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Resurrection - Fact Ot Fiction?


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I know and understand that these topics can get very boring for the person who is fully deconverted. But, If any of you bible Scholars would have some time over the weekend, would you please do me a favor and read this article and give me your opinion on it? These articles puzzle me and I know at this time, I should probably not read them. Still, I get nosy to see what 'they' are saying for the proof of the bible. I read these articles and want to ask questions once again!!!woohoo.gifDamn!!!

 

I trust you guys more than any 'apologist' on the internet!

 

http://www.av1611.org/resur.html

 

 

Dr. Greenleaf, the Royal Professor of Law at Harvard University, was one of the greatest legal minds that ever lived. He wrote the famous legal volume entitled, A Treatise on the Law of Evidence, considered by many the greatest legal volume ever written. Dr. Simon Greenleaf believed the Resurrection of Jesus Christ was a hoax. And he determined, once and for all, to expose the "myth" of the Resurrection. After thoroughly examining the evidence for the resurrection — Dr. Greenleaf came to the exact opposite conclusion! He wrote a book entitled, An Examination of the Testimony of the Four Evangelists by the Rules of Evidence Administered in the Courts of Justice.

Greenleaf, world-renowned and noted professor of law at Harvard University, examined the facts surrounding

the resurrection of Jesus Christ, and as author of a treatise on the law of evidence, was a veritable expert on how evidence is used in the court of law. This same man, in subjecting the claims of the resurrection to the very tests of evidence used in courts of law, came to a surprising conclusion. He wrote of his findings in his work In Examination of the Testimony of the Four Evangelists by the Rules of Evidence Administered in the Courts of Justice, and said there is more evidence for the historical fact of the resurrection of Christ than for just about any other event in history.

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The major problem with that article is we're assuming Jesus existed at all, let alone his apostles and these supposed witnesses to all these events. Remember, we don't know who wrote any books of the Bible outside of the Apostle Paul, and even then some scholars believe (such as Robert Price) that Paul never existed and all the letters are pseudonymous. The names were either assigned to them many years afterwards or if the names bore any resemblance to the gospel stories, the names were assigned to important figures. I.E. the epistles of John and the Book of Revelations or they were pseudonymous (someone pretending to be someone else).

 

So, this guy is quoting dubious sources at best. Remember, these weren't even written at the time of the events, even Christians admit that. The earliest gospel, Mark was written no earlier than after the temple destruction so it'd be 70AD+. That means all the other gospels are written after this. Once again, some scholars believe the gospels were written in the second century! We're talking almost 100 years after the purported events! I guess what I am trying to say is these texts are unreliable, I could go on and on about this. Like, no 2 manuscripts are identical, that there are more differences in manuscripts than words in the NT, that there are several purposeful theological changes in the text that we're aware of, how many are there that we aren't aware of?

 

Anyways, tis all for now.

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I know and understand that these topics can get very boring for the person who is fully deconverted. But, If any of you bible Scholars would have some time over the weekend, would you please do me a favor and read this article and give me your opinion on it? These articles puzzle me and I know at this time, I should probably not read them. Still, I get nosy to see what 'they' are saying for the proof of the bible. I read these articles and want to ask questions once again!!!woohoo.gifDamn!!! I trust you guys more than any 'apologist' on the internet! http://www.av1611.org/resur.html Dr. Greenleaf, the Royal Professor of Law at Harvard University, was one of the greatest legal minds that ever lived. He wrote the famous legal volume entitled, A Treatise on the Law of Evidence, considered by many the greatest legal volume ever written. Dr. Simon Greenleaf believed the Resurrection of Jesus Christ was a hoax. And he determined, once and for all, to expose the "myth" of the Resurrection. After thoroughly examining the evidence for the resurrection — Dr. Greenleaf came to the exact opposite conclusion! He wrote a book entitled, An Examination of the Testimony of the Four Evangelists by the Rules of Evidence Administered in the Courts of Justice. Greenleaf, world-renowned and noted professor of law at Harvard University, examined the facts surrounding the resurrection of Jesus Christ, and as author of a treatise on the law of evidence, was a veritable expert on how evidence is used in the court of law. This same man, in subjecting the claims of the resurrection to the very tests of evidence used in courts of law, came to a surprising conclusion. He wrote of his findings in his work In Examination of the Testimony of the Four Evangelists by the Rules of Evidence Administered in the Courts of Justice, and said there is more evidence for the historical fact of the resurrection of Christ than for just about any other event in history.

