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Apostles At Pentecost


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Hey everyone,

 

I am working through an issue and would like your opinions on it-- Overcame Faith and I have had some discussions on topics similar to this one, and I feel guilty bugging him all the time so I thought I would throw this question out to the masses to see what you all had to say!

 

I have done fairly well in my deconversion--but I seem to get stuck on "weird coincidences" because I like to dismiss the accurary of the bible by saying that there are no other historical writing to back up a majority of what is being said, etc. I am a little stuck on Josephus right now-- and no, it is not the Jesus reference that has me confused but rather the prodigies that he refers to that were supposed to be warnings to the Jews that something bad was coming. In book 6, he outlines a bunch of weird things like a strange light shining in the temple at night, a cow giving birth to a lamb, the temple doors opening of their own accord and comets and strange stars in the sky.

 

He also mentions that one Pentecost Feast evening that the temple priests heard a loud rumbling like an earthquake and voices indicating saying "let us depart" or something to that nature. -- this is what is tripping me up, because there are christians who try to say that this is the spirit departing from the temple and then landing on the apostles on their day of Pentecost that is outlined in Acts 2.

 

A couple of things stand out to me-- first, it appears that Josephus is talking about a Pentecost Feast that happened well after Jesus' alleged cruxifiction-- while he mentions that these were signs of future desolation of the Jews-- it may have been only a few years prior to the war, and the overall text seems to indicate that he is talking about a time around 66 ad, when Haley's comet was likely flying overhead, and prior to the jews rebellion-- secondly, the event in Josephus happened in the evening, yet the Acts story appears to have been in the day and perhaps even early in the day.

 

Another possibility is that the writer of Acts knew about this tale in Josephus and wrote his own spin in Acts-- as there has been a lot of discussion that Luke and Acts have shades of Josephus in them.

 

I find it difficult to believe that any of these events actually even occured-- yet it is still difficult for me when christians try to shove these types of things down my throat while advocating the "amazing coincidences!!!!" that there are with these accounts. Uggh. Any constructing help and feedback that you all can provide will be greatly appreciated!!

 

Kris

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I can't accept anything written that long ago as fact, especially when its supernatural in nature.

 

If God would be expecting me to dismiss claims like that from other religions, why should I accept claims like these at all?

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Coincidences are usually amazing. That's why they get the attention. Many times when people experience a coincidence, they relate that to some meaning, purpose, providence, etc. Something outside our world is pulling the strings, but statistically, coincidences are natural part of randomness.

 

If you had two random number generators, generating numbers from 1 to 100 every second, there will be times when both series will produce the same number. There will also be times when they produce several numbers in a row that are the same. And at some time, they will produce many numbers in a sequence. If they don't, then we should suspect something to be wrong.

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I find it difficult to believe that any of these events actually even occured-- yet it is still difficult for me when christians try to shove these types of things down my throat while advocating the "amazing coincidences!!!!" that there are with these accounts. Uggh. Any constructing help and feedback that you all can provide will be greatly appreciated!!

I've read Wars many times. These events are no way related to Acts. Assuming they're all real (they're not) they're years apart on the time line. You already know this however.

 

mwc

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You are right MWC-- I really do know this, but these are the things that continue to weigh on my feeble little brain as I go through the long deconversion process-- when I am at the point that I feel like I have just about reconciled everything, a little voice will pop into my head saying-- " remember when those christians tried to tie in Josephus to Acts-- and cited it as historical proof?" and then my wheels will start spinning and my confidence will drop. I just need a little reassurance now and again to remind myself not to get sucked back in.

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Ouroboros-- I actually saw something about the way that humans tend to try to make sense of random events as a way to feel that god is speaking to them on a recent "Through the Wormhole" with Morgan Freeman. It was stated that this was somewhat engrained in us as part of a defense mechanism for us to try to explain events that are happening in our life, etc.

 

I just hate how christians try to use this type of thing as ammuntion that other historical sources provide support and truth to the bible.

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According to the Gospel of John, Jesus gave the Holy Spirit to the apostles before he ascended.

That doesn't jive with Acts.

Christians need to reconcile that problem before shoving "amazing coincidences" down your throat.

