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Kuroikaze

Here Is Why I Don't Believe

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When I went to sunday school, I was once given a test that asked if the bible was god's inspired word and that it was completely as god had intended. Being that at that age I had already begun seeing what appeared to be inaccuracies, I thought inspired had meant that god gave man a good idea and let it go from there. Turned out that inspired of god meant inerrant.

 

This would be the first of many instances where I would raise my hand then put it down before I was called upon and had to speak my question or statement.

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The god's back then proformed miracles. It was a god prerequisite. They accepted Jesus miracles because they were the same exact ones preformed by all the other ancient gods.

 

Pagan miracles

1. There were a lot of them. Tens of thousands.

2. Pagans understood miracles one way: God's magic.

3. The pagans made up miracles, added them to their stories as a way of adding meaning.

 

Christian miracles

1. There were a lot of them

2. The Christians understood their miracles one way. God's magic.

3. The Christians also believed Pagan miracles were real. They believed the Pagan miracles were done by demons.

4. The Christians made up miracles, added them to their stories as a way of adding meaning.

 

 

What's more Pagan Gods did the same miracles Jesus did—and the Pagan Gods did them first. What sort of miracles are we talking about?

Jesus healed the sick. Pagan Gods healed the sick first.

Jesus walked on water. Pagan Gods walked on water first.

Jesus turned water into wine. Pagan Gods turned water into wine first.

Jesus calmed the storm. Pagan Gods calmed storms first.

Jesus fulfilled prophecy. Pagan Gods fulfilled prophecy first.

Jesus prophesied correctly. Pagan Gods prophesied correctly first.

Jesus raised the dead. Pagan Gods raised the dead first.

Jesus rose from the dead. Pagan Gods rose from the dead first.

Jesus apostles performed miracles. Pagan Gods' apostles performed miracles first.

 

Source: POCM

 

I will concede that there are Pegan stories which claim the same thing. So, let's put them to the same test. What is there message/written word? Do they have confimation from sources outside of their relgion? Are there enough manuscriipts to cross reference to prove it hasn't been changed from something else into what it is known as today?

 

BTW Somewhere down the line, somone gave me the argument that if we do not have the orignals it doesn't matter if we have a whole bunch of other copies. Or somthing like that. I think I need to clarify my position. The number of manuscripts available, to cross reference with the NT, is astronimcal compared to other historical documents.

 

Here's a little excerpt of data.

 

"There is an unprecedented number of copies of the New Testament that have survived. Scholars wish they had 1/10 the number of documents for other ancient literature! There are only 9 copies of Josephus' The Jewish War, and these copies were written in the 10th - 12th centuries. Yet, this work is considered to be historically accurate.

 

Astonishingly, the second runner-up for the largest number of ancient documents goes to Homer's Illiad, which was the sacred literature of the ancient Greeks. There are fewer than 650 of these manuscripts and many are quite fragmentary. Fragments of John's gospel have been found that date as early as 150 AD. This find has literally rewritten popular views of history.

 

Two of the almost complete New Testament documents date back to the 4th Century! These two texts play an important role in the NIV Bible. This means we have documents within 2 generations of the events, unlike 8 or 10 centuries for much of our other historical documents. In addition to the over 5,000 Greek manuscripts, there are about 24,000 other ancient New Testament documents in other languages found in areas such as Egypt and Ethiopia."

 

The more documents, from different time periods, the more you can see what matches and what doesn't. With so many available, they have a really good idea of what the original NT said.

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What does it matter how many copies of the NT there are if there are strong indications the myths in them were based on myths of other religions, religions much older than the NT?

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Where would you place yourself on this scale of INNERANT vs. INSPIRED word of God?

 

With that definition, I guess I would say I believe it to be the inspired word of God. If it was given by God word for word, it would be perfect. If it was perfect, it would have no contradictions. If it had no contradictions, it would be labled as fake due to the idea of translators collaboration to "fix" any problems. I think God allowed human error because it was meant to reach the hearts of humans. If it seemed to perfect to be real, humans would not be able to connect with it.

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Much of the writings, of the ancient pagan religions, were banned and burned by Christianity. Their temples razed and their followers exterminated. It was a crime to copy them or get your hand cut off. Possession of them was punished by death. This is why very few ancient pagan writings exist. Not because Christianity is true, but because they were the victors.