 

Well I can stop you right there because the article is already spreading misinformation and that is just the first page. We have archives and museums full of documentation for World War Two. It's simply ludicrous that someone would still be repeating Greenleaf's claim. As for him - he lived in a different world where "instant" messaging was sent by ship that took weeks and there was little circumstantial evidence available for anything. However if we want to examine climate change during the middle ages (Before Greenleaf's time so history from his P.O.V.) we can today take core samples in mud sediments and glaciers. We can compare that to wood samples to find trees that were actually alive at the time. Then using the thickness of each individual ring we can reconstruct the temperature for individual years. We live in an evidence abundant world. Greenleaf's claims are not relevant anymore. Just look at the way DNA evidence, once the technology became available, proved that the old court system of evidence was convicting innocent people.

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I know and understand that these topics can get very boring for the person who is fully deconverted. But, If any of you bible Scholars would have some time over the weekend, would you please do me a favor and read this article and give me your opinion on it? These articles puzzle me and I know at this time, I should probably not read them. Still, I get nosy to see what 'they' are saying for the proof of the bible. I read these articles and want to ask questions once again!!!woohoo.gifDamn!!! I trust you guys more than any 'apologist' on the internet! http://www.av1611.org/resur.html Dr. Greenleaf, the Royal Professor of Law at Harvard University, was one of the greatest legal minds that ever lived. He wrote the famous legal volume entitled, A Treatise on the Law of Evidence, considered by many the greatest legal volume ever written. Dr. Simon Greenleaf believed the Resurrection of Jesus Christ was a hoax. And he determined, once and for all, to expose the "myth" of the Resurrection. After thoroughly examining the evidence for the resurrection — Dr. Greenleaf came to the exact opposite conclusion! He wrote a book entitled, An Examination of the Testimony of the Four Evangelists by the Rules of Evidence Administered in the Courts of Justice. Greenleaf, world-renowned and noted professor of law at Harvard University, examined the facts surrounding the resurrection of Jesus Christ, and as author of a treatise on the law of evidence, was a veritable expert on how evidence is used in the court of law. This same man, in subjecting the claims of the resurrection to the very tests of evidence used in courts of law, came to a surprising conclusion. He wrote of his findings in his work In Examination of the Testimony of the Four Evangelists by the Rules of Evidence Administered in the Courts of Justice, and said there is more evidence for the historical fact of the resurrection of Christ than for just about any other event in history.

 

Well I can stop you right there because the article is already spreading misinformation and that is just the first page. We have archives and museums full of documentation for World War Two. It's simply ludicrous that someone would still be repeating Greenleaf's claim. As for him - he lived in a different world where "instant" messaging was sent by ship that took weeks and there was little circumstantial evidence available for anything. However if we want to examine climate change during the middle ages (Before Greenleaf's time so history from his P.O.V.) we can today take core samples in mud sediments and glaciers. We can compare that to wood samples to find trees that were actually alive at the time. Then using the thickness of each individual ring we can reconstruct the temperature for individual years. We live in an evidence abundant world. Greenleaf's claims are not relevant anymore. Just look at the way DNA evidence, once the technology became available, proved that the old court system of evidence was convicting innocent people.

 

thank you Jaded and mymistake! ''We live in an evidence abundant world''......... That is so true!! Never thought about that??? Duh!! Wendytwitch.gif

 

That is why I ask you guys - cause you remind me of these things when I 'slide' a little...........................

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Greenleaf, world-renowned and noted professor of law at Harvard University, examined the facts surrounding

the resurrection of Jesus Christ, and as author of a treatise on the law of evidence, was a veritable expert on how evidence is used in the court of law. This same man, in subjecting the claims of the resurrection to the very tests of evidence used in courts of law, came to a surprising conclusion. He wrote of his findings in his work In Examination of the Testimony of the Four Evangelists by the Rules of Evidence Administered in the Courts of Justice, and said there is more evidence for the historical fact of the resurrection of Christ than for just about any other event in history.

