring problem. You would not grant this creative license to someone trying to resolve glaring problems in other religious texts (such as the Koran), now would you?

 

Well, my friend, other than I believe now that they returned to Bethlehem shortly after returning back to Nazareth, (though i still leave other possibilities open) this is kind of where I am at. Now again, this is only nonsense if one concludes that Matthew and Luke give a complete and full account of the historic events of Jesus. Now we already know that this is not the case. We also already know of at least a year gap between the beginning of the story of Matthew and of Luke. Why is it so crazy to think they moved back to Bethlehem when we know that there is this big gap in time? Even more so when we know the time gap starts with the end of Luke, and picks up again in Matthew. Why is this not reasonable? As far is the Koran is concerned, that book has no real order to follow from what I saw. It kind of goes all over the place, and so I guess anything would fit. LOL Now you know that I allow you leeway concerning what you assume, and so I think I, like in this case, should be granted the same, unless, as you would say, the bible can proof my assumption wrong.

 

I don't recall saying anything about the word "return." I did, however, point out that Luke 2:39 says, "When Joseph and Mary had done everything required by the Law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee to their own town of Nazareth." The use of "when" is a clear indication that we don't have a huge time gap between verses 38 and 39 (which is where some apologists failingly attempt to insert the visit of the Magi and the trip to Egypt).

 

OK. You win. No time gap. Do I get to pick your prize? Really though, not either one of us can factually discredit the other. We both are under the assumption rule. However, we will play it your way, and go with Luke being just as you said. I no longer have a problem with that.

 

So why even bother trying to attack the "argument from silence" strawman when I already specifically addressed it here regarding this portion of the Nativity narratives? Beyond that, other contradictions have been discussed or mentioned recently, such as the Judas ones, the resurrection appearances and the genealogies.

 

As I've stated previously, the problem isn't about a few "omitted details," it's about contradictions between included details, as well as overall pictures of completely different stories (as these Nativities are).

 

Alright, then let us move on. Can you find any false statements or assumptions that can not be proved wrong in any of my newest posts?

 

Second, and more importantly, is the overall picture of Acts supposedly being a sequel to Luke, and Luke repeatedly contradicting Matthew in their common stories where they didn't copy from Mark. In other words, there are so many conflicting details between Matthew and Luke/Acts that it becomes abundantly clear that they cannot be seen as reliable sources of information. Thus, it seems most probable that we really are dealing with a contradiction between the two regarding the method of Judas' death.

 

So you assume because you believe that there are at least a couple contradictions between these books, even if one is explained as possible, it is not based on prier conceived ideas about these books? Maybe this is a whole different issue, but let us go one at a time here.

 

Beyond that, if Acts was describing what happened after Judas hanged himself, then why wouldn't the author mention the hanging? And don't fall back on that "argument from silence" strawman, because we're not talking about a menial side detail that could be reasonably overlooked, but rather a primary detail that would be crucial to any account of Judas' death.

 

I almost got to chuckle at "the straw man" thing. We use to call our now boss that same name. Now he is in charge. Watch out now! LOL

 

Acts 1:18 (King James Version)

 

18Now this man purchased a field with the reward of iniquity; and falling headlong, he burst asunder in the midst, and all his bowels gushed out.

 

Now give me a minute and see if I can see what you see.

 

Judas buys a field with his reward money. Right after this purchase, he falls, by accident, headlong, and burst open.

 

Do you think that this fits the flow? Do you think it is any more possible to have your insides fall out by falling than by hanging yourself, the rope breaking (or branch) and than falling? Does one version make more sense than the other?

 

I guess to me, it does not work very good by itself without the Matthew story. It is a hard thing to grasp a concept around what Luke is writting here without it. is it not?

 

Well, any how, as already stated, you get the last words.

 

Acts doesn't talk about "blood money," it gives the gory account of Judas spilling open and then says that that's the reason the field was called "Field of Blood.

 

18Now this man purchased a field with the reward of iniquity;

 

OK, if you say so.

 

That's debatable. It looks to me like that's exactly what Matthew is saying is the reason for the name "Field of Blood." Matthew does mention the blood money, though, so there may be a slight possibility of that being intended as the reason, but it really doesn't appear to be. Either way, it's a different reason from what is given in Acts.

 

6And the chief priests took the silver pieces, and said, It is not lawful for to put them into the treasury, because it is the price of blood.

 

7And they took counsel, and bought with them the potter's field, to bury strangers in.

 

8Wherefore that field was called, The field of blood, unto this day.

 

 

What am I missing here, my friend?

 

I consider myself open minded. If I wasn't, then I never would have changed my views. And my mindset is not a predetermined one, it's the polar opposite of the predetermined mindset I had when I started studying the Bible. I let the text speak for itself and followed the evidence where it lead. My "mindset" is an honest assessment of the evidence.

 

You're still operating with your predetermined mindset and missing the overall picture. Keep trying to put the puzzle pieces together, and eventually you'll probably also realize how futile it is.

 

If I ever begin to see things the same way you do, my friend, you will be the first to know.

 

What I was trying to get at is that there was a lot of stuff circulating, and different people would have had different texts available to them. Not all of them would have had all of the texts that ended up in the Bible (some weren't even written yet when others were written). It was not all one big book like we currently have in the Bible.

 

In other words, be sensible about it. Don't assume that all of the Bible texts were written with complete knowledge of all of the others, because they weren't.

 

I will give you this in part, for sure, but do keep in mind as you already know, the books that were written were not generally read by the average Joe, thus the probability of one group of people having the same books read to them is pretty high.

 

I will be back shortly

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DIVINE INSPIRATION

 

Yes, thank you Cits. I will look into that. Though I may sometimes fail to a standard less than I would like, you do know I try to answer all questions with some sort of real possibilities.

 

On the contrary ... it is quite complicated, or shall we say - conflicting? Herod died in 4 BC, so before going on about the inerrancy of the Bible, why don't we clear up how he could have been around a year after Jesus was supposedly born?

 

Simple. Because of leap years and differences, the actual birth of Christ is believed to be no later than 4 BC, and likely 6 BC.

 

===========

 

OK, I think I have caught up on all the post for now.

 

Bob, welcome aboard. I am glad you also are a believer. I will not knock anyone, as long as they believe in Jesus as their King, but I will tell you why I believe the way I do about the bible.

 

Let us say if just one main story was fiction in the bible, or one main person was made up. Could it not easily go down the line to Jesus being made up, even though He is recorded in many more historic doc. than the bible. The problem is, if any part of the bible is untrue, than we have a problem.

 

 

What part is true, and what part is a lie, or just a good story. Now if the bible tells us that is what it is, as He often did when teaching, now that is one thing, but unless otherwise stated, for me personally, it can start down a slippery slope. If the bible is just another good book of stories, than is it better than the Koran?

 

I am glad you are here and am glad that you believe. That is what matters most. He certainly does live with in our hearts and souls. Otherwise, I too, would be on the other end of things.

 

God bless (all of you)

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No, your conclusion doesn't have valid evidence. As has just been shown, the very definition of the word for "acquire" includes "purchase, buy," which is the clear implication when money is used in the transaction, and various Bible translations render the term "purchased."

 

In other words, YOU'RE WRONG. Just admit it, Stranger. It's no big deal, we've all been wrong before, and I even used to take the same approach to the Bible as you do, so I was equally wrong in the past. I've been able to admit that I was wrong and adjust my views according to the evidence. Can you do the same?

 

Just answer me one last question regarding these scriptures. Does the setting, meaning the people in the story, and what they are already assumed to know

 

You mean what YOU assume they knew? The only thing Acts says they knew is what Acts says happened. What if none of this stuff even happened, what if it's all just fairy tales?

 

and the placement of the book of Acts, highlighting the conclusion of the gospel story and events in a quick few statements, and again accounting the fact Acts says the bulk of the people living in Jerusalem already heard/ knew about the story of Judas

 

Again, Acts only says that they knew the details mentioned in Acts. It says NOTHING about them knowing the version in Matthew. And again, what if there's no truth to any of this at all? What if it's all just a fairy tale?

 

and again those with him (Peter at the time of his speech) being there during this event

 

Stranger, I've already established the fact that translation after translation after translation of this passage make verses 18-19 a PARENTHETICAL STATEMENT, NOT part of Peter's speech. Why do you now want to insist that ALL those translators are wrong?