 

In the existing copies of the New Testament there are more discrepencies between them than there are words in the New Testament. The oldest copies are centuries removed from the originals. Scholars have a remote idea of what the originals said, but it's only speculation at best.

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Sorry to derail this slightly, but I want Kat22 to answer my questions...

 

1) How does s/he know what Jesus's intentions were regarding the whole "pray in secret" thing?

 

2) How does s/he know what my intentions were when I mentioned the "praying in secret" thing?

 

3) How can her/his longwinded and very public prayer be anything other than that which Jesus condemned?

 

4) What makes her/him think that she can take me to task for something that s/he has done in the exact same post?

 

Oh, and to quote Matthew...

5"And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. 6But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. 7And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. 8Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.

Like I said... longwinded public prayer is what Jesus condemned.

 

 

But, if you understood the scriptures, you'd know that....

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If there are any perfect works out there, devoid of contradictions, no matter how trivial, then you'd be hard-pressed to find them.

 

That there are contradictions makes it foolish to believe that there is a god behind that work. The mormons say the same thing "I believe because it is absurd"

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At least that is honest.

 

If there are any perfect works out there, devoid of contradictions, no matter how trivial, then you'd be hard-pressed to find them.

 

That there are contradictions makes it foolish to believe that there is a god behind that work. The mormons say the same thing "I believe because it is absurd"

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Dating the Gospels: When were they written ?

The standard scholarly dating, even in very liberal circles (i.e., those that reject Christianity) is:

Mark was written around 70 AD

Matthew and Luke were written around 80 AD

John was written around 90 AD

There are evidence that all gospels were written before 70 AD,

 

I would love to see this evidence please.

 

While you're at it, show me the criteria used to date the Gospel of Thomas at 150 C.E.

 

I hope you're not just another graduate from the Eusebian school for religious advancement.

 

(almost everything you posted about dating the gospels is sectarian conjecture - an earliest possible guess that supports their biased opinions)

 

While at the same time, your date for Thomas is later than we have extant manuscript evidence for it.

 

Not terribly consistent.

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About the Gospel of Thomas: there are a number of scholars who believe that this gospel pre-dates all of the gospels. There is a possibility that it was written as early as 50 C.E. One argument for this is that it shows no dependence on any of the other gospels, and it is primarily a gospel of sayings - something that would tend to be early in the christological evolutionary development.

 

For sure it was written before 150 C.E. since we have extant greek manuscripts of this gospel found in Oxyrhychus Egypt that have been dated earlier than 140 C.E.

 

Anyone who gives an exact year (or even decade) for any of the gospels is not telling the truth or they are ignorant.

 

The best anyone can do (who is being honest) is give a range that spans a number of years. Here are the ranges given for the gospels. What you will find is that orthodox christian theologians and historians will almost universally date the four canonical gospels extremely early, while dating the non-canonical ones extremely late. (when the evidence for dating is much the same for all of them)

 

Signs Gospel 50 - 90

Didache 50 - 120

Peter 70 - 160

Thomas 50 - 140

Mark 65 - 80

Egyptians 80 - 150

Matthew 80 - 100

Luke 80- 130

John 90 - 120

 

 

p.s. There is no evidence that the canonical gospels can be dated before 70 C.E. (wherever you got that information, you can dismiss anything else they have to say)

 

 

Oh, just so you know, Kat, 32 C.E. is not a meaningful date for some of us to establish anything.

 

There is another early tradition (attested to in G Peter) that Jesus was crucified under Alexander Jannaeus - around 100 B.C.E.

 

And there are plenty of us who believe him to be ahistorical altogether.

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Source: POCM

 

I will concede that there are Pegan stories which claim the same thing. So, let's put them to the same test. What is there message/written word? Do they have confimation from sources outside of their relgion? Are there enough manuscriipts to cross reference to prove it hasn't been changed from something else into what it is known as today?

 

BTW Somewhere down the line, somone gave me the argument that if we do not have the orignals it doesn't matter if we have a whole bunch of other copies. Or somthing like that. I think I need to clarify my position. The number of manuscripts available, to cross reference with the NT, is astronimcal compared to other historical documents.

 

Here's a little excerpt of data.

 

"There is an unprecedented number of copies of the New Testament that have survived. Scholars wish they had 1/10 the number of documents for other ancient literature! There are only 9 copies of Josephus' The Jewish War, and these copies were written in the 10th - 12th centuries. Yet, this work is considered to be historically accurate.