I'm not sure the article is correct in saying that Greenleaf claimed that the resurrected had more evidence than any other event in history. That sounds really farfetched. I suspect Greenleaf made an argument that the evidence for Jesus was strong enough to be upheld in a court of law, not that the evidence was overwhelming beyond any other mass of evidence ever collected. Without diving into it more, I'm just expressing my suspicion here. It's quite common that Christians lie and make up "truths" to support their belief. I saw it happening even when I was Christian, and it annoyed me that other Christians made up stuff. I thought lying was against God's will, always.

 

By the way, many years ago I took classes in the historicity of Jesus, and we had textbooks and material... I honestly, it's not that overwhelming at all. If the evidence would be enough to prove that Jesus existed, it's really pointing to how bad our court system is and how little circumstantial evidence the court needs to convict someone. If hearsay is all you need to convict a person, then we're really in a sad situation.

 

Here's a Wiki link about Greenleaf's book, and critique made by two different authors (one atheist, one theist): http://en.wikipedia....ical_assessment

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Margee

 

It pains me to see you struggling to take that final step. What everyone else has already said and just to add, there is much evidence that the questionable texts have been fiddled with too.

 

One would think that the Vatican, had it had any unreleased evidence or manuscripts, they would release it to prove the existence of alleged jesus. Sadly none is forthcoming as their lil' empire crumbles slowly but surely.

 

All apologists depart from the premise that the bible is authoritative but it no longer stands on its own merits so using it to prove anything is a waste of time. They know this and we know this thus their defense of faith diminishes daily. Of course the bible has the text that the great falling away is a sign, this when believer turn from the "way" of teh lard. The biblle is cleverly constructed to keep those that cannot think for themselves entraped in the system.

 

The old saying let go and let gawd, now simply let go and get on with your life. At our age we do not have that much time left anyway to waste time wrestling with ourselves.

 

Hope that helps.

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That is why I ask you guys - cause you remind me of these things when I 'slide' a little...........................

Something that has become increasingly important in the court of law is something called chain of custody and preservation of evidence. Cases can be thrown out because the evidence was destroyed, altered, or otherwise affected. Mistreated DNA evidence have caused criminals to walk and innocents being incarcerated.

 

So what is the chain of custody and preservation of evidence when it comes to the reports from the witnesses? Who can attest to that the books were written by the eyewitnesses as the claim? Actually, there are a lot of evidence showing that no one knows the true names or authors of the accounts. In other words, we have the words by some anonymous people and we don't know when, where, or why they wrote them. It doesn't matter if the authors believed what they wrote or not, because we don't know who they are! No one does. Christians believe it was John, Luke, Mark, etc, but seriously, Church history tells us that the names were assigned by the early church! The Gospels were not signed. They were not attributed to anyone but later. So no, they're not reliable sources of information. Furthermore, they were written many years later.

 

Imagine if someone write today, about WWII. 70+ years later. And it's supposedly an eyewitness account. He would make some radical statements about the things he saw. For instance, he saw magical fireballs coming out of flying dragons. He claims that England didn't make airplanes, but were raising and training dragons. And that's why we won over Germany. Well, he must be right. He was an eyewitness so it must be true. So what is his name? No one knows. Where did he come from? We don't know. But he claims to be an eyewitness... so based on how the Gospels support the story of Jesus... the story about the dragons during WWII must be true.

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That is why I ask you guys - cause you remind me of these things when I 'slide' a little...........................

 

There was a real teacher named Jesus. He lived some time around 200 BC and wrote the book Sirach. It's a Jewish teaching that resembles Proverbs and it might be the source for some of the ideas that wind up in the gospels. By the time Saul of Tarsus was trying to start his own religious sect resurrection was thought by some to be a spiritual thing - like the way Saul had a vision. If you dreamed about Jesus then that was a spiritual message. There were all kinds of Judeo-Christian sects and they had all kinds of doctrine that would strike modern Christians as strange. Then Rome waged a war to pacify the region and the Jews and Christians separated. People were trying to come to grips with why this near-genocide happened.