 

I will let your reply be the last for these verses. (Matthew and Acts (Judas) discussion)

 

Good, because I was about to say that this topic is getting old. You want to ignore all the points I've brought up and just keep making the same old flawed arguments. There's no need to keep going on and on. Maybe after dealing with other problems, you'll eventually see my point. After all, even I didn't lose my faith simply because of the contradictions in the accounts of Judas' death, that was just a small part of a much bigger problem.

 

Gotta get to work, so the rest will have to wait....

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I have just one question for Christians to answer. Why must the bible be the 100% literally true and perfect, inerrant word of god for the bible to have any value to it?

 

A simple answer...it doesn't. One way of looking at this is...let's say that the biblical story of Jonah and the whale is not factual. Jonah was a real person, but let's say the whole whale thing is fiction. So what? It's still a good story, still instructive to us here and now, a story of God's provision and salvation. Tons of value, even if it's just a story.

 

The Bible was written by approximately 40 different authors over multiple centuries and at locations on multiple continents. Undoubtedly it contains allegorical stories, and may contain statements that are at odds with each other. Again - it doesn't matter. Christianity and God's promises must be taken on faith. Faith based on LOTS of evidence and personal experience, but faith all the same. I know that my Redeemer lives, and that He lives in my heart. That is my testimony. So it does not matter if some biblical stories are just stories and are not, as you say, inerrant.

And it never occured to you that Jesus is just a Biblical story and not real? Feel the same about other religions' stories of god-men?
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Bob, welcome aboard. I am glad you also are a believer. I will not knock anyone, as long as they believe in Jesus as their King,

Seriously? You're saying it's not a matter of "by their fruits you shall know them", but rather as long as they claim Jesus as their King, then they're OK? Are you sure you want to say that? (*prepares a list of serial killers, mass murderers, Jew haters, Black haters, Gay haters, wife beaters, child abusers, murders, CEO's of companies who defraud the elder of their pensions, etc, who all claim Jesus as their King).

 

I really would like you to answer this actually, since because if it's not a matter of what your object of faith is, i.e. Jesus, and it's a matter of some other indication as to the state of someone's 'soul', then you have an interesting dilemma to face.

 

but I will tell you why I believe the way I do about the bible.

I already know why you do, it's only a matter of time before it dawns on you too. :)

 

Let us say if just one main story was fiction in the bible, or one main person was made up. Could it not easily go down the line to Jesus being made up, even though He is recorded in many more historic doc. than the bible. The problem is, if any part of the bible is untrue, than we have a problem.

 

What part is true, and what part is a lie, or just a good story.

What part speaks to you, what part doesn't?

 

Now if the bible tells us that is what it is, as He often did when teaching, now that is one thing, but unless otherwise stated, for me personally, it can start down a slippery slope.

Oh... but you are poised on that slippery slope! What do I mean? Because you are insistent on external Authority to tell you what is truth, you are poised on the slippery slope of not listening to your own inner voice, learning and growing, and poised to be conformed to some charismatic leader who will show you "in plain language what the bible says," and go and do his bidding - contrary to your spiritual nature. The more you don't develop that, the more you place external sources as absolute Authority, the more poised you are to in fact go down that slippery slope, being that "seed sown on stony ground", to use the metaphor.

 

If the bible is just another good book of stories, than is it better than the Koran?

So, it's a competition? Who has the better god? "If I have the right god, the right Authority, then I'm safe!" My answer to the question is that all religious texts have and have had their place. None are Absolute. All are about societies and cultures navigating their worlds, and as part of that there are threads of human existential/spiritual questions that transcend all cultures and religions that are expressed in them as well; that baby in the bathwater, so to speak.

 

There are also errors that we have outgrown in our understandings, and it is in fact the literalist, doing what you are doing in pursuit of the illusion of external security for an inherently existential need, who prevent growth from occurring for the whole. Existential truth becomes subjected to cultural authority, and you become but a drone, not a light in the world.

 

And this is the place you dread to go....

 

I am glad you are here and am glad that you believe. That is what matters most.

No it doesn't. I'm sure this person has a good heart, and that's what matters most.

 

He certainly does live with in our hearts and souls.

So says Fred Phelps as he protests at the grave side services of the fallen military, shoving his holy hot poker into the hearts of the dead's weeping wives, parents, children, friends, and relatives. Believing in Jesus is all that matters. Right? :(

 

Just claiming a god, doesn't make you anything. There clearly must be something higher than the religion someone claims.

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Jesus' birthdate was miscalculated when the Gregorian calendar (which established "BC" and "AD") was established. Jesus was born while Herod the Great was alive. This is not a matter of biblical inerrancy, just human miscalculation.

So how about Quirinius? He wasn't a governor while Herod was alive, was he?

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With the answers I have just received to the issue of Herod's death, I am going to abstain from further comment - at least for now. This group may be beyond help.

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Luke 1 (Amplified Bible)

 

Luke 1

1SINCE [as is well known] many have undertaken to put in order and draw up a [thorough] narrative of the surely established deeds which have been accomplished and fulfilled in and among us,

 

2Exactly as they were handed down to us by those who from the official] beginning [of Jesus' ministry] were eyewitnesses and ministers of the Word [that is, of the doctrine concerning the attainment through Christ of salvation in the kingdom of God],

 

3It seemed good and desirable to me, [and so I have determined] also after having searched out diligently and followed all things closely and traced accurately the course from the highest to the minutest detail from the very first, to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus,

 

4[My purpose is] that you may know the full truth and understand with certainty and security against error the accounts (histories) and doctrines of the faith of which you have been informed and in which you have been orally instructed.

 

================

 

(1) Things to note:

 

It was known that many had already written or was writing of these accounts before Luke was completed or written.

 

Secondly, maybe that is why Luke starts with Joseph and their home town, as to show the starting point in which none of the others did. Possibly then, people already knowing the account of Matthew.

 

(2) Some of this is true, but again, Luke already writes that many stories of this are already out there, Luke's main intent was to verify with perhaps some of the missing links, or to at least make sure that Theophilus knew that these accounts were true and was not different from one another. He never claimed it to be a complete historic account. He also never planned for it to be read by anyone but Theophilus. In saying that, Luke already knew that other accounts were already out there, and read. He wanted to make sure that they could all be verified as true.

According to your quote, Luke claimed it was an orderly and detailed account of things that happened from the very first.

If Theophilus had been taught history from the Gospel of Matthew, where does Luke confirm the certainty of that teaching, specifically: the traveling Magi, the star that pinpointed a house, Herod’s death decree, and a resulting hiatus to Egypt?

Directly related to the birth narrative is the genealogy of Jesus and the same question applies: where does Luke confirm the genealogy of Jesus that Matthew gave?

 

 

centauri:

Matthew says nothing about Joseph living in Nazareth prior to the death of Herod and places him there only after a journey to Egypt, which Luke never mentions at all, nor does Luke mention the Magi or the infant death decree.

If Luke’s reader had been taught that the birth narrative of Jesus given in Matthew was history, where does Luke confirm the certainty of that teaching?

 

stranger:

Again, different times, different focuses. For the latter part, I am not completely sure of the question. Luke does not confirm many points made by the other authors. His intent was not to make the biggest book, and just copy everything else and fill in the blanks.

Again, the same question applies (which you have not addressed): where does Luke confirm the certainty of the birth narrative as taught by Matthew?

 

centauri:

Since the shepherds heralded the birth of Jesus right after he was born, how do you explain the complete ignorance of Herod over a year after the news was broadcast that a king messiah had been born?

 

stranger:

Just like in His ministry, Jesus did not want word to get out that fast. A revelation by an angel (+ some) was given to the shepherds. There is no word that they went to tell Herold.

... Now we do see at least two that knew for sure, and others with out doubt were told, but how many, and how much of it was believed, that is another issue. When the wise men came, perhaps these men demanded or got more attention of these issues. This is a valid question, and I cannot completely explain it away. It does seem that some sort of word would have been out. Perhaps it was a credibility issue, and they did not take it with much thought or concern until the request was made from these wise men. ( I am going to do a drop more research into that now, but don't know if I will find anything new.)

Well, that's a problem for you to grapple with.

Luke states that the shepherds spread the word of the amazing event.