 

Astonishingly, the second runner-up for the largest number of ancient documents goes to Homer's Illiad, which was the sacred literature of the ancient Greeks. There are fewer than 650 of these manuscripts and many are quite fragmentary. Fragments of John's gospel have been found that date as early as 150 AD. This find has literally rewritten popular views of history.

 

Two of the almost complete New Testament documents date back to the 4th Century! These two texts play an important role in the NIV Bible. This means we have documents within 2 generations of the events, unlike 8 or 10 centuries for much of our other historical documents. In addition to the over 5,000 Greek manuscripts, there are about 24,000 other ancient New Testament documents in other languages found in areas such as Egypt and Ethiopia."

 

The more documents, from different time periods, the more you can see what matches and what doesn't. With so many available, they have a really good idea of what the original NT said.

 

Alright, I've been silent around here for too long. But the above statement was just too much for me to take. Listen sweety, there are NO, count 'um - NO, NONE, NADA, ZERO copies of anything written about Christ in his lifetime. End of story. In the field of History, we call that a "primary source document" that is anything writen about a subject in during the life or event of the subject. And Christian apologists wish that they had ANYTHING from that period. Do you realize that there is not a single document written about Jesus by anyone who actually knew him in his lifetime. Everything we have is at least 70-90 years after the fact (not to mention influenced by Greek and Roman Paganism). I'm sorry, your case for belief simply soes not hold up.

 

 

 

alright, how in the hell do I put quotes in the boxes? I've never been able to do that right.

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Alright, I've been silent around here for too long. But the above statement was just too much for me to take. Listen sweety, there are NO, count 'um - NO, NONE, NADA, ZERO copies of anything written about Christ in his lifetime. End of story. In the field of History, we call that a "primary source document" that is anything writen about a subject in during the life or event of the subject. And Christian apologists wish that they had ANYTHING from that period. Do you realize that there is not a single document written about Jesus by anyone who actually knew him in his lifetime. Everything we have is at least 70-90 years after the fact (not to mention influenced by Greek and Roman Paganism). I'm sorry, your case for belief simply soes not hold up.

 

My thoughts exactly. Unless Xians can come up with something that can be proven to have been written at the time of Jeezus'™ alledged "life" then I will continue to believe he is little more than a character in a story.

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Sorry, let me clarify.

 

To sum it up shortly (I know, I'm not too good at that), it comes down to the fact that their claims of Christ do not line up with the NT.

So basically it's what i initially said. You reject scripture that's older than the synoptic gospels and which were at one point, before the Council of Nicea, reguarded higher and taught more than the other gospels, because it doesnt line up with what youve been taught. Whew... that was the longest sentence in history :lmao: . Since many of those gospels, especially the gnostics ones, precede the synoptic gospels youre familiar with, wouldnt it be more true to say youre synoptic sciptures dont line up with the older gospels that precede it?

 

Everything I have read and studied (so far) leans more towards the claims of the NT being true than anything else.

Of course... when a biased person researches biased claims that line up with their biased traditional teachings and beliefs, then one will believe them to the true.... especially when one wants it to be true. Study with a rabbi, and i bet youll learn something different.

 

As my preveous post demonstrates in part. Non-Christain Jewish accounts show that they do not deny, even from early times, that Christ performed miracles and that his tomb was empty and he was claimed to be risen from the dead. And they also confirm that at least five (from the accounts I have posted) apostles were killed because of their faith in Him. They, of all people, are the least likely to put myth/legend into the story of Jesus. They would go to any length to make sure that their accounts did not show Him doing something miraculous if He didn't really do it.

Refer back to Hans response for this. The only thing i want to add is that you mentioned "their accounts". How do you define accounts? The people you mentioned lived in the 2nd-3rd century. You yourself stated this. So could it be an account?

 

The other thing i wanted to mention is that yes, they couldve gone to any lengths... but keep in mind it was the Christians who went into any lengths to make it seem Jesus, and their beliefs about him, existed in the first place. They added verses into the bible and into historical works of other people. i.e. Mark 16:9-20 and Josephus' Testimonium Flavum.

 

Im still awaiting a response to my question about taking a book to be true because it contains errors:

Even if there are some contradictions (though most can be explained if one has enough information). If you think about it, the fact that the contradictions are there adds to it's reliability. Why? Because no one changed the contradictions (and I am sure they were noticed) when the books were copied.