 

During the war a Jewish historian named Josephus sided with the Romans becoming an ally to Rome. Three of his friends were being crucified and Josephus asked that they be spared. The Romans took all three down and the Roman surgeons tried to save them but two were beyond medical help and died. The third one recovered. It's likely these events happened before most of the Bible gospels were written . . . or at least before the Bible gospels were re-written and then re-written again. So there might have been a real man who was put up on a cross, did not die, got taken down and then lived to show all his friends and family the old wounds in his body. We don't know the name of Josephus' crucified friend who survived but Jesus (Yesuah) was a popular name at the time so it might have been his name as well.

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What I took away was that once again, the Bible is used to prove the Bible.

 

One would think that some of the extremely unusual occurrences in the Bible (with the resurrection of ANY dead body at the top of the list) might be recorded by amazed witnesses and official government entries in addition to the later writings of those trying to build a religion with their stories and traditions.

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Margee

 

It pains me to see you struggling to take that final step. What everyone else has already said and just to add, there is much evidence that the questionable texts have been fiddled with too.

 

One would think that the Vatican, had it had any unreleased evidence or manuscripts, they would release it to prove the existence of alleged jesus. Sadly none is forthcoming as their lil' empire crumbles slowly but surely.

 

All apologists depart from the premise that the bible is authoritative but it no longer stands on its own merits so using it to prove anything is a waste of time. They know this and we know this thus their defense of faith diminishes daily. Of course the bible has the text that the great falling away is a sign, this when believer turn from the "way" of teh lard. The biblle is cleverly constructed to keep those that cannot think for themselves entraped in the system.

 

The old saying let go and let gawd, now simply let go and get on with your life. At our age we do not have that much time left anyway to waste time wrestling with ourselves.

 

Hope that helps.

 

Thank you living life. It's so funny in the past few months...........I go along and do just fine...........actually feel some peace in my heart....and then I read a friggin' article and I take a step backwards in fear that I might not have all the information. That curs-ed doctrine is locked in the frigging neural networks of my brain!! Thanks for helping me to think straight again!

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That is why I ask you guys - cause you remind me of these things when I 'slide' a little...........................

 

There was a real teacher named Jesus. He lived some time around 200 BC and wrote the book Sirach. It's a Jewish teaching that resembles Proverbs and it might be the source for some of the ideas that wind up in the gospels. By the time Saul of Tarsus was trying to start his own religious sect resurrection was thought by some to be a spiritual thing - like the way Saul had a vision. If you dreamed about Jesus then that was a spiritual message. There were all kinds of Judeo-Christian sects and they had all kinds of doctrine that would strike modern Christians as strange. Then Rome waged a war to pacify the region and the Jews and Christians separated. People were trying to come to grips with why this near-genocide happened.

 

During the war a Jewish historian named Josephus sided with the Romans becoming an ally to Rome. Three of his friends were being crucified and Josephus asked that they be spared. The Romans took all three down and the Roman surgeons tried to save them but two were beyond medical help and died. The third one recovered. It's likely these events happened before most of the Bible gospels were written . . . or at least before the Bible gospels were re-written and then re-written again. So there might have been a real man who was put up on a cross, did not die, got taken down and then lived to show all his friends and family the old wounds in his body. We don't know the name of Josephus' crucified friend who survived but Jesus (Yesuah) was a popular name at the time so it might have been his name as well.

Wendytwitch.gifeek.gif Sweet love of ..............I thought I did all the research I needed to do!! Now, I'll have to investagate this!! LOL

 

That is so interesting mistake! Thank you

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What I took away was that once again, the Bible is used to prove the Bible.

 

One would think that some of the extremely unusual occurrences in the Bible (with the resurrection of ANY dead body at the top of the list) might be recorded by amazed witnesses and official government entries in addition to the later writings of those trying to build a religion with their stories and traditions.

And then.....there's plain ole' commom sense...... Wendyshrug.gif thanks florduh

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Greenleaf, world-renowned and noted professor of law at Harvard University, examined the facts surrounding

the resurrection of Jesus Christ, and as author of a treatise on the law of evidence, was a veritable expert on how evidence is used in the court of law. This same man, in subjecting the claims of the resurrection to the very tests of evidence used in courts of law, came to a surprising conclusion. He wrote of his findings in his work In Examination of the Testimony of the Four Evangelists by the Rules of Evidence Administered in the Courts of Justice, and said there is more evidence for the historical fact of the resurrection of Christ than for just about any other event in history.