In fact, since Matthew claims Mary gave birth to fulfill prophecy, the shepherds would have been very excited about the prophecy of a virgin giving birth coming true.

I think they would have told virtually everyone they encountered.

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View Postthe stranger, on 03 January 2011 - 02:38 AM, said:

Bob, welcome aboard. I am glad you also are a believer. I will not knock anyone, as long as they believe in Jesus as their King,

 

Seriously? You're saying it's not a matter of "by their fruits you shall know them", but rather as long as they claim Jesus as their King, then they're OK? Are you sure you want to say that? (*prepares a list of serial killers, mass murderers, Jew haters, Black haters, Gay haters, wife beaters, child abusers, murders, CEO's of companies who defraud the elder of their pensions, etc, who all claim Jesus as their King).

 

I really would like you to answer this actually, since because if it's not a matter of what your object of faith is, i.e. Jesus, and it's a matter of some other indication as to the state of someone's 'soul', then you have an interesting dilemma to face.

 

Actually my friend, what I stated was that "as long as they believe", and not, if they claim to believe. By our fruits we will tell if, in fact, Jesus is their (our) King. The list given certainly does not fall into the "Jesus as their King" bit. What one claims is not always the truth, but I think you know that one.

 

View Postthe stranger, on 03 January 2011 - 02:38 AM, said:

If the bible is just another good book of stories, than is it better than the Koran?

 

So, it's a competition? Who has the better god? "If I have the right god, the right Authority, then I'm safe!" My answer to the question is that all religious texts have and have had their place. None are Absolute. All are about societies and cultures navigating their worlds, and as part of that there are threads of human existential/spiritual questions that transcend all cultures and religions that are expressed in them as well; that baby in the bathwater, so to speak.

 

Now this whole comparing religions thing would be fun to get into, would it not. It is not who has the better God, but who has THE GOD. LOL

 

There are also errors that we have outgrown in our understandings, and it is in fact the literalist, doing what you are doing in pursuit of the illusion of external security for an inherently existential need, who prevent growth from occurring for the whole. Existential truth becomes subjected to cultural authority, and you become but a drone, not a light in the world.

 

And this is the place you dread to go....

 

But I have an excuse, I don't know how to get there. LOL

 

I am glad you are here and am glad that you believe. That is what matters most.

 

No it doesn't. I'm sure this person has a good heart, and that's what matters most.

 

From what I know of you, Antlerhead, you have a good heart, but is that all we need? If there is a holy God out there Who is not able to sin, and therefore has no sin in any way, shape, or form, if so, how would you and me compare? Would we compare? Are we on that level? As I know you already know, Gods word states that every man believes he is in the right, or is just in his ways, but in the end, it leads to death. In other words, if Gods word is true, because we cannot compare to Gods holiness, even if we believe we are in the right, we are way of the mark. If it is to be like God that we want, would we ever be able to get there my friend.? Can we ever be good eneugh to stand before a Holy God?

 

View Postthe stranger, on 03 January 2011 - 02:38 AM, said:

He certainly does live with in our hearts and souls.

 

So says Fred Phelps as he protests at the grave side services of the fallen military, shoving his holy hot poker into the hearts of the dead's weeping wives, parents, children, friends, and relatives. Believing in Jesus is all that matters. Right? :(

 

Just claiming a god, doesn't make you anything. There clearly must be something higher than the religion someone claims.

 

Yes, I agree. These actions make me want to puke. This guy, he says allot, but is Jesus really his King. I know that you would never dream of resorting to such a level. These actions can quite clearly be shown for what they are in the bible, sinful and selfish. It has nothing to do with religion, but all to do with who made us and what we do with that information and/or person (God).

 

Thank you Antlerhead. As usual, always thought provoking.

 

According to your quote, Luke claimed it was an orderly and detailed account of things that happened from the very first.

If Theophilus had been taught history from the Gospel of Matthew, where does Luke confirm the certainty of that teaching, specifically: the traveling Magi, the star that pinpointed a house, Herod’s death decree, and a resulting hiatus to Egypt?

Directly related to the birth narrative is the genealogy of Jesus and the same question applies: where does Luke confirm the genealogy of Jesus that Matthew gave?

 

To the best of my knowledge, it cannot be confirmed. But what was Lukes mission?

 

4[My purpose is] that you may know the full truth and understand with certainty and security against error the accounts (histories) and doctrines of the faith of which you have been informed and in which you have been orally instructed.

 

For Theophilus to know the full truth (not a requirement to know the entire story) and to understand with certainty that the accounts and doctrines (the others that were around, in which he likely read, which would be why Luke stated that it would be good for him to also write a book) were true. It tells us here that Theophilus was informed on these other books to some degree, as well as much verbal communication on the subject.

 

where does Luke confirm the genealogy of Jesus that Matthew gave?

 

The two list are different for a reason. I will get into that in a bit.

 

Well, that's a problem for you to grapple with.

Luke states that the shepherds spread the word of the amazing event.

In fact, since Matthew claims Mary gave birth to fulfill prophecy, the shepherds would have been very excited about the prophecy of a virgin giving birth coming true.

I think they would have told virtually everyone they encountered.

 

A valid question? Yes. But by assuming that Herod heard of this (remember how crazy this guy was. You you want to be the one telling him that his throne (or so he thought) was threatened?) we may be reading into the text. The word to some degree was certainly spread, but to what degree, and to what understanding or belief is a whole different question. There is too much about this event that we do not know, thus by placing things in which we assume could destroy the actual truth. Was the story believed? How far did the word spread? Was it a secret that Herod was not supposed to find out about? There is just too much that we do not know to address conclusions on this.

 

God bless

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centauri:

According to your quote, Luke claimed it was an orderly and detailed account of things that happened from the very first.

If Theophilus had been taught history from the Gospel of Matthew, where does Luke confirm the certainty of that teaching, specifically: the traveling Magi, the star that pinpointed a house, Herod’s death decree, and a resulting hiatus to Egypt?

Directly related to the birth narrative is the genealogy of Jesus and the same question applies: where does Luke confirm the genealogy of Jesus that Matthew gave?

 

To the best of my knowledge, it cannot be confirmed. But what was Lukes mission?

 

4[My purpose is] that you may know the full truth and understand with certainty and security against error the accounts (histories) and doctrines of the faith of which you have been informed and in which you have been orally instructed.

 

For Theophilus to know the full truth (not a requirement to know the entire story) and to understand with certainty that the accounts and doctrines (the others that were around, in which he likely read, which would be why Luke stated that it would be good for him to also write a book) were true. It tells us here that Theophilus was informed on these other books to some degree, as well as much verbal communication on the subject.

The scripture says Luke’s purpose was to deliver an orderly, accurate, and detailed account of history, which would serve to confirm teachings about Jesus that Theophilus had heard or read from other sources.

In order to know the full truth, one needs to have the complete story.

What you’re avoiding is the problem that Luke does not confirm history as given by Matthew.

You’re trying to minimize this problem by saying that Theophilus didn’t need to know if Matthew was true or false, and therefore the inconsistencies aren’t important.

Under that scenario, Theophilus would have no confirmation from Luke concerning the birth narrative provided by Matthew.

If Luke’s history were only intended to represent partial segments of history, there would have been no way to determine if it was fact or fabrication.

People are then left to get the entire story from professional apologists, who create a new birth narrative by combining the existing stories and adding numerous qualifiers in an attempt to do what God couldn’t do the first time.

 

However, Luke never put a disclaimer into his gospel indicating that key events in history had been omitted.

Luke's gospel never instructs Theophilus to seek outside information in order to get the entire story.

Certainly these would have been a very easy things to do if Luke’s gospel was only intended to be a partial presentation of key events.

Luke’s gospel is presented as a stand alone document that’s authoritative, complete, detailed, and orderly.

 

centauri:

Well, that's a problem for you to grapple with.

Luke states that the shepherds spread the word of the amazing event.

In fact, since Matthew claims Mary gave birth to fulfill prophecy, the shepherds would have been very excited about the prophecy of a virgin giving birth coming true.

I think they would have told virtually everyone they encountered.