Im sorry. Im not understanding the logic. A book that has errors and contradictions does not add to it's reliability. If in med-school, my surgical books said to "never inject coccaine into a patient, but instead always give topically," but in another part of it it says "always inject coccaine into a patient," we would have a problem there. One, it's true to never inject coccaine. Two, I would lose my license for doing so. Three, i'd have to question everything the book had taught. Four, i'd have to reject that book and learn from a new one.

 

*snip*

 

All i know is, any book that misleads, contains errors, and contradicts i choose not to trust. Applying it to a person, it doesnt makes them more trustworthy either. Moreover, a person in a book that contradicts themeselves and the book, doesnt make them trustworthy either.

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Source: POCM

...........

alright, how in the hell do I put quotes in the boxes? I've never been able to do that right.

Like this? :grin:

Simple my dear Bluesman! You inadvertently added one too many of these...[ /quote ].

 

This...[ quote ]...begins a quote, and this...[ /quote ]...ends a quote. (Note: I was forced to add spaces to my examples here, or else they would screw up MY post!) They're like parentheses. And if you don't use them in pairs and in proper order, (i.e. the one with a backslash "/" at the end) then your quote looks jacked up.

 

Just hit the "Preview Post" button to see where/if you've messed up and then fix it if necessary.

 

BTW, good observations and it's great hearing from you again! Glad to see you're still safe. Are you still in Iraq?

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The best anyone can do (who is being honest) is give a range that spans a number of years. Here are the ranges given for the gospels. What you will find is that orthodox christian theologians and historians will almost universally date the four canonical gospels extremely early, while dating the non-canonical ones extremely late. (when the evidence for dating is much the same for all of them)

 

Signs Gospel 50 - 90

Didache 50 - 120

Peter 70 - 160

Thomas 50 - 140

Mark 65 - 80

Egyptians 80 - 150

Matthew 80 - 100

Luke 80- 130

John 90 - 120

 

 

p.s. There is no evidence that the canonical gospels can be dated before 70 C.E. (wherever you got that information, you can dismiss anything else they have to say)

 

 

Mythra

 

Let's not forget to include the dating range for the The Lost Sayings Gospel Q, estimated range is 40-80 C.E.. Both Mathew and Luke used Q as a source. So... some of the material in Mathew and Luke can be dated earlier than 80 C.E. and may even predate Mark. :shrug:

 

See the following link: http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/q.html

 

__________________

 

Kat

 

(Kat)
(Open_Minded @ Jun 29 2006, 07:29 PM) Where would you place yourself on this scale of INNERANT vs. INSPIRED word of God?
With that definition, I guess I would say I believe it to be the inspired word of God. If it was given by God word for word, it would be perfect. If it was perfect, it would have no contradictions. If it had no contradictions, it would be labled as fake due to the idea of translators collaboration to "fix" any problems. I think God allowed human error because it was meant to reach the hearts of humans. If it seemed to perfect to be real, humans would not be able to connect with it.

 

I was hoping you would say "the inspired word of God". :) I know it seems like nit-picking - but when you think about it - if someone believes the Bible is dictated word-for-word by God to the authors - then that leaves very little room for growth in human understanding and awareness over the centuries. A literal view of scripture puts God in a box that can never change. :(

 

Having said that - you may want to look at what Myrthra wrote above about dating the early Christian writings. This is very important Kat, because the more Biblical scholars - who specialize in the picking apart the linguistics of the earliest Christian writings - study them the more consensus there is on the dating. Scholars who dispute the dating Mythra outlined above are in an extreme minority. The dating above is standard, well accepted scholarship. And the dating is born out of years of peer review study.

 

This is one very concrete area in the "growth of human understanding". Years ago it was not possible to compare Mathew and Luke to the point of - not only being able to determine that there was probably a common source - it wouldn't have been possible to reconstruct that earlier source as well as we are able to do today. Today we have computer technology to assist us in this type of study. By looking at the Bible as inspired by God - you are giving yourself permission to grow in your understanding of the Bible and how it reveals God. :grin:

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BTW, good observations and it's great hearing from you again! Glad to see you're still safe. Are you still in Iraq?

 

OK, even an Infantryman can do this!! :ugh:

 

Yes thanks, I'm doing pretty good. I've had very limited access tyo the internet for the last few months, but now I'm back on Camp Liberty, and I'm getting ready to come home in a few weeks. I look foreward to getting to know everyone all over again.