 

By the way, many years ago I took classes in the historicity of Jesus, and we had textbooks and material... I honestly, it's not that overwhelming at all. If the evidence would be enough to prove that Jesus existed, it's really pointing to how bad our court system is and how little circumstantial evidence the court needs to convict someone. If hearsay is all you need to convict a person, then we're really in a sad situation.

 

Here's a Wiki link about Greenleaf's book, and critique made by two different authors (one atheist, one theist): http://en.wikipedia....ical_assessment

VERY interesting article - makes sense! Thanks for that link Ouroboros

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That is why I ask you guys - cause you remind me of these things when I 'slide' a little...........................

Something that has become increasingly important in the court of law is something called chain of custody and preservation of evidence. Cases can be thrown out because the evidence was destroyed, altered, or otherwise affected. Mistreated DNA evidence have caused criminals to walk and innocents being incarcerated.

 

So what is the chain of custody and preservation of evidence when it comes to the reports from the witnesses? Who can attest to that the books were written by the eyewitnesses as the claim? Actually, there are a lot of evidence showing that no one knows the true names or authors of the accounts. In other words, we have the words by some anonymous people and we don't know when, where, or why they wrote them. It doesn't matter if the authors believed what they wrote or not, because we don't know who they are! No one does. Christians believe it was John, Luke, Mark, etc, but seriously, Church history tells us that the names were assigned by the early church! The Gospels were not signed. They were not attributed to anyone but later. So no, they're not reliable sources of information. Furthermore, they were written many years later.

 

Imagine if someone write today, about WWII. 70+ years later. And it's supposedly an eyewitness account. He would make some radical statements about the things he saw. For instance, he saw magical fireballs coming out of flying dragons. He claims that England didn't make airplanes, but were raising and training dragons. And that's why we won over Germany. Well, he must be right. He was an eyewitness so it must be true. So what is his name? No one knows. Where did he come from? We don't know. But he claims to be an eyewitness... so based on how the Gospels support the story of Jesus... the story about the dragons during WWII must be true.

 

Makes the whole damn article look weak now! 'Saved' by you guys again!!

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Margee,

I see what you are going through is the same as a recovering alcoholic. (Please forgive the comparison!) An alcoholic will struggle to overcome his/her problem if he/she keeps hanging around bars.

Let's remember as Florduh has pointed out that the Christian message is only supported from within itself ... the bible! All Christian (and other religious) propaganda is something that totally feeds from its OWN message! It is a circular way of thinking and what makes the message work. Only when you step outside that circle will the bullshit become fully evident! In the meantime do not return to the "brainwash" of the religion until you are strong enough to see it for what it actually is.

 

Read about its vile beginnings how it made its way into Western Civilisation. Read how its message became locked in our society with the help of the sword ... how it destroyed knowledge and anything that was a threat to its spread. Read the creation story, Adam and Eve story, and the Noah's Ark story for what they are! FABLES! Science proves these stories never could have happened as portrayed! This is the type approach you need to take. Once you get things sorted in your own mind you will find web articles as you have pointed out above to hold NO power over you anymore! Best of luck!

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Margee,

I see what you are going through is the same as a recovering alcoholic. (Please forgive the comparison!) An alcoholic will struggle to overcome his/her problem if he/she keeps hanging around bars.

Let's remember as Florduh has pointed out that the Christian message is only supported from within itself ... the bible! All Christian (and other religious) propaganda is something that totally feeds from its OWN message! It is a circular way of thinking and what makes the message work. Only when you step outside that circle will the bullshit become fully evident! In the meantime do not return to the "brainwash" of the religion until you are strong enough to see it for what it actually is.

 

Read about its vile beginnings how it made its way into Western Civilisation. Read how its message became locked in our society with the help of the sword ... how it destroyed knowledge and anything that was a threat to its spread. Read the creation story, Adam and Eve story, and the Noah's Ark story for what they are! FABLES! Science proves these stories never could have happened as portrayed! This is the type approach you need to take. Once you get things sorted in your own mind you will find web articles as you have pointed out above to hold NO power over you anymore! Best of luck!

LOVE the analogy! Thanks Realist! Kind of like - If you don't want to get hit by the train....stay off the traintracks!! Very familiar to me! Never used this for 'religion' though!! Great point!