 

stranger:

A valid question? Yes. But by assuming that Herod heard of this (remember how crazy this guy was. You you want to be the one telling him that his throne (or so he thought) was threatened?) we may be reading into the text. The word to some degree was certainly spread, but to what degree, and to what understanding or belief is a whole different question. There is too much about this event that we do not know, thus by placing things in which we assume could destroy the actual truth. Was the story believed? How far did the word spread? Was it a secret that Herod was not supposed to find out about? There is just too much that we do not know to address conclusions on this.

Well, apologists can’t have it both ways and defend inerrancy.

If there is too much that is not known, then inerrancy is an exercise in wishful thinking.

You want to make various assumptions and add qualifiers to support the truth of each version of the birth narrative, but don’t want to make assumptions about Herod having known about the amazing news concerning a new king.

Luke says that news of the virgin birth and newborn king was spread by the shepherds.

However, you’re assuming that Herod wasn’t affected by this or somehow never heard the news.

Even if Herod was completely ignorant of the amazing events and if Herod was as jealous an insecure as depicted, he could have easily taken steps to have the Magi followed when they left him to find the child.

But then there would have been no trickery by the Magi, nor a death decree for children, or a flight to Egypt, and none of these are found anywhere in Luke’s history.

 

The Gospel of Matthew mimics the story of Moses and needs those elements included.

The author of Matthew peppers his gospel with supposed scriptural fulfillment and that drives the story line.

There’s no way to know where the “truth” lies because the possibility of embellishment and fabrication are prevalent.

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(1) In an effort to downplay the discrepancy about Mary and Joseph's initial residence, it is often argued that the claim of a contradiction is merely based on Matthew's silence about them being in Nazareth prior to Jesus' birth. However, if you look at the flow of events in Matthew, you see that there is more to contend with than simply the author starting with Bethlehem and having the family in a house.(2) There is also the return from Egypt, where the author indicates that the reason the family settled in Nazareth was because Joseph learned that Herod's son Archelaus was reigning in Judea (Matthew 2:22-23), which is the region where Bethlehem was. In other words, Nazareth was a Plan B in Matthew's account, which would not be the case if they were actually residents of Nazareth who only went to Bethlehem for a census (as Luke claims), would it? The fact that in Matthew their Plan A was to return to the region where Bethlehem was, coupled with the previous mention of them being in a house there, certainly makes it sound like Matthew's account was written from the perspective that they were Bethlehem residents (as opposed to Luke's version where they were Nazareth residents only visiting Bethlehem for a census), does it not?

 

(1) Again, just the absence of part of the story from one, and the addition from the other. No differences here.

 

The portion of my quote that you numbered "(1)" was simply a preface for the point made in the portion you've numbered "(2)," which clearly indicates that we're dealing with more than simple absence. Your reply numbered "(1)" here is silly because "(1)" was not the point of the paragraph. Simple reading comprehension should have made that clear, my friend.

 

(2) (LUKE) 4And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem;

 

(MATTHEW) notwithstanding, being warned of God in a dream, he turned aside into the parts of Galilee:

 

23And he came and dwelt in a city called Nazareth:

 

 

So your assumption is, because Matthew did not call Nazareth Joseph's home town, that Luke cannot be correct.

 

No, you have falsely assumed that I assumed something that I didn't. Is your reading comprehension that bad? Go back and reread the entire paragraph quoted above.

 

Now, the omission of Nazareth at the beginning of Matthew's text is something to consider, and when taken with the flow of the narrative and the other points made, it is an important factor. But I never said that that omission alone meant that Luke could not be correct.

 

One book does not say something different from the other, but instead, you are just implying what the writer meant, and/or are putting meaning and text in there that is not found. Now have I not already been accused of this?

 

You're quite funny, you know that, Stranger? All I've done is look at the flow of events in the text and acknowledge what the clear, basic meaning is. I've simply gleaned from the text what it appears to be saying.

 

You, on the other hand, have tried to turn the trip from Nazareth to Bethlehem into two different trips, which has no basis at all in the text of either Gospel in question!

 

So, do NOT pretend that what I've done is anything at all like what you've done. You know better than that! YOU are the one here who's reading into the text stuff that's completely alien to the text, and I suspect that deep down even you realize that you're doing so.

 

When I first grappled with these Nativities, I was an inerrantist and wanted the stories to be true. I did not have any motivation to try to make compatible narratives appear contradictory. I had no desire to disprove the Bible. There is NO WAY that I would have read stuff into the stories to create problems, because I didn't want there to be problems!

 

All I did was honestly assess the meanings of the simple narratives, and that proved to be problematic for the stories. Even though I wanted the stories to be true, ultimately truth is what I wanted. You, on the other hand, seem more interested in trying to make the contradictory accounts agree with each other than you are in actual truth. I have a high regard for integrity, so I cannot stoop to that level, my friend.

 

If in fact, they did return right to Nazareth after the rituals, but a while later decided to move to Bethlehem, or even just went back to gather a couple more things and say good by to family (before the wise men of the east came), could not Nazareth been a plan A, and because this plan did not work, they went back to where they lived before the birth of Christ?

 

I'm not quite sure what you're asking here. Did you mean to suggest Bethlehem as plan A, or is Nazareth actually what you meant?

 

Conclusion: When we read into the text with something we only assume it implies, with only knowing a fraction of the whole story, it is to easy to think we have it right when in reality we could be way way off.

 

When you read into the text something completely foreign to the text and without a single shred of evidence at all, for no other reason than to try to make the texts mean what you want them to say, then in reality you could be way off.

 

Second, consider that Matthew says that when Herod realized that he had been "outwitted by the Magi" by them not coming back, he "gave orders to kill all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity who were two years old and under" (Matthew 2:16). Now think about it, Stranger. If there had been a census where a bunch of people from other areas had traveled to Bethlehem to register (as Luke claims), then why would Herod completely ignore that? Why would he only have children in the vicinity of Bethlehem killed? Why wouldn't he go through the census records and also put to death other children who had traveled to Bethlehem for the census? Clearly, if there had been a bunch of people coming to Bethlehem during this time and leaving, all on account of a census that Herod would have obviously known about, then why would he assume that just killing the children at Bethlehem would take care of the situation?

 

It is really a little less complicated than it would seem. First, Herod heard of this when? Somewhere between around a year after Christ was born. At this time, the wise men were sent to Bethlehem. This was well after the census so the census plays no part in this case.

 

But, Stranger, you were saying that they were back in Bethlehem a second time for a second round of the census! Are you now changing your story? Why can't you make up your mind? Could it be that you don't have a friggin' clue what you're talking about, you're just pulling crap out of thin air in a desperate attempt to rescue the Bible from a glaring contradiction?

 

Herold knew that they were looking for Jesus in Bethlehem. Now he also learned that he was deceived a fairly short time after wards seeming that the two cities were so close. Thus, it could of been a year and a half after Jesus birth when this all came about. Main point. Different timing. The census was already over.

 

Not according to the "resolution" you had proposed, which was what I was responding to. So, is this an admission that your initial "resolution" was screwed up?

 

Luke's account claims that the shepherds spread the word about what they had seen and heard. If a year or so had passed since they saw Jesus and the angels, then surely that story would have made its way to Herod before the Magi got there.

 

Besides this, Luke's account says that the census was when Quirinius was governor of Syria. Quirinius took office in 6 AD, but Herod died in 4 BC. Hmmm….

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Third, a more simple problem to your claim is that there is simply no Biblical support for it. It's something pulled out of thin air, with no mention of it nor even any allusion to it in the Biblical text. You're ignoring the flow of events in the texts and reading something completely foreign into it in an effort to eliminate a glaring contradiction.

 

So you can add assumptions, but I cannot? LOL

 

I haven't added assumptions, I've just taken the texts for what they say and drawn logical conclusions.

 

You, on the other hand, have resorted to postulating things completely foreign to the text with absolutely no evidence, and this simply to try to make the Bible mean what you want it to.

 

There is allot in the stories of Gods word that we do not have. Therefore assumptions on either end is just that, assumptions, with mine being no better than yours, my friend.

 

The only assumption I've made is that the text means what it says. You're the one adding assumptions to it by concocting (or reiterating) details that are nowhere even hinted at in the text.