 

From Iraq with Love, Audie

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Hijacking thread:

 

Good to hear you're okay Bluesman. We'll be here when you get back! :wave:

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I don't know you, Bluesman but hello anyway :grin:

 

Thanks for the info and tips, Mythra and Open_Minded :) I know I can sound pretty arrogant and I appologise for when I do. I really am in search of as much knowledge as I can grasp. Looking at everything I have studied, from both secular and Christian sources and the experiences of myself and those around me, more evidence points towards Christ than away from Him. However, if I really believe that my faith is right. I should not be afraid to research what others have against it.

 

As for the Q. Isn't that kind of like a "best of" type writting? That was dated 40-80 AD, right?

 

And Thomas... still studying that one.

 

Sorry if I leaned towards the side that favored my position. Honestly, I can't say that it wasn't intentional. I wasn't sure about the earlier times but I had an idea. I will try to be more well rounded with future statements. Putting the full range of possibilities and not just what favors my view.

 

From what I understand, there isn't much argument over the belief that the gospels were written by Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Am I wrong? I mean, honestly, three of them weren't necessarily the best choices if they weren't the real writters. Two weren't even disciples and Matthew was the Tax collector, right? Not the best choice for names if they weren't the authors.

 

I found a site that goes through all of them and, as far as I can see, it is a secular site. It was hard for me to believe that there were so many early writings! How does one sift through all of them and figure out what is actually authentic accounts and sayings of Christ and which were written by people trying to defame Him? I just don't know how they did it.

 

Here's the list:

 

The numbers on the left are for an estimated range of dating.