 

As mentioned, Acts may have borrowed elements from Josephus.

http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/richard_carrier/lukeandjosephus.html

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Ouroboros-- I actually saw something about the way that humans tend to try to make sense of random events as a way to feel that god is speaking to them on a recent "Through the Wormhole" with Morgan Freeman. It was stated that this was somewhat engrained in us as part of a defense mechanism for us to try to explain events that are happening in our life, etc.

I haven't seen that episode, but they're right.

 

Part of our brain's evolution was to create patterns. That's actually how the neural networks do, establish recognizable patterns. We need it, but we tend to overdo it. The extreme over-doers become conspiracy theorists. :)

 

I just hate how christians try to use this type of thing as ammuntion that other historical sources provide support and truth to the bible.

Right. And the simple truth in all this is that God doesn't need to prove himself through some weird and suspect coincidences. If God really existed, he could do a lot better than having a tree fall in the jungle while a penguin drops a shit on an iceberg. Coincidences don't prove providence. My wife didn't marry a "coincidental probability entity which she hasn't seen but suspect could exist" husband, but a real, physical entity (person) she can see and talk to. If Jesus did exist, he could be here right now doing miracles as we speak and tell me what he's doing, why, and how. And he could tell me before he does it. No accidental coincident needed.

 

It's amazing how twisted the human brain is...

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My brain in particular!! I think that evolution also makes it hard for us to shed religion-- we are built to believe in some sort of something-- and people like us are bucking the tide so to speak. It is hard to break from this type of thought-- I am often fine for a while and then something will jump out at me that I cannot easily dismiss.

 

Centauri-- thanks for your comment! I did not even know that anything about the Holy Ghost was in John, and so I looked it up! You are correct in that it does not jive with Acts-- very interesting and telling! That is what I like to see-- more holes in the bucket!!!

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My brain in particular!! I think that evolution also makes it hard for us to shed religion-- we are built to believe in some sort of something-- and people like us are bucking the tide so to speak. It is hard to break from this type of thought-- I am often fine for a while and then something will jump out at me that I cannot easily dismiss.

There are other members with the same struggle. We can all fall for the temptation to draw conclusions from circumstances.

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In book 6, he outlines a bunch of weird things like a strange light shining in the temple at night,....... a cow giving birth to a lamb,

 

I find it difficult to believe that any of these events actually even occured.

 

 

Kris, I consider myself to be a deep thinker, but I am so lucky that the 'details' of these stories did not alarm me too much.

I wish I could help answer your question, but I am not a bible scholar. One of our 'experts' will bring you comfort I'm sure!

 

One of the things that keeps me from even questioning all these details of our 'holy books' is to read that one sentence about a cow giving birth to a lamb. It would stop right there for me. This 'foolishness' let's me see that the rest of the story is foolish also.

 

I often say that the whole book falls apart in the first few chapters of Genesis with the account of how god made adam out of dust and eve from his rib and stuck them in the garden with a talking snake, only to set them up fpr failure to be cursed forever by the god who created us..The whole book ends right there for me.

 

Just really wanted to say hi and wish you well! I sure hope you get the answer you need to give you the peace you deserve!! wink.png

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The book of Acts is a novel just like the Gospel of Luke. Together they shed light on the man who wrote them, and of course on all the men who edited them as well.

 

I don't know much about Josepheus but I would take supernatural claims with a grain of salt.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Those storys are bassed on other storys, but the biblical versions of them contain very little truth and logic.

 

You can find many interesting point in egyption history and mithology.

 

In my own words the jews where kicked out of egypt.. then claimed what today is known as izrael... blalba

You can even find a sorry that resembles the jesus. In my own words again and not quoting the actual story:

A woman (pharao/queen or something like that) had a baby without having sex and sayed the baby was the reincarnation of the god amun.

A other thing to consider is: is amen a derivative of amun?

A other question to ask is why the huge amound of egyptian symbols and status near religues and goverment buildings (best example is just to look infront of the vatican).