 

This is the typical apologetics stance, and I used to hold to it also. And indeed, when dealing with different versions of the same story, it would be reasonable to expect there to be little differences in some of the details that are included. However, you would also expect that most of the details would be the same and there shouldn't be contradictions between the different details. Unfortunately for the Nativity stories, they simply don't hold up. Other than the characters Joseph, Mary and Jesus, and the claim that Jesus was born in Bethlehem when Mary was still a virgin, these two Nativities bear no resemblance whatsoever to each other, and even have a few contradictions between them (as I have previously detailed).

 

What one does have to keep in mind, is that Luke generally gives the account from the time Joseph left Nazareth to go to the census of Bethlehem, to the time just after the rituals were performed on Jesus. Matthew starts around one year or more after this account. There fore being different time frames, it is easy to see why there are different accounts. In fact, it would not make any sense if the stories were the same, but different time lines.

 

Actually, you're wrong. It appears that you've forgotten that Matthew's account includes Mary's pregnancy, an angelic appearance to Joseph, Joseph marrying Mary, and then Jesus' birth (Matt 1:18-25). So, no, Matthew does not start his story telling at sometime after Luke's story ends. Matthew simply tells a very different story from Luke.

 

Think about the differences in the stories (the overall picture):

(1) In Matthew, Mary and Joseph appear to be residents of Bethlehem; in Luke, Mary and Joseph are residents of Nazareth.

(2) In Matthew, an angel appears to Joseph but not Mary; in Luke, an angel appears to Mary but not Joseph.

(3) In Matthew, there is no census; in Luke, the only reason Mary and Joseph go to Bethlehem is for a census.

(4) In Matthew, the family is in a house; in Luke, they are shut out because of no room in the inn, and Jesus is placed in a manger.

(5) In Matthew, Magi come to see Jesus, but no shepherds; in Luke, shepherds come to see Jesus, but no Magi.

(6) In Matthew, Herod has children killed in an attempt to eliminate Jesus; in Luke, there is no murder of children.

(7) In Matthew, Mary and Joseph take Jesus to Egypt to escape Herod; in Luke, there is no trip to Egypt.

(8) In Matthew, there is no trip to the Temple at Jerusalem; in Luke, Mary and Joseph take Jesus to the Temple.

(9) In Matthew, Mary and Joseph go to Nazareth as a Plan B because of being warned to avoid the region that Bethlehem was in; in Luke, Mary and Joseph go directly back to Nazareth because that was already their residence.

 

(1) Already talked about. Left Nazareth to go to Bethlehem, once rituals over, may have returned shortly to Nazareth, but than stayed in Bethlehem. Again, Matthew picks up at least a year after the birth of Jesus. At this point, they were living in Bethlehem.

 

(2) Different times, different accounts. Is there one that I am missing?

 

(3)Again, Matthew does not start his story until at least a year after the census, there fore does not include it. A different starting point, not a difference in the story.

 

(4)Again, different time frame. Luke account gives the birth of Christ, while Matthews account starts at least a year later.

 

(5) Shepherds came right after Jesus was born, the wise men at least a year after the fact.

 

(6) Luke stops this part of his story right after the rituals are performed, while Matthew carries on from this point, at least, in part.

 

(7) See above answer

 

(8) The temple visit had already happened if you are referring to the rituals. Again, this happened a year before the start of Matthew. If referring to when Jesus was twelve, it is just a matter of one telling a story that the other did not. According to OT laws, they had to go, at least one of them, to the temple, or Jerusalem, at least twice a year, but three times was more likely. This would not have been an uncommon trip.

 

(9) Again, they may have went straight back to Nazareth like recorded in Luke, but if so, they did not stay very long. In the latter part of your statement, the return, or going to Nazareth was years later.

 

You're trying to treat these as isolated incidents, when I specifically stated to consider the collective whole to get the overall picture of the differences.

 

Sure, if the stories were mostly the same and just one or two differences existed (as long as they weren't necessarily contradicting each other, such as the angelic appearances, which both could have happened), then of course it would be understandable.

 

Unfortunately, though, when considering all those differences and the fact that there is very, VERY little in these two stories that are the same, it becomes clear that we have, in fact, two completely different stories about the birth of Jesus.

 

It really looks like the authors of Matthew and Luke both had the character names Mary, Joseph and Jesus, felt a need to have Jesus born in Bethlehem and yet have Jesus be a Nazarene. So, they each concocted stories out of these details, but the end result was two very different stories.

 

Same story, but both places had to be to fulfill prophecy, but you already know we will get into that a little later.

 

Not the same story, not by a LONG shot. Only the thoroughly indoctrinated can't see that.

 

But, yes, part of the motivation behind the different concocted stories was probably the perceived need to have Jesus fulfill prophecies; prophecies that really had nothing to do with these narratives, of course, as they were taken completely out of context. And one "prophecy" that doesn't even exist in the OT (which I should have addressed in my dealings with the fabricated prophetic fulfillments in the other thread).

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(2) Also possible Joseph and his family did return right to their home town, but then came back later for an additional census a year later, and perhaps then decided to stay until they were directed otherwise.

 

This is just nonsense. It's reading into the text something completely alien to the text, with no evidence whatsoever, in a desperate attempt to remedy the Bible from a glaring problem. You would not grant this creative license to someone trying to resolve glaring problems in other religious texts (such as the Koran), now would you?

 

Well, my friend, other than I believe now that they returned to Bethlehem shortly after returning back to Nazareth, (though i still leave other possibilities open) this is kind of where I am at. Now again, this is only nonsense if one concludes that Matthew and Luke give a complete and full account of the historic events of Jesus. Now we already know that this is not the case.

 

No, it's nonsense because you're disregarding the flow of events and the obvious meanings of the different narratives and reading stuff into them that have no basis in the text at all, and for no other reason than to try to get the text to mean what you wish it meant.

 

What if a nonbeliever did that same thing? What if someone concocted details that had no basis in the text and no evidence for them at all, and then read them into the stories in an effort to get them to mean something quite different from what they actually say, all in an effort to try to justify a preconceived position that the stories can't be true?

 

You'd be calling that nonsense, would you not? And indeed you'd be perfectly entitled to, because it would be nonsense to do that. Yet you, as an inerrantist, are doing exactly the same thing to try to justify your preconceived position!

 

We also already know of at least a year gap between the beginning of the story of Matthew and of Luke.

 

Buzz. Wrong answer. As I pointed out in my last post, the first chapter of Matthew has Mary's pregnancy, an angelic appearance to Joseph, Mary and Joseph getting married, and Mary giving birth to Jesus. Matthew's story does not start after Luke's version ends.

 

Why is it so crazy to think they moved back to Bethlehem when we know that there is this big gap in time?

 

In Luke's version, the only reason they went to Bethlehem in the first place was because they had to register for a census. There is no indication at all of a second trip to Bethlehem, nor any reason given for there to have been one.

 

In fact, look at what Luke says here:

 

When Joseph and Mary had done everything required by the Law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee to their own town of Nazareth. And the child grew and became strong; he was filled with wisdom, and the grace of God was on him. (Luke 2:39-40)

 

This seems to imply that after they went back home to Nazareth, that's where Jesus grew up. Now, of course this is only an implication, not expressly stated, but your suggestions don't even have any implications whatsoever in the text!

 

Even more so when we know the time gap starts with the end of Luke, and picks up again in Matthew. Why is this not reasonable?

 

As stated previously, Matthew's narrative does not start after Luke's ends. See previous comments about that.

 

As far is the Koran is concerned, that book has no real order to follow from what I saw. It kind of goes all over the place, and so I guess anything would fit.

 

The Bible goes all over the place too, my friend. Why do you think there are a crapload of different denominations, all thinking that their version of Christianity is the right one?

 

Now you know that I allow you leeway concerning what you assume, and so I think I, like in this case, should be granted the same, unless, as you would say, the bible can proof my assumption wrong.

 

Again, all I've really assumed is that the text means what it says. Your assumptions go way beyond that, pulling things out of thin air that do not fit the flow of the narratives. Your obvious motivation is not really to find the truth, but to justify your preconceived belief in inerrancy.

 

I don't recall saying anything about the word "return." I did, however, point out that Luke 2:39 says, "When Joseph and Mary had done everything required by the Law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee to their own town of Nazareth." The use of "when" is a clear indication that we don't have a huge time gap between verses 38 and 39 (which is where some apologists failingly attempt to insert the visit of the Magi and the trip to Egypt).