30-60 Passion Narrative

40-80 Lost Sayings Gospel Q

50-60 1 Thessalonians

50-60 Philippians

50-60 Galatians

50-60 1 Corinthians

50-60 2 Corinthians

50-60 Romans

50-60 Philemon

50-80 Colossians

50-90 Signs Gospel

50-95 Book of Hebrews

50-120 Didache

50-140 Gospel of Thomas

50-140 Oxyrhynchus 1224 Gospel

50-200 Sophia of Jesus Christ

65-80 Gospel of Mark

70-100 Epistle of James

70-120 Egerton Gospel

70-160 Gospel of Peter

70-160 Secret Mark

70-200 Fayyum Fragment

70-200 Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs

73-200 Mara Bar Serapion

80-100 2 Thessalonians

80-100 Ephesians

80-100 Gospel of Matthew

80-110 1 Peter

80-120 Epistle of Barnabas

80-130 Gospel of Luke

80-130 Acts of the Apostles

80-140 1 Clement

80-150 Gospel of the Egyptians

80-150 Gospel of the Hebrews

80-250 Christian Sibyllines

90-95 Apocalypse of John

90-120 Gospel of John

90-120 1 John

90-120 2 John

90-120 3 John

90-120 Epistle of Jude

93 Flavius Josephus

100-150 1 Timothy

100-150 2 Timothy

100-150 Titus

100-150 Apocalypse of Peter

100-150 Secret Book of James

100-150 Preaching of Peter

100-160 Gospel of the Ebionites

100-160 Gospel of the Nazoreans

100-160 Shepherd of Hermas

100-160 2 Peter

100-200 Odes of Solomon

101-220 Book of Elchasai

105-115 Ignatius of Antioch

110-140 Polycarp to the Philippians

110-140 Papias

110-160 Oxyrhynchus 840 Gospel

110-160 Traditions of Matthias

111-112 Pliny the Younger

115 Suetonius

115 Tacitus

120-130 Quadratus of Athens

120-130 Apology of Aristides

120-140 Basilides

120-140 Naassene Fragment

120-160 Valentinus

120-180 Apocryphon of John

120-180 Gospel of Mary

120-180 Dialogue of the Savior

120-180 Gospel of the Savior

120-180 2nd Apocalypse of James

120-180 Trimorphic Protennoia

130-140 Marcion

130-150 Aristo of Pella

130-160 Epiphanes On Righteousness

130-160 Ophite Diagrams

130-160 2 Clement

130-170 Gospel of Judas

130-200 Epistle of Mathetes to Diognetus

140-150 Epistula Apostolorum

140-160 Ptolemy

140-160 Isidore

140-170 Fronto

140-170 Infancy Gospel of James

140-170 Infancy Gospel of Thomas

140-180 Gospel of Truth

150-160 Martyrdom of Polycarp

150-160 Justin Martyr

150-180 Excerpts of Theodotus

150-180 Heracleon

150-200 Ascension of Isaiah

150-200 Acts of Peter

150-200 Acts of John

150-200 Acts of Paul

150-200 Acts of Andrew

150-225 Acts of Peter and the Twelve

150-225 Book of Thomas the Contender

150-250 Fifth and Sixth Books of Esra

150-300 Authoritative Teaching

150-300 Coptic Apocalypse of Paul

150-300 Discourse on the Eighth and Ninth

150-300 Melchizedek

150-400 Acts of Pilate

150-400 Anti-Marcionite Prologues

160-170 Tatian's Address to the Greeks

160-180 Claudius Apollinaris

160-180 Apelles

160-180 Julius Cassianus

160-250 Octavius of Minucius Felix

161-180 Acts of Carpus

165-175 Melito of Sardis

165-175 Hegesippus

165-175 Dionysius of Corinth

165-175 Lucian of Samosata

167 Marcus Aurelius

170-175 Diatessaron

170-200 Dura-Europos Gospel Harmony

170-200 Muratorian Canon

170-200 Treatise on the Resurrection

170-220 Letter of Peter to Philip

175-180 Athenagoras of Athens

175-185 Irenaeus of Lyons

175-185 Rhodon

175-185 Theophilus of Caesarea

175-190 Galen

178 Celsus

178 Letter from Vienna and Lyons

180 Passion of the Scillitan Martyrs

180-185 Theophilus of Antioch

180-185 Acts of Apollonius

180-220 Bardesanes

180-220 Kerygmata Petrou

180-230 Hippolytus of Rome

180-250 1st Apocalypse of James

180-250 Gospel of Philip

182-202 Clement of Alexandria

185-195 Maximus of Jerusalem

185-195 Polycrates of Ephesus

188-217 Talmud

189-199 Victor I

190-210 Pantaenus

193 Anonymous Anti-Montanist

193-216 Inscription of Abercius

197-220 Tertullian

200-210 Serapion of Antioch

200-210 Apollonius

200-220 Caius

200-220 Philostratus

200-225 Acts of Thomas

200-250 Didascalia

200-250 Books of Jeu

200-300 Pistis Sophia

200-300 Coptic Apocalypse of Peter

203 Acts of Perpetua and Felicitas

203-250 Origen

 

Is there anything I am missing from this list? Are some of the dates inaccurate or does this pretty much cover the correct possible years? Let me know if this site is not giving an accurate list.

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And they also confirm that at least five (from the accounts I have posted) apostles were killed because of their faith in Him.

Which five?I didn't see any names?

 

I recommend you read the following articles

 

http://www.geocities.com/paulntobin/apostles.html#tradition

 

I know you are trying hard, but I am still waiting

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I don't know you, Bluesman but hello anyway :grin:

 

Thanks for the info and tips, Mythra and Open_Minded :) I know I can sound pretty arrogant and I appologise for when I do. I really am in search of as much knowledge as I can grasp. Looking at everything I have studied, from both secular and Christian sources and the experiences of myself and those around me, more evidence points towards Christ than away from Him. However, if I really believe that my faith is right. I should not be afraid to research what others have against it.

 

As for the Q. Isn't that kind of like a "best of" type writting? That was dated 40-80 AD, right?

 

And Thomas... still studying that one.

 

Sorry if I leaned towards the side that favored my position. Honestly, I can't say that it wasn't intentional. I wasn't sure about the earlier times but I had an idea. I will try to be more well rounded with future statements. Putting the full range of possibilities and not just what favors my view.

 

From what I understand, there isn't much argument over the belief that the gospels were written by Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Am I wrong? I mean, honestly, three of them weren't necessarily the best choices if they weren't the real writters. Two weren't even disciples and Matthew was the Tax collector, right? Not the best choice for names if they weren't the authors.

 

I found a site that goes through all of them and, as far as I can see, it is a secular site. It was hard for me to believe that there were so many early writings! How does one sift through all of them and figure out what is actually authentic accounts and sayings of Christ and which were written by people trying to defame Him? I just don't know how they did it.

 

Here's the list:

 

 

Ok first off, no one knows for sure if "Q" exists. Its a theroized document because Scholars think that Matthiew and Luke were based off of text in Mark, however both of them also share lauguage that is not found in Mark, which is why they think there is a lost gospel that both of them use as a reference.