 

pssssst......... I am 21 years sober................

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Hey .... nothing wrong with a few drinks!

 

What was that quote of Frank Sinatra? Went something like this:

 

"I pity those who do not drink, when they wake up thats the best they'll feel all day."

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I know and understand that these topics can get very boring for the person who is fully deconverted. But, If any of you bible Scholars would have some time over the weekend, would you please do me a favor and read this article and give me your opinion on it?

 

The is a ultimately a scare ploy, which is evident as the article proceeds to its conclusion, which is that you'd better believe or face terrible consequences.

From the article:

To deny the resurrection of Jesus Christ you have to close your eyes to the overwhelming facts of history.

 

There are several problems with this claim.

There is no contemporary historical confirmation for this event.

The only source for the "history" is cult writings, i.e. the New Testament.

Contemporary writers such as Pliny the Elder and Philo of Alexandria say nothing about Jesus despite claims in the New Testament that Jesus was very famous while he was alive.

 

The New Testament also says in Acts that the resurrected Jesus only appeared to cult members and did not appear to the public.

That's rather convenient wouldn't you say?

The Gospels themselves do not agree on many of the details surrounding the life of "Jesus".

The birth narratives, the genealogy, the date Jesus was arrested, and the resurrection events do not agree within the Gospels.

Paul never met Jesus except in visions.

Also of note is that Paul never refers to Jesus as "Jesus of Nazareth" in his letters.

 

An event of even greater magnitude was that dead people were resurrected (the zombies) and walked into Jerusalem shortly after Jesus died.

They, unlike Jesus, did appear to the public (Matt 27).

This was a huge event, bigger than Jesus being resurrected, but unfortunately nobody records it except the author of Matthew.

This is the same author notorious for using out of context scripture from the Old Testament to validate Jesus as "fulfilling scripture".

In the messianic era, dead people would be raised to life, and I suspect the author of Matthew was trying to manufacture even more evidence for the validity of Jesus as messiah.

 

However, nobody else says a word about what would have been one of the biggest events in world history.

The other writers(Luke, Mark, Paul,Peter, James, and John) are completely silent.

This event smacks of embellishment.

If one gospel writer was prone to embellish a story in order make it more sensational, why should any Christian cult writer be trusted to record events of their leader objectively?

If you like tall tales, read the short Gospel of Peter.

It includes a talking cross that comes out of the tomb.

http://www.earlychri...eter-brown.html

 

For some interesting info on the various Jesus characters, see this:

http://www.jesusneve...com/surfeit.htm

 

But as the author says, no Jesus of Nazareth.

While I personally believe a cult leader called "Jesus" may have existed, there is nothing to confirm that the New Testament "Jesus of Nazareth" is accurate history.

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Good gawd, doesn't the good law professor know the rules of hearsay?

 

hear·say pron.jpg (hîrprime.gifsamacr.giflprime.gif)

Law "Evidence based on the reports of others rather than the personal knowledge of a witness and therefore generally not admissible as testimony."

 

The bottom line is a book (the Bible) says that some dude became a zombie and was launched into space.

 

I would expect any reasonable person to dismiss this as a fantasy.... who could blame them?

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Margee, don't feel overwhelmed simply because someone relies upon "one of the greatest legal scholars" when it comes to matters of religious belief. If you have never actually read it, here is Simon Greenleaf's work entitled, "Testimony of the Evangelists."

 

http://www.provision...Evangelists.pdf

 

Greenleaf was a great legal scholar and I do not dispute that fact. His seminal work was his "A Treatise on the Law of Evidence." That was a great work and even our modern day law of evidence relies on many of the concepts he pioneered in that work so long ago. But I must say that I do not find his work on the "Testimonies of the Evangelists" convincing at all. What he essentially says is that the four gospels would be admissible in Court as ancient documents. I agree with that part of what he wrote. Then he says that since they are admissible, the burden of proof to refute the veracity of the gospels falls on those who would refute them and from there he accepts them as true. And therein lies the problem because if we accept the gospels as true, they tell a truly amazing story. But once we start digging deeper into the gospels, we begin to learn that they do not tell the truth. But Greenleaf, having accepted them as true, fails to examine them critically.