 

OK. You win. No time gap. Do I get to pick your prize? Really though, not either one of us can factually discredit the other. We both are under the assumption rule. However, we will play it your way, and go with Luke being just as you said. I no longer have a problem with that.

 

First, what's my prize? A Bible? I've got plenty of them. ;)

 

Second, you're the one adding assumptions, I'm just looking at the flow of the text and acknowledging what it says and the implications thereof. I'm not the one trying to add details that have no basis in the text at all in an effort to make the Bible appear to mean something different from what it says.

 

Third, if you agree "with Luke being just as (I) said," then you're agreeing that there's a contradiction with Matthew, because I take Luke to mean what it says, not something different. ;)

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Actually my friend, what I stated was that "as long as they believe", and not, if they claim to believe.

But they do in fact believe, even if to you its twisted and untrue. I don't believe they are lying in saying they believe. It's just not how you believe. And to add an extra bit in there, even if they believed the exact same things you believed, it may not be coming from the same place, and then you could judge it's not how you believe, or put another way, not coming from the same place, not coming from the heart. Does that sound right to you?

 

If that does, then the question is what is really important, what you believe, or from where you believe? I think that answer really should be obvious to you.

 

Next then, after you've processed that awhile and can see it, then since the heart is first, and what you believe is secondary, then the belief is about supporting the heart, helping it learn, and grow and move into that place of a higher truth that earlier thoughts and ideas held it back or worked in opposition to it. OK, so far? Shall I continue for you?

 

As such, that the beliefs are not the source of the heart, but supports for it, if the supports become what you look to for truth instead of the heart, then as the heart has grown to the point of needing greater support those supports begin to work against the heart, trying to replace with heart with the belief structure itself. Now, the heart becomes a slave to dogma, shrinks back and the mind tries to boost up the shrinking heart with artificial substitutes, claims of truth, claims of righteousness, claims of superiority, in trying to convince the heart to shut up and leave it alone to just take what it can grasp because others say the same thing, as we read on their apologist websites, and not face that dark unknown of the next step forward.

 

Still with me? I stop there for the moment to see if I can go to the next step for you.

 

Now this whole comparing religions thing would be fun to get into, would it not. It is not who has the better God, but who has THE GOD. LOL

All do. None do.

 

If you wish to understand a little about me, what my more exposed thoughts are in more articulated form to this question, I just posted this in the last couple days you should spend some time with teasing all of it apart to start to see how I see things. That one should take you a little longer, but I know you make a sincere effort. Click on this: Link

 

I see the potential in you to, not to necessarily leave your religion, but to fulfill and grow beyond it to something even more. With understanding comes.....

 

There are also errors that we have outgrown in our understandings, and it is in fact the literalist, doing what you are doing in pursuit of the illusion of external security for an inherently existential need, who prevent growth from occurring for the whole. Existential truth becomes subjected to cultural authority, and you become but a drone, not a light in the world.

 

And this is the place you dread to go....

 

But I have an excuse, I don't know how to get there. LOL

Exactly, and why you are substituting an external authority for something that comes from within. You'll get it at some point.

 

From what I know of you, Antlerhead, you have a good heart, but is that all we need? If there is a holy God out there Who is not able to sin, and therefore has no sin in any way, shape, or form, if so, how would you and me compare? Would we compare? Are we on that level?

Well a few things here. First I don't imagine God quite so external to myself as you do at this point. What you call sin, I call dysfunction. The judgment is a judgment of ourselves in desiring to be true to a higher nature we all possess, but are in a process of realizing towards a fuller, or ultimate Realization. So the question you ask, "are we on that level?", in the sense of the Absolute, it is all of our potential, and some have in fact had that Realization. It is the potential of every one of us, not just some single individual. I myself have in fact had an exposure of that Absolute, where there was no distinction between myself and That, and ALL is ONE. If you wish to read a brief description of that I shared from a few years back, you may read it here: Link.

 

But those occasions were peak experiences, and my life, all our lives is about movement towards That, and I am further today than I was when I began, and from where I was when I was holding up the same things you are where you are at today. It is not the end for you, Stranger, but the beginning.

 

 

As I know you already know, Gods word states that every man believes he is in the right, or is just in his ways, but in the end, it leads to death. In other words, if Gods word is true, because we cannot compare to Gods holiness, even if we believe we are in the right, we are way of the mark.

None of this applies to me. However, those that think "they're right" because they believe in "the Bible", or that they are right because they "follow" it, in fact are the objects themselves that this is speaking about. Righteousness through correct belief, is a facade, not spiritual life.

 

If it is to be like God that we want, would we ever be able to get there my friend.? Can we ever be good eneugh to stand before a Holy God?

We do every day, so to speak. The nature of "God" is ours. It's simply a matter of pulling back that "veil".

 

Thank you Antlerhead. As usual, always thought provoking.

Now I've given you some actual meat to chew on for awhile. Don't just try to answer all this small mountain I just gave you, but process it, listen to it. Afterward....

 

I look forward to your response.

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Second, and more importantly, is the overall picture of Acts supposedly being a sequel to Luke, and Luke repeatedly contradicting Matthew in their common stories where they didn't copy from Mark. In other words, there are so many conflicting details between Matthew and Luke/Acts that it becomes abundantly clear that they cannot be seen as reliable sources of information. Thus, it seems most probable that we really are dealing with a contradiction between the two regarding the method of Judas' death.

 

So you assume because you believe that there are at least a couple contradictions between these books, even if one is explained as possible, it is not based on prier conceived ideas about these books? Maybe this is a whole different issue, but let us go one at a time here.

 

A "couple contradictions" is an understatement, my friend. The whole Bible is filled with problems.

 

Beyond that, if Acts was describing what happened after Judas hanged himself, then why wouldn't the author mention the hanging? And don't fall back on that "argument from silence" strawman, because we're not talking about a menial side detail that could be reasonably overlooked, but rather a primary detail that would be crucial to any account of Judas' death.

 

Acts 1:18 (King James Version)

 

18Now this man purchased a field with the reward of iniquity; and falling headlong, he burst asunder in the midst, and all his bowels gushed out.

 

Now give me a minute and see if I can see what you see.

 

Judas buys a field with his reward money. Right after this purchase, he falls, by accident, headlong, and burst open.

 

Do you think that this fits the flow? Do you think it is any more possible to have your insides fall out by falling than by hanging yourself, the rope breaking (or branch) and than falling? Does one version make more sense than the other?

 

I guess to me, it does not work very good by itself without the Matthew story. It is a hard thing to grasp a concept around what Luke is writting here without it. is it not?

 

I didn't say that the version in Acts is top-notch. ;)

 

But think about this: Imagine that someone was writing an account where President Lincoln's death was mentioned, and that author simply said that Abe bled and died in a bed. Would you consider such sloppy reporting, completely ignoring the fact that he was shot, to be justifiable?

 

I submit that, if indeed Judas had hanged himself and then fallen and burst open, for the author to completely ignore the hanging would be just as sloppy as ignoring Abe's shooting in the scenario above.

 

Acts doesn't talk about "blood money," it gives the gory account of Judas spilling open and then says that that's the reason the field was called "Field of Blood.

 

18Now this man purchased a field with the reward of iniquity;

 

OK, if you say so.

 

Indeed, it's exactly as I said. There's no mention of "blood money" there. The "reward of iniquity" but is not called "blood money" in Acts. The rest of the verse presents the gory details that the following verse claims is the reason for the name of the "Field of Blood."

 

I consider myself open minded. If I wasn't, then I never would have changed my views. And my mindset is not a predetermined one, it's the polar opposite of the predetermined mindset I had when I started studying the Bible. I let the text speak for itself and followed the evidence where it lead. My "mindset" is an honest assessment of the evidence.

 

You're still operating with your predetermined mindset and missing the overall picture. Keep trying to put the puzzle pieces together, and eventually you'll probably also realize how futile it is.

 

If I ever begin to see things the same way you do, my friend, you will be the first to know.

 

You may consider it highly unlikely or even impossible that you'll ever become an ex-christian. A decade ago, I thought the same thing and could not have imagined that I'd be sitting here debating this side of the issue today. ;)

 

What I was trying to get at is that there was a lot of stuff circulating, and different people would have had different texts available to them. Not all of them would have had all of the texts that ended up in the Bible (some weren't even written yet when others were written). It was not all one big book like we currently have in the Bible.