 

As far as who wrote the canonical gospels, in fact almost every secular scholar will state with authority that they have absolutly no idea who wrote them. The gospels do not name an author internaly and the names were attributed to them by an oral tradition that can not be traced earlier than Origen. Most do not believe the Gospel of Peter was actually written by Peter, nor most of the non canonical gospels.

 

The early church argued much over the authorship of the gospels and in the end included the ones they thought were authentic, however, the methods on which they decided authenticity were quite suspect IMO.

 

The dates you posted are pretty much standard scholarship dates, One thing you should note in those dates is that 1st and 2nd Timothy and Titus are dated in the 2nd century far after the death of Paul, though they were not written by Paul, the various councils that decided on the Cannon apperently felt they were authentic Pauline Epistles...or at least didn't care that they weren't. Indeed, Psudonimous works were common in the 1st and 2nd century, and no one thought much of it.

 

Oh, and I know that it apears to you that more evidence points towards christ, I once thought so as well. I think this is mostly just an issue of how we percieve the evidence...who's perception is right? Maybe nither...or maybe both :grin:

 

If we knew then we woudn't disagree now would we :grin:

 

However, I am glad that you are willing to study and learn. Knowledge is an invaluble thing, the world would be a much better place if everyone had a thirst for knowledge. Anyway talk to you later.

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............

From what I understand, there isn't much argument over the belief that the gospels were written by Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Am I wrong?

Yes, you are wrong. There is MUCH argument and speculation over who the actual authors of the Gospels were. Since nowhere within the text is authorship noted. It is simply church tradition that has arbitrarily chosen these names. In fact, some epistles attributed to Paul are in dispute too.

 

Here's something else to munch upon...How could these "authors" be privy to conversations and events that happened AWAY from them? Why, if these authors were truly present, do they err so badly in simple details like numbers and geography and people present, and so on? (WARNING: Don't mention the Holy Spurt. If the Holy Ghost is giving dictation, then why so many mistakes?)

 

So much for the "realiable witnesses" argument, huh?

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Like Mista Grinch said, we don't even know the names of the authors of the Gospels™. No proof of authorship is given, just "tradition." And there are evidently far more than merely four "Gospels™" anyway, so that opens up a whole 'nother can of worms.

 

What I still fail to understand is how Xians can claim this stuff is "reliable" or inspired by an omnipotent being when even humans can write more coherent things...

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And they also confirm that at least five (from the accounts I have posted) apostles were killed because of their faith in Him.

 

"they" who? Who is cconfirming? I have yet to find one single piece of evidence that supports that Christ and his apostles ever lived, let alone were killed because of thier faith. By the time that the books of the Bible was written, they would have been very old (for the lifespan back then) or already dead.

 

Here's what I'm looking for: I want references to any document, or other source, from the tme (remember Primary sources only, just like if we were researching the Civil War or something) that confirm that Jesus and his gang actually lived and preached and died as martyers.

 

Whether it is from Roman court records, personal correspondence (letters) or a front page story from the Jerusalem Daily News, find something, ANYTHING, writern at the time that confirms the NT story. Remember, the more credible the source, the more conviencing. (a reference to a document in the archives of Oxford University carries a lot more weight than one from Joes Community College)

 

This shouldn't be a difficult project, since the Romans kept meticulas records. And surely Jesus must have said something that somebody felt compeled to write down. And obviously the death of an apostle as a martyr has to be recorded somewhere. Maybe you will have better luck finding anything than I did.

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If I remember correctly, Mark (the earliest of the "accepted" gospels) mentions the destruction of the Temple, which happened in 70 CE.

 

There is no physical Q document. It's existence is a guess by Bible scholars.

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Here's something else to munch upon...How could these "authors" be privy to conversations and events that happened AWAY from them? Why, if these authors were truly present, do they err so badly in simple details like numbers and geography and people present, and so on? (WARNING: Don't mention the Holy Spurt. If the Holy Ghost is giving dictation, then why so many mistakes?)

X-actly.

 

How did Luke know what was said in the council of the elders and also before Pilate, or Herod? And how did Luke know that Herod had for a long time been wanting to see Jesus? Or that Pilate and Herod were enemies before, but suddenly became friends because of this event? Did Luke know them personally to know this very personal and particular information? It is obviously fiction telling! Like a book would say "meanwhile in the city, our hero met with Bob and said..." It's a story in third person naratation, a voice over from an observer that were not there, because it never happened!

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