 

For example, he writes about who he believes are the authors of the gospels. And his view is that Matthew was written by the Apostle Matthew, Mark was penned by a person named Mark from the dictation of Peter, Luke was written by the same Luke who traveled with Paul, and John was written by the Apostle John who also wrote the Epistles of John and Revelation. That may have been the prevailing view of his time (he died in 1853), but modern scholarship refutes these assertions most convincingly. There are even some Christians who will admit that we have no idea who wrote the gospels and I have linked to one such Christian. Though I don't agree with much of what he writes, I can at least respect his intellectual integrity concerning the unknown authorship of the gospels:

 

http://www.facingthe...org/gospels.php

 

I want to address one of Greenleaf's assertions in particular.

 

In the third place, as to their number and the consistency of their testimony. The character of their narratives is like that of all other true witnesses, containing, as Dr. Paley observes, substantial truth, under circumstantial variety. There is enough of discrepancy to show that there could have been no previous concert among them; and at the same time such substantial agreement as to show that they all were independent narrators of the same great transaction, as the events actually occurred.

 

 

What Greenleaf does here is to take one of the weaknesses of the gospels and tries to turn it around in his favor. And that weakness is the inconsistencies in the four supposed accounts set forth in the gospels. Remember where Greenleaf starts. To him the gospel writers are witnesses to the events and like all witnesses, they will not agree on everything and it is in their disagreement that he finds evidence of the veracity of the accounts. If they had all four agreed on every single detail then it would have seemed contrived. And so he concludes that they are trushworthy, independent narrations of a single event.

 

The flaw in this argument is that taking into account the alleged importance of the events supposedly set forth in the the gospels, one would expect incontrovertible evidence that the events are true. After all, what is at stake? The answer is whether one will spend an eternity in heaven or suffering and being tormented in hell. This is not just a matter of whether someone is guilty of a crime (which, of course, is important but that does not have eternal consequences) for which we call human witnesses who will normally disagree on some details. The stakes here are enormous, utterly unfathomable to our finite human minds. Given the alleged stakes, one would expect far more than we have in the gospel accounts.

 

If we accept Greenleaf's premise that the gospels were written by witnesses to the events set forth therein, then consider this passage:

 

1 On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. 2 They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, 3 but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. 4 While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them. 5 In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? 6 He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: 7 ‘The Son of Man must be delivered over to the hands of sinners, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.’ ” 8 Then they remembered his words.

9 When they came back from the tomb, they told all these things to the Eleven and to all the others. 10 It was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the others with them who told this to the apostles. 11 But they did not believe the women, because their words seemed to them like nonsense. 12 Peter, however, got up and ran to the tomb. Bending over, he saw the strips of linen lying by themselves, and he went away, wondering to himself what had happened.

 

Luke 24:1-12

 

By Greenberg's own account, Luke was not there for any of these events. The women were by themselves and then they told the eleven apostles. So how did Luke learn of these events? With whom did he speak? Greenleaf does not address questions like this. But we need to know the answers before we can give credence to what Luke tells us. Absent such information, how are we to find his alleged account convincing?

 

In my view, Greenleaf fails to convince in his "Testimony of the Evangelists." He was hampered by the time he lived because much of what we know now was not known by him. Though the claim is made that it was in Greenleaf's "critical" review of the gospels that he became convinced of their truth, I highly doubt that is true. He writes like a true believer and so was blinded by his faith in much the same I was for so many years.

 

The bottom line about Greenleaf's "Testimony of the Evangelists" in my opinion, is that he is one more religious zealot out to convince the world that the gospels are true. But his arguments fall flat.

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One of the arguments in the article was that Greenleaf believed this VERY strongly, so therefore it must be true.

 

We all know that people can believe things without a doubt, but that does not make the belief true.

 

Think about the folk who flew planes into the World Trade Center.. Their beliefs were strong enough for them to die for, but do you infer that their beliefs must have been correct as a result?

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I know and understand that these topics can get very boring for the person who is fully deconverted. But, If any of you bible Scholars would have some time over the weekend, would you please do me a favor and read this article and give me your opinion on it?

 

The is a ultimately a scare ploy, which is evident as the article proceeds to its conclusion, which is that you'd better believe or face terrible consequences.