 

In other words, be sensible about it. Don't assume that all of the Bible texts were written with complete knowledge of all of the others, because they weren't.

 

I will give you this in part, for sure, but do keep in mind as you already know, the books that were written were not generally read by the average Joe, thus the probability of one group of people having the same books read to them is pretty high.

 

Oh yeah, I definitely agree with you there. But each community was a different group, and each community had differences in the texts that they had.

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DIVINE INSPIRATION

 

Yes, thank you Cits. I will look into that. Though I may sometimes fail to a standard less than I would like, you do know I try to answer all questions with some sort of real possibilities.

 

Why just pull things out of thin air and claim them as "possibilities"? Is that even really answering a problem? Why can't the Holy Spirit give you solid answers instead of you having to concoct "possibilities"?

 

On the contrary ... it is quite complicated, or shall we say - conflicting? Herod died in 4 BC, so before going on about the inerrancy of the Bible, why don't we clear up how he could have been around a year after Jesus was supposedly born?

Simple. Because of leap years and differences, the actual birth of Christ is believed to be no later than 4 BC, and likely 6 BC.

 

I know this wasn't directed at me, but I thought I'd reiterate that Quirinius didn't become governor until 6AD. How could Jesus be born once, but both before 4BC and after 6AD?

 

Let us say if just one main story was fiction in the bible, or one main person was made up. Could it not easily go down the line to Jesus being made up

 

Absolutely!

 

even though He is recorded in many more historic doc. than the bible.

 

There is NO contemporary mention of Jesus at all. There is NO nonreligious mention of Jesus in the first century AD (apart from the known tampered with "Antiquities" of Josephus, and a work that is known to have been tampered with is unreliable).

 

If there was a guy that the stories are loosely based on, he has no real historical evidence at all, and was therefore not the remarkable person that the Bible portrays.

 

The problem is, if any part of the bible is untrue, than we have a problem.

 

And indeed we have a problem. ;)

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Thank you Cents for replying.

 

The scripture says Luke’s purpose was to deliver an orderly, accurate, and detailed account of history, which would serve to confirm teachings about Jesus that Theophilus had heard or read from other sources.

In order to know the full truth, one needs to have the complete story.

 

I want to just take a step back and detail, if we can, what Luke claimed.

 

First, since we know Luke wrote both Luke and Acts, Luke first, than we can make a little more into this as well.

 

First thing I want to detail.

 

Luke 1:1-4 (King James Version)

 

1Forasmuch as many have taken in hand to set forth in order a declaration of those things which are most surely believed among us,

 

2Even as they delivered them unto us, which from the beginning were eyewitnesses, and ministers of the word;

 

3It seemed good to me also, having had perfect understanding of all things from the very first, to write unto thee in order, most excellent Theophilus,

 

4That thou mightest know the certainty of those things, wherein thou hast been instructed.

 

Acts 1:1-3 (King James Version)

 

1The former treatise have I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach,

 

2Until the day in which he was taken up, after that he through the Holy Ghost had given commandments unto the apostles whom he had chosen:

 

3To whom also he shewed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God:

 

 

Read more: http://wiki.answers.com/Q/Give_three_reasons_for_Luke%27s_authorship_of_Acts_and_what_was_Luke%27s_intent#ixzz1A1zr33ln

 

The thing of importance at this point is that Luke makes it clear in conclusion, (Acts 1:1-3) that his intent was to capture the essence of what Jesus taught and did here on earth, and not every given detail account of the entire history of His childhood.

 

 

Secondly, I want to go in detail a little about the verse in question. (Luke 1:3)

 

NASB © Greek Transliteration Strong's Definition Origin

it seemed fitting ἔδοξεν edoxen 1380 to have an opinion, to seem from dokos (opinion)

for me as well, 2532 and, even, also a prim. conjunction

having investigated παρηκολουθηκότι parēkolouthēkoti 3877 to follow closely, to investigate from para and akoloutheó

everything πᾶσιν pasin 3956 all, every a prim. word

carefully ἀκριβῶς akribōs 199 with exactness adverb from akribés

from the beginning, ἄνωθεν anōthen 509 from above from anó

to write γράψαι grapsai 1125 to write a prim. verb

[it] out for you in consecutive order, καθεξῆς kathexēs 2517 successively from kata and hexés

 

http://biblelexicon.org/luke/1-3.htm

 

Note first, beginning can mean from above, as in, from God.

 

ανωθεν adverb

anothen an'-o-then: from above; by analogy, from the first; by implication, anew -- from above, again, from the beginning (very first), the top.

 

However, if it is implied beginning, the beginning of what? The ministry or Jesus birth? Now Luke does give an account from this beginning, but this does not need to mean, based on Acts, that it was meant from the time of Jesus birth.

 

Darby translation

 

it has seemed good to me also, accurately acquainted from the origin with all things, to write to thee with method, most excellent Theophilus,

 

So again, it is just a matter of translation, as it does not always mean or has to mean the way that we first read it or imply it in the KJV.

 

Concerning one needing to know the complete story to know the full truth is a little flawed. To know and believe that these stories were real only the ministry of Jesus had to be confirmed, along with eye witnesses. Only the facts that will bring you to the truth that is expected or wanting one to believe has to be presented, and nothing more beyond this.

 

 

What you’re avoiding is the problem that Luke does not confirm history as given by Matthew.

 

In this account, concerning Jesus childhood, your right, but Matthew and Luke have much in common in relation to the ministry of Christ and the events that took place. Does this hold any water for verification of Luke being aware of Matthew, or at least of the stories told?

 

 

If Luke’s history were only intended to represent partial segments of history, there would have been no way to determine if it was fact or fabrication.

 

Luke I believe was only intended to make a believable case and verification of facts from the proper sources as to whether Jesus who who He claimed to be or not. In order to do this, I believe he did this by giving the origin of where Joseph came from when Mary was pregnant, and confirming that the rituals were meant, as well as giving detailed account on John the Baptist, and that the rest of the story, perhaps, in the intent of Luke, did not hold merit in the evidence that he was displaying to make his case.

 

 

However, Luke never put a disclaimer into his gospel indicating that key events in history had been omitted.

Luke's gospel never instructs Theophilus to seek outside information in order to get the entire story.

Certainly these would have been a very easy things to do if Luke’s gospel was only intended to be a partial presentation of key events.

Luke’s gospel is presented as a stand alone document that’s authoritative, complete, detailed, and orderly.

 

And for the intent on showing Jesus to be the King and Savior that He and others claimed Him to be. True, Luke does not say parts were omitted, but he also does not say every story about Jesus, from before His birth to His death are included. More complete, perhaps, but not everything about Jesus past. How long do you suppose a book would have to be to write a complete history on anyone, let a lone King Jesus? How long of a book could be made just on one days events? And if written by x amount of people, who would include what, even if one was meant to conclude that the facts were true, and write a more complete story based on this? Even with all four gospels, we know very little. God gives us what we need to believe.

 

Well, apologists can’t have it both ways and defend inerrancy.

If there is too much that is not known, then inerrancy is an exercise in wishful thinking.

You want to make various assumptions and add qualifiers to support the truth of each version of the birth narrative, but don’t want to make assumptions about Herod having known about the amazing news concerning a new king.

 

True. You want to make assumptions to dis prove the bible and I want to make assumptions that the bible is true. I guess it all comes down to what we want to believe.

 

Even if Herod was completely ignorant of the amazing events and if Herod was as jealous an insecure as depicted, he could have easily taken steps to have the Magi followed when they left him to find the child.

 

True, but what reason did he have not to trust these wise men?

 

=================

 

I see I got a few more replies since this. I for now, because of time, try to respond to the ones that really stick out to me.

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However, if it is implied beginning, the beginning of what? The ministry or Jesus birth? Now Luke does give an account from this beginning, but this does not need to mean, based on Acts, that it was meant from the time of Jesus birth.

 

Even this is a bit much for me. LOL Let me rephrase that with what is right under that statement. It is very likely the word "origins" was implied, and perhaps not "the beginning" as some translations read. In any event, both translations are possible.

 

(I am trying,Cits,(to keep every thing in check) but sometimes even I go beyond myself. )

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It is really a little less complicated than it would seem. First, Herod heard of this when? Somewhere between around a year after Christ was born. At this time, the wise men were sent to Bethlehem. This was well after the census so the census plays no part in this case.