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The obelisk in front of St. Peter's Basilica? It was an old war trophy from the Classical era, a showoff symbol of victory over the nation that'd originally made it. It was relocated from there to somewhere off to the back and side of the old basilica. When the basilica got remodeled in the Renaissance, it was relocated to a more prominent position to the courtyard in front; Classical-era sculptures/stonework were really popular and this was a really big one. I suspect its size had more to do with the relocation than anything else; it demonstrated a certain amount of puissance. LOOK WHAT ROME CONQUERED, like stealing an enemy's flag and putting it on your front lawn. A scant century or so later America was getting formally formed up, so likely we went with tried-and-true symbols of power. That part at least I can see. The real wonder for me is that humans do generally see obelisks as such particularly evocative symbols of power.

 

The rest? Pretty damning. Definitely Jesus' story was almost identical in every particular to older risen-god-man-messiah stories. It's worth noting that the NT was written decades and even centuries after the death of the religion's inspiration, whoever that was, and that's plenty of time for rumor-mongering writers to make up all the coincidences they want about their particular risen-god-man-messiah. Without external corroboration, considering its outlandish claims of miracles and clearly mythic events, not to mention with so much evidence against its claims, someone'd need to be a fool to take its word for anything. If this error-addled and mistake-riddled and contradiction-laden book is the best Yahweh could do, he's a pretty shitty god.

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My brain in particular!! I think that evolution also makes it hard for us to shed religion-- we are built to believe in some sort of something-- and people like us are bucking the tide so to speak. It is hard to break from this type of thought-- I am often fine for a while and then something will jump out at me that I cannot easily dismiss.

 

Centauri-- thanks for your comment! I did not even know that anything about the Holy Ghost was in John, and so I looked it up! You are correct in that it does not jive with Acts-- very interesting and telling! That is what I like to see-- more holes in the bucket!!!

 

Hey Kris!

 

I can readily sympathize with your struggle. Please hang in there! It's worth it to be free. smile.png

To follow on from from what Ouroboros mentioned about seeing patterns, I recommend these links.

 

http://www.scientifi...ingful-patterns

 

http://www.scientifi...ptic-agenticity

 

The first deals with the patterns we think we see around us. The second discusses why we tend to attribute these patterns to hidden gods, invisible agencies or mysterious forces. Seeing as you have an issue with 'weird coincidences' (Josephus, Pentecost, etc.), I hope you'll find these links helpful in defusing this problem.

 

One of the ways I settled my recurring worries about deconverting was to follow these questions and answers to their logical conclusion. Afterwards, Christianity felt much less threatening. Once again, I hope this helps you out.

 

Q1.

Would anything described from Acts to Revelation be possible if Jesus hadn't been crucified for the sins of the world?

A.

No. Without Jesus' death and resurrection everyone (Christians included) would still be separated from God by their sins. Therefore the Christian church couldn't and wouldn't have been established, first in Israel and then around the Mediterranean. Likewise, all of the future events described in Revelation cannot happen. Everything hangs on the historical fact of the crucifixion and resurrection. If these events are NOT history, Christianity fails.

 

Q2.

Where did Jesus believe ALL human sin originated from?

A.

From Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden. Jesus became a human to put right everything that went wrong in Genesis. If the events in Eden didn't happen, then everything in the Bible (the Old and the New Testament) is based upon a falsehood. Jesus' incarnation, life, death and resurrection are meaningless without a historical Fall. If Genesis is NOT historical, Christianity and Judaism fail.

 

Q3.

Is there any evidence that the human race began with just two people, as the Bible describes?

A.

No. But there is plenty of evidence against this notion. Humans weren't created - they evolved. God didn't create everything in six days - the universe is 13.72 billion years old. All the animals weren't gathered in Eden for Adam to name - e.g., Arctic foxes evolved in the far north and didn't originate in the Middle East. Death existed before Adam and Eve sinned - the fossil record demonstrates this. And so on...

 

Conclusion:

Unless the human race began as the Bible describes, Christianity is false. Unless all sin originated as the Bible describes, Christianity is false. Without the origins of humans and sin being just as the Bible describes, Jesus' sacrifice makes no sense. The historicity of Jesus rests on the historicity of Genesis. If Genesis is false, then Jesus is not the Messiah and not Son of God and all of Christianity is based upon a falsehood.

 

Thanks,

 

BAA.

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As always, I get some wonderful words of encouragement on this site-- thanks everyone for taking the time to comment. BAA, I really liked what you had to say-- you make some very valid points!!

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