From the article:

To deny the resurrection of Jesus Christ you have to close your eyes to the overwhelming facts of history.

 

There are several problems with this claim.

There is no contemporary historical confirmation for this event.

The only source for the "history" is cult writings, i.e. the New Testament.

Contemporary writers such as Pliny the Elder and Philo of Alexandria say nothing about Jesus despite claims in the New Testament that Jesus was very famous while he was alive.

 

The New Testament also says in Acts that the resurrected Jesus only appeared to cult members and did not appear to the public.

That's rather convenient wouldn't you say?

The Gospels themselves do not agree on many of the details surrounding the life of "Jesus".

The birth narratives, the genealogy, the date Jesus was arrested, and the resurrection events do not agree within the Gospels.

Paul never met Jesus except in visions.

Also of note is that Paul never refers to Jesus as "Jesus of Nazareth" in his letters.

 

An event of even greater magnitude was that dead people were resurrected (the zombies) and walked into Jerusalem shortly after Jesus died.

They, unlike Jesus, did appear to the public (Matt 27).

This was a huge event, bigger than Jesus being resurrected, but unfortunately nobody records it except the author of Matthew.

This is the same author notorious for using out of context scripture from the Old Testament to validate Jesus as "fulfilling scripture".

In the messianic era, dead people would be raised to life, and I suspect the author of Matthew was trying to manufacture even more evidence for the validity of Jesus as messiah.

 

However, nobody else says a word about what would have been one of the biggest events in world history.

The other writers(Luke, Mark, Paul,Peter, James, and John) are completely silent.

This event smacks of embellishment.

If one gospel writer was prone to embellish a story in order make it more sensational, why should any Christian cult writer be trusted to record events of their leader objectively?

If you like tall tales, read the short Gospel of Peter.

It includes a talking cross that comes out of the tomb.

http://www.earlychri...eter-brown.html

 

For some interesting info on the various Jesus characters, see this:

http://www.jesusneve...com/surfeit.htm

 

But as the author says, no Jesus of Nazareth.

While I personally believe a cult leader called "Jesus" may have existed, there is nothing to confirm that the New Testament "Jesus of Nazareth" is accurate history.

 

centauri, thank you for taking the time to respond to this. You have made some very interesting points in this post. I am going to save this thread to my favorites, so I can always find it quickly and come back to read it......when I panic a little.This means the world to me!

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Good gawd, doesn't the good law professor know the rules of hearsay?

 

hear·say pron.jpg (hîrprime.gifsamacr.giflprime.gif)

Law "Evidence based on the reports of others rather than the personal knowledge of a witness and therefore generally not admissible as testimony."

 

The bottom line is a book (the Bible) says that some dude became a zombie and was launched into space.

 

I would expect any reasonable person to dismiss this as a fantasy.... who could blame them?

Mike, I like this whole issue of heresay........ Just continues to make sense...Thank you

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Margee, don't feel overwhelmed simply because someone relies upon "one of the greatest legal scholars" when it comes to matters of religious belief. If you have never actually read it, here is Simon Greenleaf's work entitled, "Testimony of the Evangelists."

 

http://www.provision...Evangelists.pdf

 

 

http://www.facingthe...org/gospels.php

 

He writes like a true believer and so was blinded by his faith in much the same I was for so many years.

 

The bottom line about Greenleaf's "Testimony of the Evangelists" in my opinion, is that he is one more religious zealot out to convince the world that the gospels are true. But his arguments fall flat.

Thanks Overcame for some real great points and links. I will take the time to read these links today at some point. One is 24 pages long, so I want to be able to concentrate. Yes, you are right..........you must believe the gospels completely for the arguments to even make any sense.

 

Thank you for taking the time - I really appreciate it.

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One of the arguments in the article was that Greenleaf believed this VERY strongly, so therefore it must be true.

 

We all know that people can believe things without a doubt, but that does not make the belief true.

 

Think about the folk who flew planes into the World Trade Center.. Their beliefs were strong enough for them to die for, but do you infer that their beliefs must have been correct as a result?

 

Blue.....I think you have made a real good point here. I always think to myself if someone is that frigging smart - they must know something! And he is smart, but this still boils down to those 2 words - faith and belief!!

 

Really,there is no proof at all!! Thanks!

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