 

 

But, Stranger, you were saying that they were back in Bethlehem a second time for a second round of the census! Are you now changing your story? Why can't you make up your mind? Could it be that you don't have a friggin' clue what you're talking about, you're just pulling crap out of thin air in a desperate attempt to rescue the Bible from a glaring contradiction?

 

Truth is I am still learning myself, and have ALLOT more to go. In this case, however, I was referring to the first census,(which i believe was completed in a fairly short time frame) but that needs not mean that the reason they went back was because of a second census. I do not know why they went back. We can only tell from scripture that they did go back.

 

 

I have already did research on this one. I will answer you tomorrow, God willing.

 

The only assumption I've made is that the text means what it says. You're the one adding assumptions to it by concocting (or reiterating) details that are nowhere even hinted at in the text.

 

Because you truly believe this, I will show you what i am referring to tomorrow.

 

Actually, you're wrong. It appears that you've forgotten that Matthew's account includes Mary's pregnancy, an angelic appearance to Joseph, Joseph marrying Mary, and then Jesus' birth (Matt 1:18-25). So, no, Matthew does not start his story telling at sometime after Luke's story ends. Matthew simply tells a very different story from Luke.

 

Ya got me in part. This is true. However, between chapter 1 and two we certainly see a gap. Matthew clearly ends chapter 1 with Mary being early on in her pregnancy.

 

I really do see where you are coming from. If one were to read one version, than the other, without much study they would not see things as they happened. However, we see this sort of thing much more than just the gospels. We see incomplete stories throughout the bible, because each story and author wrote their book for a different purpose than the other, and some remembered or considered one event to be more important than the other. I really am beginning to grasp where you are coming from. I think though, that even today, one would see the same sort of things, even given four people, and all four told to write of one persons life, given some one that was full of crazy happenings and always active, that we would read many different accounts of the same life, but some of the same, just like the gospels. Try to do this sort of thing by memory, and there is no way you would be able to break it all up and say, and between these events, this happened. It is easy to forget such things with things like the internet around.

 

However, even with the internet (I might do this one myself) I wonder what results would come up if we googled one famous person and read several of the stories of such. Would they all be the same? I think, perhaps, I will do that.

 

I will respond to few more highlights shortly. I really do think i will do the study that i mentioned, concerning different accounts. I think that could be interesting.

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Truth is I am still learning myself, and have ALLOT more to go.

My only contribution here is for the selfish reason of saying I cannot take it! There is no such word as ALLOT, or even alot. It is two separate words! A lot. I use it a lot, it is not one word!

 

 

Ahhhhh..... :eek:A lot. A lot. A lot. Correct usage! Never Allot, or alot. no, no, no! F- flunk . Bad fail. Booo. :)

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But they do in fact believe, even if to you its twisted and untrue. I don't believe they are lying in saying they believe. It's just not how you believe. And to add an extra bit in there, even if they believed the exact same things you believed, it may not be coming from the same place, and then you could judge it's not how you believe, or put another way, not coming from the same place, not coming from the heart. Does that sound right to you?

 

Well, I guess everybody believes in something, even if it is nothing LOL. Not really directed at you, Antlerhead. My answer to this would be, if one has Jesus as their King, than the bible is their source. And if one uses the bible to abuse others, than they are not really using their bible as a source of their belief in Jesus, but is a source to abuse and obey their own selfish lust.

 

If that does, then the question is what is really important, what you believe, or from where you believe? I think that answer really should be obvious to you.
Antlerhead, as much as I care for you and respect you, answers for your question usually circle around me like humming birds, but every time I try to grab one, it gets away. LOL

 

Next then, after you've processed that awhile and can see it, then since the heart is first, and what you believe is secondary, then the belief is about supporting the heart, helping it learn, and grow and move into that place of a higher truth that earlier thoughts and ideas held it back or worked in opposition to it. OK, so far? Shall I continue for you?

 

I think I see your point here, but how about this. What if one believes in the bible first, and their heart second? What if one's heart can be deceptive, or influenced by owr own desires? And in a way, thus our desires becoming the desires of our heart. So if the heart is first, and our desires control our heart, and if our desires are evil, than is our heart trust worthy to be put a head of the word of the Almighty?

 

What if one's higher truth is different from another's along with morals, and ethics? What if this higher truth takes some just to their higher desires, that may not be a benefit for the world around us?

 

What if there is life after death? What if we are all held accountable for our actions? What if there is a God that judges and rewards? If none of this is true, than is anything just? How about all of the rapist and murders and theft that go on unpunished, or unresolved? What if your family member got killed by another? What if he got away? Would there be any justice for the uncaught wicked if there is no God or life after death?

 

And just by chance, what if you are the one who is wrong? If I am wrong, so I live my life serving a God that does not exist, and living to the best of my ability a moral life with it. hopefully being a blessing and help to those around me instead of a burden or abuser. Then, when I die, I just return to the dust. Have I lost anything? Has the world been better or worse because of it? Now let us change the table? What if you do live forever? What would you say to god if you found Him to be real?

 

As such, that the beliefs are not the source of the heart, but supports for it, if the supports become what you look to for truth instead of the heart, then as the heart has grown to the point of needing greater support those supports begin to work against the heart, trying to replace with heart with the belief structure itself. Now, the heart becomes a slave to dogma, shrinks back and the mind tries to boost up the shrinking heart with artificial substitutes, claims of truth, claims of righteousness, claims of superiority, in trying to convince the heart to shut up and leave it alone to just take what it can grasp because others say the same thing, as we read on their apologist websites, and not face that dark unknown of the next step forward.

 

Now I believe that even you believe that the heart is what we make it, right? If we know we become abusive when we drink, but still put our thoughts and heart on our next drink, what will happen? But if we keep to the best of our ability our thoughts and desires, our heart away from such thoughts and/or opportunities, we than have a chance to truly be free from it, right? Not that it may not always be part of our life, but that we can live in victory from it. In other words, your claim is Christians put what some one else believed to be the truth into our hearts, and therefor our hearts become our own prison.

 

What if, #1, Christians came to their belief by God Himself, and not the words from another? What if God has shown Himself real to believers? Would than this question hold valid?

 

#2 What if, just like all who have been addicts, we know if we follow our desires, or our hearts, we would end up being in the gutter once again? What if, the heart of itself is only as good as the thoughts and desires that are put into it?

 

If one does not believe in God, does not one still put the non belief in their thoughts, thus their hearts?

 

Just thought I would try to share a couple back with ya. :grin:

 

All do. None do.

 

If you wish to understand a little about me, what my more exposed thoughts are in more articulated form to this question, I just posted this in the last couple days you should spend some time with teasing all of it apart to start to see how I see things. That one should take you a little longer, but I know you make a sincere effort. Click on this: Link

 

I see the potential in you to, not to necessarily leave your religion, but to fulfill and grow beyond it to something even more. With understanding comes.....

 

Thank you Antlerhead. That was very kind. Also thank you for the link provided. I am quite interested and will certainly check it all out. You know that you do fascinate me.

 

Well a few things here. First I don't imagine God quite so external to myself as you do at this point. What you call sin, I call dysfunction. The judgment is a judgment of ourselves in desiring to be true to a higher nature we all possess, but are in a process of realizing towards a fuller, or ultimate Realization. So the question you ask, "are we on that level?", in the sense of the Absolute, it is all of our potential, and some have in fact had that Realization. It is the potential of every one of us, not just some single individual. I myself have in fact had an exposure of that Absolute, where there was no distinction between myself and That, and ALL is ONE. If you wish to read a brief description of that I shared from a few years back, you may read it here: Link.

 

But those occasions were peak experiences, and my life, all our lives is about movement towards That, and I am further today than I was when I began, and from where I was when I was holding up the same things you are where you are at today. It is not the end for you, Stranger, but the beginning.

 

Now I've given you some actual meat to chew on for awhile. Don't just try to answer all this small mountain I just gave you, but process it, listen to it. Afterward....

 

I look forward to your response.

 

I will take your advise on this one, my friend. Ofcourse, generally I have no other option. LOL

 

============

 

Cits, I really wanted to get to your latest replies, but I am afraid i will have to wait a bit longer, buddy, but I appreciate them non the less. I will respond ASAP

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